TOTW: Crisis

  • Posted on: 18 February 2019
  • By: thecollective

Crisis is the flavor of the week for politicians and the news media: opioids, borders, student loans, Venezuelan elections - to name just a few recent ones. Calling something a crisis does a lot of things - it mobilizes people towards a goal, opens up funding streams, allows policies to be implemented in the name of health, defense and democracy, and gets people to click on links. It’s a way to get people talking, and more importantly, to get some of them moving.

Yet it’s also hard to deny that the term crisis may have some substance beyond these cynical uses - for example, many people are killing themselves with opioids for reasons that are widespread and often systemic. And those who fall on the receiving end of many of these crises (opioids, student loans, foreclosures, etc.) are often the poor and exploited. It’s also true that the mobilizations called forth by official crises will almost inevitably hurt those same people with border walls for border crises and new laws for drug crises.

For this and a variety of other reasons, anarchists have often chosen to engage with crises. Yet do we not also risk something by playing by the same games that politicians do? How equipped are anarchists for dealing with problems conceptualized in the order of thousands of people, or even hundreds or tens for that matter? How do we prevent our projects from falling into pure service provision or evaporating as soon as the next big headline appears (if not even before)? Do anarchists even have a role in providing relief to strangers?

So here are my questions for you - should anarchists intervene in a crisis? Is that even a useful category for thinking about problems? What are better or worse ways you’ve seen this done?

Comments

It's a job.

There is a discussion of suicide in this comment a bit later on, just so you aware.

Anyway, for the purposes of her job, a crisis lasts 2 weeks. After that point, a person just gets used to whatever their new situation is. They adapt.

What characterizes a crisis, here, is a loss of stability, which indicates either an increased uncertainty of the outcome in a general sense, or an increased likelihood of a specifically undesirable outcome from the perspective of things that we, or that person, might value. So either an actual loss, which causes instability, or a projected future loss which would drastically reduce quality of life. Or both! Think of a sudden loss of income, which might mean a person can project that they won't be able to pay rent, and will lose their shelter as a result.

The use of the word "crisis" to mean "bad situation" is a definition drift that depletes the term of its analytic value. So, for instance, the opioids epidemic in North America is exactly that, an epidemic, and not a crisis. The word "epidemic" means a widespread disease that affects many individuals in a population. It is also normal. I suppose a crisis might last longer than 2 weeks when we're talking about society, but I am pretty damn certain that society has adapted to this thing at this point, and the term "crisis" does not shed any light in the situation in a way that is superior to the more precise term "epidemic". Even from the perspective of sloganeering, rhetorical moves to mobilize populations, and so on, I don't imagine that the overused term "crisis" has any more punch than "epidemic". When you're trying to come up with anti-capitalist slogans, it's even worse, because it's clichéd. (The slogan "capitalism is the crisis" perhaps made sense in 2008 and 2009, as an immediate response to ongoing events in the financial world that were described, understandably, as a crisis. It doesn't make any sense right now.)

THE QUESTIONS.
1. Should anarchists intervene in a crisis? Well, it depends on the kind of crisis. It'd be nice if anarchists intervened in folks' personal crises, if they actually had something to contribute. If the crisis is for people who suck, though, then no - let that crisis happen.

2. Is that even a useful category for thinking about problems? Yes, if the problems are crises, i.e. temporally limited situations in which a stable system has lost its stability, and not simply perenially bad situations that we are calling crises because our lexicon is too loosy-goosy.

3. What are better or worse ways you've seen this done? A better way, in the sense that it was cool, is when I was 15 and my friend threw the frisbee into the creek but I dived in and caught it before it went too far downstream. A worse way is when a friend of mine was left by his girlfriend and he was threatening suicide and we considered it pretty credible and so a few of us went along with the ex-girlfriend's plan of kidnapping him so that we could admit him to a psych ward (that was problematic of us) and fortunately we didn't quite get to the point of institutionalizing our friend but he was pretty upset with us all and he killed himself a few weeks later anyway.

Here's my edit: "The opioids epidemic is also, at this point, normal."

Well said.

Really sad about your friend. : (

A crisis is essentially a problem that kept intensifying and to a point where "time" cannot resolve it; where things don't settle with time, so it requires an extra leverage or leeway (no pun intended) to overcome or solve. I don't see how crisis can be seen outside of hegelian dialectics, no matter how Hegel sux. But perhaps someone can englighten me on that...

So if they say a crisis gets stabilized after two weeks that's fucking dumb, senseless and reflects the sheer incompetence and shallowness of contemporary psychology... but was that discipline ever more than a political science of control of the individual, serving the systemic needs *du jour*?

daily basis. I ask myself, how come most people seem to 'accept' the last 40 years as 'could be worse' so-to-speak? It's like (extreme) individuals (Stirnerites) reckon they can live without: is the dire situation just another spook: not real? No deal Brexit is coming and so is rising cost of living in one fell swoop!!!

Uhmm, Stirnerians have formidable mental powers, especially if they have undertaken LSD therapy, which can cure many modern ills.
This is not the end, only a non-linear cycle whereby it is possible for you to return to your previous state of unadulterated euphoric joy of life.

As a Stirnerian I can testify that I forever abolished the thought of suicide out of my idea, but even that abolition is condition to my health situation. I am entitled as the sole possessor of my life, which means I got the sovereignty to decide to end it under extreme circumstances. Anything else, any other motive for suicide -especially depression- would be abdicating to the daily onslaught of society against me (like against all other living beings). Everyday I remember how I am led to believe in my worthlessness and loss. This is the result of social identification. This is all just bullshit in the end, that works against you.

"my idea"... I dunno how I came to this typo but I meant to write "my head". Damn!

Weeeell, your head is where your ideas come from isn't it? Or have you been plagiarizing books for your ideas?
Shame on your uniqueness to not actually own its own ideas, Or is this just semantics?

your mom is semantics

Is something risked by playing the same games that politicians do?

When I was more amenable to politics I sometimes had the turd of "You should be a politician" thrown at me. Even though a retrospective, I must assume I have an aptitude toward playing the games of a politician. However, I know now what I risk in indulging politics—As pulling a nail does for the finger, I feel the equivalence in conscience and spirit; that is, something of myself is destroyed, a protection is removed, I am injured, liable to infection and pained.

How equipped are anarchists for dealing with problems conceptualized in the order of thousands of people, or even hundreds or tens for that matter?

As an anarchist I am inclined to act in a certain direction, and if asked to aid I will likely try. When it comes to how equipped I am, I am suspicious of inferences extending beyond individuals and their appeals. Having no resource beyond conceit to suggest a problem can be dealt with conceptually, I can only be sure of my actions, and those I am with, to evaluate any resolution.

How do we prevent our projects from falling into pure service provision or evaporating as soon as the next big headline appears (if not even before)?

As far as I can tell, some anarchists have no desire to prevent themselves falling into pure service provision or evaporation. It seems a symptom of the wider disease that service appears catharsis for deferred more pointed attacks.

Do anarchists even have a role in providing relief to strangers?

Assuming the stranger is the individual I have no experience of, it is probable I provide some ignorant yet serendipitous relief as a result of my acting/role (though with equal probability accelerating the torment of others).

Though the last 3 questions of this TOTW made the explicit request, I don't feel enthused enough to answer each directly. Instead I'll assert my understanding that intervening in crisis is inherent to the nature of being anarchist, and that increased abstraction and remoteness malign more immediate actions.

dope

Limits of the Market: Notes on Political Economy and Externalities
https://youtu.be/1rYHhc7OsJ0

was a beautiful moment in anarchist history. So yeah crisis remediation is propaganda by the good deed, so get to it!
http://occupysandy.net/

Good luck with that Gel :)

"How do we prevent our projects from falling into pure service provision or evaporating as soon as the next big headline appears (if not even before)?"

Just do like me... attack society where it keeps developing or improving, deface its facelift. The opportunities for it are all over the place and it'll never grow old as a subversion. But if only I could get paid for it, like these soft fascist idiots who get paid to clean graffiti, but for the ontological opposite...

"But if only I could get paid for it, [...] but for the ontological opposite..." my exact sentiment for every idea i get

"Do anarchists even have a role in providing relief to strangers?"

Yes, definitely, as anyone might, out of empathy, or need, or reflex, or circumstance, or any number of reasons.

"Yet do we not also risk something by playing by the same games that politicians do?

Yes, definitely, so we shouldn't.

"How equipped are anarchists for dealing with problems conceptualized in the order of thousands of people, or even hundreds or tens for that matter?"

As well as anybody, but what would distinguish an anarchist way of doing so would be not to do it in a "mass consumer society approach", but in a decentralized, diy direct action, and collaborating as needed etc. which if the people involved do it, it can work, but you can't expect an sudden cultural shift and re-skilling in the wider population, whether in a crisis or not. Therefore, an anarchist way of doing anything is focal or marginal at best, though some things can catch on a bit more than others.

"How do we prevent our projects from falling into pure service provision or evaporating as soon as the next big headline appears (if not even before)?"

To keep it from mere service provision you should keep the focus on meeting people (chatting about what you feel like, having fun), getting to know the ones you like or get along well with, and staying in touch, instead of focusing on the numbers game of reaching out or servicing the most people possible, because then it just becomes an impersonal relationship of "service provider - consumer", or charity. When you give a birthday gift to a good friend you like, it's different from charity in many ways. You can't expect that will be the result from any given interaction, but it should resemble that more, than charity. More like an open invitation to a party, than a parachuting missionary. When the focus is on "the numbers game" (whether literally counting or not) then people involved may feel like gears in a giving machine, instead of feeling like people, feeling good with each other.
Important lessons from similar accounts are gathered here:

https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/peter-gelderloos-a-critical-hist...

Another way would be to do it as an excuse to really have fun (not say you did as well, as a byproduct), to create unique circumstances, or events that break the routine, or as an alibi for something else. I only make this suggestion because it literally keeps it from being pure service provision, like the question asked.

The desirable or ultimate actual length of duration of the projects in mind depend on a lot of things. Ideally no one has to do them beyond the point where they are bored of it, much less burnt out. In any case it's better to have an idea of an exit plan or a retreat, or some form of ending, rather than have it crumble under pressure or over-extension, and deal with undesirable and unexpected consequences.

This focus on having it be a pleasant experience is to make sure you won't regret it and may want to do something similar again, instead of doing it begrudgingly. You're probably not getting paid for this, unless it's a cover for some scheme like in the other suggestion, so why do it if it's not enjoyable. If the answer is "to help other people", it might mean that it pains you so much to see them suffer, that trying to alleviate their pain, eases yours. Or you just simply find helping out joyful. Or your life is so awesome and you are so capable that you don't mind going out of your way to help someone, even if it costs you temporary inconvenience or even suffering. If your satisfaction is attached to specific results, instead of the act of doing or trying your best, you might get disappointed, but you won't know unless you try.

If you're on some power trip, or trying to be a martyr, try to stop being a politician, or a cultist, or an activist.

ps. I answered these with too much words because i saw there were few comments and i was bored and sleepy. I should have probably stayed away from computer forever. This type of answer is pretty generic. I would have expected a bunch of answers similar to this, but I guess not many people read it, or get tired of the same discussions, or find trolling more fun (which it often is)..............."should anarchists intervene in a crisis?" NOT IF THERE IS A DANGEROUS SPACE POLICY IN PLACE

"Crisis is the flavor of the week for politicians and the news media: opioids, borders, student loans, Venezuelan elections - to name just a few recent ones."

crisis is the flavor of EVERY WEEK for the politicians and the news media, when people stop watching the news, they very quickly realize how little importance it had in their lives. When people can fully have contempt for politicians as anarcho-nihilists have, they quickly stop paying attention to those pedantic "community servants".

As anon also pointed out, we don't need to play that game. What needs to happen is that people, collectively, need to have a less alienated concept of fear and worry. This is where that cheesy quote about "being in the present moment" can be swept under the rug for the time being, each new moment was in the future a millisecond ago.

Remember ---What doesnt kill me makes me stronger. I DON'T VOLUNTEER TO DIE !Being in the Now of zero historical reference and therefore being free of consequence as daily conduct and belief MAKES ME FAULTLESS ! BLAMELESS is the nihilist's non-attachment to political process and its cause or effects.
We noble nihilists will spontaneously assist those who need help if they are spontaneously occuring before our eyes, but we do not go out on a mission to assist, that condescending mentality breeds the helper/victim binary and the loathsome charity institution. People must invest their own agency into helping themselves.or else DIE ! If you cannot help yourself and you have all the prerequisite supplies to save yourself and you can't because you won't try, then you will unfortunately DIE !
Children must always be assisted up to the age of adolescence, BUT the octagenarians, long past their use-by date, can volunteer themselves for selfless community occupation cleaning toilets and defusing the millions of still active landmines their generation littered the countryside with, and live on rations, and be silent unless spoken to, cos they ARE THE ENEMY OF SUSTAINABILITY AND PASSION, except ones like I.F. Stone, cos he knew ALL POLITICIANS ARE LIARS !

In Sociology there are two world views
- Conflict and Crisis is normal (Marx)
- Consensus is normal. Conflict and Crisis is an interim step to Consensus.
In a VUCA world (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) conflict and crisis is more the norm .
***should anarchists intervene in a crisis?***
Anarchists should be training and building up groups so they are ready when crisis hits. Will their actions help maintain the state or not?
*** Is that even a useful category for thinking about problems?***
It is one framework . VUCA is another. One may yet emerge

***What are better or worse ways you’ve seen this done?***
This is a wide open question. Parallel Structures such as in the American Revolutionary War is the longer way to go.

"Anarchists should be training and building up groups so they are ready when crisis hits. Will their actions help maintain the state or not?" Already at it!!!

Here in Montana we build our anarchist militia since the '70s teaching and training our kids to be proud and strong and hold up to their bloodline, defend the Land, protect our traditional ways and above all prepare for the impeding Collapse, or thermonuclear war that will anyways be started when we seize silos on the West Coast therefore create enough leverage to secure our ethno (but anarchist!) State. The new-old Weltanshauung is coming to a close, again! It'll be like the late '80s but now we shall have victory over the cultural marxists who destroyed our America back in the '60s...

Join us at the Green Scare Bookfair in Wisconsin. From there you will see the opening to our new-old Nation.

But, if I lived in a concrete bunker like you do, the Green Scare is gone, the paranoia has been secured, IT ISN'T DANGEROUS ANYMORE.
I DON'T WANT TO ATTEND YOUR WORKSHOP ON DIY CONCRETE BUNKER CONSTRUCTION!!
I'm a nihilo-anarchist cos I get high on DANGER AND MY INTERNAL PARANOIA CRISIS !!!

danger-on m’dude

wtf...literal anarcho-fascism? trolling?

Two seconds after I posted it I felt kinda felt a strange amazement to have pushed this shit... like "why am I doing this"!?

Some people can get the joke about "Montana anarchists", for being, like, such a funny combination of referents that it almost makes it an oxymoron. It's just that the state has gotta be the most fascist-filled hellhole in the U.S., to a point anyone from there being a self-declared post-left anarcho is much likely to be just one of them, without admitting it.

"hold up to their bloodline"

huh? can you explain what you mean by that?

In Sociology there are two world views
- Conflict and Crisis is normal (Marx)
- Consensus is normal. Conflict and Crisis is an interim step to Consensus.

Not true, there also the Discontinuation paradigm, according to some of the Chicago school as well as the more recent French school.

YOLO SWAG BIG DAB 100%

People are doubting conventional politics are there is a growing crisis/number of people in the west...oh fuck it...it's way too complicated for a comment on a thread! And then Aragorn! and Ariel give the subject 10 minutes of chat in a podcast!!! And we slag off mainstream media for its reduction of issues/problems?

media always fails in its REPRESENTATION of the needs of corporeal persons and desires. Yes, aragorn! and ariel fail miserably at being representatives of "the good", "the free", and most importantly, "the brilliant". I think aragorn! and ariel agree with this, they're just coping with the fact that they need an outlet for their thinking and talking. From an Anarchist's perspective, coping with the thing they don't desire (exercising power over other people) is probably one of the best things they can do...

cheers to people who don't just stfu and get back to work!

good point, but maybe the podcast is not there to provide depth, but nudges in certain directions. ideally no one gets there analysis from any bit of media but uses critical thinking to make their own, this could be seen as one more bit of useful input or not.

the notion that all conversations have to be about anarchism or some form of rebellion is kind of irritating

Depends if you know what you're doing. It infuriates me that so many anarchists nowadays are fine with calling shrinks on people without consent. Or for that matter, calling pigs. Not only are you violating the person's autonomy. There's at least a half-and-half chance it will make things worse rather than better. Throwing someone in an unfree environment, where they face possible inhumane treatment (such as assault/"restraint", sleep deprivation, forced drugging...), run by people who are nowhere near as knowledgeable as they pretend about psychological differences and who have prejudices against anarchists and a dozen other outgroups the detainee may belong to, is a recipe for fucking people up even more. On the other hand, talking to people, being there for someone, visiting a depressed person, providing practical support if you can, might make a lot of difference. Or not. But at least it's unlikely to do any harm; and if it does, it's not your fault. I honestly think the kind of anomie/loneliness-related depression which is so prevalent today, does not happen to people with strong communities or affinity-groups. There's a passage in Orwell's "Road to Wigan Pier": "Nevertheless, in spite of the frightful extent of unemployment, it is a fact that poverty–extreme poverty–is less in evidence in the industrial North than it is in London. Everything is poorer and shabbier, there are fewer motor-cars and fewer well-dressed people; but also there are fewer people
who are obviously destitute. Even in a town the size of Liverpool or Manchester you are struck by the fewness of the beggars. London is a sort of whirlpool which draws derelict people towards it, and it is so vast that life there is solitary and anonymous. Until you break the law nobody will take any notice of you, and you can go to pieces as you could not possibly do in a place where you had neighbours who knew you". Far too communitarian for my tastes, but useful as empirical data I think. A lot of Bruce Levine's work is along similar lines.

I'm known IRL for having long talks with people about the socioeconomic and ecosocial issues behind their suffering and the possible insights of various different schools of psychology and psychoanalysis. I doubt it's saved any lives but it does more good than harm the majority of the time. But... it's also possible to make things worse with unwanted/inappropriate self-help advice or perceived intrusiveness. Sometimes people are better left to come through it (or not) themselves.

I AM THE GOD OF CRISIS AND MY SOCIAL AGENDA IS TO JUST MAKE IT MISERABLE ALL THE TIME INSIDE YOUR HEADS
WHEN YOU WAKE UP IN THE MORNING WORRY WORRY WORRY ABOUT ME ME ME AND THEN YOU BECOME POLITICIZED AND OWNED BY THE PO,ITICIANS WHO PROMISE TO
"we will remove this crisis so you can go back to work "
WHEN YOU HAVE FORGOTTEN HOW TO JUST TAKE ALL BAD NEWS WITH A PINCH OF SALT AND JUST,,,,,,,,,.ENJOY L8VING MWUHAHAHAHAAAAAA!!!

hi god, ily bae

WHAT, SPEAK IN OXFORD ENGLISH OR DIE FRON CRISIS OVERLOAD!!
MWUHAHAAAA

x o x o x o ; p

Could you please stop shouting? I'm trying to concentrate on comments...

The real crisis is that no one is listening to the prophetic forecasts of William Gillis...

So ridiculous, all the energy to put 1000 perps on a Mars base, all the oxygen to make and soil to produce and fertilize, all the energy to escape gravity, WHEN ITS ALREADY HERE, ON EARTH.
The crisis is fear-mongering over intelligent logic, crisis-worship over optimistic pragmatism, honesty over science fantasy!
Science fiction as a genre was always metaphorical, always about comparing Earth reality with historical extrapolation AS A POLITICAL CRITIQUE.

the logistics of space travel are maddening, so thats where we can bellow an eco-extremist laugh at our confused race

Agreed, here (hear) goes with a bellowing eco-extremist laugh, starting lowdown in the gut and rising up into a blood-curling raging primal venting of mock8ng derision!
Mwu,,,mwuh,,,mwuhaa,,,mwuuhhaaha, MmuHaha, MWUHAahaaughhaa, MMWWUUUHHAAHHURHAHHAAGHURHAKHAHAAHHHHHHAAAAAZA !
Pretty good huh?
TAKE THAT Gillis!!

There's a big, general, structural problem with the way the world is organised today. Anarchists, anti-capitalists, eco-radicals all know this. There's ongoing, endemic, and urgent problems, some of which go back thousands of years, some of which date from the 1800s or the 1980s or the 2000s. The sources of these problems are usually concealed and disconnected from the things they cause. Examples: climate change, war, poverty, prison, psychological desperation, work, anomie, explosive rage, suicide, police atrocities, interpersonal and intergroup conflicts... it's a much longer list, but something deep is out-of-joint. Problems aren't due to “human nature” or “the human condition” or “just the way things are”. But they aren't due to the latest consumer fad or policy initiative either. The system produces alienation or “soul wounding”. People don't have meaningful lives because the present system isn't organised to provide meaningful lives, it's organised to maximise profit and control. People are treated in ways which conflict with their desires, needs and capabilities, to maximise profit and control, and this leads to various mixtures of despair, rage, self-hatred, and hatred of others.

The trouble is, that people are trained to see either the highly abstract (“justice”, “freedom”) or the highly concrete (PARTICULAR instances) and not the intermediate, sociological dynamics. Most people (INCLUDING mainstreamers, idpols, and alt-right as well as apolitical consumerists) do not see the underlying issues or see them only blurrily. But they see some of the surface problems to one degree or another. Because there's a lot of mediating factors between the root problems and the surface problems, the surface problems constantly shift – like a kaleidoscope. It's very hard to deal with the root problems but easy to shift them around, displacing “crime” from city centres to outlying areas, encouraging binge drinking or medicalised drugs instead of opioids or vice-versa, channelling hatred towards one outgroup and away from another... And so, most day-to-day politics consists of crisis-management of the surface problems, shifting them around without addressing the causes.

The surface problems sometimes produce spikes which stand out from the norm. Either a new displacement appears which shifts the kaleidoscope. Or an existing pattern is suddenly noticed and given media coverage.

There are two fake narratives involved in looking at surface problems without addressing causes. The first is to treat surface problems simply as one-off issues, like billiard balls on a table, and try to shift them around with policies, laws, repression, economic incentives, cybernetic nudges. The second is to treat surface problems as symptoms of high-level abstract problems – usually some kind of moral collapse. The application of excessive violence to the problem then becomes a gesture of moral reassurance.

Media-diagnosed “crisis” will happen when the kaleidoscope shifts and a new spike appears (either in fact or in the Spectacle). This leads either to a moral panic (the second kind of response) or simply a media/policy/legal response. The state applies crisis-management to the problem, offering either repression, recuperation, or symbolic band-aids. Or other actors try to apply virtue signals and nudges to produce changes. Sometimes this shifts the kaleidoscope enough that the problem is displaced, or at least is SEEN to be reduced. Sometimes it has no effect and the “problem” is just normalised over time. There are also political factors known as “agenda-setting”, i.e. the media and whoever has the ear of the media decides which issues are the most “salient” or worthy of coverage. Sometimes this leads to fabrication of “crises” for political ends.

The first main goal for radicals (who see the root causes) needs to be to deflect attention from the surface to the underlying causes. The fact that the system is generating these problems, that it can't solve them beyond shifting them around a bit, and that this happens because the system is unfit for humans and other living creatures and needs to be destroyed. The second main goal is to start to generate responses which go to the root, not just the surface symptoms. Sometimes it just helps to say “fuck it” about the surface issues, calling them distractions from the totality, like the Situationists usually do. On the other hand, some of the surface problems are extremely dangerous for us (e.g. spikes in fascism; global wars) and others are basically liberating for us (e.g. spikes in rioting; recreational drug use; punk music). So it's hard to be completely neutral about the turns of the kaleidoscope. It's even more complicated if anarchy is itself one of the “symptoms” which emerges from the kaleidoscope, but points beyond it – because then, we have a big interest in the kaleidoscope turning this way and sticking there.

It's useful to relativise issues-of-the-moment and refocus on endemic problems affecting the majority of people. It's useful to put out counternarratives and evidence as to how particular issues-of-the-moment are systemically generated. But we don't want to get stuck in the Trotskyist trap of just responding over and over to issues-of-the-moment by referring them back to our theories. It's also useful to SHOW in practice that anarchist (networked, horizontal, DIY) ways of responding to problems work better than statist responses. Examples: natural disaster relief, squatting, Food Not Bombs, land occupations, grassroots service provision. This is easier said than done. Things would be easier if a little bit of radicalism always achieved a proportion of what a lot of radicalism would achieve – so we could show people that going in a more anarchist direction solves particular problems. But sometimes a little bit of radicalism is itself just a band-aid or has no effect at all. The biggest problem with these kinds of initiatives is that they tend to end up back in a service provider/service user binary, with a few people doing all the work. To be sustainable, we need to get people horizontally meeting their own needs. Building horizontal DIY provision from scratch, with the “user-base” itself being the “service provider” (thus prefiguring anarchy). Latin American movements are very good at this, but I've never figured out how they do it. In America and Europe, often this type of response falls into issue-of-the-moment and reformism, and forgets the anarchy along the way. Partly because there are issues (particularly crime/deviance) which aren't amenable to small doses of anarchy and where community participants will push the opposite way.

Historically, I think many people were attracted to anarchy by LIVING little bits of anarchy (or autonomy) and finding that these alleviated the underlying shittiness of their lives to one or another degree. These little bits of anarchy, might be actual movements such as social centres or affinity groups, big events like riots or protests or TAZ's, subcultures/countercultures such as free festivals or punk gigs or hacker communities or New Travellers, DIY ways of meeting needs such as squatting or skipping, or simply experiences at the more anarchistic end of everyday life (a la Colin Ward or James Scott). Once someone's seen and FELT that a little bit of anarchy can make things a bit better, it's not a big leap to decide that a lot of anarchy could make things a lot better, and to figure out that the common sense view that anarchy is impossible, is wrong. Today, most people aren't getting the little bit of anarchy that's the starting point, so even in the anarchist and radical movements, most people don't even intuit what anarchy IS. And, I think the direct, affirmative desires which are channelled by anarchy come to be renounced as impossible, and displaced into secondary sado-masochistic and power/status desires which are more able to invest in what the system offers or what seems immediately possible. People aren't CHOOSING statism over anarchy – they're DEFAULTING to statism because they don't know what anarchy FEELS LIKE. This is clearest for me when I talk to idpol or alt-right people – they either have never experienced anarchy or it's so far in their past that they've repressed it (though the ones who remember it, get nostalgic very easily). So, what we really need to do, is to create spaces (probably online as well as in real life) where people can experience and FEEL a little bit of anarchy, in a way which relieves a little bit of the shittiness. Anarchist spaces are not doing this because they've become too instrumental and rules-y, too abstract, or too invested with the sado-masochistic/power/status games which are just what we need to escape. We need to recreate a little bit of everyday anarchy, whether it's called that or not.

into this loosely regulated whitespace regularly but I don't know if you can call it anarchy. Whatever it is seems like an open space for free expression but I don't know how much of this I need every day. A few comments and I'm usually satisfied and I do more reading than typing. Sometimes what's not said is more interesting when you read between the lines because that's the space of imagination where creative fires are kindled. The real crisis is entropy, our house of cards is always falling down and we are constantly rebuilding it. Every time it's different and new but not made to last.

i’ve always found it difficult to build those card castles/pyramids. recently i found that a heavy slightly oversized set of cards (that came alongside a kids meal offer of not usual suspects fast food restaurant) made the task easier. imanage to get two levels, and maybe three, i don’t remember

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