Title: My anarchism
Author: Rosa Blat
Date: 2018
Source: original translation from french
Notes: This text was written following the publication of « Contre l'anarchisme, un apport au débat sur les identités. [1]» It isn't a conversation with the peddlers of ideas who let themselves spit sneakily on a diverse stream they are incapable of understanding. It is though a ''response to a response''[2] that was written answering this text, and which seemed to me as sorry as the first one was. Translation from french by Bus Stop Press.

« We are first and foremost individuals. The definitions, when they are not cages are like rocks thrown on the water : They create always larger circles, without any of them being able to fully contain our individualities. Aware of this, words don't frighten us. Why are we anarchists ? » Adesso #19, 2004.[3]

Anarchism is an individual behaviour when faced to life, and neither a social theory, nor a political ideology nor an identity. At least it is how I see it, and what follows is a personal consideration, a description of my anarchism.

Anarchism isn't a travel agency that would offer marvellous destinations to clients who would just want to change their minds for a brief moment. There is nothing to better or ideologise in this world. Anarchism cannot fill the void that many people experience from the alienation of this society, and has nothing to propose to those who need an authority to guide them, to tell them what to think, how to leave and what to do with their lives.

This society is filled with average people (accepting and adapting to norms) who only want to follow quietly the path traced for them. Even the wrongdoers and scammers of all sorts live in the parameters of the authoritarian and capitalist mind, and if they break the law or cheat the rules, it is only because they never have had the opportunity to success by following them and/or want to force theirs (The ''Mob'' is full of snitches, traitors, aspiring bosses and other scum, who, even if they commit actions that anarchists could also be committing, are nonetheless enemies). For the most part, those taking part in the fantasised ''social war'' have absolutely no intensions to make theirs anarchist ideas, if they don't encourage their dreams of consumers and aspiring bosses. They would laugh at the faces of these missionaries, reciting their gospels from their pedestals, telling them in their newspeak of ''Affinity'', ''Perspectives'' and ''Projectuality'' (words changing meaning in their mouths), implying hypocritically intensions they've never had. Go late at night cause trouble in a spot for dealers and you'll see the true colours of this wonderful ''social war''. Saying that, I don't mean to say that « delinquents » are necessarily enemies (or idiots). No, I think that like everywhere else in society, there are individuals who are worth meeting and with whom their could be interesting complicities. But not more than anywhere else, and can only be figured out on a case by case basis, individually and independently from any categorisation or essentialism.

My anarchism is based on individual responsibility, in perceiving the degrees of implications at work in this society. According to me, an anarchist should be able to desire, decide and act for themselves and to take their own responsibilities when faced against their contradictions (which are inevitable when living in this society)

My anarchism isn't based on a moral system, an unsurpassable theory, a social abstraction that would stand above me. My anarchism fights against all systems, including identities and ideologies, which are barriers in the way of my development as an individual. My anarchism is a daily tension, a path full of impediment of which no exit is written. My anarchism is based on my own life, refusing to be a part of a larger ensemble, a ''whole'' in which I would have to adapt, deny what I am in order to exist and be tolerated. This is an important point : I don't need to be recognised in a « milieu » or have my place in a group to have reasons do develop and carry my ideas. I don't need anyone's permission to do what I do. « The strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. »[4]

If anarchism has most of the time been carried by a minority of individuals, it is not due to an intentions of anarchists to be in minority, but it is the truth. We all would like to be billions of people deciding to live according to many anarchist principles, to fight for themselves, to experience it and to refuse all authorities. But as I wish to neither decide nor act for others, I prefer to give up on the idea to wait for them. « One who overturns one of his limits may have shown others the way and the means; the overturning of their limits remains their affair. »[5]

Despite the hopeless attempts of some, anarchism will never be acceptable for the masses of consumers

I do not know what could work, no one does. Like we say in english « The Future is Unwritten. » To be an anarchist is to fumble, try to match personal longings while trying to not get caught in the logics of power that go above us, and are sadly a part of what we have always known in this world. The so-comfortable ideological cages aren't meant for me, because I am complex, multiple and diverse. « No concept expresses me, nothing that is said to be my essence exhausts me; they are only names. »[6]

About the dichotomy between ''good anarchists'' and ''bad anarchists'' if it doesn't make no sense at all, it is also serving the interest of power, especially as anarchists don't have to justify themselves in front of the media or justice. To be tolerated by our enemies would be the biggest defeat that we could face. I think we anarchists need to hold each other tight, despite our divergences because we know it, our ideas will never be popular. To discredit each other, between different tendencies of anarchism, for conflicts of power or other reasons is certainly the activity that consumes the mot energy and end up driving many away. The diversity of anarchism, in its theory and its practice is what makes it rich. That some maintain libraries, while others occupy forests, experiment by building houses and gardens, and others again try to develop ideas wether on the internet or on paper ; write history, philosophy, do translations or even poetry, and others again (or the same) attack power with or without communiqués. All of this is great as long as we are all conscious of these activities, and try compromise as little as possible with the power. There is no single way to live anarchist ideas, there is no single method. And if direct action, various attacks, aren't to be considered as the only way to be anarchist, they shouldn't be pushed away (along with those who carry them) due to the fear of repression, that will come if it must, because we have no intention to look at the crystal ball all of our lives. We know that the justice often works randomly, and that no one can know in advance the searches or the years of prison.

Anarchism was born in the midst of violence, direct actions, the murdering of monarchs and leaders. It is a part of it no matter what the most pacifist and cold-feeted can think. To assume our ideas in every possible way is the least anarchists can do. And this includes to stop being afraid of being anarchist, to hide our brochures in case of repression, to speak loudly against it when something happens nearby, and to hide one's ideas in the daily life. In short, it means to stop wearing a mask, the average person's one, because of the fear to become a target for the power (even if for some, this mask would be the one of the Anarchist, which they are so quick to take off when trouble show its face). What is the point to call oneself an anarchist if we are ashamed of it, if we hide it ? How can one look themselves in the mirror when they publicly denied what they pretended fight for ? One could be anarchist in their house (and even there...), but would stop outside in order to not have problems, like teenagers who would secretly draw circled A's while being well-mannered students ? When we spread these ideas, there will be some to take seriously what we say. That gives us a responsibility to undertake, to be uncompromising with ourselves before doing the same with others. Our ideas have consequences, and whatever we may do, everyone contributing to the spreading of anarchist ideas should have thought at their consequences, in order to be able to face them when they'll come.

Rosa Blat

March 2018

[1] « Contro »l'anarquismo » has been published initially in the spanish CNT journal of Solidaridad Obrera and translated into french in lundimatin#130 on january 26th 2018.

[2] « Pour un anarchisme sans dépendances » has been published in both french and italian on the Finnimondo website on january 26th of 2018.

[3] The entire text in french is readable at : https://infokiosques.net/lire.php?id_article=486

[4] Ibsen, Henrik. An enemy of the people.

[5] Stirner, Max. The Unique and its property. 2017 (New translation) available at : https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/max-stirner-the-unique-and-its-property

[6] Ibid.