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Blog on Anarchism

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young
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Joined: 28-04-12
Aug 2 2012 18:11
Blog on Anarchism

Hey guys!

You should check out my blog and give me your feedback! Let me know if I've got anything backwards or anything.

theanarchistsgarden.blogspot.com

Thanks a ton!

Young

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A Wotsit
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Joined: 14-11-11
Aug 2 2012 19:35

Hey young,

Just checked your blog post from today saying we should be setting up anarchist communities. I can sympathise with the sentiment, and I do see some merit for setting up or joining one if that's what you want from life (I'm guessing here you're imagining a community which builds and services it's own homes and grows it's own food and does not work for wages unless essential (e.g. to get money for a laptop and solar pv system) type affair).

Sadly (I think) it's not a viable option for revolutionary change, and practically impossible to have a 'proper' anarchist community under present conditions. The wider social context puts too many constraints and compromises on a minority of like-minded people trying to set something like this up.

There is a place called Marinaleda (sp?) in Spain which shows the limitations of trying to establish an anarchist prototype/ Libertarian Communistish community in a capitalist state/ society.
They can't abolish wage labour and have to sell their labour in order to meet their basic needs because they can't make everything themselves (obv the collective is subject to market forces and therefore there's an element of self-exploitation in the cooperative to serve the needs of capital/ get what they need via markets). They can't free themselves of government influence (or government finance) etc etc Fair play to them though- they occupied and took over some aristocrat's land and turned it into a collective farm/ settlement and it's an inspiring example- though not one that looks easily repeatable elsewhere under present conditions.I can't recall any links but if you google I think there's a page in Spanish somewhere that is broadly understandable when you run it through translate.

Also, pretty sure that there are loads of communes, coops and intentional communities that have anarchist principles (non-hierarchical decision making and communal working/living) but again, it's impossible to have a fully anarchist community within a capitalist society because no one community can become entirely self-sufficient because capital, markets and governent control everything they need to survive. A few of us might be able to capture (unlikely) or buy some land and buildings and the immediate territory/produce of the commune and the immediate actions of the people in it would be enough to call it a community and we could manage a lot of it in an anarchistish way but of course the land and people of the commune are still subject to the wider social hierarchy and the forces of capital to an extent, so it would be a big struggle and full of compromises and never become a shining example that other (non-anarchists) wanted to follow.

As well as being impossible, trying to bodge a 'the-best-we-can-manage-at-the-moment' anarchist commune together under present conditions (I'm assuming here for practical reasons it's an isolated rural one based on 'self-sufficiency' and withdrawing from consumerism and wage labour or based on a cooperative model and selling produce grown and goods made by the commune to buy clothes, drugs etc) can often just remove us from the wider class and fronts of struggle we could/should engage with, is too much hard work to set up. How would we get the land- most anarchists are broke and anyway and we're likely to get evicted if we squat or occupy eventually. If it was urban it would likely just be a squat or housing coop- these already exist and have done for a while. Most 'communities' designed and populated exclusively by anarchist sympathisers end up just being a ghetto for a handful of isolated people to pursue an alternative lifestyle, develop anti-social habits and go on the odd protest, unless they stay in employment and interact with the wider class....

It's not about building a perfect, separate, community for everyone else to emulate- it's about recognising opportunities to push the communities and workplaces we are already a part of in an anarchist direction (and recognising that there is a natural tendency for people to sometimes behave in an anarchist/pro-social way and that we can demonstrate this, and use the tendency in a logical way to organise society through various forms of action and struggle). If you read more on this site there is loads about how we might go about doing that by organising non-hierarchically (in opposition to bosses/ govt) at work and organising around other issues that affect us and the wider class in our everyday lives. There is plenty of stuff on here somewhere why dropping out and pursuing an anarchist lifestyle in some kind of insular community is not particularly desirable or helpful from a revolutionary point of view. Not an expert myself yet but glancing at your blog I can see you're currently mulling over some things I was struggling with a bit before I immersed myself in this site and now I feel a bit more clued up. (I still sometimes talk shit though, so bear that in mind)

Not read your other blog post but if a more long-established anarchist here reads it I'm sure they could offer some friendly critique.

young
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Joined: 28-04-12
Aug 4 2012 05:27

Thanks a ton! That makes a lot of sense to me. I'm (obviously) really new at this, so the blog is kind of a chronicle of my development, hopefully it'll be useful to someone else at some point. What you said makes complete sense. It's frustrating as hell, but that's the nature of it, I guess. If you feel like it, check in from time to time and keep giving me your thoughts!

young