The death of Harald Beyer-Arnesen
It is with great sadness that we learnt of the death last week of Harald Beyer-Arnesen.
News of his death was circulated by Jonas Bals, who sent the following report.
“Last night we were told that Harald has passed away, probably due to a heart condition. Needless to say, we are all saddened by this sudden loss of a good friend and comrade. For many years now, Harald has contributed in significant ways to a variety of anarchist activities in Oslo, and been a torn in the eye of quite a few bosses. Largely due to blacklisting in the health sector where Harald worked the last years as a waged wage slave, he had some time left over for discussions and debates, in cyberspace and elsewhere. Most of you will probably only know him from this forum, where he surely has had his rows – just like we had ours with him in flesh and blood. Most of those discussions would have been drabber, duller and less educative had he not taken part. From now on we will have to do without him. He will be missed.”
Harold described himself as an 'anarco-syndicalist and anarchist communist ...inspired by social revolutionaries from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and India, and the reading of too many books during the last decades about the past and contemporary history of this troubled part of the world.”
He edited the Norwegian journal Lonnslaven which means wage slave. Here you can find an interview with him published by the Anarcho Syndicalist Review, in which he speaks of labour struggles, syndicalism and anarchism [http://www.syndicalist.org/archives/llr14-24/14e.shtml]
In Capitalist Terror and Madness; George bin Laden & Osama son of Bush incorporated
“A last word about terror. In a play of words: Out of the ruins of anarchy, anarchy cannot arise, only the rule of the Market and the State in their most brutalised, authoritarian manifestations. In its proper sense, anarchy of course does not signify disorder and the struggle of each against all, however common such a belief may be, but the overcoming of the Rule of the Siamese Twins of Market and State through the human creation of a global classless society, where people in cooperation rule over their own lives and destinies, and the freedom of all becomes the condition of the freedom of each, as the freedom of each is the condition for the freedom of all.”
His article 'Direct Action: Towards the understanding of an concept' [www.zabalaza.net/pdfs/varpams/direct_action_hba.pdf ] is a valuable contribution to the debate on what strategies and tactics we should use in our quest for an anarchist society.
Many in the anarchist movement knew him only through the Internet, and in the noisy cacophony of Internet chatter, his mails were always the ones that you stopped to read. They were notable for their courtesy, clarity and depth of thought. I only met Harold once in the 'real world' (and it is always interesting putting a face to an Internet persona) when he stayed with us while visiting Ireland. I remember his superbly dry sense of humour and that after visiting a local bookshop, he left with a stack of books on the war in Yugoslavia. I joked that it was pretty serious summer reading but they no doubt explained the breadth of knowledge which was obvious from his email contributions.
Below are some of the comments of those who knew him, in person or through the Internet debates he contributed to.
I too am extremely sorry to hear of Harald's death. His contributions were always among the brightest lights of the aut-op-sy list. I have been missing him since he withdrew from the list a few months ago.
Harald was a long-time, prolific, and thoughtful contributor to these discussions.
Lars Akerhaug, Oslo:
Harald Beyer-Arnesen was one of the prominent members of the now defunct, or at least invisible, "Folkemakt" (people's power) that still is mentioned in Nico's Norway page. I think the group grew out of the late 80s politicizing of the Norwegian squatters' (danish
comrades will know the term bz'ere) movement. At that time the movement shifted into a sharp antifascist platform, with mobilizing against neo-nazis, apartheid and police brutality.
Some of those aligned with Folkemakt was and are still among the sharpest intellectuals of this movement, and at the same time street militants. Although I mostly saw Beyer-Arntsen as a theorist more than activist, I know that for many of these young activists he was very
Maybe needless to say, I have many disagreements towards the tendency that Beyer-Arntsen represented. However, I believe the descriptions given above gives him justice.
I was saddened to hear the news of Harald's passing. I knew him only via email, but I found him to be always a comradely discussant, willing to both be patient with confused conversation partners and to be honest with those he felt to be wrong-headed. Harald had intelligent, well-informed ideas grounded in concrete realities and I know I am not alone in saying that I benefited greatly from our
conversations, intellectually and politically, as well as having a strong sense of comraderie. I particularly appreciated his views on workplace activity, which impacted my own (anarcho)syndicalism. Harald will be missed.
I only knew Harald in cyber space . . . he made me really think - hopefully his contributions to this list will be in the archive. ... - we might do well to revisit some of Harald's contributions if only for his unfailing courtesy and obvious honesty.
I will definitely miss him.
I remember Harald with great fondness; he was a person who had obvious integrity and intellectual depth. I'm very sorry to hear this.