Friday, 31 October 2008

Propaganda or projects?

As I've mentioned here before, the small but vocal National Anarchist milieu is a good example of an anti-globalist current who's syncretic nature can appeal to potentially large numbers of people. But feet must be kept firmly on the ground. National Anarchists will achieve more if they present their politics as a philosophy and guiding set of principles for people to aim at, rather than taking on the ominous task of attempting to create a 'movement' in the traditional sense with drums, banners and loudhailers. National Anarchists have had some success in places attracting cadre from the various youth cultures, which although not wrong in itself does present the danger of National Anarchism creating its own sub-cultural ghetto - something that has befallen the leftist anarchists.

To widen their appeal National Anarchists could look toward creating Neo-tribalist projects where like-minded people can create informal networks promoting kinship and cultural bonds, as well as bartering systems, mutual aid and welfare systems and Friendly Societies each with a National Anarchist ethos.

While good ol' rabble rousing and agitation have their place, National Anarchism can gain ground by adopting a DIY attitude, with activists encouraging autonomy, self-sufficiency and local identity, either through their own example or by joining existing projects - Look how Freecycle schemes are a great success now.

Some National Anarchists including Dr David Michael advocate creating isolated intentional communities in remote areas, but although such ambitions are laudable and should be practically looked into, they only attract the pioneers and true believers of National Anarchism. This 'Head for the Hills' approach is very difficult to implement and can put off the more luke-warm of supporters. So creating 'halfway houses' like neo-tribalist initiatives can keep many of the less committed on board whilst providing a worthwhile alternative to consumerism and reliance on state and capitalism. The Afrikaner community of Orania in the Northern Cape is good example of an self-aware ethno-cultural community living semi-autonomously - inspiration enough for National Anarchists.

The National Liberal Party have a snazzy new website and seem to have demoted their Third Way label to a think tank. Rather ambitiously, they hope to stand 10 candidates at the next General Election against europhiles like Chris Huhne and Nick Clegg. Electoral politics can be a depressing old game and the field is increasingly crowded these days, but this blog wishes the NLP all the best in its new found vigour.

Next Thursday's Glenrothes by-election will see the now familiar sight of the once strong(ish)Scottish left going head to head - the SSP and Tommy Sheridan's Solidarity will both be trying to out-radicalise each other, but why no Green candidate? The party is the biggest of the minnows north of the border - at least in terms of representation. Surely finding a spare 500 quid can't be that difficult with The Greens raking it in from their two MSPs?

Don't hold your breath or anything, but the Convention of the Left is holding a recall conference on Nov. 29th, following on from September's inaugural gathering, which (by the standards of recent Left unity projects) went quite well. Can the Left prove this old fascist wrong and reorganise itself into something worthwhile? Well...