Posted to Anarchist News.
All this news about anarchists planning to crash the Tea Parties and brawl with rightwingers has completely blown up on anarchists news and rightwing news.
But the whole controversy appears to have been started by “liberals” posing as anarchists on a popular anarchist website — infoshop.org. As an anarchist myself I never thought to “brawl” with the Tea Party groups. In reality, anarchists were writing pamphlets to pass out on Tax Day, hoping to expand our anti-authoritarian, anti-capitalist analysis. We can see that the tea partiers want some of the very same things we want. So why should we, the anarchists, make enemies with people who are opposing government control, opposing the banks, opposing the capitalist system and the state that manages it?
On the other hand, there are some anarchists who legitimately want to do battle with the Tea Partiers. These anarchists say that the Tea Partiers are predominantly racist, and that they pose a threat to anti-fascist struggles in the US. I am not trying to downplay this. There are racists at the Tea Parties. And there will probably be members of openly fascist and Neo-Nazi organizations like the Aryan Nations or the Kinsmen Redeemer Ministries (both active in my area) trying to recruit Christians or conservatives to their “race-war” mentalities. But the Tea Parties themselves are openly protesting against the size of government. They’re not demonstrating for white nationalism. Those of us anarchists who see this as a possibility to share our thoughts on capitalism and statism with Tea Partiers should not be put in the “rightwing anarcho-capitalist” category. If this is the way you view the world, maybe you should get out more and talk to people other than anarchists and vegans.
Even though we do not think the same things as the Tea Partiers, at least the Tea Parties are pissed off at the government. And usually anarchists show up to events where other people are pissed off at. We show up to anti-war protests even though in reality we are not “anti-war” — we want to destroy the militaries and surveillance systems of government. We show up to immigration reform protests, even though we don’t want reforms — we want to bring down the state’s borders altogether. We show up to “pro-justice” rallies even if we don’t want legal justice — we want to abolish the prison system. So, why can’t we show up to a rally against taxation — not to fight the people protesting — but to encourage them to develop their critique of government and Keynesian capitalism, and to think in new, radically subjective ways.
But it seems a lot of confusion was over the original call to action — which was most likely a fake. In part, here is what the original call to action said:
“If the tea party movement takes over this country they will really hurt poor people by getting rid of social programs like food stamps, unemployment benefits, disability benefits, student aid, free health care, etc.”
I honestly don’t believe an “anarchist” would write something like that. It sounds like a liberal Democrat wrote this, and that really makes anarchism seem confusing. Commenters on conservative websites are now saying things like:
Why would anarchists want to hinder people who want less government? Anarchists by definition don’t want any government. Maybe they’re really not anarchists?
This is true.
And who started this rumor about anarchists “brawling” with Tea Partiers anyway? The original call to action said nothing about brawling or fighting. According to writer Jonny Diamond from L Magazine — a New York City-based magazine for fashionable city life — anarchists doing battle with the Tea Partiers on Tax Day would be a cool thing to watch.
WHO WILL STOP THESE CRAZY MOBS?
Anarchists! Hooray! Various anarchist groups are calling for anti-racist counter-protests wherever tea partiers gather…
He describes European style anti-fascist brawls, and links to a hockey game brawl.
In reality, anarchism has more in common with the tea-partiers than it does with fashion designers in Manhattan who read and write L Magazine, and think they can encourage anarchists to fight the proletarians who live outside their metropolis. If we really have a solid analysis of social war and the crisis of capitalism, we will see through the shroud of bullshit here. It is the liberal bourgeoisie who simply do not see the larger, social picture here. We should be asking ourselves how come they think they can share our anarchist analysis? Why brawl with tea partiers as if we were opposite sides of some ridiculous political “spectrum”.
And Alex Jones seems to think that every time anarchists show up anywhere it is a state conspiracy to shutdown civil liberties. He says the Tea Parties will be crashed by “fake anarchists” who are actually undercover FBI agents. This is based on evidence that is true, but to conclude that there are no legitimate anarchists in the US is false. In every mid-size city and larger there is an anarchist presence.
The best, and most sober analysis I’ve come across is actually in this video of Noam Chomsky. Chomsky was asked by a university liberal whether the Tea Partiers were insane or not, and this was his response:
Many so-called “liberals” quote Noam Chomsky, but few seem to fully understand the anarchist analysis he uses, or they would have already understood the point he makes in the video.
Here, the liberal blog Huffington Post archived what they considered the “most offensive” Tea Party signs and slogans from Tax Day 2009. Curiously, a lot of the signs are either anti-capitalist or anti-government — which only makes the point more clear: that the liberals only find it offensive because it’s anti-capitalist and anti-government. We should ask ourselves why the liberals identify closer with the capitalist system than the Tea Partiers.
Look at the sentiments reflected in the signs, and ask whether these are the people we think anarchists actually want to be “brawling” with on Tax Day.
Aside from the highly patriotic, Christian rhetoric involved in the Tea Party movement – the tea partiers can see the capitalist system at work in their very own lives. They are tired of the state taxing them for future generations to come. A lot of these people may be retired and have to pay taxes on fixed incomes, and deal with inflationary pressures of the system as well. The “liberals” do not see this fact because anti-capitalism is not their concern as long as their preferred party is in power: the Democratic Party. As long as they favorite version of the authoritarian system of social control is concentrated in the state, they feel perfectly content with the system.
These are not the people anarchists should want to brawl. We should want to brawl with the bankers and politicians. Hopefully this write-up has shed some light on what anarchists such as myself think about the Tea Party movement.