I was taking a walk through the blogosphere and I found myself on a blog by a group called “Free Society Collective”, based in Vermont. In their own words, they “seek the abolition of capitalism, the state, and all other social relations built on coercion, hierarchy, and oppression.” (emphasis mine)
Now what troubles me, and what has troubled me all along is how some anarchists take a contradictory position on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. To illustrate my point, I will refer to a seminar on anarchism organized by this group. One of the speakers they introduce in the advertisement for that event is described as having been “active in a variety of politics movements, in particular the resistance to Israel’s occupation of Palestine.” Now resistance to occupation is just fine, but occupation of Palestine? Sure, historically there was a Palestine, there are people today who identify as Palestinians, but there is more to the usage of this terminology in an anarchist context than one would notice at first glance. Since when did anarchists believe in the formation of new states?? Rather than working on bringing people together to fight the state, you work to have people fight each other for control over one state or for the establishment of another? Whatever happened to our great father Mikhail Bakunin’s words in “Statism and Anarchy”: “We, the revolutionary anarchists, are the advocates of education for all the people, of the emancipation and the widest possible expansion of social life. Therefore we are the enemies of the State and all forms of the statist principle.”
It was about time that we cleared that up. Anarchism is not about supporting people’s struggle for statehood. It is about a people’s revolution against and emancipation from the tyranny of the state. And that, I am afraid, means that supporting Palestinian ambitions for statehood (as opposed to the Palestinian struggle against brutal oppression) disqualifies you as an anarchist.