• ChatGPT Re-write of Anti-Zionism is Not Enough
    The position of anti-Zionism often intersects redundantly with broader anti-nationalist critiques. As anarchists, who inherently oppose all forms of nationalism, it is essential to recognize that a specific focus on anti-Zionism can dilute the broader anarchist agenda. Nationalism, regardless of context, promotes inequality, domination, and subjugation, which anarchists oppose in all its forms, including racism, sexism, and fascism. For instance, Noam Chomsky, a prominent critic of various nationalist movements, underscores that opposing Zionism on the grounds specific to Israeli policies does not necessitate a departure from general anti-nationalist principles. He argues that all nationalist ideologies, not just Zionism, are inherently
  • Anti-Zionism Is Not Enough
    The anti-Zionist position is either redundant, or a collaboration with our enemies. Everything that is wrong with Zionism is covered in a general critique of nationalism. If you are an anarchist, you are already an anti-nationalist in the same way that you are already an anti-fascist, an anti-racist, an anti-sexist, and against other forms of inequality, domination, subjugation, etc. Likewise, you are already against particular forms of these relations of power: like patriarchy, anti-Blackness, antisemitism, or anti-Nazism. Within a conversation about any of these particulars, it makes sense to specify you are against them. The language is useful for analyzing
  • Everyday Life
    So much of what I watch, read, talk about, and think about is far removed (or perhaps entirely divorced) from my everyday life. I don’t think that I’m the only one and I consider this to be a political problem. Even in the literature about “everyday life,” what I find there isn’t really my life. This has been true ever since I stopped living what might be thought of as a “punk lifestyle”. Since there are few prototyped, or even pre-fabricated lifestyles that make their way into popular culture like punk has, I’m sure this is a common situation for
  • Delusional Anarchy
    A response to: https://anarchistnews.org/content/totw-delusional-thoughts One intriguing book I read that I still haven’t integrated into my habitual way of thinking about things is Ludwig Binswanger’s “Dream and Existence”: “Swiss psychiatrist Binswanger’s 1930 essay “Dream and Existence” is paired with Foucault’s first published work, “Dream, Imagination, and Existence” (1954), a lengthy introduction to Binswanger’s pioneering essay in existential psychiatry. Originally published in Review of Existential Psychology and Psychiatry, v.XIX, no.1, 1985. Annotation copyright by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR”  ( here’s one place you can read it: https://archive.org/details/dreamexistence0000fouc ) What’s interesting to me about it is this idea that Foucault talks about in
  • Social Media and its Discontents
    Following up with more writing on some self-reflection I’ve been doing – mostly from being somewhat depressed – this is going to be about how social media has impacted my life… I’m a child of the internet. I grew up with a PC that my parents used for accounting. It was built by one of their friends, it had a “turbo” button, it ran DOS, and it came with hundreds of games that I assume had been downloaded from BBS instances. At some point, we added Windows and later subscribed to AOL. The AOL subscription wasn’t something my parents used
  • My Disappointment with People
    There are so many things that I find disappointing about popular, supposedly critical thinking about the world. It’s not a comforting feeling and I want to write about this without humble bragging. I can’t really write about the disappointments though without also writing about why my expectations are so fucking whack to begin with. So, I have to begin with myself. From what I can remember, I always hated school… When I was 8, my family moved from a standard Arizona suburb to a new development that was about to rapidly expand and gobble-up its rural outskirts. It was close
  • Israel-Palestine is Just the Tip of the Iceberg
    A lot of leftists and anarchists have accepted a narrative about Israel-Palestine that is pretty warped. The basic problem isn’t limited to anglophone ignorance about Jews and/or Palestinians; it’s a problem that leftists and anarchists seem to have in comprehending multinational conflicts in general. The comfortable lense through which leftists/anarchists see the world don’t help them see the power dynamics of these sorts of situations clearly. That lense sees the world as divided between oppressors and oppressed, rulers and ruled, indigenous and settler, and other dichotomies that provide a sharp picture of the most intense regions of conflict at the
  • Setting The Poverty of Philosophy on Fire – Chapter 1
  • American Identity Crisis
    Introduction Man, an abridgment of the universe, sums up and syncretizes in his person all the potentialities of being, all the sections of the absolute; he is the summit at which these potentialities, which exist only by their divergence, meet in a group, but without penetrating or becoming confounded with each other. Man, therefore, by this aggregation, is at once spirit and matter, spontaneity and reflection, mechanism and life, angel and brute. He is venomous like the viper, sanguinary like the tiger, gluttonous like the hog, obscene like the ape; and devoted like the dog, generous like the horse, industrious
  • What is Morality?
    A lot of the more mainstream political discourse on YouTube includes a heavy dose of debate about morality. I haven’t fleshed out my own thoughts on it in a while, so here are some… In the simplest sense, morality is merely the judgement of right and wrong. But upon examination, it isn’t so simple. There is a lot of debate about what is right and what is wrong, which suggests that morality isn’t reducible to the capacities we are born with. Moral philosophers have used a number of different approaches in attempts to figure this out and they are only
  • Anarchist Peoplehood
    One of the last times we talked, I ended on some notes about peoplehood, nationality, the State, and some such things. I also emphasized the conclusion that anarchism is basically an ethical approach to political philosophy and praxis. To develop all of this further, I’d like to now turn to the question of the nature of anarchist sociality. If anarchists can be thought of as “a people” (and we will ask if indeed we can be), what sort of people would they be? What features of peoplehood could anarchists recognize amongst themselves? What other peoples could anarchists compare themselves with?
  • Anarchy is for Anarchists
    Anarchists often argue with opponents who have already assumed certain criteria for political philosophy. A capitalist will assume that ration self-interest is a predominant characteristic of human nature that is best managed through private property and market competition. A socialist will assume that the common good depends on a society of relatively equal members contributing to the economic security of all. A fascist will assume that nationalities are primordial, nearly-natural types of categories – or at least so irreversibly ingrained in cultural history- that society ought to be organized to preserve and promote each nationality to benefit or detriment of each other.
  • Identity as a Project
    An article was posted to LibCom recently… It is a decent analysis of Identity Politics, but like most, it misses what I think are some rather important points about Identity. I talk about some of this in my essay “Identity is Impossible,” but it is worth re-stating. The first thing to understand about Identity, in general, is that it is impossible. There isn’t just an occasional identity crisis impacting a society or an individual. Identity itself is built on a crisis that is fundamental to existence, to the ontological nature of consciousness. Since we are not things, we cannot ever
  • A Message From Your Jewish Comrade
    Let’s just begin with a few easily accessible statistics from wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_population_by_country https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Jews#Demographics https://en.wikipedia.org/…/History_of_the_Jews_in_the… Jews are a multi-ethnic group totalling only 14.8 million, 0.2% of the 8 billion worldwide population. Two countries account for 81% of those recognised as Jews: the United States with 51% and Israel with 30%. In the United States, Jews make up about 2% of the population, which is about 5-6 million people. Most of the Jews in the United States are ethnically Ashkenazi (something like 90%), with 12%-15% identifying as Jews of Color. Although Jews have been in the country since the times of Columbus,
  • Herbert Read’s Forward to Albert Camus’ The Rebel
    With the publication of this book a cloud that has oppressed the European mind for more than a century begins to lift. After an age of anxiety, despair, and nihilism, it seems possible once more to hope–to have confidence again in man and in the future. M. Camus has not delivered us by rhetoric, or by any of the arts of persuasion, but by the clarity of his intelligence. His book is a work of logic. Just as an earlier work of his (Le Mythe de Sisyphe) began with a meditation on living or not living–on the implications of the act of suicide–so this work begins with a meditation on enduring or not enduring–on the implications of the act of rebellion. If we decide to live, it must be because we have decided that our personal existence has some positive value; if we decide to rebel, it must be because we have decided that a human society has some positive value. But in each case the values are not “given”–that is the illusionist trick played by religion or by philosophy. They have to be deduced from the conditions of living, and are to be accepted along with the suffering entailed by the limits of the possible. Social values are rules of conduct implicit in a tragic fate; and they offer a hope of creation.
  • Abraham Maslow: the (Almost) Existentialist Anarchist
    Anyone who has been in a classroom even remotely related to Developmental Psychology or read a popular article on the topic will be familiar with Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs. But Maslow was much more interesting than most people would assume. First of all, he was philosophically oriented towards anarchism. If one reads his late work “The Farther Reaches of Human Nature,” especially ”Part V. Society,” then they will surely find out that Maslow’s ideal society is an anarchist one.
  • Albert Camus’ Anarchist Conclusion
    Apparently, almost everyone who has made a statement about Albert Camus’ political ideology skipped the end of his most extensive essay in political philosophy: The Rebel. I have found few commentaries that refer directly to the conclusion of this work as evidence of Camus’ stance. Some have at least traced Albert Camus’ commitments to anarchist causes or documented the Communist’s campaign against him; but none take what Camus himself prescribed as a valid approach to rebellion to its direct conclusion. So for the sake of correcting the record, I am going to quote at length the final portion of The Rebel
  • Identity is Impossible
    “You are what you are not and are not what you are.” – Jean-Paul Sartre According to the famous psychologist and psychoanalyst Erik Erikson, the defining crisis of adolescence is the “identity crisis”. Erikson recognized that in our society, the world of childhood and the world of adulthood are distinct from each other and for a human being to graduate from one to the other, they would need to face the fact that there is a difference between how they experience themselves and how others experience them. This notion itself wasn’t new for psychology, nor for philosophy broadly. The dialogue
  • How Liberal and Right Wing Anti-Communism Continues to Fuel Fascism Today
    The storming of the US Capitol Building was only one of a series of right-wing attacks on 01/06/2021, adding to decades of nationalist reaction. Yes, you read that correctly. What happened was not a mere 4-years in the making. It wasn’t even a decade in the making. This movement in US society goes back far beyond Trump, the Tea Party, and post-9/11 patriotism. Tracing this movement to its origins takes us all the way back to good old fashioned American anti-communism …especially the form given to it by the John Birch Society. And really, anti-communism is in many ways the
  • Ludwig Binswanger – Existence and pseudo-existence: Stirner’s construction of uniqueness
    This is a rough, first translation into English of a section from Ludwig Binswanger’s Grundformen Und Erkenntnis Menschlichen Daseins. Now it could still be held against us that there were people who were completely “to themselves,” who therefore had no “other Cause” because they were Cause enough for themselves. Apart from the ontological impossibility of speaking of a purely self-contained, particular or singular Being1, the anthropological proof of the impossibility of being-oneself, which would not be the basis of being, can also be demonstrated. Is it being-oneself and nothing else that “man” somehow unifies his particular or “singular” existence with
  • Inquisitive Individual Asks About Existentialist Anarchist Practice and Everyday Life in Anarchist Society
    Inquisitive individual: I am new to philosophical Anarchism, and I am very interested in Existentialist Anarchism, but a big part of Anarchism is praxis, so how would an Existentialist Anarchist society work? What makes it different in PRACTICE (not just theory) than other forms or Anarchism? Squee: To adequately answer this question, I will need to describe not only what existentialist anarchist practice could be, but also what other anarchist practices are. So the 1 Trillion Dollar Question! First things… what do we mean by the term “praxis”? This word has a specific meaning for existentialism (and here I mean
  • Media Reviews Submitted to AJODA in 2016: Anarcho-Syndicalist Review, Cubed, and A Renegade History of the United States
    These are some reviews I wrote for AJODA in 2016. I’m not sure which (if any) were published because I haven’t seen a copy yet. Re-reading these, I’m not sure how much I agree with myself from only a few years ago. But since I had the occassion to talk about one of these recently, I decided I would post them here. Speech to metalworkers: Anarcho-syndicalism for South African unions today Anarcho-Syndicalist Review #61 (Winter 2014) PO Box 42531 Philadelphia PA 19101 $5 ($15 per year) Before an audience of unionized metalworkers, Lucien van der Walt debated with a South
  • Existentialist Anarchism: A Rough Sketch in Progress
    The State of This Sketch I began writing this some years ago and have yet to finish it. I am regularly disappointed by that fact, but the last portion of this demands more from me than I have time for. There are several books that I want to read (or, re-read) before I complete the last sections because the anarchism that ought to result from this existentialist approach brings together a handful of influential revolutionary theories. What I intend to bring together are the following: Stirner’s Union of Egoists, Situationist International focus on Revolution of Everyday Life (which requires a
  • Wasn’t Sartre a Maoist?
      Question: Wasn’t Sartre a Maoist!? Answer: The short answer is that he supported the Maoists and the revolutionary leadership of Mao Zedong, but you’d have to make significant stretches to imagine Sartre’s political philosophy as Maoist. The longer answer is that his motivations for supporting Mao/Maoists come from a very specific context, mostly understandable as the French Maoist opposition to the PCF (French Communist Party). In his dialogue with one of the French Maoist leaders in “It Is Right to Rebel,” it’s clear that he understood the French Maoists as an anti-authoritarian and decentralized alternative to the PCF …and
  • Why Existentialism?
      As someone who was educated in the United States (and this may apply elsewhere), my introduction to Existentialism came mostly in the form of a few novels and short essays by Viktor Frankl, Franz Kafka, Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus …sprinkled with some Nietzsche quotes and stereotyped as a 60’s beatnik fad or goth kid fascination. I believe that my introductory experience is common for those who have had an introduction to Existentialism at all. While those pieces of literature and thought touched and inspired me, awed and irked me, it took a lot of effort to move beyond
  • Freedom of Speech
    Introduction On December 9, 1893 the French anarchist, Auguste Vaillant, attacked the Chamber of Deputies with a home-made bomb. He was attempting to injure (but supposedly not kill) as many deputies as he could in revenge for his infamous guillotined comrade, Ravachol. By this point in time, the Third Republic had become fed-up with anarchists bombing and assassinating authorities. Two days following Vaillant’s attack, the French government began passing a group of laws that are pejoratively known as the “Villainous Laws,” the Lois Scélérates. These three laws were specifically created to suppress anarchists, and consequently the anarchists’ speech: A modification
  • MAFW and Anarchy
    For some time now, it’s been no secret that there is an evil cabal of anarchists behind the MAFW page. While the various political positions, memes, and admissions of its moderators could leave no doubt about it, there has actually been very little in the way of explaining the “anarchism” that these anarchists are so hot on. There’s a few reasons for this… one of them being that the moderator line-up hasn’t always been 100% anarchist. But more importantly, MAFW wasn’t and still isn’t a recruitment effort or anything of the sort. The emphasis has always been on participating in,
  • The Cybernetics Question
        [NOTES] What is Cybernetics? [placeholder] History History of Cybernetics Theory Cybernetics as a discipline was firmly established by Norbert Wiener, McCulloch, Arturo Rosenblueth and others, such as W. Ross Ashby, mathematician Alan Turing, and W. Grey Walter (one of the first to build autonomous robots as an aid to the study of animal behaviour). In the spring of 1947, Wiener was invited to a congress on harmonic analysis, held in Nancy (France was an important geographical locus of early cybernetics together with the US and UK); the event was organized by the Bourbaki, a French scientific society, and
  • A Country that Doesn’t Know Itself
    Attempt to articulate these ideas #1 The United States is a country that doesn’t know itself, nor others. Last week I began listening to the most recent episode of This Is Hell. In the episode, Anna-Lisa Cox discusses some of the themes in her book about black settlers and frontier societies prior to the Civil War. For whatever reason, her discussion of the demographics, cultures, laws, and conflicts in those times and places really made me think about how little myself and most everyone in the United States knows about the history of where we all live. But the question
  • The Dilemma of Anarchist Practice
    The ugly truth is that there is little evidence to suggest that we will ever be more than one of countless minority groups, competing with other minority groups for not only social influence, but for a share of the world that is adequate for an autonomous existence. We are left with two basic ends towards which we can act; not necessarily ends that are mutually exclusive, but nevertheless highly demanding. The one end towards which we can act is towards the end of our own autonomy, personally and/or collectively. To acquire by whatever strategy and tactics we deem conscionable, all
  • Presentation on Existentialism: Part 4 – Ludwig Binswanger
    Tomorrow I’ll be conducting the final installment of a 4-part workshop series on Existentialism. The text I will be using is, Foucault and Binswanger: Beyond the Dream. There are a few motivations for using this text that I want to write about before giving the presentation. These include: post-structuralism’s relationship to existentialism, the usefulness of existential psychoanalysis, and the overall significance of these two schools of philosophy for anarchist theory. It has been noted (and specifically, by Aragorn!) that influences on anarchist theory can be demarcated by the May, 1968 insurrection in  Paris, France. Situationist and Post-Structuralist theory, related to
  • The Rebel by Albert Camus
    The Rebel by Albert Camus reviewed by Squee Published in Anarchy, A Journal of Desire Armed In 1951, Albert Camus had already dealt thoroughly with the questions of nihilism, rebellion, revolutionary politics, and anarchism. It may surprise many anarchists that this existentialist philosopher (mostly known for his novel The Stranger) was quite familiar with anarchism and was himself a frequent supporter of anarchists. As such, he fits the fellow traveler category and, with his book The Rebel, continues to be a relevant challenge to anarchists today. More context as to the nature of Camus’ relationship with his anarchist contemporaries can
  • What is Practical?
    “Practical Anarchism” There is a certain way of thinking about this phrase that would make of it an oxymoron. In our governed habitat, it is possible to assume that there is nothing practical at all about anarchism. To realize anarchism in your daily life is to be at a sort of odds with society, your environment, and even yourself. The choices of an anarchist are chock-full of varying degrees of compromise, opposition, and longing. At the same time, to become an anarchist is to recognize something fundamental about your own existence: that your capacity for liberty precludes all forms of
  • Attractive Inconsistencies: Sex, Gender, Sexuality, and Relationships
    The following analysis may be considered in the light of Gender or Queer Theory, but it does not support many of the common assumptions present in theories of Sex, Gender, Sexuality, and Relationships. The first assumption doubted is not controversial: human beings come in two sexes – male and female.  The second assumption, that there is a practically quantifiable series of genders is also only somewhat controversial. While the challenging and ultimate disproving of these two assumptions has lead to numerous theories of the relationship between Sex and Gender, the most commonly accepted of them (even by the LGBT community)