Topic of the Week: Anarchist Utopias

  • Posted on: 23 April 2017
  • By: thecollective

Back in the 19th century visions of a new anarchist society were first articulated, and right before that century ended Peter Kropotkin published 'Fields, Factories and Workshops', a book that was groundbreaking in laying out how an anarchist society could operate.

A few decades after that, during the heady days of the Spanish Revolution, Diego Abad de Santillan published 'After the Revolution', which was similar in it's scope and specificity in outlining how an anarchist society could function. This was followed by Bolo'Bolo roughly 50 years later. Also in the 20th century other authors further elaborated on what anarchist societies could look like, such as the late Murray Bookchin and Colin Ward.

Now we are in the 21st century, and in a number of respects we are in a different era, what with the omnipresent internet, global climate change, and a world population of 7.5 billion humans, and counting. With that in mind, how can a future anarchist society look like now, taking the world as it is and going forth from there?

Yes, a future anarchist society could very well never come to be, but assuming that this is indeed something that we find desirable and want to see exist, what would this society look like and how would it work? How would things be organized in this new world, things like group decision-making, economic relationships and conflict resolution? What would daily life look like, what would families be like (if they exist at all), and what sort of work (or play) would people do to keep this society going? How can the whole thing be practical, sustainable, with everybody happy and healthy (as much as is possible, anyway)?

In other words, beyond mere aphorisms and platitudes, what would a new anarchist society look like to you?



"how can a future anarchist society look like now"

I don't give a fuck about it!

I just want people who'll get us there. Do you know some who're doing this, Thecollective? I'm getting older now and life is getting heavier on me, so come up with some THING, not just some WORDS.

So … you want someone to tell you how to anarchy?

I want to see those claiming to be anarchy to walk the path instead of talking about it. So that would convince me that it can happen. Even if it CAN, objectively, people around here have to show their worth by doing it, as if there's going to be no one else, as if they're the last freedom-seekers.

One way to stay with how this question has been posed, is to say that anarchist society will be a society that does not lend itself to being ‘pictured’ and semantically articulated.

Who knows what we’ve got for ‘society’ today? It is easy to speak as if ‘we all know what is going on’; i.e;

Now we are in the 21st century, and in a number of respects we are in a different era, what with the omnipresent internet, global climate change, and a world population of 7.5 billion humans, and counting. With that in mind, how can a future anarchist society look like now, taking the world as it is and going forth from there?

The problem is, and anarchists do not escape it, ... ‘perspectivism’. There are as many interpretations of the world out there as there are people making them, so the phrase “taking the world as it is” points to a deeper issue than ‘the world is not working as it should’, ... i.e. ‘we do not know how the world is working’, not in the sense of having a common understanding of it, or even agreeing that there is an ‘objective reality out there’.

In fact, does it make sense to talk about ‘anarchist society’ in the sense of being able to describe it when we do not share a common understanding of today’s society. buzzwords like ‘the internet’ and ‘climate change’ leave a few details unaddressed.

indigenous anarchists believe that we are all included in an interdependent relational web-of-life, a transforming relational continuum, an understanding of which would require a Derridean infinity of rational constructs and/or relational references so it is not practical to even attempt it. but although it is beyond overall description, we can experience it, thus sharing our experiences of it provides a means of developing an understanding of it, ‘tacitly’.

now, if the intent of “taking the world as it is” was to start from one of these ‘constructed, doer-deed semantic realities’, as if it were ‘the truth’, then we are jumping over the basic problem, which is not to do with all the very, very bad things we are doing, but with not knowing what we are doing.

anarchist society, if it is to be successful, will have to understand how to cultivate, restore and sustain balance and harmony, without knowing what we are doing or ‘how it all works’. moral judgement will have to go since it is a ‘management’ strategy that assumes that we know what we are doing, and thus we know which actions are good and which actions are bad. such a doer-deed view of the world dynamic is too mickey-mouse to help us in cultivating and sustaining relational balance and harmony and succeeds only in digging us deeper into dysfunction.

a prerequisite to sharing views on what anarchist society will be like, is to break ourselves out of the habit of constructing doer-deed depictions of the world. Sharing views that could help us break out of such semantic illusion is the aim of the article ‘The Collapse of the Colonial Illusion ...’

Here we go again. The map without Utopia on it is worthless ( Wilde) Marx thought he could insult Proudhon by tagging him Utopian. Like every reactionary in history who likes nothing better than to portray the smallest milquetoast reform measure as WILDLY UTOPIAN.
Utopia is essential in our politics as the ambit-claim. Without demanding everything you never get anything. Then the crank Utopians are quickly exposed as they get too prescriptive. Utopian ideas are often grounded in history. The discovery of idyllic lifestyles in the Carib & South Pacific. Then there's the high points in social-revolution. As a general rule most anarchs seem very practical, even hard-boiled cases - I would encourage them to think out loud more about Utopian anarchism. Words are deeds. Especially today - when they're globalized deeds online. Amirite?
As idealists from the beginning lets promote all the great useful abstractions out there!
UTOPIA NOW! ( or at least by 2029 )

"Without demanding everything you never get anything. "

demanding? that implies acceptance of an authority to whom one makes demands, and from whom one gets something. appealing to authority is not something this anarchist has any interest in. i don't demand; i take, or choose not to take (or am prevented from taking). the twin brother of the Capitalist Accumulation. Marxists often don't realize how so much close they are to actual capitalists, by bluntly going after the pavlovian candies of power, just at a different level and through different aesthetics, yet the Red imagery and rhetoric still provides them with a worldview where they are in some different parrallel universe than capitalist (the "Matrix Complex").

I remember the "Demand the Impossible" slogan from the heydays of antiglobalization... the dreamy slogan went to the memory hole, yet those that proclaimed it are now neither petty liberal capitalists or have been destroyed by the system, or mauybe there are a few survivors who understood the game being played on them.

Utopia is only an hallucination if there is no attempt at doing the map to it.

Moreover I might not be alive by 2029, and you (and I) will be a cripple at this point, unless you do a lot of exercise and eat well like the yuppies do. Also good luck getting cozy with kids in an affinity group when you're in your 40s-50s...

Insurrection is for those who don't want to wait.

"Tomorrow will be too late,
It's now or never,
My love won't wait" lol

i have no interest in "an anarchist society". fuck mass society. i like the bolo'bolo general concept, although that book (and the auther pm) come off as much more communist than anarchist. maybe anarcho-commie. but it is easy to see how there would be numerous bolos that are anarchistic. if some aren't, i don't give a shit. as soon as they try to impose on another bolo, trouble for them.

any social grouping large enough that everyone cannot know everyone else, at least by face or name, is too large, imo. groups (as well as individuals within different groups) can choose to dynamically coordinate for any number of reasons. but once the population of a group becomes large enough that governance is deemed necessary.... well, there you have it.

fuck utopias, fuck societies.

Hunter-gatherer-permaculturist societies were REAL societies, not mass "societies". Neither were they utopias. They ACTUALLY EXISTED (and in a few cases still largely exist) and worked well for 1.8 million years. Compared to which the average "civilization" has the half-life of a fruit-fly.

By Max and Fred. Nietzsche is the only man who constructs a future goal oriented society model that I find palatable. Beyond that it's about unique self enjoyment in the now. A rock n' roll society as Lemmy Kilmister and George 'Rufus' Carlin would like it. No reification or utilitarian equality driven values.

To see the world differently, to WANT to see the world differently, is no small discipline and preparation of the intellect for its future objectivity

Yes, you hate society and would rather see it die than build a new one. Yes, there's no way to accurately predict an anarchist world since it would necessarily involve a context very different from the one we know. But are all anarchists seriously so devoid of imagination that they can't even be bothered to tell stories, for their own right and to flesh out what our desires are right now?

Pipe-dreaming isn't really about imagination used to shape the here and now. Imagining projected future anarchist society is total pipe-dreaming, and a waste of creative thinking, as thrown in the void of the Great Night to Come, or the Day After.

The only thing that really makes a grown up... To be accepting the world as it is, not as it should be, and building something out of the real.

Fuck you, I don't need your lip service, emile.

Among anarchists, we'd figure things out.

because that's worked out so well in the past

doesn't have to work out well, get it? interactions between truly free individuals will always entail conflict and everything that can lead to. it might lead to violence, or even death. one thing it WON'T lead to is war. that requires a state and instututional military.

I'm generally more nihilist in my orientation towards thinking about the "future," but I do think anarchists have lost a sense of imagining a better world. There is no need to offer a blueprint for the future, but the knee-jerk reactions against any type of utopian thinking is a bit alarming.

"knee-jerk reactions against any type of utopian thinking is a bit alarming"

I think they are healty in the context of an idealist tendency at building up pipe-dreams that nobody or a tiny little dare to attempt bringing to reality.

If my interest is focus on this *bringing to reality*, how does that makes it alarming or maybe reactionary?

Say, for an example...

You got a bunch of buddies dreaming about being pirates and sailing the high seas. Yet all they do is scenesterism, working and taking drugs. By the end of April, these fun edgy kids will be working in trendy summer jobs once the May Day march has passed and probaly will be selling stuff related to sailing and piracy at the bookfair if there's one, in between catwalks with their dogs and more scenestering... and maybe a trip to BCN for the most rad ones.

Then you got that other crowd of more "mainstream" student buddies at the university who have a sharply different approach... they don't dream about much, yet they have an expressed intent and desire to venture onto the high seas through a collective sail boat project, and are using a significant part of their student loans and grants to buy themselves a boat, and take sailing classes. By late April, they've found a neat large sailboat in pretty fair condition for very cheap and now they're prepping to move there and buy the stuff needed for the paint job and fixes, so in a few weeks they'll be off to the Med, or even the south Pacific.

So you got a choice of hopping on two boats this summer. One that's got pretty good changes to happen, the other that's not going even close to be on the way to become real.

Who do you feel is the more interesting boat to get onto?

Besides the fact that both of these scenarios hardly represent adequate poles of thought regarding "utopian" thinking, the first one is definitely more appealing because it's imaginative, regardless that it is a "pipe dream." The second one is boring and I'm sure most of the students got seasick many times and threw up.

As opposed to hordes of student getting sick and throwing up due to regular alcohol abuse in student parties? Also since sailing has stopped being a significant form of navigation about a century ago, it is utopian in some ways... especially when approached through a collective educational anarchic project taking people out of their enclaves and making them see the world around through very different eyes. It's not very far from the act of opening squats... something your dear crowd of scenesters is very unlikely to have the guts to be doing in US/Canada.

You got sea legs matey. stop rockin' the boat!

The inability of anarchists these days to even imagine what anarchy would actually look like is kinda telling, if not straight-up damning. At what point is it just an admission that the statists are right? That anarchy is can not actually work? And what does it say about us, to be fighting for an ideal we can't even really describe?

I wanna be wrong about this, but...

10:07 you're being such an idiot. Full stop. As if the lack of actual anarchy was directly related to some inability of contemporary anarchists to envision their utopian society? Or is your only issue the apparent lack of imagination, meaning that you didn't make practical anarchy a priority?

There's people who have grown up from following abstract ideals that do not relate to their conditions pf existence as lived in the here and now. Usually people don't have the luxury, you petty bougie, to be dreaming up ideal worlds suspended in the future, as they know how it's really just masochism to see them crushed under the social mill of everyday life. That is called "pragmatism", not inability to imagine.

I got imagination, and a quite good idea of the world I'd like to be living in. But I also keep a healthy distance from this vision, as I also can look at the world around me, wnd also at myself, and see that a lotta work needs to be done to get there.

This "work", that you're most likely substituting for work for the system so you can keep pipe-dreaming and live in contradiction with your nice ideals, is what I describe, clearly, as "anarchy" in all its forms and frontlines.

It is something you DO, or not do. Something that you CREATE in the real world, or hang over a wall, or put as a patch, to comtemplate, so that maybe maybe the next generation will be made of people less wasteful and more self-respecting to be taking these ideas and ideals more seriously.

This post is really indicative of the problem. So much passionate rhetoric and all the right (incredibly cliched) talking points and rationalizations, but no actual content.

"Usually people don't have the luxury, you petty bougie, to be dreaming up ideal worlds suspended in the future, as they know how it's really just masochism to see them crushed under the social mill of everyday life."

Beautiful prose. It's just not relevant, nor is it particularly true. Whether or not "people" have the "luxury" of "dreaming" these theories up doesn't tell us anything about whether or not such theoretical frameworks are necessary to moving beyond these conditions. Also, if any anarchists ever actually talked to proles, they'd realize that they're not really as dumb as people make them out to be. The people forced to maintain the infrastructure that holds up the state and capitalism - the roads, the sewers, etc, usually know a hell of a lot more about these topics than anarchists, and have this annoying habit of asking intelligent questions. At present, we've got zero answers. Tell that gas fitter that "people will just sort it out themselves" and he's gonna laugh in your face. He *should* laugh in your face, because that's stupid.

"This "work", that you're most likely substituting for work for the system so you can keep pipe-dreaming and live in contradiction with your nice ideals, is what I describe, clearly, as "anarchy" in all its forms and frontlines."

Again, sounds wonderful but says nothing. Does that mean sponging off parents is anarchy? Filling out forms at the welfare office? Getting drunk and arguing about grindcore bands? If that's all "anarchy" is I'm fucking out.

Exactly what I've been guessing... you're all about hanging anarchy on your wall as a pipe-dream of some future world you're not even interested at reaching (prolly because it'd be way too "anti-intellectual" to think on pragmatic terms, that would be negleting all the oh-so-precious futurescapes).

Actually as long as it can make you sell books, or maybe fan art or video games, it's lucrative and can get you to a bigger, better artist loft, right?

How did you get that from what I wrote? Do you just have some bag of cliched slogans that you grab from at random?

If I was just trying to make money off a book to pay for my artists' loft (if only...), what's the problem? By your definition, that's all anarchy is.

expecting to be able to see the future is self-deception. science purports to be able to predict how actions in the present will determine the state of affairs in the future. science gives us pesticides with the promise that these will eliminate mosquitoes, but like all scientific predictions, they are only valid in a logic-based semantic reality, not in physical reality.

every science-based intervention disturbs the transforming relational continuum we all share inclusion in, in an inherently unknowable-in-advance way. 'externalities' or 'side-effects' are names we give to the unanticipated, unaddressed, 'effects' of the applications of science.

science can predict that with its new process, combustion engines will run efficiently on grain alcohol, and while science can 'make good' on its prediction, it has no idea how such scientific intervention will disturb the matrix of interdependent relations that we share situational inclusion in; e.g. those that have more than enough money to put food on the table get cheap renewable energy to run their vehicles while those who have barely enough to eat, are faced with reduced food supply and increased food prices, increasing the incidence of malnutrition and starvation.

science may give us a prediction on how big a crater the 'mother of all bombs' may leave in the afghanistan outback and how many rebel cave-dwellers it may kill. BEING ABLE TO SEE THIS through science's eyes encourages politicians and their followers to invest in science and to let it do its stuff, ... BUT the 10,000 Americans such an act may ultimately kill from 'blow-back' are not on science's radar screen

IF YOU CAN SEE what lies ahead based on rational/scientific planning and predicting, there is reason to worry about, rather than celebrate science.

“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” … “If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.” — Joseph Campbell

rational language and scientific models give us a vision of the future that is purportedly causally determined from our present actions. this is our problem because such visions have little to do with the physical reality of our actual experience.

indigenous anarchists put their trust in experience rather than in rational visions of intentionally determined futures, as in Western politics.

Yes I agree, particularly interesting in this context is the author and anarchist Hans Widmer's organic utopia "Bolo'bolo" from 1983. Widmer begins with a critique of the current society, which is an accurate one despite the fact that it was made before the collapse of the Soviet Union. He first mentions man's prehistory (perhaps somewhat romantic) and then talks about "the work-machine" which denotes the total destructive impact of the state and capital on us with known results. Then he develops his own rather correct variant of how the revolutionary transformation can go. The result is a society based on "bolo", an autonomous municipality of a few hundred people, corresponding to what anthropologists call a "tribal" (or what is known in the political context as workers’ councils). Based on this unit, the entire sociology of the planet is built up, "bolo'bolo", with an in-depth and fascinating description. It is both convincing and appealing, and not only for anarchists. Widmer deserves to be mentioned together with classical utopians like Thomas More, Charles Fourier, Robert Owen and Henri de Saint-Simon - and also with contemporary sf writers like Ursula K. Le Guin. His utopia could be reality, even after today.

As much as I loath some aspects of the family institution I prefer the family clan(inlaws tolerated) rather than the tribal collective. Its just so natural and convenient to be breast fed by ones own biological mom than by some stranger, ugh. And pa might be a fucker, but he brings the bread and butter home.

Switch the bread for rice cakes and your thighs and waist line will thank you

widmer's critique of the 'planetary machine' is on target and he notes that, in this planetary machine, we are both host and guest, implying that it is a 'closed system', a 'thing-in-itself' animated by 'purpose', ... i.e. to produce, to make money.

the bolos, too, are things in themselves based on social agreement rather than money. [Note: i have only browsed 'Bolo'bolo' at this point].

"So, together with 300 to 500 ibus, the ibu joins a bolo. The bolo is its basic agreement with other ibus, a direct, personal context for living, producing, dying". The bolo replaces the old “agreement” called money."

the argument is that; "The number of 500 persons seems to be a kind of upper level limit for “spontaneously” functioning larger social organisms. It corresponds to the inhabitants of typical older urban neighborhoods in a lot of countries, to an infantry batallion, to the capacity of a larger hall, to the size of a medium enterprise, to a medium-sized school, etc. The reasons are not purely genetic or traditional. The number of 500 persons permits a minimal diversity of age, sex, interests, a basic division of work. At the same time, self-organization is still possible without special organisms, anonymity is not
a necessary consequence (you can still know personally all members of the community, but without necessarily being close friends)."

while the critique of Western civilization as a 'planetary work machine' is on target, the bolo'bolo utopia, with its many interesting precepts, continues to see 'humanity' as a 'higher' system that has evolved out of the riff-raff; i.e. it does not acknowledge that "all things are one" as is the physical reality of our actual experience of living in a transforming relational continuum.

there is thus the implicit dualist assumption that man is a higher order entity that has arising out of raw and rough nature, as in Darwinism;

“Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.” ― Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species

if man is the most exquisite beast growing out of nature seen as a manure pile, this sets up a notional hierarchy of lesser to greater 'life forms', breaking the understanding that the world is a given only once as a transforming relational continuum, wherein man is like an orchid, an exquisite development that is thanks to the entire interdependent relational web-of-life, ... and not a thing-it-itself that has climbed out of the swamp, got showered and shaved and put on some fine threads to deny his continuing inclusion in nature's all-in-one relational continuum.

Nietzsche calls this 'Socrates error' [to put rationality into an unnatural primacy over instinct an experience-based intuition];

"10 When one finds it necessary to turn reason into a tyrant, as Socrates did, the danger cannot be slight that something else threatens to play the tyrant. Rationality was hit upon as a savior; neither Socrates nor his "patients" had any choice about being rational: it was necessary, it was the last resort. The fanaticism with which all Greek reflection throws itself upon rationality betrays a desperate situation; there was danger, there was but one choice: either to perish or — to be absurdly rational. The moralism of the Greek philosophers from Plato on is pathologically conditioned; so is their reverence for logical argument. Reason equals virtue and happiness, that means merely that one must imitate Socrates and counter the dark appetites with a permanent daylight — the daylight of reason. One must be clever, clear, bright at any price: any concession to the instincts, to the unconscious, leads downward.
11 I have explained how Socrates fascinated his audience: he seemed to be a physician, a savior. Is it necessary to go on to demonstrate the error in his faith in "rationality at any price"? It is a self-deception on the part of philosophers and moralists if they believe that they are extricating themselves from decadence by waging war against it. Extrication lies beyond their strength: what they choose as a means, as salvation, is itself but another expression of decadence; they change the form of decadence, but they do not get rid of decadence itself. Socrates was a misunderstanding; any improvement morality, including Christianity, is a misunderstanding. The most blinding daylight; rationality at any price; life, bright, cold, cautious, conscious, without instinct, in opposition to the instincts — all this was a kind of disease, merely a disease, and by no means a return to "virtue," to "health," to happiness. To have to fight the instincts — that is the definition of decadence: as long as life is ascending, happiness equals instinct."

ok, we're all together on the destructive nature of the 'planetary machine' and widmer would get to his alternative society by going with a global collection of smaller groups of the order of 500 people, each with their own asa pili based language variant etc.

meanwhile, he has implicitly accepted, without challenge, the Darwinist view that man is separate from, and above nature.

but the whole understanding of humans and their organization is inverted in going to the modern physics view of space as an all-including energy-charged plenum.

the actualizer-inhibitor symmetry of newtonian science flips to an actualizer-accommodator symmetry of modern physics wherein "epigenetic influence inductively actualizes genetic expression" [within an epigenetic-genetic non-duality]. this is the same symmetry as where storm-cells as understood as being inductively actualized by epigenetic influence immanent in the flow they are included in.

in this understanding, there is no longer any utopian model of how humans are going to 'construct their desired society'. Instead, there is the understanding expressed by Nietzsche in regard to 'Socrates' error', that nature has its own inbuilt organizing powers which includes within it, the continual creating of humans, and that Western civilization is ignoring it and is instead elevating rationality into an unnatural primacy over natural instincts and intuitions.

widmer arrived at his bolo'bolo utopia by playing with the motivational aspect of humans, but without touching the inhabitant-habitat dualist split, creating a vision of an 'ethical planetary mechanics' to replace the planetary work machine.

in going with modern physics, one has to subsume inhabitant-habitat duality with inhabitant-habitat non-duality, seeing humans as relational features or activities within the evolving relational continuum akin to "storm-cells in the common flow".

the problem here is that this worldview is inarticulable because there are only relations [everything is in flux (πάντα ρει, Heraclitus)] and the root source of the action is indefinitely deferred into the transforming relational continuum;

“And do you know what “the world” is to me? Shall I show it to you in my mirror? This world: a monster of energy, without beginning, without end; a firm, iron magnitude of force that does not grow bigger or smaller, that does not expend itself but only transforms itself; as a whole, of unalterable size, a household without expenses or losses, but likewise without increase or income …” –Nietzsche, ‘The Will to Power’, 1067

imagine trying to explain what is going on when a storming devastates New Orleans, if we don't make the double error of grammar that reduces the relational activity, storming, to a thing-in-itself, 'Katrina' and being able to put noun-and-verb semantic constructs together to impute jumpstart causal sourcing to 'Katrina' as in 'Katrina is ravaging New Orleans'.

Without inventing and imposing fixed identity 'being' on the relational forms in the transforming relational continuum, we couldn't paint thought-pictures in terms of 'who is doing what to whom' that show how our society works or 'should work'.

an action such as 9/11 could not then be isolated and given objective meaning in itself since it is a relational activity within a transforming relational continuum. as we know from experience and intuition, the 9/11 eruption of violence derives from relational tensions that have been building for a long time, so while we can use a double error of grammar to reduce a relational activity to a notional 'locally jumpstarted objective action in itself', we are aware at some level, that such objectification is bullshit, ... even though our Western justice system is built on it.

"“How false is the supposition that an action must depend upon what has preceded it in consciousness ! And morality has been measured in the light of this supposition, as also criminality. . . . The value of an action must be judged by its results, say the utilitarians: to measure it according to its origin involves the impossibility of knowing that origin. But do we know its results ? Five stages ahead, perhaps. Who can tell what an action provokes and sets in motion ? As a stimulus ? As the spark which fires a powder-magazine ? Utilitarians are simpletons —“
“The re-establishment of “Nature”: an action in itself is quite devoid of value ; the whole question is this: who performed it? One and the same ” crime ” may, in one case, be the greatest privilege, in the other infamy. As a matter of fact, it is the selfishness of the judges which interprets an action (in regard to its author) according as to whether it was useful or harmful to themselves (or in relation to its degree of likeness or unlikeness to them).”— Nietzsche on ‘Morality’ and ‘Herd Behaviour’ in ‘The Will to Power’

there is no doubt that the traditionalists in indigenous cultures [the 5% or so who have not been co-opted through using Indo-European/scientific language] have preserved the form of social organizing that preceded the popularizing, in Western society, of 'Socrates error'.

William Blake was another philosopher who warned of the 'double error of grammar' process to synthetically objectify relational activities. In plate 11 of 'The Marriage of Heaven and Hell', he scribes;

"The ancient Poets animated all sensible objects with Gods or Geniuses, calling them by the names and adorning them with the properties of woods, rivers, mountains, lakes, cities, nations, and whatever their enlarged & numerous senses could percieve.
And particularly they studied the genius of each city & country, placing it under its mental deity.
Till a system was formed, which some took advantage of & enslav'd the vulgar by attempting to realize or abstract the mental deities from their objects; thus began Priesthood.
Choosing forms of worship from poetic tales.
And a length they pronounc'd that the Gods had order'd such things.
Thus men forgot that All deities reside in the human breast." -- William Blake

The poets put a spirit or 'genius' of nature into the waterfall to poetically allude to its non-local, non-visible, non-material, animating source. This was not meant to be 'taken literally', but taking it literally is what Western civilization is all about. This is the 'double error of grammar' that reduces/objectifies a relational activity to a local activator sourced action;

"“In its origin language belongs in the age of the most rudimentary form of psychology. We enter a realm of crude fetishism when we summon before consciousness the basic presuppositions of the metaphysics of language, in plain talk, the presuppositions of reason. Everywhere it sees a doer and doing; it believes in will as the cause; it believes in the ego, in the ego as being, in the ego as substance, and it projects this faith in the ego-substance upon all things — only thereby does it first create the concept of “thing.” Everywhere “being” is projected by thought, pushed underneath, as the cause; the concept of being follows, and is a derivative of, the concept of ego. In the beginning there is that great calamity of an error that the will is something which is effective, that will is a faculty. Today we know that it is only a word.” – Nietzsche, ‘Twilight of the Idols’

Out of this double error of grammar comes the synthetic objectification of 'events' such as 9/11, which conceals the root source origins within the transforming relational continuum. Instead of understanding that 9/11 derives from continuing, relationally tensioned activities, the objectification of such events sets the stage for moral judgement based retributive justice.

Newton's development of differential calculus, in a similar manner, objectified the differential by supposing that an 'independent variable' is the jumpstart author of its own development and behaviour. If we measure variances in the population of humans and/or dinosaurs on the earth or population of streptococcus pneumoniae in the body, the d (pop.)/dt captures the waxing and waning of these populations as if these waxings and wanings have 'objective meaning in themselves'. However, the conditions on earth or in the body embody immanent 'accommodating' influence that is inductively actualizing the waxing and waning of these populations within an actualizer-accommodator non-dual dynamic.

So, whether by the double error of grammar, or by differential calculus, although we have started from observations of actualizer-accommodator non-dual dynamics, our objectification of events reduces our view to terms of actualizer actions, as if the 'hitter' was fully and solely responsible for the waxing and waning of his batting average, leaving 'fielding' entirely out of the 'picture'. in other words, by getting rid of the non-local, non-visible, non-material epigenetic influence, we are left with a fully 'picturable' dynamic, but one which pictures the actualizer as being fully and solely responsible for his waxing and waning actions and results.

Getting rid of epigenetic influence is a primary issue when it comes to constructing our view of society. Epigenetic influence is the influence that is inherent in fertile valleys, oases etc. that inductively actualizes the convergence and settling of desert nomads in the oasis. Noun-and-verb language-and-grammar captures our observations of this in terms of named 'things' and 'what things do', dropping out epigenetic influence which is the primary influence. Thus the bolos as groups of people operating within a social agreement is 'too small a view' of what actually goes on in real-world social dynamics where outside-inward inductive influence is the primary influence [every system is included in a relational suprasystem].

In the physical reality of our actual experience, "the dynamics of the inhabitants are conditioning the dynamics of the habitat at the same time as the dynamics of the habitat are conditioning the dynamics of the inhabitants" --
Mach's principle

The 'nest' is a space with an accommodating, epigenetic influence that inductively actualizes genetic expression. Not only does nature 'feather the nest' (develop fertile valleys and oases) for humans and other relational forms but this is an essential part of human relational social organizing. The family is generally such a nest into which all members contribute according to their abilities and draw on according to their needs.

The nested relational entanglements in society introduce a complexity that goes well beyond simple semantic constructions in terms of what people do. The nest-feathering benefactors may never know, or engage directly with, the recipients of nurturance. As Einstein says, and as is implicit in Mach's principle; "space is a participant in physical phenomena"


It is impossible to capture the dynamics of a society in terms of 'what people do', or in other words, in purely one-sided 'actualizer-action' terms since physical reality is constituted as an actualizer-accommodator non-duality wherein 'accommodating' is in a natural primacy over 'actualizing'. This means that relational influence, which is non-local, non-visible and non-material, is primary and thus our society cannot be pictured. What CAN be pictured is not the real physical society dynamic but a logical reduction based on notional fixed identity actualizers and their actions.

Employing such 'being' and 'logic' based semantic realities as our 'operative reality' is screwing us up since it has us behaving as if we lived within the logical, being-based 'reality' while we are in fact situationally included within a radically different relationally-complex physical reality.

All 'societies' that are semantically picturable [i.e. which fail to address the natural primacy of epigenetic influence] are going to be 'at odds with' the physical reality of our actual experience and thus source 'incoherence' [Bohm] in the social dynamic.

I've recently posited an upper limit of 512 for base units of a global UBI system based on about a billion Chaumian-style trusted integrity nodes serving 5 billion people with crypto-currency. ( Btw, the UN is said to be using crypto-currencies to deliver aid now, in a new pilot program)
I've even gone so far as to talk up an informal ban on ANY organization over 512. Things like the IWW can restrict themselves to locals that size, can't they?
The obvious advantage is extending Proudhon in a practical way & avoiding ' Too-big-to-fail' and ' Sunk-cost' syndrome.
Anyway - for once - Emile needs addressing.
His worldview is inarticulable because there are only relations [everything is in flux. Since that is the case in Emile-world there is absolutely NO REASON to talk about upper limits OF ANY KIND on ANY HUMAN ORGANIZATION.
This is an obvious and rather glaring problem whenever he does so.
He assumes some privileged frame ' above the fray', some state of ' absolute rest' from where his pronouncements come that simply can't exist ON HIS OWN TERMS as well as in reality where the God-like narrator is gone from literature & Einstein supplanted as well as supplemented Newton.
Some people are too stupid to be activists, let alone anarchists and Emile is obviously one of them. His extended gibberish serves as an invitation to DOUBLETHINK if it does anything. Please fuck, make it stop. Tia. pr.

Are 5 billion abacus handed out at the crypto-currency lessons, there are a plethora of bureaucratic driven calculations to perform? You know a calculator is a calculator is a calculator is,,,,,,,,,,,,

Although I'm not going to defend Emile from being banned from this site, having never witnessed His Royal Linguistic Inflation bringing anything positive, yet being an overall annoyance, there are far worse people among the activist and anarchist milieus out there.

Like who organized and led that antifa protest I attended lately, those few elitists who didn't just apparently had no fucking clue of what they were doing, but have put the health and even lives of dozens of protestors at risk, giving no single shit about it. I can't demand for every activist to be Alinsky or Fred Hampton, but the least I'd expect organizers to be self-aware of what they're doing and be mindful about the security culture.

We users of noun-and-verb Indo-European/scientific language-and-grammar commonly experience the bewitchment of our understanding by language.

professor rat says;

"Anyway - for once - Emile needs addressing.
His worldview is inarticulable because there are only relations [everything is in flux. Since that is the case in Emile-world there is absolutely NO REASON to talk about upper limits OF ANY KIND on ANY HUMAN ORGANIZATION.
This is an obvious and rather glaring problem whenever he does so."

professor rat appears to assume that humans are countable 'beings' that exist as independent entities, and that we can design our 'anarchist utopia' based on 'numbers' of people in groups and their group dynamics [no mention of the participation of space or 'inhabitant-habitat non-duality'].

the assumption of the 'existence of people as things-in-themselves' is a logical assumption. logical assumptions are subjective and incomplete.

for example, we speak of the 'birth' of 'Surtsey' because this volcanic extrusion [the manifest aspect of non-local, non-visible, non-material epigenetic influence] breaks through the surface of the ocean into our awareness as a 'local, 'visible', 'material' thing-in-itself. Does Surtsey 'really exist' as a thing-in-itself? Could we bomb it out of existence? Only in logic-based semantic reality.

In physical reality, Surtsey is a relational feature within the transforming relational continuum (energy-charged plenum). In bombing Surtsey, we are contributing to the relational transformation of the continuum/plenum we, ourselves, share inclusion in; i.e. like Surtsey, we are relational features within the transforming relational continuum, who, like storm-cells in the flow, contribute [as 'agents of transformation' (Emerson)] to the ongoing-in-the-continuing-now relational transformation.

Let's not confuse logic-based semantic reality for physical reality as one evidently does when one speaks of 'groups of 512 people'. This notion of a 'group' of 512 people that causally constructs a social dynamic is based on seeing a person as a LOGICAL SUBJECT, which is not 'physically real', since, in physical reality, people are relational features within the transforming relational plenum and are neither independent of the energy-charged space/plenum they are included in, nor independent of one another. in physical reality, people are, like storm-cells, in different phases of their gathering and being regathered in the plenum. Logical subjects have no causal agency; i.e. they cannot be the source of a social dynamic [relations are the physically real actualizers of social activity]

“That which gives the extraordinary firmness to our belief in causality is ... belief in the “subject.” Is this belief in the concept of subject and attribute not a great stupidity?” – Nietzsche

Examples. Can we bomb the Taliban out of existence? No, for the same reason we can't bomb Surtsey out of existence. The Taliban is a logical tag for relational activity and not a physical thing-in-itself. How about Poland, ... could we bomb Poland out of existence, or is Poland just a logical tag for ongoing relational activity? see The Changing Borders of Poland

The human microbiome has ten times as many microbial cells as "human" cells and is subject to continuing immigration and emigration of cells, as in the inhabitant-habitat non-duality of the sovereign state.

Professor rat is not the only one to confuse logical reality for 'reality' as it is the popular tradition of an entire (Western) culture (indigenous anarchists, on the other hand, orient to physical reality rather than logical reality).

The physical reality of our actual experience differs radically from the logic-based semantic reality that professor rat is employing. Hopefully, professor rat would not make the mistake of trying to bomb a presumed 'logical thing-in-itself' like "the Taliban" 'out of existence' and discovering that after killing 512 of "them", thousands more are emerging 'out of the woodwork'.

You may have a philosophical point here comrade but I have to admit that I’m not in for nihilism. The subject of this discussion is anarchist utopias, and Hans Widmers ”Bolo’bolo” seems to be a good start as any. As You know there are many others, as e.g. Ursula Le Guin’s ”Shevek”, Ken Knabbs ”The Joy of Revolution” and Raoul Vaneigems ”Oarystis” and ”Total Self Management”. For my own part I would certainly prefer living in any of them compared to the recent world order. The more practical experiences in our time (Spain-Chiapas-Rojava) are also very inspiring and promising although far from perfect. But much more can be done, and I am sure it will be done. Anarchism is around and visible much more now than it was earlier, in my impression.

While my book, Into Eden: Elements of Emancipation, might be blithely dismissed as utopian by those unable to see from outside of the present condition, it is NOT utopian (i.e. nowhere). Everything described in it has actually worked in PRACTICE. From the Forward: "A great deal of this book covers normal human nature - what it is, what enables it, and how it originally evolved. And then - what has been done to it, and how to clean up the mess."

Raoul Vaneigem: Preliminary Notes on a Project for the Construction of Oarystis, the City of Desire.

The conception of this city[1] takes its inspiration from the worlds of childhood and femininity, on a quest to free themselves from their secular oppression. It thus gives preeminence to the pleasure of play, the passion for creation, and the happiness of being oneself which, alone, allows the status of being to other people and contributing to their well-being. The project is presented here in the most summary fashion, open to the contributions of whoever desires to develop, illustrate or concretize it.
One only ever travels through and in one’s body. The city is thus conceived as a corporeal unity, in which all the elements act in harmony. There is no hierarchical order in the distribution of the organs composing the individual, social, and urbanistic body, but each of these elements are comforted simultaneously by its own autonomy and by the solidarity they maintain with the whole.
The city responds to the desire to drift. It elaborates places propitious to the construction of situations, privileging the free exercise of the rights of the human being, games of apprenticeship, and psychogeography, in which the changing Carte du Tendre[2] will sketch itself out according to the passions. It has the form of a labyrinth, constructed on three levels, susceptible to aleatory modifications by a mechanism that opens and close the roads, transforming freely marked-out roads into dead-ends, and vice-versa. Thus solicited, wandering and adventure respond to the desire to facilitate for each person the discovery and refinement of his or her desires. One emerges from these roads into public places, according to the model of Venice, which reminds us that, by losing oneself, one finds oneself everywhere. The labyrinth includes diverticula that are particularly affected by variations of mood. One thus imagines a circuit of melancholy for entering into and leaving states of affliction.
Nothing is static. The houses can change form: according to the seasons, for example, or according to the desire of those who inhabit them. Some of them are able move over water, along rails, up spiral staircases, etc.
No technology endangers people’s health. Everything is powered by the conjunction of natural energies (solar power, hydraulic motor-power, wind, methane, etc.). Creation-workshops are open to researchers, inventors and those who experiment with prototypes, or simply those who are curious.
Oarystis is an oasis-city. Biotopias, spread out everywhere, allow the attraction of fauna and the development of flora of the greatest diversity. One can thus maintain in their appropriate habitats animals reputed to be dangerous, with the result that only those who take the risk of venturing into their territory will cross their paths. Biotopias of bigger scope are assigned to the agriculture of vegetables, flowers and grains, thus to the husbandry of domesticated animals that furnish eggs and milk, and to the maintenance of animal companions.
Everything is subject to freedom of movement. The movements of beings and things are effectuated through water, earth and air routes. There are open sky roads and heated underground roads, the glass roofs of which form the paving of the roads above. Shallow canals provide circulation routes; they are endowed with hydraulic lifts that provide access to aerial routes, along which non-polluting automobiles circulate, leaving the majority of the roads to strollers. Elevators allow people to pass from one level to another and to reach rope-bridges set up between large trees. Circulation, in all senses of the word, will be privileged; little by little it breaks with the hierarchization of space and time, with its divisions into high and low, left and right, past and future. Perhaps the spiral is the form that best corresponds to the space-time of the living?
The interlacing of activities. Additional public places and street-houses, composed of particular colors and rooms, are used for citizens’ assemblies. These places do not exclude the possibility of meeting, sleeping and eating in them. The forum, surrounded by colonnades, is the place for the large assemblies where decisions are discussed collectively.
Distribution. The streets present a large variety of booths, shops, stores and warehouses in which farmers, gardeners, artisans, artists, inventors, mechanics, cooks, poets and writers are pleased to offer the products born from their inventiveness and passion.
Provisions. Almost everywhere there are centers for exchange, reconversion of used goods and distribution of basic supplies. Every day tallies of the supply and demand for subsistence goods are communicated to all, with the result that the requirements of the sectors of priority production are clearly defined. Each sector is thus able — according to its capacity — to furnish the products and services necessary for the convenience of life. Collective gardens and agricultural fields are managed as centers for the production and consumption of the useful and pleasurable.
Permanent apprenticeship. The streets will be illuminated by the lights of knowledge: news is distributed there on the most diverse subjects. Not far away are those who, animated by the passion to teach and suited for the lavishing of their knowledge upon the young and the old, receive the collected information, correct it, discuss it, organize it and confer upon it the qualities demanded by the apprenticeship of life. Here, the child is not the king, but is at the center of attention, thought and the apprenticeship of destiny. The idea of creating one’s own destiny is actually that which gives meaning to the institutes of mutual education at which children and parents compare their experiences.
Culture. The museums have given way to luxurious streets along which the works of art of the past are part of the everyday wonderment of the citizens. In the amphitheatre of memory, visions of ancient and recent history are presented, played and discussed. Paper chases solicit curiosity and allow each person to verify the state of his or her knowledge in the most diverse domains.
Creation. Through the pleasure that it allows, the city acts as an incitement to create. There are a profusion of automatons, musical boxes, playthings and games conceived for the pleasure of all. Each person has the right to add his or her creations.
The end of the urban enclosure. Large spaces occupied by fields, gardens, parks, forests and farms abolish the archaic separation between town and country.
The gratuity of travel. The means of transportation are available freely to all: electric cars, moving sidewalks, elevators and light railroads.
The maintenance of the body. Health clinics learn to prevent sickness and guarantee the necessary cures for those who do not succeed at staying healthy.
Houses of love.[3] The Oarystis are houses of tender love. Boys and girls meet and have their first amorous adventures there, initiating themselves into the refinements of sexual experience and discovering freely the affinities that will orient them, if they so desire, towards durable relationships and the choice to give birth to children.
Experimentation. Experimentation is presented everywhere in the greatest variety. It is engaged in on the sole condition that it responds to or accords with the project of the constant improvement of life and milieu (excluding recourse to the criteria of marketability, profit, competition, power and all practices that involve suffering, decay and death).
The city of the dead. On the outskirts of Oarystis there is a forest consecrated to the dead. For every dead person a tree is planted, according to that person’s wishes. Microphones implanted amongst the foliage make the murmurs of the forest audible. One must be aware that the gardens and groves sprinkled about the city are, here and there, dotted with ears that perceive the amplified murmuring of the natural environment.
Writing and drawing. The blind walls are the blank pages on which each has the right to draw, write or engrave. The old advertising billboards are placed with poems, individual notes, calligraphy and dreamlike evocations. Everything responds to the pleasure of inhabiting, decorating, flowering and making the city into a work of art in which colors and sounds emanate from the interior landscapes that haunt the sensibility of the human being.
The principle of gratuity. Until its autarky is real, a collectively managed bank that possesses its own currency facilitates transactions with the territories still under the control of the market commodity. Anyone who finds themselves constrained to pass through the channels of payment have to obey the principle that all monies collected will be reinvested in the production of useful and pleasing goods.
[1] Translator’s note: See Vaneigem’s novel, illustrated by Giampiero Caiti, Voyage a Oarystis (Estuaire, 2005). The title refers to the ancient Greek play by Theocritus, The Oarystis.
[2] Translator’s note: A depiction of courtship and love as a geographical exploration, the Carte du Tendre (the ”Map of Tenderness”) was engraved by Francois Chauveau and published in Madeleine de Scudery’s romantic novel Clelie in 1654. The Carte was reprinted in Internationale situationniste #3, December 1959.
[3] Translator’s note: The French here is Les maisons de rendez-vous, which literally means ”houses for dating.”

Thank you for sharing! I haven't read this one until now.

Thank You for reading, comrade!

This is nothing original. Children do this all the time, it is their essential desire and flows out of an intuitive and non-institutional association of game players. Adding municipality and structure has corrupted a spontaneous organic and innate tendency with a decayed Christian and Marxist vision of Eden.

But it is still inferior to Christian or Buddhist heaven, surely not because of the realism or desirability, but because we're not yet immortals (or the vast majority of us including me!?), and in the case of religions at least there is that promise that death is not the end and we're possibly headed for a better place... which to me btw is a free eternal pass for travelling around the universe. The only promises revolutionary dreamers can give us... well, they're pretty much the same old politician's promises or, yes indeed, pipe-dreams, like some of today's Leftists and hippies still are having.

So I'd rather stay agnostic and cautious. As obviously my dreams have been somewhat broken in the past, and went to be crushed under the social mill, for "processing", as the local Comitee has called it.

You also gotta understand that the thinkers and visionnaires of that '60s Boomer era had the naive, borderline narcissist perspective of being the whole world, and in a way it was true for a time, yet they endlessly went on enforcing their cultural hegemony on the rest of the world as if theirs was the only one that deserved existing. Vaneigem has not really broken with that tendency, or maybe during his later years as a recluse.

That is a major issue with Left revolutiomaries, in how they make the mistake of thinking the whole populace of the city as extensions of their own elite group of vanguardist dreamers. The social reality is harsher; common people around have their minds and bodies devoted to others matters and interests. I would like to see some IWW people going to talk to my lumpen neighbors about how capital is alienating them from their lives and how it's way better to take part in their assemblies.

I find it delusional to be approaching the '60s utopias without looking through the glass of

Also "Houses of love" is part of what I've been already suggesting to create here, in previous comments. What happened to this proposal? Seems like it went to the same Avalon where utopias have. We are the biggest obstacles to the reaching of utopias, more than the State managers and other social control agents of the status quo.

So tl:dr... Maybe its better to be practically leaning towards some utopian orientation, instead of just projecting delusions upon a world you do not really know or understand?

Am I the only one to feel there's been way too much of the latter already?

"I find it delusional to be approaching the '60s utopias without looking through the glass of..."

Camatte's critical reflection on revolutionary communism in the contemporary world.

Some analysts, I'm thinking of Lyotard and his Libidinal Economy mostly, went straight for the Marxist groin and critiqued the false consciousness Marx assumed the working class possessed, the fallacy that their collective psyche was driven by revolutionary ressentiment, pointing out that the working class mostly enjoyed the dominant capitalist milieu and the pursuit of their own lustful and sensual dreams, and that they would ultimately denounce any authority or institution which inhibited or restricted the free expression and exercise of this libidinal energy.
Ironically the global capitalist society which has emerged out of the 19th and 20th Centuries is actually the evolving transitional stage of multiple ideological and religious eschatological and Enlightenment spawned Utopian substituted end-games, or terminal narratives of the future which give comfort to the mind while the body grinds along on its primeval quest for reproduction and happiness.

anarchism may be the basis for someone's utopia. it is a body of ideas that some may look to and rely on to build some ideal society. i have very little - if any - interest in that.

anarchy, on the other hand, is first and foremost a way of relating, directly. no society is going to create or enforce that, it can only come from the individuals doing the relating.

my utopian vision, if i had one, would be this: all relations between individuals would be anarchic. fuck society, fuck anarchism, and fuck

Another world is possible and necessary; pessimism will not build it.

We know from historical writings that Western religions challenged man to improve upon nature; e.g. 'Genesis 1:28 man' has been the popular view of man as split apart from nature and charged with making something decent and proper out of it, according to his own moral judgements ['improving upon and owning the land'].

Western science hasn't changed this delusional 'dualist' view and thus neither has atheism, since the belief in the independent existence of material things-in-themselves, which is at the base of the delusion, continues on in scientific 'doctrine'. [Mach, for this reason, felt obliged to 'quit the Church of Physics'].

Anarchists of European social extraction [believers in science who speak the noun-driven Indo-European language], as distinct from indigenous anarchists, have continued to be 'prone' to the influence of the dualist illusion which comes in the form of 'ego', giving the believer the sense of God-like independence and jumpstart powers of Creation.

This is where the notion of 'Utopia' comes from. It is a world 'to be constructed' by humans who see themselves as BEINGS that are 'apart from the world' and equipped with God-like powers to 'transform the world' and create, in the future, a more desirable world.

Indigenous anarchists, on the other hand, have no 'Utopian vision'; i.e. they accept that they are included in a dynamic that is greater than themselves, an inhabitant-habitat non-duality in which it is NATURAL for them to seek to cultivate and sustain balance and harmony within the transforming relational continuum aka 'Nature'.

Utopia is a world constructed by BEINGS that are not part of it since they are the makers of it [the world is putty in their God-like hands]. BEING is an error of grammar and thus the whole delusion of a Utopian world rests dependently on errors of grammar.

As far as the eye can see.

"Negativity don´t pull you through" — Bob Dylan.

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