Tag Archives: Prefiguration

The Settlers

Towards a network of support for ex-refugees and their hosting communities

It is not about what they did to you. It is about what you did with what they did to you.

the-settlersLooking ahead, I see a great opportunity for European communities. The influx of refugees not only brought a lot of business to economies involved and released a lot of social energy (which hopefully will be later available to deal with other problems). It also forced large part of population out of their comfort zones, giving an opening for new thinking and new social practices2.

In this text I will try to outline a concept of international network to support the process of integration of migrants in the places they stay and live for longer. Neither the newcomers nor the hosting community are involved in it by choice – this is essential. But they (we) are involved anyway. And still we have enough margin within the confines imposed by „powers that be” to make the best out of it – best for us all. Continue reading The Settlers

Parallel Polis – a peculiar case of virtual resurrection

I have recently been informed that Parallel Polis, a sociopolitical concept, conceived in 1978 by Vaclav Benda, later presumed dead due to obsolescence, is now getting alive and kicking thanks to a Czech hacking group, Cryptoanarchy Institute.

These days some people say we are returning in time as far as to the Medieval political realm. Some of them only put us in 17th Century, just around the 30-year War. The Parallel Polis comes from the age of harsh oppression – a ‘real-soc’, aka communist regime in Eastern Europe, but it is also rooted deeply in the ancient Greek tradition of citizens’ self-governance. Are we ready to pick it up where it stopped and develop it further?

Someone from FreeLab will be in Prague, where, between 10th and 12th of October, Hackerský kongres Paralelní Polis 2014 will take place. We shall be watching – and actively supporting – possible reincarnation of an old ideal. Stay tuned.

Revolution is sexy

Revolution is sexy. It tells you „let’s get to bed now, we’ll think about it tomorrow”.
And that is why so many people dream, think and talk about the Revolution – and so few practice it daily and on the regular basis. And those are mainly ones, who do not care about tomorrow, anyway.

HOW REVOLUTION FAILS?

THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW

The revolution starts failing the very next day after its victory. When it appears, that revolutionaries run out of shared views, and the new fight begun – to impose on everyone the only true and right order of things (MINE!). At best, it triggers the war of all against all, hopefully fatal for all involved, cleaning the area for less orthodox and more cooperative groups. In the extremely good circumstances (as it was in Greece after the civil war) all sides of the conflict are officially declared veterans and situation calms down.
The grim scenario is the emergence of single strong group, pragmatic, efficient and power-oriented. Having pacified all competition, such machinery is able to enchain community even more severely, paving the way for another, bigger bloodshed.

TOMORROW

Luckier are revolutions, drowned in blood by oppressors. Fallen ones share their heroic status with a handful of survivors. Ideas, having avoided the reality check of victory, plant themselves in young generation minds together with myths of struggle and sacrifice. Sparks of revolution smolder, waiting for another chance. And the society at large benefits, as the ancient regime, freshly reminded about it’s fallibility, usually grants certain concessions.
After having their terms served, retired revolutionaries start writing books, describing how many reforms were introduced thanks to their struggle.

TODAY

The revolutionists’ heaven is the forever revolution. Like a peat fire, it holds for decades. Cannot be extinguished, except with the A-bomb. But neither has the hope or energy to win. Political badlands, where swashbuckling individuals spend their gap years,
internships or just have part-time fun. In their thirties or forties they will already be somewhere else, and the fresh cannon fodder will replace them. Battles are sometimes won, but no side really wants to win the war, as nobody has any idea what to do next.

HOW REVOLUTIONS WIN?

Revolutions never win. One can win a revolution.

OK, SO HOW ONE WINS REVOLUTION?

It’s like getting an English lawn. You dig, you seed and then you keep taking care for next 300 years.
The real winner of the Egypt Spring, Muslim Brotherhood, started its way to victory in 1928, as an initiative to protect the rights of these days precariate – Egyptian workers exploited by international corporations. Since then, the Brotherhood changed its skin many times. Direct action, street work, cooperating with foreign powers – but they never left their social base, direct beneficiaries of the revolution: the poor and rejected. And when the time has came, people still remembered who was their long-term ally.

WHO IS AFRAID OF THE VICTORY OF REVOLUTION?

There are many who want the struggle – and just a few who want the victory. There is no wish for victory in these who made struggle their lifestyle. And they are on both sides of the front.
There is no wish for victory in these whose life (while oppressive) is still known and bearable. Better devil known, than unknown, they say. And this is the case for the majority of population.
Except for some desperados, no one will advocate the disintegration of a socio-economical structure, without compelling vision of reintegration. There may be, of course, that the life ceases to be bearable and ranks of desperados increase rapidly. As it is generally easier to make people unhappy, than happy, the strategy “the worse the better” tend to be popular among  revolutionaries, being considered stylish and rad.
The initial question every anarcho-positivist asks is “Do I want people, at large, to be forced – by suffering – to support my cause? Or do I rather prefer – due to principles I follow – to look for a way to gain their support some positive way?” And the answer is – I prefer to educate them, over terrorizing them.

REVOLUTION THROUGH EDUCATION

Anarcho-positivism works for ‘the day after’ – for the time after the victory. And this is its way to improve chance for victory. To improve chance that people, freshly freed from the oppressive system, will try to build an unoppressive society, rather than replicate the jail they just escaped.
To an anarcho-positivist, the strategy of anarchism cannot be just a destruction. The new society will not shape up itself, nor it should be shaped by force. People need to be prepared and enabled to govern themselves on the basis of freedom and diversity.

HONEY, I SHRUNK THE SYSTEM

Western republican and turbo-capitalist system is in deep troubles. Its logical response is to shrink – leaving less important areas alone, for the sake of better control over critical resources. Anarcho-positivism seeks for these cracks in the wall and plants seeds of free society there.

KRAFT DURCH WISSEN

The best way to keep people subdued is to deprive them of knowledge and competences, replacing them with fake beliefs and specialized training – just enough to obey orders. Whatever improves the agency and self-governance, be it of a community
or an individual, works for the freedom.

THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN

Ability to live in freedom, being the political weapon of mass destruction, is built out of tiny blocks. Food independence, consensus-driven decision making, widespread technical skills and knowledge, critical and diversified education, knowledge of self-governance and freedom traditions.
All these pieces, harmless when separated, join together into a system killer – like a golden gun of Jose Scamaranga.

HACKERS SPREAD THE DISEASE

It’s not just about hackerspaces or fablabs. Every ecovillage, every cooperative, every intentional community can become a place for people to learn freedom. The daily education, with constant awareness of the goal. The most important are ‘full time’ communities, where people live on the regular basis – that’s why ecovillages tend to be so radical. But every ‘crack in the system’ community will be efficient, provided enough political awareness among its members.

HOW TO LIVE?

ANARCHY, OR FREEDOM?

The question that haunts every freedom (or anarchy) supporter is: what to do, if the very next day after gaining their freedom, people voluntarily start building another hierarchical system?
Anarcho-positivism answers: deal with it now – showing people practically, that it is better to live in freedom, than in oppression. And those who refuse – let them live their own way.

THE UNOPPRESSIVE SOCIETY

NO doctrine – anarchy included – deserves to be the one and only way for people to live. It is far more important to clean oppression out of the social life, than to preserve ideological purity. As old comrades say: overdoing worse than fascism.

THE PRIMORDIAL POLITICAL SOUP

For the unopressive society, we need an inert, equalizing political environment, in which various communities will float freely. Being a common good, this environment should moderate all aggressive actions and support peaceful interactions between
communities. Like a primordial protein soup, it would nourish and protect its dwellers. But to make it reality, we need raised awareness of many people and communities, and their SOLIDARITY in action.
Achieving that is the ultimate goal of Anarcho-positivism.

THE BOTTOM LINE

If we want to make the anarchist revolution a cause for people at large, we need to:

  •  help people to express their currently repressed needs
  • convince them that the unoppressive society will support their dreams
  •  convey skills and knowledge needed to achieve that.

This is the only way to make people WISH the revolution prevails and to make them colonize growing areas of freedom, being left by the shrinking system.
Otherwise, the anarchist idea will remain a toy for the handful of freaks and troublemakers – exactly as it is pictured by the mainstream media.

Read also  “The Protocol, or the primordial political soup…”