What Would Fredy Do?
<table><tr><td>From the <a href="https://www.warresisters.org/content/what-would-fredy-do">War Resisters</a> - By Rand W. Gould
<p><em>Letters of Insurgents<br /> </em>By Yarostan Vochek and Sophie Nachalo<em> </em>(Fredy Perlman)<em><br /> </em>Black and Red, 1976, 831 pages, out of print<em></em></p>
<p><em>Politics: That’s the religion of today, that’s the cancer that annihilates every possibility of community and puts an end to every period of ferment.<br /> —Fredy Perlman, </em>Letters of Insurgents</p>
<p>Arab Spring! The occupation of the squares! The I Won’t Pay movement in Greece! The Indignadxs, or the Movement of 15-M in Spain! Occupy Wall Street here in the United States! Our dreams versus their reality!</p>
<p>Sadly, despite the level of success of many historical revolts, it doesn’t take long for politics to subvert them: new elections, new constitutions, “democracy” ad nauseum. People in various squares around the Mediterranean have struggled to sustain the community they created, and those involved in the Occupy Wall Street actions around the country may be facing the same difficulties.</p></td><td><img title="Everything is cancelled due to being triggering" src="http://anarchistnews.org/files/pictures/2012/blackbox.jpg"></td></tr></t...
<p>For example, Egypt saw possibly the most successful, and certainly the largest, action against any state this year. Yet Tahrir Square was cleared and the army is back in charge.</p>
<p>As Fredy Perlman explores in <em>Letters of Insurgents</em>, his epistolary novel consisting of letters between two fictional 20<sup>th</sup>-century radicals (and published under their fictional names), our various movements and revolutions for a better, more fully realized life for all seem to inevitably fall victim to politics and “the ideological birds of prey who feed on our possibilities, fill themselves with concepts of our desires and re-enslave us with beautiful combinations of words which seem to depict the world we failed to realize.” Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, and Russia’s October Revolution come immediately to mind.</p>
<p>As in Russia in 1917, politicians are sprouting up in North Africa like toxic mushrooms after an (Arab) spring rain, as the masters hold onto and consolidate power by reselling the people their own dreams packaged as democracy, liberty, justice, and dignity. These, of course, are the masters’ words, not the people’s, and are the ballast that enables power to rise out of the reach of those in the squares, to paraphrase Raoul Vaneigem.</p>
<p>This is why after so many “revolutions,” life became worse for the overwhelming majority of the people—the working class—as the politicians and leaders they chose to free them from exploitation and oppression actually increased it.</p>
<p>Politics is cancer, as Fredy said, and the death knell of any genuine movement for social change. So, what would Fredy do? What is the cure for our collective and individual cancer? As Fredy points out, it lies within us to build and maintain community, via consensus, outside the political system that infects our society. Fredy would never give up his dream of a fully realized life for all of us, least of all to some politician.</p>
<p><em>Rand W. Gould is a sometime poet and writer and a fulltime impossible person, who somehow survived the prisons of school, work, and America only to find himself in the prison of a Michigan “correctional facility.”</em></p>
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