TOTW: Anarchist Supervillains

(Not about Marvel and DC)

For all our talk of solidarity, there are some anarchists who other anarchists just love to hate. In every milieu there are larger than life figures who've transgressed in one way or another - either through something they said, or wrote, or did - and who just won't go away, no matter how much people shout at them.

Over the years, their mystique grows. Their names become loaded weapons. An aura follows them wherever they go. "Is that who I think it is?" people whisper at our gatherings.

Who are these individuals? Are they unique characters who've used their superpowers to go beyond good and evil? Is the objection to them only because they make us mere mortals look timid in comparison? Or are they just trolls, nuisances to be avoided, bad apples in the bunch?

"Well, they're not really anarchist!" some say, trying to break the spell. "I don't pay them any mind at all!" say others, trying to convince themselves. "Something should be done about that person!" says another, trying to play the role of superhero.

Who are the supervillains in your story? What makes them supervillains, not heroes? Who draws the line and which side are you on, anews commenters? What do these characters - and the conflicts and controversies around them - tell us about anarchism?

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Someone sent me this the other day. I think it's really good on this topic (and weird synchronicity).
TLDR: most of us have our own tribe (ingroup) and define an enemy tribe as the outgroup, most of us do this with people who are like us to a significant degree (and not to the radically "other"), and the tribes do not follow the expected categories. For a lot of Americans, the liberal/conservative tribes are really important. You're a lot more outraged about the things your outgroup says/does than things that other people say/do, even if in a calm moment you'd say the latter are actually worse. So if you're in the liberal tribe, you'll be outraged that conservatives celebrate the death of bin Laden (who is in one of their outgroups), but then you're meant to celebrate the death of Thatcher. All rather contradictory. But basically, people in someone's outgroup can be really hated, they are seen as pure evil, whereas people who do bad things but who are not part of the outgroup are just flawed human beings.

Reich covers similar territory with his concept of "Emotional Plague".

Hate stems from fear (not anger), fight-flight (limbic) reactions and defensive aggression are involved, even if it's also a good excuse for sadism and ego-boosting too.

I have quite a few outgroups. Pigs and their ilk are the biggest. The kind of latently sadistic right-wing bigot who posts comments like "these protesters are scum and should all be shot" is not far behind. Behaviourism is another big no-no. Within the anarchist scene, my biggest bete noirs used to be leftists who idolise working-class communities, mistake working-class common sense for truth, and are intolerant of other axes of struggle. For the last five years or so, they've been replaced as the main "problem" by idpols. I didn't used to be antagonistic with idpol at all, and embraced a lot of their ideas during the 2000s. But at some point they got very numerous, very pro-neoliberal, and very aggressive and intolerant. I had lots of discussions with them, where I was arguing pretty calmly but they got extremely nasty, sometimes beyond name-calling to retaliating or banning me. I lost friends to this current, who ostracised me because I'd argued with them or said the wrong thing online, or who became impossible to talk to because they assumed common idpol crap as the basis for every discussion. Then I started losing political spaces because they took them over, and there was no reasoning with them about how they wanted to do things. It's a vicious circle, because the nastier they get, the more defensive or argumentative I get, and the quicker the conversation goes to shit. Right now I just have to see one of their buzzwords to get my hackles up. I'm finding I have to check this reaction with people who are actually up for discussion or who aren't dyed-in-the-wool about this stuff.

As "supervillains" I see them more like an army of cloned Agent Smiths or a swarm intelligence like the Borg, rather than a few big villains. Though, there's a few of them I've met personally who stand out for the sheer level of nastiness and hypocrisy involved.

What these outgroups have in common is that they all think I'm scum, and they're all difficult or impossible to reason with. They all give off a kind of sadistic or passive-aggressive hostility directed towards me personally or a group they identify me with, and they all tend to react nastily (and never change their minds) if I critique certain dogmas of theirs or I seem to be "winning" in debate. So it's almost a mirroring reaction, I hate them because they already in advance hate me (though of course it's hard to tell at what point this becomes projections).

Good to see your words again. Here's what I've been reading lately, seems relevant to the topic.
I've played the face and the heel at turns and been through a few iterations in this life so I can relate. I went through a pretty major transformation in 92' that left some friends by the wayside. Also gave up some irrational fears and social phobias that most people never get around to doing. That can be percieved as abnormal psychology by the less experienced. I have participated in some successful group projects but I'm working with a skeleton crew at the moment. I've gotten used to being excluded and operating from the outside which only exists in relation to the inside so it's not a complete exile just a different angle of approach. If it is to be it's up to me and of course principles before personalities.

I always considered the dc "superhero" as capitalist materialism's substitute for the psycho-moralistic ubermensch. A binary situation of having social justice achieved with force and physical power vs the power of the inner will.

My hero epic is sourced from the emerging urban myths and hyperstitions of the antifa super soldier, social justice warriors and the old trope of the bomb throwing anarchist or the heroic street fighters of Myanmar. I never was attracted to the superheros from Marvel or DC but loved the Image comics.

Comic book superheroes are the hybrid children of sci-fi, the Nietzschean Übermensch, and pure profit-driven popularism. The writers want to be financially successful, and to do this they have to make their character uphold the moral order of society. This undermines the most important characteristic of the Übermensch, the creation-destruction of values. So we get that classic American bullshit, a vigilante or lone wolf individualist whose values perfectly align with the herd's.

From this we get supervillains as the inverse of superheroes. @critic's comment is great but goes off topic because the supervillain is not a group, it is an individual. A fantasy individual created to warn against the rejection of the group or society's morality.

I think the word "superhero" emerged by analogy with Greek/Roman heroes who were also larger than life, had special powers, and took on epic quests. In ancient Greek the term is descriptive and not moral, so "hero" includes the analogues of supervillains, as well as middling (non-moralised) types. In Greece heroes are usually tragic because they are hubristic (offend the gods, act beyond the natural limits of humans, test fate) so the stories are both inspiring and also cautionary. There's also a similarity of superhero stories to medieval chivalric stories which are clearly focused on the (real social and military) superiority of the knightly class, though they are also an attempt to "civilise" this class away from warlordism. The genre has to mutate when people stop believing in magic, inborn superiority, and/or interventionist gods, so we get the current breed of space-age, bio-mutant or tech-enhanced heroes whose special abilities get tied into glorification of tech and upholding the social order. Hence the modern superhero is very often strongly character-armoured, a "man of steel". It also gets tied-up with intentionalism (the exaggeration of the importance of particular exceptional individuals in causing historical events) and larger-than life figures like Trump, Hitler, bin Laden, Lenin, Thatcher, Pinochet, Gadaffi, getting elevated into superheroes by their fans and supervillains by their enemies. Which has side-effects of sadistic brutality against "villains", underplaying of social factors in historical processes, and excessive emphasis on eliminating the "villains" as a solution to wider problems.

There's cultural-studies and psychoanalytic analyses which talk about a hero archetype (Jung, Campbell) or the hero figure as a kind of internal ideal-ego, i.e. an image of what people (do or should) aspire to be, and then the villain archetype as a kind of shadow form of the same (actually tyrant would be shadow version of just king). Tragic heroes might be warnings against omnipotence fantasies. Very often the more recent superheroes/villains are carved into two factions based on what they do with their power - the villains use their power sadistically, either to dominate/control (take over the world or galaxy, enslave everyone) or to destroy (e.g. wipe everyone out). Whereas heroes use their similar powers to protect the weak and make the world a better place. So there's a cautionary tale there, about existential freedom/responsibility so to speak, and how we use the power we have (by analogy: anarchists use direct action to defend ourselves, fight for freedom, protect vulnerable humans and animals and the planet, resist the villains i.e. bosses and pigs and fascists; fascists use direct action to dominate and destroy). This is open to an anarchist slant, though it's also what liberals, right-libertarians, even some conservatives think they're doing.

That's kinda schematic, as there's also flawed heroes who are "evil" on some level, and sympathetic villains who "go too far" in pursuing just grievances or trying to help others. And these are often the most anarchist-resonant characters: people like V (for Vendetta), Elric, Bane, Poison Ivy, Rorschach, Magneto. We end up in an ambivalent position because we hate the system and have an urge to destroy, but we're also acting on legitimate grievances and defending ourselves/others/freedom/etc. Before I read the TOTW post, I was expecting this to be about anarchist insurgents and illegalists who achieved a kind of supervillain status in the public mind, like Kaczynski, Bonnot, Czolgosz, etc.

My experience of these groups and their dynamics is that of sheer incommunication.

Like the kangaroo courts and other processes are mostly happening ex situ.... where you just can't reason with the group as they're just not around for convo, and the convo is happening in a different space and time. It's a way for the "outers" to maintain their political games as they never gotta face either the consequences of their rulings (just like government judges) or the load of conflicting arguments or information, not having to substantiate their claims as all the process is made of one-sided talks between the Survivor and the Ally (who's an authority, or at least authoritative figure in the milieu).

There's also a possibility for more toxic and bigoted prejudice -often ableist or racist- to make its way into the tribunals and go unchecked... I've seen it happening before, where either a Black person or a women were the targets of tribunals of the While Left milieu, treated as either sex predator or "mentally ill", and that was way fucked. So much for ID pols!

This pattern of course does not only concerns Oppressor vs Survivor trials as there are other herd gimmicks that make these TRIBAL mechanisms of demonizing to happen.

Thanks @critic! I like the Star Trek Borg comparison. "resistance is futile" could ironically describe the implied motto of many social activists/movers & shakers today--- you can't resist their holistic logic!

I started reading the first link you posted and I can relate. The neighborhood I live in now is full of conservatives and there's nothing they would rather do than gerrymander this area so they can all live together. What's worse is people who aren't Republicans will try to blend in with them so they don't become countercultural. I can't entirely avoid these people because I go outside every day and ride my bike or skateboard. These people are deadly, they don't yield willingly to pedestrians, they're killers. I have discovered the safest routes through my neighborhood to avoid exposure to traffic but I still have to deal with them. My neighbors couldn't leave me alone to save their lives. Neighbors are supposed to do their own thing and leave people alone unless something happens like a disaster that requires collective action but these people want us to tie our legs together and drag each other through the mud.

As an aside there are a couple of houses at the end of the street that are owned by the county and used as temporary housing for new employees. A family moved in there recently and on the back of one of their cars they had a sticker that says this machine kills fascists and also Rosie the Riveter sticker. And they had a pink and white inflatable unicorn in the front yard for their little kids. I didn't get to know them but I passed by there every day and used to see them outside. I think they used to go jogging around the neighborhood sometimes.

When I moved here this section of the neighborhood was a little Enclave. There were a few kids who walked around with a Confederate flag and they had a shooting gallery set up in the woods with barricades for paintball. The fascists had a bandwagon and would get all their buddies on the back of this truck and ride around town as a show of strength. Since the gentrification everything has been unearthed and exposed so it's not the same. They all lay low now and stay out of sight.

The Christian conservativism can be real grating, but luckily it's all mixed with other opinions/insights so the general feel is people are often cynical and pessimistic. Plus, the heavily "mixed race" aspect forces everyone to be pretty polite and understanding...but them trumpees are hiding in the booshees!

Very interesting, but I wonder what the implications are for villainy. Sounds like you're living somewhere that's red-tribe-bolo, you're not in red-tribe, and they're some degree of a threat to you. How comes you're there/don't move somewhere less red-tribey? Do you try to relate to them at all? Does it make you more or less hostile to them, when you're living around them and not just reading about them on reddit or whatever?

This is the Great American melting pot all the tribes are mixed together. This is a civil society and we're supposed to keep the peace. That's why working class neighborhoods are rough because all the poor people have to live together despite their political proclivities. This place isn't that much different than any other place I've lived before. I might like to live in an intentional community or some type of collective house, commune, eco-village, farm or squat someday with like minded people I just haven't got around to it yet.

My neighborhood is actually pretty diverse, there are a lot of Caribbean and Latin American immigrants here. Although I've only lived in two red states Florida almost turned blue in the last election if that tells you anything about the demographics. Another thing is I don't like the cold or rain so if I do move I will still probably have to live pretty far south. I've thought about going to New Orleans lately because I've been there before and it's a cool Southern city by the sea. If I move to California I would probably have to live in San Diego or someplace close to the Mexican border. I might like to visit Portland or Seattle sometime but I wouldn't want to live there all year around.

No, definitely vilify the red tribe they should be thoroughly criticized but yes Live and Let live. Just because your neighbor has a trump flag doesn't mean you beat him up or burn his house down. It's amazing how flimsy their b******* can be sometimes. I caught a neighbor trying to run a Confederate flag up a flagpole once and as soon as I spotted him he set the flag down on a table and walked away and I never saw it again.

We also have to criticize the blue and the gray which can be difficult when you're dealing with partisan politics and balkanization. A leftist in an IRC channel got mad at me for calling Biden a blue dog and a dixiecrat and a touchy feely guy. Are anarchists on the blue team or do they stand outside of politics?

I think there have certainly been anarchists that have been villainized in different ways (to name a few:, but none that have been supervillains.
That's usually reserved for those who pose a credible threat in their quest to achieve world domination.
Consistent anarchists would never be a supervillain, where many historical left wing and right wing dictators have been much closer to that, not to mention other types of rulers, like presidents, monarchs and emperors. Some leftists have wanted to appropriate the notion of being vilified (Hostis publication for example). Yet these bunch do not amount much more than semantic edgelords, incomparable to the heights of supervillainy achieved through sheer banality of evil by technicians, bureaucrats and business people, such as those working at all the recognizable brands, agribusiness, industry, finance sector, and branches of governments.
Anarchists are rarely petty crooks, never billionaires or bank owners, their kill count never reaching that of genocide or ecocide (or at least not being the emblematic protagonists of them, often the antagonist of such atrocities).

What's great about anarchy is that in many aspects it does not seek to be greatest or the first among many, they will never be the greatest supervillain nor superhero, mostly people trying to live their life not being bothered by people telling them what to do or telling others what to do. Although sometimes they don a mask and do ridiculous things like break or wash windows.

> A group of anarchist terrorists shot the Spanish anarchist Emilio López Arango three times in the chest. López Arango was responsible for the anarchist paper La Protesta that had defamed the bandit anarchists; Arango had waged a campaign of slander against Severino’s attacks, slamming him as a “fascist agent” and defaming him before the mass anarchist workers’ movement of the time... Before López Arango’s execution, he had received many warnings through comrades (which he ignored) such as the one that the Uruguayan anarchist-bandit Miguel Arcángel Rosigna had told him: “Please stop this campaign, since Severino is capable of anything.”

That's some superhuman villainy right there.

in my years of experience, most anarchists are so afraid of standing outside a clique that they relish the identification and vilification of "villains". i've witnessed loads of self-described anarchists fall victim to rumor and gossip without checking the source and/or without bothering to ask questions to the people targeted with vilification to find out what the hell happened in the first place. without any actual first-hand information, these anarchists create and perpetuate moral panics, engaging in the ugliest kind of "call outs" that are nothing so much as virtue-signaling pile-ons. the most obvious example is Bob Black, but others have included the late Aragorn Bang, and LJ (who's virtually disappeared, no wonder). after all, identifying and vilifying in/out-group villains is far easier than fighting the cops.

***NOTE: edited by thecollective as per our moderation policy

One of the paradoxes of call-out culture is that this kind of herd mentality is combined with a desire to look like a villain to people outside the clique. There's so many people nowadays who never lift a finger and whose politics are basically liberal-reformist, but want to be seen as radicals, extremists, super-militant in their causes, utterly intransigent enemies of America or Whiteness/white people or Modern Society, and who go out of their way to offend/trigger the mainstream, the right and the "centre", but they aren't doing this as a necessary side-effect of believing something "extreme", they're doing it as a supplement to moderate politics. For example: people who work in universities and spend most of their time arguing that "the modern university is irreducibly complicit in colonialism", attacking quantitative and qualitative research as epistemic violence, calling everyone who challenges them racist, but actually what they want is just some slight changes in course content and more people like themselves appointed in more senior positions. It seems very strange to me - like if some super-moderate Muslim cleric was posturing as bin Laden. My guess is they're faking supervillain because notoriety sells, they're playing the social media field where extreme/provocative statements generate field-carving flame wars with themselves at the centre, the same way Trump did/does. Though I also wonder if they're compensating for bad conscience about selling-out their earlier radicalism by LARPing as Fanon or Valerie Solanas.

“The monster does not need the hero. It is the hero who needs him for his very existence.“

yeah, a lot of this topic can be easily dismissed as just "scene drama", rarely rising to the level of real conflict. even aragorn, who many would agree was treated to quite a bit of hostility, mentioned (i'm paraphrasing, not quoting) that it was mostly a bunch of sneaky little cowards, running around behind their back, talking shit or maybe sabotaging personal property but almost never actual confrontations? because as I said, little cowards who ain't shit and can't do shit except scuttle around and talk shit.

so it's interesting how people process conflict: is that how one becomes a "villian" sometimes? if you just happen to be the type of person who isn't easily intimidated and doesn't respond to the .. less impressive forms of coercion like guilt or shame? so you're just existing, doing your thing and over time, all these almost completely powerless creatures keep talking shit because they have no other capacity to exert their puny little wills and the whole thing festers haha ... humans, you know? often tragic in a boring, wet fart sort of way.

but also people actually do things to deserve being treated as pariahs, don't get me wrong. I just find this notion interesting, of existing in a way where you almost automatically accrue resentment of people that don't even know you. relates to anarchy in a lot of obvious ways...

I've noticed that a lot of issues get resolved quite easily through just talking about things with the "adversary", and of course theres a short window given that people dont remember things too good.

I am not a primitivist, but I am of the opinion that the short life spans that humans had were sort of a luxury. Any mistakes or misfortunes killed you very quickly, or at least contributed to your short life.

Now living kinda resembles an obligation...

sorry to hear that's your take away? think I was leaning more towards a fuck-the-haters angle?

especially when they're unable to articulate what exactly they expect you to do to meet their needs? or their "needs" are just a petty bid for control, which is extremely common.

lot of people just perceive conflict where there isn't any and if you drill down, it's incoherent, then they project it on to whoever's around that irritates them. guess that's the nietzschean ressentiment thing, certainly not unique to anarchists

To be sorry about, I have a good life and don't really care about how long it is. But whenever I feel the most miserable and victimized, that's what I feel, that long lives are inherently bad...but you see the problem with that type of binary logic, heroes vs. Villains, etc.

well ... ok, I already feel plenty old but if I make it another decade or three, maybe I'll see it your way? haha

I have a bad life, due to what appears to be constant social anxiety and depression issues. But I neither care how long my life will last. It's the pain and occasional joys of living it that makes it interesting. And yes, life is full of pains.

I don't need a "good life", or another mythological of prosperous wealth living filled with a multitude of interchangeable friends and sex partners.

Like Nietzsche said, the strong is not afraid to eat the coarse meal, not just the dessert. Adventure has many pitfalls and rough stretches.

You have a good attitude because life includes lots of suffering. In my transhumanist project I'm interested in technologies that are accessible to people who lack resources to afford the high tech solutions that are becoming available. Contrary to the cyberpunk ethos of a high-tech low-life this would be a low-tech high-life. What is really required for us to improve ourselves and be happy?

of any object that can be slipped in ones pocket without getting caught shoplifting. I would also start thinking about how to ditch the internet entirely.

Then there's also wood, glue, notebooks, etc. I feel like the "accessible computing technologies" project is overall a freakin' joke.

I would like to make local connections in meatspace but I wouldn't give up the internet because it is a tremendous resource for learning and connecting to meta projects at a global scale. I've been caught stealing before so I'm a little wary of it but I like the idea of wood, glue and notebooks those are useful items.

even if it's disgusting to anti-authoritarian radicals on so many levels. I also like the idea of non-profit software but my programming skills aren't that great.

I'm a little disgusted by the loss of interest in pirating stuff, i blame the streaming craze on this...the fact that companies are making it so easy and "cheap" to watch movies now. Industry used to be able to say that us pirates were a threat to their livelihood but some other tech people just came in and recuperated the convenience of digital entertainment.

Pirating's still going on, and still intermittently persecuted, although the plus side of being part-recuperated in streaming is that the harassment is lower-level. Darknet markets are also going strong.

I have zero tech skills so can't help much, but if there's techies reading, I think meshnets are very promising for anarchy. I could imagine local meshnets in anarchist/counterculture enclaves bypassing censorship, meshnets breaking internet blackouts in restive regions, and ideally it should also be possible to design a meshnet so IP's can't be linked to users. Create some kind of transmission between local nets and we'd have a slow but functional internet without ISP's and with very high censorship resilience. The low speeds might actually be an advantage in putting off normies and corporations, and creating something more like the 90s internet. Add in drones which can be remotely controlled through the network and the system is fucked.

You may want to look at Briar messaging app for a working example of this idea. It uses Tor when there's Internet, and when there's no Internet it creates a mesh network with the phone's short range radio like Bluetooth.

For example in 1992 I had 12 step software installed that has really paid off. I am approaching 30 years of sobriety my health is good and I have money in the bank. It doesn't take much for me, sunshine, a TracFone and a longboard and I'm happy.

and binary fluency, that's how they used to do things in the 80's and 70's. Of course, if you are really awesome with high level languages then you will get hired for all sorts of jobs.

The police are particularly fond of flouting the efforts of other people, simply because of a kind of stupidity. Unfortunately, though, in the modern cultural milieu, self-conscious policemen are particularly plentiful. It is merely a kind of meanness and vilification, hypocrisy and caution. Occasionally, it displays a pedantic severity, as if rude outsiders would undermine their civilised achievements and dignity. No one can feel relaxed in such an environment, for one eventually finds that gathering together socially is merely self-defeating. No one can talk about anything seriously or with passion, because it makes them look like fools. It seems that one can make oneself feel comfortable by simply waiting for others to make jokes. I'm afraid that even the "anti-fascist" thing is the prerogative of civilised people - what do the country folk know about fascism? It happens all the time, and it's the fruit of civilisation! If anyone is willing to challenge it, then we'd better just sit on the sidelines with meanness and contempt - see, it's doomed to fail. What an interesting day!

The name "lumpentroll" kinda suggests for me that you're looking for a degree of notoriety yourself TBH.

And yeah. It's always been a kind of truism that bullies are cowards. Very tough when there's twenty of them and one of you, but quick to submit or run if there's any risk of losing the fight. I've seen it said a lot about the far-right (the older kind who operate like gangs) and it's borne-out in all the demo reports and videos I've come across. It fits with how authoritarian personalities work: respect only power/strength/fear, sadism goes down the social ladder, masochism goes up. So the same scumbag can be an abject asskisser in one situation and a vicious tyrant in another. Of course today this also means they're a lot braver behind a keyboard.

There's always been scene drama and ostracism but it seems to have reached a new low since about 2014. Like, LOTS of ostracism and actual bannings, shutting down people's events, publicly outing people, hate mail, threats, sabotage, even mail bombs on occasion. It's not reached the levels of fratricide which the far-right and Leninists have sometimes reached (where different factions are actually killing each other) but it's the worst it's been for a long time. Like, the worst things "our side" used to do to literal Nazis or animal abusers, turned against one another. It's pretty low-level, if you've got a thick hide and you've been in real fights then it won't have much impact, but these days the scene is full of people who are already fucked-up, and the younger generation seem very easy to hurt in these ways. (Incidentally, this also applies to managerial bullying... I saw someone try this shit on an ex-army person once, needless to say it didn't work).

"notoriety"? that's funny. especially from you. I posted anon for a long time and ppl complained about that, so I took a screen name and now here's you, with more snarky noises in the other direction.

fits well with my original point and yours too it seems, that it's probably better to just disregard a lot of feedback because people talk tons of shit and none of it amounts to much. just hot air escaping from a sack full of it! pppbbbbtttssss

I wasn't actually snarking this time, though I do send snark your way from time to time, so I'd see why you'd think that. It's more... well, "lumpen" and "troll" are both usually derogatory terms, so it's the sort of thing I'd expect someone who disliked you to say, "this guy's just a lumpen troll" or somesuch, rather than something you'd call yourself. It's actually quite common for anarchist/radical commentators to do this, and especially anarcho-punk and rave scenes, plenty of "scum" and "rabble" and so on in usernames and event names and so on. I also see it from idpols (putting b*tch in their username for example) and old right-wing trolls giving themselves names like "grumpyoldcunt", not to mention rappers using the N-word, and the ubiquitous f*g on the chans in the 2000s. But obviously there's loads of other political trends and subcultures which never do it - like, you don't see hippies tagging themselves BullshitMonger or CrazyWooCrank for instance. Would be interested to hear your thoughts/feelings behind choosing a derogatory username. Zizek-style "identifying with the symptom" maybe?

I'm usually self deprecating and hostile because this is @news and it seems appropriate here.

Also Zizek is a blowhard scumbag

You're just not going to get a radical critique from the culture industry which is funded by multinational corporations. Again I never was fond of the superheroes of Marvel and DC but prefer the anti-heroes of Image or the alt comics like Zippy the Pinhead, Anarchy or Far Out West.

@ Gel-O, what are your thoughts on Watchmen comic? Have you experienced The Invisibles? How about “The Flaming Carrot”?

Haven't seen them yet but thanks for the recommendations I'll check it out.

holy shit, are people seriously saying this shit about lj? he made a hardcore ANARCHIST comment about churches, and was absolutely cancelled. pathetic, the entire "scene".

The comment you replied to was hyperbole.

And LJ's "hardcore ANARCHIST comment", incidentally, is not beyond critique

of course, nothing is beyond critique!

such as my misunderstanding that "hyperbole".

“And LJs “hardcore ANARCHIST comment” incidentally, is not beyond having his life ruined forever.”

Fixed it for you.

lol, well, I personally don't think his life should be ruined forever either

Well the vast majority of the scene that cancelled him and the spineless fools who stood back and let it happen, would disagree with you.

What an absolute joke.

isn't it possible that getting cancelled by the vast majority of a dysfunctional scene (and that bunch of spineless fools -- i.e. former friends and allies who allowed it to happen) liberated him from their hypocritical scrutiny? maybe he's enjoying not having to watch every last thing he says or writes anymore in order not to anger the idpol gods.

it's ironic that the state would take his freedom for however long he was locked up and then "forgive" him and let him live his life, but the smug (fake) anti-authoritarians of the scene have given him a life sentence without the possibility of parole. agreed: it's an absolute joke.

What are you complaining about... that some guy got deplatformed for threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend? That's fucked. Unless this claims was completely made up and there was no incident, any dude who does that no longer should be around any anarchist circles.

And what if some creep would end up chasing you across the US and beyond, and making you death threats? Wouldn't that be worthy banning this guy? Ha... now you see it's starting to make sense. Coz the bias of your personal experience might be involved.

I was referencing the infamous “ALL churches” incident.

I was unaware of this other thing till encountering it here today. But, knowing how people in anarchy invent lies on a whim or make gross exaggerations as well as take massive liberties with the definitions of words... you’ll have to forgive me if I don’t do what pretty much 100% of anarchists do which is assume its all true bc optics... woops thats probably the bias of my horrible personal experience talking lol.

yeah the all churches outburst was stupid, but he did assault his ex-girlfriend and he did go to jail. no exaggeration, no liberties taken. it's what happened once he went into the criminal justice system and what the conformists and cowards in "the scene" did afterward that we're discussing.

yeah, there is no forgiving him regardless of what he's done to repair the life of the woman he assaulted, regardless of what he's done to repair his own life, regardless of what he's done to help other men who've perpetrated intimate violence... anarchists should never forgive anyone for anything bad. this exemplifies the toxicity of call out culture and deplatforming: it's all about conformist moral panics and excommunication. anarchists are supposed to be smarter than that. oh well... instead of La Lutta Continua, it's Il Scherzo Continua

was he found guilty of attempted murder? did he do any time?

Yes to both. Although the state forgave him for his crime, the anarchist scene did not.

Kind of ironic then that an institution predicated on social conflict would have a mechanism for reintegration while a milieu predicated on horizontalism and egalitarianism would use banishment and disappearing as its only tool for conflict resolution. Why would anyone in their right mind want to be reintegrated into such a stupid and dysfunctional scene?

There's lots of different versions of what happened. Only common element is, they involve assault on a woman he was having an extramarital affair with (he didn't have a history of violence against women; my suspicion is, transient paranoid episode). He was jailed, but not for attempted murder. He's also in a men's anti-patriarchy/anti-abuse support group. But last I heard he's fallen out irreparably with the scene he was in (but not the whole of the anarchist scene). I've heard very different stories about whether this is his doing or theirs.

@critic, did you hear that he was threatened with physical violence from a former friend if he dared show his face at any anarchist gathering in the Bay Area? that sounds like it wasn't really his choice to fall out with them...

Oh yeah... that wasn't his choice. His actions were under the remote control of his detractors, so he had to kill a women of theirs, to release himself from the spell, or something.

incoherent comment is incoherent. nobody killed anyone; get over yourself and learn how to write a sentence.

*stumbles into the comments section and causes a scene*

What you lookin' at? You all a bunch of fuckin' assholes. You know why? You don't have the guts to be what you wanna be. You need people like me. You need people like me so you can point your fuckin' fingers and say, "That's the bad guy." So... what that make you? Good? You're not good. You just know how to hide, how to lie. Me?, I don't have that problem. Me, I always tell the truth. Even when I lie.

Some anews mods have become humorless and heavy-handed. I wouldn't call them supervillians though. They delete comments that don't violate any of the stated moderation policy other than their own subjective fancies on whether said comments fit their idea of "good discussion". This is shaky ground for a moderation policy on any site, let alone an anarchist one.

which comments have little-to-no potential to troll anyone or make a random passerby angry. They look to keep up the comments that are fire-retardent, but the problem is just like you and me, their capacity for predicting such things isn't too great.

So flamebait and flamewars?

I think if you avoid flamewars and keep the discussion interesting it tends to stay up. But of course overambitious comment removal happens. I wonder if anon can say more about what kinds of comments were removed to make them sad.

yes anon, describe your suffering in detail, explain your tears so that I may drink more, for I am always thirsty MUAHAHA

I think Joker's humor is cruel: most people think serious things are funny, while most people think funny things are serious. Therefore, judging others on the basis of "lack of humor" is still a kind of boring performance in essence, which deeply hurts those introverts and those who are excluded and bullied. The most important thing for Joker is to admit that he is a joke.

The collective running this site has made its policy around deleting posts explicit, and they are under no obligation to coddle your ego. Plenty of my connects have been deleted over the years, but that's just the way it goes when you rely on someone else's time and energy; it's pathetic and a little monomaniacal to cry "censorship" just because you think you're smarter and more interesting than you actually are.
And oh yeah, fuck off keating

i mean, there's nothing wrong with being irritated by the collective's efforts to erase content (the guidelines actually still aren't that clear to me, cuz sometimes they just delete stuff for silly reasons...) but we all have to remember that there is no subscription fee and hardly anyone is reading this stuff

i would personally like it if thecollective said something like this in the "about us" section:

"we delete comments when we think they are malicious, are in bad faith, or we don't like them, if you have a problem with it you can go somewhere else."

just on the merit that people who angrily post aren't necessarily "flame-baiting" or "trolling", it's better for the tourists of this site to actually be able to put all the deletions of comments into perspective. This way i believe preserves the good natured humor and chatting without confusing the commenter...

"They slit people's throats, burn the homesteads in the fields, embed iron nails in good wood to destroy sawmills, and design explosive devices. They block participation in war and destroy arsenals ...... a group of true supermen with evil superhuman powers, everywhere and nowhere."
This passage is the media's description of anarchists. Some might say that this is enemy propaganda. But, as a propaganda, the super villains in the movie are equally a portrayal from the mainstream values. So, there seems to be a common language and the topic is inevitable.

Super villains are usually portrayed as powerful enemies whose fate is to be defeated by a righteous partner (e.g., a vigilante). While super-villains often have exaggerations and toxic impurities in them, I think it is worth examining. In other words, the invention of the villain is not empty, but has some basis. For example, Hellraiser, the hellish monks' preference for the hedonistic pleasures of flesh and blood is due to the need for mainstream culture to portray an evil. Although these images are often one-sided and scandalized, they point to the fact that there is an evil lurking deep underneath that is constantly being discussed, proliferated and aberrated. It is even a self-made ethic that makes super-villains so happy.

Super-villains are invented not just from mistakes (for example, Bane in Batman, who represents the bad side of the French Revolution), but as characters who make mistakes the mode of pleasure. So they are often not simple characters. If a man makes a mistake, he recognizes his mistake and blames himself. But the super-villain makes a mistake, and he feels happy. In other words, an affirmation of great mistakes is formed. Essentially, this creates a kind of debate. What exactly is evil? What about the realization, hierarchy and style of evil? -- This is from Plato's habit, that evil must have its representation, its rank, its typicality, its style. So there is a constant stream of super-villains being created there. But the question must be asked in turn, is evil really so childish and something like being styled by hairspray?

The power of the super villain is very often to make the story attractive. But if you look deeper you will find that their power is of a completely different type than the protagonist. If viewed through modern eyes, they are essentially powerless and weak, and therefore destined to be defeated by the hero. But if viewed in ancient times, perhaps those super villains may well represent some of the best character. The ancient Greeks were well aware of the emptiness and pain of life, yet Dionysus gave meaning to that pain, and to a large extent, it constitutes what modern people see as evil. It has a masochistic quality - it's like saying that a demon king, most likely, is empty, so he needs brave men to beat themselves up for entertainment. This is the breadth of mind and temperament of a super villain.

Because of the different modes of power, super villains are not destined to be the protagonists of the story. Even, sometimes they are not a person, but a group, a wasp in the desert, a swamp, or a shadow of the protagonist himself. It waits for justice to thwart itself, because it loves everything it has created and likes to have someone to share his joy. However, this joy is not accepted and condemned, which makes the super villain feel sad and upset. Needless to say, the supervillain represents tragedy. Even, he wants to leave the world of justice actively, because he wants people to be happy.

However, this does not mean that the world has thus entered the happy time. Because the righteous world loves self-torture and chastisement so much, suffering fills every corner, so much so that the super-villain once again sheds tears. He just felt sad for the stupidity of people. So he decided to destroy the world, so that people can be happy again in the destruction.

Maybe the super-villain is the part of ourselves that we are hiding. Essentially, it is that part of our nihilism. A lot of science fiction is built on the contemplation of nihilism. For example, many of the images in Singijeon, especially Mousta in War on Mars, draw on the images of the Marquis de Sade and Mosaic. How does a super villain come into being? --It is the realization that God is gone, and the realization of the abyss. Betrayal after betrayal, failure after failure, and, of course, love, an emotion of courtly love, long and painful. This is the characterization of the super-villain: "What is all this torture for? If I have not done anything to harm God, and why do I suffer such punishment? If this is the punishment, what is the evil that goes with it? " Or, the super-villain's soul from the ancient knight asks, "What is this war really about? While we shed blood, corrupt officials and vile people call the shots. If God really exists, then why did he abandon us to it?! "

That's the kind of depth a super-villain should have. It's just that we're so used to an overpowering image that we forget what super-villains are like in the real world. In fact, they are destined to be some excluded, marginalized people or groups.

Let's put it this way. The most appropriate super-villain is perhaps a woman.

Well, you have to admit that there are a higher percentage of sociopaths inhabiting the anarchist milieu than amongst the general public, especially as you mentioned amongst the nihilo-anarchists.
Villian is just a euphemism for sociopath/psychopath!

I have no idea why they made Alita look like a sex doll. Maybe they used the same digital mold, but it struck me as a very sexist portrayal of the female heroine and did not arouse my interest in the story..

Its because the whole hero/villian binary narrative is steeped in authoritarian control by alpha males to assume a dominant or domineering hierarchy, and their ideal companions must be only attractive dominatrix females.

For ages I thought the femme fatale stereotype was all about sexist men being afraid of women. But then I found out a number of these movies are mainly watched by women. "Gone Girl" for example was the most successful film in its year with women audiences. It's about a woman who fakes her own rape and murder to get back at her boyfriend. So I wonder if this kind of character has become a symbol of women's power as well.

In anime and manga, nearly all the women are conventionally attractive and somewhat sexualised, but they also tend to be a lot stronger characters (in terms of personality) and more often have special powers than the male heroes (who are usually everyman types, and very rarely musclemen). It's quite common to have scenarios with very ordinary male leads surrounded by basically superhero women. I don't know quite what the causes of this are, maybe Japanese men find it easier to imagine themselves as ordinary yet adored by exceptional women than to imagine themselves as superheroes. What's weird is, the frequency and empowerment of female protagonists in anime/manga would make me expect Japan to be a lot less sexist than it actually is.

I thought her first plastic body looked more like a crash test dummy than a blow up doll but with the installation of the Martian cyborg body Alita comes of age.

I can see the overlap in majority fantasies, but isn't the usual supervillain modelled on Nazis, Stalinists or crime lords? Like, quite a few of them want to take over the world, enslave or exterminate people they consider inferior, or they're just trying to get very rich and powerful using violence. A lot of them seem to be spun off the Western or action-movie (e.g. Bond, mafia-movie) villain and there's quite a few industrialists, "mad" scientists and mafia types involved.

No, some supervillains are interesting characters often with a somewhat legit rationale. Batman series as well as X-Men has a bunch of supervillains that are more dramatic good guys turned bad due to circumstances.

The actual supervillains we got these days are people like Bill Gates, Zuckerberg and Musk, to Batman or Bond's not around to get them.

Anarchist supervillains... I don't think there's any, other than perhaps Bonanno and a few other Euro anarchists. Let's say that what characterizes a supervillain is when their might goes beyond the normal powers of an apt human being (they become superhuman, tho not due to superpowers or wealth)... Being larger than life, and beyond human. So if you gain a major influence in anarchy through theory while at the same time being a notiorious pain in the ass for authorities due to irl deeds, then I suppose that qualifies.

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