I cant remember when I accepted the stigma of being an "anarchist" anymore than when I accepted the stigma of being an "atheist."
Just like the underlying "values" of PARECON (solidarity, equity, diversity and self-management) are widely accepted by most sane people, so are the core principles of Anarchism – which I would define simply as participation in the management of affairs that effect us.
No one would deny their desire to have a say in something that effects them.
In popular political, social and economic discourse amongst the general population (i.e. the working class) I see much dis-satisfaction with the way things are. But the problem I see that remains and is being ignored, for whatever reaon, is the old follow-the-leader game.
And this reminds me of a popular quote of Eugene Debs:
I am not a Labor Leader; I do not want you to follow me or anyone else; if you are looking for a Moses to lead you out of this capitalist wilderness, you will stay right where you are. I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I led you in, some one else would lead you out. You must use your heads as well as your hands, and get yourself out of your present condition.
This quote stays with me throughout the day. My thoughts constantly come to the moral of his statement: so long as we rely on someone to lead us we will never truly be free.
Yesterday it was reported that the Bush administration told 935 lies about Iraq between 2001 and 2003. This was amplified by the countless news coverage in a wide range of mediums. When I mentioned this to someone they said "only Ron Paul is calling for an immediate withdrawal."
I quicjkly became exasperated…
I asked, are we a free country? Are we a democracy? What is the pulse of the American public? Do we want to leave? Yes, yes, yes!!
So why the fuck are we waiting on Moses? Who cares what Ron Paul is saying. Why do we need to wait and rely on a leader. Let’s get ourselves out of Iraq and Afghanistan.
That desire to be (collectively) self-sufficient is there. Change is just under the surface. Waiting to explode.
A Dream Deferred by Langston Hughes
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
The other day I had the idea to start a worker-owned and operated thrift store (my initial thought was a bookstore or coffee shop but Starbucks and Borders haunt those thoughts). Maybe do some clothes drives. Then the idea of organzing with other labor unions and the local IWW chapter so as to counter anti-labor propaganda and introduce the unions and libertarian communism to the community.
I also thought about writing a fiction book on a global revolution to establish libertarian communism. Maybe I could get it published by AK Press or someone like that. I could begin the story from the post-Cold War era to the downfall of Capitaltheism and the rise of a popular global movement deeply rooted in anarchist principles. Millions and millions of Durruiti’s and Mahkno’s and Zapatista’s and Wobblies taking their stand and seeing it through. Maybe it’s just me but that is inspiring.