TOTW: Just Anarchist

Not to go off on a rant but watching thread after thread on anarchist news treat whatever new piece of information as the foundation of a new hyphenated anarchism demonstrates a central problem to North American Anarchism. As if our desire for a world without coercion, politics (meaning representation), or commodification were not niche enough it seems further refinement is necessary... or not. But a quick trip through anarchist twitter shows a dozen flags and a tumblr-gender number of different anarchist splinters. Does anyone really consider themselves a blue anarchist (beyond a small clique of friends who own boats)? Does hyphenation clarify as much as obfuscate the simplest of ideas (the idea of no to a sick society)?

But seriously, to what end endless hyphenation? Does it save one time in getting to know one another? Is it just for the lulz? What possible satisfaction or utility do you get out of describing yourself as anything more than just anarchist?

There are 80 Comments

Either coming from/fed by socially hyper-insecure people, or by noospheric agencies willing to profit from human aggregates (such as Cambridge Analytica, and else), with the help of non-human devices (bots), but there could be also a counterinsurgency scheme behind it, as it's useful to governments to both keep people divided and infighting while gathering big data on them. Facebook has done billions out of this already.

Representation politics used to be monopolized by monarchies, religions, big party machines, then sports teams, music bands and what else. Now social media's the arena (as opposed to "agora") and the planes of immanence are continuously produced, to a theoretical infinity, by highly-suspicious actors or MORAL ENTREPRENEURS (read on that) so that people are pushed into the gladiatorial abstraction of their own lives, for equally endless profits. Then there is the whole aspect of hyperreality... LARPing, assumed or not, as the abstraction being pushed back into the real world, which provides with the best material for analysis of how reification works.

In a way it's a huge democratization, in another way it's a private takeover of people's minds and bodies... so, late-stage capitalism, I guess.

one anarchism, the details can get worked at the never-ending congregations of humans. Anarchism is a way of living without masters or servants to the greatest extent possible, kind of like minarchism without talk of statecraft, governance, and policy.

“Does anyone really consider themselves a blue anarchist (beyond a small clique of friends who own boats)? “

i don’t know, never heard of that one before. i thought blue was for transhumanists.

“Does hyphenation clarify as much as obfuscate the simplest of ideas (the idea of no to a sick society)?”

it’s not that simple to begin with, but there are sure those who can manage to over-complicate it to an absurd level.
but even without hyphens and adjectives, people would still have different definitions and ideas of what “anarchy”, “anarchism”, and “anarchists” are or should be.

hyphenation can indicate preferences, and imply irreconciliable differences.

“But seriously, to what end endless hyphenation?”

a rallying cry for cliques, a keyword to search for texts and events online? to collect all hyphens like patches on a vest?

to indicate that by @ you mean thisand not that, cuz that would be silly

“Does it save one time in getting to know one another?”

it might impede you from getting to know people, but it will “save you time” by doing that. if there are people ypu want to avoid, or flock to, it could help.

a lot will be uncomfortable with the hyphens available and make more. others will not have found the self-tagging appealing, so never bothered to adopt any. they may opt to hanging with whichever, or with neither, depending on their tolerance level and agreeableness.

“Is it just for the lulz?”


“What possible satisfaction or utility do you get out of describing yourself as anything more than just anarchist?”

everyone is much more than “just anarchist”, and most are not much anarchist at all

I would consider myself an anarchist in an analagous way to Gulliver in his Lilliputian travels. In the everyday exchange of sentiments and opinions, to myself I am a giant, though I act with humility, nevertheless most adult people are arrogant yet small and petty to me because they have not reached or strived for their anarch potentiality. Only children possess the spirit of the anarch unleashed.,.

In short it's to do with each of us coming from different starting points. If it's a case you're asking why are anarchists so variegated, are you really saying: "What a bunch of mutants. Why can't they be all sane and respectable like me?".
Language may well be ithe bewitchment of our intelligence and the singular nature of the term 'anarchism' may be beguiling you. Just think of it ending with a silent "s”. It has never been one big homogeneous singularity and never will be. For the record, I'm a straight, white, working-class male and afaict the diversity is good for us all. My only wish is that we could find ways of working better together instead of being in perpetual battle with each other.
The reason I have a flag on my twitter account is to inform others this particular marginalised people is where I want to focus my activism on. It's useful for easier identification of allies, especially in cases where there are online disputes.

Merely saying 'blue anarchists' is unhelpful. If you're going to use obscure terms, please add a link to something that explains it.

here ya go!

blue anarchist, noun
plural noun: blue anarchists

An internet anarchist with completely irrelevant opinions about an already extremely marginalized set of political tendencies and social theories. Annoying to the 1% of people who care enough to probe sub-sub-catgories of anarchy and gibberish to 99.9% of people on earth.

Synonyms: nobody cares, wha..?, pointless minutia, waste of your last 2 minutes, trolololol

i forgot there was some other troll using this username now. the anon-sphere is no place to find friends

Joshua Slocum was the first blue anarch in 1868 ayyye me hearties!

>Joshua Slocum was the first blue anarch in 1868 ayyye me hearties!
He disappeared in 1909 while probably not in the best mental state,Perhaps he is with Percy Fawcett at the Lost City of Z.

Blue anarchists are the ones that sail derelict boats together and also engage in complicated encryption apps.

I thought a 'blue anarchist' was a cop hugging anarchist (you know, 'blue' lives matter, back the 'blue', our boys in 'blue, 'etc.??)

nah, blue anarchists are smurfs, the blue man group, eiffel 65, etc.

Is an actual alternative to green anarchist radicalism that has a proper balance of earth and excess. Green anarchism and radicalism really does not come to terms with the latter properly.

As if our desire for a world without coercion, politics (meaning representation), or commodification

Translation: our passive desire for the ills of the world to right themselves for our benefit, without us interrupting our true life's calling of doing nothing with our lives to contribute materially to the process.

“Not to go off on a rant...” goes off on a rant.

What about dem blue anarchist, huh? I read about some blue anarchists and I was like: Hey! That’s a color-word association I hadn’t learned of before! What’s next?!! More new color-word associations?!!! That’s too much!!!!

Since anarchism is an old-timey invention, and everyone knows the past was in black and white, it’s only natural all these new combinations arise after the advent of color. Black never goes out of style, but people get tired of wearing the same color.

“Anarchist without adjectives” makes me think of some primmie, trimming away their language, starting with adjectives first.

Maybe this hyphenation got exacerbated with the appearance of ancaps. Everyone had to distinguish themselves from them; ancoms and muties amounting to: “ew, i’m not an ancap, markets are gross!” or “ew, i’m not an ancap, markets are aight tho”.

Maybe it’s an internet phenomenon, and the colors/hyphens are fashion statements, important for the social events, mingling like if it was a big costume ball.

If we all rallied around the same flag we'd be easier to govern which is anathema to me. Increasing complexity is what's causing the crisis of societies of control. Institutions are losing influence, we're all steering the vessel, it's time to find some agency. I think now's a good time for micropolitics. Everything you do and don't do has an effect so do more of it, accelerate it.

Nah... Complete opposite. Having a million people identify with the all-black flag makes it a management mess, as there are no other integers or referents to know who's who and who digs what. This is the "Who's Spartakus" approach. Of course in reality people are unlikely to do that since the black flag's meaning would quickly be dissolved, such as the meaning of anarchism in my town where you can support political parties and the communitarian sector, and still pretend being anarcho.

everyone identifying with a black flag had anything to do with management, I'm gonna manage those green/black motherfuckers cuz they ain't destroyin enough shit!!

i liked the first song you posted, not so much the second one. hadn’t heard them before. thanks for sharing

now not Blue Monday, you're so yesterday get with the zeitgeist.

So maybe someone can finally explain what this whole "blue" symbolism is about?


i seriously don't gain anything from telling someone that I'm an anarchist. They can ask me about what i think about various political issues and figure it out themselves. One time I was at a friends funeral a few years ago, who i didn't really know that well, and i told someone at the funeral that he would send me anarchist library essays and we had a lot in common in terms of our opinions, he just said "oh?! so you say your an anarchist" and i didn't actually say that "so would you do anything to harm my family?!"

We see a sunrise or some natural phenomenon. And the only word one can come up with is beautiful. But tells nothing of what we are seeing or feeling. So it is when describing anarchism.
It took some of us a while to get there. But we are under the anarchism umbrella hyphenated or not. Celebrate that or rain on it? Your choice. I wonder if somewhere there is a random TOTW generator. Would be fun to see what it comes up with.

There lies the road between celebration and rain ;-)

Last week a picture released on the web has proven that the void cannot be seen, or known. It will only deflect light all around, as it sucks and bends even light, in a way as to create a spherical shroud of darkness, hiding the unthinkable Beyond that lays inside, like a mystery box that cannot be opened, only . Is it a micro-universe? Is it an entry to the afterlife? Or a wormhole? It'll remain impossible to know 'til someone kamikazes inside of it, attached to an very long communication cable...

We think we attain nothing-ness... is it only more human pretension. We are all surrounded by crap. By people or other beings. We got no choice but to be in a constant interaction with this crap. The mind state of the void may be achieved, or at least contemplated, through meditation, but that's the closest you'll get.

Moreover, the void is hidden deep inside of us. It is... Well I'm not allowed to tell you.

Its just a hole dude, the binary of materialism, like, humans have holes, lottsa them, ass holes exist, they are inside of us, but people deny there (their) existence, they thus become the thing they deny, their void of awareness, their binary contradiction, their asshole.

Wow, ^^ been reading tooooo much Baudrillard by the sounds of things

Soon after I found other anarchists in my town, one of them asked me what kind of anarchist I was. I didn't know what to say. "I don't know, like, the kind that wants to smash the state?" I still have an aesthetic preference for that dead simple idea, but I've increasingly found that I don't have all that much in common with many (most?) people who think of themselves as anarchists. I've taken to using "anti-political" as a descriptor if someone asks. It's simple enough and hopefully gets the point across.

Of course, the anarcho-hyphenate is often a way to signify sophistication as a consumer of identity. We've been trained to express ourselves as proud members of a market segment, and the more specific the segment is, the more valuable.

This quote from Fredy Perlman is always valuable:

"The only -ist name I respond to is 'cellist.'"

Wow, you sound like you would just naturally slip into existing as an undeclared Stirnerian. Any thoughts, or is Max beyond your scope at this early stage in the awakening of your political consciousness?

Sure, I like Max well enough. I should have been more specific, though - that anecdote happened during the anti-globalization era. I wonder if it would even be possible to have that sort of naive non-partisan perspective in the age of twitter. Most of the anarchist texts I'd read at that point had come from the library. Very quaint.

I know what you mean, there are the distinctions between apolitical indifference, anti-political aesthetics, left/right nationalist ideologies, and individual post-political psychologies, this latter which I consider closer to an anarch consciousness concerning the State structure and identity, who stands aloof as the observer, or maybe the provocateur, out of a need for honest expression and a self-maintained sanity.

To elaborate, by anti-political aesthetic I was describing Utopianism in its myriad forms. Could include the hippy movement, some Christian eschatological cults, even Occupy, as if everything is going to be beautiful, when its actually always going be pleasant periods of peaceful pleasure punctuated with painful and ugly events. Lions will always tear the bleating throat out of the lamb.

the only -ist i respond to is "-psst-"

every. single. time.

could be in the middle of the loud rumble of a crowd, i hear a "-psst-", and i turn around looking for who's calling

There's another one, very rare, when the mountain lion " hists" before tearing the windpipe out so all that's left is a silent scream. ;)

And there's Joe Biden's face smiling and only millimetres away from yours.

It is when 'anarchists' and 'anarchy' got corrupted by the Red Religion and its charlatans

anarchy at its base is negation, negation from Rulers (and yes RULES) rulers being not only a person but also civilizations, domestication, authority, society, economic systems etc

so now I feel that any prefixes and suffixes are used to get away from that and clarify you are not a red, or a communist, socialist etc

just wants to be loved under the rainbow Burberry flag.

more absolute form anarchy/anarchism, being opposed to both rulers and rules, but i also am not entirely against the leftist desire to have a more comfortable and better life within the existing system, it bothers me though with all the leftist unity there are many delusions, and that they will always need to suck up to the capitalists and megalomaniacs in order to get anything done.

From The London Economic:

The mass media have incorrectly reported that he was charged with rape. They chose to ignore the words of the Stockholm Chief Prosecutor, Eva Finné, who said, “I don’t think there is reason to suspect that he has committed rape.”

The problem with the writer is a failure to think beyond the commitment to anarchy. So you're for anarchism....then what? Do you think that it can be achieved through a gradual creation of alternate institutions? Or do you think that, at some point, a revolutionary insurrection will be needed? Or are you an absolute pacifist? By anarchism do you include total opposition to capitalism, wage labor, and the market? Or do you advocate some sort of market system? Would women's freedom come about "automatically" under anarchism or are specific programs needed? Do you think that it is ok for anarchists to sometimes vote in bourgeois elections? Who do you think is the (potential) agent for change: the working class, all the oppressed, citizens, all good people??? And so on....

Maybe we don't like conflict among fellow anarchists or don't want to split hairs over labels. But these are real issues and require real effort to work out the answers. I have my opinions. Do you?

before its time on the front page is done, i'd like to say this is a really nice picture.

good bye, picture!

Yes, I'd like to know where and who did this, is thecollective a clever team of photoshop geniuses?

Thanks anons, so this is the Abyss everyone talks about, hmm, interesting, not as scary as I thought, maybe nihilism is fun?

I prefer the inner ontological cyclone thankyou very much!

But it's an artist's representation politics, wtf... Okay well enjoy whatever suits you, away from the tuff truth.

The tuff truth, WTF? The truth is that the inner reality creates the outer formation. At the start is the idea, not a vacuum waiting to be told what reality is comprised of. I can tell you must be enslaved and have spooks inhabiting your consciousness, sad :(

Yet another slave talking about others being enslave because they, too, rely on some spooks.

But that "inner reality creates the outer formation" is an interesting way to put it. Bombastic, but kinda strangely accurate when it comes to explaining a black hole.

So you believe what lays inside is an idea? But the idea has no reality other than its thought (I think therefore I am). The idea is an object like another. To believe it is inherently existing and real, is taking us straight back to Socrates... so thanks, but no thanks. Eeeeeeew!

I have the power to negate everything. Repeat that when going to bed. It's even better than meditation, I think.

Well yes you're accurate sort of except I forgot to add that the idea I have is of nothing specific, only intuitive feelings which arouse certain propositions to surviving yet another spontaneous moment. In plain words, when I intuit a lion about to leep upon my back, the idea enters my mind to jump to one side. The scream I emit doesn't require any idea, it just happens. I can't stop that. And soooo, not Socratic, but infact my own singular beingness.

You had your few seconds of celebrity. On Anews.

Fantastic, no? Now take your pills, and go to sleep.

WTF Is that how you win arguments by throwing in a red herring by saying I'm some troll freak with mental issues? Shee-it sorry to the disabled challenged people threatened by you, another Oscar Peterson fanboy!

Umm, I meant Jordan, understandable, they have a lot in common!

That is much neglected, the humanist-Christian roots to traditional egalitarianism and anarchism. A true critique of all Western politics must recognize the cultural connection between ideological industrialism and religious power, and the communist and anarchist precept of no gods is within the Enlightenment's boundary of atheistic Christian society.

No, it is what the anarcho-liberalism/idpol tendency has emerged out of. This is no joke!

Well, considering Orwell's statement about doublethink and how contradiction is used to control populations, I get your drift, but its still vague, chaos is contradiction, uniformity and unity are totalitarian. There are just too many variables. Somewhere in the crowd are the true anarchs, individualist chameleons amongst the horde.

You just said "atheist Christian". It doesn't make sense!

Christians and atheists aren't pitted against each other by default, yet you can't have a Christianity that denies the existence of God, duh. ;)

No duh, What I mean are Christian V.A.L.U.E.S. Values concerning status, morality, ethics and relationships can retain their Christianity without a GOD. Anyway, the Christian god is powerless even for the believers, the believers in +god don't suddenly FEAR their god and become MORE generous and humble because of GOD. If you go to a party, everyone seems the same but there will be GOD believers and ATHEISTS even getting married to eachother or from the same family. Christians can be NIHILISTS, SERIAL KILLERS, DICTATORS, RAPISTS, ATHEISTS.
I'm a Christian and I want you to DIE DIE DIE DIEEEEEEE!!!! *gasp*. Explain that. EXPLAIN IT !!!

Like all political labels, they are useful in as much as they help you find people who want similar things. Holding an "anarchist" bookfair makes sense since you want to be clear about what kinds of ideas are featured. Holding an "anarchist" demo might make sense if you want only to be speaking to anarchists, which isn't usually true. Insisting on introducing yourself as an "anarchist" in a space where you are unlikely or not even trying to meet others who think the same way (like maybe work) is just a form of identity production. The more specific the label the more likely the situation is to fall into the last category.

That's pretty much exactly what i've been trying to say here, is that anarchism itself is often just a means of identity production, i would much rather run into anarchists accidentally than be with them in a situation where i'm supposed to talk about myself.

I think what an anon said about trump being a potential anarchist hits the nail on the head as funny and whacky that is, i've met people who proclaim their anarchism through media projects and activism and most of them are just self-absorbed and don't have any room in their ultra-meaningful life for people like me, or a delusional leftist/id personality type.

The sobering truth is, that we are all potential anarchists, even Trump, if he were cleansed of all the capitalist brainwashing he has accumulated since disengaging from his mother's teat, yes, he would wave the red and black, and join the black block, and turnover paper boxes and throw stones at bank windows, if, only if the brainwashing had ceased.
Its a strange world comrade Trump!

i don’t know if that’s sobering, that’s pretty trippy to me

Observe the creation of a new word to describe the new 21st Century tendency storming radical milieus throughout the world, which has replaced the old left/right binary workerist/slave Empire.


I AM ANIHILARCH !! With syllables at an / ni / hil / arc

i don't see how labels are anything more than shorthand to indicate what someone likes to read.
poopy doopy doop!

I'm left wondering if it's possible to not have a hyphenated anarchism.

Add new comment