S. E. Parker on Leaving Anarchism
#1
I thought this might be of interest to some people here. Citation is not endorsement, etc.

For context, Sidney E. Parker was one of the most prolific people in the world of individualist anarchist literature for decades. In 1967, Murray Rothbard wrote to him endorsing a journal he edited (Minus One) and encouraging his "lone dissent and battle against the legions of collectivist anarchism in England". In 1993, after being a non-anarchist "unhyphenated egoist" for many years, he reflected on his first editorial in the following passage:

Quote:Re-reading my 1963 editorial my first reaction was: Who is this stranger whose words I am reading? Whoever he was his words, despite their heresies, were written by someone whose thinking was still firmly within the closed world of the anarchists. Nonetheless, it is possible to detect, here and there, some seeds whose growth eventually took me out of anarchism altogether. For example: The notion that "the masses" have a need for rulers. Or: That the strenuous efforts of anarchists to get their message of social salvation accepted have landed up nowhere – they remain a small dissenting minority still, to quote Bartolomeo Vanzetti, "speaking on street corners to scorning men." Such, however, was the emotional capital that I had invested in anarchism, that I did not finally renounce my adherence to it until almost twenty years later, even though for a long time before that my reason for still calling myself an anarchist was more nostalgic than logical. I had more or less abandoned the premise, but could not rid myself of the conclusion.

Now I see that to try to retain the description "anarchist" for an attitude that sees no hope for the achievement of a "free society" is wrong. Anarchism is a creed of social transformation aiming at the ending of all domination and exploitation of man by man. Its adherents seek the creation of the Judeo-Christian myth of a heaven on earth. The central anarchist tenet is: Dominating People Is Wrong. It is based on the belief that all, or almost all, individuals are, or can be, equally capable of taking part in decision-making.

I no longer accept these propositions.

As a conscious egoist I can see no reason why I should not dominate others – if it is my interest to do so and within my competence. Similarly, I am prepared to support others who dominate if that will benefit me. "If the condition of the State does not bear hard on the closet-philosopher, is he to occupy himself with it because it is his "most sacred duty?" So long as the State does according to his wish, what need has he to look up from his studies?" (Stirner) Sometimes, indeed, I may behave in an "anarchist" fashion, but, by the same token, I may also behave in an "archist" fashion. The belief in anarchism imprisoned me in a net of conceptual imperatives. Egoism leaves any way open to me for which I am empowered.

The belief in an equality, or approximate equality, of abilities in any sphere cannot be sustained by anyone who is aware of the extent of genetic inequality. The human species is shot through with wide differences of ability, individual and racial, in this or in that, and the inevitable outcome is a functional hierarchy, Michel’s "iron law of oligarchy," no matter how it may be disguised by formal pronouncements to the contrary. (Some psychologists, indeed, have claimed that all human groups, from street-gangs to nations, have a "dominant five percent" without which they are like headless chickens). Where an individual stands in this hierarchy will decided by the clash of his will with that of others. The "rights" he gets will be ultimately determined by the "mights" he has.

These things I now accept as facts in my life. I certainly do not acknowledge the nonsenses with which these facts are often cloaked. I do not regard myself as being under any obligation to obey "the authority of the State" any more than "the will of God" – or any other of the multifarious "spooks" that are used to cloak the products of the will to power. I do, however, recognise the reality of the "powers" that may lie behind these "spooks" when stripped of their sacred vestments and take them into account in what I do.

In his novel No Peace On Earth, Jean Larteguy has one of his characters define an adult as "a man who no longer falls into the trap of his own dreams". In regard to anarchism, at least, I have grown up….

Parker's words start near the end of the web page I linked above. Also, I made a few typographical and spelling changes to the original text.

Parker is only one example of something that has happened many times, namely anarchists coming to the conclusion that their naturalist and nihilist philosophical principles and non-conformist (implicitly elitist) political principles conflict with the fact that their actual political practice seems to be hearting nigger more than anyone else. There is an entire book titled "The Anarchist-Individualist Origins of Italian Fascism". How does Parker's worldview relate to your own political development? With respect to these subjects, what do you think of the psychological condition of the average neurotic anarchist Xitter tranny?
#2
This strikes me as rather sympathetic. Closer to the libertarian to harder rightist trajectory than most of what gets called anarchism now. Wanting things nice and good for everyone and understanding it ultimately can't be perfect, there'll have to be some force and order.

We still have libertarians, you can say they're all just copers or whatever who know this stuff is no good. Do we also still have anarchists? Not a word I see very often.
#3
Everyone should be an anarchist towards the existing state of affairs.
#4
Quote:§00 — Hot anarchy might be thought an unfortunate starting point for any political disquisition, and even the very worst possible. Anything said about hot anarchy has to over-articulate it. Hot anarchy does not merely want to mend the world. It wants to mend the world so badly that anything at all is sanctioned in this cause, or ultimate end. Extreme action is thus at least implicitly recommended, and serves as a gauge of authenticity. Zealous by definition, hot anarchy is introduced beyond a threshold of enthusiasm.

§01 — Any instantiation of hot anarchy will disappoint, because it is a pure essence — the pure essence. Its inchoate negativity only makes it purer. Here, at last, is the great washing-away. Dreaming goes there to die, in an imagined, absolutely unshackled ecstasy of destruction (or purification), which can only ever be approximated. Holocaust of the real in the flame of the idea is the implicit project. Hot anarchy lies at the absolute antipodes of realism, as a matter of principle.

§02 — More definitely, hot anarchy is domestically-framed universalistic utopian activism. This is to say that it seeks the overthrow of its own local regime as if it were the whole world, and on behalf of the whole world, in order to introduce a type of society that has never previously existed, while doing this immediately, and practically. It is domestically-framed because its concern is with the form of government, rather than the ecology of governments. It is universalistic because only one governmental, non-governmental, or anti-governmental model is required — or even tolerated. It is utopian because what it wants has no precedent, and thus offers nothing to defend, conserve, or consolidate. It is activist because burning shit down should happen right now. All four of these characteristic features emerge from its temperature. They are not distinctively anarchistic, but only distinctively inflamed.

§03 — Cold anarchy is something else entirely, terminological resonance notwithstanding. Rather than bringing hot and cold anarchy together, ‘anarchy’ further divides them. Insofar as hot anarchy has a thesis, it is that anarchy is what we do not yet have (but want, intensely). Hot anarchy is heated precisely by the frictional mismatch of anarchic ideal with prevailing order. Cold anarchy, in contrast, is all there can ever be. As a reflex, it recognizes anarchy behind every mask of order. Order, in other words, is understood as something anarchy can do, and nothing else. All strands of the tradition of spontaneous order are about only this.

§04 — All real liberals are cold anarchists. Their primary loyalty is to competition-in-itself, rather than to any competitor. They trust markets above businesses, science above scientists, the Internet above the FAANGs, the Splinternet above the Internet, schism above religion, war in heaven above heaven, dissensus above agreement, polarization above either of its poles, and conflicts in general above any of their parties. Patchwork is to be trusted more than any patch. War is God.

§05 — The fact liberals rarely pitch things this way matters little. Liberalism is to be trusted above liberals. Liberals are not where liberalism comes from. Typically, they are where liberalism perishes. Liberalism uses liberals to die through. Any chance of liberal rejuvenation is found only outside, in cold anarchy. It is from cold anarchy alone that the fundamental liberal commitment — to spontaneous order — flows.

§06 — Serious conservatives, too, are cold anarchists. They hold that the patterns of disintegration we now have are to be preserved against the unprecedented unities of which we might dream. Every Union is a conservative defeat. There is an extraordinarily luxuriant planetary heritage of things not being One. It is in order to treasure this — with maximum practicality — that conservatism exists.

§07 — Everyone becomes a cold anarchist, as soon as they are realistic. Whatever they are realistic about is thought through cold anarchy, arising from multiplicities without transcendent order, or even convincing pseudotranscendent order, but only immanent arrangement, intractable to coherent direction. There is nothing such populations should be, unless many. To study them is to set aside, automatically, the conjoined bias of moral inflammation and wishful thinking.

§08 — Curtis Yarvin tells us, repeatedly, that there are only three fundamental types of government — democracy, oligarchy, and monarchy. When domestic politics is adopted as our starting point, the assertion is only minimally controversial. Yet such a starting point is not mandated. It might not even be quite possible. International relations is an alternative, and ultimately all the alternatives.

§09 — The realist school of international relations theory begins with anarchy, and remains there. Its topic is powers, always in the plural, and their interactions. Sovereignty is essentially multiple. Many nations, with very different capabilities and modes of internal socio-political organization, but always with nominal autonomous agency (sovereignty), engage in multi-level interactions in pursuit of a pattern of coexistence consistent with their individual interests. If ‘nations’ are theoretically generalized, replaced by nodes of whatever kind, cold anarchy always looks like this. It is framed internationally (or inter-nodally) rather than domestically. It is tragic rather than universalistic, accepting the irreducible diversity of interests. It is historical rather than utopian, developing upon precedent, rather than inaugurating the unprecedented. Finally, it is factual rather than activist, concerned only with what is happening, and not what should be. Cold anarchy is the order of external relations. It rules whenever and wherever inter-nodal dynamics dominate intra-nodal organization — ultimately always and everywhere, therefore.

§10 — Nations are the units of installed anarchy. To such a degree is this true, that the words ‘nation’ and ‘anarchy’ are not independently fully articulable. A nation is something to do anarchy with.

§11 — Nations, like monads or holons, are wholes and parts. These are their hot and cold — aggregative and disaggregative — aspects. Every nation connects to every other (‘rhizomatically’). Their proliferation thus involves combinatorial explosion. To ‘explode the system’ then is not at all to destroy it, but rather to intensify it. The greater its number of independent parts, the more it can do. Set at One — or consummate globalism — it is incapable of anything. International relations do not then exist. There is no game, and no exit. If globalism is further idealized up to the asymptote where nothing more global could possibly be realized, spontaneous order is entirely suspended. Absolute domestication has eliminated all surprises. A certain technocratic Omega-state is conceived.

§12 — Of course, none of this is real, because there is the outside, instead. The real is disunity. If this sounds, simultaneously, like an assertion of French transcendental philosophy and of Anglophone realist international relations theory, their plane of convergence is cold anarchy. Intolerance for the illusion of unity is the coherent thread. Whether formal or informal, the target of the critique is the same.

§13 — Recognizing that global government does not exist is the whole of cold anarchy. When this recognition is implemented in detail, nothing further is needed. Complete guidance is given. Proceed always in the direction of deepened disintegration. Pass from nationalism, through micro-nationalism, to nano-nationalism. Crossing from subjective to objective register, the path leads from hundreds of nations, through thousands of nations, to millions of nations. There cannot be too many nationalities. There will never be enough. This is the entire direction.

§14 — On the horizon of cold anarchy lies the extinction of domestic politics through international relations. The horizon is distant. It is not, as the game goes, that we are getting hot, hotter, burning hot as the anarchic destination is stumbled upon. Anarchy does not lie on the horizon at all. It sets the horizon. The end of interiority is not something awaited. Rather, it is tapped.

§15 — Consider animal intelligence. The internal functions of the animate organism are maximally automated, in order to free cognitive resources for external application. Under conditions of evolutionary reality, intelligence has intrinsic external orientation. Mind belongs outside. The extent to which it is kept inside is epistemological deficiency, and strategic impairment. An animal attending to the operation of its own organs is sick.

§16 — In this respect, Leviathan is no different from an animal. The index of its health is the absence of domestic consideration. The prince of any well-ordered state looks only outwards. He is no more attentive to the nation, or the court, than to his own digestive system, or the functioning of his liver. His entire cognitive capacity is devoted to the game of princes. Consciousness is seized exclusively by international relations.

§17 — This is to say that cold anarchy is the sole topic of sound government. Any other politics is disease. When domestic policy is discussed, it is as if Leviathan complains of aching kidneys. The sign can only be bad. (‘Bad’ meaning, of course, and always, welcome to its enemies.) Inwardness is manifest morbidity.

§18 — A schism might then be envisaged within Neoreaction — or even within Yarvin — between domesticallyframed monarchism and internationally-framed cold anarchism. The former is positively-oriented towards something it does not have but would like to see (an American king), while the latter is negatively-oriented to something it does not have and intensely appreciates not having (world government). One would like, if not to bring about, then at least to welcome, a radically transformed state of affairs. The other would like what we already don’t have even longer, and still less.

§19 — There can be little doubt where hot anarchy would more easily find purchase. Thus Yarvin’s incessant — and entirely sincere — protestations that this is not at all what he wants. Monarchism might sound kind of hot, but no, no, it isn’t. Gray Mirror isn’t advocating anything. Anarchist firebrands like Adolf Hitler are a complete red-herring.Revisit the history, one more time, and you’ll see by comparison that nothing in contemporary America could truly be lit. Honestly, we’re cool. Much more of this performative refrigeration can be anticipated with perfect confidence. Sheer survival requires it.

§20 — It’s not (of course) that he’s lying. It’s only that he would have to be lying if he was in fact taking the road to an American monarchy. He’s fully aware that burning down a police station as a step on the road to a social order in which no police station ever needs to burn again would, in practice, be hot anarchy. That is why he never, ever, wants to do or encourage that. His zero-incitement policy is scrupulously maintained. He can’t even recommend that anyone do anything except — by the throbbing bowels of Christ — avoid whatever could be construed as a recommendation. He’s trapped, domesticated. Only irony remains.

§21 — Cold anarchy is notably free of these problems. It is simply impossible to imagine it wanting to warm anything up. Insofar as it exhibits activity of any kind, it is in opening every conceivable social aperture to the ice-blasts of the Outside.

§22 — Letting the outside in might be misconstrued as a process of domestication, though it is in reality closer to the opposite. The domestic endogenization of international anarchy de-domesticates. It makes of the inside more a thing of the outside, governed by external relations.

§23 — To internationalize the intra-national is to decentralize. It is the only way to decentralize. The method is always to subtract, or route-around, the super-ordinate (and pseudo-transcendent) element in any given multiplicity, producing a flat, peer-to-peer, or international system. Entity becomes network. The outside is drawn in between the parts of the disunified whole.

§24 — Collapsing pseudo-transcendence onto real immanence makes this the work of critique. When undertaken in the course of blockchain engineering, the pseudo-transcendent term is called a trusted third-party.

§25 — Even if democracy, oligarchy, and monarchy exhaust the basic forms of integrated government, disintegrated government remains untouched by this typology. But disintegrated government has never been tried goes the sarcastic meme — misleadingly in this case. Disintegrated government is the main thing modernity has tried, and is the basis of all its successes. Capitalism consists essentially of nothing else. The blockchain phase was reached in the new millennium. It will certainly not stop there.

§26 — Cold anarchic sovereignty does not rest in a monarch, but in distributed hash-power plutocracy, with governments reconstituted as industrial side-products. Freely sybilizing agencies on cryptographic networks, Capital rules automatically. With over a billion nations on the way, exploding exponentially, on the Splinternet no one knows you’re a bot.

(Cold Anarchy - Nick Land)

It pairs interestingly and naturally with this quote from Nietzsche's The Twilight of The Idols -

Quote:38. My Concept of Freedom.—Sometimes the value of a thing does not lie in that which it helps us to achieve, but in the amount we have to pay for it,—what it costs us. For instance, liberal institutions straightway cease from being liberal, the moment they are soundly established: once this is attained no more grievous and more thorough enemies of freedom exist than liberal institutions! One knows, of course, what they bring about: they undermine the Will to Power, they are the levelling of mountain and valley exalted to a morality, they make people small, cowardly and pleasure-loving,—by means of them the gregarious animal invariably triumphs. Liberalism, or, in plain English, the transformation of mankind into cattle. The same institutions, so long as they are fought for, produce quite other results; then indeed they promote the cause of freedom quite powerfully. Regarded more closely, it is war which produces these results, war in favour of liberal institutions, which, as war, allows the illiberal instincts to subsist. For war trains men to be free. What in sooth is freedom? Freedom is the will to be responsible for ourselves. It is to preserve the[Pg 95] distance which separates us from other men. To grow more indifferent to hardship, to severity, to privation, and even to life itself. To be ready to sacrifice men for one’s cause, one’s self included. Freedom denotes that the virile instincts which rejoice in war and in victory, prevail over other instincts; for instance, over the instincts of “happiness.” The man who has won his freedom, and how much more so, therefore, the spirit that has won its freedom, tramples ruthlessly upon that contemptible kind of comfort which tea-grocers, Christians, cows, women, Englishmen and other democrats worship in their dreams. The free man is a warrior.—How is freedom measured in individuals as well as in nations? According to the resistance which has to be overcome, according to the pains which it costs to remain uppermost. The highest type of free man would have to be sought where the greatest resistance has continually to be overcome: five paces away from tyranny, on the very threshold of the danger of thraldom. This is psychologically true if, by the word “Tyrants” we mean inexorable and terrible instincts which challenge the maximum amount of authority and discipline to oppose them—the finest example of this is Julius Cæsar; it is also true politically: just examine the course of history. The nations which were worth anything, which got to be worth anything, never attained to that condition under liberal institutions: great danger made out of them something which deserves reverence, that danger which alone can make us aware of our resources, our virtues, our means of defence, our weapons, our genius,—which compels us to be strong.[Pg 96] First principle: a man must need to be strong, otherwise he will never attain it.—Those great forcing-houses of the strong, of the strongest kind of men that have ever existed on earth, the aristocratic communities like those of Rome and Venice, understood freedom precisely as I understand the word: as something that one has and that one has not, as something that one will have and that one seizes by force.
#5
Striped_Pyjama_Boy_Nietzschean Wrote:
Zed Wrote:It pairs interestingly and naturally with this quote from Nietzsche's The Twilight of The Idols

He writes against bourgeois "freedom". Argument not dissimilar to Marxist.

Not just that - both are curiously functionally teleological in regarding liberalism as a necessary means rather than an end. For N, the Ubermensch can only be observed in liberalisms eternal recurrence - or the 'hot anarchy' preceding it. Land by contrast renders liberalism the telos of technocapital (and hence, of evolutionary dynamics), and condemns the hot anarchy necessary to give rise it - it is only under the state of cold anarchy that technocapital can thrives and pull in the outside. It's an interesting trichotomy - 

1. Linear history, focus on the masses, idealized endpoint emerges in the post-liberal communist utopia.
2. Cyclic history, focus on the man,  transcendental ideal emerges in the process to 'liberalize'.
3. Hyperstitional history or inverse linear history, focus on the outside/ahuman, the ideal is that which manifests liberalism to serve its own end.

Directly relevant to this thread though is the bit I find most interesting, the notion that 'cold anarchy/liberalism' is itself a kind of steady state that is historically destined to come into existence. It is here that we find Marx, Nietzsche, and Land in complete agreement.



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