Note that the site is in archived, read-only mode. You can browse and read, but posting is disabled.
Welcome to Anarchy101 Q&A, where you can ask questions and receive answers about anarchism, from anarchists.

Note that the site is in archived, read-only mode. You can browse and read, but posting is disabled.


+2 votes
What on Earth is a human strike? Please explain clearly what this means without using a single word that requires further explanation and questions. Theoretically, this shouldn't be too hard.

My current understanding is that the "human strike" is essentially a re-branding of what fans of the "human strike" would otherwise call liberal lifestyle choices such as not reproducing, practicing polyamory, living in communal houses, and similar things. My impression from reading texts talking about the "human strike" is that it is essentially these types of things being re-described, the chief difference between the liberal and tiqqunist radical being a question of attitude and motive. For instance, the liberal does not reproduce because they want more time to themselves to work, have fun, and maybe help an imagined overpopulation problem. The tiqqunist radical does this very same act but describes in such grandiose language, suggesting that this will lead to a catastrophic collapse of the capitalist system because it won't have enough workers (Over an extremely long time period I'm assuming).

Please correct me if I'm wrong about anything I'm saying and add to an understanding of what this "human strike" is supposed to mean and how it's different from these all too familiar and not so interesting things. Thanks!

3 Answers

+1 vote
I recently read "Human Strike within the Field of the Libidinal Economy" by Claire Fontaine (a collective, not an individual). She defines the human strike as "a revolt against what is reactionary even -- and above all -- inside the revolt." "Human strike" in her usage could justifiably be applied to quite a number of actions beyond lifestyle activism. The terminology seems to point to the extension of the concept (and practice, more or less) of strike beyond the realm of labor disputes. The examples Claire provides include the refusal of housework and the obligatory sex (also familiar grounds in radical discourse) on a micro-social level, but she also mentions mass uprisings so the human strike can also take on macro-social proportions.

This is my reading of the text, anyway. I'm not sure of any other people/ texts that have discussed the concept.
by (6.1k points)
+2 votes
I think of it as a deviance from the preordained channels of expected or conditioned behavior. E.g. you don't pay your debts, you don't obey social norms, you don't go to work, or whatever you can do to stress or aggravate the system by allowing the systematic failure inherent and otherwise self evident to manifest in you.

 It seems to relate conceptually from the Frankist influence in Tiqqun, see:

 It is solidarity with the humanity in all of us and by extention all forms of life where humans are part of the world, not The World itself. This one World view imposes itself on all other worlds within it and attempts to order them towards its own aims. We are constantly forced by way of obtaining basic needs for life to amputate ourselves from this inclusive  state of solidarity and being in and of nature "propagating the desert" of post modern civilization.  We exclude ourselves from our possibilities as part of a human community in balance with the natural world as we channel our behavior into acceptable or predictable social behavior dictated by the economy. This socio-economic system can be perceived as projecting itself as the exclusive way to meet your biological needs. This is true for both managers and the managed, and refusal by any willing to refuse, then accreting into consensual social arrangements could hasten and possibly mitigate the severity of the inevitable collapse.

 Human strike is the refusal of doing the predictable and of relying on capitalism or state socialism to provide our basic needs for life. That appears to have been what was going on in Tarnac when the state interfered, itself perhaps terrorized, that this mentality should spread and infect the world with an indifference to the compulsions and dictates of our so called elites on whose behalf the state is constituted.
by (180 points)
edited by
This is a bunch of fluff and bullshit until people actually correspond what they are really doing to a human strike.  When that is done, it will stop being a bunch of vague words about anti-authoritarian freedom and start being a historic practice worthy of examination.
it's just tiqqunerie after all isn't it? It can't be anything but vague or else it becomes presumptuous.   Nobody can tell you how you can or must go on strike or where it is you draw your lines. I could tell you my story but I don't want to be your example for examination because those happenings occurred in my world as a logical result of my desires as they led to my triumph and my failure. To say this entire idea along with its supporting analysis is not worth examination until it is a historic practice implies an essential continuation of the logic which has gotten us here, as though nothing else would be realistic, possible or desireable. I find the opposite to be true.
+2 votes
a fancy term used by sum intellectuals to mean "dropping out"
by (710 points)