Trigger Warning!
This world is a fucked-up, traumatizing, and hateful place. I live in this world, and so my words, experiences, and thoughts are birthed from within it. Further, it should come to no surprise that this blog will detail many of these fucked-up things in graphic detail. Fortunately, resilience is what I do, and I try my hardest to ferment inspiration from the darkest parts of my life. It's time to confront, it's time to resist, and of course... it's time to win.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

When did anarchy become so safe... and why is green becoming so damn mean?

After appearing in a few conversations of mine this week, I figured the following might be interesting enough to talk about.

Since when did anarchy become so safe? I have anarchist friends who teach in schools. They talk and actually get some of their students into anarchist thought. I by no means am trying to say this is a negative thing. This is good, very good, but it also seems that anarchy should always be a threat to both Capitalism and Nationalism.

Upon finding out I was comfortable calling myself an anarchist, it took a couple more years before I outwardly verbalized this. This is in part to do with that at the time anarchy was still stigmatized. It seems that even up till 2002-2003, that anarchy was still a threat, especially on mainstream media, especially those "self-proclaimed anarchists."

Just read anything from the press in the last two years. Anarchists have been practically laughed at with only one exception, our friends the Greeks. Even then, Greek Anarchy was practically squandered into a silly isolated student movement by the mainstream media.

A couple clarifications before I go any further
  • I do not think that the mainstream media should be used as a gauge alone on where we stand
  • In a sense, I do think we need to be "relevant" to the "masses." I do not however think that means that we should stop being a threat to those in power.
  • It seems there is much more momentum now than lets say Seattle '99. So then why is PETA more of a threat to national security than the IWW?
  • Using this "Obama" momentum that some radical Socialists and anarchists seemed to be stoked on seems foolish. Obamaites are just like Green-Technoites. Green Washing is not our ally neither is ObamaRama. We can find allies, recruits, or whatever utilitarian term you prefer in both of these areas, but we can do that by being honest in what we believe, in what we desire. I'm not going to be co opted and I'm sure as hell not going to co opt liberal wash.
  • When did crimethinc become one of the best anarchist publications out there? I mean I was never opposed to crimethinc, but it now seems they are a leading voice for what I desire.

It seems to me that anarchy can be embraced, but not because it's acceptable, but because it actively opposes all that is acceptable. That's how and why I was attracted to it. Maybe on this topic, I'm just being nostalgic.
_ _ _

One thing is for sure. Green is mean, and it depends on who is asked, just how mean it has become. So up until about 8 years ago, being an environmentalist was a joke, now it's the #1 United States Domestic Terrorist Threat. If you ask Rush Limbaugh or Michael Savage, even the loveable Eco-Stars like Leonardo DiCaprio and Al Gore are terrorists. But I'm not interested in asking them for anything but a good laugh, that is until it settles in that millions, many millions follow these two religiously. Regardless it's the thoughts of different people that frighten me more.

Teachers, Students and Administrators trying to get rid of recycling clubs and other bright green events on school grounds. Hunter's who have been raised to love and appreciate the landbase choosing the sides of progress and America instead of the land they loved. Indian Tribes worried about Salmon in the Columbia river and it's tributaries are allying with the Federal Agencies interested in killing the federally protected sea lions that have been eating those salmon that cant make it past the dams, instead of allying with the radical and progressive groups trying to stop the real problem, the dams.

Sure recycling isn't going to save the world, hunters sometimes can be racist, selfish assholes, and some native folk just like all cultural groups will make poor choices, but what the hell!

Before this gets to long let me make some clarification points
  • Any effective action or planned action to aid the environment in the past decade has been vehemently opposed by governments and their huge monopoly on repressive "law and order"
  • Even supporting groups or individuals who fight for the environment can now get you many years in federal prison thanks to the AETA laws recently passed.
  • I am going on the premise that what is threatening to those in power is what is effective. This goes past game theory, and can be defended historically and currently. When those in power feel threatened it is because they are, and we will not be effective as long as they are in power.
  • there is a huge overlap between anarchy and environmentalism and these groups and individuals are feeling the worst of the repression.
So I am not interested in offering any solutions, just to set up a dialogue within ourselves and our groups.
Can and should we make anarchy threatening again?
Can and should we use anarchy's current non-threatening stance as an opportunity to spread and grow?
How can we keep the repression on the environmental front from growing?
When or is it appropriate to trumpet both causes?
Why the increasing focus from the government away from anarchists and on to environmentalists?
What do we have to gain from this current standing point?
What do we have to lose?
And is it even important to do all this strategizing when there is so much work that needs to be done?
It seems like if we start answering these questions than we would have more insight than this blog could ever offer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is a difficult dilemma you've raised, and one I face on a daily basis.

Is it possible to remain a "functioning anarchist" within the framework of an oppressive social structure?

Should anarchists necessarily be confined to the margins of society, and civil discourse?

I think that probably it comes down to a person's comfort role, perhaps, but more importantly it depends on the role they can and should play in the social revolution.

I don't think any school teachers feel safe exposing their student-body to the politics of resistance. It is a very precarious line to walk between opening students minds and getting one's own pink slip.

The question is, I guess, is: How comfortable should resistance be? And is one's devotion to socio-political change gauged primarily by how marginalized they are from the dominant culture?

And following that: How effective are movements that remain marginalized?