Friday, November 12, 2010

Anarchist Answers

I'll be posting this occasional new series, well, occasionally. To start, I'll just post some answers from other sources, and eventually, when I have the time and energy, some original thoughts and responses to critics, as well.

Question: How would an anarchist revolution come about?

For social anarchists revolution is a process, a process leading to the total deflation of state authority. That process entails self- and collective education and the building of alternative institutions as mechanisms of survival, of training and as models of a new society. Continuing parts of that process are repeated symbolic protests and direct assaults on ruling class institutions.

As more and more people regard the anarchist alternatives as preferable to the status quo, state power begins to be deflated. When the state can no longer maintain the confidence of substantial segments of the population, its agents will have to rely increasingly on the mobilization of the police and the military. Of course, that increase in force has multiple possible outcomes, ranging from the total repression of the Left to the further leftward mobilization of the population that regards this increased use of force illegitimate.

Our scenario does not rule out guerrilla warfare and armed struggle. But in the United States, for example, with its mammoth police apparatus,extensive files and surveillance of radicals, and its over 3,600 underground 'emergency operating enters' for ruling-class and military retreats, the idea of a primarily military revolution is an atavistic Marxist fantasy.

So where do we go from here? The next act in the revolutionary drama remains to be written. Drawing a battle plan today seems pointless. The overthrow of the state - the building of anarchist societies - will be an overwhelming majoritarian act. It cannot be otherwise. When, say, 5-10 per cent of the population identify themselves as anarchists, it is our guess that there would be a range of contingencies available that we could not possibly anticipate today.

Answer from Reinventing Anarchy: What are the anarchists thinking
these days?

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