Quick Update

Christ, only a few weeks and I’m already neglecting my blog. Such is the nature of the internet.

Anyway, I thought I’d drop off a few quick links. First:

http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/episodes/2011/03/23/against-the-state-part-3/ This is a link to a three part CBC special on Anarchism that is surprisingly good. Part three covers the current situation in Greece and is the most inspiring of each. For those of you who run FireFox with NoScript (good job!) you’ll have to allow addthis.com’s script to hear it.

Also, listen to this:

Woo!

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Why Punk is Great

Approaches to gender, power, and authority in contemporary anarcho-punk: poststructuralist anarchism? By Lucy Nicholas

From my experience, the DIY anarcho-punk scene is a flourishing international culture, attested to by the volume of punk ‘kids’ (scene participants), zines (handmade publications), distros (DIY distributors of music, zines and other cultural creations), bands, festivals, squats, shows (concerts), tours, and various other DIY creations which make up this culture. This is a self-consciously political culture which valorises the direct self-creation of anarcho-punk culture, and demonstrates the attempt to foster particular values through the propagation of a particular mode of cultural perception. Gender politics are a passionately prioritised topic in the scene and are thus useful for demonstrating the types of political approach entailed in the DIY anarchist ethos.

Lovely.

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Interview with Will Potter

The video below is an interview with Will Potter, author of the book Green is the New Red. It’s a pretty good introduction to what the Green Scare is, and why it sucks.

Being from Detroit, the Green Scare has hit really close to home. Marie Mason was involved at a now defunct infoshop in Detroit, and numerous other Detroiters have been indicted and spent time in jail for Green Scare related bullshit, and it’s still going on.

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What is Anarchism?

I thought this might be a good first post. It’ll let you know what you’re in for.

At best, Anarchism is a circle-A watermark in the left corner of every page of the rough draft of a manifesto that is continually being rewritten. Some Anarchists are more dogmatic, or classical than others, but to claim that these groups sticking to “traditional” Anarchism are the spokespeople for the entirety of the movement is just silly.

That said, Anarchism is not simply a meaningless, arbitrary word that means just anything. The fact that as a signifier the word ‘Anarchism’ has floated around from group to group does not make it any less meaningful than any other word. There seem to be recurring themes throughout Anarchist history that all factions and allies have discussed.

Mutual Aid:

The first self-described Anarchist, P.J. Proudhon, also coined the term Mutual Aid. The term is hardly very descriptive, in that it does little more than allude to a notion of reciprocity and equity if not equality, and it can barely be said to lay out any real skeleton of what or how an Anarchist society should function. However, there is a nice ring to it, the notion of two parties acting in an actually mutually beneficial manner.

Solidarity:

This word has been flying around the labor movement forever, and of course with the growth of syndicalist unions in the early 20th and late 19th centuries, it seeped into the Anarchist lexicon as well. A notion of solidarity has, luckily, escaped the confines of the labor movement and entered into the political antagonist movement as a whole. Solidarity is no longer just a sentiment to be shared between workers, but between all oppressed people.

Anti-Authoritarian

In order to be taken more seriously in the face of media caricatures of bomb-throwing hooligans, many Anarchists have called themselves ‘anti-authoritarian.’ I like this word. I like it because it only demarcates what one is not. It leaves an entire world of possibilities open, all of which are equally anti-authoritarian. It also permeates beyond the political realm and becomes a relevant term in the discussion of economics, sociology, and ecology to name a few.

So what?

What all these words have in common is that they are essentially open-ended. While we all may have notions of what they all mean, they have no real meaning until they are read and reciprocated by an audience. In terms of actualizing an Anarchist society, all these themes are essentially meaningless until acted upon. They are ours to create and learn from. We need not simply look to the Anarchists of the past to define the present, but we can take the present to define the future.

Anarchism is not just the belief that all rulers ought to be done away with in favor of individual and collective cooperation and freedom, but that individual and collective cooperation and freedom are the things that make the world as we know it.

TL;DR: Anarchism is opposition to hierarchy and oppression in all parts of society including the political, social, and economic realm, to name a few.

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