Saturday, April 18, 2009


The results of Molly's poll number 19, 'What Five Things Do You Think Are Most Important for Anarchists Today ?' are now in. Thirty five people voted in this poll, and the two top items chosen were 'Labour issues/organizing' and 'Community Politics'. These, of course, are the traditional big two in anarchism throughout its history, and it's not surprising (though in a way relieving) that they were chosen so overwhelmingly. It adds fuel to my contention that efforts on the part of such things as the primitivists and the post-leftists have been overwhelmingly unsuccessful in defining what anarchism is today, and that anarchism is what it always was...anarchism and not some American fad. But, as Larry Gambone of the Porkupine Blog has commented elsewhere, "it is possible that the crazies don't read Molly's Blog". Perhaps the results are more indicative of Molly's Blog readership than of anarchism in general.

It is interesting to look at the "near runners-up". While the big two got overwhelming endorsement other issues such as poverty, racism, and feminism received respectable votes. Is this reflective of anarchism in general or perhaps of the "Canadian content" of the readers of Molly's Blog ? In this country the first two issues have attracted large numbers of anarchists. Perhaps this is not true. The low number of votes for "indigenous issues" as compared to "racism" would suggest a readership from other countries rather than Canada. Here in the frozen North "racism" is largely a matter of "indigenous issues". Who knows ?

Beyond this second tier there were other items that gathered at least the same amount of support as the fingers on a hand. These included theory (7), anti-fascism (7), general solidarity work (7), prisoner support (6), publishing (5), music (5) and ecology (5). I suspect that, if this same question had been asked 10 or 15 years ago that the latter would have had a much larger following. Some of these questions are, of course, ambiguous. What sort of theory ? What sort of prisoners ? What sort of publishing ? General solidarity with whom and what ? Even what sort of ecology ? I now regret that I didn't include a 'specific anarchist organizing' category.

My own choices, for what it was worth were, in the following order: 1)labour issues, 2)community politics, 3)general solidarity work, 4)national politics and 5)feminism. I guess that this is pretty reflective of the issues that I tend to give priority to over at Molly's Blog.

That's about it for now. What do you think ? Are the results of this poll reflective of anarchism today in general or of the readership of Molly's Blog ? Or what is more likely somewhere in between. If it is reflective of the general state of the anarchist movement it seems to me to be quite hopeful, though the low number of votes for 'child rearing' and 'free schools' suggests to me that anarchism is unfortunately still very much ghettoized amongst the young and unattached, ie those without children. Hopefully this young crew will stick around.