Sprout Distro

Breaking with Consensus Reality

As anarchists, we place considerable emphasis on consent and the framework of consent as a means of approaching our personal interactions. While this works well in some situations, is consent the best framework through which to analyze direct action tactics and strategy? This zine explores the topic, looking at how we define consent, power, and reality. It argues that a more fertile approach might be the politics of seduction and desire, illuminating new and previously unimagined possibilities and situations. It’s worth considering, both for its discussion of the limits of consent-based political actions as well as its discussion of how “consensus reality” limits our ability to conceptualize alternatives.

The text originally appeared in an experimental Crimethinc publication called “Terror Incognita.”

Breaking with Consensus Reality


...consent discourse doesn’t always offer a sufficient framework with which to evaluate direct action tactics and strategy. Knowing whether an action is consensual may not suffice to indicate whether it is effective or worthwhile. Aware that most people oppose some of our tactics, we don’t plan our actions on the basis of consent, yet we don’t aspire to become a vanguard, either. Furthermore, since we can only desire on the basis of what we know, we’re unlikely to achieve liberation from simply fulfilling the desires we have now without changing the conditions that produced them. So how else might we conceive of our political project, if not through the lens of consent?


Breaking with Consensus Reality was added to Sprout Distro in 2015