TOTW: Reverse Hierarchy

  • Posted on: 9 July 2018
  • By: SUDS

Intent is not behavior. One can intend to perform a certain task--intend it really hard--and still not break out of the routine of current behaviors. Changing behaviors is hard. Intent is not.

Celebrity is often discussed as an unfair advantage, a snake oil seller, or perhaps a person who leveraged serendipity at just the right moment, with just the right knowledge. Sure, there are opportunists who produce mediocre content and appear to be stealing attention from those more deserving. But, what if they do deserve it and you just disagree with the outcomes of their work?

Who is this other kind of celebrity that has earned perhaps even unwanted fame?

Anonymity can hardly combat this kind of celebrity, because the anon's work is so good, they are articulate, their execution swift and consistent. This outcome is so rare that attention and reputation catch up fast, and even if they are not identified by name, they can be identified by patterns of words and valued behaviors.

Have you ever experienced having celebrity unconsensually thrust upon you? To do work to satisfy only yourself--learn something perhaps--that others notice, value, and demand more of, or perhaps possess? To work with a team, or perhaps sing in a band, and become the only celebrity among them?

"Othering" can be a sort of reverse-hierarchy, a possessive act of commodifying the behaviors of another. Being a celebrity is not always a choice when large populations of people value your work. Being a fan, biter, or hater however, is, and one's trust and attention are theirs alone to give, because even in a world of interruption we have become experts at ignoring.

If we as anarchists are critical of celebrity, is this all kinds of celebrity--those who have earned such attention, as well as those who have manipulated their circumstances and audience? What exactly is a celebrity, and could it simply be someone valued for doing something more than intending?

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Comments

Some celebrities are superior to others because of their experience in metaphysics and psychosophical states of consciousness and the enhanced power it generates in harmonizing inter-relational dynamics, which go a long way in dissolving ego-based cults of personality. Some of the most powerful people in the world are humble unknowns who conceal their gems from the philistines.

What if an individual considered to be a celebrity deserves the position of celebrity, and I just disagree with the outcomes of their work?

The term 'celebrity' has become weighted heavy in my mind. Much like the socialist "we" it demands an inclusion I am no longer willing to provide. You say "celebrity", I hear "We're Lovin' It!" You say "we", I feel you trying to take a shit on my brain whilst pointing to the Sun. You may say "I love this" or "I like that" and, at the very least, I can celebrate your enjoyment regardless of its advertising. The antagonism comes from the demand and critique, or lack thereof.

To place someone in the position of "celebrity" signifies a tendency prevailing towards a Bernaysian headfuckery; or, a religious acquiescence towards a class of consumer capitalist sleight. The promotion of the concept has the individuals on both sides of the equation disappearing, replaced instead with the negation of all seemingly real idiosyncrasy. If there is beauty to be found it will be mine. I do not want or desire a grotesque fawning or consensus on beauty. My disagreement is immaterial. Art, or not, if the outcome is oppressive, it is the machine I seek to destroy.

Who is this other kind of celebrity that has earned perhaps even unwanted fame?

This seems so nuanced and detached as to be irrelevant. If fame is unwanted by an individual it becomes merely to what degree it is unwanted. I care little for martyrs, especially so if it's to a demand for productivity. All it comes down to is to what degree they put themselves at odds against me.

Have you ever experienced having celebrity unconsensually thrust upon you?

Unconsensual, eh? As I hanker for a little of the old lie, this question is perhaps emotionally harder to engage with due to its contrast to my current rationale. Nostalgia is fucking with me and I have never felt so unpopular. Anyway, as far back as I can remember, I had an acute awareness of fetishisation and narrative; to the degree that I was able to proficiently harness them as tools to manipulate consensus. It was easy to commodify my quirks and utilise my natural skills to enchant those around me. My then popularity now being re-conceived as my once celebrity to answer this question.

Maybe, as unfortunate consequence, a few felt they were in-love with me. Whether they were in-love with me, or not, will never be my call, only that through my care for them I came to recognise my outward behaviour/character as being so impoverished as to be fraudulent. Blagging is a virtue to a capitalist, but I've actualised myself into contention. The capitalist is long gone; and blagging has lost all virtue beyond its recognition. I was perpetuating expectations when the expectations were rot. I have made the consensus redundant, and with it anything that might be considered an identified celebrity.

What happened to Liminal D post it was very pertinent, it should be restored?!

it looks like Liminal D took down their own post.

Just to confirm, I did remove my post. It was purely selfish. I know and dwell upon how I feel and am bored to death by the prospect of constancy, especially when I deceive myself that it is only I who is acknowledging it. So as a nod to Le Way's acknowledgement of value, I'll put it back up.

It's worth stating that in that post I failed to say much about how a little appreciation makes me giddy and rosy-cheeked. I forget how much I love being seduced even more than I care appearing a hypocrite. I feel like a celebrity.

This was the paragraph I thought best described an individual's own aesthetic in contrast to an oppressive popularity cult.
"If there is beauty to be found it will be mine. I do not want or desire a grotesque fawning or consensus on beauty. My disagreement is immaterial. Art, or not, if the outcome is oppressive, it is the machine I seek to destroy."
Thecollective usually remove my posts for me ;)

It was a combination of seeking out and having it thrust on me but I definitely learned the hard way, it is NOT GOOD. people go through your shit with a fine toothed comb because they are resentful for any number of reasons, and want to hold you to a higher standard that includes being responsible for everything that happens around you. Anarchists tear each other down, sometimes on their own and sometimes by letting leftist politicians too close, and that’s why most of the old timers are either ivory tower types or complete wingnuts.

It’s the American celebrity culture brainwashing crap. Calling yourself an anarchist or subscribing to an ideology doesn’t suddenly make you a free autonomous and self-realized person. They get into the subculture wanting to kill their idols, also to be their idols and also to fuck their idols. If anarchism is to have any meaning at all it has to offer ways into *being anarchically*, otherwise it’s just slapping a new label on the same old sad psychic dysfunction.

Don't ask me why there was never a CCF in these dogforsaken parts of the planet. People enjoy fighting each other for profits, and I know some really well-known and lauded "anarchists" who're just opportunist nice talkers. They're good at graphic design, po-mo word salads and especially at knowing who's who... And just as any lackey out there, these pricky little chiken shits are convinced of being so fucking clever. But we know who they really are.

We know.

Sort of strange to expect somebody who's skills tend towards graphic design and clever word salad would suddenly become a blood-drinking badass, bombing gov't buildings and shooting it out with the cops. Why would we expect that to ever happen? Just because these two extremely different people share some kind of theoretical affinity? Ideas don't have that much power to transform people. Only tons of intense conflict experience transforms people like that.

All of which is to say, here's your answer why there's no CCF types north of mexico! But hey, maybe the coming apocalypse will change all that and cold-blooded killers will mass under the black banner in a few decades! Careful what you wish for, eh?

^whose, I meant whose dammit!

That's clearly not wat I wrote about. Being chicken shit doesn't mean mandatorily to avoid being in a gun war with cops or whatever. You're gross... It's rather about being consistent with your claimed positions/ideas, in a manner of practice what you preach, and quit being a fucking poseur.

Just doing a bit of reductio ad absurdum and it isn't meant as disrespect. It helped me stop being disappointed by this weird notion of failure I was projecting on to people. Are people being "poseurs"? Or are you just assuming things about their position?
Perhaps you prefer to sneer? That's cool too.

Since youre not a poseur and are actively engaged in armed combat/bombing campaigns can I ask you a few questions? Whats that like? Do you ever think its just pointless and subjecting yourself to prison only to lose regardless of what you do? does hiding stuff from your close family and friends kinda suck sometimes? do you worry about fallout/repression and what sort of mechanisms have you developed to deal with that? thanks in advance.

Friendly peanut gallery here! Don't forget the obvious confirmation bias with these things. People who do highly risky shit and get away with it are too smart to discuss it. Therefore, we tend to only hear about the ones who got caught OR to a lesser extent, the ones who got away with something spectacular that makes a splash in the media

or the ones who post on @news calling other people posers.

Not all celebrities are created equal, and some of them are more celebrated than others. A celebrity capitalist occupies the White House. In many ways the Trumpster epitomizes the decadence of celebrity culture in America.

I've paid attention to this and the last TOTW that SUDS has penned. They are both so ... smarmy. Who are you writing for? I don't know if this feeling

(but- is it an INTENTIONAL behavior?)

is valid, sure, but I feel like you are writing to amuse your friends (?) while smirking, lofty, upon your own esteem.

Your premises are loaded with basic - really basic - political bias. Feminism 101 shit. Seriously. I don't know if it's bait for attention or if you are unaware. Yes, I could list examples, specific critiques. But first, are you writing in good-faith? Or are you testing the audience for whom might bite? Are you an honest lure? Or do you fail intentionally in catching a fish - having, all the while, intending to announce that we should expect to be hungry people?

I find it difficult to engage with prompts that FEEL like they are written by my enemy. Please, I am not accusing SUDS of anything at all. INTENTIONS are ONLY not behaviors. SUDS has not behaved beyond text. I have only felt with text

-assumed, speculated-

INTENTIONS.

What?! How?! So?

I unusually don't write because of the feelings that I feel in reading the text, a feeling of bad-faith with SUDS' TOTWs, but sometimes other.

I take your effect seriously. I worry that this stupid persona will persuade others that the same standards you've set for respect are your same reason to claim authority for others' inclusion, exclusion, derision, fame.

Your joke isn't funny. The critiques that follow might be funny.

your post is a perfect example of a response to someone-with-a-bigger-voice-than-you (aka "a celebrity"). you assume a lot about someone you have limited access to, make a bunch of empty assertions... probably on reddit they alrady have a term for someone who rides a popular post to get more exposure and upvotes for themselves.
why don't you/we/people say what you have to say without hitching it to someone else? if someone disagrees with your intrpetation of SUDS' tone/whatever, there is not one thing you say that can stand alone (you give no concrete examples of any sort).
of course, it's true that most people are terrble at feedback in general.

SUDS wants to sound imtrelligent to US liberals. Therefore will use "serendipity" at every TOTW.

U dont sounded vrey inmtrelligent THO!

which seems stupidly appropriate to a thread about celebrity-hood.
my experience of being a celebrity was brief but intense. media all over the place, my pic as far away as china. they couldn't talk to me so they interviewed, for example, my postal carrier (who said i was "nice", lol). tons of mail (this was a while ago, so no social media hoopla).
but, to the question.
people who don't feel powerful, put their hopes and expectations onto other things, ideas, and people. when it's people, they call that fame or celebrity. we want someone to be powerful, at best to be an example or role model to ourselves, at worst to be someone we can blame.
i think there are a lot of powerless-feeling people around these days. celebrity-ness (sigh for a better word) is a symptom, more than a problem itself.

The fact that this TOTW got through the collective decision-making process worries me. I really, really used to like TOTWs, site and podcast. What is going on? Are you baiting people to point out the obvious (3000-3500 words, plz) or what? My head can't get through the premise on this TOTW. I don't know how to engage because I keep thinking that I'm missing something...

Is there is a topic that is spoken around and not directly to?

For instance I will speak to JUST the first bit of the TOTW:

"Intent is not behavior." This is materialist. Okay. You don't advocate for prayer, hexes, spells, curses, telekinesis, telepathy, etc.

"Celebrity is often discussed as an unfair advantage, a snake oil seller, or perhaps a person who leveraged serendipity ..." Unfair advantage: Do you mean critiques of privilege? Access to media platforms? A louder opinion / given gravatas? That sort of thing? This reminds me of conversations about "big men," as a concept. Not that they should not exist, but that sharing a reality in which the status-quo is both covert and maintained... headfuck. You're a "big-man?" Okay. You're not? Okay.
"Leveraged serendipity...": yeah, leveraged serendipity would be success based on a mixture of luck and effort? Privilege and practice?* Are you trying to drum-up the image of the tumblr social-justice-warrior "All White Men are talentless and their work is a shame!" skinny-jeanswearing scarecrow with fierce eye-liner wings and a proclivity to selfie like a boss, ie: photographic self-portraiture artistic badass mo-fos?

"Sure, there are opportunists who produce mediocre content and appear to be stealing attention from those more deserving. But, what if they do deserve it and you just disagree with the outcomes of their work?" I am not a celebrity, nor even a "big-man" (in the social-influencer, trending kind of way.) So, what was my opinion and how am I dumb?

*ALSO, please find one example of this type of discourse. Link to a think-piece or something. I just need to get a feel for the oft-discussed critiques of celebrity that you're building this TOTW start/introduction around. My response are to only the first few lines.

In conclusion, I hope one might understand me when I say that I find it difficult to engage with TOTW prompts when I fail to feel any sort of confidence that the author is well-meaning, anti-political, has no ACTUAL hidden-agenda. I am not sure if SUDS is giving this particular reader too much credit or not enough. I'm open minded like that. Perhaps there was no such barter intended?

*Quietly leaves anews for tumblr page without fuss, strangely magnificent yet approachable at all times. Cool OOTD*

Maybe your brain and SUDS's brain just don't jive?

I have to question how much material or how many issues are actually ONLY for anarchists? Life for many people, non-human and human is shit and has been for many years even if it's only going back to 1980s onward with the neo-liberal agenda being ramped up. How are these issues specifically anarchist? I don't mind these issues being raised by SUDS. I would say similar with Anarchy Radio: that what JZ raises is not only of interest or importance to anarchists or anarcho-primitivists. Many of the issues facing people today are troubling not only to anarchists. If not calling the police is anarchist then I would have to say that working and paying tax is also not anarchist (nod to Aragorn! there).

So that other part you didn't tell much about was are powerless people are to blame, instead, or it's powerlessness, or its feeling?

Just asking coz that'd make a huge difference of worldview.

OK, I've put together a short-ish comment on the main topic, followed by a rant about the first few lines (which are well dodgy IMO).

Can egoists be celebrities? Yes, but only in a particular sense. Conversation among egoists is not competition for status. This is why we probably need to keep some variety of the idea of truth, reality, objectivity, or usefulness. If we're talking about a topic in relation to the topic itself, a project in common, an analysis with political conclusions, we don't need to worry about status. Some people will be right, some will be wrong, this can be an ego-boost or an ego-blow, but being right comes down to luck or knowledge or thinking ability, not to fame. The egoist forms their ego in relation to project and flow, not “being right”. So who are “celebrities”? At best they're people who are right more of the time than other people, and so have a legitimate reputation as “authoritative”. The same way someone can have the reputation for being the best hunter, the best French-speaker in the group, the person to go to for car repairs. This is dangerous in some ways, but hard to avoid. The danger is reduced if everyone is replaceable, if some are better at some things but someone else can take them on if they need to; and this is facilitated by skill-sharing. Some hunter-gatherer groups (Bushmen, Ilongot, Polynesians) try to avoid celebrity by insisting on humility or a pretence of equality (everyone gathered the same amount; my catch wasn't that big). This is usually done to save the face of the less-competent, but also reduces informal hierarchy. Among anarchists I think this isn't likely to take root, because the avoidance/formation of informal hierarchies among ourselves is a going on alongside re-learning assertiveness against bosses and pigs. Others (like the Guarani and the Tlingit) make egoism useful to the group by attaching status to useful activities. This is probably more realistic for us. But the trouble is, people often become celebrities or climb informal hierarchies for the wrong reasons. Because they're the loudest voices, they're manipulative, they know the “classics”, they have the best grasp of idpol crybullying, they've mastered the arts of ethos and pathos, they control important resources, they're more self-confident or articulate (and these may or may not overlap with being white, male, not disabled, university-educated, etc). People who tick the boxes for NPD or psychopathy are very good at climbing hierarchies in these ways.

I'd propose a few simple tricks to help us keep conversation focused on content rather than status. Stay curious, stay open-minded and try to give others a fair hearing even if they're assholes. Keep topical conversations as local as you can. If you don't understand, ask (that's easier in person than on the internet). Focus on logos, not ethos or pathos (elements of rhetoric in Aristotle... look it up). If you're falling for someone's rhetoric based on ethos of pathos, you're usually being mind-controlled, whereas if you're falling for their logos, you're being legitimately convinced. (This often also works for spotting abusers, by the way). There's a bunch of other stuff in Postman and Weingartner's “Teaching as a Subversive Activity” and Korzybski's general semantics which are very relevant here.

I kept this for the end because it's not so directly relevant, but I really dislike the first few lines of this post. “Behaviour” is not a real thing. “Behaviour” is an outer observed image imputed by an observer when describing a phenomenon the entirety of which is not visible. It's an illusion. What you think you see is not necessarily what's really happening. But the concept of “behaviour” creates the illusion that it is – and corresponding imperatives, to “change behaviour” (i.e. change how you're seen), “zero tolerance” for behaviour (i.e. no reality-check on whether the observer's perception is really accurate). Hence the idea of “behaviour” fuels pig-thinking. The paradigm of “behaviour change” is derived from behaviourist philosophy, which is a social control philosophy tied-in with torturers, MKUltra, crowd control, the whole gamut of state methods. It is also tied-in with Puritanism and gnosticism – the idea that the “true”, higher self which was created by God, has to battle constantly against the lower bodily self which was created by the Devil or is tainted by original sin. In leftist/idpol doctrine, this idea of the split self is secularised. Now it's the well-meaning will battling to overcome the habits, “behaviours” and thought-patterns “conditioned” into the lower self by “society” or “patriarchy” or “capitalism”. But it's the same old battle: the struggle of the superego to suppress the id, leaving its “battalions of riot police” at the scene of disturbances as Freud put it; using the civilised self to control the wild self.

Here's a Stirnerian alternative. Intent is always an inherent part of the *real* action existing beneath the level of the observed appearance. This is why historically, it has always been believed that there can be no guilt or responsibility without intent (e.g. the doctrine of mens rea). Once a group dispenses with this basic principle, it declares that one one seems to be (in the perceptions of others) is more important than what one *is* (in the processes which actually determine the action). It subordinates the reality of the unique-one to the illusion of what someone is *for the group*, in the projections of others. Anarchism goes in the opposite direction, rejecting the idea that the unique one is ever secondary to the spooks and perceptions of others. For the record, people often think I'm playing for status based on ego, when I'm just trying to redirect discussions towards the truth as I see it. For instance, I use big words and people think I'm showing off. Most of the time I'm more-or-less status-blind, but people project all kinds of status crap onto me which isn't really there. I know the perception is not reality but the pattern of misperception makes affinity harder to form.

But real action isn't reducible to conscious intent. Action is more complicated than intent because the unconscious exists. People aren't in control of all the flows and forces which compose them. Each person is not one will/force but many. The will has some role, but not an absolute role. When someone can't change a “behaviour” at will (addictions and so on), this means that unconscious forces are resisting their will, or the will is itself split. If we can't recognise this then we aren't even at 101 level in psychology. And let's face it, the goons who make up the Anglo-American psychiatric systems aren't even at 101 level – they aren't psychologists, they're control-freak behaviour modifiers and rationalisers of capitalism. But we barely understand how the unconscious works (Native Americans did, but colonialism beat it out of them, meaning we're reinventing the wheel here).

But your unconscious certainly isn't revealed in others' projections and perceptions, as something present in “behaviour” in excess over “intent”, as so many (following Mao and Althusser) now imagine. The fact that someone isn't able to mind-read what another person might decide to label as “racist” or what their personal cluster of triggers might be, is not at all proof that a malevolent unconscious intent is at work. It just proves that interpersonal communication is difficult and people can't mind-read each other. If someone's trying very hard not to “be racist” or show “racist behaviours” (meaning: to *appear* racist to another person, through the other person's projections/filters), and they're failing, this probably just means the other person hasn't explained very clearly what their definition of “racism” is, in terms which the first person can understand. It's exactly the same way someone would constantly fail at car repair or French translation if nobody told them how to do it and used every mistake to prove that the person is constitutively incompetent and is obviously not trying hard enough. Actually we'd have a more interesting conversation if we *dont'* assume our own projections are necessarily descriptions of what's “really there”, that each person's personal aversions are specific to them and not necessarily manifestations of structures, and that the issue is not about browbeating the whole of humanity into pre-emptively guessing one's personal aversions as a trust-test of whether they're oppressors, but instead, about coexisting with *particular* other people at the micro level, whose capacities to understand are (like yours) only human and who are also unique ones who have their own affinities and aversions and who see things in their own particular way.

@critic this seems like a very long, intellectual way to say “someone called me racist and I feel like it’s unfair”

Has anarchism online really split between antifa “left unity” and this type of gamergate shit?

are you fucking kidding me? this counts as 'gamergate' shit? the question your response poses is not about the split between anarchism online but generally, stupidity.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_po6wrUGt1M This dude is street. Currently reading his autobiography. This is one well-grounded person. He's been there, seen it, done it and he's a damn fine poet too.

Yes, he's there, seen street, done poems, but he's still a democratic Statist, he hasn't attained the laurels of the Stirnerian master.

i want to say that i appreciate @critic's response here quite a bit. that said, SUDS thank you for your recent efforts, they may be facilitating some interesting conversation. in regards to your previous @newspodcast editorial, i am curious to hear the other part that you alluded to but: IRC seems to be down? for days now it's said 'bad gateway' on my end. can anyone here speak to this? hostile actors? vacation?

You could always use a client to connect. We have an onion address now. it's km3jy7nrj3e2wiju.onion

The IRC web client will be back shortly, but in the meantime feel free to connect by using this weblink:

https://kiwiirc.com/nextclient/#irc://irc.anarchyplanet.org/#anarchyplanet

or instead use an IRC client to connect to server: irc.anarchyplanet.org port: 6667 and then type /join #anarchyplanet

- thecollective 1.8

IM BEAUTIFUL AND ITS ALL ME ME ME !!!

All me, baby.

I AM THE GOD OF CELEBRITIES I AM OMNIPRESENT AND ALL POWERFUL IT IS ME ME ME EVERYWHERE AND ALL THE TIME. I TAUGHT PAUL NEWMAN HOW TO BE HUMBLE AND MONOGAMOUS AND DONATE MILLIONS TO UNDERPRIVILEGED BLACK CHILDREN AND MAKE DELICIOUS SAUCES FOR EVERYONE ( EXCEPT VEGANS ) MWUHAHAHAAA

What's new about the process of meritocracy, some people are lucky, have skills and are in the right place at the right time, they are usually poor before, and then end up rich, splash it and have a good time which they feel they deserve for all the dedication they've put into following their dream and doing something they are passionate about.
I've known mostly wealthy male actor celebrities, I hang outside in exclusive clubs and the haunts of the wealthy and have gotten to know many of them intimately, ha, your could say I'm an obsessive celebrity groupie, that would be partly accurate, a tiny bit of pleasure enters into my relationships, but I'm mainly in the game for financial security. Ha, its ironic, but here I am, an unknown single unemployed girl from the country playing the dumb blond girl looking for an opening in the acting business, like I'm actually acting in real life some really complex gigs, like pretending to be drugged out and semi-conscious when having sex, then the awkward confrontation in the morning, followed by the very lucrative payoff, serious money it would take 2 years of wage slaving to save. Hah, I should be awarded the Academy award for the acting I've done in real life, I even make the celebrity actors look like beginners with all their props and makeup and multiple takes, I'm doing these plays for real and I've only got 1 take to get it right. So yeah, art IS life, the world IS a stage, so y'all get your acts together, we're all celebrities whether we like it or not, and we only ever get 1 take on life, get y'all scripts in order!

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