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+1 vote
I wonder if insurrectionary anarchism is a personal preference or a strategic one in terms of anarchism. The reason being this kind of anarchism is more fun and it doesn't wait on an overall strategy just hopes to generalize revolt. Is there any evidence historical or otherwise that suggests this method produces insurrections of a libertarian nature more often than any other more community organizing focused strain of anarchism?

Also theory. Is the reason not to like formal organization a matter of personal preference or strategy? If strategy how does a revolutionary movement win without organization and a general strategy? is Revolution secondary or irrelevant to Insurrection strands?
by (170 points)

2 Answers

0 votes
The Revolution usually invoked by (professional) revolutionaries is not relevant to insurrectionary folks (anarchist or not). Generalizing revolt is not the same as aiming for a revolution.

Also, I'm not really sure there's an identifiable tendency in anarchism that can be called "insurrectionary"; seems more like a preference around organizing and tactics.
by (550 points)
+3 votes
From my understanding, insurrectionist anarchism sometimes/often advocates not "hoping to generalize revolt" but rather acts to popularize and articulate anarchist tactics and analyses (through constant action/attack) so that, when a moment of rupture or revolt actually happens, people will be in a better position to potentially apply those tactics and analyses for themselves.

The difference between this and "revolutionary" anarchism would be that revolutionary anarchism imagines a deliberate strategic organizing toward a point in time when conditions are right for revolution (or, at least, toward a steady and ongoing process of revolution that builds up to an ultimate destruction of capitalism and the state), whereas insurrectionists don't imagine anarchists as being the instigators of a mass revolt but rather as people who can spread the tools and knowledge and relationships necessary to generalize revolt when it happens.

As for personal preference versus strategy, I think there are elements of both. I've seen people who are willing to participate in formal organizations wind up quitting out of frustration because the meetings never led to action, or people with conflicting ideas drove the group to a standstill, or there were too many complicated organizational components to focus on before anything else. And there are obviously sound reasons why working with people based on personal affinity can be more effective and enjoyable for people.

Also on the subject of "general strategy", I don't think such a thing necessarily exists even outside of insurrectionist strains of anarchism. The Platform is the only example I can think of offhand.

I can't say either way about a historical precedent for insurrectionary tactics versus revolutionary organizing but as far as I know, neither have ever "won" as of writing this.

(If somebody feels that I'm slightly or completely wrong on this answer/interpretation, or leaving out an important facet or nuance, please correct me, cuz I feel like I'm still in the process of articulating my thoughts on this.)
by (8.7k points)