Zack and Josh
The Ego Death Podcast
Get with the Program? Nah, Pull the Plug on the Bourgeoisie
My Brief Stint in Redneck Revolt
Episode 1 – Anti-fascism, Spanish Civil War, Berkeley Street Fights
Episode 2 – The March For Science, Trump, Social Democracy
A Few Notes on the Alienation of Activism
Episode 3 – Thoughts On “Resist”, Activism, Recuperation
Episode 4 – Fight For 15, Disability Advocacy And News
Repost: Anarchism or Vanguardism? Critique of Guerrilla Ideology of the IRPGF
Revolutionary Organizations and Individual Commitment by Frere Dupont
Episode 101 – Season 5 with Bellamy
The Ego Death Podcast
JAN 23 2023
Topics: podcast, nihilism, perspectivism, relativism, anarchism, postmodernism, post-modernism, post-left, USA, anticiv, anti-civ, buddhism, environmentalism, egoism, terrorism
Intro/outro music by Loom
TLDR; During the length of our inaugural episode, we’re going to be introducing the podcast and ourselves, as well as talking about a series of recent attacks on the electrical grid in the US. We also touch on buddhism, Stirner, the urban/rural divide, and some more abstract ideas surrounding the topics we’ll be discussing.
Hey there internet folks. We're Zack and Josh and Ego Death is our first foray into podcasting.
This project is very much a work in progress, but the gist is that we're having conversations we'd have with each other, or friends anyway, and recording them for anyone that might have interest.
We settled on the name Ego Death because it sounds edgy but isn't, kinda like us. You can expect thoughtful (maybe humorous) treatment of provocative issues, something we both feel is a bit lacking in online and irl discourse.
If you're into nihilism, anarchism, philosophy, and similar you're probably someone we'd like to talk to. Please feel free to reach out with praise, outrage, topics you'd like to hear discussed, suggestions for improvements, or any other comments. You can contact us at @firstname.lastname@example.org or harass me personally (Josh) at @email@example.com if you're really pissed at something I said. (Zack does all the actual work, so I won't have him take the heat for my mouthing off.)
Thanks for checking out the podcast. We look forward to talking with you.
ZACK: Yeah, this is Zack.
JOSH: And this is. Josh, and you're listening to Ego death.
ZACK: Today we're going to be introducing the podcasts and ourselves. Welcome about a series of recent attacks on the electrical grid in the US. We also touch on the urban world design and similar abstract ideas surrounding the topics we're discussing. A string of mysterious attacks on power stations across the US has rekindled fears about the vulnerabilities of America's electricity infrastructure, which security officials have warned presents a growing target to extremists and saboteurs. Attacks and suspicious activity at US power stations reached a decade long high last year. With more than 100 reported incidents. In the first eight months of 2022, according to a time review of the Department of Energy's most recent data, which runs through. August since the. And they've been at least 18. More public reported attacks, or potential attacks on substations and power plants in Florida and North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, and Washington. I guess we need to start out by giving a little bit of our own personal backgrounds jobs when.
JOSH: You're first sure, yeah, I'm I'm a slightly oldish. Father of five now living in a very rural area, upstate of a major city. I've always lived in suburban urban environments. Growing up live all over the United States throughout the years. I've been here for the last seven years or so outside of a very, very small town talking like 200 people. So over the small town, so they're quite a ways even from a Walmart or something fun like that. That's the that's the closest small city has the Walmart and the big grocery store I guess. So it's. It's been an interesting time getting oriented to living. Here I've always. Wanted to live. Further out, I've always wanted to live where there's plenty of woods and room to roam and. For us and for the past seven years we've been.
ZACK: Raising our kids.
JOSH: Out here on what's considered a small farm? But for most people, it's big. It's over 20 acres and we've got lots of. Woods to play. In and a flock of sheep running around. We've done other stuff at the farm we used. To do all. Kinds of different poultry and other stuff. Couple of dogs, so pretty. Pretty sweet environment. They're young kids to grow up. My youngest is 7. My oldest two are 16, so it's wild. Things all the. Time very fortunate not to work a lot in here with my kids for sure. It's been kind of a dream of mine to have an old living in in an old house on a big chunk of property and just kind of be be out like be out and have room to do projects and have fresh air and not be too close to other. Folks, I'm I'm always most comfortable in the room. When I was younger I did a lot of mountaineering and spent a lot of time in the mountains in. Colorado and on the East Coast, in very secluded rugged areas. Not so much like the one I live now, which is much more sort of rolling hills and very festival, but just being outside has always. Been something that I put. A really high value on and I wanted to. Give that up to you. My kids. I had a well paying. But really ******, miserable job and. We happened to just kind of be in a. Position to make. The move and my wife and I have been talking about doing something like this since we were teenagers. It's been over 20. Years and so the opportunity presented itself and we just sort of jumped at it. Yeah, it's it's been cool. And then it started I. Had many more ideas of projects and we were doing something that. Was much more of what we. Consider like a farm. And as our kids grew, I got kind of disillusioned with it because my focus is always to do things that I can with them and with my family. So now we're we're kind of just. Enjoying it while. The party lasts because I I don't think it's going to be sort of this cheer forever. I'm I'm imagining and get sucked back into more of the. Real world at some point.
ZACK: Alright, so you said you live in a town. With like 2 or 300 people.
JOSH: Yeah, we're outside of the town. It's a couple 100 people and the next closest town is a couple 100 people. It's it's pretty. Sparse out here.
ZACK: So you guys are just out in the country. Very minimal neighbors type situation.
JOSH: Yeah yeah, we've got 1 old guy next door that's he's not, he's not. Too far away, but. Other than that, yeah it's there's not a lot of neighbors like you look out and you see the person up on top of the next hill. Kind of the. Deal, it's not definitely not cramped space.
ZACK: So I think so. Before you guys moved your town, you guys were living in the city, is that right?
JOSH: We were living right outside of the city. You considered a suburb, but it was pretty densely populated outside of the. Very very large city. OK so so. Your shift were.
ZACK: You guys looking to sort? Of start a homestead is that kind of desire of what you're going for.
JOSH: We sure we weren't quite that. Idealistic I did have a. Moment where I. Kind of got delusional and thought somehow I'll pay this mortgage doing farm service stuff, but I quickly. My day job. Has always been sort of food. Related, so I kind of knew that that. Because without some kind of generational money or someone giving you the property, doing that in an area about 2 1/2 hours in the major city, doing that in an area like this is pretty unlikely and our focus is always. Going to be. On giving our kids a really enjoyable life and we weren't going to sacrifice that to do some sort of. Instead kind of deal so we do live in a. Big 200 year old. House that's poorly insulated and we burn lots. Of wood in the winter. Time and fun stuff like that, but we were never trying to be self-sufficient or anything along those lines because it would have made. That's for them.
ZACK: Got you got you? Yeah my my own story is kind of similar, you know I grew up in a medium to sort of large sized city. The three cities you know are all clustered together. Where I grew up, and those three are, like, you know, millions of people. So that's the environment I grew up in. My parents are both, sort of. So my father's a refugee and my mom is the granddaughter of refugees, so you know, not a lot of generational wealth in my family and my parents really just started from scratch. I grew up in a very urban environment, actually. So I was about eight or nine years old. I lived, you know, on the other side of the. Tracks as they used to call. Went to African American, predominantly African American schools. Lived in a predominantly African American neighborhood and when I was about 8:00 or 9 my dad got a better job and he moved out to the suburbs and. Right at the end of my road was a huge at the time Forest. It's now gone because they built the highway. But that's how I sort of started getting immersed into the outdoors myself. I would go and hike through the woods near my. House and look at all the cool wildlife **** out there and you know my my parents are both really political. They're both definitely socialist leaning. My mom's side of the family more so. And so that's sort. Of the environment I grew up in. I got interested in Marxism at a. Very early age and. Became a pretty militant socialist for, you know from like age 16 until I was about 23 or 24. I went to strikes. I agitated strikes, I went to so many protests and was as we used to come back in the day. Rock war stuff. And sort of. One movement started dying down. Occupy happened. I was very involved with. Occupy and then after Occupy sort of pivoted to getting involved in some of the sort of environmental issues and environmental struggles that were happening mostly around the pipelines. And I did that until about 2016, 2017, when I started just becoming disillusioned with activism in general. And it's, you know. Its potential, its capability of of doing what I was hoping what I intended for for it to do. And you know, hit a hit, a real edgelord phase. After that, and I'd say right on that same time when I stopped really being involved with activism ********, I became interested in anarchism and through that sort of started branching out like far beyond the rising of of Marxism or. And more broadly, and started reading philosophy and really started enjoying sort of more. Eastern Dallas Ancient Chinese philosophy. Some Buddhism that kind of stuff and eventually sort of moved to the point where I'm the point where I'm at now and I'm just sort of. I'm almost as critical of anarchism as I was of socialism. Of course anarchism is sort of a off branch of socialism but. These days, you know when I'm talking to people. If it's somebody that's sort of a movie, I'll usually say I'm an anarchist or an anarchy, or anarchistic or something like that. And you know when you're having conversations with leftist, I usually end up referring myself as a as. A nihilist but At the beginning of the pandemic, I too moved out to. Well, actually I. I bought land. I've been pretty much working and saving and trying to get to this point my whole life and bought a little bit of land sort of the most rural area I could find out near some really big forests that are still intact and really close to mold. The forest. And I too was sort of really idealistic about what moving to such a rural area would mean. As far as like the whole homesteading stuff.
JOSH: I think I.
ZACK: Was probably got into that a little more than it sounds like you guys did, at least philosophically, typologically. But yeah, I sort of things were different than I expected out here and now. I'm just kind of holding it down. I don't have any plans to start any any farm businesses or anything like that. At the moment. But I tell you what the you definitely can feel the abyss a little more closely out in areas like this.
JOSH: You definitely can. And in the best way possible, I would say to you can feel it much more directly in a lot of ways. It's funny because I was just. Thinking as you were talking. But we've definitely you and I met during the pandemic through, yeah, through an online anarchist read. Group, but it's funny how the passengers were very different because I didn't grow up with any sort of politics in my household whatsoever, and I've never been really what I would consider any sort of an activist. Beyond back way. Back say, like the second Iraq war. You know, putting out stuff that we based. Things like that. A little bit, but my introduction of the idea is, well, I got into anarchism, fairly young, as as a team. Kind of by way of an early interest in Marxism stemming from getting into Russian literature. My first real introduction to nihilism would be reading turning his fathers and sons. Which I used to love when I was probably 14 or something like that, and then finding removal and Sartre and getting into existentialism and then through kind of that in the punk scene. Getting more into anarchism is is. Most people would understand it and. Reading kind of all the basics and all that business. But then it sort of shifted pretty quickly. And I'm about 10 years over the years so, but my 20s were kind of figuring out how to survive and beginning to raise a family, and we definitely had ideas about that that were a little bit outside the norm. Are are for biological kids. Three of them were born at home. One was unassisted. We've always been very much into. So home birth go sleeping much for medicine and all that kind of fun stuff, but like I was always I was always working because from the time our second child was born, we figured that we could scrape by and keep my wife at home. So my 20s were. Kind of a whirlwind. Of my late 20s, I should say we're kind of a whirlwind of figuring out how to balance that and keep that going. And I didn't really think a lot. About politics at that time at all. I still did. Some reading but. It was mostly for pleasure. I've always had an interest in philosophy. I couldn't even make it through a semester of college, but still like. I've always been. A leader and then hit. 30 and had sort of a major meltdown just from the stress of kind of being that. Provider and having a lot of those responses. Abilities which wound up. Being my introduction to Buddhism because we happened to move to a place that had. A temple right at the street and. I needed to find some sort of way. To just get my head kind of back on. Track and my life back on the walls. So we started attending as a family and then. Buddhism became a large part of my. Life, not just the practice. But also kind of just from a living standpoint and a philosophical standpoint, and is something that I use as a tool to cope and get through the days and to be a parent. And to be a partner and everything. This and then getting back into talking to more anarchists and getting back into reading more. I guess reading more in an intellectual way as opposed to strictly a pleasurable way. I wouldn't separate those two things, but they can. Be a little bit different. When you start having those conversations. It's funny how so much that I've been doing in practice in my life and that I would give more. But it isn't for so.
ZACK: Worked really well.
JOSH: With a lot of the anarchists and poststructural stuff that that we started reading when you and I first
ZACK: Met, yeah, I think that's something. We probably will end up talking a lot about. On this podcast. As the episodes continue, there's a lot to parse there. But that's an overlap that. You don't honestly, in my opinion, is sort of. Criminally under discussed, you know.
JOSH: Yeah definitely. When you try to explain to someone the way that you're thinking about something like I'm, you know I'm pulling from Stirner. I'm pulling from Daoism and I'm pulling from Buddhism, but I'm also pulling from like Epicurus and. And then Michelle Sawyer, you know, some of the other folks even are younger, like people that really influenced my. Thought and sort of my worldview.
UNKNOWN: To use it.
ZACK: Way to use a douse metaphor. You're you're sort of filling your cup. Yeah, from. Where you can take. It whatever's good for you. I love it. We're going to start off talking about. The attack in Moore County. North Carolina. It seems like late at night, I think somewhere around midnight they the Police Department is claiming it's a single individual. They've said that in several different places. Pulled up to a Duke Energy Power substation and shot the transformer up and all the transmission fluid or transformer fluid leaked out and the whole county pretty much lost power, so that's like the main event that happened. But since then, over the past couple of weeks, there's been two other events pretty much. Exactly the same. Across the country, I don't know if. You heard about that briefly, yeah? There's there's one that happened in Oregon and one that happened in Washington. Yeah, yeah, I don't know much about them, I know. That there's less or. Less customers were affected by the power outage, but it was the same thing somebody rolled up to a substation and. You know with small arms like a rifle or something and just shot up a transformer in all three cases, what's your what's your thoughts on?
JOSH: I guess the thought process behind. It and what that kind of means on a larger systemic level? Or what kind of impacts or kind of down the road sorts of. I guess other externalities. You can.
ZACK: Agile I think part of the interesting aspect of it is that we don't really know who did it. It's kind of. A mystery so. There's a massive lunar that we can the weekend that it happened that someone had did this to prevent a drag show. I think they said it was a drag. Show from happening. There was some kind of a large gathering. And people were gonna put on a drag show and someone posted on Facebook that it was God's will and the. I'm pretty sure the police showed up at our house and so the dominant theory in line now seems to be like that. It's something like that right wing anti LGBT stuff and we talked about originally. Like we, I think we both agreed that that seemed plausible, but I've always had this feeling that it might be something else. You know, we haven't seen this kind of. Attack I guess from the green. Left in over a decade. I mean, I can't think of anything this big, but the fact that this has now, you know the same thing basically happened in Oregon and Washington.
JOSH: Yeah, I think so. And I see more more people taking on even just speaking more openly now about things like. And terrorism, but was curious about that and. And what I am interested in get your thoughts on is when I see discussions about it like an online spaces view, anarchist response seems to be like that it's fascist. Simultaneously, they seem to be concerned that when things like this are labeled domestic terrorism, you know how is that going to reflect upon anarchist. But oddly enough, I. I mean, I've looked around in places where anti save and you know certainly insurrectionary type folks tend to populate and there's not much enthusiasm around it, and the discussion tends to be much more. Concerned with, you know, state action against fascists. Or you know, this being some kind of anti identity category sort of attack. Which strategically, I get that makes sense. I could much more see someone trying to stop a drag show taking this action because there's a pretty easy, you know, action equals action B you. You did what you were attempting to do, as opposed to, say, these green anarchists, or whatever we call them even an eco terrorist. If someone wants to self identify as such, taking this sort of action because the impact is so. Diffuse and it doesn't really lead to any outcome aside from a big mess and the transformer getting repaired and potentially a few people being harmed that probably have nothing to do with your proclaim DeMarco agenda.
ZACK: Yeah, yeah, I think. Part of what makes this so interesting and what gives this story? So much appeal. They generated quite a lot of shock in the. Mainstream news media. But I think I think part of that is just like there's so much to unpack. With it I mean. This would definitely be a step up for the anarchist scene in the United States. If this was anarchists, or you know anarchistic white people green, you know, let the green left. I'll just call it for now and like I was saying before. I mean, it's been such a long time since there was like a major. It's like the last. Thing I can think of is. Like car dealerships, there was a period where Earth first was running a lot of car dealerships. And setting all the cars on fire. But since then I haven't heard of like you know, $1,000,000 plus damage attack. So I guess just logically you know that's a pretty big gap. Ten years or so is and again, I'm just estimating, but that that signifies some kind of an organic rate that happened. So this is could maybe be viewed as a. New wave of. You know, green. Left, if that's who did this, but also like you're. And given the political climate in the United States since January 6th, 2021 with the with the whole capital insurrection thing that happened, I wouldn't be surprised if this was right wing people too. There's a lot of. There's a lot of. This kind of. There's been a lot of talk on the Internet about these. Kinds of attacks, both on the far left. And the far right for. For a while now and for. Me, I mean just seeing it come to come to pass is very interesting.
JOSH: I think I. Lean on the side of assuming that this was a was a far right attack, and mostly because if you think about any of the substantial attacks that anyone from the left or like you think about the ELF or the Alf, whether it be the destruction of veil or like you were saying the SUV dealerships, or you go. All the way back to. The some of the green scare attacks. If the horse slaughter facility and some of those other places the timber attacks this, this doesn't come packaged with any. You know, neat and easy virtue. Making which is kind of a hallmark of those folks. They're not. They're not liberating animals. They're not saving a forest like they're. They're not even a good point. There's like no do good. Or any kind. Of moral angle to this.
ZACK: There's no communique.
JOSH: There's there's no communique and even just in general, like what's your argument going to be because there's always. Some some kind of great, you know, moral punch line, so it's going to be just recently in Ohio, like the Big Farm. I mean needlessly to say like a bunch of minks got run over crossing the street and the other half probably got eaten their, you know, flows that they died or whatever later, but still like there's the animal liberation angle, and you can see the do. Gooder side of it. If you're taking on a timber company, pretty obvious. If you're protecting the forest, pretty obvious.
ZACK: There's something you're right. You're right, you know what? You're totally right. There's something inherently sort of amoral, listic or even maybe anti moralistic about blowing up a power station because you're like with that act, you're like you know what? **** everybody's power. And that sucks for everybody, so there's something almost inherently I don't. Know if you. Would agree or not, but maybe maybe there's something. At least you. Know dubiously moral rather than like you're saying the virtue. Signaling that that you typically see with these kinds of. Attacks quote UN quote.
JOSH: Well, this to this to me seems much more. It's an attack rather than a protest because there's not a you're not going to knock out a power station and so like see what we did? It's not part of. A negotiation it's not taking not to repeat it again, but it's not taking a moral stand. Where it's just the opposite. With all of these other things, so very much like any property destruction that tends to be initiated by anarchists. Your point was was pretty valid that there's going to be a communique there. There's going to be a report back. There's going to be some sort of clear and legible reasoning behind it. Well, you could say that this is really broadly some kind of strike. I don't think that there's really. It's not the motivation on like the anti seal end of things to just start knocking out random power stations in North Carolina, Washington or Oregon. You know, possibly right, but I do think somebody would at least claim that and they would claim some kind of a good reason like this specific power company is. Feeling this transformer this way or they're they have some environmental or humanitarian record that's abhorrent. Because whether it be anti slave or whether it be an comes or you know the fuzzier side of the left, they've all. They all have distinct moralities that they work with, and there's certainly there's a very strong kind of an impulse to make sure that that's not like there's. There's a strong impulse. To be the good guys, even if.
UNKNOWN: You're doing the bad.
ZACK: Thing it's part of what motivates these individuals to do what I think is that. Feel good superhero pat yourself on the back. That kind.
JOSH: Of thing yeah, I mean. You're you're you're the underdog, you're David fighting Goliath and. You're going to take. It down you you've you've built up this evil empire. If you to oppose, so you're going to oppose it, and this attack just feels that if it's taken in that context to me it's just much too random, whereas if it's going to be taken from a right wing context, it's. Very easy to see. If they were trying to shut down a drag show, that's pretty extreme, but I can. Connect those dots.
ZACK: So random, I mean random things. Do happen, we should say but, but. One thing that we should also. Mention is that you. Know there's there's. Some significant things that have happened in the past 1020 years that have led up to this. One thing is there was an attack like this in California that's been coming in as the Metcalf attack. I believe, or the Metcalf sniper. A lot of people refer to. It as that. When someone pretty much did the same thing, it seemed way more precise. For example, the one that just had their North Carolina, they use their truck as a battering ram, and again, the truck is the police is worried, so they've given us that information. But the one that happened in 2015 in California. It was just different. Something about it was different. One of the major things is that they. They were using like nonverbal signaling with flashlights. They cut communication lines so that when the alarms went off, nobody would be notified and then significantly they actually didn't follow through with the attack all the way. They could have caused an outage to between one and 2,000,000 customers, and they just kind of left it as an easy fix so. You know, that's that's. Still an unsolved case, and nobody knows who did that. Or why but? It has a lot of similarities to what happened specifically that you know transforming it was targeted by small arms fire.
And you know, since then since 2013. A specific serial bomber has risen to prominence in the popular Imagine quite a bit. So Ted Kaczynski is more popular than ever and you just got to wonder if there's any link to this rise of the cult of Ted and an attack directly on the grid. Something that Ted has always advocated, even though he really did. Himself as far.
JOSH: As I know, and not not that I'm aware of, but I've certainly noticed the rise of the Ted case and on recently it's still kind of a vocal minority, but be embraced by anarchists is obviously increase. And it seems to have a little bit more staying power than the sort of short term infatuation with ITS maybe just because it's much more verifiable and not quite so questionable in a lot of aspects.
ZACK: It's funny that you bring up the Mexican eco-extremists because I thought of them obviously when this happened too, and there's some. I mean, this is probably my brain just trying to rationalize things. It seems there's something familiar about this. They reminded me of you know of Latin American eco extremism, but that that hallmark lack of communicator is sort of the plot twist that's confusing me. I really think that there's something there. I mean like you said, for me, you know either either this is this isn't leftist or it's leftists who have decided not. To bring anything and not to do it for. I don't know ego or, you know they've got to be aware of some of. The things we were. Just talking about. Some of the problems associated with. An attack like this? So if this is a left. Attack, it's something new. I think a little bit in the United States at least and again I mean California, North Carolina, or Washington, Oregon. It's not. Freedom in Iowa you. Know so I think there's differences between Iowa. They're they're they're ambiguous places where you could either have left or right wing, you know, and then the other thing is, some people think that this could be. An attempt by the US government to shore up its own infrastructure that you know, maybe there's some black project where they're doing these sort of victimless loading code attacks to get the Congress to act and to fortifying this stuff. Because I mean, you know, if. Any person in the truck. Can ran into the gate and shoot thing up and shoot the thing. Up and then. That takes out power for a whole county in the United States. That's a big problem as far as you know the security climate these days because the nature of war. I think I mean you're seeing these types. Of attacks happen right now in Ukraine, you know. It's just very congruent with the nature of conflict in 2020.
JOSH: Two, it's funny that you in bringing up. Kind of the. The culture of civilians and security. That is something I think is worth. We're marking on that in relation to, say, the green scare attacks or things happening back. In the earlier 2000s and the 90s, it's not the same world anymore, and just in terms of video surveillance in terms of people and devices and tracking, there's so many actions that just wouldn't take place today, or if they did take place today, they wouldn't be happening a second time with the same group, that's for sure. And there's this on the one hand, we could say that maybe people. Just aren't as radicalized right now with this. Or that but. We are we're so far. In terms of surveillance culture, we're so far beyond the green scare and we're even further aside from my, we can romance size like the no game, no victory wherever two nobody's nobody's. Robbing banks anymore. And they can even a few years of it. It's just a what you can and cannot get away with. And I don't think this is being. Over the dramatic and you know, talking Panopticon or whatever. But we're not that far off from that. In terms of surveillance ability and just the general VI and the amount of scrutiny that everyone is under. And on there's there's not nearly as much of an underground.
ZACK: It was total.
JOSH: Yeah, it's it's pretty much on encompassing you can't go through any. Town of any considerable size without being track. Basically by camera. You go into a major city, yeah?
ZACK: Any reason to be alarmist about it either? But it definitely is mere total already. I mean they can. They can read a license plate from space so.
JOSH: I guess I don't see these if these actions are going to be happening, and if they're going to be happening by a group on any consistent basis. I guess I'd be very surprised if. If that were. That were the case as it as opposed to, say, individual actions, even the now popular uncle Ted. Like I, I don't see him lasting that long today. This is when he took his actions.
ZACK: Yeah, I agree. It's just interesting that there's been three of these attacks in the past month or so. I mean that there's something to take away from that you know, either you know. I mean, it's funny that I'm it's funny that I'm I'm sort of trying to go over this in your typical like, I don't know Detective mystery novel way, but because that's exactly how I think you shouldn't go about thinking about things like. It could be the most ridiculous reason. You know, seem completely implausible and that that could be why this is happening, but if you're just going with. Rational reasons for now. If you're thinking about rational reasons to do this, like there's some degree of coordination right, there has to be. I mean, it's it's either there's direct coordination between sort of what you could consider like 1 cohesive group or this is like a series of decentralized. Those that one cell saw something pop off and was like you know what? Let's do 1/2 but I don't think that that's a coincidence. You can't have three similar attacks of the same nature within a month of each other. All of a sudden. And you know. Not be something in my opinion, I mean. I guess there could. Be, but it seems highly unlikely that they're not linked.
JOSH: I was thinking. A little bit. About how you mentioned geographically where they're located that you've got California, Washington, Oregon and then North Carolina. And it's certainly not Iowa. It's not middle America. If there's a hell of a lot of rednecks in Oregon, Washington, and California, just as there's plenty in North Carolina, you're saying there's rednecks and there's there's many. I mean, I've spent plenty of time. In those states, and I mean that's. Kind of the fun of. That's part of the reason that that leftists could have a good time out in Oregon is. You've got plenty of ******** right wingers to fight it out with, because anywhere that you've got isolated land with not lots of folks around and not lots of oversight. You're going to have rednecks up in the northeast Vermont the same way mains the same way you you've got folks with the rugged individualist conservative attitude, and I.
ZACK: Yeah, I think we're both really familiar with those kind of areas. Yeah, definitely.
JOSH: For sure, like I I definitely have it. One of those areas, and if you think about North Carolina, I I think about time I've spent in places like Asheville, for instance, that people think of as kind of a sort of, you know, hippie. Crunchy granola utopia, but but there's actually like a really stark political divide, even the same for, say, Boulder, Co. It's another one of those towns, and if you drive east out of San Francisco like once, you get up in the hills and you get up into ranch country, it's it's not the it's not the Berkeley it's you know, chilling at. The coffee shop anymore. It's people that love their guns and their freedom, so there's A and folks that have gone to those places specifically to live for that isolation too, as opposed to say, you know, right where you're is in more populous, but at the same time more, say, ideology. The modulus areas where they don't feel the need to act out as much or may not be quite as extreme because I've lived all over the country and the place that people tend to be most extreme. You know both sides will congregate there because. They feed each other, they they feel. Each other there's. No, there's not going to be a middle ground there's. Not going to be getting along. And that almost it, it causes a doubling down on both ends or closes the loop of the circle. If you want to.
ZACK: That way. Actually, you know recently I saw a map of the United States County by county. Based on, you know whether they were voting Republican. Or Democrat, but. It was an interesting math because like you're saying, these states that we typically think of, as you know, democratic or liberal sort of strongholds are speckled with, you know, quote, UN quote red counties. With country people that are, you know, doing country stuff, every single one of them, just like you're saying California, I remember watching the. The footage after the fire. Players and some of these towns were like really small and obscure, and you know the people were country people. I mean, you could hear from what they. Talked and that. And that even surprised me. You know, like wow, there's there's rednecks in California.
JOSH: There's there's a lot of I know a few personally, and it's like any of these states. If you go to the major metropolitan areas. I'm sure you go to. I mean Portland's got a mix honestly, but if you go to say Seattle you go to San Francisco, you go to Los Angeles. It's blue as can be, but you drive up into the hills where people are living on large properties. It's very, very different and same for the East Coast. In a lot of ways.
ZACK: Oh yeah, there's a lot of. States like that I yeah.
JOSH: I think there's also those states have. There's a particular tension about it too, because those are those are. People who are. Whether they're of a majoritarian kind of opinion or not. Like they're feeling marginalized.
ZACK: You know it's it's interesting because it brings out sort of a social divide. And in. Society today that's. Not typically the one that we have focused on. You know, I think class issues and race issues tend to come. To the forefront. But the idea of city versus country, as you know, as a source of social divide, I think is really interesting and actually marks. And wrote about that a little bit. UM?
UNKNOWN: I I don't think he was.
ZACK: Super enlightening on the topic, but there's definitely stuff that I'll have to think about. Recommend, but there's there's stuff that's like more focused on the divide between country and city, you know, and I think that's something definitely interests both of us. We were living is definitely something that. Interest me more than city living personally.
JOSH: Yeah, yeah and. I I think it's not to kind of get too far off topic not. That we really have a topic. But I mean I'm about 100 and. 20 miles or. So outside of a very large city. An extremely large city in what feels like essentially the middle of nowhere, but because of the proximity and. You know work from home situations. The past few years, particularly since pandemic, but even slightly before has seen. A lot of folks. They can't afford to buy a place in the city because it's just plain too expensive, but they can afford to rent there and three or four years ago they could buy a very cheap home out here. To vacation and. Now they can buy a home out here for reasonably. Cheap and they. Can live here full time, but they come out here. And it's beautiful and idyllic. And nice place to be, but they also sort of expect to come along and see their values and have people understand the way that they view things. Which I I get like you want to be in a place where you're seeing and you understood and everything else. But there's already a very. It's a small population, but it's a majority. Population that many of them have been here for thinking of folks I know like 3 or 4 generations at this point since.
ZACK: Right, so so. Just to reiterate, you're saying so you're you. You're you're you're in a. Rural place that's Republican, that's right.
JOSH: It's very Republican, but it depends. Kind of on the small. Town because now you have. Lots of Democrats on the layout lots lots. Of what you would say.
ZACK: You're surrounded by it's very rural and pretty Republican, and you're you're pretty far out from the city, yeah, and you know, I'm in a similar. I'm in a similar kind of place and it's not a friendly place for liberalism. You know, for your for your run-of-the-mill, liberal, right, and here. Oddly enough, it's it's become that because you have the small towns.
JOSH: It's close enough to the city that if you're a city dweller, you're like oh big. Deal 2 1/2 hour drive and. We'll do it every weekend. But the people that actually live out here that have lived out here to them, the. City might as well be. A world away. They they don't go.
ZACK: Right, and they're not Democrats, not legal.
JOSH: They're not Democrats. They're not liberals. They have no desire to give the city under any circumstances, but because it's a very picturesque place and people want to spend vacations out this way, all of a sudden, you've got all of. These people coming. In they buy. Up everything in the small towns. The entire little Main St. No stoplights, but the entire Main Street turns into like trinket shops for tourists and like ****** overpriced restaurants. Yeah, and then they wonder right? For the weekenders? And then they wonder like. Why the locals hate them?
ZACK: Yeah, but it's totally different place. Culturally, you know it's a completely different. And I think that the opposition to liberalism does have something to do with it. I didn't just sort of throw that in. There, I think that the very macro everything's connected. It's one world's way of logic just doesn't apply in places like you know the ones we're.
JOSH: Describing, I agree 100% and I I guess for. For me personally, in my orientation it doesn't really apply as well and I find myself getting along fairly well with local people who some of which have views. If if they've got views that I find completely abhorrent, like I'm not going to be spending. Time with. Them at the same time their scope of impact is tiny. They have nowhere to act out on any of their ********, and they're out here living their lives like they have been in the same house that their great grandparents lived in, and they're not really bothering much else because there's no one out here. I mean literally the biggest town was, it's like. 350 people The other main difference that I see is when it comes to the. Same my neighbors. You've got people that. Might have very different. Three points, uh, then we certainly have, but they're not really interested in convincing us of their viewpoints or persuading us to agree with their viewpoints. Uh, we have normal human interactions that you would have with the people that live around. You so you are. A cup of flour. Right, like you asked somebody to wash the house so. To take care of the animals would be gone for a few days, whereas most of. The more left-leaning folks and this is kind of where it comes back along the left-leaning folks who live out here now. They they don't just want to be out here like they. Want to convince like every? ******* person, they can of their worldview and its validity, and that it's the only one that's acceptable. And that's where to circle back like I see an attack like this. And if there's no moral message. Behind it, if it's not some sort of projection of values, I I highly doubt that it's anybody from the left or or from an anarchist kind of perspective, because I don't think that those conservatives to your point are nearly as concerned with spreading any sort of a message. I mean you think, think about the fact they are conservative. It's the. It's it's more of a maintenance guy than orientation, it's reactionary.
ZACK: It's not a very ideological place in my opinion either it's not particularly ideological compared to the city and. I think that. People tend to be less ideological, and I think that sort of some of the some of the you know the political opinions and gossip that that you hear in town and stuff. A lot of. It you know is just smoke and mirrors. I don't think that at the end of the day, people really believe too deeply into that, but it. Does shine through and. In little places like this is just like people really try to take care of themselves. And I know that sounds cliche, so unpack a little bit if they're just very individualistic, I don't know how to. It's another sort of umbrella term, but I think you know I'm trying to say. Like people here. I would say sort of more rugged. When something happens, they try to do it themselves rather than go get help. And there's a logic at the core of that. That's sort of. Is it in? Is anathema to sort of the literal common sense? There's like two different. I would say that that's.
JOSH: One way of.
ZACK: Describing it, there's two different kinds of common. Sense that you see at. Least in the United States and the country. Places versus city places. You know and. I don't think they're compatible, and it's funny when like I guess, part of what we're describing is when they clash, you know, so you see a lot of money coming from the. City like we're talking about and. Everything has to be like, you know, globalizing and ballistic and. People who have been out in the country just don't think that way. It's like you know, they handle things themselves and they think just on a different scale is how I would describe it. It's way more local than a liberal, you know, a city liberal.
JOSH: I agree 100% and I think it's maybe a way to view it would be that things are less abstract. There there's not a sort of there. There's not ideas of broad reaching solidarity in the same way or concerns with having a certain political orientation. Or the meaning? Behind your actions or what you're doing not to just you know. Keep praise upon little conservatives there is a. Well, obviously when it comes to local politics out of here, I'm not involved in any of it, but just the random people that you know, you know the guy at the hardware. Store the person that. It defeats, they're they're. They're all small scale politicians and what we do see is. There's plenty of corruption. I know you've dealt with it yourself. It's lots of the good old their network and it's not easy to get something done if. You don't know the right. People you know living in this place. For a time. That's not as much of an issue anymore. It's not as if we get the same treatment that someone whose family has their, you know, country lane named after them does.
ZACK: I shouldn't tell people sometimes that it's similar to the beach. Like sometimes there's just a vibe that's almost like laid back and earthy where people are just on. A different time. Scale or different? You know their internal mechanisms are operating. At a different speed, if that makes.
JOSH: Yeah, and I think. There's also and. If depending on what beach you're at, or if you surf, there's also like an element of localism that there's a private place and the requirement that you sort of put in a certain amount of time or effort to gain some acceptance. And I think that's where. We've definitely experienced it. It's been different with. People as the years. Go by like oh, we're still. Here, and we've been here for that long.
ZACK: And I think part of it, part of the reason why I bring up the beach and also the mountains is these are like sort of. Idyllic places and people. I think associate them with happiness and I'd say for the most part. I mean there's a lot of ****** ** ****. That happens out here. I mean, in the county that I'm in specifically is very rural, but there's a lot of domestic violence which is really messed up, but. You know other than stuff? Like that people are, I would say. Happier you know they're not questioning their own subjectivity and they're you know there's not the existentialist crisis that you expect out of somebody living in a metropolis.
JOSH: Yeah, I I'd agree.
ZACK: So people are way more earthy. They don't. They almost don't go there sometimes. You know it's way more like you said, practical, the scale is just different day-to-day and just hyper.
JOSH: Local base survival. Certainly cheaper, and that makes a difference just on a material level you can survive out here. With a lot. Less than you can in a major. Metropolitan area. I mean, it's kind of disgusting what it costs you for your garbage department in a major city at this point. So you come out here and it's. Not a it's not all the same, sort of. Deal you can get by. Not working if you really want to. Long as you know somebody or working a very basic type of employment, you can get by and have some pocket money and. Go to the bar, do what else you. Want to do you really? Can't do that in a lot of cities anymore.
ZACK: I guess there's the possibility that some leftist network from or even some right wing network from the city could have gone to these rural places and conducted these attacks, right? And that's that's I guess the name that we didn't even consider yet is like, what if these were outsider attacks from people that outside of the. Community or you know? It's an interesting angle.
JOSH: What would basically be a reversal? Of the George Floyd riot outside agitator. So rather than assuming that there's you know, these right wing agitators that left wing protests, you'd be imagining that you've got these left wing agitators coming to a right wing area. The interesting thing is that I I don't think and maybe this is part of part of some of the divide that that you get between. On urban populations is that while. Urban like that like the urban elites, the well off urban folks. The urban core is definitely a hot topic, whereas I don't think there's much of a consideration from. The other side. Like I don't. Think the rural folks are learning that much about. People in this city and their predicament.
ZACK: And it's from a sympathetic standpoint, you know.
JOSH: Yeah, I, I think so and also kind of the reverse. I don't think that you've got like over been left that are really that concerned with what most rural populations are up to. Because they're looking to fight something that they see. As larger and more. So it's going to be luxury cars. It's going to be new construction at a Vail resort. It's going to be, you know, large scale animal agriculture and part of this, I think is because as as you were explaining. Before there is a much more. Ideological bent, it has to be much more abstract. It's got to be something big because, you know, leftist in. In order to have. The kind of viewpoint that you want to take action from an ideological stance. You have to see it as something big like you, you you have to be fighting something huge. You can't be the kind of person who views capitalism as a an interrelated you know structure of individuals. Engaging in transactions like you have to see it as a monolith so you can strike at. It, and when you strike at it, you're going to strike it something large, so you're going to go after the person with the Range Rover. You're not going to go and strike. Against the person. With like the clapped out 1988 Nissan SUV because it's got to be a symbolic act. It's got to be something that you see as meaningful, and maybe I'm, you know, putting a little bit.
ZACK: More moralistic.
JOSH: Yeah, it's. But it's got to be moralistic, and it's got to be. Blatantly moralistic because. When you take into account the action, it's symbolic acts. It's an action of protest. It's not as if it's a you're not going to go and let a bunch of minks free and all of a sudden, you know, animal testing ends tomorrow or you're not going to, you know, go and burn the slaughterhouse and animal egg comes to a grinding halt you're not really getting at the root cause in the 1st place. Even so you have to believe that there's some sort of meaning. Your act you can claim you know nihilism when you're acting because you just don't care, but similar to I guess, the argument that I'd make against the like the next. ITS like there's there's. There's not a drop of materialism. In any of their. Behaviors, they're they're virtuous all the way. But I guess kind of bring you back. I do think that part of the interesting thing about it is I can't remember where I heard this critique, but when you're thinking about the left versus the right, you know something that fascists have always had. And it's always kind of at the root is, and it's it's partly from being so reactionary there is. If not religion, there's some sort of mythology. There's some sort of origin story. There's something that goes beyond, like the rational reasons for taking these actions. Or, you know, if you look at the left like just basic humanism, there's something that goes beyond that to get. Mine, uh, and whether you want to look at the right wing, whether. You want to look at. Even say you know ISIS if you. If you care to. If there's something that's like a transcendental sort of value going on, that seems to spur people to action, and there's definitely religiosity in these roles. That's pretty obvious, and there's also to your point, there's not an existential. Crisis there there's not the questioning. There's something a little bit more firm to stand on. There's some ground there, and I I do think that if you look at the right wing recently, like you've got people who get so worked up over you know this MAGA ******** that they're going to take selfies in the capital building and then be shocked that they're getting charges against them because left us like sure, ****? Even if giving up to you. Like many of them will go that far. Similarly, it's like I I don't see leftists being complete ******** and, you know, playing the kidnapping governor right wing guys are like they're playing that thing on Facebook because they don't. Even though I'm not going to say this is in every case, but I mean I I definitely see the right seems much more apt to take. Action on the rhetoric thing the left does, and maybe saying the left it isn't even entirely fair because I I don't think that most people that are engaged in these type of actions. Most leftists are going to decry that. It's terrorism. It's immoral, it's wrong. This isn't the way we do it. We explain to people how much better our way is and how perfect. The world can be. This is definitely coming from a slightly different place.
ZACK: Yeah, I think what you're saying is I don't think what you're saying is controversial and the left is definitely then then you know, averse to sort of that type of action for a number of years now. And by contrast, you know the right wing has been doing this kind of stuff since the late 80s, so I don't think what you're saying is controversial like at all.
JOSH: Well, I was just going to say and I do want to reiterate because obviously anybody listening to this would necessarily know. Else, but this isn't to say that there's some sort of endorsement on my end of the right wing, because they decided they'll be more violent. Uh, they'd rather just like a statement I. I think, I think both sides are completely in the wrong, but there's there does seem to be one that's taking. Action more than the other.
ZACK: So I mean, it's like what is it about? What is it about? Sort of this archetype the this sort of rural American redneck right now that's making you know the rural male American redneck more willing to do terrorist violence and political violence as compared to like we're we're just not seeing that on the. Left at the same. And I mean, we're assuming that. This I don't. I don't mean to completely link to things, but. Assuming that this these. These series of attacks were right wing attacks or just even. Just the capital. Riots and other things that have happened. You know what's what's driving? What's driving it to that degree? What do you think?
JOSH: We think, and this would be a. This would be a criticism coming from the left that I that. I agree with. I think that there is a part of it. That if I'm a white male, all American will do and I do something really stupid. I at least know that I'm better off than if I'm a non white. You know, urban leftist, because at least some of your ideological backing is patriotic. Your skin's the right color. You're you're coming from an angle where you're seeing those you're a good old boy you know you don't have you don't have all the rest of the baggage.
ZACK: So essentially is is the relationship somehow different to the consequences of these actions looking? You know, with looking at the left on on the one side and the right on the other side, like those you know. Does an inner city urban person have the same have the same relationship with the consequences of these kinds of of actions and attacks as somebody you know? Maybe rule and more privileged or. Whatever you would want to say, like.
JOSH: I think it's definitely a balance. Yeah, it's completely unbalanced. I don't think you need to think too hard about it. I mean, if this happens in an in a rural area just as much as it happens in urban. There is, but if you're a white male getting pulled over, you know for your tail light being out, it's a completely different experience than if you're. A non white male. Getting pulled over because your tail light lights out.
ZACK: I, I think, like maybe this archetypal like rule right redneck that I keep going. Back to like. I think that they're they're not only sort of empowered by their general stance in society to commit these acts without thinking too much about. Consequence because it's the right thing to do in their minds, and they really do feel probably morally that on some levels like this is the just thing to do. And like they're, you know, in that kind of state, whereas you know somebody like of color from the city like this is not a joke, and they and they. Would get you know they. Would get the book thrown at them. So I just think that the I think that that actually that does that does. I think I think this is really interesting and I think that it kind of goes back to what we were both saying earlier and I think this does change who is doing violent activity like it could be one of the reasons why since the late 80s we've seen a lot more right wing violence than left wing violence because. Besides, just you know the actual feeling more empowered by society to do these types of things they do face where they have faced way different responses from the US judicial system.
JOSH: Agreed, and they obviously will. I mean, it's just like you assume they can. Say, oh, look at all of this. Neo-Nazi activity, well, they're near. Nazis, they're still functioning in a white supremacist country like they're.
ZACK: Yeah, I mean they didn't have a. Cointel Pro for the right wing. You know what I mean?
JOSH: Exactly, and I think that if you look at someone that's going to take out these actions for some sort. Of a right? Wing reason they're going to tell you that. They're they might even be some sort of a constitutionalist. They're going to tell you that they go to church every Sunday and they they raise their children according to God's word. Could possibly they're born again Christian. They love the flag and freedom and they only drink American beer and drive American trucks like they're they're so oriented with such a part of our national culture. And I obviously say ours very loosely, but they're. So oriented with that culture ingrained in it. That a lot of. The rhetoric is is coming from. The Constitution, or it's at least coming from notions of freedom that are very American centric, so they're at least somewhat in alignment versus even if you're a white leftist pulling this stuff off and then again like you take it back to the green scare or something like that, you've got people who are saying that they're directly opposed to all the values that decent Christian Americans. You know like hold so dear in their hearts. Who who's who's the greater threat? You know who's corrupting their children and who's not, and I think that's the you can look back at all kinds of much more benign ways that this has been reflected, like whether it be in the media, whether it be in sports, whether it be. In the music. Industry, you know you. You can have like a. You you can have a white man playing white music, but you know don't have don't have a white man. Playing black music in the 50s, because even that even that even that small sort of you know that small sort of validation for the possibility that maybe that racial divide is unjust, you know, was seen as a. Threat at the time.
ZACK: Yeah, it's like I mean like, you know you can't. When when done one way, it's cultural appropriation. But if you know a disadvantaged. Person is somebody that's seen as socially disadvantaged appropriate it's not appropriation anymore, which I think is interesting. I mean, there might be some truth. I mean, obviously there is some truth to it. But you know, like it's not the same for hip hop artists. To sample Beethoven as it is for, you know a journal TV show to play hip hop artists without paying them or something like that. Like doesn't seem totally differently by society today.
JOSH: You could say. That yeah. Right you you could see that both might be viewed as a transgression, but very different types of transgression and different different intensities.
ZACK: I guess sometime over the past couple of years was like a left wing militant and he shot up a detention center, but was shooting the cops. Not the migrants. Nicely, remember that you know there's an example of sort of left wing violence.
JOSH: I do, yeah.
ZACK: I can't think of too many besides that in the in recent right.
JOSH: There's not many, and I mean if you think about it, there's not that much serious attack in general, and I've kind of back to the original topic somewhat like my initial curiosity in it was less than kind of seeing the news story randomly pop across my feed, but rather seeing like the anarchist response.
ZACK: Yeah, tell me about tell me. About what you said, I haven't seen too much. I'm I'm.
JOSH: I'm not, yeah, I'm not.
ZACK: I know you're not slowed down either, but. Even less at this point.
JOSH: Yeah I'm I'm not super plugged in I'm like I'm on the fediverse that's the only type of social media I use. And I don't really interact with the broader group, I just kind of interact with the few people that I know and the occasional random that jumps in because I I don't really enjoy talking about politics and economics and stuff like that. More drama and. But what I what I saw was a lot of. Kind of shock and then a lot of talk about the terrorism angle and sort of surprised around it. I'm surprised that I didn't see more anti save folks kind of chime in, but they were relatively quiet about it. But what it really made me think about, I guess, was that when I look at social media and I look at online. Mark is based as in general and I don't think this just applies to anarchists or leftist. I think it applies to the right wing too, and probably society in general. I've got a few teenagers so. I kind of see this first hand like just comparing them and their peers to myself at a similar age. As we've gotten. More and more online, and while I'm not super online, neither of you. But we we kind of know. What the climate is. The more online we get, it's like the more inflammatory the rhetoric gets on both sides, the more violent the rhetoric seems to be getting. Even just over the past few years, there's definitely an increase in people. Being very vocally militant but I I don't see that translating into similar acts. Options out in the real world and it really jives with. I mean now you can click it. You know your computer mouse or jump on your laptop or your phone and at your fingertips. You have an endless infinite supply of horrible, horrible, whatever kind of thing you're into whatever else you know. Nothing horrible in terms of like it's it's bad. If you're into it, you're just saying like you. Can get you. Can get anything that you want. Where 20-30 years ago it's like you're, you know, you're stealing a magazine. Like that's just not. That is, that is not your reality, but The funny thing is, it's like you you hear about the basically yeah kids looking more **** kids have less sex. Like kids watch shows that have way more. You know, drug use or whatever and that the kids use less drugs now it it? I mean, it used to be I I was going through some books to ship off to some. Some folks at the district. I donate some books too recently and I find all this old stuff from like the some old stuff from the late 90s. That was funny. Like little pamphlets that you get when you order. Magistro it's like named Chomsky on Zionism and like just stupid stupid stuff and a couple of things that were like a little bit spicier. But nowadays it's like you jump online and it's all going to be like Ted Caves. On kind of like the mild end of. Things and you go through a social. Media feed and. And like you've got leftist wall to wall with like burning cop car pictures and a cab everything and guns everywhere but like none of this **** is happening outside from extremely isolated incidents when it kind of blows up for. A little while and it. Dies again and it's. Again, going back to like this attack. Online, it's like we don't need to do these actions in real life because. We can virtue signal here only. Fine like what's the like? What's the point in risking it when we can just like talk **** about police to each other in chat rooms all day long so it's it's a very kind of to the rural urban divide like it's a very abstract way of dealing with things. It's a very globalized kind of a way of like looking at a problem or an issue to log on, and you can find your online. Chamber with people all over the world. That hold your, you know, echo extremes, use or.
ZACK: Whatever and rural places have their echo chambers.
JOSH: No, you you're kind of making the point. I was going to get into that. Like you, you've got people stay in a rural area like they're they're echo chamber is probably just their local Facebook, which is like pictures of **** they're actually doing and opinions on things that are actually happening right now because. It's the you. Know Chicken BBQ fundraiser at the fire station and the local 4H. Love and the hometown football game, and like whatever other crap is going on I guess like here just having a full size football team. It's like but. It's it's just a very. It's a very different approach to being in the world, and I know that like. Being a kid in the 90s, like being a punk in the 90s, I guess I know that we've had this conversation before and I've talked to people online about it. It's it's really funny because you couldn't go online and get that really inflammatory stuff. Like you, you couldn't go and just immediately learn like everything about egoism, or you couldn't find an online wiki about anti skills and all of these kind of extremist. Those same thing you couldn't go online and. Get all that right. Wing info, either it's like you either had to know you either had to go to a punk show and know certain people and find an address to send a letter to get some stuff mailed back to you like, or you had to know a Skinhead like that was like that's how you got into those situations. So there was a certain. Or or you or you go to a demo or. Yeah, or you end up in a demo, but like you even know what's. Happening until you're there and it happens and you've got to get there in the. 1st place, so it's interesting that it's it's almost like we're, uh, there's this big discussion about all of this. Say insurrection or anarchism or one of us. Well, there's this big discussion about it, but then you look around and it's still not happening. But there's a big discussion about it now, because now you can access the discussion, whereas before the discussion was for participants.
ZACK: Been that convenient, everything just began with discussion.
JOSH: Yeah yeah. And it's kind of I think. Also, though it does make things a bit more volatile sometimes, because people have wildly different expectations of sort of their social reach or their power. I mean, there's you can look at any sort of identitarian movement right now, and this is another place where, like maybe I'm just old. That's why I feel this way, but. I mean, I remember being a kid and it's like, OK, I'm a punk. I'm going to look like a punk, but then I'm not surprised when I go to 15 places because I'm like I'm broke and I need a. Few bucks and like nobody. Will hire me strictly based on my parents and they're totally cool with being like the **** out of. Whereas now it's like now it's like I want to look at as outlandish as. I possibly can and I. I want to be as different from you as I possibly can. But I'm going to come. In and like demand that as a slave employment, because I'm proud of and I should be. Recognized and I I. Hope it's clear like I'm not saying people shouldn't have recognition, but I'm saying if you want to completely. Transgressed, like all societal norms? Well, then don't be shocked in the society that you're living in shifts all over you. Or shuns like? That's kind of. That's kind of. How that works? Well, it's now. It's like we've got these online spaces that people. Like oh, I have my people. It's like. We'll put you up the door. And your people aren't there. So like then where does that leave you? Like yeah, you can complain about it or whatever else, but similarly to like learning about anarchism or learning about whatever. It it causes like. I don't know how to describe it like a strange cognitive dissonance because you've got kids who can learn all this stuff online, but then there's no way to apply in real life, whereas if you spent years learning about it and getting beat up by skinheads after punctures like you know. Something like, you know something very real at that point about how to. Be in the world with your orientation.
ZACK: Yeah, different different definitely. I think there's something to be said about consequences there too, but I haven't really. I think the peak of my Internet anarchism or whatever you want to call it was in 2017 or 20. 18 and then somewhere around that point I started realizing that you know the Internet wasn't such a great tool after all. For these kinds of things, but I think at some point three or four months ago, I just completely stopped. So it's it's interesting, because, like I didn't, I didn't see any reaction from anyone really about. What happened and I've I've been curious. I checked a couple of the websites the old school ones, but didn't see anything that mentioned it so. It's interesting that people I guess didn't talk about it too much on the left, or at least people in your circles or those, not your circles with. The circles on the line. That you were part of, because I think the anti save the whole question of. Anti save is really one of the. Most interesting angles to this whole story is like. And we have a pretty significant several different significant attacks that caused 10s of thousands of people to lose power in the middle of winter when it was really cold and inconvenient for several days. You know, at a time and. People actually that went from being something that was talked about I think, and in weird shady places on the Internet to something that actually happened and it's different. I think when you see it on the. News and see that. People you know. I think in some of these places they had to set up certain emergency services for people who need power to live. For example, you know because there's going to be someone like that in any any modern day. Space and so. To see this play out in the real world I think was interesting and I would love to talk to some ******** anti civil person about what they thought about this. Honestly, just I think that would be interesting as as alien as that would be to me. Personally, at this point I still would. I still like to see what types of valorizing they did of it or lack thereof or whatever, you know, because I mean what, what? What was the idea with the whole? You know it's. Working our stations I mean.
JOSH: There was a.
ZACK: Report, I think. That said, if you if you take down like fifty of these things or something somewhere around that number at the same time you crash the whole US grid. But I mean what does that do? Take out the economy? You know what I mean? So it's really. I think when you think about it like that and actually see this as a real world world event. That was not part of some ideology that affected people at the hyper local level. It really shows you how much hot. Air is in the anticip stuff.
JOSH: I think I, I mean, some people would would definitely say that these type of actions aren't consistent with anti statistically because they'll say like anti state is a critique. It's not a program. This would be more eco terrorism or eco fascist. I'm like I don't totally disagree with that either. I think that. The big challenge is you've got lots of. People right now. Not being ageist here, but they do seem skew younger. They are going to say that they're antinatalists, or that they've you know they're they're into some sort of population reduction. But when things like this happen, most anyone who's going to say that they're they're strongly anti save and you know humankind is a disease and they're completely missing. Topic, it's one thing to say, and it's another thing to like. Really be on that page and take action. Accordingly, and even you know minor consequences to bystanders. You can just see it with how much backlash there was against even the notion of supporting something like ITS or eco extremism. It's it's kind of for most, for most folks in the left. That's way beyond the pale.
ZACK: You know who benefits from something like this and what impact does it have? I think are questions that should be asked about what's what's happened and. It certainly is not going to takedown the system. I mean, we're not in any less of a techno industrialized society because they, you know, took away 40,000 people. 's power for. Three days, so I think to see it play out, I mean at the very least it's like catharsis, you know. But I mean what you know you. Like the like, the situation is used to say you can't blow up a social relationship, you know and we all rely on these technologies, you know. So the only thing that it could really be effective as an attack and is satisfying someone's own personal need for revenge, which I guess is a possibility because there was no communication.
JOSH: I I I can see it as a possibility I I. Just don't see this as plausible, and that's kind of. I I I tend to think is as silly as it. Is a stunt to blow up a? Transformer to prevent. A drag show from happening that seems about plausible as anything else at the moment. Do you think?
ZACK: This is something that continues to be talked about. Or do you think this is something that they try to brush under the carpet because it does more harm than good to kind of keep talking about whatever is? Going on here.
JOSH: I don't see it being discussed that much more on. I mean, partly because you've seen other attacks and it's as you said prior. You know, maybe it's coordination. Maybe it's copycats. You know who knows? But certainly there there's.
ZACK: I don't think anyone died as a direct result, yeah.
JOSH: But there's I think one of the concern would be that there's lots of disenfranchised folks with all kinds of ideological leaning that would do like this for some misguided reason. Not misguided. But something that doesn't make a. Lot of sense to me. And I definitely don't. I don't see. The media at large. Wanting to play into that to play into more of these incidents happening because people with nothing better to do go and. Do it for. For reasons whatever those happen to be. I don't think they are just going to be talking about it much longer. They don't seem to be talking. About it at all anymore, I mean. And if if you go online. 80% of the stuff you see. In Marcus talking about is cops. Which oddly enough I I. Guess that's an easy target because. That's not changing anytime soon. I don't really understand like. Why all the talk? It's like, oh copped, it's some ******. You're like, oh. Wow, like tell me something new but I I don't get how that moves anyone anywhere. Like if you're trying to. Convince other people.
ZACK: Yeah, so I mean now that. These things, not yeah, right right. So now that these things have happened and even you know, even if if the similar events continued to happen in an infrequent scale where you know every so often a certain amount of people lost power because someone shot up a power station, you know like.
UNKNOWN: It doesn't.
ZACK: It doesn't change anything but, but also I think that it it's totally absorbable, and it's not actually as damaging is, you know people made it out to be so I guess my question is like do you think that these weird Internet subcultures of people who fetishize these kinds of attacks? You know, and Ted Kay and stuff like that. Do you think? Do you think if these if these things continue? If these attacks that have happened continue to lack significance, do you think that these these weird cults will sort of disappear? Because I mean the thing happened, right? You know, and the thing that they wanted to do, someone did it and it didn't. Didn't do anything.
JOSH: I don't, I don't think so, personally, because I think a lot of the. Actions that happened are. Things that are. Generally small and achievable and again wide. I don't attribute this. To the left is because when you look at a lot of anarchist actions they set things on fire like they break things and they just keep doing it and they do it for really abstract reasons. Like you can Scroll down certain websites. And half the content. Is either like a 5G tower being burned? Or a delivery van. One of the 10s of thousands of delivery vans that some company owns like being set on fire or a banner drop in a freeway in solidarity with an anarchist political prisoner. And if you can connect those two things for me, like the actions and the political prisoners like, I'm game, but I. Have no idea how that. **** works in someone's. And it's because the only the only way there is that solidarity. Is if that? Person's like hell yeah they burn. That van for. Me OK all right, but man you got a lot of vans to burn. If you're like slow things down. And now you just created demand for another van and the insurance company just collected the money on that. The deductible got paid and you helped the economy. I mean I, I don't. It's like in, unless you've put yourself in such an underdog position and. And not to. Not to use this in like too disparaging, but it's like. It's like just a. Pure complete manifestation of like goes. On to now you. Know it's like that's is it's dripping it's just dripping. Like I'm I'm powerless. So here's me, you know. Taking back my power by striking it my mask. OK. So yeah, revenge's great, but but it doesn't. I guess for me personally that doesn't get me going and I don't. Because it doesn't do anything for. Me if it does something, I guess emotionally for the people doing it or psychologically that's fantastic, but I I don't. I don't get how that. How it helps much of anything or how that harms capitalism. In any way.
ZACK: Well, to segue into a more sort of philosophical direction with all this stuff, I think you know, I think whether left or right wing one, that one of the things that's that's happening here is people are feeling outraged or upset about the way that things things are right, the way that. You know the material conditions or whatever you want to call them, and people have responses to this of varying degrees, and you know, obviously, like terrorism or shooting up the electrical substation or whatever. These are pretty extreme manifestations, but people are. People are people are frustrated, and they're they're doing these kinds of attacks. You know trying to change the world, and I think that acting out in that way is. I think it's philosophically interesting, you know, I think that. I think that you reach a point where you start first questioning the sort of I don't want to say objective, but when you start questioning all the things that you can't control and that you try to that you try to lash out against them. And I think that these attacks are very much in that category and. I think that that's philosophically interesting, because I think what comes after that after the rushing out is actually an inward moment of reflection. Where, because you've you've done the thing and you know you've done the ****** Steve and you know you didn't get caught and you feel good or you feel whatever way about it. But you look back and you realize what we were just. Talking about how things don't change and. That even interact this extreme doesn't really. Alter the way that the world functions. The one that you want to change so badly the only other place to look is is in the mirror, you know. And I think it's at that point when you you you look in the mirror that you start sort of questioning your own subjectivity rather than what effect can I have on on the world. You say like you start to think like? You know how? Your own subjectivity is affected by. The things that are happening to you. Because you can't change them or.
UNKNOWN: Something like that, yeah?
JOSH: I think that's, as you know, super interesting to think about, and if you want to give you ranking on something. This is kind of. That topic, but I think you've got folks who see themselves as being formed by the world. And then you've got people. Who recognize that in many ways like it it is. It's our subjectivity that also shapes the world and the living. We view it, and when you're constantly directing attack at your perceived opponents or enemies, then the world is obviously to a great extent shaping you, because I think one's creation of opponents. Says more about the person than even you know, many of their desires, because typically their opponents they they tend to arise and create or direct many of your desires. One of my favorite in the old Tron quotes is something like paraphrase. I've decided not to oppose anything ever again. Because I find I'm always resembling my last opponent, because as soon as you've created your opponent, you've had to corrupt and you know absorb the opponents thought process and rationality the opponents, systematic thinking and structure, and everything else in in order to oppose it. That's why I think that anti is a lousy position. Because you go in an anti position then you have to be if if if I'm anti serve and like 10K or like most people that I find talking anti save, they're they're using the logic of the master that they. Created, but they've manifested a master in order to oppose. I can either I I can talk about cops and I can talk about cops. As if they're. This monolithic all seeing all knowing on the present you know, blanket of state repression that's just circling around me or I can recognize that. There are multitude of some well paid, you know some, not bureaucrats of various levels of training, and each has an individual orientation to their job and those around them. Each has a different commitment levels, is like has the ability to make different decisions in different situations, so I can see you. For sure, all cops are ********. They're all ******, but if I'm actually interacting with them, or if I'm forced no position where I have to come up against the law, you better believe that I'm not going to go into it with my acab sloganeering and some sort of ****** anti attitude, I'm going to be trying to figure out the best way to manipulate this situation with this specific. Crack to the best. Of my ability and my desired out. And I would say the same goes for looking at capitalism in the system or anything else. It's not as if the systems sure if if we want to have these sort of ideological alignments where we can attack them and inflict damage, then we have to see them somewhat as monolithic. We have to add the wolfhouse. Them into opponents to be. Battled with rather than seeing them as systems rather than. Seeing them as multiplicity is rather than seeing them as very diffuse with space to. Move between and interact with. Relationships that we had and then actually address a very particular circumstance and that kind of like mode of engagement where we're actually interacting and I firmly I find that a much more interesting and helpful and somewhat I don't want to say realistic, because that's completely the wrong word. But if I'm going to be creating a world, then I'm going to be looking for open space. More than I'm going to be looking for opponents.
ZACK: Yeah, I think. One of the biggest things at play here is the question of how we perceive. Well, I would say how we perceive our worlds. But for for a lot of people, what's happening is how they they perceive the world, and I think that. When you feel. A certain way about. Don't quote the. World and you try to act out against it and do some action in order to influence this. This world that you perceive, I think that can lead to a fracturing and perception and it can like like I was saying from before. It can lead someone to question their own subjectivity, but it can. It can bring the whole concept of objectivity and subjectivity into a whole different. You know frame for them. And I think that sort of you're pushing up against something that you can't truly affect unless force is beyond your control. You start, you start having political beliefs about the way the world should be and you start trying to change it, but I think you you quickly discover the world is not something that. That's in your control per say to change. That's not to say that someone's actions can't affect change. That happens in the world. It's just I'm just saying that we're not the ones who determine that through our action or anything else. So I think for a lot of people when they make action, they realize very quickly that there's things outside of their control. There's things they can't change, and it causes. Change in their own perception of themselves of of other, quote, UN quote things, objects, and I guess that's just a significant moment. I think that you know when we're when we're considering any kind of political activism, but even when taken to its most extreme forms, like terrorism. I think they have a different. Context, excuse me, I think. They have a different context when viewed from that sort of. After like you know, after the bomb went off and seeing you know the gore that it caused and all that kind of stuff. That's not to say was any more or less justified. I'm not trying to judge what happened, I'm just saying that. You might, you might come to discover that it's not a rich horizon of possibilities, but you know there's many different worlds happening at the same time, and some of them just ended or it's a funny thing to think about, and it's very.
JOSH: Much along the lines of. Even even to act on such a scale. So say that you view systems on that huge of a scale and you make them monolithic and you prop them up as opponents for yourself. You then, if you're going to take action against them in some that you see as a large scale, sort of the right, it's it's almost to me it seems it's an attempt. To project your values. Out into that world. That affects some sort of change, or at least feel as if you have some kind of. Larger scale agency. And that tends to be the opposite type of actions. I would consider undertaking or just the way I. I typically try to lead my life somewhat intentionally. I'd I'd much rather I'd much rather. Try to minimize.
ZACK: Yeah, totally.
JOSH: Kind of what I think I can do, so I'm probably not going to go and burn a van for a guy in prison halfway around the world who I don't know because we share political views because that would have a negative effect. Like the close people that I care for and that rely on me in my actual lived existence. But that's just me. And if, like and if. Somebody wants to. Play that game. Like they're nuts, I've got no issues with that. The I think the other thing that it kind of brings into focus is that so if you take both the, let's say, dominant global monoculture kind of the way like markets are described it in one-dimensional. And like we definitely have this sort of global monoculture, whether it's communist or capitalist, like it's economic. And it doesn't just. Confined to self economic systems, it's also very much a sort of cultural, cultural production that happens also if we look at things that way. In the monoculture. It's very much. Materialist and if you look at much of the opposition, it works by the same logic like the logic of materialism that that things. Like things in themselves or exist in an objective, they they can be scrutinized and you know, logic can be employed to affect their movement, to alter them, to change them to our liking. And that's that's where I feel like a lot of these critiques are even the anti self critique, very much breakdown. I was just having a conversation with someone online about this the other day. I still think the best critique of someone like a 10K is that he's critiquing the technological society scientifically and technologically. He is taking very instrumental and material approaches to what is wrong with the world and. His solutions are the same. I don't think that that makes a whole lot of sense. If you're value systems are material and technological and basically quantitative to critique such a system that mirrors your values, that may be through a slightly like a slightly different. Angle or to a. Different degree to me. There's there's not much effect and as I. As stated in this conversation, I guess I'm much. Sympathetic to someone like Jacques Laurel or Ivanovitch, who are Christians and they have their humanistic and theological and artistic critique. So there is a transcendental value, and while I didn't agree. With either one. Of them, I think that it makes for of. Much more interesting critique and that it takes us from a place of. Real science and reason and pure rationality to something much more metaphorical that I find I find more engaging, and I think that on many levels given the slipperiness of objectivity, I, I think that looking more into metaphorical trees and ways to relate to one another or ways to view the world that aren't quite so. Hard and fast. Or aren't so exclusionary or black and white? Or requires, say, eliminating all people who disagree with you. Like I think those might be more interesting ways to move forward should we want to have conversations. On that scale, in the first place.
ZACK: Modern modern day society is. So rigid that people don't. Typically get to. Act out against it and I, I think that that's unfortunate in some ways because after after doing the thing and confronting the things that can't be changed throughout the world in such a blunt way. I think that I think that you know it can lead to a type of of nihilism, not that questioning of subjectivity can lead to a type of nihilism and that nihilism could potentially be the beginning of, you know, sort of. You could call it like a loss of ego, but a different conception of the self than. It's typical, I would say in Western life, and so I think that that's actually important and you know, it's I don't want to make any more judgments of people doing attacks in any kind of way. I just stay out of that all together, but I think that when you do something that you're expecting to change the world and it doesn't and you have that sort of crisis afterwards. Or whatever or that loss of confidence or whatever you want to call it. You didn't enter a plea. Place that's as a result of that questioning of your subjectivity. It's very novelistic and that that that that place it becomes very nihilistic can lead to a humbling. In a way you know where you realize that from that nihilism you realize that maybe that the answer is not to change. The external things about my world, but it's to change what I can control about myself. You know, I think there is a link there, you know.
JOSH: I think there's absolutely a link and I.
ZACK: We can talk about that well, but.
JOSH: I mean what I see it as is. Sometimes you go through something. That's a great failure. And it can be liberating away, or you go through. And I've been through multiple situations like this in my life, but the most recent was just a really, really horrible sickness where prior to it I was envisioning a very different life for myself, much more projectional, and I wanted to align with certain values and. Coming out of the illness, I came to a much more nihilistic perspective that was that I was already there, but it's something that I. Kind of leaned into. More thinking, well, I can do all of these things to have my projectional life and make my life. More of this. Externalization of these values, but it really provided. No additional freedom or benefit for anyone that I'm in contact with. The people that I care for. The people that that I'm I feel myself somewhat responsible for and, and you're interacting with any questioning that like there's a certain amount of freedom because you stop as you put you know, is looking outside and you look a little. Bit more inward. And you can see how much you're missing and, and that's again kind of like taking. On the the. Masters logic puts you in a in a poor position to oppose. It one of the. Worst is services that's been done to keep them in. I guess an explicitly anarchist idea that I. Can think of in recent memory. Is the the. Temporary autonomous zone in Seattle like the Seattle Taz. Like I I? I mean I can appreciate you know Hacking Bay BMW in in a lot of ways and has a lot of interesting ideas. He's super inconsistent like total crack power and stuff, but like I enjoy that about him and I think he's I think he's got interesting. But you take this notion of task medicine you have. Everybody's kind of black block adjacent there because adjacent. Imagine the temporary autonomous zone is like taking over a precinct and a few square blocks and a bunch of graffiti and having a big block party where everybody can do whatever they want. And it's very utopian and idealistic, and those are the things that I I think that what you're talking about the idea of. Whether you take it to extreme level like Ego death, that's kind of what that removes that idealism. So the autonomous zone isn't like us and our anarchist buddies, you know, take it over the precinct and stake it out a few blocks for a few weeks then. That's enclosed, but that's an enclosed space within all of the rules and confines of the state that you're claiming to oppose, like that's a manifestation of opposition that's not a manifestation of liberation. Because it's completely like it is, it is 100%. A reaction to. What's happening outside? Of it. It's no different than a. It it doesn't, it just it doesn't exist without the oppositional force, because there's no reason to exist otherwise. Where you can say that I've. Got this, you know my life is drudgery and I go to a job and I do my regular **** and. Everything's horrible. You can blame it on capitalism. You can blame it on whatever you want, but when you start taking again, we're we're back to that. Sort of like. Creating monoliths that it's like this. You know, like Don Quixote out here, like turning every window into a monster, but you're taking things, you're assembling them into things for you. Where you could also take the viewpoint if you stripped the word idealism. If you've decided that there's not going to be that perfect life for you, that perfect scenario, it's going to check out your boxes and it's going to meet like all of your and artistic desires, and recognize that if you break your day out and you like, look at things momentarily and how you're actually passing. Through the world. There's an endless string of moments almost where you have a hell of a lot of room to. Maneuver or consider. Or change things or tweak things a little bit and maybe move them in a different direction, or even just to appreciate them, or to stretch them out and that's a. I I don't want it to sound. It away like you. Know you don't need to minimize the struggle necessarily. But I don't. Think that the field of struggle needs to be made so grandiose because there's a lot of long time of. Suck **** up in in. Living those spaces, you know.
ZACK: I think that like, there's definitely a link between idealism. And activism and kind of want to say, like globalism, and there's a link between. I guess you you should call it realism or practical ISM. I don't know what else to call it at this point, it's probably not the best words for it, but there's a link between between those things and sort of an internalist perspective on the world, meaning that you you look at things. Through your own, you know, through the perspective of your own life world rather than the other way around and. I just I think there's a question of agency that's definitely at the root of a lot of this. Like that we've been talking about, and I think that for whatever reason left and right when people do these big actions a lot of times the logic behind it is just like sort of go big or go home. And I'm not really sure where that that comes from. That's like a whole conversation. By itself, but. I mean that doesn't work obviously, but also I think it's a way of sort of testing boundaries. It's something psychological you want to see how extreme of an action you can do to see, like what the most damage you can cause is because you want to be hurt, you know, and so you lash out in this way. But I think, I think. Once that boundary. This reached, I do think you. Have to turn around and look the. Other way and. That's really interesting. I think it sort of sets you adrift, and when you're set adrift like that, you you sort of let go of this concept of like possibility and you start focusing on the present and. To tie this back into agency, the president is like where you really can affect. I think your life world, you know. I don't think we really have agency anywhere else except for hyper locally in the presence of our own lives. Like we make decisions about the things we're going to do day-to-day, I think those are the things that we can change. And for some people they might be so crazy. Or whatever stubborn or angry that they need to do some kind of an attack or an action, right? But either way, if that's seen as some kind of a boundary, I think after you reach that boundary you are kind of set adrift. But that's not anything bad, I think. Yeah, we talked about the Nietzsche quote because you can. You can sort of see this in a positive way earlier. I mean, if you. Want to like realizing that you would have it with essentially like a life raft but this life raft is your life world. Yeah, that might be a depressing thought. A depressing realization. But once you realize that you can actually begin to. And act on your life world and make changes and they don't have to affect other people. Just about your own life, you know.
JOSH: I was going to check and say, I mean, I agree with you. On agency and I, I think that. Something definitely to remember and like I, I don't think I can comprehend the nature of it. I don't think that's something that consciousness can really apprehend immediately, but. I tend to think of agency in terms of. Like, yes, it's it's. Very hyper local and at the same time it's it's stochastic or it's chaotic like you cannot. You always assume moment to moment. You can make small decisions, but you never know when the moment's going to come, that that rock rolls off that Cliff and falls. On you and stops that. So kind of a record. Yeah yeah, yeah, exactly. But it. But it's something that in practical or like instrumental terms we've got to walk around and. We've got to live with it. But we're kind of back to the point that you're making it. It's interesting that when you take people doing these big actions or people that are very oppositional, I think more of the point that gets missed idealism. Obviously, you know plays into this type of thing. You're going to affect change, but at the same time, pessimism is rooted in idealism at the same level. the pessimism because you get pessimistic and you're like looking oppositional at an ideal. Like you're, you're assuming you're assuming that whatever your vision is like, the opposite is what is happening. Kind of like you can't have dystopia without some notion of utopia. And that's where again, I I start to lose the flare with an anti save type. Of an argument. Like making the assumption that this is. Now the worst. Of all worlds, and everything's going wrong. But if we went back, or if we went sideways and something is different. Then that would be. Comfortable, like that's definitely not on our list though, like that's definitely a value judgment. And that's really in many ways kind of the articulation of what that idea where where. It looks like it's a very conservative viewpoint, if not reactionary, because you're still again like you're calling on all that material, that's logic. You're making assumptions about states of nature. You're creating this sort of man nature, duality. You're doing lots of fun stuff on kind of an ontological level that. Doesn't really seem to kind of jive. With a lot of the rhetoric that. You're espousing, and then that comes right back. To like taking those actions. So you take those actions at a desperation because you desire something different that's stemming from the same kind of ideological. I guess idealism, as opposed to. To recognize. Is in the momentary nature. Of the existence natures that you're talking. About so it's. Like a very pragmatic view, but it it's almost like you've got people to kind of wrap themselves up in this. Sort of like. Cloak of pessimism to make it seem as if they're not ideal, like they're not an idealist. They're like no, I'm a pessimist like everything sucks and is awful. Well, it's like if it sucks and it's awful. You obviously have a conception of. What is good?
ZACK: What is perfect? Yeah, but either one is sort of a form of moralization, right? I mean.
JOSH: Right, right exactly exactly, which is why, like being immoral is not amoral like being immoral is not anti moral because all of your actions are being determined by the dominant morality. It it doesn't. It doesn't work that way, whereas I. Think if anything's going to be. Liberatory to anyone. It would be some form of like radical acceptance and recognizing that. Acceptance is really looking around and saying this is what is now. How do I proceed? It's not saying this is what is and I approve of it, except this is not approval, which I think those two are conflicted constantly. Acceptance is more the saving, it is what it is. There are.
ZACK: Going to.
JOSH: Be ******, horrible people who I do not want to live in this world with. But they're probably going to exist unless I exterminate. All of them. And that's why our initial discussion on violence. You know, you take these actions. There's going to be violent consequences, and where I kind of. Get confused with some anarchist. It's like well, yeah, of course there's going to be violence. If you want your anarchist. Usability if you're gonna eliminate all the fascists, like I. I don't think. That you're going to like. Send them scenes and sit sit around having like you know, transformative justice sessions until they see it your way. It's like that's that's just not. Going to happen, ever we've we've got to be comfortable with some sort of like heterogeneity. And some like. Direct conflict of values because that is going to be the world until humans cease to exist.
ZACK: Yeah, I think I think the goal is for people to aim to control themselves. First of all, I think we live. In a society where no one. Yeah, we'll just start over. Again, yeah, acceptance acceptance acceptance is not something. It's a common response to life events or even trauma in our society today. I think it's usually the sort of in the opposite direction, like we try to make change and we try to affect things and we look at things as having like rich horizons of possibility versus, you know, sort of being out of our control. And I think that accepting things focusing on contentment is 1 answer to the sort of emptiness, or the anxiety that comes as a result of always looking at things from the sort of like grass is always greener respect. But I I don't think acceptance is. Unfortunately, I don't think acceptance is really viewed that way, unless you're society today.
JOSH: There's a more and more of a viewpoint that strength the strength that you know bend the world in situations to your will self self-reliance. You know bootstrapping there's much more value placed on that, so it it. It's more about domination, it's more about. The strength of will and then all of that. Other fun stuff. And it's kind of. It's kind of curious because it's very much. Again, that's like. More logic that unfortunately ends up being adopted by both sides of this struggle. And that same logic that logic of the of authoritarianism, that logic, that there is an objective truth, and there is a correct objective moral. Interpretation of said truths. That's the root of justice. That's the root of equality. If, like you, take a Daoist perspective, you know equality doesn't exist. There's not really concepts of fairness.
ZACK: It's a very western thing.
JOSH: It's a it's very very. Western and I'm fond of telling. My kids when they're like, oh, that's not fair. It's like, well, if you want to be fair, there's got to be a decider so. It was the decider.
ZACK: I mean, I remember reading the many many classical eastern cultures didn't even have a concept of freedom, because that's not how they. It's hard for us to understand, and that might seem like somehow weird or like, you know, fishstick or something. But if you actually think about it, like sort of like we're talking about anti versus. You know, whatever like the concept of freedom would imply its antithesis, and when you see when you see the life world. You know, as something that's not a result of, you know things that you are under your control like that that that type of logic sort of comes becomes superfluous. You know, like if everything is sort of destined or determined and is out of our control, which is an extreme view of it. But if just for the sake of argument, then what do you need freedom for? I mean, you know it's an. It's an irrelevant concept if things are completely out of our control. So like to talk about the freedom of Iraq, for example, from from anything that as a human that I can tell about Iraq.
ZACK: It doesn't really do anything, so I mean, why does Iraq need to have freedom? Is doesn't matter if it's free or not, it's just always there anyways and we. We might crush it up and use it, or we might not, you know, but it's just a rock, so freedom. There's something that links sort of freedom and the other concepts that we were just talking about to. I want to say subjectivity which is attract the whole objective. Subjective dualism is definitely a trap, but it's also ego egotistical. Right, it's sort of humans are not that. Special only if. It can matter that much, you know. And so. I think to say something like talk about something like acceptance and to have that more imminent perspective is is. It's not egotistical, it's you have to let go of. You have to. Let go of some of. That you know some something that. Maybe somebody like a sterner would would glorify too much.
JOSH: Yeah, that and that's it's funny because that's a. The difference when you look at the scenario and concept of freedom, which is extremely western.
ZACK: Like to to? Link the will like you're talking about the domination thing and to link will and freedom and domination together. You know what I mean?
JOSH: And well, and the effect. Of the world specifically, so you can take the one is external one is internal so. A western idea. Of freedom is the ability to control the world around oneself. So it's the ability to control the material, objects and people that you come into contact with, like that is freedom. To be able to I. Would be able to do whatever I want. Means to most folks you know, in Western terms, right to be materially comfortable or to be able to have the world be a reflection of their values and to be able to enforce that to be able to will that into being, as opposed to say, a Tibetan Buddhist version of liberation would be to recognize emptiness. To recognize that the meaningless of both. The you know provisional world around me and. My own subjectivity as well. Because that's where the truth lies. From an eastern perspective, so you you have one saying that well, regardless of my external circumstances, if I can accept them, and if I can come to terms with them. Then I'll be at peace. Then I'll be essentially free versus the other, which says that I'm never free until I can enforce all of these different conditions that I desire on this valuable world around me that I'm in charge of. That I'm the master of. And I would think you'd have more folks that are of an anti SIV or like a green anarchist perspective, leaning much more strongly in kind of the eastern direction. Because isn't it precisely a western conception of freedom and will that they would argue, I wouldn't necessarily that they would argue, has put us in this position. Man's desire to manipulate the world around.
ZACK: Him, yeah, I think serious thing could be summed. Up you could. Be you could paraphrase it without doing him too much violence by saying that you know he's used. Use yourself as the unique individual and then everything else that you encounter and you experience all your central experiences. All all the quote UN quote things that you come across are, you know, over your property or whatever. The phrase that he uses but. I think that you need to invert that. Really, I would say that you are sort of a thing for the world to for your not the world but your life world to sort of influence or whatever you know you're like you're like a sailboat and it blows you around. Kind of. It's not, you know. If anything, you're. The property you know.
JOSH: I like that conception. I also tend to. Think Stirner sort of affirms the unique and affirms himself. And then he gestures outwardly and everything's a spook. And like you, you know I've I've had this conversation many times with egoist folks and it never goes really well. But the thing that I feel is missed is like that that the unique is equally spooky. Like if if if we're. To look at everything around, this is. You know, like mere spectres. Of our own conception and you. Know there's bats in our. Or whatnot I. I don't think that. They're all of our own conception, and just because they're spooky. Doesn't mean that they're not impactful. I think they're would agree with. That much, but that we're we're equally. We're equally spooky and amorphous, so it's it's kind of solidify yourself as the hot little center of the universe. I think that's. A really difficult way to go to the. Well, I really like that. What was it? Fabio Lithuania and his piece on the Stirner and Spectrality like that idea that you know, there's constantly spectral beings or spirits that are moving through us and leaving residues. And we don't even notice it all the time. Like we're not. We're not that much in. Control of this unique. It's something that. Kind of changing in this in this very sort of amorphous. Way and we. Could feel at. The helm of it. But we should also, you know, recognize that we're being swept along just.
ZACK: As much, I like the analogy of spirits, because a spirit, you know, I guess like in in the way we can sub conceptualize a spirit, it's something like ghastly. And it's not. Completely solid, it's got this opaque quality to it, but at the same time I think almost the spirit is too cohesive, right because? I think that there has to be recognition that yourself isn't really a self, but at the same time like it is a self. You know what I mean? Like every every individuation that you make is its own self. And I think I think that calling it like a cloud of spirit would be more interesting than just a spirit, right? Because you sort of. Of the sort of you sort of make it too much of the centralized thing. Too much of having like a central head of brain. But if you think of it as like a cloud of spirits, then that's like I totally dig that to go back to the spectrolab. Essay you're just talking about, you know. And for Steiner, and it's interesting to note that sterner you know. Sterner came before Nietzsche, and both of them were. Kind of loners. That were that we don't know too much about, but they both had this issue of rather than rather than sort of decentering, the ego they made it into a thing about individual. Million domination and to go back to sooner. You know, for some reason the spookiness is lost when the unique when he talks about the unique and the uniques will basically.
JOSH: I also don't like being too hard on stronger cause at the same time. I mean I've got my opinions from my own reading, but I've also bumped up against lots of folks that consider themselves somewhat sterner scholars and. Some and kind of some of my critique of streiner I I do think at times can.
UNKNOWN: Be a bit colored by.
ZACK: Popular interpretations, the egoism that you see today, is an exaggeration of his writing. I mean, it's not. He's not that egoistic himself.
JOSH: Well, I don't take him I guess. And I I don't take him that seriously, but I do think that. There's an element. Of that was just as much a reaction to his peers. And a bit of kind of an attempt. At a gotcha, which is why. He doesn't explain himself particularly well. I mean, I think it's a fair description and a fair critique that's been made of of Strugar that it's, you know, it's low. Theory there there's not a lot of philosophical meat there, because and maybe that's why egoist can be really challenging to have this discussion with, because like there's a lot of hand waving, there's a lot of talk about enough ability. There is a lot of. Talk about nominalism and things that are indescribable.
ZACK: But it's definitely exaggerated and taken to the extreme by people. OK, so. One thing that I want to touch on before we go much further here we are both in a place where I'd say we're almost as critical of both the left and the right is as anything else. I mean we're both pretty anti political or not even anti political. I would say we're both pretty apolitical actually. How can you talk to me a little bit about how you move from sort of? I'm going to say flirting with leftism a little bit into a more critical approach to left. Can you explain that a?
JOSH: Little bit, yeah. I mean, I think. That some of it.
ZACK: Comes from things that I read.
JOSH: And study but. Even more so. Because I have to give. Credit to Buddhism, certainly and Daoism for my shift in perspective. There, putting the plainest of terms part of it is just lived experience. There's a big chunk of it that's lived experience. And then I look back at the times when I was much more interested in politics and I was much more interested in like a proper leftism when I. As a teenager in my 20s. It was the same mentality that had me. Struggling later in my 20s when I had a family is that I was looking. I was always looking for solutions outside myself and I was assuming that the issue was with the. World around me. So I was. Trying to change external things so that they would. Be better for. Everyone or I assume that if if. Things outside would change then. I'd be in a better. Situation it would benefit me. And then very much Buddhism but also just a. Lots of trial and error. Came to a place where I was. I don't want to say I was able to recognize this like I'm speaking some kind of profound truths, but for me my current Umm? Standing, isn't it very much of my happiness, the happiness of others and everyone else or or their satisfaction period comes down to psychological factors as much as anything outside of the self.
ZACK: That's very interesting, yeah, and I'm sure we'll expand. On that a. Bit, so in other words, you're not one of these people who's interested in Buddhism has to do with like. Choosing enlightenment or something.
JOSH: Like that no, no. I mean the closest I've gotten to believing in something. Like that is. When I was practicing Buddhism and I say practicing, I'm I I don't practice right now. I was going to classes at a temple I was doing. You know, I. Was doing all of the rituals premeditation. I was chanting prayers, I wasn't doing it believing it 100%. But I was. Told by a monk that. If I can just kind of like. To spend my disbelief and practice, uh, that that. I might reap benefit. And honestly.
UNKNOWN: So he almost.
ZACK: Wanted you to go to like a pre critical frame of mind. Almost that's really interesting.
JOSH: Precisely pretty critical, yeah. So maybe because Buddhism is a religion and I think that too often if it's referenced, people are like Oh yeah, it's like a philosophy. It's not a religion. That's ********, like it's a. Religion, there's different sects. Of it, they completely disagree with each other and have kind of all their own internecine struggles through. It's got all the same. It's no different in Christianity. I mean, you could say go truly just follow the teachings of Jesus and that would be a pretty decent life philosophy and you could be a pretty great person that way. But I made. An attempt to practice it and I I made an attempt to suspend that disbelief and just be open to the possibility. So rather than saying, like. There's there's no reincarnation. There's No Fear. Of lower rebirth. There's none of this stuff. Just set that aside and. Practice and funny. It was funny enough, I found it super effective and it it made a pretty large impact on me.
ZACK: Makes sense so, so you told us that back when you were a teenager you did a little bit of. Like weed pasting. And some slight sort of leftist stuff. Did you before you became involved with Buddhism? Had you formed any? Kind of critique of leftism at that point. Or were you still sort of just largely sympathetic to it?
JOSH: I was probably more sympathetic than I am to it now, and I guess sympathetic hard because I'm still sympathetic to leftist I. I just think the approach doesn't make sense to me.
ZACK: You're sympathetic to them as as individuals.
JOSH: As as as individuals and I under, I feel like I. I have a decent understanding of. Where that world view comes from, because honestly. If I'm going. To have a beef with something like anarchism. It's not so much with what people are desiring, it's the fact that they're they're formulating those desires using the logic. Of the systems that they oppose. And to my thinking, that's always going to. Be a Rd.
ZACK: To nowhere, so you already sort of touched on this mentality of like perceiving things in the world that are dissatisfactory to you or perceiving some sort of lack or a loss and wanting to take action. Want wanting to do activism? To change that to create a world more in line with sort of your ideals or one's ideals, I should say what's what's. The link there. Like what how do we? What is what is the what's the what's the?
JOSH: Issue with that type of logic. I guess one of the issue for me is is idealism and it starts off because idealism and I want to just very briefly say I view pessimism as a form of idealism just like I view I view dystopian ISM and utopianism. They're they're, they're not different. They're the same. Thing, they're just a. Different way of viewing it. It's a different value. Judgment, but the logic is the same. So you, well, you can't be. A pessimist if you don't have an ideal. In mind, or you can't be you. You can't be. Non utopian if you view the world as dystopia because. Obviously you have a picture of what you'd like. To look like and in no absolute way, my feeling of interacting with. The world is. I tend to. Be a minimalist of it so. I I look at myself. I look at the context I look. At the particularity. Of it, and try to make decisions based on what are my capabilities you know. What are the tools that I? Have at hand. Who are the people? Who I'm immediately concerned with because I'm. Interacting with them. You know what am I? Capable of and I don't, I I. Don't want to go down the whole free roam free whole kind of way.
ZACK: I'm sure we'll have plenty in in future, obviously.
JOSH: Yeah, yeah, I'm sure to talk about it. It's it's. It's some point. But let's just say that I think that our ability to exercise our will. We have to believe that it it's certainly there to some extent, but I'm also I see it as chaotic or the minimum stochastic and that we don't necessarily have an ability to. Judge one and one and one, and we're not. It's going to be fulfilled.
ZACK: OK, so just just to just to kind of step. Back a little bit before we go forward. I think that's really interesting what you said about pessimism, right? Because oftentimes I think, especially just in casual conversation, you know optimism is associated with idealism and pessimism is not. But you know the difference between pessimism and optimism is not just you know, one person is an edge. And the other one is a nice person. The difference is like you're saying. Is is something with more depth than that? And I like that you identify that you can be an idealistic pessimist. You can be an idealistic optimist. That was a really interesting point that you made for sure.
JOSH: Well, you can't be a pessimist without. Being an idealist. You just don't think your. Idea will ever do that. But I guess that's more what I'm saying is that they're the same thing. It's two sides of the same thing. One's a reflection. Of the other, I've honestly put more thought into the last couple of years because I found myself being identified as others as a pessimist, and so I almost started associating with that. The viewpoint when it's not the case at all. Because I, I think the common. Way that people fall into, say, the canaco pessimism or climate pessimism or any sort of ISM that identifies in that. In that sense, it's not so much. It's not because they're they're removing their ideals, it's it's because they've sort of come to terms with that. Their ideals won't ever be met, and that didn't quite. Sit right with me because just because you're not a progressive, just. Because you don't. See, the world is moving to some sort of amelioration and suffering and all of this other type. ******** doesn't make you necessarily a pessimist, or at least it should. But there's that whole. And this is too big. The thing to discuss right now, but it kind of goes back to what you and I discussed so many times with people that holds duality, it becomes this. Or like either or right so either. You're a progressive. Or you're a pessimist and either you're right or you're.
UNKNOWN: Left and it.
JOSH: It's funny because it's such a trap because yeah, like you can't be the left if there is no right. You can't be the right if there is no left like you can't be a pessimist without the idealist and vice versa. But the but. That whole binary, that whole kind of dichotomy, to my mind, should be blown up anyways, right?
ZACK: They're two sides of the same coin and we just want to melt the coin down and. Use it for something fun, basically.
JOSH: Right, we're gonna jump off. The coin altogether.
ZACK: So is there a link between so oftentimes? Especially like young idealists, they see what they perceive to be something wrong with the world. It's a very moral judgment that they make. And then they want to change that. Perceived long, why is it? Do you think that we start at that scale? Like when we're young and when we're learning about the world and we're learning about history, how how come we go global first in today's society? Is it something from compulsory schooling? Is it you know, just like the mass ideology, they're all exposed to? It's sort of bring wash is. It something why? Why do we? Say things need to change. I'm going to start an army instead of things need to change. I'm going to start meditating. I'm going to watch my diet. I'm going to exercise more. What's up with that?
UNKNOWN: OK, yeah.
JOSH: I mean in in my opinion. There's a lot. Of it that has to do with the ego, there's a lot of it that has. To do with. The importance that we place on on history period and historical events and some of this. There's definitely a chicken egg element like. I tend to view. Probably not a particular view I. I tend to think. More like we'll talk about technological innovations. Or how the world is so different today and because of them we have this huge population because of advances in medicine or because of advances in tech. Analogy sometimes I often wonder. Maybe it's the other way around, so does just having more people mean that we get all of this extra stuff? Like on some unconscious level is you know all of the things that we have around us. Are there just as much a result of expanding? Populations as the.
ZACK: Other way I was actually thinking about this earlier. I think that you know capitalism does this funny thing where you know no matter what what you want to say about history or how you want to conceive it. Or all you know all the things. That have happened up. To this point. In a capitalist society where we have a unique privilege to be able to look back and. Sort of. I mean, history is a technology right? History itself to be able to study and have archives and all that stuff. That's that's a form of. Technology, so we're using this technology. To look back and. And we're in this really unique sort of privileged position, I think. Because precisely because of capitalism and the way the society operates to say like things happened this way, you know. But if they didn't have to, but now that. We are in. Capitalism, you know it's so easy to look. Back and say things. Went this way and that's what we let us hear right? Like yeah.
JOSH: Yeah, yeah, well I was gonna say there's also a very. Enlightenment kind of mentality? That once we get this notion that we're uncovering. Moves like we're covering those big tea trees or that we're becoming more intelligent than we. We're gaining more knowledge and understanding of our world, and I know that Sarah addresses this and leaves our addresses this as well and in his discussion of what he considers postmodernity. But we get to this point where you have this sort of. Ancient and modern split and one of the sort of traits of modernity versus the ancient. It is that. It's great that. Whatever we discover now is cutting edge in the. Best so we're we're always coming up with something that's more accurate, always coming with some of this more true that that's better.
UNKNOWN: But I'd kind.
JOSH: Of question, you know, if we were to look way back and we're making assumptions about the way that folks lived when there is a million people who face the planet, you know we'll make all of these sort of value judgments about their life ways or or the means that they have at their hands for survival and see them as archaic. But rather, like maybe let's just look at it as different. And different not. Not necessarily because of any form of knowledge being different, but different because there was only a million people on the planet.
ZACK: So you mentioned minimalism, which I think is really interesting. I I want to touch on. That just briefly, if. We can because you sort of posited it. Was something alternative to the that dichotomy, that false dichotomy of of pessimism optimism. What does the sort of? Minimalism that you're talking about mean to you. And why are you interested?
JOSH: In it I guess for me it means this somewhat immediate and bodied relationship. To the world. It it means something that I can. Touch and feel. I I I definitely. I have my my viewpoint, my orientation towards nihilism does stem from this kind of notion that we're all creating values and that at a very base level that comes down to sensitive like sensory experience, sense experience in a lot of ways. So while people will say the conversations about you know metaphysics or ontologies. Or this philosophical stuff are abstract. I would posit just the opposite, that I think the political discourse is extremely abstract, or, say to go back to the leftist bit of it, like the notion of international solidarity is why of the left. Correct or even dialectical materialism?
ZACK: So in some senses are you talking? About problems of.
JOSH: Scale, scale and duration. Would be the way that I would look. At it
ZACK: Can you expand a little bit?
JOSH: Yeah, so scale in. Terms of where I am and my very kind of basic scope of influence. If you. Want to put it in? In in, very like even geographical terms like what what matters to me. Well it's a pretty small space, it's what's within these. However, many walls that our house is at this moment, that's what I'm thinking about as I'm talking to you. Because you know, I want to go out with my wife later. I've got to make sure that these kids have dinner and everybody's got what they need. That's my primary concern right now, as opposed to something that feels very abstract like world conflict. On the other side of the globe, or some sort of large economic issue that I disagree with the framing of, but that's a different conversation. It's it's more that. I'm not going to see that impact in a real way or the impact of that on the people that I care about without many other things happening. And then in terms of duration, it's it's easy to think of things historically or it's easy to put things as part of some historical flow. Or if we're. Moving in some kind of periodical direction towards something that's this thing off in the future. We're like trying to. Pull that back more closely and think about what my immediate. Actions what my viewpoints that are directing those actions and like keeping those fairly present, whether they could be completely contemporary or of the moment. Immediate is a whole other story that I don't think could really be reconciled, but at the same time trying to keep my mind sort of. In that space, right?
ZACK: And I'm sure we want to talk about free will. More like we said, but it sounds like to me what we're sort of in agreement about here is that. Like if If free will is a thing, the only place you have it is at the most minimal. Scales right define and geograph geograph geographic location locality.
JOSH: Right exactly
ZACK: So would it be fair to say that you do think that it is possible to sort of at least change your life or make changes, or do actions in your own life and at your own scale that do affect other? Things I mean, that's pretty fair, I don't think. Yeah, I wouldn't, I would.
JOSH: Argue with that, just you know, add the cover that the there's always the possibility that the maybe your falls out of the sky and crushes this home right now or that. Even that short term. Goal that I have, there's a bunch thrown into it from the world outside there's. It's going to do things bigger or sometimes smaller. They're going to be acting on the other way you don't anticipate, so trying to leave some openness right. Absolutely well, I think you leave it. There, thanks for joining us. This is Josh and I've been talking to Zack. And this is the ego. Death podcast and we're basically just having conversations. We'd like to. Have we'd like to listen to if you've got any feedback. If you've got ideas for shows or you just want to interact with us, you can find us in a few different places.
Episode 2: Justice & Conflict
Topics: justice, conflict, resolution, transformative, anarchy, anarchism, cancel, pc, culture, war, wars, left, leftism, anarcho, bay, area, scene, bastard
Date: 2023-01-26 18:57:14
TLDR; Josh and Zack talk about conflict and justice in NA anarchist circles.
We just wrapped up a very special(?) episode of the Ego Death Podcast brought to by and for the commentariat of the @firstname.lastname@example.org comments section.
That’s right, through the magic of the internet so many folks chimed in on the thread about episode one that we felt compelled to put our noses to the proverbial grindstone and produce a quick and dirty conversation on anarchist justice, conflict and reformed (supposedly) troll and half of team Ego Death, Zack. This means that you have Lumpy, Sir Einzige, and all your beautiful anon (not verified) selves to thank for this conversation.
I’d like to personally thank you all for teaching me more about Zack and especially the amazing meme work. Whichever anon made that happen, I salute you.
Given the sensitivity of the subject, there was some emotion involved, and I hope we kept it light but also did the topic Justice (get it?). We managed to cover the trolling fiasco the milieu can’t seem to get enough of, justice, conflict resolution, and just plain old being nice. We also somehow managed to tie in Yang Chu, Foucault, Serres, Bataille, Montaigne,an old NPR podcast, AND a fun Buddhist parable about a murderous berserker. If you don’t have time to listen, moral of the story: Don’t be a dick.
Thanks for listening, and as always reach out with any questions, comments, and ideas here or hit me up at @ruin or Zack (if you dare) @zack over on the @ni.hil.ist instance and check @EgoDeathPodcast to keep up with whatever goodness we have in store.
JOSH: Hey there, you're listening to the Ego Death podcast. I'm Josh and I am joined here by my friend Zack and we're going to be having a conversation today that was inspired by and will be somewhat informed by the comments section of anarchist news. We had already planned on doing a. A fairly long discussion on nihilism with a mind towards giving you a little bit of context as to terms that are around the discussions. We'll be having terms that. Using and really our personal perspectives on it so that you as a listener can be a little bit on more on the same page because you haven't been having these chats with us and friends for. The past few years. We will be touching on some of those other concepts in future episodes, but this was just kind of too good an opportunity I guess to pass up those. Zack may somewhat disagree. Today we'll be talking about justice, so we posted up the first episode of the podcast to Anarchist News, and the response was fairly pop. Positive, which was nice the comments section did not immediately light on fire as it's want to do and then last night. We got a little. Bit of a surprise and I open up a news and go to check and see what kind of comments we got because I'm obviously interested in feedback this is. Something totally new. To me, and I find out that. My my good friend Zack here has some podcasting experience and when I had said it was our initial foray, maybe I was a. Little bit wrong, so one of the commenters anonymously of course brought up a podcast that Zack has done. It was probably 5 almost six years ago or so in which she was known as post proletariat, which sounds pretty bad. Not not bad in of itself. But probably something that I wouldn't find particularly appealing, and. I would imagine he wouldn't find very appealing to remember, didn't remember his involvement in.
ZACK: Very true so.
JOSH: I think it's pretty accurate, and so from there it in the comments further kind of dug in to abusive behaviors on Zack's part. There were some links to the brilliant podcasts and some other stuff. And it kind of escalated from there with folks come out of the woodwork to inform me that Zack is. A very problematic individual. Well, it's sort of the I guess the crescendo and the biggest win for me definitely was an amazing meme that someone made of a selfie that Zack took in full combat regalia. That I can only describe as a I don't know Zack would you, would you agree. It's kind of like a green anarchist. Warrior thirst trap as. The way that I was describing it. Oh my God. SoundCloud rapper sound
JOSH: SoundCloud rapper Green Anarchist Thirst Trap is a is where I'm. Going to, I'm going to go with that one.
ZACK: I love the I love the last two lines where they put **** all of you on two separate lines that really cracks me.
JOSH: Yeah it was. It was a really to be honest. It's a really funny meme. I'm pretty sure that Zack forgot about the photo, but don't be surprised if if like you follow him on denialist, since that's probably going to be his new profile pic because I. Would highly recommend it.
ZACK: I just hope that I'll.
JOSH: Nudes, yeah, there's no nudes because I don't I I don't need that. In my. Life, but but it was a. It was a great picture and the whole thing kind of made me chuckle a little bit. It made me curious because I know that in the past Zack has had beef with folks I'm I'm well aware I thought I was well aware of the depths of his trolling abilities, but apparently they they go much further. And then I had. It's just kind of like kind of a weird a weird blast from the past. An attempt to like meet out justice in the anarchist news comments section. Which seems super bizarre.
ZACK: The strange place to do that for sure.
JOSH: Strange strange place to do it. Yeah, yeah, given given it's an anarchist space and it's also an anonymous like message board that's super super ******* weird. But it made me think like here, Zack and I were all. Prepped up and. Kind of ready to talk about our. Ideas about nihilism? We we've been wanting to do this for a while and thought it would be really fun. But after all this stuff went down. I gave Zack A. Call and asked him if he would be willing to talk specifically about this situation. Provide not so much like just his version of events, because I don't think that's quite fair. I think he you you would agree, right? Exactly you're you're kind of the only one that's gonna be giving us a perspective here, so it's gonna be your side of the story. And I think we can kind. Of get that out. Of the way now, right, yeah? Yeah, yeah, yeah. So we're very well aware. That this is like just Zack. 's side of the story. For various reasons, I mean one of one of the folks he had a lot of issues with his past, so that's not possible and the other folks aren't here to defend themselves. So Zack and I want to have a conversation about justice. I'm curious. To get his thoughts on what folks are saying about him. But we are not here to resolve who is right and who is wrong in this situation. And as we'll talk about a little. Bit later it doesn't. Really matter that much to me. Because if this beef is like many years ago, like lots of the like garbage. Things that I've done in my life I'm I'm hoping that Zack's not going to be, you know, telling me he's no longer podcasting with me because like something ****** I did a decade ago. In my marriage or. Like some total ******* thing I did to some person in my 20s when I. Was being a jerk.
ZACK: I've got your permanent record, Josh. What's that? I've got your permanent record.
JOSH: Man yeah yeah, exactly like I I'm I'm really hoping that's not gonna go to that kind of a place for me and again I'll I'll address this later but but my view of it's a little bit different and I do think that the person I'm speaking to I'm not in a position to hold them accountable for everything they've ever said. Done, even if they're super egregious, but I want to be really clear again, just one last time that this is not. This is not devaluing anyone who feels that they've been victimized by this super hot thirst trap. Green anarchist warrior it could happen to the best of us, but but in all seriousness, like that's not really what we're here. To discuss or the issue that we're here to resolve. So if you're looking for that like you're not really going to find it, we're going to have more of a general discussion about justice and Erica space. And then I am going to have Zack provide some content, some context to this particular situation, because I'm honestly kind of you might actually folks out there listening might be more interested than me, cause seeing or mill you as well. Mock frequently isn't really drama that I'm really all that invested in, but I've said enough. Zack, I don't know where you wanna really like jump into this or how you wanna address it. Or if you wanna talk about some of the comments specifically that maybe you saw that made you go. Like holy ****, there's something going on.
ZACK: Here, yeah, it was. You know it's it. Was it really? It's kind of shocking to see how much people still care about this drama that happened like five or six years ago. Now I thought it was water under the bridge. I'd like for it to be water under the bridge and the way that it came up. You know, sort of the aesthetic decisions that were made. And the formation of the comments that were left is really a little bit scary and confusing to me. And also like we just mentioned the place the forum that was chose to bring this stuff up, which this is nothing new in terms of this conflict with these individuals, but. I don't get much of an impression that everybody involved wants a genuine resolution and just wants to move on.
JOSH: From this I mean, I, I think it's fair to say and just to add some personal color here. I'm one of those people that I occasionally like. Peruse the comments in a news because I skim through a news I don't really read most of it, I guess. But I wanted to see when we put the podcast out. I was definitely curious to get people. 's feedback because while.
ZACK: Me too.
JOSH: We we have this conversation for fun. Anyways, like if we're gonna spend our time recording it and putting it out there.
ZACK: Yeah, we should say real quick if I can just interject. I mean, I know we don't wanna focus this podcast on interpersonal relationships cause that would just be really boring for people who don't know the people that we're talking about and not involved. With this, but if anybody wants to reach out to us to talk in private or maybe even do another episode like feel free please like we can work this out. We can talk about it and I'd love to be in direct communication over what happened and the beef that's still going on, apparently.
JOSH: Yeah, I guess. And to me that sounds that sounds pretty fair. Because I I'm definitely not tapped into these, these folks like really the only people that I'm interacting with. Besides you, are, you know, either. Friends in real life, out here or kind of the few. Folks that pretty. Regularly and then contact with like on the instance or folks I follow on on the fediverse cause my my social my social networking sphere is not particularly large but I I was saying I've always avoided really the ericus news comments because it seems like it's always a fight. Like it's always a debate and there's lots. Of I mean the fact that I'm familiar enough to know that running jokes are are like always about dumpster poutine and fart bongs like that. That kind of makes me like that that's sort of back and forth makes me die inside a little bit, so it's not a place you're going to find me hanging out a whole lot. I spent my entire day there today basically, and a little bit of last night. And I'm fairly exhausted, like trying to be sincere.
JOSH: Take the bait, but yeah, it even more so makes me think that it's a really strange place to hold someone accountable when everyone's kind of just talking **** to each other.
ZACK: I'm I'm incredibly exhausted just from I haven't even I barely commented on that thread. I think I called someone out for their hypocrisy and that was pretty much it. And it's exhausting to just deal with the. I mean, I'm a real person, despite being a meme as well apparently, and I know the people on the other side of this are also real people, and these are real feelings that we're having. And so yeah, it's an exhausting. And it's not very fun.
JOSH: So can you give me a? Little bit of the background, just so folks sort of have an idea of of how you see it.
ZACK: Yeah, yeah, absolutely.
JOSH: Like what transpired that led to this.
ZACK: Yeah, so somewhere. I think it was early 2017 people involved with the collective, and LBC started at IRC server. It wasn't directly, you know LBC, it was LBC adjacent basically and a bunch of us hopped in there and at first it was real like jovial sort of party. Atmosphere and as time went on life went on. Things happened to all of us in our personal lives and. And you know, sort of the messy stuff in life came out in the chat, and being that we were all different people with different backgrounds from different places and different experiences, some things just started to not sort of mesh, right? And beefs started developing and. They basically festered and it led to a lot of **** talk and there were some threats and there were some attempts. To resolve the conflict physically and person I, you know, fighting or something similar to that. I think a. Lot of us felt. Ready to do that at certain points and there was people on both sides acting in ways that they thought were supportive of, you know their friends, their comrades, whatever you want to call it. There's their fellow scenesters. They're fellow trolls whatever, and you know people's feelings got hurt and there was a lot of **** talking, and it escalated on both sides to various points specifically, you know I was going through a really rough patch where I was dealing with the breakup after a 2 year relationship, and. My health has been in decline for a little bit. And I pretty much came on looking for support for that, and was bullied really terribly. And I mean, maybe I deserved it. I don't really think I did, given the type of dialogue that had happened before, but either way my reaction was I was very upset and. Overtime, yeah, like I said, this would sort of snowball into like a two year beef which I just became exhausted from dealing with and walked away from. Probably like in the latter half of 2019.
JOSH: So so then this whole. Back and Forth was basically I wasn't thinking so much about the timeline, so it kind of came to an end right around the time that. You and I. Would have met in the online ******* group. Yeah, right before I moved to Spain. OK, just trying to just trying to get that straight and it and it's funny because having this conversation and part of the reason like why I called you this morning is that I wanted to have it. Is is because it's really. It gets perceived a couple ways, and one way we'll definitely be like. Well, here's a bully talking about how. They were bullied, yeah?
ZACK: Yeah, yeah.
JOSH: But at at the same time, like I, I guess at the same time to me the question really becomes.
ZACK: It's like bully abuser. We need to right break down these terms a little more. I think I know I use the word bully earlier, but these are signifiers placeholders, umbrella terms, margarine words.
JOSH: Yeah, for sure and I, I think that the assumption though is that if a bully is going to be like Oh well I was bullied, then you're basically excusing your lousy behave. You're but from talking to you like the impression I get is, you're not excusing any of your behavior, you're just you're just giving context.
ZACK: No, I actually I I would accept I would. I would freely accept responsibility for a lot of what I did, because if I don't, I'm not going to be able to go from this and move on. And I've had to do that by myself, and so my conclusions might have been different from if the people on the other side were involved with the process. But yeah, yeah.
JOSH: I just want to point out because I think it. The like a funny thing to look at that it's it's one thing to basically excuse your behavior, but when I because you were bullied or because whatever like somebody else made me do it. But when we talked about this before, it was pretty clear that I mean, you're not exactly you. You're definitely not proud of the, you know. Cringy edgelord photos and you know, threats that were. Made it's not. It's really. Like you're backing that up a bit today.
ZACK: A better thing on.
JOSH: Yeah, like like I doubt that if I I tell you, the podcast is done, I'm out of here. Like you're, you're not going to be sending me angry. Nude selfies with assault weapons or. Anything like that? Like I I I trust you enough to guess that that's not going to be hitting. My inbox or anything like that signal.
ZACK: We've had points in our friendship where that would have already happened, but yeah.
JOSH: We would have already crossed that bridge by now.
ZACK: For sure.
JOSH: Yeah, and I I guess I don't want to make light of it either because I I can only assume that people were very upset by this. What I thought was funny was somebody had a. A link to one of the brilliant episodes.
ZACK: So ******* weird yeah yeah but.
JOSH: But I went ahead and I had a really long drive last night, so I figured I'm going to listen to this brilliant podcast and see what what's going on with Zack because I think I've probably listened to some of the brilliant episodes, maybe even most of them like over the years.
ZACK: And I had told you that I had beef with Aragorn and.
JOSH: Crew right exactly and I didn't.
ZACK: But we never got into the thick of.
JOSH: I didn't. I didn't think too much about the details because from listening. To the brilliant. I kind of from the way you described yourself back then, and you're so. It's almost like you described yourself as as having like much more militancy obviously than you do right now. Just being a lot more aggressive in general and then having read some of Aragorn stuff and listened to enough of Aragorn. I didn't think that that that beef was very surprising. Yeah, and so I listen to this brilliant podcast while I'm driving to my car and it's Aragorn and Bellamy talking about stuff and Full disclosure like I'm not crazy about. Brilliant podcast, it's not one of my favourites because it's definitely not my sort of. It's from a very specific perspective with a very obvious opinion on what's right and what's wrong. And how how the people on it sort of relate to whatever they're encountering is tends to be. Extremely critical in a way that I'm like. I'm not interested in hearing that kind of stuff or having those conversations. Well, there's just it. It's just it's very. It's very anarchist and that's like that's fine and that's what it is.
ZACK: But it's also. Somehow academic, it's like I'm an expert. This is, you know how it is and this is how the milieu. Should be or whatever.
JOSH: Yeah, there, there's a lot of different value statements in there, they're they're typically made, and it's it's usually. It seems like there's a guest on, unless there's complete agreement, it's it's going to turn into some sort of a debate with a weird. Kind of power dynamic, I'm not, I'm. Not wild about it, I'll. Just I'll leave it. At that talking about the podcast.
ZACK: A lot of the motifs and the and the themes that they brought into discussions interested me, and they definitely approached it in a serious manner, but. I think that there was some very off putting things about their approach for.
JOSH: Sure, I, I guess I kind of liken it to because I'm definitely not on board with in the same episode Bellamy talks about, like how someone in discussion like commits like a logical fallacy. You know he's somehow impelled to expose it. And like drive the. Dagger in kind of a site. And that's so that's kind of the opposite of of my approach, because my my approach tends to be that like I see good faith as like just being generous with whoever you're speaking to. Which means that besides the words that they're using, or whether they apply them all perfectly and correctly or whatever, the point is they're trying to make they're being consistent and. Ideal in their language, I'd rather view it. Because like I'm trying to get the gist of what they're conveying and I'm going to look at it as as their perspective and not something I have to either agree or disagree with or argue about. So all of that all that stuff out of.
ZACK: Yeah, yeah, it's the human element that's important. It's the emotional component that really needs to be emphasized and we actually shared a podcast when I was going through some hard times. I think earlier this summer and in that podcast, do you remember that philosophers name Elaine de Botton? I think was the name.
JOSH: Ohh yeah yeah. It's it's alanda baton and he's pretty he's. Like a pretty popular guy.
ZACK: Yeah, he was basically saying that you know, in relationships with people you should treat them like a child and what he meant by that was that you should be as gentle with them as you are with a child. We we, we infinitely give child children chances patience. It's never ending with children. You know, and he was questioning why that stops at some point arbitrarily in our development into adults. And that's something that they really struck a chord with me because and I I dealt with this with another anarchist that I miss a lot last year. Where there's a lot of times this like grow up, be an adult. Stop acting so ridiculous you know which is not anything you would ever say to like a 7 year old for example. And I get that there's a lot of dynamics and people are. Like sick of. Immaturity and that you know, especially for certain people with certain relationships to. Various genders and stuff like that like it can get really swampy, but I do think that he had a point about being delicate with people and. And that is something. Unfortunately, that's incredibly rare in the middle year, so.
JOSH: I, I'd argue. I mean, it's really. It's kind of rare anywhere.
ZACK: Yeah, true true.
JOSH: And the. And the flip side of his child point that I really, really enjoy. And if for anyone interested, it's it's along the baton and he's on the it's on the on being. Podcast, which is probably that episode specifically is like the best thing that NPR has ever created, and I'm constantly recommending it to people.
ZACK: It was really good, yeah?
JOSH: Because it's almost. In some ways, it's kind of deeply subversive in terms of the way it approaches like the idealized romantic relationship, because you can. And your relationship, but he talks a lot about romantic relationships and one of the things that he says is that when you're in a relationship, the 1st. Thing you need. To do is like recognize what a horrible pain in the ***. You are to live with. And give the other person like endless credit for putting up with all of your ********. But the other side of that is, is Tom's got a great line where he says something along the lines of you know you have this expectation because you're with a partner that you're going to feel acknowledged and understood and seen. And you know. Just really taking care of all the time and he's like, you know, if you're not feeling completely alienated and alone, even in a relationship, like if the split is 6040 that you feel OK and the 40% that you feel completely alienated and alone. It's like you're doing pretty well, so it's kind of like a readjustment and a recognition of you know your responsibility.
ZACK: Yeah, yeah.
JOSH: For your own well-being, which ties back into a lot of things that we'll. Talk about it's getting.
ZACK: Out of that Disney relationship mindset?
JOSH: Yeah, that's one of the points that he makes is kind of whenever you see in popular culture anything about a relationship. It's basically just the courtship process and it ends after. Words, well, I forget who did it might be Margaret Atwood that he that he quotes in the interview. Yeah and he says something along the lines of like you know we all have that. You basically have three relationships and one is, you know the romantic relationship that starts like so one of lust and then you have one. That's like raising a family, which you could definitely make that bigger into. Like just building what is quote UN quote an adult life. If that's. You wanna do and then the third is like strictly companionship at the end and again that that obviously fits into a box and everybody's gonna like.
ZACK: MHMM MHMM
JOSH: But in general, awesome podcasts and I recommend it to lots of, you know, anarchists and fairly radical folks, and I haven't found anyone yet that kind of can't see. Can't see through it enough to find something. Good in there.
ZACK: Yeah, great you gotta catch that one for sure.
JOSH: I don't want to get too far off here. I was going to say I listened to the brilliant and I heard Aragorn talk about you directly. And it wasn't that bad.
ZACK: No, I laughed really hard.
JOSH: Like he yeah.
ZACK: You know when they started making fun of the Niger Delta *******? That's so funny.
JOSH: Yeah, like he basically, he basically mocked you.
ZACK: That's so funny. I mock me.
JOSH: Yeah, like like but he he mocked you in a not not really mean spirited way either. Honestly like he was generous in this situation like basically yeah like you created some content because you called into his show and you made all your extra aliases.
ZACK: That was very generous. Yeah, I agree.
JOSH: You could keep coming back and you were constantly inciting him. And like trying to get under his skin and trying to push him.
ZACK: But sadly I was just a. Troll apparently.
JOSH: Yes, and he and he kind of choked. You have to be in a troll and he also said that you know maybe if like you're not that different than the way he would have behaved 20 years younger and what what kind of interests me about that and the way that he sort of brushed it off versus the way it's coming up in the comments. And again I don't need. I don't know what other subtext there is or whatever, but I I can definitely say that. Like between you and Aragorn and the power imbalance like was not. In your favor.
JOSH: But that was that was all. So in defense to him and kind of, you know, shame on you. At the same time, like you were obviously seeking some kind of validation through that like you were looking to go out and like go after the biggest.
ZACK: Guy, I was lonely and I was angry and that's always a pretty dangerous combination.
JOSH: So I I guess beyond the Aragorn trolling and all the other stuff that people are talking about, I I told you like I don't want to. I don't want you to feel that you've got to like, defend yourself or or or holding court here so I don't know how much more you'd like to say.
ZACK: No, no, no don't anymore.
JOSH: About like how you'd like to leave. It in terms.
ZACK: Not much, I just I do want to extend that invitation.
JOSH: Of your on your behaviors.
ZACK: You know to anybody you're welcome to come over and have some tea and. We can talk about it I.
JOSH: Just send the invitation if they want to talk to both of us, they could too. Like I'm I'm happy to be a come on the podcast. Yeah, come on the podcast. Cause like I'm I'm happy to have that conversation and that's I mean I told you before we started talking like I don't you know that I'm not completely uncritical, because if I mean we're we're close enough friends that if you if you call me with an issue, I'm not the person that you call with an issue to get answers that you necessarily want to hear.
ZACK: Yeah, but OK.
JOSH: Yeah, that's putting it lightly. Like I'll I'll be there, I'll be there to provide emotional support, but I will definitely not not pull punches. If I think you're doing something stupid. It's it's not good.
ZACK: For you, yeah, Colin, maybe we just apologize and argue about how dumb platonic idealism is for half an hour, who knows?
JOSH: Who knows, who knows? I don't. I don't want to be. Judgmental, is there anything else you want to say about this or or have we pretty much covered it?
ZACK: Specifically, like the beef and stuff? No, I don't think there's not much I do want to say about it.
JOSH: Yeah, yeah, guess I guess.
ZACK: I mean, I, I can apologize, I know it's gonna be ******* meaningless for these people. But these people, Oh my God, I yeah. I mean, I could go out and buy a ******* Taco Bell party pack for them. I don't know what they want me to do. I am sorry I really am like. Morgan did say something to me, that's. That's stuck since then, and you know not that this is like an endorsement of airborne philosophy or anything, but he did say he told me to punch up. You know why are you starting conflict with people horizontal to you? What's the point in that? And six years later, I agree with that. It's something I. Think about a lot.
JOSH: Oh, that's bad advice.
ZACK: No, it's not. You know. Don't take things so personally. Life is just funner that way.
JOSH: I'd probably ask why. You're punching people in the first place. But that's me. Yeah, yeah. So the only other thing from the comments and kind of is it. It seems like it's a bit of a natural segue. This whole question of justice. People seem to be in the comments section, at least like they're asking for more or they're. There was a lot of. They're wanting to talk about.
ZACK: Superheroes in there.
JOSH: They're well, they're talking a lot about the severity, and one thing that struck me as interesting was. Because I I don't know and maybe you can clarify this but this. Whole millieu situation. No, yeah yeah. So you've been excommunicated. It would seem a while.
ZACK: Ago, yeah yeah, absolutely. I was banished from the Bola.
JOSH: And I think that neither of us really disagree with banishment as being a pretty sensible. I guess you can call it a punishment in this context.
ZACK: It seems like it, yeah.
JOSH: Yeah, yeah, because they're basically saying like you, you don't get along with the people. Here and we all get along with each other, so maybe you should go and I can like. I'm pretty on board with that, I don't.
ZACK: That's fair.
JOSH: I don't think yeah, yeah, and especially in a space like that where you know you can control it and it's funny because.
ZACK: Candy though the. Enforcement of the management is an interesting dynamic. It's an interesting element of this.
JOSH: I think the enforcement is interesting, but what I also found kind of interesting is that you haven't really been interacting with these people since then, but like it wasn't even you. It was me. I put the podcast up on anarchist news. I'm like I'm pathetic. I had asked somebody how to do it.
ZACK: And I actually, you know, was advocating for us not to do that for the record.
JOSH: Yeah, yeah you were. And now we have a giant angry mob posting unflattering photos of you. So maybe you? Were right, but.
ZACK: More like just lumpy and all his. Sock puppets, but yeah. But neither neither.
JOSH: Here nor there. Yes I I posted it up there. Not really thinking much about it, but it seems like that's perceived as like your reentry into the milieu.
ZACK: Because because they.
ZACK: Asked me, you know, I got phone calls from all them and they're like, oh, you're back now. No, I don't want.
JOSH: Yeah, and.
ZACK: To come back, I don't ****.
JOSH: The Ebola yeah. And I, I guess that that's what that's what I find kind of funny about. It is like if that's the punishment is that you're exiled, well then OK, then then you're exiled. But in in this case like, then what are you to do? If it's OK for you to post stuff if it's OK? For people to engage. With your podcast, but it's not OK for you to. I don't know. Show your face I. Don't get it.
ZACK: Yeah, the persnickety thing about humans and this is a point I was making in the IRC when I was upset and being crazy years ago. When you get. 20 of them together you basically have a state. It's a little mini state and they're going. To start reproducing. The behaviors the little ******* demon seeds of civilization. Are going to rear. Their ******* ugly heads in that situation. And that's what I've seen over and over and over again. And, you know, at this point in my life I'm almost 35. I've just learned that I am an anti organizational ******. I'm antisocial and anytime people get together and stay in an organization and operate as a cohesive unit for. Too long in my opinion. It really drives me crazy and Eric's me and I just think it's an anarchist. It feels like, yeah, I mean I could. I don't wanna go off. Too hard on that, but yeah, I I.
JOSH: I get your point. I mean, I think it's practical sometimes too. I was working with this cooperative of mango growers many years ago. That were in Haiti.
ZACK: I love mangos. Oh my. God my favorite group
JOSH: They they were in Haiti of all places and so I got to go to Haiti and visit them and it was pretty cool and these. Were people. That literally, like the individual growers might have like. A tree or two trees, and that was it.
ZACK: And they they were able to make a living off of two trees.
JOSH: They they were. Yeah, they they were and the unfortunate thing was that most of the like all the mango trees were getting cut down for charcoal because the guy would come and speculate and he'd like offer you some cash for your mango tree.
ZACK: That's incredible.
JOSH: But then you cut it down and make charcoal out of it when it's done and people would take the money because they're because, obviously, Haiti. This was many years ago and many years after the earthquake and there was still like over 100,000 people in the tent city. And I can tell you that, like Port-au-Prince was still straight up full on war zone, like there was an entire blackout like the whole city, and it flooded while we were there. And it was just like a rough situation, but when you're up in the hills, it's a lot different like it. Was definitely way more chill.
ZACK: Yeah, what an experience.
JOSH: It was, it was pretty cool. I got to see a we stopped on the side of the road because there was this giant pile of sugar cane like spent. The cane and this guy's like oh, they're making rum and there was like a two-story tall like it was a steampunk's wet dream, just like found pieces of random pipes that were all put together to make the biggest like gnarliest looking the stealing bats I've ever seen. In my life.
ZACK: That's weird.
JOSH: With the scummiest. Weirdest looking stuff like just. Open air and so we we got a bunch of run from them and none of us went. Mindor died. That was cool, but.
ZACK: That reminds me the time my dad was in Italy and. You know my dad's like an Arab guy and you know how Italy is with Arabs and some some old like Italian. Babushka invited him to this like cheese dungeon and like she had all this like homemade cheese and like he was skeptical but it he said it was like. The best cheese he ever had.
JOSH: Yeah, yeah, exactly like it was a scary looking place but it was. Also very cool at the same time.
ZACK: Exactly, yeah, steampunk dream like you said.
JOSH: But these these little tiny, these these. Little tiny growers would would make a living because, like the folks that were working with them would get them. A decent price and. And they worked with villages that they worked out of to basically make sure that they negotiate. Good prices and the money went back in infrastructure and it wasn't like a long term viable thing. You could tell, but like for the moment it was a pretty cool program anyways. Like Long story short, they were run by cooperatives, but the cooperatives every other year. It was mandatory that the leadership turned over because when new leadership came on they'd like see things get better. And then it would hit a plateau, and then folks would like start skimming and.
ZACK: Doing shady stuff well, Josh, you know Thomas Jefferson, so we should have a revolution every 20.
JOSH: Yeah, I know it was a. It was just funny because it was so it it was. Two over. It was such small groups like the entire like. The entire spot was like 20 people that were working together right, and even like you just said in a group that's small, they kind of recognize that if one person's got too much power for too long like this isn't gonna go well. And obviously we we're not going to be Liberal Democrats about it, but Your your point being well taken that in even in anarchist spaces like power consolidates and if it stays that way for too long things get weird. Bureaucrats man. Yeah it it, it kind of it can kind of. Yeah, turn.
ZACK: Yeah, and like if I could.
JOSH: I completely love.
ZACK: Just also say right now. **** projects, that's all.
JOSH: Yeah, I've always. I've always said that, but I'm I'm trying to. I'm trying to open my mind a little bit here because we've got this going on. I don't really look at this as a project, but I'm trying to I. Guess not be super. Outcome oriented and just have a good have a good time with it and I am.
ZACK: Yeah, yeah.
JOSH: I'm telling you like I'm I'm dedicated to putting. Together a book of aphorisms that are all from like Internet posts cause I just think that's funny **** and I love.
ZACK: I would mean the **** out of. That I hope you do that.
JOSH: Yeah, so I think that would be a really good time and I I think folks would get a they know me, at least to. Get a chuckle out of that, and that's that's worthwhile for everything.
ZACK: I think I saw one of them on on the on the web earlier about can't spell anachronism without anarchism.
JOSH: You even know what that is. That's just fun. I was. I was thinking about that the other day cause cause talking to folks is definitely or even just the news thing like definitely has me back into a more serious consideration of what anarchism versus and He kind of means, but I digress. And we digress. More to the topic, I guess of justice, it seems like a strange place to have these conversations in the comments section of the news without kind of talking about why, like why justice is seemingly of such a high level of importance for anarchist folks in general. And I don't want to speak for all. I'm not saying that about all of them, I guess because there's definitely orientations to anarchism that are very moral and some would say like based on an ethic.
ZACK: Yeah, Christian anarchy is the thing too.
JOSH: Christian Eric is the thing and I'm actually kind of down with that. So we'll talk about that more at some other time, like not that I'm a Christian, but I really do like I do like Ivanovitch and I.
ZACK: Like Jack, a little yeah, diversity and thought is good. Who would? Have thunk it?
JOSH: I also think that sometimes theologians come up with really wild ideas because.
ZACK: Oh, underlays the theologians right now in theology. I think we both are kind of going through a little. Phase with that.
JOSH: I haven't hit stuff up in a little while, but it it's more that like with the God problem solved, like with the meaning problem solved. You can ask some really interesting questions and come up with some interesting explanations because you don't have to like the metaphysics is kind of taken care of for you, and I think that that's a.
ZACK: Theology is more open to relativism and perspectivism.
JOSH: Yeah, that's that's for sure in a. Lot of ways. Yeah, what is this? Because I I think it comes back to the question of like truth and justice and justice winds up being really a determination of who gets to decide what is just and what is true and how is how is that person going to wield that power so.
ZACK: Yeah, the legal. Is the one who creates the law and the legal is the one who enforces it. And I think that the anarchy planet RC's got several new goals on.
JOSH: There is there, I guess, outside of really small communities like that, like the anarchy planet IRC, which. Is chat rooms right?
ZACK: Yeah, it's a chat room.
JOSH: OK, so like outside of outside of that, I mean in in the broadest inner in the broader like anarchist sense I. I mean, that's a very just. This is obviously a very Christian notion. Or if you want to be more more kind of.
ZACK: Think about other anarchist struggles tied to climate, justice, for example. Yeah, yeah.
JOSH: It's a very well. And if we want to be generous and not, say, Christian like there has to be some dogma in order to have the idea of justice. Like you, you have to have some beliefs that you just hold for the fact that you take. Them as truths.
ZACK: And you have to have clarity. Too, right?
JOSH: Yeah, well you got to have clerics and you you or you've got to have judges one or the other. And on the one. Hand that trips me up, but I can also understand people wanting to make decisions to affect behavior within their small spaces, so I can kind of I can get it to like you know, you were an *******, Zack. So you're not in the group anymore. Like I, I can. I can get that because those people are. It's a small enough group that maybe they're saying we don't like this guy. Like he's out. And that I guess you could say there's justice in that because you trolled too hard. You threaten the wrong person you. You did whatever behavior somebody wants to believe that you've done and like you're out because that's going too far where. I guess I start like getting a little bit more tripped up is like to your point with climate justice or once it starts becoming about like. Bigger and bigger issues that are not decisions about. I guess practical considerations and people's personal space. I feel like it gets very like very, very muddy. And assuming I guess, assuming that if if you're an anarchist, especially of like a revolutionary or or some sort of an like idealist. Utopian minded type getting from here to there with that sort of a like I guess moral framework and with that sort of punitive kind of approach to wrongdoing, I don't see how you wouldn't wind back up in in the same. Spot that we're in, right?
ZACK: Now, yeah, I think it's important to note that that scene, especially like the Bay Area scene. Is notorious for just really taking advantage of young, idealistic people? I think that I need to. Say that for sure.
JOSH: You can certainly speak to your experience. My only experience with the Bay Area scene is is really the ******* stuff and there's lots of folks on there that. Were fun to talk. To that still that still do the *******.
ZACK: Yeah, there's a lot of people I miss.
JOSH: A couple of folks.
ZACK: Talking to.
JOSH: Yeah, there's a couple people I totally wish I could still talk to, and there's a few other people that I'm I'm pretty OK about not talking to anymore. Maybe you can find some of. Those folks I like talking. To and we can talk to them that would. That would be very cool. I'm thinking of like. One or two people especially. But I guess I don't see how we're. Going to get to something else by. Taking the same approach as the.
ZACK: Oh sorry, yeah I.
JOSH: I don't want to just take like the sort of Nietzschean critique of it, because it seems almost too obvious like you're these.
ZACK: Little too on the nose, isn't it, yeah.
JOSH: Yeah, like, here's these. These people that well, you could argue that they feel powerless in many ways. Certainly I don't think the anarchists are the type to say that they're. I mean, they're it's an underdog position. That's a lot of the attraction. It's marginalized. It's it's something that's definitely not accepted by the larger society as a whole. So you're already in that kind of. Powerless victim type of position so then.
ZACK: Niche being the philosopher who said that all philosophy is autobiography.
JOSH: Yeah yeah, so putting yourself in an underdog position when when you get to when you see all of this punishment and all of this exertion of will and force coming down on you all of the time, I. I mean, when you have an opportunity to. To go and employ a little bit of justice of your own, like you can expect. It's gonna be a bloodbath. And that's where I, I guess that's where I see the comment section like is is everybody there loves a good pile on everybody you know, loves to just extract the maximum amount of suffering from the individual that they see in the wrong and punish them.
ZACK: Yeah, and pastoral Ethiopian tribal people love doing raids in the middle of night and cutting each other's tests. It was off.
JOSH: I don't know what that has to do with. Anything but can you talk? Can you fill me in on how that ties in?
ZACK: Yeah, I'm just. In autonomic societies where self-control is prioritized over other control, things like this happen, beefs get out of hand, people get their heads knocked, you know it's part of it. There's always that possibility. This isn't safe space anarchism.
JOSH: So you're saying if we want to priority? Guys autonomy and self-determination, then the responsibility I guess for resolving conflict kind of lies with the people that are in conflict as opposed to some sort of I guess like judiciary body outside of it, that's going to make decisions on such things.
ZACK: That's correct, the onus is with. The individuals there's got to be a. Showdown or reconciliation or reckoning of some sort between the individuals. Involved, it's it's really the whole thing. Should the whole idea of conflict resolution should depend solely on the feelings, emotions, desires, experiences of of the parties directly involved. I I think this is a place where mediation is is has a terrible effect. On people's relationships.
JOSH: Do you think that it's even really why is there so much focus on from the justice sense? Like why is there so much focus on resolution in the 1st place? Like do do all these conflicts need to be resolved?
ZACK: No they don't.
JOSH: I found myself asking that.
ZACK: No, I don't think they do, and I'm not really sure why there's so much focus on it. I guess people want to be. Happy go lucky all the time. I'm not really sure, and in fact I think in keeping the wound open and you know sticking probes in there and giving it some electrical shock and seeing what twitches. Sometimes you learn a lot, you know.
JOSH: Maybe resolve wasn't the right word, even I I guess I see the kind of the want for justice and the and the need for. Build in the correct position to kind of extend beyond just personal beliefs to ideas in. That you've got folks that they're going to fight you down to the down to the bottom like they're gonna fight you down to the truth to make sure that that the final truth is their truth. And then they're going to punish you by, say, embarrassing you by pointing out your logical fallacies to make sure that, like you keep your mouth. Shut in the. Future yeah, so that.
ZACK: They can further dominate spaces that they want to.
JOSH: Dominate, yeah, exactly exactly or so they can make sure that you know they're the ones kind of setting the norms for. The discourse and the discussion. And is that I guess and I feel like as an anarchist, it's like asking myself, is that really helpful?
ZACK: No, it's not.
JOSH: For me as an anarchist and.
ZACK: No, it's not. And then looking back on my own behavior I can see now like some of my sort of reciprocal behavior that fit into the paradigm you just described. Even though I felt like I. Was being anti.
JOSH: Well, and I guess you wouldn't even claim to hold the same positions that. Well back then.
ZACK: I don't even want our positions. I don't need a position because if I hear something that I feel like resonates with me, I'm gonna I wanna be able to immediately shift into that. I don't wanna have a position because it's just baggage, you know.
JOSH: Yeah, or at least be open enough to hear it and think about it for a little bit.
ZACK: Yeah, I mean if you're going to have a position at least be open enough to realize that those positions will change for anybody.
JOSH: That's the question of change. Is that this? Is years after. The fact, and I I don't want to just totally gloss over that. I I want to hit at some point on the question. Of how does justice say differ in real life spaces or online spaces? If at all, because I'm not sure that it does, but I do want to talk about at some point, but first there.
ZACK: Yeah, yeah.
JOSH: There's kind of the like the temporal aspect of this is you.
ZACK: I think more and more that more and more that distinction between the Internet and away from the keyboard is is it's it's it's sort of evaporating, and that veil is thinner than ever.
JOSH: Know how long of the sentence?
ZACK: The veil between AFK, go outside and play hide and seek and the Internet. And I think that that's something that we could talk about a lot more about. But it's definitely dynamic that's present in. All this yeah I was.
JOSH: Wondering earlier thinking about this topic that it makes me question because I think that some people will kind of hand wave it away and say well. These are things that this guy did on the Internet. He didn't do them in real life and so they're not as important or they don't. They don't mean as much. We're kind of what you're saying is in contrast to that, cause you're saying that it it's about the emotions. So if someone is the type of person who gets a lot of their, say, emotional and social validation through their online. Like that stuff could be really deeply. Hurtful to them.
ZACK: Yeah, I mean it's there's who? Yeah, just because it happened online doesn't invalidate anything. I mean, for somebody, online experience can be just as real as anything else. I think this is the same authenticity problem that you and I keep discussing and keep coming across. There's nothing, anything, any experience that you have in your life in your life world. It cannot be inauthentic to you. And so it's a matter of how much were the people involved affected by the emotional content.
JOSH: Yeah, I think that's fair and you always address the person with the grievance first and do your best to resolve. It, and in a supportive way.
ZACK: Yeah, and I come from a cultural background where that's kind of the norm. Like that, you know, I grew up poor my family like that's just how things were like. You just figure it out if you're *******. Wrestling with each other on the. Floor, that's what happens.
JOSH: We're not too different in that, but we definitely put an emphasis like with with our kids because I talk about my kids too much because I have too many kids. All I do is kids the my.
ZACK: We keep seem to keep getting. I don't know how you're.
JOSH: I know it's kind of weird they just they just kind of like they pile up cause you don't notice another one. At some point we we joke of like where's our seventeen children? But anyways, like if if we're dealing with the kids because we're not big fans of punishment we're we're more into like natural consequences. But if somebody hurts somebody, our advice is always will. The person who did the hurting, whether it's like a punch or something, something mean that they said, like you care about the other person. So check in on them like see, see what they need. Listen to what they're saying and regardless of your feelings about their feelings. Like just be a cool supportive person and respect their feelings and provide that support rather than rather than, I guess, diminishing their feelings by saying Oh well, it only happened because I was doing this or my my favorite. My favorite is sarcastically favorite is when you hear someone say something like I'm sorry that what I said hurt your feelings. Because you're, you're pretty much like putting it on the hurt person that it's all their fault. Which if we want to like drill way down into it, you could say that in in some world where people are on their way to becoming enlightened beings, there's some truth to that and we all have, you know, control over how we respond emotionally. But in this real world. Like no, whatever you said hurt their feelings. So validate that first and then once they get back to a good spot like then you can tell your side of it and then you can talk about it but just kind of keep your mouth shut and be nice to him until they feel a little bit better about it. Yeah you know and then.
ZACK: Yeah, something that I definitely should have done in hindsight, you know.
JOSH: You won't be the bad guy anymore. Yeah yeah, but it it's it's kind of. On the one hand like sometimes by recognizing that. Someone's been hurt again. Whether it's like emotional or physical or whatever, and you caused it, I definitely find that rather than worrying myself about like what I think is fair or what I would think is. Just like just by dealing with them directly and kind of taking yourself out of the picture a little bit and letting whatever anger they have or any other feelings about it. That come out, you can get past and I'm not talking about super violent, horrible stuff, so anybody that wants to comment on this, like that's not what I'm talking. About cause I know. What's gonna go? But more in the day-to-day life stuff is what we deal with. Like when you when you do that, you kind of take away a little bit of that sort of abuser victim. Like archetype that we fall into so frequently, because you've addressed the issue like no, you and they can recognize like once they're feeling better, they can look at you and be like no, it's it's and you're not my like abuser. You're not the worst, you're you're this person that that sucked up and you were cool about it and you fixed it so we can move on with life and they benefit because then they don't have to feel like they're continually being victimized. By your lack of ability to let them have feelings about whatever stupid. And you did. And again, that it's like that's a panacea for everything, but I often think that if we just kind of quit worrying about ourselves, like if we quit worrying about how we're being perceived outwardly because we're being judged for a behavior by someone that we've caused harm to one, like we're we're going to be a little bit happier. We can all listen to Yang Chu and not worry about our reputations. Is that that's a lot of it. Like usually when you hurt somebody and then you hurt them again immediately afterwards. It's because you feel either shame or embarrassment for causing them hurt, and so then you double down. You get angry like that's where like anger Anger's favorite place to come from is like shame and. Or fear, yeah, but like that's it's a great situation to kind of like. Check yourself and be like. What do I like. What skin do I really have in this? Like what am I really worried about? Am I worried about being perceived badly because I did something really dumb? Like just get over it and deal with it. Right now, it's really.
ZACK: Easy to forget that.
JOSH: Yeah, I mean that it's it's easy for me to forget that it's easy for kids to forget that it's easy for anybody. Forget that because we're we're always feeling like. We're judged so much externally and like that our actions are are are what we're going to be accountable for. And I guess that that's another. That's another question rolled in there is I am I because I've been. I've been poisoned by that. The Buddha. Thinking making me too much of a passive nihilist. That's like the. the the, the, the big and still the big and still passive nihilist.
ZACK: Did you say pacifist? I'm sorry.
JOSH: I said passive nihilist.
ZACK: Oh oh OK, OK?
JOSH: Yeah, I said, passive nihilist cause. I remember that was like. A big insult, yeah? During our during the nihilism episode we'll talk about how I don't think there is a passive or an active nihilist or a nihilist.
ZACK: Well yeah, but.
JOSH: Agreed, yeah, but because of the of of the Buddhist poisoning I I I tend to at least attempt to see people as separated from their actions.
ZACK: Yeah, we all do schizophrenic **** sometimes.
JOSH: And we we all just do things that once they're done, they're no longer existent unless we're attached to them. I in general don't like. I try not to tie people too closely to their actions because it's dangerous in. A couple ways. And again, I feel like I almost need to make a disclaimer that I'm not saying that no one's responsible for anything they do, and if they you know like come and **** you up in your sleep. It's it's not their fault because that you really do need to say that. I'm pretty sure you need to say that or someone's gonna. Get really upset, but but more. And I'm trying to be generous.
ZACK: Yeah, sorry.
JOSH: And I am, I'm being sincere. Yeah, I think that I think that that while you can, certainly you know you can want to hold somebody accountable, but we can recognize that that we are changing all the time and that things that you do from one moment.
ZACK: I know.
JOSH: To the next. They're they're not necessarily things that have to stay with you, and it works in a lot of ways, like one. If someone does something really great. And then you see that great thing. And attach it to that person. Like then you end up in these weirdly. Power imbalance like idol worship situations. Yeah, cult of personality. Yeah, because mostly it's like whether it's the celebrity that that has the song or it's like the sports hero that hits the ball harder than everybody else or whatever it is like we can. We can basically take those those actions, attach them to the person, and then we're dealing with an idealized version of that person.
ZACK: And our celebrity is definitely something. I play here and so it's pretty disgusting.
JOSH: Yeah, yes, I mean celebrity in general and certainly anarchy. Celebrity in this case specifically, yeah. But it's funny because usually we'll we'll, we'll pick and choose and we'll separate the actions that we. Want to absolutely. That are agreeable for us that we prefer.
JOSH: And we'll attach the actions that we like, but if we pay attention to it over a course of years, say like as you age, you'll kind of notice that you'll choose which actions and you'll drop one off and pick another one up. Like, based on how you feel you want to be perceived and how you want to proceed. Yourself and that's the other side of it. Like if if you always attach yourself to your actions and you're always walking around with a view of yourself as like your biggest achievement or your worst failure, you're never gonna function in like that range that you need to be in for 95% of your life to be decent. You're either going to be like miserable and full of guilt and shame, or you're going to be like a complete. Arrogant narcissist or you're gonna swing wildly between the two poles which. It's kind of what Sharon suggests, and I think is probably pretty accurate that we're always trying to sort of modulate that, but we never do that great of a job we. Just try to keep it somewhere in the middle.
ZACK: That's why yeah, I was gonna say Dallas saying you know stay in the center.
JOSH: Right, so if you're dealing with a person, I guess my point is like you judge the action, not the person, right? So if you screw up and troll me on the Internet like yes, I want to hold. Accountable, but I don't want to do. That for the rest of your life.
ZACK: But also I wanna hold it's it's weird when it's I want to hold you accountable on this form and it's like the safe space ship is so tired like I'm so sick of that like you know let's work this out for real like don't be passive. Aggressive about it.
JOSH: Do you think the part of the. Problem with that is that, like we don't want the safe space stuff and I don't disagree with you. There, but the part of the reason that people want the safe space stuff. It's not even really about protecting anyone from like ideas that are dangerous or thoughts that are dangerous, but it's more just protecting people from folks that are acting like ********.
ZACK: Yeah, I think it's a. It's an attempt to try to be like let's. Be delicate with each. Other, but it's grown into so much more than that. And I think it's intricately intricately linked to PC culture cancel culture. You know it's become, you know, an institutionalized thing like. Yeah, this is a safe space for people like that's way different and way more ideological than just please be gentle with each other. Consider each other's feelings. Don't be * ****. You know which? Not to dig up, you know, old drama, but the Bay Area is seen as notorious for people just ******* yelling at each other. You know and being ********.
JOSH: Which is so.
ZACK: Funny that you know when flipped some of the reactions that we've seen in this comment section happen like it's so hypocritical but.
JOSH: That seems to be one of the things that people really like. Punishing too is.
ZACK: Hypocrisy yeah yeah it even yeah it still it does. It's it. Irks me a lot. The visceral, emotional, like knee jerk reaction to hypocrisy whenever it happens, yeah?
JOSH: That's really funny. I I I typically don't. Why do you think you have such a? Strong response to it.
ZACK: I guess. I don't know. I guess it's it sort of pulls the carpet from underneath, like trust or something like that. You know it makes it when when somebody is hypocritical and specific. Certain ways, like not necessarily in like just a you know some kind of a superfluous idea. Way like when when people are hypocritical. Through their actions, it's worrying right? Because it's like, here's somebody who must. Either they have a. Blind spot or. Where you know they're not putting work into this thing that needs to be it. It makes you skeptical about if that's somebody you can be involved with, I think, for me at least, I don't know if that comes from being a kid like the parent child relationship. I'm not really sure, but it's hard when your idealized image of somebody is disrupted.
JOSH: Yeah, it definitely is, and that's kind of where I was going with it. Is that it's funny that hypocrisy is usually like. Such an affront? Because one it can make you feel you know stupid like you've been duped or something like that and no one wants to feel that. Way right? And so then you like blame the other person or blame the other person for not meeting your needs by acting out their ideal actions in your sense, like in in the way that you would have them behave.
ZACK: Because on one level, like we're all full of contradiction and everything we do is, you know, but it still makes us mad. It's this really weird thing and.
JOSH: That I guess that's kind of my question back to justice again is I wanted. Excuse me a little bit under the weather. I want to tease out the hypocrisy issue a little bit because I think that like an inability to deal with contradictions definitely drives some of that, like there's that comment thread. I don't think anybody that's even on the thread and wrote the stuff they wrote like. It's got very witch hunt kind of vibes.
ZACK: You said, Louise?
JOSH: Yeah, and I'm not going to like whatever if they feel justified in that, or they think that you're really that awful of a person because they heard from somebody else that you know the things they're outlining. I'm not trying to change their mind.
ZACK: You don't know me.
JOSH: Yeah, exactly. Actually, like I'm I'm not here to convince anybody that that you're a. You're a great guy and they they should go have a cup of coffee with you or swipe whatever direction you swipe on your. Dating app or something?
ZACK: Don't, I'll eat your children.
JOSH: OK, there you go. That's that that makes. It easier so. The Glenn Danzig approach. The my thoughts and are like an inability to deal with contradiction. Would make it seem like, First off, that's like a very justice kind of situation, because either either something like fits fits the values or it doesn't. But is anarchist like why? Why is the resolution of those contradictions so important? If we're going to say live in anarchy, or if we want to view life? In an anarchic Way why the focus on these contradicts? Options and all of this emphasis on like calling them out or the OR or like calling out the hypocrisy. Like why is why is? Reaching justice and truth, say in in those instances of such important to people. You know that's a tough question.
ZACK: And I haven't thought about it too much, but I I would say that it's like off the bat. The type of sort of orientation you would have in an autonomic society is different from the way we've all been raised and. I think we're all kind of experimenting trying to shift into other forms of morality, and I think that we're all dealing with this baggage from what society has taught us of how to deal with conflict.
JOSH: I think that's super fair. I mean, I'm gonna say as as Batai says, you know truth is. But when faced that of a violent contradict. Oh well, and that's for all that's for all the ******* people that may listen to this.
ZACK: The great ******* floor.
JOSH: And yes, I want to. Talk to all of. You yeah been a long time and further down the ******* roads like kind of like lower riding points out that there's like there's no true and there's no false there's only like.
ZACK: Shout out to the bathroom crew.
JOSH: False truth, there's only the two. There's only the two. Either like diametrically opposed or or completely attached to one another. There's there's not some pure version of either or.
ZACK: Spooks ******* Spooks man.
JOSH: Yeah, Spooks, lower writing and for me is. Still like the. Preeminent egoist I'll. I'll take her over. I'll take her over sterner. She's awesome like she's way under red and she's awesome. And if anybody's listening that that cares to read, I think that in anarchism's, not enough.
ZACK: Yeah she yeah.
JOSH: I think the myth is is just like four or five pages of absolute like just bang on great ****, lower writing in general.
ZACK: I love that she spent a lot of her life in the mountains of. East Tennessee like
JOSH: You're the downer in that for me is that she went from being this like really wild, very rebellious individual to like getting really deep into like linguistics. And I'm like, ah, look, she goes from basically saying that you know, language is insufficient to all of a sudden. Being a linguist, and that's kind of a bummer. But neither here nor there.
ZACK: People we live in a linguistic universe, Josh so.
JOSH: Yeah, we all live in our own universe, Zack.
JOSH: That's that's the point, right?
ZACK: I agree, yeah we do. We really, really do.
JOSH: The multiverse is all about the multiverse. That's one of those comic things too. Isn't it Justice League? Oh, I hate comics like that ****. It's all propaganda and I don't care what anyone. Could say so.
ZACK: And I guess Justice League.
JOSH: It's all. It's all propaganda back to the point that I'm I'm trailing off on now because I'm under the weather and tired. If we can't let the contradictions be, sometimes I I'm I'm not sure how like how how do we let go of the state like if we don't let go of justice and let go of the resolution of contradictions in some circumstances, like how do you arrive like to me that's utopian thinking whereas I I love that heterotopias idea you know like the. Like the ship at sea, where you've got all of these people of disparate backgrounds and few shared values, but they're on the boat, so they gotta make things work.
ZACK: Yeah, right?
JOSH: Like that, that isn't that I forget that's Foucault, or who that is. I don't really read much foot. I don't care for Foucault as much as I. Like Poststructural ship and everything.
ZACK: Is this OK OK?
JOSH: I think Fuko is kind of.
ZACK: Are you sure that's not niche?
JOSH: For some reason I thought focused some of the better might be niche, neither here nor there.
JOSH: Leotard over Coco and leotard rules them all in in my mind. For style and substance.
ZACK: Do I need to pop a bottle of wine? Josh out of the freezer?
JOSH: That's fair, that's fair.
ZACK: Oh yeah, sorry, sorry.
JOSH: The not letting the contradictions just be and the demand to resolve them seems like a very problematic, and I think it's a human impulse. I'm not. I'm not talking trash on anarchists or any sort of political orientation right now. I think it's a very human impulse because we have the desire to resolve those conflicts and so it's only natural that you're going to get together with the folks around you and come to agreement on where you stand on these contradictions. But if we're if we're trying to be different if we're trying to do something differently, as anarchists, and especially if you're a really ******** anarchists like you're, you're really into like the means. And ends.
ZACK: You mean like that that the young man depicted in the meme that's going around, right? Now, like the biker warrior.
JOSH: Yes, yes like like that like that young man and you're taking extreme means to reach your extreme end like that. That young man is. Is I mean you look like, yeah, you're you're a very sultry character from the Justice League? Because if if nothing like you are going to, you're gonna come out and lay down the law on everybody who's you know? Messing with the forest, you're you're like a A?
ZACK: Dude, now I want a comic book with Baucus as like the superhero **** that he's out.
JOSH: Well, you're basically like a like a skinnier you. Know less hairy lorax and. My picture and. And I know that Doctor Seuss is probably, I think, Doctor Seuss. 's problematic too, but that that's that that's a.
ZACK: I don't know. What's here?
JOSH: A good one.
ZACK: That's debatable that's debatable. Definitely caller, but.
JOSH: Not yeah, you're definitely. You're definitely taller, slightly less hairy lorax, but the point being like you want justice mindset, and I guess I definitely see like listening to Aragorn Bellamy talk like those are justice. Mindsets those are this is right and this is. And I'm the arbiter of that and I'm gonna call you out for your hypocrisy. Or I'm going to call you out for your crimes against reason and logic.
ZACK: Well, I'm going to call you out for not being as edgy as me. I'm going to call you out for not ******* putting your ****. On the line. Yeah yeah yeah, I get called out for that.
JOSH: Like 6 times a day.
UNKNOWN: Oh we should yeah yeah.
JOSH: There's I'm I'm I'm not edgy like I'm so I'm so far from edgy and for anyone that didn't listen I have a pretty edgy haircut.
ZACK: You gotta, as you has haircut. Right now.
JOSH: I've I've long I have long. Really, hair at the moment. Which, hey, it like that, that's that's it's winter time. It's really cold here.
ZACK: Yeah, we're just sending. A you know, tracks back and forth before we actually started the conversation, as we often do.
JOSH: It's embarrassing, I'm embarrassed. Almost more embarrassing your picture of that comment the enough joking. I guess that that justice theme kind of runs through all of these. I guess ideological manifestations of, say anarchism. Again, I think the niche critiques boring. I definitely think that to some degree, and there's no need to take this to extremes. To tell me I'm horrible, I I do think you know it's beneficial for me and my personal life and my interactions and that's all I'm speaking for to try to separate the person from the act, both for the person who's been harmed and for the person doing the harming. And like for myself, when I'm a third party to that kind of a situation. And I definitely share that with my kids. And it's like, yeah, that's a Buddhist thing, but there's a lot of there's a lot of Buddhist stuff that I find helpful and I would think anarchists would find helpful. Because if you wanna be self determining and you wanna be autonomous, there's there's definitely a lot of that in Daoism, and in some funny ways. There's actually kind of more of it in Buddhism. Because I think the like the Daoist angle often gets sort of misconstrued because people won't recognize that. It's not really about you. Yeah, you know what I mean?
UNKNOWN: Yeah, yeah.
JOSH: Like it's not a it's not about like you figuring out the way like it, it's it's about like the way it just is. And whether you wanna figure out. Or not like that's how it's going to be.
ZACK: Yang Chu Yang Chu
JOSH: Yeah, and I think like I think Yang Chu is is probably anyone that hasn't read it. Yang Chu. I think it's garden of pleasure.
ZACK: It's actually it's pretty. It's it's complicated, but yeah, he his writing didn't really survive, and so it's in. Another book of another philosopher, and so I think it's called Yang Chiu. 's garden is in. What's called Master Yang garden.
JOSH: You can, I've seen this garden and garden of delights or garden of pleasure. You can find it as all three. Yeah, I you can definitely get it like a PDF online and I got a hard copy from somewhere. I can't remember where, but it's worth like. It's worth checking out. It's it's fairly. It's actually really short.
ZACK: Yeah, read it directly. Don't read things about it, just read the text for yourself.
UNKNOWN: Yeah yeah. And.
JOSH: And he says stuff that's like, not super anarchist. It's pretty funny because he'll say things like I think he says like the man that has. As rich foods, fine clothes like basically a nice house and a beautiful wife and wants for anything more will never be satisfied. And so you can read that and kind of be grumpy about it and pull it apart. Or you can just recognize that like if you've got basically the decent things that you would think you would want and you're still dissatisfied all the time, you're never going to be. Satisfied, he talks.
ZACK: There's a, there's another famous exchange where I can't remember was Confucius or Motza was in dialogue with Yang Chu and they asked him. Like you know, if you could pluck a hair off your leg and change the world, would you pluck the hair and he said he wouldn't touch a hair on his body?
JOSH: Yes, to save, yeah. Right, I love that because if you, if you're willing to touch your hair, then you're. Going to do that. It's a lot of people say that the like Yang Chu is an egoist Taoist.
ZACK: Yeah, absolutely. I think there's some truth to.
JOSH: That yeah, but that isn't in general like it's not very justice oriented either.
UNKNOWN: Not at all.
JOSH: You could use again Yank Chu as. a parable. About a farmer and a king. And it's not to say is, I think you know, most anarchists are like are you? You know you're gonna. Probably prefer the farmer. But the whole deal is basically the farmer doesn't want to be the king and the king. Doesn't really want. To be the. Farmer like they're in the position that they're in. And that's a lot of the dowst stuff that I think kind of winds up getting missed is like. It's just the way that it is, and it's up to you. To deal with it. But if you don't want to recognize how it is like, good luck and again, this is like the justice situation. So do you. Do you need to be out there like exerting your your will to power and justice on the world? Or are you better off kind of recognizing that the world has its own set of consequences and possibly you need to take a look at yourself a little bit more.
ZACK: Yeah, and that's that's how I think I've grown since all this beef has happened I I've changed the way I looked at my own life world and you, you know, the sort of world surrounding me. It's become a much more internal thing, definitely.
JOSH: Well, I'm willing to, you know, welcome you into. Is this a crew or a? Click how do we identify?
ZACK: This is a gang gang.
JOSH: He's a gang. Well, I'll welcome you to the gang and I'll I'll, I'll do it. I think you asked me I I was going to recount because we were. Talking about that was a. But then we have a. We actually have a picture book of this. It's like really graphic and it's kind of fun. I think you can get it for kids like if you've got kids and you think Buddhism's interesting and you're not really a big fan of justice cause this is like the least satisfying justice story ever. But there's a Buddhist story and it's about a guy named Angulimala who's like this giant. Hairy berserker character. Kind of like that. Photo of you. And he's, he's like running from the village to village like wreaking mayhem everywhere with his giant like scary beard and his teeth bared his big knife. And the whole just killing people. The whole deal is he's killed 1000 people.
JOSH: People and the picture book is awesome and he and he wears a necklace made of human fingers which is pretty like that's hard, right?
ZACK: Oh, that's so metal.
JOSH: Like that's that's straight up like ecoterrorist stuff right there, and so he's because maybe he's an antinatalist and he's like he's just like a future manifestation of penti linkola or something.
ZACK: I TS.
JOSH: And so he's out there like just wasting. People right and left and Buddha Buddha Shakyamuni. So like the Buddha. the guy who sat into the tree. He's out for a walk and he's he's kind of strolling to this village and all the people are fleeing and like stuff's on fire. It's it's wild and they're all screaming like animals coming, run, run, run and buddhas like ohh I'm like I'm good I'll be OK and so I'm good mall season and he's like Buddha I'm gonna kill you and buddy is like. Right and so, and Google monsters running at him. Like with his knife and real scary. But Buddha keeps getting like further and. Throw away and then Guluma is all tired. Eventually he gets worn out and he's yelling. Stop, stop, stop and Buddhas like no you stop and gliomas like I don't know you're talking about and buddhas like you know you've got a totally sucked up mind you're engaging in horrible behaviors and basically those two things are like feeding themselves like the it's just not going to stop until you stop. So finally. So exhausted, he sits down or I forget how long it is a really long *** time like sits there and hangs out with Buddha and Buddha gets him all enlightened and everybody's friends within Google Mall on he takes off his finger necklace and like lifes cool and it's a really extreme example but I I kind of like it for. And that idea of like separate the person from the action. Because when we talk about like how much of our bad behavior is really driven by things that justice kind of looks to produce like shame and guilt. Like if my kids feeling really really guilty like the joke is kind of like what you kill 1000 people like are you? Wearing a finger necklace. And they like laugh. And like, no, it's like well. You're OK, like yeah, you screwed up like go fix it with that person and like and it's OK. Like let's let's move on and. And it doesn't. Like and it doesn't only have to apply to small things like maybe you need to put in more effort to fix the bigger things that you do. The bigger mistakes that you do but punishing people and you would really think like in a scene that's all about, say, like abolition, like punishing people would seem like a really, really poor idea.
ZACK: Yeah, I mean punishment is about control.
JOSH: I think that one of the like a good way to view that punishment. Being about controlling the. Results of it. And as if we haven't kind of jumped all over the map enough with with referencing folks, I told you the day. Like I'm reading Montaigne, so that's like 506 hundred years old.
ZACK: Jumped all over the map. Have I told you about cows?
JOSH: Even, and I've got a. That's a funny reference that if that if that person gets it, they they get to. Be on the podcast.
UNKNOWN: You can.
JOSH: But anyways, like I'm I'm reading Montaigne and this is something super old that I decided to read because someone else that I like was quoting them a lot and he had a great a great section about. It's basically about education and he talks about what tutors should do and he compares schools to jails. And his big disappointment is that, like in being so strict. Perfect and kind of exerting the force of justice and rules. The problem with the kids is like that they're being punished before they've actually done anything wrong.
ZACK: Hmm yeah I can yeah.
JOSH: Yeah, and in that passage it's like when you're being punished and you haven't done anything wrong. I would also apply that to if you're being punished and you don't really understand what you've done wrong and you don't feel it like the punishment does. Nothing like bringing you to justice does nothing but like build more resentment about whatever the hell you were.
JOSH: Resentment for resentful for in the first place.
ZACK: Oh my God, I'm trying to tell people that with their animals all the time, like your cat doesn't know how you're ******* mad, Jesus Christ, yeah.
JOSH: Wait, wait, I said to throw that in there cause we've had so many disparate folks we've been talking about that way. Yeah I I I. Guess to we've kind of ramped on about this for a minute and I know we've got a.
ZACK: Yeah, I think it's a good place to kind of start tapering off.
JOSH: Yeah, I think I think we can. Kind of. I think we can wrap at this point. I would like to say like before we go because this was a very quick turn around of this conversation. I literally called you this morning and said I wanna have this conversation for the podcast we had no. Preparation and we're recording it like in the same afternoon.
ZACK: Been a long day for sure.
JOSH: Yeah, it's been. It's been a super it's been a super long day, so apologies to folks if it's not the most the most entertaining or if it's not quite as smooth as usual. I'm sick too, so I'm gonna use that excuse that's that's my. Big excuse, yeah, I know, I know.
ZACK: We knew that Josh, we knew yours, Sir.
JOSH: But with with what you said before about, you know if somebody. Wants to reach out to you and contact you. And talk about this. I would hope that anyone who's listening would recognize that you're making that comment in a genuine way.
ZACK: Yeah, I mean they've got my selfies. They've got my passwords. They probably have my home address. Just come on through.
JOSH: And the whole point is that if like if you feel the need to resolve it because it's still obviously like it's an unresolved issue, maybe go ahead and reach out to the to the person that you have the issue with and you're you're on the instance now. So if anybody wants to. Like hit you up. That way you're just at Zack ZA CK at nihilist. And that's NI dot HIL dot IST. Or if you want to, just like, send embarrassing pictures of Zack, you can send. Those to at. Ruin at niala
ZACK: Don't do that.
JOSH: And I'll I'll deal with the like the proliferation of the sending of those pictures to the appropriate news outlets and everywhere else.
ZACK: I guess they're gonna bust. Me for these power stations man ****.
JOSH: Yep, Yep, exactly we were talking about power stations last week and I've. Got photos of you in camo with a handgun so it's. That's a bad that's. A bad look in this context thing.
ZACK: Not to need anarchist prisoner support.
JOSH: Yep, Yep, you're in. You're in, you're in big trouble.
JOSH: Look at the solidarity train going. When that happens. Then that sucks. Prison prison truly sucks and hopefully the prison sucks so much. Maybe anarchists can reconsider their positions on justice. Yeah yeah yeah, and hit us up if you wanna talk about this more we will try. I think next week we're gonna jump into nihilism, right?
ZACK: I'd love to please, yeah?
JOSH: OK, so yeah, probably next week just so everybody listening knows the idea. Here is we're not in all the good podcast places yet. Zack is the guy that does all of the work. I just talk and live on the news comments now. So he's going to be working on all that fun technical stuff because I'm too inept and in the meantime, we're gonna try to get we're gonna focus more on getting a bunch of content together so that you have something to listen to and be angry at. Or send us a message that you like or or just engage. In general, we'll be reaching out to folks that we. Know in various places. We get some guests on hopefully in the not too distant. In the future, because we're we're mindful that there's topics that we really want to discuss that we'd like to have some more variety in the room rather than to. We're both technically like Appalachian people, aren't we?
UNKNOWN: Yeah, we're in the.
JOSH: Yeah, I think I'm like the North End near the South end.
ZACK: We're in the North American zone. Yeah, as James C Scott would say.
JOSH: Yeah, yeah, that's right. Yeah, you're you're the you're the north I'm. The North End you're the South end.
ZACK: Yeah, you're the commander of the northern armies, and I'm not even, I'm just. Kidding, let's not. Yeah, you need to go.
JOSH: I I got where that was going and I didn't think I I could tell enough in the comments. It was a great place to go, but anyways.
ZACK: The same game Josh the same game, man.
JOSH: What's that? Yeah, yeah, I know you're you're serious, you're hard.
ZACK: Because a hurricane give a **** about people.
JOSH: Yeah, yeah, it's a game to me. But anyways, this has been a good podcast and I'm I'm Josh and the guy laughing is Zack and we appreciate your listening and thanks because this was for everybody in the news comments section.
UNKNOWN: Let's see.
JOSH: Honestly, thank you, lots of good back and forth conversations and nobody was super. Well, nobody was ****** that I bothered engaging with. And if you're ******, I won't. But if you're. Like if you're sincere and want to say something or talk about something. Yeah, I'm I'm always good to talk there. I would prefer to talk an instance or hit me up. Somewhere else but. Yeah, keep it coming because. We're gonna talk about real fast.
The forest makes the hunter.
Get with the Program? Nah, Pull the Plug on the Bourgeoisie
My Brief Stint in Redneck Revolt
Posted on April 12, 2017
I first got in touch with Redneck Revolt through the Internet.
Shortly after major rioting events in a nearby city, in response to racist and classist police violence there and elsewhere, a brief period of feeling out happened. Since around the time of Occupy in 2011, self-described socialists and anarchists, individuals and groupings, have become noticeably more prominent in my area. Some of these groups decided to venture out their comfort zones following the major rioting I mentioned before. Some statements from blogs were shared on the Internet and emails were exchanged.
I was initially in contact with a group called “Workers Assemble” (you know, like Voltron) who were claiming to have started an actually existing commune of working-class folks. Even though this sounded cooky, I’m desperately isolated, and haver been for years. I leapt at the prospect of having friends in my life who share my values.
What had initially interested me was a rejection of status quo politics and even democracy itself. But the fledgling group was clearly full of idealism, and I guess out of being sick of talking to me, having to listen to my criticisms regarding this political determinism (they were basically edgy Bookchinites), they referred me to another group nearby me. This group was Redneck Revolt.
The first thing I did after being referred was read everything I could from anything or one I could who was involved with the organization. There were some encouraging things, although, I’m honestly having a hard time recalling them right now. The website is very design savvy. The whole effort seems and looked really “cool”. But as I continued to read and reread position pieces, blog posts, semi-randomized bits of posts, I began to see certain weaknesses, places where the group was lacking, and tossed these weakness up initially to them being “new”.
I didn’t know at that point like I do now that the organization had been around for almost a decade.
So after maybe five email exchanges, full of a lot of brown-nosing on the part of the RR organizer, I agreed to meet with the group in person. I will say there is a certain openness, a “counter-paranoia”, I initially found very refreshing with the organizer I was in contact with. Unlike with other groups in decades long my journeys, and even the group I mentioned before, there seemed to be a very good grasp on what security measures were reasonable for meeting new political contacts. I mean, it’s just common sense stuff. People who are doing felonies don’t talk about felonies. I’m not scared of the cops kicking down my door for reading revolutionary material, even for discussing revolutionary material, and I think the organizer I was put in touch with also understood this. We can’t be too paranoid to be social.
Things seem to be off to a decent enough start during our discussion over dollar tacos. I remember bringing up a number of things that would disqualify my participation with the group, something I’ve learned now should be done before becoming deeply involved with or joining an org.
First and foremost I made it clear that it is my understanding that democracy and fascism are two sides of the same coin, that fascism is even fair to be considered a highly evolved form of the liberal democratic state and that I would have no part in so-called “antifa” shit. I was consoled immediately and reassured that the Silver Valley Redneck Revolt, as well as those “in the know” in the internal working groups of the organization, had no interest in this sort of activity. This ended up being unremarkably false. The bulk of Redneck Revolt’s activity revolves around “antifascists” actions and counter-demonstrations of strength and American service rifles.
Getting back to the day I joined up…
We also briefly discussed race. Talking racial politics in America, especially with white socialists is almost always inviting a shit storm of a certain type of politics I don’t see as revolutionary or proletarian. So without getting too deeply into it, I inquired about the racial makeup of the group. I wondered if it was all white people.
“No, no…Well, I mean. No. Yeah, you can have Black rednecks, too. I think there are few guys up in Ohio, the chapter there.”
Perhaps this was the point where I should’ve jumped out of my seat in protest, but at the time and in that environment I wasn’t in my best of thinking minds, and even though it did seem at the time like a “harmless” version of “my best friend is black”/“my favorite teacher is black”… Plus, I mean… Maybe there are Black rednecks. I mean haven’t you heard Hootie & the Blowfish?
Most of the people in my life who might get called “rural”, and are people of color, sure as hell wouldn’t identify as ”rednecks” except in a sarcastic, joking manner. A manner intended to highlight, even if “unconsciously”, the inherent exculpatory nature of the “redneck” identity. In fact, they simply refer to themselves as “country”.
This is something I find interesting. Perhaps what constitutes being a redneck is not seen as racial by certain white people, even though the consensus is definitely racial, I mean who hears the word redneck and doesn’t think white person? White people have this understanding, black people have this understanding, Asian people have this understanding… I mean of all the words that we need to reclaim, why go after redneck? Is it not hard enough describing ourselves and ideas as anarchist? Communist?
I’m a person a color, and I have an uncle who is also personal color, who teases me and calls me “the Arab redneck”.
This is a reference of course to my rustic nature. I think the peasantry, or today what should be more accurately called the rural proletariat, is more than a little revolutionary. I like farming, I like growing things. I like animals. So… I might be a redneck?
Dear Jeff Foxworthy. No, I’m not the long lost person of color missing on the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. Sorry to disappoint.
One thing is clear and that is that my uncle was making fun of me, being just a bit cruel, saying to me “Look how much like these white Americans you have become”. If you’re not white, being called a redneck is not a term of endearment. Maybe it should be. But it’s not. Welcome to this place we call reality. Sure, you’re awesome, supposedly correct and original definition sounds awesome. Sure I’d like to revise history and make redneck and to some rebellious, proletarian term that stabs at the neck of the bourgeoisie.
Oh, by the way, the local chapters charged $8/mo for dues. Anyway, let me try to keep this account moving.
So… After agreeing to participate, moving closer to the local chapter and discussing our aims for political practice, I started to feel a bit unsettled about the racial issues again. Everyone in the chapter except for me was white.
I come from a city, more like a town, where the racial makeup is pretty diverse. Especially for the South. I don’t think white people even constitute a majority in my hometown, although that’s not true for my state. But the South as a whole for my experience tends to have a lot more nonwhite people, at least in proportion. I mean, I know New York City is not like this, but I was quite amazed at how less diverse in many places up north and in the Midwest are. I almost feel like we down here are somehow less segregated in the South. But not by much.
I have no problem with the fact that my local chapter of redneck revolt was only a fifth non-white. Doesn’t this kind of reflect a national average? In the workplace? On juries?
No. What bothered me was how we were orientating our political activity almost exclusively towards white people. We were reaching out to white people. We were organizing in areas that were predominately full of white people, even white racists. Our barely existent literature discussed whiteness. The whole approach was to drop a bucket of racial Tums directly into this reactionary indigestion of a political climate.
I mean say what you want about the tactic of organizing in the belly of the beast. I don’t see it as having any a special effectiveness either way. But there’s something to be said for racial education on antiracism disseminated by white people, tailor-made for white people. It just all seems too… Cozy… and in the era of Trump. Seeing this rise of white nationalism and white supremacy during the campaigns of this bourgeois asshole does not make me want to run up to white people with open arms strictly based on an antiracist conception of whiteness that just does not have a firm foundation in reality.
One of my best friends, or former best friends now, voted for Trump and still can’t get over their WASP-y fucking behavior. I mean you can take the most proletarian of white workers – do anything that threatens their privilege – and the result is fuck the proletariat. The only folks I know, with stable jobs, stable places to stay, and in stable relationships are white Christians in good health. And they are easily the most susceptible to Trump’s vitriol and the ones most likely to be oblivious, unaware, or just plain ignorant about the things happening in the United States. It’s almost like being a healthy white Christian individual just totally blinds you. Healthy white Christian individuals, the people arguably least affected by bourgeois austerity, the bourgeoise base, their core, these people are the foundations of this society. They’re the foundations of patriarchy, the stalwarts of reaction.
How long do we have to stay friends with these people? How long should we continue to consider them as viable and prospective members of our fledgling communities? I don’t remember any major proletarian revolutions which were established on the foundation of convincing the most backwards, least likely sections of society to join the team. These are the people that usually end up fighting us in civil wars. Unfortunately, this is also how the very familiar pattern of reprisals begins to form.
Furthermore, all this racial shit it is a trap. It’s so stupid, it’s so fucking stupid. The color of a person’s skin should have no more significance than the color of their eyes. But in this world, the darker someone is the more likely they are to be poor. In the United States of America, the powers that be love to blur the lines. Turn on the TV and you might see an episode of Empire. Turn on the TV and you might see a struggling white working-class family in rural America. The bourgeoisie will do and give us anything to distract us from the truth, real reality, capitalism.
I think that people can change. But people change in the “afters”. The person who loses their legs only misses running when the legs are gone. The shady boyfriend only regrets his mistakes when you take that cookie away from him. And then he wants it back. The person with lung cancer wishes they never started smoking. The abused are a shell of what they once were in some cases. My point here is that shit happens. But things don’t change until they start changing. You want to stop racist white people? End capitalism. It’s the only way.
So week or two after our first meeting of the local chapter, I finally got around to creating a Facebook account (I didn’t have one before and was coerced into it) in order to start participating in the national level discussion and working groups. I was given access and lurked for a few days. They had a “shit chat” which was deplorable. It was like being in a high school boy’s locker room. I lurked, I read, I researched, I reflected… Nothing happening and these Facebook groups was good. I felt pressured to be involved now that I had been added, but had nowhere to start. No idea of where to even begin.
So I figured, fuck it, I’ll just pop in the main chat channel and ask what the procedure for this kind of thing was. I did absolutely nothing but inquire as to how one would properly go about suggesting and making changes in the group. I cannot emphasize the amount of hostility these types of requests were met with. One of the chiefs of the organization, someone very visible at the national level and in past interventions by the group, just completely got after me. They asked me all these questions. Who are you? When did you join? What chapter are you in? Why are you asking these questions? All this hostile shit. I was basically told you all get to join and come up in here and start changing things, or even start suggesting to change them, and just a matter of a few weeks. I decided right then this was not the group for me.
I mean what the fuck? Who the fuck do you think you are? I can make whatever suggestions that I feel like should be made. What the seniority had to do with it is beyond me. I was being asked for credentials. I was being made to prove my credibility, something we workers are familiar with doing everyday, to our managers, our bosses and society itself. But I was being made to prove my credibility inside one of our institutions. Fucking travesty,
I started asking, is this group even anarchist? Is this group even communist?
That’s the response I received. I was told this was a group of leftists. I was told people were not to be excluded. I was told the group was committed to legal action. I was told a lot of things. And then messaged by another member and reassured the opposite. This was an anarchist group, we were communists, we do stand firmly opposed to reformism. But it is/was all just talk.
It’s all hollow talk in Redneck Revolt. They need to get the fuck off the shitty parts of the Internet, put down the rifles and ammo, and read of fucking book or two, or ten, and come up with some ideas worth defending with those guns they parade around so proudly.
I get it. I really do. You think Trump and company are fascists and there are really scary and they are all about to take over the world. As an Arab-American, the first of a generation of immigrants, someone with a shit ton more to fear in the era of President Trump, I am less scared of Trump than Redneck Revolt. Steve Bannon, Mike Flynn can go fuck themselves. You know what is pretty scary, though? The number and types of people who identify with the redneck identity.
I’m no coward. I’m also not blind. Redneck Revolters: You want Spanish Civil War 2.0. Well, there’s one big thing missing – communities. In 2017, they barely exist anymore. We have to build not only a revolutionary movement, not only revolutionary networks and groups, not only our own individual theoretical strength, but communities. The now mythological legendary revolutionaries, the Malatestas, the Durruitis and Mahknos, the Volines – these people came from a time when they were a part of something. They belonged to something. They belonged to communities who belonged to them. It was organic. They weren’t middle class white kids volunteering to tune-up people’s bikes and help people at the shooting range, even those these activities were happening. There was no time to waste sitting behind a keyboard in an Internet chat room on Facebook all day, no Internet to waste it on. They were from the neighborhoods they were in. There was a rich anarchist tradition full of vitality and potential because of this.
Today in the age of austerity, the lack of open mass struggles – the acute battles with the prospects of improvement of daily life under capitalism – there has been an exaggeration of this separation between revolutionaries and communities. We have to fix this. And organizing along racial lines, no matter how much of the American way it is, is the wrong way to go about it.
Written by a former member-candidate of Redneck Revolt active with those folks during Winter 2017
Episode 1 – Anti-fascism, Spanish Civil War, Berkeley Street Fights
Topics: anarchism communism socialism post-left ultra-left podcast
Synopsis: Nicolette - No Government is the intro tune
And everybody you love they want to. Nothing, nothing left. People would do what they wanted. I say that government. People will do what they want and let them know. If ever. When you were they wanted and everyone you were they wanted. People would say with clarity and let me know. That they know. People would see. It and let them be and let be know.
So yeah. Welcome to the post proletariat. Podcast I'm actually going to call it a rant cast because that's what I'm going to be doing. I'm going to be ranting. UM? I have You know? Regular social life. A number of friends. Quote UN quote. Just like everybody else, but unfortunately politically I'm very isolated. Extremely isolated, I've been isolated for. Most of my political career, mostly geographically. There's been periods of time where I've had really close political contacts that I called on a regular basis, like weekly or even. Back when I was involved in one of the traditional organizations. The traditional I was I was a. Left com for. 5 or 10 years. So this is not really going to be like a podcast where. We have like a. You know all this structure? It's going to be totally. Anarchic to use the word abusively. That's why I'm going to call it a rant cast, because it's going to be me ranting. And hopefully. The other folks like me, isolated maybe not living. Directly next to or in a big city, I mean the area I come from, there's like. 7 million people. In this little geographic area, but I guess they're just all dispersed because. The closest city with over you know. 506 hundred 700,000 people is about an. Hour away from me.
So if you can.
Relate tune on in. Welcome, this is going to be. Post proletariat rank cast episode one. I can't even man. I've had enough of these. What is this? It's going down people. I mean this guy. What the **** is his name? Oh God angry heavy metal music.
Body person goes and punches them in the face and organize alright once again.
It's the it's going down podcast. We have a very special.
That guy, whatever this guy's name is, he can barely even think for himself. I mean, I just heard. The Chief of crime thing came on. A week ago, on their podcast or whatever the **** and. You know it was just given his schmiel, his personal ideology and this guy was like eating it up and then trying. To quit back. With these like witty remarks that would let people know he was paying attention and that he understood when he really, it's pretty clear he didn't. Completely have a grasp on. You know, really, like the theoretical underpinnings of what the. Crime Sink chief was getting. At yeah yeah. And so today I turn on the. Latest I GD cast to. Get an account of what happened at this quote UN quote Riot in Berkeley, CA. Richard Spencer everybody knows who Richard Spencer is. Was there to avoid getting punched in the face, you had another time. And you know, for like, apparently the cops didn't get involved in in these protests and counter protests and basically like all day, from what I can tell, just street fighting. There was a bunch of it's like a black block, a pretty big black block. And you know these people with red make America great caps on. And there's you know, nice clothes and ****. They just sat there and they were St. Fighting all day. And so I wanted to hear, you know, the scope of what this was about that wasn't from. The mainstream liberal media. So I turned on, you know, the underground leftist media. It's going down and downloaded this ****. Anyways, played start and I started listening and the dude just starts like regurgitating like these half fast talking points from the crime thing chief that he had on the week before. I mean like the dude. There's like, it just shows you how bleak. The theoretical. Foundations of the anti. ******* capitalist social relations movement. Is today. Like people, people. I mean, you can just tell that people have have don't read theory. They don't think about. **** and like a really truly profound way. And I mean, I get it. I get the aversion towards academics. I get the aversion towards like forcing yourself to read 30 or 40 pages of a book. When you can watch these ******* bloody brawls on YouTube and waste your time with that **** all day. But I mean it's really important to go back and. Like as far as I'm concerned, we're basically harvesting this this dead labor. This dead labor that's not even really done. It's not even capitalist labor really, because it was done, you know, by anarchists and communists. For anarchists and communists you know, as far as I'm concerned. That's as close to free labor as you get, but you know, we we, we're not taking advantage of this. This freaking. These libraries full library is full of ideas that anarchists and Communists have left us for hundreds of years now. 200 years even maybe. And instead we just sort of like keep, keep, uh. Keep in line really. I mean like stay in our little bubbles. You know? It seems like the sort of atomized individualist. You know thing that you know the whole what I think the gracious and a lot of the like student Trotskyists will call cultural hegemony where you know everybody's so atomized and we only think about things in terms of how they affect us. On like a minute to minute basis and you know all the identity politics stuff. The death of the old workers movement. Yeah, I'm just ranting. Now but yeah. The point I was trying to make is that instead of. You know, putting on your thinking cap and sitting there and freaking. Squeezing your eyebrows together and *******. Really just thinking man. Just sitting there and thinking and thinking and thinking about something and thinking about it and thinking about it some more until it starts making sense to you. Or, you know, if it's old stuff instead of new stuff rather than having something start making sense to you for the first time, have something that has made sense for you for 10 years. Have that become something new when you start to look at it from a different perspective. When you start to go beyond your own bias and open your mind up, and I mean you don't want to do too much of that, you don't want to like capitulate and just be lost in space when it comes to political theory. And you know, philosophy and these kind of ideas, but. I mean, it's really good to sort of like do like a stress test and when you're when you think you're like because I mean me personally, whenever whenever I find a new thing or a new idea that I'm like really, really attached to. It's only a matter of time before you know I start. Finding things that I actually don't like about it, so you know. Lately a lot of what I do is, instead of like becoming just so like enthralled with an idea where you're not even critical of it. Like you have to. Be instantly critical of everything I mean. You know and sort of being out there in the ocean of political theory without an anchor. It's scary, and there's some big rogue waves that you get hit with. Sometimes they flip you over and you know you're just drifting for a little while before someone comes along and. Sets you back but. I'm gonna start smoking so much ******* weed man. But yeah.
Damn, I'm just realizing like I can't. Actually keep the train of thought when it comes to discussion for more than like a minute. Saw them *** **** mushrooms, man. So yeah, what was I talking about? I was talking it's going down. Just talking about Trotskyists. Talking about crime, think and the crime. Think chief. I don't know, I just I'm. Getting really sick of. All this ******* content which you know gave brought me a lot of hope at first. You know, like I was seeing all this. Stuff since like I'd say like last, the end of last summer, all this stuff. All this content. All these people seem to be like taking their free time or taking off. You know their ****** jobs that don't pay them **** anyways and. You know actually getting involved with doing something. I guess doing **** you know God the board digests the board digests just freaked out. Doing something? No, I'm not activism. But yeah, you know, actually instead of just like. Going to shows and complaining. Basically, is what I think average people do, or go go to. Bars and complain, I mean. You know that was getting really old like 10 years ******* old. And now I feel like you know your average person who's critical of. The status quo actually. Tends to act on it. You know. Like maybe two years ago that was just posting **** online, but. Now, I really feel like. I don't know, just just like the. Meta has changed the whole. The whole game has changed. I mean, you can just feel it. Like being someone who was involved in politics because of, you know just friends and family going back. I mean even to like the 90s. That's how far back. And remembering what things were like in the 90s, remembering what things were like in the 2000s, the early 2000s. It's a total. There's definitely. I don't want to say it's a total shift or like a paradigm shift, but things like people. There's not the just oblivious *******. I don't care about this. Well there is, but what am I trying to say? I guess it's something like I hate. I hate using these words like zeitgeist and consciousness because they're totally. Idealistic and just not founded in material reality but. You know it's like peoples political thought. The quality of it has markedly improved, and I mean. I'm not sure if we can really say quality. There's definitely the quantity thing too. I mean that you know things ebb and flow, but it's really like the intensity or. The complexity, I mean like even the thing that really holds me back from saying quality is because there's so much **** out there, I mean. It's quality in a way compared to, you know whatever was coming out in the 90s. But it's I mean or or you can. You can take the example of like the right. You know what? How, what do you call it when they also? Increase you know their efforts and their sort of, you know, history is moving faster. That's a good way to put it. I've heard a few people say that you know, it's definitely. It's like a meme. The trope, but it's true. It feels like. History is definitely moving faster. Yeah, and like in part of history, moving faster is we're going to have stuff like. These street fights that get posted on social media. It's like you know what it is. This is like the anarchist. I'm not even say anarchist like if if I'm in Frank about it. It's the leftist Worldstarhiphop. I mean, you go to one of these riots, quote UN quote riots. Like you know, you're never like well. At least not in these kind of numbers like I'll be ******* damned if 3 or 4000 you know college kids show up in the South or the Midwest at one of these Black Lives Matter protests that turned into a riot. You know that kind of right? It wasn't that kind of a riot, but quote UN quote, right? These ******* riots. You know all these little lefties, these riots, these leftists, these lefties they go to these riots. They're college kids mostly. I mean, I should stop generalizing. I don't know who the **** was there because they were wearing ******* black masks and ****. Which obviously is the. Point, but the. Black Block I mean. When is when the **** did anyone see a black block? That big at like you know. A fight for 15 rally and like I'm not. I'm not about reformist campaigns. I'm not like sitting here like, yeah, make our lives better under capitalism giving more money. Raise my minimum wage, but like I mean these are real people who are like really workers really struggling, you know really? Sympathize and the economic with the economic, the economic issues. They really hit home with these people and you know and those kind of struggles just purely based on economics and purely based on capitalist social relations. Our ideas they get like bonus points. I mean like you go to a struggle like that and like the things that you're saying, it's not just you know political determinism. It's not just you know young, passionate romantic idealism. It's none of that stuff. It's like. It's something completely different. Anyone who's been involved in a mass struggle that you know, like that's really just workers with very little sort of like. I don't know how to say ulterior political motives in terms of like groups and parties and ideologies and stuff. It's a totally different experience, I mean. The conversations you have with people it's much more genuine. That's the way I would put it. It's much more. It feels more real, you know. I mean, these are the kind of actions that we need to be doing. I mean not not full steam. OK, let me take that back, I'm not. I'm not giving a full endorsement of these kind of actions, but what I'm saying is if we can get 3 or 4000 militant ask young people together, why not do it in in a better sort of like tactical way? I mean why? Why are we just street fighting? Why are we not trying to accomplish things? I mean, you know I've having been involved with like this. You know the Occupy stuff before it was even occupy. Like when when I think it probably goes back to early to mid 2000s in the US, but. Occupation started and probably has some residual carryover from France. You know going way back to the late 60s, but I definitely remember you know a lot of **** happening in France, probably around 2000. Six around the. They tried to when they were trying to cut the working week, or sorry when they're trying to make the working week. Longer they're trying to raise the time that people were required to go to work to have full time pay in France and they were trying to come down on students for a lot of **** too. And you know there was a lot of occupations going on in France. At the time, and I think some of that definitely sort. Of like Exchange carried over the sea and came over. You know the Atlantic Ocean here to the United States and people were all about these occupations, and then by the boom by the Bing in 2011, you know we had this, you know the whole. Occupy movement in the United States, which was. Influenced by a bunch of things, Arab Spring indignados what's happening in Greece? You know, I think occupations. Like people are so fast to write. Occupations off, but I think that they have a lot of potential when they're massive struggles, I mean, or in other cases, like when they're just like super confrontational. I mean, having been. Embarrassingly enough, I was the chief of the ******* occupy in my area. I helped, you know, get it going off the ground. You know? It's hard to rehash and all that ****, but like from what I remember, a lot of them were not confrontational. A lot of them were like trying to be friendly with the police, trying to be friendly with their city councils like all the ******* bureaucratic capitalist officials that. Always try to intervene in these kind of things and you know there wasn't that like stick it to the man element except in some of the most. No, I don't know how to. Say how to describe some of the. Most unified maybe would be a good way. Some of the most unified camps in terms of political ideology like Berkeley for example. During Occupy, you saw, you know the Oakland I think Berkeley near Oakland, the Oakland the Berkeley occupies were super militant. They were super. They were, they seemed socialists. I want to say like trots, or there's definitely an insurrectionist anarchist element to it. Other other lefties involved other socialists and commies and anarchists and stuff and. You know we need that kind of thing at different types of actions, like I'll shut the **** **, but that's basically my point like we need. We need three 4000 strong. At events that are not just about beating up people who are wearing make America great hats. You know, yeah. And I'm laughing. Because I just remembered like, uh, and uh, it's going down podcast the host. I don't even know who he is man, but the dude. I mean he's alright. I'm not trying to not. I'm not picking on him at all. I kind. Of like him but. I would just describe it. I mean, I don't want to use the word infantile juvenile, it's just you can tell like. It just sounds like a baby, but a revolutionary baby. But he's like we got to keep training man. We got to keep. We got to keep going to Krav Maga man. We got to buy more Israeli commando gear man. Like that kind. Of whole. Hold on, let me just find it I'll I'll play this.
Well, it's pretty crazy with what they go on to describe. They were almost basically killed punching.
Basically kill, basically kill.
They took them, tried to slam their head down into the concrete into the rocks.
Basically American history.
And you know, it's pretty sobering to hear their analysis. What they said at the end of the day. I mean, we need to continue to get serious. We have to continue to take training seriously.
We gotta, we gotta stop, we gotta, we gotta get the rifles, got it we gotta join.
We've got to step up our tactics.
The redneck, I mean it's just *******. It's too much man. Like if you, if you haven't been *** **** taking martial arts since age. *****, you're a ******* idiot or your parents are ******* idiots. I mean the world that we live in today. The amount of people that are sexually harassed or sexually assaulted or worse. And you don't know how to ******* defend yourself in this world in 2017. I mean get the **** out of here. What have you been doing since you were like 6 years old? Seriously, I mean they offered you wrestling in middle school. You know you could. I mean, there's a way like if you are over the age. Of 14 and you have not seriously looked into. Where you have not spent a year or two of your life training some kind of a self-defense, some kind of a martial arts, then you're ******* up. I mean, this **** has nothing to do with communism, anarchism, fascism, none of that. Socialism has something to do with ideology, political. Ideas you know philosophy, none of that ****. It's like we live in capitalism. There are crazy sick. Completely non empathetic. ******* individuals out there, and you bump into them on a regular basis if you don't have any ******* money and you gotta. Learn how to throw them off boy. Damn, I mean what the ****? We don't need to continue draining and blah blah blah. That **** is ridiculous. I mean, what are we gonna do? Start a ******* army like. The International Brigades because of ******* Donald Trump seriously. No, no man, the correct the correct answer to Trump is not to start, you know the American version of you know the freaking National Liberation fronts that we've seen in South America for the past 40 years. Like, no, we don't need to run off into the mountains and start a guerrilla army against Donald Trump like. Just learn how to fight like I mean. Honestly man, this **** is kind of ridiculous. Because if you're. A poor person and you really came up in like the hood, like the ghetto. Like you know the hood hood. I mean you've got your *** beat. I mean there's two types of people like. In terms of like this **** in the hood like you either got your *** beat or you learned how to beat some *** occasionally. I mean, you know you're either the kind of person and this does exist. I mean, it's terrible. There's people who, just like you know, lose their first fight, lose their second fight, and just like they're broken, like animals like just completely, thoroughly domesticated. And then. You just completely docile and submissive as well. I mean, you see this in. People all the time. You know, and there's I'm not. I mean, there's all this crap that contributes to that. I get it. I'm not trying to sound. Not trying to make this into like you know some kind. Of a warrior. Aesthetic, then some kind of like blah blah blah, because that's exactly what they're doing, I mean. Violence is nothing to glorify, you know, but it's necessary sometimes. And I'm not saying that. As you know, I know it's a cliche. But that's not. That's not what's what. What caused me to say that you know, like when I say it's necessary I mean like. You're in a situation where it's like the fourth time this week that this ******* bully has tried to take your lunch money from you, and you know, like your parents are telling you we're not going to give you money anymore if you. Keep losing it. You can just eat when you get home and you are sick of getting beat up and you're ******* hungry and you're embarrassed and. That's the kind of necessary I'm talking about. You know where you where. You sort of. Just go blind with rage and you know throw all your energy into the end of your ******* knuckles and. Fight for your dignity, that's necessity. You know what I mean, what these kids are doing in Berkeley? What you know all this **** that's getting romanticized by crime scene and it's going down. And you know, going back to we can go back even earlier than inauguration. You know when. When it's funny, you know. Like before the inauguration, the crime thing Chief. He was like.
He was like, yeah, we got to get everybody out there everybody's got to get out there we got to stop Trump.
We gotta send a message internationally. We gotta shut this **** down ******* revolution ******* light all the dumpsters and trash cans ******* smash all the windows smashy Smashy. And then, like. Two weeks later, after everybody gets ******* arrested and they hit him with like massive. Penalties felonies like we're talking like 8 years in prison and **** for some of these charges. The ******* crime thing chief is like Oh yeah, we need to. You know he's like he's like backstepping and like, oh man, the legal struggle now and blah blah like what the **** like? Why were you advocating? This kind of crap back then and now it's just ridiculous like. It's time to get serious like in my opinion, you know it's time to start considering extra legal means. You know, like there was a time back in the day if. You went back. To like Spain in the 20s. Where people were robbing banks left and right to get the money to. I mean, if you're like me and you're struggling and like I mean ****, man. I want to see 4000 people flash mob, grab a ******* bank. We don't need 4000 people trying to punch every Richard Spencer goon in Berkeley, CA in the face. We need 4000 people to ******* flash mob rob the ******* Bank of America headquarters. Destroy all the ******* credit now. I don't know, but. You know? I'm not trying to delegitimize violence as a tactic. Not doing that at all. I'm just saying that like street fighting literally accomplishes nothing if you wanna fight. Become MMA fighter train MMA. Go to a. And like to really just drive this point home. Old girl Luis, who got punched square in the ******* face when the dude ran at you from like 10 yards away with the punch lined it up from his ******* hip. You know he threw that thing from grandma's house and you're looking? Adam, yeah, you should probably go train some MMA for real and like I know I sound probably a little contradictory and hypocritical. Hypocritical now because I'm just getting on to. It's going down. People for you know, making fun of telling people to train but it's just common sense. You shouldn't have to get start a ******* podcast. You know and be and request donations from a bunch of. Poor people. On the regular, you know. To tell people that. They need to learn how to fight. Like and like I I mean I know people can tell this is something I'm passionate about. I have. I've been doing martial arts since I was a kid. You know, I started with Taekwondo and karate when I became adult, I moved into grappling. I did wrestling and judo. Did some kickboxing. I'm a I'm a huge fan of mixed martial arts. I'm a huge fan of Thai kickboxing, Thai boxing. So I like I don't want to give anyone the wrong impression. This is definitely it's topic that I'm very passionate about. I was a gym rat for a good two years of my life before, you know? Realizing the pitfalls of that, but I just think it's ridiculous you know like and a lot of people would say, you know we were defending ourselves. They attacked us, you know the freaking we felt the breeze and then they charged us and oh God they came out but you put yourself in a position where you know. You knew exactly what type of violence was likely to happen, and then when it happened you act surprised like. These are not the type of people that I want next to me in a ******* trench. If the **** ever really did hit the fan, you know, I mean that that's the opposite of what I want. I need people that are like have massive situational awareness seriously, finely tuned, finely honed situational awareness. It's where when they when somebody says you know. Hey, you want to go throw yourself, uh? Into a series of, you know, bloody brawls all day long on our ******* only day off on the weekend, you know, do we risk the hospital bills? I might not have ******* insurance, you know, situational awareness. This is ******* stupid. It's dumb, it's dumb and you know, I mean, I feel really bad. For her and also her partner and everybody else who was there who got who got beat up because there was some people who really got bloody bloodied up. And I saw. I did see the footage of the fight on on a new show that I actually download. And take home because I do not have Internet at the house. Yeah, I saw the fight and I mean the there's a lot of people there who know what they're doing. I saw I saw some knees from the clinch that would have been actually illegal even in the UFC. You know you can't throw knees to the face of a grounded opponent consecutively. Or actually I don't think you can throw even one if both of the opponents, knees or feet are on the ground. UM? So yeah, I mean there's some really grimy **** that I saw. I did see a lot of just like street fighting. I wouldn't be surprised if people were ******* kicking each other in the nuts and gouging or the vaginas and gouging each other's eyes out and. Biting each other. I'm sure that kind of thing was happening too. I'm sure I saw. Actually I saw a picture of a knife. I hope nobody got cut up. That's really ****** **. That's some really dangerous stuff. When you pull out the knife, you know it's not too long before someone gets killed. So I mean it's it's serious **** and I and I and I empathize with. Everyone who got injured I know what it's like to be in that position. I know what it feels like to go home with a headache to be sore the next morning, you know to have a black eye. I get it. UM? You know, but. I mean the reality of it is I I heard a couple of things you. Know like she said that. She had thrown her hands up to defend the punch, and I mean I've watched the video a couple of Times Now. That you know no, no such thing happened initially. You know, unfortunately, and I I think I, I mean. What's really telling is when she's talking about it and she says, you know she got she. You know, she's? I guess she didn't have much experience in fights. Which is, you know, she's really lucky she's. Had to deal with conflict or being hit in the head like that. That's a luxury. I'm definitely envious of, but. Yeah, I mean she didn't put her hands up in time even though she had a lot of time to put her hands up. If I were her, I probably would have shot for a double leg takedown. I might have faked a jab or something and shot for the double leg takedown, which you know just. You got to finish off, you gotta know. How to fight? You know, and yeah, definitely, definitely if you're that person. If you're this Louise person and you know, like my sympathies are going out to you and all the people who you knew who got injured there. But you guys definitely need to get this. You know it's going down is right about you guys. You need to get into Jack. For sure. So yeah. Moving on from, you know, like the. Gossip type stuff. Excuse me I think it's important to actually have a discussion about. You know like a. Dance discussion with a lot of. Theory basically about what antifascism is, the history of it. You know all that kind of stuff? I don't hear anybody you know. There's a number of people who have been critical of the anti fascists that have come to prominence in the United States. Over the past six months to a year, I guess I mean that you know, we've always had this little anti fascist quote UN quote movement that's attached itself to the other broad based social movements that we see in the United States. You know, like I can. I mean everybody talks about Seattle. I was. I wasn't like a baby back then. You know, I was. I was old enough to be politically aware and to be conscious of my surroundings and you know, things like the government and what they're teaching me in social studies. But in 1999 I was way too young. To do any serious revolutionary politics yet? Maybe not, maybe not too young. I'm not sure. I don't want to be generational list, I just wasn't there yet personally at. That age and the point is I remember you know that's probably the first time I saw quote, UN quote American, anti fascist. In in the popular media, maybe even in my life, for the first time I just remember. You know? These dudes smashing windows. Spray painting anarchist symbols and I think. That you have to. In terms of American anti fascism, it takes a lot of cues from. Anti fascism from another country that I'm familiar with. I have a lot of family there and that's Germany Deutschland. The German anti fascists I feel like started in the late 70s, early 80s. You know there is a lot more substance there. I mean, obviously Germany was the country that was at the time split in two half of it was quote UN quote. Well, not even say that half of it was the German Democratic Republic and they were Stalinist state capitalist and the other half were, you know free market. You know, it's like the puppet state the ally set. Up and so like I mean, you still had a lot of people in the late 70s, early 80s, who were basically. You know undercover Nazis undercover Nazi sympathizers. Undercover extreme right wingers people. Who had been forced to hide since the war but. We're still very clearly still, you know, active in the government and in the social sphere in Germany. And I mean, there's just a lot more there. There was a lot more there for people to actually, you know, have a mobilization called anti fascist because there was actually fascist there was, I mean elements of the state were still. You know parts former former parts of the fascist apparatus that the Nazis started. So there's like actual substance there, like when they when those Germans when those anti fascists anarchists, whoever else leftists, when they called themselves anti fascists, they were actually. Fighting fascists. You know there's never been like in the America in America there's never been a serious fascist threat to the like the ruling bourgeois order. I mean, the bourgeois, the. Flirted with it in the 30s, I mean like FDR. It's hard to separate. His ruling style from a lot of. You know the the. The fascism that was popular in the 20s and 30s. In Europe. But if you go even deeper than that, I think a lot of people know now about this thing called the White House plot. Where are really popular, general and veteran from World War One? Was approached by special interests in big business. I mean, I think it was even like Goldman Sachs or what's that? Other one, Jay? I don't even *******. Know, but so all these you. Know these these big. Capitalists approached this really popular veteran who was like outspoken and tried and basically tried to get him to back. A situation where he would become, you know, a fascist dictator. Basically in the United States and one of the main backers of this whole plot was. George Bush's Depending on which one father or grandfather Prescott Bush? So yeah, I mean if if you really want to talk about Fascism, American fascism, I think. to have to talk about an American fascism with any kind that. It's it poses any kind of serious threat to. The factions of the bourgeoisie that are already in power, you know, like you have to go back to the 20s and 30s in the United States, and so just to Fast forward. I think that the Americans. Then the anti fascist movement in the United States since the 90s took a lot of cues from that German. I mean, just like stylistically aesthetically, even down to the like the tactics, the way that people are marching, and the things that they're saying when they're marching. You know that I think that comes from Germany in the in the early 80s. But you know, like I said, like. Germany, Germany had a reason for that. We've we've. I mean, there's not, there's no fascists here, really. I mean, you don't. See like all right? I've I've I'm I'm very familiar with Turkish politics. I really love Turkey. I love the Turkish people I love. Turkish music, Turkish food. Everything about Turkey is great except for the *******. Terrible social conditions. They're living in right now and all that stuff, but. You know Turkey is a place where they actually have a fascist party, openly fascist party. The MFA, and I think that's what it's called and they, you know, consistently pull high in the government. They get second and third place. In the Parliament, the parliamentary elections. That's fascism. I mean like if they were to have an anti fascist movement in Turkey, you know, I wouldn't necessarily agree with it politically, in a principled way. But all I'm saying is at least there would be like the substance for that. For that to take place. I mean, you get it. If I mean look at what Erdogan just did he. Basically got rid of democracy. There, you know. Well, so it's a little bit more complicated than that. What I mean to say is he got. He got rid of the system of democracy, where there was checks and balances between the different branches of government. It seems like it's still. I mean, you have to consider it a democracy. It's like a textbook democracy, but. The executive. It's kind of like actually, if you think about it. Very similar things have been happening everywhere in the world, including the United States, I mean. With Bush I guess would be even Clinton maybe before. I mean the these these presidential executives. I know that Presidents weren't doing it until the first world wars, but these these executive orders you know and sort of everything going on with the judiciary. And all the games that the legislators are playing and all this stuff. I mean, this is how democracy works. This is democracy. This show me what democracy looks like. Looks like this. And some people want to call it fascism, but I mean we don't have fascists in the United States, they do in Turkey like there's people who are like. Hi, I'm a fascist, you know. Hi I'm a fascist sympathizer, you know. Hi, I'm a member of the Fascist party and it's a massive party. When I say massive, I don't mean that like the slang term. I mean like there are masses. Of people working people too involved in these parties, so that's like that's fascism. Like with substance you know and for you to say, OK, I'm anti fascist and that. Kind of a political climate. It makes sense, but we're not like we're not there in the United States. We're we're never going to be there in the United States, it seems like the American ruling class decided a long time ago that. Like overt power like that, like a fascist dictator is just not necessary. I mean, look how easy they are. How how easy of a time they're having running everything without with with, you know like what's the saying? I don't know who the **** said this. Yeah, but it's a great quote I I think about it often the best slave or the greatest slave is the one who thinks they're free. And like for me, it just speaks volumes, especially about ideology, because if you get ******* brainwashed and they got the bourgeois mind control on you. You know, you think you're like you're on your little ******* phone and your Facebook and like you know. Listen to Katy Perry and ******* going to the club every Friday and you know, forgetting about the long *** work week you had and all. That **** and drinking away your problems. You know we got we got all the you know The Walking Dead and empire and got all these TV shows they got to watch my shows. All this stuff to just pacify us and distract us and. Why would we need fascism? I mean. Why would? Why would they sacrifice the situation that they have now? You know? They wouldn't. Anyway, moving on the broader point that I'm trying. To make is. Anti fascism, like when when did it start? When did it become part of you know anarchist tradition and. I mean, for me and a lot of other people that I've talked to who are familiar with the issues, I think you have to go back to Spain, I mean. There's no other. It's almost unavoidable. You have to go back to Spain. You have to go back to Spain in the. 20s and 30s. And really, once you get there, if you read, you know two or three four books about this, or even more. I mean, watch documentaries. Sponge up as much information as you can about these things when you can while you can. And if you do that, I mean you would find out like OK, so there's this anti fascist movement and. In the 30s, you know you had you had. You know what? Everybody today just calls the Francoist rebels, but really when you break it down there was a couple of different groups. You had the falangi I think I'm pronouncing that right. Who were like straight up like fascists, like social fascists like they were like, they were like fascist social revolutionaries. Basically like they thought. But their idea was that fascism was this whole new thing and they were going to ride this international wave of fascism and to change the world. And you know. All this **** harkening back to like the Roman Empire. And the Roman Republic before that. So yeah, I mean it is a multifaceted movement. I mean the Franco is like Franco himself was really just like sort of like a wholesome. He's like Mike Huckabee. You know he's like Mike Huckabee or like Rick Santorum. I mean, Franco was not this *******. You know, like. He he wasn't even as as brash and loud and ******* obnoxious as Donald Trump is. You know, not even close. I mean the guy like. He was he was like writing romantic drama films. Before the war broke out, I mean like literally he wrote a romantic drama. Which I think was actually popular in Europe or Spain at the time. So yeah, I mean the guy was just. Like this right far. Right wing Christian basically and was really smart and tied together. You know like the monarchists were the third. The monarchists, the Phalangists and the and the Franco. I mean these three. They they came together and formed a coalition. So you had, like Christians, you had like ideological. Like social fascists and you had. The Francoists and the monarchists. And the nationalists. They're all nationalists. That was the one thing you know. They all believed in like patriarchy, not patriarchy. I'm sure they believe they definitely believe in patriarchy. I mean that was. That much is clear, but I like to say patriotism. Yeah, I mean so you have this broad. Fascist alliance that really didn't come to a tee until the war started and. I think that there's no. I mean it's unavoidable. You have to see the anti fascist actions of the Spanish revolutionaries who opposed Franco. As the death knell. Of the revolution, I mean. Yeah, like you have to understand how antifascism immediately tied something like one of the most I mean other than the Russian Revolution, the Paris Commune, there's Shanghai Commune. I mean you have the Spanish Civil War. Everybody talks about the Spanish Civil War. You know, almost 100 years later, everybody still talks about. The collectives and all the things that happened there. But it's like people forgot that the. Anti fascist struggle is what really. Led to the defeat. Of the anarchist revolution of the of the communist revolution, which was authoritarian and not anything we should uphold, but still worth mentioning that there was definitely a communist revolution happening. And the main thing the main thing to remember about. Anti fascist struggle and the example of Spain. And all this stuff I'm talking about is. How how antifascist struggle ties, anarchists and communists? Pro revolutionaries. To the state to the defense of the state. I mean, anti fascism is the defense of the state. Which is. Totally contradictory. Obviously, for some Communists and you know, Marxists and plenty of socialists might not seem contradictory during the Spanish war. The Spanish Civil War, the Spanish Revolution. It wasn't contradictory for them. One of the first things that the Republican government did was. Force the urban collectives into a situation you know, like the factories and the people producing a lot of critical things like munitions for the for the war. They forced them into a situation where the collectives and cooperatives that had formed. Especially in Catalonia. Had to follow the directives of the Republican government of the of the you know basically Stalinists. At first they weren't overtly salonist, but. Probably about a year and. 1/2 into the war. They the Stalinists really took control. And then the maydays happened and like. They really really took control, but. Yeah, I mean the whole antifascist struggle is like. Comes from Spain in the 30s and it comes from the fact that the anarchists and Socialists and communists of the time. You know, had had it on their agenda to. ******* crush the monarchy and win a Liberal Democratic. State because that was the thing back then. You know everybody. People ignored what Karl Marx wrote. You know, I've been getting into this with some people, some comrades through. You know just a discussion that I've been having for a couple of months now, but. You know Marx. After his experiences of the first wave of revolutions in Europe following the publication of the Communist Revolution, I meant sorry the Communist manifesto. And then you know the events of the early 1870s, where you have the Paris Commune. The failure of those. Both the Paris Commune and the first wave of revolutions that happened and Karl Marx. After 1871, really went back to the books and. I hate to make this early late marks distinction, but I mean after 1871 you can tell that he was. Becoming more. Exploratory, more open minded, less rigid and one of the things that he was corresponding with folks about. They were anarchists who became Mensheviks and some of them even opposed the revolution. By the time that it happened in 1917, but I'm talking about maybe the early 1880s, Marx was writing like Russians and Germans, mainly Russians saying. You know you don't need. You don't need a massive proletariat. You don't need a liberal modern democratic state in order to establish communism. In order to seize the means of production, you know he gave the example of Pesit column. Like traditional, I guess you could. Call them. Or sort of just like ancient peasant communes, village communes where you know everything was still held in in in common common lands you know you see similar things like. All over Europe in the 16 hundreds 1700s, but they're still happening in Russia in the mid 1800s, and Marx was like, yeah, you don't need, you know he basically shot. UM? The whole Maoist Leninist argument to pieces before it even took took off before he even got off the ground, but no one really listened to him. And I mean he didn't really. Make himself super clear about this either. So yeah, I mean. You don't need a liberal, democratic modern democratic state. In order to have an anarchist or a communist, you know anti authoritarian communist revolution, you don't need it and it seems like today people. Still think that. You know they just cling to it. It's like there's liberals everywhere. People, people defend liberalism unconsciously, like sometimes I wonder if. They know what. Liberalism is if they know the history of liberalism. If they've read caught Hobbs lock, you know? Even Darwin, I mean. Basically, I mean the idea is that people are evil, you know which is something that I don't. I don't really believe the idea is that people are like ****** and nasty and nasty to each other. Just done based on like you know. Oh God, here we go. Human nature based on what this thing human nature that everybody always likes to. Bring into this. ******* human nature. So like. The people who. Really, you know, like the liberal Enlightenment thinkers, they thought that we were **** like we're evil we're corrupted and that we needed this body. This extraneous body to like, suppress US, suppresses evil in us to suppress these evil intentions that we have. Because if you don't have the state. If you don't. Have a ruling. Body if you don't have a king or a God, you know. But yeah, I mean get getting back to Spain the point I'm trying to make is the 2nd that the revolutionaries decided, hey, we're going to start this anti fascist struggle. It was the end of the revolution basically I mean. What ended up happening is they you know went and joined the armies and fought Franco and lost badly, like really badly. The effort that they gave, I mean like the descriptions that I've seen, is like people were taking picnics while pot shooting. At the nationalists so. Yeah, I mean you need. I'm not sure this is a whole discussion that needs to be had like in terms of the military tactics, what what? What went wrong in the Spanish Civil War and revolution? I tend to take the position without getting into all that ****. I tend to just default to the position that. More effort should have. Been spent on. Collectivizing basically I mean. I don't see why you need this marching army to go out and start invading. You know places? I mean I do. Get it. But I would have just focused on collectivizing. I mean if if if I had a choice at the time like like let's say I was a poor peasant who could have gone and fought in the army or stayed back and farmed and you know helped. Grow food and stuff for everybody. That's what I would have. Been doing I mean that. You know that is much more. Anarchistic or or socialistic or communistic in my opinion and grabbing a rifle and shooting at people I mean. You know, to change to change. My favorite, my favorite quote from Rubin the Soviet economist Isaac Rubin, who was killed by Stalin. He says that the material this is from. Where is this from? His theories, it's from his theories on Marx's essays of value. He says, the materialization of production relations doesn't come from habits. It comes from the from the eternal structure of of of the commodity economy, and then he has this great fetishism. He has this great quote. Fetishism is not only a phenomenon of social consciousness, but of social being. So based on that. Where fetishism is a result of social being? You know your daily. Reproduction of your means of subsistence. Fighting in the war is a lot less socialist or a lot less communists or anarchists than. You know a lot less than farming. I mean the changing. Not just your habits, but your social being, and I think that you know from what I've read, there's a good portion of that happening during the social revolution. The Spanish revolution. The social revolution in Spain, but. You know, **** all that stuff. Anti fascism. Let's go shoot some ******* fascists. You know, but but it didn't work. It fails, and I guess that's what some people today they're like. Well, it failed because there weren't enough people involved with anti fascism, but that's the trap. I mean that is the essence of the trap right there, that that is the trap, that's how they. They trick you into thinking that you need to defend something that's totally oppressive and that we we should. I mean, we do we stand against it on principle? If you're if you call yourself an anarchist, or you know communists. I'm not going to get into like the people who call themselves Marxists and socialists. But if you're an anarchist. If you identify as an anarchist, if you identify as a communist, then you have no business ******* around with the. With the state. Period I mean like it didn't matter if you read Bakunin, it doesn't matter. It matter if you read Marx it's clear like smash the ******* state. And that's what we need to do, and so I don't. It just confuses me how you have. At the same time, some of the most like enlightened looked up to like revered anarchists from history in the Spanish Civil War and revolution. But they're the same anarchists who. In many cases, like sold out joined the government put all their. Put all their chickens in one basket, put all their whatever their eggs in one basket you know. And defended the Liberal Democratic state. And that led to their demise. I mean, it's a trap, you know, come defend the Republic like let's just take. What country today like? I mean any country you can take Greece? You can take Turkey. You can take the United States. You can take Brazil. I mean, just imagine a situation where. I'm just going to. Stick with the United States. Like imagine a situation where. Things over the next 10-15 years. Just keep getting more and more polarized and between the far right and the far left there's just more and more reprisals between them. And you know very similar situation to what we've seen in past historical events. Just imagine like. Basically, it'd be something like. You know, we'd be on this verge of like. Some massive thing, either revolution or civil war, some kind of a thing. And you know, we have the social revolutionaries on one side and you have like the nationalists and the fascists and everybody else on. The other side. And then on the in between you're gonna have somebody like Obama or Bernie Sanders and they're going to be like appealing to us. You know to. To calm down and like enter and talks with them. And like get things. Back to the way that they were. Get get a government functioning again and start elections again and all this ****. And what all it is is it's just a like a it's it's a stopgap. It's the last it's the it's the last hope of the bourgeoisie. For maintaining the grip on state power and you know a lot of other. Kinds of power because of that. So I mean, just imagine that just imagine, just imagine you're this revolutionary anarchist who. You know, is about to. Finally, it's the dawn of the revolution, and Obama comes on and he's like, Nah, you need to join this army and help me defend the government. I mean how ******* ludicrous would that sound yet? That's pretty much exactly what happened in Spain and the anarchists. And the communists were like, yeah, you're actually right. We should defend this Republic. We should defend Obama. You know we need to defend Joe Biden. You know we need to defend Clinton. Bill Clinton. You know, if if these people, if the fascists you know blah blah blah blah, we're screwed. No, not really, we're screwed if we keep on being poor people, we're screwed no matter what. So yeah, I just think anti fascism is a trap. It's a big *** trap. And yeah, I mean that's. This is why we're calling it a. Rant cast. I hope that was intelligible. Part of the reason why I'm doing this podcast is to be able to. You know, regurgitate these talking points in a more intelligible. Way that people can, you know, pick up a lot easier. I mean, I talk about these kind of things a lot, and I say my effectiveness is like less than 50%. I mean half of the **** that I say to people sticks. And that's that's if I'm being really optimistic, but so. Sorry for the. Rant, what I should do? Actually what I should do? Real quick if you guys hopefully don't mind if you do mind just ******* skip through this **** but. There is a. Piece from a left communist group called the Law that was were they German? I think they were they're. Either German, French, or I think they're French. I think they were French, but they were active. It is this left column group active in the 30s and I'm not. I can't, I'm not too familiar with the history of the group, but they put out some really good **** during that period, and one of the things that I always go back to is they. Have a pamphlet. From Bilon #36, which was was written in October.
Of 1936, so that would be four or five months after. The revolution broke out, but it's called the order of the day. Don't betray. So the thing about this piece is like I said, it was came out in 36 November 36, so this was before the. Maydays this was. Before you know a lot of the anarchists and Communists had agreed to join. The Republican government and stuff like that, and it's just prophetic. It's actually scary. How prophetic it was, how? How much clarity and soberness that these comrades had in the midst of all the ****. That was going on. And I think it's something that we should really strive to replicate as revolutionaries in this modern period that you know that clarity that soberness. That they had that ability to see directly in front of their faces. They weren't being pessimists or optimists, they were just looking straight. OK yeah, so let me just read. This ****. The order of the day don't betray our position can be utterly destroyed by a single sentence which. That when the Spanish workers are struggling resolutely against the fascist attack fighting like lions against an enemy which gets its arms and ammunition from Hitler. And Mussolini was the complicity of Blum and Eden. When they are making barricades out of their own bodies to stop the advance of the fascist hordes when in every country there are hundreds and thousands of workers who are ready to join the battlefront. Their position only serves to demoralize the ranks. Of the fighters. Facilitates the advance of the fascist enemy and fragments the fronts where the workers are contesting every inch of the ground with Franco, beyond whom stands the coalition of international fascists. However, this doesn't constitute an argument, and even if it's able to get a bigger hearing because of its demagogic appeal than that found by our position, this doesn't mean it expresses a genuine solidarity with the Spanish workers it represents. In short, nothing but one more twist and the rope used to bind up the proletariat before turning it over. To the forces who are leading the workers, their institutions and class to the. Let us say again that in a discussion between different currents who claim to be working for the liberation of the workers from the capitalist yoke, it is not a question of engaging in a polemical battle aimed at alienating and silencing ones adversary. In his arguments it is a question of presenting political positions and mobilizing those forces that can shape the struggle for the defense. In the victory of the working class against the capitalist enemy. Is only on this terrain. The political diversions can correspond to the interests of the workers in Spain and in every other country only on this front can the energies of the working class be concentrated. On the barricades of defense and victory. And yeah, I'm just going to skip around a. Little bit because couple. 1000 words so I don't want to read the. Whole thing but. Here's the good part. What is happening today is the most tragic confirmation of. Our political ideology. Much more than in the intermediate situation, the position of the working class in decisive moments. Can only be savaged on the basis of class positions. Anything else can only lead to the worst possible massacre of the workers. The slightest compromise brings with it, in exchange for illusions about having something. Having gotten something out of the struggle. The slightest compromise brings with it the dismal certainty that the enemy has penetrated the ranks of the workers and is methodically preparing for their downfall. Yes, we have taken up. A firm, unshaken unshakeable decision concerning the events in Spain. At no price under no circumstances will we fall into the trap that is being laid for us. Our reply to the enemy who calls us to arms to fight against fascism is to proclaim the necessity to struggle against our own. The millions of workers who fell and the war of 1914 to 1918 believe that they were fighting in order to uproot the main obstacle, preventing the emancipation of the working class. Whether this was Zarin, ISM excuse me, professionalism, or sharism. But in reality. They fell in order to safeguard the capitalist system and their corpses on both sides built by a macabre barricade. The barricade of the bourgeoisie against the revolutionary onslaught of the masses. We will never forget this tragic lesson, and our watchword will be to strike against each sector of capitalism and order to undermine the system. Throughout the world. So for them they the memory of World War. One is very clear and they remember how it was the you know the war for democracy, the war against fascism. Basically the war against you know. Despotism dictatorship that's what? Well that this is the rhetoric that. You know was fed to the workers before World War One and you know they. They call they call World War 1A macabre barricade against the revolutionary onslaught of the proletariat. You know, so they see like they really see it as a floodgate and the flood the floodgate. The floodgate is closed when precisely when the workers are at. That very moment in. History, whether about to bust out of it. So let's see here. Just kind of picking up brand spots. They say the lesson of 1914 has taught us that under no pretext can we collaborate with the bourgeoisie. Against the alluring idea of penetrating the capitalist state in order to work within it. Or to block an attack by the forces of reaction, the millions of workers who fell in the struggle for liberation are proof that collaboration with the bourgeoisie means the imprisonment and ruin of the workers. It means delivering the workers into the hands. Of the enemy. And what of the events in Spain? What remains of the tragic lessons of? War One. Some people begin to talk about the emergence of a revolutionary situation, only to add immediately that to unleash class, struggle to attack the capitalist state, to destroy it, and set up proletarian power. All this would not be in the interests of the workers, but rather the fascist aggressors. One thing. Or the other is true, either a revolutionary situation does exist and you have to fight against capitalism or it doesn't. If the latter is the case, then to speak of revolution to the workers. When unfortunately what is on the agenda can only be a defense of partial gains, is to hurl the masses into an abyss where they will be slaughtered. The workers. Believe that they are fighting for socialism. Of course they do. It couldn't be, otherwise it was the same in World War One. But it is the task of the revolutionary militants to go among the workers and say that the road to socialism is the one which leads to the destruction of the capitalist regime or the one which leads to the imprisonment of workers within that regime. So yeah, I mean, this is ******* fire man. This is fine, you know they they. They talk about how you know they're they. They really. Obviously you know. I think something like 80 million people died in World War One and. You know they bring up this point that the workers believed that they were going to fight for socialism and they did. I mean, if you know anything about. World War One it was. German social democracy that betrayed the German Revolution and drew Germany into that conflict. You know, probably a lot of a lot of commenters today. 100 years later, look back and say that was where the first great. Proletarian Wave was defeated when Germany, when the Revolution and Russia didn't spread to Germany the social revolution. Well it did and. It failed because they got tricked into fighting to protect the state, and I mean, that's *******. I love this, I mean. When they say. Is your is your goal? To unleash class struggle attack the capitalist state, destroy and set up a proletarian revolution, proletarian power. You know is. Is do you want it or not? Basically like they're asking, are we here to fight anarchists or you know anti authoritarian communist revolution? Yes no. Or are we here to? You know we're either here to ******* have a revolution or. We're not, that's. Basically what they're saying we there's no half assing it. I mean what they use the term partial gains and I mean I'm I'm all about that like I, I even use this term to describe like **** like the the. Struggles to raise the minimum wage. I mean, that's also a partial gain. You know these these little things that we can do in some in a lot of cases, they're not little. I mean fighting, putting your life on the line, fighting in a civil war is not little, but all they do is improve capitalism. I mean, that's all they do. They improve capitalism. If if I if I go from getting paid. Paid 850 an hour to getting paid $15.00 an hour. It's just going to improve capitalism. It's just going to improve. It's going to improve the my life material and all the material ways that capitalism can do I mean and it might not even do that. You know it might not even do that. You you you hear the word more money, more problems and. I mean, that's the ******* truth man. Money is the root of all evil, and the more you have of it, the more problems you're gonna have for real. And so yeah, I mean the goal is not to live more comfortably under capitalism. The goal is not to. Start a Republic where we don't have one. The goal is to have a ******* worldwide anarchist. Communist revolution That's the go. You know, and anything beyond that we're not interested in and Ballon understood that in the middle of the Spanish Civil War. You know, while it was happening. Which is just amazing to me, even even today. And like yeah, I mean I highly, I highly recommend everybody goes and finds this bilon #36 from October, November 1936 that's BILAN. That means something. I can't remember what it means, but. Yeah, I mean let me just finish up. Bring this to some conclusion. The fascist hyenas. This is the end. The last three paragraphs. The fascist hyenas concentrically say that confronted with only 50,000 of its assassins, millions of workers have been unable to resist and went. But the hyena well knows that this has only been made possible because the workers have been forced from their own class terrain. Because they have been led by the direct accomplices of Franco, the anti fascists of all varieties. The only way of remaining on the side of the workers, even if crushing superiority, excuse me. Even if the crushing superiority of the enemy precludes any possibility of reversing, the situation is by refusing to betray, just as Lenin did in 1914 to desert military front fronts in Spain. As an example for the whole proletariat, as to disassociate oneself from capitalism, it is to struggle against capitalism and for. The working class. And the poor peasants. Who don't exist anymore in every country to struggle against one's own capitalism is to fight in solidarity with Spanish workers. Any other position, no matter whether it is embellished, embellished with socialist, centrist or anarchist justifications, can only lead to the crushing. Of the proletariat. In Spain as in. The rest of the world. Ohh ******* load hello? Really, it's just one of the best pamphlets I think that ever been written in the history of mankind. God, it's just straight to the point. I mean, it's so the clarity of it is. Still, 8090 years later, just like. Cut straight through history and speaks directly to you. I really wish that. You know some of the people. Who are wasting their time with this? Anti fascist **** would read this and think about it deeply with open minds like that. It's going down people. The crime thing people. And like and like zersen. Came down on the right side of this. You know, I listen, I like John Zerzan, I like his. Podcast I've. I've read almost everything about the guy after. Reading him in Pearlman and I think Kamat might have mentioned him to. You, but the reason you know he comes down he's. You know gets called all these things anarcho primitivist. And he comes down on the side of. Of on on the side that I you know, on the side of the lawn on. My side on on the side that. Is being argued right now decided against anti fascists? You know he gets it he I bet he's read Ballon 36. You know it's it's. I really, I mean just if you. Know anything about? The point that they made there at the end and their conclusion was about revolutionary defeatism, and it was this huge debate in the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. Which later became the Communist Party of Russia. After the revolution. You know there's this huge debate when World War One broke out and a lot of people. The debate was about whether or not Russia should join the war and a lot of people supported Russia joining an imperialist war. And you know the position that Lenin and some of the Bolsheviks took. Was, you know, don't fight a war for imperialism. Fight a war for your class, which means not fighting war at all and which means let your country be defeated and wars so that we can take power because workers have no nation. Workers, you know, we really don't have an army we shouldn't have. A ******* army in my opinion. Anyways, I'm going to leave it there. I'm overtime somehow, you know, I've been putting this off, procrastinating, doing something like this for a number of years now, simply because I thought I wouldn't have enough content and. The first time I try, I'm over by about 20 minutes. So this is this is that dude this is. The post proletariat signing off peace.
Everybody you say want to. Do what they want to. Government I say that they know government. People will do what they want.
Episode 2 – The March For Science, Trump, Social Democracy
Apr 25, 2017
A Few Notes on the Alienation of Activism
May 6, 2017 by Zhachev
“The Revolutionist is a doomed man. He has no private interests, no affairs, sentiments, ties, property nor even a name of his own. His entire being is devoured by one purpose, one thought, one passion – the revolution.”
– Sergey Nechayev
Seems smooth-tongued enough! But the value of these words lie in the irony (tragedy?) wholly absent from their original delivery and birth.
For whatever reason, pro-revolutionary circles attract certain particular individuals who tend to possess high tolerances to boredom, pain and abuse. Some relish in their own misery (and too often in that of their partners and comrades). In short, “masochists” of many kinds — although many are un-self-aware of their own propensities.
I myself was one of those and had surrounded myself with some; exploring this past further, I hope to continue remedying those mistakes. But as much as this is a singular matter of an abstracted, atomized individual (yes, me, but also others), what greater reproducer of activists exists aside from the ubiquitous revolutionary organization?
“Work, work, work, work, work”, like the Drake and Rihanna song. Forty hours and a boss apparently aren’t enough.
There’s no denying most who engage in activist “efforts” are doing so on some level because they enjoy it. The type who “like politics and history and shit”. When things in their specific social environment “trigger” the activist, when they blatantly swagger across their individually-defined boundaries, or when it becomes trendy again to demonstrate openly, the activist whines out in response. It’s cathartic. It’s rebellious.
The activist operates from the shadows; they maintain a proper level of paranoia; they keep private schemes and contrivances, hide agendas and ulterior motives. Any demonstrations of force mustered up by political gangs in response to whatever event(s) are only indirect reflexes, lifted from the playbooks of old-ass fuckin’ dogmatic-ass Victorian political formulas.
Like that scene from the (racist and historically revisionist shit pile) movie, The Sandlot, all it takes to provoke huge portions of the working class into pointless and costly skirmishes is for a member of the bourgeoisie to strut onto our turf in their shiny outfits and tell us that “We play ball like a girl!” (So what?)
Unlike the cat who bites when its tail’s been stomped, the activist telegraphs empty reactions; the activist opts for charades on the home field of the bourgeoisie; the activist competes against what are mere mirages, their meagre opponents are but trifling ghastly whisps of capital’s subsumption.
Yet in some ways, playing the role of activist serves as an anchor for those “in between”; the student, the teacher, the petty bourgeois, the unemployed; the guilt ridden, the addict, the creep, the abuser; the former worker who left two decades at the plant or company and started their own business. The number of anarchists and communists with full-time jobs in essential sectors of capitalism are the top-percentile.
The languish of “doing something”, “doing it” and that empty meme of an inquiry, exhaustively formulated over and again: “what should we do?”, these are symptoms of a behavior complex often associated with pointlessly hosting Skype calls whereby ancient men, sometimes of modern Gaul, lecture younger activists to no end with no room for interjection. They oversee the promulgation of papers which tend to be more useful as kleenex than for intellectual digestion – hoping for personal growth from this regressive feedback loop is a joke. And where revolutionary organizations aren’t busy proselytizing, “radical” and “extremist” individuals are out smashing windows, setting trashcans on fire and hurling harmless projectiles just like the doctor ordered.
The activist is a person without an organic community to use as a springboard, and most don’t attempt to foster and cultivate one. To escape and avoid the realities and stress of maintaining anarchist and communist positions in the fleeting moments of everyday life, they seek out leftist social clubs to scratch their itch for revolution.
They are unable to escape the deep isolation of “late” capitalism. (Like the peasants from Monty Python’s Holy Grail, you can hear capitalism croak: “I’m not dead, yet!”)
The activist is likely to ignore their own concrete problems as a basis for resistance to the status quo. From this inability to properly address questions of organization, eventual retreat into atomized circles of personal support (or lack thereof) is guaranteed when one’s “just had enough”.
Part of this originates atop the pedestal the activist proudly places themself upon. The fake credibility that comes with bolstering yourself as “conscious”, “enlightened”, and more recently “woke” – as “secretions” which allegedly constitute the crem of the working class – it’s all just an authoritarian personality pageant; a contentious search for the champion strongman. This is the primordial ooze from which leaders and hierarchies emerge.
There is a refusal to confess, or even acknowledge, the subjective life experiences of the activist. It’s like the marxist code of Bushido. “It’s perfect scientific socialism. How dare the one to question it? You must honor these holy traditions until a new world is won.” Activists portray themselves as a different species altogether from workers who don’t attend leftist protests regularly.
Yeah, well – fuck that jazz. I’m gonna play my trumpet how I wanna play it. Life is a painting and the life-world our canvas.
“The less you eat, drink and read PDFs; the less you go to the movies, the club, the bar; the less you think, love, theorize, sing, paint, train MMA, etc., the more you save – the greater becomes your treasure which neither moths nor dust will devour – your capital. The less you are, the more you have; the less you express your own life, the greater is your alienated life – the greater is the store of your estranged being.”
– Karl Marx
These thoughts were informed mostly by the following writings:
Le Militantisme Stade Supreme De L’alienation, published in France in 1972 by the Organisation des Jeunes Travailleurs Révolutionnaires (OJTR)
Why does nihilist communism object to activism?, published in April 2017 by the nihilist communism.two blog (https://nihcom.blogspot.com.au)
Episode 3 – Thoughts On “Resist”, Activism, Recuperation
May 10, 2017
During the latest episode of P3, our host Zhachev talks about what’s fresh on his mind following May Day 2017. Topics discussed include the “Resist” campaign being pushed by the American Left, criticisms of activism and some ideas about the old SI concept of recuperation.
May 6, 2017Dankston HughesLeave a comment
Podcast Episode 3 Thoughts On Resist , Activism, Recuperation
May 10, 2017
John Zerzan Seems to have No fucking Clue what Nihilism Means
May 18, 2017ZhachevLeave a comment
We listeners hear Zerzan talk about nihilism all the time on his podcast.
I don’t have a phone – “Because I’m a real motherfuckin’ primmie, bitch!” – (actually I’m just really poor, like my ‘privacy’ [aka freedom], and spend my only money on food and weed) but if I did, I’d be of course so eager to call him up and have him interrupt, talk over, and hang up on me… Anarchy Radio is like a lukewarm SNL skit where someone gives Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus a public radio show, so that they can whine about shooting sprees, whose been naughty and nice, why Ted Kaczynski was awesome, etc. How’s that for analogy?
Anything that triggers him is instantly labeled ‘nihilist’. He goes on and on about ‘the nihilists’, but like that one line from Princess Bride, I don’t think the word means what he thinks it means…
When I pull up the Spotlight on my Mac OS – something which would without doubt surely be worthy of critique from Zerzan already (unfortunately I have no books or oil lamps available) – and type in “nihilism”,there are three definitions given:
– (historical) the doctrine of an extreme Russian revolutionary party c. 1900 which found nothing to approve of in the established social order.
That sounds pretty cool to me. Here is another definition:
– (Philosophy) the belief that nothing in the world has a real existence.
The definition picked up by Zerzan (and angsty teenagers/Spencer’s shoppers everywhere), that of ‘’moral nihilism’, is my least favorite:
– the rejection of all religious and moral principles, often in the belief that life is meaningless.
Notice this definition has no listed frame of reference and was thusly probably just made up by some editor of the dictionary, due to popular ignorant knowledge over what nihilism is or was.
Another definition that’s worth mentioning is the English Wikipedia’s, which I’ll paraphrase:
Nihilism is a doctrine of philosophy which implies a lack of belief in any of the putatively meaningful parts of life and ‘reality’.
In a world where capitalism has enslaved everything on Earth, (when humans could have the power to move the very stars if they wanted) the idea that there’s ‘nothing to approve of in the established social order’ sounds pretty fucking good to me!
In fact, confusingly, it’s something Zerzan talks about often in an agreeable manner – that whole ‘being against the establish order’.
As the blog nihilist communism.two wrote in April of this year:
‘The modern American attribution of ‘nihilism’ has almost nothing to do with the Russian nihilist milieu of the 19th Century. American nihilism is a malaise diagnosed in others from symptoms identified as indicative of chronic habituation to environmental stimuli. Russian nihilism is a ‘conscious’ form of being characterised by its repudiation of all given forms of attachment. American nihilism isducible to the individual’s embrace of conditioned immediacy at the expense of all else, whilst Russian nihilism supposes the rejection of the very concept of conditioning.
This distinction takes us so far and no further. In practice, American nihilism is defined and interpreted by media commentators and does not exist on its own terms. And the Russian nihilists…in their attempts to effect a detachment from the bad objects of religion, family, state and class only succeeded in re-attaching themselves to the ideal object of ‘material forces’.’
The blog also mentions what’s often referred to as ‘metaphysical nihilism’. In their own words, they posit that ‘the world is a produced world’. There is also ‘epistemological nihilism’, closely related to ‘anti-‘, or ‘post-‘positivism — the idea that all knowledge and ‘truth’ itself cannot be confirmed as true. Then there is ‘compositional’ or ’mereological nihilism’; according to Wiki, this ‘is the position that objects with proper parts do not exist…only basic building blocks without parts exist, and thus the world we see and experience full of objects with parts is a product of human misperception’.
If you didn’t make it through all that, there is another part of the nihilist communism.two blog which might shine some light and add some context:
’In lurches and flashes I recognise both my disconnection from, and integration within, social production. I am in no position to contribute to, participate in, or take control over the processes that form me. I am in no position to prevent, slow down, or halt the environment that constrains and uses me. I am a character, not an actor. Sometimes, as in a dream, I become aware that my presence, my behaviour, my words are written and directed from elsewhere. Sometimes, I become sufficiently aware of the field of my determinations and I make inky scratches upon myself as a reminder of my vanities. The condition of my defeat, which is also a mode of minimal preservation, and which I permanently inhabit, appears as a frozen act of self-interruption, or a prolonged stay of execution. I am stopped here, at some border and I will not cross it. Nor will I turn back. I seem to have been waiting for a very long time for the world to close over me.’
TL;DR; Zerzan would be a lot more effective if he didn’t ignorantly abuse the word ’nihilism’, or if at the very least he was more genuine about his reasons for the abuse. In general, the show also tends to sound like a broken record, but that’s a whole ’nother ball game…
In the end I see him, Kathleen(sp?) and Anarchy Radio providing something very positive and critical. I would hope they accept this critique in good humor. All the best.
Episode 4 – Fight For 15, Disability Advocacy And News
June 1, 2017 by Zhachev
In the latest episode of P3, our host Zhachev goes over current events of the last week, as well as taking a critical look at activist demonstrations held in recent weeks. Topics discussed include Trump, minimum wage increase activism, demonstrations and protests, and disability advocacy.
And everybody you love they want to. Nothing, nothing less. People would do what they wanted. I say that we know government. Let's say one and let me know. If everyone knew but they wanted, and everyone knew what they wanted, people would see with clarity. And there be no suffering suffering. And they know. They know government. People would see. Let them be and let be suffering.
Welcome everybody to post Proletariat podcast episode #4. You can check email@example.com this is the MP3 podcast and I am your host. Zacko F. We at the blog want to send out a big thank you to everybody sharing and discussing our writing and the podcast. Currently there's only. Three of us working on the blog and the podcasts and everything else we're doing. So your help goes a long way and we really appreciate it with the production of the podcast we really wanted to aim. We wanted to try and provide a tool that's mainly relevant to anarchists and communist revolutionaries as well as anyone who might just find it randomly. Find it interesting. We understand that we can really only effectively communicate with people that are willing to listen and understand us. If you're not listening, if you're not listening. If you're not trying to understand, there's not really a whole lot we can do to cross that river. But there aren't any serious qualifications for becoming interested in the politics of the podcast for becoming a regular listener, we've determined that it's of utmost importance to us here at post proletariat, to provide something that's topical and relevant, we want to help people digest the news of the world. Not as it's being force fed to them by the bourgeoisie, but instead from our own anti political viewpoints, and we hope to use the podcast to counterstrike all the poisonous ideology that's out there specifically, that of the toxic toxic left and all the toxic leftists. Which currently saturates the whole so-called workers movement. All the input so far has been very helpful. The support and almost all of the criticism has also been very positive, so thanks again for sticking with us and we hope you'll hang around while we continue to improve the podcast. Please keep the feedback coming. OK, so the main news this week in the US. As usual, it's been about guess what electoral politics for more than two years now. Well, really, since the last decade since before Obama was elected, the American media has been completely focused on electoral politics and on the presidency. I've said it before. I'll say it again, this is the era of the rock star president. Since January, the focus shifted maybe more acutely towards Donald Trump and his administration, but the powers that be are definitely trying to lock people into the Democratic circus. Like I keep saying, this is the era of the Rockstar president. The news corporations have it worked out that enough people are fixated on Trump to keep it going. 24/7 365 the news that is all the crap about Trump. You know, I, I read a report this week that said that Trump received something like five, I think. And I'm I'm just estimating I can't remember the. Exact #5 billion. Dollars and free airtime over the course of the election and just to compare Bernie Sanders. The he was somewhere in the range of like 10s of thousands of. Dollars so if Trump had wanted to, or any other candidate of the bourgeoisie wanted to. Do what Trump did. They would have to invest that much money into public airtime, which is kind of ridiculous. I mean the whole capitalist system, obviously. Has gotten in order to promote Trump, there was the CBS heads who said it might be bad for the United States, but it's great for the CBS bottom line, AKA their profits. And you know, it's just truly disgusting. It brings to mind the old self promotional proverb. I like this one. Say what you want, but spell my name right. It's really horrifying when someone who is already a billionaire and a narcissist gets more power and attention. I live in a Republican voter dominated state in the southeast US, and I know people have been sick of the media coverage for a long time. I talked to someone like in late October at a fast food restaurant who was a worker at a different restaurant and we had stopped to get a biscuit. And we had a brief discussion about, you know they had the TV on CNN inside the McDonald's and we had a brief discussion about. How sick we were of the election and all this news and we were thinking like I'm just ready for this to be over because afterwards all this crap, this cult of reporters and reporting that follows all this controversy around everywhere will be gone. But it didn't disappear. In fact, it can argue even maybe intensified. And probably should have seen that coming because why would the news corporations? You know, slaughter their cash cow if he was good for the bottom line and was able Donald Trump, that is, if Donald Trump was good for the bottom line and able to raise their profits so much during the last year and a half, two years of the presidential election cycle, imagine you know a permanent state of that. Sounds great for their quote, UN quote bottom line, so yeah, what keeps pulling? Everyday regular folks back in to the news, I can't really. Say uh, it. Might be just as simple as what's. What's he done now? What are they doing now? Kind of thing like, uh, like knee jerk? Curiosity could be as simple as that. But I've also met a lot of right wing people down here in. Well, who lately just seemed to be burned out with Trump. Stuff like there's a lot of people who who I know from the bars and just casual associates and other things other, you know, social events that I attend. Who used to talk about Trump? Quite a. Lot they used to. Be eager to have a political discussion about everything going on right now because you know. It's interesting times we're living in and history is moving so fast, but lately they just haven't. They've seemed bummed out. They just seem like they're in that state of mind where they know they fall in a trap. They fall into some some kind of ideological trap. They've fallen victim to a lot of the promises and shift from from Donald Trump, and they just don't know what to do next, so there's sort of like a it's. It's almost like a somberness slightly depressive. You know, waking up to reality, smelling the homeless. This is the kind of thing. I'm really seeing that's kind of widespread, but there's also there's there's people who I've spoken to recently who will outright and these are Republicans. They'll outright acknowledge the Trump administration has completely gone off the rails and that the Trump's lost their support. I think that a lot of the reason for this is is partly because of the fact that the only popular measure that the populist President Donald Trump has pushed through so far so far according to according to popular consensus, is the killing of that TPP trade deal. And he did this via executive order. He had the powers within. His whatever of the executive branch of the government to just kill that deal completely. And that's the only thing I ever hear people bring. Up, you know? As a positive thing like that trade deal would be terrible for the US and it's really ironic because actually that trade deal would have been great for the United States and American capitalism. It would have tagged right along with Obama's quote, UN quote pivot to Asia and the military, and economic focus that they've been putting on Asia since 2000, the bourgeoisie. And putting on Asia, the American bourgeoisie has been putting on that region of. The world since. Like I said 2008 since beginning. Of Obama's term. But Trump Trump himself getting back to the people who are are leaving the Trump camp. Who are quitting their support for Trump? He's they. They tell me that he's completely flip-flopped on so many issues that they cared about and he has Trump's completely flip-flopped on. The majority of his. Domestic and foreign campaign promises. And I think that his base of support is slowly starting to acknowledge this. There's there's like. The more moderate Republicans, the more quote UN quote. Like you know, whatever bipartisan sensible people who he's losing support from, and there's also the people on the other side of it. The people who are like in the Freedom Caucus or the Tea Party, whatever. You want to call. It who don't think that the austerity measures of Trump are go far enough. Are right wing enough attack the proletariat enough? So whether so, whether this whole thing results in a total loss of support for Trump for a total loss of the Republican support of for a total loss of support of the Republican Party for a total loss of support of 1 faction of the Republican Party of 1 faction of the bourgeoisie of You Know if it leads to any kind of. Their will towards the bourgeoisie directly if it isn't coopted. If it isn't recuperated. We'll just have to wait and see if this anger actually goes anywhere. If this discontent goes anywhere, but going all the way back to last November, which has been what five or six months now, almost seven. I want to remind everyone about Trump. And the fact that back then in November 8th or 7th, whenever the hell it was, he lost the popular vote he lost. He ended up losing it by nearly 3,000,000 ballots and this is in the greatest democracy of all time. It's the what the second time such a thing has happened in. 3 Election, 4 election cycles where the popular vote did not determine the president. You know that there were voting irregular irregularities that were claimed and reported on in the primaries and in the final election final election, not just by the Democrats and Republicans, but by the Green Party by the libertarians, by all sides, and since then Trump's approval ratings have been historically low.
Higher than the current ratings of, like Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party. You know the moderate Republicans like the House Speaker Paul Ryan. But his Trump still has nominally low approval ratings compared to other presidencies. And just last week he hired a private lawyer over the corruption allegations investigations and the nascent impeachment. Efforts that are. They're getting ready to get going. It seems like it's, I think, just a matter of time before we start to start to hear open dialogue within the Republican Party about backing Trump's impeachment and other in in order to cut their losses and stay in the favor of the majority of Americans. I think one or two Republicans have already done that, but they're already very moderate and sort of toss up districts, so we'll see if that trend continues, but I think it's going to based on all the stuff going on right now. Trump has contrasted himself with other Republicans in the past, likening himself in certain cases, more to certain liberal policies. For example, he promised not to touch certain social benefits, and he made a very. Explicit distinguishment between him and other Republicans saying I'm not like them. I'm not like those Republicans. He said he would not touch certain social benefits and he spoke specifically about Medicaid. And that's exactly why we've chosen to bring up. Electoral politics in this episode of P3, something that we hate doing at the Post Proletariat Podcast, is focusing on electoral politics. Because we think that regardless of what faction of the ruling class is in power, we are living in the age of austerity, has nothing to do with singling out Trump has nothing to do with singling out Clintons Obama or even Bernie Sanders or whatever other person. Jill Stein. Whatever else I forgot. It comes down to one simple fact, one really blatant thing. The bourgeoisie does not want to spend money to improve the quality of life for the working class right now. Doesn't want to, doesn't think it can. That reminds me of. Some comments of. Who was Paul Maddox that I read? Actually I can pull up real quick. Let me just read this. It was in an interview that's on on the Internet. Widely available that Paul Mattick did in 1977 with a group called Lotta Continua. And yeah, let me just let me just read you this these two paragraphs right here. Question we seem to be entering and this is from the people interviewing Matic. Lot of continua we seem to be entering a new period of serious economic and social crisis. What are the new features of this period period in comparison with old periods of crisis and Maddox's answer? Is this the basic reasons for the current crisis at the same as the? It was. Excuse me Is there's a typo on the marxist.org thing? The basic reasons for the current crisis that are the same as those which caused all previous capitalist crisis crises. But all crises have also specific features with respect to their initiation. The reactions released by them and their outcome, the changing capital structure. Accounts for these peculiarities. Generally, a crisis follows in the wake of a period of successful capital capital accumulation, wherein the profits produced and realized are sufficient to maintain a given rate of expansion. This state of capitalistic prosperity requires a steadily increasing productivity of Labor, large enough to offset the relative decline of profit, profitability, which results from changing. The structure of capital, the competitive, and therefore blind pursuit of profit on the part of the individual capitals. Capitalists cannot help but ignore the changing capital slash labor composition of social capital. The crisis erupts when arising. Disproportionality between a required rate of profit for the social capital. And its necessary rate of accumulation forbids its further expand. This underlying but empirically unascertainable discrepancy comes to the fore in terms of market relations as a lack of effective demand, which is only another expression for a lack of accumulation on which the effective demand depends. So the important take away from those two paragraphs, some of it might not be necessary, but whatever. I gave enough of you gave you guys enough of the interview so. You can find it. The part where Maddox says Paul Maddock in 1977 says the competitive and therefore blind pursuit of profit on the part of the individual. Capitalists cannot help but ignore the changing capital labor composition of of social capital. So I think Maddox is trying to shed some light here on the fact that. The bridge was the. Are might be conscious and united to an effective degree, but they still. They still are driven by what he calls a blind pursuit of profit, so you know. Certain groups, like a lot of those on. The left communist. Scene they like to talk about imperialism a lot. They like to talk about stuff that I would consider complete and utter political determinism. And when a group like the IC or the ICT or the Italian parties when they discuss the bourgeoisie. Especially the ICC will speak in a way as if every single. Action of the bourgeoisie is united and intentional, and they'll say things like you gotta be. What are the what are the? What are they thinking? What is what is the plan? What are they? Let me find something specific real quick hold on. OK yeah, so I'm looking at the ICC article titled. The Trump election and the crumbling of the capitalist world order, and that's available on their website. There's some discussion that's followed it, and the kind of language that I'm referencing specifically is is crap. Like when they say it's a real gamble for the US bourgeoisie. Which in great part has been foisted by its own inability to present a political coherence. At the same time as opposing Trump so. You know, like. They talk about they talk about the development of the erosion and cohesion and the control of the ruling class. And they say that this has opened up a dangerous quote, UN quote phase. Which seems agreeable, but what I really can't, I just don't dig it when they. Start talking about. The real gamble for the US bourgeoisie, like they're so united and so in. My opinion this is. Well, in my opinion because I'm only you know, I'm under the age of 30 and I've only been here for so long, but the whole time I've been alive, I have never seen. The bourgeoisie this disunited and this confused about ****, and that's all, you, that's all you got to say. The bourgeoisie is confused or disunited. Taking it to a whole another stage and saying it's a real gamble for the for the bourgeoisie, as if you know they're sitting on a craps table. Throwing dice you know and like when they get their thing. They're like, yes, you know or like or like whatever like. A conscious game. This is ridiculous, like that's not how it works like we are economic determinists at P3 podcast at the Post Proletariat blog. We don't think that politics. Determines the outcomes of the life world. We think that economic. Issues are the only thing that determines that the whole mechanism for civilization. OK, so like the idea that the class struggle is driven by the bourgeoisie's various gambling's and bets. It's just ridiculous. And I'm not doing a very good job. Of critiquing it, but. Hopefully you got you understand my point. About that in general, hopefully you understood Matt's point about that, which was that the bourgeoisie are not completely in control of the economy. There's a whole. Sort of chaotic entropic random element that they would never to economics that they would never be controlled, and I use that word. Economics in quotations. Because something else that we believe at the P3 podcast is the economics. Is really just. A word invented by the ruling class, you know? Sometime in the 20th century, which describes how society chooses to employ scarce, productive resources and how it uses, how it how it. How it produces and distributes these commodities, which is basically another way of putting it intellectual legislation. Though we don't talk about economics, we like to talk about political economy, and we like to focus not on political determinism, but economic determinism. So getting back to the austerity of last week. The news of austerity from last week. The ruling class, and I'm ******* meandering, like crazy right now. Shout out to all the peeps on Reddit. They don't want to spend money. To improve the quality of. Life for the working class right now, or they can't? In other words, they're in the class isn't keen on social reforms in this period. Because of all the festering problems of capitalism, the system has been in decline, the bourgeoisie refuses to attempt any measures. Guides continuing to weaken the profit that they, the record-breaking profits that keep going up and up and up their whole month tap mentality and vibe is buck the disadvantaged and continuing in that very tradition, Trump's proposed budget for the federal government. Would cut over one. Trillion dollars from Medicaid as well as food assistance and disability assistance programs. This coming from a guy who said I'm not like the other Republicans. I'm not going to touch Medicaid. The disability stuff. Maybe we should expect it because he was terribly ablest, and I can't. Even it really upsets me. What the how he was making fun of disabled people during his speeches in the campaign trail. So maybe we should have seen that coming, but. The proposed budget cuts. Cut all federal money. For assisting. Undocumented migrant workers, too, under Trump's health care plan, 23 million Americans would lose their healthcare. The Trump administration has also proposed lowering taxes for the rich and even killing the federal estate tax, which only applies to households. With $10 million in annual income or above, and that's like a minuscule fraction of 1% of the total American population. In other words, the richest of the rich and he's. Totally abolishing that. Because he wants his kids to. Inherit his wealth without it being taxed. And it's a big tax too. He's also proposed cutting the income tax for the rich and raising it for some other folks, so this is just full austerity. We know that the parties, the quote UN quote. Parties of American democracy are just parties of American capitalism. We know that they only represent since the 1970s. This agenda of austerity. But there is some light at the end of the tunnel. There are apparently some who are not afraid to fight back against these austerity measures being forced down the throats by the federal government by the capitalists by the entire bourgeoisie itself. A few are doing so today. There was a lot of stuff. Going on last week, I don't. We don't get into action, quote UN quote news here a lot, but there's other places you guys can listen to that. What we're interested are the protests that are not based on ideology. We're interested in the protests that are instead rooted in their own economic self interests and the interests of their immediate coworkers and family like last week. There's a great there's been great sort of examples. Of this over the. Week in the US, thousands of users, thousands of workers, some of them unionized, some of them not. Protested McDonald's, Amazon and United Airlines shareholder meetings over like about 2 days of action. Workers from different industries, including transportation. And others. Food retail came together in Chicago to protest against their bosses and to protest against their low pay, all fighting for a better life.
We've got a.
Little bit of a special cool little sound collage thing for you, so we'll hope you enjoy it. And here are. Their voices and the voices of other shy rakis. Who went there? And were there when I went down.
So I'm not 100% sure what's happening, but. There's a big. What's going on?
This was the. Scene as a group blocked traffic near Willis Tower. There were a total of 30 of us in the airline workers and supervisors there, the workers claimed.
It would appear to be minimum wage. Related, so for a little context, Chicago is the headquarters of McDonald's and those appear to be workers who feel like they should have a higher minimum wage.
Hello hi. Cheers mate. You too.
Coming together with other airport workers from major cities across the country, all fighting for a better.
By sticking together and speaking out.
Hundreds of activists chanted and marched around McDonald's corporate headquarters in Oak Brook. They were there to greet shareholders arriving for the company's annual meeting. Police shut down Joy Blvd. for several hours to accommodate the protesters who were marching as part of the fight for 15 movement. But officers also made sure no press protesters were able to. Enter the McDonald's campus. Marchers say the world's second largest private employer fails to pay a living wage. They want union rights and a $15.00 an hour minimum. Several workers spoke out on their own behalf.
We're tired of living in poverty. Meanwhile they get to build a new headquarters in downtown Chicago, which I'm pretty sure was pretty expensive and we can't even afford to buy our. Children's toy That they want or put food on the. Table and that is absolutely unacceptable.
This is modern day slavery. This modern day slavery and it doesn't make any sense. We deserve dignity. We deserve $15.00 and all what we deserve and give you take her our kids my son I can't even buy him any ship buy him any.
Show show show.
So me and the comrades here at post proletariat also had a chance to attend some of the protests that were being held in DC in response to the government's proposed cuts to Medicaid and disability, which amount amount in over 1 trillion. Dollars of cuts. As well as I don't want to mention the forget to mention the food stamps. Which they're cutting. To the protests were organized by a well entrenched disability rights group, called Adept. And they've been around for 30 years or so. They actually were the group. Who was really the catalyst behind passing the Americans with Disability Act, which is responsible for making public transportation and public facilities accessible to those who have certain disabilities? So we went up to DC to hang out. With these adapt people they. They're having their National Convention. Which they hold two times a year and over the week there was like like maybe 1000 people that came together and we're talking about the issues that affect the disability community and the people who support. That community, it was held over a week. There ended up being over 160 arrests of disabled people. Of their caretakers of activist advocates and others, and despite the large number of wheelchairs and folks struggling desperately with their health, the protesters managed to break through police lines twice. They broke the police lines twice. Let me just I know you. We just had our report on the Chicago protests and they opted to stay within the police lines and keep the protest contained in DC. However, the disability rights people were a lot more radical in their action, many of them handcuffed themselves to. Fences, wheelchairs, power chairs. Just to make it harder for the police to arrest them. It still had a feeling of general containment dresses. All the sort of protests. Since you know the early 2000s have been roped in, contained it's following that same trend, but it was still really powerful and there's a lot of amazing amazing. People, a lot of friendships were built and here is some of what the adapters had to say during their week of protest.
The disability community came together to raise.
So that's what I want.
To do so, totally get that.
Funds for the needs of.
Can't wait right now. My paid job gets too much in the waste, you know.
The fact that we Have to ensure that people are not put back into nursing homes or institutions. And it was a beautiful day because we were able to share the. The fact that women with disabilities also need service.
Country Joe, yeah he does know wow.
And with this new administration, we're getting cuts cuts.
Have that right.
Cuts cuts cuts. We need to.
Get one specifically.
Sarah, Sarah, and Sarah. What's right for one is right for all right now. Our administration that we have we we are feeling now. I can't say we all feel I'm feeling it, but I'm going to say this when. You say is that you're going to get tax credits.
So there you go. Right, right get that.
Or Europe and then you start cutting. The seniors, the poor and the disabled.
Get that full ready first.
I have to question why are they rich?
And the women's healthcare not just disabled women.
Thanks everybody, I'm probably gonna leave my place right?
They've gotten rid of I.
Heard the news last week. There's only one women's clinic in all the state of Kentucky.
Now, and he also stopped.
I mean, you know.
Research or research you know.
So how does this? How does how?
Do you see the issues that affect our Community, specifically sort of eventually extending to everywhere else?
Do you see that? Happening do you see?
Absolutely because I know that adaptive, strong, and I know that. You know is. Somebody who's worked in the disability community for with and against for 45 years.
I can say this. There will be challenge because we're not the type of people that will accept it the way it is.
You yeah want to come back and.
They don't back down.
We're not going to back. Down, we'll just have to get. Tougher and stronger.
And that there's somebody there now.
And if that be the case that be the case, you know women. The poor I am the disabled and the seniors. Because these are the people that.
I'm kind of.
Like I'm not anti develop.
I feel our country is kind of response.
Well, you know our seniors have.
Worked their whole life. You're acting like. Giving them Social Security.
Is like a gift to them.
Excuse me, I at 12 years old.
Long time I'm. Going pretty far out now that that's coming to be places like the top of this Ridge is.
In New York City my. Mother had to take me to get working. Nights so that I could pay. Yeah, I had to get working baby so that I could pay into my Social Security at 12, pay my taxes and now you're telling me my Social Security is an entitlement.
But but but he, when he makes that argument, he usually says that it's in the national interest that his business interests and.
No no no.
It's not a national interest to steal from the American people.
Biggest town I hate living in so.
That's not national interest. When you take away the Social Security benefits, which.
Just like 1.
A lot of us old people we have hate into that.
I've gotta take care. You know, I'm working at the Independent living 1990 year or something, right?
That was our retirement.
I can't imagine what would feel like Robert.
I've been raped. I've been raped.
So not gonna make me a loan.
You're trying to rape me, and if you're going to do that, you might as well tell me in advance.
Or anything but.
So I. Can dress to. The occasion you know that's.
How I feel? You know, I've. Tested my tiny hiney.
And he's he's.
Born into money and never had to do anything. You know?
I never would have thought I was. I certainly wasn't motivated for myself because nobody else was motivating me. So when she brought that up and I finally, you know. I had to turn it. Over for a month or. So because I'm just like that. But once I finally. Once I finally Got into it once.
My brownies bring all the boys to the yard.
It once I finally got. Into it, it was like a life changing experience.
So do you think? You didn't change like your.
Pitching in and jumping in.
Whole your whole thought process absolutely did OK, so.
I maybe wanna care about the issues that are actually important to me, you know I.
I think Daniel.
Always knew that certain. You know you know, like disability, that's really important.
Yeah Daniel, he'll be right back.
To me, but I didn't. I never realized just how important to me that they they should be.
It's kind of the last thing we think about because it's almost selfish.
Yeah, right exactly exactly.
But there's a difference between pride and.
Self right love you know right no. That's that's the thing. That was like that was like a huge life changing thing for me to be able to. Come and yeah.
So do you think you could just say?
A few more words on that moment where you had that spark where you realize I should get. Out there and focus on other things.
It's just it was just it was just conversations with my girlfriend.
That affect me and.
Honestly it was just like she's like and this is. These are really important issues, you know basically. Telling me like what? It's all about and kind of what what's going. On in the world. For lack of a better way of. Saying it in. Terms of disability rights. How how you know screwed. We're getting basically on disability rights. So when I realized that that was important. Like it it kind. Of gave me meaning.
Raise your awareness stuff.
Yeah, it clicked in.
And yeah, where's my awareness? But also. Made me care about that. You know there's a difference between you know, being you know, becoming aware about. Something and then becoming like actually aware and like. to the point where you you. You make it part of. Like your your identity, almost like your life.
I don't blame her.
Part of it, I think, is sharing a community, right?
Yeah yeah yeah yeah.
Because when you're isolated like you sound like you were an eye kind of was before it came up.
This time there's nobody.
That you don't.
See when you think about.
Your own problems. They become selfish issues, but when you're a group.
Right, right like this, yeah.
You can see that there's so many people all over the.
World everyone experiences so similar things and.
Everybody and I feel like at some point in time probably everybody will be disabled.
That has definitely helped me.
Yeah yeah, and I you know I've made so many friends just just based on the bonds just based on the similarities and all the things that I'm seeing that that kind of reflect the life that I've always kind of LED but kind of. Kept it subdued and not really thought about it. Now that it's kind of being, you know, brought, brought out into the open, it's. Like it's it's.
Only working ever say is life changing the. Only way I can think of.
So that about does it for that part of the podcast. But before we go altogether, there's a list of topics that I wanted to just briefly touch on. Starting with the removal of Confederate monuments from New York. Once they have been removing Confederate monuments from the civil war that positively portray Confederate figures from the city of New Orleans, it's causing a big controversy down there. The mayor gave a whole shameel about it that you should go check out. It's just pure. Theology and ****, though it's still interesting. 1 interesting spiral off of that story is in. Bring, I think it's neighboring Alabama. Wait, no Mississippi is in between, so almost neighboring in Alabama. They after they saw all this crap happening in Louisiana. They have now passed a bill in the state legislature that says it's. Illegal to remove. Confederate monuments so. I guess people will just have to resort to. Other means hint, hint, hint, uh and. While you're at. It there's a victim of victims of Communism memorial in DC, which pretty much has to go to. It's crazy. It claims that like communism killed 500 million people. Jeez anyways. Let's see here. Baltimore tenants say Kushner Companies are neglectful landlords, a new investigation by the New York Times magazine reveals how Trump son-in-law and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and his Companies Act as quote UN quote, neglectful and litigious. Landlords, I think, is the right. Tedious landlords of low income housing units in Baltimore. The article chronicles how Kushner Companies hound low income tenants with a barrage of lawsuits, eviction notices and late fees even when the tenants are in the right. Tenants also described terrible maintenance practices which created nearly unlivable conditions for some families. Let's see here what else you got for the United States. The Chinese government has reported, uh, I'm sorry. The New York Times has reported, through various sources, clandestine sources that the Chinese government has jailed or killed an estimated 20 employees of the CIA since 2010. And if you know anything about the low key cyber War, low key but. High intensity cyber. What is happening? It's interesting, it kind of reminds me. Of and I'm not a fan of Orwell, I'm. Not a fan of. Any of his works except for oh. I kind of like I like Thomas to Catalonia. I liked down and out in London and Paris. I think that was oral, but anyways he had that whole schtick in between in 1984 between Oceana and whatever the other one was, and the other one where they were like constantly at war. But it was kept like hush hush, so that the people knew that they were at war, but they didn't know like the specifics of everything, and they were just get bombed from. Remembering the book. Exactly and I see a very similar thing happening between the US and China between the US and Russia. It's very blatant now, and it's not as intense, but I mean it, the US and China are basically at war. There's no other way to put it, so check into that if you're interested. Yeah, Trump's been touring the Middle East. He's he's been going all these different. Countries of allies. When he was in Israel, he claims that Israel, he sort of inferred that Israel was not a part of the Middle East, which is hilarious because, you know, I'm Palestinian. I don't know if I've mentioned this before. I'm Palestinian American and it's just something that if you've ever dealt with Israelis, it's hilarious because. They use the whole shameel about how Palestine is. You know, like everybody's land or their land or the Jewish Jewish people have just so much of right, and they've been there for thousands of thousands of years. But it's not true. Like probably 95% of the Jewish population of Israel is straight up. European Central European Anglo-Saxon. So yeah, I mean Trump's basically right as much controversy as that caused Israel. They are European, they're not part of the Middle East Speaking of Palestine, there was. A1 Day general strike in Palestine that was supported by all the officials and all the government and all the official trade unions but still had some huzzah behind it. And mostly it was in solidarity with the hunger strikers in the Israeli prisons protesting their conditions. And the fact that they're being held without legal representation or trial in many, many cases blah blah blah blah blah. But yeah, there was some. There was some sort. Of like real popular anger, but it was just one of those cheap one day general strike things. Some of the things have actually been happening in other countries around the world over the past week. In Saudi Arabia, Trump signed a $110 billion weapon sale agreement with the Saudis. Uh, this comes in the midst of their ongoing conflict in Yemen that's seen as being a proxy war with Iran, which is actually not really very true. A lot of people are dying. It's disgusting, it's shameful. It's horrendous. We have to stop it blah blah blah. But unfortunately I don't think we can. Unless we stop capitalism, so yeah, I mean it should be noted though, it's just horrific the amount of I can't even get into it without getting emotional anyways. Free Yemen. It's all from capitalism, and it's funny that this this 110 dollar $110 billion weapon sales comes at the same time that the Pentagon is reporting that the army failed to keep track of $1 billion worth of arms in Iraq and Kuwait. So we know that at least perhaps 100 and out of the $110 billion of weapon sales might be more like $109 billion to Saudi Arabia. But anyways. There's been all types of **** going on in Egypt. They terrorist. Ex Egyptian army has been bombing Libya and getting real close to this like disputed areas between Egypt and Israel. In neighboring Tunisia there was massive protest following the police killing of an unemployed worker, which is interesting. I don't even know what kind of framework to begin in sort of analyzing that. Then, especially since I don't really see the unemployed as being very revolutionary, so I bet it was a situation where it was a recently unemployed worker with a lot of workmates and comrades and the majority of people that ended up demonstrating were actually proletarians. But there were there was massive protests in Tunisia, which was the birth place of the Arab Spring. What else just want to make sure to cover? All the hot hot topics. Speaking of general strikes, there have been major strikes and protests in a city in Colombia over the lack of basic services that have continued for at least a week and check those out. If you're interested in they're somewhat interesting. And in Brazil we've got. Similar stuff going on. There's a presidential crisis. The Workers Party, the Social Democratic Party in Brazil that's been leading for 1520 years. Who you know are supposedly credited with. Making Brazil a quote UN quote first world country right now they have the army deployed as a response to these protests and they have been firing live ammo. Oh excuse me actually they deployed the army. They fired live animal, killed a couple of people and then got recalled. So **** is going down in Brazil, but it's formulated completely around electoral politics. Definitely something interesting. We should keep an eye on because we could end up in the United States. Those of us who are in the United States right now could end up in a very similar situation to the Brazilians. And the presidential presidential. Crisis they're experiencing right now, just a couple more things. Of course, we've got the upcoming elections in the UK and I bring that up first of all, because upcoming elections guess what massive ******* bombing in Manchester and I'm not going to really get into this. Too much, I don't think people will find what I have to say about it. Very pleasant. I do just think that it's interesting that even the suicide bomber himself is claimed to have said that he was and I don't know if he was ISIS or not. I can't even take that as credible. ISIS is like the boogeyman living in. My closet but. Whether he's a member of Daesh or not doesn't matter. He had some interesting comments. In my opinion, he's still a human being. We shouldn't be humanize him. He said that he was just couldn't take seeing the children, the Arab children being killed every day and wanted revenge and they ended up killing 22 people at a pop concert. Filled with mostly like preteens, people younger, they weren't even teenagers, mostly 101112 year olds. So you know, it's just a **** man. These these kind of things. They really depress. You and take the little. Bit of hope that we get that we can scramble up. They really yeah. They really kill all that ****, but. Even more sort of depressing than the actual loss of life has been blind. Completely ignorant, totally lacking any class consciousness responses to this. Terrorist attack in Manchester last week. You know, even from the bourgeoisies quote, UN quote socialist mouthpiece, Jeremy Corbyn. It's just the same old ****. I mean, it's just the same old ****. So there's no sort of deeper understanding. Going on here, although there might be a fledgling a fledgling one, that's emerging. So let's try to stay positive about that. Hopefully somebody gets woken up, and if you're over there and UK if you're in. England I know you guys are like under a state of emergency or something. Now, if that's correct, I think. But if you can get in touch with us if you can leave a comment, we'd love to know. What's happening in Manchester on the ground, separate from the whole storyline and whatever you want to call it. The rhetoric that the bourgeois news media has been pushing, we want to know what's happening in Manchester. If you're in Manchester, give us a shout. Let us know what's going on. In your community as a result of. The terrorist attack and. I think that about covers it hope you enjoyed. This week's Up tempo Post Proletariat podcast episode #4 this is your host Sacha signing off. We will see you next.
Time take care. Don't work too hard.
And everybody you love they want to. Nothing nothing. People would do what they wanted. Government I say government. People would do what they wanted. And let me know. Everyone they wanted everyone you they want to. People would say with clarity. And there be. No suffering suffer, they know. People would see and let them be, and their being suffering.
Repost: Anarchism or Vanguardism? Critique of Guerrilla Ideology of the IRPGF
June 7, 2017 by Dankston Hughes
Not perfect, but pretty good! Raises a multitude of issues which demand attention.
Source: Anarchism or Vanguardism? Critique of Guerrilla Ideology of the IRPGF
Revolutionary Organizations and Individual Commitment by Frere Dupont
June 19, 2017 by Zhachev
This post is a reprint of a post written by Frere Dupont and originally posted on a particularly bad discussion forum.
1. You don’t have to join anything – set your own terms of engagement with the milieu.
2. Only give that which you feel comfortable giving.
3. Never tolerate moral pressure to participate in ‘actions’. In response to activist holy-joes say, ‘we should do nothing’ to establish different grounds.
4. The revolution does not rest on your conforming to a set ‘consciousness’, so don’t feel bound by orthodoxies or demand it of others.
5. All groups only really survive on the work of one or two individuals, so if you do make any contribution at all you are doing more than most – and always speak as yourself and not as the group.
6. It is possible to be pro-revolutionary and lead a normal life; don’t run away to Brighton; don’t adopt an extremist personality; don’t confuse pop/drug/drop-out culture with revolution.
7. If you try and ‘live’ your politics you will separate yourself further from other people, thereby limiting shared experiences and perspectives.
8. Try and commit yourself for the long term but at a low level intensity, understand that early enthusiasm will fade as everything you do falls on deaf ears and ends in failure.
9. Remember the role of the pro-revolutionary milieu is not to make revolution but to criticise those attempts that claim to be revolutionary – in other words: push those who are politicised towards a prorevolutionary consciousness.
10. Just because in the future you will become disillusioned and burnt out, and you will think prorevolutionaries are tossers, it doesn’t follow that revolution is hopeless.
11. Remember that revolution does away with revolutionaries, it does not canonise them.
12. Begin by criticising all cliques. If you are on a demonstration and you look around and everyone is dressed the same as you and they are all the same age then there is something wrong – expect there to be hidden agendas and personal fiefdoms.
13. Groups should only exist to achieve a stated short-term purpose. All groups that have existed for more than five years have outlived their usefulness.
14. Don’t get sucked into single issue campaigns unless you personally want a particular reform; revolution cannot be conjured from animal rights, legalisation of cannabis, peace, etc.
15. There is a cyclical tendency in groups to ‘build up’ to big anti-capitalist events – resist this, consider why groups are so keen on spectaculars, then think of the day after May Day.
16. When someone makes a statement, think to yourself: who is speaking, what do they really mean – what do they want from me?
17. Many pro-revolutionaries have decent jobs and come from comfortable backgrounds and then lie about it/adopt prole accents, etc. They’ve got a safety net, have you? Don’t give too much.
18. Don’t look for ideological purity, there is no such thing. If it suits you, if you have a reason, then participate all you want as an individual in any reformist political group or institution, so long as you do not attach to it a ‘revolutionary’ importance. Your pro-revolutionary consciousness must be kept separate from all personal and political activity.
19. There is no need to go looking for ‘events’ – they will find you. In this way your effectiveness will be magnified because you will be ready and you will act in a certain way which the people around you can learn from, eg, solidarity, ‘us and them’, and ‘all or nothing’ perspectives, etc.
20. If it helps, think of it this way: you are an agent from the future; you must live a normal life in the circumstances in which you find yourself. Maybe you never talk to anyone about all of what you think but that doesn’t matter because when the situation arises you will be in place to tell everything that is appropriate because that precisely is your (and nobody else’s) role. All the time you are getting ready to make your contribution, one day you will do something, and you have no idea what it is, but it will be important.
Episode 101 – Season 5 with Bellamy
January 23, 2020
Since Bellamy was here at the start of The Brilliant project it is great to check in where he is at regarding the things we are talking and thinking about. Obviously Bellamy and I have been having similar experiences in the Anarchist Space over the past few years. This episode is about some dissimilar experiences and what is next with each of us and our respective media projects.
ARAGORN!: Welcome to the brilliant podcast. This going to be episode 101 and it's going to be the first episode in what we're going to call season five of the Burn podcast. So season five begins in 2020 and I today am with Bellamy Hi.
BELLAMY: Hello Aragorn, it's always a pleasure to talk.
ARAGORN!: With you yeah, nice to hear from you now that you're in the country and you've been there a believable period of time, you're no, you're no longer one of. The city people .
BELLAMY: Yeah, I know and. And actually the familiar phenomenon of easily falling into a sort of bubble universe is well upon me now.
ARAGORN!: Right, but. Very much a different universe. Than the one that I live in, so. Why don't we? Begin by talking about some anarchist projects as in ours and then just follow up with people on what we've been up to the last 6. Months or so since. We've really talked. And then we're going to talk about 2020. And what lie? Ahead, so I guess the big project that people haven't heard much from you about is backwards #2.
BELLAMY: Yeah, yeah, it's true I. Yeah, I guess I haven't. I don't think I've been on your show since that since it was released. Yeah, and. Yeah, I think. I'm getting. Different responses from. Backwards one in one sense. For example the piece that I wrote in backwards one, an invitation to desertion. I got a very very positive response from that. Think I actually got. A more a louder and more numerous positive response from that thany single bit of media that I've ever done. And I even had several people say to me they think that it should be seen as a kind of anti SIV 101 text which was.
ARAGORN!: A nice compliment.
BELLAMY: Yeah, I'm not very good at accepting compliments. So yeah, I mean I would.
ARAGORN!: Call the biggest compliment, the fact that there have been at least two, maybe three different scene versions of it. Like people were so excited about it as a tax that.
BELLAMY: OK, I
ARAGORN!: They made it their own.
BELLAMY: I actually did not know. That so maybe later on you can.
ARAGORN!: Yeah, it's a big deal.
BELLAMY: Tell me where where?
ARAGORN!: To find it.
BELLAMY: And where they are, yeah. And then with backwards 2, the response to my big essay, and that was instead. I didn't really understand what you were going for and or sort of I did have some positive responses, but a lot of people thought said that they thought it was very obscure or they didn't. They didn't see how it tied in with the rest of the journal, one person said. Something like it's a bit dense and I didn't see the point or like something like that. So I one has highs and lows I guess and, but I did get the main thing that people enjoyed with that was the letters section.
ARAGORN!: Yes, right?
BELLAMY: So I thought that was, yeah, I thought that was good. I wasn't as happy with printing. We had a different printer and it kind of it. It didn't. Didn't quite come out how I was hoping, whereas with the first one by our friends of the now absorbed enemy combatant, I thought the printing was very nicely. Done with number. UM, But yeah, did you? Have specific questions about it, I'm not sure. No no I.
ARAGORN!: Mean mostly, I just wanted to sort of hear how the process went and what? What to expect from the project from the perspective of the projects arc and then. And then obviously to hear what you. Have to say about #3. Like, do you have a similar epic essay?
ARAGORN!: That you intend for #3 and. Will it be on I guess? If we've, if you've done politics and religion. I guess Next up is.
BELLAMY: Social life or something?
ARAGORN!: Yeah, I'm not sure.
BELLAMY: No, actually I wanted to. Take a step back because the first two I wrote the long buy for the longest pieces and both one and two. And in this third one. We're going to have. I have a more a shorter essay that's sort of a review essay, as in not just a review, but sort of review and commentary on. Jacques Ellul's the technological society. And David scherbina Book the Metaphysics of technology and it's sort of reviewing both of those. In as if in dialogue with each other, and that's to set up the fact that I then have an interview with David Scherbina David Scherbina. For those who don't know, is. He's a professor of philosophy at the University of. Michigan, I believe, and he is. Known out so he writes academic philosophy works, but he's also known for being a long time. Correspondent of the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski and he.
ARAGORN!: Oh yeah, I think that's all. He edited.
ARAGORN!: Mainstream article.
BELLAMY: Right, and so he edited and helped to publish Ted's book. That's a collection of Ted's essays called Technological Slavery.
ARAGORN!: The Ferrell House books.
BELLAMY: Which was Feral house and. David Gabina wrote I what I think is extremely interesting book about technology, and unlike most academics, he actually just comes out very strongly. Luddite in the book, I think it's a it's an excellent book and I basically interviewed him about that. And he is. He's interesting in that he. Is essentially calling for a. I actually I actually mentioned this on anarchy bank where I. Called in he. Is calling for a return to a sort of medieval level of technology like a euro medieval level? So he's not full. Primitivist, he's more. I guess you could say just strictly antIndustrial kind of guy. And yeah, I'm looking forward to it. We'll have a letter section again as well and then. There will be. A few other essays in there and. But you did mention actually, when were, I don't mean to put you on spot too much here, but we did mention you did mention when were speaking just before recording that you seem to have some area of disagreement or push back with #2.
ARAGORN!: Yeah, yeah. Well, I mean.
BELLAMY: And we don't. We don't have to get into a whole. Debate about I'm just.
ARAGORN!: Curious what the well again, it's been long enough since I've engaged with it. That I'm not hot about. Anything right now, but I was very hot. When I read your interview with Leila.
BELLAMY: Yeah, that's right yeah, yeah.
ARAGORN!: I basically thought it was one of the most unethical and ****** things I'd sort of seen anarchist project do since the old days when GA did a similar move around their. I think it was around their class issue, but anyways. The point being that what you. Did and this for people who haven't really met. The issue yet is that. That you had sort of a series of tense back and forths in their conversation with Leela like it was clear that people were getting getting their rank her up and then the interview ended and then. Someone, someone then essentially wrote. A trash like they. Trashed Laylat the end of the interview with Layland. Rather than sort of say, those things maybe as a Part 2 of the interview or maybe as here's an essay out of my feelings about the interview. If you'd like to respond, I'm going to include this essay in the issue. Anyways, it was just one of those classic things where. Where not only. Did you sort of like win the argument by speaking last and with the power of publishing the magazine but and? And I'm not saying I didn't agree with you. I just I. Just think that I'm perhaps old school enough that I believe that the rules for like doing things like a magazine or a paper are different than than the rules for like having this conversation Reddit or something. So, so that was what I was upset about.
BELLAMY: Sure, yeah, yeah no.
ARAGORN!: When we got.
BELLAMY: Actually, I but. I yeah, I knew that because you phoned me when you read this and essentially gave me a sort of semi formal dressing down over the over the telephone about why and actually so did. One of your fellow black seed editors. And yeah, I understand why. I understand why someone could see that as being in bad faith, but to me it was not because I, I wrote her saying, hey, I, I feel like we didn't actually unpack this all the way and I didn't want to derail my entire interview by. Getting into a big debate with you, I wanted you to be able to talk about your project and not just have an argument with me, because this was not a debate. It was an interview. But I do think some of the issues that we touched on have to be addressed and I have these thoughts and I welcome a response from you and she declined. And Even so I put in my little postscript, which was written by me, of course. That Invite her to respond, and I think. To me I'm enough of a neurasthenic creature that I have to point out when someone is that I have to point out when someone is engaging in logical fallacies for the benefit of posterity.
ARAGORN!: That's $5 word. God, you can't even. When you live self after saying something like that.
BELLAMY: It's a good life. It's a comfortable life. But no, I appreciate that. I mean, I, I did. I did shop around the ideand I got. I got mixed responses. Some people said, Oh yeah, you definitely have to do this. And then others took your view. So I I don't know but. Well, I mean.
ARAGORN!: There's a couple of things that I will say not exactly in your defense, but that do remind me of this topic enough to mentione is that I have done several interviews in the context of the brilliant where I didn't go after the throat of the person I was talking to. And as and as a result, the interview, the interview was more boring one and then point. Two after there was no consequence after the interview, and consequence is an is an interesting thing because as an example I really went after the throat of this person named Nathan June, who is not a person I necessarily should be interacting with or politically is relevant in the context of the brilliant. But by demonstrating sort of like what a nihilistic approach was to someone who was very much not that kind of person as a matter of fact, who just finished writing a book that just got released more or less defining. Anarchism, in such a way that it. Could only sort of fall in line. With enlightenment, values like demonstrating. Like what the . Proper response to that was made the interview much more interesting and the logical fallacies that you're referring to. I mean, I would just sort of say like slow thinking. Sloppy thinking or even different. Thinking like sometimes you just don't want to. Get into it. Because you don't necessarily want your life to be consumed with that particular argument, and perhaps the blow off conclusion was a way to do that, but it does, sort of. It is related to the conversation we're going to have later. In this episode where we talk about free speech, it does sort of connect to this topic of free speech and the limits of speech and the limits of. How we relate to each other and why we relate to each other? And obviously in Laelae's. Particular approach, like they’re sure there may be a primitivist, but their general interest is not anarcho primitivism. Their interest is elsewhere.
BELLAMY: Yeah, and go go ahead.
ARAGORN!: No, that's fine.
BELLAMY: No, that's fine, and I mean, that's why. As I said, I tried to allow her to really talk about what she is interested in because I think it. I think it is a genuinely to be, concerned with stories and especially children's stories I thought was a genuinely interesting topic and that's why I wanted her to be able to speak about it. You know when I get. Weirdly, personally attacked in a way that is not particularly relevant when I'm trying to ask a serious question about. This beside these these issues of food and ethics, I feel that I have to defend myself and I feel that I have to defend myself. Not because I. I'm so personally wounded, but for this for the sake of argument, because I take these things seriously and I because the book or say the journal is about what should we really be doing? What is possible, what is desirable and I.
ARAGORN!: And what was their attack? It's basically the because you're vegan. You're not vegan.
BELLAMY: It I mean. I don't know that I want to get into it that much, but it was, yeah. It's this sort of. You know it. It was these sorts of things about veganism and these sort of. Woester red herring arguments about. Issues of access to food, but they. They were, they were all they were all just repeatedly red herring arguments and I. Am such I am so concerned with. The degradation of reason that is happening at this particular moment because it has real consequences in the way that people think and try to act as anarchists and other radicals that I feel the need to really just. Drag it out as much as is necessary to allow the truth to shine forth, and that's what happened. And even if I have to be kind of * **** to do that, I'm. Fine with.
ARAGORN!: That, well, . I mean, I can to repeat my point. I feel like it's totally unfair. For you to have done it.
ARAGORN!: Not like whether or not you're * ****, is more or less irrelevant to me, but I will say that the greater concern for me is the idea that you're holding yourself to be this paragon of reason. That to me feels. Very scary.
BELLAMY: Well, I think in that case I was at least OK. So what about you? How are you feeling about black? Seed at the moment. Well, so we tried to do something pretty aggressive which was.
ARAGORN!: You know, so this amazing thing happened in August, which was an event called the indigenous Anarchist Convergence happened. Of course in Flagstaff the talaugon. Infoshop and those? There were like quite a few fallouts. Of course from the event it was. More or less amazing, sort of the kind of thing that just couldn't have happened 10 days ago 10 years ago and so on. That level, it was like we, we tried to hurry up and finish another issue of black seed IE black seed. Right, and, that we try to finish it by the end of the year. But, we don't ******* need the man's calendar. So, so it'll it'll happen.
BELLAMY: You're on the Julian calendar.
ARAGORN!: Exactly so it'll it'll be.
BELLAMY: So you have another two weeks.
ARAGORN!: You know it'll happen early 2020. UM? Part of like when you think about a project like a publishing project, you always have like certain strengths and weaknesses and. So one strength that we have which is sort of an amazing strength is that our business model works. Meaning we never have money be the issue as to why we haven't published another issue like. You know, because. This black seat is directly fed by the Little Black Car project and the Little Black Black Car Project has so few expenses and continues to sort of be successful as a capitalist enterprise. You know were just totally ready for #8 to happen on the logistics side, which is what. In fact do spend a lot of my time to. Working on and. But ? The other thing that we're trying to do with the with #8 was sort of implement a new and innovative editorial process which involved new people and that of course went much slower than we hoped. So #8 will be surprising for a lot of people, and probably. Welcome for them. Because the new editorial team has more of like a what are positively say is an on the ground. Feel to it and what I would negatively say has an activist feel to it. OK, sure,. So it will.
ARAGORN!: Happen soon it and maybe we'll do two issues in 2020. It's just funny to think that the thing that limited us from doing two issues in 2019 was not money, which normally that is the sort of thing.
BELLAMY: Yeah, instead of you're saying essentially was the sort of wonders and travails of collective decision making. And yeah. Yeah, yeah. I I recently I'm afraid I can't reference it, but I recently read a study about how academic mathematicians actually when they are trying to solve problems individually versus in Group conversations with each other. They perform worse as a group.
ARAGORN!: Yeah, yeah, right. Of course. Yeah, and there’s. This weird thing about doing projects in the Internet way. You know where people are not necessarily sitting in a room and doing much of anything together and instead using some sort of tool and then of course the tool ends up being what cripples you and what turns you into lunatics.
BELLAMY: Yeah and yeah. So one the other project.
ARAGORN!: That's worth mentioned from 2019. Which I thought was a totally worthwhile effort, and obviously there’s. There is some material result of that effort, but it didn't exactly go the way that I thought it was going to is the anarchy. Bank project.
BELLAMY: MHMM MHMM
ARAGORN!: Which energy bank for people who don't realize this, sort of like was a type of extension of the current project? But the big difference was that it was intended to be a weekly podcast and with the facility and the connection to call in and partially. Of course, this was motivated by John Suzanne's kind of assertion that. A call in format would somehow eliminate the problems of technology. You know?
BELLAMY: I haven't heard him say that.
ARAGORN!: Yeah, but it well. It's been decades since he said. It because he's been on the radio. For . 2 decades. But ? It was a. It was an effort to sort of see.
ARAGORN!: What was good and bad about that weekly format and that and that sort of call in style? I will say. That the end of the day, one of the positive lessons that came out of the project was that. The having multiple people call in the project ended up being really smooth. Once we realized that it was pretty easy to just stay on the phone the whole time. So we had. We would have three or four people who would more less call in and just stay on the phone for the whole hour and or two hours. And speak up occasionally, but not dominate the conversation. Or, sort of do. The thing that. Wacky callers do, which is sort of like totally not pay attention and change the topic and do what it is that they want. Do and. Yeah, anyways, the technology actually enabled us to have up to 6 plus people. On the line. Talk talking and it and it that was kind of amazing. You would have like. Three or four people in the studio and then six people on the line. It was like, wow.
BELLAMY: Right, right? And So what? Why why bring it to an end?
ARAGORN!: I committed to doing it for a year and in my head I was going to get a job last year which was going to make make the project sort of more time sensitive for me. You know with the idea of being working Monday through Friday and then sort of like preparing for it. On Saturday and then Sunday doing it. I didn't get a job.
ARAGORN!: As it turned out, so it was, it was fine to just have the one one to one 1 1/2 days a week where I sort of. Did stuff with the project, but. It definitely told me that like now that I'm getting older now that other things are changing. I was not going to want to do it. On top of a full time job, so that was sort of the primary reason for stopping also the bill was coming due. So it was. Like do I pay to keep it going another year or do I wrap it up so?
BELLAMY: This the bill for the technology involved with.
ARAGORN!: Yeah, yeah exactly. And then, secondarily, there was just this sort of sense. And this. This hard to. I'm not trying to make a critique, I’m just saying that like. This was. An air going from beginning, middle and end kind of project, which I'm not super excited about doing and I do find more emotionally and mentally exhausting than if it were something where I could be a little bit more. Behind the scenes.
BELLAMY: Yeah, sure, of course.
ARAGORN!: So of course it was very much airborne personality, airborne content, and then airborne keeping the show going.
BELLAMY: Yeah, and you have to be on all the time.
ARAGORN!: Very much.
BELLAMY: Yeah, and it yeah you have the issue with. To what extent should a personality drive a project where it's hard?
ARAGORN!: Yeah, right?
BELLAMY: It depends on the project.
ARAGORN!: Yeah, well, and more pointedly like. I want to be able to play around with it more and in this case was not able to and I'm not sure how that would look moving forward.
BELLAMY: Yeah, I will say I thought one of the strengths of the project was that obviously you get a lot of ****. Thrown at you, and it did. Doing something like this did mean rising to the occasion of saying, OK, well if you have criticisms of me as a person or how I do my projects or that sort of thing, you can just call in and you can. You can **** ** up, live on air, and so I thought that was a very positive aspect of it. As far as responding to critics.
ARAGORN!: Yeah, I mean that's a that opens up a big huge conversation because of course nobody did. Did and.
ARAGORN!: Right, yeah?
BELLAMY: Or at least not in any serious way. I mean you had you had.
ARAGORN!: Trolls yeah, yeah we had trolls for sure, but they but they literally could be people who agreed with me about everything but they just were going to troll me. Anyways, yeah, that's
BELLAMY: True, yeah, we have no idea, yeah?
ARAGORN!: Well, we do have one idea because one thing that did come out. Of that was. A particular troll really shined. They shine more over the first six months. The second six months, they stopped engaging publicly, but kept on trolling. And that was a sort of interesting phenomenabout like, what does it look like when you're troll? I mean they more or less agree with you, but they're 20. Years younger than you.
BELLAMY: Do you want to? Unpack that or.
ARAGORN!: Yeah, sure, I mean. The trolls name is Z and yeah.
BELLAMY: Oh yeah, I know this person. That's an online person, yeah?
ARAGORN!: And they. I think it was short for zakhaev I think it was from. The name of one of the people. From letters of insurgents. UM? And there's tons of personal biographical information that they sort of shared over time, but the punch line for that for them, for their political position, I guess, is that they were hard, green anarchist that whatever that means they had formally. Been under this way of Kevin Tucker and we're looking for a harder. Position than that. And so they were so hard that they would do things like. Show pictures of them with guns and they actually those are very funny. One that was like their whole arsenal and then my book in the. Middle of it. You know which is like one of those?
BELLAMY: Well, this. It's a bit odd, yeah?
ARAGORN!: It just says. That, like they're aiming their guns in.
BELLAMY: No, no, I understand.
ARAGORN!: The right direction.
BELLAMY: I understand, I understand.
ARAGORN!: No, I'm Not saying like.
BELLAMY: It's the yeah.
ARAGORN!: Hooray, let's do that, but. But it's.
BELLAMY: Yeah, I believe this the same person who called in. I'm not. I may be wrong about this. The one who called in and tried to drag me by saying. My project isn't really that cool because I’m growing plants and therefore I'm still a domesticated or something like I should just be going full.
ARAGORN!: Oh, that's funny, that's.
BELLAMY: You know, full hunter gatherer. Otherwise, it's just reformism I guess, or something.
ARAGORN!: I mean, that’s a classic,, Kevin. Tucker type dish.
BELLAMY: Oh yes, like yeah.
ARAGORN!: Like you're doing horticulture man. Yeah like.
BELLAMY: Yeah Kevin Tucker. Once compared it to. In conversation with me through e-mail, he once compared it to the Marxist, the Orthodox Marxist idea of taking over the state and using the state as a transition form. You know, I'm not going to do any kind of horticulture, even if it's a transition, because I don't believe in transitions like. I guess one day you're gardening the next week, a whole red bureaucracy has formed. That's going to oppress you, I mean.
ARAGORN!: I mean what's so great about that? Is 1, it's absolutely a parody of a sort of leftism. But two, it's like it's like have we have we actually agreed on what we how we think revolution happens or transitions of any sort. So Z ended up doing some really funny stuff that just, the whole. Anarchy Bang Community will we'll call it. Which is about. There are at least. 30 very active people who we're just making fun of every aspect of it. Because of course. Anytime you add a militant spin, within the American context it's. It says, oh it's so strange and wacky. It's like they were referring to. Can't remember the exact name, but basically the guerrillarmy in Africa that is ending shells rain. Petrochemical Nigerian.
BELLAMY: Yeah, it's movement for the emancipation of the Niger Delta.
ARAGORN!: Yeah right. So anyways they were sort of heavily referencing this group as being the group that also holds their position and just all this like hyper hyperbolic young man gun wielding and of course they scared some people because they did successfully. Some people at particular moments. And I refer to the pictures of them with guns. They essentially implied that they were going to meet the person while they were taking a vacation at wherever it is that they were going, and they were bringing a gun with them. So it's like it's like a little funny. A little not so funny and. So that happened.
BELLAMY: Yeah, sure I. I don't want to do too. Much drama so we.
ARAGORN!: Can yeah and that’s part of the thing. It’s like, yeah, very little content, high dramand high Internet drama you. Know so like.
BELLAMY: Yes, it's a. It's a very Internet kind of happening, yeah?
ARAGORN!: Very much so. And, figuring out that boundary is really interesting and hard too, it's. Anyways, I very much could. Pick up the Anarchy project in the future, but there's there are some personal logistics as to how. To do it. Like a couple of years from now, and Intend to be more on the road. Well is does that. Mean it's better to do a project like this? Or is it worse and ?
BELLAMY: Yeah, I think the idea.
ARAGORN!: That's your future question.
BELLAMY: Of having a little. Hiatus and then bringing it back is a is. A good one, yeah? And all the all the.
ARAGORN!: Archives exist, . You can go to anarchybang.com and find out everything that I'm talking about.
BELLAMY: Right, right? And so we're talking about.
ARAGORN!: Projects from 2019.
BELLAMY: Right, we're talking. Of course, we're talking about projects from 2019. One of the big themes I thought of the past year. Is both in the anarchist subculture context, and in the broader culture context? Increasing attack on free speech and free expression. However, we define those we can maybe. Talk about what? We mean by that, but and one of those things has been. The kind of continuing saga of. LBC being besieged by people who. Essentially claim to be. Radicals who want a wonderfully liberated and open world dramatically different from ours, but who also. In a schizoid manner, really want to suppress the just open exchange of ideas within their own little micro environment.
ARAGORN!: Yeah, I mean, there's a couple of different shortcut terms to talk about. This one is what happens when what happened when cancel culture came to energy land.
BELLAMY: Yeah, yeah, I think it that is a good way of putting it. Cancel culture, yeah.
ARAGORN!: The because of course, nobody in cancel culture would describe it the way that you just described it.
BELLAMY: No no.
ARAGORN!: But whereas they. Might be willing to identify with cancel culture.
BELLAMY: That's funny because. Well, no, go ahead, go ahead.
ARAGORN!: I mean, of course It’s this. It's a strange wicked because almost none of the people who are so incensed about the particular crimes of whoever. Seems to be doing much. In the way of building something. They very much just seem to be interested in some type of destruction, and so I'd also think. That we have. To map what that destruction looks like compared to, let's say, the nihilistic destruction of the existing, world writ large. I don't know. I mean obviously I have lots of a huge bundle of ideas of how to talk about this, and I'm not exactly sure. Sort of who I'm talking to. What I'm saying it, it's like. I think most of the people who listen to this podcast in particular, they're already on board with whatever it is that we're going to say. Like in other words, they're with us and they think that the kind of things that we're talking about cancer culture about. They're with us.
BELLAMY: Maybe I don't know, I mean. Any episode that? That we do gets a certain amount. Of negative feedback. So obviously people are listening just to. Experience hatred toward evil, right so? But I think, yeah, I think most people listening are more or less on board. Well, OK.
ARAGORN!: I mean, let's start. Slow and talk about what you mean when you talk about the free and open exchange of ideas. Because I think that's an interesting topic like some people think they talking about child sexuality while not being for it is OK.
ARAGORN!: Some people think that the topic is triggering and damaging to young people who might pass by the speakers.
BELLAMY: Right, sure so. When I am. One of the interesting things I think is. That many anarchists, including people who are mutual friends of ours, will say, Oh no, I'm not for quote UN quote free speech because what free speech really means is a relationship between. It’s a term that describes a relationship between governed people and their government, so it's this inherently sort of statist idea. OK, that's fine, as far as it goes, but what I mean when I say I am for free speech, which I absolutely am, is that I believe. We need. To have. A more or less free and open exchange of ideas. 1st for ethical reasons, because it is a foundational principle for human freedom in general. Second, for I guess you say logistical reasons because I think once you start to cut yourself off from criticism and feedback. You will tend to get worse and worse results in whatever group endeavor that you're trying to accomplish. And 3rd for. I guess I would say. The human is a fallen creature, reasons, which means that as soon as you let in the idea that you can sometimes. Physically coerce or intimidate people or deep platform them or what have you. As soon as you let in the idea that is sometimes OK to do it is just so easy for it to slide into more and more suppression, and therefore we have to for the same reasons that I'm against some people having state power because I am pessimistic. Human morality human tendencies. For the same reason I am for free speech because I think as soon as you start allowing censorship of some kind and it will just get toxic. Very fast. And so. This idea that. You know, somehow it's cool and heroic and just to intimidate or punch or get people censored online because of things that they're saying, I just. I think it's deeply toxic. I think it's anti anarchist and I think it is playing into the hands of the state because we're seeing now in the United States more and more push in this way. I mean even just a few weeks ago. The New York Times ran opinion piece entitled free speech is killing us. Free speech is killing us. That's the way that the dialogue is going. And I don't think I think America should be completely pushing back against them.
ARAGORN!: So this so well, part of the reason why these are challenging conversations because it's very. Hard to agree on terms. When, when? So in the story that you just told you didn't mention Nazis and of course we know that. Sort of like the first. Step in the sort of criticism of free speech. Is that's where Nazis hide out and. And basically that in this argument the argument for. Sort of. On hesitant free speech? How do we deal with the Nazi problem and? I almost think that this an argument about specialization. Because most people. Aren't excited about arguing about something like free. Speech in other. Words like can people say terrible things and that be OK. Yes, because of course . We know many, many people think that you shouldn't say terrible things, and that if you do it should be suppressed on some level.
BELLAMY: Yeah, and I think that's a totally authoritarian attitude. And the way that people. Usually go with. This Oh well, what if they make these ridiculous arguments like Oh well? What if someone is just following you around and spouting invective at you? It's like, OK, well clearly that's harassment. Like if if I. And being followed and harangued by someone or someone coming into my home and doing these things. That's not a speech issue. That's that's just a sort of basic boundaries issue. But the point is that any any society, unless it's very small, like Dunbar number sized which is how I think it should be. But any society larger than that is going to have some kind of public forum or public fora, whether it's publications or a literal sort of town. Square or a? Internet channels of the Internet and I think yes, in those public fora it needs to be open dialogue and if you don't like it then you can criticize it or respond to it or ignore it or whatever and that includes the Nazis and if you. If someone's response is if we let the Nazis start talking, Nazism will catch on OK. First of all, who really is a Nazi like? I would. Draw the definition of fascism or what have you smaller than I think many people would, but the second is if you think that. People are so vulnerable and so pliable that they hear a speech or two and they're going to go. You know, full. Genocide or fully genocidal on you. Then what does that say about your view of humans in general and to me we can talk about this later or not. If you think you can't even live with. Human beings without protecting them. Sort of dangerous ideas that will make them instantly flip into being monsters. Why would you want any kind of mass society? Doesn't that mean that you have such pessimism about the people around you that you think that they could become dangerous to you almost immediately and?
ARAGORN!: Well, this where this where this position becomes a liberal position almost immediately, because it never the this conversation never leads in that direction against mass society. It in fact leads in the direction that mass society will protect us as long as we do XYZ.
BELLAMY: Yeah, although I mean it depends on your definition of liberal. I mean the classical liberal position would be for free speech, right? I mean someone like. Noam Chomsky would say yes, of course you have to let the Nazis speak. He's still saying that, and he wants to defend a certain type of enlightenment society. Where, yes, you protect free and open exchange of ideas, but I think. Many of our Antifa type friends, they’re anti liberal in the classical sense, and they're for some kind of authoritarian pseudo anarchism where you just beat the **** out of people that you don't like and somehow at some point you win right? You just you. Fight evil until you win and somehow you don't transform into an authoritarian mess in the process.
ARAGORN!: I, I think that. The common use of liberal and. The tradition of the traditional. Thing are not very far apart. I do think it's worth reflecting on the moment of like again, many anti pop people are crowing. About the defeat of Milo, a single individual.
BELLAMY: I mean Milo, like. Honestly, he is not far removed at all in his actual views from just the sort of establishment Conservative Inc type of guy. I mean he. All he did all he did was sort of. You know Ben Shapiro type talking points mixed in with some vulgarity and like I'm like super flaming gay and I just like the idea that he was some kind of. Some sort of yeah is ridiculous. Like there's nothing about him. That is the least that NazIn any of his actual policy positions.
ARAGORN!: I guess though what I'm trying to get at. Isn't sort of the. The spectacle of all.
ARAGORN!: Of this, because it's true that Antifa sort of like everyone else in the mainstream ******** reality consensus reality. They're all playing the same game. They're playing for cameras. They're not playing for content that there's no content here, but that said, we, as in the critical anarchist position, still lost in this in this moment. And how could we have? How could that have happened differently?
BELLAMY: Well, OK, you mean we lost in the sense that.
ARAGORN!: Anarchists and anti farm more broadly have not demonstrated themselves to be critical engaged. Counter cultural phenomena.
BELLAMY: Or, I'm a little bit alarmed because it sounds like you're trying to present yourself as a paragon of reason and. No. I agree with. You I agree with you and I. I mean this. One of the. This one of the issues that makes me have these really stupid conversations with my partner where I go and say to her, I just don't know if I can call myself anarchist anymore because of what's happening and she goes, oh, give it a rest like you're anarchist but.
ARAGORN!: Sure, sure.
BELLAMY: Yeah, I don't know what to do. About that except essentially say. That anarchists need to be for freedom of speech against the idea that you that it's wonderful and cool to use physical coercion to stop ideas that you don't like, because actually that's the fast track to some species of authoritarian leftism. And if you. You disagree with that. You have to come up with a better argument than just but what about the Nazis? But what about the Nazis, right? But what about the Nazis? There's a, a Nazi under every manhole and hiding under every bed in spite of the fact that these people have no institutional power. They are reviled by every major center of power, Academia, Hollywood, the state. They're deep platformed constantly on YouTube, they're deep platformed constantly on Twitter, they're. The Rolling Stones said yes, it's great and wonderful if you punch a Nazi and the New York Times is saying yes, we need to shut down the speech of these evil people, right? They are hated by every center of power and the idea that somehow they’re moments away from taking over is ridiculous.
ARAGORN!: It reminds me of. I think it was one of Adam Curtis's documentaries where he talks about when Reagan era Star Wars. Programs were coming into into.
ARAGORN!: The technological possibility part of the conversation was like the reason why we have to do this, is because the Soviet Union's power is so great that they don't even have to test it.
BELLAMY: Anymore, right right? Yes yeah, yeah.
ARAGORN!: It's like.
BELLAMY: Well, It’s like. It's also like the recent Hillary Clinton thing where she was saying Tulsi Gabbard was an agent of the Kremlin, and when there was pushback against this the chattering classes who are loyal to the Clinton Democrat power Nexus say. Oh well, . You don't actually have to be in communication with Russia to be a Russian agent. Actually, don't even. You don't even have to. Know that you are a Russian, right like. So you could. You don't, you don't.
BELLAMY: Have to actually even believe in fascism or white supremacy to be a Nazi. You know, if you're just doing things that are useful to them, like criticizing Antifa, that makes you a Nazi.
ARAGORN!: I I just I want to end this. Sort of thing that we're talking about right now by saying that. I desperately wish that anarchism were an open that anarchists were an open conversation with each other about this. But the. Craziest thing that seems like a conclusion. To take from. The last couple of years has been that. Stupid mainstream attitudes about how it is that you engage with people you disagree with seem to have infected the anarchist space and it's wildly disappointing and. And yeah, and it, it's sort of like this a moment to just really take pause in this, and perhaps to speak more by way of the essay or whatever. The **** to how it is that this happened and how it is that. Yeah, that. How it is that this happened I just? Had a pretty.
ARAGORN!: Serious conflict with somebody that's I guess, luckily private. But where the punchline to it was that I'm a terrible person, blah blah blah. And the reason I'm a terrible person is because I provided an environment where these conversations can happen publicly that they basically claimed that several of their friends. I had to go into hiding because they were public conversations about criminal activity that they were involved in, which of course. I think is sort of well. I don't want. To be accused of being against criminal activity. Quite the opposite, but the idea being that by having open conversations in an open platform to have these conversations that basically I put individual people in jeopardy and our whole little anarchist. Base in. In the crisis.
BELLAMY: Yeah, I might be suffering from some kind of cognitive block. I don't even quite understand what the what you allegedly did wrong, so just the mere fact that you.
ARAGORN!: Anarchist news.
BELLAMY: Right, OK, so the mere fact that you.
ARAGORN!: 15 years of anarchist news, yeah.
BELLAMY: OK, the mere fact that you. Host this platform where. People using the platform who are not. You could say things that endangered, hypothetically endangered, others. Merely providing that space you did something bad.
ARAGORN!: Yeah, I mean they're the more specific accusation would be that. That like that ID solved all the problems.
BELLAMY: By I'm sorry.
ARAGORN!: By there being no comments.
BELLAMY: OK, that's what I thought, yeah.
ARAGORN!: In other words, all content on IG D has been vetted by some collective body that has confirmed that's appropriate to be shared publicly and there's no, there's no off topic conversation happening.
BELLAMY: Yeah, yeah, that's. Yeah, I mean this this the same kind. Of it's actually. It's kind of a similar ethical framework to the free speech thing, by allowing a space right that where something might happen that I don't like, merely you providing that space you’re therefore countenancing evil doing. So, but it is.
ARAGORN!: Worth mentioning that this does exist in the context. In other words, like anarchists and anarchists in the United States in particular, have particular cultural constructs and. May or may. Not challenge them, but this might be a great time for you to talk about the fact that you saw crime, think recently and crime. Think of course does live in a different cultural and contextual space than we do.
BELLAMY: Yeah, nice semi coercive segue.
BELLAMY: It was on our track list.
ARAGORN!: Thank you very.
BELLAMY: Much, I guess it's. It sort of dovetails with free speech issue, and then I guess it can go. It can take us eventually to. What would we? What would we? Like to see in 2020? So yeah, this was. Oh geez, this was probably. I think it was this past May. It was around the beginning of it was around springtime this past year and they came doing a. For their book from Democracy to freedom.
ARAGORN!: Oh wow Ken.
BELLAMY: And there were two of the representatives there. Their talk was, was fine talking about. You know the idea of democracy, either on a large scale or. On a small scale, in terms of decision making in. Activist groups and that kind of thing and how democracy can be. Certain forms of authoritarianism, a foothold, which I'm totally fine with. I mean, I. Don't think that democracy, either direct or representative, has much of anything to do with anarchism, and so that was all kind of fine and dandy, but. You know one thing that's kept happening in the conversation was they both of them repeatedly referred to. You know the far right this the far right that the far right is doing this and I. Right, right and. I think we've talked about this on this show before, and I know I've talked about it on the. Other projects have done this idea of what I call world domination anarchism, where the implicit premise never stated almost never stated behind. This way of thinking and talking and acting out anarchism is that some point we're going to win. And we are essentially going to. Create this new world society where? Apparently everyone is anarchist. Everyone is super woke and we have created this kind of universal culture where everyone's going to think the same way and have similar life ways. You know, maybe we're all going to be queer, some all this. Kind of this weird way of looking at things that what freedom looks like is I replace all ideas and life ways with mine and then we live happily ever after. And so I during the Q&A did some sort of pushback where. I said You know, I ask questions. That essentially communicated what I just said in a nicer, more respectful way of do you really think that's? Like does anarchism look like a new world society to you or does it instead look like radical decentralization, which is what I would like and also what I think is the only real, sane way to imagine a world that I would like to see and. And I got a response from one of the speakers there. The other one was notably quiet. And this person said essentially, what? What anarchism, what the triumph of anarchism would look like to them would be this kind of. Federations within federations within federations, all the way up to a world society. Although this person didn't use the term world society, and I again sort of pushed back saying I. I don't see that as practical for a number of reasons, but I also think you keep talking about the far right, the far right and. Relative to what? Imagine your point of view. Is the far right. By the definitions that I'm imagining. You have would be billions of people and what is it that you're going to do with all of these people? If, let's say we had were an incredible explosion of worldwide insurrections. And states started crumbling the world over. These people with ideas and lifeways different from you are going to want to form communities different from yours, and if you push against them, they are going to push back and that will lead to escalating aggression until we reach the point of what are you going to do are. You going to take all these people line them? Up and shoot them. Are you going to send them to reeducation camps until they get super woke and agree that biological sex doesn't exist and everyone should celebrate. Diversity and inclusiveness. Are you going to? Like what level of force are you willing to inflict on these people and why? And where does it lead? Or are you instead going to accept a radically decentralized world where we don't live under a horrible leviathan States and we instead? Live in small autonomous communities where people have significantly different values, different life ways and agree to mutual non interference pacts. Mutual defense pacts having as friendly relations as you can. In spite of disagreement allowing for, as much as possible free movement of people so that they can find the communities that they would. And if that means that all the white nationalists get together in racially homogeneous communities or whatever like I'm fine with that. And so I said this and. Four people in there were probably 1520 people at this gathering who would come to see them speak. Four people reacted so viscerally it was if Satan himself had manifested. In the room. And one of them immediately responded, saying. In a in a shaking, literally shaking voice,, I just have such a problem with what you said that I don't know where to start. I mean would I want to shoot all these people I mean. I hope it wouldn't come to that, but I. Just think this astonishing, I mean.
BELLAMY: Are you're such a? Jacobin that you're already ready to. Talk about mass executions and I just.
BELLAMY: Anyway, I have other things to say about this, but I talked for a bit so you. Should give me some feedback.
ARAGORN!: Yeah, I mean I don't think. Part of the problem with any of these conversations, especially in a room of strangers, is.
BELLAMY: Yes, and they. These were except for the two friends I went with. I didn't know any of these. People like.
ARAGORN!: Ultimately, a lot of people would like to see their click win yes, and if we want to talk like just as I mean, I want to, I'll just say what I feel about the. Little black cart. Situation as bluntly as possible in this context, because to some extent, many people. Who are allied or who share the point of view that you're referring to about it? My click lost and that's the click of critical post left. Nihilistic anarchists are not good at making friends and at doing the thing and at doing the thing that it takes to sort of like stay cool in that room because that person. If they knew some of your work, if they knew things about you, they very well might like you quite a bit. You know. Might even be like a big fan. Or something but.
BELLAMY: Yeah, I think that is.
ARAGORN!: Possible, but in fact to the extent to which like and again well and to the but to the extent to which you're. Referring to the fact that like. Click Victory is not actually a great a great way for anarchists to think about their about their work and. And it's definitely not how the world works, broadly stated. Like there's some, there's some problems ahead and those. Problems do have to do.
ARAGORN!: With some of these types of questions I hate to sort of. Like being an. Old mand talk about history, but . 1012 years ago there was this very explicit visceral critique of crime. Think that involved throwing people's backpacks out the window and eventually involved crime thing, sort of like kicking out the traveler kids. That was essentially a critique that boiled down to your group is a white group that pretends to be bigger and but pretends to be broader and you're really not and the way that crime think addressed it was by taking it totally, seriously and totally missing the point. Meaning that they essentially became a radical journalism project. They wrote like crazy on this topic. They wrung their hands viscerally like in such a way that we could hear it on the other on the other coast, and. And basically lamented the fact that they were that the that the criticism was true, even if it was sort of bucked up and inappropriate and all the rest and didn't change a thing about why the criticism was true because what they what they sort of succeeded at was sort of to say. This the definition of the click. This what inside and outside that click looks like and we're going to do something that's more that. That absolutely addresses the shallowness the shallow part of the critique and doesn't address at all the. Fact that like. You totally yes, what you say is true. We are these people. We only have the capacity to do this. Which, like they didn't quote UN quote, become different people and I don't blame them for this. I blame the way in which people think that a good criticism means. Like that you. Like lose your mind or like . You totally changed.
ARAGORN!: Your actions, like I think it's totally fine for crime thing to say like, we're countercultural. We're sort of like we're wrestling with the issues of race in the exact same way that other American non radical groups are are are dealing with the same types of issues. And we'd like to throw this open. And to A to a thing that a broader set of people can get involved in talking about rather than just our set of people talking about. Anyways, I think about that a lot when. I when I sort of. See like crime thing does amazing journalistic type work and I don't. Feel like those. People get nearly enough credit for the for the work that they do because. It all ends up getting cold crime thing.
BELLAMY: MHMM MHM Yeah, and so. The outcome of the meeting that I described was that we had a tense back and forth for a bit in the Q and I a friend of mine who was there brought up Bolo’bolo which actually I didn't mention to you earlier. I have finally. Read Bolo’bolo.
ARAGORN!: Oh, good.
BELLAMY: Yeah, and I thought it was very well done and I agreed with most of it and this friend of mine said, look. Basically what Bellamy is talking about is. Is is this kind of model and I agree with him, that's it's the one of the few. Big picture, strategic, practical sorts of things that could be done at this point and. It's kept escalating to the point that's one of the people in attendance. What, not someone with crime thing but one of the people in the. In spite of the fact that I was just calmly responding to this person, I seriously thought he was going to deck. Me before I got, yeah. And it's and. And It’s one of these sort of depressing things about when you walk through the world as a paragon of reason and. Virtue, and you're just. Sorry, you're just constantly. Finding you can't actually have a human conversation. It. It's sad to me that I feel like when I talk to some sort of normal person in a bar I can have. In many ways, a more sane political conversation than at a crime. Think event when the mere fact that I say hey, people. Live and do and think in ways that you really don't like. Are going to be here whether you like it or not, and it's better if you find a way that you can strategically get rid of the worse things about our world. Like insane state violence and mass incarceration and. Runaway industrialism destroying the planet. And if you could sort of. Agree about the biggest things. You don't like about the world and then agree to sort of. Separate as much as possible and you have to live with just knowing that there are people on the planet that are doing things that you don't like and the response from a so-called anarchist. They would never put it this way, but the response really what it means from a so-called anarchist person is. Actually, I can just destroy all of those people. Yeah, that's. I mean yes, that's a non starter.
ARAGORN!: I think you I. You're being hysterical in how you're framing it, but . But of course what you're saying is true, which is that we never have conversations about what. What framing do we choose together instead? The position tends to be we know what's right.
BELLAMY: We know it's right and we can force it upon others, and if they don't like it then we're going to use escalating levels of violence against them until they just, put up with it or die.
ARAGORN!: Well, but that’s the truth of the matter, which is that we are talking about. Like this. Why revolutionary movements in my opinion. Are suppressed so easily is that. Most of the time, the order of operations has more to do with deciding how much violence 11 can control and wants to start implementing, and that's when you get caught.
BELLAMY: Right? But it I you're saying I'm being hysterical in the way I'm framing it. You know, obviously I'm. Having a bit of fun and everything but. When people. Get this upset that they don't even want to have a conversation with you about it or that they, feel that you're some sort of demon by even bringing it up. When they do that in the context of the fact that leftist revolutionary movements have a bad record when it comes to mass killing mass execution, brutality toward people who don't want to go along with the social revolution, it just makes. Me think . You are the type of person that if the situation in the United States were to change. And some sort of. Left wing revolutionary movement. Where to ? Somehow take hold in the United. States you would. Be OK, it seems. With the next round of mass killings and or at the very least you aren't acting in a way that demonstrates to me that you necessarily wouldn't. You know, maybe when the **** really hit the. Fan you think? Oh ****, I'm totally not OK with this. I don't want to act like, I could see into the souls of these people, obviously. But the way that they're talking, at least is. Yeah so and. It makes me. It makes me. Sad about the subculture and that's why my. My next projects that I want to do I. Am going to. Really be trying to reach out of the subculture and sort of put my money where my mouth is. And say, OK, you. Know tell me you're saying that you're? You're fine with having a dialogue and agreement with these sort of various types of malcontents that you might have disagreements with, so I'm going to actually try to do that. And I think it's an interesting time. For it, because we do have on the global scale. These signs of discontent with the sort of reigning. You know globalist sort of power elite. There's discontent coming from all sorts of different corners. And so I think it's a good time actually for this sort of pan secessionist Bolo’bolo type of idea to maybe find fertile ground. You know we see everything from. You know various nationalist movements in Europe you have. In the United States, this kind of tension over. Gun rights issues happening in Virginiand other places in the US. You have you I. Guess it feels like there's a lot of. Discontent coming from different places, and that those places might be open to a kind of. Idea of, well, what about decentralization? What about reducing the reach and power of giant states? What about more local or regional autonomy? And I think there's a lot of that in the air right now.
ARAGORN!: Well, OK.
BELLAMY: I mean this. Is a great.
ARAGORN!: Transition sort of what I wanted to close this conversation with is what do we want to do and talk about in 2020. So obviously you’re leaving that with some language. And you're definitely, you’re crafting some language that is inoffensive to a couple of audiences that you obviously are targeting. I'm curious and ultimately I think that you need your own word. I mean to some extent the good thing about the magazine is that it sort of had its own heft, and I really think that you probably want a word that. Can be used. In a similar way to the way. In which the word rewelding is used. It is more of a sort of sociological. Aspect to it or something.
BELLAMY: Right, OK, so there was some implicit criticism there. And then there was. There was some explicit criticism there. My point just to clarify, was I? I think that the. Encroachment of increasingly global governance. The encroachment of increasing cultural homogenization and the ecological pressures of technology. Together will act to make more and more people who whatever they think however much I might. Disagree with them. They won't like what's happening. They won't like being forced into a global society, and so I think that there's a ripeness. In this moment for. Promulgating the idea of radical decentralization to whomever will listen so that maybe clarifies what I was talking about in a roundabout way, as I was freewheeling in the last section there, and I think the I think the word is hand secessionism I know it's a. It's a technical term. I know, but so is it uncharismatic is that the problem?
ARAGORN!: In my response to you, I was. I was basically going to say that what you're missing. In all of that. Verbiage is essentially a post situationist analysis. Meaning that the way in which we have become a spectacular rized has to be part of anything. That you're talking about, but obviously. Yeah, yeah, sure.
ARAGORN!: But obviously doesn't have. An audience in the same way that you're using it. That said, the left very much thinks that there's a global uprising happening right now, and amongst the kind of leftists that talk about it the most are people who also refer to themselves. As a type of secessionist and I'm referring to the group that calls itself ARM and that uses race trader type language. Anyway, it's the point is that. That perspective is starting to build its own infrastructure within the radical left in space.
BELLAMY: That's fine, though.
ARAGORN!: I’m I'm let me just.
BELLAMY: They can be included. In the umbrella.
ARAGORN!: Finish my point, which is that their website is like a MW worldwide or something like that and they and the reason that I mentioned them in that perspective is like. Your like the language you're.
ARAGORN!: Using sounds to me like a secular right wing language, so it's like not, not right. Wing doesn't call itself right wing, but talks about the sensibilities of the right like IE. You referred to being anti state and you didn't refer to capitalism. And the sort of complication, which is of course also the situation as point I made earlier. I guess again what I'm what I'm referring to. The word that you're. That's missing it. What I'm referring. To about it is the fact that. Like you also want. To articulate your perspective as a practical perspective. Yes, rather like and that's why I mentioned rewilding rather than other things, because rewilding ultimately, if reloading doesn't involve some talk about like how you put some sticks together and make a nuclear missile, then it's. It's not, it's It’s ultimately a practical. Philosophical perspective and you, of all people, know that your. Philosophical perspective is going to dominate unless you're really conscious about.
BELLAMY: Something else, yeah sure. OK, I like that I'm getting critical feedback, so I didn't say anti capitalist because capitalism, has at least three definitions, maybe even more. If people want to secede from the dominant society and. Have some sort of market. Society, I'm totally fine with that. Is, I mean the point with as I'm on this. Yeah, so the point with this sort of pensionist umbrella idea is that I want to include as many people as possible, including these people that you briefly described who are talking about secession. I think that's. You know, that's great.
ARAGORN!: From a rights perspective, yeah.
BELLAMY: Yeah, that's great. Great and I'm actually talking to. I've been hanging out with them. People who did the inhabits.
ARAGORN!: Oh, really.
BELLAMY: Yeah, and I've been talking to them about it and saying, let's let having basically having this the same sorts of conversations that I was trying to have at the crime thing thing. Except these people are reasonable and don't act like they want to assault me because they say something that they disagree with. So it's.
ARAGORN!: Their audience might.
BELLAMY: Yeah, that's fine, but I. Mean if people are, consider. Anti state communist type people and they want to secede to try to create the socialist utopia. Great go for it great we just have to agree that the common. There are certain common enemies that are going to stop anyone from doing self organized organic communities, and we should recognize those sorts of common enemies and that is. I think. At the moment the most fertile way of looking at things that I see. The common enemies are the are the, the large scale global industrial system, the major state or sort of deep state or global state. Sort of powers. They are the sort of this like corporate cultural homogenization that is. Is going to. Extinguish any kind of organic lifeway because you just, the more you can wipe out anything non consumerist, the more consumerism can go like this. These are the problems the mass media.
ARAGORN!: I share my criticism not because I'm trying to suppress your thing. But is really to help your thing be more successful.
Speaker 2:, no, I understand that.
ARAGORN!: And well, sometimes people don't,, and so you hope to do this by way of like.
BELLAMY: It's going to be an online thing.
ARAGORN!: An online thing, yeah?
BELLAMY: It's going to be an online thing I'm going. Back to. The Internet.
ARAGORN!: Yeah, I've heard good things about it. So this that.
BELLAMY: There’s a lot of stuff on. That Internet
ARAGORN!: So In fact totally disagree with this as a project for 2020 because I basically don't think anybody is powerful enough. To Outshout electoral politics, and I think that 2020 is basically a wasted year and that this a year to recharge your batteries and to and to really think about.
BELLAMY: Ohh I see sure yeah.
ARAGORN!: Let's say whatever it is that you're doing so that come 2021 you're ready to launch, you're ready to do your thing because. I'm serious.
BELLAMY: That is a good criticism that.
ARAGORN!: 2020 is awash and yeah, yeah.
BELLAMY: No, that's a good point. I should talk to my. The primary person. I'm doing this with about that yeah, it's going to be. It's going to be so ridiculous it. I mean it already is. I don't know if you've been.
ARAGORN!: It already is.
BELLAMY: Paying attention, yeah.
ARAGORN!: Yeah, I really like comedy and I really desperately want late night comedians to entertain me with things I call laughter and they're just not doing it at all anymore because they can't stop talking about this ******* stupid sideshow.
BELLAMY: Yeah. Well. I mean we have. To defeat evil in 2020, right that's.
ARAGORN!: Yes, yes indeed yeah.
BELLAMY: OK. So OK, do you? So you've said what you think cannot happen in 2020. Do you want to talk about what you would like to see in 20? 20 or what?
ARAGORN!: Well, in terms of my own projects, I mean I'm feeling like I have been like if my click is lost, what does that mean for me? And so that's very much my thought for 2020 is. To really retreat. And to think and write, and to and to start. Planning for some future projects. I feel like I'm not enough people to sort of outshout the idiot voices of the anarchist. Anarchists and activists left and, and I'm feeling tired of being the punching bag.
BELLAMY: Sure, sure, yeah. I mean so. We kind of. We sort of already talked about the free speech thing. I don't know if you want to resurrect that to talk about it. In the.
ARAGORN!: I'm to you. Asking, but I guess I just I don't have a lot of energy meaning like I don't have much to say like the click will call it the. Anarchist activist click has shut my publishing project. Little Black heart out of another event. Just having a.
BELLAMY: Couple weeks
ARAGORN!: Let's go all of the art like the Queen quote reasons to which I. Got which was very. Little were total weaksauce right? They were something about akassand something about the fact that like we make cheap.
BELLAMY: It's actually very. It's actually very similar to the accusations against Socrates, right? You were accused of corrupting the youth.
ARAGORN!: Exactly and like. The amount of energy I have to summon to pretend like I care. So much about a toss of the like the idea that I corrupt the youth is it? That's wonderful. That's ecstatic, no publisher. Would want more. But we're not really.
ARAGORN!: Talking about that like we're talking, we're talking about something else entirely. That isn't about me or us, or anything that we've done and so the idea that I have to throw myself in front of a bullet. I didn't fire. You know, I.
BELLAMY: Just it's really become this albatross that you. Never really asked for. I mean, at no point in spite of what some people. Continue to claim to the contrary, neither you nor I ever said, Oh yeah, eco extremism. That's totally. What we're for? That's totally, what we would like to see. We never, never once said that, and I've, challenged our critics. Find me one quote from either us where we ever said that and no one has. The silliest criticism we ever got from a now defunct podcast was in the within the space of 10 minutes. They first claimed that we said we had problems with their actions. But their theory is super great. And then a few minutes later, the person claimed that we said there are problems with their theory, but at least they're doing something clearly. You know, if both those things cannot be true, and in fact neither of them are. And it's unfortunate that I don't know like is this just sort of a human nature issue that. Something like this. That the subculture is so incapable of go.
BELLAMY: Well other.
ARAGORN!: Ahead, I mean the other part of this that for many people this nothing to do about Atassa. Atassa was just a way it was a vector to use to basically attack me in a non critical way. IE without. Yeah, it was a way to sort of say **** Aragorn. I've disliked him for years. Here's a mechanism by which I can get rid. Of him You know, so it's like to the extent to which that's true. It's about clicks. It’s just about sort of social being social stuff and I've never took a shine to it in such a way. That I was going to go to a party. With people who I found boring and who were doing boring **** for long enough to make to make a human connection with a bunch of people who I don't give a **** about. And that's this, is the hard part. It's like. How do you?
ARAGORN!: How do you get into it with people who you don't have a relationship with and who very much do not want to? Get into it with you.
BELLAMY: Right, so see, This why pan secessionism is the only sleep.
ARAGORN!: I don't even know what that means. If we if we.
ARAGORN!: I mean I. Hate pants.
BELLAMY: Could all bullow bolo right? If Bolo’bolo pants sessions, them could be this sort of overarching strategic goal of anarchism then we can just agree to disagree but. Like all this stuff, it's like. It's about like sentimentality. It's about sort of, like what is an appropriate. Thing to say and it's almost like what is an appropriate thing to say in polite company. How do we? How do we navigate? The intimacies of social relations. You know all the stuff I feel like, can that can be worked out in your dunbars number group of people. It's not. It's not a broad scale anarchist. Strategic issue, whether.
ARAGORN!: Well, I'm going to take this in a very different direction, which is to say that I've been a super fan of Bolo’bolo for 25 years. I really, really love this book and I've, I've done as much as a single person can do to promote this book as sort of a thing that we talk about in America. Yes, that said, the first half of that book I've always said to people avoid don't look at it. Don't talk about it because the first half of the book is exactly the part of the book that you're talking about right now, which is that the first half of the book sort of says this how we can get there. And I'm not saying I'm right, I'm saying that it is worthwhile for us to sort of re sit down and reconsider that first half of the book, perhaps to see what we agree and what we don't agree with. About it, because perhaps it is arguing for exactly the thing that you're arguing for right now, a pan secessionist movement. I always read it is basically saying if we keep on working on the counterculture we will make it grow and I'm not sure that's what I would say that it's trying to say today.
BELLAMY: Yeah, I think the. The procedural strategic questions are certainly up for debate, and I think they're going to look. They're going to look different in each region and locality where they play out, but I think that the overall projection of where we want to go is basically right, except for there's some weird stuff at the end where.
ARAGORN!: They try to bring bring the market back.
BELLAMY: Well, like it's like this. Sort of like we could have a like sort of global governance type agreements through this whole representative system, . I mean, you want to basically leave each other alone as much as possible and get along as much as possible to the extent to which you interact. But the idea that we should be. That the culmination of the anarchist macro political project would look like radical decentralization and autonomy. Separatist autonomy at the smallest level possible. I mean, ideally even all the way down to the individual. That is the. Goal and it should be something that. A wide range of people could agree on even if they disagreed about so many other things. Yes, that's my stump speech.
ARAGORN!: But the but the point is, is that it. There is a whole program about how we get from here to there in that book that is worth sort of like maybe even just writing a criticism of with your own perspective thrown in.
BELLAMY: Yeah, yeah, I agree with you. Yeah right, that is something that I should do. And by the way.
ARAGORN!: The end part that you're talking about that I totally agree is nonsense and ridiculous really comes out of the fact that like first of all there were communist and anarchist type people in the 80s who are already thinking about the consequences of computer network. Technology basically long before the Internet that those people also had a very utopian ideas to how it was going to play out.
ARAGORN!: And really, what you're seeing in there is that an example of what that utopianism looks like.
BELLAMY: Yeah, it just it seems like. Three steps forward. 2 Steps back because he makes this whole push against the idea of a global society and then serves as well. But maybe we could have like kind of a loosey Goosey global society, but it would be, really non binding, and so why, like . What why? Just just let it? Be what it is I mean. No one, no one wants it.
ARAGORN!: It’s hard to argue against information.
BELLAMY: What's that?
ARAGORN!: It's hard to argue against information in. In other words, it's very easy to decide the information is neutral.
BELLAMY: Yeah yeah.
ARAGORN!: I mean basically it's the anti William Gillis argument also.
BELLAMY: Yeah, sure sure.
BELLAMY: How do you do that?
ARAGORN!: Well, I feel like the like we have reached a natural conclusion or at least an ending.
BELLAMY: Sure, sure.
ARAGORN!: So let's end this for now. Obviously we'll do this again three months or so. That would be great. Yeah, it's always a pleasure, and. Yeah, thank you very much, thank you.