To be Critical of Safe Spaces

It is not ridiculous to suggest the absolute necessity of safe spaces. For victims of sexual violence and violence generally, safe spaces serve an important function in guaranteeing the safety of victims of violence. On the other hand, for a victim of sexual violence or some other form of violence or threat, what does it mean to admit an individual whom the space cannot guarantee their or others’ safety by such an admittance?

The problem with safe spaces is that they presume inclusion within a context where universal inclusion is almost entirely impossible. The choice comes down to establishing a safe space or establishing a universal space. Both cannot coexist within certain localized sites of struggle.

The fundamental problem is that safe spaces usually defer into a legalistic arena, for funding among other things, that presumes both. Within the law, which reflects only a blurry often times grotesque distortion of the distribution of power, doing so with the codified patina of equal representation, all prima fasci legal entities must be universally inclusive as well as serve their stated goals. Thus, it is this legitimizing function of the state that degrades the real character of safe spaces. Safe spaces are recognized legally as safe spaces only insofar as they are recognized as such by the sate, a condition which either violates the premise of safety or the necessary requirements of universal inclusion. The legitimate safe space is therefore by definition, illegitimate.

To build communities outside the legitimizing functions of state and law have proven, at least rhetorically, to have been monstrous disasters (yet in some capacity, they mark fundamental advances in the struggle). The absolute contradiction of the state against itself, a proletarian dictatorship, proved much too brutal for liberal petty bourgeois reformers to desire a full commitment, a commitment necessary to truly challenge oligarchies and bourgeois statism.
Meanwhile, the Black Panthers reminded the petty bourgeois reformers of what those commitments would have entailed in word and deed. Accusations of patriarchy and abuse notwithstanding, the BPP leaned closer to universalism than safety.

Safe spaces need to convey these inherent contradictions more clearly to the communities they serve. There needs to be an understanding of the problems in such institutions and these need to be communicated to the wider context with minimal occlusion. Often times, this mechanism of occlusion serves as protection against the prying eyes of the state, for it is in the ignorance of the multitudes that the state can carry on in its legitmizing/delegitimizing role and minimize and/or neutralize popular discontent. The answer is to find with absolute precision those channels of information where by the interpretive schema is sufficiently decoded and revealed to law enforcement and statist mechanisms, and here the flow of information must be absolutely choked off. Meanwhile, it is a fundamental necessity that the interpretive schema be as widely available so as to educate the multitudes and increase their consciousness, not fall into a naive and passive trust, and further their autonomous individual struggles as well as the popular struggle.



"The answer is to find with absolute precision those channels of information where by the interpretive schema is sufficiently decoded and revealed to law enforcement and statist mechanisms, and here the flow of information must be absolutely choked off. "

would you like to expound on this bizarre and deluded statement?

lots of stalinists/maoists around lately. curious theyre hanging around an anarchist website. must be their 'cover'

Or how bout the sentence after it? Naive and passive trust? That's just gibberish.

just stay in east bay and write your hippie shit and everything will be fine. in other words, give up. youve already lost. your 'safe space ' is in berkley with you childs yoga instructor your 400,000 a year job, and your goverment welfare. it is a deep insut to the universe to interfere with a white witch's work. and it will be punished. in eternal return. if i were you id leave well enough alone. IM the one that has to deal with the dead bodies I AM their protector and executor...what you do is of vastly litlle importance comparatively, its just rubbish rhetoric... (to the real world of art anarchism and beauty. THE REALWORLD.

and of statement . do not ever address me again. and if i were you i would stay away from the city. it does not love you. despite recent tech bubble issues, it is still the most open, sensual, european city in the states. it has no interest in the likes of you. keep of that misogynist bpp nostalgia in oogletown, and you'll be fine. then you willl die.

"It is not ridiculous to suggest the absolute necessity of safe spaces."

Very ridiculous. Life in the physical world was never meant to be safe.

"It is not ridiculous to suggest the absolute necessity of safe spaces."

Actually it is. Struggle is not a safe space. Revolution is not a safe space. And when it really goes down, everyone will be in the streets, not just your stupid friends and you'll have to cope with that.

As Bonanno says:

"It is never possible to balance liberatory violence with the conditions of struggle. The process of liberation is excessive by nature. In the direction of overabundance or in that of deficiency. Where have we ever seen a popular insurrection hit the bullseye, clearly distinguishing the enemies to kill? It is a blow of the tiger’s claws that rips and does not distinguish."

Insurrection is not safe, it is the very opposite of safety. It is the opening of a pandora's box of wild reckless violence. But without opening pandora's box we cannot topple the system, that is the basic insurrectionary line. And yes, as he goes on to say, revolutionaries DO distinguish their targets and that's partly what makes them revolutionary. But the point is that you're aiming to create a situation where there is no control and inevitably lots of bad things happen because without that situation the impossible doesn't become possible. Knowing that all these bad things will happen inevitably, is it worth it? I would say that compared to the daily indignity we're forced to live through, it most certainly is worth it. Some, many of whom believe in "safe spaces," probably don't think it's worth it and would rather cower and cry in a corner and obsess about various friend groups not mixing.

Additionally, I wouldn't be surprised if this is secretly written by identity politicians in the Bay or New York as a prelude to justify yet another tragedy, given that more bookfairs are coming up and that's when these wolves like to shed their sheep's clothing. While I don't want further tragedies and more victims of them, I almost kind of hope their horrific actions become more and more clear and hold back less and less in order to make them continue to lose support and show everyone the true consequences of their terrible politics, so that maybe they will gain less sympathy in the future. In the past year that seems to be the trend, let's hope that trend continues and soon after these people's politics die a quick and thorough death.

Thing is 10,000 words long. Whoa, dude!

There is a huge difference between saffer spaces and street insurrections. Your argument is ridiculous because of that difference.

Proletarian dictatorship.....raise the consciousness of the multitude....lengthy amounts of academic sounding gibberish that leave me confused what the gist even is....yup Marxist

There have been lots of constructive groups outside of state legal reach, though many had rules (not the same thing as laws): tribal groups; collectives since the middle ages which were resistant to the norms of church and state (Vaneigem); and also secret societies like the Tong (Bey).

Safety is the product of trust and impossible in groups of more than say, 30 persons. (CAE) Throw alcohol and drugs into the picture and it starts to look like a free for all. The safety of an anarchist is guaranteed by her/his group of mates or affinity group, not the state. Anarchist street medics travel with a buddy who helps keep one safe. Frankness is the best form of communication.

One of the facets of universality is the formation of sub-societies and affinity groups, like a crazy quilt that has multiple zones of dark space sewn into its fabric. The state doesn't rule there where the universality is complex. Security culture helps.

Wrong. The answer is realign the fault lines of power, delegitimize correctly. You just spout liberal historical revisions.

I thought power had already been delegitimized. Only a priviledged few still believe in class power or management by a ruling class. what seems to be needed is some serious sabotage. Was reading about Czolgoz yesterday. Mckinley was replaced by someone far worse, teddy roosevelt. its not enough to cut off the head of the monster, you need the hands and legs and genitals as well. but I do like the idea of fault lines. I bet you know what corect means, right?

safe space espacio seguro secure space seguro lock

now we have this word here, surely it must mean something right

arguing for and against ‘safe spaces’ is like arguing for and against ‘treble’ in sound systems. there is always a complementary, reciprocal opposite that will fall out of balance in promoting the one out of the context of the other, and in the case of ‘security’ it is ‘liberty’ and ben franklin’s view is on target;

“People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both” – Benjamin Franklin

the heads of sovereign states will always, when people are expressing themselves in ways that threaten the status quo, insist that the security of the people must come before freedom of expression, whether the head of state is barack obama, vladimir putin or bashir al assad.

in an indigenous aboriginal community, the balance is everyone’s responsibility and this is reflected in the indigenous aboriginal concept of justice aka ‘restorative justice’.

the ‘western’ sense of justice is ‘moral judgement based’ because of the ego-based conceiving of the individual as an ‘independent reason-driven system with its own internal process driven and directed behaviour’ that operates in an absolute space and absolute time reference frame, ... an idealized, egotist [European Enlightenment] view of man, organism and organization. this is the foundation which makes ‘moral judgement of individual behaviours’ logically follow which gives ‘retributive justice’ as a means of sustaining the balance between ‘freedom of expression of the inhabitants’ and ‘security of the inhabitants’ (safe space).

in the western system of justice, since it is assumed that behaviour authorship jumpstarts from within the individual, moral laws of behaviour are formulated and people’s behaviours must conform with them. so when a person ‘breaks the law’ the assumption is that everyone else has nothing to do with this, not the judge and jury, nor the masses of peers from whom the jury was drawn. this is because an individual is seen as an ‘independent reason-driven system whose behaviour is fully and solely driven and directed from his internal processes. that ridiculous notion is what western science supports and what western colonizer civilization runs on. whoever is in charge of the ‘legislature’ can pass a law that says that if you don’t accept the supreme authority of the colonizer court and accept the jurisdiction of the supreme central authority over all the land, then your residency permit will be revoked and the land you have been living on expropriated.

what ‘residency permit’? didn’t you hear, the residency permit granted to you by the supreme central authority that is insisting on your belief in it and your loyalty and subservience to it.

once under this system of sovereign state government, security is always going to be put ahead of freedom of expression. how about the freedom to disregard the supreme central authority and to disregard the mythical ‘independence’ of the sovereign state? not an option.

moral judgement of individuals seen as ‘independent reason-driven systems’ or ‘separate and equal entities’ is built into the western notion of ‘government’. in fact, once one assumes that people are ‘separate and equal’, the physical reality of relations-first, things-secondary is lost and ‘organization’ becomes something applied to the dynamics of a collective of individuals.

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed ...

nature does not manufacture a collection of separate and equal things as is the convenient, economy of thought delivering ‘reality’ of western mainstream science with its ‘absolute space and absolute time’ reference-frame-called ‘space’.

once one UNNATURALLY splits apart ‘inhabitants’ and ‘habitat’, the moral judgement based ‘government’ follows and the balancing act between ‘freedom of expression of the inhabitants’ [hey, i don’t believe in government!] and ‘security of the inhabitants’ [hey, i feel safer when you put those anarchist guys in prison]

without acknowledging ‘mitakuye oyasin’, ‘we are all related’ [we are all responsible for sustaining balance between freedom and security], we regress to the notion of the 'independent individual' whose behaviour is fully and solely his/her own which then has us formulating lists of 'correct and incorrect' behaviours that can be 'policed' by an adjunct third party or 'regulatory agency'. the regulatory agency, managing the balance between inhabitant liberty vs inhabitant security by referring to rules and principles chiselled into stone tablets, which divides people into angry factions, ... will leave those factions arguing interminably over, ... ‘treble is more important’, ... ‘no, bass is more important’.

um.... there are actually 2 separate controls for bass and treble (at least on every stereo i have seen in the past few decades), and so increasing the base does NOT reduce the treble. sorry emile-of-the-10000-word-penis, your analogy fails miserably.


As with sex as with spaces

" The anarchists are enamoured with the idea of what they call the ‘safe space’, it is poetically redolent of Sei Shonagon’s swept floor. Or, more accurately, I project this impassioned interest in it onto them as I find it to be the most fascinating anarchist concept since the affinity group... not least because of the impracticability of its implementation. In practice, the ‘safe space’ is rigourously defined by acts of therapeutic expulsion; oppressive structures and habits are located and systematically removed. But what if the relations which positively constitute the space are themselves sociopathic? What if the anarchists reproduce received modes of domination within the relations that constitute their project’s institutionalisation of the ‘safe space’?

Of course, it is possible that the ‘safe space’ is not safe at all, that it is a differently vulnerable space, and subject to other modes of violent irrationality. And it is probable that no space founded on the mechanism of expulsion could ever really be felt to be ‘safe’. This would suggest that the ‘safe space’ might be better generated by other means, for example through a vigilant, or active, tolerance. The purpose of such spaces, their institutional project, would be to realise themselves as structurally incapable of supporting the logics of domination. The ‘safe space’ would then be better described as the ‘healthy space’."

Via Mister Dupont

I apologize, but as a working class guy this is all gibberish. Are you the folks that plan SCA events?

No. As a working class "guy" you may have a hard time identifying with the issues here. I have heard of women who have been victimized and turned away from shelters because they could not guarantee their safety and the rest at the shelter from their abusers. I have heard of many people who were so abused and beaten down that to even consider building a "security discipline" meant risking further abuse. Women who have been abused or raped because they were reading an article on feminism. Anarchists arrested, harassed, and threatened simply for downloading tor or a vpn.

A lot of safe spaces tend to have a self congratulatory attitude about their moral crusades but when you peel off some of the layers, you begin to see the dirty side of things and suddenly, the legitimacy of the Soviets doesn't pass to easy lazy criticism.

People talk and talk but most of these people have nothing really to say as far as concrete strategies are concerned. And basically, at the end of the day, you just have to fight. Gaining ground will always be met with resistance.

"Women who have been abused or raped because they were reading an article on feminism."

raped for reading an article?

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