So what I am going to write here is going to require a great deal of tact and sensitivity on my part, and anyone reading this I ask to please leave prejudices aside. While I don’t feel a need or desire to be politically-correct, my desire is not to go on the offensive and offend, but to challenge, question and clarify.
From this I will move into what it is I am going to say and will be as honest and authentic as I can be.
I am, at this point in writing this, feeling abundantly aware of the words of Wittgenstein around the limits of a persons language being the limits of their world, and how language and discourse are tied to ideologies that penetrate our individual and collective lexicons, which leaves me with a feeling of pessimism around what I am about to write being read as I’d desire. This feeling of futility is an Absurdity that dominates my thought processes all too often, though I generally just see it as something to embrace and/or overcome. Today though, I am remembering the adage from Fight Club about how on a long enough time line the survival rate for everyone is zero – but I don’t want to get started on time and mathematically quantitative measuring right now.
Generally when I talk or write about ontological anarchism I am talking about the active destruction of situations, psycho-geographies, technologically constructed environments and other forms of geo-spatial territorialising that civilisation attempts to Form as bound totalities, totalitarian forms of arrangement; and the creation of new spaces, places, ecosystems, environments, alongside the release of repressed ones. But ontological anarchist praxis equally involves embracing amoralism, in the same way that egoist, individualist, nihilist, existentialist and other authentic anarchist ideologues do and have done – embracing the notion that there is no ontic-moral ought to aspire to and nothing that will provide us salvation from what-is. And as such, we are condemned to what-is and condemned to the personal responsibility of creating a what-is that we find desirable, through destroying that which we find personably undesirable in what-is – with personal desires being bound to the subjectivities of personal aesthetics.
For me, what I desire is what is wild and living, and I am utterly convinced that, when you deconstruct the means of mediating people from their desires and release the repressed energy of their being, that what people actually desire is what is wild and living – not the manifestations of desire, through internalising the ideology of this culture.
This is one of the reasons why amoralism leads me to eco-radical thought and practice, whereas most eco-radical thought comes from very moralistic arguments – whether it is the rights-based arguments of veganarchists, the anti-humanist misanthropy of eco-extremism, or those leftist moral arguments of many of the other eco-radical milieus, they’re predominantly moralistic.
Morality-as-herdism is also a key feature of this cultures production narratives, as a way of maintaining socio-normative behaviours in individuals and groups, and avoiding upsetting the machinery of everyday life.
One of the predominant moral narratives of this culture, civilisation, has been that of women’s subordination to men, referring to the categories of biological sex, rather than those of sociological gender. Gender as a means of repression of our authentic selves, into the socially constructed selves of socio-normative production, is an oppressive force upon all of us who live within the body of the Leviathan. But sex-based oppression has a different narrative, though similar, equally bound to the ugliness of patriarchy.
I could go into stuff around Sameness in thing-types, essentialism, spooks (in the Stirnerite sense) and more on the limits of language, but that doesn’t seem necessary for this piece. I’ll leave that stuff with just a simple acknowledgement that, apart from within the language of this culture, I don’t actually believe in the species of Form-types/object-categories, which ultimately exist only within the abstractions of the ideal – everything in every present moment is unique and beautiful, in its transient state of becoming as a creative-nothing, outside of categorisation and reification/thingification/objectification.
But returning to patriarchy, the ugliness of this narrative is obvious and apparent. That civilisation has taken women to be a resource, like it has taken the land to be one too, and not beautiful in their own right, seeking to repress women, like it does the land and all those who inhabit it, is an ugliness that disgusts me. And given that patriarchy and rape-culture (not the act of rape itself) finds its origins in the birth of agriculture, I feel very comfortable with a lot of the analyses of the semio-linguistic and political movement eco-feminism.
Being an individual who fits within the basic categories of male, biologically and sociologically, (though my anti-civ praxis feels stronger ties to gender-nihilism (as you might have gathered from this piece and others I’ve written)) I have a general approach towards anti-patriarchy practice, which some might consider lifestylist. This is predominantly because the political movement of feminism is comprised of individuals who’d find my input useless, because feminism as a movement doesn’t need men to be feminists, but to be allies to feminists. And while I have personal feelings of scepticism towards social and political movements and ideas around progressing history, I don’t feel any need or desire to get in the way of this project, that is in many ways supportive of my own, which is basically all that would happen if I were to try to be part of the movement – also most of my experience in movement-based eco-radical stuff was pretty soul destroying, so I don’t wish to return to this approach to action and discourse.
But yeah, anyway, I rarely comment on stuff relating to feminism and patriarchy, because there are those better suited to commenting on that, and generally only comment when the specific subject matter is relevant to lived experiences I’ve personally undergone. So I will share a personal experience here, perhaps one that lacks the intensity that many others have undergone, but one that is significant to me.
After a series of shitty times in my early childhood, including the death of my mother, my father nearly dying from crack and heroin addiction and being forced to live with my mothers psychologically abusive parents for 2 ½ years, when I returned to living with my father, I moved to a small school, with tiny classes of 8 kids to a class, where I could feel safe for a time and have help with the “learning difficulties” of dyslexia and dyspraxia I had been diagnosed with by an educational psychologist – I could comment more on the stuff around this time, the issues and whatnot, but shan’t. At this school though there was a teacher who kids would often joke about being a paedophile. This teacher tried to groom me, by showing me violent pornographic images, and, while it didn’t go any further than this, for me the experience was one that has affected me, with it contributing to my phenomenological understanding of rape-culture – this also occurred during a period of identity and existential crisis for me, that I have previously written about on this blog. I could go into more personal life details/experiences, but don’t feel any desire to do so here, as this doesn’t feel like the appropriate medium. (He was eventually caught, convicted and put in the safety of a prison cell, before any revenge could be made – personally I prefer the idea of him getting beaten to a bloody pulp than sitting in a cell, but you know – savage-aesthetics.)
But getting back to the point of this piece; I could join in the practice of #MeToo hashtag-activism.
I’m not and I won’t.
But I could.
Now there are many means of challenging this culture that I don’t engage in, out of a disbelief in the effectiveness of the approach, but don’t comment on. And I’m also not someone who rejects any means of attack, because, to quote leftist radical environmentalist Derrick Jensen, “we need it all”, if we are going to challenge this culture and achieve any of our desires, as individuals or groups – fuck it, vote, write to your local council, petition or whatever else you want to do, I don’t need to shit on whatever you want to do (I might voice my disbelief, but I generally won’t seek to stop people from engaging in whatever they choose to do).
In this instance though, I am choosing to voice a challenge to this #MeToo campaign, and at this point invite anyone reading to reread how I opened this piece.
In Feral Consciousness I wrote about how technology mediates the consciousnesses of those living within civilisation from the Real, alienating them from their authentic selves and into the machinery of Symbolic ideology, which in the present is dominated by the hyper-Spectacle of contemporary digital media. The ideology of this culture is the material apparatus that maintains the business-as-usual of this culture, which includes, as an overarching narrative, rape-culture.
So in seeking to challenge this culture, through spectacles of trend-activist hashtags, I am concerned that feminism, as a movement, is only succeeding in alienating itself and others from the traumatic Real of rape-culture’s abhorrent and intolerable ugliness.
There is a romantic beauty in many of the aspects of solidarity campaigns that seek to challenge this culture, which I can appreciate the beauty in. But the Weinstein’s, Worboy’s, Elliot Rodger’s and paedophile IT teachers of the world are going to maintain their ideological activities, so long as this culture’s ideology is maintained – patriarchy being rooted in agriculture/civilisation/the Leviathan.
It seems difficult to envision other approaches, given how much of this culture is now immersed in digital media. But it seems to me that challenges need to be more direct, immediate, authentic and iconoclastically-destructive.
A writing contact I know through virtual mediums wrote this in response to the #MeToo campaign –
“I’m well aware that what I’m about to say will alienate and upset many of my dearest friends, and welcome debate and criticism on the subject.
I personally feel that reducing conversations about sexual harassment and violence to a women’s issue is deeply problematic. I feel that often abusive people of all genders have been abused. I tend to see sexual violence as part of a complex sysyem of violence, not often aided by telling men to not rape or be accountable. I agree strongly with bell hooks when she wrote:
The first act of violence that patriarchy demands of males is not violence toward women. Instead patriarchy demands of all males that they engage in acts of psychic self-mutilation, that they kill off the emotional parts of themselves. If an individual is not successful in emotionally crippling himself, he can count on patriarchal men to enact rituals of power that will assault his self-esteem.
I feel that in some ways, this #metoo dialogue is not enough of a dialogue.
I feel it reinforces the idea that women are victims and men are aggressive animals not in control of their impulses.
And it makes me profoundly uncomfortable that any survivor of sexual violence would be silenced.
I don’t think it’s an “all lives matter” argument because I feel that sexual violence is a very different type of issue with different origins, than anti-blackness.
I do not intend to silence any of you who have been posting #metoo. My intention is simply to say that I think this could be more powerful campaign if we were to include all people who have been harmed by sexual harassment, violence and abuse.
I feel compassion for all beings who live in this terrible world of pain and hurt.”
In these words, this woman articulates many of feelings that I have around this campaign, in a way that I don’t believe I’d be able to voice as well – again feminism/anti-patriarchy-discourse is best voiced by those who are in that category of “female” (in whatever sense that means).
As a “male”, regarding this struggle, I feel that I am best suited to speaking about the “psychic self-mutilation” Bell Hooks (someone I am going to try and study, as I haven’t come across them before) refers to – something I have spoken about on this blog previously and touch upon in Feral Consciousness.
Something I also comment on in my book is our condemnation to freedom, in the existentialist sense, and the responsibility than entails. This places the power in maintaining this culture’s ideology in the hands of those who inhabit society and maintain the machinery of its production narratives.
This is something that mirrors Rhyd Wildermuth’s (writer and editor for G&R, who I’ve written for) words in his piece on his personal blog paganarch.com, when he states –
“They don’t fit into the master narratives, because the oppressors are all of us.
Women are as guilty here as men, even if those women don’t make as much as their male counterparts in IT. Blacks are as guilty as whites, even if their white coworkers can go shopping in malls without getting followed. Gays are as guilty as straights, even if those gays can’t hold hands walking home from the bars on the weekends. Disabled people are as guilty as the abled, even though not every restaurant in a nice neighboorhood is accessible.”
All of us, as participating members of this culture, are in some way or another responsible for the perpetuation of the uglier aspects of it. And if we want this culture to stop enacting the types of violences it enacts in every present moment it exists, then it is our responsibility to claim what we desire, through whatever means are best suited to actualising those desires.
Now Rhyd has recently experienced a backlash of criticism over the piece that the quoted section is part of. And this backlash seems to be part of an overarching aspect of contemporary liberal-culture. That aspect is the politically correct sense of entitlement regarding individuals and groups conforming to the moralities of postmodern liberals.
These types of witch hunts are an ugly aspect of discourse, that largely surmount to the maintenance of this culture’s ideology – again, I write about this more in my book FC (check out the My Books tab). This is because this culture is built upon the repression of the self into conforming to socio-normative morals, behaviours, narratives, etc., and denial of authentic uniqueness, in thought, body, selfness etc. I recently defended another friend, Ramon Elani, in the piece on this blog Some Words for Friends, because of a similar type of inauthentic defamation of character he was being put through. Witch hunts seem to be the prevailing strategy for contemporary liberalism, though maybe they always were.
The witch hunts, call-out culture and other types of liberal-left social-justice-warrior thought policing are a totalitarian-semiotic, which is seeking to dominate the geo-spatial territorial boundaries and psycho-social-geographical landscape of contemporary society and repress the thoughts, feelings, bodies, identities and desires of everyone and everything into its ideological lexicon.
This practice, as far as I can see, can only succeed in maintaining the modus operandi of this culture, civilisation, the patriarchal ecocidal Leviathan that is consuming all Life on this planet, through its relentless violence.
The beauty of the wild-fire burning within all life, which is then reborn in the ashes, as time passes from one present living-moment to another, is something to be embraced, and embracing that means rejecting this culture’s ideology, to whatever degree suits any individual within their relevant situated setting.
For me, right now, this involves voicing some criticism of the #MeToo campaign and totalitarian-liberals.
Right now, in this present moment, I can’t help but remember the adage from Fight Club, about the survival rate of everyone, but there is beauty in that our passing transforms into some other set of geo-spatial, relational, topological cartographies.
I’ll leave this piece here, hoping my point has not been missed, and end with this quote from the anarcho-feminist voice who first got me interested in anarchy –
“The history of progress is written in the blood of men and women who have dared to espouse an unpopular cause, as, for instance, the black man’s right to his body, or woman’s right to her soul.”
― Emma Goldman
Actually I’ll end with this return to savage-aesthetics – rather than naming the phallus of the Leviathan, lets cut it off, before we slice our knives into the rest of its body, and let it rot and decay, so that a forest of tall oaks, song birds, deer and badgers can grow where it stands now. (Just for clarity sake, I don’t mean castrating male members of civilisation, though I have no personal issue with anyone castrating their rapist, but that of the cosmic phallus of normative rape-culture – it seems a shame ending this piece clarifying this statement, but I don’t want to be mis-read in anyway.)