May Day Musings and Anarcho-whats?

Posted: May 13, 2013 in Anarchy, capitalism, corruption, guns, May Day, punk, the State
Tags: , , , , , , ,

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Anarchism

Anarchism (Photo credit: anarchism)

This is the month of May Day and there have been the usual demos, manis, protests, and symbolic attacks against the State, etc. These marches and street performances have never ended. They rarely change the system, but they do scare their enemies – sometimes at least. Black Blocks know the art of demonstrating, faking out established donut cop routes, and knowing when to move from defensive blocking into offensive street mode. When thousands of radical youth take over the main drag of the city and start chanting and marching, this action sends a distinct warning message to the local political hacks that have to manage such a sick system. I lived for a few years in a city on the west coat where those types of May 1st, or May Day events, were well worth the attendance.

When I lived in this ‘prog’ west coast city  as an Anarcho-hipster-activst, I always attended those annual events. This city also had its pathetic demos too, where the coppers forced the marchers onto the sidewalks. But May Day was always different. Most of the radical talkers and organizers came out in public in a show of strength. The Anarcho-ambience was fun with all the sound-whistle hoopla and visual delights of signage and outfits, while I spotted my fellow Anarcho-travelers out in force. There were the large lettered signs that threatened the power of the state, black and red flags, and I especially liked checking out any attractive demonstrators, both men and women, at the events. I always ran into friends, acquaintances – and even radical enemies. When one gets deep into radical political work, one makes enemies too. This was one of the absurdities inside this subculture.

And it was a lot more of a subculture than a culture and sub-society of resistance. Most of the people on the streets wore black outfits, bandanas, ripped jeans, combat boots or ripped up Converse. The women tended to dress with more flair and style, and the general look was heavy towards the punk version, from crusty drunk to straight edge kid. I preferred overalls, bandanas and bare feet. I would always try looking for others with a similar look. If we were going radical, then these street manis ought to have every style imaginable.

I also sighted the queer radical groups and trans radicals. I especially liked seeing the gender outlaws at such street venues. The gender outlaws were one of those true radical groups because they were living as desperadoes 24/7, and gender bending made a lot of people stare in pride – or in hate, but rarely with indifference. Our real political enemies also faithfully attended these events.

The donut gang wore their blue-black, Amerikan stormtrooper uniforms, they carried guns openly. They shot glaring stares against the radicals, which made the protesters even more nervous. There were also the ubiquitous helicopters flying over head, and the state gang of thugs were mostly hanging in their cars, while the other state scroungers carried demo-paramilitary gear on their uniforms. I also screened a gang of copbangers on bicycles, while a few higher ups stayed back inside their protective metal paramilitary trucks. I even perceived a few undercover narcs that hung around the marchers wearing plainclothes – yet quite noticeable that they didn’t belong with the Anarcho mobs.

The event proceeded down the main streets and it made me feel good to see that none of the Anarchists asked the city for a permit to march. The May Day demos usually lasted about two hours since we were all walking in a rectangle around the main thoroughfares of downtown. A few marchers got away with spray painting Anarchist slogans on public buildings. I felt good afterward, and the weather usually got better during this time of year. What better way to work off Pabst beer belly fat on a pleasant day! When May 1st hit on a weekend, and especially Friday to Sunday, the ambience was even grander with more marchers on the streets. But there was always one question on my mind after the annual May Day ritual, what about the bystanders and the general public seeing the event for the first time? Did May Day explain the Anarchist position, or did it just expose an anti-system subculture with a better sense of fashion than the dour and weird Marxists?

Anarchism is anti-system, but there is a reason for its hatred of the current political-economic system that now rules the world. It is not just the destruction of the evil state, or the criminal governments, that Anarchy desires. Anarchism also wants to see capitalism destroyed, inclusive of its political economic supremacy over our lives, the dangerous technologies engendered, and its cultural suffocation against our imaginations. Anarchism also fights against all tyrannies, despotisms, crap authorities, personality cults, institutions and ideologies that oppress people and try to ensnare new victims. The list includes psychobabble pathologies, religious institutions, mental institutions, hospitalizations, prisons, jails, state schools, prep schools, university administrations, Marxist vanguard political sects, obscure political-religious cults, dogmas, etc. So we know what Anarchism is against, but what does it support?

Anarchism desires completely autonomous, small communities where everyone has a comfortable place to sleep, food to eat, clothes to wear, and there is enjoyable social camaraderie between community members because hierarchical power relations are not cool. Within every autonomous community, and usually in small-sized groups, everyone possesses the freedom and privilege to do whatever he/she wants within their own private spaces, with no fear of any state coercion nor having to engage in capitalist wage slave work.

Anarchism is against work in the capitalist sense, but it is not against doing things that one wants to do, and actually enjoys doing. According to Anarchism, this is not work, but one’s life, one’s creative edge, one’s unbounded freedom to explore and conceive. The state dies a horrible death, and a local band of people forms their own community organization, which comes alive through the complete consent and autonomy of each individual member. If a particular member dislikes the community, then he/she can leave, go off on his/her own, or associate with another community. If one likes a particular community, and for whatever reason whatsoever, then this community survives through mutual aid, which means that the community shares their extra resources, such as food, drugs, booze, clothes, guns, ammo, art, free sexual relations, etc.

This also means that no one exchanges money for such things, everything is either a barter or a member gives something out freely that they can share. What remain are autonomous communities, scattered warrior-outlaws, or traveler ensembles roaming free in the wilds. There are no empires, confederations, nations, alliances, borders, treaties, state institutions, cops, militaries, prisons, execution sites, legal internment, nor any standard legal codes. Each community has its own agreements, and everyone goes armed. Conflict will not end nor will it ever stop. The human condition under civilization functions that way. But every person has the right to defend his/herself through whatever means possible. Anarchism goes down the basic living list of survival: eating, drinking, excreting, sleeping, partying, creating, playing and dying.

Yet during these complex and absurd days, I have seen some Anarchists that have spoken and acted more like Leftist-Marxists, and even like Leftist-Liberals… And devious communist-socialist types have also hidden behind Anarchist banners. I have visited websites dedicated to Anarcho-Communism. All Anarchists need to study history, and especially what the Communists have cruelly done to Anarchists once they have taken power, i.e. Russia 1921, and Barcelona 1937.

I have also witnessed hard-core American Libertarians, (or free market, pro-capitalist ideologues), stating that they were the true Anarchists, calling themselves Anarcho-Capitalists. And there are now Anarcho-Nationalist clubs in Europe, where racist-nationalist ideologues have advocated autonomous societies for their ‘own people.’ Are all these groupings Anarchist? For one part, no. But Anarchism has one last element: it is against all revealed truths, dogmas, ideological positions and codes – even though Anarchism is another ideology. The new age traveler addicted to heroin, or the punk squatter who gets drunk every single day and never cleans his/her own room, are also living inside Anarchist realms. They are living lives to their own methods, and so who can judge them. There are also Anarcho-Christian clubs, Anarcho-Vegetarian meet ups, and Anarcho-Yoga classes. I am sure that I am missing another Anarcho-what group somewhere in this absurd Earth.

What is actual Anarchism then? It is doing whatever the you want as long as it does not cause suffering to another living being. The cultural revolution of Punk transformed Anarchism – and this was a good thing. So bring on the jugglers, drunk punks, beggars with cool signs, travelers, squatters, buskers, DIY cooks and artists, and even the deadbeat clowns!

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