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How would anarchists critique anarchist intervention/ism?

+3 votes
is interventionism inevitably political by nature?

edited for tags
asked 1 year ago by jingles (2,500 points) edited 3 months ago by dot
Can you (or anyone else who understands better than I do) define what you mean by "interventionism" specifically?
1 year ago by Rice Boy (11,090 points)
i would define interventionism as basically seeking to implant some uprising/revolt/rupture with anarchist ideology, an attempt to make a more generalized situation or instance "anarchist" rather than just being anarchists participating in something.  It could also be taking some existing political struggle whether activist, leftist, etc. and attempting to make it "anarchist"
1 year ago by jingles (2,500 points)
Cool. I don't have any really articulate thoughts or resources on this, but I'm interested to see somebody else contribute a response.
1 year ago by Rice Boy (11,090 points)

1 Answer

+2 votes
Based on your definition of interventionism, and assuming that by political you mean, seeking to gain political or popular power and influence, or to manipulate such to meet your ends, I'd say: Yes, it most definitely is.

I was hesitant to answer this at first because I think the distinction between "being anarchists participating in something" and making "a more generalized... situation anarchist" is critical. We can particapate in more generalized events, and we can do so as anarchists, either on the terms of others, or on our own terms, and that does not mean that we are proscribing anarchism to all involved.

However, when I first started to find others who identified as anarchists, they tended to enthusiastically label anything that was generally in line with their (our?) opposition to US hegemony and/or capitalism and/or other *bad* stuff "anarchist." "Anti-authoritarian" paper that claims to identify as anarchist, but which endorses candidates for public office while distancing itself from any illegal actions? Anarchist. The dinner party you had last night where everyone brought over a dish and someone else washed up? Anarchist. Civil disobedience that we call "direct action?" Anarchist. Zapatistas? Anarchist. Chavez? Anarchist. Ad nauseum.

Happily, we don't have to do that, and for the most part anarchists I know personally have moved beyond that. Instead, anarchists can (and do) choose to participate in movements, but put forward their own critique and analysis in the space provided (or that they take), regardless of what the generalized situation is.

An example of this might be anarchists choosing to partipate in Occupy actions, but bringing their own goals and plans to the table. Another might be anarchists choosing to participate in October 22nd Coalition events but presenting a critique beyond "against police brutality and the criminalization of a generation" to being more generally anti-cop, anti-prison, and anti-state (and connecting the dots as to why following Maoist front groups is the exact opposite of all that).

What is important, and what I personally struggle with around this sort of question, is not letting the fear of being political (ie manipulative, manichean) prevent me from acting when and where I see opportunities to do so. Not to project anarchism onto things that are not, but because as an anarchist it is where I feel compelled to act.
answered 1 year ago by ingrate (13,750 points)

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