In past TOTWs we've talked about the left/right split as a way of framing the world with strengths and (plenty of) weaknesses: sharing versus competitiveness, equality versus hierarchy, collective versus individuated. Technology also frames our lives in ways that limit our thinking--at the very least by creating an expert class that determines our access to tools and processes.
topic of the week
Anarchism has a bad PR problem. For those who are not familiar with anarchism, the image that it has in the mainstream media is that of a bunch of violent crazy people who are up to no good. The way that anarchists often present themselves does not help matters either, with them often giving people the impression that anarchists are all self-righteous arrogant jerks. If the goal is to recruit people to anarchism, i.e., to have there be more anarchists in the world, these are some significant barriers to having new people becoming interested in anarchism.
It’s safe to say that anarchists in general put a lot of value in reading. Some groups like Crimethinc invest a high amount of effort in producing slick, accessible reading material that helps to create baby anarchists. Some even requires potential members to read a curriculum of anarchist writings as a prerequisite for membership. From publishing projects and distros to bookfairs and zine swaps, writing is everywhere.
What kind of project do you most wish were happening in your area?
I find myself missing free skools (or schools, whatever). I am not going to try to do it by myself, but if there were two or three other people who were into it, I would definitely participate.
I like free skools because one of them had long term consequences that are important to me; they deconstruct a significant cultural paradigm (mainstream education)--or at least, they can, and they can be so flexible and variable.
What project would make you happiest if it started in your area, and why?
With the growth and increasing pervasiveness of the internet it is becoming more likely that people are being introduced to anarchism, and all things related to anarchy, on the internet. It has been said on the A News podcast recently that there are many anarchists now who experience their whole lives as anarchists online, not in face-to-face contact with other anarchists.
The ups and downs of mainstream politics are generally a clusterfuck to say the least.
How do we respond expediently when things are so unpredictable? What does the slippery nature of the public's relationship with and reaction to politics mean to us anarchists? Is there anything destabilizing about the constant political upheaval that you've found to be beneficial or detrimental to what you do as an anarchist? What causes a project that began as a response to a mainstream political moment to materialize into something that lasts beyond that fleeting moment in politics?