Reddit “Anarchy” Subs, Bernie Worship, and Electoralism

Submitted by Stuckinthecity in reddit

Reddit is—a curious place, to say the least. The supposed radical spaces are even more so. I just want to know why they are defending electoralism, and by extension Bernie, so much. I legitimately don’t understand it and I’m an American myself. Hell, when I was liberal, I never saw voting as all that impactful. (Probably because of how the city I’m in has been consistently Democratic, but nonetheless shitty and never seems to improve.)

Another fun fact about me no one asked for: I also used to be a Bernie supporter about 2 or 3ish years ago, thanks to Reddit’s nonsense! So, what changed? I learned that the American Colonial Empire will always ensure suffering towards marginalized groups because it makes capitalism possible. No amount of “harm reduction” rhetoric will change that. Even if a politican brought about all this amazing stuff, what’s stopping it from being repealed and taken away by another politican? Why have government regulations at all when you can buy them out? Then it’s just wasted time and effort. (It sort of cancels out the “you can do both” stuff too. Why undermine all that direct action just so you can vote?)

And another thing, what are these “rad” Reddit spaces going to do if Bernie doesn’t enact M4A, free housing and all that jazz? I don’t think he can or will, personally. He might be bribed or forced out. Maybe murdered depending on how far he’ll go. Are we just gonna have a repeat of the post-Obama resentment with anti-Semitic overtones [instead of anti-black?] Are we gonna sweep years of politican worship under the rug? Sure, there might be a pretty big backlash, but I doubt white America at large will give up their privileges to fight the machine.

Idk this post is barely coherent. I might try to fix it later.



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lastfutures wrote (edited )

It's hard to say what the issue is. A lack of anarchist media projects from older anarchists who know what the fuck they're talking about? The sad state of North American anarchism? The Internet!?

It's been as shitty as it is now for as long as I can remember, there's never been more than a handful of interesting well-informed users. The rest barely know if they are anarchists, Marxists, or socdems. I think the lack of connection to older anarchists is the main issue, they have no context. Like, if you just hand the average 2020 human The Conquest of Bread and leave them, what can we really expect the result to be other an incredibly shallow politics?


Stuckinthecity OP wrote

I admit my scope of anarchism and it’s spaces are fairly limited since I just got into it, so I didn’t know this was such an issue beyond Reddit.

This just might be the tinfoil talking, but I wonder how much of the lack of a history can be attributed to an intentional erasure by government forces. Yes, duh, but how far does that rabbit hole go down is my question. It seems like places outside of America at least a bit more of a solid foundation of anarchism, but that’s still just my conjecture. Comparing them to anarchists in France for instance.

I ultimately mean to say that psyops, whitewashing and flat out denial are the American government’s bread and butter. Sure, all states do it, but from the inside looking out, America is a special kind of evil, like Jonestown, but on the scale of an entire country. I was flat out shocked to hear how unmilitarized the police were in other places. There’s just so much about America that is uniquely, unabashedly fucking villainous that I don’t know what to say other than I think we might still be underestimating it.


lastfutures wrote (edited )

Another aspect to think about is how other parts of the world have a history of legit social movements. When the government does unpopular shit in Europe, tons of regular ass people are in the streets on strike. Not only the history of unions, socialist political parties, & student movements, but also intellectual history, philosophy, etc. I think Americans are kinda uniquely atomized, spectacularized(?), and apolitical. It's not just government repression, but the overall American culture. Anarchism's ties to subculture have now been waning for decades, the flow of punk college kids to anarchism isn't really existent now like it was before.


Waken wrote

America is the centre of capitalism, so it's not surprising that Americans would be less likely to be radical. The entire culture revolves around the accumulation of wealth and trying to get ahead of your peers so you can invite them to dinner and rub it in their faces.


ziq wrote (edited )

This is one of the few Chomsky quotes I appreciate:

"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum—even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate."

This is why the vast majority of USAmerican anarchists would just be seen as basic socdems in most other parts of the world. The Overton Window in the US must be eternally stuck at "grind up the bones of the poor and make cake". So when someone says "hey maybe we shouldn't grind up people's bones top make cake?" That person is a fucking radical.


ziq wrote

I just want to know why they are defending electoralism, and by extension Bernie, so much.

Because it's such a fundamentally capitalist country that the prospect of a milquetoast social democrat gaining power makes them positively giddy. Most Americans have never actually lived with basic state-afforded services like free healthcare or higher education, so when a nice charismatic man comes alone and promises them those services if they'll just believe in him and his quest to reform capitalism, they'll trip over themselves to lift him up, even if he has no chance of actually delivering on any of his promises under the centuries-old oligarchic system in place. The system that was created from its inception to serve wealthy elites and only the wealthy elites, at the expense of everyone else.

People in perpetual survival mode will believe any beautiful lie and attack anyone that dares to burst their bubble.

They might call themselves anarchists because they found Kropotkin's optimism and grand promises for equality inspiring (notice a pattern?), but they don't really understand why states the world over are completely ineffective at serving the populations they rule over. They don't accept that anarchy is the rejection of all authority, or understand why authority should be rejected. They're just in it for the free bread.

So when someone like Sanders comes along promising them 'democratic socialism', a completely radical idea in such a conservative society, they will embrace this social democrat and believe him to be a savior figure. They'll believe him when he says that state power can be used to make their lives better, to soften the blow of capitalism.

The more they cling to the beautiful lie, the more their tenuous attachment to anarcho-Kropotkinism falls away until eventually you're left with just another middle class democrat voting blue no matter who to try and cling to the privileges the state has afforded them on the heads of the underclasses.


lori wrote

People in perpetual survival mode will believe any beautiful lie and attack anyone that dares to burst their bubble.

I think this is key. I'd like to call myself an anarchist and act like one, but right now I'm choosing between rent or healthcare and just desperately clinging to whatever says it can alleviate that. I'll probably keep doing so despite morally and ethically wishing not to, and despite knowing it's not possible anyways.


Waken wrote

And another thing, what are these “rad” Reddit spaces going to do if Bernie doesn’t enact M4A, free housing and all that jazz?

They'll just blame the republicans or the 'corporate democrats' like they do whenever Bernie fails.


CircleA wrote

What you said about another politician then taking all the progress away is something that deserves more attention. We went from Reagan/Bush 1 to Clinton to Bush 2 to Obama to Trump. They all got about a decade each with the liberals pushing some minor inconsequential reforms for workers and then the conservatives wiping those reforms all away and resetting the slate. All the while both sides give major favors to the ruling class during their terms that proliferate and cement power so that the next set of minor social reforms are even more inconsequential.


Backwardsmiley wrote

Exactly, the "Green New Deal" will be implemented through the use of slave labor in the Global South.