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Death to All Authority Includes Parents and Scientists September 4, 2012

Posted by Summerspeaker in Ageism, Anarchism, Queer politics, Transhumanism.
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By “queer”, we mean “social war”. And when we speak of queer as a conflict with all domination, we mean it.

This recent post and comment thread on cryonics over at Dale’s blog starkly illustrates how invested queer and feminist academics can be in disciplinary credentials, respectability, seriousness, and ageism. Molecular biologist Athena Andreadis positions eirself as an expert capable dispensing truth and dispelling the myths of the frozen-head cult. Tellingly, ey denigrates eir transhumanist opponents by invoking the universally idealized yet despised figure of the child. According to both Dale and Athena, being a kid precludes one from a seat at the table of rationality. For example, Athena has “little stomach for watching adults pee themselves in public and proudly point at the stain” and no desire “to arm-wrestle with a tantrumizing five-year old.” Read through Shulamith Firestone’s lucid critique of childhood as a category of systematic oppression, such rhetoric amounts to hate speech. In practice I struggle alongside folks with politics akin to Dale’s – and worse – on a regular basis, but my brand of queer anarchism rejects the pernicious hierarchies they support. Our dreams are ultimately incompatible. Scholars may not be the wisest target at these stage of the game – though they are one of my favorites, given my position in the Imperial Academy – but we’ll have to come for them sooner or later.

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1. Dale Carrico - September 4, 2012

Politics even “worse” than mine? — a democratic socialist feminist anti-racist anti-militarist queer environmentalist — impossible! Summer, a coalition of one isn’t politics, its narcissism — sorry if admonition seems to you parental or like “hate speech.” Rolls eyes.

Summerspeaker - September 4, 2012

Without acknowledging difference, coalitions become tyrannical. I collaborate with liberals, Marxist-Leninists, and sundry on shared goals, but that doesn’t mean our aspirations can be reconciled in the long run. Domination makes pluralism hollow. Perhaps once a robust network of revolutionary communes exists, I could make peace with whatever remains of the academy. We’ll see.

Dale Carrico - September 4, 2012

In an anti-intellectual for-profit country you want to complain about one of the few institutional spaces that resists these dreadful deadly tendencies the least bit? Resists, even as corporatizing vultures are fighting to dismantle privatize and profiteer the academy themselves? Great time to pile on, Summer. You ally with techno-fascist transhumanoids in the name of a radical vision they don’t give two shits about, you spit on one of the few spaces in culture where some of us find a foothold despite our queerness and radicalism rather than fighting within it as a part of it to make it even better? …and of course it needs to be better! Who said anything about coalition without recognition of difference, did you sleep through the 80s and 90s and the culture wars? Stop pretending being stupid is radical or emancipatory, it’s just fucking stupid. Gah, you frustrate me so much, sometimes! Best to you, I mean it, but, er, gah! d

shagggz - September 4, 2012

So not only are hierarchies tyrannical, but even coalitions, and basic human familial relationships? Do you ever stop to appreciate how laughably incoherent, unworkable, and ultimately impotent your ideology is? Especially in the context of the singularity.

Summerspeaker - September 4, 2012

@Dale: I find the cry of anti-intellectualism – so commonly employed by academics to justify their/our position – less than compelling. While not denying widespread and often negative manifestations of anti-intellectualism, I suggest that U.S. society runs first and foremost on hierarchy, competition, and bureaucracy. By this framework, the university appears not as a bastion under siege but a site for the reproduction and distribution of the hegemonic status quo. If I’m more fiercely critical of academia than transhumanism – and I’m not sure that’s a fair allegation – that’s because former and not the latter exerts a directly oppressive influence on my daily life. I’ve never been kidnapped and threatened by a transhumanist cop, but I have been by university police officers. Transhumanism doesn’t subject me to examinations intended to instill identification with the hierarchy via suffering. Etc.

@shagggz – Yes, basic human familial relationships are especially tyrannical. If the Singularity means protecting or reiterating the nuclear family – perhaps through a big daddy singleton AI in the sky – then death to the Singularity.

2. shagggz - September 7, 2012

Though I disagree with Dale’s implication that transhumanism is inherently fascistic, I agree with his characterization of your conduct as stupid. “Stupid” is the best way to succinctly describe the laughable, aimless, pointless and destructive brayings you produce.

Summerspeaker - September 7, 2012

Brayings? I like that. I’m going to add your comment to my acclaim section. Smart people have devastated this world. Let’s give stupidity a try.


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