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+2 votes
I thought of this question in the shower, somehow I got to thinking about the violence/non-violence debate. I think there are important, even crucial questions there, but the conversation around it has felt tired to me for a long time.

It got me wondering about the shifts in discourse that happen over time, at small and large scales. The way that in certain times and places a conversation will have a vitality that later it loses, or that it still keeps but is hard to find under the layers of cruft.

Which conversations in anarchy or anarchy-adjacent spaces feel tired lately? Which feel like they are charged with life and possibility? How has this changed over time in recent years or in your life?

Bonus question: What do you do when a conversation feels tired? Do you move to another topic? Try to dig for where it's still alive? Something else?
by (20.3k points)
To me, no conversations feel tired, and no conversations feel vital. We live in a society where it's considered crucial by many to talk about things, and on the subjective level they are correct. Sayying that some particular conversations are vital seems to accept this idea that theres a greater good, which is something i absolutely do not agree with.

I'm very tired of talking to people on the internet: the content is so easily controlled and it just isnt as stimulating or fun to talk to people in real life.

All i have to say about violence is that its an inevitable part of the universe we live in, some conditions create it and others dont. Theres going to be a lot more "crazy people" who hatch bomb plots because the current conditions say that a lot of people must be isolated and miserable, and that was even the case before the covid thing. I dont really want to hurt other people: id rather just be as benevolent as possible until that becomes impossible.

2 Answers

0 votes
these will probably be more subjective answers even than usual.

topics that are still fascinating but that now i have to be convinced to participate in (by the specific context): sexwork, violence, individual vs group, identity, power

i mix things up (when i can), by having the conversations with people who i trust will allow me some shortcuts (in jargon, for example)--so that we don't have to re-walk all the well-worn paths--and/or by re-framing the conversation, partly so that it avoids trigger words that tend to shortcircuit people's brains. although sometimes it's the use of those words that makes people interested enough in the conversation to even have it... ("why do you want to talk to me about philosophical definitions of 'power' when we could be talking about fascism..." etc).
by (52.8k points)
+2 votes

i like the question.

i'll start by saying that who i am engaging with in a given discussion will usually be more of a factor in how the conversation feels (tired vs vital, etc) than the actual topic, although of course the topic will generally determine how interested i am.

discussions about leftism, cancel culture/idpol, and any ism around choices people make (identity, food, mind-alteration, etc) get boring for me rather quickly. as do many (though not all, and not all the time) conversations about completely abstract concepts. needless to say, discussions with dogmatists get tired very quickly.

some things i can get very into talking about:

  • the false dichotomy of individual vs collective
  • mass society and its impacts (esp on anarchistic tendencies)
  • life without economic systems and transactional relations
  • modes of conflict and resolution
  • practical approaches to creating one's desired life

i suspect i will edit this later, but i liked the question enough to want to post a quick answer.

by (12.6k points)