Tag Archives: anarchism

Archaeology against the state! It’s AEWCH 169 featuring David Wengrow!

9 Nov

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Friends,

It’s obvious to so many of us that the world needs radical visions of the future for us to thrive. But we’re held back by our dismissal of radicalness, of visions, and even of the imagination. This holding back comes partly from our misinterpretation and misappropriation of history. It’s not just the future that needs radical visions, it’s the past. To discuss how to remake the past by encountering and challenging the real, I invited archaeologist and author David Wengrow on the show. David is co-author (with about anthropologist, the late great David Graeber, who appeared on AEWCH 99) of the new and incendiary book, The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity. The book is already causing a tremendous stir, as it pits anthropology and archaeology – of course paired with solid scholarly work – against the state as we know it.I’m so excited to share this episode with you.

SHOW NOTES

• For more on David, here’s his site (with plenty of articles) at University College London. You can also read some of his other works, including The Origins of Monsters: Image and Cognition in the First Age of Mechanical Reproduction. And here’s a video of he and David Graeber speaking to students during a strike at UCL.

• Here’s David Graeber’s essay, “Turning Modes of Production Inside Out“.

• I talk at length about the inner experiences of money on AEWCH 76 with economic researcher Conor McCabe, and on AEWCH 110 when Conor returned and we were joined by anthroposophical economist, John Bloom. And I discuss “dewitchers” with witchcraft scholar Thomas Waters on AEWCH 98.

Until next time!
CH

Conspiracy! Stigma! Loneliness! I talk with Jon Ronson on AEWCH 163.

14 Sep

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FRIENDS: Do you find this podcast meaningful? Support it! This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. Do contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon!  Thank you so, so much.Buy the books mentioned on/related to this episode via my booklist for AEWCH 163 on bookshop.org!

Bookshop.org sources from independent bookstores in the US, not a big corporate shipping warehouse where the workers are treated like machines. Plus when you click through here to order, the show gets a small affiliate kickback!

Friends,

I’m so excited to share this episode (and its long intro about revolution and violence!) with journalist, author, and filmmaker Jon Ronson.

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Jon, read his books, of course. But also you can go to his website, and find his series The Butterfly Effect as well as The Last Days of August on Audible. You can also watch Jon’s collaboration with Parasite director Bong-Joon Ho, Okja. And here’s Jon’s semi-autobiographical movie (featuring Michael Fassbender), Frank.

• To listen to and support the Bad Faith podcast – hosted by Briahna Joy Gray and Virgil Texas – go to their patreon.

• Here’s AEWCH 15 on anti-fascism, featuring Mark Bray.

• I was very much into the Disinfo group – Richard Metzger, AEWCH 125 guest Doug Rushkoff, Grant Morrison, and more – a sort of leftist countercultural current that lived comfortably with conspiracy.

• My former doctor, Thomas Cowan, was really amazing, but I have thought about and concluded that he lost his way in the global pandemic. His older books, however, are still quite profound.

• “If YouTube’s algorithms radicalize people, it’s hard to tell from the data

• As far as search engines’ usefulness in understanding culture, I talked about this a bit on AEWCH 115 with Joanne McNeill.

• The first AEWCH episode of the year, AEWCH 136, was about the pandemic of certainty.

Until next time, friends,

CH

We need mutual now, and tomorrow, too. So I talked to mutual aid, anarchist, trans activist Dean Spade on AEWCH!

10 Nov

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Want tobuy the books mentioned on this ep? For the books mentioned and some related to what we discuss, please go to my booklist for AEWCH 131 on bookshop.org. It will  help support independent bookstores, and the show gets a small financial kickback, too.

Friends,
I used to say, when people asked me what my best political tactics were: that they were like the moment in a Bugs Bunny cartoon when Bugs Bunny is chased down a dead end alley and finds himself against a brick wall.
What does he do?
He pulls out a piece of chalk and draws a door and then walks through it. In other words, it’s not a compromise or a pleading with the apparent conditions, or begging his abuser not to harm him. He realizes he has the tools to walk away and out of the situation he’s in.It’s not a perfect metaphor of course, but this is what mutual aid offers, the tools to achieve the impossible.
And now is a moment of mutual aid. People helping each other. People forming community groups to tend to each other’s urgent needs. Networks that help the shut in and elderly get food. Ride shares. Local market pop ups. Checking in on your neighbors. Rent strikes. Protests against the murder of black people. Solidarity groups.
That is what I wanted my politics to be – a complete contrast to the luxuriant parties inspired by phony savior governments. I knew I needed to talk about mutual aid, and I knew that Dean Spade was the person to talk to.
Dean Spade is the author of the new book, Mutual Aid: Building Solidarity During This Crisis (And the Next). He’s the founder of the founder of Sylvia Rivera Law Project which works to help create conditions to help people thrive while self-determining their gender identity and expression, and his other book Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics, and the Limits of the Law, which identifies the many ways in which rights struggles that look to permission from the state and law fall short. He’s also a professor at Seattle University School of Law.
We go deep into why mutual aid matters, what it means, why we need it right now, and how to start mutual aid projects with people who are difficult to organize with. You know, those people you find political objectionable but who live nearby and aren’t going to simply disappear!If you want a quick primer on mutual aid, check out the short animate film Dean made with Ciro Carillo, “Shit’s Totally Fucked! What Can We Do?: A Mutual Aid Explainer.” Even just that 8 minute long video is inspiring!
The conversation goes into many surprising and challenging places, like, should leftists critique drug companies? Do we own our bodies? Why are US politics so dependent on keeping people anxious? Why does the left always seem so miserable and can we bring joy and pleasure back into organizing? How is mutual aid a form of practicing utopia? What are we talking abut when we say freedom and does that have a spiritual component?
I’m so happy to share this (great!) conversation with you.

ON THIS EPISODE

  • How to organize with people who have completely different world views
  • The reason we need pleasure as a call to activism
  • The difference between displaying happiness and happiness itself
  • What is freedom, and how do we know it when it’s happening?
  • Can we become free with materialism in place?
  • What are the limits of mutual aid?
  • How Democrats (*ahem* Kamala) exploit LGBT, black and non-black PoC suffering to recuperate power where it’s lost
  • The stunted emotional development that is part and parcel of American politics
  • Why we need to develop morality
  • Why tautologies like “love is love” “sex work is work” and “trans women are women” are helpful but often end up hitting a wall
  • The power of sex and the construction of masculinity
  • The ways people are signaling I LOVE SCIENCE and why the left has no lens for it

SHOW NOTES

• For more on Dean, check out his website, which has tons of great stuff on it, including this excellent lecture, “When We Win We Lose” and his documentary about the ways Israel tires to cover up some of its crimes against Palestinians by exploiting LGBT rights: Pinkwashing Exposed. If Mutual Aid is sold out on bookshop.org, you can get the ebook directly from Verso.
• A lot of my other conversations come up on this episode. Including AEWCH 120 with political theorist Michael Hardt, AEWCH 15 with antifascist Mark Bray, and about the problems with identity politics on AEWCH 26 with Asad Haider. Also, I talked about the problems with fighting to let trans people in the military with trans author and activist Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore on AEWCH 57.
• Want an intro to wild utopian thinker Charles Fourier? Here’s my easy to read essay on his work.
• Mutual aid is a term that probably predates Peter Kropotkin – late 19th/early 20th century anarchist – but he’s a good start. His book Mutual Aid can be found in this collection of his work.

• I haven’t yet read organizer and philosopher Cynthia Kaufman‘s Ideas for Action: Relevant Theory for Radical Change, but it looks awesome. Let me know if you read it before I do!
• You can hear David Graeber and I talk about supernatural politics (though not so much the bit I bring up on this episode) on AEWCH 99.
• I’m not familiar with Jem Bendell’s work about environmental concerns, but it had an affect on Dean, so here’s a link to his paper, “Deep Adaptation.
• Here’s a round up (and thankful repudiation) of the stupid “gay bars are sites of violation” articles that came out when gay men were clambering to be part of the #MeToo movement.
• I wrote about the origins of masturbation shame way back when I thought Vice was cool (phew!).
• If you’re worried about the virus, here’s that WIRED article about why surfaces are safe.
• The Jane Ward book Dean mentions is Not Gay: Sex Between Straight White Men and gosh, I’ve just got to read it.
• The organization I was Vice President of for two years is The Adult Performer Advocacy Committee. It’s still around and just saw some tweets from them today about mutual aid, of all things!
Until next time friends, take care of each other!
CH

WHAT TO LEAVE BEHIND as we move into 2020.

31 Dec

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This podcast is only possible because listeners like you support it. One thing to bring forward in 2020? Associative economics. Support the artists you like and let’s do as much as possible to cut out corporate sponsorship. Do contribute to my mission by supporting Against Everyone With Conner Habib on Patreon!  Thank you so, so much.
AEWCH94TitleCard
Friends,
Let’s close out the year.
Let’s get rid of the political gestures that have overstayed our welcome.
Once, they used to serve us, now, they’re rotting in us, damaging our souls.
On this episode of AEWCH I talk about what we need to leave behind in the 2010s so that we can bring the good forward.
I view this episode of one of three where I talk about the importance of how we orient ourselves towards 2020.
The third of which is my upcoming appearance on Gordon White‘s amazing magic podcast, Rune Soup.
This episode began as a series of tweets, which you can find here.
Thanks for listening.
Looking forward!
CH

Do nothing and feel good about it! Philosopher of idleness Brian O’Connor on AEWCH!

5 Nov

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AEWCH89TitleCard
Friends,
Surely self-improvement is not a bad thing, right? Surely we should be doing as much as we can to make ourselves self-actualized beings and get shit done and follow the 7 habits of the 12 secrets of the 4 agreements of highly effective badass people with the secret to living the happiness project of our lives.
Wellllllll…maybe not. 
On this episode of AEWCH, I talk author and philosopher Brian O’Connor about idleness, and how – as Brian says in this episode, not having shitty jobs is not enough. Instead, wanting to be and do better might just be part of the capitalist trap we’re all stuck in. Brian is the author of the excellent and short book Idleness: A Philosophical Essay, a skewering of philosophical arguments against idleness. It’s not a how to be idle book, since that would be pro-self help! Instead, it’s just a good dissolving of all the reasons why we shouldn’t be just kind of lazing around enjoying life.
Since Brian is also a scholar of the great critical theorist Theodor Adorno, we talk a lot about him, too. To supplement our discussion, you should check out Brian’s very very good intro to Adorno called, well, Adorno. Adorno is a key to this discussion about idleness, because he identifies that even in a world without the same wage-labor relationship we have now, we’d still be working our asses off and trapped in the same arrangement we have now.
This episode was a huge challenge to my normal way of thinking, since I am all about self improvement. But it was a friendly challenge, and a powerful one. I learned a lot. Which I guess, um, means I improved.
In this episode:
  • Brian’s struggle with being idle
  • Why Kant got idleness wrong and right
  • Psychoanalysis and ending the perpetual cycle of productivity
  • That time I pissed off my friend when all I wanted to do was compliment her on being so chill
  • Why we lionize our own pain and struggle
  • Whether or not boredom is productive
  • How the military exploits idleness to kill people
  • How mental work and physical labor mirror mental illness and physical pain
  • How Bugs Bunny cartoons should inform our politics
  • Why good jobs are not enough
  • How sex workers can see how their jobs erode work
  • Why everything small thing deserves attention, but that doesn’t mean it’s all good. Also, why object oriented ontology sucks.
  • I nervously present Brian with my theory of phenomenology and occult critical response. But he was very very nice about it.
  • Why libertarians get individualism wrong
PS: Sorry for the breathing into the mic! I think I had Brian’s mic turned up a little too high. Anyway, just imagine him relaxing.
Want to check out the books we talk about and more? Go to the SHOW NOTES.
AH

 

“…sex for money usually costs a lot less.” Maggie McNeill & I talk about sex workers’ rights on the latest AEWCH!

1 May
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My guest for AEWCH 28 is author, whore, and activist Maggie McNeill. On top of those qualifications, Maggie is an uncompromising and fierce thinker who gives me strength every day. Often, if I feel like I’m exhausted, faltering, or tired of the state sex workers’ rights, or cultural attitudes towards sex, I turn to Maggie’s twitter (which you really should follow), and am re-infused with my own sense of integrity.
We talk about how legalization vs decriminalization, sex work vs the state, the problem with enthusiastic consent, Stormy Daniels, SESTA/FOSTA, and more!

Antifa is coming for you. To hang out at your place, I mean. Conner in conversation with historian, author, and activist Mark Bray!

1 Dec
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Excited to welcome the amazing historian, activist, and author of Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook, Mark Bray to Against Everyone! You’ve probably encountered the anti-fascists “antifa” movement in some way or another since the now-iconic video of neo-Nazi organizer Richard Spencer getting punched in the face on camera. Since then, anti-fascists activists have been completely misrepresented in media and misunderstood by the non-activist public, derided by the right (like when Donald Trump ejaculated the word Antifa! on stage) as well as by liberals. Mark puts the antifa action and organization in the context of history, illuminating how it’s not just a bunch of angry college kids, but a rich and thought-out set of tactics and web of movements throughout history.
IN THIS EPISODE
  • Why people who are against antifascist action often believe in the Myth of Progress: 1:50
  • Why the impossibility of utopia can combat the fantasy of progress: 6:45
  • How to implement one the ground activism while retaining the vision. And why: 12:10
  • The people who whine “THAT’S NOT GOING TO ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING”: 13:35
  • Is the general engagement with a state traumatic?: 17:00
  • Netflix and chill? Nah, Hitler or chill, bro.: 19:40
  • Recognizing all violences without dismissing differences between them: 21:00
  • The problem with “talk it out with the enemy” is that most people who say it don’t believe it: 23:20
  • The racist kids Conner grew up with, the Nazi organizers who exploited them, and what to do with the various levels of racism and fascism: 26:20
  • The little bird and the forest fire: 31:40
  • “If I can’t stand by the bar and drink while I watch people dance to it, it’s not my revolution.”: 36:00
  • Where’s the line between fascism and other oppressive structures of power?: 37:20
  • Who deserves engagement and who deserves dismissal and derision: Anti-sex worker and anti-porn activists use fascist rhetoric – And why you shouldn’t engage with them: 42:25
  • Why “no platform” is a worthwhile tactic and why it’s so misunderstood: 49:50
  • Charlie Hebdo and why free speech matters, but not the “support our troops” version of free speech: 52:30
  • Can fascism be eliminated?: 1:03:00

Please support the show if you enjoy it and learn from it. I can’t do this without you, and I love doing it. Pledge as little as a dollar per month on my Patreon.

And as always, you can find the show notes for the episode with links to books and resources to go deeper on my patreon.

AF

Against Everyone with Conner Habib: Episode 3 – Work and Die or Be the Future Blob

16 Jul
Episode 3 of Against Everyone with Conner Habib is up!
It’s me starting a conversation about a post-work world with you. Hopefully, it will inspire an inner conversation, and maybe even a conversation between you and your friends and/or you and your everyday life. I don’t talk that much about what exactly we should imagine, because we’ll all have different visions. But I do talk about pathways to imagining post-work in the first place.Which is why I’d love to hear back from you about a post-work world, particularly any solutions or directions or visions.
Watch/listen/comment. Thanks!

In Episode 3, I Talk About

  • How having a job is deadening and deadly.
  • Why work is state-supported blackmail.
  • How work has fundamentally changed and changed us into computers.
  • Why we’re not automating work anytime soon.
  • Why both Marxist and capitalist models are challenged by wanting to be versus needing to gain.
  • Why labor isn’t the best sphere to locate political struggle in.
  • Seeking employment as infantilization.
For the show notes, with links to the books, stats, and thinkers, I mentioned, click here.
And if the show makes you think, inspires you, or starts conversation, please do consider supporting my work via my Patreon page. Thank you!
Love,
CH
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Conner Habib + Abby Martin! AGAINST EVERYONE WITH CONNER HABIB Episode 2!

26 Jun

 

 

Welcome to the second episode of AGAINST EVERYONE with CONNER HABIB!

I’m so excited to have Abby Martin on the show! Abby is a radical political journalist, and host of Empire Files. She’s also an artist and activist.
Together, we talk how to sift through media and find trustworthy voices, politics, imperialism, Palestinian rights, and how to live in the intensities of our world.
Here’s a breakdown of the episode:
  • How Abby & I are CLEARLY Russian agents: 1:45
  • The Jill Stein Problem: 7:10
  • The longing for a politician we can believe in, no matter what he or she says: 10:00
  • The moment the scales fell from Abby’s eyes: 11:30
  • How conspiracies form when world views are shattered: 14:00
  • The exploitation of Seth Rich’s death: 16:00
  • Why gathering the evidence for a conspiracy is not enough: 18:35
  • La La Land as the expression of US anxieties: 21:30
  • Israel as a concentration of world issues and moral compass: 25:15
  • Media misrepresentation: 38:00
  • The difference between Chris Hedges’s despicable views on porn
    versus Noam Chomsky’s dumb but responsible ones: 40:30
  • Thinking original thoughts and Wittgenstein’s struggle: 46:00
  • Stumbling your way toward better politics: 53:25

Please support the show by SIGNING UP HERE. You get downloadable audio of every ep, access to Conner’s book club, extra episodes, and more
For SHOW NOTES with links there to some of the books, movies, and people I mention in this episode. CLICK HERE for all that.

Please share and use #AEWCH when you do!

Love,

CH

Conner Habib’s NEW WEB SERIES and PATREON!

23 May

Sex IslandDear everyone,

After years of writing essays, comic books, and stories; making adult scenes; doing activism for sex workers; and talking about the occult and sex around the world; I’m unveiling my very own Patreon and accompanying web series: AGAINST EVERYONE with CONNER HABIB!

My life project is to make the world a better place for being fully human, so that we don’t have to constantly hide parts of ourselves and our interests away. We should be able to be sexual and spiritual, into the sciences and the humanities, into the occult and philosophy. And we should be able to be our full, integrated selves without compartmentalizing everything.
That’s where you, my Patreon, and my new web series, Against Everyone with Conner Habib, come in. Together, we can co-create a culture that’s easier to be a rebel, a punk, a slut, a witch, and an interdisciplinary weirdo in.
Against Everyone with Conner Habib is a web series starting in June that features me giving talks on a wide range of profound, weird, and fringe topics, ranging from the history of the adult industry to the occult secrets of technology; from the mystical, political nature of time and space to the bacterial origins of sex.
It also features me in conversation with some of the leading thinkers and creators of our time. For a list of upcoming topics and guests, visit my Patreon page.
My Patreon supports all my projects, including the series. Sign up now at any level (access starts at just one dollar per month!) and you get all sorts of amazing stuff:
  • Downloadable audio of the series
  • Membership in the Conner Habib Book Club
  • Skype sessions (one-on-one) with me
  • Extra episodes
  • Personalized video postcards sent to your inbox each month
  • Exclusive peaks at projects I’m working on
and lots more!
This is a HUGE step forward for me, and your participation is literally life-changing, and our community will be culture-changing.
Watch the intro video by clicking my face up there, by clicking here, or by watching below. And if you sign up by June 1, you’ll get a personalized thank you photo from me!
So!
Let’s create a new culture. Let’s hang out. Let’s talk about things we care about. Let’s be ourselves. Let’s do everything we’ve ever cared about, all at once.Thanks for all your support and love, my friends,
Conner Habib