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Antifa vs. Anarchism

We have decided to post a recent, currently ongoing debate between Keith Preston of Attack The System and Anti-Fascist News. While we very much agree with Preston and his rebuttals and calls for Anarchism to move past the boundaries that the pseudo-Anarchist “Antifa” have tried to force onto it, it’s ultimately up to the reader to decide. We will update this post with further responses as they come…

 

Anti-Fascist News: Letter to Keith Preston: No, You’re Not an Anarchist

Keith Preston’s Reply: More Anarchistic Than Thou

AFN’s Reply: Grasping at Straws: Refuting Keith Preston and Pan-Secessionism

Keith Preston’s Reply: Ignoring the Elephant in the Room

AFN’s Reply: Putting It To Rest: What You Want Isn’t Anarchism

Keith Preston’s Reply: “Visions so radically different…”

Appendix: The Argument from Atrocity

Appendix 2: The legacy of anarchist successes

Appendix 3: Debating Anarchist Tactics: Left Only, or Beyond Left and Right

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Why Anarchists Must Confront Totalitarian Humanism

of-all-tyrannies

 

via Attack The System

 

It can reasonably be said that the overwhelming majority of liberals, progressives, social democrats, and Marxists would affirm all or most of the following presumptions:

-The state is an expression of popular democracy (see Jean Jacques Rousseau)

-The ever increasing centralization of institutions is conducive to economic and technological progress

-Ever larger states with an ever greater number of functions are necessary to modern society

-The state is a means of advancing the disadvantaged and imposing progressive values on benighted or reactionary local communities and regions

-The legitimacy of an eventual world federal government, and the principles of collective security, liberal internationalism, human rights internationalism, or what Noam Chomsky critically calls “military humanism”

-The desirability of forging a national and international consensus around “progressive” values with these to be imposed by national governments and international institutions

-The desirability of the welfare state, the managerial state, and managed economy

-The core principles of the Enlightenment religion of reason, progress, and scientism

-The legitimacy and necessity of the  public administration state

-The desirability of the nanny state and its involvement in such issues as the compulsory use of seat belts, smoking bans, diet regulation, firearms prohibition, compulsory education, far reaching measures aimed at “child protection,” etc.

It goes without saying that the overwhelming majority of these precepts, perhaps all of them, cannot be reconciled with libertarian, anarchist, anti-statist, decentralist, or anti-authoritarian values of ANY kind. It also goes without saying that since the days of the rivalries between Marx and Engels, and Proudhon, Stirner, and Bakunin, authoritarian leftists, statist socialists, and centralizing progressives have been our enemy. Period. It is time for anarchists to carve out an entirely new paradigm for themselves that defines the political spectrum not in terms of left and right or reactionary and progressive, but in terms of anti-authoritarian vs authoritarian, anti-statist vs statist, and decentralist vs centralist. This will be among the primary dividing lines of the future.

How To Build Your Tribe – Finding ‘Your People’

from Marc and Angel Hack Life

Build Your Tribe

This is a guest post by Marelisa of Abundance Blog at Marelisa Online.

One of the most fundamental human needs is the need to belong.  Noted psychologist, Abraham Maslow, identified it as one of the five basic needs.  We want to be part of a group and to feel loved and accepted by others.  That is, we want to be a member of a tribe.  A tribe-or a pack, clan, elected family, posse, crew, network, or true friends–is a group of people who share common interests and values and show genuine appreciation and care for each other.

Your tribe members are those people who accept you just as you are, and who want the very best for you.  They make you feel understood, and they encourage you to go after your goals and pursue your dreams.  Also, the members of your tribe help you to get through difficult times, and they provide you with a sense of community and support.

To paraphrase Sam Adams–from the Onion A.V. Club–, your tribe are those people you love to cruise the streets with while listening to the Ramones and playing air guitar, and who, at the same time, will come and slap you when you’re acting out of line.  Your tribe is made up of ‘your people.’  Think of the six main characters in the hit series “Friends,” and how they were always there for each other.

Sir Ken Robinson–author of “The Element,” a book on how to find work that you’re passionate about–argues that your tribe is essential in helping you to find your element.  Members of a tribe kick ideas around with each other and validate each other.  Also, tribe members drive each other to explore the real extent of their talents.  In addition, Robinson argues that when a group of people with common interests come together, a synergy is created which allows them to create something much greater than any of them could have created individually.

If you feel tribe-less, rest assured in the knowledge that your tribe is out there.  In addition, if you’re already surrounded by a supportive tribe, remember that there are probably many members of your tribe that you have not met yet.  Below you’ll find twelve valuable tips and insights to help you find your tribe-if you haven’t found it already–, or to help you expand your tribe-if you already have one.

Twelve Tips for Finding or Expanding Your Tribe

American journalist and writer Jane Howard is credited with the following quote: “Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family.  Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.”  Here are twelve tips for finding or expanding your tribe:

  1. Think of the qualities you want your tribe members to have.  As an illustration, you may want each of your tribe members to have the following qualities: treats people with respect; listens but doesn’t judge; has a quirky sense of humor; is an artist; lives with passion; doesn’t sweat the small stuff; is loyal and trustworthy.
  2. Decide if there’s a particular type of activity that you want to engage in with your tribe, such as starting a book club, taking hiking trips, going to happy hour, or visiting museums and gallery openings.
  3. Listen to your inner voice and trust your instincts.  When was the last time you had a gut feeling about someone?  Sometimes you’ll meet someone new and you’ll feel drawn to them right away, almost as if you were old friends.  Other times you’ll come across people who immediately make you want to put up your guard.  Pay attention to your gut reaction to others.
  4. One way to find your tribe is to use Social Media to create a virtual tribe; you can then look for ways to meet in the offline world.  For example, Twitter allows you to search for people who share your interests and who actively talk about these interests.  Use the topics and activities that you’re interested in as key terms.  You can also enter the city where you live as a key term in order to find others who share your interests and live in your area.
  5. Start a blog on a subject that interests you–such as breeding bull terriers, chasing UFOs, Russian 19th century novelists, and so on–and create your own community.  If you can get together a group of bloggers who are like -minded and live in the same city, you can host a blog meet-up so you can all meet in person.
  6. Look for upcoming community events in your city that are centered around activities you enjoy.
  7. Search for Yahoo groups and forums which cater to a particular topic that you’re passionate about.
  8. If there are one or two people you already know who you would like to strengthen your friendship with, try to find a way to work together.  You could plant a communal garden together, or meet once a week to complete unfinished projects–such as crafts, sewing, knitting, or woodworking– as a group.  Working with others can help you strengthen your bonds with them.
  9. Marketing guru Seth Godin advices that you create your tribe by helping others to achieve their goals.  Connect people in your social network who have common interests; give them access to information and resources that they need; and let them know that you’re available if they need help.
  10. Andy Paige–a stylist on TLC– explains that you need to look for your 1/3.  To summarize: Andy argues that 1/3 of the people you come across will dislike you; 1/3 of the people you meet will be indifferent toward you; and 1/3 of the people you come into contact with will love you.  You’re looking for that that last 1/3.  Those are your people.  Don’t worry about the other 2/3.
  11. Create rituals that you can share with your tribe, such as having regular meals together.  You can also have in-jokes and slang or jargon that’s unique to your tribe.  Look for ways to make your group cohere and know that it’s a group.
  12. Keep in mind that the people you hang out with will have a huge impact on every aspect of your life, from your level of income—several financial authors argue that your income is equal to the income of your five best friends–, to your level of happiness—studies show that happiness is contagious.  In addition, we have a subconscious tendency to model the behavior of those around us.  Choose your tribe wisely.

Conclusion

The members of your tribe are your allies on your life journey.  When you’re creating or expanding your tribe, look for people who will lift you up, help you grow, recharge you, inspire you, and celebrate with you, and who are willing to lend a hand when you need it.  In addition, always remember that as a tribe member you have responsibilities toward your tribe.  You need to give back to the tribe and offer other tribe members your support, just as they support you.  Now get out there and start creating or expanding your tribe.

Marelisa Fábrega blogs about creativity, productivity, and simply getting the most out of life over at Abundance Blog at Marelisa Online.  Marelisa is the author of the eBooks How to Be More Creative – A Handbook for Alchemists,  and How To Live Your Best Life – The Essential Guide for Creating and Achieving Your Life List.

A Libertarian View of Nationalism, Secession, and Ethnic Enclaves

Situación_etnolinguística_de_UcraniaBy Murray Rothbard

[Editor’s Note: This is a Selection from “Nations by Consent:Decomposing the Nation-State”]

The “nation,” of course, is not the same thing as the state, a difference that earlier libertarians and classical liberals such as Ludwig von Mises and Albert Jay Nock understood full well. Contemporary libertarians often assume, mistakenly, that individuals are bound to each other only by the nexus of market exchange. They forget that everyone is necessarily born into a family, a language, and a culture. Every person is born into one or several overlapping communities, usually including an ethnic  group, with specific values, cultures, religious beliefs, and traditions. He is generally born into a “country.” He is always born into a specific historical context of time and place, meaning neighborhood and land area.

The modern European nation-state, the typical “major power,” began  not as a nation at all, but as an “imperial” conquest of one nationality-  usually at the “center” of the resulting country, and based in the capital  city-over other nationalities at the periphery. Since a “nation” is a complex of subjective feelings of nationality based on objective realities, the  imperial central states have had varying degrees of success in forging among  their subject nationalities at the periphery a sense of national unity incorporating submission to the imperial center. In Great Britain, the English  have never truly eradicated national aspirations among the submerged  Celtic nationalities, the Scots and the Welsh, although Cornish nationalism seems to have been mostly stamped out. In Spain, the conquering  Castilians, based in Madrid, have never managed-as the world saw at  the Barcelona Olympics-to erase nationalism among the Catalans, the  Basques, or even the Galicians or Andalusians. The French, moving out from their base in Paris, have never totally tamed the Bretons, the Basques, or the people of the Languedoc.

It is now well known that the collapse of the centralizing and imperial Russian Soviet Union has lifted the lid on the dozens of previously suppressed nationalisms within the former U.S.S.R., and it is now becoming clear that Russia itself, or rather “the Russian Federated Republic,” is simply a slightly older imperial formation in which the Russians, moving out from their Moscow center, forcibly incorporated many nationalities including the Tartars, the Yakuts, the Chechens, and many others. Much of the U.S.S.R. stemmed from imperial Russian conquest in the nineteenth century, during which the clashing Russians and British managed to carve up much of central Asia.

The “nation” cannot be precisely defined; it is a complex and varying constellation of different forms of communities, languages, ethnic groups, or religions. Some nations or nationalities, such as the Slovenes, are both a separate ethnic group and a language; others, such as the warring groups in Bosnia, are the same ethnic group whose language is the same but who differ in the form of alphabet, and who clash fiercely on religion  (the Eastern Orthodox Serbs, the Catholic Croats, and the Bosnian Muslims, who, to make matters more complicated, were originally champions of the Manichaean Bogomil heresy). The question of nationality is made more complex by the interplay of objectively existing reality and subjective perceptions. In some cases, such as Eastern European nationalities under the Habsburgs or the Irish under the British, nationalisms, including submerged and sometimes dying languages, had to be consciously preserved, generated, and expanded. In the nineteenth century this was done by a determined intellectual elite, struggling to revive peripheries living under, and partially absorbed by, the imperial center.

First, we can conclude that nor all state boundaries are just. One goal for libertarians should be to transform existing nation-states into national entities whose boundaries could be called just, in the same sense that private property boundaries are just; that is, to decompose existing coercive nation- states into genuine nations, or nations by consent.

In the case, for example, of the eastern Fredonians, the inhabitants should be able to secede voluntarily from Fredonia and join their comrades in Ruritania. Again, classical liberals should resist the impulse to say that national boundaries “don’t make any difference.” It’s true, of course, as classical liberals have long proclaimed, that the less the degree of government intervention in either Fredonia or Ruritania, the less difference such a boundary will make. But even under a minimal state, national boundaries would still make a difference, often a big one to the inhabitants of the area. For in what language-Ruritanian or Fredonian or both?-will be the street signs, telephone books, court proceedings, or school classes of the area?

In short, every group, every nationality, should be allowed to secede from any nation-state and to join any other nation-state that agrees to have it. That simple reform would go a long way toward establishing nations by consent. The Scots, if they want to, should be allowed by the English to leave the United Kingdom, and to become independent, and even to join a Gaelic Confederation, if the constituents so desire.

A common response to a world of proliferating nations is to worry about the multitude of trade barriers that might be erected. But, other things being equal, the greater the number of new nations, and the smaller the size of each, the better. For it would be far more difficult to sow the illusion of self-sufficiency if the slogan were “Buy North Dakotan” or even “Buy 56th Street” than it now is to convince the public to “Buy American.” Similarly, “Down with South Dakota,” or a fortiori, “Down with 55th Street,” would be a more difficult sell than spreading fear or hatred of the Japanese. Similarly, the absurdities and the unfortunate consequences of fiat paper money would be far more evident if each province or each neighborhood or street block were to print its own currency. A more decentralized world would be far more likely to turn to sound market commodities, such as gold or silver, for its money.

One obvious problem with the secession of nationalities from centralized states concerns mixed areas, or enclaves and exclaves. Decomposing the swollen central nation-state of Yugoslavia into constituent parts has solved many conflicts by providing independent nationhood for Slovenes, Serbs, and Croats, but what about Bosnia, where many towns and villages are mixed? One solution is to encourage more of the same, through still more decentralization. If, for example, eastern Sarajevo is Serb and western Sarajevo is Muslim, then they become parts of their respective separate nations. But this of course will result in a large number of enclaves, parts of nations surrounded by other nations. How can this be solved? In the first place, the enclave/exclave problem exists right now. One of the most vicious existing conflicts, in which the US has not yet meddled because it has not yet been shown on CNN, is the problem of Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian exclave totally surrounded by, and therefore formally within, Azerbaijan. Nagorno-Karabakh should clearly be part of Armenia. But, how then, will Armenians of Karabakh avoid their present fate of blockade by Azeris, and how will they avoid military battles in trying to keep open a land corridor to Armenia?

Under total privatization, of course, these problems would disappear. Nowadays, no one in the U.S. buys land without making sure that his title to the land is clear; in the same way, in a fully privatized world, access rights would obviously be a crucial part of land ownership. In such a world, then, Karabakh property owners would make sure that they had purchased access rights through an Azeri land corridor.

Decentralization also provides a workable solution for the seemingly insoluble permanent conflict in Northern Ireland. When the British partitioned Ireland in the early 1920s, they agreed to perform a second, a more micro-managed, partition. They never carried through on this promise. If the British would permit a detailed, parish by parish, partition vote in Northern Ireland, however, most of the land area, which is majority Catholic, would probably hive off and join the Republic: such counties as Tyrone and Fermanagh, southern Down, and southern Armagh, for example. The Protestants would probably be left with Belfast, countyAntrim, and other areas north of Belfast. The major remaining problem would be the Catholic enclave within the city of Belfast, but again, an approach to the anarcho-capitalist model could be attained by permitting the purchase of access rights to the enclave.

Pending total privatization, it is clear that our model could be ap proached, and conflicts minimized, by permitting secessions and local control, down to the micro-neighborhood level, and by developing contractual access rights for enclaves and exclaves. In the U.S., it becomes important, in moving toward such radical decentralization, for libertarians and classical liberals-indeed, for many other minority or dissident groups-to begin to lay the greatest stress on the forgotten Tenth Amend- ment and to try to decompose the role and power of the centralizing Supreme Court. Rather than trying to get people of one’s own ideological persuasion on the Supreme Court, its power should be rolled back and minimized as far as possible, and its power decomposed into state, or even local, judicial bodies.

[Image credit.]

‘National Personal Autonomy’ in a Post-Modern World?

‘National Personal Autonomy’ in a Post-Modern World?

   image

By Josh Munro

“The personal principle wants to organize nations not in territorial bodies but in simple association of persons” – Otto Bauer, Social Democracy and the Nationalities Question, 1907

For a while now, I’ve been curious about the Austromarxist concept of National Personal Autonomy.  After reading what I can about it (very little information on the subject is available in English), I’ve come to the conclusion that in a decentralized, Pan-Secessionist/Tribal Anarchist world, it could be a very useful concept.

The following is the best (and most available) description of the NPA concept in the Austromarxist sense:

“Let us consider the case of a country composed of several national groups, e.g. Poles, Lithuanians and Jews. Each national group would create a separate movement. All citizens belonging to a given national group would join a special organisation that would hold cultural assemblies in each region and a general cultural assembly for the whole country. The assemblies would be given financial powers of their own: either each national group would be entitled to raise taxes on its members, or the state would allocate a proportion of its overall budget to each of them. Every citizen of the state would belong to one of the national groups, but the question of which national movement to join would be a matter of personal choice and no authority would have any control over his decision. The national movements would be subject to the general legislation of the state, but in their own areas of responsibility they would be autonomous and none of them would have the right to interfere in the affairs of the others”. – Vladimir Medem, “Social democracy and the national question”

The following excerpt presents us with an interesting concept: different nationalities in a given State will be autonomous and run themselves.  Now, this is an interesting concept, one that could be altered to suit a decentralized world.  What I’m proposing is a concept that could solve an important factor in a decentralized world, which is geography.  Geography is not the only factor in what makes a nation, but it would be, especially after the collapse of the system, an important matter as people re-organize themselves along endless lines.

Before I go any further, let me just clarify that the title of this article isn’t entirely accurate.  I don’t mean National Personal Autonomy in a racial sense, or even a Statist sense.  I’m talking about the term ‘nation’ in a voluntary sense.  What I’m advocating is a libertarian concept similar to NPA, but at the same time one that is used in a somewhat different way. I still refer to my idea as NPA in this article, though, because I do believe that the name adequately sums up what I’m proposing; so, in its most basic sense, you could call it a modern interpretation of the ‘National Personal Autonomy’ concept.

I personally subscribe to the belief that a nation or tribe is merely a group of people who choose to associate with one another, and that it doesn’t have to be ethnically exclusive (some may choose to form such a community, and that is entirely their own prerogative).  The factors for a nation/tribe are endless: interests, religion, friends and/or associates, culture, race, etc.  But I digress.  In a decentralized world, there will be nations/tribes everywhere, as well as micro-nations, city-states, etc.  The overall goal of a decentralized world is to create a truly voluntary society where people can live their lives as they please, so long as they don’t infringe upon the rights of others.  But what happens when location becomes a factor in life?

In North America, for example, there is a strong affinity toward private property.  I myself have no intent to give up my home.  This is a great example as to where the NPA concept, or at least something similar, could come in handy.  Let’s say an area is the territory of a nation or tribe, but there are people still living in their homes within the, let’s say, intentional community, who don’t identify as members of such (either sovereigns or members of another nation/tribe).  Well, if you were to use at least a similar idea, there should be no problem.

If you were to ask me, I would say that they’re more than free to live in the same area, so long as they respect the Non-Aggression Principle.  If they’re a sovereign or a collective of sovereigns, then I would recommend that they be self-sufficient in one way or another.  The same can be said of the member(s) of another nation/tribe, although they may also be dependent on their respective nation/tribe (people make nations, after all, not geography; however, as I’m stating in this article, geography can play an important role).  Or, they could even have trade deals with the other nation(s)/tribe(s) that they share the area (and possibly with .  Of course, not everybody would agree with this idea, and may not want people of a certain kind (I don’t necessarily mean race, I just mean in general) sharing the same area with them.  That’s entirely their prerogative.  The whole point of this concept is simply to offer a solution to the geography factor, especially in the large countries that make up North America, where a lot of people have family, associates, etc., spread out in different geographic locations everywhere.

In a Post-Modern, decentralized world, the possibilities will be endless, after all.

Additional Links

Choose Your Own Nationality

An Introduction to Tribal Anarchism