Who are “WE”?: Toward the beginning of an answer to Mike
In response to my article cross-posted to GonzoTimes, For 2011: Five practical demands on which anarchists, libertarians, and Marxists should agree, Mike posed an interesting question:
“All we need do”…
I see what you’re saying, but who is the “we” here, and by what mechanism shall “we” achieve what you propose?
I had to think about it some, because, to be honest, I hadn’t given it much thought before. Concealed beneath his simple question are a host of further questions on the nature of what we as anti-statists believe, who we are, and how we aim to achieve our goals. The question touches on the philosophy, aim, organization, and action.
Who is the subject, “WE”, to whom I refer — the revolutionary subject of history? How are “WE” organized? What do “WE” propose to do? I must admit that most of this stuff is over my head, but I can offer some thoughts that might help us all find the answers we are seeking.
So here goes nothing:
Well, Mike, at present we are committed anti-statists — anarchists, libertarians and Marxists — who seek everywhere and always to reduce the State and to ultimately abolish it and replace it by the free voluntary association of the individual members of society.
But beyond this, we are also the beginnings of the free voluntary association of the members of society who must break the existing State and constitute the new organization of society. Since we seek only to replace the State with our own free voluntary association, our mechanism for achieving our goal can only be through the free voluntary association of individuals committed to this cause and nothing else.
We are not an organization, but we welcome all organizations.
We are not a movement, but we welcome all movements.
We are not a party, but we welcome all parties. We are Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and liberals, Tea Party and progressive.
We have no partisan agenda because we seek not to wield state power for our narrow partisan purposes, but to replace the State with our own direct association.
We have no race, no ethnicity, no gender, no religion, no creed — since these are nothing more than artifacts of a society dominated by competition and division. We seek only cooperation based on the free voluntary association of the members of society for whom individual identities of this sort are no more than the authentic expression of their individual human capacities.
We have no manifestos, no programs, and no blueprints for society, but seek only to realize a society organized on the principle of free voluntary cooperative association in which each member has the opportunity to write her own personal manifesto.
We have no country, no flag, no army, no national anthem. We oppose all wars and occupations. We do not seek to impose our will on other nations but to promote free voluntary association among and between the Peoples of every nation. We do not serve in the military force of any nation and urge others not to as well.
We have no prisons, no gulags, no concentration camps and no courts — no repressive machinery of the police state. We do not seek to impose the laws of society on the individual, but to offer the individual the opportunity to freely form authentic, cooperative, voluntary relationships with others in society. We seek always to nullify repressive laws when we serve on juries, and convince others to join us.
We have no fiscal policy, no monetary policy, no economic policy, no tax policy; because each of these have been no more than the means by which certain definite economic interests in society have sought to raise themselves to a position of privilege over the rest of the members of society.
We do not look to the State for answers to the pressing problems of society, but only to ourselves in voluntary association with others. All the evils of modern society can be traced to the State itself, and the economic relationships on which it rest. We seek always and everywhere to rob the State of its social power, dismantle its machinery, and ultimately to replace it by the free voluntary cooperative association of the members of society.
The epoch of the State is over, WE seek only to see it buried and finally gone.
So, those are my idea, Mike. I hope they help you find your own answers.