TOTW: A Life Worth Copying
Not long ago anarchists were gifted copycats. The autonomist movements of Europe set a prime example of how to take an idea, open it up to participants, and allow for them to experiment and improve on ideas as they went.
The Social Centre Movement was key in imagining anarchist spaces seeking freedom from the status quo, and gave birth not only to the infoshop but also to the DIY movement, and longer-lasting experiments like Christiania.
As those projects fade, what is there to take their place? In an environment where today’s generations feel pressured for both time and money, and wherein rapid urban development is a reality out-competing independent efforts, is such autonomy even possible?
We are dispersed over wide open planes, barely connected to one another, and certainly disconnected when it comes to our cooperative efforts, so what can we really hope for when anarchist projects are organized in a vacuum?
There was once a time when copycatting efforts led to a proliferation of anarchist activities including infoshops, indy media, free food events, cop-watching, disaster relief, dinner parties, and other forms of franchise-activism.
Today the definition of anarchist activities has solidified into a more narrow category which mostly consists of activism. Is there still space to generate and participate in activities that go beyond these definitions and yet remain anarchist? And can these activities outlive our own efforts? Or, are we simply creating more of the same: DIY projects which rest solely on the shoulders of a few productive @?
Are dinner parties, paper mache masks, and happenings/situations past their prime? When we talk about community self-defense, free spaces, temporary autonomous zones, and other forms of anarchist culture, are we being anachronistic and optimistic?
What sorts of projects might we commit ourselves to that exist in the realm outside of struggle in order to copycat others? Is there any point now that we’ve lost?
We may go to work, we may secure our comforts, we may chat online, and we may visit events of political theatre, or share our thoughts on news sites, but what lasting impact can anarchists have that are worthwhile enough to copy and execute?
Are the days of SUDS and “getting shit done” over?
What innovative efforts do you have to offer that are not simply ironic? Is it a waste of time to try?
If you’ve got something worth copying, please, share, and let’s see if there is indeed anything that exists for anarchism outside the missionary lifestyle of activism.