June virtual anarchist discussion

Join us in the aether once again for an discussion about Wolfi Landsreicher’s classic series of essays gathered under the title Against the Logic of Submission.

To live as a rebel, as a self-willed anarchist revolutionary, requires a great deal of will, determination and spirit in the face of dizzying odds. Thus, one essential aspect of developing an insurrectional practice is the transformation of oneself into such a spirited, willful being. Such a transformation does not take place through therapy but through attacking the social order both in its manifestations in the world and in oneself and one’s relationships.

With this rebellious work, we open a new front in our never-ending war on the existent as we relocate to Philadelphia. Join us on Jitsi from 1:30-2:30 to enjoy each other’s company, and then from 2:30 to 4 for reading discussion. Message us for the password!

Find the reading here: http://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/wolfi-landstreicher-against-the-logic-of-submission

Mid-May Discussion: What the Virus Said and Eco-Fascism

Thanks to everyone who joined us for our last discussion! It’s been such a blast that, for now, we will keep with our every-two-weeks virtual format!

Join us on Sunday, May 17th for another virtual discussion via Jitsi Meet (email/dm us for the room name and password)!

We’ll discuss two readings: the first piece, What the Virus Said, considers the virus as a life form, one that has come to disrupt the day-to-day workings of the capitalist machine:

Thank me for the truth test of the coming weeks ; you’re finally going to inhabit your own life, without the thousand escapes that, good year bad year, hold the untenable together. Without your realizing it, you had never taken up residence in your own existence. You were there among your boxes, and you didn’t know it. Now you will live with your kindreds. You will be at home. You will cease to be in transit towards death. Perhaps you will hate your husband. Maybe your children won’t be able to stand you. Maybe you will feel like blowing up the décor of your everyday life. The truth is that you were no longer in the world, in those metropolises of separation. Your world was no longer livable in any of its guises unless you were constantly fleeing. One had to make do with movement and distractions in the face of the hideousness that had taken hold. And the spectral that reigned between beings. Everything had become so efficient that nothing made any sense any longer. Thank me for all that, and welcome back to earth !

The second piece, Eco-Fascism: The Rhetoric of the Virus by Jay Fraser, discusses the recent obsession with the idea that the natural world is healing as a result of our staying home. The mainstream media (and many of our Facebook friends) would have us believe that dolphins are returning to the canals of Venice. Are humans the real virus? And if so, which ones?

Reading discussion will start at 2:30pm Eastern time – but we’ll gather at 1:30pm to enjoy each other’s virtual company. See you then!

May virtual bazaar: Ivan Illich and where we stand

We’ll be meeting in the aether again next month, with our regular monthly event happening Sunday, May 3rd from 1:30-4 EST. We’ll be on jitsi again in room viscerapvd, message us directly for the password because it changes each time.

Continuing with the theme of pandemic, we’ve got two very interesting pieces on perspective, one challenging how medicine conceives of people and populations and the other on how anarchists need to think critically about the questions they’re asking at this time. How are we flattening ourselves when we think of flattening the curve? What does it mean to take calculated risks and build relationships of affinity during a pandemic, as we discussed with last time’s article on social distancing? Foucault! Schmitt! Life and death! All this and more for your delectation.

Within this new “system analytic discourse,” as Illich named it, the characteristic state of people is disembodiment. This is a paradox, obviously, since what Illich called “the pathogenic pursuit of health” may involve an intense, unremitting and virtually narcissistic preoccupation with one’s bodily state. Why Illich conceived it as disembodying can best be understood by the example of “risk awareness” which he called “the most important religiously celebrated ideology today.” Risk was disembodying, he said, because “it is a strictly mathematical concept.” It does not pertain to persons but to populations – no one knows what will happen to this or that person, but what will happen to the aggregate of such persons can be expressed as a probability. To identify oneself with this statistical figment is to engage, Illich said, in “intensive self-algorithmization.”

David Cayley, Questions about the current pandemic from the point of view of Ivan Illich

For me, a starting point is that my project as an anarchist is to create the conditions for free and meaningful lives, not just ones that are as long as possible.

Anonymous, Ask a different question: Reclaiming autonomy during the virus

Reading discussion starts at 2:30, join us beforehand for much-needed socializing.

Mid-April discussion: Foucault and social distancing!

In this season of self-imprisonment with the threat of health crimes and drones spraying us with things encroach even further into our lives, we seek the company of friends!

For this month (and perhaps more to come) we’re changing our usual event format to bi-weekly. Join us Sunday, April 19th from 1:30-4 for casual chatter and interesting discussion! We’ll once again be meeting on jitsi (https://jitsi.org/jitsi-meet/) in room viscerapvd – message us for the password, because it will be different than last time!

Given how we’re currently caught up in the state’s attempts to control us for the sake of our health and the health of society (is it surprising that bedrooms resemble prisons?), we’ll be taking a look at Foucault on how the state attempts to order bodies during a plague as well as a contemporary protest against social control from Lewaniaan.

Michel Foucault – Panopticism (excerpt from Discipline & Punish)
Dabtara – Against Social Distancing

See you there!

April reading: 2 pieces from Aragorn!

In remembrance of our friend Aragorn! our readings for our event next month (Sunday, April 5th) will be two pieces from him on two major ideas he explored throughout his life: indigeneity and locating an anarchy outside of the European tradition.

Extra-European Anarchism would not be a utopia. Not only would a transition to a world that could be derided as “tribal” be cataclysmic but the ability of people to live with each other outside of reified power has not been attempted for quite some time. We will be rusty. Moreover, differentiation will result in a great deal of conflict. This conflict will look very different without War Machines contextualizing them, but will be by no means perfect.

The pieces for discussion will be:

Toward a non European Anarchism or Why a movement is the last thing that people of color need

and

Locating an Indigenous Anarchism

Event will run from 1-4 at Binch Press with the discussion starting around 2:30 as usual (131 Clay Street in Central Falls, RI Suite 211) – parking in the lot to the right of the building or on-street, contact us through social media if you get lost!

In light of the current pandemic, we’re moving our event into the aether with jitsi (https://jitsi.org/jitsi-meet/) – while still on Sunday, the event now starts at 1:30 pm EST in room viscerapvd. Contact us for the password!

March reading: Anti-Japan

Join us on Sunday, March 1st for our next anarchist bazaar and discussion! We’ll be discussing the pamphlet Anti-Japan, a history of the East Asia Anti-Japan Armed Front and partial translation of the group’s urban guerilla manual Hara Hara Tokei.

The impulse that drove Masashi Daidouji to write Hara was, in part, the same spirit that produces zines about security culture today: the sense that, with certain techniques, we can fight these forces and evade them as they attempt to strike us down.

Find the reading here

(if the anarchist library is still down, find it here)

Event will run from 1-4 at Binch Press with the discussion starting around 2:30 as usual (131 Clay Street in Central Falls, RI Suite 211) – parking in the lot to the right of the building or on-street, contact us through social media if you get lost!

February reading: Inhabit & critique

Join us on Sunday, February 2nd for our next anarchist bazaar and discussion! We’re (tentatively) back at Binch from 1-4 (131 Clay Street in Central Falls, RI Suite 211) – parking in the lot to the right of the building or on-street, contact us through social media if you get lost!

This month we’ll be discussing the essay Inhabit, which, like Desert, examines what happens at the end of the world but emerges with a more enthusiastic response.

We are already here–with every dystopian element, every means of revolution. The horrific consequences of our time and its beautiful potential are unfolding everywhere. We are resisting the end of the world by proliferating new worlds. We are becoming ungovernable–unbeholden to their merciless law, their crumbling infrastructure, their vile economy, and their spiritually broken culture.

Find the full essay here and be impressed by the slick web design.

We’ll also be considering one critique, Old habits die hard, which has been posted to both anarchistnews and the anarchist library.

In a website smeared in washed-out shades of nauseating orange which are the visual equivalent of an air raid siren coupled with the sound of retching, “Inhabit” prophesizes parochial dreams of bucolic vigor. As you scroll down, a demanding cadre sets about an interminable list of impossible tasks, the reader thus incurs in a great debt from the outset. Their 1-short-of-10 commandments begin with “Find each other”. This is because they begin their journey as shepherds without a sheeple.

Finally, if you have time, we’d recommend the Anarchy Bang episode on Inhabit as well (starts around 01:20:40)