TOTW: Criteria

Ever since the anarchy bang episode on music, in which the word anarchist was thrown around like a frisbee for a caffeinated border collie, I've been pondering (and harassing my friends with the question of) how one determines whether something is anarchist or not. In the podcast episode, it was a. if the artist called themself an anarchist, b. if the content was about anarchist topics (?), c. if the content reflected anarchist values, d. if the listener felt anarchisty (?!?!?) when listening to it, e. if the musician felt anarchisty while making it, and f. all creativity is anarchist. I might have missed a few. All of these are fine, though many raise more questions than they resolve. What are your thoughts on this? Do you call something anarchist and then think it's good, or do you think it's good and then call it anarchist (my personal favorite)? What are the ramifications for you of calling something anarchist?

There is no need for a centralized definition, and I would be bored personally with a conversation in which people were trying to convince each other, but what is your personal criteria, or do you not think about it this way?

Remember, no animals were hurt in the making of this totw, no one is signing on the dotted line, these are thought exercises for fun and pleasure.

There are 102 Comments

All of the above. Don't settle for less!

Also, I don't think about it this way.
One may do many different things if one is free to do so.
So it's not that "music should sound this way to be anarchist" but that in anarchy, music can be whatever you want it to be, and you are free to explore it and enjoy it as part of your daily life.
Currently we are not so deprived in this aspect, but more so in other in our daily lives.
Sometimes it's not (just) what/how you do, but the fact that you can do what you want, and that in doing it you do not oppress others, or promote that, but instead challenge things that are currently limiting: boundaries be it in pre-conceived notions, traditions, norms, rules, impositions, habits, government, material limitations etc.

but don't you think "all of the above" is kind of a cop out? it is the response that perhaps means thinking the least about the question, even if you're Right (tm).
i like the idea of art/music/things being anarchist if they make me feel anarchisty, which i guess means i feel some way other than what i feel normally? against the mundane? making connections i don't usualy make? i like it because it gives me the agency in the "interaction," but also it takes away from the reciprocity of some abstract interaction between me and the creator of the piece(s).

they have no need for such things! They can call their music anarchist and other people may agree or not and who cares?!

from my understanding, and anarchist can be a) someone who opposes rulers b)someone who opposes hierarchy c)someone who opposes authority d)someone who merely opposes the state, does any one want to add some more answers?

The most recent "The Final Straw" podcast ( has a good discussion that overlaps with the topic of last week's abang, last week's TOTW (convo even overlaps word for word in some parts with A! + Plast's discussion!), this weeks TOTW. Not sure if anyone has the time and interest to listen to both, but it's an interesting coincidence how in sync. Was it coordinated? XD

What if we take these questions and evaluate these criteria for people instead of music?
Can people in the comment section agree on what could definitely define a person as an anarchist beyond a shred of doubt?

They have to believe that money doesn't buy happiness and wholeness

Jeff Foxworthy's "If [so and so] youuuu might be a redneck." but for anarchists.

many of the jobs that would pay someone, or an anarchist, would violate a lifestyle based on not wanting to dominate other people. At the end of the day, I'm generous enough to say, if you think your an anarchist, you are one, because my attempt to control your subjective ideas of meaning is likely going to fail. Not sure how many people would take an anarchist cop or an anarchist slave-driver seriously though. I certainly wouldn't take you seriously if you were some sort of wealthy megalomaniac and you also claimed that you were an anarchist, not would i take you seriously if you were running for office as an anarchist...

If you work, you're not an anarchist. If you pay rent or mortgage, you're not an anarchist. if you pay income tax, you're not an anarchist. If you are involved in hierarchies or dominant relationships, you're not an anarchist. Most people are anarchist wannabes or anarchist sympathisers. Anarchy anarchist has been so diluted that most think if they work, pay tax, pay rent they are still anarchist! WHAT A LOAD OF BOLLOCKS. It's only confusing because people want to called an anarchist but not actually DO anarchy. It's like yeah I'm a painter but I don't paint. I've learned about it to some degree and I like the idea but I don't paint but I'm still a painter because I feel it deeply!

lol therefore, there are no anarchists. Great methodology, you've officially cleansed the impurities.

For me, it's about the degree to which you spend time (if any) attempting to live by your anarchist principles. There's a points system! You get huge bonuses when you include other people and when your methods are easy to reproduce spontaneously.

So, at least two huge discussions there about which principles count and if some have more weight than others. The good news is that if you spend at least 2 or 3 hours having a frustrating argument about this with other anarchists who also seem to get a sick thrill out of circular, subjective debate, that's +200 @ points!

You also get points for replying to senileoldtroll with a winky-face ; )
What can you redeem these points for? Soros bucks, of course, but also electoral votes for Sean Swain 2020.

I'd say one may have anarchist intentions, aspirations, visions, plans, excursions, projects... but all these can fail to materialize, or materialize as failures, anarchist or not (in the worst case scenario, as an anarchist failure would be conceivably less bad than if it failed to be anarchist as well).

The anon that mentioned the painting example would be right to use that logic, if only all anarchist actions and aspirations were of the same level of complexity as painting. Even painting takes some practice to get the desired effects or images you wish to see. A person who only painted once would not be called a painter by most. A person who painted all the time, even if their paintings were horrible (subject to taste and preference, of course) would be undoubtedly a painter, even if maybe not a "good" one.

So yeah, you get points for wanting it, and for persistently trying it.

Vainly relates to the subject, in vain to the object, uselessly simply means with no use for anyone. One has worked vainly when one has done so without success, so that one has wasted one’s time and effort; one has worked in vain when one has done so without achieving the intended result, because of the defectiveness of the work. If I cannot succeed in completing a piece of work, I am working vainly, I am uselessly wasting my time and effort. If the work I have done does not have the result I was expecting, if I have not attained my goal, I have worked in vain; that is to say, I have done something useless…. It is also said that someone has worked vainly when he has not been rewarded for his work, or when this work has not been approved; for in this case the worker has wasted his time and effort, without this prejudicing in any way the value of his work, which indeed may be very good.

delayed gratification is ________. (capitalist? mature? responsible? protestant ethic? whatever?)
hedonistic nihilists and immediatism is ________ (the way to go? immature? a meme? fun?)

btw Leway, it's ok to be old. old =/= creep, perv =/= creep, creepy =/=spooky
we all get old and some become spooky ghosts
this text exchanges are like our ghosts on the internet

You do you anon


I'm not sure I actually call anything anarchist that isn't explicitly or overtly so. I may consider something anarchist if it chimes with, links into or adds to my own anarchist thoughts and feels and being; and though I may disagree, another anarchist needs only make an assertion.

In relation to the other terminology, anarchisty seems easy to throw out as it avoids the disappointments of whatever it is not being anarchist. Although anarchisty seems to me intrinsically anticlimactic and merely a kinky edge for the heart's disappointment.

Generally, I just absorb the nutrients, be thankful and move on without the need for the coherence.

So I wouldn't get all hot and bothered about it. But let's be honest with each other on this: most people who call themselves anarchist are not anarchist but sympathisers. Anarchy is about doing: living the life. It's not about doing all kinds of word juggling, back flips and other distraction. The reason why there is no anarchy out there is because very few people are actually living an anarchist's life. It's like Zerzancalling himself a primitivist! It's bollocks. Zerzan is way more an academic than a primitivist unless by simply talking about something now makes it possible to actually be that something!? Talk about society of the spectacle!

Are we grading on a curve or are we just accepting whatever arbitrary goal posts you've set up on blind faith?

Do you just want to shout BOLLOCKS at all of us? Cuz thats cool. For reals, I think it improves the place.

"The reason why there is no anarchy out there is because very few people are actually living an anarchist's life."

This is the case in my town where so many White college kids pretend that. But they they're found ot be normies, liberals, ultra-legalists, etc.

The thing with anarchist living is how from the outside it looks so hardcore, like some big jump into some crazy world, while in reality it's the simplest things...

...tho maybe I wouldn't say that of anarcho geeks. They got a much higher learning curve.

Ultimately, the benchmark becomes physicality, one must have raised a hand in anger against authority to qualify. Individualists are exempt from this requirement!

Is focusing on (these or other) criteria goal-based or process-based?

what is the will to live based in? what is assertion of the this will based in? what are whims based in?

apart from that, you are right in that with clarity of analysis and logic, evidence and what not, one can base convincing arguments to persuade others to act in accordance to one's will or desires (?)

maybe this is not all relevant to opposition to unfair and oppressive systems, people, and circumstances (?)
criteria for "anarchist" being agreement with a concrete platform (?)
a commitment to something or other unreal and distant, as the present moment is infinitely spacious

I'm re-listening to Larkin Rose's superstition book. How can a minority of people rule over the mass of others? It isn't the rich or the powerful who shit on 'the people.' It is 'the people' doing the killing, etc etc on behalf of the the rich and powerful. There are divisions within the mass that can be and are exploited. So, should we targeting the rich and powerful or should we be also targeting those fuckers who do the killing etc etc on behalf of the landed gentry? The rich couldn't do what they do without the turncoats. Why single out fascists for example? There are plenty of people ready to sell you out!

it's as if someone has a checklist (like in the picture above) to see if x qualifies for y. It obviously can't be used for anarchists, especially not in world where it has been made difficult to live off the land and regularly interact with other humans.

That's why "the criminal" and "the hermit" have been the most interesting anarchist figures for me, i've played the role as both because anarchist ideas have been so inspiring and fascinating to me. However, yeah i do work a normal bureaucratic job and pay taxes as it stands, in a way being able to drop out and think for yourself from the standpoint of an anti-authoritarian looks a lot like a "privilege" since non-anarchists have a very hard to time accepting the notion that the world would be a better place without hired thugs and megalomaniacs.

I've seen hermit crook done very well! I tried it when I was younger and eventually decided that the economic advantages enjoyed by previous generations were making it trickier for the youngbloods. Instead of the trailer park, these days it's a shack without hot water or electric. So this is like the reverse of "in my day, it was uphill both ways in the snow with cardboard shoes"

Cuz it's now and you'd be lucky to get your own shack.

what did being a crook and a hermit entail for you? I never fully did both because that's very hard, i've just committed lots of petty thefts and i tend to live alone...i still like to steal every once in a while when i see the opportunity, but i've quite doing it on a regular basis cuz it causes a lot of anxiety.

broad question? uh … it was like uh … the intersection between all the oogle cliches and the grim reality of poverty and the always slowly rising tension when you're perceived to be a burden on your friends or family in some form or another?

it was always a couch or a basement or a tent connected to someone else playing by the rules of the market and their usually unspoken assumptions that they're doing you a favour? or you start a timer until somebody sicks the cops on you for squatting. take your pick. And yeah, the petty theft for basic needs is stressful of course.

^I should probably mention I saw others doing a better job of it than I was, or so it seemed to me at the time. I was always a shitty crook. Too generous to make much money and too shady looking to fly under the radar when I needed to haha

To tolerably live on this earth is to have a support system, or at least a couple people who will stick up for them.

The other substitution is just to be arrogant, because then you can just make money and laugh about the failures of others.

It must amaze the rich, landed gentry etc etc how their simple scheme, and that's all it is: a psychological and behavioural scheme, keeps them living in style (maybe grotesque to some) but they've figured out a way of ruling billions of people. That has to be admired on one level. Then, one has to consider the dumb fucks who do the 9-5 (and more), pay the exorbitant rents and/or believe the meek shall inherit the earth. Should anarchists waste precious time and energy on these people? If not, then the status quo will remain in place. If so, then how does one go about this? And given that there are people who would take up arms against their own neighbour just for a few extra dollars. All it takes to bring this system down is for everyone to say no: just come on the streets enmasse world wide and say that's it, enough is enough. With the internet, this is now feasible but it hasn't happened? IT IS US THAT MAINTAINS THIS SYSTEM, NOT THE RICH. Most cannot accept this.

Is anarchy worth dying for? We die for capitalism: we die each day we go to work, pay the rent, uphold this system.

So … I don't disagree with most of what you're saying here, standard "we're all good little germans" type rant but it seems like maybe you're omitting a pretty important lesson from the rest of pre-capitalist history?

If "WE MAINTAIN[ed]" monarchies and more overt forms of slavery and Ghengis Khan stacking pyramids of skulls or however far back you want to go and so on and so forth (this is your argument, no? we're all to blame?), doesn't this rationalization start to wear pretty thin in certain contexts? Like, you don't show up to a murder scene and start saying "hey everyone, lets calm down and not blame anyone. we all murdered this person in some sense maaan. just live your life maaan."

No. You say - who the fuck did this? why? where are they now?

So for me, it's not that I can't accept how power functions mostly by the tacit approval of millions of fukin dumbasses who might or might not deserve their fate. It's not that I don't already think very little of them, it's just that seeing all this clearly doesn't lead me to the conclusion of "therefore, why bother doing anything beyond self interest?"

Suffer outrageous fortune or take arms against a sea of troubles motherfuckers… PICK A SIDE

"Suffer outrageous fortune or take arms against a sea of troubles motherfuckers… PICK A SIDE"
NO! I'm not picking any crappy binary side, I would rather take a double dose of Viagra and take my chances out on the road hitchhiking. You never know what fate will gift yoy with, so enjoy it!

"take a double dose of Viagra and take my chances out on the road hitchhiking"
Gasp, it wouldn't be your thumb that is the only thing you're waving!Its

"'s just that seeing all this clearly doesn't lead me to the conclusion of "therefore, why bother doing anything beyond self interest?"

well what i'd posit as a semi-egoist is, where are you going to access anyone's well being beyond what you experience and feel within yourself? All the little radical movements "against the system" have proven that people just like money and comfort better than just being pissed about things they can't change. Sure, as anarchists have pointed out, not "working" does just as much damage to capitalism as refusing to deal with money, but in the end the power of an abstract number that can labor from everyone wins at the end of the day.

and if it wasn't clear before, i agree that anon is arrogant for assuming people are just stupid meat sacks for working a full time job. I wouldn't have been able to create this cozy work-free situation for myself if a lot of conditions weren't met and i didn't do a lot of work to make it happen...

so uhm … even worse version of the same problem of carefully selecting a small portion of history to make a point. "collective struggle" (which I'm not really defending because thats not my own position, way too broad) has definitely "helped people". Arguably it's the only thing that ever has, so that's just … objectively wrong?

It's the collective struggle of the rich to enslave everyone ffs … clearly it helped them! Perhaps what you meant to say is that the people you might actually identify with are miserable failures at "collective struggle", as far as you know, likely in the american context

For the rich, obsessive desires to look good for everyone and chronic stress.

I'm not a nihilist cuz I'm an asshole, I'm a nihilist because political movements work to obscure the whole picture and at best serve as inferior rackets to capitalism

Yes, the rich are sooo out of tune with the simple free pleasure of non-attachment.

does life feel short or long to you so far? how much more time do you think you cab live?

to me it’s felt like it’s gone by quickly, but too much for what it’s worth. if i play my cards a certain way it could be decades, but also much less if played in other ways, or due to incidents. i don’t know if and how i could infuse a few moments or the next decade at least(?) with enough intensity to make up/redeem/compensate the time lost. on the other hand, i don’t think i could last much more like this.

just asking because you mentioned nihilism and a hermit work minimal lifestyle and was wondering how’s that going for you. maybe i can try to emulate it, or maybe that’s not for me. i don’t know in which order to try what.

just a practical discussion about lifestyle! fuck bookchin!

a lot as well, in part because I've been programmed to think of time as a resource, and also because large portions of it have been miserable, slavish, obsessive, inane...yeah and i feel you that my life has gone by pretty quickly, and it keeps going faster as i get older...there are so many things i would like to do before i die but i defintely won't be able to do all of them...

for me, my work minimal lifestyle is just about combining money psychology with a "work is shitty a state of mind maaan" psychology, and no its not always pleasant but i've suffered enough and thought about the causes of it that i've made it pretty good for myself. Plus, I'm "privileged", so i've learned a whole lot about what it means to make money from my family. I've liked stirner's work a whole lot because its an egoism that's so destructive to convention and obligation it forces you to consider other being's egoism.

Most people would just look at my life and say that "you're lucky" or "you're too emotional and whiny" or "you could be doing so much more with yourself", but people are pretty damn pathetic and prejudaced to really know the difference, the greatest challenge i've experienced is making proper and detached judgements.

Of course i would go into even greater detail but i don't trust people enough to do that, so there you go...

thank you, i’ll ponder on this.
-not think of time as a resource/being in the moment (?)
-budgeting & hustling to minimize work time + zen reversal/sublimation of suffering during working hours (?)

i don’t think you’re whiny and keep doing whatever you want with yourself! i approve of your entire being!
i would go into even greater detail but i don't trust people enough to do that, so there you go!

I wasn't calling you an asshole lol, I'm definitely one tho! Alls I'm saying is, sometimes it feels like at least part of the problem is that everyone's trapped inside a burning building but they've all been convinced that fire hoses are poisonous snakes.

But hey, totally agree that political movements are almost always "inferior rackets" so ...

Despite the fact I enjoy getting under your skin sometimes!

I agree that nihilism, egoism, and especially anarchism, can have a reverse-moralism effect, where we can have an even longer list of aversions and "bad things" than normal people.

However, the issue of trying to do something about hierarchies and political/monetary systems is the fact they are designed so that humans are powerless to change them, so should we relax in acknowledging that, or keep doing the same things that have been done?

Some things are even more likely to change if you dont interfere! As far as action goes, everything is permissable.

The best place we can change shitty power dynamics are in our personal lives, and as I explained in relation to what I've done with my time as an anarchist, sometimes that's even futile.

That's all I'm interested in doing, the personal level. It scales up tho! What about when you and 2 friends are eliminating shitty power dynamics? Uh oh! Sounds a bit like collective struggle? ;)

sad when even talking eliminating shitty power dynamics can make you lose friends. it happens!
good riddance!

My body language and communication analysis skills have seen me identitifying emotional vampires as another form of microcosm authoritarianism. Those people who attach themselves to you as friends and then begin dominating your conversations with their narcissism and stalking your whereabouts.
SooOo, the first battle any anarch must engage in is the one against this psychological manipulation and invasion, its as if they are trying to occupy your mental space with their ego.
Bosses are bad enough, but these socalled friends exercise the same methods but in your own domestic private space and time.

Even are really loving, but the problem is you cant even speak your mind. Those are always the types of relationships that get in the way, despite how harmless the person is.

Yes, it is hard to speak with them sometimes, I often ask myself, "Is it my own cynism which is at fault here?". Anarch communication breaks down, they can be sooOo loving and at the same time SOOO FUCKING STUPID!! You know, like
" Hi, I just went down the Mart and bought that dress Kim Kardashian wore last week" or
"Guess what, I'm beginning a training course to be a prison guard, its great pay, and a chance to bring Jesus into the lives of lost souls, and the uniform is cool, should pull in the ladies on a Friday night "
Yeah, loving sensitive people like this, and all I feel like saying to them is --- YOU STUPID MORONIC DUMBFUCK, GET OUT !!
Yes, I'm a sick hombrè, I should respect them as friends and get to know them better.:(

hahaha ^anarch lè way,,,

just today at work in a casual conversation (discussion of politics and elections during lunch-break) i was asked by someone if i was an anarchist with the adamant tone of an accusation (because of something i had said i guess?). i denied it and diverted the topic/issue.
makes me feel yucky like a total hypocrite, but worth it to keep job and avoid shouting matches?

Yes same here, that's when my Machiavellian juices begin flowing, and I utilize that most ancient and civil form of dishonesty known, diplomacy. There is an art to it, and it gives me great pleasure when I can add some sarcasm without the victim knowing it ;)

"Then, one has to consider the dumb fucks who do the 9-5 (and more), pay the exorbitant rents and/or believe the meek shall inherit the earth. Should anarchists waste precious time and energy on these people?"

That was me, "anarchist" circa 2005-07. But then the answer quickly became one big "NO". Decisive point when I was kept out in the cold winter by hordes of "proles". That sealed the deal.

I'M ONE OF YOUR ENSLAVED SACKS OF TOXIC MEAT YOU LOATH,,,,,,,,I know I'll never be a successful anarchist........THANKS FOR THE EMPATHY AND SUPPORT,,,,,,:(

Same. Ish.
Got snared by systems of control. Don't yet see a way out of those systems without harming my family. Our anarchic betters see me as a sheep if they're generous, more likely a hypocrite, collaborator, whatever.
Welcome to the crowd. There are way more impure mortal non-anarchists than there are Real(tm) ones.

Impure does not exist if everyone is living in a shit storm.

OMG anon, I hope this sack of yours also holds some nuggets to give voice to your compassion!

You're not a collaborator as long as you don't snitch or denounce other people to the pigs. Being legalist doesn't necessarily make you a snitch; it's just lame. Forgiveable, tho, if you're being a good person. But that's the way I view things. I don't pretend this is what "anarchists" should think of you.

You want me to not be an absolutist? Well don't be one, for starters.

Dude... it was no more than -22 C outside in February. It was a weird fun trip to sleep outside under a kinda balcony in a CCTV dead angle and enough snow to protect against the continuous winds. Now consider that there's a few hundred people who're exposed to dying outside in similar conditions every winter. Where's the empathy and support? The few homeless shelters are total shit and now anyways, given the rampant housing crisis, they're full. "Social justice" stops where classism begins. A few achieve opening small cracks there and there, but it fails as society is a hate factory where everyone's being commodified.

19:18 here. Yes, its a hate machine without empathy, only bandaids for disembowellment, I have to scream in rage sometimes. I UNDERSTAND YOUR FRUSTRATION!,

I thought of the movie Snowpiercer after reading your comment, the different classes seperated on a train who are all dependent on the warmth of the train's environment, the dreggs in the last carriage who are culled occasionally to keep the whole train manageable. Analagous to government, and in the end it was thè courageous 2 individualists who survive and leave the wrecked train and wander off into the snow, like you did. We Stirnerians are too proud to dwell in filthy homeless shelters amongst the cowardly dregs of society, who follow the leaders like sheep!

the area where i live has a lot of homeless people, they tend to stay pretty hidden just because people judge them so much. I used to give money out whenever i would see someone begging but I've quite doing that because its overall just an alienating way to look at other people, and an alienating way for people to look at me, but i figure the most i can do is have a conversation with...whoever out in public.

but yeah a lot of people aren't aware that the U.S. and much of Europe basically already is a third world country. The cops are basically there to be the "strong ones who don't show compassion, who we need to get the job done", lol

is there this obsession with if something is anarchist or not?
Is this book anarchist? Is this piece of music anarchist? Is this tofu salad anarchist?

For myself, if I actually care about it, I ask: is this (art) made by an anarchist?
Or I ask myself: is this helpful in getting free? Do I find this (...) enjoyable? Does this further my growth in my anarchism or in my person?
Does this practice help me live here & now or does it hinder me?

When I ask such questions I find it often doesn't matter if the thing is anarchist per se, the benefit to me is do I find it useful, can I wrest anarchist content out of it, can I repurpose it?

Nettle uses the utilitarian/pragmatist sift for anarchism.
Is unburdened by nomothetical omphaloskepsis, as well as free from socratic badgering.

12:48 thanks. Had to look up nomothetical & omphaloskepsis, at first thought you were saying something about unethical oompa loompas. :P

it has a lot in common with the way i try to see it, thecollective and LBC aren't there for me to collaborate with except maybe write a book or a topic of the week, but it's better to use other anarchists for personal growth.

I guess part of the issue is we are conditioned by multiple different things to see anarchists as these moral heroes who are going to make the changes in society that the sheeple can't put in motion, i see the hero/villain binaries in movies as being a huge culprit!

Keatingtroll has been doing a great job conditioning me to see anarchists as whiny do-nothing dweebs so it evens out nicely!

Also they're puerile!

but it's generally better than what the militant idpols are doing.

jfc TB, is that where we're setting the bar? bleak ...

when we are just typing at each other on a message can deploy your high standard anarcho-commandos somewhere else!

Dare to dream! Or don't. Whatever. You do you TB.


is there this obsession with if something is anarchist or not? How about do people live here as anarchists or doesn't matter so long as we all get, maybe, some bits of anarchist meaning, right? Nettle, I like you. I like your ramblings and contributions to AnarchyBang. You come across as considered, warm, gentle, funny and kind. However, settling for such small pickings maybe demonstrates an ageing soul burnt out soul one the way down, so to speak?

what does "on the way down" mean? does it mean "no longer relevant"? does it mean "out of touch"? does it mean "bringing me down from my youthful assumptions of endless resistance against all the things"? or does it mean "anarchists must win for all," in some kind of leftist revolutionary way?

why don't you be explcit about *your* anarchist criteria, instead of implying all the things.

edit: my bad, wasn't posting as thecollective, obviously.
not sure how asking you to be more specific entirely counts as snark. but not surprised that you slap back with so little content... #sad

down (of the hill) and it just gets faster so don't get all snarky with me twatface, plus there is other content in my post which you 'the collective' have disregarded... surprised you even took the trouble with your distraction of a reply so I'm honoured ;-)

Automatic penalty. You initiated the snark, snarky McGee!

anon 6:18 i can't help it if you read others in an ungenerous way. I do not recognize what I actually said in your paraphrasing.

Be that as it may, I am here for small things. Enough to eat, shelter from the weather, books to read and meaningful tasks.

Everyone and their grand aspirations is why were in the soup, yes?

Has anyone heard of an F.B.I. agent named Sarah Bernal asking around?
(an agent or operative?)
This is troubling if true.
reminder don't talk to P------

Who's Sarah Bernal and got any idea what she looks like? Alleged to be an agent, or proven?

Inb4 Sarah Bernal's ex is starting personal army requests

NYPA troll

What's the New York Power Authority gotta do with an alleged undercover called Sarah Bernal, and what's with you being so cryptic all of a sudden, @critic? I don't see anything that makes sense in your post, aside than this person having an "ex" who's go a personal army...

First off I wanna say how sad I am that anarchy bang is ending... I really enjoyed coming for discussions when I could.

Second off. Basically we need to come up with more precise definitions/terms instead of arguing about the A-word. Because arguing about the A-word is too emotionally loaded and it becomes just a hooray-word. We've got a fight here between people who believe in anarchist principles but live a mainstream way out of necessity (or what they take as such), vs people who drop-out more effectively. Now, I'd quite happily say that someone is not a hunter-gatherer if they farm, or not a capitalist if they don't own means of production, but I wouldn't say someone is “not a liberal” because they live in China, or “not a fascist” because they live in a multiracial neighbourhood, or “not a feminist” because they're in an abusive relationship or have a male boss. So I also wouldn't want to say someone's “not an anarchist” because they aren't living an anarchist way for reasons they feel are outside their control. On the other hand, living an anarchist way is “more anarchist” in a sense than just holding anarchist views. Someone with anarchist principles would prefer to live in an anarchist rather than an authoritarian society. And this leads to a “bending towards” living in anarchist ways, whether they go the whole way or not. Then there's the question of “anarchist force” - creativity, desire, etc. I think we can say that paleolithic societies were anarchist or that a self-help initiative is run in an anarchistic way or a partly-anarchistic way (some mix of anarchy and authority), whether or not there's either anarchist principles or consciously anarchist ways of life. And of course this doesn't overlap with the set of people who call themselves anarchist or hold anarchist principles.

But we're seeing the discussion degenerate into, “unless you do X you're not an anarchist”, “I'm an anarchist and I have to X so fuck you, purist”, and that's a fight over status and shame rather than substance. And this is happening because so much rides on the particular word “anarchist”. But can't we just say these are two different concepts? Lived anarchy versus anarchist desire perhaps.

Personally I think we also need to think of anarchy as a continuum concept and not an absolute – so one practice can be “more anarchist” than another without being 100% anarchist. Kropotkin's social principle; Buber's I-thou; Graeber's constituent power; Day's principle of affinity. A workers' coop which produces for the market is more anarchist than a hierarchical company but less anarchist than a subsistence/gift economy. Full drop-outs are more anarchist in their way of life than people who are marginal but included... but the later are not thereby rendered 0% anarchist in their way of life, it might be more like 75% anarchist, and they might be just as anarchist in other aspects, such as their desires or how they relate to people. (Creating status-rankings based on who is more or less anarchist than whom, is itself rather un-anarchist and authoritarian).

I think if we split the concept “anarchism” into different components then we get closer to being able to have a conversation. Separate out “holding anarchist beliefs”, “living by anarchist principles”, and “living in an anarchist way”. There isn't an anarchist way of living, but there are non-anarchist ways of living (having authority or submitting to authority) so we can call all the others anarchist by extension. If someone has anarchist principles, it's better to live in an anarchist way than a non-anarchist way. But it's also possible to live by anarchist principles without living in an anarchist way, if living in an anarchist way seems impossible... though there is a huge problem as to whether this is bad faith. And it's possible to hold anarchist beliefs without living them – though here I would say the statement or view is anarchist rather than the person. If we say “are you living in an anarchist way” or “are you living in an anarchist society” then I think the two people would both say: someone who is living a mainstream way is NOT living an anarchist way. But by conflating this with “are you an anarchist”, one triggers all kinds of issues about choice vs necessity and about tactics (e.g. whether an anarchist can use Scottian or Wardian approaches and still be an anarchist). And this isn't necessary to the definition. Can people live in an anarchist way today? That's an empirical, not a conceptual question. At the very least, statists have made it very difficult to live in an anarchist way. I don't think we can say that anarchist prisoners are living in an anarchist way because a prison is not an anarchist institution.

More broadly... Let's think about the nature of concepts... Derrida, Korzybski. All language is subject to a certain degree of slippage. Concepts refer to sets of things, or events, or bits of the spacetime continuum, which are not identical to each other... a “dog” can be large or small, friendly or aggressive, but the same label is used... and there's grey areas as to where something stops being a “dog” and becomes something else, e.g. how wolfy a dog has to get before it becomes a “wolf” not a “dog”. So first off concepts are range phenomena, things with the same name are not identical (in some cases they may not have anything in common, just “family resemblances” with the root concept). And second, there are grey areas where concepts fuse into one another. How this gets abused in pomo/idpol is: any reading goes, there are no literal meanings, everything's a matter of choosing a strategically useful way of deploying the concept. Now obviously the grey areas and the range phenomena do not justify this view. We can also say that range phenomena cover a definite range with blurry edges, but still, there are ways to tell if something is inside the range. BUT then we have to be careful with big general claims about the range. Final qualifier: we need to know the difference between something which is true in all cases because it's part of the definition, and something which is empirically observed to be true. “All fascists are authoritarian” is most likely an example of the former. “All hunter-gatherer societies are gender-egalitarian” would be an example of the latter. The way we tell is: how would we respond if we saw something which went against the claim? If we saw a non-authoritarian society then we would just say it isn't fascist. But, if we saw a hunter-gatherer society which is gender-inegalitarian we would still recognise it as a hunter-gatherer society and would modify the claim from “all” to “most” (or “some” or “none”). That's the difference.

“Anarchism” or “anarchy” as a concept is rather broad and vague. It's a negative concept: an-archos, without or against authority/hierarchy/domination. It's also somewhat abstract: there's lots of kinds of archos. And there's disagreement as to what counts as archos and what counts as being against or without it. Anarchism describes a type of relationship, not a thing. More precisely: it describes the absence of a type of relationship (authority/domination). And that further complicates its use, because in a sense we can't say a person or activity or work of art is “anarchist”, we can only say the relationship it's in is “anarchist”. But we really want to use it of people or works.

IMO the minimum definitional range of anarchy is being against or without or outside domination, (command) authority, or hierarchical structure. But this leads to a lot of range-phenomena and grey-area problems. With “domination” we get the following disagreements:

1. all industrial society is domination, vs. capitalism is domination, but ancom is not domination;
2. all subordination of individuals to “society”/groups is domination, vs. only certain kinds of top-down control from outside a group are domination;
3. capitalism is domination, vs. preventing free exchanges is domination;
4. unequal rankings embedded in language are forms of authority/domination, so anything which is not explicitly idpol is un-anarchist;
5. domination of animals does/doesn't count as un-anarchist;
6. authoritarian personality-structures are forms of internal domination, vs. people are always existentially free, domination only refers to external authority.

and with the second aspect, being “against” or “outside”, we get:

1. being “against” means having a preference against, vs. being “against” requires action or lifestyle choices “against”;
2. being “against” means living otherwise, vs. being “against” means fighting against;
3. only what is consciously “against” counts, vs. anything which runs on a different logic and is thus “other than” authoritarianism counts;
4. only conscious practice counts, vs. expressions of a kind of “anarchic force” (creativity, labour-power, social principle, desire...) count.

So with music we have the rather different criteria: it is made in an anarchist way; it is consumed in an anarchist way; the relationship between artists is anarchist; the relationship between artists and audiences is anarchist; the content refers to anarchist ways of relating; the content or form disrupts authoritarian ways of relating. These are DIFFERENT criteria and works can pass one and not another; and any work that does one of these things is anarchist IN A SENSE.

With music, I think we have too much focus on three of these: how it's made (DIY and small-label vs commercial), content (e.g. anti-police), and disruption (e.g. not being mainstream pop). We need to think more about the other three, about making practice more anarchist in these ways. The mode of consumption is too often passive, even when the music is otherwise anarchist (e.g. in content or in mode of production) – and so anarchist music is still too much part of the Spectacle. (I don't want to say that passively listening to music is always authoritarian... just that it's authoritarian when this is the socially normal way of relating to music). With the artist-audience relationship, it seems to me that anarchists still largely work with a model where the artist performs and the audience listens (or consumes). This is NOT how music is done in hunter-gatherer societies or historically among peasants or even workers (sing-alongs were more common as late as the 50s) and its spread is closely associated with the rise of consumer society. I'm uncomfortable with the hierarchy involved and would like to see something like Theatre of the Oppressed for music. Live venues are “less mediated” than listening at home, but still involve the artist-audience separation. I'd like to see more people involved in actually making music, who listen to music – and engaged in forms of practice which actualise music so to speak, like Bey's idea of shamanism. Also I think this means certain forms of participatory music practice (mosh-pits, raves, mass performances) are “more anarchist” than regular music practice because they bring in more audience participation. In terms of the relationship between artists, an anarchist band should be an affinity group, and things like filesharing, Soulseek, and DIY venues are all anarchist in flattening out relations between different bands. One of the big hierarchies in the music industry is the gatekeeper role of companies which stand between producers and consumers (and extract massive rents on this position), and breaking this down is thus one of the biggest subversions possible.

I hate freakin Quaker peasant music, uurgh, the way my tapping foot has been possessed by morons!!

was, once you get over the hill, you pick up speed.
It's kind of a joke, but also kind of real. I wouldn't trade my journey so far for being young again, is how I parse it.

that anon is a waste of fingertips, loved what you said about the wise elder sitting off to the side who's there if someone wants to listen. same goes for damo surrounding their self with older anarchists.

i'd rather meet and spend quality time with a cool old anarchist in their rickety old house like they mentioned in the ok boomer abang, than to go past it and wonder how they were and how they lived after they've died

some people spend their entire life among youth, or among elders, others spend their entire life among peers of their age, moving with the cohort, others live it inverted, with old people in their youth, and young people in their old age, most people have a mix of all. it'd be cooler if instead of a lonely person going to another lonely person's house to share the misery to lessen, they could both share time daily with a variety of people and have a rich social life. this segregation by school, university, work places, elder homes...does something bad to a point

Look what happened to Greta hanging out with yuppie green Boomers, then trying to organize some sort of unity between Boomer and youth. DISGUSTING INVERSION seeing old fools acting young (wheeeeere's my Viagra)
Just be yourselves, the child's mind is free of green ideology, wildly it roams the land unburdened by toxic politics designed by post-liberal green Boomers and the Idpol intersection.,.

The lonely people I came across (there's many... if you look beyond the groups that are more easily noticed due to how much noise they make) tend to not be very easy to approach due to a pattern of being closed upon themselves, sometimes also paranoid.

I wonder how it'd be a good/bad idea to be asserting it more openly... like put it on your t-shirt, hat, whatev, making it clear visually that you're a loner tho interested in meeting new people. Personally I tend to attract people I don't like too much yet have a hard time developing anything with people I'm into. I suppose you guessed how I feel about it... that it sucks!

so you're proposing that labeling the lonely elderly with t-shirts would help? XD
they mentioned Lorraine Perlman as an example in the abang episode.
maybe it would signal robbers that they're alone and vulnerable, if they don't already know.

On t-shirt: "I'm a lonely person and AM DA GOD OF MY OWN LIFE!!! Screw with me and I'm gonna fuck you up so bad you won't be even able to crawl to your gang for rescue because they'll be already dead after I burn to a crisp with gasoline, fuckface!"

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