I’ve had the pleasure of talking to anarchists of many stripes and colors. From anarcho-capitalists, to anarcho-communists…From anarcho-primitivists to anarcho-transhumanists. While all of these ideologies claim to be anarchist, I have always noticed something that keeps me from really seeing them as anarchist. To me, these kinds of ideologies seem to have more in common with something like communism, socialism, or capitalism, than actual anarchy. Too many anarchists want to prescribe solutions, and propose ways of living, rather than voluntarily work with others to come up with an egalitarian way of living.
I am told that anarchism is a “left wing” ideology, by many. I am not sure those who claim this understand the true meaning of the term.
The terms “left wing” and “right wing” come from the position of seated delegates during the French Revolution. The bourgeoisie would sit to the left, and the monarchists would sit to the right. The first leftists were, in fact, capitalists.
Ask nearly anyone, and they will tell you that nihilism is a belief in nothing. Popularized by the movie, the Big Lebowski, and perpetuated by lazy academics and philosophers, this misunderstanding of nihilism has led to a sort of demonization in anarchist circles. Primitivist John Zerzan frequently laments about nihilism, saying things like “…you start having people that are so nihilistic they don’t even care about life anymore.” To Zerzan, nihilism is simply not caring about life.
Is Existentialism closer to Anarchism than Marxism?
Every philosopher must run the gauntlet of time. Philosophical ideas fall in and out of favor, but the acid test is whether we continue to debate a philosopher’s ideas long after they have left the scene. The anniversary of Jean-Paul Sartre’s birthday, almost forty years since his death, is an appropriate moment to look back on the legacy of a philosopher whose work helped to define an era, and whose ideas continue to resonate with the political climate today. Professor Richard Falk places Sartre alongside Noam Chomsky and Edward Said as one of the few individuals worthy of the title ‘public intellectual’. Yet towards the end of his life, even as Sartre moved further in the direction of political engagement, he lamented that his politics were not radical enough; perhaps that is why Sartre’s political philosophy is so highly disputed.
Where has our politic gone? Our terminology has been popularized and also completely misinterpreted. Direct action, doing what needs to be done ourselves without asking, has come to mean doing pressure based civil disobedience. We target empty symbols militantly: taking down statues, doxing degenerates, collectively de-platforming from Facebook (seriously?), and finally black bloc demos which usually demonstrate the aesthetic of dangerousness and the reality of impotence. It doesn’t feel good to shit on something for being weak, but why are we weak?
From Wild Insurgency:
“Dual power” was a term used by the Bolsheviks to describe the political situation in Russia following the February Revolution. This upheaval came to a tee between March 8th and 16th, 1917. Lenin, an enemy of anarchists of the day, suggested that as the dominant institutions of Eastern Europe would increasingly continue to fail, individual citizens of nations would be left more and more without a social safety net. Essentially, he predicted a situation where more and more people of all classes and castes would be forced to fend for themselves.
Vermont interview with American YPG volunteer concerning the revolution in Rojava
Listen to Mike Alexander, who volunteered as an international fighter with the YPG, discuss the revolution in Rojava on WDEV’s Equal Time Radio by clicking on the below link:
The difference between the common people and university professors is that the latter have arrived at ignorance after long and painful study
– Oscar Wilde
This was written at the time of the “Nuit Debout” (literally “Night standing up”) assemblies in Place de la Republique in Paris that took place, apparently against Hollande’s Labour Laws i . Many of the references will be obscure to anglophones, but I hope I have clarified most of them in the footnotes.