;;;;;;;; 199048 includes photo of 7 3 armed stiltwindmills and a rainbow treasurynet.org The spreadsheet called "Local TEA Dollars" ::::::::::: 198998 Robert Mugabe :::::::::::: 198996 On Thursday, August 15th Doug Henwood interviewed Joseph Stiglitz on WBAI-NY ::::::::::: infoshopshit champ thread (300 plus) snippets:::::::::::: (updated 8/19/02) demonstrates how local treasuries issue TEA dollars. It is interactive and scalable, so you can insert appropriate (or inappropriate) values to estimate or record your individual, local, state, national or international time-energy income. The first section (spreadsheet cells A1-E5) displays the time dividends (citizens dividends) derived from the unit of one TEA dollar per living hour. A citizen in a healthy society can be expected to live approximately 100 years, or 876,000 hours. This provides a trust fund of $876,000 per citizen. Issued from age 16 to 116, every participating citizen is eligible for a citizens income of $730 per month. The second section (cells A7-E19) displays the energy dividends potentially derived from the unit of one TEA dollar per renewable kilowatt-hour (kWh). The total RE dividends include sources such as benign (minimum ecological impact) solar-electric, windpower, solar-thermal, biodiesel, biogas, ethanol, geothermal, hydropower, and ocean power. Fossil fuels, uranium and other entropic energy sources are absolutely prohibited from the TEA system. The largest potential source of energy is solar-electricity. A net photovoltaic (PV) efficiency (cell B13) of only two percent (2%) in a land area of one hundred (100) square miles with a population of one hundred thousand (100,000) in a region with an average solar radiation of 1277.5 kWh per square meter produces 6,617,419,340 kWh / energy dividends / TEA dollars per year. Windpower, solar-thermal, biodiesel, biogas, ethanol and hydropower are currently the lowest-cost / highest profit renewable energy (RE) source in most regions. With the accelerated implementation of the TEA system, annual RE growth (cell B19) could be approximately ten percent (10%) per month and 1261% per year. The third section of the spreadsheet (cells A21-E37) displays monthly, quarterly and annual energy dividends (cell B21). With 10% monthly RE growth, quarterly growth accelerates from 121% to 196% in the first year, resulting in an annual RE growth of 1261%. The fourth section (A39-E55) displays total annual dividends, including time and energy. The fifth section (A57-E73) displays monthly, quarterly and annual printed TEA dollars (certificates). The sixth section (A75-E91) displays monthly, quarterly and annual un-printed TEA dollars (eDollars). This is simply the audited TEA dollars minus the printed TEA dollars. The seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth sections (A94-E200) display printed TEA dollars in denominations of $100, $50, $20, $10, $5 and $1, respectively. Column B displays the number of certificates, column C displays the value of the certificates, and column D displays the serial numbers of the monthly certificates. With or without the TEA system, renewable energy harvesting such as windpower is among the most prosperous investments one can make. However, the TEA system accelerates the transition from a non-renewable and inefficient "economy" to a renewable and efficient economy. Furthermore, the TEA system provides equal rights and equal responsibilities for everyone in accord with The Treasury Network's thirteen-point charter. To presume that our lifetime has no value is to presume the legitimacy of slavery. Issuing citizens dividends directly from local treasuries is the most efficient, stable and democratic way to provide equal rights and opportunities. Issuing renewable energy dividends directly from local treasuries is the most efficient, stable and democratic way to provide equal responsibilities, because those who invest their time dividends into renewable energy harvesting accelerate the transition from a scarcity-based and inefficient "economy" to an efficient economy with bountiful renewable energy. The Time-Energy Accounting (TEA) currency supply expands as citizens' invest in renewable-energy harvesting. For example, a citizen who invests $17 in a windfarm may receive a 438% annual return in TEA dollars, plus energy earnings. Within several decades, the population will stabilize and humans will consume no more energy and purified water than we and our increasingly automated infrastructure produce. Federal Reserve dollars (FRD) are backed by the negative "value" of unsustainable bank debt. United States silver dollars and TEA dollars, however, are backed by useful commodities for manufacturing durable goods and efficient infrastructure. An alternative to accelerated implementation of the TEA system is to continue the dysfunctional fractional-reserve and usurious (charging interest on non-renewable commodities, including debt) banking system which imperils peace, prosperity and human civilization. The choice is ours, and the time is now. Time + Energy = Wealth. What's Your Share? ::::::::::::{}{}{}{}::::::::::::: Pro-Palestinian Activists and the Palestinians by Michael Neumann If the situation of the Palestinians seems hopeless, it is not simply because of what Israel does. It is also because most pro-Palestinian activists, while complaining unceasingly about the American-Israeli alliance, spare no effort to maintain it. They do so because they are wedded to conventional left-wing assumptions. How does this show? Confronted with the fact that one of the most powerful countries in the world--I refer, of course, to Israel--is crushing the Palestinians, the left mistakes Israel for a little puppet, and the US must then get drafted into the role of puppeteer. Since the puppeteer needs to have some motive for the puppet show, Israel becomes a tool for advancing American interests. This is a fatal step, because it pretty well implies that any sane US government *should* support Israel. Shouldn't any sane government advance its country's interests? Like all catastrophic strategies, this one is based on a truth. America's scandalous, extravagant involvement with Israel should of course be stopped immediately. But it is still Israel committing the crimes, not the US, and not at the instigation of the US. America is a sap, a duped accomplice, not a co-conspirator. The enormous, ignored fact of the Palestinian story is that America is not, as the left so loves to think, pursuing some vital interest in its alliance with Israel. On the contrary, America is acting against its vital interests. And by America I don't just mean the wonderful, real-as-dirt Americans of Denzel Washington flicks. I also mean corporate America and the American government. Back when there were commies, the US had a paranoid but at least vaguely plausible reason for allying itself with Israel. Israel was going to keep Arab commies from getting out of hand. The US badly wanted a strong military power in the region, because 'getting out of hand' might include supplying bases for the Red Army. But the commies are long gone. Everyone cooperated to wipe them out: true nationalists like Nasser, entrenched political forces like the Syrian Ba'ath party, reactionaries like the rulers of the Gulf states, the Americans, Israel, and the Moslem fundamentalists they cultivated. That was then, the age of Vietnam and the Yom Kippur war, a time when nothing was too evil if it fought communism. The America of that age lives on in the frozen brains of the left. How many vile regimes did the US back in the 1970s? Israel was the best of them. There were the South Vietnamese, the Greek Junta, Pinochet and a host of scum all over Latin America, in Brazil, in Argentina, in Uruguay, in Paraguay, in Guatemala, in El Salvador, in Panama, in the Dominican Republic. There were the South Africans, in their own country and in Angola, Namibia, Mozambique. There were the mass murderers of Indonesia, and there was the Shah of Iran. No doubt I've forgotten many others. But we don't live in 1975 any more. I'm not sure America sponsors even one regime as bad as its clients of yore. Sure, the US still does a roaring arms trade with all sorts of awful governments, and, as ever, makes lopsided economic agreements with them. But these governments, governments of states like Indonesia or Kuwait or Argentina, are not American clients, any more than they are clients of France, or Britain, or any other states that do business with them. (And most of them aren't as bad as the clients of the old days.) To someone preoccupied with condemning US sins, the change seems insignificant. But to anyone who really wants to influence the US government, it is not. When one examines the political objectives involved, there is a big difference between the sort of support America gives Israel and the sort it gave its client regimes in the 1970s. In 1975, America backed its despicable friends because it wanted what they wanted. It wanted the communists, dissidents and revolutionaries tortured and killed. It wanted that done at arm's length, and it actively conspired with the world's worst governments to do so. It no longer conspires with such people, mostly because it got what it wanted. But American support for Israel has always been very different. America does not at all want what Israel wants, and it never did. America never had the slightest desire to kill Palestinians, take their land and homes, drive them to despair. America tolerated these outrages as a mob boss might tolerated the sadistic, deviant sexual tastes of an underling. But, also like the mob boss, it did not share these tastes. But if America doesn't share Israel's goals, what does it get out of supporting Israel? The left has become a contortionist in its efforts to explain that. Oil politics, they say. This explanation assumes too much about the role of oil in American foreign policy, and would make little sense even if those assumptions were accepted. The appeal to oil politics derives largely from overly serious attention to the US government's expressions of concern for America's long-term oil supply. Naturally, US officials will express such concern from time to time. The oil companies like that, and the concern is genuine enough. But there's a big difference between having a concern and making it the driving force of your foreign policy. Witness the supposed oil politics driving American efforts in Central Asia. Much is made of the (not overly enthusiastic) involvement of Unocal in Khazakhstan, and the oil pipeline projects connected with its efforts. (see, e.g., Ted Rall, "The New Great Game: Oil Politics in Central Asia", <http://www.bradley.edu/las/soc/  soc/classes/soc100/01valt55. html>.) But Unocal is a second or third tier oil company, a nine billion dollar enterprize dwarfed by Exxon's 270 billion dollar stature. Moreover, it is more or less a pariah, currently standing trial in Los Angeles for human rights abuses. Would *they*--the great *they* of conspiracy analyses--allow this if these Unocal folks were really the darlings of a US government hell-bent on securing the Caspian oil? Sure, the US government wants some Central Asian oil, and conducts an oil politics to get it. But this is hardly an obsession, and why should it be? We live in a world, for now, in which oil suppliers are falling all over themselves to sell as much as they can to the highest bidder. The business press regards the oil weapon as unusable. The US lack of interest in energy conservation and alternative energy supplies indicates that the American government is not more far-sighted in its policies than the business press. This should come as no surprise. The world's strongest military and economic power knows it can easily procure itself oil without anyone's help--especially not Israel's. If America were so concerned about its oil supplies, why would it ally itself with the one power in the world that drives its suppliers to distraction? Were it not for that alliance, the US would be able to apply much more direct and finely tuned pressure on oil-rich governments. Israel is (a) best positioned to pressure states which are *not* significant oil producers--Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt--(b) utterly superfluous for pressuring the very feeble Gulf states, and (c) politically unsuitable, as the Gulf War showed, for pressuring militarily strong producers like Iraq and Iran. The portrayal of Israel as a America's stationary aircraft carrier is equally unconvincing in this context. Again, this made a certain paranoid sense when the enemy was communism, because the states bordering on Israel were considered the most likely to go communist. But the US does not need or want Israel to strike through Jordan and Syria to Gulf oil fields. This 'solution' would be much more of a problem than simply occupying the oil fields with American troops. The US today would have no more difficulty securing or controlling Middle East oil supplies than the Allies did during World War I, long before Israel existed. The one thing that might conceivably come in handy--lots of expendable ground troops--only friendly Arab governments, not Israel, could provide. Occasionally one hears other accounts of America's interest in supporting Israel. It is said that Israel's persecution of the Palestinians will 'teach the Arabs a lesson'? What lesson? Are they too stupid to see they're weaker than the United States? And what are the Arabs to learn not to do? Resist Israeli occupation? The Arab states have little sympathy and less common interest with the Palestinians; they do not tremble because Israel persecutes a people they fear or despise. Or is American support for Israel somehow connected with the war on terror? Yes, it certainly is. America's alliance with Israel stands squarely in the way of better relations with the Arab governments, the famed 'Arab street', and Pakistan. It is the main obstacle to a US attack on Iraq. It blocks either an attack on, or reconciliation with, Iran, the Sudan, or Libya. America's alliance with Israel does even more damage to its war on terror than to its oil politics. Why then does America support Israel? There is the pro-Israel lobby, I guess, and (a distinct factor) the support of ordinary American Jews for Israeli policies. More important may be the enormous prestige of Jews and Jewish culture in American life. But most important of all is probably a force never to be underestimated--plain old inertia. America supports Israel because it once had a reason to do so, or thought it did, and because it has done so in the past. Intellectuals may feel cheated by such banal explanations, but offer no viable alternatives. Whatever the reasons for American support, US interests aren't among them. This has large implications. The whole Palestinian strategy of the left is in urgent need of drastic change. First, the left's demonization of the US is excessive and obsessive. America's current support for Israel is a world away from its carefully contemplated, viciously evil support for its cold-war client regimes. Today America is the puppet, not Israel. America is not using Israel to fight against communism or for economic advantage. Israel is using America to fight a race war, and America is too much of a dummy to understand. It fawns on Israel, mostly because it is befuddled, and partly because its politicians fear offending Jewish voters. But America is not the enemy here; it is aiding the enemy. The left is so fixated on American sinfulness that it treats present US support for Israel like past US sponsorship of true proxy regimes like Pinochet's Chile, and all but lets the real culprit off the hook. American weapons inflict huge harm on the Palestinians, but it is not America that is inflicting the harm: 'it's the Israelis, stupid!' Even without American arms, plucky little Israel would still manage to oppress the Palestinians and intimidate their reluctant allies. Though America is not the central villain of Israel's drama, a change in American policy is still essential to helping the Palestinians. The left is far more interested in complaining about that policy than in changing it. Yet the basis for a real strategy can be found in the innocuous leftist belief that American policy is determined by America's strategic and economic interests. If leftists really wanted to restrain Israel rather than moralize about American complicity, they would make clear that US policymakers are more stupid than evil, because Israeli policies run entirely contrary to America's strategic and economic interests. A genuinely pro-Palestinian strategy would stress that backing Israel undermines not only to America's war on terror, but also its oil politics. And a genuinely pro-Palestinian strategy would not be anti-American for the sheer joy of it. Instead it would emphasize that American foreign policy, however reprehensible, has improved since 1975, and that America squanders the political benefits of this improvement with its robotic support for Israel. This is not flag-waving or apologetics; it is a matter of making the appeal most likely to strike a chord with the US government and public. This strategy would do more than make even the most conservative Americans question the wisdom of supporting Israel. It would also force American Jews to reassess their involvement with Israel, which up to now has in effect been certified impeccably pro-American by the left as well as the right. At the very least, it makes no sense for pro-Palestinian activists to pick up their marbles and go home when appeals to morality prove ineffective. Anyone convinced of the immorality of the US government has all the more reason to appeal to American self-interest. If one insists on a moral judgement here, the obvious one would be that the anti-American hysterics of the left are an inexcusable indulgence of prejudice, for which the Palestinians are paying a terrible price. According to CNN polls, as many as 43% of Americans have thought the US was too pro-Israel. It is not without ingenuity that such a powerful undercurrent of opposition to American policy has been left untapped. Michael Neumann is a professor of philosophy at Trent University in Ontario, Canada. He can be reached :::::::::{}{}{}{}::::::::::::: 198998 Robert Mugabe is portrayed as the prince of darkness, but when whites expel black people from their lands, nobody gives a damn. [nice article on whites as the problematic issue in Africa STILL, particularly through the IMF and through the globalized commodity chain instead of food for local production. Bit of evidence to toss around when you hear about the 'terrible things Mugabe' is doing, well, bite me! when you compare it to the cold calulating moneycounting and state piracy of the white IMF.] 13th August 2002 Our Racist Demonology Robert Mugabe is portrayed as the prince of darkness, but when whites expel black people from their lands, nobody gives a damn. By George Monbiot. The most evil man on earth, besides Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden, is Robert Mugabe, the president of Zimbabwe. That, at least, is the view of most of the western world's press. Yesterday Mugabe insisted that 2,900 white farmers will have to leave their land. He claims to be redistributing their property to landless peasants, but many of the farms he has seized have been handed instead to army officers and party loyalists. Twelve white farmers have been killed and many others beaten. He stole the elections in March through ballot rigging and the intimidation of his political rivals. His assault on white-owned farms has been cited by the Daily Telegraph as the principal reason for the current famine. Now, the paper maintains, he is using "food aid as a political weapon". As a candidate for the post of World's Third Most Evil Man, he appears to possess all the right credentials. There is no doubt that Mugabe is a ruthless man, or that his policies are contributing to the further impoverishment of the Zimbabweans. But to suggest that his land seizures are largely responsible for the nation's hunger is fanciful. Though the 4,500 white farmers there own two-thirds of the best land, many of them grow not food but tobacco. Seventy per cent of the nation's maize -- its primary staple crop -- is grown by black peasant farmers hacking a living from the marginal lands they were left by the whites. The seizure of the white farms is both brutal and illegal. But it is merely one small scene in the tragedy now playing all over the world. Every year, some tens of millions of peasant farmers are forced to leave their land, with devastating consequences for food security. For them there are no tear-stained descriptions of a last visit to the graves of their children. If they are mentioned at all, they are dismissed by most of the press as the necessary casualties of development. Ten years ago, I investigated the expropriations being funded and organised in Africa by another member of the Commonwealth. Canada had paid for the ploughing and planting with wheat of the Basotu Plains in Tanzania. Wheat was eaten in that country only by the rich, but by planting that crop, rather than maize or beans or cassava, Canada could secure contracts for its chemical and machinery companies, which were world leaders in wheat technology. The scheme required the dispossession of the 40,000 members of the Barabaig tribe. Those who tried to return to their lands were beaten by the project's workers, imprisoned and tortured with electric shocks. The women were gang-raped. For the first time in a century, the Barabaig were malnourished. When I raised these issues with one of the people running the project, she told me, "I won't shed a tear for anybody if it means development." [?? is this 'development' or imposted brutal Inquisition?] The rich world's press took much the same attitude: only the Guardian carried the story. Now yet another member of the Commonwealth, the United Kingdom, is funding a much bigger scheme in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Some 20 million people will be dispossessed. Again this atrocity has been ignored by most of the media. These are dark-skinned people being expelled by whites, rather than whites being expelled by black people. They are, as such, assuming their rightful place, as invisible obstacles to the rich world's projects. Mugabe is a monster because he has usurped the natural order. Throughout the coverage of Zimbabwe there is an undercurrent both of racism and of regret that Britain ever let Rhodesia go. Some of the articles in the Telegraph may as well have been headlined "The plucky men and women holding darkest Africa at bay". Readers are led to conclude that Ian Smith was right all along: the only people who know how to run Africa are the whites. But, through the IMF, the World Bank and the bilateral aid programmes, with their extraordinary conditions, the whites do run Africa, and a right hash they are making of it. Over the past ten years, according the the UN's latest human development report, the number of people in sub-Saharan Africa living on less than a dollar a day has risen from 242 to 300 million. The more rigorously Africa's governments apply the policies demanded by the whites, the poorer their people become. Just like Mugabe, the rich world has also been using "food aid as a political weapon". The United States has just succeeded in forcing Zimbabwe and Zambia, both suffering from the southern African famine, to accept GM maize as food relief. Both nations had fiercely resisted GM crops, partly because they feared that the technology would grant multinational companies control over the foodchain, leaving their people still more vulnerable to hunger. But the US, seizing the opportunity for its biotech firms, told them that they must either accept this consignment or starve. Malawi has also been obliged to take GM maize from the US, partly because of the loss of its own strategic grain reserve. In 1999, the IMF and the European Union instructed Malawi to privatise the reserve. The private body was not capitalised, so it had to borrow from commercial banks to buy grain. Predictably enough, by 2001 it found that it couldn't service its debt. The IMF told it to sell most of the reserve. The private body sold it all, and Malawi ran out of stored grain just as its crops failed. The IMF, having learnt nothing from this catastrophe, continues to prevent that country from helping its farmers, subsidising food or stabilising prices. The same agency also forces weak nations to open their borders to subsidised food from abroad, destroying their own farming industries. Perhaps most importantly, it prevents state spending on land reform. Land distribution is the key determinant of food security. Small farms are up to ten times as productive as large ones, as they tend to be cultivated more intensively. Small farmers are more likely to supply local people with staple crops than western supermarkets with mangetout. The governments of the rich world don't like land reform. It requires state intervention, which offends the [dead] god of free markets, and it hurts big [private] farmers and the companies which supply them. Indeed, it was Britain's refusal either to permit or to fund an adequate reform programme in Zimbabwe which created the political opportunities Mugabe has so ruthlessly exploited. The Lancaster House agreement gave the state to the black people but the nation to the whites. Mugabe manipulates the genuine frustrations of a dispossessed people. SOUTH AFRICA AND ZIMBABWE COMPARED ON I.M.F: MANDELA PRIVITZED EVERYTHING AND SOLD S.A. TO THE IMF The president of Zimbabwe is a very minor devil in the hellish politics of land and food. The sainted Nelson Mandela has arguably done just as much harm to the people of Africa, by surrendering his powers to the IMF as soon as he had wrested them from apartheid. Let us condemn Mugabe's racist attacks upon Zimbabwe's whites by all means, but only if we are also prepared to condemn the far bloodier war which the rich [white] world wages against the poor. 13th August 2002 ---------------------- It's not about black vs. white (english) Fuck Palestine 4:22pm Tue Aug 20 '02 comment#199085 You are fooled by propaganda designed to fool illiterate peasants. He is stealing productive land and handing it to cronies or squatters. Worse yet to Arabs. In the 1970s people like you said the same thing about Uganda! He IS starving people as a political weapon, helped by - NOT WHITE AMERICA - by Arabs. Furthermore there is no hypocritical outcry about him. There is no outcry about him at all, which IS hypocritical. You are just lying saying there is for the sake of your article. You should base your political opinions on real life not outdated 1970s cliches. ::::::::::::{}{}{}{}:::::::::::::198996 On Thursday, August 15th Doug Henwood interviewed Joseph Stiglitz on WBAI-NY Pacifica Radio. The interview has made a bit of a splash since Henwood managed to get Stiglitz to comment positively on the idea of abolishing the IMF. On Thursday, August 15th Doug Henwood interviewed Joseph Stiglitz on WBAI-NY Pacifica Radio. The interview has made a bit of a splash since Henwood managed to get Stiglitz to comment positively on the idea of abolishing the IMF. The show can be downloaded or streamed at: joe ************* Ex World Bank Chief Stiglitz Calls For Abolishment Of IMF Dow Jones News Service via Dow Jones WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)--The International Monetary Fund is beyond reform and should be abolished, vocal IMF critic and former World Bank Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz said in a radio interview. "The IMF has not earned the confidence of the markets; its bailouts have failed a large percentage of the time," Stiglitz said in an interview with Doug Henwood on his Left Business Observer weekly radio show broadcast Thursday in New York. "With more (global) interdependence there is greater need for more collective action...I used to say since we are going to need these instutions, it is better to reform them than start from scratch," Stiglitz said. "I am beginning to have second thoughts; I am beginning to ask if the credibility of the IMF has been so eroded, it would be better to start from scratch." Stiglitz described the development of IMF programs as a tightly centralized system of decision-making that results in most advice being dispensed by economists in Washington, D.C., rather than more knowledgeable people working on the ground in the countries having problems. He suggested that the Fund is so resistant to change, it would be difficult to reform it. The author of Globalization and its Discontents, a book sharply critical of the IMF's performance and that of the Clinton administration's economic team during the Asian economic and financial crisis of the late 1990s, has provoked some defensive reaction from the IMF. Last month, IMF Director of Research Kenneth Rogoff made public a letter to Stiglitz calling his ideas "at best controversial, at worst snake oil." -By Elizabeth Price, Dow Jones Newswire ::::::::::::{}{}{}{}::::::::::::: Date: Sun, 18 Aug 2002 18:14:37 -0400 From: James Collins Subject: Re: vesica piscis Tarot Major Arcana Card 0, The first in series: The Fool (Aleph), Numerical value: 11=Alpha Card 21, The last in series: The World (Tav), Numerical value: 32= Omega Shamus ---------------- ---------- lawrence writes on Saturday June 15 2002 @ 10:55PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] I hereby declare that as of today Lawrence Jarach should be referred to as the following: a non-primitivist non-individualist person who favors anarchy, but not anarchism. I do not reject primitivist ideas and I am concerned about the recent disappearance of the place of the individual in some anarchist discourse, but I also don't elevate either primitivism or individualism into identities or ideologies. (I'm also not a syndicalist.) I have never referred to myself as a primitivist for the simple reason that I don't consider myself to be one. That I have written an essay critical of many aspects of primitivism that trouble me without rejecting primitivism makes me some kind of primitivist according to your ridiculously myopic dualistic thinking. The problem is with your critical faculties, not with my refusal to reject primitivism. Hope that clears things up. lawrence writes on Saturday June 15 2002 @ 10:56PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] I hereby declare that as of today Lawrence Jarach should be referred to as the following: a non-primitivist non-individualist person who favors anarchy, but not anarchism. I do not reject primitivist ideas and I am concerned about the recent disappearance of the place of the individual in some anarchist discourse, but I also don't elevate either primitivism or individualism into identities or ideologies. (I'm also not a syndicalist.) I have never referred to myself as a primitivist for the simple reason that I don't consider myself to be one. That I have written an essay critical of many aspects of primitivism that trouble me without rejecting primitivism makes me some kind of primitivist according to your ridiculously myopic dualistic thinking. The problem is with your critical faculties, not with my refusal to reject primitivism. Hope that clears things up--although I am certain it won't. writes on Sunday June 16 2002 @ 09:57AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] A "non-primitivist" who "does not reject primitivist ideas"? That doesn't make any sense. It's like saying "I am not a Maoist, but I do not reject Maoist ideas." Lawrence, why equivocate? lawrence writes on Sunday June 16 2002 @ 11:27AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] What's the equivocation? I appreciate many insights into the sociological workings of capitalism that Marx had, but that doesn't make me a marxist--or I guess it does to your narrow understanding of how ideas influence us. I appreciate the critiques of Durkheim, Weber, Adorno, the Sits, the council communists, etc. but I don't consider myself to be a liberal sociologist or a council communist either. On your planet it seems that if you have been postively influenced by the ideas of other people, then you must necessarily be a follower of their ideology. That's stupid. writes on Sunday June 16 2002 @ 12:14PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] "Influence" and "appreciation" are one thing, but you either are or are not a Marxist and you either are or are not a primitivist. You are just trying to avoid criticism by equivocating (i.e., "I am not a primitivist, I just don't reject primitivist ideas."). Reverend Chuck0 writes on Sunday June 16 2002 @ 02:13PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Ahem, anonymous person, please come up with an alias, or I'll start deleting your posts. Ive been trying to get the software that runs this forum to not allow blank authors, but for now I suggest you post your name or a handle. You write: >>Well, I’m pretty sure Lawrence does identify as a primitivist (just not a vulgar primitivist: he’s a primitivist with adjectives). Being "pretty sure" about someone's label just doesn't cut it. If you know for sure, you can say how they identify themselves. If not, you are simply calling them names. Since your post, Lawrence has responsed and made you look pretty silly. >>Your distinction between post-left anarchism as a critique versus an identity doesn ’t make a lot of sense to me. I think you are just equivocating and using the word “critique” as a way of avoiding a clear statement of your views (e.g., “I’m not a primitivist, I just have a critique of technology.”) No, I'm making the very clear distinction that I don't see the post-left critique as an identity. I'm not going to go around and say: "Hi, I'm Chuck0 and I'm a recovering post-leftist." I think it is really important to challenge anybody who says "post-left anarchy" is some form of identity. I don't see why it can't be a critique adopted and developed by a wide range of anarchists. Yes, I am not a primitivist but I have a critique of technology. I think the primitivist critique and tendency are valuable, although I have some problems with it. Of course, it's not some kind of unified theory that you have to either accept or reject. That would be some kind of binary, reductionist thinking. >>But the fact is you either are primitivist or not a primitivist. You are either are an anarcho-syndicalist or are not an anarcho-syndicalist. You may pretend that you have transcended these distinctions or have accomplished some new synthesis, but I wouldn ’t buy it. I am neither a primitivist nor an anarcho-syndicalist. You reject a synthesis between the two, but I don't see why this is impossible. Some anarchists are trying to create this synthesis. I'm neither an individualist nor a collectivist, because I seek a synthesis of the two in the anarchist society I'm trying to create. My position on this hasn't changed in 15 years. >>You’ll probably object and complain that you’re being “labeled,” but we all the responsibility to clearly state where we stand and, besides, making political distinctions is an important part of reclaiming political discourse. Do you understand that it is possible for people to state where they stand, even if it doesn't fit some political label? >>In any case, the very term “post-left anarchism” implies that it is a new form of anarchism, and thus a political identity. It's possible that it could be a new form of anarchism. It doesn't have to be a political identity. To me it seems pretty undefined at this point. >>You’ll probably say that, to you, post-left anarchism means an awareness of the tendency toward bureaucratization in organizations, a consciousness of the limitations of reformism, etc.. That’s all very nice, but these are old ideas, and they have been part of the anarchist movement (and Marxism, to some extent) for more than 100 years. No, I don't see it like that. In my opinion, post-left anarchism is about a situation in recent history, where anarchism has re-emerged as a solid alternative to authoritarian socialism and communism. I know that some of you want to pigeonhole it into some kind of axis-of-evil philsophy that involves primitivists, Bob Black, and Anarchy magazine. Ok, throw individualism and post-modernism in that mix. See, I would vehemently disagree with this, just as I disagree with other so-called "post-leftists." >> So, what is post-left anarchism? When all is said and done, it appears to be nothing more than a name used to identify a clique. If you choose to close your mind just as the debate is getting started, it might seem like a clique. I don't know what it is, but I want to talk about it. I'm extremely disappointed in the people who have hijacked the debate to work out their stupid ass disagreements with each other. I've concluded that anarchists can be just as stupid and narrow-minded as the Leninist they like to make fun of. cable writes on Sunday June 16 2002 @ 06:57PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Well, I think Lawrence looks pretty silly trying to back-pedal on his primitivism ... “I am not a primitivist, but I don’t reject primitivist ideas” ... and this means? ... He’s just equivocating. A synthesis is between primitivism and anarcho-syndicalism is impossible because they proceed from diametrically opposed assumptions. * Primitivists are against civilization, whereas anarcho-syndicalists want to create it (in the form of an anarcho-syndicalist society). You cannot be for civilization and against civilization at the same time. * Primitivists reject technology as inherently oppressive, anarcho-syndicalists embrace it as liberatory. You cannot be for and against technology at the same time. * Primitivists advocate “de-socialization” or “going wild”, whereas anarcho-syndicalists want people to be better socialized. You cannot be against and for socialization simulatenously. An impulse toward pluralism can be generous in some cases, but it becomes positively regressive when it used to conceal mutually contradictory ideas. not in mourning writes on Sunday June 16 2002 @ 09:20PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] This is an oversimplification of both ideologies. I know quite a few anarchosyndicalists with critiques of technology AND zerowork tendencies. Reverend Chuck0 writes on Sunday June 16 2002 @ 09:28PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Not only is this an oversimplification, but it's being pulled out of thin air. I'm not aware that anarcho-syndicalism has any position on civilization and/or technology. It doesn't say alot about the environment, but anarcho-syndicalists have been trying to build worker alliances with environmentalists. I've been kind of puzzled that anarcho-syndicalism hasn't adopted a critique of technology. Maybe not the one put forward by primitivists, but there have been plenty of critics of technology, including from a labor perspective. Look, workers work with technology all of the time, so it stand to reason that anybody claiming to be organizing workers would have a good line about the tools that workers use. hpwombat writes on Sunday June 16 2002 @ 07:33PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Are you a moral absolutist, or someone who insists people choose concrete black and white ideology. I reject ideology for a series of theories, a synthesis can be achieved with a critique of civilization guiding the creation of a future civilization. If I critique a peanut butter sandwich, it does not mean I reject peanut butter sandwiches...maybe I want some jelly on it. not in mourning writes on Sunday June 16 2002 @ 09:24PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] lovely analogy! and if I like bananas on my PB sandwiches, that doesn't mean I'm going to try to sabotage you jelly-eaters. :) cable writes on Sunday June 16 2002 @ 10:27PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] <> I'm definitely not pulling this out of thin air. For example, look at Rudolf Rocker (or any of the other theorists of anarcho-syndicalism). He/they believed that technology would liberate workers from toil (in an anarcho-syndicalist society) and was thus indispensible to anarchism. The anarcho-syndicalists also thought anarcho-syndicalism was the only way to realize or fulfill the positive achievements of civilization. In other words, they wanted more civilization, not less. But I'm not the one who is casting things in black in white: primitivism and anarcho-syndicalism make big claims about society, nature, history (etc) and you either have to reject or accept these claims, and deal with the practical implications that flow from your position. So, HPWombat, if you embrace civilization, then you reject primitivism. There's just no middle ground between these two positions. There are anarcho-syndicalists who have tried to become more environmental and there are Marxists who've tried to become more anarchist, but contradictory ideas are contradictory ideas. And, as much as people may want to have the best of both worlds, you just can't reconcile primitivism and anarcho-syndicalism. Although I'm not really sure how I feel about peanut butter sandwiches... hpwombat writes on Monday June 17 2002 @ 12:03AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Rocker may of thought that civilization was liberatory as he saw it as a way to increase automation, something that liberals at the time also thought would occur. I see nothing wrong with automation, yet I don't see that as "more" civilization, just a difference of civilization. This difference forms because of the loss of a profit motive as the primary guiding factor in socialism. Rocker couldn't of weighed this decision on a critique of civilization as it didn't exist at the time, so a true comparison is impossible given the historical context that Rocker existed in. I do not embrace not civilization, nor do I embrace civilization. Marxism is not a contradiction of anarchism either, I have no idea where that came from, Bakunin developed collectivism as a synthesis of egoist and marxist theories, but neither egoism nor marxism is taken in whole for this synthesis, because synthesis is not the combining of whole ideologies, but instead its combining a series of theories. I understand that yes, civilization has flaws that cannot be rectified (as does not civilization), and the same with powerstructures. Yet I do not reject civilization, I accept that flaws occur in all socio-economic systems, its understanding those flaws and how they actually weigh on society that grant us the knowledge as to whether those flaws justify the removal of that which is critiqued, or if those flaws are tolerable enough to continue with its strategy. Perhaps you could detail more deeply your own theories instead of detailing a vague understanding of terms you associate with ideologies, which is why you see a defined division. If you say "I think" instead of "Rocker thinks" then contemporary discussion can proceed and a synthesis can be achieved. Otherwise you will be waiting for Rocker's corpse to wake up and give a response...either that or the God of anarcho-syndicalism to fly in and drop a line to make sure its followers are going about it correctly. I can't discuss anything with the anarcho-syndicalist god, nor can I discuss anything with Rocker's corpse, but you are here, then progress can be achieved. dadanarchist writes on Monday June 17 2002 @ 01:06PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] "I'm definitely not pulling this out of thin air. For example, look at Rudolf Rocker (or any of the other theorists of anarcho-syndicalism). He/they believed that technology would liberate workers from toil (in an anarcho-syndicalist society) and was thus indispensible to anarchism." I'm constantly flabbergasted by the lack of historical criticism among so many anarchists. I realize that looking at events, theories, individuals may smack of Marxist analysis, but historical understandings of situations are vital if we are ever to move forward. Fundamental concepts such as context are ignored wholesale in favor of a dehistorized worldview. With that said, a few comments on Rocker. I like him, interesting gent, learned yiddish so he could join the Jewish anarchist movement in New York. However, he writes out of a much different place than we do today. When he wrote, the dominant discourse of the day was of progress, science, technology, industry, etc. He wrote at the high point of the industrial era, before most people, including anarchists and socialists (with a few exceptions like Morris & Kropotkin), could see the vast destruction industrial civilization would wrought upon the earth, the developing world and countless individuals. They saw the prime enemey as an exploitive class of tycoons, who drained the labor of the masses. However, now we have an exploitve class of consumers and stockholders who drain the resources of the planet. Oppression remains, its nature has changed. Granted, wealthy tycoons till stage manage exploitation, but with the collusion of citizens of the Western world. As much as we need to burn banks, string up capitalists and turn the white house into a homeless shelter, we also need to turn inwards and kill the instinct socialized into all of us that Nature is our resource to be drained at will, people, animals, plants and landscapes alike. Rocker couldn't see this because he lived in an era where the effects of industry were yet to be felt to the degree they are now. His insights are still valuable, but they must be placed in a historical context so that they can be applied in a useful rather than foolish manner. I'm tired of making this same argument every week. Think critically, damnit! Reverend Chuck0 writes on Monday June 17 2002 @ 08:05PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] LOL. If more people would only think critically. Seriously, I'm thinking about creating a "critical thinking" webpage that would help people avoid the same tired arguments. On the other hand, if only I could find a way to hook that little "post comments" button below to some kind of electrical shock device. Maybe that would encourage people to *read* the posts before responding to them! This just in! Today the sun when supernova, wiping out all life on Planet Earth as we know. In other news, the anarchist movement spent its 34405th eon debating primitivism versus something else that doesn't matter at this point because the sun just blew up. dadanarchist writes on Tuesday June 18 2002 @ 10:16AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] In a high school English class, I remember reading a book on thinking and writing critically that was very useful, I think it was called "Ergo." It mixed logic and writing skills together. Anyway, I think a "Critical Thinking 101" or "Logic 101" page would be great, even if yr being sarcastic! You could explain what "strawmen," "slippery slope," "false dichotomy" etc. are, and then provide examples culled from posts. lawrence writes on Monday June 17 2002 @ 08:11AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] How can I back-pedal on an identity that I never had? If I declare myself a vegetarian, and then say "well, under certain circumstances--like whenever I feel like it--I will eat a hamburger" then clearly I am back-pedaling or being dishonest, because that action goes against the declaration of my identity as a vegetarian. But how the hell can I be a back-pedaling primitivist when I have never called myself a primitivist? Your imputationism, binary reductionism, and games of logic are about as subtle as a brick wall and (unintentionally) hilarious. Are you a philosophy major? Scott writes on Monday June 17 2002 @ 01:42PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] What is really coming to the surface in this thread, as in so many on this site, is the unbridgeable gap between class struggle and non-class struggle anarchism. This gap is nothing but the expression of class differences. Organisations like NEFAC look to the left and the labour movement; non-class struggle anarchists don't. My question for those with NEFAC's perspective is this: why do you bother to argue with non-class struggle anarchists? Why would you want to work with them, when that would mean being in a Popular Front? You should put all your efforts into United Fronts of labour with the rest of the left. Life's too short to waste on these primitivsts and liberals, who only represent the impact of late capitalist decay on the human brain, and could only ever flourish in a capitalism as decadent as America's. Cheers Scott Hamilton (Anti Imperialist Coalition antiimperialist.org.nz/) not a primitivist, just an @ writes on Monday June 17 2002 @ 05:24PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] So let me get this straight. You would be willing to work in a Popular Front with reformists (Greens, left democrats, social democrats), leftists (WWP, SWP, RCP, ISO etc ad nauseum) and labor (reactionary (Teamsters, UAW), reformist (most of the large federations), revolutionary (IWW, CNT, ISA)), but you would not be willing to work with those who identify as anarchists, but just don't happen to share your religious belief in the overarching, sacrosanct primacy of the working class as the end-all, be-all of organizing and revolutionary subjecthood? I'd laugh myself stupid if this wasn't so pathetic. Reverend Chuck0 writes on Monday June 17 2002 @ 08:10PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Hah hah, LOL. Excellent riposte! And right after Lawrence's post about binary reductionism. Come on people, it's not always a choice between black or white, on or off, or the pitcher batting versus the designated hitter. It seems to me that a class struggle anarchist could be a lot of things, including a primitivist. Is there some kind of litmus test to become a class struggle anarchist? I mean, i self-identifiy as a class struggle anarchist, although I don't buy into what was just described as the "religious belief in the overarching, sacrosanct primacy of the working class as the end-all, be-all of organizing and revolutionary subjecthood?." eugenian anarchos writes on Monday June 17 2002 @ 06:05PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Scott: I would hope that you wouldn't come to such polarizing conclusions. I indentify as an anti-industrial anarchist. By this, I mean that, based on what I've learned from history, anthropology, the study of human social organization, etc. - is that industrialism is irreconcilable with anarchism. Most examples of people living successfully without the state have occurred in low-tech and non-urban environments, and ultimately I believe if anarchy is to flourish, than we'd better learn to live without much of the technology that was developed under a centralized, industrial-capitalist society. I'm fully aware that I'm in a minority in the anarchist world, and that anarchists like myself have always been a minority in the anarchist movement (though it is false to say that we're an entirely new trend, as some claim). Because I believe that industrialism is irreconcilable with anarchism doesn't mean that I believe the collapse of industrialism will result in anarcho-primitivist utopia, but rather I believe that any move towards decentralization and self-organization, and against capitalist relations, will lead to the break down of industrial systems. and that anarchists should be willing to live sustainably and efficiently in the absence of such systems. I don't know how you could have an industrial economy without conquest from abroad, and repression at home, so I'm basically against it. This perspective is nothing new, some anarchists and socialists and feminists, and many indigenous peoples also believe that industrial culture must go. I don't think that this perspective is bad or crazy or stupid, as you claim, and I think that you would offend a lot of different types of people from different backgrounds with those remarks. I don't think that anarcho-communists, syndicalists, NEFAC, etc. are stupid, mindless, authoritarian, or whatever slanderous nonesense is being thrown around this week. I consider them allies, and I hope that they would consider me an ally too. They have a different perspective than I do, because what they have learned, witnessed, and experienced has drawn them to different conclusions than me. And that's fine. We're not on the brink of revolution, and we shouldn't let hypothetical questions and the minor details of our different ideologies separate us at a time when unity is so important. I also think that the division you've constructed between "class struggle" and "non-class struggle" anarchists is really false. I've met upper middle class, and even homeless primitivists who can call for the "abolition of work" precisely because they have the privilege to shun the financial obligations most people must confront in a capitalist world. Similarly, I've met "class struggle" anarchists who like to speak of a homogenous, romanticized, working class that they have no connection to, and I've met Wobblies who claim to be "labor organizers" who haven't worked a day in their lives. There is inconsistencies on both sides that should be acknowledged and confronted. But let's not create false dichotomies and slander people for illegitimate purposes. Necrotic State writes on Monday June 17 2002 @ 09:06PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Yeah, again this is another false dichotomy, as already pointed out. I've known middle class class warriors. I've met poor primitivists. I've met post-Leftist class warriors (I think I'd be one). I think post-Leftism enhances the class war critique, as does primitivism. I also think that it also affords an appreciation for the meaninglessness with which most American's view their jobs. This goes beyond mere alientation in the traditional sense. Modern post-industrial capitalism has completely divorced by several orders the producer not only from the what's, where's, when's and how's of production - it has taken it a whole step forward so that modern workers no longer even have a real relationship to the production of real needs. That is, I've yet to have a job where I produced anything. I've shuffled paper, I've routed packages, I've run cash-registers and worked the phones, but the closest I ever came to producing for real needs was when I shipped diamond saw blades for building contractors (and since most of those blades were used to build stucco suburbs, we can even argue how "real" that was). I am not alienated at work just because my job has been broken up into boring, repetitive pieces; I am also alienated because I no longer relate to production in a meaningful way. And, I'm not alone in this situation. Of course, there are limitations to speaking in general terms, because there are still people who work in jobs where this relationship has not yet been totally destroyed, but it's coming for most everyone at some point, if the capitalists have their way. This has serious implications for workplace-centered organizing. That alone is worth a major re-evaluation of our theory. So, I think there is something to the general alienation people feel outside the workplace. Further, focusing only on capitalist oppressions leaves out conditions like patriarchy and white supremacy that do not exclusively manifest themselves on the terrain of capitalism, or in explicitly economic ways, and this is definitely not ok, because these oppressions are key to the maintainance of the State and Capitalism. And so, clearly, these are important points to consider. Further, in the workplace, this alienation is in many ways a direct function of the technology this society develops which is driven primarily by the need to de-skill, disempower, atomize and disengage. Therefore, it seems quite reasonable to me for someone to say that they think that most of our technology would have to be, or will be desired to be, abandoned in a future anarchist society. Consider the downward spiral in which people become alienated from their technological lives and then get fed pharmaceuticals by the same system to keep them functioning. Class struggle doesn't necessarily have a neat way to explain that. And there's nothing inherently wrong with that; however, there is no reason we should have a deliberately incomplete critique of society. Why not go for as broad an understanding as we can? When people say they don't consider primitivism, it's like they may as well be saying that they don't want to understand what is happening in our society. Why one would want to reactionarily and voluntarily limit one's understanding I don't know.   With regards to primitivism, I think that the primitivist critique can be used without being a primitivist. While I still believe the class struggle is the dominant one under capitalism (manifested through white supremacy), I do think that we are also in an age where the atomization that was being applied to workers through the rise of industrial capitalism is now no longer exclusive to the workplace. Even worse it is being extended through technology to all segments of human existence. Marx and the anarchists of yore did not understand this because they did not see it before them. I think if they were living today they would recognize it. The point isn't really whether one is a primitivist or not, but rather how we can combine these ideas in ways that explain our current situation and light a path out of it. We have to understand the breadth and scope of people's alienation. For instance, primitivism's critique of technology allows us to understand how this alienation is replicated without the direct authoritarian presence of the boss - it replicates itself, based on the interests of the bosses in general, because they are the ones who design it and support it. But the boss is not present to personally enforce that alienation. Nor is the cop. Looking at things from multiple angles should never be discouraged. Single-mindedness doesn't serve revolutionary ends. Our system is too complicated - that's a big part of why it is able to remain dominant. One can perhaps say that certain factors are more important than others (white supremacy, for instance), but surely one should not attempt to force a square society into a round revolutionary hole. In my view, post-Leftism allows this assessment and evaluation of tools without all the biases and baggages of our past. In my opinion it's also a recognition of the failures of our past struggles and the imperfection of our critique. It's not a rejection of it - it's simply an attempt to correct it's weaknesses. To broaden it and to break free from it at the same time. To reject absolutes. In this sense it's both strategic and tactical. What's interesting is the way some people reject it as guilt by association because some of the ideas post-Leftists look at are not palatable to Leftists. Perhaps Left-anarchists should look at it a different way: post-Leftism is trying to build on the work of the Leftists. That sounds like a compliment, not an insult. hpwombat writes on Monday June 17 2002 @ 09:55PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] "Perhaps Left-anarchists should look at it a different way: post-Leftism is trying to build on the work of the Leftists. That sounds like a compliment, not an insult." yes, I never have understood the demand for hostilities between theories that can develop a broader movement that touches every aspect of life without losing solidarity behind long-term interests. "I do think that we are also in an age where the atomization that was being applied to workers through the rise of industrial capitalism is now no longer exclusive to the workplace. Even worse it is being extended through technology to all segments of human existence." I think the movie "requiem for a dream" http://www.requiemforadream.com is an excellent example of this atomization spreading outside the workplace and could actually change the way you look at the world. Everyone would benefit from watching it. Mick Black writes on Monday June 17 2002 @ 09:39PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Necrotic State wrote: "A lot of the stuff I see coming out of OCAP seems to me to be anarchists fighting to preserve or expand government welfare programs and such. I find it hard to see how that is something that anarchists should support, except just so that people can get experience with direct action (of course, the end goal is a handing of control back over the State to administer it)." As an anarchist involved in OCAP I just want to comment on this. It's true one aspect of our work is fighting to re-establish the government funded social programs and repeal right-wind legislation by the conservative government. Some of us like to quote Lorenzo Komboa Ervin on this; we see the winning of these reforms not as the end goals of OCAP (and certainly not anarchism) as that is true reformism but rather as issues that directly pertain to "survival pending revolution". Now you're right in your critique of reformism, but quite wrong in your assertion that winning reforms is the sole goal of OCAP. However, reforms quite literally save peoples lives. Just today at an OCAP meeting I heard about a man who killed himself this week because welfare refused to issue a check to pay his rent because of some bullshit paperwork excuse with disability Ontario. If we were able to win that cheque for him (There is almost a 100% chance we would have had he come to us instead of killing himself) then that man would be alive today, and quite likely fighting with us against the politicians, government bureaucrats and bosses. Now as an anarchist my goals are self-organized communities where we take care of ourselves without bosses, cops, or bureaucrats. However, the community I'm living in (Parkdale! Represent!) has huge problems that OCAP and the anarchist movement simply doesn’t have the capability to solve at this time. So, what we do is work to create self-organized resistance through fighting issues that affect the daily lives of our communities and membership. In short we are working to build a movement that can successfully take on the problems of our hoods without relying on the state, as well as force the state to give in to our demands of it, and eventually 86 the whole damn thing altogether in favor of doing it ourselves. We're a long way off from that right now, so we actively fight the existing state for what we need to survive (after all they stole it from us in the first place). I think a good example of this is embodied in the thinking of our upcoming squat where we intend to take over an empty building, fix it up, and run it as social housing and a space for community organizing ourselves without state intervention. At the same time we have some modest reforms that we are demanding the city, provincial and federal governments take care of, like building another 2000 units of social housing in Toronto every year, and ordering inspections and repairs on apartments in our neighborhood. I don't think it's a contradiction to both fight the state for reforms (which will make a huge difference in people's lives) while building a movement that is self-organized and wishes to abolish the state along with capitalism. In fact, I think, depending on what the reforms are and how you go about winning them, that winning concrete things for people that helps us improve our lives or even just survive is a vital part of building a movement capable of anarchist revolution. ????? writes on Tuesday June 18 2002 @ 10:11AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Chuck, what does LOL stand for? hpwombat writes on Tuesday June 18 2002 @ 10:13AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] laugh out loud blob writes on Tuesday June 18 2002 @ 06:21PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] anti-imperialism is one of the stupidest things to afflict the left--it creates a hierarchy of value attached to nation-states (and embryonic states too in the form of national liberation movements). anti-imps insist that some states are to be protected and supported against bigger or more aggressive states. but the rulers of the smaller states are chomping at the bit to oppress, invade, expropriate, and/or colonize even smaller and weaker ones. what liberation movement has done better than any other state? anti-imps always bark about the "common enemy" or "greater threat" and promote the class betrayal of the popular front as a remedy. to the anti-imps and popular frontists i say: fuck you--see you on the barricades. remember the commune of kronstadt, the insurgent ukraine, and revolutionary catalonia. Bob Avakian writes on Tuesday June 25 2002 @ 10:53PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Flint is the most rational and coherant writer on this list, and ol' Larry's the funniest. If they formed an organization I'd join. If they had a sit-com I'd watch. Y'know Flint'd be the straight man dilligently carrying out the class struggle, while Lawrence snidely (but smoothly) demolishes all of Flint's leftist friends when they come over to hang-out. But please don't let it be a talk show with Chuck0 hosting. That fucker annoys the shit out of me. Plus he'd keep threatening to go to a commercial or something every time somebody called someone an asshole. Keep interjecting to smoothe things out and remind everyone he's the host. Interrupting right when Flint was breaking it down or Lawrence was ripping someone up with a whole bunch of his $3 words. Naw, that would suck. It'd be cool if there were some girls on the show too, but this list is straight sausage, man. Flint writes on Wednesday June 26 2002 @ 09:43AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Stop it... you're going to make me blush. How's self-imposed exile in France treating you. :) Nicolas writes on Thursday June 27 2002 @ 07:57AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] flint is definitely the most long winded but thats not the same as being the most coherent Rob Augman writes on Wednesday July 10 2002 @ 11:34PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] This is in response to Mick Black's post a little ways up where he talks about OCAP winning reforms as part of a strategy of "survival pending revolution." I think that OCAP does some important work and that there are a lot of lessons to be learned from them. Yes, it's necessary for us to win reforms from the state. As in the example Mike gives, people's lives are at risk. But I think there is a problem when we (anarchist/anti-cap. groups) hand over our victories to the state. We mobilize, we take direct action, we win higher wages, better benefits, whatever, and we go back to where we came from - powerless. Sure, there's power at the time of confrontation or just before a victory, but then the state or capitalism absorb our victory and we make little *revolutionary* progress. The state and capitalist institutions remain in power and can change things back when we're not looking, or weaken our victories (ie. making barriers to abortion rather than overturning it outright) and then we have to mobilize again back in the streets. We have to go seriously beyond the streets. We have to build a new political sphere in which communities can begin to reclaim power from the state and cap institutions. We have to work to build such popular institutions so we can begin determining the shape of our lives and of our communities rather than constantly reacting to the bad policies of the state and capitalism. Without pulling tangible power away from the state and transforming it into community power, the reforms we win from the state will serve only to legitimize it rather than to legitimize our ideas and build our movement. We will not really be building a revolutioanry movement but rather participating in a perpetual cycle of victory-setback-victory-setback for the rest of our lives. the above are the last specimen in a thread called ‘fight the power, build the power’ which reaches 140 comments showing how eager foke are to turn themselves in over and out to the economies of scale in terms of political notoriety and its concommitant power wieldery; nary a voice warning about this sorta thing. ----------- ------------- The absolute winner in terms of participation numbers I have seen so far is a thread called, wooden shoes, platform shoes’ (a critique of communist libertarianism by Bob Black (soon to appear in the familiar bite and unbeprinted paper sparing format) Here is the whole 5 hot stories list: ·Wooden Shoes or Platform Shoes? (226) ·The End of Arrogance: Decentralization and Anarchist Organizing (180) ·Fight the Power, Build the Power (169) ·Resistance is futile! (147) ·Why Not Reclaim the Left? (141) ----------- ------------ http://www.anarchymag.org/52/jarach_primitivism.html responses: < Where is the anarchist movement today? Results of the Anarchy Reader Survey | Synthesis Beyond Bakunin: A Brief Outline > hpwombat writes on Thursday August 15 2002 @ 11:02PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Just to note, this was published once before http://www.infoshop.org/inews/  stories.php?story=02/05/06/1540951 I'm not sure if this reprint was diliberate... swashyb writes on Friday August 16 2002 @ 01:31AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] well darn, i thought i was an anti-primitivist and now it turns out i am one! -sort of, close enough... if you like using that label... i don't care. i got into anarchism in '98; just scratched the surface of it. then i travelled and met different anarchists doing different things different ways and i feel like i got into this discussion (anarchism) in the middle of an argument between people who mostly agree but stupidly don't realize it. but the reason i wanted to post was to point out a word used in the above article, 'anarchic'. well done mr. jarach. it means 'like or resembling anarchy' as far as i understand it. and this is quite, quite different from a too frequently misused word; 'anarchistic' which to the best of my reckoning means 'like or resembling an anarchist or anarchists' or 'anarchistic' could mean 'like or resembling a system arranged by adherrents to the philosophy of anarchism'... a system without, or without much hierarchy though not necessarily based in the philosophy of anarchism, such as the social organization of some 'primitive' human tribes or; such as the logistical coordination between dispatchers in the early days of the north american railroads = anarchic. a system bassed on infighting between people who mostly agree and should be trying to learn from one another with open minds but who have chosen different, hyphenated labels and attendant dogmas that lean towards exclusion and without thomas hobbes to make them break it up = anarchistic.* ** *hopefully this is a deffinition that will prove itself outdated someday. **it's largely specific to anarchism in the continental united states. lbastard writes on Friday August 16 2002 @ 01:48AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Syndicalism isn't "merely a variation on the themes of statism and authoritarianism". Anarchosyndicalism and revolutionary syndicalism are just MORE politically conscious forms of syndicalism. There can be authoritian communism, feminism and individualism but not authoritian syndicalism. Dave Antagonism writes on Friday August 16 2002 @ 07:50AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] What about the National Syndicalism that was part of fascism, and the numerous syndicalists that joined the fascists and the falange? Brady writes on Friday August 16 2002 @ 08:41AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] That's kind of like saying that the nazi's were "left". Anarcho-syndicalism and some stupid bastardization of it, "syndicalism" has nothing to do with revolutionary anarchist unionism. Geez, is there anything IMPORTANT that we could talk about!!! estefan writes on Saturday August 17 2002 @ 05:08PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Oh really?How so? Brady writes on Friday August 16 2002 @ 08:39AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] This article is based on the assumption that technology and "civilization" (which they don't define) is "bad". Therefore, this isn't really a critique of "primitivism" (eurocentrism anyone?). For further "green" vs "red" debate, please see: http://www.zmag.org/debateprim.htm anarchistic tendencies writes on Friday August 16 2002 @ 03:57PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] I don't quite agree with either of them. writes on Friday August 16 2002 @ 03:28PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] "An anarchist primitivism worthy of support would reject scientism, biologism, and the selective and uncritical embrace of anthropological research into gatherer-hunter cultures. It would also reject the reactionary misanthropy of blaming all humans for the domination and exploitation carried out by the rich and powerful. Further, it would reject the instinctive humanism of liberalism and socialism in favor of a balance between the actual needs of humans and the preservation and integrity of the natural world." thus todays anarchist primitivism is *not* worth support talk about anti-human writes on Friday August 16 2002 @ 08:08PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] my goodness, not "anti-human"!!! we can't possibly criticise man's dominance over the planet!?! Wobble writes on Friday August 16 2002 @ 03:35PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] also, michael albert's critique of Zerzan's essay is perfection- thanks brady writes on Friday August 16 2002 @ 04:05PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Perfection? Please elaborate... Syndicalism, the god that failed writes on Friday August 16 2002 @ 10:31PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] I was an anarcho-syndicalist in spite of the fact that the workers had had a long time to pick up on it.Maybe they noticed that in praxis it didn't inspire confidence.Great theory,shame about the practise? Enter the primitive...I'd taken a long break from the anarchists then as my working life ran down I started reading prim stuff.Bob black,Zerzen and others make some sharp points about anarchy whatever their personal/political failings.I would urge all anarchs to sample.Every movement needs some fringe dwellers critical theory,especially when trad approaches in the leftist arena seem such a dead end.The individualist,pragmatic,inventive and freedom loving tradition is strong in norte america,combined with a dash of tribalism,distributed,open source anarchism is a great way forward."Who controls the past,controls the present..." anarcho-bolshevik writes on Saturday August 17 2002 @ 11:42AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] what the hell are you talking about. workers had a long time to make it happen, but didn't. Do you make it happen. did you organize your co-workers, did you build for a strike, did you even engage and build for struggle against your boss. we can't wait, we have to organize and make it happen. this is some sort of weird backwards vangaurdism. we can't do it, we have to wait for others. that's stupid. Sven writes on Saturday August 17 2002 @ 04:56AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] I also quite agree with Michael Albert's reply: IMO, an extremely well-balanced and insightful article, with some *very* good points - for example, this: "Oddly, ultimately, it seems to me that you are saying pretty much what reactionaries say. The human condition is violence, greed, and horror. Humans, left to pursue their creative potentials and to fulfill their material desires will cause mounting unlimited disaster. We need to find a way to prevent this. Your way to prevent it is to simply stop the pursuit of those material needs and creative potentials at the stage of nomadic hunting and gathering -- that's novel, I admit. The reactionaries' way to prevent humans from messing themselves up is to say we have to have harsh apparatuses of control and repression to stave off the calamity lurking in the human soul. I think I'll pass on both these world views and continue to pursue the view that humans are capable of congenial, mutually supportive, productive, enriching, and diverse communication and exchange that fosters elaborate extensions of their capacities and options all to their collective benefit. Civilization: we need to give it a try." ... And also this: "Primitivism's basic argument is a massive impossibility theorem. It is impossible to have technology that serves and advances humanity. It is impossible to have civilization, institutions, divisions of labor that serve and advance humanity. Thus we should dispense with all these. If in doing so we lose the means to sustain most the planet's population, if we lose longevity and diversity of options, and if we lose means of accumulating and sharing knowledge and talents, none of that matters. Getting rid of civilization and technology's horrors outweighs losing these potential benefits. The argument on behalf of primitivism's claim is to look at instances of civilization and of technology and of institutions and divisions of labor and point out their horrible flaws. I could contest that the flaws even of the horrid systems we have don't outweigh their benefits, but there is no point in doing so. The more important observations it that the evidence of horrors you put forth could be true because you are right that all civilization and all technology is disastrous and thus so is our particular civilization and technology, of course -- or it could be true because the specific instances of civilization and technology that we currently endure are horrible, even though "a better world is possible." I make the latter argument, showing that the horrible effects you decry are outgrowths of particular social relations that we can get rid of such as markets, remuneration for bargaining power, private ownership, and corporate divisions of labor, and describing other structures to take their place, such as participatory planning, council self management, remuneration for effort, and balanced job complexes. I await your reply to those descriptions." (They don't seem to have replied, yet, however... ) writes on Sunday August 18 2002 @ 02:53PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] That's it...? Did you leave out the perfection part... or was that "Brady's" comment... Sven writes on Monday August 19 2002 @ 12:55AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Is there some sarcasm here...? ;-) "Perfection" in Albert's reply? Not particularly - but it's quite interesting and well-thought. As for his ParEcon framework - see also http://www.parecon.org - I think it makes *some* sense, but it's clearly inferior to libertarian socialism/communism; there are also some quite moralistic issues with ParEcon, IMO - exactly as in Primitivism! ;-) Primitivism could be an interesting point of view if it were more balanced and *open* also towards advanced forms of "green technology" (in a broad meaning: see also Social Ecology, for example); at the present stage, however, AFAIK it is way too nihilist! :-( "Native" cultures can be interesting - also to learn *something* from them - when you consider the "spritual" side of things, but, frankly, I'm not too attracted by some of their social "organization" (rather, it would be a big step backwards to emulate them)... Critique of Technology writes on Saturday August 17 2002 @ 08:29AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] it is not accurate when Primitivists say that syndicaist have "no critique of technology" sydicaists, marxists ect HAVE a critque of technology it is just not an entirly negative one.Technology will bring us FULL CIRCLE enslaving us but eventually liberating us seattlite writes on Sunday August 18 2002 @ 02:56PM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Well said... it is a critique and not an ideology... anticiv writes on Saturday August 17 2002 @ 08:47AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] you know what really pisses me off? ive said this as far and wide as possible but people dont seem to get it. JOHN ZERZAN does not = GREEN ANARCHY or ANARCHO-PRIMITIVISM. he is ONE PERSON with his own opinions. i am so sick and tired of people taking stuff JZ writes as "gosphel' and then proceeding to discount or ridicule all primitivists. its bullshit. to be honest, altho i personally like jz, i and many other APs are REALLY hesitant to associated ourselves as APs because of his comments. we call him "fundamentalist primitivist" or, as lawrence calls it "vulgar". most everyone i know who identifies as anti-civ is really not into the way he expresses it, and disagrees with him about several points. my personal disagreement is around his refusal to make distinctions between horticulture and agribusiness, and his use of the idea of domestication to discount all forms of cultivation. aside from all that, the concept of "civilization" that albert is so opposed to is not a static idea, and its not definable by any one person. every person who is "anti-civ" defines is differently, but more importantly, most of us see AP as a "critique" and not some kind of ideology or prescription. why dont people take it this way? because jz has spent so much time elevating it to an ideology (without even knowing or admitting it). he is an ideologue. he is so convinced he's right that it has become a supreme truth that everything else gets weighed against. he refers to those who have differeing views offhandedly as "reds" or "communists" or "technophiles". i used to think he just did it to provoke responses, but then i realied he does it in personal conversations. so what do we do, disassociate ourselves with jz? seems kinda dumb to me. for a long time many of us distanced ourselves from the AP "label" (as many of you have done), but what we realized was that there was no other forum to address the particular critque ofcivilization...that most anarchists appeared to downplay the ideas brought up in anticiv critques that seem to us to be so important to the future course of anarchist efforts. many of us feel strongly that certain realities arent being addressed in anarchist movements...that they are pushed off till later to deal with "afterwards.." but after what??? to us, this seems like a big case of denial. and its easy to do since everyone else in western society is also in denial. its not about laying :::::::::::::::::<<<<< HB writes on Thursday August 01 2002 @ 07:24AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Well, ChuckO, I would differ on one little point. It is possible that cities would exist, but the challenges facing them would be immense. These challenges arise from one basic problem: the very high population to resource ratio of cities. There are too many people per hectare, to be self-supporting in any measure whatsoever. First, they would have to find a huge number of people who wished to live in a city. Then, they would have to do something so useful that the surrounding communities would be willing to hand over the products of their labor (in the form of food, most likely) to sustain them. Then, most unlikely of all, whatever it is that they do would have to be so very valuable that people would willing perform resource extraction (and all the messy details that that entails) from around the world and voluntarily contribute them to the city. Then, after consuming the things from around the world, they would have to produce soemthing so amazingly necessary that other communities would be willing to absorb the detritus that was left over. This is complicated enormously by the fact that the rural communities, with much, much lower ratios of population to resources would be largely self-sufficient, and, therefore, the possible value of something that a city could do for them would be significantly limited. In other words, it seems implausible that a city could do something so vitally necessary and desirable that other would willingly plunder their own labor and community environments in order to supply them with all the things listed above. Andrew writes on Thursday August 01 2002 @ 07:49AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] This idea that cities need to be self supporting in order to continue to exist underlines the problem of getting 'decentralized and non-hierarchical' organisation confused. Its true that cities can not grow their own food but for the life of me I can't see why anyone would imagine they could. You seem to imagine that people who work the land would prefer not to have access to the materials that are produced in cities (TV's, tractors, fridges, computers, medicine, books, cookers, phones, electricity, cameras, bicycles, tin openers, specialists (doctors, dentists etc) water pipes, mass produced clothers etc). I've no idea what this is based on, its certainly not my experience of people who live in rural situations in Ireland or Chiapas or any of the other places I've been. There people are happy to producde food in exchange for such goods, the unforunate reality now is that under capitalism they are often cheated out of the value of their work. And apart from that those of us living off the land in Ireland would be quite happy to swap our potatoes and sheep for oranges and bananas. Global trade doesn't just exist because of capitalism, it exists because people in different parts of the world WANT a variety of goods beyond those produced locally. Anarchism is (in part) about organising the fulfillment of this need and not about denying it. And above all to implement your primitivist receipe would require mass genocide or else an autoratarian state capable of surving billions of famine deaths. Take Egypt as an example, a country where most are very poor but few actually starve right now. 20 million people live in Cario and another 5 million in Alexander in Egypt. There is no free land in Egypt and current production is only boosted by some very intense and quite high tech cultivation of large areas of the desert. In your 'utopia' that 25 million would have to die plus the millions more currently using advanced methods to cultivate the desert. The platform is based on looking at how we can create anarchism in the world that actually exists. Your personal utopia looks a lot like hell to me, even for those who survived the mass deaths required to bring it into being! 

HB writes on Thursday August 01 2002 @ 08:59AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] You "primitivist" slander is beneath contempt - and par for the course for you, unfortunately - and I refuse to be baited by such utter trollery. To your other point, that cities make pipes and refrigerators and such, then I can only wonder if ever you've been outside your own living room. In the first place, production does not take place within cities any longer. The only reason that it ever did, for one brief period in human existence, is because of three factors a) access to cheap labor and b) necessity of large-scale structures to produce power and c) access to distribution channels, such as rivers. A is inoperative in a non-exploitative world and hasn't even been true of Western cities for over 20 years, B has not been true for 50 years, and C is trivial within almost every corner of the globe. Almost all production that takes place today, takes place at the site of modern day cheap labor sources - in rural areas. Frankly, Andrew, I'm a bit surprised at your obvious lack of knowledge about something so basic; have you never even bothered to wander around the old sections of cities - usually called a "warehouse" district or "industrial park" or something - that used to house industry but now house only yuppies, students, and artists? Or have you never visited the rural communities of the countryside in the Anglo-European world? They're all factory towns, with the exception of those unfortunate enough to have lost their factories to some place in the global south, and they now have prisons, mostly, where they make a living incarcerating the lower class from the cities. Do you never even leave your computer scrren, for chissake? Secondly, even IF - and what a mammoth "if" that is - these items could ONLY be produced in cities - for, if they could be produced in rural communities that also were able to grow food and such, they would not be able to get people to voluntarily pay such a high price in labor and resources to get them, then the cities would be unable to extract such high prices in the first place - the resources to make the bloody things in the first place would have to come form somewhere. What about the aluminium that goes into the body of that fridge? Are you under the impression that it crawls of the bauxite and makes its way into the factory of its own bloody volition? Someone, somewhere, has to rip up his community in order to extract it. Without an armed force to force them off the place, the price of ripping up those communities, the price that they will willing take will be very much higher than it is today. Same for coal, uranium, iron, and even water. (Your reference to building a dam shows just how bizarre your notions have become. Are you under the impression that the towns ripped up when the dam is filled are going to just come along quietly without a military to force them off? Even with the military threatening to pummel them, those communities put up fights in the present day, some of them for years.) As to this bit about global trade, you have simply allowed your imagination - what with seeing primitivists and no doubts ghosties, too, everywhere you look - to run away from you. I imagine that there would be a great deal of global trade, in fact even more than there is now and in a reciprocal rather than one-sided relationship, especially the orange-for-sheep variety that you mentioned. What you forget, or else simply ignored for your own purposes, is that the production of oranges and sheep is sustainable and would, therefore, not necessitate convincing people to rape their own local environment in order to send you city raw materials. 

Andrew writes on Friday August 02 2002 @ 04:00AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] HB when you argue that cities cannot exist after the revolution you appear to be making what I would call a 'primitivist' argument. Reading your reply I see your argument is actually somewhat odder but I originally used primitivist because that seemed to be what you were arguing. Now I see you are defining cities in some manner I don't understand. To me a city is a place where a large number of people live together and engage in labour that is not about then extracting (or growing) raw materials. In Ireland this continues to be the standard location where the goods I listed are produced. I've travelled a fair bit all across Europe, North Africa and Mexico (only been to NY in the US through) and in general this is they way such goods are produced everywhere. As far as I can see you are trying to define cities as places where no production occurs and are then trying to use this definition to 'prove' that cities are non-productive. The logical error here is pretty obvious I think! I see you want to define the productive cities as 'factory towns' rather then cities. This sounds like you might be arguing that big cities are not productive. I guess places like Washington DC or New York may no longer be centres of manufacturing but visit Madrid (one of the two largest cities in Europe), or the Ruhr conurbation and you'll see plenty of production going on. I guess you don't know much about Ireland as you have taken the rather odd line of attack that I don't agree with you because I'm unaware of rural life. In fact the south remains one of the most agricultual countries of western Europe although in the last decade with the Celtic tiger far fewer people are employed in agriculture. But be assured, particularly as a teenager, I spent a lot of time in rural settings and a lot of my friends from that period were from farming families. I've driven tractors, bailed hay, fixed fences, harvested various fruit and veg and herded bullocks. In fact that is why I was so puzzled by this idea that rural workers would not want the products of a city. Not just the physical ones but also the cultural ones - I can remember us all crowding into to someones front room on a regular basis to watch 'V' on the TV back in the 80's for instance. And in a Zapatista community in Chiapas I saw the same thing where people would crowd into the one 'house' in the community with a TV to watch the Simpsons. So even LA, the most fucked up city on Earth in comparison to the wealth it contains churns out products that rular workers want. I'm quite amused by the fact that you presume I don't know about aluminium production as in the post in which this thread emerges from I posted a link to a talk on global trade. If you have followed this before assuming my ignorance you'd have discovered I actually use aluminium production myself to illustrate the problems of post-capitalist production. Check it out at t http://struggle.ws/talks/trade_mar01.html To quote from that "The production of aluminium under capitalism provides example after example for each stage of the most naked and ruthless exploitation". So I'm not arguing that such production will simply continue as before! Or indeed that Holywood would remain unchanged (or even odder that global trade would be in the form of bartering sheep for oranges, where do you get these ideas!). There are major problems that a future anarchist society will have to sort out. You appearantly want to have global trade without the production of metals or oils. How do you propose to transport goods then? Maybe in the longer term a return to wooden ships and sail would be possible but don't forget that I'm writing from a country that was covered in Oak forests until the needs of the British military and trade navies saw them felled to build ships. Also I think you continue to ignore the fact that there are over 6 billion of us on the planet. A return to agriculture that does not require large inputs of energy, metals and chemicals is not a option in the short to medium term. This is another pretty fucked up problem a post revolutionary society will face. Again because you don't even acknowledge this I assumed you were making a 'primitivist' argument. Finally your dam references also seems to be based on you not paying attention to the earlier parts of the discussion. It arose because I was using dams and the obvious opposition to them to show why formal rather then informal decision making was often required and how freedom of (dis)association wouldn't apply where one community was building a dam that would flood the land or take water away from another. Of course dams are going to be resisted but also of course they will be needed. This is yet another problem for the future. On one level this discussion is pretty irrelevant to the platform. So why does it commonly arise? In my mind this is because platformists concentrate on making a revolution in the world that exists. Its critics, as here, often seem to want to simply assume (or wish) another world into existance where different rules of geography and agriculture apply! HB writes on Friday August 02 2002 @ 07:15AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Alas, the great lengths that some people will go to in order to justify their claim that a "large", "centralized", "formal" party ... pardon me, "organization" ... is the Way-It-Must-Be (TM). It's obvious that this conversation is not going to go anywhere, so I'm just going to clear up a few things, then let you go back to ranting against those "primitivst" ghosties you seem to be emotionally plagued by. You said: "or even odder that global trade would be in the form of bartering sheep for oranges, where do you get these ideas!)." Which is a very odd thing, indeed, to say two posts after saying this: "And apart from that those of us living off the land in Ireland would be quite happy to swap our potatoes and sheep for oranges and bananas." Just to clarify the answer to your question, M. Flood, it was YOUR idea, so, logically, I "got" it from YOU. Furthermore, you ongoing attempt to draw and either/or between centralized bureaucracy - which, take note, please, REQUIRES some form of coercion to exist - and millions of famine deaths is nothing short of pathetic. You entire argument thus far has been confined to this sort of reasoning. Either centralized military power or crushed by Britain (You really should credit Stalin when you make this argument. He was the one, after all, who worked so hard to publicize it all those years. Open-source philosophy does not mean that you shouldn't credit the source!); either centralized power or mass starvation; either centralized power or ecological disaster. Now, you can run backwards as far as you want on these things being "in the short to medium term" - which directly contradicts you previous statement that our means must be "closely linked to our ends", btw - but the fact is that anarchism cannot be construed in such a way as to legitimate the creation, propogation, or extension of centralized power in any form whatsoever. This is not equivocal, this not debatable, this is not mutable. As was said earlier, you simply must choose (and these either/or problems are actually insoluble, unlike your farcical non-sequitors): Either the local (be that person or group) are autonomous or they are not. If they are, centralized power is impossible, if they are not, anarchism is impossible. Ne'er the twain shall meet, no matter any facile attempts to de-link "decentralized" and "non-hierarchial". The one always implies the other, because without hierarchial power relations any locally autonomous entity can freely withdraw, taking themselves out of the jurisdiction of the centrality. The marginal cost of exit is then lower, so more local autonomous entities follow, sending the marginal cost lower, in a sprial that sends all centralized entities toward entropic decentralization and relatively smmoth power distributions. As you have stated repeatedly, though, you disapprove of local autonomy - in fact, you declared it impossible! - so, I am left wondering how it is that you can have "non-hierarchial" societal structure while disallowing local autonomy. Why would anyone think the two are seperable?! Your argument that the local cannot be autonomous because they share roads, rivers, and such, is as ludicrous on the resources side of the equation as the typical "law-and-order" argument is on the social side. Just as people will not run about killing each other in the absence of a State, communities will not run about destroying their own environments in the absence of a centralized power. (Perhaps you could inform us as to exactly how a State and a centralized power are different, because the distinction is not at all apparent to me.) In fact, as the experience of the Soviet Bloc demonstrated so horrificly well, a centralized power structure (in addition to creating that same mass starvation that you keep going on about) is EXACTLY the thing with the highest tendency to run roughshod over a local community while utterly decimating the environment all-round. (Speaking of which, Andrew, perhaps you should also explain to those, like myself, who have lived for many years with a region dominated by dams and their consequences, exactly why anyone would want one of the damned (no pun intended) things. I'm sure you know the litany of horrible side-effects of dams, so I'm at a loss as to what possible benefit you could see to offset these ecological disaster of having a dam, much less the calamities that occur during its construction. Also, you might explain to us what exactly happens when that majority of people who will supposedly benefit from the electricity [Know you anything about hydro-power?! For the love of Breid, why do you keep imagining that power production must be taken on in a cetralized fashion?! To paraphrase your previous words, centralizing power supply is "neither mandatory or desirable".] "have their say" and "vote" or something to kick the people off the land where the dam will be built. What happens when the local communities won't consent to being flooded out of their homes? Will you send in your police ... sorry, I mean "centralized security forces"?) What this boils down to is that you refuse to confront the underlying quandries: People are free to associate or they are not. Communities are free to associate or they are not. And, in this refusal, you are forced to introduce a ludicrous juxtaposition of the either/or problem by framing a discussion that is either centralization of power - please do remind us how it's different from a State, s'il vous plait - or calamity (starvation, military occupation, ecological disaster, blah, blah, blah). In fact, while you're explaining the difference between "centralized power" and "State", please also explain the difference - a request I made several posts earlier, but which you avoided altogether - between your "short to medium term" (at least) centralized power strategy and Leninism. So far in this thread, the only thing any of you has found to say in your defense is that "But OURS really will wither away!" I think it goes without saying, but I shall interject as a reminder, that the Leninists themselves say EXACTLY the same thing. Andrew writes on Friday August 02 2002 @ 07:42AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Hey HB I think you have lost the plot entirely now. I can't make much of your argument above beyond that you think 1) My arguments come from Stalin! (if you check you will find Bakunin and other early anarchists also wrote quite a bit about the need to defend the revolution, you seem to haved a bit of a Stalin thing though). 2. That in some sense I am disagee with the statement that "anarchism cannot be construed in such a way as to legitimate the creation, propogation, or extension of centralized power in any form whatsoever". This I find completly odd. You argument in short seems to be 'you are stalin, nah, nah, nah' which may be amusing but is not convincing! -----------------Andrew writes on Friday August 02 2002 @ 08:36AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Well looking over it again here are a few points I will clear up "Now, you can run backwards as far as you want on these things being "in the short to medium term" - which directly contradicts you previous statement that our means must be "closely linked to our ends" Well no - the question of how anarchists should organise is rather different from wishing that capitalism was organised in a different way then it is. In this case it is a fact there are over 6 billion people on the planet and it is a fact that they day after the revolution this 6 billion will still want to eat. We will inherit a system of agriculture and distribution from capitalism that is deeply, deeply flawed BUT we will have to use that system even as we change it so that people can continue to eat. (Or many of them will starve) This will mean in the 'short to medium term' using the equipment, chemicals and even some of the methods we have inherited. HOWEVER where you get a centralised bureaucracy out of all this I don't know - read the article I've posted the URL for twice and you will see the point I make is that the working class as a whole will need to sort out the problem. You cannot wish this problem out of existence. If you have another solution for how we can feed ourselves in the weeks, months and years it will take to transform capitalist agriculture and distribution then lets hear it. "Either the local (be that person or group) are autonomous or they are not." Does this mean its ok for me to murder someone? No because such a use of my autonomy would be an infringement of theirs. Autonomy does not mean 'the right to make any decision you like regardless of how it affects others'. It means 'the right of those affected by a decision to be the only ones who make it'. Bakunin recognised that 'Everything that lives, does so under the categorical condition of decisively interfering in the life of someone else... Freedom itself, the freedom of every man, is the ever-renewed effect of the great mass of physical. intellectual, and moral influonces to which this man is subjected by the people surrounding him and the environment in which he was born and in which he passed his whole life. To wish to escape this influence in the name of some . . . self- sufficient and absolutely egoistical freedom. is to aim toward non- being. To do away with this reciprocal influence is tantamount to death. And in demanding the freedom of the masses we do not intend to do away with natural influences to which man is subjected by individuals and groups. All we want is to do away with is factitious. legitimized influences. to do away with the privileges in exerting influence." In short the problem here is you do not understand what autonomy means and so interpret as some sort of absolute right to do your own thing regardless of the consequences. This is neither desirable nor indeed possible. "communities will not run about destroying their own environments in the absence of a centralized power". Well of course I agree with this statement, but it's irrelevant to what is under discussion. I was arguing that communites will have to deal with their neighboors because decisions they might take (to pump sewage into a stream where it flows out of their area) may effect their neighboors. In those cases they will not be 'destroying their own environment' but damaging that of a neighboor. This can and does happen. They can't simply say they are autonomous in such cases because what they do affects the neighboors. This sort of conflict happens all the time (co-incidentally I've been putting communiques online this afternoon from Zapatista communites that deal with just such conflicts, see http://struggle.ws/mexico/  ezln/2002/amc/peMAY.html for one example). On a minor level if you share a living space with people then you need to reach agreement about doing the washing up. Telling them you are autonomous won't make you many friends. "while you're explaining the difference between "centralized power" and "State"" I don't have to because I have made no argument for centralised power! Again this instance on centralised power is something that is leapping out of your head rather then mine. A trival note, you were not meant to take the word 'swap' in "swap our potatoes and sheep for oranges and bananas" in a literal sense. I presumed this was so obvious at the time that it didn't need to be spelt out, I then presumed you were taking the piss when you got high and mighty about the bartering implied. But in case you remain in dougbt I favour a communist society based on mutual aid rather then any form of exchange.------------------  Andrew writes on Thursday August 01 2002 @ 07:24AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] HB please pay attention. I am NOT a NEFAC member but a member of an Irish platformist group called the Workers Solidarity Movement. We have no formal connection with NEFAC although we think they are the most positive thing in N America for some time. With that clarified you seem to have missed the bit of my post that reads "you use both decentralized and non-hierarchical so I'm going to assume you mean different things by each. To me there is no requirement that anarchism be decentralized except in the context of it being non-hierarchical". Freedom of association is rather obviously a case in point where non-hierarchical covers the requirements. If it makes you feel better to call this 'political decentralisation' then feel free to do so. My point is that in geographic terms the statement "either local communities will be free to associate with their geographic neighbors or not" is meaningless. If for instance they are part of the same city then they will almost certainly share the same road networks, sewer, water and electricity supplies. Non-association is NOT an option in that context, if one community disposes of its sewage into the water pipes supplying the other community then the 2nd is not going to take a 'we would rather not discuss this with you' as a reply to their complaints are they! On larger geographical scales the construction of a dam that would take the water supply of the community downstream is another case in point. Here again geographic reality REQUIRES association. This is of course already an issue in large areas of the world. Freedom to not associate can obviously only apply to situations where your actions are not going to affect your neighboors. As to your "centralized bureacracy", "befitting Stalin" this is something that has emerged from your head. It's not what I wrote. I can only presume you are either wrestling with your own ghosts or you have no answer to the rather obvious point that a global anarchist society will not be small. It's a historic fact that all non-capitalist societies have been economically and physically attacked by capitalism in the past - its probably a good assumption that this will also happen in the future. And in that situation expansion of the revolution on the global level is the only defence we have. The question of people who what to "voluntarily associate in some fashion ... such as a patriarchal religious community" is interesting. How would you deal with the situation where such a community was forbidding some of its members to leave for instance? A teenage women for instance who reckoned the anarchist commune next door offered her more but whom the menfolk were keeping locked up. What about if they decided to burn some women cause they reckoned she was a witch? Would you defend their right to do so or reckon maybe she also had a right to disassociation? I've nothing against people engaging in consensual S&M but the key word here is consensual and consent can be withdrawn at any point. Anyway this sort of a problem with be an equal problem for any anarchist society and is not all that relevant to the platform. Again your reference to Freedom of Speech seems to be more about you wrestling with your own ghosts then relevant to anything any NEFAC member has written here. --------------HB writes on Thursday August 01 2002 @ 07:27AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] "Voluntary association" implies the ability to leave, so your teenager is a non-sequitor. ----------------- Andrew writes on Thursday August 01 2002 @ 07:54AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Well no, the whole point of a "patriarchal religious community" is that presumably women and young women in particular are not free to decide to leave. That is the current situation in many areas of the world, women are sometimes maimed or even murdered for attempting to flee such situations. If you asking supporting free association for a community that pretends to be a "patriarchal religious community" but in practise allows women to make such decisions then we have no disagreement, do we?" -------------- HB writes on Friday August 02 2002 @ 07:28AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] Well, no, the point of a patriarchial religious community is that while inside the community, the decisions are made by religious males. The decision of whether to voluntarily associate with the community by being there is another question altogether and can ONLY be made by individuals. The point is that even if some women voluntarily associated in this fashion (or some men in an Amazonian community), these bastards would go in and grind them "into the dirt", because they did not fit their own personal definition of How-Things-Ought-to-Be(TM). They even go so far as to say that any woman (or man) who would choose to live in such a situation must have been "brainwashed" or some other such nonsense, and so, therefore, their choice is not relevant. I can imagine few sentiments quite so authoritarian. --------------------- Andrew writes on Friday August 02 2002 @ 07:55AM PDT: [ reply | parent ] I'm sorry HB but you are simply trying to have your cake and eat it here. Lets go through this slowly 1) In the world today there are societies where women are not allowed to leave the family home without the permission of and accompanied by a male family member. 2) A post revolution patriarchial religious community could well want to operate under the same rules - for the sake of this argument lets assume they do 3) In that case the women could not CHOOSE to leave the community (because according to their rules she would require their permission to do so - it is not her choice in other words). If they reckoned she might try and escape they would lock her up or worse (and unfortunatly this happens today). 4) So the women gets a 'help me' note out to the anarchist community next door. Do they a) Rescue her and violate the religous communities rights? b) Not rescue her and so allow her right to disassociate to be violated? As I've said several times I have no problem with a community that is pretending to be a 'patriarchial religious community'. Such a community would simply allow the women to leave once she decided she no longer choose to stay there. But presuming they are not playing at being 'patriarchial' but are 'patriarchial' they would not allow her to make this choice, because she is a women and the property of her father. BTW you keep ranting about 'grinding them into the dust'. Seeing as I have never said anything of the sort I presume again this is something leaping out of your head.:::