A Call for Power

October 15, 2019 12:04 am

(Solidaridad Con La Minga image by Roger Peet)

In 2020, thanks to the US Presidential election, we’re all going to be thinking about power. Who has it? What is it? How does it work? How do we, as antiauthoritarians, relate to the established political system during a national election year, particularly at this crucial time? 

Whatever your stance is on voting, we’ll all be affected by the process, whether through media cycles, policy changes, or public discourse. However, focusing on individuals (such as Trump) risks missing the underlying structures of governance and economic organization that gave rise to him and others like him, as well as those who benefit from his actions. After all, both parties in the US are committed to capitalist social and economic organization. What’s more, as the state and its traditional power structures continue to fall apart at the seams, the circus-like nature of the legitimacy crisis is playing out in the context of ecological changes that threaten the future of humanity. Meanwhile, racism and misogyny remain emboldened and dangerous. How can we best focus our work in these times? How do we assemble all the skills and lessons our movements have developed over decades of struggle? It’s time to get out our power tools.

The 2020 issue of Perspectives on Anarchist Theory will be on the theme of Power, and we’d like to empower you to write for it. Are you an organizer currently engaged in movement work? Have you stepped back to take a break and think things through? Do you have ideas, experiences, or questions that you would like to develop and share with a broad readership? If so, we’re here to help. This is our work: to preserve our histories, suspend our assumptions, further our analyses, and expand our dreams and knowledge as we envision and build a free society. This is part of how we create a better world together.

For this next issue, let’s ask some questions we’re often afraid to ask:

  • What do anarchists think power is? Do we want it or do we fight it?
  • How can we wield power?  Can we wield power?
  • What is revolutionary dual-power?
  • How can we get at class through race, and race through class?
  • How does dysfunction in our movements and scenes help the state?
  • How do we, as anarchists, relate to movements made up of people who don’t necessarily share our politics, or who only share some of our politics?
  • How do we fight fascism and authoritarianism?  
  • Is what we’re doing working? What should we do differently?
  • How do we win hearts and minds? How do we create and sustain community? 
  • How do we bring joy into the world?
  • What are our wins?  How do our victories shift and affect power? 
  • How do we learn from victories, and defeats?  How do we build off them?
  • How do we keep going? What are we fighting for and creating?

We will begin accepting submissions on November 10th through our final deadline February 10th, 2020. Click here to submit your work: https://perspectiveseditorialcollective.submittable.com/submit/151418/perspectives-on-anarchist-theory-no-32-the-power-issue

All submissions should meet the following format requirements:

  • Please follow the Chicago Manual of Style for general format and citation guidelines. 
  • Please use endnotes rather than footnotes and keep notes to a minimum.
  • Type your endnotes directly into the text.  Please do not use the “insert note” function in Word, as it is incompatible with our layout software.
  • Do not include page numbers on your manuscript.
  • Do not indent new paragraphs. Use a line break instead.
  • Please keep in mind that we seek to share these ideas with a broad readership; write in accessible, clear language.  Do not assume an academic audience.
  • Be sure to include your name and reliable contact information, as well as a brief (3-6 sentence) bio that you would like printed alongside your article. 

Please prepare your manuscript as thoroughly as you can before sending it along for consideration.  If you have a concept for an article but are unsure how to develop and refine the ideas or language, we are happy to help you out with the writing process, particularly if you have never written for publication before.  Please contact us as soon as possible in order to ensure you are able to meet the publication deadline. We do not accept pitches or ideas without a draft after submissions have closed. As with any publication, please familiarize yourself with our work before submitting.

Send any questions or queries to: perspectivesonanarchisttheory@gmail.com

(Josh MacPhee)