Do I want to wish Voltairine de Cleyre a happy birthday?

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Ramona
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Nov 17 2011 13:45
Do I want to wish Voltairine de Cleyre a happy birthday?

Because she was born 145 years ago today. And I know hardly anything about her, other than she was an anarchist and a feminist, and spoke out against sex slavery, but apparently was an individualist? Is she in the bad camp?

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Railyon
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Nov 17 2011 13:53
Ramona wrote:
Is she in the bad camp?

Depends on who you ask... I don't like this "camping" much myself.

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Nov 17 2011 13:56

Worse than that, she was 'anarchist without adjectives'.

"There is nothing un-Anarchistic about any of [these systems] until the element of compulsion enters and obliges unwilling persons to remain in a community whose economic arrangements they do not agree to. (When I say 'do not agree to' I do not mean that they have a mere distaste for...I mean serious differences which in their opinion threaten their essential liberties...)...Therefore I say that each group of persons acting socially in freedom may choose any of the proposed systems, and be just as thorough-going Anarchists as those who select another."

So no, you definitely don't.

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the button
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Nov 17 2011 14:13

Fuck, I've got a book by her. Glad I haven't read it now. cool

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Ramona
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Nov 17 2011 14:29

Oh that's a shame. And yeah I was being a bit flippant with my use of 'bad camp', that prob didn't come across wink

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Nov 17 2011 14:45
Fall Back wrote:
Worse than that, she was 'anarchist without adjectives'.

"There is nothing un-Anarchistic about any of [these systems] until the element of compulsion enters and obliges unwilling persons to remain in a community whose economic arrangements they do not agree to. (When I say 'do not agree to' I do not mean that they have a mere distaste for...I mean serious differences which in their opinion threaten their essential liberties...)...Therefore I say that each group of persons acting socially in freedom may choose any of the proposed systems, and be just as thorough-going Anarchists as those who select another."

So no, you definitely don't.

Truth be told, I don't quite see the problem there.

Or is it that 'not a communist, so not an anarchist' stuff?

wojtek
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Nov 17 2011 14:58

Go to town if ya want:

Essays and Other Writings by Voltairine de Cleyre

Angelus Novus
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Nov 17 2011 15:03
Railyon wrote:
Truth be told, I don't quite see the problem there.

Or is it that 'not a communist, so not an anarchist' stuff?

Non-communist anarchists love all that bullshit about the contractual freedom of individual subjects to enter into any arrangement according to their own free will.

I'm not even being polemical when I say that substantively, there's no difference to classical liberalism.

They should read Paschukanis:

http://www.marxists.org/archive/pashukanis/1924/law/ch04.htm

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Nov 17 2011 15:52
Angelus Novus wrote:
Non-communist anarchists love all that bullshit about the contractual freedom of individual subjects to enter into any arrangement according to their own free will.

I'm not even being polemical when I say that substantively, there's no difference to classical liberalism.

Does that also apply to non-communist socialists or just to those individualist or capitalist types?

Because if so, I can see why some accuse communists of dogmatism if only their system is 'the right one'.

radicalgraffiti
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Nov 17 2011 21:56

why would anyone be a communist if they didn't think it was right?

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Nov 17 2011 22:26
radicalgraffiti wrote:
why would anyone be a communist if they didn't think it was right?

Yeah well, obviously I think communism is the 'real deal' myself or I wouldn't be here, but what happened to pluralism?

The way your question sounds, it makes it seems like we're all in some giant tug-of-war here and we must show our superiority (at least that's the underlying feeling I get from that, sorry if I'm making more out of it than it is). Who was it again who said communists must not propose a solution, but critique? Dupont?

radicalgraffiti
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Nov 18 2011 00:08

to be honest i don't know who Dupont is/was or why i'd care what he thought. I'm just saying everyone thinks their own ideas are better than those of everyone who disagrees with them or else they would have different ideas.

I'm not sure what you mean by pluralism?

black spaghetti
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Nov 18 2011 00:51

"I was for several years an individualist, but becoming convinced that a number of the fundamental propositions of individualistic economy would result in the destruction of equal liberty, I relinquished those beliefs. In doing so, however, I did not accept the proposed economy of Communism, which in some respects would entail the same result, destruction of equal freedom; always, of course, in my opinion, which I very willingly admit should not be weighed by others as of equal value with the opinions of those who make economy a thorough study, but which must, nevertheless, remain supreme with me. I am an Anarchist, simply, without economic label attached. "

De Cleyre was a great anarchist, not to mention feminist, I wouldn't know why we shouldn't wish her a happy birthday. She got shot you know...

Black Badger
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Nov 18 2011 02:50

Like most honest, non-ideological, anarchists, she was skeptical economic agnostic.

Not only did she get shot, she was shot by a former pupil (she taught English to immigrants) and refused to press charges or speak to the cops about it. That she stuck to her anti-statist principles even under such horrific circumstances (she lived in constant pain until her death) puts her head and shoulders above most historical and contemporary anarchists.

batswill
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Nov 18 2011 13:11
black spaghetti wrote:
"I was for several years an individualist, but becoming convinced that a number of the fundamental propositions of individualistic economy would result in the destruction of equal liberty, I relinquished those beliefs. In doing so, however, I did not accept the proposed economy of Communism, which in some respects would entail the same result, destruction of equal freedom; always, of course, in my opinion, which I very willingly admit should not be weighed by others as of equal value with the opinions of those who make economy a thorough study, but which must, nevertheless, remain supreme with me. I am an Anarchist, simply, without economic label attached. "

De Cleyre was a great anarchist, not to mention feminist, I wouldn't know why we shouldn't wish her a happy birthday. She got shot you know...

Yeah, she certainly was a great anarchist, and although I don't personally believe in ceremonial rituals such as 'birthdays' (everyday would be a birthday in a non-elitist anarchist society)---I would nevertheless give her homage on 365 occasions when I lit a cigarette rather than a candle on a cake.
But I don't understand this hatred that is directed mostly against individualists, as if they are fascists, I can only wince at how the proletariat are considered by these very same slanderers, or are the commonality exempt from criticism from these ideologists because of their political naivety? This approach to social relationships verges on paternalism.

Angelus Novus
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Nov 18 2011 16:34
Railyon wrote:
Yeah well, obviously I think communism is the 'real deal' myself or I wouldn't be here, but what happened to pluralism?

Well, what do you mean by "pluralism"? If "pluralism" is supposed to mean something like, "I don't think people should be jailed or shot because of their beliefs", then ok, I'll go along with that, but since no one on this thread was suggesting anything like that, I don't quite understand what point you're trying to make.

If, on the other hand, "pluralism" is supposed to mean something like, "I should respect ideas that I regard as wrong", then that makes no sense. I wouldn't have a position if I thought all the opposing positions were equally valid.

I'll reiterate: non-communist anarchism, especially of the individualist variety, is pretty much indistinguishable from classical liberalism. The only difference is that those types of anarchist are basically disgruntled because really existing liberalism fails to live up to some "ideal" liberalism.

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Nov 18 2011 18:14
Quote:
Yeah, she certainly was a great anarchist, and although I don't personally believe in ceremonial rituals such as 'birthdays' (everyday would be a birthday in a non-elitist anarchist society)---I would nevertheless give her homage on 365 occasions when I lit a cigarette rather than a candle on a cake.

Another reason I don't like VdC...

tastybrain
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Nov 18 2011 19:53
batswill wrote:
I don't personally believe in ceremonial rituals such as 'birthdays'

Sorry, little Johnny. Ever since the glorious Revolution birthdays have been exposed as the individualist bourgeois nonsense they truly are. I fed your cake to the dog.

batswill
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Nov 19 2011 14:42
tastybrain wrote:
batswill wrote:
I don't personally believe in ceremonial rituals such as 'birthdays'

Sorry, little Johnny. Ever since the glorious Revolution birthdays have been exposed as the individualist bourgeois nonsense they truly are. I fed your cake to the dog.

Marie Antoinette fed cake to her pedigree dogs:) But seriously, on what date did that glorious revolution occur? Be careful, your answer may reveal a hero worshipping of some kind.

batswill
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Nov 19 2011 14:45
tastybrain wrote:
batswill wrote:
I don't personally believe in ceremonial rituals such as 'birthdays'

Sorry, little Johnny. Ever since the glorious Revolution birthdays have been exposed as the individualist bourgeois nonsense they truly are. I fed your cake to the dog.

Lucky dog! Marie Antoinette lacked your generosity towards the needy.

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Nov 19 2011 15:45
Black Badger wrote:
Like most honest, non-ideological, anarchists, she was skeptical economic agnostic.

Not only did she get shot, she was shot by a former pupil (she taught English to immigrants) and refused to press charges or speak to the cops about it. That she stuck to her anti-statist principles even under such horrific circumstances (she lived in constant pain until her death) puts her head and shoulders above most historical and contemporary anarchists.

Got shot three times, and said this about her would-be assassin:

Quote:
What this poor half-crazed boy needs is not the silence and cruelty of a prison, but the kindness, care and sympathy which heal.

This, despite the fact, as Black Badger says, she was left in severe pain by the shooting. She might not be the most memorable of the anarchist ilk in terms of her output, but she certainly has my admiration for this act alone. Happy birthday de Cleyre.

tastybrain
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Nov 19 2011 20:15
batswill wrote:
tastybrain wrote:
batswill wrote:
I don't personally believe in ceremonial rituals such as 'birthdays'

Sorry, little Johnny. Ever since the glorious Revolution birthdays have been exposed as the individualist bourgeois nonsense they truly are. I fed your cake to the dog.

Marie Antoinette fed cake to her pedigree dogs:) But seriously, on what date did that glorious revolution occur? Be careful, your answer may reveal a hero worshipping of some kind.

You didn't hear about it? It was last week. It was all over CNN.

snipfool
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Nov 19 2011 21:51
Fall Back wrote:
Worse than that, she was 'anarchist without adjectives'.

On that note, what's your opinion on Rudolf Rocker? He's on my to-do list. Wikipedia says he was a self-professed anarchist without adjectives.

tastybrain
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Nov 19 2011 21:59
snipfool wrote:
Fall Back wrote:
Worse than that, she was 'anarchist without adjectives'.

On that note, what's your opinion on Rudolf Rocker? He's on my to-do list. Wikipedia says he was a self-professed anarchist without adjectives.

I thought he was an anarcho syndicalist?

snipfool
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Nov 19 2011 22:22
tastybrain wrote:
snipfool wrote:
Fall Back wrote:
Worse than that, she was 'anarchist without adjectives'.

On that note, what's your opinion on Rudolf Rocker? He's on my to-do list. Wikipedia says he was a self-professed anarchist without adjectives.

I thought he was an anarcho syndicalist?

Yeah, from what I've gathered (including from the same article!), which makes it a bit confusing. What do you guys think about this particular self-profession? Is it even actually true?

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Nov 19 2011 22:25

I think all this will to label is very un-anarkie-ist wink

He describes himself as an anarchist without adjectives, but he is also the man who wrote the text Anarcho-Syndicalism , so go figure confused . I think (I am probably wrong here), but he is taking a 'without adjectives' stance against contemporaries on the left (early 20th century had some pretty shit leftists).

Boris Badenov
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Nov 20 2011 13:09

Yeah Rocker was definitely not a textbook anarcho-syndicalist despite his actual involvement in grassroots revolutionary unionism. IIRC he had a very big tent notion of what anarchism is, and in his book on anarchism in America he pretty much includes all the betes noires of libcom (from Thoreau to the individualists) in the anarchy camp. He even talks about "Lincoln' anarchic tendencies" ffs! But this brings me to my point. Who cares that de Cleyre and Rocker had a dodgy understanding of ideological anarchism? Both of them, esp. Rocker, were utterly devoted to the cause of the labour movement, and devoted their energies to materially improving the lives of working people; neither sided with the state on any issue (well Rocker may have given vocal support to the Allied war effort, but then Kropotkin was guilty of the same and no one would accuse His Beardness of not being a proper anarchy).

snipfool
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Nov 20 2011 14:29
Boris Badenov wrote:
Yeah Rocker was definitely not a textbook anarcho-syndicalist despite his actual involvement in grassroots revolutionary unionism. IIRC he had a very big tent notion of what anarchism is, and in his book on anarchism in America he pretty much includes all the betes noires of libcom (from Thoreau to the individualists) in the anarchy camp. He even talks about "Lincoln' anarchic tendencies" ffs! But this brings me to my point. Who cares that de Cleyre and Rocker had a dodgy understanding of ideological anarchism? Both of them, esp. Rocker, were utterly devoted to the cause of the labour movement, and devoted their energies to materially improving the lives of working people; neither sided with the state on any issue (well Rocker may have given vocal support to the Allied war effort, but then Kropotkin was guilty of the same and no one would accuse His Beardness of not being a proper anarchy).

Very helpful, thanks. I believe this is the book you were talking about.

Angelus Novus
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Nov 20 2011 18:48
Boris Badenov wrote:
neither sided with the state on any issue (well Rocker may have given vocal support to the Allied war effort, but then Kropotkin was guilty of the same and no one would accuse His Beardness of not being a proper anarchy).

So remember, kids, when the Bolsheviks crush a sailors' uprising, it's because they're evil statists, but when Rocker or Kropotkin support the allies, they still aren't "siding with the state on any issues."

I love the consistency of principles of big-tent anarchism. As long as somebody calls themselves an anarchist, they get a pass on anything. Oh, if only Lenin and Trotsky had just circled their As!

working class
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Nov 20 2011 19:40
Angelus Novus wrote:
Boris Badenov wrote:
neither sided with the state on any issue (well Rocker may have given vocal support to the Allied war effort, but then Kropotkin was guilty of the same and no one would accuse His Beardness of not being a proper anarchy).

So remember, kids, when the Bolsheviks crush a sailors' uprising, it's because they're evil statists, but when Rocker or Kropotkin support the allies, they still aren't "siding with the state on any issues."

I love the consistency of principles of big-tent anarchism. As long as somebody calls themselves an anarchist, they get a pass on anything. Oh, if only Lenin and Trotsky had just circled their As!

Naturally, Noam Chomsky should also be in the list of those who supported imperialist powers. He supports the Allies in World War 2, the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia in the Vietnam War and the Indian invasion of Bangladesh in the India-Pakistan war of 1971.

radicalgraffiti
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Nov 20 2011 21:48
Angelus Novus wrote:
Boris Badenov wrote:
neither sided with the state on any issue (well Rocker may have given vocal support to the Allied war effort, but then Kropotkin was guilty of the same and no one would accuse His Beardness of not being a proper anarchy).

So remember, kids, when the Bolsheviks crush a sailors' uprising, it's because they're evil statists, but when Rocker or Kropotkin support the allies, they still aren't "siding with the state on any issues."

I love the consistency of principles of big-tent anarchism. As long as somebody calls themselves an anarchist, they get a pass on anything. Oh, if only Lenin and Trotsky had just circled their As!

Kropotkin and Rocker should certainly be criticised for there stupid political decisions, but none of them are the same as shooting workers to suppress revolution.