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Open Dialouge on Anarchism

Have you even wondered what the story behind those crazy anarchists is? Do you have some idea's of your own that you want to share? Would you like to see more education on anarchism in the Portland area? If you are an anarchist, what would you like to see being done to further the 'cause'? Well, some folks have reserved a place and time to meet, all that needs to happen now is for you to bring your thoughts and ideas this friday to the open dialouge on Anarchism which is being held at laughing horse books at 7 p.m.
Open Dialouge on Anarchism
Open Dialouge on Anarchism
A fellow comrade and i felt that there was no open anarchist activity in portland. So, why not start with open disscusion on what anarchism is and what we anarchists in portland should do? Its a start and its better than being an armchair revolutionary. So get off your ass and lets see if we can actualy built a visable movement.
Here is an introductory text by Berkman for all those who really don't know what anarchism is. To find the full work by Berkman and other anarchist writers go to  http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/archivehome.html

From: Alexander Berkman, Now and After: The ABC of Communist Anarchism, New York: Vanguard Press, 1929.
What Is Communist Anarchism?

I want to tell you about Anarchism.

I want to tell you what Anarchism is, because I think it is well you should know it. Also because so little is known about it, and what is known is generally hearsay and mostly false.

I want to tell you about it, because I believe that Anarchism is the finest and biggest thing man has ever thought of; the only thing that can give you liberty and well-being, and bring peace and joy to the world.

I want to tell you about it in such plain and simple language that there will be no misunderstanding it. Big words and high sounding phrases serve only to confuse. Straight thinking means plain speaking.

But before I tell you what Anarchism is, I want to tell you what it is not.

That is necessary because so much falsehood has been spread about Anarchism. Even intelligent persons often have entirely wrong notions about it. Some people talk about Anarchism without knowing a thing about it. And some lie about Anarchism, because they don't want you to know the truth about it.

Anarchism has many enemies; they won't tell you the truth about it. Why Anarchism has enemies and who they are, you will see later, in the course of this story. Just now I can tell you that neither your political boss nor your employer, neither the capitalist nor the policeman will speak to you honestly about Anarchism. Most of them know nothing about it, and all of them hate it. Their newspapers and publications - the capitalistic press- are also against it.

Even most Socialists and Bolsheviks misrepresent Anarchism. True, the majority of them don't know any better. But those who do know better also often lie about Anarchism and speak of it as 'disorder and chaos'. You can see for yourself how dishonest they are in this: the greatest teachers of Socialism - Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels - had taught that Anarchism would come from Socialism. They said that we must first have Socialism, but that after Socialism there will be Anarchism, and that it would be a freer and more beautiful condition of society to live in than Socialism. Yet the Socialists, who swear by Marx and Engels, insist on calling Anarchism 'chaos and disorder', which shows you how ignorant or dishonest they are.

The Bolsheviks do the same, although their greatest teacher, Lenin, had said that Anarchism would follow Bolshevism, and that then it will be better and freer to live.

Therefore I must tell you, first of all, what Anarchism is not.
It is not bombs, disorder, or chaos.
It is not robbery and murder.
It is not a war of each against all.
It is not a return to barbarism or to the wild state of man.
Anarchism is the very opposite of all that.
Anarchism means that you should be free; that no one should enslave you, boss you, rob you, or impose upon you.
It means that you should be free to do the things you want to do; and that you should not be compelled to do what you don't want to do.
It means that you should have a chance to choose the kind of a life you want to live, and live it without anybody interfering.
It means that the next fellow should have the same freedom as you, that every one should have the same rights and liberties.
It means that all men are brothers, and that they should live like brothers, in peace and harmony.
That is to say, that there should be no war, no violence used by one set of men against another, no monopoly and no poverty, no oppression, no taking advantage of your fellow-man.
In short, Anarchism means a condition or society where all men and women are free, and where all enjoy equally the benefits of an ordered and sensible life.
'Can that be?' you ask;'and how?'
'Not before we all become angels,' your friend remarks.
Well, let us talk it over. Maybe I can show you that we can be decent and live as decent folks even without growing wings.
Kropotkin Supported WW 1 09.Oct.2002 10:32

Cort Greene

Like most Anarchists these people do not even know their own history.Mr.Kropotkin supported the British in World War 1 and took money from the British Imperialists to support their cause.Emma Goldman said that she had more in common with Trotsky than with Kropotkin when came to the question of WAR and that history had passed Kropotkin by!!!

asking questions, making mental models 09.Oct.2002 11:20


i don't 'know' what anarchism is or is not or should be, but i know that i can't necessarily let anyone tell me what it is or isn't or should be (i am also included as anyone). IMO, anarchism is--oops, there i go :)

(is anarchism other people telling other people what something is or is not?)

from merriam-webster's online collegiate dictionary
Main Entry: an·ar·chism
Pronunciation: 'a-n&r-"ki-z&m, -"när-
Function: noun
Date: 1642
1 : a political theory holding all forms of governmental authority to be unnecessary and undesirable and advocating a society based on voluntary cooperation and free association of individuals and groups
2 : the advocacy or practice of anarchistic principles

(people who develop dictionaries might well be the most 'honest' in any given society, IMO)

to me, anarchism *feelz* like falling down a potentially bottomless hole; during the fall, i get to experience myself as i fall, but i also experience myself (and my environment) in a metamystical way, i experience contrafalling, weightlessness, floating...at least i *think* i experience it (was it real?). above all though, i come to understand that i will never have the truest scope of my position as i go (or can i?). have i confused motion with stillness? maybe i can't tell the difference between motion and stillness because of the inherent limit in my scopic abilities.

enuff BS--to see all of what anarchism is or isn't (or may 'in fact' be ;), it takes a certain dynamical thought process, in my view. thinking about the possible entailments of all of the stated assertions and positions--like those of 'barbarism', 'murder', '(dis)order/chaos', 'freedom', etc--could lead one to a deeper understanding of anarchism, such as it 'is' (or isn't, or should be).

but then, can a simple description of anarchism be "thought before, during, and after action"? to wit, could such a simple description sufficiently be used to describe anarchism on the whole?

as well, is anarchism the "highest" form of human social organization (does anarchism involve existing in the 'simplest' state of being for a person and how does this compare to people who aren't necessarily *burdened* by a conscience who may possibly be living as simply--naturally--as they can be given their personal natures?)?

do anarchistic types 'make errors' in judgement and if so, do they enjoy the correction process? blah blah.

should anarchism be limited by definition? what would anarchism be called in an anarchic utopia?

how many more questions will i ask?

The Tired Left Distorts History 09.Oct.2002 11:32


Kropotkin supported WWI, and was roundly criticized for his decision to do so. Most anarchists did not support WWI, and Errico Malatesta, the pre-eminent Italian anarchist, wrote a pamphlet attacking the position of Kropotkin and other anarchists and leftists who supported WWI. The vast majority of anarchists did not support WWI, and as a result were severely persecuted for their opposition. Just one example: Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman were deported from the United States as part of the Palmer raids, which rose in response to socialist and anarchist agitation against WWI. To say anarchists supported the war is to dishonor the memory of those who were persecuted for their opposition, including the countless members of the IWW who were killed and hounded out of this country.

Besides, the Leninists did quite well by the Germans, didn't they? The story of the sealed train car is undisputedly grounded in fact, no matter what Stalin might have said to the contrary. Lenin, with German help, entered Russia, for the express purpose of stirring up Russia and pulling them out of the war (no complaints here). Still, while Kropotkin may have sided with the Allies in WWI (still a big mistake), Lenin profited from the aid of the most reactionary ruler in Europe, Kaiser Wilhelm II. That should have been the first tip to the true nature of the emerging Bolshevik regime.

A little history goes a long way.

Just say no to Trotskyoid lies!

Incarcerated Anarchist 09.Oct.2002 12:08

Noone Inparticular The prison industrial

The other day I went to see a comrade in prison.
He is in prison because he is an anarchist.
As I made my get away in my gas machine, a song came thru the radio. You know the one. It is by Cream.
It is actually a love song but get over that part and share with me please --the irony--
just one of the many -- that goes along with the Prison Industrial Complex and the people who are captured there~
especially the (previously) 'free' onez.

I Feel Free
bompbompbompbompbompbomp ifeelfree

Feel when I dance with you,
We move like the sea.
You, you're all I want to know.
I feel free, I feel free, I feel free.

I can walk down the street, there's no one there
Though the pavements are one huge crowd.
I can drive down the road; my eyes don't see,
Though my mind wants to cry out loud.

I feel free, I feel free, I feel free.

I can walk down the street, there's no one there
Though the pavements are one huge crowd.
I can drive down the road; my eyes don't see,
Though my mind wants to cry out loud,
Though my mind wants to cry out loud.

Dance floor is like the sea,
Ceiling is the sky.
You're the sun and as you shine on me,
I feel free, I feel free, I feel free.

By jack Bruce And Pete Brown

As far as your meeting goes, I probably can't get there to portland on a friday evening but I do have two items for discussion. 1) incarcerated anarchists - how can we help not let the 'system' get them down.
2)upcoming fundraizing plans for anarchist prisoners for the holidaze

No Anarchist is Free when they are Capturing Comrades.

prison or bust

http://complex will get you too.
www.they need you to get.paid

question 09.Oct.2002 12:20


why do folks trot out historical figures in anarchism whenever it is mentioned?

has it not evolved and become a different form?

when we speak of republicans today do we ever think republicanism shares something with abe lincoln?

what is anarchy *today*?

of course i think its good to know the past to know the present and the future, but i get the feeling historical figures are invoked to say 'anarchy is not that' when maybe it is 'that', different from the historical anarchism.

just curious, thanks

We could email each other all day or....... 09.Oct.2002 13:56


First of all I feel that all the above comments are wonderful. I'd like to please ask all of you to show up for the discussion group. Of course that is the reason why we are having it. Mr. Kropotkin did support the British position in WWI, a blatantly imperialist move. His mistake. Should we completely disregard everything the man did/wrote because of it?

To answer the 4th question/statement WE could do more for our incarcerated brothers. If you send me your friends information I could see about sending him material to read. If you don't feel comfortable sending me this information without meeting me in person I of course understand. The class will be every friday at 7ish till we run outta steam so you have plenty of time. WE could actually run prison info classes(reform/abolishment that is) and you could help us with you're knowledge.

As for the 5th question/statement someone wiser than me once said "those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it." (yes I know that's probably not what anyone has ever said but it works for me.) WE are actually trying to focus on Anarchism of today, by not only reading some old dead guys words, but also reading the works of more contemporary authors/philosophers. WE would like the group to be as open as possible. WE are not trying to push one person's philosphy over another persons. So come to the class Especially if you would never associate yourself with "THOSE DAMN BLACK CLAD ANARCHISTS."


Will work for Anarchy. 09.Oct.2002 17:43

Heck mbthink@hotmail.com

Just for clarity's sake was your remark about "black clad anarchists" serious? The medium of internet does little justice to humor.

Here's an idea, could we plan a future meeting to discuss needs of anarchist community? I'd like to be involved with folks that are interested in discussing and working to meet our needs. I think we should form an anarchist community support network. I think it should be inclusive. I don't believe we need another anarchist progamme. I for one am not a pacafist. Frankly, it strikes me as collusion. Despite this I've met good hearted anarchists that supported non-violence and would work with just about anybody that indentifies as, and acts for anarchy.

I did a guerilla art zene that looks at guerilla art in portland, and talks about G/A and anarchist phelosophy. It's got 24 color photos, 2 interviews and a whole lot of pictures. It can be found at Reading Frenzy, and the downtown Powel's. It's cost is 4$ All proceeds go to an Anarchist Community Trust. This trust will provide tools (not cash) that can be checked out by anybody doing Anarchist community work locally. Do you folks have any ideas about needed tools? We've raised about 60$ so far.
See you there.