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+4 votes
what are the arguments we use against each other?

for example, sindicalists are considered by some to be too reliant on work as a thing that defines people, and so limiting the change that needs to happen to have an anarchist society.

post leftists are criticized by left anarchists for rejecting important allies, allies who are necessary to make change in the world.


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by (53.1k points)
i'd have to point out two different senses of the word 'anarchism' come up for me.

1. an ideology. an idealized road-map to follow on way toward a particular idealized destination.

2. simply a statement of where i am presently.  'my anarchism,' the language used in order to convey my perspective to others in any moment.
and i wonder if people who argue with one another (and criticize each other) about which "kind of anarchism" they desire live much differently from one another.

in other words, do the differences amount to not much more than arguing points (like republicans and democrats), or do people actually lead much different lives and experience things in any significantly different way as a result of their particular brand of anarchism?

I tend to like anarchists who don't choose a particular tendency they align themselves with but who see connections between and who are interested in all the different ways of thinking.

The only anarchist branch that has had no appeal for me whatsoever is pacifist anarchism, because i don't like pacifism in general, it's a fetish. I like green anarchism because we can't exist without the  non-human world but am not too fond of the resulting moralism and cultishness, in the end it's hostile towards people who can't live self-sufficiently and people who like the comforts of civilization. I like syndicalism because it gives workers a way to organize but there are some obvious problems with organizing and factory labor in general. I like nihilism because I  hate the society we live in but taken to its absolute as a form of action is pretty suicidal, there's gotta be constructive thinking as well. I like individualist anarchism but an absolute individualism is really depressing...I like anarcho-communism because it defies the idiotic capitalist order but in the end this is an unclear term.

In general I'm hostel towards radical and anarchist communities because they don't offer anything more than what society offers except an added degree of moralism, but i do hope to make more anarchist IRL friends one day

good question dot

ultimately anarchism is a form of idealism, and am not so much of an egoist/individualist to reject all idealism, i feel like I need it to survive, it's kinda like "hope"

I don't really like the social anarchisty types because they seem to be really worker centric and all about replicating current society in ways. At least that's how I interpret it. I don't really see that as a positive thing, but to each their own or whatever the saying is. I don't really like being around them, but then again, I don't like being around people in general, so that probably doesn't say much.
i forgot to add that i don't like anything associated with leftist politics, im really sick of it, and it needs to die out...however, i still see some value in civil-liberty politics and environmental regulation. They both have created problems for both law enforcement and corporations...that combined with more anarchist practice would work the best IMO

1 Answer

+4 votes
this is a great question, and could get a lot of answers/comments.

i personally have noticed a pretty hard line being drawn between anarchists who have some sort of post-left critique, and anarchists who don't (left anarchists, social anarchists, class war anarchists, anarchists from/stuck in the last century, etc).

the latter (i'll call them social @s) tend to claim that post-left @s are not really anarchists; we've seen it numerous times on this site. some common disagreements between pl@s and their leftist counterparts include:

- pl@s don't elevate society (the greater good, the people, masses, workers, etc) above the individual. which is not to say they are all individualists.

- pl@s don't idealize work and workers, nor see workers (or any class) as "the revolutionary subject".

- pl@s don't tend to focus on building mass movements.

- pl@s don't limit their perspective to the realm of economics and it's central position in life (to the point where many question the entirety of civilization).

my (admittedly simplistic, and not at all complete) take on this particular rift is that social @s tend to identify so strongly with "the left" - and its history - that any challenge is seen as an attack on their identity (which is, of course, a mass identity). what sometimes shocks me is how adamantly they deny that anything other than their leftist perspective could possibly be anarchistic.

no thoughtful anarchist i know would deny the historical ties between anarchy and the left; they just don't assume that leftist ideology is the only possible way to think about anarchy. pl@s i know try not to be rigidly bound by the ideological constraints of history; there is no rigid blueprint that must be followed by all anarchists.

no doubt there are pl@s that also turn that tendency into an ideology, and even get dogmatic about it. but most that i know seem to have a fairly well balanced relationship with the ideas, and with their own individual identity.

just some initial thoughts...
by (13.4k points)