Saturday, October 26, 2013

Anarchist Fantasies

I once knew an anarchist. Nice guy. Very intense. He started an anarchist discussion circle. He was really stoked about how these high school kids were getting radicalized by walking the picket-line with their teachers.

There was him (mid-twenties), me (late-twenties), a 19-year old dude, an 18-year old dudette, and about three teeny-boppers. The first meeting was just a discussion on principles, dominated by him. The second meeting, a week later was about possible "actions" we could do. The third meeting, there was just me and him. Embarrassed, he mumbled something about how losing the dead weight made us stronger, or something like that.

At times, support for the fucking harpercons stands at near 40% of the adult population in Canada. But somehow, the Great Awakening is just around the corner. Um, ... no it isn't. The country isn't even close to the anarchist mindset. Any initiatives we have will have to work within the dominant paradigm. Which is not to say that we mustn't work to change that paradigm. But gradualism is an unavoidable reality. (Or, if "gradualism' isn't the right work, simply wishing away present conditions isn't going to work.)


Purple library guy said...

Speaking as something vaguely like an anarchist, there's really no point in anarchists in this time and place trying to smash the state or stuff like that. The problem is, a lot of them don't really know what they want anyway, they just know they don't like what the authorities and big corps are doing and so they figure just subtracting that would be good.

About the only thing an anarchist can do constructively in modern Canada is start or join and try to grow little organizations that do something useful and operate without hierarchy; co-operatives or whatever. Those will be good in themselves and be little seeds of what an anarchy-ish thing could be like, so people can start feeling like the whole concept isn't totally divorced from reality.

From that side . . . OK, this is in New Zealand, but New Zealand has a lot in common with Canada. There's these connected progressive groups and a few businesses in New Zealand, and they needed a good way of making decisions without leaders because hours of meetings every day where you insist on consensus wasn't cutting it (hello, Occupy!) and so they came up with this software (Free software, GPL) for letting people in a group suggest decisions and having everyone discuss and vote on it and stuff. Seems to be working, people are starting to use it, and it's being worked on and improved fairly actively.

thwap said...

Thanks for that PLG. That's a very good suggestion. Put one's anarchist convictions into practice and serve as an example to others.

I just get irritated with anarchists who (without even asking what I'm about) sneer at me as if I'm a deluded sap for having some degree of ... not hope, but 'something' for the system we're forced to work with.

Jib Halyard said...

FFS anarchists, grow up already. Start a party and get elected to Parliament.
Because if your adolescent fantasy of a world without government ever came true, some sort of power would fill that vacuum pretty quick. And I can guarantee you it would be a lot less nice than any of the options on any modern Canadian voting ballot.

thwap said...

Oh, maybe we'll get to a world where there isn't a government (as we know the term) but it would have to be a gradual process, started from realistic premises.

As opposed to their "Don't ask me to describe how to even begin to achieve anything!!"