Where I Stand

I am for work abolition and consider myself to be a work abolitionist. I am for flexible tactics, but this also means talking about and criticizing tactics in the times they are occurring and if they are producing the kinds of results I am looking for. I am against production.
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Starting Thoughts on Maniac Gangs

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Pulling Together Ideas

Lately I’ve been considering who I am. Not so much based on confusion or nihilism, but more based on pulling together a large array of possibilities to create a presentation of thought. I’ve come closer to calling myself an anarchist theorist, while at the same time feeling more like an anarcho-primitivist. I suppose I could […]
Posted in 2015 | Comments closed

Anarcho-Primitivism

As some people know, I’ve lately come to refer to myself as an anarcho-primitivist. This is to note a participation in the milieu and a desire to connect with other anarcho-primitivists. But also, more importantly, this is to show a desire to participate in the discourses of anarcho-primitivism as well as its practices. Since anarcho-primitivism […]
Posted in 2016 | Comments closed

Communist Anarchy

So I’ve lately been thinking about communism again. As many know, I identify as many things, though most strongly identify as a nihilist anarchist as far as which team I’m on. I’d prefer “anarchist theorist” more than anything since that is the most accurate, but that is less what I am and more what I […]
Posted in 2015 | Comments closed

Squee’s Guide to the Sensual Evening

Before you play the video above, make sure you have some Häagen-Dazs  Dulce de Leche Ice Cream This is important, it’s the flavor of the video… well one of them. Hopefully you are watching this two hours after sunset, in your underwear or naked, before you go out for the evening… You need time afterwards […]
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Post-Modernity and the Appeal of Anarchism: Follow-up

On December 5th, I presented at the East Bay Anarchist Bookfair and Conversation Event because there were not as many presentation submissions as I had hoped for. During the initial organizational meetings for the event, we discussed what the theme would be, which became both the Inhuman and the Anthroposcene. Thinking about the question, “what […]
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Ouchie

On 9/11/2015, I made the mistake of breaking my foot. The bone I broke is the calcaneus (or, “heel bone”). It is sometimes referred to as a Don Juan Fracture; or, a Lover’s Fracture. The term “Lover’s Fracture” comes from the nature of the break: besides car accidents, it is a break that usually happens […]
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Behind the Glamor

In my last entry, I made an attempt to describe the relationship between office work and the power of appearances. To recap the growth of both office work and what may be thought of as the entertainment industry account for some of the significant changes that came of the 20th Century. Some connections between the […]
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Glamor, Charm, Charisma and Boring Office Work

In old and forgotten times and places, charisma was thought to be an attribute that could be influenced through metaphysical means: the casting of spells, the blessing of gods, the alignment of stars. Today our understanding of charisma still refers to complicated systems that overpower the agency of individuals, however the “meta” that we seek […]
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In Defense of Bob Black

For those of you that haven’t heard I threw an event with Bob Black at our local infoshop on August 7th 2015. At this event local activist “Morgan Le Fay” came to protest Bob for the 1995 Hogshire affair and ended up punching him a few times (3) in the face. A month later Bob announced on Facebook that I was both a traitor and enemy. He proceeded to blow my psuedonym (incorrectly) as an act of vengence.

Rather than speaking about my own anger at Morgan or Bob at their behavior I am going to give the eulogy–one I’ve been contemplating for some time–of Bob.

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I have known Bob, not in his daring years when I could have been a co-conspirator to his minor offenses against local legends in Processed World, not when he was at the peak of his power and railed against work at the Gorilla Grotto, but perhaps in his decline, as publisher of his last two books. But the relationship between a publisher and an author is a close one. We could safely discuss his entire oeuvre at length and depth. We could discuss our shared ideological enemies. I could share with him my dreams of returning his name back to being on the cynosure of anarchist thinkers where he belonged, returning him from his exile (for his naughty behavior against Jim Hogshire, etc.). As the preening narcissist he has always been, Bob basked in my appreciation, of someone he delusionally believing me to be a fawning accolyte.

I still believe that Bob deserves defending, and my defense of him follows in three parts: he survived, he did something (even if it was the wrong thing), and he did it alone (for better and worse).

Survival

I imagine become an anarchist in the twilight period between the end of the Vietnam War era (not exactly a banner time for anarchists anyway) and the rise of (albiet low-profile) anarchist punks must have been quite lonely. I can’t imagine having these ideas without the benefit of seeing what impact they had on relationships as they were tested out. One of my clearest experiments of this sort was when I moved out of a group house (the very next day as I recall) when they wrote my name to an objectionable task on the chore wheel because I was at work. I had Debordian fantasies and put my body on the line in their pursuit. But I did not do it in a vacuum. The day I left the house I drove across the state to a warm, waiting room with friends who were happy to see me. The situation would have been miserable if I didn’t have those friends, that shared understanding about Debord, or the money to have a car to make that drive.

While Bob isn’t the only survivor of his generation I have a giant soft spot for all of them. Their clarity about then is one of the reasons that we can be fighting different fights now. Specifically I am referring to the context of anarchism, workerism, the left, and ATR. I have so much respect for this generation because I caught the tail end of the Red anarchist menace and its mediocrity was asphyxiating. As an ex-post-left anarchist I’ve had enough talk of what the left should be (if only…) to last three lifetimes. Dodging the bullet of having to endure Great-Men-Talking-about-Revolution-as-if-it-were-about-to-happen (or already did) I still consider quite the achievement, which would not have been possible if it were not for the ones who survived and particularly for Bob Black.

But they paid a price. In Bob’s case an ass-kicking or two, for others it was different kinds of social exclusions, ones that reflected their personalities and survival skills. On another level they paid the price of loss of faith. Obviously we are talking about a secular kind of faith–a belief that when exposed to a correct analysis or critique people will change their minds–but a faith nonetheless. A faith that other people, strangers, are like you: reasonable, argumentative, and more interested in something-like-truth than in popularity contests or petty games. This loss of faith has created grumpy, lonely men but it has also created a neon colored sign post for us, the next generation, and for those who are arriving after us.

Doing something

I realize that most of the anarchists of the post-left generation have exposed their own influences as being egoist but that wasn’t my perception of them or their position(s) during my first decade of exposure to them (prior to meeting them). It seemed to me that Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed was the American wing of a post-situationist perspective, full stop. In hindsight, I realize how little I knew but it was the SI that excited me when I was just an anarcho-tot. It was their practice of critique-as-action that made sense to me, and it was how I saw action that I wanted to participate in. The SI critique of what we would now call activism felt complete to me and, as a result, held no interest. The attacks against groups and people of the same fighting weight did, and still does, hold me captivated.

This is where my defense of Bob is strongest. Whether in the name of revenge or his own sense of rightousness Bob devoted his life to fighting people and institutions outside of his weight class. We once had a conversation where I was expressing how not-in-a-hurry I was with regard to dealing with a slight because I held that the long view, the strategic view, would win out against hurried action. Bob made it clear that while he might have agreed with me about the likelihood of winning, my attitude was bullshit. The only time to deal with opponents is now. He meant it. He would rather lose the fight, and do it now, than wait and win.

This charming personality trait explains nearly every scandal and misstep Bob ever took. As he aged, his rush to fight took on the long form essay rather than the flaming poop bag, but the will to fight never waned.

This point, by the way, is why the activist insult against theory/critique people has always aggravated me. I try to give the activist crowd the benefit of the doubt that they do truly believe in the political practice they are part of “in the streets” and are not just using regular people as cover for their desire to see the glittering rain of a window pane. (The least they can do is realize that a vigorous internal conversation is a verb and not “doing nothing” but whatever.)

Bob has taught anarchism a lesson that has yet to be meaningfully followed up. We need to establish something like a set of rules, or a kind of terrain, around how to fight with one another. When Bob accused Ramsey, in the letter section of AJODA, of being a state agent (on the flimsey grounds that they needed to evade the consequences of the Anarchist Exclusion Act of 1901), there were two results . One, Bob broke an unspoken rule against snitch-jacketing and two, Ramsey took him (and the accusation) extremeley seriously. Ramsey placed a fatwa against that issue of the magazine (#65, which had quite of few strong articles) and did whatever he could do persuade us (including by threat of force) and whomever was in his sphere of influence (which mostly meant infoshops that inclined Red) to not carry it. By putting his (and by extension ours–as AJODA did the material suffering, since AK Press stopped distributing the magazine after this issue) body on the line, Bob proved an unintended point. He provided Ramsey an opportunity to show what Ramsey was all about and Ramsey’s response to that paragraph of text couldn’t have been clearer.

For those of us who are similarly inclined, this lesson should be instructive. When you throw your body, identity, and personhood into the fray you rarely get accolades or huzzahs. At best you get a clarifying moment on a tangential point related to but not necessarily central to why you were acting in the first place. What most people do with this information is hide themselves behind nicknames, anonymity, or silence, and we, as a politic and practice, suffer for it.

The power of one

Bob has never had an ally (or accomplice in the modern vernacular) as he made it structurally impossible for anybody to be (or become) one. There are many private examples of how this looked in practice but it’s an obvious point that if you are fighting for your interpretation of the singular right and correct position anyone who would join you has to convince you that they think the same way that you do and for the same reasons.

Bob’s life is a series of breaks from limited collaborations that is not disconnected from the Stirnerite postulation about organization only lasting as long as the participants in it gain satisfaction in that arrangement. Bob’s innovation, if it could be called that, was to (mostly) set fire to any possibility of future collaboration by way of personal insults and public declarations of acrimony. Let’s call this practice “angry egoism,” which can only be ameliorated by its target bending knee, thereby placing future collaboration on the unstable base of an explicit power-over relationship.

And these dysfunctions ultimately rise from the fact that every battle, every idea, and every break happened for Bob alone. He has had lovers and temporary friends but largely his life was one lived alone, with no voice cautioning consequences or suggesting a different pacing, no daily consultations in bed. The only voice in his head was his, amplified by a Debordesque diet of spirits.

By this cautionary tale I put Bob Black to rest. He was a clarifying influence in my life, largely as a negative example but also as a good writer, but one incapable of reaching the heights he reached for. He will be remembered as much for who he wasn’t as for who he wanted to be but this is the most anarchist of problems. Most of us will not be remembered at all but the shared Beautiful Idea is larger than each of us and continues on after we are gone. The best we can hope for is some contribution to that idea and as a person who lived and wrote in especially challenging times and circumstances Bob Black has done his part.

Farewell.

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Being Cosmopolitan

I never really thought about my ideal group, but then I realized that most of my groups are an ideal group for me. I have typically crossed boundaries more than I have stuck with homogenous groups. When I think of who impressed on me my values for how I group early in life, I think […]
Posted in 2015 | Comments closed

DickPro To Go

Well, some of you may know sometime around the early 2000s I coined “dickpro” for dictatorship of the proletariat, which caught on briefly before people blew it off once they realized it wasn’t an actual thing, just me being silly. For me, the concept makes a great deal of sense, but seeing as it isn’t […]
Posted in 2015 | Comments closed

Work Abolitionist League

Beginning Thoughts on the Work Abolitionist League Purpose: To offer a open, explicit direction for a work abolitionist group to exist outside the activist frame of mind and scene ghettos which far too often absorb people into any variety of deferments to the abolition of work, that is wage slavery, all other forms of slavery […]
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Squee’s Guide to Living

1) The first thing that every human being should understand is how important their asshole is… You should be regular and regularly shitting something of substance. If you’re not shitting something of substance, you’re not living. This is the most fundamental event of your life. You can measure everything about the quality of your life […]
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Identity and Developmental Psychology (for anarchists)

I often read questions posed by anarchists that to really answer, require insight into the psychological development of individual subjects. Additionally, what I’ve noticed along with the frequency of these sorts of questions is the extent to which anarchists want nothing to do with psychology. I’ve never been entirely certain why this is, but giving […]
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The Wanton Wanderer

This was originally to be a group effort. The Wanton Wanderer Society was going to be my strong re-entrance with praxis oriented anarchy. Being that my former partner was showing no strong interest in sharing the weight of the project, I figured it was time to concentrate on individual efforts again. I have a wishlist […]
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Starting Young

So I start my new project alone. I had initially wanted to work with my usual partner in activity, but I feel I can carry the weight of the project better until I find others that want to share the weight rather than just walk with me, watching me carry the weight, but not caring […]
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Clean Up

This blog is currently undergoing a clean up. Some old drafts that weren’t finished were published just because they were sitting for years. I doubt anything worthwhile can be found in any of my archives. Once I have time to move everything around and pull these from the news feed (probably make each post into […]
Posted in 2015 | Comments closed

University Sports

Introduction To understand the praxis heterodoxy I am experimenting with it is good to understand “Contribution to a Situationist Definition of Play”. There are other S.I. documents of importance regarding ludic activity and give more detail as to what the S.I. means by “play”. However, this is good for understanding an initial approach to its […]
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