Still, it is sad that so few of our younger recruits manage to carry their anarchism on into their further life- beyond that they decide to extend their adolescense into middle age (cheered on by a tiny minority of evil people enscounced in the anarchist movement who encourage such actions for profit-you know the type). THIS is a failing that a mature anarchism will eventually correct. Whether it be by the gradual building of anarchosyndicalist unions that offer people an opportunity to carry their anarchism forward into the real world- something that is being done as we speak. Wherther it be by the formulation of long term plans such as the platformists are trying to do today. Whether it be by the gradual growth of other anarchist alternatives that aim for long term growth. All these things come together, and they are considerations that anarchists should think about if they are not enraptured with the illusion of "revolution" or, worse, simply sticking their finger up the nose of ordinary people as certain primitivist and "post-leftist" sectarians do.
THE AUTUMN OF ANARCHY:
We all eventually reach this point, and many who first came to anarchism in the late 60s/early 70s, have done so already. Such is Molly's sad situation. As such she gets to observe such atrocities as "presuned elders" of the anarchist movement who have been alive less than the time that she has been active advocating the continuation of silly, self destructive tactics that, incidentaly, will rebound to the financial benefit of the advocates. The advantage of age is to be able to cynically recognize crooks because one has seen their like dozens of times before. The disadvantage is that we get stuck in the thought patterns of our youth. Memory is not thought. It may be an advantage to recognize patterns that were great and gross failures before, and the same "justifications" that are offered for them today which are the same as those offered years ago. The example of "kindergarden terrorism" was mentioned before.
What is sad is that there is little "opportunity" offered for older people in anarchism today. Most older anarchists, when retirement finally comes about, immerse themselves in the struggles of ordinary people that have little connection to anarchism. In some ways this is a great thing, as they carry the struggle into exactly where it should be, amongst people that younger anarchists are often too snotty to approach. The gradual growth of anarchism means that there will be an increasing number of such people who will spread the anarchist idea in a much more efficient way than flashy demonstrations can. But it is still sad that there is so little interchange between this older generation-who now exist in greater numbers than they did when I first became an anarchist-and the younger people who come to anarchism imagining that it was invented with punk rock.
So what does this mean in terms of "why anarchist projects fail" ? The limitations of projects initiated by younger people whose life situations are inherantly unstable should be obvious. To make them survive the "graduation" of their founders requires exquisite planning that often-usually- is not possible. The limitations of anarchism in "middle-age" are also obvious, and they will only be overcome by gradual growth, something that younger people don't see as necessary. As to older anarchists one may say that they should very much carry on as they do now, but perhaps they should make a greater effort to reach out to (and if necessary argue with) younger anarchists who are in need of their experience.