A lot of people gravitate towards "One Simple Trick" accounts of resistance and social change. In part because complexity doesn't make for potent narratives but also cuz folks want to be able to claim a monopoly on impact.

In contrast I believe in a diverse array of strategies:
1) Insurrection: compounding popular resistance that undermines the capacity of control systems through demonstrable effects via reproducible attacks (burning police cars and derailing trains carrying arms shipments can go viral)
2) Hacking: context-dependent exploits found and implemented by those with distinct knowledge or situatedness. (pulling a heist on your employer, breaking a critical infrastructure component you have access to, PhineasFisher style attacks on important corporations, etc)
3) Development: investing in pursuing certain paths of technological development over the others that would otherwise not get invested in by capitalism (fuck Moxie but the crew behind Signal significantly improved shit, see also certain solar tech etc)
4) Contestation: applying what pressures are available to shift the everyday balances where possible (protests scare adminstrators into not dismantling a department run by radicals, an anarchist on a protocol committee raises hell to keep them from implementing NSA suggestions)
5) Prefiguration: developing alternative modes -- whether technological stack, social protocols, etc -- and both shaking out through application the problems as well as demonstrating the successes / alternative possibilities (gnusocial, cooperatives, cultures of consent, etc)
6) Erosion: making the economy and society more decentralized, more competitive, more responsive, more finely accurate, more deterritorialized, etc. (think the Carsonian decentralization of production rather than the MegaWalmartization of left accelerationists)
You might think this is an exhaustive list of modes of resistance, but it's really not. It doesn't include building mass organizations (party, union, or NGO), and it doesn't include anything remotely like electoral investment or revolutionary seizure of systems of control.
(Nor does it include "wreck everything, kill everyone" or "attack meaninglessly for the moral virtue of attacking alone", which are sadly not entirely unfair characterizations of certain corners that took wildly inane conclusions from insurrecto theory.)
What I want to emphasize is that social change:

A) can only emerge from individuals on up because only individuals have any real agency, originality, insight, etc

B) can happen by incremental degree rather than abrupt changes (although the latter are also possible)

C) there are traps whereby some measure of progress in the immediate serves to constrain future progress, thus we must keep a broad futurist frame that evaluates many paths and avoids getting trapped in miserable but locally stable optima (eg social democracy).

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More from @rechelon

12 May
For over a year every time I talk about COVID a certain type of libertarian shows up to sneer "very anarchist to trust the state"

What never seems to occur to them is that regulatory capture makes the state's incentives to lie to defend business and *understate* the risks.
Now that half the US population is vaccinated government agencies are finally admitting that COVID was transmitted not merely by droplets (that imply most business can continue with some outdoor seating and wiping) but by aerosols.
Now part of this lag in the state admitting the obvious is no doubt due to dysfunction in "scientific" institutions and testing frameworks, but you'd have to be fucking blind to miss that the state had every incentive to keep the economy going by lying and killing workers.
Read 6 tweets
8 May
I was just revisiting some of the 90s/00s era "anarchy is when everyone is involved in consensus over the things that impact them" frame, and it suddenly gave me a bit more understanding of the "anarchists" of that generation screaming bloody murder about cancel culture...
The classic response that proves the limits of that conception of anarchism is: "If you ask me out, my turning you down could affect you dramatically, but you still don't get any say in it"

But the "never cancel" anarchists of the 90s generation... are actually being consistent!
It's actually blowing my mind. They may not entirely understand the full extent of the bullet they're biting, but they are, in some very real sense, staying consistent to what was once almost the hegemonic or mainstream conception of anarchism in much of north america.
Read 5 tweets
7 May
Another thing I'll say about campus organizing and radicalizing is that even when folks aren't merely recruiting for their cult/org too many people treat it like an exercise in recruiting *friends.*

Utterly catastrophic approach.
I've seen a lot of folks fall into the horrorshow of setting up a political zine table just to find people of the same personality and subcultural interests to hang out with.

Not at all how you build a movement. You wanna open the minds of people you'll *never* be friends with.
If you're not ready to engage 1-on-1 like an actual person, with someone with different tastes or a random liberal normie or a dishroom worker in the cafeteria who happened by, if you haven't already thought about what it would mean to have them as anarchists too, you've failed.
Read 4 tweets
7 May
I've always been with the camp that believes "the value of campus organizing is supporting work OFF campus." By eg redirecting college funds towards poor activist speakers.

But I did a lot of work to radicalize fellow students and feel like some tactics had very clear results...
The most wildly successful single radicalization project I ever did in college was break into the dorms the night before first-years arrived and slide anarchist zines, posters, stickers, etc under EVERY SINGLE DOOR. So they'd be the first thing kids would be greeted with.
Nearly destroyed my knees crouching down in front of hundreds of dorm room doors, but there was a torrential flood of first years into campus activist groups that year. Completely off the charts compared to prior years.
Read 12 tweets
7 May
lol @ foucauldians getting mad when they find out that "abolish power" and "there is no poison more deadly than power" are venerable anarchist slogans.

The whole point of anarchism is that you CAN escape the games of power through empathy and positive-sum interactions.
Power isn't any mere causation or influence, power is domination and control. The central premise of authoritarians (in fascist, marxist, or liberal strains) is that There Is No Alternative to power, that it's everywhere, and only a matter of *who* has it. Anarchism dissents.
One of the things I hate about Foucauldian frameworks is that they do exactly what so many abusers do: expand the definition of social power so that everything is by definition power. Foucault is left merely talking in terms of "dangerousness" and worshiping diversity/variation.
Read 7 tweets
5 May
I have a unique philosophy of science project (although I feel it's just giving voice to the implicit philosophy of many theoretical physicists). However I despise academia so I stealth published it in '15 in the form of a more accessible brass-tacks zine, humaniterations.net/2015/08/18/sci…
Some of the conclusions: Math is a subset of science (the purest expression of science). And the best science and the best philosophy exists at crossroads of the two. Science is radical (high fidelity reductionist) model construction, the best philosophy operates similarly.
Small kolmogorov complexity structures that perfectly or with high fidelity unfold into more complex structures is the essence of radicalism/reductionism. And the trick to Science As Radicalism is seeing empirical data AND models as the same general category of structures.
Read 8 tweets

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