TOTW: Anger and enmity

Kent State, Ohio, 1970

Growing up, I would usually read the newspaper everyday. I remember leafing through it, reading the articles, looking at the photographs and how much anger it often caused me to feel. My teenage brain frequently had trouble understanding how people could be so terrible to each other and everything around them. The news was exasperating and helped to cement my growing ideas as an anarchist. In this topic of the week, we’re looking at how anger and enmity have impacted your anarchist ideas.

How did you find the conditions of the existent to be revolting? What kind of impact has anger and enmity had on your anarchist ideas? On the opposite end, what advice would you offer to other anarchists struggling to control a healthy level of anger/opposition?

[photo from Kent State massacre, Ohio, May 4, 1970]

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"...They are neither young nor old: they are the age that they feel. And as long as there remains a drop of blood in their veins, they struggle to win or to secure their place in the sun. They do not impose, but neither do they wish to be imposed upon. They renounce masters and gods. They know how to love, but they also know how to hate."

- taken from anarchist publication l’en dehors (1922) recently translated by Shawn Wilbur

Would have been sooo cool living in France in the 1920's. Its like one hundred years were wasted and a full recurrence is here now.

"They are neither young nor old: they are the age that they feel."
I've found that the people who say the above are usually old in years.

"How did you find the conditions of the existent to be revolting? What kind of impact has anger and enmity had on your anarchist ideas? On the opposite end, what advice would you offer to other anarchists struggling to control a healthy level of anger/opposition?"

To tell you the truth I from a very early age found my life to be pretty revolting and "not right", and if it wasn't for this i would probably just shrug off anarchism and just assume that my autonomy is a trivial matter like a lot of people do. Overall the thing that has made me the most angry throughout my life is being told my emotions and expressions are not appropriate, how are you supposed to respond to that?

"On the opposite end, what advice would you offer to other anarchists struggling to control a healthy level of anger/opposition?"

You can't really control your own anger, as the the other poster above implied, anger is explosive and animalistic, which is why it deserves our respect. The question is really how do we outwardly express our anger without letting it eat us up inside or make us vulnerable so that it can be used against us? I've found that learning from my emotions through mindfulness/meditation has been helpful and so is exercise. During this pandemic i've found that i need to do both everyday as my hopes in a less lonely /isolated future have become practically nothing, or else i just drink and smoke a lot...

How did I find the conditions of the existent to be revolting?

As far as revulsion is concerned, as far back as I can remember I have always been triggered by cruelty and humiliation. Although I am unsure of the exact origins, I suspect an impression was made on me when I was very young.

Specific to recollection, there are two events I remember putting blackness into my chest. The first was witnessing the cruelty of some older kids baiting their dogs to fight one another. One of the dogs I remember vividly. He was a lovely good natured black mongrel called Prince who appreciated a stroke and a tickle behind the ears. I was six years old and watched him die a brutal and protracted painful death. He never stood a chance and it was the first time I felt hate. In equal amounts I hated the reduction of such beauty to such a sick and meaningless performance that I still conflate it with the hate at my own inaction. This still messes me up.

In comparison the second wasn't quite the trauma, but it opened a door. Again I was six years old and some of the older kids decided to pick me out for a dose. They beat me up and bundled me into a football/soccer net and dragged me around the asphalt and pebble-dash off the backs of their bikes. The humiliation and the overt propensity for cruelties set a fire ablaze which still burns today.

I don't recollect ever making any coherent vow, but from that point on I was fighting. I fought the bullies until they left me alone. I fought the bullies who bullied my friends until they left them alone. I fought bullies in the workplace. I fought bullies in pubs. I've fought gangster whoppers, capitalist and state whoppers. I've had my arse kicked.

These combined with the love I easily feel have given me the conceit of the expert in spotting the cosmology and quanta of the rot. Anarchy is my speciality. Anarchy is my dream. Over the years as I have perceived cruelty and humiliation, any infringement or any detriment upon the beauty of a life finds me both increasingly sophisticated for an explanation and simplistic in my reasoning.

What kind of impact has anger and enmity had on my anarchist ideas?

Probably the anger and enmity that has impacted my anarchist ideas most has come from that anger and enmity directed at those I once called friend or comrade. The disappointments in betrayal, the disintegration of relationships and the evaporation of meaning and trust have all seen my ideas coalesce to a singularity of intent. I'm still angry at many old friends, yet I'll love until my heart breaks. I'll repeat it again and again until I can't do it no more. I expect the knife; desiring it knowing one day it will kill me. Oblivion will have me regardless, so I will have this life and all its surprises. They're mine!

On the opposite end, what advice would I offer to other anarchists struggling to control a healthy level of anger/opposition?

I don't know about advice. Perhaps try not to punch sideways. I don't know what could be considered healthy when the illnesses we fight are so pervasive. I don't know how to forgive being stabbed in the back. The only thing I maintain is self-confidence. I can run, climb, swing my arms and take a dig. I like me and love that I love. With this, I remain pragmatic in having seen no evidence to support my future resurrection, living forever, conscious reincarnation or full reboot. It may not be all that useful, but it appears this life and this moment with all their jeopardy and beauty are all there is.

Om. With air for the lungs, toasted cheeks for sunshine, raindrops igniting the skin to singing, lips meeting and birds pouring sweetness in the ears, how joyful it is to fuck up the motherfucking shit-fuck system that seeks to destroy it all.

From my own recollections, I similarly had life changing experiences and perceptions around the same age, maybe that's to do with the early senses not having been tinted by callous orthodoxy and there being a lucid connection to the emotional reality that the child possesses. Alas, to hang onto that panorama of truth before the grey brush strokes of authoritarian indifference blinds our way.

later on your head gets filled with thoughts, as stirner alluded to...i didn't engage in any sort of "thinking" as we think of it now adays until i was around 9 years old, and i was doing it to directly escape from class, fantasizing about video games haha...

that's another thing that made me mad over the years! Realizing that I can't really escape from the pains of a monotonous/anxious capitalist existence through fantasy! I actually really hurt myself in a lot of ways through doing that...yet i am very good at masturbating...

Stirner's role as a teacher of children gave him the basis for his ideas concerning the invasion of spooks into the minds of thought free children, of the loss of individual uniqueness, of the rules and fences which thwarted the blossoming of creative sponþaneity and imagination.

oft a mask for other emotions
that fuel or drain you.
Holding grudges, resentment
an unhealed wound.
It can be sublimated
at the risk of leaving
grievances unresolved.

Having an enemy without being angry.
Cold blooded. Keeping a tally, not forgetting.
Fostering a festering revenge fantasy
unlikely to manifest as an opportune a scenario
like watching someone drowning and savoring it.

A fantasy, a potential, something dormant. A delusion.
Asleep, time passes quickly, an attack never materializes.
Hatred like a curse, a poison inside you, a regret.
Irritability as another symptom of repressed emotions
or as reaction to the inane and innocuous ways they're expressed.

What's most irritating
isn't necessarily the most important thing.
People lashing out in petty squabbles,
the existential deferred for the inconsequential.

the bane of your existence
oft an anthropomorphism of things larger than a person
the cosmos, chthon, civilizations, institutions, the built environment
uncaring inhospitable envelopes, abstracted amalgams
inextricable sources of angst.
Does it define you, does it corrode you, does it blind you?
A recourse of apatheia affords a quantum of ataraxia.
Does a recourse of attack afford an additional portion?

A cop
on the streets, in your head
a gunshot's a release
whichever direction it's fired.
A body count, a hypocrisy
the will and capacity to harm
boasted as virtue.
"World Domination Anarchism"
the whole world as its enemy
the logic of assimilation or extermination.

here's one i wrote in a similar vein:

Mail Bomb

in a letter, or a package,
that might be my ticket
out of a pointless life.

the technology in my head
rests within the silence of

I'm not a slave to the
machines anymore.
They thought I was dangerous,
so they gave me the
peace and quiet I needed.

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