culprit

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culprit wrote

I live in a fairly urban area with warm weather, so things like disc golf, nature hikes, farmers markets, free fitness sessions in public spaces, going to public swimming spots and just riding a bike around is a great way to meet other folks outside the context of consumption and class. There will always be some people that will focus on class in their interactions, but it is easy to recognize this behavior in these contexts because it is starkly 'silhouetted' against the simple human connections.

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culprit wrote

"The point is that there is no Right, there is only Might." What does this mean when two individuals have conflicting desires? It seems to mean the most mighty will prevail. That seems like an ideology of eugenics or 'survival of the fittest'. Deciding things by single combat seems like a devolution of social dynamics.

I did some reading on egoist/individualist thought the last few days, but nothing seemed to address this issue. I still don't understand what solutions this perspective is supposed to provide. I see the focus on ego as very fertile soil for dangerous factional power to arise. The egoist perspective diagnoses the problem of collective power, but it doesn't seem to offer any real direction on how to address it meaningfully.

I'd be interested in any functional description of the usefulness of this perspective in addressing the failings of collective power. All I've discovered is circular reasoning about it.

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culprit wrote

I guess the problem I see in the appeal to individualism or egosim is that most oppressive collectives exist due to the ego-gratifying nature of in-group affiliation. WWI ghost stories you mention were useful at organizing the 'slaves' into cannon fodder for the 'rulers' because individual egos could be persuaded of the individualized glory they would be afforded.

The problematic militaristic hero-worship and temporarily-embarrassed millionaire syndrome that is the clarion call to many of the right-wing proletariat has roots in the 'human nature' of selfish egos.

I guess I just don't see the qualitative difference in the anarchist individualist or egoist in practice to that of AnaCaps. Claiming to be more ethical yet having no consistent concept of a collective/cooperative understanding seems like very weak theory.

Maybe you could expand on this: "And they aren't against working in groups with other people. They do that, they just approach it differently."

Reading the above quotes from Anselme Bellegarrigue certainly seems to invoke a cult of ego that bares many hallmarks of the much dreaded collective. So much absolutist or binary language seems quite the antithesis of anarchism.

The focus on the ego as the nexus of truth is quite troubling to me because that quickly approaches something akin to 'Will to Power' and 'Might equals Right' which clearly is not a desirable outcome.

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culprit wrote

This is still fairly new to me, but the individualist perspective illuminated by ziq in this thread certainly seems short-sited and self-defeating. Maybe it's due to my past reading of Zen texts, but I have difficultly seeing the long-term potential of the individualist practice.

There appears to be a circular logic that traps the individualist and collectivist as ziq describes.

First, the individualist perspective critiques the power of the collective to inevitably be used to oppress minorities/individuals. Yet at the same time it admits that the individualist perspective is founded on the ego and selfishness understood as 'human nature'.

So this implies that the individual will never have the ability to unseat the power of the collective, and selfish egos become the only valid nexus of power. But collectives of selfish egos is generally the most common form of oppressive power found in history.

So it seems like the rejection of collectivism due to the difficulties identified from the individualist perspective (the lack of engagement in dealing with those difficulties and working to conceptualize alternative strategies) creates a circle of infinitely defeated struggle. The individualist can not provide any effective strategy to counter the problems attributed to the collective, but that rejection certainly appeals to the selfish ego.

I don't mean this as any type of attack, just a working through what I perceive as problematic reasoning that seems to dead-end into the status quo.

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culprit wrote (edited )

'Gamer Theory' by McKenzie Wark touches on this well before Alt-Right or GamerGate even existed.

You can read most of the chapters here: http://futureofthebook.org/gamertheory/index.html

The basic idea is that games (vidya and otherwise) are ways of transmitting ideology. Neo-liberal global capitalism has used the game metaphor to spread itself into the foundational principles of global culture. Think of phrasing related to 'hustle' and 'having game'. The competitive 'win at all costs' logic of many games/sports is very related to the fascistic tendencies of capitalism and what it has now become.

GamerGate is very useful to see how the idea of making games that are not simply antagonistic contests or power fantasies caused a large reactionary force to mobilize to protect the 'safe space' of popular gaming. This was brewing for some time within the gamer culture under the debates about 'games as art' and 'games with a purpose'.

It's quite an interesting topic because of the inter-meshing of online meme culture, anonymous, channers and gamer culture that has many direct links to the current alt-right factions. Media theory is also a useful tool when trying to trace these contours.

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culprit wrote

One of the most useful internet technologies ever created has no profit-seeking mechanism, bit-torrent. We would see much more technology that is not hindered by DRM and related profit/rent-seeking encumbrances. Mesh topologies would be the dominant form of connectivity, instead of the mostly hierarchical forms we see today.

The core idea to comprehend is that practical usefulness would not be enslaved to profitability and creating monetization mechanisms.

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culprit wrote

What are the collective resources of living? Air, water, food, shelter, clothing, bathroom facilities, a place to sleep. These are the base material needs of a living human. We can extend a bit further into basic healthcare, since illness and injury are statically significant barriers to living. Beyond these material needs, you start moving onto more ephemeral needs like liberty, agency, community, social connection, etc.

So why are you asking this question? The answer seems pretty well understood to anyone that is alive.