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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.

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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 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!

Happy Anarchy Day May 1, 2017

Posted by Summerspeaker in Anarchism.
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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

Posted by Summerspeaker in Anarchism.
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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.

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

Posted by Summerspeaker in Anarchism.
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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

A Salute to Korryn Gaines: Live Free, Die Young September 23, 2016

Posted by Summerspeaker in Anarchism, Uncategorized.
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korryn-gaines

Because I live under a rock and/or because the police kill so many people it’s hard to keep up, I just learned about Korryn Gaines today. After watching the video of the traffic stop that serves as backstory to Gaines’s fatal encounter with police on August 1, I’m struck by how Gaines behaved with the cops about as I’d like to. Eir analysis during the traffic stop was on point: “So who the fuck are y’all? A bunch of fucking gang members!” Bold as a lion, indeed.

A couple days ago, the authorities who killed Gaines decided they done no wrong. Shocking.

Maybe I’m missing it, but I ain’t finding any outpouring of support for Gaines from anarcho-capitalists, libertarians, anti-government militias, and so on. I see a positive piece or two (example) plus various ones (example) criticizing Gaines’s supposedly poor choices. This seems weird. It’s almost as if a bunch right libertarians consider Gaines part of the outgroup.

I don’t encourage hurting any feeling being, but mad love and respect to everybody who refuses to bow down to authority.

Gaines tried to live free and ended up dead. If enough people practice the same commitment to liberty, they won’t be able to kill us all.

 

Comply or Die: Betty Shelby Highlights Statist Mentality September 23, 2016

Posted by Summerspeaker in Anarchism.
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The official explanation of why Tulsa police officer Betty Shelby shot Terence Crutcher neatly illustrates the statist mentality: comply or die. During the encounter with Crutcher, Shelby radioed that ey had a subject “who is not following commands.” Ey pulled out eir pistol, pointed it at Crutcher, and continued to give orders. The pistol made the threat of violence behind Shelby’s command more immediate.

Crutcher didn’t do exactly what Shelby ordered, so ey shot em.

That’s the authoritarian mindset in a nutshell.

Shelby claims to have been terrified, but the material circumstances at the time put em in a safer position than Crutcher. Imagine, for a moment, if a civilian had treated another civilian in the fashion that Shelby treated Crutcher. I don’t know about y’all, but if I were to run into somebody standing in the middle of road beside an apparently inoperable vehicle, I wouldn’t presume to tell them what to do with their hands. If a random person told me to keep my hands out of my pockets, I’d likely put my hands in my pockets just on principle. If a person threatened to kidnap, taser, or shoot me for not positioning my body as they desire, I’d consider that gross oppression. That’s even thoroughly illegal for one civilian to do to another.

But of course cops are different, according to the law. They’re formally empowered to demand ritual submission from civilians in the name of safety. Why? Well, because the state ultimately replies on force and the fear of force. It ain’t called “law enforcement” for nothing.

Safety concerns don’t explain why Shelby pulled a gun on or shot Crutcher. A civilian in the same situation would have had scant reason to worry and certainly no reason resort to lethal violence. I can’t imagine how stressful urban existence would be if I concerned myself with the placement other people’s hands! Even within the logic of coercive authority, you might think Shelby and the other officers present could have simply retreated upon feeling threatened.

And sure, they could have backed off temporarily. They could have used less force to make Crutcher obey, as European cops often seem to do. Within the logic of the state, however, they couldn’t have just left Crutcher alone, as a reasonable civilian probably would have.

Safety for the police ain’t the same as safety for the rest of us. Their safety comes in the context of exercising power over others. Rather than the at least nominal equality that frames civilian-on-civilian encounters, police demand that civilians submit in police-on-civilian encounters.

It’s a fundamentally unequal and abusive arrangement.

Now, sometimes counterviolence serves a useful (perhaps necessary) function. In cases of interpersonal bullying, domination, and physical attacks, fighting back makes sense. If you see somebody viciously assaulting another person for no good reason, taking the cop approach and demanding the attacker cease and desist at the point of a gun makes sense. Ideally we can do better than counterviolence—and especially better than the ghastly act of punching holes in human bodies—but it’s hard to deny counterviolence’s utility.

The statist mentality, however, considers enforcement the appropriate to most any situation, as unpleasant as its extremes may be. Shooting people for not keeping their hands out of their pockets or for not kneeling on command sadly follows from the logic of authority. The state should be able to do it better, to control human behavior without such obvious horrors, but that’s harder than you might think.

The state wisely worries that without physical enforcement and the terror it inspires, people would start doing whatever they wanted. The state has enough of a challenge controlling us already; it doesn’t want to give an inch.

I want that statist mentality eradicated.