TotW: Anarchist Principles

  • Posted on: 19 December 2016
  • By: thecollective

The classic anarchist tenets were mutual aid, rejection of church and state and capitalism, solidarity, voluntary association, decentralization, and autonomy. (I might be missing a couple...)
More recently, anarchists have espoused principles like transparency, consistency between means-and-ends, and a DIY ethic.
For you personally, what are the anarchist principles you hold as definitive? How do you decide whether someone is an anarchist or not? What do you do that makes you an anarchist? (Does one have to act in a particular way to be an anarchist? Or can one merely value certain things and still validly claim the label?) What makes your project(s) anarchist, or, if you work in non-anarchist projects, what makes them worth doing anyway?



The commonalities between anarchists and other group identities are so great, that they render the segregation moot.

Yes, 2 legs, 2 arms 1 head attached to a torso, all thinking the same thing, like a herd of sheep.

… according to you anyway

Commonalities, where does one start? Thus my sarcasm. Infant physiology is the closest to this "herd" commonality, before culture and language imprint some pretty powerful and almost ineffable distinctions upon the beast. Ineffable characteristics because they constitute the empirical " I " 's diversity, the 7 billion egos. The only folk I've met who were identical are biological twins.

Elaborating on this unique diversity there can be no anarchist "principles" or "precepts" because these require a codified belief system and ethics which dilute the innate quintessential spontaneity of action and response to everyday relationships. My own anartism is a whimsical from the heart manifesto, irrational and defying rules and any authority, which evolves from the simple natural infant reflex, take what you desire (I will take this teat and drink my fill)or (I will climb this fence and eat the apples)or (I will slap the cop who is twisting my arm behind my back)and ( I will give these apples to these people who have none) etc etc The matured infant reflexive behavioral process develops a nuanced linguistic methodology by trial and error determined by the immediate and localized inter-subjective relationships, just as water flows to the lowest point and stabilizes harmoniously with the protuberances and islands of difference, " one never tells another to do something which one can do oneself ", reminiscent of the erroneous precept " treat others as you would like to be treated by them " , erroneous because it can include selfish isolationism as an acceptable action i.e. ignore other people because you prefer them to ignore you, the division of labor, the seed of alienation. But the linguistic transcends the act, " one never tells another to do something which one can do oneself " thus preventing division and alienation.

it really sounds like you have principals that you attribute to being an anarchist. it's okay, me too.

For me, the real distinction lies in action, although of course the theory that motivates the action is intrinsic. You're an anarchist because you behave like one and can articulate your reasons coherently. Unfortunately social media has a lot of people confused about this, thinking that opinions are an identity but it's just a mirage. Not that anyone should be overly invested in any single identity but you don't even qualify as anything until you step out in to the world and change it.

behaving like an anarchist? (to you, not asking for any grand narratives, unless, you know, that's how you swing...)

Ha! Pretty broad question if you don't want anything grandiose. It's always contextual so my backyard is mandating anti-pipeline and anti-racist organizing right now. Several years ago, some comrades negotiated a shady arrangement for a free social space which allows us to draw in people who share our interest in those struggles and give them a place to meet, discuss and work out of. The social space itself is a huge resource that requires some work but opens up so many possibilities that it justifies itself many times over.

I often get accused of "leftism" but mostly identify as a petty crook with a political analysis. I learned a long time ago that having a large crew and extended networks is tactically advantageous but I'm not indulging in the nihilist circle-jerk so I also just appreciate the people that I share affinity with. Technically that's a splash of red on the black flag.

Anarchist is just one of my many identities, so what? Don't take yourself too seriously but your enemies should.

tl;dr Anarchists form crews and actively defend themselves from predatory power, I personally extend that to include members of other communities too, provided they're interested in mutually beneficial relationships.

Yup! Almost exactly. My only regret is lacking nun-chuk skills :(

always nice when someone actually answers the question(s). ;)

"The classic anarchist tenets were mutual aid, rejection of church and state and capitalism, solidarity, voluntary association, decentralization, and autonomy. (I might be missing a couple...)
More recently, anarchists have espoused principles like transparency, consistency between means-and-ends, and a DIY ethic."

much of that works for me, as a description of my own principles that inform my behavior. the ones i take issue with:

- solidarity: this is something that is based entirely on my individual relations, not some overarching principle.
-transparency: nope, at least not as any kind of principle. again, that is based solely on individual relations.
- diy ethic: this is part and parcel of automony for me. self-sufficiency.
- decentralization: has little meaning for me as a standalone principle. again, part of my autonomy.

God & the state precede capital, yet, you look around today & see many self-described anarch's have identity-politics that center on being anti-capitalist. Let's get back to basics, shall we?

Anti-capitalism is the only logical succession to negate State power. Proto-capitalism having evolved from the post-feudal merchant guild system and the creation of the bourgeois class, mass production, labor value blah blah. Storm the Bastille if you wish, but ultimately capital must be diffused via mutuality and a DIY autonomy

"having evolved from the post-feudal merchant guild system"

Fuck off, seriously. For those unaware "merchant" is an anti-semetic alt-right dog-whistle.

Settle down … it's also just the historical trajectory of power

"For those unaware "merchant" is an anti-semetic alt-right dog-whistle."


"Alt-right" categorization is, like, roughly 1 year old.

"Merchant" categorization is several centuries old term that only designates people involved in market activity, commerce. Connection to antisemitism is as strong as the connection of Muslims to religious wars. It's like... yeah they were involved, but many other different people as well, from Christians to ancient Hindu to Jews to Zoroastrians to many kinds of pagans.

I'll come clean, I am anon 23.09, I sometimes don't sign my comments. I will declare though that the Sumerian civilization was the first to codify financial transactions and stockpile surplus produce as private property. It may be a coincidence that the Sumerians are an early Semitic race who formed numerous religious sects such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Bahá'í Faith, Druze, Yazidism, Mandaeism, Gnosticism, Yarsanism, Samaritanism, Shabakism, Ishikism, Ali-Illahism, and Zoroastrianism, which all coincidentally had obsessions concerning mercantilism.
I'm still a Judaen, despite my missing of the brit milah ritual due to unknown circumcisions

Nobody cares ...

"God & the state precede capital, ... Let's get back to basics, shall we?"

seriously? people (supposedy) believed in god before they believed in capital, so now capitalism should be ignored? regardless of how much more devastating it is these days? wow.

Rat isn't exactly a pillar of solid analysis

Just put as secondary analysis. State and God precede capital.

Again, relegating capitalism to secondary importance, when it is clearly of primacy now, just because god and state "came first".... wow. Pathetic. Or prove me wrong and tell me why the most ubiquitous, insidious institution of control and domination should take back burner to older institutions?

I think it's more complicated than that. I tend to agree that church & state are foundational to capitalism. Not just in a chronological sense, but in terms of the interplay between competing forces, and in terms of covert influences. Church & religion seem more diminished in the modern era until you realize how deeply they influenced, or simply morphed into, secular institutions like courts & academia.

Your mind seems made up already regarding capitalism as prime-threat and as target-for-usurpation. This assumes diminishment of other powers and assumes an oppressor/oppressed, revolutionary/reactionary response relationship required of you and those you'd frame as comrades, proles or an underclass—what have you.

BTW, "Prove me wrong" is lazy argumentation. Put forth your ideas, and disprove others who have posited theirs. No one's here to work for you. You will likely get more well crafted responses.

"Your mind seems made up already regarding capitalism as prime-threat and as target-for-usurpation. This assumes diminishment of other powers and assumes an oppressor/oppressed, revolutionary/reactionary response relationship required of you and those you'd frame as comrades, proles or an underclass—what have you."

no, you are reading your own interpretation into my words. for one, i never said anything about diminishment of other authoritarian forces, i merely argued that capitalism shoud not be so diminished. you putting assumptions in my mouth does not make them mine. i am not denying the influence of earlier authoritarian insitutions on more recent ones, i am simply saying that giving them (the earlier ones) primacy over newer ones like capitalism (or science/technology) makes no sense to me given the world we currently live in. ultimately, all authoritarian institutions feed on and feed into each other. they all need to go. and btw, i am not some class-struggle anarchist; your assumptions about me are clearly identity-based, and i reject that shit wholeheartedy. fuck the "proles" and their champions.

can you really not see my ideas expressed in these comments?

Are actually greater co-factor determinants of power then capital/capitalism is because it metamorphosizes out of church and state and evolves concurrently with capital. There happen to be a lot of anarchists who are big fans of either one or the other(think of the science blog idiots who hang out here). Capital/capitalism is a co-factor of power but it is the vulture to the hawks and eagles to use a carnivorous analogy.

Once again we see a "diminished" acknowledgement of domestication being a reality. Taking oppression for granted is indeed a "requirement" for its continuation, whether it's acceptance of capitalism as a necessity, or as a anarcho-retreatist ideology contending that people should ignore everything in the name of "it's complicated".

of ALL the words... NONE OF THEM ARE SAFE!

According to you ...

the retired generals can think only in terms of eliminated the enemy, and are blind to the physical reality wherein we experience the engendering of enemy [e.g. terrorists] by our eliminatory actions. the 'reductionist nightmare' is that we fear never being able to get to the bottom where the rootsource cause of terrorism resides, and this nightmarish intuition is trying to tell us something we don't want to know, ... the causal source of the terrorism is 'us'.

as for ... "anarchism is never saying "I AM" an anarchist", which would imply 'being', one has to be reminded of the limitations of noun-and-verb language-and-grammar; i.e. a 'storming' is not a 'thing-in-itself' but an activity which, as Nietzsche notes, we are always semantically reducing to 'subjects and attributes" as in categories of things defined by their 'common properties'.

in the physical reality of our actual experience, the 'identity' of a 'storming' can only be relationally given. this is the way with all forms in the relational worldview as supported by relational language architecture.

there are no 'categories' defined by local properties [e.g. breasts and vaginas defining the category 'female'] in relational languages.

if there is a type of 'storming' that we would like to identify relationally, we can call it 'anarching' and we can say 'my way is the way of anarching'. if this sounds like a roundabout way of identifying oneself, it is, but only because of the limitations of noun-based language. meanwhile, it does not make the same mistake of the retired Generals in depicting human forms as fountainheads of cause-and-effect actions that are local jumpstart authors of their own development and behaviour; e.g. 'terrorists', but are rather figureheads which derive their power and steerage from the relational dynamics they are situationally included in.

in other words, the relational view accepts the reality of 'the reductionist nightmare'. it is only a nightmare to retired Generals who believe that nasty behaviour is causally delivered by independent beings that are fully and solely responsible for their 'own' nasty behaviour, and that a determined digging down and rooting them out by a courageous crew of good-guys will eventually get to the bottom of the bed of nastiness so that the fountainheads of nastiness can be completely removed [which can never happen since the source is relational].

[insert obvious joke about emile and tl;dr here]

The joke is you, attempting to write a tl;dr … your head would explode.

my point was that the real joke is that many people believe that reducing the number of words they use to construct the semantic realities they promote increases the precision of what they are trying to express; e.g. as in Trump-speak aka 'let's call a spade a spade and tell it like it really is' [fucking muslims]. binary is best for brevity, ... it is great for building specificity and certainty [at the price of increasing subjectivity and incompleteness].

HEY emile why don't you start posting on ? Watching you argue with those M-Ls and trolls would be amusing, and in your tiredlessness you're ~uniquely qualified~.

(Ignore the new home part.)

Being straight forward, or blunt has nothing to do with Trump, especially since he's a lying politician business man. Many people hide behind rambling phrasing which is actually an antithesis of subjectivity where being becomes separated from the world.

If Nietszche & Mach are the answer...what was the question again?

Think I'll stick to Stirner & Kropotkin since they less obfuscatory & obscurantist.

if you want to be spoon-fed theory you feel you can trust [or someone's interpretation of it] go for stirner and kropotkin, and their 'interpreters'.

on the other hand, if you trust your own experience, just ask yourself if you've ever experienced 'independent being', which is the basis of political theorizing and moral judging.

Just ask Nietzsche, and adopt the nihlist way and you will find solace in the belief that you've transcended reality. Anarcho-retreatist ideology can show you the light by saying that darkness is a binary opposition, while insisting that any other approaches are left anarchist ideology. Be assured that when you read Nietzsche you have reached subjective independence.

Western content based [semantic-pseudo-] 'reality' is transcended merely by acknowledging that we are treating 'appearances' as 'reality' [Schroedinger].

A transforming relational field is all context (relational forming) and no content. A storming, thanks to noun-and-verb language, becomes a 'storm', a relational form within the transforming relational field. The 'storm' becomes the notional source of its own actions, thanks to our repeated measurements of which monitor ITS DEVELOPMENT and ITS MOVEMENT. the difference in our measurement of this form, dx, over a measured 'interval of time', 'dt', becomes a measure of 'absolute motion' as is foundational in the'reality' employed by [mainstream] science. by integrating the differentials in a notional 3 dimensional rectangular space, dx/dt, dy/dt, dz/dt, we can compute the development of the storm-form as if it were a thing in itself and we can compute ITS MOVEMENT as if it were a thing-in-itself, ignoring that it is a relational form in a transforming relational continuum, as in 'field theory'.

This pseudo-world of absolute things-in-themselves forms capable of their own independent thing-in-itself development and actions is the 'reality' of Western science and reason, which we have allowed to 'eclipse' or 'obscure' the natural physical reality of our unique and situational [therefore subjective] experience.

science and reason only 'work' in this semantic pseudo-real world of 'appearances' where absolute items of content appear to develop, move and interact 'on their own', thanks to the concepts of absolute space and absolute time, which 'take over' from the relational space that experiences continual relational transformation [as is natural in field dynamics].

The reasoning person, equipped with this pseudo working space, can (a) distinguish which item of content [reified relational form] is causing this good or bad result, and, (b) reward the former and punish the latter. And, in extreme cases, launch an attack to 'eliminate' the latter in a surgical fashion since the residents of absolute space are seen in this scientific reality as independently-existing things-in-themselves, the bad things being the local jumpstart authors [fountainheads] of bad-assed actions that causally determine bad-assed results.

Strangely, while the elimination attempts are LOGICALLY successful, massive externalities can arise by the manner in which invisible and complex webs of relations are transformed, suggesting that the local form of the person was not actually 'independent' but that it was a relational feature within a transforming relational continuum, ... like the 'storming' before we made absolute measurements to make it over into a 'storm' thing-in-itself [reducing relational context to absolute content], so that we could notionally shift the authoring epigenetic influence immanent in the transforming relational continuum [the field that is everywhere at the same time], into the new, semantically created items of content (things-in-themselves), making them out to be 'fountainheads of creativity' endowed with intelligence and purpose whose causal actions determine the unfolding future, such as the elimination of an undesirable thing in itself, whether a mosquito that we spray with DDT or a middle east rogue politician such as Bashar al Assad that we 'take out' with a drone or by arming and financing his enemies [an enemy of our enemy is our friend, so long as they don't want to use their victory to replace the absolute concept of a state with a relational concept of a brotherhood], with that surgical precision that logic provides us with. what existed a moment ago, no longer exists after we exercise our power to create and destroy -- binary dualist concepts which substitute for non-dualist relational transformation in the semantic pseudo-reality of science-and-reason.

of course, eliminations are not nearly so surgically precise in the physical reality of our actual RELATIONAL experience, and establishing the precise moment of 'creation' when a relational form gathering within the transforming relational continuum becomes, as reason would have it, an 'item of content' or 'thing-in-itself', can stir up a war between pro-lifers and pro-choicers, since ownership issues crop up that pivot from that moment that a relational form attains absolute thing-in-itself item-of-content status.

It is not that Nietzsche's philosophy, or Emerson's or Schroedinger's speaks of 'transcending reality'. It is merely that the highly abstract notional 'being-based' semantic pseudo-reality used for binary logical scientific and reason based calculations departs radically from the NATURAL physical reality of our ACTUAL RELATIONAL EXPERIENCE. Since Western society and its media and general discourse like to treat the semantic pseudo-reality constructed for convenience in employing binary logical reasoning operations, as if it were 'reality' [it is sure as hell not the physical reality of our actual relational experience], to suspend belief in it is falsely seen by some [those who accept it as the 'base reality'] as 'transcending reality' when what is actually going on is the suspending of belief in an over-simplistic binary logic ['is' or 'is not'] semantic pseudo-reality' to re-ground in the natural reality of our actual relational experience.

trusting one's own experience does not mean that there is an 'objective reality' out there that 'we have personally discovered' because we are more discerning than the rest. This is the stance of the politician.

How would we work together to discern 'what is really going on' [not 'out there' or 'in here' as in the observer-observed dualist split, but non-dualistically];

investigative team 1. Western intellectuals have a dualist view that notionally splits apart figure (individuals) and ground (world out there). They gather together to debate who has the best handle on the 'world out there' (the objective reality out there that only the sharpest, most intelligent and discerning of observers can precisely lock on to). because the inherent subjectivity of our personal experience is not acknowledged, the futile search for an 'objective reality' continues on until the debate is inevitably resolved by the principle of Lafontaine; "la raison du plus fort est toujours la meilleure".

investigative team 2. Indigenous anarchists have a non-dualist (strand-in-the interdependent web-of-life) view wherein each individual is uniquely, situationally included in a mutually influencing web of relations (transforming relational continuum). Because they acknowledge that every individual is undergoing his/her/its own 'cosmic fetalization' (subjective experience), they gather together in a 'talking circle' to listen respectfully to each individual's actual, unique, experience so that that can bring the diverse multiplicity of subjective experiences into connective confluence, drawing on relational coherence that emerges from their mutual 'interference' to 'image' the lot as a holographic unity.

3. Nietzsche's view of subjectivity of experience;

"It might be thought at first that the assertion [Nietzsche's] that all judgments are subjective has some exceptions. After all, maybe we all agree that matters of taste and style are inherently more subjective than measurements of the length of a pencil or the weight of a stone. Maybe we would be tempted to posit a hierarchy of degrees of subjectivity. But Nietzsche rejects this too, emphatically expressing that there is no objective basis to which observations can be reduced, no judgment that is absolutely and irreducibly validated. For Nietzsche, the world seems to consist of multiple interlocking interpretations that support each other, a bit like an M. C. Escher drawing.

[[in Escher's 'Print Gallery', what the observer sees as he observes what is going on out there is himself observing what is going on out there. Not quite 'holography' but the suggestion of it; e.g. in the 'learning circle', by the time a participant has heard the recounting of many subjective perspectives each of which may reflect, to some small degree, his own presence in the common living space, the composite of them all may deliver 'imagery' that indirectly includes him 'in context', as others see him.]]

you will not find Nietzsche in any team 1's. team 2's are what are available to us in our everyday life if we are good listeners, although the ritual of the 'learning circle' can greatly facilitate holographic imaging.

the bottom line is that Western 'reality' is not 'reality' in the sense of what we actually experience, it is a 'semantic construction' fully of 'pragmatic idealizations' that departs radically from the physical reality of our actual experience, and, when people believe it and confuse it for reality [employ it as their 'operative reality'], it becomes the source of social-relational 'incoherence'.

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