Post-anarchism means ‘late anarchism’. It is not separate from anarchism, nor is it merely the combination of anarchism and post-structural analysis. It can be described as a reunification of anarchism after the split between anarcho-communists and anarcho-individualists. It also attempts to step out of the shadow of political anarchism, which predominantly consists of anti-fascism and anti-statist communism. Not to deny the political aspect of anarchism, just to emphasize that there is more to anarchism than the recent history of political anarchism suggests.
Post-anarchism is a deconstruction and reconstruction of anarchism that is still underneath the umbrella of anarchism. Since anarchism is inherently anti-dogmatic it has no problem with revisionism. However, this is not a platformist attempt. Instead it is in itself an example of the type of organizations or federations it promotes, namely ones that start with one person reaching out to other people with similar thoughts, although not necessarily the same thoughts. Each person or group has their own focus and this is true for post-anarchism as well.
After re-reading my latest writings a number of times I’ve come to the conclusion that the main feature of post-anarchism is that it reduces all the problems in anarchist analyses to organizations and so to relationships and so to the subject in the world. This includes property, capital, violence, bureaucracy, representation et cetera. This allows for all previous theories to still be true and relevant and so doesn’t negate the past of anarchism and its bedfellows but rather provides a base structure in which all the different analyses can come to rest in their proper places and in their proper relationships to each other. However, that is a major undertaking and this text is merely an introduction.
I will introduce my view on post-anarchism/anarchism by listing a few topics which I believe are relevant to analyze, without going into too much detail. The list is not meant to be complete and it’s not in any specific order and my ramblings on each topic are meant as kick-starters rather than as closing statements.
- Informal relationships
- Representation versus responsibility
The concept of home needs to be deconstructed. Does it need to be a physical territory or a certain building or is it a state of mind? Whatever it is it shouldn’t replace your identity with a generalization that you are like those who are (physically) around you.
Sure, the language and culture in my immediate environment are important to me, but the history of “my” land/country/state/nation/culture is not relevant beyond whatever has survived, in the form of culture and artefacts, into the present. My siblings might have influenced my identity, but mere historical facts have not, and either way it’s not generalizable.
Should I not open “my” home to you? Why is this piece of the planet mine and not yours? Should we really have toll stations on every threshold? It’s not easy to answer these questions. Similarly, on the one hand I wish the oppressed peoples of the world were freed, but if that means they then create nation-states of their own, then we’re still going to have to deal with that problem. How small units must we divide ourselves into and on which basis? Maybe that question is the wrong one anyway.
Language is important for identity, although not to the extent that ideologies or ideas are shaped solely by words as many ideas exist prior to and next to the words that represent them.
You might feel at home when you identity yourself with someone you meet and language matters; social, Read the rest of this entry »