Alejandro De Acosta

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About Alejandro De Acosta

...[one of] the most prominent academics studying anarchism bridges the gap between anarchist activism on the streets and anarchist theory in the academy.

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This person has authored 17 documents, with 222,609 words or 1,487,477 characters.

Abstract Philosophers allude to anarchist practices; philosophers allude to anarchist theorists; anarchists allude to philosophers (usually in search of theory to add to the canon). What is missing in this schema, I note with interest, is anarchists alluding to philosophical practices. These are the wild interstices: zones of outlandish contact for all concerned. Todo está ya en su punto, y el ser persona en el mayor. Conocer las cosas en su punto, en su sazón, y saberlas lograr. — Baltasar Gracián Failure and the Third I dare to call certain turbulent interstices of anarchy and philosophy wild. I feel that there is a lot of activity there, but not (yet) along predicta... (From :
“There were always men who practiced this philosophy. For it seems to be in some ways a universal philosophy, and the most natural.” – Julian the Apostate 1 Some months ago, I discovered a series of books on ancient philosophies produced by the University of California Press, with lovely details of Baroque paintings reproduced on the covers. The titles read: Stoicism, Epicureanism, Neoplatonism, Ancient Skepticism … Cynics. That last title immediately drew my attention: Cynics and not Cynicism. It turned out that Cynics makes explicit reference to anarchist ideas in a way that is both intelligent and important to at least some of us. (I will return to this intersection). The choice of the... (From :
1 I am already playing. And I don’t tend to like games. At least I don’t like games in which I don’t get to participate in inventing or discovering the rules. What I do like, however, is finding games where and when games are said not to be. My desire is to keep playing this game of truth - and you are invited to play along. Suppose that we are already playing (I, in writing this; you, in reading it) and that in realizing it we come to admit that in some way everything is a game - everything personal, everything social, and everything cultural, anyway, including what seems least playful: work, or struggle, for example. Suppose again that we go on (or realize we can’t stop) playing and allow ourse... (From :
Men have been so mad as to believe that God is pleased by harmony Spinoza Some of us have read Desert, and opted to reprint it, to promote its discussion, maybe to promulgate (at least repeat) some of what is said in it. Despite our efforts, I still feel it has not had the uptake it deserves. I am beginning to think that the issue is less about our limited ability to distribute texts and discuss ideas, and more about the limits of the milieu itself. As to the reception Desert did get, the most one can say is that a few literate anarchists quickly processed it, either absorbing it into their position or rejecting it. This scanning-followed-by-yes-or-no operation pretty much sums up what many anarchists consider reading to... (From :
When you get sleepy, do you go to sleep? Or do you lie awake?” - Cage, “Composition as Process” “If among you there are those who wish to get somewhere, let them leave at any moment.” “If anybody is sleepy, let him go to sleep” - Cage, “Lecture on Nothing” 1 There is a computer program called the Automatic Insurrectionary Manifesto Generator. AIMG produces this sort of output: What’s needed is not mobilization, and even far less absence, but a putting-into-practice of inoperative crisis, a rejection in all forms of the temporality of humanism. This is a call to indifference, not an insistence on absence. We mu... (From :
About his philosophical nickname The author of the fine book The Ego and its Own was a man whose forehead sprouted a name: Stirner refers to his great brow. There is something charming about the fact that this book was signed with a pseudonym - this book that insists to the death on irreducible, irreparable uniqueness. As if one’s proper name is never remarkable enough, and every Ego requires the artifice of a nickname to become a Unique signature. Stirner is his philosophical nickname, the signature of an unknown visage[1] who dedicates his book to his sweetheart, then passes it to us in all ambiguity and says: use it. About his allergy to the Cause I have previously taken the liberty of calling Max Stirner an anarch... (From :
1 I have always considered my inclination to anarchy to be irreducible to a politics. Anarchist commitments run deeper. They are more intimate, concerning supposedly personal or private matters; but they also overflow the instrumental realm of getting things done. Over time, I have shifted from thinking that anarchist commitments are more than a politics to thinking that they are something other than a politics. I continue to return to this latter formulation. It requires thinking things through, not just picking a team; it is more difficult to articulate and it is more troubling to our inherited common sense.[1] I do not think I am alone in this. It has occurred to some of us to register this feeling of otherness by calling our anar... (From :
1 That teaching is impossible is not a proposition to be argued for. It would be of little interest to offer it up for debate. It would be useless to defend it against the evidence of history or common sense. To consider that teaching is impossible is to open ourselves up to an experience of the most outlandish sort. In staging this experience I wish to contemplate the happy frustration of the urge to teach, and to affirmatively invoke the limits of all pedagogies. It is useful for anyone who thinks that they teach to explore their urge to do so. This urge is an intimate matter, the libidinal support for the innocent claim that good ideas ought to be passed on to others. I call the claim innocent in that it usually leaves the ... (From :
Parts of “To Acid-Words” were first presented at a meeting of the Berkeley Anarchist Study Group in November, 2011. The rest of it was meditated on (and off) for the following two years, with a last burst of effort in early 2014. This is to say that it has layers, strata. It is an attempt to address the tremendous anxiety anarchists seem to have about language, and each of its sub-sections responds analytically to various attitudes towards language in the milieu. I think of it as a necessarily incomplete piece, in that it addresses a relation the anarchist milieu constantly denies in seeking out a better language (instrumental, operational), a pre-language, or a non-language. This relation is, of course, its relation to what it ... (From :
“ … outside everything else and inside myself …” - Plotinus Enneads IV, 8, 1 I have some comments about a compilation of short writings entitled Willful Disobedience. It may be an odd experience to read through the book cover to cover as I did. Written over the course of a decade, the pieces in it quietly overlap and repeat each other in form and content. One does not gain or lose much through a linear reading of this collection. But that is how I read it. And so much about this book is strange to me in a way I can barely express! I prefer to say very little about its combination of precision and vagueness, its compact historical narratives and impossibly hostile denunciations of the present. My... (From :
“Voice 1: Howls for Sade, a film by Guy-Ernest Debord. Voice 2: Howls for Sade is dedicated to Gil J Wolman.” – opening of Debord’s Howls for Sade 1 (On a street corner, then running down the street) Old Alciphron: Sorry I’m late. I’m always late to these things! Young Alciphron: Don’t worry, older one. I’m the only one here. Everyone else is at that Occupy thing… OA: … which didn’t tempt you enough, younger one? YA: … OA: Anyway, before all that, we were to meet here to talk about the book by McKenzie Wark, The Beach Beneath the Street. YA: Titles that recycle slogans: always a bad idea. But I am ... (From :


January 25, 2021 ; 4:42:50 PM (America/Los_Angeles) :
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