autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

with red diaper babies, i've always found them annoying, most of them that i've met have had terrible politics imo. But yes, people need to be given the freedom to develope their own politics, room to grow and make mistakes, the freedom to seek out people they have common interests with, grow together or separate as their perspective changes. We can't impose the correct line on people, even if we try, to can only work to influence people through cooperation and open discussion.


autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

I think probably the best way to go about it would be to introduce younger people to certain privacy-oriented peer-to-peer software that's easy to use. If parents make an effort to introduce kids to software that allows for secure chat, private rooms, filesharing etc. then the kids will find plenty of uses for it.

With Retroshare, as an example, you can create different circles of friends, you can have a "Family* circle and then another circle that is is young anarchists, and then you coudl have another general political group that is all ages where more knowledgeable people can share educational material. I think the important thing is to allow kids the space to build their own exclusive groups where they are in control So this setup allows older folks, family etc. to interact with the younger people, while everyone's privacy is protected. Retroshare has an entire suite that includes chat, filesharing, email, forums and other features.

Another way could be setting up an instance of Mastodon that is invite only oriented towards young people, where the server collectively managed by some kind of parents association that allows participation from the younger users.

So there are many options, but I think working on a peer to peer levle like that is a lot safer than relying on some kind of third party server that is open to the public, because these become easy targets for predators.


autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

None of those things -- assuming Makhno was a great as you seem to think he was -- disprove my point. Makhno indeed strongly discouraged antisemitism in his ranks, while there was rampant anti-semitism in among ukranians and other people's in the region, the anarchists were militantly opposed to this. Makhno was no Saint, but as far as guerilla leaders go was no tyrant either, But my point is, what separates him (and other military leaders) from regular people is a certain ruthlessness, a moral certainty that allows one to kill or assault without hesitation or regret, that most people simply do not have.

I think it's best not to romanticize Makno or war in general, the idea you can engage in armed conflict without also comitting some act of brutality in the process seems incredibly naive to me. When military leaders talk about morals, they have a very different morality than what most people have, any u.s. general or jihadist will explain their acts in extremely moral terms why their actions are absolutely right: they position themselves as a kind of super-moral agent. Anarchists are often no different than any fanatic in this regard, if you believe your violence will bring about the liberation of all humanity you can rationalize some pretty monstrous things.

Just saying everyone that Makhno killed are scum and deserved to die is really a cop-out, a move to avoid the ethical question here. This is common to all military logic: the dehumanization of the enemy. If you look at the armies makno faught -- either Russians; red or white, or the forieng fighters from Germany or elsewhere, a large percent if not majority of them were conscripts: it was not their choice to be there, a conscript fights against their will. You can't just say they were scum who deserved to die. As individuals they may have been descent people. Hell, many of the red army that drove were working class revolutionaries maybe anarchists at one point.

Makhno's older comrades in the early 1900s engaged in a campaign of terrorist bombings hroughout Russia: bombing private residencies and bourgous cafes. I'm sure you're not defending that, as it was not only morally dubious but strategically a disaster for the movement. If you were to defend that you would also have to defend bombing gentrifying businesses today. But many anarchists have defended that, then and now, it is end result of a kind of absolutist moralizing where you deny the humanity of whole groups of people.


autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

I see often younger people being talked down to in one way or the other by older people, this is true of the left generally as well as all the various leftie online communities.

The problem is, how do you go about making these spaces? how do you get young people to join a space once it's been started, how do you ensure that older people don't just join and continue to derail it? We couldnt' ask peopel to prove their age in any way without endagering their privacy, while good faith goes a long way, any onine group like that is an easy target for trolls and wreckers. It's also true that young people don't like being in groups called Jr or for kids as young people rightfully feel they have the same right to participate the the real discussion as anyone else.

In my opinion when it comes to actual safe spaces, i think the best way to do that would be groups that form organically out of networks of friends, using peer-to-peer software, while yes we could create a forum or subgroup that was intented for and focused on youth issues, it would not be a safe space in any meaningful sense of the term.


autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

Please don't hesitate to make lengthy responses. I don't :)

On 'amorality' i don't think amorality is particularly bad in every context. considering a lot of morality is religious bullsit, I hope that point doesn't need elaboration. But i mean here amorality in the sense of being able to kill without remorse or do things that in any other context would be considered a grave crime. It's extremely difficult for most people to consciously kill anyone, under any context--this is why military training involves so much indoctrination--even in the u.s. military most soldiers don't shoot to kill during combat. Most people puke or have some violent reaction the first time they kill another person and are haunted by guilt for the rest of their lives. A military leader must make decisions that kill thousands of people, this requires an extreme level of callousness.

The Art of War is one of my favorite books as well. but i disagree. It might not seem like it because the text is written in an abstract tone (common to military literature) but Sun Tzu advocates some pretty monstrous things.

For example, Sun Tzu says when you are behind enemy lines you should "forage" from the enemy. Does he mean you should pick from your enemies' blueberry bushes? Yes, and also you should rob the local farmers and loot their food supplies, or even burn the fields and store houses, in the process killing or leaving innocent people to starve.

Sun Tzu says we should avoid strong targets and attack the enemies weak points. Weak points also include what today are called 'soft targets' i.e. civilians, civil infrastructure etc. This is not unique to Sun Tzu, this is the logic of armed struggle.

Sun Tzu says one of the "dangerous faults which may affect a general" are "over-solicitude for his men, which exposes him to worry and trouble."

What does that mean? It means that the general should be not be concerned with casualties outside of the strategy goal. Human life has no value as such. If 70% your people die in an attack which achieves a strategic goal, then it was worth it. An effective general does not let casualties effect them emotionally. Causalities, whether military or civilian, are secondary to the overall strategic objective: victory. In military logic, things like freedom, happiness, consent, etc. mean nothing, Human life is disposable, something to be gambled with. The end always justifies the means ( and for Sun Tzu the end is the preservation and expansion of rule of a monarch.)

And of course, Sun Tzu's whole thesis is about Deception--deceiving not only the enemy, but your own men or even the general public, creating an intricate networks of spies, spreading fake information, etc. Espionage is a science of applied amorality. Sun Tzu even advocates the use of the "Doomed Spy" who is a poor sap who is fed false information, then put in a situation where they will be captured and then tortured or possibly killed in order to mislead the enemy.

So idk The Art of War is pretty amoral imo


autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

i don't think anyone woudl describe che's adventures in the congo bolivia as a success, and clearly part of these failures are the result of poor planning and sheer arrogance. i'm really not going to do some research in order to prove something that is pretty much admitted by everyone.

" He went to the Congo, where he worked with the Congolese Liberation Army, supported by the Chinese Stalinists. This was a shambles of a campaign, and Che ended up isolated with many of his band dead. Despite this, Che still believed in guerrilla struggle waged by a tiny armed minority. His final, fatal, campaign was in Bolivia.

This also was a fiasco. Basing himself once more on old Castroist strategies, he failed to relate to the industrial working class. The Bolivian working class, and especially the tin miners, had a recent record of militancy and class consciousness. The peasants, on the other hand, among whom Che hoped to create an armed insurrection, had been demobilised by the land reforms of 1952. So, Che was unable to relate to either workers or peasants. The local Communist Party failed to support him. Robbed of support, Che was surrounded in the Andean foothills, captured and executed."


autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

agreed with everything the author was saying

Until i read this

"SOPA and PIPA were not perfect, but the defense of culture workers online had to start somewhere. There had to be a way of building an internet ecosystem that didn’t just enrich media monopolies and multimillionaire celebrities and cheat the creative working class out of their labor. There had to be a way of paying the people who created the bulk of our culture: musicians, photographers, filmmakers, authors. But as it turned out, these topics were taboo. They were not up for discussion. Because Silicon Valley, despite whatever lip service it pays to the idea of individual creativity and “thinking different,” wanted to do no such thing."


autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

The problem with mythologizing che, castro or other generals/politicians/theorists is it erases the--infinity more important--contributions of the thousands of revolutionaries over the years who participated in revolutionary acts. Many of the most important people in a revolutionary movement are un-named: outspoken but private people who engage in direct action: the inmate who attacks the first guard, the organizers of strikes and acts of sabotage, and the countless working men and women who participate in mass protests and insurrections, forgotten by History.


autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

Yeah, that frustrates me too. The plats ignore all the philosophical questions that individualists and egoists talk about, and then just declare that individualists/egoists aren't anarchists at all and write them out of history.

It doesn't make much sense, since you can be a communist, and believe in working class organization, and also be an individualist with egoist ethics. Platformists and Syndicalists are basically "workerists" they think the working class is a great trancedant class with a "historic mission" that working class culture is inherently progressive, democratic, etc. It is just lazy thinking.


autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

Being an effective military leader requires one to kill without hesitation or conscience, as well as handing out corporal punishment to ones own soldiers.

Any text on statecraft from Sun Tzu to the Indian Arthashatra, from the classic Greek and Roman writers to Machiavelli, pretty much everyone agrees that certain level of inhuman ruthlessness is a requirement for an effective military leader. This is as true with Caesor or Ghangis Kahn as with Makhno -- who personally supervised to execution of Anti-Semites and Counter Revolutionaries. Sun Tzu makes it explicit that one of the greatest flaws of a miitary commander is too much concern for loss of life or casualties.

We can talk about anti-authoritarian methods to organizing armed struggle, but even in the most federated libertarian militia you're going to need to recognize that war means ruthless violence without remorse, and often the best soldiers (and especially the best commanders) are amoral people with no conscience.


autonomous_hippopotamus OP wrote

Okay, so got it got a little heated there there, but i guess we're good. For the record Dumai did not gaslight me, sorry, so anyway...

Let me just state where i'm coming from.

I'll concede to you that maybe these terms: neutrality, ambivalence, whatever, are not the right words to use, but I'm only setting them up, within an analytical framework to prove a point. I got a bit frustrated because you seem to be focusing on these words in a vaccuum rather than addressing the argument that i've laid out. Alot of these words we're using, like "technology" or "religion" have a number of very different definitions that only have concrete meaning in particular context. But i'll try to restate my argument without using the terms "nuetral" or "ambivalence."

It might be the argument i'm making is totally wrong and we can express what i'm getting at in a more clear and succinct way. There are many ways to express the same thing. But this is what i got.

I agree with you that technology as exists, within any given society, within the historical structures in which they are emerge, is not neutral and we can talk about all the various technological forms and their function within systems of oppression, exploitation, and ecocide.. That is where concrete analysis of specific technologies comes in. For the purposes of the argument i'm making, i'm not concerned with that.

My intent is to prove that technology has the potential to be used for liberatory ends. It's clear to me that the only way to resist--the state, capitalism, etc.-- is to utilize or re-appropriate certain technologies, technics, sciences, in order to aid in resistance struggles, and to construct new sciences and technics to help build and anarchic world. Some existing technologies and technics can be re-appropriated for the short term ends of organizing resistance--transportation, communication, eduaction etc. Other technologies--means of surveilance, punishment, coercion and general mass manipulation--cannot be utilized in any way and must be destroyed. In the long term, the technological system and science in general must be liquidated and reconstructed along non-heirarchal, ecological lines.

This re-appropriation and reconstruction is only possible because technology in the abstract has no intrinsic value, it is a pure means. The value or function of any given technology has no meaning outside of the social context in which it is used.

By technology in the abstract, i mean simply the ability of humans (and other species to a lesser extent) to gain a working understanding of natural phenomena, and manipulate these forces to suit their ends. It might be that modern science and the existing forms of technology are inseparable from the logic domination. But it is possible, i believe, to construct a new science and new technologies that reflect anarchic ends.


autonomous_hippopotamus OP wrote

The question of whether the term nuetral is appropriate or some other word to be used is an incredibly boring argument imo, and this isn't terminology i've invented. The nuetrality of technology is something that's basically dogma amongst technologists and philosophers of science, I have consistantly argued that this is only true in one sense.


autonomous_hippopotamus OP wrote (edited )

I really shouldn't respond to you, but here you go.

f you don't think technology is completely equitable and apolitical with no effect or social impact for the most part, then "neutral" is absolutely the wrong word to use in a discussion about social politics

i actually believe in making qualified statements that take into account the complexity of language, giving credit for where others are correct, and clarifying in which ways a certain statement may be both true and not true. You seem to be very annoyed people are not using your preferred, narrow definition of these terms.

Words have different meanings in different contexts and i already took into account the ways in which technology is definitely not nuetral -- like i don't believe that cellphones, automobiles and TV are "politically nuetral" at all -- but here you are arguing what i've said in the beginning as if i don't' know this. I get the impression you want me to adopt your simplistic, absolutist approach to using langauge, which i absolutely won't do.

if somebody were to say that the state is a impartial institution because it could conceivably be used to enforce, say, social welfare polices that materially contribute to the economic security of the poor, would you agree with that? would you moderate your critique of the bourgeois interests at play in the modern state? including those in welfare? i feel like for an anarchist that would be impossible

On the point you're making about the state or religion: this doesn't contradict what i've been saying. For one: When we talk about technology as such, in the abstract, that is something ontologically prior to either Religion or the State. We can even talk about states and religions in terms of the various technologies, apparatti, technics, etc. that compose them.

You are putting Technology ( as i've repeatedly defined, let's say the ability of human beings to harness natural forces or coordinate action towards particular social ends ) on par with particular institutions that emerge out of certain points in history ( I'm assuming by religion we mean institutional religion not just any set of spiritual beliefs or practices ) These are not equivalent categories. Perhaps the equivalent to Technology as defined (remember?) would be social organization in general, in this sense, then yes, you could say that social organization is neutral, or ambivalent, or not inherently evil, or not essentially undesirable or whatever terminology you prefer... in other words, call it whatever the fuck you want, it doesn't matter.

And... (here we are again) there's a difference between The State as a historical institution, and social organization in general: or the ability of humans to make collective decisions, establish norms and rules etc. So the parallel you're using doesn't hold.

( .. here i am going to make making a bit of a reach since obviously the analysis of something like like information exchange is very different from the modern bourgeous state, but apparently i have to answer the charge that my description of the ability of human beings to make shit necessarily leads to the liberal defense of the state, somehow... )

The State, like any actually existing technology, is a historical form designed with a particular purpose, in the interests of a particular class, etc. It, of course changes hands between ruling cliques and evolves over time, There are the particular characteristics of all States (as opposed to other institutions) or Regimes ( as opposed to other states) But The State is consistently a means of domination. In a liberal democratic state, things like welfare programs and labor regulations are actually strategies of maintaining domination by other means. While, one would be correct to point out the ambivalence (1) of the state in that it may intervene against particular capitaists in defense of certain workers, even this follows a similar line to the technology argument, While guns, automobiles etc. can be appropriated to achieve short term ends, they are still reflections of the social and historical context in which they were made. To achieve anarchy, technology as it exists, just like the dominant social systems -- Capital and The State -- would have to be liquidated and transformed from the bottom up.

1 ambivalence does not mean impartiality at all -- they denote fundamentally different attitudes -- something can be both ambivalent while also being heavily biased towards one side, this is part of the reason i chose that term. Neutral also does not mean 'impartial' , nuetral is often used in popular culture to denote an amoral character.