Aragorn!—Elegy for an Antagonist

Aragorn!—Elegy for an Antagonist

From CrimethInc.

On Hostility and Its Limits

On Thursday, February 13, longtime anarchist Aragorn! passed away. A tireless polemicist, Aragorn! established and maintained a great deal of anarchist infrastructure, much of which he never sought credit for. Here, we’ll explore the ways that his legacy challenges us and conclude with remembrances from comrades who shared some of his journey.

We recommend this in conjunction with the lengthy interview we have published with Aragorn!, “A Hell of a Mistress, the Beautiful Idea.”

What He Did

Tracing Aragorn!’s work across the years, we can start with early zines such as Oppression Song and ATR (“After the Revolution”), the latter of which he collaborated on with sometime Inside Front contributor and Catharsis roadie Eric Boehme. Emerging from the vegan straightedge hardcore scene, he published reviews in Maximum RocknRoll and HeartattaCk; he contributed to and later helped to edit Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed and Green Anarchy, the flagships of “post-left” theory and green anarchist agitation, respectively. He founded the anarchist news outlet, just one aspect of the larger platform, which included online forums, an anarchist review project called The Anvil, and the introductory page Anarchy 101.

Aragorn! helped start Ardent Press, which expanded into the publishing and distribution project Little Black Cart. He helped launch a variety of journals, including Attentat and Black Seed. He was involved in a wide array of podcasts, from the early TCN Radio
to the more recent Anews podcast, Anarchy Bang, and the Brilliant. He hosted countless websites for other anarchist projects from a broad range of perspectives.

As a young person, Aragorn! participated in the collective that maintained the Che Café, a decades-running autonomous space in San Diego. Later, he was involved in the Long Haul infoshop in Berkeley and the Berkeley Anarchist Study Group, likely the longest-running anarchist reading group in the United States. Alongside comrades from these circles, he helped organize the annual BASTARD conference and the East Bay Anarchist Book Fair.

Among the most important resources he leaves to us is, a far-reaching collection of anarchist texts. You can find a selection of his work there. A good starting place is his essay “Anarchy without Road Maps or Adjectives,” which still feels fresh today.

None of the aforementioned projects was his alone, but all of them show the stamp of his approach to anarchism.

The Fight for Turtle Island and Boom: Introductory Writings on Nihilism, two books involving Aragorn!.

Aragorn! helped to foster a variety of contentious currents in the anarchist milieu while critiquing each of them in turn. These include “post-left” anarchism (though he came to believe that “post-left” was an unsustainable framework); green anarchism (though he criticized anarcho-primitivism); queer anarchism (he helped publish the Bash Back! Anthology, while suggesting that the authors did not realize that they had failed to escape the tractor beam of identity politics); the French current exemplified by Tiqqun, Appel, and The Coming Insurrection (though he charged that their US adherents were trying to start a cult); and insurrectionist anarchism of the Italian variety (though once again, he believed that US anarchists reduced it to its most superficial aspects). He paid to print a free newspaper collecting all the communiqués from the student occupation movement of 2009-2010 that set the stage for the Occupy movement, despite being critical of the new trend of “anti-state communism” exemplified therein.

Over the past few years, he turned his attention again to indigenous anarchism, publishing a series of interviews in Black Seed. His essays Toward a non-European Anarchism and A Non-European Anarchism remain valuable contributions on the subject, along with his recent book, The Fight for Turtle Island.

Aragorn! took the initiative to broaden and deepen the anarchist critique on a variety of fronts. As he said about LBC, “our project is primarily about delivering other people’s messages to the world.” There was very little he agreed with unreservedly, but he was driven by a personal ambition to create a thriving space of thought and conflict that could challenge the existing order. He saw a value in conflict itself that we owe it to ourselves to understand.

Aragorn! in Athens, Greece, demonstrating his proficiency with a yo-yo.

Above all, I remember the mischievous gleam he always had in his eye, as if we were sharing an inside joke, even if the joke was on me. I remember how his laughter would overpower him—laughter at others’ pretensions, at everything sanctimonious and foolhardy, at his own pettiness, laughter that stood above the world, affirming it, but not for grandiose reasons.

But I also remember that when we were eating, sometimes he would hold his hand demurely in front of his mouth as he chewed. For me, that furtive gesture encapsulated the other side of his personality—his small-town charm and vulnerability. However iconoclastic and bombastic he was, however confrontational, on a personal basis, he preserved a certain decorum.

Who He Was

To chart how Aragorn!’s ideas developed across the course of his life, we can begin with the origin story Aragorn! provides in his own mythology, Stories of the Raccoon People:

The Raccoon people live by simple rules: live life to its fullest, no concession to a world of misery, and run to fight another day.

I first met one of the Raccoon people when I was only a child. He was visiting my parents, dressed in the fashion of the time, and he treated himself to our food and our company. I had never met a happier person. I alternated between bouncing on his knee, wrestling with him over the last piece of bread, and racing around the jungle of our backyard with him, an adult unlike any I had ever met before, or since.

He left behind a little buckskin figurine to remember him by. “Rub this between your palms and say my name. I will not promise that I will come back to you but I promise that my memory will, and often times that will be enough.”

When he left our house my parents stopped speaking to each other. Something about his visit reminded them that they were not working out the way that they expected and each of them began to look for something else. Other people passed through, glass was broken, voices were raised not in song, and eventually feet walked in different directions.

Later in life I found more Raccoon people. They usually did not have time for me because I was looking and they had already found. They were a merry people, running in groups, speaking in code, dressing like explosions and carousels, Bottles in hand, holes in shoes, scabs on joints; these were a people worth knowing.

(Picture me reading this to a lover on Saturday, February 15, 2020, tears running down our faces.)

All the elements we need to extrapolate a young man’s development are present in this origin story: the first glimpse of possibility, the expulsion from paradise, the search for belonging in a secret society that was not particularly welcoming.

Following the trail of the raccoon people, Aragorn! came into his own through a series of gestures of courageous refusal that brought him into contact with other rebels. Looking back in 2015, he described one of these watershed moments, his Situationist-influenced departure from a collective house:

“I can’t imagine having these ideas without the benefit of seeing what impact they had on relationships as they were tested out. One of my clearest experiments of this sort was when I moved out of a group house (the very next day as I recall) when they wrote my name to an objectionable task on the chore wheel because I was at work. I had Debordian fantasies and put my body on the line in their pursuit. But I did not do it in a vacuum. The day I left the house I drove across the state to a warm, waiting room with friends who were happy to see me. The situation would have been miserable if I didn’t have those friends, that shared understanding about Debord, or the money to have a car to make that drive.”

An earlier version of this story appears in Stories of the Bear People as “The Bear Who Wouldn’t Do the Dishes.” In this version, Aragorn! casts the protagonist as a bear—i.e., an individualistic and headstrong survivor of an earlier generation of anarchists—who rejects the chore wheel itself on principle.

Which came first, the conflict or the principles?

Aragorn! and friends at a punk show in 1989.


Let’s return to the hardcore scene Aragorn! grew up in, the crucible in which he and thousands of other rebellious young people of his generation discovered and asserted themselves.

The 1980s hardcore scene was premised on a starkly individualistic concept of the subject, not unlike the medieval Icelandic epic hero: a fiercely independent protagonist guided by a personal code of honor, maintaining intense yet fraught ties with a few close friends, boldly declaring war upon the entire world without hope of victory. If that sounds like an exaggeration, go back and read the lyrics of Side by Side, one of Aragorn’s favorite hardcore bands in his skinhead days. This lone warrior ethos set the stage for epic battles in which one could prove one’s mettle against rivals, jocks, cops, bosses, Nazi skinheads, the necessity to sell one’s labor on the market, and other monstrosities—not in order to bring about the end of their rule so much as to embody something outside them.

Some who grew up in this scene remained individualistic and were consequently isolated and defeated; if it’s you against the world, bet on the world. Others, whose fortitude had been premised on an imagined “unity” with others in the scene, gave up and assimilated. Aragorn! joined the punks of the 1990s who sought a third option, attempting to rebuild their relations on entirely different premises—to fuse the best of independence and interdependence. He traveled the US in these networks, living from job to job and scam to scam, reading the Situationists and developing his analysis.

Decades later, Aragorn! was still entertained by everything joyous and ridiculous about hardcore. But he also regarded the hardcore scene with mixed emotions. Towards the later 1990s, Aragorn! was sidelined in the scene as a result of being called out for his conduct in sexual relationships. This taught him the importance of being self-aware about the effects of his actions, but it also underscored the risks of what could happen when others controlled the narrative.

This is hardly the only way to interpret Aragorn!’s youth. But it gets at some recurring themes: arriving as a poor Midwestern teenager in wealthy Marin County, participating in mostly white punk and anarchist circles as a descendant of an indigenous people subjected to genocide, Aragorn! repeatedly experienced the tensions between individual and collective rebellion—and the dynamics that divide even rebels into included and excluded.

Aragorn! in 1990.

We met for the first time early in 2008 at the last NCOR (National Conference on Organized Resistance) in Washington, DC. He experienced his first cerebral aneurysm the following year, in October 2009. The first time he and I interacted outside a conference or book fair, he had just experienced his second episode. I didn’t think much about it at the time. Although several friends of mine had passed away, somehow I still took it for granted that all who were still living would go on doing so forever, immortal.

The Gadfly

Fast forward into the 21st century. By 2012, had become the chief news and discussion venue in an anarchist resurgence driven by a burgeoning insurrectionist current. The collective around Little Black Cart was publishing a new book every month. Yet although the infrastructure Aragorn! and his comrades had established was central to what thousands of anarchists were doing in the United States, he remained a polarizing figure.

Part of this was for reasons that preceded his tenure. Murray Bookchin’s hit piece Social Anarchism or Lifestyle Anarchism had declared “an unbridgeable chasm” in 1995, imputing a made-up identity to all anarchists who did not embrace Bookchin’s specific brand of anarchism and seeking to excise them from the historical tradition. So-called “lifestyle anarchists” had responded in kind, triggering an escalating conflict that embittered many groups against each other, including AK Press and Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed. Aragorn! inherited this conflict—and embraced it.

In this context, Aragorn! adopted a fundamentally combative approach to infrastructure. He would pick a target—nearly always what he perceived to be a tame, conservative anarchist project—and attempt to supplant it with his own version. As a venue for news and discussion, was designed to displace, which it succeeded in doing when online discourse became more antagonistic. Similarly, Little Black Cart emulated the model of PM Press. At its worst, this approach was reactive, limiting his efforts to imitating existing models rather than establishing new experiments alongside longstanding anarchist projects.

Whenever he was faced with a contest, Aragorn! was determined to win. As he declared in “Be Relentless,”

“This commitment to tension, competition, and conflict […] makes me a generally not-pleasant person to be around but it makes me awesome. When I turn my attention to a problem or an interest I feel like I am relentless in attacking, building, or nurturing it. I have taken my failures (especially interpersonal) seriously and continue to search for other relentless people to surround myself with. I think you should do the same.”

It is easy to dismiss this as mere ambition for power. But the logic behind his combativeness bears further reflection.

First, as he never tired of emphasizing, Aragorn! was pursuing a different idea of anarchy than his rivals. He saw the value of revolt as immanent rather than prefigurative—in other words, he believed that to be meaningful, an act of rebellion should have intrinsic value without any certainty that the future will return interest on the investment. He was so suspicious of the idea of revolution as a grand cause to serve that he often accused comrades who were pursuing their own self-directed projects of engaging in what he derisively described as “activism” or “strugglismo.” As he declared to an interviewer in summer 2018,

“For me, the idea, the beautiful idea, is about—how do you connect ideas to living? It’s not about ‘the struggle.’”

In some ways, this is precisely the attitude Bookchin decried as “lifestylist,” refined and theorized as a critique of alienation. Aragorn!’s analysis could seem maddeningly incoherent; for example, while opposing the politics of sacrifice, he retained a soft spot for regicides.

But there is something more to this dispute than the question of what it means to be subversive. In Aragorn!’s writing, we see him problematize agreement itself while championing an agonistic vision of social relations based on generative conflict. In a society in which adherence to consensus reality is one of the chief obstacles to revolt, he aimed to foster discomfort and discord:

“It is the cops who implement, the middle managers who hammer out the terms, the teachers and parents who convince us there is no outside, and the shoppers, wage laborers, and protesters who consent to the terms of the agreement… My feeling is that the agreement is the problem and the process by which one figures out exactly what we agreed to is one I continue to be capable of being seduced by. I may hate you but in your stupid, ill-advised, immature, silly yearning I still love you. Both are true at once.

-Aragorn!, “As much as I hate you, work is worse,” July 4, 2015

The same ambivalence in this passage reappears elsewhere when Aragorn! describes his feelings about the anarchist milieu: “Obviously it is love and hate but if love is a decision about who you want to live and die with… I’m still here.”

Aragorn! with his friend scott crow.

If agreement is the problem, how does one conduct oneself towards those one loves? Near the end of his life, Aragorn! returned to the question of how to describe the basic principles of anarchism, settling on “attack” as an expression of love:

“I desire freedom and think that timing, attack, and my voluntary associations are necessary to achieve it. Before I am free I think the preconditions of freedom are worth methodically going through, I do this by way of publications but I recognize there may be better ways that require a different social organization than the one I have access to. But in this space of creating preconditions I attempt to be transparent, poetic, and open with who I work with and how we do it. I strive for an environment that is both/and rather than either/or. Indifference, exclusion, and isolation are forms of hate. Attack is a form of love.”

-Aragorn!, “Anarchist Principles redux,” October 23, 2018

This should help to elucidate Aragorn!’s persistent contrarianism. Maintaining the combative ethos of the hardcore scene filtered through Nietzsche, he set out to attack and critique everything contrived and pietistic in his comrades as well as society at large. He was especially exasperated by performative virtue and Manichaean notions of good and evil:

“One common hostility I have towards many anarchists is the general attitude I find that anarchists tend to be for good things and against bad things… We are against bad things, therefore we are also against ourselves.”

“Both/and” means acknowledging positive and negative, good and bad, all of which can be targets for critique.

Critique is the gadfly’s weapon of choice, a weapon with which he often performs a beneficial role. But in a milieu predicated on ideological agreement, the line between gadfly and scapegoat is narrow indeed.

Aragorn!, ready for a cold motorcycle ride.

The Scapegoat

The contrarian whose defiance enables him to break with the ruling order but ultimately costs him the company of other rebels: this is a story much older than the anarchist movement.

Aragorn! understood the risks of becoming ensnared in grudge matches. He summarized much of what he learned from the misfortunes of the previous generation of post-left anarchists in a kiss-off to Bob Black. Yet if you go through that essay replacing the name “Bob Black” with “Aragorn!” much of it still rings true. Patterns are very difficult to break—as Aragorn! often emphasized.

Aragorn! struggled with envy of others’ success, having reason to fear on the basis of his experience that if others could control the narrative, he might find himself isolated and excluded. This became a self-fulfilling prophecy: what others perceived as his accumulation of power without concern for their well-being drove them to establish projects that left no space for him. Any totalizing model that fails to encompass the whole inevitably gives rise to its own opposition.

Aragorn!’s various conflicts with other anarchists are not as interesting as the fact that these conflicts played out according to a pattern so familiar that the details are practically immaterial. Stubbornness giveth and stubbornness taketh away. Likewise, in the claustrophobic atmosphere of the milieu, every younger generation hurries to repeat the Oedipal rites of patricide, guaranteeing that the cycle of bloodletting will repeat as soon as the next generation comes of age.

This sums up what kind of person Aragorn! was: he kept hosting the webpage for the Seattle Anarchist Book Fair even after Little Black Cart was banned from participating in it. Many different aspects of his story are interwoven in that single anecdote.

In every group, there is one person who is widely regarded as the worst of all, the most execrable. Scapegoats serve the function of enabling everyone else to come together and feel that they share something: if nothing else, they all have in common that the fact that they are not the scapegoat. The others hurry to demonstrate how much they belong by heaping scorn upon the scapegoat—until one day the scapegoat is not there anymore and the role is transferred to the next in line.

If we were part of a community bound together by compassionate and sustainable ways of relating, we would recognize that the scapegoat plays an essential role, a sacred role. We would have customs by which to secretly honor and protect those in danger of occupying the role of scapegoat, without making the situation explicit to anyone involved. We would not hurry to exclude and isolate scapegoats, we would not hasten the time when we might find ourselves in their shoes. By keeping those who are different safe among us, we keep ourselves safe. That goes for the most frustrating, the most outré, the most controversial.

How can we be critical without excluding people? How do we maintain space for difference without inviting in toxicity? How can we respect older generations and continue to include them without exalting their errors? How can we transform even attack into an expression of love? These are the questions to which we must apply ourselves.

I will always remember the last time Aragorn! stayed at our house. The night before the book fair, my housemate decided that we needed to have some proper punk rock entertainment and taught herself all the songs by Minor Threat on her guitar in the course of a couple hours. She found someone in town who could play the drums and at midnight, a Minor Threat cover band performed in our living room for the benefit of the couple dozen anarchists quartered in our neighborhood.

All we had for a microphone was a bullhorn. We passed it around, moshing and stagediving and accidentally kicking out one of the front windows as we shouted the lyrics together. Aragorn! ended up with the bullhorn for one song—I remember it as “Small Man, Big Mouth,” but my friend says it was “Filler”—and he sang it in the style of the old Clevo hardcore bands, roaring “WOOOOOAAAH!” during the buildup before the chorus came in, a gesture that was only legible to me as the only other 40-something hardcore kid in the room.

Five and a half years later, that window remains broken, a monument to a time when we were all together. I still remember the expression of joy on his face, that same mischievous gleam in his eye, though afterwards he insisted that he was over hardcore and didn’t really miss it. I didn’t believe him for a second.

Ultimately, Aragorn!’s contest was not with us, but with death. It had been stalking him all along, more lethal than scene drama—just as it awaits us all.

When one of us passes away, we are reminded of how interconnected we all are, of how much we depend on each other and take each other for granted, even those we consider our enemies. We have the opportunity to reaffirm our appreciation and care for each other, to do right by each other—by both the living and the dead.

We cherish Aragorn’s memory above all because of how intensely and passionately he lived—because he took his way of being to the maximum, demonstrating all its advantages and disadvantages for everyone to see, absolutely unique and irreplaceable. We can all aspire to do the same before our time comes.

“Perhaps we can begin a set of conversations about how each of us, how each type of personality and skillset can add to a complex social environment that shares a love of the Beautiful Idea and respects others who do the same. Perhaps that respect can mean something more than the Internet is capable of demonstrating. I know that for me, the projects of this large group of people, striving for the Beautiful Idea always interest me, even if I disagree with them.”

-Aragorn!, “Cooperation,” April 22, 2017

Some Remembrances

Fuck you Aragorn! for leaving us. You can’t just up and leave. 

But that was also totally the thing you would do in social settings. It was like your mic drop, some bullshit thing to flaunt your confidence to us humble Midwesterners. I remember telling you to not forget your roots—that you come from the land of polite behavior and it won’t kill you to be nice once in a while. And then of course you’d tell me to get assertive and honest once in a while. Fair enough.

The projects we worked on, the hours spent fighting and laughing on the phone, I could never recall them all. We connected over our Western Michigan roots; the evolution of punk and hardcore and anarchy in Grand Rapids that strung our generations together; the people and culture here that both of us knew deeply; and the trees and the glow of autumn and the lakes. You told me not to buy a snowmobile one time because you were convinced they were too dangerous. You were overly protective of me. You scolded me for not getting my chimney cleaned right away one winter because you thought my house would go up in flames. It never did. But I also got it swept the following week. Thanks for the reminder. 

You cared about shit towns and shit projects that were just trying to find a different and beautiful place in this wretched world. You truly gave those spaces and ideas and people the time of day. The diligence, patience, and endurance you surprisingly held for putting up with such frustrating things is beyond inspiring. Fuck, there is just so much more I could say about that.

You were vulnerable and open about so much to me. Dreams and hardships. I would defend you constantly when your name came up. Always prefacing my defense of you with a “Sure, Aragorn! can be a total asshole, but…” and go on to humanize you, most of the time. 

We tromped through the snow. You introduced me to your parents’ graves and the creek not too far from there. You showed me the pines and maples that surrounded the house that was a home to you. We made really gross spaghetti there one time and you blamed me for it. I still have no idea how that was my fault. Your aunt told me I “seemed like a really sweet girl” and you laughed that really frustrating, high-pitched laugh where you’d talk through giggles and wave a hand and manage an “I’m sorry, but…” another giggle “if you actually knew her…” What a piece of shit.

And you also taught myself and others the endless possibilities we carry in our hearts while often laughing in our faces. Remember that one time I invited you over to meet some new folks from Occupy or something while you were in town? I was so embarrassed by your behavior that evening. You told them how they should be thankful for how cheap it was to live in the Midwest and said, “In the Bay, some people only make $15 an hour and you just can’t survive on that!” Then one kid goes, “Hold up. You can make $15 an hour out there? Drug dealers don’t even make that much here. Trust me, I’ve tried.” You laughed so hard you almost fell out of the rocking chair you were sitting in. Then another kid goes, “Wait, why is that so funny?”

And remember when we talked late into the night around the wood stove at my house, you were probably in that same rocking chair, and pondered for hours how one might “create” indigeneity? Our conversation went deep and on and on and we found our way into another project collaboration. I will always appreciate the ways our brains spun dreams and unearthed fears and centered our words and hearts around the beautiful idea. I miss you, dear friend.

Chi-miigwech for everything you gave to us.

My experience with Aragorn! was not particularly unique. It started with observing his online presence in the Infoshop News comments sections, usually while he was arguing with the site’s administrator, Chuck0. I came out of a similar punk subculture that valued conflict and sought humor in sarcasm and playful ribbing with friends (and maybe less playful versions of both with enemies). So the harsh edge that A! could bring to the table never bothered me the way it has others. I could find in conflict a form of friendship.

The first time we met in person, he told me that his whole nihilism/nothing matters thing was a joke, and that other people (friends of mine) had taken it too far in their willingness to steal from hypothetical neighbors in a hypothetical future post-collapse world. There were several other times when I heard him lament the outward effects of his words and actions, and often wondered where those reflections would lead him.

Through the early 2000s, my anarchist perspective was influenced by his essays and editing in Green Anarchy magazine and Anarchy: Journal of Desire Armed, which at the time was the most widespread anarchist publication in the US. The local magazine store carried A:JODA, making it an easy (yet difficult) gateway into anarchist thought that didn’t presume that the Spanish Civil War was the end-all-be-all of anarchist praxis.

Not long after LBC was started, A! agreed to carry one of my projects, which I’m sure he hated. A! wasn’t one to mince words or hold back, even if the words he held forth weren’t necessarily clarifying or constructive. But the destructive urge is a creative urge as well. Even within A!’s negativity, positive threads could be teased out, possibly to his dismay. Years later, when we collaborated on a project, I was endlessly frustrated by our differences in work method. Only in hindsight can I see that he was telling me I was doing a good job by not telling me I was doing a bad job.

In a discussion about how difficult his thoughts and feelings are to pin down, he told me that his philosophy sat at the intersection that was his publishing project. I doubt that anyone who didn’t share immediate space with him will ever know how many projects he facilitated, serving as a sort of midwife. But the casual observer can look at the Little Black Cart catalog and tease out a vague notion of how A! felt about the world. This vague notion was often maddening for me; I can’t count how many times he told me that something I voiced was wrong, or just that he disagreed with it, only to refuse to explain further. This only made me crave his thoughts more, even though I knew that I might disagree with his analysis. But he forced me to think harder about what I was saying and doing with my time and energy.

In recent years, Aragorn!’s decisions and actions have made larger numbers of anarchists angry. The vague tendency people call Antifa(tm) has become a sacred cow. A! was critical of this, despite being an indigenous person who was stabbed by a Nazi before most of his detractors had ever even heard of Nazis or anarchists. A! arrived at this criticism through an experience that most of us will hopefully never have. Whether or not we agreed with his criticisms, we should have valued them more than we did—we should have recognized them as born of blood and fire, the same blood and fire that inspire us. Aragorn! and his projects have been “cancelled,” banned, deemed “dangerous.” But what is anarchy without danger? What is it without disagreement and conflict? A homogenous mass of missionaries, replicating the values of the society that created us in the first place.

Of all of us, Aragorn! was maybe the least understood, the least comprehensible. He came off as contradictory and vague. This led to positions being attributed to him that he didn’t actually hold. For a time, he was often accused of being against “positive” projects. But his life was as full of “positive projects” as one could imagine. He produced an enormous amount of anarchist material; his influence extends far beyond books. His whole life was one big positive project with a lining of negativity.

It pains me to recall how many of us kept quiet while he reaped the ire of internet drama from people who misunderstood and misrepresented his words and positions. It pains me that I probably didn’t do enough to counter the homogenization of an anarchist milieu that has now lost a powerful anti-homogenizing force. Fear of social repercussions is the mindkiller. Our milieu moved several steps towards homogeneity this week, a homogeneity that can only weaken us.

When I met Aragorn!, he told me that he didn’t really consider people to be his friends until they had been around for five years. I thought that was a bit extreme but I respected it, and I really looked forward to the five-year mark. I think he gave in with me a little before five years had passed, but it was definitely a few years before we got to know each other better.

Around the time I met him, I was hanging out with the first all-anarchist crew of friends I had ever had. It took me many years of coming in and out of contact with anarchists to figure out where I wanted to be in relation to them. I was full of excitement and energy about the new direction my life had taken at this time… but also often disheartened and frustrated at the lack of kindness and the abundance of terrible communication that I was experiencing in these circles. So many well-read, super-deep-into-theory anarchists were so good at dismissing me, not caring what I had to say or what I thought. I was new to so much of it. Thankfully, it didn’t scare me off completely—though if it hadn’t been for experiences like the one I had with Aragorn!, it might have. He never made me feel stupid or talked down to me. Aragorn! had a way of being interested in people and what made them who they were that was unique and very encouraging. He often asked what I thought of things and would even send me writing he was working on from time to time to get my opinion. I am a person who’s never been very good at theory-heavy stuff. It takes me months to read a book, if I even finish it. Despite these things, Aragorn! cared what I had to say and was interested in my ideas. He frustrated me with how much he disagreed with everything, but always challenged me in interesting ways. It’s impossible to express how important this has been for me.

Aragorn! was so much more soft and sensitive than many people knew. He was truly such a kindhearted creature. I cried in front of him multiple times. One of those times was when my sweet pit bull died; another was during some dark personal shit I was going through. Both times, he was so fully present and supportive and kind. From those lows to some ridiculous highs like sharing piles of ice cream on top of a pile of brownies or feeling super cool when he gave me a ride to my welding class on his motorcycle… he always made me laugh and remember what was important.

His playfulness is highlighted in my memory of visiting his place during a book fair weekend in 2013. He suddenly and gleefully ran through the yard, sun blasting behind as he carried a black flag, darting around and dodging all the friends, furniture, and dogs around him. Every time we shared space, I was drawn to that spark that he had.

What I love the most about Aragorn! is the intangible, the unexplainable. The fiery trickster villain energy that’s impossible to duplicate or capture. Maybe he is an actual spark now, existing in the unfolding of explosions forever. I bet he’d find this cheesy but semi-secretly like it. I love you my friend!

Aragorn! at the A Fire at the Mountain Book Fair in Flagstaff, Arizona in 2013.

Aragorn! loved mentoring young people. Not in that way where people who go to punk shows too long build cred by talking endlessly about how all their peers sold out. Rather, while he lived with people from the old days and worked on projects with them, he always brought those projects to spaces full of young people to discuss the ideas with them, to show them new things. He’d ride a motorcycle halfway across the country to a book fair in the middle of nowhere that amounted to little more than a garage show slumber party because he thought young people there might enjoy what he’d published.

That’s not to say he didn’t talk about the past. He was a wealth of first-hand anarchist history. But he never made you feel like you had missed the hey-day and were now living in some sort of epilogue. He would just give you information that could help you understand yourself and your friends in a much longer context.

Aragorn! loved discussing, debating, questioning, and explaining ideas—and he structured his life in a way that provided him maximum time to do just that. When I worked at Little Black Cart, the compound was a modest book nerd’s paradise. A diverse bunch of folks living in a couple houses with a big yard with happy dogs and a park-style picnic table with people nearly always sitting at it, right outside of a print shop with everything necessary to make a hundred copies of a book—or just one for yourself or a friend. When not traveling all over the country on a motorcycle, meeting people through his books, this is where he spent nearly all his time. If that’s not killing it, I don’t know what is.

Aragorn! is exactly the kind of foe I wanted to have. All differences aside, including the time he accused my friends and me of being a cult after we had spent a seemingly enjoyable few days together, nobody can say that Aragorn! didn’t work tirelessly, year after year, to maintain, develop, and share a vicious, dangerous, and unforgiving anarchist ideology. Through the years, even as our politics diverged more sharply, it was always reassuring to know that someone dedicated and focused was facilitating the development of a completely parallel and uncompromising politics, a vast conversation involving young, inexperienced, jaded, burned out, and elderly people, involving brilliant loners and just plain lonely or difficult people. Aragorn! published works he disliked by people he loathed; he circulated texts and pamphlets he thought were stupid. He built platforms for anarchist ideas to be read, discussed, and embraced in their most furious, their most cruel, their most impossible formulations.

Anarchist conflicts do not sacrifice the enemy for the fatherland. They elevate all the participants in the contest, refining us, bringing us to higher, sharper, more dignified positions. Without Aragorn!, it falls to the rest of us to preserve the sufficient negativity, the requisite cynicism, the appropriate nihilism, to meet the problems we all face, separately and together, side by side and head to head.


I am so sad—it is very sudden. I am at Exarchia Square, just finished the national assembly of Anarchist Federation in K-Vox, eight hours non-stop talking about all possible ways to turn social apathy into social revolt with crazy motherfuckers from all over Greece. I walk to the square. Friends from London, Arizona, and Greece just started this new group Obsedian and they have a public gathering at the square against the police. It is winter in Athens, Athens is sad in winter. Suddenly, an American anarchist friend grabs me: “Man, I tell you this because I know he is a friend of yours—ARAGORN! IS DEAD.”

You cannot hate God—because God is dead. The void is around us, inside us, and between us. The void doesn’t keep us apart; it connects us.

I am sad. It has been so long since I lost a beloved friend in sudden death that I almost forgot how sad it is. Aragorn! was an amazing being, real dynamite in a Nietzschean kind of way. I wonder how it is possible for a fanatical Stirnerist to offer all his life for all of us, the global anarchist movement. In Aragorn!’s life, Max Stirner’s vision about free human beings makes sense. Aragorn! and Paul Simons, the other amazing comrade we lost last year, were two persons from the same anarchist cell that manifested the core of the ideas of Stirner. You have to be a free individual to be a part of a revolution—and this freedom, you must take it for yourself—nobody will ever give it to you.

All of us hope to die having offered a lot of things to Anarchy. Although Aragorn! died so suddenly, he leaves having offered so much for the revolution—the revolution exactly as he had it in his own mind. In this way, he created amazing anarchist non-sectarian projects and at the same time he was a part of some amazing sects. He ended debates and started plenty of them, he helped anarchism to spread and also to change. Aragorn! was a real provocateur, sometimes intentionally positioning himself in the middle of dangerous and delicate debates. He was a peaceful person at war with the universe, a cyber-primitivist, a social individualist, an insurrectionist nihilist—a real friend.

Aragorn! always had one thing in mind: anarchists are here to fight for individual emancipation and also for social freedom and this is not easy at all. We are fighting against the state, against capital, but also against the obedient society that supports them. We have to find ways to walk at this thin line between freedom and misanthropy, chaos and death, hate and compassion. If you fight for a world without police and organized armies, you have to cultivate yourself to accept and respect people around you in a way that is not easy at all even to imagine now. We are living in a cannibalistic human era and we walk around year after year in fear and confusion. If you search for someone else to take you by the hand and lead you to anarchist paradise you will never have the chance to recognize that all possible freedom is inside you and it needs a lot of courage and a lot of determination to manifest it and defend it here, now and for ever.

Aragorn! was a great person and I had the feeling that he would stay with us much longer. Now I realize that I felt this because he was so dedicated to anarchism, like almost having a dialogue with the long, long future of Anarchy. There are very few comrades around this planet regarding whom you can feel that they will be part of the movement for all of the decades to come no matter what will happen. They will not have children—or if they do, it will not change anything. They will not work bullshit jobs—or if they do, it will not change anything. They will not miss the assembly because they are in a meeting, they don’t look busy to be cool, they will be available in any moment, under all kinds of circumstances, they will be here, no matter what is going on, they will be here. Aragorn! is one of them.

If all of us and each one of us would dare to offer even 10% of the time that Aragorn! spent organizing and spreading revolutionary anarchism during his lifetime, we would destroy capitalist civilization forever in one summer.

All of us from Void Network and Exarchia express our deepest and sincere respect for this amazing revolutionary and great friend. Good night Aragorn!—we will meet soon in Nothingness.

Life is short—NOW we have to destroy all chains and run wild, FREE.


Aragorn! was a challenging person in the best ways possible, and at times in very… challenging ways. A lot of criticism was leveled at him by a lot of people he rubbed the wrong way. In the 15 or so years I’ve known him, I’ve always felt like he cared about me, I’ve always appreciated the ways he made me think. He could be gruff and seem callous on the outside, but he was truly a sensitive and creative person who cared more deeply than most people know is even possible.

His steadfast and lifelong dedication to the beautiful idea of anarchy and against a world of hierarchy and domination earned him numerous enemies throughout his life, both on the left and on the right. He didn’t like to talk about it (understandably), but in the 1990s in Sacramento, he was stabbed during a brawl with Neo-Nazis and lived with the consequences for decades.

His commitment to the projects he took on and the contributions he made to Little Black Cart, the Brilliant podcast, Black Seed, Ardent Press, hosting dozens of rad websites, AJODA, his series of interviews with other indigenous anarchists, Green Anarchy Magazine, and the East Bay Anarchist Book Fair (to name just a few) helped shape the ideas of thousands of people around the world. He encouraged everyone to think critically about how they engage with ideas and with the world. He didn’t hold back or mince words. He inspired and frustrated people to be better.

I don’t think we will even begin to realize all the consequences of his death for years, and my sincerest hope is that we all can find something of value from what he offered the world.

Whether you loved him or hated him, his contributions are undeniable. He is gone at far too young an age, with so much left to do. I hope we can find it in ourselves to live life with even a fraction of the perseverance and ferocity that Aragorn! did and apply ourselves to our projects and ideas with a dedication even he would appreciate.

He definitely would have hated this attention and disagreed with most of what I’ve written here, but I’ve never let his disapproval stop me from doing anything before. Yet I know for sure I’ll think about it more critically because of his influence.

Long live anarchy.

Other Eulogies

“He wasn’t running in a popularity contest, he was trying to flesh out what it means to be an anarchist at the end of the world.”

-Rotten, fellow former editor of Green Anarchy

There are 119 Comments


Tasos's contribution is hi-lar-ious.

But I think it speaks highly of A! that people could see so many different things in him.

is creepy.
the presumption of doing this without talking to people more closely involved who are known and available to at least one crimethinc author is creepy.
crimethinc's push to be the authoritative story on anarchist events (or any events) is creepy.
my inability atm to find a better word than creepy is creepy.
the tacit acceptance of a! as the lone person worth mentioning in these projects is surprising, i would expect crimethinc to have more reflective gender politics than that (so, good for them, i guess?)...
and they didn't get some things correct, most notably to this reader, their re-wording of what a! thought about post-left.
it's interesting to see what it's like to be on the inside of The CrimethInc Treatment.

I guess I don't see it as creepy but more like as folks from a rival? anarchist group being like A! was important, everyone has to give him credit.
Like, is IGD going to say anything?
If not...... why not?

to the person who asked if IGD was going to say something- on their twitter account they retweeted the crimethinc tweet promoting 'Aragorn! - Elegy for an Antagonist'.

"....their re-wording of what a! thought about post-left."

Yea that's interesting. He said much of the post left, but if one were to replace CT's summery with one more accurate, then what would that be?

for "non-sustainable" would be "incomplete" or "insufficient"

i'm pretty sure, anyway. fuck speaking for dead or absent people though, in general, but if anyone gets to here, it's me ffs.

I'd like to see an answer about this, too. Like, he once told me that "post-left" was not a useful category, because you can't just be post-something forever, you can't just be reactive, you have to eventually indicate something else about what direction you're trying to go.

Like Jesus, we can have as many versions as we wish. Aragorn! the starry-eyed soul chasing after the Beautiful Idea, Aragorn! the human flesh eating monster, Aragorn! the bomb-thrower, Aragorn! the modern day Albert Libertad, to the Aragorn! who hurt feels.

But yes, many who had seemingly written him off have been coming out of the woodwork to honor him - which is somewhat fair since he could very difficult to navigate.

The last time I messaged Aragorn! it was after LBC was banned from a local book fair in which Crimethink had a presentation. Aragorn indicated to me that the anarchist milieu "is shrinking for reasons related to them." After pressing him to explain that a couple of times he replied "if there are sides, then CT has chosen the IGD/zero network side the activist side. they have been actively suppressing anews/LBC for a couple years now."

So yea it is definitely more than a little "creepy" this came out so quickly.

Y’all sound like conspiracy nerds. This was a pretty good eulogy all things considered. I think crimethinc is just used to pumping out quick well written content. Regardless of how activist centric they are now it’s what they do.

That's classic Aragorn! behavior, though, to take a side in a conflict (or just start a conflict) and then be like, "if you're not with us, you're against us." Conflicts between the post-left crew and the AK Press/PM Press crowd go back decades, but groups like Crimethinc that weren't based in the coastal metropolises were always on the sidelines, not sure how to engage. I love Aragorn! but he did have a tendency to interpret social phenomena as the workings of a big conspiracy against him. The piece above gets at that a bit.

"That's classic Aragorn! behavior,.."

Why was that only on Aragorn? By choosing to be a part of a network that banned LBC, Crimethink made a decision for which they are responsible and are thus still quite complicit. Nor was there any sign that CT would ever back away from Channel zero in defense of the post left that they once almost seemed to be a part of!

What "network" are you talking about? Is there a secret network comprised of everyone who has never been kicked out of a book fair? Or are you just using this opportunity to promote more conflict? Why would you do that?

That's a pretty wide range of different groups in that podcast network. Are you saying that all of them are bad?

it's a group of groups that don't include anything that a! was a part of. the network that some anon asked for.
if you don't know that crimethinc, IGD, and final straw, all of whom had members who had been to a!'s house and were quite friendly at some points, were operating in bad faith about anews, lbc, and the podcasts, then you have not been paying attention.

Ad hominem's aside, isn't it the slightest bit ironic that Ct gets to speak at events that bans LBC, and pushes to be the "authoritative story on anarchist events (or any events)"? Poo Poo you say, bullshit! I say. All things considered its like they couldn't eulogies him fast enough.

There is something slightly off about it- why did they feel the need to include this: "Towards the later 1990s, Aragorn! was sidelined in the scene as a result of being called out for his conduct in sexual relationships." but not go into any detail about it? Especially in the current era. Just a casual abuser-jacketing thrown into the mix?

maybe I just need to read the whole thing again, read it pretty quickly. most of it seemed pretty heart-felt and genuine, just thought it was weird that it was included- unless it's something that maybe A! wrote about elsewhere / was public knowledge etc etc?

Gotta love speculation in the comments. Aragorn spoke of this situation often. It wasn't -jacketing of any kind.

There are plenty of facts available surrounding the odd relationship CT has with others in the milieu (Aragorn, LBC, IGD, channel zero network, and all the book fairs dominated by the latter two).

doesn't deny that crimethinc talking about it (or anyone other than a!) is a decision about what story to be telling about him. journalism is not just the facts. it's choices. timing is also a choice, as is who they include and exclude.
it means something, and it's appropriate to be raising questions about the people who participated in a!'s getting canceled, and will now benefit in some gross way, from his absence.
i'm not talking about a conspiracy, i'm talking about a worldview that lbc and anarchistnews and the anarchist library exist, in part, to reject.

thecollective member .4

as a tribute to his legacy it seems pretty heartfelt and thorough and it would be nay impossible to write a peice about Aragorn's life without at least touching on the many conflicts he created and participated in and without mentioning some of the people he hurt, anything less would be dishonest. he wasn't the kind of person to employ pedestals and he had no wish to be on one. the majority of the article speaks pretty highly of him considering the acrimony of the last few years. he engaged widely and often was brutal in his honesty this seems mild in comparison to what he said of others. also you allowed it to be posted so some part of you knows that.

but thecollective posts things we disagree with all the time. as well as things we partially agree with.
remember where you are.
it is in fact one of the main differences between this project and other projects.
sometimes we post things here so that people have the opportunity to talk about it, rather than being forced to just accept someone else's rendition of events.

thecollective member .4

its hard to say definitely where the real root cause of all the bad blood lies but i do think its interesting that you point out you're down for people to talk honestly about it but erased the comment that points out that all the ITS absurdity began with one problem: how little north-american anarchists understand about what is going on in Mexico--- its important to honor a! and also its good to reflect on which social movements he really put down with his myopic view southward, as someone who worked with him on other projects--- it was a source of pain towards the end

Oh fuck hear we go again with the ITS excuse! Great maybe just link some good info about the "situation in Mexico", or write something for Anews to post, whatever, it all reeks of bad faith anyway.

its not my job to educate you about Mexico, there already are pretty good translations of whats been happening thanks to translations done by people that A! would have happily seen murdered. the mixed legacy exists for a reason and its not all anarchist media posturing and ego, A had a hard time accepting that for those of us who have had friends killed for their political work his extremist thought experiment could have concrete consequences... it was a very privileged gringo position to take... and his other good works don't change that

you must not frequent this site. anews postes an ITS communique that called for the murder of a north american based @ translator and A declared it wasn't a big deal and that anarchist was no comrade of his... A had no real concept of how against ITS most mexican anarchists were, and this site kept posting their communique because the ideology was interesting and relevant to tangential green anarchy or.... something

Apparently no one should frequent this site though because it doesn't curate posts in a safe, managed, and predictable way congruent with some unspoken anarchist strategy, ideological cleanliness, and careful PR.

Apparently we are all at risk of becoming secret serial killer fascists from reading ITS communiques. You are insulting.

You do realize you could have posted so many rebuttals (actually there were multiple denouncements of ITS posted on anews) translated or otherwise? Click "Add content".

it was a specific thing that Aragorn did. it had consequences for him and others. you want to remember his legacy you look at the shadows as well as the light.

Oh! it was one of those "specific" things...that makes prefect sense now...yea like consequences.....and stuff....ok yea!

specifics are shit talking to you, but generalities without them are bad-jacketing? i see people trying to discuss him with all the nuance and duality that existed. what do you want if not that? just hero worship? he wouldn't be interested in that.

I'm just trying to figure out what consequences Aragorn! set in motion in Mexico merely by publishing a book, and what the cause and effect link between publishing a book and whatever those consequences were. To me, if you got something specific and factual then its not "bad-jacketing", rather it's the vague references that are worthy of suspicion. Is there something concrete that can be verified, and if so WTF is it?

That's a lot of "would have" "could have". Why do you get to speak for other people? How are you able to tell the future and read minds?

Lol at privileged gringo. Aragorn was a person of indigenous identity who was literally stabbed by nazis. Whatever narrative works for you.

that doesn't make him not white in Mexico or change the safety of his passport

gringo : (in Spanish-speaking countries and contexts, chiefly in the Americas) a person, especially an American, who is not Hispanic or Latino

Y’all love to enforce identities based on borders. Good on you real life anarchists.

one can desire to break down borders and still come up short when addressing privilege in ones own life, pointing out where power accrues is not the same as reifying it, he had those privileges and he hadn't done the work, to deconstruct them, he might have later on but his initial reaction was real defensive

Sorry Aragorn was from a people’s who’s land was usurped by colonizers. Don’t erase his identity for some political one upping. You don’t know the work he did or didn’t do. Also how can you not see how Christian you sound. As if doing the “work” is something one needs to do to resolve the sin of “privilege”. He lived immersed amongst other anarchists constantly grappling with these things. He fought nazis and got stabbed. He used his platform to uplift other indigenous people’s and their anarchy. His online platforms posted both things relating to ITS and against them. He didn’t shy from conversations about these things.

Nothing more courageous than spitting on a dead mans grave. The only political violence you’ve seen is on the internet. Go back to IDG with your Christian morality and bs posturing.

Wow, I used to speak to the IGD person on Twitter a lot, and you sound EXACTLY like them. I bet it's you, you fucking coward.

then why did he act like one? and does self identity and culture strip you of social privileges and power? i ammend my comment - he was not a gringo but he sure acted like one on this occasion, even worse. what love did he extend to anarchists or indigenous communities in Mexico by giving ITS a platform to call for the murder of those actually in solidarity with indigenous communities below the border?

if any discussion of something in the world give that thing power, then you should stop talking right now about racism, sexism, etc.
he didn't do anything to the people in mexico. and the fact that you might have some social connections in mexico who don't like ITS and feel threatened by them doesn't mean that all mexican anarchists feel the same way, and certainly doesn't mean you get to represent anyone other than who you know (at most).
at least, that's partly how my anarchy works. ymmv

Just admit giving ITS a platform was a mistake. They're about as anarchist as jihadists. Rest In Power Lesvy Berlín Rivera Osorio, solidarity with Mexican anarchist comrades, especially those facing threats and intimidation from ITS. A! did a lot of things right but doubling down on eco fascists was never one of them.

I don’t really care for ITS but they have a very different background and trajectory that’s related to anarchism. They came out of the anti civ current which is why the interest in them by others. There’s plenty of historic anarchists who’ve committed way worse acts of violence. Our movement is full of it and for you revolutionary anarchists what kind of violence do you expect to unleash on the world to make it your own? Will it be more righteous. Also name dropping Mexican anarchists for clout doesn’t make your argument stronger. It just makes you look like someone in need of validation.

she wasn't a mexican anarchist. she was a student who was brutally killed by femicide that ITS gleefully and weirdly claimed, although no signs indicate they killed her. you make my point about north american anarchists being out of touch with what is happening in Mexico. I stand by my point that giving ITS a platform was a mistake.

The death of 22-year-old Lesvy Berlin Rivera Osorio on May 3 at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Latin America’s largest public university in Mexico City, is a tale of pervasive government indifference toward violence against women in Mexico. Rivera was found dead with a telephone cord wrapped around her neck on the campus, long considered a sanctuary by students and the intellectual community of Mexico’s capital. Her death sparked outrage among students and community members. Dozens have mobilized to denounce the death not only as murder, but also as feminicide.

and there was no fucking coverage of those protests against femicide here... what kind of anarchists site covers edgy eco extremists but not the protests to support the women they claim to murder.... you see how you look, do you? do you understand our sisters are being murdered while you intellectually masturbate over the theories of those that do not see them as human?

What is "femicide" just a way to say women are weak? What if she was killed by other women? Is it still Femicide?



the killing of a woman or girl, in particular by a man and on account of her gender.

"we are very concerned with the high level of femicide in our country"

Or are you using femicide as a hyperbolic way to make your point? Did those protest relate to anarchism? Why would they end up on an anarchist news site? Did IDG cover these protests I’m generally curious? If so was it because you were the contributor? Anyone is welcome to submit to Anews.

ITS claimed a femicide they did not commit to hyperbolically make their point about not giving a shit about human life, plenty of posts are collective curated, you created a space for ITS material because this site loves controversy and so did A! and you don't like being reminded that there were real world consequences to being party to that.

Apparently there aren’t consequences because according to you they didn’t do it?

it contributed to the dehumanization of a woman who died horribly, and spread strange tendencies where self involved intellectuals who didn't know anything else about social movements in mexico had avante garde ITS reading groups... until the chilling moment people woke up and realize how profoundly uncool femicide was and then someone a small group persisted...

How dare those Intellectuals! Shame on them for being so involved with themselves! Such moral depravity! And even though the omni-present dehumanization apparently existed previously, how could they be so uncool as to contribute to it without consulting first with IGD on the Mexican movements! The fact they failed to do so is just so chilling!

This again reaks of a personal vendetta. We get it you feel like you’re the expert on Mexican movements. That’s what makes you feel special and why you contribute to IGD. The reality is there are groups you don’t like operating in Mexico. Some Mexican anarchists support them and some don’t. You sound like a real gringo trying to speak for the true Mexican anarchists. First you say their a threat and then you say they amount to nothing more than stolen glory for something they didn’t do. You’re doing so many mental gymnastics to try to make your case. Again you should have submitted to Anews a critique. You still could probably if you’d like but people are gonna respond back. This isn’t IGD pal people here have a wide variety of opinions.

no one is the expert the scene in Mexico is just as divided and at each other's throats as in the US but pick a better section of it to blast out eh? supporting and boosting people who revel in murder and claim femicide is gross and A! and @news deserved all the push back they received over ITS, for holding up creepy eco fascists and for acting like a ITS threatening to kill multiple anarchists was not only not a big deal, but funny

Anews has boosted a lot of different things out of Mexico. Probably honestly more than IDG. Why do you feel like people should suppress what news they’re receiving? Is this like a new anarchist thing where we have to only hear approved safe news? Are you that fearful of other anarchists that they’ll become femicidal murderers in a second? Maybe we should ban all talk of any historic anarchist propaganda by the deed. During those times the movement anarchists also were the defenders of morality speaking out against their comrades. Have fun with your stale censored sterilized anarchism for the rev lol.

Aragorn rarely spoke on ITS but when he did he made it clear he didn’t agree with them. He did however allow various voices from both sides a platform to speak about them. Many of which were more directly connected to Mexico. Not only that ITS is supposedly made up of indigenous people. Anarchist news has posted plenty about anarchist struggles everyone including below the border and on other continents. I’d argue more so than other anarchist platforms.

It’s also very clear which IGD contributor you are! Hide behind anon all you want but we can see your true colors.

Indigeniety is an identity spook and for A! to self-describe as one is an affront to the individualist and nihilist anti-traditionalist precept.
I cannot believe that these basic 101 concepts are being thrown around the place by the privileged Western radical milieu. Its sort of hilarious also, because us real nihilists just shrug our shoulders and tsk tsk tsk the reality, as we stand aloof, smoking our e-cigarettes, contemplating the Abyss.,.,.,.,.,

all that big big anarchist publishing $$$ and scene cred!!!! ooooooohhhhhhh how enticing! reflect on your jealousy and need for recognition. if you need recognition for something you are doing, you need to do something else. please.

What I see here is a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. It's obvious that the people who wrote this cared about Aragorn, and that they weren't part of his faction, and that they were sad about the way that his faction got excluded. They ask some pretty good questions about how to make sure this doesn't happen.

If CrimethInc. had not published anything about Aragorn, they would have been further marginalizing him. If they just published a short thing, it would have been like they were paying lip service to him. Publishing a big text like this is a way of saying that what he was doing should matter to all anarchists, not just a faction.

People from the faction around Aragorn are bound to be mad about people they regard as enemies talking about him. People from anti-Aragorn factions are going to be mad at CrimethInc. for publishing something that isn't about canceling him. The factional conflicts continue, but they shouldn't determine how we remember a person who did so much for all of us.

I am marginally anti-Aragorn! (honestly I don't care much one way or another because I don't live in the fishbowl some of you must) and pro-CrimethInc. but I am glad they wrote this. I thought it was very sincere and nice. And I think every anarchist should have an appreciation for how much A! did for the community as a whole, even if they didn't agree with some of his ideas about things.

"...without mentioning some of the people he hurt, "

Bullshit! Again no specifics, and canceling him did far more damage.

Clearly the answer to one cancellation is another! Right?

but i'm not sure why they didn't ... for example, show this piece (for factual corrections, if nothing else) to anyone closer to a!. or why they felt the need (again) to be so fast on the draw.
i'm sure that the motivations they have are mixed, as motivations are always mixed. and yes, it's a complicated relationship and situation. is it ok if we talk about how things might be done better in the future, oh crimethinc apologists?

It sounds like you're trying to take a reasonable approach, presuming some good faith on all parts, which not everyone is doing here.

Sectarians gonna sectarian, I guess, and for them it's always someone else's fault that not everyone is on their side.

But yeah, it's good to talk about how things can be done better. Definitely.

I think it's player hating to come down on crimethinc for making more detailed articles than other groups. They weren't faster than other people, they were slower, posting their thing after a lot of others had already appeared. They just got into more detail, which isn't wrong in itself. And al the other texts and comments that were written about Aragorn!, nobody ran those by lbc, right?

It's a more legitimate criticism to say that crimethinc should take their responsibilities more seriously, positioned how they are. The old-fashioned answer would be that we should be into there being a bunch of different anarchist outlets publishing things.

So the chief problem is if the article has inaccuracies and errors. Let's hear more about what those are.

to be reasonable yourself
b. no, the inaccuracies are not the main problem. at least not to me. the main problem is that a!'s is not their story to tell. that they are not talking about their own experience, but collecting others and then writing something about his life that, again, attempts to be authoritative. which is what journalists do. which is partly why journalism is a problem, and why crimethinc is part of that problem. yes, they didn't do a terrible job of journalism, they included some of the specific contradictions of a!'s attempts to be a whole, real person in a world that doesn't allow that (both the bigger world and the anarchist world), but it being them--again, in the context of their practical (if not theoretical or intended) hostility--is not meaningless. and again, added to that, they didn't contact anyone at lbc to check in, which makes this of a piece with their not doing this as a friendly or respectful thing, but as them trying to own the narrative.
but i'm done with this now.

long live lbc, long live decentralization

About whether crimethinc was trying to own the narrative... to me, it seems clear that they didn't write this for anews. They wrote it to appear in spaces that anews stuff doesn't reach, where people either don't know Aragorn! or have written him off. It seems to me like more of an intervention to affirm Aragorn! and the projects he was involved with, than an attempt to dictate his legacy in a space where others would do it otherwise.

You could call that "journalism" and say it's part of the problem, and people should only do things or talk about things in closed groups, but that isn't really the spirit of what Aragorn! was doing, is it? He wanted to be in the mix. If anything, the problem is that this eulogy is too little, too late, not that they wrote it in the first place.

And clearly, they were drawing on experience with Aragorn!, with time spent with him, that's in the eulogy over and over. Who gets to talk about their experiences with those who have passed? Who is entitled to own the narrative? But yeah, it does sound like it could have been a better text if they contacted lbc folks. I hope this won't be the last text about Aragorn! to appear, that's the only thing that could make it "authoritative."

RIP Aragorn.

grasp that corpse and wring it of all scene cred possible you absolute cretin.

I think crimethinc and LBC should get together and smoke the fart bong of peace.

Nope. Bad faith argument. Anews has always posted articles from CT.

Even if there's valid criticism of CrimethInc coming from Thecollective and regular visitors of this site, CrimethInc have been always supported in their publications here. Yet CrimethInc persists in shunning Thecollective, when it's even about the death of their close friend and partner?

Are they, like, looking for war!?

This isn't meant to be snark or an attempt to start a fight or anything, but how has crimethinc always shunned anarchist news? Did I miss something?

... but whatever
they don't link to any of the projects a! was involved in, which were many and quality, most glaringly, they are part of channel zero, which absolutely should've included anarchybang and the brilliant, at a minimum.

they also did a recent long and detailed interview which they posted a link to at the top of this article as something that should be read in addition to this piece, where A! seems to speak for himself

^ Thanks for the links rfa! We've uploaded them here for now - episodes #79 and #80 mp3, which is audio of Nikita interview with A! (CrimethInc. interview transcript).

Episode #79:
Episode #80:

CrimethInc. -
"This interview was conducted as part of a forthcoming oral history project on anarchism in North America over the past 75 years. If you’re interested in sharing your stories or interviewing others, send an email to"

i would link to episode 49 but if i've learned anything from you masters of cancel culture and other red church saviors of adult humans who are too delicate to think for themselves it's that, well, adult humans are too delicate to listen or read anything unmediated by masters of cancel culture and/or the red church which might lead to their flipping out from the evil corruptions and then... femicide every single day. thank you anon 07:48 for saving the delicate adult anarchists from having to hear this evil, ringu-like podcast which would surely turn their pure minds and hearts straight toward eco-fascism and, yes, femicide. we will be patient and await a 90 page history of episode 49 on a more moderated platform (!!) that doesn't allow comments because much like listening or reading, comments and discussion by adult humans on bad topics leads to pure femicide. thank you for protecting us you ridiculous child.

Bad faith arguments and hating on people for being able to write a solid article rather than just shitposting comments.

In short, what Nietzsche called *ressentiment.*

what i wrote is, in fact, not bad faith, nor an argument. it's also not 'hating on people for being able to write articles' (solid or not), however, it is indeed shitposting, but it is not in any way illustrating nietzschean ressentiment. if, however, you were applying your fragmented assertions to the cancel culture crybabies (ccc!) i was shitposting against then i'll allow it because wikipedia-level understanding of complex philosophical concepts (such as 'bad faith' and ressentiment) by anons directed at people who annoy me is wonderfully fun--accurate or not. high-five. also tho, be careful when invoking nietzsche because the nazis used his writings (long after his death) ipso facto... fascist creep .: femicide.

There is so much unsubstantiated assertion of intentions going on in these comments. It's a bit creepy.

Anons attributing creepiness left and right: creepy.

But the article above is pretty straightforward. No one has to speculate about what it's trying to say. It says it.

Thank you Anews collective for continuing to post diverse anarchist related postings. Which IGD and crimethinc continue to lack.

Apples and oranges. CrimethInc. is not a news aggregator the way ANews and IGD are.

Thanks for the link to the long interview with Aragorn. It took me a couple of sittings to get through, but it was worth it. I learned a lot more about him personally through that interview.. I didn't realize he had Native American heritage (at least probably more than Elizabeth Warren), or that he was into punk, fought nazis, worked in hotels, was a reluctant computer wiz, or had his hands in so many different anarchist projects that we all know and take for granted today. I can see now why he referred to himself as a kind of 'plumber' for the anarchist milieu. He really did create a lot of the publishing infrastructure, platforms, and spaces, many anarchists use.

Thanks again.

Yes, he was far from being a purist anarch that's for sure, and he secretly envied their fluidity of expression, and only his variety of exposures to the many forms it took allowed him to at least quantitatively experience the exhilarating nature of anarch existence.

He had native American heritage,,,,wow, I've got Scandinavian genes, I've got some Viking heritage coursing through my berserker veins!
Let's drop the Idpol mutated latter 20th century ethnic nationalism and get back to the pure Stirnerian anarch essence please!

Let's drop the purity testing of Stirnerian essence. And Native American heritage is not "ethnic nationalism"

"....get back to the pure Stirnerian anarch essence please!"

this is reflected in the fact that he so fluidly joined and departed from so many developing anarchist projects, the anarchist scene really is made up mostly of words, theories, and ideas. A description of him as being a trickster out to sow discord is accurate enough.

"the anarchist scene really is made up mostly of words, theories, and ideas" Also (mis)characterizations, identity politics, and dubious imagery.

I've been enjoying hanging out a lot with Euro anarchos due to the fact their "anarchism" wasn't limited to either publications or subculture, or even a mix of both.

During these golden '80s of anarcho punk where A! spent the better part of his youth, we could say subculture (which was still counterculture back then) was in itself a form of anarchy, where using the term "anarcho punk" was an redundancy. Too bad I was too young and also not living at the right places to enjoy it as much (being a regular of the early Trasher mag this got me so willing to flee my fam to California when I was a teenager). But this is mostly gone. I've seen lawyers and other normies dressing up as punk as a form of cosplay, and also maybe snitching.

Leaving aside further chapters from my book "Punk's not Dead... It's a Zombie", there's the core problem of how the world of words has turned NA anarchism into a war of words, and lacks more active and practical affirmation. While I find the accusation thrown against Aragorn! and his gang to be "do-nothingist" to be wrong, as A! did indeed do a lot -in fact he was one of these huge "achievers"- his realizations did what they intended to do, yet not much more afaik. Essential, yet not life-supporting practices.

This is not a critique directed at a specific community, but rather to a more general blur of many milieus across US and Canada. I also used to be doing a lot for the spread of the beautiful idea irl (those who're in-the-know know what I'm referring to). But beyond the disputes and call-outs, I also realized how proselytism was totally not the way to go. Then you see younger ppl, again and again, doing the same evangelical gimmick, while in the process nothing much is being created. This isn't just the "Bellamy talk", which is a much better quality and depth at least to the stale, insipid, robotic "Bread talk".

This is the tendency of confusing words for beings, ideas for action, books for infrastructure.

While in a demo a few years back, I heard a youngster argue with another on anarchy... where one was smugly dismissing anarchy in here (Mtl? Quebec? Canada? NA?), and something that's done only in Europe. While laughably naive it was reflecting on an actual reality... that the anarchy being brought to the real world in these parts is SCARCE and unassertive.

In a way... the current railroad blockades are a manifestation of this irl anarchy. It's hard to disagree on that, regardless of the authoritarian character of many of those involved. They're also an assault to the Leviathan, even as peaceful, civil disobedience.

I really actually appreciated the article. I don't see how it attempts to be the end-all-be-all about Aragorn. I think I can see when reading it that they cared about Aragorn and were trying to honor him in the way they knew how to. Maybe you didn't like what they had to say or that they said it at all or thought they should get permission from his loved ones first, and that's fine. But to say it is in bad faith or insincere or inappropriate or even creepy is baffling.

I was friends with A! and friends with a few of the CT people too. I wasnt all up in their business but I got the impression that while there was tension, there was also at least some mutual respect there too. I get that there is a lot of drama and history between the IGD people and the @ news people (Aragorn! included of course), and that there are social connections between CT and IGD. That association somehow makes what crimethinc has to say invalid? Or maybe because they tabled and/or presented at bookfairs that LBC was excluded from? Or was it just because their politics are too leftist or activist for you?

To be clear, I think anarchists should critique eachother. I think we should all be looking at ourselves and eachother critically, and find ways to think and grow and strengthen the way we engage with the world. That being said, the quest for some kind of purity coming from all the different factions here is fucking disgusting.

I miss Aragorn and the way he engaged with the world. I have so many things I still wanted to talk to him about. I wish he was still here and he is no longer here. We can argue all day about this piece being creepy or A! wanting to encourage critical thought by wanting to talk about ITS or how that is somehow promoting murder or whatever the fuck other drama. But in the end it seems like all you people are are caught up in your entrenched positions and can't see out from the holes you've dug yourselves into. Get a fucking grip.

The most recent time I talked to A!, maybe a month or two before he passed, he talked about feeling worn down by being the target of so many other anarchists disdain (not those exact words but I'm paraphrasing here). I don't think we all need to get along or love eachother or be best friends, but what's your end goal here? Are you going to defeat your 'enemies' and make them believe you're right and they're wrong? Outlast them? You're going to be worn down and feel under attack for a long ass time. Hope the thrill of the drama is worth it. I imagine you'll always have a few people to back you up but its gotta feel so fucking lonely to engage with the world in that way.

People are complex. Part of what anarchists need to recon with is that A helped legitimize far right actions/theorists in anarchist dress. He also did other shit similarly - like reprinting or distributing one of Hakim Bey’s fucked up 1990s zines, which LBC distributed for years. He didn’t just step in the controversial, he crossed gross lines in his publication endeavors. And his efforts, in significant part, helped push anarchism further from having relevance to the larger field of social antagonism. In addition to all of this he also led a number of really important DIY anarchist projects, and despite being a legendary curmudgeon, he was also loved by people close to him and was one of handful who stay committed to anarchist struggle beyond their 32nd birthday. Being a lifer is a major choice on its own. This post alluded to his conflict with Bob Black and was right to draw a comparison. Just as Black will leave a legacy of witty word play, his contribution to the canon of thought was to leave it more isolated, more marginal, and less engaged with developing and expanding struggles. Just as much of Black’s writing helped invite rightists, so has A’s. But both have committed themselves for the majority of their lives and that on its own is a sign of their character that few today can put claim to. Either way, it’s tragic A died and acknowledging his complexity, like all of ours, is important. This piece does that and it’s great Crimethinc released it.

He did not in any way legitimize the far right, he, to an extent legitamized egoism, and to a lesser extent legitamized eco-extremism, and was punished for both.

How can you say he legitimized right wing politics? That had nothing do with his sphere of influence, most people are still going to scratch their head if you bring up his name.

How in the fuck did A legitimize right wing ideology? Only those postleft is a pipeline to right wing ideology retards would entertain that type of thinking.

As to Black, I actually think that him and the postleft big 3(Him Wolfi and Bey) will be much more radically intelligible in coming(more individualistic) psychographic cyber age. It’s the orthodox ‘68 leftists like the above who will be gone and forgotten like the 1886ers before them. People like Bellamy and myself are the future of anarchy.

LMAO! The "future of anarchy"? You aren't even the present of anarchy. What are the great works have you written, or the great deeds you have done?

You're just an internet narcissist.

i never understood the connection with A! and right wingers, i don't think it even exists. People i guess are referring to eco-extremism, and to a lesser extent stirner's egoism, and neither of those are explicitly right wing. The similarities with eco-extremism and the right are much more obvious, i've always been confused about the insistence that stirner's logic is right wing. Aragorn didn't embrace either EE or stirner anyways, he just saw it as part of what he was getting at with all his efforts. The growth of the alt-right and trumpism had absolutely nothing to do with Aragorn, stirner, or EE. The resurgence of the far right in europe is even further removed from anything i've been talking about so far.

And why the fuck would SE think that him, Bellamy, and people "like them" are "the future of anarchy"? First of all, the future doesn't even exist, anarchy means different things for different people, and how could any half-sane person think that they are "the future of anarchy"? I feel embarrassed at times that i've had any respect or curiosity concerning anything that has to do with anarchists. The people who run this website won't even be straightforward with me as to why they delete the certain comments that they do, if any of the flag bearers for "anarchy" are just these weirdos on the internet that i will never ever meet, and seem to just want to control how i perceive my reality, then why bother? I like anarchy and anarchist practice maybe being some lived experience rather than a drawn out talk about ideology and who's right and who's wrong. Maybe i should just try to be as normal as possible than trying to engage with any of you anymore.

ziggles is a semi-sentient AI designed by aragorn to be the 2nd or 3rd most irritating bot you've ever argued with. I'm all sentimental about it now that they've passed … what is dead may never die!

Aragorn really was a trickster then! lol!

I dont think A! saw sending out controversial zines as an endorsement or some form of praxis promoting ideas he thought were awesome. I think he just wanted people to have access to those things so they could read them in a nice print format. Idk seems fine to me.

at least they didn't have the bad taste to credit him with starting the Berkeley study group or the BASTARD conference. also worth mentioning is the dynamic A! had toward projects he actually had a hand in starting: talking it up and finding the people in his circle with the energy and time to devote to maintaining and extending it, while his own interest and personal efforts receded. this is merely an observation, not a condemnation; people will always give whatever they can while they are interested and amused. that goes for the grunt workers as well as the public faces. but i noticed a pattern with A! over the years, where he actively pursued followers. not exclusively, to be sure, since there were plenty of collaborators and people who were his match in terms of time and energy. but charisma only takes you so far...

a! was a contributor to green anarchy at times, and definitely close with the editorial collective. i do not think he was ever an editor, nor in the collective.

you are correct.

Two notes:

First, this exists:

Second, I think someone should knock Kevin Keating the fuck out. Seriously, he has no excuse, he deserves whatever happens to him.

does anyone know if a! regularly did any podcasts aside from the anews podcast, tb, abang and tcn?

> tcn? not sure if Ive heard that one.


real fans will understand

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