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Could someone describe a few concise, experiential situations displaying post-anarchism's notion of "network-centric structures of domination that characterize late modernity", or the "poststructuralist understanding of power"?

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Related to this, I've read Goldman and Stirner, but only recently heard of the term "post-anarchism", and have little familiarity with poststructuralist philosophy, or Foucault, Deleuze, Derrida, Butler, Lacan, Lyotard, Newman, Lacan, or Call, whom wikipedia associates with those.
asked May 17, 2010 by anonymous

1 Answer

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Sureyyya Evren, a Turkish post-anarchist, argues that post-anarchism (which non-english post-anarchists refer to as quite simply the "new anarchism", as opposed to the post-structuralist inclined English post-anarchists) emerged around the time of Seattle. This means that there was a loosening of what Richard Day has called the "hegemony of hegemony" toward a more network-based "affinity" logic that motivated the "social movements" of the time.

Within new- or post-anarchism a few key differences are apparent. I'll try to think up a few of them and post them here, knowing very well that I am missing many important points. First, the "place of power" has shifted from centralized locations to "tactical" areas of concern. Anarchists today are less concerned with the State or Class Warfare than they ever were, instead there are many different irreducible struggles that differ depending on the social actors. Eastern Canadian anarchists have entirely different struggles than Western Bay Area anarchists. Second, the "operation of power" has changed. Anarchists are now more aware than ever that power does not only oppress people but it also constitutes them, creates them in resisting subjects. The more radical sects (anti-civ, nihilist, post-left, etc) seem to be more aware of this than any other of the branches in anarchist thought. Third, power is now understood, as a result of the last point, to be moving in more than one direction. So, whereas the tradition understanding was that power came from one single location, only repressed movements, and moved unidirectionally to do so, today, subjects are thought to actually have power and this point is dramatized. This is why there is a strong emphasis on Stirner in the post-anarchism literature. Who believed to have more power than him?

But these are the points that mostly English speaking anarchists address. And it would be inaccurate--wrong I would say--to say that post-anarchism = post-structuralism plus anarchism. Non-english post-anarchists including Anton Fernandez de Rota, Daniel Colson, Sureyyya Evren, and others, have argued that post-anarchism is represented by the following equation: "post-anarchism plus something other". They have went even further and suggested that if one is anarchist *today* then one is also a *post-anarchist*. This makes sense to me, there is a real movement today by anti-post-anarchists toward cultural studies approaches. Jesse Cohn, for example, argues that the cultural studies has always been the *anarchist* approach. This is a post-anarchist type of thing to say.

post-anarchist networks are quite simply anarchist networks today. The affinity group still appears to be central to this understanding. New ways of conceiving solidarity, especially among the EGS crowd and in central to western Canada fall in line with this understanding. Computerized resistance and hacktivism falls in line with this understanding, as well as the resurgence of insurrectionary anarchism in greece and elsewhere. Michael Truscello and I once had a brief conversation about whether or not post-anarchism is anti-organizationalist and, by virtue of this fact, insurrectionist. I believe that it is, and it would be very difficult to suggest otherwise. The platformist and workerist groups that still exist today cling on to dead dreams and they are irrelevant to the anarchism of today.

This means, of course, that anarchism today (post-anarchism) is as impotent as traditional anarchism ever was. So it does not get us anywhere by itself. Post-anarchist networks, as I am arguing in an upcoming publication, remain committed to a curious anarchist ethics and therefore rejuvenates the anarchist tradition by forcing it to reflect on what has always made it distinct from other political traditions. Facebook is not in of itself a post-anarchist form of network and post-anarchists are not so much interested in describing new forms of social network as they are in finding ways to cope and resist in a world of networks while remaining committed to that latent ethical agenda that we call anarchism.

Hope this helps. No time to read over what I wrote and edit it..
answered Jun 1, 2010 by Saint_Schmidt (2,450 points)
"This makes sense to me, there is a real movement today by anti-post-anarchists toward cultural studies approaches. Jesse Cohn, for example, argues that the cultural studies has always been the *anarchist* approach. "
is this correct? the first sentence seems to contradict the second one.
Yes it makes sense. I have argued elsewhere that many anti-post-anarchists nonetheless tend to display post-anarchist sensibilities. Jesse Cohn is a post-anarchist and he will take me to hell for calling him one. It is very difficult to stray from this understanding given the world we live in..
i guess i just wish you'd fleshed that out a bit more, given the contradictory nature of the statements you're making. but i understand better now.
Those who are bold enough to speak without making contradictions should spend their time fleshing things out. But srsly, I know its poorly written and hard to follow.. I do what I can with the time I have..
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