What the Occupation Owes Anarchists
Posted on Dec 21, 2011
As those weary of Occupy Wall Street’s insistence on direct democracy grow increasingly critical, Nathan Schneider with The Nation reminds us that it was anarchist principles that attracted and kept so many of its most devoted participants, and which point a way out of the contemporary party politics that have stifled so many voices. —ARK
Nathan Schneider with The Nation:
At its core, anarchism isn’t simply a negative political philosophy, or an excuse for window-breaking, as most people tend to assume it is. Even while calling for an end to the rule of coercive states backed by military bases, prison industries and subjugation, anarchists and other autonomists try to build a culture in which people can take care of themselves and each other through healthy, sustainable communities. Many are resolutely nonviolent. Drawing on modes of organizing as radical as they are ancient, they insist on using forms of participatory direct democracy that naturally resist corruption by money, status and privilege. Everyone’s basic needs should take precedence over anyone’s greed.
… The radicals who lent this movement so much of its character have offered American political life a gift, should we choose to accept it. They’ve reminded us that we don’t have to rely on Republicans or Democrats, or Clintons, Bushes or Sarah Palin, to do our politics for us. With the assemblies, they’ve bestowed a refreshing form of grassroots organizing that, if it lasts, might help keep the rest of the system a bit more honest. There will, however, be tensions.
The words of the U.S. Constitution appear against Anarchism’s signature colors of black and red.