Why do we publish such objectionable things?

  • Posted on: 31 August 2017
  • By: thecollective

http://littleblackcart.com/why-do-we-publish-such-objectionable-things/

This attempt to clarify obvious facts is in response to the new call to arms by Scott Campell but really isn't about him. He serves as an excellent example of an approach to anarchism that we do not share, and so will stand in for all those who agree with his position but tbh it's hard to feel particularly strongly about him specifically.

What does a publisher do?

This should be obvious to anyone paying attention but the role of a book publisher is to produce written material, perhaps from a position, perhaps for an audience, but always in relationship to authors, readers, and the world at large.

The first two books LBC published were by communists who believed in the potential active agency of the essential proletarians. They believed the wielders of infrastructure could overthrow the world. While we found their arguments fascinating and their thinking complex (enough) we were not persuaded by their conclusion. We thought their argument was worth airing out, fully, but we did not confuse our own ideas, dreams, and passions for theirs. We were not those books we published. We might be friends but we are not allies.

Eco-extremism, an idea borne of the body and practice and text that Ted Kaszcinski, put into practice by a variety of people we do not know, is compelling because it makes some fascinating arguments and has some complex, and some painfully simple, thinking within it. We are, ultimately, not persuaded by their conclusion but we think it's worth fully airing out.

The ideas we wish to publish are visionary, world-wrecking, ideas about a passionate, critical, fiery anarchy unleashed upon the world. Perhaps we are anachronisms but we believe what we are putting out into the world can inform future authors as it informs me.

The post-anarchist moment

Anarchism has failed a lot of people. We have written and published about this failure since the Occupy Movement sparked and sputtered, but it's worth restating as a frame for thinking about critiques of anarchism today. Anarchism has always been an idea too big for itself, with a grasp that far exceeds its reach, and that's hard to swallow when there is such desperate need. This world is tearing people apart, from the environmental destruction, to all kinds of diminishing returns in late capitalism, to the rise of nationalism in the US (and around the world), but our role, as we see it, is to play the long game. We accept the failure of anarchism while remaining anarchists ourselves. One of our responses to the horrible conditions of this world is to underpromise what we are capable of. This makes us the target of those who believe anarchists should deliver the new world out of this decaying shell. We wish them well, and frankly would benefit if their apocalyptic vision comes true, but our work is not the same as theirs.

Eco-extremism, the idea that our ecological world is coming to an end and we should fight hopelessly against it is one post-anarchist approach we can understand.
Another--which currently takes the form of antifa but which we recognize in other shades of social anarchist engagement with the current political crises--states that ideology (to whit, anarchism) isn't as important as boots on the ground fighting against our enemies. A fair point, but one that significantly leaves open the question of where do the enemies begin and end?
Anarcho-Liberalism, or the politics of compromise, is another (permanent) form of post-anarchism. I have many peers who have seen and agree with the anarchist critique of Exchange and the State but who want the terrain of their conflict with it to be in a social world. Sure, call-out culture is part of this, but so too is raising kids in a radical way, with people you share values with, with straight teeth, humility, and values that are middle-class (although never stated as such).

This post-anarchist moment shakes out similarly to other post moments (like the ex-hippies, ex-punx, and ex-vegans, all of which we have directly experienced too). These post moments involve some people doubling down on some aspects of the original ideas while abandoning other aspects of those same ideas, some people forgetting they were ever involved or what they were involved in, and most people just moving on in exactly the same trajectory they were on when they started. Since anarchism is largely a white, middle-class, suburban movement, it is no surprise that so to is the post-anarchist moment, at least in the US.

And that is why eco-extremism is so interesting. Here are groups of people taking a hard line, (no pun intended) whose socio-economic position is not like the people we see passing through. We probably hate and definitely disagree with these individuals but their practice of their ideas reflects a culture that we are outside of. We wish we had a contact who we trusted to know the difference between the rhetoric and the reality. We know Scott Campbell isn't that actor, neither is Abe Cabrera.

Atassa

Atassa is relevant to the extent that it explores this seam. I'll review some of its contents here. Abe outlines what the eco-extremist position is. 1) Pessimism towards human endeavors 2) Wild Nature is the primary agent in the eco-extremist war 3) Listening to the call of the ancestors against the destruction of a way of life 4) individualism against mass society 5) indiscriminate attack as an echo of Wild Nature itself. 6) Nihilism as a refusal of the future 7) Paganism/animism as attempts to rescue ancestral dieties.

John Jacobi's article is an attempt to contextualize eco-extremist thought for a North American audience. It does it by telling the story of a young man who starts corresponding with Ted Kaczynski and is put into context with people trying to live the ideas that he preaches ("The Apostles"). In this excellent piece you learn about the factionalism of the indomitistas and how ITS fits in with this history of ideas. This is a history of 21st century eco-radicalism, of which eco-extremism is but a portion.

There are a few translations in Atassa #1 but the one I'll mention here is a lesson drawn from The Battle of Little Big Horn (from Regression #3) which is about the violence attempted (and ultimately failed) by Sitting Bull and his peoples attempt to defend themselves against the European menace. The conclusion is worth repeating "Thus in the response to the question of means, we say that we cannot limit ourselves to the old weaponry just because we criticize the technological system. We should use the weapons of the system against itself. Just as the Native American participants did not hesitate to use those repeating firearms, we are not going to hesitate to use any modern weapon that might cause the enemy casualties."

Ramon Elani (also an editor of Black Seed, hence the tarring of that project with the same brush as the actions of ITS, a group based in Mexico) has a piece called the Return of the Warrior that returns to Pierre Clastres (who engaged anarchists have been interested in for the past 30 years) and reviews his work on what makes a society, what makes a state, and how violence may be the solution to both problems. This thinking is also followed up in his newest piece in Black Seed #5 (which is reprinted here.

This is a review of less than the first half of the first issue of Atassa. You can disagree with it, you can argue with it, but you cannot confuse it with support for the killing of comrade anarchists, with authoritarianism, or with murdering people, any more than is reading Helter Skelter, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, or Monster, or even the bulk of CCF and IAF material. I agree that the strategy, ethics, and sociability of these texts should all be questioned but shouting out emotionally-laden conclusions as if they are facts is not how to begin. We would love to publish texts that criticize these ideas and groups. This post-anarchist moment needs this kind of debate and I'm glad Atassa is inspiring this kind of emotional reaction. We just hope there are followthroughs more complex than the existing bombastic, moralistic, and accusing internet essays. This is not to say I'm against bombast, discussing morals, or accusations, but let's use them to begin a conversation, rather than end one.

Social Struggle

We deeply respect those anarchists who believe that anarchist practice is social struggle or it is nothing. We do not agree but we respect this position and apologize that our respect isn't always clear, as we focus on other things. We take disagreement as a central part of our anarchist practice and assume others do as well.

Social struggle can be intoxicating. We have been high ourselves and we are not saying it is for naught. We are saying that it is part of what makes interesting people--all of our closest friends have fought the same pyrrhic battles you are fighting today--but it is only a part. It is also a bunch of other things that we, and our friends, criticize all the time. It is often paternalistic, christian, futile, embarrassing, and self righteous, whereas our nihilistic excesses can seem childish, funny-not-funny, embarrassing, edgelordy, and insufficiently serious. These are called different perspectives and our disagreements could start from the baseline of knowing the strengths and weaknesses of each other's positions.

LBC does NOT support ITS or violent attacks against anarchists. This does not mean that we believe that all anarchists are the same or even on the same team but this so called support we have been accused of isn't material, ideological, or real. Accusing us of supporting ITS is a way of using guilt by (three degrees of) association instead of by argumentation. Atassa is a journal of eco-extremism and is not the same thing as a group from another country who travel in some of the same ideas. People who spend their time calling publications (that do not make calls to action) "authoritarian" and smearing potential collaborators with a pile of name-calling instead of fighting for the social struggle they claim to desire, are wasting their time, and ours.

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Comments

This is so different in tone from the smug, strident, nauseating Humanism of Campbell's denunciations. It is certain to be classified as distracting and dismissive and making excuses for an untenable position, but I hope this excellent response isn't lost in the oncoming shitstorm of entrenchments. Now to make some popcorn and wait...

Meh. The token respect given to social struggle is a refreshing tone shift. Perhaps the jaded old nihilist curmudgeon made the mistake of assuming that younger anarchists could telepathically read between the lines of all the constant, smug dismissal and critique?

I mean, they're still condescendingly implying struggle is the opiate of the anarchist masses but hey, you mentioned the word respect so ... That's something?

I'm media literate enough to know that this essay is a tacit admission of the problem, much like Wolfi's whiny bullshit after the publisher fiasco. The "start of a conversation" that undoubtedly is going to continue to bruise some egoist egos, enough bad noise is coming at LBC that they're now screaming about their theoretical distance from this toxic bullshit, so they should!

Don't think I didn't notice the little jab in there like those of us who think this filth has no place in anarchist discourse are "middle class". Yeah, indiscriminate attack is what poor people are all about, that's totally not a cheap, weaselling rhetorical trick. Way to elevate that discourse!

"OMG this shit is so hysterical. Wow."

How to write Aragorn essay:

1.) Start off nice, but really just use it as a way to hide insults. "We appreciate anarchists who are dumb enough to believe that petitions will change the world. We just think these people are liberals."

2.) Gaslight. Helps to tell a story, write some random shit, if by the 10th paragraph the reader has forgotten what you are talking about = WINNING.

3.) Whatever you do, end by making yourself a victim and make sure to ALSO not address any of the actual points.

Maybe I'm missing something, but this seems to address the criticisms they were facing. Do you have some specific examples of what they're avoiding?

I actually like Aragorn overall, but this summary of his communication is true and funny.

1) start off with bad faith reading
2) dsregard whatever isn't written in all caps or monosyllbles as being too complicated
3) accuse the author of doing the exact thing you're doing

No Aragorn you're just an asshole who publishes things to create controversy. Publishing death threats against anarchists isn't ok. Stop excusing it. And stop publishing ITS material. Stakes are getting high in our struggles... in the US and Mexico. Focus on something real, not crazy sociopaths.

now! do it now!

Different commenter: perhaps better to say, stop giving a platform to human garbage OR stop whining about all the hate you catch for it? ;)

another commentator: or people can stop pretending that anarchists can't possibly find something useful in engaging with disagreeable ideas. just because they threaten us and view us as enemies doesn't mean we can't learn something from them.

And here's the part where I accept your logic and ask why we're not discussing the lessons learned from Zeta execution videos and ISIS diatribes about killing all the infidels? Aragorn brought up Helter Skelter too ffs, Charlie Manson loved him some prison-fried white nationalism. My whole point here is the nihilist abyss devouring everything... It's a damning theoretical weakness on full display with these mental gymnastics. Why keep doubling down on a steaming pile of shit? This essay must be as close to backtracking as a nihilist gets? Lol

its baffling to me that you have just started babbling about the nihilist abyss for no reason as never even brought up nihilism at all nor was I offering up a nihilist position on anything . Its just so obvious to me that you are just labeling people as such to dismiss them for taking a different position than you. as for the ISIS and Charles Manson question, maybe we should be (and maybe some people are) looking at what can be learned from those contemporary and historical examples of shittyness. But you miss the important thing that makes ITS different from ISIS and Manson, that they came from the anarchist space, that they were anarchists, and that they left that space and critiqued anarchism on the way out. So like it or not they are relevant and worth talking about. I think people have got to stop thinking that the only way something is interesting is if its something we agree with it, there is something worth while in leaning about something that we aren't going to like.

He's nihilophobic, there's a lot of that going around, the fallacy of the bad definition, that nihilists are terrorists, when in fact they are irreligious and non-ideological.

I didn't say that you did, I was trying to talk about what caused some anarchists to become embarrassingly infatuated with an authoritarian death cult. That's what interests me about this, not their attempts to side-step it.

I'm aware that I can learn from positions I don't agree with, the issue that is playing out across the continent right now is where to draw the lines. IMO, just as this essay places itself in opposition to struggle being essential to praxis, I'm underwhelmed by the folks who seem to think endless discussion about whichever trendy new bit of theory is the only thing worth doing, although publishing is certainly a logical activity for people who feel that way.

like today's radical epoch, you need new theory. Constituted struggle can go the way of the last millennia, it's all about the corporeal baby.

And new values to end the recurring human nightmare, it is not acceptable that a child dies to extend the longevity of a decaying democratic dictatorship. After Spartacus's ressentiment had burnt itself out in the gladiatorial arena, he was enslaved anew by a domesticity and worship of a X-tian God. Is antifa any different from repeating these knee-jerk binary exertions which fizzle out on a battlefield strewn with the corpses of the innocent?! Only the nihilistic infant can be allowed to mature and evolve its innate creative tendencies, all other rules are draconian.

The do nothing nihilists of LBC think that their navel gazing represents the height of anarchist activity, when in reality it's just another retreat, not unlike that of the aging middle class post anarchists sneered at in this piece. The only difference is that most of those who withdraw from struggle don't make it their life's work to represent their inactivity as some kind of enlightened progression, as Aragorn and friends like to do by subtly and not so subtly shitting on anyone trying to do anything in the real world to advance anarchy. Fuck these people, they're hostile to the vast majority of anarchist tendencies, so why are they still hanging around? Oh, that's right, they've carved out a petite bourgeois niche hawking books to anarchists.

What kind of silliness is that, anarchy is actualized not advanced as some here to there historical project.

Hi there,

so lately I've come around to the visceral realization that "political anarchism", as it's most commonly understood, is actually total fucking garbage. I see you on here sometimes casually throw out little phrases like "anarchy is actualized not advanced as some here to there historical project." I find this take on what "anarchy" means to you to be actually really fascinating. Would it bother you to elaborate on this line of thinking more thoroughly?

Do you have any authors or particular books/zines to recommend that build on this approach?

Thanks in advance. Also, fuck the haters.

Nice to come across the odd person that figured or is figuring these things out. In regards to "political anarchism" I would say that anarchism is rooted in political economic beginnings. The issue at hand for me is 'political anarchy', that is essentially what anarchism is. In terms of how I came to these anarch/anarchy(neo-anarchy) conclusions I simply took the post-left big 2(Bob Black and Wolfi Landstreicher) along with the post anarchism of Hakim Bey combined it with classical Stirnerian individualist anarchism and of course Stirner himself and took these things to what I see as their logical conclusion. Essentially I combine the ideas of post-leftism and post-anarchism.

Anarchy can only be a temporal relational now based mode of operating and not an linear here to there model predicated on a political-economic form.

Anyway, thanks again.

I think yr emotions re: LBC are fine, buuuuuuut I don't think LBC makes money, lol. Like, books in general don't make money these days. It's pretty clearly a labour of love, perhaps enabled by already being bourgeois in some sense, but not in fact reproductive of that bourgeois status.

You might think it's a weird love, buuuuut... So what.

So your line in the sand with learning from disagreeable stuff is when it is in opposition to struggle (however you define that)? Seems like there is potential importance in understanding such things.

Also I would say "infatuated" is an inaccurate portrayal of LBC, Aragorn's, etc. treating of ITS. Maybe you could say that about Abe.

this was in response to: Anonymous Thu, 08/31/2017 - 15:48

MAYBE?! ... Ain't no fuckin maybe about that.

and the apocalyptic devouring void is forever and always influenced by an effervescent resonance to order, anew.
Their claims aren't proven, or whatever…right? so, what are ITS' literary provocations really attacking?
they do compel me to wonder;how does the wildness in the world manifestly respond to undergoing the civilization process, etcetera?
how do existential-nihilists develop a comprehensive ethos in the midst of such abhorrent conditions?
what does anarchistic solidarity with The Savage look like for a being human?>
can we to form a team? a wild congregate of lonely hearts, delivering @news about teh neighborhoodz ?

There is no future beautiful tree, only the Now and a seed and potentiality, the existentialist-nihilist is not into an eschatological quest wrought with guide-lines, only an ethos of organic continuity.

Someone tells someone to do something, just because, and if they don't do it it's whining.

All that posts says is "i don't care to explain anything." This isn't communication.

Once again a comment section full of white noise.

Don't talk about the thorny things, hide them! We don't want anarchy, we want everything controlled! You are not allowed to do anything i am uncomfortable with!

No one's forcing you to buy from lbc people. Anarchists are free to associate with whomever they want. Start your own publishing collective. I bet it would be too sensitive to handle this Yelp-level acid barbs.

An obsession with political correctness over offering collective visions for alternatives to our current world aren't going to stop its-type groups forming. Remember how prohibition of alcohol went? Remember how the celibacy of catholic priests went? Repressing ideas and conversations is not effective at dealing with them. It's a sign of retreat from handling problems and complex issues.

None of these white noise comments offer any problem solving solutions to complex, thorny, uncomfortable, potentially unsolvable problems that are of interest to, concern, or directly involve anarchists. All that's offered is "Don't talk about what I don't like. You're not allowed!"

This is a problem, an externality of the belief that what's most important in life is struggle. Being able to handle problems in DIVERSE ways is left out. I suppose that's why these crowds tend to sidle up to the usual leftist activist groups.

Freely conversing is not the same as endorsing it. Conflation is not helpful.

Anyway, thanks for publishing a wide array of open stuff, stuff that's challenging to me at 31. And you know how accurate these criticisms are when A! isn't the only person involved in this project. So, thanks to all of the people involved for providing me with interesting reading material to indulge during the work week at a cubie mill.

Can anarchists not even allow themselves to talk about anarchy, or actualize anarchist activity anymore? There's a force really trying to stop all of that, shrink our conversations, shrink our relations down to the narrowest of views we are expected to hold rigidly. If this is the world, no thanks.

No, this essay is the whining. Also a spray of insulting to the careful reader! Haha not like they're trying to make friends here.

Everything must seem so relative from your cubicle, where the "marketplace of ideas" is just a source of cheap thrills to "challenge" you. You're a half-step away from a standard freeze peach argument here ...

"standard freeze peach" is my middle name.

Personally, I thought those threats were hilarious. Why does it matter that Scotty's an "anarchist"? So because some chicken-dick labels himself an anarchist (that meaningless, meaningless term...) I'm obligated to care or give a shit about this fool? I'm supposed to react as if ITS threatened my close friends or family? Hahaha! What the hell is that about? "OH NO!!! NOT ONE OF THE SACRED COMRADES OF TEAM ANARCHY!!!".

A lot of anarchists fucking suck. This guy sounds like he's no exception.

rather than engaging with this thoughtful response, igd, antifa, and associated partisans will continue to denounce groupings of nuanced and lifelong-dedicated anarchists. they will forget (exclude) people who work to prevent the erasure of decades of deeply engaged anarchist thought and practice, and who continue to push for more experimentation in reverence to the impossible idea, the imaginative beauty that is so lost on the placards and the flags. one wonders if these militants will wake up in a few years to the void left behind from this digital boom of simpified and idiotic memeing and saluting their troops (and their tags or stickers referenced in communiques). and when they are relieved to find The Anarchist Library around to grope for something more meaningful, lasting, and truly anarchic, they will ignore the people who've made such efforts possible, because they're seen as nihilist, post-left, supposedly fascist (as if fascism is anything other than one part of an authoritarian continuity) etc. i am not even invested in defending these individuals as i hardly know them, but there is something deeply short-sighted and depressing happening in the anarchist galaxy currently.

besides, there's a new article: ponder the merits of important comrades and their plea for attention in dc, the juggalos. as someone who finds myself in the world and critically concerned about what it means to confront and attack nationalisms of all stripes, i am glad to see that anti-fascism has met it's fair brother in imbecility and arms: the family.

this is all hastily and poorly written but silence feels unwise. i am in no position to communicate my ideas or sympathies (lack of capital) but thanks for paying attention to my unfortunately snarky attempt.

Since anarchism is largely a white, middle-class, suburban movement, it is no surprise that so to is the post-anarchist moment, at least in the US. And that is why eco-extremism is so interesting. Atassa is relevant to the extent that it explores this seam.

Agreed. Atassa explores the asscrack of anarchy wherein EE sympathizers are like irritable hemorrhoids. Let's see what these 'rhoids have to offer...

Abe outlines what the eco-extremist position is. 1) Pessimism towards human endeavors

That tops the list?!?! How original. Also, it's a wee-bit stronger than pessimism.

2) Wild Nature is the primary agent in the eco-extremist war

No, it's not. It's the human. That's what an eco-extremist is - a human. Without the human there is no "eco-extremist war". What would "Wild Nature" be at war with if the human didn't exist? The concept of war is already an anthropomorphism of what "Wild Nature" is. EE needs "human endeavors" to be pessimistic about and at war with, as your Talking Point #1 states. Wild Nature isn't an agent for anything here. EE uses "Wild Nature" in the same way all sorts of violence is carried out in the name of God. Would you say God or humanity is the primary agent in religious wars?

3) Listening to the call of the ancestors against the destruction of a way of life

Not so much a listening as it is a very heavy-handed interpretation of what the ancestors have to offer. Namely, indiscriminate violence.

4) individualism against mass society

This doesn't really seem like something unique to EE.

5) indiscriminate attack as an echo of Wild Nature itself.

See #2 and #3 above. Does Wild Nature "attack" or is it just the human that interprets what it does as an attack?

6) Nihilism as a refusal of the future

The future is an unknown, so what is it that is being refused? What is it that nihilism isn't refusing or negating? One could easily turn this around and make nihilism a refusal of the "call of the ancestors", so what work is it that nihilism is doing for EE and why is it applied to only specific concepts?

7) Paganism/animism as attempts to rescue ancestral dieties.

Why are these ancestral dieties worth rescuing and what are they being rescued from? How does this fit with a nihilism that is a "refusal of the future"?

You do know you could use a little thing called *Google*? All these questions and the answer is in your pocket.. Come on now, buddy!

is that ancestral reification was such a formative part of civilization and state, that's not to say that there are things from the past that can be refurbished into an forward unit of the corporeal now, but ancestral modes of operating are not one of them at least in the reified sense(for things like diets and corporeal health that's different matter ie Weston Price for nutrition).

Nihilism(be it classical or post modern) actually makes more sense as a futuristic philosophy(or at least an NOW based orientation) not an archaic one(this does not mean transhumanism btw). People like Renzo Novatore understood this.

Also hilarious is that most critiques of nihilism are generated solely by the connotation it invokes and not by any comprehension of its psychological significance or an understanding of its anti-authoritarian essence, its lawless (rule-less) independence and quest for self-reliance, which are all actually positive orientations.

an interesting point about ancestors is whether such things really existed. this is a valid question/issue in philosophy, particularly in the modern physics view of the world as a transforming-in-the-now relational continuum.

people naturally split on this, as discussed in the context of 'predicative' and 'impredicative logic'. one can see a summary of this if one scrolls down to 'impredicative' in Jules Henri Poincaré

this split coming 'different logical preferences' is 'showing up' in the arguments over whether to topple statues of confederate war heroes or not.

impredicative logic corresponds to Lamarckian evolution while predicative logic corresponds to Darwinian evolution.

i illustrated this with the analogy of people coming to a party. the early arrivals may include an ugly little guy and some attractive women, so for a while he is very popular and prominent. new members join the party including a few handsome big guys and the dynamics shift and the little ugly guy is 'redefined' by this development. then the wives of the handsome big guys arrive and the dynamics shift again. in Lamarckian evolution, it takes a whole community of party-goers to define an individual party-goer, so that as new members are added, the identities of established members are changed.

impredicative logic says that when one adds a new member to the set, one must redefine the previously defined members. predicative logic says that once members have been defined, there is no need to redefine them when adding new members.

'realists' prefer predicative logic which means that they believe that the identified objects have a reality that is independent of human conceptualizing. 'pragmatists' [like poincare, schroedinger, nietzsche] believe that a thing exists only when it is the object of an act of thinking.

differences in basic assumptions such as this, underlie our discourse, but it seems as if thecollective is not very open to the 'deconstruction' of topical rhetoric so as to expose our DIFFERENT underlying assumptions and how they impact the surfacing social relational dynamic; i.e. it is not a KISS operation.

my comment that was deep-sixed by thecollective pointed to the fact that 'anarchy', in the hands of LBC, at least in this article, has become dry and serious and 'de-spiritualized' or 'de-poeticized'. why was helen keller an anarchist, and then again, arturo giovannitti? was anarchy for them not a 'spiritual destination'?

LBC's Little Black Cart Review 2017 includes the following introduction to the following Peter Lamborn Wilson's ''Spiritual Destinations of an Anarchist";

"Perhaps more importantly to our experiment is the more general question of finding overlap between the two worlds of Anarchy and Spirituality."

PLW's book begins;

" This tendency of anti-authoritarian groupuscules to denounce and exclude each other, however, has always struck me as rather crypto-authoritarian. I’ve always liked the idea of a “plumb-line” anarchism broad enough to cover almost all variants of dogma in a kind of acephalous but loosely “united front” (or “union of egoists” as Stirner put it). This umbrella ought to be wide enough to cover “spiritual anarchists” as well as the most inflexible materialists". -- Peter Lamborn Wilson, 'Spiritual Destinations of an Anarchist'

ok, that was my point in my comment that thecollective deep-sixed. the ITS stuff is the extreme of de-spiritualized materialist rational exploration akin to nazi medical experiments on prisoners.

is the criteria of whether to explore these things, because "we all agree that these questions are very interesting"; i.e. will a person after being submerged in below-zero salt water for an hour and suffering from hypothermia be cured by throwing them into boiling water? this is not only an interesting experiment, it's possible we could learn something from this experiment that could contribute to our overall operations and goals [so say the experimenters].

'spirituality' is a loaded word because most people think of it as 'to do with classical religion' but 'inspiration' relates to relationships such as 'the brotherhood of man'.

"Giovannitti's poetry is an effort to express a multitude of men who are lost in an immensity of silence, swallowed up in meaningless darkness. With burning words he makes us feel the presence of the toilers hidden behind tenement walls, behind the machinery they guide. " -- Helen Keller

where have all the anarchist poets gone?

Anarchist smash face
Getting drunk and violent
Forget about it

That's a high Q

I find it interesting how some prominent names in anarchism are locked into a weird, dependent yet hostile S&M dynamic with Aragorn. Even with his careful use of language he still becomes an empty vessel on which they can project all of their neuroses.
I thought most of anarchism was predicated on autonomy, yet this soap opera exposes an extreme needy ressentiment that's been going on for months in Zerzan's (poor quality) radio show, William Gillis podcast and *that text" from Scott. I mean wtf is going on? You're the worst adverts for anarchism going.
Do you not have lives?

This is a powerful comment. We need to read and *think* about the implications. I tire of others' weaknesses and find this refreshing.

It reminds me of identity politicians, honestly. The pattern is similar.

Whenever there's been a lull in struggle... or not necessarily a "lull" in some cases, but let's say that whenever things aren't going so great and people don't really have any great victories or meaningful accomplishments or dynamic and ongoing projects to point to and behold: people start to look inward and "the struggle" becomes redefined as a crusade to purify the radical community. Pluralism and autonomy are thrown out the window and a mission to "clean house", so-called, is undertaken and raised up as the most important issue.

Most anarchists are losers, and they absolutely need a win really really badly. They're weak and don't really have any power worthy of the name. None that corresponds to their absurd "warlike" rhetoric and eschatological narratives, at any rate. They can't project their power against Big Powers, like the state or gentrification, for example. So instead they impose themselves against fellow anarchists, because they reason that that's a power-struggle they can win, and also because they think that they can use weapons like moralism and social/emotional blackmail (weapons which the state and impersonal processes like gentrification, are immune to) to contort the people in their scenes to submit and be subjected to their authority.

It really sucks. I wish all three of these idiots would just fuck off and stick to their respective zones, building their own power and strong affirmative projects (Zerzan on anti-civ shit; Campbell on anti-fascism/workerist shit and Gillis on ??????) that actually pose genuine threats to the world of Authority instead of just sticking their long, needle-dick noses into shit that's just none of their business. They don't seem to understand that their obsessions with Aragorn and his projects do nothing but indicate a profound lack of strength and appeal in their projects and ideas, respectively.

Gillis on ??????

Pretty much smugness and sex robot/bitcoin miner hybrids.

But these afflictions are not confined to anarchists. They can be found in ALL radical tendencies. There are even cases, such as Argentina in 2002-2003, where radical ideologues of all kinds, including anarchists, seriously undermined the attempt of very large numbers of people to actually DO radical things, out of necessity - i.e. the neighborhood assemblies and the practical projects that grew out of them. Ideology and nothing but endless critique emancipate no one.

Are JZ and Gillis ALONE responsible for this S&M show?
From my book, pg. 83: Radicalism in the U.S.A. "Blessed are they who expect nothing, for they shall not be disappointed." -George Orwell. Pg. 85: Unfortunately for real social problem-solving, political radicalism, when it is as marginal as it is now, tends to attract the most damaged people of an already sick society.
I should know, I was one of these. Slavery is both external and internal. Fail to deal with BOTH, and you git these endless soap-operas that emancipate no one.

I guess one of the perks of publishing from a nihilist position is being able to retreat behind it whenever you smear shit all over yourself and people start asking too many pointed questions about your intentions? Haha

Why are you obsessing about Aragorn?
Why are you so evidently hostile towards the anarchist.traditions of cooperation and mutual aid?

I don't really identify with any of those fools but the essay "Why we publish objectionable things" was definitely a pair of upraised middle-fingers so ... That might explain why I'm still here being like "fuck you too"

Because nihilism is death!!! It is thus without polemic but with solemnity that we must conclude: Ideologies clash and shift. The Jedi go on. Quietly. Less perceptibly. Therefor, Aragorn won’t be able to undertake the kind of ontological crisis causing radical inquiry necessary to correctly model us or exploit some unexpected scientific discovery.

Everybody knows this!

Where do you get the idea JZ is "obsessing" over Aragorn! ?

like a glass of water or something. Ive never gotten how talking about ITS or being fascinated by it means you think its great.

"In what respect is this man mad? He is "de-ranged." For he is dis-lodged from the level of man hitherto, where the ideals of the suprasensory world, which have become unreal, are passed off for real while yet their opposite is realizing itself."- The word of Nietzsche; God is dead.

Although he's critiquing Nietzsche's Madman from aphorism 125 of The Gay Science, I presume this quote could easily apply to Zerzan and Gillis; always trying to escape themselves without acknowledging just that.
The technophobic and technocratic ideals aren't being immediately and universally realized!!!

"In metaphysics reflection is accomplished concerning the essence of what is and a decision takes place regarding the essence of truth . Metaphysics grounds an age, in that through a specific interpretation of what is and through a specific comprehension of truth it gives to that age the basis upon which it is essentially formed. This basis holds complete dominion over all the phe­nomena that distinguish the age."- The Age of the World Picture

The metaphysics being sold here is a reflection of the self-cannibalizing and gluttonous obsession with making ones projected self both more real than their actual self and accomplishing anything for oneself. This is a reflection of the shit talking which pervades mainstream science, a dying traditional theological view, the countless t.v. programs about self-annulling individuals making themselves images and jokes for the youtube commenter and troll who in turn does the exact same thing whilst denying this fact.

"One of the essential phenomena of the modern age is its sci­ence. A phenomenon of no less importance is machine tech­nology. We must not, however, misinterpret that technology as the mere application of modern mathematical physical science to praxis. Machine technology is itself an autonomous transformation of praxis, a type of transformation wherein praxis first demands the employment of mathematical physical science."- ibid

In other words, what characterizes this bullshit finger pointed and simultaneous self-nullifying is the introjection/internalization of the neurosis-lack-of-self-confidence which characterizes the imposition of such machinery which allows for one to sit before a computer, computing messages to oneself (including me, of course!). A far more powerful weapon than the external state-apparatus which isn't truly external; the margarine-word code bearing, self-aggrandizing people who project their own insecurities onto others precisely because of their inability to truly apprehend the metaphysical implications of the mediums they use to do so.

Thus, one can say "fuck you, Heidegger was a fascist scumbag" and yet type this on an instrument manufactured by some kid whose probably dead by the time the chastising takes place.

Zerzan seems to have misunderstood Heidegger in his application of him to primitivism. Sure, language is the initial mediating force and thus, through distinction, created a template for objectification.....but there's nothing that can be done about that now.

And Gillis seems to be embodying a newer form of suicide: hates himself so much, he wants to accelerate the mass suicide of living beings imposed through the now-self-imposed interfacing machinery.

Fuck you, Heidegger was a fascist scumbag. Like, this pisses me off such much I can't even. I'm going to interface so hard. Control-alt-delete you primmie scum!

Yep! Some of us just want to play around with ideas like little Lego blocks, everything is relative/relational maaan ... and some of us think context matters.

The Transhumanist Luddite strikes again. If that really is Gillis then he should have a look at Heideggers writing on technology.

The small anarchist following ITS generates is also telling, insofar as they are people who are already hostile to social struggle and see ITS as developing a critique of currents within anarchism they also wish to attack. In short, while ITS is an instrument we are told to “have a conversation with” and “ask questions about,” in reality ITS is simply a means to an end for those who desire to wage a ‘culture war’ within anarchism. They help normalize and popularize ITS while still holding it at arms-length as a way to divorce themselves from any responsibility. This is something ITS wants just as much as do the people who make money selling their communiques and use ITS to build up their personalities as podcasters and journal publishers.

Yeah, that's pretty accurate and is strengthened by The LBC response here. There's no real critique of ITS coming from LBC. Why is that? If Scott and others aren't doing it to your high literary standards then why not do it yourself?

But you won't and everybody knows this. That's why this PSA about publishing objectionable material rings hollow.

thats a lot of work. Like if someone wants to sell some wingnut communiques that they personally find intriguing then they need to craft some sort of meta analysis around them distroing it to keep face?

Different commenter: hanging out here for any length of time, you can easily get a sense of a kind of "culture war" being waged by recovering addicts of the struggle with a nasty hangover from it. It's pretty meta and subjective but I can definitely see how some people arrive at that conclusion. Maybe it's not even a conscious thing?

Constantly railing against the failings of "leftists", circle-jerking on the topic for years, publishing stuff that you know will piss them off. Contrasting the inherent weaknesses of symbolic student militancy and liberal reformism with the more brutal, lethal militancy from parts of the world where cultures of extreme violence are entrenched. One day, you look around and some of this discourse is almost identical to the 4chan and alt-right forums, open to interpretation of course but it's a reality.

This is why I avoid "scene" anarchists. They end up trying to dictate what other anarchists do and fail to realise they have become their own and everyone else's cop.

"hey, dont be a dick to my friend"
"fuck off youre just liek the pigs

We already argued about this earlier but for the sake of descaling your strawman crap, I'm sneering at LBC and co for making stupid decisions and being led down the garden path. There's no "dictating" going on, none of us have any power over these people whatsoever. What kind of anarchist can't tell the difference between people disagreeing with them and actual coercion? You're slamming your bedroom door after a fight with mom and dad right now.

^de-sacking your strawman crap

Anyone can use these from whichever perspective. That is my conclusion. Black can be made white. White can be made black. Both black and white exist. Neither black nor white exist. You can use these lavished with 'research' and you can use these without 'bothering.' Being a 'salesperson-type' helps sell either. So, for me, basically and simply, a person has to ask themselves what kind of world, what kind of existence do they want including the possible and probable consequences.

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