An Anarchist Response to the Free Speech Debate

  • Posted on: 1 November 2018
  • By: thecollective

by Rai Ling, via C4SS

Once championed by anarchists, leftists, and liberals; in recent times, free speech has become a right-wing talking point. Where the free-speech movement of the 60s opposed government sanctions on protest and dissent, the political right largely focuses on the following issues; right-wing speakers being denied platforms, social media censorship, the use of accusations such as “racist” and “transphobe” to silence” “dissenting” voices, and anti-fascists confronting far-right rallies, sometimes with violence. But the “free speech” concerns of the political right are not justified and have very little to do with meaningful political freedom.

So far, liberal commentators have treated the principle of free-speech as a sacrosanct right. Hence, they often approach the matter by citing legal convention, arguing that private corporations have no legal obligations to host or employ right-wingers who engage in hate-speech defined as “speech that attacks a person or group on the basis of attributes such as race, ethnic origin, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or gender.” As such, nobody’s right to free speech is being infringed upon when they get fired or deplatformed. Anarchists would vaguely agree with this because even without state enforcement, deplatforming amounts to free association, an idea that is neatly summarized in this famous xkcd comic-strip. We also tend to oppose “hate speech” too, but would not contract the state to address it. Rather, we would rely on free association and decentralized direct action to uphold freedoms and oppose hate. The use of direct action to deplatform far-right speakers aligns with anarchist praxis since it implicitly rejects the authority of the state and also acknowledges that the state is unwilling to fight on our behalf.

This response typically fails to appease right wingers who claim that deplatforming nevertheless silences them or otherwise rail against the “SJW” cultural norms that lead to speakers getting deplatformed in the first place. This however isn’t an argument about free-speech but rather what constitutes acceptable speech. People on the right aren’t actually being silenced in any meaningful sense, especially compared to academics on the radical left who are more frequently fired for their views and commonly loose speaking engagements. Figures like Noam Chomsky and Norman Finklestein have been effectively boycotted by the mainstream media whereas institutionally backed status-quo warriors like Jordan Peterson are commonly on-air. However, for the sake of argument, let’s take the mass hysteria at face value and address the issue head-on.

An Anarchist Approach to Free Speech

Anarchists have historically championed freedom of speech, fighting government censorship and anti-union policies. However, we approach the issue differently to liberals by rejecting the legalism that allows private platforms to be unaccountable and forces public entities to host speakers, which routinely results in public institutions platforming openly alt-right figures such as Richard Spencer. Instead I would propose a different framework; open-dialogue as a decentralized, bottom-up, and stigmergic phenomenon grounded in reciprocal exchange as opposed to state enforcement. Anarchists don’t seek to superficially alter the statist conception of speech in terms of what is and isn’t allowed a priori but to do away with this formula altogether. By negating authority, we in turn abolish the elevated status the state has given to speech, property, national identity, and so on as well as the heavily skewed power dynamic that suppresses the voices of marginalized groups and amplifies the voices of the wealthy and powerful, a point expanded upon in Rolling Thunder:

There can be no truly free speech except among equals—among parties who are not just equal before the law, but who have comparable access to resources and equal say in the world they share. Can an employee really be said to be as free to express herself as her boss, if the latter can take away her livelihood? Are two people equally free to express their views when one owns a news network and the other cannot even afford to photocopy fliers? In the US, where donations to political candidates legally constitute speech, the more money you have, the more “free speech” you can exercise. As the slogan goes, freedom isn’t free—and nowhere is that clearer than with speech.

By stressing reciprocal exchange in speech, we emphasize subjectivity while deemphasizing absolutist forms of speech that seek to invalidate people’s identities, dehumanize them, and justify oppression. Speech isn’t a right to be granted by the state but a capacity we all have. This means everyone would be free to express themselves as they choose but nobody is beyond accountability, which may result in them being confronted or being deplatformed.

The first counterargument that comes to mind is that free speech as a bottom up phenomenon can easily translate into tyranny of the majority. I would contend that mass censorship is impossible without a centralized authority (a state) with the capacity to uniformly monitor everyone and enforce rulings. People with views that repulse society at large would still be free to voice their views online or in private; any given society has a large range of spaces that cater to a variety of viewpoints. More importantly, the active or passive silencing of certain viewpoints merely reflects the norms of everyday discourse which exists in all societies, often embodied in law. For example, the USA has laws pertaining to obscenity, incitement to violence, copyright infringement, press censorship during wartime, whistleblowing and restrictions for the incarcerated. Overall, censorship would likely be far less common in an anarchic setting.

Why Do We Utilize Deplatforming?

While a stateless society is likely to reject ideas that rely on, justify, or push for domination such as transphobia, scientific racism, homophobia, misogyny, and nationalism, it is important to present our reasoning for rejecting hate speech.

  1. Right-wing speakers being denied platforms and social media censorship

Speech does not always take place in a power vacuum; by empowering some voices, we may suppress others. Consider a hostile work environment where people constantly speculate about the gender identity of their trans coworker or make racially insensitive remarks. In such an instance, if an employer refuses to take action by “citing” free-speech, it is likely that impacted individuals would isolate themselves or be driven out of the workplace entirely.

In this case, free-speech is not a black and white matter of unquestioningly upholding a sacred principle regardless of what is being expressed. Rather, we ought to move past the principle and consider the underlying power dynamic wherein “free” expression can amount to oppression. Free speech is not always a neutral principle, not only because of the massive, well-funded propaganda system that propagates far-right talking points, but because the silencing effect that normalizing hate-speech has on marginalized groups.

Therefore, instead of unwaveringly enforcing free-speech, we should take a more nuanced approach and consider whose voices we want to prioritize. In other words, this is really about picking a side — who’s speech are we going to defend?

Questions asking whether the Holocaust happened or whether trans people should be gendered correctly ought to be denied a platform. Not only because of the silencing effect these talking points may have, but because these matters are not of academic relevance and add nothing to the discussion. A Jewish person should not have to intellectually debate a Nazi on whether they should be gassed, a black person should not have to refute the idea that they’re a different species, and a transgender person shouldn’t have to defend the validity of their gender identity. These debates have been put to rest and aren’t appropriate in academic contexts where Jews, black people, and trans people come to learn, not rhetorically defend their right to exist.

Mainstream social media should aim to meet the same standards. While social media provides users with the ability to form veritable echo-chambers, platforms that aim to build inclusive environments should opt to remove accounts that promote hate in order to fight back against the normalization of hate-speech. Of course, this isn’t to say hateful views won’t have anywhere else to go on the internet.

Many of the matters being brought up have been largely resolved by their respective academic fields; history, gender studies, biology, post-colonial studies, etc. Take the debate over trans identity for example; Gender and sex are not the same, dichotomous conceptions of sex are guilty of essentialism, which is best visualized as a spectrum and biological markers exist for trans identities (which may still be a small part of a far wider picture). Speakers such as Ben Shapiro who willfully refuse to acknowledge the massive body of evidence are guilty of erasure and have nothing to add the conversation besides lies.

Yale University refusing to renew David Graeber’s contract over his involvement in Occupy was not a talking point among the right-wing free-speech warriors. Yet, there is mass outrage every time dweebs like James Damore get fired over their misogynistic comments and people like Alex Jones get banned from social media for harassment. Let’s face it, while often genuine, outrage over free-speech is selectively expressed based on one’s ideological position. Today, the underlying ideology that motivates far-right individuals isn’t open academic inquiry, but hate, a fact missed by the “classical liberal” suckers (or closet racists) who clamor in support of the far-right.

A good example of this general dynamic can be found in the recent controversy over “The Case for Colonialism,” a paper by Bruce Gilley, which resulted in the editor of Third World Quarterly, receiving personal threats. My search for right-leaning responses yielded an effete opinion piece that skirts over the issue, arguing that vapid contrarianism is important to academic discourse. Yes, millions of people were killed, but what about the railways? What if colonialism hadn’t occurred? These questions serve to retrospectively justify oppression and genocide and erase the experiences of colonized peoples, who after decades of oppression are now faced with academia attempting to justify their suffering. For the defenders of this bland, watered down understanding of free-speech, there is no social context in which academic discourse takes place. Moreover, even within academic circle the paper was found to lack rigor. For a critical response to Gilley’s paper, look to Nathan J. Robinson of Current Affairs debunks many of his claims in “A Quick Reminder of Why Colonialism Was Bad.”

  1. The use of accusations such as “racist” and “transphobe” to “silence” “dissenting” voices

People on the political right who come to understand the impact of these terms are unwittingly reproducing the arguments used by marginalized groups to justify deplatforming. It is certainly true that being disregarded as a transphobe, racist, or Islamophobe has an implicit silencing effect. However, while we should be wary of false accusations, there is frankly no discourse to be had with groups that promote hate because the silencing effects of unencumbered speech go both ways.

Jordan Peterson comes to this conclusion when examining the word “Islamophobia.” In the interview he opposes things that “limit what you you’re allowed to say either implicitly or explicitly,” defending the very fundamentalist vision of free-speech I am arguing against. He goes on, “I regard [Islamophobia] as a reprehensible word, I. don’t like the word because phobia has a technical medical/ psychological meaning and that word was appropriated for ideological usage and applied to any conflict ideological or emotional between different identity groups… it has manipulation built into its structure.” Here Peterson’s observation is technically true; however, what he’s doing isn’t defending a neutral principle but picking a side. Rather than defending the speech of Muslims, trans people, and other marginalized groups, he chooses to side with the various “phobes” who push dehumanizing generalizations, deny subjectivity (from their own subjective positions) and implicitly or explicitly argue for violence by advocating for programs such as mass deportations. Whether certain ideas are up for discussion is a matter for individual forums to decide. While these talking points may be welcome in areas dominated by the political right, we have no obligation to extend the same courtesies.

  1. Anti-fascists violently confronting far-right rallies

With this final matter, our discussion moves from the realms of speech to action. When anti-fascists organize in the street, they are typically mobilizing against outright Nazis, white nationalists, and the alt-right, who all endorse violence and act upon their intentions. Far-right rhetoric often consists of direct threats that we have no reason to ignore in light of recent events. Today, even rallies organized by less extreme individuals on the right are nevertheless being co-opted by the far-right who use these as opportunities to recruit and spread their message.

Across the US the far right has been responsible for 73% of terrorist attacks since 2001. At a Milo Yiannopoulos event in Seattle a Trump supporter shot and injured an Antifa protestor, in Portland a figure on the far right stabbed two people on a train, and of course there’s Charlottesville. Earlier this month, the Proud Boys, a group with a history of violence in Portland, assaulted three individuals in New York City, who were later arrested by the police. More recently, a neo-nazi murdered 8 people at a Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Allowing these people to freely organize in public spaces, form networks, organize, and recruit members is not an option because they pose a threat to people’s safety. Movements constrained to the internet fail to have an impact when members are shrouded in anonymity and people can’t trust each other. Case-in-point, far right chat-rooms regularly end up leaking information and compromising members’ identities and tactics. Organizing and meeting in person are important for momentum to build. That’s precisely why the far-right have these rallies in the first place. With these considerations in mind, shutting down fascist rallies can be seen as nothing more than self-defense.

Although online fascist networks aren’t as up in your face and don’t give movements the same momentum as real world organizing, they nevertheless facilitate extremism and encourage individuals to commit acts of violence. For example, “gab.ai,” the self-described “free speech platform” that housed the Pittsburgh shooter, functions as a Twitter replacement set-up specifically for Nazis, providing them with a means to freely network. After the shooting, the site was deplatformed by its web host and payment processor. Despite the site’s founder fallaciously portraying the deplatforming as a free-speech issue, Jews, people of color, and other minorities are most definitely safer and more meaningfully free with gab.ai currently defunct.

While some of us may have the luxury of being insulated from the far-right, many don’t have the same privilege. The state refuses to shut down their rallies, often colluding with the far-right in order to prosecute anti-fascists. In Berkeley police coordinated with neo-nazis to pursue anti-racist activists and used near lethal force against anti-fascists in Portland in defense of fascists. Therefore, it falls to communities to engage in direct action in order to defend themselves against the very legitimate threat to people’s physical well-being.

Ever since the recent spate of rallies began, many people have come out of the woodwork, questioning Antifa on tactical grounds, arguing that violent tactics only gives more visibility to right wing causes, a point we should definitely take seriously. However, why not ask Richard Spencer, de facto leader of the alt-right what he thinks? Spencer personally attributed the end of his college tour to antifa and said “antifa is winning.” “Unite the Right 2″ had about 20 attendees and Milo Yiannopoulos can’t seem to hold onto venues because they’re all concerned about potential violence.

Conclusion

Conceptualized from an anarchist standpoint, free speech takes shape inside the framework of reciprocity, where parties engage in a mutually beneficial dialogue. As soon as a dialogue loses this property, percipients are free to withdraw from the social relations or defend themselves if the need arises. Today free speech, from both the liberal and right-wing standpoint, is posed as an a priori principle that is contingent on top down enforcement and ignores the fact that some forms of speech suppress others. It’s time to move beyond these narrow frameworks of free speech and understand that in reality “free-speech” is not the issue here, rather it is a smokescreen to allow bigots to gain platforms and spread their views.

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Comments

I would say that open access platforms are MORE important then free speech. There is ultimately no direct relationship between speaking one’s mind and violence.

Speeking platforms are driven primarily by association and ideational preferences. Unlike free speech it’s not something that’s subsidized by a state granted right. Anarchists should be the most aggressive on open speech platforms and not shilling in with Marcusean leftists. You deal with violence by dealing with the apparatuses of violence not the rhetoric.

Ultimately there is a pernicious affect that comes out of deplatforming. It will eventually affect other contrarian discourses that offend consensus. Kaczynskian and HIV dissident discourse comes to mind among others. It was the scientific power structure that really tailored this logic through their elective consensus gatekeeper guilded peer review process which also preceded neoliberalism. Restrictions on platforms to speech always go back to some sort of societal defence logic. Not something anarchists should be supporting.

"There is ultimately no direct relationship between speaking one’s mind and violence."

Complete nonsense. If I say, "All egoist-nihilists are dangerous, we need to round them up". And if I have influence, popularity, and perhaps even a cult following (like Jordan Peterson), there will inevitably be a direct relationship between speech and violence.

To divorce speech from violence or other forms of action, is tantamount to saying that speech has no impact or cannot lead to anything, a position so profoundly absurd it beggars belief. If speech has no direct consequence on any action, including violent action, why would we speak at all in the first place?

It is an abstraction to keep words/ideas separate from behavior, as if speech acts themselves were not acts. Yet this is precisely the premise that underlies free speech fundamentalism. If words and ideas are not connected to action, then it doesn't really matter much what you say because it won't have much if any practical impact on other people. This way, words/ideas more or less all have the same trivial weight and can thus be treated as more or less the same in the 'free marketplace of ideas', a theoretical realm which is separate from behavior. We then can 'choose' to accept or believe ideas which appeal to us the most, without worrying about ever having to act the ideas out in the real world. They remain abstract.

When speech is disconnected from action, it becomes unimportant, if not otherwise non-threatening. To see an example of this one need look no further than Hyde Park in London, where anyone can set up a soap box and say whatever they want. This is true 'free speech' in its purest form, yet it has absolutely zero influence.. Most speakers never attract any sizable crowd, and it's all considered a kind of amusement. Nobody takes any speaker very seriously because most of them are considered eccentric cranks. Note that this is exactly what happened to the internet. When anyone and everyone can post their most insane ramblings online, the internet quickly became a trivialized and unreliable source of serious information (the now familiar sarcasm of "I read it on the internet, so it must be true!"). Online discussion forums became nothing more than bathroom graffiti wars. One difference between Hyde Park and the internet is simply scale. Since the sheer number of people and information online at any given time vastly outnumbers those listening to speakers in Hyde Park, you can actually find good serious information on the internet if you look hard enough. The basic principle remains: when you try to disconnect speech from action, you reduce speech to the status of an unimportant commodity. All ideas become trivial and interchangeable and shorn of context. Nazis are "just discussing ideas" in the same way any other political activists or even biologists are, and therefore all ideas should have equal access to a platform, because it's all just one big happy 'marketplace of ideas'

What you're describing is incitement which is already against the law(we are talking about ideas here). Even in that case there is a buffer between someone doing the inciting and those who carry it out. Speech has a correlating or motivating factor not a direct factor in violence. That's why people speak or write.

Speech is not so much separate from actions and behavior so much as it is non equivalent and proportionate. There's also an asymmetry of follow through that is obvious to observe, think of the violent mind on the internet who does not follow through in body in real life, this true for first person and 3rd person. Violent writing and speech can actually have a sublimating affect against actualized violence. Speech implying or even inciting action does not automatically equal action.

I'm not even denying that speech can be violent, it obviously can be, but it's not proportionate to corporeal violence. There is no good reason to create a platform denying extra legal body. When it comes to those who would round up egoists-nihilists-of which I would be lumped in with-I am much more concerned about the reified belief base and the power apparatuses that would actualize that then the branching problems of the writer/speaker. It's not deplatforming that is needed but de-apparatusing and terror management undermining. Those who would fall for deplatform logic are the type that would simply create another societal cage for most of these deplatforming leftist, humanist universalists are defending THEIR society.

Disassociation is how you deal with these problems not deplatforming.

Incitement is not against the law if you do it implicitly. There are always ways around the law. You don't have to directly incite violence, you can simply use euphemisms and dog whistles. You can also carry out a mass media project of hatred and bigotry against an identifiable group for decades, knowing full well that if you whip up enough hatred against a group over enough time, sooner or later someone will "do something" about them, like shoot up a Synagogue or a Mosque.

You can also incite violence by merely invoking the law itself. Like when radio talk show hosts say things like e.g., "There ought to be a law against all (or some) certain immigrants". That's inciting violence. They are calling for a policy to be legally enforced by the government. How else are laws enforced except through violence?

"Speech is not so much separate from actions and behavior so much as it is non equivalent and proportionate". You said "There is ultimately no direct relationship between speaking one’s mind and violence." Now you are changing it to "non equivalent and proportionate". I would argue there is a 'direct relationship' just not a reliably causal one. Just like smoking causes cancer, but not everyone who smokes gets cancer.

I am not arguing for deplatforming, if only because I would never invite certain speakers to be deplatformed in the first place.

I don't exactly want to see laws against that either being on the pro anarchy side of things and wanting to call for violence against the state when the time is right. Bigotry and hate is not incitement to violence plain and simple. We are talking about direct words and speech here.

When I talk about direct relationships I am talking about a reasonable causal link, that's the only thing that matters in this discussion. It is about proportion and a one to one relationship with a call to violence which is of course not even always one to one. In terms of the smoking cancer analogy, the ideological beliefs are not even the direct fire, it's more fearful conditions within a belief base and the availability of violent apparatuses that do the most damage. Beyond that you have the lone wolf which is of tertiary importance.

The thing about keeping an open platform is that we are talking about association determining who speaks to and for whom. Unless you want to create some type of control against that you are simply going to have to deal with various people speaking where and how they please. I'd like to see some people speak against things like universality and world society, I would not want to give legitimacy to any type of legal or extra legal structure that could one day do the nonsense that antifa is doing today.

Ziggy can't even keep it straight whether he's arguing that deplatforming legitimizes laws, or inciting violence is against the law. He moves seamlessly between whichever contrary viewpoint because he doesn't want to understand what you're saying and all he's certain of, is that he hates antifa because marxism or something, plus he likes arguing. You're talking to a wall anon.

fuck me, i am caught (mostly) agreeing with ziggy again...
the end of days must be nigh

The IdPol Maoists want to be the new gatekeepers. And more: imposers of forced re-education, firings, and worse.
As someone who doesn't have the "privilege" of "feeling safe" (I've been in love with other guys and have even - gasp! - slept with other guys), I'd like to suggest some discernment.

Burning a cross on a black family's front lawn or spray-painting swastikas on a shul are NOT "free speech". And when I "came out" where my original Land in the backwoods was, I acquired an AR-15 with 20-round magazines and learned how to use it. I was friendly about this - "Hey, check this out." (guns are a "guy thing").

However, if someone just HAS to believe that homosexuality is sick or sinful, and talks about it, I don't really have a problem. Even my OWN take on the late capitalist gay/queer male subculture (with lots of hard data I can present), would be hounded and suppressed as "hate speech" by the IdPol Maoists. This is specific to late capitalism - I hardly have an "intrinsically disordered" position on male homosexuality - which looked unrecognizably different among the Native Americans in CA before the white invasion. This would make NO difference to the IdPol Maoists.

On all this "feeling safe" crap: as the Collapse really sets in, NO ONE, not even the (former) billionaires, is going to "feel safe".

'Spose the AR-15 is packed away in a locker and not required when the Sambian dudes are around huh? ;)

there are the easy-to-repair crossbows armed with deadly nightshade-tipped arrows. Less clearance is needed to shoot it than a regular bow, it is nearly silent, and the ingestion of as little as one leaf of deadly nightshade will kill an adult human. I also know how to make "Viet Cong" type concealed fighting holes in the forest, with kill zones and concealed shooting galleries. This is all for "reverting to savagery" before the Collapse, and we will deeply/finely know our backwoods (like "savages"). Warlords of the Collapse, and any post-Collapse surviving warlords, will not be interested in the deep backwoods anyway (which they and their slaves will have NO idea how to live in).

Why all the subterfuge, I just put a few drops of curare obtained from a plants bark onto a few donuts, or in a drinking hole or glass, and no harm is done, and one can accumulate a menagerie without one shot fired.

“The so-called paradox of freedom is the argument that freedom in the sense of absence of any constraining control must lead to very great restraint, since it makes the bully free to enslave the meek. The idea is, in a slightly different form, and with very different tendency, clearly expressed in Plato.

Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. — In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.”

-Karl Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies, 1945

I don't want to tolerate those who do not tolerate me, I simply don't wish to create enforcement mechanisms that would have deleterious affects of control down the road.

It's a question of preference not tolerance. We also don't really have an open society given the existence of things like the five monopolies, and this is putting aside the spook of society.

Fascist violent acts are often preceded by fascist threats of violence. There are innumerable examples of this that may be easily found with a quick search. Its not just a lie to deny this - its stupid to deny this. And anarchists are under ZERO obligation to respect the free-speech rights of any known fascists - as Durruti said " Fascism is not to be debated - it is to be smashed ". Btw, the Noam Chomsky who defended fascist hate speech in France also defended govt military secrecy.

NOAM “There are things that we want to keep secret like the characteristics of your latest fighter plane or something like that ” CHOMSKY

and the trolls who defend fascist hate speech on @news - who knows what other garbage they're up to

This is the typical "if you're not with us, you're against us" thinking that so permeates activist discourse. News flash: I can bash the fash AND object to your simple world of monoliths.

I'd like to think that Great Depression 2.0 (when negative interest rates and $$-printing no longer contain coming financial crises) would focus people's attention on the problem of CAPITALISM. IdPol culture wars/race war could easily derail this. We instead get a civil war with a bloc of IdPol Maoists and socially liberal wealthy on one side (where NO anti-capitalism is allowed), and a bloc of white racist/cultural right-wing IdPols and the right-wing of the capitalist oligarchy on the other.

And all this mess before the converging effects of biosphere degradation really start to bite. Climate change is the only part of this that gets publicity. It's bigger/more complex. The capitalist oligarchy is too divided to do ANYTHING serious about it, sealing their own doom.

This is essentially what I’m trying to warn against when it comes to the elective political gang war structure of antifa. The worse case scenario from this is that anarchism and anarchy get ruined for an entire century as a result of this.

Anarchism and anarchy does not do well during epochal binary warfare. Antifa are basically the left wing version of Carl Schmidt in regards to constructing a binary elective enemy. All this does is enforce universalist humanist values.

a witch-hunt!

reply to 17:58

an AR-15 to "debate" fascists.

who's post I largely agree with.

there is an argument to be made that cville and other fascist swarmings were fully meant to be pogroms and could have been if not for counterprotestors, and that lone wolf violence is breaking out again because they have been effectively denied the opportunities to commit mass violence which might have been far worse.

There's now clear potential for pacifists, along with others, to promote the publication of plans for home construction of guns. Back in the ' Crypto Wars ", the USG tried to ban circulation of encryption plans as ' designated munitions'. This is practically the same thing! And there can be only one outcome - the USG lose - just like they did back then - and just like any other fool that thinks they can censor the anarchic internet. Civil disobedience is powerful and a major part of our diverse tactics. Here is another chance for it to shine - support CAD! Support Computer Aided Design!

and later dead Collapse warlord troops, will be a nice source of weapons/ammo. Deadly nightshade crossbow arrows leave NO wounded. A nice deterrent, along with other deterrents. Before all this, my growing live-in-nature skills - starting with restoring forest health/crown-fire prevention where needed, will be of value to the few people who already live in the sanctuary area. Particularly when Great Depression 2.0 really bites.

(the projectiles from crossbows are called bolts, not arrows)

Yeah, this seems pretty anti-freedom to me. Did a Marxist write this? This does not read like it's written by an anarchist.

filled by SirEinzige with their life being so wonderful they spend most of it posting comments online? Is this what Stirner envisaged for his disciples ?

And howdy!

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Herr Stirner's acolytes do seem to be content with this, how disappointing for him! Luckily, he's dead.

He succeeded actually, there are more apolitical, amoral and irreligious folk around these days than in his era.

amoral, apolitical etc. No fucker outside of ANews has ever heard of Stirner.

Marx and his bourgeois, capitalist employer, both hated and fought with Stirner. By affirming the goodness, decency and ( lets not mince a lot of words here ) morality of Max ( not Marx ) we then take a strong political line against all Marxists for whom no dissent is possible from the Master Xenu/Marx.
Then, by affirming the strength of Max's ' Union-of-Egoists" idea we may even actually embody his ethic of ' all for one - one for all ". This sort of thing ought to have every nihilist running for the hills. Max Stirner is not immoral by any definition of the word and he is as political as Hell. Thats what makes him so great. If you have a beef with 'morality' then you object to what most people call ' good'. Since anarchism is good then you should probably leave anarchism if this is your main problem in society. As for politics, the identity of every self-described anarchist is entangled with politics. There's no getting away from politics with anarchism so, again , if you really strongly object to politics then you should probably leave anarchism asap. There are ideologies that cater for people who hate morality &/or politics. They even have news sites. So why make yourself miserable hangin' with anarchists when you could be with your own kind?

No, it was Stirner's desire to see more people develop a critical analytic perspective on politics and religion and thus become apolitical and amoral, OR existentially become autonomous and sovereign individuals.
Stirner became, as most people are from exposure, rebellious to political or religious indoctrination. His intention, from his experiences as a teacher, was to allow for the infantile and clean, unbrainwashed consciousness of the minds of children to have this critical approach to knowledge and self-awareness.
So the poster is correct to say that Stirner's process is at the moment undergoing a resurgence and popularity, as well as many other forms of existential nihilistic perceptions of reality.

“If you have a beef with 'morality' then you object to what most people call ' good'. Since anarchism is good then you should probably leave anarchism if this is your main problem in society. As for politics, the identity of every self-described anarchist is entangled with politics. There's no getting away from politics with anarchism so, again , if you really strongly object to politics then you should probably leave anarchism asap.”

Where to begin with such a foolish statement? Rejecting the idea of an objective, immutable, transcendent morality — which is what Stirner does — does not make one “immoral”, it makes one amoral. And this is not just a matter of semantics. Stirner’s amoralism doesn’t imply refusing all ethical judgments, preferences, or values (how would such a thing be possible as even asserting this is itself an ethical statement?); it means refusing those morals/values which I do not choose freely for myself or, by fixing and sanctifying them, which I must serve and submit to. Stirner’s egoism is in no sense opposed to having convictions about what I consider right/wrong and acting on these convictions, as this is an essential aspect of self-creation. It is opposed to morality as a form of servitude, as an objective body of sacred values, as something to which I must submit.

Your argument that “if you have a beef with morality... you should probably leave anarchism... since anarchism is good” makes very little sense. To whom is anarchism ‘good’? Certainly not to the majority of human beings, who see it as threatening and infantile. To me? Certainly, in many ways, and depending on what people/ideas/practices you mean when you say anarchism, as anarchism is heterogenous. Saying “anarchism is good” tells us nothing about what kind of anarchism you think is good, or if you think all anarchisms are good, or if you think it’s absolutely good or if you think some things which get called anarchism are not so good. So it’s a meaningless statement. And as I explained above, an amoralist stance doesn’t contradict my belief that anarchism has many useful and beautiful aspects which are quite meaningful to me, it does however conflict with the idea that “anarchism is good” in an absolute, unqualified sense. You need to think deeper and be more descriptive if you expect people to be able to engage with your comment in more than a superficial manner.

You make a similar error in claiming Stirner is “political as hell”. What do you mean by political? Because many anarchists would call themselves anti-political based on a definition of politics as something like “the practice of governing and administering a social body”, which shouldn’t be a particularly controversial definition of politics, even to non-anarchists. So in this sense, no, Stirner and anarchism (at least any anarchism that interests me) are both radically anti-political, as both oppose both the acts of governing and being governed. Nice try recuperating Stirner and anarchism for your moralist, political agenda though.

the above comment was directed as Professor rat, not LeWay.

Deer cqnfuse
Like many anarchists I avoid use of the term 'moral' as much as possible due to its abuse by religious nuts. However we don't have our own language separate from everyone else's - at least until we all move out into Ziggy's Anarchyland or Le Fools nihilist paradise.
And as for 'political ' , like all anarchists I don't vote in nationalist elections. I meant political in the common-sense way we all know some issues are inherently political and many, if not most shared situations involve some 'office politics' of some sort. Sort of like sharing the comments section of a contentious website; no?
I've seen the odd comment here decrying the political backbiting that goes on - quelle horreur!
Anyway, I've been accused of worse things than being a moralizing politico - in 2003 I was even convicted of assaulting three large policemen in their own station.
Yrs in anarchism - Pro2rat

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