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Welcome to the anews podcast. This is episode 45 for January 5, 2018. This podcast covers anarchist activity, ideas, and conversations from the previous week.
Editorial: On Accountability in Real Life
TOTW – Year Past, Year Coming
This podcast is the effort of many people. This week this podcast was
* sound edited by Linn O’Mable
* editorial by some anarchist
* written by jackie
* narrated by chisel and a friend
* Thanks to Aragorn! and friends for their help with the topic of the week
* Contact us at email@example.com
To learn more
Introduction to anarchism: http://anarchy101.org
Books and other anarchist material: http://littleblackcart.com
News and up to the minute commentary: https://anarchistnews.org
3 thoughts on “Anews Podcast – episode 45”
In the editorial, Chisel says that she uses the phrase “anarchist community” with “great trepidation.” I commend her for this. Her trepidation is more than justified. However, just as talking the talk in one’s professed desire to uproot sexual violence is no replacement for walking the walk, no amount of trepidation about the “anarchist community” is a replacement for actively challenging the insularity into which it all too often falls. The proverbial activist social justice warrior who is forever going on and on about the need to establish ‘processes’ and ‘frameworks’ for confronting sexual violence within such-and-such a ‘community’ (read: *subculture*) always seems to conveniently ignore the problem of *subcultural insularity* as a direct contributing factor to this sexual violence. The ‘community’ or ‘subculture’ is just the presupposed social context within which the particulars of the desired ‘processes’ need to be hammered out.
While I get her point about examining “how our identities inform how we are able to move through the world,” any effort to do this within a subcultural environment that is not itself fundamentally called into question will be for naught. One reason why I no longer frequent anarchist social spaces is because even their most well-intentioned efforts to “confront oppression” rarely if ever seem to include a genuine desire to confront the oppression of subcultural insularity itself. It should come as no surprise to anyone that, when people cloister themselves up in tight-nit social circles that actively shun intervention from bureaucratic state institutions (for good reason, don’t get me wrong), the risk of sexual violence against those who are vulnerable to it by those who feel they have no accountability will naturally skyrocket.
The choice as I see it is this: either continue to reluctantly accept subcultural insularity as the reality of anarchists interacting with each other and continue trying to create ‘processes’ (read: *anarchist bureaucracies*) that, at best, can only ever mitigate the impact of sexual violence within the anarchist milieu; or acknowledge the need to *break down* subcultural boundaries as part and parcel of the struggle against sexual violence and actively take steps to put it into practise. Adopting a critical attitude toward the idea of the “anarchist community” is certainly a step in the right direction, but it will only get us so far.
Just to clarify, chisel was reading words from someone else (me). I don’t know if that changes context, and I assume she doesn’t totally disagree with my words since she was willing to read them on the podcast, but the trepidation about terms like community are reflective of my opinion, and my opinion alone. I’m not part of the Anews collective, I just happened to have some experiences that it seemed worth talking about publicly.
Thanks for the clarification. I didn’t pick up on the fact that Chisel was reading someone else’s words, so it’s a good thing you spoke up. And as I said in my comment, I agree with your basic premise that it’s important to think critically about how our identities inform how we move through the world and interact with each other. I just want to emphasize the point that any effort to confront the problem of sexual violence within the anarchist scene needs to also take a critical look at ‘subculture’ itself in addition to just the identities of the people within them. Anyway, whatever your negative experiences were, props to you for coming forward.