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What is your relationship to 'winning'?

+7 votes
I'd like to hear people's thoughts on how they conceptualize anarchist victory and how much that conceptualization plays into their daily lives, goals, etc.

For example: Do you think of victory as being creating an anarchist society? On what scale? Or is it a personal struggle? Is it a point that can be reached or a tension and attitude that runs through life?
asked Feb 12, 2015 by flip (4,790 points)
edited Feb 12, 2015 by flip
It's a good question flip.  But to be honest, i don't know, and  i don't think about it.
At this point in my life, i'm so disillusioned that everything you mention is alien to me;  at other points, each of those may have been appropriate.
Does the delusion of being part of a 'greater' whole give someone purpose in their daily lives?  Or does it set them up for irretrievable disappointment when their empty expectations piled up upon empty promises comes crashing back down on their empty little lives?
to me, the concept of "winning" (in the context i think it is being used here) is just another form of expectation. and expectations are good for - and lead to - one thing, primarily: disappointment.

2 Answers

+6 votes
i think this is a really good question, as it speaks to the issue of continuing to relate as an anarchist or not (not that that's the end all and be all or anything).
people stop being anarchists for a variety of reasons, but i think among them is the sense that there is no achievable victory except of the most superficial kind, unless we think of victory as happening on a personal level.

so, i think of victory on a large level as being impossible in my lifetime (and probably at all). i also think that anarchists frequently revel in being losers (not explicitly), and while that has its charms, it also means that we let ourselves off the hook for figuring out how to to difficult things. (i can't think of a good example off the top of my head, but something like saying "that's not anarchist" instead of trying to figure it out anyway).

some initial thoughts.
answered Feb 17, 2015 by dot (57,790 points)
"people stop being anarchists for a variety of reasons"

Perhaps this has to do with the host  of unexamined expectations buried within that desire for mass 'victory' and these expectations arise out of some need to identify what one *is* rather than 'anarchist' being the best fitting description for what one does; one's life-activity; one's continuous process.

Identity: an internalized blueprint of self-hood.
Though I know we aren't going to win, for some reason that doesn't stop me from living my life as if I didn't know that. It's the only form-of-life that makes sense given how I have always related to the world. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
af: bullseye on "anarchist" as a description of what one does, rather than what one is. an adjective rather than a noun. yes.
+3 votes
I feel for myself, that I cannot even dare to conceptualize being an anarchist on the terms of winning or losing ha. It is impossible to actualize my full desires if, say, I hold an anti-civ perspective. It gets too much into the terms of being reformist or positivist. Both of which I do not find interesting when I look at it from a big picture. However to deal with that, I create goals on a much smaller and mostly emotionally based scale, ie I will go to this antigentrification demo not because I see housing issues as social plight but because I see it at a point of confrontation, a point of antagonizsing something that makes me angry. So I hold that a lot of my actions do not get me closer to a goal of "winning", but they offer me something else that I value.  And I don't think I can quit anarchy because I see the other option as even more boring.

Victory for me is a laugh, it is the bonds formed with people coming together based on hate, and when I find parts of myself that if I wasn't involved in challenging power I would still have locked away.
answered Dec 30, 2015 by selftormentor (840 points)
edited Dec 30, 2015 by selftormentor