ToTW: Anarchist PR and Recruitment

  • Posted on: 13 November 2017
  • By: thecollective

Anarchism has a bad PR problem. For those who are not familiar with anarchism, the image that it has in the mainstream media is that of a bunch of violent crazy people who are up to no good. The way that anarchists often present themselves does not help matters either, with them often giving people the impression that anarchists are all self-righteous arrogant jerks. If the goal is to recruit people to anarchism, i.e., to have there be more anarchists in the world, these are some significant barriers to having new people becoming interested in anarchism.

So what can be done to change all of this? Are anarchist PR firms that actively seek out mainstream media attention the answer? What about sleek publications of introductory material to be left in public places? Back in the 19th century public speaking was more of a thing that anarchists did to spread their ideas: perhaps that could be revived? And given that we are now in the 21st century, perhaps a more significant anarchist YouTube presence could be established as well?

On a more direct and personal level, how about creating mentorship programs for helping people who are new to anarchism? When I was brand new to anarchism myself I had a mentor. I went to him with my various questions and concerns regarding anarchism, and that relationship did a great deal to help me get grounded in anarchist philosophies and politics. Could there be ways to establish these kinds of mentorship relationships with interested newcomers today (while being mindful of the aforementioned pitfalls of self-righteousness and arrogance)? "



'If the goal is to recruit people to anarchism, i.e., to have there be more anarchists in the world, these are some significant barriers to having new people becoming interested in anarchism. '

It's a good job this isn't the goal then, isn't it. And just for the record, rioting and fire attracted me to anarchism far more effectively than dry old beards and books.

So you think anarchy is about rioting and fire? ROTFLMAO!! Thanks for proving the TOTW correct.

They said "attracted", like in the first place. When we're first coming around, the flashy, sexy shit is a huge factor.

They never used the word "attracted". Lol...

I got interested in anarachism through AJODA. Back in the 1990s it was everywhere, even my local health food store. I think that can be part of the strategy... creating publications, youtube videos, zines, leaflets, whatever, and just post it or distribute that shit everywhere! Flood the market with @propaganda. There's no reason why youtube for example, can't be flooded with anarchist videos. Right now, youtube is an alt-right cesspool.

I talk to myself too.

oh wait. reading.

Both of these, it appears, do not have any way of posting public comments other than by having to register with Fakebook and their own websites. This is to their discredit in my opinion and not a good PR move. Would it be easy enough for these sites to open up to the public by enabling anonymous public comments to be posted regarding their podcasts? I listen to some of the material and, particularly with IGD, it's Trump this and Trump that with little else. RLR still use the terms 'petty bourgois' and bourgoise and comrade. Come on, pleeeeaaaasssse. RLR do open up the discourse slightly more than IGD but still have this 'working class' mindset. The 'working class' actually beat you over the head at demonstrations with batons. This romantic solidarity of the western working class is a myth. None of this stuff is good PR. Open up to the public and you will soon realise you're both stuck in antiquated perspectives. I agree with Zerzan with many of his comments about anarchism and the Left: you hardly ever, for example, raise the issue of technology and biodiversity and how these are intertwined with other the aspects RLR and IGD are fixated on.

'open up to the public' IE open the floodgates to the alt-right and of course the twenty or so trolls who frequent the comments section of this website - sounds like a really smart move, dingleberry.

Also means letting you post your dumb trolling on this site. You aren't "alt-right", but enough Regressive Left to equally be about the same kind of annoyance.

At least you aren't posting textwalls... I presume,

But IGD's approach is entirely consistent with Maoist politics. One-way mass communications leaving no possiblity for discussing anything, outside of corporate orwellian bodies like Fedbook.

There's no way Our Antichrist President Suckerbergcould be thankful enough for this! Or We...

don't even discuss the ruinous impact of farming for example yet this is a huge issue.

I'm the face of the 21st Century anarch brand cos I'm refined yet decultured, meaning that my empathy and social skills transcend the rotes of popular idpol methodologies in interpreting future extrapolations and inaugorating pragmatic practices, all, and get this, all without holding a single organised gathering, but rather by discreet publication and broadcast. Oh you philistines of the imagiation who only dream of strife and function from angry reflex, I am the humble anti-Messiah with a spontaneous plan for the Now.


A website that has gleefully promoted a group that believes in killing random people in the name of some vague ideology revolving around the absurd concept of 'Wildness' is now complaining that anarchism has a PR problem.

10/10 for concern trolling.

1- Anews is refraining from publishing Maoist bullshit, unlike other media like IGD

2- Anews has followed-up on criticism about publishing ITS texts. While I'd like to see IGD and CrimethInc adjusting to ANY criticism whatsoever related to the stuff they're backing.

1. I'd love to see some actual examples of 'other media like IGD' posting communiques or articles praising actual Maoist groups.

2. Anews has 'followed -up on criticism about publishing ITS texts' by throwing online tantrums about their freeze peach. IGD and Crimethinc don't seem to attract much criticism other than the 20 or so edgelords who troll the comments section on here and whine on Facebook all the time - even though according to them Facebook is bad because 'surveillance and stuff'. IGD and Crimethinc often respond to criticism in the comments sections of the content from their websites that they post on their social media feeds. Anews on the other hand delete 99% of all on-point criticism of the actions of their collective and associated projects or snigger about them on private Facebook feeds even though Facebook is bad because 'surveillance and stuff'. Unlike Anews, IGD and Crimethinc are actually popular with people all around the world unlike this website probably because it arrogantly backed the losing Eco-Extremism horse out of some pompous and grandiose sense of intellectual superiority prompting a worldwide backlash from all sectors of 'anarchy land' who now view this project as just a bunch of crypto-fascist edgelord which really isn't that far off the mark.

Quote pulled from that spooky story about sex a while back:

a: The “power” discussions here remind me of that crimethinc bit in To Chang Everything about power vs. authority.

b: CrimethInc have got a suspicious tendency at being uncritical when it comes from the notion of power accumulation. It is very convenient for all the crypto-capitalists in your gangs who won't tell a critical difference between a coop and oligarchic capital, or between "anarchist businesses" and just liberal capitalist businesses. Considering how so many "anarchists" lately have become a bunch of yuppies, consciously or not, makes it highly problematic to still be talking about principles like "taking power" even if "for ourselves".

Capacity and power are not the same. To be "opening the bars of the cage" or just "making the cage bigger" is not power or empowerment. It's liberation, through creating the direct capacity to release yourself from captivity. For a good distinction, look at the analogies in electricity. The first leads clearly on a opening of our individual and collective capabilities to defend ourselves and gain traction socially, while the other has a quite blurry and permeable like between capital and capacitance.

-end quote-

crypto-fascist edgelords might be a bit harsh … but not by much! lmfao

Seriously though, I figure it's the same thing you see everywhere online, although the alt-right is much dissected right now, forget their politics and you're left with the pattern: isolating yourself in online echo-chambers, forever seeking new thrills in the abstract, which makes you sink in to darker and darker places, chasing the nihilist dragon to feel something, mostly smug superiority!

I disarm lonely, cynical darlings online.

I believe in you. I BELIEVE IN YOU.


Hey thanks but I haven't been smoking that nihilist pipe nearly as much as some of these fools! Still have my ethics and care about people and stuff … well, a few of them anyway.

I even try to be a positive influence on younger anarchists if you can believe that? Instead of sneering at them or draining their vitality or whatever. Watching them stay out of jail and not kill themselves is what gets me off.

you don't want to hold out for more?

Like what? Glorious revolution? anarco-sex-slaves? All that sweet, sweet social capital from a handful of broke-ass misfits?

gross. In my neck of the woods, "gets me off" means "turns me on / makes me cum."

My bad, I meant to flirt with you, not ... engage in whatever.... I don't even know how to describe that.

But to answer your question: what could be more? Maybe not seeing younger people as walking victims to be manipulated into "anarco-sex-slaves" should you only desire it.

lol. Thanks for the good times. It was great!

Sigh ... I definitely DONT see them that way? That was my point? Always get made fun of around here for my sentimentality, you know?

Hmmmmm. Careful you don’t bite your tongue-in-cheek.

Really? I'm being too crass? In the recently rebranded temple for Eco-extremism? My deepest apologies!

I wouldn’t get all hung up about it. Everyone is wrong and bad sometimes. The Hard Times will forgive us later.

Just assume the awful things I say are sarcastic. Actually ... why wouldn't you? Who the fuck you hanging out with?! Jeez!

Literally no one. I’ve lived in four states in five years. Work, school, family responsibilities. Last housemate got weird. So now it’s apt-lyfe. *awkward frank sadness* Internet.

What’s up w/ sarcasm?

My sympathies! Bright side: at least you aren't chumming around with anarco-child traffickers?


More on topic: meeting people online usually sucks! (Sorry I'm a disappointment, I really am) IMHO physical anarchist spaces are where it's at!

I agree.

Lol I didn’t mean for that to be a burn.

shown by a posting on November 3 which is a reprint of a Refuse Fascism PDX communique. As I likely don't need to point out, RFPDX is an RCP creature--lock, stock and little red book. IGD ran the communique without comment, encouraging anarchists and antifa to participate in the Nov.4 clusterfuck and picnic. In a minor act of contrition, IGD removed the offensive post, though again without comment. Finally with their willingness to respond to MSM interviews, their antifa/doxxing obsession, and the edging of coverage more and more into mainstream events IGD seems dangerously close to Vice-ification. Which would also have the effect of putting them beyond the pale as a reliable source for anarchist news, or indeed any news.

Easy there Alex Jones! Break out occam's razor. It's as simple as wanting numbers in the streets to make the confrontations slightly less dangerous. The bickering sectarianism feels pretty stupid the moment you realize you just showed up to confront armed lunatics and you have no friends.

"Quit that purism and get into line with the Red fascists, coz they're your only hope to get "numbers", comrade!"

Were you able to achieve anything worthy out of these numbers over the past years? More importantly... how did the numbers saved that women from being murdered in plain view by a car driven by a fascist brute in Charlottesville?

I thought that a comrade's death was enough to make your reconsider some of your stance and approach, but apparently I was wrong!? Talk about some heavy sectarianism here.

This isn't abstract spectacle to those of us actually doing it. I'm nowhere near Charlottesville and certainly don't have to justify anything to you with the details where I'm from but I've personally seen when people go unprepared or do stupid liberal rally tactics to confront far-right extremists and it's more dangerous than doing nothing. Standing next to some maoists in the streets for a few hours doesn't mean anything except we both hate fashy reactionaries and should the "maoist cabals" ever emerge from Aragorn's fevered imagination and actually present a threat in the streets, I'll cheerfully oppose them too.

So far, I see LARPing nerds who've never raised a fist in anger so I'm not worried. Note this is specific to my city and I won't tell anyone else what the threats are in a different context.

Not sure whether you answered my question... I asked you how the "numbers" by themselves could save a women from being hit by a car in a protest.

I have been in a very similar situation during an antifacist march earlier this year, and there was a bunch of fascist orks in a minivan behind us, as we were walking, unarmed and unprotected, like drones, careless about anything happening behind. There was only one car separating the fascist van from our crowd. If it wasn't there, FSM knows what would have happened, but if the fascists had decided to ram us, it WOULD have happened.

Still think I'm taking this shit from Star Wars lightsaber pipe dreams? Gtfo.

And no, it's never a good idea to hang out with maoists, if only for a few hours, as they are "fashy reactionaries" themselves. Just ore Left-leaning and diverse that the neofascist. Beardos or skinheads make no difference. It's what's going on in their braiwashed minds that matter.

Obviously that's a bad-faith question and I'll continue not dignifying it.

You have a head-full of conjecture and fearmongering memes about rabid authoritarian leftists that will spring from the shadows to devour all the anarchists when we turn our backs.

I, on the other hand, am carefully appraising the terrain as I pass through it. I'm a relatively nice, reasonable man and I'm faaar more dangerous than any of my local Maoists. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you can't say the same ;)

You don't need bodies to confront armed lunatics you need arms. Your larping Mao buddy's ain't doing shit and they're not your friends. the idea that the dfferance between anarchists and power hngry authoritarians amounts to bickering sectarianism is a maoist thing to say

Nice you point that out, Errante. I could say the exact same of Submedia by now, who at this point are pretty much the TV side of IGD, part of a growing crypto-maoist media empire (lol but true!). I only hope that CrimethInc haven't joined in that media consolidation, but maybe I'm being too naive.

I dunno if more independent anarchist media projects is the answer. Actually IGG and CrimetInc are pretty unpopular in real life, like more than their cool-ass productions tend to make us believe.

"Crypto-maoist media empire" <---- I wonder if you hysterical chicken-little types realize just how little credibility you have?

These guys are a cerebral facete of the Star Wars franchise reified into revolutionary domestic politics hahaha

At least if you could find it funny you moralfag dumbfuck... but seems like satire is way too much for your maoist robot 64-bits brain.

"Moralfag" <--- looks like some 4chan scum got lost. How cute. Memes and nerd rage and alienation! Oh my!

Oh look out it's the filthy fucking rich ex-lawyer turned anarcho-tourist here to set us all straight. Still doing the hokey-pokey hey Paul trying to keep one foot in every camp because you fear social ostracism so badly - hey I guess that's why you are always talking shit on Facebook like all these other 'intellects' but hey don't use FB because it's BAD because ummm 'surveillance and stuff' but hey let's suck Aragorn and Paul's FB dicks all day long - gotta get those likes. Why don't you do us all a favour and fuck off back to Rojava or wherever you think is this season's hottest look for anarchists you pathetic, decrepit, geriatric hipster shitlord.

Hello Mr. Keating,

Just too bad if you noticed that Aragorn and PZS got more Fedboook likes than your pathetic Lefty bitch ass online (and offline too?), but hey, should you blame them for it, or maybe your reliace on so-called "social media" has gone a bit over your head lately?

Waiting for your anwer impatiently! I'm terminally ill stuck on hospital bed so I aint got anything better to do with my... oh wait, was that a bird outside?

Yours sincerely,

- Your best friend the tireless Alex Jones fan

Yeah but first the anarcho-tourist's Superstar needs a photo shoot, preferably photogenic college girls with umm,,,,,,nah, Kalishnakovs are out this year, maybe one of them remote controlled drones with a camera, oh wait, why not some DIY plastic replica Glock 9mm taped to the fuselage just for show and nestled against the buxom t-shirted girl, just to suck in the pubescent easily recruited bourgeois youth, they always have alot of spare cash for donating to the cause of the Anarchist International, haha Bookchinist syndicalists I mean, some easily impressionable groupies also Paul you sorry manipulative hipster activist nobody.

Would love to see some screenshot proof of all your allegations against thecollective, surely you have infiltrated these private facebook feeds and have proof to back up your claims?

It seems like we have a reddit anarchist on here tossing around buzzwords as per usual with ranarchists

new commenter to this thread here: I've definitely seen DSA-entryism on IGD (Orange County antifa report back is a good example).... they are (wittingly? unwittingly?) letting socialists and social democrats write their reportbacks under the guise of an anarchist perspective--or is that just what we social anarchism? either way Dupont may be on to something when he says antifa is recuperated for Leninism. I'm interested to expand on this more if anyone cares/wants to engage. -@

Ha! Like an anarchist handler.

“Don’t fucking write that online!”
“How could you not have read this!”
“IdPols down that way.”
“No! That’s Maoist. Go camping and find desire.”
“Everyone can trace your IP address, ya dumb fuck.”
“You’re being a little shit. Don’t do that.”
“Oh my god, don’t say ‘lived-experience’ around post-lefties.”
“Don’t get your drunk friends to riot. You sound like a cop.”
“No one uses ‘ze’ anymore, dork-face.”

Like that?

Cool article but give credit where it's due: this dynamic was the end of military conscription in the US because they belatedly realized how stupid it was to be arming and training all those malcontents. Similar things could be said about social conditions in europe after WW1, when a huge influx of veterans became the recruits for Hitler and Mussolini's early streetfighting gangs among many others.

Arguably this is why the first crusades were called by the vatican as well: any time you have a bunch of battle-hardened veterans returning after a war, with little else to occupy them, it apparently creates these more volatile social conditions.

Accidents happen, look at what happened to JFK, the novice bodyguard in the limo behind forgot to put the safety on, remember everyone smelling cordite at street level?

"For those who are not familiar with anarchism, the image that it has in the mainstream media is that of a bunch of violent crazy people who are up to no good"

More like a bunch of crazy violent masked up hipsters hijacking other people's protests by breaking store windows, throwing newspaper boxes in the streets, and smashing ATM machines for no particular practical purpose other than "it's fun!".

No wonder anarchy isn't any more popular than it was 150 years ago.


Sorry to go off on a tangent, but what do you think the M stands for in ATM? It stands for Machine you dolt; “ATM machine” is fucking stupid, almost as ignorant as “could of.” Idiot

Yes, it is redundant to write ATM machine, but that's what people normally say when they use the term.

“what people normally say”...
“People” “normally” say all kinds of anti-anarchist things too. Do you remain silent in the face of other examples of ignorance too? Don’t give in to populism!

What does ATM have to do with "anti-anarchism"?

ATM = Anarchists Think Mean

Bungalow, for someone like me who gets to feel not too brilliant these days you kinda make me feel way better. The "anti-anarchism" was in your comment, not the ATMs.

Huh? Where did I say "anti-anarchism"?

Funny how much of an incoherent clusterfuck reading the comments on the fucking PR topic of the week is!

Yeah! Cant we get some anarchist quality control in here?! Oh wait ..

I can't imagine how to resolve @'s PR problem. I got into it through a combo of being poor, a history nerd as a teenager (reading the dead white guy stuff), and the existence of physical spaces (infoshops, bookstores, etc.) where it was possible to meet other anarchists who were alive and not all white guys. The backlash against and abandonment of the infoshop / subcultural model comes from a legit place but the logistical benefits to them cannot be replaced. "Finding each other in the streets" or whatever seems more plausible for able bodied confrontational types and that's very nice but it's far from generalizable as a way to connect @'s across ages and cultures.

How? Well firstly the smashy-smashy praxis has to go, along with the celebrity fake plastic smiles you get from the bourgeois liberal anarchists with a chip on their shoulder who organise the activist struggilismo stuff. Its just so cringworthy from the perspective of those who have been screwed over yet power on and actually mix in with masses and realise the society has to change from within of its own acceptance not from an external force like a small ant biting at the calloused toe of a 8 ft tall weight-lifter.

I'm not ready to ready to commit against smashy-smashy, but I otherwise agree. Also, no one says praxis anymore.

this comment was good praxis tho

thank you

prove it


fucking punk

NO I'm actually a stylish dork with crusty leanings.


you sure are.

From one random lurker to no one, you're kind of an ass .. but I appreciate the "lack-fetish" bit in your other post. Something to think about. Philosophy... I can't see the forest for the trees.

I didn't write a post with "lack-fetish". Btw don't you have better things in your "life" to track down than people's comments here? Like say, the state of your mental health or somethin'?

god no, I hope never to find it.

I am out of praxis. My heart is a theory the size of a fist.

only the insurrectionary moment can recruit massive amounts of anarchists. every other moment is too mired in spectacle and distraction.

As in the Great Evening? Or the Rapture?

"mao mao mao" suddenly says one of mytcat, for some reason.

as in every insurrectionary moment of working class rebellion in history. thousands of people who previously never went to any leftist demo suddenly start deciding to burn cop cars and loot what has been dangled in their faces and denied to them by their station in life. do you know of other times when mass amounts of working class people become radicalized?

who says they weren't already radicalized? Just because people strike while the
the iron is hot and the camera's are on
does not mean "the working class" was compliant and content before the insurrection.

and what does radicalized mean, anyway?

I think it is intended to mean "radical" in the notion of "extremist" or "violent" militany, as promoted by Statists. Hence in Europe you'll be having Far Right people called "radical". But really this is bad semantics coming from people for whom there can be no radicality (going to the roots of an issue).

"The breaking off he wanted must be quick and immediate, whatever would be the consequences for the Humans... that is to say the "OTHERS"... intrinsically inferior to him." -Gilbert Chavalier. The Great Referendum, p. 40

That was a fun hunt.

Have you read it?

that you've gone beyond making sense in your attemt at humor, made of references that only you are connecting to, in your self-absorbed autistic fantasy realm.

..just to lettya know!

In the past, I think people have found anarchism through a number of routes.
1. People coming in from subcultures, particularly punk and free-party. This has been weakened as music is more commercialised.
2. People "drifted" into anarchism from histories in single-issue campaigns, student politics, radical left politics, etc. This probably still happens, but is weakened by the smaller scale of movements and the lack of a *distinct* anarchist profile.
3. People who are spontaneously anti-authoritarian - often survivors of abusive families, prison, youth detention, police abuse and so on - are attracted to anarchist spaces because of the lack of authority.
4. Protest spaces themselves felt empowering and meaningful, and even life-changing. People became anarchists after going to a summit protest, living in an eco-camp, being part of a really good riot. There's less of this now, even though protests have revived, because the level of securitisation makes protest feel disempowering. Also these spaces are now full of idpol dynamics.

I also feel we've lost a lot with the de-emphasis on infoshops and social centres. Their space has been taken, largely, by social media. Mostly non-anarchist social media. People "meet in the streets" where they've been called-out over social media, and they don't coalesce into anything more permanent than the crowd of the moment - or if they do, they're organised by idpols.

Something else that can work is to draw people in through community activities such as urban gardening, Food Not Bombs, mutual aid... I think this is viable across contexts to some degree. German autonome initially grew from the popularity of squatting as a practical response to housing problems; Latin American social movements often grow from efforts to solve really concrete problems such as water access; groups like Hamas have an entire social welfare infrastructure; the Panthers had breakfast programs, which also served as propaganda points; Golden Dawn has Greek-only food banks which are also propaganda rallies. IMO this is usually done completely wrong by anarchists. The point isn't for "middle class" anarchists to "go to the community" and "follow" them or sacrifice ourselves for them. The point is to go to "the community" with the intent of creating everyday anarchy (in contrast with their regular experiences of statism and capitalism), and thus to draw them into anarchy as a form of life. So firstly, we need to think about how to do these projects in a way which *also* exposes people to anarchist ideas and strategies more broadly. Otherwise we're just doing NGO work or charity or social work, and reinforcing people's existing common sense. Secondly, we need to think seriously about how to get people out of the service-user role, and involved in organising the projects they use.

It would be useful to look at how political education is done in Latin America, because radicals (not usually anarchists) are a lot better at movement growth down there. They can go from a few radicals to an organised community within a few years, generally without being recuperated, and I've no idea how they do it.

I think it's also relevant to look at how radical Islamists recruit - because, while their politics are shit, their target demographic is similar to ours, and they're even more vilified and marginalised, but they're
very successful at online recruitment. The model seems to be: have glossy propaganda and slick videos, moderate user-focused entry points, "recruiters" who encourage newcomers, try to talk to people's sense of worthlessness and grievance and provide a source of meaning and power, create echo chambers, strategically use social media, have an active propaganda strategy, and ideally have a land base as well.
(& Hope not Hate have a video on how Nazis draw people in, which is quite similar in a way). Some of this might not be adaptable to a non-authoritarian organisational context, it's all pretty manipulative TBH, whereas anarchists should be promoting the person's freedom and disalienation, but I'm sure we have media graduates and people with social media strategy expertise who could form a small working group to promote (a particular kind of) anarchism and appeal specifically to alienated people. We need to work on making anarchist perspectives more visible and convincing, particularly in terms of single-issues etc - and develop a clear difference between the anarchist approach and the idpol and left approaches.

Another possible line of inquiry. People have historically been attracted to anarchism through *experiencing* autonomy, and moments of freedom, whether in riots, free parties, eco-camps, social centres, local DIY projects, networks of friends, or on the Internet. But it doesn't *feel* like autonomy is possible any more. It might not be much more difficult than it was - but it *feels* impossible. The loss of social centres and big protests is part of the reason for this - but it's also tied-in with structures of time in neoliberalism, and with the importation of non-autonomous dynamics into anarchist spaces. There might also be psychological barriers we need to think about - a felt need for authoritarian spaces, either because of disempowerment, fear of abandonment, anxiety, etc.

Another question to think about, is how to reach people in the global South with anarchist ideas (and not bullshit idpol/Maoist crap). Anarchism started to spread during the anti-capitalist movement, but there's a lot of places it doesn't even exist. And there's a whole lot of different barriers and concerns - availability of texts to illiterate people without Internet access, availability in particular languages, organising under the noses of weak but authoritarian regimes, and how to either speak to or combat existing beliefs. Anarchist self-organisation models are so common in most of the world, just as spontaneous survival strategies, that anarchism should be appealing in some ways. IMO (post-left) anarchy should be looking to displace Marxism/Maoism as the go-to language of the global poor and excluded.

"the importation of non-autonomous dynamics into anarchist spaces"
would you expand on this?

What had me thinking that I could live as an anarchist was an infoshop. Also I saw dumper-diving and subsistence farming which helped.
Another experience that I associate with this belief was learning about flying a sign (pan-handling). I suppose it was more about self-confidence - that cash-in-hand could come without "clocking-in." (Flying a sign in an interesting way to study people, but that's an aside.) Busking is a similar practice, and probably more fun. Unfortunately, some attempts that I heard about with exploring free housing resulted in a state-reaction that shook me up.

I've worked with community garden projects that accepted the organic waste from local grocery stores. The stores could advertise the "green" manner in which they disposed of their waste, and the community garden would receive a flatbed trailer stacked with pallets of produce and bread. This organic waste was only used to build soil and to farm worms, of course.

I've worked with Food Not Bombs projects that received donations at the end of farmer's markets, as the producers don't want to haul the perishable food back home.

Also, I've seen and worked with a few different "eco-camps." Building a forest kitchen, planning for human waste, tapping springs, thinking about water run-off, understanding the complexities of living with wood-heat, sanitation and medical needs ... wonderful experiences for me.

I wonder if bands of particular skill-sets could travel, like musical acts do. Similar to the DIY house-show network, but the "bands" would be electricians, car mechanics, health-care providers, therapists, what-have-you. I originally heard this idea from someone else, so maybe it's already out there.

But, from what I can gather, I think that I'm couched between two... generations(?). My family work construction, hotel service, restaurant servers, that sort of thing. So, I didn't grow up with much internet as a kid, and I "dropped-out" in my early 20s. (Late 20s now.) This is to say that I don't feel that I can speculate on the future of anarchy very well, or what it is help a population of anarchists that have been so thoroughly coupled with the internet for so long.

for any college students, you can join the "student activities council" AKA: student government. I've heard of campuses in which only a few students are responsible for allocating about 30,000 USD a semester for "campus enrichment, community support, etc." I know of students who advocate for relief-aid money (Harvey, Irma) and book-purchases (free books to hand out with guest lecturers). BUT, I've heard of students elsewhere who have funded anarchists by paying for "workshops." (Their "expert" friend was paid a couple grand to teach a sexual consent workshop.)

Vin - this makes a lot of sense - I think this is often how people first come to anarchy, or realise it works. There's not so much of this everyday stuff now - or it's repressed more quickly. What's a bit of a mystery is, why doesn't this kind of everyday stuff lead to anarchist beliefs in poor countries, where it's much wider-scale (e.g. about 60% of Nigerians are subsistence farmers)? Maybe people don't see it as an "alternative" until capitalism has penetrated past a certain point, or when it's part of the social mainstream?

"Importation of non-autonomous dynamics into anarchist spaces" - I think the generations coming up since 9/11 are used to very regulated environments - surveillance, behavior modification, performance management. They come into (or create) anarchist spaces wanting to contest dominant forms of power - they way *they* are abused and stigmatised in mainstream spaces - but they bring with them a lot of the background assumptions. So we start to see a proliferation of safe space policies, calling-out, conduct codes, self-policing, heavy use of exclusion and ostracism. There's a lot of discourse now that it's bad (privileged or impossible) to drop out, that anarchists shouldn't be separate from the wider society, and instead people need to watch themselves and focus on self-change (in a way which paradoxically, makes them even more separate from the wider society). And then on top of this, a lot of people are involved in nonprofits or socially-responsible careers, and bringing their ideological baggage from these sectors too. The result is that, if a young person with an anti-authoritarian disposition comes into these spaces for the first time, it doesn't necessarily *feel* much different from the mainstream shit. They're more likely to be attracted to 4chan, or join a gang. Whereas fifteen years ago, this same young person would go into an anarchist space and it would feel like home, right away. So for instance, someone turned up in Cascadia, or Twyford Down, or maybe goes to le ZAD today, and straightaway you're in an autonomous zone. Whereas, you turn up today - Standing Rock is an extreme example - there's all these rules, no diversity of tactics, no guitars, no drinking, no getting angry, and on and on. We saw it with Occupy, we're seeing it with hacker collectives, festivals, student politics. A lot of the social centres, and groups like EF! have these kinds of rules and processes, and it's very offputting for some people.

Honestly, I remember the 90s and in my context, there was more concrete freedom in mainstream spaces then, than there is in most anarchist contexts now. The mainstream spaces were pretty unregulated, and became very securitised over time, and then the left-of-center spaces followed, and finally it reached anarchist spaces. So very few people (outside of maybe continental Europe and the most remote drop-out communities) are really experiencing autonomy even for a moment.

I don’t think that anarchy is definitively a reaction against capitalism or a mainstream/majority way of living. That sounds more like punk to me.

You asked about poor farmers in Nigeria? I don't know what other people are thinking. Subsistence farming was meaningful for me because it broke a narrative that participating in society was a requirement for living. I'm not entirely satisfied with how I worded this. "Broke a narrative" is the most important. "Broke a narrative about what is required to stay alive." Something like that.

I suppose it's to your point that it feels bazaar that anyone could just turn up at a-zones. I mean, with out a flyer saying you could?!?!
I'm not used to the IdPol issues that I'm reading about recently. Well, tinges of them but nothing like the recent accounts.

I'm a lazy good for nothing anti-smashy-smashy non-praxis nihilist, which is saying alot for someone who's meant to be amoral and anti-ethical :p

hey, I'm just trying to survive democide and sesame-credit slavery. Get out of my way!

opportunities to mingle and interact with others still exist. These include the local bookstore
which offer talks, reviews with give and take; local meetings of HOA's; Food not Bombs; and most importantly
attending and engaging others in discourse at demonstrations, strikes, vigils , marches(no matter what the issue);
Discussion groups offered by local United Nations Association local affiliates, and "World Affairs"discussion groups at Libraries,
County Senior Centers(open to all ages), and attending Bookstore author presentations where invariably Q and A
time drifts onto social issues of one sort or the other. In these also, I reconnect with comrades whom I haven't seen in years.

So glad azano to know there is a life for those who are octogenarians, not specifically in calendar years, but in mental years, that serene blurry ___
" I have the equivalent mental vitality of someone with terminal Alzheimer's yet have a full reserve of undamaged neurons because I've lived a smug liberal lifestyle my whole life"
__ confidence in myself,,,,

I’ll have know I am in my early 70’s
and partook in many a demonstration
In my life starting with migrant issues
In New England in the late’50s all the way thru the
More recent anti-Trump actions. My “ lifestyle”
Is my own business. Let’s put it this way:
Lifestyle so-called “ critique” went out
With Murray Bookchin’s rants.
Read up on BobBlack, Stirner, Peter Lamborn
Wilson for my orientation.
One thing I am not , is some leftist/Marxist “light” fake poseur platformist.

I've been thinking about this all year, and I don't have a clue how to make anarchy a visible and expanding force in these times, other than, I don't know, doing the things I want done, even if that means doing it alone.
I've spent about a decade in anarchyland, and the majority (and best) of that time was spent identifying much more with the various unorthodox forms of anarchism way more than the more general leftist current that was still dominant. But I also found myself regularly helping out with such things when I appreciated the work. After all, they remained anarchists whose ultimate goals I was ok with (if not my cup of tea) and generally spent most of their efforts targeting things I hated anarchistically.
With Trump's election, and the outrage connected, I was tentatively and cautiously hopeful for what it could mean for anarchism in the US. I knew it would be of a red anarchist stripe I don't love, but I still saw it as an important thing to have out there as a counterforce to the bullshit of the liberals, the fascists and the authoritarian left. But the last year has shown to me nothing harder than modern day anarchists care twenty times more about being leftists than they do about being anarchists, and it is extremely enraging. I've argued my goddamn ass off to a choir of crickets to these people, and ultimately they are generally way more okay with breaking bread with Stalinists than they are trying to broadcast the possibilities of limitless freedom to the apolitical (and therefore, horribly "problematic") vast majority of people in this fucked up mess of a society we exist within. So, by and large, fuck em. I want to say and act in ways consistent with what I'd like to see, and if some misguided leftists see that as more fun and potent than the crap they're doing great, but ultimately I have more hope in the unalligned of this world than anyone with an actual agenda in the current climate.
But easier said than done. I haven't made, far as I know, anyone INTO an anarchist, though I can hope there've been a few times I've helped encouraged those around me to break more rules, or even just had some tips as far doing the thing, but fuck if I know. All I know is we have to make ourselves way more relevant than we are today, because I think renegade anarchism has not been more suited to the times I've lived in then right now. We would be fools not to try our damnedest.

All power to the imagination. I appreciate you.

Ironically, an unfettered imagination actually leads people away from any mediated formal structures. Even social power is an abstract concept which cannot be applied to the exercise of envisioning its own reproduction. All up your statement "All power to the imagination. I appreciate you." is a meaningless attention seeking statement leftist political sycophants are renowned for making when the topic of recruitment rears its ugly head.

"Even social power is an abstract concept which cannot be applied to the exercise of envisioning its own reproduction."


"a meaningless attention seeking statement leftist political sycophants are renowned for making when the topic of recruitment rears its ugly head."

I appreciate you too. No need to rival.

For as much as the consolidation of the media into a few large corporations made it difficult for anarchists to get their voice heard, the breakup of that consolidation hasn't seen any greater ease. Anarchists tend to deal with this through disruptive actions (more than "direct action"), which these days turns into a series of viral memes in the social media sphere.

Besides the disruptive actions, anarchists have and still do engage in countless, interesting projects to solve practical problems. But the attention that such projects get is from a very niche demographic of people who are looking for projects to work on.

What anarchists consistently lack are the public (and popular) pundits. Every competing ideology seems to get into various popular media spaces more than actual anarchism does. You don't see anarchists on late night shows, or participating on popular youtube channels, or even on non-anarchist podcasts that have a more popular audience. Or in other words, anarchists don't have any sort of popular approach, no matter how "social" their anarchism supposedly is. And without an electoral strategy, the lack of popular approach will forever keep anarchism and anarchists marginal in our contemporary media environment.

I hate to say this all, but it's hard to deny. Anarchists willing to publicly interact with popular figures and demonstrate what is good about anarchists and anarchism is the major thing that can be done for better PR. That is... if anarchists want better PR.

If you want to be a YouTube star, you best shed your desire for external validation. It'll be rough out there. Also, no one calls anarchy an ideology anymore.

The U.S, is the most adolescent-oriented society of all time -- now's the time for a terminally disengaged and rampant adolescent narcissist subculture to take off big time!

Y'all need an RSS feed of your stories. :/ Never seen a news site or even a blog that didn't have one.

A simple lookup of the page info reveals the following:

RSS feed of stories:

and the comment feed:

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Enter the code without spaces.