ToTW: Beyond Left and Right

Inspired by an anews thread that included a "you're a leftist," "no, you're a leftist" back-and-forth, let's talk about anarchists using terms like Left and Right, even as derogatory terms. These are boxes, part of a model, that has never helped us, and now is so reified that it doesn't serve anyone. They're handy terms to dismiss someone you don't want to listen to anymore, but the labels The Right and The Left are no more nuanced than any of the other identity terms that many anarchists recognize as superficial and massifying. That said, models for groups of people can be helpful, so what are better models to use? Obviously anarchists are familiar with color-coding (red, green, etc). What if that were made more interesting? Shading? Hues? Polka dots? We got a ton of designers here, let's mix that shit up. Or fashions, like crust punk, hot topic, etc. What would your creative and generous model be for how to understand and talk about differences and similarities?

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Instead of identities, one could shift the focus on desires. But the same dynamic of discarding someone wholesale because of certain desires and how they manifest or not as projects or goals would ensue. Is there a difference between calling someone a leftist or shunning someone for expressing that they wish to seize the means of production, organize democracy in the workplace, organize towards revolution or insurrection, and establish a dictatorship of the proletariat? Most people aren't that formulaic in their desires. But if they were, I don't think it's excessive to discard them as a leftist.

breaking those apart (that is, the naming and the dismissing).
tons of people will argue for not dismissing people, and not assuming everyone is as shallow as a label.

but we could also have better, more accurate, less state-sponsored models to gauge each other and ourselves with, even if those end up also getting used to dismiss people.

I think of the ways in which authoritarian and anti-authoritarian are helpful labels and also their limits. This is also usually the y axis of political compass (labeled Authoritarian vs Libertarian).
Yet there are bossy anarchists and unruly bootlickers, but also merely being against authority might fall short of anarchy.
There are those who are compelled to participate in politics and those who refuse to participate in politics.
So politics and anti-politics could be a proposed axis. Then these politics or anti-politics can be assumed with varying degrees of Naivety vs Cynicism, and Engagement vs Apathy. Maybe these could be other proposed axis.
Is this engagement mainly IRL vs URL? Another axis.
Another axis could be Confident vs Doubtful/Questioning or Certain vs Uncertain in how they uphold these beliefs.
It's already more complex than a character alignment chart, but it can be charted with a simple radar chart like this:

another two axis which could be added are Social vs Anti-Social, Philanthropic vs Misanthropic.
the axis mentioned so far, nor are any extremes along any of them, exclusive lo left or right.
another observation is that complete apathy is beyond left or right, but is also not anarchism.
as many people argue, anarchism can be situated left and right and beyond, to the distaste of those who will argue with each other

a new model could allow for superimposition, allowing for contradiction and indeterminacy
all these schema of sorting attributes is called profiling and getting more sophisticated at it is some big computer statist bs
so i don't think it's worth for anarchists to pursue.

there are more numbers than discernible hues, specially for the colorblind, so favoring a hue based classification system is more limited than on based on math. the graphs shit out a shape, it's still visual. maybe the categorization system should be oral
and the categories are: blah blah blah blah

is it better to map out slippery prejudices or to leave them unstated?

Yes, I just stick to a simple > my ownness < vs the Other or Theirs. From there I analyse the drivers and values of the Other, the circumstances and consequences of "the Other's " imposition, whether positive or negative, and then re-evaluate from extrapolating outcomes, all within the holistic framework of an existentialist perception within a receprocating optimism.
It seems to work, I'm contented, no one interfers with me or harms me, I've rid my mind of anoying idealogical left/right brainwashing and behavior altering conditioning, and I'm alive and not in prison or lying in a ditch with a bullet in the back of my head. Bravo!

this is exactly what i was hoping this conversation WOULDN'T turn to, which is a simple expansion of what already exists.
prefer to add axes with blades, not lines ;)

i was hopeful when it was a margaret killjoy link, because science fiction could be a place to mine other people's imaginations around this stuff, but then... :(

Rude. Mine your own imagination then!

sometimes other people can be helpful

a lot of very imaginative people concerned with creativity rely on iterations of precedents and playing with what's at hand which shows the limits of prefiguration and imagination. stubbornly refusing it all is not creative or imaginative, you might consistently end up with a blank canvas or page, which might be preferable after all and an argument against prefiguration and just burn everyone's cute little charts and blueprints and utopian/dystopian sci-fi novels. that or the answer is doing lsd and mushrooms in a forest and avoiding bland leftists with charts

You can have anarchy in any color you want, so long as it's black.

No pink bloc then? Remember that a while back? With the black and pink antifa flag shields? I can't find the link. Now search results all show Extinction Rebellion protests.

XR are a bunch of middle class numptys playing at being revolutionary!
They discriminate against Disabled People, Black People, and Poor People!

At least they give shelter and food to lost or injured animals and must maintain and continue with their non-anthropocentric agenda, because anything human such as Disabled People, Black People, and Poor People cannot be their prerogatives because they won't be becoming extinct soon.

I wish I could share your confidence that humans won't be going extinct "soon".

"Disabled People, Black People, and Poor People cannot be their prerogatives because they won't be becoming extinct soon."

And why do I get the feeling that you're eager to see this happen, Neonazi scumfuck?

So is, as a different example, the idea of intersectionality.

It's a tool to help you understand a phenomenon. It is not isometric to such an understanding, obviously.

Anarchists frequently fit it into mainstream ideas of "extreme left" because we do the smashy-smash sometimes, but that's our behaviour. Our ideas (taken as a whole, as opposed to on any given issue) frequently don't allow us to be slotted easily into a left or right category very easily (although individualism, which is important for anarchists, will often get us pegged as right-wing by people who Marxists and Tiqqunists or whatever).

But let's not throw out the baby with the bathwater. It's useful shorthand - for a lot of the polarized conflict that happens right now in the United States, for instance (there's a left side and a right side in a lot of these skirmishes), or for just talking about some boring thing like economic policy (in which case, it is pretty self-evident what "left" and "right" approaches indicate)

I'm not against other schemas with polka dots or shades or whatever, but... will they actually elucidate reality better, or in a different but useful way, versus the oldies-but-goldies? I'd love to see it if so

frequently fit it into mainstream ideas of "extreme left" because we do the smashy-smash sometimes, but that's our behaviour."

Was kristallnacht "extreme Left!? Or the Far Right nationalist Ukrianian "rioters"?

Your view of both the Left and anarchism seems to be as elaborate as a corporate ad.

obviously. I was more talking about stuff like Seattle, anti-G20 protests, and so on. These events are characterized, in mainstream news coverage in North America and Europe, as both defined by their smashy-smash and as far left events. This is a massifying rhetoric.

I did not articulate any idea of anarchism or "the left" in my comment earlier; I was simply explaining how anarchists fit, and don't fit, into left-right schemas that people use. Your reading comprehension is lacking.

you missing the point entirely, which is that the criteria you state is inadequate, overly general, because it includes events etc that you wouldn't put into the category you're defining.

perhaps you're trying to say something that you haven't quite got to yet?

Simple schemas are always just that, simple schemas. A lot of the ones we use a lot have power to abbreviate conversations, or else we probably wouldn't use them. They're shorthands for "sides" in various conflicts, mostly - mostly cultural and political struggles.

You may not be able to explain all of global history, or all of local political factionalism, using a simple left-right schema. But I can probably talk, about say, a "left faction" of the U.K. Labour Party and a "right" faction, and more or less be understood. Or I could talk about the kind of person who is likely to show up at a given rally or whatever as a leftist or a rightist, and you might get me.

An anarchist analysis should, presumably, be deeper than a shallow conversation of some news story about a clash between people in the streets of some major city, and it should be able to account for far greater complexity than any simple schema can by itself. But, the idea occasionally cropping up among anarchists, that we should "go beyond" the left-right spectrum, seemingly out of some idea that it "obscures the truth", seems like a mystifying idea in itself.

A simple schema like left-right (or again, like intersectionality) doesn't hide the truth so much as it doesn't show all of it (or even much of it, as the case may be) - because ideas and society are not simple, geometrically representable concepts, haha

I say that the idea of getting rid of "left-right" is mystifying because it misdentifies the source of misunderstanding and/or shit-talking in a sort of Bad Thought that we need to get rid of. I don't think we need to get rid of it all (again, limiting our ability to use useful shorthand); we just need to strive to be personally smarter than people who, say, understand the world through binary equations and clichés

read this, anyway.

nothing that happens on this website will remove left/right from common usage. surely you didn't think that was the case?

having more better models for talking about our differences is a way (nto the way, a way) to "be smarter" as you so vaguely wave your hand. noone is talking about "getting rid of it all"... so, thanks for clarifying that for whoever might have been confused, i guess.

"These are boxes, part of a model, that has never helped us, and now is so reified that it doesn't serve anyone."

so no, it's not that I think there will be an effect beyond this site. But, here you have an idea that anarchists are better than this, that they have never been helped by usage of the simple left-right schema. There is a call to do better, by getting rid of "leftist" and "rightist" as terms. They are talked about in the next sentence as identity categories, so I sort of take this as a now common neo-Stirnerian sort of thing, of seeing beyond spooks

and like, me, this guy over here, I am just looking at these categories as contingent and contextually determined. and I have never seen, for years, an effort (often by commenters on this site) to make a point of being among the "many anarchists" who, unlike so many duped others, do not use the left-right schema because it is "massifying" or what have you

I just find it a bit silly

it should read:

and I have seen, many times over many years, efforts (often by commenters on this site) to make a point of being among the "many anarchists" who, unlike so many duped others, do not use the left-right schema because it is "massifying" or what have you

if you ask me, these are shortcuts to explaining your own positions or why you hate someone or thing. if you're using them as "identities" you're drinking your own koolaid. any assertion I make using these terms, I should be able to say the whole argument when prompted. it'll just take a lot longer and people need the time and patience for a discussion.

the anti-vaxxer rhetoric is a great example of this: anti-authoritarians and paranoid reactionaries are often using identical rhetoric and the only way to distinguish is to get them to explain WHY they're making an assertion, assuming that you care enough to find out.

Yeah exactly, for instance, Mussolini was infact more a left leaning populist if compared to the established reactionary Roman Catholic church. The context is of the existing traditional collective values vs the emerging modernist humanist vanguard in any overpopulated modern industrial State, and "identities" are only called into the picture for propaganda purposes.
For a brief moment in the 1930s Hitler even used "leftist" rhetoric to win popularity and political power.

ah, so Mussolini and Hitler were leftists or used leftist rhetoric, got it. so yeah, definitely dunkin on leftists then.
but how does that contribute to the topic? same word "leftist" used to insult any brand of politician or of admirer or follower of politicians. which new words or schema could we come up with? i think insults are great, maybe i could just call you a dickwad or shitstain instead of a leftist. which other non-identity insults do you know?

they used populist rhetoric during a time of abject poverty and economic collapse, some of which overlaps with a more sincere leftist (anti-capitalist) position. very different types of salesmen pitching to roughly the same audience of desperate workers and lumpens

"Mussolini was infact more a left leaning populist if compared to the established reactionary Roman Catholic church."

Mussolini was into bed with the RCC, you ignoramus. To a point he gave away a part of Rome to the Church to they could have their own micro-state where they're above Italian state laws and can abuse kids in full impunity, along with other nice features....

That was propaganda, his own values were narcissistic and reactionary yet populist. Its all for votes, political power has no genuine religious value, like Trump saying "God bless Merica" ,,,,meaningless.

Right and Left literally is from the legislative assemblies of many republican political systems. Fundamentally the Right are the conservatives seeking to preserve the authoritarian classist status quo while the Left are the progressive liberals seeking a broader social/political equality, more civil liberties against arbritrary rule, etc. It used to be rooted in the position for/against monarchy back in the 19th.

It's not a very accurate way to categorize people by their positions as you got many Lefty people with highly conservative views and sensibilities while you also got libertarian-minded on the Right. Then neolibs confused it all... in a way they are fascistic by Mussolini's standards, while they are about social pluralism and ID politics. Ayn Rand was fircely anti-racist but also in favor of a big business upper caste running everything.

The neolibs are confusing because they are predominantly corporatists who use identity political rhetoric in the same way that class/race political rhetoric is used. Mussolini was right into (pun) the corporate model of organizing labour and industry along the Hegelian socialist method.

What he's saying about the moos isn't entirely wrong. Fascism is essentially authoritarian statist centrism with elements of left and right. There is some modified hard power authoritarian socialism that makes up fascism.

yeah, it isn't entirely wrong!

it just completely misses any point that would be important if you're following history or world events or want to avoid the death camps or death squads or death cults or like, whatever, you know? like if you're a thinking person who isn't just making bullshit rhetorical gotcha moments while wasting what's left of your life, circle jerking online, then yes, they're not entirely wrong!

just like 95% wrong and/or deliberately dumb as fuck for purposes of trolling! so yeah!

Go look up 20th century authoritarian leftism and Jim Jones. Both wings created bloodstained killing fields. The person is roughly correct about fascism. Only some retard who wants to defend the honor of leftism would really disagree. It's not surprising that someone as thick as you would have a problem understanding this though Lump-a-dumps;)

in this case, I'm not defending anything. this would be attack. an "honourable" keyboard warrior like you might struggle to know the difference ;)

Hmm yes, and also Mussolini was left (pun) hanging right (pun) at the end.

we can get pretty specific when deriding leftists. it's often handy to qualify them by the authors. marxists, trotskyists, maoists.
you got your foucaultists, your deleuzers, and blanquists etc. there are many types of blanquists. appelists are red blanquists, inhabitoids are orange blanquists, and then there's also green blanquists apparently

They yet gotta get out of academia recuperation of movements and also shoot their university directors, then they deserve being taken seriously.

Right generally comes with repression left comes with control. I don't want either. Their maybe some adjacent values that anarchists and anarchs have with leftists but these things change over time. Wait till science and technology critique becomes a thing beyond marginal green ideology in the greater 21st century. I predict that anarchy will become even less left over time.

I know I would be shouted down for suggesting that Mandela was a fascist, but he certainly made a deal with corporate South Africa to act as a token peacemaaker and to lift the international sanctions and prevent the country from becoming anarchic. He is the perfect example of the left to right shape-shifting nature of political power and propaganda to control populations. Nothing intrinsically changed only the facade of freedom ensured that business would carry on as usual.

Your compass is just fucked. Neoliberals (I have little doubt Mandela was one) are centrists in favor of corporate + State power and ethnic equality under an "international community". Which doesn't make the principle of ethnic equality neolib in itself... it's just the value it espoused as it serves as moral basis for a globalist order to further concretize. Like anarchists they see themselves as a politically nihilistic tendency beyond Left and Right.

i don't care what color(s) you paint them, i want the boxes themselves GONE!

All the talk on this site about how vaccines and antifa are evil, markets are good actually, and anarchy is for aristocratic anarchs only, really screams “beyond left and right”…

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