The Center Takes the Empire: Peter Gelderloos on the Path Ahead

from It's Going Down

On this episode of the It’s Going Down podcast, we speak with long-time anarchist writer and organizer Peter Gelderloos, author of such books at Anarchy Works, Worshiping Power, and How Non-Violence Protects the State. On this episode, we look back on the last month of the Trump presidency and discuss what lies ahead now that the Democrats have won the White House and pushed for a return to normalcy on the streets. We discuss how Biden will respond to the far-Right, the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the continuing economic fallout.

We then turn our discussion towards autonomous social movements, and talk about key lessons and take-aways from the Trump era, and what people fighting for grassroots change need to be thinking about in the coming terrain. We discuss how currently there are a lot of people who have been energized from the uprising that began last summer following the police murder of George Floyd, which is currently hitting a wall against State repression, declining numbers in the street, and also the reality that a section of the population is now waiting to see how the Biden presidency plays out.

We talk about how people should approach this reality as we go forward, in the midst of a still ranging COVID-19 pandemic and the threat of mass evictions.

More Info: Peter Gelderloos on Twitter, Peter Gelderloos on AK Press, Peter Gelderloos online discussion, interview on It’s Going Down here, here, here, and here.

photo: Koshu Kunii via Unsplash

There are 16 Comments

IGD, when are you going to abolish the cringy intro?

Good interview, though.

Any interviews available with people who actually participated in the recent uprisings or you only interview white ex pats about what direction US based social movement should take?

So basically you think people should stay in their countries and never live elsewhere or discuss things they aren't a part of physically?

I think anarchist media is more comfortable interviewing a diy expert white guy who didn't participate in the uprisings in the US than they are cultivating relationships across socioeconomic and color lines to highlight the theories work and visions of the communities that made this uprising happen . I like gelderloos work, it has its place, but he's not who I want to hear about when analyzing what happened this summer. People should be free to live and move wherever they want, I'd be much more inclined to hear his opinions on European movements than what's going on in the US right now.

sounds like a pretty standard case of then-why-aren't-you-making-that-media-project?! to me ...

Lol one can have a desire for an existing media project to be more thoughtful and critical about content and narrative without needing to make ones "own project ," also come on ,we've all made plenty of content IGD before...they've gotten many hours of labor from me, and they are capable of taking on a critique without your kind of silly inference that they need free labor in return...

I don't know anything about you or what you have or haven't done but it's still a bit weird to gatekeep analyzing, like you're doing. you'd rather hear somebody else ... ok, why say that here tho? do you feel like peter prevented someone else from speaking by existing or what?

We can just disagree its chill, you clearly don't appreciate that media projects create and reinforce legitimacy or see any issue with a go to for US uprisings analysis being someone who did not participate.... if you don't see that its weird to interview and proliferate non local analysis when there are literally dozens of US based, non white lead groups with rad analysis that participated and contributed to the fissure that could be interviewed for this show... I don't know what to tell you buddy. It's just as much on the host of the podcast as gelderloos... how hard would it have been to pull in other voices?

you're right, we don't have to agree. I just find your assertion inherently strange because why not want both scenarios instead of denigrating this thing to theorize about how another thing would be hypothetically better?

Because white dudes do this kind of shit all the time and its exhausting and its capitalizing, however well intentioned , on others labor to create and center social capital on those less affected when it could easily be shared AND the analysts would be better for it... but part of you probably knows that, which is why you're being so dense/defensive ... white translation of non white social movements instead of collaboration is what's weird and genuinely not in gelderloos interest or his politics so ostensibly.... so why continue to do it? When people ask me to wax poetic about shit someone else should really speak to I pass the fucking mic

yeah ... I figured that's what you were getting at and you're right! we're not going to agree here. ok, fair enough

Well, you know, those rad POC groups? Maybe they could start their own independent media project and do things as they wish? What’s stopping them? Oh, right... the so-called white manarchist ex-pat! Of course! Ohh the oppreshunnn... Ohhh!

It’s always easier to externalize blame unto others and whine than it is to take personal responsibility and make things happen. Do it yourself. Fucking get off your ass and make it happen. Stop being a pathetic idpol crybaby.

I already covered that? apparently this is how anon knows that I'm being "dense and defensive", presumably because of my internalized white blindness to how every media project could be attacked in this way.

set up that identity strawman and just START SWINGING. feelsgoodman

actually I'm impressed cuz this is a slightly more sophisticated form of shit talk being directed at those IGD nerds
stay classy @news!

We need more initiative, more self-reliance, more proactivity, more DIY... and less whiny entitled idpol narcissism.

true true! white fragility or legitimate point about weaponized identity? hmmm! the eye of the beholder and stuff.

lean in to that cringe. sing along at the top of your lungs, cringe karaoke
i have IGD cringe stockholm

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