The long established currents of anti-monarchism raging from the anarchists to the decidedly middle of the road Republic have a choice to make. Do they accept or reject the tens of thousands of potential allies that have emerged from the anti-lockdown protests?
Why has the frustration and pain of being an activist got worse? I’ll try to explain. I used to be very tribal. Once I’d found a political home, I’d defend it and my comrades vigorously. Any nagging doubts I had were packed away in a box and hidden in a dark cupboard. That was until the point when it started to become clear that what I thought was a ‘for ever’ political home was changing and going off in a direction I couldn’t travel in.
I’ve written this piece because there are a few things about who supposedly ‘owns’ the movement and what anarchism actually is that I want to try and clarify. In part, it was written in response to some of the ongoing sniping that’s going on between various factions in the movement. If this sniping is all people see of anarchism, then it may well not have much of a future.
All of this came from activists who exhort others to ‘be kind’. A courtesy they’re unwilling to extend to anyone raising questions and concerns about their beliefs. Anyone questioning them is told that the issue is ‘not up for debate’. Anyone questioning them is subject to abuse, threats and as we have increasingly seen, actual violence.
Looking back over the last six years, the issues I’ve had with now former comrades stem from me wanting to find out the truth of a situation as best I can and to then formulate what I felt was an honest opinion. What I found was that some of the opinions I formed were at variance with what could best be described as the prevailing orthodoxy. I don’t use the term orthodoxy lightly but, on a range of issues where I has differences with comrades, it transpired that there was very little room for an open and honest debate.
Among the various currents of protest against the way the Covid situation was leveraged to accelerate the 4IR, there are those of us doing what we can to join the dots and understand what’s being done to us and why. In the process of doing that, a fair few of us have moved beyond the political labels we once had and we once, sometimes proudly, wore.
It’s only when you start to pull all of the disparate threads of the ongoing clusterf**k together that it becomes frighteningly obvious we’re heading towards some kind of system failure, possibly even a collapse. What this piece is attempting to do (quite possibly in vain) is to try and analyse why we are where we are and then establish what, if anything, we can do to save ourselves.
This is where the real resistance is going to happen. Not outside of a party conference but in thousands of neighbourhoods across the country. It will happen with actions that will frustrate the authorities, make us more ungovernable and ultimately, start to bring power down to the level of the neighbourhood.
The illusion of stability that Queen Elizabeth II somehow managed to convey during her reign will be seen as just that – an illusion. One that will disappear as the harsh reality of a society in the first stages of collapse impacts upon everyone’s lives. When people’s illusions get shattered, there’s no way of telling how they’re going to react.
The only prediction we will make is that when the anger does explode, it’s going to be contradictory and messy. It’s going to be a bumpy ride and if we’re going to make any headway, we need to have our wits about us and be flexible and creative in how we react in what will be a turbulent and complex situation.