This is a wide-ranging interview I recently did with two anarchist pro-freedom campaigners, MA and WS, from Brighton, England. Illustration by Ken Avidor. WS: Please could you introduce yourself and say how you came to be a writer and create the website Winter Oak?
Excellent. Thank you. Most illuminating and well written. God bless you. Amen.
For decades philanthropic organizations such as the Rockefeller and Ford foundation as well as many others of the same ilk have poured millions into subverting prominent Leftists and their political movements.
Great piece, thank you for staying true to the root value of anarchism which is resistance to tyranny in all forms. It was also heartening to see Keith McHenry of Food Not Bombs has chosen correctly. I was one of a gaggle of of people arrested in San Francisco in the early 90s for the "crime" of serving food to the homeless.
I have been deconstructing the philosophy of classical liberalism for two decades, in an effort to fully understand and justify my own ideological inclinations. That process has finally led me to anarchism, which is the inevitable destination when the principles and premises of that philosophy are carried to their logical conclusion.
I finally get here only to discover that even "anarchism" has been, as a movement, undermined by statist controlled opposition. Yuck!
Still, though, nothing can fully mar the joy I feel at finally understanding the truth…even if the truth might not be fully realized in human social life for generations…
No one has strengthened my spiritual sword arm more in the last few years than you, Paul Cudenec. Thank you truly 🌳🧡🌳
There is strong anarchist sentiment and counter-cultural living here in central Victoria through the permaculture. David Holmgren was attacked but resilient
Thanks. I read the article on the funding sources for many of those groups. Interesting.
Greetings from Florida. Over the past year there has been a motion in my heart towards what your words describe in this piece. It has given me more courage.
It's very hard for me to align with any political group or ideology or religious belief. I never really have and I guess I'm not going to start now especially after the last decade of confusion and deliberate attempts at finger pointing and blame casting between all the very well funded factions.
I remember reading a long time ago the phrase "Walking away from the King." I imagine that's what a true anarchist would strive for and possibly those who call themselves libertarians too.
The problem I perceive with all these ideologies is that they tend to fall apart when applied to the "real world." In practical reality, people tend to organize into groups and the inevitable conclusion of that (due to natural forces and human behavior) is that a pyramid structure is established with alpha personality types rising to the top of the heap. And eventually, we get the sociopaths and psychopaths taking up positions either as front men or behind the scenes masterfully pulling the strings and dictating the activity of the herd.
Any movements that attempt to push back or replace the existing order will have to (at some point) look inwards and understand that they will become the thing they were trying to replace. Just read Animal Farm to see how it ends... every single time.
IMO the closest we have come to achieving these lofty goals is embodied in the US constitution. If it has to be written again for a new audience then so be it, as long as the core values pertaining to individual freedoms are maintained.
I think this is all we can hope for unless people want to drop out to a log cabin in the woods which is hardly practical for the vast majority of people today.
Lately I've seen a poster in the street advertising for anarchist conferences. I said cool. Then the program was all about radical feminism and the genre question...
I think it just sounds cool to say I'm an anarchist without even knowing what it entails exactly so people identify as such but are just fake.
I can say the more I read your writings the more I feel strongly about being anarchist.
I've never felt the need to include myself in a political group. I think there are good ideas everywhere. But anarchism strikes many chords inside me!
During the covid era I was desperate to see absolutely no reaction from the university students. From what we were enduring I really thought I would have the chance to live a revolution like in the 70's. People were brain-dead...
You can count me in the movement ;)
In 1997 I was demonstrating at APEC in Vancouver. In 1999 I was demonstrating at the WTO in Seattle. I remember Indymedia. In the anti corporate globalization movement there were many anarchists not just the Black Bloc. While I do not consider myself an anarchist there are many aspects from anarchism such as mutual aid that I like, and I loved working with many anarchists on different issues in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Fast forward to 2023: where the heck did all the anarchists go? It was shocking for me to see so many anarchists in Canada go pro mandates and pro vaccine while I opposed both along with conservative friends.
I strongly feel that the fight is not left versus right anymore. Instead it is freedom lovers versus authoritarians (left and right).
Woke ideology is not compatible with communism. It’s a bourgeois ideology. In actual communist countries, it’s not prevalent. China regularly mocks the west for it. Also, when the people of China tired of the covid restrictions and protested, the government listened and restrictions were eased.
Anarchism has been used by the CIA since the 60s to prevent communist movements from being organized in any effective way. It’s mostly been anarchists I know pushing critical theory and covid compliance. I actually had to leave an entire group of anarchist friends over it.
Marxist-Leninist organizations and people I know, especially non-western ones (the PSL and CP are compromised) reject woke ideology and are critical of vaccines and Covid mandates. The reason people on the right and left in the western world are conflating communism with woke bullshit is bc the security state(s) are doing a damn good job at psychological warfare.
Thanks Paul, MA and WS. Thoroughly interesting.
I’m particularly interested in the objections to Extinction Rebellion - i’ve listened to a couple of Roger Hallam interviews over the last few months, and much of what he says (whether one agrees with their methods or not) would seem to be very much talking about dismantling the top down and in favour of local organising as long term solutions and he’s certainly completely critical of the “technology led solution” idea, the total upheaval of individuals lives being sold as the solution with no change required for the corporations. He also draws a lot of connections between the lurch towards authoritarianism, suppression, the total disregard for humanity and nature of the rapacious and predatory capitalist system.
I guess i need to read your pieces on it to discover more...
I do however notice a worrying rejection by many of not only the ludicrous and non solutions being pushed on the people, which are nothing more than further methods of control, but also the premise that there is, environmentally, something to worry about. Chucking the baby out with the bath water, so to speak. A trend i have to say that i find most worrying.
When you have a moment, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.
Glad to have, at long last it would seem, discovered your work.
Anarchy (which just means equality under the law AKA 'no rulers') is the default way of transacting in the modern world. Those who violate the principles of anarchy by imposing force/ theft on others are called out as muggers, thieves, terrorists, rapists etc.
The internet is removing any last remaining justifications for centralisation of decision making/ social organisation, and thus 'power'.
The Problem-Reaction-Solution 'crisis' events of the last 25 years (including 'covid') seem to be an attempt by the ruling class to RETAIN their grip as 'rulers' in a society which is heavily orientated towards the rights of the individual.
In the past their right to rule was a given.... but now they need to invent constant imaginary or contrived threats and loads of drama so that they can justify their rule in terms of 'keeping us safe' during an 'emergency'.
This strategy betrays their lack of control, although it also makes this the most dangerous of ages for the same reason that a dying lion should not be approached because it is liable to tear your face off.
i used to wonder how left movements found the the money to print fancy rally cards and banners. after working in the “institutional left” i now know that the money comes from the very corporations and monied interests that we ought to be rallying against.
our current left has been kettled into fiefdoms that serve corp interests.
thank you for reminding me of what a true, uncaptured left looks like.
Intriguing. The definition and ideas given in this interview, in my mind, closely resemble the idea of a US non-citizen state national in the empirical sense. Having been awake (as the overused phrase goes) for some years, I can certainly relate to the approach/thinking of anarchists as expressed by Paul Cudenec.