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I appreciate being cited, though there are numerous flaws and inaccuracies here. I wanted to add context.

There’s been a significant debate between different tendencies within anarchism that the piece glosses over, accidentally or otherwise. There’s certainly an Anarchist Cookbook, Black Bloc (not an organization BTW, but a tactic borrowed from German Marxists), et al. aspect to anarchists, just as there is a more organized group talking social justice issues explicitly, per the history. I honestly have only seen them thrown together in uninformed coverage, because the more social justice-oriented actors are more apt to treat Proudhon as canon over Powell. I’ve never met anyone in an anarchist space who mentions Powell, unless it’s ironically.

The larger challenge you assert, that anarchist movements haven’t adopted intersectionality and should, is problematic for a few reasons. First and foremost, it should be acknowledged that virtually no actual community-based movements have centered intersectionality, and certainly no large endeavors of 10,000 people or more. Not defending anarchism here in the least (my interview you cited is almost 15 years old, and I don’t maintain said beliefs), but intersectionality is quite new as a academic theory, let alone one with real-world (e.g. communities not Twitter) political application.

Anarchist movements are generally small, local and decentralized, and not enough adherents of anarchism AND intersectionality are situated in communities where there are such scenes, who are influential enough to create them, and, when they exist,who have the time and credibility to be active enough in them to win others over. Because contemporary anarchism frankly fits a deeply individualist and conservative ideal of people living free and making their own decisions, and like all political movements has a ton of turnover, centering another ideological pole (especially one without major history in said movement or a central project as its base) can take decades.

Next are intersectionality’s incredible deficiencies, and questions as to whether it relates to or materially serves communities of color at all, or simply boosts those trying to land tenure. Lots of people have written about that, so no need to rehash here.

There’s also a core belief contention as well, summed up in your final sentence: are those impacted by trauma the most qualified to speak on systemic problems. When APOC began, and probably still today, I suspect a lot of advocates would say yes, as this is also a popular position among liberals (I’m putting the left’s full spectrum in the category ‘liberal’ for simplicity, not pejorative). Those in the world and not oriented to liberal politics would likely say there’s nuance to that, and ‘no’ is a fair answer at times, because sometimes people are too close to or affected by a situation to judge well, may not be considering any number of factors, and so on. How absolute one makes this position shapes a lot of conversation.

However, these tactical disputes distract from the fact the authors’ argument is off base. American liberalism has often been at odds with self-determination movements, which have at many points been fundamentally conservative in orientation and values. Yet, even if every reform suggested herein is made, there’s little guarantee the movements will do what movements are organized to do: win. The authors say anarchism has failed to do various things, but if it had done so, it will mean what exactly? If anything, these reforms to make things inclusive merely make some people more comfortable, but don’t actually address a strategy for doing what the title hints at: achieving freedom for everyone, unless freedom means feeling personally more on the list (which, in itself, speaks to the deeply individualist comment earlier). Not the authors’ fault, of course; it’s easier to talk about problems than ultimate objectives.

Thanks again.

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