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Anarchist Sociology and Stratification in Education

American sociologist C. Wright Mills (1916 - 1962), 1960. (Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images)

American sociologist C. Wright Mills (1916 – 1962), 1960. (Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images)

I entered school in my late thirties with the intention to follow my passion professionally. After years of activism, reading and writing on gonzo times I figured I would try to pursue an education so my writing and research would be more professional. My main focus is sociology with intent to teach, study and research sociology. My goal is to pursue sociology from an explicitly anarchist perspective. C. Wright Mills wrote of having a sociological imagination. In the book Anarchy in Society: Reflections on an anarchist sociology they propose an ‘anarchist imagination’ and the search for an anarchist sociology. I assert that an anarchist sociology does exist and that we need to pursue what is out there and expand on this.

The problem with anarchism and sociology is the direct conflict they two have. Anarchism was created from the people. It emerged from workers movements and from the streets. Sociology was developed in institutions of higher learning. Institutions that are structured in a very hierarchal fashion. Schools are institutions of stratification. Not only does a hierarchy exist within the academic structure starting at the top with a president and working its way down a chain of command type structure, but they also rely heavily on capitalism.  The university I am attending has a business school. It seems to be the main focus of the university. Wealthy kids from wealthy homes go to get economic and business degrees so they can join their parents as the power elite. They will leave the school and become capitalists and technocrats. This also leads to the money tied into the school from the business school. With a university dependent on capitalism as the lifeblood and support how then can a university truly challenge the stratification of class and capitalism? The sociologists must fit within this stratified structure and will be limited on how much it can challenge the capitalist system. For this reason an anarchist sociology will be difficult to advance in most major universities. (Continued)

The EZLN, Zapata and the 500 year struggle for land

zapata1The story of the indigenous people in the southern states of mexico is a story of people who wanted to stay in their homes and have fought against the wealthy and powerful for 500 years over this. In 1492 Columbus reached the new world. Spanish Conquistadors went forward conquering and claiming lands that were previously inhabited. A new world had come to the people of the Americas and already it was forcing people from their homes. Columbus saw the new world as a land rich for exploitation full of natural resources and slaves. (Zinn) In Howard Zinn’s “People’s History of the United States” quotes Columbus’ log entries on the Arawak people: “They would make fine servants…. With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.” Unfortunately this view of the Indigenous people seems to be reflected in the actions of the ruling class in some parts of the Americas still to this day. The 500th year anniversary of Columbus arriving was 1992, this would mark the first recorded appearance of the Mexico’s Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) another movement in a long line of attempts to fight back over the centuries. (Continued)

Revolution Becomes Necessary

This is a piece that was written a few years back but never posted to Gonzo Times. In an effort to put out an archive of writings I am also going to try and release some unreleased works as well.

anarchist-social-revolution-in-spainWe are looking to form a new society within the shell of the old. This means educating, organizing and producing. This means that the revolution we are seeking must be built through free cooperation, production and built not through the destruction of war. The thing is that we are forming within the shell. A baby bird forms within a shell and has that one moment where it’s beak pierces the shell and breaks through. The revolution will have that one moment the piercing and shattering of the shell. If the bird in the shell is premature it will struggle and quite possibly die. We must nourish it, raise it up to be strong enough so that it will be able to break through that shell, grow strong and eventually soar.


Anarchism Vs. Communism The Ideologues

20120509171419-9f7e6944I have bowed out of the conflict that arises out of the anarchist ideologues for a few years now. I intentionally use the term ideologue for a reason. An ideologue by definition is an ideology that is uncompromising and unbendable.

Look at the reality of where the radical left is, especially within the U.S. and most of Europe. It is non-existent. Our fractured splintered ideologies are vast and even if we were to combine under one flag we would still be such a small political minority that we would not remotely register as relevant within our society.


Free E-Book: Gonzo Times Collected Articles of Punk Johnny Cash

ShaneI am posting a small e-book that contains some of the writing from the early years of Gonzo Times by Punk Johnny Cash.  The e-book focuses on Media and the Military. This collection of articles does have some new content and a few revisions from the original articles. Please download, share, feel free to reprint and distribute, or even use content if you need it in publications or on sites. I would appreciate getting credit if you do.

Punk Johnny Cash Gonzo Times.pdf

Punk Johnny Cash Gonzo Times.epub




I love Capitalism Because Of All The Good Things It Gave Us

This is an article reposted that I wrote in Feburary for Soapbox Books.

indexHuman innovation exists despite capitalism not because of capitalism. The assumption that capitalism makes these innovations and creations is inaccurate. Correlation is not causation.

People claim they love capitalism because of all the innovations and luxuries it has brought them. This is despite the obvious fact that we live in a capitalist system therefore must function within it to meet our basic needs. There is a more problematic element to this joke, the assumption that capitalism makes anything good or innovative happen. As stated above innovation exists despite capitalism not because of capitalism.

Vincent Van Gough painted some of the most iconic and innovative art in the world. Van Gough sold one single painting his entire career. According to capitalism this was not successful. Reality is that Van Gough had one thing in his favor, he did not have to contend with the cost of living. His brother paid his way as he painted and failed at capitalism. Many innovations are made in technology today through groups who work on open source projects. These are done not for profit but to better the world. The claim that the motive for profit is what drives innovation is false.

Capitalism exploits innovation. People create and innovate for many reasons. The capitalist system hinders this. How many great untapped talents have wasted their lives struggling to only meet the cost of living or scrape by without being able to even meet this? I’m sure most people reading this can say they have untapped talent. Many feel if only they were not focused on just getting by they could do more. We see this in privilege. Those of wealth and privilege are able to cover the cost of living while they focus on dreams, innovations and future endeavors. Others find they simply cannot make the basics yet alone put their time, money and efforts into the brilliance and creativity they have to offer the world.

The current system we have is a hindrance to human advancement. In a system of capitalism we see competition which requires a loser or many losers for one’s success. This is on top of the exploitation of labor which restricts the liberty and advancement of others through wage labor. We choose wage labor over pursuing our talents or brilliance because we wish to survive, not because we want to toil for the capitalists benefit.

To abolish capitalism and the current system would be to bring the opportunity for more people to contribute their talents to society and advance society much further than we ever can with capitalism holding us back. Capitalism rewards those with the capital, power and privilege. We must reject an economy of desperation and competition for one of cooperation.

Nothing ever burns down by itself, every fire needs a little bit of help

Revolution, radical resistance to the current system is not something that will come if you just sit and wait. When someone asks me what I ‘believe’ or promote as an anarchist I often get this basic trained response ‘that will never happen.’ And… To some extent they are right. As long as they keep doing the same thing over and over and continue to play by the guidelines of their rulers it will never happen. You see I won’t make some anarchist utopia. I’m not going to save the world. Until people begin to resist we will stay in place under our rulers.


I don’t have to save the world or bring about a global system. To obtain my goals I simply focus on direct action where I can make changes. When others do this as well movements will spread. Every social and political revolution was impossible and destined to never happen.


Complacency is always the greatest tool the oppressors have held. They never need your support, just an unwillingness to stand up against them. So, I’ll just keep at fueling the fire. As the song says “Nothing ever burns down by itself, every fire needs a little bit of help.” So, I just keep throwing kindling on the wood pile and keep trying to start that fire. Eventually it will light.

Art For Money

I have made a decision to not make a living off of my art anymore.  As I mentioned before art is subject to capitalism. To make a living off of art will no doubt direct ones art towards areas that are most likely in service to capitalism. All these art school graduates are flooding into jobs as graphic designers and most are doing nothing close to what they were passionate about. Art is my  immortality.  I will live on through my art and writing. It is life after death. My legacy will not be that of the capitalist. My legacy will be built on the philosophies and beliefs that I espouse.

I found myself in a trap. I was attempting to create paintings that others would want to see. My art was aimed at being aesthetically appealing. Art to hang above your couch is not the art I create. I am not in any way talking down to art that is. Well not all art that is, Thomas Kinkade was about worthless. Perhaps that is my radical socialist view. Here is one guy preaching what is ought to be and turning the perpetuation of the lie into a capitalist enterprise. Fuck that shit.

So here I am. Criticizing my past art. I have done art to survive for years. My art has been design for corporate and military propaganda. I have sold shit to survive falling into the same trap almost every other artist fell into. How do you break it? I am not completely certain, but I do know at this point that my art must not be geared towards a sale or to please someone else. I must continue to create art that comes from that place that I am passionate about. I must be delivering the medicine for the corruption of the consciousness. If as Collingwood said art is the medicine I must ask if I am a snake oil salesman or am I curing cancer? I am going to try my damnedest to cure the cancers of society and stop peddling snake oil. What is the cancer? Capitalism, Militarism, Capitalism, Sexism, Hetrosexism, Racism, Religion, The State and all forms of hierarchy.

Property Paintings

labor is my property

Your Labor Is My Property – Slave



samoJean-Michel Basquiat was a figure who seems to overshadow his own art. An artists success is largely determined by who they know or who knows them. Basquiat was able to ride his wave of popularity and social success into a booming career. Some art critics question if he added anything truly new to the history of art. His contribution to art history is one that leads to the future of art and artists. Like Keith Haring Basquiat gained popularity for graffiti. Basquiat gained fame and recognition for graffiti before he ever painted on canvas. His painting on canvas was a result from his popularity for graffiti.

Street art is not permanent. Artists often consider the life of their work. Painters will seek materials and techniques that will stand the test of time. Tagging is temporary. It is said to be a popularity game. The idea is said tot be that your name is seen and you are known. The rise of street art and artists from this scene really boomed in the 90’s and early 21st century. Two artists who gained popularity or really the ones who accomplished this first were Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. You can see their importance in that they were early pioneers in the modern relevant medium.