Episode 48 – Conflict
This is the final Anarchy Bang (for the foreseeable future). After this rant-y editorial we had lots of great talk. About inhabit.global and from Ian, chuck, Lilly, Nettle, Ariel, Chisel, plast, inhabit guy, and Aragorn!
I agree with those who more or less say that conflict is a part of life and shouldn’t be seen as more than it is but liberal reality plays a game here that I think is important to interrogate. Conflict is not the battle for a good grade or some sort of passionate jockeying for social positioning it is instead understanding as much of the context of the terrain you inhabit. Conflict is fighting when you have the chance to accomplish what you desire. Mostly it is waiting or feinting intelligently.
It is why inhabit.global is such a classic utopian proposal and that means impossible but great if you can get it. Building the infrastructure of the better world in this one is great rhetoric, which is very few can disagree with it, but the proposal is far more about building a cadre or soft party than it is processing good water, deciding how much road or capital expansion the world will and should have than it is about how we treat each other well for these future discussions. The Communist problem is how to make us convince ourselves how to make the terrible future. The Anarchist problem is how to destroy what we have become. How to destroy the consumer, the citizen, and the little bodies that maintain the infrastructure that is. No one wants the anarchist or the communist at their dinner party.
inhabit is a goof among a set of friends that claims to be instructions for autonomy but which autonomy? If autonomy is a sketched out program call Autonomy then a nine point program for achieving it makes sense. It’ll fail on merits unconnected to need, want, or “material reality”. It’s a great idea to map infrastructure to what we can do, that seems very DIY, libertarian, and autonomous but the gap between so-called hacking and life-dependent infrastructure isn’t taken seriously by inhabit and the problems of production, distribution, power, and money are a bit bigger than wishing that health care providers paid attention to our ideas about DIY social services. If inhabit were serious they’d be more fatally flawed than they are of course. Why is it that libertarian minded people pretend to solve problems they have no idea how to solve, know more than they do, and proclaim the impossible as part and parcel of their terrible politics? How does one seize power without governing? You don’t. You either let it go or you reconcile yourself to it. This is the very definition of what politics is.
If we have learned anything as anarchists in the past 150 years it is that we can’t have both politics and anarchy. This is an idealist/utopian position of course. But if the compromise I and we make with the future it’ll be that we fail and not that we become just another political story of bright eyed ideas, turned to sober decisions about things like infrastructure, and who gets to eat and when, eventually indistinguishable from politics as usual.
For this episode we’ll keep it light. We wont talk about how our conflictual posture, and antisocial actions against the scenesters of the west coast anarchist world, has isolated us from one of the few anarchist events of the season. How livid I am at the mediocre activists that currently dominate the public anarchist space. Because the price of staying involved in the public anarchist space has been a type of frozen maturity where I have to engage in terribly childish behavior to stay relevant. Conflict is how we should be but are not. It also isn’t nearly enough to face the tyrants and giants that in fact dominate our world. So at this point I’ll just shut up and seethe, like everyone else. But this is terrible and I would have laughed in years past.