"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Mar 30, 2011

Learning

I've recently learned that anarchism means bombing Libya as long as someone somewhere asks the bossman to do it, and the label "humanitarian" is applied. Just today, I've learned that it also means having authority as long as you "prove" that having it isn't wrong.

You like that logic error? I did. I mean, apply it to anything. You too can be anything you want as long as you "prove" it isn't wrong. 

Tomorrow, I expect to learn that worshiping Vishnu makes a person a Christian.

13 comments:

Coldtype said...

I'm beginning to entertain the possibility that my man's site has been hacked. Something seems... off with his writing lately. I could be wrong.

Jack Crow said...

I don't know, Coldtype. I think this has been his position all along. He argued it previously, when it came to anarchists having standing armies, so long as "the community" approved.

I think, for the writer in question, anarchism means something other than that which has been developed thought since Proudhon.

I think the label Mr. Boyd's looking for is demarchism.

Charles F. Oxtrot said...

Humans dig poses more than they dig authenticity.

A lot of people are very comfy right now, Jack. They aren't eager to give that up.

I don't fault anyone for exploring other ideas.

I do fault them for pretending at something they have no intention of doing, being, etc.

The authentic human is a rare variant among the larger sea of humans. We're all hypocrites. I'm just disappointed when I see people hypocritical about those things they pretend to embody, incorporate, adopt, use as motive, etc.

Cüneyt said...

You fuckers are going to have me start saying something. God fucking damn it. It's like anarchists decided to have a teacup reenactment of the international left during WWI.

Jack Crow said...

Charles,

It's not inconsistency which is the problem, here. I don't even think it's pretense or inauthenticity.

I think it's reasonable to assume that purity is an intemperate hope which cannot be satisfied.

It needn't even be hypocrisy, so much as it's a failure to properly define and identify what one knows and does not know. Or, what words mean and have meant.

*

I don't believe in Jesus, his godhood, his resurrection, his historicity, his alleged offer salvation, or any of the trappings of Christianity.

There is no way to properly identify myself as Christian.

Christianity is itself diverse, and encompassing. It has twenty centuries of variation, schism, hybridization and expansion.

It means many different things to billions of people. There are real differences between Christians, and their beliefs and practices.

But, there are no Christians without at least a recognition of the Christ figure.

Christianity does have a baseline. It may be spare, and somewhat sparse, given the diversity of practices which vary away from it.

But, it exists. There are beliefs and practices which define he minimum identifier, Christian.

A Buddhist monk who does not believe in the historicity of Jesus, who does not worship God the Father, who does not accept Christian practice?

Not a Christian.

*

A person who argues that anarchist communities can have standing armies with institutional hierarchies, that authority is valid so long as it can prove it's not "wrong" (man, that logical error still amuses - since it rests on the worst sort of proof of a negative), that struggling to gain power within the system, on a gender basis, is a path to powerless anarchism?

Not an anarchist.

A fellow traveler, perhaps. But not an anarchist.

And this is the fundamental problem with anarchism - that the personalist credo which draws people to it tends to trump definition and fact.

*

Comparatively, people may not know every factor which delimits or defines communism. They may know next to nothing about communist theory and thought. They may have stupid or silly ideas about elected officials some radio host identifies as communist.

But, it's still fairly simple to determine who is not one.

Capitalists are not communists. The one precludes the other. And intentions and self-identification don't matter, here. Action is the standard of judgment. The label means nothing. A man who has beaten his wife isn't an opponent of spousal abuse or violence against women, no matter what he believes about himself. A woman who strikes her children isn't a pacifist, no matter how many times she blogs about it.

Jack Crow said...

Don't really get the WWI reference, Cuneyt. Could you explain further, kindly?

I - just me, as far as I can tell - think that the word "anarchism" precludes several obvious arguments, definitions and self-identifications.

Charles F. Oxtrot said...

The label means nothing. A man who has beaten his wife isn't an opponent of spousal abuse or violence against women, no matter what he believes about himself. A woman who strikes her children isn't a pacifist, no matter how many times she blogs about it.

I think that's it right there.

As someone who has participated in internet-based discussion forums of serious and recreational stripes for almost 20 years, I can say from experience that using the internet to project a fanciful, wish-I-were persona is one of the most frequent styles of Toobz interaction and identification.

In the interim 20 years I have just watched as it has fostered more and more inauthenticity. One can say something here, for a quick audience, and have no intention of backing it up -- ever.

MTB and skiing forums I frequent are full of people who never ride MTBs and never ski, but own a lot of MTB and/or skiing equipment, which they photograph and post on discussion fora to elicit praise for their ownership of high-end goods. Despite the auspice of an activity under discussion, it becomes a discussion about the trinkets affiliated with an activity, and how ownership of trinkets somehow should be extrapolated to mean "serious participant" -- despite evidence of riding a bike or skiing down a hill.

Likewise in social theorizing discussions on the Toobz. Lots of posing, little authenticity.

Jack Crow said...

Charles,

I'm an asshole with a tendency to cultivate dissension. I type what I mean and I ask questions with little regard for sensitivities or errors of logic. I have no use or patience for on-the-one-hand-on-the-other hand waffling. I'm not good intellectual traveling company. There's that.

I nonetheless wonder, I hope with uncharacteristic generosity, if it's possible to pose with a sincere and authentic conviction that the representation or the simulation is an exact match for the real thing.

*

Utah Phillips, Ani DiFranco, "Why Come" -

"...'we made commitments to struggle emotionally. Commitments for which there were no words. but those commitments carried us through fifty, sixty years of struggle.' He said, 'You show me people who have made the same commitments intellectually and I don't know where they'll be next week. Kind of stern, isn't it?..."

Charles F. Oxtrot said...

if it's possible to pose with a sincere and authentic conviction that the representation or the simulation is an exact match for the real thing.

I have heard people say that one of the sure paths to changing behavior is to start acting as if..., even when the feeling isn't there. I suppose the hope is that by the time the action/stance becomes habitual, the essence will fill in the empty form? Can't say I've had it work for me.

I can definitely adopt a pose for the purpose of satire. On the other hand I have a hard time adopting a pose to "fit in," or similar.

I find the crazed "anarchist" and "leftist" support for the Libya adventure to make me want to use it as a litmus test. But then I step back and look at the whole landscape. Still, there's a whole mess of noxious black smoke emanating from that one point on the landscape....

Jack Crow said...

I find the crazed "anarchist" and "leftist" support for the Libya adventure to make me want to use it as a litmus test. But then I step back and look at the whole landscape. Still, there's a whole mess of noxious black smoke emanating from that one point on the landscape...

A litmus test, no doubt. A good one. Opponents of the military capitalist state don't use the royal "we" to identify with it.

I just wonder if it's sincere, despite all that. I think it is.

Randal Graves said...

Shit man, all you fuckers badmouthing posing and I've been working all day on keeping these books from falling off my head.

Jack Crow said...

That was laughmaking, Randal.

Cüneyt said...

http://books.google.com/books?id=2YqjfHLyyj8C&pg=PA884&lpg=PA884&dq=socialist+split+wwi&source=bl&ots=BRb3YbSOWM&sig=MNrVyOyR7XMxvD-EziiyKBhAYcs&hl=en&ei=-4uYTbHgIYWO0QH25bjtCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CC0Q6AEwAw#v=onepage&q&f=false

Basically, Mr. Crow, when the nationalist, imperialist war came around to throw the working classes against each other like so much bloodsport, the socialist parties backed said bloodsport.