DONATE NOW TO HELP UPGRADE LIBCOM.ORG

Why is the Anarchist Community So Unfriendly?

41 posts / 0 new
Last post
Ghost Whistler
Offline
Joined: 22-08-15
Apr 10 2016 14:15
Why is the Anarchist Community So Unfriendly?

With scant few exceptions, i have had very little luck talking to people. I am very disappointed and surprised in this. I've tried commenting on youtube clips, G+, facebook etc, and yet people are at best non responsive while msot of them time they are quite dismissive. This seems totally bizarre to me: how are you ever going to get anywhere if you aren't even prepared to meet people halfway and talk to them?

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
Offline
Joined: 27-06-06
Apr 10 2016 14:44

I think if you are trying to make friends in the YouTube comments section then you're not looking in the right place.

Ghost Whistler
Offline
Joined: 22-08-15
Apr 10 2016 14:51

that wasn't my intention, i was referring to the only places I have found to discuss with anarchists. I don't know anyone IRL that holds these views so teh internet is the only place. Unfortunately sites like Urban75 are filled with cyberbullies and arrogant people that have no interest in people that don't immediately agree with them and no desire to discuss views.

Black Badger
Offline
Joined: 21-03-07
Apr 10 2016 15:06

I've heard that anarchists are everywhere; where are you? There are people on this site who come from all over, so you may have some luck if you provide a little more information.

Noah Fence's picture
Noah Fence
Offline
Joined: 18-12-12
Apr 10 2016 15:43

I've found the same thing, and of course most 'anarchists' aren't really anarchists anyway. My only regular RL contact with anarchists is daily texting and several phone/SKYPE calls a week with a Canadian comrade. I've tried to contact a local AFA group several times with no response and only find out about local actions from the local paper after the event. Very frustrating.

Auld-bod's picture
Auld-bod
Offline
Joined: 9-07-11
Apr 10 2016 16:00

Anarchists can be very prickly due to many factors.
First off, some people are attracted to anarchism because they think it gives them a licence to talk off the top of their head on any given subject on the assumption that as an ‘anarchist’ that’s their right. It is, just don’t be miffed of someone objects to misconceived notions.

Secondly anarchism is a big tent with incompatible theories - i.e. anarcho-communism and anarchist individualism. This allows trolls a field day to wind people up. These people are the web’s equivalent of the scabies.

On libcom there is plenty of room for discussion on the understanding that people can expect their views to be challenged.

rat's picture
rat
Offline
Joined: 16-10-03
Apr 10 2016 16:38

This will read as being fairly negative, but there is no such thing as the 'anarchist community'.

As Auld-bod points out, there is a whole range of political currents that use the term anarchist, often with very, very different political perspectives — from liberalism to communist theory.

So disagreement is inevitable. Also, it's worth keeping most anarchists strictly at arm's length because the (U.K) anarchist scene is ridden with daft, corny and embarrassing ideas and behaviour.

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
Offline
Joined: 27-06-06
Apr 10 2016 16:48

Yeah, whereabouts are you based?

I would agree with rat that I don't think there is an "anarchist community" as such, because it's such a broad term, containing completely conflicting elements.

I would say though that in those sorts of anonymous online type outlets pretty much everyone comes off like a dick. On libcom.org we have posting guidelines around politeness, no flaming/abuse etc so I would give discussions here a go. Although of course the us admins can't completely control how everyone acts. So I would say I wouldn't make any judgements on how people really are based on their online behaviour.

rat's picture
rat
Offline
Joined: 16-10-03
Apr 10 2016 18:06

On a more positive note, (not really in my nature) on many occasions I have experienced real moments of solidarity or ‘community’ amongst anarchists on demonstrations, at meetings and conferences or during the production and distribution of leaflets and magazines at demos, pickets etc. Or whilst confronting the police (and then running away).

But the term solidarity is perhaps another way of expressing the idea of genuine ‘community’ — when workers act with, and for each other.

Steven describes how decent sites such as Libcom have guidelines and experience within some of the UK organisations has lead to frameworks that justifiably try to impose greater accountability around the behaviour of their members.

The cutting edge of these ideas have been the work of anarcha-feminists.

Although it seems that many problems still remain around sexism and racism within the UK scene, but maybe that’s different in other countries?

Ghost Whistler
Offline
Joined: 22-08-15
Apr 10 2016 18:44
Black Badger wrote:
I've heard that anarchists are everywhere; where are you? There are people on this site who come from all over, so you may have some luck if you provide a little more information.

North Somerset.

Toryshire, IOW.

Ghost Whistler
Offline
Joined: 22-08-15
Apr 10 2016 18:45
Noah Fence wrote:
I've found the same thing, and of course most 'anarchists' aren't really anarchists anyway. My only regular RL contact with anarchists is daily texting and several phone/SKYPE calls a week with a Canadian comrade. I've tried to contact a local AFA group several times with no response and only find out about local actions from the local paper after the event. Very frustrating.

I hear you.

It's very sad. Perhaps naively I assumed anarcho values would coincide with human decency, open mindedness and compassion, but I'm just not seeing that.

Not saying that's everyone, but that's my experience.

Khawaga's picture
Khawaga
Offline
Joined: 7-08-06
Apr 10 2016 18:50
Quote:
Although it seems that many problems still remain around sexism and racism within the UK scene, but maybe that’s different in other countries?

Plenty of sexism and racism among anarchists in Canada. Unfortunately.

Ghost Whistler
Offline
Joined: 22-08-15
Apr 10 2016 18:51
rat wrote:
This will read as being fairly negative, but there is no such thing as the 'anarchist community'.

As Auld-bod points out, there is a whole range of political currents that use the term anarchist, often with very, very different political perspectives — from liberalism to communist theory.

So disagreement is inevitable. Also, it's worth keeping most anarchists strictly at arm's length because the (U.K) anarchist scene is ridden with daft, corny and embarrassing ideas and behaviour.

That's kinda sad really.

I suppose these include the usual idiots like the freeman on the land types.

i'm not really talking about such types though.

perhaps i'm just naive. community is something i was looking for, it seems essential to growing a better society and getting rid of capitalism.

Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
Offline
Joined: 14-03-06
Apr 10 2016 19:05
Ghost Whistler wrote:
North Somerset.

Toryshire, IOW.

I've met some pretty sound Bristol wobblies, ditto Bristol SolFed. There's an annual anarchist bookfair in Bristol which might be a good way to meet anarchists irl.

Fleur
Offline
Joined: 21-02-12
Apr 10 2016 19:50

There's some decent people in Bristol, some post on libcom from time to time. The Bristol Anarchist Bookfair is coming up and there's Hydra Books, which may be a useful place for you to contact.

To be honest, what other posters have said. Anarchism is pretty small and includes all sorts of different schools of thought and the online experience is often that of arguing the toss over minutiae. There's also a point where some anarchists (myself included) just can't be bothered to have the same old discussions over and over again, and are therefore not as nice to noobs as we should be. There are also some truly fucking awful people who are self-identified anarchists and connecting with them online can be a bit wearying.

To be fair, these days I have 3 anarchists in my life (not including my partner who is an anarchist by Stockholm Syndrome!) and we don't much talk about politics because friends don't let friends ramble on endlessly about politics because it's so damned boring.

Noah Fence's picture
Noah Fence
Offline
Joined: 18-12-12
Apr 10 2016 20:28

Bristol FTW then. I know of a couple of class struggle anarchists from Canada live in Bristol and two more, including the comrade I mentioned, are coming to visit later in the year. I can't fucking wait to hook up with them, political isolation is shit. I know quite a few individualist/lifestylist/hippy 'anarchists' in the area but I don't count them as comrades.
I went to the Bookfair last year, to me the vibe was way too lifestylie/vegan cupcake marketish but I was feeling like shit that day Which probably made me more cynical so I may give it another try this year. Obviously, if you like vegan cupcakes you're onto a winner but I don't go anywhere near cupcakes vegan or not!!!

Ghost Whistler
Offline
Joined: 22-08-15
Apr 11 2016 09:28

I won't be able to make the bookfair as I can't afford bus fare (it's extortionate round here) enough to get to it as well as other things I have to do like shopping. My ESA claim will be ending soon and so I just can't afford it. This is part of the problem. No fault of anarchists though, just the shitty capitalist 'public' transport service. In fact they've removed the bus service entirely that used to take me to the Jobcentre so if i have to go back there I'm going to have problems.

It's all a bit shit and the lack of apparent comradeship is not helping. Talk about your divide and rule

Ghost Whistler
Offline
Joined: 22-08-15
Apr 11 2016 09:30
Fleur wrote:
There's some decent people in Bristol, some post on libcom from time to time. The Bristol Anarchist Bookfair is coming up and there's Hydra Books, which may be a useful place for you to contact.

To be honest, what other posters have said. Anarchism is pretty small and includes all sorts of different schools of thought and the online experience is often that of arguing the toss over minutiae. There's also a point where some anarchists (myself included) just can't be bothered to have the same old discussions over and over again, and are therefore not as nice to noobs as we should be. There are also some truly fucking awful people who are self-identified anarchists and connecting with them online can be a bit wearying.

To be fair, these days I have 3 anarchists in my life (not including my partner who is an anarchist by Stockholm Syndrome!) and we don't much talk about politics because friends don't let friends ramble on endlessly about politics because it's so damned boring.

I understand what you're saying, but the situation IMO politically right now is so dire that something has to change. Though there seems little chance fo anything radical enough happening.

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
Offline
Joined: 27-06-06
Apr 11 2016 11:06
Ghost Whistler wrote:
I won't be able to make the bookfair as I can't afford bus fare (it's extortionate round here) enough to get to it as well as other things I have to do like shopping. My ESA claim will be ending soon and so I just can't afford it. This is part of the problem. No fault of anarchists though, just the shitty capitalist 'public' transport service. In fact they've removed the bus service entirely that used to take me to the Jobcentre so if i have to go back there I'm going to have problems.

It's all a bit shit and the lack of apparent comradeship is not helping. Talk about your divide and rule

Sorry about your personal situation, that sucks. But like I said in my original post, although a bit flippant, was that you can't expect "comradeship" on anonymous websites like YouTube. As others have said, there is plenty of great comradeship within the anarchist movement. I mean I have had my beef with a lot of anarchists but also I have seen stuff I haven't seen anywhere else: people charging through police lines to try to de-arrest people, facing down cops shooting live ammo etc. Maybe it would be worth you joining an organisation (like the Anarchist Federation, Solidarity Federation etc). In something like that people have a common goal, and it's that sort of thing which brings people together.

Ghost Whistler
Offline
Joined: 22-08-15
Apr 11 2016 13:09

I have thought of joining SolFed, not really sure waht the difference between them and the Anarchist Federation is though.

Since getting the call to have my ESA claim re examined (which will fail) and thus facing having to deal with the labour market, i've lost some focus.

You are probably right about the internet, and i wasn't specifically looking for comradeship on YT, it's just the internet is the only place I have right now for such things. I mentioned YT specifically because I follow the Red and Black anarchist commentaries, but the guy that fims them never discusses anything and seems rather aggressive at times (sometimes understandably sometimes not IMO).

rat's picture
rat
Offline
Joined: 16-10-03
Apr 11 2016 13:24
Ghost Whistler wrote:
Since getting the call to have my ESA claim re examined (which will fail)

Your claim for ESA might not fail.
I don't know about all the different types of claim but there are a few people around that can advise you a bit about what to do in these situations.

Sometimes there are ways of fighting your corner at the Job Centre.

First off, you may want to get some info from the Citizens Advice Centre. Secondly can you sketch out your situation? Maybe someone Libcom could help with advice.

Ghost Whistler
Offline
Joined: 22-08-15
Apr 11 2016 14:11

I don't mind discussing it as long as people don't object to doing so here since I'm not sure this is the right place to talk about personal matters like this. I don't want to break any rules.

jef costello's picture
jef costello
Offline
Joined: 9-02-06
Apr 11 2016 16:30

You are welcome to talk about personal matters, you're more likely to get a friendly mail from someone because you've given out personally identifying information and they're advising you to take it down / anonymise it.
Try contacting one of the federations, if you can't travel then you're stuck with what's in your area and what's online.
It depends on what you're looking for. Do you need specific help, ie benefit intrviews? That you can definitely ask on here.
Do you want to help others? That to an extent can be done online, you can for example help with libcom library.
Do you want to be part of a community? This is trickier online, especially if you're isolated because virtual communities are less able to support people and the bonds are often not as strong. But it's not always the case as you can see from some of the posters here.

A discussion board like libcom is a good start if you want to make contact with people and the contacts on here can be pretty helpful.Some collaborative projects have been organised on here for example.

Ghost Whistler
Offline
Joined: 22-08-15
Apr 11 2016 20:44

I'm on ESA due to mental health issues, I also feel that I have an undiagnosed aspergers/autism problem. Unfortunately having undergone a test the official verdict is no (technically it's 'inconclusive' pending a full developmental history that I cannot provide as an adult). I personally don't think the test process, which involved looking at kids pictures books and toys, was appropriate, but i appear to have exhausted this avenue. Consequently I dont' have anything to back up a further ESA claim at all. My GP isn't much help, mental health is really poorly supported around here, and particularly with the DWP.

This means I face having to sign on again which isn't something I am terribly keen on. It's, as I'm sure most of us understand, a very stressful affair at the best of times, and that's before dealing with all the punitive changes the Tories have made over recent years.

So that means having to deal with the vagaries of the capitalist Labour market with no help at all. I've been on the Work Programme before. It was run by the Salvation Army (i got an education into what they are really like, let's put it that way) and, quelle surprise, they were no help either, just happy to make threats.

I'm not sure how i can cope with the Labour market at the best of times. But since it was changed by the Tories it's become even harder to even look for work. Never mind find anything halfway doable.

I also have a metabolic problem, diagnosed as hypoglycaemia though I'm not sure that's what it is. This means that I get hungry a lot and if I don't manage it I feel very faint. I don't look forward to trying to integrate that into a full time job. It might be ok if you're working for yourself or have a very flexible employer, but that's not a guarantee these days at all.

Well that's my sad story.

Khawaga's picture
Khawaga
Offline
Joined: 7-08-06
Apr 11 2016 20:03
Quote:
I also have a metabolic problem, diagnosed as hypoglycaemia though I'm not sure that's what it is.

I've got hypoglacaemia. It's relates to diabetes (I think that hypo can lead to fully developed diabetes); it is basically just a deficiency of glucose in the bloodstream, meaning that if you don't eat for long periods, do strenuous work/exercise for long periods you will get a hypo fit, which is usually experinced as feeling faint, shaky etc.

gram negative's picture
gram negative
Offline
Joined: 24-11-09
Apr 11 2016 20:19

ghost whistler, if you also find yourself thirsty and urinating a lot - get yourself checked up ASAP. hypoglycemia outside of diabetes can be related to be some pretty bad things so you may want it looked at. also, eating high carb meals (bread, potatoes, things with sugar) can lead to you becoming hypoglycemic, so that may be something to keep in mind

Noah Fence's picture
Noah Fence
Offline
Joined: 18-12-12
Apr 11 2016 20:42

This is tricky, as a type 1 diabetic I was advised by the NHS to have a moderate fat, moderate carbs diet. I was always hungry though but put on weight if I ate more than around 2000 calories per day. So I did some research and found that a very high carb, very low fat diet had remarkable effects. I ate loads of fruit, veg, pasta, rice, potatoes etc in any amounts until I was satisfied. After initial BG spikes, in just a few weeks my insulin requirements dropped to less than half, my energy/wakefulness increased and I lost considerable amounts of weight. Plus, high carb eating is very cheap - there are pretty much no foods cheaper than rice, pasta and potatoes. Rice and pasta have a pretty high protein content too.
I know this is anecdotal, but I'm not the only one. Fat is the real problem and carbs and fat together are not a good mix for pre-diabetics. I don't want to get into a big debate about this, just putting my experience out there.

Ghost Whistler
Offline
Joined: 22-08-15
Apr 11 2016 21:19
gram negative wrote:
ghost whistler, if you also find yourself thirsty and urinating a lot - get yourself checked up ASAP. hypoglycemia outside of diabetes can be related to be some pretty bad things so you may want it looked at. also, eating high carb meals (bread, potatoes, things with sugar) can lead to you becoming hypoglycemic, so that may be something to keep in mind

It's been looked into. They've repeatedly and emphatically told me i don't have diabetes but couldn't find anything specific so diagnosed hypo.

I do eat a lot of high carb stuff, but i've no idea what else to eat.

And I do need the loo a lot, especially in the morning.

Ghost Whistler
Offline
Joined: 22-08-15
Apr 11 2016 21:21
Noah Fence wrote:
Plus, high carb eating is very cheap - there are pretty much no foods cheaper than rice, pasta and potatoes.

Yeah that's part of my problem. It's made me a bit fat eating like that, but it's difficult to find cheap alternatives.

gram negative's picture
gram negative
Offline
Joined: 24-11-09
Apr 11 2016 21:35

noah fence, it sounds like you switched to eating low glycemic index foods which have some research stating their ability to control blood glucose for those with diabetes

i haven't really looked at this website but it looks helpful to determine the glycemic index of various foods and also to explain the reasoning behind controlling blood sugar through eating low-GI foods:

http://www.glycemicindex.com/about.php

ghost whistler:

that is unfortunate they have not been able to help you with your hypoglycemia; however, hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) is usually considered a sign of diabetes, not hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)

Ghost Whistler
Offline
Joined: 22-08-15
Apr 11 2016 21:46

they didn't say i had hyper either.

Not really sure what else I can say, I have to bow to the medics.

I've been looking into this for a decade. When I first mentioned it my GP said he was similar and recommended that i take a packet of biscuits about and scoff from them whenever i got hungry. Pretty rubbish advice.