Lawrence Jarach

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About Lawrence Jarach

Lawrence Jarach (August 3, 1961) is an American anarchist known for his political activism and writing.

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This person has authored 16 documents, with 67,844 words or 441,739 characters.

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1999 ~ (4,628 Words / 31,752 Characters)
Introduction An uneasy relationship has existed between anarchists and leftists from the time Proudhon positively proclaimed him self an anarchist 150 years ago. From the 1860s through the 1930s most anarchists considered themselves to be an integral part of the international labor movement, even if there were moments of extreme conflict within it; leftist anarchists saw themselves as the radical conscience of the Left — the left of the Left, as it were. But since the death of 19th century anarchism on the barricades of Barcelona in May 1937, anarchists haven’t had a movement to call their own. As a result, many anarchists trail after leftist projects, seemingly oblivious to the sometimes fatal historical rivalry that has existed between the two tendencies. They get seduced either by the seemingly antiauthoritarian characteristics of such groups (like decentralization), or by the use of some anarchic vocabulary (direct action for example). (From :

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (4,018 Words / 27,012 Characters)
“...When a revolutionary situation develops, counter-institutions have the potential of functioning as a real alternative to the existing structure and reliance on them becomes as normal as reliance on the old authoritarian institutions. This is when counter-institutions constitute dual power. Dual power is a state of affairs in which people have created institutions that fulfill all the useful functions formerly provided by the state. The creation of a general state of dual power is a necessary requirement for a successful revolution...” — Love & Rage Revolutionary Anarchist Federation New York Local Member Handbook; June, 1997 “...What we need is a theory of the state that starts with an empirical investigation of the origins of the state, the state as it actually exists today, the various experiences of revolutionary dual power, and post-revolutionary... (From :

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 2006 ~ (2,233 Words / 15,002 Characters)
In 1983 I graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology. During that time the foremost school of thought in the field was—as it remains—the discourse that resulted from the pivotal Man the Hunter symposium that took place at the University of Chicago in 1966. This event created an upheaval in the world of the humanities; before then, the main idea in anthropology and other social sciences was that hunting for game was the defining social activity of primitive people. In addition, most anthropologists still favored Hobbes’ “nasty, brutish, and short” picture of primitive life. This symposium changed all that. Since then, it is taken as a given (based on incontrovertible ethnographic evidence) that primitive people rely most heavily on plant and small animal foods (that can be easily gathered without hunting); such cultures could more accurately be referred to as “gatherer-hunters” rather... (From :

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 2006 ~ (2,960 Words / 19,829 Characters)
The Mythic Appeal of Democracy A myth isn’t a lie-it is a story told by people with a particular outlook to others with a similar outlook. It can contain truth and falsehood in varying mixtures and ratios, but the important thing is that it makes sense to its audience. According to the believers in Democracy (rule of the people — however “the people” is defined and narrowed to exclude particular segments from participation in government), it is a system of decision-making that enables the rule of the wisest and most capable and skillful, regardless of hereditary class privilege; this is its republican (anti-monarchist) heritage. Democrats (especially those who identify with the tradition of Liberalism) believe that majority rule provides more voice in decision-making for more people. They believe that more representation means more fairness, that a more informed voting base increases the wisdom of representatives, which... (From :

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (13,364 Words / 87,920 Characters)
A Dialogue on Primitivism: Lawrence Jarach interviews John Zerzan There are many prejudiced caricatures and objections concerning primitivism; for example that its proponents want to go “back to the Stone Age,” or that any move away from industrial capitalism would result in an immediate mass die-off of thousands — if not millions — of humans. These dismissals showcase a lack of seriousness on the part of anti-primitivists, and their refusal to engage in any kind of substantial dialogue around the issues of the origins of capitalism and the various mechanisms of social control and domination. While understandable coming from non-anarchists (who are engaged in promoting one or another form of domination and exploitation), such a knee-jerk reaction from anarchists and antiauthoritarians is cause for concern. Can it really be the case that the issues of industrialization, urbanism, centralized technologies, and the furthering of hierarchical pow... (From :

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 2004 ~ (1,796 Words / 12,803 Characters)
Preliminary Theses for a Longer Discussion on Essentialism and the Problem of Identity Politics Essentialism is the idea that there exists some detectible and objective core quality of particular groups of people that is inherent, eternal, and unalterable; groupings can be categorized according to these qualities of essence, which are based on such problematic criteria as gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, and class. These external qualities are almost always marked by visual cues, making the categories more obvious and/or easier to notice. These qualities contain social and — more importantly from an antiauthoritarian perspective — hierarchical significance to those marking the cues and those marked by the cues: sexism, in the case of gender; racism in the case of skin tone; the unwanted attention of authorities in the case of any and all different looking/acting people. Racism, sexism, classism, and mo... (From :

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (8,289 Words / 50,193 Characters)
We don’t know about you but when someone commands us to do something, there’s an internal subjective mechanism that immediately turns down the volume. This works nicely in getting through a day at work or when confronted by demagogues, until the din gets to a certain shrill pitch, then we react rather than turn a deaf ear — especially when aspects of the rant have to do with us personally or friends. Demagogues, like bosses, are not interested in sharing and contrasting their thoughts and feelings with people they merely want to club them into line with their own. Along the way they develop an arcane jargon — sometimes with common words — in order to dazzle and mystify the uncritical. So it is with Chaz Bufe in his recent pamphlet, Listen, Anarchist! (L,A). This tract could have been subtitled “From Bookchin to Lenin (or Moses)” since he borrows elements of style from all three. In the end he tells people what they must do t... (From :

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (2,304 Words / 15,072 Characters)
There is a great deal of confusion among anarchists in terms of what anarchism is and, more importantly, what anarchism is not. It is all too common for anarchists to mistake tactics for principles. Even worse, some mistake opponents for allies. Many anarchists need to be reminded that we are against the State and government, and that this fundamental stance is the main characteristic that differentiates us from others who promote social change. It is my hope to begin a process of analysis and discussion about this unfortunate condition by providing a sort of reminder of anarchism. My use of the term “we” refers to anarchists. What Anarchism Is Anarchism as philosophy Anarchism derives from the philosophical premise that institutionalized power and enforcement, especially in the form of the State, is a negative method of trying to create and maintain social cohesion. The defining aspect of anarchism is a categorical rejec... (From :

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (2,674 Words / 17,823 Characters)
What is Leftism? For most it means some form of socialism, despite the fact that there are plenty of leftists who are not opposed to capitalism (clearly from the actual history of socialism, not all socialists are opposed to capitalism either). Plenty of other arguments can be made about that, but let’s just keep things simple and assume that the two terms are synonymous. As is the case with most vague terms, however, it’s easier to come up with a list of characteristics than a definition. Leftism encompasses many divergent ideas, strategies, and tactics; are there any common threads that unite all leftists, despite some obvious differences? In order to begin an attempt at an answer, it is necessary to examine the philosophical antecedents to what can broadly be termed Socialism. Liberalism, Humanism, and Republicanism are political and philosophical schools of thought deriving from the modern European tradition (roughly beginning during th... (From :

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 2004 ~ (1,242 Words / 7,262 Characters)
Manolo Gonzalez was born in Spain in the late 1920s, escaped from Franco with his anarchist family in 1939, and eventually settled in the SF Bay Area, where he wrote, and taught at the University of San Francisco as well as briefly at New College of California. Nothing like this should ever happen. We found out that long-time Contributing Editor Manolo Gonzalez had died when issue #58 came back to us marked “Return to Sender. Deceased.” I first met Manolo when we both lived in San Francisco. Jason gave me his phone number, I called him up, and we made a date to meet at his apartment. I spent the next five hours visiting as we got to know each other. My then-partner joined us after her workday ended, and Manolo served us tea and cookies. Hovering over us, among the stacks of books and papers from his long career as an academic, was that famous (probably posed) photo by Robert Capa of the Spanish Republican soldier falling backward as he i... (From :

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 2004 ~ (4,923 Words / 30,388 Characters)
The Unoriginality Argument The first thing a critic does who can’t deal with the content of what s/he is criticizing is to try to show that it isn’t original. Like the argumentthat worker’s self-management is more efficient at production than private ownership, this argument relies exclusively on capitalist criteria (innovation being seen as the sure road to success). So like most critics who show little desire to understand their targets, Peter Staudenmaier (PS) first attacks post-left anarchy (PLA) by asserting that it isn’t original — even though nobody says it is. In fact, like anarchism itself, it can be seen as an attempt to provide a (more or less) coherent theoretical framework for, and a description of, a tendency already being expressed. The neo-Platformists are fond of quoting the authors of the Platform when the latter said that anarchism didn’t spring forth from the minds of great thinkers like Bakunin and Kropotkin,... (From :

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1999 ~ (6,927 Words / 43,057 Characters)
In March of 1999, I received an open letter from zine publisher Ron Leighton regarding the common question of whether propagating views which question technology through technological means — radio, television, the Internet — involved some type of contradiction. I liked the way he phrased the question, and I especially liked the idea of an open letter to get a variety of views on the topic. Open Letter — Ron Leighton A number of anti-tech writers have expressed the idea, variously stated, that supporting or using government in any way towards anarchist/anti-authoritarian ends is contradictory and invariably indicative of authoritarian/non-anarchist impulses and attitudes, despite any insistent claims to the contrary. Around the time of the publication in mainstream papers of the Unabomber’s views, John Zerzan went on radio to have a dialogue with callers about anarchism/anti-techism... (From :

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 2006 ~ (747 Words / 4,661 Characters)
The recent string of arrests and indictments of anarchists across the United States and Europe should come as no surprise. With increased visibility at various large and small protests, anarchists have begun to instill the same kind of panic among polite society as they did in the 1880s. What is surprising is the kind of commotion the forces of law and order are trying to stir up when attempting to show just how dangerous these various anarchists are. The captured anarchists in the US are all environmental activists who are supposedly associated with the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) or the Animal Liberation Front (ALF); the affidavits of the federal officials involved in the cases throw around the terms anarchist and ELF/ALF as if they were synonymous. While the total number of anarchists is still relatively small, the FBI and other cops would have the public believe that the ELF and ALF are the most dangerous terrorists in the US today. The irony (if there is any in such a situa... (From :

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 2007 ~ (3,401 Words / 22,524 Characters)
When they’re not busy murdering, ignoring, or desperately courting anarchists as comrades, Marxists frequently resort to dismissive and/or scurrilous accusations. One of the most enduring is the charge that anarchism in and of itself is a petit-bourgeois — they sometimes also add individualist here — ideology. Marx’s correct analysis of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon’s economic Mutualism as petit-bourgeois is the source of this dismissal; a nearly total absence of Proudhon’s economic ideas among anarchists for the last 150 years, however, has made the continual use by Marxists of this century-old analysis seem silly. In the meantime, and quite unfortunately, the spectacles of post-Seattle summit-hopping seem to have altered the expectations of our (until recently) reinvigorated anarchist milieu. How much time, effort, and energy did the activistism of international travel, puppet making, and grant writing take away from the more mundane t... (From :

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 2007 ~ (2,106 Words / 13,771 Characters)
Reviewed by Lawrence Jarach Anarchism: A Beginner’s Guide by Ruth Kinna Oneworld Publications, 2005 180 pages. Paper. $16.95 It is certainly a difficult — if not daunting — task to try to write an introductory text about anarchism that is at the same time positive, broad, subtle, contextualized, detailed, and short. Judging from the relative sizes of other Beginner’s Guides in the series, I presume that coeditor of Anarchist Studies and Professor of Politics Ruth Kinna was given a page limit. This seriously compromises any author’s ability to be as comprehensive as she might like, and Kinna’s work suffers from that constraint. There are plenty of mistakes in this short analytical survey; some stem from the fact that Kinna is writing from England while many of the topics she covers occur in the United States; others derive from what appear to be her prej... (From :

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 2010 ~ (6,232 Words / 42,670 Characters)
Introduction There has never been a civilization that has lasted more than several centuries. It is reasonable to assume that the one we are forced to inhabit (Western, Euro-American, Capitalist, Post-Industrial, whatever you want to call it...) will also someday fall apart. Identified and critiqued by anarchists for over 150 years, the disparities between rich and poor and between order-givers and order-takers are increasingly obvious and obnoxious; mainstream public discourse is often gleefully polarized, permeated with facile dehumanization of chosen enemies; so-called culture wars continue apace; the devastating burdens imposed on the natural world and indigenous people (including the semi-permanently displaced) by the extraction of resources and the expansion and development of productive forces continues unabated. The end of this civilization may have the characteristics of some apocalyptic and bellicose horror show, similar to what some call The Col... (From :


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