Reading Recommendations for a Fellow Anarchist

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LBird
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Sep 15 2012 19:39
jura wrote:
Whereas "the individual" is not an abstraction at all grin

CA, as do all 'individualists', will just fall back on 'biological' existence as 'proof' that 'individuals' exist, whereas 'society', not being a biological structure, is thus 'prooved' not to exist.

Just like 'water', not being an 'atomic' concept but a higher level structure, doesn't exist for our reductionist individualist friends.

There are only atoms and individuals, such as hydrogen, oxygen and ComradeAppleton.

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ComradeAppleton
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Sep 15 2012 20:35

LBird,

First of all, critiquing the very existence of individuals is not an answer to a criticism of the concept of society. If the individual doesn't exist, society certainly can't exist either (just as the concept of water cannot exist without hydrogen and oxygen atoms).

Second, it is somewhat useful to note that I exist as an individual - there is no other way for me to exist. If I'm not an individual I'm not 'me' and therefore I do not exist... which seems like a bit of a paradox since I happen to be writing this text.

As for the mysterious 'essence' of 'the individual' which you seem to be seeking, I'm sad to say you are once again just asking for an abstraction. There is no Platonic world, where the definite, perfect 'individual' himself/herself exists. The best attempt I could make at a quick definition would be to say that an individual is the one who feels himself/herself separate from the group - an autonomous entity which recognizes its own selfhood and separation from others. And the individualist is the one who values that separation!

If you do not value it, all power to you - live as part of the mob. I prefer, in the spirit of Max Stirner, to be the individual nothing rather than a subservient part of something. The only relations I will yield to are voluntary relations which I consent to fully and which I feel are beneficial to me. Against all other impositions and involuntary relations I will struggle.

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jura
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Sep 15 2012 21:26

Be careful about gravity, it tends to impose itself rather involuntarily.

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ComradeAppleton
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Sep 15 2012 23:01
jura wrote:
Be careful about gravity, it tends to impose itself rather involuntarily.

I think gravity is more of a law of physics than a personal wilful force... I think it's an overstatement to say that you have a 'relationship' with gravity. In any case, I was speaking of the relationships between people. All physical and organic analogies are misplaced because there are no such phenomena as choice or will in nature. That is the individual element only each of us possesses.

But I think my sceptical heart will not be able to convince your dogmatic minds about the very nature of our existence. Perhaps Georges Palante was right and individualism is really more of a sentiment than a philosophy. If you 'experience' your life and your existence as merely a inseparable part of society, then that is just what you are, but for me that is impossible. The people who uphold the idea of society will always be my adversaries.

Angelus Novus
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Sep 15 2012 23:28
jura wrote:
Whereas "the individual" is not an abstraction at all grin

FWIW, even if we accept that the modern "subject" is a phenomenon of bourgeois jurisprudence and other institutions, that's not necessarily an argument against it's preservation in a communist society. This is the main point where I think the classical Anarchist tradition is superior to Marxism.

But I agree that naturalized, ahistorical conceptions that contrast an abstract "individual" to an abstract "society" are douchey.

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Arbeiten
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Sep 16 2012 00:13

Good call Angelus. I sometimes feel people throw the baby out with the bath water on that one, 'oh my god, I am not a auto-constitutive individual? WE ARE COMMUNIST-BORG'.

Angelus Novus
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Sep 16 2012 00:18
Arbeiten wrote:
I am not a auto-constitutive individual? WE ARE COMMUNIST-BORG'.

Or as well call them in German, "Gegenstandpunkt".

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Railyon
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Sep 16 2012 00:21
Angelus Novus wrote:
jura wrote:
Whereas "the individual" is not an abstraction at all grin

FWIW, even if we accept that the modern "subject" is a phenomenon of bourgeois jurisprudence and other institutions, that's not necessarily an argument against it's preservation in a communist society. This is the main point where I think the classical Anarchist tradition is superior to Marxism.

Then again I never heard about Marx stating anything to the contrary so I kind of wonder where that myth comes from - lemme guess, 2nd Int.? That's where all the bad stuff comes from anyway!

Angelus Novus wrote:
Arbeiten wrote:
I am not a auto-constitutive individual? WE ARE COMMUNIST-BORG'.

Or as well call them in German, "Gegenstandpunkt".

Actually laughed out loud on this one.

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Sep 16 2012 04:42
ComradeAppleton wrote:
those who do not work do not have a right to use the product made by others.

You're correct. We should kill the elderly, children, and disabled. No work, no food as they say.

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Sep 16 2012 06:07

Dear libcom,
I've known your for some years now. Like three or four years. That's like an eternity to me. So I feel like we're friends.

Best friends.

And when I see my friends doing something I think might end up hurting them, or going in the wrong direction I feel like I should tell them. I feel like I should say "hey pal, I don't think this the best thing for you to do." libcom, why are you debating with Comrade Appleton? Why would you put so much effort into arguing with someone who:

- continuously spins the content of your points into what he would've rather you said in order to not have to respond thoughtfully, or rethink anything

- often writes like he is in the nineteenth century

- wrote this:

ComradeAppleton wrote:
That's like saying that if I see someone being beaten up in the street and I don't defend that person, I am inevitably "assisting" the people who are beating him up. This is ridiculous beyond words. I am responsible only for those people who I want to be responsible for, not for everyone in my community. I am also only responsible for my own actions, not for the actions of others.

That's not a political position. That's a psychological problem. I was once on a thread where Comrade Appleton claimed that rape survivors who chose to use police intervention were "immoral".

Is this the type of person you wish to have an honest and principled debate with libcom? Comrade Appleton wants us to live in a callous, misanthropic world, where each of us would be profoundly isolated from the rest of our human family. Isn't that what we have already?

libcom, you're like my best friend. Please don't throw your life away debating a knock off brand Max Stirner.

LBird
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Sep 16 2012 06:11
ComradeAppleton wrote:
LBird,

First of all, critiquing the very existence of individuals is not an answer to a criticism of the concept of society. If the individual doesn't exist, society certainly can't exist either (just as the concept of water cannot exist without hydrogen and oxygen atoms).

Comrade, you really must try to read what we are saying - you can then still disagree with us, but don't pretend you are understanding and disagreeing with us when you make false claims about our position.

No-one argues that 'individuals don't exist' - of course, biologically, we all exist as individual beings.

ComradeAppleton wrote:
Second, it is somewhat useful to note that I exist as an individual - there is no other way for me to exist.

Yes, we all agree that you biologically exist separate from all of us, as do we from each other. I can't do a shit for you, not even under Communism.

The real issue is that we are discussing society (and its political dimensions), which exists at a different level to biology.

In the same way we can't discuss water at the atomic level of physics (hydrogen and oxygen separately as individual atoms) but must discuss it at the level of chemistry (hydrogen and oxygen in a certain relationship), so we can't merely discuss our biological existence when we want to understand our social existence. We exist at two levels, the biological and social.

If you continue to confuse the two levels, you can't understand politics, which is a social, not a biological, activity.

Society is about the relationships between us, not us as isolated physical beings.

And ideas, including your notions of 'individuality' as a political ideal, are produced within society and have a history.

Furthermore, we'd argue that political ideas have a class origin and basis, including your 'individualism'.

Political ideas can't be discussed at the level of biology. Existence is not the issue, but what and why we think the way we do.

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Sep 16 2012 11:52

LBird,

I agree that we shouldn't talk about biology because biology obviously shows (as you say) that every being is separate. But I do not accept your view that 'society' has any claim on me, or that 'other people' have any claim on me. Apparently your reasoning is that since we all grow up around other people we are now suddenly compelled to interact with these people and we have to forfeit our own self-hood for the sake of some 'social existence' (once again, this is simply sophistry on your part because 'society' does not exist). I do not accept that I owe anyone any debt or that I now have to work for anyone else just because they helped me in the past, or whatever. The only commitments I recognize are those I entered into voluntarily, not ones I was born into. A man who is born into slavery does not have to recognize the validity of his slave-masters, and a man born into 'society' does not have to work for it forever until the end of his days, slaving away and forfeiting the product of his labour for the good of other people (who he might not know or care about). If I like someone and find it useful to help them out - that's up to me. If I don't find you or anyone else at all useful, there is no way I am going to help you out of my own free will. I will not be anyone's pawn.

laborbund wrote:
We should kill the elderly, children, and disabled. No work, no food as they say.

You are vainly attacking a straw man - even Bakunin said that if someone does not contribute to the collective, he/she is not entitled to the benefits of being in that collective. Similarly I say that if you do not provide me with any benefit, you are not entitled to any benefits I may provide you. I am not a murderer, but I am not your slave. Or the slave of any 'group', whether it be the proletariat, the bourgeoisie, the elderly, the sick, the children, the disabled, blacks, whites, englishmen, women, heterosexuals, or any other group you can name. Your whining is all equally meaningless to me.

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Ethos
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Sep 16 2012 14:48
laborbund wrote:
Dear libcom,
I've known your for some years now. Like three or four years. That's like an eternity to me. So I feel like we're friends.

Best friends.

And when I see my friends doing something I think might end up hurting them, or going in the wrong direction I feel like I should tell them. I feel like I should say "hey pal, I don't think this the best thing for you to do." libcom, why are you debating with Comrade Appleton? Why would you put so much effort into arguing with someone who:

- continuously spins the content of your points into what he would've rather you said in order to not have to respond thoughtfully, or rethink anything

- often writes like he is in the nineteenth century

- wrote this:

ComradeAppleton wrote:
That's like saying that if I see someone being beaten up in the street and I don't defend that person, I am inevitably "assisting" the people who are beating him up. This is ridiculous beyond words. I am responsible only for those people who I want to be responsible for, not for everyone in my community. I am also only responsible for my own actions, not for the actions of others.

That's not a political position. That's a psychological problem. I was once on a thread where Comrade Appleton claimed that rape survivors who chose to use police intervention were "immoral".

Is this the type of person you wish to have an honest and principled debate with libcom? Comrade Appleton wants us to live in a callous, misanthropic world, where each of us would be profoundly isolated from the rest of our human family. Isn't that what we have already?

libcom, you're like my best friend. Please don't throw your life away debating a knock off brand Max Stirner.

I think laborbund wins the thread.

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Agent of the In...
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Sep 20 2012 20:08

ComradeAppleton,

Your response to LBird is quite repetitive, as is all of your other responses. You function like a propaganda machine. You continue to make all sorts of distortions and false claims about the views of many participants in this thread. Either your doing it on purpose, or you just don't understand our position and what we are trying to say. I think it's probably the ladder. You really lack understanding. And this lack of understanding has led to the development of your views being as contradictory as capitalism.

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Schwarz
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Sep 16 2012 20:13
LBird wrote:
I can't do a shit for you, not even under Communism.

tongue

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Sep 16 2012 23:21
Agent of the Fifth International wrote:
ComradeAppleton,

Your response to LBird is quite repetitive, as is all of your other responses. You function like a propaganda machine. You continue to make all sorts of distortions and false claims about the views of many participants in this thread. Either your doing it on purpose, or you just don't understand our position and what we are trying to say. I think it's probably the ladder. You really lack understanding. And this lack of understanding has to the development of your views being as contradictory as capitalism.

My sense is the exact opposite. All I keep getting is the same reply, which is completely invalid - the whole theory of me being part of society (which is not true because there is no such thing as society, and even if there was such a thing it has no right to exist and should be abolished). So it is mostly other people here who are being repetitive, not me. Perhaps it is true that I do not fully understand your position, but have you ever thought that this is not my fault? Maybe you should explain yourself better. I just hear the same mantra over and over. I do not accept this mantra (that society exists). Do you have any proof that society exists? Such proof doesn't exist of course, just as proof that god exists does not exist... Imaginary beings don't exist.

I think I understand the practical and psychological conclusions of communism and I never opposed them - all I oppose is that it is silly to say that universal communism is beneficial to all (because it clearly is not). So the simple answer is: make communism voluntary, and let the non-communists live in their own non-communist communes (or in isolation). But alas, this does not seem possible! Apparently even conceiving this thought of not wanting universal communism is bourgeois!
After this the slander begins... I don't understand exactly what problem everyone here has with non-communist organizations. True anarchists endorse any form of organization that is voluntary and benefits all members. Calling me bourgeois or capitalist is not an argument, it is slander.

The only reply I ever get to this is, once again, the same dogma: "you will not escape society, you are a product of society" and other such nonsense which, even if it was true, does not at all invalidate my position of not wanting to be part of this group called 'society'. If you want to organize society, feel free, just leave me out of your plans and don't consider me as part of your group!

As for me sounding like I'm living in the 19th century - if I do it is only because the criticisms levelled against communism in the 19th century are still valid and remain unrefuted. The individualist position stands. This is not to say that communism cannot be endorsed by individualists (some individuals may want to practice communism and be perfectly happy to do so). It just means that communists should recognize the ability and free choice of every independent person to determine for himself or herself what he/she wants in life and what is the best way of getting that personal fulfilment. For me communism just doesn't fit the bill.

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laborbund
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Sep 17 2012 03:39
laborbund wrote:
Can we go back to discussing, specifically, this odious position:

ComradeAppleton wrote:
Jason Cortez wrote:
yeah, those women who try to get rapists convicted are evil. etc...

I don't want to shock you too much, but using using slave-armies to fight your battles for you is evil. Just because the state has a monopoly on "justice" doesn't mean using it is good. You sleep with dogs, you wake up with fleas. You use the government, you work with the oppressor.

Yeah the cops are bad, but we live in the society we live in; we don't live in an anarchist society. How the fuck could you possibly feel justified heaping moral condemnation on rape survivors like this? No long treatise here, just wtf.

Never got an answer to this. Still WTF. I'm asking you Comrade Smeagol, what the fuck?

LBird
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Sep 17 2012 06:09
ComradeAppleton wrote:
Perhaps it is true that I do not fully understand your position, but have you ever thought that this is not my fault? Maybe you should explain yourself better. I just hear the same mantra over and over. I do not accept this mantra (that society exists). Do you have any proof that society exists? Such proof doesn't exist of course, just as proof that god exists does not exist... Imaginary beings don't exist.

Let's try again, then, to explain.

What, to you, constitutes 'proof' of existence?

It seems, once again, that for you 'proof' consists only of existence at the biological level. If so, then society doesn't exist. It is not a biological entity.

But then logically, if you reduce everything to their component parts, you can't admit the existence of 'water', only hydrogen and oxygen.

In reality, there are 'levels' to existence, beyond the atomic in physics or biological in humans.

Just as water has properties (eg. wetness) that don't exist at the separated atomic level, so society has properties (eg. politics) that don't exist at the separated individual level.

If you put the gases hydrogen and oxygen onto fire, an explosion results; but if you put them, as water, onto fire, the fire is extinguished.

If you are determined to only accept 'biology' as proof of existence, then you can't begin to understand, not only our arguments, but any political ideas or their origins, including your own.

'Individualism', as a political ideology, is not the same as 'individual' existence, as a biological being.

Hope this helps.

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Sep 17 2012 09:51
LBird wrote:
Just as water has properties (eg. wetness) that don't exist at the separated atomic level, so society has properties (eg. politics) that don't exist at the separated individual level.

I have to tell you that your physical analogies don't work. People can never combine in the way atoms combine - through physical networks of electrons (i.e. physical forces). All relations between people are completely contingent upon the will of the people involved, they can therefore sever and break relations at any given moment for any reason. There is no 'natural force' holding or forcing them together so that they cannot at any time split apart. It's true for example that two people can often perform a task that one person can't perform. But this does not mean that they are anything more than two people working together. They have no magically become 'a couple' or 'a unit'. And adding more people to the group does not make the abstraction any more real. As I said before, 'society' is just shorthand for a large group of people. It has no properties that the individuals themselves do not already have. This is because society can't actually 'do' anything. Only individuals can act and whether they act in unison or in opposition is up to their own choices. There is no natural law forcing them to behave in any particular way. All these Spencerian analogies of 'society as organism' where people who are left free combine perfectly together to form a coherent whole are completely unrealistic.
Furthermore, I can use your theory of 'society' to also justify the existence of such illusory concepts as a 'nation' or a 'tribe' or a 'state'. All these are, as much as society is, just abstractions which have been put into people's heads when they were children in order to make them behave a certain way toward a certain group of individuals. These concepts are all mechanisms of control. They are all designed to limit the individual's free will and his ability to choose his/her own path.

LBird wrote:
'Individualism', as a political ideology, is not the same as 'individual' existence, as a biological being.

Of course this is also true. But individualists have never thought of people in biological terms. After all, if I look at pure physics, in 3-4 years my body may not share any of the atoms and molecules with the body I have today. So physical reality is not, as you well know, the point of focus of individualist thinkers. The point of focus is the self, who Max Stirner called Der Einzige. You should understand that I am not a reductionist and I'm not reducing 'the human existence' to biology or physics. I am only attempting to, in my own small way, to continue to job of Stirner, Proudhon, and Armand - the men who liberated the individual from the tyranny of other people's ideas.

LBird
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Sep 17 2012 11:05
Comrade Appleton wrote:
All relations between people are completely contingent upon the will of the people involved, they can therefore sever and break relations at any given moment for any reason.

This is quite clearly untrue, given a moment's study of not only history, sociology or anthropology, but just the day-to-day life that we all experience.

ComradeAppleton wrote:
It's true for example that two people can often perform a task that one person can't perform.

This is as close as you've come to an understanding of the need to study relationships between people, rather than them as isolated individuals.

ComradeAppleton wrote:
I am only attempting to, in my own small way, to continue to job of Stirner, Proudhon, and Armand - the men who liberated the individual from the tyranny of other people's ideas.

Who's talking in abstractions now? The vast majority of 7 billion individuals on this planet are chained to an exploitative socio-economic system, which degrades, maims and kills millions every year, including young children and babies.

The only thing that you're doing, in your own small way, is ignoring reality in this real world, for an abstraction of 'individual liberty'.

Well, we've tried to explain. If you're happy with your liberal ideology, there's no more to be said.

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Sep 17 2012 12:46
LBird wrote:
Comrade Appleton wrote:
All relations between people are completely contingent upon the will of the people involved, they can therefore sever and break relations at any given moment for any reason.

This is quite clearly untrue, given a moment's study of not only history, sociology or anthropology, but just the day-to-day life that we all experience.

It is your opinion that is flawed, sadly. But this is because you are still an 'idea man' and you don't think of yourself as an individual. You think of yourself as a unit, or a pawn being rolled around by historical socio-economic forces. You are in an eternal struggle which will never end because it is not a struggle against other people, but instead a mythical 'class struggle' of ideas and abstractions. You live in a sad world which is determined by unstoppable mighty forces, a determinist world in which your choice does not matter and you are only a single particle - a proletarian.

You will never find peace this way, when all you do is look outside of yourself and let the world determine who you are. Just like a man who is religious suffers being determined by god, you will forever suffer being determined by society or history. Only a truly a-theist, a-social, and a-historical person can really be free. Don't you know that in all other cases you are just an instrument of ideology? And the ideologue is never happy until his ideal is achieved - which is impossible in the real world.

Why are you even worrying about 7 billion other people when you haven't even freed yourself? What possible credibility could you have with those 7 billion unfree individuals?

PS. Once again, throwing out labels like 'liberal' or 'bourgeois' is the hallmark of the ‘idea man’, one who lets himself be determined by ideals. You labels are absolutely meaningless.

LBird
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Sep 17 2012 13:38
ComradeAppleton wrote:
Only a truly a-theist, a-social, and a-historical person can really be free. Don't you know that in all other cases you are just an instrument of ideology?

Don't you realise that your first sentence here is an ideological statement?

Don't you realise that we are all 'instruments of ideology'?

The difference between liberals and Communists is that we examine ours, the better to understand it and its origins. Ironically, we are the ones who choose as individuals to employ an ideology of our own choice, unlike those who merely repeat the programming of our bourgeois society.

Whilst we have seen through the lies about 'free individuals' that we are all inundated with throughout our lives, you merely regurgitate the ideology of the rich.

As I've said before, you are free to ignore what has been said to you on this thread, but I must admit I don't understand your motivation in continuing to ask questions of Communists and then not trying to understand the answers.

You've not developed your answers in relation to what you've been told, whereas several of us have tried different tacks to explain things to you.

We know, you're an 'individual'. But you can't explain anything about our world from that stance. Perhaps it's become clear that you don't want to explain anything, but just repeat assertions.

I personally am only going to continue to discuss with you if you show some awareness of our replies, and develop your answers in opposition.

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Sep 17 2012 14:20

You are clearly entering into a fallacy by saying that the fact of not having an ideology is an ideology in itself. That's like saying that atheism is type of religion. The negation of ideology is not an ideology anymore than not believing in god means believing in a god. Not wearing a hat is not the same as wearing a hat. I think I am making myself quite clear on that point.

Your other point just sounds like some kind of strange whining: "we communists are the minority and challenge the evil current paradigm, therefore we are correct". The second does not follow from the first. You could be a minority or a majority and still be completely deluded. I think individualists are a much smaller minority and I am just as critical of the current paradigm as you are - so how exactly is that proof of either one of us being right or wrong? Your baseless assertion that you examine history, sociology, or whatever else it is you examine is just that, an assertion. It doesn't mean anything. I could examine a sick person for days and it still wouldn't do me any good because I'm not a doctor. It is similar in the case of any person and 'society'. You cannot examine 'it' and solve 'its' problems because all you are doing is going over abstractions in your head.

In case you haven't noticed, any 'programming' that goes on in society is exactly the opposite of what you claim. The world is filled with propaganda of solidarity, sharing, being nice to others, and all other useless neo-christian collectivist nonsense. You are taught by the machine that you have a duty to upkeep the machine. Good luck with that. As Stirner observed, where have you ever seen propaganda of the ego, of the self? It does not exist. We are told, on a daily basis, to serve the cause of god, the fatherland, the nation, the people, the family, society, the 'good', 'justice', 'freedom', but where is this 'programming of our bourgeois society' you speak of?

When you keep claiming that I do not want to understand your answers, you are clearly wrong. I have been trying to understand, but the answers you provide are so convoluted and unrealistic that I cannot accept them as serious attempts at answering me.
I don't understand how I can answer someone whose ideas are blatantly false, but who justifies them by saying that they are the result of 'historical' or 'social' analysis.

LBird wrote:
We know, you're an 'individual'. But you can't explain anything about our world from that stance.

This statement is the height of ignorance because it means you clearly don't know that I am an individual and that you yourself are also an individual. You do not understand who an individual is. You do not accept the basic fact of life, that the only way anything can be explained is from the point of view of the individual. A liberated individual does not care about social forces or historical forces or all these strange processes you keep naming; the ego has no master.
Also, why are you speaking in the plural 'we'?

LBird
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Sep 17 2012 15:27
ComradeAppleton wrote:
You are clearly entering into a fallacy by saying that the fact of not having an ideology is an ideology in itself.

No, as usual you're ignoring what's being said. Either that, or you really don't understand.

We are not saying that there is a 'fact' of non-ideology.

We're saying that to claim to be non-ideological is itself an ideological claim.

You claim to be non-ideological, and we claim that you hold an ideological position.

Do try and keep up. There is no 'outside' of ideology. To claim that there is, is an ideological claim.

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Sep 17 2012 16:06
LBird wrote:
We are not saying that there is a 'fact' of non-ideology.

We're saying that to claim to be non-ideological is itself an ideological claim.

You claim to be non-ideological, and we claim that you hold an ideological position.

Do try and keep up. There is no 'outside' of ideology. To claim that there is, is an ideological claim.

Your view of life is really dark and depressing. Once again you repeat what you wrote previously, that:

LBird wrote:
Don't you realise that we are all 'instruments of ideology'?

I cannot believe any sane individual would want to live such an empty life devoid of all choice and action. What does it matter whether you are a tool of a slave-master or an ideologue? Both place the same demands on you. You are just a tool in their hands. In a war of ideologies no one can be victorious or satisfied until all others are dead. And then what? Even then it is ideology that wins, not you! You never existed, all you did was slave away for the idea, trying to embody it with all your being.

As for your rather silly thesis that 'non-ideology is ideology' all I can say is that it is laughable. No god is a god, non-red is red, intelligent is stupid, a dog is a cat, existence is non-existence, are all these statements true? Are you so convinced of your own righteousness that you will stop at nothing, even blatant self-contradiction? Do you have no sceptical instinct at all?

It may very well be that you have no individualist instinct in you either. You are a busy-body who looks only to other people, never to himself. Don't be so quick to judge, lest you be judged!

Renzo Novatore wrote:
Because every form of society, born from the fragments of the old one that fell resoundingly into the void, has the conviction that it is the only perfect one. And it is precisely this dogma of perfection that drives to be so utterly reactionary toward the restless Rebel who does not at all intend to bow before the new God

Well, I guess you have your road. Follow the other sheep. You already speak of yourself in the plural - very appropriate in your case. Keep shouting, but no one will listen. The world doesn't need more ideologues or their fanatical followers.
I will forever remain the Rebel.

radicalgraffiti
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Sep 17 2012 16:21

Society is people and the social relations between them, for someone not to be part of society the would need to be completely isolated and never interact with anyone else. You're claim that society doesn't exist just makes no sense, there are people and they interact with each other, this interaction influences all people involved with it, even if they only observer passively what others are doing.

Ideology is sets of ideas, beliefs etc, you clearly exhibit these and so have ideology, the idea the people can be free or independent of ideology is its self a part of modern liberal ideology.

You are completely enveloped by society and ideology. But that is not in itself a bad thing, the problem is the specific form of society and the kind of ideology.

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ComradeAppleton
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Sep 17 2012 17:37
radicalgraffiti wrote:
Society is people and the social relations between them

Excellent! So we finally admit the society is just a group of people! Nothing mystical about it after all! And no, I do not have to be part of society any more than you have to be part of the citizenry of the state or the people of the nation. Any group which can be entered can also be gotten rid of. I wonder why communists scoff at states and nations, but remain so attached to their own Moloch, 'society'.
Do other people's actions have an effect on me? Sure. Does that mean I am now in some mystical union with them, from which I cannot escape? No. The sun also has an effect on me, but I am not part of the sun. I have no obligations towards the sun and the sun has no claims on me. So too with other people - they may affect me but I am not theirs too demand anything from. If they do try to demand anything I will laugh at them, as I would laugh at the sun if it told me to slave away for its sake.
So let's just define society as a group of people and not get into any determinist and absolutist analysis which I expect would be your next step. I do not care about abstractions. People I can talk to, individually. Society is a god for the humanists. And I am certainly not a humanist. I can only echo Stirner when he says that the fall of peoples and of humanity will be the signal of my elevation.

radicalgraffiti wrote:
Ideology is sets of ideas, beliefs etc, you clearly exhibit these and so have ideology, the idea the people can be free or independent of ideology is its self a part of modern liberal ideology.

Once again a step forward. So any idea I may have becomes part of my ideology? I can happily subscribe so such a definition. My love of animals is part of my ideology and so is the fact I would love to eat some pancakes for lunch tomorrow. My ideology changes from moment to moment as my beliefs, wants, needs, and whims change. Maybe I'll have sandwiches instead of pancakes. In other words - this is not an ideology at all in the classic sense of the word, it is simply my personality - my self. As such it is unique and indefinable. It can never be shared and can never encompass more than one person at a time. To say that I 'share' ideology with someone would be a meaningless statement. Yes, I can accept this definition of ideology, which is really what I have been speaking of when I talked about non-ideology. Nihilism in its purest form, the anti-ideology.

Now that we are on the same page we could discuss communism on its merits as a practice, not as an abstraction or some 'great future' or a goal for all. I happily endorse communism in some relations! But saying that communism is 'good' is simply a lie. It is not any better or worse than any other model of interaction.

For the individualist communism has one fatal flaw - it requires organization. A communist who is not an idealist (not a believer in the new god, communism) will leave others well enough alone. But what I've noticed from a lot of communists is the exact opposite. They are unwilling to let anyone be self-determined. Why not just say: we like communism and will live in such a way, and you all live in whatever way pleases you! That would be too individualist for you, would it not? Too liberal, too bourgeois?

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Agent of the In...
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Sep 17 2012 19:11
ComradeAppleton wrote:
I think individualists are a much smaller minority and I am just as critical of the current paradigm as you are - so how exactly is that proof of either one of us being right or wrong?

Really? You think “individualists” are a much smaller minority? Have you seen how many votes Ron Paul had in the primaries? Do you know how many people have read Rand’s Atlas Shrugged?

ComradeAppleton wrote:
In case you haven't noticed, any 'programming' that goes on in society is exactly the opposite of what you claim. The world is filled with propaganda of solidarity, sharing, being nice to others, and all other useless neo-christian collectivist nonsense.

Where in the universe do you live? Avatar? You must be smoking something.

ComradeAppleton wrote:
I cannot believe any sane individual would want to live such an empty life devoid of all choice and action. What does it matter whether you are a tool of a slave-master or an ideologue? Both place the same demands on you. You are just a tool in their hands. In a war of ideologies no one can be victorious or satisfied until all others are dead. And then what? Even then it is ideology that wins, not you! You never existed, all you did was slave away for the idea, trying to embody it with all your being.

This is just full of crap. Nobody is saying we should become tools of ideology, as if that’s everything. Ideologies are born within the material realm, under specific conditions. And in most cases, they can have a class dimension, as someone else here on this thread mentioned before. They can encompass good ideas or bad ideas; ideas that everyone is not going to agree with. Whether or not you agree with our position, or whether or not we agree with yours, all we are trying to say (and certainly LBird) is that you have to be conscious of these ideas.

ComradeAppleton wrote:
As for your rather silly thesis that 'non-ideology is ideology' all I can say is that it is laughable. No god is a god, non-red is red, intelligent is stupid, a dog is a cat, existence is non-existence, are all these statements true?

You just continue with your ignorance here, which is just completely shameful. And after repeating more ignorance, you write:

ComradeAppleton wrote:
So let's just define society as a group of people and not get into any determinist and absolutist analysis which I expect would be your next step.

You’re the perfect example of someone who is deterministic and absolutist. You only want to talk about the “individual”. You want other peoples to fall, and yourself to elevate supreme above all others. Your whole sun analogy demonstrates your determinism; pulling out the most ridiculous step forward in trying to prove that no one has a claim on the “individual”. First of all, no one here made a claim on any “individual”. You say you do not care about abstractions. You need to go back and check all of your posts. You talk within sheer abstractions. You even admit; for you the only truly liberated “individual” is one who is “a-theist”, “a-social”, and “a-historical”. You allow yourself to be drowned with the worst of ideology. You don’t consider (or look critically) at anything that presents itself as reality.

ComradeAppleton wrote:
But saying that communism is 'good' is simply a lie. It is not any better or worse than any other model of interaction.

For the individualist communism has one fatal flaw - it requires organization.

This proves once and for all that you do consider “organization” in and of itself as a bad thing, or as you say, a “fatal flaw”. As for what you wrote afterwards, I wouldn’t mind if you go your own way. I don’t know who would suggest otherwise. If you think communism is a bad way of organizing an economy, what makes you think a true “market” would be better? You’re an idealist; plain and simple. You have the whole concept of idealism totally confused; detached from its true meaning. Communists, including myself, are materialists. You seem to have been offended when we rightfully labeled you as an idealist, so now you’re just trying to turn it and all of our arguments around, so you can label us as “idealists”. Just pitiful. Spinning things like Bill O' Reilly on Fox News.

LBird
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Sep 17 2012 19:18
ComradeAppleton wrote:
radicalgraffiti wrote:
Society is people and the social relations between them

Excellent! So we finally admit the society is just a group of people!

Don't words and logic play any part in your thinking?

radicalgraffiti writes about 'people and relationships'; you read 'just people'.

Can't you understand that relationships can vary?

Two people facing each other is different to two people facing away from each other. The relationship is an independent variable, a separable consideration from seeing 'just' the two people.

Except in your strange, isolated, uncomprehending universe, ComradeJanus.

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Sep 18 2012 10:04

Since I don't want to be writing an essay here I'm just going to answer your main points without putting much emphasis on details.

Agent of the Fifth International wrote:
Really? You think “individualists” are a much smaller minority? Have you seen how many votes Ron Paul had in the primaries? Do you know how many people have read Rand’s Atlas Shrugged?

If you think the people who vote for Ron Paul and read Atlas Shrugged are real individualists you really must not understand individualism at all. Most of these people are idealists of the worst kind, not to mention the huge numbers of righteous Christian crusaders among them. They bow before god, they bow before 'law' (and their magical piece of paper, the constitution), and they bow before absolutist notions of life and property. The Randians pray to Rand as if she was their god. I can clearly tell you have never talked to these people - they are mindless and completely possessed by their ideas. One good thing I could say about them is that a lot of them (this is not true for the Randians) would leave me alone and not interfere in my life is I didn't interfere with them. Other than that, there is a chasm between individualist anarchists and Christian conservatives. By the way, here in England there are a lot more communists than there are Randians, so it's only America that your argument is applicable for smile

Agent of the Fifth International wrote:
Where in the universe do you live?

Where did you ever see any pro-egoist propaganda? I haven't seen any really. On the other hand the whole idea of 'public good' is everywhere. Other than crude materialism, which has absolutely nothing to do with individualism and does appear in a lot of advertising, I do not know what you could be talking about. Meanwhile the whole point of public school and university has been to produce little robots to work for the machine - never for themselves. Just say the word egoism and see what a reception you will get from the average person! Individualism and self-interest are rejected everywhere in favour of phony ideals like 'solidarity', 'charity', or 'responsibility for others'. Society dominates the dialogue, the individual is hardly ever mentioned.

Agent of the Fifth International wrote:
Whether or not you agree with our position, or whether or not we agree with yours, all we are trying to say (and certainly LBird) is that you have to be conscious of these ideas.

I am aware that people with ideologies and people who have been indoctrinated to never trust their own self exist everywhere. I am surrounded with these morons. The fact is, however, that I do not care for them in the slightest. The job of the individualist is to question and critique all customs, dogmas, and fixed ideas. With each criticism there is hope that some inner scepticism will be awakened within other people which might lead them to discard their silly abstractions. That is what happened to me, so it might also happen to others.

As for calling me deterministic and absolutist - you can't be serious when you say such things. I am anything but that. I am not at all concerned with historical progress or absolute limits and barriers.

Since you clearly don't understand the individualist position (which is, in reality, no position at all, just continued critique) I recommend you read some articles on the subject. Perhaps it is my fault - I am not the most eloquent of people. There is some good stuff, although in limited supply, on the http://theanarchistlibrary.org/.