Cops are a disease
Anarchists are the fever
Human society goes through cycles, but we are stuck on Capitalism right now. Cops defend that system because they live as parasites, profiting from the ruling class as they create a buffer between the workers at the bottom and the trust fund babies at the top of the pyramid. Whenever government gets authoritarian, the anarchists chip away at it until balance is restored. Like a baby, all the organs are equally important, and when germs attack, special cells go to war and the temperature rises. Anarchism is not meant to be a permanent state of being. It’s like a fever that makes the occupied territory too hostile for the invaders to stay. When cops murder people, fleece us like sheep, like highway robbers as we drive to work, like bridge trolls trying to meet a quota off oppression, then it’s time to burn it down.
One long term solution is an insurgency built into the very fabric of the culture as a direct system of checks and balances. I don’t think we can, or should, destroy infrastructure or create totally violent chaos, especially when so many people are comfortable and domesticated. Personally, I need glasses, and diabetics need insulin, and we all benefit from emergency medical rescue systems. But we need to realize that all slavery is based on the housewivisation of women and that housewivisation is based on animal husbandry. Don’t be cattle. Be brave people – and all people are angry, complicated primates with fancy shoes. During uprisings, after the state commits atrocities, yes – strike when the iron’s hot, but not when most people have retreated to recover from pandemic, election unrest and mutations. We must pick our “battles” wisely. Only fight when we can win.
Instead of thinking in terms of taking down the U.$. military, think in terms of an eternal struggle, with fighting seasons, like flu season, taking small bites, winning over the masses, spreading discontent, feeding the village, building solidarity. Retreat where they are strong, deny them targets, and take the moral high ground. Consider that the U.$. government has been on a solid losing streak since World War II, with its CIA, FBI, NSA, Marine Corps, Army, Navy, Air Force, and now it’s laughable Space Force. They were defeated by rice farmers in Vietnam, goat herders in Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalian rebels in Mogadishu. Whenever facing insurgents the U.$. loses. The 2020 uprisings were described by government officials as “a chaotic maelstrom of willing hands”. Protesters found the ability to field tens of thousands of belligerents instantly via social media, and the government was terrified. Cops were shaking in their boots. If not for the police stations and court houses burned down they would not have convicted George Floyd’s murderer. Arson accomplished what legislation failed to do.
Opportunists will always try to seize power. Let them. Let it be a trap. Make all leaders a target for intense criticism and constant scrutiny. Rotate them as frequently as soiled diapers and for the same reason. Sling mud, spread rumors, slander them, libel them. Social media is a beast – use it. Another strategy is the strike, malingering and sabotage from within. We are in no position for all out guerrilla warfare. Even if we were, we would not write about it. Anything worth doing is worth encrypting. Anything worth encrypting is too dangerous to encrypt. Just whisper it, or write, then burn it, or better yet, say nothing and do it by yourself. Avoid taking lives – “collateral damage”.
As for long term power structures to replace the current corrupt, unjust military and prison industrial complex, Rojava is an excellent model. In northeast Syria there is a region of Kurdistan called Rojava where the Kurds have successfully defeated ISIS and the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Asaad. They have created a new social experiment inspired by Murray Bookchin’s writings on Social Ecology (environmentalism), feminism, direct democracy and militant self defense. It is called Democratic Confederalism. They reject the model of the nation state, borders and blind patriotism. Instead they cultivate love for their neighbor, the land where they live and the villages, towns and cities nearby. They keep their profits and invests in each other, education, housing, food, healthcare, infrastructure and recreation. Women learn to shoot, men learn to respect women, everyone respects nature.
Our revolution doesn’t have to be violent to win. You and I, and everyone, can start practicing Democratic Confederalism now, where we are. Just invite like-minded friends together, identify a need in your immediate community, discuss it, let everyone’s voice be heart, vote on ideas for a solution, then take direct action and solve the problem. Vote on a name for your group, assign roles, ask for volunteers and vote. You need a treasurer, a note keeper for meetings and records, a recruiter, and two chair people, ideally representing genders, orientations, ethnicities, etc. Now you have a legitimate political party, a community organization, a movement. History/Herstory will remember you, so act like it at all times. The Kurdish Workers Party started with 11 members in a small house in a tiny village to address lack of schools, infrastructure and resources in their villages which were being oppressed by racist factions of the Turkish government. They took matters into their own hands, much like the Black Panthers, the IWW and the Freedom Schools in the South of the United $tates, which were organized for black people who were kept from an education. Feed and house people, start guerrilla gardens everywhere, don’t ask permission. Hold town council meetings. Eventually you will have the love and respect and support of an empowered community as an organic growth of neighborly love.
Then, the government will attack you with physical violence. How you respond is up to you, but you will have the moral high ground. You don’t need to become a martyr, but there will be some who sacrifice everything for their neighbors. Defending yourselves from oppression will earn the respect of the international community and volunteers will come to support your struggle. That is how Democratic Confederalism grows from within rotten and corrupt nation states, like trees from a pile of manure or compost. Fill the rolls that the capitalist governments fail to, because it’s not profitable for them to build stable, healthy communities of well educated, militant and socially intelligent community members.
Connect with other neighborhoods, create a network, a confederation of communities, boroughs, towns and cities that practice direct democracy and refuse to answer to an authoritarian capital. Then you will have established Democratic Confederalism. No neighborhood or town party has authority over another city or neighbor, so when a dictator or despot tries to suppress a minority, naturally, anarchists will rise up to check them, be they fascist, socialist or communist. Historically communists turn against anarchists because of this dynamic.
There are two structures to build that will prevent tyrants from coming to power. One is a militant power structure of volunteers, unpaid, who live together, make their own uniforms, democratically vote on all decisions and who answer to a community, a commune, and it’s council. They train together but they focus on community service, education, environmental protection and restoration. The most powerful weapon is the daily practice of criticism sessions, which the Kurds call Tekmil. This is done weekly by elected team leaders, and every month the community gathers for a criticism session. The daily meetings are like this – roommates, teams, groups working together. Coworkers gather daily and sit or stand on equal footing to face each other. They have an elected leader who initiates the meeting and invites everyone to raise hands and offer criticisms and self criticisms. Try to offer at least one of each daily. This stimulates personal growth, development and real change. It also airs out drama and brings conflict to a head before it can get violent or become backstabbing in nature. One can criticize friends present or others not present. Criticisms must be accepted without argument, complaint or explanation. Just say, “Thank you, I accept your criticism” and make some effort to modify your behavior, see things their way and get along. This creates a safe space to criticize leaders and even remove them if they are incompetent. Serious criticisms should be documented by democratically, elected group leaders, such as sexual harassment, threats or racism. Everyone should try to offer self criticisms daily, honestly striving for self improvement, growth and even philosophical or spiritual enlightenment, depending on one’s chosen beliefs. For example, I offer the criticisms about myself that I was being a ridiculous internet personality and openly saying things that put me and friends in a legally vulnerable position, and in physical danger. I also offer the self criticisms that I didn’t read much theory, history or study languages well enough before I went to Rojava and then prison, and that I haven’t been criticizing my racist neighbors here in prison. I offer criticisms to Jack, a former member of my defense committee, because they were disrupting my defense committee meetings to complain about their trauma, systematically isolating me from my allies, demanding that I not associate with an ex-lover of theirs, and that I stop “being political”, and threatening to cut me off from my support group if I did not meet their demands. When I tried to compromise and accommodate them they bailed on me anyway and did considerable damage on their way out of the community in the process. At weekly meetings, the group leaders will bring two people together to encourage them to share criticisms and squash the drama. Monthly meetings are as large as possible and will go on for days. This is meant to be frustrating, but the release of emotions is great for everyone. It brings people together to struggle for progress, cultivate social cohesion, participate in decision making and release aggressive tension before it gets violent.
Buddhist monasteries do this, a kind of communistic democracy. By acting on matters ourselves we become empowered, skilled, socially intelligent and we effectively subvert unwilling states that don’t nourish us due to their oppressive, hierarchical power structures. We create horizontal power structures, webs of connected communities supporting each other, in touch with nature. Like the roots of a tree we slowly grow between the cracks in the sidewalk, sprouting in the light, spreading in the darkness underground. Over long periods of time we render their overbearing authoritarianism into a weapon against them. The cracks in the foundation spread until their pyramid of social classes breaks down. We just fold our arms and stop climbing it to beg for their scraps, instead of distributing resources at the bottom level.
Using the peaceful Buddhist community as a template is also very useful. Most people are not militant personalities and the community needs farms, gardens, medical workers, teachers, spiritual leaders, families, craft experts, engineers, scientists and legal experts. The commune is a great place for peaceful souls to advance revolution. Write books, read and discuss the cutting edge of political and philosophical discourse and share these new ideas with the world. I’m just an “American Idiot”, but you can get better explanations and templates for the future of democracy here: