Anarchism Gets Some Airtime

Posted: June 26, 2010 in Bookchin, Feminism, Media, Spanish Civil War
Tags: , , , ,

Incredibly, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation had a news story on Who are the Anarchists Thursday where several anarchists, including a “soccer dad” and “a midwife and a mother,” actually had a voice in front of a camera on national television. Something very significant is happening in the consciousness of society when a news story –even one of just six minutes –can appear in the mainstream media portraying this political philosophy in a favourable light. But this was before Saturday’s vandalism by the Black Bloc in protest of the G8/G20 summits in Toronto.

The media continue on their natural course of representing the positions of police chiefs, security experts, business owners, and the Prime Minister. Consequently, the Black Bloc are simple “thugs” and “criminals,” and their behaviour is violent. “Violent” is curious word considering the Black Bloc didn’t actually hurt anyone. Are the media and the PM confusing vandalism with violence?

But now a more serious question needs to be asked: have the Black Bloc been counter-productive? The average Joes and Janes, moms and dads, are not so receptive to unruly behaviour. And they are correct to be disturbed by it. Therefore it appears that the Black Bloc are, indeed, counter-productive; I won’t lose sleep over a couple burnt police cars and smashed bank windows, but you have to consider and respect your audience, the Canadian public in this case.

Having said that, however, consider one favourable outcome of the last day.

I’ve heard the word “anarchism” used on the TV more in the last 10 hours than I have in years. That’s good. Youngsters across Canada will be tapping it into Wikipedia just to see, like, what is it anyways? And what they’ll discover is that it is a legitimate political position with hundreds of years of history. They might also discover:

  • how the father of modern anarchism, Godwin, was supportive of his pioneering feminist wife, Wollstonecraft, in the late 1700’s.
  • that the Spanish anarchists were the first Europeans to fight Fascism when England, France, and the US were (in)directly supporting Hitler, Franco and Mussolini.
  • that anarchist, Bookchin, was warning us about global warming in the mid sixties.

So perhaps something good will come out of the headlines after all.

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Comments
  1. Jolly Roger says:

    I think I would have a heart-attack if I ever saw the American media give Anarchism such a fair amount of representation…

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