In a Topic of the Week past, emphasis was placed on anarchist life after 30 and how it is experienced individually, at the early stages of family life, amongst other anarchists (the “Scene”), and in its consequences on anarchist-specific capacity. This week, we'd like to move in the opposite direction with the question of age and discuss the life of younger individuals...
How do we enter or engage in actions, projects, or practices that require coordination between other people? How do you make the distinction between interacting cooperatively or collaboratively? Do you situate yourself within a role by volunteering for a collectively determined or constructed position, or by accepting a delegated role at the request of another or the group—both cooperative efforts? Have you felt stronger lines of cooperation that teetered into the realm of collaboration?
Once in a while, an event or personality becomes controversial and anarchists everywhere don their lawyer hats to get in on the action. On this site we get to witness a sample of the things anarchists have to say. It may seem like we can intuitively sort out the mess of argumentation styles, provocations, and jokes; but, the accuracy of such intuitions is less than satisfying upon inspection. Is this anarchist sincere? Is that anarchist making an attempt at humor? And is the joke good enough to transcend the realm of meanness?
Let us begin with a couple of basic assumptions that are arguable but will allow us (if we accept them) to address the topic of the week in good faith.
Before we get to this let’s admit that we are trying to read one of our site's frenemies in the best possible light (which isn’t exactly fair to them as they are a stated opponent of anarchism as a political doctrine). The question, stated plainly, is “What exact activity should we be engaging in if we desire society-wide struggles that could lead to an anarchist society?”.
North American anarchist subculture doesn’t offer much to elders. A lot of the time it can actively repel them. Sometimes this is referred to as “burn-out,” but that term can also be used to describe other situations where someone decides that the costs of participating in something are no longer worth paying. The burn-out that is related to aging isn’t limited to the frustrations of losing over and over again. It comes from many places, especially in a system that manages aging just as much as it manages labor, health, public policy, war, and the environment.
Despite various degrees of agreement between common tendencies in anarchist thought, the tools that we use to engage with our politics in the virtual realm of media may complement, contribute to, provoke, or otherwise engage with the actions or other lived experiences. It’s hard to deny the potential role of media to re-contextualize the ways we view or chose to interact with the world around us, as well as the ways it can inspire us intellectually or emotionally.
We are a bite-size group of people who agree on many things, including the importance of humor; looking at actions (our own as well as others') with history, context, and imagination; the complicated and contradictory role of technology on human relations; and a desire for a vibrant and diverse anarchy. We will do our best to leave our egos out of the mix in moderating anews, but we also don't expect people to like all (some of you won't even like most) of the decisions we make and that is certainly not our criteria.
As of this date (August 17th, 2015) Worker has officially resigned as the figurehead and moderator of anarchistnews.org. Worker will no longer be the operator of this site. That task will now be passed to an editorial crew named thecollective.
Further notes are from Worker about their time at anarchistnews.org
Worker has served as a useful nom de plume for the operation of this website but it has expired as a position I can reasonably stand by any longer.
In a world that is increasingly virtual, hacking and the internet (i.e. hacktivism or... direct hacktion?) seem like an appropriate angles of attack, or at least stand as options. Anonymous's decentralized and informal organization methods, black-bloc inspired mask-wearing (taken from self-proclaimed anarchist Alan Moore’s graphic novel V for Vendetta), and general distaste for authority hits many familiar notes among anarchists.