This one is fun.
We’re going to start with things I hate: the current trend for insurrectionists to basically say everyone who isn’t an insurrectionist sucks. The lovely little rants pop up on anarchistnews.org and infoshop.org all the time. There’s a lovely (read: annoying) one up right now, With a Kiss of Sin. The premise? Insurrectionists have always been the majority of anarchists, that everyone who isn’t an anarchist is an anarcho-liberal, that anarcho-liberals are dangerously taking over the anarchist milieu, and, here’s the kicker, anarcho-liberals are stupid, like celibate people.
Many if not most anarchists in history have been insurrectionaries—believing that it is a futile waste of an individuals’ life, or the lives of a whole group, to dedicate themselves to pondering, planning, expecting, or waiting for a revolution, much less an anarchist revolution, much less a successful one. Another trend, historically very small but seemingly prevalent in today’s anarchist milieu, balks at any suggestion of militancy or conflict, seeking to simply prod society in libertarian directions until its institutions are transformed…. a life spent planning, expecting, waiting for the revolution (or ‘social change’) is bound to be deeply dissatisfying, like a life of pent-up desire shrouded in celibacy.
First of all, anarchists have always been of different mindsets. Note that the first person to call themself an anarchist, Proudhon, was a mutualist, and not a revolutionary. Insurrectionists have always been a trend within anarchism, and note that even propaganda by the deed didn’t always just mean blowing shit up. Second of all, I’m sorry, but there are people who are quite happy being celibate and are pleased to deny themselves their desires (or who simply don’t desire the same crap you do)! Sigh. I can’t wait till this storm of nonsense goes away. “Orgies of destruction” my fucking ass. You can’t throw a rock through a social relation.
Yet I’m still not opposed to people who fight, including violently, against systems of oppression. I’m not against insurrection, I just don’t see this false divide that people are claiming.
Things I Love: people who pwn this nonsense. Most of the comments on these articles are all “yeah, right on, I would totally date you.” (For reals, that’s what they say sometimes). But there are gems:
what a boring article it sets up a completely delusional dichotomy and then writes a big dumb article based on two wrongfully represented “aspects” of the “anarchist millieu”. it criticizes “western radicalism” but boring regurgitated IA bla bla bla like this is exactly what helps make anarchism so boring and eye stabbingly annoying
but anyways i figured out how so many of them keep getting written. basically you use [madlibs website] and fill in the blanks with a bunch boring words and viola
heres one i got:
One day while I was insurrectioning in the hide-out a vast totality fell through the roof. It immediately jumped on the chair and knocked over the network of domination. Then it ran out the door into the anarchistnews.org and autonomous self organization a insurgent off the table. It then knocked a glass of gasoline off the coffee table. After 38 minutes of chasing the totality through the house I finally caught it and put it outside. It quickly climbed the nearest desires.
And then there was Abrahadabra, perhaps the wisest piece written on the current trends in anarchism. Excerpt:
When activism died, it took with it the anarchistic outgrowth that it had birthed. There are still some people holding signs on street corners. There are still some people breaking windows. Surely, both sides believe that if they do it for long enough, something will happen.
3 thoughts on “Things I Love, Things I Hate, Volume 2”
Excellent post – and such articles as the one you cite are why, in my 40’s, I stopped reading much current anarchist writing (obviously, I’m still following a couple of folks, such as yourself). History would indicate that anarchists who want change should perhaps consider having a large repertoire of actions and responses, for who knows what opportunities will arise… but in the US, until more of the citizenry want a society without hierarchy, etc. – and are willing to work within alternative social organizations (let’s face it, consensus takes work) – I think throwing bricks or holding signs will be equally (in)effective.
While discussions about how to get to a better society/social organization/insert-current-buzzword-or-phrase-here can be instructive, I wonder how much thought some writers give to what sort of society they actually want to achieve. Violent revolution, not infrequently, can be difficult to rein in once it’s out of the gate, usually leaves lasting scars on the psyche of a populace, and more than once has been co-opted by others with less noble ambitions than a more just world. It’s not a choice free of seriously negative repercussions. Do modern insurrectionists ever discuss these issues in regard to their favorite approach?
omg, that was soooo funny, i love the part when the totality quickly climbed the nearest desires! that would make a good children’s book- like those monkeys that steal the guy’s like 50 hats (caps for sale is the title i believe) but with insurrectionist hats, okay this is a bit of a fashion tangent but maybe it would revolve around those “indie revolution” hats with the star on the front, i’m pretty sure that’s what most insurrectionists i’ve met wear… does that make any sense?
but good news, according to ‘the coming insurrection’, insurrectionists are communists after all and anarchism is just “stupid formalism”… good riddance! sukkas! I always had a sneaking suspicion to be honest.
anyway, thanks for the lovely post, it made me laugh!
Cracked me up! Loved it, and your whole blog. A good mutual friend introduced me to it.
You can’t throw a rock through a social relation= hilarious
It should be a t-shirt but then that would go to shit cuz somebody would think that you think throwing rocks is ideologically useless in all instances. sheesh, kids and their totalities. :)