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❱❱ Anarchy: What It Is and Why Pop Culture Loves It

Contrary to popular representations Anarchy is a philosophy of radical care, not chaos. Kim Kelly wrote a primer for Teen Vouge…

Anarchism is a radical, revolutionary leftist political philosophy that advocates for the abolition of government, hierarchy, and all other unequal systems of power. It seeks to replace what its proponents view as inherently oppressive institutions — like a capitalist society or the prison industrial complex — with nonhierarchical, horizontal structures powered by voluntary associations between people. Anarchists organize around a key set of principles, including horizontalism, mutual aid, autonomy, solidarity, direct action, and direct democracy, a form of democracy in which the people make decisions themselves via consensus (as opposed to representative democracy, of which the United States government is an example).

❱❱ Possessed in common

Post-Pandemic Transformation: Building a Mutualist Future

The narratives and the images of ourselves we’ve created over many decades are being shattered virtually overnight. It’s as if we had been looking at ourselves and the world around us through a crooked mirror, and now that the mirror has been shattered, a different reality is confronting us. This is a sobering and painful experience — adjusting to a new image and identity for our country. However, as painful as it is, the process is much needed and long overdue. Eventually all the fragilities and distortions hidden by crooked mirrors had to break through — extreme wealth inequality, racial injustice, brittle supply chains, an underfunded public health system, outdated public technology infrastructure, and so much more. Our social immune system — our collective ability to withstand shocks — has been severely compromised as a result of decades of abuse and neglect. It took a tiny virus to shatter the mirage of might and prosperity.

WTF is Mutual Aid?

Anarchists work toward two general goals. First they want to dismantle oppressive, hierarchical institutions. Second, they want to replace those institutions with organic, horizontal, and cooperative versions based on autonomy, solidarity, voluntary association, mutual aid and direct action. Through mutual aid, anarchism takes shape as a practice in care, exchanging resources and solidarity, information, support, even comfort, care, and understanding. People give what they can and get what they need. When a group comes together to push for a change; when social outsiders come together to share or explore ideas and new ways of living, these are all forms of mutual aid.

Mutual Aid: Building Solidarity During This Crisis (and the Next)

This book is about mutual aid: why it is so important, what it looks like, and how to do it. It provides a grassroots theory of mutual aid, describes how mutual aid is a crucial part of powerful movements for social justice, and offers concrete tools for organizing, such as how to work in groups, how to foster a collective decision-making process, how to prevent and address conflict, and how to deal with burnout.

❱❱ This was not a coup.

These people are not revolutionaries. They are not patriots. This was a group of individuals organized on the Internet who rampaged through the Capitol to take photographs of themselves in costume. They have no real politics, no real political principles; they are self-interested individuals who mirror the narcissism of Trump and the vanity of social media culture which rewards stupidity with likes. This is evidenced by what they did once they got inside the building. They were not there to “take over.” They broke into Nancy Pelosi’s office and posed for photographs with her paper mail. They were there to take selfies, to triumph in being able to say, “Look what I did!”

[…]

The breakdown of class society, the loss of class mobility, the loss of faith in government, the distrust of experts, the ideology of racism preceded Trump’s presidency. In The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt talks about the alliance between the mob and the elite. Yesterday we saw Donald Trump speak at a rally and incite an insurrection, activating a mob he created. But, as Arendt pointed out, the mob doesn’t magically manifest overnight. The seeds of discontent were sewn long before Trump ever ran for President.

Trump's mob by Samantha Rose Hill


❱❱ Why the Best Art Isn’t Very Commercial

Of course, the work of filmmakers, artists, and novelists creating in this way is emphatically countercultural — if for no other reason than that it questions traditional narratives and heroic, individualistic values. Any art that asks its viewers to slow down or, worse, pause and reflect is hurting a market that depends on automatic and accelerating behaviors.

We live in a world where uncertainty is equated with anxiety instead of with life

❱❱ New Seattle pantries fight food insecurity one fridge at a time

Powered by community, the refrigerators offer fresh food for those in need — no questions asked.

“It’s one piece of a whole system that’s needed,” volunteer Charlton says. But, she says, if a small collective can help, everyone can. The group is not a nonprofit or foundation, she points out. “We’re just regular folks that were like, this is something that we have the capacity to do, and there’s a need for it,” Charlton says. “So let’s just do it.”

❱❱ Is a reliance on private property the best way to structure society?

How to Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change

On the other hand, the small minority of folks who’ve resorted to violence in various forms, whether out of genuine anger or mere opportunism, are putting innocent people at risk, compounding the destruction of neighborhoods that are often already short on services and investment and detracting from the larger cause. I saw an elderly black woman being interviewed today in tears because the only grocery store in her neighborhood had been trashed. If history is any guide, that store may take years to come back. So let’s not excuse violence, or rationalize it, or participate in it. If we want our criminal justice system, and American society at large, to operate on a higher ethical code, then we have to model that code ourselves.

Barack Obama on Medium

In Defense of Looting

The mystifying ideological claim that looting is violent and non-political is one that has been carefully produced by the ruling class because it is precisely the violent maintenance of property which is both the basis and end of their power. Looting is extremely dangerous to the rich (and most white people) because it reveals, with an immediacy that has to be moralized away, that the idea of private property is just that: an idea, a tenuous and contingent structure of consent, backed up by the lethal force of the state. When rioters take territory and loot, they are revealing precisely how, in a space without cops, property relations can be destroyed and things can be had for free.

Vicky Osterweil in The Nation

❱❱ The Pioneers Of Post-Truth: Rashomon, 70 Years On

As the film moves beyond the framing device into the trial itself, the sequence of events is explained, in turn, by the notorious bandit Tajōmaru, the samurai's wife, and the deceased samurai (as channelled by a croaky court-appointed medium). It's confirmed early on by Tajōmaru himself that he killed the samurai and raped the samurai's wife, but each person's rendition hinges on wildly differing interpersonal dynamics and tone. Less an inquisition into murder or sexual assault than a bureaucratic facade, each retelling is a performance built on appeals to existing prejudices.

Blaise Radley for The Quietus…

❱❱ Art-House America Campaign

Criterion Collection and Janus films start a GoFundme campaign to assist art-house theaters that are struggling to hold on…

More than 150 independent movie theaters across the United States have temporarily closed to slow the spread of COVID-19. The Art-House America Campaign aims to provide financial relief to struggling independent cinemas across the country so they can pay staff and their essential bills and survive until it is safe to reopen their doors
Funds are intended to support essential payments during closure. Essential payments include those for payroll, insurance, rent, non deferrable loans, utilities, fundraising, and mortgages. Funds cannot be used for equipment purchases, future programming, or executive compensation. Donations will go into a general fund and then be distributed to theaters; donors cannot designate funds for a specific theater's relief.

Donate now