Living Anarchism (1 Viewer)

A zed

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Here's a piece I wrote on "living anarchy" through what I call "Lifestylism". While my thoughts on the matter have changed somewhat I think others here may find this interesting. an especially important aspect for me in traveling has been rooted in being able to live my politics and not work for example.
 
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Ceannairc

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Jul 13, 2019
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I see you cite Bookchin - have you read his thoughts on lifestylism? He was certainly not a fan! Social Anarchism or Lifestyle Anarchism - https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/murray-bookchin-social-anarchism-or-lifestyle-anarchism-an-unbridgeable-chasm

I love Bookchin, and think there's a lot to be said for his critique. But I also try to live my life as if we'd already won and defeated the state and capital, and so work as little as I can and all that stuff. It's a difficult tension to navigate! The way I try to do that is that during those periods when I have a job to save up for times without work, it's my duty to try and get my colleaques to join a union and escalate the class struggle in that way. But when I'm being a vagabond drop out bin diver, it's my duty to contribute to ecological direct action movements, anti-fascist action, mutual aid groups, etc. I do think there are ways you can do valuable anarchist agitation while in each of the "camps" Bookchin talks about. Fight where you stand, as Crimethinc would say!
 

A zed

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The shoulder of the highway
I see you cite Bookchin - have you read his thoughts on lifestylism? He was certainly not a fan! Social Anarchism or Lifestyle Anarchism - https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/murray-bookchin-social-anarchism-or-lifestyle-anarchism-an-unbridgeable-chasm

I love Bookchin, and think there's a lot to be said for his critique. But I also try to live my life as if we'd already won and defeated the state and capital, and so work as little as I can and all that stuff. It's a difficult tension to navigate! The way I try to do that is that during those periods when I have a job to save up for times without work, it's my duty to try and get my colleaques to join a union and escalate the class struggle in that way. But when I'm being a vagabond drop out bin diver, it's my duty to contribute to ecological direct action movements, anti-fascist action, mutual aid groups, etc. I do think there are ways you can do valuable anarchist agitation while in each of the "camps" Bookchin talks about. Fight where you stand, as Crimethinc would say!
I'm familiar with Bookchins thoughts on lifestylism though I haven't read that text in particular, I use the term primarily to poke fun at Bookchin because while I do site his "Post-Scarcity Anarchism", and do think there are important things that can be taken from the text, as a school of thought (i.e. 'Bookchinites') I am nearly entirely opposed to Bookchin's "legacy" (in particular his failings ecologically and his failing to apply his critique of Marxism to the left generally).

I am wary of this idea of "duty" you mention. While "collective action" can be a useful tool (as shown in the continued use of group based direct action such as through Affinity Groups by post-left anarchists) as Bookchin points out with the failing of Marxism being in the supremacy of the party it is important to continue this critique more broadly, namely that it is important to avoid the supremacy of ideology, or the organization, which to me seems to be one of the largest critiques of the contemporary left.

Furthermore, while I do not mention it explicitly in this piece, for myself an important element of oppositional tactics, primarily removal tactics, is the removal of the "worker" from the workplace. Because of this I think unionization is not a tactic that challenges systemic oppression, at least not in it's contemporary form. Similarly then since I do not believe in the "revolutionary potential" of workers, I would not say I believe in a class struggle.

Finally I do not think "being a vagabond bin diver" and "contribut[ing] to ecological direct action" have to separate things. In fact I think much of 'vagabond life' falls within this idea of survivability tactics and removal tactics. Where one not only survives, such as through dumpstering food for oneself, but also in doing so end up (at least temporarily, though this could also be more permanent) removing oneself from the workplace (since one no longer needs money for food). As well when vagabonds share that knowledge they then give others the resources to also survive, and to remove themselves, in addition though this teaching has the potential to be an unlearning tactic, to make imaginable a world where one doesn't have to work for food for example.
 

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