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Anti-civ has a PR problem
#1
Anti-civ, as a current of thought, has a PR problem. And by anti-civ I do not mean specifically or exclusively the forum. When leftists (especially anarchists and Marxists) hear about anti-civ, they very quickly read some forum or wiki or tweet about it, and "figure out" that it's genocidist, transphobic, ableist, reactionary, junk. This "realisation" typically comes via someone who is very mad at e.g. John Zerzan, but has never actually read John, or any other anti-civ literature. An Anarchist FAQ seems to be a frequent source of these odd arguments. Noam Chomsky and David Græber are other sources. If non-leftists hear about anti-civ, they typically go "well that would be a disaster because [medicine/food]", which is predicated on the misconception that anti-civ people want to flip a switch, watch everyone die, and proceed to go live in a cave.

So what do we do? I am not asking, necessarily, how do we fix these misconceptions, or correct them. I am asking that we be self-aware. And, being self-aware, what do we do? How do we engage people? As such, I just mean this to be a general thread about how to do… well… effectively community outreach. And, borrowing Feyerabend's phrase: "Anything goes!", as far as I'm concerned.

Personally, I am a big fan of the Situationist Marxists, people like The Yes Men, Bob Black's way of writing, and just putting on a show. I would agree with Chomsky that persuasion is a violence, so I'm not around to persuade people to "become anti-civ", I'm just trying to put on a bigger spectacle than civilisation, and make people go "oh! I hadn't thought about it like that…" Which might sometimes include making people angry. But I think it's OK to make people angry in the first sentence of an essay, as long as you end it on a thought provoking note, not just a provoking note.

That sums up lots of what I'm trying to do. Provoke to get attention, then thought-provoke.


What are your thoughts on "community outreach"? Both for anti-civ critique in general, but also for this site.
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#2
As a general rule, I don't really care what most leftists think - or, for that matter, what John Zerzan and the anarcho-primmies think. I'm not looking for converts and, as such, am unconcerned with whether a bunch of ideologues have decided that I am in violation of the moral dictates of "call-out culture." If any of them want to have an intelligent debate, then I am more than willing to have one, but I'm not going to waste my time walking on eggshells around sanctimonious stupidity.

Edit: I'm definitely on the same page with you insofar as I'm not here to "persuade people to 'become anti-civ,'" (or 'egoist' or anything else) but I differ with you in that I'm not really interested in "put[ting] on a bigger spectacle than civilisation" or engaging in any sort of PR campaign. I'm more interested in having thought-provoking discussions with people who I feel are actually worth my time and allowing the rest to continue thinking whatever they're going to think. If "put[ting] on a bigger spectacle than civilisation" is where your personal priorities lie, then I'm certainly not going to naysay your efforts, but I'm probably not going to join in the fight either.
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#3
If folks are not interested in having discussions with people who don't agree with you, and you're not interested in convincing anyone of anything, then don't expect anything about the world to ever change. Staying siloed in your own isolated filter bubble tribe is not helping anything, and is exactly what's wrong with the current political climate.

Honestly I just don't understand this mentality.
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#4
I'm totally with Odin also, and personally i am around here mostly to learn , so it would be nice to have more people around to have more discussion and ideas circulating as wild as they can get it doesn't matter, nothing is worse then the current dystopia.
As for anti-civ, if that is what you believe in that would fix the world, as much as possible, then you should definitely expose your ideas to the most people you can.
I can not say im 100% anti-civ but im close and im always available to help in what i can.
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#5
(Thu, 19 Apr 2018 20:53:43 +0000, 08:53 PM)Odin Wrote: If folks are not interested in having discussions with people who don't agree with you, and you're not interested in convincing anyone of anything, then don't expect anything about the world to ever change.  Staying siloed in your own isolated filter bubble tribe is not helping anything, and is exactly what's wrong with the current political climate.

Honestly I just don't understand this mentality.

I have no problem having discussions with people who disagree with me so long as the points they're raising aren't puerile and idiotic to the point of ridiculousness. If and when they want to say something that's actually worth my time, I'll be happy to engage with them.
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#6
(Thu, 19 Apr 2018 20:53:43 +0000, 08:53 PM)Odin Wrote: If folks are not interested in having discussions with people who don't agree with you, and you're not interested in convincing anyone of anything, then don't expect anything about the world to ever change. Staying siloed in your own isolated filter bubble tribe is not helping anything, and is exactly what's wrong with the current political climate.

You're conflating a bunch of stuff here, so if this is supposed to be accusations directed at me, they're pretty unreasonable. The only thing here that would fit my mentality is that I'm not after convincing people, which I'm not. I think that's a horrible violence that has achieved nothing, and will never achieve anything. If the sheep start following a new herder, perhaps a libertarian socialist one, that won't suddenly convince me that mass society is a good idea for a while, until capitalism (or worse) takes over again. I have no interest in telling people what to believe and what to do. In fact, I'd say a pretty major part of the problem is how people rely on others to tell them what to believe and what to do.
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#7
(Thu, 19 Apr 2018 22:57:28 +0000, 10:57 PM)alexander Wrote:
(Thu, 19 Apr 2018 20:53:43 +0000, 08:53 PM)Odin Wrote: If folks are not interested in having discussions with people who don't agree with you, and you're not interested in convincing anyone of anything, then don't expect anything about the world to ever change.  Staying siloed in your own isolated filter bubble tribe is not helping anything, and is exactly what's wrong with the current political climate.

You're conflating a bunch of stuff here, so if this is supposed to be accusations directed at me, they're pretty unreasonable. The only thing here that would fit my mentality is that I'm not after convincing people, which I'm not. I think that's a horrible violence that has achieved nothing, and will never achieve anything. If the sheep start following a new herder, perhaps a libertarian socialist one, that won't suddenly convince me that mass society is a good idea for a while, until capitalism (or worse) takes over again. I have no interest in telling people what to believe and what to do. In fact, I'd say a pretty major part of the problem is how people rely on others to tell them what to believe and what to do.

We are not born with all our beliefs already intact, we are all influenced in one way or another by other people's ideas and arguments. It's pretty much unavoidable. So I really don't see how trying to convince someone of the validity of one's argument is a "horrible violence". I didn't come to anti-civ ideas on my own, I read a lot, compared points and facts, and debated with others and myself. I've also had heated arguments with people which, in the course of arguing, often made me question my own ideas. Something I wouldn't have done unless I had my own ideas exposed and critiqued. To me, this is all part of learning.

So I don't quite understand this hermetic stance against debate. If you don't wish to convince anyone of anything, why talk about 'outreach' or 'engagement' at all? Or did you mean outreach and engagement with like-minded people?
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#8
It sounds like you convinced yourself. That's fine.

I have no desire to dazzle anyone with my rhetoric, I want people to question things. This means engaging people all the same. But not sketching out my Ideal Society, and writing manuals on how to obtain it, and then insisting that I am right, and persuading everyone through rhetoric and chauvinism—the standard m.o. for politics, science, and so on. I want to wake people up, not sell them a new dream.

As such, I agree with Matt's point, that engaging and engaged people that have already cultivated critical thinking, is much more giving, than trying to convince some random person that anti-civ is the silver bullet. That random person I would much rather provoke into realising that their beliefs are in fact beliefs, not facts nor fate.
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#9
(Fri, 20 Apr 2018 07:34:26 +0000, 07:34 AM)alexander Wrote: It sounds like you convinced yourself. That's fine.

I have no desire to dazzle anyone with my rhetoric, I want people to question things. This means engaging people all the same. But not sketching out my Ideal Society, and writing manuals on how to obtain it, and then insisting that I am right, and persuading everyone through rhetoric and chauvinism—the standard m.o. for politics, science, and so on. I want to wake people up, not sell them a new dream.

As such, I agree with Matt's point, that engaging and engaged people that have already cultivated critical thinking, is much more giving, than trying to convince some random person that anti-civ is the silver bullet. That random person I would much rather provoke into realising that their beliefs are in fact beliefs, not facts nor fate.

No one is talking about an ideal society or writing manuals. Although I do think we need a new dream from the current nightmare of progress. But you won't wake people up unless you challenge their own beliefs in a convincing fashion. If someone has already cultivated critical thinking, then they are already woke.
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#10
(Thu, 19 Apr 2018 10:00:38 +0000, 10:00 AM)alexander Wrote: So what do we do? I am not asking, necessarily, how do we fix these misconceptions, or correct them. I am asking that we be self-aware. And, being self-aware, what do we do? How do we engage people? As such, I just mean this to be a general thread about how to do… well… effectively community outreach. And, borrowing Feyerabend's phrase: "Anything goes!", as far as I'm concerned.

If you're looking to sharpen your rhetoric then I'm always happy to debate and discuss with anti-civs on here. You're right that anti-civ has a pr problem but I, a staunch leftist, am willing to hear you out. One thing that I keep encountering is that I can't find solid definitions of "civilization" and "technology". Everyone seems to have a different take on it.
If hard work pays show me rich donkey
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