Insurgency and Anarchafeminism

 Basically my life is totally great because I decided to make it my part-time job to study how people are collectively, creatively rebellious. Again, this means I look at participatory extralegal systems like socially-engaged, guerilla and performance art, tactical media, forms of DIY/DIWO production cultures, copyleft, and pop-ed.

One of my absolute favorite pop-ed/guerilla art forms is the manifesto/a. From the first time I saw the Futurist Manifesto, to my battered and beloved copy of the SCUM manifesto [read recently at Fuck You Dad!, my annual Cabaret to End Patriarchy], to my most recent aquisiton: The Coming Insurrection, a manifesto by the Invisible Committee in France. In the first paragraph they reference a No Future punk philosophy, and then go on to incite action by pointing out how completely fucked civilization has left humanity. One of the things I like most about a manifesto/a is it’s complete and total focus on its mission, like a NPO on speed.

“A rigorous application of logic leads to revolution,”  and “maintenance of the self in a state of near-collapse is the best-kept secret of the present order of things” both spoke to me. All I need to do is think about petroleum or water for about two minutes before the only answer seems to be direct action, and in examining how I live [or have lived] its not hard to appreciate the biopolitical application of Western overachievement into the current individualist exhaustion that plagues myself and many I know. Much of the analysis in this text is

But Don’t Get Too Excited

Quite excitedly I was telling a badass anarcha-feminist friend about this reading, and she gave me a sideways view and told me about ““why she doesn’t give a fuck about your insurrection”, a short response written by a feminist in the struggle.

So, I read it and then ended up in a youtube k-hole that brought me directly to Shit Manarchists Say, the video.

The point of this train of media is that the derailing road from insurgency [fine on its own] to inaccessible direct action for no point at all is a short one, and it’s lined with dudes. While there are many badass revolutionary men, there are enough bros who focus on inaccessible or masculinst savior strategies to make this point salient. Is starting a commune the answer? Perhaps. Is autonomous struggle and action useful? Sure. But not on its own – the solutions we crave are connected, as disconnected as western society may be.

What Instead?

As a cisgendered femme-presenting woman I think much about the relationship between sexism, misogyny and movements, because it actively affects me. I look up to the work of my friends who are attempting to create safer spaces, to address sexual assault and intimate partner violence, and who are working to end oppression due to gender, sex, sexuality, and misogyny.

The monumental  text Beautiful Trouble has a section on Ending The Patriarchy As Part of Your Practice, [which includes a link to Shit Manarchists Say, which takes us back to the Fuck Your Insurrection piece.] “Feminism is not about “man-hating”; it is about transforming the socially constructed and hierarchical ideology of patriarchy.”

All this to say: tell everyone what you’re reading and let them tell you what to look at next. Then, look at it, and tell someone else. Each one, teach one. That’s pop ed.

Also I think there is something to why I love forms of production that are politically incorrect or considered “too much.” I didn’t know that Ayn Rand was a fascist, I just thought she was empowered when I was a teenager. I didn’t know that insurrection was manarchist when I started reading this book, I just liked that it had an intention of world-changing…

I needed to know more about insurgency [still do] as a concept so I turned to my trusty Wikipedia [more up-to-date accurate than E-Brittanica!] and found that it’s a practice that privileges autonomous action over other forms of change-instigating behavior. While it itself that’s not deleterious to movements, there are many problematic behviours that can emerge from that mindset, like selfish or unsafe behaviours that are justified as being multi-pronged action.

And guess who’s doing that work? Next post will start talking about it.

Suggested Readings:

The Coming Insurrection:

“why she doesn’t give a fuck about your insurrection”

“Ending The Patriarchy As Part of Your Practice”

Shit Manarchists Say:

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Education for Revolution