fragments of an attempted writing.

on anarcho-liberalism

A Bhaskar Sunkara piece in Dissent followed by two Cyrus Lewis elaborations on the subject via Jacobin, part i and part ii.

Essential reading.  A lot to chew on there.  I think Lewis suffers from a bit of NYCleftocentrism, painting the whole of the Occupy movement with issues that more intensely relate to OWS (many Occupy locations have made demands, etc.), but the tensions described in Lewis' posts and the problem of the relation of anarcho-liberalism to neo-liberalism is well stated.

From what I have been told, the old left and the syndicalists (some of whom contrast themselves from WTO style anarchisms, thus perhaps from the anarcho-liberal ethos) have more influence upon the West Coast Occupations than they have at OWS.  I wonder if that is a factor.

My favorite bits in all of this - Sunkara's description of the traits of anarcho-liberalism including - an anti-intellectualism that manifested itself in a rejection of “grand narratives” and structural critiques of capitalism, abhorrence for the traditional forms of left-wing organization, a localist impulse, and an individualistic tendency to conflate lifestyle choices with political action.  Lewis on Tactical Media's "nomadic agency" and "hit and run" cliquish approach to protest that actually reinforces neo-liberalism.  Lewis on Chronos and OWS.  Lewis on the banality of "raising awareness" and his inference of this being perhaps exemplary of "lifestyle" politics.  And Lewis on OWS as possibly being a negation of a negation.

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