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Open letter to the Green Anarchy Collective

category international | anarchist movement | debate author Tuesday February 14, 2006 07:42author by Tony C. - n/a Report this post to the editors

Open Letter to the USA published Green Anarchy magazine which has also been submitted to Anarkismo .

We write to you because we see GA floating further and further away from genuinely caring about people and everyday struggles. We represent “dissent in your own ranks” because of the way you treat the leftist and the post-leftist anarchists with unrelenting criticism and disrespect combined with your excellent ability to theorize yourself into oblivion. We have talked to many people about GA and it seems that we are not alone in this critique. Some of us consider ourselves Eco-Anarchists while others have no labels.

Open letter to the Green Anarchy Collective


Today we are writing to you in hopes that you, the Green Anarchy Collective, will take a good look at the theoretical direction of Green Anarchy magazine and how it relates to action. We also would like you to step out of the Anarchist frame of reference to see why you are marginalizing yourselves into an abstract reality.

After receiving issues #1-21 there doesn’t seem to be a coherent vision of action that can be linked up with the theoretical aspirations written in your publication. Lots of writing but no concrete action that would actually serve as an example to build upon. Perhaps you would point to Wild Roots or the feral visions gatherings. We do not discount these efforts but these are not A to B examples; these represent Temporary Autonomous Zones at best. Examples are one of the ways that makes Anarchy accessible to people by showing them that there is indeed another way. We want to stress that most of what is written in Green Anarchy is not accessible to most people and does not serve to promote a greater understanding of one another and our struggles. The rejection of civilization or technology with in G.A.’s pages is fine except that no viable alternative is offered in the face of an obviously terrible dystopia. The only reason why Anarchy even exists is because it does have practical applications in this modern world. Without the ability for theory to be put into practice it remains an abstract knowledge relegated to cliques and intellectual study groups. Hopefully Green Anarchy aspires to be more than a lifestyle movement instead of its current state of theoretical discourse. .

Anarchy exists today because some people find it useful in the struggle for a different way of living. Let us step out of the Anarchist milieu for just a moment as it can give you a much-needed perspective. When people are first approached with the idea of Anarchy and class struggle and ecology and all the other things that go along with it, they are often repelled by a lot of the things that Green Anarchy magazine can sometimes exemplify. Green Anarchy does have some good aspects with the occasional importance critique, but the way in which they are presented and how they would play out in real life is a different story. For someone that works in a furniture shop or is homeless or is a radical, most of the ideas are presented in such a way that it is almost a joke to them because of the tone, the attitude, and general fetishization of anti-social violence that occurs with in the pages of this magazine. Also, the fact that G.A. denounces everything from paper to writing doesn’t stand-up well for a magazine that is made with paper and words. Further more, a lot of people in America find it very hard to imagine a real functioning world without the state, pesticides, cars, and police. Perhaps Green Anarchy could be more constructive in its proposition to these people. People aren’t going to huddle in the corner tonight because they are cold; they are going to turn on their nuclear powered electricity that in turn will heat their place. They also aren’t going to huddle in the corner cold or go hungry because of Green Anarchy magazine and its rejection of civilized life. For some reason this falls out of the Green Anarchist thought process. Word to the wise, don’t start shutting off the fossil fuel that powers the heating systems until you know that people are going to be warm at night by another means.

Which brings us to the main point of this letter

Green Anarchy has had a wonderful opportunity to explore a number of subjects that could only add to the knowledge of Anarchy, but they have chosen to piss that away with a dismal view of our very existence. Unfortunately, the Green Anarchy Collective has also chosen to publish articles that include extreme sectarianism and character assassinations, among many other undesirable characteristics.

Shall we explore examples of this in the latest issue of Green Anarchy #21!

One example of sectarianism can be found on page 66, entitled: News from the Balcony. It is basically a slam against NEFAC or whatever they are called now and how lame they are. Calling them “Anarcho-Organizationlists” and how they dull their minds with endless meetings among other things. It seems that Green Anarchy can pick apart their fellow Anarchists with ease, but once again, doesn’t offer a viable solution to today’s problems.

Another can be seen on page 67, entitled: 25 years of radical charity. It talks about Food not Bombs and how they are of course, some type of charity organization. It questions if they are really interested in helping people or if they just want to do something. Then, and this is a rarity here, they do actually suggest an alternative to FnB. They suggest rewilding cities and hunting urban road kill. Ultimately, they are called Food not Bombs, NOT Food not Lawns, which does that type of thing. This is very strange to us in that someone would hassle FnB over their actually existence. It seems very hard to pester them about their core values and call them a charity organization when we all know the time and energy it takes to prepare large meals. It goes without saying that many people have spent many nights in jail for their commitment to “helping” people.

Another example can be found on Page 22-23, entitled: Winds of Anticipation. The article almost glorifies people’s death and destruction. The most arrogant statements can be found on page 23, towards the end of the article. It scolds Anarchists that are raising funds for people in need and transporting supplies. This is how detached from the world G.A. is! Fools! You think that people in that situation give a flying fuck about your theoretical ramblings. Why aren’t you down there showing people how to get their own food without supermarkets? Once again, full circle, Green Anarchy is not about action, it is about discussion in a magazine, which then makes it irrelevant to any real social struggle that could fundamentally change those people affected by adverse conditions.

We are writing this to you from Madison, Wisconsin.
We write to you because we see GA floating further and further away from genuinely caring about people and everyday struggles. We represent “dissent in your own ranks” because of the way you treat the leftist and the post-leftist anarchists with unrelenting criticism and disrespect combined with your excellent ability to theorize yourself into oblivion. We have talked to many people about GA and it seems that we are not alone in this critique. Some of us consider ourselves Eco-Anarchists while others have no labels. Some are interested in the critique of technology, civilization, and industrialism; still others are classical class strugglers. Some of us belong to organizations, while others prefer loose affinity groups. Some of us are interested in struggling with all of these things in mind. However, sectarianism, unconstructive criticizing, and arguing over petty discourse will get you one big bureaucratic State. Action makes Anarchy, whether that is a collective workshop, community gardens, living off the grid with friends, or smashing corporate property. All of these are not always Anarchist but do strike a cord with many Anti-Authoritarians. .

A suggestion on what you could do: A different direction!
Instead of sectarianism and a narrow mindset, maybe you could show us how we could start community gardens, roof top gardens, getting off the grid and living well, or maybe you could give us some technical advise on any number of things that could include dare I say solar heating, compost toilets, making bamboo drinking cups. Maybe talk to us about some direct action that would include a cement cutter and some trees. Try to reach out to non-Anarchist groups to show them how radical ecology can be applied to their life and how it benefits them and the earth. These suggestions represent a small fraction of what you could have been doing instead of some of things cited earlier in this letter.

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