A video collaboration with CrimethInc.
To Change Everything: An Anarchist Appeal
If you could change anything, what would you change? Would you
go on vacation for the rest of your life? Make fossil fuels stop causing
climate change? Ask for ethical banks and politicians? Surely nothing
could be more unrealistic than to keep everything the way it is and
expect different results.
Our private financial and emotional struggles mirror global
upheaval and disaster. We could spend the rest of our days trying to
douse these fires one by one, but they stem from the same source. No
piecemeal solution will serve; we need to rethink everything according
to a different logic.
To change anything, start everywhere.
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5 thoughts on “To Change Everything: An Anarchist Appeal”
Great propaganda! Right on the button of what is wrong or what could be in the societies of today. If this reflexion would have been already in the collective consciousness when END:CIV came out, it would have been a great addition as a proposition within the documentary. I showed END:CIV several times in the community of the ZAD in notre-dame-des-landes in france where i’m happily occupying land against destruction, the response was a lot the same: we understand the logic of radical change by destroying the one we are imposed, but the doc doesn’t offer a solution … nice this is a prposition as a solution! this logic! lots of fucking love and riots needed for this to happen!
Really nicely produced, Stim & Co. The ideas are right on the mark.
I’m going to take the risk and show it to my classes (although I might mute it at the end; RE: “you might be an anarchist”, just to be a little-bit prudent).
I’m not an anarchist. I enjoy reading and watching your materials because they sometimes offer genuine insights. But, this assertion that dominant institutions and “abstractions” like properties rights mainly exist because we decide they do, or believe they do, is disingenious. The post modernist theories of social construction are delusional, ahistorical, and unscientific. These institutions, like people themselves, are subject to a myriad of empirical limits which constantly pressure them to adapt to the environment. As well, it is highly dishonest to put forth a “personal”, person to person, local, alternatives without citing the multitude of problems such systems will inevitably entail. It’s not as if such a world has never existed before.
This is made with presumption that the state (fbi) will stay passive and not active, and you can build new relations between people and build movement, it is story for young people who don’t know anything about history of state violence. read cointelpro and learn methods of work of FBI, they will even shoot and not only disturb building of power of the people. Spartacus had to organize and use weapons, today is the same. the rest is bla bla. people can make different organizing than spartacus but without armed fight, there are no changes. and majority of people don’t want to risk, they will rather play games at facebook, it means there is no basis for wider support of building powerful movement.
I have to say, some of the philosophical ideas are alright, but this is way off the mark when it comes to its economic principles.
For one example: profit, profit is not some arbitrary construct and neither is money, they are naturally formed by human behavior when we desire a common medium of exchange. For example if I see that everyone wants gold, then I will start trading for gold in order to trade the gold for other things I need, and money has thus formed spontaneously. Thus to prohibit money would be to forbid people’s freedom to trade as they want to, which is surely not an anarchist principle.
Also, money doesn’t hold any power in and of itself, nor does the Federal Reserve that prints it or wealthy businessmen who hold it. Were the dollar to fall out of favor, all those institutions would become powerless, so the real power is held by the laborers who desire money, not the businessmen who possess it. To eliminate money as a third party would be to force those people that desired money to abandon their goals, again, not a desirable ideal for an anarchist.
Then your argument about property is simply incorrect, property can exist without a centralized authority, all it needs is enforcement of one kind or another, not a government. I can enforce my private property just as easily with force as a government can, and indeed this did happen prior to official governments forming (in animals that defend territory, even solitary animals such as large cats, in tribal and familial relations in early humans, etc.). In addition, your claim that a stock market couldn’t crash and lose you your savings, it cannot do so in the current state unless you allow it to. The same goes for confiscation by a government. We only participate in a government or a stock market voluntarily, they are a social tie in and of themselves, if I were concerned about the stock market crashing or the government taking my possessions more than I thought I got benefits from said government or stock market, I can remove my money, convert it into commodities, and exit the country that I believe is becoming unjust. All that removing private property does is make everything communal, and create a massive tragedy of the commons (a fairly well documented event, enough that I would say it can be demonstrated historically).
Finally, there is a significant contradiction in your definitions of anarchism and anarchists. Anarchism is supposed to be freedom, yet you claim that anarchists oppose hierarchies. One form of a hierarchy would be a landlord tenant relationship, inherently each one has different resources and one is a source of profit for the other, yet it can still be a mutually beneficial relationship. I give up some of my earnings in exchange for security against the possibility of a major maintenance problem, the same comparison could be made between the insurer and the insured. So by opposing anarchy as your theoretical anarchist does, you eliminate my freedom to enter into such a contract, so opposing hierarchy, money, etc. is a violation of personal freedoms, and your style of anarchy becomes self-defeating.
I highly recommend looking into the economist Murray Rothbard, an anarchist that sees a role for natural human tendencies like that to create money. I personally tend more towards a middle ground like Hayek, but still, their ideals in economics deserve a role in modern anarchism.
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