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Welcome to Anarchy101 Q&A, where you can ask questions and receive answers about anarchism, from anarchists.

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+1 vote
I know this might be anathema to individualist strains of thought, but I'm wondering how individualist anarchists would perceive a society. I've read that some see a communist society as the best way to achieve full individual autonomy, while others reject it outright. Even Novatore, who very much had disdain for the "proletarianized," knew that a revolution was necessary. What, then, comes after the revolution?

yes, that is probably what af meant. and i understand the perspective.

i guess i don't see connectedness and interdependence as synonymous with being "part of everything around them". [edit: "connected to" and "part of" are very much not the same, to me.] while detachment is surely not how i would articulate what it means to be an individual, autonomy is (a big part of it). i have no need to declare my autonomy from the bacteria living in my stomach, or the groundwater and rainwater that sustains me (as if i could). but i do need to declare my autonomy from my neighbor, who may share my groundwater (and in some cases, even my bacteria).

(for sure a discussion on autonomy would help here, as well).

[edit: maybe i need to distinguish between biological autonomy and behavioral autonomy?]

so perhaps it would be more accurate to refer to an "individual human"? i cannot see myself referring to my own being (my "self") as a localized relational community.  that just seems like a slippery slope. it starts to sound like biological correctness (ala political correctness).

ultimately, spoken/written language sucks at some things. this must be one.

yes, I agree a definition and/or discussion of autonomy would help.

regarding your statement:

"i guess i don't see connectedness and interdependence as synonymous with being "part of everything around them".

what difference(s) do you see between the two?

funky@, i do think a discussion on autonomy may be significant at this point. perhaps as a question?here, however, i only wish to point out the context of origin as a concept as we tend to discuss it ('western' civilization) and how we tend to use it (causality within linear thinking).

o dear god, i am sounding and writing like emile . ;-) this does deserve a lengthy response though, all kidding aside.

anyway, you wrote two lines which may be helpful to understand where i'm coming from within an intra-human context:

'but i do need to declare my autonomy from my neighbor,'


' i cannot see myself referring to my own being (my "self") as a localized relational community.  that just seems like a slippery slope. it starts to sound like biological correctness (ala political correctness).'

 that you have a neighbor means you aren't free of the relationship, but very much entwined in it. also, i think it's difficult to deny that other facets of our 'self' are at play despite our desires and intentions.

for instance, our race most definitely plays a huge part for our 'self' within these particular social relations. race, as i think we're aware, has no real basis 'in biology,' yet it's most definitely at play in every one of our social relations. this makes it no less powerful. where we move through, how we move through these places, with whom we interact, how we speak and think. here we who lean toward individualist anarchy must be careful, because one of the constant excuses for continued segregation and white supremacy is: "i only see individuals, not race.' which is a load of horseshit and easy to say for white folks who've never really lived around/among people of color and continue to benefit from racial disparity (like, as in our greater freedom of movement; less harassment by the pigs).

this has little, if anything, to do with 'political correctness' as an ideology, but everything to do with the nuts and bolts of our social relationships in the US and Europe...and our sense of 'self.' these meanings and relations are historical and ongoing despite what we think of them, how we value them, and so on, these relations are the water through which we fish swim, particularly if we are white. black folks weren't strung up from trees due to their individuality, nor was land taken from natives due to it, nor can we believe we are perceived, interacted with, solely as 'individuals.' each one of us is conditioned and contextualized whether we like it or  not. if we seek to live a life as free from the domination of others while not dominating others, we simply have to look at these patterns. i think this is a great place to use Stirnerian critique, particularly since most antiracists don't go far enough, imo, in refusing to critique the civilizing process.

as one who tends toward individualist/egoist anarchy (but also green and primitivist strains) i have to look at both the condition within which i live and the context these inclinations arose historically through others: where, who, why, when, how? i simply have no reason to believe that the dichotomy, the antagonism between, individual/society is a universal condition, but is predicated upon certain and particular preconditions in order to arise; preconditions i'd like to challenge on a daily basis. i choose to do this by using individualist/egoist critiques/methods because i find nearly all socially-oriented critiques/methods to be rather ham-handed ways toward (yet, more) domination, vain and rather myopic.

i find this to be great and interesting discussion. i don't have too much time right now, but i want to quickly respond to a couple things.

@baa: i guess the main difference i see between the two (connectedness/interdependence and being "part of") has to do with what i think of as my own autonomy. being a part of some other "whole" would seem to imply that my choices are not solely my own, but must involve the entirety of that "whole" of which i am merely a part. that feels like a reduction/removal of my own "individual" autonomy. being connected (and even interdependent) does not imply that as a given, but merely encourages me to be very aware of the others with whom i am connected/interdependent, and the impact of my own choices on them as well as myself. which honestly, is the way i almost always make my choices.

@af: excellent post, which i agree with almost entirely. i probably need to read it again and spend some time thinking about it, but my quick thoughts:

i absolutely acknowledge that there exists some relationship between me and my neighbor; but i would not say i was "very much entwined" in it. in fact quite the opposite. i would still, in certain situations, consider the impact of my actions on them (connected/interdependent in some way), but i would not feel compelled to alter my willful behavior for them as i would, say, if we were in fact part of the same "whole" (whatever that really means). sure, we share our immediate bioregion, and in some way you might consider that as us being "part of a whole". but given my own autonomy and theirs, that starts to sound like the "whole" is something so vague, nebulous and dynamic as to be virtually meaningless to my actual, lived experience.

also, i brought up political correctness only as way to contextualize my phrase "biological correctness". political correctness would not apply to your point, but i thought biological correctness did. now i am not so sure. though i do really like the phrase. :-)  [edit: sure, next thing i know you'll be asking me to define it and shit. the nerve! ]
quick followup: i personally don't find it necessary to define my "being" as either "connected/interdependent" or "part of a whole". it is sufficient for me to see myself as an autonomous individual being (human, i guess), who has innumerable relationships of many different types with many different (types of) beings. sometimes, i may feel like a "part" of some whole, sometimes not. it would be accurate to say that i exist as part of the "web of life", and i have no problem with that, but as i mentioned, that is so vague and dynamic as to be largely meaningless to me.

1 Answer

+1 vote
i just want to see the human race lose its current obsession with fixed routines and order....and for each person to respect the individuality of all other beings, even if they aren't "treating eachother right" in all circumstances
i meant for this to be a comment but an answer works just as well, lol