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How can we (re)build the Anarchist movement in Britain?

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orangeosprey
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Jan 14 2004 12:04

I agree with ed completley, but over a wider spectrum. During the 19th century, the suffergette movement was fragmented in effectual, then they united under the one banner to form the NUWSS, and the movment became galvanised, potent and infulential. excluding the reformist/conformist organizations such as the Communist party of great britian and the like, i believe that all radical left wing groups should form one federal organziation, Eg. ClassWar, the AF , the World Socialist Movent to name but a few. Ieologically, these organizations have little difference, and what differnces there are can be resolved. We are soread far to thin, and the movment is stagnated. We have to unite so we can form a dynamic, proactive movement with a large enough pool of recources,manpower and most importantly ideas from which we build on.

The Boy
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Jan 14 2004 17:42

Not being an @ as such (although I seem to be leaning further and further in that way) I may not be the best person to comment, but here goes....

As far as I can see, building in the comuunity is probably the most important thing for @s to do. If you look at the succes of, say, the BNP or some if the single issue independants in recent times the focus is invariably on issues that affect the community eg hospital/school closures etc. Another example is the succes of the IWCA. The first time they stood in a council ward in Scotland (can't recall which one though it was in Glasgow) they beat the SSp into third place. This is an organisation which seems to campaign solely on local issues.

Also, the importance of engaging with people rather than confronting them should never be underestimated. I remember in my previous job one of my colleagues was overtly racist/anti-immigration. As time passed I gradually convinced her that she was largely mistaken. She even developed an almost healthy cynicism (sp?) when it came to the tabloid press. I'm not saying that confrontation is always wrong, just that it has a time and a place.

I think I shall stop now because I'm drunk and this post was supposed to be short embarrassed

AlexA
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Jan 14 2004 21:24
The Boy wrote:
I think I shall stop now because I'm drunk and this post was supposed to be short embarrassed

It seemed pretty short and coherent smile

Anonymous
Jan 22 2004 17:11

The most important thing is surely to inculcate an idea of anti-hierarchy and collectivity in people's minds, and that can be applied in every aspect of people's lives. It doesn't require much organisation, and the more we promote and act in this way the more people will see what a good and beneficial way to live it is.

3rdseason
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Jan 22 2004 19:23
john wrote:
The most important thing is surely to inculcate an idea of anti-hierarchy and collectivity in people's minds, and that can be applied in every aspect of people's lives.

Yes this is the cool thing about cultural anarchy in my opinion 8)

Anonymous
Jan 23 2004 09:22

what's cultural anarchy?

3rdseason
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Jan 23 2004 11:21

Cultural anarchy is the spread of anarchic ideas and ways of thinking through the use of popular culture. For example fictional books like "Brave New World", films like "Fight Club" or "Pleasantville", lyrics of songs such by bands such as "Rage Against the Machine", the atmosphere created at free raves where the organisers dont do it for a profit motive etc.

Often these things aren't openly labelled as an "anarchist book" or whatever and because of this they can often reach people who wouldn't call themselves anarchists and who don't go round discussing anarchist theory. i.e the vast majority of people you pass in the street each day.

ClassWar
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Jan 23 2004 11:58
3rdseason wrote:
Cultural anarchy is the spread of anarchic ideas and ways of thinking through the use of popular culture. For example fictional books like "Brave New World", films like "Fight Club" or "Pleasantville", lyrics of songs such by bands such as "Rage Against the Machine", the atmosphere created at free raves where the organisers dont do it for a profit motive etc.

Often these things are openly labelled as an "anarchist book" or whatever and because of this they can often reach people who wouldn't call themselves anarchists and who don't go round discussing anarchist theory. i.e the vast majority of people you pass in the street each day.

Precisely - we haqve to recognise that a lot of people already agree with us. They either don't recognise it, or are put off by labels and strict ideologies.

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Jan 23 2004 15:17

Which is why we shouldn't get too hung up on the task of building an anarchist movement -- we should concentrate on spreading acts of anarky by whatever label they're known.

AlexA
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Jan 23 2004 17:26
Lazlo_Woodbine wrote:
Which is why we shouldn't get too hung up on the task of building an anarchist movement -- we should concentrate on spreading acts of anarky by whatever label they're known.

Aw man stop saying that Laz you really sound like a knob! grin

brizzul
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Jan 23 2004 18:21

"Fight Club" - a brown shirt film

"Rage Against the Machine" - marxist band

dunno about the others, though.

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Jan 23 2004 20:31
alexa wrote:
Lazlo_Woodbine wrote:
Which is why we shouldn't get too hung up on the task of building an anarchist movement -- we should concentrate on spreading acts of anarky by whatever label they're known.

Aw man stop saying that Laz you really sound like a knob! grin

Go fuck your mum twisted

Is it the spelling you don't like or the political sentiment?

AlexA
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Jan 23 2004 20:36

Aw come on brizzul you're being a bit harsh there... Sure of RATM - tom morello is a Leninist, but the lead singer Zach de la Rocha has definite libertarian leanings - and none of the actual lyrics are marxist as opposed to anarchist...

As for Fight Club, I cannot believe you're calling it a fascist film! That's what the evening standard said about it!! eek

Fight Club is not politically perfect, and the film does distort some of the text from the book. The book does put more emphasis on the lack of strict hierarchy within the Clubs, and also talks specifically about class and class struggle, with one of them saying they couldn't wait "till we call the general strike and re-distribute the wealth of the world". Now you cannot call that fascistic...

The book is more primitivist than the film... but it is kinda a macho situationist/anarcho/class struggle/primitivist book/film, which does have a great critique of society, and dismissing it as fascist I think is really bad - in the US in particular the right tried to smear the film in that light. Because IMO it is revolutionary (and also large bits of it is based on Chuck Pahluniuk - author - talking to workers about individual and collective acts of sabotage and resistance they've engaged in: including one british waiter who spunked in Maggie Thatchers food grin)

3rdseason
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Jan 23 2004 22:46
brizzul wrote:
"Fight Club" - a brown shirt film

"Rage Against the Machine" - marxist band

I dont agree with the politics of the rage members either. I wondered whether someone would pick me up on that! tongue Theres very little to criticise in their lyrics tho and the musics good in my opinion and they have encouraged a lot of people into investigating anti-authoritarian ideas. I think very few people who listen to them will investigate their indivdual politics. Most people just like the music and the lyrics. grin

Oh and Fight Club a fascist film/book?? Thats ridiculous. roll eyes

brizzul
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Jan 24 2004 06:03

[quote="3rdseason

Oh and Fight Club a fascist film/book?? Thats ridiculous. roll eyes

And the matrix, but only in my opinion. I said brown shirt because of it's prole, street fighter, grass roots authoritarian, sadomasochistic version of fascism.

Only my opinion, though

AlexA
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Jan 25 2004 14:32

but what about the bits I quoted from the book on page 3 of this thread, about calling the general strike and re-distributing the wealth of the world?

That cannot be any kind of fascism!

LiveFastDiarrea
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Jan 25 2004 17:38

grass roots authoritarian? the whole point was that the clubs were non-hierarchical thats how come he couldn't stop what was happening.

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Jan 25 2004 17:51

But project mayhem is as explicitley military Michigan millitia-stlye organisation. He can't stop it happening only because his deranged alter ego has set it up in that way.

IN Fight Club opposition to capitalism is presented as a series of macho, male only, psychotic acts of violence that bond the gang members together. In the Matrix opposition is presented as something that comes from a hoped for messiah figure.

Enjoy both those films, by all means, but don't pretend they're 'anarchist'. Rather I'd say they admit some portion of the same crisis of capitalism as we do -- but then the Nazis were also anti-capitalist in their earlier stages. I think Brizzul's characterisation of Fight Club as a 'Brown Shirt' film is right.

But hey, I don't mind enjoying a bit of cultural eco-fascism sometimes.

brizzul
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Jan 25 2004 21:42
alexa wrote:
but what about the bits I quoted from the book on page 3 of this thread, about calling the general strike and re-distributing the wealth of the world?

That cannot be any kind of fascism!

I was talking about the film. Mussolini was originally a syndicalist. Many working class fascists in this country are starting to talk of syndicalism. I don't know how they can mix these things up its crazy talk like Anarchist Pacifism.

nastyned
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Jan 25 2004 22:21

dunno about the book but i thought the film was shit. and any

anti-capitalism' let alone anarchism very superficial.

very odd view on violence too. take it from me it's better to give than to receive. Mr. T

AlexA
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Jan 26 2004 01:13
Lazlo_Woodbine wrote:
But project mayhem is as explicitley military Michigan millitia-stlye organisation. He can't stop it happening only because his deranged alter ego has set it up in that way.

Ah but that's the film - in the book he makes no attempts to stop it. In fact in the book the target ain't credit cards but the History museum - to make the point that the past is dead, it's up to the working class now to build its own future.

Quote:
IN Fight Club opposition to capitalism is presented as a series of macho, male only, psychotic acts of violence that bond the gang members together. In the Matrix opposition is presented as something that comes from a hoped for messiah figure.

Enjoy both those films, by all means

Ah well thanks laz wink

3rdseason
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Jan 26 2004 17:24

What do people think of "Natural Born Killers"??

It is definitely anti-authoritarian in that it is very critical of the police force, prison system, media and nuclear family. Im not sure whether it offers any solution to these problems other than a rampage of violence..

I suppose you could see the violence as symbolic of Micky and Mallorys struggle through life against people, traditions and institutions which try to trap them.

I think the scene in which the indian gets killed is pretty good as a metaphor for the way native american society was destroyed by the white settlers.

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JoeMaguire
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Jan 27 2004 10:59
brizzul wrote:
And the matrix, but only in my opinion. I said brown shirt because of it's prole, street fighter, grass roots authoritarian, sadomasochistic version of fascism.

Only my opinion, though

The film is based on a critique of alienation and the complete generation x handle, the main character just ultimately finds escape in asserting his masculinity, alongside others who suffer the same problem. I can understand why someone would say its fascist (although its not) but the fact that the film also covers a conflict with his other 'authoritarian' self, only allows the film to be politically obscured.

Doesnt the character in the end free himself from authority, without imposing it on others?

AlexA
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Jan 27 2004 12:04

Yeah i think in the book there isn't really a conflict between the two characters - just the "jack" character in the book feels rejected by tyler and wants to find out what's going on.

Also in the book there's more mention of democracy within the fight clubs - as those homework assignments are not set by tyler but largely by the members. Also by later on it turns out that "from now on, the only people at the centre of fight club, are the two men fighting", as any of tyler's former leadership dissolves. So I don't reckon it's that authoritarian either smile

Vaneigemappreci...
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Jan 27 2004 12:44

First ditch the whole idea of ideology!

The anarchist movement has always been somewhat styfled by its ideology, anti-hierachy, authority etc etc.

Its incredibly abstract, one-dimensional and ineffective.

Ideologies restrict argument and debate, it comes across as something to be bought into, adhered to or supported, any ideology also creates an idea of a follower or supporter, someone who just repeats the basic tenets of a movement.

Also any group who possesses an ideology or manifesto can be easily shot down by its critics just by attacking their ideology. ideology is the reification of ideas and as a result is unecessary and styfling.

Secondly there needs to be a real creativity within any movement, constant discussion of tactics and ideas. There needs to be a comprehensive understanding of how the system works, its historical foundations, its tactics of oppression and coercion, the way in which the system has recuperated radical gestures to the benefit of profit and making the gesture, action or idea radically void. For example, the system offers the consumer radical bands, brands, movies, books etc. the vast majority of these are simply an acknowldegment by the capitalist class that a 'radical' 'disobedient' market exists which it can profit and grow from. Plus by offering such ideas in the form of commodity it makes them utterly harmless, its saps any danger they contained and makes them commodities, passive and profitable. Why change the system when we can get all the anarchy we want in a new car!!!

Of course most self-proclaimed anarchists would recognise the contradiction, but it has to be expressed.

Direct action is the most pertinent and effective form of struggle, ad-busting or any other forms of detournment must be utilised in order to break the ideological strangle of the commidity and its beneficaries. The organisation of acts of sabotage, both in the work place and the cultural market act to impare and slow the system. Wildcat strikes hit employers hard because of their spontaneity, autonomy and unpredictability.

All these events require planning and organisation though, the awakening of radical consciousness, class consciousness, we are all subservient to capital and its goals. The task is perhaps to make people aware, but this shouldnt be the task of leninist teachers or other pedagogues. Through actions such as adbusting, grafiti, leafletting, open disobedience etc people become aware of the contradictions and poverties of the system. This requires creative action and new ideas. Actions which while they may through a spanner in the works also elucidate consciousness and understanding. A discussion along these lines is essential. We need to find and understand the systems weaknesses in order to exploit and utilise them.

The idea of working within the community is nice but what community are we talking about? In most areas the community is dead, full of isolated individuals who can find only a psuedo solice in their tv screen. This isolation and fragmentation of the community is a tool of capitalism, the old proverb divide and conquer still maintains some relevance.

Vaneigemappreci...
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Jan 27 2004 12:58

that should say 'throw' not 'through' a spanner in the works!

It is also necessary to advocate and preactive involvement and participation, the anarchist movement should be viewed by its participatory politics, otherwise we risk resembling the dead politics of the parliamentary system, as afore siad, the politics of followers and leaders.

There should be no separation of agenda setters and followers. Likewise there should be not division between theory and practice, the two should form a whole.

Finally any organising in terms of groups, meetings and actions shouldnt be discussed on the internet, particularly not if this entails discussing actual actions which may involve certain elements of illegality. Even groups such as the SWP and other trotskyite parties have infiltrated and monitored by the secret services! If any anarchist movement wants to be succesful in its actions it should do all it can to prevent against any such surveilance, firstly do not use phones and the internet to discuss actions!

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JoeMaguire
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Jan 27 2004 19:47

roll eyes not killing the thread there are u?

Vaneigemappreci...
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Jan 30 2004 13:05

didnt intend to!

Just pointing out the obvious

Anonymous
Jan 30 2004 14:00

what's ideology other than a consistent set of ideas?

I don't know why you're so keen to stop people thinking about ideology, and then advocate creativity in ideas and action.

also, if there is no such thing as an anarchist ideology - then how can you label a movement 'anarchist'?

I assume that you have your own understanding of what anarchism is and you think that everyone should share that understanding - hence there is no need for discussion of it. Unfortunately that has rather obvious authoritarian implications that a lot of people probably won't agree with you on. Whether you want discussion or not, I think you're going to get one.

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JoeMaguire
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Jan 30 2004 15:01

Ideology tends to imply dogma hence 'oh your just being ideological'. Every ideology as a way of refuting that it is a dogma/ideology but I seriously cant define anarchism as either doma or ideological (not in the sense I pointed out), simply because of the breadth in views our movement as to offer.

But if you practice is freedom, you will get alot of dissent....