Crises Transformed: The Motivations Behind Engagement in Anarchy

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Virginia Tech

What motivates individuals to take part in anarchistic movements and spaces? For those who do, what occurs during engagement in anarchy? By collecting the oral histories of anarchistic activists, this study indicates how crises, personal and collective, is a not only a motivating factor for why individuals join and engage in anarchistic movements and spaces, but how crises are, in turn, radically transformed through engagement in anarchical practice. To understand this process, this study explores crises through the development of an eco-anarchistic dialectical framework--negate-subvert-create--to indicate how the crises of capital are embodied, consciously negated, subverted politically, and ultimately transformed through engagement in anarchy. Anarchy is accordingly conceptualized as a liminal spatio-temporality that allows individuals to reconnect their selves to their potentials to become something beyond the ecological destructive and dominant social world. These potential are realized through the embodiment of communitas, or collective liminality--a natural communality that individuals reconnect to engaging in anarchy. I end with an exploration of the possible outcomes and potential futures of anarchy by situating the current political, economic, social and ecological crises occurring around the globe within the eco-anarchistic framework developed in this study. Here, I indicate the importance of engaging in care practices and creating care-networks as a necessary outcome and future political practice for anarchistic movements as a way to mitigate and ultimately transform the crises of capital.

crisis, social movements, anarchism, anarchy, prefigurative politics, transformative embodiments, affect, care