The following is a critique of \"STUCK IN THE MUD OF IDEOLOGY: A Response to \"Stick It to the Manarchy\" I am writing as one out of four authors of \"Stick It To The Manarchy.\" In this response, there are many things that I say that are shared by the entire group but there are some that aren\\'t. My response should not be seen as representative of Rock Bloc. Above, we have a written a collective response to all of the criticisms we got.

Reading the article raised many questions for me and I encourage Wolfi, the author, as well as others to answer them.

\"Stuck In The Mud of Ideology\" centers around the accusation that we are pacificsts and Wolfi is more militant than we are. S/He writes:
A. \"Such a pathetic way to go about justifying one\\'s fearful avoidance of revolution.\"
B. \"Rather they will filter everything through their ideological construction and leave us with a ridiculous whine that comes across as an attempt to denigrate an uncompromising revolt that they are not prepared to carry out.\"
C. \"When they use gender issues and abstract conceptions of solidarity as an excuse
to back away from real revolt, they are in in fact choosing to refuse
solidarity to those of us who will not back down because our lives depend
on it. It is obvious that when push comes to shove, the RBC cannot be
trusted to have my back.\"
D. \"I consider it irresponsible for those total revolt against this world to argue for pacification.\"
--Ultimately, these accusation of pacifism are connected to a simultaneous heightening of his own legitamacy as we learn that s/he will not compromise, favors total revolt, is working class, and all and all more dedicated to the revolution than we are. But what does Wolfi know about us to give him/her the authority to accuse us of pacifism and/or fearful of revolution?
--If we are pacifists/reformers does that invalidate our entire argument?
--We are critical of people using militant action as a trophy to claim that they are holier or better than others. Ironically we are told that by making that accusation, we are not \"militant enough.\"
-Ultimately, the assertion of our pacifism is used as a building block to throw away our entire critique.

The article starts: \"From the first word of \"Stick It to the Manarchy\", it is obvious that we are not dealing with a critique, but with an ideological construction with a not so hidden agenda.\" Wolfi asserts that we are not making a critique but rather masking our fear of revolution under the guise of Manarchy.

Wolfi further picks apart our argument. S/he writes, \"This word is a neologism under which the authors place a variety of different attitudes and behaviors that are actually separate and individual.\" S/he does not explain what those separate parts are, merely we learn that our use of the term is a false construction. It is not clear to me how these parts are separate or why the combination of the \"parts\" hurts our argument.

\"The term \"manarchy\", like the term \"feminazi\", clarifies nothing and is nothing more than an ideological evasion of the necessity of critique, carefully avoiding the examination and analysis of specific matters that is necessary to move our struggle forward, because this would bring up too many difficult questions; better
to construct an artificial concept through which to view everything, because then we\\'ll always have an answer, an explanation that proves that what makes us uncomfortable is always wrong. The Rock Bloc Collective (RBC) then go on to define \"manarchy\" in such a way that no self-respecting anarchist could possibly support it, and yet write of it through out the article as if it were an ideology that certain anarchists put forth. This projection of a non-existent ideological mindset onto a disparate group of individuals, attitudes and behaviors guarantees that-no matter what legitimate basis there may be for some of their complaints-the RBC will be unable to carry out a a real and usable critique. \"
-Here Wolfi alludes that we are similar to Right-wingers by using the word feminazi. This seems more like a rhetorical attack rather than a useful point. \"Feminazi\"coming from anti-feminists has a different context than \"manarchy\" coming from anarchists, some of which are male. Feminazi is a critique of feminism, manarchy is a critique of a particular kind of behavior within the anarchist movement.
-In distinction from the way that Wolfi paints our article, Manarchy is defined as a behavior, not an ideology. Sexism and racism are also behaviors that few anarchists would consciously support. All three behaviors are similar where people act in ways that oppress others in a way that is counter-productive. Does Wolfi\\'s critique to manarchy apply to sexism/racism? Are critiques of racism/sexism based in a desire to fend off the revolution? If not, how are they different manarchy?
-It is unclear to me why using the word manarchy evades the \"neccesity to critique\" or why \"RBC will be unable to carry out a real and usable critique.\"
-Many people wrote to us and said that they agreed with our analysis. Are they also scared off the revolution?

\"Why not rather say what their limits are and act on that? Intelligent anarchists carry out their revolt in accordance with their capabilities and do not judge those whose capabilities differ.\"
--Exactly. And our critique of manarchists is the competitive one-upmanship of militant behavior.

\"But there is a bottom line: in the methods of carrying out their struggle, anarchists do not compromise or negotiate with the ruling order.\"
--What does it mean to not compromise? Out of the hundreds who were arrested at the Republican National Convention, almost all gave their names. Are these people compromising with the ruling order? If you have a job and you get paid on the books, some of your paycheck goes to the government, is that compromise? Is using government issued money to buy something from some fucked up capatalist, compromise? Can you do these things, i.e. compromise, and still be an anarchist? Which is more revolutionary: taking a month to train hop across the country, or paying Exxon for gas and then taking a month to organize and get 100 people to attend their first action? What if the demonstration is permitted? What if there is a third person who shows up and charges the police gets beat up and arrested? Which person is in the position to tout him/herself as a more radical/anarchist than the others? I am skeptical of any notion of a \"better radical.\" But, we could discuss which of these is the most tactically effective. If I believe that organizing a 100 people to go to a permitted rally is the most effective, does that mean I am a good for nothing anti-revolutionary?

\"Sadly the ideological blinders through which the RBC view these matters makes their attempts at critiquing specific situations fail, because these matters are turned into supports for their ideological constructions. Thus, a possibly tactically unwise atempt to break through a barricade in Boston during the presidential debates there is not examined in terms of tactics, analyses of the situation or principles, but is simply labeled \"tough\" and spoken of in terms of the alleged more-radical-than-thou attitudes of those involved in the action. It is necessary for the RBC to speculate in this fashion in order to make the situation fit into their conception of \"manarchy\".
-when discussing Boston we did say \"For some of these people, being pepper sprayed became a battle wound that illustrated their no-compromise \\'radical\\' position.\" Yet, I agree, we should have been clearer. We were not writing a 1500 word article in attempts to intricately discuss three separate tactical incidents but rather paint a picture of a behavior we find all too common.
-What makes Wolfi think we are \"speculating\" when we speak of manarchist behavior? Is it possible for some of those people to have acted the way we describe or is Wolfi in a position where s/he can reasonably dismiss our claim as pure \"speculation\"?

\"The members of the RBC tell us that they are \"all white and coming from economically privileged backgrounds\". (This latter is reinforced by their obvious enrollment in a small, private college.) This may explain their arrogant presumption in declaring what the feelings and attitudes that underlie other people\\'s actions are and in setting the limits of possible action for those less advantaged than them.\"
--Is it always wrong to declare the feelings of someone else\\'s actions? In this article, Wolfi does this consistently as s/he explains our article as an attempt to mask our fear of the revolution. Is our explanation of the 3 examples we gave more in the original article more or less \"arrogant\" than Wolfi\\'s presumption about us?

\"It most certainly explains their view of radical activity and revolution as essentially a form of psychotherapy. They refer to direct action and the Black Bloc as a tactic for empowerment\" and speak of \" working to build a world where people are empowered and loving.\" (emphases added). This is all very nice, but 12-step groups talk about the same ideals and present no threat whatsoever to the present world. As I see it, revolutionary direct action is a means toward the destruction of the present world of domination and exploitation. And my aim is to build a world in which no one can be dominated or exploited, because the practise of uncompromising, self-determined has made everyone indomitable and uncontrollable.\"
-Empower means to take or assume power. Power goes to the root of oppression where imbalanced power relations enable one to control or dominate another. As far as I understand there is nothing particularly reformist or liberal about the focus on \"empowerment.\" I also don\\'t understand how a call for empowerment stands in distinction from calling for the destruction of domination and exploitation. As far as I know, these concepts are synonymous, not contradictory. I invite people to explain.
-Is our call for empowerment endemic of our class priveledge? If so, how does that make it wrong?

\"So the refusal of compromise is not about self-sacrifice.\"
--Does this mean that no one who touts \"no compromise\" casts themselves as a martyr?
--If we are not martyrs, we should praise tactics that avoid battle wounds and jail time. Sometimes, we have to take action that will increase our likelihood of receiving these unfortunate markings of oppression. But, they should not be held up as necessary criteria to be an anarchist.

\"Unlike the members of RBC, I am nor from an \"economically privileged background\". My parents were working class, and throughout my adult life I have been, by the standards of the state quite poor-though my preference for freedom from a job has had something to do with this, I have also pursued this preference without having wealthy parents or a trust fund to fall back on.\"
-Wolfi is implying that none of us have working class parents and all of us have trust funds. What evidence does Wolfi use to make this claim? Does the accuracy of his implication affect the accuracy of our message? Is Wolfi a better radical than we are because of his class position? If I listed a number of things that showed that we also have working class parents and/or are poor by the \"standards of the state\" would our argument become more or less legitimate?

\"Contrary to the thoughts of these four well-to-do college students, those of us who are \"economically disadvantaged\" don\\'t fret over not having money for a lawyer. The threat of arrest is a normal
part of our lives, because some level of illegality is bound to be part of our lives to supplement our incomes-and since the cops, in fact, do not treat us so well, arrest is likely enough sooner or later. In such
a context, why would I or others of my class be more afraid in our revolt for a fullness of life than we are in our activities for survival? Why would we hold back? The truth is that it is generally the more privileged-like those in RBC-who call for compromise, who get the permits, negotiate with the pigs and play all the nauseating reformist games that guarantee the continuance of the world of domination and exploitation, the world that fucks me over (yes, this is personal) Why? Because they have something to lose if this world falls, and they have the means within the present society to build \" a space that is empowering, accepting, inclusive, accessible, communicative and community oriented.\" People in my position-near the bottom of American society-cannot afford to do this. Our only choice, if we wish to live full and intense lives is, in fact, to rise up against this world-and that does mean risking (though certainly trying to avoid)
prison or worse-just as so many of our survival tactics do. When you\\'re at the bottom, illegality and prison are not an abstract question. They are part of your reality.\"
--Here, is Wolfi\\'s speaking for the entire working class? Is s/he speaking for people of color? Illegal immigrants? Men and women? Lesbian, Gay, Bi, and Trans?
--I don\\'t agree with Wolfi\\'s simple dichotomy that we have privilege and therefore fear revolution but s/he is at the bottom and therefore favors it. As s/he points out we have much to gain from anarchist style revolution. This desire is the motivation for our writing as well as the other stuff that we do. But Wolfi also has privileged. There are gradations of \"working class,\" but there is also gender, sex, sexuality, race, and nationality.
--Moreover, I don\\'t think Wolfi\\'s analysis explains why many oppressed groups have chosen permitted rallies as their forum for public demonstration. Before asserting that oppressed groups always advocate unpermitted demonstrations we must be able to answer the following questions:
-Why were the WTO and IMF demonstrations so white?
-At the presidential inauguration, why were there people of color organizing and attending the IAC and Civil Rights demos?
-Why do unions typically file for permits?
-Why was the 2000 May Day illegal immigrant rally in NYC permitted?
--I do not think that oppressed groups are incapable of unpermitted, militant action. But, I do think it is harder for oppressed groups because they risk more (deportation, police brutality, harsher sentencing, loss of job, etc.) Thus, we should not be surprised that oppressed people often organize permitted demonstrations. I think that non-permitted rallies have an important role, but I do not think that people who take the risk are necessarily better radicals.

So that\\'s my take. Please give me your thoughts. I do not think that I am beyond criticism and realize that I can learn a lot from people\\'s responses.

In solidarity,
Michael
Bardsac@riseup.net
Student Action Collective
C/o Rock Block
Annandale, NY 12504
The following is a critique of "STUCK IN THE MUD OF IDEOLOGY: A Response to "Stick It to the Manarchy" I am writing as one out of four authors of "Stick It To The Manarchy." In this response, there are many things that I say that are shared by the entire group but there are some that aren\'t. My response should not be seen as representative of Rock Bloc. Above, we have a written a collective response to all of the criticisms we got.

Reading the article raised many questions for me and I encourage Wolfi, the author, as well as others to answer them.

"Stuck In The Mud of Ideology" centers around the accusation that we are pacificsts and Wolfi is more militant than we are. S/He writes:
A. "Such a pathetic way to go about justifying one\'s fearful avoidance of revolution."
B. "Rather they will filter everything through their ideological construction and leave us with a ridiculous whine that comes across as an attempt to denigrate an uncompromising revolt that they are not prepared to carry out."
C. "When they use gender issues and abstract conceptions of solidarity as an excuse
to back away from real revolt, they are in in fact choosing to refuse
solidarity to those of us who will not back down because our lives depend
on it. It is obvious that when push comes to shove, the RBC cannot be
trusted to have my back."
D. "I consider it irresponsible for those total revolt against this world to argue for pacification."
--Ultimately, these accusation of pacifism are connected to a simultaneous heightening of his own legitamacy as we learn that s/he will not compromise, favors total revolt, is working class, and all and all more dedicated to the revolution than we are. But what does Wolfi know about us to give him/her the authority to accuse us of pacifism and/or fearful of revolution?
--If we are pacifists/reformers does that invalidate our entire argument?
--We are critical of people using militant action as a trophy to claim that they are holier or better than others. Ironically we are told that by making that accusation, we are not "militant enough."
-Ultimately, the assertion of our pacifism is used as a building block to throw away our entire critique.

The article starts: "From the first word of "Stick It to the Manarchy", it is obvious that we are not dealing with a critique, but with an ideological construction with a not so hidden agenda." Wolfi asserts that we are not making a critique but rather masking our fear of revolution under the guise of Manarchy.

Wolfi further picks apart our argument. S/he writes, "This word is a neologism under which the authors place a variety of different attitudes and behaviors that are actually separate and individual." S/he does not explain what those separate parts are, merely we learn that our use of the term is a false construction. It is not clear to me how these parts are separate or why the combination of the "parts" hurts our argument.

"The term "manarchy", like the term "feminazi", clarifies nothing and is nothing more than an ideological evasion of the necessity of critique, carefully avoiding the examination and analysis of specific matters that is necessary to move our struggle forward, because this would bring up too many difficult questions; better
to construct an artificial concept through which to view everything, because then we\'ll always have an answer, an explanation that proves that what makes us uncomfortable is always wrong. The Rock Bloc Collective (RBC) then go on to define "manarchy" in such a way that no self-respecting anarchist could possibly support it, and yet write of it through out the article as if it were an ideology that certain anarchists put forth. This projection of a non-existent ideological mindset onto a disparate group of individuals, attitudes and behaviors guarantees that-no matter what legitimate basis there may be for some of their complaints-the RBC will be unable to carry out a a real and usable critique. "
-Here Wolfi alludes that we are similar to Right-wingers by using the word feminazi. This seems more like a rhetorical attack rather than a useful point. "Feminazi"coming from anti-feminists has a different context than "manarchy" coming from anarchists, some of which are male. Feminazi is a critique of feminism, manarchy is a critique of a particular kind of behavior within the anarchist movement.
-In distinction from the way that Wolfi paints our article, Manarchy is defined as a behavior, not an ideology. Sexism and racism are also behaviors that few anarchists would consciously support. All three behaviors are similar where people act in ways that oppress others in a way that is counter-productive. Does Wolfi\'s critique to manarchy apply to sexism/racism? Are critiques of racism/sexism based in a desire to fend off the revolution? If not, how are they different manarchy?
-It is unclear to me why using the word manarchy evades the "neccesity to critique" or why "RBC will be unable to carry out a real and usable critique."
-Many people wrote to us and said that they agreed with our analysis. Are they also scared off the revolution?

"Why not rather say what their limits are and act on that? Intelligent anarchists carry out their revolt in accordance with their capabilities and do not judge those whose capabilities differ."
--Exactly. And our critique of manarchists is the competitive one-upmanship of militant behavior.

"But there is a bottom line: in the methods of carrying out their struggle, anarchists do not compromise or negotiate with the ruling order."
--What does it mean to not compromise? Out of the hundreds who were arrested at the Republican National Convention, almost all gave their names. Are these people compromising with the ruling order? If you have a job and you get paid on the books, some of your paycheck goes to the government, is that compromise? Is using government issued money to buy something from some fucked up capatalist, compromise? Can you do these things, i.e. compromise, and still be an anarchist? Which is more revolutionary: taking a month to train hop across the country, or paying Exxon for gas and then taking a month to organize and get 100 people to attend their first action? What if the demonstration is permitted? What if there is a third person who shows up and charges the police gets beat up and arrested? Which person is in the position to tout him/herself as a more radical/anarchist than the others? I am skeptical of any notion of a "better radical." But, we could discuss which of these is the most tactically effective. If I believe that organizing a 100 people to go to a permitted rally is the most effective, does that mean I am a good for nothing anti-revolutionary?

"Sadly the ideological blinders through which the RBC view these matters makes their attempts at critiquing specific situations fail, because these matters are turned into supports for their ideological constructions. Thus, a possibly tactically unwise atempt to break through a barricade in Boston during the presidential debates there is not examined in terms of tactics, analyses of the situation or principles, but is simply labeled "tough" and spoken of in terms of the alleged more-radical-than-thou attitudes of those involved in the action. It is necessary for the RBC to speculate in this fashion in order to make the situation fit into their conception of "manarchy".
-when discussing Boston we did say "For some of these people, being pepper sprayed became a battle wound that illustrated their no-compromise \'radical\' position." Yet, I agree, we should have been clearer. We were not writing a 1500 word article in attempts to intricately discuss three separate tactical incidents but rather paint a picture of a behavior we find all too common.
-What makes Wolfi think we are "speculating" when we speak of manarchist behavior? Is it possible for some of those people to have acted the way we describe or is Wolfi in a position where s/he can reasonably dismiss our claim as pure "speculation"?

"The members of the RBC tell us that they are "all white and coming from economically privileged backgrounds". (This latter is reinforced by their obvious enrollment in a small, private college.) This may explain their arrogant presumption in declaring what the feelings and attitudes that underlie other people\'s actions are and in setting the limits of possible action for those less advantaged than them."
--Is it always wrong to declare the feelings of someone else\'s actions? In this article, Wolfi does this consistently as s/he explains our article as an attempt to mask our fear of the revolution. Is our explanation of the 3 examples we gave more in the original article more or less "arrogant" than Wolfi\'s presumption about us?

"It most certainly explains their view of radical activity and revolution as essentially a form of psychotherapy. They refer to direct action and the Black Bloc as a tactic for empowerment" and speak of " working to build a world where people are empowered and loving." (emphases added). This is all very nice, but 12-step groups talk about the same ideals and present no threat whatsoever to the present world. As I see it, revolutionary direct action is a means toward the destruction of the present world of domination and exploitation. And my aim is to build a world in which no one can be dominated or exploited, because the practise of uncompromising, self-determined has made everyone indomitable and uncontrollable."
-Empower means to take or assume power. Power goes to the root of oppression where imbalanced power relations enable one to control or dominate another. As far as I understand there is nothing particularly reformist or liberal about the focus on "empowerment." I also don\'t understand how a call for empowerment stands in distinction from calling for the destruction of domination and exploitation. As far as I know, these concepts are synonymous, not contradictory. I invite people to explain.
-Is our call for empowerment endemic of our class priveledge? If so, how does that make it wrong?

"So the refusal of compromise is not about self-sacrifice."
--Does this mean that no one who touts "no compromise" casts themselves as a martyr?
--If we are not martyrs, we should praise tactics that avoid battle wounds and jail time. Sometimes, we have to take action that will increase our likelihood of receiving these unfortunate markings of oppression. But, they should not be held up as necessary criteria to be an anarchist.

"Unlike the members of RBC, I am nor from an "economically privileged background". My parents were working class, and throughout my adult life I have been, by the standards of the state quite poor-though my preference for freedom from a job has had something to do with this, I have also pursued this preference without having wealthy parents or a trust fund to fall back on."
-Wolfi is implying that none of us have working class parents and all of us have trust funds. What evidence does Wolfi use to make this claim? Does the accuracy of his implication affect the accuracy of our message? Is Wolfi a better radical than we are because of his class position? If I listed a number of things that showed that we also have working class parents and/or are poor by the "standards of the state" would our argument become more or less legitimate?

"Contrary to the thoughts of these four well-to-do college students, those of us who are "economically disadvantaged" don\'t fret over not having money for a lawyer. The threat of arrest is a normal
part of our lives, because some level of illegality is bound to be part of our lives to supplement our incomes-and since the cops, in fact, do not treat us so well, arrest is likely enough sooner or later. In such
a context, why would I or others of my class be more afraid in our revolt for a fullness of life than we are in our activities for survival? Why would we hold back? The truth is that it is generally the more privileged-like those in RBC-who call for compromise, who get the permits, negotiate with the pigs and play all the nauseating reformist games that guarantee the continuance of the world of domination and exploitation, the world that fucks me over (yes, this is personal) Why? Because they have something to lose if this world falls, and they have the means within the present society to build " a space that is empowering, accepting, inclusive, accessible, communicative and community oriented." People in my position-near the bottom of American society-cannot afford to do this. Our only choice, if we wish to live full and intense lives is, in fact, to rise up against this world-and that does mean risking (though certainly trying to avoid)
prison or worse-just as so many of our survival tactics do. When you\'re at the bottom, illegality and prison are not an abstract question. They are part of your reality."
--Here, is Wolfi\'s speaking for the entire working class? Is s/he speaking for people of color? Illegal immigrants? Men and women? Lesbian, Gay, Bi, and Trans?
--I don\'t agree with Wolfi\'s simple dichotomy that we have privilege and therefore fear revolution but s/he is at the bottom and therefore favors it. As s/he points out we have much to gain from anarchist style revolution. This desire is the motivation for our writing as well as the other stuff that we do. But Wolfi also has privileged. There are gradations of "working class," but there is also gender, sex, sexuality, race, and nationality.
--Moreover, I don\'t think Wolfi\'s analysis explains why many oppressed groups have chosen permitted rallies as their forum for public demonstration. Before asserting that oppressed groups always advocate unpermitted demonstrations we must be able to answer the following questions:
-Why were the WTO and IMF demonstrations so white?
-At the presidential inauguration, why were there people of color organizing and attending the IAC and Civil Rights demos?
-Why do unions typically file for permits?
-Why was the 2000 May Day illegal immigrant rally in NYC permitted?
--I do not think that oppressed groups are incapable of unpermitted, militant action. But, I do think it is harder for oppressed groups because they risk more (deportation, police brutality, harsher sentencing, loss of job, etc.) Thus, we should not be surprised that oppressed people often organize permitted demonstrations. I think that non-permitted rallies have an important role, but I do not think that people who take the risk are necessarily better radicals.

So that\'s my take. Please give me your thoughts. I do not think that I am beyond criticism and realize that I can learn a lot from people\'s responses.

In solidarity,
Michael
Bardsac@riseup.net
Student Action Collective
C/o Rock Block
Annandale, NY 12504