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ruin OP wrote

Haven’t perused the list yet, but caught my eye as the anarchist response to the pandemic (or at least the online discourse around it) seems to be evolving recently.


Hibiscus_Syrup wrote

Oof, it's a lotta reading.

I'm gonna try do some of em.

If you (anybody) do read things and find stuff interesting, let us know please :)

What I'm most interested in at the moment is, if we're against the policies, which obviously we are, what does that mean for our praxis? Aside from consciousness-raising of an anarchist anti-authoritarian position, nothing comes to mind that I imagine anarchists aren't already doing.


aaaaarg wrote

I'll add a couple more from Andy Robinson

Anti-Lockdown Theory: In defence of Giorgio Agamben

Anti-Lockdown Theory: Stop Securitisation!

I basically haven't read any of these anti-lockdown pieces but I'll chime in with my totally uniformed opinion anyway.

Most of the arguments I've encountered seem to revolve around standard anarchist principles; power over others bad, any response that can increase those powers will be bad in the long run, anything brought in under exceptional circumstances is a horror from pandoras box that can't be put back.

I think theses are all valid points but they seem to always be made in isolation. They don't do a good job of looking at why people might be in support of authoritarian initiatives. For me, working in the service industry, I am extremely relieved when my country has gone into lock down. The freedom that I might have to travel or socialize outside of lockdown is useless because I have come into contact with hundreds of people on a daily basis, I feel like I would be putting people I care about at risk by visiting them. I am also obviously being put at risk, and I am being compelled to do so by.... the violence of the state.

I think this is the crux of the matter, for me there is actually not an intensification of authority or state violence that I am exposed to by a lockdown. In fact it's a shift of experiencing necro-politics to bio-politics. Neither are great but I know which one I prefer.

These are of course things I have no control over, It's a bit like hoping that you get more favorable weather.

Probably a controversial take, whatever, fight me.


Hibiscus_Syrup wrote

I'm trying to develop my own position on this, I haven't found any (of the few that I have read) that are holistic, so I'm glad you shared your take and that you made the point about points made in isolation.

I wonder if this Andy is the Andy that I'm thinking about.


ruin OP wrote

Thanks for the links.

Of these, I think I lean most closely to Agamben’s take that Robinson writes on.

I tend to see any support of a furthering of the security state as authoritarian at best and totalitarian at worst.

This isn’t simply a factor of social distancing and closures, but also a deeper psychological alienation furthered by the medical response to the virus as a villainous foe to be overcome. A discrete threat with a discrete medical solution. This type of thought continues us down the problematic road of humanist anthropocentric thought that isolates and subjugates us in the first place.

Agamben’s piece on medicine sums up the religious aspects of the current approach in very few words and is well worth a read.

Agamben: Medicine as Religion

I too work in what is considered an essential business and I had a fucking miserable case of covid. I know a couple folks who have passed, and I take the illness seriously.

While don’t fault anyone for doing what they feel is necessary to stay healthy, I also won’t advocate for or support authoritarian mandates concerning human bodily autonomy.


aaaaarg wrote

I guess the point I want to reiterate is that I don't see the lockdown as a greater incursion into bodily autonomy than what proceeded it, sometimes my body is forced into the work place sometimes it is forced out. None of it involves autonomy. The state always has the ability to choose what it does with or to our bodies.

A lot of these articles seem to focus on the rules rather than the possibilities or practicalities. While it is not legal to do so, I visit my family more frequently and in a more relaxed fashion in lockdown than I do outside of it. I am also fortunate enough that my wages have been subsidized by a government scheme so I am receiving enough money to survive (if not much else) but with no accountability. This again offers more bodily autonomy than being in work.

And yeah, even having said the above, it's still fucking shit. The pandemic seems to have intensified the worst aspects of capitalism. It feels like a preview to the end of civilization.

TW asks

what does that mean for our praxis?

Probably what it always has, finding ways to do what we want against the will of the state.


ruin OP wrote

I see your point and I’d wager that as TW had mentioned, people in different locales will have very different experiences regarding “lockdowns”.

I’m in a very rural area (just a few hundred people) so things haven’t changed much up here. On the other hand when I travel to a very large liberal city nearby for work it’s nearly a ghost town and everyone is paranoid. My folks live in the southern US and it’s been as if nothing ever happened...