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Anarchism Has Never Taken Ableism Seriously March 22, 2019

Posted by Summerspeaker in Anarchism, Despair, Transhumanism.
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Woman no longer wants to be a party to the production of a race of sickly, feeble, decrepit, wretched human beings, who have neither the strength nor moral courage to throw off the yoke of poverty and slavery. (Emma Goldman, “Marriage and Love”)

 

๐ŸดLike so many educated people of eir time, Goldman was a strident eugenicist who worried runaway reproduction under poor conditions was creating a breed of inferior beings. ๐Ÿด
 

Today’s anarchists follow in Goldman’s footsteps, despite whatever superficial nods to disability radicalism they might make. From fash to libertarians, the entire political spectrum can agree on ableism, on mocking & despising the unfit. Freak. Loser. Failure. Hardy a soul refrains from slinging such epithets against their personal & political opponents.

 

Even the best anarchists, at least the prominent ones, are ultimately still eugenicist bigots like everyone else. They hold nothing but contempt for suffering & marginalized folks. They insist on conformity to establish norms of social value like intelligence. Their interests & goals can never truly align with mine, with those of people on the wrong side of the genetic hierarchy, with those of any person who finds eirself on unsuited to eir environment.

 

Transhumanist anarchism holds the potential to break with custom & center the project of creating accessible & enabling environments for all feeling beings. To date, that potential remains utterly unrealized.

 

We can & must do so much better.

 

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Facts Don’t Care about Your Feelings! December 10, 2018

Posted by Summerspeaker in Anarchism, Epistemology, Transhumanism.
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Success in current society comes from DNA, structural advantage, & sheer chance. The same for failure by dominant norms.

Fascists, open eugenicists, many centrists, many liberals, etc. embrace this because they support the existing cistem of genetic sorting (even if some want to tweak it to be even more nightmarish).

Other centrists & liberals as well as most radicals prefer to mystify this reality, whether because they’re part of the genetic elite & defending their position or because they wish the world operated differently.

I recommend accepting the truth & striving to maximize freedom & pleasure as well as to minimize suffering for all sentient beings. We can create ever more accessible & enabling physical & social environments.

Social Justice Contrasts: Fancy Hotels & Grungy Mutual Aid November 26, 2018

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My experience at the recent American Studies Association (ASA) conference in Atlanta, GA highlights the tensions in the social-justice (SJ) scene. From the start, walking past folks sleeping on the street on my way to the conference location in a posh hotel unsettled me. Helping with a Food Not Bombs Atlanta meal further brought the contradictions into focus. Is our only choice between affluent academic professionalism & meager mutual aid? I hope not.

One of the folks at Atlanta FNB drew a clear theory-practice distinction. When I mentioned that the conference was people talking social justice in a fancy hotel, this FNBer told me they were doing it (SJ). The poverty & marginality of FNB Atlanta stood out. Like many FNBs, this one preps in a messy collective house. Its anarchist decor awed me: such an assortment of stickers & posters! The food comes from donations & includes the common array of weary veggies.

By my (petty bourgeois?) standards, the whole FNB Atlanta affair seemed a bit desperate, even as far as FNBs go. I’m impressed by how they used their limited resources, but I sure wish they had greater access to nice things.

How come society allocates so much more time & energy to SJ academic conferences than to SJ practice on the ground that serves folks in need?

I’m guessing the potential for SJ humanities disciplines like American studies to entertain & enlighten members of the professional & elite classes gives them the nod over anarchist mutual aid to unsheltered folks.

Needless to say, I’m not the only person to run in both academic & nonacademic radical circles. Various American studies scholars participate in organizing, mutual aid, etc. Some live in poverty themselves.

While I want American studies to thrive, I remain uncomfortable with conferences in high-class venues that charge to enter. These events aren’t accessible or welcoming to many poor/low-income people.

I long for vastly increased resources for mutual aid & for academic conferences that meaningfully engage with local class struggles.

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?

โš”๏ธ๐Ÿ”ซAnd 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.๐Ÿ”ซโš”๏ธ

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.

๐Ÿ’ขThe 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.๐Ÿ’ข

๐ŸšซI hope we soon get to the point of eliminating detention centers and deportations via [nonviolent] direct action.๐Ÿšซ

#ShutDownICEย #WyoSayNOย #NoRaidsย #NoBorders

๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—I send revolutionary love to everyone struggling against the nightmarish border monster.๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—ย ๐Ÿ’—

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

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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.

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.

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 celebrationย 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!