From C4SS by William Gillis
This week we celebrated the 12th anniversary since the founding of the Center for a Stateless Society. It’s been a wild ride, with many ups and downs. But somehow we’ve managed to build one of the most successful sites of anarchist discourse since the journal Liberty shuttered in 1908. We have become, as weird as it is, something of an institution.
James C. Scott’s latest book, Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States, is sure to become a classic and a brick in the wall of core anarchist theory. It covers somewhat different but complementary ground to Peter Gelderloo’s Worshiping Power: An Anarchist History Of Early State Formation. I have some significant critiques of the narratives it pushes, particularly around the character and downfall of early stateless sedentary agricultural societies, but on the whole I loved this book.
From C4SS by Peter Gelderloos
Different Views on How Best to Understand the Evolution of the State (Part II)
In Part I of this article, I responded to William Gillis’ review of Worshiping Power: An Anarchist Vision of Early State Formation. I wanted to give special attention to what I found to be his most interesting critique.
Elon Musk is trolling on twitter. A celebrity billionaire wasting his time making inane provocations would hardly be worthy of note but in the process Musk has declared that his politics are in line with Iain Banks’ anarcho-transhumanist utopia and that he aspires to see a world of direct democracy. There’s few spectacles like a billionaire in a labor dispute essentially fronting as a proponent of fully automated luxury communism. Yet when a number of his statements wander close to left wing market anarchist takes it may be worth responding.
C4SS Director William Gillis recently gave this talk in Austin, TX using the lenses of sociology, psychology, and information theory to explore the fundamental limitations of organizations. In other words, it’s a thorough explanation of why meetings suck.
by William Gillis, via humaniterations
Should publishing neonazi material be tolerated among anarchists?
To almost every anarchist the answer is and has always been no. This is not a matter of censoring or hiding from ideas, it’s a matter of not giving shitty people with shitty values and goals the legitimacy of a platform and connection with us. Social association matters, it maps networks of trust and collaboration, it declares degrees of affinity, and provides points of entry. When you hang with nazis, when you allow them into your spaces, or when you promote their propaganda you’re quite reasonably gonna get treated like a nazi collaborator.
From Horizontal Hostility (Jul 30, 2017)
In this episode the hosts discuss post-leftism, an article by Alexander Reid Ross, and some drama around the recent discovery that Wolfi Landstreicher had published through a fascist-aligned publisher. What is the post-left? How widely should we cast that term? Are the clusterfucks often associated with it (Bob Black, Hakim Bey...) more characteristic than other figures or tendencies? Will defends many of his haters, arguing that the post-left provides critical and valuable insights that anarchists must integrate, the other hosts are skeptical. The hosts discuss the particular weaknesses of some flavors of post-leftism to fascist entryism, and the disappointing wagon-circling that has resulted from certain critiques, as well as the weaknessness of those critiques. Do anarchist norms against snitching or collaboration with fascists constitute a form of policing or "boycott politics"? Note that immediately after recording Wolfi released his account which people should also read.
From Human Iterations by William Gillis
Sometimes words are just words — interchangeable and discardable — but sometimes a word belies a knot in our thought, tightly wound and tensely connected. “Anarchy” is one such word.