• 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,
  • Michael Malice Funnels Potential Anarchists into the Alt-Right
    In the comments on anarhistnews.org, in the comments on this video, and in my own conversations about Michael Malice with other anarchists, those who haven’t heard of him are in the majority. This is a problem and Malice is one of the main reasons why I started creating YouTube content ( see here: https://youtu.be/cZU6YADjZuY )… 1) Michael Malice’s book The Anarchist Handbook is the Amazon #1 (and also #6) best selling book on Anarchism. If book sales mean anything – and for those who study anarchism’s past and present they mean a whole lot – at the very least this means that
  • More Examples of Marxist Dishonesty Embedded Casually in an Interesting Interview
    Good stuff… except for the casual Marxist lie that Karl Marx created the First International. No, he did not (alone) create the IWA: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Workingmen%27s_Association Also, the deception at the Hague Congress that preceded moving the International to NYC gets no mention, which is a convenient omission for Marxists: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hague_Congress_(1872) These are good examples of why anarchists need to be on guard when discussing history with Marxists. Anyway – good stuff.
  • Regarding Caryn Elaine Johnson also known as Whoopi Jewish-Last-Name Goldberg and the Question of Jewish Race
    One of the major problems with this whole conversation is this: Jews and Jewish identity predate the concept of race. Jews have understood themselves as coming from a unified nation of 12 tribes long before anyone created the concept of “race”. As Jews, we have been on a long journey through many different ways of being seen by others. But, we have always understood ourselves as a people with a shared history and a shared future. Goldberg’s comments are ignorant. She wants to say that even if Jews are a race, that it isn’t the same as being Black. This
  • Praise and Criticism for Mick Armstrong’s Property is sacred: How Proudhon moulded anarchism
    https://marxistleftreview.org/articles/property-is-sacred-how-proudhon-moulded-anarchism/ This is the best Marxist critique of anarchist history I have read… in a long time. But, most of it could be written from an anarchist perspective. The Council Communist idea has had its anarchist supporters who don’t get mention in this piece, nor do the Situationist International, whom championed Council Communism and continue to influence many anarchists today. Sartre’s philosophy of Class Being in Critique of Dialectical Reason is the corrective for historical anarchism’s concept of the individual and Sartre’s other ideas in CDR (even including his analysis of anarcho-syndicalism) account for much of the rest. Daniel Guerin
  • Ask an Anarchist Anything!
      There is a lot of misinformation about anarchism and unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of anarchists on YouTube to voice their own views on anarchism and anarchism-adjacent topics. I am creating this event (and perhaps more to follow) for you to Ask an Anarchist Anything!   Questions from ziq: What are the most useful justified hierarchies? I don’t think this is something that can be answered universally. It should be answered by those whose projects may or may not be advanced through a hierarchy. That said, I think that getting hung up on the shape or form of social
  • 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.
  • Response to R. C. Roberts’ Polemic Against Kiddie Anarchism
    I’m not even 20 minutes into Roberts’ interview: However, I already made my acquaintances and signed up for his mailing list… And in the middle of dinner, while watching a terrible season of Naked and Afraid, I receive my first update: All The Tails in a Fairy Tale: A Polemic Against Anarchism *sigh* I have been nerd sniped: Let’s just say that I didn’t make it through this episode of Naked and Afraid… Ok, onward… First things first, towards the end of his post, Roberts says, “I am not an anarchist. And I enjoy mocking the anarchists. There are some,
  • Varn Vlog – On Existentialism
    Guest appearance on C. Derick Varn’s “Varn Vlog” discussing existentialism as a political movement and related topics. [su_youtube_advanced url=”https://youtu.be/AeYi8Bt6tZ8″] Social Links for Varn: https://www.youtube.com/c/CDerickVarn… https://www.patreon.com/varnvlog/posts https://facebook.com/derickvarnpoetan… https://varnvlogvoice.buzzsprout.com/ https://twitter.com/skepoet http://emancipation.network/index.html
  • 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
  • Audio/Video Reading of What is Socialism? Yesterday and Today’s Perspectives
  • What is Socialism? Yesterday and Today’s Distinctions…
    Most discussions of socialism don’t begin at the beginning. Instead, they begin from the works of Marx and Engels. Or worse, they begin from the assumption that socialism is some sort of system and/or some series of government policies. This omission of early socialist thought and practice causes these discussions to become lost in endless debates about terminology and confusion of ideological emphases. From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Types_of_socialism#Early_interpretations: “The term socialism was coined in the 1830s and it was first used to refer to philosophical or moral beliefs rather than any specific political views. Alexandre Vinet, who claimed to have been the first
  • 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
  • An Anarchist Approach to Policy
    To people who don’t know much about anarchism, it seems like a completely unrealistic worldview. To those people who know a little bit about anarchism, it is obvious that anarchism has a messaging problem. Anarchists have attempted to solve this problem in a variety of ways. Recently, one of those attempts has taken the form of a public relations think-tank called “Agency,” : https://www.anarchistagency.com Now, although Agency has recognized that part of the messaging problem is due to a lack of press releases that the media can refer to when writing about anarchists and their views, there is a bigger problem that
  • 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
  • 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
  • Conceptualizing the State – A Response to Ben Burgis’ “Patron Request Topic: Anarchism and Prison Abolition”
    This is a response to Ben Burgis’ post “Patron Request Topic: Anarchism and Prison Abolition” [I initially wrote an eloquent response to this in the comments, but for some reason it didn’t post correctly so I’m going to just make my own post.] As you mentioned, defining “anarchism” is already a challenge that can make discussions even amongst seasoned anarchists a grueling uphill voyage. But I think in this conversation a larger semantic issue must be addressed before your more specific rationale can be addressed. The semantic question here is, “What is the State?” Now it seems to me like
  • Computers and Computing
    One of the most challenging aspects of learning about computers and computing is the formation of an overview that can adequately summarize the minutia, but can be easily memorized. Most books about computers and computing provide too much detail in this or that specific area, or omit the big picture all together. Part of the reason for this is because most people aren’t interested in computers and computing in general and instead, they are looking for specific information on how to do something they feel an urgent need to do. Another big part of the reason for this is because
  • 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,
  • 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
  • Goodbye Free Radical Radio
    I didn’t realize I had been building up some anticipation about my participation in Free Radical Radio; so, I won’t continue to. I am no longer working on the project because I moved back to Tempe, AZ. The story isn’t very interesting: I shattered my heel bone in September of ’15, lost my ability to pay bills, and have been recovering since then on all levels …it’s May of 2016 and I still can’t walk. I thought I may be able to score a job for the first couple of months that I was in AZ and remain a resident
  • 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
  • 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)