Topic of the Week: Anarchist Fiction and Futures

  • Posted on: 18 January 2016
  • By: thecollective

Fiction holds a certain allure in its capacity to spark our imaginative visions of the sort of lives or worlds we could be living and interacting in if we weren’t quarantined to the reality of our present. How stable is this presumed reality of the present that seems so counterintuitive in contrast to worlds dominated by the anarchist idea—worlds relegated to the imagination? What power or importance does fiction have in fomenting anarchist ideas? Does fiction have to be explicitly anarchist to be in-line with or contributory towards anarchist thought? What are some examples of authors or stories that have inspired or aroused the anarchist idea in ways you may have subsequently come to envision yet may not have otherwise? How do utopian visions of what one may call an anarchist world, such as that described in P.M.’s bolo’bolo, alter our desire for something different compared to darker visions of the future such as that presented in Orwell’s classic 1984 (though neither author is/was an anarchist)?

How can we conceive worlds with different settings and ways of life that don’t fall into the liberal consumer trap by simply offering new markets to sell such ways of living (or the techno-industrial advancements offered by speculative science-fiction or futurism)? Is it dangerous to attempt to imagine a so-called better world, or is it safer to present fictional scenarios that highlight the horrors of the world we’re already in, or dark visions of what our world may become? How do scientific visions of the future, such as those presented by global warming theorists, or Christian-based apocalyptic visions of the future differ from a potentially anarchist vision of what may lie ahead?

Can mainstream media break through its consumer-driven package to present anarchist ideas, delivering anarchistic messages in the Trojan Horse vessel of mass-distribution afforded by Hollywood, or are such formats doomed to the forces of recuperation from the start? If mass media is hopeless, how do we present our stories to the audiences we desire, and how do we choose our audience (or otherwise let go of that control over who we are able to reach)?



I think that the mainstream mass media can work for distributing anarchist ideas and visions of anarchist worlds. The movie "Fight Club", for example, contained some anarchist messages, including a description of the kind of primitivist utopia that the main character was going for.

On the high tech side of things, the TV show "Star Trek: the Next Generation" made the prospect of a future moneyless society look really appealing.

The thing is though, I have no idea how whatever radical messages that make it onto mainstream mass media actually get there. I doubt that they get there by the efforts of people like us.

Eventually you realize that dangerous/beautiful ideas are given space in the media all the time but it's a long way to go from theory to praxis. Look at all the waves made by Alan Moore's V for Vendetta, the scale of the penetration of his ideas is awe-inspiring and yet most of the life-imitating-art manifestations are oh-so-sad. People liked it and even sought to manifest it but they're like children, trying to walk before they've even learned to crawl.

This is why a whole culture of active resistance is important, a few infectious ideas aren't enough on their own.

Well, they ate up the watered down movie version because of the line "governments should fear the people."

I doubt many of that crowd (often highly influenced by that manic-depressive Alex Jones) bothered to consult the graphic novel.

… Not really the point at all.

How so?

It wasn't moore's ideas that were infectious, but the wachowski version as well. What was infectious about the movies really only drew the interest of jones fans.

Most people don't know who moore is, but they have heard of the film. If not the film, certainly the other work of the filmmakers.

So, the idea that resonated was a re-enforcement of the system. We can get good guys in power, who will let us consume what we want.

I get the point. Yet in this case, what if the idea that resonates is devoid of its former context?

Uhm … well recognizing that this topic hinges upon whether anarchist ideas can hang on to some of their integrity through the process of widespread dissemination as commercial fiction, I emphasize that none of that really matters at all. It's just supposed to be a means to an end, which is profound changes in people's behaviour, based on these ideas. So my point was that just spreading ideas around is something a lot of people have been doing for a long time, with good reason but artists tend to over-estimate the importance of their abstract work, while too few people are doing much in the way of practical work.

Alan Moore is a great example of the wise, old, extremely bitter artist. He's made a bigger dent than most ever will but mostly seems to dwell on the futility of his approach. Hollywood and millions of fans kneel before him but so few are acting on the ideas he was trying to spread, so he shakes his head, counts his money and grumbles about how stupid everyone is.

"really only drew the interest of jones fans."


And are you homocentric? Just because the whole issue of homosexuality was SOMEWHAT watered-down in the adaptation didn't much remove the meaning. I kinda liked how female homosexuality was supported instead of gayness, which isn't contradictory with the oligarchic power establishment, where you got proven gay orgies among DEA, CIA, police, politicians and Saudi monarchy.

Female homosexualty, presented as non-porn, is a representation of women taking back their sexuality up against a phallocratic establishment that doesn't even need to have gay stuff to be homo-erotic. It is, after all, based historically on the Republic of Athens...

the movie, while good entertainment, completely missed the point of the graphic novel by the end. the movie ended with "democracy, done right, yeah!" the book had a much more authenticly anarchistic perspective.

The movie ended with the full bombing of a building that is UK's biggest flagship of the power establishment. Beyond that dumb Gandhi part with the Guy Fawkes crowd passing through paramilitaries -suddenly stunned by their apparent inner sense of populism- without being shot just to watch the nice show, I don't see where was the "democratic" message.

In the graphic novel the fascists rose to power by election. They had the popular support of the people, even though they did terrible shit. V tore that democratically elected government down and insisted on replacing it with no government at all.

In the movie, the government came to power by bamboozling the population with a false flag terrorist attack. So, the message of the movie is: Government is bad when they lie to you and trick you. and the message of the novel is: government is bad. period.

That's why the novel is anarchist and the movie isn't.

are you reading more into the movie than what is there, to fit your important anti-thesis? i mean ; why should the fascists ever even have the opportunity to rise to power by whatever means? where in the movie does V put in for the new government? and what is your definition of government anyways? like, what will govern the use of water and other common resources in the post-capitalist paradigm of human relations? might there be council-meetings, collective agreements and such? what is that which governs in a sense? ;certainly some awareness to a cause and effect dynamic, at least . and how to cultivate this awareness among the running-scared refugees and self-serving dominators? HOW? for they are so many and i am they and we are it. coming together is the best

There was an explicit and intentional difference in the way the government behaved and the relationship between the populace and the government in the movie.

That choice, on the film-makers part, reduces the anarchist message of the story, significantly.

I really agree with your comments, and would like to take them further by saying that anyone trying to make "radical art" as a way to create revolution is deluded.....Now, if they realize that and just do it to make a living, that's cool with me, and i find it entertaining. But it doesn't get me off the couch or out of my job.

But yeah, the spread of a lived practice of resistance and liberation is the only way things will ever change. Right on.

But, that lived practice of resistance and liberation needs to include culture.

Even revolutionaries gotta eat, and you gotta feed your brain and soul as well as your belly. Why can't we work on feeding each other, instead of turning on the TV and movie screens whenever we take a break?

Passive avoidance makes more sense on a wider level. Also I want to see a Novatoreization of action archetypes. Think Stallone's Cobra with Novatore's nihilist philosophy. We got a taste of this with Taxi Driver and Snake Plissken.

Excuse me while I roll my eyes. The man who constantly councils cowardice, defends snitching and generally identifies with the police against "violent thugs" but sees no irony there or any connection to "Novatoreized" heroic figures. Everything that's far enough in the past or safely in the realm of fiction, right ziggy?

"Passive avoidance" pshh.. I guess since you're so firmly against feminism, it's totally cool if I call you a pussy?

(editor's note: this anonymous poster only uses jocular, misogynistic language with a strong sense of irony, which of course still makes him an asshole)

Most people don't have what it takes to be a Novatore or a Bonnano and expecting a culture of such Quixotic behavior is unrealistic. You can however show it to people on a communicative level and perhaps inspire more Bartleby like forms of behavior.

Your first paragraph is of course misrepresentative nonesense. If being a pussy means avoiding silly forms of sacrifice for anarchist street cred then sure call me what you will:)

Not nonsense, no but certainly less interesting because it's specific to you.

My actual interest lies in this strange phenomenon I've witnessed where people can safely discuss various forms of insurgency, illegalism and militancy in the abstract but when confronted with the reality, they flip-flop. i.e.. people rioting half a world away are expressing legitimate anger whereas the riot on the street in front of you is "being hijacked by thugs" etc.

In terms of riots are mostly political in nature. There's nothing for people like me to see. Unlike You, I don't see riots as insurrectional in themselves.

Actually, I'm not that much of an ideologue. Plenty of riots are completely a-political and rioting isn't generally the most important manifestation of insurrectionary ruptures. It's more of a force multiplier.

And I probably don't have bad things to say about those ones.

I don't however see insurrection as a force multiplier rupturing agent. To me that is giving insurrection the same characteristics of revolution, something Stirner warned against. The point of insurrection is to insulate yourself from the power of the day by defying it (Stirner's Jesus model for example). The idea of infectious destruction is the other side of the same coin to world building.

New commenter here. Let's be real, Ziggy, you're scared of doing anything in the real world, and you hate on anyone who does. This has been so consistently true here over the years that it's absolutely appropriate for people to call attention to it. I love that "insulating" yourself from the world is your idea of insurrection, but you want to cast Sylvester Stallone as the hero in the movie about your ideas. Look, go cower in your basement with the "indoor anarchism" you always promote, that's fine, but don't tell yourself you're doing anything glorious, and stop hating on people who actually get their hands dirty if you don't want us scoffing at your self-righteous nonsense.

Thanks and have a great day!

The cobra comment seemed to be in the context of storytelling, acknowledging that only so many people are gonna go all novatore or galleanist.

I guess you've never been bullied?

Sometimes different types of evasion really work. Depends on the situation. Sometimes it's really fun to evade the attention seeking of the assholes, or to gaslight them, or say something back that makes them scratch their head over why it is they are so obsessed with you, and often you can connect with others who have experienced similar bullshit and secretly work to troll them back (depriving them of their ammo in gym class), and if you still have to get physical you've built up expectations that that's not coming so the element of surprise is on your side.

Good point about the self-imposed isolation though. Why would a stirnerian want little boxes (or bartleby's walls) for any matter? Perhaps i should re-read the story, but doesn't bartleby end up taking his own life?

Is for the more plumline baseline person. Obviously you aim higher if you have a Stirnerian ethos. We are talking about the average person who might look the other way when a shoplift is happening. Think of the illegalist great depression epoch.

My point about Cobra is simply about injecting a little amoral anarchy into action/fictional story structures. We are afterall largely a myth making story telling species.

Doing nothing probably will get you better results then the average activist, organized anarchist who affects nothing on anarchist terms.

Well s’cuse me but Sir Einzige has been the voice of the millions of voiceless indoor anarchists laying low all over North America, so do you miiiind? Fighting for all these voices that were silenced and secluded by this Leftist dictatorship in their apartments and cubicles, so that one day they will rise up to take on the Existent... from their beds and their TVs.

But first we gonna gotta turn SE into a martyr... which is what these LEFTARDS have been doing already, yet he must be Bravehearted for the world to see the Stirnerian Jesus dying for our sins of taking action.

It's when you soil it all with agitpro doing that has no chance of any general affection whatsoever. The point of anarchy outdoors is belonging and realization, not extra work and organizational activities that feed more elective positions and proposed solutions.

or maybe … you're simply not too knowledgeable on this subject because it's outside your direct experiences?

Being experienced in repetitive failures does not mean being knowledgeable. I'm not experienced in church activities either.

Dude, you don't know anything about me by definition. I'm a stranger on the internet, you can only be projecting here. You have some pathological obsession with rationalization your own inertia and accusing everyone who actually tries to do anything of being a "failure". You're kind of fucked up ziggy ...


My comment was generally directed in regards to anarchist failures of affection.

Plz tell us more about your very shady concept of "affection" and outdoor activities of "belonging", as redefined by your own personal glossary of Life, dear internet troll warrior.

Trying to change general conditions on anarchic terms, duh. Belonging is something you pursue as opposed to opting for positions and solutions.

those who suffer in the present system, they have a need to dream about better world and they can develop their imagination, but such people are usually without equipment to realize their imagination into movie or similar. movie makers are usually upper class people and it is their profession, so, they can make activist movies, but their movies and imagination of poor suffering people are divided, their art stays in the world of artists, it is not reaching poor angry people. the same as high educated feminists who are not connected with society, all their work is staying in the closed circle of people.
so, most of anarchists who develop imagination, it is in their head.
hollywood movie industry is connected with white house and they make propaganda inside of movies, although sometimes they make exceptions like avatar which is for me movie in which weak attacked win the fight against invaders, so, it is a movie against colonial power. but it stays in the domain of entertainment, people don't take it seriously, the same as some punk music, people come to the concert to get fun, to jump, they don't care to take it seriously. the real action is burning, attacking, protesting, all the rest is just entertainment which people need but don't take it seriously.

btw, how to present our stories to the audience?
we need grass root media, indymedia showed failure of media projects, but if there are many like submedia stimulator, it would be good. we need more grass root media, and they must work to get attention of the people, to avoid to stay in the closed circle of people. other options are the same like before 100 years, traveling theater, etc. people made revolutions and rebellions in the past without the internet and TV.

I see what you're getting at, but think it could be delved in deeper, broader, and with more nuance.

Some folks have been super serious at making entertainment. Read about William Friedkin's behavior on the set, when he directed 'the Exorcist.' Or, there's Stanley Kubrick during the filming of 'the Shining.' Just two examples.

Not to sound like I'm a tiqqunist just for borrowing a phrase, but we need to stop talking to, and interacting with other people as if we're aliens from on high.

Reducing what counts by humans in terms of conceiving 'change' as militant actions in the streets, creates a hiearchy that ignores so much of the richness of life. That's no the only way to live life actively, directly experienced.

We also don't do well conflating militancy and seriousness for effectiveness. We can be more dynamic with handling conflict, conflict resolution. The most extreme isn't always the most effective use of energy, creativity, and conflict resolution.

Well, directors like Friedkin and Kubrick were from a better age of cinema, but even Kubrick had a history of struggling against big wigs for maximum artistic sovereignty. Today you’ll get at best Aronovsky («The Wrestler», to me, was a sharp critique of the American commodity society and new slavery under neoliberalism), and in Europe there’s Michael Haneke and the new radically-subversive East European vanguard. A few good directors from China and the Middle-East that I don’t remember the names also do uncompromising critiques of their social order. But most big industrial entertainment productions that make it to the big screens are controlled by rather sinister authoritarians who are lapdogs of centralized corporate/State interests, and this ain’t just Hollywood. «Snowpiercer» was odd luck. Especially under the Obama admin it went very obvious and equally totalitarian. It’s also infamous how in UK mostly everyone who’s an actor-ess, director or producer is from the upper-class and they’re as much subservient to the Crown as any soldier in the Army.

«Mainstream media can work for distributing anarchist ideas»? You mean like that generic ad for some new suburban car I was fed with, right before «The Force Awakens», that sounded like pure Novatore?

Get laid, buddy. Fo’ real. I mean...

All what the «general public» is going to be made into integrating to their systems of thoughts through pseudo-anarchist propaganda is to be even more violently and senselessly consumerist, i.e. to drive fast on the roads with their new cars, wear the mask of some Catholic insurgent from centuries ago as a guise for shallow libertarian bullshit, shoot Black people while body painted as the Joker, etc. In other words, you present the people submitted to the spectacle with a revolutionary message, and all they’ll do is to integrate it to their own alinenation, and turn it perhaps into a self-desecrating circus of this alienation. Because they usually -especially Americans- don’t read books. They get everything at face value, therefore they don’t get it.

Like that pretentious idiot here who can’t write substantive sentences in his attempts to sound briliant, yet thinks Stallone’s «Cobra» is the closest thing to Novatore on the big screen. Right.

But if anyone’s entryist plan is to use and subvert mass media into «planting the seeds of rebellion» into the random slave’s head, the best strategy would be:

1- go study in linguistics, then SEMIOTICS or sociolinguistics, as well as some media branch as a side line. Anarchists have been wasting time and effort with philosophy and anthropology... if you want to subvert the dominant system, you gotta study and master its deep mechanics, how it works, in the real world of here and now. Going into finance or actuary wouldn’t be a bad idea neither, but here we’re talking about using the media.

2- get acquainted with some subversives within the system by hanging out at random student parties or cafes then create a secret circle/society so your plan can be shared with others, improved, and followed up to on a regular basis.

3- start media ventures together with them (sub-contracting production companies, for an instance, on the technical level) also hiring poor anarchists outside of academic circles so that you’ve got a secretly-anarchist business that is apolitical on the surface. Kinda like reverse-Submedia. Hiring processes among the spectacle industry being full of favoritism and hush-hush gimmicks behind closed doors, this would appear just normal therefore unnoticed.

4- disrupt the chains of mass spectacular servitude by inserting «toxic» cognitive dissonance into people’s minds which aims at their subconscious, so they get to wake up and see how fucked up the world is around them, and feel the drive to destroy it, while growing with a sense of personal dignity, respect towards themselves and others.

5- as long as this shit gets some success, no cops or anything can even see what you’re doing, and studio execs have other things to do than go deep in analyzing the sub-layers of liberatory manipulation you’be been working on, as usually they’ll only be caring about the first or second level of storytelling. They’re mostly all idiots doing botched jobs at film and music production these days.

In other words: Those that have power over this society are the symbol manipulators. The social control experts that the top universities in the US as well as the high-profile private schools have been training for a very long time. If you learn how their tricks work, you can break their games apart.

Anyway, I actually agree with a fair amount of those 5 points. Particularly in an age of emerging distributist networked economics and blockchain/crypto currency technology.

And missed some of mine as well.

Book sales are still pretty decent. So, i don't know what you mean about people not reading.

Sure, study linguistics and semiotics (i've done both), but there's no measure for the effects of symbol manipulation.

Until the force awakens, box office sales saw a poor year in 2015. One of the worst. There's little faith in the studio system. Good.

Why bother playing sophisticated games when you could unplug and abandon the theatre (where symbols are believed to have more power than directly lived life)?

I think of the ending of the holy mountain: "zoom back camera... Is this real life? No, it is only a film." Something of that nature is said.

How cynical you are, just to abstract people to a mass to be always manipulated by symbols. And that we must militantly competitively engage with mainstream media in this manipulation. Be a better media!. Weird type of reformism you offer. But thanks for thinking about us getting laid. Will try to, asap.

And...the spectacle/spectacular society isn't just the mainstream media, the moving image, propaganda. Those things are too obvious, and probably why they're the first things anyone usually thinks of.

"Book sales are still pretty decent. So, i don't know what you mean about people not reading."

I wasn't referring to fucking J. K. Rowlings, Dan Brown, Robert Ludlum or other complete privileged hacks that everyone reads, or to the usual brick where some celebrity expresses something that can be written in one or two sentences. How often do you see proles reading Foucault, McLuhan, Debord, Baudrillard, Arendt, etc?

Abandonning the theate won't change anything. Unplugging it, hopefully on a mass scale is the best bet, but who the fuck's doing it, beyond a tiny few resolved individuals and groups... your local anarchist book club?

So that's why I suggested that, perhaps, anarcho-academics should think of moving towards disciplines that allow for having an edge over the mass society, instead of forever disputing whether, 30 000 years ago, agriculture created authoritarian politics or the opposite, or more ontology discussions. But maybe there's no anticiv weaponry to get out of faculties, and I was just pipe-dreaming.

I'm all for unplugging from modern surrogate activities if it can be done. I'm simply saying if these kind of media generated archetypes are going to persist then you might as well get more anarchic messages out there. I would at least like to see more Snowpiecer type films(a personal favorite of mine).

Yeah, Snowpiercer, a brilliant movie. I viewed it as metaphorical for our present political state while a friend insists that they are the last people on earth in the near future. It could go either way.

Rebel, art and politics, true art, not cosmetic bourgeois art, is aloof from politics, its spontaneity denies organization or social order, it is the Now.
Your "the real action is burning, attacking, protesting" is the other binary side to ,"all the rest is just entertainment" . "Frozen" and "Nemo" and other fantasies are brilliant works of art created by a capitalist film industry. "Pocahantas" as an indigenous art-piece you prtobably label as neo-colonialist, you activists are ridiculously entwined within the very political machinery you wish to replace, with what, a Neanderthal based tribal culture scrawling images of cars and mobile phones on the concrete walls with charcoal? There is another way, more creative.

Kevin Keating has written some short stories and a novel about the Yuppie Eradication Project, but I don't think the novel has been published yet.

some books and a graphic novel that make me think about anarchy or have anarchistic themes or characters:

Alan Moore's Watchmen (comic)

Ursula K. LeGuin's The Dispossessed (explicitly features anarchist society in sci-fi setting)

Apocalyptic visions from writers like Octavia Butler (Parable of the Sower) and Cormac McCarthy (The Road). I would even throw Stephen King in here, since he's written numerous books where the typical law and order have broken down or are tested really severely.

Bolano's 2666 (in which the Mexican state serves as a kind of horrific, unkillable antagonist)

Burrough''s Naked Lunch (see also: his short essay Limits of Control as a kind of preface)

Short stories of Philip K. Dick (at least one of which features a roaming Anarchist League that rumbles with the robots)

There are so many others and I'd be interested to hear what other people have read that inspired them or changed their perspective

AE Van Vogt short stories , Burrough's Nova Express, Julio Cortazar's End of the Game short story compilation, Swift's Gulliver's Travels.

Judge Dredd (the comic books, not the ultra-dumb film adaptations) was perfect cyberpunk sarcasm on fascism and the Police State. Still even today some anarcho-leftists don't get the humor.

Also Discordian comics are cool and nihilistic as fuck.

The road is postmodern extreme right xtian propaganda.

True. But not specifically Xtian... Just white supremacist and right-wing.

"Holding the light" sounds like pretty xtian language to me. It's like the xtian fundamentalist answer to Kierkegaard.

Even though faith is absurd and impossible. Even though we have been thrown here to this bleak-ass wasteland and abandoned, without any reason or rationale, we must hold the light of the lord in our hearts, because the greater our anguish and suffering, the heavier our doubts and trembling fears, the more difficult our faith is, the more valued it is in the eyes of our creepy sadistic weirdo god.

are you afraid of X? that's understandable, i suppose, considering how you tend to anthropocentrize it according to your conditioned ego.

What are you talking about?

I am talking about a character in a literary tradition which started with the new testament of the bible and continued through (in myriad iterations) to appear in Cormac McCathy's The Road. Within that literary tradition, X is anthropocentrized, like, a lot. The protagonist in The Road, is definitely heavily preoocupied with X's judgement / absence. He does not imagine x as a dude in a robe with flowy beards, but he does imagine x as a judging, damning, abanonning and faith-demanding being.

This is why it is a right wing xtian novel.

Are you challenging my characterization of X, or are you challenging my description of cormac mccarthy's characterization of x in The Road?

that literary tradition actually begins long before the New Testament of the Bible. yes, many of it's iterations do anthropomorphize the story, although so many more animate it in myriad other institutions (e.g mystical cosmology, animism, science, humanity, etcetera, etcetera).

why the dude in The Road imagines his sense of shame or whatever to be categorically separate from his own self might stem from a disingenuious reading, it is perhaps convenient to remove the onus of responsibility, onto a separate being.

consistent within the tradition, however, in so many languages, is a warning against man-made imagery of the original word. but the message is very popular, and so, given to political exploitation. our perception is vulnerable to material appearance but, let's not forget that after-all, the tradition is a literary one.the message is what holds water, not the implicated Man or it's institution

anyway, where in the so-called Gospels of our X is the concept promoted of X being about damnation, judging or abandonment?.

that folks imagine the savior-archetype to be a white man is certainly a corruption, yet that doesn't negate the existence of said savior-archetype - as one so chooses it. One chooses to evolve, to become, to follow a calling -whether toward the wild or home- for all of the things(Life) exist in between them.

at his final breath the wandering teacher-healer painfully realizes that life is ultimately forsaken by his god. he perhaps realizes that life itself is god's only incarnation, the way, the truth. and it is only the admittance of this realization which allows for Life to appear eternal. for God is no-thing, this is important!!!

'Light' is not a specifically christian idea. There's a giant fucking mass of light generating matter which many cultures incorporate(d) into their mythologies. Christianity really does have a monopoly on the idea of light.

DOES NOT have a monopoly, bleh

B. Traven, author of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and much other fine fiction.

!920 fiction was great, Fitzgerald, Stein, Hemingway, 30's 40's Steinbeck Chandler, realism. But why not go back to Poe Baudelaire Melville Zola. One really has to have an aesthetic awareness to see through the genre style, to not be nostalgic, sentimental or arrogantly modern in ones approach to analyzing bygone social scenarios. Classics stand the test of time, but I think the neolithic cave paintings are only still there because they were protected from UV rays and the elements, and they should be sand-blasted out of existence as they represent the works of superstitious Manichean people still dealing with adrenaline hysterics and a fear of the dark and are devoid of style and emotion.

One leftist play by Shaw, a Fabianist English recuperative farce called 'The Unsocial Socialist', still impressed me as a 12yr old for its artistic boldness. But hah, one has to start at the lowest point and work upwards.

For political awareness, Neanderthals were the proto-primitivists of their era!!

The problem pertaining to "reaching an audience" is for those who want to convince masses, not THE masses, but masses of people who would identify, or potentially identify, as "anarchist", a target audience who could hypothetically contribute to "worlds dominated by the anarchist idea". This is ideological colonialism. The strategy usually employed for this is to present things as "anarchist", like Kevin Tucker or Zerzan writing about indigenous people and/or primitive life as "anarchistic", to use a more known example... or Franklin Lopez in his portraying of popular movements and grass roots activism.

In case I'm not being clear enough, I am not arguing in favor of purity, or a static anarchist identity, rather, i would like for people to actually talk about what it is they want without the shallow "anarchist" shortcut which leads to being restrained to an "anarchist" criteria dictated by those who have convinced the most people, and I don't believe the same ideas to be "good" or desirable for everyone. I dont care by what ideals others live as long as I and the few people I care for are not coerced into that way of living. In other words, I don't care if a group of people live in ways I find appalling as long as that group doesn't have the means to coerce others (eventually me and the few I care for) into their way.
What today is called culture, yesterday was called propaganda, and as long as we have mass society, we will be confronted to this problem.

You might be surprised by how candid Lopez is that he's making propaganda and doesn't have some pretence of journalistic objectivity.

Fiction is a fantastic way to critique the real world we live in through analogy and metaphor but I don't like the idea of using fiction to build a vision of the future. To be honest "in an anarchist society" and "after the revolution" are precisely the sorts of idealistic nonsense that drove me away from anarch*ism* and toward anarchy. An anarchist society has never and will never exist nor should it. Anarchy as a model for the future is toothless and irrelevant where as anarchy as a living practice here and now is worth pursuing. I guess I'm a little to much of a materialist and a nihilist to fall for delusional fantasies people think might one day be reality if they hope hard enough or do things just right. Plus, I don't really believe in the future. I believe in right now because that's the moment I inhabit and that's where anarchy matters. Domination is never going to go away and neither will struggle and the relevance of anarchy which will be found in those struggles so this idea that we'll some day reach the conclusion of some grand anarchist project is laughable, ideological, and borderline religious.

"An anarchist society" and "after the revolution" are nothing more than a secular rapture and and heaven.

Agreed. That's why I've never cared too much reading from Leguin. This anarcho futurist utopia is feeding too much on deluded hope, and also way too close to the sweet ol' ideal of progress. There's been far enough idealism.

What we need is constructivist realism, especially pragmatic, as in "Make Total Destroy" and "Building Another World on the Ruins of the Dominant World".

i agree with you that any initiative, using fictional or non-fictional discourse that tries to bring about a desired future state of society is misguided. there is no future, there is only the continuing now.

as mcluhan pointed out, many people are working on many different things at the same time, from producing cornflakes to producing cadillacs. and it so happens that the dynamics of the inhabitants are conditioning the dynamics of the habitat we share inclusion in, at the same time as the dynamics of the habitat are conditioning the dynamics of the inhabitants. in the web of interdependencies, you change one thing, and it changes the whole complex of things.

everything is influencing everything, therefore we don`t want an articulable future because its impossible. but we care about our relations with one another and the land we live in, so why not put our actions in the service of relational balancing and harmony.

as you say, 'fiction' can be used to critique what is screwing us up, and the primary screw up lies in trying to construct a desirable society of the future. in mcluhan's view we can't possibly know how the dynamics of space we live in will unfold.. how many nations and people and organizations are working on their own goals and objectives [as if the space we live in were a passive operating theatre, when the reality is that everything interferes with everything; i.e. the operationalizing of our plans is necessarily illusion, something else is going on but we can see it]. so we don't know what we are doing or where we are going in terms of 'how our relations with one another and the common living space are transforming'.

what we know about is our 'semantic reality' = what we talk about as we work on one out of a diverse multiplicity of mutually interfering projects. experiencing life in a valley that is being transformed by 20 projects at the same time is not the half of it, we have nations and rebel groups and all kind of factions who are launching their diverse initiatives that will interfere and transform the valley/world in a manner that no-one knows how.

the global collective is the tower of babel. everybody has different ideas. monty python has used fiction to critique this crazy idea of coming up with 'one plan';

Brian: Excuse me. Are you the Judean People's Front?
Reg: Fuck off! 'Judean People's Front'. We're the People's Front of Judea! 'Judean People's Front'.
Francis: Wankers.

the relational social dynamic would do well to avoid reason and morality as the basis for constructing society. what we need is more monty python [etc.] fiction that demotes reason and morality and puts intuition and relational balance and harmony in the primacy.

such as the "Handmaid's
Tale", by Margaret Atwood,
fabricates a good post-modern take on
dystopian themes that elucidate and explore
concerns we bring up here.

Who's writing good scifi these days?

the tech companies

Conspiracy theorists used ot be alright, but now I think Elon Musk is the new shit.

films like ‘The Martian’ have the effect of propagandizing the power of science. space travel, in effect, separates the ‘figures’ from the ‘ground’ and displays them against an uncluttered background [akin to an absolute space and absolute time reference/measuring frame]..

after sending astronauts off for a couple of years on a mars mission, back on earth, we could have world war iii going on and global economy collapses and the natural relational complexity that easily foils science and scientific thinking.

what we can talk about is ‘semantic reality’ which is unlike the physical reality of our actual, natural, relational experience [of inclusion in a transforming relational continuum].

for example, we say that the Eisenhower and Churchill took out the Mossadegh regime in Iran, but that is ‘semantic reality’. we say that George Bush took out the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq but that is ‘semantic reality’. we say that DDT takes out mosquitoes but that is ‘semantic reality’. scientific reality’ as in subject-verb-predicate constructs is ‘semantic reality’.

‘Semantic reality’ is not the ‘physical reality’ of our experiencing of the world, but a simple and convenient way of arranging our observations. There are as many ‘semantic realities’ as there are people and things to compose them. there is the semantic reality of the European colonizers who can document and affirm the logical truth of how they constructed a wonderful new world in the Americas, and there is the semantic reality of the indigenous aboriginals who can document and affirm the logical truth of how the colonizers destroyed a wonderful established world on turtle island.

what we get from the media and politicians is a steady diet of popularized ‘semantic realities’. these realities are arbitrary. they are not the physical reality of our actual experience which, being relational, is beyond articulation since it would have to incorporate countless stories which are conditioning the dynamics of the common living space at the same time as the dynamics of the common living space is shaping the life-stories of countless inhabitants.

'science fiction' is one way to deceive the viewer into thinking that science has magic powers to solve complex problems when all it can do is solve the semantic problems of its own formulation; e.g. the elimination of mosquitoes with pesticide is not what is 'really going on', it is just a semantic construct.

Nice take on 'semantic realities'. Language is a highly contageous cerebral virus if hosted by the politically naive.

the peculiar ambiance that science fiction gives off, derives from the one-sided logical positivism that is built into the story.

an audience of scientific thinkers who allow logic to trump intuition is the politically naive fertile ground for the contagious cerebral virus called 'science' aka 'reason'.

in effect, 'semantic reality' is 'science' = 'science fiction'.

politics is the art of rallying people around a particular version of 'semantic reality' so as to get them marching in the same direction. it is the basis of authoritarian organization. the 'semantic reality' that is imposed by an 'authority' becomes the 'operative reality'.

the physical world opens up situational possibility that is the reciprocally complementary actualizer of individual actional potentials. the physically real world is the confluence of many interfering stories. if we write up one of these stories, we generally write it up so that it will 'make sense' in itself.

for instance we, can write up a multiplicity of stories as the Canterbury tales (24 stories) and they will incorporate common references seen in multiple contexts, the 24 threads, understood together, [Wittgenstein's 'synoptic view'], each being a 'rational' account of the times, yet the tapestry being richer in furnishing understanding but losing its 'rationality' and being accessible only to our intuition.

the physical reality of our experiencing of the world is 'not rational'; i.e. 'life is what happens to us while we are busy making other plans" --- John Lennon

the poor carpenter may have made the deck that collapses, injuring the poor plumber and dropping the poor miller through the weak cover over the well, but the poor carpenter and the poor miller may suffer a flooding of their houses from a failure in the poor plumber's plumbing, and the poor plumber and the poor carpenter may become severely ill from the poor miller's carelessness in allowing rat poison to fall into a silo of grain used to make flour used by the carpenter's and plumber's wives to make bread. none of these person's may have known one another. the physical reality is that;

"The dynamics of the inhabitants are conditioning the dynamics of the habitat at the same time the dynamics of the habitat are conditioning the dynamics of the inhabitants" -- Mach's principle

in a habitat shared by billions of human inhabitants and trillions of animal and plant inhabitants, their dynamics all conditioning the dynamics of the habitat which are at the same time conditioning the dynamics of the inhabitants, ... how 'real' can a rational story about any 'thing' be? it can only be a semantic reality. the poor carpenter's story does not include how his conditioning of the habitat influenced the lives of others he never met, nor how others' conditioning of the habitat influenced his life.

Western culture teaches its children to believe in 'semantic reality' [propounded by teachers, political leaders and trusted others]; i.e. to confuse reasoned discourse for 'reality' when it is nothing more than intellectual idealization aka 'science fiction'. to pragmatic idealists [minority], 'semantic reality' is a useful intellectual idealization, and to 'Cantorian realists' [Western cultural standard], 'semantic reality' is confused for 'reality' [the source of chronic social dysfunction].

'semantic reality' is 'science fiction' and it is nothing like the physical reality of our actual, natural, relational experience. debating whose 'science fiction' is best does not get one any closer to understanding the 'physical reality of our natural, actual, relational experience'.

So true, also, I feel that the African rhythm and 12-bar blues paradigm severely dented the Cantorian musical hegemony dominating the globe up to the 20th century. It certainly weakened the authoritarian's grip on mass cultural control in the audio dept.

People like Adorno thought that it was junk food music for proletarians. When Huxley was conceiving of the synthetic music in 'Brave New World' he was probably basing it on the emerging blues and jazz of the day.

in the physical reality of our natural experience, 'relations are primary'.

1. 'reason' is a convenient economy of thought that Western culture [users of subject-verb-predicate constructs of noun-and-verb Indo-European/scientific language-and-grammar] confuse for 'reality'. 'semantic reality' [as in reason] is very different from the 'physical reality of natural experience'.

2. 'intuition' informs us [as does modern physics] that the opening of situational possibility orchestrates and shapes the actualizing of assertive potentials. if one thinks of a multiplicity of notes moving around in acoustic space, blues and jazz constitute an approach which allows the relations among the notes to lead the dance of the notes so that relational openings of possibility orchestrate the actualizing of the harmonic/rhythmic assertive potentials.

A. 'logicians' interpret the dynamics of notes in acoustic space as if the notes were independently-existing entities that are fully and solely responsible for the results of their actions. therefore, the composer arranges the notes in advance and gives instructions to each player to follow.

there is no self-organization in group dynamics in this approach. a single authority directs the actions of the group.

B. groups of 'intuitives' co-create situational possibility that inductively actualizes individual and collective assertive potentials.

in blues and jazz as in modern physics, 'relations are primary'. balance and harmony rule over moral judgement of 'right' and 'wrong'.

"In nature… “the individual parts reciprocally determine one another.” … “The properties of one mass always include relations to other masses,” … “Every single body of the Universe stands in some definite relations with every other body in the Universe.” Therefore, no object can “be regarded as wholly isolated.” And even in the simplest case, “the neglecting of the rest of the world is impossible.” – Ernst Mach

is a fine way of how the singularity of " be-coming to-gether" can happen
of multitudes, gathering together as multiplicities of be-ings-as-such.
not of like minds, but creative souls living their lives to the fullest, in so many different ways. we
express our ability-to-be; our possibility to emerge; our potential to move together ,in innovative
practices in order to create beautiful ideas, sentiments, and good-works inbred with mutual respect and enriched with mutual aid - all in consonance with our
environs; walking lightly, but lively, in our dwelling places; the what-evers expressed by whom-ever in our "coming community" (Agamben). and , of course, wherever and whenever we intuitively desire.

Yeah also interesting that Brave New World was probably the first dysfunctional story of Utopia and a parody of many Utopianist novels of the day, mainly Wells's, which optimistically idealized the future society. Back in the 20s 30s when Huxley wrote it, improvised jazz would have been the equivalent of techno today, interweaving soloists keeping it all in synchronicity, big bass, some brass distortion, party music for the masses, on soma or ecstasy, So Huxley got close,
Adorno was probably describing party music, I'm sure if he had heard 'the modern Jazz quartet' he would have been impressed with the impromptu Bach they played.


HETEROPOCALYPSE is an ancient text discovered years ago by some miscreants. (Read about the discovery: Written in an unknown language and defying the laws of space and time, the text took years of dedicated work to translate. It was completed mid 2014, and we are currently seeking a publisher, or the funds to self publish. (

The unfortunate souls who read the text aloud together for the first time have become possessed. (Read that tale: We now occasionally and uncontrollably speak in tongues channelling what must be the equally forgotten spoken language to match the writing of the book. This uncontrollable babbling is being recorded whenever possible and we believe once it has been decoded and translated, it will serve as the second volume.

In the meantime, random excerpts from the text, détournements of Miley Cyrus’s many selfies and other strange things can be found on the facevirus (

1- Find a really high bridge

2- Jump off of it.

3- ???

4- Profit!

No, going back to Ancient Greece doesn't sound like any overthrow of this civilization... Just a going back to its roots.

Please think of something more radical than same-sex subversion.... It's very liberal... Very '30s America.

This story involves a ten year old latina girl who gets off on assassinating cops, a corporate CEO who takes a liking to brutal insertions and then a dive out his penthouse window, and a jocular runningback who spontaneously transforms into medusa and tries to fuck her 1989 camero.

Sounds like a cool story, brah. I just didn't like the title too much, but hey, I get the point.

As long as there's phallightsabers and chicks with gundicks I'd buy it for a few dollars! Worked with Star Wars, so...

Predictably it sounds like most here are into dweeb fiction, not fiction for grown-ups.

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