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Source: http://anti-civ.plaimi.net/showthread.php?tid=148&pid=615#pid615

(Mon, 18 Sep 2017 21:33:51 +0000, 09:33 PM)loneraven Wrote: [ -> ]
(Mon, 18 Sep 2017 20:55:49 +0000, 08:55 PM)Matt Wrote: [ -> ]The assumption that a person can just "turn off" ideological thinking like flipping a light switch is, I would suggest, a tad unrealistic. This is the very substance of the sorts of discussions we should be having, not an impediment to them.

I'm not making that assumption. In fact, my writing is replete with detailed explorations of how difficult it is for people to accept certain things.

But when I look back at the substance of the discussions that have been had so far, I don't see anyone that's even actively looking to exorcize their geists, sorry.

You need to shake people pretty hard (metaphorically) to break them from a trance, right?

The antipathy and hostility that I faced in the 2 years I spent trying to communicate with anarchists made me want to start a website where anti-civ ideas could be discussed separate from anarchism, and no offence, but it seems that most people on this site are just not at all willing to confront how infinitely retarded anarchism is.

Conversely, when I've made the changes in my thinking that I have, I have always been grateful for those people that were instrumental in breaking down my inertia and ideological bias.

I mean, anyone who wants to really go over this is welcome to talk about it with me on Skype at any time, as has been my open offer for many years now, but I find that most people don't even WANT to face contrary ideas, let alone are ready to do so.

One of my podcasts from a couple of years ago had on average 1000 downloads an episode for a few weeks, yet I received only 1 or 2 messages from listeners, and they never really amounted to anything.

Do you get why I would be so pessimistic and unwilling to act like all is well in this discourse? :)
loneraven Wrote:The antipathy and hostility that I faced in the 2 years I spent trying to communicate with anarchists made me want to start a website where anti-civ ideas could be discussed separate from anarchism, and no offence, but it seems that most people on this site are just not at all willing to confront how infinitely retarded anarchism is.

I am absolutely 100% in agreement. In fact, if you wanna know the unvarnished truth, my initial reaction when I read that paragraph was "Amen! It's about fucking time somebody said it!" The infinite retardedness of anarchism as a circumscribed ideological "tradition" is a conclusion that I came to quite some time ago, but arriving at that conclusion was a slow and arduous process spanning more than 10 years of my young adult life. It involved more verbal spats with indignant anarcho-scenesters both online and offline than I care to count, not to mention constant dissection of my own tendencies toward ideological dogmatism. One doesn't make the transition from "anarcho-communist" ideologue over to whatever inherently self-limiting labels might describe me now simply overnight. In fact, it might interest you to know that I had a brief email exchange with Saul Newman a few years back where we talked about this very issue. One of the questions that I asked him was "how can one approach post-anarchist theory in such a way that is both affirmative and critical, making use of its insights but not internalizing it as an identity?" Here is part of how he responded:


"[F]irstly, it's a question of recognizing that post-anarchism is not an identity, or a distinct political program, position, or even a unified theory - it's a kind of deconstructive strategy that works at the limits of anarchism, which offers certain insights and critical reflections (here I like the toolbox of ideas metaphor of Foucault, or was it Deleuze?) It was not intended to be an identity or position that one rallies around, nor was it supposed to be a ready-made theory to replace anarchism or which provides all the answers - of course not. Also, I think the important thing today is not identity politics, but a politics of disidentification - basing one's politics around a certain rigid identity or ideological position doesn't get us very far. This doesn't mean that one can't struggle or engage in politics - it is a question, as Stirner would say, of being wary of Causes."

- Saul Newman, Oct. 11, 2012

Clearly, Newman's words are by no means gospel, and we can debate the extent to which participating in "politics" (however it is defined) is energy well spent. However, the above quote really resonates with me in a lot of ways, particularly the idea of post-anarchism being a "deconstructive strategy that works at the limits of anarchism." I would say that this is how I try to approach "anarchism" as a historical enterprise, even as I consciously eschew the "anarchist" label as a political identity. As much as terms like "post-anarchist," "anti-civ," "egoist," etc might aptly describe some aspect of how I look at things, the sum total of such labels will never encapsulate all of who I am and what I think. And, as much as I might pride myself on being as "non-ideological" as possible, I have no doubt that there are probably still times when I fall back into those old patterns. I don't think it's just me either. I think the same thing could probably be said about every person who uses this forum - without exception.

loneraven Wrote:Do you get why I would be so pessimistic and unwilling to act like all is well in this discourse? :)

Of course I get it! It is precisely because of such pessimism that I actively avoid getting into debates with anarcho-scenesters except on very rare occasions when I think they're speaking from good faith and it's actually worth my time. Other than that, my attitude is basically "Cut them loose and let them enjoy pretending to be revolutionaries." If they're deluded enough to believe that their little social club is some sort of "mass movement" that poses a substantial threat to the social order, then let them go ahead and keep believing that. Meanwhile, I'll be sitting back with my proverbial bag of popcorn watching condescendingly from the sidelines while they continue to go nowhere. If, however, they ever get tired of the constant "activist burnout" and want to engage in a real discussion about how to start doing things differently, I'll be only too happy to oblige.

As for any discussions that may occur on this forum among us dyed-in-the-wool "anti-civ" types, I tend to look at that as an entirely different ball game. While some (or all) of the posters here may still have difficulty letting go of certain rigid ideological preconceptions, I at least feel reasonably comfortable giving most of them the benefit of the doubt that they wouldn't even be here if they weren't willing to challenge these tendencies within themselves. Who knows, maybe a particularly militant anarcho-primitivist or someone looking to run as a Post-Left presidential candidate in the next American election will come out of the woodwork to prove me wrong but, until that happens, I'm not jumping to conclusions. (That was just a joke, by the way. ;) ) And, in the event that Alexander does manage to attract the participation of anarcho-leftists who are actually interested in a genuine discussion, then I'll be more than willing to hear them out as well.
I'm so glad someone else feels similarly! I've dropped every pretension of anarchism or at least attempted to, seeing it for the ideological trap that it is. Personally I've been more influenced by conservative, indigenous and ecological philosophy in the past five years than anarchist. 

I don't think the post-anarch scene is anything more than a bunch of teens endlessly retranslating Stirner and wondering how much of their ego is an illusion. There are no answers to anything down that road - just solipsism. Morally hard questions like " how to deal with the refugee crisis" are met with cries of 'spooks', in which case I just turn my back on the whole thing. If the theory has no practical relevance then fuck it. 

I feel like there is also a rise towards identity politics in a way that previous generations wouldn't understand. People today say they are an Anarchist as a means of personality, group identification without even meaning " I am against the State". So many squatter kids where I used to live would call themselves anarchists but did nothing, worked against or for nothing. 

I'm happy to take ideas from any source, doesn't matter to me. I don't think we have the luxury nor is it desirable to be pure about our thinking. We should be focusing on how to move to a post-civ future. The thinking required need not be ideological nor pure nor 100% coherent, it just needs to work!!
(Tue, 19 Sep 2017 08:25:04 +0000, 08:25 AM)star_carr Wrote: [ -> ]I don't think the post-anarch scene is anything more than a bunch of teens endlessly retranslating Stirner and wondering how much of their ego is an illusion. There are no answers to anything down that road - just solipsism. Morally hard questions like " how to deal with the refugee crisis" are met with cries of 'spooks', in which case I just turn my back on the whole thing. If the theory has no practical relevance then fuck it.

I'm gonna have to differ with you on that point. From my perspective, some of the most cutting-edge critiques of anarchism's failures as well as possible routes to its re-invigoration are coming out of the post-anarchist tendency. The most prevalent criticism of post-anarchist theory by those of a more orthodox theoretical bent seems to be that it's too much of an academic phenomenon, that it's too esoteric, too elitist, etc. While I don't think that such criticisms are completely without merit, I do think that they are oftentimes grounded in a certain amount of lingering "activist guilt" about intellectual pursuits being inherently "privileged" activities with which only the upper crust of the socioeconomic strata have the option of being involved. From my perspective, this is basically is just a form of anti-intellectual asceticism by which one refuses to make use of every tool that one has at one's disposal to critique the the current social order. This is usually because of moral objections to the cultural context out of which those tools arose. As for it being populated largely by teens, I'm 34 and, while I am not a grad student myself, my observation has been that a lot of post-anarchist theory is emerging at a graduate and post-graduate university level.

Regarding Stirner, I tend to think that he is ripe for reinterpretation and there is no need to shy away from this. For a particularly enlightening reinterpretation of Stirner, I'd recommend checking out Alejandro de Acosta's article, "How The Stirner Eats Gods" from AAJODA #67:

https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/...-eats-gods

His point about Ego being a "process" rather than an object is particularly interesting to me.