Post-Left Anarchy

Post-left anarchy is a recent current in anarchist thought that promotes a critique of anarchism's relationship to traditional leftism. Some post-leftists seek to escape the confines of ideology in general while also presenting a critique of organizations and morality.

In many ways, Post-left anarchy returns to the individualist roots of anarchy, pulling it free from its collectivist weights.

Influenced by the work of Max Stirner and by the Situationist International, post-left anarchy is marked by a focus on social insurrection and a rejection of leftist social organisation.

Post-leftists argue that the left, even the revolutionary left, is anachronistic and incapable of creating change. Post-left anarchy offers critiques of radical strategies and tactics which we consider antiquated: the demonstration, class-oriented struggle, focus on tradition, and the inability to escape the confines of history. The book Anarchy in the Age of Dinosaurs, for example, criticizes traditional leftist ideas and classical anarchism while calling for a rejuvenated anarchist movement. The CrimethInc. essay "Your Politics Are Boring as Fuck" is another critique of "leftist" movements:

Why has the oppressed proletariat not come to its senses and joined you in your fight for world liberation? [...] [Because] they know that your antiquated styles of protest – your marches, hand held signs, and gatherings – are now powerless to effect real change because they have become such a predictable part of the status quo. They know that your post-Marxist jargon is off-putting because it really is a language of mere academic dispute, not a weapon capable of undermining systems of control...

— Nadia C., "Your Politics Are Boring as Fuck"


What Post-Left Anarchy Critiques:

1) The Left

  • critiquing the Left as nebulous, anachronistic, distracting, a failure & at key points a counterproductive force historically ("the left wing of capital")

  • critiquing Leftist activists for political careerism, celebrity culture, self-righteousness, privileged vanguardism & martyrdom

  • critiquing the tendency of Leftists to insulate themselves in academia, scenes & cliques while also attempting to opportunistically manage struggles

2) Ideology

  • a Stirner-esque critique of dogma & ideological thinking as a distinct phenomenon in favor of "critical self-theory" at individual & communal levels

3) Morality

  • a moral nihilist critique of morality/reified values/moralism

4) Organizationalism

  • critiquing permanent, formal, mass, mediated, rigid, growth-focused modes of organization in favor of temporary, informal, direct, spontaneous, intimate forms of relation

  • critiquing Leftist organizational patterns' tendencies toward managerialism, reductionism, professionalism, substitutionism & ideology

  • critiquing the tendencies of unions & Leftist organizations to mimic political parties, acting as racketeers/mediators, with cadre-based hierarchies of theoretician & militant or intellectual & grunt, defailting toward institutionalization & ritualizing a meeting-voting-recruiting-marching pattern

5) Identity Politics

  • critiquing identity politics insofar as it preserves victimization-enabled identities & social roles (i.e. affirming rather than negating gender, class, etc.) & inflicts guilt-induced paralysis, amongst others

  • critiquing single-issue campaigns or orientations


What Post-Left Anarchists Value

  • moving beyond anarchISM as a static historical praxis into anarchY as a living praxis

  • focusing on daily life & the intersectionality thereof rather than dialectics / totalizing narratives (except anarcho-primitivists tend toward epistemology)

  • emphasizing personal autonomy & a rejection of work (as forced labor, alienated labor, workplace-centricity)

  • critiquing Enlightenment notions of Cartesian dualities, rationalism, humanism, democracy, utopia, etc.

  • critiquing industrial notions of mass society, production, productivity, efficiency, "Progress", technophilia, civilization (esp. in anti-civilization tendencies)


Post-Left Anarchy is an umbrella term that includes:


Resources:

"Your Politics are Boring as Fuck" by Crimethinc

"Whatever You Do, Get Away with It" by Jason McQuinn

"Leftism 101" by Lawrence Jarach

"Anarchists, Don't let the Left(overs) Ruin your Appetite" by Lawrence Jarach

"Critical Analysis of the Left: Lets Clean House" by Joaquin Cienfuegos

"Critical Thinking as an Anarchist Weapon" by Wolfi Landstreicher & Jason McQuinn

"Against Organizationalism: Anarchism as both Theory & Critique of Organization" by Jason McQuinn

"Demoralizing Moralism: The Futility of Fetishized Values" by Jason McQuinn

"From Politics to Life: Ridding anarchy of the leftist millstone" by Wolfi Landstreicher (heavily critiqued by Lilith in "Gender Disobedience: Antifeminism & Insurrectionist Non-dialogue")

Radical Theory: A Wrecking Ball for Ivory Towers" by Wolfi Landstreicher

"Against Mass Society" by Chris Wilson

"On Organization" by Jacques Camatte

"Pilsen: Chicago’s Revolution of Everyday Life" by Silas Crane

"Anarchy in the Age of Dinosaurs"

"Days of War, Nights of Love" by CrimethInc

"the Ego and Its Own" by Max Stirner