A Discussion on the Growth of Black & Anti-Colonial Anarchist Formations

A Discussion on the Growth of Black & Anti-Colonial Anarchist Formations

From It's Going Down

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In this episode we were lucky enough to speak with two people on the growth of Black, New Afrikan, and anti-colonial anarchist formations. One of the people joining us in the discussion is a part of the Philadelphia chapter of the Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement and the other person is from the Afrofuturist Abolitionists of the Americas.

Our discussion covers a lot of ground, but we speak heavily on a workshop that the comrades are presenting across the so-called US on black anarchism, the recent theoretical Anarkata statement, as well as everything from anti-police and prison abolition organizing, to the impact of the Ferguson rebellion, survival programs, and much more.

One of the themes that came up several times, is finding “little a” anarchism or simply anarchy, in the day to day self-organization and revolt of everyday people in the face of the American plantation and finding ways to build solidarity and action with these organic forms. Our guests also stress the need for the anarchist movement to stop looking just to European groups, history, and movements for inspiration, and instead draw from the rich history of resistance to settler colonialism, slavery, and industrial capitalism in the so-called Americans, in order to better inform our organizing.

Music: Sima Lee and Black Star

For Info: Set up a workshop by getting in touch with Philly RAM here or via email (ramphilly@protonmail.com), read Anarkata statement, Black Rose reader on Black Anarchism here, and Burning Down the American Plantation from the Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement here.

Reading Recommendations: 

As Black As Resistance by William C. Anderson and Zoé Samudzi

The Progressive Plantation by Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin

Anarchism and the Black Revolution by Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin

A Soldier’s Story: Revolutionary Writings by a New Afrikan Anarchist by Kuwasi Balagoon

Burn Down the American Plantation by the Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement

Black Fighting Formations by Russell Maroon Shoatz

The Dragon and the Hydra by Russell Maroon Shoatz

There are 84 Comments

"Anti-Colonial" ideology = Maoism for flaccid scenesters. Where's my musket and powdered wig? The past has never looked brighter -- oh, right, that's the erstaz IWW's slogan. Sorry

You and I agree on this. Pity you still are structurally related to them due to your commie ultra-leftism.

Anti-colonialism is a radical farcity that essentially comes down to power building. I'm actually working on a piece that argues for rejecting white supremacy and privilege. Many of the smart anarchists who come out of late 20th century ultra-leftism and transcend it(post leftism Stirnerianism ect) agree that white privilege is nonsense but they think white supremacy is a legitimate concept. I don't and I'll argue in more detail at a later date. Needless to say part of my point is that those two concepts are based on a institution reductionist analysis. The left of the 20th century dumped poly-econ centered discourse for institution centered analysis. Both are wrong and not good for anarchism or anarchy.

all you seem to do is post these really long essays that no one cares about, 'sup with that?

without any attention to how you can have something that resembles 18th-20th century colonialism but is very similar, like how both prison laborers and the "free" laborers of the lowest tear are basically modern slave without the raw slave/owner dynamic. Wage slavery replaced traditional slavery because it's more efficient and allows business owners to be detached from every other activity that takes place in the lives of their employees besides what they do at work.

Of course there's also that strong indentitarian element to "anti-colonizers", who aren't much opposed to slavery as they are just opposed to the white element of slavery:

“It's impossible for a white person to believe in Capitalism and not believe in racism.

You can't have Capitalism without racism.”

– Malcolm X

actually this is bullshit, you can have capitalism without racism, and if this economic system continues intact for another few hundred years the prison populations are going to be more "mixed race" than they are now. So...writing critiques about historical/racist oppression is fine and good, however i would be much more interested in finding alternatives to eating other than wage slavery, or abolishing the state so that people using their own land to provide for them can't be taxed.

All ridiculous dreams though!

all the proof that you need to know that capitalism can exist without racism is engle's "conditions of the working class in england", this kind of horrible factory slavery existed before the "scientific" white supremacist economic models.

The formula for wage slavery = people who have land + people who don't have land + technology, but of course the latter one can hypothetically be discarded even if it makes wage slavery weaker and less effective.

True, people who have land + people who don't have land + technology+ GUNS.

Ok so beyond your fictional social anticipation there's the reality that racism has always existed in parallel with capitalism. It's still around, yeeees... and there's no sign of it disappearing, even if it does evolve into other forms of tribalism.

Neoliberalism is abolishing racism in its own right, but will it? Isn't neoliberalism also taking severe blows at the moment, to a point I wonder if it's got a future at all? And just WHO were the most dangerous opponents to it, lately... ah yeah, those ethno-nationalists. Gotcha.

So yea, Malcolm X was right. Just more right in a '60s perspective where neoliberalism was only a rising force.

Briefly, the Sumerians were the first people to introduce the abacus, the device which serves as a calculator which they used to create the first banking system, monopolize commodities, and store surplus.

but it was all the fault of apes that liked to play with fire
or was it fire that liked to play with apes?

The invention of roofs and roads.......what was the point of this conversation again, or of your/my remarks?
to recount milestones of things that happened?


Actually they weren't semitic but were invaded by them and had their ideas stolen. Religious hierarchical patriarchs ALL OF THEM!

Its just greed and monopoly, it happens everywhere, not just Sumer. Its an innate self-preservative tendency.

This is bad theory. Abacus was just an evolution on older techniques of calculation. Surplus doesn't come from the tool for from the relationship.... If a ruler is allowed to keep 60% of the kingdom's production for his family, this is called extortion, and abacus or not it'll still work. The tools are just products of the technology of control; they are effects not CAUSES of the exploitation.

Leave it to US-brand anarchists to pursue the theoretical equivalent of always bringing a knife to a gunfight. And a butter knife at that.

no fucker, you're bringing a gun to a cooking show.
what? you're really going to use a glock to butter your muffin?

This puff piece on stupid Mao-iod politics, You-Ess-of-Aye style is one of the many times that 'It's Going Down' shows that it's motto could be the glorious lines of Stalin: paper will take anything that's written on it. The online version thereof...

Page 3 of the Anarkata statement identifies Maoism as a revolutionary force. Counter-revolutionary farce is more like it.

You may not like the kind of revolution Maoism entails but it's revolutionary. I reject revolution as a radical value and opt for insurrection(Stirnerian) instead. I might be preferential to certain minority kinds of revolution(social only) but I will never take on the full values of revolution which always entail the taking and coming to power and the continuing alienated arrangement of human affairs.

Meh... suburban developments and continuous growth (of energy/telecom infrastructure) are the contemporary forefront of colonialism. Any paradigm or movement that omits this will be a failure in the end, as this is just avoiding the elephant in the room.

Not that there ain't a huge ground for anti-racist anti-development struggle, tho. Real estate industry especially has been a *devastating* economic engine for all kinds of fascists and racists, while not being only a White thing. I'm pissed off of how supposed antifascists never cared too much of that reality, as it is the very roots they often pretend to be after. If fascists are cut off from their sources of capital accumulation, this means for them no more nice big wooden houses on the countryside secured by cameras and dogs with vast basements where they can hold their sieg heil meetups. The barbarians of the real estate industry are the biggest fascist threat. They got: lotsa money, firepower, muscle power, BIGGG testosterones, BIGGG trucks, they're on speed or meth, and they hate anyone who's even close to being Left, including cyclists, gay people, etc.

Don't fucking ignore this, as this may become YOU OWN elephant in the room at some point.

attacking land development would be the most desirable, because that's what needs to occur in order to expand large scale civilizations, but of course the problem is that the real estate bastards will always be able to pay for a shitload of security and weaponry.

lawn mowers, trimmers and leaf blowers need to be sabotaged because they upkeep the manicured appearance and are necessary maintenance to keep it civilized and keep the wild undergrowth to overgrow everything and make everything look abandoned

also they make a lot of noise

"the real estate bastards will always be able to pay for a shitload of security and weaponry."

Taoist BE-ATCH!

What I forgot to mention about real estate bastards is that they're nearly-illiterate idiots. They'll secure what security experts tell them to secure (...so that insurance companies are satisfied), and that's what first-level tools will think about.I can testify that, as usual, their dead angles are at least 120 degrees wide.

No...The biggest shortcomings aren't in the enemy's strengths, but in the flaws and failings of the insurgents. Mainly for hard it is to mobilize and organize together against something as tough to grasp as "development". It's basically most of the world around us. It's almost fighting against everyone, even if from a distance. It's seeing that not just the alt-right and the racists are the fascists, but also the neolibs, reformists, and others that EMBRACE SOCIETY IN THEIR HEARTS AND MINDS, just as they can't tell a difference between "life" and "society". The Leviathan has so many faces.

But I love you, taoist bitch for not being one of those, and being your own face.

Suburban developments and the stuff you mentioned are not examples of colonialism, they are continuums of capital state property and monopoly which are more concrete problems then this phantom concept of colonialism. Anarchists who drop that silly concept are releasing a millstone from their neck as far as critique goes. Leave that crap to the Maoist hangers on and the silly leftists who are structural vectors to that played out 1968 new old left nonsense.

Especially in this age of DNA nihilism and the culture nullifying borderless realm of cyberspace.

I can use cyberspace anything to show clear proof that is neither is borderless or culture-nullifying. But since you're a post-truth enforcer, who cares about proofs, amirite?

Nope, I have an anarch Inuit in Anchorage and also a nihilistic San dude in the Kalahari desert who I Skype frequently. Its like we are all sitting in the same room where customs and nations do not exist.

Aaaand I'm living in the East LA suburbs, making us all brothers and sisters regardless of geographic status.

I can prove my claim pretty easily, but you won't prove any of your stupid woke claims, dumbfuck.

Just gotta ask!

No please, show me your proof of a colonialist conspiracy.

SE, you're an annoying fat liar and don't know what you're talking about. Suburban sprawls are the new level of colonialism that instilled itself with the rise of the techno-industrial mass society in the post-war era, just like more primitive colonization of the Americas was equally a "continuum" of capital state property and monopoly, in the shape of the Plantation. Your attempt at dividing rocky sand from sandy rock is pointless; it's just two moments in a same process.

Whatever happened to the anarchist fans of Afghan nationalism? In the SF Bay Area? They staged a demo back around 2004 or so, then disappeared. Wonder why. With such stellar insights against "colonialism" and all.

They all went to the safer spaces of anticolonialism, like native american anticolonialism and of course your generic Muslim or Latin American iterations... as if Islam and Latin Americans weren't rooted in colonization too. Lefties can be good at reading, but still not thinking too much. Critical thinking especially is dangerous as it undermines your paper-thin belief systems pretty quick.

Comparison with Xian fanatics ain't inaccurate, indeed.

That seems to be the main blockage in the milieu's comprehension of belief structure, they cannot tell the difference between the ideological politic and religious faith, as if they are entirely different creatures, when in fact they are born out of the same psychology.

I like the project the interviewees have of finding a different anarchic thread and trying to flesh out the theory and practice that comes from following it through history. All the people calling it maoist, they're clearly not, the anarchism they're presenting is coherent, it just draws on traditions of struggle against white supremacy that didn't identify with the discourse of anarchism until more recently. Sure, there are things to critique in their vision, like there would be in any of ours, but it's an interesting contribution, and the desire to write them off whole sale is probably influenced at least in part by racism.

Tell me ---How many of these RAM members were raised in families who frequented community evangelical Gospel Singing frenzies during the weekend, and had these Last Days eschatological ideas fomenting and transforming into revolutionary narratives ?!

Smell of a troll horde getting triggered

it's the same triggered person posting over and over, hoping to get replies

oh. Then I guess @news is a big part of someone's life?

meh, I come and go. As I've said many times, pay attention for awhile and you'll find that I only tend to troll trolls. Strange for them to complain about it, no?

because I'm a millennial who does lots of drugs and plays video games

Now I believe you were making fun of people based on the premise the website is important to them? Oh what a man! Nothing is important to you!

Maybe that person is a dedicated purist anarch who breathes and lives anarchy and not some triggerhungry troll.
Where do we draw the line between trigger troll and prolificly commenting fanatic anarch?


Typo, should be "you" or "senileoldtroll". Its a rhetorical question ;)

me too

What's Philly RAM's take on the Comintern thesis of the 1930s that black people in the US are "an oppressed nation"?

Anti-colonialism resembles the anti-suburban Marxist Pol Pot argument to return everyone to the fields, to the plantation, but under the ownership of the proles. It doesn't wish to abolish the plantation/factory, just take ownership of it. Retrogression can never be revolutionary.

"Colonialism is a practice of domination, which involves the subjugation of one people to another." -stanford encyclopedia of philosophy

just a reference, not some unquestioned truth.

but using that as a basis, it makes both government (of any kind) and institutional economic systems perfect examples of colonialism.

domination sucks, we all know that. but by all means, keep stroking your cranial genitalia with all the arguments over words and who has the "right" answer.

As Fredy Perlman said who hasn’t been dominated in the story of history civilization and leviathan. The problem is many who claim victim status(Mayans Aztecs etc) also committed some dictionary definition colonialism on other groups.

Anti-colonialism of course lacks an integrated critique of leviathan history and civilization as such.

Ok ok, so SE has just decided that colonialism is a "continuum". Everyone mark that down your notes, as you'll have to use that word from now on. It's very important! Because his intellectual authoritaaah said so.

Why does it have to be a dichotomy? Why can't my understanding of anti-colonialism (a specific historical dynamic) and a larger critique of capitalism or civilization be mutually beneficial? Aren't these just slightly different lenses for looking at similar problems?

By the way ziggles … I don't really require a long response about how you hate marxist influenced structural theories … CUZ YOU ALREADY MENTIONED THAT.

the reason that anti-colonialism should always be suspect to anarchists is that it almost never includes an ant-state analysis. that's okay, because anarchism is a specifically anti-statist philosophy. however, you can't take issue with any non-anarchist philosophy merely for not being anarchist. by way of analogy, Leninists always claim the superiority of their analysis, and take anarchists to task for ignoring the vital role of the revolutionary (vanguard) party and the dictatorship of the proletariat. anarchists rightly object to this line of critique since we (supposedly) reject the role of the revolutionary party and dicpro. so it's not enough to reject anti-colonialism outright by saying it's inadequate since it doesn't include a rejection of the state. generally speaking, anti-colonialism its a shitty perspective because it includes a shitty analysis of the state, statecraft, and government. but if you're anti-colonialist and you want to control the economic resources of your country without the pernicious interference of foreign states, foreign companies, and foreign intelligence services/militaries, then anti-colonialism is perfectly adequate. it's all about the explicit and implicit goals. so it's ridiculous to condemn or dismiss anti-colonialism for not being anarchist.

I would only point out that phrasing things like 'your country' or personalizing states as victims against foreign entities is problematic in my view. While I don't quite hold to the ultra left Marxist Materialist view that 'workers have no nation' I support the underlying anti-nationalist sentiment that people with marginal human interests should not be speaking in terms of nation state produced identity and state on state bereavement.

It's all Westphalian state constructed rubbish that is of no interest those on an anarchist continuum.

Wesphalian Abrahamic Weltanschauung vs true nihilesque stirnerian anarchs of the salon

West Amphibian Phallic Abracadabra Brahms Welts Schadenfreude

Yup, and the continuum comprises an ebb and flow. Colonialism would be more accurately termed colonization, or inverted refugeeism. At the peak of the slave trade, western Africa was going through a drought which had millions of starving Africans flooding into the small missionary trading ports seeking work and food. Just as the refugees now are invading the south of Europe, should they be regarded as colonialists, bringing the religious beliefs and exotic foods and diseases and changing cultures.
Why is not the Moor inhabitation of Spain in the Middle Ages regarded or called colonialism? Because it preceded Marx, THAT'S WHY!!
There are no real First People, that is a liberal term, as is refugee, but I accept colonizers, or to be more specific, positive or negative refugees, because to leave the place of one's birth, one's valley, one's inherited niche, can only be described as desperate or opportunistic.

no, you dimwit, not cuz it predates Marx, but cuz it predates Columbus, and the conquest of "the Americas" by Columbus et al.
the "reconquest" of "spain" from the "moors" is a foundational theocratic white supremacist/racist national myth.
all the terms you prefer are contrived, ahistorical and pointless.

Columbus was actually Italian Catholic hired by the Spanish king you silly person, and these territorial conquests were based upon internal Abrahamic issues of faith, not about physiological refugee need.

motherfucker, the root of the word colonization is from Columbus name regardless of his place of birth and i never said he was from spain. the rest i guess you must be replying to yourself because i never said any of that either.

that's wrong too. it comes from the latin colonus (inhabitant)

nuh uh! It's from the same place where I get most of my talking points (colon)

so stirner is still pretty badass in your world, huh?

10:39 Thanks for your extra knowledge of the Latin lexicon ;)

i was correcting my completely wrong assumption arrogant self via a quick search engine search, i have no such knowledge.
there is no shame on the internet, as you constantly demonstrate by staging conversations and discussions with your altern personas which all talk the same way.

"altern personas" ??
I have no idea what you are talking about you self-correcting arrogant person!

And words like indigenous and first people should be replaced by post-migratory or sedentarian, thus removing any false claim or patent to originality. Cute hey? ;)

I'm gonna be damn rude and plain insulting in my reply to you, by explaining in dumbed down simplistic terms to explain to you what I am meaning. Ok?
A whole lotta ppl get real fricking hungry in one island, AND they have a shit load of boats, and they say, Gee wizz, theres all this frickin food and shit over the water there, have we enough collective balls to risk the scary deep ocean to cross and go and have a big feed. SO THEY GÒ THEREand end up liking the place and there's plenty of room, better than the filthy frickin slums of ol Lundun town. Oh but these other people are gettin possessive, saying we are not respecting their spooks, and we have to give them our stuff as a type of reciprosity (rent actually, from the original landlords). Soooo they argue, and the lawless atheist newcomers (proto-anarchs) defend themselves valiantly, driving the Original Spooky Landlords away!!! Duh!

Nice dumb rendition of a moronic leftist pro-Statist anti-colonialist Idpol idiot.

You're being a bad-faith blowhard not unlike the 2-3 other bad-faith blowhards who've been busying themselves on this website for years. But wait...

I don't know what's so blowhard about declaring the collective masse belief systems or spooks which dominate this planet's cultural energies and mental devotions as being fallacious myths. And I'm glad that there are a few others on this site who busy themselves with the most important task of enlightening the curious and inquisitive potential anarchs visiting it. So there you are...

just cuz you found your dad's stirner in a closet and now you're waving it around like an idiot. hopefully somebody gets hurt

"anti-colonialism should always be suspect to anarchists is that it almost never includes an ant[i]-state analysis"

… said one person, assuming that their own experiences are universal.

I don't think I've ever encountered anti-colonial theory that didn't include a critique of the state? Isn't that also implied by the fact that we're fukin anarchists too? As in, we're anarchists (well, I am anyway) talking about colonialism and how that relates to the rest of anarchist theory which always rests on a critique of the state … which is so obvious that I wouldn't bother pointing it out usually…

So .. yeah. Please don't generalize.

^But anyway, looks like we're agreeing by the end of that same post. haha

oh, so there you go shooting off your mouth before you finish reading a paragraph? again. and again...

just so we're clear. if you know of any popular anti-colonial theorists who are explicitly anti-statist, please mention them. otherwise your objection to the point is just you raising your personal experience to a generalization. among the more obscure (because they are not academic or part of the usual anti-colonialist discourse) are these folks, who i like very much:
if you don't recognize them as a minority among anti-colonialists, then please enlighten the rest of us about your intimate knowledge of some others. thanks.

Explicit anti-statists acolons are you talking about? They may have A critique of A state but not a critique of the state as such. There are anarchists that try to persuade in that direction but they are largely wasting their time.

Yeah, I do that, it's true. Shoot my mouth off, that is. But I also didn't do the academy or anything so most of my influences were through radical stuff where it's an obvious conclusion to draw. States crush their own populations and when powerful enough, they go abroad. Same shit.

Hey, maybe you take too long to make your point and bury the lead? ;)

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