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celebratedrecluse wrote

I used to treat organizing like a try-hard student treats a group project. Other radicals’ ideas, activity and efforts were only Good if they were useful to whatever campaign I was working on. My friends helped out here and there, but they lacked commitment to the organization and would fail to return to meetings after completing the project they helped with.

This hurts me, because I can relate.

Utilitarianism destroy friendship


celebratedrecluse wrote

At first, the informality felt like a mess; I couldn’t keep track of who was doing what unless I was directly involved and needed to know. And that was difficult to adjust to, especially when I could see projects everywhere but still didn’t really know who might help me find a way in.

the inaccessibility is a security feature, but it's also a functionality bug. There aren't any good answers to this, especially because you need to especially keep out the type of person who works in these type of organizations, out of the anarchist projects. It like sodium metal and water, explosively destructive.

Leftist organizers told me that the Project emerged from the Organization. My friends showed me that organization emerges between our individual projects.

Unless it doesn't; there are plenty of examples of anarchist and communist and whatever, not doing what they commit to do, and then it having negative consequences for the most vulnerable people in a situation. There's enough examples, that I argue it's a pattern characteristic to the organizational style, one that should be addressable by looking at the organizational style.

The tankies may drive people away with their hierarchical forms and divisive attitudes and need to control...but the anarchist, we will drive people away with an inability to make good on promises, a lack of logistics, and frequently unchecked platonism (ideal forms over material causality)

I don't know what you do to synthesize a solution to these issues, but I think it's important to acknowledge a problem. There is a weakness to non-hierarchical politics, to the point that many have gone so far as to reduce their own understanding of their own capacity for autonomy and power by writing off entire possibilities of action. I'm reminded of the squatting post that I made earlier today, and the reply about not being able to get homeless people interested in it. But this goes deeper than homeless people, it is at the heart of anarchy today, and every form of leftism. The electoralism of the DSA and whatever in North America, is basically the response of people who have no idea how to accomplish what they want, only a vague idea of what they want or even what the organization wants, and are resigning themselves to a compromise that cannot deliver something they find truly satisfying. So they are just compromising their position, because weakness is valorized culturally.

It's to the point that, people identify weakness with anarchy and with left wing, anti electoral politics in general. Or, they identify anarchy or communism etc, with the worst sort of opportunistic violence by the worst people who used a particular word to describe their ethos. Either or, I guess, you can't really win.

So I would like to see an anarchy that is about winning and not about losing, and a communism that isn't about compromises and selling your politics to the liberal party.

I wasted years on general assemblies and GBMs trying to force an insurgent network into existence, when all I had to do was just start paying attention to what was already going on, take a second to realize that no Party could ever “organize” all of it into a coherent movement, and then take a step back far enough to see that’s actually a good thing.

I like this paragraph, I think it might be framed as the difference between running a monoculture farm, and foraging. One requires and implements a totalitarian control and creates at best only diminishing returns, while the other is more sustainable and efficient (hunter-gatherer spent less time working than farmers or herders, iirc), and is also more ergonomic with how humans actually work rather than with how social institutions assert they should work.

Revolt happens with or without us.

This is technically true in at least some ways, but undercuts the point made earlier in the essay, about how you should pay attention to what is going on around you informally because that is the "revolt"/revolution/insurrection/process of interest. This statement, while true in some ways, is basically opposed to the argument that what anarchists do is more effective than it seems at first, and by proxy that what anarchist do is important or worthwhile.

In other word, is what I do important or not? The essay writer is definitely speaking from a place of burnout, I can tell. Of course, that is not to dismiss everything they said, but I think there is more conversation to be had about these apparent rhetorical incongruities. Uncharitably, one could interpret this as a way to side step critiques of the position articulated in the essay, but I doubt it's intentional.

Elsewhere, anarchy spreads like cracks in the concrete. Anarchy, not anarchism. A diverse, decentralized mosaic of struggles for autonomy.

Until the land beneath the ruins of the colonial order is reclaimed by a life beyond Leviathan.

This is beautiful prose, clearly a talented writer