Reply to comment by monday in Friday Free Talk by monday
It's weird that anarchists create heroes of their famous anarcha-celebrity 19th century progenitors.
I feel it comes from the defensive insecurity felt in trying to advocate for anarchy-- such a novel set of ideas, compared to hierarchical life and hegemonic dominating socialization. But it's kind of childish, for lack of a better way I can think to explain this.
You can be aware of historical figures, and acknowledge that some of them played an outsize role in an earlier stage of historical development...and also not really care for hero-worship or deifying them for all time...
Let me put it another way. Remember that Leon tried to be friends with Emma and Berkman? and they both shrugged him off like he was some incorrigible weirdo they wanted nothing to do with. Well...one was unpopular, the others were very popular in anarchist spaces and to this day...one of them was a successful insurrectionary assassin, the others...well, weren't...lol...
Great point. Kill your idols needs to be pushed more. Not surprising, your anecdote because another not frequent enough critique of Emma Goldman was her ableism, a very "cool crowd" hierarchy to maintain.
"cool crowd"...yeah, that is definitely the vibe I get from reading descriptions of the interactions between Leon and the more famous anarchists of their time in America. It's kind of sad, but at the same time, it's entirely predictable because these people were all human. they were all real people, not heroes or demigods. While it's fine to admire a writers' writing, an activists' actions, or whatever have you...why deify? The impulse is disgusting, frankly, when you really look at it and see it for what it is...just another strange and twisted habit. It invokes for me the idea of an addict, thinking back about the twists and turns and nature of their addictive behaviors, their old 'habit', after the time and repose offered by rehabilitation and abstinence thereof. One can reflect on it as, just, well, silliness that got entirely out of hand, and became pretty hurtful to everyone involved.
Of course, I can't say anything about social dynamics from so long ago, read third and fourth hand. but regardless, it is striking how much those descriptions forcibly reminded me of interactions I've had in my life among friends. And let me tell you, I've always been the Leon, not the Alexander.
I also have been in the Leon position mostly . Always at the outskirts of any group, even misfit groups who form as foil to cool kids I was always just passing through like an alien observer. There is an upside though, because in-group social pressures only really work if you are "in" or at least aspire to that.
the deviant loner weird kids who eat lunch by themselves, will inherit the earth? at least, I can hope. ;)
You can hope. I don't want to inherit anything. I just to make space where I can feed myself and be left alone. I feel for you but don't find hope helpful. Especially world sized hope. I once did and it nearly destroyed me so many times that I aim for more modest attainments. Imagining? Essential. Hope though, is like playing russian roulette with my own mind. If it helps you though, I don't begrudge others having hope.
I've never been part of the group and would refuse membership if given the opportunity.
monday OP wrote
I agree with all this idolizing thing that anarchists aren't supposed to do, not sure if I agree with your last hi t about Leon and our beloved couple here.
The thing with Emma is that many of her lectures were never written, like he was a big Nietzsche stan, and maybe some wonderful insights were lost bc we don't have records of their thoughts on the value of Nietzsche to anarchism ( I am pretty convinced, but maybe we should reclaim Nietzsche as much we reclaim Stirner)
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