In advance of a trip to spain earlier this year, I decided to read a up a bit more on the spanish civil war and social revolution of the 30s. I had, over the years, already read some on this period, largely writings by those sympathetic to the anarchist movement, and what I had learned had left me quite skeptical of the methods and intentions of these anarchists, as well as those who wrote so glowingly of them. Their defenders took great pains to excuse their decidedly authoritarian approach to organizing and social relations in general, citing war conditions as a justification for the surrender of basic anarchist principles.
What I found with further reading did nothing to change my outlook. Continue reading
Since the last issue of this zine, in which I critiqued labor unions, these organizations have been prominently in the news again. The biggest stories have been about the passage of a “right-to-work” law in Michigan and the Hostess bankruptcy, which many have blamed on greedy unions. Labor is clearly under attack from business owners and politicians, and these two events, happening so closely together, have prompted me to once again devote most of the space in the December 2012 issue of anchorage anarchy to a consideration of the labor movement. Continue reading
Seemingly unending coverage in the establishment news media. Flags at half-mast. Crocodile tears from the hypocrite-in-chief. Millions of dollars in charitable donations to the families and friends of the victims. It is as if the killing of a group of children and their keepers in a Connecticut school is a uniquely tragic event—one that not only is presumed to touch us all on a visceral level but also justifies a re-examination of how the government regulates guns. The question for me, however, is: what is it about this massacre that makes it more heinous than so many other instances of the murder of innocents?
The main reason appears to be that these were americans. When a united states soldier murdered 16 non-combatants in afghanistan earlier this year, the president shed no tears and people in this country were largely untroubled, even though nine of those victims were children. Continue reading
Several times over the last few years I have participated in a Mayday pageant here in Anchorage. This is a staged reading of a script written by a local National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) staff attorney. The narrative traces the development of the american labor movement from the Knights of Labor in the nineteenth century through the 1930s, focusing on two key moments in the history of american labor unions: the Haymarket events in 1886 and the passage of the Wagner Act. It is a fun occasion where participants include labor union members, folks from Occupy Anchorage, and other local troublemakers. It is an opportunity to interact with other union members and movement activists and provides a bit of generally unknown and ignored labor history to those who attend. And to my mind, the positive depiction of anarchists in a performance geared toward regular working folks is more than welcome.
However, despite his largely accurate retelling of the circumstances surrounding Haymarket and sympathetic portrayal of the libertarian workers and organizers involved, I disagree completely with the primary message that the author wishes to convey to the performers and audience—that the National Labor Relations, or Wagner, Act (NLRA) is the logical and appropriate culmination of the efforts of the radical labor movements of the past. Continue reading
I have been an anarchist for an awful long time. I believe that, to paraphrase Proudhon, whoever lays a hand on me to govern me is a usurper and tyrant, and I declare them my enemy. I favor the abolition of the state, completely and at the earliest possible opportunity. This seems to me the basic, essential libertarian idea, founded on the belief that people are capable of living their lives and interacting with others uncoerced, unsupervised, unmanaged, unpoliced, unchaperoned—in other words, ungoverned. Continue reading
Marriage is in the forefront of media coverage right now as same-sex marriage is being legalized in more and more states. In New York, like lambs to the slaughter, many same-sex couples were so eager to publicly surrender their self-sovereignty and independence that they entered a lottery to be among the first to be allowed to marry. While there is a lot of debate about whether expanding the “right” to marry is a good or bad thing, however, no one seems to be asking whether marriage itself, in whatever form it takes, is a good thing or not. Continue reading
One might think from all the hype that some earth-shattering step forward has just taken place for americans who fuck and suck with others of the same sex. Now they can participate in the murder of people in distant lands without having to lie about whom they have sex with. And this is something to be striven for and celebrated? Continue reading
The aim of anchorage anarchy has always been to provide an anarchist perspective that emphasizes the importance of individual freedom. Without absolute liberty for people to act as they choose, as long as they do not initiate force against others or otherwise limit the equal freedom of others to live as they please, there can be no anarchist society worthy of the name. Continue reading
What is an anarchist? What practices are libertarian? Which kinds of social arrangements are compatible, and which incompatible, with freedom? These are the kinds of questions that have been debated and written about by anarchists for well over a hundred years. Continue reading
That is, apparently, the view of the Nobel Committee which awarded their peace prize to Barack Obama. How else to explain the fact that these folks can see an american president who is overseeing two full-scale wars, replete with the deaths of non-combatants at the hands of the armed thugs at his command, as some kind of agent for peace? Continue reading