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robottroymacclure wrote

this is a really interesting article but from the point of view of someone whos still new to this discussion i have a few questions. first of all, the impression i get from the people i hear making these arguments is that it is impossible to have a conversation that is not political. if you want to talk about science or philosophy or the basic stuff of reality than you dont really realize the water your swimming in. every conversation is political. there are good guys there are bad guys. to take this a step further not only are there, "bad guys" but anyone who is ignorant of your philosophy and caucasian is probably ignorant and unconsciously biased and evil. it really does seem like a person, me for example, who is just a random broke white guy that tries to do his best and get along is secretly guilty of the original sin of being white or privileged or maybe even just guilt of having an unconcious bias that they never question or wrestle with. idk, its hard to talk about. the point is there are good guys and bad guys and we should always seek out the bad guys and at least give them a stern talking to because they are ignorant and caucasian. fine. im not saying im necessary opposed to that idea. if you would just verify that is your philosophical position it would be fine. i just think that identity politics when it comes down to it is about identifying the villian and anytime that happens then people end up getting hurt. i dont like it when people get hurt and i would hope you dont intend to hurt people because you have been oppressed or been hurt in the past. thanks. end of rant


amongstclouds wrote

There are no good or bad guys. All social interaction is indeed political and I'm not taking you any more serious because I'm not sure why you're assuming I'm violent.

Also, I'm white and I'm not guilty, but I am aware of my position within a matrix of power. I am also aware of history and the fact that all of the material wealth I benefit from was built off of systemic genocide and forced labor.

But again, I don't find your post totally genuine.


robottroymacclure wrote

Im sorry i did not phrase that properly. i do not think that you yourself are a violent person. the call for action in alot of this literature is rather militant in addressing grievances and aggressive in tone. so, its easy to see (for me anyway) that if there is no discussion to be had with the people that the author disagrees with because the other side is just wrong, what means what do you have to work out your disagreements besides violence? what is is there? i agree with you about the matrix of power thing. but i disagree where you say that there are no good guys or bad guys. when a person makes themselves the good guy then naturally that is in opposition to some other group of people they disagree with who are bad guys. the alt right is engaged in exactly this kind of activity but they think they are good or right. Im not going to argue that both sides of this debate are equally correct because your side is clearly right in the fact that greivances should be addressed and historic wrongs need to be righted. i only object to the WAY the conversation is being had. anyways, if you dont think my words are genuine then that is a good place to start a conversation. thank you for your honesty and candor.


amongstclouds wrote (edited )

I'm not a moralist, nor am I allergic to violence. I accept the fact that some change can never be done through reform.

I wish things were as simple as good guy/bad guy. Things would be much eaiser.

I'm also not a leftist to be fair.


anarchist_critic wrote

Here's why your justifications of idpol sound ridiculous.

There is no “shared social reality”. There are billions of micro-realities of each individual.

Social structures either exist materially in the outer world or are imposed by elites and states. They are not effects of individuals' unconscious assumptions and habits.

People's unconscious assumptions, habits, and motives are not reducible to their positionality. There are significant individual differences.

All people are affected by limited knowledge, unconscious beliefs, etc. Oppressed people are not immune to this. False pro-system common sense is just as likely among black people, women, black women, gay men, trans people, people with disabilities as anyone else. The bourgeoisie and the state indoctrinate people into the dominant common sense through means such as media and schooling, and oppressed groups are not immune to this. Idpol refuses to question this common sense and treats it as a natural outgrowth of “experiences” and “bodies” - and therefore defends bourgeois common sense.

Oppression, domination and alienation are built into capitalism, statism and civilisation. They aren't the exclusive preserve of any particular group or groups.

Real oppression is not “saying a bad word” or “interrupting someone” or “not listening to someone else's experience”. Real oppression is coercive, repressive power of some people over others. All statism is oppressive. The gender and race of the head of state are irrelevant.

Accountability means some people having control over others. That's anathema to anarchy.

Trying to force other people to “change” against their will is a form of oppression. Other people's subjectivity and inner life are none of your business unless they ask for your help.

Intersectionality is a buzzword with no meaning. It's impossible to be equally militant about multiple structural oppressions at the same time, because they don't always overlap.

Idpol is doublethink. They claim to be inclusive but they constantly exclude and attack people.

Idpol is observably divisive in practice.

Idpols fight invisible bogeymen like “whiteness”, “heteronormativity”, “settler colonialism”, “white supremacy”, “masculinity”, “the patriarchy”, which exist everywhere and nowhere. The ontological status of these purported entities is undefined. Some of them have academic definitions but these are irrelevant to the ways idpols use them. Whether a given instance is or isn't “whiteness” or “patriarchy” is at the discretion of the idpol.

Idpols want everyone else to criticise their unconscious assumptions and habits and to self-change and be humble – but none of them practice what they preach. So, this writer does not have to be “respectable” but speaks from raw experience (i.e. aggressively), but other people are meant to be careful not to say anything which triggers them. This attitude is common among idpols, meaning they constantly trigger one another, and alienate everyone else. Idpol therefore turns into a shitstorm of people arguing over who ought to be accountable to whom.

Anarchy is not about “everyone taking responsibility” - levelling everyone down to the level of the worst-off today. Anarchy is about freedom, levelling-up.

People who have real issues, such as being murdered by pigs or dying of starvation or being made homeless, don't care about stupid issues like “someone used a bad word” or “white guy in dreadlocks” or “they used my art without permission” or “there aren't enough female POC writers being taught on your $50,000 graduate degree”. Idpol is led by middle-class elites using the struggles of the oppressed to advance their own causes.

Saying that anyone who disagrees with you must oppose “civil rights struggles”, be “white-centered”, not want “radical change” or be motivated by “ego” is exactly the kind of vicious misrepresentation which makes this style of politics both divisive.

Idpols tend to be paranoid and see any disagreement with their claims as concealing a genocidal, extreme-right agenda or at least the invisible power of “whiteness” or “masculinity” or “heteronormativity”. Accusations that “I don't find your post totally genuine” are a good example of this.

Many people from oppressed backgrounds do not have a voice in idpol. Many black and Latino men are macho. Many white working-class men are macho and racist. Most people in the global South do not believe in idpol. Idpol makes it impossible to even speak to the oppressed.

Spend five minutes with homeless people or urban youth or refugees or prisoners, you'll realise that it's a “microaggression” a minute. Idpol excludes these people, and excludes YOU from working productively (rather than repressively) with these people.

Idpol does not challenge the root structures of capitalism, statism, industrial civilisation or even neoliberalism. Instead it tries to criminalise or suppress the symptoms.

Idpol is weaponised by the state to expand its powers – as an excuse for more incarceration, snitching, catch-all laws, surveillance, ID, etc.

Idpol embeds assumptions about ontology, society, psychology, ethics, which are reactionary and neoliberal. Cognitivist and behaviorist psychology, Levinasian original-sin ethics of open-ended unmeetable duties to “Others”, puritanism, conveyor-belt reasoning, moral stinginess which holds people responsible for unintended consequences and things they can't control, demands for “self-change”, displacement of structural issues into individual issues, the belief that symbolic validation and material survival are the same thing. No feminist, anti-racist, gay liberationist, or anti-imperialist believed these things until about 15 years ago. They are NOT progressive beliefs. They are NOT feminist or anti-racist or Queer or Indigenous ideas. They are New Right ideas.

Idpol seeks to reshuffle the distribution of power and goods among groups within capitalism, anarchism seeks to smash capitalism.

Idpol seeks to leverage state power to protect “marginalised people” (such as female politicians upset about getting rude emails), anarchism seeks to smash state power.

Idpol seeks to absorb increasing ranges of groups and perspectives in the Spectacle, anarchism seeks to destroy the Spectacle.

Idpol seeks to extend everyday policing and etiquette from physical and material harm to offence, nuisance, and psychological distress, anarchism seeks to smash everyday policing and etiquette.

Idpol seeks to force everyone to change and “self-crit” in line with a socialised conception of who they are and who they should be, anarchism seeks free development of each and all without restriction by spooks.


amongstclouds wrote (edited )

You're making an awful lot of assumptions about what I'm saying and also I doubt you've ever any read any intersectional theory and parrot all of the same points of an egoist who is actually haunted by what one wishes to assume I am. Thanks for the well thought reply though. It's a nice change.


amongstclouds wrote (edited )

If you wish to have a critical analysis of virtually any of the problems that arise due to civilization and the social interaction it entails intersectionality is a tool to historically map out the path of destruction wrought through the exploitation and oppression of many intersecting individual realities. You're confusing this analysis with the same boogeyman the right is passing off as 'idpol' while only being concerned for the preservation of THEIR identity. Idpol is a pejorative for intersectionality and until you actually take the time to educate yourself you are cursed to be lacking in an important tool.

None of us experience life the same and we should be encouraging the voices that most need to be heard to be as loud as possible.

It's ironic how you have wheels in your head and you tried approaching me with the same cliche chatter spouted by R E A C A T I O N A R I E S and reinforced by liberals.


anarchist_critic wrote

haunted by what one wishes to assume I am

Yeah, starting out by calling people who disagree with you “reactionaries” was not a good start there.

preservation of their identity

Nobody here cares about identity except you. I'm anonymous here. I don't give a fuck if race and gender roles burn. In fact I'd love them to burn, because they're spooks. But like all idpols you cannot hear a criticism of idpol without instantly imagining it's veiled racism or veiled sexism.

I don't know how much of what I've said is a criticism of your position. You cross-posted an article. Apart from showing the paranoia in your imputing bad faith to a previous interpellant (which you've just taken out on me as well). My points are all true of the article.

Apparently I'm “not educated”. Wrong. I've read all the heavy idpol stuff. Butler, Spivak, Bhabha. I've wasted dozens of hours reading decolonial theory because one of my friends got into it. I've read hundreds of idpol articles I've seen posted and cross-posted places like this. I've also read lots of Marxism and neo-Marxism, classical and contemporary anarchism, anthropology and social sciences, including stuff on the politics of postcolonial countries (like Nigeria and Colombia), on gender in these countries, and on the ways ethnicity is used for divide-and-rule. I know the origins of your ideology better than you know them yourself. The psychology is behaviorist and rejects the findings of psychoanalysis. The ethic is lifted from Levinas via Derrida and is a re-hash of original sin and ressentiment. The sociology is naïve, rationalistic, assuming that diffuse power already exists, that power does not exist at central sites, that power is mainly exercised by individuals through their beliefs and practices, and that it is exercised in pursuit of the self-interest of these individuals or their identity-groups. A bit of half-processed Foucault and Lacan, and half-understood radical black/gay/feminist theory from the 70s, mixed with a lot of CBT, rational choice theory, Giddensian blurring of structure and agency, and buzzwords dressed up as concepts.

Judith Butler defines structures as sets of unconscious, learnt beliefs and unconscious habits of behavior which are patterned by things like race, gender and sexuality. She sees these beliefs and habits as the cause of (for example) police murdering black people (because they have twisted “threat perceptions”). So she demands that everyone from “privileged” groups engage in a painful process of re-education to “unlearn” these beliefs and habits. She's wrong because this is a liberal therapeutics or pedagogics of self-change and not a revolutionary politics of structural change. She's wrong because the real causes of atrocities in capitalism, statism and civilisation will not go away because people “self-change”, but only if they change their external situations, relationships, institutions. Changing curricula is reformist. Deschooling is radical. Capitalists and pigs won't become moral because they learn corporate social responsibility or humility or racial sensitivity. Capitalists with moral qualms will either have to swallow these qualms to compete, or be out-competed by other capitalists. Pigs with moral qualms become ineffective pigs.

I've read and listened and understood your “intersectional” theories. And I still don't agree with them.

It's pretty easy to analyse the history of capitalism and civilisation without reference to idpol. Extractive industry bosses grab land to fuel industrial growth so they can make profits. If there's farmers or indigenous people on the land, they hire goons or thugs or local pigs to make them go away. Then they pretend the mass-murder or forced displacement are just necessary costs of progress, voluntary relocation, dying off from inferiority, or some other such bullshit. Some of them end up in the “surplus population”, unemployed and living on squatted land. Some of them end up working in sweatshops for the bosses who took their land, making things the bosses sell and keep most of the money from. Meanwhile people thousands of miles away whose ancestors were driven off their land centuries ago are consuming the stuff the companies are providing because they don't see an alternative and/or they're fooled by the bullshit and/or they're trying to rebuild autonomy but they haven't had much success yet. The bosses have to give people resources to buy them off, and it gives different groups of people different amounts of resources to divide-and-rule and/or because of different degrees of success in historical struggles and/or because it needs the help of some people more than others. Capitalism is an amoral, mechanical system. Experience doesn't come into it. The experience of the people on the receiving end is nearly always that they suffer immensely, but this doesn't count for anything in the profit logic or the state security logic unless it leads people to fight back or drop out or get too sick to work when they're needed for work. Anti-capitalist or anti-civ or anarchist (anti-state) politics is all about smashing the big institutions and overthrowing the elites which are behind all this bullshit. Idpol is about reformism, guilt-tripping, punishment (aka “accountability”) and self-change.

Still think I don't understand? Maybe you could start by defining “intersectionality”. Not some massive article – just a couple of lines on the concept or doctrine. Then, define “whiteness” (or any of these big vague enemies you lot like to invoke). What kind of thing is it, ontologically? How do we know if it's operative in a setting or not? In what ways can a claim, “this is a result of whiteness” be verified or falsified?


Dumai wrote (edited )

you are... not doing a good job of proving you understand this stuff on anything more than a superficial level. not if you think post-structuralism and behavioural psychology are the same thing, not if you think an orthodox jewish philosopher would "rehash" original sin, not if you think anything in butler or derrida or foucault is "individualist" or "rationalistic". that's not what happens when you deconstruct subjectivity, lol

like, i mean:

"Judith Butler defines structures as sets of unconscious, learnt beliefs and unconscious habits of behavior which are patterned by things like race, gender and sexuality."

so apparently judith butler is a psychological behaviourist... with a keen interest in the unconscious mind. she has no stake in semiotics, just "learnt beliefs and habits". apparently her sociology is "rationalistic" and she rejects the findings of psychoanalysis (so i don't know what she was on about in the psychic life of power). she thinks race, gender, and sexuality are "things" that pattern social construction rather than actually being constructs in and of themselves. she believes power is "diffuse" but also localised to individuals at the same time somehow. these are not things anybody who has actually read judith butler would say? or anybody with even the slightest idea what they are talking about???


amongstclouds wrote

Maybe when you stop pretending to be able to read my mind I'll take you serious.

Also please point out where I said some voices are more important than others... oh you can't because I said voices that aren't being heard need to be heard.

Stay spooked, bro!


anarchist_critic wrote

Now to the politics. You think some voices “need to be heard” more than others? That's authoritarianism. It has a practical background. The idpol elite who can claim the correct identities, getting to speak louder than others. They get to silence everyone in sight by throwing around slurs like “reactionary”, “racist”, “abuser”. You know what I'd really like to hear? What African peasants think. What prisoners think. What homeless people think. What Syrian refugees think. What unemployed people and low-wage workers and mad people and “basement dwellers” and Greek youths affected by precarity and people displaced by “development” projects think. Not just the ones who've been to grad school. Not just the ones who speak in an idpol dialect. If you really listen to marginalised people, you will hear all kinds of things – egoism, liberalism, reaction, fascism, Leninism, consumerism, bigotry, naïve common sense. Not the idpol monologue which repeats the same tired script rebranded as My Experience As A... The experiences lead to very many different conclusions. It's not possible, let alone desirable, to agree with all of them. And, hearing the experiences tells you very little about the structures. What we need right now is not to hear over and over that lots of people are suffering because of the system. We know that already. What we need is to know how the system works, and how to fight it. And all I've ever seen in idpol writings are naïve beliefs that we can fight the system by working inside it, by re-educating people in idpol, by elevating some voices more than others and fighting for the naïve reformist demands of particular communities or their idpol leaderships, or that power is really cultural so that shifting the cultural categories will bring about revolutionary change.

We learn more about how to smash capitalism or civilisation or the state from Marx or Stirner or Hakim Bey or Debord or Deleuze or Sahlins or Germaine Greer or Nietzsche or Bakunin than we do from three thousand accounts of experiences of how much capitalism sucks. I don't care if they're white men. I don't care if they're racist or anti-Semitic or proto-Nazis or abuse apologists or TERFs. They provide the best tools we have so far to do the job. “Intersectionality” is like postmodern marketing, it provides buzzwords and flashy novelty without any substance. It either has nothing to say about how to smash the system or what it has to say is reformist and naïve. When your pet theory produces a coherent, effective method for smashing the system, I'll rethink this assessment. Till then, I'll stick with things which work.

You throw around the slur “reactionary” as if it means something. The dictionary meaning is something like, an extreme conservative who wants to roll things back to an earlier regime. So you know very well that an egoist cannot also be a reactionary. Several of my criticisms could not be made by a reactionary as you well know. A reactionary does not object to people being told what to do. A reactionary does not object to zero tolerance. They would object to things like: saying outcomes are due to structural inequalities and not personal effort/ability, or “denying” that gender or race are natural. Things I've not objected to. Nobody on the right says “idpol”, they say “PC” or “SJW”. In some ways, though, idpol is just wrong, it's wrong in ways which are obvious to anyone who isn't caught in its spell, and for that reason, you'll sometimes hear the same from adversaries of all descriptions. Unfortunately, if you're a flat-earther then you're going to get much the same rebuttals from an anarchist, a liberal, and a Nazi. Maybe you need the humility (LMAO) to realise that this might not mean that everyone else is a closet Nazi, it might just mean you're wrong.

I have seen the damage that idpol does in practice. How it has wrecked social movements from the inside, turned people against one another. How it has brought statist zero-tolerance thinking into anarchist spaces. I know that vulnerable people are going to jail, getting evicted and losing their jobs because of people like you. Because fighting the state and protecting basic human rights against the state matter less to idpols than the distribution of validation among different oppressed groups. I know that you are extending the tendrils of the state through a discourse which encourages criminalisation of distress, nuisance, anger, social unawareness, and all kinds of minor and major deviance which had previously been ignored. It's encouraging people to leverage their identities to run crying to the state to rescue them like damsels in distress, while whining about being portrayed as damsels in distress. Or else it's creating state-like regimes of “accountability” and behavior-policing in “anarchist” spaces which are turning these spaces into statist spaces. And I also know that none of this is there in any of the successful revolutionary spaces or autonomous zones of history, and that none of it is/was there in stateless societies. Idpol is part of the next stage of neo-Confucian society-of-control capitalism, it's not part of rewilding or de-alienation.

On the other hand, if you're trying to situate particular identities in relation to the dominant system, minus the experience-fetish and minus the dismissal of other points of view, to get beyond the identities to the unique active forces underneath, then this is certainly an important part of the insurrectionary process.

The point is that the relationship between the different groups should be networked and tolerant – not based on an intolerant moral demand that the more-privileged (but still oppressed) subordinate themselves to the less-privileged or focus on their privilege instead of their oppression. Different people should relate through affinity and resonance in small groups. Different groups should relate through networks. If some groups are “white male” or “white feminist”, so be it. If some groups are separatist feminist or all-LGBTQ+ or all black women, again so be it. What's important is that the identity of each affinity group be constructed from the strength of resonances and active forces at its core, not from the exclusionary self/other binaries with other groups. People should live by their desires, affinities, resonances and existential life-projects, not out of a sense of guilt and “infinite responsibility” to unknowable others, or a cybernetic sense of oneself as a node in a mutually “accountable” behaviorist control-system.

What needs to stop, is the practice of bashing each other over the head with accusations of being an oppressor, the zero tolerance etiquette-policing (or zero-tolerance policing of anything for that matter), the deflection away from struggles against the system and the elite to struggles among oppressed people about supposed everyday oppressions.

Drop this, and I'm fine with anyone being as “intersectional” as they like.


amongstclouds wrote (edited )

You're still putting words in my mouth. The wheels in your head are spinning so fast you imagine yourself to know how I utilise intersectional theory and it's precious tbh.


anarchist_critic wrote

Also please point out where I said some voices are more important than others

OK, here it is:

we should be encouraging the voices that most need to be heard to be as loud as possible

If some voices “most need” to be heard, this logically entails that other voices have less need to be heard, ergo that the ones which “most need” are more important than the ones which need it less. “As loud as possible” means louder than other voices, not just equally with other voices.

You're still putting words in my mouth pretending to be able to read my mind you imagine yourself to know how I utilise intersectional theory

You promote an ideology with particular embedded assumptions, you use a label (“intersectional”) which identifies this ideology, you posted an endorsed an article which puts these assumptions on display, so in good faith I assume you believe in this ideology and accept its embedded assumptions. Same way I'd assume that someone who self-labels as a Nazi probably believes in a strong state and hates Jews, or that someone who self-labels as a liberal believes in laws and civil rights. Given that adherents of “intersectional” ideology regularly go around putting words in others' mouths and claiming to read their minds by inferring “whiteness” or “masculinity” as hidden causes of whatever they've said, your response reeks of projection.

Actually it's pretty hard to argue with what you've said since you've said very little, so mostly, I've argued with the article you posted.

So far the words coming out of your mouth are:

  1. calling everyone who disagrees with you “reactionaries”
  2. posting and endorsing an article, then going back on its claims when they're rebutted
  3. accusing a previous poster of bad faith, on no grounds,
  4. accusing me of not having read stuff I've read, and
  5. verbally abusing me.

Which gives me a pretty clear sense of how you use “intersectional theory”.

You've objected that I supposedly don't know how you use “intersectional theory” (something which you also apparently don't want to tell me), although I understand how the article you linked is using intersectional theory and you appeared to endorse the article and its absurd attacks on all critics of identity politics, and I have also seen you USE “intersectional theory” in this thread to accuse others of bad faith and impute reactionary identity-defending motives and/or being fooled by the right-wing to people about whom you have no basis for making such claims. And you've refused my challenge to define “intersectionality” and the nature of causality in intersectional ideology. All of which basically tells me that you use “intersectionality” the same way the rest of its adherents do: as a buzzword covering up rhetorical manoeuvres to both appear smarter-than-thou and more-radical-than-thou, while silencing any position other than your own. So basically, I'm arguing with a shadow which mutates every time I hit it, of course I'm never going to score a hit that way, but at the same time, it doesn't make your bullshit right, it just makes you incoherent.

You think I'm wrong about this? Come on then, prove me wrong.

What do you mean by intersectionality? How does one determine whether something is or is not an effect of “whiteness” (or other such categories)? What's wrong with my account of the history of capitalism and civilisation? What's added/removed/changed by turning it into an “intersectional” history? Do you endorse the same model of structural causality as Butler? If not, what's the ontology you impute to structural oppressions? Do you endorse, or denounce, or deny, or differentiate yourself from, the idpol antics I've discussed? Are you fine with dropping the etiquette-policing and the infighting, and focusing on smashing the system? If not, why not?

If you reply with more ad hominems then I'll assume you're either too stupid or too bad-faith to engage in an honest discussion and lower myself to your level. Your choice :)


amongstclouds wrote

You're still full of assumptions so I'm gonna keep you guessing. :)

I mean at one point you tell me you've heard me talk about my 'intersectional theory' and then you also claim I haven't said enough. Stay spooked, bro!


amongstclouds wrote

I refuse to tell you because you started out with an attitude and no one owes you anything. <3


anarchist_critic wrote

Stop talking to yourself, n00blet.

You started out with an attitude yelling MUH REACTIONARIES and when I fell for the bait you started whining like a pig with its tail caught in its own ass. Now you're accusing me of all the shit you've done, like you're arguing with yourself in the mirror. LOL keep it up, you're so ugly the mirror will shatter and you'll get glass in your face and die, and everyone will laugh because it's hilarious. Pwned.


Lesson: don't post a fucking article with a supporting comment if you don't want everyone from here to Kathmandu to assume you agree with what's in the article. Pwned.


You never read Stirner so shut it, liberal. Intersectional is intersection of spooks, and intersection of my boot with your ass. Pwned.

no one owes you anything

So I don't owe you my allyship either. Go fuck yourself in the rectum with a wrench, then claim status as muh oppressed sexual minority transhumanist cyborg wrenchfucker and tell us how we're all muh privileged for never shoving wrenches up our asses. "No one owes you anything" is a Reagan quote btw, well done for outing yourself as a Repugnicunt capitalist. Pwned.