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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Pissing on the Anarchist Name

Upgraded and Adapted from the Moot, "Elias Altvall" wrote:
It is kinda sad that your only interaction is with the assholes who piss on the anarchist name. All anarchist since the first one to self described him as that (Pierre Joseph Proudhon) have been socialist. "The two principles referred to are Authority and Liberty, and the names of the two schools of Socialistic thought which fully and unreservedly represent one or the other of them are, respectively, State Socialism and Anarchism." This is a quote from Benjamin Tucker a free market anarchist in the 19th century.
I converse with self-identified anarchists all the time, some of them friends and political allies. I think the best left anarchists would do better to describe as democratization what they think is anarchism, and I think they are more vulnerable to wasting their energy than they think they are (they probably think the same of me), but philosophical differences are rarely what matters most in an actual protest or in the midst of a well articulated activist campaign, or in appreciating the beauty of radical art.

I am well aware of the history of anarchism, and the Propaganda of the Deed isn't something you can wish away my friend. As for free market anarchists -- there is no such thing as "the free market," markets are constituted and maintained by laws, norms, and infrastructural affordances, and the denial of this serves the reactionary status quo. Neither are there "spontaneous orders," although I'm sure insulated and privileged people live a life conducive to such fancies. "Liberty" and "Authority" (As Such) are particularly slippery sites of institutional and conceptual contestation, usually at a fairly abstract level for boys.

I believe in education, agitation, and organization -- both within actually-constituted legal and organizational frameworks and also pushing from their left with intellectual imagination and nonviolent resistance -- in the service of ever greater equity-in-diversity, a practical progressive usually reformist struggle that is almost certainly interminable. I don't want to smash states but to democratize them. For more on what I take to be the connections between democratization, nonviolence, equity-in-diversity, consent, consensus science, taxation, and such do read the pieces archived under the heading Against Anarchy.

3 comments:

Elias Altvall said...

Actually I kinda assumed you have spoken to other anarchist I just did not want to assume anything.

I think it is the reverse about democratization since it is better to call your self after the 150 year long tradition and school of thought that as identified and tried to help people organize according to their principles of freedom and equality as well as making a statement against what you want to accomplice. On the other hand I think that there are many people out there who wish for anarchy without examine what the word means and what the anarchist use it for. An (no/against) archy(rulers/governors) which leads to no hiearchies but I won't start to scream statist on you just because you disagree with me. And I agree with you about how it does not matter in prostests or activist campigns etc.

I do not wish away Propaganda by the deed. But by that implication that somehow anarchism is corrupted because during horrible repression some had and incredible bad idea to kill people in order to agitate and try getting a revolution going.By that logic is not democracy in general corrupted by how democrats during the french revolution killed a couple of thousand people. I think this is really not the case. Rather I try to look at the era most of these crimes were committed in to understand and to say that it is useless as a tactic since it has never worked nor it is in favor of anarchistic principles.

Free markets does not exist in capitalism and never has, if you look in to those socialists who have advocated it and continue to advocate it, especially in the 19th century (mutualism).

Spontaneous order is a bullshit word that handwaves economic stuff, but the way Proudhon meant it was more a long the lines of peoples freedom of agreement and association. Essentially that I can "spontaneously" decide to quit working for my association and leave to start my own or join another.

See with the whole "Liberty" and "Authority" i agree with you. I mean the stalinist does not think he is an authoritarian nor do the propetarian so yeah liberty and authority are abstract concept that are given a reality when enabled.

The last segment I agree with you. I believe in exactly the same ideas of education, agitation and organization - to borrow an anarchist slogan "Create the new world in the shell of the old one". I feel sceptical about revolution because I feel it is sort of like the singularity (but makes more since). That it is gonna happen any day now. (I find it hard to write sarcasm so this is not because I think you are stupid but that I suck at writing). Also I feel that to try and work within political parties poisons the movement considering that it is structures that generally are not democratic but autocratic with you just choosing your ruler. And I have already read your other stuff and I like it. I come here every time George Dvorsky makes my brain die a little with an article at io9 or other singularity nonsense.

I personally think that all we can do is listen to what people has to say and their experience alongside your own will shape how you feel and think. I least hope I have not said anything that will make you think I hate you because I do not.

By the way I am swedish so if I misspell or similar please have mercy on me.





Dale Carrico said...

Thanks for the warm comments, we probably agree more than we disagree on things that actually matter. Politics are not ethics, and since the people who share the world really are different they are indeed as you say poisoned, but they either make things better or make things worse and I think one has to try to make things better (which for me means actually more equitable for the diversity of actually existing stakeholders). If MLK and FDR and Arendt and Washington and Hitler are all "statists," I guess I don't mind being called one too since it doesn't seem to mean much of anything. But I ain't mad atcha.

Elias Altvall said...

Thank you a lot for answering me. I added the statist comment because generally as soon as some who calls himself libertarian or anarchist have a discussion they will throw it in just because the other disagrees and as far as I know that feel very anti - free thought.
And hell if you disregard anyone (philosophy/art/other human beings) who do not agree with you it is hard to like anything
Again thanks for answering, I am sure you have better thigns to do.