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Anarchism and self defeating action

0 votes
During protests, often times it is anarchists who are accused of destroying buildings, causing general chaos. Why would anarchists participate in such petty actions that cannot possibly further anarchy?
asked Nov 26, 2017 by curious bystander (560 points)
i don't know why people are downvoting this question. it's entirely appropriate for this forum.

CB, why do you think property destruction and "general chaos" cannot possibly further anarchy? how are you defining anarchy?

i wouldn't reject that anarchists (like others) do self-defeating things, but your question is too vague...

(also, what ingrate said)
Dot, seems to me that if you pick a fight with a guy who stands 7 feet tall and you're only 5 foot, it's a losing strategy from the off. The present structure of society is the giant with far more power, far more resources, than a handful of angry demonstrators.

That's why I said petty actions. In the case of a few windows getting smashed in, who pays, those you'd want to join your cause. Seems self defeating to me, as people will react against anarchy as it costs them money via higher insurance rates and things like that, and they'll think what can that bunch of crazies offer us as a viable alternative.
"cannot possibly" is pretty strong. what is the particular set of measurements you're using to make this assertion more objective?
there are certainly a lot of people who agree that anarchists should think about how to appeal to more people, so that more people become anarchists, and then change will happen.

other anarchists think that appealing to the most people is inherently anti-change (trying to appeal to everyone means that no one is satisfied).

some anarchists also think that there are plenty of people who want things destroyed, but may not want to be ones who do it.

and still other people think that acting anarchically is not about planning for the future, that anarchists will inevitably lose a fight for the future (which includes acting logically, and expecting things to follow a cause and effect line) and so they express their feelings, that's not self-defeating, unless you insist that anarchy is something that you know can happen logically. the evidence seems to be against that, so far. there's far more that can (and has) been said about this, *of course*.

Boles, "cannot possibly" is as strong as it is obvious. If you turn the majority against you, what chance do you have of getting anywhere. Smashing up little shops or whatever is like saying "I'm standing for Office but I just want the glory so I can pull more ladies, so vote for me".

A better way is to show the structure of society for what it is and say there is an answer to all this corruption, to all the unnecessary controls and restrictions that government imposes upon us so much much so that we have no real freedom. Then, to offer a solid alternative.

CB, anarchists and others interested in social change have been trying your better way for at least a hundred years. most anarchists i know believe things are worse than they were then, so... not really compelled by that argument.

it might be interesting for you to read revolution of everyday life, in case you're up for a book? also, against his(story), against leviathan. both are anarchist classics, though neither is officially anarchist.

cb, the way you've phrased your question makes it seem unanswerable to me....do you really think that someone could answer it in a way that makes you say "oh, yeah, i understand now, that makes sense to me"?

in other words, do you really seek an answer, or do you just intend to make your own point?

and if you do want an answer, i'd find it interesting to know why....how would that be of use to you, to find out why someone else appears to you as "petty...self-defeating....trying to do the impossible", etc.

bornagainanarchist, the question seems clear enough to me. Sure it's both question and statement, but why not? Are there rules as to how to question? It's simply a question questioning the validity of assumed actions.

There's a big difference between "petty, and trying to do the impossible". Petty actions are those like throwing a brick through a shop window, stealing whatever during a riot, etc. Why call such petty, because they are selfish and lead nowhere but only feed the organization you are trying to break as the organization is so much larger. It's like stealing a cent from Bill Gates and thinking you've actually made a dent in his fortune.

So if you want to be an agent of change, why perpetuate that which you want to change by feeding the beast you'd rather see dead and buried?

no rules (from me) as how to question....i'm just asking whether or not you really perceive your question could be answered. it seems to me your question (and subsequent comments) already assumes there is no ("valid") answer.
I down-voted because the question is so loaded with holier-than-thou   bullshit that I want to break CBs windows.

"Boles, "cannot possibly" is as strong as it is obvious."

saying something is "obvious" doesn't make it so. again, i would ask for your means of measuring your assertion. how many units of anarchy are lost due to vandalism? how many gained? how much time must elapse after an act of vandalism to judge whether the anarchy units inhering in "little shops" were lost or gained? 

"If you turn the majority against you.." 

please read this (it's not too long): https://www.panarchy.org/goldman/majorities.html

"then ... offer a solid alternative."

why is it necessary to offer any kind of alternative, solid or otherwise? if you believe that units of anarchy can only be fostered with solid alternatives, please let us know what they might be. as dot mentioned,  these questions (real questions, by the way, not the fake ones you've asked -- fake because you already believe you know the answers) have been discussed and debated by anarchists for over a hundred years.  

thanks for the link to the emma goldman essay, boles. i hadn't read it before. in certain sections especially, you could easily think someone wrote it in 2017 rather than 1917.
yeah, EG spiked my brain when i first read her. still a fan for the most part.

Bornagainanarchist, well that's why I'm asking as I don't see the point in going around smashing things up small scale. If there were millions of people wanting anarchy and decided to smash the White House up, then maybe! I'd prefer a more peaceful transition, and if people feel so inclined, then smash up the old buildings to make new ones after the transition.

I was thinking about my time in England, there were riots going on there for weeks, and the only people who gained were the government and police. I was just 12 at the time, but it made a big impression on me as to how pointless it all was as the police rounded up the rioters and slung them in jail with long term sentences. The news channels had interviews with people who's shops were burned and looted, they interviewed the public and other people who were all outraged and more defensive about coming down hard on the “yobs”. So why fight that which you cannot fight, isn't it best to develop another way?

Dot, will check out those books. Man, I've got a lot of reading material off this forum, thanks.

Don't know if things are worse, not any better that's for sure, but the people just go jump in whatever shit they're told to.

Boles, it seems very very obvious to me. I have pointed out the consequences of smashing a few windows is not exactly constructive in the eyes of the majority of people, and the enemy is so much bigger and better equipped to deal with "rebels".

Your questions of measurement are pretty much superficial and pretty much meaningless. My question would be how many turned on by rioting end up long term committed anarchists? I doubt if anyone can really answer! But figures of self proclaimed anarchists in jail are easier to come by! And what can anyone do behind bars? The system has won!!!

The Goodman article was great reading, basically backing up what I'm saying. The masses are looking for safety, always. In fact that article shows there has been no real progress at all in over 100 years. So the system, establishment, whatever we call it, has a firm hold and is in total control. So again, why play into their hands by petty actions? By getting arrested and jailed, you just validate their very public judgement of "anarchists". I think it's best to be under the radar, to subvert in ways which aren't too obvious.

I'd say the Note at the beginning of the article sums up my feelings and thoughts: “In this text Emma Goldman praises creative individualism against the obtuse power of the mass”.

Creative individualism over self centred destruction, that to me is a solid alternative as we can manipulate the system to change the system without the system realizing what is going on. That's why I once asked about communities, that would be a solid alternative. If anarchic communities were established, they'd be an example of what could be to everyone trapped in their dull daily jobs and lives of struggle to make ends meet.

despite what must be your best efforts, by insisting on using the values of "creative individualism," you already agree with the discourse of those in positions of power and control. your strategy takes the legitimate existence of cops and prisons as a given, and you worry about playing "into their hands by petty actions." presumably, then, you would support grand actions that break with... what exactly?

"Creative individualism over self centered destruction" is not solid in any meaningful way. it is a slogan, replete with moral imperatives and subjective value (which is why i still want to know how you measure your anarchy units). what if one person's "creative individualism" begins and ends with vandalism? as Bakunin famously said, "the urge to destroy is also a creative urge."
i downvoted this question because it appears obvious to me that cb does not actually want an answer, and thinks no answer would suffice.

cb, you've said you don't see the point in window smashing, and also say that's why you're asking (as if you do want to see a point), yet every single point people present you immediately want to refute....

so i'll ask you a final time....do you think any answer could possibly allow you to see "the point" of such actions?

Boles, that is so off the mark, all I'm doing is admitting the fact of cops, laws, prisons, and why it is counter productive to fight them head on in small numbers. That is not me agreeing with those in power, it is the way those in power maintain their power. It is what is, not some feeble minded fantasy. What I'm suggesting is to circumvent the organizations of power, of control, rather than allow them to dictate the courses of action which we can take. Hence creative individualism fits my thoughts and feelings.

You can reduce what I say to slogans if you want, again I'd say you miss the mark. Obviously I never went into the finer details, but it is for each to find their own way, to be really creative rather than imitative; i.e. any fool can throw a brick and call themselves an anarchist, and yet completely fail to understand anarchy.

Every aspect of our lives is subjective, every one. I don't really get what you mean by "anarchy units". What is it some form of bonus points, some imaginary currency which says I'm more of an anarchist than you because I've got "xxxx,xxxx,xxxx anarchy units"?

If someone finds vandalism creative, who am I to object, I'm not objecting to anything, just saying if you want real impact, do not piss off the people you want to aid. To me it's like going into a death camps and kicking all the prisoners and telling them to fight back. All that would result in is further fear and suffering. Showing them how to find their strength and overcome the enemy is another thing.

If people are into vandalism, or looting, or whatever I consider "petty actions", all I'm saying is why? What motivates you? What do you think you're going to achieve? What do you really want to achieve? What is the long term effect of such action?

I agree with the Bakunin quote, but with what context?

cb, perhaps you'd like to find someone who has done a lot of window and building destruction and ask them. i wonder if you would still respond with the "delusional" comments.

anyway, as i said, i haven't done that sort of thing (smashing up buildings) myself, but i can easily use my imagination, intuition, and thought to come up with what motivates people, and what they think they will achieve or feel....but since you keep finding ways to refute all the reasons/emotions, etc. that people give you, maybe your only hope to find the answer you want is to only consider asking those who have done the sort of stuff you find "petty, self-defeating, delusional, looking over their shoulders, etc", and then you can decide if you still think the same way about them.

i think you're really asking a different question altogether....something along the lines of "what kind of actions do anarchists think has the best chance of spreading/igniting/creating anarchy?"....since you've already decided that smashing stuff doesn't and won't possibly do anything in that regard.
Bornagainanarchist, I've not seen any reason presented here which is suggestive a creative solution. I'm not putting anybody down or playing holier-than-thou as somebody stated. I'd say fine do what you want, but don't whine from the prison cell if the cops grab you and lock you up for 10 years or more. To me the best way is not to play their game of criminal. To me the way to get rid of cops is to be beyond the law. Maybe it's my naivety, but I wouldn't give them the satisfaction of saying "yes, we got another and put him away".
like i said, i haven't done any smashing up of stuff myself (although i wouldn't rule it out at any particular time and place)....but obviously (at least to me), people who do smash have their reasons, emotions, and motivations for doing so (otherwise they wouldn't do it)...and either you feel curious about that or not....but i get the feeling you don't. it seems that you more want to have a discussion about what people feel works best for them to create anarchy, or what they think will work best for creating more anarchy, more than you have any inclination to understand why some people smash stuff up...in fact, you seem more inclined to judge them as foolish and defeating for doing so, while insisting no "valid" reason exists.
Bornagainanarchist, my whole position is I have doubts as to whether anarchists are really the ones throwing bricks, kicking off riots, hence the word accused. I have never met anybody who calls themselves an anarchist or I would ask them if they do participate in such and why. I was hoping to get a straight answer here, but...
okay...well, most people on this site consider themselves anarchists (at least the more frequent posters), including myself....but quite possibly most of us haven't done that much in terms of building destruction....so we've given reasons why based on our experiences of other people, our imaginations, our thoughts, etc. i don't know how much more "straight" i could get....i responded to your question as thoughtfully and honestly as i know how.

so even though i haven't done the smashing stuff, it doesn't bother me, or make me feel concerned that they are somehow defeating or lessening the chances of anarchy in my life or as a general trend....and even though i haven't taken those actions (although they sometimes do inspire me to take other actions), i can understand why some people do it, and i also think it may possibly open up more possibilities for more anarchy, and possibly not....each situation varies, each place varies, each individual and group varies....

anyone can call themselves an anarchist...and others may or may not agree based on their definition...and perhaps many people who destroy buildings don't identify as anarchists.....none of that matters much to me...i just know that i desire anarchy, and want to create anarchic conditions and relationships in my own life as much as possible...disregarding or evading or attacking authority as much as i can at any given moment...for some people that means smashing stuff to pieces, for others, like me, not so much....

a word about chaos 

Interesting, baa. That article seems similar to discordianism view on chaos as being everything, for the most part.

Bornagainanarchist, sure embrace chaos as order is craziness as it is a attempt to keep everything static, and life's just not like that. It's like society, it has to keep issuing new laws to try to maintain it's order. So laws get more and more restrictive to our way of living.

I don't get why the author, Feral Faun, is making chaos out to be “erotic”. My initial thought/feeling was that it reminded me of a few years ago when I was a kid playing with my friends. Our chaos was an kind of order to us, but to our moms and dads it was very real chaos.

Faun states; "The universe is naturally chaotic", and yet it seems very stable to me. Life is chaos, but it is also order. We're born, and we progress to death in one way or another (and at whatever pace). We get ill, and get healthy again. We're healthy, then get ill. But that's more due to our own ignorance rather than any inherent “universal chaos”, as there's no reason we couldn't maintain 100% health from birth to life is there?

What I find strange though is the reaction to my question, even you said I wasn't really looking for an answer. But that whole article is statement. It is a statement demanding we accept it as though it's an obvious fact. But by accepting it we'll have no more understanding of chaos as we would of order. All we'd be doing is accepting or submitting to another idea

Anyway, my question was open to debate as that's what a question is to me, an invitation to open up an exchange and explore all aspects. Hence my on-going interaction.

cb, i like how you mentioned that life also has an "order" of sorts....i think that both chaos and order (not the order of authority, but a chaotic order, if you will) occur all the time...a sort of balancing act....

regarding maintaining 100% health for a whole lifetime...i don't think so....i think some pain and discomfort cannot be avoided....and i even enjoy, or at least welcome, a certain amount of pain....

regarding the statements in the feral faun essay....i look at it as an invitation to look at life (and the word "chaos") differently than what i usually hear (your statements about the futility and foolishness of property destruction sounds all too familiar to me from authoritative sources)....and i've experienced much of the "chaos" the wolfi essay speaks to....so i didn't encounter those words as a statement of fact, but rather a reflection of what i've experienced....

and i don't mind at all when people make statements about their experiences or thoughts....i don't even believe in the concept of "facts", or "the truth"....but it bothers me when someone makes a statement while implying they have a question about something, and i interpreted your question as such, fwiw to you....if you think you have a question, and don't like any of the answers, perhaps you might want to take a shot at answering....

like you, i enjoy the ebb and flow of conversations like this....sometimes contracting, sometimes expanding....so thanks for getting this one going.... :)

Bornagainanarchist, chaos and order are one and the same really, especially in connection without our bodies and health. If things like food didn't break down, we'd be pretty much clogged up!

Pain though, that's different from a health issue. It could be like a broken leg, that doesn't have to impact our health, our well being, does it? Whereas if a bug gets into us and we're not strong enough that can wreck our life on every level as in Lyme's (an older uncle had that, he was out for years before the doc got to the bottom of it).

Well my view of the futility of property destruction is taking things to their logical conclusion (unless it wholescale, why bother?). It's kind of like hackers bringing the Net down. They could prove their point without annoying everybody, who then reacts; "Bastards, lock them up because they've interrupted my porn viewing".

It's like that know your enemy saying, you wouldn't walk into their camp while they were all armed and primed for action, that's suicide.

"ebb and flow"... yep, it's all give and take, give up and take on, take off and give more, if you get my drift.

when you ask "why bother?", do you mean that rhetorically?

do you see what i'm getting at?
Tongue in cheek seriousness.
i think i understand now....

you meant your original question as a tongue in cheek serious statement to stimulate discussion about the ways people like best to create anarchy....and why....

yeah?
basically, anarchists desire the expression of direct action over political action. Protests are not direct actions, they are staged to get people to pay attention to certain issues, and the only thing that is ever important to good protest organizers is media attention. I find protests to be incredibly self defeating. We live in a protest culture and nobody really cares, to most people protest are just contemptable complaining about things.

You do raise the issue of trying to use property destruction and violence as being self-defeating, but to me this is subjective, because there are alot of things that deserve to be smashed and destroyed.

4 Answers

+4 votes

Some points worth  considering:

1. Being accused of a thing by the authorities does not make the thing fact.

2. Creating moments of chaos and disruption could arguably be seen as furthering the goals of some anarchists. Many insurrectionary anarchists speak of moments of rupture, where day to day functioning of society ceases and conflict creates momentary openings in to a different world. Increasing frequency of disruption tends to grow not only in temporality, but also in what, for lack of a better term coming to mind, I will call boldness. The author AG Schwarz has counterposed this concept of "signals of disorder" to the broken windows theory of policing.

3. Why wouldn't anarchists participate in such actions? During the Anti-WTO protests in Seattle, many not anarchists were swept up in breaking windows, fighting cops, looting. Why wouldn't anarchists get in on the fun?

4. Describing an action as petty is an easy way to dismiss something. Throughout time people who have suffered the brunt of oppression and domination have found small ways to get theirs, to "talk back", to get over. Certainly smashing a window doesn't cause capitalism to magically end (but maybe the next window is the magic one.. we just need to keep smashing!), but it might be something I can do to signal my general dislike of the current situation.

answered Nov 26, 2017 by ingrate (20,790 points)
edited Nov 26, 2017 by ingrate

Funkyanarchy, “government, capitalism, cops, .... they are all made up of people. of course people are the problem. that doesn't mean the institutions, processes, ideologies, technologies, etc that people have come up with aren't problematic as well”. 

What I meant was we've got to make it personal, relate to the people who are in government, are cops, are in whatever position they think gives them the right to tell us what to do, to force people into wars or whatever. But if we use violence, that's not going to work out, we have to come up with solutions that have people appeal, but as I said before without compromise.

Anyways, that's my thinking, These are people, and people can be reached... the impossible is always possible.

Unless there's another world war or an outbreak of some kind of killer disease worldwide, I don't know what will get the population numbers down. But do the numbers really matter? Why does a collective large or small have to become authoritarian? Is it so inevitable? If we look at history it's the brutal and cunning males who have taken power, taken control, but what if everybody said “okay, enough of that shit, let's live in peace”. But that means we have to understand what peaceful living is.

Basically it's like me living with my family, we all get along, do things together, but I've always had a different outlook to them as I've never just accepted anything. I want to understand why I have to do things or why things are the way they are and if I see a flaw in the why, I'll challenge it without being too obsessive. So if I can be autonomous within my family without there being a problem, why can't that work out in a larger setting? What would a mass society or community of autonomous people stop you doing? If your actions didn't cause them harm, why would they harm you? If your actions did harm them, they'd obviously have to do something or allow you to subjugate them to whatever. So it probably takes far more selflessness than we've got at present for real anarchy to work large scale.

Objectivity is desirable to me as it means I base my life on reality rather than my fantasies or other people's fantasies; i.e. religion, politics, consumerism, etc. I'd say the problem we have with our present mass society is subjectivity, emotions ruling rather than intelligence responding. I'm not saying we should stamp out our emotions, but understand them so that they are not making us do things which a rational person would never do. It's like Bornagainanarchist said about “mocking advertisements”. Most people go out an buy stuff without really needing it or sometimes even knowing why they buy it. That's what advertising is about, hypnotizing people, subjective appeal.

Plus I've noticed how much subjectivity (interpretations/misinterpretations) gets in the way of discussions on this forum. So I'm being more aware of everything, my own reactions, and seeing what they mean.

Truths are truths not truth truth, absolute truth. It maybe true that you think that Opera is the best ever, but that is subjective truth and only true to a few. It's like the people who believe in Jesus. Their truth is their truth because they have to make it truth for it to be truth. So it's not truth, just belief.

Your case about the cake is another example of subjectivity enslaving everyone, not just one side of the argument, but them all. There are simple solutions without getting all high and mighty about a stupid cake (not directed at you so much as at those directly involved).

It's like that though, that would be called a case of rights, but the truth is there are no rights, we just assume we should have rights and be treated in a certain way, and so should everyone. But looking at the way nature works, the truth is, there are no rights. Go for a walk on the Savanna and a lion will eat you up, and your family will say "Poor Funky, just wanted to enjoy his anarchy. How cruel of that lion. Get a gun and shot the god damn thing". Sit in the baking sun and you'll be found very well done after four hours. Could give thousands of examples. Those aren't just truths but Truth.

If we see the error of our own bias our own bias ends. It's like the cake maker, maybe he's a Christian, or a Jew, or a Muslim, and their truth is don't stick your dick up another man's bum, even if he says do it, do it, because god isn't going to like it. Or maybe the guy has an aversion to dicks because he was abused as a kid, or, or, or.

I would say there's no need to destroy civilization as that would be a complete backward step to rule by brute force yet again. Civilization may not be ideal, may not even be that civil, but it's a step in the right direction as is technology. Why have people fought forever? I'd say it's obvious that it's due to thinking they lack something and have to hold on to what they've got or due to thinking they lack something an somebody else has what they want. It's kids stuff really, we've not grown up from that basic stupid selfishness.

It's like you saying modern technics is incompatible with anarchy. I can show you why that is a falsehood, a belief. I could show you why technology is heading in the direction of anarchy as technology used in the right way as in the sense of serving every human, every animal, every aspect of life on this planet will free us all from the necessity of work, free us from our own limitations in the sense of the way we perform physically, even free us from money.

You've just opened up a whole new understanding for me, as I can now see how all this can work out, and I never gave it much thought before. I'll put it up as another question.

As for Jesus, I never believed that when I got it in Elementary, and as there's absolutely no evidence for such a man, I write it off as just another attempt by men to work their way so that the whole world will work their way.

cb, i disagree with almost everything you said in that last comment. your (rather rigid) perspective is absolutely uninteresting to me... i'll leave it at that. good luck with your anarchy public relations campaign.

hey cb - I think you responded in part to fa about stuff I wrote. I am the weird asshole who brought Jesus, etc. into the convo. Really that was prompted by a weird tangential thing based on a quote from only the best musical ever, but could've been avoided if it is too much heavy-handed metaphor or spooks - IDK, I was not raised particularly religious, and so I don't attach nearly as much weight to Jesus/religion as it seems people who were indoctrinated with it have, which seems to be similar to your experience. You should still watch Jesus Christ Superstar.

I was also the one who talked about mass technics (sorry everyone, it was a tick that I used that language, I've been skimming the works of The Dean and his critics lately, related to other pursuits), though I do note that fa brought up critiques of civilization (ones I share, even if our individual takes on them are different). You can put forward all the arguments in the world about civilization being a positive trajectory, fa, and I  (and a bunch of other folks on this site, and elsewhere) can also put forward all the arguments why it is not necessarily so. This is pointless, for the most part...

Except there are folks on both sides who would argue that their perspective is absolutely right. On the green anarchist/anti-civ side, we have John Zerzan and Kevin Tucker (and a host of others). On the pro-civ side we have... well, the list is long. Why I bring this up is that it is people from these polarities that tend to want to do PR campaigns, and to convince people of the rightness of their ideas.

Sure, most of them (on both sides) aren't going to be like, "we should talk to the cops and make them see the light," because whether your red or green, if you are an anarchist and have done anything in the world that involves actually engaging with Johnny Law, it is pretty clear that those humans, those actual people, are not going to suddenly be like, "oh shit. now that you mention it, my systemically enabled position of power, and whatever complex combination of psychology, sociological background, and/or economic needs brought me to want to be the enforcer/savior/bully is totally garbage. I quit. Huarrah for anarchy!" Not that it doesn't happen. I know ex military folks who are anarchists now. I think I might even know someone who once tried to be a cop who is an anarchist. But those are exceptions, just like if a cop or a Christian sat me down to talk to me (and trust, me, I always let the J-Ho's and the Morons, er, -mons in...) about the rightness of accepting whatever the ideas were, and believe me, they are just as convinced of the rightness as you are.

It's late 2017, baby, don't be afraid to hop the nihilist boxcar on the train to hopelessness. Is liberating...

good stuff, ingrate....i especially like your last line.

on the subject of subjectivity, i love it...in a sense i live for the subjective...

i come to this site in part for it...i want to hear peoples' experiences, intuitions, emotional reactions, observations, and their thoughts about all those perceptions....and i like relating mine....i don't really have much interest in the objective, (the concept of "what is").

Ingrate, I must have overlooked the end Funkyanarchy's reply and the beginning of yours, it's an odd layout this forum as it's not linking who's replying to who. No problem though.

I know when there are opposing views there are opposing views, but let's say there was a mass PR campaign, and one side said “we're going to destroy civilization and return to primitive ways where little tribes shall be the only form of society. We offer you a lifestyle more natural, where we'll forage for food and keep an eye out for animals which may attack us, live in houses made with our bare hands as all technology is bad, fend off raiding tribes. It's going to be real, real fun”.

The other group says “society sucks, we all know that, but it has some good points such as the infrastructure, such as technology. We're offering a new way completely, where technology will serve us all; build our homes, produce our food, create clean power for our homes, vehicles, and machines. All technology will be owned by everybody and we'll all have a say in how it develops and how it is used. By using technology we'll be free to really live the lives we want to live, paint pictures, write stories, fool around, whatever, but the main thing is we'll all have all the time in world to be with those we love and forge new friendships that aren't based on exclusive mutual interest.”

Obviously that is very basic introduction, but first impressions, which would have more appeal to the masses?

I'm not suggesting sitting down and trying to convince or convert cops, government officials, etc. I said reach them via means which they can totally relate too. There are certain ways people just close down as soon as they hear certain words, like Jesus, like Anarchy, etc. So maybe a different approach would work, a more subtle approach.

We'll never have real freedom if we don't get together, we'll never have real equality, in fact it will just be as it has been since history began, stuck in a system of selfishness and servitude. By coincidence a friend of mine from Scotland sent me this link about Carne Ross who was high up in the UK's Labour Government who realized anarchy is the way forward. Here's the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6F73Z1BKhIs&t=2932s

Anyways, maybe too enthusiastic, but I don't see technology as anti-nature or being problematic to an anarchic way of life, and so far I've not seen anybody communicate clearly as to why technology can't serve anarchy. So I'll post my question and see what results.

0 votes
Some people think destroying buildings and causing general chaos is anarchy. Some anarchists used to do a lot more than that like throw bombs and assassinate royals. I'm not advocating these things maybe we should be nice and attract people to the thing. My neighbors are as docile as they can be but they're not doing anything that ends oppression. Smashing windows is a publicity stunt that makes world news if it's done in front of TV cameras. More repression makes more radicals.
answered Nov 27, 2017 by Perrier (140 points)
I think the system as it stands has made people docile. We get it all the time from our parents and they've obviously got it from society, be responsible, get a good job, a good house, bring up a family so they can repeat the process. It seems so limited and limiting, but people accept it and look at you if you're mad to question anything.

We're getting more and more repression but that doesn't seem to make more radicals, just more insanity, more people getting into drugs and shit like that. So they're opting out by going to sleep and being completely self obsessed.
+3 votes
1. because they like how they feel when doing it.                  

2. because they relate anarchically when doing it - or at least with a disregard for authority, property, capital.       

3. because they don't consider it "petty" or "self-defeating" as you do.

4. they desire chaos.

5. they want to release the anger they feel caused by authority and capital.

6. they value the present moment of the action more than the idea of a vague future society.

7. they think the action will in part lead to more of the type of society they want.

8. they think other people will get inspired to resist or attack authority in their own way.
answered Nov 28, 2017 by bornagainanarchist (8,110 points)
edited Nov 29, 2017 by bornagainanarchist
Bornagainanarchist, you're right, I should have worded my question better, but hey, I'm just kicking up a pile of dust looking for a golden nugget, a nugget of Truth (if such a thing exists). Now it seem s as if anarchy is open to interpretation and there is no anarchism as such, just a bunch of loosely allied individuals who somehow use that term.
Human, all I'm doing is questioning the answers, why is that a problem? I'm not laying down the laws of anarchy, just saying certain actions have consequences which seem to me totally counter productive to achieving anything really creative and sustainable.

By mentioning rapists and murders is very relevant, why destructive acts do not give freedom but as somebody on this forum said before, they'll bring pain, they'll bring a desire for control and laws. That's why I say smashing things up will only end in greater repression for everybody, not just anarchists. Look at the way the governments of the world have used ISIS to impose greater controls on us all. That's what they do. Greater control will never end in freedom, just more and more invasive ways of snooping, of ending our freedom of movement, and everything.

That was my point, let's not stop at an answer which isn't really an answer. Just accepting any answer is acceptance. I do not accept that which will result in the loss of my freedom. I will find ways to gain my freedom by creative ways, and I will continue to encourage others to do that too.
cb, so i understand that you don't really want an answer to this "question" of yours....no problem....but you have mine anyway.
bornagainanarchist, I mentioned rapists and murderers in response to the first line in your answer as those who have sex with the one they love, or just have sex for the sheer delight, are not being destructive but generating good feelings that make them feel good, and they want to repeat that in a way which will be beneficial to each other.

I'm not saying people in a riot, or out smashing windows, or whatever, won't be enjoying it, but it's not really something that can be repeated without coming to a disastrous end; i.e. a shop keeper shooting them, a cop arresting them, etc. That's all my point is, isn't there a better way to change this society rather than violence? What happens if things do break down, will the violent suddenly become unviolent?
as i've said before, i understand your point.

and i don't totally disagree with it.

but you also don't really have a question here....which is why you won't find any satisfactory answers.
+2 votes
The conflict of whether to go forth with political or warlike actions is an age old one. Two really good books that talk about this are atassa and bury my heart at wounded knee.

Atassa is about eco-extremism, which is kinda diverse and vague as a praxis but more or less advocates violence and indiscriminate attack as a means of combating civilization and technology. The book overall contains a lot of criticism of eco-extremism because like ted kaczinsky's praxis and writing, eco-extremism is ideological. In ideologies, there is a tendency to put ideas before the practical considerations of reality.

However, this does not mean that eco-extremism doesn't put forth any valid points about the effectiveness of violent actions. Bury my heart at wounded knee is a book written about the accounts and experiences of native americans during the spread of western civilization on their land during the 1800s. This conflict had already been going on for hundreds of years, and in this book the author documents both attempts at making peace with the whites and merciless warfare. Both approaches had successes and failures, but ultimately you can't expect to get much from reasoning with people who fallow institutional protocals and are very destructive and violent at the same time as the white people were. Much of the book documents the lamenting of native americans about how the white people always break their promises and are too barbaric to try to meet them eye-to-eye.

In a way, the struggles of the indigenous don't have much to do with the struggles of modern anarchists, but in the real world everything is permitted, and you can't reason with force and coercion ("might is right"). Being non-violent and advocating peace doesn't have a moral high-ground.
answered Dec 9, 2017 by Nihilist (20 points)
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