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The most significant critique of the post-left, I think, with links

Submitted by Tequila_Wolf in Anarchism

Like liberals, post-left and anti-social interpretive frameworks generate political narratives structured by white assumptions, which delimits which questions are posed which categories are the most analytically useful. Tiqqun explore the ways in which we are enmeshed in power through our identities, but tend to focus on forms of power that operate by an investment in life (sometimes called “biopolitics”) rather than, as Achille Mbembe writes, “the power and the capacity to decide who may live and who must die” (sometimes called “necropolitics”). This framework is decidedly white, for it asserts that power is not enacted by direct relations of force or violence, and that the capitalism reproduces itself by inducing us to produces ourselves, to express our identities through consumer choices, to base our politics on the affirmation of our marginalized identities. This configuration of power as purely generative and dispersed completely eclipses the realities of policing, the militarization of the carceral system, the terrorization of people of color, the institutional violence of the Welfare State and the Penal State, and of Black and Native social death. While prisons certainly “produce” race, a generative configuration of power that minimizes direct relations of force can only be theorized from a white subject position.

Jackie Wang - Against Innocence


Necropolitics (PDF) - Achille Mbembe

w/decolonial

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-2

anarchist_critic wrote

The most bullshit critique of the post-left. "Waaah waaah you're not going on about racism and colonialism every five seconds and that means you're racist". "Anything that's not going on about race every five seconds Embeds White Assumptions and therefore is racist". People coming up with this bullshit never bother to actually prove that there's any "white assumptions" in the pieces they criticise. They just assert that, since it disagrees with them, there must be. Lupus Dragonowl destroyed this line of argument years ago, showing how it was rooted in ressentiment. https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/lupus-dragonowl-against-identity-politics https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/fredy-perlman-the-continuing-appeal-of-nationalism

It's pretty absurd to accuse the post-left of "minimizing direct relations of force" when so much of post-left theory is insurrectionary and anti-pig. Tiqqun say that "we are living under a police occupation". How the fuck is that minimizing direct relations of force?!

It's similarly absurd to suggest that the post-left ignores "Black and Native social death" given the strength of anarcho-primitivism and the frequency of accounts of genocide of indigenous peoples. Not to mention that Ward Churchill is Native, Aragorn! is Native, Rod Coronado is Native, Hakim Bey is Muslim, Alejandro de Acosta is Latino, and Fredy Perlman is Jewish. And that there's insu cells in Turkey, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Indonesia.

Oh, and by the way, capitalism DOES encourage middle-class and politically aspirational Black, Native, women, LGBTQ+ and other marginalised people to produce themselves as docile conformist subjects by identifying with their marginalised identities. And a lot of them fall for it. That's where idpol comes from. This shit isn't being formulated by black kids in the ghettos or Brazilian shanty town residents or starving Ethiopians, it's being formulated by middle-class academics on $100,000-a-year contracts, whose job is to channel and tame the radicalism of marginalised groups. It's in their interest to deny the importance of capitalism and statism, and focus instead on racially divisive themes (which divide and rule the oppressed) and on trivia such as "cultural appropriation" and language policing and how many black people are in movies. https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/10/07/pers-o07.html https://www.counterpunch.org/2013/05/21/the-invention-of-the-white-race/

Social death is easily theorised within non-idpol radicalism in relation to the demand to conform and the "relative surplus population" (see Karatasli et al. on the Arab Spring, and Clover's Riot, Strike, Riot for examples). The relative surplus population does not produce value and so is treated as disposable by capital, and sometimes its brutal treatment serves as a threat to included workers. It tends to be racialised because of the historical distribution of primary and secondary labour market roles, but there's a growing white male sector of the relative surplus population who were very prominent in the 2011 unrest. Because the left can't unglue its eyes from the antics of middle-class spokespeople for the "marginalised", this layer are effectively pushed towards the alt/far-right (and by the way, a lot of the non-white relative surplus population are also in the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, RSS, Mara Salvatrucha, Mungiki, PCC, or whatever the local equivalents are, because this style of gang/sect politics is actually a very effective survival strategy).

Post-left anarchy actually has the most effective response to the situation of the relative surplus population: recovery of subsistence, creation of autonomous zones, struggle against state repression, immediatism, illegalism, squatting, skipping, Travelling, DIY. Creating a world where no-one is disposable. While idpols whine to the powerful to check their privilege and stop being so mean to us poor oppressed middle-class academics, post-left anarchy is actually building another world - and idpols are doing their best to sabotage it.

If you can't see how alienation, capitalism, the state, prisons, biopolitics, industrial society, ecocide, are structural oppressions just as significant as race or gender - and that recognising and fighting these oppressions is not at all a matter of "white assumptions" - then you're not fighting the system, you're a liberal fighting for racial and gender equality WITHIN the system.

And if you're "against innocence" then you're FOR GUILT, which means you're FOR SUPEREGO, which means you're AGAINST DESIRE, which means you're part of the authoritarian system of repression, inhibition and hatred created by civilised society.

3

Tequila_Wolf wrote

I've read dragonowl's piece a few times now. I don't think it's great but it's useful. It does speak in particular to identity politics as something that reduces structural problems to a single identity axis, which neither I nor Jackie Wang nor Achille Mbembe do. I think race reductionism is similarly flawed to class reductionism, though I have done the work to understand why people are interested in both.

I don't have the energy to read more than a paragraph of your stuff, sorry. If you want to engage with me further generally it'd help me if you kept your responses short.

-1

anarchist_critic wrote

OK then, smart-alec. How does replacing "let's be insane reductionists about how everything comes down to one axis of oppression" with "let's be insane reductionists about how everything comes down to a dozen different axes of oppression and we've got to be super extreme and insane about all of them" solves the problems raised in the article.

At least the one-contradiction version is consistent. The "intersectional" version puts itself in the impossible position of trying to be equally extreme about lots of things at once, and doesn't have any way to resolve the problem when they come into conflict.

3

Tequila_Wolf wrote

It's very hard to believe that you're writing any of this in good faith because you seem to be intentionally messing me around. I assume you're doing the same with others.

Thanks for making it shorter though. Not sure why you're calling me names.

Separately, please cut it out with the ableist language though, seriously.

Dragonowl is fine with intersectionality - I'm confused why you refer to them to base your argument and then come up with a second totally different kind of argument here. It really seems you don't understand how intersectionality works. That aside, I primarily use nonnormative philosophy to engage with identity, but I'm fine with people using intersectionality generally.

-2

anarchist_critic wrote

Nope, not messing you around.

Sorry if I started the name-calling here. To be fair, ziq is bullying me viciously on another thread and "smart-alec" isn't exactly a severe insult. And you seem to me to be nit-picking, in trying to make out that Dragonowl's critique applies to less of idpol than it does. It clearly applies to anything which is leveraging positionality instead of ego, even though all his/her/their examples come from one-axis idpols. If it's attaching value to a spook or positionality instead of Unique Ones, it's a problem for egoists... that's pretty straightforward and I can't understand why you can't understand that.

As for

you don't understand how intersectionality works

That's because nobody who uses the word seems to have a clear sense of what it means. Nobody's ever defined it. Because it's a buzzword. I've mostly seen it used like a magic wand to wish away the problems with idpol. OK, we've established there's multiple lines of oppression and they all cross over with each other and they compound or reinflect one another. What then? All the "intersectional" people I've come across still pull the same old idpol shit like "check your privilege", language policing, zero-sum demands that everything benefit the worst-off GROUP, the validity of someone's truth-claims depends on the group they come from etc etc. Except that now, even people from oppressed groups can be silenced using this rhetoric. And they're very hazy on what someone should do if a particular action benefits one oppressed group but harms another. For instance, suppose that having more cops at train stations makes women feel safer but black men feel less safe - should we be for it or against it? The one-contradiction idpols have a clear answer but the intersectionalists just dodge it. I've never heard a clear answer from an intersectionalist on how one handles these situations - with the exception of those who use "intersectional" to mean "black women come first - white men, white women, and black men are all oppressors". By all means try to explain it if you think you understand it better than me.

-4

anarchist_critic wrote

Nope, not messing you around.

Sorry if I started the name-calling here. To be fair, ziq is bullying me viciously on another thread and "smart-alec" isn't exactly a severe insult. And you seem to me to be nit-picking, in trying to make out that Dragonowl's critique applies to less of idpol than it does. It clearly applies to anything which is leveraging positionality instead of ego, even though all his/her/their examples come from one-axis idpols. If it's attaching value to a spook or positionality instead of Unique Ones, it's a problem for egoists... that's pretty straightforward and I can't understand why you can't understand that.

As for

you don't understand how intersectionality works

That's because nobody who uses the word seems to have a clear sense of what it means. Nobody's ever defined it. Because it's a buzzword. I've mostly seen it used like a magic wand to wish away the problems with idpol. OK, we've established there's multiple lines of oppression and they all cross over with each other and they compound or reinflect one another. What then? All the "intersectional" people I've come across still pull the same old idpol shit like "check your privilege", language policing, zero-sum demands that everything benefit the worst-off GROUP, the validity of someone's truth-claims depends on the group they come from etc etc. Except that now, even people from oppressed groups can be silenced using this rhetoric. And they're very hazy on what someone should do if a particular action benefits one oppressed group but harms another. For instance, suppose that having more cops at train stations makes women feel safer but black men feel less safe - should we be for it or against it? The one-contradiction idpols have a clear answer but the intersectionalists just dodge it. I've never heard a clear answer from an intersectionalist on how one handles these situations - with the exception of those who use "intersectional" to mean "black women come first - white men, white women, and black men are all oppressors". By all means try to explain it if you think you understand it better than me.

2

BigGeorge moderator wrote

One more ableist outburst and I'm banning you from this forum.

-3

anarchist_critic wrote

Ok, Mr. Dictator. Which innocuous everyday word have you decided is "ableist"?

If you're on about "insane" - you do realise that this kind of language-policing bullshit means you'll end up banning most of the people with actual psychological problems, right? Because, I know a lot of people who are schizophrenic, bipolar, autistic, and they all hate idpol and they all speak their fucking minds. The idpol etiquette shit is absolutely impossible for someone who doesn't have the usual hivemind groupthink and the usual checks on what they say. You are literally performing ableism with your narrow-minded ideological insistence on self-control and groupthink, and then dressing it up as anti-ableist! I don't know whether to laugh or cry!

This is absolutely classic crybullying... I've been subjected to endless insults without any redeeming logical argument, and when I lower myself to their level, they (presumably) cry victim.

And seriously... if you're going to censor me for my political disagreement with idpol groupthink (we all know that's the real stake here since you've turned a blind eye to endless vicious personal attacks on me), go ahead. And fuck you and your fake selective "anti-ableism".

1

BigGeorge moderator wrote (edited )

Banned for doubling down on ableism.

I suggest you make a new forum like f/brocialism where you can rant about idpol in peace.

You can appeal your ban in f/meta but since you've made clear you will continue ignoring the terms of service every moderator is tasked with upholding, I wouldn't bother.