The Stirrer

In a better world than this, I shouldn’t have to be writing a piece stating what should be the proverbial ‘bleeding obvious’. Recent and not so recent events have somewhat forced my hand. Those of you who have been following me for a while will have noted that I’m doing my level best to think critically and avoid tribalism. You will also be aware of my exit from what passes for an anarchist movement here in the UK which I don’t really want to reiterate here – the only reference I’ll make to it is this: Why do I do this to myself? 12.4.23.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that I attended a number of the anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine mandate protests that were held in London during 2021 going through to early 2022. The intention of doing this was to get a first hand feel for what the protests were about and the kind of people taking part in them, rather than rely on second hand reports from people with agendas. It was also to hand out copies of The Stirrer paper produced specifically for the protests in order to communicate an anarchist perspective of sorts to the people taking part in them. You can download PDFs of the papers I handed out from this page: Papers.

What struck me about the protests was the diversity of people attending. What I concluded from attending them was that they were a coming together of a range of different currents of opposition that were not always in agreement with each other. Some of these currents have evolved into a broader level of opposition to the great reset which I’ve written about a fair few times.

You’ll note that I’m using the phrase ‘currents of opposition’ rather than describing what did, and is still taking place, as a movement in any meaningful sense of the word. A movement implies a sense of unity. The protests in London from 2020 through to 2022 were not the manifestation of a unified, coherent movement.

They were at best a temporary coalition of convenience for a range of currents who went their own ways as soon as the protests finished. I wrote up a report on what I found on these protests and why I thought what I saw and participated in did not constitute a movement. This was circulated to a few close comrades plus some people still within the anarchist movement who I hoped would read it carefully and take on board my observations. Suffice to say, my observations were snottily dismissed by the aforementioned anarchists and that was the point when I turned my back on what passed for anarchism in the UK.

The reason my observations were snottily dismissed by these ‘anarchists’ was that it suited them to regard the opposition to the lockdowns, the vaccine mandates and the great reset as one movement that could be conveniently dismissed as ‘conspiracy theorists’. It saved them the hard graft of actually having to consider why so many people hated the lockdown, had legitimate concerns and fears about the experimental mRNA jabs that we were being pressurised into taking, and lastly, why people rightly fear the great reset. Lumping all of these currents into one ‘movement’ means that when individuals in one particular current are called to account for unacceptable behaviour, all of the objections to lockdowns, dodgy mRNA jabs, vaccine mandates and the great reset can be dismissed just like that. It’s a case of shooting down the messengers on the lazy assumption that they speak for all of us when they most certainly f**king well do not!

Right, that’s a long preamble to get to what I actually want to discuss. Namely that some (but definitely not all) of the currents of opposition to what was and is being done to us haven’t done themselves or the rest of us any favours at all. I’m talking about those currents who look to leaders and voices to articulate their fears, concerns and hopes for the future. I’m talking about those currents who look to what can politely be termed as false idols to rally around. As for these leaders, voices and false idols who have platforms that reach millions, at the very least, people need to be asking some pretty searching questions about motives and agendas, let alone standards of personal conduct.

Anyone who paints themselves as an ‘outsider’ while broadcasting on platforms that reach millions is taking everyone else for a mug. They’re allowed to do this because they provide a safety valve for people to rally around, under the illusion that they’re actually part of something more oppositional.

Occasionally, one of these voices will get taken down in a scandal just as a bit of theatre from the powers that be to show who’s really in charge. Unsurprisingly, they’ll go for the low hanging fruit of people whose reputations already have a lot of question marks against them, and who would prove to be very difficult to defend. That’s what we’re seeing happening right now here in the UK.

Of course, when someone gets taken down because of question marks about their personal conduct, what also gets taken down at the same time is the message they’re communicating about various issues. Anyone who agrees with the message while having very serious reservations about the messenger delivering it, still gets tarred with the same brush as those unquestioningly defending the messenger. So we have a situation where allegations about personal conduct, that rightly need to be dealt with, take over the agenda while the message that should be detached from the messenger, is consigned to the sidelines or dismissed as ‘conspiracy theory’.

As a way of getting back at our critics who are gleefully pouncing upon the current situation regarding a certain ‘charismatic’ voice here in the UK, I could go on a trawl for reports of personal misconduct on the left, in the anarchist movement and in the environmental movement. From my experience of more decades than I care to remember spent in activism of one kind or another, I could come up with a pretty sizeable haul of people who have indulged in shitty conduct. I choose to not do that because it’s pointless tit for tat that’s not going to get us anywhere. I also choose not to do it because as far as possible, I want to set my own agenda.

I also could sit here moaning about our enemies conflating our views with dodgy messengers but, that’s not the point I want to make. The point I want to make is summed up in the title of this piece – We don’t need ‘leaders’, ‘voices’ or false idols for our revolution.

Certain sections of what has loosely been termed the ‘resistance’ have got themselves into the current situation because of their tendency to look for a leader or a voice to articulate their concerns and fears rather than doing it for themselves. They’ve also allowed people to co-opt the ‘resistance’ and act as self appointed leaders and voices with minimal or no questioning about their motives and agendas.

Some people thinking they’re the ‘resistance’ have made their beds by encouraging these charlatans, now they’re going to have to lie in them. Meanwhile, the rest of us are getting on with it as best we can, albeit under circumstances more difficult than they could be because of misguided ‘hero’ worship…

Getting on with it means resisting the great reset in any way we can. It means lobbing a spanner in any attempts to further digitise our lives and subject us to even more monitoring and surveillance. It means resisting the transhumanist agenda of disassociating us from our bodies and from the natural world that supports us. It means building parallel systems and support networks. It means ignoring the legacy media and any distractions that get thrown about. Above all, it means building the new world we want from the grassroots upwards in the communities where we live. Some of this is what I’ve hinted at in these two very recent pieces: Trying to be positive in the search for a better world… 17.9.23 and: What do we actually do? 15.9.23.

Genuine revolution happens at the grassroots when people have decided that enough is enough and that they have no alternative but to take action. They won’t be waiting around for a pronouncement from any self styled alternative commentator or figurehead, they’ll be getting on with it themselves.
They sure as heck won’t be waiting round for someone on YouTube to give the go ahead or a presenter on an slightly off on the edge news channel to start talking about revolution. Anything other than a revolution that starts right at the grassroots would be little more than a coup d’etat. We can do better than that…