Join us for the second installment of The Tower’s ‘Topics in Anarchy Series’. For our second event we’ll discussing ‘solidarity’.
About the Series: To the outside observer, it can sometimes appear as though anarchists speak a distinct language. We haphazardly throw around terms that rarely come up in mainstream media or in everyday conversation. When was the last time you heard a news anchor talk about revolution or overheard people on the bus discussing social war? The language that anarchists frequently use is at best confusing to those outside of our circles and at worst, flat out alienating. This tension is largely acknowledged and we spend a lot of time figuring out strategies to share and make accessible anarchist ideas. However, an absolutely crucial consideration is often left out of this equation. We look outwards, but not inwards as we attempt to explain our ideas to others, without first coming to any consensus about what we actually mean by the terms we use. We talk to each other and assume we are all working with similar definitions of words, but this is rarely the case.
We use terms that encapsulate complex political ideas for which there are countless, and often-conflictual understandings. An assumed shared-language masks substantial political differences that have very real ramifications. Different understandings of terminology can lead to drastically different strategic orientations, and have material consequences to the extent that these understanding shape what projects, campaigns and/or organizations we engage in, and how we about go about that engagement.
This discussion series will explore anarchist language as a site of ongoing contestation. It will map-out and interrogate the underlining assumptions and tensions that exist in popular anarchist vocabulary. Each event will focus on a specific term and a minimum of three speakers will present differing understanding of that term – how they define it, how it relates to anarchist struggle, and finally, how it connects to or shapes their personal politics. Presentations will be followed by an open discussion. The goal of this series is not to ignite conflict, but to encourage comradely debate in order to better understand each other and to clarify where we stand.
These events will take place the second Tuesday of every month and begin at 7pm.