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anarchist_critic OP wrote

Yes it's punitive, it's just this new Third Way fad of dressing up punishment as "risk management" and "security". Exactly the same as screws when they throw someone in solitary. "Oh, they're a security risk". Sorry, no. Risk management is the new punitivity, it's dividing people into the risky and the vulnerable (when most people are both), it's ressentiment and it needs to stop. Also, there's no evidence that zero tolerance stops abuse, in fact, it probably causes abuse not only through deviance amplification but also because abusers can use their power to exclude/punish to blackmail victims into silence. And as I've already explained to your stupid face a thousand times, you are not CAUSING abuse by failing to prevent it (i.e. by not using zero tolerance). You have some fucked-up idea that "abuse" is a product of "the space" which is under your control and responsibility and this hugely exaggerates the power people can have over other people's actions and interactions, it's taking on responsibility not only for your own "behaviour" (which is bad enough) but for everything that happens in "the space" or in your social network and this means overburdening yourself with guilt for things that are other people's fault or nobody's fault, and that you don't control.

used this space as a cover for your abuse

Again you're using this tired old chestnut that if X commits abuse once, then X is an "abuser" and everything X does is nothing more than a "cover" for their ESSENCE as an abuser... have you considered that a person might do something abusive and yet have other aspects to their life or personality? No you haven't, because it's a lot easier to have straw-man enemies.

Someone loses their temper with their partner once or twice, hugs strangers when they're on E's, or punches someone during a psychotic breakdown, a girl with BPD threatens her partner because she's tricked herself into thinking he's leaving her, a couple of drunk people get in a fight - this does not mean they are nothing more than a predator who is exploiting anarchist spaces to victimise people.

I honestly have nothing against proportionate in situ tit-for-tat, if someone gropes someone then punch them in the face or kick them in the balls, if someone uses the N-word then call them a racist cunt in return, but this communitarian social control claptrap and zero tolerance needs to stop, it's destroying anarchist spaces and it's the exact opposite of real anarchism.

since when has the demand to associate with certain people in certain spaces been an inalienable human right anyway???

If X is open to the public then X should not exclude individual members of the public, e.g. if X says "no blacks" then it's being racist, if a landlord refuses to rent to anarchists then anarchists will see them as an enemy. Welfare state services have always worked on the basis that everyone has a right to use them. If there's socialist healthcare, everyone has a right to healthcare, even if someone's in prison, even if they're abusive in hospital (worst case: sedation is used). If someone's expelled from school then they have a right to be found a place at another school or given special tuition. If someone doesn't have a private house they have a right to a council house, if they fight with their neighbours then they or the neighbours can be moved elsewhere but they can't be denied a house. This is how social-democracy worked up to the 1980s, after which the New Right and the Third Way started bringing in punitive behaviourist crap. Private agencies often wriggle out of universal rights, which is why they're more regressive, but still, in a traditional bazaar there's no way to know who you're trading with or what they'll use what they buy for, that's precisely the appeal for right-libertarians. Also there's globally recognised human rights to food, housing, education, cultural expression, etc (see UN HR declaration), and if every private provider refuses to transact with someone then they're denied these rights. If the roads are privately owned and the owner refuses to let someone use them then that person can't have free movement (standard ancom criticism of ancap) - this aspect of liberal rights is very much forgotten in discussions of sites like Twitter and Facebook. Also there's been cases in Britain of people banned from every shop in their town, because they were caught shoplifting somewhere. What happens to their right to eat? I guess they could grow their own if they have a plot, but our land was stolen in the eighteenth century. Make no mistake: denial of de facto rights through exclusion kills.

But the real point is: I'm a Stirnerian egoist, so if you refuse me the right to use your "public" service (and anything that's open to the public is a de facto public service), you've declared me an un-human and you are therefore my enemy and I have a right to wage social war against you. You treat me as your enemy because I've drawn some cartoon cops with swastikas on their shields and this violates your universal law against drawing swastikas, well OK, you're my enemy. Because there is no community. There is no such thing as enforcement of community norms. Rule enforcement is always in fact an act of enmity, of war between two egoists. There are unions of egoists, there are unconnected singularities, and there are enemies. By sticking your "abuser" or "racist" label on me for just being an egoist, and denying me rights or connections you'd otherwise accord me without this spook, you're making an enemy. Don't imagine you can make enemies without war.

(The situation with cops or organised fascists is different because they're discrete groups with self-defining identities. Whereas people labelled as "racist" or "abuser" are just individuals who are being labelled as identities based on a trait).

Personal relations are different because there's a question of degrees or affinity or resonance. If there's no resonance then there won't be a relation to begin with (which is different to open spaces and public services). But yes, if someone cuts me out of their life without a very good reason (we've had a huge fight, they've changed their politics, they're going to the woods to become a hermit...) then I consider them at least partially an enemy, and I expect the same in return if I cut someone out without a good reason. Relations are not to be made or broken lightly, people can become reliant on others emotionally or practically and the broken relation can be devastating. Have you ever even read an anthropology text on how stateless societies work? People need strong social relations in lieu of the state and market relations they don't have. They literally rely on one another to survive. Idpols constantly ostracise people for little or no reason, often to coerce them into adhering to idpol orthodoxy (I've had this done to me a lot, just for disagreeing with people) and I consider this a form of emotional abuse. When a partner does this to another partner (i.e. withdraws love/affection/sex to pressure them into doing what the first partner wants) it's considered emotional abuse.

There's a hierarchy of better/worse systems from my point of view. Authoritarian social control systems, totalitarianism, communitarianism, crude enforcement of membership or not of some social "club" as a condition of any rights or wellbeing, is the lowest, worst form of society. Absolute dominance of the outgroup by the ingroup. Liberalism and right-libertarianism are higher because they have a few abstract rights. These rights can't be taken away from the outgroup. Social-democracy is higher still because it gives stronger, more concrete rights. This makes things even better for the outgroup. Communism with workers' control is higher than social-democracy, and egoist anarchism is higher than communism. Each time the relationship between ingroup and outgroup becomes more equal, power is more dispersed. Idpol fucks things up by deciding the ingroup and outgroup are always particular groups (say, men and women, black and white, "abuser" and "survivor") and thus degenerate all the way back to the lowest stage. Absolute power to the ingroup, no power to the outgroup. The lowest form of society.


Dumai wrote (edited )

if it wasn't for the fact that you take days to respond i'd have given up on this conversation ages back. if you're trolling then i hope you appreciate that you taking like 20 minutes of my free time every 10 days or so isn't that much of a loss for me -- i'm probably not gonna respond again anyhow

If X is open to the public then X should not exclude individual members of the public

a small political community, affinity group, or scene is not a public or social service. nobody can justifiably demand to personally associate with people who do not want to associate with them. many people, quite naturally, do not want to associate with rapists or racists. no abstract principle of law is being fulfilled there and nothing is happening that is alienable from the personal interests of these people. i'm a little surprised i have to explain basic personal boundaries to somebody who i can only assume is a grown man but there you go.

Again you're using this tired old chestnut that if X commits abuse once, then X is an "abuser" and everything X does is nothing more than a "cover" for their ESSENCE as an abuser

accountability normally deals with intra-community violence, most often cases in which well-established figures have taken advantage of their position within a community to perperate or legitimise their abuse. this is why i keep mentioning this kind of scenario, and why it's important to consider your own role in accommodating these people. obviously abuse can take place outside of these contexts, and it certainly doesn't have to be part of a wider pattern of behaviour. It definitely isn't anyone's “essence”. but i do think it warrants suspicion even then, particularly as the personal is political. a man who once beat his female partner isn't just personally a bad egg, his actions in this case are part of a wider system of patriarchal violence even if he never does it again, even if he doesn't identify with this behaviour. it still might leave an effect on his partner who would still be justified in seeking restorative or reparative justice. i wouldn't be comfortable with having no way to respond to that, especially not with what it might (MIGHT) say about him.

(as far as i'm concerned accountability processes fail miserably more often than not but only because communities refuse to take it seriously as anything except as another way of covering their own arses, so that's not to say accountability isn't worth caring about)

Have you ever even read an anthropology text on how stateless societies work?

we clearly haven't been talking about any stateless society, historical or theoretical -- we're talking about radical communities within contemporary capitalist society, which is a society that typically affords rapists a far greater number of legal and social resources than their victims. no matter how hard you try to butcher reactance theory, you're not going to change the fact that a white male abuser is most often a very socially permissable thing to be. it takes a lot of fucking effort to even convince people any kind of abuse has happened in most cases! that's not going to change unless steps are taken to make it less excusable. which means you're absolutely contributing to a culture of rape by arguing we shouldn't take these steps. unless you're taking prefigurative politics a bit too literally i don't see where your issue with this is?

they're discrete groups with self-defining identities

like, people can clearly be racist even if they don't personally consider themselves racist? have you never read anything from the alt-right or do you seriously expect people in 2018 to positively identify with the label "racist"??? what the fuck is wrong with you?????

but i do have to ask what the hell you think you're doing by labelling people "totalitarian" if they don't "self-define" their identity as totalitarian? if you apparently have such an issue with "labelling" then what would you call this shit?


anarchist_critic OP wrote

i'm probably not gonna respond again anyhow

Good, because you're pissing me off.

personal boundaries

Pop psychology. Freud or GTFO.

nothing is happening that is alienable from the personal interests of these people

Ostracising someone as a Nazi because they draw cops with swastikas on their shields in an anti-police artwork is not about "not associating with racists" and it's not about "personal interests" of the person who is ostracising. It's about enforcing a spook.

a small political community, affinity group, or scene is not a public or social service

Anarchism is prefigurative, an anarchist community must be structured as an anarchist society will be structured. A small affinity group is not a public or social service but a social centre, festival, gig, bookfair, etc is. Saying "you're an anarchist but you can't come to the one anarchist social centre in town" is very similar to saying "you can't shop at the one store in town".

accountability normally deals with intra-community violence, most often cases in which well-established figures have taken advantage of their position within a community to perperate or legitimise their abuse

99 times out of 100 it doesn't deal with violence or abuse, it deals with low-level shit which would have been handled sufficiently by telling the person to fuck off. There's also this mission creep going on where "the community" is meant to be accountable for offstage actions which happen in private spaces where "the community" cannot see or intervene (i.e. OUTSIDE its spaces). Or even for things which happened BEFORE a person joined a community - such as someone's gender role socialisation making them less prepared to speak at meetings. In an anarchist society there would be no gender-role socialisation, but the person was gender-role socialised long before they became an anarchist, how the fuck can the community be responsible for rectifying this?!

why it's important to consider your own role in accommodating these people

I refuse to accept the totalitarian doublethink which makes me responsible for someone else's actions because I haven't taken the politically correct zero tolerance response towards them. I refuse to sacrifice basic anarchist principles to the higher goal of "not accommodating" bad people. Does the fact that I'm not burning down a copshop right now mean that I'm "accommodating" the police?

a man who once beat his female partner isn't just personally a bad egg, his actions in this case are part of a wider system of patriarchal violence even if he never does it again

Typical one-sided spook thinking. Guess what? Blaming a person for losing self-control during a psychological crisis is also part of a wider system of ableist and psychophobic violence against people (men, women, genderqueer) who don't always have self-control. Accountability processes based on an assumption of self-control reproduce structural violence against people who have psychological crises. Banning people based on behavioural criteria is also a widespread social pattern under the New Right which demonstrably has racist, ableist and classist effects (e.g. broken windows policing) and which has a long history of war against "violent savages who commit mindless violence", including colonisation justified as protecting non-white women from non-white men. Those savages are practising sati and human sacrifice and genital mutilation, we can't stand by and tolerate this, quick, bring out the gunships and call in Custer! By bringing this kind of behavioural regulation into anarchist spaces, you're importing an entire legacy of colonialism, genocide, white supremacy...

See, it's all so much more blurred and "intersectional" than you realise.

You think you know why someone did it (abuse, violence, whatever) even though you have no idea of their actual motives or what the real situation was, because you're projecting your spook ("there's an observable structure which I can deduce from muh statistics and muh 40-year-old Marxist-inspired theories") and then treating the person in line with the spook without

Yes there's an observable pattern but you have absolutely no idea whether it's relevant in this or that individual case. Suppose male-on-female violence is eight times more common than female-on-male - this means that there's a one in eight chance that patriarchy has nothing to do with it. Acting like you can read off motives from statistical patterns is essentialism and spook-thinking. And since you have no idea what made the person do it, for all you know your zero tolerance bullshit may be causing MORE abuse and violence. You just don't know, but you have the typical zeal of a religious believer and are unable to see or care that you don't know - and THIS is what is totalitarian and dangerous about your ideology.

it still might leave an effect on his partner who would still be justified in seeking restorative or reparative justice

Straight bourgeois ideology. The fact that there's an effect does not mean there's a right to "justice", nobody seeks retaliation for natural disasters for example. Even in the unlikely event that you don't put it down to scientific fact and blame the gods, most likely you will appease the gods and not seek revenge on them.

I have no idea what the ontological basis is, for your belief that survivors/victims have some non-situation-specific right to something simply because they suffered harm, but given that you're raised in a pig society where pig justice is the norm, it's a good guess that this is just pig thinking you've never unlearned.

we clearly haven't been talking about any stateless society, historical or theoretical -- we're talking about radical communities within contemporary capitalist society, which is a society that typically affords rapists a far greater number of legal and social resources than their victims

Again our disagreement is on basic social ontology. To me, radical communities are not WITHIN the dominant society. They are tendentially OUTSIDE the dominant society. They therefore PREFIGURE what an entire non-state society will be. One can tell the character of the society they prefigure from their current practices. What the "wider society" (i.e. the enemy society) does or doesn't "afford" people is absolutely irrelevant. Leninism claims to be building a free and equal society but in fact it prefigures a bureaucratic dictatorship. We know this because Leninist parties in fact function as bureaucratic dictatorships. Idpol prefigures a hell-hole of witch-hunts, persecution and denial of basic necessities of life because of deviance from groupthink. We know this because this is how it in fact works. Real (non-idpol) anarchism prefigures bolo'bolo. We know this because it works like bolo'bolo, to the maximum extent that it can given its constant struggle against capitalist/statist society.


anarchist_critic OP wrote

like, people can clearly be racist even if they don't personally consider themselves racist?

Moot point since "racist" has become a catch-all slur when it comes from idpols.

But, I can't tell if you're wilfully ignoring my distinction between excluding someone with a spook identity and excluding someone because you categorise them based on a spook, or if you're just too thick to understand it. Hell, I can't even tell what the ontological status of the statement "someone is racist" is for you. If you believe there's an objective structure external to individuals or just a set of unconscious beliefs.

Excluding cops, Nazis, even excluding Leninists or idpols is not the same as excluding someone for an individual statement or a pattern of statements or an instance of hitting someone or some other "behaviour". Excluding someone who's a systematic serial abusers and who believes in an abusive relationship pattern in some sense might be analogous to excluding a cop or a Nazi. Excluding someone because they deviate from some list of permitted "behaviours" (however bad the "behaviour" in question) is not at all analogous. In the former case, you're reacting to THEIR spook. In the latter case, you're IMPOSING a spook by classifying them based on "behaviour".

but i do have to ask what the hell you think you're doing by labelling people "totalitarian" if they don't "self-define" their identity as totalitarian

I'm not talking about banning you from anything for being totalitarian, that's the difference. You've every right to be totalitarian in your own little totalitarian world with your fellow totalitarians, to live your whole life in idpol-bolo if you so wish, and you've still got the same rights as everyone else to come to public events, to eat, have a home, not be tortured or jailed etc. What you and your ilk do not have a right to do, is take over anarchist spaces, reclassify your totalitarian dogmas as "anarchism", drive out real anarchists for opposing your ideology, disrupt anarchist events to impose your ideology (example: London bookfair last year; CrimethInc convergence), or generally create the social infrastructure to impose your ideology on the rest of us, and deny us anything that isn't idpol-bolo or idpol-state.

a white male abuser is most often a very socially permissable thing to be that's not going to change unless steps are taken to make it less excusable

I don't know what kind of parallel world you live in, but this is both doublethink and copthink. Doublethink because the overwhelming majority condemn all the more serious kinds of abuse and some people get huge jail sentences, pedos can even be detained indefinitely under civil commitment orders. People get away with it by lying and bribing and hiding their actions, that's the same if you're an anarchist who smashes windows or a bank robber or a drug trafficker or anything else that isn't "socially permissible". Are you prepared to argue that undocumented migration is socially permissible because most of the time it isn't prevented? And abuse is certainly not considered permissible in anarchist groups which is the relevant community of comparison here, everyone is profeminist on paper. If there's enabling structures then it's the fact that people live in nuclear family households so that abuse is invisible to people outside the household.

It's copthink because this entire line of thought "X happens because it's socially permissible, we need to signal that X is not socially permissible by cracking down on X" is premised on cop psychological theory and cop sociological theory. There is no evidence that making something less socially permissible makes it less frequent. Sometimes it makes it more frequent, or more severe (e.g. Prohibition, drug laws). And also, there are very many reasons a "behaviour" might become less frequent other than its becoming "less excusable". Nobody banned disco music. Nobody banned horse-drawn caravans. Trying to bludgeon people down with punishment or ostracism until they change their ways (if it's even in their power to change their ways - again, we need more Freud and less Skinner) is only one way of responding to a social problem. The real question is why some people have the desire to abuse others, and how that desire can be shifted. If the person's psychologically unstable then maybe they need a better support network. Maybe we need better, anarchist therapies. If they're displacing frustration-aggression from their own subordinate position then maybe they need occasions and outlets to take it out on the real targets. If they've internalised a spook that this is how men act and they'll be abused themselves if they don't act this way, then this spook needs to be shaken up. They need to be shown that they can be free from abuse without abusing others, or that they don't have to conform to standards of masculinity in movement spaces, or that it's OK to feel shame or fear or whatever. At which point, you've taken away the cause, and therefore the effect (the abuse). You're not prepared to consider any of this because you're determined that you already know the reasons (they're vectors for something called "masculinity" which is somehow more important than their actual motives because muh statistics) and you have the answers and the survivor must have their pound of flesh. Typical short-sighted anti-psychoanalytic American Protestant Salem-witch-trial piggery.


Dumai wrote (edited )


which is it?

is the problem that i label people according to behaviours and "unconscious beliefs" that they don't purposefully identify with (which is clearly what you're doing if you're calling me a totalitarian for failing to unlearn some kind of unconscious "pig thinking") or is it that i'm trying to exclude people from specific social settings? it doesn't matter what "ontological basis" i have for labelling people racist if your entire argument is that i have no basis for excluding anybody other than the self-positing a "spooked" identity on their part. i really don't know what you're trying to achieve by over-simplifying labelling theory like this, lol

i mean the rest of your fucking massive post is pure strawman, assuming positions i haven't stated, and pig ignorance because you clearly have no idea how rape culture works (it's actually the easiest thing in the world to sincerely condemn rape and then excuse rapists that you know or approve of? how do you think people like weinstein happen? how do you think trump, a man who has admitted to sexual assault, got elected president?). plus i was clearly right that you take prefigurative politics way too literally; i don't know how you reconcile your belief that radical communities exist outside of "dominant society" with the statement that they have to take gendered socialisation for granted. an affinity group can't be structured in the same way a stateless society would be and you kind of admitted it? that's not to say an anarchist organisation can be structured in any way, and the eye is clearly on the practical effect of our actions on power relations, but it is to say there are contingencies we have to account for in living in a hierarchical society and that we can't realistically expect to isolate stateless relations within a capitalist state. otherwise i could say i'll achieve a decentralised socialism by building a co-operative business within wider commodity exchange here and now.

so pls just answer my question directly because i'm kind of interested to know what the fuck your belief system is now


anarchist_critic OP wrote

is the problem that i label people according to behaviours and "unconscious beliefs" that they don't purposefully identify with... or is it that i'm trying to exclude people from specific social settings? it doesn't matter what "ontological basis" i have for labelling people racist if your entire argument is that i have no basis for excluding anybody

I can see why you'd think I was making the argument that you should not label people based stuff they don't identify with, but I never made that argument. It isn't how labelling theory works and it isn't how Stirner works. How labelling theory works is: if you catch someone stealing, and you label them as “a thief”, and you stigmatise and treat them as “a thief” (e.g. jail them, ban them from shops), they are likely to internalise this identity as “a thief” and commit more and worse thefts than they did before. So for example, in the ethnographic record there are societies with high levels of expectations of public speaking performance, and they also have high levels of stammering. This is specific to societies with high expectations of public speaking. Other societies with no expectations of public speaking have little or no stammering. So it's clear that the speaking norm has some kind of relationship (likely causal) to the stammering, rather than prohibiting it as would seem to be the case. This doesn't mean you can never describe someone using a term which they don't identify with. You can still say in a certain sense that someone is “a thief” or more accurately they committed a “theft” or several “thefts”, but you should generally avoid the various mechanisms of stigma and punishment, especially for one-off actions and for actions which are fairly minor on the overall deviance scale. Because if you apply these mechanisms to one-off actions and relatively minor actions, you will increase the level of more serious deviance. This is known as “deviance amplification”. Deviance amplification has been clearly demonstrated in cases of media moral panics – when a particular type of crime or deviance is suddenly framed by the media as a problem. The type of deviance almost always becomes more frequent and conforms more closely to the media construction (which is initially exaggerated or falsified) than it did before. In Cohen's study, the media made a lot out of some low level antagonism in one particular town to make out that there was a massive war going on between Mods and Rockers. Within a few months, there actually was a big, violent feud between Mods and Rockers. Idpol panics resemble media moral panics in many ways.

In Stirner, the point is that everyone is ultimately a Unique One and not reducible to any one of their attributes. One of someone's attributes might be that they have committed a theft, but this is not inherently what they are. Treating someone as one of their attributes is spook-thinking. This means both that racism and sexism are spook-thinking, and that extreme idpol attributions based on masculinity and whiteness are spook-thinking. Defending your property from a thief when they try to take it from you is legitimate in situ enmity, punishing someone as “a thief” in general because they offended against a general norm is spook-thinking.

Reactance theory adds to these that, when someone is prohibited from X (say, theft), their desire to do X is thereby increased (say, to steal), even if they had no prior desire to X (say, to steal). Their desire to X may or may not be overridden by difficulties getting away with X but it pretty much guarantees that at least a portion of them will do X the moment they can get away with it – even if they would have had no desire to do X prior to the prohibition. So if you ban something – unless you also have a totalitarian system of control which ensures that people are permanently incapacitated from X – then you will actually cause more of X to happen. Psychoanalysis adds that people have unconscious motives which are generally invisible both to themselves and others, which vary from one person to the next, are rooted in early childhood development and therefore “sticky” (not easily reconditioned), and which cause actions which seem completely irrational – including self-destructiveness, compulsive actions, etc. Again, this often leads to situations where prohibiting something actually encourages it – for instance, because it comes to stand for repressed desires in general, or for rebellion against authority.

I'm applying this set of theories very directly to the idpol issues of rape, abuse, racism, etc. I believe, on the basis of these theories, that idpol, “rape culture” analysis and their ilk are actually causing greater frequency of rape, abuse, racism, and the other things they are trying to fight. Gamergate is a good example of deviance amplification in action. There was some low level sexism in the gaming community which a few idpols in the media ran amok on and made out to be a massive problem of misogyny among gamers. This led to a backlash and identity shift which led to – in fact – a massive problem of misogyny among gamers.

What's my ontology? Existence is ultimately a constantly changing continuum or flow, where everything is connected (but also differentiable). Each moment in the flow is unique. People are Unique Ones in Stirner's sense. There is no ultimate guarantee of meaning in the outer world, only selections based on particular perspectives. However, these perspectives are not arbitrary and some of them are linked to survival for particular kinds of organisms, or to resonances. The world has no moral structure and there is no transcendental moral dimension which is added to it. There is no such thing as “behavior” because “behavior” is simply the outer observed manifestation of invisible inner forces. Without understanding these inner forces, there is no way to know where the “behavior” comes from and therefore what effect your conscious responses will have on it. Each action is a manifestation of forces at a particular point in the flow of becoming. When in a situation of free becoming, Unique Ones develop an ethos which defines their own sense of subjective meaning and value, and according to which they live their lives. In reality, free becoming is often blocked by outer forces which turn into inner blockages such as superego, guilt, submission, etc. These blockages are sources of many kinds of harm. People necessarily select by criteria and categories although it is important to remember that this is inaccurate with regard to the actual nature of reality. Categories by themselves are harmless and even beneficial in sorting things from the perspective of a Unique One's ethos. Each Unique One has traits or properties which can be sorted in terms of categories. However, when one of these is taken to define the person's essence and to be more fundamental than their uniqueness, it has become a spook. People can classify both themselves and others in terms of spooks. Spooks are always harmful because they subordinate everyone (privileged as well as subordinate) to abstract categories. Values attached to spooks are always values of the spook itself, i.e. of the abstraction which does not really exist, and not values of the Unique One. Hence “black liberation” is never my liberation or your liberation, even if you or I happen to be black, because it is liberation of the category “blackness” which is an abstraction which does not really exist.

This view leads to an instinctive reaction against punishment and exclusion. Firstly because punishment and exclusion are among the blocking forces which prevent free flow of becoming and thus produce reactive blockages. Secondly because punishment always reduces a Unique One to one of its properties (a particular action). Thirdly because punishment focuses on outer observed “behavior” and is ignorant of the real causal process. Fourthly because punishment requires norms, which are based on categories, and which therefore enforce the supremacy of abstractions. I don't think a Stirnerian necessarily rules out exclusion in all circumstances, but there's a strong presumption against it. There's an important ethical difference between excluding someone because they themselves have a spooked identity and impose a spooked identity on you, and excluding someone because you perceive their “behavior” or traits through your own spooks. Hence why I think there's a distinction between banning someone who is an organised Nazi or a cop (i.e. who holds a spook identity as central to their own ethos), and banning someone you accuse of some microaggression or because they've hit someone or drawn a swastika or been accused of abuse (i.e. who you're classifying into a spook category of bad guys based on your own categories).


anarchist_critic OP wrote

There's another reason for the no-exclusion thing in my analysis. In general, an anarchist world is a world in which one logic (Deleuze's rhizome, Kropotkin's social principle, Negri's constituent power) has primacy over another logic (Deleuze's arborescence, Kropotkin's political principle, Negri's constituted power). These two types of power are not absolutes. They can exist in absolute forms, but they usually appear in hybrid combinations. Social formations can have more or less of the good (anarchist) principle and the bad (hierarchical) principle. In general, in a society where the principles are mixed, increasing things like freedom, rights, autonomy, affinity, (unconditional) mutual aid, increases the quantity of the anarchist principle. Increasing things like securitisation, censorship, social control, normativity, zero tolerance, conditionality and exclusion, punishment, increases the quantity of the hierarchical principle. Stirnerian theory stricto sensu does not allow for rights (because they have to be rights of a category, a spook) and encourages affiliation based solely on resonance and affinity. And so, you could make an argument that this excuse you use - “I'm not punishing, I'm just refusing to associate with people I don't resonate with” - in Stirnerian terms. But I don't think Stirner deals with the hybrid situations at all. I believe in general we have a better social world – better, in particular, for the worst-off and most marginalised – the more the social world is governed by the social principle not the political principle. An anarchist group should be governed entirely by the social principle, and anarchist interventions in/against the “wider” society should increase the percentage of the social over the political principle. Generally (although not always), rights and unconditional services and open (rather than “safe”) spaces are to the benefit of the social principle. Hence my ranking of social systems: egoism > communism > social democracy > liberalism > communitarianism/behaviorism/totalitarianism. Relative balance of social and political principle. Liberal rights give a bit of wiggle room for Unique Ones to at least gather, associate freely, speak and publish. It's (say) 95% political principle but at least we have that 5% leeway. A welfare state makes it easier to also drop out of work and have access to healthcare and so on. Now maybe we're at 90% political, 10% social. Workers' control takes this further because now you can work together as a union of egoists. Maybe now we're at 50/50. Egoism (or bolo'bolo) is the highest form because the political principle is completely eclipsed. 90 or 99 or 100% social principle.

Idpol does the opposite of this. Firstly it imports the political principle into anarchist spaces through securitisation (“safe spaces”), zero tolerance, strict normativity, formal structures, guilt. Secondly it often pushes in the “wider” society for more political principle and less social principle. Opposing rights as “abstract”, calling for tighter laws and so on. Thirdly it seems to have no sense of the social and political principles. Instead it has a sense of good and bad sides (black vs white, women vs men) and a desire to increase the power of one side at the expense of the other. Even though in reality strengthening the political principle strengthens the privileged group – idpols fight to redirect the political principle (behaviorism, communitarianism, securitisation...) to the benefit of their group. That's why I put it in the bottom group. It doesn't even allow that minimal 5% social principle liberalism allows. It's 100% political principle, about everything, all the time. You're out of step with the latest rules on microaggression? Bam – no bolo, no place in the co-op, no welfare rights, no free speech or civil rights. 0% social principle.

no idea how rape culture works

I know what the theory of rape culture is, I also believe it is false. Can you get your head around the possibility that both of these statements might be true? If not, re-read the stuff above on labelling theory, reactance theory, Stirner, and psychoanalysis which I've so patiently “mansplained” to you.

How did Trump get elected president even though he's a sexual predator? Partly because idpols trolled white men so hard that they backlashed, partly because Trump appealed to authoritarianism which is ingrained in many Americans, partly because Clinton's neoliberalism had nothing to offer to the rustbelt working-class. Partly because half the country thought Hillary Clinton was running a pedo racket (and that was made-up, but she did in fact successfully defend rapists in court using victim-blaming). Partly because some people would vote Republican even if Satan was the candidate, same way they'd support the Steelers even if Satan was the star player. How did Weinstein “happen”? He's a boss at the top of a huge corporate system, of course he can do what he likes; and what he likes, in part, is to do all the things he's not allowed to do (reactance theory). Probably he also enjoys dominating others. And of course the most ruthless, the most sadistic and psychopathic people rise to the top in a hierarchical system because it's dog-eat-dog. That's how authoritarianism works. It doesn't need any bizarre explanations based on invisible “cultures” which are the opposite of what people actually think. More political principle means more domination and abuse, if it isn't rape then it's gulags or slavery or sweatshops or impaling your enemies on stakes.

You seem to believe in behaviorist psychology. You apply categories and strategies based on behaviorist psychology. Actions should have consequences. Creating less acceptance of something makes it less prevalent. From my point of view, behaviorist psychology is pig thinking. It brings the state into yourself and into your movement. Behaviorism is superego, guilt, control. You may not identify as a behaviorist (or a totalitarian, a communitarian, a securitiser...) but there's a structure there. You're reproducing beliefs from a particular structure. You must believe that people can hold unconsciously oppressive beliefs to buy into any of the idpol stuff (toxic masculinity, implicit racism etc). So you can't deny that there might be a structure of behaviorist ideology which you've unconsciously inculcated and which is actually part of social oppression.

I believe that labelling theory, reactance theory, and psychoanalysis prove that behaviorism is bullshit. So, I don't believe that a strategy for fighting X based on behaviorist techniques is effective or justifiable. Doesn't matter if X is rape, theft, terrorism, gang crime, or suicide. Doesn't matter how much I care about rape or terrorism or whatever. The fact that idpol is sacrificing basic anarchist principles to the war on rape only deepens the problem.

and the eye is clearly on the practical effect of our actions on power relations

That's the biggest difference between us. I see anarchist groups as nascent societies in their own right and emphasise prefiguration of a liberated future. An anarchist group should be structured like a stateless society to the maximum extent that it can be. Someone comes in from the “wider” society and leaves this society at the door – whether for an hour, a week, or a lifetime. The wider society is now your enemy, or something you've dropped out of (even if only for an hour). People may well bring in “socialisation” from the “wider” society which makes the process imperfect but this should absolutely not be focused on because it undermines building an alternative society. These problems will disappear when we aren't just a small group meeting for an hour but an entire society. Because it's not OUR group structure that's causing them. Only if they actually start to make the political principle predominate in our micro-society do they need to be seriously challenged. If you can't imagine how this is possible without being able to make a clean break with capitalist society then I'd suggest you read three authors: James Scott, Colin Ward, and Hakim Bey. It's very much possible to have local nodes of statelessness right under the noses of statist societies, even amongst people who are also enmeshed in statist societies to one extent or another. Every historically oppressed group – slaves, peasants – had something like this. The group starts small, stays hidden, but it becomes the basis for insurrection when the opportunity (or necessity) arises. It's a line of flight as Deleuze would say. Something which leads out of hierarchical society, even if it isn't entirely out yet.

On the contrary, you seem to see anarchist groups as part of capitalist society and emphasise how your group impacts on power relations within this society. This means you are reformist and liberal as I'd understand these terms. Focusing on the things brought in from capitalist society, and the impacts a group has on capitalist society, drags people back inside capitalist society and thereby helps to sustain it. Strengthens the spooks. Blocks the lines of flight. I don't see how it can ever lead out of hierarchy. I haven't even seen it being very effective in winning small reforms. If you want reforms then you're better going the Sanders route, or at least toning down your rhetoric.

The fundamental integrating force of autonomous anarchist groups (as of stateless societies) is the strength of active desire, of life-force, joy, affinity. Sartre's “group-in-fusion”. The fundamental integrating force of idpol groups is superego or guilt, and the fear each member has of exclusion by the others. Sartre's “pledged group”. This is a very serious difference in terms of who can be part of the group, and how they relate to one another.


Dumai wrote (edited )

  1. this absolutely not how labelling theory works, or at least it isn't if you're reading any source on labelling aside from wikipedia. what concerns labelling theory is the social signification of criminality; what behaviours are likely to be labelled criminal or deviant and under what circumstances, and this how signification reproduces deviance. the exact same act can be labelled differently depending on who is committing it and where and why it is happening. it does not mean any response to abusive behaviour is likely to encourage reoffense. you're severely underestimating the role positionality plays in labelling theory if you seriously think a small radical community is likely to stigmatise middle class abusive white men on a societal scale anyway! most rape cases don't even go to trial. think about why that might be!

and the point isn't to convince the criminal justice system to take rape more seriously -- i don't know to what degree these technologies of punishment would even be capable of that, because that is absolutely not their function. obviously. the purpose restorative justice plays in combating systemic abuse is addressing the needs and safety of the victim and challenging the dominant narratives and systems that perpetuate abuse. call me crazy but i don't believe welcoming unrepentant rapists into spaces focused on gender liberation, against the will of their own victims, is going to accomplish that? especially in those cases where that means upholding their position within a scene that they may have used for the purpose of abuse? that's why i mean by "making rape less permissible". i mean it's obvious to anybody that the idea of rape is already highly stigmatised. in fact one thing that makes rapists so easily excusable is that this stigmatisation is attached to criminological stereotypes that rapists generally do not conform to! "this is not what a rapist looks like", etc. so it should be fucking obvious that's not what i'm trying to do.

i mean i thought you were bastardising labelling theory by framing the use of any label beyond those created in the process of self-identification as an act of violence on the "unique one" (it's not the 19th fucking century anymore by the way) but actually it turned out you just don't know what "stigmatisation" really is. shame on me for interpreting your bullshit incorrectly i guess but it's a little hard when your standard of argumentation is "YOU DON'T SEE A UNIQUE EGO YOU JUST SEE A RAPIST" and "FASCISM IS A SPOOKED IDENTITY"

  1. if i'm apparently a psychological behaviourist then why do you seem to think i have such an interest in the unconscious mind over externally measurable behaviour? those things would seem to be diametrically opposed? if you don't believe in rape culture then how did hillary clinton successfully defend rapists in court by victim blaming? what the hell do you think victim blaming is if not a component of rape culture??? do you even know what any of these words you're throwing around mean??? how did victim blaming work unless people were more willing to sympathise with an accused rapist over their accuser? do you if you accept that people willingly excused donald trump's admission of sexual assault because they happened to like him or agree with his politics then where's the disagreement? if people can do that with trump then what's to stop them from doing it with anyone? why do you think that's so predominant?

  2. it's funny to be called a liberal by somebody who places so much value on freedom of speech and individual rights above meaningful structural change but acknowledging that completely non-hierarchical relations can't be willed into existence or isolated as a social ideal within state society doesn't make me a reformist? nor does acknowledging that revolutionary action involves combating capitalism directly ("the effect of our actions on power relations")? or else malatesta and bakunin weren't anarchists either? i mean i agree that contemporary anarchist communities should be as horizontally organised as possible but acknowledging we act within state society doesn't mean we're indebted to employ the constructs of the state for the purposes of political change.

anyway i realise i've said this before but i don't think i'm going to change my mind no matter how many dead white philosophers you can fit into your reductive analysis so you can have the last word if you like


anarchist_critic OP wrote

See, that's loading the terms of the argument again. You believe abuse/rape are effects of a particular culture. You treat the culture in behaviorist terms. This is an empirical claim. I don't believe it is a true empirical claim.

needs and safety of the victim against the will of their own victims upholding their position within a scene that they may have used for the purpose of abuse

Again you're hiding your real claim behind rhetoric. What you seem to be claiming, is that open public anarchist spaces which use an anarchist model of social organisation (e.g. an open free festival, an anarchist bookfair, a free concert, a FNB distro), which do not have any kind of policing of who gets to attend, should not be allowed to exist. The reasons for this are that 1. victims should have a veto on the presence of abusers in spaces, and 2. safety is compromised by not having zero tolerance exclusion policies (because the victim's safety is not prioritised and/or because someone might exploit their position in the space to abuse again). I believe this argument is wrong because 1. is creating a relationship of authority in which the victim has authority over the abuser and has authority over other individuals in terms of how they treat the abuser, and 2. is putting security before the existence of open spaces and also exaggerating the real (as opposed to emotional) danger posed by an abuser in public spaces – as well as positing a “responsibility to prevent” which is part and parcel of neoliberal ideology. It's also unclear whether the danger you're referring to is real (i.e. only applies if a perpetrator is likely to attack a victim) or whether it encompasses emotional distress (it is, of course, distressing to run into someone who's mistreated you or you've had a fight with at events... this isn't by any means limited to gendered abuse), and you don't seem to consider how there might be other ways to mitigate danger (if a person is serially dating within a scene then it's quite possible to warn the people concerned... this is not possible if you drive the “abuser” out and they start over somewhere else). I believe there are very good reasons why public anarchist spaces run on public anarchist models should exist, and that neither the nonexistent authority of “victims” (who you're empowering as the spook “victim”, not as real people), nor the equally nonexistent duty to prevent, can trump these reasons. You're killing anarchism in the zeal of your war on rapists, just as neocons kill anarchism in the zeal of their war on terror.

I'd add, there are certainly occasions in the past where I've supported exclusion of unrepentant rapists. And if your ilk had restrained your claims over time to instances of unrepentant perpetrators of serious abuse (such as rape and battery) who refuse all kinds of education, therapy or compensation (indicating some kind of existential commitment to domination), I would probably support you. But this has got so out of control, I now know the rape issue is just a wedge in the door. You have revealed in previous posts that you do not restrict this to unrepentant rapists, you do not restrict it to rape (it could also apply to a single incident of hitting someone, or to other unspecified “abuse”), you also believe it is fair enough to ban someone because they drew a swastika in an artwork even if there was no far-right ideology involved. You haven't explicitly said whether you also believe that people who break the blockade on a particular person by maintaining contact on both sides should also be banned, but this is pretty common practice in this type of anti-abuse extremism. It's also pretty common that it extends to un-PC speech, unintended “microaggressions”, unwanted touching even if it's completely non-sexual, any kind of violence and sometimes even verbal expressions of anger, etc. The culture created by this regulatory, punitive approach to space is so damaging that it's clearly far greater than whatever small benefit supposedly accrues (and as I've said before – this entire fad for purges and horizontal policing does not seem to have done the slightest to reduce instances of rape and abuse among anarchists).

you just don't know what "stigmatisation" really is

“Really is”

Positivist spotted.

if i'm apparently a psychological behaviourist then why do you seem to think i have such an interest in the unconscious mind over externally measurable behaviour? those things would seem to be diametrically opposed?

When did I say you had an interest in the unconscious mind?

You infer unconscious motives in the sense that you permit claims of the kind “Jon hit Becky because of masculinity, even if Jon didn't believe he was doing it because of masculinity”. You root these kinds of claims in concepts of “culture” (e.g. “rape culture”) and “structure” (e.g. “patriarchy is structural”). You thus imply that individuals can act as vectors for forces of which they are unaware.

You don't seem able or willing to tell me what you take the ontological status or operative mechanisms of these “structures” and “cultures” to be.

From studying leading idpol writers such as Judith Butler, and observing how idpols use these words in practice, I've reached the conclusion that idpols treat structures and cultures as clusters of beliefs and behaviors. The beliefs may be preconscious rather than conscious (they are not unconscious in the psychoanalytic sense), for instance threat-perceptions. The behaviors may be habits which are not directly intended. The idpol methodology attempts to apply incentives, deterrents, disruptions, and variations in opportunity-structures so as to coerce or nudge changes in beliefs and behaviors. It is implicitly assumed that such coercion/nudging will change the “culture” and “structure” and thus eliminate the social problem.

This is an absolutely mainstream cognitive-behaviorist way of thinking about “culture” and “structure” which was invented by the Third Way in the 1990s/early 2000s. It is premised on the elimination of the Freudian view of unconscious motives, the Marxian view of material structures, and the Nietzschean view of social control, which were the normal ways of thinking about “culture” and “structure” in radical movements and in academia up to the 1990s. You're using the post-purge behaviorist model of culture and structure which appears to be an unconscious belief in your case. And you can't see its contentiousness and historicity. Nobody thought about either “culture” or “structure” in those terms before the 1990s. You don't realise – and don't want to admit when I call you out on it – that the terms in which you're framing issues are absolutely mainstream. That you're complicit in the erasure of the entire radical heritage underpinning social movements from the 60s to the 90s – including feminist, gay, black, and anti-colonial movements.

And actually, it doesn't explain anything. Because you're effectively saying “men commit rape because they can get away with it”. But, men can also get away with walking through Alaska butt-naked except for a thong, or sitting on their garage roof playing the trombone. It doesn't mean they do it.


anarchist_critic OP wrote

if you don't believe in rape culture then how did hillary clinton successfully defend rapists in court by victim blaming

OK, here's a little primer in epistemology. Observed facts are like stars in the sky. Humans create meaning by joining together stars into constellations. The lines which join the constellations don't really exist, we have to create them to make meaning. The stars could also be arranged in different constellations, even though as observed facts, they're still the exact same stars in the exact same place.

Idpol plugs certain observed facts (“rape is relatively common”, “most rapists are men”, “most rapists are never convicted”, “people don't automatically believe rape survivors”, “lawyers try to get rapists off by saying the victim consented”, “people vote for Trump even though he's a rapist”) and join them together into a constellation. There's a simplistic idpol constellation which joins things in very particular ways. It also joins in the imaginary lines between the stars, which are, “culture and structure are sets of beliefs and behaviors”, “culture and structure can be shifted by tweaking incentives, deterrents and opportunity structures”, “patriarchy is a structure and rape culture is a culture in this particular sense”. Using these lines to join up the facts, you arrive at the “obvious” conclusion that people vote for Trump or lawyers get rapists off because of pervasive beliefs, which are part of patriarchy as a structure, which can be destroyed by altering incentive-structures and opportunity-structures.

But the same stars (facts) can also be joined up by different imaginary lines, sometimes to other stars, sometimes to the same stars in different ways. For instance, one can join together “lawyers try to get rapists off by saying the victim consented” with “lawyers try to get anarchists off riot charges by saying they were just peacefully protesting” or “lawyers try to get murderers off by saying they acted in self-defence”. All a lawyer has to do is to create a sufficiently convincing counternarrative that the judge or jury isn't sure “beyond reasonable doubt” that the person is guilty (they don't have to “sympathise with” or even believe the rapist, they just have to be minimally unsure whether he did it). One can join together “people voted for Trump even though he's a rapist” with “people voted for Trump even though he's not a competent politician” and “people voted for Trump even though he's going to cut their healthcare”. People vote for politicians for stupid reasons. Or take the statement “patriarchy is a structure”. This is more abstract than the others, but in a sense it's an observable fact. But it doesn't have to be joined to the behaviorist/Third Way view of structure. Marxist-feminists believe patriarchy is a system, but it's a system at an economic and socioeconomic level, it's not determined by culture or behavior. For example, the fact that women are paid less and there's no state-provided childcare means that women stay in relationships even if they're abused. No change in beliefs or individual behaviors is going to alter that – only a change in economic system, or at least in government policies. The material difference in economic power causes the cultural difference in status and the direction of abuse. Same stars, different lines.

Actually I wonder how far you'd push the Trump thing. I don't know if you're an “anarchists never vote” type or an “everyone has to vote for Hillary else they're racist” type. If the latter, then what happens if there's a “complex intersectional” situation where a sexual predator with good politics is running against a non-predator whose policies will directly harm women or other oppressed groups So for example, suppose it's 1996 and Bill Clinton's running against George Bush senior. You know Clinton has better politics but you also know he's a sexual predator. Would you actually be prepared to vote for Bush? What if Trump had been assassinated, and Hillary Clinton (who defended rapists in court, is married to and supports the career of a sexual predator, and who you might also have decided by believe-the-victim rules is running a pedo racket) is running against Mike Pence? You know Pence is an utter misogynist but he's probably not a sexual predator because he won't even be alone in a room with a woman (I kid you not). Or, what if it was JFK against Barry Goldwater? It's come out that JFK has “seduced” numerous women, would you be prepared to vote for the guy who's going to nuke Vietnam?

revolutionary action involves combating capitalism directly

Again the trouble is, you're probably not using “combating”, “capitalism”, or “directly” in the sense Bakunin or Malatesta was, or in the sense that I would. I don't believe capitalism is a structure in the sense of beliefs and behaviors. I believe capitalism is a socioeconomic structure in the external sense. We resist this structure to the extent that we disrupt it, and/or live otherwise. It isn't present everywhere and it isn't all-powerful. We fight capitalism by physically defending the ZAD, shutting down the stock exchange, defending squats, occupying factories, reclaiming the streets, providing goods free of charge, seizing land, dumpster diving, pirating software, organising base unions (among other things). I've never seen an idpol fight capitalism (some of them say they do but that's empty rhetoric). But if idpols fight capitalism the way they fight patriarchy and white supremacy, it would look something like this. First one identifies a “capitalist culture” composed of beliefs, assumptions, habits and behaviors which “sustain capitalism”. These might extend from big ones (like running a multinational company) to tiny ones (like buying a loaf of bread). Second one attaches moral opprobrium to these beliefs/behaviors and “calls out” or sanctions people who engage in them. Someone caught buying a loaf of bread gets expelled from the scene because they're importing capitalist culture and therefore are unsafe to be around. One might take a term like “commodity fetishism” and turn it into a swearword. “You just committed Commodity Fetishism by spending money and thus behaving as if money has value and you are therefore complicit in and responsible for all the harms caused by capitalism through history!!!” You'd start identifying the most militant advocates of capitalism – say, ancaps – and trying to shut down their events. You'd dogpile people on Twitter for showing off their wealth. And then you expect that by calling-out enough people, and famous enough people, and doing all this belief/behavior change crap over and over, that the belief in commodities will corrode and suddenly we'll wake up in a non-capitalist society. This is literally how idpols handle patriarchy and white supremacy. Now, I've nothing against people trying to live without money, but I don't think that kind of call-out strategy would bring down capitalism. I expect you can see that it's ridiculous. But if it's ridiculous in the case of capitalism, why isn't it ridiculous in the other cases too?


Dumai wrote (edited )

for somebody who claims not to know the "ontological basis" of my argument you seem to be making a lot of assumptions about what that "ontological basis" is

From studying leading idpol writers such as Judith Butler, and observing how idpols use these words in practice, I've reached the conclusion that idpols treat structures and cultures as clusters of beliefs and behaviors.

hello, i don't know what semiotics is. discourse analysis? what's that? butler believes in "clusters of beliefs and behaviours" that are both unconscious and not really unconscious, rather preconscious, at the same time. oops, i forgot using the word "really" makes you a positivist apparently. anyway, don't expect me to qualify what "beliefs and behaviours" means. just allow me to paint this scholar's entire body of work with this one brush without citing anything. this is how debate works. i am the best anarchist. force? authority? what is the difference?

i mean you don't seem to understand how fucking stupid it is to accuse anybody of psychological behaviourism if you think their beliefs don't work without modelling the unconscious and/or preconscious minds, whether those models are drawn intentionally or not. especially if you're dealing with judith butler, who has written actual books in favour of psychoanalysis that i assume you must be aware of if you're claiming to have read her


anarchist_critic OP wrote

OK then smart-alec, explain to me what the "unconscious" means to you, and what you mean by "structure" (as in "patriarchy is a structure") and "culture" (as in "rape culture exists").

I'm particularly interested in why you think your preferred tactical repertoire (accountability, exclusion, non-tolerance) will have the desired effect on "structure", "culture" and the "unconscious".


anarchist_critic OP wrote

Whatsamatter? Cat got your tongue?

For someone who's so ready to bash other people's points of view, and whine about being misrepresented, you're pretty shy about setting out your own views.