Australian magpies help each other remove the GPS trackers humans have put onto them:
“Of the five Australian Magpies that had trackers attached, we directly observed four actively removing the trackers. […] We observed that Magpies used cooperative behaviour, and likely some level of problem solving, to release GPS tracker harnesses on conspecifics.”
TO THE PERENNIAL THIEVES OF AUTONOMY
TO THE PERENNIAL THIEVES OF AUTONOMY
Person to person, I want to talk about the wrought, painful, and rigid dance we've trapped ourselves in. We need to talk about our relationship.
Life is hard. We need help sometimes. It's useful to cooperate and collaborate with people to get shit done. If this is a relationship in which we know each other as individuals, in which know each other's troubles and care, I want to offer and share what I have. I also want to accept help, trusting that I'm not walking into a coercive debt trap or a set-up to some punchline. I want to be gracious if you tell me to back off because I've done something you do not like. I never want to pressure or force you to become something you're not meant to be. I don't want to decide things for people by imposing help they don't need. Asking for help is a perfectly fine way to communicate your needs. And let you tell me about a couple of my needs. When you ask something of me, I need to decide whether I can meet your request in the form you've given.
I need room to be able to say “no.”
There is a difference between inquiring if I have capacity to help you and issuing commands where my compliance is taken as a given and my refusal would be taken as an affront. There is a difference between asking for help and deceptively framing orders as questions in situations where I practically cannot say no or even question the premise of the ask.
If you don't invite me to participate with sincere agnosticism about my capacity and willingness, you do not care what my reasons for noncompliance are. When you command me, you are telling me to do what you want, when you say so, because you said so.
I do not obtain pleasure from obfuscating your needs. I've wanted to support you, but I do not want to remain in a social arrangement that disdainfully takes for granted my cannibalization and on-demand performance.
You point the finger at me for wronging you in the form of denying your needs arbitrarily and without good reason, when it is you who cornered, railroaded, and extracted from me with weaponized assertiveness and rhetoric. It was you who decided the terms of our shared life by insisting on structures and timelines that had nothing to do with my boundaries or capacities and all to do with your desires and needs. When I bent, stretched, and shrunk in response to you, it was considered natural and correct. When I resisted or failed to meet your expectations, I became the aggressor.
If you wish to impose an explanation of how you're the perpetual victim for my failure to stay a good footstool, allow me to hit back with a framework that accounts for more than just you and your precious needs. I want to talk about autonomy.
My autonomy matters to me, as yours matters to you. Autonomy over how I move my body, where I exist, and how I spend my time matters to me. It is important to me that I choose my tasks because I decide they're worth doing, and not because I'll be punished physically or socially.
You've indicated through words and deeds that you consider my autonomy to be expendable in pursuit of your needs.
You've expected that I match your pace and meet your goals, on your terms, without considering that I have my own damn life, my own ideas, and my own reasons for moving in the world the way I do. You've told me in so many ways that your needs are more important because they originate from you, and my needs are less important because they originate from me.
This is not how someone acts in a reciprocal relationship between peers. This is not collaboration, and pretending it's so is a manipulative facade intended to achieve a predetermined goal that was chosen over my head, even though I'm affected too.
When you tell me to do something without leaving space for my own reasons to refuse, it is an unforgivable violation.
If you feel self-righteously justified in deciding things for other people's lives, it's extremely disingenuous that you promote yourself as an anarchist.
This framing where your needs matter most and all considerations are incidental is unapologetically hierarchical. Here, you are a boss. You are a manager.
I'm NOT okay with you pushing people the fuck around because controlling others feels bound up in meeting your needs.
Ask nearly anyone, and they will tell you that nihilism is a belief in nothing. Popularized by the movie, the Big Lebowski, and perpetuated by lazy academics and philosophers, this misunderstanding of nihilism has led to a sort of demonization in anarchist circles. Primitivist John Zerzan frequently laments about nihilism, saying things like “…you start having people that are so nihilistic they don’t even care about life anymore.” To Zerzan, nihilism is simply not caring about life.
Even someone opposed to primitivism, transhumanist William Gillis states “‘‘’Can a nihilist be an anarchist?” No. Absolutely not. Nihilism is the philosophy of our thoroughly sociopathic society. Everything we fight.” If primitivists and transhumanists can both hate nihilism together so actively, perhaps that shows they have more in common than one might expect. Perhaps nihilism is a convenient boogeyman for anarchists so entrenched in their own ideologies of primitivism/transhumanism/etc., that those ideologies have started to supersede anarchism?
Is nihilism merely “not caring about life?” Absolutely not! The first nihilists were called so because nothing “that then existed found favor in their eyes”. This does not mean that these people believed in nothing, or did not care about life. Quite the opposite! To those who would form the foundations of nihilism, life was important enough to reject those things which would attempt to fetter life. The first nihilists looked around, saw nothing that they approved of, and then set out to destroy those things, while creating structures and circumstance that did please them. Nihilism stems from people wanting to realize their desires through action. If nihilism was simply people not caring, as Zerzan claims, then nihilism could not make the claim of having killed a czar, and nearly toppling an empire. History does not support Mr. Zerzan’s claims.
Can one be an anarchist and a nihilist, as Mr. Gillis claims is impossible? Of course! In fact, from Renzo Novatore, to CCF, to the FAI, anarchists have been nihilists for over a century, and almost as long as the phrase “anarchism” has been used in politics. Mr. Gillis is either making grandiose claims, while being ignorant of history, or he is claiming that people and groups who have done far more in terms of creating anarchy than himself are not anarchist, and even the enemies of anarchism! Again, reality flies in the face of those who would make false claims about nihilism.
Mr. Gillis claims that nihilism “is the philosophy of our thoroughly sociopathic society”. If only that were the case! If only our society was rooted in the rejection of coercive social norms, and attack on oppressive structures! That is what nihilists do…I am not quite sure how that makes them the enemies of anarchism.
“Negation of every society, of every cult, of every rule and of every religion. But I don’t yearn for Nirvana, any more than I long for Schopenhauer’s desperate and powerless pessimism, which is a worse thing than the violent renunciation of life itself. Mine is an enthusiastic and dionysian pessimism, like a flame that sets my vital exuberance ablaze, that mocks at any theoretical, scientific or moral prison.” — Renzo Novatore
Renzo Novatore, an Italian nihilist anarchist from the early 1900s, specifically combats this idea of nihilism as some exacerbated hopelessness, and rejects nihilism as a “powerless pessimism”. Novatore understands that rulers can come in many forms, “theoretical, scientific, and moral” even. As anarchists, should we not be vigilant towards all concepts as potential rulers? Should we not attempt to tangibly oppose that which coerces us? Should we not attempt to create circumstances that better suit our desires? For Mr. Gillis, these acts would be far too nihilist, which leaves him holding an anarchism which would seem quite ineffective. I would argue that nihilism is a compliment, if not inherent, to anarchism.
Far from a belief in nothing, nihilism challenges us to act. It encourages us to create the world we want to see, and to do it right now. As the early nihilists took from Bakunin, “The passion for destruction is a creative passion, too!” Nihilism is not some hopeless end, it is a bright beginning!
“(Nihilism) stands like an extreme that cannot be gotten beyond, and yet it is the only true path of going beyond; it is the principle of a new beginning.” — Maurice Blanchot
So, why is there this concerted effort against the concept of nihilism from many different corners of anarchism? Why are some people so bent on opposing what is definitionally, and historically, something that has been very much ingrained in anarchism? I would argue that it is exactly because of the way that these figures have positioned themselves among anarchism. The unwillingness of nihilism to accept dogma stands opposed to the very dogmatic stances that anarchists like Gillis and Zerzan have taken. Having painted themselves into corners as transhumanist or primitivist, people like this likely feel threatened by a nihilism that would reject transhumanism or primitivism as static ideologies. After all, nihilism calls for a fluidity of ideas that moves along with the fluidity of desires, and has no interest in “theoretical prisons” that claim a certain way to anarchy. Gillis and Zerzan have built themselves up on very specific sets of ideas, and they understand that nihilism challenges these ideas that they sit atop….Either that, or they really are just uneducated and ignorant as to the true origins of nihilism.
The hope for a cetain (maybe utopian) future allows us to slip into deciding what is "worth it" when we talk about exploitation, extraction, and oppression. The more interesting starting point is - whats just not the fuck ok and what has got to go. the future will unveil itself from there
So i just don't see the point in any conversation about what the future **should** be. Its limiting - our imaginations are shaped by *this* reality. So why start there and work backwards?
Then I got on my bike and saw three picture perfect crazy mushrooms rly big perfectly under a streetlight. I stopped to go back and look at them but decided it was a "trap"? ??? For security footage of me????? BC obviously id look at mushrooms..... so im rly glad I didnt go into the yards where ppl would've tried to talk to me
Yards update: got high after work last night and meant to go look at trains. But these like hot shit (apparently) graf bros were painting at the entrance where I wanted to pee. So ibwas waiting for them to move. Then when I peed they ran up on me cuz their stuff was right there and I had to be like. "Just trying to pee!. ... but not on your stuff"
To create hierarchy it takes technology, this doesn’t mean technology = bad, but many technologies lend themselves to hierarchy. This was true ten thousand years ago and it’s true today. Hierarchy is an imposition of violence on the many by the few, and the few, by nature of their biology, require technology to extend the reach of that violence.
After having been outed and properly drunk. My coworker told me he was going to jail and I didnt wana know why. To which i responded, "im an anarchist. Yu can tell me"
When I said I don't trust most anarchists either it did not stop them. They were hyper focused on defending the most accurate and traditional understanding of what Kropotkin and Marx had to say. Even tho they couldnt talk to me at all about how communists or ancoms think and act today. BC they literally dk.
Its like when anthropology /archaeologists find a text and decide this is how ppl lived n what they believed. When in reality, ppl live all kinds of ways n dnt always care about what a book says. And Kropotkin isnt the only anarchist? Who did "mutual aid "?
I got into a discussion w someone who didnt like that I "dismiss Marx" bc I said i dnt trust communists. I clarified that I don't care about Marx - that i was simply saying I don't trust communists. They were adamant yu shouldn't group whole ideologies n dismiss them. It took a long time before they finally said "ive never met a real communist. Do they even exist?"
N im reminded how much i hate academics
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