I don't get anarchists

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Snert Snert's picture

Quote:

Hmm... thread started called "I don't get anarchists", some anarchists take the time to try to explain their positions, you don't listen and misrepresent the argument. nice.

You're right. Some have taken the time and I shouldn't have ignored that. At the same time, a very simple question ("who will print the stamps?") gets the response "Duh, printers". That kind of response ought to win hearts and minds, eh?

Quote:
And what do you mean by a social not fiscal libertarian.

Civil libertarian.  Someone with an interest in preserving individual liberties and ensuring that the state controls as little as it needs to to function.  As opposed to a fiscal libertarian (eg: Drew Carey) who will believe in NO government to speak of, no taxes, every man for himself, etc.

Quote:
I notice you never answered whether you think the corporate form is a good thing or not either.

Look again.  You didn't ask for my opinion on the matter.  You asked me to explain to you why libertarians feel the way they do, and I responded that I'm not in their club.

Personally, I don't think that corporations have to be abolished, but I'm open to further restrictions on them.  I don't believe that corporations necessarily do a better job of managing things, but neither do I believe the Crown does.

Quote:
What you think of the concept of a free market?  Is it possible for something that no one has ever experienced to be the central tent of an just economic system? 

Well, nobody has seen an Ideal Gas yet either, but the Ideal Gas Law isn't useless for it.  I think that market forces are a good starting point for understanding economics, and I think that there are some factors, such as supply and demand, that are so basic that they can't be discarded.  I, personally, don't think that a laissez faire, totally unrestricted market is a good thing.  I think the market can correct for a lot of things much more sensibly than a government fiat, but not everything.

Quote:
Is it libertarian and individualistic to have corporations control our economies?

Control?  Or influence?  Are you speaking hyperbolically?  If you're speaking literally, as in a corporation setting the prime rate or a corporation deciding when we need to print more money then I'm not sure what you mean.  If you mean is it libertarian to have corporations have influence (even exteme influence) over the economy then I would suppose that it is, corporations being controlled by individuals by way of the board and shareholders and such.  Libertarian thinking can't promise you that someone else's choices won't affect the market in a way you don't want; it could only promise that you would be unfettered by the government in attempting to affect it back to the way you do want.  I'd like to note again, though, that I don't desire a market that's totally free of government control.

Quote:
Given your questions above we already know you have no imagination so I don't see how you could believe in the free market  because that would require one.

Au contraire.  I'm imagining you kissing my ass right now.

Quote:
You should explain yourself because you are really starting to look like a run of the mill troll with no idea about anything except their right wing fantasies.

If you can't understand my posts -- and evidently, you can't -- what would you do with my explanation?  You don't really want an explanation anyway, I don't think, unless it amounts to "Oh, I'm so wrong but I've seen the light!" or some similar repudiation of anything you disagree with.  I wouldn't hold your breath.

 

 

 

 

LimeJello

I don't think anarchists have really thought through what would happen if they got their way. On the other hand, I don't think even the anarchists believe they ever will, it's more to do with posturing and being able to try to show some anti-establishment cred. In a complex society we are faced with conflicted issues. Democracy has the potential to be more immediate if we move to online voting. What's to stop us from having instant referrendums that way? But would that be an effective way of governing? Would it work at all? There are advantages to representative democracies in that the marketplace of ideas tends to let the best ones prevail over time. But the barrier to participation for the average person is often higher. I think the best way would be to have a seperate vote for head of state and legilative rep like the US rather than the parliamentary democracy. That way your local representative can vote for his/her constituent's interests rather than have to vote along party lines. Did i get off the subject of anarchy? Sorry, it's just hard to take anarchism seriously.

Le T Le T's picture

It's hard for you to take seriously because you have no idea what it is and have made no effort to educate yourself.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

I'm glad reefer asked the question and thank you to those that have taken the time to explain it.  Very educational.

Fidel

 

LimeJello wrote:
Democracy has the potential to be more immediate if we move to online voting. What's to stop us from having instant referrendums that way?

They only promote that for countries where they're trying to effect regime change. In the USA there was some flap over the people running things at http://www.change.org/ site continually deleting a citizen's poll [url=http://911reports.wordpress.com/2008/11/30/changeorg-new-911-investigati... Americans if they support a transparent and accountable investigation into 9/11.[/url] The poll kept disappearing for some reason at any point after so many thousands of signatures favouring the idea were registered by the site.

So back to your question, I don't think that idea would fly so much in a country like the USSA. Democracy with a populist agenda is not desirable in certain fake democracies, and especially not so for the five English-speaking countries still using electoral systems invented before electricity. Rule by the large true majority is not what rightwing democratizers want to achieve in any country.

Socialist Chile of the 1970's was more open to the idea you've mentioned. [url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2003/sep/08/sciencenews.chile]Stafford Beer and the first socialist internet[/url]

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Fidel why do you have to side track every fucking debate.  

LIme Jello is there a reason you need to come here to tell us that you don't take us seriously.  Thank you for telling us so since we know now fuck off back to Free Dominion with your other buddies from todays batch of under bridge dwellers.

Great idea that instant referendum thingy.  How about we start with the one from another new poster today. How many people think disabled people should get thrown of welfare if they are addicted to anything?  

That is what your ideas lead to. That and no public schools worth talking about in California.

Slumberjack

Might as well test run the new instant referendum format, by rolling it out in Mississippi and Alabama to see how folks feel about desegregation.

wage zombie

Snert wrote:

If you can't understand my posts -- and evidently, you can't -- what would you do with my explanation?  You don't really want an explanation anyway, I don't think, unless it amounts to "Oh, I'm so wrong but I've seen the light!" or some similar repudiation of anything you disagree with.  I wouldn't hold your breath.

Nobody's waiting for you to see the light. IMO though you are not keeping it real.  Your smugness prevents you from participating in the conversation more honestly.

For example, I could think of a number of different ways that postal services could function across groups of free collectives.  But why would i be inclined to spend much time elaborating on them to you when it feels like you're just looking to poke at people and fire zingers?  I'd be more inclined to give a snarky response about snail mail being obsolete and unnecessary.  That's why you get the response, "DUH, printers."

Really it's amazing how much more productive things can be when everyone is sharing a conversation/interaction/relationship/exchange/transaction in good faith.  If you don't understand that then it's no surprise that you don't get anarchism.

So if you really want to talk about who will print the stamps, and you want to have the conversation in good faith, then please proceed.  Imagine some kind of scenario that seems remotely plausible that would decentralize control of resources.  Resource scarcity, economic collapse, climate change, whatever you think might bring about a scenario where areas are under local control.  You must be able to imagine some remotely feasible scenario.

So assuming if you lived in that condition, how would you do it?  You've got your community, there are nearby communities that you trust through community ties, people in your collective have relationship with people in other communities, some regions have better infrastructure than others, some regions may not have much security at all.  You need to send a package to another community.  How would you do it?  What would you do?

It may seem pretty clever now to keep asking who will print the stamps, but what would you do in that situation.  If members of your community were putting forward ideas, which would you support?  Or would you just give up, and accept that it's impossible to send the package?

I'd assume at some point that you'd accept being forced to depend on relationships of trust.

I dunno, Snert, you're clearly pretty smart, how would you set up a decentralized postal service?  Or is thinking about that kind of a problem beyond your mental capacity?

Slumberjack

LimeJello wrote:
I think the best way would be to have a seperate vote for head of state and legilative rep like the US rather than the parliamentary democracy. That way your local representative can vote for his/her constituent's interests rather than have to vote along party lines. 

When you're done here and double click those heels again, give our regards to Dorothy and the guy with the tin hat.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
So if you really want to talk about who will print the stamps, and you want to have the conversation in good faith, then please proceed. 

 

I'm just curious here, but at what point do you feel like my question about postal service went off the rails? I'm asking because when I asked that, I was asking in good faith. Do you feel like a simple answer was given and then I wrecked everything? Was a question about postal service offensive? I'm just not seeing how I sabotaged the possibility of a genuine discussion.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Snert wrote:

Quote:
So if you really want to talk about who will print the stamps, and you want to have the conversation in good faith, then please proceed. 

 

I'm just curious here, but at what point do you feel like my question about postal service went off the rails? I'm asking because when I asked that, I was asking in good faith. Do you feel like a simple answer was given and then I wrecked everything? Was a question about postal service offensive? I'm just not seeing how I sabotaged the possibility of a genuine discussion.

 

Snert, I'm just learning this stuff too and I feel you're not being fair or genuine in your line of questioning.  The simple answer given to you at #30 may seem like we'll deal with the details later but if you allow yourself to envision the concept it's not hard to see it working.

 

Workers will print the stamps and workers will deliver the mail.  Yes?

 

eta:  And perhaps some were too short with you but I believe the theory had been espoused enough by then if you came in with a fully open mind.

 

 

Fidel

kropotkin1951 wrote:
Fidel why do you have to side track every fucking debate.

Some of us anarchist communists believe in direct democracy, and that's what I was replying to in LimeJ's post. Why are you so rude and obnoxious?

 

no1important

Someonme has to do something to get the peoples attention since most people in this country are sheep and could care less about politics and believe everything they hear and see on the evening news because they are too lazy to look into things themselves.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
The simple answer given to you at #30 may seem like we'll deal with the details later but if you allow yourself to envision the concept it's not hard to see it working.

 

The answer in #30 didn't mention mail at all.

 

Quote:
Workers will print the stamps and workers will deliver the mail.  Yes?

 

That's not shocking. But which workers? From one affinity group or all of them? Who'll collect the revenues from the sale of stamps? Who'll decide when postage costs have to be increased? Unfortunately, when we're talking about de-centralization, these things are far from obvious. And given that it's a pretty straightforward question, asked of those who support anarchism, I wouldn't expect the answer to amount to "just use your imagination; see the possibilities!". We're talking about a pretty profound change in the political and social structure of a nation. It's not alright to ask "how would this work, in practice?"

Slumberjack

Fidel wrote:
Some of us anarchist communists believe in direct democracy, and that's what I was replying to in LimeJ's post. 

What do you mean by 'us?' The only anarchy encountered within your political affiliation is when damage control specialists shift into gear to determine which group of potential allies bearing legitimate issues of their own have become an impediment to the overriding objective of presenting an acceptable mainstream image.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Re #30 said it was a process.  I get that you expect answers laid bare to your way of thinking.  wage zombie left a door open for you but you chose to derail it further.  You think Le T, krop and others can get through everything that fast?  reefer asked a good question in the OP and I found it met with a lot of good faith at a macro level.  You jumped in wanting micro details.  Perhaps let it flesh itself out a little more. 

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
Re #30 said it was a process. 

 

It's a process that proponents have been pondering and discussing on every continent for decades. Sorry, but if nobody's even figured out how something as simple as sending a letter might work, in practice, then I'm going to suggest many more decades of pondering. I'm not asking what colour the letter carrier's uniform must be. I'm just asking how something currently centralized could continue to function in a decentralized system.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

If the internet and international mail can work, AnarchyMail could to, yes?

j.m.

Snert wrote:

Quote:
Re #30 said it was a process. 

 

It's a process that proponents have been pondering and discussing on every continent for decades. Sorry, but if nobody's even figured out how something as simple as sending a letter might work, in practice, then I'm going to suggest many more decades of pondering. I'm not asking what colour the letter carrier's uniform must be. I'm just asking how something currently centralized could continue to function in a decentralized system.

This isn't about the process. You are worried about the outcomes of a process that will never unfold in a "true form".

Also, I would add that it is impossible for anarchy to be the only process to exist, which obviously means that there is no authentically anarchic process that could exist alone. Same with capitalism, neoliberalism, socialism, communism, fascism, ad nauseum.

snert, capitalists have been pondering and practicing for years trying to get it right. Look at all the regulatory failures, violence and suffering that has occured (and yet it still relies on the unpaid labour of women, campesinos, informal networks, charity, etc.). I wonder what capitalism alone looks like, and I'm not talking about what the colour of the CEOs suit must be.

a lonely worker

A really good discussion. There's so many things I wish I had time to respond to but Le T and others are doing a great job.

 

As Le T pointed out at the outset, there are a multitude of streams in anarchism. Due to the misuse and misunderstanding of the word in Canada today (there was a very strong anarchist movement in Canada up until the 1930's particularly within the IWW, OBU and even Emma Goldman lived at one time in Toronto!); our elites have conditioned us to think of "anarchy" as something out of a Mad Max film with everyone killing each other for a few crumbs of wealth and property (this is actually anarcho-capitalism with Somalia essentially functioning with this system today).

 

To make matters worse the term "libertarian" which is the traditional term for anarchism has been taken over by the far right whack jobs as their term. This is due to the lack of any meaningful understanding of political ideology and the emptimess of our corporate brand red versus blue versus orange simplistic political reality.

 

It is more productive to talk about anarchism in each of its streams just as it is to talk about the many streams of socialism separately from social democrats to Stalinists (who obviously have many differences between them!). The fact we generally don't with either anarchism or socialism is one of the reasons why many Canadians are convinced that all socialists are Stalinists and all anarchists are Mel Gibson when he still had an Australian accent!

 

The two most developed forms of anarchism have been in libertarian communism and anarcho-syndicalism with several workable examples established through the years. Neither are opposed to being governed but are opposed to being governed by the state.

The differences between the two is that with the libertarian communists it is the community or commune that collectively governs (e.g. Doukabours and Hutterites have some of these elements although with a very rigid hierarchy and other distortions)

 

With anarcho-syndicalists it is the worker's unions that are the backbone of the community. These are not trade unions in our current sense but a union of the working class. The IWW and OBU are two good Canadian examples. The worker recovered (ERT) movement in Argentina is a great current example (I have been to and have many friends in this movement).

But the ultimate example is what occured in Spain before and during the Spanish Civil War of the 1930's. Entire regions and communities were organised through their unions the CNT and FAI. They had elected leadership / spokespersons (because it is the community who makes the decisions and they are merely the communities voice). They had a functioning army whcih was the best organised and militant on all sides (in fact the Stalinists and fascists worked together to destroy them because their horizontal structures threatened both verticle structures - Orwell's book Homage to Catalonia documents much of this).

They even had military leaders elected by the soldiers and required to lead on the basis of their votes. (Buenaventura Durruti being the most famous).

Many mistakes were made but everyone saw the power of people voluntarily organising together and having a direct say in the outcome. Their decision to join and in many cases merge into the Republican forces is controversial to this day with some saying it was the necessity of desparation and others saying it opened them to the violent purges from the Stalinists.

These are just two streams and many will find even these two to be "too vertical" or "too marxist". There are many more and its interesting that today many are starting realise the old Proudhon / Marxian splits are from another era  in these days of hyper capitalism. This is creating many new "confederation of movements" that allow individual structures to construct themselves internally as they so choose but democratically work together for the greater good. Some like Chomsky use the term "libertarian socialist" which is a great term as it ties in the strengths of democratic libertarianism with the strengths of economic socialism.

Overall left anarchist movements could be generally described as anti-state, anti-capitalism and horizontally structure to ensure the full participation of all involved.

 

Oh and BTW, the CNT and FAI had their own postal service during the Civil War that many said ran better than anyone else's.

 

Here's a stamp they issued:

 

 

http://raforum.info/spip.php?article210&id_document=219&lang=fr#document...

 

a lonely worker

Wikipedia's entry on Anarchist Catalonia is not too bad a read especially on how some of the economic life of the region was structured:


"Anarchism was frowned upon by the government of the Spanish Republic, which considered the anarchists a threat and disloyal to both the Republic and the war. Clashes were particularly vicious between Soviet-backed communists and anarchists, since the movements often found themselves completely at odds with each other . Much of Spain's economy was put under worker control; in anarchist strongholds like Catalonia, the figure was as high as 75%. Factories were run through worker committess; agrarian areas became collectivized and run as libertarian communes. Even places like hotels, barber shops, and restaurants were collectivized and managed by their workers. In some places, money was entirely eliminated, to be replaced with vouchers

It is reported,


The first measure in the collectivization of the Barcelona street railways was to discharge the excessively paid directors and company stooges. The saving was considerable. A conductor averaged 250 to 300 pesetas a month, while the general director (manager) was paid 5,000 and his three assistants 4,441, 2,384, and 2,000 pesetas respectively. The amount saved through the abolition of these posts went to increase the wages of the lowest paid workers 40% to 60%, and intermediate and higher brackets 10% to 20%. The next step was the reduction of working time to 40 hours per week (but for the war situation, it would have been cut to 36 hours weekly).

Another improvement was in the area of management. Before the revolution, streetcars, buses, and subways were each privately owned by separate companies. The union decided to integrate and consolidate all transportation into an efficient system without waste. This improvement meant better facilities, rights of way, and incomparably better service for the riding public. Fares were reduced from 15 to 10 centimes, with free transportation for school children, wounded militiamen, those injured at work, other invalids, and the aged.[6]


Despite their limitations, the Spanish anarcho-syndicalists established libertarian collectives where the means of production and exchange were socialised, through direct management by the workers and not through imposition by the state. Economic surplus was also self-managed. Also, and once again in contrast to the USSR, the workers of the collectives were rewarded equally, without productivity falling or initiative lacking. The bourgeoisie and the bureaucracy believe that if there is not a large wage differential, initiative and interest in increasing production will be lost. This idea was shown to be false in the Spanish libertarian collectives, where solidarity between the collectivists made self-government function satisfactorily.[7]

The newly liberated zones worked on libertarian principles; decisions were made through councils of ordinary citizens without any sort of bureaucracy.[8] The CNT-FAI leadership was at this time not nearly as radical as the rank and file members responsible for these sweeping changes. In addition to the economic revolution, there was a spirit of social revolution. Some traditions were deemed as oppressive and done away with. For instance, the idea of free love became popular."

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchist_Catalonia

Fidel

Le T wrote:

kropotkin wrote:
I prefer to use the World Wide Web as an analogy because that is the type of interconnectedness without hierarchy that has always been envisioned by anarchists.

And just look at how states and corporations are grasping for control of the www, and what happens in areas that they already control. good analogy.

According to Marxist theory, capitalism and capitalist means of production can proliferate around the world. When world revolutions are completed, the working class will simply take possession of everything and use it to produce necessities during the transition to eventual global communism. The internet has its origins in publicly funded research in the U.S. Without DARPA and publicly funded academic research, we probably wouldn't have the internet today, or at least not as it is today. Too, the internet was built on top of a public switched telephone network, another idea which is essentially socialist in nature as is much of the trillions of dollars of publicly funded infrastructure in North America which capitalist economy has depended on for many years. Socialists and communists would merely be returning all of it to public ownership.

Things like parcel post mail would still be required for a long time with any type of economy. Futurists are talking about nanotechnology and manufacturing merging some day. The designs to manufacture anything will eventually be transmitted around the world and produced locally by nano assembly machines which could be re-programmable for every kind of widget or bauble as needed and eliminating the need for physical transport of goods over long distances. Only the complete designs will need to be transmitted to production sites, and the internet will become a true information superhighway in this century. Nano-manufacturing will make it even more possible for communities and workers to own the means of production at a time when the world is made even smaller by technology.

LimeJello

Ok, so here are some questions which have to be thought out, but I've heard nothing to indicate how it would credibly function on a global scale, and I'll preface it by saying that I think Snert is getting to the crux of the point by asking who will print the stamps and deliver the mail. But more to it, how will services be provided, food be produced on a scale that is larger than on a local/regional community basis? How will crises be responded to on a larger level, in, say, the case of an earthquake or typhoon in a different part of our continent? How does anarchism make allowances for responding to such situations? Do they have a practical and credible means of delivery of these needs?

a lonely worker

Lime Jello - again it depends on what model of anarchism you're talking about as there are huge differences between anarcho-capitalism (Somalia), anarcho-syndicalism (Catalonia) and the many other models.

The CNT - FAI controlled regions of Spain did have functioning postal services (I even showed one of their stamps), social services (including "free schools") and solidarity initiatives with others.

In Canada our credit unions and co-operatives are very much from this tradition as they are providing community based services through the voluntary participation of people in the community instead of the state. The fact ours have evolved into embracing capitalism doesn't take away from the original purpose or structure (Mondragon in Spain would be a good example of staying closer to its roots). 

Because most anarchist models are based on the community (free communes) it would be up to the community to decide the services it wants (mutualism). These communities could then link up into federations if they so chose.

This is one of anarchism's strengths because people will have much stronger attachments to services they can control then simply mandated from above. It is also one of its weaknesses because it wouldn't take long for one community with a majority of bigots to turn this into a nightmare for those they oppose.

That's why there's increasing talk of libertarian-socialism / marxism (Marx did state that true socialism will cause the state to "wither away")  which merges the best from both of anarchist focus on community and democracy with socialist economics / principles.

 

I've met a lot of people who describe themselves as "political anarchists and economic Marxists" - not a bad combination when one looks past the stereotypes we Canadians have been conditioned to believe about both ideals.

 

 

a lonely worker

Forgot to address you question about food production. Again there are different models but two practical examples of food production models would be:

 

1 - worker owned farm collectives / communes (Spain and even a Hutterite colony on a basic level)

2 - Co-operatives - the backbone of much of Canada's food production that continues to this day (e.g Wheat Board, Dairy, etc.). More people around the world work in co-operatives than for corporations. Those sectors that operate without co-operatives are economic disasters for those trying to produce on their own and entirely dependant on capitalism to survive.

To underline the importance co-operatives played in Canadian society is to simply remember that the CCF stood for the "Co-Operative Commonwealth Federation" a name that has far more anarchist meaning than socialist (the Knights of Labor in the US popularised the term). When Tommy Douglas was CCF Premier of Saskatchewan he was also Minister of Co-Operatives; such was their importance to the economy and the CCF movement. Of course the contradictions of merging government with essentially anarchist organisations created long term problems but when they worked together in Saskatchewan the entire county benefited.

 

Le T Le T's picture

LimeJello wrote:
How will crises be responded to on a larger level, in, say, the case of an earthquake or typhoon in a different part of our continent? How does anarchism make allowances for responding to such situations? Do they have a practical and credible means of delivery of these needs?

Interesting example. Let's look at, oh i don't know, Haiti. So after proto-capitalists invaded the island that we now call Haiti/Dominican they murdered everyone who lived there. Then they imported slaves that they kidnapped from Africa. Then they destroyed the ecosystem through agriculture that only benefited France and later the US. Capitalist states continued to meddle in the affairs of Haiti to ensure maximum profits for them while keeping Haitians housed in shacks. Then an earthquake hits, shacks falldown and more than 1/4 million people die. The capitalist countries then important massive amounts of military and an essential inconsequential amount of food aid and medical assistance.

So if your question is "how could that have ever happened if a form of anarchism was the dominant ideology?" the simple answer is it wouldn't. What might have occured is that communities who lived there could have control of their own resources to build appropriate earthquake-resistant shelter.

It's interesting that whenever people who support the status quo try to learn about something different, their technique for proving that the status quo is the only viable answer is to ask of the new system the solutions to problems caused by the status quo or problems that have remained illusive to the status quo.

Le T Le T's picture

lonelyworker wrote:
Of course the contradictions of merging government with essentially anarchist organisations created long term problems but when they worked together in Saskatchewan the entire county benefited.

Yeah, like the NDP!

a lonely worker

That definitely is one! lol

 

Another would be the co-op movements themselves lost their drive of being the backbone of the community and began to focus on profits over services once the government took over community services.

Great while progressive governments lasted but a nightmare once the government became lib, tory , NDP or whatever name the neo-liberal party chooses.

 

Now we see the dismantling of the welfare state without any anarchist / community or socialist / marxist responses. In other words, we're screwed.

Slumberjack

a lonely worker wrote:
Now we see the dismantling of the welfare state without any anarchist//.....responses.

That's because they haven't quite mastered the discipline required of anarchy.  Sure, the ones we have will bust out a few windows during the Olympics for publicity purposes, but then once the right and left wing media collude to denounce them and the cameras have gone away, they go home, perhaps to plan for the next big outing.  What sort of dedication is that.  And you'd think the left would wise up finally as well.  The right wing has its baseball bat toting tea partiers, its raving lunatics everywhere in the media, while a tremendous source of useful agitation for the left is shunned as being too impolite, even in the face of the barrage of horrors from the right. 

Le T Le T's picture

slumberjack McCarthy wrote:
Sure, the ones we have will bust out a few windows during the Olympics for publicity purposes, but then once the right and left wing media collude to denounce them and the cameras have gone away, they go home, perhaps to plan for the next big outing.

 

Bullshit. I wish people would stop repeating the total fantasy that there is this group called the Black Bloc and they have a club house where all they do is compare anarchy tattoos and get ready for the next window smashing. Even worse, after you help create this imaginary simulation of the scary anarchist you go on to present your false image as anarchists generally.

Slumberjack

Pee Pee Le T wrote:
Bullshit.

There are different anarchy persuasions of course, and some even have a sense of humour.  You might try linking up with them.

Le T Le T's picture

Oh, so repeating the tiresome lies that have been hurled at those involved in direct action at the olypics was a joke? My bad, sorry for being so serious as middle-class white activists claim "the left" as their own and show us all how quickly they will run to the sides of the cops and the government.

Slumberjack

What tiresome lies?  Do you have any idea of what you're saying?

LimeJello

hang on a second, there's a big difference between accepting the status quo and not necessarily being convinced that anarchism is the best alternative. And I'm not saying it necessarily isn't either, but am trying to keep an open mind and that would entail questioning how an anarchist structure would respond to various dilemas and scenarios.

I would dispute that the status quo is unable to deal with these same situations. Not globally, but in major developed countries, there is generally effective emergency response. I didn't say perfect, but generally good. These responses are predicated on a central government. Locals having control over their own resources clearly are not going to be able to deal with some emergency situations. Those local resources would be compromised in many of those situations.

Don't misinterpret this to mean that I'm proclaiming that the status quo is the best social or economic model or that that there aren't alternatives, but alternatives need to consider efficacy and a variety of contingencies.

There are other factors that need to be considered in some alternative models - population control, for example. What happens when one area or model becomes larger than can be self-sustained? Do we allow it to fail, are population control measures necessary to be enacted? Does one group get to control migration to their area of another? The status quo has a number of means of addressing this, not all effective by any means and much of it is related to the division of people by borders, but it has means.

What I'm reading is that anarchism may be better suited to smaller communities, but on a larger scale it may require a different overarching mechanism to deal with many issues. Now whether a localized anarchism can co-exist with a larger non-anarchist governimg structure is something I don't know, but anything is possible.

 

 

 

 

Fidel

Slumberjack wrote:

Fidel wrote:
Some of us anarchist communists believe in direct democracy, and that's what I was replying to in LimeJ's post. 

What do you mean by 'us?' The only anarchy encountered within your political affiliation is when damage control specialists shift into gear to determine which group of potential allies bearing legitimate issues of their own have become an impediment to the overriding objective of presenting an acceptable mainstream image.

I think that if Canadians don't like the way our FPTP electoral system forces parties to appeal to some large minority of the sum total who do bother to vote in elections, then they should probably support parties that support modernizing our electoral system and fixing the democratic deficit in this country. The only way Marxists and anarchists stand a snowball's chance of being represented in the halls of power is by a fair voting system. And by supporting the federal NDP and provincial NDP in Ontario I also support having an electoral system that makes it possible for some of the ideas in this thread to be more than just wild fantasies in a few people's minds that they might be represented someday in the halls of power in this increasingly Puerto Ricanized U.S. northern colony. And I think making it real is what it's all about and not supercilious comments designed to insult other babblers.

Slumberjack

Fidel wrote:
And I think making it real is what it's all about and not supercilious comments designed to insult other babblers.

Making it real eh?  Passing as an anarchist...and a communist to boot, while foot soldiering for the NDP...and apparently it's me who is being insulting.  To say nothing of how the anarchists and communists must feel about it, they must be beside themselves.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Yell

HEY!!

Le T, Slumberjack, dial it back. And what's with the name-calling in the quote function? Le T you started it, stop it. SJ, cut it out.

Slumberjack, stop the personal invective towards Fidel. 

Fidel, what the fuck? 

Can we get back on topic now?

Fidel

Slumberjack wrote:

Fidel wrote:
And I think making it real is what it's all about and not supercilious comments designed to insult other babblers.

Making it real eh?  Passing as an anarchist...and a communist to boot, while foot soldiering for the NDP...and apparently it's me who is being insulting.  To say nothing of how the anarchists and communists must feel about it, they must be beside themselves.

Is it not possible for a communist to vote NDP? Yes! Yes it is possible, and that is exactly what I do every election thank you very little.

[edited by me, Fidel, to remove inflammatory remark]

Slumberjack

I thought we were...as in exercising our own form of anarchy, if only for illustrative purposes. Aww..ok...I'm done with the turdish insolence anyway.  Sorry Pee Pee.  Fidel  Wink

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

LimeJello I am sorry you can only envision what we have now since it has lead us in BC to the highest poverty rates in Canada particularly among our children and seniors.  Our governments budget yesterday gave more money to the oil and gas industry while we have rampant homelessness and people standing in food bank lineups to eat.

Tell me how your system is going to deal with this and what are your immediate goals in relation to this problem and how to you envision the future response of our corporate boardrooms to the declining economic wealth of the majority of citizens?

If you can't imagine a left future let's hear your progressive status quo vision of how we stop the poverty?  What is Howe Street doing to ensure our seniors are not living in poverty?  Where is the vision from our captains of industry and movers and shakers in the business community?

LimeJello

All good questions, Kropotkin. As I said earlier, I'm not advocating the status quo overall, but in looking at the potential of anarchism, which has many appealing prospects for day-to-day living as an individual, but about which I have many unanswered questions regaring its ability to deal with wide-scale systemic issues. And to be clear, in case I get accused of anything by anyone, I don't identify with any overriding political or economic philosophy as a guide to life. Most have something to offer, but none, as far as I'm concerned, provides a totality of solutions. I have some libertarian leanings in that I'm distrustful of government intervention in the lives of individuals, but there's an element of anarchism that seems to feel the same way, so I think it's worth exploring how these ideas could compliment each other.

As to reducing poverty, difficult question. I think population control may be necessary, but how do you do that without being totalitarian as in the way China has imposed such regulations, which is unacceptable.

ReeferMadness

kropotkin1951 wrote:

LimeJello I am sorry you can only envision what we have now since it has lead us in BC to the highest poverty rates in Canada particularly among our children and seniors.  Our governments budget yesterday gave more money to the oil and gas industry while we have rampant homelessness and people standing in food bank lineups to eat.

Tell me how your system is going to deal with this and what are your immediate goals in relation to this problem and how to you envision the future response of our corporate boardrooms to the declining economic wealth of the majority of citizens?

If you can't imagine a left future let's hear your progressive status quo vision of how we stop the poverty?  What is Howe Street doing to ensure our seniors are not living in poverty?  Where is the vision from our captains of industry and movers and shakers in the business community?

In fairness, kropotkin, our current system could be producing much better outcomes if we had a reasonable degree of citizen engagement.   The dim level of political and civic awareness is what allows the politicians to get away with running society for the benefit of the rich.  Is anarchy going to work without people getting involved?  Quite the opposite - anarchy requires more commitment and involvement from citizens.  If we had the citizen commitment necessary to run an anarchist system, what we have would look quite different.

In the current context of political apathy, if someone did suddenly bring down the political institutions, it would be a ripe opportunity for even worse people to step in and take over.  Things can still get worse.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I am merely advocating for a new form of economic activity to be given nourishment while it grows enough to stand on its own two feet.  I live on planet earth in Canada  so no I don't believe that this society will be overthrown.  Political apathy happens when two thirds of Canadians vote against free trade and we get it anyway.  Then after that the elite doesn't even need to discuss with the great unwashed the ever increasing new rights awarded to corporations in those "trade" agreements.  

Things will only get worse in Canada when people start to push back. As long as everyone keeps calm and follows the orders of the authorities you have nothing to fear.  Unless you are an anarchist engaged in trying to wake your fellow citizens or a young man of Moslem faith who believes that great injustices are being done by NATO forces then all you have to do is go to work pay your taxes and not lip off the cop with the Taser. You will fly under the blanket electronic surveillance and it will all be okay and likely will not get worse than it is now.

I think we can have locally owned and controlled worker businesses and if we begin that small step it is the first step on the journey.  No chaos no revolution just unleashing the power of peoples tendency to mutual aid.  The reason I look at the syndicalist idea is precisely because it can exist in a capitalist society.  I do not believe in coercing anyone to achieve political change and I am fully aware that most people would rather watch reality TV than attend a civic forum so it is not like they will jump to active participation in a worker co-op.  

wage zombie

Snert wrote:

Interesting, because I was pondering anarchism earlier today and wondered about mail.  Internationally, countries agree to carry each other's mail, on the assumption that the finances will work out more or less fairly (eg: there won't be disproportionate numbers of Britons buying a stamp in the UK for mail that will be carried to the door by Canada Post, etc.)

But what about domestic mail?  If Canada were anarchist, would we be relying on individual communities to forward mail once it's inside Canada?  What about outgoing mail?  If I buy a stamp, who gets the money?  For that matter, who prints the stamp?

Who are we relying on now?

Do you really find these questions you're asking that challenging?

Le T Le T's picture

slumberjack wrote:
What tiresome lies?  Do you have any idea of what you're saying?

These ones:

slumberjack wrote:
Sure, the ones we have will bust out a few windows during the Olympics for publicity purposes, but then once the right and left wing media collude to denounce them and the cameras have gone away, they go home, perhaps to plan for the next big outing.

And no, i have no idea what im saying. I'm just spouting off random mutterings, how delightfully paternalistic of you, friend.

 

kropotkin wrote:
I think we can have locally owned and controlled worker businesses and if we begin that small step it is the first step on the journey.  No chaos no revolution just unleashing the power of peoples tendency to mutual aid.  The reason I look at the syndicalist idea is precisely because it can exist in a capitalist society.  I do not believe in coercing anyone to achieve political change and I am fully aware that most people would rather watch reality TV than attend a civic forum so it is not like they will jump to active participation in a worker co-op. 

Nicely put. I think that this is important to note. Few people suggest a revolution, the fall of government, and the rise of anarchism. That course of events seems unlikely to unfold under principles of anarchisms--it suggest a fair bit of coersive power that would be hard to account for.

People should check out the syndicalist models that exist/existed. See how the mail works and how people fry bacon, all the real important matters.

 

Sorry Maysie. I just learned the code for saying who said what and Slumberjack was pissing me off. I will stop acting five now.

Fidel

Ya I'm not wild about that ethnic slur in posts 81 & 89 either. Couldn't we have some fun with his moniker.

Slumberjack

Le T wrote:
And no, i have no idea what im saying. I'm just spouting off random mutterings, how delightfully paternalistic of you, friend. 

Wanna move on from this and get back to the topic at hand? 

One form of localized existance can superimpose itself over another, however it doesn't necessarily have to be completely local and estranged in the same way that communes of the past have tended to insulate themselves from others.  Contemporary society after all incubates a desire to enclose ourselves within artificial preoccupations.  Ultimately, it may very well come to be seen that a multi-faceted approach is the only way to confront those who insist upon annihilation, as we become more aware that it is not those who are labeled anarchists in its various forms that are bent on destruction, and that the current order's only purpose is to perpetuate a society that controls us to that end.

People concern themselves with an absence of skills as if inititiatives toward collective survival equates to an abandonment of knowledge and the desire to facilitate the conditions for survival.  Indeed, collective struggles in whatever reasonable form they take shouldn't be completely written off because they might appear unpopular to the apparatus of control.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
Who are we relying on now?

 

A very centralized Crown Corporation.

 

Quote:
Do you really find these questions you're asking that challenging?

 

I wouldn't have thought they were! I'm as surprised as anyone.

Slumberjack

Calling All Rebels

Quote:
Those who do not rebel in our age of totalitarian capitalism and who convince themselves that there is no alternative to collaboration are complicit in their own enslavement. They commit spiritual and moral suicide.

Mike Stirner

There's not much more I can add that hasn't been said already, for a nuts and bolts idea of what a scaled down society could look like i would recomend Bolo Bolo by P M.

An anarchist society would be less complex there is no question  though the complex things that mattered(ie video and communication) could find new ways of being invented.

You might also read up on Kevin Carson, he comes from the market perspective but he is very good as far as concrete proposals go. He's written alot about scaled down simplified garage scale manufacturing, look up the recent issue of wired magazine which talks about this.

In general if you've been keeping up with mags like popular science, mechanics, various natural living porn what you are increasingly seeing is a potential for an intentional scaled down existence that is not impoverished.

Oh and expect permaculture to be the dominant source of food production, how many people actually no that a garden is more productive then a field.

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