“The Center Can’t Hold”: Building Power from Below


In this episode we talk with two members of the Black Rose Anarchist Federation, a federation of anarchist collectives (referred to as locals) across the US, that formed several years ago, bringing together a variety of existing anarchist groups and organizations. Currently, members of Black Rose are involved in a variety of struggles and organizing campaigns, and in this interview we talk specifically about how their members in the Los Angeles area are mobilizing with a rapid response network that is fighting back against ICE raids.

The bulk of much of the podcast however is spent discussing the recent Black Rose position paper entitled Below and Beyond Trump: Power and Counter-Power in in 2017, which is an analysis of the first year of the Trump administration and the current crisis of legitimacy the State finds itself in. As we discuss on the podcast, the massive problems generated by neoliberalism has led to this crisis and it is within this reality that the “Center will not hold;” people are moving further and further wards the political extremes. While this presents us with an opportunity, it is also our opportunity to lose if we do not organize and build.

Also, within the Trump moment, the DNC aligned establishment Left (non-profits, mass activist groups, NGO’s, unions, and monolithic Marxist-Leninist organizations), will attempt to push social struggle back into the ballot box, and towards a strategy of increasing retrenchment. Our guests argue that while there is increased anger at the political class and both parties, at the same time, the growth in the hope that progressive and ‘Socialist’ candidates can win elections is also breathing new life into the corpse of electorialism.

With this reality of recuperation and co-optation firmly on the table, anarchists, autonomists, and anti-authoritarians must think, debate, and discuss what a long-term strategy could look like. But moreover, we must show through action and the building of relationships, that we can and will, build power from below – outside of and against the State.

More Info: Black Rose Anarchist Federation and Below and Beyond Trump

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