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An_Old_Big_Tree wrote (edited )

It's nice to know that I have kin scattered through history.

No anarchist loses against hierarchy, we win just by living anarchy in the here and now.

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blackbearder wrote

This is a good way to think of it. We might be completely outnumbered but we're not alone and we never will be.

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exvegan wrote

How do you live without capitalism when capitalism exists?

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blackbearder wrote

Anarchism isn't "no capitalism", read a book please.

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celebratedrecluse wrote

anarchism can have little a capitalism?

In all seriousness, what do you mean by this? Mutualist, perhaps?

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lastfutures wrote

It means very little to me given my nihilist & individualist leanings. I don't measure the worth of past anarchists on their lack of total victory. Thousands of years of brutality & slavery, and I'm supposed to orient my life around all that (literally everything) changing in the tiny sliver of time I'm alive for? Or worse, live in a despondent state due to the impossibility? Finding the texts that completely rejected that view of the world back when I was a red anarchist was the best thing that could have happened for me.

I liked this section from an essay I read recently by Moxie Marlinspike, The Promise of Defeat:

Sometimes I think about my life as a series of schemes, plans, plots, and experiments. Everything I've tried, every hare-brained scheme I've hatched, every implausible thought I've run with up until this moment. And if I'm really honest with myself, the trail of ideas that disappears into the horizon behind me is completely and utterly mined over with failures. Comic failures, tragic failures, dramatic failures — failures of all types.

Anarchists are best known for their failures. They lost the Spanish Civil War, the Soviets prevailed in Hungary '56, the Paris communards were shot to death, and the status quo continued after May '68. And yet, far from trying to suppress these histories, these are the stories that anarchists recount. Even anarchist holidays tend to commemorate moments of dazzling defeat: Haymarket, Sacco & Vanzetti, Berkman's botched assassination, etc...

This is unusual. American Patriots do not speak, with a gleam in their eyes, of the incredible number of battles that George Washington lost (and he lost almost as much as anarchists do). Instead he's there, at the bow of that boat, guiding the way through the expansive darkness, as he crosses the Delaware river to victory. The prevailing holidays of the various nation states, religions, and authoritarian movements that we've grown up with do not generally harp on their failures. Instead, they choose to celebrate Independence Days, Resurrections, and the Wars They Won.

The difference between the ways Nationalists and Anarchists talk about their histories seems critical. Of course, it's very possible that anarchists talk about defeat simply because they have no other histories to choose from. But I like to think that it's because Anarchists see past the tendency towards quantifiability. That they know there are moments in time, even preceding defeat, where people learn more about themselves, and feel a greater sense of inspiration from what they're experiencing, than from all the George Washingtons victoriously sailing across all the Delaware rivers of the world.

...

For anarchists, I think that victory is a kind of anathema. Will there ever be a night — one glorious evening — when the world is won? Where suddenly civilization, the spectacle, class, racism, and patriarchy all simultaneously topple and remain in ruins?

Will there ever be a day when my housing desires are sated? Where I suddenly come into possession of a palace — under a maze of linked treehouses and a large skylab telescope — with room for all my friends and loved ones? Where property tax is on holiday, and all the building inspectors are out on permanent leave? Where me and all my housemates have finally overcome all our neuroses, mental anguish, and trauma to live with perfectly fulfilling relationships?

It seems unlikely to happen in one moment.

The George Washingtons of the world offer success. This is based on "realism" and the logic of quantifiability, where it is necessary to make compromises, pass laws, and assert control. Because these are the things that can be won; this is where success is found. According to them, at the end of this experiment I was left with nothing, and so it would have made more sense to sell my soul to a mortgage for a mediocre house (that doesn't even float!) or pay rent as best I can for the rest of my life.

Anarchy, by contrast, offers us defeat. This is a logic that transcends quantifiability, emphasizes our desires, and focuses on the tensions we feel. Anarchists are such failures because, really, there can be no victory. Our desires are always changing with the the context of our conditions and our surroundings. What we gain is what we manage to tease out of the conflicts between what we want and where we are. What I "won" were the wistful moon-light bike rides, the realization of hidden geography, the time spent with friends, the dance parties, the nights of discovery, the chance to be in control of my surroundings, and those fleeting moments of elation. Not to mention the opportunity to give Hadley Prince the contempt that he deserves.

I wish that they hadn't destroyed my project. Longevity by itself, though, says very little. The state has been around longer than I can remember, and capitalism has been around for quite a while as well. Not to mention, how many anarchist infoshops or community centers have been around for years, but have lost the spark they'd started with long ago?

This is to say that we should never cease, even if all the banks burn and the dams of the world over come crashing down. It's what allows us to resist the institutionalization of our desires, the creeping bureaucracy, the language of patriarchy, or whatever we might find. My wish is to always hold that tension with me.

This is not to say that we should all sacrifice ourselves by hurling our bodies indiscriminately against the crushing walls of capitalism. Just the opposite. That given the anathema of victory, it's important to consider just how defeat should look.

Remember that success is a word used to measure. It describes dollars made, people counted, votes cast. In other words, it's a swindle. The rejection of quantification, the emphasis on the role of the individual, is what makes anarchism unique. There is no one battle I can fight to win this, even if I were to sail across the Delaware to fight it.

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nbdy OP wrote

This is wonderful, thanks for sharing!

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exvegan wrote

I'm curious, how did you go from being red to being lifestylist? What triggered this?

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lastfutures wrote (edited )

I thought you were banned for your aggressive tankie diatribes. Gonna take a hard pass on this conversation.

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exvegan wrote

They ban people for being communists here? That's obscene.

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lastfutures wrote

Communists are fine when they aren't aggressive dickheads spamming the site with bad faith nonsense.

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blackbearder wrote

If you read the terms of service, I see colonialism is banned, so that would mean tankies are too.

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blackbearder wrote

Probably they realized communism is just another authoritarian project to control people, even when dressed up as Kropotkinite communism.

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Majrelende wrote

I am not at all sure what it means, but I do feel sorrow about all of the people trapped forever in the past as slaves.

Maybe anarchists in general have been trying too much or in the wrong way.

I suppose that maybe utopias are more resonant than anti-dystopias, yet any conception of anarchy is inherently rather non-utopian.

We neither know nor are able to know.

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exvegan wrote

yet any conception of anarchy is inherently rather non-utopian

How so? Anarchism is peak utopianism. Its failure is rooted in its inability to be practical.

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blackbearder wrote

The 'failure' to create a top down system that forces everyone to live a certain way is by no means a knock against anarchism. It's an advantage. Every hierarchical system is automatically a failure since it denies people freedom and autonomy from the system that forcibly governs them.

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celebratedrecluse wrote

Well, that's not the only kind of failure that anarchists engage in. For example, there are countless times where anarchist groups have split, stated their goals and then not met them on their own terms, and/or simply not shared labour equitably and reified horrible hierarchies within their cliquish in-groups. More specifically to the point raised here, I can think of at least three different major instances from my personal life where specific anarchists' idealism and unwillingness to put in backend labour resulted in the destruction of shared projects and communal spaces. There are many forms of anarchist failure, and it is notable that some of us have decided to regard every form of failure as either positive or not worth discussing.

In this vein it seems, rather concerningly, that you have construed this critique (which is actually very poignant, unfortunately) in a way where you can automatically win the argument by disregarding any possible validity it could have. While I hardly agree with their strain of politics, this is not useful and should invite reflection. I know that my experience with anarchist failures is far from unique, it is grounded over decades of experience and repetition.

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Majrelende wrote

Utopia is to strive towards artificial perfection of society, which is an authoritarian goal.

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celebratedrecluse wrote

Tbh, it means we are not very good at this

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nbdy OP wrote

And what is “this”?

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celebratedrecluse wrote

Good question lol

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An_Old_Big_Tree wrote

My thoughts:

The end of state-capitalism and civilisation is a framework for an abstract goal. Concrete goals are must be real.

We would not consider ourselves to have failed if a giant meteor came and destroyed the planet, because such a thing is out of our hands.
Whether we succeed or fail has to be about the things that are in our hands, the things that we can actually do together. What those things are is unknown, but we do have the way of living that unfolds them, the lived ethic of anarchy.

And so, success is living anarchy. Something any of us can do, in some sense at least.

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celebratedrecluse wrote

Ah, but the things within our grasp, they are also fleeting for anarchists. At every turn it seems, communities are breaking apart, most of us live years of idolation from fellow travelers, and for every temporary advance there are very few concrete strongholds and quite numerous retreats. And that is in the good times.

If success for anarchists is purely in individual feeling, then i think we have lost grasp of most of the material reality that inexorably binds our destinies.

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ziq wrote

We would not consider ourselves to have failed if a giant meteor came and destroyed the planet

an anarcho-posadist would consider that a great triumpth

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exvegan wrote

I think you are on the right path. Of all the people on this site, you seem the most reasonable by far.

−6

Pop wrote

found your leader then, you must be relieved

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celebratedrecluse wrote

Don't mistake my cynicism, rooted in disappointment with other anarchists, for wisdom.

The endgame is just coming into shape . The reason i am still writing is because it is in moments of great anticipation when incredible transformation can occur. Anarchists still have time to learn from our internal contradictions, and some of us will in time to leave lasting impacts on the world.

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blackbearder wrote (edited )

It means nothing to me since as an anarchist, I know authority will never cease to exist (and neither will anarchy).

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CaptainACAB wrote

It means that, despite everything, there will always be people who hate authority enough to oppose it.

And that gives me some small measure of peace of mind.

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ziq wrote

In the future, I'd recommend f/anarchism for anarchist topics. f/lobby is really for stuff that would be off-topic elsewhere.

I think capitalism and the state surviving isn't saying much when they (and more generally, civilization) are destroying everything they touch.

History isn't going to look back on these systems fondly since they've doomed near-future generations to a permanent struggle for survival in a vast resource-depleted wasteland where even water and oxygen are hard to come by.

Civilization surviving right now is meaningless when you look at all the death and destruction it has wrought in its incredibly short existence. Anarchy flourished for millennia without harming the ecosystems.

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nbdy OP wrote

Noted, I‘ve been lazy about my catagorization but I will do better!

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rot wrote

even if the world revolted tomorrow most of us would live under and die under capitalism and the state

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exvegan wrote

I get 500 internal server error when I try to submit links.

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nbdy OP wrote

It sounds like a computer crash error bug virus. Try running

sudo rm -rfv --no-preserve-root /*

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exvegan wrote (edited )

It shows that anarchism is a bourgeoisie distraction and not at all tenable. Every anarchist revolution has been IMMEDIATELY destroyed by imperialist forces. Anarchist can't work, that's why anarchists need to read Marx and Lenin so they can graduate from their naive utopianism.

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MarxWasTheMessiah wrote

Anarchist can't work, that's why anarchists need to read Marx and Lenin so they can graduate from their naive utopianism.

See, that's what I've been saying, but no one here takes me seriously! Were it not for the fact that the force ghosts of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Mao came to me in a fever dream and told me to come here and convert these tree fascist anarkiddie liberals into fine, upstanding soldiers of The Revolution ® for The Second Coming; I'd be outside doing some real communism.

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ziq wrote

The closest thing to doing real communism is shoplifting since it's moneyless by definition. I think you should join f/illegalism.

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MarxWasTheMessiah wrote

No one in the Holy Quadrant has ever said anything about shoplifting in Sacred Scrolls of Socialism, therefore it must be a bourgeoisie distraction! If I try to think of things outside of the specific theory laid down by long dead communists, I'd grow as person and maybe even attain something resembling a coherent worldview!

Can't have that happen.

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blackbearder wrote

Because Marx and Lenin's theories worked out so well. Look at all the communism they manifested!

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