Shawn P. Wilbur

Notes on “Social Anarchism or Lifestyle Anarchism”

Notes on “Social Anarchism or Lifestyle Anarchism”

From Libertarian Labyrinth by Shawn P. Wilbur

These are notes from a Reddit debate on “lifestylism.” They are by no means an exhaustive critique of Bookchin’s most divisive text, but perhaps they give some reasons to believe that more is not necessarily needed.

Looking at Social Anarchism or Lifestyle Anarchism: An Unbridgeable Chasm, these problems jump out immediately:

Rambles in the Fields of Anarchist Individualism — No. 6

from: The Libertarian Labyrinth

No. 6. — Songs of Solitary Selves

Just when it looked like summer had settled in for good, August delivered a bit of rain. And just when I thought I had pretty well wrapped up this set of Rambles, I found my casual browsing through the anarchist individualist literature yielding a remarkable number of writings focused on the notion of solitude....

Anarchy: Action in the Face of Uncertainty

From The Libertarian Labyrinth

By Shawn P. Wilbur

These preliminary, exploratory writings are always half pleasure, half drudgery for me. You can have the right elements in hand and still require a lot of experimenting before they are anything like an elegant ensemble. With this series on “Defining Anarchy,” I’m conscious, not for the first time, that between the simplest and most abstract sorts of definitions and those that we might really apply in practical terms there are a variety of clarifications regarding present contexts and future possibilities that need to be made.

Rambles in the Fields of Anarchist Individualism — No. 2

From Libertarian Labyrinth

I expect that my method in these exploration and experiments will be much like my daily circuits of the grassy hillside, as I cover the same general ground in all kinds of light and weather. But those atmospheric effects are not to be discounted, particularly when what we are circling are some fairly protean understandings of individuality. So there will be some advantage to sorting through the impressions a bit, as I present them.

Rambles in the Fields of Anarchist Individualism

From Libertarian Labyrinth

Whatever we think of individualism, anarchist individualism or a range of related topics, anarchist theory can hardly dispense with some close consideration of the individual. The question is whether that is a permanent condition or whether we have yet to extricate ourselves from a philosophical problem that we will eventually solve.

Anarchy, Harmony and the Maelstrom of Desire

Anarchy, Harmony and the Maelstrom of Desire

From Libertarian Labyrinth by Shawn P. Wilbur

What a difference a few days can make. A gentle, playful provocation regarding “lawless, unprincipled” anarchy certainly looks different when “professional anarchists” are one of the potential scapegoats for widespread civil unrest. Certainly, nothing about the present moment suggests a need to temper language or moderate projects. But the long, deep breath afforded by pandemic-related measures seems to have given way to something else—and it may be necessary to adjust the exposition of this stage of the project accordingly. Anyway, back to work…

Positive Anarchy and Collective Force

Positive Anarchy and Collective Force

From The Libertarian Labyrinth by Shawn P. Wilbur

"A distinct, anarchy-centered anarchism is not just possible, but necessary, if we are to confront the systemic challenges facing us, and that anarchism seems likely, if seriously pursued, to be adequate to the task."

We’re off to a good start, having defined anarchy in terms of a complete break with legal and governmental order. Any anarchism taking this concept of anarchy as a focus or ideal is certainly likely to be distinct from the full range of governmentalisms.

The Uses of a Lost Continent

From The Libertarian Labyrinth

I’ve been very pleasantly surprised by the reception of Our Lost Continent and the Journey Back—particularly as it has been a matter of draft sections distributed through social media without much in the way of rhyme or reason. It appears that some of the method in my madness has shown through.

Distributaries: “Modern Anarchism”

From The Libertarian Labyrinth

Our fast-moving mountain current has spread out across the a decade’s worth of terrain, splitting off into various distributary currents. We know—or at least the driving metaphor of this work suggests—that the various currents will never unite as fully as perhaps they were mingled before Proudhon’s death. We can certainly point to instances where some form of direct influence seems to carry forward from the earliest period examined through to the anarchism of the 1880s—but we have also inherited narratives that at least flirt with the notion of a rather complete reinvention of anarchist thought in what Kropotkin called “modern anarchism.”

Distributaries

From The Libertarian Labrynth

The question, raised again in the last installment of this series, of how contexts have shaped our perception of anarchist history is one that will be hard to avoid when we turn our attention to developments in English-speaking circles in North America. In that context, 1865 marks the end of the American Civil War and the return to civilian life of a number of key figures in the story to come.

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