Viewing a single comment thread. View all comments


anarchist_critic 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 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 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.


anarchist_critic 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".