Political texts

The truth is that Borders have never really existed

The truth is that borders have never really existed. There is no separation between peoples, only the illusion of separation. A language shifts and changes throughout time, evolving as it comes into contact with other languages. The very fact that people can sit in a room together to have a conversation in which words from several languages are used is proof that these languages do not really exist. They are simply noises in the air, that human brains are translating into meaning. The very fact that people can cross borders so long as someone does not physically stop them from doing so is proof that these borders do not really exist.

 

The Tuareg people of North Africa cross borders all the time. They live in the desert, called ‘the Sahara’ – which is just a word meaning desert to the people who speak words that someone once grouped together and called ‘Arabic’. In different places there are different words that are clumped together and called ‘Arabic’, because there is no such thing as Arabic really, and no such people as “Arabs”. There no ‘Whites’, no ‘Europeans’, no ‘Westerners’. There are no ‘Blacks’, no ‘Africans’, no ‘Subsaharans’.

 

There are no Tuaregs. They are just a type of Berber. There are no Berbers. There is no Berber language. There is no Moroccan language. There are no Moroccans.

 

There are No Borders. What there are is fences, guns, handcuffs, vehicles, prisons, doors, locks, boats, uniforms, and human beings who have completely lost sight of reality.

 

A family of people on the backs of Camels can walk from one sand dune to another, or a van full of people, or just some desperate, hungry people with heatstroke walking through the sand. These people are not ‘crossing borders’, they are just walking in the desert. A camera up in the sky on a satellite maybe be filming them and that camera may be connected to a computer upon the display of which lines have been drawn by people under the orders of men commanding other men with lots of guns, but that doesn’t make it real.

 

Angry, violent people often let their egos run away with them and say ridiculous things that people would just laugh at if they wern’t afraid of getting hurt. They say things like ‘I’m the best’, or ‘that belongs to me’, or ‘that belongs to MY people, MY tribe, MY gang, MY nation-state”. People don’t laugh at them, they humour them, they say ‘whatever you want boss’, or ‘Sure, that’s your sandwich, that’s your wristwatch, that’s your continent’.

 

Let’s stop humouring these people. Let’s force them to confront reality. Make them see what dicks they are being and force them to stop it, for the good of everyone. They must first of all be stopped, then sat down and given a good talking to, made to understand what they have done wrong. If they express no remorse, they should be made to feel afraid of doing it again through threats of violence, which should then be carried out. This is how you would treat anyone who was fucking things up for you and your whole community.

 

When good people do nothing, that’s when bad people do things. We all know this. We mutter it to ourselves. So what are we going to do?

 

Every day, remind yourself that we are at war with all Nation-states. Their laws do not apply to us, nor to anyone else, least of all themselves.

 

Do not allow your consciousness to be poisoned by illusions. Laugh at nonsense. Laugh at those who think they are better than other people or have any right to anything on this earth. We are all equal, and this Earth does not belong to anyone.

 

We are all Equal and we are All Free. Don’t forget it, just because some men with guns have forgotten it. Remind them of it.

 

Remind them that private property does not exist. Money does not exist. Capital does not exist. Classes, nations, races, genders, even football teams – none of them exist. What exists is the universe. You can touch it, feel it, see it, breathe it. I listen to it all the time. It’s my favourite song.

 

If you break the law and there are no police around to see it, the law did not exist. If you break it and the police decide to let you get away with it, it does not exist either. If you do not break any law and the police arrest you, charge you, and give false testimony about you, the law still does not exist, even though you didn’t even break it. What exists are men with guns, women with guns, buildings, locks, doors, handcuffs and clubs. There are people who sit around on comfortable chairs with lots of shiny wooden panelling in the room, shuffling bits of paper and sentencing people to death or imprisonment. They are perhaps least in touch with reality than anyone.

 

I would like to witness a court case in which someone told the truth, just once in my life. I would like to hear someone say ‘my defence is that we are hurtling through the cosmos at millions of miles per second, so what does it matter if someone’s illusion of private property got shattered? It was good for their soul’ or ‘all of us are one, so we are all equally guilty’ or ‘I call a surprise witness – the moon’. Will that day ever come?

 

Don’t be afraid to die for the truth. Don’t be thinking of all the things you didn’t get a chance to do when you hear a big-headed idiot claim to be somebody’s lord. Say it right to their face – whatever it is that they need to be told. Do not be afraid – and they will fear you, or else they will kill you, but you would have been expecting that anyway, so it’s ok. Don’t think of all the things you haven’t done yet. That’s not a good way to die. You do not exist. You are the person that may kill you, you are the whole universe and everything in it is you.

 

There are no borders. No boundaries between yourself and others, yourself and the ground you stand on or the air you breathe. It is all everything and you are it as well.

 

But least, least of all, is there France.

More Ants With Honey       

An urgent appeal to the anarchist movement to stop acting like such dickheads and learn how to be more friendly to other members of the working class.

I have seen some of the nicest people I have ever met act like some of the stupidest, most stuck-up, unfriendly judgemental bastards possible when they have been faced with people outside of their own little ‘scene’ of likeminded people.

It has got to stop, not only for the sake of people new to the ‘scene’ or of people who just might happen to come into contact with people in the ‘scene’ while going about their daily business, but also for anarchist scene wankers like myself as well.

If we remain isolated, depressed, feeling excluded and shat upon by all of society, we are gonna probably all develop drug-addiction problems, suicidal tendencies and other mental health problems. Whoops! Too late!

But no, it’s not too late.

You can save yourself from being an irrelevant waste of space in the eyes of society and yourself by simply going back to the basic fundamental principles of the philosophy that our ‘scene’ is supposedly based on.

Now, it has often seemed to me that the actual day-to-day practice of people in the anarchist scene has about as much to do with the philosophy of anarchism as the relentless slaughter of the Tamil population of Sri Lanka by the Buddhist Singhalese government has to do with the Buddha’s teachings of compassion.

In fact Anarchism, as espoused by Proudhon, Kropotkin, Emma Goldman etc, is similar Buddhism in that it is a philosophy of seeking individual fulfilment through social action, recognising that there is in fact no separation between the individual and society, and that for an individual to be free they must fight for the liberation of all.

When the first Anarchists were writing the main way that people were oppressed was by capitalism and the state, and this has not changed in the past 200 years. Society is still split up into a great majority of people who have no control over the land or the means to produce things they need for themselves, and a small minority who are seen as having the right to control all the land and all the means of production, simply because they have ‘capital’ or money to invest to make more money from.

Anarchism is a philosophy of struggle, saying that this capitalist class, who oppress and exploit the majority, must be fought against until they are ultimately destroyed, so that the land and means of production might be controlled democratically by everyone in society, in decentralised fashion.

This calls for promoting unity among the working class, as well as ‘class consciousness’ – meaning getting out there and explaining to people how they all have a lot in common with each other regardless of nationality, religion, gender or whatever other divides might exist within the global working class, and that they should all work together and support one anothers’ struggles for liberation.

So you would think that anarchists would be really outgoing types, always ready to jump into a discussion on the nature of society with anyone they might come into contact with, having a whole load of well-thought-out comebacks to any racist or nationalist challenge to their basic message of working-class unity.

But no.

Most anarchists I know are simply terrified of talking about politics with anyone who doesn’t already agree with them, or even to engage in any form of confrontation with the State or capitalism unless there is some form of temporary thrill involved.

In some peoples minds being a ‘good anarchist’ means shouting at all your housemates for not being politically correct enough, or for not being prepared to engage in acts of anti-social violence for no particularly good reason, or even for declaring oneself part of the working class at all. Some people seem to think that working a job for a wage makes you a bad anarchist in itself.

So how did this happen? The parallels with Islam are striking. A belief system that started out with a universal message of equality ends up being perceived by most people as a community of people who totally refuse to engage with the rest of society unless it is to moralise or throw bombs.

Of course our masters in the Christian-white-supremacist ruling class are pleased as punch about this. They are free to drop bombs on little children whose skin-colour they don’t like almost every other day in a variety of exotic locations while the general public are busy being afraid of other people who are operating on a shoe-string budget and are actually on the whole completely non-violent.

So here’s some advice for scaredy-cat little anarchists for what to do if you find yourself trapped with one of these terrifying non anarchist people who flood the streets. (I would call you pussies except that one of you, a particularly deranged dickhead, once accused me of being sexist for using the word pussy. Since the word ‘pussy’ meant ‘coward’ long before it was ever used to mean ‘vagina’ – from the latin pusillanimous meaning lacking in courage- I can only assume this was another example of ignorance on that individuals part. I do not think vaginas are cowardly and that’s why I don’t call them pussies. Cats though, they really are cowardly. And nihilists of course)

Top ten pieces of advice for talking to non anarchists:

1: Smile at people!

No matter what occurs or how awkward the conversation might get, smiling helps. If nothing else it helps you to remain calm and in a positive mood, which usually helps any situation.

2: Say hello and introduce yourself!

Don’t, for example, awkwardly hover at the back of the room with a glum expression occasionally glancing over at them as if you hate them. Most people really don’t react well to this.

3: Ask them about themselves!

Most people love talking about themselves. Most people are also oppressed and exploited by capitalism and the state. With the magic trick of asking simple polite questions you may be able to discover exactly what way the person you are speaking to is oppressed and how they feel about it. This can open up all kinds of conversations about ways they could take action and make links of solidarity with other people also oppressed in the same way.

4: Mention that you’re an anarchist and explain what it means!

Often when anarchists actually do manage to make friends with other people and even inspire them to struggle for liberation or practice mutual aid, they forget to mention that they are an anarchist. Why? Are you so patronising that you think they won’t be able to understand a philosophy that can be summed up in a sentence? Do you not think they could benefit from this philosophy as much as you have? Do you not want to spread the ideas that you believe in? Do you even really believe in them at all?

5: Don’t use jargon!

My god. If it’s not pretentious pseudo-academic bullshit then it’s some kind of squatter/traveller exclusionary lingo aimed at making people feel like they just aren’t cool enough to be in your little clique. Just stop it. If you have really been away from ‘mainstream’ society for so long you can’t talk properly anymore then you can re-learn standard English through reading newspapers, watching TV, listening to music or just chatting to strangers on the street. Just try it out, set your self little challenges. Can you go a day without mentioning ‘gak’? Or ‘polyamory’? Or ‘tatting’? Or ‘intersectionality’?

6: Use the normal working-class slang for whatever community you’re in!

You may be surprised to find that people speak differently in different places. Often they think that the way that working-class people speak in their area is the way that all working class people speak. This is bullshit. Most working class people speak Chinese, and different dialects of it in different places. So, don’t be stupid. Make a fucking effort. Learn how to talk to people in the place you are from.

7: Don’t lose your temper if they disagree!

Probably someone you haven’t met before and who is not part of the anarchist scene already is going to have some opinions about some things that different from the opinions of yourself and your friends. Everyone, included yourself, is prejudiced in some way or another. If someone has a prejudiced view about a certain type of person, they are probably simply mistaken in some way and just need to be calmly and politely corrected about the factual error they have made, not shouted at or beaten up. Also, most people do not accept the idea that the whole structure of society needs to be fundamentally changed, because it’s a scary thought. So just introduce ideas to people piece by piece, always emphasising the positive, not invoking apocalyptic images of ultra-violence.

8: Don’t say anything to imply that your judge them for their lifestyle choices or opinions!

The vast, vast majority of people in the world believe in God or in some higher spiritual reality. People who believe in things generally don’t appreciate people snorting in disgust when they express something that to them is a profound spiritual truth that enriches their life. Also, many anarchists, as well as many non anarchists, are not vegan and do not practice ‘open relationships’ and so don’t like people who try to make them feel like they are evil for eating certain types of food or being faithful to their partner.

9: If they say anything you remotely agree with, tell them so!

Most people will not agree with anarchism they first time they hear about it, and if they do they probably should think about it a bit more. So of course people are going to have a lot of questions, counterarguments and concerns about such a radical philosophy with so many far-reaching implications over all aspects of life. If you make it out as if their little doubts mean that their ideas are fundamentally incompatible with ours, they will be put off and will never want to come back. On the other hand, if they express some trite opinion such as ‘I think everyone should have the same rights’ or ‘politicians are corrupt’ then if you say ‘yes! Exactly, that’s what we think to’ then they are likely to want to find out more.

10: Use positive reinforcement to encourage them to take direct action against the state and capitalism!

If you don’t encourage someone to take direct action to liberate them as well as work towards to liberation of everyone else, then perhaps no-one ever will and this idea will never occur to them. It’s worth a shot, and what have you really go to lose? You may gain a new friend and comrade for life.

OK? Now get out there and start agitating!

Please x

Queer Ecological Insurrection – an introduction to Burroughs, Bookchin and Bonanno

The three 20th century Anarchist writers who have influenced my own perspective the most have been William Burroughs, Murray Bookchin and Alfredo M Bonanno. These are three writers whom I think even most anarchist or like-minded activists are very unfamiliar with, so here I will attempt to give a very brief overview of their main ideas, how they can go together, and why I think they are still relevant today, unlike certain other writers..

Unfortunately in my experience most Anarchist and like-minded activists do not read works of political theory at all, being too busy engaging in actual revolutionary activity, or else just posing as revolutionaries, hanging out in counter-cultural spaces and pretending to care. This tends to lead to a lacking in the intellectual skills required to develop realistic strategies for achieving social change, even among those prepared to risk death or arrest to achieve it.

Those that do look into the theoretical side of things usually limit themselves to whichever zines with interesting titles happen to be hanging around. Unfortunately an interesting title does not necessarily actually mean a text is that significant, or even has much original thought gone into it at all.

Some more enquiring minds might decide to look into the distant past of the Anarchist writers of the 19th Century, who were once described to me as ‘Old Dead Russians’. This is not entirely fair – Malatesta was from Italy, Proudhon from France – but the implied criticism that these writers were operating in a context that is no longer relevant is hard to ignore.

Reading the Old Dead Russians – Bakunin, Kropotkin, Emma Goldman etc – you are struck by how much they stick to the basic narrative of the Inevitable Proletarian Revolution, almost like Christians talking about the Judgement Day.

The story goes that the meek, humble, toiling masses will one day seize control of the means of production, by virtue of their organisation and solidarity built up through the culmination of years of trades union activity. Once the factories and farms etc have been collectively seized, on occasion of a great insurrection heralded by a General Strike, all that remains is to ‘defend the revolution’ by means of fighting at the barricades, and once the forces of reaction have been dealt with, we shall all live in perfect harmony and freedom forever more.

Maybe it is a symptom of how desperate people in modern day society are to believe in anything at all that some people still cling on to this old, quasi-religious faith in old-school anarchism. Others know that it is not going to happen like that, but failing to come up with any other theoretical perspective, and not wishing to give up on the actual basic principles of anarchism – positive belief in the values of mutual aid, autonomy and solidarity coupled with a rejection of all forms of hierarchical oppression – they simply muddle on, trying not to think about it, and carrying on with political activities they can not actually justify logically but simply go through the motions of, not knowing what else to do.

But even as the old, glorious Workers movement or Red flags, mass trades unions and socialist parties was dying, in the 1940s and 1950s, there were radical writers around who were sniffing around for new ideas with which to understand reality and fight for universal freedom. One of these was William S Burroughs.

Burroughs had never been a trade unionist or card-carrying socialist, so perhaps he didn’t have any ideological baggage to have to get rid of. He was not a working class man, but, like Bakunin, Kropotkin and Karl Marx before him, was a drop-out from the ruling class. His grandfather had invented the Burroughs Adding Machine, which was a precursor of the modern-day computer, and used mainly in the banking industry, making the family rich. The fortune had collapsed somewhat by the time William was a young man, but he still had the tremendous good fortune of being able to travel the world for most of his youth, as well as the benefits of a classical education.

Willaim Burroughs’ personal rebellion against bourgeois society was on the basis of his sexuality, not his class. Much as his writings decried the gruesome realities of upper-class racism and snobbery towards poorer people, it was the homophobic, heteronormative nature of bourgeois life that offended him, oppressed him and made him into a revolutionary.

Burroughs was the first popular writer to use the word ‘Queer’ as a positive identification. In this he was decades ahead of his time. Even in the 1950s, when Gay rights had not even been won yet, he was already looking far beyond the understanding of sexuality as a binary opposition between gay and straight.

Burroughs was a writer who deconstructed old established ideas, including those of the radical socialist left. This was the spirit of the age in the post-war period, when all the old certainties of liberalism, socialism and nationalism were crumbling in the face of the horrors of the genocide and mass slaughters of the age.

In London, George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm challenged the Communist Party’s vision of the future, but from a left-wing point of view, as did the writings of Satre, Camu, and De Beauvoir in Paris. Similarly in New York, Burroughs and his close friends Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, were seeking meaning in a new and frightening world.

You can not get a sense of Burroughs’ revolutionary views by reading any one of his works alone. He did write political essays, and essays on tactics for creating riots etc, but most of his work was satirical fiction. He was on the attack against all forms of bullshit, and especially was trying to make people ‘hip to the scene’, as he and his beatnik friends would have said.

In Burroughs vision of the world, there are hustlers everywhere. The whole capitalist system, Bolshevik-communist system, and in general the whole business of government at all is a series of cons by sociopathic, sadistic bastards. You are either hip to the scene and engaged in some kind of nefarious activity yourself, involving breaking all the rules you can to get what you want, or else you are just a ‘mark’ – a fool waiting to be conned by some kind of parasitical entity.

William Burroughs made breakthroughs in exposing the true nature of the US criminal underworld, starting with his first published book ‘Junky’. This book reveals how he was himself a conman, preying on the naivety of innocent fools, playing all kinds of tricks on people to feed his heroin addiction, but the really juicy details are not in the things that he did himself, but rather in the complex and fucked up scams he saw being perpetrated by much bigger players than himself, including the US government.

Burroughs saw the US government for what it really was – an imperialistic, genocidal mafia-style organisation that had taken over the world and was just as bad, if not worse, as the regimes of Hitler and Mussolini.

He new that the US government was involved in organised crime, and that the way that drug policy was executed in the country was not at all aimed at actually solving the problems of drug addicts like himself, but rather in keeping money flowing into the pockets of those who really ran the State.

Burroughs portrayed pretty much anyone in a position of authority as a total scumbag, usually with sexual fetishes for death, torture and rape of people of all genders, and complicit in the most unspeakable crimes, lies and exploitation.

Most of his writing, therefore, appears as a series of appalling scenes of depravity, which are shocking and disorientating even to modern day readers who you’d thing would be completely desensitised by Hollywood gore. It is therefore hard to see what positive messages he really had, from a revolutionary point of view. Indeed, many active anarchists I know have been perplexed and disgusted when I have told them I see him as a hero.

But Burroughs did have a positive message for those willing to read between his disgusting lines and find it. His writings describing physical acts of love between men indicate he was a sensitive soul wishing to help other men discover and celebrate their sexualities in the face of the extreme violence threatened to them by the mainstream society.

“Wild Boys” is a post-apocalyptic novel describing the collapse of Western Imperialist society due to an extremely widespread youth rebellion of young men who want to do nothing but have sex with each other and take drugs, but who are organised and numerous enough to constitute an unstoppable global guerrilla movement.

This is perhaps the closes we can get to a manifesto in Burroughs’ work. He did not see revolution emerging from the ranks of trades unions, but from the ranks of alienated youth, the weird crazy hustlers who were the social class he most identified with, for though he was born wealthy he spent most of his adult life among the lumpenproletariat.

People on the fringes of society, who didn’t even try to fit into it except as a scam to get some money to continue their mad liberated lifestyles, these were the people he thought showed promise. People who would not be conned by the hustlers of the State, because they were too busy trying to hustle and con rich people out their money themselves.

He respected sex workers, hustlers, drug dealers, artists and revolutionaries, living outside the system. His friend Jack Kerouac in ‘The Dharma Bums” also foretold a vision opf the future in which the youth, dropping out of society and creating their own values, would bring about social change, in a less violent way than Burroughs’ Wild Boys, simply by hitching around and living in tents.

Burroughs was a pioneer of post-modernism and the youth counter-culture. He didn’t believe in the Marxist idea of setting up a new ideology to get everyone behind, with a new set of leaders to follow, to bring some new ‘workers state’ into being. He saw that as just another con, being perpetrated by a bunch of evil sadistic hustlers who just wanted power for their own sick psychological reasons.

He wanted people to break free of all ideology and to question absolutely all claims to universal truth. ‘Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted’ was perhaps his most repeated phrase. He even tried to get people to challenge the way they experienced the written word, to bring peoples attention to the fact that rationality was simply an illusion, usually used in the course of conning people into something or other.

He followed on from the work of his friend Brion Gysin in experimenting with ‘Cut-Ups’ – texts that were literally cut up and stuck back together in different ways to reveal how even when texts obviously had no deliberate rational meaning behind them, the human mind always imposed meaning anyway. This had huge implications as an artistic idea.

Think about all the forms of art which have been developed since the Burroughs Cut Ups in the 1960s which use the same idea – collage is now one of the most accepted mediums in publishing and fashion, Hip-hop and other sampled forms of music are now the dominant forces in the world, and almost any modern book or film pretty much has to fuck around with flash-backs and flash-forwards to even be seen as credible these days.

These cultural phenomenon maybe not have fully delivered the means of production into the hands of workers yet but they have done a great deal to bring about shifts in consciousness throughout the western world and beyond which mean that people are a lot more able to think outside of the box and not be limited to seeing the world only in a narrow spectrum of belief any more.

This was how the old-fashioned workers movement kept getting betrayed – by leaders and bureaucrats who used ideology to take over people’s heads and turn them into cogs in a party or state machine, making them as dependent on the political bosses as junkies were to their dealers. This was Burroughs central message. He wanted freedom for the working class, but was prepared to abandon that whole language if it was only going to be used as junk for the mind, in favour of raw, wild, spontaneous rebellion coming straight out of the subconscious and into daily life.

These kinds of ideas and attitudes, as everybody knows, burst into the mainstream in the late 1960s. In the year 1968 there were insurrections, mass trade union strikes and even revolutions, all around the world, mainly led by wild youth. In these movements the party and union structures of the Old Left were being shown to be irrelevent and so people talked of it as the New Left.

People were not going out there on the streets all dressing in the same clothes and subsuming their differences under the homogenous identity of being ‘working class’ – rather they were asserting all kinds of other identities which had been suppressed for generations – as women, as queers or gays, as Black people, as indigenous people, as crazy hippy freaks, as whatever the hell they wanted to be – and yet there was still a sense that everyone was on the same side.

This was post-modernism made real. It wasn’t a movement based on one big socialist narrative of “we are the working class and our historic mission is to overthrow capitalism through a revolution that will emerge from class struggle in the workplace”. It was a movement of movements, with many different narratives ranging from ‘the white man has kept us down too long and now we’re gonna show em’ to ‘the dawning of the age of aquarius is upon us’ to ‘we’re here, we’re queer, get used to it’ to ‘I am woman hear me roar’.

Did it matter that there was no overarching narrative? Maybe not. But someone who was part of all these movements, and who was well versed in the dogmas of the Old Left, and therefore in a unique position to write about the differences between the Old and New, was Murray Bookchin.

Unlike Burroughs, Bookchin had indeed been a trade unionist, an organiser and even a Communist party member. He caught the tail end of the glorious old workers movement and saw it all crumble under the boots of fascism and the forces of new technological organisation of workplaces. Also unlike Burroughs, Bookchin wrote serious works of political philosophy, so you don’t need to read between his lines to understand what he was trying to say.

Bookchin wrote a huge body of work, not only thoroughly critiquing the old Marxist paradigms but also attempting to synthesise the most important trends in the New Left into a new theoretical school called Social Ecology.

Bookchin celebrated the fact that the radical movements of the 1960s did not limit themselves to a socialist critique of class divisions, but actually critiqued all forms of hierarchy, whether based on class, race, gender, or even species. The basic idea of Social Ecology is simply that humanity should live in harmony with other species, and that this requires a social revolution with the same aims as Socialism, Anarchism, Feminism etc.

Bookchin was trying to make people think about how everything is interconnected, saying ‘mans domination of man is based in mans domination of nature’. We can not think about changing the way human society works without thinking about changing the way it interacts with the rest of reality, for it is part of that greater reality.

As a committed class warrior, active in revolutionary struggle since he was a little boy in a Communist youth club, he of course was deeply disturbed by the treachery and distortions of the Bolsheviks and other authoritarian socialists and sought to analyse where they had gone wrong both in theory and in practice. To him, as to Burroughs, any kind of bureaucracy was intolerable and dangerous.

According to his essays in the book ‘Post-Scarcity Anarchism’, revolutionary things occurred in history whenever people simply organised their rebellions directly, in a face to face way, without electing representatives or committees to manage the struggle for them. He advocated the a peoples assembly, in the sense of a face to face congregation of people all talking together and coming to decisions by consensus or direct vote, as the tried and tested form of organisation, rather than the ‘workers councils’ called for by others at the time such as the Situationists.

Bookchin in fact regarded the Situationist international as just another club of authoritarian Marxist intellectuals trying to boss people around and control their minds, despite the popular celebration of them as those revealing the horrible authoritarian and treacherous tendencies of the Trotskyites and others. Bookchin’s essay ‘Listen, Marxist!’ is a delight to anyone who’s ever found themselves tongue-tied in an argument by with a Marxist demagogue and wished they’d thought of the right come-back in time. He says it all.

In the struggle for a better world, as his vision for the better world itself, Bookchin was steadfastly opposed to any form of alienation. What was the point of revolution if some ‘council’ was controlling your participation in it rather than yourself? That was political alienation, leaving you as an individual as unfree as you were before..

Also, what was the point of a revolution to seize control of the means of production if once you had it you were going to use it to continue to destroy eco-systems, oppress women, or reproduce hierarchies in the workplace? Suffering from alienation from the natural world, and from other human beings on the basis of categories like gender and race with little real basis to them, what was the point of struggling for such a situation?

Do we even need to seize control of the factories and workshops that currently exist in the world? Are they not just tools for a society that we don’t want to exist any longer? If so, what was the point of identifying as a ‘worker’? What was the point of patiently acting like a good little trades-unionist and keeping ‘revolutionary’ discipline, until one day in the future when supposedly the union would be strong enough to take over the means of production? Was that ever going to happen, now that unions seemed to be completely sold out and serving a function to help keep workers in line for the bosses rather than being something actually controlled by workers themselves?

Weren’t the more radical workers the ones who grew their hair long, showed up to work stoned, bunked off work early to have sex with each other, and try to drop out to enjoy the beauties of nature? Were the hippies and other counter-culture types really just counter-revolutionary degenerates, as many old-school Communists of the day made them out to be, or were they not actually resisting capitalism and hierarchy through their daily lives while Marxists just wrote boring pamphlets about it?

Bookchin saw that the capitalism of the 1960s was not the same as that of the 1930s, and that the struggles against it were obviously not going to take the same form. While so many communists and anarchists refused to accept this, clinging on to their old dogmas as rigidly as ever, Bookchin was part of the new movement, using his Marxist background to help develop a new revolutionary theory for the new generation.

It was not enough to say that your goal was ‘socialism’ or ‘workers control of the means of production’, but that didn’t mean you abandoned that as a goal to focus only on ‘single issue’ campaigns about environmentalism and identity politics, as perhaps some radicals in the sixties were guilty of.

Rather it meant thinking about how the struggle for a sustainable relationship with the environment could actually be the same thing as a struggle for the workers control of the means of production, AND the deconstruction of traditional ideas of gender roles or racial stereotypes.

At the same time, it meant embracing all the new experiments in alternative lifestyles that young people were experimenting with, inspired in part by the writings of Burroughs and his beatnik contemporaries of a decade before. However, unlike Burroughs, Bookchin did insist that living a different, liberated lifestyle was not enough, and that actual revolutionary activism had to be taken seriously.

For all the revolutionary implications of his ideas and work, Burroughs had basically just been a bohemian artist bum, hanging out with other artists and intellectuals, taking drugs, going on holidays to exotic locations and having sex with a lot of young male sex workers of various nationalities. Bookchin was perhaps open minded enough that he wouldn’t have just called Burroughs a degenerate counter-revolutionary, but he certainly wouldn’t have held him up as a role model either.

In ‘Social Anarchism vs Lifestyle Anarchism – an unbridgeable chasm’, Bookchin angrily laments what was lost in the collapse of the old workers movement, revealing that he did not reject the spirit of it even if he critiqued much of the ideological baggage that it left us with.

The kind of person who simply tried to live an alternative lifestyle but who had no interest in helping to build a revolutionary movement, was no anarchist worth the name. He detested things like ‘anarchist cafes’ where a bunch of people would sit around acting like consumers in any other capitalist business, but covering the place with symbols of anarchism. That was the worst form of alienation of all – alienation from the meaning behind the words you are saying.

Someone else who decried this form of alienation was Alfredo M Bonanno, writing in the 1980s, when capitalism was even more clearly different from the 1930s. He called peoples attention to the fact that very little about what went on in Anarchist organisations or informal Anarchist ‘scenes’ had very much to do with fighting for a wider revolution, in his text “The Fictitious Movement vs the Real Movement”.

He saw how revolutionary groups built up ideas above their station, until they considered themselves to be more important than the wider working class, whether they were Stalinists, Trotskyists, Situationists, Anarcho-syndicalists or even just an informal group of radical hippies.

The real struggle, according to Bonanno, is happening all the time, out there on the streets and in the working-class ghettos of the post-industrial world. Capitalism had changed, just as Bookchin said, and there was no use getting stuck in the past and dreaming of the unionised workers taking over factories and farms to create a socialist society. That was just a ridiculous way to think when factories throughout Europe and North America were simply being shut down and relocated all over the world and more and more jobs were being lost to robots anyway.

Bonanno proposed thinking less in terms of people being ‘working class’ or not and more in terms of whether they were ‘excluded’ or ‘included’ in the ‘project of capital’. Bonanno uses the word ‘project’ a lot in fact.

Just as capital has its projects – wars, economic restructurings, the conquest of new areas of the natural world, and generally whatever will keep profits rising and the rich getting ever richer – so can revolutionary people have projects – to destroy the institutions of Capitalism, the State, Colonialism and Patriarchy, among other systems of oppression.

People who are excluded from the projects of capital are the dispossessed and shat-on peoples of the world, the kinds of people that Burroughs hung out with – illegal immigrants, landless indigenous peasants, street hustlers in the ghettos, queers, sex workers, etc. To people excluded from capital’s projects, or from the hierarchies of power based on gender, race or whatever else, life is a daily struggle already, that is going on all the time whether or not any revolutionary activists are around to see it.

Conversely, many of the unionised industrial workers, and indeed, members of socialist or communist parties, were in fact very much included in the projects of capital. You get trade union leader hobnobbing with capitalists , going to business meetings, being consulted on new big deals, and generally giving their consent to whatever the bosses want to do, so long as they can claim to be representing the interests of their members. So if there’s a war going on to get more natural resources into the hands of transnational corporations and out of the hands of local people or governments, then the workers in the industries needed for that war are of course complicit in it if all they care about is getting their union to give them a better salary for it, rather than actively trying to sabotage it.

The only people who would try and sabotage it would be those excluded from it, those who aren’t getting a share of the profits, not even a tiny one in the form of some wages paid by the hour in an arms factory. If an oil company is trying to cut down a rainforest, it is the local people of the rainforest who are likely to try and resist it in some way, not the unionised labour force in the logging company.

So what does this mean for the revolutionary project? We want to destroy all the big bad systems in the world and create a world where everyone can be as invidually liberated as a character from Burroughs’ Wild Boys, while living in Bookchin’s Social Ecological utopia. So who are we revolutionary types who want this going to ally ourselves with? The workers in the unions who are happy to work for capital’s projects so long as their union makes sure they get some meagre benefits or the excluded masses already struggling for liberation every day?

Bonanno lived through periods of mass insurrection in Italy in the 1970s and saw the race riots in the UK in the early 1980s. He saw how the Italian anarchist movement did not necessarily have anything to do with the real movement of people on the street, because maybe the people in the movement didn’t really understand the people on the street at all.

As Bookchin and the Situationists criticised the hiearchies of Marxist groups and showed how they could lead to corruption and a bureaucratic tendency emerging that could put the breaks on real struggles developing in more and more radical directions, Bonanno showed how the same thing could even happen with Anarchist political organisations that had no formal hierarchy.

By forming an organisation like a Federation of Anarchist groups, or an Anarcho-syndicalist union, or even just an informal circle of friends who all happened to be anarchists, all you were doing was cutting yourself off from reality and kidding yourself that you and your buddies were going to change the world. Bonanno said it more politely than this, but that was about the crux of it.

The struggles of the exploited and excluded are happening already. If anarchists want to try and use those existing struggles to build up a big militant movement strong enough to destroy the oppressive institutions once and for all, or even just win some significant victories against them, then we need to be out there where the struggles are really happening, not just hanging out with one another in a ‘revolutionary organisation’ that really just has its head up its own arse.

Bonanno’s advice was to avoid wasting time trying to build up an anarchist organisation with regular conferences and publications and the rest, or an informal scene based around some kind of café of the type that Bookchin detested, but rather to join up with just a handful of comrades you knew and trusted, and get out there to where excluded people were already in struggle and join in with them.

If you and your ‘affinity group’ of close trusted friends succeeded in making links with excluded people in struggle, whether they be undocumented migrants struggling to cross borders, or militant queers resisting police oppression, or even exploited workers fighting the bosses in one of the many industries in the world NOT organised by sold out trades unions, then you could find yourself being the nucleus of a real struggle- an autonomous base nucleus – a self governing hub of activity right at the ‘base’ – the lowest point of society.

Your affinity group of anarchists, alongside the people already in struggle, working together and learning from each other, could escalate the struggle into something more than what it was before. You could plan out a ‘trajectory’ that you want to see the struggle take, and make interventions to make it happen, constantly updating your plans in a spontaneous way as and when things change, but never losing sight of your overall ‘projectuality’ – the project of revolution, which you are doing it all for.

So, lots of big fancy words there – affinity, autonomous base nucleus, trajectory, projectuality. Bonanno even came up with a longer phrase still to describe the whole theory: ‘insurrectionalist anarchism’. We should point out that in Italian it is considered less poncy to use really long words.

So let’s think of an example. Say you are just a few friends who share a political perspective, close enough at least to feel you can work together and commit to each other. That’s all you need, no organisation, not even a ‘scene’ or ‘milieu’ of others around you.

You hear about a struggle going on, a struggle of people excluded from capital’s project who are fighting against an oppressive institution. It could be a bunch of people stuck in a border zone, facing daily police brutality and pitched battles in attempts to get through the border fences.

You see that you as revolutionaries who want to see the State destroyed have a common enemy with these people. They want to destroy the border, they are fighting against it. You want to destroy the border to, and you want to be part of fighting against it. So you go there with your friends and you try to join in.

As long as you don’t just stick rigidly to your group of friends and actually engage with the people in struggle in an honest and friendly way, you are bound to find yourself part of some kind of new group, that is not an anarchist group per se, but which includes both anarchists and other people, and which is actually involved in concrete activity already, is really part of the struggle and not just theorising about it. This is your autonomous base nucleus.

That nucleus of people can do various things. It can produce propaganda, it can raise money for itself, it can acquire resources, it can make strategies, it can have a formal structure or an informal one, whatever it needs to do what it needs to do, which is radicalise and escalate the struggle.

As long as it is actually part of the struggle, doing what needs to be done to build the struggle and win victories, it is not a pointless ideological group or a bureaucratic false entity. All that work of fundraising, producing propaganda, creating formal structures etc takes time and energy. It is worth that time and energy if it is actually part of a real struggle – it is not worth it if it is just some revolutionary debating society living in a bubble-world of its own.

If instead of theorising to one another, preaching to the converted and nitpicking over theoretical points that most people don’t care about, we used the theories of socialism, anarchism, feminism, environmentalism etc to help people already involved in struggle see how their struggles are linked to other peoples, and directly helping to build links between different struggles, then we would actually be contributing to building a revolutionary mass movement, not just talking about it.

So insurrectionalist anarchism is not actually opposed to formal organisation, or in building a mass movement. Insurrectionalist anarchism is actually a theory about how to build a mass movement consisting of many formal organisations – by getting out of our ideological ghetto as ‘revolutionaries’ in our scenes and revolutionary organisations – and actually getting stuck in to the real struggles, hoping to build them up into mass movements by bringing in a revolutionary analysis.

It says, sure, be an anarchist, or social ecologist, or whatever you want to call yourself. But don’t keep going on about it or trying to find others who want to start some little club of people who think exactly the same, just find people you agree with more or less and who you get on with well enough to work with, find some people in struggle and join in. Once you are there, part of a real struggle, then you can talk about how to organise things, based not on abstract theoretical notions but on the basis of whatever the struggle you’re involved in obviously need.

So this is what I mean by ‘insurrectionalism’, and this is what I think Bonanno meant too, not that it really matters. Many people these days in anarchist circles are calling themselves insurrectionalists when actually they are not engaged in any kind of insurrection involving real people but are actually just hanging around in a scene posing as revolutionaries with their friends and occasionally going out in their anarchist affinity group and smashing something up, just so they can feel smug.

Other people look at these people and assume ‘oh well, insurrectionalist anarchism must be a stupid set of ideas then’ and so don’t bother to actually read up on it. This is a terrible shame in my view.

It would be a bit like seeing some hippies inspired by Bookchin, working in an eco village, and thinking they cant possibly have any insights worth listening to if all they’re doing is running gardening workshops, or perhaps seeing some queer punks tearing shit up while listening to recordings of William Burroughs telling stories about talking arseholes and thinking there’s nothing revolutionary about it.

For me Burroughs showed us the attitude of a revolutionary – someone guided not by ideology but by the wild desires of their own subconscious, not able to fit into any abstract system of false rationality and not afraid to be called weird or ‘queer’ just for not confirming to a system built by conmen for their own twisted ends.

Bookchin did his best to give us a new set of theories about what the overall goal of revolutionary struggle is, taking the best parts of socialism and adding in a whole load of other stuff, and possibly providing the only realistic blueprint for a vision of a world which could survive climate change.

Bonanno gave us ideas about the methods to achieve such a world, not by getting bogged down in silly crap like the Judean Peoples Front but by just getting out there and doing it, uniting with the excluded in real struggles, trying to radicalise them in the direct of a full revolutionary insurrection.

You could call this combined approach a Queer Ecological Insurecctionalist one, and debate the merits of it with your ‘comrades’ in your scene or federation for a few years. Or you could just get out there and do it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It Ain’t No Joke

People want things to be simple I guess. No unpleasant scenes. People want to be happy, want to stay happy, and don’t want anything to fuck it up.

Like if there’s a train coming towards you. It’s a real bummer to tell yourself ‘hey, if I stay here on the track I’ll be hit by the train and die horribly’.

Who wants to think about that? Shit, not me.

So you stay there, enjoying the view. Feeling positive, optimistic even. For a while.

So if someone tell’s ya, ‘hey, you’d better move’, then you’re all like:

‘You gotta be kidding me right? Who the fuck are YOU to tell me what to do? Just because you ain’t standing on the tracks you think you can pass judgement on those folks that are? Why don’t you just get a job?”

But it ain’t no joke.

If you stay on the track you’re gonna die.

So what is the track a metaphor for? A metafor phor? Phwoar.

Well, loads of things. Climate change would be the big one of course, but really, what about the bullshit we all put up with every single day?

The people who just keep on pushing our buttons and who we’re too polite to do anything about?

The fact that we can’t even be ourselves without someone making some kind of wise-crack? Like ‘Hey, nice hair, faggot’ or ‘Go back to Russia, commie’

And you just pretend you can’t hear it. Lucky for me I’m partially deaf in one ear so I have a good excuse. And even then it’s all ‘Cripple’ this and ‘spastic’ that.

How many times do people use the word ‘crazy’ to dismiss someone they just plain don’t like because they don’t understand them? I know I do it a lot.

Like ‘man this girl is crazy! She works a job she hates and get’s super-stressed about just to buy overpriced crap she doesn’t need!’

Who knows, maybe I would too, if I had whatever she has going on in her head inside of mine as well. Insecurity. Paranoia. Anxiety. Love of nice-smelling shiny soft things.

But it ain’t no joke.

When you see freedom happen, it’s a beautiful thing. When people help one another to each be as free as possible, by sharing resources they need to be empowered to do the things they each want to do, and when they don’t judge each other or bring one another down. It’s so beautiful in fact that ugly people don’t believe it can possibly be true.

When I say ‘ugly’, I don’t mean just people I wouldn’t have sex with even if you paid me. There’s very few people I WOULD have sex with if you paid me. I got this thing going on now, you see, and I don’t want to screw it up by screwing around.

Ugly, in the sentence above, means cynical, angry, fuckwitted dickheads who are so caught up in not believing in anything and hating themselves that they can’t deal with other people being happy and free. That’s ugly.

Ugly people can be in universities, analysing the shit out of everything so that they feel smug enough to sit around in a bar, pissing on the efforts of revolutionaries and engineers, because it all doesn’t add up to some equation they pulled out of their arse.

Ugly people can be in a different bar, where it’s all about shouting at the TV, looking at people you don’t recognise who walk in the door like you want to kill them, and saying that immigrants are taking the jobs and anyone who says different is a terrorist, but then not even having the conviction to join a far-right group and get beaten up by my friends.

Ugly people can even be in Anarchist squats, throwing boxes of dogshit at people they don’t like and trying to get their most loyal comrades kicked out of their fucking homes for reasons you never bother to explain to them because you’re a cowardly fuck.

So yeah, it’s not so much about where you stand, or where you say you stand. It’s about whether you can stop fretting about the meaningless of life for long enough to stand still and see the beauty that is the freedom people practice all the time, wherever bastards with ugly souls are not around to ruin the fun.

Just be part of it. Grow it. Be free, and help others to be. Otherwise you’re gonna get hit by the train.

Now, people get very cosy in their ugly little souls. They huddle up in them like a cocoon and get afraid of the big bad world out there. Unfurling your wings, breaking through the walls and flying away like a colourful butterfly is often far too much work for some people.

But it ain’t no joke.

Do you want your life to be as shit as it is now forever?

Are you really that jealous of happy people that you aren’t gonna listen to their advice on how to get yourself out of your stupid situation?

Really?

The scientists at the Interplanetary Panel on Climate Change have a model they call the ‘happy hippy’ scenario. It’s where people all over the world decide to change their lifestyles so as to stop depending on non-renewable resources like fossil fuels AND nuclear power.

So this could involve, say, not working a stupid job your hate to buy things you don’t really need, and therefore having the free time to produce things, such as food and electricity, for yourself, along with others.

It might also involve, perhaps, not living lives of crippling alienation from your fellow human beings and suffering in silence from the psychological attacks we are daily subjected to by patriarchy, consumerism, wage-labour, and undemocratic power structures, to name just a few.

So basically, it means, everyone, all over the world, trying to be happier than they are now by getting to the roots of the problems our society faces in a holistic way.

So you’d have to have a pretty ugly way of thinking about things to want to discourage people from doing such a thing, right? You’d have to be a real mean son-or-daughter-of-a-bitch to want everyone to keep on suffering needlessly, right?

So of course, the elected leaders of the ugliest countries in the world, where people’s skin is this horrible pasty white colour, are dead against this

So of course, people with enough sense not to give a shit what dickheads like that think, pay no notice and just get on with it anyway.

People learn to love one another, to grow more and more tolerant of all the quirky differences that we all have, to go into our own minds and find out why we weren’t tolerant of those people already and seek to heal our minds so as to be nicer to people all round.

People learn new skills, like how to cook nutritious food for themselves, how to build shelters, use tools,  repair things, how to manage ecosystems in a way that promotes biodiversity, how to occupy land and build political allegiances, settling disputes without having to call the cops, all kinds of stuff.

People are doing it all the time. You may not believe me, if you are just working a job you hate to buy things you don’t need, but they really are, and they would mostly love to welcome you onboard and help you learn all these things too, so long as you don’t turn up acting like a prick and being dismissive of everything you don’t understand.

If you want to vote for whichever politicians lies you find it easier to pretend are the truth and sit back hoping they will somehow divert the tracks of the train, or slow it down with some hidden emergency breaks that no-one noticed were there before, then seriously, you can do that.

I am not gonna stop you. You would probably beat me up if I tried.

All I can say is that I would personally prefer not to get hit by a train, and since you and I are living on the same planet, there is really no option but to get hit by it no matter what I do, so long as the majority of people, including yourself, keep holding on to ugliness.

Seriously. I really do enjoy life, even if you don’t.

It ain’t no joke.

Not this time, not again

This time it’s for real.

There is no more time. It’s come. It’s now.

Are they going to stop pollution in the next two years and save the world from a climate spiralling madly out of control?

Look at what’s on their agenda for the next few years. It sure as fuck ain’t that.

When I say ‘they’ of course I mean the leaders of the dominant political and economic organisations of the world. Those fuckers who are killing all those people on TV every day with their bombs and the poverty they force us all to live in.

So this time, it’s time to do it right.

No more excuses. No more being too afraid to take action. Get over yourself. We are all afraid. But we struggle anyway.

No more meetings about meetings about meetings that never lead to any means of production being taken over by workers or any oppressive structures of authority being dismantled.

No more ‘moderating our slogans’ to appeal to the mainstream, and ending up forgetting what the hell we were fighting for in the first place.

Fuck the mainstream. Not because it produces awful music, I actually like shitty pop music. But we must completely decentralise power, including electrical power, and that means no more commercial bullshit based on centralised models.

No more wasting time picking pedantic holes in each others arguments so as to sound more radical than each other while disguising the fact we’re too shit scared to actually confront reality in our daily lives.

No more fucking about, basically. Time to seize the means of production.

My strongest possible advice to you at this time is to work on being part of a strong affinity group of people you are on the same wavelength as and start making real, concrete, life-changing plans for how you are going to get yourselves in a situation where you are able to produce the majority of what you need to survive and have enough left over to trade with others.

If that means selling all your stuff to buy other stuff, just do it. Let go of all that old shit. It ain’t gonna save your life.

If it means taking something by force from someone who is a complete bastard, take it. Just do it in a way which means you get away with it.

All of this is easier said than done of course. But DO IT. Seriously. No more excuses

This isn’t even about you, and your fear to do what must be done. This is about the children’s future.

You know, those kids? The ones you see about the place? The ones you know. The ones you don’t know. All of them.

They are alive right now. Do you want them to be alive in twenty years?

Well then. Get on with it.

Nick the means of production!

The frustrating thing about not being able to produce things for yourself is that you end up feeling pretty powerless. It’s always awkward when you have to rely on other people to share things with you rather than feel able to just take whatever you need out of a supply that you have built up yourself.

Even if the people who you rely on are very generous, you still have to wait for the opportune time to ask, or at least for a time when they are awake and have attention to spare on your concerns.

When it comes to the people who actually control most of what is produced in our global capitalist society, well, needless to say, they aren’t particularly generous in the first place.

I would like to be in a position to grow most of the food and medicinal plants that I would use, by myself and with the help of my friends. This is a pretty standard hippyish dream – an agricultural commune. But I would also like to have all the music equipment I need in one place, to be able to compose, arrange, practice, record, mix and produce music whenever I need.

Basically I want a music studio on a big bit of land with a bunch of my friends living on the same land with their own creative projects to be getting on with and all the equipment they need to do them.

I am fully aware that not everyone in the world would want to live like this. Lots of people would not particularly want to grow their own food or to have their own workshop or studio to produce things for themselves on.

Many are content to be dependent on others for the things they need in life, without having to do anything in return. Many are content to do some form of work in return, but not to be in control of how that work is carried out, or what particular work they have to do. I do not understand the mentality of such people, though I do not begrudge them their happiness, if indeed happiness is possible whilst living such a life.

But I know that I am not alone in wishing to have more control of the means of production. For most of human history people have not had the choice to sit around doing nothing while living off the productive labour of others, and so strong tendencies towards working directly to produce what you need have always existed.

When people first started living off of the labour of others, only a small minority of the population was able to do so. Most people had to work to grow the food, build the shelters, maintain the tools, make the clothes, etc, and perhaps one or two people in each group could demand a share of the products of the labour of others through the threat of violence if they did not comply. This is basically how society works in what people call ‘feudal’ society.

In industrial capitalist society, the great majority of people do not work to produce their own food, clothes, shelters etc, and simply give a share to the social elite. Things, as of course we all know, are far more complicated than that.

Workers generally produce things that they will never own themselves, or even only produce parts of those things, or even simply move those things around from place to place, or talk about those things in the abstract whilst typing into computers or speaking into telephones.

We are removed from the process, to the point where we need to look on the labels of things we consume just to have a slight guess as to their true contents, whilst still being little the wiser. We do not know the names of the people who produced the food we ate today, nor the names of those people who moved it from place to place or talked about it in the abstract in an office on a telephone.

We do not know the names of the owners of the companies that produced it, or sold it, or moved it from place to place. We do not know the names of the stock brokers who sold the shares of ownership in that company to who knows how many people yesterday, or the day before, or the names of the bankers who dictated the policies that fixed what the price of the money that the shares, or even the food itself, were sold with.

Yet, the land is still there. There is soil enough around, and water, and minerals, and oxygen. There is sunlight. There are tools around. There are books, articles, websites, which can teach someone how to build or grow almost anything, written in hundreds of languages.

If we all woke up tomorrow to find that all our conditioned reflexes and mental patterns can disappeared in our sleep to be replaced with a new, dynamic, go-getting, optimistic approach to plunging ourselves into the unknown, and a thirst for control over our lives and the means of production, we could create new systems for doing things in no time.

But those mental patterns are fixed. Many people, in the face of a logical argument for why they should do something they have never done before, or stop doing something they have always done, will scornfully dismiss it as nonsense without even trying to come up with a counter-argument. People are slow to adapt, especially if they are not used to adapting to new things all the time.

I find it baffling that so many people are so resistant to changing their lifestyles, even in such a chaotic society as this, in which we are bombarded with ridiculous and unpredictable changes all the time.

To simply stop doing things you don’t want to do and to take up the tools you need to do something else which is productive, does not make you a bad person. Many people would respect you for your independence and strength of spirit, and if you were generous with the products of your labour, you would surely find yourself with a great many allies willing to help you find whatever things you need which you are unable to produce yourself.

Yet if you did all this without first working for some capitalist, saving up your wages in a bank, or investing your savings in the stock market successfully, you would be considered a very bad person indeed by the governments of the world, and a great many workers as well.

I suppose it all depends on whether you care about what such people think, or if your ego would be content with the respect that the rest of us would have for you, those of us who think differently from the capitalists and their supporters.

I would say, don’t worry about it. Nick the means of production. It’ll be fine

Time for David Cameron to have that smug fucking grin wiped off his face

So. 11 Million people have voted for the Conservative party. These people are Class traitors. They should be forgiven if they repent. They should hide in fear until then.

But, nonetheless, despite the fact that it’s a huge number, its only around 1/7th of the UK population. So it’s a case of a smallish elite of dickheads getting their way and the rest of us having to suffer. This is not a tolerable situation.

This government has no legitimacy to rule. It’s laws are not worth following. Just forget about them, don’t even read them. It would be like taking the words of a drunk angry man threatening you with violence too seriously. It’s just bullshit, don’t listen to it.

If you want a better life for yourself, your friends, your community, you are going to need to BREAK THE LAW. Don’t worry, it’s fine, millions of people break the law all the time and we are leading perfectly happy lives as a result.

The important thing is breaking the law COLLECTIVELY. It means having SOLIDARITY. If you don’t know what that word means, look it up. It is not going to be explained to you by the television news or the mainstream press. They don’t want you to understand what solidarity is, or how powerful it can be when millions of people decide to break the law together and to support one another in doing so.

Most of us in the UK have ancestors who worked in factories in the 1800’s, and who were peasants in the 1600’s who had their land stolen from them by force. The people who fought back, to demand their rights to control the means of production for themselves rather than work as a slave for someone else, they broke the law.

They were heroes. Without them we would not have the rights we have now. If people in the past had not broken the laws that existed in the past, those laws would still exist today. If you want to change a bad law, you have to BREAK IT, and keep breaking it until it is completely BROKEN.

Slavery was abolished this way, through slaves breaking out of the plantations and spreading their stories to white allies. But mainly through BREAKING FREE.

The poll tax was abolished this way, through millions of people deciding not to pay it. The law was BROKEN, so the government had to stop it.

There are many laws that are on the books right now that we need to BREAK. So let’s get on with it.

If you are not connected with other people who hate the government as much as you do, FIND THEM. If your friends don’t feel the same way as you, don’t worry, you will make new friends, maybe better ones than the ones you have now. There are millions of us, and many of us have email addresses. Shit, even email me if you want and i’ll try and help connect you to someone: williamsewardburroughs@riseup.net.

Once you have found a group of people you feel you can work with, IMMEDIATELY START TAKING ACTION.

Steal something, squat a building or some land, start a project to provide a public service based on the principles of mutual aid rather than hierarchy, just GET ON WITH SOMETHING REAL. Don’t just have meetings where you talk about daydreams, make the more realistic of your day dreams into REALITY, and SOON.

BE BRAVE. Keep your energy up. Take care of your physical and mental health. Listen to inspiring songs, read inspiring books, keep your friends inspired too, don’t criticise them too much or lay big guilt-trips on them.

Being arrested is not that bad. I was arrested just last week, and i’m fine now. Bit of a shit few days, but whatever. It’s nothing to be afraid of.

Being physically hurt by cops is sometimes pretty bad, sure. But just try and be smart about the way you break the law so you don’t get caught, and if the cops are there and are trying to hurt you, be smart about how you deal with them. Remember that they are just scared little idiots, and don’t aggravate them unnecessarily. Flatter their stupid little egos by pretending to respect them, until you get away from them and start breaking the law again.

ACAB- Always Chuckle At Bobbies (it makes them less likely to suspect you want to kill them).

The worst that can happen to you is that you will get killed. But you could get killed crossing the fucking street.
You could get killed by a cop just because they think you’re a terrorist. Or you could die of malnutrition or curable disease because of this shitty capitalist system we live under, or get stabbed by a poor, deranged person whose life has been destroyed by the system already.

It’s a choice between the risk of a proud death with the possibility of improving your life, or the certainty of a shit life and a death that no-one would be proud of.

Let’s start a crime wave. Let’s start an insurrection. Let’s get the things we deserve: food, shelter, medicine, security, community, by any means necessary.

Let’s wipe that smug fucking grin off David Cameron’s face.