photo by SG

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

On Organization

Organizing is the most efficient way of creating a world. Simply waiting for a moment of insurrection is insufficient strategically.

Creating highly organized programs and campaigns empowers people, it does not take away their power. Organized does not mean the same as proscribed. It means a plan of action, accountable to the participants (subjects) and the society on which it acts (objects).

Anarchists need to stop fearing organization. The only way to end capitalism is to confront it with a front of heterogenous elements which can work together in this task. Anarchy, as noted so long ago, is order.

I do not believe that anarchism is a project that a small number of people can carry out. A small number of people can carry out anarchism in a small place, in a small time. These fights are beautiful and I respect them utterly. But Rome wasn't built in a day and it won't be torn by an affinity group.

We simply cannot turn anarchism into a "small-a" idea, where our tactics pervade other groups (consensus, for example) but we lack our own organizations. Likewise, we cannot abandon the masses, as some of our contemporaries would suggest that we do. The working class, in its most complex understanding, a multifaceted group of people that includes people at the point of production, excluded from production, and those who reproduce the ability to produce, are still the most revolutionary class of people in the spectacular economy.

I write these things because they seem so logical and obvious that they need not be said. Yet anarchists still think that we can turn inwards to our own comrades, remove organizing others as a priority, and engage in political work without organization. These suggestions may be pleasing on a theoretical level, but they are pragmatically unimplementable. We may practice them, but we do so at the risk of accomplishing our goals. While I remain cognizant of the exhortation that one cannot fight alienation with alienated means, I recognize that there are unalienated means of organization. If not, then what is the point of organizing to change society in the first place?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

From the mouths of babes (or rather, LibCom)

"I mean, look at CrimethInc. They're essentially a bunch of badly dressed drop-outs with shit politics, but have a very high profile because they print sexy looking books and use loads of romantic sub-situationist beatnik imagery. Class struggle politics aren't as "boring as fuck" but a lot of class struggle media and publicity is. "

-John Stevens, Collective

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

On (not) being watched

Surveillance is the assumption of our times. Every day, more and more things are viewed by state or corporate actors. We have lost all choice in the matter. I feel doubly effected by this. I know that the State has tapped my phone lines simply on account of who my roommates were at the time.

The initial fear of surveillance slowly gives way to gradual acceptance. These legitimizes the fear that the State wishes to instill by normalizing it. It is the sick logic of capital that we accept by accepting our pursuers. Activists should not simply roll over and allow surveillance to occur. Rather than assuming that the State knows everything about us, we should challenge its control over the content of our lives.

Behave in unorthodox or unexpected ways while engaging in non-illegal activity. Not in order to draw suspicion, but in order to throw off the scent of the authorities. If you do something which cannot be explained, you waste FBI time in trying to explain it. By littering your files with evidence which doesn't connect, you illustrate, if only to the Empire itself, that capitalism is not all controlling, that it has unexplainable gaps.

This also presents a challenge to the dictatorship of the so-called "everyday life". Acting outside of the few proscribed leisure activities that we have expands the horizons of anti-capitalist culture. To be able to honestly challenge the Empire, we must be able to hold up examples of how our society will be better. Finding fun outside of capital's boundaries is an important and difficult task.

This is one tiny facet of the total resistance that makes up anti-capitalist struggle. It is both internal and external. It is internal insofar as it refuses to accept the status quo and external insofar as it constitutes another tiny drain on the State's resources. If we are to be consistent in our refutation of bourgeois society, than a good place to start refuting it is the mechanization and boredom of acting as you are expected.