A seemingly intriguing note posted on self-described pro-freedom activist Diana Culda has been making the rounds in many pro-Liberty circles on the social networking site Facebook. The note, which copied an entire page of an "anarcho-communist" (quite an oxymoron if one thinks about it!) creed on a communistic website entitled Anarkismo that is clearly and diametrically opposed to the concept of a freed market and anti-capitalism as well. (HT: both Brad Spangler for pointing that link to Gary Chartier's piece at the Center for a Stateless Society on Sheldon Richman's blog recently and Gary for penning it.)
Here's the post in its entirety from Facebook for LLR readers and visitors to see:
Anarfuckismo & Co.
by Diana Culda
This is only one among the multitude of sites I found, who are having about the same agenda. I have no comments, that is no civil comments. So enjoy the reading.
Who we are and why we do it
Anarkismo.net is the product of international co-operation between anarchist groups and individuals who agree with our editorial statement (see below). It is intended to further communciation, discussion and debate within the global anarchist movement. Our intention is to build this site into a resource that is truly global and multilingual. We intend to work closely with the anarchist movement that exist. All of the editors are either members of anarchist organisations or part of collectives that are seeking to form organisations.
We identify ourselves as anarchists and with the "platformist", anarchist-communist or especifista tradition of anarchism. We broadly identify with the theoretical base of this tradition and the organisational practice it argues for, but not necessarily everything else it has done or said, so it is a starting point for our politics and not an end point.
The core ideas of this tradition that we identify with are the need for anarchist political organisations that seek to develop:
- Theoretical Unity
- Tactical Unity
- Collective Action and Discipline
Anarchism will be created by the class struggle between the vast majority of society (the working class) and the tiny minority that currently rule. A successful revolution will require that anarchist ideas become the leading ideas within the working class. This will not happen spontaneously. Our role is to make anarchist ideas the leading ideas or, as it is sometimes expressed, to become a "leadership of ideas".
A major focus of our activity is our work within the economic organizations of the working class (labour organizations, trade unions, syndicates) where this is a possibility. We therefore reject views that dismiss activity in the unions because as members of the working class it is only natural that we should also be members of these mass organizations. Within them we fight for the democratic structures typical of anarcho-syndicalist unions like the 1930's CNT. However, the unions no matter how revolutionary cannot replace the need for anarchist political organisation(s).
We also see it as vital to work in struggles that happen outside the unions and the workplace. These include struggles against particular oppressions, imperialism and indeed the struggles of the working class for a decent place and environment in which to live. Our general approach to these, like our approach to the unions, is to involve ourselves with mass movements and within these movements, in order to promote anarchist methods of organisation involving direct democracy and direct action.
We actively oppose all manifestations of prejudice within the workers' movement and society in general and we work alongside those struggling against racism, sexism, [religious] sectarianism and homophobia as a priority. We see the success of a revolution and the successful elimination of these oppressions after the revolution being determined by the building of such struggles in the pre-revolutionary period. The methods of struggle that we promote are a preparation for the running of society along anarchist and communist lines after the revolution.
We oppose imperialism but put forward anarchism as an alternative goal to nationalism. We defend grassroots anti-imperialist movements while arguing for an anarchist rather than nationalist strategy.
We recognise a need for anarchist organisations who agree with these principles to federate on an international basis. However, we believe the degree of federation possible and the amount of effort put into it must be determined by success at building national or regional organisations capable of making such international work a reality, rather than a matter of slogans.'
This is pro-Liberty propertarian Jim Davidon's response to Culda's:
Critique of Anarkismo by Jim Davidson
My friend Diana Culda has written this note: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=356962428059
She bases her text on this link: http://anarkismo.net/ follow the 'about' link.
Here are my thoughts in response.
Diana, people who spend their time in the anarchist movement often ask me about my unwillingness to use terms like anarchist or even anarcho-capitalist to describe my political philosophy. Some of these people see the history of the term capitalism and its application widely in the culture to identify the marriage of big business with big government and say "well, that's why I don't call myself a capitalist." Now you see from this screed at anarkismo dot net that my use of anarchism to describe my propertarian and libertarian philosophy of individual self government without externally imposed coercion would certainly cause just as much confusion. If saying that I'm a sovereign individual, an agorist, a propertarian, and a self governor is more confusing, then I would invite further discussion.
Voluntary and self-responsible individual sovereignty seems to me to be essential. Free markets for finding market clearing prices without compulsion and intervention are necessarily based on private property. Agorism as a basically Taoist strategy of withdrawal and the appearance of poverty seems to be much more effective than many of the other strategies under consideration.
I am transnational, not international. Beyond borders, not about borders. The anarchist collective from which you quote seems to be focused on recognising and working within existing nation state and provincial boundaries. This seems odd at best, pathetic at least.
What anarkismo dot net is not, apparently, is any attempt to reach out to other forms and flavours of anarchism. On that basis, they can kiss my shiny metal ass. They are interested in an echo chamber where their premises may not be challenged. Okay by me.
Unfortunately, I anticipate the same difficulties faced by anarchists like George Orwell with outfits like POUM during the Spanish civil war against Soviet communist anti-anarchist pogroms. The long sad history of communism as a death machine has been chronicled by Bryan Caplan, among many others. Your graphic is on target.
With regard to unity, I don't see any reason to stand with people who are getting shot at. My preference is to shoot from the prone position. Even laying down next to some idiot who is standing up drawing fire seems absurd. Unity and collective action seem unwise and there is no way that discipline could possibly enter into a relationship based on distrust and lack of consent. As for federalism, I've no idea what that means in this context, but it makes me extremely suspicious.
'Haven't we just gotten out of a fucked up relationship with a president?" asks Katt Williams, "Couldn't we just be single for a while?'
That is how I feel about anarkismo. Nor do I agree with their class theory. If they want, as they say, theoretical unity, I should like them to review Konkin's agorist class theory, or L. Neil Smith's libertarian class theory. I have more in common with the entrepreneur who is creating value than I do with the government worker. Yet the entrepreneur is supposedly in the "ruling" class while the government employee is supposedly in the "working" class. I believe the government is parasitical and the workers and entrepreneurs and owners of capital who are outside the government are the productive class. But there is apparently no room for this class theory in the theoretical unity of anarkismo.
Nor is it clear to me that there is any point in requiring ideas. I do not "require that anarchist ideas become the leading ideas." Indeed, I look around me and I see 57% of the population didn't vote in the November 2008 election, and roughly that same percentage (a bit more) did not file any sort of personal income tax form in April 2009. Do I really give a flying flip what their ideas are? I'm interested in results. If the ascension of anarchist ideas makes more results available, great. If not, who cares?
However, it is clear that the spontaneous order of the free market, especially the market for ideas, is not acceptable to these goons. They require their ideas to be the leading ones, and they assert it won't happen spontaneously. We must therefore suppose that they mean to impose their ideas.
Given the hostility toward productive persons, the extensive history of racism, sexism, age discrimination, and use of violence by labour organisations and trade unions, I am extremely skeptical of their plans. It seems very likely, to me, that what we may anticipate from anarkismo is violence, purges, and more violence. It seems to me that by saying "we fight for ...democratic structures" that what anarkismo is really saying is that (a) they are primarily violent and (b) their goal is a form of direct democracy, rather than anarchy. What have 309 million rulers to offer me that I'm not already getting from 535 or so?
Were big labour not already married to big government in ways far more corrupt, insidious, and riddled with organised crime than the extensive marriage of big business with big government, I might be of a different view. If there were labour organisations suited to the negligible government world, such as private mutual aid groups, purchasing cooperatives, and the like, I would be happy to work with them. However, compulsory trade unions are just another form of coercion.
I am admittedly skeptical of their call for anarchist political organisations. What is it about the excesses and corruption brought on by excessive political activity that are to be ameliorated by the addition of more politics?
The evidence for the effectiveness of struggles, as opposed to entrepreneurship in particular, for building decent places to live seems minimal. Where people go and take over abandoned property, improve it, and make use of it, they are doing far more good than those who merely struggle and demand the government act, or intercede. Where rent control has been imposed and enforced, the availability of low cost housing has been obliterated.
Nor is there any evidence that I find credible that the highly political scientific establishment's claims about global warming and environmental degradation are based on truth. The environment is much cleaner than ever. Inventions and innovations are making it possible for far more people to live far more cleanly. I am hostile toward what I suspect is an implicit desire by anarkismo to attack individuals, oppress those who seek to reproduce, and steal from those they think are "polluting" by, e.g., exhaling carbon dioxide.
On the plus side, I actively oppose all manifestations of prejudice in society in general. I think racism, sexism, religious sectarianism, homophobia, xenophobia, and war are specifically conservative ideologies, based on bigotry and authoritarianism. I reject them all.
Anarkismo, however, sees no reason to eliminate them until after the revolution. This suggests to me a willingness to compromise on principle. Nor am I confident that their revolution would be anything but a bloody mess - meet the new boss, same as the old boss. The men who spurred us on, sit in judgement of our wrongs, they decide and the shotgun sings the song.
By recognising a purported need for federation on an international basis, the anarkismo people seem to be conceding the existence of imaginary boundaries and imaginary nation states. This seems bizarre and contrary to anarchist philosophy. Building national or regional organisations seems contrary to the whole point of anarchism. It also seems to be characteristic of the 1930s style of employment model, union organising, and political philosophy with which they appear to be most comfortable. I think there is an obvious 21st Century alternative, which is to organise across borders and beyond the reach of any single jurisdiction. In my past writings I have proposed "jurisdictional arbitrage" as a way of maximising resources by taking advantage of the differing rules that apply in many different jurisdictions.
So, that's all I have to say on this subject. I think my responses merit a note on my FB page, and shall tip my hat your way when I write. Thanks, Diana.
This is quite an engaging, not to mention interesting, subject for debate and discussion. I will, however, respond to it later tonight or so.