saint schmidt

Contemporary Obstacles To Anarchist Thinking

By Saint Schmidt

There are a number of obstacles to anarchist thinking today. First, there is the separation of thinking from action such that one cannot find within thinking any form of direct action; but the worse obfuscation occurs when one cannot find any thinking within one’s everyday activities. This latter gesture involves critically examining our praxes in order to discern therein an ideological framework. American anarchists should be the subject to the most scrutiny since they practice within the land of pragmatism (whose root word is ‘practice’) – which is, in turn, the ideological framework of contemporary Western capitalism – such that truth is derived only from its consequences, that is, from its ‘cash value.’ Propaganda of the deed is therefore within this context only the intensification of hegemonic propaganda, that is, ideology. The paradox is therefore that those who attempt to claim that thinking and action should be reunited are those who fundamentally refuse thinking (whereby ‘thinking’ implies the mental ability to engage in ideological critique). It is therefore a question of whether or not anarchism can ever find for itself a home within the American context, or indeed within the European context. No wonder most ‘anarchists’ (by name) are found in the West, it is also the place most welcoming of anarchists.

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