Fascism today: fear and loathing in America

by Jeff Shantz
Millions have lost jobs and others the prospect of finding jobs that pay a sustainable living wage or offer some financial security. Millions have seen savings vanish or pensions, deferred wages, decline or evaporate. Continue reading Fascism today: fear and loathing in America

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Taking notes 25: On cyber syndicalism — from Hacktivism to Workers’ Control

by Jeff Shantz Alternative globalization movements in the global North, from their high point in the Quebec City mobilizations against the Free Trade Area of the Americas in 2001 to the present, have been faced with the challenge of rebuilding and finding new ground on which to re-mobilize since the political reaction set in following the 9/11 attacks which derailed momentum and caused many mainstream elements (especially labor unions) to disengage and demobilize (where not playing to the forces of “law and order” reaction). One effect of the post-9/11 freeze (it has been more than a chill) has been the … Continue reading Taking notes 25: On cyber syndicalism — from Hacktivism to Workers’ Control

Taking notes 18: On the need for Infrastructures of Resistance

by Jeff Shantz The habitat in which twentieth century radicalism could thrive no longer exists in the form that previously sustained radical movements and ideas (Sears, 2008: 8). Anarchism and socialism, the forms of political radicalism that animated much resistance of the working classes, poor and oppressed, were vital as components of broader infrastructures of resistance. These infrastructures developed within contexts of particular organizations of life and work. The last few decades have ushered in significant changes in the organization of social relations and conditions of production, which have transformed the possibilities for specific political projects (Sears, 2008: 8). Emerging … Continue reading Taking notes 18: On the need for Infrastructures of Resistance

Radical criminology: A manifesto

by Jeff Shantz In this period of state-sponsored austerity and suppression of resistance there is a great need for criminologists to speak out and act against state violence, state-corporate crime, and the growth of surveillance regimes and the prison-industrial complex. Criminologists also have a role to play in advancing alternatives to current regimes of regulation and punishment. In light of current social struggles against neo-liberal capitalism, and as an effort to contribute positively to those struggles, the Critical Criminology Working Group at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Vancouver (Canada) has initiated the journal Radical Criminology. We hope you will enjoy our … Continue reading Radical criminology: A manifesto

Anarchism in the academy

by Jeff Shantz Anarchist academic David Graeber devotes the first section of his book Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology to his attempt to answer the question, “Why are there so few anarchists in the academy?”  For Graeber this is a pressing question given the veritable explosion of anarchist theory and lively debates over anarchism outside of the academy, especially within the numerous social movements which have emerged recently.  Despite the blossoming of anarchist thought and practice, David Graeber is perplexed that this flowering of anarchism has found little reflection in the academy.  Graeber seems to long for the type of … Continue reading Anarchism in the academy

Black blocs and contemporary “propaganda of the deed”

by Jeff Shantz  That anarchists should run afoul of the authorities is hardly surprising.  Indeed, anarchism has a long history of direct conflict with State institutions and their defenders.  Some of the most striking images from this history are the caricatures of black trenchcoat wearing “bomb throwers” who owe their fame to activities at the turn of the Twentieth Century.  Novels such as Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent and Frank Harris’ The Bomb have kept the character of the fanatic alive.  In the popular imagination the spectre of anarchy still conjures notions of terror, chaos, destruction and the collapse of civilization … Continue reading Black blocs and contemporary “propaganda of the deed”

Anarchy and autonomy: Contemporary social movements, theory, and practice

By Jeff Shantz In an earlier article (Shantz 1998), written almost three years before the dramatic anarchist interventions during the Seattle WTO meetings of 1999, I suggested that theories of social movements were ill-suited either for understanding or even appreciating the innovative practices and ideas then being undertaken by anarchists in North America.  That article, and a series of follow-up articles, predicted the return of anarchist movements to a place of great importance within anti-capitalist struggles and offered the view that sociological movement analysis would largely be taken by surprise by the development (Shantz, 1999a; 1999b). Unfortunately, in the years … Continue reading Anarchy and autonomy: Contemporary social movements, theory, and practice

Beyond May Day: From ritual to resistance

by Jeff Shantz Perhaps few recurring events show the great disparity that exists between activist subcultures and broader working class and poor communities in North America than the May Day celebrations that happen each year (with a few exceptions). Despite its proud origins in working class movements of resistance, and its resonance in the mass struggles of the 1930s, May Day in Canada and the US has become little more than a historical commemoration among certain subcultures, an opportunity to (once again) unfurl black flags and distribute pamphlets (largely to one another). For the most part May Day events are … Continue reading Beyond May Day: From ritual to resistance

An anarchy of everyday life

by Jeff Shantz Contemporary anarchism offers a mid-range movement organized somewhere between the levels of everyday life, to which it is closest, and insurrection. Rooted in the former they seek to move towards the latter.  Anarchists look to the aspects of people’s daily lives that both suggest life without rule by external authorities and which might provide a foundation for anarchist social relations more broadly.  This commitment forms a strong and persistent current within diverse anarchist theories.  This perspective expresses what might be called a constructive anarchy or an anarchy of everyday life, at once conserving and revolutionary. Colin Ward … Continue reading An anarchy of everyday life