TOTW: North American Anarchism
What is North American anarchism? Is it different than anarchism elsewhere? How does it fit into the larger context of anarchism in other places?
As someone who lives in the U.S. with a certain demographic profile, some things are true about my life: it's relatively privileged. I don't frequently face violence or even discomfort. I can say whatever I want in public without worrying too much. I am meaningfully in control of my life and my circumstances. Opportunities for activity and entertainment are all around me. So where, then, do I focus my anarchism?
Should it be focused on stamping out oppression that exists in my local community? In my experience North American anarchism has largely failed at this, and badly. The predominance of white males in the anarchist community is the clearest evidence of this. There may be a few strongholds of multicultural anarchism here and there but I think it's safe to say that many non-white non-male people gravitate toward communities other than anarchism. Is it like this outside of North America?
I've often heard North American anarchism characterized by cliquishness and infighting. There do seem to be very pronounced factions with boundaries that are impossible to cross, and squabbles that are specific to North American anarchists and that seem irrelevant. Is this specific to North America? And is it because of unique circumstances of living in North America?
Which brings me to another question: why isn't there more collaboration between anarchists in North America and elsewhere? I've heard two common responses to this: that there is often a language barrier, and that it is due to the in-person nature of anarchism in general. But in a world of technology and relatively easy travel I am not happy with this answer. Isn't there something that North American anarchists can learn from anarchism elsewhere that is worth overcoming these challenges? And how might this happen?