photo by SG

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Quick Explosion of Anger

Fuck the anarchist movement, or at least a chunk of it. My latest proof?

Just fucking read this. Also another version here.

I must admit that I'm more interested in the comments than the initial piece. They express what I've come to hate about the movement, a bullshit game of "who's more radical" that lacks a basis in reality and uses not-so-sneaky techniques to shut down dissenting viewpoints. What's great is that there are whole conversations that basically consist of someone going "You've gotta check your privilege and here's why" and someone else replying "No, you've gotta check yours and here's why." With all this privilege-checking (a masturbatory game that basically boils down to a hip new PC version of the prolier-than-thou of the Marxists) is anyone actually out there doing anything? With all this internal discussion about whether or not we should put newspaper boxes in the street or take them out, I'm wondering what exactly it is that any of this shit means.

Autonomous cells in affinity with a points of unity? Anarcho-liberals? ? What the fuck does any of this shit mean? Literally, every other response on and Infoshop are telling people to fuck off because whatever their opinion is, it is "oppressive" or "authoritarian" or "patriarchical." I'll take one quote verbatim: Someone made a point that this poster had correllated "rowdyness" with masculinity and passivity with femininity. To which the reply went "Thanks for your critiques. That's a good point...However, I hold that my experience of machismo and being othered and womaned as a female-bodied genderqueer is valid. Please do not try to negate my experience, because that’s patriarchal." I basically agree that there is more to it than just pointing out the constructedness of machismo, it's still a functioning social structure that educates women and men to act differently. But what a sneaky rhetorical trick. This person's argument basically boils down to "I don't agree with the point you are making and because it is something involving my feelings, you telling me that I am wrong is authoritarian." I can't see any escape from this trap of self-indulgent argumentative method, and it's what I see all over this milleu. Instead of discussion based on furthering our understandings and strategies, we see a bunch of cheap tricks to avoid debate and a few well-worn cliches ("diversity of tactics" immediately springs to mind as the most flagarent example.)

On Infoshop, someone says "But let's face it-- Bash Back! as we once knew it is dead." I can't help but not be surprised. While it's disappointing when an anarchist project that so many people have spent so much time working on is heading towards irrelevance or collapse, but the way that BB! has operated makes me pretty neutral towards its end. For a group (or whatever, since I guess I can't call it a group) that spends so much time talking about privilege and identity, I'm pretty impressed with how little work I've seen them do. Was BB! working in queer communities to help fight internal problems like substance abuse and racism? Was BB! organizing for rights and benefits for sex workers? What exactly were they doing besides throwing protests at churches and at the Human Rights Campaign? Of course those douches deserve it, but I don't think that stuff is the same as organizing for the concrete liberation of LGBTQ folks. Maybe I just missed the real work because it didn't show up on the 5 o'clock news. Still, my impression is that on the whole BB! has not really done anything concrete to fix this broken society besides a couple of interventions and protests. But who am I to say so? I guess I'm just being authoritarian and patriachical.