What Is Anarchism?

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From NPR

We've been hearing a lot about anarchists lately, especially from the president.

President Trump tends to bring them up in his descriptions of the recent protests for racial justice that have happened across America.

And in September 2020, a White House memo deemed Seattle, New York and Portland "anarchist jurisdictions" and ordered a review of the federal funding for these cities.

But what exactly does it mean to be an anarchist? And what would an "anarchist jurisdiction" even look like?

To find out, we talked with anarchists Kim Kelly, William C. Anderson, and Ruth Kinna.

Listen to podcast here:

(35 minutes)


There are 19 Comments

This will set the record straight!

Now everyone will love anarchists! Anarchists are good people! Anarchism is good!

because trump is the disgusting orange haired white supremacist anti-christ, he will usher in an era in which anarchism as a philosophy is socially acceptable?? Huh, you learn something new every day.

Nothing sinful about being anti-christian, and I think it gives Trump extra points for not being a self-righteous meak bend-over and turn the other cheak liberal.
Anarchy isn't and never was a philosophy or doctrine, it is an arrangment of social relationships which allows for the unrestrained expression of desires and the unhindered distribution of materials to potentiate their creative existence. Trump would offer less resistance to anarchy whilst vacuous Sleapy Joe would become the meat receptacle of fascistic puppet masters.

i don't really even think of DT as white supremacist, just some old, misogynist, racist, celebrity clown who doesn't understand manners and statecraft...

i don't think either candidate does a good job of allowing anarchy, DT has a track record of supporting law enforcement and military enhancements, joe biden is clearly another democrat/statecraft puppet as you are pointing out, he shall restore decorum to the federal government of the US as many want him to do.

Relieved to know it was comedic hyperbole and not faux-intellectual leftist fanaticism. Yep, both are total representatives of the neoliberal consumerist vortex. Crass Celebrity GlitterPorn Shock King vs Decorum Sponge Massage Frontal Cortex Numb Thought :-/

but he's casually, openly white supremacist too tho ;)

From a dasein perspective, everyone is a clown in the theatre of life.

President Cheetos has done more for US anarchists any POTUS ever did! He's put us back on the front page of every outlet in times where anarchists were losing socio-political relevance to ID pols groups, NGOs, Democrats and other liberals.

I mean who still calmly sits down and read in fucking infoshops in 2020? There's never been such huge rioting and looting in decades, and the President is giving us exactly the press we need, and if you're a good opportunist, you'll know that there's no such thing as "bad press"!

Chomsly rolls in his grave. Oh wait.

Whoa I just realized the freudian slip typo of Chomsky... AWESOME but totally unintended.

It's magic!

accidental magic does happen, it's uncanny. and keyboards can be Ouija boards.

Anarchists are in the worse shape they have ever been since the inner wars era after it declined post-ww1 and just before ww2 when it outright collapsed as a tendency. The infoshop era and the marginals milieu before it was far better due to the fact that anarchism was still a countercultural tendency. It's lost that and has now become a brown scare antifa adjunct position playing a shock troop role for greater institutionalist liberalism and leftism. Anarchism fucking sucks plain and simple.

It's time to get back to the drawing board and conjure up new thought currents for the coming networked cybernetic psychographic 21st century. No more intersectional nonsense, no more nationalist adjacent post-colonialism. Back to basics which means a return to things like 21st century communitas and individualism. The post-left post humanist tendencies can play a very creative part of this.

and shows that anarchism is largely a very leftist and christian ideology, "the left of the left"...

while i don't agree with any of the panelists, i can't say that i disagree either. they are saying the only acceptable thoughts and ideas about anarchism that can be said in polite / mainstream media. and they are not wrong, again, according the the logic of what can be said. what is permitted in proper soundbite political discourse.

i was trying to come up with what i would say in such a forum with all its limits and knowing the limits of the audience (not to mention the host) and i realized i could not say anything in that forum. these three did as well as could be expected, and kudos to them. my answers to such questions would be more along the lines of rejecting the questions, or pointing at the implicit biases of the questions, or answers like yes, it all needs to go. it all needs to go but somehow i also don't mean the war of all against all, or grandma will be left to starve in the gutter. it all needs to go in the sense that none of this should be here anyway, not if we were a reasonable (not rational) people. it all has to go but not the corner store, but also the corner store. hard to put into an acceptable soundbite.

to try to come up with better responses than the panelists...i disagree with you that you actually can't respond to those questions in that format, part of the problem with the panelists is they are thinking about how to respond in context with their liberal/left friends, so they include all this bullshit about how biden is the better anarchist candidate (LOL!), I definetly liked the way that William responded to the questions on electoral politics, it resembled more of a hard "no", i agree with him that an anarchist actually running for office is patently absurd...yet it has been done before....

one could answer. i don't think i could. could it be done, yes, but not my bailiwick.

as some sort of "representative of anarchists" either, but being able to answer those questions could be a way to diffuse some sort of anti-authoritarian activity that occurs in your local area...

"left" this and "left" that, fucking retrograde organizers. "self-government" as if we're kindergartners working out when to have nap time. fuck those PR hacks

I just wanted to point out another reason to be disgusted with the way the panelists answered the questions...

So one of the panelists uses this work to talk about her anarchist ideas and why they are good:


"Are you a member of a club or sports team or any other voluntary organization where decisions are not imposed by one leader but made on the basis of general consent?

If you answered “yes”, then you belong to an organization which works on anarchist principles! Another basic anarchist principle is voluntary association. This is simply a matter of applying democratic principles to ordinary life."

You see, there's a huge problem with trying to appeal to somebody's sense of "identity", really wolfi landstreicher's writings about destroying identity are a lot more liberating than deciding that you are something, but figures this is a fucking NPR show after all, hahaha...

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