Sharing and Supporting Anarchist Ideas and Experiences

Category: Podcast (Page 1 of 3)

Includes posts featuring the Smash the Class podcast.

Smash the Class, Episode 8: Tourism and Apps – A Discussion on Language

In a twist from the format of usual episodes, our friend Carl reached out to us to talk to us about a topic that he had written about. This topic was about the ways in which we learn languages and how we engage with doing so, especially via apps like Duolingo.

Much of the conversation revolves around a number of topics. This includes a discussion around translation and its place within our movement, which includes how we translate things and how people perceive that information. Other aspects of the conversation discuss the issue of monolingualism, particularly with regard to English-speakers, and the recognition that plurilingualism is something we should more widely support.

We even discuss elements of constructed auxilliary languages! So there is a small conversation around things like Esperanto.

We had a lot of fun doing this, and we were absolutely happy that Carl reached out. If you also want to reach out, please feel free to contact us!

Resources mentioned in the podcast episode:
Carl’s piece Tourism and Apps (en español: Idiomas secundarios)
Tech Won’t Save Us: Big Tech Won’t Revitalize Indigenous Languages (with Keoni Mahelona)

Smash the Class, Episode 7: The Tragedy in Our Unions


  • Images in this episode’s cover have been taken from posts made by Twitter user @anarcobergueda2.
  • A full transcript of this episode, complete with clickable sections, can be found here.

In July, CNT Barcelona made a handful of decisions that would lead to people calling for them to be defederated. The primary decision among these was that they decided to work with and willingly platform individuals from a supposed “feminist” organisation who openly question whether trans and gender nonconforming people event have the right to exist. Considering the place they often hold among anarchists as a result of their history, this was particularly jarring and disappointing for a lot of people who heard this news.

But it’s not at all surprising that this would be happening, particularly considering the history of the CNT and its many changes. This is why we wanted to explore this topic by looking at their history and exploring the times that they did reinforce hierarchies that they should’ve work towards tearing down. And since July, more and more people have been speaking out against this. In fact, Houston’s IWW branch put out a statement supporting the calls to defederate from them.

But there’s something missing in this conversation. Anarcho-syndicalist unions have long been places that have promoted labour-focused pedagogy and engaged in labour education through many of their actions (though most people have almost entirely associated this purely to their seminars and workshops). If our unions are going to continue to promote themselves as educational spaces, we need to question what they’re trying to promote and teach, especially if it’s in line with the current ideology of fascist movements that many of us are struggling against.

We also wanted to talk with Mireia, who has been part of the CNT. As someone who endured one of the more recent membership purges from the CNT, she is in a unique position to explore many of the issues taking place there and to look at what we can do to improve our organisations (even if that improvement requires that we dismantle something entirely).

But we also want to make it clear that these things are continuously happening around us. This is not the first nor the last time we will see this, but we need to recognise these patterns. While readings aren’t the only answer, there are a few that could help further this conversation and help outline noticeable patterns to look out for and struggle against. One such is a reflection that was published by members who split from Black Rose/Rosa Negra, highlighting the issue of patriarchy and the consistent refusal to deal with harmful and abusive behaviours. Another is a piece that was written by Adrienne Onday discussing the failure of apparently radical cishet men who often fail to step up in situations where they should.

Patriarchy is something that all people and organisations need to deal with, even when they believe otherwise.

Smash the Class, Episode 6: Discussing the Contradictions within the School

In our sixth episode, Sonia and Nicole expand upon ideas that they had written in their article “The Revolutionary Power of Asking Questions.” They discuss the ways that the school systems—regardless of their positions as public, private, or anything in between— are inherently colonial and imperialist structures that maintain specific hierarchies.

It is imperative that we explore the ways that these structures operate and how they ensure that change doesn’t happen, even as they make the claims that they are spaces of change and learning. We need to better understand the ways that people who grow within them learn their ‘place’ in society, and we need to recognise the ways in which they coerce people to assimilate into society’s desires. We believe that there needs to be more open discussion about the ways that all people, particularly marginalised people, are done a disservice by schools while also understanding that reforming them will never be enough.

In exploring this, we outline the ways in which traditional structures within the school maintain the status quo and teach children the supposed ‘correct’ way of behaving. We also outline the contradictions that are inherent in what we, as a society, believe schools are for and what they are actually designed to do.

Enjoy! And if you’d like to help us explore other topics of anarchist education, please feel free to reach out to us on our email or any of the social media listed here.

Smash the Class, Episode 5: Discussing the Intersections Between Pedagogy and Therapy

In the fifth episode of Smash the Class, we were joined by Renya of Come Together Counseling. They’re an anarchist in Pennsylvania who conducts practice as a therapist and often talks about how their work in therapy intersects with anarchism.

During the time that we were talking with Renya, we discussed a whole range of topics. We originally wanted to do something together because we kept noticing a lot of the overlaps between therapy  and pedagogy. As a result, much of this conversation surrounds the intersections between the two, their relationship to anarchism, and how our learning spaces need to incorporate both. We also discuss our passive acceptance of authority figures, how we can work to overcome bureaucracy and its obstacles, and how our spaces can respond to the needs of the people in them.

Two videos that were the impetus for this were Renya’s videos on Internal vs External Motivation and Embodying Anarchist Principles as a Therapist. We also referenced a piece titled “How Can We Prefigure Society When We Only Seem to React.

Hope you enjoy it!

Smash the Class, Episode 4: Discussing Expertise and Authority in Our Learning (Part 1)

It’s been a while, but we’ve put together our fourth episode of Smash the Class!

Sparked by our experiences with Joyful Resistance, we wanted to talk about how our understanding of expertise and authority can inhibit a lot of the conversations and learning that can take place within our various communities. As we hosted these meetings, which were meant to act more in line as either a support group or space to just meet with others interested in anarchist pedagogies, we kept noticing that a lot of people seemed to want one thing: experts. There was an expectation that these meetings would have an expert to tell us what to do.

This isn’t inherently bad! And we’re not intending to shame anyone because we get it. But we just noticed that people wanted experts to provide answers and solutions to something we haven’t quite figured out, especially because we all come from different cultural spaces and backgrounds. We’d hoped to create a space for people to find others to connect with in their development of anarchist pedagogies.

So in this episode, we spend time discussing concepts like being able to make mistakes and feeling comfortable with it, the problems around focusing on individualisation while neglecting collaboration, and the ways that learning is a lifelong process that we all need to keep going through.

We also reference quite a few different things that have been done, these include:

And if you want to check out the School Revolt playlist for 2022, everything is available here.

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