"Saying a slur isn't as bad as other bad things in the world, so I'm gonna do it" is a perennially favorite whataboutism, but it's worth engaging with the damage of the act.

There are a few good reasons we don't ever tolerate slurs in anarchist or leftist spaces...
1) Obviously slurs like microaggressions et al directly impact some oppressed people in terms of broad psychological overhead, etc. But there's also the issue of signaling who's at home in certain spaces.
This is quite obviously why certain dipshits love throwing around slurs -- they want to aggressively vice signal that "only those with thick skins who don't care" are welcome, their crowd. And it only takes a few getting away with it to make that the default.
2) Which brings us to *character* and *values*. Part of being an anarchist or generally decent human being is constantly striving to better yourself and looking for opportunities to do less harm. Shouting slurs is obviously declaring you can't be bothered past a point.
Beyond the direct harm that eg shouting "bitch" at some nazi does to the people on the frontlines beside you, it also indicates something about your character, which is predictive of your actions. You're not a radical about improvement, you're a "good enough" sloucher.
3) This makes you a practical *danger* to radical spaces. Odds are you're going to pull shit on something like "oh whatever, that's not Real Rape." Because your highest priority isn't stopping harm, just "the big stuff." So you're inevitably going to damage others struggling.
It's important to note that prefigurative politics/ethics where we struggle to develop radically better relationships with one another, completely different from social norms, *are part of building a strong movement.*
4) As previously noted this also changes the expectations and definitions of a movement, in part by letting in monsters. If the movement is just targeted towards combating a few distinct "big harms" rather than all harms it will tolerate the seeds of alternative future big harms.
So slurs don't hurt "as bad as the cops" but 1) they do hurt, 2) they're symptomatic of not being radically committed to avoiding harm and predict doing it, 3) tolerating slur throwers damages our capacity to struggle against the "Big Harms", 4) derails us in long-term strategy.

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More from @rechelon

7 Sep
Someone scoffed at the idea that antifa used to be widely hated on the left.

Being consistent and opposing fascist creep everywhere means in every fight you earn a huge chunk of the scene as enemies.

Let's take a local group as an example...
These examples will be out of chronological order because my memory is a disordered jumble. But

Picketing and shutting down Death In June was a WILDLY unpopular stance. It got a huge swath of metal, industrial, folk, pagan, etc folks pissed for life. Many in the left.
Next let's consider shitty conspiracy leftist Tim Calvert who kept bringing holocaust deniers to town to give talks. Antifa fought to shut those events down and get Calvert fired from his bike cooperative. Every coop member and 9/11 truther mobilized against antifa in response.
Read 11 tweets
23 Aug
A good prompt. Let me try to do a thread on notable developments / events in US anarchism since 2011...
* While the Syrian civil war began before Occupy, anarchist alignment with Kurdish communalists only began to play a huge role after Occupy, influencing an astonishing resurgence of Bookchin from near-irrelevance within US anarchist spaces.
* 2012 the PNW Grand Jury Raids and Leah snitching shattered anarchist scenes in Portland, Oly and Seattle, many people go underground or flee the country, leaving PNW scene mostly dead.
Read 33 tweets
16 Aug
My sincere answer for why tankies reemerged five years ago is that movements are social hierarchies and newbie teens don't want to compete for status in existing illegible/inaccessible spaces like anarchism, so they resurrected a dead/empty scene that had trappings of status.
Leftism exploded in social cachet for a variety of reasons, and newly minted leftists needed to slap an identity, a brand, a flag of status and association on themselves.

"Stalin did nothing wrong, USSR looked cool" is a quickie that requires no work or long acculturation.
For all of recorded history tankies were like three old creepy white dudes no one cared about at the back of an IWW meeting. Sometimes they'd trick a kid or two for a couple years.

The reemergence of tankies involved people completely disconnected and unrelated to prior tankies.
Read 26 tweets
16 Aug
I've been asked to insert more citations for style reasons in a piece published by a major academic press and even though I know should, I am being a stubborn toddler and can't bring myself to.

So here's a thread on why I dislike and largely avoid citations.
First the moment a reader sees citations it changes the received *tone* of a text. This is mostly a matter of the cultural connotations of academic writing in our world, and is so is not fundamental to citations as an abstract technology, but it is still often quite relevant.
To add a few bracketed numbers or whatever into a text is to transform how it presents. There are certain *expectations* and that skews the read towards a drier and more authoritative tone. This doesn't just undermine casualness it can impede flow and addictiveness.
Read 24 tweets
14 Aug
"If people are different then that's a hierarchy, checkmate anarchists" = truly the most lazy dipshit line conservatives have.

1) Difference is not domination. What we oppose is relationships that constrain net choice. "Social hierarchies" are not any axis of difference.
2) Conservatives are trying to endorse a ladder of merit, where insofar as folks differ at all, some are better at X. And sure, if there's a objective good to strive towards, some will probably get further than others. But this doesn't imply we can *measure* such objectively.
Some misguided anti-authoritarians go down the postmodern path and deny there's any objective / universal good so as to avoid hierarchy.

But the more realistic path is to say *we as a society cannot functionally measure an individual's personal success towards The Good*
Read 5 tweets
7 Jul
Doctorow is correct that the amount of work necessary to rebuild and shift cities/infrastructure/population will be huge. I've been saying that for over a decade. But his "thus full gov employment" narrative is a bit wack for a few reasons...
1) A lot of the labor being done right now that is in risk of being automated is not easily mappable to necessary labor in the combination civilizational collapse & reconstruction ahead of us. There are a lot of disabled folks working jobs today who can't work construction.
2) Sure, austerity was a dysfunctional clusterfuck, so too will be government employment/rebuilding programs. Our rulers are not going to spontaneously turn into competent benevolent technocrats. Any government works program will be even more dogshit dysfunctional.
Read 8 tweets

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