I am working on a deadline, an article on Venezuela nearly done and two other projects still waiting in the wings. I have two clients eagerly desiring candle work and as of this writing my Ancestor Altar still needs to be given offerings. Instead I’m going to sit down with my tenth beer and answer one of the most malformed and idiotic critiques I have yet to lay eyes on.
In this world there is only one crime, that of getting caught, and getting caught being stupid surely ranks among the most grievous of that offense. I will be responding to a Marxist critique of Egoist-Communism from an individual whose read nothing I’ve written, never glanced at Stirner, and bases all their petulant screeching on one podcast I was in.
This isn’t even a good Marxist critique of individualism, nor is it anything groundbreaking. Confronted with pure stupidity I’m not going to argue, I’m going to educate, like you might a five-year old that keeps pissing the bed.
Let me start off this godawful assignment by apologizing to the Marxists reading this. I’m not pigeonholing you, these are actually the words someone wrote in some half-assed way to…I don’t know. Yell at me? The whole thing came off as the work of a naked homeless man who might scream outside my window, his dick waving endlessly in the wind as he cackles paragraph after paragraph on “the immortal science” of whatever the fuck. To be honest I’m only responding because I’ve been asked to by a friend. Normally this is the shit that gets deleted immediately.
So here goes. 11th beer. Now, what was alleged?
“Who else would attempt to reanimate the ideological corpse of Stirner, so thoroughly buried by Marx so many years ago in The German Ideology? There is no need to address at face value the ideology the learned Bones professes to hold: Saint Max’s idealism has long been superseded by Marxism. No need to re-invent the wheel!”
So…y-you wrote an entire rambling essay on Stirnerist thought…but Stirner is so defeated that examining any of his points is a waste of time. I…Jesus, I don’t even know what to make of that. You literally, as the thesis statement for this entire excursion, imply that Stirner is so defeated his ideas cannot be considered. Every word you write after that is literally you proving yourself wrong. You’re considering them.
Also calling Stirner an idealist is like calling Lao Tzu a legalist. It’s a non-sequitur. You’re just mashing words together and calling it a “critique.” His entire book is arguing AGAINST idealism in all its forms: “right,” “wrong,” “state,” “the people.”
On another note, all your claims are factually false. Please read “Pure Black: An Emerging Consensus Among Some Comrades?” for one reporter’s multinational take on where Anarchism is going. I could point to Rojava as well, where Bookchin seems to hold more water than Marx, or literally any of the hundreds of FAI cells currently operating worldwide. I can also point historically to the Autonomists and the Situationists, or even further back the followers of Galleani and Ravchol that made headlines in the early 1900’s. Marx has never been the settled answer to everything, a fact that Dengism practically screams.
The writer is being disingenuous, and admits as much. Next point please.
“It should really be more than enough, additionally, that the Doctor identifies as a ‘post-leftist.’ He admittedly rejects leftism. He is right-wing, he’s a rightist. He may have deluded himself into thinking that he is post-ideological, that he has outgrown’ politics, but we shouldn’t indulge with him in such a fantasy. But here we are.”
The author cannot provide a single quote where I have done so. The author, much like a coke-addicted baby in rehab, is incapable of looking up what “post-left” means. It is not a rejection of “leftism”, but rather a critique of it, and one that moves outside traditional means. Cue calling me a “rightist,” or said another way “person whom I don’t like very much and want to make seem scary.”
He begins with a concept he calls “workerism,” by which he means that Marxism somehow reduces an individual down to their status as a worker. It should not be necessary to point out the sheer vulgarity of this idea. Bones betrays his absolute ignorance of Marx in this position alone. The identity, the status, the class of the “worker” comes about not because Marxists will it to be, but because that is the nature of the capitalist system.
It is also the existence currently experienced by human beings living in Venezuela and China or under the Soviet Union and East Germany in the past. That’s the problem. The same people who claim to be fighting for the “liberation” of the worker only see them as a class object whereas we seek to destroy class society itself. We seek communization:
“Those who developed the theory of communisation rejected this posing of revolution in terms of forms of organisation, and instead aimed to grasp the revolution in terms of its content. Communisation implied a rejection of the view of revolution as an event where workers take power followed by a period of transition: instead it was to be seen as a movement characterised by immediate communist measures (such as the free distribution of goods) both for their own merit, and as a way of destroying the material basis of the counter-revolution. If, after a revolution, the bourgeoisie is expropriated but workers remain workers, producing in separate enterprises, dependent on their relation to that workplace for their subsistence, and exchanging with other enterprises, then whether that exchange is self-organised by the workers or given central direction by a “workers’ state” means very little: the capitalist content remains, and sooner or later the distinct role or function of the capitalist will reassert itself. By contrast, the revolution as a communising movement would destroy — by ceasing to constitute and reproduce them — all capitalist categories: exchange, money, commodities, the existence of separate enterprises, the state and — most fundamentally — wage labour and the working class itself.”
This is why we are uniformly against a worker’s state. From Malatesta:
I think a little later on the author I’m responding to says I offended his religion or something…ah, here it is:
The Marxist view of history that he is probably referring to is historical materialism, which holds that the material conditions of man throughout history are driven by a dialectic of changing material conditions. To the infantile, this can apparently only be understood as “economics.” Economics, to be clear, is only a method of quantifying and measuring very shallow slices of this vast dialectic. There is much more in the material than the economic, not that Bones is capable of understanding either.
Your dialectic does not exist. It doesn’t, no more than the Nietzschean “Will to Power” does. You mistake a metaphor, a map, for the territory itself. It may be a great philosophical tool, but the dialectic is merely a metaphor. The anarchist regulates her life not according to the law, like the legalists, nor according to a given collective metaphysic or mystique, like the religious nationalists or socialists, but according to her own needs and personal aspirations. She is ready to make the concessions necessary to live with his comrades or her friends, but without making an obsession of these concessions.
“Bones also reveals a misunderstanding of what revolution is and what it seeks to accomplish. He claims that after the revolution, workers will still be doing the same menial, alienating, and unproductive work they were doing before the revolution..”
This is literally the historical experience of both the Soviet Union, all the Soviet satellite states, China, Brazil, Venezuela, Nicaragua, literally anywhere Marxists have taken power. Every historical example may have increased the quality of life as a worker, but you still had a manager, still had a hierarchy, and still had an entire “system” with laws, cops, and judges to answer to. Unless you think working in a factory ISN’T menial or alienating, then by all means go ahead.
There would still be work, of course, but people would relate to it much differently. It would not be menial, alienating, or exploitative, and it would directly correspond with useful social production..
How? The author makes the assertion without any historical or current examples. This can be dismissed as, and I’m using the technical term here, unadulterated bullshit. His claim is you’ll work the same but that it just some how becomes magically not as bad.
Everything Bones said in his so-called “post-leftist Egoist critique of Marxism” could be said with equal conviction by a khaki-clad young Republican, a Rand-toting right-libertarian, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, or any other rightist.
Again the author is disingenuous. These ideas have been in the Left since the 1970’s. Please read:
— An A to Z of Communisation
“Contrary to what his early writings envisaged – the abolition of work – Marx thought work would be completely different once everyone worked. When he wrote that work would become ‘not only a means of life but life’s prime want’, he was still aiming at a radical change of human existence, but thought to achieve this by putting production at the centre. The only way to go beyond work is for productive acts to be more than merely productive, for production to be part of life: then ‘life’s prime want’ will become the whole social activity. This is why we can speak of a non-economy.“
–28 Theses on Class Society
“The modern communist perspective – which does not wish to maintain the proletariat for eternity, but rather to sublate it; that does not want to distribute money more justly, but rather to transcend it; that does not wish to democratize the state, but rather to abolish it – appears ludicrous alongside the countless leftist attempts to re-functionalize these social forms in a more humane manner. But it is in no way utopian, since it merely carries out the objective con- tradictions of society: a society characterized simultaneously by the total socialization as well as the complete atomization of people; that engenders unprecedented wealth alongside indescribable misery; a society which is the product of all, yet which follows its own laws and eludes all control. In contrast to the academic left, the communist perspective refuses to repeat really existing reification in the realm of theory; whereas confused professors mystify society with terms like “power”, “structure”, and “discourse”, the communist perspective sees only the work of humans, determinate forms of social practice that can be transcended.”
“Writing in the middle years of the nineteenth century, Marx could not be expected to grasp the full consequences of his insights into the centralization of capital and the development of technology. He could not be expected to foresee that capitalism would develop not only from mercantilism into the dominant industrial form of his day—from state-aided trading monopolies into highly competitive industrial units—but further, that with the centralization of capital, capitalism returns to its mercantilist origins on a higher level of development and reassumes the state-aided monopolistic form. The economy tends to merge with the state and capitalism begins to “plan” its development instead of leaving it exclusively to the interplay of competition and market forces. To be sure, the system does not abolish the traditional class struggle, but manages to contain it, using its immense technological resources to assimilate the most strategic sections of the working class.”
—From Riot to Insurrection
“In the evolution of social contradictions over the past few years, certain tendencies have become so pronounced that they can now be considered as real changes.
The structure of domination has shifted from straightforward arbitrary rule to a relationship based on adjustment and compromise. This has led to a considerable increase in demand for services compared to such traditional demands as durable consumer goods. The results have been an increase in those aspects of production based on information technology, the robotisation of the productive sector, and the preeminence of the services sector (commerce, tourism, transport, credit, insurance, public administration, etc.) over industry and agriculture.”
—Communisation and Value-Form Theory
“The critical import of value-form theory is that it calls into question any political conception based on the affirmation of the proletariat as producer of value. It recognises Marx’s work as an essentially negative critique of capitalist society. In reconstructing the Marxian dialectic of the value-form, it demonstrates how the social life process is subsumed under — or ‘form-determined’ by — the value-form. What characterises such ‘form-determination’ is a perverse priority of the form over its content. Labour does not simply pre-exist its objectification in the capitalist commodity as a positive ground to be liberated in socialism or communism through the alteration of its formal expression…While it seems true and politically effective say that we produce capital by our labour, it is actually more accurate to say (in a world that really is topsy turvy) that we, as subjects of labour, are produced by capital.“
I need to drink more at this point. This doesn’t feel like an argument, or even a debate. I’m having a pretend conversation with a small poodle. Yet it goes on!
His talk about the “Union of Egoists” is particularly revealing. The ultimate form of such a Union? “Children playing a game,” Bones says. He goes on to mention a few more examples of a Union of Egoists, including Steven Soderbergh’s 2001 heist flick, Ocean’s Eleven. This is the level we are operating on: no analysis, no system, no understanding, just play and fantasy.
Unlike my Marxist comrades, I seek to speak to the people in a language they can understand. I used simple examples(such as Gofundme) to show how things can be done without ideology or specific social roles, actions where we are simply ourselves. The goal was to bring an everyday example to mind. If you want specific examples allow me to provide them for you:
Comiso, Sicily 1982–3
Bolivia 2000 — present
Kabyle region, Algeria 2001 — present
Argentina 2001 — ?
Basilicata, Italy, November 2003
Wildcat strikes in Italy, Winter 2003–4
To see this play out in something most Marxists are unfamiliar with, actual Class Warfare and revolutionary activity, please peruse the following news sites:
Act for Freedom Now
Dark Matter Publications
Earth First! US
Enough is Enough
Grecja w Ogniu
La Rebellion de las Palabras
Le Chat Noir Emeutier
Network of Revolutionary Cells
Noticias de la Guerra Social
Rote Hilfe CH
Sans Attendre Demain
Traces of Fire
What else ya got?
“Egoists merely channel the hyper-individualism of neoliberalism into a particularly incoherent mold and mistake themselves as profound. The internet, the ultimate neoliberal platform, is where these keyboard warriors derive their identities and their ideologies.”
Another blatant falsehood. I’m currently interviewing an Egoist that was at G20 and can point to the FAI as a militant army of Nihilist-Individualists. They’ve done more in 2 months than any “vanguard” I’ve seen. That’s just the present. For historical examples:
Might I also add that tactically the “vanguard” or party is old news and represents zero threat on the battlefield. Insurrectionary tactics however are currently the talk of military journals worldwide. Please read:
- Starting Your Own War to Get Free
- Stop Protesting and Become a Revolutionary: How to Join the FAI
- Asymmetric Strategies as Strategies of the Strong
- How the Weak Win Wars: A Theory of Asymmetric Conflict
- Insurgent Tactics in Southern Afghanistan 2005-2008
We’ll continue with the dribble.
“In the episode, Bones also betrayed his utter disbelief in mass uprising, in mass revolution. Bones fears and distrusts the masses. As he should!”
Incorrect. The traditional Leftist view is that masters are the ones that create slaves; for Egoist-Communists, on the contrary, slaves also create their masters. If the former were to stop obeying, the latter would disappear. We don’t intend to convert the exploited, but rather to excite them, to provoke them, to stir them up against the old world.
—Lone Wolves Are Not Alone
“Thus the socialist anarchists, while refusing the system, instead of destroying class identities and economy, speak their language. They speak of the overthrowing of the existent, without however uprooting from inside them the economic-centric logic. For us, as anarcho-individualists and nihilists, economy is not the key for liberation. Economy is a part of the problem and the problem itself. The only way to strike the heart of the problem is to destroy the economy and its distinctions and speak of human relations. The world will not become prettier or more free if we collectivize work but only if we blow up the relation of work and destroy its mentality, its ethics and culture. The same will happen with friendship, love, pleasure, the meaning of life itself.On the road for continuous anarchist insurrection we do not keep anything which holds us down on the past. We tear down the myths of the revolutionary subject, of the proletariat, of the eternal wait for the right objective conditions, the social likeness towards the population, this slow moving mass which with its inactivity stops us from breathing….”
—The Relevance of Max Stirner to Anarcho-Communists
“Clearly, socially oriented anarchists have been interested in Stirner’s ideas. They continue to be interested today, and for good reason. In a world where even revolutionaries too often find themselves lost among enemies of the individual and calls for self-sacrifice, the uncompromising egoism of Stirner is a breath of fresh air. So many communists, while rejecting God the Father, God the State, and God the Corporation, set up instead God the Community, a fearsome deity that Kropotkin called ‘more terrible than any of the preceding.’ For Stirner, as for the egoistic communist, these are all spooks. The communist egoist does not serve the People, the Masses, or any other spook. She serves herself, because she is part of the people, part of the masses. How can Humanity be happy when you and I are sad? As the self-described Marxist-Stirnerists of the Bay Area group For Ourselves observed, ‘Any revolutionary who is to be counted on can only be in it for himself; unselfish people can always switch loyalty from one projection to another. Furthermore, only the most greedy people can be relied on to follow through on their revolutionary project.'”
—Egoist-Communism: What It Is and What It Isn’t
“If we can’t, shouldn’t we work together? If we still can’t, shouldn’t we find others? And when we find them won’t they desire to own just as much of that property as we do? Why can’t we have individual indulgence with a joyous community life; why not lawlessness with the cause of social justice? I seek the whole me, not a sliver, and to find him I need friends and accomplices to work with. What somebody works ought to be owned by them, plain and simple, and I believe we’d be surprised how much coming together might free up our time for other pleasures.“
Insurrection is happening right now, all over the globe, and it’s only going to spread. The governments of the world are losing power and they know it. Pay attention to what Homeland Security has nightmares about. Hint: it isn’t the CPUSA.
Marxists are no closer to communism than they were when Marx was alive, and will forever remain an atheistic church of True Believers incapable of original thought. They scream for discipline, a codeword for obedience, because they fear what the working class is capable of. For the rest of us there are other potentials, ones I implore you to explore. Read these links, have some conversations, and get free because YOU desire it. Or said another way:
“Insurrection begins with the desire of individuals to break out of constrained and controlled circumstances, the desire to reappropriate the capacity to create one’s own life as one sees fit. This requires that they overcome the separation between them and their conditions of existence. Where the few, the privileged, control the conditions of existence, it is not possible for most individuals to truly determine their existence on their terms. Individuality can only flourish where equality of access to the conditions of existence is the social reality. This equality of access is communism; what individuals do with that access is up to them and those around them.”
I have work at 7 in the fucking morning and my wife is already pissed I spent this much time on this essay. 3,000 words of my life I will never get back, all for a person that never read anything I wrote or bothered to look beyond one podcast.
Goddamn you ignorant horsefuckers.