Rewilding my relationship to place by lowering property values
For how hellish the rest of the country seems in terms of weather, this July has been so temperate. It's even misting today. I think it's probably a combination of the mountains keeping the heat away and the sea buffering the temperature. I think this place may end up being a good spot for climate refuge if it doesn't burn down, maybe even if it does
Just found out my old university literally contracts architects that design prisons to build their dorms. Like I always thought they were designed pretty inhospitably but that is literally the intention they're going with to create conditions for surveillance and riot control. #weliveinasociety
Big ramble; critique of university, academia, reform
Becoming settled in a college town I've found myself thinking a lot about the institutional management of class privileges. The way that Universities which appear at the very least benign are one of the most powerful manipulators of class dynamics. There is a more or less obvious dynamic where anyone who is capable of proving themselves in the academic machine is awarded the privilege of credentials and with that the potential of middle class income. It's never a guarantee, merely a carrot-on-a-stick leading to further humiliation and different forms of suffering which in itself push individuals through predetermined avenues of their chosen field or firm.
The deeply draconian aspect of the University shows itself in face of resistance from students and faculty. It will pride itself in the allowance of the free flow of diverse ideas, but the moment that ideas are brought to life, the rug can be pulled out from underfoot, no academic privileges or potential for advancement with all the debt still in place. This appropriately weeds out those who truly wish to stir dissent from those who believe that words are everything. When collective bargaining has been used to counter this form of retaliation, the University always has the upper hand in terms of resources and can simply wait out a strike as unions and individual students burn through their own reserves waiting for demands to be met. Even if this institution could be reformed, it would only become reformed to the extent that it tangibly increases the privileges of it's graduates. Resistance only crops up in mass because the value of a degree has been eroded so deeply and tuition has only increased. The more base function of the University as simply another process of domesticating dissatisfaction, and weeding out disobedience is revealed in a time where modern dormitories look much more obviously like jail cells. The University is not reformable, nor should it be; it has nothing left to offer and it's false promises are just that, but it's mythology holds strong on those who think there is a decent place for them in the refined offices of the middle class. Buying into it, even as a self-conscious radical; becoming a communist academic or working at the desks of a non-profit, is just further diverting one's dissatisfaction into a morally justifiable do-gooder position instead of directly addressing what is dissatisfying about everyday life. Its more wishful thinking to believe life can really be grasped without risk, without dispensing ones useless baggage. If your degree really is just a piece of paper to you, then prove it by leaving the path it led you down.
A great number of modern diseases that we recognize today likely originated as early as the first civilizations. Archeological studies of global population show that these diseases wiped out uncivilized populations at roughly the same rate as civilized populations grew from 12000 bp to 7000 bp. How the fact of disease effected social consciousness of us/them, self/other, civilized/uncivilized seems undeniable to me. The inversion of civ being a physical incubator of disease that inflicts itself on everything else into civ being a bastion of hygienic standards assaulted by unhygienic outsiders ultimately transforms the fear of being sick and dying into the fear of being abnormal and socially dying.
The only hope that ever exists for the autonomous territory is that it continues to be desirable for those still confined and that it urges them to desert, mutiny and maroon themselves while bringing as many others on their way out. The mere existence of the territory should shatter the illusory comfort of normality and possess the individual with their own dreams.
i will not elaborate
(long, anti-street action post, about the US context tho I'm sure some bits apply elsewhere)
I find it fully understandable why ppl put so much importance on street actions. (But I don't)
The idea that you can directly confront the systems that you hate, (semi) publicly, using a slightly (but not larticularly) specialized skill set is exciting.
Realizing that the system is not omnipotent and that there are tactics you can use to (partially) shield yourself from it is exciting.
Repeating (as dogma) that this is effective resistance and that we only have the rights we do because of riots, or dreaming about the rioting bubbling over into insurrection creates an environment in which the choice is clear: we should just all throw ourselves into street actions and once we all do it hard enough the world will be better, right?
I want to say clearly that I have nothing against ppl who decide they want to use these tactics. People should make their own decisions.
But imo what ~~we~~ lose is (generally) far more than what ~~we~~ win. The bulk of street actions (in the US) are framed in terms of race and there's a lot of leveraging white guilt to push ppl into taking risks while simultaneously asserting that "it" isn't about white ppl and they shouldn't center themselves, their experiences, their stakes, etc. This framing does a ton to encourage ppl into a mindset of sacrifice and away from thinking about what is lost vs what is won and whether these tactics are actually having results that are in line with their desires.
What is Won:
-cops jobs become more stressful (we can hope this leads to more quitting, recruitment being harder, and policing being less effective, but there's no guarantee).
-property damage occurs
-some specific development is stalled or made more costly
-new connections are made
-potentially, somewhat abstractly, People With Power become more afraid of future riots and act more cautiously or give some concessions.
-something (construction, logistics, a meeting, transit, etc) is temporarily disrupted.
These are all possibilities that may or may not happen in any given action. I could list more that are more minor / abstract, but these feel like the important pieces.
What is Lost
-people face police violence
-people are arrested
-people face charges, get wrapped up in long term legal battles, and do prison time.
-while it is possible the result of actions is making police more afraid, it's at least as likely in my assessment that it makes them more angry / driven / politicized
-similarly, while it's possible to gain public support, lots of people will be pushed the other way (tons of fascists point to the ferguson riots as what radicalized them.
-winning concessions from the system invariably takes the form of non profits / movement leaders (or a parallel Non-Violent/respectable movement) gaining increased bargaining power and working with the city to build recuperative reforms.
People don't need to approach street actions as an optics game (but a huge portion of their function is as spectacle).
And I'm not saying reforms are worthless (but positioning the gains won but #DirectAction as categorically different from reforms is disingenuous imo)
I'd just encourage people to look at actions, try to weigh the amount of resources and energy that go into them, and evaluate whether the wins produced by the action outweigh what that amount of resources and energy could have done directed differently.
I've seen so many actions with 10k+ in legal expenses that did very little other than expose ppl to police violence and repression in exchange for....a feeling of fighting back? Self expression doesn't need to be that costly.
Direct confrontation is choosing to fight an enemy that is way better equiped, has way more support, can use violence more legitimately, on terrain that massively favors them. (There can be specific contexts where that is less the case. When a massively, broad spirit of revolt exists, where prison sentences and legal costs are lower, etc)
I stopped seeing it as bold a while ago and just see it as sad now
Long transmisogyny post, crossposted from tumblr. Super curious to hear thoughts, reactions, disagreements, questions, etc. Probably gonna continue refining this piece.
Transmisogyny and Masculinity
The general cistem
In addition to recognizing the way that patriarchy creates a hierarchy of men over non-men, I want to examine the way hierarchies exist between people classed as men* (and similarly between people classed as women).
Patriarchy sets separate cistems of gendered morality for men and women: a set of virtues and sins that apply to men and a separate set that apply to women. Thus a hierarchy with exemplary men at the top and failed "men" at the bottom can be formed and a separate one for those classed as women.
These separate value cistems are useful for cisiety as they enable a more complicated division of labor / cistem of control than would otherwise be possible. Compliant men strive to meet one ideal and compliant women for another, each performing different functions for the cistem In the classical form, this looks like men as producers (and warriors) and women as reproducers (and as property).
Men and women are only coherent / meaningful categories because they are governed by these gendered moral logics
Masculine Status Hierarchies
The rules of masculinity** vary across space and time but generally the logic of masculinity consists of avoiding what is considered feminine and showcasing ones power / ability to dominate.
Avoiding femininity often looks like internalizing pain, refusing to show empathy, avoiding the aesthetic markers of femininity, etc.
Showcasing dominance may look like doing violence, or simply being muscular. It may mean wooing (normative, high status) women or being overtly misogynistic. A key part of how you gain masculine status is by wielding power over those with less status than you
The rules of masculinity are not simply specific to a nation / culture, but to a specific social setting.
Example 1) In a macho space, playing classical music may be seen as feminine. But in an orchestra men are perfectly capable of forming a masculine status hierarchy in which their common relationship to music is not counted against them. In fact, it is likely that technical proficiency, classical education, and other such factors play into that masculinities of these spaces.
Example 2) A boys school or other gender-specific space will have a different set of rules (often especially regarding what kinda of sexual acts are considered gay) than a mixed gender space (and the social politics of school locker rooms will be different from the halls).
Generally speaking, the harsh edges of masculinity are softened when (respectable, normative) women*** are around. EG the idea that men shouldn't cuss around ladies.
Since trannies fall outside of normative/respectable womanhood, we are regularly subjected to the full force of misogyny.
The rules of masculinity are a kind of implicit social contract / agreement. ****. The rules of a specific space will be a compromise between the specific interests of the men in that space (according to the amount of social power they have) and the general cisietal values of masculinity, tempered by the presence of women to the extent that they are respectable / have power.
In any group of men who have not thoroughly rejected hierarchic masculinity, a status hierarchy and accompanying value cistem will emerge with men advocating for rules that maximize their power.
As men invested in masculinity move between spaces, they will carry with them a personal masculine code that they will assert (more or less forcefully) in interactions with strangers.
While those at the top of masculine status hierarchies might voluntarily participate in them*****, those at the bottom surely would not. Like any pyramid scheme, the top would crumble without those beneath it. Thus the foundation of masculine status hierarchies (and of manhood itself) is the coercive inclusion of camab gender deviants.
Transfeminity is best understood (in my opinion) as a refusal to comply with masculinity and a disidentification with manhood.
Thus we can understand transmisogyny******, the punishing of transfems, as an inherent and necessary component of hierarchic masculinity.
Camab expressions of femininity and refusal to embrace manhood are met with extreme hostility, rendering it unthinkable for most, producing a class of cis men for whom manhood appears natural and a class of fags/failed men.
Thus a number of factors within masculinity lead to transfems being targeted:
1) a central piece of masculine status hierarchies is punching down and transfems are at the bottom of the list of acceptable targets.
2) transfems are broadly painted as perverted/predatory and thus opposing them is in line with masculine warrior / protector values.
3) normative men can channel the untempered misogyny of "all male" spaces towards transfems without facing sanctions for attacking a respectable woman.
In short, transfems are the antithesis of masculinity and thus the targets again which men can most freely prove their masculinity.
*I use the terms "people classed as men" and "people classed as women" to talk about how individuals fit into gendered moral logics and hierarchies. I want to talk about the realities of how we are often misgendered rather than insist on viewing these social dynamics through the lens of our identities.
"People classed as men" includes both anyone who is choosing to seek masculine status and also anyone who is read as camab / as a man.
** When I talk about masculinity, masculine status hierarchies, and manhood, I do not wish to imply that identification as a man or with masculinity is necessarily hierarchic. I simply wish to describe masculinity as it exists in cisiety at large which is inseperable from coersion and hierarchy
*** I talk at various points about respectable/normative women, women with power, and ladies. This is not simply a binary divide, but in the interest of not making this piece incredibly wordy I choose to merely gesture at this divide rather than try to parce out all of its peculiarities.
In reality, I fully expect a given woman (or person misgendered as a woman) to have this social position in some spaces but not in others. These protections can be removed at any time, and there are absolutely spaces (often including in the private of a relationship) in which they do not apply.
**** I view social contracts not as historical events but as thought experiments that can effectively model the ways oppressive norms are build, perpetuated, and adjusted in real time.
We can imagine a group of camab people sitting down before manhood and masculinity existed deciding that it would benefit them to assign manhood and masculinity to all camab people. We can imagine them fighting and bargaining over which characteristics should be seen as masculine and valorized and which should be condemned.
At times there are intentional discussions where high status men debate what direction they should push masculinity in before creating propaganda or curriculum, but in general these decisions are made informally and unconsciously in real time.
While I primarily focus on how men shape the logic of masculinity, women also contribute in meaningful ways, as peers and through the power granted by schools, the family, and other such institutions.
***** While privilege frameworks would suggest that masculine status hierarchies function to the benefit of men as a whole and high status men in particular, I see concepts like "benefit" as far more complicated. Hierarchies grant in-cistem power and status to those at their top. In-cistem meaning that should these individuals betray this power structure or exist in a space where it is not dominant, this power would disappear.
Further, I think it is important to note that masculinity (regardless of your status within/under it) is a prison. While my position is biased as someone who finds the social position of tranny far preferable to the compromised necessary to reconcile with masculinity, I firmly believe that everyone who reconciles themself with masculinity goes through a process of painfully suppressing their non-conforming desires and impulses. The isolation and repression of masculinity are brutal and I refuse to see normative manhood as a "benefit" to anyone.
****** I want to talk about transmisogyny not as a mysterious, metaphysical force, but as an aggregate effect produced by individuals based on the incentives given to them by their social context. Shaped by propaganda and cisietal values that have grown out of these motivations.
"Ruling the country is like frying a small fish" fuck yeah ill drink to that
30 to 50 steppe bandits that run into your yard within 3-5 min while your small children play
ni.hil.ist is a server run by anarchists who are friendly to a nihilistic worldview.