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Regarding the 2016 San Francisco Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair

A critical look at the SF Bay Area's anarchist subculture through the prism of its most significant public event...
For 21 years running what's now being called the Annual San Francisco Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair has shown that anarchism in the SF Bay Area is a subculture of terminal disengagement and adolescent role-playing. Bay Area anarchists love to pretend that they are fiery rebels, but over the course of three decades anarchists in this part of the world have consistently failed to assert visible, credible expressions of what they claim to be about outside of their subjectively insurrectionary safe spaces. This is glaringly evident with regard to the ongoing gentrification of San Francisco and Oakland.

The current phase of a long-term market-engendered housing crisis and it's attendant ruin of working class neighborhoods has been occurring for five years. During this period our local Circle-A-scenesters have staged numerous shindigs celebrating the existence of their egocentric subculture -- but at no time have self-styled anarchists tried to get together even a single public meeting about the housing and displacement crisis, or any other form of ongoing, credible, collective resistance, among people who pay rent and work for a wage, against the tech-sector propelled demographic ruin of the region. For five years the Bay Area's anarchist subculture has played no useful role in the biggest source of potential class conflict in the Bay Area on the combative and uncompromising terms that many in the Circle-A crowd claim to be about. And these people have been useless on every other social conflict front as well.

Events like the Occupy movement and the popularity of supposed socialist Bernie Sanders show that there is deep and spreading discontent with what passes for life under U.S. capitalism -- but sheepish scenesters who like to call themselves anarchists have nothing to contribute to any larger social dynamic here. Instead, for 21 years running, they have repeatedly staged a cockroach capitalist bonding ritual where timid fantasists can imagine themselves to be grave enemies of the social order while selling each other T-shirts and 'zines. The local anarchist subculture exists solely to reproduce its existence as a subculture.

Contemporary Bay Area anarchism is no different from other subcultures spawned by consumer society, like those catering to ardent fans of Star Trek, or Dungeons and Dragons. As with these other subcultures the anarchist scene is a safe place where the easily intimidated can try to structure reality on more accommodating terms than those available in the outside world. The Circle-A-scene has shown by its long term practical inadequacy that it is not a real world phenomena and has nothing to contribute to any real world social movement against exploitation, inequality and accelerating mass impoverishment.

Write the author at:  proletaire2003@yahoo.com

maybe be a bit more understanding? 25.Mar.2016 10:26

I don't know

Are you young? Maybe not...Who knows?

Personally, I'm beat to shit, and a bit wiser. Occupy, beyond its original, was co-opted and a piece of shit. By people who may not have understood. Please, don't misunderstand. There were a lot of brave folks...But I personally held little hope, if any.

Maybe SF is different. I never cared too much for California and what I saw as real idiocy. Apparently, I wasn't alone. You'll just have to wait, sickly as it sounds, and take what you can get. (Maybe that was always 'the way'. A man rose from the dead, supposedly, to yield...Paul?) What you're saying has echoed through the alleyways for generations of poor thinkers, and those who couldn't recognize 'the time'. Ain't nothing new. Is five cycles your perspective?

I'm sorry, but I'm tired. A body can only take so much. The examples are numberless and ancient. Join the crowd, such as it is, though I still wish you luck. Me and my sign...Me and my heart, such as it is. Take what you can get and can personally stand. One does ask if anyone, really, went as well as Socrates. You won't know my answer, as it's time to shut up and go the way of the birds, and the pollinators, but not the patient sun. Ever so patient...And it will go, too. Is anything or anyone really one-and-done? Doesn't strke me well. And I can only, at this point, be cathartic...and hope. You won't (and rightfully) be happy with that. There is hope...Everlasting, and quite undefined, except your definition.

In all sicerity, be well. Best I can do. Take what you can get, or, in good cicumstances, suffer what you will, or won't or can't. You'll never be alone. I'm sorry. So was Socrates. What'd he yield? Plato? And a lot of good bucks to be made? You'll then know, I ain't answered a damned thing. Never said I was bettern' my old man. He, that I could see, had no answer, either.

Where's the parade?

Bay Area high cost of living has absolutley changes things 07.Apr.2016 18:04


This and how hard it is just to live in America since the Bank Bailout of 2008.
I don't think anyone can expect that things will continue - so many folks have been displaced, to places where there is no anarchist community, some are just doing what they can to survive or to raise their kids.

I went last year, in 2015, with no expectations and met a few very serious community activists.
Just this was worth it.

I asked lots of folks, those doing outreach and those selling books how they can afford to live in the Bay.
Many of them have tech jobs and they do this in their free time.

You're right about everything being co-opted (if that was one of your points).
The ones with money, young and old, are in control right now.

But the rest of us are still alive, and doing what we can :)