TOTW: Anarchist Speaking Tours and other adventures

  • Posted on: 21 October 2019
  • By: thecollective
only punk rock goes on anarchist tours nowadays

Reading through some of the Emma Goldman archives, I’m reminded and amazed to see the amount of speaking tours Emma and friends held. At one point in time over six months, she traveled to 50 different cities in 18 different states, delivering over 150 lectures and debates and that's probably not even the biggest stat for this kind of information about her. During one of her discussions, over 1,800 people attended in a city that nowadays would be lucky to have 20 people attend an anarchist conversation.

Over the years, there have been a handful of anarchist speaking tours that have passed through this space, bringing with them excitement and new ideas to consider. While I lack the direct evidence, I feel like these kind of anarchist events in the world have steadily grown quiet. Would you tend to agree or disagree with that statement and why is that?

Do you have a specific memory of a speaking tour that sticks out in your mind to share? Speaking tour organizers, what tips and advice can you offer for people looking to travel and talk about the most beautiful idea of anarchy? Do we bring back anarchist speaking tours? If so, how and if not, how come?

Blame the Internet? Perhaps you'd be interested in taking our anarchist Internet poll, which has speaking tours as one possible answer:
https://anarchistnews.org/content/what-your-experience-anarchist-internet

Comments

Yes, it's quite frightening when pseudo-intellectual dork web celebrities like Jordan Peterson can go on speaking tours and sell out lecture halls, while anarchist speakers can barely fill a cafe.

Yep, partly because our contemporary "anarchist" big mouths have been doing nothing else but dissolve anarchy to a bland, liberal form of socialism, removing all of the former's teeth, unpredictability, critical edge and anything else that used to make it appealing.

I'm looking at that "anarchy is order" crowd, especially. Or these (same?) morons who argued volumes of text to distance anarchy from Heath Ledger's Joker when the film came out.

Heath Ledger's Joker. I'm leaning towards Brightburn Brandon Beyer!

you fuckers better stop quoting movies or i'm telling mom

No, think about it. To the majority of the heteronormative population, anarchists are seen as monstrous twisted characters much like those found in horror movies.
That's anarchism's biggest obstacle, overcoming the popular negative image of it. Even the name fills people with dread just thinking about social chaos and uncertainty. Let's face it, most people desire to live in a comfortable dull routine with minimum stress and intellectual effort.

It's also partly because anarchists still box people in with ridiculous ideological terms like 'heteronormative' that they don't identify with our ideas. Not to mention that all of these sorts of liberal, identitarian, confining, academic terms have an implicit moralizing judgement contained within them. They aren't even as useful or accurate as many Marxist terms, which for the most part, at least, relate to structural categories within society, (and I loathe just about everything Marxist.) Inspire people with dreams of a commons and of sensual lives, don't implicitly blame them for civilization.

Also, if we don't care about mass upheaval, then we don't care about 'popular image' either. We just get together with like minded people and do our best to break free during our lives (in captivity).

However if we do care about creating movements that have widespread energy, then we need to stop thinking of people as 'cis', 'heteronormative', 'binary', 'non-binary', 'trans',. Because you know what, we are generally all more complex and fluid and organic than that. There are probably millions of Trump supporters who are queer as fuck in the bedroom. And there are groups like 'transwomen for Trump". Those kinds of words become trendy really quick and just as quickly, one day, become outdated. Also those identity words prevent ongoing self-creation from the get go.

The coming wars will be between caricatures of Right and Left, rather than between rulers and ruled, or between owning and dispossessed classes or between freedom lovers and authoritarians, and anarchists will have played a role in exacerbating that. Lets talk to people, like our neighbours, as individuals, about getting together in self-interest for a more imaginative and interesting and less stressful life and get off our high horses...

Particularly on left-right ideology wars which anarchism and anarchy should avoid like the plague(avoid antifa for this reason).

That said I do think the heteronormative concept is useful provided that you don’t use it as an IDpol tag. I would argue that it can be part of a psychological structural critique. One of the annoying things about 1968 Stonewall based discourse is that it has never formulated the obvious structural alternative to heteronormativity-Binormativity. The point of having a structural critique is to provide counter structures and rainbow radicalism don’t do that. This is a general problem with institution centered leftism and radicalism, they talk of dismantling this and that but they don’t provide the structural solvency that earlier epochal polyecon based radicals provided.

One idea that I’ve suggested elsewhere is to come up with a relationship romantic identity category called integrated. Integrated would be to bisexuality what gay and straight are to their respective sexualities. One controversial aspect of this would be to take bisexuality out of the queer letter acronym. The point of bisexuality being the integrator is that convolutes both the queer and the norm. It’s the only way for it to be structural solvent against a heteronormative sexual bias.

Then there’s post sexuality but that’s another discussion.

Yup, also one can generally have the grouping of sexual tendencies thus :---
1) presexual
2)masturbatory
3)post-masturbatory
4)intergrated
5)post-sexual
I think its as equally important to include the sensual perceptions of the pre-adolescent and adolescent in society who are hopelessly neglected and excluded within the Abrahamic religious system. The psychology of innocence needs explanations rather than the system's hungup avoidance of these important phases in life.
The Christians in particular create fear, ignorance and anxiety leading to misogany and the patriarchal sexual cultures.

make this into a TOTW and submit it or start a speaking tour about it

Do NOT pour gas on those flames!!!

NOOOO

Also ban the use of viagra by elderly men as it gives them a disproportionate sense of significance within youthful activities. 5his is not ageist, merely common sense.

But the lighter side I'm looking at is that you TOO will grow old and be assumed by the kids of being a user of viagra who wants to get his way with their precious pool of sexual interests (that are, as EVERYONE KNOWS, safe-kept for your age group ONLY, duh).

It is NOT AGEIST to criticise old fornicating trolls who interject every DAMN comment on this site with SNIDE smartass comments as if they have some MONOPOLY on wisdom due to their age and experience. I say place INNOCENT creative spontaneity before aged experience as the foundation of aesthetics! We anarchs discard the orthodox roots of the Marxist anarchist tradition if we are to evolve into the 21st Century!
Though I can use my mind to procure whatever I desire, I am a voluntary celibate and have risen above the proletariat's obsessive penchance for sexual INTERCOURSE and dominance!!!

Are u LeWank troll!?

I wanna debase fucking aesthetics, not give them more or better foundations! You don't fucking get it!? Aesthetics are vastly part of what divides people and bring them one against another, or at least are the catalysts. It's also what supports the formation of social privilege, mating and birthing, exclusion, oppression and yes, conformity.

The dominion of aesthetics has to be escaped, as it represents the totalizing spectacle of our existences. It IS the shape of the so-called "Existent".

Nooo, aesthetics are subjective. One has to be allowed to develop and refine ones own unique aesthetic, not just accept the one society markets and makes standard. You lack your own creative imagination to think aesthetics are oppressive.

And you lack your own brain by denying how aesthetics are the primary cultural tool for *conformity*, or integration to the herd formation.

Ooooh, so an individual appreciation for the beauty of a wilderness is conformity. Whereas I consider that art, that the representation of a landscape wilderness by painting, that generally the conformity to the Western aesthetic of paintings of things is not beaty, but FAKE UGLINESS. The REAL BEAUTY is in the reality, not a copy of it. Applying this to human interaction and morals is no different. This is where your definition of aesthetics is erroneous, you are stuck in the Western aesthetic and unable to escape it. You are a prisoner of capitalist fashion, a philistine!

Also, do you understand the ugliness of ideology and identity, of gender, status and democracy. Ahahaa, you probably think democracy isn't conformity, WELL IT IS.

I see what you mean crazy dude, like miss universe is ugly, and like heroes are ugly, and celebrity and fame is ugly, and the mona lisa is ugly, and like old fake viagra penises are ugly, yeah, and like everyone voting in a majority democracy is like a whole lotta people conforming to one category of choices, which is conformity.

i wake up to see this shitshow thread on my beloved anews...i don’t approve it...

Oh poor revolutionary didn't wake up to molotovs and the smell of napalm this morning. The times are a changing, a new name must be found to replace anarchism!

nah, my hopes weren't that high. but i'll have coffee and everything will be fine.
how are you doing this fine day you improbable being?

morning anon! also, to answer other anon's question, other other anon is definitely Le Jackass.

Still so worked up about a bit of troll trolling? I've barely been around in months! Le Angry Wank much?

yeah, they're always so eager to bite on your bread crumbs, like koi in an artificial pond

heh! most sincere form of flattery around here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUC2EQvdzmY

This is where Weltanscauung and aesthetics intersect, sure, aesthetics dress a culture with popular fashions, tastes and attitudes. Some authoritariañ mannerisms take form from aesthetics and create the populist conformist politics, but there are the primitive simple aesthetics which exist in nature and have organic origins.

NO WELLCHANGCHUNGING ALLOWED IN THIS SPACE

THIS IS A NO WELLCHANGCHUNGING ZONE

How about primitive organic aesthetics, they ARE anarchic?

that’s ok

go ahead

And throw in a little Stirner and Dali?

And some Heidegger, pleeeeeeease!?

you can have it all
(even welchanchunging)
just...dont let me see it

But, and also, you have to see the interconnection between these thinkers, their quest to find the unadulterated inner human essence. Stirner's sovereign self-awareness, Heidegger's Dasein, Dali's surreal metaphorical depictions of the human psyche, and the big W, the culture's coalescence of the Other.
Lots of material for a coast to coast speaking tour. Alas, I don't own a car.

Yes, let's reboot that anarcho-fascist bandwagon based on BIG assumptions on the nature of the Ego according to 20th century fascists. Let SE and LeWank expos... lecture us about it. Oh and why not let's recycle that poor Richard Spencer who lost everything due to Antifa! Time for the fart-bongers to RIIIIIIIISE!

There's no such thing as anarcho-fascism in any serious currential sense.

Anon 22:50 has nothing to say except insulting gutter shit talk, does not accept aesthetics, or comprehend Wilde's "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at stars"

'We die with stars in our eyes'.

i should stargaze tonight immersed in prospectively-nostalgic melancholia

my stargazing is literal, so are my feelings
GOTEEM

That's ridiculous, you may gaze at the heavens and dream or ponder, but to stargaze literally is moronic, or scientific.

i like staring until i see a shooting star or fall asleep

Well that's different than just looking at plain stars. Shooting stars are like our lives, be are born, we briefly shine, and then we fade into the eternal abyss. NOW THAT'S POETIC DUDE, you are a poet and don't know it!!

Naaah, Im no poet, that leeway guy who gets deleted all the time is the real poet!!

Heresy Distro vs Wolfi shit show pt 2 when

Is that person/distro still around or did they go into hiding after their embarrassment with trying to lynch-mob Wolfi?

They’re still running around. Outside a small number of people in @ news comments and wolfi’s circle of friends peoples don’t think less of them.

Most people just think that’s a lot of effort to simply say wolfi is a potential creep like Hakim Bey. Like no way I would I ever let some dude who wrote that around my kids.

"Outside a small number of people in @ news comments and wolfi’s circle of friends peoples don’t think less of them."

That's not what I hear.

And when peoples including myself hear "Heresey Distro" we hear: "Everybody look! Look! My new distro! Wolfi is a pedo! Got your attention now? Look at me! We should all hang Wolfi for something he said 30 years ago!"

We need to stop using words to describe identity categories to get mass appeal? If we did that people would just think of us as pseudo intellectual weirdos. Which is kinda the issue now anyways. Just digging the hole deeper.

And these words like trans have a practical value. Are we getting rid of every adjective or just the ones that describe relationships to social structures? This is probably the stupidest idea I've heard and would make anarchists look like even more of a weird head up your ass thing. like wed be culty flat earthers type thing. Sounds really fucking stupid and impractical, plus it cant ever happen.

there is no "heteronormative majority". It is all in your head. There are normies, masses of normies... and they may disguise themselves as "non-heteronormative" just to hide the fact they're really just getting with the program for anything else than their sexual preferences.

Also your id pols have VASTLY overrated sexual identity, a notion that shouldn't even exist according to radical queer theory. There's just a bunch of sexual preferences... that are more or less in flux form one person to the next. Many people feel very unattracted by their same sex, and that doesn't make them "normative"; just like you got plenty of people who're into same-sex intercourse that are championing conformity like no other.

In other words, you are socially normative or you aren't. It's hardly related to sex. It's a lot more about the group vs individual dynamics.

THEN.. what do you know of what the normies think of "anarchists"? And in which social context... at what socio-democraphic scale... or in which milieu?

I'd be very curious on how they see/define anarchists, if they got any notion whatsoever. Plus I'm sure a lot of people don't even know/care about these political paradigms. They just work-eat-fuck-sleep and look at a screen for hours, and that's it.

But conducting a kind of survey in your area/milieu or over the entire internets on anarchists according to all the non-identifying-as-anarchists MIGHT be an interesting way to approach them on the subject.

Nooo, IdPol creates sexual preference, not the other way aroùnd. I know many gay people who got brainwashed and coersed into being gay because they were lonely and weak minded, not because they were intrinsically gay.

Talking to people? Sounds hard.

"At one point in time over six months, she traveled to 50 different cities in 18 different states..."

I know people hate on CrimethInc on this site, but here:

https://crimethinc.com/2015/12/28/report-to-change-everything-us-tour

"In the course of 65 days, we presented 59 events in 57 towns"

That was four years ago.

tours and adventures, to meet up and chat, walking and talking, all sounds great

conferences and speeches sounds boring though

anarchists came to town and said what was needed to get through the day

i remember some phrases that stood out:
-remember: hope is a prison (to which i responded in bafflement “and despair is freedom?”)
-the garbage men aren’t coming
(which was i knew at the time was untrue in the strictly literal sense, but the profound point was still true, relevant and poignant, which is why i didn’t insist, and acknowledged the correction/lesson)
-we won’t leave until it’s empty (said in less words, and carried more by a stern look which softened as i made evident i did not oppose and found that course of action very agreeable)
-i like them because they don’t give up (said by a child that was rolling with us)

the gestures and actions spoke far more than the sparing words though

of course i also remember the thanks and goodbyes

travelling, movement, “touring” and adventure is a necessity. how else will we meet? what else can we do together?

And afterwards there's the inevitable anti-climax, after all the passionate discussion, the raised voices, the declarations, the waving of arms, the pledges of activist revolt, you just hop into your old car or motorbike and drive in silence to the small aparment you share with 5 other Incel misfits, dreaming of roast meat and the embrace of an amoral woman, yèarning for food and creative activity. Yes, its hard being an young anarchist in a large capitalist city.

I hop skip and dance down the dark streets laughing maniacally and setting off car alarms.

let’s skip down the street
literal skipping
outright frolicking

That comes from having the unburdened lightness of a Stirnerian consciousness!

no, it comes from the springiness of the calves

i was once in the vicinity of someone who broke their foot while skipping

flew like Icarus too close to the sun

So metaphorically, ideology made that person brain dead?

I also once flew bear ready for singular onbstruction.

Synapses reaarangement went wrong as days closed by.

Wheeet!

Are important. Creating situations are
Crucial. Occupy was filled with Situations.
We need do things, many things.
With flare; with style; With assertiveness.
This will allow us to be able to cohere,
Coalesce, and express a Praxis of
Radical Content that will inform
A differential , qualitative content of
Determined activity. Univocal; with Love
For our fellows . This is the stance we must
Pose in our process of our activities.

They aren't popular anymore partly because anarchists have stopped inspiring people. Now they mostly just moralize them like every other ideology since the first city state's priests and elites. Anarchism has become knee jerk progressivism- see its embrace of and colonization by liberal-identity-politics.

Also, not enough clear break from Leftism. See Antifa working with Marxist-Leninists while deriding fascistic social orders.

One has to understand the 19th century context of anarchism leftism and radical politics. What would help anarchism and anarchy a lot would be to pivot back to a neo 19th century positional structure. This means rejecting institution centred leftism and radicalism and going back to bear bones issues of land labor and association.

Post WW1 discourse and the greater 20th century really was bad for anarchism which turned into a Marxist dominant institution centered strategy based on demographic interests as opposed to more immediate labour interests which suited anarchism more. With resource depletion and psychographic structures on the rise we could be returning to a 19th century like structure which will help anarchism more.

bear bones and land labor sounds like ecocide and workerism
SE we caught you!

jk

pls shower thread with poetry ya'll

The issue of labor and anarchy is about making it free. The land issue is about post monopoly access.

i know i know...

we're complete strangers
and our conversations go
nowhere often, yet...

how long til: Anarchist silent deTours and other misadventures

One thing not mentioned so far is knowing how to speak to an audience. Jordan Peterson pulls in crowds in part because he can craft a decent talk. He speaks well, doesn't mumble or hem & haw or read from notes. Of course, he had years of speaking in front of classrooms to hone his skill.

We anarchists don't have these opportunities, maybe?

Someone should start a Toastmasters for anarchists. Just a thought.

mo more spectacleeeeeeeeeeeeeees

fun fact: i can do all that, but i don't, because it's not something i want to do, i don't get a kick out of it.
so it's not just about opportunities, but about the kind of person that likes to be the center of attention and talk people's heads of, and "defeat opponents in debate"

deplatforming is great, but don't be selective, just interrupting cow MOOOO anyone and everyone in a podium

NO MASS TRANSMISSION OF INFORMATION ALLOWED

also applies for fun shows

NO FUN ALLOWED

maybe people that like big audience just become liberal professors and politicians or a big twitters or youtubes, they can't live off of it if they're so niche as @, unless it's some vagabond troubadour like biofilo panclasta living off of alcohol and pit stopd in prisons here and there, and he was pretty liberal too, tho eccentric.

that's the thing, the more public you are with dangerous ideas, the faster they'll clamp down on you, even if you're harmless, specially if lots of people become interested or superficially attracted by your charisma.

i think ultimately the crowds of people listening are not so much "potential converts" or people waiting to be inspired, but momentarily blissfully or idly distracted and busy, entertained, and so on. i dunno, just being contrarian maybe?

throw tomatoes at people who speak, even jc scott or some other old guy academic with interesting things to say
also: there are many interesting fields of research with small audiences in comparison to popsych stars of the week

^^^iconoclastic purity FTW

Good rant but by your own logic, I'll have to shut you down the moment 2 or more people agree with me that you're funny

MOOOO

yes, pls delete all my comments MOOOOOOOO

the other thing is that people back then were different and more easily amazed or curious by an anarchist, someone bold enough to call themselves that.
now everyone has seen everything and been there/done that big deal, or at least try to project that appearance.
a lot of anarchist eccentricities of the past are now much more common place and generalized.
most anarchists nowadays are also not that eccentric, quaint or interesting (or involved in any exciting underground activity that would benefit from becoming public).

Is to embrace renaissance off grid experimental lifestyles and ways. Activism, academy and workerism(among other things) are a hindrance to this sort of activity. Look at someone like Doug Coulter for instance, more individuals like that please. And don't be a poser like Kevin Tucker, if you're doing anprim I expect to see primitive technology youtube like minds with an idea and networks to back it up.

Parallel power parallel power parallel power baby. Not political power building continuum structures like activism prole ideology and academic careerism. Gulch that Anarchic orientation.

We love hosting speaking tours and workshops at our space(s). Anyone that wants to bring their tour or workshop to Chico CA (a good stop over between bay area and OR) feel free to get in touch. In the past couple of years we have hosted Earth First!, J20 Defendants, Mutual Aid Disaster Relief, Crimethinc, filmmakers, zine makers and authors, medic collectives, etc etc. We do good outreach, usually get a nice turnout and do well with donations (and if your tour addresses mutual aid or disaster capitalism we can likely offer funds from North Valley Mutual Aid). Reach out at www.blackbirdchico.com (the website just went live and there are a bunch of typos and the calendar is not updated, we are working on it) or email hello@blackbirdchico.com

Is that it's a very thorough critique of hierarchy and all the weaknesses/stupidities that stem from it.

Emma Goldman had a big audience because people of the era were more ready to hear a plethora of criticisms of the powers that be. The people were relatively "un educated politically". Since her there have been rapid info exchange advances and people are more often under a democratic illusion that they understand things.

And of course leftists have monopolized on rebellious thought, but this is just another mass-media political nuetralization game.

We shouldn't need speakers when were still able to speak...if someone rejects the idea that they are free to do as they please, well fuck em

Summer 2010 was a buzz with Anarchist tours with Crimethinc calling for folks to do tours in August. (The conspiracy tour was being planned well before this idea was put forth.)
https://crimethinc.com/2010/06/03/august-2010-we-are-everywhere
https://crimethinc.com/2010/08/07/what-are-you-doing-this-august
https://conspiracytour.wordpress.com/

Then in 2012 some folks went on another big tour.
https://neveralonetour.wordpress.com/

its been a minute since crimethinc did a tour, but i liked their recent two the anti-democracy one and the to change everything one. especially the to change everything one bc having folks outside the us.

What anarchists need to do is a coast to coast TAZ recruiting speaking tour for children, signing them up to learn and understand the individualist tendency, discussing Hakim Bey writing concerning the liberation of the young mind from indoctrination. It has to start early in life, twenty somethìng is too late.

is that a joke? Talking to children is fine and all but getting them to sit down and listen to someone is really the opposite how i try to interact with anyone...plus children are so fearfully protected by their parents and their communities.

but i guess it's another beautiful idea ;-)

and you know, the early crimethinc stuff was so cool, it really wouldn't be a bad idea to try to reproduce it in one way or another.

those crossword puzzles reference communists and shit, definetly not something a per-pubescant child would understand!

Let's get an old courier van, transform it into an ice cream parlor with an infoshop section, and a love seat for... uhm nevermind. Let's call this the "TAZmaniac for Kidz!"

Its no joke, kids should be freed from the future that culture has instore for them. AND CUT OUT the usual slanderous inuendo concerning pedophilia and sleezy old men!

they are seriously the best at fucking with people's heads, not just on here and in general. Like stirner predicted, the "bouurgie want an impersonal ruler". I want a forum member that i can stab in throat, not some bitch who is too lazy and/or paranoid to make a bs name for themselves.

oh, you can believe me or not, i don't actually rape children, i actually completely fucking avoid them to the best of my abilities.

You should hang around kids more, you can learn a lot of things from them, things you've forgotten about your own childhood, suppressed memories, forgotten dreams, lost loves. Kids can recalibrate your psyche, get you high on life without drugs or regrets, just being your own individualist self.

I totally agree with that. Just that the end of the above post made it sound like more of same old Hakim Bey pedo stuff, in a way that looked sarcastic.

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