Against Hierarchical Domination

At one point in history, the Pope and the Catholic church held tremendous authority over the whole of society.  They commanded armies, appointed kings, collected taxes (otherwise called tithes), and ruled society with an iron fist. The reason why they do not have that authority anymore is because the people condemned them, ignored them, and resisted them.  That is the same way how we should demolish state authority.

The state will always be the state.  The state exists to dominate directly and to indirectly empower others to dominate their fellows.  The state backs all sorts of authoritarian systems of control.  Our entire socio-economic order exists because it is backed up by the state.  Landlords have authority over tenets because the landlord can call the police to violently evict tenets.  Capitalists and their managers have authority over workers because the corporation can call the police to enforce its will violently with a simple phone call.  Bankers can plunder a community because the police are there to collect debts, repossess homes, and to protect the ultra-consolidation of resources into a few hands.  Parents have authority over their children because the parents can easily call the state to remove individuals off their state-defined, state-protected property.  Death to the state, monopoly property, and hierarchical authority.

#CalExit

If California wants to secede, then more power to them. We need to dismantle the nation-state system and we need to reorganize ourselves along more organic lines. Heck, if communities in California want to secede from other parts of California, then more power to them as well. Power to the People. ALL power to the people. Self-management, self-determination, and self-emancipation are the bedrock of my philosophy.

“Whether we remain in one confederacy, or form into Atlantic and Mississippi confederacies, I believe not very important to the happiness of either part. Those of the western confederacy will be as much our children & descendants as those of the eastern, and I feel myself as much identified with that country, in future time, as with this; and did I now foresee a separation at some future day, yet I should feel the duty & the desire to promote the western interests as zealously as the eastern, doing all the good for both portions of our future family which should fall within my power.” – Thomas Jefferson 1804

Mikhail Bakunin was an example of the combination of anarchist and nationalist values within one person. Bakunin was a revolutionary anarchist who wanted to smash the nation-state system but he had a deep love for the Slavic peoples and envisioned a world where the Slavic peoples were self-managing with full control over their culture, their history, their values, and their lives.

In the end, in a free world, it is quite possible to have nationalism without authoritarianism, to have nationalism without states, and to have nationalism while also having international solidarity. Heck, in the 19th century, the American anarchist movement was filled with Italian factions, German factions, Jewish factions, Spanish factions, and many other factions. They did not preach hatred toward one another and they preached universal solidarity but they still had their own heritage, their own traditions, their own loves, and their own lives.

Anarchism and Nationalism

Anarchism and nationalism have a complex and nuanced relationship.  On some levels they are mutually exclusive while on other levels they can be combined into a sophisticated blend of traditional, folk, and personal identity.  Before we examine this blend which I am partial to, let us first examine why these two ideologies have so much tension in some of their forms.

Anarchism as Anti-Nationalist: Anarchism, in theory and practice, stands against the modern nation-state system.  Anarchists want to dismantle central governments, tear down walls, erase borders, end the passport system, disband professional military forces, and get to a historical point where every individual in the world is looked upon as free and equal yet unique and differentiated.  In modern U.S. politics, if an individual advocates the elimination of the U.S. federal government (or least the nullification of its authority), the eradication of borders, the eradication of the tax system, the eradication of the military, and the eradication of U.S. law, then they would be termed an anti-nationalist in a lot of circles.

Nationalism as Anti-Anarchist: Most forms of nationalism are indeed anti-anarchist.  Nationalists tend to support a strong centralized government with expansive powers and they also tend to glorify the military-state.  Nationalists often preach and practice authoritarian collectivism or collectivistic authoritarianism.  Sometimes, nationalists are the biggest supporters of government wars, government authority, and xenophobic racism.  Nationalist forces in the United States are the main forces which want to legally ban the burning of the flag of the U.S. government in protest.

The way Anarchism and Nationalism can be blended: Despite these natural ideological conflicts, anarchism and nationalism are not mutually exclusive in all their forms.  If Anarchism is defined as simply consistent Anti-Authoritarianism which proposes that society should run as a collection of associated directly-democratic autonomous communities and if Nationalism is defined as a love for one’s land, one’s heritage, one’s traditions, one’s people, and one’s history, then Anarchism and Nationalism can be blended beautifully.

Mikhail Bakunin was an example of the combination of anarchist and nationalist values within one person.  Bakunin was a revolutionary anarchist who wanted to smash the nation-state system but he had a deep love for the Slavic peoples and envisioned a world where the Slavic peoples were self-managing with full control over their culture, their history, their values, and their lives.

Emma Goldman hated the nation-state system and how authoritarian nationalism was used to divide the global working class.  Emma Goldman made countless speeches on the evils of nationalism and patriotism as seen below but she also had a deep love for the American people, the American spirit, and the American values of freedom, independence, and anti-monarchism.  When she was deported from America in 1919, it broke her heart because America was her beloved home.

Murray Bookchin was an American anarchist who wanted to smash the centralized nation-state system while envisioning a world where every individual was freed from the horrors of militaristic tribalism and xenophobic racism.  With all this being said, he absolutely loved the democratic-libertarian ideals of the American revolution though it was hijacked by destructive forces.  In one of his many talks presented on YouTube, Murray said the following.  “The American Revolution was one of the greatest revolutions in the world and I am sorry that Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky and other idiots are going around deprecating it.” – Murray Bookchin is famous for starting with the people themselves and working with their own traditions rather than imposing foreign abstract concepts on them.

In the end, in a free world, it is quite possible to have nationalism without authoritarianism, to have nationalism without states, and to have nationalism while also having international solidarity.  Heck, in the 19th century, the American anarchist movement was filled with Italian factions, German factions, Jewish factions, Spanish factions, and many other factions.  They did not preach hatred toward one another and they preached universal solidarity but they still have their own heritage, their own traditions, their own loves, and their own lives.

Safety, Justice, and Working Class Power…

It is clear that most working class folks care about safety and justice.  However, it is unclear among our ranks how to realize those realities.  Some of us, like myself, believe that the police are the armed henchmen of our enemies, of our exploiters, of our dominators, of our masters, and of our rulers.  Some others, quite understandably, believe that the police are the best way to achieve the goals of safety and justice.  The solution to this issue is to put all the power into hands of the working classes.  Radicalize democracy.  Take democracy seriously.  Let them run their own lives.  Sooner or later, this working class power experiment will produce something which promotes safety and justice while also aligning with working class interests.

My Life’s Love, Work, and Goals

Anarchism is who I am.  Anarchism is the core of my being.  Before anything else, I consider myself an anarchist.  It is by far the most important thing in life.  It is my life.  Every fiber of my being is the very expression of anarchism.  Specifically, I am an individualist anarchist of the Stirnerite egoist tradition and I will always be so.  I might change on the issues of strategy, economics, or other peripheral things but I will always cling to individualist anarchism and Stirnerite egoism.

What do I aim to do with my life?  I aim to create a stateless, post-capitalist social order.  I want to see a world without class divisions.  I want to see a world where the wage system has been abolished.  I want to see a world where work has been abolished.  I want to see a world without the state.  I want to see a world without war.  I want to see a world without economic ruin.  I want to see a world where radical individuality is not hindered politically by the state, economically by capitalism, or socially by the family, tribe, or mob.  I want to take a sledge hammer to Hierarchical Authority, Puritanical Morality, and Rigid Ideology.

Is doing all this impossible within my lifetime?  Perhaps, but as an anarchist, it is my job to demand the impossible.  Only then will the impossible become possible.  Another world is coming.  I do not know when it is but it is coming and it cannot be stopped.

With all of this being said, my current job makes me feel like a caged animal.  All wage slavery sucks but my current wage slavery dominates me politically as well as economically.  The vacation time is awesome and allows me to escape the drudgery of direct slavery large portions of the year but my job also gags me, bans me from getting arrested, and requires me to be a licensed robot doing what I am told in a totalitarian bureaucracy.

Wage Slavery is the socio-economic condition of being forced to bow before a master to survive. It is the hallmark of our capitalist system. In order to live comfortably or to live period, the majority of individuals have to submit themselves to the authority of others. However, the unemployed are wrongly looked upon as a group of individuals outside the system of wage slavery. Even the most militant anarchists who avoid employment altogether are still wage slaves in my opinion. The unemployed are wage slaves in several ways. First, all of them feel the wrath of this economic system from restricted access to money. Second, the capitalist money system enslaves everyone especially since it is brutally enforced by the state. Third, most of the unemployed are forced into begging for employment on their knees. Finally, there is such a tremendous importance on being employed in our dominant culture that the stigma of being unemployed is horrific. The Hard Left’s solution to this is to universalize employment but to put the means of production under democratic self-management. I personally agree with the self-management part but I say to hell with everything else. Work, as we know it, can be abolished. We do not need to justify our existence by slaving away at ‘work’. In this way, the marginally self-employed are wage slaves as well in my opinion because they too are forced to rely on the statist-capitalist money system and are forced to work their tails off for a stressful existence.

Revolution was aborted by Occupy Liberals and they should be blamed for the Status Quo…

“This is the way to think of the revolution. It is a people reassembling themselves (reordering, reconstituting, and reorganizing themselves) into free associations at home, at work, and in the neighborhood. Capitalists will fight this. They may outlaw the meetings, bust them up by force, arrest those attending, or even murder those in attendance. But if we are determined, they will not be able to block us from reconstituting ourselves into the kind of social world we want.” – James Herod talking about Revolution and one of the many reasons why I blame Middle Class Liberals for murdering any chance for revolution during the 2011 Occupy movements.  They transformed a potential revolutionary moment into a middle class liberal call to reform the Republic through electoral means and to jack up taxes on Wall Street (which is a non-solution since it is simply Wall Street’s cost of doing business to stay in power).