Thursday, November 29, 2007

National or Notional Anarchists?

So what are the different kinds of anarchists? Well, here's my list of all the ones I could find, and in no particular order.....

Indivdualists Anarchist; Autarchism; Collectivist Anarchist; Anarchist Communism; Anarcho-Sydnicalism; Anarcho-capitalism; Agorist; Christian Anarchist; Orthodox Anarchist; Punk Anarchist; Green Anarchists; National Anarchist; Market-left libertarian; Crypto-Anarchism; Analytical Anarchism; Left Anarchy; Right Anarchy; Insurrectionary Anarchy; I'm sure the list goes on.....

My personal favourite, Anarchism without adjectives is an ideology which tolerates the coexistence of different anarchist schools. I wanted to do a post about this as there seems to be a lot of talk lately about what constitutes an anarchist, and the right for one group or person to call themselves an anarchist, and their dismissal of alternative schools of thought as not.

"Intellectual property and the title anarchist" by Royce Christian

It's amazing that while most Anarchists, of all stripes, reject intellectual property laws as simply a construct of the state, the most extreme among us have this tendency to enforce their factions ownership of the term 'Anarchist'. Truly, it is amazing to see. Fanatical Anarchists unquestioningly support their own brand of Anarchism denounce all others as somehow 'fake'. They are in fact the largest hypocrites among us. These are the people who have a unyielding confidence in what they know is the truth, the way and the light. Anything that doesn't accept this obvious truth is deemed false and thus statist. Unfortunately for the rest of us, this kind of unreasoned fanaticism has many proponents within the Anarchist movement.

Let's consider the National Anarchists, as they seem to be the most polarizing of all the different factions. National anarchism has its origins in the UK, and is largely the brainchild of Troy Southgate, an individual with a long history of involvement in the British neo-Nazi movement, including organisations such as the National Front, the International Third Position, the English Nationalist Movement and the National Revolutionary Faction. Critic Graham D. Macklin notes that “When put into its wider context… ‘national-anarchism’ appears as one of many groupuscular responses to globalization, popular antipathy towards which Southgate sought to harness by aligning [his activities]… with the resurgence of anarchism whose heroes and slogans it arrogated, and whose sophisticated critiques of global capitalist institutions and state power it absorbed…”. In essence, ‘national anarchism’ is an attempt to use anarchist rhetoric and imagery in order to better advance the cause of reactionary, racist and fascist politics.

So, we've established that national anarchism itself was created by fascists and is thus considered a racist form of anarchism (because it's anti-state). Wikipeadia has a lot to say on the topic of the history of Anarchism with Nationalism , so in reality, the idea isn't particularly new, and is really just the rehash of an old story.

But are they really racist, or just exclusionary? I believe the later, but I'll come to that in a moment. I believe that national anarchism isn't just for Europeans, but rather national anarchism embodies the idea that people can form communities based upon lines that suit their interests.

Each type of anarchism which I've listed above is just that. A group of anarchists who have come together along an issue which they believe to be important. Be it, social (communism anarchists), economic (agorist), religious (orthodox or christian). These are all anarchists who have formed a group with similar ideas.

In the words of a famous european anarchist; Pierre Joseph Proudhon

Whoever puts his hand on me to govern me is a usurper and a tyrant. I declare him my enemy.

My conscience is mine, my justice is mine, and my freedom is a sovereign freedom.

Under anarchist doctrine, people have the freedom to form groups based along whatever issues are important to them. Further, freedom includes the freedom to hate, the freedom to offend, and the freedom of self-expression, on the basis that there is no physical harm impacted upon another.

From my point of view the killing of another, except in defense of human life, is archistic, authoritarian, and therefore, no Anarchist can commit such deeds. It is the very opposite of what Anarchism stands for...
Joseph Labadie

"Government is an association of men who do violence to the rest of us."
Leo Tolstoy

Therefore, so long as there is no violence against another, the principle of national anarchism is a principle of freedom of association. National Anarchism is really something in which we all practise with our different forms of anarchism. Instead of the term National Anarchism, we can change the name to "ideas based anarchy" or "community anarchy". It seems to me, that each group of people organicly formed will be based upon principles agreed upon by that community. Be it religious doctrine, racial, cultural or sexual orientation homogeneity. That is, communities can form along homosexual lines, along identity politics or economical politics. Regardless of your particular opinion as to the validity of these communities, the reality is, that they will form, and in fact, your allegiance to a particular school of anarchistic thought, is by it's nature exclusionary and a form of national anarchism.

So why national anarchism? Based on my assumptions above that it's not neccessarily racially based, but based on any idea or principle important to individuals, "National" is the description of what the community is. After all, each community can be considered a "Nation unto itself". One of the most influential doctrines in history is that all humans are divided into groups called nations. It is an ethical and philosophical doctrine in itself, and is the starting point for the ideology of nationalism. These nations - as described are anarchistic schools of thought. So, in essence we are all national anarchists - but what about the European National Anarchists? These are the National Anarchists who wish to form along racial lines, or upon identity politics.

My answer - remains the same. Freedom. Freedom from co-ercion is the highest form of anarchy. The ability of a "nation" (as described in this post) to self-determination. Further, there are other racially based anarchists out there who believe identity politics is important. Power 2 the people is an African American Socialist Anarchist, with a strong emphasis on anti-racism, and yet has strong support for the Black Panther Party, and the struggle for his African brothers under their current dictatorship and imperialism. If this is not racist, how can Europeans with the same strong ethnocentric community ties be considered to be racist? While this isn't the main point of the article, and needs much further investigation, I think it's important to note, that National Anarchism, the rise of "nations" of anarchy, are a central doctrine of any true anarchist. The fact that we disagree on certain ideas and principles, which gives rise to the different factions only further supports the principle that:

"Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet."
- Rudyard Kipling
and thus, National Anarchism is one answer to such a dilemma.


Anonymous said...

"national anarchism embodies the idea that people can form communities based upon lines that suit their interests." Is exactly right! Typical Left wing anarchist movements are stuck on an internationalist platform that works for the benefit of one group (e.g., the natives) at the expense of another (the new comers). This idea is tied to the First International and showed itself to be a dismal failure by the Second International. It is critical that people decide _by themselves_ how and with whom they want to live. That is a fundamental human right.


Judah P. Benjamin said...

You say, "National Anarchism is really something in which we all practise with our different forms of anarchism."

Yet it is very much different than our forms of anarchism, because it is a movement that consciously seeks to infiltrate the antifascist Left, and to usurp its energy by transforming anarchists' contempt for power into a contempt for people of color.

In its undertones, National Anarchism posits that racial miscegenation is a greater threat to the working class than the force of capitalism itself.

From a traditional libertarian socialist perspective, their philosophy is anti-equality and thus essentially anti-anarchist, whereas it is a back door to absolving privileged Whites from any social responsibility towards the people of color in their communities. People of color, whom -- mind you -- have for centuries suffered at the hands of privileged White Racialists who were pushin' the same bullshit in another wrapper.

You're right about those "nations." We call them affinity groups. They're a central organizing principle in anarchism, whether the intentional anarchism of committed activists, or the unintentional anarchism of a sewing circle.

But I feel like I shouldn't be telling you that.

After poking around your blog and seeing your defense of hate speech and after reading your soft pitch for the gullible here...

Eh. I think you're one of them, and that this post is an infiltration itself.

Alex said...

Thank you Judah to take the time and respond to my post. The issue of the European National Anarchists is a polarising one. I have to reflect more upon the nature to which you refer "white privilege" in this context, but I will make a post about this in the future. It was my intention to only cover this briefly. I was more concerned about stating that "affinity groups" under an anarchistic society would be akin to "nations". Hence, in essence we are all National Anarchists, just not European National Anarchists.

My defence of hate speech is at the heart of libertarian, nihilist and anarchist thinking.

We all draw the lines of freedom to a certain point (hence the formation of affinity groups/ nations). Personally I accept hate speech as free speech because I have become frustrated with the current system where people FEAR to speak their mind at the risk of offending another person. The pendulum has swung too far. This does not in any way suggest that I condone what people say, so much as their ability to say it. As an anarchist do you think the state should disallow Hate Speech? (it already has!) As an anarchist do you think the state should control prisons, education? Of course not!

Anarchists believe in the abolition of state - which includes the regulation of crime, and the regulation of freedom of speech.

Freedom of speech is essential to anarchistic principle. That is not to say there are no consequences for offending "people of colour" or anyone else.

Of course there will be consequences. I merely point out that fundamental to anarchists are a.) Freedom from state control and b.) Free speech = hate speech doesn't mean it's appropriate nor will it offend. I merely point out, that people are free to do so.

Anonymous said...

"Yet it is very much different than our forms of anarchism, because it is a movement that consciously seeks to infiltrate the antifascist Left, and to usurp its energy by transforming anarchists' contempt for power into a contempt for people of color."

This is not an issue of "contempt for colored people" but a contempt of en enforced policy of the State and liberal democracy. The draconian legislation of enforced immigration is a tool of the ruling class to promote it's power. However even with that fact mentioned, ethnicity, religion, lifestyle, and culture are not irrelevant consideration to have for ones neighbors or ones countrymen and the right to self determination is a universal human right whither you like that or not. This is exactly why all Anarchists support the struggle of Palestine from the Israeli tools of American imperialism.

"In its undertones, National Anarchism posits that racial miscegenation is a greater threat to the working class than the force of capitalism itself."

Nonsense, the "threat" of capitalism and "race mixing" has been going on for hundreds of years and yet the nature of the "threats" are very different than what you refer to. The importance of a persons class is a 20th century holdover and I can't way for the day when this Karl Marx attitude is discarded for a personality based on higher values. Anarchists are not Marxists, Judah. We don't play your games. National Anarchism presents a series of values that you may or may not agree with but 19th century Marxist classism that you present is not the set of directives that are most paramount for the survival of an organic society of free men and women living the kind of life they want to live. An autonomous lifestyle is the revolution, you can take your Bolshevik dictatorship and shove it. National Anarchy extends free domain over all facets of life including the freedom of communities to be built along sympathetic religious, political, and sexual orientation, you name it. Your empty rhetoric on the other hand has nothing more to offer than maintaining the status quo of the government helping the ruling class fracture the working class. Your ideology is a categorical failure and has long been exposed as a failure of egalitarianism each and every single country it has been enacted.


Mark Berger said...

A good editorial from the Seattle Times about white privilege.

Rosenberg suggests we should focus on the issues that reinforce underachievement in minorities, rather than encouraging victimology.

Anonymous said...

"Rosenberg suggests we should focus on the issues that reinforce
underachievement in minorities, rather than encouraging victimology."

Whose this "we"? So called Minorities/Majorities are not the concerns of anarchism. "Rosenbergs" sympathy for status quo liberal politics in America is very similar to that of Labour in Australia... except for Left wing racial engineering that goes part and parcel of the liberal ideology since the 1930s.

Anarchist Against the Wall said...

you are aware that national anarchism delibratly sets out to destroy traditional anarchism? look at the idiots that are apart of it. All from the dregs of Far right nationalist groups(BNP, NF, APP, WCOTC etc.)

Anarchism and nationalism will never be combined, they never have and never will.

National Anarchist said...

Anarchists Against The Wall: If by traditional Anarchism you mean internationalism in line with the First International, you bet we oppose this "Anarchism." It has become evident that despite the treatment of Anarchists by Statist groups throughout history, so-called trad Anarchists still support Marxist groups and have adopted cultural Marxist ideas. National-Anarchists vehemently oppose this.

National-Anarchists come from all sides of the political spectrum, yet cannot be pigeon holed in neither left nor right. National-Anarchism opposes both the extreme nationalism of the "right" and the extreme egalitarianism of the "left." We are against both Communism and National Socialism.

National-Anarchism is a new political current that is gathering speed all over the world. Jump on board!

Anarchist Against the Wall said...

Your invitation to join your incoherent and idiotic ideology is fiercely denied.

Please excuse me, when I said traditional I meant genuine; National anarchism is nothing more than a front group for anti-anarchist activities perpetuated by members of the far right.

If by "political current gathering speed all over the world" your referring to the miniscule number of ex neo nazis that have huddled under the umbrella of third position politics? Nothing more than a ripple in a pond. (Even that’s being generous)

Those aligned to genuine anarchism already know you’re a bunch of fascist provocateurs so quit trying to polish a turd.

"Comunismo Anarquista Para Siempre"

National Anarchist said...

Anarchists Against The Wall: "Communist Anarchist?" They say that National-Anarchism is an oxymoron. Go take a look at the history of Anarchist/Communist relations, bloody is an understatement.

Why has the so-called "extreme left" failed for so long? It is because you are no longer radical. There is nothing radical about internationalism. Indigenous peoples have aligned themselves with the imperialist powers, Homosexuals are married under State ceremonies etc. there is nothing revolutionary about your left anymore.

We utterly reject the current system, we wish to tear it apart and start anew. This is revolutionary politics, this is about changing the world. It is not some reactionary pipe dream like the current left looks like. People will forever look to their closest kinfolk, culture is the product of people, it is natural and ethnicity plays a role in this. You call nationalism of this definition "fascist," tell that to any Black nationalist and s/he would most likely take strong offence.

The "anarchist" attacks on National-Anarchists has nothing to do with what side of politics they came from, it is solely due to many public NA being European. News flash - there are National-Anarchists around the world, of all backgrounds, including Muslims and homosexuals. What is fascist about N-A?

You can have your false traditions and false pride, keep calling yourselves Anarchists, you are not. I'll call myself what I like - National-Anarchist, Revolutionary Tribalist, Cultural Revolutionary, all means the same thing. We love the reaction you give us for such petty things as a label.


Casapound said...

pMost of the "anarchists" that attack national anarchism are closer to being anarcho-communist, and this viewpoint has an impact on their analysis.

Marxists view the world through the prism of class and economics and nothing else. No other consideration makes it through the haze, everything else is subordinate.

Anarchists, or at least anarchists who live in the real world dont have to look at things in this straightlaced fashion.

Its about time the "anarchists" who attack the few national anarchists as "fash scum" go off and join a Trot group, the sense of conformity would no doubt make them feel at home.

SKELTON said...

I find both sides of this debate quite intriguing, at least where they are being genuinely argued for. However i think that the blindness of one side is being reinforced by the kneejerk reaction of the other. Some of you are right - i don't care whether you call yourself an anarchist or not - what you believe is up to you. However i strongly disagree that what has been called hate-speech is something which can be smuggled under the umbrella of 'free speech'. I have always believed that each of us should have freedom up until the limits of another's freedom. (This statement is a summarisation of what Immanuel Kant describes as the 'catagorical imperative') When you engage in hate speech, or discriminatory behaviour, you actively encroach on the freedom of others. Thus anyone who promotes discrimination or exclusion against others on the basis of racial or cultural or class characteristics would not be behaving in an anarchistic way to my mind.
A second confusion is raised here. Most of us seem to agree that it is the ruling class, or the system of international capitalism which causes the most suffering to all peoples around the globe. (Or at least most people on this board have name checked this idea.) The question then, is how can we criticise those who are implicated in this global system without also contradicting our beliefs? This problem reveals the basic problem with your (National Anarchists) avowal of nihilism in connection with your beliefs - Anarchism is NOT an endorsement of sheer cultural relativism - which is the term given to the problem above - Anarchism is the construction of a positive system of moral values that would allow all peoples of the world to live in harmony with one another. The proliferation of terms combined with anarchism relates to a basic difficulty that springs from the human condition - each of us tends to think that our opinion and our values are more important than those of others. Thus you have anarchists who value the environment as their highest priority, others who see christian belief as their goal, and apparently those of you who seem to think that there are these natural and original things called "Nations" which should be pursued above all else. I find this last catagory very difficult to understand, and even more so to see why you consider it to be radical and anti-state. The idea of a nation is not the same thing as an affinity group by any measure - here you are playing with semantics and trying to disguise it as rational argument. Nationalism is a doctrine manufactured by the state, not some sort of organic pre-historical catagory. Could you clarify what you mean when you talk about these 'nations' built up around cultural religious or sexual beliefs? While i accept that people may wish to withdraw into communities gated by their shared politics, i see this as causing only damage to the broader movement of anti-authoritarian and anti-state thought. As someone who identifies as an anarchist i actively try to work with people from as many different political, religious, cultural and yes national backgrounds as possible - because this is the only possible way to extend the project of freedom for all across the divisive lines of identity drawn by those powerful few who wish to keep us all alienated fro each other.
In this sense your use of Black Nationalism as a justification for your national Anarchism (which to me certainly seems to be composed by mainly white participants) is slightly awe-inspiring in its niaveity. Here is relativism in its fullest and finest ignorance. Totally ignoring the cultural backgrounds and historical circumstances from which Black nationalism comes, you trivialise your own position by attempting to simply copy its framework from an ideology with which you have little to no connection with. However that certainly seems to be a feature of your platform as i understand it - you are merely ideological consumers, combining a mixture of unsettling positions and borrowed labels to create a weak and shallow mixture of slogans and images and ideas. Perhaps you should consider calling youself Post-Modernist Anarchists - that would make more sense. Then you could put it in a gallery and call it art too! At least we could all have a good laugh then. Oh wait.. we already are.

And one last comment on this confusion about anarchism and socialism and marxism (three very different things). 'every good anarchist is at first a socialist, but not every good socialist is at first a anarchist.' I believe that Bakunin said that. Socialism and marxism are different things deary. Anarchists often express socialist ideas in ways that are unfamiliar to those who don't really have the energy to interrogate their own ideological backgrounds. Do your research. And anarchists against the wall is right - stop trying to polish a turd.


Alex said...


Thanks for the insight, and a big thanks for calling me a fascist dictator on your blog. Hate speech is free speech and all that, and after all, people wanting my personal information because I'm such a scum bag is not coercive to my freedom at all! ;-)


As for your insight into National/ Notional Anarchism, as already discussed I do not, will not and NEVER have agreed with Globalism.

I do not want a world in which everyone looks the same, acts the same, speaks the same and has the same culture. I am pro-diversity in all it's many forms. I support segregated communities for Aboriginals in order to preserve their ethnic and cultural identity.

How can I in good conscience justify the preservation of one race, culture or religion and not another?

Don't worry Skelton, just call me a fascist again - it will make you feel better. Too bad if I'm offended eh?

SKELTON said...

actually alex, i don't have a blog where i advertise my views, and start fights between fellow internet denizens, i do my work face to face and on the street where the politics that i'm interested in takes place. I'm dissappointed that you felt the need to simply dismiss my questions, because i am geniunely interested in your views. Like i said, what you choose to call yourself is up to you - i don't believe in making rules or forming exclusive meaningful groups around names or descriptions. But perhaps you have confused me for someone else, so i'll just say this - i have not slandered you here or elsewhere, so if you'd like to respond to my questions like an intelligent political agent, then i look forward to your response. If not then enjoy your little cyber space poltico masturbations.

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