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+7 votes
by (2.2k points)
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3 Answers

+4 votes
This is an odd question. Perhaps the question you are trying to ask is "what is the role of desire in life?" which is self-evident, no?

Desire is not the result of a functional program of <strong>living</strong> or <strong>politics</strong>. It is something actually felt/experienced. It is the pressure that motivates us to act and is only confused in a culture that confuses bodily desire with all desire.

It is also just a word. A code word as a matter of fact. In twentieth century psychoanalytic thought desire is related to the unconscious (desire for mother) and the conscious (the desire for freedom). In post-situationist thought (from Bey to AJODA) desire is usually a simple substitution for "the freedom to do what you want". Pre-modern anarchists use the word without the amplification of Freud.
by (2.3k points)
+3 votes
the concept of desire does get overloaded and jargonized, but i still think there's something there.

the idea that we move/act from our passions (inherently subjective, obviously) is something that people give more lip service to than actually seem to integrate into their understanding.
my favorite quotation from audre lorde: "the erotic is the nurturer of all our deepest knowledge."
if we gave more attention to how who-we-are creates our world, then i think we'd have different arguments in anarchist circles (as well as other places) - less abstract and theoretical, more flexible.
by (53.1k points)
+1 vote

1) Anarchists desire themselves and rebel against that which might take their selves away from them. That they recognize representatives or authorities can never meet their demands and thus, desire that which will give them the power to endlessly seek the objects of their desire.

The Commune seems to be a major object of desire because in the Commune, anarchists see a possibility for a mode of production and exchange that can facilitate this permissive desiring. In the Commune there is love, community, power, equality, difference, and the satisfaction of needs. Capitalism, the State, and Bureaucracy can't meet the demands of anarchists for the free commune. These forces are that which fill the role of the psychoanalytic "mother" - they can't meet the demands of the anarchist, the anarchist fixates on this lack and it becomes the desire. The Commune is also the psychoanalytic mother, but the present mother that can give the anarchist power over their life: the fantasy - the symptom ...revealing the lack inherent in anarchist desire. The insurrection as negative transference onto such an order, the absent mother: another fantasy and symptom, perhaps of separation anxiety. The conformist, the petit-bourgeois as the psychoanalytic father that naively reproduces the status quo - that which turns the present mother into the absent mother. The status quo has the phallus - the social revolution will give the anarchist the phallus. The anarchist desires society's desire for the anarchist's desire.


2) The Anarchist as Architect - as World-Maker. Since the Subject is also a World, the duel-desire of the anarchist is to return the lost power of agency in the realization of their self-world. Since subjectivity is intersubjective, the self/world-making is a collective self/world-making. The anarchist isn't solipsist ...doesn't desire god-like individual power and loneliness. To struggle, to suffer together until collective self/world-making can be created. Collective Self-Actualization.

3) The role of desire in anarchist philosophy is to demonstrate the extents to which we lack power under the rule of others.

4) The role of desire in anarchist philosophy as aspect of life that can't be enjoyed with the welfare state.

5) Make Total Bullshit!
by (2.5k points)
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