Hate Culture vs. Rewilding

A few weeks back I went to a anarchist curated fundraiser for an anti-civilization film. In lieu of my recent “fan mail” and the overall attacks I get from green anarchists, I’m very apprehensive about going to these kinds of events, but I wanted to show my support for the film and meet the filmmaker. I didn’t stay long. Why, in a room full of people who generally agree more or less with me about civilization, did I feel like I stood in the lions den? On my drive home I realized that the activist (and particularly anarchist) community that I have known and experienced has felt like a hate culture.

The anarchist “scenes” I have participated with differ very little from hate cultures like white supremacists. While their politics may differ, their attitudes look very similar. Think skin head. Now think straight-edge vegan. They generally have anger towards a particular group; perhaps they blame black people for all their problems as in neo-nazis, or perhaps they blame the empirical system that we live in as in anarchists. While one may have much more philosophical credibility and reflect a much more accurate perception of reality, their cultural attitudes of hate mirror each other.

Articulation of the problems we face in civilization create anger at the system. We instantly want to stop the system and we band together to fight the system. The classic “Fuck Shit Up” slogan reveals much about the hate culture in activism and anarchism. “Fuck shit up” implies revenge. Since anarchist cultures I’ve participated in stemmed from hating “the system” or the current president or corporations or laws or “all forms of government” or civilization for fucking up our lives, I think it attracts mostly people who want revenge. An injurious and punitive kind of justice. Not a restorative kind of justice.

These communities often have tremendous amount of judgment and a fear of judgment from others which leads to the harsh feelings of guilt; for eating meat, for voting for a third party, for not voting for a third party, for voting in general, not buying fair trade coffee, for calling the police when someone harasses them. A community of living in fear of judgment from one another. Great. Not to mention the constant paranoia of federal agents. Fear, mistrust, paranoia, judgment, guilt. Shit… anarchist culture rules!

All anarchist subcultures I have participated with have wanted to pretend that it doesn’t work this way. Often these activists avert the attention from cultural core of hate by trying desperately to have fun. “Everyone is so serious all the time! We need to lighten up.” Sorry, but music, dancing, potlucks, etc. won’t change the core of the culture. None of it feels like any fun to me because at the heart of it all sits a collective vengeful hate, fear and guilt.

A problem pops up in articulating the inherent violence and subversive threat of violence within the civilized social hierarchy. The problem lies in creating culture based solely on fighting this system, rather than creating a holistic culture separate from civilization. I recognize that this system makes it very hard to create alternatives and that we have tons of privilege in America in regards to this (that really only exists as long as those in power will let it). I recognize that it needs to come down, and I believe in resistance. However, I don’t believe in creating a “culture of resistance.” I want a whole culture. A culture that supports resistance.

A large part of the anger I think stems from the feelings of victimization. I see victimization as a phase of understanding that something terrible happened to you. Once you get that, you move past it into action. Victims like to sit around and talk about what happened to them. When you identify the larger oppressive culture as continuously victimizing you, you don’t allow yourself to move through that phase. With a particular abusive person, you can move away from them (or perhaps exact your own revenge) and hopefully, move on with your life. But living in an oppressive culture works differently, but only so long as you continue to identify with that culture.

The other day I watched a video from the Pittsburgh G20 protests. Watching the police in the videos made me laugh out loud. Especially at the parts with the automated police voice blaring on a loud speaker. It was so ridiculous it reminded me of that one Jello Biafra track “You will be shot!” I could laugh at the video because I no longer see myself as a victim, as a member of civilization. I have no illusion of freedoms. I have no illusion of rights. “OMG! Can you believe what the police did?” Yes, I can. Did you think they would act differently? I would not feel surprised if I woke up to police beating down my door for any reason they made up to do so. We live in a police state. Civilization stands at war against humanity. No more surprises, no more shock, no more hope it will change.

Yes, I have a job. But I don’t identify with it. Yes, I live in a city, but I don’t identify with it. Yes, police roam the streets of the neighborhood I live in, but I don’t think of them as “my” police (which doesn’t mean I can’t use them to my advantage by the way). My identity lies with the land. This can seem really hard to articulate because you have to feel it, not think it. I no longer identify with this culture. I don’t live in it psychologically. I don’t feel it in my body. Part of separating myself from perceiving myself as a victim is that I see civilized people as a different kind of animal, with a whole different set of expectations. I don’t see them as “enemies” but rather, insane “predators”. I can trust they will act a certain way. I think in order to create a healthy culture, this change of mindset needs to happen.

I don’t mean to say that I have an aversion to revenge. On the contrary, I can think of several people who have fucked me over that I would love to exact my revenge upon. I would love to see people take revenge on those in power, on a system that destroys life and the lives of people. The problem, I think, lies in the creation of a culture centered around revenge. I don’t see revenge as good or bad. It has particular consequences in particular cultures in particular ways. However, an entire culture centered around revenge looks and feels quite different to me.

While I generally agree with critiques against civilization, I don’t let my hatred for the system direct my actions and social culture. I hate civilization sure, but I don’t build a culture of hating civilization. I build a culture of creating life that we call rewilding; of which dismantling civilization forms a rather small (but absolutely necessary and increasingly complicated) part. I don’t mean to say that a “culture of resistance” implies a “culture of hate” but that it seems the people attracted to a culture of resistance get there out of their hate for a system. So you have a bunch of people all together because they hate something and want to destroy it.

I look guilty of fostering this hate culture too. I write angry, passionate rants about civilization often. Sometimes I wonder if I perpetuate hate speech in my propaganda. My rewilding vs. such and such stems I think from this kind of hate culture rhetoric. Some of the “vs.” work great, such as the agriculture, civilization and empire. All of those things oppose rewilding entirely. But why do I have chapters called “Primitivism vs. Rewilding” and “Permaculture vs. Rewilding”? Shouldn’t I have named them “Primitive Skills in Rewilding” and “Permaculture in Rewilding”? Yes. I should have. But I didn’t.

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35 Comments on “Hate Culture vs. Rewilding

  1. I think the general relationship with hatred and violence in most anarchist scenes (which is exactly what most of them are) is pretty fucked up and juvenile. That’s really where the problem lies, in immaturity. Instead of basing hatred of something on the love of something else, it becomes all-consuming. Perhaps this is because most anarchist “communities” have few/no elders, since the hate culture burns them out? The unfocused hatred has terrible results.

  2. My next one is on Privilege vs. Rewilding, where I will get into this a little more, and talk about how a lot of this is easier for me because of my privilege, and what that means. etc. etc.

  3. From Derrick’s most recent article.

    “Yes, there absolutely needs to be the creation of a new culture with new values (or, really, tens of thousands of cultures, each emerging from its own landbase, including the re-emergence of extant indigenous cultures). But the people involved in that cultural creation must see themselves as part of a resistance movement that supports and encourages action against the forces that are dismembering our planet, or, at least, that doesn’t actively discourage organized resistance whenever the subject is raised. “

  4. totes. For me it’s not about seeing myself “as part of a resistance movement” but rather seeing (and supporting) resistance as part of the movement.

  5. I believe that to the extent you receive “hate” for this post, those sending the hate see you as a misbehaving member of that same hate culture. “You’re one of them”, but “ur doin it rong”. You’ve stepped out of line. You’ve gone against the ten commandments of whatever ideological philosophy they adhere to.
    They hate (what they perceive as) your betrayal, most of all.

    If I may say so, they misunderstand that fundamental point; you don’t belong to them, nor any other civilized (or anti-civilized) institution. You don’t belong to ideologies or abstractions of any kind.

    You, a human being, belong to yourself, your friends, your extended family, and most of all, your land. They alone do you have to face when you wake up, they alone do you have to make peace with in order to sleep soundly.

    IMHO.

  6. I find this post fairly troubling, as someone who identifies strongly as an anarchist and as a creature who is rewilding. I find that your writing style of “something vs. rewilding” is a fairly divisive format to roll with, and though i have met you and liked you, i can’t help but get frustrated with these sorts of comments. It’s insulting, generalizing, and it will likely not gain you many allies.
    Blanket statements about anarchists show a lack of understanding of WHAT AN ANARCHIST IS. An anarchist is not a maoist or marxist who read a book on how the world should be run. An anarchist is a person who doesn’t want to be ruled, yet doesn’t want to rule over others either. That leaves a lot of room for differences in motivation, values, and goals.
    I know not one insurgent individual who isn’t guided to their hate by their love.

  7. i find some of the posts you make are very alienating and divisive (this one included). i feel as though this post (and some others) are not working in your favor for building the community you desire. i have many friends in the ‘anarchist’ community who are very receptive to and genuinely interested in rewilding. i have, of course, met many folks associated with said community who (theoretically) hate on rewilding and such, but i generally just leave them to their ways and not worry ’bout it too much and i usually get a similar treatment in return. in the rare occasion i have even seen people make a complete switch right in front of my eyes. it’s quite interesting when that happens.

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  9. Hey Lonnie! Hey J.Nettles! Nice to hear from you! Yeah, I’ve never really liked my “such and such” vs. rewilding, which is why I said so above. I generalize about things I feel comfortable generalizing about. However, in this instance, I am not generalizing but rather, telling my own story. What I’ve written above is exactly how I have experienced said subcultures. It’s not a generalization if it comes from direct experience. Notice I didn’t say, “All anarchists everywhere” I said, “the activist and anarchist communities I have been a part of”. Then I went on to describe those communities. Perhaps “subculture” or “scene” would be a better way to say it.

    My writing isn’t “divisive” because in order to be “divisive” you have to be dividing something in half, which means it was part of a whole before. As Willem said, I am not part of that culture and don’t consider my brand of rewilding part of that culture. So how could I be dividing something if it was never together to begin with? I’m not being divisive, I’m differentiating between two separate subcultures. It doesn’t mean that everyone out there is on one side or the other, but rather, I am personally holding the ground for something that is not what that is. I’m not concerned with making anarchists my allys since I don’t consider what I do a part of there subculture. There are plenty of people who identify as anarchists I’ve spoken with who feel the same way I do about this. Eventually, they stop calling themselves anarchists because those people who have created the “culture of anarchy” are the ones creating the “brand” for what anarchy looks like. And with so many people making anarchy look ugly, I know many anarchists who don’t call themselves that because they don’t want people to identify them with the anarchy brand. I used to consider myself an anarchist and stopped for the same reasons (and others). If anarchy simply meant “a person who doesn’t want to be ruled, yet doesn’t want to rule over others either” then I would still call myself an anarchist. Unfortunately (maybe it’s different in Canada) because an anarchist subculture exists, the culture itself becomes the definition of anarchy. I have plenty of Christian friends who say, “being a Christian is really just about being a good person to everyone”. They get mad at me when I shit talk Christianity. But then of course, it’s not “just about being a good person”, because there is a culture of Christianity that kills and rapes and destroys.

  10. Poking people right where their labels attach hurts, if they’re really glued on tight. It can make it really hard to hear the rest of the message.

    I’ve gotten away from writing in e-prime, English less the verb “to be”. This essay reminds me how much that practice helped me notice when I write about myself using labels, and how much richer my writing (and thinking, and life) became when it shifted to focus on what I do, think, feel, see, experience.

    That said, it feels powerful to reject an ubiquitous, powerful, destructive force (empire, capitalism, patriarchy. . .). I’d disidentify myself as a consumer, a voter, etc. And, I’d prefer a life focused on what I’d rather do (a rich, satisfying life), than what I’d rather not (a culture of rejection of culture).

  11. Glad to read this post – I’m new to anti-civilisation efforts, and frankly, the one thing I find repellent about it is the persistent vengeful “fuck them” feeling, language, etc. that isn’t really about solving problems or moving forward. Yes, civilization won’t last, yes, there are lots of unwitting participants (insane? perhaps just trained in the zoo of civilization, as we all are), and yes, there are lots of “witting” participants. But get on with it! I like your focus on the problems that need solving now. Asking “What specific things need doing? How can we get from here to wild more quickly and with more advantage?” is a whole lot more useful than “fuck shit damn you motherfuckers!”. Anger without a direction toward specific goals is a big fat drain of energy and a big fat waste of time.

  12. I believe that your writing is divisive, in that I feel alienated by it, and am someone who would otherwise be an ally. I actually agree with much of your critique, but I think that it isolates you from potential comrades.

    while you may not see your statements as generalizing, they give the sense that you’ve seen what there is to see, don’t like it, and are better than it.

    I suppose that i am just sick of hearing people hate on each other and draw boundaries instead of bridges. I also feel that rewilding and insurgent anarchism are like two peas in a pod (how you gonna gather acorns if you don’t defend the oaks?), and it saddens me to see folks on either side hate on each other.

  13. Amusing that I just had an argument re: anarchism last night. I self-identify as an anarchist, partly because I enjoy what is now (probably) the idealized memories of the 1920s anarchist rebellion in Spain. It feels like they were actually making a successful transition to something different — a different and functional culture — and were crushed.

    So, yeah, idealized, but I identify with that. I also love to take on the label to try and fuck with people who use “anarchists” as the bogeyman.

    Last night, a 74-year old friend and mentor — an Elder in all senses of the word — got beaten by the cops. And by beaten, I mean bludgeoned and stomped on, multiple fracture on the arm, hospital. I’m in the emergency room, waiting for a turn to go visit her and one of her allies — a student well trained in sociology — went off on a rant on how if those students protesters had only been trained in ‘civil disobedience’ it would have been okay. So I challenged that notion. Then she goes off on how the anarchists fucked it up for everyone. Didn’t let that one lie either. Finally, her justification was that the cops were just doing their job to try and keep ‘everyone’ safe.

    Yeah. Stop justifying the police state please and open your eyes. Yeesh.

    So… anarchism, eyes closed to the culture… hells, where was I? Oh yeah! So down here, I spend some time in native culture (L.A. County has the largest proportion of urban AI in the U.S.) and I spend some time working my way towards reconnecting with my ancestors and my culture and then I run into this group, M.E.Ch.A. Now, they base their struggles on tearing down civ and restoring the glory of Aztlan. Okay. Each to their own. But I’ve started to notice a significant difference in their events vs. our other events. When you want to march and scream and raise hell, they’re all there. But try and rebuild a culture and it’s all thumbs. Same issue as the anarchists: building themselves around revenge rather than a future.

    Vote from LA-LA land, at least from me, you’re doing a great job stumbling through it all Urban and I for one love to read through it all, divisive or not, because it marks where a number of us are at!

    Best

    Bill MAxwell

  14. wow i love how idiots quote other idiots like derrick jensen and other fools that think just because they wrote some books they have an authority on how to create a better world. instead of wasting your time hating and reading and quoting shit that doesn’t matter, indigenous people needed to read nothing to learn how to live with the land, they learned how to live with the land by actually doing it instead of reading and writing about it in hopes to make some extra change to buy shit only the privilege can buy. i belong to this i belong to that, who cares. i’m an anarchist, i’m a vegan…who? gives a shit you fool. everyone already knows what to do to create a better world, the problem is actually doing it. we know but we don’t do. everything that has been read, written, and done is all within you so stop wasting time and do it.

  15. hey fella

    I’ve recently started reading your blog again, and i’d just like to let you know how impressed i am. This was a great post. Your point well made and yeah it needed saying.

    Regards from the other side of the pond
    SBW

  16. Hey Lonnie,
    I’m confused about your response. You said you agree with most of what I wrote, yet think it alienates me from potential allies. Do you agree with the Hate Culture stuff? How does that allienate me if I’m not interested in making allies with members of a hate culture? Many people I’ve spoken with have left the anarchist scene for exactly the reason above. I’m not interested with meshing with or changing a hate culture. If my writing inspires people to leave the hate culture and start something new I think that’s awesome. I wouldn’t want to be friends with people who want to be part of a hate culture.

    I think that rewilding offers an outlet for the resistance ideology without the hate. That’s why I differentiate between the two. If rewilding were to become another hate culture, I would abandon it and start something else. I’m concerned with creating the world I want, and that’s what I write about. I talk about what I don’t want by showing examples, in this instance anarchist subculture. I don’t “hate” anarchists. I hate the anarchist hate culture. LOL. I have many friends who identify as anarchists, many that are also rewilding. There is a difference between individuals and their culture(s). Many anarchists of the hate culture hate on me. They send their hate my way. Of course they do. They think I am one of them and “not doing it right” as Willem said. Individually I might be more like them, but not culturally. I’m working towards creating a culture, so this is why I talk about cultural stuff. I didn’t mean to alienate you, and so I’m wondering how much it’s your own attachment to your label than the culture of hate… especially if, as you said, you agree with me on my critique?

  17. engerit,

    Normally I wouldn’t bite a comment as vapid as yours but since I’m totally bored and not really wanting to read my insanely technical book about the origins of the Indo-European language group…

    Indigenous people needed quite a bit to learn to live with the land. They had cultures that had developed for thousands of years in particular landbases. Cultures that had mythologies, rites of passage, rituals, languages, customs, taboos, governments, land management practices, clothing and tools that all developed slowly and from a cultural mindset that already existed for them. They did this because they had tight-nit family groups working together to continuously regenerate their cultures. We live in a fucked up civilization, have indoctrinated minds of domination and slavery, pacifism and domestication. We do not have tight-nit family groups with thousand year old practices. It’s entirely ignorant to say that “just going out into nature” to learn these things is as easy as you’ve stated. If it were that easy, why has no one done it? As Tamarack Song put it:

    “I’m going to give you all some straight talk, in hopes that it will help to steer you on to a track might get you somewhere. The reality of the situation is that I have not met, or heard of, a single person in the past 40 years who has used the approaches that we have been talking about, who has been able to return to primitive living. This includes the authors of the popular books. Yeah, they might talk a good talk, but look at what they’ve actually done—a month in the mountains, a solo year in the woods, some time in Alaska—is that really living the Old Way? Where is the clan? Where are the elders? The children? Where is the example and clan memories to learn from?

    “Why didn’t it work for them, and why won’t it work for you? Because they carried civilization with them into the wilderness, and you likely will as well. You can learn all the skills you want, and The Mother will spit you back out just about as fast as you went in. The more stubborn individuals will last a few months or maybe a year, but rest assured, they’ll be back.

    “Why? Because they didn’t do their work. We come from a technological society, so we naturally think that substituting primitive technology for civilized technology is our doorway. The only problem is that Native people are not into technology. They spend only a couple hours a day providing for their simple needs, and they mostly use simple means. Look at their tools—few and crude, and their craftwork — basic and utilitarian. What a Native person excels at is what I call qualitative skills—how to sit in a circle with your clan mates and speak your truth, how to find your special talent so that you can develop it to serve your people, how to use your intuition, the ways of honor and respect, how to live in balance with elders and women and children, how to speak in the language beyond words, how to befriend fear and live love. Without these skills, you will surely die. Or else you’ll go back to the life that shuns these skills.”

    While I actually think he inaccurately describes hunter-gatherers (i.e. “crude” baskets) his main point stands true.

  18. I said that I agree with much of your critique, not this critique in particular, sorry for not making that clear.
    You are labelling something as a “hate culture” that is in fact not a culture, but a diverse resistance movement (i think it is important for me to stress the diversity because it is a great strength, and because i don’t agree with everyone who calls themselves an anarchist, and i don’t have to”.

    Rewilding on the other hand does not seem like a movement at all, but a process. A process that is often appealing to anarchists.

    My attachment to anarchism as a label is my attachment to the resistance movement that i am a part of. It is also an attachment to the rage i feel at the destruction of all that i love. If i didn’t feel hate, i don’t think that i would feel anything.

  19. Hey Lonnie, thanks for clearing that up. I disagree that it is not a culture. It is a subculture, that has a diversity of members, and a loose connection of members, but it has a style of dress, an ideology, there is an age group, particular kinds of music, that a majority follow. While there may be some diversity, there is a majority of people who live this way. Again, maybe things are different in Canada, but not here. Obviously, you’ve had a different experience than most of the people I talk to about this, and very different from my own. I feel a lot of hate too. I think hate is awesome. I fucking love it. I just don’t want it as the basis of my culture. I think that a resistance movement is important, but it’s not something I would want to be part of. I’d like a more diverse movement than simply one described as a resistance movement. That’s what all of this is saying. I also see rewilding as a process, but I’m interested in creating a culture of this process. More like cultures of this process.

  20. wow reading this blog and all the talk afterwards was fucking awsome!i love this shit….scout i think the your work here is fucking amazing and i want to read it out loud to all my friends who are in the anarchist scene…i mentioned your site recently amongst a groupnof “kids” as they call themselves,kinda funny by the way, that weere in twn for the ef gathering.a few were like “eh” all snooty, but my boy joe was like .i love that guy hes my homie.so i purposely played a whole bunch of yer videos all loud so everyone couldnt help but get involved and it turned out getting a bunch of peolple into prmvtv skills and just in general lighten the fuck up …shit man i love you ill do you sexy,jk too much red wine and reefer,,,,but hey ,,rock the fuck on

  21. While I think that anarchism/anarchy definitely attracts some angry people, I would not consider anarchism a “hate culture”. Most anarchists I’ve met have been driven by a passion for living in a world without domination, coercion, hierarchy, etc. and not at all by hate. How can you say anarchists are like white supremacists? How many anarchists have killed people? While on the other hand how many millions died because a group of people thought the white “race” was superior? Hating Nazi boneheads does not make me apart of a hate culture. As a person of color I think I have a right to resist racism. Now hating someone based on “race” or ethnicity is NOT justifiable.

    I definitely think we need people creating new cultures, but ones that are anarchistic; egalitarian, sustainable, non-hierarchical, earth-based, etc. but at the same time we should support those people who have decided to resist the various manifestations of domination.

    That said, I will say that the anarchist sub-culture in the west, definitely seems to be lacking any real resistance. It seems that people have resorted to lifestyle changes (veganism, dumpster diving, not showering) which in my opinion doesn’t do much to resist civilization.

  22. That thread does not represent everyone who identifies as an anarchist, besides anarchistnews.com is fucking whack anyways!

    Look, I’m sorry that your experience with anarchists has been shitty, but you’re stealing my autonomy by generalizing.

    Personally I think you are spending too much time and energy worrying about those people who have been fucking with you. But hey, I guess you gotta do, what you gotta do.

    Either way, I dig what you’re doing with rewilding and you’ve shared some great ideas. Just know that not all anarchists are assholes!

  23. Sorry, I meant anarchistnews.org not anarchistnews.com!

  24. Hell fuckin’ yeah Urban! First of all, who is Tamarack Song? I love that quote of hers or his that you use above; I’ve often been confused by anti-civ or rewilding writers who only talk about the technical aspects of “surviving” in the wild, when I felt sure rewilding was mostly about building new tribes, codes, clans and ways of being, thinking, singing and listening…

    Also, I agree that my experiences with anarchist subculture have mostly boiled down to hate group gatherings and hate group meetings. This turned me off completely, so that now I don’t call myself an anarchist anymore, although the feelings I had for a need for freedom, which brought me to anarchist circles in the first place haven’t changed a bit. Now that I’ve moved away from anarchist subculture, however, I find I have a life a good deal freer and more empowering then I ever had while living in the terrifying domane of controlled “anarchism.” After a while, I got tried of being policed by people in my community who supposidly knew better then I did how I should live, so I left. It feels good to actually be my own boss and master again!

    I’m sure there are anarchist groups around the globe who actually stand for building new ways of living, and not exacting a reign of hate and terror like some of the anarchist scenes I’ve experienced…at least I would hope so.

    But anyway, as always, thanks for preachin’ the truth…

    Possum

  25. Case in point: Lierre Keith, a 45 year old disabled woman, was attacked at an anarchist book fair, most likely by fanatic vegans. At least one of them a large male. What did half of the so-called anarchists in the crowd do? They fucking cheered because someone they disagreed with was physically assaulted, wounded, in pain, and humiliated in public. Anarchist hate culture-vegan hate culture.

    Don’t fucking tell me there’s no hate culture in the anarchist scene.

  26. What those people did to Lierre was fucked up! I heard there was cayenne pepper in the pie too which makes it more than a simple pie in the face. Either way, the action was taken by vegans and not necessarily anarchists. Not all anarchists are vegans and vice versa.

  27. Hey Urban Scout,

    I have to say, your articulation in this article is so fucking good. It completely relaxed me. Keep it up man. You are doing great work. You are a trip! Maybe one of these days I can scrounge some dollars to get your book.

    With love,

    PZ

  28. There seems always to be confusion about what “anarchism” means (no thanks to Hobbes and Locke!), so let me explain how I understand it. “Without ruler” is the translation of the Greek “an archon” from which we get the word “anarchy”. So a proper definition would follow that etymology. The connotation of the word however, includes “fuck the system”, punk, teenagers smashing Starbucks’ windows, etc. I think it’s important with any word that we remember to keep connotation and denotation distinct.

    As for the anarchist scene itself, I sadly have to admit my experiences have been pretty similar to yours, though I’ve had very little face-to-face interactions with anarchists. I’ve mostly interacted with them via the internet, which means an even greater likelihood for them to act like assholes (the folks at anarchistnews.org are just terrible). I think Bill really hit upon the major problem with anarchism, which is a problem you run into with most negative movements. That is that they’re so focused on what they’re against that they don’t spend much necessary effort in trying to come up with the alternative to replace it. Sure, there’s been some discussion about worker-run factories and direct democracy in communities, but this is very much secondary to opposing capitalism & the State. To make matters worse the horizontal hostility ALWAYS comes in for whatever positive project any anarchists do by other anarchists, whether it’s infoshops, Food Not Bombs or whatever. I’m fucking sick of anarchists pissing all over each others’ projects! I don’t think any paradigm which isn’t challenging industrialism itself has much liberatory potential. This applies to most forms of anarchism, but that doesn’t mean I go around hating on anarcho-syndicalism. So while I definitely identify with anarchism (opposition to the State, capitalism, authoritarianism, etc.), I don’t really engage much with the anarchist “scene”.

  29. It seems like large number of you people don’t understand why us anarchists hate civilization. I started writing this with a rant against privileged scene-flippers culturally appropriating the easiest and least dangerous parts of the green anarchist milleu. But know I am unimpressed by those shocked by the ‘hate culture of anarchism.’ With the practical dissolution of most ELF cells and the burnout of many actual deep ecologist organs I can see why there is so much hate-talk and so much repressed desire to attack in eco anarchist circles. But to read a bunch of folks that can’t understand where the burning rage of a dying planet comes from is laughable. Is this a ‘I used to be an anarchist and now I moved on’ self help group? Moved on to what? Weekend rewilding, Ha. How new age to pick and choose certain tactics and methods that are part of a broader realization of bioregionalism, deep ecology and resistance (cultural appropriation!) and pacify it. Way to pick a method, build your persona around it, publish a book off it and become a self appointed expert. Boring. Pity this kind of bullshit is what the newbies and youngins have to come into this movement. This or intellectual obscurity. aaahh. I mean no personal attacks Scout, I don’t think we have met. I just want to find some uprooted survey stakes on the trail ahead of me. Caw Caw.

  30. Culturally appropriating from green anarchists!?!?!?! LOLZING HARDER THAN EVAR. That’s rich.

    Have you actually read my shit? Obviously not. Just because I talk about the hate culture attitudes of anarchist scenesters… somehow that means I don’t encourage people to resist civilization? Dude. Seriously. READ MY SHIT. Assholes like you gravitate toward blogs I write against some little part of your identity, and rather than reading it in the context of my entire site you pick and choose and end up sounding like a fucking idiot. People being angry at what civilization does to the planet does not give you or any anarchist scenester the right to be assholes to EVERYONE. And people who are looking for that, gravitate towards that culture because people like you let them get away with it because of bullshit excuses like that one.

  31. Very interesting. I hadn’t thought of perceiving much of the ‘anarchist culture’ in that way, even though I identify with being more-or-less an anarchist. Coming out of the anti-Apartheid struggle in South Africa – which, down on the ground at street level, was very much a mixture of ‘fight for democracy’ and ‘fuck shit up’ – and seeing how that duality has morphed since democracy came to SA, large sections of this article rang very true to me.

    In addition, observing the luxurious (in relation to Africa) living standards and situations of folks in the US, and as I’ve loitered on ‘anarchist’ forums observing the nit-picking and clear signs of exactly what you suggest – the revenge/hate stuff – which, I assume comes from being inadequately educated, over-pampered, yet facing an authoritarian juggernaut of a police state, it seems to me that the US ‘anarchists’ tend to be co-opted by the system at every opportunity, used to fill TV moments as windows are broken, or used to justify violent police response. They’re just reduced to being visual sock puppets for the corporate media to focus on. And the remaining ranks of the disaffected genuinely buy the sucker story process of ‘passive resistance’ – which means no protests, no marches, no critical mass events will ever change the status quo. Exactly as the authorities want. But I digress 🙂

    I think your writing is on the right path. The first step toward disabling (or bypassing) an Enemy, requires holding a mirror to oneself – as well as examining honestly the situation at hand, without regard to how it might impact ones own self image or ‘identity’ (whatever that is).
    My gut feel is that your take on the anarchists, and the general ‘revenge’ and ‘guilt’ within what passes laughingly for a ‘counterculture’ in the US, is spot on, and cuttingly accurate.

    Real political action results in large scale, potentially sustainable changes, faux political actions cause broken windows, briefly blocked highways/roads – and little else, aside from nitpicking and pissing contests online.

  32. How can you proclaim to be against divisive, hate culture but then write the kinds of things you write on here? About half of what you say I see sense in, but your persistent dismissal of, basically, everything, in your “-” vs. rewildling articles is disappointing. I also am rather discouraged to hear you calling your readers/commenters “assholes” if they disagree with you. And I am bewildered by this: “Yes, I have a job. But I don’t identify with it. Yes, I live in a city, but I don’t identify with it.” And this: “I can think of several people who have fucked me over that I would love to exact my revenge upon.” How are those two comments in support of the kind of regenerative world I thought rewilding was working towards? Isn’t the primitive/wild/hunter-gatherer mindset (that rewilding is in favor of) one of oneness, connection, and acceptance? Isn’t it about seeing the whole forest rather than each individual tree? Isn’t it about seeing the world without borders? I am confused and disheartened that you are so against so many things. Of course it is alright to disagree, but I see you doing it in such a defensive, retaliatory, divisive, angry way.