Unruly Posts and Anarchist Bookshops

Is this the first post since the deadline? I can hope so, but I’m only just reading the blog after some time away from the cyber world and have been so inspired by all the thoughts, I thought a post was in order. 

So, escaping from a torrential thunderstorm, I found myself hiding in that place that is always a source of calm amidst the storm – the Anarchist Bookshop. It helps that it had nice coffee. 

I spent the afternoon reading, thinking, being inspired and also being amused by the conversation some bored intellectual was having with the man behind the counter: “give me a justification of anarchism that answers the philosophical challenge posed by Rousseau”. The word metaphysics was used far too much, I feel.

I liked his riposte:

You’re asking for a philosophically testable political theory – there isn’t one. Politics happens when people come together to discuss, they come up with ideas for how to organise themselves – and those contestations are politics. You can’t prove a political theory in abstract philosophically.

Well said, my friend. 

I carried on reading the anarchist journal I was reading. When the reflections i was having got too much for my tiny notebook, I started taking photos. I thought I’d treat you to them: these particular excerpts are from an exploration of direct public action and a group of anarchists’ role within in it, with thoughts on organising strategy and lessons. Enjoy!

And there’s some discussion of the riots in London…

Personally, I had a little chuckle reading the sentence, 

the risk of an anarchistic presence at the meeting…. was that the anarchists might accidentally participate.


But maybe it’s just me. I found so much richness in my reading there, anyway. In particular, another article about border policy in the US, and the horrific journeys faced by migrants from Mexico through the desert ended with a discussion of what to do, as a white American, in the context of this, and with the following sentiment:

I have not made myself an enemy of the people – and in the long run that is going to keep me safer than them (border guards who only enter the region armed and with bulletproof jackets and so on). 

In the context of a world that is often insecure and where inequality breeds anger and violence, is this not a consideration? Or at least, in the way I’ve always framed it to myself: when the revolution comes, am I going to be against the wall or not?

Where will you be?

Posted by Candlelight