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I just found out about this website recently when listening to an archived episode of John Zerzan's "Anarchy Radio" (with whom I am otherwise slightly less than impressed). I was actively involved in my province's anarchist scene back in my late teens and early 20s but, asĀ  I transitioned into my 30s, I became increasingly disillusioned with what I now refer to as "the anarchist ghetto" and have since severed ties with the subcultural milieu.

Over the years, I've pretty much run the whole gamut of anarchist thought (with the exceptions of mutualist and so-called "national anarchism.") In the early days of my interest in anarchism, I consciously identified as an "anarcho-communist" and any mention of the name "Max Stirner" in a favourable light would send me into an indignant tailspin. However, as I became more acquainted with the collectivist groupthink and PC moralism of the anarchist subculture in my area, I began taking an interest in the post-left, anti-civ, and insurrectionist strains of anarchist thought and haven't looked back since.

As I continue grow in my own thinking, I find that I am becoming less preoccupied with the labels I use to describe myself and focus more on how I can expand the scope of my own autonomy in my daily life. If this has the added effect of expanding the autonomy of others, then great but I no longer see the liberation of other people as some divinely-ordained "Cause" to which I owe devotion and self-sacrifice. While I am no longer as emotionally invested in the idea of "revolution" as I once was (in the sense of some future historical moment when the current social order will be decisively overturned and replaced with something wholly different), I do still think there are times, places, and conditions under which more aggressive forms of resistance to this civilization are necessary and justified. That said, solving the world's problems is neither mine nor anyone else's cross to bear and I have no interest in seeing anyone make martyrs of themselves.

Anyway, it's cool to see this forum up and running and I look forward to some interesting conversations in the future. :)

Cheers,
Matt
Good old JZ keeps bringing users!

Glad to have you on board. It seems like quite a few of us have "run the whole gamut," as it were. Personally I ended up refusing to accept any isms and any ideas whatsoever.

Hope to see you around, and that you get something out of the website!
Yeah, good ol' JZ. I suppose every religion needs its very own High Priest. j/k ;)

But seriously, I'm definitely on the same page with you insofar as "-isms" of any sort are something that I approach with a profound sense of mistrust. However, as much as I might like the idea of outright rejecting "ideology" as a matter of principle, I'm not 100% convinced that accomplishing this is just a matter of individual will. Granted, maybe I'm comparing apples to oranges in that "ideology" is a broader concept than just the finite "-isms" that one may or may not choose to consciously ascribe to on an individual basis - in which case I do think it's possible to pick certain elements of a finite ideology that you may find appealing or useful without necessarily signing on the dotted line and making blanket statements like "I am a This-ism" or "I am a That-ism."

When it comes to disengaging oneself from ideological thinking in the broader sense of the term, that's when things start to get a little murkier. Even "the Self" as a fully pre-constituted identity that one more or less passively adopts is, in some sense, an ideological construction - and re-conceptualizing Selfhood as a more open-ended process of creative self-emergence is, as Wolfi Landstreicher once remarked, never a finished project.

Anyway, maybe I'm splitting hairs a little bit. These are conversations that make for really interesting thought exercises but are often too ethereal to expect final answers.

Cheers for the warm welcome. I'll definitely be checking back from time to time.
Haha, no, I think that's a little closer to the crude caricature of their perspectives that Murray Bookchin was attempting to paint in his essay Social Anarchism or Lifestyle Anarchism: An Unbridgeable Chasm than anything either Stirner or Vaneigem themselves would have espoused. It's hard to distill their work into a single paragraph, but a common thread running through both The Ego and Its Own and The Revolution of Everyday Life is a critique of "the Collective," in whatever form it may take, as the primary agent of radical social change. Vaneigem, like Stirner, rejects the idea that "the Individual" is just some hollow abstraction that exists for the sole purpose of reproducing a broader social milieu - be it a political party, a radical social movement, or even civilization itself.
(Wed, 05 Jul 2017 16:15:16 +0000, 04:15 PM)Zhachev Wrote: [ -> ]But aren't we fundamentally social animals? Doesn't critiquing collective action as the primary agent of social change then mean individuals/particular lifestyles are more 'revolutionary' than group actions? I may be butchering this whole thing as I know very little about this milieu. If anyone reads @news comments, I'm reminded of the person called 'SirEinzige' who is always going on about nothing changes except on individual levels.

And I would tend to agree with you that humans are social animals who can usually achieve more in voluntary association with other individuals than they could in isolation. However, in the context of contemporary radical social movements, I've noticed an off-putting tendency among many of their adherents to make a drastic logical leap from "humans are social animals" over to "the social body is an object unto itself." In this context, the idea of "collective action" is no longer understood as an organic process of voluntary association between autonomous individuals, but as an activity carried out by a supposedly unified collective body built around the perception of a common identity. From this perspective, it is no longer the individuals within a group who act, but "The Group" as a conceptual Thing-in-itself. So I guess you could say that I am for collectivity but not collectivism - if, by "collectivity," we mean a process of voluntary association rather than a fixed collective entity into which individual difference is subsumed.

As for @news, I've commented over there at various times over the years (using more online aliases than I care to admit) and have noticed a consistent decline in the quality of discussion that takes place. It's basically now devolved into a sectarian pissing contest with no redeeming value, as near as I can see. I've certainly contributed to that climate in the past but have since had my fill of it and am now ready to move on to - ahem! - greener pastures, if you'll pardon the extremely bad pun. ;) I've interacted with SirEinzige numerous times before and, while I didn't always agree with everything he said or how he communicated his points (although, admittedly, I was sometimes less than constructive in how I made mine), I found that I was on the same page with him more often than not. I guess, now, I just no longer feel the need to engage in rhetorical warfare with disgruntled anarcho-leftists with whom I share nothing in common. So far, this place feels like a welcome antidote.
Can we cool it with the facetious remarks about individuals, such as the one about JZ above?

If you have a bone to pick with someone's ideas, then I think it's a good thing to critique them. But lazy ad hominem stuff like calling someone the high priest of a religion is just crappy behavior, honestly :(
(Tue, 01 Aug 2017 10:25:48 +0000, 10:25 AM)loneraven Wrote: [ -> ]Can we cool it with the facetious remarks about individuals, such as the one about JZ above?

If you have a bone to pick with someone's ideas, then I think it's a good thing to critique them. But lazy ad hominem stuff like calling someone the high priest of a religion is just crappy behavior, honestly :(

Apologies if it seemed like I was being needlessly caustic. That comment sounded way different in my own head than it apparently came off over the fibre optic cables. From my perspective, it was just a little light-hearted ribbing and not a genuine attempt at malice.
Cheers for the vote of confidence, Zachev. I'd also like to add that I think humour and parody have a definite role to play in social critique that has been underutilized (or utilized ineffectively) within anarchist circles. I'll grant that they don't translate too well over the internet and that they can be misused depending on the motivations of the speaker. That said, it is equally true that those motivations are all too often misread by individuals who have stylized themselves as a bunch of stone-faced "revolutionaries" who are perpetually at war with the world. A lot of the bitter disagreements that tend to arise in the anarchist milieu could be avoided if everyone just lightened up and quit taking ourselves so seriously all the time. A little well-placed sarcasm approached with the right attitude is an effective way to poke fun at sacred cows and question the things that people have come to take for granted.
Just as long as everyone realizes that this is NOT an anarchist site, and was created specifically to take anticiv arguments out of the purview of the 'anarchist milieu', which I find to be nothing more than a detestable microcosm of heteronomous society. ;)
(Fri, 04 Aug 2017 23:21:31 +0000, 11:21 PM)loneraven Wrote: [ -> ]Just as long as everyone realizes that this is NOT an anarchist site, and was created specifically to take anticiv arguments out of the purview of the 'anarchist milieu', which I find to be nothing more than a detestable microcosm of heteronomous society. ;)

Oh, I'm totally on board with you there, man. I have no particular attachment to the label "anarchist" or the stagnant subcultural cesspool to which it gave rise. At best, it's a woefully imprecise descriptor of a broader impulse that still flows through my veins - i.e. the rejection of any and all coercive authority - and, at worst, a relic of a bygone era that is best consigned to the dustbin of history. I'm still somewhat ambivalent on this latter point but, given the choice, I'd rather dispense with the label entirely than cling to it like a life raft.
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