Self Help

Post-Anarchism A Reader (Duane Rousselle (editor) etc.)

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Matheus Puppe

· 73 min read



Here is a summary of Post-Anarchism:

  • Post-anarchism emerged in the late 1990s as a discourse that sought to blend traditional anarchist thinking with developments in post-structuralist and postmodern thought. It aimed to decentralize and broaden anarchist politics and theory.

  • Key ideas include questioning representational politics, emphasizing tactical rather than strategic action, bringing anarchist thought into dialogue with other influences through a “cultural studies” approach, and providing “lines of flight” beyond traditional frameworks.

  • Post-anarchism challenges the reification of traditional anarchist theory and suggests anarchism needs to grapple with contemporary issues. It aims to explain the condition of radical politics in the present.

  • It has been both influential among radical intellectuals and subject to criticisms from other anarchists who see it as too reductionist or as abandoning class politics.

  • This reader aims to showcase the diversity of perspectives within post-anarchism and reinvigorate debates about its importance and relationship to traditional anarchism. It brings together theorists who have shaped the development of post-anarchism.

  • The anti-globalization movement of the late 1990s/early 2000s brought anarchism back into the spotlight as a relevant political philosophy and movement. Anarchist principles and activists played a prominent role in organizing and inspiring the movement.

  • This renewed interest in anarchism challenged Marxism’s previous dominance as the main leftist ideology. Anarchism displaced Marxism to a large extent and was recognized again internationally.

  • While drawing from traditional anarchist ideas, this “new anarchism” emerging within the anti-globalization movement was not simply a reincarnation of 19th century anarchism. It was developing into something contemporary and new.

  • The success and popularity of the anti-globalization movement served as both a platform for testing anarchist principles in new global contexts, and as leverage to spread anarchist ideas and influence widely through scholarly works and events on anarchism.

  • However, questions remained around defining the characteristics of this “new anarchism” that was asserting itself through the anti-globalization movement and contemporary radical politics more broadly.

Here is a summary of the key points about the Battle of Seattle and the emergence of the term “new anarchism”:

  • The Battle of Seattle was a large protest in November 1999 against the World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting in Seattle. It effectively shut down the WTO meeting and represented a breakthrough for the global justice/anti-globalization movement.

  • Within activist circles at the time, the term “new anarchists” was used to refer to participants in these emerging anti-globalization protests and movements. The “newness” referred to the diversity of references and influences, which came from actual activist experiences rather than adherence to an established anarchist theory.

  • David Graeber argued the movement was about creating new forms of horizontal, decentralized organization as an alternative to top-down structures. Uri Gordon also analyzed the emerging “ideology” as experimental and open-ended rather than a fixed set of principles.

  • Debates emerged around “new” vs “classical” anarchism, with “new anarchism” seen as more elusive and influenced by post-structuralism. This fostered studies on “post-anarchism” as a way to conceptually understand and position contemporary anarchism.

  • Key figures like Jason Adams, who helped organize the Seattle protests, began embracing “post-anarchism” and started an email listserv and website to promote the term as a frame of reference for anarchist theory and practice influenced by post-structuralism.

  • Many French postmodern theorists like Baudrillard, Lyotard, Foucault, Deleuze, and Guattari participated in the May 1968 protests in France. This gave their theoretical works a spirit of radicalism and critique that carried on the radicalism of the 1960s.

  • Postmodern theory in France is thus intimately connected to the experiences of May 1968. The passionate critiques found in French postmodern theory can be seen as a continuation of the spirit of 1968.

  • Early works attempting to combine post-structuralism and anarchism like those by Todd May and Andrew Koch were influenced by this context. They sought to develop new forms of radical thought building on the 1960s radicalism.

  • Post-anarchism emerged as a way to link post-structuralist theories to anarchism and activism. Figures like Saul Newman were seen as representatives formulating this theoretical approach in the 1990s and 2000s. However, they were also criticized for misrepresenting classical anarchism.

  • The term “post-anarchism” helped frame the intersections between various anarchisms and postmodern/post-structuralist thinkers in a broader way than just “post-structuralist anarchism.” This allowed for exploring connections across different fields.

  • Franks worked more than any other reviewer to analyze the anarchist tradition, especially comparing post-structuralist ideas to classical anarchist thinkers like Kropotkin and Bakunin.

  • Many anarchists were skeptical of postmodernism due to its negative connotations of being associated with neoliberal capitalism. Writers like Bookchin, Chomsky, and Zerzan criticized postmodern thinkers.

  • Post-anarchism aims to combine classical anarchism with postmodern and post-structuralist philosophy, though some saw the “post-” prefix as implying anarchism was obsolete.

  • Early post-anarchist works took canonized histories of anarchism for granted and viewed anarchist practice as applying theorists’ ideas, rather than the anarchist view that sees no hierarchy between theory and practice.

  • They focused mainly on Western modern thinkers, ignoring contributions from non-Western and non-modern anarchisms. Eurocentric biases may have shaped the anarchist canon.

  • Post-anarchism was still in an introductory period, with proponents feeling a need to legitimize studying it and comparing anarchism to the failure of Marxism, rather than starting from anarchist principles.

  • The post-anarchist literature has not undertaken a new critical reading of the anarchist canon from a post-structuralist perspective. They have compared post-structuralism to classical anarchism as described from a modernist perspective, missing opportunities for insight.

  • There are misunderstandings around classical anarchism’s views on human nature, often assumed to be based on an essentially “good” human nature. However, key thinkers like Proudhon, Bakunin and Kropotkin did not view human nature this way.

  • The list of canonical classical anarchists is not agreed upon, with different scholars including different thinkers like Godwin, Proudhon, Bakunin, Kropotkin, Stirner, Tolstoy, etc.

  • Post-anarchism offers a way to critically re-examine the anarchist canon and traditions from new theoretical lenses, as well as use anarchist ideas in new domains like cultural studies. This can help expand and revitalize anarchist thought.

  • In general, post-anarchism is an emerging approach within radical politics and cultural studies that aims to further develop the libertarian tradition through new readings of history and theory.

  • In the 1980s and 1990s, referring to oneself as an anarchist or discussing anarchist ideas/activism publicly was quite rare in the US. This changed dramatically after November 1999 as anarchist philosophy and activism began gaining more mainstream recognition and acceptance.

  • David Graeber, an anthropologist and anarchist theorist, is often credited with coining the term “new anarchism” but he rejects this. While the title of his 2001 article used the term, he did not intend to designate a new sub-identity within anarchism and prefers the label “small-a” anarchist.

  • Tadzio Mueller argues that anarchism should be defined more by practices and actions rather than dogmas or written theory. The principles manifest through practices, so experience is more important than theoretical writings alone.

  • Some of the earliest advocates for a “post-anarchism” perspective published articles and participated in online forums/listservs in the early 2000s to conceptualize how anarchist ideas were emerging in the new anti-globalization movement.

  • There are differences in how post-anarchism developed depending on political/linguistic context. Non-Western and non-English perspectives have emphasized different aspects, like historiography of anarchism, compared to the dominant English-language discourse.

  • Authors debate whether post-anarchism constitutes a distinct subset/identity within anarchism or a broader revisioning of anarchist theory and practice informed by postmodern philosophy.

  • Classical anarchism based its critique of the state on conceptions of human nature, depicting humans as rational, compassionate, and gregarious beings for whom the coercive state is unnecessary and harmful. Their arguments relied on ontological claims about human essence.

  • Post-structuralism challenges the epistemological basis of making universal claims about human nature. It questions how any characterization of human essence can be validly justified.

  • Max Stirner’s work initiated questioning the epistemological issues, challenging ontological foundations of political theory.

  • Nietzsche further critiqued Enlightenment epistemology and ideas of truth, knowledge, and method.

  • Post-structuralism more broadly questions the ability to create a stable ontological foundation for political claims about human nature, which have historically been used to legitimate state power.

  • This creates the possibility for a “post-anarchism” not reliant on ontological claims, instead undercutting the premises that support the state through epistemological critique.

So in summary, the passage discusses how post-structuralism challenges the ontological bases of classical anarchism and political theory more broadly, opening up possibilities for an epistemologically grounded “post-anarchism.”

This passage discusses ontological and epistemological justifications for anarchism presented by post-structuralist thinkers and 19th century philosophers.

It outlines the ontological approach taken by thinkers like William Godwin, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, and Peter Kropotkin, which focuses on characterizing human nature as rational, equal, and cooperative in order to critique political hierarchies and argue for statelessness.

It then introduces an alternative epistemological approach found in Max Stirner and Friedrich Nietzsche that questions the very process of representing and characterizing human nature. This challenges the philosophical and political foundations of the state by arguing representations of humanity are fictional and concepts are unable to capture individual uniqueness.

Later post-structuralists continued this epistemological critique by analyzing how power structures shape discourse and knowledge production. This form of critique allows for resistance against political forces that claim universality, like the nation state, by demonstrating the plurality and interpretability of social concepts.

  • Nietzsche criticizes foundational views of knowledge and reality proposed by philosophers like Kant, Hegel and Plato. He argues there is no transcendent “thing-in-itself” that our knowledge aims to represent.

  • Without a foundation, concepts like truth, morality and justice are shown to be social constructions that reflect the interests of those who create and impose them through language.

  • Nietzsche introduces the “genealogical method” to explore how concepts acquire meaning and status over time based on their social and political utility rather than representing objective realities.

  • This undermines the possibility of universal or ahistorical claims about morality, justice, politics and human nature. It reduces politics to an expression of power rather than being grounded in truth or justice.

  • Post-structuralists like Derrida, Foucault and Lyotard continued Nietzsche’s critique and challenged the idea that language and knowledge can objectively represent reality, arguing it always reflects contingent social and historical forces.

The rejection of a fixed conception of human nature by post-structuralists denies the ‘grand narratives’ that underlie mass politics. They reject the ontological foundations of liberalism and Marxist teleology.

Post-structuralists challenge the idea that knowledge results from a linear accumulation of facts. Knowledge is contingent and dependent on the prevailing episteme or language/concepts used. This decentralized view replaces universal foundations of modern states.

Representation fixes meaning outside context, inhibiting communication. Post-structuralism uses a model of context-specific grammars rather than representation or consciousness. Truth claims are internal to language systems rather than verified externally.

By linking knowledge production to power institutions, post-structuralists undermine legitimizing ideologies. Truth is produced, not discovered, within closed systems. This epistemological relativism decentralizes politics by acknowledging heterogenous knowledge frameworks. Post-structural methods like deconstruction aim to decentralize language and truth production.

  • Post-structuralism criticizes the idea of objective truth and universal foundations for politics. It sees truth and legitimacy as context-specific and contingent on power relationships.

  • This attack on modernist epistemology appears entirely negative, leaving no room for normative political judgments. Critics argue post-structuralism cannot defend individual autonomy.

  • However, post-structuralists reject the modernist ontologies underlying critics’ positions. They see power and its legitimizing discourses as the real targets of analysis.

  • Given this, anarchist theory must develop a non-representational foundation outside fixed structures like human nature concepts. Three possible paths emerge:

  1. Anarchy is society’s empirical character without state legitimizing fictions.

  2. Anarchism is the only defensible normative position given the plurality of valid epistemes.

  3. Move beyond representation to a non-ontological view of individuality.

  • Overall, post-structuralism provides tools to deconstruct state legitimacy claims and reveal its true nature as power relations dependent on force, not truth. Within this view, the burden is on states to justify actions against pluralism and individual resistance.

The passage discusses the possibility of constructing an anarchism theory within a post-structuralist framework without reintroducing the notion of a representative subject or historical actor. It argues this can be done based on a “non-reflexive individualism” suggested by post-structuralist ideas about language and discourse. Specifically, it says post-structuralism shows that discourse requires individual speakers/receivers, and that meaning is contingent on unique experiences. This denies universal meaning/truths and shows consensus politics relies on imposing one set of meanings. It concludes this epistemological view justifies radical individualism and anarchist political stances by defending the pluralism of individual meanings against states that impose universalism or majoritarianism.

  • Post-structuralist thinkers like Foucault, Deleuze, and Lyotard offer specific analyses of concrete situations of oppression rather than a unified general political theory.

  • Critics argue this absence of a general theory leads to normative relativism or nihilism, as they lack foundations/values to guide critique.

  • However, their thought can be understood within the anarchist political tradition, which also rejects Marxism and liberalism.

  • Post-structuralism subverts the humanist discourse foundational to traditional anarchism by investigating knowledge, desire, language, and rejecting notions of autonomy and subjectivity.

  • It engages in “micropolitics” focusing on specific levels/registers of oppression rather than offering a general theory, as any foundations could become tools of new oppression.

  • Anarchism’s reliance on humanism as a basis precluded resistance by those outside its concept of normal subjectivity, showing how foundations can oppress nonconformists.

  • Ultimately, post-structuralism conveys a logic of opposition by demonstrating how power operates in diverse regimes of knowledge, offering a basis for political critique without founding it on absolute truths or values.

Here are the key points about post-anarchism and radical politics today based on the passage:

  • Post-anarchism, as articulated by thinkers like Critchley, aims to work outside and call into question the state, even if abolishing it may not be immediately possible. The goal is to “better” or “attenuate” the state’s effects, not seize state power.

  • Žižek critiques this position, arguing that if the state cannot be abolished, then radicals should act within and seize state power to achieve their objectives, as Chavez did in Venezuela. Working outside the state leaves radicals in a relationship of “mutual parasitism” with the state.

  • The debate centers around strategy - whether radicals should work outside the state and keep their distance, as post-anarchists argue, or act within state institutions and seize power when possible, as Žižek advocates.

  • Post-anarchism represents a more skeptical, long-term approach toward gradual change, while Žižek advocates a more direct, short-term strategy of exploiting state power for revolutionary ends.

  • There is a disagreement about how best to challenge existing state and capitalist orders - through extra-state agitation and pressure, or through wielding state power from within political institutions.

So in summary, the passage presents an ongoing disagreement between post-anarchist and more conventional Marxist perspectives on radical strategy and the role of the state.

This section discusses the renewed debate between libertarian and authoritarian models of revolutionary politics, mirroring the historical debate between anarchism and Marxism. It notes that after the failures of Marxist-Leninist states and identity politics, radical politics is uncertain of which direction to take. Anarchism may provide answers by advocating autonomous political spaces outside state control.

Contemporary social movements eschew authoritarian vanguard models and instead emphasize horizontal, networked organization. This has contributed to a renewed interest in anarchist theory. Anarchism uniquely sees liberty and equality as inextricable, challenging the notion of state sovereignty central to most political theories. It argues true equality cannot exist with hierarchical state power. This anarchist critique remains relevant as neoliberal states increasingly consolidate power through “securitization” with falling democratic legitimacy. Overall, the section explores why anarchist ideas around anti-authoritarianism and autnomous organizing outside the state are timely for reimagining radical politics today.

Anarchists were unique in their contention that equality cannot be achieved within the framework of the state. They argued that the state is inherently oppressive, not just in the form it takes under capitalism but in its very structures and logic. The state prioritizes its own interests and power over societal interests.

Marxists believed the state could be used as a revolutionary tool if seized by the proletariat. But anarchists argued this ignored the autonomy and oppressive nature of state power. A workers’ state would just be another form of oppression.

Anarchists also criticized the Marxist model of a revolutionary vanguard party seizing power. They saw this as authoritarian and elitist, and that such a party would become a new state. Anarchists advocated for spontaneous, libertarian organization by the masses instead of top-down leadership.

Anarchists also took a broader view of revolutionary subjects beyond just the industrial proletariat, seeing oppressed groups of all kinds as potential agents of revolution. They believed equality could not be achieved through the state but only by dismantling authoritarian power structures and allowing free association of autonomous individuals and groups.

  • Alain Badiou criticizes anarchism as being merely the “double” or shadow of communist parties. However, anarchism developed its own analyses and strategies distinct from Marxism-Leninism.

  • More problematic is Badiou’s idealized conception of politics, where genuine radicalism is judged by an “impossible standard” of the rare “event.” He seems oblivious to or contemptuous of everyday forms of emancipatory politics like social movements and direct action.

  • Behind this is an elitism in Badiou’s focus on the isolated militant over mass movements. There is an implicit vanguardism despite rejecting the party form.

  • Ernesto Laclau and post-Marxism emphasize contingency, reject economic determinism, and see struggles in terms of hegemonic “chains of equivalence” rather than strict class identities. However, representation remains central and implies a need for political leadership.

  • Anarchism differs from post-Marxism in rejecting the very notion of political leadership, representation and sovereignty as inherently authoritarian, always leading back to the state. Autonomy and grassroots democracy are prized over leadership structures.

Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri propose the concept of the “multitude” as a new revolutionary subject emerging from relationships and networks formed by immaterial labor under global capitalism. The multitude refers to all who work under the global system of Empire, not just the traditional proletariat.

The multitude represents an irreducible multiplicity rather than a unified identity. It tends towards a commonality based on what is shared and produced in common. Hardt and Negri believe the multitude has the potential to mobilize against Empire’s power and eventually autonomy rule itself.

However, there are criticisms of the multitude concept. It is unclear how coherent and inclusive it really is given massive differences in living and working conditions globally. The world is uneven, not a “smooth space” as Hardt and Negri claim. This undermines the idea of a common identity or politic across such divided experiences.

The multitude risks being no more than a reworked version of Marxist proletarian emancipation - emerging automatically through capitalist dynamics rather than through political articulation. Politics is eclipsed in their view.

Jacques Rancière proposes a different view of radical politics as emerging from fracture rather than immanence. Politics ruptures existing relations from outside rather than within. His view is more aligned with anarchism in destabilizing hierarchies and rejecting vanguardism, seeing ordinary people as capable of self-emancipation.

  • Jacques Rancière’s thought experiment with Joseph Jacotot showed that one does not need expertise or specialized knowledge to teach a subject. This undermines the idea that political and social hierarchies are based on unequal distribution of intelligence.

  • If everyone has equal intelligence and ability to learn, it jeopardizes social orders founded on inequality. Rancière advocates an egalitarian politics based on the factual equality of all people.

  • For Rancière, politics starts from the presupposition of equality, not seeking equality as an end goal. Emancipation must be achieved by people through self-emancipation and recognizing the equality of others.

  • Rancière’s concepts of self-emancipation, autonomy, and questioning hierarchies through recognizing equality have similarities with anarchism. His view can be seen as a form of anarchism that questions domination at its foundations.

  • For Rancière, politics emerges from disagreement between an excluded group demanding inclusion and the existing social order. The excluded group claims to represent the interests of society as a whole, disrupting the social order.

  • Radical politics today could take the form of mobilizing around excluded groups like immigrants to highlight contradictions in social and economic systems like capitalism. Fighting for immigrants’ rights challenges concepts like free movement of people across borders.

  • Rancière provides an account of political subjectification not based on essences or social rationality moving towards emancipation, as in classical anarchism, but on processes of subjectification through claiming equality and representation.

Here is a summary of Murray Bookchin’s conception of “social ecology” according to Rancière:

  • Bookchin views humans as inherently social and cooperative by nature. There is a potential for “wholeness” or social progress that stems from this innate sociality.

  • This conception sees the human subject as essentially benign and inextricably part of the social fabric. Radical political subjectivity expresses this natural social tendency.

  • Rancière’s view of political subjectification differs in some key ways. There is no natural or inherent tendency towards revolution/progress. Politics is unpredictable and contingent.

  • The political subject does not stem from essential human nature. Rather, it emerges through rupturing fixed social roles/identities. This is a break from rather than expression of the social.

  • Political subjectification involves “de-subjectification” or distancing from one’s normal social role/position. It questions the relationship between social roles and identities.

  • Rather than emerging from within society, political subjectivity in Rancière’s view comes from “outside” in the sense of disengaging from established positions and identities.

So in summary, Bookchin sees political subjectivity as an expression of innate human sociality/cooperation, while Rancière sees it as more contingent, unpredictable and emerging through a break from rather than expression of the social order.

Based on the passage,

As a lack, an absence, a void in signification refers to conceiving of radical politics and radical difference based on an ontological imaginary of lack rather than abundance. Theorists of lack emphasize that political analysis should start from the level of signification (language, meaning, identity) rather than from networks of embodied matter, and they emphasize the need to build hegemonic constellations rather than pluralization. Conceiving of politics through an ontology of lack posits a void, limit or outside to discourse and signification, from which new ways of understanding and emancipatory practices can emerge. This contrasts with theories of abundance that see politics emerging from networks of immanent relations.

This passage discusses post-anarchism and some critiques of traditional anarchism. Some key points:

  • It acknowledges criticism of anarchism from those who have “deserted” or defected from it, seeing anarchism as stagnant and trapped in the past. Critiques include a lack of concrete programs to fulfill real desires and needs, and failure to attract oppressed groups.

  • It suggests anarchism lacks a sense of present and how to act now to fulfill desires. Critics argue protests, pickets and reprints of classic texts do not add up to a vital conspiracy of self-liberation.

  • The author expresses sympathy for these critiques but notes the deserters offer no powerful alternatives. They prefer to try changing anarchism from within for now.

  • Their proposed program includes work on recognizing psychic racism has replaced overt discrimination, embracing cultural participation, and abandoning ideological purity in favor of a more pragmatic “Type-3 anarchism.”

  • In general, it discusses debates around post-anarchism as a response or evolution from traditional anarchism, acknowledging shortcomings but still seeing value in anarchism’s anti-authoritarian principles.

  • Anarchism is defined not by historical figures or texts, but by contemporary practices and actions that seek to minimize hierarchies and oppose all forms of oppression. It is about prefigurative politics - creating alternatives in the present.

  • Anarchism today exists as a “submerged network” of groups, subcultures, and identities, rather than a unified movement. It is involved in broader mobilizations like the anti-globalization movement but does not define itself by any single issue.

  • Anarchism faces challenges from both external repression by state powers, as well as internal issues around sustaining itself as a subculture/movement in the long run.

  • Engaging with dominant structures of power like the state exposes anarchists to increasingly harsh crackdowns, but remaining separate also risks isolation. There are no clear mechanisms to effectively defend against repression.

  • Internally, maintaining anti-hierarchical principles while coordinating action is difficult, as is sustaining a balance between ideological purity and collaboration with broader allies. Growing too large also risks bureaucratization and co-option of principles.

So in summary, the key issue discussed is how anarchism navigates the tensions between empowering itself through engagement, while also defending against external crackdown and maintaining internal coherence and principles in the face of growth.

  • Anarchism faces several political challenges, including the difficulty of sustaining long-term participation, maintaining its relatively small size and mobilization capacity, overcoming its social isolation, and vulnerability to repression due to these factors.

  • These challenges have been widely discussed in anarchist circles. Proposed solutions generally focus on either extensive organizing to expand its appeal, or intensive organizing to deepen its social structures and political capacity in order to better sustain participation over the long term.

  • Gramsci analyzed how the revolutionary left failed in Western Europe despite Marxism predicting it would succeed there. He argued power rests not just in the state, but in everyday “civil society” institutions. To succeed, the left needs to build “counter-hegemony” by creating alternative institutions that win over the majority.

  • Translating Gramsci’s insights to anarchism poses challenges. Gramsci accepted hierarchies internally and externally, while anarchism rejects all hierarchies. Yet building sustainable resistance communities seems to require some form of internal and external expansion - does this contradict anarchism’s rejection of all power and hierarchies?

  • This question sparks a discussion of whether anarchism truly rejects all forms of power, given its heterogeneity. Different strands of anarchism have approached this question in various ways over time.

  • Classical anarchism viewed society as having one dominant power structure (e.g. capitalism/the state) that must be overthrown. Later anarchists proposed a more decentralized view with multiple intersecting power structures.

  • This opened anarchist thought to include oppressions like patriarchy, environmental destruction, etc. in addition to economic/state power. It challenged the idea that one social group could claim to be the sole agent of revolution.

  • Taking this further, power was seen as dispersed throughout society in complex webs of domination and subordination, even within radical movements and individuals themselves.

  • Logically following this, no revolution could simply eliminate all power structures at once. Power is inescapable as it permeates all social relations and identities.

  • Post-structuralist theory, notably Foucault’s analysis of power, offers anarchism a way to embrace this dispersed notion of power without contradicting its goal of liberation. It moves beyond dualisms of oppression vs. freedom to a more nuanced understanding of power dynamics.

  • In this way, post-structuralism can help anarchist theory and practice adapt to its own decentralized, non-dualist conclusions about the nature of power in society.

The passage discusses the relationship between post-structuralism and anarchism. It argues against rejecting post-structuralist analysis of anarchism as a “slander.”

Post-structuralism and anarchism emerged in similar historical contexts as critiques of ossified Marxism. Foucault criticized Marxism’s truth claims and view of power as solely repressive. Foucault saw power as productive and analyzed its web-like nature without tops or bottoms.

This links to anarchism by showing how power within resistance spaces is hidden behind the facade of being the “opposite” of power. A post-structuralist view extends anarchism’s critique of power relations into the field of resistance itself. Any resistance establishes a power relation by necessity.

This raises questions about identity construction and collective action. While feminism aimed to mobilize against patriarchy, this involved constructing collective identities and power relations. Politics inherently involves such identity construction.

The passage discusses Peter Slotterdijk’s view that post-structuralism pushes the Enlightenment critique of power to expose identity as constructed. However, Slotterdijk takes this too far into abdicating politics altogether. The passage aims to avoid this conclusion.

In summary, it argues post-structuralism radicalizes anarchism’s critique of power and highlights identity construction in resistance, but should not lead to abandoning politics entirely as Slotterdijk suggests.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

The passage critiques Peter Sloterdijk’s notion of “kynicism” and “non-politics” as a strategy to reject all identity construction and social conditionings. It argues that attempting to avoid or withdraw from politics and power relations still operates within existing power structures and privileges. Even seemingly non-political actions require certain resources and presuppose one’s social position.

It also contends that some form of identity and social disciplining is inevitable and necessary for communication and organization. Completely rejecting identity results in an asserted “essence” of constant identity escape, and negates the potential value of community and collective identity.

Finally, the passage notes that even anarchism requires some social structures and means to address oppressive behavior. A theoretical rejection of all identity and discipline is not coherent and does not map onto the realities of building radical political spaces. Concrete anarchist practices, on the other hand, demonstrate a conceptual understanding of their own situatedness within power relations as well as attempts to establish counter-hegemonic structures.

This summary discusses two key ideas:

  1. The tension between seeking to create good communities while avoiding exclusion and undue power over others. While activists want to act for something they see as important, they can never be totally sure their actions are truly good or avoid unintended negative consequences.

  2. The challenge of balancing collective values and identities with diversity, difference, and dissent. Closed communities risk homogenization and oppression, but some shared principles are needed. The ideal is to experiment with maximizing freedom of disagreement and difference while minimizing oppression.

It examines how anarchist projects like the PGA network, consulta process, and No Border camps try to navigate this through techniques like rotating leadership, informal structures, emphasis on autonomy and diversity, and acknowledging the imperfectness and arbitrariness of any principles or rules established to guide their work. The goal is pursuing change through community-building, direct action and prefigurative examples, with an awareness of one’s own fallibility and use of power relations.

  • The author argues that anarchism today can no longer claim perfection and must accept some level of power and uncertainty in its political actions.

  • Projects like the PGA, social centers, and no border camps are trying to construct sustainable communities of resistance within this context of uncertainty.

  • An acceptance of uncertainty allows politics to be guided by ethics rather than claims of historical truth or destiny. Mobilizing people depends on appealing to their ethics.

  • From there it is a short step to accepting the necessity of anarchist counter-hegemony or alternative communities as a strategy. These negotiations must navigate between too few or too many rules/identities.

  • This uncertain, modest form of post-structuralist anarchism seems the best shot at a new emancipatory project given failures or problems with other leftist approaches like neoliberalism, social democracy, authoritarian left, and fascism.

  • In this synthesis, anarchism found an analysis in post-structuralism and a strategy in counter-hegemony, though the author admits it is an uncertain synthesis. Uncertainty may be a better “spice of life” than claims of certainty or destiny.

Here is a summary of the key points from the chapter:

  • The author aims to analyze the “newest social movements” through the lens of the relation to the “hegemony of hegemony” - the assumption that meaningful social change can only be achieved through universalizing hierarchical forms like the nation-state.

  • Contemporary activism is challenging this assumption through non-hegemonic forms of direct action and affinity-based organizing. The struggles are difficult to characterize as traditional “social movements.”

  • The chapter traces the development of the logic of hegemony in Western Marxism from Lenin/Gramsci to Laclau/Mouffe. This trajectory cleared space for a subterranean logic of affinity to re-emerge.

  • Examples of constructive direct action tactics used in radical movements today are discussed, representing a shift from counter-hegemonic politics of demand to non-hegemonic politics of acts.

  • Hardt and Negri’s concept of the “multitude” is analyzed in terms of its ambivalent position regarding hegemony and reliance on the Leninist revolution/reform dichotomy.

  • A genealogy of the logic of affinity is presented as an alternative framework for understanding contemporary movements challenging the state/corporate system through displacement and replacement rather than totalizing effects.

This summary analyzes the concept of new social movements (NSMs) and post-anarchism according to authors Rousselle and Laclau. Some key points:

  • NSMs focus on multiple axes of oppression beyond just class (e.g. racism, patriarchy). However, they are still oriented toward reform and irradiation across social spaces like nation-states.

  • Post-anarchism reflects the New Left idea that means of change must match ends. However, most NSMs remain within a hegemonic conception focused on state power/reform rather than alternative actions.

  • Laclau and Mouffe displace class/workers from center of politics, seeing struggles as indeterminate projects for “radical democracy” through expanding liberties. But does this go far enough from Marxism/old movements?

  • Laclau later outlines 4 dimensions of hegemony: uneven power distribution; dialectic of universal/particular interests; chains of equivalence between identities; open/expansionist nature of hegemonic systems. But his view assumes current liberal societies are best/only option and a normative political project.

So in summary, it analyzes how NSMs both broadened issues of oppression but remained state-centric, and discusses Laclau’s influential reworking of hegemony which still raises questions about how radical it is from Marxism and oriented toward current liberal societies.

The passage discusses the political logic of new social movements (NSMs) and how they relate to more contemporary “newest” social movements. It notes two key aspects of NSMs - working outside state forms and expressing chosen ends through the means of struggle. It argues these shifts need to be contextualized within a more global conception of struggle. Many NSM analyses have focused on Western movements, but more recent high-profile struggles transcend nation-states, making them “transnational social movements.” Events like the Zapatista uprising in 1994 and protests against the WTO in 1999 opposed neoliberal globalization and brought together diverse groups worldwide. However, the energy from the 1990s has since dissipated due to crackdowns and being redirected against new geopolitical conflicts. Still, opposition to neoliberalism and new forms of domination continues in various localized and transnational movements.

  • While street protests have diminished, the underlying forces of change and tensions remain. It is important to take stock of achievements and what still needs to be done in struggles against globalizing capital and societies of control.

  • New social movements aimed for social change without solely focusing on the state. However, they still expend significant energy trying to influence state power. Their framing of issues also tends to bracket the state rather than challenge it directly.

  • Tactics used by some contemporary activists reject appealing to governments and instead use direct physical intervention against state power in a way that prefigures alternatives. Groups like Reclaim the Streets see direct action as preferable to achieving goals and developing direct democracy.

  • Independent Media Centers and other tactics directly prefigure and create autonomous alternatives to state and corporate control. This reflects a shift from strategies of representation to participation and direct action. Examples show the possibilities of reconstructive community in action.

  • Some indigenous and autonomy-oriented groups reject mainstream strategies of integration within the capitalist nation-state system. They critique concepts like sovereignty, capitalism, and liberal democracy.

  • Their goals are not necessarily liberal or democratic in the Western sense. They posit alternatives with no hierarchies or centralized authority. This poses challenges for Western theory that have not been fully addressed.

  • The author distinguishes between a “politics of demand” and a “politics of the act.” Demand-based politics works within state systems for reform, while act-based politics seeks to undermine and bypass states and corporations through direct action.

  • Hardt and Negri’s concept of the “multitude” and “constituent power” from autonomist Marxism is relevant, describing grassroots alternatives, resistance, insurrection and utopian projects. However, their language sometimes contradicts the multiplicity of the multitude by implying it needs centralization.

The passage discusses differing conceptions of hegemony in Hardt and Negri’s work. While they critique post-Marxist readings of Gramsci, they seem to endorse a more orthodox, Leninist view of hegemony. This involves countering Empire with another totalizing force or project of the multitude. They envision the multitude establishing “hegemony” of a new “earthly city.”

However, their emphasis on autonomy and multiplicity seems at odds with this desire for a coherent project. The passage suggests looking past Hardt and Negri’s autonomism to their underlying Marxism to understand this tension. It draws comparisons between their idea of constituent power and certain strands of anarchist theory focused on affinity rather than hegemony. Specifically, it discusses Gustav Landauer’s concept of “structural renewal” through building alternative institutions and undermining existing ones, linked by commitment to non-statist socialism. This shares resemblances to Hardt and Negri’s vision of insurrection, resistance and construction of a new order from below.

  • Landauer analyzes capitalism, the state, law and administration not as institutions, but as “names for force between human individuals and groups” or ways of being in common.

  • For Landauer, because these macro structures emerge from micro relations between humans, changing them involves changing everyday interpersonal relations.

  • Structural renewal is seen as intersubjective and ethical, focusing on rebuilding relations between autonomous individuals and communities in new ways.

  • The text argues this perspective is consistent with post-structuralist thinkers who see capitalism as a set of relations rather than a thing.

  • Landauer advocated creating new social realities through practice and everyday living, rather than reforming or revolutionizing an overarching system. This emphasizes change through small-scale experiments and emergence of new subjectivities.

The key point is that Landauer analyzed social and political structures as emerging from human relations, not as reified institutions. Therefore change must happen through transforming everyday interactions and building new forms of community from the ground up, not by reforming or taking control of overarching systems.

  • The large-scale protests that occurred worldwide on November 30, 1999 (N30) marked an important turning point, bringing together various fragmented social movements around issues like anti-authoritarianism, identity politics, environmentalism, and class struggle in a new way.

  • Prior to N30, new social movements in the post-1960s period sought autonomous space for youth, queer, women’s and racialized groups, as well as environmental concerns. However, they did not sufficiently articulate the intersections between these issues and oppressions.

  • Traditional class-oriented movements also declined due to neoliberal globalization starting in the 1980s, often taking a reformist rather than transformative approach.

  • N30 was significant because it demonstrated for the first time the “irreducible interconnectedness” between diverse groups and perspectives in converging to disrupt a “common enemy.”

  • Foucault argued in the 1970s that power operates through a web of individual subjectification rather than just repression, multiplying resistance into new arenas at the micropolitical level of everyday life.

  • This helped explain the emergence of new social movements as fragments fighting for particularity, without recognizing their interconnections.

  • Others like André Gorz also argued that changes were displacing the industrial proletariat as the agent of change, leading to fragmented resistance without a unified strategy.

  • N30 marked an important turning point by starting to overcome these barriers and articulating the intersections between diverse issues and movements in a new coordinated way.

The ‘non-class of non-workers’ refers to a concept developed by French philosopher Andre Gorz to describe the changing nature of work and class identities in post-industrial capitalist societies. Some key points:

  • Gorz argued that with the shift to a post-Fordist service economy under neoliberalism, the industrial proletariat was no longer the central pillar of social change and class struggle as classical Marxism predicted.

  • Many people were marginalized from stable wage labor through temporary, contingent or automated work. This created a “non-class” outside the traditional bounds of class categorizations.

  • Gorz saw this as paradoxically creating the conditions for new social movements and a “post-capitalist” society focused on liberating time and abolishing work.

  • The “non-class of non-workers” referred to those existing outside or on the fringes of stable waged labor relationships, who could form the basis of new grassroots movements challenging the capitalist system.

So in summary, it captured Gorz’s view of how economic restructuring under neoliberalism was reshaping class identities and structures of conflict in a way that could potentially undermine capitalism.

The passage discusses some of the theoretical foundations of primitivist thought, particularly drawing from the work of Horkheimer and Adorno in their book Dialectic of Enlightenment. Some key points:

  • Horkheimer and Adorno argue that the Enlightenment project of universal rationality ultimately led to increased domination over nature and people. All of nature and reality became organized around economic usefulness.

  • They see pre-agricultural societies as allowing nature to self-organize, in contrast to the domination and mastering of nature that accompanied civilization.

  • Technological advances like cars and media paradoxically isolate people as they conform through communication.

  • While their critique is insightful, they still view civilization as the ultimate referent or base that explains all other oppressions.

  • Deep ecologist Arne Naess initially took a polarized view but later argued for pragmatism and cooperation between movements to maximize transformation.

  • Movements like deep ecology and Riot Grrrl demonstrated how clinging to ultimate referents like patriarchy can lead to polarization and cooption or immobilization through militancy.

  • Richard Day provides a genealogy showing how official multiculturalism involved constructing diversity as a problem to be solved within normalized discourse, rather than leaving open multiplicity.

So in summary, it discusses some of the theoretical influences on primitivism from the Frankfurt School and how clinging to ultimate referents can limit social movements.

The passage draws a parallel between the Roman Empire’s treatment of indigenous peoples and the “war to the end” method used to exterminate indigenous peoples in what became Canada. It then discusses how events like the October Crisis of 1970 helped solidify English as the cultural backbone of Canada’s “already achieved” diversity. In the years after, a new Canadian identity emerged centered on the metaphor of the mosaic, granting recognition to non-canonical groups. However, as Day points out, requiring learning of an official language implies those colonial cultures are more worthy of recognition than immigrants or First Nations.

Day argues for a “designerless mosaic” consisting of decentralized, non-hierarchical communities able to defend themselves against state forms. Rather than citizens, it would be inhabited by “smiths” characterized by a hybrid nature interacting with both nomadic and sedentary lifestyles. The smith escapes universalism and particularism.

The section demonstrates how the fragmentation of universality opened new spaces for transgressive social movements while increasing immiseration. It allowed a more radical critique but also vulnerable to cooption if movements reduced issues to single dimensions rather than seeing the multidimensionality of power and resistance.

Laclau and Mouffe theorized the concept of “counter-hegemony” as a way to understand the relationship between working-class movements and new social movements. They saw a need to go beyond the classical Marxist view that class antagonism is the only form of conflict.

Counter-hegemony posits conflict and plurality as inherent, and focuses on creating equivalences between different social movements. This allows movements to transcend extreme particularism or homogeneity. A key concept is “agonistic pluralism” - a real struggle among different positions to achieve a vibrant democracy based on diversity and conflict.

Class antagonism then becomes just one form of many conflicts. The resolution of class struggle is spread across all social spaces rather than being a “final conflict.” Conflict itself is not seen as purely negative, as freedom requires diversity of thought. There is no singular teleological goal, and movements focus on means rather than ends.

Counter-hegemony turns antagonisms into “agonisms” or adversaries through negotiation between contradictory positions. It challenges the idea of an objective external society and focuses on constructing equivalences among different discourse positions. This allows for bridging differences between social practices and movements. The building of a counter-hegemony involves confrontation with other hegemonic practices.

In summary, counter-hegemony theorizes an approach for different social movements to form alliances and equivalences based on pluralism, diversity and strategic negotiation, rather than focusing on a singular goal or conception of social conflict. It challenges dogmatic views of society and politics.

  • Derrida conceptualized a New International as an ‘alliance without institution’ or organization that promotes mutual acceptance and pluralism among social movements. This contrasts with classical Marxists/anarchists who emphasized organized alliances and coordination.

  • Others like Angus, LaClau and Mouffe endorsed pluralism but still assumed some positive role for organizations. Derrida went further in decentering the role of formal organizations.

  • Contemporary conditions of digital communication allow for decentralized, informal networks of affinity groups and individuals rather than organized parties/unions. Thinkers like Deleuze, Guattari and Virilio analyzed this “netwar” phenomenon.

  • Cleaver argued metaphors like “rhizome” and “network” still prioritize organization. He preferred the metaphor of “water” to represent the fluid, constantly changing forms of informal resistance among myriad interconnected currents.

  • Some like Camatte and Black criticized how traditional organizations risk functioning like “political gangs” or falling into bureaucratic hierarchy and domination contrary to their intentions.

  • While anti-organizational ideas reflect contemporary realities, the author argues against rushing to explicitly anti-organizational projects and emphasizes the possibility of organization evolving in new forms aligned with pluralism.

  • Times of transition are characterized by tension between old and new, with both the past and future shaping the present moment. The relationship between existing and emerging elements within social movements can be conceptualized as a “constellation of opposition.”

  • A constellation of opposition refers to the configuration of related groups, ideas, etc. that make up the landscape of resistance at a given time. It includes both formal organizations and informal/spontaneous elements.

  • Recent global justice protests have seen constellations comprised of official, semi-official, and unofficial networks working in tension. Events like Seattle, Quebec City, Genoa, Buenos Aires and the World Social Forum brought diverse actors together.

  • Going forward, older workers’ movements need to recognize their limited constituency, while new social justice movements must balance universality, particularity and singularity. Resistance will remain dispersed yet interconnected. Understanding the contemporary constellation of opposition can help anti-globalization movements navigate changing social and political landscapes.

  • The text reflects on the post-1968/1989 worlds and discusses shifting notions of identity and localization in a globalized context.

  • It acknowledges the author’s ambiguous cultural localization as a young, white, precarious male activist with a Catholic upbringing who is now atheist. He feels localized but also connected globally through the internet.

  • The author reflects on experiencing racism while living in Chicago, both for being white and middle-class, and later for being Hispanic. This highlights the complex and shifting nature of identity.

  • There is a sense that static notions of identity, place and localization have broken down in a postmodern, post-colonial, globalized world connected by technology like the internet. People can simultaneously inhabit multiple, fluid localizations both physically and virtually.

  • The context of 1968 and 1989 revolutions, as well as post-colonial theory, are referenced as shaping the fragmented and ambiguous relationship between self, place and community in today’s world. Notions of “here” and “there” have become blurred.

  • The passage describes traveling through various cities and regions in the U.S. and Europe over several decades, from the late 20th century into the early 2000s.

  • It reflects on being a “panic migrant” moving between places in search of opportunities or to flee difficulties.

  • Locations mentioned include the “Windy City” (presumably Chicago), rural South Illinois, New Hampshire, Florida, and various places in Europe.

  • 9/11 is referenced as happening during a brief stay in Florida.

  • The narrator’s interests and identities shifted over time, from punk rocker to university scholar to waiter to “postcyberpunk.”

  • It reflects on the counterculture movements of the 1960s and how they challenged existing political and economic systems.

  • Revolts of the 1960s-70s marked a shift from mass politics dominated by unions and parties to new forms of social movements representing different groups and singularities.

  • This represents a transition from unified masses to diversified networks and multitudes that cannot be reduced to a single political subject or symbol.

So in summary, it describes the narrator’s experiences as a “panic migrant” moving between places, and provides historical context about social and political transformations from the 1960s onward regarding new social movements and identities.

  • Precarious and cognitarian workers refer to insecure, temporary, digitally-based knowledge workers with little job security or benefits.

  • Sex-related and ‘feminized’ labor refers to work traditionally associated with women, such as caring professions, that are often undervalued and underpaid.

  • Post-colonial positions and migrant status refer to the power dynamics and questioning of borders that results from global migration flows due to geopolitics and the search for better opportunities. Migrants challenge state boundaries and notions of cultural purity.

  • New forms of political organization are emerging that are decentralized, network-based, and transcend traditional divisions like labor unions and political parties. Examples given include neighborhood assemblies, social movement networks, and knowledge-sharing groups.

  • Tradional leftist forms like unions are unable to channel revolutionary desires in the current context. New “bio-syndicalist” forms are emerging instead that are more flexible and diverse.

  • Excesses like gender non-conformity, queer experiences, piracy/free culture, and copious migration flows challenge systemic restrictions and open up new possibilities for reorganizing politics, the economy, culture and identity.

The article argues that approaches to anarchism and activism labeled as “Western” have overlooked important global experiences, such as indigenous movements and South American “down-and-to-the-left” struggles. It calls for picking up where anti-colonial, countercultural, and autonomous movements of the past left off, achieving accomplishments beyond the major movements of the late 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.

Three promising developments are identified: 1) the proliferation of political autonomous spaces independent of states and institutions, 2) the explosion of global protest movements in the last decade, and 3) new theoretical frameworks like poststructuralism. These point to postmodernization of political space, passage to a postmodern politics, and postmodernization of discourse on desire and antagonism.

The articulation of autonomous global spaces now requires an ecological perspective beyond nature/culture divides. A new “non-natural ecologism” is needed to link environmental, social, and psychological concerns through ideas of constituent power and molecular revolutions of desire.

While rejecting past concepts of anarchism and revolution, the article argues post-anarchism converges with post-Marxism in redefining revolution as an event without utopia, and defending political forms summarized as the “multitude.” Post-anarchism is both anarchist and not, preserving its symbolic power while reformulating it. It represents a flow of transition between old and emerging worlds.

  • Post-structuralism and anarchism are closely interrelated both theoretically and in contemporary social movements. However, post-anarchist theory has tended to focus narrowly on classical European male anarchists and post-structuralist theorists.

  • A broader view of post-anarchism should incorporate non-Western anarchisms, anarcha-feminism, queer anarchism, disability anarchism, and theory from post-structuralist feminist, queer, post-colonial and anti-racist thinkers.

  • Contemporary anarchist theory and practice comes from a diverse global range of activists and organizers, not just academic theorists. Zines, blogs, workshops and social movements are important spaces of anarchist and post-structuralist thought.

  • Anarchism is not just a white, heterosexual or male movement. It is important to consider non-Western anarchisms, issues of race, gender, sexuality and intersectionality.

  • Anarchism is also linked to struggles for decolonization and indigenous sovereignty, as anarchists have allied with various indigenous movements challenging state borders and control of land.

In summary, the passage calls for expanding the scope of post-anarchist theory to more fully incorporate diverse strains of anarchist theory and practice globally, as well as the contributions of non-white, feminist and post-colonial post-structuralist thinkers. It outlines some starting points for bringing these overlooked areas into discussions of anarchist and post-structuralist thought.

  • Bloc in Montreal is working in solidarity with indigenous peoples’ struggles through protests, forums, and other actions. Indigenous self-determination is consistent with anarchist anti-state politics.

  • Similarly, Anarchists Against the Wall in Palestine organizes against apartheid walls restricting Palestinian movement. Anarchists also support BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) against Israeli apartheid.

  • Colonization and occupation intersect with gender issues. Post-colonial writers like Spivak and Said link these topics to questions of representation, discourse, and construction of “the other.” Anarchism must engage this intersectional analysis.

  • Other points made: anarchism is distinct from Marxism and not focused solely on workers; it includes precarious groups beyond just workers; it is not a men’s movement but includes strong women; anarchists use language differently by rejecting norms; and cultural production is an important aspect through art, stories, zines, and more. Anarchism is also not just about protest but broader than that.

  • Anarchism promotes direct action and protest on our own terms rather than within pre-defined legal/illegal frameworks. What is considered “violent” or “non-violent” is challenging to clearly define.

  • Post-structuralist thinking helps deconstruct these binary classifications and view tactics as existing on a spectrum or in diverse zones rather than strict categories. Debate is framed in terms of a “diversity of tactics.”

  • Anarchism is experienced through organizing and participating in a wide variety of grassroots events like protests, conferences, gatherings, parties, teach-ins, and more. These help shape anarchist culture and theory.

  • Radical organizing requires an ongoing process of “unlearning” hierarchical and oppressive tendencies we internalize from dominant society. Post-structuralist thinkers also address issues like friendship, language, racism/sexism that are important to unlearning.

  • Anarchist theory emerges from a diversity of voices and perspectives in a non-hierarchical way. It is an open, collaborative process rather than a fixed doctrine.

Here is a summary of the key sources:

  • Race Riot Project Directory (2003) - A self-published directory of race riots in Berkeley.

  • Orientalism (1978) by Edward Said - Analyzes how Western scholarship has portrayed the East through the lens of Orientalism, a form of cultural racism.

  • Epistemology of the Closet (1990) by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick - Explores the relationships between sexuality, gender, and knowledge through the concepts of the closet and the coming-out narrative.

  • Assata: An Autobiography (1987) by Assata Shakur - Autobiography of Assata Shakur, recounting her experiences as a black revolutionary and her imprisonment in the 1970s.

  • Decolonizing Methodologies (1999) by Linda Tuhiwai Smith - Critical study examining research by indigenous peoples about indigenous peoples and their struggle against imperialism and colonization.

  • ‘Can the Subaltern Speak?’ (1988) by Gayatri Spivak - Influential article analyzing the subaltern or socially, politically, and geographically outside of the hegemonic power structure.

  • “Anarchists in Wonderland” article (undated) by Peter Staudenmaier - Critique of post-left anarchism published on the Anarchist Studies website.

  • That’s Revolting! (2004) edited by Matt Bernstein Sycamore - Collection of essays exploring queer resistance to social norms and power structures.

  • The Federation of Anarchist Groups grew out of bringing disparate anarchist groups together in Moscow in 1917 around a foundation of shared principles and mutual aid. It organized autonomous clubs and communes and carried out expropriations to support itself.

  • In April 1918, the Bolshevik government conducted police raids against the Federation, claiming it was made up of “robber bands” and counterrevolutionaries. This effectively ended anarchist organization and activity above ground in Bolshevik-controlled territories.

  • The Federation drew much of its membership from the working classes and was inspired by Max Stirner’s view that only the proletariat was capable of embracing egoism and throwing off social and moral conventions.

  • Stirner distinguished insurrection from revolution, seeing insurrection as a refusal to be subjugated and asserting egoism repeatedly, as the Federation aimed to do through autonomous self-governance.

  • The Bolsheviks saw themselves building socialism through state dictatorship and discipline of the masses. They repressed anarchist activity which they saw as “petty-bourgeois anarchy.”

  • Stirner argued for cultivating a critical consciousness to psychologically empower oneself and destroy alienating forms of self-oppression like belief in a transcendent ego. Russian anarchists engaged with these psychological dimensions of liberation from authority.

  • Post-anarchism emerged as a distinct philosophical current within anarchism in the 1990s, influenced by post-structuralist thinkers. It critiques some aspects of classical anarchism.

  • Post-anarchists reject essentialism, hierarchical vanguardism, and occidental assumptions in anarchism. They prefer fluidity, randomness, hybridity and non-hierarchical practices.

  • However, post-anarchism is still part of the wider ideological family of anarchism. It represents the responses of particular groups in a specific historical context, rather than a complete break from classical anarchism.

  • Post-anarchism re-emphasizes and re-orders some anarchist principles based on wider cultural changes, similar to how green anarchism focuses more on environmental issues. But it is not a transcendence of anarchism into something entirely new.

  • While accurately identifying some deficiencies in classical anarchism, post-anarchism still constructs a kind of strategic supremacy for certain actions and overlooks some forms of oppression and resistance that may be relevant given current political situations.

  • There is debate around what exactly “post-” refers to in post-anarchism - whether it indicates influence from post-structuralism, postmodernism, or a temporal break from classical anarchism without completely replacing it.

  • Postmodernism and post-anarchism are difficult to define neatly as categories. Terry Eagleton provides a useful definition of postmodernism that rejects universal values and objective knowledge in favor of pluralism and discontinuity.

  • It’s better to distinguish poststructuralism, the theory associated with thinkers like Foucault and Derrida, from postmodernism as a broader cultural phenomenon.

  • Post-anarchism can take three forms: 1) A Lyotardian rejection of traditional anarchism in favor of new approaches based on poststructuralism. 2) A “redemptive” incorporation of poststructuralism to enrich anarchism. 3) A “postmodern anarchism” applying anarchist analysis to new political and cultural issues.

  • Scholars like Newman and May fit the first two views, seeking to integrate poststructuralism with anarchism. Others like Goaman fit the third view by examining anarchist aspects of new social movements.

  • Adams sees poststructuralism as emerging from an anti-authoritarian tradition rather than needing to be grafted onto anarchism. But post-anarchism can still be seen as modifying anarchism rather than replacing it.

  • Critics argue post-anarchism either makes no real distinction from anarchism or fails to adequately address issues like oppression by being too wedded to postmodern cultural theories.

  • Post-anarchists criticize classical anarchism for promoting an essentialist view of the individual as fundamentally good, advancing a simplistic political strategy.

  • However, Villon argues classical anarchism does not necessarily entail essentialism and already embraces diversity of tactics, as seen in Kropotkin, Godwin, etc. Essentialism can also appear in post-anarchist texts.

  • Newman claims post-anarchism salvages the core of classical anarchism - resistance to all forms of hierarchy - while moving beyond the limited epistemology and Enlightenment humanism of classical anarchism.

  • Villon contends Newman misrepresents classical anarchism as inherently wedded to essentialism, when in fact it acknowledges multiple, intersecting forms of oppression and domains of struggle.

  • Some post-anarchists reject class analysis altogether in difference from classical anarchism, but this risks ignoring the influence of class and collapsing into liberalism or asserting an inappropriate alternative agency for change.

So in summary, the piece discusses debates between post-anarchists and critics over the relationship between classical anarchism and post-anarchism, and whether post-anarchism is a true departure from or misrepresentation of classical anarchism.

  • Post-anarchism largely rejects classical anarchism’s emphasis on class and economic analysis as the primary vectors of social change and revolution. This is due to the association of class discourse with Leninism/Stalinism and their oppressive ideology.

  • Post-anarchists also reject Marx’s idea of capitalism’s internal contradictions leading to its demise, viewing him as an economic determinist.

  • Instead, post-anarchists promote a nomadic agent of change unbound by place, class, or past experiences. However, this prioritizes the practices of economically independent individuals and overlooks those constrained by responsibilities.

  • While post-anarchism distances itself from Leninism, its neglect of economic oppression and emphasis on nomadic resistance risks recreating elitism. And its relative dismissal of engagement with state practices is inadequate in the current authoritarian climate.

  • Post-anarchism makes valuable contributions in criticizing classical anarchism’s dogmas and opening new areas of analysis. But it should be viewed as one modification of anarchism relevant to some times and places, not a universal replacement that risks new hierarchies. A more modest role is needed.

This passage proposes a “post-anarchist” reading of the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, specifically its fourth season, through the lens of philosopher Lewis Call’s understanding of post-anarchism.

Some key points:

  • Scholars like Benjamin Franks and Hakim Bey see the emergence of a small “post-anarchist movement,” of which Call considers himself a part, seeking to reinvigorate anarchism from within.

  • Bey had called for a “postanarchism anarchy” using popular culture for “radical re-education.”

  • Call analyzes Buffy season 4, which notably represented Buffy’s “anarchist moment,” arguing it also offers a sophisticated yet accessible “post-anarchist politics” to its audience.

  • Post-anarchism, according to scholar Saul Newman, is not “after” anarchism but seeks to radicalize classical anarchist traditions and possibilities in light of contemporary contexts and theory.

  • Overall, Call proposes interpreting Buffy season 4 through a post-anarchist lens as a way of both reinvigorating and updating anarchism for new audiences through exploring its ideas in a popular TV show.

  • Post-anarchism aims to address more insidious forms of power beyond just state and economic power, such as bio-power, overcoding, and power located in language and the symbolic order.

  • The symbolic order, according to Lacan, structures our desires and limits resistance. So post-anarchism must offer an account of how to subvert the symbolic order.

  • Season 4 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer portrays Buffy developing an anarchist critique of hierarchies like the military Initiative project. It represents contemporary anti-globalization politics.

  • It also offers a post-anarchist vision by critiquing instrumental rationality and enacting an escape from the “prison-house of language.” Episodes like “Hush” and “Restless” approach the unconscious realm of the Real to challenge the symbolic order’s hegemony.

  • In these ways, season 4 models both a classical anarchist praxis and a viable post-anarchist politics of radical symbolic subversion, building on Situationism and contemporary anarchist movements.

The episode “Hush” from Season 4 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer can be seen as advancing post-anarchist themes. In the episode, monsters called the Gentlemen arrive in Sunnydale and steal everyone’s voices, stripping away the symbolic order of language.

This puts Buffy, as the vampire slayer who normally wields power through classification and naming, in a difficult position. However, as a woman who is already somewhat detached from the symbolic order, Buffy is better able to cope without language than characters like Giles. With the symbolic order vanished, the Lacanian real is able to reign supreme, undermining social law and the authority of the state.

Key events in the episode happen through non-verbal communication and gestures that approach the real in a way language cannot. Buffy and Riley’s relationship develops through a silent kiss, and Willow and Tara’s burgeoning lesbian relationship begins with a meaningful moment of hand-holding during a protective spell. The episode argues that love and human connection are possible outside of, or even better without, the symbolic domain of speech and language. Overall it presents a vision of escaping and undermining rigid social and political structures through embracing aspects of human experience like eros that exist closer to the real.

  • In the episode “Hush”, Buffy and Riley discover each other’s secret identities at the end. They sit silently in Buffy’s dorm room, longing for a connection but restrained by social and symbolic barriers between them.

  • “Superstar” explores the dangers of the symbolic order through Jonathan gaining magical powers that allow him to rewrite reality. He proliferates his image and takes control of the symbolic systems in disturbing ways. It serves as a critique of consumer capitalism and totalitarian control of meaning.

  • In “Restless”, the Scoobies experience troubling dreams as a result of combining their powers. The dreams challenge language and symbolic thought, revealing a desire to touch the real. Buffy’s dream is a surreal send-up of Riley’s claims of anarchism, exposing how he has not overcome fascist tendencies and desire for control. They ultimately confront the primal slayer, who exists outside of language and symbolism. The episode analyzes the tension between the symbolic realm of language and meaning against the pre-symbolic real.

This passage discusses the revolutionary implications of the Buffy episode “Restless” and how it affects the Buffyverse going forward. Some key points:

  • “Restless” occurs halfway through Buffy and creates a “rift in the Symbolic order” that remains open for seasons 5-7.

  • These later seasons focus on Buffy seeking to understand the primal nature of her slayer power from outside the Symbolic/language.

  • In season 5, Buffy becomes a student of slayer history, seeking the origin before the Symbolic.

  • In season 7, Buffy visits the dreamtime again and experiences the mythic creation of the first slayer by ancient patriarchs/Shadow Men. This is portrayed as a primal rape and violation.

  • Buffy rejects this foundational myth and patriarchal Symbolic order. She disrupts it by empowering all potential slayers in the series finale.

  • This fragments the monolithic Law and creates a more democratic, anarchist community of slayers free from one central authority.

  • It models an engaged post-anarchist politics for audiences and links the Buffyverse with post-anarchist theory and communities.

So in summary, the “Restless” episode opens up a disruption of the established Symbolic order that Buffy explores and ultimately undermines through reclaiming the primal origins of her power and rejecting the patriarchal system. This establishes a post-anarchist vision and politics within the Buffyverse.

  • The author contends that Deleuze and Guattari’s work has obvious affinities with anarchism and is being looked to in order to reinvigorate queer theory. Their philosophy rejected fixed categories like heteronormativity and refused to separate the libidinal from the political.

  • The author could not separate the anarchist from the queer in their philosophy. It is anarchist because it is queer, and queer because it is anarchist. Or their philosophy contributes to “becoming-anarchist, becoming-queer.”

  • The author discusses how they initially found Deleuze and Guattari’s ideas too strange but later recognized concepts like the state form and nomad from stories about sexuality.

  • The author suggests an explicitly anarchist critique of sexual orientation is valuable for recontextualizing histories, understanding experiences, and developing new social relationships.

  • The author puts forth a post-structuralist anarchist framework using concepts from Deleuze/Guattari and May for understanding the concept of sexual orientation, addressing critiques of queer theory, and developing tools for social change.

  • The passage discusses the relationship between post-structuralist thinkers like Foucault and Deleuze and anarchist thought/politics. It argues that describing their work as inventing a new form of anarchism understates how their work developed within existing activist and anarchist contexts.

  • Post-structuralism views structures as internally produced through social relations rather than external sources of power. People could theoretically produce very different social organizations by changing social relationships. This view is consistent with elements of classical anarchism.

  • Power is analyzed as dispersed and decentralized rather than concentrated in a center like the state. This rejects vanguardist approaches and promotes decentralized social action.

  • Structures like the state are continuously produced through power relations rather than existing as fixed historical forces. The state is a discursive effect rather than an autonomous agent.

  • Representation and identity are critiqued as acts of violence that constrain human potential. Anti-representation and promoting diversity of practices are key anarchist and post-structuralist ethical principles.

  • Ends and means cannot be separated - oppressive means cannot achieve liberatory ends. History is a continuous process with “means without end.” This consequentialist view draws from the anarchist tradition.

The passage argues that sexual orientation, like other state forms, works to categorize and control diverse sexual practices and identities. It functions as a system of judgment that seeks to capture the fluid creativity of desire within restrictive boxes like heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual.

Historically, heterosexuality first developed as a psychiatric category used to discipline those whose sexual desires fell outside of procreation norms. Sexual orientation more broadly serves to overcode the complexity of human sexuality according to a limited set of state-sanctioned categories. This hides the variety of nomadic sexualities that escape or undermine such categorization.

While identity politics movements have sometimes strategically deployed essentialist notions of sexual orientation, the standardization of categories also helps the state maintain outsider figures that are cast as dangerous threats. Nomadic sexualities, which evade categorization, challenge the state’s aim of comprehensive capture and control. Overall, the passage views sexual orientation not as an innate truth but as a disciplinary process linked to the surveillance and governance functions of the modern state.

  • The passage discusses how war and security threats are presented by states as exceptional circumstances that justify increased state power and control. The state depends on generating fear to maintain its role as protector.

  • It suggests this dynamic of domination and fear may be how many of us learned to survive culturally.

  • The author questions their own role and authority as an academic, feeling like an imposter at times. They realize their sense of self is not fixed but ecological and social.

  • Gardening provides a sense of connection beyond enclosed roles and identities. Care of the self through activities like gardening allows one to let go of self-consciousness and experience deeper connections with others.

  • It disagrees with views that see Foucault’s turn to care of the self as conservative, arguing it involves a release from the confined self established by the state’s need to define and judge individuals.

So in summary, it reflects on the role of the state in generating fear and the author’s own struggles with identity and authority, seeing care of the self through activities like gardening as a release from these constrained notions of the self.

The passage discusses how Emma Goldman’s work has been interpreted and discussed in anarchist histories, anthologies, and contemporary anarchist theory. While Goldman is recognized for introducing feminism to anarchism and her activist work, she is often not taken seriously as a political thinker in her own right. Her theoretical dimensions and original voice have been overlooked or given only passing reference.

The passage examines how Goldman has been discussed by Murray Bookchin, Paul Avrich, and Todd May. While praising Goldman’s activism, they do not deeply engage with theoretical aspects of her work. Bookchin presents Goldman as examples of both “social anarchism” and “lifestyle anarchism” in his theory, but does not resolve this tension.

The author argues Goldman’s work resonates with postmodern thinkers like Nietzsche, Anzaldua, Butler and Deleuze. Reading her work through these lenses could connect her to post-structuralist anarchism. The passage aims to give Goldman’s theoretical contributions more consideration and avoid disavowing anarchist histories relevant to contemporary debates.

Here is a summary of the key points regarding the analysis of Emma Goldman’s relationship to poststructuralist thought and anarchism:

  • While classical anarchism assumed a universal human essence, Goldman resisted this naturalism in favor of a more postmodern view of fluid subjectivities, anticipating thinkers like Nietzsche, Foucault, and Deleuze.

  • However, most analyses of Goldman have viewed her primarily as an activist rather than a theoretical thinker, overlooking her contributions to political thought.

  • Some scholars like May and Call recognize Goldman’s connections to postmodern/poststructuralist concepts like the denial of fixed realities and fluid subjectivity.

  • Goldman was deeply influenced by Nietzsche and acknowledged affinities between his work and hers in challenging fixed identities, rationalism, and universal concepts of human liberation.

  • She can be seen as bridging classical and postmodern anarchism by focusing not just on economic power but also power in fields like gender, sexuality, and everyday life. Her analysis moved beyond just class and criticized naturalist views of subjectivity.

  • Goldman’s thought anticipates some key aspects of poststructuralism and postmodern anarchism but she has often been underestimated as a theoretical thinker by past analyses that viewed her primarily as an activist.

  • Emma Goldman had a deep appreciation for Friedrich Nietzsche’s writings. She found his works inspiring, carrying her to “undreamed-of heights” and making life “richer, fuller, and more wonderful.”

  • Nietzsche had a significant influence on Goldman’s conception of anarchism. She believed anarchism, like Nietzsche’s work, undermines old values and embraces constant change. She saw potential for radical social transformation in his writings.

  • Goldman frequently quoted and referenced Nietzsche. Key influences included his views on the destruction of existing values to make way for new ones, and the “transvaluation” of values. She spoke more on Nietzsche during a period of intense political censorship in the US.

  • Goldman embodied Nietzsche’s emphasis on dance and expression. An anecdote about her dancing resonates with his idea of dance as affirming constant change. She rejected the notion that revolution requires denial of joy.

  • Goldman agreed with Nietzsche’s characterization of the state as a “cold monster.” Like him, she was critical of efforts to replace one system with another rigid system based on rational principles.

  • Overall, Nietzsche had a significant impact on Goldman’s non-dogmatic conception of anarchism, emphasis on constant change, and rejection of final or universal solutions to domination. She was arguably the type of freethinking radical he envisioned influencing.

The passage discusses how Emma Goldman’s conception of anarchism anticipated postmodern anarchist theories in several ways. It did not claim absolute truth or propose a strict program or method, but rather viewed anarchism as fluid, malleable, and provisional. Like postmodern anarchism, Goldman’s anarchism was non-prescriptive and saw struggle and social change as ongoing processes rather than fixed goals.

Goldman rejected the idea of anarchism as a closed mapping or totalizing philosophy. Instead, her focus was on perpetual transformation, disagreeing with those who wanted prescriptions for how anarchism would operate. Like postmodern thinkers, she felt revolutions are sources of energy but not organizers or architects. Her vision of anarchism resonated with thinkers like Deleuze, Call and May in refusing fixed systems and viewing politics as an ongoing questioning without conclusion.

The passage argues Goldman anticipates postmodern ideas in her conception of fluid, changeable identities and rejection of fixed human nature. She saw identities and life itself as always in flux and transition. This informed her views on gender, rejecting the notion that gender is biologically determined. Her work demonstrated how concepts of constant transformation can inform radical political action and spaces without prescribing static outcomes.

  • For some in the past, “sex” was an issue of little importance or was used to justify exclusion. Others saw the inequality stemming from dichotomous distinctions based on sex as the key issue to address.

  • Emma Goldman rejected the notion of dualism between the sexes and the idea that men and women represent antagonistic worlds. This rejected biological distinctions between sexes and anticipated later views that gender is socially constructed.

  • Goldman was critical of the women’s suffrage movement, arguing it failed to address economic and political exclusions and assumed women’s involvement would fix politics, which she doubted.

  • Goldman envisioned social change as a continuous process of enacting the ideals of the future in the present, rather than deferred revolution. This diverged from Marxist and utopian socialist ideas of a singular revolutionary moment.

  • Goldman emphasized personal transformation and struggle against internal tendencies to dominate rather than just changing external conditions, similar to later thinkers like Foucault. She advocated perpetual self-reflection and rejecting arrival at final conclusions.

  • Goldman can be connected to later thinkers like Anzaldua and Butler who also advocated rejecting fixed subjects and conclusions in favor of continual questioning and openness to new possibilities.

  • The works of Anzaldúa, Butler and Deleuze emphasize multiplicity and interconnectivity, which can be seen as an “ethic of love”.

  • Goldman understood love as a key force for change, providing hope and possibility for meaningful connections on many levels. Love defies laws and conventions.

  • For Goldman, without an ethic of love, social change is meaningless. Love takes place before categories and resists control or governance.

  • This ethic of love also articulates the desire for multiple political positions and tactics. Solidarity is not contingent on a single vision of change or identity.

  • Goldman celebrated diversity and variety within a spirit of solidarity. Multiplicity refuses fixed or dominant forms of organization, resistance, or identification.

  • Goldman drew from Nietzsche’s affinity for multiplicity, diversity and constant transformation. Anarchism embraces the multiple and relational over rigid boundaries or universalization.

  • Goldman was content without answers, imagining thousands of tactical variations interconnected through love as the driving force for radical change.

Goldman argued that power exists in all institutions and relationships, so the struggle against domination needs to take place constantly and on every front of life. Similarly, Foucault contended that isolated actions are not enough and the system must be engaged on all fronts. Anzaldúa too demanded changes on multiple fronts - inner, social, and material levels.

Goldman practiced solidarity across causes, supporting anti-colonial struggles in Africa and the Philippines as well as the Mexican and Spanish revolutions. For Goldman, experiences must remain open and democratic rather than arriving at fixed conclusions. She empathized with Czolgosz’s assassination attempt despite disagreeing with the tactic, recognizing the context and sensitive person behind the act. Goldman advocated engaging in critique and reconsidering tactics without condemning actions or sacrificing empathy and connection. Her approach recognized the limitations of any one tactic and reflected debates about maintaining contingent commitments rather than fixed goals of revolution.

  • Post-structuralist philosophy sees representation as the principal vehicle that subordinates relational concepts to totalizing concepts. This is similar to how anarchist critique views representation.

  • Scholars like Lewis Call have argued that classical anarchism is one of the historical precursors of post-structuralism.

  • Earlier scholars like Gayatry Spivak and Michael Ryan in 1978 analyzed connections between post-structuralist philosophy (Derrida, Deleuze, Guattari) and 1968 nouvel anarchisme.

  • Todd May’s 1994 work argued post-structuralist political philosophy (Deleuze, Foucault, Lyotard) represents a new kind of anarchism. Saul Newman and Lewis Call also linked poststructuralism and anarchism.

  • These works see post-structuralist political philosophy as borrowing ideas from and improving upon classical anarchism.

  • However, the author’s position is that:

  1. Classical anarchists discovered many insights later attributed to post-structuralists over a century earlier.

  2. Anarchism is a postmodern political philosophy in its own right, not dependent on post-structuralism. Post-structuralism draws from and elaborates anarchist ideas but does not define anarchism.

  • Post-structuralist political philosophy emerged in the context of the revolutionary events of May 1968 in France, which radicalized intellectuals like Foucault and Deleuze.

  • Todd May argues post-structuralism developed into a form of anarchism due to the influence of anarchists/anti-authoritarians involved in May 1968. However, Foucault and Deleuze were likely unfamiliar with classical anarchist thinkers.

  • Their political philosophy shares similarities with classical anarchism due to influences like Nietzsche, as well as rejecting concepts like the repressive thesis and concentration thesis.

  • Deleuze in particular further develops anarchist ideas by ontologizing politics and analyzing power/forces at a pre-social, pre-subjective level through concepts like assemblages, lines of flight, deterritorialization, etc.

  • Both post-structuralism and anarchism reject abstractions like representation and universal rationality/subjects in favor of multiplicities, processes and becomings.

  • Deleuze locates the roots of oppression in micropolitical identities, orders and practices of representation.

So in summary, it analyzes the connection between post-structuralism and anarchism through philosophical influences and rejection of shared concepts, while noting Deleuze in particular further develops anarchist ideas in an original ontological direction.

  • Deleuze analyzes power through two concepts - “molar lines” which represent constructed identities like familial, educational, occupational identities imposed on individuals, and “abstract machines” which are complex power mechanisms that overcode and combine these molar lines.

  • A society represents individuals through systems of identifying them (identities like son, student, professional) and ordering them (progressing through identities over time). It also regulates individuals through practices like surveillance, distinguishing normal vs abnormal behavior.

  • Deleuze sees discipline as an abstract machine that brings together diverse representative practices to create a regime of power, rather than a concrete reality.

  • For Deleuze, the state helps actualize and interconnect various abstract machines like discipline to territorialize them against forces that oppose the state. Capitalism decodes flows of people, goods, labor that were previously coded by states like feudalism.

  • A social formation is made of various circulating flows that states and capitalism aim to control through coding/territorializing or decoding/reterritorializing within their frameworks of power. There are tensions as forces seek both escape and recapture within social formations.

The author critiques Timothy May’s argument that Deleuze can be reconciled with normativity through universal moral principles. The author argues this is problematic for three main reasons:

  1. Deleuze rejects abstraction, universality and exteriority, which are defining characteristics of traditional normativity. Prescribing universal norms would contradict Deleuze’s anti-representationalism and commitment to difference.

  2. Universal normative principles proposed by May, like anti-representationalism, could become totalitarian if applied too broadly without accounting for particular contexts and differences.

  3. Normativity requires universalizable principles, but this transcendent character is precisely what post-structuralism rejects. Normativity should be immanent to particular assemblages rather than standing above them.

The author suggests normativity could be preserved in Deleuze through a pragmatic norm of “deterritorialization”, but this lacks a theory of value to determine when norms should be critiqued or transformed. Overall, the author argues May fails to reconcile Deleuze with normativity without introducing self-contradiction.

  • Ethics is concerned with determining what is good/valuable and constitutes a good life. It considers how one should live and views life as having a shape or direction.

  • For the ancients, ethics examined life’s relationship to the cosmological order and achieving excellence/virtue. The question was how one should live.

  • Modern moral philosophy shifted to considering how one ought to act through norms and moral rules. It viewed morality as exterior and transcendent rather than integrated into life. The question became how one should act.

  • With Nietzsche and the “death of God,” there was no longer a transcendent basis for morality. This led to the question of how one might live without such constraints.

  • Classical and post-structuralist anarchism focus on how one might live rather than conforming to moral norms. They propose an ethical approach focused on self-creation and experimentation.

  • Foucault also saw ethics as concerning the relationship between the self and itself. For him and anarchists, truly resisting power requires actively engaging in self-creation rather than reacting against external power structures.

  • Foucault analyzes different “technologies of the self” - ways that humans develop self-knowledge and transform themselves. These include techniques of self-examination, writings, interpretations, etc. used by Stoics and Christians.

  • For Stoics, the goal was acquiring truth and mastery over oneself through examining oneself. For early Christians, it involved self-denial, renouncing the flesh/world to prepare for death.

  • In modern times, the main technology is self-expression - expressing one’s “true self” that is constructed through self-fashioning rather than discovered. This allows for potential self-construction and radical political resistance.

  • For Foucault, as with anarchists, power should create new possibilities for knowledge, experience, self-relation rather than just maintain repressive institutions. Life is both a condition and goal of caring for oneself.

  • Deleuze also valued difference, experimentation and life/creativity over representation. Political postmodernity blurs means and ends through constant creation/transformation in pursuit of freedom without fixed goals or identities.

  • Anarchy demands eternal revolution against all representation and eternal commitment to living, creating and moving forward despite dangers, with no certainty or respite. Freedom exists through the ongoing practice of opening new spaces for further practice of freedom.

  • The passage discusses pursuing anarchism and post-structuralism by being prepared for death through changing one’s thoughts and actions rather than fleeing or fighting death. The hope is that new life can emerge from this process of change.

  • Examples are given of brief historical “windows” opening up during times of revolution (French Revolution, Seattle WTO protests) where alternative visions of a possible world became visible and plausible for a moment before closing again.

  • Political modernity is based on theoretical denial and suppression of possibilities, instead offering representations of identity, desires, and capabilities. Anarchists have historically challenged these representations and offered alternative ways of thinking and acting.

  • Post-structuralist thinkers like Foucault, Deleuze, and others have contributed to an ongoing struggle to move beyond modernity through thinking, acting, and being in alternative ways. While more remains to be done, the passage outlines how this process has unfolded historically and could continue into the future through collective resolve and creativity.

Here are brief summaries of the sources:

Sheehan, S. (2003). Anarchism. London: Reaktion Books.

  • Provides an overview of anarchism as a political philosophy and social movement. Discusses key thinkers and historical expressions of anarchism.

Slote, M., and Crisp, R. (1997). Virtue Ethics. New York: Oxford University Press.

  • Presents virtue ethics as an alternative to deontological and consequentialist ethical theories. Examines the role of virtues, character, and moral development.

Smith, D. (2003). ‘Deleuze and the Liberal Tradition: Normativity, Freedom, and Judgment’. Economy and Society 32(2) (May): 299–324.

  • Analyzes Deleuze’s philosophy in relation to liberal political theory, specifically regarding normativity, freedom, and judgment.

Sosa, E., and Villanueva, E. (2005). Normativity. London: Blackwell.

  • Edited collection that explores the nature of normativity from philosophical and interdisciplinary perspectives. Contributors address issues in ethics, epistemology, metaphysics and other areas.

Spivak, G., and Ryan, M. (1978). ‘Anarchism Revisited: A New Philosophy’. Diacritics (June): 66–79.

  • Article that proposes anarchism as a new philosophy, inspired by poststructuralism, that avoids universalism and celebrates pluralism. Critiques traditional leftist approaches.

  • Bookchin argued that advanced computer technology could free humans from menial labor and help decentralize power through “libertarian municipalism.” However, primitivists criticized this view as naively optimistic about technology.

  • David Watson argued Bookchin placed too much emphasis on the society in which technology emerges, rather than recognizing technology’s ability to shape social relations. Technology is not neutral.

  • Bob Black attacked Bookchin’s reverence for work, noting that advanced technology tends to increase work quantity while decreasing quality. Black was suspicious of technology’s unfulfilled promises of liberation.

  • Winner recognized technology evolves through “voluntary determinism” - we make choices within technological constraints. Once a technical system is adopted, it dictates new necessities and delimits desires. Technology is never neutral but encloses us in systems of need, production, and growth.

  • Writers like Watson, Gordon, and Clark argue anarchism must embrace “retrofitting” technology through decentralization and deindustrialization, while cautiously using some technology. The goal is to dissociate from technological dependence and provide for needs with minimal connections to uncontrolled technological growth. In other words, developing a politics of technology in harmony with nature.

  • The passage discusses various theories that advocate for a consonance between humans and nature, including Ivan Illich’s “convivial tools”, E.F. Schumacher’s “intermediate technology”, and Murray Bookchin’s “liberatory technology” or “ecotechnology”.

  • It notes the main difference between these theories and a post-anarchist politics of technology is the anti-humanist and anti-foundationalist assumptions of post-anarchism. This allows post-anarchist technologies to have an affinity with biocentric revolutionary environmentalism.

  • While Bookchin’s view foregrounds the social context of technology and sees its end as humanizing society, a post-anarchist view would articulate a historical, socio-technical and anti-humanist model of technological development based on post-structuralism.

  • Post-anarchism recognizes intersecting practices of power rather than centralized power. It also has radical potentials based on its anti-foundationalism and anti-humanism.

  • One tactic mentioned is engaging with technology in order to better abolish or destroy it, as a short-term tactic rather than long-term strategy. This would be complemented by characteristics of “mass anarchism”.

  • It discusses criticisms of postmodernism from an anarcho-primitivist perspective, arguing post-anarchism offers a more nuanced understanding that avoids complete detachment from material reality.

Here is a summary of the provided sources:

  • Newman, Saul (2007). Unstable Universalities: Poststructuralism and Radical Politics. This book discusses the relationship between poststructuralism and radical politics.

  • Oleson, J.C. (2007). ‘Drown the World: Imperfect Necessity and Total Cultural Revolution’, Unbound 3(19): 20–104. This appears to be an article published in the journal Unbound that discusses issues related to cultural revolution and necessity.

  • Peritore, N. Patrick (1999). Third World Environmentalism: Case Studies from the Global South. This book examines environmentalism in the global south through case studies.

  • Schmidt, Michael, and Walt, Lucien van der (2009). Black Flame: The Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism. This book discusses the revolutionary class politics of anarchism and syndicalism.

  • Scott, Peter Dale (2007). The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire and the Future of America. This book analyzes the factors that led to the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the context of American wealth and empire.

  • Truscello, Michael (2001). ‘The Clothing of the American Mind: The Rhetorical Construction of Scientific Ethos in the Science Wars’. This appears to be an article published in Rhetoric Review that analyzes the rhetorical construction of scientific authority in the context of the “science wars”.

  • The remaining sources provided bibliographic information about books and authors related to technology, anarchism, post-anarchism, and civilization.

Here is a summary of the key points from the index provided:

  • The index covers topics related to anarchism, post-anarchism, major theorists and concepts.

  • Classical anarchism is defined as emerging in the 19th century and encompassing thinkers like Bakunin, Kropotkin, Goldman. Post-anarchism seeks to renew and update classical anarchism.

  • Key post-anarchist theorists discussed include Deleuze, Foucault, Butler. Concepts like becoming, lines of flight, rhizome, biopower are analyzed through a post-anarchist lens.

  • Relationships between anarchism and other ideologies are examined, such as Marxism, situationism, feminism, primitivism. Figures like Bookchin, Chomsky, Graeber are discussed.

  • Events like the 1999 Seattle WTO protests and the May 1968 uprisings in Paris are covered in terms of their relevance to post-anarchism.

  • Concepts central to post-anarchist thought are summarized, including autonomy, desire, identity, ethics, epistemology, hegemony, ideology, direct action.

  • The index provides a who’s who and what’s what of the major thinkers, texts, terms and topics that helped shape post-anarchist discourse. It charts the evolution from classical to postmodern anarchism.

Here is a summary of the key points from the index:

  • The document is divided into four main parts:
  1. When Anarchism Met Post-Structuralism
  2. Post-Anarchism Hits the Streets
  3. Classical Anarchism Reloaded
  4. Lines of Flight
  • Part 1 examines the relationship between post-structuralism and anarchism from a philosophical perspective.

  • Part 2 looks at how post-anarchism informs anarchist strategy and social movements.

  • Part 3 focuses on reinterpreting classical anarchist thinkers through a post-structuralist lens.

  • Part 4 explores various applications and case studies of post-anarchism, including analyzing Buffy the Vampire Slayer, sexuality and state theory, and comparing Emma Goldman’s ideas to post-anarchism.

  • Key topics discussed include power, hegemony, affinity groups, postmodern revolutions, anarchy and post-structuralism, and reconsidering the relationship between post-structuralism and anarchism.

  • The introduction provides background on how new forms of anarchism influenced opposition movements after events like Seattle and the rise of post-anarchism as a concept.

  • There are contributions from various scholars looking at post-anarchism from different angles like political theory, strategy, philosophy and case studies.

Here is a summary of the key points from “Imperfect Necessity and the Mechanical Continuation of Everyday Life: A Post-Anarchist Politics of Technology” by Michael Truscello:

  • The essay argues for a post-anarchist perspective on technology that recognizes both its oppressive potentials as well as openings for liberation.

  • Technologies are embedded in social systems of power and cannot be viewed as neutral tools. They both reinforce and have the potential to challenge existing hierarchies.

  • However, technologies also take on a “mechanical continuation” as they become integrated into everyday routines and social practices. This makes complete rejection problematic and overlooks opportunities within technology.

  • A post-anarchist approach acknowledges our “imperfect necessity” to engage with technologies while constantly evaluating and resisting their oppressive functions. The goal is not technological determinism or complete autonomy from systems.

  • Examples of post-anarchist tech engagements include hacking, free software movements, and modifying technologies for alternative purposes like surveillance. But this must be combined with broader social change.

  • Overall the essay advocates a nuanced, non-dualist perspective on technology that recognizes both its limitations and possibilities for emancipation when aligned with anarchist ethics and wider movements for liberation.

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