Callout for Submissions for new journal 'Identity Is Crisis' (D&O Distro)

'We find ourselves stuck inside a suffocating false dichotomy in the realm of (anti) politics as it relates to concerns around the topic of identity. On the one hand, we find that the desire to destroy civilization/society in its totality and to attack in the here and now, is occupied, claimed and recuperated by those only concerned in destroying the existent as long as such an existent does not include themselves. The denials of materialism and materialist reality ever present in the current insurrectionist and nihilist milieus, and the accompanying machismo, racism, rape culture and outright refusal to consider any identity based concerns. The branding of all identity based concerns and the accompanying trajectories as always and only liberal demands for recognition in the face of domination and the associated scathing critiques of all forms of organizing which draw any power from or relation to identity categories as ultimately worthless. On the other hand, the generalized rejection of insurrectional tactics, analysis, and praxis by many trans-feminist, queer, and identity based trajectories has lead to a transition from the simple desire to self actualize/articulate trans-feminism/queerness and its necessary demands ending in constructionist logics which hyper valorize, celebrate, and execptionalise the very identities in which our experience of oppression(s) is rooted. We experience a great degree of disappointment in this impasse- what we are searching is an (anti) politics, which both embraces and reckons with the every day realities and lived experiences of those who experience identity based oppression, whilst also squarely aiming our hostility at the totality of the world which creates them; we wish to present a critique which both acknowledges the very real consequences of identity in the here and now, and attempts to undo the entirety of its constructions. We agree, identity is entirely social constructed, it is the product of thousands of years of domestication, brutality, violence, domination, and one central building block of civilization; where we stray from the traditional insurrectional perspective is in rejecting the naivety of believing that by simply refusing to recognize identity or identity based concerns as important is enough to de-nature them as powerfully violent. Further we hold firm to the belief that fighting anti sexist/racist/colonial struggles is in fact a central field in war against ‘the existent’. The fact that identities are social constructs doesn’t mean they don’t need to be recognized and then destroyed- one cannot hope to destroy an enemy which one refuses to except even exists. When one declares war on society, one accepts the existence of society; our war on identity is inseparable from our war on society, from the war on civilization; but this takes understanding, recognition, and sometimes organization based around those very identities.'

We are hoping to bring together a series of texts, whose focus lies in the realm of identity abolition, but whose praxis is rooted in materialist understandings of and engagements with identity. We are searching for new and existing pieces which challenge readers to engage with the every day lived experiences of those who contend with identity based oppression(s), whilst also aiming hostility squarely at the identities themselves and the worlds which they create. Submissions can come in the form of texts, poems, artworks or any other medium you see fit and are not limited to a specific word count. Submissions should be in by the end of February 2020- and sent to downandoutdistro(at)riseup(dot)net; if selected, texts will be included in their entirety and not edited by us, though we reserve the right not to include any texts we feel do not fit the line of engagement we wish to highlight. The collection will include an editorial from D&O addressing our own understanding and critique of identity  as well as engagements with what we see as the failings in both insurrectional and identity based trajectories to deal with the topic. Other texts so far proposed  for the journal cover topics including migration, sex work, experience of racialised identities, and nihilist feminism.

Text can be Submitted in English, French, or Greek, though texts not in English will be translated by us and the Journal will only be available in English.


There are 40 Comments

Will you be excepting submissions from non-vegans?

i was at GSABF, it was disgusting, my understanding is both the above mentioned distros are projects of the hosts. all i can say is they come off as huge hypocrites to me post-bookfair. their dishes hadn't been done in so long the CDC was moments away from showing up. people did them for them out of pity. the organizers were nowhere to found. one was apparently suicidal, the other relapsing. and the thing is this was about a monogamous relationship. confusing because they claim to be queer poly and straight edge. and then there's the whole vegan thing. they had nothing but junk food, and again, people stepped up and cooked. the space itself was like an animal prison. between 5-10 animals, none being taken care of correctly. seriously at the point of abuse.

i dunno. i'm not expecting people of our kind to be squares with desk jobs, but damn, is being an anarchist synonymous with not having your shit together AT ALL and focusing/blaming your problems on everyone else, or is that just me?

lol sounds like you shouldn't come next year. A more sterile environment might suit your needs better.

yeah, def. spilling all those beans is not a nice gesture. all those things mentioned could have been framed in a positive light. aren't you glad those people got together and the dishes got cleaned and the food got made? maybe next year they'll get rid of the smell of piss, and all animals will be taken good care of. if lasting relationships get made and everyone puts their sincere effort and commitment so it's not lopsided. there's clearly people that need this event, don't tear it down and don't let it fall apart.

nah the piss smell is because of all the watersports and kink stuff that went down in the basement.

and u mad that the hosts werent the ones doing the dishes and providing everything for u like its some hotel? lol

Im the person who did the dishes and cooked the food. Guess you didn't eat the giant vegetable stir fry huh? People racked a bunch of "junk food" cus people like that shit and those cats are rescues. Im not sure what set you off so hard but this is just incorrect for the sake of being incorrect. Also not sure why the fact that someone may or may not be in a mental health crisis is any of your business. Who cares what the "organizers" were doing? Do you really need someone to tell you how to engage with other people?

I was there too and it was not bad at all. Very welcoming. Didn't feel pity so much as a sense of like... mutual aid. Cause we're anarchists.

You want sterile? Try Seattle Anarchist Bookfair next year.

Down and Out and Warzone are different people. Warzone is in the US and Down and Out are in Europe.

I was saying...but these anons are confusing this with Redacted Distro, shout-outs

I'm okay with these texts by Flowerbomb, but that's also self-revealing. I can only be agreeing or not, validating myself through these, perhaps even sharpen my critique through some better-elaborated arguments and perspectives, and that's kinda useful. Tho it's reflecting things I feel already and nowhere is challenging me to bringing change to my life. I may stop buying/stealing meat, but it's gonna change little to my digestive system (esp. with red meat) and neither to the industrial system that still doesn't care about individual consuming choices, and has quickly found ways, through aggressive, self-entitled marketing, to make meat-eating trendy again through your well-known hipster bar & grills and "burger shops" that pretend (not even all of them, tho) to be supporting more ethical treatment of cattle by the growing ecofarm sub-industry.

What do you do about this whole mass-marketing of that animal mass-murder machine? Furthermore what do you do about the car industry and the road infrastructure? What model we can come up with that improve upon the PETA bullshit of going after the weakest aspects of this industry for getting quick results?

It's not a question I'm asking directly to the author(s) and their supporters, but to everyone visiting this site.

We may have to consider a shift in our communicational approach of less preaching to the choir and more writing texts in a way as to make them a relevant read to those who, well, still read and are new to these critiques.

people dont have empathy with animals, or even other people, that's a big hurdle.
the more it's a food product, and the suffering of the animals is hidden, then it's impossible for them to care.
once a person is chill with being a butcher, or working in a slaughterhouse, how can they turn back?
the availability, the near ubiquity of cheap animal products. as long as that's a reality, it's not a matter of innovating in rhetoric.
i know some people who have cows as "their favorite animal" and still eat it. lot's of people who think the meat industry is fucked up, but then shrug and keep eating. they can't feel their prey's suffering, they feel good and nourished when they eat it (more often than not, or at least in the short-term). maybe they watched a video showing the cruelty animals go through, once, but then everyday goes on as normal and they can forget it. same goes with the homeless in the street, and poverty, people don't care, or if they do, they compartmentalize it.

Maybe the human default is far more ruthless and callous than most of them care to look at? Like, without flinching?

The lack of empathy is genetically inbuilt into the humyn DNA, its a legacy of our brutal and desperate evolution against the horrors of existence on Earth.
You are lucky to have survived this long old man, thanks to the luxuries and securities offered by Trump's Hamerika!

Not until SOT responds to my comment. I wrote it for him, and it is his duty to respond In kind. He has no real knowledge, nor do you, of the innate psychopathic tendencies which produce these authoritarian societies it is every anarch's duty to escape.

No, but by the process of identity annihilation, then there would be no crisis.

Because it's already being compartmentalized in the first place?

I mean, you read like you're being entirely emotional about the issue and not reasoned for long about it.

When people eat meat, where does it come from? Either a plastic packaging or a plate. They didn't get to the whole process of killing and butchering the animal. Moreover, they don't need to care anymore about that animal because it is dead, and the meat cannot be put back into it and then be revived. Once killed and butchered the meat becomes a transformed product, completely separate from its origin. Is that brutal and senseless? Totally.

But you can't treat every single person eating meat as a brutal and senseless butcher. They're just eating a piece of "food" product, that is that the very end of a multi-leveled process of transformation. People are made to be unconscious of the whole process because just like cattle they're just pawns on a board; they don't see the whole game for what it is. They either won't care or won't grow a brain to this level of awareness.

I wouldn't care that much about humans' brutality if it wasn't coupled with an equal hypocrisy, where doing the same to humans is seen as one of the most abominable crimes. Not that these crimes aren't abominable. I found so many dead creatures on the roadside for years. These deaths were abominable, senseless murders too.

thought that's what i was saying, i don't understand, so yes, exactly

any oppression can be seen as "identity based". almost by definition. and let's be clear that we are talking there about group identity, not the identity of a unique individual.

seeing one's oppression as "identity based" - regardless of the oppressor's take on identity - is a choice. one that is rooted in a strictly mass-based perspective, rather than an individual-based perspective. when i am abused, i do not place my abuser in some group that i will then fight. i see them as an individual who has chosen to abuse me, and i will respond to that abuse directly, when it happens. i have virtually no use for the group labels and identities that pervade (anti)radical circles.

everyone not me is an "other". that does not make them my enemy, or my friend. they are, quite simply, not me. experience, observation, behavior and communication will determine how i view them with regards to affinity or lack thereof.

I whole-heartedly agree with all that you said.

I would add critiquing "identity" since even individual "identity" is a byproduct of civilized society. So if the aim is to destroy civilized society, then all social constructs should go too, leaving individual uniqueness infinitely ungovernable by any constraint of definition.

But I do recognize that at least individualized identities are just practical within the present context of civilized society since the collapse hasn't happened yet, and it makes communication a little easier.

Stirnerians are the only ones free of any identity features and characteristics, because they are not possessed by spooks or attached to cultural roles, even though they exist within a cultural/social arena.

So how are you planning to destroy civilization? By writing more pamphlets and critiquing it to death?

So I agree that identity is constructed too! But here's the kicker, you can't get anywhere except further in to atomization/alienation by accepting that and calling it good enough. Real talk.

Group identity is how humans achieve efforts greater than the sum of their parts. This ancient truth of power is how and why all the oppressive institutions and techniques of domination were created in the first place. If being "the unique" is good enough for you, fill your boots but don't expect to ever do more than a symbolic puff of wind to your enemies. Nail your proclamations to the church door and a few dozen weirdos might stop to read them. Yay! Validation! Just enough "individualist" rope to hang yourself with.

But if you want more than just self-satisfaction, don't smugly disavow group identities, make new and better ones.

sot - banding together for some common purpose does not require group identity, it merely requires group affinity. turning that into some reified group identity goes against the grain of voluntary association/disassociation, imo.

is better then elective identity.

yeah, you're right. Its that easy and affinity was clearly sufficient to topple all power structures and we all live in anarchy now

"Nail your proclamations to the church door and a few dozen weirdos might stop to read them. Yay! Validation! Just enough "individualist" rope to hang yourself with."

How are those proclamations differing from all those posted by the groups over any interest? Since when is openly sharing thoughts by print means to be doing that? Or why are you doing that *yourself* by posting your trolling here? Checkmate.

The issue would be what else we do besides post here, genius ...

here's a link for peeps food for thought:

tell me something else senileoldtroll. like expound on what u said or something. i see you replying to these dudes. i wanna get some of that. i was gonna rant, but since rant was not at you, i could not post it in response. that article brings up enough points for discussion for different sides of the argument.

i get the sense there's other topics we'd rather discuss right now :P

It's a pretty big topic? Short version is reverse engineering the logic of the enemy and deploying it in useful ways that aren't terrible, like a fully self-aware use of group identity, in a strategic manner where everyone is fully informed on how they're agreeing to "identify" for the purpose of drawing strength. As in, not mistaking the identity construct as something "real" but recognizing it as a tool being crafted together for a purpose.

This would be, for example, the exact opposite of what steve bannon and chris wylie did with their "dark triad" and the creation of the alt-right. Instead of tricking people with the group identity as demagogue, you lay all the cards on the table and say "understanding your own uniqueness and autonomy is only a developmental stage, now we can decide what to do."

patiently waiting for SirEinzige to come in and start talking about something irrelevant without actually reading the post yet

There will always be reified referential identity structures. The issue is what anarchists and anarchs do in regards to adjusting to people who hold those beliefs. Anarchy will always represent people with marginal interests that are beyond societal constructions.

There's different types of identity. You have ancestral ID constructs and you have ID that is facilitated by power constructions(think modern demographics as well as the coming psychographic age). The reason anarchists IDpol enablers are such fuck ups is because they enable these constructed reifications instead of undermining them with individuality. There's also the fact that IDpols can feed into new IDs that the source base don't necessarily identify with. A perfect example would be the Latinx construct. Turns out most Latinos don't actually ID with Latinx. This is but one example of politics and ID enforcing each others existence. 1968 black ideology is another good example of acute contrived identity. I can understand this if we are talking about queer ID structures where there is a certain amount of individual self-overcoming but not with scaled demographic construction.

What anarchists and anarchs need to do is balance the dynamics between high and low context culture in regards to ID. There are trade offs to both cultural structures and you see this in the white non white split. You want the high rational intellection without the soullessness on the one hand and soulful intellectual culture on the other hand. IDpol ideology is a bad way to handle these issues of high and low context culture.

Yes brah, a very pertinent point about how individuation deconstructs identity and dissolves the artificicial tropes used to bolster political power and retard psychological self-awareness ;)

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