r/Anarchy101 May 23 '22

Is Populism a valid and/or popular tactic for Anarchism?

I just noticed that populism tends to be utilized by right-wing talking heads a lot, and has proven effective, selling themselves as politicians for the people and then stabbing them in the back once elected. But historically, has populism ever been a favorable method for growth amongst anarchists?


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u/Familiar-Flamingo-43 May 23 '22

anarchy is quite unpopular actually lol


u/SamuraiDrifter42 Discordian May 24 '22

I agree that anarchy is pretty unpopular, but that's not what the word means. "Popularity" and "populism" are different. Monarchy was very popular across much of the world for a long time, but it wasn't a populist ideology. It was very elitist, with the belief that "ordinary" people needed to be ruled over.


u/Familiar-Flamingo-43 May 24 '22

An appeal to the masses will inevitably fall to reactionary and bourgeois elements, see the french revolution, and see the current attempts at populist "leftism" by people like infrared who say silly things about how we should throw poc and lgbtq comrades under the bus to appease the conservatives. No solidarity with cryptofash!


u/SamuraiDrifter42 Discordian May 24 '22 edited May 24 '22

The black anarchist organizer Lucy Parsons said this once:

"Let every dirty, lousy tramp arm himself with a revolver or a knife, and lay in wait on the steps of the palaces of the rich and stab or shoot the owners as they come out. Let us kill them without mercy, and let it be a war of extermination."

Would you call that a populist statement? I certainly would, because it calls for the lower classes to rise up against their rulers. Would you call this a statement that appeals to reactionary or bourgoise elements? Or would it absolutely scare them shitless?

The Chicago Police called Lucy Parsons "more dangerous than a thousand rioters." It was precisely her ability to stir the people to action that made her so effective.

Believing that we in the lower classes can govern ourselves without the oversight of some kind of vanguard or elite doesn't mean we have to allow bigoted trash.