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Someday We'll Be Ready, and We'll Be Enough

category north america / mexico | anarchist movement | other libertarian press author Friday October 24, 2014 09:27author by Jeremy Louzao Report this post to the editors

Building Anti-Authoritarian Movements With the Size and Resilience to Win

In this piece, I propose a different way that we might approach radical, revolutionary, transformative politics. I propose experimentation with new and unique political spaces—both conceptual and physical—which hold closely to a belief that another world is possible; which use that hope to build for the long-haul and on a large scale; and yet which, at the same time, hold us, nurture us, and ignite us as real people as we struggle daily, yearly, multi-generationally to get where we need to go. I propose that these spaces must go beyond the traditional organizational styles and formats that we've become used to—be they campaign organizations and coalitions, non-profits, collectives, spontaneous mobilizations, cadre groups, or revolutionary parties. Instead, I propose rethinking many of the assumed conventions and truisms of Left movements, and reaching out even more widely into society and history—even into enemy territory—for lessons and inspiration.

From Food Not Bombs to the Direct Action Network, From Take Back the Land to Occupy Wall Street, anti-authoritarian—even explicitly anarchist—forms of social struggle have shown a powerful ability to capture the popular imagination. Unfortunately, maddeningly, our movements have been consistently unable to leverage most people's initial attraction and intrigue into life-long commitment to anti-authoritarian revolutionary work. In the last 20 years alone, hundreds of thousands have probably had positive flirtations with anti-authoritarian politics. Where are they all now? I believe that anarchism's cultural insularity and organizational narrowness squander our ability to galvanize and crystallize popular power.

I believe that some of our most dedicated, strategically oriented organizers see this disturbing dynamic, but many are learning the wrong lessons from it. Instead of seeking to open up our politics—making it easier to play with, chew on, and ultimately commit to in all of its edginess and expansiveness—they close up and practice a selective timidity. Many subdue their anti-authoritarianism into quiet, sturdy participation in non-revolutionary groups—as if silent role modeling alone will radicalize people through osmosis. Increasingly, others are embracing cadre-type formations, where they end up rationing out pieces of their politics for specific mass audiences, while the good stuff—the rich worldview that makes people dig in for the long haul—remains gated behind gauntlets of study groups and often intense membership requirements. As innocuous as these trends seem, I worry that they hurt our long-range prospects.

All problems and contradictions aside, right now there are still thousands of anti-authoritarians—including me—who thirst for revolutionary organizations that can hold us as whole people, that can provide us a political home regardless of our work schedules, our family obligations, our ages, our cool factor, or our interest in this or that specific issue or campaign. We are eagerly awaiting new models that have us in mind.

In a recent piece I've written, “Someday We'll Be Ready, and We'll Be Enough: Building Anti-Authoritarian Movements With the Size and Resilience to Win,” (www.mutualinspiration.org) I try to propose some unique approaches to revolutionary movement building—approaches that emphasize revolutionary imagination, mass-scale, creative militance, and mutual inspiration. It argues for creating explicitly revolutionary spaces that:

-Publicly, imaginatively put forward a revolutionary vision, and work towards it
-Are capable of supporting memberships of hundreds, or even thousands within an area, across multiple issues and all identities
-Are recruitment friendly, warm, and accessible to non-activist people
-Are capable of providing a democratic and nourishing political home to both hardcore activists and busy, tired working people—without making the hardcore people feel held back or “dumbed down,” or making the busy people feel tied to the vanguardism of a well-studied elite
-Support approaches to movement building that see organizers as whole people with the need for balanced and healthy lives, and which give us tools to care for and mutually inspire each other
-Are simultaneously building grassroots infrastructure to boost our capacity for disruptive action, for personal growth and political education, and for developing constructive counter-power
-Are strategically spry and allow for the transience of populations and the quick shifting of social, political, and economic realities

I warmly and humbly encourage all anti-authoritarians to take a look and contribute your feedback to these ideas. Read the piece at www.mutualinspiration.org .

-Jeremy Louzao

Related Link: http://www.mutualinspiration.org
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Employees at the Zarfati Garage in Mishur Adumim vote to strike on July 22, 2014. (Photo courtesy of Ma’an workers union)

North America / Mexico | Anarchist movement | en

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textPress Advisory- N.Y. City Anarchist Bookfair Apr 16, 2016 05:42 Mon 04 Jan by Edward Saroyan 1 comments

NYC ANARCHIST BOOKFAIR - 10th anniversary
What: 2016 Annual NYC Anarchist BookFair
Where: Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South, in Manhattan
When: Book Fair—Sat., April 16, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Art Festival—Fri., April 15, 7 p.m. - 5 a.m.
Film Festival—Sat., April 16, 7 p.m. - 1 a.m.

pso.jpg imagePrairie Struggle is Dead and the Struggle Continues 13:47 Wed 03 Jun by Prairie Struggle Organization 1 comments

As much as this pains those who have participated in the anarchist communist experience between 2011 and 2014 in the Canadian prairies, today, Prairie Struggle announces its official secession and subsequent disbandment. To this day, Prairie Struggle was the only specific platformist organization in the Canadians prairies. Though some may recall the existence of an anarchist communist group in Regina affiliated to the ACF (Anarchist Communist Federation of North America) in the 80s, organized anarchism in the prairies has had many difficulties, some of which the Prairie Struggle Project has failed to overcome. Despite its downfall, Prairie Struggle, for one last time, offers a look into the organization, its failures and its small victories.

textCommuniqué of the Mexican Anarchist Black Cross following the declarations of the FD Govt. 23:15 Tue 18 Dec by Mexico ABC 0 comments

In recent days, following the events of the demonstrations on December 1st for the presidential inauguration of Enrique Peña Nieto, during which the police forces, both of the Federal [national] and Federal District [Mexico City] forces, brutally repressed demonstrators - officials of the Federal District government, amongst whom were the head of government of the FD and the capital's attorney, have made statements declaring that those responsible for the clashes are anarchist groups.[Castellano] [Français] [Deutsch]

textNew Atlanta Anarchist Blog 12:04 Tue 13 Nov by sweezox 0 comments

Announcing the Heat Index blog at www.heatindexatl.info

textWorkers Solidarity Alliance Holds 2012 Continental Conference 23:42 Wed 22 Aug by sabotage 0 comments

A post-conference report from the Workers Solidarity Alliance's 2012 Gathering in St. Louis MO

pso.jpg imageThe creation of Prairie Struggle Organization, its politics and its goals 16:00 Tue 05 Jun by Prairie Struggle Organization 0 comments

In the last 5 months, some anarchists from Regina have been engaged in the difficult process of creating a revolutionary anarchist organization and debating its political influences. As a result of these meetings and debates, we are proud to finally announce the existence of Prairie Struggle Organization based in Regina. To hopefully start a dialogue with anarchists in the west of Canada and beyond, we feel it important to let you know why anarchist politics in Regina are taking this direction.

textM1 Mayday Statement 21:54 Mon 30 Apr by Chris Alexander 0 comments

Since May 1, 2006 we have seen a slow opening up of mass struggles on a scale not seen in recent memory, amplified by the silent economic crash in 2008. From the massive day without an immigrant to the historic Arab Spring; the Wisconsin workers uprising to the prisoners strikes in Georgia and California; Occupy Wall Street to the rallies for Justice for Trayvon Martin; General strikes of students in Chile and Quebec and of workers in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. People committed to real change cannot help but feel the wind in our sails. People are rising and refusing, struggles are igniting, common ground is revealing itself, we are beginning to feel and take back our power, everywhere.

Despite the rise of new fighting forces, pain is growing not decreasing. Symbolic changes at the peak of empire—codename Obama—have only served to further entrench the direction of decline, with Democrats bringing the stick when the Republicans aren’t there to make their bad cop look good. Deportations have increased, prisons are overflowing, the local face of a global war given new legitimacy, while organized racist violence dares to seize an ever greater public stage. Cutbacks and the destruction of public safety nets pay for corporate welfare and bankers’ bailouts. Ecological destruction continues apace: tar sands mining, fracking, nuclear power, and the daily grind of a system that cannot long coexist with dignified human life on earth.

textlast call for NYC Anarchist Book Fair workshop Proposals 13:58 Thu 15 Mar by NYC Anarchist Book Fair Collective 0 comments

The 6th Annual NYC Anarchist Book Fair will be held on Saturday April 14th, 2012 @ Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South, New York City with workshops continuing through April 15th

Cover of Northeastern Anarchist #15 imageNortheastern Anarchist #15 available now! 23:54 Thu 05 May by Flint 0 comments

This issue is on Ecology, Industry, Crisis and Alternatives: bell hooks on Intersectionalism, Transit Organizing in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and New York City; Indoor Fish Farms, Solar Power, Green Building, "The Vegetarian Myth", Ecological & Economic Crisis, and more...

1mayoe.jpg imageMayday Greetings from the First of May Anarchist Alliance 23:11 Mon 02 May by C. Alexander 0 comments

Mayday is not only a time to remember the sacrifices of so many before us who fought against all authority – capitalism and the state, patriarchy and white supremacy, empire and ecocide – but also a time to reflect on and celebrate the achievements of our movements today. In recent months the world has again been changed by the actions of masses of ordinary people.

more >>

textNo One is Coming to Save Us Nov 12 by M1AA 1 comments

Across the US, from cities to rural areas, it is imperative that anarchists and anti-authoritarians strive to build organizations to battle the emboldened far right, to advocate through militant action the needs of working-class communities, and to combat state repression.

What Needs to Be Done:
1. No to National “healing”, working with, or a grace period for the Trump Regime
2. Take to the streets – build a militant resistance
3. Build working-class defense organizations that resist racist attacks, sexual assault, immigration and homeland security raids and deportations, police brutality and state repression
4. Agitate and organize for workers actions – including a general strike against Trump
5. No to containment of the struggle back into the Democratic Party, electoralism and the Non-Profit Industrial Complex

imageSocial Struggle in the Coming Period Oct 29 by First of May Anarchist Alliance 0 comments

The following points represent a brief statement of priorities, an outline of some of the perspectives our organization has decided on to help guide our thinking and actions in the coming period. We do not want to overstate where our organization is at in our analysis and organizing, nor are these points a substitute for the hard discussions our organization still must have. These points developed out of reviews and discussions of the nature of the current period, the continuing wave of social protest domestically and abroad, and how we as a small and specific group of anarchist revolutionaries can participate in and help build those movements for dignity, justice and freedom.
by First of May Anarchist Alliance, Autumn 2015

imageAnarchism and the Philosophy of Pragmatism May 06 by Wayne Price 1 comments

Anarchism and the philosophy of pragmatism can add to each other. Pragmatism is explained as a philosophy of active experience and experimental naturalism. Pragmatism advocates radical, decentrlized democracy and industrial self-management, which is very close to anarchism. However pragmatists have often opposed reformist perspectives to revolution. The case for revolution is presented.

imageShould Anarchists Raise a Program of Demands? Jan 21 by Wayne Price 4 comments

This essay is slightly expanded from one which was rejected by a US anarchist magazine for political reasons. It deals with a disagreement among activists: Should we propose that the movement raise a program of demands? I think that anarchists should, but with a more libertarian-democratic version than the liberals and state socialists. The essay is followed by a response to the political points raised by the editors of the anarchist journal.

textFighting for the Future Apr 17 by Adam Weaver and SN Nappalos 0 comments

This essay is an argument for moving towards national organization in the United States. It explores the limitations of political organization today, recent positive experiences, and possible ways to build on the present to push forward.

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textPress Advisory- N.Y. City Anarchist Bookfair Apr 16, 2016 Jan 04 NYC Anarchist Bookfair Collective 1 comments

NYC ANARCHIST BOOKFAIR - 10th anniversary
What: 2016 Annual NYC Anarchist BookFair
Where: Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South, in Manhattan
When: Book Fair—Sat., April 16, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Art Festival—Fri., April 15, 7 p.m. - 5 a.m.
Film Festival—Sat., April 16, 7 p.m. - 1 a.m.

imagePrairie Struggle is Dead and the Struggle Continues Jun 03 Regina Collective 1 comments

As much as this pains those who have participated in the anarchist communist experience between 2011 and 2014 in the Canadian prairies, today, Prairie Struggle announces its official secession and subsequent disbandment. To this day, Prairie Struggle was the only specific platformist organization in the Canadians prairies. Though some may recall the existence of an anarchist communist group in Regina affiliated to the ACF (Anarchist Communist Federation of North America) in the 80s, organized anarchism in the prairies has had many difficulties, some of which the Prairie Struggle Project has failed to overcome. Despite its downfall, Prairie Struggle, for one last time, offers a look into the organization, its failures and its small victories.

textNew Atlanta Anarchist Blog Nov 13 Heat Index 0 comments

Announcing the Heat Index blog at www.heatindexatl.info

textWorkers Solidarity Alliance Holds 2012 Continental Conference Aug 22 Workers Solidarity Alliance 0 comments

A post-conference report from the Workers Solidarity Alliance's 2012 Gathering in St. Louis MO

textM1 Mayday Statement Apr 30 First of May Anarchist Alliance 0 comments

Since May 1, 2006 we have seen a slow opening up of mass struggles on a scale not seen in recent memory, amplified by the silent economic crash in 2008. From the massive day without an immigrant to the historic Arab Spring; the Wisconsin workers uprising to the prisoners strikes in Georgia and California; Occupy Wall Street to the rallies for Justice for Trayvon Martin; General strikes of students in Chile and Quebec and of workers in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. People committed to real change cannot help but feel the wind in our sails. People are rising and refusing, struggles are igniting, common ground is revealing itself, we are beginning to feel and take back our power, everywhere.

Despite the rise of new fighting forces, pain is growing not decreasing. Symbolic changes at the peak of empire—codename Obama—have only served to further entrench the direction of decline, with Democrats bringing the stick when the Republicans aren’t there to make their bad cop look good. Deportations have increased, prisons are overflowing, the local face of a global war given new legitimacy, while organized racist violence dares to seize an ever greater public stage. Cutbacks and the destruction of public safety nets pay for corporate welfare and bankers’ bailouts. Ecological destruction continues apace: tar sands mining, fracking, nuclear power, and the daily grind of a system that cannot long coexist with dignified human life on earth.

more >>
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