The past week has seen two attacks in Canada against Canadian soldiers by Muslim men. In response, thousands of people filled the streets to wave flags and call for heightened surveillance, preventive arrests, and war in the middle east. The crowds are calling for a police state. It feels heavy, and we're stuck watching with dread as the crowds seem intent on re-enacting propaganda scenes from the 1936 olympics in Berlin. Except in Canada in 2014, instead of a torch the crowds are cheering on the progress of a dead soldier whose corpse was driven from Ottawa to Hamilton.
The Ebola catastrophe that threatens to be the next deadly pandemic is entirely unleashed by capitalism and will be a holocaust against the poor. It is a product of environmental destruction, overcrowding, hunger and the absence of public health infrastructure - exacerbated by years of war.
Liberals and progressive forces support the Democratic Party in elections, even though humanity is facing a number of interconnected threats and nightmarish catastrophes: economic, ecological/climate, and others. Democratic liberals, while perhaps the "lesser evil" to the Republican reactionaries, have no solutions to the objective dangers which threaten society with great suffering and destruction. The only real alternative is popular mass struggle or defeat--socialist-anarchism or catastrophes.
Unfortunately, when talking about Ferguson, few people are really talking about gentrification. And if we can't say gentrification and Ferguson in the same breath, we can't look at the bigger problems. The murder of an unarmed black teenager? How about the racialized murder of civil society by the police state and the ongoing destruction of the world that it is bringing about?
It was also a pleasant surprise because Ward and Kropotkin are two of among several anarchist thinkers I’m writing a series of appreciations on for C4SS. Both Kropotkin and Ward were libertarian communists of sorts, but there was so much sheer muchness to their thought it’s impossible to encapsulate with any such ideological label. Compared to their love for the irreducible particularity of all the near-infinity of local examples of human-scale self-organization and cooperation, labels like “communist,” “individualist” or “syndicalist” are like stale bread crusts.
A culture of security is one which enhances an organization's capacity to determine its interests and act on them in spite of another organization's opposed interests. Corporate workforces and law enforcement agencies both cultivate cultures of security, as do management teams, investment rings, smugglers, unions, militia men, and academic researchers. All of these cultures are supposed to control flows of information (trade secrets, exclusive suppliers, price indexes, strategic plans, etc.) and restrict communication in furtherance of an organization's interests.
What would it be like if everyone loved everyone else? 10 out of 10 people agree, it’d be pretty fucking great. Unfortunately we are all, at this point, human. Our capacities to embrace each and every individual as a truly beautiful and unique creature are far beyond us. We also exist within social structures which embrace the potent power of hate, separation and collectivism. In these shackles, individuals are not particular or meaningful entities. We exist only for the ends of some institution, some vague and old superstition about the horrible others. While we might never have good reason to love everyone, society ensures we will hate The Other, whoever it decrees qualifies.
This series will attempt to roughly give some examples as to how the urban environment can be altered so that cities can not only sustain themselves but also become ecologically rich environs benefiting mankind and servicing nature. In order for us to do so, we must create radical shifts in the way we think about the vital needs of our civilization and follow the examples biology can give us. Many of these changes can be implemented right now and could be greatly supplemented and developed in an anarchist society and indeed some of these concepts and ideas can indeed form the basis of an anarchist revolution.
In the last few decades new forms of activism have begun to emerge that concerned not merely the fate of human society, but of the non-human world – including non-human animals and the environment – as well. In their most radical forms, these struggles culminated in what has been termed by some as ‘eco’ or ‘green’ anarchism. Green anarchism can be taken to consist in any political doctrine that takes some of the key components of anarchist thought – whatever these are deemed to be – and applies them towards critiquing the interaction of humans with the non-human world. This definition is a good start, but is perhaps like many definitions of anarchism unsatisfactorily vague. This essay will propose a more specific definition of green anarchism, which will later be explained as the political doctrine that strives for the abolition of hierarchy in general.
The New York Times published an article today August 17th titled "Lack of Leadership and Generational Split Hinder Protest," which argues that the two points of contention are possibly related. Of course as usual with the NY Times, dry reporting is the default instead of an obvious position that may scare regular readers. With that said, it doesn’t take reading between the lines to notice that Ferguson and the rejection of formal leadership is a trend increasing in frequency worldwide.