One of the more amusing things in my journey back to the discourse of the early 00s was all the BAD arguments against the wars. Like on the one hand you have literally every liberal & conservative, all the media in warmongering lockstep. And then you have pure hippie nonsense.
Like when you read inane hippies going on and on about how they'd never even shoot Hitler and how preemptive action is always wrong even in the most extreme case, it's like, wow, why did we ever implicitly tolerate this nonsense. Also... *of course* these allies flipped on us.
But of course I know why. Because I was there and in the face of the overwhelming consensus for imperial supremacy across american political discourse it really felt like we desperately needed to grasp tight whatever fucking allies we could find and ignore their idiosyncrasies.
Almost *no one* besides the anarchists, wingnut hippies, and some paleolibertarians were willing to oppose the invasion of Afghanistan. Our little marches were like a few hundred people. (And the paleolibertarians mostly only took their stance in theory, not in applied action.)
The other thing I noticed was how opposition against the invasion of Iraq slowly started attracting electoralists who were hungry to hitch their wagon to a populist base.

Also the tankies.

In both cases they seized leadership and then abandoned the struggle.
We start building mass opposition to the war and 1) the media/establishment entirely, ruthlessly, & flagrantly locked us out of acceptable discourse, but 2) the leadership that took over shit was interested in the movement as a resource, rather than caring about stopping the war.
I think this serves as a lesson about the pursuit of populist mass.

We could field 70,000 people on the streets of Portland and the local news stations and newspapers steadfastly sneered in disdain and lied with abandon. Numbers didn't matter.
Merely having numbers accomplished nothing besides drawing in the would be politicians and tiny tankie cadres that think mass = power and so desperately tried to tame and seize control over said mass. Once said leadership was in place there was zero reason to actually resist.
We avoided critiquing some really inane, incoherent or even noxious positions within the antiwar coalition, for what? To achieve mass?

I don't say "mass movement" because it's precisely my point that the "mass" came at the expense of any "movement."

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More from @rechelon

18 Oct
Being "free" to associate as one wishes avoids the question of one's inclinations or unexamined instincts, and those inclinations CAN have a huge impact on the success or failure of projects and broader movements, cultures, even societies.

Consensus is a good example...
One of the biggest failure modes in contemporary anarchist organizing is thinking in terms of The Organization and being disinclined or unprepared for fluid disassociation by individuals. This leads people chained in dysfunctional projects without good/smooth exit opportunities.
Consider also the all-or-nothing Communes handwavingly described by Kropotkin and implemented in Aragon. Every individual had the Right of exit, but in practical reality / structure there was pretty much no option besides joining what were often essentially Company Towns.
Read 6 tweets
18 Oct
There are two distinct cores to the chuds with different personalities and organizing emphases: 1) the "we're so innocent, antifa is so mean" whiners/grifters, & 2) the more classic street fighters all about posturing strength.

Sometimes they complement, sometimes they conflict.
Joey Gibson's unique genius was his capacity to mobilize *both* camps. Pivoting a dozen times in a single bit between either dynamic in ways that enabled each camp to focus on their own shit without being derailed by the existence of the other.
But ultimately of course Joey couldn't keep the game going in the face of antifa. The split with proud boys and portland resistance is a good example. The former more street fighter thugs looking for clean wins, the latter lapping up the incels & losers focused on whining.
Read 5 tweets
16 Oct
Something no one really talks about re 90s anarchism: Rent & living expenses were cheap enough that tons of anarchists worked as camp counselors over the summer and then just didn't work the rest of the year.

Like every camp you sent your kids to was *infested* with anarchists.
How did I get access to anarchist theory in the 90s? Well there was the (A) section at Powells, there was Laughing Horse & some other independent bookstores, and my dad handed me shit, but honestly a huge chunk was through anarchist camp counselors at all the camps I was sent to.
(There was also although I only found it relatively late, in middle school.)

But yeah, like while we were homeless and in the projects my mom would fill out grants and ship me off to every free summer camp she could find. And then we'd talk about Zerzan.
Read 4 tweets
16 Oct
Electoralism is an statist quagmire and your vote doesn't matter.

But also "if the left withholds its vote that'll punish the dems and teach them there are consequences for always moving to the right" is a stupendously bad argument without a shred of proof in decades.
Anarchist rejection of voting enables us to step back and actually see the sheer fucking nonsense that the electoralist left gorges on in self-delusional feedback loops.

It's kinda impressive and horrifying.
Any way you cut it Nader voters swung the election from Gore to Bush. That's about as powerful an impact as the left could hope to have on an election. Did Democrats realize there was a giant bloc of voters they were alienating and swing back to the left?

Of course not.
Read 10 tweets
10 Oct
For their family of five that's $23 per person per day.

That's an *insane* expenditure, but it makes sense at high degrees of food waste + restaurant orders.
Anyway, reminder that $200 is the foodstamps maximum. So a fuck ton of us grew up in families fed on less than $200 per month.
I used to self-recriminate pretty hard in my early twenties when my monthly expenditure on food reached $300. I thought I was being a frivolous person, over-indulging to make up for my youth. I feared someone would find out and I'd be reviled for such wasteful entitlement.
Read 5 tweets
10 Oct
Good arguments against borders:

1) Nations are not voluntary collectives & cannot claim property.

2) Ethnicity & region are arbitrary and unrelated to personal value.

3) Collectivist dynamics in general are dangerous.

4) Severing mass connectivity reduces options for all.
One of the more unique dynamics around national borders is that their evil is *over-determined*.

There are MANY pressing / root ethical reasons to reject them. And someone making a bad argument for them in along one line inherently invokes outrage along the other lines.
And the typical argument for borders is "you would exclude a neonazi from your house, so why can't we as Country X exclude foreigners with bad cultures" There's just so many fucked up mistakes at play in that you can't quickly address them. You get bogged down in one direction.
Read 7 tweets

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