Tips for Radicals

Aiming to be a "blog of the gaps" to cover things that other radical blogs often miss — what we want, our journey there, and issues along the way.

To help you searching the blog, I use the following tags to categorise posts:

  • theory - ways of structuring the world
  • strategy - plans to achieve the theories
  • tools - specific ways to (help) achieve the strategy
  • tips - advice that could help you in your life and action
  • examples and analysis of existing campaigns

For more info, see the about this blog page.

Please send in your own blog posts, links, comments, or article ideas either as a submission or an ask - always welcome.
"if you don't have a strategy, you're part of someone else's strategy."
– a. toffler

"What can we do today, so that tomorrow we can do what we are unable to do today?"
– Paulo Freire


I also run a more scatter-shot blog full of incoherent rants and tumblr arguments. Sorry about that.

Recent Tweets @

Love this post by anarcutie - feels like a very similar vibe to the posts done here on “privilege theory” (eesh) last year.


"Many forms of resistance to colonialism and empire are necessary and important, and this poster should not be interpreted as dissuading those forms of solidarity and resistance. Nor should anti-colonial consciousness and decolonization be thought of as mutually exclusive forms of action.  They often co-exist as “named” movements side by side. This poster seeks to point out that they may not be equivalent, and there are some critical differences between the two.
Recognizing many of the settlers engaging in this resistance identify as anarchists or dwell on an anti-colonial anarchist fringe, we ask you to consider how the pursuit of an anti-colonial  consciousness can still allow settler moves to innocence – diversions and distractions that relieve settlers of feelings of guilt while concealing the need to give up land, power, and privilege.
When anti-colonial action is complete, there is no guarantee that the settler has learned any more about who he is, or where he comes from. The inner work to heal the spirit from historic traumas that allow and perpetuate colonization may not be engaged.
Decolonization creates the possibility for the settler to become something more  -  to heal Indigenous identity, story, and spirit and deconstruct the very source of colonizing thought.”
— Anti-Colonial Anarchism vs Decolonization | Awakening the CrazyHorse Wordpress

"Many forms of resistance to colonialism and empire are necessary and important, and this poster should not be interpreted as dissuading those forms of solidarity and resistance. Nor should anti-colonial consciousness and decolonization be thought of as mutually exclusive forms of action.  They often co-exist as “named” movements side by side. This poster seeks to point out that they may not be equivalent, and there are some critical differences between the two.

Recognizing many of the settlers engaging in this resistance identify as anarchists or dwell on an anti-colonial anarchist fringe, we ask you to consider how the pursuit of an anti-colonial  consciousness can still allow settler moves to innocence – diversions and distractions that relieve settlers of feelings of guilt while concealing the need to give up land, power, and privilege.

When anti-colonial action is complete, there is no guarantee that the settler has learned any more about who he is, or where he comes from. The inner work to heal the spirit from historic traumas that allow and perpetuate colonization may not be engaged.

Decolonization creates the possibility for the settler to become something more  -  to heal Indigenous identity, story, and spirit and deconstruct the very source of colonizing thought.”

— Anti-Colonial Anarchism vs Decolonization | Awakening the CrazyHorse Wordpress

(via antidelusions)

My friend M is working on a series of easy-to-understand, practical posts about computer security for the vaguely security conscious. Enjoy this first one!

M’s Computer Security 101: Let’s start at the beginning….Passwords!

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Madame M looks into his crystal ball and sees your passwords they consist of a dictionary word, or a proper noun (lovers, childrens, pets, places names) with a couple of numbers on the end. Maybe you’ve jazzed it up with a capital letter at the start. Madame M sees you have a piss poor password.
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Last week revealed a huge percentage of the world’s email, instant messaging, VPNs and a shit loads of other services you log on to have been vulnerable to being hacked. This bug allows an attacker to extract information from the memory of a server, which may include passwords. This has been out in the wild for about 2 years. Intelligence services around the globe may have on record your passwords.

This is a very good time to review and change all of our passwords!

Hackers use a variety of tools to crack a password. Such as brute forcing (checking all possible combinations), dictionary attacks (using a huuuge hackers password list of possible passwords), rainbow tables (pre-computed mappings of encrypted passwords to clear text), phishing emails (nefarious emails prompting you to follow a link and login to it’s fake server) and fuck loads of other techniques….

So, what makes a good password?

  • Length (over 14 characters)
  • Complexity (mix of upper case, lower case, numbers and special characters)
  • Unpredictability (apparent random nonsense)

BUT it needs to be memorable! (to prevent you writing it down)

How the fuck do we achieve that? Use the mnemonic of taking the first letter of each word of a phrase, song lyric or line from a book and shove them all together. Then swap certain letters for special characters (e.g. a for @, e for 3 etc) and leave in the punctuation.

For example…
"Wwtfw@th,wwth,@wwtn!"

Has been made from……….
"We want the finest wines available to humanity, we want them here, and we want them now!"

That’s a strong yet memorable password!

Now that we’ve created a strong password only use it in one place. If a hacker cracks one of your passwords they will try if for everything they can find you use.

"Madame M, how can I remember all these passwords for the umpteen logins I have" I hear you cry.

Use an encrypted password safe such as the excellent Keepass. This will safe store your complex passwords leaving you only the master password to remember.

So, now we have strong passwords, not reused on more than one login and a safe way to store these good passwords….but there is one final thing.

You should change them regularly. If one password becomes known for any reason the hacker will have access to this service for as long as it’s not change. Every 3 months would be a sensible time to change you passwords.

So, in short….

  • Use long, complex, unpredictable but memorable passwords.
  • Do not use the same password on more than one login.
  • Change your password regularly (at least every 3 months).
  • Keep you passwords safely in Keepass.

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Madame M leers into his crystal ball but cannot see your naked selfies as you now have a bad ass password policy!
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Solidarity <3

(via selenes-light)

Anarchist Affinity:
How is anarchism still relevant in the world today? What do anarchist ideas about strategy and tactics have to offer people active in social movements today?

Michael Schmidt:
I’d say there are several ways in which anarchism is relevant today:

1) It provides the most comprehensive intersectoral critique of not just capital and the state; but all forms of domination and exploitation relating to class, gender, race, colour, ethnicity, creed, ability, sexuality and so forth, implacably confronting grand public enemies such as war-mongering imperialism and intimate ones such as patriarchy. It is not the only ideology to do this, but is certainly the main consistently freethinking socialist approach to such matters.

2) With 15 decades of militant action behind it, it provides a toolkit of tried-and proven tactics for resistance in the direst of circumstances, and, has often risen above those circumstances to decentralise power to the people. These tactics include oppressed class self-management, direct democracy, equality, mutual aid, and a range of methods based in the conception that the means we use to resist determine the nature of our outcomes. The global anti-capitalist movement of today is heavily indebted to anarchist ethics and tactics for its internal democracy, flexibility, and its humanity.

3) Strategically, we see these tactics as rooted in direct democracy, equality, and horizontal confederalism (today called the “network of networks”), in particular in the submission of specific (self-constituted) anarchist organisations to the oversight of their communities, which then engage in collective decision-making that is consultative and responsible to those communities. It was the local District Committees, Cultural Centres, Consumer Co-operatives, Modern Schools, and Prisoner-support Groups during the Spanish Revolution that linked the great CNT union confederation and its Iberian Anarchist Federation (FAI) allies to the communities they worked within: the militia that fought on the frontlines against fascism, and the unions that produced all social wealth would have been rudderless and anchorless without this crucial social layer to give them grounding and direction. In order to have a social revolution of human scale, we submit our actions to the real live humans of the society that we work within: this is our vision of “socialism”.

In sum, anarchism’s “leaderless resistance” is about the ideas and practices that offer communities tools for achieving their freedom, and not about dominating that resistance. Anarchists ideally are fighting for a free world, not an anarchist world, one in which even conservatives will be freed of their statist, capitalist and social bondage to discover new ways of living in community with the rest of us.

It will, of course, be said that such a scheme as is set forth here is quite unpractical, and goes against human nature. This is perfectly true. It is unpractical, and it goes against human nature. This is why it is worth carrying out, and that is why one proposes it. For what is a practical scheme? A practical scheme is either a scheme that is already in existence, or a scheme that could be carried out under existing conditions. But it is exactly the existing conditions that one objects to; and any scheme that could accept these conditions is wrong and foolish. The conditions will be done away with, and human nature will change. The only thing that one really knows about human nature is that it changes. Change is the one quality we can predicate of it. The systems that fail are those that rely on the permanency of human nature, and not on its growth and development. The error of Louis XIV was that he thought human nature would always be the same. The result of his error was the French Revolution.

Oscar Wilde had a knack for saying things perfectly (via class-struggle-anarchism)

This is such a great summary of why calls to “be realistic” are such bullshit.

Great interview with David Harvey, going over how capitalism sustains itself, creates poverty, and reacts to movements that challenge it.

universalequalityisinevitable:

Peter Joseph on structural violence, from this video.

(via ragemovement)

dagwolf:

tanacetum-vulgare:

The Student Union of Michigan ran an interview last week about a gutsy move by six Duke graduate students: For the past two years, they have collectivized wages. That is, they take their “stipends” (university-speak for “paychecks,” a sleight of verbiage that gets universities out of all sorts of labor laws) and put them into one big bank account. This way, for example, if you have an engineering student who makes a whopping $25,000 a year because he’s got summer funding, he or she subsidizes the medieval historian with two kids who gets only a swift kick in the groin from June to September.

The idea that $25k/yr is “whopping” is pretty funny, but this is fantastic. 

Collectivized wages in a department is great and all, not that it would ever happen. Can you imagine the lump of coal that’s been refusing to retire putting his earnings into the same account as the young fellows?

This would be great. I do have the feeling that if this were to become a trend the schools would find a way to profit from it by increasingly exploiting labor for less pay and benefits. Cool story, tho.

I am right now cracking up imagining some of the privileged shits I went to school with sharing funds. I mean, they didn’t even want to share their space with specific writers. Who belonged and who didn’t was a big deal at my school. Financially speaking, my friend, D, could have used something like this. He was strapped. I could have, too. I could have gotten out of a shitty relationship a lot sooner. But several of our colleagues were already well off, and I’m sure would want to opt out. We had a hard time getting a grad student org up and running. I can only imagine what this would have done. Still. I’d do it. I’d live in a commune. I’d off to a squat right now if I could. (Nothing like that for us in Seoul.) Share my books and records and food and money and clothes—that’s all i got—with all of you. I don’t think that’s what this is all about, though.

Then again, as collectivized a life as I’d like to live, I have trust issues and maybe they’re showing in my emotional response to this. Boohoo, I’m damaged.

This is cute!