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I read some interesting articles on the international Anarcho-blogosphere about the need for more insurrectionary Anarchism versus the more middle class oriented, Civic Anarchism.

The Insurrectional Anarchist practices the original Class War methods of classical Anarchism, meaning Propaganda of both the Word and the Deed. These actions imply that the Anarchist reads and writes prolifically, and then proceeds into the insurrectionist mode. The insurrectionist mode involves industrial or commercial sabotage, firebombing work places and factories, destruction of targeted private property, attacking cops at protests, fighting back against Fascists at their demos, and killing selected targets from the elites and the powerful.

Some defenders of these methods call themselves Anarcho-Nihilists or Anarcho-Individualists. A few have even stated that their actions value more than their lives, and that imprisonment from the state becomes the beautiful moment of peace, and for a few, a true clarity of vision. They also state that the insurrectionist locked inside the prison inferno is truly free because he or she has no more fear of the State.

Civic Anarchism tends to exist in many urban centers of the ‘Western’ European and Colonial-Settler European regions, such as the Americas and Australia. The Civic Anarchist, and mostly associated with the Anarcho-Syndicalist, radical unionist bunch, reads and writes a lot, and then works within the system through ‘radical’ organizing. They eschew violence and often condemn the violence of certain Anarchists. The ‘civies’ might organize a workplace, or help out in a strike, but there is a lot more organizational tactics at work, such as endless meetings, writing articles for Indymedia, or setting up a benefit punk show for collecting more organizing funds.

According to the Insurrectional Anarchists, the Civic Anarchists play it safe like their Activist-Leftist, Middle Class counterparts. According to the hard cores, the Civic Anarchists are really Anarcho-activists, and they are not much different from the mortal enemies of Anarchists: the Marxist sect-ideologically crazy activists, with their ideological platforms and assemblies lasting over two hours.

The insurrectionists might have very good reasons to criticize the civic-minded Anarchists. Anarchy is not just talking at meetings and writing polemics. Anarchy also represents the actions of taking what is ours and attacking targets; however, the insurrectionists, like their civic rivals, are also guilty of too much talk.

Too many Anarcho-revolutionaries scream their violent works on their own websites and hard copy pages – and they have even given interviews related to ‘illegal’ activities to corporate news organs! A good example were some Eugene Anarchists that publicly proclaimed their resistance to the State and Capitalism after the WTO protests in 1999.

After their foolish interviews to the corporate press, the full violence of the State came upon them, and then a few Anarchists ended up doing some hard time in prison. While these same insurrectionists are often fanatics for ‘security culture,’ they have often broken their very same rules. Nothing is more damaging to any revolutionary group than having boasters and blowhards scream about their ‘actions’ against the enemy.

I have also read uncountable declarations on the Internet blogosphere, mostly coming from particular Anarcho-gun owners, stating that they were ready to violently throw down against the US government if they try to take away their guns. Oh really? Are those armchair tough guys going to risk it all when the SWAT team thugs show up at their front doors? It is one thing to write the tough words on the Internet, and it is quite another thing to actually engage in a heated gun fight with the authorities.

All of those hard cores know full well that the state spies and police forces are also listening and reading their pronouncements. In the dangerous world that we live in now, one simple slip of the tongue, and often a person goes down. Sometimes, the civic-minded Anarchist that printed the insurrectionist diatribe in his or her written format, whether electronic or paper, represents the one that pays dearly. Other times, the insurrectionist falls into his or her own imprudent post-action actions. The state authorities don’t care much either way, because at least they have found another enemy to destroy who is against the legitimate authority of the state.

Anarchists ought to remember the first rule of any organization antagonistic to the state: silence. For example, the Italian Mafia has always had its code of ‘Omertà,’ and the Ashkenazi Jewish communities of Eastern Europe had the code of “Mesirah.’ The Gypsies have also used their code of silence against harassing state bureaucrats.

The Anarchist community has to abide in the code of silence. Silence has generally related to the first law of both prudence and maturity. We also have the old saying, ‘silence is golden.’ If an Anarchist has committed a propaganda of the deed, then the Anarchist must never talk about or refer to the past event – ever again. After an action, it is even best to stay away from friends and alcohol for a few months, so that the boasting, imaginative mind never tempts the loose, undisciplined tongue.

Most importantly, we Anarchists ought to realize that the mental concepts of our selves are illusions. We have our likes, dislikes, cares and preferences, but just like human culture throughout the various ages of history, all cultures change. So do we. We are not the same people that we were ten years ago, and definitely not twenty years ago. Yes, we do have similarities to those ancient selves of ours, yet we are now a different breed.

Even with these changes, our egos often get in the way of clear thinking. We often surmise that both our personal views and words are truth, while our perceptions are the absolute truth. We often dwell too much on the personal mind garbage. Instead of letting go, we get bogged down inside our recurring thoughts.

Unlike the Marxist sectarians, Anarchism contains some marvelous diversity within its methods. Squatters who take over an abandoned building and open it up for the homeless and vagabonds are doing a great work too. They have fixed up an abandoned property left to rot by some property pimp, and now they can live freely without the common anxieties of having ‘to make rent payments,’ or relying on the landlord to fix the problems. Other residents that have had to pay rents, have seen such successes, and they would also want to enter such living arrangements.

There are other methods that have worked splendidly, such as living in trees to save a forest area, video exposures on the cruel methods of factory mass murder of animals for cheap meat, corporate billboard sabotage, cop watching on a Friday night, setting up a spontaneous street party in a busy intersection, such as Reclaim the Streets, or camping out in a park right in the heart of a large, corrupt mega city, which led to the Occupy movement. All of these tactics have worked and they will continue to work because they have used the greatest powers of the Anarchist, direct action and mutual aid.

As long as we Anarchists keep up the diversity of our work, we will continue to be old nails on the floor for the creeps of the State. We Anarchists are not criminals however, nor should we glamorize muggers, petty thieves, robbers, looters, wise guys and con artists. Unlike them, we fight to build a better world for ourselves. The criminal elements only want their inflated egos caressed. Their worlds are only for themselves – and themselves alone. There is an old saying, ‘there is no honor among thieves.’ This is also the truth.

We can kill the obsessions with ourselves, keep up the revolutionary work, and finally, keep our mouths shut – bearing our secrets forever, while simply holding on to our reserve and dignity. The state authorities and the elites will definitely persecute us, but the invisible barbed wire of silence, coolness, and a noticeable lack of ego trips will weaken all of their insidious methods – security culture or no security culture.

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Portrait_of_a_GentlemanPortrait of a Gentlewoman

Urban hipsters hanging outUrban hipster party

I was loving life in this progressive-Western-hipster haven city near the Left Coast, USA, and yet I always felt a strange dread, or foreboding feeling, before going to social events at known ‘Anarcho-houses.’ Whether it was a party, movie night, discussion session, or whatever, I always feared running into enemies. I also felt anxiety over seeing people that I just did not like, or spotting a male jerk that was holding his hot girlfriend like a valued possession and evil eyeing potential male rivals, or even having to endure some loud mouth, obnoxious creep that seemed to go to most parties – just to ruin the ambience for everyone else.

I usually rode my bicycle to the event. When I arrived to the destination, I first made sure to grab as much free beer as possible, or score some free drugs, or enough free swigs of liquor to make the trip worthwhile. Late at night, I always rode my bike severely wasted in order to get back home. The local, donut cop brigade never gave me a DUI on my bike. White skin privilege did have its benefits. I definitely was not the only stoned Anarcho-hipster on his bike getting the breaks.

But when I look back on those days, I felt just as nervous before attending political Anarcho-events, as attending parties represented by other urban subcultures, such as theater people, taxidermists, service industry types, punk musicians, yoga teachers, or just drug-addled hipsters. Why was this this case?

The answer was due to the ego nastiness and common rudeness plaguing the ‘Anarcho-hipster’ scene, or as I liked to call it, Middle-Class Anarchism with lots of white skin masks. Yes, there were many black clothes outfits, lots of good music, many right attitudes, different hairstyles, ripped clothes, patches, backpacks with survival stuff, ripped Converse All Stars, street swagger, denim vests, hats of all shapes and even a few overalls and bare feet – but there was no real community. Anarchists were just as close-minded, mean and egotistical as the corrupt world around them, and once in a while, even more so.

I do remember a good amount of cliques and associations in that scene. The list included Books to Prisoner people, volunteer cabals at the local radical bookstores, Indymedia people, small Anarcho-house conglomerations, Anarcho-community center leaders, IWW guys, Anarcho-zine writers, Anarcho-journalists that organized and printed radical newspapers, and a few involved with the Freeskool. A lot of radical stuff was happening at the time, but without the camaraderie and fellowship representing real freedom and actual revolution, the events were just parties, get-togethers, and simple experiences representing both the good and bad of humanity. An interested bystander does not need any Anarchist philosophy in order to learn about this part of life.

Anarchy in the USA is just another subculture fielded by numerous cliques and associations, seen mostly within a rough sea of white faces wearing dark clothes. Unfortunately, the Leftist diseases of rudeness, weirdness, pettiness and vengefulness have sprouted some deep and poisonous weeds within this radical subculture. I personally have had to verbally fend off various Anarcho-assholes that have gotten angry with me over some inconsequential offense. I have also seen Anarcho-shit clowns verbally jump on some other person for saying something a little off kilter from the supported Anarcho-dogma. This situation is not good.

Anarchists do not have to necessarily act the part of a gentleman or a gentlewoman, but they do need to understand the importance of discreetness, politeness, friendly manners and prudent communication. These common, but very important behaviors are the most crucial and cohesive actions for any political, philosophical or religious group that seeks to transcend into a strong and marvelous community. An Anarcho-gentleman or gentlewoman would not be such a bad thing either – even though it does seem contradictory.

The cult or culture of the gentleman-gentlewoman began in the European Renaissance period, and more specifically, in the geographic region of Italy. A new occupation, or even a new social class, formed itself in late the 1450s, called ‘cortigiani,’ or courtiers. These courtiers were essentially social parasites that hung around aristocratic and royal courts. Those court bums or freeloaders became servants to their aristocratic and royal patrons.

Court parasites also became notorious in Europe with such names as, ‘hanger ons,’ ‘court followers,’ ‘flatterers,’ ‘leeches,’ ‘scroungers,’ ‘freeloaders,’ and just simple ‘human fleas.’ Even though these hanger ons annoyed their patrons, the various dukes, earls, counts, barons and kings to no end, they still had to perform some meritorious service to their patron lords. Most men performed military service, if they were not in the Church, and the women often had to become breeders, spiritual advisers, (if they were nuns that had political visions), or they could attain elite prostitute status with the name of ‘courtesans.’

An Italian writer, by the name of Baldassare Castiglione, published a book in the 1520s, which soon became a best seller throughout the rest of Europe during the entire 1500s. The title was ‘The Book of the Courtier.’ The writer staged his monograph around ten roundtable conservations between both gentlemen and gentlewomen, from some anonymous Italian Renaissance court, concerning their opinions of the right actions of a courtier. Most of the talkers emphasized an Italian term called ‘sprezzatura,’ or in contemporary English, intensity of action with simultaneous light relaxation.

The courtier-gentleperson had to perform his/her special skills through an excellence of work, and at the same time, show off his/her abilities with a sense of flair and sensual finesse. The courtier had to essentially transform his/herself into a public celebrity of notoriety. With these great abilities, the gentle person could hope to enter the social class status of the lords, or aristocratic parasites.

With this new class status, they also took the titles of ‘signore,’ or lords of estates, lands and their lower class subjects. This signore-courtier title then smothered itself across the rest of Europe like Castiglione’s etiquette book. Signore became ‘señor’ in Spain, ‘seigneur’ in France, and ‘sire,’ or ‘sir’ in England. In the 1680s, this cult of the courtier and a gentleman took on connotations that were quite a bit more insidious.

Our English-American gentleman title actually comes from the French, ‘gentil homme,’ which became a renowned-infamous title-status within the aristocratic realms of gluttonous dining and parasitical living. This degenerate lifestyle included ten course meals inside of a 200 plus room palace called Versailles featuring fountains overlaid with Italianate sculptures, brilliant silverware, maze like gardens, gold inlayed mirrors and marbled spit shined floors, all of this dishonorable waste flourished under the tyrannical reign of the Sun King, Emperor Louis XIV during the late 1600s.

Within the British colonies of the Americas, or as their name was back then, the American Plantations, and especially in the cavalier state of Virginia, later called ‘Old Dominion,’ the gentleman planter class emerged with his hundreds of eternal African and white slaves, a large plantation home, and a long political, ‘distinguished’ career in the state assembly. No wonder Anarchists hated the gentle person term and the actions associated with such despicable leeches. But the modern Anarchist tripped into one of the ruling class’ traps.

The trap was pushing the revolutionary into the brute world of lower class poverty and misery. Good manners and politeness cannot survive under the reign of capitalist wage slavery and the urban hells that it creates. The Anarchist became the knight of shining armor for the weak and defenseless, but he and she also took on the traumas of poverty with nasty cravings for vengeance. The Anarchist still suffers from this malady today. But we do not need to suffer like this.

If we truly want to experience beautiful street revolutions representing the fullness of humanity, or in other words, Anarchy, then we will have to change our attitudes and actions as of Now. We must keep the good thoughts in our minds, contentment in the fact that we do know the truth, and finally, we need to have compassion for the ignorant and hurting people around us. Let us listen fully to the rants and complaints of the angry and suffering working classes, then we can give them the perspective of Anarchy.

We should not say ‘sir,’ and ma’am,’ which represent false manners and actually support hierarchy. The elites of modern Europe understood that the cult of the courtier-gentleman kept them safe from the pitchforks and knives of the common slaves. The slaves outnumbered the parasites, and the lower classes could have slaughtered all of the rich and powerful within a month’s time. But they never did – and never will. The main reason was, and is still, that the poor and hurting secretly love and yearn for the ‘sprezzatura,’ or charisma of the old aristo-bums. Some people in the lower classes pine to see them, to read about them, and to experience their pathetic lives, somewhat fantastically, within their own lamentable existences. Think on the contemporary, and noxious popularity of gossip rags and media celebrity TV programs.

If any Liberal control freak, Marxist mad dog, or Fascist weirdo tries to harass us, then we should act accordingly. Remember that gentlemen also had the rights to publicly bear arms – and to use them on their inferiors. We Anarchists can lovingly take on that role, since the rich and powerful have lost complete respect in the public sphere. However, most pedestrians we see on the urban streets are not ideological true believers, nor are they like the elites that are destroying all life on our planet. Equanimity is the way.

The public’s lives are rotting before their very eyes and they know that something is very wrong out there. With all of the common distractions, modern spectacles and media manipulations, how could they know about who and what is destroying them? It is so much better to break out into a smile when we see the absurdity everywhere. We can change things slowly, but we first must have the right attitude with right actions: tranquility within ourselves, amiability with our fellow Anarchists, politeness with our neighbors, and compassion for the misdirected.