totw

Topic of the week: There are no tech solutions to social problems

  • Posted on: 4 January 2016
  • By: thecollective

We have covered this topic a few times before but it bears repeating. The solutions that technology gives to social problems rarely solve them and usually come with unforseen consequences. Let's look at the current brouhaha around PB as a case in point. For starters PB has never had an account on @news (which is done here). Additionally Drupal gives @news the option to "write in" a username which PB and many other users take advantage of as a way to have conversations over time.

Topic of the Week: The Social and the Political

  • Posted on: 29 December 2015
  • By: thecollective

Much ado was made, a decade or so ago, about a book that criticized “the milieu” as being a place where a “civil war” was going on, with no useful outcome possible. It proposed abandoning the milieu, and returning to friendship itself as the place to do political work. Clearly this is a framing exercise since most people we know do the bulk of their “political work” in exactly the same social circles they inhabited before and after the so-called milieu became indicted for their lack of success.

Topic of the Week: Anarchist Traveling vs. Tourism

  • Posted on: 21 December 2015
  • By: thecollective

Anarchist Traveling vs. Tourism

How do we distinguish between traveling and tourism as anarchists? What is important about traveling to anarchists and how does experiencing different places affect our views of the world around us? How can we prevent ourselves from fetishizing these experiences, as seems to be the case in tourism? Is it possible to reflect on or discuss our experiences without projecting our own biases on places that are alien to our own? Have experiences witnessing or engaging in struggle while traveling changed your viewpoint?

Topic of the Week: If not identity...?

  • Posted on: 13 December 2015
  • By: thecollective

Identity has become a code word for most anarchists. For those who reject it, it connotes people who embrace their victimization. For those who embrace it (or who at least don't reject it), it means the ways that groups of people are linked in how they suffer in this world (and implies solutions to that suffering, as well). The criticisms of identity, like those of the term "p.c.", have also been jumped on by right-wing folks, looking to negate the idea that there is more structural unfairness aimed at some than at others...

Topic of the Week: What to Do Next?

  • Posted on: 7 December 2015
  • By: Anonymous (not verified)

This is similar to a past topic of the week but I'd like to emphasize the question a bit differently. What do we do next? It appears that for some anarchists the most exciting work being done now is in the antifa or international solidarity fronts. Do you agree?

Is there work a little closer to home that you advocate for or should our practice look a little more like improving our daily lives? Our question this week isn't "What is to be done?" but what do we do next?

The Brilliant - Episode Thirteen: Your Joy is so Bourgeois

  • Posted on: 3 December 2015
  • By: aragorn

From The Brilliant

In this episode of the Brilliant, we begin by discussing briefly what made us first call ourselves anarchists: Aragorn! talks about being realistic by demanding the impossible while Bellamy almost mistakes the episode for a therapy session. We then spend a good bit of time on the Paris attacks, an effort which mutates into a discussion about how we frame analyses of distant events. Finally, we use a thoughtful and lengthy critical e-mail from a listener as a point from which to wander through the subjects of revolution, “changing the world”, pessimism versus passivity, and the meaning of joy.

Topic of the Week: Death and Heroism

  • Posted on: 30 November 2015
  • By: thecollective

Some people, such as Earnest Becker, have argued that the denial of death is fundamental to civilization. Part of this argument includes an analysis of heroism as a method through which individuals transcend their mortality by becoming a part of something eternal. Martyrdom, sacrifice, and risking one's mortality for an eternal cause has been a familiar trope in anarchist past. But, what do anarchists think of this heroism now? Is there anything greater than the individual that is worthy of self-sacrifice? Is there a good anarchist death?

Topic of the Week : Appeal to the Young

  • Posted on: 2 November 2015
  • By: thecollective

In a Topic of the Week past, emphasis was placed on anarchist life after 30 and how it is experienced individually, at the early stages of family life, amongst other anarchists (the “Scene”), and in its consequences on anarchist-specific capacity. This week, we'd like to move in the opposite direction with the question of age and discuss the life of younger individuals...

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Topic of the Week: Cooperation or Collaboration?

  • Posted on: 25 October 2015
  • By: thecollective

How do we enter or engage in actions, projects, or practices that require coordination between other people? How do you make the distinction between interacting cooperatively or collaboratively? Do you situate yourself within a role by volunteering for a collectively determined or constructed position, or by accepting a delegated role at the request of another or the group—both cooperative efforts? Have you felt stronger lines of cooperation that teetered into the realm of collaboration?

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