December, 2010 Archives


Do what you will

by aragorn in personal

I wish I had something more inspiring to say than I did 6 weeks ago. I don’t. I am still burned out. I have succeeded at a couple small projects but they were maintenance (upgraded an out of data Drupal to Drupal 6) and not on the big list of major things that Need To Be Done ™.

It is alarming the extent to which I am motivated by crisis and change. There was a recent bit of drama that could have inspired some (more) public name calling and conflict but I just don’t think dealing with these situations in that way is the best strategy (for a non left position)… Because there are two things going on, one is exceedingly boring and irrelevant (a conflict between small-to-medium sized businesses) the other is deeply fascinating to me and worth talking about outside of the pinprick of this particular indignity.

Since the publication of SALA (Social Anarchism vs. Lifestyle Anarchism) there has been a tension (although one of several) in North American Anarchism. What is interesting about this tension is that the one side (the accused) have spent (hundreds of) thousands of words grappling with the implications, motivations, and philosophy of this book. Those who align themselves with its intent never defend it (per se) but instead evoke it like a glowing sword. Like a pistol at a fist fight. Believing that the mere utterance of the word “lifestylist” is enough to start, resolve and end any argument. North American’s are already impoverished: by an education woefully lacking in history or geographical context, by a near cellular level of acceptance of exchange relationships, and by our own geographical contradictions (being in a country that is comprised of at least 3 different cultural bodies).

I mention SALA not because I believe the text to be particularly important but the fact that there is a real conflict between those who share a lot of the same terminology in describing our desired world can’t be understated. For some this conflict boils down to serious disagreements about the strategy we should undertake, for others it is about a (set of) moral compulsion(s), and others about what form anarchist practice should take today. I take a softer (and harder) position. I care less about the particular articulation one chooses to make around their practice, desire, or strategy but much more about the religiousity (or ideological) one has around their choices. Consider this a bookmark to a larger discussion about this topic and enjoy this song (related).

Say what you must, do all you can,
Break all the fucking rules and
Go to Hell with Superman and
Die like a champion, yeah hey!