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What 'values' does post-structuralist anarchism have?

+1 vote
I'm coming from post-structuralism myself and I'm confused about what positive values or ideals, if we can call it that, are held. I can think of nothing more than horizontality, a practice of non-hierarchy. Any others?
asked Feb 12, 2012 by anonymous
Can you provide a little more insight into the post-structuralist theorists you are asking about?
I'm mostly curious about Foucault.

1 Answer

–3 votes
Oh. Most Post-Structuralists and anarchists have huge divides. First, Foucault is not nor ever was an anarchist. Of the Post-Structuralists who were anarchists. Derrida was a philosophical anarchist (but supported the state in instances like responding to 9/11) and Felix Guattari was an anarchist.

Post-Structuralists are kind of sticklers for demeaning the idea of structural narratives. So, for Foucault this is directly tied to history, identity, and to some extent mental health.

Foucault was prone to horizonitality, but it's more than that. The moment you say, "I have the best platform/theory." You've lost.
answered Mar 21, 2012 by veranasi (430 points)
you make lots of statements in your answers veranasi, that would be great to have more information on. can you explain why you say, for example, that guattari was an anarchist? or what you mean by derrida being a philosophical anarchist (ie, what does it mean to be an anarchist philosophically if your practice is so non-anarchist? does having ideas that anarchists like mean that one is an anarchist?)
i think all of your answers could stand to be better fleshed out, and most could have some source material attached, to good effect.
Felix Guattari identified at as an autonomist, which is pretty damn close. As for philosophical anarchists, they don't need to practice, it's not political, it's philosophical. They aren't politicians, but philosophers. Many philosophical anarchists aren't even sure if anarchism or anarchist revolution is possible right now. They don't believe in the validity of the state, though. Logically, no one can "live like anarchists" since we don't live in an anarchist society, we can only act like participants in the society we live, with sympathies toward something else. It's the difference between Max Stirner/William Godwin and Mikhail Bakunin/Emma Goldman.

Even so, making strict ideological distinctions between anarchism and anything else is binary inducing, and so for Derrida's model, has troubling authoritarian difficulties. But, he does call for the disbanding of the police in "Force of Law" which is similar to disbanding of structural police in his "Structure, Sign, Play."  IT IS the strict binary-inducing difference that separates the anarchic post-structuralists from political anarchists. The notion that we have to practice something, immediately creates an Other that isn't practicing something. Post-structuralists don’t buy into grand ideological narratives, all grand narratives fake their supremacy and function on "being better" than other narratives. As I noted above, the moment you say you have the most correct idea, you’ve lost, you’ve become authoritarian. As evidenced by how often anarchists in-fight over the purest/most correct form of anarchism, anarchism and post-structuralism are usually at odds.

More on Philosophical anarchism:
Against Philosophical anarchism

As for Guattari, he talks about an autonomist form of communism in
Communists like us: