TOTW: An Anarchist Survey

  • Posted on: 19 August 2018
  • By: thecollective

Over the years there have been more than a handful of attempts at an anarchist survey. Way back in 1926 some anarchists from Stuebenville, Ohio called "Los Iconoclastas" conducted an international survey of anarchists. In 1928, Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman created a similar survey that was an influence on the Encyclopédie Anarchiste of the time. Since then, surveys in the digital world have become a bit more common with some from recent memory being conducted by Anarkismo, Libcom, a survey from some South African anarchists, over Reddit, and even some Google Forms here and there. Listed below are 13 questions taken from the new anarchist survey that was recently created and mentioned in passing as an article on ANEWS.

We've taken all 13 questions from the new website and project, Encounters with Anarchism, exploring our beautiful ideal, which also has an entry form here; but is unrelated to the project of ANEWS; we're simply sharing questions because it's an intriguing idea.

There is a bit here and we tend to have less questions generally in the TOTW, while also moderating the really lengthy walls of text that just makes it difficult to participate and read a thread, so if you find yourself going down that path, perhaps share a link to your blog or a forum someplace instead (or not).

1. — How would you most succinctly define anarchism? Is there a shared “anarchist project” — and, if so, how would you characterize it?

2. — What is the relationship between anarchism and the concept of anarchy?

3. — What is the value of tradition within the anarchist milieus and what might be its uses?

4. — What, specifically, is the role to be played in the present by the anarchist literature — whether theoretical or artistic — of the past?

5. — What are the most significant challenges facing anarchists — and anarchism, as you understand it — in the present?

6. — How would you characterize the present state of anarchist activity (outside the realm of theory and propaganda)?

7. — How would you characterize the present state of anarchist theory and propaganda?

8. — What are the most urgent changes to be made in anarchist practice moving forward?

9. — What is the role of some kind of “anarchist unity” moving forward? What form could or should that unity take?

10. — What are the greatest needs with regard to new anarchist theory, propaganda, literature and art?

11. — Do you currently identify with any particular anarchist current or tendency — and, if so, how do you characterize your position?

12. — What additional questions would it be useful to pose to a broad anarchist audience?

13. — Would you be interested in participating in future surveys, perhaps addressing more specific elements of anarchist theory, practice and culture?



here is:

A [draft] response to: An Anarchist Survey
works in progress.

I've tried avoiding reading anything on the survey site before I wrote that, but now the reading fun starts, perhaps some other comments.

Here's the South African one. I would have done it *very* differently today, but perhaps it's still interesting to some:

Wow, there are zoosexual anarchists out there, scary!

If antispeciesm means also zoophilia, then in that same book anti-ageism means also paedophilia?

Off to the kids park straight away!

No way you are going to get me dragged into a trollfest moral debate about the most popular trigger topic ever. I'm keeping a neutral amoral stance on " p---------a " so you wont get the pleasure of trolling my reply and insulting my thoughtful response and wasting my time!

pedophiles are fucking immature cunts

I'm surprised the gender imbalance is so great. The class figures suggest downward mobility - a lot of anarchists start out middle-class but end up working-class.

These days the done thing is to run the stuff through algorithms which spot statistically significant patterns - which of the different variables line up with one another. Of course, there's huge issues with the small size (for quants) and selection bias issues (no way to know if the sample is representative), but I don't know ways round those. It's notorious among academics that anarchists are reluctant to take part in surveys so there's huge selection bias, after years of turning up on demos with piles of forms they've mostly stopped bothering.

Reddit survey: what species are you, 15% human, 30% otherkin, 25% bispecies, 9% Russian trollbot.

A survey would never work today. Internet culture is way worse. I can already imagine what would happen if tankie twitter or the alt right/reddit trolls got wind of such a survey. They'd flood it with false submissions. Hell, even anarchists would probably troll it and make it so "their side" looks better/bigger.

The only possible way i think it could work would either be in person, like at anarchist bookfair or infoshops, or if it had like unique invite codes you handed out to trusted anarchist groups online. You'd have to cast a wide net of platforms. And that way if you notice a massive number of pings with absurd answers coming via one invite code you could just ignore all those results. I'm a luddite so i have no idea how that would work or if it could.

FB seems to be the biggest platform of anarchists. So maybe people with lots of friends, Aragorn for example, could be given invite codes to hand out in their groups/lists?

Also, I think with the threat of doxxing/hacking lots of anarchists would be worried that any site hosting the poll could be attacked and their data leaked by trolls or collected by the state. So maybe good ol' fashion P2P would be the way.

Maybe even send out the survey to anyone who has ever purchased from LBC, AK, PM, etc. since those sites already have people's sensitive data and are fairly trustworthy?

Anywhere I could read more about los iconoclastas?

It looks like most of their work is in Spanish and not translated yet to English after a quick DuckDuckGo search, but here are a handful of English translations as well from the Libertarian Labyrinth:

If you do Spanish, their "Revista Unica" is online:

11. I characterize myself as an anarcho-autistic. Comrades read more about anarcho-autism

Facebook could give us a better answer than any survey, I'm sure. Ask them?

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