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Examples of autonomous base nuclei/self-managed leagues?

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So I get that (some) insurrectionary anarchists don't necessarily reject all organisation beyond affinity groups, and support the formation of autonomous base nuclei. What examples are there of these existing in practice? I'm not having a go, I just find it more useful to look at what these ideas look like in terms of IRL activity, rather than just seeing them described as abstract concepts. The one example that always gets thrown around is the self-managed leagues against that nuclear base in Sicily, I'd like to know a) if there are many other examples, and b) is there a decent critical history of the Comiso self-managed leagues? Did they manage to stop the base being built? If not, why should we think these leagues are such a good idea? What were their successes and failures, how many people were involved, how far can we generalise from this case and how far was it a product of specific local factors that made it possible, that kind of thing.
More generally, most insurrectionary stuff I see seems to be about either isolated acts of clandestine sabotage, which I'm not that interested in, or stuff happening in Southern European countries/the Bay Area where the level of social struggle's already pretty high. Since I don't live in Greece or Italy, it'd be interesting to hear about what other people have done in times of relative social peace.
asked 2 years ago by anonymous
What seems more important than just this style of organization is the idea of anarchist projectuality and attempting to get involved in other struggles that mean something personal to the individuals getting involved, so as to have a real stake in what is occuring.  

The Occupy movement stuff seems to be attractive because of this.  Where homeless camps, squats and clubs have been forced out of areas would also be attractive to those that enjoy friendships with such people.  Poverty-related neighborhood groups or Free information hacker groups might also provide something like an "autonomous base nuclei" though probably not in the way suggested by what authors I've read on the subject.

Establishing popular activities that attract a large variety of people could provide a base of support, while creating activities to involve people already organized might prove to be easier.

I don't really see current insurrectionary anarchists taking the theory of the autonomous base nuclei to heart, prefer to go with the "commune" concepts provided by authors like Tiqqun afaik.  But anyways, I'd love to hear about how some things are autonomous base nuclei as described by whatever authors thought this term was worth putting out.
2 years ago by hpwombat (4,530 points)

1 Answer

+1 vote
An initial problem I see is that "autonomous base nuclei" is such a terribly odd sounding phrase that it is almost impossible to imagine it really in practice... But I'll try to demystify it.

a) Other examples that come to mind for me are the recent Occupations, and any oppositional campaign that is self-organized and not geared toward political solutions (i.e. it tends to use direct action, not limited to property damage). So, to throw some random things out there, maybe Idle No More, or resistance to the US-Mexico border, or various forest defense encampments, or resistance to coal mining in West Viriginia, and probably a few dozen more.

A necessary caveat: Many or most of these struggles have seen and will see partial or total recuperation into the channels of negotiation, representation, politics. So, by the standards of I@ theory, the autonomous base nuclei have not ever entirely been--or were but have not remained--autonomous. But the point of recognizing this isn't to demand purity, instead it would be to realize a "tension in practice."

I@ wants to stress that people involved in so-called intermediate struggles can often organize autonomously from unions and political parties, can resist representation, can refuse compromise or negotiation with power, and can directly attack the structures of power/capital, even without being anarchists. And that anarchists can act within and outside these bodies. (We don't have to stick to our own anarchist groups and hostile opposition groups like trade unions.) And that when we engage we want to further these groups' autonomy, self-organization, and refusal of compromise (e.g. agitating to the local Occupy that politicians not be permitted to speak at our assemblies, that we not seek political solutions to our grievances, etc, etc).

b) I don't know anything about that history specifically, but history as a whole would definitely indicate that all such experiments have failed, that recuperation into politics always happens. For some, this leads to an indictment of recuperation specifically as if it could be separated from the rest. For some, it leads to an indictment organization as such. For some, an indictment of history or progress. For some, it leads to giving up on everything, even experimentation.

c) I do think I@ is essentially reliant on a lack of social peace, or at least on the belief that social peace is a lie or facade laid over a reality of deep social tensions and points to apply interventionary force. I have observed insurrectionary morale--but also anarchist morale generally--rise and fall with the waves of general upheaval and general submission, and no surprise there. With that said, I think times--and places!--of decompression are good opportunities to decompress, to take space to relax, reflect, rethink, clear spaces, act in secret (and I don't mean that as code for sabotage), and be open for whatever happens next.
answered 1 year ago by anok (20,210 points)

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