TOTW: Self- Sabotage

The real ship was the friendships we made along the way.

Some days ago, a ship got stuck and it caused a bit of a fuss.
It was stuck for a while and lots of memes got made basking in the serendipitous brilliance of what resulted from a combination of weather conditions and good old fucking up.

Many felt solace in seeing their personal failures and shortcomings momentarily eclipsed by a gargantuan fuck-up;
catharsis, in portraying their anxieties in a relatable and versatile meme template. Others gloated, relishing in counter-logistical fantasies of blocking the flows of Empire.

Meanwhile the steady stream of memes fueled the-little-digger-that-could and the tugboats to work harder to finally get the ship unstuck. Capital recovers quickly, adapts and learns, and often has the last laugh.

While there was much talk of blocking the flows, we’re more prone to make mistakes and get stuck in patterns of unwitting self-sabotage than to be the stars of a strategic heroic blockade, masterfully planned, orchestrated and executed. What are ways in which anarchists self-sabotage? How can you avoid them? How do you recover from them?

As 2020 left many burnt out, and 2021 is unfolding like a repetition of last year’s news cycle, with the ongoing reaction to Covid-19 and protests against the police: How do we dig ourselves out of this one? What are the things that make you feel stuck? How do you get unstuck? How do you get back in the flow?

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i think all of it—how to avoid self-sabotage, what makes us feel stuck, and how to get unstuck—need begin from an understanding and acceptance of what actually is and not what we wish it to be.

for anarchists especially, the avoidance of the delusion of the unified mass, the herd, the organization, the good intention of all others once they see the light, is a good place to start.

finding moments of joy in these truths exists. expecting anything beyond this will surely disappoint.

really nice totw

yeah, by definition nothing is as self-sabotaging as outright denying yourself what you want and repressing who you are, so understanding and accepting oneself and the world is an important part of it.
unrealistic expectations and exigencies from oneself and others brings stress and stifles a lot of joy that can be had.

Recently watched a ton of conflict happen between friends and comrades who were extremely skillful at blaming the people around themselves for their paranoid delusions and almost random lashing out. They throw almost all of their mental energy in to it and then complain about exhaustion and burn out... from constantly fighting all their closest friends, rather than having to admit they're... just not ok.

Got me thinking that at least some version of the anarchist mentality, "beset on all sides" as it is, probably leads a lot of people in to a dead end this way or attracts the ones who have this tendency or both.

Theres always a chance that everyone around you is wrong and missing some key insight that only you seem to have ... but how likely is it?

it make sense how the stubbornness of hard-headed defiance can become a habit of being contrarian or holding on to your beliefs defensively when it would be better to revise them. one can also question how much of the energy spent, the anger and hostility expressed in lashing out against (well chosen or indiscriminate) opponents is really just projecting self-loathing or compensating for other lacks and insecurities. how much is it just feeding in into the rage feedback loop just to feel something, or something other than what they're avoiding to confront with themselves? in outrage/call-out/cancel culture all the evil things are personal traits outside oneself, personified in the enemy, everyone piles on either obvious horrible people or minor flaws of others instead of examining how it's all structural and the ways that they're themselves complicit, or if it's done it's performative guilt. whoever blames more zealously or shows more guilt has more approval in certain circles, and if their true motivation really is improving their way of life by finding better ways to deal with these issues, then they are self-sabotaging.

yeah, probably but I think I avoid including the social media and callout/cancel culture dynamics because it's even more false, "performative", as you said. It's already complicated enough between people with real relationships.

although a cute new annoying trend is having every single conflict getting mischaracterized that way! lol

like, somebody is being a shit and you're like - I hate you now because of that shitty thing you did
and they come back at you with "DONT TRY TO CANCEL ME!!!"

and you're like - what? no. this is real life, not facebook? and there's no audience? it's just me, saying I hate you now, oldschool style

because them new call out peoples are pussies about it and stuff.

Our packages could be on that ship we should dig it out with our bare hands. Think of all the anarchist books that are in those containers. Amazon is a public utility now I could no more live without it than electricity or indoor plumbing. I mean if you're mad kill bezos but don't run the ship aground. We just have to steer the ship to the left. At the moment we lack leverage and critical mass as the world tends to center right authoritarian police states. Soon we will have decentralized platforms and cybernetic tools to leverage the demands of the wretched of the earth. In a complex system everything matters a little and some things a lot.

i do think relying on these supply chains, these corporations, and this economy is the ultimate form of self-sabotage. this civilization is suicidal. though there's not much of a way to avoid that, nor avoiding its apologists like you, it seems.

Thanks for the criticism. I'm not going to beat around the bush, I'm going to give it to you straight. These are the resources I'm working with have a look-see. This will help you out of the 1999 drop out mentality and we will be on the same page of a 21st century cyborg.

Introduction to Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work by Srnicek & Williams

I've already listened to the first two chapters twice so hop on and enjoy the ride. Then I searched for cybernetic communism and found these people who are rhizomatic thinkers.

The New Center for Research and Practice

And here is the platform already being deployed in places like London and Mumbai.

Systems Innovation

I'm just getting started and don't have all the pieces of the puzzle together yet. I brought you the mess so don't kill the messenger.

",,,,World Without Work" ---The title must be more nuanced to avoid the reflex reaction, maybe --- ,,,,World Without Wage-Slavery.
However, social relationships are determined by collective values, and Land-Slavery, the contract to be indebted to someone or an institution for the land one lives on can still replace wages if land ownership has been monopolized.
Inventing a future without land ownership and food monopolization would cut to the post-capitalist dream faster.

I like to self-sabotage but always feel ashamed afterwards. It's likely quite unhealthy.

It's unclear to me what you mean by self sabotage. Do you mean choking the chicken or chasing the dragon?

I think he means erotico-asphyxiation, I'm not sure if I spelt that correctly, but it sounds about right. I do know though that in a post-capitalist world more of this will occur. :)

Things that can also factor into feeling stuck are indoor sedentary routine and syncing your attention to the news cycle and media feeds. The same repetitive narratives that promote learned helplessness with a macro lens or large influx of images catering to sensationalism and short attention spans make you feel deja vu and spectating things happening far away from you makes you feel like you're not an actor. It keeps you entertained to hop from trending topic to topic (trending fad discourses and hip scenes too), inform yourself to have an inevitably superficial opinion on everything since your attention span being spread thin, newsflashes and new posts distracting you from paying attention to your own body and immediate surroundings and situation.

Media catering to masses that march in the streets catering to the media, more livestreamers per protester, more clout per activist, more snitching per megapixel in the photos taken from the increasingly higher definition cameraphones. People show up to the streets, then tune-in to the news to see if they changed anything yet, as if they'll announced that they'll be considering abolishing the police and legalizing anarchy.

It's always FTTP FTP o clock, why fall in line with "protest day" "protest season"? The time and place of the year where there is a line of riot cops and national guard in the street is the time you choose to go there? Are you seeking the baton, the bullets, the tear gas, the arrests?

The tension between mainstream values and counter-cultural values makes auto-evaluation tricky if you have ambivalent and conflicting criteria. Are you self-sabotaging yourself by being successful in a business or job or is that sabotaging anarchy by selling out if you neglect anarchist projects or aspirations? Is collaborating with liberals in activism to achieve a reform a success or is it working against the anarchist cause by reinforcing these liberal notions of government, progress and humanism? Is a successful attack that gets you a life sentence in jail self-sabotage or anarchist success? The own person will have their own criteria, and others will judge too.

Previous TOTW about embarrassments was more about making fun, but if you're the one failing or someone you care about then the critique is from a more compassionate perspective, about trying to help and not mocking or tearing down. The TOTW about anarchist inspirations could show examples of the things some anarchist might want to achieve and ways to do it.

Sometimes pressures or standards set by society, mainstream society or the milieu, makes people feel bad when they can't reach these standards, there's the archetype of the over-achiever and under-achiever. There's a dynamic of avoiding failure -the first by trying hard, the second by not even trying - and seeking validation. If someone is stuck in avoiding trying things and not reaching out, then somehow (how in each case, i don't know) they should start doing things and reaching out. But in the case of those stuck in a scene or group that is very demanding and judging and if they're over-working themselves to meet some ideal standards, to gain or maintain acceptance (clout, social capital), then they need to do less things to cut down on being a workaholic, and stop needing constant contact and validation from these people, in that case distance would help.

If someone is depressed or anxious, they might resort to substance abuse or self-harm to cope, and there's an endless list of unhealthy coping mechanisms (like eating disorders, or pushing people away from you) that are forms of self-sabotage. But how can illegalist anarchists in clandestinity, for example, trust anyone with their existential issues, their moral dilemmas, their personal traumas, if they're currently doing or thinking of doing things that are illegal and reprehensible by mainstream society? There are no helpful psychology books for this type of people, they are truly alone. Specially those that end up in jail and even in solitary confinement. There are memoirs and letters by people like them, which are the closest thing to a helpful text for them.

People often recommend meditation, different types of philosophy (zen, stoicism, etc), exercise, walking, sports, hobbies, pets, drugs, dancing. All those help, but what can be said from an anarchist perspective that is not just merely repeating what they currently teach psychologists?

There is an art to resiliency, and its only a thing one can touch when alone in dire circumstances, or held by many people at once. My life teaches me thay the art of becoming resilient is also the art of fostering and creating cooperation. Tensions can lead us to greater action and understanding, knowing we are walking down a path to be overcome and be changed by, or to abject failure in delusional agoraphobic isolation or canabalistic communities racing for bottom.

Most exist without ever having spent a second investigating how they collaborate with people, how they overcome conflict, how they create dynamic, how they share. Yet moments of intense connection create ground for intense convictions, both collective and individual.

To thrive behind enemy lines one must learn techniques to make a practice of cooperation, to make the space for many desires to grow

Another poster here, in its 101 expression, it is the technique of making deep friends.

Friends with deep pockets?
Self-sabotage is when you chat with anons.

Friends with deep compassionate feelings for living beings and doing good deeds. Self-sabotage is a form of self-sacrifice.

Sometimes winning hurts too bad and self sabotage is necessary in order to maintain friendly relations with the people around you. If all you do is win all the time everyone hates you and tries to sabotage your success. So you have to know when to throw it a little bit like typing in this heart shaped box. And spending time with a text, reading it backwards and forwards, savoring every word until it becomes an old friend. Then the comment section becomes an art space where we speak the language of the heart.

institutions, authority, is self-perpetuating rather than self-sabotaging. Part of the "beauty" of the modern state of affairs is that it's all driven by deeply impersonal forces: "cash is king" as they say.

Now self-perpetuation...that is SERIOUS problem for anarchists, much more so than the proverbial bloke who shoots himself in the foot...

shot off both my feet years ago and I've never been happier or more nimble!

One of the results of automation is we have become machines in the productive process and by working a daily program we can avoid self defeating behaviors like choking the chicken, chasing the dragon, screwing the pooch or even shooting yourself in the foot. I'm not trying to sound like Jordan Peterson or anything because I AM a cultural Marxist. I believe the struggle begins right where you are within the historical context of your own life to survive, make a living and get free in relation to your family, friends, neighbors, fellow employees, comrades, employers, cops and authoritarians etc. The struggle is not just over there it's right here but sometimes it's over there too. I would like to save the world if I can get to it but I also have to save myself and even this may become impossible at some point.

One With The Machine - Descend

Understand my "historical context", I'm sure I could come pretty close by pursuing a career in history and asking lots of questions, but theres always those pesky details which time seems to bury...

Your historical context is your life story, everything about who you are where you came from and what you've been through and where you live. It's your lie tell it like you want to. If you don't know who does?


Ooof! Screamo Macho meth-head crap was more than enough. Zoomer-era EBM is so mediocre and generic in general. Too easy to produce electro these days.

"Self-sabotage" and "stuckness" are fabricated ideas, predicated on the delusion that there is somewhere to be, or something to become. If you're a self-proclaimed anarchist and have yet to free yourself from such spectres, you're missing out on the best, and most accessible (especially in the context of peak capitalism and peak industrial civ) part of anarchism.

This is breakthrough talk which is good I like that.
Unfortunately the specters of the mind are all too real for those tangled in its web. Human, all too human.

I wish you would elaborate on what you mean by "the best and most accessible part of anarchism". Do you mean Amazon packages and the comment section of this website or something else?

I meant the thing that I said. How's your reading comprehension these days?

So freedom from specters is the shiznit and fulfillment. What I'm wondering is should we practice ethical consumption and do post-leftists still practice leftism but look elsewhere for solutions? We're all neoliberals here, this is a business and we're all in competition with each other?

"What I'm wondering is should we practice ethical consumption and do post-leftists still practice leftism but look elsewhere for solutions? We're all neoliberals here, this is a business and we're all in competition with each other?"

those overall are really good points, and i want try to address them:

- i have no idea how one would practice "ethical consumption". Part of the appeal of anarchism to me was cutting through the whole bullshit about "voting with your dollars" that people like to preach. In the end, once you buy something, that's it: money gone, you've lost control over how the next person will spend you money. To me practicing veganism is appealing/interesting to me but i can't exercise that level of control of my diet. I try to be healthy because i think in the end that's whats going to have a more positive effect on the world we live in.

-i don't really identify with post-leftism, but from my observations post-leftists are a type of leftist. Nothing wrong with that: embrace the left if it makes you feel better, yet i don't view people as being these amalgams of political categories.

-sure we're neoliberals if you look any buyer/seller/consumer as a neo-liberal, but i think what would separate an anarchist from a neo-liberal is that an anarchist looks at the system they may be a part of more critically than the next person. We're getting even deeper into the identity sillyness!

Post-leftists are not necessarily leftists. I think you mean neo-leftists are leftists.

I'm a post-left anarchist. I keep my dogma pristine by never sullying it in the world outside of my hermetically sealed cognitive safe space.

I think you are mistaken also by calling yourself post-left. They are free of dogma.

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