TOTW: Anarchists Take The Stage

  • Posted on: 10 November 2019
  • By: thecollective

Anarchy is a story. The ways that we tell it, the characters we emphasize, diminish, or omit altogether shape the way that we relate to it, the way we relate to the world and the way we relate to each other.

There are, as with anything, many ways of telling anarchy’s story, of weaving together the lives of individual people into something larger than themselves, of giving narrative structure to what otherwise might seem like isolated acts of rebellion. Two of these structures I’ve heard are 1. The wave system (1st, 2nd, ?) and 2. Something like “humans were anarchists for 99% of their time on earth and then something went wrong”. Both of these constructions create casts of rebels, anarchist or not, and both set anarchy moving on a particular path, crafting a particular anarchist story.

So, to keep pushing a bad metaphor, let’s cast our story of anarchy. Who would you choose as the stars? Would they be criminally under-represented anarchist figures? Non-anarchist writers, artists, criminals? Your grandmother? How do these figures fit into your definition of anarchy, and how do they change the story of anarchy from what it is to what it could be?

Comments

Thought a lot lately about how all (most of) the anarchists we know from history are either writers, or people who got arrested/killed. Not a lot of stories about the people who didn't write, and didn't get caught.

"Anarchy is a story."

No, anarchy is a white boys club and performative ideology.

What is this trash? Everyone knows this website, even, is not maintained by "a white boys club," not to mention other non-white/non-boy anarchists. Such a comment is just anti-anarchist spam that should be deleted. Are you seriously giving reactionary scum a platform? Why?

Waves of trolls crash on the solid rocky cliff of a project whose commitment has stood the test of time.
This troll will soon become mist, not without leaving its dent on the pock-marked rocks. Maybe they'll form a cave.
Maybe the sea will reclaim this land given a few years. Either way, tale as old as time, beauty and the beast.

"anarchy is a white boy club and a performative ideology"

vs.

"What is this trash? Everyone knows this website, even, is not maintained by "a white boys club," not to mention other non-white/non-boy anarchists. Such a comment is just anti-anarchist spam that should be deleted. Are you seriously giving reactionary scum a platform? Why?"

Anon #1 here is speaking a half true and half racist generalization, Anon #2 clearly has some weird attachment to words, confusing an attack on simulcra for a personal insult.

Please, go on my precious little actors!

Every morning I wake up and enter my creative arena of anarch fulfillment by just being mýself and projecting my aura of lawless gleefulness! My revolution is essentially the contagious repurcussions of my avant-garde interactions!

Hey! Leave my grandmother out of this!

She's not an anarchist. She goes to church every Sunday, has fed the priest and washed his clothes and was subservient to her husband while he was alive, even if he cheated on her. Very caring and loving to all her children and grandchildren. Still feeds everyone, still the core of the extended family. The matriarchal enforcer of the patriarchy. Made sure her children all performed neatly withing their genders, even the son that turned out gay. Respectable hard-working people. Still has hopes in same old parties at her old age, still votes.

The main characters in my stories would be events, the climax at the top of the crescendo, or the dreaded plot twist; both linger on your mind long after the fact and haunt your memory.
The people that make these events happen usually need to be kept hidden in order to get away with it. The cause is then misattributed to a stray flame, negligence in maintenance or security, a criminal wave, a fallen tree branch, generalized popular unrest due to government's policies, and so on.

It's too much to ask to a big resolution a la ATR out of a few happy little accidents. So maybe the story in my book is not a three book + novel series with overarching plot, not a soap opera like the one Cinema Committee made about Fulvia Ferrari, and more an anthology series of intense short (horror, action, thrillers, mystery, romantic poetry?) stories of small scale. But this is as much as a reflection of my taste in fiction, as it is for my taste in anarchy.

But of course it's not limited by the confines of my imagination and personal taste! Anyone can pitch in! It doesn't have to be a play! Maybe it's a sculpture and we're all eroding a canyon or a mountain into shape, sand blasted by the wind or like the river metaphor of the distributaries column dude.

This is my first take, I'll probably try to answer again later with something that I find more satisfactory.

Yes, this kind of bullshit flowery bollocks is typical of the anarchist milieu: so relatable to people anarchists need to get on board with anti-authoritarian relationships. Or we could hand out essays by John Zerzan laded with academia speak or we could hand out material from Navatore, again drenched in flowery verbose prose!? How about material that is in everyday language revealing and explaining the misery of everyday life with its attendant hierarchical totalitarian relationships (especially in the misery of work). Explain that voting doesn't work: that behind the faces of politicians lies the mechanism of The State: or do people vote for their own mental and psychological enslavement? Imagine, someone has had a shit day and some anarchist starts waffling on about the creative nothing!!! Yes, anarchist speaking tours, art tours, theatre tours, book tours are real possibilities and so is tabling at music gigs and in the street.

What is "everyday language" and who should enforce the line between it and other languages?

you know, from the everyman! telling it like it is!

There's been this tendency over the past few decades of hailing insurgent anarchist prisoners as role models/celebs to identify to. There is some good to it as this could potentially undermine the normative perception of prison as well as helping prisoner solidarity networks within the walls. This has worked apparently quite well in less fucked up places than North America (where prisoners are led to be collaborators of the worst kind), like Italy or Greece, where anarchists have reportedly gained a lot of sympathy from lesser politically-driven prisoners.

Tho let's ask the question Nietzsche dared to ask... Why our role models have to always be martyrs, and won't it support on the long run more resentment-driven morals, instead of more assertive, liberating morals?

Tho I'm not seeing that in the case of people like Sean Swain or Tamara Sol. There's just a pitfall somewhere over there...

That's an interesting point!

I've had similar thoughts and I figure it's only a quirk of the visibility of these "martyrs", you know?

Like, they flew close to the sun and things went very badly for them. Their fate becomes somewhat sealed and then the best of a bad situation is the prison support and storytelling that you're talking about, maybe a bit of their suffering turns in to something useful to others.

But far better to not be martyred while also not doing nothing! Which might mean that nobody ever knows your story, which is almost certainly a good thing.

I wouldn't say they flew too close to the Sun... as in a fate that their social condition would not allow. That'd be the oppressor's way of calling this. Tamara Sol or Alfredo Cospito took matters into their own hands, taking revenge on those they perceived as oppressors. Sean Swain literally just defended himself against a home invader with a gun, and the killed invader turned out to be the son of some State cadre shitlord.

I guess anarchist prisoners are known as such for doing bigger and smaller things that define them as anarchists in the first place. This could include shoplifters, visa/customs dodgers or car-jackers, imo. Any illegal yet non-capitalist activity, that didn't involve raping, abusing, forcing others into something can count as anarchistic. I don't see why it wouldn't. Which is my problem with this more old-school, narrow-minded activist concept of "political prisoners". It ain't wrong because they're not political; it is because what they did WAS political, even if not recognized (wink wink) authorities as such.

Fair enough. But forgive my white boy mythology reference, I only meant that either your wings melt off or they don't?

...which is also a reason why I never understood Canadian anarchos distancing themselves silently from someone like Justin Bourque, who just avenged his murdered buddy a few years back by shooting and killing FOUR Royal Mounted cops on a single spree.

But of course, if we were 100 years ago this all would be anarchist-approved... by young liberal workerist hipsters 100 years later.

Wtf does anyone gain from loudly announcing that they really identify with shooting cops?

Quit talkin like a dumbass who thinks he's a badass.

Woah settle down grandpa, the kids full of testosterone, gonna follow in David's place and take out the big bad Goliath on his own.

I'm settled. Picture me swirling a drink around in a fancy glass or whatever. Settledasfuuuck

PS settler guilt tho!

Of anarchism, I respect people who do it but I wouldn't do it myself.

Of course, I think illegalist mindset does more to harm us lonely radicals than it does to help us flourish....

why can't this be a circle-jerk that would pump us up and prime us to make bad decisions as if there was nothing to lose?

which bad decision though? it's yet to be decided.

jk all decisions are bad. fate is bad. causality is bad. the commenter above is bad. this reply is bad.

"I'm not in to hero culture"

*proceeds to #humblebrag a story that totally happened*

"Wtf does anyone gain from loudly announcing that they really identify with shooting cops? "

Let's ask it the other way around... what do you gain by dissociating yourself from acts of turning back violence against the oppressors?

Yeah yeah I know. Apathy, weakness, resiliation... same old story.

In other words, what is the value, strenght or even relevance of your anarchism if it won't support those who're actively and concretely standing up to the oppressors? Bourque's buddy was a known anarcho of his milieu in Moncton. He was killed basically for just being some lumpen punky guy.

And let's get real... it's saying that in times where some anarchos in Hamilton will be the object of mass media shaming, nation-wide, just because of a small riot where yuppie shops were smashed. To say that there's no gain in supporting acts of violence is totally nonviolence rhetoric bullshit. Like if we support such murder, we'll get all the "public" against us blabalbalbla... Like we haven't got it already!

Violence *works*, but it does only if there's solidarity around it. The cops, government are the first to know this secret. That's why they go to such long distance to publicly discredit any sort of confrontation with the established order and its agents.. in the hope of breaking wider support for these actions.

Why not actually wait for an answer instead of that hostile, bad faith bullshit ranting?

The point isn't about whether violence should be turned back against the oppressor, it's that LARPy chest-thumping about it online only serves your ego and the surveillance apparatus.

Put another way, if you weren't completely full of shit, likely you wouldn't be rambling about it here.

Then there's the added later of intrigue, where several different types of trolls might want to cultivate really toxic discourse here, for their own reasons...

Anyway, "Lessons from Ferguson" by Gelderloos is similar to my position on these topics, although I doubt you actually want an answer, ya little windbag dickhead.

In addition... the Bourque killings did even trigger a clean-up operation in the local RCMP, where a few cops were fired after the chief's inquiry in corruption and abuse of power. I guess this would have also meant losing your job you if that'd would have been in your town... SAD!

Wtf is "silently distancing" anyway?

As in, if I don't hear somebody say something then that's the equivalent of them failing to endorse something that I think they should?

Logic is hard...

it's called "tiptoeing". i've seen it in scooby doo

Logic is hard.....
WTF is "silently distancing"?
Waving goodbye!

Observed from various security cameras in a subway station, someone tricks the motion sensor on a fare gate into opening their path, and three people stream through without paying.

In a psychiatric ward, someone ducks into a bathroom to smoke a cigarette with the shower running. Drawn on the inside of the door in cartoonish style is a decapitated rooster, underneath, scrawled in black lettering, "Fuck Nurgel! Fuck this! The world of the lugals is a reich!"

A bum wandering through a northern winter gets a Tinder account, and uses it to solicit floors to sleep on.

Someone transplants poison ivy rhizomes into the patch of grass next to the police station.

Two strangers sit in a banking lobby smoking cigarettes and talking all night. They only have three beers between them, but they still get pretty silly.

Some friends working on a haunted house steal six election signs to make electrical pressure plates, meant to trigger pirated and remixed horror movie clips in one of the rooms. There's talk afterwards of trying to build a wind turbine next time there's an election.

The self checkout line at a 24-hour drug store is watched by an elderly security guard. He's usually reading a newspaper, and some friendly young people haven't paid for their coffee in almost two years.

A child and his stuffed tiger don black masks and crash around in the woods, playing a game where the only rule is you can't use the same rule twice.

A joint gets passed around in a park three years before legalization. Someone cracks a forty and it gets passed around. Someone else puts a bag of chocolate covered almonds on the picnic table.

A man dressed like a super hero crosses the border from the United States to Canada illegally using a grappling hook. The authorities know he did it, but still don't know who he is.

Two roommates sit on the front steps of their rundown house. Someone walking along the street stops to bum a cigarette. The three talk for a few hours about the traffic, the neighborhood, health, and dreams. They start having dinner together every week.

this is the best thing i read today!!!!!!
thank you for writing it and for existing!!!!!!!

a charming and heartwarming tale that brought tears to my beady little eyes

Typical feelgood paper-thin anarcho-liberal fan fiction, thank you.

Also plz explain how gnarly homeless guys above 35 yrs old can have a chance to even enter the flats of twenty-somethings through Tinder. Sorry I don't buy it. I believe in many things you aren't, but that woke commie lib pipe-dreaming seems all too good to be true.

missing out on much! The 20 somethings aren't really anything to cherish or envy. Some things look real good on the surface.

The dream of the sexy young girl isn't any more ephemeral and delusional than the anarcho-liberal fan fiction...trust me, I'm "heteronormative scum" as well!

it is being filmed worldwide, the theatre is full of celebs all panting for their selfie. Silence. The child star is here. Bated breath. Then... just like Face-Off, a mask is pulled back to reveal a cute Black girl! You gotta wonder what would then go off in the heads of 'her' followers. If only...eh?

everyone with a (public) twitter account has a cult of personality mindset to some degree

At different places to different ppl, some believe that narcissism and self promotion are practically the same thing...

That belief is not far from the truth, especially when the only form of communication many understand is some sort of self-aggrandizing trope

that people who run things are emotionally dead, uninteresting, and don't like to think for themselves. I'm not really that into the carbon based critique she's upset about as it's just a result of the blatantly awful aspects of civilization. My hope for her is that she doesn't stay stuck in this line of activism...that more avenues of exploration will open up...

"people who run things are emotionally dead, uninteresting, and don't like to think for themselves."

You only have to go in the business management faculty of any campus to realize that. Also media studies to some extent. People that make careers out of dodging accountability and ethics.

She's sick of boomers!

Heh! She's not interesting for her critique, which is pretty standard green-reformist shit. I think it's because she's extremely succinct and gives a hell of a good speech, while also being exactly the right combo of identities to play to the widest audience of people who aren't already radicals (i.e., clueless, middle-class white moderates at the centre of the empire)

I didn't know what to make of her until she came to town and it was so weird; this dorky little teenager caused almost every single "normie", non-political person to freak out and triggered some kind emotional breakdown for them. She collapses the "liberal mind prison" and they wig out and actually start thinking and it's not pretty at all! It's awkward or worse and then they start crying or throw a temper tantrum … I do not envy this kid. It's like being a child star in hollywood except with more nazis trying to spit in your face when you make public appearances.

$20 says she becomes a complete hermit by the time she's 25.

OOH NO YOU DON'T DISEMPOWER MY VIKING SISTER, I HAVE 40% VIKING DNA AND I WILL RAISE YOÙR $20 AND THROW IN 5 COWS, 2 SHEEP AND A WENCH THAT SHE DOES NOT BECOME A HERMIT BUT INSTEAD SAILS THE OCEAN IN FOSSIL FUEL FREE WIND SHIPS CONQUERING THE CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVE HORDES ALONG THE WEST AND EAST COAST OF MUHRICA!!

Most boomers are/were latent narcissists!

"especially when the only form of communication many understand is some sort of self-aggrandizing trope"

Cut to some well-known commenters of this site right here, with anarchyplanet IRC as a combo. No need for Twitter. Claptrap is still a great vehicle for narcissists everywhere.

What makes Twitter special, imo, is its structural support for intense representation politics, which is conductive to narcissists' trope, yet also does other things.

from facebook because there are fewer restrictions, its more colorful and all around better for trolling. I used to have a troll account on there, but the problem is I'm so much better at it when I'm not really trying!

Would a lowlife troll like Leway have any chance of spreading his filth on Twitter?

To answer your question, he would be deleted. There is no site which tolerates statements like ----
These slimy capitalist masses and their disgusting hamburger scoffing fat assed heroes who cannot put a coherent sentence together of more than 3 words, who spend their empty commodity bloated existence grinning at shining cars and plates overflowing with junk food shall DIE DIE DIE.
You can't say nasty stuff anymore.

Which can be turned into thoughtstream threads(which I'll do now and again). I agree there is an annoying virtue signaling representational politics to it though in my case I'd like to think I throw curve balls in terms of what I say, like and retweet. The smarter Dupont's on there and talks in his usual riddleesque sort of way. I think the key is to not tweet too much. William 'Goofy Hipster Doofus' Gillis is a good example of what's bad about 'radical' twitter. Compulsive tweeting performativity and elective representational virtue at its worse.

in general. A lot of studies have shown that it harbors a lot of jealousy of people "having better lives than you", and compared to real life communication it's very weak and since the number of likes/friends is always important it will ultimately just serve the purposes of gaining validation. When i use this website i enjoy myself at times but it ultimately just feels very alienating and lonely if i spend a lot of time on here.

It seems like people can't be nasty anymore but this is really just in the context of polite adult interaction, there's still a lot of bullying that goes on at schools (well duh school is a form of bullying). There's also masked nastiness through compliments and all that lol.

Not any chance, and that's the exact reason why LeWank's been trolling here... because he's been relatively allowed to do so for a long, long time.

Huh, but wait, correct me if I am wrong? But yesterday, on this very thread, there was a commenter " Le Way?"who was making articulate comments in support of Greta with Nihilist, before he was deleted. Is this the Le Way you are referring to, and was it because he introduced post-modern theory into the thread that his comments are regarded as trolling. It doesn't make sense that trolls are not anons, why would they admit their identity if they are chronic trolls?

in fact, you might be him.
and different trolls are different. he might not realize he's trolling, he might think he should get to troll. all kinds of things could be happening. none of them very interesting. haven't you something better to be pondering?
what do you think about your capacity to tell a different kind of story than your friends and family? how would it be different? what does "stage" or "story" mean to you?

WTF, Yeah, somewhere else I read that this guy or it was the Leway? dude who fights racist cops, he's like a humble hero but he got deleted, like a real anarchist dude gets deleted, unless like you say he's a post-modern Marxist, but from what I've heard he's a politician hating Stirnerian! Maybe its about policy on this site, you gotta be Proudhonian or Bakuninian to not get deleted, Or what?

If you start blurting out Lyotard's Marxist social-Darwinist crap on an anarchist site, you can expect to be deleted. That goes without saying!

He's an anti-Semitic always hating on Abrahamic folk and saying Auschwitz is civilization and other racist stuff but he says he has jewish friends. LeFool is a total lying lowlife scum!!

that's why his maltreatment on here makes me sad :-( Anarchists are not known for their sense of humor!

Keep beating up cops who pick on your immigrant friends LeWay, don't let @news oppress you!

Like I said, you should totally assume that happened because a troll said so. Yer so smrt!

As I said there are VERY legitimate reasons to reject the Abrahamic thought structure. It actually plays a role in the rise of racism. Goodness knows there are plenty of Stirnerite Nietzschean Jews who don't like it. Auschwitz IS civilization(modern machinological to be exact), that's one of many reasons to be uncivilized in worldview and action.

you're online.
sometimes hating on abrhamic structures is anti-semitic, and sometimes it isn't.

no statement is outside of a context. perhaps le way hasn't proven that his context is the same as yours, at least no to other people's satisfaction. perhaps you're reading him in better faith than he deserves?

But hey ziggles, context is hard, right? At least you've mostly stopped using all those far-right memes in your every day speech. That shit is guaranteed to salt of the earth of your new relationships. Did that happen cuz you hang out here with us? You're welcome champ!

Wonder how many other favours the anarchists done ya? ;)

I'm honestly curious? There is some marginal crossover agreement between me and certain anti-sjw and even some alt-right talking points and this is due to my anti-idpol stances as well as my critique of orthodox 1968 radical frameworks. As to me and their memes however I would love an example from you.

Many ppl on here have used leways name, and I never saw that identifier post anything racist. "He" did say hiel Hitler once, but there are reasons someone might praise Hitler besides his ideological ramblings!

He isn't the first Jew to not like the ancient Abrahamic thought structure. He has an eccentric way of expressing it that comes off the wrong way to many here but I actually find it interesting and non offensive. Being an amorlalist who is not one for being offended by language helps.

And SE's "knowledge" is very reliable, DUH! Just who would doubt his bullshit!?

just stop trusting people in general, its better than singling out certain nihilists/egoists on here and claiming that they are the problem

Hmm, the ol' call of the personality cult?

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