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Romanticizing Hunter Gatherers?
#37
Yes, the Spanish revolution (1936) was crushed, mostly because it was mired in anarchist ideology, a dangerous distraction when faced by murderous forces.

Money is optional, whether you live in the Capitalist centres, in the industrialised countryside or the semi-wilderness. We makes our choices.

Whether we reappropriate the goods we produced by purchasing them, by petty thievery or by looting really makes no odds.

It is the method by which we produce the things that we need that defines whether we are anti-civilisation or pro-civilisation.

If only we wouldn't label things, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZ2ow5lo4VQ , but we do, and we will until we are no longer alienated from one another.

However much I appreciate the artistic power of Franz Kafka I cannot see why we are discussing the hero of his novels in this context.

People working together to achieve collective goals is a VERY vague notion. People are working together to destroy the industrial infrastructure of Syria at present.

Spanish revolutionaries are of multifarious persuasions but of one heart: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKHbOy7GHEg

To be contd...
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#38
(Thu, 08 Feb 2018 08:17:38 +0000, 08:17 AM)Ola Boms Wrote: [1] ...postitionality.

[2] ...the bluff of modernity: Namely that its insistence that it is modern. It seems that we continuously keep throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

[3] Perhaps we can start to sift through the hubris we all suffer from and see if there are things to be done - if only to live somewhat of a dignified life.

[4] Revolution as a plural, not as an old bolshevik poster.

[5] ...points of departure...

Bom Shankar!

[1] Quibble: Can we not reason without these ever so popular words, "positionality" and "intersectionality"?

[2] Wunderbar

[3] Surely we can and will

[4] Was it not the Bolshevik coup d'etat/Russian Revolution that must be counted as one of the plural revolutions alongside the English, American, French, German...? Surely the ongoing, historic, revolution is to be counted in the singular?

[5] I am in general agreement with your points of departure. Suffice to say we are of the 3rd, 4th and 5th generations.
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#39
I'm not against revolution, but one needs to call into question the whole idea. There are many definitions. Marx implied there were pre-capitalist revolutions and bourgeois revolutions; that revolutions are essentially the overthrow of one social class by another.

Do I accept these definitions? Revolutions are inherently tied into notions of progress, and millenarianism. Do I want progress? Do I believe in its inevitablity? Something has to change before humanity destroys the planet. Can we even say what form it will take? Capitalist? Agricultural? Technological? Socialist? Communist? Anarchist? All these can only lead us back to square one. It seems we need to proactively do something, but there's also nothing we can do to escape the grip of Capital. We aren't capable of opposition.
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#40
I'm a practical fellow, and accordingly things (thoughts,discussion) doesn't interest me as an abstract, but in its application.

I also think that anything other than a intellectual vagabond (https://vagabondtheory.wordpress.com/) is dishonest, at the very least to one self.

So, any given idea or -ism is only interesting insofar as I have a practical and actual need for it. To swear allegiance to an ideal,idea or whatever just doesn't make sense. Revolution as vocation is a perhaps not much different from any other vocation, other than the change of the signifier. And all the speculation regarding it (much of so called revolutionary theory) seems rather futile, all things considered. I'd rather eat strawberries. Were "primitive" man the ideal anarchist, was she the epitome of anarchism? Who's to say? Can I live like that? No, in all honesty I can't, but there are certainly things to be learned from our cousins of the wild. And the same goes for pretty much the whole plethora of revolutionary thought.

Take what you want and compost the rest as she said.

James C. Scott has as such brought some interesting stories to the limelight. Haven't read his latest, only parts so far, but it seems to follow parts of the explorations in The Art of Not Being Governed. He (Scott) focuses on pragmatism amongst others, and the occupation of shatterzones as templates of statelessness. And he adds to that the subsistence patterns typically used: secondary primitivism, horticulture, intensive foraging/plain foraging, and little dependence on grains. But I suppose this is known in these haunts.

Again, as a practical sort of fellow, I have problems seeing how exactly we can stop the runaway train our world have become. Not to speak of the 7 billion people, and the corresponding 7 billion ideas of what a good and just life constitutes. I'm perhaps slightly less pessimistic than Ellul, but it certainly seems that mass technology has a life of its own presently.

As such I favor something of a stoic approach and take my freedom where I can find it. I think a revolutionary perspective is important though, perhaps as something of an ethic or a yardstick if you will.

All of this is to say that much thought seems like an existential trap. We certainly can't escape global capitalism on a material level. But I believe (because I have done and continue trying to do so) that you can both circumvent and subvert it. The difficulty is in the lack of an outside, not that such a thing doesn't exist, but more perhaps due to assimilation. I can't really change the course of history, nor the possibility of the sky crashing down over me. But with my meager means I can at least start chipping at its foundation - both the internal and the external.
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#41
(Thu, 08 Feb 2018 00:36:56 +0000, 12:36 AM)Zhachev Wrote: I should leave you waiting, Odin.

So, you've got no answer then. Thought so.

(Thu, 08 Feb 2018 00:36:56 +0000, 12:36 AM)Zhachev Wrote: You are, after all, the individual who a few posts back in this very thread recommended we join the Police, and advocated "eroding the system from within", which sounds more like evolutionary socialism than anything else.

Whatever it 'sounds like' to you, it has nothing to do with whether or not money is optional. So I fail to see how it's is relevant.

(Thu, 08 Feb 2018 00:36:56 +0000, 12:36 AM)Zhachev Wrote: So, about money...

Finally...!

(Thu, 08 Feb 2018 00:36:56 +0000, 12:36 AM)Zhachev Wrote: "Optional" wasn't the best choice of words in regards to the use of cash, everyone who read that post knew that I'm sure. But Odin is still misrepresenting my points, even if they only partially understand them. As weird as it sounds I'm sure we all understand that there is a sort of "optional" quality to life under capitalism. There's food stamps and public housing and government healthcare, etc. You don't die without money, it's not oxygen -- you just get really poor.

And that kind of desperate poverty, without using ANY money at all, leads to death eventually. Have you ever been homeless for a prolonged period of time?

I have, and I can tell you from first hand experience that every homeless person, every person on food stamps, and every person who gets any form of government assistance still uses money at some point. Because all the government assistance in the world is never enough to live on. Every homeless person I've ever met or heard of scrounges to get whatever cash they can, whether it's collecting pop cans, or looking for dropped coins, or selling cigarettes, or stealing stuff to pawn, or just rolling other homeless people (who almost always have at least some cash on them). They do these things to buy toothpaste, or drugs, or asprin, or shoe laces, or more often than not -- food.  In other words, survival. Because sometimes you can't always steal everything you need. Everyone is hustling. If they couldn't access cash at all, they would quickly wither away and die, especially in colder climates like here in Canada.

To make a bold assertion like 'money is optional' is so easy on the internet. Just throw it out there and hope nobody calls you on it. Then when someone does, accuse them of being 'cowardly'. Oh so brave. You obviously have never experienced real prolonged poverty or deep gnawing hunger, or you wouldn't haven't made such a foolish ignorant comment.

(Thu, 08 Feb 2018 00:36:56 +0000, 12:36 AM)Zhachev Wrote: There are close to one hundred uncontacted tribes. There are individuals, a few with documentaries made about their experiences, who have managed to "go off-grid" and do this.

Uncontacted tribes are irrelevant to the lives of people living in urban industrial cities, which is the context I was talking about regarding 'money is optional'. And the people who go 'off grid' don't do it without money. They buy land, solar panels, composting toilets, tools, etc.

(Thu, 08 Feb 2018 00:36:56 +0000, 12:36 AM)Zhachev Wrote: Will you concede the point it's not impossible, at least, Odin?

It's impossible in first world countries. Even the poorest of the poor in cities are going to have to use money at some point. You might be able to go without any money for a few months, but eventually you will need cash to survive. Going without money completely as some sort of long term anarchist lifestyle is suicide.

Wait... I think there is actually one possible way of going without money. Commit a murder, get caught, then go to prison for the rest of your life. Bingo! No need for money any more. Alas, even in prison, more and more inmates are now being forced to pay for things like toilet paper, phone calls, soap, toothpaste, and in some prisons, food.


(Thu, 08 Feb 2018 00:36:56 +0000, 12:36 AM)Zhachev Wrote: Perhaps the more interesting examples in the context of this discussion are any of the conscious attempts like MST in Brazil, (or the Zapatistas, or even the Paris Commune) to live "outside the capitailst world economy". Why and how did these fail? Why can't there be "liberated islands" or "zones" under Capital? What can we learn from this, and the failures associated with these movements?

They failed for the same reason the Spanish anarchists failed. They were crushed. Are you going to liberate these zones by yourself? I mean, if you're not going to engage in any kind of evil collective action, you will have to.


(Thu, 08 Feb 2018 00:36:56 +0000, 12:36 AM)Zhachev Wrote: It does seem we have to proactively "do something" to stop Capital. This was the point of all the failed revolutions we're alluding to. Odin and KyXen seem to be suggesting these kinds of things are valid vehicles for stopping Capital.

What are you referring to by 'these kinds of things'? I simply said that some sort of collective action is the only way to stop Capital. I was contrasting it with individualistic approaches like changing your own consciousness, meditating, becoming spiritually enlightened, doing yoga, squatting, recycling, taking shorter showers, posting on Facebook, or whatever. Not that I'm setting up an either/or false dichotomy, I'm saying collective activity is necessary to defeat an opposing collective activity (i.e. civilization/capital). Individual projects just don't have the impact collective projects do.

(Thu, 08 Feb 2018 00:36:56 +0000, 12:36 AM)Zhachev Wrote: I was wondering if Odin lived in the woods and ate squirrels because this is what anarchist primitivists advocate we do, rather than capitalism. But Odin isn't doing this right now. It must not be possible!

I didn't say we could never live without money, even at some point in the future, I said money isn't an option (in urban industrial cities at the current time given current social conditions). Do I really have to qualify everything to the nth degree? Are you incapable of understanding the context within which we're discussing this?

(Thu, 08 Feb 2018 00:36:56 +0000, 12:36 AM)Zhachev Wrote: I thought Odin was anti-Marxism, but making the statement "I want to change what is into what should be" is Marx 101.

Huh? Marxism? That's just laughable. A hunter gatherer says, 'I'm hungry" (what is). "I should go and hunt an animal to eat" (what should be). Or, "This area is no good for hunting any more, and the weather is changing" (what is). "We should move camp" (what should be).  What is 'Marxist' about that?


(Thu, 08 Feb 2018 00:36:56 +0000, 12:36 AM)Zhachev Wrote: I would contend what is makes us into what we are, not the other way around. And my previous points about consciousness relate to this. The whole history of the hominin species is, in a sense, an accident. The accident lead us to the point where some of us understand this accident -- that we need to take control of this accident. If people can consciously make this actualization, they can consciously resist Capital. They can stop capitalism forever. But they have to stop it completely before anything else is possible. It's a Catch 22 in multiple ways.  

Sorry, I don't understand your point and can't make heads or tails out of this.
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#42
(Thu, 08 Feb 2018 08:47:24 +0000, 08:47 AM)KyXen Wrote: Yes, the Spanish revolution (1936) was crushed, mostly because it was mired in anarchist ideology, a dangerous distraction when faced by murderous forces.

Murderous forces can crush any movement if it is ruthless and murderous enough.

(Thu, 08 Feb 2018 08:47:24 +0000, 08:47 AM)KyXen Wrote: Money is optional, whether you live in the Capitalist centres, in the industrialised countryside or the semi-wilderness. We makes our choices.

Nope. See my reply to Zhachev above. I think lots of people would love to be able to live without money in western urban capitalist city centers, given current social and economic conditions. If you think it's possible, please offer workshops on how to do it. I will be the first to sign up.

(Thu, 08 Feb 2018 08:47:24 +0000, 08:47 AM)KyXen Wrote: Whether we reappropriate the goods we produced by purchasing them, by petty thievery or by looting really makes no odds.

Just curious, which goods have you produced?

(Thu, 08 Feb 2018 08:47:24 +0000, 08:47 AM)KyXen Wrote: It is the method by which we produce the things that we need that defines whether we are anti-civilisation or pro-civilisation.

That's a technical deterministic argument. I think it has some merit, but doesn't go far enough in explaining the difference. I don't think the difference between civilization and anarcho-primitivist lifeways isn't exhausted by the question of production. That would probably be a Marxian approach, but leaves out so much in terms of ideological differences and attitudes toward the environment and animals, for example.

(Thu, 08 Feb 2018 08:47:24 +0000, 08:47 AM)KyXen Wrote: People working together to achieve collective goals is a VERY vague notion. People are working together to destroy the industrial infrastructure of Syria at present.

Not vague at all. It is what it purports to state. And I would agree, there are people working together to destroy Syria (along with other countries). Civilization is a collective activity, capitalism is a collective activity. It will take collective activity to stop civilization.
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#43
Odin Wrote:Murderous forces can crush any movement if it is ruthless and murderous enough.

The movement of the proletariat has faced the most ruthless and murderous forces of all and yet it still stands predominant, in my humble opinion.

Odin Wrote:I think lots of people would love to be able to live without money in western urban capitalist city centers, given current social and economic conditions. If you think it's possible, please offer workshops on how to do it. I will be the first to sign up.

It depends on the style of life you wish to live. Personally, I like my creature comforts and mod cons, therefore, I require money to sustain this lifestyle. However, others do not wish for these. I knew a man who lived on the street corner in Tel Aviv. He found shelter wherever his whim took him, he ate from the garbage cans and clothed himself the same way. He defecated and pissed in the gutter on the side of the street. There is a veteran of the Gulf wars that lives on the streets of Tehran and gains food, clothes and shelter from benefactors. Where there's a will there's a way.

Odin Wrote:Just curious, which goods have you produced?

In no particular order and please excuse any omissions: rubber automotive parts, roof trusses, beer, chicks, edible plants, clean premises, documentation, pallets, children, meals, stadium seating...

Odin Wrote:That's a technical deterministic argument....

If you say so. It certainly sounds clever and who am I to argue with clever.

Odin Wrote:Civilization is a collective activity, capitalism is a collective activity. It will take collective activity to stop civilization.

If civilisation acts collectively, what does it act collectively with? Capitals do not act collectively, they act in competition with one another. The proletariat acts collectively in opposition to capitalist civilisation.

Odin Wrote:...there are people working together to destroy Syria (along with other countries).

People are not acting collectively to destroy Syria, national and inter-national states, in competition with one another, are destroying and displacing labour and capital.
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#44
(Wed, 07 Feb 2018 16:41:34 +0000, 04:41 PM)KyXen Wrote: Your hope is not fulfilled at least as far as it applies to myself. I am communist, not in the sense which you refer to –  as something that is to be brought about –  but as something that is already existing.
Well, if you live under your precious communism, then everything is just dandy for you, I suppose!

(Wed, 07 Feb 2018 23:15:33 +0000, 11:15 PM)Odin Wrote: Presumably we are all on this board because we do not like what is, and want to change what is. We all would like to see society changed into something non-authoritarian, healthy, and much less polluted. Whether some call this anarchism or primitivism, communism, or whatever, doesn't matter so much right now.

So of course I want to change what is into what should be. That's the very essence of accomplishing anything, isn't it? I want to bake a cake. Why? because I have no cake (what is), and I do want a cake (what should be). It's the same with anything. This kind of mumbo jumbo is why I left K behind, as he had no social analysis at all. He reduced everything to the psychological level, and even that was often incoherent.  

If you want to discuss K further, perhaps we could start another thread under a different section.
Again, I think you are misconstruing K, badly. Due to a lack of progress here, I won't address the point further.

(Wed, 07 Feb 2018 23:15:33 +0000, 11:15 PM)Odin Wrote: You even conceded that your individual personal actions had "very little impact". I agree. That's all I'm saying. I think our only hope is through collective action. And by 'collective' I don't mean state communism, or worker councils, or unions, or syndicalism, or structured leftism of any kind, I simply mean people working together to accomplish a goal. Preferably a lot of people working together. Merely changing our thoughts through choiceless awareness or meditation or retreating inwards is not going to have much of an impact. I agree that before one can change anything one has to believe things need to be changed. But this goes back to the what is/what should be dichotomy.

The Spanish anarchists were too syndicalist and communistic for my liking. I merely brought them up because they were an example of anarchists working together in a way that actually managed to accomplish some things and, for a while at least, briefly threatened to change an entire country.  No movement based on individualism that I am aware of has ever come close to matching this.
Again you seem to be misconstruing what choiceless awareness is, and by extension what Zhachev and I am talking about. If your main point here is that no movement based on individualism has "accomplished" what the Spanish anarchists did, then score one for individualism, I suppose. But I am not an individualism-advocate, so I'm not going to defend individualism. In fact, as you probably noticed, the things I mentioned doing, were all social in nature.


(Thu, 08 Feb 2018 08:17:38 +0000, 08:17 AM)Ola Boms Wrote: As the Daoists say: There is not one principle valid for all situations.
The Daoists here have something in common with the Dadaists. I'll agree with you through borrowing Feyerabend's phrasing: "Anything goes!"

(Thu, 08 Feb 2018 08:17:38 +0000, 08:17 AM)Ola Boms Wrote: There is also much to be said about the bluff of modernity: Namely that its insistence that it is modern. It seems that we continuously keep throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Perhaps we can start to sift through the hubris we all suffer from and see if there are things to be done - if only to live somewhat of a dignified life.
Agreed, on both points.

(Thu, 08 Feb 2018 08:17:38 +0000, 08:17 AM)Ola Boms Wrote: I guess Wolfi Landstreichers Barbaric Thoughts could be mentioned as a good essay. How do we keep a revolutionary perspective, rather than end up with some form of moralism of defeatism? And so not to brush the hair the wrong way: Revolution as a plural, not as an old bolshevik poster.
I haven't read this essay, but will do so at your (indirect) suggestion.

(Fri, 09 Feb 2018 10:39:26 +0000, 10:39 AM)Ola Boms Wrote: I'm a practical fellow, and accordingly things (thoughts,discussion) doesn't interest me as an abstract, but in its application.

I also think that anything other than a intellectual vagabond (https://vagabondtheory.wordpress.com/) is dishonest, at the very least to one self.
More Wolfi stuff I haven't read! Thanks!

(Fri, 09 Feb 2018 10:39:26 +0000, 10:39 AM)Ola Boms Wrote: So, any given idea or -ism is only interesting insofar as I have a practical and actual need for it. To swear allegiance to an ideal,idea or whatever just doesn't make sense. Revolution as vocation is a perhaps not much different from any other vocation, other than the change of the signifier. And all the speculation regarding it (much of so called revolutionary theory) seems rather futile, all things considered. I'd rather eat strawberries. Were "primitive" man the ideal anarchist, was she the epitome of anarchism? Who's to say? Can I live like that? No, in all honesty I can't, but there are certainly things to be learned from our cousins of the wild. And the same goes for pretty much the whole plethora of revolutionary thought.

Take what you want and compost the rest as she said.

James C. Scott has as such brought some interesting stories to the limelight. Haven't read his latest, only parts so far, but it seems to follow parts of the explorations in The Art of Not Being Governed. He (Scott) focuses on pragmatism amongst others, and the occupation of shatterzones as templates of statelessness. And he adds to that the subsistence patterns typically used: secondary primitivism, horticulture, intensive foraging/plain foraging, and little dependence on grains. But I suppose this is known in these haunts.

Again, as a practical sort of fellow, I have problems seeing how exactly we can stop the runaway train our world have become. Not to speak of the 7 billion people, and the corresponding 7 billion ideas of what a good and just life constitutes. I'm perhaps slightly less pessimistic than Ellul, but it certainly seems that mass technology has a life of its own presently.

As such I favor something of a stoic approach and take my freedom where I can find it. I think a revolutionary perspective is important though, perhaps as something of an ethic or a yardstick if you will.

All of this is to say that much thought seems like an existential trap. We certainly can't escape global capitalism on a material level. But I believe (because I have done and continue trying to do so) that you can both circumvent and subvert it. The difficulty is in the lack of an outside, not that such a thing doesn't exist, but more perhaps due to assimilation. I can't really change the course of history, nor the possibility of the sky crashing down over me. But with my meager means I can at least start chipping at its foundation - both the internal and the external.
I like the way you think in terms of being practical. The only interest I have in anarcho-primitivism as a way of reading anthropology, is how can we apply this? I'm actually going to work on some writing that deals with very practical considerations in relation to this, within the next two-three years. And I've been meaning to check out Scott.

I'm not optimistic nor pessimistic. I just am.
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