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How I became an anarchist - by Jay

As a twelve year old wannabe punk who had just discovered The Sex Pistols I asked my father, ‘Dad, what is anarchy?’ after hearing Anarchy in the UK. ‘It means no government’ he replied, ‘but that’s impossible. You can’t have a world without any government, there has to be something’. ‘Oh’, I said, and fell silent, pondering his answer, feeling unconvinced that this could be the case, that what Jonny Rotten was singing about was impossible, there had to be more to it than that.

Simon Hunt, AKA Pauline Pantsdown, on politics and cultural intervention

This guest contribution to the Jura blog comes from Simon Hunt, AKA Pauline Pantsdown, who gave the following short speech at the Sydney launch of How to Make Trouble and Influence People, at Jura Books on 26 September 2013. In it, Simon talks about his politicisation, his cultural intervention as Pauline Pantsdown in 1997-1998, and how to use humour to confront the dark policies of racism and cultural bigotry in Australia. We encourage you to follow Pauline Pantsdown's great organising and amazing exploits at facebook.com/paulinepantsdown666

The revolutionary art of conversation

We anarchists are often terrible at real conversations. The more introverted of us prefer reading quietly, while the more extroverted of us spend our time ranting at friends who already agree with us (online or in person). When we meet someone who is actually interested in anarchism, some of us will direct them to a book, others will bore them with a lecture, and others will ignore them - sure that they must be a cop. We hope people will spontaneously develop anarchist ideas, rise up and create a better society. But how is that strategy working out for us?

Organising in Australia

Making social change in Australia isn't easy.

The Australian system of capitalism and government offers a range of comforts and opportunities to the exploited in order to keep us docile. At the same time, vast resources are channeled into an all-pervasive and self-sustaining system of thought control, disseminated through schools, universities, workplaces and mass media. The persistent message is that life in Australia is as good as it gets – or will be as long as we keep shopping. The whole edifice is underwritten by a ferocious exploitation of the planet and its people, and by the brute force of the State when necessary, with its administrative, surveillance, policing, and military apparatuses.

Complicity, Traitors, Compromises & Other Media Interactions

It is unequivocally clear that corporate media perpetuates the hegemony of the capitalist state. Ideally, we respond by constructing forms of anarchist communication powerful enough to render the capitalist media irrelevant. However, amongst anarchist communities, occasions arise where individuals and collectives make decisions to engage with corporate media.

Intersectionality: Implications for Anarcha-Feminism

Credited to Kimberle Crenshaw in the late 1980s, intersectionality is the current buzzword of the mainstream feminist movement. It quite rightly recognises that all oppressions – from sexism and racism to classism and ableism – are merely categorisations of human identities, ranked against each other through social constructs that serve only to create layers of oppressions within society. Anarchists have long recognised the need to fight oppressions on all fronts, yet we have been ineffective in linking our discourses with mainstream feminist dialogue.

Revolution in space and time

Social movements and social spaces are absolutely necessary to each other. Without alternative spaces our movements will never succeed in changing the world. But without movements our spaces will remain isolated, elitist, boring and/or self-indulgent. In this article I want to focus on the relationship between social movements and social spaces. In particular, I’m thinking of squatted social centres, anarchist infoshops and other political organising centres – but hopefully these ideas are relevant to other spaces too. I’ll offer some arguments about what makes these spaces succeed or fail, and how we can improve them.

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