Anarchy After Leftism


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Ziq originally built Raddle on WordPress, but a skilled developer soon stepped in to create a more sophisticated version of the site with less limitations. Raddle is moderated differently from other sites—the focus is on completely excluding bigotry. The one condition is that bigotry stays out of the picture," Emma explained. Emma said that whether someone should be banned from Raddle is determined on a case-by-case basis. Raddle ultimately came out of more broad problems ziq and Emma saw with Reddit. Emma mentioned what she says is a problem with harassment on the site.

More broadly, Raddle, like every good internet community, provides an escape from the outside world. That's where the mutual aid comes in. Among the grassroots organizations focusing on communities of color is the Dallas-based Black Women's Defense League BWDL -- "a revolutionary womanist coalition that provides political education, self-defense training, and resources and rescue to abused, underserved [B]lack women and marginalized genders.

She says BWDL has been directing crews and teams to conduct rescues, and will be setting up in neighborhoods of color this week to provide supplies like diapers and hygiene products. Other grassroots groups are focusing on the undocumented communities who have been rendered even more vulnerable after the Texas Legislature's passage of SB4.

Anarchy After Leftism

While a federal court recently blocked the law from taking effect today, it may still ultimately be upheld. Additionally, street medic teams, which traditionally work to provide first aid during protests, are readying themselves. In the coming weeks, she says, it's likely they will work to set up temporary clinics where medics will work to ensure Houstonians have access to their prescriptions and to doctors, and will provide first aid and preventative care.

Elliff herself has been busy giving rides to dialysis patients, checking blood pressures and blood sugars, and making sure her neighbors have their medications.

Anarchy after Leftism | The Anarchist Library

A lot of people come in, and they get that charge from that initial, 'I pulled somebody from the water. I rescued this person, or that person,' and that absolutely needs to be done, but when the waters recede and the homes are devastated and the people are devastated, that's when the long-term healing and recovery work begins. So, medics stay. Radical organizers Truthout spoke with expressed nuanced views on the government's response to Harvey, calling Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner's decision not to evacuate the right move, but condemning his emphasis on preventing "looting. Cobb and others suspect the government's response has been stronger in wealthier areas of the city, mirroring what happened 12 years ago during Hurricane Katrina.

At the same time, he is "extremely grateful for whatever government response was there because we could do fuck all against what was needed. Still Cobb says he's been amazed to witness the compassion and strength of his neighbors and of average Houstonians amid the ongoing crisis. People have been so happy and gracious and just like, 'This is what we need. We need each other.

We don't need all this noise, and all this hate.

We just got to look out for each other,'" he says. It's been a really gorgeous sight even in a lot of heartbreak, a lot of death and a lot of fear. Copyright, Truthout. Buy Now, Pay Later. Already a Subscriber? Log In Here. But the factories remain intact, the stores remain intact though the syndicalists may call them distribution centers , the family remains intact — the entire social system remains intact. If our daily activity has not significantly changed — and the anarcho-syndicalists give no indication of wanting to change it beyond adding the burden of managing the factories to that of working in them — then what difference does it make if there are no bosses?

Beginning in , Bob Black became involved in a debate sparked by the work of anarchist and founder of the Institute for Social Ecology , Murray Bookchin , an outspoken critic of the post-left anarchist tendency. Bookchin wrote and published Social Anarchism or Lifestyle Anarchism: An Unbridgeable Chasm , labeling post-left anarchists and others as " lifestyle anarchists "—thus following up a theme developed in his Philosophy of Social Ecology.

Though he does not refer directly to Black's work an omission which Black interprets as symptomatic , Bookchin clearly has Black's rejection of work as an implicit target when he criticises authors such as John Zerzan and Dave Watson , whom he controversially labels part of the same tendency.

For Bookchin, "lifestyle anarchism" is individualistic and childish. In his view this is a kind of fake-dissident consumerism which ultimately has no impact on the functioning of capitalism because it fails to recognise the realities of the present. He grounds this polemic in a social-realist critique of relativism, which he associates with lifestyle anarchism as well as postmodernism to which he claims it is related. Ludic approaches, he claims, lead to social indifference and egotism similar to that of capitalism. Against this approach, he advocates a variety of anarchism in which social struggles take precedence over individual actions, with the evolution of the struggle emerging dialectically as in classical Marxist theory.

The unbridgeable chasm of the book's title is between individual "autonomy"—which for Bookchin is a bourgeois illusion—and social "freedom", which implies direct democracy , municipalism, and leftist concerns with social opportunities. In practice, his agenda takes the form of a combination of elements of anarcho-communism with a support for local-government and non-governmental organization initiatives which he refers to as libertarian municipalism.

He claims that "lifestyle anarchism" goes against the fundamental tenets of anarchism, accusing it of being "decadent" and "petit-bourgeois" and an outgrowth of American decadence and a period of declining struggle and speaks in nostalgic terms of "the Left that was" as for all its flaws vastly superior to what has come since. In response, Black published Anarchy After Leftism which later became a seminal post-left work.

Black accuses Bookchin of moralism, which in post-left anarchism, refers to the imposition of abstract categories on reality in ways which twist and repress desires as distinct from "ethics", which is an ethos of living similar to Friedrich Nietzsche 's call for an ethic "beyond good and evil" and of " puritanism ", a variant of this.

He attacks Bookchin for his Stalinist origins and his failure to renounce his own past affiliations with what he himself had denounced as "lifestylist" themes such as the slogans of May He claims that the categories of "lifestyle anarchism" and "individualist anarchism" are straw-men. He alleges that Bookchin adopts a " work ethic " and that his favored themes, such as the denunciation of Yuppies , actually repeat themes in mass consumer culture and that he fails to analyze the social basis of capitalist "selfishness"; instead, Black calls for an enlightened "selfishness" which is simultaneously social, as in Max Stirner 's work.


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Bookchin, Black claims, has misunderstood the critique of work as asocial , when in fact it proposes non-compulsive social relations. He argues that Bookchin believes labour to be essential to humans and thus is opposed to the abolition of work. He takes him to case for ignoring Black's own writings on work, for idealizing technology and for misunderstanding the history of work. He denounces Bookchin's alleged failure to form links with the leftist groups he now praises and for denouncing others for failings such as not having a mass audience and receiving favourable reviews from "yuppie" magazines of which he is himself guilty.

He accuses Bookchin of self-contradiction, such as calling the same people " bourgeois " and " lumpen ", or "individualist" and "fascist". He alleges that Bookchin's "social freedom" is "metaphorical" and has no real content of freedom. He criticizes Bookchin's appropriation of the anarchist tradition, arguing against his dismissal of authors such as Stirner and Paul Goodman , rebuking Bookchin for implicitly identifying such authors with anarcho-capitalism and defending what he calls an "epistemic break" made by the likes of Stirner and Nietzsche.

He alleges that the post-left "disdain for theory" is simply Bookchin's way of saying they ignore his own theories. He offers a detailed response to Bookchin's accusation of an association of eco-anarchism with fascism via a supposed common root in German romanticism, criticising both the derivation of the link which he terms " McCarthyist " and the portrayal of romanticism itself, suggesting that Bookchin's sources such as Mikhail Bakunin are no more politically correct than those he denounces and accusing him of echoing fascist rhetoric and propaganda.

Anarchy Radio on Post-left Anarchism, Egoism, Nihilism and Anti-Civ

He provides evidence to dispute Bookchin's association of "terrorism" with individualist rather than social anarchism. He points to carnivalesque aspects of the Spanish Revolution to undermine Bookchin's dualism. Black then rehearses the post-left critique of organization, drawing on his knowledge of anarchist history in an attempt to rebut Bookchin's accusation that anti-organizationalism is based in ignorance.

He argues that Bookchin is not an anarchist at all, but rather a "municipal statist" or "city-statist" committed to local government by a local state—smattering his discussion with further point-by-point objections for instance, over whether New York City is an "organic community" given the alleged high crime-rate and whether confederated municipalities are compatible with direct democracy.

He also takes up Bookchin's opposition to relativism , arguing that this is confirmed by science, especially anthropology —proceeding to produce evidence that Bookchin's work has received hostile reviews in social-science journals, thus attacking his scientific credentials and to denounce dialectics as unscientific.

He then argues point-by-point with Bookchin's criticisms of primitivism , debating issues such as life-expectancy statistics and alleged ecological destruction by hunter-gatherers. He concludes with a clarion-call for an anarchist paradigm-shift based on post-left themes, celebrating this as the "anarchy after leftism" of the title.

Further reading

Bookchin's reply to critics in Whither Anarchism? In Withered Anarchism , Black identified instances where Bookchin's own books identified him as a dean at Goddard College and Ramapo College and Black called the issue a pretext for ignoring his substantive arguments. Black incorporated language from Withered Anarchism in a broader critique of Bookchin, democracy and leftism, Nightmares of Reason , posted as an e-book at The Anarchy Library in As noted by Black in Nightmares of Reason , Bookchin eventually came to reject anarchism as having "always been" essentially individualistic and ineffective, despite his self-professed attempts to rescue it.

In its stead, he founded a new libertarian socialist ideology of his own, which he called Communalism.

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A certain close relationship exists between post-left anarchy and anarcho-primitivism since anarcho-primitivists such as John Zerzan and the magazine Green Anarchy have adhered and contributed to the post-left anarchy perspective. Wolfi Landstreicher has criticized the "ascetic morality of sacrifice or of a mystical disintegration into a supposedly unalienated oneness with Nature", [19] which appears in anarcho-primitivism and deep ecology.

Jason McQuinn has criticized what he sees as an ideological tendency in anarcho-primitivism when he says that "for most primitivists an idealized, hypostatized vision of primal societies tends to irresistibly displace the essential centrality of critical self-theory , whatever their occasional protestations to the contrary. The locus of critique quickly moves from the critical self-understanding of the social and natural world to the adoption of a preconceived ideal against which that world and one's own life is measured, an archetypally ideological stance.

This nearly irresistible susceptibility to idealization is primitivism's greatest weakness". Murray Bookchin has identified post-left anarchy as a form of individualist anarchism in Social Anarchism or Lifestyle Anarchism: An Unbridgeable Chasm where he says he identifies "a shift among Euro-American anarchists away from social anarchism and toward individualist or lifestyle anarchism.

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Indeed, lifestyle anarchism today is finding its principal expression in spray-can graffiti , post-modernist nihilism , antirationalism, neoprimitivism, anti-technologism, neo- Situationist 'cultural terrorism,' mysticism, and a 'practice' of staging Foucauldian 'personal insurrections'". As noted above, post-left anarchist Bob Black in his book-length critique of Bookchin's philosophy entitled Anarchy After Leftism said of post-left anarchy: "It is, unlike Bookchinism, "individualistic" in the sense that if the freedom and happiness of the individual — i. A strong relationship does exist with post-left anarchism and the work of individualist anarchist Max Stirner.

Jason McQuinn says that "when I and other anti-ideological anarchists criticize ideology, it is always from a specifically critical, anarchist perspective rooted in both the skeptical, individualist-anarchist philosophy of Max Stirner". Bob Black has suggested the idea of Marxist Stirnerism, his term for the attempted union of Stirner's conscious egoism with the principles of anarcho-communism as suggested by the short-lived Bay Area anarchist group For Ourselves in their pamphlet The Right to Be Greedy: The Practical Necessity of Demanding Everything.

In fact, the group claimed that true communism was only possible on the basis of an enlightened self-interest that extended itself to a respect of the interests of others and the entitlement of all to the means of life.

Individualist anarchism is lovely dynamite, but not the only ingredient in our cocktail".

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