TOTW: Winners, Losers and ?

A recent TOTW got me thinking about what I see as Anews’ purpose. I’ve heard people say that humans are a storytelling animal and, generalizations on human nature aside, I ultimately see Anews as a storytelling platform. I see it as a place for people to share a variety of stories about both those people who call themselves Anarchists and those people who simply act anarchically.

Yet so often these stories are formed by the most basic of structures, the binary of victory or, at least implicitly, defeat. The plots are familiar: our action went well, our group is strong, humans are good, our cause is righteous, we wield real power. But on the other side of these stories are those statements made only in whispers: the state remains, our enemy is another human, most do not believe in our cause, perhaps we are not the winners.

Although I would be interested in amplifying those whispers, I don’t believe that this simple duality encompasses the entirety of human experience let alone all of life. What I am definitely interested in is how we expand this story, how we change it, grow it, mutate it, think critically about it and what effect that has on our lives. But how do we do this? Do we start valuing survival over victory? Do we simply evade our enemies rather than taking them head-on? Do we just remove the idea of an enemy entirely? How do we change the story of Anarchy, of our lives, from one of light vs. dark to something else entirely?

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at least in my experience, the problem for anarchists always seems to be doing anything as a group, because they/we always just seem to find oppressions and authoritarianism where there either is none, or they/we are always just bad at being specific about what to attack or rebel against.

Divide and conquer is the name of the game in modern politics. Especially in the U.S., it's such an unruly and gigantic system. It's not even really a single system. It's full control through schizoid confusion. I definitely don't want to be a part of any struggles that exclude the non-humans and immigrants (for anarchists, the outsiders).

To pretend removing entirely the idea of an enemy is, well, pretentious. As even if you remove it from your head, the relation of conflict will not change, it will not remove aggression or domination patterns. Your squat can still get raided by cops and a Black dude still can get ambushed and shot by racist swine just for jogging...

So the narratives aim at changing a situation, by redefining it, and more importantly our own position in it. Yet I guess you need the right narrative that applies to the context you're in. Like these social media bread-bookers that keep pushing the international worker's strike, in the midst of the Covid shutdowns... ahem!

On the other hand, rent strikes... they got a lot more leeway in this context, if if they're still -let's admit it- part of a liberal narrative. They aren't necessarily give way for free communes to take place (even if they might in some cases I didn't hear about).

I'd also like NA anarchos to be more verbose about their projects and not just the narratives behind. As stories are just fan fiction when they aren't connecting with daily life. Among other things, I heard at least one or two squats got opened by people related to this site... so why aren't we hearing those stories instead of getting overstagnated all the time with Kevin Tucker and JZ?

I'd rectify myself and say that, more exactly, it's not to be ignoring enmity/conflict narratives from your head that is pretentious (it is just rather self-defeating), but to be claiming rejecting ALL narratives. To be even rejecting narratives requires you a form of narrative in itself. So maybe the only way to achieve pure absence of narratives is lower your intelligence to the level of a chimpanzee, maybe. Tho it seems to be that even cats and dogs got narratives, so...

that's how people tie information together and remember things, and also for fun. I feel like the biggest problem with anarchists is general is being unable to provide truly meaningful lifestyle alternatives, in the end it's all just spectacular and disconnected.

I personally really want to do the work of making new narratives, but that shit ain't easy, what is a writer without an audience? A crazy guy on a street corner? A disembodied elder?

Not that any of this really has to do with what you previously said...

i rarely think in terms of "winning" and "losing". it seems like an oppressively binary way to see the world.

it's lonely at the top and failure is a shame laden construct...

BUT, competitive games can still be really fun. I remember when we used to play capture the flag in town and that was real fun.

yes, i can love competitive games as well. doesn't mean one has to see all of life that way. though i am sure some find much joy in doing so.

Is thinking of our lives as stories kind of like posing for the camera?
Who gets to shine under the spotlight and who's watching?

ITS eco-extremists tell themselves the story that they are wild beasts from the underworld. In other words, they’re furries of sorts. There are various kinds of political larpers.

Getting that out of the way, there’s much to discuss under the prompt of this TOTW.

What life makes for a good story? A bandit like Billy the Kid? The Bonnot Gang etc.? Two random examples. Thing is much people’s life aren’t that fun to retell as a plot. Birds are fun to watch, they fly and look so beautiful.
They also shit everywhere. People can be like that to. If you summarize a bird’s life, it might not make a compelling story. Hatching eggs, pecking at the floor, etc. Yet could you say birds are more anarchic than most people?

Anews as a story-telling platform (haha, platformists confirmed, jk).
Stories beyond winners and losers, good and evil, cowboys and indians, like the old The Brilliant intro and all that.
Recently the racoon people story got posted in t@l. Also a short writeup on a dude named Caserio. Two very different kinds of stories, both based on real events and real people.

After people share a story there’s also a conversation that ensues. Sometimes conflict unfolds as a conversation. Some consider Anews to be “conflict infrastructure”. Stories about conflict seems to be compelling to people. It’s not as an exciting story, barely an anecdote, to talk about taking a nap listening to the leaves rustle sounding like waves crashing or like rain. But it sure is a pleasant way to pass time.

Poetry and stories don’t have to be grand and epic, they can also be about the little things, but that’s usually what small talk is reserved for. No one needs to pass down myths to the next generation about a nap once taken. But yeah, a big chunk of our lives is beyond winning and losing.

“ Do we start valuing survival over victory?”

No just survival for survival’s sake, but living on our terms, however we like.

“Do we simply evade our enemies rather than taking them head-on?”

Not so simple, but yes, if you wanna maneuver warfare like the cool kids, frontal attack big no-no. Yet attack is not a part of most people’s lives, except encroaching on all other lifeforms with our economy.

“Do we just remove the idea of an enemy entirely?”

Removing an idea seems more totalitarian than removing a person.
Enemies can be a fact of life.
The problem is when it’s just empty rhetoric and not your day to day reality.
Or when fighting your enemy becomes an unhealthy obsession. Even literal soldiers don’t spend most of their time fighting and thinking about their foes. It’s fanatical ideologues who do.

“How do we change the story of Anarchy, of our lives, from one of light vs. dark to something else entirely?”

I like the direction Shaw P. Wilbur has taken in recounting the history of anarchists, anarchisms and anarchy.

But this just explores the ideas. Being unruly is not about light vs dark, it’s about being yourself in spite of the friction and the resistance you encounter in the world, until it wears you down and you become part of it in ways different from the “you” you were. Live is for living it, not so much for telling it.

The way out of the good vs bad narrative is considering anarchy as a way of being and not as an imperative or a mission to destroy archy. It’s not a duty to be free until you win at freedom, you live freely as best as you can and while you can, making a mockery out of government and civilization on your path. Depending on when you live, you get to see them rise or fall, but you’re not in control of that part, so try to enjoy the perks of your era and not to let its drawbacks have the leading singing voice, dance to the beat of your own drum and something something that’s not a Perlman reference shoehorned in.

"But I have come to doubt that the sort of strategy of triangulation I’ve been pursuing will produce the effects that seem most important to me, as long as the various examinations are kept at arm’s length from one another. Indeed, I’ve come to doubt the extent to which any of the individual explorations have been really intelligible as parts of a larger project."

the website title is extremely suiting, will check this out eventually...

so here's a question: does winning require a loser, and vice versa?

I think people with other political views are our enemies because they are keeping destroying our world. In a few decades when everybody will have an issue to take an access to the drinking water, they will be the first ones who will try to kill us fighting for the resources.

What we could do probably, that's separate ourself from the rest of the world and start to apply special conditions interacting with all archists.

Today there are a lot of high quality specialists and scientists in the anarchists rows, so we could just try to survive caring each other and treating different with the anarchists. We could build our own infrastructures, hospitals, factories helping other anarchists. Likely I see that last decades the bank systems has been going to be very restrictive and limiting any economical activity for a lot of people excluying them from the capitalist system. You can also see that like a injustice but I see that like an opportunity for us, as we can organize all these persons making them work for us and making them build our future vision in the reality.

We should stop think about the worker class because we don't need all these capitalists workers anymore, we already have enough forces to build our own hydroponic farms, robotic factories and 3d-printed homes with zero rent for us and very competivie rent for the archists. We can use archists and when they already will not be needed, just leave them out like a shit as they actually are.

I believe they exist when I see them!

You sound like ur a pretty good strategist but doesn't seem like much of a plan.

This kind of plans can not be developed by one person. It's nothing more than an idea. Some significant group of anarchists should seriously discuss it first to can ever start making the plan.

anarchists might as well just make a pact just not to give archists food so that they starve, your plan is like segregation haha

Well, you can sell them the food as all archists like to do that. For anarchists you can make discounts or just give them food for free, you can make better partnerships based on the political idea confidence, not on the money. This is some kind of the segregation, but currently the capitalist society already does this segregation excluding any person who publicly says that he/she/they is an anarchist.

come up with a pricing scale on how anarchist or archist somebody is? Like "well, that ancaps guy, we can clearly sell him a full pack ramen noodles for $20, whereas that libertarian conspiracy theorist in the trailer park we can sell it for $2"

i'm all ears, i have an extremely dark sense of humor ;-)

Current government societies already do that. They name it financial sanctions and partnerships.

I also talk about the future crisis cooperation, not about the business. If you agree that the environmental crisis is coming you probably would try to survive. Currently governements pay their collaborators from the budget: the army, the police, the media, marketing, etc, etc, etc. During the crisis all those people will have issues with taking an access to the 1st needed resources like food or medicine. If you will be someone who has bread or peniciline you will be a new king for those archists. That's I'm trying to say. If you prepare well you can use this situation to grow the anarchists influence.

this anarchist just can't wait to be king of the post-collapse world. how many concubines you gonna take, comrade? what colour is your little book of rules gonna be? red has been done, but orange is very hip right now.

Hey yeah, the anarchists can create their own industrial nation and form a socialist government. Brilliant dude !

The idea that anarchists' kids must be anarchists is wrong. This is the nation idea. More over, the same person can change own political views. I don't propose to make a government. Which problem do you see in the industrial kind of life? Do you think that all these environment problems are coming from any kind of the technology, not from the political structure?

Since I just went through a family tragedy, I somewhat lost taste in this endless argument, but maybe I can try by keeping my head cool and be straightforward...

Industrial processes are the result of their politics and their economics. A government thinks mass-scale production because they manage at mass level, and mass-scale production requires and industrial complex. I though the context of Western governments scuttling to fight the virus by restarting parts of the industry would have made it clear... you know like national level of production of masks, alcohol as well as other anti-viral supply, since China fucking robbed most of it in January...

The development of an industry is intertwined with big authoritarian states, especially with the advent of the modern world with huge bureaucracies and extended civilian programs.

socialism and industrial society are part of the same doesn't even make any sense to talk about either one without evoking the other one. What I thought was the most interesting about what the latter anon said was this:

"Do you think that all these environment problems are coming from any kind of the technology, not from the political structure?"

i saw it written in black seed a while back that humans have always been cyborgs, they use tools as an extension of their body, so where exactly does one draw the line between tools and technology? I would argue that it's what TK was getting at, that technology is rather a product of mass society. And in the end, the environmental problems come more from the mass consumption of the rich and the industrial infrastructure that sustains them, hence the "political structure" that they were talking about. For example, the US military by itself uses up more fossil fuels than individual americans do.

"Do you think that all these environment problems are coming from any kind of the technology, not from the political structure?"

of course there is a deep-rooted relationship between the industrial technology that directly and indirectly causes so much destruction on this planet, and the political-economic systems that have required/allowed/built/depended on it. it is unlikely that one could exist without the other. kinda like the state and capitalism.

to me the underlying issue is the unquestioned acceptance of mass society, which requires the political and economic systems that both enable and require industrial technology. when the food you need to survive comes from thousands of miles away (requiring destructive technology), it might make you stop and think about what it really means to take responsibility for yourself.

Tue, 05/12/2020 - 06:06 I had an idea of harvesting the energy output of Kevin Tucker when he's having a meltdown and converting it into electricity. Perhaps you know of a way to convert that energy into electricity? Preferably without feeding him. Unfortunately, I don't think we could run robot factories and hydroponic farms off the energy Kevin produced during a meltdown. We'd have to come up with another way to produce a significant amount of electricity to be able to run the robot factories and 3d printers. Hydroponics require a lot of electricity also. Like we could put the capitalist workers on treadmills to produce electricity, but that likely won't produce enough electricity. I think using a nuclear reactor would prove best to produce electricity. We wouldn't even have to 3d print them or have the robots build them because they're all over the place.

We'd have to be careful with the nuclear power plant and not let the capitalist workers to keep it up and running tho. They could purposely cause a nuclear meltdown and that wouldn't be good. Everything within a 50 mile radius would be irradiated! There'd need to be a way to tell a capitalist worker & archists from a regular worker too. If we can't tell them apart then we wouldn't know who gets free stuff and who has to pay. We'd need to find a way to not reproduce the same society we live in already and a way to keep the robot factories from further destroying the environment. There area would have to have lots of natural resources. If there are very little trees or ore we'd wouldn't have much wood or metal to put in the 3d printer machine to print houses or robot factories. I don't know how well 3d printers would work with mud or sand

"I think people with other political views are our enemies because they are keeping destroying our world."

THEY keep destroying the world? do you believe that YOU do not contribute to that destruction? is it a matter of how much "destruction" one exhibits? (how is that determined?) or is it a matter of their political views? make his fantasy come true. i don't want to live in one of your 3d-printed plastic homes. what happens to me in your dreamland? re-education? exile? execution?

To my own conscience, the winner/loser binary is defunct.

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