Insurrectionary Anarchist Practice
The development of an insurrectional anarchist practise on a projectual basis requires the ability to look at what one has done critically. When one's aims are sufficiently clear and one begins to develop more precise ideas of how to accomplish these aims in practise with others, the arm of critique becomes a most useful weapon in the concrete reality of struggle. However, in this realm, it cannot be reduced to simplistic acceptance or rejection, to the binary logic of "yes" and "no". Rather it must involve a careful examination of the actions we have chosen to take in light of our aim of destroying the social order through an insurrectional process. If we find that a particular type of action has taken us down a wrong path, then we start over without regret. The ability to recognize mistakes and start over from scratch if necessary reflects the creative imagination and passionate intelligence that any healthy insurrectional movement--no matter how small--would have. Unfortunately, history--including that which we ourselves have lived--is usually treated as mythology, that is to say, as a higher reality to be venerated or as a theology to be examined only on a doctrinal level to find the true account. Anarchists, in particular, have tended to create tales of great moments out of their past. This mythologizing approach turns our history into a series of "glorious defeats" rather than an ongoing struggle in which many mistakes were made and in which many amazing projects were accomplished. Defined as a series and great moments and glorious defeats, our history becomes useless to our ongoing struggle. Rather we need to examine events in terms of what we can learn that is practical to our present struggle, not in order to erase the beauty and poetry that can be found in much of the history of revolt, but to enhance that beauty and poetry by making it practical to our daily battle against power.

One recent event that has been mythologized is the series of demonstrations blockading the WTO summit conference in Seattle last year. In the months that have followed, similar demonstrations confronting various major conferences, meetings or conventions of those in power have occurred. In most of these demonstrations, very real acts of revolt occurred, and my solidarity is with those who carried out these acts. But at least in the United States, most of these events were organized by political activists whose agenda was to make themselves heard--"to speak truth to power" as so many of thes small time politicians like to say--and who were willing to negotiate with the authorities over these events. for the most part anarchists have retained the mythology developed around Seattle and limited their discussions and critical analyses to the questions of property destruction and the nature os violence and nonviolence, keeping these discussions on the moral terrain on which the left political organizers prefer to argue. None of this threatens the Seattle myth. Nor does it open the question that is of far more interest from an insurrectional anarchist perspective: what place, if any, do such demonstrations have in our ongoing struggle, in our insurrectional project/ It is not a matter of refusing to go to such events, but of going, if one so chooses, with a clear intent, in a way that flows out of and back into one's daily struggle. In pursuing questions of this sort, each of us will draw our own conclusions and act in consequence, but if we do not ask such questions, we will continue to be dragged along by the agendas of power and its loyal opposition, running here and there to no avail, and complaining that the myth cannot be relived.

The small bits of new that I have heard about the events in Prague and about various solidarity demonstrations around the world indicate that there were some explicitly anti-capitalist events and that there was far less domination by "nonviolent" activists. Below are a few texts intended to encourage further discussion of these questions.
Hosted by