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Are there any interesting analyses or writings regarding friendship from an anarchist perspective?

+6 votes
I'm looking for a lot of things touching on the subject of friendship.

How should friendship be defined?

What are the implications of friendship for anarchists? How can we make friendship "dangerous" or whatever?

How do our friendships (or should our friendships) look different from mainstream bullshit notions of the same thing?

What are the differences between the concepts of friendship and affinity, for example, or friendship and love?

Anything even beginning to touch on these questions would be sweet. I'm also into things that aren't explicitly anarchist in outlook, but which could be amenable to a revolutionary anarchist perspective. Definitely not opposed to stuff that gets into queerness and gender and whatever - in fact, that could be very cool - but I'm hoping to avoid a pile of postmodernist/queer theory jargon that doesn't say anything!
asked Jul 22, 2012 by anonymous
“Learn to reject friendship, or rather the dream of friendship. To want friendship is a great fault. Friendship ought to be a gratuitous joy, like the joys afforded by art, or life (like aesthetic joys). I must refuse it in order to be worthy to receive it.”

I don't have any friends. :(
With that logic, Novatore was friendless as well. ;)

"FRIENDSHIP: Fortunate are those who have drunk from its chalice without having their souls offended or poisoned. If one such person exists, I urge them to send me their photograph. I’m sure to look upon the face of an idiot. "

4 Answers

0 votes
Friendship is sacred, networking is profane.  By networking, I mean working with, rather than against, the fact that career success depends more on who you know than what you know.  Networking in this sense means sizing people up as useful or not, as assets or liabilities, and budgeting your social time accordingly.  Friends are the people you want to spend time with, rather than people you "collect" in a Rolodex™.  Friendship is non-transactional sociality.
answered Jul 31, 2012 by Judizann (220 points)
+2 votes
Yes. One good article is by the Scottish anarchist Jamie Heckert, it's called Anarchism as an Ethics of Direct Relationships and discusses friendship. The book it's in is edited by a friend and very good, but it's published in England so no doubt very expensive over in the US. Some of Heckerts other writings are available here, they may be helpful: http://anarchist-studies-network.org.uk/JamieHeckert
answered Aug 26, 2012 by Buenaventura (310 points)
0 votes
There is a really wonderful Foucault interview called Friendship as a Way of Life that might be relevant. Here is a copy of it: http://caringlabor.wordpress.com/2010/11/18/michel-foucault-friendship-as-a-way-of-life/
answered Sep 26, 2012 by asker (9,880 points)
+1 vote
I think friendship is a kind of what anarchists call "affinity groups" and "unions of egoists". Wikipedia in its definition of union of egoists syas that "The Union is understood as a relation between egoists which is continually renewed by all parties' support through an act of will. The Union requires that all parties participate out of a conscious egoism. If one party silently finds themselves to be suffering, but puts up and keeps the appearance, the union has degenerated into something else." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_of_egoists). As such i will see also that friendhips are related to what anarchists call free association which is different from association one enters without one´s choice such as jobs, family, etc.
answered Oct 11, 2012 by iconoclast (4,600 points)