Breaking with Delusion: Musings for Life beyond the Left

Preface

On Saturday December 1st 2012, anarchists in Atlanta gathered for a monthly anarchist assembly.  A few days prior, an anonymous comment was left on the online event page for this assembly.  The comment proposed a debate and posed the question that became the subject of our discussion that night.  What is “the left”?  Are anarchists of it? Do our roots in utopian socialist traditions continue to bind us to the left or does the left signify some-thing that ought to be abandoned?

While this has been an ongoing conversation among many anarchists in the milieu, Dec 1st saw what was probably the first time a public debate between left anarchists and what one participant called “the others” has taken place in this city.  Although the left anarchists were few among the crowd and it could be argued that no one held a staunchly left ideological line, the arguments presented by those who tend toward left politics were important and informative.  That said, the general sentiment of the crowd pointed toward severing ties with leftism all together.  Most present at the December 1st anarchist assembly seemed to agree that anarchism aims for something qualitatively different than the left.

The influence that social anarchists and left anarchists have had on the anarchist milieu has been disproportionate to their numbers.  Many local anarchists continue to struggle from a position informed by identity politics and overly determined programmatic organizational forms.  Despite their ideological influence, many of us continue to question if there will ever be any material action to back the rhetoric of left anarchists or the authoritarian formations, both of which are currently fighting to remain relevant.

We write this piece in hopes of creating room for healthy debate among comrades; the sort of debate that will allow us all to reflect on our positions and motivate us to look for new ways to move forward. We also hope that this piece (in conjunction with other pieces coming out of Atlanta) can help to further combat the anti-intellectualism that is present in many anarchist circles. There is a need for our critiques and a need for debate. Reflection and writing only help to strengthen our praxis. Lets not detract from our capacity to attack but let us strengthen it by learning from mistakes.

While we look forward to furthering this conversation and engaging in critical debate with the partisans of the left with which we might find more affinity with than others, we present this collection of musings for life beyond the left as an attempt to give definition to some points and tendencies present in the context of Atlanta (though these things might apply to other cities as well).  We present this for those who might be on the fence, for “the others”, and to the majority present that night who agreed that anarchists and the left are altogether different even if we don’t know exactly where that acknowledgement will take us.

**** The following is in no way intended to speak for every anarchist in Atlanta.  These are simply some conclusions a few of us have reached.  The following perspectives aim to clarify positions, opinions, and critiques as a way to further the conversation started that night. ****

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction

Look around – How many empty unfulfilled lives and unrealized potentials cross our gaze day in and day out?  Is it even worth quantifying or might it be easier at this point to assume that most of us have been forced into a condition that accepts this totalizing spectacle as “life as we know it”?  It’s true for most that this world finds us in a sort of structured chaos; one where our lives have little social value beyond their profitability.  Where our goals and aspirations have to be domesticated and worked into a market, sold for profit, policed, and compartmentalized.  How many of us have forgotten (if we ever even realized in the first place) that our lives are meant to be lived?  From early on, we are groomed to fill some role in this system – roles that are imposed – but how many of us have the privilege of giving extra thought to our own desires?  Is our own realization even possible in this overly determined world of work, policing, war, politics, and competition?

The usual morning cup of coffee complete with that bitter taste of foreign exploitation, the shocking headline that no longer even elicits a reaction from its reader, the commute to work or school, paying the rent or facing eviction and possible homelessness, imposed identities and all the other social constructs mediating how we relate to one another, satisfying our cravings with commodities and social networks that hardly ever provide a substitute for meaningful relationships and creative self realization; one rarely has to look far (even beyond themselves) to see how our lives are entrenched in conditions that negate life itself.  We don’t intend to present a bleak outlook on our current situations but it is worth illuminating a certain set of conclusions that we’ve come to – that is, that we also don’t have to look far beyond ourselves to find the very reproduction of these conditions within our own activity and often within our very struggles against domination.

In spite of our best efforts, it’s easy to see futility in certain attempts to dispense with the alienation that marks our lives within this current system.  This leaves many of us settling for indulgence in the spectacle merely to experience a simulacrum of the things we wish we had: a life of meaning, acceptance, pleasure, and mutual aid but as capitalism would have it, these intimate parts of our lives can only be bought and sold.  History is full of waged struggles against this reality but contemporary resistance finds itself in a situation marked by stagnation – refusing to shake off the dust of these old forms.

Contemporary resistance may be plagued by an ideal, a sort of canon presented to us by the left attempting to define what struggle or revolution is and what our own role within that process ought to be.  From within these models, we are restricted in action and often doomed to relive historical failures.  While we are expected and often coerced into embracing the traits and attributes presented to us as those of the model revolutionary, we have to come to a realization that this identity, this ideal, is marked by more limits than possibilities.  If we are to advance towards new stages of resistance, we have to part ways with the old.

One might ask – What exactly are we breaking from? Where are we headed? How?  While some only look for answers in the theories of Marx, Lenin, Bakunin, or Kropotkin, and others obsess over ideology or choose to limit activity to tactics that may or may not have been successful in the decades and centuries that predate our own, there are still even more of us who have come to acknowledge a need for something new – something entirely different. This does not mean disregarding the history and theories that have inspired past ruptures and revolts but it does mean acknowledging the context that we are in and gleaning from the past and present that what we face is itself something ever-changing. In all of these past struggles, a limit was reached, but new potentialities were created. We are hurting ourselves if we refuse to move forward, cross old boundaries, and establish new limits. We are deluding ourselves if we continue to fetishize the past while ignoring the new ways capital and authority affect how we relate to our surroundings and to each other.

Despite past efforts, our very resistance has been recuperated and co-opted – strengthened are the networks of domination over our lives.  It is long past time to envision something else beyond the old “tried and true” methods that have left us in the same predicament, arguably worse off – more entrenched in our subordination to authority and our obsession with the spectacle. So internalized are these things, that we have been unable to even cast them off in the very process of revolt.

Defining the Left

Left2 Noun : In politics, the portion of the political spectrum associated in general with egalitarianism and popular or state control of the major institutions of political and economic life.

During the aforementioned debate, some participants referred to the left as “enigmatic”, “nebulous”, and without definition.  That the left is an umbrella term for those who struggle for egalitarianism, justice and other familiar terms or phrases regurgitated by the general activist milieu.  We disagree with our comrades here but we would rather not engage in a game of semantics.  In opening this section, we offered a fairly basic definition of what it is we are referring to as “the left.”  We offer these critiques to challenge what is generally accepted as the norm within the context of social struggles and to dispense with a certain narrative of legitimacy presented by partisans of the left (whether it be the unions, democrats, NGOs, activists, communists, or even other anarchists) who aim to manage the proletarian class and their activity.

 “We continue to see the enemy as a subject that faces us – instead of experiencing it as a relationship that binds us – we confine ourselves to the struggle against confinement. We reproduce the worst relationships of dominance under the pretext of an alternative. We set up shops for selling the struggle against the commodity.”

 

– Call , Anonymous

If anything, the left signifies to us an outdated, inflexible institution that has come to represent “resistance” – becoming nothing more than the image of resistance rather than an actual living force.  These coalitions, popular fronts, parties, and formations have funneled in potential friends and co-conspirators and turned out the “radical”, the “revolutionary”, the “organizer”, and the “cadre”.  It has succeeded in the art of maintaining itself (rather than replicating itself and generalizing its ideals) despite its much-needed re-evaluation.

As evidenced by the fact that capitalism still exists and governments still oppress, we can see that the revolutions of the past (whether anarchist or authoritarian) were not complete. Rather than focus on the specifics of their failures, we instead aim to draw your attention to specific tenets of the left accepted by the majority of people who would identify with this portion of the political spectrum.  We do this to point out shortcomings and blind spots that we hope might inform a future rupture – one which refuses to be controlled.

Breaking with the Delusion

“The rejection of ideology, that is to say, the rejection of every program, idea, abstraction, ideal or theory that is placed above life and individuals as a construct to be served. The rejection, therefore, of God, the State, the Nation, the Race, etc., but also of Anarchism, Primitivism, Communism, Freedom, Reason, the Individual, etc. when these become ideals to which one is to sacrifice oneself, one’s desires, one’s aspirations, one’s dreams. The use of ideas, theoretical analysis and the capacity to reason and think abstractly and critically as tools for realizing one’s aims, for reappropriating life and acting against everything that stands in the way of this reappropriation. The rejection of easy answers that come to act as blinders to one’s attempts to examine the reality one is facing in favor of ongoing questioning and theoretical exploration.”

 

-   Wolfi Landstreicher – From Politics to Life: Ridding Anarchy of the Leftist Millstone

To begin, it would be short sighted and arrogant to not take a moment to point out our own shortcomings. Though many of us have attempted to break with the delusions of leftism we still find ourselves replicating its forms and tactics far too often. Many have speculated how we should move forward and we have even seen critical self reflection (here as well) come from our milieu. This sort of critical engagement is altogether new for the Atlanta anarchist milieu.  It shows a level of maturity and engagement that is often rare in North American anarchist circles.  It should be said however that almost as soon as new possibilities open up, we often see a return to more of the same.  That is – a return to leftist forms of organizing and an acceptance of general leftist narratives.  What can we do to truly break from this old dizzying and fruitless cycle and enhance our ability to revolt and act? How do we avoid being specialists in our attacks but allow for them to spread like wildfire?

 “… for the anarchist, there is no difference between what we do and what we think, but there is a continual reversal of theory into action and action into theory. That is what makes the anarchist unlike someone who has another concept of life and crystallizes this concept onto political practice, in political theory”

 

–  Alfredo Bonanno,  The Anarchist Tension

Let us take time to add reflection, debate, and self-care to our list of priorities so that we can better break from the drudgery of society and leftism.

“The Masses”

We have to note that many who occupy a left position (anarchists included) fall into the leftist fixation with “The Masses” – a numbers game which prioritizes quantity in action over the quality and outcome of said action.  As such, much of the left has reduced itself to some form of evangelism or another.  Much like Christians, they seek converts to their pre existing ideas and aims.  Many among the left find themselves trapped here, never venturing into any form of activity that isn’t designed explicitly to appeal to “the lowest common denominator.”  Never is there room for open dialogue, debate, diversity of tactics, or a change in trajectory unless of course the management of the left establishment see these as politically expedient.  Likewise, the activity of rebels and rogue proletarians is policed so as to maintain a populist veneer under the assumption that some fictional mass will materialize so long as we don’t frighten them off in the practice of our liberation and autonomy.  We know the opposite to be true.  That is to say that the practice of our liberation and autonomy lays the material foundation for the broadening and generalization of collective struggle while creating possibilities for others to engage on their own terms.

This very same Mass is held up by partisans of the left as a (if not the) precondition for insurrectionary activity as well as a precondition to our own self realization.  The populist and seemingly democratic (even directly democratic) institutions and formations of the left generally boil down to nothing more than a push toward reforming the state and how it manages capital.  Our liberation is not on the agenda.  Complete with its laundry list of desired reforms, the established left seeks not to emancipate humanity but to gain certain concessions that might improve our outlook upon the bankruptcy that marks our lives.  Upon closer examination, this is done only through a process that in the end helps capitalism ‘work better’ under their management.  To these leftists, the ability to force certain social changes proves successful when the talking heads who read the news, politicians, and celebrities regurgitate the narratives and talking points constructed by movement leadership.  This very same language however is employed to control our movement and activity.

Tactical questions such as the question of violence then for the Left are not dependant on their potential to destabilize power relations or on any of its emancipatory potential nor are they seen as moral questions.  Instead, the focus is diverted to how the movement can further work within the already established structures and institutions – those that perpetuate domination.  The left has an ingrained tendency to avoid and delegitimize any activity that might scare those in power with which they are attempting to negotiate and those whose ranks they aspire to one day join.  Herein lies the sinister nature of the left’s mass appeal.  Much like the state, democracy for them lends a sort of quantifiable legitimacy to their claims of ownership over our individual struggles; reducing and homogenizing its base into a force toward ends already determined by officials, candidates, and activists.   This logic is often followed up to the point of negating the very possibility of open revolt.  Instead, this logic inadvertently supports the monopoly of violence that is the state itself.  In fact, they simply seek to replace the individuals in the structures of the current social order with their own- rather than to dismantle those structures completely.

The activity of the left begs the question:  Is our intent to pressure those around us along with the state over us into adopting a set of positions and a sort of specialized language?  Is that really the object of our rebellion?  Do we measure our power based on our ability to directly confront and change the conditions over our lives or on numbers, statistics, and the turn out to ineffective rallies and symbolic marches?  If we are to be true to ourselves, odds are that we will find ourselves in complete conflict with much of what makes up the Movement.  Moreover, when we push toward our desired ends, we will find ourselves at odds with society itself.  While there is an abundance of the social, we aim to inject the antisocial.

“[W]e don’t need to be reliant on the Left for developing class-consciousness. Class-consciousness is not as scarce as some assume it to be. The widespread destruction of businesses and the attacking of the police in many riots make this very clear. What is not present is class solidarity and widespread class conflict. We believe that the experiences of the exploited, through direct action and social conflict, are the main force for transforming people’s perspectives and relations.
[T]here are many on the Left who are much more ideologically committed. These people propose more symbolic activity intended to appeal to those in power, or activities that seek to show large numbers of people while deemphasizing direct action. On occasion they propose direct action as a last resort and as simply a tactic –a means— towards political power.
[In every revolutionary moment and struggle] the Left recuperated and liquidated uncontrollable radical and anarchist elements. People should really study and learn from the history of failed social struggles. We’ve got to think about these things and be sharp in our criticism and opposition to the Left, not through obsessive anti-Left ideologies that become ends in themselves, but in order to understand how we deal and interact with them.”
- A Murder of Crows interview with Modesto Anarcho

 

So what about left or social anarchism?

Critiquing comrades closer to one’s position can get tricky. We don’t use them to entrench a position but to point out problematic tendencies within them.

It has to be said that any position willing to reduce itself to a platform or down to a particular historical tactic like syndicalism will fall short of escalating rupture to the point to total liberation.  While the tactics in and of themselves might provide us with a useful tool in some cases, we should not reduce ourselves down to them but be open and flexible enough to explore them all. 

The truth is there are more struggles than we can count and even then, one could argue that every individual carries their own internalized struggles.  Realizing a truly libertarian and communist spacewill not be possible when our methods reduce the object of our struggles down to a set standard, tactic, organization, program, or platform.  Yet, within these reduced and often overly programmatic tendencies we are encouraged to prioritize organization or – more specifically The Organization – at the expense of everything else including our own desires and often even our collective ability to realize them.  Its no surprise that we hear the same talk from these comrades that we hear from the marxists… that realizing communism has to wait.

Left Anarchism is often it’s own worst enemy rendering itself  ineffective time and time again with heavy bureaucracies and a fixation on organization.   Despite their allegiance to an anti-authoritarian ideal, many left anarchists recreate structures that limit rather than allow room for individual autonomy.  This organizational fetish fosters a condition where the material situation at hand goes unexamined often throughout the entire existence of The Organization.  The focus becomes the organization itself and rarely is an eye turned outward – assuming there is even time to look there, given the amount of tasks mandated as necessary to the functioning of the bureaucratic form.  We see this in every organization that values perpetuating itself, many for several years through meeting and planning more meetings but never producing action, spreading revolt, or generalizing their own tactics.  Tactics they spend hours and sometimes years talking about but never apply in any concrete way.

Likewise, our ability to act in the moment hits the imposed wall that is created when our own agency is bound to a specific model and it’s maintenance. In fact, the way many left anarchist groupings organize themselves strips the individuals within them of their agency; their role as actor; their ability to determine their own lives.  In exchange we get facilitators, organizers, instructors, delegates, and activists.  In short, a reproduction of the failures of the left rarely accompanied by self criticism or self examination.  The typical formal left anarchist organization asks it’s members to fill the role of representatives in a fight against representation or to fill the role of service provider lending others a charitable hand while failing to realize their own autonomy.  Like most of the left, these organizations ensure that the practice of autonomy and emancipation be forever postponed.

Rather than let the form of organization facilitate the realization of our individual potentials and further develop methods of collective self-organization, the methods of left and social anarchists tend to reproduce politics and a certain structural authoritarianism.  When organization is fetishised and so much effort is placed into it that “building” the organization and it’s maintenance replaces a real engagement and confrontation with the social order, the organization is either a distraction or an excuse.  From our experience, the result is the organization ends up being a substitution for actual struggle.  The organization becomes the representation of struggle and participation in it substitutes action.  Form becomes prioritized over content.

If action and our very desires and lives have to be postponed until after we all figure out what form to impose we might never get to the acting.  If we remain comfortable in stagnant organizational forms and fail to realize how we can begin now to fashion a life worth living, these mythical masses of the left might never see what is materially beneficial in joining in our conspiracies.  Yet  repeatedly, we see left anarchists groups start with organization before they’ve got anything to organize.  In this we see the seeds of ideological thinking in which ideas rule the activities of individuals rather than serving them.

This over emphasis on organization contributes to a popular misconception about the rest of us anarchists.  Many have come to mistakenly conclude that anarchists of the “little a” variety (as some left anarchist call us) are foolish in our total rejection of organization.  Our rejection of the left however should not be understood as a condemnation of organized resistance but rather a tendency to ask what kind of organization, when, and for what purpose – that is – allowing the form to fit the content as opposed to falling victim to fetishised and historical organizational forms and methods or being held captive by them.  It’s important to critically examine how our own self organization might perpetuate and reproduce the conditions we are rebelling against.

It’s not that we reject organization, but that the form of organization facilitating our struggles should be the direct result of the process of struggle itself, not a precursor or a necessity.  We often find ourselves in constant examination of form and function so as to understand which will provide for us to act from our particular positions and further emancipate us from the conditions we currently find ourselves in.  It’s important to examine what level of organization is necessary to provide for our needs while still allowing room for spontaneity and our creativity; two weapons that the anarchist arsenal should never go without.  If we refuse to conform to a line and continue to organically move and act we just might be left with an approach to organizing ourselves that will further build the anarchist milieu by opening up room for diversity in action and trajectories.  Unfortunately, this process is more often seen in reverse – that is – organization and ideology before actual material struggle.  Building the organization and populating it’s organs with active members becomes a precursor to honest and sincere engagement in the material world around us.  It’s lamentable that it isn’t only the foolish dogmatic Communist cadre groups with their mandatory political education and refining of the political line who fall into this trap.  We expect that much from them but we however see left anarchists, platformists, syndicalists and others fall for this same leftist devotion to organization for the sake of organization even to the detriment of realizing their aims.  More often than not, proponents of left anarchism spend so much time doing this kind of work that they drive themselves closer to the irrelevance of the left and further from the potentials that an anarchist practice can offer.

A short anecdote:

A tree has fallen down across the street.

Mario and Destiny decide to go around, find, and organize people on the street to handle the job. They all meet and create a committee to handle the job.  They designate people to go out and get tools, find others, and develop a plan.  Several hours later the tree is cleared.

On the other hand, Trish sees the tree grabs a saw and starts to cut it down. Neighbors see Trish working and they grab other tools and join in. Three hours later the work is done.

This is an example of the difference in form emerging from content. Trish did not have to create a committee, get others, and develop a plan she simply began to act and others joined in to fulfill their mutual desires. Therefore, the form organically emerged. We have to questions when and where organization is needed.

A Partial Critique of Authoritarian Socialism

“[…]when a theory is transformed into an ideology, it begins to destroy the self and self-knowledge. Originally born of a feeling, it pretends to float above and around feeling. Above sensation. It organizes experience according to itself, without touching experience. By virtue of being itself, it is supposed to know. To invoke the name of this ideology is to confer truthfulness. No one can tell it anything new. Experience ceases to surprise it, inform it, transform it. It is annoyed by any detail which does not fit into its world view. Begun as a cry against the denial of truth, now it denies any truth which does not fit into its scheme. Begun as a way to restore one’s sense of reality, now it attempts to discipline real people, to remake natural beings after its own image. All that it fails to explain it records as its enemy. Begun as a theory of liberation, it is threatened by new theories of liberation; it builds a prison for the mind.”

 

- Susan Griffin

Like their international and historical counterparts, local Leninists have met failure time and time again; losing ground and potential comrades while falling further into the margins as a result of their leftist authoritarian mindset.  A mindset that would see them taking a paternalistic position of leading and directing not only “the masses” but even their own friends and co-conspirators.  With countless organizations (over several decades) forming around prescribed points of rupture, new faces and accomplices join only to have their activity managed through a top-down culture of discipline and “rigor”, a watering down and pacifying of rhetoric to the public (via various front groups), and a constant appeal to those yet to be brought into their fold.  The result is more and more of their would be accomplices find themselves alienated and driven away.  (This is great news for anarchists!)  One doesn’t have to strain to see the cause of continued stress and sheer boredom that marks their activity as the burden of work is reproduced in the very forms of organization used by these would-be managers and revolutionary elites.

Complete with a specific lingo, ideological line, and practice which can only come as the result of indoctrination, training, and conditioning, (pre-designed syllabi and “mentors” for new recruits) these would be bureaucrats and jailers abandon the consciousness that can be found in our collective experiences and replace it with a faith similar to that of religious dogma.  Plagued by the fetishization of identity, whether it be race, sex, or class, and an adherence to specific programs, their own tunnel vision narrows their potential to expand or make meaningful connections with others who are currently active.  Rather than attempt to engage in any kind of meaningful exchange or even attempt to generalize their ideas and practices, their activity remains confined to the purview of a select few experts and professional revolutionaries – rarely illustrating that they have anything new to offer.

In their organizations they demand discipline, productivity, and worst of all obedience.  This “discipline” has been used on our friends and comrades as a way to guilt these individuals into working on tasks despite their lack of interest and desire.  Their conception of “productivity” often displaces their focus away from how we can act now to attack the current system and instead points the focus toward the project of building up their own capacity to rule.  Productivity becomes synonymous with their own perpetuation – meetings for the sake of meeting, and self-reverential activity for it’s own sake and perpetuation rather than critical or meaningful action.  The “Obedience” they demand, stems from the aforementioned obsession with a canon of revolutionary “philosophy”, and thus the individual in the authoritarian formation must relinquish their desires and hold back personal differences in favor of a reductive unifying political line. Despite occasionally allowing room for some debate it should be clear that only one position will be allowed to move forward and that all dissenters will have to accept it or be written off.

“The concept of a positive proletarian identity, of a single, unified, positive proletarian project, has no basis in reality since what defines one as proletarian is precisely that her life has been stolen from her, that he has been transformed into a pawn in the projects of the rulers.”

 

- Wolfi Landstreicher, The Network of Domination

Along with these unquestioned ideological tenets, the authoritarian left has become bogged down by the ideal of the worker or the working class as a sort of token subject – a subject to be managed.  (This trap keeps them from seeing that there are not revolutionary subjects but instead there are revolutionary situations.)  The very end goal of lived communism becomes burdened by the refusal to cast off this identity and mindset.  Rather than ending the proletarian condition or creating the conditions of communism here and now, their aspirations present us with a generalized proletarian population led by a party toward a future that we doubt they’ll ever produce.  If these vanguardists have failed to connect with ordinary people, it is because of their failure to reach the same conclusion anarchists reached a long time ago – that life is hard enough, so let’s keep our rebellion joyous.  That the ends should be present in the means and that emancipation comes with the rejection of being ruled as well as the refusal to rule.  Instead we are expected to buy into theories and programs that replicate the same unappealing power relations (between leader and led; boss and worker).

What leninists fail to see is a need to break with power or to imagine life and revolt outside of a productivist framework. Their attempts at revolt far too often mirror more and more the burdens of daily life while we on the other hand seek to engage in a truly free and libertarian project.  One doesn’t have to strain to see the cause of continued stress and sheer boredom that marks the activity of the authoritarian left as the burden of work is reproduced in the very forms of organization used by these would-be managers and revolutionary elites.

In breaking with the left, we have to recognize the traps and pitfalls they fall victim too.  We have to begin to organize ourselves in ways that reject the notion of the professional revolutionary and the vanguard by allowing for a diverse rebellion and open participation.   We aim for a rebellion open to engagement in ways that allows for our individual desires to be sought after and fulfilled and for our autonomy to be realized.  There’s no need to burden ourselves and those who act with us more than life already has.  While we have already spent too much time detailing the failures of authoritarian ideologies, we would like to point you to already existing critiques of the Leninist tradition (Here is another “classic of libertarian and anti-leninist socialism”) and hope that more detailed criticisms might be in the works.

Another short anecdote (see the one above)

Tony and Sam see the tree and decide to go out and organize others in the neighborhood. They first, develop the entire plan for tree removal. After the plan is developed they delegate tasks from above. The tree is cleared but the neighbors are left feeling more used that included. (Let’s avoid managing others – let’s act autonomously and on our own desires instead.)

The Personal is Political

When revolution becomes your job, perhaps there is a reason for why you would want to divorce politics from life.  For those of us who seek to take control of our own lives however, this division is nothing if not artificial.  A division that leads to the masses vs. the organizer, the leader and the led, or the vanguard and its followers.

A “Need” for the Left

During the debate, many participants (including those of an insurrectionary and post left bent) made the claim that as anarchists we have to realize that “we need the left”.  To clarify, it’s not that our comrades meant to say that without the left we wouldn’t or couldn’t exist as a force of our own, but that the left provides for the spectacular organized struggles that we can inject ourselves into.  That the left provides a narrative supposedly within the spectacle that we can engage with and attempt to “push to it’s limits.”  This position however might be giving the left far too much credit.

These things probably do imply that anarchists should engage in an exchange with the left but more importantly (and lets not forget) anarchists should engage wherever there’s struggle against domination.  The left/right dichotomy matters little if both reproduce the power relations that rule our lives.  It should be said, a solid defence for the need of a left has yet to be seen.

A need for the left is misplaced focus when ignoring a need to engage in struggle from our own particular positions and toward realizing our selves.  The left, in most cases, dominates the forms struggle take and defines what is and isn’t legitimate in struggle.  This power to impose on our ability to attack is a power that intends reduce and narrow our collective capacity to create the world we want.  One that would manage and direct our efforts into whatever political goals are expedient to whichever politician, manager, or activist.

The only need for the left we share as anarchists is a need to destroy the left.

For a Redefinition of Life and Struggle – Toward the Dissolution of the Left

Once we break with the delusions that have held us here and stagnated our resistance, where do we go?  We have to move towards redefining ourselves – exploring Life in the beyond. A Life that cannot be experienced within this system dominated by authority, surrounded in the hyperreal.

Where the Left falters is where we excel. There is no limit to what a life beyond tradition and formality can bring. When we enclose ourselves in ideology, in politics, in theory; we reject experience.  We let our lives take a backseat to process, and predetermined forms. There is something to be said for meshing the two.  Ideology alone however leaves us with yet another religion.  A belief with nothing material to show for it.  In fact many left ideologies (traditional anarchism included) carry with them a certain euro-christian enlightenment baggage.  As products of the enlightenment, these ideologies transformed Christianity into marxism, anarchism, and the leftist tradition.  Within these ideas there is the continuation of the religious tenet that the present is inherently incomplete and unfulfilling and that some apocalyptic cataclysm will herald utopia or heaven – a post revolutionary society.

“Therefore, we begin by withdrawing from them. We contest nothing, we demand nothing. We constitute ourselves as a force, as a material force, as an autonomous material force within the Global Civil War”

 

- Call, Anonymous

Our redefinition cannot come within the “shell” of the old world; we must break the spell and free ourselves from the stranglehold that all social relations of this world have on our lives.  We must begin to live in the here and now to “live communism, spread anarchy.” We have to break through limits and embrace new ways of relating to the ongoing struggles; refusing to be a leader or to be led, refusing to fall into the role of specialist that again sets up a hierarchy, and refusing to replicate the drudgery of work in our self-organization.

 “Power itself must be abolished – and not solely because of a refusal to be dominated, which is at the heart of all traditional struggles – but also, just as violently, in the refusal to dominate. Intelligence cannot, can never be in power because intelligence consists of this double refusal.”

 

- Jean Baudrillard, The Agony of Power

Finding Each Other

There is no cookie cutter image of “the revolutionary mass” that we can galvanize or organize. We have to organize ourselves and find those who can conspire with us to meet our needs and desires in a way that is mutually beneficial. This is the basis of solidarity.  This is how we break from the left and its reaffirmation of our inability to do for ourselves; that which would reduce our activity to focus on an enigmatic other, and transform our resistance into a sort of charity aimed at others.  If we continue to conceive of our project in this light, we continue to reinforce the identities that have trapped us in the predicament we currently find ourselves in.

“There remains only to gamble on the existence of another outcome, a thin ridge, just wide enough for us to walk on, just enough for all those who can hear to walk on it and live.”

 

- The Invisible Committee

We have to abdicate from our roles in society and maintain relations to this world that allow us to expand our circle of collaborators. We must reach towards those around us while breaking outside of that which surrounds us in opening up the potential for something beyond.

A Brief Note On Good Ⓐ / Bad Ⓐ And Games of the Left

-We saw it being employed on some movement manager’s Facebook wall

- We read it in almost every angry liberal’s indymedia lecture/comment left on every article posted by an anarchist. (comments most of us only read for a good laugh)

- The liberal and authoritarian groups who play nice with “good anarchists” while hating on the “bad” ones and the “good anarchists” who play along

- The “organizer” who asks those he chooses to peg as “good” anarchists to name names and snitch on other anarchists, monitor and keep tabs on other anarchists, or to carry some message meant to impart movement discipline onto other anarchists

- The informative texts that ask you to come out and support an event but warns you not to tell “those” anarchists

- The deceptive tactics of some leninists who very intentionally, methodically, and dishonestly play smiles and grins with a select few left/social anarchists or those they can convince to do things for them – all the while demonizing them to their comrades

To Atlanta’s Ⓐs:  I love y’all for being the powerful destabilizing force that you are and for refusing to be anything other than wild!   I hate y’all for just as many reasons.  Lets keep doing what we do and disagree when we disagree but be weary of forces outside our milieu intentionally trying to stick a wedge in whatever it is we are doing.
I strongly doubt that any of us will fall for the petty divisive tricks currently being employed by movement management and their liberal lackeys in general right now, but we need to be hip to what is happening and realize that some people are fucking dumb enough to try it.  
I’m confident in most of my comrades to know that none of us are the type who would ever fall for this kind of laughable and cheap lowbrow deception.  It is however important enough to express the seriousness of the effects that the “good anarchist / bad anarchist” narrative has on our friends and comrades and the danger it puts some of our friends in.

The list at the start of this segment illustrates a game.  Lets call this game “good vs. bad anarchist” – a game I strongly recommend we never play into….  We have to be conscious of the fact that this is an intentional and obvious attempt to split anarchists away from their tendency and force an adherence to programs and political lines.  It’s an attempt to divide us and sweep up the leftovers as new recruits.  Most importantly (yet also most sinister), it is an attempt to isolate those who destabilize the management and programatism of struggle so as to be targeted.

Do not allow those who have reduced themselves to politics, a line, or a program to divide us.  Those of you who have been granted the status of “good anarchists” by the left establishment or the activist milieu might notice a slight privileging within the context of these social movements compared to those of us who occupy the fictitious category of “bad” anarchist.  I plead – Do not allow our struggles or our activity to be recuperated by the language of legitimacy while allowing others just like us to be vilified and isolated by that very same language.  Isolation is dangerous for anarchists.  Lets not forget that those who these degenerate boot lickers are pinning as the “bad anarchists” are often those who have taken bigger risks and rocked the boat the hardest. Allowing these people to be vilified means allowing these people to be isolated and at risk for repression.  This does our tendency nothing but a disservice.
  
It’s up to us to reject these divisions.

We debate, we argue, we fracture – but these things make us stronger when we refuse to accept these imposed divisions and if we continue to practice a diversity of tactics and trajectories – If we continue this exchange of ideas and work to generalize our methods.  Any “good anarchist” who plays into the good vs bad anarchist dichotomy is no comrade of ours.  In fact, they’re very anarchism is suspect.

DON’T PLAY GAMES ATLANTA!

Some Closing Thoughts

“The struggle of the left does not grow out of the desires, needs and dreams of the living individuals exploited, oppressed, dominated and dispossessed by this society. It is not the activity of people striving to reappropriate their own lives and seeking the tools necessary for doing so. Rather it is a program formulated in the minds of leftist leaders or in organizational meetings that exists above and before people’s individual struggles and to which these latter are to subordinate themselves”

 

- From politics to Life: Ridding Anarchy of the Leftist Millstone by Wolfi Landstreicher

This piece is an attempt to challenge ourselves to be creative in our desires; to free ourselves from the chains of leftism.  While we chose to put extra focus on the authoritarian socialists and left anarchists this piece does not claim to have all the answers.  Even those of us who reject the label of the left might be wise to acknowledge that these tendencies pop up even within ourselves and in our own organizing. We all have a lot to learn and a lot to unlearn if we are to undo the effects of our indoctrination and move towards fulfilling our desires and spreading revolt.

Reflection, debate, strategy, and action combined to create an ever-changing ever-freer praxis are just a few ways that can help us moving forward and while we have dabbled in certain left tactics and their application, we ought to be more intentional with our rejection of them in our practice.

“Thus, the communist movement is ‘nihilistic, in that it is a conscious negative force that attacks the existing order as a means of demolishing the dictatorship of capital. Yet, at the same time it is also a positive material force – that while destroying the separations between us, it communizes the means of existence in the same breath. There is no way to separate these things; for they must be one or not at all.”

 

- from You Are Not Durutti, But We Are Uncontrollable: Beyond a Critique of Non-Violence

In an attempt to pose some ideas for ways to move forward let’s draw from and negate the strategies of the left. Let’s refuse to define our resistance in any positive sense but let’s instead move in a way that is untamed, uncontrolled, and unpredictable. Let us keep in mind a few things that can help us as we traverse this path:

1. rejection of a political perception of social struggle

2. rejection of organizationalism

3. rejection of democracy and the quantitative illusion

4. rejection of making demands on power

5. rejection of the idea of progress

6. rejection of identity politics

7. rejection of collectivism and the subordination of the individual to the group

8. rejection of ideology

For a resistance without limits, for a joyous insurrection.

Additional Resources

Articles
Desert
Lines in the Sand
Critical Thinking as an Anarchist Weapon
Call

Books
Communization and it’s Discontents: Contestation, Critique, and Contemporary Struggles by Ed. Benjamin Noys

 

Comments

Re: Breaking with Delusion: Musings for Life beyond the Left

Socialist youth gone wild.

Re: Breaking with Delusion: Musings for Life beyond the Left

psssst 10:50 i think 8:02 is a troll so watch out

but word up 555 is super legit but long winded as fuck

and types super mono tone ;p

 

Re: Breaking with Delusion: Musings for Life beyond the Left




 

Re: Breaking with Delusion: Musings for Life beyond the Left

this is tagged as theory? this is no such thing. how can a dumb ass anarchist write theory?

Re: Breaking with Delusion: Musings for Life beyond the Left

this shit is bananas.

Re: Breaking with Delusion: Musings for Life beyond the Left

I don't think 5:55pm was saying fuck everyone or that we all suck.
It's pretty pointed if you ask me, and I tend to agree with most of it.

Not every rant or rage is a troll and the tendency to discount and ignore those sorts of criticisms is a major part of the problem.

Re: Breaking with Delusion: Musings for Life beyond the Left

- 5:55pm

You deserve a standing ovation for that troll

Fuck everyone! we all suck! Let's critique the shit out of each other and actually change something so it matters.

 

Re: Breaking with Delusion: Musings for Life beyond the Left

I disagree with Marlon.

 

People don't just do "what works" and, as anarchist revolutionaries in a time of crisis, we can't allow access to reforms that aren't going to be granted to be our barometer for "effective action." People follow ideologies and norms. If people just always gravitated toward "what works" - in a process of weeding out bad methods in favor of better ones - than we would be in a state of constant struggle against authority. There would be super regular conflict of some sort.

 

But that doesn't happen. People go back to normal and are reintegrated after a struggle is over, a little less comfortable in their previous position. If the impossible is done than they will come back again.

It's about creating the impossible situations and events when the question of freedom and communism appear as immediate material options not about falling into the "pragmatism" of left-liberal reformism.

Re: Breaking with Delusion: Musings for Life beyond the Left

Agreed with 10:01

the MLs arent very vocal Anymore. The liberals are barely a threat to us. We just need to get shit poppin!

-self described anarchist

 

 

Re: Breaking with Delusion: Musings for Life beyond the Left

There are highly vocal Marxist leninists in Atlanta?

Re: Breaking with Delusion: Musings for Life beyond the Left

Yeah, this is tldr, whatever, fuck you.

"Anti-red scum." Is that like an oxymoron? Like jumbo shrimp?

Do so many Marxist-Leninists really think that your archaic dogma has a monopoly on communism? Do you really expect those of us who remain sane and intelligent to buy into the notion that totalitarian socialism or state capitalism are promising avenues toward achieving communism? There are many people of all tendencies who can successfully integrate positive aspects of various political ideologies and organizing models into their own praxis; why is that a small but vocal group of Atlanta's Marxist-Leninsts seem incapable of such adaptation? Is it because of a latent inferiority complex?

For all of the Marxist-Leninist claims to historical victories, all of their so-called "revolutionary" projects have all (re)lapsed into totalitarianism and even capitalism (and in their claims, they almost never acknowledge the crucial role that anarchists played in various revolutions before being squashed by the "people's" state). Why is there no apparent willingness to reconcile the claims of past revolutions' leaders with their material failures to abide by their own standards, or to question why, for example, yesterday's Chinese communists are today's most brutal capitalists? It must be convenient to write off famine, mass killing, gulags, and slavery as merely unfortunate byproducts of a necessary revolutionary process. If only authoritarians could afford anarchists the same leeway...why is it, after all, that they refuse to condemn such massive fuckups and withdraw their adoration from figures like Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and others? As the above piece claims, their ideology bears the mark of religious dogma.

The fact is that, in order to achieve a classless society devoid of barbarisms like authoritarianism, the specialization of political (mis)leadership or vanguardism, and private property, we need to dispense with hierarchy and class, whether we are talking about socioeconomic or political class. The most promising avenue toward achieving this is anarchism, although there are some anti-authoritarian Marxists who also see the light.

The great thing about anarchism is that it doesn't castrate itself by latching onto old, tired ideas formulated in a hotbed of bourgeois Enlightenment 19th-century garbage, only some of which is salvageable for the 21st century (once we carry Marx beyond his own elitist, statist, productivist trappings).

Conversely, the sad joke of Marxism-Leninism is that it pretends to be intellectually refined but it has missed out on the last century of philosophical and political thought (hello post-structuralism!)--a disastrous oversight that has consigned canonical or dominant trends in "red" politics to the margins of political and intellectual culture alike.

Yes, anarchists tend to be disorganized, and as in any other tendency many individuals use their politics as an alibi for aggressive authoritarianism, sociopathic self-destruction, and childish irresponsibility, but at the very least we can say of anarchism that it is not an historical relic or (in general) a religious dogma, but that it is adaptable, and that it is certainly not exclusive with even the highest levels of organization (although how such organization precipitates varies widely between tendencies, another mark of our illustrious adaptibility).

Locally, many Marxist-Leninists have met with failure after failure, largely because they cohere around one particularly stupid, pretentious asshole who has shown that they are incapable of meaningful self-criticism, invention, basic human decency, or thinking outside of their little bubble of adoring fans.

All or nearly all of the projects going on around town are anarchist initiatives. Never mind that Occupy was a crude misappropriation of anarchist praxis; let's think about the political culture that is developing around local anarchist projects and social circles, and then compare that to the monastic indoctrination that is currently ongoing in some "red" circles.

The comparison is a sad one indeed. The authoritarians should compose a dirge that laments their many failures and shortcomings, commit it to heart, and sing it together. This should provide them with the religious experience that they have been yearning for ever since they first read (and misunderstood) Marx. While you are writing this dirge you can include a line or two about the tragic loss of Lenin's sweet innards.

It is not simply that we disagree politically or in the abstract. Atlanta's authoritarians (of all stripes, some of which many would call "liberal," but all informed by the same Marxist-Leninst, "masses"-oriented politics) have already done a lot of shitty things, including:

  • Destroying the relevance and effectiveness of Occupy while blaming anarchists for not falling in line

  • Changing the Chase Bank action day after dozens of people had taken the time to plan for participating

  • Failing hard at Sodexo organizing

  • Failing to organize at GSU (a joint failure with people of various tendencies but nevertheless propelled by the same cadre formation that happens over and over again with the usual suspects)

  • Coercively destroying Take Back the Block and creating an authoritarian model that ensured the ejection of anarchists

  • Attacking the planners of the recent pinata party and making homophobic comments on the Facebook wall (even though today's organizers shouldn't really be identifying with or defending a murderous, counter-revolutionary shitbag like Lenin)

  • Banning individuals from social circles because of political disagreements

  • Calling for "good" anarchists to manage, snitch on, or admonish their comrades

  • Writing critiques of other groups while failing to do even one successful material thing

  • Asking for help cleaning up a park and then managerially instructing the participants to do the work that the managers are incapable of doing themselves due to their elitist, bourgeois-friendly values

  • Publicly attacking co-defendants for pleading nolo

  • Attempting to hunt down the people responsible for some petty vandalism at Emory

(Granted, the list of shitty things done by Atlanta's anarchists is almost as long but would include more petty things like clique-ish organizing, last-minute notices about meetings, poor scheduling, and a couple of badly executed black blocs, all of which we are at least willing to acknowledge and learn from, and none of which pertains to any individual tendency or strict, canonical ideology or religious formation.)

Name one little shitty campaign that has gone right for Atlanta's authoritarians. You could name the Glen Iris struggle but then that was because they had anarchists working with them at the time. Authoritarians and political managers always need good little workers to do what they never can, which is to step out of their smug, managerial role into horizontal action. The irony of Atlanta's authoritarians is that they aren't even good Marxist-Leninists by their own standards. They're often just as incompetent as many of the anarchists whose failures they generalize and plaster all over the general body of anarchist praxis, even as they leech off of our successes and deviously try to attract "good" anarchists to their circles while condemning their friends and comrades.

The truth is that there are some cool folks who identify as communist or socialist, and a lot of them have good ideas (even more so when they're not local to Atlanta where politics of all varieties seems to take a big fat dive), but the sane ones generally (like one of the below commentators) understand that there are problems with any tendency, including their own. Let's not essentialize our tendencies, or assign fixed categories of attributes and behavioral patterns to any given identity. For example, there are patriarchal anarchists in Atlanta right now who yell and scream at the tiniest disagreement from their comrades; they have more in common with most authoritarian socialists than they realize. Neither tendency has a monopoly on stupidity, failure, or general inexperience. But one tendency tends to favor absolutism, historical fetishism, cults of personality, and a false "rigor" that is more about religious performance and less about achieving material results. We all know what that tendency is, and this piece does a pretty good job of outlining some of its failures.

I look forward to the day when Atlanta's Marxist-Leninists, communists, or whatever stop tolerating the assholes who bog down their tendency (which already does a good job of doing itself in by virtue of its own ideological and pragmatic failures). In the same vein I look forward to a day when Atlanta's anarchists stop tolerating clique-ish organizing, generally destructive aggressive behavior towards our own, and our predilection for favoring hot air and gasbags over actually doing shit. In this sense we suffer from many of the same problems as our red counterparts. But at least we're adaptable, openly self-critical, and still doing plenty of stuff, as the above piece and other recent papers show.

Several months from now, when real shit is happening, the sane human beings from "both" sides (which I insist are falsely divided in a lot of ways and much more numerous than a lonely pair) will start to come together over material organizing, freshly packed bowls, fine brews, and entirely too many cigarettes. And there will still be the irrelevant shitbags who whine and complain whenever they are faced with a valid critique of their own deplorable actions, and who insist that everyone toe the party line or shut the fuck up. It is no wonder that such assholes look for subordinates wherever they go; they are like the patriarchal father who, no matter how low-down and oppressed he might be because of material conditions, at least reigns over his little flock of subjugated familiars.

Re: Breaking with Delusion: Musings for Life beyond the Left

As a former ISO member, man this is what I hated about it.

Re: Breaking with Delusion: Musings for Life beyond the Left

This piece is complete garbage and the people that wrote it are anti-red scum.


 

Re: Breaking with Delusion: Musings for Life beyond the Left

hi. 

i really like this piece. i think the part about the authoritarian socialists is super on point. i identify as a communisist but am leaning more towards autonomist marxism or left communidm as a result of these same behaviors and things appearing in various political formations.

its definitely hard to read but looking at this and my own experiences this is definitely how i would describe things.

 

dont know much about the others but ill take it as food for though.

 

for the other comments idk if its true or not but i think writing and strategy are cool . a few reasons i never identified as an anarchist are that i felt it was lacking and too unorganized for me. anyways thanks for this. sharing it .

Re: Breaking with Delusion: Musings for Life beyond the Left

I like the piece.

I agree that it's a bit redundant and, at times, imprecise. 

I'm glad to read a text by other folks; I advise everyone to attempt to actually write their thoughts out into a piece. This will help you think clearer and will potentially help you engage with others' writings in a more helpful way.

Some thoughts:

Are our desires dominated or captured by the state/capitalism or are desires produced for us in a way that limits the possibility of subversion?

Are we trying to be as "effective" as possible? What exactly does that mean? Are we trying to save society, to make our positions in society more comfortable for us? Are we militant grass roots social workers or are we trying to escape the confinement of the social factory through the destruction of the existent? I am skeptical about the idea of us trying to "get results", as if we are gonna spread revolt by helping to accidentally reform capitalism from the bottom-up. We should focus on spreading practices of actual autonomous self-organization and that's the bottom line. 

I like the spirit of the piece but I think that some of it could be more flushed out, you know? 

Thanks for writing!

Re: Breaking with Delusion: Musings for Life beyond the Left

Re: Breaking with Delusion: Musings for Life beyond the Left

fetishizing different forms of resistance and ideologies are a trap for anarchists and instead, material praxis, direct action, and results is where the focus should be?

Ya, I agree!  But I would include "Left Vs. Post-Left" in that bag of traps.  Critiquing the Left doesn't show that direct action is totally awesome.  Direct action shows that direct action is totally awesome.

attempting to break from the anti-intellectualism present in the anarchist scene

Guilty as charged, i guess.  It's all good though, after all, here I am trying to  write smart things about stuff on the internet too ;)

More Theory and More Action

I am glad to see this happening. I don't recongnize the style so Im gonna say its not one of the usual suspects... that in itself it amazing. Not the most well written piece i've read (its repetitive) but the message is great.


@marlon


I would have to agree with 4:01 there is a need for reflection and debate. Our actions mean only so much especially to those entrenched in their ideologies and positions. It should be obvious that words alone won't win anyone, if that were the case there would be thousands of people in the streets with us.


This piece seems to be arguing against people who think arguing is good and calling for more actions and self organizing... maybe im wrong but im not the only person on the thread that seems to think that.


@ the fucking leninists on this thread... go to kasama with that shit. no one cares for your comment.

Re: Breaking with Delusion: Musings for Life beyond the Left

@ Marlon
uummm...

Isn't that what this whole thing is basically arguing though?
Basically that fetishizing different forms of resistance and ideologies are a trap for anarchists and instead, material praxis, direct action, and results is where the focus should be?

The entire thing basically argues that when things DONT work, maybe it's time to reevaluate and change instead of being stuck in inflexible positions out of habit or leftist expectations.
I don't know about you but that's what I got out of this.  Maybe you didn't read it?

Just because you don't value intellectual exchange like these doesn't mean it shouldn't happen. In fact, the authors said they're attempting to break from the anti-intellectualism present in the anarchist scene by adding reflection and debate to action.

Either way, I disagree that people think the way you think they do. If they did, we would see a living and vibrant movement where instead we have basically a lot of what's being described above. (and I really doubt it's because any of it has actually been working this whole time otherwise we wouldn't be in this situation.)

Re: Breaking with Delusion: Musings for Life beyond the Left

Re: Breaking with Delusion: Musings for Life beyond the Left

One of the things I always loved about anarchism is that points are awarded for doing shit, not talking shit.

Direct action common-sense tells me "Don't try to convince people of the failings of the Left, the communists, the reformists.  Nobody else cares about such abstractions."  When the dust has settled, people tend to care only about what works, and that's a good thing.

Apply anarchist practices, and have faith that if they really are superior to the practices of the Left - if they really do a better job of meeting people's needs and desires - that will show through.

Conversely, realize that sometimes our practices will not do a better job, and when that happens, intelligent people will correctly disregard us and our ideas in favor of others.  When this happens, the solution is not to fall back on critique and theory to explain why we're still technically correct.  It's to reformulate our practices and try again to prove their worth in the real world.

If "the left" is indeed irrelevant, people will realize that by example, not by argument.

Re: Breaking with Delusion: Musings for Life beyond the Left

These musings are so Tier 1.

Leave the theorizing to us professionals okay you infantile reactionaries?

We have the correct line to revolution.  This garbage will only lead to more broken windows and more news paper boxes in the street.

Read Mao, Stalin, Lenin and forget these childish anarchos who pretend to know more than the great and glorious revolutionaries of old.

Re: Breaking with Delusion: Musings for Life beyond the Left

It is clear to me that this is obviously not an attempt at any substantative debate and conversation. It is merely another attempt to slander your comrades. 

Authoritarian Socialists? Who? Lenin was not an authoritarian. Mao was not an authoritarian and Marx doesn't have a cruel bone in his sexy dead body. 

Grow up. If you spent more of your time organizing the masses and less of it making stupid newsletters, distributing zines, and writing unnecessary articles maybe you would be as organized and effective as those you criticize; us (the Leninists/Maoists) and the more mature Left Anarchists in the city.

Continue to isolate yourselves into your stupid little subculture. We will organize the masses and bring about revolution. Organization, vanguard, Party, People's Power anything else is infantile and reactionary.

This is a petty little rant and that garbage you linked to Smashing the Ordlery Party only shows how stupid you are.

To my true comrades, wave your red flags high!

Re: Breaking with Delusion: Musings for Life beyond the Left

Yes. I would agree this is long and repetitive but it's pretty solid.

Best part of the piece: "The only need for the left we share as anarchists is a need to destroy the left."

Im making this my new mantra.

Re: Breaking with Delusion: Musings for Life beyond the Left

2:42

Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?

Re: Breaking with Delusion: Musings for Life beyond the Left

taking a break from this for now. will read more later. some raw feedback:

 

Long-winded, freuently repetitive (and often redundant) introduction. Define rupture. Not bonnano's best quote – no difference between what we do and what we think? Do we even understand the way we think? The structure of our desires? Reduction and homogenization – ok. It would be interesting to tie this to the underside of digital capitalist 'virtual individualization'. “Desired ends” - maybe outside of the scope of this piece, but it would be nice to be able to discuss this, too (antisocial – death drive). I like “The (Great) Organization”. It would be interesting to think about the act of “stripping the individuals within them of their agency... their ability to determine their own lives” and predominant A-group tendencies (e.g., straight edge ideology). The point about calling the organization an excuse and substittuion is interesting (ideas regarding the Big Other and partial-object fetishism may work here). I think organizationalists also believe they are engineering the “form to fit the content”. It seems maybe that we might not want to much overdetermine form at all, but rather proliferate common tactics (material and otherwise). I'd contest the term “to organically move” and the Trish-story; it seems that also interrupting organic flows so that we can think and act against the grain, in ways that risk thought and strain is vital both on a collective and individual level; we may even want to shy away from things that may feel or even be so 'organic' in the sense of seeming to arise naturally/smoothly, or at least begin from a position of skepticism regarding so-called organic things. Often this label is used to naturalize a position - a basic ideological gesture.

Re: Breaking with Delusion: Musings for Life beyond the Left

This was orgininally posted on the SWARM collectives new blog

http://www.swarmatlanta.org/breaking-with-delusion-musings-for-life-beyo...