Not much has been happening in the world of Mister Grumpy (Well a lot of work and school, and general life being busy and stressful has been happening but that’s not for this blog). While most of the “socialist” left have been wasting time discussing the pros and cons of David Cunliffe and the other scumbags of the Labour Party, the anarchist scene (or what’s left of it), are either too depressed and miserable to do anything, or so insane that they make the rest of us depressed and miserable. Luckily I can listen to music to cheer myself up.
I have updated a few of the links on the right hand side of this blog. I have added The Daily Blog, because it’s a good place to keep up with the news of the left, despite their shitty cheerleading for the Labour Party. Are they really that desperate? Probably.
Bryce Edwards also has a regular column and blog covering all the important political issues in NZ. He writes for the Herald so covers almost everything but he is also a leftie (the proper sort, not afraid to be blunt about how hopeless the left is either) and a Morrissey fan.
Steven Cowan down in Christchurch always writes good stuff on Against the Current, we need more like this. I also added Bat Bean Beam which is written by a guy in Wellington who everyone seems to know except me, and who writes very interesting stuff, some of which is even useful.
I have also added a few overseas blogs, While Rome Burns is a new British anarchist blog. A Thousand Flowers is a Scottish feminist blog, and Revolting Pleb is just as the title suggests, a grumpy person from Thurrock (which is somewhere in England), encouraging class hatred and other good stuff.
Here in New Zealand, AWSM has a website which we occasionally update, but we are tiny and spread out all over the country with only 1-2 members within a three hour drive of each other. Our theoretical magazine, which has been talked about for years, remains entirely theoretical at this stage.
Rebel Press has just published the semi-annual Imminent Rebellion (oh what a terrible name!). This issue looks pretty good, better than I expected I have to say, although it’s mostly an assortment of articles by and for people within the anarchist scene, with no real strategy or discussion of where we go from here. The article on the trial of Somali pirates in Germany was really interesting (but says nothing to me about my life), and the articles on the Glen Innes protests and the Urewera 4 trial were OK but didn’t really go beyond being general background information on an issue. The article on asset sales had some good analysis and we need more stuff like this. The Urewera raids saga is nearly over (two people remain on home detention) and perhaps then we can start doing some writing and analysis of the police raids, prison sentences, the solidarity campaign and what lessons can be learnt from the last six years. History is good. The article on Phillip Josephs and early New Zealand is therefore good. Jared has also just written a short biography of Johann Sebastian Trunk, a German anarchist who was in the thick of the international anarchist movement a century ago, and ended up in Geraldine of all places.
None of this makes up for the fact that the Wellington (and maybe other places too) anarchist scene is a dysfunctional disaster area that needs to be humanely put down so we can start again. There are quite a few experienced anarchists (and anti-authoritarian socialists) without personality disorders who are interested in the politics of freedom, libertarian socialism, and class struggle in Wellington. Maybe some sort of loose network or low stress activity or project is needed so we can all get together, have a talk and see what we can come up with. People obsessed with denouncing each other and/or screaming at people in meetings need not apply. Activism should not be dominated by those who have the most stamina for long meetings or the most detailed knowledge of the latest postcolonial theories. How about we base it on treating each other nice and working with others who have a commitment to freedom and socialism?
For us, as revolutionaries, meaningful action is whatever increases the confidence, autonomy, initiative, participation, solidarity, egalitarian tendencies and self-activity of the masses, and whatever assists in their demystification. Sterile and harmful action is whatever reinforces the passivity of the masses, their apathy, cynicism, differentiation through hierarchy, alienation, reliance on others to do things for them, and the degree to which they can therefore be manipulated by others, even those acting on their behalf. - Maurice Brinton,