authority

Anti-Engels (or Anti-Anti-Duhring Aktion)

Take that, Engels!

from Center for a Stateless Society

by William Gillis

Recent years have seen a resurrection of a Great Man Of History Marxist scholasticism that fixates on some (easily accessible) Original Core Texts of supposed genius and discards all the complicated stuff afterwards, certainly everything in recent decades. This impulse is the product of a mass flocking to radical leftism wherein new recruits have little interest in assimilating to existing discourses. A “return to the masters” thus serves as a run-around of various gatekeepers and a shrinking of required reading lists. It also enables people to use online historical archives on their own, without much social immersion. Onboarding to the tacit knowledge, prefigurative experience, and diffuse zine-based discourses of anarchism has always been a many-years long process. The onboarding process to academic Marxism — while more hierarchically structured — is likewise similarly involved.

There Are No “Anarchist Systems” without Anarchist Fundamentals

Anarchy is the set of principles that allow you to build justified hierarchies with a hammer. Or do you not know how to use a hammer and stop children from going into traffic?

from Center for a Stateless Society by Alex Aragona

Anarchists and those learning about anarchism should prioritize the bare-bone fundamentals of anarchist thinking, and these tenets should be the starting point. Such fundamentals almost always simply and neatly refer back to how one regards hierarchies and power in general, and which ones (if any) can justify themselves. If they can’t justify their existence, they ought not exist.

Relitigating Decentralization

via Center for a Stateless Society

Relitigating Decentralization: Response to M Black by William Gillis

I must confess no small horror on reading M Black’s contribution to this Mutual Exchange. A self-professed anarchist, defending centralization? I would normally let such arguments fall on their face alone, but if we are to platform them in this exchange I feel a moral obligation to reiterate basic reality. My response will be divided into two parts. I will first respond to M Black’s abrogation of basic anarchism in his acceptance of centralized democracy. Then I will respond to the specific claims as to the comparable inefficiencies of markets.

TOTW: Expertise

...the concept of expertise is one that anarchists have been wrestling with or felt the need to justify for a very long time. Even those who may hesitate at the power exercised by experts and the authorities they abet may find themselves looking to those same people for life-and-death knowledge or treatment in the current pandemic. Yet the seemingly non-critical view of expertise voice in the meme above is certainly not the only instance I’ve seen of anarchists embracing technocrats and other medical authorities wholeheartedly.

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