Thursday, August 11, 2011

Darin Robbins' Presentation on Courting the Anarchist Vote


Summary of presentation by Darin Robbins, Aug. 6, 2011 at NY Green Fest in Alfred, NY.

This presentation has two goals: proposing that if placed on a chart of political ideology the Green Party would be closest to anarchism, and through a generalized analysis of anarchism demonstrating that those who identify as anarchist should be approached by the Green Party for coalitions or direct support. These two goals will be achieved by concentrating on such issues as the resistance to hierarchy, the distinction between liberty and autonomy, and the role of power in an anarchist or Green vision.

1. All forms of anarchism, despite particular differences, are a general opposition to hierarchy in political, cultural, and economic terms. This arises in the distinction between centralization and decentralization, transcendence and immanence, as well as vertical and horizontal systems.

anarchism as opposition to authority rather than the state
anarchism as premodern, modern, and postmodern
anarchism as convergence of theory and practice through ethics

2. Anarchism brings into the foreground basic conflicts that have been continuous in human social history, and supplies an overall structural critique that is always coupled to direct action.

original political conflict between centralization and decentralization
original cultural conflict between the past and the future
original economic conflict between freedom and equality

3. Anarchism is separate from libertarianism through the proposition of a fuller sensibility of freedom that does not foreclose the relationship between individual desire and collective action.

liberty, autonomy, and authority
liberty as power from
autonomy as power to
authority as power over
freedom as resistance and creation
freedom as ownership through participation
freedom as equality of power

4. An anarchist critique is a direct opposition to the state and the market. The state and the market are separate but primary forms of power through hierarchy within society. The anarchist critique is accompanied by an alternative social form.

from the state and the market to community and the commons
autonomy as internal control and equality of power
autonomy through community and the commons
community as use of the commons

5. Libertarianism is a limited critique of the state without a critique of the market, and therefore fails at offering alternatives to hierarchy.

appearance of self ownership that obscures autonomy
self ownership as divergence of subjective mind and objective body
subjective mind as desire and objective body as expression of desire
autonomy as convergence of subjective unconscious and objective reality
participation in public power through political decentralization
participation in private power through economic decentralization
democracy as political and economic decentralization of public and private power

6. The opposition to representative democracy, and the electoral politics that occur within it, by anarchists must be analyzed not as a rejection of democracy but a rejection of political hierarchy.

representation as abstraction of choice
representation as alienation of participation
representation as alienation of power through abstraction
representation as formation of majority and minority
representation as use of the public
democracy as vanishing mediator between individuals and collectives
democracy as experience of ownership through participation
democracy as equality of power through autonomy
democracy as the voice option and the refusal option
democracy as participation and ownership of the commons

7. The importance of democracy lies in the vital distinction between constituent power and constituted power. This distinction is a correlation to the critique of the hierarchy in political representation.

from constituent power to constituted power
from the multitude to the people
change in the state as change in identity
change in identity as alienation of power
appearance of social contract that obscures the event
social contract as retroactive causality of transcendent structures
the event as space for creation of immanent structures
appearance of constituted power that obscures class formation
constituted power as universal identity of the people
class formation as the multitude and sovereign position of authority
constituent power and constituted power as simultaneous
constituent power as surplus of constituted power
subsumption of constituent power by constituted power
constituent power as disruption of constituted power

8. The critique of power through hierarchy must exist side-by-side with the advocacy for power through desire.

power as relationship between forces
power as many and unique
power as expression of desire
power as equality through deterritorialization
authority as hierarchy of power
authority as one and uniform
authority as mediation of desire
authority as inequality through reterritorialization

9. Political action, as an expression of desire, must be willing to enact change that takes apart previous political, cultural, and economic structures without reproducing those previous structures.

the event as structural rupture
structural rupture as expression of desire
expression of desire as collective action
collective action as immanent structures

10. If choice is intrinsic to a conception of freedom as well as political power, then it must be more than a precluded economic choice and be more of an original democratic choice.

choice as internal to structural formation
choice as parts in differential relationships
choice as scarcity in constituted power
choice as external to structural rupture
choice as creation of immanent structures
choice as abundance in constituent power

11. The basic method of anarchism, in all its manifestations, is the creation of horizontal systems as both a disruption and alternative to vertical systems through the practice of prefiguration.

collectives in horizontal systems
individuals in vertical systems
from horizontal systems to vertical systems as alienation of participation
from vertical systems to horizontal systems as distribution of participation
from experience of content to experience of form
from experience of form to control of form
countercultures as prefiguration rather than revolution or reform
countercultures as both libertarian and communitarian

12. The ultimate goal of anarchism and other movements for decentralization is the development of mutuality within the entire social sphere, the eradication of hierarchy in all its forms.

from reciprocity to mutuality through the commons
from reciprocity to finite debt through the market
from reciprocity to infinite debt through the state

13. Anarchism in its generalized state not only reflects the more specific Green Party values of decentralization, grassroots democracy, and community economics but points to an underground spirit of America that has been continually suppressed for the sake of hierarchy in the political, the cultural, and the economic.

convergence of anarchism and small businesses (G8 summit at Pittsburgh in 2009)
finite collective as experience of community
from individual creation of natural rights to collective use through law
appearance of collective use through law as transcendent source

1. opposition to hierarchy
2. critique of the state and capitalism
3. autonomy versus liberty
4. alternative of the commons and community
5. anarchism more comprehensive than libertarianism
6. democracy versus republic
7. constituent power versus constituted power
8. power and freedom through desire
9. avoidance of structural reproduction
10. original choice versus precluded choice
11. horizontal systems versus vertical systems
12. mutuality as goal
13. decentralization, grassroots democracy, and community economics

Change The World Without Taking Power by John Holloway
Escape From Freedom by Erich Fromm
For All The People by John Curl
Gramsci Is Dead by Richard J.F. Day
Insurgencies by Antonio Negri

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