Anarchy in the Medway

In which Keevil starts off with a funny title for a blog and then goes on an unexpected personal journey. In doing so, he meets the expectations of many right-wing readers of the blog by wondering what anarchism actually is rather than the pejorative and then goes looking for it online and in Medway!

A Brief Political Revision of Keevil

As mentioned before in the day’s of ‘The Centre and What’s Left’ Keevil has, in his electoral lifetime voted Labour, Lib Dem and Green. He even stood for the Green Party in Medway Council by-elections! But he never felt like he found his tribe.

At the top is the political compass, it shows where you stand on a four point axis, rather than a simple left/right. Keevil and Jennings have disagreed in the past about its validity. Above is the results of Keevil’s Votes for Policies test which show where you come out if you vote for policy rather than party. But it’s still based on party policy.

Keevil retook the political compass test below, going even further to the bottom left then ever before, to the surprise of few and the disgust of many.

What is an anarchist and is Keevil one?

A Brief Cultural History of Anarchy

For some, depending on your age, or your cultural reference points then your understanding or thoughts of anarchy are either:

“I’m a natural-born anarchist,” Lydon, Johnny Rotten to his fans, said to NPR. “I’ve never in my life supported any government anywhere, and I never will.”
Lydon says “‘Anarchy in the UK’ is to be sung with love.”

Or for fans of movie comics adaptations:

But whilst arguably fun and exciting or dangerous and criminal, do they truly represent anarchy?

Definitions; Words to empower the disempowered

anarchy;
– a social situation free of Government and coercive hierarchies.

anarchists;
– identify themselves with a social movement or philosophy of anarchism.

Simply put anarchy works

Simple Politics explains it thusly:

If anarchy isn’t about chaos, then what is it?

According to the Writer George F:

”The aims of anarchy; to exist without domination, is easily understood in terms of violent destruction of the current order, rather than a creative reconstruction of it.
Therefore the worst fears of people manifest when they hear anarchy in terms of the destruction of the status quo.”

Alan Moore, creator of many incredible comics including the original ‘V for Vendetta’, explains anarchy thus:

Anarchy would never work

Anarchism is a social movement against capitalism. It aims for a world free from all forms of domination and exploitation.
Cynics claim that people do not know what is best for them, that they need Government to protect them and the Markets to decide for them.
Anarchists counter that decision-making should not be centralised but instead power should be free to meet their needs in common with others.
That we can live in a society free of masters, and no criminals, no rich or poor. Free of sexism, racism, misogyny, and transphobia.
The only thing stopping us are prisons, programming and the paychecks of the powerful.

As well as our own lack of faith in ourselves.

There is no central committee giving out membership cards and no standard doctrine.
Anarchy means different things to different people.

Basic principles of anarchism

Autonomy & Horizontality
Anarchism opposes all coercive hierarchies, including capitalism, white nationalism and the patriarchy.

Mutual Aid
People should give voluntarily. Generousity forms a stronger social bond than fear.
This is neither charity or an exchange, since neither holds power. They increase collective opportunities

Voluntary Association
People free to co-operate and free to refuse anything not in their interest.
Freedom of movement, both physically and socially.
Anarchists oppose borders of all kinds and involuntary categorisations by citizenship, gender or race.

Direct Action
More empowering and effective to accomplish goals then to rely on authorities or representatives.
Free people do not request changes, they want to see in the world; they make those changes.

Revolution
Entrenched systems of repression cannot be reformed away.
Those who hold power in hierarchical systems utilise reforms in ways that preserve or even amplify power.
Anarchist revolution means fighting to overthrow elites in order to create a free society.

Self-Liberation
‘The liberation of the workers is the duty of the workers themselves.‘
People must be at the forefront of their own liberation.
Freedom cannot be given, it must be taken.

A Brief History of the Culture of Anarchism

The historical examples of anarchy do not have to be explicitly anarchist. Most societies free of government have not called themselves ‘anarchist.’
That term originated in the 19th Century. Many examples were ultimately crushed by the state. It is in large part due to this systematic repression of alternatives that there have not been more examples of anarchy working.

Isolation
Many anarchist projects work quite well, but only make an impact in the lives of a tiny number of people.

Alliances
In a number of examples anarchists are betrayed by supposed allies who sabotage liberation.

Repression
Autonomous communities and revolutionary activities have been stopped by repression. With people intimidated, arrested, tortured and killed.

Collaboration
Some radical projects participate in the present system to overcome isolation, be accessible and avoid repression.

Temporary Gain
Many examples no longer exist.
Anarchists are not trying to create permanent institutions.
Specific organisations should come to an end when they are no longer helpful.

An anarchist society is it’s own reward

In Gloucestershire, the Whiteway Colony was founded in 1898.  Setup by Tolstoyans private property was rejected and personal property shared. There were 120 colonists and over sixty homes.
Mohandas Gandhi called it a failed experience that as today the homes are privately owned and sold at market value. Sometimes the best thing a community or organisation can do for it’s participants is permit them to move on.

In an anarchist society, we would have to invent entirely new solutions for wholly unpredictable problems. To be free, we need to regain control over every aspect of our lives:
– Culture
– Entertainment
– Relationships
– Housing
– Education
– Healthcare
– Protection
– Food Production
An anarchist doesn’t need permission, anarchy thrives in the struggle against domination.

Anti-authoritarians expressly want to live in a society without coercive hierarchies, but do not, identify as anarchists.
Anarchism as a self-conscious social movement is not nearly as universal as the desire for freedom. It is presumptuous to label people anarchist if they have not chosen it.

As a clear anarcho-feminist-communist Keevil is a danger to society and his access to this blog and the Twitter account will shortly be revoked.

But.

Does he have a tribe?

Are there anarchists in Medway?

So the response on the above forum from 2011 it wasn’t looking likely but it did suggest check out the ‘AF’.

So did the AF have members in Medway?

Oh. Nevermind.

hidden stories

There are hidden stories all around us,
growing in abandoned villages in the mountains or vacant lots in the city,
petrifying beneath our feet in the remains of societies like nothing we’ve known,
whispering to us that things could be different.

But the politician you know is lying to you,
the manager who hires and fires you,
the landlord who evicts you,
the president of the bank that owns your house,
the professor who grades your papers,
the cop who rolls your street,
the reporter who informs you,
the doctor who medicates you,
the husband who beats you,
the mother who spanks you,
the soldier who kills for you,
and the social worker who fits your past and future into a folder in a filing cabinet all ask

“WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITHOUT US?
It would be anarchy.”

And the daughter who runs away from home,
the bus driver on the picket line,
the veteran who threw back his medal but holds on to his rifle,
the boy saved from suicide by the love of his friends,
the maid who must bow to those who can’t even cook for themselves,
the immigrant hiking across a desert to find her family on the other side,
the kid on his way to prison because he burned down a shopping mall they were building over his childhood dreams,
the neighbor who cleans up syringes from the vacant lot,
hoping someone will turn it into a garden,
the hitchhiker on the open road,
the college dropout who gave up on career and health insurance and sometimes even food so he could write revolutionary poetry for the world,
maybe all of us can feel it:

our bosses and tormentors are afraid of what they would do without us,
and their threat is a promise–

the best parts of our lives are anarchy already.

Peter Gelderloos

The Political Medway is a non-profit website attempting to cover local politics. We have no funding for this project, and most of our work is done in local coffee shops. If you enjoy our content, please consider supporting us by buying us a hot drink via Ko-fi.

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