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Oct. 13th, 2006 | 01:45 am
posted by: notnotnevinzehr in anarkospiritual

The vast majority of the problems in the anarchist movement stem from the movement's roots in the atheism of the bourgeois "enlightenment".

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Comments {12}

algizshield

(no subject)

from: algizshield
date: Oct. 14th, 2006 01:09 am (UTC)
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Agreed.

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Sam Adams

overstatement

from: perruche_verte
date: Oct. 14th, 2006 01:59 am (UTC)
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"The vast majority of the problems"?

Gosh, I don't know about that. The biggest problem I saw in the anarchist movement, last time I looked at it, was that it had too many armchair theorists engaged in internal arguments, and not enough organizers. There are probably more grad students writing theses on the Wobblies than there are Wobblies. Anarchists are like theologians who talk to each other, and not to the rest of the world.

I won't deny that atheism as anarchist dogma has been a problem, though.

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Matt Peters

Re: overstatement

from: ichzitterenicht
date: Oct. 14th, 2006 04:38 pm (UTC)
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I agree on both of your points, but I think it's very hard for anarchists organize. It's hard to find anarchists in many parts of the country (like southwestern VA, where I live). It's not like with liberals, where pretty much whereever you go, you'll find enough people to actually do something.

And even if you were to find enough anarchists for some kind of action, what do you do? I don't see the traditional protest as very effective. Sure, it's great for a feeling of solidarity, but I think it makes you feel like you've done more than is actually accomplished. And within anarchist groups, there a push for violent "revolution" which in my eye is counter-productive.

This is something I've been stuggling with. I don't want to be just armchair theorist, but what sort of actions WOULD be effective?

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Sam Adams

Re: overstatement

from: perruche_verte
date: Oct. 16th, 2006 03:23 am (UTC)
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I wish I knew that. Lately my life hasn't allowed me much time for overt activism, other than very small amounts of within-the-system stuff like (gasp) working for left-wing politicians.

I suspect that question is really beyond the scope of this group, though I think a useful first step anywhere is just to talk about anarchism in whatever way you can. Once you have more anarchists, other options are possible.

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za

Re: overstatement

from: super_weasel
date: Oct. 16th, 2006 03:29 am (UTC)
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Well, as he was suggesting, labor organizing (e.g. via the IWW) is one way that applies in many places. Though doing anything that dis-endears you to your bosses is a bit intimidating, I find, when you're living pretty much hand-to-mouth (as this recent college grad is).

A related thing that I have been thinking about lately is the co-op movement. "Starting a co-op business" is no small thing to do, probably harder than starting a normal capitalist business, but seems to be the fullest way to reject authority in the workplace. And yet people don't have to "be anarchist" to participate.

(A bit like Quakers, as a side note –- Quaker meetings are internally structured according to anarchist principles, and yet the majority of Quakers don't self-identify as anarchists.)

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Re: overstatement

from: notnotnevinzehr
date: Oct. 16th, 2006 06:30 pm (UTC)
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That's exactly what I'm talking about. "Anarchists" as a whole are members of a socio-economic class that predisposes them towards inaction.* They could improve themselves vastly as a whole if they sacrificed massive amounts of energy of techniques of physical, mental and spiritual improvement. But most of them irrationally reject these practices as useless, whereas the minority who recognize their use can still be too lazy to make anything of it. (I myself am a perfect example of this laziness) So as a whole they revert to lethargy.

*This obviously excludes the minority of people who identify with that term wo are not a member of that socio-economic class and are predominately more useful human beings

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freelark

(no subject)

from: freelark
date: Oct. 14th, 2006 02:23 pm (UTC)
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I don't see any reason to think that atheism is responsible for the majority, much less the vast majority, of problems that anarchist communities currently face.

But this raises an interesting question. What problems in anarchist communities have stemmed from atheism?

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za

(no subject)

from: super_weasel
date: Oct. 16th, 2006 03:17 am (UTC)
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Yes, I'd like to hear more specifics of what you (notnotnevizehr) have in mind -- largely because I'm not intimately familiar enough with the history or current state of anarchism to have more than a vague sense of what its 'problems' are.

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Sam Adams

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from: perruche_verte
date: Oct. 16th, 2006 03:29 am (UTC)
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For one, open scorn toward religious/spiritual practice in anarchist communities can make religious or spiritual people reluctant to consider anarchism, or to do any coalition work with anarchist groups (assuming anarchists find it useful to collaborate with non-anarchists).

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freelark

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from: freelark
date: Oct. 16th, 2006 04:45 am (UTC)
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This is a excellent point.

I recently had a phone conversation with a childhood friend who, unlike me, never left behind evangelical Christianity but was nonetheless very sympathetic when I explained to him why I'm a part of the radical labor movement. I would love doing coalition work with people like him, but I don't think he'd feel comfortable at a meeting of any anarchist group that I've been involved in. That's one thing I like about the IWW. The attitude is more or less, "You a boss? No? Then come on in, fellow worker." I wish more anarchist collectives would follow suit -- maybe not focusing only on labor issues but still making more of an effort to include the majority of oppressed people.

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(no subject)

from: notnotnevinzehr
date: Oct. 16th, 2006 06:12 pm (UTC)
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"open scorn toward religious/spiritual practice in anarchist communities can make religious or spiritual people reluctant to consider anarchism, or to do any coalition work with anarchist groups"

That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about open scorn towards religious/spiritual practice having a strongly detrimental personal effect on those who reject religious/spiritual practice. If I did nothing but sit around all day, I'd be in horrible physical shape. Same thing with the mind.

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za

(no subject)

from: super_weasel
date: Oct. 17th, 2006 02:25 am (UTC)
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I think I see where you're going with this now.

And I think I (qualified-ly) agree, which is what I had in mind when I wrote "You might be seeker greater self-discipline as an activist" in the userinfo.

But "qualified" because being religious doesn't in itself mean a person is going to follow any kind of disciplined spiritual path/practice that leads to greater self-control and awareness -- one can just as easily fall into ritualism, superstition, etc....

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