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Anarchist Super Bowl Ad February 5, 2017

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Anarchist Groupthink: Yours Truly Banned from /r/Anarchism February 5, 2017

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So now I’m banned from the whole /r/Anarchism subreddit, of course without explanation.

They can’t justify it, so they don’t even try.

That’s what happens when you ask questions about violence, challenge bodyshaming, and criticize groupthink. That’s what happens when you add “queer loser | expropriate social capital” to your flair. /r/Anarchism, as many anarchists groups, exists as a club for cool kids, a popularity contest. The moderators zealously guard their social capital.

It’s good example of how anarchist unity ain’t a thing and probably shouldn’t ever become a thing, barring some hivemind.

Edit: And now I’m unbanned. Maybe it was all just a mistake. Curious.

The Time Is Ripe for Rebellion February 3, 2017

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professional-anarchists

Some day—and I greatly fear that day is not very far distant—some professional anarchist (for there are professional anarchists as well as professional thieves) will consider that the time is ripe for rebellion, and, raising the fraudulent cry of “Labor against Capital,” instead of his legitimate cry, which is “Rapine, Murder, Booty!” will lead this army of degenerates, composed of anarchists, socialists, nihilists, sexual perverts, and congenital criminals, against society.

James Weir, Jr., 1894

Complete Anarchy January 23, 2017

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“They’re smashing the Starbucks windows! They are smashing the Starbucks windows right now! This is complete anarchy.”

Does Truth Matter When Fighting Evil? January 22, 2017

Posted by Summerspeaker in Anarchism, Transhumanism.
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spencer-liddell-confusion

So this image has been making the rounds on social media. It attributes a Colin Liddell quotation apparently advocating black genocide to Richard Spencer. That’s sloppy but arguably fair enough because Spencer was editing the site where Liddell’s piece appeared. However, Colin Liddell claims eir critics are misreading the piece, that ey used the figure of black genocide to highlight genocidal language supposedly used against white South Africans. I’m certainly not suggesting any of this is remotely acceptable or that it negates the case for punching Spencer, but accuracy still matters in times of war. Justifying physical violence against the outgroup via misattribution of a quotation taken out of context isn’t okay.

Antifascists: Be Careful Not to Slip January 22, 2017

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bash-the-outgroup

with-us-or

In case there’s any question: I’m not a good soldier in the anarchist, antifascist, antiracist, or any other cause. If that’s what you’re looking for, bookmark me as inevitable traitor. I know I expect personal, political, and intellectual betrayal from other humans as a matter of course.

As you’ve probably seen, the anarchist and broader antiracist scene has exploded with glee about Richard Spencer getting punched. There are strong arguments for the merits of this action. Assuming that the U.S. and world system of white supremacy constitutes structural violence, physically attacking a white nationalist functions as justified counterviolence, as self-defense. Assuming punching Spencer emboldens antiracists and/or suppresses white nationalists via terror, it potentially does far more good than harm and thus meets with utilitarian approval. Etc. While I doubt attacking Spencer was the absolutely optimal play, I can’t much complain about the punch itself.

Here I just encourage the antifascists who believe in beating, torturing, and killing fascists to recognize the marvelously slippery slope they’re standing on. You’re not the same as the fascists; you fight, I hope, for lofty ideals. Their dreams are nightmares. However, that difference doesn’t protect you from falling into similar traps of self-righteousness and insularity. If you make anyone who disagrees or who questions you into your enemy, you’ll descend into authoritarianism.

Keep your focus on those you can identify as fascists with high confidence.

blackblocg20_black_bloc_by_emerica84

On the Utility of Shooting Informants (Rogue One Spoilers) January 22, 2017

Posted by Summerspeaker in Anarchism, Epistemology, Science Fiction, Technology, Transhumanism.
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Che was a devout Marxist-Leninist who believed that capitalism was doomed and that inevitably socialism, then communism, would take its place. He also possessed an unshakable faith that the entire process could be hurried along at the point of a gun. According to Alberto Granado, who as a young medical student had accompanied Che on his motorcycle journey through South America, when Che looked through a sniper scope at a soldier and pulled the trigger, he fully believed that he was helping reduce repression by ‘saving 30,000 future children from lives of hunger.’ When Granado looked through a sniper scope, by contrast, he saw only a man with a wife and children. The difference between them, Granado said, was that Che felt certain he was ushering in a new world order.

In Rogue One, rebel stalwart Cassian shoots a disabled informant in eir first appearance on screen. Cassian does this presumably to facilitate eir own escape and to prevent the informant from talking under interrogation. The film presents this action as unpleasant but morally justified as long as the fight against the Empire succeeds. A prominent anarchist has present Cassian’s act as obviously correct because utilitarianism.

I’m skeptical.

Guerrilla warfare historically involves lots of shooting and/or torturing a variety of types of informants. Guevara, for example, shot supposed enemy informants, most or all of whom were in the class position Guevara nominally fought for. While Cassian shot a friendly informant, the logic of elimination to deny the enemy information is similar. This sordid record ain’t anything to celebrate.

While there may conceivably be situations in which murder to control knowledge flows constitutes the optimal option, I doubt this happens often in our world. (It may not happen at all.) I suspect the trope/model of inflicting physical damage to feeling beings for the greater good causes more harm than it prevents.

Based on my experience and understanding of the world, humans don’t need any prodding from utilitarians to commit horrors in the name of God/nation/liberation/revolution/etc. I want to challenge this pattern of thought, not encourage it.

Sure, social regeneration though violence makes sense within its own terms. If defeating the allegedly evil enemy via pain and terror is the sole path to freedom and prosperity, it’s hard to argue against the approach. The trick is predicting the effect of hurting people with any confidence and of ruling out alternative options.

Humans in the cultures I’m familiar with default to violence as means for making the world a better place. We’re programmed by World War II, the atomic bombings of Japan, popular media, the police, the military, and so on to accept that narrative. Anarchist utilitarians who feed this discourse cheerlead for the status quo.

When you contemplate the revolutionary utility of murdering folks, I recommend reviewing the messy real-world history of insurgency rather than simplified fictional stories. Perhaps this will be your best option at some point in the coming years or decades. If so, weigh the odds and uncertainties carefully beforehand. Afterward, file a mental note to improve yourself and the resistance as a whole so you can do better in the future.

As transhumanists, we have to hold fast to the goal of engineering our way out of these ethical dilemmas. There’s always or almost always a superior course of action. What we can imagine, we’ll make. As Salvor Hardin said, “Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.”

Thinking about Inauguration Protests as a Historian January 20, 2017

Posted by Summerspeaker in Anarchism, Transhumanism.
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While I’m not your stereotypical bash-the-fash anarchist, here on Inauguration Day I want to call attention to the stakes involved. Unless the fascists or similar (maybe liberals?) write the history books, I doubt the authors will chide us for excess in resisting a Donald Trump presidency. They won’t spill much ink mourning broken windows or bruised fascist faces. Instead, they’ll wonder why we didn’t go harder. They’ll wonder how we could tolerate the fact that people across the world lack access to basic comforts despite the technical means to provide them. They’ll marvel over our indifference to borders, deportations, and torture chambers (detention centers, jails, prisons). They’ll express outrage at our acceptance of militarism and drone assassinations. They’ll be puzzled that we didn’t recognize heteropatriarchy as a constant crisis. Etc.

The historians of the future will wish we’d taken more risks to overturn our intolerable and now worsening status quo.

Chelsea Manning’s Sentence Commuted January 17, 2017

Posted by Summerspeaker in Anarchism, Queer politics, Technology.
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This is a victory for freedom, justice, political prisoners queer/trans revolution, etc. The credit goes to all the folks who’ve support Chelsea Manning, not to Barack Obama. Let’s hope Obama does the same for countless other political prisoners in the next couple of days. Let’s hope to soon become so crafty that they can’t catch us and imprison us at all.

Anarchist Remix of “First They Came …” December 7, 2016

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blackblocg20_black_bloc_by_emerica84

This seems to be how most anarchists assume it’ll go down.

thinkofthenazis