Submitted by ziq in AnarchistFAQ

Hey ziq, question about your "New Anarchist FAQ" that you're compiling — in the section about "Free Speech," you do not address the concept or principle of Free Speech itself; what is discussed is rather 1) state policies and 2) hate speech.

The piece would be stronger if you address the philosophical concept of Free Speech, not as an abstract thing defined by the state, but as a real action that any human being can apply in their lives. Free Speech is an offshoot of agency and autonomy.

To what extent do you think you'll try to address the actual concept of Free Speech, rather than its misapplied appropriations by the state and alt-right bigots?

7

Comments

You must log in or register to comment.

CaptainACAB wrote (edited )

I'm honestly drawing a blank here.

I don't think the "philosophical concept of free speech" exists; it is inseparable from the state in my mind; it refers to a limit that the state puts on itself in order to appease the masses. This reminds me of the concept of "natural rights". Any other definition can be attributed to better words.

The closest thing to "free speech" that connects to the idea of "a real action that any human being can apply in their lives" is, well, talking. Is a conversation between two people "free speech"? Is a criticism of one individual by another "free speech"? Do animals have "free speech"? If not, what about someone that can only communicate via body language? I feel like applying a western concept that has always been related to the business of the state as a natural human action is inaccurate and reifies a thing that I honestly think attaching to anarchism is a mistake since it also appeals to statist/western/liberal values.

5

Kinshavo wrote

I very much subscribe to this.

People tend to treat free speech as a "right". And if we dont recognize the mediation (or even the existence) of the State we cant "demand" for it. That's why Illegalism don't make sense to me as a separate ideology, Anarchism in it's core is illegal, we always will be marginal to the notion of State order with laws.

I would say that what the anon redditor says about "philosophical concept of Free Speech" is a notion from enlightment philosophers, or the classical liberalism notion of natural rights etc.

There's no free speech with you don't build it yourself. Blink to all anarchist publishing houses, writers, podcasters, and all brave creative endeavours

5

Gwen_Isilith wrote

It would seem to me what this person is getting at asking is that if any speech would be prohibited/opposed by anarchists and if so how. I assume they would be referring to examples such as yelling fire in a movie theater which is a common example. Though they say they aren't talking about hate speech that is another example where it seems some anarchists do advocate the limiting of speech, especially anti-fascist anarchists. Perhaps that's just how I interpret their question though.

4

CaptainACAB wrote

It would seem to me what this person is getting at asking is that if any speech would be prohibited/opposed by anarchists and if so how.

If that's it, then the answer to that is unequivocally "yes"; anarchists, as a collection of individuals would be opposed to people doing things that they don't like and would react to that in whatever way that they see fit.

Either way, tying "freedom of speech" to autonomous action is clinging to the former and trying to breathe relevance into it for anarchist circles by attempting to redefine it into a more general meaning. I don't think that using "freedom of speech" is necessary or useful.

6

Gwen_Isilith wrote

I think the thought provoking aspect comes from the how. How can speech be censored in a way that does not reproduce ideology or state functions/institutions?

4

CaptainACAB wrote

How can speech be censored in a way that does not reproduce ideology or state functions/institutions?

It can't. Censorship is an authoritarian tactic.

But when does individual action veer into censorship? Does it start at verbal request or does it start at the use of force. When does the desire to exercise freedom of association tread onto the dissenter's "right" to speak? Is it a numbers game where the lower number is being suppressed?

Why should I, as an individual, ever begin to take into consideration the "rights" of others to speech? Pragmatic desire for reciprocation; some unspoken agreement between two strangers that I will not "limit" their speech so long as they, in turn, not limit mine? Courtesy? Fear of not being "anarchist enough"? Any answer this can be interpreted as a new form of authority, as it is all obligation.

Yeah, it's thought provoking in that there's no definite answer, only a continuous line of questions.

If this comes off as antagonistic, I don't mean it that way.

4

Gwen_Isilith wrote

No I like your response these are definitely the questions one should ask oneself. I don't mean this as the answer but my own answer to these questions I primarily relate to nihlist anti-morality in that I can only really react to speech as it relates to my self and that I want to challenge the common interpretive lenses one uses on speech aka ideology.

So I don't want to say speech is neutral or anything: if someone says "you want to fight" that could be a friend being playful or someone who actually wants to fight, and one can definitely find malicious intent in other speech. But I don't think one can judge the speech of others in absolutes; this word or phrase is wrong, only in how it relates to oneself.

4

Noir_ wrote

Imo, the same way that an anarchist society would deal with things most people dislike (like, rape?). Not by imposing restrictions like a state would, but by social punishment. Someone has the right to hit you, deny you service, avoid you, etc.

3

Gwen_Isilith wrote

Ultimately what you are describing is community policing. If you are familiar with Foucault one can see that this is the natural conclusion of discipline, where no longer are uniformed police are necessary as every individual polices not only their own behavior but the behavior of everyone else.

On another point, as your language gestures at, there are not universal evils, instead all behavior/action is relational. One cannot judge actions outside of this relation without morality (the universalization of values) and so there are no actions one can deem "commonly disliked" or morally wrong, but instead only actions that we ourselves choose to avoid or choose to partake in.

4

Noir_ wrote

I'm vaguely familiar with him but haven't read much. I find it easier to focus on back and forths online (such as this) rather than reading novel-length material. I'm curious what your opinion on such a societal structure is?

I am definitely a subscriber to the view that "objective" anything doesn't exist, so long as whoever is using the term is not the god of our dimension. That's one reason why I'm anarchist in the first place, I believe. I do still think that there are actions that any society, including non-human societies will deem degenerate or unfavourable. Certain actions like those that do not benefit the subject, and only harm a number of people in a given society. Actions usually covered in "disorders", I think though they can occur naturally, not all that is natural is wholly good for the environment nor those using it.

Do you follow me?

3

Gwen_Isilith wrote

I understand, personally I am someone who is disordered so I would always be opposed to any sort of social structure which is against the disordered. In this way I am against any sort of societal structure. But truly that is very abstract as we find ourselves within a society and so my opinion on such societal structures is that one should disregard them and act disordered if one wishes, and that I try and refrain from judging any actions outside of their relation to me except in relation to currently existing systems which make themselves universal (but I admit this may be contradictictory).

3

Noir_ wrote

Contradictory or not, that makes sense to me as well. I'm also significantly impacted by mental impairment (so they say) so I identify with the rejection of societal structures. Your ideal sounds a lot like mine whenever I return to a spiritual mindset; there I'm always amused by that concept of theoretically inaccessible ideas of what could be, that we just cannot visualize because of the limitations of our living position.

4

Gwen_Isilith wrote

I think with your last sentence this is something I'm not interested in. Im much less interested in an ideal anarchy where one can be disordered without systems, and am much more interested in how one can exist disordered today.

2

Noir_ wrote

Well, I wasn't necessarily talking about ideal scenarios. I don't think anything will ever be ideal for everyone, all the time. Moreso just better than this structure, and I think only Energy can contrive of every possible scenario. I struggle to communicate exactly what I mean.

I do appreciate how you see things. I still harbour a lot of pessimism about it that I'm sure is a result of many experiences of mine. But I know it's possible, however probable.

4

Gwen_Isilith wrote

I guess what I'm trying to communicate to you is Pessimism, namely nohkism but the two are conflated. Nothing is possible except what we do today. I forget if it was this thread or another where I mentioned the writings on how the future is Fascist. And so that's what I mean by ideal- anything outside of our current experience.

2

[deleted] wrote (edited )

3

Noir_ wrote

How else will you, for a given society, ensure a certain level of safety while also ensuring anarchist values or subjective freedom?

3

[deleted] wrote (edited )

5

Noir_ wrote

Absolutely agreed. I've said to many that these behavioural problems arose out of a spiraling instance of advantageous capitalistic plague-like behaviour in early societies. And the introduction of capital, trading the fruit of others' labour after invading and capturing other human beings, was the start of the infinite expansion of capital, and the exponential increase of psychological illness.

2

[deleted] wrote (edited )

2

Noir_ wrote

That's very interesting. It sounds similar to what I've been reading (slowly) of Joel Kovel. Who is this?

3

[deleted] wrote (edited )

3

Noir_ wrote

Interesting! This actually seems like it's intimately related to my own ideas on spirituality that I cultivated on my own.

Thank you.

3

Gwen_Isilith wrote

The idea that all anti-social behavior is learned I find very disagreeable. Nor only from my own experience being an anti-social person and partaking in anti-social actions but also more generalized examples, for example the text "Murder of The Civilized" discusses Travis the Chimp, who I would describe as anti-social but to my knowledge did not learn this behavior anywhere.

2

[deleted] wrote (edited )

3

Gwen_Isilith wrote

Travis the Chimps behavior is near identical to that of Adam Lanza (Lanza actually drew upon Travis's actions to inspire his own) and I would even go so far as to say that it is possible Kazynski's psychological thesis apply not only to Lanza but to Travis. I don't really buy into the distinction between humans and not-humans though.

3

[deleted] wrote (edited )

3

Gwen_Isilith wrote

I agree the living conditions had a tremendous impact, this to me seems to be Kazynski's thesis- industrial society being the living condition of the modern psyche. However while I agree that there are differences between animals (there is difference in all things which to me is what makes them the same) I disagree with the weight you attribute to that difference, especially between humans and non-humans.

I would say especially that the difference that is attributed to humans to distinguish themselves from non-humans is often a difference in form not function. A common example being the capacity for elephants to express themselves through art and even apes to express themselves through sign language. But even beyond that I think it is misguided to, for example, privelege the expression of humans through speech but not acknowledge the complexity of emotion expressed for example by dogs or cats which humans often have complex emotional relationships with.

Even further, trying to distinguish between human expression/intelligence and non-human expression attempts to monolithize human behavior in such a way that is often used to dehumanize marginalized humans. Especially the question of expression/intelligence is often used to erase the differences in these regards of disabled/neurodivergent humans. So with all of this I think it is impossible, except in an idealized manner, to distinguish between the whole of human experience and the whole of non-human experience.

2

Gwen_Isilith wrote

You cannot both ensure safety and have anarchy.

3

[deleted] wrote

3

Gwen_Isilith wrote

Yeah I would say this relates a lot to the idea that "the future is Fascist" and other rejections of the future such as in queer negativity. Baedan is especially relevant as it discusses how one cannot "Save the Children" since the idea of children, or of Innocence is am abstraction used to justify.

3

[deleted] wrote

4

Gwen_Isilith wrote

I prefer to read things but I've recently been listening through the immediatism podcast and they have done quite a bit of Baedan.

3

kokoaitu wrote

I imagine there are a few areas which could have comments - without actually checking if these exist.

Freedom of dissent

Freedom of expression

Freedom from physical reality

Free text to speech tools

4

ziq OP wrote (edited )

my account was permanently suspended for yelling at anarcho-democrats who were calling me a tankie for quoting malatesta's anti-democracy so I can't reply to them there.

4

subrosa wrote (edited )

Givin' it up for the drago account, probably the most entertaining and ruthless antagonist on r/Anarchism. One of the few reasons to even go there. R.I.P.

5

Kinshavo wrote

I think we have an influx of cool users (well an occasional comment here and there) coming here from reddit I think, so whatever you are doing there are making people interested in Raddle.

4

Noir_ wrote

I came here from DNL today. First non-edgelord, non-4chan-esque anon forum listed anywhere for Tor. Can I promote this anywhere on reddit to help or would I just get banned?

4

Kinshavo wrote

Usually we are happy to have new users but one thing that happens is the new users not checking the Terms of Service.

Why we have it? Because this site is not darknet place where anything goes and because we have certain discourses (abusive and oppressive ones) we want to keep out. You see this community was born out of a shared political understanding.

3

ziq OP wrote

One of them had a demsoc / dsa rose flair and I said "I hope that rose eats your face". I think that's what did it.

4

Tequila_Wolf wrote

Anarchist free speech in two moves:

  1. You can say anything you want so long as you're not being oppressive.
  2. As with all of any oppression, we'll revolt against you and whatever oppressive system you work with if you say oppressive stuff.
3