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+6 votes

2 Answers

+4 votes
in "From Politics to Life:ridding anarchy of the the leftist millstone", as part of defining what a break from the Left would entail (the Left being political) Wolfi Landstreicher says:
"The rejection of a political perception of social struggle; a recognition that revolutionary struggle is not a program, but is rather the struggle for the individual and social reappropriation of the totality of life. As such it is inherently anti-political. In other words,it is opposed to any form of social organization — and any method of struggle — in which the decisions about how to live and struggle are separated from the execution of those decisions regardless of how democratic and participatory this separated decision-making process may be."

Guerre au Paradis says this about a nihilism that would be embraced by today's nihilists:"When the nihilists of the 19th century threw their bombs into crowds, they were acting from the expression of a pure negativity, from a radical and global refusal of society, anxiously awaiting the end times, the end of the world, of making a definite end to a life devoid of sense. There was something to destroy. More precisely: everything was to be destroyed. "

and Voline says:"But the true basis of “nihilism” was a sort of characteristic individualism. Risen, first, as a normal reaction against all that, especially in Russia, crush free and individual thought, its bearer, this individualism ended by renouncing, in the name of an absolute individual liberty, all the constraints, all the shackles, obligations and traditions imposed on individuals by the family, society, customs, mores, beliefs, etc... Complete emancipation of the individual, man or woman, from all that could attack its independence or the liberty of its thought: such was the fundamental idea of “nihilism.” It defended the sacred right of the individual to complete liberty, and the inviolable privacy of existence."

i see anti-political as a large category that includes nihilism as a sub-category.
by (53.1k points)
So for other anarchists is anti-politics simply the departure from the Left? That makes sense. I didn't consider that. I may have lost some perspective.
post-left and anti-political are related sure, but i wouldn't say they're synonymous. post-left is a a label for a specific argument taken up by a smallish group of people. anti-political is a name that is perhaps only used by a small group of people, but a name that refers to a huge raft of behaviors and ideas. but maybe i just think of them that way because of how i have been exposed to them. as both terms get further away from their origins, i guess they do start to seem like the same thing.
–3 votes
to me nihilism is a perspective with overemphasizes negativity and it is related to pessimism. anti-politics is a concept that implies a negation or criticism of mainstream politics but anarchists can be creative and positive people in the sense of Nietzsche who talked about "creating new values". A self-managed social centre is an example of anti-politics in practice but at the same time it is an alternative social and political space and so is something positive and creative.

It seems to me that an emphasis in a relationship of anarchism with "nihilism" is something that helps the system in pepetuating a stereotype of anarchists as merely destructive negative people without an alternative vision to offer to the current system.  It might be my personal anarchist perspective but if someone asks me to give them an actual reality that could give one a good idea of what anarchism is about it is clear that i will not show that person pictures of black blocs smashing store windows but a Self managed social centre or a workers cooperative.
by (3.3k points)