The word "strugglismo"

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shadowsmoke
The word "strugglismo"

Starting here (http://anarchistnews.org/comment/217471#comment-217471), there begins a conversation about this word and what it means. I have some opinions, but I am also afraid I am being a little too prescriptivist; maybe the word has drifted, since it's initial coining by Aragorn! some months ago, to mean a different thing.

I would certainly be interested in hearing what others think the word means when they see others using it, or what they mean by it themselves.

I will start by saying that I understand the word as a perspective on the world that is centred on struggle (of a particular type: mass or mass-ish and understandable as anarchist) and which assumes that more struggle is more good, as well as some attitudes that follow from this perspective, such as judging everything based on its utility to the struggle (without even necessarily having a very coherent metric for this evaluation) and feeling inadequate in one's self for failing to struggle (or inversely, feeling very smug about oneself for how much struggle one is doing).

I see it as a bad thing.

Anonymous (not verified)
Strugglismos are biters on

Strugglismos are biters on RAANismo. http://raanismo.blogspot.com/

RAAN like a motherfucker!

Anonymous (not verified)
In practice, "strugglismo" is

In practice, "strugglismo" is used to denigrate people who get outdoors more than the person so designating them. As such, it's worth reclaiming. I aspire to strugglismo. Strugglismo is a good thing.

Anonymous (not verified)
I can second that. Seems like

I can second that. Seems like we really started to hear about strugglismo when a certain other website appeared. Really, it seems to be a conflict about what is interesting for anarchists to focus on thinking about and doing. Shadowsmoke is saying that it's a critique of seeing struggle as an end in itself, and it's worth making a critique of seeing things that way, but the word has only been used consistently to cast aspersions on people who are more interested in what armchairs call activism.

Strugglismo beats the hell out of bookfair nihilism, anyway, so long as we're dealing in ascriptives.

SirEinzige (not verified)
Bookfair Nihilism as you call it

Can be a springboard to better orientational practice in the future. The current constituted struggle fetish anarchism doesn't have much of a future.

Aragorn talks a good game but maintains too much ties to the the old milieu of today(Letting the green syndicalist tranny enter Long Haul space for instance)

What is needed is a clean break of post leftist space.

Anonymous (not verified)
Yes. Please make that clean

Yes. Please make that clean break and leave.

shadowsmoke
Get fucked with a rail

One thing Aragorn gets right is that how an idea is communicated is about as important as the idea's content. Ya dumb fuckin phallosopher knob.

SirEinzige (not verified)
You postin' to me?

My issue is who you are communicating with and who you are associating with as regards Aragorn.

Anonymous (not verified)
Well in my ears it sounds

Well in my ears it sounds like a synthesis of "struggle" and "machismo". So not very nice to use except for some specific instances of deluded militancy relying on a drive for intensity, perhaps.

Anonymous (not verified)
That's because you are a

That's because you are a racist Anglophone and this word is a racist appropriation by colonialist wankers. It is "strugglism", you imperialist dogs!

Anonymous (not verified)
Neither I am racist or Anglo.

Neither I am racist or Anglo. I'm a Frenchie who easily gets to hang out with eastern poor people and despise the hypocrisy of Western white people (which when pushed to the extreme, like with Britons, it otherwise cracks me up more than irritates me).

Anonymous (not verified)
Strugglismo is a euphemism for

Strugglismo is a euphemism for Mussolini type fascist thugs who infiltrate post-left milieus posing as positive wise anarchists who unbeknown to themselves have martyr complexes.

Anonymous (not verified)
I thought it was a latino

I thought it was a latino word for constipation.

troll pic hunter (not verified)
strugglismo built a news

What's hilarious is that A-News became popular as the insurrectionist current picket up steam after the RNC in 2008. But it wasn't until about 2009-2010 that people really began to switch over from news.infoshop.org. One of the big reasons for this was that A-News would post whatever communique people put up (prole strole famously) and infoshop wouldn't. There was also concerns over IP address logs, etc. Pigs/FBI have attempted to get at the records of both ANs and Infoshop. Thus the "We Are Hostile To It Crowd" can whine all they want about 'strugglismo,' but it was the insurrectionist current that drove the popularity of A News.

What we have now is an attempt to type cast in a derogatory way, a whole set of ideas, tendencies, and actions as "strugglismo," or "post-insurrectionary" or whatever. Before you can write off something you have to define it and degrade it, I guess. Anarchists sadly, like a lot of people, are always quick to back the one that slings the mud, and not the one who gets it thrown on them.

What is funny to me is that insurrectionary anarchism was always built on the basis of a critique of activism, and wanting to get away from simply being a subculture. Now, it seems that the American Nihilists want to now build a strawman that says that anything that isn't "doing what they're doing" (who knows what the fuck that is, because they spend more time talking about it than doing it) is strugglismo, aka, activism. Listen to any of the Brillant podcasts and you'll get the general gist of it.

...whats sad however, is that also a lot of what Aragorn and others bring up (if you can get past the fact that the Brillant is designed to tell stories and instead is basically Aragorn talking over Bell-amy the whole time and telling him to shut up - and then talking about stuff they like to read and over all, scene drama) is pretty right on. Build infrastructure. Build relationships. It's not just the drive to fight, but also to live that is important. Fight over things you can win, don't allow 'fighting in the streets' to be recuperated by our enemies, etc.

As someone that would be a "strugglismo" in the eyes of the sociallyakwardismos, I have to say I agree with all of this. But at the same time, isn't that what people are doing? People are building infrastructure, especially those involved in social struggles. You can't tell me that the anarchists on Lelu Island aren't doing that. Look at everything that the radical anti-prison anarchist groups have been doing, from the networking that ABC chapters have done over the last decade with other political prisoner support groups, to connections with formations on the inside with Free Alabama Movement, to hell, the hundreds of IWW members that have signed up. You can snicker at the politics of whoever from the safety of your keyboard if you wish, but the reality is that these people are more than likely putting into practice the same shit you're trying to articulate.

I also don't think you can also make the argument that the people doing antifa 'work' in the US are also not "picking a winnable" opponent either. Anti-Fascism is one of the things that anarchists can look back on and point to as a success in the US, from the 90s on. Shit, look at Solidarity Networks, how is that not a formation that can fight for winnable things? Not getting evicted, getting your money back, etc. All sounds pretty winnable to me. But it's all 'strugglismo' so fuck it I guess.

At the end of the day, the people screaming strugglismo at the top of their lungs just continuously want to place themselves in the center of the room and the center of the conversation. But what do they bring to the table? What are they fucking doing?

What's more interesting is that Americans eat that shit up like its fucking applesauce. People are always looking for guide maps and leaders, even ones that tell us that there is no hope.

shadowsmoke
So lots of people using the word are total tools

And using it in a trolly sort of @news way, to denigrate things they don't like.

But I don't think that the initial motivation of the word is precisely the same. Not that I think the word belongs to the person who came up with it, but it seems to have been used to respond to certain people in the Bay Area (a place I've never been to, and try not to care too too much about it) who have a certain attitude about others who aren't "doing the right things" enough...

So yeah, people have run with this word and shit-talked solidarity networks. These folks may or may not like The Brilliant, I dunno, but I also don't remember anyone shit-talking solidarity networks on that podcast. Or really, shit-talking much of anything that happens "in the streets", unless doubting something's effectiveness or strategic utility is shit-talking.

Anyway, annoying people have been always on @news, they have always used language (their only tool) to annoy. I feel like taking it too seriously is a problem, especially if it goes to the point that we reactively adopt language that might be of some use to use. Like, I see the word "strugglismo" as somewhat equivalent to terms like "manarchist" or "mansplaining" or "being elitist" or "being a politician", in the sense that it means SOMETHING, but not something necessarily completely precise. It's so wide open as to what it means that probably each of us will be, by someone, get accused of displaying the behaviour, but that doesn't mean it means NOTHING. And I certainly think it's a little weird to RECLAIM any of these things as a response to annoying people deploying these terms against me or people I like.

Like, maybe in a given incident. "If it's manarchist to think it's okay to tag ACAB in this part of town, then fuck it, I'm a manarchist." But that's rhetoric in the moment, rhetoric I'll perhaps regret later. Not analysis. Not some declaration of the actual goodness of manarchism in contrast to the claim of badness of manarchism made by those bad annoying people over there.

Anonymous (not verified)
I appreciate that Shadowsmoke

I appreciate that Shadowsmoke wants to be constructive, to identify whether there's any use in this insult that a familiar Bay-Area person came up with. My opinion is: hmmmmmm, not really. We don't need more one-word excuses for brushing things off. "Lifestylist" was just grumpy ex-anarchist gripe, and "manarchist" confuses rather than clarifies the conversations about patriarchy, etc. that need to happen.

If we're going to keep insults in circulation, how about "bookfair nihilism," though? There are so many different kinds of nihilism (the old Russian nihilists who were basically social democrats hyped on science, the nihilists in The Big Lebowski, etc.) and it might help to have a way to specify that you mean people whose nihilist practice consists of shitting all over everyone else, seeking power for themselves, and selling things at book fairs.

shadowsmoke
I like "bookfair nihilist", haha

Though I fear that talking about turns of phrase we like makes them lose their magic. D:

Anonymous (not verified)
I wish I was a Bookchinite

I wish I was a Bookchinite fair trade nightwatchmen, that way I could say your thing over and over and nobody would hear me.

Mister Grumpy
Best banner slogan I ever saw

Best banner slogan I ever saw at any of the too many lefty marches in the 1980s: Principled Struggle Keeps You Regular

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