Submitted by ziq in Anarchism

First I should point out that most definitions of 'commune' wildly conflict with anarchy:

"organized for the protection and promotion of local interests, and subordinate to the state; the government or governing body of such a community."

So to avoid confusion, let's not use this loaded word at all and instead try to instill an anarchist bent to the concept of community... Let's just call it 'friendship', since that's essentially all we desire from an 'anarchist community'. Trusted friends we can live with, play with, learn with.

So how would I suggest you come to decisions in your arguments with your friends?

Well, I wouldn't.

People don't need me or anyone to direct their interactions with their friends or dictate to them how they should define and fulfill their relationships.

If you and your friends need me to prescribe you a program to adhere to in order for your friendship to function, you're clearly not interested in practicing anarchy.

Why even put the effort into maintaining the friendship if you need to involve an external body to create systems, laws and processes to ensure the friendship remains equitable? If your friend isn't being fair to you, why are you still their friend?

And if you're not friends, why do you care to reach consensus with them? Why share experiences with them and tie your fate to their desires if you don't even like them?

Is your idea of 'community' a suffocating debate club where people who don't even get along have to endlessly negotiate with each other and reach some arbitrary consensus in order to continue to co-exist? Wouldn't it be a lot easier to just not enter into formalized relationships with people whose values so conflict with your own as to provoke such intractable conflict?

If you desire anarchy, make your own decisions unhindered by the decrees of lionized authority figures and their taped-together social systems. Only you and your friends can decide how to best maintain your friendships. You don't need formal rules of association before you can form bonds with other humans you wish to commune with.

No one should presume to possess the power to tell others how to solve disputes they have with their friends. If you can't get along with a friend without ordinances from above then just don't be friends with them.



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subrosa wrote

For me, this is where Shawn's 'neo-Proudhonian' stuff becomes useful.

In Archy vs. Anarchy, an external constitution is contrasted with a constitution by association; making a very similar point, with interesting implications:

External Constitution: [...] There are probably a variety of ways in which the constitution of polities can be considered “external” to the actual associations to be “realized,” starting with the transformation of the individual into a citizen and the mass of individuals into the People—and then extending through all of the various ways in which identities are legally constituted within governmentalized collectivities.

Constitution by Association: The actual, fluid, evolving associations established between individuals and groups of individuals seldom resemble that archic centrally controlled social body. Instead, we find acephalous bodies, bodies with capacities distributed according to less anthropomorphic models and evolving networks that may stretch the metaphor of a social body to its breaking point. [...]

The constitution by association is the sort of friendship dynamic that you can 'navigate' without having fixed ideas about evolving contexts, and without making rules for how to navigate it. Personally, I wouldn't wanna associate with the constitution-writers, collectivists, the democratic decision-makers.

Party over here, I'll be over there.


celebratedrecluse wrote

If your friend isn't being fair to you, why are you still their friend?

There is so much abuse in anarchist spaces.

Honestly, do people need to be told how to interact with their friends? Yes, they do, as fucked up and bleak as that is.

Just spent last night attempting to console a friend after their "friend" stalked and harassed them and threatened to sue them in court (???) and isolated them from mutual friends during this fucking pandemic and housing crisis, by calling them a "toxic narcissist", for not dating them. They've never been involved.

Men are absurd and psychologically violent, and usually not anarchists in any serious sense. Unfortunately, without clear boundary enforcement and the implementation of....something social, to control this behavior, people will act like archists. It's depressing, but how can I deny it, given what I've seen?

Creating a culture/normativity around not being an asshole, is something which is not solving itself in anarchist groups. We're usually so small and isolated from the rest of the community, due to alienation of socializing under capitalism and the state and being subalterns in general, but also due to our own subcultural weirdness and unnecessary isolation from larger groups of people like us. The pandemic has made all of this SO MUCH WORSE


ziq OP wrote

sure, but give creepers like that the democratic right to force themselves on everyone because 'we have to reach a consensus with our fellow community member' and you makes things 10 times worse. fuck consensus, just eject the dipshit from your orbit


celebratedrecluse wrote

no doubt, i fully agree. the fetishization of consensus, to the detriment of freedom of association, is a huge problem.

Also problematic is the idea that there is a generally applicable "system" to solve problems like this, rather than a diagnostic discourse algorithm and set of possible options of how to deal with common problems. Unfortunately, it's going to require everyone to take some initiative to solve it, there is no mechanistic way to do it. That means that marginalized people will be disproportionately burdened with...dealing with the fallout of these problems


ziq OP wrote

It's important to set clear boundaries with people and cut ties when they cross them. The idea of a diagnostic algorithm sounds reductive and doomed to failure to me because there's no way it could account for all the disparate personalities and unique circumstances that can occur in a relationship. There's really no fail-proof program for human association, which is why it's so important for each individual to be aware of their own boundaries and be ready to enforce them.

A community can't have the authority to direct the relationship between 2 people, only the individuals directly involved can decide how to live their lives. You can give your friends support and understanding and even guidance, but you can't fight their battles for them or make up rules for how they should interact with each other. And they shouldn't expect that of you or anyone. People need to live their own lives and make their own choices.


celebratedrecluse wrote

In some limited contexts this might be workable, however people don't have atomized interactions. People with archist tendencies, tend to agglomerate social influence and power within anarchist spaces. Clearly to me, it demands a social change where people like this are responded to by the group, because groups are already uplifting and empowering the abuse?

Perhaps algorithm is the wrong word to communicate about this. I just mean, a process by which individuals decide their own boundaries and figure out, is this something I can continue or not. Is this dangerous, or not. It's not universal, it's specific. However, it is a practical matter, and needs to be taught/shared with people to protect themselves otherwise the abuse continues farther than it need to.


ziq OP wrote

You know, the entire concept of an "anarchist community" is really really toxic. It just allows abusive scumbags to id as anarchists and gain instant access to people that would never have associated with them otherwise. It's like some kind of bullshit vip badge that let's scumfuck shitlords prey on vulnerable, gentle, damaged, empathetic people who are looking for fellow travellers but instead getting greeted with dangerous predators looking to take advantage of their kind and forgiving anarchist spirit.

Fuck community. The whole thing is devious, just designed to manipulate people into associating with bullies and dickheads by whittling away at basic human needs like autonomy and consent.


celebratedrecluse wrote

community isn't designed, it evolved as an adaptation. so did the rest of our human artifices, including the good ones like autonomy, consent, freedom, mutual aid, and anything else we could hold up as something as an alternative here. Given that it evolved, in a complex and participatory fashion among many interlacing components, I am incline to not regard it as either "good" or "bad". It has its features, which we can detail, and critique, but it may be reductive to frame it as something which is easily judged and accepted or rejected as consequence.

But, I think this is just an extension of what you are saying. In other words, what would anarchist life look like, without the concept of anarchist community as a universalizing or homogenizing force?

So, this to say, I don't think you're wrong. There are deeply toxic things, that have been inculcated so much as to be approximately inherent, to the idea of anarchist community. There's also just plain unhelpful things, for example the conflation of aesthetics with immanence. But I think perhaps as well, there is a way for people to relate with each other that can be structured by the participants to be positive, and that this can scale. I also see that happen too, minus the "scale" part.

Another matter is, it is necessary to wield collective force, in order to survive in this context. For example: unless want to be homeless, must live with other people, or exert so much capital violence on the world that you extract enough back to rent your own place. Even if you aren't forming a massive tenant's autonomous network/union thing, you still need to cooperate with others in order to get by, and domestic environments like that for example are where toxic things happen most frequently. We can try to change the conditions for that to an extent, but there's also this "yeoman" individual farmer ideology that can be destructive to genuine radical social changes, and at its worst is USA imperialism and victim-blaming patriarchy.

Getting away from abstractions about "community", and more into the concretes of specific and defined social interactions that we are compelled to engage in, I think is where discourse would benefit people. Because then, you can map how to escape.


d4rk wrote (edited )

So, patchwork?


ziq OP wrote

idk what u mean


celebratedrecluse wrote

I think what they're getting at, is that this is a sidestepping of some real problems? I tried to sketch out what I think are some of the issues, in my own reply. I don't really have any solutions beyond your framework, but I think there's something missing nonetheless.


d4rk wrote

No I mean Moldbug's patchwork. ziq's ideas are clearly modelled on it.


ziq OP wrote

Enter Patchwork, Mencius Moldbug’s inspiring vision of a political system for the 21st century. Patchwork’s innovative design, which relies on sovereign joint-stock republics with cryptographic governance, brings the promise of clean streets, negligible crime, invincible robot armies, and world peace.

Really, really no.


Kinshavo wrote

Mencius is not a cryptofash?


ziq OP wrote (edited )

looks like a garden variety Amurican rightwing 'libertarian' to me (with extra robocop fetish) but that paragraph is all the info I have