Tag: anarchism

Seizing Power: Leninism, Anarchism, and the View from Hotel Continental

Recent claims within the right wing of the Labour Party concerning the allegiance of new members to supposedly Trotskyist causes have by now been thoroughly refuted and justifiably mocked. However, less attention has been given to the British Left’s historical and contemporary sympathies with Leninism. This ideology is often defined as being concerned with establishing a particularly hierarchical political party in the service of subsequently bringing about a ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’, which in turn is geared towards bringing about socialism. Many prominent figures on the Left have often expressed their admiration for Vladimir Lenin, citing him as a political and personal inspiration. These include Chris Nineham, Alex Callinicos, Richard ‘Lenin’ Seymour and numerous others, from trade unionists to academics. Strong, almost fanatical support for political figures such as Lenin is perhaps to be expected given that after the undermining of the traditional religions during the Enlightenment, ideologies such as Jacobinism and the more zealously violent forms of nationalism began to replace deity worship as belief systems ordinary people could feel some form of meaningful connection to. Today we have things like Leninism, the neoliberal belief in ‘free markets’, and the often belligerently war-mongering, racist presence of the New Atheists, all of which are ultimately forms of irrational adherence to a belief system. Why, then, does Leninism get a free pass as the ‘common sense’ of the Left?

Anarchism in Native America: Remembering the Past, Observing the Present, Protecting the Future

Things have changed a lot since I became an anarchist, not the least of which was learning a lot about the government’s role in regulating just about everything imaginable, and how it negatively affects people. Becoming an anarchist has also given me a deeper appreciation of being Native, as well as the reverse: being Native has given me a deeper appreciation of what anarchism entails. Yes, I know that there will probably be other anarchists that will denounce me being proud of something that is considered “an accident of birth”, yet they will conveniently overlook the fact that being descended from people who have been (and still are) consistently screwed over by a governing body “for their own good” means fertile soil for a bigger demand to dismantle The State™.

Growing up was not without its challenges. As a “mixed-breed”, I caught much flak by Natives for being white, and caught flak from whites for being Native. Even now, there’s still a lot of crap given to people who are not “pure enough”, and it’s coming from all sides. I was able to witness firsthand the traditions of my tribe (Oglala Lakota, in South Dakota), to listen to the stories, to watch how government meddling harmed those who were trying to make due for themselves and their families. I masochistically decided to go back and work as part of the Tribal Ambulance Service when I was a certified EMT-B, to catch that same flak as an adult. “You’re too white to be indi’n” was something I was told by one of my patients. Yet, not all calls were like that. Families trusted me to check over their babies. I was often fed (and fed well). I’ve had little ones hug me for just showing up. I’ve had older patients remember me from when I was a little girl, or ones that recognized me because of my relatives. Times like those reminded me of the beauty of a close-knit community, even past the flaws. Times like those also gave me a good look at how the government had successfully and repeatedly harmed my tribe for the gain of The State™.

Introducing: How To Overthrow An Empire Video and Podcast Series

John Carico of Fifth Column And Eric Scott of Free Radical Media are proud to announce a new project focused on discussing tactics toward revolution. The format of the video show will be as follows: We will cover a tactic from it’s origins to contemporary times in a hard news style segment, then we will have a conversation, or multiple quotes from activists and forward thinkers on said tactic, then we will have a free from, sometimes roundtable, discussion about how that tactic can help us move toward liberation.

We will also have a podcast which will feature long form interviews.

Our first interview, with Frank Lopez of Submedia, is available here:

Confederal Kurdistan: The “Commune of Communes”

The demands pushed forward in both parts of Kurdistan are almost identical, both demonstrating an attempt at formally installing a confederal municipal system into the region.

Back in the 1990s Murray Bookchin, exponent of libertarian municipalism, articulated the need to develop a “new politics”, which is “unflinchingly public, electoral on a municipal basis, confederal in its vision and revolutionary in its character”.

The creation of a free “commune of communes” – something anarchists, especially Bakunin and Kropotkin, have fought for over the past two centuries – has always been envisioned as an ultimate manifestation of anarcho-communism, hence of a “new politics” based on libertarian municipalism.

Today, more than two decades later and in a completely different geography, the Kurds in Rojava/Northern Syria and Bakûr/Southeastern Turkey have become the new avant-gardes of the “commune of communes”.

Against Voting

There are conditions under which victims can share responsibility for a crime. Following are three examples:

Three people are hiding in a closet because a home invader breaks into their home. All three people are victims of this invasion. If two of the three people secretly decide that their best chance for survival is to come out of hiding and give up the third person to the invader in exchange for their own safety, it would not be inappropriate to say that they share responsibility for the outcome of what happens to that person despite the fact that they are not primarily responsible for the situation itself. It might even be said that the third person would blame them and accuse them of being complicit in the crime despite the fact that all three people were victims.
Someone robs a bank and takes a group of twenty people hostage. All twenty people are victims of this crime. After a few hours, the robber gets careless. The hostages secretly work out a plan to best him and turn him over to the police. As the group goes to spring their plan into action, two of the hostages get cold feet. They inform the robber of the plan, throw themselves at his mercy and swear their allegiance to him, thereby alerting him and preventing everyone’s escape. All twenty people are victims, but the other eighteen people are still going to blame those two for preventing their escape.
The Federal government goes $200 trillion into fictitious debt that it intends to hold over the heads of tax cattle to bleed them for resources. Every once in a while, elections are held to create the perception that the tax cattle ARE the government. In the entire history of this system, the fake debt and taxes have only ever gone up and never down, and the people who win the elections are never accountable to the tax cattle; in fact, they are granted salaries that are paid for with tax theft. Some tax cattle are enthusiastically supportive of this system, perceive it as a net gain to themselves, and vote in favor of its expansion. Some tax cattle are wary of this system, but still believe that elections are the only way to lessen the burden of the fake debt and tax theft on themselves. Among these, some want theft-funded free college. Some want theft-funded social security. Some want theft-funded food and healthcare.

Interview with Gary Chartier

Gary Chartier is Distinguished Professor of Law and Business Ethics and Associate Dean of the Zapara School of Business at La Sierra University in Riverside, California. He is the author, editor, or co-editor of ten books, including Public Practice, Private Law (Cambridge 2016), Anarchy and Legal Order (Cambridge 2013), The Conscience of an Anarchist (Cobden 2011), and Markets Not Capitalism (Minor Compositions-Autonomedia 2011) (co-edited with Charles W. Johnson).