Fault Lines: brief notes on potentially exploitable weaknesses

  • Posted on: 13 November 2012
  • By: worker

<table><tr><td>What follows are some quick notes contributing to what could be called an anarchist "policy analysis". By anon.

With the election just behind us, Occupy largely considered to be dead, state repression against anti-authoritarians building, lingering economic woes and a rising right-wing populist discontent, what are our best options for contributing to overall destabilization?

The climate:

Anarchists had two minds with regards to Occupy: one the one hand many pointed towards its leaderless, largely informal organizational structure, vague "anti-capitalist" sentiments, popularizing of a generalized dissent and its potential for deeper destabilization as broadly positive characteristics. Others decried it's problems, which are numerous to say the least, but for the purposes of this piece paramount was the idea that it was often a little too close to the mainstream, and thus too close to liberal/reformist recuperation. Potentially a huge effort would have been required to shift Occupy in a direction such that it would have adopted a solidly anti-establishment agenda and achieved significant politico/economic destabilization.</td><td><img title="I love the sound when I smash the glass. If I get caught..." src="http://anarchistnews.org/files/pictures/2011/glasses_screams.jpg"></td><...
With Occupy having raised Serious Questions that have yet to be answered, opportunities for left-leaning and/or anti-authoritarian rupture are still very real, and still very unpredictable.

In terms of the concrete effects of Occupy a few would-have-been liberals were radicalized (an obvious positive) but the main result we have seen is most likely the passage of some assuaging nominally progressive legislation.

At this time it appears that left-leaning movements stand little hope of building a viable revolutionary potential, the left political climate is "mushy", meaning opportunistic and thus likely to bleed into and rely upon successful looking institutional solutions. As has been pointed out the middle class mostly wants to remain middle class and the "working class" wants to become middle class: supporting Obama and his party looks like a good bet for making this happen to most of the left population, any problems with his otherwise very aggressive "defense" policy notwithstanding (this is easy enough for most to ignore).

(Those groups and individuals who would have in the past lent their efforts to building a revolutionary left movement have to a significant, if not large degree, taken legitimate critiques of "leftism" in general to heart and as such are instead contributing to a mostly un-coordinated "post-left" inspired anarchism that is flashy but currently inept when it comes to putting any larger strategies or tactics into effect. This ineptitude is not inevitable, however.)

The Dem party has generally been wildly successful at making itself appear to be the party "in touch" with its constituency, while in fact achieving most of the aims and goals of the ruling elites with amazing success. That is, it is having its popular support and eating it too. Obama's Dem party is correctly seen as being the best thing for US right now (and thus the worst thing for us), hence its unsurprising electoral reconfirmation.

The Repub party on the other hand has been having problems partly because it has actually been too responsive towards its constituency, it has in effect been acting "too democratic": a toxic practice within electoral politics. Actual populism on the larger party's part doesn't win the presidency in any case, non-institutional players and politics don't win in the institution. The larger conservative population/institution complex in this country is feeling bitter and torn on how to proceed: on the one hand they are feeling a reactionary anti-establishment impulse fueled by Obama's spreading "socialism" (and nominally brown complexion) while on the other hand they are in a bind since they spend so much time lambasting Occupy's "illegalism" and highlighting their own decent law-abindingness that they realize it would look wildly hypocritical for them to actually engage in the borderline-rebellious activities that they sometimes talk about and surely dream of.

The more respectable, moderate (read: elite) sections of the Repub/conservative institution of course understand Obama's utility and as such tolerate or even quietly support him. This only contributes to the mistrust that the more populist sectors of the Repub/conservative complex (TP types) harbor towards their own elitist "higher-ups": they both ask each other "where do your allegiances really lie?" The answer to that question is the United States in both cases, just different understandings of it (one a greener shade like money, the other whiter like, well, white folks, to put it crudely). Both the institution of the republican party and the body of the conservative population are internally riven and in some turmoil.

Potentially exploitable situations:

Permaculture teaches us to understand systems and identify leverage points so that we can effect changes within them with the least amount of effort. In this case we want to break the system, so we are looking for strategically placed fault-lines to wedge apart further.

Classic revolutionary theory won't help us in the positive/constructive aspect since our newer organizational/cultural programs (or non-programs as it may be) don't work in the same way that the old ones did. However, what classic revolution theory says about disrupting and pulling apart systems might still be useful to us, although not in the way it was originally intended.

As such I am proceeding on the assumptions that 1) we don't want to effect change by getting significant portions of the population on board with a program, but we do want significant portions of the population to stop actively supporting the state/economy, and if possible to actively start attacking it, and 2) that large scale state disruption would be significantly advanced by the achievement of discontent and refusal on the part of the military, as has been acknowledged in classic revolution theory.

Although certainly many will critique these two assumptions, I have sought to keep them essentially compatible with the broadest range of flavors of anarchism.

At this point frontal assault in the sense of simply pushing forward with the most obvious and least sneaky tactics on our part seems not to be gaining us very much ground (the exciting "hoist the black flag and throw rocks" battle program). I support it in the nominal sense that I support anarchist attack activities in general, but acknowledge the low tactical efficiency of this orientation.

We could probably proceed more or less upon this path with greater success by exploiting the absolutely laughable environmental policies of the developed world's nations through more or less traditional propaganda/education campaigns coupled with rowdy direct-action, and then escalating from there. Highlighting the giant discrepancy between scientifically established understandings of global warming and officially mandated state policy could probably help to lead more of the complacent left/liberal population to discontentment and resistance. My sense is that this is the most directly exploitable crack.

Ultimately though my reading of the social/political climate leads me to feel that more difficult but far more interesting task would be to help drive the populist/conservative population farther towards rebellious activities.

There are a lot of reasons to suspect that a segment of the population that the state has historically relied upon to a very large extent is feeling pretty resentful and fed up, so I won't bother listing much evidence. Today, for example, the BBC reported that the White house is now obliged to respond to the petition of Texas residents requesting permission to secede in the wake of Obama's reelection: they easily secured the required 25,000 signatures. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-20301477

If tea-party types, for example, were somehow driven to the point of desperation where they would consider a more "insurrectionist" course, this would not only be a harsh blow psychologically (the establishment would have a much harder time successfully writing off "tea party patriots" as wanton criminals and terrorist), but would also likely present serious logistical problems due to various contradictory sentiments amongst active-duty soldiers. The phenomena of the "Oath Keepers" movement within the military is indicative, as are the pages of comments generated in response to a paper titled "Full Spectrum Operations in the Homeland: A “Vision” of the Future" featured in the Small Wars journal, a paper co-written by Kevin Benson, Ph.D., Colonel, U.S. Army, Retired, that imagines what the official response to a "tea-party insurrection" might look like. http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/full-spectrum-operations-in-the-hom...

Massive unrest by Occupy types would in contrast not be particularly problematic and suppression thereof would probably proceed by the books, as it were. History would certainly indicate as much.

As it stands I also believe that nudging the right towards (ultimately unsuccessful) rebellion would be more fruitful than the left towards "successful" revolution, in that the right is largely made up of people who are entitled, pushy, financially independent and well armed. They are used to feeling that the system should be working for them, become genuinely outraged when they perceive that it is not and are trained to act aggressively if need be to get what they want.

If it appeared that a true, full-blown and successful rightwing revolution was actually imminent then I would certainly not advise its hastening (this would have its own obvious problems). As it stands this possibility is still remote enough that subtly pushing in that direction would probably be more likely to simply help foment social disintegration and overall destabilization, potentially diverting some state repression away from us and opening new opportunities for autonomy and subversion, etc.

For those less interested in outright offensive attack this kind of instability would potentially make room for "defensive" forays into autonomy (as in "responding to the general climate of political unrest we hereby close off this neighborhood to incursions by both agents of the state and those right-wing insurgents fighting against the state, we are taking this step with the intention of keeping our streets peaceful and safe. Due to disruptions in the flow of goods into our neighborhood we hereby instate emergency gardening procedures on all vacant land..." blah blah blah).

This is perhaps one of the few ways that we could use the Obama win to our advantage, and we should try to use absolutely everything that we can to our advantage.

Exactly how we would go about pushing tea-party types farther into desperation and lawlessness is a tricky question, potentially one best decided on an individual and small group basis.

In any case the last thing that we should allow to proceed is the re-stabilization of the economic and political situation. The better the US does, the worse the we do. Every option open to us is dangerous, but doing nothing is by far the most dangerous option. We should be seeking to wreck the game ASAP: allowing ourselves to be played ultimately means losing.

Our new found publicity doesn't mean that we are powerful enough to become cocky, I doubt that we will ever become powerful enough to warrant being so self-assured. So, let's up the sneaky.

As always others will have better ideas or analysis than that hastily banged out here. Please push your criticism towards constructiveness.


"Our new found publicity..."?

One more meaningless image of revolt we also have become, no? Are we now in a better place, because of this purely quantitative movement, to act even 'sneaky', as you say?

You seem stuck in school, where they tell you knowledge equals power. If only it were true. But at this point we have to get away from the idea that if people knew more about how fucked up everything is, then they would change the world. This has been repeated many times but no one listens, which is why you just repeated the same thing in the same way that different people with the same ideas have been saying, meaninglessly, for centuries:

"At this time it appears that left-leaning movements stand little hope of building a viable revolutionary potential"

Holy shit. I'm so excited I now can give up my false hope. Why would any anarchist think that any left leaning movement would have any viable revolutionary potential. Can't we move on from this?

You are talking about electoral politics as if they have something to do with us. You are analyzing policy. This is not something anarchists can do, unless we are not anarchists. But I will answer your first question:

"what are our best options for contributing to overall destabilization?"

Nothing. We do not destabilize anything. But the world itself seems to be doing an excellent job at doing this. Is there not enough damage around for you to see this? Welcome to the pain that characterizes life these days.

Ah, what is an anarchist to do?

What you seem to fail to realize is that capitalism thrives on crises. Where you and I see disaster, neoliberalism sees new markets.

is there something to intensifying their crisis to the point they can no longer contain it??? Stick them in the graves they've already dug?

your "authority" isn't valid. fuck off.

I understand N. Korea has a pretty fair currency counterfeiting operation. I don't know about Cuba. China might. The problem with all that is such operations are considered an act of war by the state. Repercussions would be severe were the source discovered. But assuming it wasn't, wide simultaneous distribution would lend itself to prevention of pinpointing the source. Anonymous distribution would also work well in tandem were that the goal.

China is currently hard at work to replace the Yankee dollar as the world's reserve currency. It has just begun issuing gold backed currency toward that end. Extremists may have to do nothing but wait for the apple to fall from the tree and be prepared to make sauce.

Getting caught engaging in such tactics isn't an option. The feds lock up counterfeiters, given the threat the represent to the state, for longer terms than convicted murderers. If they discovered your identity but couldn't arrest you, they'd resort to eliminating you altogether. Still, it is a non-violent form of resistance. Or...simply wait! The U.S. is undergoing collapse, much like the Soviets.

You get to a point where everything you said, all the organizations, marches, events and talks that you went to either get you a nice modest life, in tune with nature, the people you live with, and generally the cosmos, where we all live in harmony and peace, and manage disagreements and conflict with tactful grace, or, if we're lucky, we get an anonymous phone call to leave the country, and if not, a knock at the door.

there are people i know, who do things

I'm not sure if you need to read the Art of War or if you already did and it was a horrible mistake.

This is just so much bs without some sort of name attached. A nom-de-plume. A nom-de-guerre or even some letters and numbers please.

Signed ' Tired of anonymous bullshit'

who fuckin cares who wrote it

Occupy's not dead!



Uhhh, I don't think inciting rightwing rage is a good idea at all. You know these creeps tend to target queers and people of color before they attack the state. Seems smarter to spread anarchist propaganda geared towards a rightwing/libertarian audience, like Of Tea Parties and Patriots and the NC Piece Corps, in the hopes that rightwingers will stop being such dumbshits...

maybe NC Piece Corps isn't geared towards right wing audience... I was thinking of the John Brown Gun Club: http://multi.lectical.net/content/rednecks_guns_and_other_anti_racist_st...

Queers and people of color are currently being attacked, like, right now, without our doing anything.

Of course we shouldn't incite hard-right types to forming bloodthirsty mobs, that would be disastrous. Rather, the trick would be to incite more moderate fiscal conservative types who in a superficial sense actually care about not looking racist (in any case) to act "in defense of the constitution", in a politically insurrectionist/rebellious manner, thus incurring massive stare repression, defensive counter-response, etc., and generally causing a very messy, complicated shitstorm for the state to deal with.

The assumptions here are that 1) our standard tactics of "spreading anarchist propaganda" are not working and eventually we will lose as badly as our historical predecessors have done time and time again 2) unless SERIOUS destabilization occurs either on its own or with our encouragement, opening spaces for us to more fully exert our honestly limited power

Yep. The political spectrum can be thought of as a circle rather than a line. Not all conservatives are racists, misogynists, sexists, or war criminals. Many would like to see much less government, if not none at all. While that's not pure by some standards, it's a step in the right direction and very different from those who want more government to address the problems with which capitalism and corporations have infected the body politic.

Mmmm... just because not all conservatives evidence blatant and extreme racism, misogyny etc. doesn't make them a good enough lesser evil to be worth rooting for. I have very high standards for what counts as a lesser evil: a red anarchosyndicalist revolution would in my opinion be a lesser evil worth shooting for, and then hopefully transcending.

The point is just to get the tea-party types fighting the state and for neither of them to really win.

If we want the US to be seriously destabilized, then a decent way for that to happen would be for it to get sucked into an incredibly costly, demoralizing, messy, and convoluted internal conflict. The "conflict" it is currently having with anarchists is pretty much none of those things, rather, they are currently mopping us up pretty well as far as it goes. A hot conflict with tea-party types would, on the other hand, by all indications fit this ticket.

Let a hundred flowers bloom, and a hundred schools of thought contend.

Disagree completely. I think far right wing attitudes will decline, at least and only in the United States as the ethnic demographics expand. The collapse of the right will leave an intellectual void. Ethically speaking fuck liberals. But if you can figure out how to proliferate and apeal to people on ethical and moral levels youbcwn make something happen. But you first have to drop the narcissism, the Anarcho posturing, and open up serious conversations in your own communities. You also have to be somewhat conventional and see where in real space you can meet people outside of this community. Also holding more deztructive elements in our community accountable, and when I say destructive IT mean unethical ego driven kids who don't really study the tactics and really show up to any event whether they're the underwhelming minority or not and simply piss everyone off put inexprienced folks at risk, imply they're going to use violence at a federal courthouse the day of a g.j. hearing. Being able to discern between insurrection and class struggle, Anarchist movements and populist movements, being able to applh consensus in your own communitirs (like the consensus) making ethical appeals to one another, etc.

None of this applys policing by the way. No matter what you can't turn your bafks on one another. Just my two cents.

"Confronting an Anarchist.". Loved it.

Preach to teach. Give people alternatives. Don't just name their enemy and tell them what's wrong. They already know. Recognizing we have shared values with not just each other but people in general.

But first and foremost Anarchism has to be working for us. Make the damn accountability process work. Use Identity Politics correctly. Etc. If you can't run an accountability process because someones denial is getting in the way attack their privelage. Make community efforts on these things and never be afraid to take a stand. Friends hold other friends accountable. Hold each other up firwt and foremost.

Time and patience

Is that the name of a book? If so, where can it be found?

Cutting the Edge: Current Perspectives in Radical/Critical Criminology and Criminal Justice is an interesting volume, but it's $111 for hardbound. Anyway someone can scan and distribute this textbook?

The publisher described its contents as follows:

"This book introduces the reader to the critical issues, important trends, theories, and various subdisciplines in the current manifestation of radical and critical criminology and criminal justice, including postmodernism, left realism, feminism, and peacemaking. Since its articulation in the 1960s, radical and critical criminology has matured into a diverse body of work encompassing a variety of interesting perspectives. Contributors to this volume examine emerging issues in the theory (the importance of classics in radical theory, the market economy, the introduction of anarchist theory) and traditional concerns of criminology and criminal justice (white collar crime, police, prisons, community corrections, courts/sentencing), but from a critical perspective.

This book showcases current scholarship in this often neglected area of theory and praxis with contributions by respected academics in the field of radical and critical criminology. These individuals represent a diversity of nationalities, races, ethnicities, religions, and genders. The reader will find their conclusions not only thought-provoking and stimulating, but highly accessible as well."

"far right attitudes" don't decline in times of economic crisis, they polarize and solidify and go on the attack. That's where Hitler came from and it's replaying in Greece right now.

You're right, but in regards to the united states its too ethnicalky diverse. The "far right attitudes" will be the ones that solidify around capitalism. Even there half assed neo liberalism crystalizing is what you should be more afraid of.

Social war...

"a few would-have-been liberals were radicalized (an obvious positive)"
then u say we should help obama defeat the evil tea party secessionists. who's a liberal?
i'm beginning to think "hoist the black flag and throw rocks", aside from being a great slogan, is also the smartest part of this whole article.

Wow the failure of this misreading is... impressive.

It really all comes down to whether the participants with the present western weltanschauung can eject themselves [I wont say free themselves cos the word freedom has all these fucked up hedonistic notions] from its present trajectory. That's what anarchism is all about, deconstructing weltanschauung of any particular cultural tendency, no? Otherwise it's just a recuperative mutual jerk-off between the state and the so-called liberators.

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