The Way Forward for the New Left
No leaders. Government by consensus. Everyone gets a go. A self-reinforcing ecology of respect.
“People don’t need to be threatened with force or fines or jail time to get them to do the right thing,” the late David Graeber would say.
“We can organize ourselves and police ourselves. In fact, that’s the only way it can happen with respect and dignity maintained.”
Dignity definitely does not hold in a system that corners people like rats with massive consumer debt that strips them of power and saddles them with shame.
“Every society needs a barefoot Socrates to keep it honest,”
according to Gareth Matthews. That tiny philosopher was you and me, once. All children are anarchists — asking rude questions and speaking truth to power and using the wrong fork. But then, bit by bit, that kick-the-tires spirit gets knocked out of us. We grow into adults, losing much of our spontaneous and authentic selves along the way.
And then we spend the rest of our lives trying to get it back.
Each time anarchists have a go at seizing a historical moment, they work a few more bugs out. And get better at recognizing when the time is ripe. It’s never been riper than now. The conditions are in place:
Obscene discrepancies between rich and poor. Multiple social movements converging. The afterimage of a proto-fascist in the White House.
Where fascism grows, anarchism follows it like a shadow.