Theory and Practice
What do we want from our movement?
If you attend DIY concerts, classify yourself as a member of the punk subculture, the anti-fascist movement, then you need to think about what goals you are pursuing? What is all this for — concerts and parties, patches and badges, conversations and activism?
The political views of those in the punk scene today are commonly referred to as “anarchist”. But this combination of punk rock, vegetarianism and DIY, is it really anarchism? In the minds of most punks, hardcore players and other subculturists, anarchism has become a political appendage of punk rock, in fact, another youth subculture. However, should it be? In our opinion, if we want changes in the world around us, it’s time to go beyond the hangouts and start spreading our views more widely.
The authors of the brochure invite all readers, everyone who is interested in changing the world for the better, to reconsider their views on anarchism, subculture and punk rock. Let our alternative — militant anarchism — not scare you with its name. We explain our views in the brochure that we bring to your attention.
Manifesto of Militant-Anarchism
The essence of militant anarchism, and its difference from other currents of anarchism, consists of three main parts: theory, aesthetics, practice.
The theoretical basis of militant anarchism is social anarchism. We are close to the new, modern forms of anarcho-communism and syndicalism. We strive for a free society (Anarchy). It is tangible and real for us, and the achievement of this society is a goal for us, not a way of life. Fighting for Anarchy without believing that Anarchy is feasible is meaningless. A libertarian society is the clouds brought down to earth, it is the final result and culmination of all our efforts. In order to achieve this society, we believe that propaganda is necessary among the widest sections of the population, it is necessary to involve the widest possible range of people in your ideas, and create a positive image of an anarchist among the population. It is obvious that to do this within the framework of one subculture will never work.
The aesthetics of militant anarchism is fundamentally different from the aesthetics of anarchist subcultures. Its essence is to show in its entire way a completely different emotional-sensual, mental component of anarchism. This will be manifested in clothes, in behavior, in the manner of actions. Today, most anarchists are all kinds of subculturists. We want to show that anarchism is a political theory, political and social action, and not a youth subculture; in our opinion, anarchism within the framework of only one subculture is a road to nowhere. Many anarchists complain to the media that they create a negative image of the anarchist. And at the same time, most anarchists themselves actively support this image! It is necessary to abandon the gouging, party, alcohol-indifferent elements of punk aesthetics, which are now present in anarchism. They corrupt the movement, contribute to the rejection of people from us and the degradation of the anarchists themselves. Is it really necessary to prove the harm caused by drunkenness and gouging in motion? Most of our comrades, in their reflections, start from the thought: “I am an anarchist, so I can ... (thump, dynamize stocks, take drugs, look like a homeless person)” instead of taking for truth the concept: “I am an anarchist, and therefore I must ... (don’t be drunk, exercise, look decent, be disciplined).” Demanding on oneself and pride in the title of “anarchist” is absent as such.
We want to introduce a completely different image of an anarchist into the minds of people and, first of all, into the minds of the anarchists themselves, in order to strengthen our movement itself and involve new people in it. Naturally, we are all people, not robots, and have nothing against parties , but only if they do not intersect with our action, but do not depend on it.
The main argument of the supporters of anarchism as a “life style” is that the revolution, which will ultimately lead to the liberation of all people from oppression and exploitation, is a very long-term perspective, which means that now there is nothing left but to have fun and get drunk. However, it is precisely by such reasoning that we put off our main goal and task, we kill the very idea of anarchism. After all, what could be more selfish than making anarchy a part of your little world, which is a subculture (punk scene, party), instead of carrying it to absolutely everyone. Let’s think together what prevents us from carrying the positive, positive ideas of anarchism, thereby bringing a new, much more just world closer?
It’s a no brainer that it’s not about the people themselves, who are not familiar with the ideas of anarchism. The problem is in the form in which we present our ideas to people. Of course, what factory worker would react positively to anarchism if he was handed a leaflet by a guy with crimson hair and meter-long tunnels? We believe that you can’t go far on punk rock alone, and you won’t force everyone to listen to it, so let’s expand our “audience”! Many, of course, will consider our words as authoritarianism: “You still make us wear a uniform.” No, we do not force anyone to wear a uniform, but let’s think a little:
From all sorts of “anarcho-immorals” you can constantly hear that they are different from the gray mass of people. But when they come to any event, they immediately become like a mass, a mass of guys dressed and cut in the same way. They say they are special and protest society. But what is this protest? In systematic drunkenness? So after all, the majority of society does the same! Wearing badges and stripes? Talking about activism? And this is not to mention the tacit competition in the party on the topic “who bought what.” Militant anarchists, not recognizing any uniform, are completely fenced off from the huge army of party-goers competing in the presence of certain brands. That is why we choose simple, discreet clothes as our style of clothing, without any symbols, stripes, badges, etc. The main requirements that we impose on clothing are its accessibility, convenience, and aesthetics. In a society where every subculture is sold out, it makes no sense to strive to stand out from the crowd through original clothing, because any style, any appearance has already been bought in advance and resold a million times by the machine of capitalism. Therefore, clothing for an activist must meet, first of all, practical requirements.
A separate topic for discussion is the concept of discipline in our circles. We are not Nazis, so I repeat, our ideal is not a barracks and an even line of people marching towards their goal, but well-prepared, organized and disciplined groups of like-minded people capable of resisting enemies. For our common purposes, all old prejudices about discipline and organization should be abandoned. Our discipline is SELF-discipline. It is based on the deepest understanding of each militant anarchist of their goals, duties and responsibilities. And only through this understanding and awareness of his role does a person begin to engage in revolutionary action wholeheartedly, with desire and enthusiasm. Such discipline is much better and more effective than the state “stick” discipline. Although it is certainly much more difficult to achieve it. However, the majority of today’s anarchist party-goers do not recognize this variant of organization either, not wanting to take any responsibility, preferring spontaneous actions “out of frenzy” to systematic actions “when necessary”.
The actions and activity of any movement determine its face. We are what we do. Our practice determines what kind of people will come to us, determines the face of modern anarchism, and, no less important, the attitude of society towards us.
Since our main way of changing the world is propaganda, militant anarchists choose the two most effective ways of propaganda — propaganda by action (direct action), and propaganda by example. If you don’t need to explain anything about the first, then let’s explain about the second — the best propaganda of anarchism is the creation of such an image of an anarchist that will attract people, and who, by his very existence, will be a man of the future, a revolutionary breaking the road to a new world. Non-drinker, non-smoker, responsible, full of determination and self-confidence — this is how a militant anarchist should be, so that everyone who sees him respects not only himself, but also our whole idea.
We choose direct action as the main vector of practice because people who regularly participate in the same fights see things in forceful actions in a completely different way, they already have a different attitude towards all activism. Direct action strengthens and disciplines people. That is why we want to introduce elements of “militancy” into our movement, make a bias towards forceful actions and direct action — so that people on this basis change their attitude to life, to the movement, be more disciplined, responsible, organized. In the end, stop being weak and infantile! It is time for us to be truly strong, to become a threat, a cohesive fighting force that is capable of hitting not only the nation but also our main enemy, the state, like a clenched fist. And let us be accused of the cult of physical strength, because we know very well that we will never create any cult for ourselves. Our direct action will sound much louder than any beautiful words spoken during drinking and parties, and also louder than any official propaganda, because the results of our action will be there, everyone will be able to see them. The streams of lies pouring from the media screens cannot drown out the indisputable facts. We will immediately break a huge number of stereotypes associated with our ideological choice, cleanse anarchism from the husk of lies, erase the image of sectarianism that partially reigns in punk-hardcore circles due to all sorts of quotes and stupid intra-party stereotypes, we will attract to our side people who are repelled by punk aesthetic, but attracted to the ideas of anarchism. The list is endless. The main areas of our activity are direct action, training, and security of events. We proceed from the fact that a person hardened in extreme activity will feel much more confident in any other actions, and will approach any other action in a completely different way. With the help of power actions, gaining self-confidence, each of us will be able to solve the daily tasks of activism much easier, and a person who is confident in his strength (both physical and spiritual) will cope with minor everyday problems without problems!
Through revolutionary action, we will create a new type of activist, a man of the future, whose strength, determination and self-righteousness will inspire fear in enemies, whose unshakable confidence in victory will forever bury the whining that “anarchy is not possible.” There is no impossible, there are weak people!
Militant anarchism for life!
Militant-anarchism is not anarcho-militarism! From militarism, we take only the desire for organization and elements of militant aesthetics. Everything else is discarded as alien to anarchism
Militant anarchism is not a subculture! This is an ideological and practical doctrine.
We do not deny the importance and necessity of traditional methods of propaganda. Like: handing out leaflets, posting stickers, drawing graffiti, making literature, online propaganda. Militant anarchists can do that too. However, for ourselves, we single out two main vectors — propaganda by our own example (training, a healthy lifestyle), and direct action (street war, protection of events, power actions).
We do not hate subcultures, let alone deny them! However, we believe that in order to achieve its goal, anarchism must “jump” above the subculture, overcome it. Only by going beyond marginality, beyond parties “of interest” can we talk about a serious movement that poses a threat to the authorities.
Despite the rather detailed explanation of our principles in the manifesto, some points remained misunderstood. The reaction to our manifesto on the Internet was very violent. The number of people supporting and not supporting our initiative was approximately equal. They began to take an interest in us, they began to ask us questions. Since most of the questions were repeated, as well as our answers to them, we decided to write a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) on militant anarchism. Below is the FAQ. Most likely, in it you will find most of the answers to the questions that you had while reading the manifesto.
FAQ on Militant-Anarchism
1. Do you completely reject alcohol/smoking?
An anarchist militant can only be a person with willpower. If a person cannot give up smoking, it means that he does not have willpower, such a person cannot be with us. After all, how can you hope to change the people around you (not to mention the whole world) if you yourself are subject to a slavish, slowly killing habit? As for alcohol, there can be no people in our ranks who are prone to the habit of drinking alcohol excessively. Some militant anarchists can afford to drink “on holidays” or on exceptional occasions, but will never allow themselves to drink themselves into an animal state, or turn alcohol consumption into a habit that interferes with our activities. The position of many alcohol “anarchists” is incomprehensible. They consider themselves very independent individuals with a capital letter, but at the same time, psychologically, and sometimes even physically, they depend on alcohol (supplied, by the way, by the state).
2. Point 1 is like a hardline!
No. It is written purely for practical purposes. You won’t drive drunk, will you? Also, we do not allow any action “under the hood”. The smoking person always loses in physical. training not having such a habit. Sport is necessary to build self-confidence, self-discipline and improve physical fitness. Plus, a healthy, neat person without bad habits is a good example for others.
3. What are our musical preferences and what role do they play in our activities.
Militant anarchists can listen to any music, support any direction in art. Here there is complete freedom. Militant-anarchism is not limited by youth subcultures.
4. How do you feel about established actions like the EVB, animal protection actions?
We have nothing against such actions, however, we believe that the main thing is that a person who has taken on several such initiatives at once should be able to bring them all to the end in good faith. It’s just that too often there are cases when an activist simply does not cope with all the duties assigned to him, which, undoubtedly, harms the movement. Let everyone do what he does best and do it to the best of his ability.
5. Do we agree, together with other anarchists, to stir up actions on a variety of topics?
Of course, despite the fact that we have identified direct action and self-development as our priority, we can participate, and we participate in a variety of actions that are stirred up by other anarchists. In addition to its “specialized” activities, the AI can also distribute leaflets, bomb graffiti, go to demonstrations, etc. etc.
6. What is the point of creating your current? Why produce new branches, and again divide into some kind of new “anarchists”, because we already have enough divisions!?
Militant anarchists in no way separate themselves from anarchism in general, from the anarchist movement. We are not separatists, and we fence ourselves off only from the subcultural part of anarchism. Our course is rather an internal trend, a direction “for our own”, which we would like to develop. One often hears the question: “what is the difference between you and ordinary anarchists, except that you do not drink and are not late for arrows?” Let’s list again the priorities in our activities and our differences from the “average” member of the anarchist community:
Priority of politics over subculture
The desire for organization, self-discipline.
In matters of activism: priority over direct action, training, protection of events.
Elements of militant aesthetics
Our course has GOALS and OBJECTIVES
We have one goal, the same as that of all anarchists — the establishment of a free society.
The tasks lie in the plane of changing the modern anarchist movement. The tasks of militant-anarchism:
Changing the image of a modern anarchist from a subculturist who abuses alcohol and drugs, and often engages only in activities that are understandable to him, to the image of a strong-willed, disciplined, fit, educated young man (girl) leading a healthy lifestyle. What is the essence of the image change, you ask? Why not just “be who you are”? The fact is that all people have a psychological property: if a person as a whole makes a favorable impression, causes sympathy and respect, then all his other actions, thoughts, ideas are also presented in a positive light. This means that people will think of Anarchy in the same way as anarchists. And if anarchism is promoted by a person with a positive image (described above), causing sympathy with his appearance and behavior, then from his mouth the words about anarchism will sound much more convincing to those around him. In psychology, this is called the “halo effect”. An example of this can also be the election of well-known actors and cultural figures to the posts of politicians, who, according to their knowledge, are very far from politics. These people are recognizable by people, loved, people endow them with positive characteristics. Therefore, people think (often recklessly) that the actor will cope with the government as well as with the game in the film.
Forgetting about this important property of the human psyche, anarchists lose a lot, and then they scold the inhabitants themselves that they are “cattle” and do not want to accept anarchist ideas.
To change the image, it is necessary to convey our message to the majority of anarchists. This is what we will be doing.
Shifting the vector of activism from obscure and ineffective actions to direct action, which, as you know, is louder than words.
7. Can there be women among militant anarchists?
There may be women among militant anarchists. Although we are against the participation of women in violent actions and clashes, it is quite obvious that otherwise they can be the same carriers of our ideas and activism. Attending training sessions will not hurt the girls either — the acquired skills can come in handy in extreme conditions.
8. What is your militant component?
One of the most common questions. People ask: “What is your militant aesthetic, and does it contradict anarchism? After all, militarism is one of the components of the state ideology.” To begin with, let’s decipher the word “militant”.
Our “militancy” is nothing more than its separate outward manifestations. As we already wrote in the manifesto, I would like to protect myself from subculturists with a simpler and more ordinary style of clothing, which has undeniable advantages for the activist. Organization and self-discipline are also part of the “militancy” that we are ready to adopt.
9. You are just totalitarians hiding behind anarchism! You want to force us to be the same and walk in formation! This is personal abuse!
We do not seek any violence against a person, if only because militant anarchism is voluntary. We are not introducing a monopoly on anarchism. No one is going to force anyone to change their subcultural clothes for simpler ones, go to the rocking chair and start leading a healthy lifestyle. If you don’t want to, don’t subscribe to our ideas. Where same here “totalitarianism”? Yes, we set certain limits for ourselves, to be more precise, we set clear principles. But struggle is struggle, and if we want to achieve something, we have to make sacrifices, at least to force ourselves to do something. Otherwise, we will achieve nothing. If, for someone, all “freedom of the individual” consists in the freedom of alcoholism, drug addiction, gouging and attending punk concerts, then these are his problems, just do not call it anarchism. We, by communication, by our example, facts, practice, want to prove to the rest of our comrades that the path we have chosen is the most effective, and will most likely lead us to our common goal.
As a result of the discussion on the Internet, many people have formed the question: “Well, I support the positions you have outlined, and what’s next?” So we answer — you can proudly consider yourself one of us :) In short, we have formulated five rules that should be followed by those who would like to be with us and act with us in the same direction.
What should you do to be a militant anarchist?
Adhere to anarchist views in their social version (libertarian socialism)
Do not have bad habits, play sports
Engage in direct action, word and force to confront the enemies of Anarchy.
Be responsible, self-disciplined, organized, be able to set goals and go to achieve them.
In word and deed, to affirm your ideas and distribute them to the widest possible circle of people.
Anyone who adheres to these 5 points can consider themselves a militant anarchist.
If you are close to the ideas outlined above — get in touch with us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Working together is always more effective. If, on the contrary, you want to argue, or bring something new to our idea — especially contact us. We are always open to dialogue and ready to listen to reasoned criticism. Most importantly, don’t be indifferent! Look around, think, decide! And remember — everything is in our hands!