celebratedrecluse wrote

Why flee from society when we can fight wherever we are?

Anarchists have a depressing tendency to desire idealization, and it manifests in the fetish object of the agrarian commune which either never happens or fails after a few growing seasons. Far from being a practical application of anarchist principles, it is an effort, arguably bourgeois and colonial in its roots, to simply separate from the forces which actually determine society. "We are an island, setting sail from the others": I don't believe that's ever been true, and it certainly isn't now.

The environmental devastation alone, of capitalism and the state, will make most places outside their control uninhabitable first. That's how externalization works. It is a disturbing thought that radicals and revolutionaries are seeking daydreams of self-isolating themselves at such a crucial historical moment.


Reply to comment by celebratedrecluse in Friday Free Talk by alex

celebratedrecluse wrote

it doesn't brand itself as a site for communists, and I wouldn't regard the posters on here as anti-communist. at most, people are just not communist-- anticommunist implies to me a reactionary positionality which nobody in good faith has here. but i'm a communist, and i'm here.


celebratedrecluse wrote

okay lot of potential for joke answers here but let's deconstruct for a sec (this is why i get paid the soros bucks for my posts)

ideal anarchist society

anarchist thought, while diverse, usually pushes back on the idea of an "ideal society". a lot of us want to live in the real world, not a platonic fantasy. In fact, many of us believe that "ideal society" concepts, going back as far as Plato's Republic, are at the root of the perpetuation of everything from authoritarian legal systems to rape culture to capitalism, etc etc etc. So many anarchists are not trying to create an ideal society, but rather to live in the real world and address social problems from a more practical and immediate way. For example, by applying the principles of mutual aid to address houselessness and hunger (creating community potlucks which welcome houseless and housed folks alike), rather than donating an abstract value token (money) to a vaguely defined and abstractly branded organization (non profit).

punish criminals

anarchists also, even more broadly, tend to oppose the idea of "crime" itself. Many of us wish to delineate more specifically what a so-called "crime" is: is it a violation of bourgeois property rights? No big deal. Is it a violation of someone's bodily autonomy, or basic right to live & survive? Very big deal. Many anarchists want to be more specific about these things, because crime is often thought of as the latter but actually is the former. That is, the state cloaks its ideological agenda in the implementation of criminal "justice" by getting people to think of crime as violence committed by individuals against society. The reality is, the concept of crime is an act of violence and gaslighting against the individual by society. It is a way to elide away the distinctions between different acts, lumping them all together as "crime", so that there can be broad social acquiescence to the legal systems' punitive measures. In reality, the legal system exists to unequally protect privilege, not equally protect people from violent acts.


celebratedrecluse wrote

its sketch that non-chinese socialists are so keen to overlook obvious features of the situation in China. For example, the fact that there are landlords-- there was a big political fight over this leading up to the 2007 legislation that re-established private landowner rights, and explicitly granted those private landholders the right to profit off of their land (including collecting rent). But i've met western socialists who just refused to believe me about this. They say all land is owned by the government-- which technically it sort of is still in a legal sense, but there are also obviously landlords who are collecting rent from tenants and owning factories etc.

Super weird how invested non-Chinese Maoists are in this imaginary socialist state. It's clearly a capitalist country, albeit with somewhat more direct state control of industry. I mean even Mao would have hated what China is now, and probably would have led another revolution, but the Maoists are apparently on board with this government as long as they don't have to confront it in the everyday...


Reply to comment by celebratedrecluse in by !deleted18811

celebratedrecluse wrote

Fair. I'm not as familiar with other anarchist pacifist bands, so I brought Crass up. but I will say that Crass is far from the only people that did this from that generation of punk. In a lot of ways, the entire punk subculture is this manufactured commodity which always had capitalists and social climbers part of it. Perhaps there is a better example that someone could provide, without this type of context to distract from my point that bands of Crass' political bent have been important cultural forces in anarchist spaces. idk


celebratedrecluse wrote

Sure, I think that's really cool!

However what I'm trying to say is that the methods by which history is taught actually reinforces these authoritarian tendencies within mainstream historical pedagogy. It's not that I think it's impossible to teach history from a radical perspective(s), within a traditional school setting. It's just that I think it's more difficult than it needs to be because of the structure it's emplaced in. I think people should continue trying to teach history within schools from a radical perspective, for sure, I just also think that radical historians would benefit from cooperating with, or at least coexisting with, unschooling/deschooling efforts like I was talking about.


Reply to by !deleted18811

celebratedrecluse wrote

In the context of systemic violence, pacifism can too often be consent to that structural violence.

If pacifism comes from a place of wanting individual purity, rather than an analysis of what is effective in reducing the amount of violence in the world faced by subaltern people, then it represents the worst tendencies of bourgeois liberalism. For example, "anarcho" pacifists that inform on their comrades in order to "make sure protests are safe for everyone" (a terrible thing that does happen, unfortunately, although I don't assert that all or even most anarchist pacifists are like this)

However I think what some other posters here are not giving credit to is the important role of anarchist pacifism in the legacy of resistance to institutional war. For example, the anti-nuclear movement in US & Europe 1980s. The band Crass is a good example of the cultural importance of anti-war anarchist pacifism to punk, which is certainly not a very christian thing lol.

It would be great to see anarcha-pacifist comrades organizing around issues of police brutality and the foreverwar. While i don't consider myself a pacifist, I would be happy to work with anarchist pacifists who are focusing on the real issues of violence in the world. Unfortunately, some very loud folks in that community take it upon themselves to try and become the Activist Police, which fucking sucks.


celebratedrecluse wrote

I don't see what is so hard about accepting responsibility, saying sorry, and making the effort to change.

People in revolutionary communities very rarely do this. People outside of revolutionary communities do so even less. It's a fucked up reality that people have a lot of wounded pride from our collective traumas. Nobody wants to admit we all have room to grow- at least, not in the moment that they are identified as participating in something unjustifiably hurtful to others.