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Tequila_Wolf wrote

Paraphrasing Mbembe speaking to something else, everything depends on the locations in which we find ourselves, the historical contexts in which we live, and the objective conditions we face.

We see this in Seaweed's writing and repeated in quite a few anarchist texts after: “Any bioregion can be liberated through a succession of events and strategies based on the conditions unique to it.”

I think that bioregion-based liberation makes sense, and that decentralised desertion-style creation of autarkic communities is a real alternative. "Autarkic" here meaning not dependent on civilisation beyond it for resources.
As much as I desire the death of infrastructure in the spaces that I live, I don't feel I can justify doing the bombings etc myself if it means direct harm to those who will suffer without that infrastructure, as well as further criminalisation and witch-hunts of our people. And, as Bellamy's noted, a large range of what anarchists have considered 'attack' does nothing at this stage.

To anticipate the anarchist critic: desertion does not necessarily imply that all forms of attentat are to be rejected outright; but it does mean a profound reevaluation of what some anarchists have vaguely taken to calling “attack,” which I feel has been greatly exaggerated in importance, often very misguidedly conducted, commonly easily recuperated by the parasitic social classes, and woefully overshadowing what ought to be the primary goals of desertion, autarky, and reinhabitation. It is only an empty bluff, or a suicidal and mass homicidal impulse, to prioritize attacking civilization when oneself and one’s kin totally depend on its infrastructure and social relations for their survival.

It may very well be necessary and appropriate to resist more confrontationally at certain junctures, but much of anarchist activity these days is a repetitive exercise in self-righteous victimhood, a perpetual motion machine animated by a ressentiment-fueled martyr complex: rioting, aggressively confronting police, destroying public and private property — all of which accomplish next to nothing when civic and economic activity returns to normalcy one or several days later, but which often result in arrests, fines, incarceration, and injury for the activists involved. One attempts to assault directly an enemy who is best equipped and enormously accustomed to absorb and/or crush direct assaults, knowing that they will likely only inflict superficial scratches on their enemy while risking the total destruction of their lives — only a virulently self-sacrificial morality that places catharsis over wisdom could motivate such behavior. One loses, but feels vindicated, justified, and redeemed in their loss, and the oppression they receive only proves their dedication to righteousness and the turpitude of their enemies — and so the cycle continues.

At best, rioting may pressure politicians to pass certain reforms, which means one has fallen perfectly back into the trap of reformism. Again, there may be a time and place for certain very specific forms of sabotage and attack, but the greatest destabilization to the dominant paradigm will likely be caused by civilization’s own selfundermining productive processes. In any case, desertion does harm the ruling order by depriving it of the resource on which it totally depends: the daily submission of slaves.

Being someone who wants as anarchic a world possible, I have a twofold focus. The first is on finding and building affinity with others, and the second is on changing the social imaginary so that it is as open to our ideas as possible. I'm not seeking mass, or to dilute my ideas; I think that as the collapse unfolds people will seek alternatives and that for some of us they will be lucky enough to chose ours. I think also them just having a real sense of our ideas rather than misinformation will bring us some basic safety and support.

That said, models I prefer as an individual almost always fail me, along with ideas for long-term positive projects that aren't conceived with the people involved. Everything we build must be built with others, and at least in my case the people I build with have vastly different backgrounds and ideas and beliefs to me, even as we have some important affinities politically.
So my preference is simply to find those I have affinity with, to scrutinise our resources and our capacities and the context that we live in, and make our best move towards the greatest autonomy/autarky we can find, always in such a way that in passing through space we free others in our wake just by opening up and enabling their sense of what is possible.

Realistically, even the fullest deserter communities will be looking to make connections with other deserter communities, and will to some degree still be connected to the leviathan, even if it is just because we hear the news from there, or our friends are there. Which is to say that not everybody needs to be a deserter. If anarchists are city-lovers they can help the deserters while remaining what they are. Anarchists are useful anywhere.

I'd love to hear comments and critiques on this.

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celebratedrecluse wrote

it is strategically necessary to liberate our collective projects from as many connections to "the grid", leviathan as you call it. Being attached to "the grid" is a huge tactical and strategic liability: for example, relying on industrially-sold food rather than having access to a comrade-run collective farm is going to drain labor-time (and thus resources) from radical communities, when the food needs could be at least supplemented for free/lower cost.

In order to liberate ourselves from the grid, we are going to need to 1. think logistically, what are our community needs (as opposed to consumerist desires, like what is actually necessary) & how can we realistically fulfill them, and 2. confederate existing projects into rhizomatic networks. Right now, there are a lot of projects (in certain areas of the world), but they do not communicate or coordinate nearly well enough to achieve their goals as best as possible.

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neverinNJ wrote (edited )

Well written Tequila_Wolf. Good response to get us all thinking.

Everything we build must be built with others, and at least in my case the people I build with have vastly different backgrounds and ideas and beliefs to me, even as we have some important affinities politically. A portfolio of self-organizing affinity-minded projects . With a loose horizontal overseeing organization.

So my simplistic takeaways are

  • Use Direct Action when it can best be effective. But may have only short-term impact depending on the circumstances.
  • Building a mesh network of affinity-minded communal groups is an important step going forward.
  • Anarchy is always an answer :-)

Are we becoming the change that we seek today?

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Tequila_Wolf wrote

simplistic takeaways

There are probably a few more to be drawn from there.

Separately, they also come on a backdrop of a decolonial queer anarchism with a Deleuzian metaphysics/ethics.

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ziq OP wrote

Have you deserted? How many people here have? Is anyone able to full desert without remaining plugged in to some extent to survive?

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Tequila_Wolf wrote

Have you deserted?

No. Right now I'm trying to build enough of an affinity group to make some version of this workable. But again, saying this only makes sense insofar as I'm projecting my own vision into the future. The world I make with others will look different.

How many people here have?

Haha, probably just you.

Is anyone able to full desert without remaining plugged in to some extent to survive?

With a few handfuls of people, and in the right places, I imagine it would be mostly possible. Getting your hands on some land, setting up some kind of resilient forest garden type of situation, a reliable water-source, and a renewable energy situation if you like.
I'd still want to access the rest of the world in order to share ideas and make ourselves known, so that'd involve some interaction with leviathan, but I'd be aiming for autarky at least insofar as, if you wanted, you could survive on just what you had there.

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1_6_1_manc wrote

Getting your hands on some land, setting up some kind of resilient forest garden type of situation, a reliable water-source, and a renewable energy situation if you like.

Wouldn't a setup like this just be seized by what was left of the state?

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Tequila_Wolf wrote

Deserter spaces are usually picked for being spaces that capital is largely uninterested in. More can be read about this is the two short sections of Desert starting here.

Not far from where I live, there are already places largely abandoned by capital and authority. Places with little to no functional water system, no real industry, nothing to mine. The land is a arable but nothing special and since there's not much water it's not a good investment to get involved in farming there. Interesting things could be done.

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1_6_1_manc wrote

The land is arable

If it stays that way, I'd expect capital to move in before long. I don't have the references at hand, but there's a chapter in Desert where they talk about previously forgotten land (in the far north mostly) becoming more and more desirable over time, with disastrous consequences for the people currently living there (Inuit, deserters, etc)

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Tequila_Wolf wrote

I doubt that it will in my lifetime; it's an increasingly abandoned space.

I think the tougher thing will be finding stuff to grow there as the heat increases.

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ziq OP wrote

My land is north facing and shaded by mountain, worthless to farmers who are still operating from an obsolete rulebook. They take one look at it and scoff. But north facing land is the only land where everything doesnt need to be planted in huge shadehouses to survive the summer.

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Tequila_Wolf wrote

What makes me uncomfortable with a politics of desertion is the sense of responsibility I have to everything, including other people, and especially those who are presently suffering the most. I don't think I would want to merely move into an autarkic zone and focus on that primarily is because there are individuals I care about in particular and also a sense of caring about everything generally that makes me want my actions to be more broadly helpful.

Whether it's possible to be broadly helpful is not very clear to me. Helping someone today may just prolong the strangulation that civilisation and capitalism brings. And so to "make our best move towards the greatest autonomy/autarky we can find, always in such a way that in passing through space we free others in our wake just by opening up and enabling their sense of what is possible" is often the space I end up balancing on.

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