It's Going Down - October 5, 2020
We share a desperate need for a fundamentally different society. One that does not wreak havoc on the environment in pursuit of profits, one where police no longer murder people of color to preserve white supremacy, one free of the exploitation of people’s labor, and free of misogynist violence, a society where the people affected by political decisions are the ones making those decisions. A directly democratic society principally opposed to domination and exploitation is some of what anarchism offers and why it is so dangerous to the wielders of established power.
Anarchists frighten privileged elites and their authoritarian followers not simply because the primary goals of the movement have been to abolish the sources of elite power – the State, patriarchy, and capitalism – but because anarchism offers a viable alternative form of social and political organization grounded in workplace collectives, neighborhood assemblies, bottom-up federations, child-centered free schools, and a variety of cultural organizations operating on the basis of cooperation, solidarity, mutual aid, and direct, participatory democracy. Opposed to all forms of hierarchy, domination, and exploitation, anarchists work to create a culture grounded in equal access to resources making the genuine exercise of freedom possible. Over the past century and a half, and particularly in the last two decades, the self-managing principles of anarchism have proliferated around the world and have also become part of the standard operating procedures of protest. Since elites would be rendered redundant in an anarchist egalitarian society, no wonder rulers tremble at the thought of “anarchist jurisdictions.”
The grim realities of the climate crisis, the coronavirus pandemic, and ongoing police violence have laid bare the inadequacies of the current leadership and the existing governing system while also providing opportunities, like all crises, to create significant change. Whether or not we achieve a historical pivot to a fundamentally different society will depend in part upon maintaining militant and creative political pressure in the streets while simultaneously building forms of counter-power, counter-institutions, and organizations pre-figuring the anarchist vision of a free society.
This is a time of significant cultural upheaval in regards to issues revolving around race met by severe political reaction and the attempted retrenchment of white, patriarchal power. In contrast to the first Black Lives Matter movement several years ago in response to the murders of Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown, white people’s understanding of how historic forms of oppression continue to shape our lives is growing. Black Lives Matter may be the largest social protest movement in US history. In the first two months after police murdered George Floyd in Minneapolis, approximately 15 to 26 million people (up to 8 percent of the population) participated in Black Lives Matter protests. ...
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