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A Bit of Hatemail from Jaimie Hayden October 2, 2018

Posted by Summerspeaker in Despair, Queer politics.
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This is what it’s like being trans on the internet in 2018! Jaimie sure taught those straw men ey built a lesson! Ah, bigots!

I don’t buy you. You aren’t just repellent to others because you’re in a minority group. You’re self-hating, comically negative, and basically made of being resentful. You hate everyone else for being happy when you’re not. That’s a choice. That’s your responsibility. That’s the content of your bad character, AKA the thing it’s right to discriminate about. Plenty of people don’t respond to bad luck by being toxic. People hate you not just because your body is ugly but because your soul is ugly.

But let’s say you’re right, that it really is out of your control that other people just find you repellent and there’s nothing you can do about it. What you’re saying is you want human connection with people knowing full well it causes them pain.

Well, pedophilia is genetic. Some people are born with sexual desires they can’t fulfill without damaging other people’s lives. It’s not their fault. It’s bad luck. Well, I’m sorry. Either that pedophile has a moral obligation to accept a life of sexual frustration, or everyone else has a right to remove the danger to their children and community. There’s no way out of that.

If you’re right about yourself then you’re in the same boat. When you act like society is unfair because it’s organized so that people who feel miserable around you aren’t pushed to be around you, you’re fantasizing about people having less options about not giving you affection. And that’s pretty much like rape. Sorry, people being able to choose to be around people they like just means unlikeable people end up alone. That’s the system working. Anything else is you feeling entitled to ruin other people’s lives.

You’re basically an incel, and you need to be told something blunt. If you somehow at the same time lack every possible good thing from beauty to talent to charm to money to status to style to pride to fun to wit to kindness, then you should be rejected. That’s what not having merit means. But then I honestly have trouble believing that anyone in real life could really be as bad at everything at once as you paint yourself.

Imagine someone really existed whose body literally excreted shit from pores in the surface of their skin. Everything you touch turns to shit. Other people around them feel nauseated and ill just standing in the room with you. Well, obviously that person wouldn’t ever experience love or touch or affection. Of course they don’t. They’re a utility black hole. It’s absolutely senseless for anyone to put resources into someone incapable of being happy no matter what you do and who makes everyone else less happy just by existing.

But, like I said, I don’t buy you. I think it’s just easier for you to wallow in misery than admit you’re born less good at being deserving of anyone else’s love or respect, and your only choice is a long hard road of self-improvement to become adequate at it. It’s not fair, but the only way you’ll get anywhere is stop caring about unfairness and do the work of catch-up at being loveworthy. Knowing you might not succeed but realizing it’s your problem to succeed anyway.

If someone’s legs are broken, the person who trains themselves to walk on prosthetics and accepts working four times harder for imperfect functionality might succeed, while the person who just shouts hatred at people with functioning legs will fail. Making yourself feel better by over and over telling a moral story about how evil luckier people are is just doubling down on failure and the absolute most certain way to remain a failure for the rest of your life. Every unit of energy you throw at hating the world for being unfavourable to you is squandering resources you more than anyone else can’t afford to waste. While making you more and more unlovable and a worse and worse person.

And if you really just can’t. If the game of reality just spat out a map where there’s no way you can win this nightmare level, then you should accept that this is reality. Every human being faces that situation eventually. It’s called death. And some people go out with dignity, while other people go out whining and hating and shaming the human species with their disgraceful spectacle.

Grow some dignity. Change your life. Stop dragging everyone else down.

Jaimie does kinda have a point about how abject and impossible being genetically unlovable is. $10 says the vast majority of people (including radicals!) agree with Jaimie at the end of the day, because everyone loves eugenics. If you’re going to be a eugenicist, at least be kind enough to advocate exterminating the genetically unfit as soon as possible, so as to minimize their/our pain.

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Anarchism, Anticolonialism, Immigration March 18, 2018

Posted by Summerspeaker in Anarchism, Anti-imperialism, Decolonization, Transhumanism.
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During a one-on-one conversation the other day after talking about New Zealand’s immigration policy, I said I hoped we could all agree that at least Europe has no claim whatsoever to excluding immigrants on the ground of nationalism or self-determination. I extended this to colonized European groups like the Irish and Basques.

Yesterday, I went to a Saint Patrick’s Day event on the Irish national-liberation struggle and international anticolonialism/anti-imperialism.

While I consider purist anarchist arguments against oppressed nationalisms overblown, sometimes I can’t help but feel disturbed at how similar national-liberation rhetoric sounds to alt-right rhetoric. “Ireland for the Irish” can be anticolonial if targeted against British occupation, but “Sweden for the Swedes” serves as a fascist rallying cry. That’s goddamn confusing.

I support oppressed nationalisms in the current historical context so long as as they don’t mirror dominant nationalisms with their militarized borders and aggressive contempt for outsiders. I don’t have or want a homeland myself. If I went “back” to the lands my ancestors come from in Wales, England, Scotland, and France, I’d agitate for abolishing nations and borders there. I’d have no sympathy for using violence/coercion to preserve Welsh/English/Scottish/French culture.

According to prevalent left norms, it’s not my place to tell colonized peoples how to organize, what to do in their lands, and so on. This presumably includes colonized European groups. After all, I’m not Irish (except maybe a tiny bit ancestrally), Basque, etc.

In addition to present solidarity/alliance against common enemies, I’m curious about the possibilities for future coexistence between anarchists who don’t believe in homelands and Indigenous nationalists. Some of my dissertation looks at the Partido Liberal Mexican and its support of Yaqui self-determination for insight and inspiration on the subject. I plan to write a longer blog piece on this theme at some point.

I don’t know how it’s all going to work out. Perhaps we transhumanist anarchists will have to take to the seas and/or stars. For the moment, I’m happy to be fighting colonialism/imperialism with so many fabulous comrades.

Death to Borders January 14, 2018

Posted by Summerspeaker in Anarchism.
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burn detention centres

The whole idea of borders and detention centers confounds and angers me.

Why does anyone want to pay people (ICE, etc.) to kidnap and torture others (undocumented immigrants) solely because they happen to have been born on the wrong side of an arbitrary line in the sand?

⚔️🔫And in the United States, at least, it’s a line imposed by ongoing colonialism against Native peoples. Historically, other than might making right, what possible basis does an illegitimate settler government largely run by the descendants of European invaders have to restrict the movement of largely mestizx immigrants from Mexico & Central America? In some cases the latter traverse trails that predate European invasion. Additionally, U.S. military intervention and economic policy fuels much migration. At a minimum, this context adds insult to the injury that contemporary U.S. borders cause by the minute.🔫⚔️

Even if you fundamentally like and/or believe in nation states and borders, is aggressive enforcement really worth all the negative externalities involved? Mainstream economics indicates considerable advantages from immigration. Deportations tear apart the iconic family structure and the principle of individual liberty that so many within the United States profess to value.

💢The logic of nation-state borders stands out as antithetical to freedom under the best circumstances. In the United States specifically, immigration policy constitutes white-supremacist and colonial violence.💢

🚫I hope we soon get to the point of eliminating detention centers and deportations via [nonviolent] direct action.🚫

#ShutDownICE #WyoSayNO #NoRaids #NoBorders

💗💗💗I send revolutionary love to everyone struggling against the nightmarish border monster.💗💗 💗

ningunserhumanoesilegal

On Markets, Meetings, and Social Value October 23, 2017

Posted by Summerspeaker in Anarchism, Feminism, Queer politics, Transhumanism.
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No political tendency offers much to unpopular/unlovable folks. Some queer, feminist, and disability radicalisms make an effort. Communisms at least theoretically want equal material nice things for everyone.

In actually existing communism to date, of course, force & attractiveness (in its various modes) tended to determine access to resources. Party insiders at every level ruled the roost.

Popularity mechanisms such as markets and meetings necessarily exclude those of us who can’t compete, who can’t please other members of the species. They’re no good for freaks, outcasts, queers, losers, etc.

For the long term, transhumanism promises the satisfaction of all desires if only via virtual reality, the ability change or eliminate one’s desires, and the ability to copy whatever the successful folks have.

If I thought I could personally win the popularity game and didn’t care about those who couldn’t, then maybe I’d be a market anarchist.

Markets and currency might constitute the lesser evil temporarily and I’m grudgingly okay with that, but only if combined with attention to those excluded and attempts at correction.

On Pacifism and Nazis August 16, 2017

Posted by Summerspeaker in Anarchism.
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(Adapted from this thread. See here for recent positive mainstream coverage of antifascism.)

I’m not quite a pacifist, but my ideal is nonviolence, the complete absence of coercion. That’s a key reason for my opposition to the state and to all oppression, domination, and hierarchy.

The problem with strict pacifism is that you just get killed or imprisoned by those willing to employ force.

In the abstract, I’d prefer to persuade Nazis of the harm they’re doing rather than to punch them. Using pain and terror to condition thought and behavior stands out as antithetical to my values. In theory, I don’t even like shaming people for expressing Nazis or other beliefs. I want everyone to be able to independently investigate what’s true and what’s good rather than being compelled or pressured. Coercion based on ideas potentially impedes our understanding of material reality.

In a perfect world, I’d want to physically intervene in any hurtful material polices fascists and sundry tried to implement but otherwise debate them based on the conventions of rational exchange. (This includes passionately telling them how harmful their ideas are.) Interventions would be forceful without trying to cause pain or injury. Examples include crowding around folks to shut down harassment, swarming a prison or detention facility, and unarresting people without throwing punches. The principle is to take the action that involves the minimum suffering of feeling beings. Improving technology should provide increasingly effective ways to do this.

Of course, in practice the stakes are very high: fascism and other nightmarish ideologies cause vast suffering. I accept that wielding the weapons of shaming, harassment, and preemptive violence against fascists can do more good than harm under current circumstances. I wonder where it ends, but that’s not the most pressing concern. Violence may well be the last refuge of the incompetent; we’re pretty incompetent right now. Desperate times call for desperate measures. I hope (and suspect) we can get better.

Personally, I can’t literally bash the fash out of fear I’d enjoy it too much and spiral out of control. I respect those who manage that balancing act.

Lonely Robots: Transhumanist Responses to Unfuckability July 4, 2017

Posted by Summerspeaker in Feminism, Queer politics, Science Fiction, Technology, Transhumanism.
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Soon after I mentioned being genderqueer during a conversation at the Extreme Futurist Festival 2011, the person I was talking to responded, “Wow, it must be hard for you to find sexual partners!”

“Gee, thanks,” I thought. As tactless as that remark may have been, it wasn’t wrong. This piece by Meredith Talusan explores some of the dynamics involved. Unfortunately, complaining about not getting laid immediately calls to mind masculine sexual entitlement to women’s bodies. I’m not sure it can escape that established trope.

The question of who’s considered attractive and who receives affection matters, but it’s unclear what to do. Most successful folks on the left and elsewhere enjoy their social power and/or romantic/sexual attractiveness. Critiques of the status quo as making it difficult for some to realize their desires potentially unsettle the existing elite, so they’ve no interest in pushing such critiques.

It’s telling Talusan’s article centers the achievement of Jacob Tobia and Alok Vaid-Menon, taking for granted the notion that prominent folks should get dates. What about all the humans who conform to neither ideals of attractiveness nor of success?

Well, nobody cares about those losers!

Imagenes Tristes 84

Anybody who values the overall good should care, though, and some do, or at least pretend to. Transhumanism offers various theoretical easy fixes to the problems of loneliness and unfuckability, albeit with severe implementation issues and philosophical implications.

Morphological Freedom

Wait, some people are poor, ugly, crazy, and/or sick? Let’s use technology to get them up to standard. We can all be sexy immortal billionaires!

A lot of transhumanists think this way.

As simplistic as this perspective is seems, the difficulty if not impossibility of conforming to existing norms indeed accounts for much of their oppressive power. Currently, the genetic lottery, money, and time determine who’s beautiful, hot, sexy, stunning, etc. If anybody could make their body match ideals of physical beauty, the advantage the genetic elite have in this regard would evaporate.

On the other hand, the normatively gorgeous don’t necessarily have the kind of sexual and romantic relationships they want, so opening access to beauty hardly seems sufficient. Additionally, what about folks who chose unpopular aesthetics? They might still find themselves undesirable despite full morphological freedom. Additionally, deprived of the genetic hierarchy, attractiveness norms could shift to become akin to fashion: “Girl, that body is so last month!”

The prospect of modifying minds quickly leads to questioning the basis of individual identity. For example, assuming I could make myself think and behave as popular and successful people do, would I want to? What about rewiring my mind to disregard social status and affection entirely? Would I still be me if I did either of those? I don’t know. Many of us stubbornly wish to remain who we imagine ourselves to be.

Matching Algorithms

Given the wide array of different desires folks have, morphological freedom by itself seems inadequate for solving the problem of loneliness and unfuckability. And of course full morphological freedom would require technological innovation and economic transformation; it’s a long way off.

However, there’s potential to make things dramatically better in the nearer term. Matching algorithms, such as featured on dating sites like OkCupid, can facilitate connections and enable romantic/sexual relationships. This ain’t necessarily that great at the moment, but the principle of aligning people’s desires, interests, etc. has promise. As big the world is, there’s probably at least a few folks somewhere whose desires match up with any given person’s at any given time.

For instance, let’s say I want to get tied up right now. I don’t know anyone who I think would be interested, but there’s a decent chance one or more of the planet’s seven and half billion humans is, especially if they had an idea of who I am and a basic level of trust. There might even be somebody my city or neighborhood.

Increasingly sophisticated digital networks can theoretically hook people up for both romantic/sexual relationships and other interactions, decreasing loneliness and improving quality of life. We already try to do this with our social media, though it’s a rather blunt instrument at present.

Sexbots

Certain transhumanists and others look optimistically to sexbots, predicting physical and mental health benefits. Yet, in addition to raising questions about objectification, sexbots are unlikely be able to convey the social status associated with romantic/sexual desirability. While some may eventually function as romantic partners, this wouldn’t be equivalent to human partnership unless they had human-level or above artificial intelligence and autonomy like a human. Sexbots might well alleviate the pain of unfuckability by human standards, but it’s unlikely they would completely resolve the problem. As Sherry Turkle and company argue, the prospect of sex and love with robots has the potential pitfalls. I find those concerns mostly misguided but relevant here.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality offers a number of benefits for sexual/romantic relations, whether between humans or between humans and AIs. VR makes change ones appearance trivial, eliminating that aspect of the genetic lottery. By transcending geographic limitations, VR in conjunction with matching algorithms could dramatically increase the odds of meaningful connections.

VR sexbots have the same issues as physical ones, albeit with perhaps less stigma. With or without sexual/romantic elements, VR worlds could simulate social status, as games do today. Losing oneself in VR entails similar philosophical challenges to transforming one’s psyche as described above.

Conclusion

None of the above technologies can replace the political and social project of creating a more accessible and fulfilling society, but they can assist in that project and make life more livable in any case.

When Anarcho-Transhumanists Attack: Cyborgs vs. Tanks July 2, 2017

Posted by Summerspeaker in Anarchism, Transhumanism.
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Bizarrely enough, my presence at a protest of the Party of Socialism and Liberation (PSL) here in Albuquerque has sparked rumors that “anarcho-transhumanists” connected to the Center for a Stateless Society (C4SS) “fucked up” a PSL office.

For the record, I only showed up to the protest. I didn’t organize it. I’m not connected to C4SS beyond knowing William Gillis and liking some C4SS content.

It’s challenging to succinctly describe what went down because lots of us continue to debate it locally. I attempt an overview here.

For context, the PSL has been operating in ABQ for some years now. Various radical and progressive groups and individuals have had issues working with them. Earlier this year, the Red Nation broke with the PSL and published a statement accusing the party of anti-Indianism and sexism.

The protest on June 23 was called by various community members. They billed it as “Shut Down PSL” on Facebook. The PSL event in question was a Juneteenth event, which the protest organizers described as part of the PSL’s pattern of exploiting marginalized communities. There were no black speakers physically present at the event and few or no black folks in attendance.

I was with the protesters as they walked up to the PSL office. It quickly turned into a verbal confrontation. Eventually the PSL folks withdrew into their office and locked the doors. The police showed but didn’t do much beyond hanging around and talking with some people. Certain protesters did offer water to police and invoke them against the PSL (“they said you’re wack too!”). The PSL has tried to use this police interaction to discredit protesters.

Later on, after police left, a white neighbor came out holding a pistol and threatened protesters. This neighbor had apparently called the cops because eir nine-year-old son was scared Black Lives Matter was holding people hostage across the street. The neighbor shouted anti-BLM right-wing talking points. Medics ducked behind a car and prepared for the worst, which thankfully didn’t happen. Protesters managed to deescalate the situation.

Thursday, June 29, the PSL published a statement denouncing the protesters and saying somebody broke the windows to their office the night after the protest.

Debates on social media have been raging since then. It’s all a mess; for better or worse that’s how community is. I don’t agree with a fair amount of what the anti-PSL protesters did or said but I tend to believe the allegations of abuse from the Red Nation and others. I support calling out and confronting oppressive behavior.

Of course, as an anarchist, I additionally have a ideological axe to grind against the PSL and all other Leninists.

Over the course of debating this protest on social media, a PSL fan has threatened to contact my employer in order to silence criticism of the PSL.

Threats to give an employer public information are curious, but I assume I should be quaking in my rocket boots.

Pride’s Queer Future June 27, 2017

Posted by Summerspeaker in Anarchism, Anti-imperialism, Feminism, Queer politics, Science Fiction, Transhumanism.
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The year is 2020.

Pride events across the United States have banned cops, corporations, Zionism, & U.S. nationalism.

Talking heads rail about intersectionality as masked queers loot banks and big-box stores.

Cishet white men approach with caution, assuming the SJW mob will rip them apart. Instead they find themselves caught up in the revolutionary fervor.

Semi-autonomous remote-controlled drones assault police cars and stations massive numbers.

Law and order breaks down. It’s chaos in the streets.

New worlds are forming.

Remembering the Pulse Massacre in 2017 June 12, 2017

Posted by Summerspeaker in Queer politics.
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I’m sharing this 2016 post from Ali A. Rizvi to highlight how ex-Muslim voices matter and how all Abrahamic scriptures are antiqueer. Various prominent ex-Muslims offer of a compelling critique of the Islamophobia discourse that appears dominant on the Western left at present. We anarchists in particular need to do better in this regard. It’s a difficult issue to navigate and ex-Muslims like Rizvi and Sarah Haider have meh politics overall, but fundamentally our sympathies should lie with apostates, blasphemers, and so on.

Pride 2017 June 10, 2017

Posted by Summerspeaker in Anarchism, Anti-imperialism, Decolonization, Queer politics.
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I took this during Pride events in Albuquerque today. Let’s simultaneously oppose antiqueer violence, borders, and xenophobia.

In Washington, DC, radicals disrupted the Pride celebration with banners calling attention to various forms of oppression: the police, colonial oil pipelines on Native land, and deportations.

I’d love to see more actions like this. I wish there’d been one here. There was an alternative Pride event calling out the main Pride event for being corporate. A few radicals marched in the main one, myself included, but it wasn’t like what went down in DC. We didn’t disrupt. It’s usually correct to disrupt.

Unlike last year, I refrained from disruption. I put up anarchist stickers and mostly kept my mouth shut. Despite all the hype around Donald Trump’s election and what you’d hope would be an era of intensified resistance, life goes on. Everyday concerns remain dominant for most of us.

Here’s to ever-increasing queerness in all the senses of the word. Expect the future to be even weirder than the present. If you think we’re freaks now, just wait!