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Why do American anarchists tend toward fads more than anarchists in other countries?

–2 votes
Why such a lack of continuity? Is it just a form of masked disillusionment?
asked Jan 5, 2011 by dafg (160 points)
I'm assuming you've been to these countries, experienced the anarchist milieus, and can confirm the assumption in this question with actual references.

Otherwise this is just you caricaturing things, places, and people you've yet to have a relation with defined by more than just images, anecdotes, and rhetoric.
This can not be answered, because the initial premise is false.

edited: made this a comment.
Is anarchy just about staying on the cutting edge of fashionable radicalism?

1 Answer

+3 votes
This is a very complex question and i feel it can not be answered very simply. There are many things that have lead to this and the way anarchists see themselves or even what they desire for themselves.

This is due to a big lack in the way people that consider themselves anarchists tend to not have very much experience in the practical aspects of anarchist theory. By practical i mean the way one as an individual or a group would act in the very real sense. That they tend to not put themselves in situations that confront domination and exploitation. Setting up social spaces, organizing demos, engaging on a more community/neighborhood/town/city (whatever one would call it) level. By this I do not mean going to the governor or person that is in some position of power in the state and asking them not to enact this law or sign some petition for better rights, but more so talking to people about the situations that are going on in the specific place you live. For example the police shoot some one in the city you live, so people hold a demo with a banner, in all black and having leaflets to give out to people on the street. Explaining to them very clearly about why people are out on the streets and that they are anarchists. Instead of spouting off rhetoric. Anarchist I feel could benefit from projecting outward from themselves into the place they live. The act of being an anarchist, rather than just prescribing to a specific ideology and feeling complacent in just that.

To speak more of the present fads and the divides between what exists now, particularly those that consider themselves Insurrectionary, Platformist, Syndicalist, Anti-Civ., Tiqqunista (refering more to the followers of the Tiqqun pieces and Invisible Committee piece the Coming Insurrection), Nihilist Communists (Monsieur Dupont followers), Anti-State Communists or whatever. That these people who jump from fad to fad may have not stuck with something long enough to actually put forth these ideas in practice, or praxis. This is not saying all of the people that act in this way have done this or think this.
Part of this is an inexperience, since so many anarchists are so young and probably confused. By what to do and how to do it they have a tendency to jump from one thing to the next. Its like one thing doesn't work so they change their clothes their attitude and every other thing about themselves and do something else.

At some points i would not even call some of these ideologies (because some of these ideas can be consider an ideology) anarchism necessarily. Specifically Tiqqun, Nihilist Communism, Anti-State Communism. This is not to say anarchist should isolate themselves from people who think in this way. Because if anarchism is isolated from society or other aspects of the world that we exist in daily, Capital. Then we will just put anarchy in a ghetto. Which again is not to say the practice of anarchism needs to be a) toned down or b) other people are not acting anarchisticly. Because some people in society are going to need to be hurt and certain (if not all) institution will be destroyed. I make the distinction of anarchists from people acting anarchisticly, the same way someone is self-described as an anarchist.
What it all comes down to is that if one considers themselves an anarchist they could think more critically about ones interests or intentions for doing something. Really thinking about what they want for themselves and starting from there. Even basic questions like, do I want society? How does work effect my life and others? What is capitalism? Etc. Again this is where the idea of actually thinking about what you want, for oneself. How you want it and how to get it. Obviously there is no "one solution", it all requires experimentation.
answered Jan 8, 2011 by bruno-larrea (510 points)
edited Jan 8, 2011 by bruno-larrea
I've never actually never met another American anarchist. So I think what you're seeing is accurate, and I believe it's because Americans naturally tend toward anarchy but practice socialist nationalism. So the "real" anarchists are basically closet intellectuals, and intellectuals track trends because it keeps them engaged.  lol
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