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Jez's blog

Interview: anarchism and the meaning of freedom

Jeremy was interviewed by Daisy, a high-school student from Blacktown, in July 2014.

"Hi Daisy, I've done my best to answer your questions properly, but briefly. It was very difficult! You've asked lots of interesting and challenging questions which we anarchists think deserve thorough consideration. In fact, that's exactly why we at Jura run a bookshop and library filled with thousands of books dealing with these questions and issues! I hope you will come in and check them out – you'll find much more thorough answers than the ones I've given below.

The revolutionary art of conversation

We anarchists are often terrible at real conversations. The more introverted of us prefer reading quietly, while the more extroverted of us spend our time ranting at friends who already agree with us (online or in person). When we meet someone who is actually interested in anarchism, some of us will direct them to a book, others will bore them with a lecture, and others will ignore them - sure that they must be a cop. We hope people will spontaneously develop anarchist ideas, rise up and create a better society. But how is that strategy working out for us?

Organising in Australia

Making social change in Australia isn't easy.

The Australian system of capitalism and government offers a range of comforts and opportunities to the exploited in order to keep us docile. At the same time, vast resources are channeled into an all-pervasive and self-sustaining system of thought control, disseminated through schools, universities, workplaces and mass media. The persistent message is that life in Australia is as good as it gets – or will be as long as we keep shopping. The whole edifice is underwritten by a ferocious exploitation of the planet and its people, and by the brute force of the State when necessary, with its administrative, surveillance, policing, and military apparatuses.

Revolution in space and time

Social movements and social spaces are absolutely necessary to each other. Without alternative spaces our movements will never succeed in changing the world. But without movements our spaces will remain isolated, elitist, boring and/or self-indulgent. In this article I want to focus on the relationship between social movements and social spaces. In particular, I’m thinking of squatted social centres, anarchist infoshops and other political organising centres – but hopefully these ideas are relevant to other spaces too. I’ll offer some arguments about what makes these spaces succeed or fail, and how we can improve them.