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Beyond Resistance: brainstorm of intent (2012)


click to view brainstorm

The above brainstorm has come out of a discussion about what Beyond Resistance is currently, and where the collective might be going. More specifically, it arose because we felt our previous Aims & Principles didn’t seem to represent the group as it stands now. We’re still developing what we mean by some of the terms used in the brainstorm, and see it as a living document that is open to change.

In solidarity,
Beyond Resistance

Past writings/statements:


Go BR!

Wow. Respect. There's some really good collective and self reflection here. I found myself saying "yes, Yes, YES!" to things like:

  • Class struggle and organising are important but we need to move beyond seeing them as one and the same thing.
  • We are not trying to make everyone join our collective or convince everyone that we have the "rightest" position
  • 'affinity' doesn't mean sameness, but shared yearning for change
  • try to move beyond the activist mode of spearheading a "mass movement"
  • "We are interested in exploring the potential for an affirmative politics" - YES!
  • thinking about how different forms of oppression/ exploitation warp and shape each other, instead of throwing out the class analysis with the bathwater, or trying to make everything into a class issue (I would add to that personalising class; making "middle class" something to accuse people of, as if it's something they should feel guilty about)
  • "meeting other people's need is about meeting our own needs too" - YES!
  • "You need a stake in the game to do it sustainably" - YES!
  • being able to come into our political spaces "in a more fully whole way" - without having to leave at the door needs/ interests which are now shared by others
  • political activity as something that is inherently part of our lives, not something outside of our "real" lives
  • working out how to support each other without being the same, or being involved in exactly the same struggles
  • "learning how to deal with our own privilege in this space as well as how to deal with our vulnerability" - YES!

No doubt I will offend some people by sharing my observation that for the last decade or so, the anarchist movement in Aotearoa has demonstrated many of the worst aspects of our own stereotypes of marxist-leninist culture, without many of its saving graces.

I have seen kangeroo courts, but no national gatherings. I have seen splitting and excommunication, without the implicit welcome to turn up at each others public meetings and demonstrations to argue for our side of the question. I have seen a proliferation of small groups, each convinced they are the one true 'Church of the SubGenius', without the unspoken acknowledgement that, at the end of the day, we are all part of one tiny fringe of a much larger society, and we need to stick up for each other against the enforcement machinery of that society.

I have seen an obsession with printing and selling "radical" magazines, books and other merchandise, without the symbolic and material support for people doing direct action to liberate living space, food, clothing and other necessities, who tend to be accused of "lifestylism". I have seen the accusation of being too "middle class" used as a psychic club amongst groups of people who, with only occasional exceptions, are all middle class, without the understanding that anyone who is not among the 0.1% is one of us, whether they realise it yet or not. Worst of all, I have seen the anarchist movement operated as a space where theory is used to undermine people's sense of self, and their ability to trust the evidence of their own senses and experiences, without also giving them the tools to rebuild a broader, more inclusive sense of self, which is at the same time more compassionate, and more resilient.

I see the reflections that BR has shared above as a hopeful sign that we are moving in more loving, more powerful, and more effective directions. I hope so, for my own sake, for the sake of our groups and movements, and those that rally around different theoretical frameworks, and for the sake of the living planet we are all inseperable parts of.