Real Anarchism Has Never Been Philosophized

from Acid Horizon

In this episode of Acid Horizon, we had the privilege to discuss the metaphysics of anarchy with Professor Catherine Malabou of the European Graduate School and the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy. In the interview, we use the introduction to Reiner Schürmann's work "Heidegger on Being and Acting: From Principles to Anarchy" as a jumping-off point to discuss the question of an activity without principles, a unity of theory and practice which supersedes all structures of obedience and commandment. We talk with Professor Malabou about the historic failure of Western Philosophy to realize the riskiness of its metaphysical anarchisms in political terms, and the pleasurable plasticity of the anarchic formation of new modes of living. We are left with the pertinent question; has anarchism ever been truly philosophized? Thinkers in the discussion include Schürmann, Ranciere, Foucault, Deleuze, Aristotle, Reich, Stirner, Heidegger, Hegel, Derrida, Agamben, Proudhon, Marx, and many, many more!

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This is like shitting in Shawn P. Wilbur's face and laughing.
Ridiculous bombastic statements make for good clickbait titles.
Imagine reading all those authors listed in the description and thinking you have a good grip of anarchy.

Recently there's been another influx of Deleuzian entryism into anarchist discourse. There seems to be much excitement and "gee whiz this is neat, looking forward to reading it" but not much people seem to have read it ( enough to make a compelling argument as to why it's relevant to anarchy and what concrete applications it might have, or embodiment in daily life, other than slippery academic sounding discourse.

The appeal, entrenchment and encroachment of academia into anarchist discourse is a byproduct of the second-hand conspicuous consumption of the knowledge economy, as the circulation of memes. Their daily lives seemingly so impoverished as to yearn for the meager crumbs of the student life. Dealing only in shiny abstractions, alienated from everyday life, they speak of Maoist guerillas ( with corpse in mouth and follow it with a Deleuzian mouthwash thinking that gargling verbiage will mask the stench.

Understandably, Deleuze jumped to his death, merely reading him is enough incitement. What I don't understand is how interest is such that some dupes want to posthumously induct him as an honorary anarchist in the virtual anarchist hall of fame ( without having read him enough to be sure if such a thing even makes sense, asking others, but no one responds.

While I agree that the current Deleuzomania in @ space is predominantly a meme driven sideshow, I do find value in his work for anarchists. Whether anyone wants to admit it or not, the vast majority of anarchist texts are reductionist quasi-Marxist polemics against the man. That shit gets tired and isn’t helpful in so many ways.

Deleuze (and many post structualist thinkers) aren’t anarchists, but they pulled psychology (by way of Freud and Lacan) into their socio/political/economic analysis and the work is much more practical for it. Humans aren’t reasoning class collectivities, they’re messy and fucked up. Deleuze gets that and incorporates it.

I’m hoping that the current interest in thinkers outside of the confines of the @ millieu will lead to some interesting work generated from within that’s more accessible. Not going to deny that reading deleuze is not for everyone. Anarchist texts tend to be very direct and either polemical or prescriptive (or both). Deleuze and his ilk are best read loosely. There’s a lot of room to breathe in and around the ideas and thats either your thing or it’s not.

Anyway, I’m just an uneducated lout, I read deleuze, he’s not an anarchist, but more variety of texts on @ library can’t be a bad thing, can it?

That sounds sensible and reasonable. You seem nice. An uneducated lout like you is just the person I’d want making that “interesting work generated from within that’s more accessible” that you mention.

The appeal of the internet is “free” exchange of information, people can pirate books all over the place. I’m of the opinion that an anarchist library should be exclusively a depository of anarchist texts by anarchists, with no fluff or filler, no need to include all texts that might interest anarchists, which potentially include all existing texts, since there is enough diversity of anarchists that may have enough creativity and critical thinking to find value in them or add value to them, to put it in a way.

I’d say postanarchists texts have a place in the library, while including Deleuze’s texts is reaching (I know they’re already there). Anarchist encounters with his writing, or any other, definitely qualifies.

All that is, of course, besides my opinion of his work. If you say “the vast majority of anarchist texts are reductionist quasi-Marxist polemics against the man”, I’ll say the vast majority of Deleuze’s word count is obscurantist schizo-metaphysical divagations against things making straightforward sense. He was very fond of Marx as well, perhaps much more than many anarchists, or at least the ones I like. But to each, their own. Have a good day.

I listened to about two-thirds of this, just for the simple pleasure of listening to smart people talk about things that interest them. But this seems to be another case, like postanarchism, where the non-existence of "real anarchist philosophy" (or whatever) in "political anarchism" seems to be a premise assumed without much question. Indeed, it's sort of interesting that postanarchism itself doesn't seem to be on the radar here.

Catherine Malabou's work looks interesting. I'm a little surprised I haven't read her collaboration with Derrida. But I'm also surprised that someone who invested in Derrida's work doesn't have a clearer sense of why French intellectuals resisted the "anarchist" label. It's been years since I read it, but I think it is in his contribution to The Althusserian Legacy that Derrida discussed the pressure not to openly oppose the French communist party. This is probably why so many of the anarchistic bits in the later works are are more or less buried under layers of marxist references. It would have been fun to see Derrida actually take on a phrase like "property is theft" in the richness of its original contexts, including Proudhon's own interesting take on metaphysics. And maybe we would have got a more satisfactory encounter with Stirner in the deal.

Someone with a graduate seminar to teach and tenure to establish really ought to run with all of these teasing poststructuralist references to anarchy and anarchism—but run, for a change, in the direction of the anarchist literature. The fact that perhaps anarchism hasn't really been "philosophized" in that sense is probably just a product of the difficulties that would be involved in a more-than-teasing reconciliation of modern philosophical discourse and the various discourses of anarchist theory.

I didn't know that about pomo deconstructionists being cucked to the commies. Explains a lot given that POMOism has always lacked a punchline and anarchism/anarchy is clearly and obviously one of them. They could have at least been part of that Euro ultra left commie tendency(who had a major influence on the US post-left anarchists who followed) who did oppose the party commies.

So much good epistemology with lacking political applicability.

"Someone with a graduate seminar to teach and tenure to establish really ought to run with all of these teasing poststructuralist references to anarchy and anarchism—but run, for a change, in the direction of the anarchist literature."

Constantin Parvulescu has done this. they map out the many links between ideas of the Nietzschean Stirner-revivalists in Weimar Germany (Mynona, Anselm Ruest, Erich Mühsam, and lesser known others) and the post-structuralists:

"Der Einzige ’s anarchism, I will show, also provided an insightful but mostly ignored critique of humanist discourse and of the concept of human (Mensch). It challenged historical necessity and proposed an original framework for under-standing social change in which individual revolt played a central role. Some of these ideas reappeared—rarely acknowledging their individualist anarchist heritage— in writings produced in the aftermath of the ‘68 movement, within post-structuralist theory. They can be traced to concepts developed by its French proponents, Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, Jean-Luc Nancy, Jacques Rancière, and Jacques Derrida, though these thinkers hardly wrote on individualist anarchism, and most of them would probably identify themselves as Marxists or socialists."

what's with the tags? not sure what anyone's problem with this is i thought it was a great if somewhat specialized conversation

that said, definitely dont go into the academy. read and study and dont give into reactionary anti-intellectual populism but dont waste yourself on academia

what the fuck is post anarchism bitch I'll kill you

on the off-chance that your post is not just a joke, post-anarchism is the academic word for what is mostly what post-leftists have been saying from the non-academic space. less political activism, less materialism, less worker=agency than classical anarchists.
duane rousselle wrote a book about it, but he is on the academic tip, or was at the time.

so ... sitting at home online? isn't that already called quarantine?
yeah, that probably doesn't need another term to make it seem legit ;)

if that is what your life looks like after removing work and activism...

now I'm depressed.

perhaps similarly, I also find this tendency to reduce anarchy/anarchism to whatever-basic-bullshit-I-was-going-to-do-with-my-life-anyway, to be depressing!

The term is still controversial as it's coming from academics with little "skin in the game" outside than for occasional entries in their "radical" career resumes. In the world outside, "post-anarchism" has a more obvious, less convoluted potential meaning that might equate to someone who abandoned anarchism for going back to mainstream authoritarian politics (democratic, socialist or other.

As yes, to me anarchism is a kind of politics, that is anti-politics. Or political nihilism. But one that is applied (in what has been called "maximalism" or "liquid anarchy") to every aspect of life in/out of society... or else, well, it may fall into being another form of liberalism. It is the few people subverting mainstream politics through intrigue... or just bluntly opposing them when they can't afford all the intrigues. The former being more exposed to capitalist dyamics, where the latter, while socially-deprecated, is a safer bet.

To treat it as this always blurry philosophy or worse, ideology, is an absurd effort that never went anywhere. There ARE philosophy theories that are inherently anarchistic (Epicurus, Diogenes the Cynic, Lao Tse, Stirner obvs, etc) and they deserve to be held as inspiration, To the anarcho-lefties it's another label for their own brand of socialist ideals, that they could just call libertarian socialism, and quit fooling around with black flags and perfectly symmetric @ signs.

didn't mean to say "just a joke" as if jokes are not entirely significant!
good jokes/bitey humor ftw!

I suppose any joke assumed as such and not being a thinly-veiled attempt at vomiting resentment on others (i.e. at least half of jokes on the internet), is a legit joke, regardless if you find it funny or not (people got different styles of humor, can't help against that). In other terms, humor's great as long as there's nothing serious hidden underneath.

otherwise it's just people falling on banana peels or wahtever.
it is the pain of seeing ourselves and each other, beyond our facades or social expectations, that makes us laugh... relevant humor, you could say.

Ok, "serious" was wrong designation for what is instead arbitrary and over-generalizing representations rooted in resentment or obtuse incomprehension.

Huh, what is 8:08, where is your context ?

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