Archive for November, 2009

Greg Kaza: “Hitler’s Klanarchist” (1987)

“Hitler’s Klanarchist”

The rhetoric is anti-state. “They pictured me as a threat to the nation,” Robert Miles told Metropolitan Detroit magazine (June 1987), referring to the FBI. “But let me tell you the kind of threat I am: I publish a newsletter. I don’t harm or threaten anyone. Granted, I don’t like the government – I’m an anarchist, in fact. But these Ollie Norths see sedition in the five cows I have out in my pasture.”

On April 24, Miles and nine other white supremacists were indicted by a Fort Smith, Arkansas federal grand jury for sedition, a rarely-used charge not employed since World War II. Miles and the others are charged with conspiring between mid-1983 and early 1985 to overthrow the U.S. government and establish an Aryan Nation.

The prosecutions underscore what has been a resurgence of violence by the racial right in this country. During the last three years, Ku Klux Klansmen and neo-Nazis have committed more violence than they had in the preceding 20 years. The government holds Miles, the nation’s top white supremacist, responsible.

Continue reading ‘Greg Kaza: “Hitler’s Klanarchist” (1987)’

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James Horrox on anarchism and early kibbutzim

The Zionism of the early kibbutz communards had never imagined a national revival taking the form of a state-building enterprise. For them, the Balfour Declaration in 1917, promising a “national home” for the Jews, meant an opportunity to establish a completely new form of society and a chance to put their dreams and visions into practice. Collective settlement was not seen simply as the most efficient way of colonizing the land in order to create a Jewish state and install a market-capitalist economy, as some have since argued. Though the later centrality of the movement to the creation and defence of Israel is clear, the notion that the pioneers resorted to collectivism simply in order to create suitable conditions for the institution of that state is largely a myth. Even the founders of Degania were strictly opposed to the notions of government and state, and by the time the Third Aliya groups arrived, the idea of building a stateless society on the back of the new social model they had created was one that was widely embraced. The idea held in common by many of the groups arriving in Palestine during the 1920s was to transform the Yishuv into a stateless commonwealth of autonomous communities that would include few, if any, non-collective alternatives.

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from James Horrox, A Living Revolution: Anarchism in the Kibbutz Movement (Oakland, CA & Edinburgh: AK Press, 2009), pp 57–58.

Claude Lefort: the “abolition of power” as totalitarian

Whoever dreams of an abolition of power secretly cherishes the reference to the One and the reference to the Same: he imagines a society which would accords spontaneously with itself, a multiplicity of activities which would be transparent to one another and which would unfold in a homogeneous time and space, a way of producing, living together, communicating, associating, thinking, feeling, teaching which would express a single way of being. Now what is that point of view on everything and everybody, that loving grip of the good society, if not an equivalent of the phantasy of omnipotence that the actual exercise of power tends to produce? What is the imaginary realm of autonomy, if not a realm governed by a despotic thought?

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from Claude Lefort, “Politics and Human Rights” in The Political Forms of Modern Society: Bureaucracy, Democracy, Totalitarianism, edited by John B. Thompson. (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1986), p 270.