on mystical anarchism05 May 2020
Yesterday’s reading on mystical anarchism (Critchley, « Mystical Anarchism ».) opened my eyes on many things, namely the source of the fight between anarchists and authoritarians.
Since, one argues that humans are good and society perverts them and the other says that humans are evil and society regulates this evilness, no one will ever reach a satisfying answer because it lies within the nature of human beings, and the nature of human beings will always remain hard to prove scientifically. But that’s where mystical anarchism — as like what was involved in the middle age Movement of the Free Spirit — comes in.
The movement suggests a path where one needs to destroy the ego, a.k.a a path that overcomes the “first sin”. Therefore, no matter how the human nature is at the beginning of the process (and if there such thing as human nature), once one has gone through the path of the destruction of the self (or some part of “self-deification”), they are then a good individual which can “only be” a positive factor in society. A society where all the people in it would have gone through that process wouldn’t require any rule since everybody would be “spiritually free”.
The 2009 historico-philosophical text ends on this idea of a politics of love and how it isn’t a question about the future but how we act right now. This resonates with the theory of Gustav Landauer (the contemporary thinker of mystical anarchism, who has put the focus back on the importance of community in the anarchist pursuit) who says “kill yourself, not others” in the sense of when one is free of selfishness (in a buddhist-ish vibes, even though Landauer was a jew) they then become necessarily a great agent in a group, because they operate with pure love.
On my side, it goes back to me fighting with my “relationship anarchist flag” and it works well with my mashup of Freire/Foucault/Nietzsche theory about oppression, sex and pleasure/taboos. At the same time, it doesn’t mean forcing people out of monogamy (so they love everybody with “pure love”) but only making people realize what is toxic in the monogamous discourse. It also goes hand in hand with disrupting rape culture.
As (originally) an environmental activist, it might seem a long way to reach “climate justice”, but a part of me feels like, no matter if this is the wrong or right answer, to try to fight what is at the root of a problem is always somewhat a good strategy. We need empathy to care about climate, and when we cannot even understand our desire and fear, how can we understand others’ ?