"Post-Anarchism today"... new journal, any critiques?

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Jared
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Dec 26 2010 09:57
"Post-Anarchism today"... new journal, any critiques?

Anybody read or have a good critique of this?

Post-anarchism Today:
http://www.anarchist-developments.org/index.php/adcs/issue/current/showToc

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Anarchia
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Dec 26 2010 11:26

I haven't read it in a while, but I seem to remember this being a good article critiquing post-"anarchism":

What's Wrong With Postanarchism? by Jesse Cohn and Shawn Wilbur

edit - interestingly, I noticed that Jesse Cohn is on the editorial board of this new journal. I wonder what's changed...

Black Badger
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Dec 26 2010 17:06

Perhaps getting into graduate school, or getting a new advisor, or getting a new partner, or...

Jared
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Dec 26 2010 19:52

Yeah Allan Antliff is on the board too, and he's been critical of Postanarchism before.

Reading the review of Newman's new book in it... not quite sure what to think? An 'anti-politics' politic outside the state? I'm pretty sure it's near impossible to be outside the state and capital. Am I missing something?

tigersiskillers
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Dec 28 2010 15:03
Asher wrote:

edit - interestingly, I noticed that Jesse Cohn is on the editorial board of this new journal. I wonder what's changed...

'Post-Anarchism Today' is the theme of the issue, not the name of the Journal...

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Dec 28 2010 18:13

Cheers for the clarification, I didn't realise that - still, a brief glance at the contributors shows people (Saul Newman, Jamie Heckett etc) who come from the post-"anarchist" school of thought. Seems a bit odd for people who (rightly) think post-'anarchism" is a load of bollocks to put together a special issue of a journal that promotes it!

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jesuithitsquad
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Dec 28 2010 18:36
The Body of the Condemned, Sally ... Paths to Queering anarca-Islam wrote:
I argue that Anarchism as a political and philosophical orientation, can uniquely inform Islam, and move the debate beyond a practice or mere tolerance to help develop a doctrine of acceptance. I do this to help open-minded (non-essentialist/non-dogmatic) Muslims and anarchists better understand each other, and therefore to more effectively collaborate in the context of what Richard J.F. Day has called the ‘newest’ social movements.
tigersiskillers
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Dec 28 2010 23:06

It does, and the whole enterprise stinks of pointless academia, like the worst of the Anarchist Studies journal..

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jonglier
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Dec 29 2010 18:14
Asher wrote:
Cheers for the clarification, I didn't realise that - still, a brief glance at the contributors shows people (Saul Newman, Jamie Heckett etc) who come from the post-"anarchist" school of thought. Seems a bit odd for people who (rightly) think post-'anarchism" is a load of bollocks to put together a special issue of a journal that promotes it!

that's good though, right? looking at things from all angles, giving consideration to all perspectives. is there anything wrong with the editors of this journal doing this? should they only publish articles that they all agree with 100%?

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Ed
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Dec 30 2010 10:07

Are those the only two options?

Caiman del Barrio
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Dec 30 2010 12:03

Yeah, ironic innit, a bunch of postmodernists suddenly coming over all structuralist, establishing a rigid dichotomy between strict censorship according to an editorial line, and publishing any old shite? I mean, haven't you smartie pants read Derrida? wink

[/revol]

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Dec 30 2010 19:01
jonglier wrote:
Asher wrote:
Cheers for the clarification, I didn't realise that - still, a brief glance at the contributors shows people (Saul Newman, Jamie Heckett etc) who come from the post-"anarchist" school of thought. Seems a bit odd for people who (rightly) think post-'anarchism" is a load of bollocks to put together a special issue of a journal that promotes it!

that's good though, right? looking at things from all angles, giving consideration to all perspectives. is there anything wrong with the editors of this journal doing this? should they only publish articles that they all agree with 100%?

So I wrote a medium-sized reply earlier today, then when I hit submit it wouldn't connect to LibCom and I couldn't get to the site for about an hour - by then my post was long gone. Can't really be arsed retyping the whole thing but the gist was:

1) The journal isn't giving consideration to all perspectives. I think it's safe to assume they aren't putting together a special issue on National "Anarchism" or "Anarcho"-Maoism, both of which are existing political tendencies who claim the anarchist label while, like post-"anarchism", having nothing to do with anarchist politics whatsoever.

2) Therefore, that the journal has chosen to dedicate an issue to post-"anarchism" means one of two things - that they think it is a tendency with a strong following that must be critiqued and countered OR that they think it is a political tendency worth expounding and promoting.

3) If you look at the articles and list of contributing authors (and I haven't read them all, but have had a skim through) it is clear that the journal is putting forward post-"anarchist" thought positively. It is not critiquing it (which I think would be a waste of time anyway, given that it's ideas are entirely irrelevant to the vast majority of society) but rather promoting it.

I would expect that in a journal that doesn't belong to a specific political organisation, a number of different views would be put forward - however, if the ideas put forward are shit, then the journal's choice to publish them should obviously be questioned. When the entire issue is dedicated to shit, the questioning becomes even more necessary!

Still though, what interests me most is why people who previously had written extensive critiques of post-"anarchism" would now be involved in promoting it.

middleofnowhere
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Jan 3 2011 05:12

I just came across this journal yesterday. I am a grad student in anthropology and I just finished writing a research paper on the riot porn phenomenon and anarchist discourses on subjectivity and action. I wish I had had some of the articles in this journal when I was writing the paper -- mostly because it is easier to get away saying outrageous shit when you can put it in quotation marks. I do think it rather odd that anarchism is being yoked to post-structuralism as anarchism never adhered to structuralism. Also I think the endless deconstructionsim (please not the ism, not necessarily a rejection on my part of all deconstruction projects) is really reactionary. I have only read Erick Heroux's PostAnarchia Repertoire and Constructivism and the Future Anterior of Radical Politics by Thomas Nail.

Heroux's essay is supposed to introduce the key concepts of post-anarchism. Its a pretty weak essay in those respects but I think the whole interest of post-structuralism in anarchism can be summed up as "characterisics that variously define anarchism are now retroactively shown to be applicable to epistemology" that is, the political ideals of anarchism have some bearing on the nature of knowledge according to post-structuralists' interests. I think the interests involved are key as the application of anarchism to post-structuralism seems to be in the furtherance of post-structuralism as an academic discourse rather than the very real concerns of anarchism as practice.

Nail's essay is much better. He critiques radical academics as doing not much but criticizing without any interest in what else is possible. So Nail looks at prefigurative politics as an antidote to this. However, Nail spends a lot of time justifying why prefigurative practice is unique to his reading of post-anarchism. Thats a load of shit we all know as anarchism has always been first and foremost about prefigurative politics -- its what sets it aside from the rest of radical organizing. The historical legacy of prefigurative politics is dominant throughout the "classical" anarchism all the post-anarchists have such a problem with.

And for all the talk of a rejection of essentialism by post-whatever academics post-anarchism seems to rely a lot on quoting white French men - who as a class probably contributed a whole lot the the historical construction of essentialist discourses and practices. But post-whatevers never look at anything historically, even when wet dreaming and circle jerking about Foulcault.

And one more rant on it: I am really concerned about the masked social democratic leanings of all the radical postmodernists. A rejection of the vanguard political party seems to mark post-anarchism yet a certain attitude of the state as influenced by civil society (in Gramsci's terms) is going to allow for major positive political movement. This may be true but would only be a side effect of such organizing. I just get this feeling that post-anarchism allows the appropriation of the label of anarchism for academics that secretly aspire to be the technocratic class of the global social democratic state they hope can be formed from the new social movement struggles. To paraphrase Camus: the workers are sick of their bosses and the police. Nail gushes over the World Social Forum, an anti-anarchist body of power holding social democrats and cites Alan Badiou as a post-anarchist. Badiou just published a book The Communist Hypothesis which is like a retaking of his Maoist wedding vows.

I've been stuck in academy for a long time and have paid for being a radical in rather negative ways. Now the same wankers who have often fucked with my career cause I was an anarchist can say they are radical or even anarchist. I'm all for anarchism being engaged with by academics. Just don't use it as a radical moniker for obfuscational wankery.

Jared
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Jan 3 2011 20:39

Succinct reply, thank you

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Jan 4 2011 10:53
Asher wrote:
I think it's safe to assume they aren't putting together a special issue on National "Anarchism" or "Anarcho"-Maoism

On what evidence, may I ask, do you base your assertion that "it is safe to assume" this? Telling me that you personally think that something can be safely assumed does not constitute an argument in the classical sense.

Quote:
if the ideas put forward are shit, then the journal's choice to publish them should obviously be questioned. When the entire issue is dedicated to shit, the questioning becomes even more necessary!

Did I miss the part where you comprehensively demonstrated the invalidity of everything contained in the journal? Or by "shit" do you really mean "something I don't agree with"?

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jonglier
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Jan 4 2011 10:53
middleofnowhere wrote:
And for all the talk of a rejection of essentialism by post-whatever academics post-anarchism seems to rely a lot on quoting white French men - who as a class probably contributed a whole lot the the historical construction of essentialist discourses and practices.

So that is an argument?

-Post-anarchism purports to be anti-essentialist
-Post-anarchism draws heavily from white French male philosophers.
-White French males have historically contributed "a whole lot" to essentialist discourses and practices.
-Therefore, post anarchists are hypocrites, which is a significant detriment to their position [unsure here: could you please clarify exactly what conclusion you like to draw from these premises].

Do we judge orthodox Marxists according to the fact that Marx was heavily subsidised by a bourgeois factory owner?

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Jan 4 2011 16:28
Asher wrote:
I think it's safe to assume they aren't putting together a special issue on National "Anarchism" or "Anarcho"-Maoism
jonglier wrote:
On what evidence, may I ask, do you base your assertion that "it is safe to assume" this? Telling me that you personally think that something can be safely assumed does not constitute an argument in the classical sense.

This is an online discussion forum, not a university debating club. Get a fucking life, seriously.

Asher wrote:
if the ideas put forward are shit, then the journal's choice to publish them should obviously be questioned. When the entire issue is dedicated to shit, the questioning becomes even more necessary!
jonglier wrote:
Did I miss the part where you comprehensively demonstrated the invalidity of everything contained in the journal? Or by "shit" do you really mean "something I don't agree with"?

As I said in my initial post, if you'd read it, I think spending time critiquing post-"anarchism" is "a waste of time anyway, given that it's ideas are entirely irrelevant to the vast majority of society". So I won't bother giving you a comprehensive critique of post-"anarchism".

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Jan 4 2011 18:49

Regarding your advice to me to "get a fucking life"- I thank you for it, although I still find myself a little perplexed. You seem to have got caught up on the particular way in which I worded my response. If I hadn't included "does not constitute an argument in the classical sense", which I agree is verbose and fitting for a university debating club, but had instead plainly asked you for evidence, I feel you may have responded differently. As it was, you found an easy angle of attack and went for it. In the end, though, you look a little baseless. You make an assertion, and when asked for evidence, you tell me to "get a fucking life", on the basis of the fact that the medium through which we are communicating is "not a university debating club.” So do you feel no need to justify your assertions? Do you think that, because this is not a university debating club, we should be allowed to make unimpeded assertions, without ever be asked to validate or justify them?

I am still genuinely curious as to why you assume this. As you can see, I have not expressed disagreement with your assumption, I have simply asked you to justify it. If you have no wish to engage in the university debating club practice of providing argument and evidence, the retreat of those with “no fucking life”, then I suppose I shall remain ignorant, which I for one shall deem a shame.

Regarding your second point, I admit my own failure to fully pick on your initial point that “spending time critiquing post-"anarchism" is "a waste of time anyway, given that it's ideas are entirely irrelevant to the vast majority of society". I now accept that you will not provide a critique. I wonder, though, about how good a thing it is to go round describing ideas and schools of thought as “shit”, but being unwilling to provide reasons for this being the case.

Jared
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Jan 4 2011 20:28

Edit — comment removed as I don't want to get into any theoretical arguments wall

radicalgraffiti
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Jan 4 2011 21:03
jonglier wrote:
Asher wrote:
I think it's safe to assume they aren't putting together a special issue on National "Anarchism" or "Anarcho"-Maoism

On what evidence, may I ask, do you base your assertion that "it is safe to assume" this? Telling me that you personally think that something can be safely assumed does not constitute an argument in the classical sense.

you do know that national "anarchism" and "anarcho" maoism have absolutely nothing to do with anarchism right? I mean you are familiar with the basics of anarchism? cause if you are then i don't see how your question makes the slightish sense, and if your not then go and read the anarchist faq or something.

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Jan 4 2011 23:00

to be honest I don't know anything about national anarchism or anarcho maoism but a google search has demonstrated your point. I maintain that I would have liked Asher to provide reasons for him claim, but I now acknowledge that he and radicalgraffiti have a very strong case.

where might I find this "anarchist faq"?

bootsy
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Jan 4 2011 23:21

Here (this is perhaps the only reason I ever link to infosho).

jonglier I'm not sure why your focusing on Asher so much here, if you want to engage in a debate about the arguments of post anarchists then there are other much more in depth replies for you to seek your teeth into e.g. I found the comment from middleofnowhere was quite informative.

However lots of anarchists have already done these discussions over and over either in IRL or over the web so its not surprising that sometimes people will want to comment without constructing a point by point attack on post anarchists.