the need for an anti-civilization discourse within anarchist communist spaces

Submitted by celebratedrecluse in Anarchism

While the need to eschew industrialism-as-an-ethos might seem obvious to many communists-- for practical, as well as theoretical reasons-- the fact remains that anarchist communists often engage in magical thinking which elides the concerns inherent within industrialism.

Specificially, the nature of commodity production, and the way in which workers' enterprises remain capitalist even after political gains made by the working class.

It is important to have a vision of a world that one desires to implement. While anarchist communists are hardly the drivers of capitalist and industrialist destruction, without a clear idea in mind of what we seek, the authors of revolutionary praxis can easily fall into reactionary mind-traps.

For instance, the idea of space colonization as a communist/anarchist/revolutionary possibility. It makes no sense to terraform worlds we cannot even yet reach, when we could far more easily stop terraforming our own world into oblivion.

The idea that unlimited production and consumption could be had under a communist mode of production, is absurd and totally opposed to science and a humane conception of ecology. Therefore, anarchist communism will entail a more conscious and reserved approach to production of goods, producing locally-as-possible only that which was necessary and never in a centrally controlled way, and would be anathema violently to any recapitulation of commodity exchange.

To flesh out this ideology further, it is needed that anarchist communists and their fellow travellers reject a common "trolling" discourse which immaturely disregards the critiques of industrialism. centrally planned, and even disaggregated industrialism, needs to be distinguished from anarchist communist modes of production which hope to find success in fulfilling basic human needs as well as making the fulfilment of those needs sustainable and ecologically reasonable.

Rather than dismissing primitivist ideology with cheapshots (its ableist/transphobic/etc), I want anarchist communists to engage meaningfully with the critiques, and find ways to solve these problems without reflexively and foolishly falling in line with industrialist propaganda. Because, frankly, without this type of nuanced discourse, anarchist communism falls into the same ideological and emotional appeals that lead revolutionaries back to capitalism, fascistic politics, and total ecocide.

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Tequila_Wolf wrote (edited )

Sounds about right! One thing I've really been wanting to figure out is how to break through that wall of confidence that prevents people from being critical about their positions because they have weird straw man perceptions of other positions.

So yeah, if anybody has some thoughts on this, holy shit please let me know.

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celebratedrecluse OP wrote

A few things I think are helpful are the ideas in Translating Anarchy, a book recommended to me a while back. By reducing reliance on academic terminology/ideological fetishism, and simply talking about what you are talking about in plain language, a lot of the triggers which force people into an unhelpful us/them binary can be avoided.

Of course, there are issues and times and places where we need that us/them binary, in order to mobilize against insitutions and emplaced oppression. But when we are talking broad strokes about how we want to organize our lives/communities, often it can be helpful to frame things in a less threatening, intimidating, and oppositional way. I won't pretend there's a hard and fast set of rules, or a single correct answer, but having flexibility on this front has been extremely useful in my experience.

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Tequila_Wolf wrote (edited )

Cool, I'll hopefully get a chance to check out Translating Anarchy soon.

places where we need that us/them binary, in order to mobilize against insitutions and emplaced oppression

I don't think this is true. My best guess is that them/us thinking is always counterproductive and even if we are using it to oppose systems we are reinforcing the underlying logic of the system by using it.
Instead, I think it's preferable to talk about the processes or the relationships of the system, each individual process and the way that they work together, the ways they are corrupting and harmful for all, including the people who are part of them.
Doing this as a broader accountability process that does it's best to always see each individual as a full human being.
Since we've chosen a radical path, I want to make it as radical and uncompromising as possible.

For more on thinking about accountability processes, lately I've been quite inspired by Against The Logic Of The Guillotine by crimethinc, and then this podcast where one of the writers elaborates on some of the ideas. Which I will again recommend all try to read :)

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celebratedrecluse OP wrote

I see what you're talking about, and think it's valid to a point. However I disagree to a large degree with the conclusions you are expressing.

A lack of ability to characterize people and institutions as enemies, and fight them appropriately, is a foundational characteristic of liberal politics. It is frequently the case that people who are being oppressed need to build a conception of solidarity with other oppressed people, and a conception of hatred and violence towards their oppressors, in order to change the circumstances of our lives for the better. As we both agreed, there are nuances that need to be accounted for of how the us vs. them binary can be harmful in many contexts-- however, it would be totally opposed to a lot of lived experience and more theoretical/abstract knowledge I've gained over time, to say that such a binary is totally useless. In fact, I'd say it's a necessary element of effective politics, whether revolutionary or reactionary.

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Tequila_Wolf wrote

I hope that I will get a chance to talk with you further about this. I've just arrived in a new city and am still finding my feet.

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celebratedrecluse OP wrote

Congrats on your move/travel, I hope you find yourself comfortable and connected with good people soon :)

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amongstclouds wrote

Thanks for explaining what I feel but am always too annoyed by ancoms to explain. :p

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[deleted] wrote

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Pop wrote

Re ableism

For transphobia I don't know a text offhand or how to search for conversations that have already happened here. It's a shame galdra's not around anymore, because she was brilliant at explaining it all

hope this helps for now!

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ziq wrote (edited )

Anarcho-primitivism and anticiv anarchism aren't promising anyone a utopia. They're simply a critique of civilization, not a model for building a society, and they certainly don't advocate taking away your medicine.

http://www.primitivism.com/primer.htm

This is the only resource you need.

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ziq wrote (edited )

And yet another user deletes their account at the slightest disagreement. I'm really getting sick of this.

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scrabcrab wrote

Let's all die of easily prevented diseases!

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fnord wrote

Why is the left trash?

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ziq wrote (edited )

I've been thinking a lot about why leftists that come through here are so prone to reaction when encountering post-left or anti-civ ideas and this is my theory:

They've been promised a leftist utopia, and told they need to work hard and read theory hard and organize hard to one day receive the utopia as a reward.

So anyone that suggests maybe they won't get that utopia in their lifetime (or that it isn't actually a utopia at all) is essentially bursting their bubble, and the only way the ego knows to deal with the idea of not receiving the reward they've pinned all their hopes and dreams to is to lash out in anger at the blasphemer.

What I still haven't figured out is why they then feel the need to spend years cursing the blasphemer's name on capitalist websites that are crawling with fascists. My working theory for that is that I'm just really, really, really unlikable.

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amongstclouds wrote

I think most of them just want to look 'woke' and 'radical' because they know it's a cool thing to do: they're very radicool.

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ziq wrote

You first.

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Tequila_Wolf wrote

Makes me wish I finished the w/anticivFAQ. I'm not sure but you might have written something up that addresses this?

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ziq wrote (edited )

I don't remember.. the parts in there that are written look like my writing style tho.

Would people even read it? Whenever I link them to my wikis they complain about 'wall of text' and keep repeating their reactionary preconceived notions even tho my wiki debunks them all and I just end up repeating the stuff I said in the wiki because they refuse to read it.

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Tequila_Wolf wrote

I'd want it to be short sharp sections, an we wouldn't have to link to it, just copy/paste the relevant section. It's nice to have well-articulated rebuttals handy.

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scrabcrab wrote

I mean I won't cause I'm not an anprim

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ziq wrote

I want anarchist communists to engage meaningfully with the critiques, and find ways to solve these problems without reflexively and foolishly falling in line with industrialist propaganda. Because, frankly, without this type of nuanced discourse, anarchist communism falls into the same ideological and emotional appeals that lead revolutionaries back to capitalism, fascistic politics, and total ecocide.

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