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Anarchism and self defeating action

0 votes
During protests, often times it is anarchists who are accused of destroying buildings, causing general chaos. Why would anarchists participate in such petty actions that cannot possibly further anarchy?
asked Nov 26, 2017 by curious bystander (560 points)

Bornagainanarchist, chaos and order are one and the same really, especially in connection without our bodies and health. If things like food didn't break down, we'd be pretty much clogged up!

Pain though, that's different from a health issue. It could be like a broken leg, that doesn't have to impact our health, our well being, does it? Whereas if a bug gets into us and we're not strong enough that can wreck our life on every level as in Lyme's (an older uncle had that, he was out for years before the doc got to the bottom of it).

Well my view of the futility of property destruction is taking things to their logical conclusion (unless it wholescale, why bother?). It's kind of like hackers bringing the Net down. They could prove their point without annoying everybody, who then reacts; "Bastards, lock them up because they've interrupted my porn viewing".

It's like that know your enemy saying, you wouldn't walk into their camp while they were all armed and primed for action, that's suicide.

"ebb and flow"... yep, it's all give and take, give up and take on, take off and give more, if you get my drift.

when you ask "why bother?", do you mean that rhetorically?

do you see what i'm getting at?
Tongue in cheek seriousness.
i think i understand now....

you meant your original question as a tongue in cheek serious statement to stimulate discussion about the ways people like best to create anarchy....and why....

yeah?
basically, anarchists desire the expression of direct action over political action. Protests are not direct actions, they are staged to get people to pay attention to certain issues, and the only thing that is ever important to good protest organizers is media attention. I find protests to be incredibly self defeating. We live in a protest culture and nobody really cares, to most people protest are just contemptable complaining about things.

You do raise the issue of trying to use property destruction and violence as being self-defeating, but to me this is subjective, because there are alot of things that deserve to be smashed and destroyed.

4 Answers

+4 votes

Some points worth  considering:

1. Being accused of a thing by the authorities does not make the thing fact.

2. Creating moments of chaos and disruption could arguably be seen as furthering the goals of some anarchists. Many insurrectionary anarchists speak of moments of rupture, where day to day functioning of society ceases and conflict creates momentary openings in to a different world. Increasing frequency of disruption tends to grow not only in temporality, but also in what, for lack of a better term coming to mind, I will call boldness. The author AG Schwarz has counterposed this concept of "signals of disorder" to the broken windows theory of policing.

3. Why wouldn't anarchists participate in such actions? During the Anti-WTO protests in Seattle, many not anarchists were swept up in breaking windows, fighting cops, looting. Why wouldn't anarchists get in on the fun?

4. Describing an action as petty is an easy way to dismiss something. Throughout time people who have suffered the brunt of oppression and domination have found small ways to get theirs, to "talk back", to get over. Certainly smashing a window doesn't cause capitalism to magically end (but maybe the next window is the magic one.. we just need to keep smashing!), but it might be something I can do to signal my general dislike of the current situation.

answered Nov 26, 2017 by ingrate (21,110 points)
edited Nov 26, 2017 by ingrate
Ingrate, obviously point 1 is a very real possibility, in fact given the way the governments of the world work, a very real probability. How easy is it to get a few mindless fools to wave an anarchist flag or just tag those who lead the destruction as "anarchists".

Point 2, "where day to day functioning of society ceases and conflict creates momentary openings in to a different world", any examples? I see no lasting difference. It's more like throwing a small pebble into the ocean.

Point 3, the cops always gain a win in these situations, even when they step back and wait as I witnessed in the London riots during 2011. The cops still made arrests after the chaos died down. The cops got more powers. So that doesn't work out in reality. The real point is I suppose, the majority of people were outraged and wanted revenge, wanted the rioters locked up for decades. So rioting just seems to backfire. As governments and police, and the army just get more power, and more public backing to use brutal force.

Point 4, it would take so very many shop windows to be broken for that to be a kick in the balls to capitalism. The reality is all the shops are insured, so business will carry on as usual. To hit a government would mean we'd have to end the money grab via taxes. Smashing a window or even a hundred windows isn't going to do anything constructive. In fact it props up the system as the builders have to go in and repair it all, so the government is cashing in again by collecting even more tax money.

I was watched an old documentary recently: "Japan, Memoirs of a Secret Empire", where one farmer had enough of the authorities after they kidnapped and tortured his daughter as he couldn't afford to pay the taxes. So he lead a rebellion and killed all the authorities and all the locals took over the running of the province (until the government sent in the big guns). That is the problem I see with petty actions. Surely we have to be reasonable and convince others that they can run things without governments, and without bully boys dictating.
hey cb - thanks for engaging in good faith. I will respond, but it might be a minute.
Okay... try number two at a reply: Not because your response is bad or something of that sort, if I thought it didn't deserve a response, I would just be shitty and dismissive, but because my brain has been elsewhere. At this point I need to distract or snap it out of where it has been, so here we go. I am responding point by point, but I fear that this is going to create an antagonistic discourse, which is not my goal, although my goal is definitely to challenge. Please read with that in mind.

1. I am glad we can agree that the state is not always the most reliable narrator. We should also be careful to not fall in to the practice of dismissing actions that don't correspond with our particular goals or perspectives as being those of agents provocateurs or not-anarchists. I have seen this happen far too often (most often by pacifist anarchists or leftists who have a particular agenda or program they are pushing.

2. I am not coming from a place of believing we are going to change everything. The ocean is unrelenting, all we can do it kick rocks.

3. Yes. And no. I am unconvinced that there is one way to attack (yes more riots, but more riots smart and strategic). Technological advances and state-funded research on tactics mean we are always in an uphill battle. Do you propose holding signs and having communal dinners as a solution to this? It is just a losing game, and we need to be real about that. We aren't going to win the masses over with good ideas or right deeds. If the masses come around (and that is a very unlikely if) it will not have anything to do with what anarchists are up to.

4. This is indisputable, and sometimes watching plate glass windows drop just feels good.

Anarchy needs to be unreasonable. When we start to try to compromise to convince people or win converts, that is exactly the moment that we lose the fight.

Ingrate, no problem with me, as I said to Bornagainanarchist, I'm trying to get to Truth as it seems obvious that the cliche is correct; truth will set us free.

1. I'm not being dismissive just suggesting that attacks on buildings, people, won't work out long-term. It seems so obvious that the government would just come down harder and harder. Look what they did to the Native Americans for instance. So the suggestion is, take another route.

2. If change was not possible, why bother? Why not just live like everybody else and stop giving yourself hassle and hardship?

3. No, I don't see holding banners, walking on marches, or having peace picnics as an answer; if that's what you mean by "holding signs and communal dinners".

You're probably right, the masses won't be convinced by good ideas or good deeds. That's why we have to find ways of undermining the whole structure of the social order so that the masses will go with the flow. And, not be too obvious about being anarchists!

4. I'm not talking of compromise, that's just playing the game of the dominant social order as compromise is about deception not honesty. What I meant by reasonableness is sort of like Burning Man on a huge and permanent scale (on more fertile land though).

cb, it seems like you've taken this discussion into a right/wrong mode...you keep insisting "why not do something different than smashing windows, etc."....as if some "answer" will be the correct one....

and i don't think anyone here has advocated doing one thing over another,  or saying that your suggestions don't appeal to people (including myself)....

but people do smash windows and buildings for their own reasons and impulses, and they may receive things that they want out of that...it's not about finding some perfect solution to me.

i've tried talking calmly, thoughtfully, openly, to many family members and friends about anarchy and no rulers, no money, no government, etc....to only receive looks of astonishment at times and downright anger and judgement of me during others...that has made me feel like smashing a few things myself at certain times...

when you say "why not just live like everybody else and save yourself the hassle and hardship"...i'd say because you prefer doing what you do (whether smashing windows, or like me, living against authority in my own ways such as not using money very often, which usually involves people getting mad at me) because you receive something from it that you want, you prefer living that way to what everyone else is doing.
CB - again, thanks for responding in good faith, I really appreciate this, even while I disagree with most of your assumptions, starting with the idea that there is a particular truth to be found. I am absolutely steadfast about my core beliefs, and I don't think that my knowing those are right would change the minds of my enemies.

"Enemies" is a strong word, and that could be a further interesting discussion... I will leave it for now.

Like baa commented, I am not at all opposed to the idea of people engaging in projectual endeavors beyond attack and make total destroy. I actually think that is an important thing. I am not, irl, a Molotov-throwing black-clad firebrand (I have a grey hoody on right now, b/c my black ones are in the laundry). I do however think that anarchists miss the mark when they start to look at promoting politics based on a palatable menu to pick from. The very thing we bring to the table is that we reject limitations.

I like your evocation of Burning Man. I mean, I am not a burner, and fuck that garbage, but you are touching on what I have taken from Hakim Bey/Peter Lamborn Wilson's ideas of temporary autonomous zones (I fucking can't stand PLM's writing style, but he has produced some interesting ideas)... I think the problem is that once a thing becomes codified, static, it becomes exactly what Burning Man is now. Fertile land would just mean more space for fields, factories and workers, and that shit is what I want to destroy.

I have more thoughts, but I need a little minute to get them sorted. I like this conversation. It is making me run up against some real world things in a way that is uncomfortable. Being uncomfortable is good.
I think that all convictions come from dogma. I maintain a working ethos through which I navigate (mitigation of suffering / dignity), but I don't have set or fixed "pivot-points" for my praxis. Currently, I'm interested in getting working class white families to go more anarchistic than fascist. This is not because I am a leftists. It's because I have a savior-complex, and I feel for people.

I'm exploring Mutualism and Socially Conservative Anarchy for this reason (low-income whites), while trying to figure out if I can make an income designing funny t-shirts.

edits for grammar
cb: is burning man a model you seriously want to build upon? capitalist project (costs big bucks to get in), paid security force, mass society, huge/loud unnecessary energy usage (generators up the wazoo), ...

if i were looking for a model based on existing gatherings (i am not), i would look more towards the rainbow gatherings from a decade or two ago (recent ones have become largely pathetic urban scenes moved to the forest). but realistically, i would more likely look at the bolo'bolo concept as a starting point for creative living that doesn't immediately look like typical modern human lifeways.

also: do you subscribe to the idea that there is some universal, objective "truth"? how about a universal, objective morality?

Bornagainanarchist, right and wrong is so obviously a matter of perspective. I'm really not making judgements, just pointing out the consequences of an action if it were to take place, and people keep this alive so I feel it my duty to replyimage

I remember a question on here that went something like, would you let your kid stay up all night habitually? On one level it seems a dumb question, but on another if people take hierarchical issues to the extreme it could become something way more serious. The way some Christians won't let doctors treat their kids saying; "God will save em, back off before I whack you with my Bible".

Anyways, that question about kids staying up all night, or forever, or whatever, it reminded me of when I used to want to touch the flame on my moms candles. She said go close but not too close, and then a little closer. Then she said if you go too close it will be a hundred times hotter, and really sore. So would it be anarchic to allow a kid to burn their fingers just because they want to do it, or to teach them a lesson? Or would it be anarchic to advise and let them decide? If they went ahead would you be a tyrant for pushing their hands out of the way of the flame?

You've introduced one aspect I've wanted to get into all long too; emotions, and how much emotions influence or even force our actions.

Again, it's not about right or wrong. Of course when people are angry they want to smash the thing that seems to make them angry, but what if there are alternatives, one's that don't harm you or anybody else? That's what I'm looking into.

What if it's not the government, not the capitalist system, not the cops, etc, that are the problem? What if it's people that are the problem, not anything else?

If we demand change, or try to change other people, nothing will change will it? I'm not saying you were trying to force the issue, but people are reluctant to change their lives because they think they're safe in their positions, with their jobs, with their house, whatever. They look around and say, “what could be better than the good 'ole U.S of A?” So if people are caught in a delusion, what can we do? I think we've got to change what we can, and the only thing we can; our own self. It seems to me that is real anarchy.

A few weeks ago it was like a moment of real clarity; if I'm angry I'm angry. Meaning, I am the anger not something or somebody has caused me to be angry. It's the same if I'm horny. It's not because some girl is super hot and so attractive, it's because I'm horny.

What I'm saying is that nothing outside our self is the cause of how we feel or think ultimately. Everything is self generated and self generating. That's not me saying life is great and the capitalist system or the communist system or whatever, is fine and dandy. Our problem is how do we live in a dishonest world when everybody around is either asleep, ignoring it, or desiring it.

By participating in it we sustain it. It's like having an allergy and keeping on exposing yourself to the allergen. That's what I'm saying about rioting and stuff like that, it feeds the problem, keeps it going because the government takes action, gets more cops, more guns on the streets, more surveillance, or whatever. So to end the problem you make it a no problem. All anarchists disappear, and there's the real change.

Maybe that sounds a bit mad, but then again, maybe if we go though it more it will be much clearer.

If we're happy people are more likely to think; "I'll have some of that". It's like my mom saying the other day "what's got into you, a new girl" and I was like "what?". Because I feel much better about the world than I did before, and it shows.

Maybe there is an answer, maybe by saying to yourself there isn't is a self defeating action which blocks the answer?

Ingrate, there's truth to be found alright. Like, the truth of the capitalist system is easy to find if we sort through all the justifications and deceptions we reach a point beyond any error of judgement or interpretation or possibility of question. The Truth of the capitalist system is that it's based on a false premise, is totally unsustainable and completely unfair to all, even to those “who have it all”.

So, that's what I'm after, the end of the road, where no one can turn back. The only option being, journeying into the wonderful wilds, the unmapped ground.

Maybe enemies is too strong a word. It's like at school talking to others about these things and when I said “money isn't real”, they're all like; “are you nuts”. They just react instantly and defensively without really realizing what they're doing. Probably most cops and politicians are the same. They obviously believe in what they're doing and the way it has to be done, and while that's going on, it will go on inside them making them do whatever. I think if we think in terms of enemies, we're going to give our self a hard time too by creating self inflicted damage.

I don't really think a “more palatable menu” would work out either. I've read lots about other ways of living like the Amish. They've beaten the system in their own way, haven't they? I'm not saying that's an ideal way, but that other things are possible without being directly confrontational, and still coming out on top. Is that naïve?

I don't think things have to become codified in an overall sense where laws become of prime importance like our society and prior societies have made them, but there will probably always be some general agreements about living together. I think the problem with our society is it wants to be static. It's like with new technologies for instance, they're held back by the previous laws, and the previous values, by previous models of industry, etc. It's like the way they're trying to regulate the Net and make it about property again.

The “fertile land” comment was a bit of a joke, but relevant too. How do you see an anarchists living, in isolation? Fertile land means food, shelter, ease. A natural habitat for human beings. Why introduce factories, workers? I wouldn't replicate this craziness if I was beginning something new that's for sure. Somebody went into this a little bit in another thread, and I remember thinking “Yes, that's how it could work out”. They were talking about no money just co-operation and technological advancement leaving us to live our lives rather than having to work.

My own thoughts have had a good shake up these past few months since reading about anarchy, not so much uncomfortable, but taking another look at how the world is and how it could be.

Vinegar, maybe convictions could easily become dogma, maybe conviction can come by seeing the truth of whatever too.

Funkyanarchy, what I said was “sort of”. That means; kind of like, it means; loosely based on, etc. I quite like the original principles as they're not too intrusive. I wouldn't classify Burning Man as an extension of capitalism, more another consequence. As for their growing list of rules, no one has to go if they don't agree with it. Anyway, that was the first thing that popped into my head, and so I used it as an “as if”.

Every social order that I know of has it's faults; native tribes, religious communities,etc, and history is littered with bloody battles and endless fighting due to one group thinking they are better, and more right than the others!

What caught my eye as well was; "mass society", is there an alternative unless there is a massive die off of human beings?

I think we're too subjective to get at real objectivity, but I'm not dismissive of a universal truth, just the way our mentality is shaped it would be difficult to unravel all the thoughts, emotions and feelings we have about everything. I've been watching my emotions more lately and they influence every aspect of my life, if I can call it my life as emotions seem to get there first!

cb: If we're happy people are more likely to think; "I'll have some of that".

yeah, i assumed that too, but...

i haven't had much of that experience (especially over the past three or four years)....i've found that most people i know seem sort of put off by my general happiness....they tend to think "he isn't living in the real world", or "sure, if i lived like a bum, i might feel more at peace, but i'd still be a bum"....in many cases, people feel resentful and judgmental of the contentment i feel as a result of giving up authority, money, wanting laws, acting authoritatively around their kids (yes, they'd rather have me act more authoritarian around their daughters and sons, not less),  and instead enjoy staring at full moons and mocking advertisements....

i would like it if things happened a little differently, but in my life, so far that hasn't happened much (once in a while i get surprised, but not often).

"What if it's not the government, not the capitalist system, not the cops, etc, that are the problem? What if it's people that are the problem, not anything else?"

government, capitalism, cops, .... they are all made up of people. of course people are the problem. that doesn't mean the institutions, processes, ideologies, technologies, etc that people have come up with aren't problematic as well. 

"What caught my eye as well was; "mass society", is there an alternative unless there is a massive die off of human beings?"

well, i personally think there are far too many people on the planet, and i strongly suspect that a massive die-off is inevitable, likely (at least partly) a result of human choices and behaviors. but regardless of the actual number of people, mass society as a (imposed, from my perspective) way of organizing human life requires so much that i find antithetical to my own desires for a liberated life: homogenization, centralization, control, laws, economics, scarcity, war, imperialism, subjugation, etc etc etc. while i have no illusions that any lifeway has the potential to be perfect, i would much rather see humans organized in MUCH smaller autonomous social groupings (tribes, clans, whatever). i feel fairly certain that as long as mass society exists, my anarchic desires can only be realized to the extent that i can detach and distance myself from it.

"I think we're too subjective to get at real objectivity"

is "objectivity" desirable to you? do you see subjectivity as undesirable?

edit: where i used "subjugation" above, i meant subjugation of the individual to the mass(es).

cb-

This is only addressing parts of your most recent comment, and I am sleep-deprived this might suck, I will come back, and will more fully address stuff and things.

There are truths like gravity. There are truths like the half-life of uranium. When we start to speak of truths of capitalism, as much as I am an anti-capitalist, I am honestly less sure that speaking of "truth" translates so well, to quote the best musical in the world (the classic, and must-be-seen Andrew Lloyd Weber rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar​1),

"But what is truth? Is truth unchanging law? We all have truths. Are mine the same as yours?"

 In the US, the Supreme Court just heard a dispute between a couple who wanted to buy a wedding cake, and a fella who didn't want to sell them a wedding cake, because the soon-to-be-weds were gay. On the surface, this is pretty clear, fuck the business owner who doesn't want to make a cake for queers. Homophobic businessman refuses product to well meaning loving couple. On this level, I think the problems with truth are pretty clear: If one accepts free association, that also includes free disassociation. If one rejects that state, that also includes rejecting the state when you like it. So, do we take the side of the bigot-cakes because absolute truth? Do we accept the gay husbands because queer? Is it even queer if they are getting married? What if I am the cake-maker and it is some Nazis who want to wed? I know damn well where I stand on this, up until the state gets involved.

Shit... I set this dilemma up and am unsure where I fall if I am inserted in it. I can argue that fuck the law, free association and dissociation override state influence, and that is pure. I can also look at the state of things in the States, and acknowledge that we are not at a clear place of purity of ideals. Plus, what about those of us who are more inclined to accept as truth that we need to destroy civilization altogether? Is the truth of knowing that modern technics are incompatible with actual anarchy going to work for all the anarchists? Even all the anarchists I am friends with? The true answer is no. And if that prompts you to tell me about why technology is neutral, and why it is about who is at the top making decisions, you lost that argument. 

1. Please forgive the white Jesus, I always identified more with Judas Iscariot anyway, way hotter, reasonable seeming, and a better singer. What I love about this musical is that no one is quite as truly or purely anything as most folks got taught. For full reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZv2c7U8Qq8. Of course, it should be pointed out that one could apply this same metaphor to any lil' sectarian splits, so if you identify either too much with either arch-character (Jesus/Judas) you prob need to examine why...

just to be clear - my sympathies don't go with Judas to the snitch part... Just, I better understand his motivations than some guy who is like, "we should be good and ignore the realities of this life as we have to suffer it."

Bornagainanarchist, isn't happiness what everybody's chasing? If they see there's a real alternative, one that works to give everybody happiness, and isn't dependent upon conditional terms, isn't demanding and draining their energy and time, wouldn't they want some of that too? What anarchy needs is a decent PR job;

A few times I've noticed you've mentioned living off very little money or not wanting to use it as much, I think that is another question I'll have to put to the forum users. I did try that with a question about income as I'm interested in the way anarchists earn and use money as it's pretty much obvious that pretty much everybody is a slave to money, and to their job as a way of getting money.

You're not one of those wolfen anarchists are you?... “enjoy staring at full moons and mocking advertisements...”. I can just see you now, full moon running up to a billboard howling and howling.

cb, i don't quite understand your response.

you ask me questions about "wouldn't people want some of that?"....but  i keep telling you, in my experience, i haven't found anyone wanting anything related to anarchy (whether i call it that or not).

have you had much experience at telling people how much better off they'd be without government, compulsory school, money, laws? because i have, and it goes nowhere.....like i said, it usually ends up with people either thinking me crazy, uninformed, or dangerous.

the people i've told already see my alternative....one that leaves me mostly content and with much less stress, with more creativity and general health....and for whatever reasons, they mostly don't like it, or feel fearful of it.

so i don't spend much energy trying to convince anyone of the joys and benefits of anarchy these days....i prefer to live it as much as i can, and hopefully, find a few people out there who already have some desire for living and relating much differently....

me, wolfen? no, i feel more kinship with woodpeckers than wolves...and i purposely live nowhere near any billboards!

Funkyanarchy, “government, capitalism, cops, .... they are all made up of people. of course people are the problem. that doesn't mean the institutions, processes, ideologies, technologies, etc that people have come up with aren't problematic as well”. 

What I meant was we've got to make it personal, relate to the people who are in government, are cops, are in whatever position they think gives them the right to tell us what to do, to force people into wars or whatever. But if we use violence, that's not going to work out, we have to come up with solutions that have people appeal, but as I said before without compromise.

Anyways, that's my thinking, These are people, and people can be reached... the impossible is always possible.

Unless there's another world war or an outbreak of some kind of killer disease worldwide, I don't know what will get the population numbers down. But do the numbers really matter? Why does a collective large or small have to become authoritarian? Is it so inevitable? If we look at history it's the brutal and cunning males who have taken power, taken control, but what if everybody said “okay, enough of that shit, let's live in peace”. But that means we have to understand what peaceful living is.

Basically it's like me living with my family, we all get along, do things together, but I've always had a different outlook to them as I've never just accepted anything. I want to understand why I have to do things or why things are the way they are and if I see a flaw in the why, I'll challenge it without being too obsessive. So if I can be autonomous within my family without there being a problem, why can't that work out in a larger setting? What would a mass society or community of autonomous people stop you doing? If your actions didn't cause them harm, why would they harm you? If your actions did harm them, they'd obviously have to do something or allow you to subjugate them to whatever. So it probably takes far more selflessness than we've got at present for real anarchy to work large scale.

Objectivity is desirable to me as it means I base my life on reality rather than my fantasies or other people's fantasies; i.e. religion, politics, consumerism, etc. I'd say the problem we have with our present mass society is subjectivity, emotions ruling rather than intelligence responding. I'm not saying we should stamp out our emotions, but understand them so that they are not making us do things which a rational person would never do. It's like Bornagainanarchist said about “mocking advertisements”. Most people go out an buy stuff without really needing it or sometimes even knowing why they buy it. That's what advertising is about, hypnotizing people, subjective appeal.

Plus I've noticed how much subjectivity (interpretations/misinterpretations) gets in the way of discussions on this forum. So I'm being more aware of everything, my own reactions, and seeing what they mean.

Truths are truths not truth truth, absolute truth. It maybe true that you think that Opera is the best ever, but that is subjective truth and only true to a few. It's like the people who believe in Jesus. Their truth is their truth because they have to make it truth for it to be truth. So it's not truth, just belief.

Your case about the cake is another example of subjectivity enslaving everyone, not just one side of the argument, but them all. There are simple solutions without getting all high and mighty about a stupid cake (not directed at you so much as at those directly involved).

It's like that though, that would be called a case of rights, but the truth is there are no rights, we just assume we should have rights and be treated in a certain way, and so should everyone. But looking at the way nature works, the truth is, there are no rights. Go for a walk on the Savanna and a lion will eat you up, and your family will say "Poor Funky, just wanted to enjoy his anarchy. How cruel of that lion. Get a gun and shot the god damn thing". Sit in the baking sun and you'll be found very well done after four hours. Could give thousands of examples. Those aren't just truths but Truth.

If we see the error of our own bias our own bias ends. It's like the cake maker, maybe he's a Christian, or a Jew, or a Muslim, and their truth is don't stick your dick up another man's bum, even if he says do it, do it, because god isn't going to like it. Or maybe the guy has an aversion to dicks because he was abused as a kid, or, or, or.

I would say there's no need to destroy civilization as that would be a complete backward step to rule by brute force yet again. Civilization may not be ideal, may not even be that civil, but it's a step in the right direction as is technology. Why have people fought forever? I'd say it's obvious that it's due to thinking they lack something and have to hold on to what they've got or due to thinking they lack something an somebody else has what they want. It's kids stuff really, we've not grown up from that basic stupid selfishness.

It's like you saying modern technics is incompatible with anarchy. I can show you why that is a falsehood, a belief. I could show you why technology is heading in the direction of anarchy as technology used in the right way as in the sense of serving every human, every animal, every aspect of life on this planet will free us all from the necessity of work, free us from our own limitations in the sense of the way we perform physically, even free us from money.

You've just opened up a whole new understanding for me, as I can now see how all this can work out, and I never gave it much thought before. I'll put it up as another question.

As for Jesus, I never believed that when I got it in Elementary, and as there's absolutely no evidence for such a man, I write it off as just another attempt by men to work their way so that the whole world will work their way.

cb, i disagree with almost everything you said in that last comment. your (rather rigid) perspective is absolutely uninteresting to me... i'll leave it at that. good luck with your anarchy public relations campaign.

hey cb - I think you responded in part to fa about stuff I wrote. I am the weird asshole who brought Jesus, etc. into the convo. Really that was prompted by a weird tangential thing based on a quote from only the best musical ever, but could've been avoided if it is too much heavy-handed metaphor or spooks - IDK, I was not raised particularly religious, and so I don't attach nearly as much weight to Jesus/religion as it seems people who were indoctrinated with it have, which seems to be similar to your experience. You should still watch Jesus Christ Superstar.

I was also the one who talked about mass technics (sorry everyone, it was a tick that I used that language, I've been skimming the works of The Dean and his critics lately, related to other pursuits), though I do note that fa brought up critiques of civilization (ones I share, even if our individual takes on them are different). You can put forward all the arguments in the world about civilization being a positive trajectory, fa, and I  (and a bunch of other folks on this site, and elsewhere) can also put forward all the arguments why it is not necessarily so. This is pointless, for the most part...

Except there are folks on both sides who would argue that their perspective is absolutely right. On the green anarchist/anti-civ side, we have John Zerzan and Kevin Tucker (and a host of others). On the pro-civ side we have... well, the list is long. Why I bring this up is that it is people from these polarities that tend to want to do PR campaigns, and to convince people of the rightness of their ideas.

Sure, most of them (on both sides) aren't going to be like, "we should talk to the cops and make them see the light," because whether your red or green, if you are an anarchist and have done anything in the world that involves actually engaging with Johnny Law, it is pretty clear that those humans, those actual people, are not going to suddenly be like, "oh shit. now that you mention it, my systemically enabled position of power, and whatever complex combination of psychology, sociological background, and/or economic needs brought me to want to be the enforcer/savior/bully is totally garbage. I quit. Huarrah for anarchy!" Not that it doesn't happen. I know ex military folks who are anarchists now. I think I might even know someone who once tried to be a cop who is an anarchist. But those are exceptions, just like if a cop or a Christian sat me down to talk to me (and trust, me, I always let the J-Ho's and the Morons, er, -mons in...) about the rightness of accepting whatever the ideas were, and believe me, they are just as convinced of the rightness as you are.

It's late 2017, baby, don't be afraid to hop the nihilist boxcar on the train to hopelessness. Is liberating...

good stuff, ingrate....i especially like your last line.

on the subject of subjectivity, i love it...in a sense i live for the subjective...

i come to this site in part for it...i want to hear peoples' experiences, intuitions, emotional reactions, observations, and their thoughts about all those perceptions....and i like relating mine....i don't really have much interest in the objective, (the concept of "what is").

Ingrate, I must have overlooked the end Funkyanarchy's reply and the beginning of yours, it's an odd layout this forum as it's not linking who's replying to who. No problem though.

I know when there are opposing views there are opposing views, but let's say there was a mass PR campaign, and one side said “we're going to destroy civilization and return to primitive ways where little tribes shall be the only form of society. We offer you a lifestyle more natural, where we'll forage for food and keep an eye out for animals which may attack us, live in houses made with our bare hands as all technology is bad, fend off raiding tribes. It's going to be real, real fun”.

The other group says “society sucks, we all know that, but it has some good points such as the infrastructure, such as technology. We're offering a new way completely, where technology will serve us all; build our homes, produce our food, create clean power for our homes, vehicles, and machines. All technology will be owned by everybody and we'll all have a say in how it develops and how it is used. By using technology we'll be free to really live the lives we want to live, paint pictures, write stories, fool around, whatever, but the main thing is we'll all have all the time in world to be with those we love and forge new friendships that aren't based on exclusive mutual interest.”

Obviously that is very basic introduction, but first impressions, which would have more appeal to the masses?

I'm not suggesting sitting down and trying to convince or convert cops, government officials, etc. I said reach them via means which they can totally relate too. There are certain ways people just close down as soon as they hear certain words, like Jesus, like Anarchy, etc. So maybe a different approach would work, a more subtle approach.

We'll never have real freedom if we don't get together, we'll never have real equality, in fact it will just be as it has been since history began, stuck in a system of selfishness and servitude. By coincidence a friend of mine from Scotland sent me this link about Carne Ross who was high up in the UK's Labour Government who realized anarchy is the way forward. Here's the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6F73Z1BKhIs&t=2932s

Anyways, maybe too enthusiastic, but I don't see technology as anti-nature or being problematic to an anarchic way of life, and so far I've not seen anybody communicate clearly as to why technology can't serve anarchy. So I'll post my question and see what results.

0 votes
Some people think destroying buildings and causing general chaos is anarchy. Some anarchists used to do a lot more than that like throw bombs and assassinate royals. I'm not advocating these things maybe we should be nice and attract people to the thing. My neighbors are as docile as they can be but they're not doing anything that ends oppression. Smashing windows is a publicity stunt that makes world news if it's done in front of TV cameras. More repression makes more radicals.
answered Nov 27, 2017 by Perrier (140 points)
I think the system as it stands has made people docile. We get it all the time from our parents and they've obviously got it from society, be responsible, get a good job, a good house, bring up a family so they can repeat the process. It seems so limited and limiting, but people accept it and look at you if you're mad to question anything.

We're getting more and more repression but that doesn't seem to make more radicals, just more insanity, more people getting into drugs and shit like that. So they're opting out by going to sleep and being completely self obsessed.
+3 votes
1. because they like how they feel when doing it.                  

2. because they relate anarchically when doing it - or at least with a disregard for authority, property, capital.       

3. because they don't consider it "petty" or "self-defeating" as you do.

4. they desire chaos.

5. they want to release the anger they feel caused by authority and capital.

6. they value the present moment of the action more than the idea of a vague future society.

7. they think the action will in part lead to more of the type of society they want.

8. they think other people will get inspired to resist or attack authority in their own way.
answered Nov 28, 2017 by bornagainanarchist (8,310 points)
edited Nov 29, 2017 by bornagainanarchist
Bornagainanarchist, you're right, I should have worded my question better, but hey, I'm just kicking up a pile of dust looking for a golden nugget, a nugget of Truth (if such a thing exists). Now it seem s as if anarchy is open to interpretation and there is no anarchism as such, just a bunch of loosely allied individuals who somehow use that term.
Human, all I'm doing is questioning the answers, why is that a problem? I'm not laying down the laws of anarchy, just saying certain actions have consequences which seem to me totally counter productive to achieving anything really creative and sustainable.

By mentioning rapists and murders is very relevant, why destructive acts do not give freedom but as somebody on this forum said before, they'll bring pain, they'll bring a desire for control and laws. That's why I say smashing things up will only end in greater repression for everybody, not just anarchists. Look at the way the governments of the world have used ISIS to impose greater controls on us all. That's what they do. Greater control will never end in freedom, just more and more invasive ways of snooping, of ending our freedom of movement, and everything.

That was my point, let's not stop at an answer which isn't really an answer. Just accepting any answer is acceptance. I do not accept that which will result in the loss of my freedom. I will find ways to gain my freedom by creative ways, and I will continue to encourage others to do that too.
cb, so i understand that you don't really want an answer to this "question" of yours....no problem....but you have mine anyway.
bornagainanarchist, I mentioned rapists and murderers in response to the first line in your answer as those who have sex with the one they love, or just have sex for the sheer delight, are not being destructive but generating good feelings that make them feel good, and they want to repeat that in a way which will be beneficial to each other.

I'm not saying people in a riot, or out smashing windows, or whatever, won't be enjoying it, but it's not really something that can be repeated without coming to a disastrous end; i.e. a shop keeper shooting them, a cop arresting them, etc. That's all my point is, isn't there a better way to change this society rather than violence? What happens if things do break down, will the violent suddenly become unviolent?
as i've said before, i understand your point.

and i don't totally disagree with it.

but you also don't really have a question here....which is why you won't find any satisfactory answers.
+2 votes
The conflict of whether to go forth with political or warlike actions is an age old one. Two really good books that talk about this are atassa and bury my heart at wounded knee.

Atassa is about eco-extremism, which is kinda diverse and vague as a praxis but more or less advocates violence and indiscriminate attack as a means of combating civilization and technology. The book overall contains a lot of criticism of eco-extremism because like ted kaczinsky's praxis and writing, eco-extremism is ideological. In ideologies, there is a tendency to put ideas before the practical considerations of reality.

However, this does not mean that eco-extremism doesn't put forth any valid points about the effectiveness of violent actions. Bury my heart at wounded knee is a book written about the accounts and experiences of native americans during the spread of western civilization on their land during the 1800s. This conflict had already been going on for hundreds of years, and in this book the author documents both attempts at making peace with the whites and merciless warfare. Both approaches had successes and failures, but ultimately you can't expect to get much from reasoning with people who fallow institutional protocals and are very destructive and violent at the same time as the white people were. Much of the book documents the lamenting of native americans about how the white people always break their promises and are too barbaric to try to meet them eye-to-eye.

In a way, the struggles of the indigenous don't have much to do with the struggles of modern anarchists, but in the real world everything is permitted, and you can't reason with force and coercion ("might is right"). Being non-violent and advocating peace doesn't have a moral high-ground.
answered Dec 9, 2017 by Nihilist (-590 points)
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