Anarchy just isnt very likely

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Augusto_Sandino
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Jan 17 2005 07:36
Anarchy just isnt very likely

Well it isnt, is it? At least not for the foreseeable future. Most people cant see the problem with authority, alot of people actually like being told what to do (i suppose it saves thinking for yourself) and the ones who dont like it are usually just pessimistic, and moan. They wont even join a union (chances are theyre rightists, who think there needs to be more authority!).

Overall, most people think anarchy is the most unthinkable concept in the world, the one most common response to "I like anarchist politics" is "it wouldnt work though". So the point is, what motive is there for being an anarchist when the battle is practically unwinable? What is there that we can achieve, realistically, right now? Why bother being an anarchist?

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Rob Ray
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Jan 17 2005 10:47

And the winner of the 'poster who didn't read the faq properly' award goes to...

But as far as that goes, most people on these boards seem to have a very similar view (I know I do) and use Anarchism mainly as a better means of organisation than top down trade unionism, rather than having grand and exalted ideas about precipitating a revolution, which if it comes will do so without any need for our intervention.

There's also the prolonged effects of Thatcher's legacy to bear in mind, particularly on the younger generation whose instinct for mutual aid has been very much dented by the rise of individualist economics. That isn't in my opinion a permanent state of affairs however. The left and unionism will find its feet again, it's just gonna take a while. No need ot give up while it does though.

gregorya
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Jan 17 2005 11:58

(Lets see if I can post without sparking a big row)

Quote:
But as far as that goes, most people on these boards seem to have a very similar view (I know I do) and use Anarchism mainly as a better means of organisation than top down trade unionism, rather than having grand and exalted ideas about precipitating a revolution, which if it comes will do so without any need for our intervention.

Another Marxist claims I find odd: How can we either precipitate a revolution, and how could one happen "without our intervetion"? If a revolution occurs, its because we /are/ the revolution. Don't get me wrong, I'm not crazy enough to think we can revolutionise the world tommorow, but I still think its a worthwhile cause to aim at: I bet feminists, blacks etc. were all aiming for things they never thought they'd achieve.

Quote:
There's also the prolonged effects of Thatcher's legacy to bear in mind, particularly on the younger generation whose instinct for mutual aid has been very much dented by the rise of individualist economics. That isn't in my opinion a permanent state of affairs however. The left and unionism will find its feet again, it's just gonna take a while. No need ot give up while it does though.

I agree to an extent with both comments; egoism has grown, but will decline. I think there's a general feeling of cynicism and distrust of both capitalism and authority these days (was there anyone like Chomsky (I know I always pick on him, but in this case its fitting; he's well known) who published very strongly anti-government work 30 years ago, and was well known for it? I think the real task is to get people to stop moaning about how crap it is now and realise that there are real, feasible, alternatives.

The reply I usually get to "But capitalism sucks" is "but hey, what can you do?". People don't seem to disagree, they just don't see an alternative to joining the rat race.

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Jan 17 2005 17:57

Capitalism is only bearable because of the anarchy and the communism that exists inside it. What anarchISM (communISM) tries to do is to take the chains off those existing human forces of co-operation. black bloc

redyred
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Jan 17 2005 18:41
Lazlo_Woodbine wrote:
Capitalism is only bearable because of the anarchy and the communism that exists inside it.

That's odd. For me it's alcohol and TV. Each to their own though.

Caiman del Barrio
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Jan 17 2005 18:52
redyred wrote:
Lazlo_Woodbine wrote:
Capitalism is only bearable because of the anarchy and the communism that exists inside it.

That's odd. For me it's alcohol and TV. Each to their own though.

Hardcore punk and pot for me.

Vaneigemappreci...
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Jan 17 2005 19:20
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the ones who dont like it are usually just pessimistic, and moan.

Speak for yourself mate

And as for waiting for 'the left and unions' to get better, dont hold your fucking breath, they are all fucking careerists, quite happy to go with the flow, like dead wood down a waterfall, everyones too busy talking about other people, what other people think, how thatcher and blair have made them all egotistical megolamaniacs who just want to produce as much cash as possible, this is absolute bollocks, maybe its a realistic indication of a minority but those are the ones who are refered to as 'capitalists', has it ever occurred to you that the person next to you on the bus, your next door neighbour or a workmate thinks the same about yourself and others around you, lead by example.

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Rob Ray
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Jan 18 2005 00:08
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And as for waiting for 'the left and unions' to get better, dont hold your fucking breath, they are all fucking careerists....

etc etc.

roll eyes

Don't be silly, I didn't suggest any of that, I was merely pointing out that the left (by which I mean workers and communities organising against business elites and politicians) will eventually revive itself on way or another, because there is a need for it. I wasn't commenting on the current crop of idiots, or on how it would be done. Quite blatantly, I'm hoping anarcho-syndicalism will be the primary force or I wouldn't post here so often.

I'm arrogant, but I'm not so arrogant as to assume the folks on enrager will somehow be the deciding factor in that revival. Many of us do a good job in helping where we can, and may end up being highly useful parts of a revival, but we ain't leading a population of 60 million people to the promised land, that's just trot-think. I'm a fan of doing as much as we can do, but don't get big ideas, the likliehood is we'll be a small footnote at best.

Augusto_Sandino
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Jan 18 2005 08:32
Saii wrote:
And the winner of the 'poster who didn't read the faq properly' award goes to...

But as far as that goes, most people on these boards seem to have a very similar view (I know I do) and use Anarchism mainly as a better means of organisation than top down trade unionism, rather than having grand and exalted ideas about precipitating a revolution, which if it comes will do so without any need for our intervention.

There's also the prolonged effects of Thatcher's legacy to bear in mind, particularly on the younger generation whose instinct for mutual aid has been very much dented by the rise of individualist economics. That isn't in my opinion a permanent state of affairs however. The left and unionism will find its feet again, it's just gonna take a while. No need ot give up while it does though.

Thats a good post. But i was once condemned as a "revisionist" (bloody hell, Mao himself back from the grave!) for saying that anarchy wasnt very likely but anarcho-syndicalism was the best means of representing the workers, you cant say anything round here without someone shouting "blasphemy!"

But what your all saying is words to the intent of "Wait till the next deppression, then people are going to know what class they are". Its more than 10 years since Thatcher, and who knows when this mysterious rise of the Left is going to come. 10 years? 20 years? 30 years? What is the point right now?

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Rob Ray
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Jan 18 2005 16:07

We're continuing the proud tradition of underfunded attempts to save the world armed only with a pen, your legs and possibly some handcuffs. 8)

But it's also to do your best in difficult circumstances because you know it's the right thing to do. What anyone else does is irrelevant, the long-term impact of your (hopefully lifelong) efforts is irrelevant, the point is whether you can look at yourself in the mirror 50 years down the line and say 'I did myself, my family and my friends proud'. It's whether, in the final analysis, you tried to leave the world a better place than when you entered it.

3rdseason
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Jan 18 2005 19:11

Anarchism and hierarchy always co-exist but you can help vary the proportions.

Thats my view. neutral

Caiman del Barrio
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Jan 18 2005 20:44
Augusto_Sandino wrote:
But what your all saying is words to the intent of "Wait till the next deppression, then people are going to know what class they are". Its more than 10 years since Thatcher, and who knows when this mysterious rise of the Left is going to come. 10 years? 20 years? 30 years? What is the point right now?

What a ridiculous thing to say. When you construct a building, you clearly put the foundation stones down first and then worry about the first floor balcony. I wouldn't wanna be your double in Jenga doubles game...

Does it not seem obvious that whatever work we do now will be important if/when the global working class becomes conscious of their circumstances?? Maybe our most important role is to make the working class aware of their conscious??

Or maybe it's not really much more complex than asking yourself why you want the working class to emancipate themselves?? Lemme guess, cos you believe they'll lead a better life as a result?? Right, well make your short-term target trying to improve life for the working class people around you (and I don't mean holding the door for them when you walk out the Job Centre).

Augusto_Sandino
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Jan 20 2005 06:50
Alan_is_Fucking_Dead wrote:
Augusto_Sandino wrote:
But what your all saying is words to the intent of "Wait till the next deppression, then people are going to know what class they are". Its more than 10 years since Thatcher, and who knows when this mysterious rise of the Left is going to come. 10 years? 20 years? 30 years? What is the point right now?

What a ridiculous thing to say. When you construct a building, you clearly put the foundation stones down first and then worry about the first floor balcony. I wouldn't wanna be your double in Jenga doubles game...

Does it not seem obvious that whatever work we do now will be important if/when the global working class becomes conscious of their circumstances?? Maybe our most important role is to make the working class aware of their conscious??

Or maybe it's not really much more complex than asking yourself why you want the working class to emancipate themselves?? Lemme guess, cos you believe they'll lead a better life as a result?? Right, well make your short-term target trying to improve life for the working class people around you (and I don't mean holding the door for them when you walk out the Job Centre).

Weve been building foundations for at least 30 years, we must be some pretty crap builders...

Vaneigemappreci...
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Jan 20 2005 20:01

I can understand your frustaration dude, but dont lament the inability of others to liberate themselves, people spend too much time talking of liberating the working class as if their own lives were perfect or as if they werent a member of the proletariat, which is either very naive or down to the fact their dad owns british aerospace.

Elucidating and expressing consciousness is part of the revolution a very large part, and the first step is expressing it yourself, how you do this is a point open to much discussion and one which clearly hasnt been satisfied in the slightest, whether you organise at work, at the job centre, write pamphlets, make political graffiti, or smash your boss in the face with mallet, just do something, keep spreading dissent, keep hacking away at the structures you perceive to curtail your freedom and the freedom of others and never get complacent or bored thats the main thing.

Nick Durie
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Jan 23 2005 15:50
Quote:
Weve been building foundations for at least 30 years, we must be some pretty crap builders...

Yes but not significantly. I think as revolutionists we need to go back to the begining of the issue - what do we need to be sucessful? Too often we fail to analyse what is strategically important because we don't take ourselves seriously as a movement.

What we need more of is obvious - people and stuff (infrastructure).

Anarchists talk a lot about the people issue - this thread is a good example - but we don't really discuss enough what the key barriers are to peoples involvement. We also don't really discuss enough questions like 'what sort of people?'

We need to get out more. People will take anarchists seriously when anarchists take themselves seriously (which isn't a matter of macho rhetoric) but is being seen by our working class contemporaries (who we're always isolating ourselves from by devoting so much of our time to creating some bollocks lifestylist subculture) outside of the movement to be level-headed and earnest and non-frightening and helpful. Partly this is an issue about who is currently in the movement - we have a lot of young people and hippies. Tradesmen are going to identify more with other tradesman, call centre workers with other call centre workers, firemen with other firemen, goth kids with other goth kids, blah blah. We need to think about these things. We need to look at who we are bringing into the movement, how productive these new individuals are to the movement and how easy it was to bring them in. There will be some people (our natural constituency) who we don't need to work very hard to bring into the movement. I think that's a respectable fraction of the population. Perhaps 5%. Our efforts at this low ebb of the class struggle should be to bring these people into the movement as a matter of priority. With a great many people I feel the key issue for many is what we are actually seen to be doing, building. I have seen people change their minds about anarchism almost within a few minutes having seen anarchists constructing infrastructure.

This is the most important thing to the success of the forthcoming revolution anyway. If we do not have a food distribution network set up by the time of our insurgency then we are fucked. If by the time the state brings the army in to quell it and we don't have a well-equipped and trained workers militia then we're fucked. We hardly need everyone to be anarchists at this point but we cannot have significant portions of the working class being dead against us enough to take to the streets -- if they do then we are ruined. All these are infrastructure which we can and should be doing right now. We need to buy land and start using it to grow crops. We need to build or take over institutions as well as community ('social') centres. We need as a movement to own permanent resources and buildings, have offices, build housing. We need to be thinking of our aims not as protesting the latest government cuts or war but as controling 25% of city X's nurseries by 2010, and having 3000 militants there, having been catalysed by the already existing 7 anarchist centres.

infrastructure at this time must become our delenda est carthago.

For communism,

red n black star Nick Durie red n black star

Steve Booth
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Jan 23 2005 17:32
Augusto_Sandino wrote:

We've been building foundations for at least 30 years, we must be some pretty crap builders...

I think this is true. And the reason why is about vision.

(1) Many anarchist approaches to the problem assume a large theoretical overview which disagrees with maybe - 80% 90% 99.9% of the way things are at the present in society.

(2) The way the anarchist criticisms of this 80% + are often put across are massively antagonistic towards ordinary people and even towards each other as anarchists. We often have a bad attitude towards people which assumes that we are right and know best for what people need and should want. Frequently, anarchists are foul mouthed and dogmatic and this puts people off.

(3) As a political 'movement' we do not at present have any realistic methods or means to bring about the social changes which we are seeking.

So my positive suggestion in this is that we please try to forget or put to one side the 80% or whatever it is we disagree with about society, and instead try to find the 1% or 3% we really can do something about and find ways of working at that. When we have done this, and have something concrete to show for our work, people will take us seriously and perhaps we can expand it to 7% or 12% and so on upwards.

I know that a lot of anarchists have already adopted this approach and campaign in their local areas etc. I think this is a good approach and needs to be supported and put into practice elsewhere.

nosos
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Jan 25 2005 13:25
Lazlo_Woodbine wrote:
Capitalism is only bearable because of the anarchy and the communism that exists inside it.

Without ketamine, squats and free parties capitalism would be hell.

What did people do before these things were invented?

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Rob Ray
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Jan 25 2005 14:20

I think you'll find capitalists invented Ketamine.