TOTW: Anarchists across time and space

photo: taken from my recent flight over my living room

Topic of the Week - Recently on the Anarchy Planet IRC*, an idea was shared by a participant there, of creating a network of spots for friends to stay as they travel in a specific direction. For example, spaces and places where traveling, touring, or whatever anarchists could stay for a period of time, plug in, and then journey onward to the next destination, and so on and so forth, until their own personal anarchist Mordor is reached.

It does sound rather idyllic, and let’s not forget when CrimethInc. expelled all traveler kids from anarchy. Outside of the traveler kids, oogles, and remembering the folly of the ever present summit hoppers, how do anarchists create, build, and maintain networks across time and space? Anarchists like Emma often were said to be holding tours of 1,000s+ of people and other anarchists in attendance; yet nowadays especially in times of Corona, anarchists traveling and touring with a specific goal of having talks and hanging out with other anarchists seem to be much less common. Is the traveling band of anarchists, music tours, adventures, and the like resigned to the days of yesteryear or is this growing up? If you were going to plan a trip across the distances life, would you care to and be able to meet up and connect with other anarchists, including people you’ve never met, along the way? Can you travel for fun, adventure, and enjoyment as an anarchist or will Bookchin come from the grave and strike you back to the factory floor? What Summer 2021 adventures (or whatever season it is where you are reading) are in store for you and friends?

[ Here is a recent example from Europe: BialysTurbo Caravan Travel Diary! ]

*IRC = Internet Relay Chat

There are 48 Comments

This TOTW reminds me of life many years ago, living in a punk house, and it being a known place for people to stay as they passed through town. This is a very specific example of a place far off the beaten trail of big cities and anarchist jurisdictions (Portland, Chicago, and NYC[really?]) where a specific community of people had contacts with each other to help each other while traveling. As one can imagine, this involved the people booking the show to set up, organize, and promote it, and then probably crashing at the house for a night or so, unless the bigger cities tour demanded a quick exit. In all, it wasn’t specifically anarchist in anyway, other than the occasional anarchist friend passing through. Most of the time, helping out the travelers involved aspects of their own livelihood, and it was more rare to find those just traveling for the sake of travel, but often the hanger on, roadie named Bart.

This summer, I’m hoping to make a 700 mile bike (as in bicycle, human powered) tour, that is mostly just for fun and adventuring, but along the way some of the stops might involve meeting up with anarchist friends. Being a human powered trip, the distances are more limited than traveling by vehicle and therefore going out of the way to meet the anarchist few and far between is not the easiest.

Here and there, I’ve been watching some sailing YouTube videos and others traveling by boat over vast distances. This seems pretty cool, but also you have to live among the great big lakes or the ocean, have a boat, which is not easy, and know how to brave the wild sea. So basically no one, although there do seem to be some anarchists doing this ( ).

I think one thing from preventing anarchists from setting up travel networks like mentioned in this TOTW, is the sheer lack of money anarchists often have. It takes a good deal of wealth to buy land, property, a house and these more stable places outside of squatting (at least in the North American context), not even to mention time. How do anarchists get land, a house without getting married, having kids, and dropping off the map completely? Five year plan is to report back on this.

yeah, a lot of the 90s era stuff doesn't translate well because the property speculating rich fucks have been tightening the noose around everyones necks for a long time now. like, these marginal lifestyles that seem so romantic from the golden age of punk (I know, I know, not really), they've been squeezed out hard. ruthlessly so!

in the city I know well, if you've been paying attention long enough, you could watch all the big old collective punk houses winking out of existence, one after another, dropping like flies. these places were like museums, with literally decades of lore written on the walls. those networks you're talking about would slowly develop over many years.

now, an attempt at an "intentional community" like that tends to have a reno-viction lifespan of maybe a year or 3.

the 90s may not have been the golden age of punk, but they were the golden age of being punk.

Learn a skilled trade, one that’s in high demand. One that’s useful to your cause, in establishing enclaves of small tight knit dropout communities/tight knit circles. The most revolutionary thing that you can possibly do, honestly, is to learn a skilled trade.

Currently I work as an electrician in construction while living out of my van. I am honing my craft and making decent money and I’m only a one year apprentice. Lots and lots of savings.

You can literally save up $20k then use it to swing penny stocks like these parasites on Wall Street do. Start with even less if you’re good. A tiny 5% return once a week (which is not hard at all studying price movements) will yield you $1000.

For literally clicking a few buttons on a screen once a week with the right stock you make a livable middle class wage. Reinvest most of your earnings and/or get a bigger return then you make even more over time obviously. You gotta think like these parasites to escape their system. Play their hokey little numbers game.

Real wealth though comes from material possesions of value like land, animals, guns, etc. The plan I offer you is just a simple outline to escape the wage slavery quicker. It took me a while to see the wisdom in it but I’m a big proponent of learning a trade. It helps you make good money and makes you valuable as an individual and whatever tribe/community you belong to for the purpose of total system dropout.

I am probably the most multi-faceted anarch in the Western world, I can do anything except brain surgery and designing computer software and flying aircraft. Pretty good when you consider I am self-taught AND solipsistic as well.
You name it, I can do it!

What is the normie, life advice dogshit doing on my beloved anarchist news? It don’t even have anything to do with the topic.

Regarding the topic: Squats! Crime! Anarchy!


Someone posted higher up about how anarchists lack the money and property to make happen what this totw is about.

So I would argue that it is related.

Not that I’d ever recommend living in a city, but, incidentally, if you WERE hypothetically squatting a building in a North American major city, you’d probably want to have a plumber and an electrician on your team anyways, you know what I mean? In the end, a network of land projects run by competent homesteaders would be more interesting and effective IMO than the urban hipster lofts and punk houses that disappear in 3 - 5 years, tops. Travellers could come thru, help tend the gardens and the animals in return for room and board as they pass along their merry way, bringing news and tidings from the other homesteads.

Don’t you see? It is related.

Now stop getting busted shoplifting Pokémon cards from Walmart and go learn something useful instead.

hey! you're just three ancaps in a trench coat... HEY THIS GUY IS JUST ANCAPS IN A TRENCHCOAT!!!

I said learn a skilled trade. ‘A job’ is where you’re telling vacuous yuppies to “have a nice day, sir” and if you’re here, then that’s not what I want for you. It should be stressed that I’m also not talking about the ‘fancy jobs’ like office work and middle management. While those activities indeed produce $$$, they also don’t teach you anything valuable or practical in terms of achieving total system dropout.

dude ... now you're just moving the goalposts on what a "job" is... is this what you tell yourself? the boot you're licking isn't a boot at all?

how am I licking boots if I’m self employed and doing small jobs here and there thru a referral network?

How do you make your money and how is that not “licking boots”, LT?

the point being made is about wage labour in general, friendo. much has been written about this? I take it you don't wash up on the beach of anarchy from the left?

anyway, you're entitled to your opinion that slightly better wages and working conditions is the same thing as not having to lick the boot but many writers and thinkers disagree with you, not just me.

You don't seem to understand how these penny stocks work. The old gimmick goes like: insider traders and other "market-makers" are pushing for a penny stock to go way up at opening. Then tons of people go into FOMO more trying to turn a profit, yet they arrived too late as the stock gets dumped just as they're buying. This is what's called the "Pump and Dump scheme", and this was the biggest game by Wall Street crooks.

WSB has been a game-changer for a while ('til they started removing GME/retail investors posts) allowing for everyone interested for a while, but now it's their mods have been paid or taken over by hedge fund firms, as the crap that's being pumped is not only feeding on FOMO but also feeding some shitty corporate interests (like real estate or bad tech industries). Like 1-2 a week you get a meme stock being pumped over there and it's becoming an unsafe bet to invest into these. Lotta Redditors got fooled the last few weeks by this gimmick, ending up having lost on a stock that's gone back to hell, while the market makers turned a profit on them, selling shares they didn't even purchased due to schemes like dark pools and share lending. It's a dangerous game so you gotta know what you put your money into.

The GME thing has been the safest. best bet this year and it looks like the game ain't over unlike the ridiculous bullshit what the mainstream media outlets are saying. Someone who bought shares at just 40$ in Feb would have turned 4x in profits a month later, but someone who bought the at 3$ last year would have got way richer. Tho as of now it seems to be a war of attrition going with counterfeit short attacks on a daily basis, so nobody knows when it's gonna squeeze, and well, this stonk ain't a penny stock anymore...

There's a good cause to go into weed or psilocybin stonks but these industries are, well, industries and still capitalistic, only somewhat more "ethical" than terrible big industries (tech and mortgages, mainly) that turn up gazillions in profits these days.

" allowing everyone interested to turn a crazy profit... literally out of hedge fund big gamers, instead of the opposite"

"One that’s useful to your cause, in establishing enclaves of small tight knit dropout communities/tight knit circles. The most revolutionary thing that you can possibly do, honestly, is to learn a skilled trade."

lol... so. fucking. liberal.

Define "revolutionary" plz.

All you MIGHT be just doing here is more private communal capital consolidation/building. Sounds more like reactionary than "revolutionary" to me, brah.

A "dropout community" can mean just about anything these days. That includes Zoomer startups and ridiculous tiny house private land projects. Zoomers especially, at least around here, don't seem to properly get the meaning of "openness" and fairness in dynamics, hence they always end up doing liberally reformed capitalism, when it's not fucking blatant neofeudalism. I'm looking in the direction of Bellamy, among oher well-knowns here.

The land belongs to no one. You belong to it. Or not.

Teach me yr ways of trading penny stocks. I've been making a bit of money trading small cap stuff but have stayed away from pennies but how are you finding the tickers that move +50%?

"one thing from preventing anarchists from setting up travel networks like mentioned in this TOTW, is the sheer lack of money anarchists often have."

WHAT the hell are you talking about? I'm so sorry that some people in this crowd are still using the money argument as such a huge obstacle to projects. Or is 100% of the land so owned to a point you can't escape renting or buying? You're sure there's no abandoned shack, house or old wagon anywhere in this country? If you don't like these places, you may also look for some nice potential camp site with nearby amenities and resources. I can point you to at least five spots like these around town... and they will cost nothing.

Capitalist morality is so deeply ingrained...

How about making it one of the goals of your trip, for starters... like looking at what is doable and occupiable without the need for any bucks?

Remove a few social determinism in your head, first. That might help seeing the possibilities. As what we perceive is not the "things as they are", but what our preconceived notions allow us to see.

What's really in the way of networking this stuff? Trust.

With something as politically-charged as a "network of shelters for anarchists", there's little ways to how these "shelters" will turn out to be prison cells... or worse.

So you got two options if you wanna do this:

1- depoliticize it as much as possible. Remove any anarchist this and anarchist that.

2- do it obvious on the contrary, yet as a secretive network of "traveling masons", i.e. within a secret society. Like what the OTO have been doing internationally with their safe houses, but without the whole sex hype for old creeps, and dedicated to encouraging individual empowerment, free sharing of goodies, safety, healthcare, etc.

3- combo of 1 and 2 maybe? Dunno.

“Capitalist morality is so deeply ingrained...”

What? LMAO “capitalist morality”. Read a book, son, you’re embarrassing yourself.

And you think there's no dominant morality in the capitalist society? So why are many people still striving to get rich, own more shit, buy land and get so adamantly repressive on things like "destruction of property" and "thievery"? Also the deeper issue of owning partners in couple relationships, children as well as the notion of being indebted? All very capitalist morals here.

yeah so ... whenever anyone types out their elaborate scheme for HERES HOW YOU DO IT, IDIOTS!!!
(hundreds of times per year, just fyi)

the obvious response is - then why are you typing it here as a fantasy, instead of doing it?

don't tell us, show us ;)

There's nothing that makes sense here, LT. Are u sure you replied at the right place?

the anon posting about how poverty isn't the hurdle people think it is ... in the supersplain paragraph a few comments up ...

It's all fun and games until some trust fund oogle on holiday eats all your food, clogs your toilets, gives you scabies, uses your toothbrush, and steals your hand-held electronics.

I'd say campgrounds are a much better option.

"Face to face is dead. Real anarchs pursue the life of the academia." - Giles Deleuze

yeah, hopefully we've all learned you don't just invite total strangers because anarchy and if your friends vouch for a real douche, they get throat punched by association.

not even campgrounds. blm land national forests. thats where ive been living a lot when not staying with people. its kinda nice but no substitute for the networks of punk houses. way too lonely. way too boring if you cant find an exceptionally pretty spot.

if you are bored in the forest unless it's exceptionally pretty you might want to rethink your relationship to the natural world. you could be surprised at the possibilities for active engagement and imagining if you are intentional and present in the moments. sometimes we just need to look closer and be open to seeing beyond our expectations to discover beauty.

I find it hard to imagine there being value in hosting anarchists in Southern Africa.

There are so few here, there would be no crowd for the visitors to engage. The level of need here makes a lot of the problems in the global north just seem silly in some respects, and generally the North/South hierarchy comes with visitors having a shitty understanding of this space, coming off like clueless tourists with nothing to offer. The language barrier would undermine the possibility of a lot of deep engagement.

Soundz of the South did an exchange with some South American anarchists (?) and they just seemed like they were on holiday here.

If people did come here, I think the way to make it work would be for the purpose of a specific project that helps them with a specific required skill set. Here I'm thinking about how Bellamy brought in a Japanese forest gardener to assist with setting up a project of theirs. I think that would be good.
But even that is really a very hugely privileged capacity here.

Which leads me to believe that in terms of the North/South divide, a lot of the time it's just preferable for the rich side to find groups they have affinity with and pump money to them so that they can make their own projects on their own terms.

But maybe I'm just not good at this stuff!

it's funny all these years later to log in here and see this sort of comment lobbed off for granted. some of the corniest, bandana wearing vegan activist type @s i saw at big actions across the country 20 years ago, by the late 00s a significant subset had morphed into snide, tough-talking, chainsmoking hipster "insurrectos" who were exactly the demographic that i first associated with this site, around that time.

maybe this sort of thing has been chewed over here already; who knews? i barely visit anymore...

Cool story bro! I bet it totally happened! Too bad you won’t read this because you totally barely visit here anymore!

lmao ok i knew someone would have a problem with that part. or was it the first part that struck a nerve? bro

So what now, you got a steady well paid gig wearing a football mascot suit?

Ok this gen z non sequitur shit is funnier than “cool story bro” which is so late 00s it immediately made me think you must be one of the exact people I was talking about. By the way I have to include myself more or less. U mad bro?

But yes in 2021 there are only two possibilities for human life: spending all day on @news or steadily paid football mascotry. Nailed it bro!

aren't zoomers supposed to know that dunking on a generalization is boring?

"remember when anarchists wore a lot of black and would be snide? fukin LOSERS amirite?!"

Well obviously I’m not a zoomer, bro. Take a deep breath, reread my original post and see if you can get the point (admittedly tangential and not at all what you just said). Then take another deep breath and have a nice day, bro! Bye!

*whoosh* yeah, you said you remember "corny vegans" from 20 years ago, so maybe the other part of my post was the point? that part you're ignoring? K BYE BRO

History through an archeological lens is probably the most honest way to consider anything through space and time, and anarchists must still suffer the predictability of humanity's inevitable fate, and it doesn't look good for them, unless they unleash their inate tendency to rebel within the confines of their own esoteric knowledge. This self-awareness could possibly steer them into a niche of immùnity from the diseases of cultural progress, and save them from the hysteria of anthropoid excess and decay.
Hold strong to your codes of immense inner self-power brave anarchist visionaries!

Funny how I did a similar Euro trip roughly 1-2 years after his, tho in the more southern regions of Europe, which are I think the more interesting parts than those over-civilized northern Euro shitholes. I fell in love with the barren crustiness and chaos of some Med cities, and the rough bareness of East Europeans. Northern Europe tends to be so polite, so orderly and clean... also dense in hypocrisy, like White ppl in US & Canada. Netherlands especially. It's maybe an anarcho-leftist's dream environment tho surely not mine.

I wasn't as publish-y as a Gelderloos yet I experienced a more punkish, laymen's approach to Euro squatting. I don't think he neither went to real crusty punk squats where the life was usually the most fun. Dunno if any of you ever imagined waking up to a fiery Kurdish dude yelling all over the place as he's removing all the fucking doors in the house coz some petty-bougie bitch was stupid enough to claim the place isn't a squat"!

Also unlike "Shimson", the Greek anarchos have taught me the name they use for "comrade".

Regardless of the fascist troll and other pointless comments, I think this is a great thread that deserves to be given its own forum entry once the next TOTW takes over the front page, as this is a "long game" talk with the potential of creating something irl.

.... nope. please don't project your painful past on to everybody else?

Would be great to have more of these conversations, and see mature projects and a collective memory emerge.

We're not attached to a labor movement anymore. Somewhat attached to indigenous struggles, and some are pawns for Marxists and other activist projects.

What does it look like when you don't want to be a liberal or a humanist and think you can change the system from the inside? What does it look like when you don't want to be a professional militant, or an activist?

To me, one little part of my life is pulling the bolts out of the scaffolding of the Grand Narrative, inviting non-dual spiritual engagement with the earth. A sort of premeditating of a coming paradigm shift.

I no longer understand this juvenile attachment to notions of purity between means and ends. Play the system without illusions. Set up fronts, shells to achieve goals. Bakukin made up secret societies and bank accounts while hiding real funds. Severino di Giovanni ran a print shop. There were anarchist bakers, watch makers, etc...

The question of day to day life, and what makes a life worth living at a granular level (where one can have any sort of power at making change) is always present. Maybe there is no answer. Just playful experimentation.

Taking unused land with regular people gives everyone something to defend when regrowing topsoil and mutually. I've seen this first hand. I've heard stories from people talking about taking over abandoned gas stations for tool storage, and activities they had no idea were radical. Food costs are 63% of income. Taking land and growing food on it blocks development projects too. Think of the optics.

I think this way because I can't see anything else coming to the US but techno-feudalism that plays out as a banal democide: continued death by neglect of withdrawing social services. It's a chance to rise to the occasion. And it's not AI coming. We're the AI insofar as we're the experiment to make everything change to stay the same so we get mechanically routed into more predictable patterns and outcomes for easy management.

*and mutually benefit from the shared cultivation of food.

"To me, one little part of my life is pulling the bolts out of the scaffolding of the Grand Narrative, inviting non-dual spiritual engagement with the earth. A sort of premeditating of a coming paradigm shift."

I like this point. it reminds me of this piece attempting to hash out a non-dualistic direct spiritualism from a green anarchist perspective over other mediated forms of spiritualism. I prefer to drop spirit/spiritual altogether, and think that what they are trying to articulate isnt actually spirit/spiritualism, but something else. maybe soul/ensouled is closer.

"I no longer understand this juvenile attachment to notions of purity between means and ends. "

using children/juvenile/youth as a negative bugs me. as if adulthood/maturity is the ideal closer to truth, and is not where playful experimentation goes to die (at least where I live).

purity arguments also bug me, but I prefer to maintain an imperfect closeness with means and ends as much as possible. playing the system (in as many scenarios as I can imagine) rarely looks playful, often resulting in getting played instead. that being said, I gotta do something for a little money here and there, and your strategies are appealing.

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