We thecollective invite you to discuss your favorite anarchist actions from the distant and/or recent past, or in an imaginary future. Of course, definitions of "anarchist action" will be questioned as well and we expect to see many different ideas about the designation of an action as anarchist. However, this thecollective contributor suspects that even those that would dismiss the idea of an "anarchist action" completely still have a special place in their hearts for some kinds of behavior. What might those be?
This week has seen another round of doxing and hostile posturing in anarchist circles. I have to wonder "how do you think this is going to play out" when I see the "real world consequence" behavior of anarchists who wail about their own need for anonymity while taking other people through a parade of public hostility. When you push a stranger to the edge they will turn to violence, either interpersonal or meta-personal (the State).
Anonymity has been valued by anarchists as a means of hiding from the state and the law-abiding masses since its origins, something which is manifest today through practices classified under “security culture”, anonymous claims to clandestine actions published on anarchist websites, the adoption of pen names or keeping one’s name off of one’s writings - all things which have been aided by the rise of the internet. For the anarchist, anonymity can offer both cover from the eyes of the government and one's employer and the ability to say or do otherwise unsayable or un-doable things without suffering social sanction.
Today’s political landscape is becoming increasingly polarized. The subject of identity continues to dominate the narrative, urged on perhaps by our new augmented reality. Yet, where exactly do we map those lines in the sand?
In localized communities of yore there may have been more incentive to look beyond the tunnel vision of our personal narratives, because if we couldn’t navigate civil discourse with our co-workers, families, and neighbors, there was simply no one else around.
“'Tis but thy name that is my enemy; Thou art thyself, though not a Montague. What's Montague? It is [not] foot, Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part… Belonging to a man. O, be some other name! What's in a name? That which we call a rose… By any other word would smell as sweet; So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd, Retain that dear perfection which he owes without that title. Romeo, doff thy name, And for that name which is no part of thee Take all myself.” –Romeo & Juliet
What is North American anarchism? Is it different than anarchism elsewhere? How does it fit into the larger context of anarchism in other places?
As someone who lives in the U.S. with a certain demographic profile, some things are true about my life: it's relatively privileged. I don't frequently face violence or even discomfort. I can say whatever I want in public without worrying too much. I am meaningfully in control of my life and my circumstances. Opportunities for activity and entertainment are all around me. So where, then, do I focus my anarchism?