TOTW: Collaboration

  • Posted on: 28 January 2019
  • By: notnull

One of my favorite quotes is the following: 'If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.' Too often I find that the projects I'm interested in participating in suffer one of two fates: They either are too disorganized to ever get off the ground and never last longer than the initial phase of excitement, or they are too structured to be enjoyable, and the 'bossiness' of the organizers kills all motivation to participate. Is there something unique and useful that anarchism can bring to the concept of 'collaboration'?

A lot of the anarchists I know are interested in working on projects that require the efforts of many people. What can that look like other than the typical models of leftist organizing? How can we build things together in ways that do not duplicate patterns of oppression and burnout?

Additionally, does collaboration need to be face-to-face in order to be meaningful? In fact, to what extent is collaboration with others even necessary to accomplish our goals? How much can we accomplish by executing our own projects without the help of others?


mutually encouraging friends each genuinely being supportive of the other's personal goals or pet projects feels good to me

Collaboration: perhaps our only hope of escaping the trap and also damned near impossible because people are so difficult!

"Hell is other people" but the conversation is so much more stimulating in hell.

"Hell is other people" doesn't mean that working with other people is difficult because people behave hellishly. It means that being with other people makes one self-consciously judge ones own actions and become entwined within a process of inhibited manipulation by the Other. Its relevant to the process of collaboration because it produces a culture of disingenuous and compromised action. If 4 hungry collaborating people decide to make 1 omelette together when 4 noncollaborating people could have made 4 omelettes on their own in the same time, that's hellish damn people collaborating in the kitchen!

Don't sartresplain me, Le Shithead

That's just existentialism 101 and individual subjectivity. One may collaborate with a collective as in the Amish in making barns, but they are not individuals but united under a faith in a god, the Other. There is a personal loss of individual sovereignty by collaborating to any codified behavioral model which destroys and frustrates the sanity of just being ourselves.

And by then all is lost, because one has become an object within a larger structure.

But one could become one of many windows or doors within a wall, opening up other diverse creative modes of living.

Though the indigenous system of kinship, or the cooperation between extended family members, could be defined as a collaboration of individual desires and therefore creates and permits a more diverse individuated potential.

I don’t care much for Sartre or le whatever but the above comment made sense to me. I would add though that like many others in the western tradition, Sartre wants to subsume the other into himself, the old Cartesian trap which more talented phenomenologists like Levinas and Merleau-Ponty would finally have done with.

but plz leave that Merleau away from here. He was another establishment clown of the new po-mo pedantry. My bet is that in 50 years from now no one will care about these hacks from Vincennes.

Okay smart guy, put your money where your mouth is, I bet your ASS that in 50yrs, Pomo will reach the ears of the peasants in the mutualist selected curriculum at schools!

Haha, yeah at that point them Proles will have it Thousand Plateaus all over the country in their BMWs.

Anarchists collaborate with their inner selves, friends, neighbors, like-minded and un-like minded individuals and society as a whole.. It is one of the identifying characteristics as opposed to the misconception of creating explosives. Instead we encourage and support each other creating the world we desire one moment at a time.

Stop, collaborate and listen
Suds is back with a brand new thirty minute podcast edition
Something grabs a hold of me tightly
it's suds reaching out and touching someone like old skool comms
Will it ever stop?
I think plast knows
Turn off the lights and I'll glow
to the extreme, I rawk the mic like a handle
Light up anews and wax the irc like a candle

abolish ice ice bebé

understanding collaboration. A problem you have is that the projects you talk about, it is so easy for people to give up. Fasting and growing you're own food (with others) offers the practicalities and a myriad of other positives. Discipline is useful and so is deferred gratification and so is knowing you can go without. You sound disappointed because what you want is not happening? Not much does ever get off the ground in anarchy except writing books and books and more books. Get away from anarchism would be a good start also. Anarchism will only appear in our lives when necessity comes knocking such as in disasters.

Thanks for your feedback! I am actually not disappointed; what I want is very much happening, in fact!

I agree with your assessments though in general re: what gets off the ground with anarchism and also the usefulness anarchism will have in the context of disasters.

His life spent in and around anarchists has taught him anarchy is just a dream and it's the hope that kills you. It is an escapist's idea, a survival thought strategy and little more. I can perfectly understand Aragorn! and his sarcasm (which can easily be heard in his voice). Why do you continue Aragorn!, you can hear in Ariel's voice when they talk. It can be painful when listening to the collapse of his hope. RIP Aragorn!

Aragorn is hopeful and you would be able to see that if you weren't stuck in your own ideology. If you listened to him you would understand that he is an anarcho-nihilist(which in his definition means he doesn't believe in revolution) which to me is a stupid term because it's totally arbitrary and not at all what I would call anarcho-nihilism. He is by no means a nihilist by any other term. He is as much a nihilist as all the baby queers running around who skimmed Baedan and think they are nihilists when in fact they are gender-nihilists(again who cares about this). As recent as this week he publicly stated that he believes he is a torch bearer and that his life/legacy/project is to literally write the anarchist project on velum to carry on the good word. As an actual nihilist and not some gender or anarcho or whatever nihilist word that goes in front that means nothing. He seems to believe in the 7 generation thing, which means we are fucked til our heads are cleared by 7 generations of culture building in small human groupings(societies). If you could pull the wax out of your ear then you would understand that most social A have a hell of a lot more in common than actual nihilists have in common. He gives you the gift of critique of your shitty lazy century or more old ideas which none of you care to hear because 1. he is a dick or 2. you are stuck in your ideological echo chamber. I think both of those ideas(7 generations hope and revolution hope) are heaping trash piles and I myself would never live for future generations or anyone besides myself and those I extend my love/care/whatever to. holy fuck, it really isn't that hard to understand the different positions even if Aragorn is vague as fuck all the time, his position is still there and it is shown by the projects he does(which I am whatever one).

dude … you can have your little nihilist corner of turf. Nobody is trying to muscle in, you don't have to keep soaking it in urine like that. I mean, do whatever but it's a bit excessive haha

Really there is no avoiding the need for this. There needs to be a new type of libertarian anarchist baseline that respects the more marginal extreme niches types who don't like organization. While you don't have to be post-left or anti-org I expect there to be at least an agnostic view on organization which is not so structurally cuntish on theoretical and tactical unity. Red and Black ancomism needs to go.

It already went … You're about 20 years late.

Not sure where you've been lately, but I see a rise in IWW and Black Rose type anarchist activity.

They just represent organization ancom retreads that don't affect radically communicate. What would be better,believe it or not, would be a new flexible starting(not ending) point of mutualism and not the silly acom syndicalist influenced anarchism which trades the problem of too much exchange(black and gold ancaps) for too much organization.

Show me something flexible that is palatable to the Emile Armand types. What you want is a neo-mutualist baseline strategy with marginal individualism and egoism as the higher marginal end goals. An orange and black starting point that differentiates itself from the prole commie and producer property dominated ideologies.

If by "a rise", you mean from zero to still totally marginal, then sure. Unless you're an FBI agent tracking the leftists or in to petty turf battles for the @ ghetto, it's not happening on any kind of significant scale yet.

"Additionally, does collaboration need to be face-to-face in order to be meaningful?"

That is a major plus. "Unmediated relations", right? It creates a stronger bond and also makes it possible to develop ties, relationships, or maybe just have a bit of fun together as human beings. But there's the benefits from assigning each other tasks f2f, then meeting up to report on progresses, problems, discoveries, limitations. I haven't been hanging out in git communities, but I suppose that the bond's always uncertain, in how devs, no matter their commitment for a while, can just disappear without anyone knowing what's up with them. It's still a process divided by a curtain.

As for me, well, I ain’t sure I feel comfortable enough with online projects. Or strongly motivated by, at this point. I guess the real necessity here is to be gauging other people’s motivation and interests when starting something with them, like in general. But that in itself is a process... the motives are often rooted on specific factors.

So I'm somewhat with anon 08:07 on that (tho there ARE anarchies that "take off the ground", tho they surely won't be tagged "anarchism" all over... they just won't make anarchists do billions or form a sizeable army, tho was that ever the point?). Look at the background of most devs on the net. They're developing programs and systems together within the context of classes or paid jobs, or at best as sidelines from these, as group "ventures" between devs, so to put on their resumes. So they "pay off" one way or another for those people involved. If they also connect locally IRL, like hacker collectives n shit, and that's another important benefit. They aren't altruistic projects as much as they look like on the surface.

On the other hand there's been so many cool online projects that fizzled out or died off over the years, probably due to the nature and character of the (productive) social bond -or lack thereof- in combination with the odd, dehumanizing theatrality of interacting with a screen, vs people IRL.

You wanna know the true reason why Facebook got big? Because there aren't real Facebook nerds. People went to Facebook because they're even lazier than me at terminal consoles, at doing shit by themselves on a computer. They're on that railroad where the computer/device does everything for them. It's a Nanny State technocracy, where they are getting organized by their metaphorical parents to "connect with others". Hence, it’d be very surprising if the next big thing on the internet ain’t some other corporate or State gimmick.

Perhaps we need to keep pushing things like GPL, blockchain and end-to-end encryption IRL, not as underdog tech alternatives but as solutions that are entirely different. And also take note that it's also through real-life sociological patterns that Facebook went so big.

I hope there's something here that answers your questions.

of the Round Table podcasts? Would anarchists collaborate with Marxists? I mean, it's all well and good telling everybody you're a green anarchist or even a vegan anarchist primitivist... but what the fuck!!! There are oligarchs and plutocrats creating tax havens buying what little democracy there is and wrecking the planet too. What will it take for left-leaning social-types to work together? Instead, what we have is people creating useless identity labels believing themselves to have created some sort of meaning individualism? What a load of bollocks! For example; JZ and Aragorn! come to mind: the infantile snark is all that there is left for these two thinkers? Yes, they both agree that anarchy (in any meaningful sense) is at a very very low ebb and so to have any 'life' in either of them, they rely on each other for 'snark tennis' to get an audience? Given the state of shit, anarchy ought to be out there getting a (positive) name for itself. Instead, it is going further and further into irrelevance. One has to ask whether or not anarchists take themselves seriously or not, OR has anarchy become a book and podcast movement?

Dude, it's like first off, I ain't no Left social type... society is fucked and the Left, double-fucked. So in order to work with them I'd have to agree on a similar project/goal/rationale, and this means cartoonish super-outdated paradigms from 100 years ago discussed over a social media owned by people like real dangerous fascist billionaires like Peter Thiel, Zuckerberg and Elon Musk, who're the ones the Left should be fighting *against*, not *for* in the first place.

Then there's the problem of dealing with authoritarians. One of the reasons why I'm anarcho-individualist -not by identity label but by accepted sensibility- is due to the radleft milieus being dominated by sectarian gimmicks and their bearded patriarchs who're some very good talkers.

first, both aragorn and zerzan are more than just snark. the fact that that is all you hear speaks more to your own limitations (and that of many other listners, tbh).
second, why are you criticizing other people's behavior when one of the many charms of anarchy is that it is a DIY project. whatcha doing about anarchy this week, brother?

RevLeft Radio is straight Maoist and also a Stalinist apologists

become part of the spectacle. Sadly. each generation of newbies kill off anarchy as a way of life: thinking punk rock, spraying circled A and probably spewing some individualist/nihilist/egoist sayings (for shock value). How many really want to participate in building a face-to-face community? Bands like the Sex Pistols did not help either, but then again, it was all spectacle there too. Only when needs must, does anarchy come into it: when our walls are down, when the indoctrination is breached, do we relate to each other mutually and respectfully. I listen to RevLeftRadio as Brett has a decent show and he is not against anarchists but is quite correct is his belief that he doesn't see much change happening because of anarchist pressure, let's say. At least, the Marxists are forming networks which takes discipline, something many anarchists think is for the sheeple.

"At least, the Marxists are …"

do "us" all a favor then and go bore a marxist forum with your narrow idea of what anarchists musts do/be/think like.

This is premised on the conceit that most "left-leaning social-types" are doing or saying anything relevant, which is questionable at best. I'm not saying there aren't thoughtful, interesting people concerned with social justice, but 90% of them seem entirely focused on deplatforming, signal boosting, call outs, and virtue signaling. This holds especially true for the twitter and facebook based radicals. There's nothing relevant happening on social media. Full stop.

I know they love Chomsky so maybe reading Manufacturing Consent and applying a bit of critical thinking would be helpful. Spectacular politics is a trap. Media discourse is a dead end. None of that shit matters.

Related: has anyone ever listened to the rev left radio theme song without laughing?

What makes you think it isn't? Wrangham, rightly, states that fire and cooking changed the brain and we became homo sapien with a predatory mind-set and so humans will work together (surreptitiously) for predatory outcomes. So, 'Anarchy Boy' of Capitalism/AnarchyBang, I think you are right when you claimed 'We are the problem.' There is no way back only a slow painfully long extinction of us banging our heads against the wall wanting different outcome.

What's wrong with predation?

"Wrangham, rightly, states that fire and cooking changed the brain and we became homo sapien with a predatory mind-set and so humans will work together (surreptitiously) for predatory outcomes."

But Bethian also said that, back in 12,000 BC in the Middle-East the males started avoiding passing rituals, and favoring a practice known as "fucking". What does it say about today's anarchy in NA tho?

Ask an academic!

Sorry I meant "rites of passage". I unintendendly makes poor English at times, lol

I win." "I made the most money...I win" The cost of all-out predation is all around you.

Another commenter here, yeah, I'm like that, I'm gonna predate ON YOUR BUTTHURT ABOUT BEING A LOSER! I win when I take everything you worked and slaved for and leave you dumpster diving for leftovers while I eat caviar MWUHAHAHAAAA

So funny watching humanists being confronted with nature's tooth and claw.

Also predation tends to be within a biome context where there is always a balancing set of factors.

But it is, Just look at the 'harvesting data.' Basically, that's predation. The predation of privacy. Then there is the vulture capitalists..the name says it all. More and more wealth, power and control being in fewer and fewer hands; what is out there is predation. So yes, I see a lot wrong with it. Where are the balancing factors as you call it: please don't say anarchists or egoists etc. The whole way we are 'forced' to live is predatory. It isn't even capitalist as in how Adam Smith imagined it.

However this thread began with blaming it on fire(again). There's a big difference between the formatively complex things humans do and something like capitalism, nation state and machineology. The balancing factors are individuated interests away from material reified intense power holding discourse.

without anti-capitalists banding together, then we can expect no improvements in our daily lives and environments: zero hour contracts, worsening 'employment' conditions, higher rents etc. anarchists are too purist and make a name for themselves merely as and red anarchists bate each other. individual and social anarchists bate each other. notnull, how do you see collaboration?

I've never seen much instances of "anti-capitalists banding together" that paved the way for the improvement of their living conditions, outside of some getting more privileged (OR maintaining their social privilege) by hanging out in these upscale deleuzian crowds of affinity with nice communal houses, but even at that, aren't just talking of same old sectarian politics? How "progressive" or "equalitarian" they really are when exclusion and reproduction of social status is the normal of their politics?

Waiting for your reply but don't take too long... My attention wanes quickly at this bickering.

My attention does not even comprehend waxing or waning! The moon is always there!

but you mean "bait".

why would anyone want to "collaborate" with their enemies? other people/projects/cells etc that want different things, different "outcomes/purpose" etc

at some point, someone has to concede for the sake of collaboration

Being the creation of dissociated fingers and thumbs, collaboration feels always to have been a weak interaction for me, only scaling with abstraction. I recognize the impact of my knuckles when I punch the clay, but where are they once the moist flourish of your touch has smoothed the edges, imposed love-hearts and swirls and the outline of an ashtray!? It is fortuitous that I have learned to appreciate the aesthetic; the joke and the conceit.

If the only way I am to witness you is from within a grey slippery maelstrom of impulse, prescription, reversion and recursion "C'est la vie." With all this, the rainbow persisting within me is the vanity of hope and all the unknowns of serendipitous possibility. Yet how might we paint this with my palette so cold to the investment, pragmatic to the grandeur, so resistant to disease?! There is no doubting I desire something to pass between you and I. If it is not to be love, or even a kiss, then at the very least we know can easily finesse a wank of cold uncooked sausages…

Broh go fuck a hooker or something jfc

wew lad glad I don't hang around y'alls type

Come and join us, our extended family use the pronoun " y'all " to describe a collection of 3 people or more! My mom needs a sexual diversion besides cold sausages! She is apolitical!

Die, Die when I tell you to die!

discussion; most of us know what wrong with capitalism but how many know what is wrong with anarchy/anarchism today? It's so easy to slag off capitalism, communism, liberalism etc when you know you will never be in a position putting anarchy to the test. Socialism in the UK in the 60s &70s wasn't that bad and comparing it to today, it was a lot better. So I would vote for Corbyn because shit is that bad and probably about to get a lot worse with Brexit. I have never voted in my life but I'm no longer an ideological anarchist as too many people are being crushed by this oligarchical plutocratic tax haven class.

I have seen various charities, vegans/animal rights, various religious faiths even socialists disseminating information and inducing discussion on the streets: with their pasting table, leaflets, posters and a welcoming. I have never seen anarchists doing this. Why not? For a movement which is supposedly based on action, it is really very passive: waiting for the collapse to then crawl out of the woodwork to Anarchyville! Is it because anarchists feel above tabling on the street to the sheeple? But then again, how many anarchists are knowledgeable about anarchist ideas and what about communication styles? Anarchists go on about needing money for projects; well, street tabling is inexpensive and it is face-to-face. Instead, so many of us remain passive and above it all! People are supposedly crying out for a sense of belonging and community! Notnull, put away your phone and 'digital community' (which is a complete contradiction as it is becoming increasingly realised that tech is atomising, depression-inducing etc) and get out your pasting table and hit the streets. Notnull, maybe, you could use your phone to create a global network of face-to-face street tabling?

what are you talking about, anarchists do this all the time. perhaps you should take your own advice aswell.

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