TOTW: Idealizing the Anarcho-Townie
In its current fashion anarchism appears inseparable from hyper-localism. However, some anarchists may be disconnected from localized community, either because they travel frequently, they socialize infrequently, or, in general, don’t enjoy interactions with other anarchists. These nomads and hermits may fail to build the most highly valued token of solidarity with anarchist community—long-term affinity built through face-to-face interactions—but if this is true should they be outcasts?
Crimethinc writes in their essay What Is Security Culture?:
“Be conscious of how long you’ve known people, how far back their involvement in your community and their lives outside of it can be traced, and what others’ experiences with them have been. The friends you grew up with, if you still have any of them in your life, may be the best companions for direct action, as you are familiar with their strengths and weaknesses and the ways they handle pressure—and you know for a fact they are who they say they are.”
Can an anarchist claim to be anarchist if they aren’t actively collaborating with other anarchists?
In market culture the individual entrepreneur is celebrated and mythologized. There are some fine examples of individual anarchists executing extraordinary projects without assistance, and yet legends of large-scale federations still dominate our fantasies, regardless of whether or not they are effective. In both business and anarchism building a strong team is a popular topic, however business prioritizes execution over rapport, while anarchism in practice seems to fetishize affinity over effectiveness. The result is the exclusion of hermit and nomadic anarchists, with all their diverse thoughts and experiences, in favor of maintaining hyper-localism.
What place is there in established anarchist circles for the disruptive force of hermit and nomad anarchists, or are they doomed to alienation and isolation due to their lifestyles?