It's easy (and simplistic) for new sites (and other media forms) to compete with each other. This is understandable since new projects are frequently started out of some kind of frustration with existing options, as well as out of some positive desire (for self expression, a particular kind of conversation, etc). This site was partially motivated out of frustration with Infoshop's liberal inclusions (among other things), and itsgoingdown was apparently motivated in part by irritation with the trolls here (among other things).
One of the biggest problems that most of us deal with is the problem of finding a place to live. In other words, the problem of housing. Housing is an issue that comes up over and over again. It can take the form of the sub-prime mortgage debacle that preceded the 2008 financial crisis, the rent strikes that preceded insurrection in Glasgow and Spain, squatting, land projects. It can also be seen as one of (if not the) primary compulsions driving our acceptance of waged labor.
We have covered this topic a few times before but it bears repeating. The solutions that technology gives to social problems rarely solve them and usually come with unforseen consequences. Let's look at the current brouhaha around PB as a case in point. For starters PB has never had an account on @news (which is done here). Additionally Drupal gives @news the option to "write in" a username which PB and many other users take advantage of as a way to have conversations over time.
Much ado was made, a decade or so ago, about a book that criticized “the milieu” as being a place where a “civil war” was going on, with no useful outcome possible. It proposed abandoning the milieu, and returning to friendship itself as the place to do political work. Clearly this is a framing exercise since most people we know do the bulk of their “political work” in exactly the same social circles they inhabited before and after the so-called milieu became indicted for their lack of success.
Anarchist Traveling vs. Tourism
How do we distinguish between traveling and tourism as anarchists? What is important about traveling to anarchists and how does experiencing different places affect our views of the world around us? How can we prevent ourselves from fetishizing these experiences, as seems to be the case in tourism? Is it possible to reflect on or discuss our experiences without projecting our own biases on places that are alien to our own? Have experiences witnessing or engaging in struggle while traveling changed your viewpoint?
Identity has become a code word for most anarchists. For those who reject it, it connotes people who embrace their victimization. For those who embrace it (or who at least don't reject it), it means the ways that groups of people are linked in how they suffer in this world (and implies solutions to that suffering, as well). The criticisms of identity, like those of the term "p.c.", have also been jumped on by right-wing folks, looking to negate the idea that there is more structural unfairness aimed at some than at others...
This is similar to a past topic of the week but I'd like to emphasize the question a bit differently. What do we do next? It appears that for some anarchists the most exciting work being done now is in the antifa or international solidarity fronts. Do you agree?
Is there work a little closer to home that you advocate for or should our practice look a little more like improving our daily lives? Our question this week isn't "What is to be done?" but what do we do next?
From The Brilliant
In this episode of the Brilliant, we begin by discussing briefly what made us first call ourselves anarchists: Aragorn! talks about being realistic by demanding the impossible while Bellamy almost mistakes the episode for a therapy session. We then spend a good bit of time on the Paris attacks, an effort which mutates into a discussion about how we frame analyses of distant events. Finally, we use a thoughtful and lengthy critical e-mail from a listener as a point from which to wander through the subjects of revolution, “changing the world”, pessimism versus passivity, and the meaning of joy.
Some people, such as Earnest Becker, have argued that the denial of death is fundamental to civilization. Part of this argument includes an analysis of heroism as a method through which individuals transcend their mortality by becoming a part of something eternal. Martyrdom, sacrifice, and risking one's mortality for an eternal cause has been a familiar trope in anarchist past. But, what do anarchists think of this heroism now? Is there anything greater than the individual that is worthy of self-sacrifice? Is there a good anarchist death?