Posts Tagged ‘anarchism’

Socialism and International War

July 12, 2017

I read this article on socialism in 1914 trying to understand why the socialist revolution never happened in the United States or in Western Europe; why, instead of the workers uniting to fight their oppressors, they divided according to their supposed national identities and fought each other; why socialism has been in a steady decline since 1914 (despite the supposed existence of socialism from 1917 until today).

This is the article:

I’ll quote extensively so you won’t have to read it, and I’ll only add a few comments of my own.

“For the leadership of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD), undoubtedly the centre of gravity within the International, the vote for war credits was partly justified as a means of entry into the inner sanctum of power: it was hoped that this vote, and in particular the unanimity of the vote, would make the party respectable. Whether or not the SPD succeeded on these terms, the vote certainly killed the Socialist International, and it did so in a way that was immediately recognised by contemporaries as a ‘seminal moment in the history of socialism’”.

”While they were caught unawares by the swift move to war and offered little by way of concrete proposals to stop it, this is perhaps best understood as a function of how they had allowed themselves, prior to 1914, to become enmeshed within what were de facto reformist organisations, albeit reformist organisations that bowed before revolutionary rhetoric… [However, they also] believed their government’s claims that Germany was merely preparing to defend itself from Russian and French aggression”


Post-Anarchism – Introduction

March 11, 2016

Post-anarchism means ‘late anarchism’. It is not separate from anarchism, nor is it merely the combination of anarchism and post-structural analysis. I think of it as a reunification, or perhaps synthesis, of anarchism after the split between anarcho-communists and anarcho-individualists, although that is more what it feels like to me than what it actually is. It also attempts to step out of the shadow of state-political anarchism, which predominantly consists of anti-fascism and anti-statist communism. Not to deny that anarchism is political in any sense of the word, just to emphasize that these two modern expressions don’t proportionally represent the basis of anarchist theory as I see it.

Post-anarchism is a deconstruction and reconstruction of anarchism that is still underneath the umbrella of anarchism. It differs from the similarly-named post-left anarchism, which builds on the socialist tradition. Post-anarchism is more like an unhitched river with occasional tributaries ranging from diverse sources, like e.g. existentialism, liberalism, protestantism, Buddhism, physics, neurology, prehistoric cultures and the list goes on. 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 this text as well. Basically, post-anarchism, as I present it in this text, is how I think post-anarchism should be defined, meaning I’ve given myself the right to define it after having given myself the right to proclaim myself a post-anarchist.

After re-reading my latest writings a number of times I’ve come to the conclusion that the main feature of my 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. I believe anarchism should have a place in organizational theory next to Max Weber, game theory and common laissez-faire realpolitik. 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. Since I’m rambling a bit and not trying to clarify many demarcations it helps if you already know what anarchists have focused their analyses on in the past.

Skipping a large chunk of history, people in Europe were criticizing God, the king and the nobility after the Enlightenment. In the 19th century Stirner talked about the equality of individuals, Déjacque about compassion that ignored family and lineage, Bakunin and Proudhon about mutual engagement in labour. Just before WW1, Kropotkin, the last major figure in anarchism, talked about natural organization. More recently, the anarchist critique against oppression has been combined with black liberation, feminism, ecology, LGBTQ, disabilities and various other issues. However, all the combinations haven’t necessarily combined with each other and some of the newest combinations, like anarcho-capitalism, contradict the rest of anarchism. Bookchin stopped calling himself an anarchist because of the anarcho-capitalists and the post-left anarchists have been trying to reformulate the red-and-black current but little has changed since Kropotkin. I’m focusing on theory but just to have it mentioned, anarchists were most active in France and Germany during the 19th century, and then, in chronological order, in the Russian (including in the Ukraine), Spanish and Syrian civil wars. We might also add the many assassinations of the rich and powerful, like Prince Franz Ferdinand or Czar Alexander II, and uprisings like the Zapatistas’ in Mexico and further note that anarchists take part in anti-fascist demonstrations, union strikes, squatting, street occupations et cetera.

For all of these events it’s unclear to which degree and how many of the participants are anarchists. Perhaps that’s also the wrong perspective to start from. Maia Ramnath writes in Decolonizing Anarchism: “decolonizing our concept of anarchism… means that instead of always trying to construct a strongly anarcha-centric cosmology – conceptually appropriating movements and voices from elsewhere in the world as part of ‘our’ tradition, and then measuring them against how much or little we think they resemble our notion of our own values – we could locate the Western anarchist tradi­tion as one contextually specific manifestation among a larger – indeed global – tradition of antiauthoritarian, egalitarian thought/praxis, of a universal human urge (if I dare say such a thing) toward emancipation, which also occurs in many other forms in many other contexts. Something else is then the reference point for us, instead of us being the rderence point for everything else. This is a deeply decolonizing move.” This allows us to look for deeper principles and associate theoretically with prehistoric cultures, the Münster rebellion or the relationship between a boy and a pigeon. It’s also necessary to go beyond labels, whether endonyms or exonyms, like anarchist, nihilist, terrorist, illegalist, revolutionists etc. (with anarchist being the preferred label in my zeit).

I want to change the focus from the state, marxism and anti-fascism and not to have arguments predicated, explicitly or implicitly, on their underlying theoretical assumptions (e.g. free will is foundational to marxism). Here are a few topics I think need to be considered or more in focus to improve the theoretical principles of anarchism:

  1. Home
  2. Identity
  3. Subject
  4. Language
  5. Communication
  6. Ideology
  7. Territory
  8. Cities
  9. Digital Space
  10. Economy as logistics
  11. Power
  12. Freedom
  13. Organization
  14. Bureaucracy
  15. Prison
  16. Revolution
  17. State versus politics
  18. Informal relationships
  19. Representation versus responsibility
  20. Symbolism and metaphysics
  21. Capital as imagined value
  22. Education

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. We have virtual homes online as well, on platforms like, which represents both a complex infrastructure and a single brand that can be adopted as a symbolic identity for a group.

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, (more…)

Svensk debatt – individualanarkism eller anarkokommunism?

January 18, 2016

(Först vill jag bara notera att jag bara saxat andras texter och inte bidrar med eget material till debatten, förutom några extra historiska fakta i slutet. Personligen är jag emot både privat egendom och kollektiv egendom och anser att överenskommelser ska vara situationsanpassade och får inte utgå ifrån antagandet att virtuella koncept som ägande har permanent validitet. Jag föredrar alltså ingen av de två strömningarna som här diskuteras utan föredrar en slags variant av ömsesidig hjälp.)

Carl Johan Björklund, född 1884 i Uppsala, skrev såhär år 1969, två år innan han dog, om tiden strax före första världskriget:

“Varifrån Stirners anhängare fått den uppfattningen att han var motståndare till organisation vet jag inte. Stirner betonar nödvändigheten av organisationer och han var själv initiativtagare till en organisation i Berlin för att rationellt fylla människornas behov av mjölk. ‘Det är alltid fördelaktigt att vi enar oss om de mänskliga arbetena, så att de inte som under konkurrensens epok upptar all vår tid, alla våra omsorger.’ Stirner svarar utan förbehåll ja på följande av honom själv formulerade frågor: Bör jag inte ta levande del i den andres liv, bör inte hans glädje och hu: väl ligga mig om hjärtat, skall inte den njutning jag bereder honom för mig vara mer än andras egna njutningar? På ett ställe säger också Stimer att han älskar människorna, inte blott enskilda människor utan alla – därför att ‘kärleken gör mig lycklig, därför att det är naturligt för mig att älska, emedan det behagar mig’.

Även om Stimer inte känner något ‘kärlekens bud’, hyser han medkänsla med varje levande väsen. Föreningen är för Stimer en multiplikation av den enskildes kraft. ‘Som enskild kan du försvara dig genom föreningen. ty det är inte föreningen som besitter dig utan du besitter och gör dig nytta av föreningen’, säger han.


A Few More Thoughts on Anarchist Revolution

March 3, 2015

Historically, anarchism in the Americas, Spain and now Syria sprung out of war. The Russian and Chinese revolutions as well. The French revolution happened just after the U.S. revolution and major French military losses over there. The U.S. revolution is less clear to me, but the there are general tendencies to identify.

1st: The chaotic state and disorganized production, logistics, temporary housing etc allowed for an easier transmission to a new system since the old one wasn’t really present anymore.


Gift Economy and Anarcho-Socialism Explained

December 31, 2014

Socialism arose as a struggle for equality in Europe as a combined result of protests from different layers of society against other or sometimes the same layers of society. I’d argue that Protestantism was the pre-cursor to this movement, starting with events like the burning of Jan Hus at the stake in 1415 for criticizing the power of the Pope. In 1600, Giordani Bruno was also burned at the stake for suggesting (more…)

An Argument for the Unifying Qualities of Anarcho-Pacifism

December 9, 2014

Anarcho-pacifism in my view consists of two principles:

Strife against hierarchies, towards peace.

I contend that anarcho-pacifism defined this way can incorporate not only all anarchists, but also all pacifists and even all socialists and liberals and a bunch of other people. Anarcho-pacifism is a tendency within anarchism caused by several people who were both anarchists and pacifists and it is perhaps not an ideology in its own right, yet. In my opinion, anarcho-pacifism in its combined state goes beyond the promotion of peace and the rejection of the state. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

The point of departure for my thought-process is India 1,800 years ago. (more…)

Anarchy 101: Committing High Treason in Sweden

January 19, 2010

There have been 4 major rebellions in Sweden in recent history, between 1300 and 1542. And Sweden has not officially participated in any wars during the last 200 years, even though we are one of the world’s biggest contributors to human suffering because of our huge weapons export. However, it is time for a 5th rebellion. The Viking blood may be dormant in most Swedes, but a spartan upbringing is enough to change society. This goes for all genetic variations of our species. You may sit in front of your computer screen, eating crisps, but physically and mentally we can all be whipped into our true potential. And now is the time to act.

Today, I will try to commit high treason. The Swedish law read “Den som, med uppsåt att riket eller del därav skall, med våldsamma eller eljest lagstridiga medel eller med utländskt bistånd, läggas under främmande makt eller bringas i beroende av sådan makt eller att del av riket skall sålunda lösryckas, företager handling som innebär fara för uppsåtets förverkligande, dömes för högförräderi…” which translates roughly as “He/she who, with the intention that the kingdom or parts thereof, by violent or otherwise unlawful means or with foreign assistance, is brought under foreign power or into a dependence of such a power or that parts of the kingdom is thus removed, takes action that threatens to realize the intent, shall be sentenced for high treason…”

In other words, I write a decree with the intent to give over the state of Sweden to the rest of the world and when enough people have signed for it, it will gain official status, as is the case with all other official documents in human civilization. This is my decree:

The physical territory of Sweden will be divided equally among each individual human being who makes a comment to this blog post expressing acceptance of this decree.

Before everyone in the world has an equal share in all the land on earth, people will realize that they have no need for superficial borders and nation-states will disappear. Just like the magic mist of supernatural beings is cleared by atheism, the magic mist of the artificial hierarchy clears and reveals the surface of the Earth as it is, a multitude of organic lifeforms as a thin layer on the partially watery silicon-clad iron ball with no objective judge to give it meaning, through anarchy; A flat surface where everybody stands equally tall in rank, wealth and power, all equally weak, useless and useful.

This was in the daily media flow on January 19, 2010, according to the calender adopted by the pope Gregorius the 13th in 1582, according to the very same calender.