Friday, 30 October 2015

Chris Draper & the Anomymity Problem!


Dear ****

Anonymity doesn’t generally deserve a response but as your epistle is polite, if also patronising and ill-informed, I guess there’s a chance you are sincere.

Anonymity should be anathema to anarchists.  The arguments are similar to coming out as gay. Anonymity essentially reinforces societal mechanisms of oppression and undermines solidarity of the oppressed. I’ve been an anarchist for almost fifty years and always 'out' as such and in my own name. I taught in state schools for several decades and was black-listed by two left-wing Labour education authorities as a result but was also influential and well-supported. It strikes me as hypocritical that anyone should claim to be an anarchist seeking revolutionary change in society yet balk at “getting into trouble at work”. 

To claim anarchist lineage for anonymity by citing someone (Maurice Brinton/ Christopher Pallis) who always rejected the label 'Anarchist' merely exemplifies ignorance. 

Although Kropotkin, Goldman, Rocker and countless other anarchists were pursued around the world they rarely resorted to anonymity.  There can be circumstances necessitating secrecy but posting abuse on the web isn’t one of them and neither is editing an anarchist newspaper. Until 'Rob Ray' assumed control of FREEDOM in 2005 none of the previous editors since 1886 had demanded anonymity and I thus joyfully outed him as, in real life, Simon Saunders the 'Morning Star’s' computer games correspondent.

Only in recent years has anonymity become widespread in 'anarchist' circles.  In diminishing personality and accountability and also undermining friendship and co-operation the practice has proved extremely corrosive and is antithetical to anarchism.

For Peace, Love & Anarchy
Christopher Draper, Llandudno 

1 comment:

OpenlyClassist said...

I take your point but CryptoAnarchists would disagree, especially for plausible deniability. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptoanarchism
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plausible_deniability