It has been nearly 20 years since the WTO and the introduction to the American public of anarchism and our concern with matters small and large. What has changed in that 20 years? What has stayed the same?
In this time of low morale, what still excites you about anarchism as a public position? Do you think anarchists should continue to go big (in the spirit of tortoises and class struggle) or should be become indecipherable and inscrutable (like the French texts so many seem to love)?
Following the 2016 election there was a wave of social unrest - we were called upon not to accept the “new normal” of the Trump administration, protesters attempted to disrupt the Inauguration, controversial immigration laws were met with people flooding airports, and countless reading lists bloomed to educate readers on the subject of fascism. This phenomenon was branded as The Resistance, a slogan which was soon to be associated with bumper stickers and obsessions with foreign intrigues that disrupt the “normal” as much as your garden variety conspiracy theorist.
The name on everyone’s lips this past week has been Willem Van Spronsen and for good reason, they took a stand, put their body on the line and didn’t come out the other side alive. Yet looking past whether this particular, or generally any, action is good/bad, effective/ineffective, it ends up being supremely legible to radicals and institutions alike in terms of the reason for targeting ICE and the image of radicality the attack leaves behind.
What is the ratio here of civ to anti-civ folks? What are you, dear reader? What does civilization mean to you, and what does anti-civ mean? And a different but related question: what model do you base a better human world on? Ants? Bees? Plants? Bacteria? Better humans than the ones who surround you? Software? Programmers? What actual interactions that exist in the world do you think give a good picture of what people/anarchists could/would do with each other in a better world?
What have been the most effective ways that you have connected with or communicated with other anarchists, anarchist projects and new ideas within the broader anarchist space? Once upon the time it was correspondence, publications, and social events like book fairs and gatherings. While these things still happen, increasingly it seems anarchists largely engage via the internet through sites like this one, or IGD, and podcasts that are often associated with those websites.
Some of my least favorite recurring comments on this site are the ones which boil down to “why are you posting this here?” While it may sound innocuous, it’s an attempt to browbeat some kind of consensus about what’s appropriate or not to post on this site. The idea behind the question is “I don’t agree with this and therefore don’t wish to see it.”
I am not a man of action. My brief experience with anything resembling activism ended with the whimper of realizing my flame didn’t burn quite as bright as those leading the march or drafting the petition. I didn’t discover a mystic tome of Nihilism and suddenly decide that all was lost and it was time for something new; instead I lost a fight with myself before it even began.