Now then, what’s this all about?

A quick explanation of where I’m coming from, since I always find it annoying when blogs don’t do that…

I’m pretty much a class struggle anarchist, or libertarian communist, or some other combination of words along those lines. What that actually means is that I believe the vast majority of people across the world don’t have much of a real, meaningful say in most decisions that affect them. This is still true even of most people who own xboxes, or iphones, or drink wine, or have been to uni, and so on – ultimately, most people who eat hummus on a regular basis still don’t have any more real control over their lives than people who don’t.

In addition to this, I believe that the socialist political project – in both its Bolshevik form, as represented by the various Communist Parties throughout the 20th century, and currently upheld by Trotskyist groups like the Socialist Workers Party, and its reformist/social democratic form, as represented in Britain by the Labour Party – has succeeded only in elevating various new tiny groups of people into positions of power. It hasn’t delivered any great benefits for those who haven’t made it into Parliament or the Politburo, and the new rulers have often been every bit as harsh and brutal as the old.

I also recognise that a lot of what anarchists and libertarians do also isn’t terribly useful either. This isn’t me claiming any kind of great wisdom here, it’s just me being honest about the fact that I’ve done a lot of things, both before and after becoming an anarchist, that in hindsight were pretty much a waste of time. Some of them were fun but pointless; others made me cold, tired and miserable, and still didn’t achieve anything.  But I have also done some things, especially since becoming an anarchist, that weren’t totally pointless, which brings me to my next point.

Despite all the failures, defeats and betrayals, I’m still not an absolute pessimist. There are lots and lots of reasons to be miserable, but I still believe that most people don’t really like being fucked over, and they’ll try and assert some control over their situation whenever they think they have a decent chance of doing so. It happened on a grand scale across Europe at the end of the First World War, and in Spain in 1936, and in Hungary in 1956, and in quite a lot of places in 1968 and the years that followed, and it’s still happening, on a considerably smaller scale, in a lot of places right now.

So, the point of this blog is to try and draw attention to things that I think are useful or inspiring and to explain why I think they’re good, and equally to point out when I think people are wasting their time and to explain why I think that.  I think there are good and bad aspects to trade unions, anti-fascism, anti-militarism, environmentalism, social centres, and a lot of the other things that anarchists and lefties do, and a bit of reflection can help us do more of the good stuff and less completely futile stuff.

Among other things, I think the Seattle Solidarity network is an example of genuinely useful stuff that anarchists are doing, and think the emergence of similar groups is a positive sign.

Finally, like a lot of bloggers, I have a bad habit of starting blogs and then completely abandoning them, so don’t be surprised if I do that.


14 Responses to Now then, what’s this all about?

  1. Sophie Ziv says:

    Hey! Just wanted to say I really like your blog. I’m a member of the AF and the Glasgow Solidarity Network and I’ve got you as a quick link on my browser. 🙂 Also, yeah, SeaSol is awesome.

  2. sweezox says:

    hey, dig the blog. working on getting one going–got yours as one of our links. will send you ours to look at when we launch. cheers!

  3. Pingback: What we talk about when we talk about class. | Cautiously pessimistic

  4. SamFanto says:

    Don’t really know how to contact you by email, otherwise I would have just sent the following to you personally; but, anyway – I just wanted to inform you of some new texts I’ve put up on the dialectical delinquents site:

    chile: the Allende years :

    the class struggle in south africa 1976 – 80 :

    riots, strikes, sabotage and sit ins in Karachi (2011) :

    riots in china (2011) :

    poetry in motion (2009 – 2010) – Contributions to the supersession of poetry (a reproduction of part of a discussion on libcom that I had between November  2009 and February 2010) :

    Nouvelle agression “racialiste” à Marseille :

    chomsky – collaborator with the US state :

    mental illness & solitary confinement in Texas prisons :

    – Sam

    • Thanks! FWIW, I set up nothingiseverreallylost (at) gmail (dot) com to use as a semi-anonymous email for this project, but I’m terrible at remembering to check it, so I’ll probably see comments here faster. I don’t have anything like enough time to spend reading atm, but recent events which I’m sure you’ll have seen had made me think I should go back and read some of the copout/Aufhebengate stuff again, when I get a chance.

  5. Mike Harman says:

    Do you have any interest in re-posting your articles to libcom? We could give you a blog there if so.

    • I had actually been toying with the idea of requesting one for a while, it’s an idea I go back and forth on. My current feeling is that I’ll stick with the existing format until I reach some arbitrary milestone and decide to change things, but in the meantime anyone who thinks anything I write is useful is welcome to republish any of it in any form they see fit.

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