Anarchy In U.S.A.
By Mickey Z.
27 December, 2013
World News Trust
Photo credit: Mickey Z.
“You cannot buy the revolution. You cannot make the revolution. You can only be the revolution. It is in your spirit, or it is nowhere.” - Ursula Le Guin
Like so many words and concepts, “anarchism” seems to mean something different to everyone who spouts it. As my vegan/anarchist/yogi friend Jessica once said: "Sometimes people think that yoga and anarchism is about 'doing whatever you feel.' but actually, it's about taking great care of others, which takes a tremendous amount of discipline and courage.”
To which I add: Anarchism is not synonymous with violence. Capitalism is.
Capitalism (and most of its rivals) is a system based on the relentless exploitation of finite resources. Anarchism? Well, here's how Noam Chomsky puts it: "Anarchists try to identify power structures. They urge those exercising power to justify themselves. This justification does not succeed most of the time."
While the mainstream, the liberals, and the squeamish all take turns spouting uninformed slander about anarchists (and the now-mythical Black Bloc), the truth remains: It requires an incredible amount of optimism to be an anarchist.
Anarchists are the only ones with enough faith in humanity to believe we can co-exist with all species peacefully -- without coercive institutions and hierarchies. How much more fuckin' optimistic can you be? It never ceases to amaze me when I'm labeled "negative" for documenting reality, when the path I'm suggesting couldn't be more positive.
This positivity, though, is based on action -- both individual and collective -- and perhaps therein lies the rub. Until the pervasive presence/threat of cultural violence is diminished and ultimately eradicated, we must never stop exposing it, factoring it into our words and actions, and finding ways to sabotage it.
Note: To continue conversations like this, come see Mickey Z. in person on Jan. 11 at Bluestockings Bookstore in NYC.
Mickey Z. is the author of 11 books, most recently the novel Darker Shade of Green. Until the laws are changed or the power runs out, he can be found on a couple of obscure websites called Facebook and Twitter. Anyone wishing to support his activist efforts can do so by making a donation here.
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