Mutual aid amidst militarization: Visions of anarchist abolitions futures for the United States
You are invited to join a livestream interview with Dr. Priya Dixit, Center for Humanities Research Associate for the 2022-2023 academic year, which will be live on the Center for Humanities YouTube page (https://www.youtube.com/@virginiatechcenterforhuman8813/streams)
It is well known that the United States is one of the most militarized countries in the world. Its military spending far surpasses its peers. Domestically, there are multiple levels of armed law enforcement with often overlapping authority. Civilian ownership of guns in the United States is higher than elsewhere as the US is the only country where there are more guns than people. It is difficult to conceptualize safety for communities and society in the context of this ongoing militarization of society. Here, I utilize the practices of prefigurative politics and mutual aid drawn from abolitionist and anarchist political thought and connect these to contemporary examples drawn from fieldwork experiences in Appalachia. In doing so, I theorize and imagine futures that are connected to anarchist and abolitionist theories of the state, violence, and the role of the individual. Overall, an anarchist abolitionist approach calls for anti statist, mutual-aid based practices to prevent and counter harm to communities. In contrast to militarized politics which centers the state and its use of force, an anarchist abolitionist approach illustrates how safety and security can be reimagined and re-made in the face of increasing militarization and state violence.