This week could be a good time to revisit the conversation about politics. Are anarchists (or anarchism) political? (definition: The art or science of government or governing, especially the governing of a political entity, such as a nation, and the administration and control of its internal and external affairs.) If we aren't then what are we? Is there another term that concerns itself with the politics of daily life and not with governing?
What is the purpose of enemies? What is the difference between enemies, rivals, and opponents (etc)? What is useful about them? How have they inspired you to be more who you want to be? How have they constrained your imagination?
How have you interacted with people who you disagree with, but are still in relationship with? What is the difference between disagreement and hate?
Anarchists have long rejected the notion that democratic, political representation is a goal worth fighting for. Sometimes this is argued against because of the subordination of the individual to the mass of voters, as expressed by Emma Goldman in Minorities Versus Majorities, for instance. Or to be found in the same essay, the necessary appeal to masses that is required for the success of political parties (and other representative entities).
Let's talk about the ways we engage in conflict with other anarchists on this site and elsewhere. What's the difference between conflict and horizontal hostility? How do we interact with other anarchists we may disagree with on certain fronts, and is there any value--personal or otherwise--in being openly hostile towards them? How has infighting with other anarchist groups or individuals affected you? What's stopping you from resolving current or recent instances of horizontal hostility in your life (e.g. by coming to a mutual understanding)?
Over the years this site has garnered a lot of criticism around the bad opinions of its users. As a platform for anarchist discussion this comes as no surprise. Of course it is disconcerting that some users confuse the opinions of anons with the opinions of the site but that is part of the price of hosting those opinions. During different moments, and with varying consistency, we have attempted to address this conundrum. On the one side the anon is the creator of almost all of the interesting content that has ever run through the comment section.
Of all the human experiences, play has one of the greatest potentials to tell us about ourselves. To some, play represents an essence that seems to evoke the child or the animal in a person and it has been argued that humans distinguish themselves precisely by the manner and frequency by which they play. In this topic of the week, we’re looking at the anarchist idea of play.
The notion that we are living in a Consumer Society has been a fundamental piece of post-1950s social theory. This has been the case for anarchists and other anti-authoritarians/anti-capitalists; but it has also been the case for neo-Conservatives and other right-wingers who blame the Consumer Society for cultural decadence, moral relativism, etc.
Many anarchists come from the Left, and anarchy is popularly understood as a Left phenomenon. There are definitely anarchists who come from the Right also (maybe I only think there are fewer because of my own history). And then there are the anarchists who reject that anarchy/anarchism is a part of the model of Left/Right at all, who see it as a construction particular to a time and place that no longer exists.
What about you? What strengths and limitations do you see to identifying as either one side or the other?
Have you ever felt the need to leave the anarchist milieu behind (or have you more or less already done so?) What makes people (or you) leave or separate themselves from the anarchist milieu? Have you ever taken breaks--and what made you get back into the mix? How did leaving (temporarily or permanently) affect you or the people you know? Is there anything you regret about leaving (e.g. severing ties with friends you wish you hadn't, leaving behind projects that you had invested a lot of time in, moving away from places you liked, etc.)?