Dumai

Dumai OP wrote (edited )

okay so a lot of anti-civ types (primarily extremely online anarcho-primitivists) have this idea that the abolition of civilization (which for them is inseperable from the abolition of "technology", a term they often define very hazily and distinguish from "tools" in a kind of surface-level way that doesn't actually make any sense) entails a return to a pre-alienated, radically liberated primitive way of life -- if you're familiar with the "noble savage" stereotype then i can tell you it's quite similar, and equally mired in colonial ideology. it depends on objectifying non-urban societies as ahistorical, unchanging and untouched by the corruptive influence of the "unnatural"! which really elides how dynamic and varied "tribal" societies are, and means conflating cultures that have absolutely nothing to do with other into some kind of pre-civilisational model of "tribal society". it's kinda textbook racism.

and really it's this construction of the "primitive" that is at the crux of most primitivist arguments to "go back to the pleistocene", which, if you ask most people who are aware of anti-civ anarchism as a current, are foundational to anarcho-primitivism. this genuinely used to baffle me! because it definitely wasn't something you could find in most of the early fifth estate stuff i was reading at the time, much of which i disagreed with, but was often specifically defined in opposition to any ill-conceived utopian desire to revert to the stone age (some of the earliest primitivists at fifth estate actually anticipated critics would mischaracterise them this way). as i've since found out, the reason primitivism earned that reputation is mostly zerzan's fault! (the unabomber too, obviously, though the identification of kaczynski with anarchism has always been dubious and he's since explicitly disavowed any connection to anarcho-primitivism, which zerzan must be very bitter about, lol). so i've made peace with many of the critics of primitivism i used to argue against on the basis that the absolute worst primitivist "theorist" somehow ended up the most influential

so certainly don't think every primitivist thinks this way -- the other reason i was confused so many people conflated primitivism with some fetishistic idealisation of pre-argicultural societies is because most of the primitivists i've known irl have been disabled, or transgender, or otherwise depended on technology in some way, and they certainly weren't arguing for the abolition of their own lives. some others have also recognised the issue with the reifying the "primitive" and "natural" -- john moore of the fifth estate noticed it, but he died before much really came of that line of critique. but if you want to know why anarcho-primitivist spaces, particularly online, are full of shitty middle class white guys with borderline eugenicist fantasies, well... the people to blame have names and addresses, lol

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Dumai wrote (edited )

nvm it definitely does and i basically knew it even back then, pls forgive my hesitation (it mostly was a result of intergenerational holocaust trauma but also illiteracy of the present conditions and historical background of the israeli-palestinian conflict, there is no way i should have been a mod at the time)

and while i still don't think the occupation of palestine and the brutalisation of gaza should be compared to the holocaust for reasons that i hope are obvious, i do want to say that a genocide does not necessarily mean an industrial system of extermination (which, again, is something that i already knew, but i was mostly fretting over the popular connotations of the term for dumb reasons)

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Dumai OP wrote (edited )

But that's the reality.

it literally isn't

Well, the extinctions of hundreds of species every day sounds more like a genocide.

and, taking that point further, so does environmental racism

I don't think that education and proper access to birth control measures are genocidal. In any case, sooner or later the population will reduce because the non-renewaval energy sources will not be able to sustain the current growing population, and I'm not even counting on the effects of global warming on crops.

in that case you might be happy to know global fertility rates are in massive decline and the total population is likely to start shrinking somewhere in the latter half of this century! but it's not the case that this has as much to with "education" (because the "uneducated" just bread like rabbits under all circumstances in a way that is inherently unsustainable in all social systems, right??? not actually right) as evolving regimes of social reproduction, with variable international effects (it is, of course, happening more rapidly in the global north than the south). this actually has its own issues under capitalism! meaning the issue with regards to population growth or decline isn't just a matter of numbers, it's actually inseperable from the contradictions of contemporary capitalist system. i kinda thought everybody should know this but here we are talking about population growth in the abstract as an inherent ecological threat!

and yes... there is indeed the ever-present threat of a looming climate catastrophe, and people will die, populations will decline, this will happen! how about we not offload the responsibility for managing it on the people who will most deeply affected? which is what treating ecological crisis as a matter of an undifferientated global "overpopulation" will do.

I don't see why this matters, but I'm not white.

the reasons are mostly imperialism, whiteness as an engagement in global systems of exploitation, how this is a primary determinant in ecological crisis... you know that kind of thing

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Dumai OP wrote

most scholarship on governmentality and biopower doesn't take the soviet union seriously and would broadly make the same argument i used to make. foucault himself, to the degree he discussed the soviet union (which wasn't very much) certainly did. if we're going to save these concepts as analytical tools, they need to be more dynamic.

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Dumai wrote (edited )

"The materialism of this last century was predominantly mechanical, because at that time, of all natural sciences, mechanics and indeed only the mechanics of solid bodies—celestial and terrestrial—in short, the mechanics of gravity, had come to any definite close. Chemistry at that time existed only in its infantile, phlogistic form. Biology still lay in swaddling clothes; vegetable and animal organisms had been only roughly examined and were explained as the result of purely mechanical causes. As the animal was to Descartes, so was man a machine to the materialists of the eighteenth century. This exclusive application of the standards of mechanics to processes of a chemical and organic nature—in which processes, it is true, the laws of mechanics are also valid, but are pushed into the background by other and higher laws—constitutes a specific but at that time inevitable limitation of classical French materialism.

The second specific limitation of this materialism lay in its inability to comprehend the universe as a process—as matter developing in an historical process. This was in accordance with the level of the natural science of that time, and with the metaphysical, i.e., anti-dialectical manner of philosophising connected with it. Nature, it was known, was in constant motion. But according to the ideas of that time, this motion turned eternally in a circle and therefore never moved from the spot; it produced the same results over and over again."

  • Friedrich Engels
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Dumai OP wrote (edited )

okay, i can actually appreciate that my original post wasn't confrontational enough and might be confusing to read if you're not familiar with the specific way this rhetoric has been mobilised on the internet recently

i took a more socratic approach because (and this the really stunning thing for me) people i actually like and respect, people who actually belong to the lgbt community and have confronted homophobia in their own lives, were absolutely prepared to concede that gay male culture is predatory! and like... what am i meant to do with this? how am i meant to show them this discourse has literally gotten people murdered?

the answer is: i probably can't if i don't want to accept i will likely lose these friendships, so i'm probably gonna have to burn some bridges if i ever want to feel safe again. i think that's a little clearer to me now.

Because, if someone says, "Yes, it's fair because it makes me uncomfortable," where do you go next?

i'd probably call them a homophobe and outline why, tbh!

i also think there's a world of difference between "gay men like straight men" and "gay men are actively preying on straight men, manipulating and coercing straight men, and they need to learn to ~~respect the sexuality of others". that rhetorical move is mostly what i'm trying to respond to.

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Dumai OP wrote (edited )

However, starting out with the premise of "gay men pathologically try to have sex with straight men" means starting from part of a group of assumptions that almost surely behind me being figuratively and literally gay-bashed in high school for merely existing.

this is pretty much the point i (op) am trying to make

to be clear, "[there is] a pathological compulsion, endemic to gay men and gay male culture, to manipulate the sexuality of straight dudes" is not a summary of my own views. it is, however, something i notice many people (including people who aren't cishet) seem to believe in the wake of certain accusations made against a certain youtuber! and it's fucking terrifying!

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Dumai OP wrote

okay. so is it fair to say gay men are doing this? is it fair to point to the time-honoured tradition of gay men pining for straight (or questioning etc. etc.) guys as evidence this is happening?

or... is something else happening when people are ready to believe there is an appreciable effort on the part of gay men to "convert" (or perhaps "recruit") straight men?

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Dumai OP wrote

to say there's "no gender power dynamic" and then to say there's a "patriarchal entitlement" at play is kinda weird

i mean, its fine to flirt with someone, but not taking a no very well & thinking you can change someone's sexuality is entitled and creepy

the point of the question i'm (rhetorically) posing is to ask whether gay men are trying to "change straight men's sexuality"

and how did we get from "a lot gay dudes are into straight men" to "a lot of gay dudes are harassing straight men"?

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