Anti-Cull Philosophy at Anti-University Festival 2022

I was invited to take part in Anti-University Festival this year, to talk about anti-cull praxis and the booklet I did with Forged Books. So we recorded a conversation and then the next day I recorded an additional clip, following the news of the expanded cull zone in Devon.

Here are the links for the audio –

A Direct Response To An Indirect Jab

“There is no one right way to live.” Daniel Quinn, Ishmael

I hadn’t read anything by Flower Bomb for quite a while, until yesterday, but yesterday I read their piece Egoist Vegan: Some Thoughts on an Individualist Animal Liberation and feel to respond directly to the piece here. Before I do so, I want to make it clear that I am not seeking to attack any individual (or lifestyle) (not even Flower Bomb) for not living an ideal or puritanically ethically perfect life, especially given the context of attempting to survive amidst the humiliation and brutality of this planetary death camp – even outside of this context, I don’t believe such an ideal or pure-ethical-life is real. I am entirely oriented towards radical-individualism as radical-pluralism/diversity (in a non-anthropocentric sense) and feel inclined towards affirming different means of survival within this context.

Micro-political contextualisation

To give a little background on why I am writing and why I read FB’s piece as a passive-aggressive/indirect jab towards me, I will share here what happened between us that, up until now, I hadn’t intended on sharing publicly.

Late last year (2021), shortly before the publication of Egoist Vegan: Some Thoughts on an Individualist Animal Liberation, FB, along with Ria Del Montana, orchestrated what they described as a “trial by public” within a “vegan anarcho-primitivist” Facebook group – which I saw as ridiculous and didn’t really engage with. My crime was that of not advocating vegan politics within my essay An eco-egoist destruction of species-being and speciesism and for not self-identifying as vegan, without any knowledge of what my diet was or is. Following this, FB sent me a few messages, obviously in the hope that I’d want to be friends and play nice, backing off when I shared that I still felt cold, despite their apology. The use of a quote from the criminal essay and an obvious reference to my/this blog in the Egoist Vegan essay, to my eyes, renders the apologies as dishonest and insincere, especially given that FB did not share the essay with me, or tell me that the essay had been published through their distro.

I am not inclined towards being jabbed, directly or indirectly, and not defending myself or attacking back, particularly in the context of being jabbed by individuals who view themselves as authorities to police my writing, identity and/or lifestyle; which I find to be grotesquely liberal political narratives and I find revolting. I am also not wanting to make this response a character assassination, or something surmounting to online bitching – my sharing this context coming entirely from my desire to be open and honest.

Fauna-centred “Anti-Speciesism”

I open my anti-speciesism essay with an affirmation of anti-speciesism that extends towards including flora and mineral individuals, as well as fauna. With this, I don’t consider animals as hierarchically greater than plants or minerals; nor do I consider them less. My biospheric-egalitarianism includes a rejection of the entirety of the concept of “the great chain of being”, which I experience as being at the core of speciesism.

Now, I don’t care if FB is or isn’t vegan – it honestly doesn’t matter to me. I also don’t care if anyone is or isn’t vegan. I respect that it is fucking difficult to survive within this humiliating and annihilating death camp and only want to affirm individual will-to-life/will-to-power/will-to-survive. I also appreciate that most individuals who adopt the diet, politics, philosophy, etc., come from a will-to-care that is beautiful!

I do feel to state here that, to my eyes, there is nothing inherently anti-speciesist about being vegan and that, despite what is popular within the ideologies, veganism is a mode of speciesism. Yes, this might read as counter-intuitive, but I feel that this holds true. My reason for stating this is entirely due to veganism operating on the moral axiom that the life experience of animals is more important than that of plants and minerals, which means that abuse towards animals is worse than abuse towards flora and minerals. Monocultures of crops are less bad, and supporting that industry is less bad, than factory farmed meat and supporting that industry – apparently.

Considering veganism as a mode of speciesism; I utterly reject the notion that there is anything inherently anti-speciesist about “egoist veganism”, or FB’s praxis. Let me be clear here – I am not saying that FB is doing anything wrong or attempting to police their politics, diet or philosophy. I simply feel to respond to the jab of anti-speciesism = veganism.

Vegan Species-Being

The next point I wish to make here pertains to the tragic aspect of FB’s failure to understand the matter of species-being – which I consider the foundation of speciesism. This failure is that where FB states within their Vegan Egoist piece that they reject the notion of species-being, while repeatedly stating that they identify as the species(/conceptual-collective-object-type) of vegan. Not only do they seek to position themselves as the species-object of vegan (repeatedly), they position, within their rhetoric, vegans as a superior mode of species-being, above the non-vegans – or at least, that is how they read to me. This collectivist posturing, to me, in no way reflects anything of the individualism/egoism, which they also seek to posture through their writings.

For the sake of clarity, I want to emphasise that I am not suggesting that an egoist-veganism is impossible or necessitates species-being; but there is a difference between an egoist-veganism and a vegan egoist – veganism being an activity, philosophy, politics, diet, etc., and vegan being an identity. Following this, FB destroys any belief I have in their praxis being individualist/egoist, through their rigid, dogmatic and unplayful vegan-species-being – which is actually fine by me, because I don’t care if they are vegan or not, or what their praxis is. (Those who know me well will know that I will generally identify as a badger, following my anti-cull activities, but this is an entirely playful embrace of species-being, done partly to mock the idea that knowing my label means anything of knowing me.)

Individualism

I know that when I use the term “individualism” I am not using it in the way generally used within any discourse – and I don’t care. My individualism is mine and I do not expect anyone else to conform to my individualism, as they are not the individuals I am. With regards to the individuals that other individuals are, my desire is to affirm the lives of other individuals and to care as best I can. Seeking to police, condemn or repress an individual living being, due to how they differ from an ideological norm, to me, is not individualism and is more a mode of anti-individualism, due to its hostility towards the individual living being.

As I don’t see living individuals as anything other than being worthy of care, with each praxis of care being unique for each differentiated individual, my rebellious desire and the focus of my critique/challenge/resistance/de-struction/de-construction is not where I encounter life. No! I wish-to, seek-to and attempt-to – as best I can and in an entirely imperfect, polluted, absurdist and somewhat desperate way – rebel against what Perlman called “artificial worms”, Agamben called “anthropological machines”, what Quinn called “totalitarian agriculture”, what some call the “technosphere”/”anthropocene”, and what could easily be described as this-culture/this-Reality, which is now (basically) totalising across this planet – and I desperately want it to de-totalise itself faster, through its techno-auto-cannibalism (as in, the mode of accelerationism Camatte suggests in his theories). In many ways, this approach to luddite/anti-tech-rebellion is entirely the opposite of the praxis embodied by the Unabomber/Kaczynski and those he inspired, which is and was entirely anti-individualist, in that it involved physical-abusive-hostility, through technologically mediating apparatus, towards individual living beings.

If I were to offer here a linguistic object-form to this individualism, in the same way that FB objectifies their praxis as Vegan Egoism, I would do so somewhat carefully (and reluctantly). Rather than anti-tech-individualism, or luddite-individualism, where the individualism is captured by a mode of ideology; the way that I would linguistically enframe this would be individualist-anti-tech praxis, as the rebellion against artificial worms/anthropological machines/totalitarian agriculture/the technosphere/the anthropocene/Leviathan/civilisation/Moloch/this culture/this Reality (whatever the fuck you want to call it) extends from my individual experience, desire, life, being, will, presence and, ultimately, is, for me, a praxis of care – care being an expression of positive affirmation.

Concluding/Ending This

“The obscure streets of life do not offer the conveniences of the central thoroughfares: no electric light, no gas, not even a kerosene lamp-bracket. There are no pavements: the traveller has to fumble his way in the dark.” Shestov

“Everything takes on a tinge of fantastical absurdity. One believes and disbelieves everything.” Shestov

I have sought to be direct here and, equally, I am aware that I have not written this as a message, email or letter (even a published open-letter) to FB, but as a response piece, which is directly in response to what I see as a largely passive aggressive jab at me. While I have differentiated and (maybe) challenged here, I want to make it clear that I am not suggesting that FB is “bad”, or “wrong”, or needs to change anything of their ideology/praxis. If I had never found the piece that fuelled my fires to write this, I almost certainly would never have written anything like this about them, as I largely no longer care about their writings.

Following life experiences, like being a brain tumour patient and others, I am intensely oriented towards my self-care, self-preservation and well-being, in all sense. So I do not take jabs without either defending myself of hitting back. This is me, carefully (and with more respect than I have been shown), hitting back.

To speak directly to FB here; I feel very much, in most areas of my experience “in the dark”, as in unsure, uncertain, not-knowing, etc., and don’t pertain to much further than this. I believe in a great deal – will-to-life, wild-Beings, myself, etc., – and don’t believe in a great deal to. And while I know that I have stated this privately in our messages following the “trial by public” that you orchestrated with RDM, given that you have publicly sought to side-jab me in your Vegan Egoism piece; I want to state here publicly and directly that I don’t believe you – I don’t believe what you write about yourself. I am not suggesting that anyone else needs to not believe you – I am just stating that I don’t. I live an ocean and more away from you, as you do from me. So we cannot sincerely claim to have any authentic or direct experience of each other. But my experience of you, through these digital exchanges that we have had, has left me in a state of disbelief, which I don’t see changing.

I am going to end this by sharing a personal desire here, which is non-specific to this situation. Through these digital means of communicating I don’t really, authentically, directly, get to be-with individuals, in a way where I can have personally-embodied-knowing of the individual. This does not negate my desire to, as best I can, respect and care for the individuals, who are the living beings at the other end of these artificial worms we communicate through.

My Thoughts on Prey (spoilers alert)

The Predator film series has been a cinematic love of mine for most of my life, amongst many other sci-fi film series’. So when I first saw the trailer for Prey I was instantly extremely excited and keen to watch. When it came to watching it, this evening, I noticed several points in the narrative that I want to share, as my thoughts and interpretation of the narrative. These observations/interpretations are purely my own and I do not consider them to necessarily be intended by the film makers, potentially being accidental-excellence – but not having researched the film writers process, I can’t really say. 

Sport Hunting, Culling, Hunter-Gathering and Self-Defence

The first observation I made when watching the film, which is undeniably obvious, is how much killing and hunting is central to the narrative – I mean, it is a film in the Predator series, so what else would anyone expect? The thought that followed this was of how uncomfortable many of my vegan and vegetarian friends would feel watching it, given the intensity of non-human death in the narrative, which is something not really touched upon in other Predator films (or at least I don’t remember it being touched upon at all).

What this film does brilliantly, in my eyes, is differentiate between hunting/killing praxis’, so as to not lump all the praxis’ in to one totality that is called “killing” – an act that is generally moralistically positioned as “evil” by advocates of non-violence, pacifism and food-politics that encourage meatless diets. I want to now consider the different praxis’, as I interpret them, here. 

The first praxis is the Predators – sport hunting. The sport hunter, the predator, hunts and kills for the purposes of acquiring trophies and to attain or maintain social status. This praxis, as I encounter it – mostly through British sports huntsman – is built upon the civilised perspective of division between (hu)Man-kind and wild-life, with wild-life being lower on the great chain of being and thus worthy sport. I find this praxis of hunting and killing both horrifying and revolting, which I see as an intended experience for the audience to have when watching a Predator film. 

The second praxis I observed in Prey, which is one I have written about and spoken out about for several years now, is culling. This is seen when Naru, the indigenous woman who is the main character of the film, discovers a culled herd of buffalo, who had been skinned. Later in the film she realises that the buffalo were killed by French colonialists, for their fur. Earlier in the film Naru discovers a trap, laid down by the colonists and their traps are brought back at other points, but this isn’t initially made clear as an aspect of fur-culling praxis. I deeply appreciated this aspect of the narrative, in that it brought my attention to the link between colonialism and culling, in a way that didn’t empower the image of the colonialists and colonialism within this narrative – arguably, in this film, the colonialists are the least powerful players. Perhaps most significantly, for me, this representation of colonialist violence de-anthropocentralises, in a way that I sincerely appreciate, as much of the decolonial/anti-colonial discourse that I have encountered has been anthropocentric.

The third praxis and probably the least comfortable to vegan and vegetarian viewers, is that of hunter-gathering cultures. The film doesn’t shy away from the indigenous tribal community hunting as part of their diet, culture, way of life, or whatever else you want to call it, in a way that might be challenging for individuals of particular food politics who are intolerant of other diets. I eat a vegetarian diet and wondered at points if this was done to directly challenge individuals who eat diets like mine – if it was, it was an excellent challenge. But the hunter-gatherers community aren’t doing “politics”, but living, authentically, as part of the living community, or ecosystem if you prefer the term. As I write this I find myself wondering if this is perhaps the aspect of the film that might receive the greatest negative response – though I feel positively about it.

The fourth praxis, which my feeling is the most important (particularly when considering indigenous and non-human resistance to colonisation, domestication and capture), is that of self-defence. Naru hunts and kills throughout the film to defend herself and her tribe (who are an extension of herself), doing so, as is stated in the film, to survive. This is where her heroism is found. Her will-to-life/power/care, throughout the narrative, is located in her ability to hunt and kill, not in a way that glorifies death, but as life-affirmation. This praxis is what makes her a character who is just utterly awesome and drew me in.

Using an Enemies Weapon Against Them

The next aspect of the film, which probably is the biggest area for spoilers, is that of using an enemies weapon against them. This is a matter that I notice ideological purist often get very triggered by – one of the reasons why I have very little patience for ideological purity. Examples of the ideological purist response to using an enemies weapon (against them) include; “if you hate capitalism, you shouldn’t buy products made by capitalists”; “if you don’t believe in property then give me all your stuff”; “if you’re anti-technology, why do you use a computer”; and “if you are anti-state why don’t you break all the laws”. 

Naru fights and (spoiler) ultimately kills the Predator by using the weapons of her enemies; both the Predator and the colonialists. She doesn’t do this though without using her weapons, the weapons of her tribe and the environment she lives in – which is the key thing for me. She doesn’t have to be like Neo in Matrix Revolution who can only defeat Smith by becoming Smith, as she doesn’t embrace the technologies or the identity of the Predator, as she simply uses the weapons/technology and then discards it, as something she doesn’t wish to bring to the tribe. 

As I think about this, for myself, I notice the tension that I feel in using the laptop I am writing this through, or in driving the car that I use to get to badger setts. Yes I am using weapons produced by productive narratives and machines that I feel revolted by and oppositional towards. I use these as part of my surviving this context in which I live and as a means of caring for those I consider part of my tribe. There is no moral purity here, or ideation of being under or above anything. I am not assimilated by the totality, only seeking to survive and rebel as best as I can.

Vengeance 

One of the moments of the film, which took me aback, but I immediately appreciated, is when Naru takes revenge against one of the colonists, by cutting off his leg and using him as bait, to lure the Predator into her trap. This was a great moment, as it wasn’t romanticised or glorified as an act of justice or some moralistically rightful action, but was quite clearly a personal moment of revenge towards an abusive character. The idea and practice of vengeance is often positioned as “bad”, “wrong”, or even “evil” and the film doesn’t to my eyes position it in these ways, or as “right”, “good” or “just” – it is simply laid bare as an understandable and relatable desire to feel towards someone who has abused you and/or someone you love and care about. There is no Christian-type gesture towards “she ought to forgive him and seek to save him”, or Buddhistic appeal to feel compassion for his suffering. What this did, for me, was utterly destroy any potential claims of deifying and romanticising Naru into some bullshit-racist “noble savage” figure, which I had assumed would be the likely criticism of the film. 

My understanding is that, within indigenous North American cultures, vengeance isn’t seen as good or bad; with there being vengeful spirits, such as the rolling/cannibal heads, and legends of revenge, like the Cree legend The Revenge of the Mountain Goats. This is intensely different from Jewish and Christian moral norms regarding revenge, which are what I generally encounter in representations on the matter. 

One of my favourite works on revenge is Blessed is the Flame, which is an introductory work on anarcho-nihilist praxis, which presents revenge as an understandable response to the conditions of death camps. The negative praxis of death camps strikes me as similar to the negative praxis’ of Predator’s sport hunting and the colonialist culling. What this leaves me with is a feeling of affirmation, without moralistic appeals to goodness, that vengeance is an understandable and often reasonable response to narratives of negation.

Individualism

Perhaps the second most obvious theme in Prey, after the theme of hunting and killing, is that of Naru’s self-overcoming and individual will-to-power. Much of the film is focused on her explorations of the landscape, with her dog Sarii, practicing her craft of hunting and seeking to improve. She is a brilliant example of Nietzschean-type individualism – which is intensely different to the Christian liberalism often called individualism, which I don’t consider to be a sincere of authentic individualism. 

What is most noticeable, with regards to the individualism in Prey, is that it is the individualism of Naru and her brother Taebe (who dies while fighting) that leads to the demise of Predator. The colonialist-collectivist army utterly failed to kill Predator, resulting in their eventual total annihilation. Eventually, through her knowledge of local plant capabilities, Naru’s individualism becomes an example of what I called non-localisable localism, in my book Feral Life, which is intensely similar to what Klee Benally calls, in his indigenous activist praxis, being unknowable. The process of becoming here is, as I see it, localism as individual will-to-power manifested being-unknowable/non-localisability, which lead to Naru’s self-overcoming, through defeating Predator. This is somewhat similar to Cante Waste’s assertion of individualism being a tenant of decolonisation, in their essay Towards an Indigenous Egoism.

Swallowed by Earth

One of the more subtle points that struck me was that of both Naru and Predator being “swallowed by earth”, as falling into liquid mud. For Naru, being swallowed by the earth signifies a noticeable part of her self-overcoming, as it is the event that comes immediately before her coming to meet Predator. For Predator, being swallowed by the earth signifies the event that enabled Naru to kill them. There is something of eco-egoist becoming-earth in this process of Naru’s individualism defeating this unearthly individual, who becomes swallowed by the earth. 

Presentism

Another aspect of the film that I appreciated was how there was no historicising within the narrative. What I mean by this is that there are no appeals, within the narrative, to romanticised/idealised/sacralised pasts or futures. The narrative is entirely situated in and focused on the character’s immediate-egoistic-present. In my book Feral Iconoclasm I advocated and expressed a desire for presentist-praxis, and I found this aspect of the film very agreeable. 

Indigenous Representation

An obvious aspect of the film that is worth noting is how the narrative is of indigenous hunter-gatherer victory, which is one I greatly appreciate in stories – my short story Bretannike Rebellion coming from my desire for stories of indigenous hunter-gatherer victory. Stories of this kind strike me as intensely valuable, given how much capitalist(/kraptalist) and techno-progressive realism dominates discourse today. Imagining life outside of these ideological-productive narratives seems of the utmost value to me, as imagination is intensely linked to desire and I desire life unaffected by political ideology (structurally and discursively). To imagine a life where technological advancement and colonial praxis do not succeed in their efforts in annihilation is to imagine a beautiful world – this is not to deny the beauty of all that is free, wild and living today, in the world, but to be honest about desiring more beauty and to not shy away from being greedy for beauty.

This Is As Far As You Go. No More. This Is It.

The title of this section is a quote from Naru. I appreciate it as a statement of refusal, coming from her apparent self-defence praxis. She sets a personal boundary and refuses to accept annihilation – engaging in metaphysical rebellion, becoming the rebel. 

I am using this quote to end this piece on my thoughts on Prey. I have obviously neglected to comment on matters such as the production quality, how this film differentiates from others in the series and many other matters, which I feel happy to neglect here – anyone reading this will have to watch the film or find another review to learn about this. 

I feel very fondly of Prey and am sure that I will rewatch it. I appreciate it for all that I have shared here, as well as it being cinematically enjoyable.

Who Is Julian Langer? – a poem

Who is Julian Langer?

Julian Langer was born from hippie-punk stoner escapism and new-romantic artsy-fartsyism, seeking to escape Polish Jewish inter-generational trauma and Italian-American Xian guilt-as-family.

Born into the Realities of the death of communism and victory of too-fucking-late-krapitalism; a child of an era of terrorism spectacles; witness to the Moloch machinery of mass extinction.

Cursed from birth to have to kill an unwanted presence on his pineal gland; Julian Langer has overcome and survived abuses, assaults, domestication, defamation, humiliation and disease.

Today Julian Langer’s rebellion is his friendship with badgers and other wildlings – with a fierce desire for the return of bears to this isle.

As a mystic, Julian Langer is one with Earth/nature most intensely through shoving seeds into his arsehole and shitting out gardens – a squirrel once told him that one day, through this practice, a fig tree will sprout from his mouth and anus (but a buzzard said the squirrel was wrong and that it’ll be an apple tree).

When observed Julian Langer’s form takes on the appearance of a human, but – as organisms are what they are but never what they appear to be – when unobserved this form dissolves, so as to become somebeing which is unspeakable, nameless, ineffable and individual.

Julian Langer is seriously playful and playfully serious and writes this in the desperate hope that you might laugh, thus affirming his will to power through affecting you to the point of laughter.

As a hater of introductions, Julian Langer is writing this in the desperate hope of ending his need to ever be introduced, with a disbelief about endings and a dislike of desperate hope – favouring hopeless helpfulness.

Too goofy and kind to keep up a persona of edgyness and cool; Julian Langer’s individualism is uncool and smoothy, sometimes soft, but strong and uncompromising – being uncompromisingly uncool is not the same as being compromisingly cool.

In a manner that is utterly uncompromising and utterly uncool, Julian Langer is intensely oriented towards love – not the stupid romantic fetishised love found in stupid films; a deep, dark, wild and untameable love that manifests desires to unapologetically care.

Who is Julian Langer?

Who? Who? Who?

“I” I answer! Or rather, that is the known name for me!

Julian Langer is life rebelling absurd metaphysical rebellion to live, amidst the presence of a mass extinction machine, named Moloch, that manifests absence and stupid fucking technologies!

Julian Langer is the creative nothing as no-Thingness creating a no-Thingness that is creation.


So now you know!

Or do you?

Are these lies?

Are they truths?

Unless you have met Julian Langer, been with Julian Langer, been loved by Julian Langer, loved Julian Langer, laughed with Julian Langer, laughed at Julian Langer, rebelled with Julian Langer, lived with Julian Langer and/or smelled the farts of Julian Langer; Julian Langer says you cannot know Julian Langer, rendering this whole introduction stupid and pointless – Julian Langer is not sorry and will not apologise for the absurdity of this situation, as he thoroughly enjoys it.

Who are you?

My Anti-Cull Philosophy part 2

[This is being published in an upcoming pamphlet with the first section, through Forged Books.]

Last night I woke up at 3am, full of thoughts that I am going to seek to communicate here, as a second part to my My Anti-Cull Philosophy. Part of my intention for writing this in this way goes with plans for the first part to go in a collection, with some anti-totalitarian poetry. Unlike the first part, this section has one key idea of focus – the link between cull ideology and totalitarianism. 

I consider rebellion against totalitarianism to be the key quality of ontological anarchy, as for me ontological anarchy starts with the positive affirmation that authority doesn’t exist. This in many ways differentiates ontological anarchy from the politics of anarchism, which often surmounts to the negative task of constructing totalitarian totalities, in ways that fit an “anti-authoritarian” ideology. This is not suggesting that no similar desires are shared, such as desiring voluntary association, mutual aid, resisting repression apparatus and so on. Anarchism is not the focus of this piece though – totalitarianism is – so I say this only to affirm that I am discussing totalitarianism in a way that includes anarchism, for the most part, within the totality. 

So, what do I mean by totalitarianism? My feelings regarding totalitarianism largely mirror those Quinn described in his excellent book Ishmael. With this, there are two key aspects to totalitarianism. The first of these is the assertion of knowing the right way to live and knowing that that ought to be the only way to live, justifying coercive measures to get others to live how you want them to live. The second aspect follows from the first, as it is the assumed knowledge of who should be allowed to live and who must die. Another area that I agree with Quinn on, which I feel brings together capitalism, socialism, monarchism, liberalism, fascism and anarchism, to be a description of one singular machine, which I feel is fair to simply call “this culture” (but prefer the name Moloch) is that this culture is simply totalitarian agriculture. 

So the first aspect of totalitarianism here is that the one right way to live, which all ought to live under, is totalitarian agriculture. The second aspect is that those who don’t conform to this lifestyle, who rebel or differentiate, should be annihilated – annihilation being the central activity of totalitarianism. 

That the negative/negating practice of annihilation is central to totalitarianism is obvious when considering well known death camps, such as the Nazis or communist gulags. When expanded to include non-humans, the state of ecological and specicidal annihilation to feed the relentless consumption of the agricultural civilisation I am calling Moloch is clearly an effort in totalitarianism. So, I feel that, when looking at this culture, with feral eyes and a rewilded mind, it can only be seen as a death camp. Witnessing the annihilation of wild animals, the continuing onslaught of dehabitation for the Cause of urbanisation/architecture/development, amidst this “camp”, this temporary totalitarian zone, that generally goes by the name of Britain, I am revolted. 

How this relates to the culling of badgers, or any other target of culling, is simply that culling is a mode of annihilation. All totalitarian projects of death-production are efforts in selective-slaughtering, which is what culling is. Culling actualises the second aspect of totalitarianism, the knowledge of who should be allowed to live or die. According to advocates of the cull Cause, badgers ought to die, in the same way that, according to advocates of the Nazi Cause, my Jewish family should die, as should I – disgusting moralism. According to badger cull advocates, the one right way to live is totalitarian agriculture, so badgers, who do not conform to the systems of totalitarian agriculture, ought to die, for contradicting the systems narratives – more disgusting moralism. When conservationists seek to “manage wildlife”, though culling wild animal populations, the Cause that justifies the annihilation always falls back to “preventing their population interfering with the narratives of totalitarian agriculture”, in essence – there might be reasons placed between this and the act, but it remains, as I see it, the foundational justification for conservationist culling efforts. 

Culling is the segregation and eradication of undesirables, whether they be badgers, pigeons, boars, rats, ruddy ducks, deer, or whoever else is considered undesirable for the totality – I feel to note how obviously similar this is to efforts in ethnic cleansing. I am horrified by cull ideology, as I am horrified by efforts in systemic slaughter. That any living being is designated a position of “undesirable” revolts me, as I feel inclined towards pan-erotic yes-saying to life. But it isn’t just that a specific individual is being considered undesirable and so worthy of death, which I would be less horrified by – though still feel revolted by the idea that anyone knows who ought to die. The claim within cull ideology is that all individuals who agro-industrialists, conservationists and other cull advocates stereotype as being members of undesirable groups, are justifiable targets for annihilation, as they don’t serve the Cause of totalitarian agriculture, of feeding Moloch. 

How do I feel to rebel against cull-culture, against the Moloch machine of industrial slaughter, against totalitarian efforts in annihilation? For me, it begins with affirming, celebrating and caring for that which totalitarianism seeks to feed on first; the individual, the singular, the unique, difference, the ego, the living being, the non-conformist, the endling (which all are, whence we’ve destroyed the collectivism of species being, upon which speciesism is founded upon). This is not done as some Cause, as in seeking to effect so as to produce the right way that things ought to be, but rather as will-to-power/live as striving to Affect, in the same way that an individual will seek to affect another who they see as hurt and wish to help, as they feel love for them. 

I have come to describe the activities/activism that I practice as non-localisable localism, but when attending a reading group recently, after I was asked how I feel about the idea of “dropping out” – to which I responded that I can’t claim to have “dropped out” – it was put to me that my non-localisable localism seems very much to be “dropping in”. I thoroughly enjoyed this feedback and have thought about it frequently since attending the group. I do feel as if “drop-in practice” fits my anti-cull direct-action activities, as well as other direct actions I engage in. Dropping in is different from one of the main popular leftist type activist actions, of occupy and occupying. Occupying strikes me as being a form of tiny-temporary-totalitarian-zone forming, which seeks to territorialise an area, through encampment, demonstration, marches, etc., in the service of the Cause. How dropping in differs is that the process involves no territorialisation or propertarian claims of being the rightful owner of an area. Dropping in is about being-there, being-with, caring for individuals, as seeking to Affect, not seeking to Cause. One of the qualities of this practice of caring for living beings, which I feel to mention, is that it is a form of preservationism, seeking to empower will-to-life, rather than attempt to manage or make “sustainable” abusive narratives and relationships. Examples of dropping in include doing sett checks, offering homeless individuals a drink or some food, engaging in rewilding as guerrilla-gardening and returning to care for the area (without seeking to turn the living individuals into a mode of productivity), checking in on neighbours, and other similar examples. Dropping in is not salvation and is not a fix, but it is an approach to caring for other individuals, amidst the horrors of Moloch culture! 

There’s a part of me that would love to believe in saving badgers from the cull, or any other living being experiencing abuse through cull practices. Defence and care, through rebellion, feel like all I can honestly offer. I live in a badger cull zone, not far from the boundary of another badger cull zone. I feel affirming that these temporary totalitarian zones are temporary and will eventually dissipate into nothingness. I celebrate that culling is not succeeding in annihilating badgers, as their populations are being recorded as increasing – another example of how totalitarianism is a failure. Affirmation and celebration feel absurd, given how dire the environmental situation is, as mass-extinction/Moloch culture continues its revolting projects of annihilation. But I still feel to affirm and celebrate where life is. Where culls are, I feel to rebel. 

I feel that the primal bedrock of anti-cull philosophy is life affirmation, yes-saying to life, as a form of active positivity. I feel that this positivity is actively actualised through all forms of challenge to cull practices and narratives. The phrase “respect existence or expect resistance” nicely sums this up. That this is a positivist philosophy makes sense, given how cull practice is a negative practice of annihilation – basically an effort in dialectics. This differentiation between negativity and positivity strikes me as one of the basic differences between conservationism and preservationism. Conservationism, as a mode of eco-ethic and as a practice, is often one of annihilation, through culling and other forms of “wildlife management” – conservationism also exists, basically, entirely for civilisation/Leviathan/Moloch, as a mode of conservatism regarding “natural resources”. The positivity of preservationist praxis is intensely differentiated from this, due to preservationist actions not being supportive of productivity, not being oriented towards industry, “sustainable” or otherwise, and being pursued out of a desire for wildlife/primal-anarchy. The basic point I am trying to communicate here is that the anti-cull rebellion, as a form of active positivity, is preservationist praxis. 

Something I feel to make clear at this point, given the emphasis on positivity that I have thus far brought, is this; positivity is not optimism. As I use the terms, positivity/positivism and optimism are extremely different experiences and ideas. Optimism, in my eyes, is bound to meliorism and the life-renouncing techno-progressivist ideology, which is at the core of civilisation/Leviathan/Moloch, asserting that through enlightenment, interference, management, coercion, construction, annihilation, progress, time, collective-Cause-narratives and productivity, the world can be improved – that civilisation’s optimism has succeeded only in producing global warming and mass extinction is horrifying. Positivity, as I mean it, is ecologically endarkening, politically-and-cosmically-pessimistic, a mode of destruction (in the sense of creation/life being a process of destruction/de-struction/de-construction), actualises mad and absurd affirmations, is individual/egoistical affectivity as well as egoist/individualist as a practice of active Affection, and is presentist/immediatist. Whilst optimists seek to renounce the world and transform life according to their designs and choreographies, positivity (as I mean it) affirms life, with all the horror and joy that includes, whilst caring for the living. 

Another point I wish to make clear, given how aspects of what has been written here could be misconstrued as “merely conceptual”; all of this is about activities physically enacted, to resist cull practices. This is not about “armchair activism/theorising” or constructing theories. That this is to some degree a piece of writing on ontology doesn’t mean that this is about abstract or esoteric ideas, that have no direct meaning or applicability. Ontology is about Being and Being, in my experience, is embodied/physical, with ontological-anarchy being a physically-embodied practice of anarchy. Take the practice of care as an example; care, as many possible physically embodied activities, is ontologically a form of positive affirmation.

I don’t know what this essay will do to help resist the badger cull, or challenge other culls. As I write this, it is not the badger cull season and I have not been to check setts for a while. I want for cull-culture and totalitarian agriculture to no longer abuse living beings. I want for captured, caged and repressed individuals to experience wildlife/wild-Being, primal/ontological anarchy. 

This has been written as an act of eco-revolt, as I am revolted by culls. Rebellion against the cull is resistance against totalitarian agriculture. I feel that being alive and yes-saying to life, assenting to life, is individualist/egoist, non-conformity, rebellion, refusal, resistance, involution and destruction, in this collectivist totalitarian death camp of Moloch worshippers. 

For wild revolt against the cull.

Against wildlife management. 

Preservationism as eco-anarchist praxis. 

My love to the living!

TOTW Anti-Architecture – my topic of the week for anarchist news

Originally published here https://anarchistnews.org/content/totw-against-architecture

I have been thinking recently about what seems to me to be one of the greatest failures of anarchist, anti-technology and anti-civilisation discourse and practice. This failure is that of not having presented much, if any, critique or challenge to architecture, which seems to me to be the cage that captures most within the totalitarianism of this technologically dependent culture. What I mean by “architecture” is buildings and all that is involved in serving their Cause. 

This is by no means intended as a challenge to what I would describe as nest, or shelter, creating, as nests/shelters do not strike me to be ways and means of capturing and containing individuals within the work-machine, unless an individual chooses to use one to keep being part of the work-machine when rendered without a house or other building to occupy. What I mean by a nest or a shelter is generally something that any individual can transport, assemble, take down and move again, such as a tent, or anything like the shelters being used by uncontacted people or pre-civilised people. When I was involved in a local homeless support group I had a conversation with a guy who had been houseless by choice for well over a decade (possibly 2 or 3) and hearing him speak about how he found his tent far more desirable than any mansion was beautiful. 

Rather than striving for this kind of primal-freedom, of seeking to not live lifestyles of architectural-technological dependency, anarchists often seem to desire capture-by-buildings more than anything else – be it through the squat or the “democratically run” factory. A friend of mine who lived for a while at La Zad told me of how they witnessed competitive barn building, fights over barns and similar barn-oriented shitty politics and policing, rather than solidarity, mutual aid and anything that they had wanted to experience there – barns becoming the technologies of capture and church-like Causes. 

Anti-technology discourse, which is often focused so intensely on contemporary gadgets and the technologies that are the products of the industrial revolution, similarly has, as far as I can see, failed to present any substantial challenges and/or critiques of architecture. It is tragi-comic that the holy-prophet of many sympathetic to anti-technology thought and action, Ted Kaczynski – whose Jesus-like position as a martyr, as being made by the Father whose forsook him, is often missed by his worshippers – spent much of his life captured by the cabin that was his bomb factory, only then to be captured within the architecture of the prison system. Also, I am often amazed at how anti-civilisation discourse so readily challenges “green technologies” and domestication, whilst largely ignoring the Cause that these technologies and narratives serve; architecture. 

Most “radical” thought regarding architecture surmounts to little more than trying to envisage apartment complexes with community gardens built into them, or the Situationist style city that is constantly being taken apart and rebuilt – both of which strike me as horrific to imagine. Deconstructivist-architecture and anti-architecture are seemingly nowhere to be found, nor is there any challenge or critique to the “authority” of the Designer. Within Marxism, the architect is upheld as superior to the bee and it seems like this mode of speciesism is located within even more “libertarian” socialist economic theories. 

Perhaps the best challenges to architecture, within discourse, that I have encountered come from Thoreau’s writings, which I have returned to recently. I am very much in agreement with Thoreau that, while civilisation might have improved the houses of the domesticated and the objects that they place within their houses, architectural improvements have done nothing to improve those who live within these houses or their lives. The obvious contradiction/paradox here, which does not negate the statements Thoreau makes regarding architecture, is that for the most famous and (seemingly) personally significant part of Thoreau’s life, he was (arguably) captured by his cabin – though I see this as a far less intensity of capture than that of the mansion owner, who puts in video surveillance around their house and lives with the anxiety of losing all that “they own”(/owns them), or of those who today may work 3, 4 or more jobs, in order to pay their rent and keep living within the flat that has seemingly captured them. It is fair to say that I too am subject to this contradiction/paradox, as I am currently sitting within the barn conversion bungalow that I call home, though I know that my intensity of capture is far less than the examples I just gave, as it is comparatively very cheap to upkeep and I do not feel paranoid regarding the safety of any of my “property” – I also don’t mind breaking the law of the excluded middle and living in the truth that I am both captured and not captured. 

I will include here that another inspiration for this TOTW, alongside Thoreau’s thought, has been seeing more housing developments local to me, cutting down areas of woodland to build large poor quality houses, while also seeing large abandoned buildings being left unused and falling apart.

So, for this topic of the week, I invite anyone willing to suggest ways and means of challenging architectural totalitarianism, forms of architectural deconstructionism, new critiques of architecture and, if also desired, challenges to anti-architectural thought (of which I am sure there will be many). 

May we live lives more beautiful than our houses! May we care for ourselves and those we love more than we care for the buildings that capture us!

Listen to a reading and critique here (response to critique in the comments section) – https://anarchistnews.org/content/anews-podcast-256-%E2%80%93-4122

 Considering Jews In Counselling – (an essay for my counselling course)

Introduction 

In this essay I set out to explore meeting matters regarding diversity and multiculturalism, with regards to two legally protected characteristics, in the context of a counselling environment. In order to do this, I have chosen to position myself as a client exploring how aspects of identity can be met through counselling, the feelings that this triggers and how I feel to meet these feelings. The areas of my identity, with regards to multiculturalism and diversity, which I am focusing on, are the religious and ethnic aspects of coming from a Jewish family background, whilst also coming from a mixed background and how I would want to be met by a counsellor regarding this. Race and religion & belief are both characteristics protected under the Equality Act (2010) and from a Jewish perspective it is impossible to entirely separate the two. This matter is being considered with reference to Clarkson’s (2003) ideas regarding kinship, differences in worlds of experience, Clarkson (2001) and victimhood, Clarkson (2003), as well as other systemic integrative psychotherapeutic ideas regarding environmental variations, Dryden (1992),. In many ways, I have sought to consider meeting Jewish identity in this way as a problematic one, that is not as simple as it might initially appear. To seek to meet this problem, I consider Clarkson’s reparative relationship, Clarkson (2003) as a means of helping meet Jewish identity, within a counselling context, and Frankl’s logotherapy, Frankl (2004), as a means of empowering clients who are Jews. 

Section one – nuts and bolts

I am starting with what I am calling the “nuts and bolts” of meeting race and religion & belief, within counselling, as I feel that having this clearly laid out will make what follows clearer. What I mean by “nuts and bolts” are the structures that are in place, in an organised sense, akin to how a car is a particular organisation of certain parts; and like how a mechanic will look at a car from a certain view point, I am seeking to look at this matter mechanically, before seeking to metaphorically drive away. 

Legislation has a huge part to play, in the nuts and bolts of this counselling car, and has already briefly been mentioned within the introduction of this essay. The most immediately relevant piece of legislation is the 2010 Equality Act, which seeks to address socio-economic inequalities across a wide range of social situations (Equality Act, 2010). Within the Equality Act there are 9 protected characteristics; age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion & belief, sex and sexual orientation, (Equality Act, 2010). All of these characteristics are considerations for counsellors to consider, which brings my attention to assumptions and biases that I might have regarding many of them. As well as the Equality Act 2010, two other relevant pieces of legislation are the 1998 Human Rights Act (Human Rights Act, 1998) and the 1965 Race Relations Act (Race Relations Act, 1965). While both of these acts have far broader implications than those I am focusing on here; I am referencing these with regards to their relevance for Jewish identity, given the human rights abuses and racism Jews have experienced and continue to experience. A 2020 survey regarding religion and crime found that hate crime had overall risen over the past few years, Elkin (2020), which Jews are in no way removed from the experience of for also being an ethnic group. So it seems, to me, poignant to bring these other areas of legislation here.

The British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP) have two main documents that are relevant when considering the “nuts and bolts” of meeting race and religion & belief, as counsellors, which is pleasings to see. Within the document Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions, British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP) (2018), the BACP lays out a great deal that I feel to reference here. The document states that the BACP ethics are based in 3 areas; values, principles and personal moral qualities. The values listed here are (BACP, 2018: p8)-

“• respecting human rights and dignity 

  • alleviating symptoms of personal distress and suffering 
  • enhancing people’s wellbeing and capabilities 
  • improving the quality of relationships between people 
  • increasing personal resilience and effectiveness 
  • facilitating a sense of self that is meaningful to the person(s) concerned within their personal and cultural context 
  • appreciating the variety of human experience and culture 
  • protecting the safety of clients 
  • ensuring the integrity of practitioner-client relationships 
  • enhancing the quality of professional knowledge and its application 
  • striving for the fair and adequate provision of services.”

The principles listed are (BACP, 2018: p9)- 

“Being trustworthy: honouring the trust placed in the practitioner. 

Autonomy: respect for the client’s right to be self-governing. 

Beneficence: a commitment to promoting the client’s wellbeing. 

Non-maleficence: a commitment to avoiding harm to the client. 

Justice: the fair and impartial treatment of all clients and the provision of adequate services. 

Self-respect: fostering the practitioner’s self-knowledge, integrity and care for self.” [5]

The personal moral characteristic that the BACP encourages are: candour, care, courage, diligence, empathy, fairness, humility, identity, integrity, resilience, respect, sincerity and wisdom (BACP, 2018). 

With regards to race and religion & belief, the BACP has a specific documentation titled Race, Religion and Belief Within the Counselling Professions (BACP, 2021). The document highlights the need for courage, humility, fairness and respect, when working with these areas of identity (BACP, 2021). Whilst I do wish the document contained more, I wonder if the lack of guidance and advisement is in some way both a challenge for counsellors, to find their own way to navigate this challenging terrain, and/or an admission that working with race and religion & belief is very difficult and the BACP doesn’t have any definite answers. 

Bringing the “nuts and bolts” together, there seems to be five areas to turn to, with three clear main areas. The three main areas are the 2010 Equality Act, the BACP Ethical Framework and the BACP Race, Religion and Belief Within the Counselling Professions document. The two relevant, but not as immediately relevant, areas are the 1998 Human Rights Act and the 1965 Race Relations Act.

Section two: me, a Jewish client

I chose the title for the section header with an emotional energy of provocativeness within my body and a desire to consider working with Jewish identity as a somewhat problematic one, as I stated in the introduction to this essay. What I mean by problematic isn’t that Jews are a problem or an issue that counsellors must find a solution for, as in to “deal with” or “get rid of the Jewish problem”. What I mean by “problematic” is that working with Jewish identity isn’t as simple as it might seem, as it is highly complex, confusing and often paradoxical to have a Jewish identity – I have certainly found it to be complex, confusing and often paradoxical. This provocativeness is somethings that I am going to seek to meet through this essay and hope that any counsellor would seek to meet, with courage, humility, fairness and respect, as outlined within the aforementioned BACP documentation (BACP, 2021. 

Who are Jews though? We are an ethno-religious group, meaning that being a Jew includes a racial and a religious aspect. The racial quality of Jewish identity can sometimes be confusing, I’ve certainly found it that way at points. This is due to a phenomenon that has been described as Schrodinger’s whites, Baddiel (2021), where Jews are included within the racial category of white and as having “white privilege” when being described as the evil rich ruling class, who secretly control everything, but are also considered non-white by many, usually as an exclusionary tactic and most significantly by white supremacists and others who seek to cast Jews as being “dirty vermin” or other subhuman categories. When positioned as white Jews are positioned as being unaffected by racism, due to white privilege, despite the fact that the idea of Jews being part of some evil ruling class, who secretly controls everything, plays directly into racist ideas. When being positioned as non-white and lesser, dirty, subhumans, Jews are obviously affected by racism, in a way that seems impossible to deny. Another important quality of Jewish experience is that of displacement and diaspora, meaning geographical separation of communities due to displacement, Shilhav (1993).

I am a mixed race Jew, with my mother’s family background being Italian American catholic, and my fathers family being patrilineal (as in, Jewish through my grandfather) Polish Jewish migrants. My great grandparents had to flee from Poland, leaving behind basically everything, first to Palestine and then to South Africa, to escape from persecution at the hands of USSR invaders; a processes involving a great deal of diaspora. Although I am mixed race Jewish, I have throughout my life continually felt closer to my Jewish identity, due to the abuse I experienced when living with my mothers parents, after my mother died when I was 7. Another aspect that I feel to bring forward here is that, whilst there is always a religious aspect to Jewish identity, my experience has always been far more racial than it has been religious, with my grandfather having been an atheistic Jew and my upbringing from my father being religiously far more oriented towards Buddhism. 

My mixed race Jewish status introduces another Schrodinger’s identity paradox, as, within orthodox Jewish belief, Jewish identity is passed on through the mother’s side of the family. So, to an orthodox Jew, I am not a Jew, because I am not properly descended or pure blood and I’ve been told this by orthodox Jewish individuals. However, this wouldn’t protect me from being a target of racial hatred and those who see me as a “dirty Jew”, and I know this because I have experienced racism by those who know of my family background, see my dark hair, olive tinted skin colour, the shape of my nose, as well as other stereotypical characteristics, and recognise other stereotypical traits, such as me being bookish and nice. There is a degree to which both enframings of not being “pure blood” and of being “dirty” feel very racist, in a way that is upsetting. 

The experience of both being and not-being, through both of the Schrodinger’s identity aspects of my identity, is confusing and upsetting. While I generally meet them, as part of everyday discussion of these matters, by asserting that I consider myself non-white and Jewish, I know that it is often not as simple as that, not because of how I see myself, but because of how I know others do. 

Section three: how I’d want to be helped, as a Jewish client 

To try and meet myself, as a Jewish client, here, I am attempting to assume both positions of counsellor and client. As such, I am presenting both how I’d want to be helped and how I’d want to help. I feel that the BACP’s guidance of courage, humility, fairness and respect(/self-respect) are important for this, especially when considering Jewish identity as being potentially problematic, in the ways that I have described. 

One of the main obstacles for working with a Jewish client, if the counsellor is not from a Jewish background, has little knowledge or experience of Jews, or has no knowledge or experience of Jews, relates to what Petrüska Clarkson calls “different worlds of experience”, Clarkson (2001). The world of experience of a Jew has aspects of it that are very different from most other racial or religious worlds of experience, mostly due to diaspora and the attempted systemic-annihilation of Jews, by the Nazis. What I mean by this is that the experience of being in the world that a Jew experiences is impacted by a huge amount of cultural, social and geographical factors, that are difficult for anyone who is not a Jew to really meet. What makes this difficult is how worlds of experience become impacted by what, in systemic integrative psychotherapy, are called the time and environmental variations, Dryden (1992). Jewish experience of being in the world, as well as other peoples perceptions of Jews, can change greatly and sometimes suddenly, particularly when racism towards Jews is prevalent in the media. 

Another related potential challenge is the matter of victimhood. Jews have experienced a lot of historical abuse, much of which enframes current experiences of diaspora, Shilhav (1993). Equally, anti-Semitism is very much a present matter and active today, Baddiel (2021). This makes the experience of victimisation very much part of the Jewish world of experience. In The Therapeutic Relationship, Clarkson at several points identifies that victim identity and experience can affect therapeutic relationships, Clarkson (2003). It is a very tricky matter, which brings up a lot of feeling within my body when thinking about it. 

In considering how I’d want to be met as a client and how as a counsellor I’d want to meet these problems, I feel a need to emphasise courage and humility, to show these matters respect. I think that the importance of the BACP value of seeking to improve relationships, BACP (2018), is also important to reflect upon at this point too. As such, my feeling is that the reparative relationship, Clarkson (2003), as described within Clarkson’s framework, as the therapist creating a space for the client to experience safety and empathy with being Jewish, is where to begin from. Clarkson places a great deal of value in the experience of “kinship”, Clarkson (2003), within her framework, and my feeling is that I need, and that it is likely other Jews would do too, an experience of a reparative relationship in order to experience kinship with a therapist who has a different world of experience. 

Section four: more that reparations and kinship

Thus far, within this essay, I have considered Jews largely from the position and experience of victimisation, which is a very real and true experience for Jews, which racists will often seek to position us within, or Jews will choose to occupy. While victimhood is something I, personally, don’t want to actively embrace, it would be dishonest of me to suggest that I have not experienced victimisation for being a Jew. With this, I want to ask these questions. What comes after victimisation? What comes after reparations and kinship? 

Counsellor and author Rebecca Mitchell has shared openly about therapy being an experience of empowerment, after her experiences of victimisation through incestual sexual abuse, Mitchell (2019). In the piece referenced above there is a definite point of movement from victimhood to survivorship and I feel like this might be the key when considering these questions. Jews are survivors of racial and religious abuse, and are surviving in a world that includes racialised and faith based abuses towards them. Empowerment feels like a desirable response to these questions. 

When I searched for ideas on empowerment within the counselling books I have and in the journals available from the BACP website, I was disappointed to find very little on the subject. I managed to find a piece of writing by social worker and coach Dr Suzanne Triggs, in which she emphasises the role of coaching personal power to meet socially adverse situations, Triggs (2021), but while that might work within a social worker context, I am unsure if coaching is necessarily appropriate for a counselling context. Then I remembered Viktor Frankl’s book Man’s Search For Meaning and the existential therapy model logotherapy, in which he draws from the philosopher Nietzsche’s position that an individual who has a reason to live for can bare almost any how, Frankl (2004). Nietzsche’s philosophy of empowerment has been close to my heart, in particular following my experiences as a cancer patient, so I have an intuitive feeling that the logotherapeutic search for meaning might well be a desirable route for empowerment, in response to victimisation. 

I want to consider this for myself. Why do I, a Jew who lives in a world that includes anti-Semitism, continue? What reason or meaning is there for me in this? The answers that come to me are ones like, to care for those I love, because I want to live and experience life, and, if honest, out of spite towards those who would seek to victimise me, because I don’t want them to have anything of me. For other Jewish clients there will be different answers. 

Conclusion

It seems to me that, while there are potentially a lot of challenges to working with Jewish identity within a counselling context, both as an ethnic group and as a religious one, there is also great opportunity here as well. One of the wonderful aspects of this is how much this work is supported by the BACP ethical framework and, to a lesser extent, the BACP guidance for working with race, religion and belief. That reparation, kinship and meaning-making are already aspects of counselling theory and guidance is also wonderful, though I would like to find more counselling practices and ideas that draw on the experience of empowerment, as I feel that that is what’s really needed here. 

Researching and writing this has certainly been an emotional and challenging process, which has impacted on other areas of my life; an example of this being that I have spoken to the head of English in the SEND school I work at and asked her to consider the appropriateness of books with illustrations of villains who have stereotypically Jewish features, such as Roald Dahl books, within the school, given the understanding capabilities of many of the students(, which I am pleased to say was received very warmly). With regards to Schrodinger’s identity and my desire to empower myself so as to not be dependent upon other individuals, particularly racist individuals, opinions, I feel to state that I am a mixed race Jew and that I am not white; a Jew who survives with a world of experience that includes anti-Semitism. With regards to my being a counsellor in training, I feel a strong desire to help individuals find self-empowerment, whatever their identity, and hope to eventually be able to do this.

Some areas that I would have liked to have considered further include the potential for working with clients who hold anti-Semitic beliefs, as well as Jewish counsellors working with Jewish clients with different worlds of experience of being Jewish. If I had a larger world count available and more time to consider this, I would have liked to have gone into these in more detail. I am referencing them here to reflect that they are part of my awareness and matters that I’d like to consider at other opportunities within my counselling journey. 

Bibliography

Baddiel, D. (2021) Jews Don’t Count, London, Times Literary Suppliement

British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (2018) Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions. Available at: https://www.bacp.co.uk/media/3103/bacp-ethical-framework-for-the-counselling-professions-2018.pdf [Accessed 6/2/22].

British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (2021) Race, religion and belief within the counselling professions. Available at: https://www.bacp.co.uk/media/12498/bacp-race-religion-and-belief-crfp-gpia101-jul21.pdf [Accessed 6/2/22]

Clarkson, P. (2001) On Psychotherapy 2: Including the 7-Level Model, Hoboken, John Wiley & Sons

Clarkson, P. (2003) The Therapeutic Relationship, London, Whurr Publishers Limited

Dryden, W. (1992) Integrative and Eclectic Therapy A Handbook, Buckingham, Open University Press

Elkin, M. (2020) Religion and Crime in England and Whales 2020. Available at: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/culturalidentity/religion/articles/religionandcrimeinenglandandwales/february2020 [Accessed 6/2/22].

Equality Act 2010, Available at: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/contents [Accessed: 6/2/22].

Frankl, V. (2004) Man’s Search For Meaning, London, Penguin Random House.

Human Rights Act 1998,, Available at: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/42/contents [Accessed: 6/2/22].

Mitchell, R. (2019) From taboo to empowerment. Available at https://www.bacp.co.uk/bacp-journals/private-practice/june-2019/from-taboo-to-empowerment/ [Accessed 6/2/22]

Race Relations Act 1965, Available at: https://www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/transformingsociety/private-lives/relationships/collections1/race-relations-act-1965/race-relations-act-1965/ [Accessed: 6/2/22].

Shilhav, Y. (1993) Ethnicity and Geography in Jewish Perspectives. In GeoJournal, July 1993, Vol. 30, No. 3, pp. 273-277

Triggs, S. (2021) Power from within: a coaching approach to social work. Available at https://www.bacp.co.uk/bacp-journals/coaching-today/october-2021/articles/power-from-within/ [Accessed 6/2/22]

War Continues, But So Do I!

War continues

War continues

War continues

The great debacle continues

The bloody sire continues

War continues

War continues

Patriotism, the menace to liberty continues

The beginning of the end continues

War spectacle continues

War continues

And what could a poem do? 

A poem written a continent away from the conflict, 

By an individual who’s body is as they write this host to the plague that has spread across the world,

It’s worthless, self-indulgence, some might say, 

But I would not. 

This is to me an absurd refusal to accept any position of impotent inability to Affect. 

Yes I am nothing, 

I create myself though and refuse to not do so. 

And while I refuse, 

War continues

War continues

War continues

The playing of teams, 

In sports-like spectacles of memes, 

Live streamed

Continues. 

In my twilight dances I climb the tallest tree heights I can find,

To scream, laugh and cry rebellion!

War continues

War continues

It fucking continues

It continually continues.

Wars between nations, states, collectives, differing heads on the Leviathan-Hydra,

Who is Moloch.

War as the annihilation of wildlife,

Their war being the assimilation of non-conformity into the system, if only through erasure. 

War continues as the industrial-militarist-necro-capitalist work machine. 

For as long as I have been aware of the media, 

I have witnessed the spectacle of war, 

With intensifying hyper-reality, 

And at this point, 

I am notified, 

So I cannot, 

Escape. 

I was born in 1991 and first took real notice of the news, 

When the civilised world became forever changed, 

When the structures of architectural absolution, 

Global finance, world trade, Western-victory, 

Collapsed and this culture went on a series, 

Of wars campaigned with but one aim, 

An aim that it convinced itself wasn’t, 

But now could only be true.

The aim of fossil fuels, 

A vile excuse,

For all the

Sacrifices

Offered

To this

God. 

And war continues

And war continues

And war continues

And the lives of the living are sacrificed,

For the Cause of sustaining industry,

Through the fuels that industry needs.

War continues

War continues

Are they the good side? 

Are they the bad? 

Are they the just and the other the evil? 

I am sure each would say so of the other. 

I see no goodness in either, 

And I see no evil. 

I see shallow, cowardly, revolting attempts to maintain empire. 

I see cowards who lack the strength to fight with the bodies that they are, 

So they use the machinery of industrial warfare, rather than their teeth or fists. 

Some say they see tribalism in this war, but I see no tribes – I see collectives, assimilating individuals to be sacrifices in their Cause of warfare. 

And war continues

War continues

War continues

War continues

Radiation leaks in the Red Forest

And war continues

Bombs fly across the world, 

In far off places, with fewer nuclear weapons

And the war spectacle continues

Poems are written

Art works are created

Protest songs are sung

And war continues

Totalitarianism continues its production of totalities,

Totalities that will inevitably de-totalise,

And war continues. 

I have protested as an attempt to challenge war-narratives.

I have attended anti-war marches and demonstrations. 

And war continues. 

Now I write this poem, as an absurd act of rebellion, 

And war continues. 

Will it continue on forever? 

Can there be militarist conflict that is perpetuated ad infinitum? 

Can we construct a mass-grave big enough to throw in all the corpses, 

The waste products of industrial-warfare, 

And somehow use them, 

As fuel to somehow, 

Sustain this, 

Shit? 

I have watched the spectacle of war for what feels like far too long. 

Friends I have cared for have offered themselves as sacrifices for the militarist machine. 

Tears come to my eyes, 

And war continues

War continues

War continues. 

The Cause of peace is war, 

And war is Caused by peace. 

The annihilation of conflict has been the single justification of war that I have ever encountered, 

But as life strikes me as an experience of conflict, 

The annihilation of conflict strikes me as, 

Denying and renouncing life,

As revolting weakness,

Careless abuse that,

Cowers before,

The abyss, 

Without the courage to look in. 

Oh I see many soldiers: if only I could see many warriors. 

Warriors who don’t wage wars,

As they don’t fear conflict. 

But war continues

Soldiers continue soldiering

States continue stating

Nations continue nationing

And war continues

They say “war rages on”, but I see no rage in industrial militarism, 

I see no emotions, no feeling, or if anything the attempt to non-attach, 

With Buddhistic peacefulness.

I see no rage in a gun. 

I see no fear in bombs. 

I see no anguish in tanks. 

I see no sadness in a drone. 

I see no trembling in this annihilation. 

Mindfulness weaponised as militarist-detachment, 

For absolute peacefulness, through annihilation, 

Immanetising the eschaton, 

Through nuclear-dharma, 

Om Krim Kali

Om Krim Kali 

Om Krim Kali

I wish for no peace

I desire feeling and emotion

I want industrial warfare to end, 

But it continues. 

Om Krim Kali

Om Krim Kali

Om Krim Kali

May their machines rust

May a great storm destroy their weapons

May the earth quake and open up its belly of molten rock and consume all the metals that they have manipulated through productivity, 

To die within earth and reborn anew. 

Om Krim Kali

Om Krim Kali 

Om Krim Kali

May this stupid poem be enough to destroy the icons of this fowl church, 

Is it? 

Are these words enough? 

No, of course not. 

But I still want to write. 

Sheela Na Gig

Sheela Na Gig

Sheela Na Gig

Please birth a deep, dark, primordial forest, 

Home to boar, wolf, deer, badger, buzzard, snowdrop, frog, hawk, snake, woodlouse, bee, butterfly, fox, lynx, mink, bear, newt, salmon, trout, great rock, tiny stone, moss, ivy and more, 

Upon what was once the battlefields of mass-industrial-necro-capitaliist-militarist-productivity. 

Sheela Na Gig

Sheela Na Gig

Sheela Na Gig

I desire life and the living

I have watched too much the spectacle of war

I have watched in horror and revolt and protested and war continues.

I was nearly shot when seeking to defend badgers from annihilation. 

I want to be-Kali and destroy the machinery of annihilation. 

I want to be Sheela Na Gig and birth a primordial forest. 

I have met the Buddha on the road and killed him, for peace is too welcoming of the most life-ending violence for my tastes. 

War continues, but so do I!

Protest, Rebellion and Fascism

When does a state turn fascist? I wonder at what intensity of statism does a state turn from a non-fascist, or non-fascist-like/type of state, into a fascist/fascist-like/fascist-type state. But then again, if fascism is a certain intensity of statism, then does that mean that all states have a quality of fascism or fascist-like/type qualities? Well, my anti-statist inclination is drawn towards saying “yes” to the last question, or at least “I’d say so”. 

I’ll put this into some kind of context. Over the weekend I heard a friend speak passionately about their worries regarding the proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. This friend is an activist, who has organised and been involved in protests. I have seen many of my friends who organise and are involved in protest-praxis feel affected by this bill, especially those who have been involved in Extinction Rebellion. I have also seen Kill The Bill media, trying to warn the masses of the dangers of this proposed legislation. 

When I first learnt of the bill, my first instinct was, rather than fearing it, to mock it, as a means of disempowering the political establishment. I see the pursuit of greater authoritarian measures by states to be an admission of being powerless and desired the affirmation of politicians not being able to meaningfully affect the world. Mockery seems to me to be an excellent form of psychological-warfare – one of the qualities of Pemulwuy’s rebellion against colonisers that most intensely inspired me, when I read about him, was learning of his use of mockery. I wanted to see the government humiliated, rather than feared. But, sadly and with an appreciation for why not, I have not seen this – I do still desire this response, while appreciating why individuals haven’t embraced it. 

It is really difficult to mock something that you fear. Mocking a fascist, to their face, not behind closed doors, where they can’t hear you, or offline, where you don’t have the distance to keep you feeling safe, is understandably an uncomfortable notion for many individuals. This is because fascism and fascists are violent and it is understandable why individuals don’t want to risk coming to harm. With this, I appreciate that many would find the idea of mocking the bill a horrifying notion, including many individuals I consider friends, who are feeling affected by the bill. 

Outside of a historically situated political movement and ideology, what is fascism? Is this a stupid question? Isn’t it obvious what fascism is, given how often the word is used in media? Fascism is neo-Nazis, Trump, Putin, Erdogan, Britain First and Infowars, isn’t it? I don’t think so. 

If I think about what fascism means to me today I think first and foremost about technological apparatus, weaponry, technologies of surveillance, machinery designed to coerce individuals into certain activities and actions; I think about the attempt to turn living beings into state(/death camp)-machinery, such as the police, the army, politicians, informants and many journalists; and I think of death camps/work camps, which I feel is a fair way to describe too-fucking-late-Krapitalism, given the intensity of mass death its productive narratives involve. I don’t think of policies or just what is called “far right”. Rather, I think of the physical landscape of a situation, an intensely artificial topographic experience, typified by architectural brutality and rationality. I think of political optimism, faith in the state and the belief that government, progress and “authorities” can improve the world. 

(Fascism revolts me.)

Considering those qualities that I attribute to what I’d call fascism, I notice that all of these have been part of British society, as l have experienced living amidst the colonial, industrial, architectural and agricultural wreckage that constitutes British society. I imagine that they are aspects of many of the other states that are generally described as being “democratic”, liberal, moderate and other buzzwords, for “low-intensity statism”. If all the qualities that I feel describe fascism are attributable to “low-intensity statism), this inclines me towards feeling that fascism is not really about the intensity of state measures, but rather about the physical availability of state measures, which feels pretty fucking available across states today. Perhaps it would be simpler for me to just state that I feel like fascism was already here, its just that the mask is being dropped.

So what about protest? Well, I haven’t really believed in protesting for several years. I have mostly attended protests for the past 7 years going in only with a desire to meet other protestors and potentially forge friendships, as well as occasionally as militant-badger-lover-guy. My feeling has been that, given how the “right to protest” is a government provided privilege, protesting has been assimilated, systematised, spectacularised, bought, sold and basically become a tool of state apparatus, to facilitate a feeling of rebellion, up until the point that protest becomes bothersome to other aspects of state apparatus. This is not a nice or comfortable feeling that I have had and continue to have! I feel sad for all the life potential I see wasted in appeals to systems that I see as inherently abusive, particularly when considering individuals I know and the struggles that their lives involve – this is certainly not intended as an insult aimed at the passions with which they have embodied through their activities! 

“Okay Julian, if protesting, as aboveground activism, isn’t an option then obviously activists need to turn to underground activities, obviously” – this is an exaggerated version of the kind of response I have received when bringing up my criticisms of protesting and I largely disagree. I don’t feel like turning to the paranoiaist world of, largely urbanite-subterraneanist, “underground activism” is desirable. From this realm of paranoiac-politics all I see is state-empowerment, individuals who are so full of fear towards Leviathan that much of their lives is dedicated to avoiding its gaze. That this ultimately empowers state apparatus is apparent from examples such as how Ted Kaczynski’s “underground activism” basically surmounted to nothing more than facilitating opportunity for the state to improve its machinery. 

The way I navigate this culture and live out my rebellion/activism, or at least how I describe “it”, is non-localisable localism, which I am becoming increasingly inclined towards trying to encourage/seduce other individuals into embracing. Non-localisable localism is comparable to the idea of “hiding in plain sight”, in as much as it is entirely open, but largely untraceable and hard to see if you’re not very close to me, while being (basically) entirely open. Save for anti-cull activities and writings, my non-localisable localist activities are rarely ever publicised, largely because they don’t need to be – I don’t need these activities to be affirmed or rejected by others. This requires no organising, organisation or Organisation, largely because it is an individualist form of praxis – not being seen will undoubtedly be disagreeable to collectivist ideologues, whose ideology requires massification, which requires the mass seeing the mass, in order to know it is a mass (because the mass is constantly unsure of its own existence, as political/ideological identity/existential crisis). One of the more beautiful aspects of this approach to rebellion/activism is that it immediately deals with both issues regarding the distinction between macro and micro political systems. 

I am by no means suggesting that “my praxis is the answer to this bill”, as that would be ridiculously arrogant of me to suggest. I am appalled at the individuals who hide behind the names of organisations, claiming to know what “we” (whatever the fuck “we” means) need to do – generally its “organise”, “demonstrate” and/or “revolution”, or other activist cliches. There are so many unknowns and really I am largely encouraging individuals to embrace the unknown and becoming-unknowable – I would encourage anyone to read the zine-essay Unknowable: Against an Indigenous Anarchist Theory by Klee Benally [1], as it speaks to a very similar perspective, and is excellent reading! My inclination is largely not to trust answers, systems and those who preach them. My desire to encourage becoming non-localisable/unknowable doesn’t come from any optimistic belief in being able to “fix this”, but rather a pessimistic feeling of care, with a desire to not only “survive this” but to “survive this with individuals who I find beautiful”. 

This world, this life, is a difficult place to navigate. To deny this feels dishonest. With the mask being thrown off, it feels dishonest to deny that statism is fascistic, or at least fascist-like. With this recognised, perhaps it is madness to suggest mockery as a response to this Leviathan, with the laughter this mockery inspires being akin to a mode of paradoxical laughter. Perhaps it is an inappropriate affect, given the context, but equally perhaps inappropriateness is entirely appropriate! More than any notion of propriety, I want to laugh! I want to laugh and point and mock and feel the wonderful feeling of laughing fill my body and course through all that I am. Being free to laugh affirms my ontologically primal freedom, that no state could ever hope to take away from me, without killing me. Radical-sardonicism, where the tragedy is a comedy and you cry while laughing, appeals to me, not just as gallows humour, as I have no intention of being executed, but as absurdist rebellion and revolt. 

“Knock Knock”

“Who’s there?”

“Boris Johnson”

“Boris Johnson who?”

“Boris Johnson the fucking prime minister, now let me the fuck in because Extinction Rebellion are standing outside some buildings and I’m terrified of liberal pacifist hippies!”

Notes

[1] https://www.indigenousaction.org/unknowable-against-an-indigenous-anarchist-theory-zine/?fbclid=IwAR038Ya-xJFhNAJpmzHgGkYL6k-DLoK8S4wkj9ag1aWOjeQ8l27Mze3uJ7E

On Egoism and Ecology – my fifth book (my only book in Indonesian)

Several months ago I was contacted by Alvin, an individual living in Indonesia, asking whether or not I was comfortable with them translating some of my essays, in the interest of creating a book. I was immediately flattered and said that I was happy for them to do so. Since then I’ve had this as something at the back of my mind, unsure as to whether or not the book would come to be.

Today I received a message from another individual living in Indonesia, thanking me for my writing, while sending me the link to the published collection of translations. The link is this one – https://archive.org/details/eco-egoism-langer-alvin/mode/1up – I am also going to include a pdf download link at the bottom of this page.

The gratitude I feel towards Alvin Born to Burn and Publikasi pertama for creating this collection is more than I can say, as it is the biggest compliment that I think I could possibly be given as a writer.

You can access the pdf here –

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