If you want to build an ideological camp you have to both attract and repel people from other ideological camps. Outreached hands, yes, but also some punches.

*Some* level of active repulsion is necessary to maintain ideological distinctiveness and to stop entryism.
Too much repulsion and you're just creating a status hierarchy of purity for those already in your camp, but too little repulsion and your camp dissolves into an indistinguishable rump or useful idiots to another ideological camp.
Evaluating the right mix of repulsion and attraction, of when to punch and when to make entreaties, is complex and context-dependent. No one individual is going to be able to see the whole landscape accurately. As a result it takes all kinds.
Some folks see the punching of allies as deeply counterproductive. Their vision of ideological change is via building friendships, getting one's foot in the door to make appeals and arguments, and so they're HORRIFIED by punching that destroys those friendships.
But the relationship between libertarians & conservatives is a great example of how this can turn catastrophic. Libertarians primarily focus on maintaining their friendships with the right, which means their ideology serves as a contentless shield & recruitment base for the right
This happens thanks to two distinct population dynamics: paleolibertarians are directly besties with "blood and soil" fash, but cosmolibertarians are more interested in differentiating themselves from the liberals they live and work alongside.

Both dynamics have the same result.
Whenever someone says "I have my differences with X" in a loose sense, occasionally offering a few friendly or soft critiques, but spends almost all their time picking rancorous bloody fights with Y or sneering at it, they're in risk of being functionally captured by X.
How this goes:

1) Your rank n file have no real antibodies to X so they get picked off by them.

2) By wedding your camp in tight alliance with X you end up dependent upon them, with nowhere else to go. Leaving or punching them *at all* causes dissent with your own members.
3) Bad faith entryists will eat you alive. If your rank and file don't centrally define themselves in opposition to X then they're attractive recruits to those in X looking to infiltrate your ranks and frame your position as essentially X. Basically you made your base tasty.
4) Your now hollowed out ideological camp becomes operationalized as a *brand* to deflect and misdirect.

There's basically not a conservative alive right now that doesn't call themselves a "libertarian" at points. See also the widespread fash usage of Gasden flags.
I've tabled at a number of libertarian events over the years and their primary rank & file are always mainline conservatives who have happened upon some potent libertarian arguments for positions they already held (eg taxes bad), and thus think this constitutes libertarianism.
(Libertarians think this is a tolerable state of affairs because once you've got those folks into the room you can pitch them on other policy and theory things, but in practice such ranks usually just see that as weird novelties and don't internalize it over their motivations.)
One of the things that coalitionism and a fear of severed friendships does is create no incentive structures among the Big Tent to gravitate towards your specific position. They can sit in incoherence without any real friction, no punishment or pressure for bad drift.
Now things get a little more complicated when your ideological camp has relationships of recruitment and repulsion to *multiple* camps. eg anarchism has these dual relationships of push and pull with authcoms, ancaps, and liberals/socdems.
In such cases there's additional perturbative calculations to be had because repulsion and recruitment relationships with a *given* camp inherently have byproduct consequences in repulsion and recruitment relationships with *other* camps. To denounce X is to marginally attract Y.
I run across a lot of folks attracted to "left unity", "bottom unity" and "everyone but fash unity" -- in part because of their indoctrination with the liberal/democratic notion that numbers or mass equals strength.

I make no secret I'm more of a "punch everyone" inclination.
I think staying consistent, coherent, and -- for lack of a better word -- pure in our politics can ultimately *help* with recruitment, as well as ensure the longterm stability of one's ideological camp. So long as some lines stay open.
There've been a few instances in the activist scene where my consistent refusal to give any camp a pass ultimately meant every camp respected me and turned to me as mediator or judge. This was weird at first, but principle over friendship does sometimes build friendships.
But this isn't a justification for punching at any and all ideological camps at all times in every way.

Fighting with people who are wrong should always be *instrumental*, not an end in and of itself. I *constantly* hold my tongue or temper my words where it's not useful.
This doesn't mean discarding principle -- bad shit should still get called out -- but there are times and places for some critiques, and there are many complex wider dynamics and secondary consequences to consider. Failing to do so can be unethical and unprincipled.
Many libertarians have laughed to see the recent proliferation of "left unity" or tankie apologist anarchists or anarcho-statists -- to them this is just the anti-authoritarian left quadrant suffering the same shit as the crypto-fash proliferation right-libertarians saw.
I disagree; while "anarchists" palling with authoritarian communists is shocking and abhorrent, I don't think it's as widespread or as deep of rot as the equivalent cryptofash bullshit on the right. But it is pretty grave and needs active resistance and attention.
In 2016 activists/anarchists didn't even believe there could exist people who would defend Stalin or Lenin. It was unthinkable. I had to *laboriously* drag activists of my generation into realizing the online tankie phenomenon existed and could pose a presence AFK.
The sudden emergence of the sickle-and-hammer in (newbie) anarchist spaces is scandalous and will be an embarrassment for decades. The team of elder anarchists across our internal factions that edited Bloodstained are correct: it's unacceptable. akpress.org/bloodstained.h…
However. We can recognize that lots of kids have been tricked into viewing it as synonymous with all communism. The comparison isn't the ancap whine "but non fash make helicopter memes" -- it's more akin to Gasden. Decent people we should try to reach use both.
It's also important to note that "anti-communist" fash and chuds use crossed out sickle-and-hammers as cover for their own bullshit. This doesn't oblige us to *reactively* embrace the sickle-and-hammer (as counter-edge) or tolerate it, but it does mean deftness is required.
My line on this is that when you go for the sickle-and-hammer it should always be paired in a way that punches the chuds and cryptofash at least as strongly. This is why I love Mike's "tankie swastika, yankie swastika" that compares it to the american flag.
A while back I was asked to make crossed out sickle-and-hammer buttons and I stridently and passionately refused to produce any images that decontextualized such imagery alone, for all the above reasons. We argued. The person in question made them anyway.
But I want to emphasize that this kind of strategic evaluation is complex and deeply subjective -- in the Hayekian sense of limited personal knowledge and capacity to evaluate strategy -- and I think we should be charitable and tolerant for folks making different evaluations.
This cuts in the opposite direction as well. There are folks who are arguing for greater tolerance of the sickle-and-hammer to not go to war with the few antistate antiauth leftcoms that use it and not alienate the confused ancoms who've embraced it recently.
One of the voices passionately arguing for never ever critiquing the sickle-and-hammer is likewise Big Tent about not throwing a number of "alienating" punches at libertarians.

I disagree vehemently.

But I do believe this is a space for pluralism and being charitable.

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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
18 Oct
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.
Read 9 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 spunk.org 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

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