Tag Archives: social individualism

Liberation lies in action, not liberalism: For a subversive anarchism

“For anarchists our ideas come from action. Our ideas are action and action, revolutionary anarchist action, is theory.” – Jean Weir

“Liberty belongs to him who takes it” – Max Stirner

“It is not by organizing into parties and syndicates that one struggles for anarchy, nor by mass action which, as has been shown, overthrows one barracks only to create another. It is by the revolt of individuals alone or in small groups, who oppose society, impede its functioning and cause its disintegration” – Enzo Martucci

While the crypto-liberals favor reform and stick to civil tactics the subversive anarchist creates the life she wants and fights domination through direct action.

Direct action is a force to create change in a person’s life. It is empowering, it gives individuals an opportunity to fight back at their exploiter and oppressor, or can give the means to create a new life and new ways of living. Direct action can be carried out by all sorts of means and for different reasons. 

When used to carry out a conflictual action, direct action carried out to its fullest creates points of conflict (where the individual or individuals carrying out the direct action meet the subject they are against head on). It is individuals taking action for themselves, not waiting or wanting someone else to do it for them, it is total empowerment. Direct action is the opposite of voting and delegation, it is taking power into one’s own hands, it is the power to create change. It is creating and living the life you want here and now. There is no room for mediators, every person taking part is fighting their own struggle. They are not seeking help from politicos or union bureaucrats to represent them. 

Direct action can take many forms, it can be big or small. Direct action doesn’t necessarily have to be (but can be) firebombing a bank or throwing a molotov at cops. It can be graffiti,a banner drop, occupations, blockades, guerrilla gardening, sabotage, etc. Direct actions can be carried out for all shorts of needs, for example squatting a house, shoplifting for food or cloths; can be an attack against exploitation for example a wildcat strike in the workplace. Direct action can be an act of sabotage to resist injustice or oppression, or a direct action can be a sit down protest to block traffic on busy roads or lock ons useful for stopping work, boycott actions, etc, etc. The list and possibilities are endless – alls one needs is a little imagination. Direct action is defining your own goals, aims, and achieving them through your own efforts.

As much as the leftists love to feitishize “mass organisations” there is no need for such large scale formal organization with set structures and roles. Direct action can be carried out by a single individual or small groups of 2, 3, 4 or more individuals, using minimalized informal organisation. This method is usually carried out by small numbers of people who have prior knowledge of one another and have a shared interest in carrying out a specific action or task. As soon as the action is complete the informal organization dissolves. If individuals involved in the informal organization or group want to carry out more actions, nothing is stopping them to reorganize again with the same or with different people.

Leftist anarchists fear informal organising seeing informal hierarchies emerging as a direct result of being “unorganised”. They believe the only way to counter informal hierarchies forming is by having formal organisations with formal structures and positions. Hierarchies can form within formal organisations just as easily as within informal, the only cure for combating informal hierarchies is by challenging them and try keep them in check when they appear. With formal organisations and groups hierarchies usually get set as part of the structures and are easier to be hijacked and open to manipulation by opportunists.

In struggles against the state and capital when trying to push points of conflict to their fullest, crypto-liberals can be a very dangerous enemy. They will undermine pushing points of conflict with the state because ultimately they are not against the state; for the anarcho-leftists their excuse can be afraid to “alienate the people” from their theories and programmes. Some liberals even go as far as viewing pigs and screws as “workers in uniforms”. In most part liberals are against the use of direct action although at times (when popular) they do opt for very controlled and milled actions, they will usually liaise with the police, the courts, or any other body of the state they need to. These actions (if they can even be called such) are more so political stunts not carried out for empowerment but more so to publicize themselves.

Crypto-liberals favor more passive tactics such as petitions, pickets, protest marches or lobbying. At these pickets and protests they will always have negotiators on standby to go into talks with the state; and ask for permission to hold protests. The crypto-liberals work within the parameters set by the state, never stepping outside of the terrain which the state allows them. These useless tactics go nowhere and achieve nothing; liberals pacify struggles and actions. Their reformism is a failure, it has done nothing but kept this society intact. 

Act for yourself, build, take, steal the life you want, fight for your liberation, on your own terms, no one will do it for you. One things for sore the liberal lefties aren’t going to do it for you.

The struggle for liberation is always an individual struggle. This rotten society with its institutions and systems of domination will only be destroyed by a revolt of conscious individuals in the fires of social insurrection. 

This may never happen……. on till then…….. my struggle and revolt will go on…….

Chechen federalism and society.

This is a short overview of Chechen society from an anarchist perspective. The author does not believe historical Chechen society is a complete model for the future but believes there are lessons to be learnt from it.

The Chechens are the native inhabitants of the central North-East Caucasus. 
Chechnya- the France of the Caucuses, could historically be more accurately described as anarchist warriors of the caucuses, was an egalitarian culture, as opposed to republican culture, which existed during medieval times. Under the blows of repression and oppression ,the Chechen peoples launched a revolution leading to the birth of Chechen warrior culture.With the spread of gunpowder, Chechen society rose up against their local and foreign overlords to establish an autonomous, egalitarian and free nation. One were the land was held in common and ”Nokhchallah”, the chechen code of decency and honor took precedent.

The illesh, or epic legends, tell of conflicts between the Chechens and their Kumyk and Kabardin overlords. While some argue that the chechen system of self governeance was like a western style republican democracy, because of communal wealth ownership and autonomous links, it was more of a federation. The “tukhumtaip” system was similar in many ways to what war time anarchist societies were like, such as the free territory in Ukraine or the Regional Defense council of Aragon in Spain. There was little importance of a centralized judicial branch (instead local courts held precedence), and that teip functioned like provinces, with representatives being elected by teip as well as by region.

This insurrection and revolution, making the Chechens the “French of the Caucasus”, had a strong effect on the social and political mores of the Chechens. Chechen values based around democratic federalism, freedom, ideological pluralism and deference to individuality date back to this event. The Chechens’ homeland was the only territory in the Caucasus where feudal structures never took hold. They knew neither princes nor kings, neither taxes nor the force of the state. They were free farmers working their own land, and their only duties were to their reputation and that of their family and clan. The greatest moral virtue to which it subscribed was to defend one’s family, the tombs of the dead, the country and its liberty. Riding and the use of weapons was learned in childhood. All Chechen greetings contain the word “freedom”.

Chechen culture puts a strong value on the concept of freedom. This asserts itself in a number of ways. A large majority of the nation’s national heros fought for independence (or otherwise, like the legendary Zelimkhan, robbed from the nation deemed the oppressor in order to feed Chechen children in a Robin-hood like fashion). A common greeting in the Chechen language, marsha oylla, is literally translated as “enter in freedom”. The word for freedom also encompasses notions of peace and prosperity.

Chechen society was based around an ingrained form of social individualism. The individual was the base of society, from which arose responsibilities to the family, clan up to the nation. A code of honor and ethics meant that an individual could redeem themselves after wrong doings through constructive behaviour and particularly bravery in defence of the people.

The Chechen societal structure was built through many years of war and they continuously fought a defensive war against Invaders. This external pressure meant Chechen society forged and maintained its social individualism.
Society was democratic, meaning that as far as possible it was organised on the basis of self regulation, or autonomous individualism. Disputes were often settled locally with the aid of elected elders.

At each tier – the individual, the extended family (dosal), the clan (taip), the tribe (tukkhum) and the country (mehkh) – there was a council of elders to determine social and political affairs (although reputation was the decisive factor in the election of its members, rather than age). The system was founded on the code of common law, the adat, which applied throughout the Caucasus. It required respect for older people, women and children, hospitality and social justice. It also stipulated that nature should be protected, that animals should not be hunted while grazing, and that a community decision was needed to fell a fruit-bearing tree. It was also the basis for jurisdiction, blood feuding and all social matters.
The traditional Chechen saying goes that the members of Chechen society, like its teips, are (ideally) “free and equal like wolves”.

While capitalist society decrees that we must have respect for hierarchy (based on wealth, age, gender ect) and centralisation, it is an asocial social code of ethics. Chechen society stated that respect for the individual and their freedom was paramount, but we also owed to duty to safe guard the well being of each and the freedom of all. It is the inversion of western capitalist ethics and practice.

The Chenchen code of ethics based on earned respect, and warrior culture in defence of the downtrodden or for the homeland is something we can learn from. The federalist structure of society, which allowed flexibility but strength and unity in times of war is an outline for a revolutionary Irish society in particular.