The following is a call out for contributions on a new publication called ‘Conflictual Wisdom’. A second attempt was made last year for contributions, but the project was delayed. You can read the original call out here. The email has been changed to conflictualwisdom (at) protonmail (dot) com. Both new and original articles on the subject of overcoming hopelessness, trauma, or disappointment as anarchists for the long term are welcome. The deadline is mid-February. If you plan to write an article specifically for this, they ask that you notify them in advance.
Call Out for Conflictual Wisdom / A Second Try
It has been over a year since my last attempt at this. I find myself writing this rough draft call out from the same historic hill I wrote from a little over a year ago. Originally I wrote a cathartic piece regarding my own existential issues as a revolutionary anarchist.
I typically have always wrote purely propaganda, but with time, feelings of disappointment or defeat are inevitable, affecting my ability to be so classically hyperbolic in what I say.
With this, I found the need to write a public piece last year regarding my issues with helplessness and my struggle to continue onward in permanent conflict with this society, as a self-proclaimed insurrectionary anarchist. I wrote a piece a little over a year ago titled ‘To My Comrades.’ I wanted to turn it into a larger project that compiled different responses to the piece, hopefully creating a forum or publication of mixed voices in struggle on the issue of keeping strong, or generally just helping each other to get out of bed in the morning as anarchists in a horribly overwhelming era. To put it simply, I was humbly searching for advice and inspiration from other anarchists, and wanted to share whatever I discovered on this journey for help.
I believe that there are multiple benefits to creating a safe space for dialogue such as this: steering folks away from the counter-revolutionary directions of passive nihiism and post-modernism, or sharing with younger folks the obstacles that typically come with time as a revolutionary, and how some have chosen to overcome them.
I thought that by exposing some humility and existential contemplation, maybe I could start to encourage a dialogue that helps answer questions that tend to push folks away from the movement over time, or lead people to consider betrayal in the form of snitching or ‘ghosting’ as an option in their lives. After a year of insanity for the world, I thought to try again.
I received a few contributions to my last call out, but it was not enough I think to compile this project the way I intended. Additionally, I was faced with an experience of harsh intimidation by the state, which pushed me away from writing publicly. And in private discussions I have had with some comrades I respect dearly who appreciated the call out, they claimed an interest in contributing, and I hope this second attempt will pressure some results.
So I write this in hope of a larger response, as well as a subliminal statement to the scum – boys in blue (or suits) – that I won’t shut up in fear.
One year later I still feel both equally confused as I did the last time I wrote something like this, yet proudly feeling equally passionate about never wanting to forfeit my position as an anarchist, or neglect my revolutionary disdain I have for this vile civilization that serves the interest of a disgusting elite and their despicable followers, especially considering how many folks bite their tongues these days when I am like, “fucking told you so!”
Since the original piece a lot has happened.
For one, Trump has come into power. Essentially the United States has become more honest as the fascist nation it is. Although unbelievable in some ways, and equally terrifying, Trump has actually radically benefited the anarchist community. Whether in the form of the ‘anti-fa’ trend, or the adoption of anarchist street tactics and strategy as an accceptable form of political protest many would have frowned upon prior to Trump. I would say that anarchism has entered mainstream dialogue in the states even more so than during “occupy” or the Seattle days of the anti-globalization movement.
Whether Clinton or Trump, government wins. I didn’t vote, it wouldn’t matter if it did, and I am not so stupid to consider this a mistake of any kind. However with Trump, some things like the earth’s impending demise, the emboldenment of the hyper-rich and grassroots fascists, nuclear war, and the volitaile content of the reactionary white world; has me a bit shook if I’m honest. Where do I run? Where do I fight? How does shit keep getting more ridicuously awful?
However I choose a position still to not blame this particular administration, but the system that has given it power. All political parties that intend to repress us and participate in the current system whether to reform it to the left or right are enemies of anarchism. We pride ourselves on the negation of this entire system, choosing not to play in its deceptive theater of politics. Nevertheless sometimes, I get exhausted. I want to drink away this everyday mourning I succumb to for humanity. I want such negation of this system’s practices to manifest in simple apathy and lack of passion. I want an easy way out: the famously blissful ignorance, or a new ability to discover satisfaction within a society of coercion I do not benefit from or condone. Riots and discussions on repeat seem to leave me in the same position I was prior.
In spite of everything, I always listen to the strong voice of my heart screaming back to myself: “Fuck this convenience! Take pride in your inconvenient revolutionary desires and position! Solidarity is a stength that will always overpower this introspective demise! Which side of history will you die on?! And while I believe my heart will always win, the future looks bleak as fuck, and I don’t know if everyone is able to continute pulling through with remaining committed to our movement and inspired by the solidarity that is essential to its functioning.
I want to write for these moments we all share, whether or not we are open about it. I want to hear from those who have overcome these existential issues, and continue to struggle regardless of our defeats and disappointments. I want to write from my heart in saying our solidarity and position in the global social war of modern times is a victory in itself, stronger than any disappointment, administration, or prison. I want to create something that is read and finished with our chins up.
Like my last call out, I am writing in the form of a confused rant, with the intention of framing a sentiment for the publication or forum I hope to build from this.
While I still struggle with manic questioning and overcoming helplessness or annoyance in the sometimes monotonous repetition of everyday struggle, my heart always beats my mind. I feel completely the same as I did a year ago, it’s just that things in the world are worse, getting much worse (Even more than I expected), and I needed to update my call out to maybe recognize a bit more the current changed circumstances. I am myself also personally at a period in my everyday life survival where I am more afraid than I’ve been for years. My strategy of never buying property, never going to university, or having children has helped me to avoid my status as “legit under the poverty line,” but it is also scary as fuck. I have no hope of experiencing stability or comfort going forward, and it’s harder to expect anything from community as most of them share this everyday fear and hopeless long term thinking as well. Trump for me means it will only get worse for those of us who are poor and without safety nets from poverty, yet I suppose I see comfort in even more of us sharing this inflicted precarity.
Some years ago at an event I threw, a comrade visiting that I respected a great deal asked me how I continue to be committed to preserving my life as an anarchist in struggle. I told them, “What the fuck else am I going to do or feel? I mean when you analyze this society for what it is and how it works as a system of domination and exploitation, what other approach could you take unless you begin to advocate for it.”
I’m not sure exactly what to expect from posting this (If anything at all). I suppose that is why this project is interesting. Yet to give some idea, I am requesting articles, essays, rants, or general written catharsis on the subject of continuing struggle as anarchists regardless of the (inevitable) bitterness and helplessness that comes for some with time. I am looking for writing that deals with existential issues as revolutionaries that does not recite the typical rhetoric, however I am open to that as well.
This publication will be compiled for the intention of helping each other to continue remaining committed and active despite disappointments, fear, or cynicism (Especially as fascism is taking reign across the world, whether with Austria, the states, or ISIS). It is meant both for re-igniting (or maintaining) passion for older folks, and inspiring a long term commitment to struggle for younger folks. Once enough content has been contributed I will organize it into a publication that will be free for print and online use. I hope this will work out this time, and those of you who in private expressed an interest in contributing, will find the time to do so.
Non-original texts are also very welcome! If there is something that you read that helped you, send it this way!
You can write to conflictualwisdom (at) protonmail (dot) com
If you plan to begin working on a piece specifically for this, please message so we can await the contribution. Deadlines usually are never followed, but we ask that you write by February 14th, 2018. Some of the original texts sent last year will be included in the final project, hoping now that there is enough response or content to make one!
Unconditonal Solidarity with those in permanent conflict with authoritarian cilvilization!
For social and class war!
A committed comrade!