If you have "no place to go," come here!


Indeed, just saying.

You've got transparency, that shit doesn't happen. Just saying.

You optimize for all walks of life, that shit doesn't happen. Just saying.

UPDATE And in the long form, IOZ nails it.

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DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

I hope you give up on OO. They have signed a suicide pack and you can't stop them, but you can give your talents to organizations more worthy of them.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on


I just don't see any effort at mass organizing not having this problem, transparent or not. Because it simply reflects how our society is ordered. You can "optimize" all you want for all walks of life, but patriarchy is still the culture the people doing the optimizing come from and the people participating come from (and all walks of life come from). I think the point Ioz was making is not that this is a problem with anarchists, but rather anarchists suffer from the same problem here as everyone else. And it sucks and it needs to change, but that's been true for generations and I'd be very wary about promising that on top of everything else you have some magic process that will change it. If it were as easy as "optimizing", it would have been done long ago, no?

Submitted by lambert on

I agree with your interpretation of IOZ's post.

And I'm not saying that one can optimize patriarchy away in a general assembly through process changes. (That would be like claiming that Ghandi fixed all of India's problems, as opposed to winning a non-violent campaign.)

However, there's a difference between optimizing for the fit, the fleet, the young, the male, and those without "hostages to fortune" -- which is what violence advocacy does -- and optimizing for participation by "all walks of life," including women, elders, those who have work, those who cannot afford to be arrested, and so forth. Which is what a non-violent strategy optimizes for.

The first virtually guarantees the frat boy-like behavior Cagle describes; the second at least opens up the possibility of ameliorating it -- as with the "progressive stack," for example.

UPDATE In other words, what kind of indication is it that a problem that's well-known and society-wide isn't addressed?

Submitted by blakey on

BDBBLUE or whatever is correct. This is primarily for young it always every time. War, class or otherwise, is a young mans's game for the reasons Lambert listed.

The reason revolution--especially those with a violent character--"optimize" for young men is because they are the most useful for this particular thing. They have nothing to loose. They are also the strongest and most willing to give their lives for an "ideal."

"optimizing" for non-violence optimizes for the casual--those who are not 100% committed. It favors those who, when it comes down to it, are more likely sell out or be bought off. Maybe this is a good thing. It definitely makes atrocities less likely.

But "optimizing" for young men make a movement stronger, sharper, more mobile and durable. Whether this makes you more powerful and thus more likely to "succeed" depends on what you want to achieve and also the strength and character of your enemies.

Sacrifice violence--real or implied--deny young men their proper role, and your movement looses an important edge.

jumpjet's picture
Submitted by jumpjet on

And it is a question that we should ask ourselves at every juncture. Shit, forget us- we're a bunch of people posting on the internet. It's a question the people on the ground at Occupations should ask themselves at every juncture.

What do you want?


Or revolution?

Because the latter will always be more exclusive than the former.

Submitted by lambert on

If "the revolution" is a circle of young men abusing a woman, count me out.

It's always possible to make things worse, right? I'm a little unclear on why "revolution" is good in itself. The word that I think RanDomino would use is "fetishization."

* * *

[Snark deleted; I see from below Blakey was making a subtler point.]

jumpjet's picture
Submitted by jumpjet on

The whole point of a revolution is to completely abolish old structures, to create something other in their place. "See, I am doing something new!"

Which is why any good revolution should challenge all established parameters of power- including patriarchy. A revolution should make those in possession of privilege, of any kind, uncomfortable. It should make the loss of that privilege a real possibility, even a necessary outcome of the change. It should be willing to make even its proponents- even me uncomfortable.

So looked at in that light, feminism is revolutionary, because it forces even someone like me, who does not see himself as a misogynist, to consider my privilege as a man, the benefits I accrue from that without being aware.

Women, I think, should want a revolution- not a fake one, a real one, one that challenges even the deepest power structures of our world. And I, if I truly claim to want a revolution, should be willing to give up the advantages I accrue from the current order. That's a very painful thing to do, from my position. I'm not sure I truly want it yet. But I want to want it. So as Augustine did, I shall pray, O Lord, make me want to want to change. I shall try to force a change in my own worldview first, and then hope to change others in turn.

RanDomino's picture
Submitted by RanDomino on

The existing political and economic systems are fundamentally broken. You can make a list of a thousand suggestions for reform, but half of them will be insufficient for solving problems of poverty, homelessness, hunger, and social alienation, and the other half won't be implemented in this system. If systemic change is necessary, that's a revolution.

Submitted by lambert on

... of any revolutionary movement is good, right? The history of the 20th Century argues very strongly against that notion.

Submitted by lambert on

You wrote: "If systemic change is necessary, that’s a revolution."

Nobody said that a revolution that netted out positive was a given, even if it's "necessary." When I instance millions dead, I think the burden's on you to show a better outcome, because the downside is so great. ("You think things are bad now? They can always get worse!")

Which is why pre-figuration is important, at least to me. The Bolsheviks pretty much ruled as they campaigned, right?

RanDomino's picture
Submitted by RanDomino on

I didn't make any claim about revolutions being inherently good. When the Nazis took over Germany, that was a revolution too. But the thing is, the previous situation was untenable, as is ours- one way or another, there was/is going to be some kind of revolution. I would prefer that it be a good kind, and from what I've seen reactionaries and fascists have historically had no better allies than middle-class liberals who tried to prevent it.

Revolution also doesn't necessarily mean forming a Party and having a coup d'etat. There's no real chance of that happening in the near future, and that's good because that just ends up in a Party dictatorship. Prefiguration is a great strategy. Andrej Grubacic talks about it often; he says "life despite capitalism". The "Grey Market" of the Agorists is an example- I particularly like how their plan (although capitalist in practice) builds economic power, which IMO is the basis for all power. Prefiguration is a reason Consensus is used by Anarchists, and hence OWS.

RanDomino's picture
Submitted by RanDomino on

IOZ's article is well-written bullshit. As if it's not a problem that's acknowledged within the Anarchist milieu. There's even a word for it, "manarchy". So it's awesome that Anarchism gets slandered and forever branded with a problem that's being worked out. I also think it's great how you re-posted this tweet which basically contains no actual information, for no other reason than that it is dirt on Occupy Oakland.

Submitted by lambert on

The information in the post isn't "actual."

Actually, I posted it because it indicates serious problems in OO. I'm curious as to why you'd want to shoot the messenger, instead of trying to fix the problem.

NOTE "For no other reason" ascribes motives that are false. Smearing is "OK for me but not for thee," I suppose.

RanDomino's picture
Submitted by RanDomino on

What message? She didn't describe what happened, and you didn't ask or try to find out more. You just repeated without putting in the slightest effort by doing any due diligence. It doesn't matter if what she said is true; it probably is. I'm only questioning whether your irresponsibly uncritical post was the result of sloppiness or malice.

Submitted by blakey on

Echoing the other comment...there were no facts presented, no account given, so you have no idea what happened Lambert. This is post is sloppy and irresponsible.

More broadly what do you mean by hype-masculinity? And what do you hope to accomplished by alienating aggressive young men?

Or a better question--what do you think you can accomplish without the support of 'angry' young men who are fed up with the system?

Young men with nothing to loose are a revolution's bread and butter. You need them on your side because they will do the fighting and the shit work of the 'revolution.' They will be your most devoted members and most willing to sacrifice and risk themselves for the 'cause.' History shows us this.

The assertive impulse thats makes them challenge an unjust system and risk everything is the same impulse that pushes them to be aggressive sexually. They are one and the same. Masculinity embodies both creation and destruction in this way.

Now there very well could have been sexual misconduct--we don't know, there was no information presented. But your knee jerk attack on "masculinity" ignores the character and composition of almost all successful revolutions. You and others on this sight need to start trying to harnessing masculinity for good, instead of shaming aggressive men of your movement and demonizing 'masculinity' in general.

Submitted by lambert on

Then we'd have clear information in real time. Of course, OO has decided against that and, as DCBlogger has pointed out, one clear outcome of that is that it makes women vulnerable.

As it is, I've got a tweet from somebody who's been doing a lot of reporting, and isn't from the mainstream media. Works for me, and lines up with the word for plenty of sources.

I understand she's not wearing your jersey, but frankly, considering the shit that OO diehards are likely to throw at her -- and taking into the account the assault on Tim Pool* -- I think she's showing some courage in making the statement. Particularly considering the presence of violence advocates at OO, eh?

If there's a knee jerking here -- or for that matter, anything jerking -- it's not mine.

UPDATE And the threats of violence made by "young idealists" against so-called "snitches."

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

we have to accept a certain level of male sexual aggressiveness -- the two are not segregatable or ameliorable.

If so, then count me out. If the cost of whatever we imagine will be achieved by revolution is a shrug and acceptance of sexual assault as inevitable side effect -- then it's too high.

Let's grant that what we do want is a revolution, and also grant that the following is true:

Young men with nothing to loose are a revolution's bread and butter. You need them on your side because they will do the fighting and the shit work of the 'revolution.' They will be your most devoted members and most willing to sacrifice and risk themselves for the 'cause.' History shows us this.

IOZ's response (I'm imagining) would be that while it may be true that young men are revolution's bread and butter etc, that does not mean that the particular young men IOZ (and Lambert, perhaps) are referring to are those same young men** who actually fuel revolutions. You cannot conclude from the fact that some young men fuel revolutions, that any young men will fuel revolutions. IOZ's point is that the particular group of men under discussion are not young men with nothing left to lose, and as long as they are blind to their own privilege as men -- highly resistant to even considering such -- they are not the men who will be fueling the revolution. ("then your ersatz philosophy is mere affectation, and your protests to the contrary are lies")

* I don't actually know that "we" (however defined) do want a revolution

** IOZ does not actually include age in the analysis.

HeroesGetMade's picture
Submitted by HeroesGetMade on

This is the very reason that I don't hold out much hope for the Occupados, despite having a great deal of sympathy for their cause, and belonging to the biggest demographic in the 99%:

If this most ancient and unyielding form of human inequity is of no interest to your philosophy of the destruction of all authority, then your ersatz philosophy is mere affectation, and your protests to the contrary are lies.

Regime change really does start at home, if at all.

In spite of getting it nearly 99% right, there is this one baseless assertion about most men:

It is true that not every man rapes; indeed, most do not.

There really is no way to know the true fraction still actively engaged in this manner of medieval occupation, other than to really listen to people who've been raped and pay particular attention as to how it came about.