A Critique of Emergency Measures that Remove Freedom of Assembly

via North Shore Counter-Info

Anonymous submission to North Shore Counter-Info

A lot has changed in the past year. If you would have told me a year ago that the government would ban gatherings in private homes, and given police special powers to forcibly enter people’s homes without a warrant *, I would have assumed that you were a paranoid conspiracy kook. Yet such is the reality in 2021.

A certain video recently surfaced showing police dragging a Gatineau resident out of a house where 6 or 7 people were gathered. Apparently, a neighbour had reported a small gathering to police. I feel that it illustrates the current state of affairs well. Please take a minute to view it: https://twitter.com/Nusakan007/status/1345150743129501700

It is very strange to me that very few activists seem to be raising their voices against this draconian expansion of police powers. We should keep in mind that civil rights, once relinquished, may only be regained through struggle. Think about it. Now that the precedent is set that the state can override our civil rights, what is to stop politicians from sending police to invade people’s homes whenever it is convenient to do so. When Quebec prime minister Francois Legault gave the police power to enter homes without a warrant, it was done as an emergency measure. Well, here we are, many months later, and there is no end to the emergency in sight. I, for one, am concerned that these temporary measures may become permanent. My perspective is that previous generations of activists fought so that we could have some of the legal protections that we have. They weren’t gifts from benevolent masters. They were hard-won. My point is that, if the state is able to take a right away, why would they give it back? I think that rights exist in the minds of the people – in order for a people to behave as if they have a right, they must believe that they have that right. My concern is that many people seem to no longer believe that freedom of assembly is a right that their neighbours should have. For one thing, we are witnessing the rise of a snitch culture. A certain segment of the population now feels that they are doing the moral thing by reporting their neighbours to the police. As members of an oft-criminalized political leaning, we should be concerned. I believe that there is a “Use-It-Or-Lose-It” nature to civil rights. If people begin to believe that their rights apply only in times of peace and prosperity, then what happens if we enter into a prolonged period of economic depression and political turmoil?

In my view, effective political organizing is contingent upon the ability to assemble, whether legally or illegally, openly or clandestinely. I believe that anarchists should defend the right of freedom of assembly. It seems somewhat insane to me that this is even an argument that needs to be made in 2021, but such are the times that we live in. Nothing is more foundational to anarchism that the principle of voluntary association, that is, the freedom of individuals to associate and to disassociate at will. Yet, in the name of public health, the state has effectively suspended the freedom of assembly. Strangely, most anarchists have remained silent on this subject. Do trust the state to return our rights once this crisis is over? To me, that puts far too much confidence in the state.

I assume that most of you reading this would agree that we must, on principle, oppose the expansion of police powers, however, for some strange reason, criticism of measures taken in the name of public health seems to be taboo for most Leftists nowadays, at least in the public discourse. This worries me. People could be forgiven for thinking that anarchists in 2021 are pro-lockdown, and really, how can one be pro-lockdown without being pro-state? There is nothing voluntary about a lockdown. There is nothing voluntary about the imposition of a curfew.

If anarchists do not oppose the expansion of state powers, what cultural currency will anarchism have? There is nothing voluntary about a lockdown. It does not compute in my mind that someone could be pro-lockdown and anti-state. We are now living in a political context in which the police can invade your home without a warrant*, without laying criminal charges, without even accusing you of a crime, and in which the state encourages people to snitch on their neighbours for holding small gatherings. It seems to me that the state is boiling the frog. And at which point do we begin to resist? And how do we resist?

My feeling is that anarchism in our political context is struggling to adapt itself to the times. We have always been greatly outnumbered by liberals, people who essentially trust the government to govern in the best interest of the people. In a time where the political reality has been transformed so rapidly, in a time characterized by a dizzying cascade of confusing information, misinformation, and disinformation, we are losing our way, following the liberal herd into the state-sanctioned pen. We must steadfastly affirm what our values are, and one value that anarchists have always held is that the freedom of assembly is a foundational right that must be defended.

I am interested in starting a conversation about how anarchists should organize in response to lockdown measures. If this resonates with you, please write to vertetnoire@riseup.net.

End Notes:

*Technically, this is debatable. In September, 2020, Legault announced a new system for the expedited approval of warrants. Presumably, this was introduced to bring Quebec’s lockdown laws into compliance with Canadian laws, however, it represents a radical departure from the previous definition of what a warrant is. Whereas a warrant used to require presenting evidence that an individual may have committed a crime or is engaged in criminal activity, now a system of “tele warranting” allows rapid approval of a warrant. I suspect this form of “warrant” is a phone call in which the officer’s request is rubber-stamped. I don’t regard this shift in definition as legitimate, and I believe that in this age of propaganda we must be wary when the state suddenly re-defines words.

There are 72 Comments

"It is very strange to me that very few activists seem to be raising their voices against this draconian expansion of police powers. "

It isn't very strange to me, given how the near totality of liberals, Left activists, commies, R&Bs, etc, that I've seen already walked the line of the Covid measures, promoting social distancing, staying home, using videochatting... and they even did so here on this site with 1-2 articles. The Mtl Anarchist Bookfair organizers were also pretty stiff about not doing anything in person, even in times where Covid were dropping and everyone was already enjoying the beautiful summer.

Since I'm always for looking at the good and bad in everything, there's here the benefit that the whole Left and anarchist people likely won't be targeted as the forefront opponents to the new level of tolitalitarian buildup, unlike the Qanon tools. But on the other hand, Qanon have proven very successful at preemptively undermining opposition. Regardless of their authenticity, they have become the dominant "cultural currency" of opposition. So how to subvert that monetary value... this might be a central question.

The problem I see with curfews, is how close that brings us to the State forcing us to "stay home". I'd like to see especially how anarchists in France have been dealing with the blunt despotic repression on anyone just going outside for a walk.

I think its hard for anarchists to admit when they desperately need state infrastructure. Hospitals are in crisis. Where I work there are no longer beds for critically ill patients at ready in the ICU. You stay in the ER under my care, and we wait for someone to die upstairs. However despotic these public health measures feel to you... in places where the state is not imposing any they are forcing a much darker reality into others... potential death through health care system collapse and medical neglect. Look at the structural violence of not imposing public health restrictions... it is a violence being experienced by communities of color. Careful what "freedoms" you extole.

Isn't that a really bad faith argument? Pretty specific type of anarchist who's too hardcore for hospitals. The state doesn't get to claim most people's bias towards the freedom to not choke to death from a preventable disease lol

I just happen to live and work in the covid global hotspot this week but this is the reality of the situation we are in in many places, if anarchists can't come up with measured responses to real world problems no one will ever take up with our lot. I don't think its a bad faith argument I think if you're railing against public health measures being repressive but have no response to the current death rates... I don't know why you would expect vulnerable communities to consider your position.

Don't worry 14:46, lumpo's schtick is to be contrary for attention seeking purposes. He's actually a bleeding-heart liberal under that rugged exterior...

yeah or we're all here to trouble each other's ideas? whatever. way to snark!

to only speak in an angry manner which confuses people and makes them angry. FUCK! Lumpentroll is Donald Trump!

Donald, I always knew you were such a spirited sabotuer of ThE SyStEm! Thank you for your patience and cooperation, you woke me up from my slumber! Before I thought the capitol police were rational and heavy handed cops!

What if I told you that I wouldn’t hesitate for one second to throw your grandma under the coof bus if the system put her between me and my freedom?

13:33, what comprises your freedom? the unobstructed whim to throw the elderly under coof (sic) busses? is there more to your freedom? how does it overlap with the freedom of others? are you free now? are you sure?

I just need a benchmark for these freedoms you are so adamant about. What about if you can walk, run, drive, fly whereever the fuck you like, BUT JUST WEAR A MASK? Would that be restricting your freedom not including your breathing? And also that you've prevented the spread of a disease.

then I'd say that's a typically right leaning conception of "freedom" with a myopic focus on the self

That’s right, comrade!

None are free until are fr-AHAHahAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Man, that’s funny.

My concept of freedom is about cliques and individuals shaping the circumstances of their lives by invoking their will and furthest logistical capabilities, which may or may not step on the toes of others trying to do the same, depending on the nature of the situation. It’s beautiful. It’s natural. It’s chaos... Anything can happen, including things that suck and/or fall out of line with liberal respectability politics. That’s Anarchy. It’s not some wine and cheese party for floppy-haired faggots.

For someone who’s ready; prepared; clique’d up; stocked up; trained up; got their shit together, etc. True anarchy is a fountain of joy. But for stupid biden-riders who’ve built their entire lives out of cities, doing white-collar work and cultivating zero practical skills, etc. true anarchy is a fountain of sorrow and humiliation. Deep down they know this, which is why you see almost every one of them becoming simps for the state now that civilization’s starting to shit it’s britches...

What’s your version of freedom?

I just collect the different versions and stack them like pokemon cards. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. The beautiful idea is a horizon that usually recedes as you walk towards it. By the way, your inability to discuss without redbaiting is why you get this hand wavy, shitty answer, still better than you deserve. ;)

... not to mention the other, equally charming little details of your candor

are you purposefully leaning in to what I said? lol

“I don’t know why you would expect vulnerable communities to consider your position”.

Nigga, stfu.

Read “blessed is the flame”.

"if anarchists can't come up with measured responses to real world problems no one will ever take up with our lot."

I can agree with that. As long as Gates, Bezos & co enjoy a safe comfy life and don't end up like a McKinley, US anarchists will keep failing to be much relevant. But what can we do about all the Covid cases?

DIY ventilators for everyone, at best? But should they be CDC approved? The fact that some supposed anarchists will also discredit you the very moment you talk about effective alternative medicine (like the artemisia annua) and nutrition/exercise (boosting the immune system with vitamin C) makes it self-defeating, doesn't it?

To crust punks? I think there are plenty of good reasons to be skeptical of the health system, even if a portion of the people who are are trumpian-conspiracy lunatics

"Look at the structural violence of not imposing public health restrictions... it is a violence being experienced by communities of color. "

Holy fuck... this authoritarian just tried to legitimize completely arbitrary and unjustified curfews with identity politics in just one sentence. What a prowess, princess!

Ok, I hear you. But what does it say about anarchist principles if they only function in times of peace and prosperity and/or fall apart as soon the going gets tough and the rubber hits the road? We need an uncompromising passion for freedom that doesn’t just fall apart like sugar cubes in the rain every time shit hits the fan.

Also, there’s no evidence that lockdowns, etc. are effective in actually curbing the spread of covid. Even in authoritarian Asian countries where covid measures are even more extreme and the population more compliant, the holocough continues regardless.

It’s time to go outside, and play.

As far as different governments go, this graph was pretty interesting to me. Looks like the US is actually one of the more strict governments in that arena, especially as far as the more punitive end goes.

Data does indicate that wearing masks and not congregating plays a major part in not spreading covid19, or most other airborne transmissible diseases. One should still be free to run down a beautiful beach, forest, desert or urban park with family members wearing masks, and most lockdowns still offer this window of freedom between certain hours until the danger has passed and infection levels decrease.
The bottom line is that compassionate medical staff have recommended these conditions to reduce the level of death, impairment and suffering to as many people as possible.

We mustn’t allow our fear of death turn us into the enemies of life.

A good anarchist death is one that is incurred over the pursuit of some adventure. What makes an anarchist an anarchist is that when we die, we get to decide when, where, how and most importantly why. I won’t live my life in fear.

“B-b-b-but not obeying social distancing makes us look bad!”

No, bitch. It’s your unembarrassed full-bore submissiveness to the new police state that’s making us look bad.

Honestly, Dr. What... You’re just a pussy. I sincerely wish you and all others like you would choose among a whole plethora of other labels to describe yourself: liberal, progressive, statist, etc. And stop giving anarchy a bad name.

See y’all at the quarantine death camps! Coming soon!


Read “blessed is the flame”.

I come across the testosterone challenged often during my tours of the wards,,,one young tough rebel man kept blurting out ---" No doc, there's nothin' w'ong wit me, lemme outta here, why yous gotta me strapped ta the bed doc, I can walk outta here,,,"
I try to be as sensitive as I can to these headstrong tough guys ---"Now hold on young fella, just hold still while I staple the top of your cranium to the blob of lard you call a brain",,,,looking at the orderly "2 units of tranquilizer in a drip to suppress the meth enhanced ego and stop this moron from thinking he's an SS stormtrooper or Viking beserker" orderly chuckles "Good call doc, straight away" looking back at my patient "OK Adolf my boy, soon you will be sinking into a peaceful sleep where you will be dreaming of being painted blue and carrying a battle axe and entering the hallowed halls of Valhalla, but now you are in an emergency ward full of suffering and crying people and their families and these people are the only things they have and hold blessed, not some ideological spook, so STFU.

Google "Australian covid lockdowns success story". Oh yeah, and its fine if you wear a mask before you go and play, outside and not in an enclosed inadequately ventilated area.

In principal with this, this type of an essay could lead to a more pragmatic usage of civil rights. The only problem is this type of thing is currently irrelevant to where I live, the cops are still running around like macho pissants by doing things like questioning me and my friend for sitting on bench, and waging the typical drug and anti homelessness war. You have to find a couple people to get on board with you to make this type of thing stick, and we live in an extremely isolated society. It's hard to find people to just hang out with now stays, I'm sure I could do something more than what I'm doing though...

The Great Barrington Declaration is a thing for a reason. Some people will only accept that their 'better safe than sorry' medical tyranny is the only way forward. Thousands of qualified academics and professionals with years of experience and accomplished careers say there is something wrong with our draconian expansion, yet people are too comfortable with conceding every right for the chance of saving someone that may have already been on death's door. You have a paradigm of testing that yields many false positives, building communal fear as cases tick higher. A major proponent of PCR tests, Dr. Fauci, having been publicly chastised by the inventor of the PCR test and noble laureate Kary Mullis.

Mullis chastised Fauci for his absurd medical conclusions. Fauci believes that finding markers or material in a person says something substantial about whether they were sick or functionally capable of cultivating the illness or transmitting it. Mullis, as the inventor of the PCR test, thought that was a crock of shit. This criticism was mounted before covid was a thing.

Yet you have Canadian public health personnel taking cues from fearmongering hucksters that will purposefully lie to the public (Mullis said Fauci was perfectly willing to lie to people's faces). Fauci later did go on to lie to people's faces on multiple occasions. It doesn't help that the most vocal objectors are essentially members of another authoritarian political movement (the QAnon and MAGA folks).

Even the Great Barrington Declaration folks are for a limited authoritarian response. They want their authoritarianism aimed at and surrounding vulnerable populations. And political territory you give up, as OP stated, will be hard to gain back in the aftermath. Increasingly arguments to curb the pandemic lean closer and closer to a hypothetical perfect response. The perfect response, of course, is the Chinese government model. Complete with censorship of dissenting or opposing views to avoid unnecessary distractions, people being forced to stay at home, steep fines or sanctions for rule-breaking, people urged to give info about their non-conforming neighbors, etc.

I wonder what the next step after curfew is. A rewards program for keeping an eye on your neighbors? Or maybe sanctions for not reporting anything you see. After all, by any means necessary.

If nothing else, the pandemic shows just how far anarchism needs to go to penetrate the public consciousness. At the very least, it needs to articulate in no uncertain terms that there are broad philosophical reasons for why we should not give up certain freedoms. At the very least, people should acknowledge that the society they've decided to go after is not conducive to anarchism and starts to get quite comfortable with soft authoritarianism. To venture any further into that authoritarianism, all you'll need is a few more 'good reasons' or political justifications to tighten the screws.

The threat of a virus that mostly kills people at the end of the average lifespan of a human, with some exceptions and anecdotes, does not seem valid reason to give up that political territory. Even if you quantify and articulate all the many reasons why it's actually worse than that, it pales in comparison to the vast amount of death we were okay (enough to let it be) with at the hands of all other causes of death in previous years. We didn't stop the world over war, or air pollution, or deaths associated with alcohol, or cigarettes, or all types of radiation.

We've got tunnel vision. Not only is our only concern the immediate threat of this pandemic, but we also have little to no regard for any of the social or possible lasting ramifications for what we're doing.

Thank you for writing this. But a major problem is that we, as anarchists, have lost our way a very long time ago. Somewhere along the way, anarchy was co-opted as a secular christian movement and redefined as the struggle to be a “gOoD pErSoN” at all costs. The problem is that the state has no scruples in manipulating our “goodness” as a weapon to control and destroy us.

The Coldest of all Cold Monsters is very good at doing this.

Maybe it’s time we flip the game?

“The greatest chapter of our life comes from the moment we gain the courage to revaluate our evil as that which makes us great”.

— Nietzsche

Read “blessed is the flame”.

dude! (or preferred pronoun) ... plenty of us have read blessed is the flame ffs lol

what did you like about it so much?

You're right, but I don't think the answer is to abandon or invert your beliefs. That's precisely what gets us to yielding political territory. We give up argumentative weight if we use their methods. It would show that our philosophy is lacking because we can only exist by adopting anarchy's antithesis (or strapping anarchism to a useful engine that we hope we can delete from everyone's memories and excise from our ethos in the aftermath).

You have those that only like anarchy when it's comfortable, and either looks like or operates like the state, but that ignores that anarchy will not be some utopia without weak-points. The idea is that those weak-points are worth having, because the benefits of anarchism are worth having.

Some people don't understand that the chance that people will succumb to an illness is still a battlefield to make a statement on. A while back I heard someone say our freedoms persist in spite of not having the ability to silence or destroy our enemies, no matter how much we dislike them. By living in this freedom conscious way, we're saying these values are worth keeping around, because despite the reality that our freedoms produce, the alternative of not having those freedoms is more grim.

We decided that our society was worthy of not wielding such profound powers over others, even people we can't stand to know exist. One price you'd pay for living in an anarchist society is not being able to mandate all the cute laws, sanctions, and violations of privacy that we see so much of now.

Somewhere along the way, certain officials and political groups have decided this existential threat is enough to suspend our society. They're of the belief that we can put a pause on our philosophy and return to it when things cool down. It's hard to take anarchism seriously if it suspends itself when times get tough and adopts its antithesis. Did we give up our beliefs? Or did we never have them to begin with? More than anything else, we're seeing that a lot of people blatantly like authoritarianism when it wears the colors and says the catch-phrases of their choosing.

Still, I'm not of the opinion that I want anarchism to follow suit with a Frankenstein's monster of their own, babbling about anti-statism while giving what it gets from its perceived enemies. It will only further drag anarchy through the mud as a spurious ideology from a haphazard collection of ideological refugees.

Rebellions throughout history struggle to detach themselves from their methods, especially when they result in wanton destruction and other sorts of ugliness, and their future detractors will be too keen to remember for them. Not only that, but it will sully the purity of the philosophy when it's watered down by 'necessary' modifications. I suppose someone only interested in pragmatism of the moment can shrug off the incidentals, but I think that's a catastrophic mistake. Like Nietzsche, it could be the nihilist willingly walking into the abyss, fully aware of their shortcomings and the imperfection of it all. To struggle imperfectly for a chance at breathing a bit of fresh air.

I don't think that inspires a great many people. It inspires some people, but not me.

Nietzsche wrote about nihilism and could not help but have nihilistic thoughts from witnessing human history, but he didn't approve of his or other's nihilism. He was seeking an alternative to a nihilistic future which he saw the world as spiralling down into.

I don't think this 'Read "blessed is the flame"' anon has actually read Blessed is the Flame. Change my mind.

It's neat you sign your anon posts with "Read "blessed is the flame"' though. A proper zealot.

Make Flames Blessed Again!

Captcha: !cccp$

I just like to meme “read ‘blessed is the flame’” to the moralfags on @news... FOR NO REASON! Surely there’s NOTHING in there that we could learn from and be applying to our current predicament! TOP KEK! Oh the frivolity! You caught me, anon. You domesticucked biden-riden son of a bitch!

I accept your surrender, RBITF anon. Back to 8kun with you!

so they just like reading about camps because reasons.

They find/replace Nazis with "Antifa" and Jews with "White Men". Blessed is the Flame that Makes Antifa Get Of My Property!

Crazy how with all the informational obfuscation (fake news) we hear all over the place, it's the first time I hear about Kary Mullis. I'm damn sure most people haven't either.

I heard about that fauci controversy via glenn greenwald and the intercept and haven't seen any mention of it anywhere since. it's definitely "off message" to almost all corporate media and the implications make your head spin

I suspect it's because he's was non-conforming (a contrarian and denialist, according to the mainstream consensus). The same mainstream consensus that acknowledges the Reproducibility Crisis in science, and the same mainstream that acknowledges the failures highlighted by the meta-research of a certain Stanford scientist (who signed the GBD) that was recently dragged through the mud over his claims about the IFR of covid-19. The same scientist previously hailed for incredible scientific achievements in helping scientists do science better with his work. Later, that Stanford scientist, Dr. Ioannidis, would have his research corroborated by the CDC and WHO. Both organizations simultaneously believing Ioannidis's research is correct, while ignoring (or weakly acknowledging) his conclusions that lockdowns are a draconian power grab that will result in much greater societal and long-lasting harms than covid-19 could possibly generate.

So they'll promote Mullis's invention even though he personally called out Fauci. He called Fauci a liar and a narrative pusher. However, Mullis had questions about the nature of HIV, AIDS, and climate change research, which puts him into a conspiracy pile. According to Wikipedia, Mullis believed "science is being practiced by people who are dependent on being paid for what they are going to find out."

He claimed that a great deal of scientific work is politicized or has ulterior motives behind it, especially when it comes to the popularization of certain fields and the defense and formation of popular dogmas. It's already a topic of interest in political science and academia, as far as what topics gets the most grants, what type of research gets media attention, what gets funding, or structuring research in a way that pertains to some popular issue (with the potential for media intrigue).

(Re)-read “blessed is the flame”.

The cultural currency question is interesting.

Imagine you’re some random alienated teen, disillusioned by the reality that governments around the world are grossly exaggerating the threat of a virus to usher in sweeping authoritarian changes to our world and ways of life, deepening the slavery and immiseration of everyday life.

Understandably, the youth wanders, searching for some current, movement or tendency that can equip him with the tools and/or ideas to resist.

He looks up anarchism. And what does he find? A movement full of people with positions that can hardly, at this point in 2021, be distinguished from the pro-idpol, pro-lockdown cybernetic neoliberal establishment.

Needless to say, the youth will go elsewhere.

Seriously, we need to think hard about how to adapt our politics so they are relevant to the 2020s, or cede that territory to others who’ll fill that vacuum and become the main current of opposition.

He will go to the Wayne's Franchise Commune and become a valued member of the team. Anarchism isn't for alienated emo weaklings who can't handle a bit of discipline!

interesting how the arguments here are almost the same talking points of the alt-right/new right

it's because the butthurt alt/new right crybabies, including 18:03, got their platforms shutdown and kicked off others so they're trolling anews like the butthurt crybabies they are.

Interesting how many of the counter-arguments here are almost the same talking points of the police and mass media.

its deeper than that and has been a trend for several years. the rise of social media and other online platforms, just as they have given rise to the alt-right among conservatives, have given rise to the equivalent in anarchist circles. the edgelord shit posting of pushing contrarian ideology ie: pederasty, quasi-racism, anti-antifascist, anti-mask, etc. in the guise of individualism or egoism . the more extreme the argument, the more attention given to the mostly anonymous trolls giving them their online dopamine hit. anyone who disagrees is a 'liberal' the worst insult you can give to an anarchist, so more and more insecure anon online affirmation seeking edgelords are recruited. its only online idiocy, but it can and does creep into the real world as evidenced right now by the alt-right ascendancy.

what do you think can be done about it? how do you think anarchist "spaces" online allow for anonymity and avoid devolving into edgelord/channer/alt-right culture?

It's not specifically tied to social media. Some of the things you mentioned are not specifically alt-right but more anti-sjw idpol which encompasses antifa which-for the most part-is just liberal universalist foot-soldiering. Critiques of antifa go back to the ultra left last century as well as those who value open platforms and non-controlled speech. I don't see any quasi-racism or anti-mask nonsense(though the mask thing does get silly when strangers yell at you on a hiking trail). I do see a rejection of the lockdown which is basically anarchism/anarchy 101. The P word is an old radical debate the precedes the internet. If anything the extreme aspects of the left or more open to that when they are not epochal puritans like this last decade or so.

Channer edgelordism is not necessarily right wing. The 1st wave of 4chan before tubmlr feminism and screeching reeeching idpol if anything tilted left. There's no reason that can't be the case in the future.

ziggles ... your impartiality on the topic is a nonstarter. the whole problem with half those gamer gate influenced basement dwellers (and other target demographics of the alt right) is that they were getting reactionary brain slugs implanted, while they insisted they were too smart to have partisan views.

when analysis is couched in a murky, cynical nihilism with no center and no coherent value system, these people are MORE susceptible to propaganda, not less. their self image tells them the opposite, that they're just laughing at everyone with their edgy snark or whatever but there's nothing to guard against their feelings of alienation being manipulated.

the older version of this insight goes "when you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything."

That's part of what explains the current chan phenomena. The converse to this was dirty hippies during peak family fordism in the late 60s early 70s and later the punks. Most people in general are susceptible to propaganda, how you come up the middle is to situate your own discourse in the face of all this.

Right now, for instance, the left is more institutionalized then the right with problems of ideological capture, recuperation and an overall lack of novel or leading edge analysis. Gamergate is an interesting example because I am GREATLY sympathetic to that crowd. When Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian are who are representative of legitimate liberal leftist discourse THAT'S A PROBLEM. They are nothing like the 1968ers who came before them who were, of course, outer institutional.

It's not entirely a matter of standing for nothing and falling for anything. You have to give people who want a leading edge discourse something to fall for or gravitate to. If you stick to the current inherited positional left with its institutional hegemonic framework you will continue to lose the generation. There are a few people who get it(Nina Power comes to mind) but for the most part many non right wing thinkers just back whatever the left is out of sheer discursive habit.

yeah well ... fair enough. I hate almost everyone equally so you wouldn't catch me pissing on those youtube liberals to put out the flames. I don't want to "give discourse" at all, I'm not interested in the pulpit but I catch your drift.

good question, i don't know. if you ignore the trolls they can take over the conversation and 'win'. if you feed the trolls, you legitimize them and spread their message and they 'win'. i personally choose to be offline and analog as much as possible, but of course, that does nothing to stop the problem.
i have wondered what a site like this might look like if it was moderated to remove all obvious shit posts and trolling. obviously a big job, a slippery slope, and i certainly personally wouldn't want to do it. but would it foster real conversation and debate? or would people just migrate elsewhere looking for drama?

great points.

Topic of the Week: How is a CHUD-free Anews Possible?

Thecollective I think mostly just removes the extreme content and also pointless comments I don't think there's a guideline. This ain't no 8kun, Youtube or pre-2020 Fedbook. But that ain't Raddle neither. There's very often bad-faith shitposting that pretends to be making a worthy point, which is toxic for the quality of discussions of course.

But if you've been following this site for years, there's been sooo much shitposting and yet I don't think there was much of a significant fash escalation (even if there IS thinly-veiled fash posting). SE, Keating and the few other annoyances are still around... yet people know they're asshats. Emile at least appears to be gone for good. This might be a price to pay for anon/pseudon posting, with as little metadata possible.

yeah, I'm pretty sure folks have been furiously bailing troll water out of this boat as fast as they can for many years?

this is probably as good as it gets without being way too strict

I enjoy the cerebrally challenging discourses concerning alt/right troll/dopamine dependencies on this site. Its conterbalanced by an equally vociferous antifa idpol troll/adrenaline activity, but one still manages to find the few well-balanced individualist voices humbly offering their non-ideological perspective on reality and how to live a good autonomous independent existence without brain chemistry addictions and mental meltdowns.
The Boogaloo/Trump mutation has been building up for years, but the whole 50% have a plethora of militant groups and their minions spilling out into the ranks of the blue-collor demographic who are the ones whose task it is to clean up the mess of a broken capitalist system, so things are looking alot like what the preppers have been talking about also for 20 odd years. Be prepared, nothing has changed, its the same machine with just another puppet behind the wheel. Washington's version of Tieneman Squ is shaping up to be big, and they've deployed a division of guards to quell the inaugural hordes from treading on the grass, though the crass smug masterpuppet will be hoping for one of his brainless gamer-minions to have entered into crypto-assassin mode.

But its those with the typical Western values who decry the lockup and restrictions most. They are losing money from their petty businesses and the whole jet-tourism closure has them getting cabin fever for the first time in their commodity/travel/consumerist bubble. The poor are actually too busy worrying about not dying or getting sick that lockdown is insignificant or in most cases a good thing,
There are a core of fanatic provocateurs stirring up a mob of unfit under armed frivolous Trumpists who just want their 15 minutes of fame at the inauguration, not 15 years in a fed penitentiary for insurrection or traitorous homicide.

I don't know where this concept of Trump's base being "under armed" comes from. Compared to what? the most powerful military on earth? invading aliens with super advanced death rays? because in every single other sense, trump's base is very .... VERY well armed.

I can almost sense a tinge of sympathy for the Trump horde in your sentence ,,,,"trump's base is very .... VERY well armed."
I may be mistaken, but I also pictured your with a wry smug smile on your face when you typed that sentence?

why the hell would the people with all the weapons need sympathy? it's just a fact. you've got issues anon ...

Oh sorry, I misunderstood your tone, I'm new here, and a previous comment I read said that anarchists are equally divided between antifa and alt/right, and you just sounded like the latter. My heartfelt apologies if I have upset your sensitive leftist feelings, forgive me.

again ... seems like your shapeshifting snark mask barely conceals a very disorganized mind ;)

Trump's base has the same weapons ownership as Biden's other mob. Don't know why you'd assume the Trump base is VERY well armed, the hardcore don't represent the bulk of his supporters who are very honest simple hardworking Muhrican types?

The small biz types include immigrant black yellow brown types. The affect on the poor is a mixed bag as I see it. Ironically enough I'm an 'essential' worker who got a wave bump and gift cards out of this whole affair so I'm relatively lucky. I think there are also a lot of poor types who are more oblivious on the whole. A good example would be all those Bama fans cheering in the streets after winning the national championship. There's also that video of that crowded mostly black house party.

Overall I'm against the lockdown, but I think the science guidelines are good things to follow voluntarily. I like the idea of a libertarian take on the Swedish model(Sweden's not doing as bad as the US which has more lockdown going on) with something like a UBI to make staying home easy.

Yeah voluntary and intelligent sense is preferable but some restraints are required. Good to have smart essential workers such as yourself caring for the hordes. I'm impressed by the Australian example, they really threw covid on the BBQ mate, and burnt it out of existence even without a vaccine. ;)

"The poor are actually too busy worrying about not dying or getting sick that lockdown is insignificant or in most cases a good thing,The poor are actually too busy worrying about not dying or getting sick that lockdown is insignificant or in most cases a good thing,"

The "poor" in my area, which includes homeless people, are now forced to live in near-prison conditions due to the curfew. Or else they can get issued multi-thousand bucks fines, which likely means going to jail as they can't afford it in present conditions.

All this because of a virus that mostly just kills the elderly, and so you can feel safer in your nice big upscale apartment seeing all these poor people bowing their heads to Covid God

Wow so there are no " old " poor people in your area, only young ones. Hmm, sounds like a hipster share accomodation/college leavers enclave, OR an underdeveloped cou try where average life expectancy is 50 yrs and cholera, pneumonia and other preventable diseases are of more concern.

"The "poor" in my area, which includes homeless people, are now forced to live in near-prison conditions due to the curfew"
Poor in Muhrika is just another word for materialistically deprived. Real poverty is slowly starving to death.
"Near prison conditions" That's a blatant exaggeration only an emo would make. You are a soft little whining provocateur who needs to take advantage of the curfew and catch up with some much needed book knowledge.

Dude, you're a terminal moron or what?

In a curfew how can you still be in the streets in a city? The cops are basically snatching the homeless and concentrating.them in missions and emergency centers where the chances to get the Covid are jsut multiplied. And yes, besides the fact these places (where no hipster goes) look like prison environment, forcing people to stay inside overnight means "prison-like". Same for those poor that are stuck in 1-room apartments.

But have a nice life in your mansion/basement moralizing others into being nicer prisoners.

"Washington's version of Tieneman Squ is shaping up to be big, and they've deployed a division of guards to quell the inaugural hordes from treading on the grass, though the crass smug masterpuppet will be hoping for one of his brainless gamer-minions to have entered into crypto-assassin mode."

FINE! I just hope t see that. A final boss fight just to cull whatever's left of Trump's army, so then it can, once again, over time, become a conflict between statists and anarchists, with no more of that shitty old racist/fascist gangrene preying around. Please.

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