FRR Books Podcast: Camp Concentration by Thomas Disch

“Much that is terrible we do not know.  Much that is beautiful we shall still discover.  Let’s sail till we come to the edge.”

 There is something about books with shitty protagonists that I love and find compelling.  Vonnegut’s Billy Pilgrim usually comes to my mind first with Bron from Delany’s Trouble on Triton entering my mind second with a nod to Dostoevsky’s lead in Notes From the Underground.  These are incredibly flawed and weak characters with Dostoevsky starting his novel with “I am a sick man…. I am a spiteful man.” Sometimes these characters are insecure and sometimes they are full of braggadocio such as Bron.  Thomas Disch’s novel Camp Concentration is in large parts the journal of Louis Sachetti(think Sacco and Vanzetti of anarchist fame) who is a peak liberal basking in his self-righteousness.  Louis is a conchie(conscientious objector) very satisfied with his righteous imprisonment and his poetry. Disch is bold enough to write poetry for Louis throughout the novel, which some of the other characters take hilarious jabs at.  Reading a novel with a character such as Louis forces a reader to either become a good reader(reading closely and several times over) or to miss all of the beauty and depth within the novel. When I read Camp Concentration I must find empathy and understanding for Louis, a person who if I met in real life I would find completely repulsive.  But, the truth is that there is much I dislike in Louis that I dislike in myself. I have been self-righteous, I have written shitty poetry, I have thought of myself as the smartest person in the room. There is so much more to Camp Concentration, but this first and most basic issue, the shitty protagonist, sets the stage for the discussions of beauty, life, death, and freedom that follow.  Disch’s novel is a prison novel, it is a deeply physical novel, and it is a novel against death. A novel that seeks out anarchy in the fight against biology, the fight against anything that is put onto me or told is necessary for me. It is an exploration of agniology(the study of ignorance) and knowledge. What happens when we bite from the fruit? As we chew and digest how are we changed?  Discussing Camp Concentration is discussing these questions.   read more

FRR Books Podcast: The Stirner Series Ep. 10, the Finale part 1!

I decided I was a fucking anarchist after reading the Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guinn when I was in my early twenties living in Hawaii.  I had no idea what an anarchist actually was, what an anarchist scene was..fuck I didn’t really know anything other than that I liked to surf and that I didn’t like the world that I lived in. Anarchy represented the most radical difference to that…this made it incredibly attractive to me.  It stayed incredibly attractive because I kept living in Hawaii, not knowing or meeting anarchists. I read, a lot. I’ve read a lot since I was a little kid. I didn’t make friends during childhood because I was too intense, too black and white morally and took the world way too seriously. I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t cured myself of these childhood/childish ways.  I thought at a young age that there was a moral obligation to watch the news, pay attention, know everything, and that somehow this would be helpful in fixing things. All I can do now is laugh at myself, which might seem like a refrain for my life at this point. read more

FRR Books Podcast Episode 6: The Unique and Its Property, A Close Reading

In episode 6 rydra, big cat, Kahar, and Chuck discuss many things!

  • What is the difference between a criminal and an illegalist
  • Liberals want us to assert our weakness!
  • Might vs Right! Earned vs Taken rights! Rights?!
  • Can egoism be appropriated by leftism!?
  • Rydra says we cannot have a creative nothing because we cannot free ourselves from other’s perceptions of us! He shockingly uses Kundera to back up this point in a discussion of imagologues.
  • What is spookier, society or other people?
  • Big Cat brings in Daredevil references using Fisk to back her up to discuss love as the ultimate prison, “everywhere you go, you take it with you.” Aw, Fisk!
  • We discuss Steve Prefontaine and the perfect speech for an egoist to give leading up to a first kiss! We miss you Steve!
  • Big Cat explains Crab in A Bucket Theory
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    FRR Books Podcast: The Unique and Its Property by Max Stirner, a Close Reading Part 5!


    Welcome to episode 5 of the FRR Books Podcast series on Max Stirner’s The Unique and its Property translated by Wolif Landstreicher.  In this podcast we cover section 2.1 Ownness and stop at section 2.2.1 My Power

    This episode is hosted by Kahar, John, Big Cat, Chuck and rydra wrong. We are back on the sea packed 5 deep like sardines on the FRR sailboat.

    Discussed in this episode:

  •  What is the difference between freedom and ownness
  • Does Stirner hate freedom! It has nothing for you!  What does that mean? Can he let go !?
  • Freedom apparently meanings being “rid of things”
  • Occupy Stirner! What the fuck
  • We discuss how our dating lives are relevant to Stirner, are they?
  • Does consent matter when it comes to ownership and property(in the Stirnerian sense)?
  • Take when you want and throw away the rest:  Is this just a cliche or actually useful
  • Concepts! What the fuck is a concept! How do we use them
  • Who does Stirner give the status of capital B Being to ?
  • Can a slave be inwardly free? Is this trivial?
  • Stirner says there is freedom and unfreedom! No such thing as half way crooks! But is he just creating a binary of freedom and unfreedom to destroy the concept! woooooah
  • Chuck says romantic relationships are being trained to treasures!  Benefits vs a chain!
  • John says chosen bondage is freedom, like being in a dungeon! We discuss!
  • What the fuck is Stirner’s problems with rocks.  Rydra fights with Stirner in a landslide of discontent.  Also panpsychism is so last year.
  • Kahar likes his Christians out of the closet, he is pleased!
  • Kahar and Big Cat argue over Kahar’s belief that selves can be divided into parts
  • Impulses and desires and relationship to Taoism
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    FRR Books Podcast: The Unique and Its Property by Max Stirner, a Close Reading Part 3

    Welcome to episode 3 of the FRR Books Podcast series on Max Stirner’s The Unique and its Property translated by Wolif Landstreicher.  In this podcast we cover section 1.3 The Free.  This episode is hosted by Cornelius, Chuck, and rydra wrong.

    Discussed in this episode:

  • How do we eat the profane?  What have we held sacred that we no longer do?
  • Fear!  How do we develop an intimate relationship with fear! Another excuse to talk about surfing!
  • Talk of shit!  Another excuse for rydra to bring up Kundera
  • Talk of Christianity being spread among the non-secular
  • Dissolution of the object and the flavors of abstraction! There are many to choose from!
  • We are in a sea of phenomenology says Cornelius!
  • Children!  Talk of Kids!
  • Chuck says part of humanity is thinking of yourself in relation to an ideal human, we discuss this!
  • Cornelius feels limited by society, even suffocated but she remains more interested in the physiology and bacteria living within human beings!
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    FRR Books Podcast: The Unique and Its Property by Max Stirner, a close reading Part 2

    
    Welcome to episode 2 of the FRR Books Podcast series on Max Stirner’s The Unique and its Property translated by Wolif Landstreicher.  In this podcast we cover section 1.2.3 The Hierarchy, completing section 1.2, stopping just before section 1.3 The Free.

    In this episode we discuss:

  • What is a fixed idea?  Can we be free of fixed ideas
  • Is Kahar a nihilist? Is Stirner a nihilist?  Can Kahar defend nihilism against Rydra’s devilish advocacy
  • Can we actually abandon objective morality
  • Ethics as a semantic and non-meaningful replacement of morality
  • What is a self?  Are our selves continuous, discontinuous, or something else
  • Nev always desires to be bad and that is kind of hotttt
  • We discuss essence and if we have an essence using Francis Bacon’s Scream painting and Milan Kundera’s thoughts on them
  • How hard is rydra’s solipsism? Can Kahar avoid being negated by it? Does he care or is he just a tentacle of rydra’s octopus.
  • Discussion of how we can trust another person with the context being them changing over time
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    FRR Books Podcast: The Unique and Its Property by Max Stirner, a close reading Part 1

    This podcast covers the translator’s introduction and stops at section 1.2 Human Beings of Ancient and Modern Times.

    The book can be read online here:  https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/max-stirner-the-unique-and-its-property

    The book can be obtained here:  http://littleblackcart.com/books/anarchy/the-unique-and-its-property-en/

    FRR is expanding our scope by attempting a larger project.  Instead of doing one podcast on a book we are doing a slow/deep/close reading of Wolfi Landstreicher’s translation of The Unique and Its Property by Max Stirner.  We attend a reading group together which is slowly working its way through the book, so every other week we will read a portion of Stirner, attend reading group, then record a podcast on the section we read and the thoughts and ideas that came up during reading group.  We will rotate different hosts through the series of podcasts.  We are doing this because we would love to have had this type of discussion available to us when reading some of the books that we love the most, so we are doing it ourselves.  We are also attempting to do a close reading which means to read something more than once, many times over, taking notes, discussing it, and engaging deeply with it.  Feel free to email us or comment on this page if you have thoughts/feelings/whatever about it!

    In Episode 1 we discuss the following:

  •   Is there an individual/self.  Stirner is not an individualist?  It is not an individualist book
  •   Relationship between Taoism and Stirner
  •   Can anyone actually be an egoist?
  •   Rydra strong arms the conversation and questions objective reality through Stirner
  •   Abritrary nature of values and a transient idea of an “I”
  •   Can nihilism/egoism be separated
  •   Talk of translation in general
  •   How do we apply the implications of this reading
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    FRR Mockcasts 2: The Brilliant

    The goal of this podcast is total absurdity.  In this podcast we discuss anti-fascism, freedom, and have a special advertisement for the LBC internship program!  Enjoy!

    They Who Marry Do Ill by Voltairine De Cleyre

     

    “So much as I have been able to put together the pieces of the universe in my small head, there is no absolute right or wrong; there is only a relativity, depending on the consciously though very slowly altering condition of a social race in respect to the rest of the world. Right and wrong are social conceptions: mind, I do not say human conceptions. The names “right” and “wrong,” truly, are of human invention only; but the conception “right” and “wrong,” dimly or clearly, has been wrought out with more or less effectiveness by all intelligent social beings. And the definition of Right, as sealed and approved by the successful conduct of social beings, is: That mode of behavior which best serves the growing need of that society.”

    This is the beginning of Voltairine De Cleyre’s talk “They Who Marry do Ill.”  My appreciation for this 110 year old essay begins with her nihilistic beginning.  It would be lovely if we could all agree that there is no right or wrong, that this is an anthropocentric opinion.  Is there such thing as a good racoon, a good or bad strain of the ebola virus, an evil elephant?  The obviousness of this thought is obscured by the religiosity of humans.  I freely admit that any sort of ethics that I could be accused of are really just my personal aesthetics, which I do not deny have been heavily influenced and informed by things over which I have no control: the place and time I was born, my body, and innumerous other crucial factors that have formed any myth I have an essential self with principles and beliefs.  As Voltairine says, “Now my opponents know where to find me.”  Good luck.

    It seems to me that the popular opinion nowadays about polyamory/monogamy conversations is “people should do whatever makes them happy.”  To me though, there is nothing more important than my interpersonal relationships, sexual or otherwise.  Voltairine takes shots at people who are “married” whether they are polyamorous or monogamous.  As an individualist, the issue for her is individual freedom and for us to have moment to moment freedom to act as we wish.  I desire to form relationships with people as they come, and I desire the same for those I care about.  In the past I have been monogamous and functionally married when polyamorous.  We know what this looks like, it is close communion with a partner, and closeness breeds contempt.  It is my desire to have a friendship baseline for anyone I am close with and for physical intimacy come out of a place of mutual desire and not obligation.  Growing up in a christian/religious society most of us are overloaded with guilt, and it is my wish to eliminate as much of this from myself as possible.  If you are capable of asking a person you care about to limit their physical or emotional affections to just yourself without feeling guilty, then congratulations, but this is not for me.

    Perhaps the most important aspect of this essay though is its understanding of another often ignored cliche, that people change.  Voltairine writes, “bodies, like souls, do most seldom, almost never, parallel each other’s development. And this lack of parallelism is the greatest argument to be produced against marriage. No matter how perfectly adapted to each other two people may be at any given time, it is not the slightest evidence that they will continue to be so.”  These words again strike at the religious nature of anarchists.  It attacks the notion of fixed ideas, and stasis.  Voltairine acknowledges that hopefully humans change ideas, bodies, and desires over time, and that it is rare for these desires to closely parallel enough for long term close communion.  Many anarchists believe they have found answers, believing that they are on a path with a destination instead of an endless journey.  If we can admit this to ourselves, and open our bodies and minds to the notion of fluidity and change, then we can change the way we orient ourselves in our personal relationships.

    “That love and respect may last, I would have unions rare and impermanent. That life may grow, I would have men and women remain separate personalities. Have no common possessions with your lover more than you might freely have with one not your lover. Because I believe that marriage stales love, brings respect into contempt, outrages all the privacies and limits the growth of both parties, I believe that “they who marry do ill.”

    Voice, editing, & production by rydra wrong

    ITS Communiques #3+4

    We continue with our Individualists Tending Toward The Wild recording series with communiques 3 and 4.


    From the fourth:

    … in the past three communiques we have developed a critique of nanotechnology and information technology, of industrial society and have set forth an analysis of the ecological consequences of greater demands for contributions in the field of science and Technology; now we turn to break down the consequences of all this within the human mind, our approach as ITS, and the rejection of some terms that do not seem to identify us, simply in order to clarify our position.
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