Anews Podcast 237 11.19.21

Welcome to the anews podcast. This podcast is on anarchist activity, ideas, and conversations from the previous week on

TOTW: Strangers, with Babylon and Octox

What’s New This Week written by chisel, read by chisel and Bruno

Sound editing by Greg.

1. Brian Eno – An Ending (Ascent)
2. Leonard Cohen – Stranger Song

There are 5 Comments

So I had to listen again to one part of the TOTW discussion to make sure I heard correctly. About 43:35 Babylon is commenting on someone saying -all we can do is not oppress or be oppressed by strangers- and Babylon says "you can't know what is oppression to someone until you get to know them."
But then he goes on to talk about "affronts" and "hostility".

First, oppression is not merely an affront, nor is hostility oppression, & I would agree that different people have different criteria for what is considered an affront or what is hostile. I disagree though that it is hard not to oppress strangers.

Because, second, this seems to assume the stranger here has no voice & won't tell you to back off. Being in a position to oppress already implies a severe power imbalance and one hopes anarchists are never in such a position.
While there is no one size fits all approach to interacting with people, if one wants to get along nothing is better than, you know, listening to people.

isn't a word like "oppression" talking about a structural analysis perspective? "get to know me and you'll see what oppresses me" kind of implies pet peeves and personal preferences for friends? unless this person was joking?

Yes, that is my understanding.

It didn't sound like they were joking, but who knows these days, eh?

babylon was referring to this comment left in the totw: , the original comment does not use the term oppression. i think the general theme and gist of what babylon was saying is giving the benefit of the doubt to strangers until you get to know them. commerce is proposed as a way to deal with strangers as an exchange for mutual benefit, instead of risking being charitable to a potential foe, or stealing from a potential friend. gifts are then reserved for friends.

this seems to be a squarely mutualist position. something like this is said by Labadie "Aside from various forms of robbery, legal and illegal, there are three methods by which humans get sustenance in their relations with others—parasitism, benevolence, and reciprocity." i saw this posted recently here

Thanks for pointing to the comment.

But Babylon used the word oppression and I hadn't seen the comment, but no need to belabor the point.

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