Combating the Reactionary Forces of Liberalism

By One Hamilton Member, Two Toronto Members, Two Former Members

To be honest, this is not the article that we set out to write months ago. Our original intention was to take the three most potent reactionary tendencies that we see percolating under the surface of Canadian working-class culture: an emboldened, backward-looking misogyny, a domestically jingoistic nationalism intransigently opposed to anti-colonial struggle, and a supposedly enlightened secularism that only thinly conceals a deep seated racism – dissect them, and prescribe treatment. Relying on recent and more historical struggles against reaction and backwardness within our class, we intended to help light the way forward by contributing to a deeper understanding of what it is that we are up against, and how it is that we will defeat it. This did not come to pass.

Instead, what we have for you is less a treatment regimen for what ails the working class (and, by extension, the Left), and more of a diagnostic report of three salient examples of reactionary tendencies attacking its composition and consciousness: Men’s Rights Activists (MRAs), anti-Native sentiment, and Islamophobia. We intend to take up how to mount a counter-offensive in a later article. It is imperative that multiple counter-offensives target these three reactionary tendencies and “movements” and defeat them.

In taking on the work of better understanding the political underpinnings of our adversaries, it gradually became clear that we are not faced with the forces of reaction our political forebears struggled against. Further, in our colonial, North American state of affairs, we cannot uncritically adopt strategies and analysis from our anti-fascist contemporaries in Europe without recognizing major differences in historical and political context. Our enemies today are not the neo-fascist boogey men we make them out to be; they are liberals – through and through. Make no mistake, we are not claiming that this political alignment makes them less of a threat to the interests of the working class. In fact, they may present more of a threat, in that we (the Left) continue to misread them as we fail to mount an effective response. These reactionary currents destabilize the working class by attacking its more marginalized segments, opposing working-class interests and struggles, and shifting liberatory politics even further into the realm of the liberal. read more

Canadian Bacon: Opposing Police and State Power

By One Toronto Member, One Hamilton Member, One Former Member

The past year has witnessed the emergence of a popular movement whose scale and intensity has surprised radicals and social conservatives alike, and which has provoked shock waves of reaction in the ranks of police agencies across North America. In the wake of the protests that erupted in Ferguson, Missouri, and subsequently spread to dozens of major American cities, there has been a corresponding increase in public awareness of police violence and its relationship to racial dynamics in Canada. Anti-police sentiment is on the rise.

When flagship liberal publications like Rolling Stone are publishing articles envisioning a world without cops, and tens of thousands of first-time demonstrators are taking to the streets across the continent to protest police violence and demand racial equality, something is definitely in the air. These are exciting times for anarchists, and all those who have long viewed the police as the violent goon squad of a white supremacist, capitalist state. But public perceptions are a fickle thing, and mobilizations themselves will not address systemic racism or police violence any more than much larger demonstrations were able to stop the Iraq War. While it is important for anarchists and other anti-authoritarian revolutionaries to actively participate in this developing movement for police accountability, we also need to consistently and emphatically push for a long-term organizing strategy with abolition as its goal. read more