Review of Land and Freedom: An Open Invitation

Published in Biotechnology | Winter 2014 issue of The Peak

By Seaweed(Black Powder Press, 2013)

Reviewed by Bryan Hill

Land_and_FreedomThis year, Black Powder Press released a compilation of essays by Seaweed, an author whose writings I have enjoyed for years, which reimagine land-based struggles and propose building autonomy from a regional perspective. Land and Freedom is Seaweed’s first published book. The compiling of these nine essays  has really helped me to hash out some of the core ideas and theories behind their writing.

Most pronounced in this book is the way in which Seaweed diverges from other anarchist writers, in particular by coining new terms for old ideas. For example, Seaweed explores the idea of a ‘secessionist movement’, which is a term used to describe a type of land defence rooted in the creation of regional autonomy through rural subsistence. Seaweed makes the argument that resistance requires ‘habitat’ to nourish its rebels and provide real skills and resources, in order to begin to establish local autonomy. These ‘habitats’ can then  function as a base to spread stateless territories and anarchy. Thanks to the compilation of these texts into a book, it became apparent that this is not just flowery language or an expression of Seaweed’s aversion to using the word ‘anarchist,’ but rather Seaweed intentionally describing a very different conception of struggle.

In prior  releases of these texts Seaweed used the word ‘warrior’  to describe rebels struggling for land and freedom, yet in this release, the term has been removed. I can only speculate that perhaps the author has reflected on the traditional and cultural significance of warriors in indigenous communities and resistance. I thought it was a appropriate for Seaweed to avoid  that term as there is a tokenizing tendency for leftist and anarchist people to deify indigenous people in struggle which both forgets that warriors are real people, and that even settlers are capable of accomplishing heroic things. This observation complements the fact that many of Seaweed’s ideas and arguments are deeply indebted to the struggles, traditions and practises of indigenous cultures and resistance to colonization in North America.

One of the strongest pieces in the book  is “The Art of Rebellion.” Originally published  as “Of Martial Traditions and the Art of Rebellion,” it introduces some of the major works of ‘Martial Strategy’, and provides an abridged reading for anarchists, rebels and warriors of some key martial theories and ‘truths’ which we should consider in our struggles for autonomy. Seaweed begins by critiquing the language of war amongst rebels and proposes instead that an understanding of our actions is a kind of rebellion. The essay culminates in examples of land defence efforts that employ those strategies.

In my opinion, one factor that limits resistance time and time again is the fact that rebels must start fresh as each generation finds its combative spirit. Sharing stories of resistance, both our best victories and our hardest learned lessons, is a part of the struggle;, and this piece is one example of offering new rebels a glimpse of our past. When this essay was originally published in 2008, it stood out as one of my favourite pieces of writing, and today, it remains on my ‘must read’ list for  all willing rebels who takes their lives into their own hands.

Seaweed also provides us with two short histories of resistance and colonization. In ‘Society of Masterless Men,’ we hear the story of a band of settlers who deserted their colonies and made connections with the Mi’kmaq and Beothuk, living out their lives in the bush of Newfoundland in the 18th century. “On Parks” provides a short history of how National and Provincial Parks were used in the process of colonization, displacing indigenous people by using military force. “On Parks” was an interesting read considering the history of reclamations of “park lands” in Ontario, such as the Stoney Point reclamation of Ipperwash Park in 1995, or the current Oshkimaadziig Unity Camp in Awenda Provincial Park. Throughout the essay, Seaweed attempts to critique the environmental left’s assumption that bioregions prosper best when they remain “pristine and untouched” instead the left ought to learn from the traditional practises of land stewardship and co-dependance of traditional indigenous cultures living off the land.

Of the few other theoretical pieces to round out the collection, I found myself the least interested in the first piece, called ‘An Open Offer,’ a utopic essay similar to Peter Gelderloos’ “An Anarchist Solution to Global Warming.’ Both featuring flowery prose that explore what might come from a future where people’s actions reflect a connection with and stewardship of the earth, and a real communal autonomy.

While I appreciate the importance of dreaming or of thoughtful considerations of how we could adapt to a world less depend on resource extraction and advanced technology, these utopian essays often fail to inspire me. With both brevity and daydreaming in mind, they more often  than not ignore conflict resolution or other hard interpersonal dynamics we will face, which give the  stories a two-dimensional nature. Perhaps writings of these sorts are best kept for the stateless utopias of sci-fi authors Octavia M. Butler & Ursula K. Le Guin.

I highly recommend this book but encourage the reader to find the text ‘Ponds and Oceans’ online and print it out  separately. Originally it was intended as a collection of proverbs and should be thoughtfully considered independently as well as a part of Land and Freedom. The version published in this book mashes the proverbs together and ruins the flow of the text. I believe that it is a strong text but without the negative space to consider each proverb on its own, it falls short.

You can get copies of the book online at Little Black Cart or Black Powder Press.




Well that's very mind-opening, thought-provoking comment, little boy! What else have you got? Fart jokes?


Looks really interesting. Thanks for posting :)

i recently read that book, and i also generally like seaweed's writing and ideas.

"Seaweed begins by critiquing the language of war amongst rebels and proposes instead that an understanding of our actions is a kind of rebellion. "

yet, seaweed persists in using the term "martial" (quite frequently) to describe some of the key ideas being explained. as far as i know, "martial" means "military". i find that a very poor choice of words for desired anarchist behavior. just a minor critique.

'martial' is just a word is doesn't objectively mean anything, doesn't matter what your purported knowledge is

same with 'military'

also, anarchists are a really diverse bunch, so there's no 'desired anarchist behavior'

just a major critique

whoa words don't mean anything objectively so like, maybe we should say whatever we want because also there's no desired anarchist behavior, so like, being an anarchist means putting your finger in a alligator's rectum. you don't know what i really mean because words have no objective meaning and whatever you think an alligator's rectum is is just like, your opinion, man. so yeah maybe when seaweed says he is against using terms like war but then he says martial all the time, maybe what he really means is relax and goddamn, get a sandwich, bro. whoa wow i am glad i am in this philosophy 101 class, what does meaning mean to mean, you know?

back to reddit please

but what does "back to reddit please" mean anyway? nothing objectively! words have no intrinsic meaning! wow I am glad someone brought that up. it always brings so much to a conversation.

what, are you frustrated words dont have meaning as you would rather have it, huh you fuqin redditor

Yeah, thanks, I would like an ice cream, in fact.

On another note and being stupid enough to jump into the little word drama you all got going on. @'s being afraid of having any association with the word military is a waste of time and nothing more than an attempt to purify ones own language. I feel it is primarily done so as not to cause perceived contradictions in ones own train of thought or more likely than not, it rises from the fear of being "called out" as an un-anarchist.

Strategy cannot be divorced from millitarism as the former only arises when in conflict, even if it is just with some fucking tetris blocks. You have long term goals, intermediate objectives and obstacles/opponents opposing you that you must think strategically to overcome.

According to wikipedia - "Strategy (Greek "στρατηγία"—stratēgia, "art of troop leader; office of general, command, generalship"[1]) is a high level plan to achieve one or more goals under conditions of uncertainty. "

Like I said, being afraid of militaristic language is a matter of yet more anarcho-purity gone awry and if you really want to stop thinking and speaking militarily, we have to stop thinking and speaking strategically...which of course is no problem for most anarchists.

as the former only arises when in conflict, even if it is just with some fucking tetris blocks

Yeah and did you know that's not just 'conflict' but also 'violence'. Fucking bullshit configurations

How about, strategy, long-term plan or outline

English 'militaristic' is an unfortunate word, it rather connotes... Some sort of authoritarian shit... But english 'military' is... diffuse

Long-term planning is like, so gay... Tactics is where its at

English 'militaristic'

'militarism' too

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” - Sun Tsu

So yeah... no matter how "gay" is everything but YOU, you still suck.

Or you can go try winning at chess against an experienced player, by only thinking one move in advance. Oh wait... chess is gay I suppose?

That quote has to do with his office as a statist general.

What are you talking about? What tactics, what strategy? Tactics for what, strategy for what.

What is your victory, what is your defeat.

I don't care about that game vaunted as profound, nor if you call thinking one move in advance in chess, 'tactics'.

"Strategy" is commonly defined as a general plan or project (not necessarily a general's plan, although this is where the concept comes from historically) towards succeeding in an accepted goal. A "roadmap", in a way. Tactics are the means to reach this goal.


Hipsters want to get rid of Google's presence in the Bay (a strategy which MAY be an aspect within a deeper, wider strategy of stopping the development of the technocratic totalitarian regime). Tactic: smash Google bus, block Google bus, etc.

Smashing windows are one tactic among many others. Only smashing windows of just any place you don't like without a wider strategic perspective may be putting you and your friends in a dangerous repeating loop which may end with the collapse of your milieu/network, or at best just growing up realizing it's going nowhere, while adding CCTVs in a downtown area.

Which doesn't mean a tactic cannot turn into a strategy within a perspective of asymmetrical warfare, this this may require thinking the tactics in elation to the strategy still.

That is a possible contextualization of Sun Tsu's theory.

no i negate you

Sure, whatever you say!

...but beware I do some nasty Jeet Kune Do that could send you to some un-nihilistic hospital.

I like seaweeds writing but one of the faults I find with it is how regional and rural oriented it is. They're writing from canada, which is the largest nation state in the world and where the vast majority of people live along the U.S. border, thus making land based autonomy far more possible. I say this because the foundation for autonomy can at the on set, be built with engaging in minimum conflict with the state and capital , as opposed to reclamation in an urban setting.

It is they're failure to conceptualize conflict in an urban environment that I think makes their ideals if not unrealistic, then inadequately applied. Most of us live in urban settings and anything that calls for rural resistance (i.e. the withdraw of the city) is essentially a call for escapism, which is cool but nothing new. Furthermore, while it is true that regional autonomy can be established (chiapas ect. ect.), it needs to be understood that once it is, the existence and the autonomy of that region is entirely dependent upon not engaging in any kind of provocative conflict with the state.

Although I think a reader can apply some of seaweeds concepts to an urban setting, while incorporating ideas of the ruralization of the city, which would naturally include building food autonomy. protecting and expanding urban wild spaces...ect. ect. What it boils down to is finding ways of bringing rural and urban conflict together and to create autonomy from that.

Another issue is that for non-indigenous anarchists to claim land in canada/us is a tricky thing giving the legacy of colorization. In this way, I am reminded of the early Kibbutzes in Palestine. They started off as very anarchistic and escapist jewish communes that at first had good relationships with the Palestine people, they tried to maintain that relationship despite the rise of the Israeli state and now there the premier capitalist/colonialist superstars of the settlement movement. Not so much because the OG Kibbutzes wanted that, but more so because the state used their existence beyond its borders as a justification for expansion and has since co-opted the entire movement.

"canada, which is the largest nation state in the world"

Wtf Russia!

There's a lot of land-based autonomy in a place like France, that's about 10x more dense than the US. And the Western US isn't very populated either. And there's actually LESS land-based autonomy projects in Canada than in the US, because most people, including anarchists, are so fucking lame and dependent on the system. Natives are still pretty much the ones living some form of autonomy, though not all natives.

So no, your claim that collective freedom is to be determined by geography and demographics is completely messed up. It can indeed be compromised by State influenced and capitalism, but that's more an issue of internal politics and relationship with society.

Non-indigenous anarchists in Canada could claim land if they'd do it the anarchist way, stop buying or renting land like fucking citizens, just fucking occupy it and defend it the best they can.

As an instance, there's a bunch of Montreal-based anarchoids who've developing some not-so-autonomous community somewhere in rural Quebec, and they're purchasing/owning the land there, either through a nonprofit or privately... WTF!

Claiming land within the context of private property and the Law is inherently colonial, because that's how colonization is reified and continuated. The idea would be rather to FREE the land so that anyone can live on it the way they want, without depriving others to do so.

what THE FUCK is yall callin 'autonomy', living off the land? ahahahahaha, 'autonomy' vs 'dependent on the system'.

but you could also be riding on da 'system' man

Ahhh the typical naivety of the youth... blind to the reality that the system actually is riding YOU. But don't you worry... you'll face reality, late enough.

Ah, bear in mind there's not really a system

I think that Seaweed makes it clear in his writing, including in this book, that he "opposes the militarization of anarchist resistance". In " of martial traditions" seaweed explains that "martial" traditions are fundamentally different, even essentially antithetical, to "military" ones. Military undertakings are usually nation-state initiated (or activities of aspiring nation-states), hierarchical, a continuation of politics,etc., while martial skills better lend themselves to horizontal, autonomous and autonomy seeking groups. The military is typically all about conscripted, obedient fodder/automatons acting in the interest of a nation state, while martial skills can be used by any group/collective/village etc.

"Military undertakings are usually nation-state initiated (or activities of aspiring nation-states" Well then, sense indigenous societies are playing such a role in this discussion and in really in seaweeds theory, how would you define war in indigenous society? War (i.e. militarized aggression) between two non-nation states? Between two nation or aspiring nation-states? Or are we to pretend it didn't happen until colonization?

"martial skills can be used by any group/collective/village etc."

Likewise the term militia can be used to describe that as well. Although like military it invokes negative connotations as opposed to the rosey ones of martial arts. I have no problem with seaweed using martial language, I'm just saying that the argument is a jaded and superfluous one.

Someone could say, 'martial skills', someone else could say, 'military skills' and someone else could say something in chinese and they could be on about pretty much the same.

Fucking superficial idiots with their 'distinctions'.

And here we see one of the main problems with using idiosyncratic definitions of words that are important to one's arguments.

yeah. the problem is that people who didnt actually read yr argument wont understand it!

The state does not exist without the belief of the Polis, it is there that various Machiavellian schemes are hatched in various forms( political economic technological) that are usually based on scaled up ideology. The Ukrainians during the revolutionary period in Easter Europe more or less had it right but were done in by the Urban taylorist ideologues like Lenin. It is those ideas that you have to undermine.

I am cautiously optimistic about some of the trends that I am seeing in terms of garage scale production and human scale innovations that are coming out of the city, trends that Kevin Carson talks about a lot, will the urban centers get their act together and DEcenter? Or will there be another scaled up ideology that wipes out another Ukrainian like situation.

Not everything has to be regional and rural/land oriented, but the most sustained historical examples of anarchic models come from this approach. Ultimately the town/country separation has to go and unless urban based radicals get that there will be yet another Lenin that rises when these current Czars fall.

If you read seaweed's writing, it is obvious that his suggested use of "martial skills" stems from concepts of "martial arts", not "military science", although the two are related,(which he doesn't deny). He subtitles one essay as "the art of rebellion" for instance, and he writes that Ponds and Oceans, a collection of "simple phrases and proverbs" was a nod to the game of weiqi or Go, often called a mental martial art. Go requires a balance between intuition and reason, risk-taking/attacking and defense, etc. Because its a territorial game, Seaweed made a connection between approaches/philosophies used in winning weiqi and the occupation of territory for habitats. There have been a few other anarchist writers who have made connections between weiqi and anarchist undertakings. Anyway his use of the term martial might be idiosyncratic, but as the above poster indicated, in context it is not really confusing.

you could call it 'martial arts' and 'martial science' would you say the words have a meaning oh but i see how the distinction is made jeez you peeple are stupid

Discussions on war and strategy in Taoist and indigenous aboriginal cultures stem from the concept of yin/yang. in addition to wei qi, there is also ying qi.

Ying qi is the ‘supply side’ of the yin/yang dynamic that complements the wei qi ‘asserting side’ of the same dynamic. For example, in cultural interpretations of the human self, one can view the self in (a) yin/yang terms, as a convection cell that is engendered and its behaviour orchestrated and shaped by the continually transforming relational spatial flow-plenum it is included in, or in (b) all-yang-no-yin terms, as an independently-existing thing-in-itself that does its own asserting as if in a notional 'three-dimensional operating space'.

(b) corresponds with the ‘humanist’ view while (a) corresponds with the ‘indigenous’ view.

The convection cell, in physical reality, is the conjugate relating of outside-inward accommodating, many-to-one converging yin ‘sink’ [supply of energy/nourishment that loads the spring] and inside-outward asserting, one-to-many diverging yang ‘source’ [expending of energy or unloading the spring]. [[Relational space as an energy-charged plenum is like an elastic space that can be both loading and unloading energy; i.e. unleashing kinetic energy and entrapping potential energy as in a hitting-fielding combination.]] The convection cell, according to vision and touch, can be conceived of as a local, independently-existing thing-in-itself that moves about and ‘does deeds’ in a notional absolute space and absolute time ‘operating theatre’, however, in physical reality, it is a relational form in a continually transforming relational spatial flow-plenum.

indigenous aboriginals understand the ‘self’ in the (a) yin/yang manner while Western colonizer/settler people, whose minds are conditioned by noun-and-verb European/scientific language-and-grammar, tend to understand the ‘self’ in the (b) all-yang-no-yin manner.

These two views shape behaviours very differently when it comes to the ‘martial arts’.

Here’s an excerpt from ‘Who Can Ride the Dragon’ which ties together medicine and warfare via the yin/yang concept.

“the aspect of qi that relates to the body’s protective mechanisms (functions generally ascribed to the immune system in bio-medical thought) is termed “defense qi” or “wei qi” in Chinese medicine. The Chinese word wei comes directly from military parlance where it refers to the guards who stand at the perimeter of an army’s encampment to defend against invaders. A complementary concept, again reflecting this martial sensibility, is contained in yet another aspect of qi: ying qi. The word ying originally meant “camp” or “construction” (in the sense of setting up an army camp). The ying qi is the aspect of the qi that circulates the nourishment derived from food throughout the body so that it can be used to construct new tissue and repair organs, flesh, and sinew. In terms of this martial metaphor, it is the ying encampment of the body that is defended by the wei guards.
It is more than a coincidence that the language at the end of this passage sounds almost as if Sun Zi [‘The Art of War’] is describing medical concepts. Compare, for example, the following passage from “The Great Treatise on the Manifestations of Yin and Yang” in the Yellow Emperor’s Canon of Internal Medicine”:
... “Thus, in diseases of yang, treat the yin. In diseases of the yin, treat the yang.”...
This is only one example among a vast number that can be cited to demonstrate the internal coherence that develops from the theory of yin and yang. This internal coherence binds the theory and practive of medicine together with a wide range of philosophical, literary and cultural phenomena. In fact what appears from outside the Chinese cultural milieu as separate subjects – military strategy, philosophy, medicine and art, can be considered as distinct manifestations of a single paradigm when viewed from within.” --- Who Can Ride the Dragon

The indigenous person sees his ‘self’ as being included as a relational form in the world understood as a continually transforming relational spatial plenum [the yin/yang worldview] while the Western colonizer culture person sees his ‘self’ as an independently-existing thing-in-itself that assertively interacts with other such ‘things-in-themselves’ in a notional three-dimensional space [an absolute space and absolute time ‘operating theatre’]

These different views lead to very different individual and collective behavioural patterns. For the Western culture ‘humanist’, war is two dimensional win/lose ‘competition’ wherein moral judgement is imposed to determine ‘who should be in the winner’s camp’ and who should remain in the ‘loser’s camp’.

The indigenous person sees space as relational space, the continuously transforming relational spatial plenum [the flow that engenders and orchestrates/shapes the individual and collective behaviours of ‘relational forms’ in the common ground-flow]

The indigenous view is ‘beyond good and evil’ and leads to higher dimensional space dynamics [relational space requires more than three dimensions to model]. In this view, the relational spatial accommodating ‘niches’ that are continually opening up are at the same time orchestrating and shaping assertive yang behaviour [of both individual and collective]. Conflict in this sense goes beyond simple win/lose competition and engenders an evolving ecosystem [an evolving relational web-of-life].

As Nietzsche and Mach and other philosophers have pointed out, Western man’s mind is so thoroughly conditioned by the reality-reducing influence of noun-and-verb European/scientific language-and-grammar, that he sees himself, man, organism and ORGANIZATION in the over-simplistic all-yang-no-yin terms of ‘independent reason-driven systems’ that operate in a notional three-dimensional space [i.e. in an absolute space and absolute time ‘operating theatre’]. When ‘independent reason-driven systems’ wanting to go in different directions ‘collide with one another’, the only way to view this in three-dimensional space is as win/lose competition. the ‘winner’ will be the one who gets everyone moving in the same direction. This is why Western culture collectives are ‘herd-like’ collectives in their organization. The organization is based on a common reason-based program installed in the centre of reasoning of a multiplicity of ‘independent reason-driven systems’ that move about and interact in a notional ‘absolute space and absolute time ‘operating theatre’.

Of course, in discussion forums where minds have been long conditioned by noun-and-verb European/scientific language-and-grammar, the common view of one’s ‘self’ and the ‘world’ is in the (b) all-yang-no-yin terms, and mention of ‘yin’ is seen as some kind of ‘mysticism’ or ‘spirituality’ which does not belong in ‘physical reality’ according to the all-yang-no-yin worldview [newtonian, three-dimensional space worldview].

Seaweed’s essays are presumably invoking yin/yang views and are not reduced to all-yang-no-yin dynamics in terms of ‘what independent reason-driven systems do’ in a notional three-dimensional operating theatre, although a good proportion of readers are presumably interpreting them that way.

The simple fact is that urban people don't feed themselves or even have many natural sources of water. In nearly any rebellion, the state just has to surround the city, thus cutting off the food and water supply of the rebels, and voila, the rebellion fails.

What if however those urban insurgents didn't understand their rebellion as an "urban" one, and even stopped seeing themselves as urban people? Seaweed is suggesting that anti-authoritarian rebellions be understood as requiring a seamlessness between urban and rural rebels, or at least an intertwining of their lives, both now and then maintained during upheavals. If these connections/friendships/alliances are made now, between indigenous traditionalists/rural anarchists/and urban anarchists, he argues, then those rebellions will have a much higher likelihood of succeeding, for many reasons. For instance it will be more difficult for a siege to succeed if the rebels in the city can feed themselves, either because of their own skills and infrastructure or because of help from rural comrades based around friendships and alliances cultivated for years.

Additionally the struggle for anarchy itself, rather than being what is often an alienating/self-sacrificing/leftist-like undertaking, or just a pie-in-the-sky dream, based in seemingly endless failed urban protests and demands for reform, becomes more hopeful and interesting and meaningful because the rebellion begins with learning about and using practical skills of survival and food production, collectively building shelters to house each other and even exploring things like community self-defense, as well as being based in all the positives of intimacy and old friendships.

"Seaweed explores the idea of a ‘secessionist movement’, which is a term used to describe a type of land defence rooted in the creation of regional autonomy through rural subsistence. Seaweed makes the argument that resistance requires ‘habitat’ to nourish its rebels and provide real skills and resources, in order to begin to establish local autonomy. These ‘habitats’ can then function as a base to spread stateless territories and anarchy"

indigenous anarchism is based on an entirely different 'belief system' from Western civilization. It is not about people working together on a rational plan or strategy which can integrate rural and urban initiatives. it is inherently non-rational [spiritual].

the power of rural indigenous anarchists lies in their belief that they are included in the land. standoffs between indigenous anarchists and police/military have not been easy to handle by the authorities because ancestral burial ground or hunting grounds have been involved, or sacred hills and sacred old-growth forests. Coming from the land or making a stand from the land gives indigenous anarchists a powerful authenticity and often a willingness to defend land to the death, that makes 'authorities' tread more carefully.

urban dwellers who see land as 'commodity' as is the common view in Western civilization are more into 'rational strategy'. there may be a rational strategy associated with establishing rural base camps [e.g. where can we buy some cheap land in the country'] and there may be a rational strategy in regard to the environmental left's stewardship of the land programs, but no rational strategy is going to measure up to the non-rational, spiritual relationship of indigenous anarchists with the land.

that is why the number one task of decolonization is to 'undermine the intellectual premises of colonialism'; i.e. to undermine the view of land as an exploitable commodity to be dealt with rationally.

Wow Emile you finally took your pills! lol

I'll ask you one question if you promise to not anwer with the usual generic block of schizo text...

What is the use of working together on a rational plan or strategy that can integrate both rural and urban initiatives? Why are the urban initiatives relevant at all into bring down civilization, when their very context is based on urbanity as a social factory, instead of just bringing people out of it (as out of the Matrix) so to build a real community outside/in rupture with it?

Took his pills and landed in a vast urban jungle in 1984.

and ended up inside the matrix! dude

Purple pill and became a matrix automatic telephone answering system! Brah

Then he took the blue pill and reverted to his prior status as a programmable alarm clock. Next up: those little yellow pills and the shelter of his mother's little helper!

And finally took the grey pill and tranquilized himself with 19thC academic theory thus avoiding any bloody confrontation outside of the internet/matrix world he inhabits brah.

Thinking a pink pill and WTF would that do!!!

aragorn!'s comments in this interview touch on your question.

aragorn! speaks on the topic of whether people born in North America want to 'become indigenous', or whether they are simply into 'humanism' where one lives in rational collectives that make passage through life on the basis of rational strategies that are constructed so as to keep them 'in control of their lives'.

indigenous people accept being 'out of control'.

you ask;

"What is the use of working together on a rational plan or strategy that can integrate both rural and urban initiatives?"

i would say that working together on a rational plan can clarify the issues and give those jointly researching the problem clear options; (a) humanism, (b) indigenism

humanism is a purely rational approach that orients to achieving beneficial [self-interest optimizing] results for individuals and collectives. 'community' is seen as a collection of 'human inhabitants' that are mutually exclusive of the 'habitat' [where a habitat is seen as a 'theatre of operations' and/or something to munch on]

indigenism is a non-rational approach that acknowledges that we live in a relational space that includes us wherein: "the dynamics of the inhabitants are conditioning the dynamics of the habitat at the same time as the dynamics of the habitat are conditioning the dynamics of the inhabitants". [if you want to write that off as 'schizo text', you will miss the difference between humanism and indigenism.]

the 'split' between 'humanism' (trying to achieve some beneficial result in a doer-deed sense) and 'indigenism' (letting one's wu-wei acts as an agent of transformation cultivate a nurturing space for one's grandchildren) is a split that is more basic than that between rural and urban activism.

so either liberalism or hippy communes? ahahahahahaha

so, guerrilla vanguardism basically?

I don't see how the book proposes guerilla vanguardism. Did you read the book or are you just throwing out weak, negative criticism because you have an image/caricature of the author?

Its true that in a couple of essays he focuses on "fighting", but don't we have to look at this from as many angles as possible? The debate is still open as to how what he calls the "global grid of authoritarian institutions" might be intentionally destroyed. But he also writes a lot about "withdrawal" ( building community, healing, training, learning, enjoying life, making alliances, etc.) as opposed to attacking. Anyway, quite interesting stuff between the lines in his writing. It reads as rather simple texts, but actually he has taken really difficult concepts-individualism, self-organization, strategy, spontaneity, history, ecology, community, etc., and plays with them in very accessible ways.

In many ways, seaweed has taken from various traditions from within and outside of anarchist ones. Not quite a big tent proposal, he clearly opposes self-managing industrial civilization or having large scale political organizations, but otherwise he seems to be painfully looking for the widest net he can cast in terms of involving what he describes as "entire populations" or "entire communities". Quite the opposite of "guerilla vanguardism". He might be criticized for casting too wide a net for class war minded people for instance, but guerilla vanguardism isn't a valid criticism because it just isn't there.

Within any State, a border is a type of reformation/recuperation

As one commenter pointed out, the kibbutz experiment in palestine ultimately failed because it was compromised by a 'parameter of obedience' to the encircling State powers

To pass through a gate or check-point is the same as entering or leaving a prison, true autonomy is only gained by dissolving all boundaries, whether they be physical or ideological

Escapism like guerrilla is another word for non-conformity and is attached to binary social dynamics, entering or leaving a prison, pacifism or militarism

Anarchists that are mature on descriptive reality know there are going to be human areas where anarchy ends. Humans will always be defined by various temperamental gradients and colors related to authority and non authority. The reason the Kibbutz model failed is because there were not enough others like them at various hotspots. It has nothing to do within any silly universalist fantasy of total border boundary dissolution, something that could actually jive to a certain degree with global governance/state projects.

Your 'true autonomy' is nothing but a judeo-messianic omega project. There will never be a satisfiable finishing line, and there will always be boundaries, that's what makes temporal dissolutions of them fun in the first place. As Novetore said, I will always have limits to break.

The reason the kibbutzim didn't work was because they were a statists fantasy to give the illusion of creating a utopia while colonizing Palestine. More privilege at work, it was just a communists illusion to deny what was happening, theft.

Another problem on a more interpersonal level though, was that they might have been Anarchistic in one sense, they were still communists in ideology. And if you ever talk to people who grew up on kibbutzim before they were all privatized and made into Zionist tourist traps, they'll tell you, they grew up in a classroom of little intellectual freedom while their parents worked like dogs. It wasn't so much the kibbutz model as it's place in a capitalist society, serving a neo imperial entity, and on a personal level their ideology. T

If the kibbutzim were say, organized by Palestinians and had had the same history I'd agree with your assessment. But it was in the end essentially how Israel developed the agricultural land that they never had any moral right to in the first place.

The kibbutzim in Palestine which eventually became the kibbutzim in Israel weren't much different than Anarcho collectives in Catalonia during the war. But the ends and ideology were different. That's why the kibbutzim failed.

Novetore was an individualist, as you must be also I suspect, no? It is an individualist's prerogative to always challenge boundaries, and when geographical and ideological ones are no more individualists then challenge their own limitations, and that it is out of context with the "borders" I'm describing, you are only content if there is a prison, because confinement actually creates your discontent,,,your own egoism. Just as social identity is a creation of cultural subservience, so is individualism an art, art as Auschwitz!
I don't know what you mean by "hot-spots", very vague, the globe is a "hot-spot", I'm not being universalist, authoritarians require boundaries, not their dissolution.
Of course there will never be a utopic end, I'm not about Judeo millenarianism [the kibbutz desire]. The good fight is against individual selfishness, the capitalist creed.


above poster wrote: "There's a lot of land-based autonomy in a place like France, that's about 10x more dense than the US. And the Western US isn't very populated either. And there's actually LESS land-based autonomy projects in Canada than in the US, because most people, including anarchists, are so fucking lame and dependent on the system. Natives are still pretty much the ones living some form of autonomy, though not all natives."

Good points. Most first world people live in cities, leaving vast areas uninhabited. In canada and the US the figures are like 70% to 75% of the population are now urban. Only 50 years ago the figures were reversed. There is plenty of land to occupy or re-occupy. I wouldn't argue that the reason anarchists aren't occupying land is because they are "lame" (a useless and unintelligent term implying that the disabled are useless and unintelligent). Rather anarchists aren't making land occupations a focus because most of them don't see land occupation as central to a richer life here and now or to anarchist resistance, which is what the book is arguing.

above poster wrote: "Non-indigenous anarchists in Canada could claim land if they'd do it the anarchist way, stop buying or renting land like fucking citizens, just fucking occupy it and defend it the best they can.
As an instance, there's a bunch of Montreal-based anarchoids who've developing some not-so-autonomous community somewhere in rural Quebec, and they're purchasing/owning the land there, either through a nonprofit or privately... WTF!
Claiming land within the context of private property and the Law is inherently colonial, because that's how colonization is reified and continuated. The idea would be rather to FREE the land so that anyone can live on it the way they want, without depriving others to do so."

Very good points. But why slag the comrades in Montreal for collectively getting out of their homelessness or rental situations if they aren't arguing that this action is a revolutionary or anarchist action? Are they?

Anarchists are inmates of this civilization like everyone else. Every time we act its within the parameters of our fenced in lives. Continuously disrupting normalcy, resisting, attacking, withdrawing, etc. is extremely difficult outside of widespread upheaval. One could make a good argument that living in a city perpetuates colonialism for instance. Or that using technology, going to university, paying rent, buying food, having a job of any sort all inherently legitimize and perpetuate the imperialism of the market and good citizen behavior in the same that voting does. But we don't call each other out on it because we recognize that we are all atomized and fearful and know that it isn't easy to just break away as an individual, that it needs to be collective and hopefully widespread.

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
Subscribe to Comments for "Review of Land and Freedom: An Open Invitation"