Comrade Equus: Anti-authoritarianism and Unions

30 03 2011

Editors note: Trusted sources have reported sightings of the good Comrade Equus in around the American Midwest, fomenting dissent and acting as a general public-nuisance in his fight against the forces of evil. The good Comrade has taken notice of recent discussion in libertarian and Anarchist circles denouncing unions and collective action.  He is not pleased.  He has taken time off his subversice activities to contribute the following to the discussion as part of his role as special contributor on this blog. Comrade Equus reports

 

Here in the US there’s all kinds of talk right now about recent legislation in the Midwest that restricts or eliminates the power of unions.

Most Libertarian and Anarchist bloggers reported on Madison and offered some opinion on the matter. I was surprised to see how many were willing to throw public sector workers under the bus.

Basically the argument is that unions are hanging onto government ensured privilege, followed by a laughable assertion that your high school teacher makes six figures every year, while the regular private sector worker toils under the stress of the system.

There are a few things that need clarification.

There is a difference between asking and taking

The labor movement started in opposition to The State and the employing class.

They slowly but surely calmed down and more or less became puppets of the Democrats. However, they are markedly separate from The State in that they have demonstrated a willingness to act outside of legal channels when attacked. This is not a matter of holding onto government given privilege, but an example of unions fighting The State.

The State has tried to strip them of collective bargaining rights, and they are fighting back.

Perhaps they would bend to similar concessions under a Democratic governor, but perhaps next time they will not.  After seeing unions stand up like this, I am beginning to think that the labor movement is not as dead as we once thought.

Workers in the US died for the rights they have now.  Unions (at least the rank and file members, not so much the leadership) are starting to realize they cannot just ask The State to give them something. They are perhaps beginning to just take it.

These bills empower The State

The anti-union legislation in Wisconsin that took away collective bargaining gave more power to The State.

The laws passed in the Midwest did not stop the government from employing people, and at best simply set up a way of contracting private sector companies. The State is still in a position of employment. Instead of having to bargain with unions as a whole they can now deal with each worker individually, resulting in pay discrimination and benefits being taken away. This will only stratify society more, give some more political, economic, and social powers over others and basically expand authoritarianism in general.

Public Sector Unions have certainly been subservient to The State, and their leadership deserves a lot of criticism.

However, these bills have taken power from the unions (which would continue to exist independent of The State) and given it to The State. No doubt that unions have their own hierarchies and problems, but now all they have fought for (wages, 8-hour days, benefits) are directly in control of The State and the companies with which it contracts.

Where we are

As it stands, Democrats have been pretty good at saving face. I wouldn’t jump to any conclusion too quickly though.

Students have been some of the most ardent fighters lately, and they are the future union members and workers. It is, after all, their future that’s being fucked.

If young people can go beyond just protesting and begin to build sustainable, anti-authoritarian alternatives to The State, then we’re starting to get revolutionary.

I, for one, would expect much more fighting from the Midwest. I visited there once. If I learned anything important, it’s that Midwesterners can do two things better: brew their own beer and fight.





“Yes, we can” turns deadly

7 10 2010

In the past, I wished upon a star that Obama’s election to the American presidency would pop the idealism cherry of a new generation.  I can’t help but noticed I missed something.  At least so far.

After Obama was elected, everyone was happy he wasn’t Bush.  And why not?  Bush was a tyrant.  Bad things deserved to happen to the nether regions of George Bush as some kind of karmic retribution for all the terrible things he did.  But what people fail to realise is that Obama has been no better.

And no, let me preface the following by saying that I really don’t care about Obama’s “socialism” or whatever else certain American demographics have falsely branded the guy with. (hint: the words “Muslim” and “terrorist” immediately spring to mind)

Seems like a good dose of “he isn’t Bush,” is more powerful than rohypnol.  After all, if Bush had carried out raids on anti-war activists, half the world would be up in arms.

As Cindy Sheehan wrote in a blog post for Al Jazeera,

“These raids have terrifying implications for dissent here in the US.

First of all, these US citizens have been long-time and devoted anti-war activists who organised an anti-war rally that was violently suppressed by the US police state in Minneapolis-St. Paul, during the 2008 Republican National Convention. Because the Minneapolis activists have integrity, they had already announced that they would do the same if the Democrats hold their convention there in 2012.

I have observed that it was one thing to be anti-Bush, but to be anti-war in the age of Obama is not to be tolerated by many people. If you will also notice, the only people who seem to know about the raids are those of us already in the movement. There has been no huge outcry over this fresh outrage, either by the so-called movement or the corporate media.

I submit that if George Bush were still president, or if this happened under a McCain/Palin regime, there would be tens of thousands of people in the streets to protest. This is one of the reasons an escalation in police state oppression is so much more dangerous under Obama – even now, he gets a free pass from the very same people who should be adamantly opposed to such policies.

Secondly, I believe because the raids happened to basically ‘unsung’ and unknown, but very active workers in the movement, that the coordinated, early morning home invasions were designed to intimidate and frighten those of us who are still doing the work. The Obama regime would like nothing better than for us to shut up or go underground and to quit embarrassing it by pointing out its abject failures and highlighting its obvious crimes.

Just look at how the Democrats are demonising activists who are trying to point out the inconvenient truth that the country (under a near Democratic tyranny) is sliding further into economic collapse, environmental decay and perpetual war for enormous profit.”

So, let’s just recap;

  • Bombing campaigns conducted inside allied country’s borders — yes, we can!
  • Continuation of Bush era legal doctrines to maintain government cover-ups — yes, we can!
  • Increased support for secret special forces groups to conduct extra-judicial killings in Afghanistan — yes, we can!
  • Extra-judicial executions of American citizens abroad– yes, we can!
  • Scaling up almost decade long war in developing country for access to resources (minerals) — yes, we can!
  • Declaration of “victory” in Iraq despite continued American presence — yes, we can!
  • Raids on anti-war activists for being anti-war — yes, we can!

Who knew the inspirational phrase, “yes, we can” would have such a downside?  Then I can’t imagine the world would be much safer with McCain leading America, either.  “No leaders” probably doesn’t seem like such an radical proposal for those across the pond.

————————————————————————

UPDATE:

Found this great article at The Superfluous Man discussing how Obama is no different from the average, big name political pundit, but also the inability for critiques from all corners of statist politics to grasp exactly this fact.

Why on earth wouldn’t he? He’s blowing hundreds of billions on the stimulus so that he and his political allies can fund pet projects, justify the exercise of greater influence and power over society and pass out government swag to friends, allies, and supporters. He’s doing the standard, normal thing for someone with political power to do – he’s just able to do more because of the circumstances he finds himself in.

He wants to raise taxes on higher income brackets? So does every other center-left politician cultivating his “friend of the people” persona. He wants to increase federal involvement in this or that sector of the economy? He’d be a bizarre anomaly if he was a major American politician who didn’t.

The same can be said of questions raised by faltering or disenchanted Obama supporters: Why hasn’t he shown interest in liberalizing drug laws? Why isn’t he renouncing the Bush era’s offenses against civil liberties and separation of powers? Why is he handing out wagonloads of boodle to big corporations?

Why would it be otherwise?

The problem D’Souza has- and that many conservative critics of Obama have, and that many liberal admirers of Obama have- is this: He thinks there must be some interesting, unusual, or complex explanation for what is actually entirely mundane, typical behavior with a mundane, typical explanation.

The conservative reaction to Obama’s programs are remarkably similar to the liberal reaction to George W. Bush, which also tended to ridiculously exaggerate the novelty of what Bush was doing by acting as if incremental changes building on established precedent were new and shocking.





The US Government goes for internet’s jugular

27 09 2010

This article was originally published by Techeye.net.  I’ve reposted it here as a matter that needs urgent attention inside and outside the US.

The US government has decided that it has the right to take down content on any website in the world if a movie or recording studio complains about it.

The worldwide censorship programme will let the Justice Department seek US court orders against piracy websites anywhere in the world and shut them down through domain registration.

According to Wired the law has the backing of both republicans and democrats and is quite possibly the first time that the US has attempted to impose its quaint medieval legal system on the rest of the world.  It is certainly the first time that the US has ordered other nation states to obey the will of its own private companies.

Basically the only reason that the world has to listen is that the US has control of the domain registration system.

The law is called “Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act,” and as Wired points out it is the Holy Grail of intellectual-property enforcement.

If passed, the Justice Department could ask a federal court to for an injunction that would order a domain registrar or registry to stop resolving an infringing site’s domain name, so that visitors to ThePirateBay.org, for example, would get a 404 error.

It is being pushed by Orin Hatch who is a Republican from Utah who claims that this world wide wibble thing is a tool for online thieves to sell counterfeit and pirated goods, making hundreds of millions of dollars off of stolen American intellectual property.

But whether the proposal would ever become law is unclear. For a start there will be a large number of foreign countries who will be leaning on the US to drop it. Wars have been fought for less and the world wide wibble is an important economic resource.

Hollywood has shown that it is quite prepared to blanket ban all filesharing sites on the basis that pirated material could be shared. A law like this would enable it to shut down internet access to any company which makes technology it does not approve of.

The fact that taxpayer money is being used to defend Hollywood against people who may not have any cash at all is another point. But the law could also be used to shut down Wikileaks on the basis that the material is copyrighted. The fact the site is hosted in foreign countries would not protect it.

The US has always been reluctant to give up its control of the internet, usually making the claim that it invented it. The fact that what it came up with is nothing like you see today does not matter to it. It now seems that US politicians are using it to prop up their entertainment industry’s sick business model.

Our bet is that if the law is enacted then it will push other governments to set up a rival internet structure without the US.  After all you can’t have a system of taxation or legal repression without representation.  Where have we heard that before?

Read the original here





Racism, the Media and the non-existant “Gang of 49″

25 04 2010

While doing some unrelated research, I stumbled upon this article which reported on a protest undertaken by Indigenous People on the steps of Parliament house at the time when the “Gang of 49″ was being painted as the greatest scourge to white, middle class Adelaidean populations.  Of course, there never was a “Gang of 49″ and the mainstream media pretty much fabricated and overplayed all stories relating to said gang.  The most moving aspect of the article is not its content but the comments section below.  I’ve chosen a select few to be reproduced here;

“To you Michael Atkinson, what is ‘pure evil’ is the fact that the ancestors of the alleged “gang of 49″ were massacred for their country (land, water, minerals) by the colonists.

Today, your “south australia” is still a penal colony and for this reason the sovereign people of these many lands are still being marginalised by the so called “australian government” for the same ongoing reasons….minerals for your crown. Our minerals and our lands.

When did the Kaurna people cede their land to you and your business acquaintances, willingly and without harrassment??? When did any of us… NEVER!!

No wonder some our young people are turning to crime. It seems to be their only way out of a miserable life that they have being locked into since “colonialism” entered our lands.

The deeds you mention, pale in comparison to your own Snowtown murders of innocent pensioners.

When the human rights of aboriginal people is truly addressed by an independent body and ourselves and the past acknowledged and acted upon, maybe our young people will have a reason to feel proud and start turning their lives around. But you don’t want it this way. We are billionaires with a refugee problem because the colonial system only exists to exploit our minerals, therefore the colonists have a PROBLEM in admitting and accepting their own legal faults to their own people.

Theft is hardly something for any politician to be pointing a finger at.

This last effort to project and incite rasicm before the hopeful re-election of this or any political party is very clear to all. What gang of 49? Who did the head-count?” - Isobelle Dingaman


“I copied this from another thread and it pretty much sums up the current politicians. The discussion so far has produced many facts. These ageing politician-colonists are on borrowed time. East Germany’s socialist government also crumbled and fell, amongst it’s lies and ideals.

Those natives who think they are enjoying all of the fringe benefits of this white society are selling the bigger picture short. Any of you on a government paypacket needs to reassess his or her dependency and whether or not you are just making a difference to “yourself” and how you appear to fit in, OR do you really care about your heritage which is being slipped out from underneath you. AND you are slipping out from underneath your cousins, but in particular the state wards. Do you care about these vicitims of the system? Or do you care more about how they could make you look? You are all a meal ticket for these colonists and they thrive on the fact you want to look respectable. Are you disassociating yourselves from the state wards here? It’s not clear.

Take a look at history and see what these colonists as you call them have, which belongs to you, yours and others including the state wards. What I see here is a lot of fish who are all caught nicely on the colonist’s hook.

This lady below is very smart. She worked it out. How many are still in there saying the right words, but not making the difference? Puppets for the colonists helping the colonists to assimilate YOU. And yes, the target is your land hence your forgetfulness. You think you need to be “acceptable” and “blend in”. You don’t. You need to BE who you are or continually expect to have these rallies.

This or any government wants power over YOUR land even by default. Default being assimilation and the death of your elders and you believing that they are YOUR government. They aren’t !!!

“Grotesque amounts of money” that have not produced a single house.

Natasha Robinson | August 15, 2009

ABORIGINAL politician Alison Anderson yesterday labelled the $672 million indigenous housing program the biggest scandal she had seen in her political career, as Labor narrowly avoided being thrown from power in the Northern Territory.
…”I dreamed that I could help change things for Aboriginal people in the bush,” said the member for the central Australian seat of MacDonnell.

“I believed the Labor Party cared about Aboriginal issues, that Labor was the party for the Aboriginal cause. After four years in the system, I know I was wrong.

“Labor lives on the Aboriginal vote, it talks constantly about Aboriginal people, but what it’s really good at is spending Aboriginal money.” ” – Gerard Reiper

“I live in Adelaide and didn’t now anything about this rally. So much for the mainstream media and what passes for freedom of the press. Looks like the press has the freedom to make certain people and issues invisible.

A month or so ago, a house in Elizabeth occupied by an Aboriginal family was the subject of a home invasion by white supremacists who beat up the father of the house in front of his family. The mother and the children were also threatened. Not only wasn’t this on the front page of the Advertiser, it wasn’t in there at all!

Many thanks again to CPRT for the courage to report on this.” – Mike


“Could it be Mike that the Adelaide media are all embarrassed by their obliging assistance in generating what could be called malicious racism, for want on no real news to report?

On checking their stories to date it’s all alleged, suspected and “not exactly”. There is no hard evidence of an organised gang. And like Klynton says, if they were so organised, why are they getting caught.

It seems we have discovered the source of racism (not that we didn’t know) for as Isabelle points out, nothing could top the Snow Town premeditated, gruesome murders.

Then there’s the Canning Stock Route massacres and other sordid undealt with criminal offences against the first people of this country. Since when was it a crime to be here first?

No other race of people is treated with such contempt, particularly on their own soil and generally they don’t belong to an “alleged” gang to be kept at the bottom of the pile.

The majority of Australians are no longer buying into this racism generated by a failed or perhaps ambitious system. It sounds like a coverup to me, or perhaps Custer’s Last Stand.

ADELAIDE NOW: “suspected” members of the Gang of 49
ADELAIDE NOW: THE “alleged” ringleader of last week’s Gang of 49
ADELAIDE NOW: the latest crime wave by the “so-called” Gang of 49
ABC: It’s “not exactly” a gang of 49
TOPIX: the “so-called” Gang of 49
SIMON BLAKE: The people that believe that “the Gang of 49 is a myth”
KLYNTON WANGANEEN: we have to deal with the “fallacies” of a “GANG of 49”

So, who “so-called” this the Gang of 49?
Is it any wonder the City media have buried their head in shame? How can they back peddle now??
” – Anthony G

Though it seems the media have found a new way of portraying First Nations people as the greatest threat to white colonial society.

These same experts – including police who sparked the gang name in January 2007 when then assistant commissioner Gary Burns revealed Operation Mandrake was monitoring a group of 49 primarily Aboriginal offenders held responsible for hundreds of crimes – now are backing away from the name “Gang of 49″.

This is despite the term’s broad use at the highest levels of our government and social-justice system, including by Social Inclusion Commissioner Monsignor David Cappo.

Members of the street gangs, primarily formed for street fighting, have a formal initiation, which generally involves bashing someone or “taking a hiding” themselves, and actively recruit new members.

Some gangs also recognise their membership with the use of American-style gothic gang tattoos.

Police spokeswoman Shelay Boothey said police were not aware of these gangs being linked to criminal activity.

“There is no evidence of the existence of any organised indigenous criminal gang structures,” Ms Boothey said.

And yet…

James Cook University researcher Laura Swanson, who last year spent four weeks mixing with 10 known Gang of 49 offenders, told a national criminology conference the young offenders were “amused” by the media attention given to the Gang of 49 and enjoyed the notoriety.

Ms Swanson said the gangs copied American gangs such as the “Crips,” “Bloods” and “Latin Kings”, adopting their image, music, clothing and language.

Some offend as a necessity – to gain peer approval and build self esteem, even collecting newspaper reports on themselves in a form of competition to see who can get the most coverage with their crimes.

Police have Operation Mandrake at the ready for the next wave of offending, but now face a much more sinister, dangerous and unpredictable enemy than first thought.

Police cannot be sure when they will strike, who will initiate the assault because of the scattering of this loosely linked network of criminals.

There is no Gang of 49 ringleader to monitor and shut down.

There is no pattern to their crimes.

There are many young Aborigines eager to join the ranks of their jailed heroes who terrorised shop keepers, bar staff, bakers and bankers with their brash, reckless onslaught which has logged more than 1000 offences over six years.

“While the Gang of 49 is a group largely consisting of indigenous males who are connected by kinship ties, it does not have an organised structure, actively recruit members or have an identifiable leadership,” Ms Swanson told the Australia and New Zealand Critical Criminology Conference, held at Monash University.

“This is complicated further by their interactions with other gangs that do fit more closely with conventional understandings.

“While there does appear to be evidence that formalised gangs do exist, the Gang of 49 has been elevated to a highly questionable gang status.

“For the Gang of 49, there is no identifiable leadership, criminal activity is sporadic and spontaneous and the `members’, while connected by kinship, live in suburbs all over the city of Adelaide.

“There is no apparent specific rationale other than opportunistic crime and while there is an engagement with criminal activity, again, it is opportunistic rather than planned and structured.”

The cells – which international terror expert Marc Sageman says appear to be similar in their establishment and operations to terrorist organisations – can be characterised by the nature of their crimes.

These cells are experts in their specialist fields of crime and are motivated by different rewards. Some have perfected the art of car theft and desire the adrenalin rush of a car chase, now going to the extreme of stalking victims with high-performance cars to steal.

Other clans want to party and strike at bottle shops for their bounty, while those groups wanting ready cash generally hit unsuspecting members of the public on the streets and in their cars.

The most established of the cells has progressed to armed robbery with larger cash loads in mind.

So, in summary, there is no “Gang of 49″ but the “Gang of 49″ is a loose confederation of degenerate young, black, Aboriginal terrorists out to terrorise suburbia and murder respectable white folk in their sleep, who we don’t know when will attack, but we know they exist and they’ll be out to get us. /sarcasm

Yeah, sure, there ain’t no racism in these parts.





Freedom

13 09 2009

Freedom, is the word on everyone’s lips.  It’s what we all demand, statist or Anarchist alike.  People like freedom, they need it to live to be happy.  We, acting as Anarchists demand freedom, freedom from Government, its creations and the consequences that these things produce throughout our existence.  But then, do we demand Absolute Freedom?

You’ll here it in conversation, in debate and passionate pleas against injustice by Anarchists seeking Absolute Freedom.  We want liberty, to be free and the statist is our opposition, actively seeking out rulership and working to justify injustice in the name of their particular ideology.  But then, doesn’t ‘Absolute Freedom’, in the purest form of the terms, logically mean that anything is to be allowed and that, after all, there is no value in human existence?  Absolute Freedom inherently implies a world without limits, a world of ‘might makes right’ which permits murder and all the other great crimes.  In fact, this is a point often raised by statists when confronted with Anarchist concepts, although it is usually poor expressed as, ‘But doesn’t no government mean everyone will kill each other?’  The very fact that this statement continues to exist implies that people do, in fact, believe that life holds value, even though the statement immediately conjures up imagery of the most brutal atrocities.  It is a cliché, this much cannot be denied, but it retains a certain truth.  The problem with the statement is not that it exists, but that it is direct at the Anarchists, instead of Government and the State.

Naturally, the Anarchist must respond and usually does with some variation upon, “We are not for the freedom to kill, rape or pillage.  We are for all freedom that does not trample upon the freedom of others, such as rape or murder which are intrinsically coercive.”  We have, therefore, arrived at a limit.  Absolute Freedom has been tempered to become something akin to freedom from Absolute Freedom which would allow rape, murder and death.  We contradict ourselves.  On the one hand we demand freedom and demand it totally, damning statists of all extremes, from outright Fascist to Minarchists who propose the ‘smallest possible state’.  Our response is unanimous.  We reply, ‘No, we reject your right to rule over me and your status quo.  Your state may very well be less evil, but it is still evil.  We cannot accept it.’  We impose a limit upon what actions a person may rightfully undertake and what they may not, whereas a statist will not impose that limit.

Even statists who ardently impose into the state a Constitution in the hopes of restricting the actions of that snarling, furious, destructive beast that is Government, fail to impose limits.  Instead they tolerate injustice, permitting the state to rob, kill and rape as necessary for its survival and the protection of the masses.  The only real restriction placed on the state is that it must continue the theatrics which provide an air of ‘legality’ to its actions.

So what are Anarchists for?  We demand Absolute Freedom and simultaneously impose limits that allow us to make a judgement call, allow us to discern injustice from justice and to slay the last sacred cow by refusing to acknowledge the legitimacy of the State and the Government it enables.  It is a dualism.  ‘Total freedom must be afforded to everyone, but no one can be afforded total freedom.’

It might be worth pointing out that when we call for ‘Absolute Freedom’, we are simply making a rhetorical statement, designed to garnish as much support for our ideas as possible.  However, this not only implies that we do not mean what we say, but is impossible.  Point me out an Anarchist who, in the very bottom of his or her stomach, does not want to be totally free from the state and its effects upon his life and I’ll point you out a fraud.  So we arrive at a paradox by simultaneously demanding Absolute Freedom while rejecting it on the basis that life has value, that it is wrong to murder and that when all is said and done, the crimes that would be allowed with Absolute Freedom are, in fact, what we wish to be free from.

Is it not the freedom of Government to inflict crimes upon us our communities that we wish to extricate ourselves from and which form the foundation for mutuality, reciprocity and even basic solidarity?  The freedom’s afforded to Government and its allies are of a greater priority, scope and strength than the freedom’s attributed to the people.  The people are afforded a degree of freedom, enough to keep them happy and content.  But even these are being eroded over time, as it is becoming the case in the eyes of statists everywhere that an individual does not have the capacity to decide how to treat his own body.

Legal Positivism is what justifies injustice and allows a Government to impose its will upon its people.  There is no limit that can restrict the actions, force through the barrel of the gun is used to impose the Government’s wish in the modern democratic state and we must all obey or be broken.  A Constitution then becomes nothing but a piece of paper, mere words, that illustrate how this process is to come about.  Checks and Balances do nothing to prevent a Government from committing acts of robbery, theft, murder and creating privilege where none should exist because these are intrinsic to the institutions functions.  The Constitution becomes not a limit upon the powers of the state, but, if anything, a guide by which evil is to be done to give it the appearance of fairness and legality.

So then, what can be said of the Anarchist position and the demand for freedom?  The Anarchist demands Freedom, with limits.  We demand what can be described as ‘Moderation.’  We do not seek Absolute Freedom, the kind afforded Government by the state and to Nihilists intent on the negation of everything that isn’t themselves.  Instead, we seek limits and the consistent application of those limits upon all, equally.  The limits we seek to enforce are those that give us the type of Freedom we demand, the Freedom to do as we wish with ourselves, our bodies and the fruits of our labour, except where that Freedom would violate the Freedom of another or another’s Freedom conflicts with our own.  We then rule out murder and other actual crimes as unjustifiable under any circumstance as interferences upon our own Freedom, reaffirm that there is value in life and simultaneously deny the legitimacy of the type of Freedom normally afforded to the State and Government as a body of theory and practice that actively engage in robbery, murder and other forms of coercion on a daily basis as a fundamental aspect of its operation.

The criticism normally levied again Anarchism, that it would result in ‘Everybody killing or raping each other,’ cannot be applied to Anarchism, because Anarchism in itself is a reaction against this.  Instead, it is a far greater criticism of the modern state, one which affords Absolute Freedom to a few, fallible, individuals and entrusts them with the care for the fate of all others.  This has resulted in an absurd world where people kill and rob one another on a daily basis, without pause or thought to their actions simply because it is given the veneer of legality.





My current heading

8 09 2009

Totality, self-sacrifice and demand that the individual conform to the stereotype associated with the arbitrary concept of the nation has been, and will remain the rallying call of politicians who wield the power granted to them by the state.  They seek a freedom to remake society in their vision, one which respects no individual and one which is to be obtained upon theft, murder and a illusion of dependency.  This is the state and this is what I oppose.

The words of Mussolini are the words of the authoritarian and sum up, in their entirety, the philosophy that surrounds the state and all authoritarian ideologies;

Anti-individualistic, the Fascist conception of life stresses the importance of the State and accepts the individual only in so far as his interests coincide with those of the State, which stands for the conscience and the universal, will of man as a historic entity. It is opposed to classical liberalism which arose as a reaction to absolutism and exhausted its historical function when the State became the expression of the conscience and will of the people. Liberalism denied the State in the name of the individual; Fascism reasserts[sic]

The rights of the State as expressing the real essence of the individual. And if liberty is to he the attribute of living men and not of abstract dummies invented by individualistic liberalism, then Fascism stands for liberty, and for the only liberty worth having, the liberty of the State and of the individual within the State. The Fascist conception of the State is all embracing; outside of it no human or spiritual values can exist, much less have value. Thus understood, Fascism, is totalitarian, and the Fascist State - a synthesis and a unit inclusive of all values - interprets, develops, and potentates the whole life of a people.

No individuals or groups (political parties, cultural associations, economic unions, social classes) outside the State. Fascism is therefore opposed to Socialism to which unity within the State (which amalgamates classes into a single economic and ethical reality) is unknown, and which sees in history nothing but the class struggle. Fascism is likewise opposed to trade unionism as a class weapon. But when brought within the orbit of the State, Fascism recognizes the real needs which gave rise to socialism and trade unionism, giving them due weight in the guild or corporative system in which divergent interests are coordinated and harmonized in the unity of the State.”

In the words of Mussolini himself, the state demands the power, the freedom to coerce which manifests itself in such actions as murder and theft.  They demand total obedience, total subjugation and total unity.  My Anarchism, is a reaction against this, against the absurdity of the modern state in its desire to achieve totality, where value is recognised but then denied as the modern state pursues its utopia.

The state envisions a formation of society where each of us diligently obeys the law as made by parliament, where there is no crime as a result of our diligence, no aggression and where we each accept our place in our society.  It is the dream of the statist to remake society under their particular vision, and for this reason every so often groups and organisations get together in an attempt to take control of the power granted by the state; to become a government.  They wish to play God and the pillars of the state provide these people with a platform from where they can propel their particular vision onto the rest of society.  If they win, them and their strongest supporters are awarded with privilege, while the holy land promised to the rest of us as a trade off is always just out of sight.  More hospitals, safer streets, better healthcare, lower taxes, a cleaner environment, greener economy — it never arrives and instead we are greeted with further problems.

Absolutes are the domain of the statist, and the pursuit of them, their domain which defines the statist and sets them apart.  Their authority, once they attain it, is unquestionable — divine.  The institution that grants them their authority is the will of the people and we are told that our will which supports their authority has only one choice and that one choice is never to be question.  But it is never our will that puts these others into office.  We are never consulted.  We are given a form that may or may not influence the outcome in order to placate us.  The vision of the statist is equally set in stone, entirely because they are correct.  They have power; they must be right.  They are the way, the truth and the light.

Nationalism, statism, corporatism, hierarchy, wage, war and welfare slavery all produce the most devastating results upon each of us, every day.  This is because they are used to justify the very existence of the state, its supporters and the utopian vision that drives them.  We tell ourselves fibs and tall tales to convince ourselves that this man or group of men shall bring the moon to the earth and give us that utopia that we are promised.  But it never happens.  These people seek to create this utopian world through destruction, as their concepts recognise, fundamentally, no value in human life because they can’t.  The state bombs and maims, the state creates dependencies where none has to be, the state robs and plunders and the state pollutes.  We exist to assist, and to sacrifice ourselves if necessary.  We are a cog in the machine, a means to an end that are only valuable so long as we are supporting their vision.  Any ideology that ceases to recognise value in human life can no longer justify itself.  This is what we know from thousands of years of experimentation.  This is what we know to be nihilism.

How then, must we oppose this state of affairs?  Revolution and rebellion provide us with the avenue for change; to recognise that the status quo is not static, but subject to change just as society is fluid and dynamic.  The pursuit of power, of rulership, cannot be justified because it refuses to acknowledge value in human existence.  Legislation may outlaw murder, but murder itself is not evil when employed in the service of the state, when it is organised, legalised and projected in the service of the state under the term we know as ‘war’.  However, if we are to assert that there is value in human life then the freedom to murder claimed by the state cannot exist.  There is a limit; murder is impossible.  If an individual, conscious that value exists, commits murder, they must in turn accept that their own lives are forfeit.  To refuse the sacrifice is to asser that the murders actions were justified, that they should be free to murder.  It asserts that there is no value in life.  An Anarchist revolution cannot be based on the premise that murder — aggression — is justifiable or we make a transition from rebellious revolutionary, to the oppressor — the very thing we are attempting to resist.  Of course there is self-defence, but even self defence is proportionate to the level of aggression we are confronted with or we in turn become murders and are guilty of aggression; we do not respond to a harmless drunk throwing punches by shooting him dead with a shotgun.  Likewise, in the context of revolutionary action, the state is in a constant state of aggression against its people in one manner or another — the different schools of Anarchism recognise different elements off this aggression and expound its effects among society.

Logically, it may be said that the existence of this aggression may justify an Anarchist to self defence, but it does not justify any action as it is subject to the principle of proportionality as well as other considerations which must be taken into account.  If a government by an act of state declares war on a area populated with Anarchist communities; they have every right to resist.  If a government declares war on Anarchists within its cities such as what has occurred in Athens, it is reasonable that they have a right to resist.  And in the past they have.  But what about the mundane, daily operations of government and state that, though undoubtedly work to coerce each and every one of us in our own lives?  This is aggression and wouldn’t it justify violence?

Assuming for a moment that such a problem is not subject to tactical necessity, a violent uprising, tilts upon the edge of the nihilism as it rests upon its own aggression to ‘push back’ against that which occurs in every day lives.  People are fallible, introducing an element of violence to seek change is no different to trusting a small group of fallible people with managing the affairs and achieving a utopian vision for all the other equally fallible people — absurd.  Violent revolutionary action in response to nothing more than the daily aggression we experience from the state cannot be a workable option for change and is the same motivation that lead the early Anarchists to terrorism.  Violence, inevitably invalidates everything the revolution stands to protect, it is forced to negate its core principles in order to successfully achieves its goals.  Whereas violence in response to a positive act by the government of the day may be just, violence in response to the everyday aggression can not be legitimatised as an equilibrium is upset and means are subjugated to ends in a utilitarian measure that will work to ensure a final victory.  But then given the nature of time and society, ends are not absolutes in themselves; there will always been new, unforeseen agitations that arise after a revolution simply because we can not know what world will be created once a revolution has run its course.  Violence will in turn be employed against these agitations because it is convenient and we will spiral into ever increasing amounts of violence.  We have slipped and fallen well beyond the point where violence is employed in self defence to where violence as a means for change that recognises no value.  Violent revolutions therefore sacrifice everything for expediency on nothing but faith.  We would take up the nihilism of our masters, inevitably becoming what we despise.

Then we approach a second consideration that must be made and while it is considerably weaker, it is still relevant.  This considerations concerns whether those who constitute the ranks of the political class are all guilty of the same crime.  True enough, they are all equally evil for parasitically profiting from the systematic violence and coercion permitted by the state at the expense of everyone who is productive in society, but many oppressors are simply going through the motions of a life they were prepared for by centuries of tradition.  Intent must play a role.  The crime of many statists is being born into a methodology that does not recognise the liberty to be found in value.  Not every statist in the world is a Cheney or Rumsfield who sought to bring death to thousands of people outside America’s borders and even, some may argue, domestically.  Many, I would assert, are like Obama, whose own actions betray a certain level hypocrisy, who set out with the best intentions and instead arrive at the gates of hell.  All too often it is in their official capacity that these people are criminal — even those who outright lobby for government issued subsidies to their industries are guilty.  As a person, they are empathetic, have concerns that probably mirror those of most people and who recycle.  Yet this does not alleviate the fact that Obama is a politician, seeks out rulership over others and will inevitably commit atrocities in his time as president, as all those at the helm of the state do.  But doesn’t the difference between motive and intent renders his crimes distinct from those of Cheney and Rumsfield?

Then there is the question about reformism; if murder cannot be justified and so violent revolution therefore off the table, then what about the prospects for the overtaking of the government by a party seeking to destroy the state from the inside? Figures that advocated this approach come to immediately, particularly Marx.  Marx rightly spoke out with ferocity against privilege and reminded elites that their privilege was not divine yet his proposition of revolution failed because it relied on faith and the state.  As it is impossible to know what will eventuate after a revolution runs its course, Marxism had nothing left but to take a leap of faith and incorporated the belief that government will merely disappear when a classless society has been achieved.  Government and the state, then became a tool to wrestle from the hands of the upper class and instead be employed towards the interests of the working class.  It is authoritarian in concept and recognises no value as the oppression that arrives with the state is then employed against the enemies of the revolution and so the whole venture hinges upon the existence of the state.  The Libertarian Party of America comes to mind as another group that has hinged on the same belief and while it is philosophically dissimilar to Marxism, advocates of either share the goal to reform away the state.  Legislation is supposedly to defeat legislation.  Again, a third philosophy whose proponents are often attracted to such thinking are the Anarcho-Capitalists which a strange overlap for two philosophies whose proponents loathe each other.  Rothbard, after all, did call for a militant party to take over the government and bring about the change desired. But nevertheless, the whole strategy falls prey to the inevitable fact that the state is of such bureaucratic girth that by the time one law has been fought against or introduced to limit the state, a number of others which strengthen the institution of the state have already been enacted.  And then, the whole attempt is at risk of falling prey to the same faults as revolution characterised by violence; if it is successful, then no doubt, momentum will be coopted by the individual in control of the party and, by extension, the government who then use the coercive power of the state to crush their opposition, solidify their position and justify it all in the name of change that never arrives.

The state exists to give a government power founded upon violence, in turn used to make and mould society to their vision, benefiting their friends and leaving the rest at a disadvantage.  Yet the perfect society they seek is an impossible ends.  The result is nothing short of absurd and we are left with no other option but to rebel.  However, our options are limited; we do not wish to become our masters who are reprehensible to us because of their lust for power and their profit at our expense.  Therefore the strategy of revolution as attempted in the past can no longer be accepted.  We cannot condone coercive violence to achieve our aims and neither can we tolerate reformism which wastes our time and resources.  Our only option is then the process of building our society within the shell of the old, an aged Anarchist concept that has sat, quietly, in the background while pragmatic violence and mundane reformism fall in an out of favour.  Such a concept is motivated, primarily, by creation.  The creation of infrastructure nurtures us and wrests control away from the state without violence, but through the simple act of existence.  We go about our daily lives, we trade, we organise according to our politics and understanding of the world and each day we live, we deprive the state of support and income because we show ourselves, our neighbours and the world that we can do it ourselves.  This infrastructure exists as everything from practices such as tax dodging and producing goods in a direct violation of every regulatory scheme invented, to community gardens, trade unions and antifa actions.  They serve purposes of each providing goods or services from security to repair work.  Each betters the world, but more importantly, they all in some way better our own lives.  After all, it is inevitable that any subsequent change, any revolution that topples the state and allows each of us to live out our lives free from another’s freedom to rob and murder us, will fail to do away with injustice.  Children will still be abused, people will still murder and thieve and we will still grapple with the questions on how to protect against these infringements upon our lives, even if overall injustice is reduced.  But the goal of seeking a just world, free of these evils, free of the inherent oppression that comes with the state and the inherent authoritarianism in such things as racism, nationalism and corporatism is what defines us as Anarchists.

We may not succeed, any alternative infrastructure we create may fail to drive support away from the state and authoritarian groups bent on obtaining power from themselves, but in our attempts we create lasting benefits in our communities.  We create a network founded upon mutuality and reciprocity, a counter-economy which provides a safety net, something which we and our friends can rely upon.  By doing so, we reject the freedom of the political class to kill and thieve and we recognise value in the world.  We cement the values of individualism and the passion for life that comes with existence in spite of the attempts by statist to impose themselves and their utopian visions upon us.  We laugh, we learn, we love and we rebel, for we are not them and should not permit ourselves to become the oppressors.  We do not seek absolutes, but we seek moderation, an equilibrium where each individual self is respected without molestation.  We are Anarchists.





Secessionist Movements

13 08 2009

David Gendron of Anarcho-pramatisme ask me in the comment section of my post on nationalism whether or not I support secessionist movements.  Originally, I was just going to reply there, but then after spend a good period of time typing out my response, I realise that I may as well give this question a full post of its own to do it justice.  I didn’t want to go rewriting War and Peace in the comments section of a post, as you could probably understand.

My thoughts on secessionist movements are complex.  Clearly, I oppose nationalism and I see no value in the concept which does nothing but act as a rallying call, around which people will gather and collectively waltz to their death for some abstract concept of ‘nation’ or ‘tribe’.  Defining oneself by an abstract concept based on the geographical region you happen to be born in is absurd.  I am cosmopolitan in my approach to the world and people; each person is to be judged on individual merit and I do not identify with one ‘team’ of people over another.  Likewise, I oppose any movement that seeks to establish or perpetuate a government as I forfeit my right to rule over others and oppose attempts by others to rule over me.

So where do I stand in regards to secessionist movements?  I do no support movements that seek to escape the presently existing government, simply because they belong to a particular group of people based on particular ethnicity or cultural heritage.  I will, on the other hand, support attempts to secede from another country which has taken control of a particular region by force.  However, my support for these movements do not rest upon a nationalist foundation but upon opposition to the validity of the state as an entity.  I do not recognise the right of any group, and by this I mean the limited number of people that are in the employ of a particular government, to claim sovereignty over a landmass and then declare its inhabitants to be their subjects by force.  I do not recognise the right to rule, and I support resistance against such rulership.

As a bad, but very general example, I would support an attempt by former Tibetans to regain control of their lands from the Chinese government because I do not recognise a government as a entity, not because they are Tibetan and the governing body is Chinese.  I support them in the sense that they are the ruled acting against the ruler who has created a hierarchy based on institutionalised power.  Their resistance is not justified because of their ethnicity, but because it opposes an institution that over the course of its most routine operations, oppresses those whom it controls.  In fact, I argue that a secessionist movement can not be justified on the basis of a dichotomy of ‘us vs them’ where them is not simply the people involved with the opposing government, but all those it has subordinated to its will.  Elevating the abstract concept of ethnic identify to a position where the individual will be considered meaningless except where it acts in accordance with the collective will is not only evil, but provides the foundation for fascism.  For me to throw my total support behind a particular movement, it needs to be motivated by an opposition to rulership and not because it is nationalist.

I will not support any secessionist movement that seeks to replace a larger government with a smaller government as they are still creating a government.  Creating a government, by definition, is to rule others; something which I fundamentally oppose.  Therefore, I reject calls that have been made by some for a ‘pan-secessionist’ movement whereby Anarchists align themselves with people from ideologies that not only permit rulership, but seek it out, for the sake utilitarian pragmatism.  Acting to cripple one oppressive state to erect hundreds other, small states is still perpetuating that evil.  Oppression will quite possibly be greater than it was under the original state.

I do accept that secessionist movements will almost always have some ethnic element in identifying who, exactly, they are seceding from.  For this reason I will praise the noteworthy aspects of a movement while condemning the evil aspects.  I may, for example, praise a secessionist movement for seeking to oppose a particular government, but I will condemn aspects which promote nationalism, particularly the ‘us vs them’ variety that inevitably concludes in racial/ethnic motivated violence and most importantly, any attempt to re-establish a state.








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