189592 WHY WORRY ABOUT G. W. BUSH? (english) Bruce Wilson -----------189601 proposal 4 the end of pro-palestinian/anti-israel rhetoric --------------- 1896?? (via scoop nz) gush-shalom.org items about international peacekeepers observers being thwarted by Israeli army (that's putting it way more polite than those biased bastards deserve) ------------------- 189521 June 23, 2002 Anti-U.S. militants showing up all over ------------------ the rest of this file via infoshop.org: Some Major Problems with the Future of Civilization + 11 --------- What is vanguardism and why do anarchists reject it? + 21 ----------- from vohuman.org (zoroastrian) on Nietzsche ------------ Retaliation by Howard Zinn + 9 -------------- Ten Native Youth facing Death Penalty ----------- resistance is futile + 145!!!!! about the iso; the last 3 posts here ------------- spreading the word -------------------- 189592 WHY WORRY ABOUT G. W. BUSH? (english) Bruce Wilson 12:28pm Tue Jul 2 '02 address: Daily Telegraph bruce.wilson@newsint.co.uk THE world outside the US is now getting used to the fact Americans have a fraudulently elected nitwit as their president, but George W. Bush excelled himself this week with a "long-awaited" definitive speech on Middle East policies that stretched even the weirdest imaginations. BRUCE WILSON in London reports: Why we should be worried about George W Bush 29jun02 http://www.dailytelegraph.news.com.au/  common/story_page/0,5936,459  9307%5E12634,00.html US embassies around the world moved to "explain" the batty future Bush saw for Israel and Palestine, but nothing could disguise that the bedbug was running the White House and anything could happen next. Hey, look. Even Tom Cruise is worried. In London this week he said he wanted his adopted kids brought up outside the USA because of what happens inside the USA. He listed terrorism and street crime, but very cogently he listed corporate crime as a reason not to bring up kids in the old US of A. Now, Tom Cruise is not a Grade A rocket scientist. In fact, he is a Grade A Scientologist. On the whole, though, I would say he was brighter than George W. Bush (along with my neighbour's catatonic cat) and it was most intriguing that he named corporate crime as a reason not to want to grow up in America. The WorldCom affair comes after the Enron affair while the Andersen affair simply defies belief. It has become perfectly clear that major US corporations have been running out of control, throwing billions of dollars into a kind of international financial black hole. In vain you ask (as I tried to do), well, where has the money gone? I mean, if you back a loser at Randwick, then you know where your money went. If these companies have lost billions – $US3.8 billion in the case of WorldCom – why hasn't somebody won it? Or got it? Where has it gone? Or, more to the point, did it ever exist? Of course it did, said the Doormouse. Otherwise, it could never have been lost and 17,000 people sacked for the lack of it. This is Alice in Wonderland stuff, capitalism rattling around like a high-velocity round in a mental vacuum. Where was government? Where was control? Twenty years ago, when I lived in Washington, the US was said to have a trillion-dollar-a-day economy that was so strong not even government could screw it. Now, you have to ask if things have turned, that apparent fraudsters like WorldCom can screw government. Dubya Bush seems reluctant to address these issues. He is a Texan (although not by breeding) and there they let things take their course, execute mentally deficient minors, and generally behave like good old boys, taking the Chevy to the levee. If it were not for September 11, Bush would be in serious political trouble in America. He may be yet, in the mid-term November elections. His shocked nation rallied around him as the personification of The Flag when the atrocities stunned us all. His personal rating broke all records. Since then, though, what? On this side of the Atlantic he is seen as a kind of strange joke. Britons try to understand him, but in Europe they simply think of him as a sort of circus act. The Middle East pronouncement was so absurd they didn't know whether to laugh or simply ask the US senior political attache over for a commiserating drink. These concerns are based on the belief – that seems to be proven – that Washington itself is a divided city. Colin Powell, in State, is trying to plead reason over the clamouring voices in Defence, led by Donald Rumsfeld, clearly a man not always entirely in control of his senses. Bush is listening to Rumsfeld, and other strange voices – not least the Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon. And, as he does, the US looks more and more to be a long way away from the rest of the world. www.dailytelegraph.news.com.au/common/st... ----------------------------------- 189601 proposal 4 the end of pro-palestinian/anti-israel rhetoric (english) anonymous 1:15pm Tue Jul 2 '02 (Modified on 8:49pm Tue Jul 2 '02) i am a vegan and an anarchist; i am opposed 2 all forms of discrimination and prejudice; i am opposed 2 all authority and i am opposed 2 nation-states and borders; but there is one thing i find annoying about some people in the anti-globalization movement i think that the anti-globalization movement as a whole should end its pro-palestinian rhetoric and its anti-israel rhetoric; there are several reasons why i think this way; one is that religious jews and some others get offended when they hear all this rhetoric, especially if they care about some things that the anti-globalizaion movement as a whole cares about,like eco-sustainibility, gay rights, transgender rights, animal rights, anti-racist activities, pro-wymyn/feminist activities, etc. another reason is that if anarchists and other socialists are 2 change the world, we need 2 have solidariy with many people; we cannot just try 2 change things by doing direct action alone; altho i support illegal direct action for animal liberation and earth liberation and humyn liberation, i think that activists need 2 get down 2 normal middle-class folks on a more personal level like doing free vegan food distribution, anti-military education, environmental education, etc. also, i dont like some of the anti-jewish rhetoric thats coming out of the movement; not all jews are idiots; some are, some arent; anyway i must bid u farewell 4 now; peace add your own comments ============= Offended (english) Spruce 1:59pm Tue Jul 2 '02 comment#189612 Anonymous, I am offended by your post. Will that get you to shut up, to end this silly rhetoric about ending rhetoric? If a Jew is offended when I say that the modern state of Israel is oppressing the Palestinians, that Zionism has become an euphemism for ethnic cleansing, than so be it. I am offended by the oppression of the Palestinians. And as long as individuals support this oppression, I do not see what help at all they will be in all of the other movements for human rights and dignity ("yeah, I support 'wymyn's' rights, unless the wymyn happen to be Palestinian." "Gay rights, you betcha, unless they want an end to the occupation.") Do you get all huggy-feely and not speak your mind if you worry about offending someone? You say you are a vegan. Do you explain to meat and dairy eaters the modern conditions of factory farms--even if it offends them? Or, perhaps these meat eaters will be good allies in the labor movement and, therefore, you do not say anything. Are you anti-militaristic? Do you condemn US hegemony? Or do you refrain from making such statements because of the possibility of offending allies in other struggles? Overall, your suggestion is simply nonsensical. ============== ..continuance (english) soren k 8:49pm Tue Jul 2 '02 comment#189669 "also, i dont like some of the anti-jewish rhetoric thats coming out of the movement" anonymous that comment could be construed in various ways. are you against any critizism of the zionist state its policies etc, or were you referring to anti-judaic as in anti simply being jewish? if it was the latter, you're in the majority as no where in the socialist-anarchist movement will you find anti-semites. if you've come across it, kindly post your findings. however, the assertion that merely critizising israel is wrong is quite repulsive. the first platform of progressive socialists-anarchists is the plight of people, which in turn leads to alternative theories in order to correct that plight - i.e utopian socialist societies etc at the moment, the israelis are engaged in a 55 year brutal occupation and systematic ethnic clensing of the indegenous arab population in palestine. if critizising this is wrong, then you arent what you claim to be. --------------------- GUSH SHALOM - pob 3322, Tel-Aviv 61033 - http://www.gush-shalom.org/ Press release ******** Palestinian negotiator & 17 American peace activists refused entry at the Airport ******** Today Michael Tarazi, member of the PLO Peace Negotiations team was refused entry at Ben Gurion Airport upon hiss return from a vissitt to the United States. We spoke with him on his mobile phone, while he was in the police station of the Ben-Gurion Airport - but it was interrupted in the middle, and afterwards the phone was disconnected. Tarazi, who has US citizenship, lives in Ramallah and works as the legal adviser for the PLO negotiating team. Many Israelis have heard him speak, in house meetings, but also in public halls where he gave his vision why the negotiations went wrong, inspiring Israeli peace activists with hope. Preventing this man from entering Israel is part of a war - not against terrorism, but against those peaceseeking Palestinians who can prove that "there is a partner" and thereby constitute a danger for the Israeli propaganda machine. For similar reasons also 17 members of Fellowship of Reconciliation from the US, were refused entry when they arrived at BG Airport. The FOR members were to meet with Knesset members (e.g., Yosi Sarid) as well as with activist groups. Already for a few months the Israeli army keeps the international press away from the Palestinian areas during its reconquest operations. Adam Keller Gush Shalom spokesperson Phone: +972-(0)3-5565804 / +972-(0)56-709603 / +972-(0)56-709604 -------------------------- Internationals Stop Tank Advancement With Bodies Monday, 1 July 2002, 1:45 pm Press Release: Gush Shalom Forwarded by Gush Shalom.. INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT http://www.palsolidarity.org INTERNATIONALS STOP TANK ADVANCEMENT WITH BODIES Arrest of American peace activist and journalists [NABLUS] Earlier today international peace activists investigated a home that local Palestinians believed was seized by the military. After determining that Israeli soldiers had indeed taken the top floor of the house they tried to speak with the family. The family is confined to the top floor and was not allowed to speak freely with the internationals. In the street internationals made signs warning the local population of the military presence. One armored personnel carrier (APC), one tank and a bulldozer rolled down the street towards the house. With local press from Reuters and other agencies as well as the internationals taping, four international civilians representing the USA, UK, Canada and Israel laid down in the street effectively stopping the advancement of the Israeli military. Israeli forces resorted to violence launching tear gas and sound grenades at them but the activists held fast. The military backed away and approached from another direction and the same situation was replayed. Israeli army jeeps arrived and arrested the press, forcing them into jeeps and taking them to an uknown location. The journalists are: Hassan Titti and Abed Qusini from Reuters. One American peace activist, Eric Levine, was forced into another jeep and hauled away. At this point we are trying to determine Eric's condition and whereabouts. International civilians are still intent on protecting the family from the Israeli military and will remain in the area. Video footage may be available. For more information in Nablus contact: Rae Levine – 056-382-317 Neta Golan – 059-871-055 Marissa McLaughlin – 067-360-810 For more information on The International Solidarity Movement contact: Huwaida Arraf – 052-642-709 or 067-473-308 ---------------------- ll terrobull 'leaders' taunt peers; commoners merely ammo (english) via rob schaap 4:01am Tue Jul 2 '02 article#189521 there's just too much unenlightened 'distorterone' goin' 'round to keep it peaceful ----- June 23, 2002 Anti-U.S. militants showing up all over By ERIC MARGOLIS -- Contributing Foreign Editor [A-List] Blowback Status Report Rob Schaap a-list@lists.econ.utah.edu Tue Jul 2 01:39:01 2002 Previous message: [A-List] Asia into the center: Turkey's eastward turn Messages sorted by: [ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ] ----------------- Someone CC this to Christopher Hitchens and any fellow triumphalists you can think of, eh? Under the sway of warlords - Arafat, Sharon, Bush, bin Laden and so many others - we find a perverse confluence of interests, whereby each elite seeks to perpetrate and perpetuate a war-footing for its own political reasons and, in their hatred for each other, serve each other's agendas admirably. It can't last - might not even last, as I suspect it was designed to do - Bush's term ... but Gawd-only-knows what will have been wrought by then ... Cheers, Rob. http://www.canoe.ca/ Columnists/margolis_jun23.html June 23, 2002 Anti-U.S. militants showing up all over By ERIC MARGOLIS -- Contributing Foreign Editor ZURICH -- According to a secret government report revealed last week by the New York Times, the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan not only "failed to diminish the threat to the United States," but actually complicated the U.S. counter-terrorism campaign by dispersing its radical foes across the Muslim world. The small, tightly-knit leadership of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida has been succeeded by a group of younger militants who have formed ad hoc alliances with other anti-U.S. groups from Morocco to Indonesia. These groups now pose the most serious danger to the United States and will remain a potent threat for years to come. This dismaying report confirms what this writer has been saying in columns and on CNN since 9/11. A full-scale military invasion of Afghanistan would prove futile; the correct response was intelligence and police work, not brute force. Al-Qaida's numbers were grossly exaggerated by the Bush administration and U.S. media. Hardcore al-Qaida members never numbered more than 200-300. Claims that there were 5,000-20,000 al-Qaida fighters in Afghanistan were nonsense. These wild exaggerations came from lumping Taliban tribal warriors with some 5,000 Islamic resistance fighters from Kashmir, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, the Philippines and Chinese-ruled Eastern Turkistan, none of whom were part of al-Qaida. The reason 12,000 U.S., British and Canadian troops operating in Afghanistan can't find al-Qaida - a campaign that has so far cost over US$10 billion - is that there were few to begin with; by now, most have slipped away through Pakistan. Instead, the U.S. is getting mired in Afghan tribal politics by trying to maintain a regime in Kabul that will take orders from Washington. Last week's much ballyhooed grand tribal council, or loya jirga, that "elected" CIA "asset" Hamid Karzai as national leader was a wildly expensive charade conducted under the guns of U.S. and British troops. Karzai's "election" has cost Washington $5 billion in bribes and payoffs to Afghan warlords. As soon as U.S. and British occupation troops decamp, Afghanistan will again dissolve into tribal chaos or fall under the control of Russia, which continues to arm and direct the Northern Alliance. Fury over Palestine It's also becoming painfully clear that Afghanistan was never the true epicentre of anti-U.S. militancy, as Washington initially believed. The real hotbeds of Islamic resistance to the United States lay in Egypt, Arabia, North Africa and Europe. According to the leaked report in the Times, a loose network of anti-American groups have surfaced in these regions, united mainly by their fury over events in Palestine, America's impending invasion of Iraq, and opposition to America's political and economic domination in the Muslim World. Osama bin Laden, be he dead or alive, and his al-Qaida movement have become irrelevant. In truth, they were never much more than a symbol of hatred and defiance. But their message, propagated by 9/11, has reverberated around the world. The torch of anti-Americanism is being taken up by the "jihadi" movement - Muslim veterans of the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan during the 1980s - and by a younger generation of militants. Sizeable numbers of anti-American militants have been uncovered in Europe and arrested by local police and intelligence forces, the only major success, to date, of the "war on terrorism." But more hostile groups are springing up faster than they can be identified or neutralized. Call this the privatization of warfare. Many young Muslims despair their own feeble, corrupt, U.S.-dominated regimes will ever bring justice to the Palestinians, save Iraq from invasion by the U.S., or end what they view as oppressive American influence over their nations. They are taking matters into their own hands by waging a personalized war against the United States and Israel, two nations that have become one in the eyes of the Muslim world. Forty years ago, the Islamic world regarded the United States as its best friend and saviour. Today, the two are on a collision course. There is growing fear across the Muslim world that the Bush administration is being driven by backers of Israel and fundamentalist Christians into a modern anti-Islamic crusade. Powell sidelined The leaked report in the Times likely originated from Colin Powell's Department of State. Powell is widely respected abroad as the administration's most intelligent and ethical member, but he has been almost totally sidelined because of his opposition to invading Iraq and waging a wider war against the Muslim world. Foreign policy - particularly towards the Mideast and South/Central Asia - has been taken over by a hardline, ardently pro-Israel faction in the Pentagon and the office of Vice President Dick Cheney. Powell may soon resign in disgust. President Bush's National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice, should provide balance and nuance. But she has shown herself a rigid ideologue with poor judgment and very limited understanding of the outside world. She is in way over her head. Bush is not getting the sound advice he needs. As a result, he has been vacillating and contradicting himself for months. Afghanistan, billed only last fall as a triumph for America and President Bush, is now looking less and less like a victory and more each day like the beginning of a long, bloody struggle that could and should have been avoided. Eric can be reached by e-mail at margolis@foreigncorrespondent.com canoe.ca/Columnists/margolis_jun23.html --------------------  Nietzsche’s Understanding of Zarathushtra’s Philosophy[1] Series: Source: Author: Pearlstein,Arthur Subtopics: Reference: Related Articles: Related Links: In Ecce Homo, essentially Nietzsche's autobiography, he expresses surprise that no one ever asked what the real Zarathushtra meant to him (most folks wrongly thought it was just Nietzsche having some fun). "What constitutes the tremendous uniqueness of that Persian in history" Nietzsche wrote, was that "Zarathushtra was the first to see in the struggle between good and evil the actual wheel in the working of things....". And although Nietzsche was not a fan of the moral categories that Judeo-Christians then seized upon, he pointed out that Zarathushtra's teaching "and his alone, upholds truthfulness as the supreme virtue... To tell the truth and to shoot well with arrows: that is Persian virtue." He called Zarathushtra "more truthful than any other thinker." And he announced that "the self-overcoming of morality through truthfulness is what the name Zarathustra means in my mouth." Nietzsche, in other words, praised Zarathushtra for what Nietzsche took to be his willingness to take a fresh look at the world and to make distinctions (as between "good and evil"). But the specific values of GOOD and EVIL that evolved (through what I take to be Judeo-Christian MIS-interpretation of Zarathushtra) --based upon a transcendental, unchanging, objective, omniscient, supreme God-- were anathema to Nietzsche. Why? Because such values do not apply to what we as human beings are in real life. We are not omnipotent beings--never will be. These kinds of values do not promote growth but rather inhibit the realization of our potential as human beings. They deny our nature. The ubermensch or overman[2] that Nietzsche spoke of (and which I take to be analogous to what Zarathushtra wants us to aspire to) looks at the world as it is (and uses what Zarathushtra would call his "good mind") to generate values from that very environment--he then tests these values in the real world, avoiding prejudgment. Rather than deny the drives within him and his needs for gratification, the overman joyously pursues the fullness of his potential--guilt and negativity are avoided. Likewise, Zarathushtra himself was anything but an ascetic (and in this aspect, at least, most Zoroastrians--even among the traditionalists, still agree. In the Judeo-Christian-Muslim tradition, for example, sex is somehow sinful--something that both Nietzsche and Zarathushtra would consider utterly absurd). "Good and evil" are not specifically, immutably defined terms (Dr. Jafarey's definition, I think, is suitably generic)--not some higher authority, some set of holy values for us to discover--rather, according to Nietzsche, the overman trusts himself to make the distinction between good and evil. My own personal take is that it is a pragmatic calculus--that which promotes the welfare of the "living world," that which helps us realize our potential and radiate happiness. But, in any case, values themselves are not immutable--they can and should change as we make the world, as in Dr. Jafarey's translation "ever fresh." This process of renovation of the world--reinvention and self-realization, taking nothing for granted, is what it means to live (I think both to Nietzsche and to Zarathushtra). It is life itself. This, I think, is what Nietzsche means by the term "overcoming." That's a brief summary of where I think Nietzsche is on Zarathushtra. Zarathushtra, I believe, was a very powerful inspiration to Nietzsche and few westerners (I dare say few people) have ever understood Zarathushtra so intelligently. [1] These notes were produced by Arthur Pearlstein. He has had an interest in understanding Nietzsche’s philosophy starting in college when the trivial fact that Nietzsche and him have the same birthday caught his attention. [2] Insight into the significance of the term Overman provided courtesy of Mr. Alexander Bard: Overman as in the English word ‘overcoming,’ meaning Man overcoming his own predicament, understanding who he is, beyond his own actions. This is the same as introducing words, deeds, actions as ethics. Strictly, seeing the human condition as a series of cause and effect. Making ethics immanent. Reducing the transcendental to a condition for the thought process. This is the exact opposite of Judeo-Christian thought where Man is REMOVED from Nature and Mind is turned into an independent capacity from, for example, The Body or The Context. Nietzsche puts Mind back into The Body and makes it a part of The Body, realizing that Mind, although its product is different from Nature (Culture) is not in any way independent of Nature. Because without Nature (as in Body or Society) there would be no Mind. Superman, as in a transcendentally superior being to current Man, is a totally absurd notion to Nietzsche. This is why for example Nazism (but also much of current popular culture) or for that matter the worship of messiahs as “men of God” is totally alien to Nietzscheanism, as it of course is to Zarathushtra. The founder of our religion is our equal, not our superior. http://www.vohuman.org/Articles/  Nietzsche’s%20Understanding% 20of%20Zarathushtra’s_Philosophy.htm ------------- Some Major Problems with the Future of Civilization + 11 ---- Autonomedia: Neo-Nazi Infiltration of Anti-Globalization Protests Report from Jenin Cautionary tale for those travelling to Palestine Earth First Activists Win Case Against FBI! "Autonomous Action" Organization Founded in Former U.S.S.R. Kissinger May Face Chilean Justice Fatwa Issued Against Software Piracy New York State Green Party Nominates Stanley Aronowitz for Governor Medical Marijuana Intiative Sought for New York State Turkish Anarchist Trial Takes Political Turn ----- hot stories: Resistance is futile! (145) Why Not Reclaim the Left? (127) A howard zinn one too. An Anarchist Program For Labor (105) Sketches Of Spain by John Zerzan (93) --------- Some Major Problems with the Future of Civilization posted by hpwombat on Friday June 28 2002 @ 09:10PM PDT Some Major Problems with the Future of Civilization by High Priest Wombat, KSC As one searches for the limits of a community within a global society future one wonders why can't a single community say fuck-all to its neighbors and develop a highly technological locality. Afterall if the decision-making is fair and democratic and no coersion occurs between individuals within the community, then its decision to go forward with technology should have no problem...right? Well, not exactly. Much of pre-industrial technology might be able to continue at this level, but I'm not looking at a society that has erased the history of capitalism and perhaps wishes to continue with many of the industrial and post-industrial technologies that were developed during its time. These technologies require more than simply drawling from an isolated region to upkeep. Even the simplest lightbulb or television set requires the community to reach further than its own resources can manage. But it doesn't stop here and even some civilizations that use pre- industrial technologies could fall into this next point. This point being that of the pollutants needed to be produced so that these technologies can exist and function can have an affect outside of the community, and perhaps could affect regions, nations, and perhaps even the entire globe. Certain levels of pollutants may not seem much, but overtime, the buildup of even the smallest pollutants can expand outside of the community. These pollutants could even be the waste created by the concentrated piss and shit that humanity dumps into the rivers, lakes, and oceans in order not to contaminate their own communities. No civilization can avoid these concentrations of pollutants, and the larger the urban sprawls get, the greater these pollutants affect areas outside their own communities. Now we have astablished that this single community cannot have most technologies by itself if its desire is to not have a coersive relationship with its neighbors. So now we see that most levels of technology and most levels of civilization have a need for communities to confederate in order to maintain its most basic of functions. These confederations must expand like a web over regions for all of civilization, and for most industrial and post-industrial civilizations these confederations must even reach the global level to continue. This begins to present problems, especially if civilization is presented with communities that don't want to participate in the maintenence of civilization. If there is a desire to end or dramatically reduce the project of civilization, the community that desires this suddenly throws the web of civilization completely out of wack. This could include the resources that lie within the regions they dominate and the plants and factories that lay within that community, forcing other regions to seek these resources elsewhere. But elsewhere may be too costly or too rare for a high technology community to aquire and if these communities don't recieve the technologies they need to maintain their level of civilization, collapse and death could be massive. So now we are presented with some conflicts. Pollutants and the demand for resources have a level of coersion that must be accepted, even by those that don't desire it, resulting in coersion towards those communities forced to aid in the project of civilization against their will. Or the more advanced civilizations must accept a level of its population abandoning, suffering, and/or dying to avoid this coersion. It is completely justifiable and ethical for individuals affected by coersion to strike out against those that coerse their communities, and perhaps even simply individuals that are coersed can strike out. But on the flip side it is justifiable, though unethical, for most civilized communities to demand from those communities that reject a certain level of civilization to continue granting resources and accepting pollutants needed so that misery doesn't set in the higher of civilized communities. If these undercivilized communities refuse (again justifiable though unethical), the higher civilized communities can aggress, perhaps even violently, against these communities to prevent suffering. If these communities work with the confederations required to maintain civilization, perhaps a happy medium can be found, though it is clear that even if undercivilized communities demand to be pulled out of these confederations they would not be free of confederal influence and may have to still comply to the guidelines presented within them as long as these confederations have a level of dominance in society. So we are left with a few questions for the future. Could a happy medium be developed even if it comes at the expense of an acceptable level of coersion, much like workers of today's capitalist era must accept shitty wages in order to live? Could technology continue to progress, or even alter to a level where these problems can be avoided? Can these problems be avoided if communities refuse to participate in confederal bodies from the get go? The uncertainty of a socialist future lies in the hands of the present, a direction must be found. -------- technology is the key (part 1) writes on Saturday June 29 2002 @ 01:03AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Where is your right person, party, ideology, system going to come from? How are we going to resolve societies big social or ecological problems? I dont believe that delegating tasks to others is the solution to my problems. I dont trust anyone, especially the laws and government others create. I am an eco-anarchist, I have no morals, just a global social ethic based on ecological survival of the individual, voluntary action of the individual and a greater understanding of the bio-geochemical processes composing our environment. My ethic is based on a radical ecological survivalist discourse and its about the equal distribution of vital resources like food, water and air for all people across all times. As our populations expand and our resources dwindle, there be a time when most people realise capitalist democracies are not good enough and that a new way to structure our economies is required. Developments on the internet create an alternative, globalised economy of ideas, where the dominant forces from the past has far less status. I think the computers and internet, in the years to come, will create a form of artifical intelligence from free information that is able to be trusted by everyone. This will become more likely as the conditions around us detetriorate and we turn to technology for solutions. What I think you will find is that our infrastructure (hardware, machines, communication and transport systems, etc) will be managed and electronically controlled by a distributed network, with strict rules, dictating fairness and ensuring equality. Hopefully society will collectively realise the importance of protecting ourselves, from individuals, wilfully and unknowingly behaving in a manner which causes harm, but at the same time ensure freedoms are maintained for everyone else. I do not want a law trying to protect me, I want a democratic use of technology providing security for myself and all life. http://geekpress.com/ http://www.megarad.com/ http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/Default.html http://www.arstechnica.com/ http://www.osopinion.com/ http://www.theregister.co.uk/ http://www.techreview.com/ http://www.extremetech.com/ Net = free info for all (part 2) writes on Saturday June 29 2002 @ 01:09AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] On the net I very rarely pay for specific pieces of information but I have access to practically an infinite source of it. Do weak theories such as alchemy, copyright, or religous thought get defeated when technology is used, yes. Information deserves no special rights such as the GPL, or copyright. I do not believe any software licensing arrangements such as copyright will ever work effectively. I think it is bizarre to suggest that someone that sells something, then has any right over the product. Information is not special, its one of a number of vital resources we all need for our survival. To create peace, my utopia we must ensure everyone has abundant access to vital resources, like information. Inferior ideologogies, which fails to provide good progress should be replaced by an improved viable alternative based on science. I believe the nature of free information is related to recent developments in hardware but more importantly, the fact that software, is a way to communicate. Simply put, a language is something almost everyone needs and has. Isn't it to be expected that our information technology develops free communication channels where any and all languages are exchanged? You would probably like to grow your own food if it was easy as using a microwave. What about a technology that allows food sources to be in abundance. I want this because I dont want anyone to profit from the provision of resources vital to me needs. In the years to come why can't biogenetics produces orchard plants that can grow along roadsides and in backyards, or make farms 10 x more productive, or 10 x cheaper? Aren't science developments based on a majority of people working together in a civilised altruistic manner going to create these sort of advances during this century? I think academics in the universities around the world had better do a much better job quickly and I think the internet allows for this to occur at a global level. I think the good politicians need to work much harder. Together with the staff working for our governments, both academics and politicians need to collaborate in a manner similiar to the development of free software to provide the vital needs to everyone at no cost. If not, our planet's ecology will not exist, in its current form for too much longer. http://www.zeropaid.com/ http://www.slyck.com http://www.openp2p.com http://www.blog.org/ http://www.badassgeek.com http://research.yale.edu/lawmeme/ http://news.openflows.org/ http://www.newsforge.org http://www.stallman.org/ ----------------- writes on Saturday June 29 2002 @ 01:11AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Graham Seaman" To: list-en@oekonux.org on Free Software The most dramatic aspect of free software is not the existence of free software itself, but the way the core of it has been produced: outside the framework of commercial software houses, outside the framework of universities, produced neither as a commodity with a sale value nor even as research work funded by the state. Production in co-operating groups is made technically possible by the existence of the internet. But the existence of such groups is a social phenomenon, typically at least partly based on physical areas. Typically the first sign of the spread of free software to a new country has been participation by individuals, often working on internationalisation of existing software. Soon after comes the formation of Linux User Groups, Perlmongers groups, or other such groups. Such groups have often been started by students, or have a university base, but soon expand beyond this. Once such groups exist, there is a virtuous circle of feedback; local pools of developers encourage one anothers development and begin to create a local culture of free software. This process has seen free software spread first across Northern Europe and the USA (with a rather separate subculture in Japan), then across southern Europe, and currently across Eastern Europe and the larger of the former '3rd World' countries (Brazil, South Africa, India). This process has particular advantages for countries outside the 'inner circle' of capitalist countries. These countries have little hope of taking a lead in production of commercial software; the best they can hope for in conventional software production is to provide cheap labour for software houses within the inner circle countries. Free software production provides these countries with the possibility of working at world level in software; of creating a skilled workforce; of creating software which is tailored to local culture and languages; and of breaking the dependency on software imports. These possibilities are not limited to software only. Possibilities for chip and electronic hardware design are even more limited outside the inner circle countries; the emergence of free hardware design may be starting to repeat the successes of free software in a very similar way. The same applies to all production methods based on digital systems; bioinformatics and genetics may also be heading in the same direction. What can a state wishing to encourage these tendencies do? Since the whole process is based on spontaneous, self-organised groups who are not motivated by money (at least in this aspect of their lives) the usual bureaucratic method of 'throwing money' at the problem will not work. But the state can do something to defend and protect these groups against the challenges being thrown up by the commercial software interests. 1. Refuse the adoption of patent law applied to software. 2. Ensure that copyright law allows the presence of free software. In some countries (especially those where copyright has been heavily based on author's rights) it is unclear whether the General Public License is valid. Where there are such doubts, copyright law that explicitly allowed for the existence of free software on a public good basis would be a great step forward. 3. Where forced to accept Intellectual Property law aimed at combatting piracy, ensure that explicit clauses are inserted exempting free software from any unwanted side effects of these laws. 4. For those countries involved in the TRIPs process, the least restrictive framework allowed within the rules should be chosen at each stage. In this the interests of free software, free hardware design etc coincide with those of countries needing to protect indigenous knowledge, the right to produce generic drugs in cases of medical need, etc. 5. While not the core of free software, universities have played a major part in its creation. An explicit policy that software produced in universities must be free would encourage this for the future. In particular, since Microsoft and others are beginning to argue that the General Public License should not be used by Universities, the right of universities to choose this license needs to be explicitly acknowledged. 6. While not so essential as protection of free software creation, protection and encouragement of free software use can also be important. Laws encouraging the use of free software for state business have already been passed in some Brazilian states and in Germany, and are being debated in many other countries. The models to follow already exist here. -------------- Dissipate contraction (part 4) writes on Saturday June 29 2002 @ 01:26AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] The next 3 paragraphs are my summary of the future of humanity The early 21 st century will be a period of hard democracy or increasing civil unrest as the tyranny of capitalism begins a dissipative contraction with a global depletion of cheap energy, employment and natural resources while a major worldwide refugee and oil depression will occur in 2012 to 2014. In a new political era, every human shall use advanced information information, a hydrogen fuel network, biotechnology and then after removing both the religous and capitalist ideology, by the 4 th decade of this millenia humanity will walk into orbit on a nanotech path, leaving an Earth in the flux of global climate change. Humanities greatest ever achievement will be exploration of the solar sytem and the start the journey to the promosing nearby stars, while some will stay with Sol, to mother the Earth's recovery from our greenhouse follies and to preserve this miracle for not just us, but our ancestors and all other living beings in the universe. my speculative vision: 2003 - 2100 opinions of notable events, the future of humanity as a timeline 2003 Kyoto Protocol fail to achieve 55% of emission coverage, is abanded Economic slump continues, while Europe and Asia show recovery, except for Indonesia and Japan, Soth Korea, facing large debt problems mobile, wireless internet explosion global unemployment increases, global inflation rises unusual weather and atmospheric turbidity increasing widespread scientific acknowledgement that global climate change is impending, unstoppable and requires drastic changes of lifestyle by first world citizens (contraction) use of foresight by educated people to convince energy users that changing the voluntary actions of individuals energy consumption is only solution to global climate change -------------on Saturday June 29 2002 @ 02:56AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] The internet has been a boon to anarchism,imagine the bonnot gang online.A computer has been compared to a musket during the US revolution,and with good reason.Remote villages dont need wells before computers they need net access to e-mail out that "HEY,were dying of thirst here,send in some well drillers."I realize that computers are a product of alienated labour and the web today resembles a suveilled strip mall,but if we lose the 'commons' a second time we stand to rapidly join in ongoing mass extinction events.Let free market APster bring down the curtain on the 'free market' era.Each individual is important now,see ch 4 of the rand report and smog/net/sabotage for ideas on making a difference. ----------- bananarama writes on Saturday June 29 2002 @ 04:01AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] I think that you've misunderstood the level of economic integration in the world. While the idea of transnational corporations is an attractive one with regards to globalization the world is a little more decentralized than that. If you look at patterns of development in the third world you'll find that before trade was turned into the motor of progress that it was recognized that production was localized. And that production could be encouraged or discouraged, implemented in an egalitarian way or an inegalitarian way, depending on the governmental factors in the makeup of power in the country. This means that there is a limit to corporate power. After a certain level corporations yield to economic autarchy and self reliance. Before production dictates the circumstances that you've outlined it serves the purpose of satisfying human needs. Because of this it's somewhat possible to work outward from people's consumption demands to the setup of the productive forces within the scope of economic autarchy, with the result that it's possible to fine tune the resource use and the way that production is implemented. This could open the door to more humane ways of economic activity which don't violate confederal rights as much as you've suggested. But, yeah, the world economy is interdendent, which means that there has to be some cooperation. However, that doesn't mean that the interdependence which follows from some economic situations has to imply mass coercion in the most regressive way. ----------- anarchocommunist writes on Saturday June 29 2002 @ 06:59AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] No friend of primitivists, I at least feel compelled to say that this is one of those times where you wish there was an adjective before primitivist (or some nod towards that). Beware the confederations who would enslave you? Halt technology to guarantee the certainty of a "socialist future"? Some of where this leads would make any sane person a little edgy. ------------- steelhead writes on Saturday June 29 2002 @ 03:24PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] OK, noone has EVER replied to my question with a pro-industrial answer, here goes again: The growth (or even maintenace) of industrialism requires massive extraction of copper and other metals - the process of which (to say nothing of the smelting, anodizing, etc) is extremely alienating labor and severely toxic. Even if you "automate" the problem away, someone has to build the machines that build the machines or repair them or transport replacement parts for them (requiring an increasingly large worldwide system of roads, rails, planes, ships: more resource extraction - less wilderness - more shitty jobs). Somewhere down the line, people and the Earth are getting screwed. How will industrialism continue and expand as pro-industrial anti-authoritarians wish without seriously stepping on some toes? I'm not addressing this as an attack, I've just not heard any replies and theory is all well and good and all but how many of y'all have taken a look at the nuts and bolts of the issue. Any takers? -------------- hpwombat writes on Saturday June 29 2002 @ 04:07PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Well, you must present a reason for it to continue. Perhaps a space program is desired, which could make short term ecological damage tolerable for the longer goal of putting industry in an environment that the less technological wouldn't be affected by, or a crisis has developed and people need heavy industry to develop ways for all or certain segments of humanity to continue, or perhaps people like industry more than absolute cooperation...seeing the interests of the greater majority as more positive than the interests of the few that desire freedom from technology...if the many were the ones that desired industry that is. That is about all I could say. ----------- Steelhead writes on Sunday June 30 2002 @ 11:58AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] It doesn't sound idealistic to me nearly so much as it sounds like a collossal waste of time. Children in an anarchist future get to spend their time being "educated" so they can service the machines? Those kids could be playing in the garden or rope swinging down by the creek looking for frogs! Heck, I don't wanna sit behind a computer designing new gadgets and then running a factory too. Boring! I have creeks and frogs and gardens that demand my attention! You seem to have conveniently ignored the resource extraction and loss of wilderness too. You don't get to sweep ecological issues under the rug just because they're not your favorite area of activism. hpwombat writes on Sunday June 30 2002 @ 12:29PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] excellent points! I'll keep it in mind. ------------ Sven writes on Sunday June 30 2002 @ 05:38AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Automation is, of course, a fundamental - albeit still partial - "solution". It would be interesting if there could also be a decentralization of the production into cleaner, smaller units than today's massive industrial estates (at least when appropriate). As for the "shitty jobs" question, the only viable solution I can think of is some form of "job rotation", based on a time bank concept: everyone dedicates a daily/weekly/monthly amount of her/his time to do her/his "community" part of unpleasant work (which isn't only of the industrial kind, of course: see also public toilet cleaning, street cleaning, etc.). ... And, of course, together with much more "clean" and advanced technology than today's, there really also must be some form of libertarian, polytechnic (art + science + technology + ...) education for *everyone* (more or less as Kropotkin and others envisaged), in order to be able to manage the machines and production processes, etc. in an effectively decentralized and directly democratic way. In a few words, there shouldn't be any "traditional" industrial workers anymore: they should gradually be replaced by skilled and interested "tech artisans" - some form of "artistical" technological renaissance, that is... (I know, it may sound rather idealistic: but I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens in the coming years to have a better idea of how we can go beyond capitalism without in any way sacrifying the positive aspects of human technological development.) --------------- gumby writes on Sunday June 30 2002 @ 11:02AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Ugh. "Perhaps a space program is desired, which could make short term ecological damage tolerable..." A space program? Desirable? And how the fuck do you have a space program that causes only "short term ecological damage"? Biodegradable satellites? Bio-diesel rocket fuel? I find it really funny that all the anti-primitivists out there call primitivism idealistic. But in timeframe we are working with, the reality is that 'green technologies' will not be the norm before mass die-off. Call me pessimistic. Can anyone tell me how pro-techs can have their gizmos without affecting all of us that are willing to chuck technology in the interest of survival? I'm not just talking about 'going green' with technology. First you've gotta convince all the fuckers who are getting rich off destroying the planet to 'go green'. Good luck. When's the last time ya'll got out to the woods or the ocean or the desert to see what we're losing? And I'm not talking day-hike on some purty little park-like manicured trail. I don't want to coerce anyone into anything. But the technological infrastructure and the degradation that it requires to exist are coercing myself and millions of others to live on a toxic planet. And many of those millions have never SEEN a computer. They don't pipe in on message boards. Technology is coercive. I know it's not a popular stance, but popular stances are killing us all. -------------- hpwombat writes on Sunday June 30 2002 @ 12:25PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] "And how the fuck do you have a space program that causes only "short term ecological damage"?" Leave the Planet enmasse? Obviously there are many things that must be concidered for such things to occur. Who knows, it might be even more possible after capitalism drops a few tactical nukes on highly populated areas, that would give us areas to pollute on where the damage would be less because the surrounding area is already contaminated for a few eons, so something that would only damage the area for a few hundred years would matter less. We aren't getting a perfect planet after capitalism is finished, nor is socialism going to be all happy fun and games, aggression seems to be a very real possibility if a medium is not found. "I find it really funny that all the anti-primitivists out there call primitivism idealistic." Its funny that you say that, I'm not neither anti nor pro primitive, we aren't at a point to decide exactly what is going to happen, though as the ecological crisis continues to unfold, we grow closer to the time to decide when we've had enough with capitalism. Who knows, we might not even get far enough to even decide, capitalism could very well kill us all. Now we can both be pessimistic. "Can anyone tell me how pro-techs can have their gizmos without affecting all of us that are willing to chuck technology in the interest of survival?" No, I can tell you that the industrial and post-industrial technologies will affect all of us, and perhaps people will want to chuck it all in the interest of survival. "First you've gotta convince all the fuckers who are getting rich off destroying the planet to 'go green'." Well, I'm discussing socialism, so nobody is getting rich in this scenerio, though obviously in the present we have a great conflict as profit-interest collides with the interests of self-preservation. "Technology is coercive. I know it's not a popular stance, but popular stances are killing us all." I agree. ------------------------------------ What is vanguardism and why do anarchists reject it? + 21 What is vanguardism and why do anarchists reject it? posted by Reverend Chuck0 on Friday June 28 2002 @ 09:47PM PDT H.8 What is vanguardism and why do anarchists reject it? Many socialists follow the ideas of Lenin and, in particular, his ideas on vanguard parties. These ideas were expounded by Lenin in his (in)famous work, What is to be Done?, which is considered as one of the important books in the development of Bolshevism. The core of these ideas is the concept of "vanguardism," or the "vanguard party." According to this perspective, socialists need to organise together in a party, based on the principles of "democratic centralism," which aims to gain a decisive influence in the class struggle. The ultimate aim of such a party is revolution and its seizure of power. Its short term aim is to gather into it all "class conscious" workers into a "efficient" and "effective" party, alongside members of other classes who consider themselves as revolutionary Marxists. The party would be strictly centralised, with all members expected to submit to party decisions, speak in one voice and act in one way. Without this "vanguard," injecting its politics into the working class (who, it is argued, can only reach trade union consciousness by its own efforts), a revolution is impossible. Lenin laid the foundation of this kind of party in his book What is to be Done? and the vision of the "vanguard" party was explicitly formalised in the Communist International. As Lenin put it, "Bolshevism has created the ideological and tactical foundations of a Third International . . . Bolshevism can serve as a model of tactics for all." [Collected Works, vol. 28, p. 292-3] Using the Russian Communist Party as its model, Bolshevik ideas on party organisation were raised as a model for revolutionaries across the world. Since then, the various followers of Leninism and its offshoots like Trotskyism have organised themselves in this manner (with varying success). The wisdom of applying an organisational model that had been developed in the semi-feudal conditions of Tsarist Russia to every country, regardless of its level of development, has been questioned by anarchists from the start. After all, could it not be wiser to build upon the revolutionary tendencies which had developed in specific countries rather than import a new model which had been created for, and shaped by, radically different social, political and economic conditions? The wisdom of applying the vanguard model is not questioned on these (essentially materialist) points by those who subscribe to it. While revolutionary workers in the advanced capitalist nations subscribed to anarchist and syndicalist ideas, this tradition is rejected in favour of one developed by, in the main, bourgeois intellectuals in a nation which was still primarily feudal and absolutist. The lessons learned from years of struggle in actual capitalist societies were simply rejected in favour of those from a party operating under Tsarism. While most supporters of vanguardism will admit that conditions now are different than in Tsarist Russia, they still subscribe to organisational method developed in that context and justify it, ironically enough, because of its "success" in the totally different conditions that prevailed in Russia in the early 20th Century! And Leninists claim to be materialists! Perhaps the reason why Bolshevism rejected the materialist approach was because most of the revolutionary movements in advanced capitalist countries were explicitly anti-parliamentarian, direct actionist, decentralist, federalist and influenced by libertarian ideas? This materialist analysis was a key aspect of the council-communist critique of Lenin's Left-Wing Communism, for example (see Herman Gorter's Open Letter to Comrade Lenin for one excellent reply to Bolshevik arguments, tactics and assumptions). However, this attempt to squeeze every working class movement into one "officially approved" model dates back to Marx and Engels. Faced with any working class movement which did not subscribe to their vision of what they should be doing (namely organised in political parties to take part in "political action," i.e. standing in bourgeois elections) they simply labelled it as the product of non-proletarian "sects." They went so far as to gerrymander the 1872 conference of the First International to make acceptance of "political action" mandatory on all sections in an attempt to destroy anarchist influence in it. So this section of our FAQ will explain why anarchists reject this model. In our view, the whole concept of a "vanguard party" is fundamentally anti-socialist. Rather than present an effective  and efficient means of achieving revolution, the Leninist model is elitist, hierarchical and highly inefficient in achieving a socialist society. At best, these parties play a harmful effect in the class struggle by alienating activists and militants with their organisational principles and manipulative tactics within popular structures and groups. At worse, these parties can seize power and create a new form of class society (a state capitalist one) in which the working class is oppressed by new bosses (namely, the party hierarchy and its appointees). As we discuss in section H.8.9, their "efficiency" is a false economy. However, before discussing why anarchists reject "vanguardism" we need to stress a few points. Firstly, anarchists recognise the obvious fact that the working class is divided in terms of political consciousness. Secondly, from this fact most anarchists recognise the need to organise together to spread our ideas as well as taking part in, influencing and learning from the class struggle. As such, anarchists have long been aware of the need for revolutionaries to organise as revolutionaries. Thirdly, anarchists are well aware of the importance of revolutionary minorities playing an inspiring and "leading" role in the class struggle. We do not reject the need for revolutionaries to "give a lead" in struggles, we reject the idea of institutionalised leadership and the creation of a leader/led hierarchy implicit (and sometimes no so implicit) in vanguardism. As such, we do not oppose "vanguardism" for these reasons. So when Leninists like Tony Cliff argue that it is "unevenness in the class [which] makes the party necessary," anarchists reply that "unevenness in the class" makes it essential that revolutionaries organise together to influence the class but that organisation does not and need not take the form of a vanguard party. [Tony Cliff, Lenin, vol. 2, p. 149] This is because we reject the concept and practice for three reasons. Firstly, and most importantly, anarchists reject the underlying assumption of vanguardism. As we discuss in the next section, vanguardism is based on the argument that "socialist consciousness" has to be introduced into the working class from outside. We argue that not only is this position is empirically false, it is fundamentally anti-socialist in nature. This is because it logically denies that the emancipation of the working class is the task of the working class itself. Moreover, it serves to justify elite rule. Some Leninists, embarrassed by the obvious anti-socialist nature of this concept, try and argue that Lenin (and so Leninism) does not hold this position. As we prove in section H.8.4, such claims are false. Secondly, there is the question of organisational structure. Vanguard parties are based on the principle of "democratic centralism" (see section H.8.5). Anarchists argue that such parties, while centralised, are not, in fact, democratic nor can they be. As such, the "revolutionary" or "socialist" party is no such thing as it reflects the structure of the capitalist system it claims to oppose. We discuss this in sections H.8.6 and H.8.10. Lastly, anarchists argue that such parties are, despite the claims of their supporters, not actually very efficient or effective in the revolutionary sense of the word. At best, they hinder the class struggle by being slow to respond to rapidly changing situations. At worse, they are "efficient" in shaping both the revolution and the post-revolutionary society in a hierarchical fashion, so re-creating class rule. We discuss this aspect of vanguardism in section H.8.9. So these are key aspects of the anarchist critique of vanguardism, which we discuss in more depth in the following sections. It is a bit artificial to divide these issues into different sections because they are all related. The role of the party implies a specific form of organisation (as Lenin himself stressed), the form of the party influences its effectiveness. However, it is for ease of presentation we divide up our discussion so. Read more Link: < Afghanistan: Escalating Attacks on Aid Workers and Civilians | Criminalisation of solidarity > ----------- writes on Saturday June 29 2002 @ 03:45AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Its all very well to reject 'vangaurdism' out of hand as hierarchic,authoritarian,inequitable etc,etc,yet defacto "vangaurdism" is a feature of the Ukraine and Spanish experience.Sometimes a charismatic leader like Mahkno and Durruti come to the forefront and inspire amazing deeds.Rotational and revolving,devolving direct democracy is difficult under attack from left and right.Is the age of heros over? I hope so,yet human nature does not rule out defacto vangaurdism and the chestnut that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance might apply here. Also maybe the one about the will to obey being more wicked than the urge to command. Durruti's Love Child writes on Saturday June 29 2002 @ 12:33PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] That's not what is meant by 'Vanguardism' in this article. The authors are referring to the type of organizations advocated by Leninists which operate along the lines of "democratic centralism" and view workers as too dumb to lead their own revolution. This is different from having heros like Makhno. ---------- Craig Stehr writes on Saturday June 29 2002 @ 09:58AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] What I find lacking, is the entire subject of spiritual life. Human beings are spiritual at the core, as opposed to being automatons. Without this realization as the basis for all action, no worthwhile society is possible. not in mourning writes on Saturday June 29 2002 @ 12:04PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Define "spiritual." ---------- Circuit writes on Saturday June 29 2002 @ 10:09AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] I have no interest in spirituality. I'm agnostic, I reject any theory of existance or non-existance of anything until it can be proven. That doesn't mean that I don't know what love, anger, fear, romance, etc. feel like. A rejection of spirituality is not a rejection of emotion, and emotion equally mixed with rational thought is all that is necessary for an anarchist society. Circuit ------------ Kame504 writes on Saturday June 29 2002 @ 10:52AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Though I am someone that carries a critique of science and tech, I also have no interest in spirituality aka the kinder gentler face of religion. I have real problems with the whole pagan-anarchist thing" RTS today, right circuit? good luck. ---------- Steelhead writes on Saturday June 29 2002 @ 04:13PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] I've always thought of spirituality as the non-hierarchical mirror of religion rather than a differnt from of the same beast. Just like an economy of gift is transformed (by authority) into an economy of commodity and coercion, spirtituality is transformed to religion by the imposition of authoritarianism. Also, spirituality is self-defined whereas religion is handed down to you. Direct relationship with whatever you call this strange experience of being versus institutionally mediated experience. ---------- Craig Stehr writes on Saturday June 29 2002 @ 04:39PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] I agree with Steelhead's comment fully, regarding the defining of "spirituality". It works for me. efbdtynrtun writes on Saturday June 29 2002 @ 04:00PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Well nothing can be "proven." It's not possible to have "all the facts" all you can do is look at what works for the goals you've set. If prayer chips through your conditioning better than psychoanalysis - all power to you. If feeling powerfully affirmed in a pagan ritual allows you to move with greater confidence in your organizing - good for you! If forest creatures come to you in your dreams and give you advice - and it works - right on! --------- a sim writes on Saturday June 29 2002 @ 11:55AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] i haven't nearly read all of the anarchist faq. but i have to say this is one of the best sections. several of the sections are somewhat uneven. but this one gives a fair, clear and undogmatic critique of vanguardism. even tho it's really long. =) --------- Dave Antagonism writes on Sunday June 30 2002 @ 06:35AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] I find much of anarchism is vanguardist too. The standard critique of Bolshevism focuses on its attachment to Democratic Centralism and Marxist-Leninism, not specifically the concept of the relationship of the revolutionary to the wider class context. In fact much anarchist writing at present focusing on "out reach" replicates the leninist idea the revolutionary ideas are brought to the class from without. In fact the harsh critiques of Leninism are a case in point. Rather than listening to the real experiences of the multitude who are leninist are engaging in dialogue as equals, they are dismissed as either a new class in waiting or as dupes. Thus abstract ideas are more important that lived class reality. cheers Dave --------- anarcho writes on Sunday June 30 2002 @ 07:56AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] "Rather than listening to the real experiences of the multitude who are leninist are engaging in dialogue as equals, they are dismissed as either a new class in waiting or as dupes." I find this ironic for two reasons. Firstly, it is the Leninists who are dismissing the "real experiences" of the activists in the anti-globalisation movement (e.g. the way they organise, for example, tactics, and so on). Secondly, the "multitudes" are *not* Leninists! Quite the reverse. "Thus abstract ideas are more important that lived class reality." I find it funny that "lived class reality" is equated with Leninism, whose "class reality" is less than it could be... --------- Dave Antagonism writes on Sunday June 30 2002 @ 08:24PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Sorry if my post seemed to be a justification of Leninism. What i wanted to say was that often in its critiques of Leninism much anarchist thought actual replicates vangaurdist praxis. My post was badly worded: i did not want to infer that the multitude as a totality were Leninists, only of some individuals are, and that much class struggle globally is expressed in Leninist language. sorry for the confusion cheers Dave ---------- Midwest anarchist writes on Monday July 01 2002 @ 04:21PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] If "the masses" (whatever that is supposed to mean) do not need revolutionary leadership, ideas, etc--if they have all they need already, and anyone who says otherwise is an elitist who thinks people are "too stupid" to run their own lives--then what the hell are we all doing anyway? Why does the world need anarchists, socialists, Leninists, or whatever? I think sometimes we anarchists talk in circles--we don't admit we have meetings and events--those would have to be "organized", and that would entail "authoritarian" methods. Instaed, we claim to have "convergences", which makes it all sound spantaneous and unplanned. Or, we do not have "organizations", we have "affinity groups". What a bunch crap. If it is "vanguardist" to plan, to organize, and to offer some kind of leadership, then we are all vanguardists. And if we do not believe in planning, organizing, and offering some kind of leadership, then what @#$% good are we anyway? ----------- Dave Antagonism writes on Monday July 01 2002 @ 06:53PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] I think that we should just see anarchism as one expression of the class struggle, and that the struggle is bigger than any single reified dogma. Anarchist praxis like all class struggle is generated from the contraditions and antagonisms with capitalism and thus has lots to offer. what is important is opening up dialogue within the class, to circulate the experiences of struggle, to talk to encourge others to talk, to struggle to increase the room from struggle. If the product of this is that much of the trappings of anarchism as a dogma have to be dropped , good cheers Dave ---------- security risk writes on Monday July 01 2002 @ 07:20PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Well,im with you with the ideas and etc...but ledarship?Define that please? --------- Midwest anarchist writes on Monday July 01 2002 @ 08:47PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] What I mean by leadership is this: If you put forward your ideas and opinions, there is a chance people will agree and go along with what you say. Now what are anarchist supposed to do at that point? Are they supposed to say, "Thanks, but please don't ask us to lead--that would be elitist?" That is nothing but an abdication of responsibility. I guess my point is that maybve not all leadership is bad per se. Maybe there is a difference between someone following someone's lead because they think that person is right, and following because they are forced, tricked, or cajoled into doing so. ------------ Flint writes on Monday July 01 2002 @ 10:36PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Midwest, I think you are right with that last part. Some anarchists advoate a leadership of ideas, not a leadership of authority. We (anarchists) obviously think we have some good ideas about how we (as a class) can revolt against capitalism and the state. We should advocate and agitate for those ideas. If enough folks agree, we take action. But just because a single anarchist, or even a group of anarchists had good ideas in the past shouldn't put people under any obligations to agree with those ideas in the future. Further, to impose our ideas on others through coercion (like violence, like the state, like deciet) would be authoritarian. Some folks like to say "we have no leaders", I prefer "we are all leaders". An active anarchist minority (or several of them for that matter) agitating for alot of ideas that aren't imposed on people, but simply advocated, that doesn't claim a monopoly on struggle; is a very different thing from the Leninist vanguard. ------------ Sven writes on Tuesday July 02 2002 @ 09:32AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] >>Some folks like to say "we have no leaders", I prefer "we are all leaders". << Exactly! That's the point! :) The real problem might be, however, that many people are not educated to feel themselves and act as "leaders": that's a *big* problem, which IMO can only be solved by some form og libertarian education, i.e. being oneself with one's talents and competences and freely "giving the example" (is this correct English?) and "donating" one's skills to others... ----------- Midwest anarchist writes on Tuesday July 02 2002 @ 09:33AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] But in what way can "vanguardist" groups "impose" their will on others? It is not as if they have their own private army to keep people in line. And, to be honest, I have seen plenty of groups denounced on here as "vanguardist" (the much-hated ISO in particular) willingly cooperate with others without trying to "impose" anything. As far as leadership goes--I have yet to see an anarchist group that did not have de facto leaders, no matter how reluctant we may be to admit it. Again, I am not saying this is bad--most of the anarchist "leaders" I have seen are serious, decent, honest people. They are looked to as leaders by others because they have more experience. The only problem with the de facto leadership situation is that de facto leaders, because they are not "officially" leaders, are in fact not accountable. This may not be a problem now, when most of these leaders are cool, but what about later? It seems to me that we might do well to admit we have leaders, and have some formal structure for making them accountable to the rest of us. I cannot see how that could be authoritarian. ---------- Flint writes on Tuesday July 02 2002 @ 10:09AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Actually, imposing their will on others is exactly what vanguard parties (the 'successful' ones) do. They try sieze state power through ballot or bullet. The Red Army wasn't setup for tea parties. The Cheka was quite busy disposing of the enemies of the Bolsheviks (which included Bolsheviks). Until they have some sort of atleast proto-state formation, like a guerilla army; there are real limits to what imposition vanguard parties can do. That said, they can try to use whatever structures exist for their own purposes, like say expelling those who don't agree with them from a labor union, negotiating permits with the police as a way of taking over a demonstration, deploying their own thug squads. The ISO doesn't make any secret that they are a vanguardist party, in the tradition of Lenin. They want state power. The goal of such influences their internal structure, and how they interact with others. Just because a vanguard party can't yet impose their will through a private army (or the state) doesn't mean that they don't want to do it--rather that they just aren't very good at it yet. :) ---------- Flint writes on Tuesday July 02 2002 @ 10:15AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] As to formal structures of accountability. Sometimes that's good, sometimes it's not. There are definately cases where I want to seee that. Any mass organization (like a labor union, or a community group or tenant's union) I'm involved in, I want to be directly democratic as possible. The affinity group I usually run with makes most of it's decisions through consensus and we have a pretty fair distribution of tasks that we've tried to rotate. NEFAC tends to place responsibility on whole collectives to accomplish a task, not just one individual. ----------- Midwest anarchist writes on Tuesday July 02 2002 @ 11:10AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] I can see making decision through concensus within a given group--people belonging to a given group are likely to agree often enough to make consensus feasible. However, I have seen people try to run coalitions by consensus, and that is always a disaster. The problem is that any coalition is going to be made up of people who disagree about a lot of things. Majority rule is really the only way to run a functioning coalition, in my experience. Yes, that may not seem as democratic as consensus, but we have to decide--is the purpose of a coalition to maintain total "freedom", or to accomplish concrete objectives. Running a coalition by consensus may indeed preserve individual autonomy--however, such coalitions can rarely stop arguing long enough to get anything done. Just for the record--I was not defending the ISO or any other group. All I was saying was that so far, at least in my city (Cincinnati), I have not seen them act in the thuggish, authoritarian manner people on here have described. That does not mean that they don't--just that I have not seen it yet. As far as putting responsibility on the group as a whole rather than on one individual--I wonder if dividing responsibilities that broadly is not the same as not holding anyone responsible at all. e.g, if flyers need to be made, it is usually better to have a small group of people charged with making them, than to just assume that somehow they will get made. ------------------------ Retaliation by Howard Zinn posted by Chuck0 on Saturday September 15 2001 @ 12:50PM PDT The images on television have been heartbreaking. People on fire leaping to their deaths from a hundred stories up. People in panic and fear racing from the scene in clouds of dust and smoke. We knew that there must be thousands of human beings buried alive, but soon dead under a mountain of debris. We can only imagine the terror among the passengers of the hijacked planes as they contemplated the crash, the fire, the end. Those scenes horrified and sickened me. Then our political leaders came on television, and I was horrified and sickened again. They spoke of retaliation, of vengeance, of punishment. We are at war they said. And I thought: they have learned nothing, absolutely nothing, from the history of the twentieth century, from a hundred years of retaliation, vengeance, war, a hundred years of terrorism and counter-terrorism, of violence met with violence in an unending cycle of stupidity. We can all feel a terrible anger at whoever, in their insane idea that this would help their cause, killed thousands of innocent people. But what do we do with that anger? Do we react with panic, strike out violently and blindly just to show how tough we are? "We shall make no distinction", the President proclaimed, between terrorists and countries that harbor terrorists". Will we now bomb Afghanistan, and inevitably kill innocent people, because it is in the nature of bombing to be indiscriminate, to "make no distinction"? Will we then be committing terrorism in order to "send a message" to terrorists? We have done that before. It is the old way of thinking, the old way of acting. It has never worked. Reagan bombed Libya, and Bush made war on Iraq, and Clinton bombed Afghanistan and also a pharmaceutical plant in the Sudan, to "send a message" to terrorists. And then comes this horror in New York and Washington. Isn't it clear by now that sending a message to terrorists through violence doesn't work, only leads to more terrorism? Haven't we learned anything from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Car bombs planted by Palestinians bring air attacks and tanks by the Israeli government. That has been going on for years. It doesn't work. And innocent people die on both sides. Yes, it is an old way of thinking, and we need new ways. We need to think about the resentment all over the world felt by people who have been the victims of American military action. In Vietnam, where we carried out terrorizing bombing attacks, using napalm and cluster bombs,on peasant villages. In Latin America, where we supported dictators and death squads in Chile and El Salvador and other countries. In Iraq, where a million people have died as a result of our economic sanctions, And, perhaps most important for understanding the current situation, in the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza, where a million and more Palestinians live under a cruel military occupation, while our government supplies Israel with high-tech weapons. We need to imagine that the awful scenes of death and suffering we are now witnessing on our television screens have been going on in other parts of the world for a long time, and only now can we begin to know what people have gone through, often as a result of our policies. We need to understand how some of those people will go beyond quiet anger to acts of terrorism. We need new ways of thinking. A $300 billion dollar military budget has not given us security. Military bases all over the world, our warships on every ocean, have not given us security. Land mines, a "missile defense shield", will not give us security. We need to rethink our position in the world. We need to stop sending weapons to countries that oppress other people or their own people. We need to decide that we will not go to war, whatever reason is conjured up by the politicians or the media, because war in our time is always indiscriminate, a war against innocents, a war against children. War is terrorism, magnified a hundred times. Our security can only come by using our national wealth, not for guns, planes, bombs, but for the health and welfare of our people - for free medical care for everyone, education and housing guaranteed decent wages and a clean environment for all. We can not be secure by limiting our liberties, as some of our political leaders are demanding , but only by expanding them. . We should take our example not from our military and political leaders shouting "retaliate" and "war" but from the doctors and nurses and medical students and firemen and policemen who have been saving lives in the midst of mayhem, whose first thoughts are not violence, but healing, not vengeance but compassion. < The Greatest Argument Against War by Brian Dominick | Distaste for Civilization? > ---------- writes on Saturday September 15 2001 @ 01:41PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] How fucking pathetic! ---------- Thicket writes on Saturday September 15 2001 @ 01:52PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] How fucking pathetic? Obviously you have no concern what so ever for human life. Maybe you should join up, so you can go kill yourself some "sand-niggers". This isn't just about america you FUCK. Fight war, not wars... ---------- ASAN writes on Saturday September 15 2001 @ 10:20PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] First, who's "we" here. Zinn you ought to know there's a difference between the US government and the population of this country, even if people are too delusioned to relize this. Second, pascifism is pathology to quote Ward Churchill. Why should anyone listen to a plea to just do nothing after they've seen thousands of lives shreded in front of them? As the reactionary said, "fuck that." Of course, the point isn't to go after those enemies offered by Bush and company. The point is to go after Bush and company. The fight between Bush and Bin Laden is gang war. The end of the war will only come when go after our gang leader first - then we'll see about Bin Laden. Of course, remember the CIA and Saudi Arabia created Bin Laden, World Capitalism created both the CIA and Saudi Arabia - go figure. ASAN --------- Ali writes on Tuesday September 25 2001 @ 11:30AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Howard Zinn is my God. His "History of the People..." changed my life and in the past two weeks his words on militarism, inequality and the nature of our "global" society have come back to me again and again. I know what I believe. I know what is right. "We" need to somehow, someway, get "our" leaders to examine their own actions and how that has contributed to this awful event. Why is our infrastructure/public health is such a state of dissarray? That's what truly allowed terrorism to achieve its immediate goal. Why do these "fanatics" like bin Laden have such willing armies to support them and carry out their orders? Because there is widespread, justifiable anger and dissaproval towards the US. For once in our history we need leaders who are not afraid to examine our faults and begin the process of righting them. Only that will prevent further atrocities. My heart goes out to all the victims of this tragedy, past and future, and I pray for peace. ------- Greg Wells writes on Tuesday January 22 2002 @ 09:04AM PST: [ reply | parent ] War is the failure of politics. It's refreshing to know that there is a coherent intellectual opposition to those in power that would use tools as dispicable as propaganda and patriotism to "justify" militarism. If one examines news and history critically, they would soon discover that the United States and other capitalist empires have commited far more, and graver acts of terrorism that any number of bin Ladens or Qaddafis or other assorted "ragheads" could possibly be blamed for. --------- Leron Kattan writes on Sunday February 10 2002 @ 01:53AM PST: [ reply | parent ] The peace movement must not forget to be peace. We cannot ask for peace with this type of rhetoric (Howard Zinn's essay and further comments). Calling Israel a military dictatorsip is not going to lead to peaceful negotiations. It will only lead to more anymosity. In the words of Thich Nhat Hanh, "We must write love letters to our enemies." How can words like, "Fuck you fight war, not wars" bring about peace? How can we ask for peace while being hostile? "Peace is Every Step" Thich Nhat Hanh. Peace, Love, and Unconditional Compassion Leron --------- colleen lavallee writes on Tuesday April 02 2002 @ 09:34AM PST: [ reply | parent ] thnx mr zinn i was fortunate to get to study american history in high school using "a peoples history". ever since i have been transformed. u are brilliant thnxxxxxxxxxxxx --------- peter power writes on Monday June 03 2002 @ 02:29PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] thank you mr zinn. as an old anti war activist turned into corporate wretch, I can appreciate almost every thing you say but we are soo very deeply entrenched in the mac D culture that a doomsday scenario plays out better than getting true volunteerism from these pathetic amerikkkan drivers drinkers t.v watchers and mindless consumers of all beverages and life forms --------- sphex writes on Wednesday June 19 2002 @ 08:01AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Zinn writes, "And I thought: they [our political leaders] have learned nothing, absolutely nothing, from the history of the twentieth century ..." I disagree. They have learned everything they need and they use what they have learned skillfully. If you continue to insist that they are stupid, then what they do will appear to be irrational, and you will go psychotic trying to fit a rational frame about it. If you instead accept that they are very clever, and rational, then what they do makes sense -- even though you might prefer not to understand. -------------- posted by American Indian Movement on Sunday June 30 2002 @ 11:41AM PDT Ten Native Youth facing Death Penalty NorCal AIM, Bay Area AIM and Nevada AIM call an EMERGENCY ALERT AND MEETING On Monday the 24th of June the Carson City Ten were denied a continuance in court. They have already been convicted of 1st degree murder in the racist media and the white supremacist court system is speeding ahead with another railroad. These youth are not guilty or responsible for a murder. They are heroic for standing up for our people. On July 22 the first four are going to trial and if convicted they face the death penalty or double life. We call upon all Indians, all progressive organizations, all movement members and allies to support our youth and their families by: 1. Forwarding this message widely. 2. Providing monetary or legal support. 3. If you live in the area, attending an emergency meeting this Sunday, June 30th in San Jose,CA, at the Legal Aid Society at 480 North 1st street at 2pm. (take Hy 101 to San Jose, exit at 1st Street in downtown San Jose and go North, the building is before Santa Clara St)Two of the defendants and one of their families will be in attendance! Park in the back of the building and enter from the back. 4. Praying for our indigenous families. For more info call: James Cosner, Bay Area AIM, at 510-836-4321, or 831-419-3895 (cell) Paula and Russell Redner, NorCal AIM, at 415-648-5936 Rocky and Terry Boice, Nevada AIM, 775-883-6505 Background information: On Aug. 23 1998 Jessica Evans, a young Native woman was battered by gang members from a group called the Eastside tokers. She called the police as and they further disrespected her and threatened her with arrest. She then told some of her relations about the incident and they acted to go confront the abusers. A fight broke out and some people were injured yet not killed. The police arrived after most had left the scene. In their own reports the one who died was walking around at the time the police entered the scene. Sammy Resendez, the cofounder of the eastside tokers, dies the next day and approximately twenty native youth are rounded up as suspects from the surrounding area. After weeding out, ten native youth are charged with his killing, including a fourteen year-old and two young women. The medical report states that he died either from a head injury or a crushed windpipe. The forensic report is "lost" and Mr. Resendez' body is promptly sent to Mexico and cremated. The youth claim innocence of murder and the facts speak for themselves. Now the system wants to legally lynch all ten. There is much more to this case. Please get the facts and act. ------------------ writes on Tuesday June 11 2002 @ 09:39AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] First I'd like to say that the whole IWW incident, which you guys continue to bring up as evidence of how awful the ISO is, was blown way out of proportion. I'm sure it was like ISO Guy said: the comrades were merely mistaken. It's easy to make the mistake that the IWW is "dead" considering the minimal level of activity that the IWW is involved in. The comrade who gave the talk probably didn't say that the IWW didn't exist at all, but said something to the effect that it is hardly a shadow of what it used to be. If I had to express what the IWW is now compared to what it used to be in a percentage, I would say it is 1%. Out of 20 or 30 demonstrations I went to over the past two years, I saw the IWW at maybe 3, and it was always the same few guys. Maybe the reason the Wobblies were so offended by the talk was that there was a grain of truth to what the ISO member said. They should take the comrade's criticism to heart and be convicted of the need to be more active and to work towards growing as an organization. Granted, at first glance of the Industrial Worker, you might say that the IWW is no more dead than the ISO: it has about as many branches, but while the IWW is stagnating, the ISO is constantly growing and expanding. Regardless of the membership figures that Chuck0 pulls out of his ass, the ISO has seen steady growth in the two years that I've been a member. By steady growth I mean, card-carrying, paper-selling, dues-paying members that join and stay. The branch doubled in size while I was there, from around 10 when I started to over 20, at present. The regional conference that was held last year had about 30 or 40 people in attendance, and this year the number shot up to 60, with over 100 attending the panel we held that night. At other regional conferences the results were considerably better. As for the ISO being a "pain in the ass" in coalitions, I would say anarchists are equally as guilty if not more. I'm not going to give another account of how anarchists dominated our anti-war coalition, Austin Against War, and forced consensus upon it in a very undemocratic fashion because you'll probably deleted like you did the last time I posted it. But I will give an account of the Campus Coalition for Peace and Justice, the campus half of AAW which by comparison was a lot more productive and lacking sectarianism that was correlated with the lack of anarchists in the coalition (with the exception of one who wasn't such a hard-liner). The ISO was welcomed, and we were productive members of the coalition(some of the most productive in fact). It's no coincedence that AAW was about 25% anarchist and it was engulfed in a conflagration of sectarianism until it deteriorated into almost nothing while anarchists were absent in the CCPJ and we actually got things done. There were very few problems until the question of a national conference was brought up. The one self-professed "anti-authoritarian" had read on the internet how the ISO was trying to control the national anti-war conference. He brought all this up outside of a meeting, and accused the ISO of doing the same in the CCPJ. But most of the people knew better having seen the ISO in action: we were the most active in the coalition; we went to almost every table, meeting, rally, etc. Sure we supported such tyrannical measures as a democratically elected steering commitee and majority rule, but what else is new? Reverend Chuck0 writes on Wednesday June 12 2002 @ 05:31PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Let me explain a few things to you, NatX, since it is pretty obvious that your local ISO is brainwashing you like they typically do. As almost every activist knows, the ISO excels at manipulating its members. There are ways the ISO does this directly and indirectly. What they are telling you is that the ISO does great work and is accepted within activism. In fact, activists around the U.S. routinely deride the ISO whenever it comes up in conversations. The ISO is notorious for manipulating and disrupting groups, although it always does this with a smiley face. The International Action Center acts in a similar manner. Whenever they are criticized, the go into "victim" mode and loudly proclaim that they are just trying to work with everybody. Of course, anarchists can be annoying at meetings! We're human after all and get involved in conflicts. But you need to ask yourself a political question here. Why were the anarchists trying to implement consensus decision-making? Why has the ISO been engaged in a war against democratic decision-making in activism since Seattle? The reason why groups use consensus and other forms and not the ISO's method is because the other methods are democratic and the ISO's methods are not. The ISO seeks to install hierarchical forms of decision-making, where decisions are made by leaders in a committee, which the ISO aims to control. The ISO's activities in this area are well-documented--I could write a long article about it. As for the ISO's shenanigans in the student anti-war movement, those are documented too. The ISO conspired to run simultaneous student anti-war conferences around the country, which they coordinated with the use of cell phones. The ISO has had no luck in being influential in the anti-globalization movement, so they seized on the anti-war movement as soon as 9-11 happened, probably because they correctly understood that the anti-war movement would quickly be dominated by hierarchical peace groups. It's pretty disgusting that you try to excuse the ISO's notorious event on the nonexistence of the IWW, even after I provided the URL to the page which contains the reaction of IWW members to that sorry public event. It didn't surprise me when I heard about it, because the ISO has for years been trying to tell people that anarchists no longer exist. ISO guy writes on Thursday June 13 2002 @ 12:56PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Chuck, I have a question, and I hope you can answer me honestly--do you even believe the things you say? I would actually find you less creepy if I knew you were deliberately lying. If you are not, then I have to conclude that you are the one who has been brainwashed. The things you say about the ISO are so wildly outlandish that they make the Sparts look honest. Reverend Chuck0 writes on Thursday June 13 2002 @ 01:18PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Shit, ISO Guy, you are getting pretty desperate if you've resorted to saying that I am a liar! Perhaps this is your attempt to hit the ball back into my court and insinuate that I have some kind of irrational hatred of the ISO. Come on, ISO Guy, you know that the ISO has a bad reputation among activists. They really don't need my help, since the ISO is so good at giving people rope with which to hang the organization. Again, anybody can visit the page I've put together on the ISO: http://www.infoshop.org/texts/iso.html I've tried to be fair to the ISO and I've tried to stay away from updating this page this year. But as anybody can see, that page includes opinions from a variety of people about the ISO. Don't play the innocent, because everybody knows the "ISO just wants to work with everybody, why are we being criticized?" routine. This is not a matter of belief. The ISO does things. The ISO writes things. The ISO organizes events. It doesn't take much to criticize the ISO, because they do the same things all over the place. The ISO infiltrates student groups on campus. It attempts to get rid of consensus-decisionmaking in coalitions. It sells a ridiculous newspaper. It organizes public events, usually titled "Socialism versus Anarchism," where anarchism is misrepresented by ISO speakers. The ISO has a central committee and cadres of local leaders. This is all factual and has nothing to do with "belief." NatX writes on Thursday June 20 2002 @ 01:53AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Hey Rev, get off your soap-box and go re-read the message I posted earlier about the anti-war coalition; oh wait, you can't, because you deleted it. How's that for authoritarian? I have an idea, why don't you start moderating this message board by consensus and we'll see how that works out. Well I'll repeat what I said before, the way things happened in the coalition was that the anarchists pushed consensus on the rest of the coalition, and in doing so sparked a lengthy debate on process during which most of the coalition fizzled off into nothing until it was only anarchists and socialists left to battle it out. I wanted to take a harder line against the anarchists and come out right off the bat arguing for majority rule, but our branch leadership whom you so often decry as authoritarian, helped to steer me in the right direction saying that we would argue for majority but if it were popularly decided that consensus would be the process, we would work within whatever framework necessary. The end result was consensus, and the way it worked in practice was that any decision of any importance at all was argued over for hours and then tabled only to be decided by informal leadership. This is highly reminiscent of something Jo Freeman said in The Tyranny of Structurelessness; which I have seen on both anarchist pages and in the International Socialist Review, that failure to openly elect leadership results in informal unnacountable leadership which is exactly the sort of leadership anarchists prefer to quote Bakunin: "We must steer it [the revolution] not by any power but by the collective dictatorship of all the allies-- a dictatorship without insignia, titles, or official rights, and all the stronger for having none of the paraphernalia of power. I'm not criticizing the anarchists for arguing for consensus, but it's the fact that they didn't argue; they imposed. Bottom line. When it had been decided that at the next meeting a presentation on the different kinds of processes would be given. The anarchists showed up not ready to give a presentation but ready instead to do "consensus training" which they had decided was the process on behalf of the group. Explain to me how that was democratic. Were the anarchists simply acting to do what was good for the group by protecting it from the awful hierarchical socialists? I thought decisions were supposed to be made by people not on their behalf. Where were their principles? Notice the inherent contradictions? Don't you think that consensus meetings would be dominated by the experts in consensus? Don't you think the fact that certain people whould be "consensus trainers" and others "consensus trainees" would put them into informal leadership roles? "No leaders, no followers" is an abstract principle that doesn't hold up in actual political movements. It turns out into practice to be "Unelected unnacountable leaders, blind confused, uniformed followers". Whenever a group starts, a portion of that group always take a leading role whether they are elected or not; generally it's the people with the most experience in activism, those who are most developed both organizationally and politically. You can spot these people because they always have an idea about how to go forward; whenever an idea needs to be made people look to them and ask what they think; whenever an important job needs to be done, they do it. Eventually they become respected enough in the movement to where they start making decisions for it because no one else does, and it's not clear how decisions are going to be made. Electing them and holding them in check by immediate recall makes them accountable for those decisions and ensures that the decisions made by leadership represents the members. You like to attack my political immaturity, making me out to be another lost lamb who wandered into the ISO flock, but I'll remind you that while politically immature people join the ISO, I bet you twice as many become anarchists. How hard is it to grasp anarchist "theory"? Is it that complex? State=hiearchy=authority=bad. I think I got it, now! I'm ready to be a full-fledged anarchist. I might have been politically immature when I joined but being in the ISO has educated me and made me into a good activist with a strong political perpective. I find your elitist, condescending attitude quite tiresome, the way you assert how brainwashed I am. I never said everyone is just peachy keen about the ISO but I will say a lot of people like us and they like working with us, even if they are suspicious of the ISO as an organization. A friend of mine in the CCPJ told me that ISO people were the nicest people she has met in the activist community. We have good relations, for the most part with the Greens, Palestine Solidarity Commitee, and other leftist groups. From time to time we do get bashed, but it's mostly because of the reputation of the ISO on a national level and not the actions of the local branch. The fruits of the labor of sad liars like you is that people in coalitions have a confused view of the ISO- they come in contact with actual hardworking ISO members, and at the same time they read things on the internet about the ISO. They don't know which to believe, and start becoming suspicious of our methods. For instance, I called for a steering commitee at the beginning of the coalition, but it wasn't seriously considered until a green called for the same thing when the system we had was shown to be innefective without it. Reverend Chuck0 writes on Friday June 21 2002 @ 02:27PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Hey Nat, I really don't know what I can say to you, since you seem to prefer the gospel that is handed down from your party leadership. I'm sure they have filled up your ears with all kinds of anti-anarchist bullshit. They understand that their brand of politics has become irrelevant and that they can't hope to compete with anarchism, which empowers the individual to make decisions for themself, instead of telling them that a small group of unaccountable ISO leaders knows what is best. Let me ask you a simple question: why doesn't the ISO leadership come out and engage in a dialogue with anarchists? The only ISO members that have bothered to talk to anarchists online are ISO Guy and yourself. What are the ISO leaders afraid of? They organize public events on anarchism, yet feel they can't be held accountable by living, actual anarchists? I'm not sure what happened in the local coalition that you are talking about, but consensus is the most democratic form of decision-making around. If the anarchists felt compelled to be more shrill about this with ISO members present, that's understandable, because the ISO actively seeks to destroy democratic decision-making in activist coalitions. This is widely understood to happen and is the primary reason why so many activists hate the ISO. I really can't believe that you've read Jo Freeman's article. Freeman, by the way, happened to be an anarchist when she wrote that. So, let me guess, your local ISO leaders suggested that you throw that book's title around to discredit anarchist practices? That is so whack, because that article *supports* anarchist methods of making decisions. Nat, I'm just not going to address your comments about how consensus was implemented by anarchists until you can tell me why the ISO alternative is any better. Oh yeah, the local ISO is filled with nice people. That's a common evasion technique that we hear from authoritarian leftists when they are under criticism. Yeah, most of the ISO people I've known were really nice. But you know what Nate? Nice people join cults. Smart, nice people join cults. Niceness is IRRELEVANT! The character of ISO members is NOT at issue here. Their ORGANIZATION is what is at issue. Try as you want to dismiss the criticisms as being "national," the ISO organizationl problem is replicated by EVERY local branch. Why else to activists from all over have similar criticisms of the ISO? Because they have EXPERIENCE WITH THEM LOCALLY. You can call me a liar if that makes you feel better, but I prefer to stick to the facts. Perhaps we should throw this thread open to activists to post their thoughts about working with the ISO locally. Reverend Chuck0 writes on Wednesday June 12 2002 @ 05:51PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] ----- Original Message ----- Sent: Friday, May 24, 2002 4:24 PM To: syndicalists@anarchosyndicalism.org Subject: [syndicalists] defecting from the ISO Comrades, Defecting from the ISO is like not drinking the red cool-aid. For the longest time I would read read entries on indymedia and infoshop.org bashing the ISO and all other heirarchial, leninist, and centralized lefty groups but I couldnt understand why they would bash such a strong(in numbers) and highly active organization that is fighting for actual change and revolution. (For I was ignorant in those days) So the weeks go by, I bring up these entries that do nothing but bash how horrible the ISO is and one of our chapter leaders tells me that they are not important and they do not mean anything b/c the people writting them dont know anything, even if some of the entries came from ex-ISO members. So, then I am silenced again b/c I thought they are right. Some more weeks go by, I get the bright idea of standing up for the anarchist that they like to bash much and I say, "they night not believe in the same politics as you do, but they are a real group/organization as us that are fighting for change. Yes, they might have different ways of organizing and fighting, but they are still a very important groupand atleast the "militant" ones keep us from getting our heads bashed in at protests." The reponse was they their tatics are anti-worker and do nothing but cause damage and create problems for the working-class. Yet again some weeks go by, I start being more and more of a wrench at the ISO meetings. I am graced with a lot of calls from our personal little Heirarchy(one of the committee leaders) saying that I am leading people away from Socialist politics and especially the ones that are not as strong in the marxist theory..blah blah blah. I responds saying that I feel like an anarchist in the closet of a Leninist organization but I will continue to work with the organization...I get a response saying that anarchist fucked up revolutions before and our theory will fail b/c it is not centralized and lacks the marxist/leninist theory. Ignorate to the Cordinating Committee at local branches and the National Steering Committee, I had no idea that they were the ones in control of the ISO and not all the members like it should be and what I though was happening. (hence my ignorance of not knowing the difference b/w anarchism and centralized socialism.) Anyway my final straw happened at the A20 mobilzation for Palestine, IMF and whatnot. So, there we are getting ready to go and they tell me that I am gonna be part of the Palestinian Liberation Rally on the Eclipse before the marches connect against Israeli occupation. I told our leader that I wanted to be part of the IMF/World Bank protest and then meet up with the Palestinian march. The reponse to that statement by the ISO head guy of our group said, "No, the national steering committee has decided that we are gonna be part of the Palestinian Rally." then later down the road of that weekend he confronts m! e again saying the one of the Steering committee people told him that I said, "I dont care if they are making decisions I like or that I hate, the fact that they are making these decision for me is unatural and wrong." and his response to that was..."well we vote these people into the committee and intrust them with these powers and ability to cordinate us in this manner and that is what centeralization is."(sounds alot like what we live in today.) or something to that effect...then I fucking quit the ISO b/c they made me do something that I didnt really want to do but what is worse is the fact they the told me what I needed to do at A20 and not let me voice my idea and say that I wanted to march against the IMF b/c of this and that..blah blah....oh yeah and selling papers is so much fun...blah blah blah. yup ps- the quotes might not be exactly right but they get the point across of what was said. and the point of this long article is the fact that the Leninist groups do not read anarchist lit but rather they read what marx, engels, lenin, trotsky, and the more modern leninist writters have to say about anarchism. They also like to talk shit about infoshop.org saying that it is just set up by some kid that isnt smart and just puts shit up to be cool. He/ISO tend to think that the only website that is worth a damn is internationalsocialist.org...BLAH. ------------------- Bay Area book lovers play 'follow the reader' in global giveaway with online tracking Julian Guthrie, Chronicle Staff Writer Sunday, June 30, 2002 People across the Bay Area are committing random acts of literary kindness, leaving books in public places for strangers to find and then tracking the book's fate online. Books have been "released" at places ranging from Pacific Bell Park to the Japanese Tea Garden, from a cafeteria in a high-powered Silicon Valley law firm to a Dublin-bound BART train. Many of the books were picked up, registered on a Web site and later re- released for the next chance encounter. Along the way, something else is happening: People are reading books they probably wouldn't have chosen on their own. What started a year ago in Kansas City, Mo., as a way to share books for free has grown into a virtual community of book releasers and finders who would love a world littered with free literature. More than 10,500 people, who call themselves "bookcrossers," have been united by a love of reading, serendipity and sleuthing. Setting books free is being likened to a modern-day message in a bottle. By word of mouth, the Web site BookCrossing.com -- which doesn't charge a fee or accept advertising -- has become the nation's fourth most popular online reading site, according to the search firm Google. Since its inception, more than 25,000 books have been released -- mostly in the United States, but also in England, South Africa, Russia, New Zealand and the Philippines, among other countries. "I was so excited the day I found a BookCrossing book that I went home, told my mom about it and jumped up and down," says 19-year-old Karyn Serface, who lives in Los Gatos. "I fell in love with it right away. It was very kismet. My whole summer will be taken up with this." Read more < Economic Inequality in US | Palestine: Understanding the Dream Comprehending the Nightmare - Starhawk > Green Anarchist writes on Monday July 01 2002 @ 06:17PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] I am a bookstore employee and internet used bookseller. I am interested to know what fellow anarchists think of this program. The downside is their logo is very "corporate" and they have a direct link to the amazon search engine. On the other side, I have always wondered what happens to the books I donate to free boxes and free libraries and I donate about 75 books a week. (Good books in less than great condition.) On another front. I am currently compromising my values by personally selling on E-bay. I am planning on selling on Advance Book Exchange (ABE books). They claim to be a collective of bookstores. I am still looking into their real structure. I have decided, on principle, not to sell through Amazon or Alibris. I am working to eventually open a storefront selling used and new books, to promote small press, especially radical, revolutionary and multicultural press. So what does everyone think of this "free book" tracking program and the other programs. Anyone have any good resources for an aspiring anarchist bookseller? , writes on Monday July 01 2002 @ 08:11PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] cool. not in mourning writes on Monday July 01 2002 @ 08:59PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Seems like it would be very very easy to set up a noncorporate version of this using free software and donated webspace. BookCrossing.com writes on Monday July 01 2002 @ 09:56PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] BookCrossing.com isn't free to keep running, and as it grows, it will require more and more resources (i.e. money) to keep it going. Currently, our software company, Humankind Systems, is paying the bills. But BookCrossing is only approaching 10,000 members. When we have 100,000 to 500,000 members (not that far off), we'll need a dedicated staff, and dozens more servers, and extreme bandwidth and storage requirements, etc. etc. So if we don't plan *now* on ways to "monetize" the site, whether that's from publishers, or a corporate sponsor, or additional merchandise sales, etc., then we're doing our current membership, which expects this site to run forever, a disservice. We've made the decision that BookCrossing is FREE and ALWAYS WILL BE for the members - and the flip side of that coin is that we must find other sources of revenue. And that means marketing, long-term. Which I hope, in a round-about way, answers your question. :) Green Anarchist writes on Monday July 01 2002 @ 10:02PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] I wonder about the activist implications of doing something similar. I think the concept can be really radicalized. Hmmmmm. Will think about it. Any ideas? Scavenger Type writes on Tuesday July 02 2002 @ 12:11AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Well you could just leave the book there maby with a note on it or something. If we did this with radicalist and leftist books it would be revolutionary. Many people would start reading leftisy material. So if you finish reading a book and you don't know what to do with it you could just do this. benhamish writes on Tuesday July 02 2002 @ 12:14AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] i've been leaving books wherever i happen to finish for them for years, to think that this practice could be coopted just boggles the mind when you think about it but who the fuck cares. indymedia tech writes on Wednesday July 03 2002 @ 01:50AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Ummm, bookcrossing.com, you need to find a more believable PR line. Did you *try* to do it any other way? I work with indymedia and we have servers all over the world, with enormous databases running the sites, larger than most high-end commercial websites have. In addition, we have gigs and gigs and gigs of user-uploaded audio, video, images, etc. We didn't have to "monetize" anything ... we had to "collectivize." That's a big difference. Most of our servers are run by anarchist collectives and co-ops, and some donations. Just because you took a good idea and tried to jump on the dot-com bandwagon while committing your time to a project which does nothing to oppose the capitalist dynamic that we all need to be fighting right now ... dont expect us to believe your feel-good propaganda.