In my experience of the universe, I am following several instances of anarchists, because I often find that their nihilistic attitude towards politics is the closest thing to mine.
The thing that fills me with sadness is to note that, although there are all the ingredients to achieve the changes they desire (millions of people at home, who have time to think, time to speak, electronic tools to communicate, discontent, a economic crisis on the way, and a blatantly incompetent government to criticize), they can't make themselves heard.
And they fail for a simple reason: the masses they would like to reach are connected by means of technological tools that they cannot use, in which they cannot insinuate themselves, where they are completely fish out of water. In a little while I will hear about mimeograph and tissue papers , I suppose.
The problem is that these people don't have building skills. They have written tons of useless waste on digital capitalism and the surveillance industry , but they are unable to set up a mesh network.
Try to think about it: you buy an 8W wifi amplifier, which costs from 50 to 60 euros, a high gain antenna, and lights up an entire neighborhood, or block. At this moment the ARPA has other things to do than check the db level of a WiFi . Our network has open access, without password, and as a captive page it has a Pleroma or a Mastodon.
If you consider a whole population of people who are locked in the house, it is only a statistical question that sooner or later will try this open civic network.
But … and here comes the fun part, none of them would know how to do it. Why'?
Because criticism of the digital capitalism system teaches nothing.
If you think of the criticism of traditional capitalism, in the anarchist and workers' movements there were the workers, the same who built the industries and infrastructures crucial for capitalism itself.
But the same environments have never been able to combine with the same classes of workers in the IT world. For several reasons:
- Continually accusing someone of building a fascist regime does not help to gain consensus. It is as if the communist revolutionaries had insulted the workers by accusing them of collaborating because they had worked to build industries.
- A plethora of self-styled "hackers" (a term that means everything and nothing and is not certified by any professional experience) has taken the lead in the "information & technology" segment of those environments. In a congress of poets, knowing how to put a nail in the wall seems like black magic, and in their political circles knowing how to install linux on a laptop seems "hacker".
- All the leaders of these movements come from an idealistic philosophical / humanistic background. And in idealism, as Gentile teaches, there is no place for the blind technicians among the ruling class. Not even in the anarchist ruling class .
And so, now that millions of people are paralyzed in their homes, now that millions of people would have time to read, think and discuss, now that everyone has at least minimal digital equipment at home, or in their pockets, these characters are passing by. time to ask "yes, we have to organize ourselves, but how do we do if we are closed at home"?
Only the best of them know how to install Linux, almost none of their "hackers" would know how to build a mesh network using tinc, their "alternative OSS hardware" sites do not mention those that really work, because they simply gather information here and there. Most people don't even know things like tinc, syncthing, i2P, they barely know how to install Tor with apt, and in general they are throwing away their big chance. The average militant, who had to be "ready" when the opportunity came, is anything but ready .
The ruling class of these anarchist circles has no reason to give up leadership: better to be the heads of a small chicken coop, than to risk losing their jobs due to an anarchist technocracy , even if perhaps the latter would be more effective for the cause.
If the environments of the Alt-Right are the only ones to practice hacking in a truly effective way, it is no coincidence.
You could have made the 2020 revolution. And instead you are still trying to make the 1917 revolution.