Topic of the Week: Gatherings
As anarchists, what is the importance of gathering with others IRL? Which elements of getting together with others are most important to you (e.g. having common interests or identities, meeting in a private or public location, meeting to plan or accomplish a goal or without any goals in mind, your anonymity or levels of openness with others, based on the strength of your relationship to others, loud parties or a more relaxed atmosphere, in a sober environment or around the use intoxicants, mainly sticking to project-oriented groups, gathering with the intent to make total destroy or build the commune, etc.)?
Is it important that your comrades are also your friends or the people you socialize with or spend the most time around? Or does keeping a work/home-style separation between comrades and friends make sense (and why/why not)? How important is structuring time around family?
Is it possible to gather in ways that feel in line with your vision of anarchism, or are we doomed to interactions grounded in commerce, religion, bureaucracy, etc.? Is there anything that brings us closer to our vision of a so-called authentic gathering (e.g. the heat of a riot or the sweat of an orgy)? What is the power or potential in gathering in Temporary Autonomous Zones (TAZ) (e.g. Mutant Fest) or in places such as Slab City in Southern California? What place does sharing meals have in our lives, or what other forms of ritualized gathering impact the ways you live and interact with others (potlucks, drinking buddies, sports leagues, social clubs, annual events or festivals, hobby groups, gaming communities, etc.)? Are there alternative or obsolete ways of gathering, such as the potlatch, that could be explored further in today's social context?
Is it necessary to meet in real life at all? Can we accomplish similar goals by connecting virtually? Can we reject the social altogether and live out our lives as atomized anarchist individuals?