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Gathering Together to Smash the State: An Analysis of Rhetorical Artifacts from the 2002 North American Anarchist Gathering
Unformatted Document Text:  Gathering 18 Identity applies to the unity of experiences and actions that make up the anarchist world as well as the world of supporters of the dominant capitalist ideology. The concept of identity can be viewed in the content of the major pamphlets in two ways: the identity of the anarchists and the identity of the supporters of the dominant ideology. The identities of these two groups are defined through three concepts: community, work, and sex. The experience of community depicted in the anarchist pamphlets is one that is very broad encompassing all people and their environment. People work together to improve not only their own living standards but the environment around themselves and their friends and family. This is contrasted against the status quo community that is self-centered and profit motivated; this is a worldview in which the environment is ignored or destroyed for ulterior motives. In the last 30 years, the city tore down perfectly fixable homes, stopped trash pick ups and closed down our fire houses—letting paid arsonists burn down our neighborhoods. There wasn’t a single police officer when you needed one, the side walks where kids could fall into were never fixed. The people themselves responded to this neglect by creating the community gardens. The gardens are clean, and with them the kids are safer from crime. Even with all the asthma the air feels better, the gardens give us free food and the people have a place to come together. (After the Fall) The experience and actions associated with work also aid in the anarchist identity. Essentially, this boils down to lower class or working class experiences of the workplace versus the experiences of managers, bosses, and authority figures. According to the pamphlet produced by the IWW the workplace is dominated by rules that benefit and guard the “bosses” desire for profit from the labor of workers. In this sense then the work becomes twofold for those beneath the “bosses.” On the one hand it is an occupation that one performs to make money and support

Authors: Atkinson, Joshua.
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Gathering 18
Identity applies to the unity of experiences and actions that make up the anarchist world
as well as the world of supporters of the dominant capitalist ideology. The concept of identity
can be viewed in the content of the major pamphlets in two ways: the identity of the anarchists
and the identity of the supporters of the dominant ideology. The identities of these two groups
are defined through three concepts: community, work, and sex. The experience of community
depicted in the anarchist pamphlets is one that is very broad encompassing all people and their
environment. People work together to improve not only their own living standards but the
environment around themselves and their friends and family. This is contrasted against the
status quo community that is self-centered and profit motivated; this is a worldview in which the
environment is ignored or destroyed for ulterior motives.
In the last 30 years, the city tore down perfectly fixable homes, stopped trash pick ups
and closed down our fire houses—letting paid arsonists burn down our neighborhoods.
There wasn’t a single police officer when you needed one, the side walks where kids
could fall into were never fixed. The people themselves responded to this neglect by
creating the community gardens. The gardens are clean, and with them the kids are safer
from crime. Even with all the asthma the air feels better, the gardens give us free food
and the people have a place to come together. (After the Fall)
The experience and actions associated with work also aid in the anarchist identity.
Essentially, this boils down to lower class or working class experiences of the workplace versus
the experiences of managers, bosses, and authority figures. According to the pamphlet produced
by the IWW the workplace is dominated by rules that benefit and guard the “bosses” desire for
profit from the labor of workers. In this sense then the work becomes twofold for those beneath
the “bosses.” On the one hand it is an occupation that one performs to make money and support


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