A Word On Behalf of Anarchists

Tony Tracy tony at SPAMtao.ca
Tue Dec 14 18:20:55 MST 1999



I'd like to echoe what Art McGee had written in regards to working
with anarchists... particularly "techie" anarchists :)

In fact, I suspect that my experience has been with most of the same
folks that Art alludes to in his email message -- as I know that Art
hosts a number of the BRC lists on the TAO networks.

For the past year-and-a-half or so, I've been involved with the TAO
federation, which is a fairly loose collection of anarchists &
socialists (although the organizational forms are "tightening up"
considerably over recent months) that embark on "radical
communications work", which includes internet work amongst other
communications mediums... I've found the anarchists in TAO to be some
of the most non-sectarian folks I've ran across. While I have
consistently identified as a marxist, and a critical leninist, I've
found the TAO anarchists have been extraordinarily principled in
defending marxists from red-baiting (I have certainly never seen a
Kronstadt argument come from any of my TAO comrades), and our joint
work has always been devoid of any of the usual anarchist-socialist
baiting. Certainly there are often debates over strategy and tactics,
but these are carried out in a very fraternal manner, with mutual
respect.

TAO, by the way, defines itself as more of a political federation
than anything else, basing itself around a 10-point program (found at
http://www.tao.ca/sky/index.html). The anarchists of TAO identify
with the wobbly model of organizing, and generally see themselves as
"class struggle" anarchists (as compared to "lifestyle"
anarchists)... I find increasingly that I have loads in common with
these folks politically, and they have moved slowly towards more
"socialist" forms of organizing (local branches have been
established, etc.).

So, while I'm completely uninterested in carrying on debate with
so-called anarchists whose only basis of theory is a distrust of
marxists (and hence the pulling Krondstadt out at every possible
opportunity), or those whose politics are based on lifestyle (what
they do or don't eat / what they do or don't wear / or the odd
variety of lifestylists that sees all working people as sold out), I
certainly think that there are anarchists out there that share far
more in common with a socialist view of working class emancipation,
even if they don't frame their arguments in the same way that we
marxists might.

And I hold out hope that, in the midst of any revolutionary
situtation, many of these anarchists would move in the direction of
Victor Serge (revolutionary anarchist who joined the Bolsheviks in
the context of the revolution).

Cheers,

Tony Tracy


art mcgee had written:

>Greetings,
>
>Please excuse the cross-posting of this message, but it's important that
>it reach all the folks who participated in the thread entitled "Anarchism
>vs. Marxism", which was originally sparked by some comments on the marxism
>list run by Louis Proyect.
>
>In the course of the debate, Mr. Proyect gleefully trumpeted out the fact
>that the majority of the people involved with forming the Black Radical
>Congress were either Marxists or Revolutionary Nationalists. This is true,
>although to be correct, you need to add Revolutionary Feminists, since the
>BRC has probably the best gender balance at the national level of any
>non-gender specific left-leaning organization in the U.S. (half of our
>national Coordinating Committee are women), and they were critical to it's
>formation and it's continued operation. If they left, there wouldn't be
>any BRC in my opinion.
>
>However, what Mr. Proyect and others may not clearly be aware of or
>understand, is that Anarchists deserve specific credit for keeping the
>BRC's online communications network running, while people with other
>political leanings have tended to be flakes or downright untrustworthy.
>
>When I asked my Anarchist comrades for assistance, they came through and
>kept their promises. Even more startling, they showed me an example of
>trust which I would NEVER, EVER see from people with any other tendencies,
>including possibly the BRC itself.
>
>Not only have Anarchists been extremely supportive from a technical
>standpoint, but their knowledge and understanding of the importance of
>online communication (not one-way diatribes and pronouncements) far
>exceeds that of anyone else I've dealt with, and I've been out here in
>cyberspace a long damn time.
>
>In addition, as opposed to the various Marxist and Nationalist tendencies,
>Anarchists have been almost completely accepting of and supportive of the
>BRC from the beginning, possibly due to the non-coersive coalition nature
>of our structure.
>
>How refreshing it is to deal with people who neither view you as a threat
>to their white supremacist leftist need for control, nor as a t-bone steak
>to be devoured in the frenzy to recruit new members. What a joy it is to
>interact with people who neither question whether we are Black enough,
>nor are whining because we only allow Black people to join.
>
>Because of my political position within the BRC, it would be irresponsible
>of me to enumerate the fuckups by various people who call themselves
>Marxists, Nationalists, etc., so I'll stop and leave you to ponder the
>positive my Anarchist comrades have done for the BRC.
>
>Lastly, if you're wondering how I would label myself politically, I'm
>probably closer to being a Revolutionary Nationalist, although as I
>mature, various aspects of Anarchism and Marxism have appealed to me.
>
>In other words, I'm still developing and growing, so don't try to pin me
>down just yet. :-)
>
>Thank you for listening.
>
>
>Art McGee
>
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