U.S.A.: “Post-Left Anarchy: Neither Left, nor Right, but Autonomous” by Jason Mcquinn

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Post-left anarchy is not something new and different. It’s neither a political program nor an ideology. It’s not meant in any way to constitute some sort of faction or sect within the more general anarchist milieu. It’s in no way an opening to the political right; the right and left have always had much more in common with each other than either has in common with anarchism. And it’s certainly not intended as a new commodity in the already crowded marketplace of pseudo-radical ideas. It is simply intended as a restatement of the most fundamental and important anarchist positions within the context of a disintegrating international political left.

If we want to avoid being taken down with the wreckage of leftism as it crumbles, we need to fully, consciously and explicitly dissociate ourselves from its manifold failures — and especially from the invalid presuppositions of leftism which led to these failures. This doesn’t mean that it’s impossible for anarchists to also consider themselves leftists — there has been a long, most often honorable, history of anarchist and left syntheses. But it does mean that in our contemporary situation it is not possible for anyone — even left-anarchists — to avoid confronting the fact that the failures of leftism in practice require a complete critique of leftism and an explicit break with every aspect of leftism implicated in its failures.

Left anarchists can no longer avoid subjecting their own leftism to intensive critique. From this point on it is simply not sufficient (not that it really ever has been) to project all the failures of leftism onto the most explicitly obnoxious varieties and episodes of leftist practice, like Leninism, Trotskyism and Stalinism. The critiques of leftist statism and leftist party organization have always been only the tip of a critique that must now explicitly encompass the entire iceberg of leftism, including those aspects often long incorporated into the traditions of anarchist practice. Any refusal to broaden and deepen the criticism of leftism constitutes a refusal to engage in the self-examination necessary for genuine self-understanding. And stubborn avoidance of self-understanding can never be justified for anyone seeking radical social change.

We now have the unprecedented historical opportunity, along with a plenitude of critical means, to recreate an international anarchist movement that can stand on its own and bow to no other movements. All that remains is for all of us to take this opportunity to critically reformulate our anarchist theories and reinvent our anarchist practices in light of our most fundamental desires and goals.

Reject the reification of revolt. Leftism is dead! Long live anarchy!

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Source: The Anarchist Library

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