TFAC2 starts this Saturday at Jura

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Lugius's picture
Joined: 19-04-10
Jan 23 2014 05:14
TFAC2 starts this Saturday at Jura

The 2nd 'Towards Federation Anarchist Conference' will commence at 10am Saturday the 25 January at Jura Books and Infoshop, 440 Parramatta Rd., Petersham.

Observers and delegates from Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney are expected to be in attendance.

I recently came across some notes I made at the session at the Melbourne Anarchist Bookfair last August about the topic of anarchist federation. The notes I made summarised the objections put forward against anarchist federation ( although it should be mentioned that everyone in attendance at the time agreed in principle that anarchist federation was a good idea).

Anarchists in Australia are not ready for federation, anarchist federation is premature

This view had been expressed before and elsewhere and it is one I find unconvincing given that it has been nearly 40 years since the last attempt. It raises the question; when will the time be right?

In my view, the time is right when there are anarchist groups in existence. It strikes me that this would be the next logical step after the formation of anarchist groups. What else has to happen? What other requirements are needed? I think this view illustrates a lack of confidence on the part of the objector in their own capacity to organise in a manner consistent with anarchist theory and practice and is based on a fear of fucking up that may reveal the truth of the absence of seamless perfection.

While fucking up carries the potential for awkwardness and embarrassment, there is a positive; it provides an opportunity to pose the two questions; why did we fuck up? what can we do in the future to avoid such fuck-ups? The answers to which can only contribute to our collective knowledge/experience base.

The time and energy spent organising an anarchist federation will detract/subtract from much-needed activism

This view is given credence by what I refer to as the Don't Think, Do Something! tendency of 'activism' for its own sake. It presume that organising and activism occurs at expense of one to the other and that organising and activism are necessarily mutually exclusive. Indeed, I would argue that both are necessarily complimentary. Organising will enhance the effectiveness of your activism and activism wiill inform your organising. The activism referred to almost always involves protest. Protest is always necessary but to imagine that all protest will result in a hoped-for outcome in every instance I think is naiive. Tramping up and down the road shouting at the wind alone is something that capitalism can live with.

Capital A anarchism is scary

This was most curious as I would have thought that the only ones scared by anarchy would be bosses. Only anecdotal evidence was put forward to support this assertion; "My workmates find it scary". That the media and the political enemies of anarchism would attempt to portray it negatively or refer to it perjoratively is hardly surprising and certainly doesn't constitute an argument against anarchist federation. It would not matter what term was used, it would be rendered scary by those who find it so.

It remains to be seen what the outcome of these conferences will be but I think it is a good thing that anarchist federation is being discussed seriously.