The Brilliant podcast: Episode 32 & 33

  • Posted on: 19 September 2016
  • By: aragorn

From The Brilliant 33 & The Brilliant 32

Episode 33 discusses recent items of interest including Portland drama, anarchist bookfairs, and The Podcast Wars.

Episode 32 is the start to a continuing conversation about what comes AFTER DIY culture. We’ve all been to workshops and heard insufferable boys talking about getting off of grid, out of society, and into a self-sufficient do-it-yourself culture. Is this possible? What are the success stories? How do a bunch of young, and not-so-young, people with big ideas put them into practice?

This first episode sits down with people FROM DIY culture who have “professionalized” and talks through the consequences of that. We attempt to humanize the project of leaving DIY behind and returning to DIY culture. We talk to a midwife and an herbalist. Future discussions will involve people inside different paradigms like IT, Science, and so much more.

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Comments

Listened to part of Episode #33. My conclusion is that Portland anarchists sound like real douchebags.

Herbalism...lol. Why not start a zine distro? oh wait

Maybe the problem with too many "civilians" at the bookfair is that you call people like "civilians."

yeah, what the fuck?

Maybe they just got bored of watching Jerry Springer reruns and figured that taking in some inter-denominational anarchist rivalry would be good for shits and giggles.

Really enjoyed the podcast - not something I normally spend time doing but was glad I did with this.

One thing I noticed: your all's critique of anarchist franchises and antifa seemed so strangely defensive and backfooted! Obviously y'all and I have different ideas, but I was struck by the line about "not going to your town and telling you what to do" and how unaggressive y'all are! Maybe I'm a jerk but I've thought it's been clear for decades now that antifa/"antifascism" is in no way opposed to fascism but is instead it's twin. We can talk about macro examples like the defensiveness and accommodationism of the Spanish popular front or Allende's unwillingness to arm the workers despite his antifascism, or micro examples like the conformism & group allegiance you describe in Portland (or the steep decline in our capacity to think strategically on the west coast since Sacramento this summer). So I appreciate your circumspection, but for myself don't mind directly telling people who genuinely want to stop fascism that they should stop wasting their time with "antifa."

Being against fascism is fascism? I think you mean something else, but please explain.

"Maybe I'm a jerk but I've thought it's been clear for decades now that antifa/"antifascism" is in no way opposed to fascism but is instead it's twin"

Oh get bent. And you are certainly a jerk.

the opposing twins add up to nothing, ... 'say' nothing.

"“The propositions of logic are tautologies (6.1), and hence say nothing (6.11). Any attempt to give content to logical propositions is misguided. That they are true shows itself in their structure, and this structure helps us to understand the formal properties of language and the world (6.12). We cannot express anything by means of logical propositions.” — Wittgenstein

cultivating a harmonious, nurturing non-oppressive living space does not reduce to eliminating the forces of fascism. mutual annihilation is the endgame of binary logical opposition as in anti-fascism and fascism.

for those who would put a nurturing habitat in [its natural] precedence over managing the behaviour of the inhabitants, focusing on the elimination of fascist oppressors is a diversion that undermines the primary interest.

[binary opposition to behaviours that ['seek to control what people do'(fascism)] (anti-fascism)] amounts to a behaviour that seeks to control what people do; it is a people behaviour oriented regulating approach [moral judgement of behaviours seen as being fully and solely authored by independent beings]. the relational dynamics in which one is situationally included is an epigenetic influence that inductively actualizes, orchestrates and shapes individual and collective 'genetic expression' (assertive actions).

harmonious community relations are not determined by 'what people do'; i.e. the harmonious relations in the eco-systemic biosphere dynamic are not authored by the inhabitants and their politically correct behaviours; the inhabitants and their behaviours are authored by harmonious relations. the biosphere is a complex of relational influences (fields) before it is a collection of diverse inhabitants that do stuff [Lamarckian field-induced excitation rather than Darwinian gene-driven constructivism]

Uh-oh, the lefties are getting restless. Pretty soon, it's going to be Portland all over again.

That anti fascism is embarrassing in America. Especially when 200 supposed anarchists "stomp" 12 fascists. However, Aragorn is just puffing up internet drama. All he talked about was a Facebook event nothing happened in the meat space. He's just whining about people disliking him. It is annoying because he refuses to actually express his ideas which are probably well thought out, because he wants to still have friends in the scene. People are afraid to publicly say what they have an issue with, and this is a problem for Aragorn and many other anarchists. Fuck Facebook troll responses, what the hell, that is boring and weak

A! won't explicate his views in detail because he feels having to stoop to doing so is beneath him.

At the risk of patronizing all you kids who spend a lot of energy on your nihilist/egoist sense of cool …

You realize that Antifa is simply about organizing something more solid than a casual friend-group so you don't get your ass beat by angry shitheads when you confront them in the streets … right? It's that simple. Everything else that gets claimed as critiques of "the Antifa tendency" or whatever is almost always contextual (those particular people you took issue with).

For me, it's just a set of tactics like black bloc; something you do in a specific situation to manage risk.

are all you need. Anything else is politics

Then there is family politics.

There is no escape from politics.

As always ziggy, you pimp your humble opinion as of it's gospel ... Casual friend groups are great for conversation, why would you assume your friends are capable of self-defense unless you at least discuss it? Better yet, train together? This stuff should be obvious ...

I can't help but point out a few things.

Anarchist infrastructure is not the problem. There's been plenty built since 1968. If anything things need to be blown up, divorced and started anew. Simply look at how different modern anarchism was from classical anarchism. Why is A or B even hanging out at these book comedy fairs anymore. Leave them. It's time for some major disassociation as far as I'm concerned. What for instance is a purported post leftist like A doing associating himself with the longhaul infoshop for instance. I looked up videos and saw among other things blacknat tendencies allowed to nest there. Why would any quality anarchist tendency make such associations even indirectly. This is not even mentioning the disgraceful Bob Black event which was a MAJOR failing on As part.

There needs to be a series of divorces done yesterday. My view is that post leftists need to embrace ANARCHY. All that it is and could be in a non eschatological sense. That means that political ends based things should be SEPARATE from anarchy for the most part. If you have Babylonian attachment based affairs then make that YOUR affair and accept the political terms that come with it. DO NOT bring anarchy into it. It's time for anarchy to become more of a detachment discourse where orientation is primary. It can be distinct from the Eastern approaches however anarchy and what I call enlightened detachment or distilled desire needs to be the 21st century approach. This is where post anarchist/anarchism ANARCHS come into play.

Also, quite with the halfway paralysis that is nihilsm. There is already a much older negational orientation with a better record. It's called cynicism. I see that as a big part of anarchy going forward. Anarcho cynicism as Bob Black calls it. Anarchy is the orientation that matters. I say start practicing it and depart the world of positions and solutions.

Estoy de acuerdo. Los comunistas deben parar con la etiqueta "anarquista" o anarquistas deben encontrar un nuevo camino
/////
I agree. Communists must stop with the label 'anarchist' OR anarchists must find a new path

This: "Also, quite with the halfway paralysis that is nihilsm. There is already a much older negational orientation with a better record. It's called cynicism. I see that as a big part of anarchy going forward."

I'd be curious to hear you explain your critique more specifically - e-mail me at bellamyfitzpatrick@riseup.net if you are interested.

Blow up WHAT? There aren't so many anarchist infrastructures these days in NA, aside from the phony-anarchist ones (mainly cocooning gatherings in rented spaces and occasional useless rioting or protesting), which indeed deserve to be blown up... if that's what you were referring to.

(was replying to SE's post above... Bellamy is a far too important personality for me to write to him, lol).

why not just follow the early zerz and break down nihilism into active and passive, and get on with life? Then one could avoid either pole as an ontological nature (vices, both, i'd say), merely positing lines of becoming-active or becoming-passive? Is that the gesture you mean by cynicism? Why add a third term?

Surely diogenes as moral exemplar is a good way to think through the problem of resistance... but A de A doesn't make a sharp break here, at least not in his second volume of texts...? I dont mean to imply A de A has it all figured out; It's just not clear that a third term is necessary... unless it seems like nihilism is a botched word that only produces confusion. I think you get everything you need from nihilism-neither ontologically passive nor active with 'cynicism'.

Hi folks,

So for the record A! is mischaracterizing my critique of him as a social capitalist (acting in bad faith to build social connections and popularity within certain milieus or circles rather than sincerely explore ideas). I don't know where he's getting this whole thing about "drugs" from. The anarchist milieu as a whole has a bad case of social capitalism (many "communists" privately defining communism as the game of accumulating social capital rather than material capital) and many anarchists in my circles talk a lot about those dynamics and behaviors, which I guess include people who leverage popularity to get drugs so maybe I've mentioned that at some point. If A! wants to take general discussion on such matters as a cloaked personal crusade against him personally, I guess whatever, but that's not the case. Although obviously I am not a fan.

It's a mistake to frame social capitalist behavior as playing to the largest possible audience. Clearly A! is not some conventional red anarchist, but local power -- maneuvering so as to be strongly positioned in a small pond -- can sometimes be far worse. Cult leaders for example are one form of social capitalist although their reach rarely stretches beyond their compound. (So it's not a contradiction to be both "out of touch" and "cool" if folks were using both those terms, since flows of popularity or hipness are often out of touch with the broader population or cultural developments. Indeed it's particularly cool in many circles to *be* out-of-touch.)

Literally anyone who "does the work" or engages with the world to any degree builds social relationships and status, that alone is not some deplorable act, but there are perverse incentives and feedbacking dynamics that can emerge as a result and prove deeply constraining. Playing cheap laugh-lines that resonate well with an audience's superficial read of things so as to avoid actually grappling with the content in good faith is an example of pure positioning. A! suggests he's all about the ideas and that his wafting from position to position or language to language is just openminded inquiry. But it can also be read as largely opportunistic (especially when his positions change based on what is strategic to leverage in a given social context).

A!'s characterization of his wording at that '13 BASTARD -- the response that deeply perturbed me and and persuaded me to treat him as a malicious persona -- was clearly and trivially not about "not speaking to other people's projects in a global way". A!'s whole talk on anti-organizationalism was about taking his personal experiences in LBC and other projects and extracting more general takeaways. The poor young red kid in the audience (who sadly didn't dress the right way or use the hippest words to the BASTARD crowd) asked about issues of power and privilege both reflecting systematic power structures AND the more situationally unique (because interpersonal dynamics of power don't have to line up with Formal Oppression to be objectionable/unethical). The question was both directed at the specific example projects A! was using as a springboard AND to the more general takeaways. A! answered neither. And his specific language to me later was "I don't care about power and privilege, those aren't things I'm interested in."

A! gets broad criticism from around the anarchist milieu for leveraging power and positioning in fucked up ways, leading to a constant exodus of folk from his circles, and did so for many years before that BASTARD. His very cocky response at that conference made me re-evaluate this context and in particular the political ideologies or perspectives he's struggled to normalize and popularize.

There are a lot of people in the scene who gravitate towards radical milieus and projects as an arena to pursue power -- often because they realize they're too weak to cut it in other arenas like say as Gordon Gekkos in finance. Some do this as ideologues. Some do this as scene patriarchs. Some do this as traveler kid fuckbois. Some do this as organizational bureaucrats. In popular average-folk parlance this is often just referred to as "sociopathy" (don't try to twist that to being merely just signifying anti-social). Since that particularly astonishingly frank and smirky exchange with me in 2013 it has been my read that A! is more this than not -- to the point where it's not worth engaging under the assumption of good faith -- and that many of his political projects like "nihilist anarchism" are mostly about defanging anarchism's antibodies to such.

PS

A!'s defenses of other scene patriarchs (like Kristian Williams in the Patriarchy In The Movement drama) who have totally different politics but who are likewise in some position of scene power threatened by the rabble of anarchism offer just one more piece of evidence. Thankfully even most PNW "nihilists" correctly understood the context of the "we will not be silent in the face of your violence" (and the calling of the cops on the kids protesting), despite the optics being particularly bad, and sided with the locals. (It's constantly affirming to watch the bay area nihilists around A! so hostile to me side with the platformists, maoists and other nasty red bureaucrats in Portland for fear of some boogeyman social justice idpol menace that stands up to popular writers and figures perpetrating abusive shit or rushing to shield abusers / vilify or marginalize survivors.)

This entire post occupies a strange limbo between theoretical critique and schoolyard melodrama. Being from Eastern Canada, I couldn't really care less about the interpersonal bickering of the San Francisco Bay Area anarchist scene and find it a little absurd that it is being elevated to the status of a political controversy that is somehow relevant outside of its limited subcultural bubble. Spare me. For the love of gawd, spare me!

Your entire essence screams from the top of buildings that you are the white knight of anarchy on the West Coast and honestly it is painful for me to read.

tbh this "social capitalism" sounds a lot more fun than whatever moralistic ideology you think "anarchism" is

Too true.

Has anyone noticed the people apparently in possession of this "social capital" seem like the least controlling people around whereas the individual social capital police are some of the worst control freaks in existence?

I think the more salient point that A! makes about this is that your accusations are flatter than tap shoes. A! has written lots of things and he brings that up because you haven't really engaged with those things. This discredits not only your accusations about his sincerity, but it undermines whatever theory you may have about how he acquires so-called social capital. Could it be ...maybe, that his status also owes to the opposite of your accusations? Mainly, to his sustained effort to introduce ideas into NA anarchist discourse that otherwise were very difficult to come by? To whatever extent he is an infamous character, his opponents would be to blame just as much as his supposed positioning. It wouldn't be the first time in history that haters propelled their opposition to greater heights than they would have reached without a pillory.

That I haven't responded to his specific pieces in depth doing some kind of fisking is such a random and whiney complaint for A! to make. He certainly hasn't engaged in such a manner with my own pieces, just mocked them superficially and silenced folks when they say they're troubled by points I've made or want to seriously engage with them. A! outright runs people out of his little compound and circles for straying from the party line, talking to us undesirables, etc. Folks literally get fb-defriended for knowing me in person. And this is just how the compound works. Hell A! even wrote an email to Syd saying essentially "I've heard you're spending time with people I disagree with, so we can't be friends anymore." There's no fucking semblance of a call for engagement or discourse.

However many of the pieces I've written have replied in broadstrokes to arguments A! makes in many pieces and blog posts as well as in person. For example his analysis around christianity and ideology being bad because of "big narratives" and large scale thinking. https://humaniterations.net/2015/04/17/anarchy-is-a-scale-independent-pr...

You can call it complaining, but I'll call it "Gillis doesn't have a case when it comes to this social capital thing". It's plain to me that A!'s visibility comes from ...what he has done visibly: writing, publishing, demonstrating that he knows how to bring projects from conception to wide distribution. Merit. The other stuff you mentioned here seems far from a marketing strategy to me; or however you'd want to include it as tactics in a strategy of accumulating social capital. A! having crumby responses to questions face-to-face doesn't define his level of sincerity in dealing with ideas. It may say something about his interpersonal skills, but one thing isn't the other.

So like obviously I have ideas and concepts I want to push out into the world/discourse and I likewise engage in projects that build a social base and then push to distribution. That innately positions one in an awkwardly central role and certainly power if we're talking in like a Foucaudian sense. I think a lot about how to navigate these dynamics and avoid them turning cancerous or abusive, or at least keep that shit as low as possible. But from the few months when A! and I were on good terms to this day, and despite being close to a handful of people around him or with history with him, I've seen nothing to indicate A! is troubled by the ways this can mutate into intensely problematic power dynamics. His explicit conscious language in person (with witnesses, but not from his crew), can't help but strongly suggest to me that not only is he not self-critical on this but he's taking actions (in terms of ideological content, etc) to preemptively block such critical analysis ("lol moralism" etc).

Look as one example Aragorn's really big into mockery under the ostensible premise that this is somehow a liberatory tool that bends towards tearing down the Big Men. But what mockery actually does is shorten the inferential depth available in discourse, it normalizes shallow takedowns that play to an existing audience's preconceptions or present stance. Complex ideas that require multiple steps of good-faith to follow to their conclusion become utterly unstatable. The normalization of shallow mockery (and also face-to-face discourse rather than at-length nuanced textual discussion) strengthens existing ideologies or hegemonic norms, it doesn't undermine them. See for example almost all anews threads. A! goes on about how he's a persecuted figure who pisses everyone off and generates haters for speaking his mind, but in reality what he does is bind a core number of disciples and allies very strongly while inevitably eventually burning bridges with them as they catch onto his bullshit -- thus the rolling recruitment visible with the compound where young folk come in, spend a few years in LBC or whatever and then flee. The fact that A! creates haters isn't proof that he isn't a social capitalist, but an example of how his social capitalist dynamics function.

I think it's quite telling that you use the word "merit" to describe A!'s position at the heart of a media empire as a kind of anarchist Roger Ailes within our small pond. (Sure A! eventually stepped back from day-to-day control -- at least ostensibly -- in several projects, but that's more because he'd secured proxies, which is his modus operandi since he prefers to have other people argue his points and take damage.) It's very hard to set up any kind of anarchist media source and get it popularized on "merit" alone because there are massive barriers to entry. A! has his piles of tech money and his housing taken care of through one of his partners' inheritance. This is like how Crimethinc got so big not because of merit per se but because of a giant pile of money an individual got. There are feedbacking effects by which established media orgs become larger and larger, in much the same way that capitalist businesses will use economies of scale to grow larger and larger merely because they already have something above a minimum threshold. This is not to speak ill of anarchist media projects like Crimethinc or LBC or PM or AK or the C4SS or whatever, this dynamic just comes with the territory and must be navigated, but a significant portion of the scaling effects aren't due to "merit." Some of the ideas A! has tried to popularize certainly fit a preexisting niche that were certainly desired or resonant for sociological reasons (which we can talk about in one of my upcoming pieces on nihilist anarchism specifically), but there's also a degree to which his position is not merely due to the anarchist scene being some kind of meritocracy. How absurd.

Look, read Aragorn's response as "crumby" rather than indicative, that may be perfectly reasonable in your personal context. But there are things a person can say that forever change your perception of them fundamentally. To take an extreme example if someone did some kind of monologue about how they're a sociopath and haha they're having you on and will go back to it, and then later they're like "oh I just entirely mispoke" you probably shouldn't trust them. Aragorn's smirky dismissal of power and privilege basically functioned in that manner to me. I can't ever trust him again as a result.

I don't know about anybody else, but I desperately want to hear what some of the uber-PC feminazi cunts in Portland have to say on the subect of "power and privilege." Because, like, um... I totally value their opinions 'n' stuff. Wouldn't wanto

*Wouldn't want to silence them with my violence or anything.

> uber-PC feminazi cunts in Portland

You keep being you anews. :) I don't know what on earth would make someone like ARR think yall have been cut with alt-right tendencies.

What can I say? I guess I haven't sufficiently unpacked my privilege. Better call in the anti-oppression red brigades to bring me back in line.

You could always voluntarily stop being a shithead and save us the trouble ... Is that on the table? ... No huh?

Nah, it's way more fun this way.

Ahh, the tacit admission that you are in fact, a shithead. Personal growth snark! Congrats!

What I admit to is a tacit indifference to how you choose to perceive me.

Is what much of the popular youth uses nowadays not just the altright Rush Limbaugh crowd. Such is the degree that the ruling pc feminist class have pissed damn near everyone off save for ruling power latter day leftist liberal ideologues.

Yeah! Ziggy speaks for "the popular youth", bless his black little heart. Also, let's abolish any stupid liberal legal concepts that interfere with his "fraternizing".

Just relaying what I see.

The only thing that makes that role awkward and central is the extent to which there's other people doing (or not doing) the same shit. My observation of anarchist projects is that when they meet a modicum standard of quality and a laughably short-term measure of endurance, they gain some sort of following. Often, that quality and duration depends on some sort of financial sanity and here I will agree that material capital is a big barrier. Not always, but often enough. I don't see how you are translating this aspect of anarchist projects to the criticisms you are making, which are in sum an ethics of managing the consequential social capital. I'm missing the part where A!'s alleged interpersonal behavior can do anything but diminish the social capital that comes from projects he's participated in. Without any humor here, my opinion is that the push-pull when it comes to this is very much the opposite of what you're saying: that what is attractive about working with him is that he has a reputation, based on merit, for publishing and promoting ideas (or, projects) that would otherwise be far more fringe; this despite the interpersonal conflicts, not benefiting from them. For as much as some of these conflicts may make him a more visible personality, you'd expect someone benefiting from that to take an "enemy of my enemy is my friend" approach... which is far from what you seem to be saying he does.

While I know that a sort of divide and rule strategy has been attributed to him over-and-over again, I don't think there's a lot of evidence to justify the attribution. Between my experiences in the East Bay and Tempe/Phoenix, what I really think about a lot of this is that ...well, that the East Bay has earned its reputation for analyzing social situations (that I think are weird to begin with) as if every interpersonal conflict is ultimately grounded in ideological disagreements. That's a cocktail for producing narratives that split along these exact lines that we're arguing, where sloppily differentiating between someone's operational (anarchist) activity and someone's likely doofy character-related issues begets enmity.

But what do I know.

> I'm missing the part where A!'s alleged interpersonal behavior can do anything but diminish the social capital that comes from projects he's participated in.

Well consider the (more extreme) example of cult leaders, such individuals will engage in abusive behavior in order to strengthen their existing social capital, they may constantly hemorrhage members and they may become pariahs outside their bubble, but within their social capital is strengthened as a result. Cutting people out of social circles for the crime of talking to people with different ideas is a really obviously dangerous sort of behavior. Indeed this is something many folks in the post-left are rightfully wary about as a standard dynamic in social justice tumblr stuff. Obviously it can be warranted to be like "hey stop hanging with that Literal Cop/Nazi or I'm going to have to reconsider our friendship" but it should be obvious that this can go places paralleling the sort of behavior abusers will perpetrate in relationships where they stop their partner from having friends who will catch on to the nonsense and deliver some DumpTheMotherfucker wakeup call.

Again I think his priotizing of shallow mockery and in-person multiple-people discourse over one-on-one or textual discourse is -- regardless of his ostensible ideological justifications for such biases -- an approach that lends itself very well towards controlling one's immediate social environs through misrepresentation, silencing, and triangulation.

Aragorn's hugely into divide and rule and for all that I might loathe Snitchy Bob amid some of his hysterics in their big drama there were spot-on points regarding Aragorn's behavior. I mean you can honestly just read the intense predatorial excitement A! often gets on his face when he's being slimy or manipulative to people, or just thinks he's being sly about telling you something about someone else to bias you. Similarly this whole thing in Portland with his "unfortunately worded" talk, it's clear that he was being super provocative and setting up a confrontation to try to preemptively denounce or move against Alex Reid Ross. And A! even fucking *admitted* that to folks in his circle. The fact that he's so obvious about his manipulative plays to anyone with any emotional intelligence has indeed been long cited by all the people annoyed with him as proof that he's not worth fighting with because he in their minds *does* burn bridges too fast to be a dangerous social capitalist outside of his little empire. This was in fact the approach I originally had and what I said to folks when I first arrived in the bay and various parties wanted me to help them fight A!. Like I used to be quite a social capitalist in high school, along pretty much the same lines as Aragorn, focusing on cultivating friends in a way I thought was fine, but was negative in effect, while also taking an ostensibly adversarial position and burning bridges, but benefiting from that. I was also at the same time intensely tortured about having fallen into those dynamics even though I also thought I was being benevolent with my popularity and eventually consciously quit. I now spend a lot of time trying resolutely *not* to benefit from a host of dynamics that provide un-meritocratic positive feedback to social capital, but as a result of that history I actually felt some affinity for A! at the start because he was so clumsy and non-threatening about his manipulative triangulations and stuff. I was irked by his staged drama around science at the study group (which I decided to fully bite into) but it was his "I don't care about those" bit and my longstanding concern that nihilism is being used to cut ethical analysis out of anarchism, that catalyzed my outright opposition to him.

Yes A! burns his bridges pretty as people eventually catch onto his more shitty tendencies, so it's true that he's not as good of a social capitalist as he could be. But what I find pernicious about his social capitalistic behavior is not his success (although he certainly has some) but his attempts to ideologically insulate such behavior from criticism. Upthread here we see people laughingly dismissing concern with dynamics of social capital as "moralism" and me as some kind of jackbooted policeman come to take away everyone's anarchy for the moralist sin of fucking being critical of someone. Aragorn's got his own little mini-empire, he's not likely to metastasize and become King Anarchy of the entire north american milieu or whatever. That's not my critique or my concern. (Nor would it be that bad if he invaded the NE and put NEFAC under some kind of occupation, heh.) It's that he's serving in a role as an ideological shaper while being entirely cool with the fucke up shit he pulls personally. So it's my read these days when folks in the scene pull the same ol "anarchy means no ever considering ethics you fucking cop" punk bullshit to excuse all manner of fucked up shit including social capitalist behavior, that defensive move has more *pull* as a result of his ideological work. And I *do* see that is inseparably tied to his longstanding personal behavior.

I mean but believe what you want.

I built the case that A!'s project history demonstrates that he's sincere about ideas and that his popularity comes first-and-foremost from those projects, that you were reversing cause-and-effect, presenting A! as someone that uses their social capital to benefit their projects. I think I've made the better arguments about this. If you stick with your concession that your spiel about social capital wasn't a comment on A!'s sincerity in dealing with ideas, but was rather about his ethics in managing that social capital ...then ok, I'm satisfied. I don't care to proceed further into a debate about how to manage social capital, whether in the style of Trump, Manson, or Bono. My opinion on such things is that they're regionally cultured issues, that the regions that most of the exemplary conflicts happen in speak volumes more to the nature of the social dynamics than some kind of social capitalist will-to-minions. I'm totally comfortable saying this (not about A!, but about people that irk me): "they've made contributions to anarchism that I admire and I think they're too much of a dickhead to ever talk to". I see that when A! is attacked, it's usually because someone thinks he's a dickhead but instead of just saying he's a dickhead, they go after the ideas he does sincerely engage with. I'm not going to debate mockery and such things w/you tonight ...I may even agree. I'm not even going to go down the rabbit-hole of the other interpersonal dynamics issues you brought up. The basic point remains that the merit of his project-work and the real, sincere promotion he's done concerning anarchist theory demonstrably is not a strategy to gain social capital even if poor, fawning young nihilist nymphs drink the magic move-somewhere-else-like-shitloads-of-bay-area-people kool aid.

I think you understand the causality I've been arguing. I think it's an all-of-the-above situation. A!'s ideas are shaped by his desire to maintain the sort of social relations he values -- he even says so explicitly -- but these social relations are demonstrably shitty.

A! has components to his thought that might be characterized as idealistic or sincere, certainly I'd read his concern with "alienation" and other psychological states often discussed in situ and other discourses as sincere. But I think like a lot of shitty social capitalists within the anarchist milieu A! fails to take his politics beyond some immediately salient realm. So he warps his presentation of ideas in two ways

1) He adopts positions that are opportunistic according to what's cool at a given moment or with a given group of people. For example he'll play up indigenous idpol angles with certain people and then swing around and make openended statements about idpol-ish stuff that the more explicitly reactionary folks can read stuff into. Another example is his total 180 on the subject of "friendship", when said term was uncool he was against it and when it became cool again he swung to be for it.

2) He is pulled towards reframings (or abandonments) of anarchist thought that abandon anything that would endanger his social capital and social arrangements by raising ethical concerns or prompting consideration and critique.

So I think A! is sincere in being critical of red politics, and I think he's sincere about hating various psychological experiences he ties essentially to capitalism and civilization. These certainly lost him some standing. But you'll *frequently* find shitty people in the anarchist scene who are sincere about some aspects of their politics but who warp their politics to avoid self-restraint from harming others. The classical example would be the class-reductionist platformist rapey bro who is all about the class war but wants to sideline feminism because he neither cares nor wants to engender norms that would stop him from raping people.

Aragorn is -- in my read -- simultaneously sincere about some things that have at least some relation to anarchism, but opposed to critiquing power and privilege more generally precisely because it would raise uncomfortable questions and stop him from being able to pull of the shit he's able to pull off. Stripping anarchism of its ethical content and engendering a situation where relatively large numbers of nihilist punx are now sneering at basic anarchist questions or issues as "moralism" is I think quite a matter of him pushing a politic that has been shaped (who knows to what degree consciously or unconsciously) by his prioritization of a type of social capital.

*misunderstand, lol

I compre-hendy your point of view while simultaneously disagreeing. You're applying the notions of "social relations" and "power and privilege" to a much smaller society than I think he's talking about a lot of the time, even if also sometimes focusing on the interpersonal scale. A!'s analysis of consensus decision-making (and its Christian origins), compared with his preference for PRDM as used by LBC is a good example counter to your claim that issues of power and privilege - even at the interpersonal level - don't come into play in his thinking. His supposedly opportunistic topical preferences make complete sense when you examine the connection he makes between animism and nihilism. He brought up the reasons why he will angle from one direction or another at his talk here in Tempe, and I think it's totally appropriate to do so, especially when the underlying points he's making remain the same despite: different signifiers, the same signified. He's consistent when it comes to the Situationist critique of anarchism as a historical, life historical, and theoretical starting-point for his relation to first-wave anarchism (his terminology). By comparison of monotheistic, polytheistic, and animistic worldviews, his comments on moralism all jive with the rest as well. His focus on infrastructure and other multi-state and/or transnational anarchist projects balances out the more interpersonal PRDM stuff.

All-in-all - these things all seem to be facets of a fairly holistic general focus to me.

There's also a lot of shit that I don't agree with him about, nihilism being the first thing. I only mention this to further the point that when it comes to ideas, there hasn't been a lack of sincerity in our discussions. I also find it evidentiary that when I published in both the Anvil and AJODA, I wasn't reprimanded or subject to any kind of shitty behavior from A!. He's been supportive of my participation in EBAB organizing and the presentation I gave on post-modernity and the appeal of anarchism, of my Longhaul-based activity on the topic of existentialism, and plenty of other things that doesn't help whatever brand people attribute to him.

I don't think we're going to be able to match opinions when it comes to this stuff.

some people want to ban roman polanski films because he raped someone. networks no longer show really funny bill cosby stuff. people urge boycotting nate parker produced 'Birth of a Nation' because parker was once accused of rape (and acquitted). many do not want to hear joe paterno's name or face associated with anything about penn state. as nate parker points out, by punishing nate by punishing the film, all of the others who co-created the film are being punished. who knows how co-workers of cosby have felt the impact of negative public reaction to cosby.

how people split on this is interesting. if your philosophy is like that of Emerson or Nietzsche, you understand behaviour as 'coming through people'; i.e. people are relational 'vents' [not noun-and-verb combos with grammar-invented jumpstart authoring powers] that transmit influence from the vast and universal to the locale in which they are situationally included. works of art or music are often described by the artist as works that channel through the artist.

meanwhile, in the case of the child soldier who does mass killings, ... the default way of looking at him is as an 'independent being who is fully and solely responsible for his own behaviour'. this is the standard 'doer-of-deeds' view of self. the rich and powerful tend to like to think of themselves as fully and solely responsible for their own actions. they also like to think of the slaves they abuse as 'fully and solely responsible for their own actions'. this dualist thinking makes 'giving meaning' to things a lot simpler to discuss and deal with than viewing people in the elusive meaning-giving terms of bundles of relations which channel and vent influences from the nonlocal to the local.

nevertheless, there are entire cultures that understand 'self' and world in relational terms where it is impossible to pin down an 'individual' as a jumpstart authoring source or 'fountainhead' of non-epigenetically-induced assertive actions.

Only if one believed that an Aragorn or a Cosby or a Hitler was THE central author of 'his works' would his demonization dictate that his works were 'the works of the devil' and be discredited and avoided. of course, this is quite common in this forum; i.e. if a person is demonized for whatever reason, everything he authors is discredited as 'the works of the devil'. once they've made their minds up, they do not want to be tickled and laugh by hearing a story about Hitler in a situation where he was really a very likeable and funny guy, ... same for Roman Polanski. "oh, that Hitler, he can be quite a card!'. Maybe there is a sensitive loving and caring child in the mass murderer, trying to find its way to the surface, ... as seems validated by thousand of restorative justice rehabilitations in Africa.

different folks have different views of their 'self' and the 'self' of others and this complexifies our forum discussions because it is never directly put on the table together with the arguments. Nietzsche suggest that the two views are those of the 'big sagacity natural Self' and the 'little sagacity ego-self'.

Gillis clearly talks too much but he's right when he says that this trendy egoist/nihilist shit has provided a handy/dandy little rationalization for being a douche. I've been around long enough to have watched the wave breaking the last few years.

What you call "being a douche" I call a deliberate breaching of anarchist social conventions. The assumption within anarchist circles has, for far too long, been that people are just going to walk on eggshells around the anarcho-activist PC police. However, that time has come and gone. It's a brave new world we're living in.

There's no such thing as bravery on an anonymous forum. Self evident.
Dime-store crusader complexes on the other hand?!

Big frowny face.

Who the fuck walks on eggshells around "the anarcho-activist PC police". I don't. These people - whom I do not refer to by such a shitty label, obviously, given especially that I like to reserve the term "police" for actual police - are people I associate with, at least at times, and I say what I think. This has been the case for years.

This is a guess: you don't walk on eggshells around these folks cuz you don't walk around 'em at all. Your friend circle is ideologically pure. You will not be challenged when you call women you don't like "cunts". You call this subjective experience, borne of not wanting to engage with people who have decolonial leftist opinions (which is your prerogative) a "brave new world".

The fact that you associate with these leftist nutjobs shows that you have gotten use to them and perhaps they to you. From his other posts snark has a history in the anarchist activist scene to. He just seemingly had enough after awhile unlike you. I had a taste of it over a decade ago and decided not to tolerate it at all. The fact that you seemingly sensor yourself with a term like cunt shows your infection of this cuntish PC language. Where's the Carlinian saying what you will and let context determine the use of a word. You're the one hanging out with ideologues, filthy ones at that.

But let's address it for a sec, by a different route.

It's not ideology if I don't like it when words like "gay" or "faggot" are used as insulting epithets of things (in the first case) or men (in the second case) that I don't like. It is a visceral, my-desire-is-to-not-hear-that, I-am-pissed sort of thing. But that's cuz I'm gay I suppose.

It's not ideology if I think that the deployment of certain terms in this manner has, cumulatively, some kind of effect. It obviously just does. The playground insult use meant that I knew that gay was bad before I knew what gay was.

Anyway, this specific case of "cunts" is not that important. Ideology, sure, might blow it up into a bigger deal than it is.

My point was not about "cunts". It was about the laughable notion that there is something special or unique to "deliberately breaking anarchist conventions" or whatever the fuck, that this is somehow the unique province of you idiots who aren't even in anarchist spaces. I don't have documentation showing that I challenge decolonial leftist orthodoxy sometimes (no transcripts of the conversations I have at QPIRG or loft parties), but it is at least theoretically possible with me, not with you folks.

If you have the patience and the inclination to seek out common ground with these leftist bubble babies, then more power to you. In my case, it's "been there, done that, bought the t-shirt." I spent years pussyfooting around their sensibilities and even half-deceiving myself into thinking that I actually agreed with them at certain points. Eventually, as I started to drift away from a more orthodox left-anarchist perspective, I became less inclined to just tow the party line and briefly attempted a more measured but critical approach to discussion with others in my local anarchist scene. After a while, I got tired of bashing my head against other people's ideological brick walls, said to hell with it, and crossed over into full-blown iconoclasm. After a while, even that got old and, due to circumstances in which I was only indirectly involved, I decided to make a clean break. Witnessing a self-appointed vigilante squad of anti-oppression PC fascists show up in my city from out-of-province to root out an alleged "rapist" and any "rapist sympathizers" in the area was enough to conclude that this pathetic scene was no longer worth my effort. Call me crazy, but these sorts of witch hunts aren't really my cup of tea.

An educational experience for everyone involved. But I guess different people came away with different lessons.

Can't put your username to a character from that episode. Got some guesses, but not a big deal. I'm not gonna call you crazy, I'm gonna call you hung up. And anyway, if that was the incident when you left the anarchist scene, we're talking more than seven years.

The brave new world you're talking about... is maybe on the internet. And maybe with whatever small crew of buddies you might have now. That's fine. In the meantime, some of us are still in the scene, being true to what we think (and it's fairly clear from my record on this site, I think, that I don't tow the "PC fascist" line or whatevs, even if I disagree with a lot of the bullshit I see coming from certain quarters).

Maybe I am a bit hung up, but the fact that this is my "subjective experience" doesn't negate the fact that that whole sordid episode was a quintessential illustration of why subcultural groupthink is bullshit. In any case, it's interesting to bump into someone in this digital environment who was actually there, and I am at least marginally heartened by the fact that you're sticking it out and attempting to interject some non-leftist critique into "the Scene" even if I think it's largely an exercise in futility. I agree that it was an "educational" experience but mostly for the wrong reasons. More than anything, it was just a clusterfuck and I'm glad that I no longer have anything to do with those people.

...that makes me wonder what that line ever means in the real; in such days of vast buy-out and digestion of the last few years of "anarchism" by the many organs and institutions of the system. I mean yo... last time I came back from Europe by plane you had anarcho-punk chicks setting up a big ad panel right in the airport for one of the city's most mainstream -goes without saying "full legalist"- music fests.

Kinda sobers you up roughly after spending time and energies with some of the most rad anarchists in Europe, and building autonomous occupations among other things... stuff that the so-called "anarchists with idears" here get so frightened about, or think it to be so silly.

Anyways, don't wanna cast another hateful judgement (you can see how hate and prejudice isn't very creative here). Came across your comment randomly and it got me skeptical.

Who are these people you speak of?

Names and addresses!!!

No, I mean: what are their sympathies? What makes them so 'radical' ?

for the people around a! is pretty striking.

A! eventually stepped back from day-to-day control -- at least ostensibly -- in several projects, but that's more because he'd secured proxies, which is his modus operandi since he prefers to have other people argue his points and take damage

so these proxies aren't people with valid opinions? just sock puppets for the big man? who's the one with the problem here?

But what mockery actually does is shorten the inferential depth available in discourse, it normalizes shallow takedowns that play to an existing audience's preconceptions or present stance. Complex ideas that require multiple steps of good-faith to follow to their conclusion become utterly unstatable.

but perhaps more relevantly, you seem to be saying sincerely that humor is counter-revolutionary. hardly surprising that you and A! wouldn't be able to talk to each other...

also I guess it's worth mentioning that the compound is the last place I lived... for almost a year until I goofed up my foot. There probably isn't much that you can tell me about how "the compound works".

Folks literally get fb-defriended for knowing me in person.

Until this very moment, I was firmly convinced that the Holocaust was the greatest injustice in recorded history. After reading the above statement, I now realize just how wrong I was.

Hah, okay, sure. But the point is it fits a broader pattern of abusive tendencies -- "if you even talk to anyone outside our circles, you're out!" You can try to play that down with humor, but it should be concerning.

If you feel "abused" by a Facebook defriending, then you clearly aren't cut out for life outside of a padded room.

There's two things here, sincerely:

1) If that's the point, stating it in such terms is the concession I was hoping for from you.

2) I could still argue with the re-stated point you're making, but why would I? It seems like something for -not me- to argue about. What I can at least say (though I think it's a useless, biased counter-example), is that as one of Tempe, AZ's finest anarchist dandies ...there's plenty of people I talk to that are outside of 'the circle'. I even tried to engage you yourself once via facebook because a lot of the shit I think/write/practice overlaps with some of your interests. Then again, I also wanted to critique some of your ideas.

To the future!
FIN

Hi William,
We've never talked, but I've read things you've written here and there - I actually considered responding to your piece on nihilism, perhaps in the way you are inviting, but I felt it was a sort of obfuscated character assassination of your perception of A! rather than a genuine engagement with ideas (considering, for instance, the almost total lack of citations or references) and so didn't feel inspired to do so.
I find it very hard to understand why you feel an online forum's thread about my podcast project is the place to air a lot of apocryphal calumny (since you acknowledge that you actually don't really know A! very well) related to Bay Area interpersonal relationships (since you acknowledge it is less about ideas [which is what this podcast is about and ostensibly what the comment thread attached to this podcast is about] and more about concerns of abuse). This is a good example of why people make fun of Bay Area @s, I suppose. Wouldn't the place to address interpersonal abuse dynamics be someplace in Bay Area meatspace with those actually involved and those who care about them? Wouldn't characterizing those abused (which presumably would include Squee and me, among others) as semi-hapless meatpuppets in a public forum only make things worse for them? Maybe you see yourself as speaking truth to power in some micro-political way, but this all reads as a bit sanctimonious and hamfisted to me.
In any case, it's utter nonsense. I lived at the Compound for eight months, a time period before, during, and after which I was friends with people who had more or less open animosity with A! and even brought them to the Compound to hang out - he never had a problem with it, and we're obviously still friends.

there must be some kind of family therapist session y'all could attend. this is why its hard to take the bay or this website very seriously. shit's kicking off literally all over the country on the streets and in the prisons and the thread with the most comments is some self referential masturbatory intra-personal calamity... may I include for your self reflection Bellamy the description of the podcast. " Portland drama, anarchist bookfairs, and The Podcast Wars." This is what the anarchist media above is about but tisk tisk the commentor for picking up on the gossip site tone that was set? y'all deserve each other.

Just out of curiosity, what exactly is "the Compound?" I'm picturing ferris wheels, cotton candy, and machine gun turrets - which actually sounds like a lot of fun to me. But, being the East Coast yokel that I am, I'm probably way off base here. Anyway, Bellamy, I'm not familiar with your writing but, from what little I know about you from listening to the podcast, I appreciate your contributions - despite being a little put off by the subcultural bickering that you've found yourself drawn into through largely no fault of your own.

To the anon at 10:45: I always welcome criticism, however caustic, and suggestions for content, and I'll fully admit the last episode was more than a bit phoned-in and gossipy (which is why we said it was...we were both traveling); but it doesn't seem like you read my comment closely at all or understood my grievance with Gillis. For instance, I made a similar comment about the Bay Area's magnification of interpersonal drama. This just reads like typically snarky anon-spew.

To TheHuntingOfTheSnark: Thanks - happy to talk anytime. I am also an East Coaster.

I think we both know that you reap the intellectual seeds that you sow. why phone anything in? you made this episode in part about anarchist drama. you got that back- in abundance.

Content suggestions? Literally anything else- anti-police struggle, reprisals from the prison strike, the current situation in North Dakota and the reverberations of the largest gathering of tribes in 100 years, shit in Guerrero, the burning of the refugee camp in Greece and changing discourse in the no borders movement, French labor riots setting police on fire, fucking anything… it’s a big world.

Don’t fixate on the same intra-personal shit and fixate on your own social capital, or lack thereof, then wonder why you get vitriol in response. want to avoid engendering bay area or west coast circle jerking and the rest of us telling you to get over yourselves? then stop giving over so much of your show to it.

Now wait... What makes you think ANYONE else than your gang of buddies even care hearding about your grievances with Gillis. Who the fuck is this guy and furthermore who the fuck are YOU? How is your interpersonal soap opera contributes to anything anarchist in the US or beyond? What are you even doing here?

Bellamy,

A! misrepresented my critique of him, I gave a short summary. Squee engaged and asked questions, I responded and gave some limited amount of reference to relevant details. I haven't really gone hunting for shittalk about A! but christ do plenty of people constantly deliver it to my doorstep. I referenced some things that I think substantiate the pattern of behavior and motivating perspective that I find pernicious and deeply concerning for someone with so much social capital and influence within an ostensibly anarchist scene. There's plenty of shit I didn't air because it's irrelevant to the point at hand, has been shared in confidence, or would just be cruel.

I gotta say I literally laughed at your protestation that your podcast is about ideas since the content of this whole episode is basically gossip and shit talk, and misrepresentations or aggressive narrative framing to help A!'s positioning. This is of course a recurring tact A! has taken in The Brilliant, where -- not just on my general nihilist piece but on other things I've written and with other people -- A! will try to silence or redirect discussion away from conflicting ideas, speculating on that person's motivations and mental health, etc. Cool, whatever, but don't play as though my response in the thread to clarify misrepresentation is somehow a wild break in subject material.

A note here: I'm not using "abuse" in the overblown way you attempt to be re-framing it as. I'm not saying Aragorn's behavior is on par with someone browbeating a partner say, but I'm also not saying it's merely "misbehavior" or "being an ass" as yall like to characterize things. There's a spectrum. A!'s behavior is not merely "assish" because he's in a position of social power or social capital, and his behavior reflects upon and shapes how he ends up socially positioned in our milieu. I think these sorts of dynamics of power within the anarchist scene matter and it's embarrassing that people like A! exist and operate so prominently. It's fucking embarrassing that there are positions of power within our scene at all, much less that bay area drama often looks like some game of thrones shit.

I'm also not saying you and Squee and others are hapless meatpuppets. But A! does like to use people as proxies, often by providing limited information to guide people into conflicts or situations that benefit him. One doesn't have to claim someone has no agency to claim they're being used by someone who hates fighting his own battles in the open. An example: there was a BASTARD where A! asked me to serve on a panel about "social war" with Wolfi and a former Green Anarchy editor. Folks from his circles started hitting me up saying this was a setup where A! wanted the two to gang up on me. I chatted with Wolfi on friendly terms the day before not even mentioning anything, just being nice, and both promptly backed out of the panel (for whatever reasons, I don't actually know), A! was by all accounts pissed that he had to substitute himself in and in person appeared quite pissed about having to address me directly. Now I'm quite fond of Wolfi (even if he now peppers his analysis with "ego" more compulsively than a alt-righter says "cuck") and am not trying to drag him into this by referencing him, when his level of care about the drama between A! and I is probably nil, but my point is that I would *never* accuse Wolfi of being devoid of agency or some kind of meatpuppet of anyone. That doesn't mean that he can't be maneuvered and slid into a situation where A! is effectively hoping to use him as a proxy.

As to the niihilist piece you speak of, it's funny that you characterize it as speaking to A! because part of the reason I broke it into an independent introductory piece not actually engaging with specific nihilist anarchist texts was precisely because I wanted to speak as generally as I could about the word and philosophical concept of nihilism -- what I think the word is best defined in terms of and used to represent -- RATHER than engaging with Aragorn and all that mess in hyper specificity. My current desire is to break my critique of nihilism into three parts: 1) General outline of the subject and my framing of it. 2) Problems innate to nihilist anarchist analysis and how this replicates components of the general outline. 3) Specific individual personalities and sociological dynamics in the scene that led to the fad. Separating these into distinct separate pieces has been hard since the interrelation is sometimes sharp (Aragorn being a notable writer in addition to personality). But consider: if I had blended these into a single essay everyone would have found distinct reasons to reject the whole for the inclusion of some sub-component.

I stated my longstanding negative feelings on the term and subject of "Nihilism" to A! and to people around him way back when we were on good terms. I was frustrated with the push to normalize said discourse and had private conversations about it because we were all team postleft whatever with some broadly similar inclinations and concerns. I was concerned that nihilism was rather innately or inextricably structured/associated in ways that would strip ethical content out of anarchism or sabotage our capacity to speak to such issues. Aragorn's scene king behavior was concerning but I extended good faith. I got pissed at him in a fight in the study group but basically just wandered away to other projects and continued to just view him as merely a largely known ass. Up until that exchange at the 2013 BASTARD where he said he didn't care about power and privilege. Which I found deeply unsettling given all the surrounding context: My negative perspective on nihilism and his push to popularize it AND his unethical lines of power and social capitalist behavior within the scene.

"A! outright runs people out of his little compound and circles for straying from the party line, talking to us undesirables, etc. Folks literally get fb-defriended for knowing me in person. And this is just how the compound works. Hell A! even wrote an email to Syd saying essentially 'I've heard you're spending time with people I disagree with, so we can't be friends anymore.' There's no fucking semblance of a call for engagement or discourse."

While it's possible someone has been defriended for knowing you in person, though it's not something I've actually seen, the rest of this is nonsense. Even the places where you almost get onto the same epistemological plane as something that actually happened, you still don't seem to actually know what you're talking about.

I concur, there are some really rational attempts to talk with him but it seems like he is on a plane of obliviousness. It's a shame but if you saw those threads on that Facebook event you would know the type of people we are dealing with.

Total fucking idiots. Just being honest.

Sigh gillis you just want to b A! Get over yourself.

I get that people want to show G some respect by responding to him but at some point you just gotta throw your hands up in the air and be honest about his psychobabble. It is some bizarre feelings based TLDR that is going over everyones head and missing it's mark cause it is some extremely personal. Read the conversation between him and Squee above. He just refuses to get it. And digs in further with basically just repeated social justice call out cliche. It is tired and unfortunately for whatever reason he can't snap out of it. Well, we all know the reason, he doesn't want to lose his new friends.

"Well, we all know the reason, he doesn't want to lose his new friends."

You acknowledge that this is feelings-based... and you proceed to conclude with what I can only interpret as a directed strike at the feelings. You're a dick, not satisfied with the fact that, actually, there was already some rigorous challenging of Gillis' claims and stances, as there deserved to be. No, you gotta NOT respect the guy, implicitly criticizing all the people who you "get" who desire to not be shitty (and, like, was that anyone other than Squee?).

Sometimes you need to hear what you are screaming or you don't get a chance to examine yourself. Tell me if I have good on my face, don't just ignore it.

I have to admit I did not read every word of every comment. I am still dizzy from trying to understand all of this stuff about Aragorn!,the East Bay,Portland,the compound,and the personal attacks and counter attacks.I don't understand the term social capital.I'm not sure that there is such a thing.A little help,please.

Social capital is credibility and may flow into status and hierarchical mechanisms.

Social capital means to be having some status within a social relationship that supports it. A gang, cult, clan that functions in a way as to exclude/include, worship/degrade, seeing the world as an in/out crowd is the kind of social relationship. To be attaining a level of influence where you are not being criticized or questioned for your actions/opinions is power, and reflects the most primal, childish authoritarian relationship. To gain the hearts, minds and bodies from the people in your clan or "affinity group" means absolute power.

As for the rest of the usual charade like that above, I think it's just the typical scene drama that is to zero interest other than the scenesters involved into it, because it's part of their network of unassumed gay liberals.

...and I thought I might be doing a gross characterization with that last part, and that there might be actually some seriously radical people among the commenters.

Though what's the fuss about that dude Gillis and that phallocrat Aragorn and how this pointless "conversation" has anything to do with anarchy as a practice? Hand me over an endless cascade of Emile walls of texts and that'll be as much relevant.

There is positive social capital. As I just mentioned it _MAY_ flow into status and hierarch, and as credibility could also be having a reputation for wisdom and fairness, in a non-binary relationship.

Capital defines a relation between haves and have nots. You cannot have any power accumulation without depriving others from this power, one way or another. The necessary separation -through some notion of property and identity- cannot be avoided, and therefore it sets a precedent for the development of the hierarchy.

Capital isn't just a bunch of fruits from a tree. It is people taking over the tree and keeping it for themselves and selling some of the fruits. That's what capitalism has ever, ever been.

Nice analogy with the tree, I'll note that down for future comment.

of capital, and that no one on this site so far has called him on it, is somewhat disturbing.
influence and charisma and reputation are certainly worth talking about and exploring, but to lump that in with capitalism is tone deaf.

"influence and charisma and reputation" on the contrary, are all power differentials of capital.

And is the fact that I got a marxist analysis makes me an "anarcho-capitalist"? Now let's talk about YOU being either a bullshitting cop or some poorly-learned bullshitter.

The content of this thread serves quite well as a practical demonstration/companion piece to the TOTW: enemies.

I have to say, though, when people who are really hyped about:

"anti-police struggle, reprisals from the prison strike, the current situation in North Dakota and the reverberations of the largest gathering of tribes in 100 years, shit in Guerrero, the burning of the refugee camp in Greece and changing discourse in the no borders movement, French labor riots setting police on fire"

...berate others who don't fill their conversations with references to these things, it really does serve as another example of the divide within this 'movement'/'milieu'/whatever.

The hosts of The Brilliant have repeatedly addressed the question of why they don't talk a lot about these other things, and made suggestions to their accusers that the best thing, if solidarity is to exist between them, that they (the critics) just make their own podcasts that DO deal with these things, and let them (Aragorn and Bellamy) do their own thing.

Now, I know my opinion is one that is seldom valued at all because I am a heretic, an outsider (and a 'fascist'/'reactionary'/'right-winger' etc., according to many), and don't even make the pretense of wanting solidarity with Leftist types.

But when I look at The Brilliant, even though not all of the content is to my tastes (and any time they talk about these inside baseball topics I'm kinda lost), the #1 thing that endears the content (and the content providers) to my listening sensibilities is that they rarely, if ever, talk about the kind of meaningless commie crap I quoted above.

Presumably this is because they are 'post-left' in ways that I think are good.

Like others, I really hope this divorce between class struggle anarchists and [whatever the others will end up calling their selves, since I doubt they'll be able to - or want to - keep using the A word] happens as soon as possible, and with a real sense of finality.

My own suggestion for future content for The Brilliant: the looming divorce.

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