I’m caught somewhere between a schizoid split and a state of ambivalence towards discussions around eco-extremism and ITS.
On the one hand, as an anti-civ eco-anarchist they both fascinate me, as a group and movement who are doing things that are worth the life energy to think about; I find the expectation that they should adhere to Euro-American moral aesthetics ugly and racist, under the guise of liberal-political-correctness; and I find many of their writings beautiful and moving, with some similarities with my personal approach to anti-civ anarchist praxis.
On the other hand, I find much ugliness in their approach and rhetoric; find their fetishising “violence” crass and from a misunderstanding between the difference between destruction-as-creation and violence-as-violating; their “misanthrope” to be a dualism that deifies humanity to the level of demons (though perhaps demons is the wrong term, as Abe Cabrera (ITS’s spokesmen for those of us reliant on the English language) worships demons, in his inversion of Catholicism – which is like his inversion of Marxism – but I don’t want to comment on him, as I think that, for now, I’ve said enough); their Otherising of the wild/wild-Being; and many other aspects of ITS and eco-extremism.
When I read Atassa: Readings in Eco-Extremism I found much the was beautiful and much that was ugly, but I’d recommend it to anyone involved in or interested in eco-radical philosophy and politics. This journal, which was edited by the aforementioned ITS translator, was published by Little Black Cart.
Now, I have a lot of love for LBC and many of the projects their members are involved in. I’ve enjoyed a number of titles they have released and distribute. And they published my book. Through LBC I’ve connected with other writers and individuals who are brilliant.
So you can imagine my personal feelings towards the bashings they’ve received lately.
From being included in polemics, aimed at bashing ITS, to being bashed for responding to individuals destroying copies of books they made by hand, and more examples; LBC are now viewed as some kind of cosmic evil for simply acknowledging that this movement, which has come out of the green anarchist anti-civ project, is worth acknowledgment and discussion within anarchist discourse. LBC released a statement, responding to the call to arms made against them, which covered their position on the matter, but it seems that the hate they are receiving won’t quit.
In this piece criticising Atassa and LBC’s recent issue of Black Seed, the bashing continues. Now I confess, I didn’t finish reading the piece – partially because it was just so boring, but equally because, while I think ITS and Eco-Extremism are worthy of criticism, this piece was more about bashing individuals who comment on their movement, rather than critiquing the movement itself – and I’m not gonna just sit and read people I personally value being bashed in the ugly way this piece seeks to bash them.
One of these individuals is pagan poet and philosopher Ramon Elani, whose writings I have often enjoyed the beauty of. I’ve spoken to Elani a number of times through Skype, and enjoyed discussing aesthetic differences, regarding spirituality vs philosophy, politics and personal life stuff. Elani is a thoroughly beautiful individual and does not deserve the bashing he receives in the piece, which thoroughly misunderstands a lot of what it seeks to criticise him for – if anarchist discourse could get past name calling each other we might have a better time and quit hating each other. I’ve included Elani’s blog in my list of suggested materials on this site and am disappointed that people who share in the same struggle that I engage with are reducing the struggle retaining the narrative of in-fighting and insults.
Now please don’t get me wrong – I have no issue with being critical of groups and individuals who deserve criticism. But witch hunts are an ugly dogmatic narrative, which perpetuate the same processes that keep civilisation going. So my personal desire is for this LBC bashing to end (which probably won’t happen) and for anarchists to quit hating on ITS and Eco-Extremism for surface level vulgarities and to engage critically and intelligently with a movement, which is in many ways more interesting that our own – for the time being.
So love for friends, contemporaries, cohorts and the rest.
Death to the Leviathan and Gilgamesh.
Feral and iconoclastic dances should be beautiful, not boring.