via google search: ‘the use of strikes, demonstrations, or other public forms of protest rather than negotiation to achieve one’s demands.‘
via david: ‘the insistence, when faced with structures of unjust authority, on acting as if one is already free. One does not solicit the state. One does not even necessarily make a grand gesture of defiance. Insofar as one is capable, one proceeds as if the state does not exist.‘
adding page because of and during all this..
from moxie on democracy:
Next week on audio anarchy radio, we’ll continue with these thoughts by exploring some ideas that anarchists are interested in, such as *direct action and **informal organization.
*direct action? this could be a problem if defining it anything like google search does: ‘the use of strikes, demonstrations, or other public forms of protest rather than negotiation to achieve one’s demands.‘
demands are responsive.. which you’ve said are alienating..
.. if on the other hand.. it’s ‘living as if already free‘.. much better.. but still not enough for legit free\dom.. has to be all of us or it won’t work..
Direct action is perfectly consistent with this, because in its essence direct action is the insistence, when faced with structures of unjust authority, on acting as if one is already free. One does not solicit the state. One does not even necessarily make a grand gesture of defiance. Insofar as one is capable, one proceeds as if the state does not exist.
i’d go with that.. but needs to be all of us.. or it won’t work.. and i would say – no gestures of defiance.. i’d see that as a distraction.. energy suck
then this tweet:
“Much as there is a fetishization of theory in academia, there can be a fetishization of action in organizing.” – Emmi Bevensee
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/c4ssdotorg/status/1308011090295439361
Direct action is often posited as the apex of anarchist radicalism. It is seen as the font through which alternative worlds are glimpsed and from which they spring– the soil where theory is tested and seeds are planted. Much as there is a fetishization of theory in academia, there can be a fetishization of action in organizing.
Direct action is generally seen as *ranging from a brick through the window of a monopolistic big-bank and sit-ins, to benevolent mutual aid societies such as the collective healthcare system built by the Common Ground Collective in the Lower 9th Ward after Hurricane Katrina. Direct action is generally a part of a much longer strategy, even though it can at times just be the sudden bubbling over of rage or creativity.
perhaps *neither end is ‘action’ we would be partaking in if we were legit free.. ie: all that ‘actions’ we’ve seen/experienced/tried have been embedded in sea world.. meaning.. not the center of the problem.. not deep enough.. so not legit ‘acting if already free.. more defense/response/passivity than ‘action’ (wouldn’t need a ‘health care’ system if legit free.. so just responding to sick ness from system/sea-world rather than trying some alt way to live)
As regards the provision of services that the state fails or refuses to, there is much internal debate amongst anarchists about what constitutes a band-aid, or worse, a course of actions that are branded reformist and therefore a de-facto justification of state violence. On the other side is a question of what constitutes a pure form of positive impact. Within this debate there is an ever-present desire for greater positive impact with less negative corollaries. That debate is of course garbled by feckless jockeying for social capital and power in the race to be the rightest anarchist of them all. The battle for purity is a toxin while the struggle for accountability is a necessity.
accountable ness? to what/who.. in what form?.. part of the poison
Amongst radicals who have engaged in higher impact and deeper investment struggles, there is the humbled realization that all action is tainted. There is no pure *strategy, so we learn and try not to make ‘praxis’ an ineffectual buzzword.
all action in sea world is tainted (aka: not us).. there could be an *infra that’s not ongoingly tainting/retainting us.. if we’re brave enough to let go of the control/accountable ness.. and trust us
We are “walking while questioning” as the Zapatistas say.
Those in the peanut gallery are quick to critique anyone in the messy grit of “actually doing stuff” while at the same time many groups are wont to minimize the importance of hard theory and external perspective in developing coherent and impactful strategy.
findings (from messy and theory):
2\ if we create a way to ground the chaos of 8b free people
So, while we need people who understand the larger landscape and context within which the micro-violences occur, without those committed to the dirty work that theory implies is needed, nothing changes.
Reformists are quick to say that policy change is the only level at which true transformative change happens, while an anarchist will retort that the level of change needed demands complete overhaul.
let’s try a different experiment
The organizationalists among us strive to create the one big movement by ever linking these disparate nodes or unifying and standardizing their aims to leverage mass people power. The individualists and network-anarchists among us focus instead on horizontal relationship building over static infrastructure as this can create stronger and more defensible decentralized infrastructure and communities of practice
However it is that we choose to act, diversity is our strength. While we may disagree and debate about consequence or strategy in tactics of direct action, what we really need is a dynamic testing environment where many approaches are competing for viability in both the short and long-term.
not competing.. but yeah.. beyond all the blooms
Whether direct action is transformative or not depends on our aims and definitions as well as our context, including the unintended or unforeseen consequences of our actions.
What makes us anarchists is, in part, our insatiability, and as such, our thirst for freedom will never be quenched. This is our vitality but it can also be our poison. While a commune in the woods that fails to impact broader society at all may yet provide to its members a radically different mode of living, a group of vibrant youth who accurately assess the needs of their community may change the entire world.
both of those are partial.. and it will never work if it’s not all of us..
It’s a game of dice but where analysis assists the leverage we are able to harness. Is direct action transformative? Maybe; and the ongoing asking of that question matters almost more than the answer.