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By its nature, anarchist theory is a vagabond theory, light of step, always on the move. The reason is simple. Reality is not a static thing, but a play of phenomena in which every individual is actively immersed. Entrenchment of positions makes no real sense, but traps the anarchist in the bogs of ideology and militancy. For this reason, anarchist theoretical endeavors go their farthest when they are taken lightly and playfully, as explorations, experiments and adventures, not tasks or duties. What appears here is done in that spirit. Some of it I wrote years ago, and no longer necessarily agree with, but I think it has a certain challenge, a certain bite to it.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


"Each of them seemed to see the mortal challenge in the others' eyes - to feel that the other two were sweeping him along by the whole force of their bodies and their wills - out to sea - farther - toward unknown spaces - toward a gulf from which return would be impossible - and neither of them had any doubt as to the insidious nature of this abrupt accord of their will and their destinies. IT WAS NO LONGER POSSIBLE TO RETREAT."--Julien Gracq

"No longer possible to retreat." We are all so cautious in our revolt, in our creative venture of making our lives our own. How would we ever reach that point where it is "no longer possible to retreat"? And yet, if we are ever going to move past the current inertia, break out of the movement of capital, of the state, of what is - with its trajectory toward boredom and disaster...

Let's think for a moment about certain times in history (the Paris Commune of 1871, May 1968 in France) or in our own lives, those times when we knowingly cast ourselves into the unknown. Certainly, at first, there was that mortal challenge in each others' eyes. When did that challenge start to fade, transforming into a look of fear, a compulsion to turn back, to find safe ground? And when did that, for some, become an ideology of safety, of security - the demand for safe spaces, safe language, safe words, for caution to be the order of the day?

After all, I am an anarchist. I don't follow orders. And any meaningful conception of freedom defies safety and security and tosses caution to the wind.

Saturday, December 26, 2009



Ruins are playgrounds whether Zapotec or Mayan, Egyptian or modern. Rather than preserve them, why not play with them ’til they wear away into nothing, and forget the cultures that created them? The memory of culture is the preservation of culture - and culture is merely the sacred limit placed on creativity and play. Insurgents destroy sacred limits.

The consensus process subjects the individual to the group. It subjects the immediate to the process of mediation. It is conservative by nature since it only allows change when the entire group agrees to it...It is internalized control, not anarchy.

For society to function, desire has to be tamed. It has to be colonized by the economy - turned into lack/need, the fulfillment of which is attributed to the commodities offered by society. To so direct desire requires restrictions and structures. As these increase, desire fades into a mere ghost of itself. The restrictions and structures gradually come to exist only for themselves.

My interest in ruins stems, in part, from attempts to develop strategies for deconstructing cities playfully, through active, conscious encouragement of unconstrained rebellion. This requires extensive explorations of cities to learn secrets which can be used against them.

There is more than one way to create an elite. Ruling classes, intellectual classes and aesthetic classes create an artificial inaccessibility of their power, knowledge and skills to "the rabble" to reinforce their position. On the other hand, self-proclaimed "class-conscious" radical activists deny themselves access to knowledge, vocabulary and well-honed analytical skills which are readily accessible, in order to prove their "class purity" or some such nonsense, and, by their absurd self-denial, create an involuntary elite of those radicals who are unwilling to impoverish themselves in this way.

Many anarchists are actually leftist or liberal libertarians or, in some cases, simply angry people who still "think" in terms of the images created by the social context, trapping their thought within society’s discourse. Until one gets beyond this discourse, thinking outside of its categories, one’s rebellion remains part of the structures of authority. Most anarchists are quite content with society’s discourse, happily creating an "anarchy" that is thoroughly unchallenging, mild-mannered, tame and palatable - all in the name of "education" and "action."

Cybernetic technology is dependent upon industrial technology for its existence. So much for the pipe-dreams of cyber-utopia.
Barter is still economic exchange. Money allows for a more efficient flow of economic exchange. Why not just get rid of economy altogether? ]

Often "health" opposes vitality. Those who value "health" often pursue it in an ascetic and passive manner - by giving up something. Their longing for health is not a vital, intense desire-trajectory - it is a business transaction or a manufacturing process - an attempt to achieve an end - but such a process is never satisfactory, because it is the nature of a longing to perpetually reproduce the void that is its origin. Vitality, intensity - these are the only reasons to have health - and living them creates health or makes it irrelevant.

The best of post-modernism fails because it removes the drift to the realm of the intellect - static lives moved by random thoughts rather than ecstatic lives created by the dialect of active conscious thinking and ec-static doing?

If the "subject", the "self", has been destroyed/deconstructed, then all that prevents one from creating one’s own self, one’s own subjectivity in each moment is the continued belief in something greater than oneself that is creator - i.e., the continued belief in god. In the present era, god is society.

Monday, October 12, 2009

AMOR FATI: in love with fate

There is only one way to be in love with fate, and that is to refuse to be its victim. In other words, to challenge it at every turn. Thus, amor fati is the most passionate of loves, based in constant conflict. What has to be understood though is that fate as a predetermined course of events does not exist. At every moment, wherever I may find myself, I have a choice, at the very least, the choice to call it quits for good, to declare the game is over. But this choice always occurs (even within the most ideal of situations) within conditions that are not completely of my choosing.

The complexity of natural relationships is one level of these conditions. It is not too difficult to see the options that exist within the conditions on this level. In fact, challenging these conditions always has the feel of an adventure, and among the highly civilized, becomes a form of recreation.

But social reality takes things to another level. Here there is the paradox of a set of conditions that exists only because of our activity, and yet that also determines that activity, creating what appears to be an inescapable cycle. It is precisely in this area, where our own alienated activity determines our choices, that fate begins to appear to be a predetermined course of events. Even though every single thread in the social web is an activity carried out by an individual in relationship with other individuals, the complexity and vastness of the web can give this activity a mechanical appearance, as if there was some huge loom, beyond our control, actually weaving the web. In earlier times (and still today among those who choose to embrace the simplicity of stupidity), this imaginary loom was called God or the gods (in ancient Greece, it was imagined as three goddesses weaving cloth). Now it may be called History, the Forces of Production, Class Struggle, Progress,... any number of abstractions to distract us from the responsibility of our own concrete everyday activity in creating these conditions.

Amor fati, the passionate love of fate, in such a context, takes on the form of rebellion against the existing social reality. If social reality seems set, if I am forced to create my life in conditions not of my choosing, I will throw out my challenge to fate by striving perpetually to create my life against these conditions insofar as I am able. No doubt, social reality will perpetually throw up new walls in the face of my rebellion. External walls (more and more forms of social control) and internal walls (more and more aspects of my own repression coming out from the depths of my mind). But for the lover of fate, these are not defeats, but new challenges to be faced and embraced, new conflicts heightening the passion of life.

Philosophers can bicker all they want over the question of determinism versus free will. What matters to me is the lived battle between the conditions that have been imposed on my life and my creative will.