These are roughly the questions I tackle below:
- What is anarchization?
- How can we anarchize assemblages which seem to us almost entirely fascistic?
- How can we actualize propositionary potential trapped within impositionary structures?
- What are some problems with the term “abolition” with regards to political action?
- How do we avoid re-producing structur-fascism?
We need to be really careful when passing judgments about the “fascistic nature” of certain societal constructs. There’s a looming threat of essentialism here that needs to be addressed and taken measures against.
Societal constructs are never fascistic in and of themselves. “Fascistic properties”, which can be mainly defined by consistent tendency towards coercion and homogenization, arise from particular conjunctions and dynamics, and not from inherent characteristics of some clearly discernible entities. Actual dynamics of systems, and the ways in which we differentiate and characterize them through language, are not in direct correspondence with each other.
Even a territorial state wouldn’t be able to practice coercion if it weren’t for all of its subordinate military and bureaucratic apparatuses; which, in turn, are comprised of people performing routinal tasks aimed at maintaining the subordinance and functionality of said apparatuses. It’s not a monolithic, seamless entity. Between each distinctive segment of this mega-assemblage, conjunctions and interlocks could be altered and redefined in such a way as to visibly disjoint whole sectors from it.
Envision: after an energetic infusion of meta-anarchist flows, a state-controlled war-machine steadily becomes a rhizome of socially accountable militias. Military bases are restructured to operate in tandem with community committees; military supercomputers are rededicated from optimizing third-world drone strikes to hosting bottom-up digital consensus within the militias. All of this happens gradually, through local alterations and recodings.
But not only non-human infrastructure is then recontextualized in such a way. Minds and identities of military personnel also enter into a transformative dance with meta-anarchy. For example: before the infusion, the sense of comradeship within the military milieu produced a stateward loyalty. Now, in the absence of imposed authority, this same esprit de corps produces more enthusiastic and human-centered self-organization; and maybe even starts to empathically attract new members from the “outer public” to partake in voluntary defense.
What can be more fascistic than soldierly loyalty, it seems? — and yet, this very affect, in the given case, is repurposed to not only lose its “fascistic qualities”, but to obtain vividly anarchic functions.
[ Why is this possible? I offer an interpretation where this esprit de corps contains a propositionary potentiality, captured and functionalized by an impositionary actuality of unilateral top-down control. Genuine internal involvements into social relations, such as feelings of comradeship and relatedness, contain a propositionary potentiality — in a sense that internal social involvements allow to foster relationships independent of external coordination. To put it in simpler words: two good friends are more motivated to act together independent of external command than two strangers existing in a strictly commanded regiment.
So, in our case, an impositionary military-apparatus redirects this internal motivation towards the state-apparatus, functionalizing genuine emotional involvements to uphold the apparatus’ impositionary structure. Yet, as I’ve demonstrated above, the propositionary potentiality of those involvements can be actualized through their reconnection to a primarily anarchic, propositionary milieu.]
Almost all societal assemblages are partially impositionary and partially propositionary. i.e., almost all of them contain both impositionary tendencies (/flows/structurations) and propositionary ones. To effectively practice meta-anarchism, we need to accelerate propositionary tendencies within any given societal assemblage, while disrupting and disjointing impositionary tendencies. Actually, those are not two separate actions; the former almost always entails the latter. Together, they comprise the process of anarchization.
Taking an essentialist approach and calling for unconditional elimination of whole assemblages seems like an easy way to increase overall harm. Every assemblage has desire involved; it subsists on regular investments of desire: through everyday actions and reflections of participants, through practices of agency and embodiment. If an assemblage wouldn’t be able to mobilize desire of its constituents, it wouldn’t be able to act. The military-apparatus’ utilization of soldierly loyalty is a vivid example of such mobilization of desire.
At the same time, impositionary structures rely on trapping this desire: unilaterally limiting the range of actualizations it might produce, while preventing desire from escaping into other assemblages and structurations. Only certain forms of comradeship are allowed within the ranks of the military-apparatus. Only certain forms of creativity are allowed within a hegemonic corporation.
The challenge of a meta-anarchist is to find ways to liberate desire from impositionary structures in such a way as to not re-trap the liberated desire in singular orders, but to allow it to actualize itself in new multiplicitous propositions.
The term “abolition” itself does not give us any information about what kind of propositions are assembled within it. So, in any given case of talking about “abolition”, or “revolution”, or “acceleration”, or whatever kind of large-scale political action — the set of proposed actions needs to be specified and contextualized; and from that, we then need to articulate which of those actions would increase propositionarity, and which would produce new impositions instead.
Would it be a generally good idea to ‘abolish’ the military-apparatus altogether? Depends on what this ‘abolition’ entails; i.e, depends on what kind of proposed actions are assembled under this term.
If by this ‘abolition’ one means physically attacking random low-rank soldiers in civil circumstances, or forbidding to demonstrate any symbols of allegiance to the military, this may not be the most sustainable strategy for establishing new anarchic associations. Arguably, it would actually increase impositionarity within the milieu in question.
But if “abolishing the military” means non-violently disrupting the chains of impositionary command and creating inventive spaces of self-actualization and self-determination for this military’s constituents — maybe within militias, maybe within literal LARPs, maybe within some other warfare-unrelated voluntary activities — this, I argue, would be a demonstrably meta-anarchist approach.
So, my proposal for meta-anarchist strategy is to explicitly consider all facets and nuances of constituent desire before taking action towards any given societal assemblage; and then — come up with localized, contextually informed methods of liberation of trapped desire. To achieve this, I think it’s necessary to depart from abstract terms like “abolition” towards more specific and molecular descriptions.
In other words, we need to examine every societal assemblage not in terms of “whether its worth abolishing”, but in terms of “in what ways we can propositionarize this particular assemblage”. This requires disassembling and deconstructing the assemblage — seizing to view it as a seamless whole; but most crucially — it requires communicating with constituent actors of this assemblage.
“Follow the actors themselves”, to quote the Latour’s leitmotif; and I say synonymously: communicate with the constituents themselves. Exchange propositions back and forth. Negotiate new meta-anarchist associations in circumvention of impositionary structures which the actors are seemingly a part of. Reconfigure towards meta-anarchy. Organize clandestine joint soldier-civilian committees, growing a kind of dual power; diplomatically connect them to a growing Collage. Of course, do not abstain from self-defense. Do not unilaterally impose your own structures and narratives: always negotiate and propositionarize. Grow newer and newer societal bodies for desire to flow through, causing impositionary assemblages to decay from within — causing them to deterritorialize, to lose grasp on captured territories and stratas. Anarchize and meta-anarchize.
The primary goal of meta-anarchist critique should not be to identify enemies and targets for ‘abolition’, but to constantly invent and localize tactics of liberatory deterritorialization. Translated into praxis, those tactics are then proposed to interrelated actors, followed by decentralized flows of resources and sociality.
Thus, we increase the multiplicity of forms for desire to actualize itself within, not decrease it. We create a multi-faceted, multi-planar world, not the one restricted to a limited set of “worthy” assemblages, i.e. not the one characterized by structur-fascism; but the one which genuinely resembles a meta-anarchic playground of existential possibilities.
By attentively applying this broad approach to various assemblages — private and collective property, guilds, familial structures, militaries, factories, communicational technologies, corporations and even states — one might learn to facilitate meta-anarchic tendencies within those assemblages without producing unnecessary additional coercion.
Another specific example of utilizing the method of anarchization is my description of a p2p-nobility. When applied ubiquitously, this method is expected to produce increasing amounts of differing anarchies; this continual production of various anarchies is what I imagine a meta-anarchist Collage to grow and subsist on.
This text is, in part, intended to be a scaffold for a guide to meta-anarchist praxis: it’s up to you to equip this scaffold with your own examples, discoveries and revelations. When you do, consider sharing them with the rest of the meta-anarchist community. Diversifying our toolbox is much needed, as well as assembling this toolbox in the first place.