Dull Dead Drones
I'm writing this mostly as a way to reflect on the vapidity of city life, the growing meaninglessness of the signifier “Anarchist”, and the lack of imagination that is endemic in so many self-described anarchists.
This final point has seemingly been the case for decades now, so much so that new anarchists are not even being shown how to dream anymore and are instead introduced to an Anarchism made up of stagnant models and processes (also militant pantomiming, guilt-trips, and so many fucking margarine words) which are said to have worked in some different context, though I'd also contest the idea that they “worked”.
These mainstream definitions of anarchism also mostly acknowledge the realization of desire as a reward that will only come after the work is done, after the (barf) revolution, after the community is safe, after every one is equal. Of course it's all well and good to point out that this is an extremely ahistoric interpretation of Anarchism, and of course this is revealed just in reading Emma again, but I don't believe that a lack of historical awareness is necessarily to blame. Often post-leftists identify stories of the Zapatistas, the CNT, or activist narratives as the point of departure and as the locus of this perspective but while social/liberal/leftist/trapped/boring Anarchists are still heavily drawing from these tales, what's perhaps equally to blame for producing the perspective is the sad reality of everyday life.
Be it due to fear, dependency, lack of imagination, or something else related to living deep in drudgery there are strong pressures to “do something”, especially things that are intelligible to (and ultimately for) the mass society. Things that are based on the morality plays of civilization and that encourage a righteousness rivaling that of colonizers before, with a pension for conversion to match, with little different between them and any other civilian beside slight aesthetic tweaks and a jargon that only re-labels terms already present in the dominant culture.
We can allude to what I think lies close to the core of this issue by considering the following; regarding those whose lives are full of dull food, dull socializing, dull time alone, dull entertainment, dull ideas, dull sex, dull sleep, what fuel is there for our kind of fire?
When every injustice, every scenario, every moment is thrust into ones face and forced to be considered no wonder it's so rare for people who are so completely suffocated to desire an enjoyable and anarchic life! How could there be a recognition of the agency of others when they feel no agency themselves? When we give in to the expectation that Anarchism should be a system competitive with the cops, civilization, hospitals, nuclear power, grocery stores, and not something far far away from all that we have already lost it's meaning. That being said I am very sympathetic (solidarity lol!) as it has become very difficult to find time to dream and play especially in cities that bludgeon you with their giant financial battleaxe. When the scramble to survive is so desperate no wonder people have come to a vapid vanity, a duped egoism, skin the same gray that is reflected in the tall buildings around them.
As sad as it makes me to see them, I reject the impulse to try and convince people of anything. When you tell someone how to think, all you are really doing is teaching them how to be a follower. In writing this I am realizing my path forward looks like moveing on from those who I share nothing but a word with, and to instead look for people who want to enjoy stronger wine! Madder music! The world is ending so let's dance!