Since the 9/11 attacks in 2001 some in the western world have drawn the conclusion that all terrorists are Muslims. This poorly crafted, yet well established hypothesis has, as I see it, two origins.
Firstly, the rise and news coverage of terrorism done in the name of Islam. It is best described as the logical fallacy, post hoc ergo propter hoc, which is Latin for, after this, therefore because of this. This leads to the presumption; Islamic extremists (A) use terrorism (B) to further their cause, therefore Islam (A) is the cause of terrorism (B), therefore removing Muslims (A) from the western world will end terrorism (B).
Secondly, the understanding of what terrorism is meant to achieve has also become warped in our western society. Again we observe the use of post hoc illogic to make terrorism seem as an anti-western tool for non-western countries. Completely ignoring what Brian Jenkins, an expert on terrorism, wrote in 1975, “terrorists want a lot of people watching, not a lot of people dead.”
Therefore the greatest tool for terrorists are fear. Without it they are just a bunch of people killing other people for no apparent reason or goal. Fear is used because they often have limited access to great numbers of combatants and efficient weaponry, so the ability to take control over a government is almost impossible. That is why they need to use fear to convince a government to change and move in the direction they want it to, and to do that they need to spread fear efficiently. That is why it is more effective for terrorist organisations to have more onlookers than dead people.
Terrorism is mostly effective when the terrorists’ goal has been established, and when the fear of an unknown attack has effectively been spread through society.
On 22 May our ideas about terrorism and Islam was again challenged when a British soldier was attacked and killed in Woolwich, a district in London UK. Because the attackers made it clear to those witnessing the attack they did it to send a message to the British army to, as one of the attackers claimed, stop the killing of Muslims.
Admitting that the attack was done in the name of Islam it was quickly concluded it was a terrorist attack. Which some in the media decided to put in their headline. Feeding on both the fear of terrorism and Islam in the western world — in the name of ratings.
The English Defence League swiftly used this as an opportunity to protest, blaming the attack on Islam as a whole. Painting every Muslim, again, as a potential terrorist. A blight on the western society, as they see it, that needs to be removed. Because if Islam is removed from the western society, according to the illogical post hoc conclusion, terrorism will also be removed. Completely ignoring the fact that international terrorism attacks has been in decline since the late 1980s.
In this day of age information can reach around the world within seconds thanks to the Internet. Which is why I decided to investigate if this attack, and reaction from EDL, would also have an impact on Australia. Which I found it would have, after discovering the Australian Defence League, located in Sydney, had planned a protest against Islam on Friday 26 May.
At first there were no mention of a protest by ADL members in Queensland, but after monitoring their Facebook page, a post from Restore Australia emerged. Saying an anti-Islam protest outside Queensland Parliament House in Brisbane on that same day as the ADL protest would happen at 4 pm, urging anyone opposing Islam to come along.
I decided to go there as a journalist a cover the event, to witness how it would unfold on the streets of Brisbane, as they had been urged by the police not to burn the Koran.
When arriving outside Queensland Parliament House on George St, which is a shared entrance for Queensland University of Technology [QUT], the presence of police was difficult to ignore. Earlier QUT had also advised their fellow students to avoid that area. A situation that most might find a bit surreal to happen in a country where the locals see themselves as laid-back and willing to give anyone a fair go.
It is tempting to say that the weather did not side with the anti-Islam protesters that day, as it was cloudy, cold and keeping most people outside a bit damp with random light drizzle. Which is why when the clock turned 4 pm and that no-one had apparently showed up yet, it was first assumed the protest would not happen. It was not until closer to 4.30 pm something started to happen.
A group of three people had arrived with a large banner for the Restore Australia foundation and some signs with anti-Islam scribblings on them. We were told Restore Australia CEO Mike Holt would arrive soon. Before his arrival a group of five had gathered, talking with the media why they do not want Islam in Australia. Making various claims. During that time Mr holt arrived to take part of the protest against, what was referred to as, Islamisation of Australia and introduction of Sharia Law.
Mr Holt said Restore Australia is working for the Australian people to be able to amend the Australian constitution, giving all Australians the right to initiate referendums.
“Then we can stop Islamisation of Australia,” Mr Holt said.
“We don’t want them imposing Sharia Law on Australia.”
The anti-Islam protesters were confronted and outnumbered by a group of students from QUT. At one point the discussion became a bit heated, shouting and swearwords from both sides, but luckily the situation never escalated to violence.
QUT student Ahmed El-Merebi said he studies constitutional law to uphold the constitutional rights in Australia and Sharia Law is only a religious code.
“Sharia Law derives from the law of Jesus, from the law of Moses and from the law of Mohammed,” Mr El-Merebi said.
“It [Islam] was founded upon Christian principles.”
Protester Stuart Boyd said we all came here for a peaceful demonstration and we all want to voice our opinion calmly.
“I am not against muslims, I am against Sharia Law,” Mr Boyd said.
“There is a lot of good people out there.”
Mr El-Merebi and Mr Boyd were there on opposite sides, disagreeing on most things. They did however agree the media might be culpable for inciting unnecessary conflict in society.
“The media holds the key,” Mr Boyd said.
Mr El-Merebi also made the point that we are brainwashed by the media. Which I as a journalist can understand why such harsh criticism is directed at my colleagues. As I pointed out in the beginning, the attack in Woolwich was instantly labeled as a terrorist attack. Which raises the question, when did a random stabbing of one person by two attackers become a terrorist attack?
It might have been one, but before we make that call, let us first wait for the investigators of that case gather the evidence, before we make such a hastily claim. Because all we have now as evidence are two people with dark skin, claiming they are Muslims and killed the British soldier because they accuse the British army of killing Muslims. There are more criteria to be fulfilled before you can attach the terrorist label on someone or an act. For now, all it was, yet still gruesome, a random attack (when this column was written).
This is exactly what the media, us journalists, need to be aware of. Sometimes we need to forget about who can publish something first. Rather focus on who can publish something accurate and factual.
Which is why I have decided to omit the worst things said from the protest, from both sides — those opposing Islam and those defending it. Not because I support censorship, but to avoid putting emphasis on stereotypes. It was a protest where the tension between both parties being there was evident. Enough tension there if a larger crowd were present it would easily provide more courage to each side to antagonise each other to fight with their fists rather than words. But it did not happen — this time.
It is of course tempting to say because of the few anti-Islam protesters there that they lost this round. But in reality, a confrontation like this is very similar to a war. One side will lose, either by force or by being outnumbered. But at the end of the day, in war, there are no winners, only casualties. We were all casualties that day. The anti-Islamists are casualties of fear, those opposing them are casualties of hate and us, the media, are casualties of being spreaders of this fear and hate.
On that day, we all died on the battlefield, only our spirits went home that day, giving the illusion we are still alive.
Utter the words police and excessive use of force in the same context, and most people will instantly think of the US. Then in the same breath of air, mention journalists and censorship, and most might instead refocus to China. That is what I’ve experienced; reading comments on news sites, following discussions on forums and on Twitter and when talking with people regarding such topics.
Excessive use of force by police is often attributed to the US while silencing the media is attributed to China. It’s a stereotype, an unfortunate one.
Wednesday last week, 16 May, changed that perception regarding such presumptions about the US and China. The use of excessive force and silencing the media can happen anywhere.
A group of Indigenous Australians had set up a Tent Embassy in Musgrave Park to protest the lack of rights they have in their own country – which were taken away from them in 1778 by the British.
The day before, Tuesday 15 May, they had been served with a final notice by Brisbane City Council to move-on and disassemble their Tent Embassy. This refusal was met with a warning that on Wednesday 16 May the Tent Embassy would be removed and disassembled by Queensland Police Service.
6 am on Wednesday 16 may it had been announced the police would move-in on the Tent Embassy.
At around 6 am about 200 police officers surrounded the Tent Embassy in Musgrave Park with 50-60 protesters and few journalists that had managed to enter before the police started their blockade.
Musgrave Park, which the Tent Embassy was located in, and its surrounding streets were closed and blocked for all access. You could leave, but police would not allow entry or re-entry to the Tent Embassy. Telling journalists, that if they would try to enter or didn’t comply with police orders, they would be subject to arrest.
After a two-hour long negotiation between the Tent Embassy and police, the police decided to evict people from the Tent Embassy and disassemble it. During negotiations the police offered less and less to the point the Tent Embassy felt they weren’t given any choice than to stand their ground.
The police moved-in en masse on the Tent Embassy, first targeting the media; telling journalists that if they did not move-on they would be arrested. When most of the media had been cleared out and stood far away the eviction started.
Wednesday 16 May was a day Australians were reminded that the government still doesn’t really care about the rights of the Indigenous Australians. It is also a day that should not only remind Australians, but also the world, censorship and threats directed at the media can and will happen anywhere – even in western democratic countries.
That day, silencing a minority and the media, happened in Australia.
There is only one black person in my GMB. Seriously. Just one. There are at least two queer white AMAB people. Lets put this into perspective. Less than 1% of people in the US are queer AMAB people. Less than 1% of people in Kansas City are queer AMAB people. 12.6% of US residents, however, are black, and even more – 28% – in Kansas City are black. Among working-class people, I’d imagine that that number is even more skewed. So why is it that the Industrial Workers of the World, Kansas City GMB, has only one black member?
I’ve come to a couple of conclusions based on speaking with her and from my own observations about how business is done here, and likely in a lot of other places as well.
First, the KC IWW has strong ties to UMKC. This is generally a good thing; several of our most active members are or were students while also working the sort of dead-end jobs students often work while in school. Several faculty members have been supportive and one is even a long-time IWW member himself. This also has an impact on outreach to the black community, however. Racial discrepencies exist in terms of children from working-class homes being able to go to college. It’s harder for black children from working-class backgrounds to go to college, and so even though UMKC’s campus is fairly diverse, a lot of those black students are likely from middle-class homes and hence not as interested in radical industrial unionism, which exists primarily to defend the working class. White students from working-class homes still, even in this economy where socio-economic mobility is tremendously limited to begin with, have an easier time than black students do. So we see a disconnect on college campuses across the country in terms of reaching working class students.
Another issue is that many people hear about the IWW from friends and acquaintances, not just through google or facebook. One of the things I’d like this article to do is to make black people more aware of the IWW – the first union to organize colored workers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when other unions would not – in order to bring the black community back into the fold of the IWW. It’s sad but true that many social circles are still somewhat racially insular, however, so without breaking that ground to begin with, it will be difficult to move beyond being a very white organization.
How can we address this? I think we need to get off the internet, for one thing. While lots of working class people have internet access, many do not use it as a social network. By bringing outreach to working-class black neighborhoods, we can likely expand our reach within that community. Beyond that, it’s always important to take the issues and concerns of non-white members seriously. Black folks in the US today make up a big chunk of the urban working class, and the urban working class is exactly who the IWW is fighting for. Without their input, we’re not fully and adequately representing the urban working class.
Even when it was laissez, it wasn’t faire
If it were merely a historical question of the material role the State played in the emergence of Capital, and the role it continues to play in Capital’s own development even now, Kevin Carson and Karl Marx would be in complete agreement on the facts. Even if we extended Carson’s argument to include the idea that every step in the development of Capital has required State coercion and violence, Carson would get no argument from Marx. Finally, Marx would entirely agree with Carson’s argument that the present system is exploitative; and that its exploitation depends solely on the state.
The disagreement between Marx and Carson is not with these historical and material facts, but with the question raised by them of, which, the State or Capital, is the driving force in this development. While Carson believes the State is the autonomous actor in the development of capitalist exploitation, Marx believed the State’s absolutely essential role in the development of Capital results from inherent internal barriers created by the capitalist mode of production itself. In support of my assertion on these points, I offer no other evidence than Marx’s own words as written in Capital, Volume 3, Chapter 15:
“If, as shown, a falling rate of profit is bound up with an increase in the mass of profit, a larger portion of the annual product of labour is appropriated by the capitalist under the category of capital (as a replacement for consumed capital) and a relatively smaller portion under the category of profit… Furthermore, the mass of profit increases in spite of its slower rate with the growth of the invested capital. However, this requires a simultaneous concentration of capital, since the conditions of production then demand employment of capital on a larger scale. It also requires its centralisation, i.e. , the swallowing up of the small capitalists by the big and their deprivation of capital… It is this same severance of the conditions of production, on the one hand, from the producers, on the other, that forms the conception of capital. It begins with primitive accumulation…, appears as a permanent process in the accumulation and concentration of capital, and expresses itself finally as centralisation of existing capitals in a few hands and a deprivation of many of their capital (to which expropriation is now changed). This process would soon bring about the collapse of capitalist production if it were not for counteracting tendencies, which have a continuous decentralising effect alongside the centripetal one.”
In this sketch of the contradictions inherent in Wage Slavery, Marx demonstrates why continuous state intervention is necessary not merely at the earliest periods of the emergence of the social relation, during the period of primitive accumulation, and in its latest period of development, a period of absolute over-accumulation of capital, but why state intervention in the social process of production is required during the whole of the capitalist epoch. On its own, the contradictions inherent in the capitalist mode of production itself would drive it to rapid extinction.
As with Carson’s Mutualist analysis, there is in Marx’s theory no period of laissez-faire political relations in which “the… character of the system was largely… a “neutral” legal framework…” This much should already be obvious, since, in 1848 — six years before Benjamin Tucker was born, more than two decades before he became an Anarchist, and nearly three decades before his first published work — Marx wrote in the Communist Manifesto, “The executive of the modern state is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie.”
Precisely when the mainstream historian, the Anarcho-Capitalist and the Marxist propose the State operated as a neutral legal framework, and not to enforce the system of Wage Slavery — and, precisely when each proposes Capital was in its alleged “competitive”, as opposed to its alleged “monopoly”, phase — Marx was describing the State in exactly these terms. Historical materialism has never proposed any other relation between the State and the total social capital than the one cited above — that the State, insofar as it can be considered a distinct entity in capitalist society, acts as the general social manager of the mode of production.
However, even if we go beyond the merely formal distinction between Capital as a form of private property and the State as the general manager of the interests of these private capitals — i.e., as the general manager of the system of Wage Slavery — and assume the State has acted throughout history directly on its own behalf as the social capitalist, it is still obvious that the inherent contradictions of the capitalist mode of production impose on the State-Capital entity precisely the same laws as are imposed on the total social capital when it is formally operating independent of the State. The entirely formal distinction between the State, on the one hand, and the total social capital, on the other, has absolutely no impact on the influence of the relations of production on political relations generally, but only on the ways this influence is expressed in actual political events.
This is because, in historical materialism, the State, whatever its relation to the existing mode of production prevailing in society, is nevertheless only a body composed of members of society carrying out the particular public functions of the State. It is a part of the general division of labor prevailing in society, and not, as mainstream political-economy would have us believe, an entity standing outside this division of labor. It does not matter in the least whether politics forms a sphere separate from the direct exploitation of labor power in the capitalist mode of production — as, for instance, is said to prevail in the United States — or is entirely fused with this direct exploitation of labor power — as might be argued in the case of the People’s Republic of China at present — the contradiction arising from the process of production of surplus value itself gives rise to the same necessities.
Moreover, in every historical epoch known to us, the State is not, and has never been, anything but a given quantity of surplus product of the existing mode of exploitation of labor organized in the form of the State. Since, in all epochs for which historical records are available, it is composed of men and women who are, by definition, unproductive drones within society, wasting the productive capacity of society on efforts, which, under any and all previous epochs, are entirely superfluous to human needs, it follows that its entire constitution depends on the productive labor of the remaining portion of society, and on the actual mode of production of surplus product prevailing in the society, however historically determined. For the State to be otherwise, it would no longer be the State, but a particular element of the productive capacity of society itself.
Finally, it is an obvious conclusion that whatever the social relations under which the surplus product of society is produced in an epoch, these social relations are of paramount importance to the State, precisely because it has bearing not only on private interests bound up with the mode of production, but with the interests of the State itself. If this relation between the State and the prevailing mode of extraction of surplus product had not been already explicitly argued for by centuries of observers, it could be easily deduced from historical experience. Thus, for example, Wikipedia tells us, in the literature of Ancient Greece, the only basis on which utopian society is organized without a slave population is that where labor itself has been abolished:
The Greeks could not comprehend an absence of slaves. Slaves exist even in the “Cloudcuckooland” of Aristophanes’ The Birds as well as in the ideal cities of Plato’s Laws or Republic. The utopian cities of Phaleas of Chalcedon and Hippodamus of Miletus are based on the equal distribution of property, but public slaves are used respectively as craftsmen and land workers. The “reversed cities” placed women in power or even saw the end of private property, as in Lysistrata or Assemblywomen, but could not picture slaves in charge of masters. The only societies without slaves were those of the Golden Age, where all needs were met. In this type of society, as explained by Plato, one reaped generously without sowing. In Telekleides’ Amphictyons barley loaves fight with wheat loaves for the honour of being eaten by men. Moreover, objects move themselves—dough kneads itself, and the jug pours itself. Society without slaves is thus relegated to a different time and space. In a “normal” society, one needs slaves.
What is particularly offensive in this regard, is the implication made by Kevin Carson, that somehow, Marx held to the same conclusion as the ancient Greeks, namely, that the system of Wage Slavery could only be abolished given the abolition of labor itself. Carson argues:
A second failing of Marxism (or at least the vulgar variety) was to treat the evolution of particular social and political forms as natural outgrowths of a given technical mode of production.
No social order is ever destroyed before all the productive forces for which it is sufficient have been developed, and new superior relations of production replace older ones before the material conditions for their existence have matured within the framework of the old society. Mankind thus inevitably sets itself such tasks as it is able to solve, since closer examination will always show that the problem itself arises only when the material conditions for its solution are already present or at least in the course of formation. In broad outline, the Asiatic, ancient, feudal and modern bourgeois modes of production may be designated as epochs marking progress in the economic development of society. (169)
For the Marxists, a “higher” or more progressive form of society could only come about when productive forces under the existing form of society had reached their fullest possible development under that society. To attempt to create a free and non-exploitative society before its technical and productive prerequisites had been achieved would be folly. The proper anarchist position, in contrast, is that exploitation and class rule are not inevitable at any time; they depend upon intervention by the state, which is not at all necessary. Just social and economic relations are compatible with any level of technology; technical progress can be achieved and new technology integrated into production in any society, thorough free work and voluntary cooperation. As G. K. Chesterton pointed out, all the technical prerequisites for steam engines had been achieved by the skilled craftsmen of the High Middle Ages. Had not the expropriation of the peasantry and the crushing of the free cities taken place, a steam powered industrial revolution would still have taken place–but the main source of capital for industrializing would have been in the hands of the democratic craft guilds. The market system would have developed on the basis of producer ownership of the means of production. Had not Mesopotamian and Egyptian elites figured out six thousand years ago that the peasantry produced a surplus and could be milked like cattle, free people would still have exchanged their labor and devised ways, through voluntary cooperation, to make their work easier and more productive. Parasitism is not necessary for progress.
Is this right? Is Marx making the absurd statement that Wage Slavery could not be abolished until the productive forces founded on Wage Slavery “had reached their fullest possible development under that society.” Carson offers not one bit of evidence to support this outrageous claim, and is demonstrably wrong on it.
I will examine this absolutely incomprehensible charge in my next post.
/edited for terminology — JRE
Tags: Anarcho-capitalism, capital, cartelization, colonization, compulsory labor, Conservatism, Fascist State, Jim Crow, Kevin Carson, labor, labor power, Liberalism, Marxism, monopoly, Murray Rothbard, Mutualism, poor laws, primitive accumulation, Racism, soviet union, Stromberg, surplus value, The Constitution, The State, vagabondage, vagrancy laws, wage slavery
Our friend, Moneybags, must be so lucky…
I apologize to readers for the mind-numbingly extensive quotes in the previous post, but I wanted it to be absolutely clear that the historical record demonstrates Carson is entirely on firm footing when he asserts Capital — that is, Wage Slavery — would be impossible without the State — not just presently, but in the earliest moments of its emergence as well. I now want to be equally clear that Marx himself acknowledges this to be a fact, when he writes:
For the conversion of his money into capital, therefore, the owner of money must meet in the market with the free labourer, free in the double sense, that as a free man he can dispose of his labour-power as his own commodity, and that on the other hand he has no other commodity for sale, is short of everything necessary for the realisation of his labour-power.
The question why this free labourer confronts him in the market, has no interest for the owner of money, who regards the labour-market as a branch of the general market for commodities. And for the present it interests us just as little. We cling to the fact theoretically, as he does practically. One thing, however, is clear — Nature does not produce on the one side owners of money or commodities, and on the other men possessing nothing but their own labour-power. This relation has no natural basis, neither is its social basis one that is common to all historical periods. It is clearly the result of a past historical development, the product of many economic revolutions, of the extinction of a whole series of older forms of social production.
So, too, the economic categories, already discussed by us, bear the stamp of history. Definite historical conditions are necessary that a product may become a commodity. It must not be produced as the immediate means of subsistence of the producer himself. Had we gone further, and inquired under what circumstances all, or even the majority of products take the form of commodities, we should have found that this can only happen with production of a very specific kind, capitalist production. Such an inquiry, however, would have been foreign to the analysis of commodities. Production and circulation of commodities can take place, although the great mass of the objects produced are intended for the immediate requirements of their producers, are not turned into commodities, and consequently social production is not yet by a long way dominated in its length and breadth by exchange-value. The appearance of products as commodities pre-supposes such a development of the social division of labour, that the separation of use-value from exchange-value, a separation which first begins with barter, must already have been completed. But such a degree of development is common to many forms of society, which in other respects present the most varying historical features. On the other hand, if we consider money, its existence implies a definite stage in the exchange of commodities. The particular functions of money which it performs, either as the mere equivalent of commodities, or as means of circulation, or means of payment, as hoard or as universal money, point, according to the extent and relative preponderance of the one function or the other, to very different stages in the process of social production. Yet we know by experience that a circulation of commodities relatively primitive, suffices for the production of all these forms. Otherwise with capital. The historical conditions of its existence are by no means given with the mere circulation of money and commodities. It can spring into life, only when the owner of the means of production and subsistence meets in the market with the free labourer selling his labour-power. And this one historical condition comprises a world’s history. Capital, therefore, announces from its first appearance a new epoch in the process of social production.
From this passage we can see that Capital, that is, Wage Slavery was, in Marx’s opinion, not a result of nature, nor was it the mere product of preexisting social development. Rather, it was a rupture — a world historical occurrence — in pre-capitalist social relations. Even with the appearance of commodities, trade, money, etc. the emergence of capitalist social relations is not a necessary outcome. It occurs in history only when the owner of the means of production and subsistence enters into a specific relationship with another who has the “freedom” to sell her capacity to labor and is, moreover, compelled by circumstances, on pain of starvation, to sell this capacity. However, as was shown in the previous post, even facing starvation, it still took relentless state violence over many decades — centuries — for this mass of pitiful sub-humans to be broken to a life of wage slavery.
Wage slavery is no natural state for any human being. Despite the violence of the State and the efforts to starve them into submission, domesticating human beings to the routine of modern wage slavery was nowhere near as clean and elegant as is implied by the supply/demand curve of the simple-minded economist. It was — and remains today — an arena of constant violent aggression within society against the worker, in which every means available — political, military and economic — are brought to bear to compel her submission. The neglect of this fact is all the more to be denounced, since, in the Fascist State, the wage slave is routinely portrayed as the willing partner in an otherwise unremarkable market transaction — the Fascist State is all too ready to deny the paternity of its bastard offspring, and swear them all to be the product of Virgin Birth.
Kevin Carson may be polite, and keep this discussion on an intellectual plane, but I am not so polite; I am willing to thrust the face of the Anarcho-Capitalist in the shit that is the history of Capital. As the Anarcho-Capitalist drones on and on about the “Rights of Englishmen”, and “Taxation as a form of Involuntary Servitude”, this nonsense can be brought to a sudden halt merely by asking him to consider how long the wealth of one would be safe, if the State could not be called upon to protect his property rights from the anger of the remaining 9,999 living on the edge of existence. Nothing converts a Rothbardian Anarcho-Capitalist into a model Fascist Citizen so quickly as the possibility of Voluntary Association of the laborers and the eradication of Wage Slavery.
On the other hand, we have the Marxist, who, despite his self-identification, could not pick Karl Marx out of a crowd of well shaven Keynesian economists. Unlike the Anarcho-Capitalist — who, reflecting his social base, decries the imposts of the Fascist State on the meager wealth of the petty capitalists, marginalized from productive employment of their capital by the progress of Capital itself, and forced to scurry about in various speculative enterprises to protect it from inflation — the Marxist is a poseur, who advocates on behalf of the wage slave — but only so far as she remains a slave of the State. Reduction of hours of labor to end unemployment forever? The Marxist has never heard of such nonsense, despite having read Capital, where Marx explicitly referred to it as the “modest Magna Carta” of the working class. In any case, the Marxist explains, we need the Fascist State to “invest” in “infrastructure” and “green jobs”, so the active laboring population must be worked to its absolute limit and the unemployed left to starve, so that the Fascist State may have the resources it needs to accomplish this. (Taking a page from the talking points memo of Fascist economists like Paul Krugman, the Marxist has taken to referring to wasteful Fascist State expenditures as “investments”.) If, by some fantastic chance, working people should overthrow this Fascist State, the Marxist explains, even then compulsory labor cannot be done away with. The workers is not prepared intellectually to manage her own affairs without the despotism of the party-state, which alone has the foresight and vision to manage society on her behalf until such time as she is deemed capable. When might this be? The party-state will know it, when the time arrives, of course.
Carson is not only right to take both Anarcho-Capitalists and Marxists to task on this point, he has the entirety of the bloody history of Wage Slavery on his side — a history both the Anarcho-Capitalist and the Marxist wish to ignore; which they wish to prettify by blaming its results either on the State, as the Anarcho-Capitalist does, or on Capital, as the Marxist does. The true facts are these: the Wage Slave was bludgeoned by decades of State violence, even as she was starved out by the monopoly owners of Capital, in an efforts to make her submit to the very conditions of life we now take as the natural state of society. If, Kevin Carson is to be criticized for anything in this regard, it is that he did not treat these critical communist trends with the contempt they deserve — that he did not call them out on their nonsense, and expose their muddle-headed arguments as such. I think there is a reason for this; and, I believe that reason lies in the flaws of Carson’s own argument regarding both Capital and the State — a flaw he shares with both communist trends.
I will turn to this in my next post.
Tags: Anarcho-capitalism, capital, cartelization, colonization, compulsory labor, Conservatism, Fascist State, Jim Crow, Kevin Carson, labor, labor power, Liberalism, Marxism, monopoly, Murray Rothbard, Mutualism, poor laws, primitive accumulation, Racism, soviet union, Stromberg, surplus value, The Constitution, The State, vagabondage, vagrancy laws, wage slavery
Capital, or, Slavery by Another Name
Kevin Carson’s “Austrian & Marxist Theories of Monopoly Capital: A Mutualist Synthesis” states his Mutualist position in opposition to both the anarcho-capitalist Libertarian and Marxist theories of monopoly capitalism. The theories of the Anarcho-Capitalist camp and the Marxist camp are, in turn, set in opposition to mainstream liberal and conservative arguments.
According to Carson, mainstream liberals and conservatives argue the Fascist State acts as a constraint on Capital. Though differing on whether this constraint operates in favor of society or against, both wings of the dominant consensus hold to this view:
Both mainline “conservatives” and “liberals” share the same mirror-imaged view of the world (but with “good guys” and “bad guys” reversed), in which the growth of the welfare and regulatory state reflected a desire to restrain the power of big business. According to this commonly accepted version of history, the Progressive and New Deal programs were forced on corporate interests from outside, and against their will. In this picture of the world, big government is a populist “countervailing power” against the “economic royalists.” This picture of the world is shared by Randroids and Chicago boys on the right, who fulminate against “looting” by “anti-capitalist” collectivists; and by NPR liberals who confuse the New Deal with the Second Advent. It is the official ideology of the publick skool establishment, whose history texts recount heroic legends of “trust buster” TR combating the “malefactors of great wealth,” and Upton Sinclair’s crusade against the meat packers. It is expressed in almost identical terms in right-wing home school texts by Clarence Carson and the like, who bemoan the defeat of business at the hands of the collectivist state.
The conventional understanding of government regulation was succinctly stated by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., the foremost spokesman for corporate liberalism: “Liberalism in America has ordinarily been the movement on the part of the other sections of society to restrain the power of the business community.” Mainstream liberals and conservatives may disagree on who the “bad guy” is in this scenario, but they are largely in agreement on the anti-business motivation. For example, Theodore Levitt of the Harvard Business Review lamented in 1968: “Business has not really won or had its way in connection with even a single piece of proposed regulatory or social legislation in the last three-quarters of a century.”
Carson has this to say of the critical communist theories of Anarcho-Capitalism and Marxism:
Stromberg’s argument is based on Murray Rothbard’s Austrian theory of regulatory cartelization. Economists of the Austrian school, especially Ludwig von Mises and his disciple Rothbard, have taken a view of state capitalism in many respects resembling that of the New Left. That is, both groups portray it as a movement of large-scale, organized capital to obtain its profits through state intervention into the economy, although the regulations entailed in this project are usually sold to the public as “progressive” restraints on big business. This parallelism between the analyses of the New Left and the libertarian Right was capitalized upon by Rothbard in his own overtures to the Left. In such projects as his journal Left and Right, and in the anthology A New History of Leviathan (coedited with New Leftist Ronald Radosh), he sought an alliance of the libertarian Left and Right against the corporate state.
Rothbard treated the “war collectivism” of World War I as a prototype for twentieth century state capitalism. He described it as
a new order marked by strong government, and extensive and pervasive government intervention and planning, for the purpose of providing a network of subsidies and monopolistic privileges to business, and especially to large business, interests. In particular, the economy could be cartelized under the aegis of government, with prices raised and production fixed and restricted, in the classic pattern of monopoly; and military and other government contracts could be channeled into the hands of favored corporate producers. Labor, which had been becoming increasingly rambunctious, could be tamed and bridled into the service of this new, state monopoly-capitalist order, through the device of promoting a suitably cooperative trade unionism, and by bringing the willing union leaders into the planning system as junior partners.
In this article, which is a review of the literature, Kevin Carson attempts to synthesize the view of the two critical communism theories. Carson takes on both the opportunism of Anarcho-Capitalism and Marxism, with regards to capitalist property and the State, respectively. He attempts to demonstrate what these critical communist theories have in common, but also how their differences leads them into errors.
He argues, rather persuasively, that capitalist social relations are impossible without the State. His argument refers not just to present day Capital — during this period of over-accumulation — but also to the very beginning. So, he is making the argument that Capital itself arose on the basis of violence and state-sponsored primitive accumulation. He is, therefore, not making a hypothetical argument, but a historical one – which argument can be actually confirmed by historical records.
While we can make hypothetical arguments against his position, the real question is: “Does his argument hold water as history?” The answer to this can only be, “Yes.” So, that being the case, my own review begins with acknowledging this historical fact. So far as I can see, Marx and Carson agree on this point. Even though Carson asserts Marx disagrees with him in the German Ideology. Marx does not. He writes of the bloody violence unleashed on the floating population of England under Henry VIII, and, moreover, the history of plunder and colonization, and intensified inter-state conflict that accompanied the rise of Capital:
With guild-free manufacture, property relations also quickly changed. The first advance beyond naturally derived estate capital was provided by the rise of merchants whose capital was from the beginning movable, capital in the modern sense as far as one can speak of it, given the circumstances of those times. The second advance came with manufacture, which again made mobile a mass of natural capital, and altogether increased the mass of movable capital as against that of natural capital.
At the same time, manufacture became a refuge of the peasants from the guilds which excluded them or paid them badly, just as earlier the guild-towns had [served] as a refuge for the peasants from [the oppressive landed nobility].
Simultaneously with the beginning of manufactures there was a period of vagabondage caused by the abolition of the feudal bodies of retainers, the disbanding of the swollen armies which had flocked to serve the kings against their vassals, the improvement of agriculture, and the transformation of great strips of tillage into pasture land. From this alone it is clear how this vagabondage is strictly connected with the disintegration of the feudal system. As early as the thirteenth century we find isolated epochs of this kind, but only at the end of the fifteenth and beginning of the sixteenth does this vagabondage make a general and permanent appearance. These vagabonds, who were so numerous that, for instance, Henry VIII of England had 72,000 of them hanged, were only prevailed upon to work with the greatest difficulty and through the most extreme necessity, and then only after long resistance. The rapid rise of manufactures, particularly in England, absorbed them gradually.
With the advent of manufactures, the various nations entered into a competitive relationship, the struggle for trade, which was fought out in wars, protective duties and prohibitions, whereas earlier the nations, insofar as they were connected at all, had carried on an inoffensive exchange with each other. Trade had from now on a political significance.
With the advent of manufacture the relationship between worker and employer changed. In the guilds the patriarchal relationship between journeyman and master continued to exist; in manufacture its place was taken by the monetary relation between worker and capitalist — a relationship which in the countryside and in small towns retained a patriarchal tinge, but in the larger, the real manufacturing towns, quite early lost almost all patriarchal complexion.
Manufacture and the movement of production in general received an enormous impetus through the extension of commerce which came with the discovery of America and the sea-route to the East Indies. The new products imported thence, particularly the masses of gold and silver which came into circulation and totally changed the position of the classes towards one another, dealing a hard blow to feudal landed property and to the workers; the expeditions of adventurers, colonisation; and above all the extension of markets into a world market, which had now become possible and was daily becoming more and more a fact, called forth a new phase of historical development, into which in general we cannot here enter further. Through the colonisation of the newly discovered countries the commercial struggle of the nations amongst one another was given new fuel and accordingly greater extension and animosity.
Beyond Marx himself, further support for Carson’s position is found on the website, Spartacus Educational, regarding the bloody history of the emergence of wage slavery:
Poverty in Tudor Times
In Tudor England about a third of the population lived in poverty. Their suffering always increased after bad harvests. A shortage of food resulted in higher prices. This meant that poorer families could not afford to buy enough food for their needs.
Wealthy people were expected to give help (alms) to local people suffering from poverty because they were old, blind, crippled or sick. Some wealthy people were generous while others were mean. This meant that poor people in some villages were fairly well cared for while others died of starvation.
Unemployment was a major cause of poverty. When large landowners changed from arable to sheep farming, unemployment increased rapidly. The closing down of the monasteries in the 1530s created even more unemployment. As monasteries had also helped provide food for the poor, this created further problems.
Unemployed people were sometimes tempted to leave their villages to look for work. This was illegal and people who did this were classified as vagabonds.
A law passed in 1536 stated that people caught outside their parish without work were to be punished by being whipped through the streets. For a second offence the vagabond was to lose part of an ear. If a vagabond was caught a third time he or she was executed.
In 1550 Parliament passed a law stating that every parish had to build a workhouse for the poor. Edward VI set an example by giving permission for Bridewell Palace in London to be used as a workhouse. In exchange for food and shelter, the people who lived in the workhouse worked without wages. If people without work refused to go to the workhouse they were to be treated as vagabonds.
To pay for these workhouses, vicars were given permission to ask everyone in the parish to give money. If people refused, the vicar had to report them to his bishop. Workhouses did not solve the problem. It has been estimated that in 1570 about 10% of the population were still wandering around the country looking for work.
In 1576 a new Poor Law was introduced. Each parish had to keep a store of “wool, hemp, flax, iron or other stuff that was to be handed out to the unemployed. In exchange for the goods that they produced, the parish gave them money. In this way, the poor could continue living in their own homes. This new law also introduced fines for those who refused to pay money to help the poor.
This was followed in 1601 by another Poor Law. Workhouses now had to be provided for people who were too old or ill to work. People who refused to contribute money to help the poor could now be sent to prison.
The website offers the following documentation of its assertions:
Thomas More, Utopia (1516): “The landowners enclose all land into pastures (for sheep)… the peasants must depart away…. And when they have wandered… what else can they do but steal or go about begging.”
In 1566 Thomas Harman wrote a book about vagabonds: “They are punished by whippings. Yet they like this life so much that their punishment is soon forgotten. They never think of changing until they climb the gallows.”
In 1594 William Lambarde made a speech about poverty in England: “There were always poor lepers, aged poor, sick poor, poor widows, poor orphans, and such like, but poor soldiers were either rarely or never heard of till now… They lead their lives in begging and end them by hanging… They fight our wars… enduring cold and hunger when we live at ease, lying in the open field when we are in our beds.”
Letter sent by the citizens of London to Edward VI (1553): “It was obvious to all men that beggars and thieves were everywhere. And we found the cause was that they were idle; and the cure must be to make them work… by providing work ourselves, so that the strong and sturdy vagabond may be made to earn his living. For this we need a house of work… And so, we ask for the king’s house of Bridewell.”
Law passed by Parliament in 1576: “So that youth may be accustomed and brought up in labour and work, and so they do not grow to be idle rogues… it is ordered… that in every city and town within this realm a large stock of wool, hemp, flax, iron… shall be provided.”
Report on a survey carried out in Norwich in 1571: “Many of the citizens were annoyed that the city was so full with poor people, both men women and children, to the number of 2,300 persons, who went from door to door begging, pretending they wanted work, but did very little.”
Law passed by Parliament in 1597: “Every vagabond or beggar… shall be stripped naked from the middle upwards and publicly whipped until his or her body be bloody, and forth with sent to the parish where he was born… If any vagabond or beggar return again, he shall suffer death by hanging.”
Wage slavery was born of violence, and violence has accompanied it during its entire reign. Capital is the mother, the State is its father. The wage slave is the bastard offspring of both. And, this antihuman union has been quite fertile. The connection between the state and compulsory labor is so seamless that even the Workers’ Paradise had laws against “flitters, loafers, absentees, and grabbers”:
In the Soviet Union, the workers work not for capitalists, but for themselves, for their socialist state, for the good of all humanity. The overwhelming majority of laborers and office workers honorably and conscientiously work in enterprises, transport, and establishments, take a professional attitude toward work, offering models of Stakhanovite valor, strengthening the might and defense capabilities of the motherland..
But side-by-side with honest and conscientious workers, there are still scattered unmotivated, backward, or dishonorable people — flitters, loafers, absentees, and grabbers.
With their second-rate work, absenteeism, lateness to work, aimless wandering about the factory during work-time, and other violations of the rules of internal work organization, and likewise with individual capricious migrations from one establishment to another, these people disrupt labor discipline, and bring great losses to industry, transport, and all of the national economy.
They try to give as little work as possible to the state, and grab as much money as possible for themselves. They abuse Soviet labor laws and reles, using them for their selfish interests. They do not work fully even druing the established hours of the working day; often they work only 4 or 5 hours in all, wasting the remaining 2-3 hours of working time. With this, the people and the state lose every year millions of work days and billions of rubles.
When flitters and loafers are fired, they start filing lawsuits, and, not working, win payments for supposedly involuntary unemployment. Dismissal from an establishment for violating labor discipline, as a rule, is no sort of punishment at all for truants, since in the majority of cases they quickly find work in other establishments.
Using current regulations about granting vacations, according to which the right to vacation is granted after 5 1/2 months of work in a factory or institution, flitters and loafers, running from one establishment to another, contrive to get two vacations in one year, ending up in a preferred position over conscientious laborers and office-workers.
In housing projects, built by factories for their laborers and office workers, apartments are often occupied by persons who either voluntarily quit work in these establishments or were fired for violating labor discipline; because of this laborers and office workers, who have worked long and honorably in one establishment, are entirely deprived of necessary living-space.
In distribution of trips to rest homes and sanatoriums, flitters and truants enjoy the same rights as honestly working laborers and office-workers. In the same way, both in payment of insurance awards for temporary infirmity, and in the awarding of pensions, the necessary sharp distinction is not made between conscientious workers with long uninterrupted terms of service in a given factory or institution, and violators of labor discipline — flitters, running from some factories and institutions to others.
Some trade-union, managerial, and even judicial organs show an inadmissible, antisocial, complaisance toward violators of labor discipline and even connive with them — against the interests of the people and the state, — often deciding questions about reinstatement at work, about payment of insurance for temporary inability to work, about eviction from factory apartments, etc. in favor of flitters and truants.
All this leads to a situation, where dishonorable workers, laboring little, can live at the expense of the state, at the expense of the people. This evokes just protests from the majority of laborers and office workers. It demands the introduction of various changes in current rules of internal labor administration and in the norms of social insurance, so that in the future there will no longer be the same treatment for conscientious workers as for loafers and flitters; so that encouragement will be offered only to honestly working laborers and office workers, and not to those who subvert labor discipline and skip easily from one establishment to another.
Major abuses are found also in the practice of using leave for pregnancy and birth. It often happens that some women, seeking by deceitful means to live at the expense of the state, go to work in factories or institutions soon before giving birth only in order to receive the 4-month paid leave, and never return to work. The interests of the state demand an immediate end to this abuse..
Moreover, laws against vagabonds are still on the books in the United States today. According to one writer, it was not unusual for these laws to be used against Black men even into the 1950s in Birmingham. Police would sweep up all men who appeared to be without jobs. Once convicted, they would be hired out the mining companies. Carl V. Harris writes of this practice in his 1972 book, “Reforms in Government Control of Negroes in Birmingham, Alabama, 1890-1990″
“When the newspapers announce that the ever alert Sheriff and his trusted deputies rounded up some twenty or thirty negroes in the woods, wounded two or three and landed the balance in the county jail for crap shooting, does anybody believe that the peace of the county is being conserved, or does every man know that the syndicate is trying to reimburse itself for its campaign expenditures?” Thus did Walker Perry, chief attorney for the Tennessee Coal, Iron, and Railroad Company, denounce in 1912 the oppressive fee system, under which the Sheriff’s “syndicate” in Birmingham and Jefferson County, Alabama, allegedly earned $50,000 per year in fees by energetically arresting Negroes on petty gambling charges. Perry, as chairman of a reform crusade to abolish the fee system in Jefferson County, was one of many reform movement leaders who between 1890 and 1920 sought to remedy defects in the local government’s methods of controlling Negroes.
Most Birmingham whites believed that their local government should exercise vigilant control over the Negroes who composed approximately 40 percent of the population of their city. In 1889 the editor of the Birmingham Age-Herald declared: ‘The negro is a good laborer when his labor can be controlled and directed, but he is a very undesirable citizen.” In 1906 the editor of the Birmingham News said: ‘Anyone visiting a Southern city or town must be impressed at witnessing the large number of loafing negroes… They can all get work, but they don’t want to work. The result is that they sooner or later get into mischief or commit crimes.” The editor believed that such Negroes were “not only a menace to the public safety” but also “to some extent a financial burden upon the taxpayers.”
The Constitution actually allows this practice in the very amendment that outlawed slavery:
Thirteenth Amendment – Slavery And Involuntary Servitude
Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
For decades this amendment was used to justify state action that in essence, reproduced all the vilest practices of slavery. How soon will it be before these laws are applied to the 99er population?
Tags: Anarcho-capitalism, capital, cartelization, colonization, compulsory labor, Conservatism, Fascist State, Jim Crow, Kevin Carson, labor, labor power, Liberalism, Marxism, monopoly, Murray Rothbard, Mutualism, poor laws, primitive accumulation, Racism, soviet union, Stromberg, surplus value, The Constitution, The State, vagabondage, vagrancy laws, wage slavery
The evolutionary psych story about humanity is that war, genocide, and the divisive “-isms” that keep humans in a perpetual state of conflict are inevitable expressions of an “us vs. them” tendency that is simply a part of our biological makeup.
It’s indisputable that people can adopt an identity that is essentially oppositional to another nation, race, religion or ethnic group, but how much of this tendency is nature and how much is nurture?
Only one human trait is truly immutable: adaptability. Children learn very quickly what they need to do to ensure their physical safety. In our dominance based society, a major element of required adaptation is siding with proximal agents in society vs. outsiders, real or–primarily–imagined.
In fact, examining the volume of propaganda that is directed at Americans, from the cradle to the grave it’s unsurprising the kinds bizarre and absurd expressions of xenophobia that crop up whenever the “enemies of America” (or of “real” America) come up in conversation.
Take, for example, this stream of . . . just really weird comments that popped about on Facebook and Twitter after the last month’s earthquake/tsunami/nuclear meltdown in Japan. Citing Pearl Harbor (Pearl Harbor? Seriously?) as the counter-balance in some twisted version of karma is really, really fucked up.
Where did this enmity come from? There can’t be more than a dozen people alive on the planet that participated in the fighting at Pearl Harbor. Japan has been a more than cooperative American colonial forward base in East Asia for over 65 years. There are very few who derived their prejudice against the Japanese from lived experience, but a quick glance at “educational material” and popular culture should give a clue about where the animosity comes from.
The facts, which one has to dig a bit to find, paint a different picture. The popular depiction involves a ruthless and brutal empire[ref]no argument there, btw[/ref] that, in an attempt to enslave the entire pacific strikes out at a peaceful merchant republic. This depiction, crafted, as always, by the victors served to put the United States on a war footing. Pearl Harbor was a story meant to ease the resistance to conscription going into the war, and to ease the collective conscience after Japanese cities were incinerated by fire bombings and, finally, annihilated in nuclear blasts.
The truth is less useful. Objectively, two empires, one small and resource starved and the other vast, expanding and reaching the height of its powers met in the western Pacific. A faction of the leadership of the United States, including large parts of the executive branch, wanted to go to war in Europe and intended to do so by drawing Germany’s Pacific ally into a conflict.
This bikecast/post isn’t intended to address this issue in depth. It requires the kind of care and attention to detail that I can’t generally muster. Luckily, the issue has been researched to death by just the kinds of minds by which one wants important issues researched to death. The evidence is overwhelming and the objections, as far as I can find, are few and feeble (and rebutted). This page of links from the Independent Institute has alot of good starting points for the interested.
In any case, the nature of the war, fought thousands of miles from California against an island nation far and away the technological and economic inferior of the United States required an enormous amount of propaganda. In retrospect, as each new generation of Americans confronts the nightmare of history’s only nuclear strikes, the tale requires an arch-enemy so lunatic that no alternative was conceivable but to vaporize hundreds of thousands of people to bring the war to an end.
And that is the legacy that is echoed in the comments about Japan today. Jingoism generated by a ruling class to support their decisions and those of their predecessors three generations ago.
If we have to demonize the Japanese in order to distract from the reality of the war in the Pacific, how much more demonization is required to justify the enslavement of a race?
The answer is, “quite a lot”–11 on a scale of 10 and we see the evidence for this in Western bigotry against blacks. This may be especially true in the United States where racial policy has been an political issue for three hundred years.
How does one justify the perpetual enslavement of a people? They have to be animals, unfit for a place in civilization, unable to control their impulses and desires, a danger to advanced society. If abolition is on the table, a strong and reliable political move is to drive into the public consciousness the most gruesome and horrifying stories of what will happen when the black race is freed.
If integration is on the table, the wise move is to tell these stories again. To create and fund “science” that supports racist conclusions, to integrate racism into every possible aspect of society: education, religion, community organizations, etc. The politician willing to do so and support others in doing so can have a long and prosperous career, since no one pays any heed to the wars he starts and the money he shunts to his supporters and allies.
The legacy of nationalized racial policy is what we see around us today. Racism isn’t a biological inevitability. It’s the result of an explicit policy of centuries of fear mongering for political power and financial gain.
The Entire Non-Christian World and The non-English-speaking Americas
Nowadays, our attention is turned to (at least) two new enemies who, we are told, seek to despoil our country. The muslims (or islamo-fascists) and spanish speaking central/south Americans and carribean islanders (aka mexicans or illegals).
Popular stereotypes of these people differ radically between 1900 and today. I go into some hand-waving detail in the podcast about my perception of these changes. Suffice it to say that the fanatical muslim and job-stealing mexican are inventions of the last 40 years. They were created specifically to allow monstrously inhumane treatment of human beings and vast appropriations of stolen money to the military-industrial-prison-security-congressional-comlex. The amount of energy and effort being put into the new stereotypes assure us that, in 100 years, people will still be clinging blindly to these beliefs.
And why the energy and effort? Greater fear and anger associated with these groups means more power given to the police, military and surveillance state and votes for anyone who promises protection from these “threats.” Nobody can speak against this most destructive of enemy imagery and hope to be taken seriously by the corporate media much less have any chance at political office.
To sum up, the quantity and ferocity of enemy-making propaganda has to be such that virtuous choices like withdrawing western troops from the middle east, allowing free travel over the southern border (or not going to war in 1941 or not owning black persons before 1865) are unthinkable.
We’re still reeling from the propaganda of the past, and new bullshit is being constantly heaped on top of the old. The perpetrators and agitators are those that benefit from hatred–those whose actual crimes: mass theft, kidnapping and murder, necessitate the creation of unfathomably evil foes. Only by projecting their own wrongdoings onto others can the perpetrators escape from scrutiny. Not only can they commit the most horrific crimes against humanity, they can do so in the name of protection people from the harmful other.
In the podcast, I reference Lloyd DeMause who makes a similar argument with regard to enemy imagery historically directed at children. Here’s a page of his online books. I’ve read much of http://www.psychohistory.com/htm/eln00_preface.html The Emotional Life of Nations and listened to some of the Origins of War in Child Abuse. Also, here’s a current example ad hoc ratcheting up of enemy imagery in wartime as various minorities are targeted as foreign mercenaries. Oh, and the movie I was trying to think of was Lawrence of Arabia
The issues of race and gender seem to have blown up here at Gonzo Times. This has not been without resistance. The article I posted in October specifically seems to be getting a lot of attention. I have ran into the classic colorblind concepts in response to much of what was written. I thought to myself that I would lay off the subject a while and get to something more along the lines of economics or warfare but then I realized that the amount of resistance to discussing such concepts seems to be an indicator that there is a great deal that needs to be said, and that the problem is real.
We must not fool ourselves into thinking that they are issues we are immune to. I asked why certain people groups are less dominant in the libertarian and anarchist circles. This was often met with defense of what is. The libertarians seem to take an extremely right wing stance on the subject. They regurgitate the Rush Limbaugh take on racism. They wonder why people call them racist. If we are unwilling to discuss the issues how are we any different from the right wing who also refuses to discuss the issues?
The ‘race card’ ‘race baiting’ and other common right wing catch phrases seem to be brought up. Some of this is from an individuals desire to not discuss a problem and some of it is just from people who do not see the problems. Just about any people group is and can be ethnocentric. We are not immune to this. Looking outside and hearing others will help us to break free from this. We don’t see where our problems lie, but it is easy to point out the flaws in others. One of the things that I have done in Gonzo Times is to challenge my beliefs. This has led to much of the writing you read on the site.
Why is it that when the issue of gender is brought up so many libertarians are upset? I see few libertarian publications addressing the issues, they are too busy with their heads in economics as the end all answer to every problem. Are race or gender issues really something that will be solved with economics? If you believe such then you really are clinging to a Utopian belief of libertarianism. Some are offended and call me a communist. Some jump to the conclusion that the only answer is the state. I will say now that the absence of a state is not the answer to racism or sexism. I will also state that currently under the state we see proof that the answer is not the state. It has not been eliminated under the state or outside of the state. When we present real workable solutions to these issues outside of the state maybe then the label of racist and sexist might fall away. As long as the issues are considered non-issues and we look away the labels will stick.
This article is not about racism or sexism specifically but the reaction of the libertarian and some anarchists when the issues are brought up. These are issues deeply ingrained in society and our perspectives of what is and should be. It is in our entertainment, news, media and in our language. I am not implying or stating that libertarians are racist. I am not saying that all white men are racist. I am however stating that there are some reactions to race and gender issues when I bring them up here and other places from libertarians that are counter productive.
I am often attacked or quickly brushed aside when I bring up the issues. The issues of race and gender are met with hostility by many within libertarian circles. Shall these issues continue to go under our radar? The right wing tends to wish them away and pretend there is no issue of race or gender. They often point to the symptoms of the problem as the justification of the problem. Those who cling to the state for an answer and do not wish the state to address this issue I ask why is it you look to the state for justice in other areas of injustice but not this one?
We tend to quickly address issues pertaining to race and gender with one word solutions. For those who are facing such issues one word is not sufficient. Our movement should be listening to those who have been impacted by these problems. The idea that we are just going to accept racism is absurd. The injustices of racism and sexism are the issues we should speak out against. We do not accept the injustice of rape, theft or murder. Why then should we accept these? If this is a movement that embraces oppression then I want nothing to do with it. I would rather join the ranks of the womanists.
Often the issues that come up I do not think are complete racism. They often may come from people with truly good intentions not seeing the barriers that are being put up. This barrier is often one of ethnocentrism. This is not unique to the white man any more than it is exclusive to other people groups. This is one that can throw up barriers and often leads to being blind of the issues that impact another. How myopic is your perspective? I’m certain that mine can be at times but the problem is that we do not see our own blind spots easily.
Many right libertarians spend a great deal of time reading Austrian theories and delving into economic discussions only to get the same redundant sound bytes from Rachel Maddow fans in response. The frustration is there that people have not taken the time to learn about an issue or to truly comprehend what it is you are saying or where you claim the problems lie. They just come back with phrases that they hear recited daily in the news. The issue of race is often met with the same wall. Countless intellectuals have studied these issues and some libertarians almost steal the right wing responses to these issues they have not taken the time to research or learn about. Many libertarians can often become the sound bite replay they so often are frustrated with.
There are libertarians who have addressed these issues. There is often a strong movement towards patriarchal apologetics that seems to attract many. I would dare say that many who I know either see it as a non-issue or are afraid to speak out on this topic for fear of the reactions they will receive. I have met a hostile reception on many occasions in addressing these issues. Then there are those who have also embraced it with open arms or at least without taking a defense. Taking a defense when bringing up certain disparities is indicative of a problem that may be laying under the surface here.
You must choose to deny the issues or confront them. They will not go away and we will not be able to move forward until we have confronted them. The denial will not homogenize society. It will only create greater rifts and support oppressive social norms.
I predict that my calling this subject out will be met with quick uncritical dismissals. I will be called a ‘communist’ or be said to be ‘playing the race card’. These are the common reactions. I also suspect that many will deny that any issues of race or gender exist. I hope that people will open dialogue and seriously begin to discuss issues or race and gender instead of continuing to look the other way.
I want to be clear that many libertarians have done so and are not guilty of trying to quiet the discussion. Many have left insightful comments and have not thrown up a defensive wall when these issues come up. I was not planning on writing on race or gender this week. It just so happened that the beginning of the week it was a topic that many writers here brought up by coincidence. I had issues of the EPA and government footing the bill for corporate PR to discuss, but those took a back seat after the strong reactions I got from what was brought up earlier this week. At first I just considered avoiding race issues but then realized that I was caving and allowing this issue to be shut down. I can not let that happen.
Where are all the black men? They’re behind prison bars from the white mans laws. Where are all the white men? They’re in corporations and in city halls. This alone is proof of the institutionalized racism in the United States. 13% of the population is black. 46% of the prison population is black. White kids get to go to court with their lawyers daddy bought and tell how sorry they were for doing what the patriarchy did not like. The black kids get to go to prison, get records and struggle to find someone who will hire them. We blame the victims we put behind bars while they are doing nothing less than what many of the heads of state have done. The white man justifies this by pointing to Uncle Tom in blue. The cracker no longer cracks the whip, they blow their horns and sirens, caging men in their little blue cars with their little hand chains all backed by the murder of their gun.
Red, white and blue are still the colors of the slave owners and men who raped black women like Thomas Jefferson. Have you considered the laws that put slave owners and rapists in power over their victims just may not be the laws we want to base any society off of? I hold this truth to be self evident, all men are equal, it was your documents and force that elevated your patriarchy over others. This hierarchy is not gone. The whips of the slave masters are now the chains of the ‘peace officer’.
I am the son of immigrants and patriots. On one side my family was the cracker. He cracked the whip. That cracker’s name is well known. He was a president and a ‘revolutionary’. He was the patriarch John Adams. On the other side my family was refuge migrants in the second world war. I often choose to identify with the refugee seeking freedom from Hitler’s invasion, the side of my family that did not grow up speaking English. I dream more and more of fleeing this empire for the ‘socialist’ country of my matriarch, my grandmother.
They speak of the country being ‘bankrupt’ as if the problems were the finances. The reality is that it was always morally bankrupt. The privileged can easily point to the victim and place blame for not bowing to the dictates of the masters that have oppressed in the United States Empire for the last two hundred and thirty some years. Their scribbles on paper are somehow seen as the measure for morality. It has justified their murder of the brown people in the middle east, their assault on the brown people from south of their turf and the attack on the brown people in their inner cities. White America has declared war on anyone that is brown or foreign. Ethnocentric blindness helps when they justify their assault on humanity. White man’s burden was supposed to be a thing of the past. The sad reality is the mindset is dominant in the mind of every cracker who worships this system of injustice.
This post was co-authored by my wife.
They take the Lord’s name in vain. They use his name to condemn the world whereas Jesus came not to condemn life but to save it. So why is the church a place where we hear a call for condemnation and destruction to all outside of the majority culture? The church does not exist to save life, but to preserve a culture. This culture the church seeks to preserve is dangerous and oppressive. They speak of the oppression of women in Islam and turn a blind eye to it in their own churches. They tell their women to submit to their men and be silent. The patriarchy will be preserved through religion.
The past is spotted with oppression. Abuse is extolled rather than rejected as they cling to the sins of their fathers over the ages. Defending their past iniquities and patriarchy is more important to them than moving into a new present where they love and care for one another as well as those around them. They use words like “love” to perpetuate hate. Caring for the other often means evangelizing the “primitive” so that they conform to the majority Western culture.
The message of Jesus of Nazareth was quite different from the modern cultural gospel that is taught in most churches. The Gospel of Anti-Woman, Anti-Abortion, Pro-Violence and Anti-Gay are those the churches seem to be founded on. The American Trappist Monk Thomas Merton was a voice of sanity in the realm of spirituality. He stated:
“One would certainly wish that the Catholic position on nuclear war was held as strictly as the Catholic position on birth control. It seems a little strange that we are so wildly exercised about the “murder” (and the word is of course correct) of an unborn infant by abortion, or even the prevention of conception which is hardly murder, and yet accept without a qualm the extermination of millions of helpless and innocent adults, some of whom may be Christians and even our friends rather than our enemies. I submit that we ought to fulfill the one without omitting the other.”
My point is not to take a side on some debate about abortion in this article. The take of abortion being equal to murder is not one I am disputing nor accepting in this article today. I would however challenge the title “pro-life” in most cases this term is used. I find that most of these “pro-life” people are very much pro-death in that many do constantly defend the murder of the state, the taking of countless lives justified by sane men in sane respectable offices receiving a sort of unexamined devotion by the population en-masse. There is the occasional peacenik radical who rejects murder in circles of religion, but for the most part the “pro-life” movement is comprised by pro-murder people.
This is a group who still clings to religiosity and devotion to the patriarchy their savior rejected and was slaughtered by. What was the actual sin that slaughtered Jesus Christ? Did a gay married couple kill Jesus? Did the young girl who chose to abort her unborn baby after being sexually assaulted by her father kill him? The actual act that took his life was an act of state violence. They throw the symbol of his execution up at every church and wear it on t-shirts or print it to be a sign of love. The church worships the violent act of executing an innocent man instead of the life and defiance of violence the man preached and lived. They practice a rejection of others over his example of radical acceptance. The brutal execution of Jesus should be mourned, not celebrated; Jesus’ murder calls us to mourn the violence perpetuated in the powers of the world, to observe the way it has affected each of us and to turn away from it towards love. I’m sorry but the church has it all wrong.
As they look to the garden of Gethsemane as a point of teaching they often gloss over the way that Jesus deliberately chose to protest the violence of men and display peace. Here Jesus was betrayed by one of his own who turned him into the state as an outlaw. When the “legally justified” soldiers (or police) came to lead him to his death we see that each of the disciples’ reactions are unique. One disciple reacts with violence. Jesus’ response was a declaration, a didactic, of non-violence. Regardless of what you think about Christianity one thing cannot be denied: this man’s action of non-violence would change the course of history. Nations would rise and fall taking his name in vain. It is hard to find a person who has not heard of this man or his act of non-violence, usually referred to as his crucifixion. He is arguably the most known man in the world and not from his power to wage wars or power to force people to act in the culturally appropriate way, but because he rejected the way of the patriarchy and for that he was slaughtered.
Our culture has a disease. This disease is not airborne but often churchborne. It is an infection of the patriarchy past infused into current society. We use these churches to maintain what is and what was. They pick and choose what they wish to see. They choose which messages remain in their holy scripture. In recent centuries we see that many protestants claim their holy scripture is untouchable and to be unquestioned, but this is only after they have weeded out books like The Book of Susanna which begins to address issues such as the patriarchal and hierarchical abuse of women. They choose to cling to what is as if it has always been the “right way.” The church is a device to preserve what the man they claim as their savior rejected. The church in its many forms from Catholicism to the diverse Protestant denominations is often found to be “The Whore Church” they have warned against. They protect child molesters and create environments of hierarchy and submission that lend to a situation ripe for abuse.
I will gladly speak blasphemies against an evil and sickly culture that extols its oppression and iniquity. If that offends you then good, your god is not a deity but society itself. Society is guided by the church to embrace the sins of patriarchs past and to perpetuate them further. Their message got all jumbled up in some twisted logic of death. They tell you that you are blessed to suffer and to submit and worship those patriarchs who have abused countless individuals. They tell you that you are blessed if you just embrace, praise and don’t question the men who use the name of Christ in vain to gain their power. They have plenty of forgiveness for the oppressor but little mercy or hope for its victims. To the contrary, they heap blame onto victims.
The apostle Paul, The Pope, John Calvin and John Wesley are the gods the church worships. Their doctrines are built around the justifications the ruling classes have constructed by picking out obscure passages to puzzle together creating an entirely new belief. This is the belief that the culture they hold to is sacred and that God is on their side in all cases because they go to a building once a week to worship the symbol of execution and violence as they cast their stones.
They worship at the alter of cock. They bow to the authority of the penis and what those who had those genitals have told them to do in their hedging of the law. The churches have become bastions for the justification of the actions of the male gender and the patriarchy. They preach male supremacy. The churches are bastions of segregation throughout the United States. It is one of the most segregated institutions that exists, just look around on any given Sunday in America. Some will speak of how they have their wealth only because “God loves them.” Their injustice and oppression is just “God’s will.”
After what I have said I feel many will not like me. I am going to go even further in my rejection by others in stating that I am a Christian. I was raised in a Christian household and grew to question and reject everything I was taught. From the state to religion. As most of you reading this already know this led me to Anarchism. This also led me through a path where I embraced Taoism and after this came to reject all spirituality and religion as I found the logic and rationality of Atheism. I will not go too far into how I found Christ, but I will say that hearing the preaching of Jay Baker and the songs of Johnny Cash heavily influenced me in that time of conversion. This was accompanied by a great deal of reading scripture and other highly esteemed Christian writings. At this point in the article I will be mostly addressing people of faith most specifically.
I do not like the term Christian, for to me it is the title of the many villains who have embraced that title. I look more to “The Way” as spoken of in Acts and Ephesians. My father once said something to me that impacted my thoughts throughout my life. He told me that I could question anything. He told me that ‘If God is truly the God we believe him to be there is nothing I can not question. He can answer all.” If this is true I challenge you to question everything you hold to be true. Question your doctrine. Question your patriotism. Question everything you have been told from generations of patriarchal writings. What myopic Western god is it you worship? Is it the god of the United States? Is it the god of your superior cock? Is it the god of your superior suburban creamy whiteness? You know, the god that is painted as Bruce Willis coming down with guns blazing justifying violent ass kicking because his ass kicking is somehow justified by being the white guy who looks cool doing it? Are we worshiping the red white and blue Jesus?
I hear these Christians tell me their Jesus isn’t a wuss. It’s apparently true, the Jesus they worship is a twelve year old boy. Girls are icky and stupid. The black kids and white kids don’t play together, and they are scared of the kids who talk or look different.
Why are the writings of women missing from history? Where are the teachings of the Black Woman? Where are the teachings of the countless people that are not represented by the church? Because of the White Male religion dictated by the doctrines and beliefs of the White Male Western Cultures. And the churches are content with maintaining all of this. They are content in perpetuating damaging cultural power structures and made up doctrines. They don’t reject the world as they say, they control the people in society that perpetuates it all. They dictate your ethics and morals so that it is in line with the creamy white goodness of their Anglo Saxon culture. The writings they cling to are the writings of the victors, those that have spilled more blood to maintain power.
Modern movements of evangelicals aim to shut up women, weed out minorities and perpetuate the crimes against humanity the patriarchy has always perpetuated. They aim to put the woman back in the kitchen as a vessel for cooking and fucking. I hope that offends you, because that is the truth. You do it in the dark and don’t want to hear the truth spoken in the light. They aim to put the guns in the hands of little boys and to keep the submission of women in culture. To them it’s a sin if they don’t have a woman on her knees praying to her man’s cock when he wants it. They find sex offensive. Of course they do, it’s the only purpose of a woman outside of making their breakfast and anything that is of a woman is evil. That is nothing new. What do we expect when your traditions you have passed down have been formed by men like Saint Peter Damian who said of women:
I speak to you, O charmers of the clergy, appetizing flesh of the devil, that castaway from Paradise, poison of minds, death of souls, companions of the very stuff of sin, the cause of our ruin. You, I say, I exhort you women of the ancient enemy, you bitches, sows, screech owls, night owls, blood suckers, she-wolves,….come now, hear me harlots, prostitutes, with your lascivious kisses, you wallowing places for fat pigs, couches for unclean spirits.
The history and foundation of the institution of the church is filled with hate mongering such as this. It not only influenced their beliefs but every decision as to canonization, tradition and structure of the churches through the ages. The doctrines have hate and exclusion weaved throughout them by men such as this infusing their own hate and iniquity into the institutions they were hard at work building up.
Patriarchal oppressive systems have handed down patriarchal oppressive beliefs as a corner stone to all they believe throughout centuries. They have infused their twisted logic into the minds of “sensible men” who have ruled “‘sensible churches” and “sensible countries” leading to “sensible wars” and extolling everything the man they claim as savior had stood against. The Decalogue are not a foundation for the church as they so piously claim with lip service to save face. Their commandments would be more akin to:
- Thou Shalt Praise The Murder Of War and Worship The Holy Constitution
- Thou Shall Not Be Divorced
- Thou Shalt Have a Penis And Reject The Vagina And All Those With A Vagina Except to Please the Penis
- Thou Shalt Uphold Polite Culture Above all
- Thou Shalt Be White And Rich
- Thou Shalt Not Care For The Poor And Fight Against Social Justice
- Thou Shalt Uphold The Second Amendment
- Thou Shalt Hate Sex but Embrace Violence
- Thou Shalt Not Question Those With Power
- Thou Shalt Not Question Rigid Gender Roles
I could fill a book with the criticisms of the church and it’s flimsy false doctrines and teachings. I could go on forever. I feel I have already gone way too long for this. I do wish to leave with one thing. It is crucial that you question all you are taught regardless of religion or spirituality. It is crucial that you examine the institutions and traditions in every aspect of culture. Critically evaluate everything. Do not get stuck in a myopic world view that often leads to rejection of truth to support doctrines of men. Nothing is beyond examination in our search for truth. The truth shall set us free.
I do not plan on writing further on this in the near future, but I feel far too much was simply passed over quickly. I do however believe I will put more out in the future going much further into depth on the subject of religion. For now I will go back to avoiding it until I feel the forum is more proper, or until I get a wild hair up my ass.
It is easy to point to some empire in a distant past that may have erected a potemkin village to give a false impression that it was more than it truly was. What many fail to see is the false world we have constructed in our society to hide reality. It was done in our media, government and infused in our language and day to day life. Middle America sits in their little suburban living rooms being belted with T.V. messages that so subtly mask the reality of what is. The six o’clock news tells us of the dangers of the brown man. There is the brown Muslim who wants to terrorize us. There is the brown migrant who is ‘illegal’. There is the brown inner-city criminal. All these brown men we must fear.
We should fear the victims and oppressed not the oppressor and the perpetrator. The oppressor is justified by calling him a ‘freedom fighter’ when he inflicts his violence. The poor without the resources to pay the state for it’s blessing in their migration is labeled with the title we give rape and murder ‘illegal’. The insurgent in the middle east is a murderer and a terrorist and not ‘shedding blood for liberty’. When the privileged U.S. middle class suffers violence from another group it is a tragedy. When someone else suffers violence it is their fault for being in the country we wage our wars or ‘hiding behind terrorists’. Our actions of terror are called just. Their opposition to our invasion is called terror.
We see low numbers released by the state for unemployment painting a false picture of reality. Even then the poverty and lack of jobs and resources is only urgent when it is hitting the privileged middle class. Those who have lived in this disparity in the years leading up to an economic crisis never got the sense of urgency we seem to have. Watch the T.V. you will see how your norm should be the middle class white suburban life style. It is on commercials and sitcoms. Life in Amerika is peachy keen ‘leave it to beaver’ or ‘home improvement’. The troubles of the world are silly and you don’t have to face the reality of violence and oppression around the world. Every so often we hear of the violence but we do not see it. It is masked by a thinly painted veil of rhetoric and sanitization to keep it just out of reach from our conscious. We blare pictures of the cute white girl that was violated but never the human beings ripped to pieces by the bullets, bombs and shrapnel of the U.S. empire on a daily basis.
Sometimes it seems that the biggest impact the woman’s movement had was that we don’t have to only show women in the kitchen serving men on billboards to sell shit made by some slave in China. Now we get to show them in the bedroom spilling out their breasts worshiping cock to sell cheap shit made in China. They can show their cleavage while having an orgasm for all to see but don’t dare let those liberal feminists challenge the patriarchy and tradition. We need those. We need to maintain the ‘family’ of course the family that we need to maintain is the woman’s duty to serve the bellies and pricks of every man in AmeriKa. We know they want that cock.
Civil rights was equally as wonderful. We can also have black women showing their breasts painted up like white women. The black man can have a voice as long as he is rapping about how violent the black man is. Let’s glorify and focus on the black male gangster! Fifty Cent can be all over our T.V. showing us what a gangsta he is but how often do we see the positive strong black male voices speaking and singing out for something radically different? We don’t need to hear real men with real concerns pointing out real issues in our society. Oh, but we have our black president. You know the one whose momma was a white girl from Kansas. The one who is so radically different that he is continuing on with the work of George W. Bush and John McCain waging his wars and telling us all he’s no ‘idealist’ as he gets a Nobel Peace Prize while waging two wars.
Don’t talk about race. It’s racist to bring it up. Bill O’Reilly will have to laugh and tell you he doesn’t need a group for white men, so you shouldn’t have any group to represent your people group. Of course he is overlooking a few obvious groups for white men like the United States Government, all fifty states and just about any corporation with power in the world.
We don’t want to see the desperation in the cities. Our media fled the cities of the U.S. empire only to return with a camera crew every other week to show that black men still shoot people. Strangely they ignore all the white cops, marines and soldiers who are shooting the brown people because they have a uniform so it’s cool if they do it. That reality does not have to be shown. They are heroes not killers. Just sit home and watch your T.V. be sure that you are the norm and that life for all is middle class white suburbia. If you are not in that privileged class you obviously did something wrong or it ‘s your fault. You wanted a life of poverty and oppression.
You give your money to the right charity and are nice to people you see. You don’t have to worry about the slaughter and oppression you pay for. You don’t have to think about it. We won’t show you reality on the six o’clock news, but we will show you cute white kids and kittens to make you happy that you are living such a kind compassionate life in your suburban blindfold.
You can blame the victim and turn off the reality. We are given the opportunity to sit in our little balsa wood homes in a sea of beige in the suburbs helping to show off the AmeriKKKan norm so we can turn the camera and focus away from the oppression and murder in our cities and across the world. Potemkin is not some empty building you pass by. It is empty shells of human beings. They are the empty souls that provide the illusion.
This is continuing off of the earlier post White Power White Privilege I left with some questions that will be answered most likely in the next post. This one is going to expand on more of the concepts that I touched on in White Power White Privilege.
I received a comment outside of the site that said the article White Power White Privilege sounded like ‘Class Envy’. As I stated before there is a desire to dismiss the issues brought up. ‘Class Envy’ dismisses it on many levels. The phrase rejects that there is a race issue and embraces this norm. If it does not reject it then the phrase simply ignores it with a conveniently dismissive catch phrase. Furthermore it embraces the ‘is ought’ fallacy. It accepts that there is a class disparity and places blame on the lower class in putting blame on the the lower class by assuming there is a negative in opposing class by dismissing it as ‘envy’. This brings about an anti-government fallacy. I am an anarchist. I am not naive enough to believe the answers lie in eliminating government, but in how we address the issues outside of the violence of a state. The anti-government fallacy is that if we end government the problems magically disappear. This anti-state misconception believes that the current disparities are proper and their presence in the dismissal of state action in that area is right or just. The right wing and many other groups are full of this mindset and still cling to the violent force of the government.
This once again goes back to the idea that they only see government as beneficial to their wants and not to the wants as others. None of this questions the ethic or morale of ordering society in the archaic means of violence and force. The only evolution that has occurred in the thousand years of government is that the swords turned to guns, the soldiers took off metal armor and put on blue or green depending on who they are directing the force at and the cages are build with more modern materials. So the mindset that what was should still be and what is ought to be still remains. There is often no desire to address the issues that plague us until the issue impacts the individual directly. What the state has failed to do so far is to rectify many of the issues, and it has failed to come up with any resolution outside of the initiation of force.
To solve the issues we have to strike the root. We often treat the symptoms of the disease instead of attacking and eliminating the disease. We see cough drops as the sure to strep throat because it temporarily subdues the telling sign of the disease. As others look on they do not hear the cough and assume there is no sickness. The root is seen only as government by many libertarians. I am not claiming government is the sole problem. I am not claiming every action of the government has been evil. I have always pointed to the unethical nature of government. Based on this there are other relationships outside of the state that fit that unethical nature. It is our responsibility to point those out and to oppose them as we do when it is within the state. There is a tendency to excuse the action of a business or a corporation that acts in a manner that the state acts by some, Kevin Carson has rightfully coined the tern Vulgar Libertarianism to address this group. The vulgar libertarian often presents a world of tyranny only by private business and not by private business working with the state. I do see many of the Ayn Rand ‘libertarians’ in this fashion, but I do not want to group all of one group in this insulting category. On the other side there is also the desire for some to excuse such violations on personal levels. I can most immediately see this within race and gender issues. There is a hierarchy of race and gender.
The sad reality is that often the victim is left to defend themselves. Look at the civil rights movement. It wasn’t a movement of the patriarchy fighting for the rights of individuals who were being abused and murdered. It was the victims who stood up and opposed the way they were treated that started it all. All too often the victim is given the blame. The rape victim is attacked for their actions or dress leading up to the rape. This is seen with phrases like ‘she was asking for it” or ‘she should not have been’. It is sad but this is the reality of how much of society currently reacts. We hear the word ‘illegal’ used constantly to blame the migrant for the abuse that the state heaps on them.
We looked at power held over others outside of the context of a state. I wish to point out a conflict of focus and language that occurs. The greater libertarian movement and anarchist movement focuses on relinquishing power and giving up power. When you approach a group that has had power taken from them and preach about how you wish for people to give up power you are more than likely going to loose them. Why would they wish to sign up for giving up more power? One group often is attracted to messages of empowerment which sound like a contradiction to what the anarchist or libertarian preaches on the surface level.
To go further in this direction look at the rhetoric of the libertarian. Freedom, liberty and rights are three words thrown around quite a bit by some. These are the same phrases used by the slave masters used to justify their way of life. These words were perverted by the oppressor. This brings us to the problem of white male anarchism and libertarianism we must confront once again. We have a movement using the rhetoric of the oppressor in race and gender. The greater movement is dominated by white males. Is it a shock that this movement is more appealing to this narrow group? This is historically the people group who has promised such things and delivered the exact opposite.
We must face this reality. We are stagnant and narrow minded. Many of us are stuck in these egocentric world views which hinders the progress we could make.
Reality is that people are concerned with immediate needs. If one is hungry, thirsty, cold or oppressed their concern will be meeting those immediate needs. They will not be as immediately concerned about people being slaughtered in the middle east. Why would one be concerned with ending the state or creating a stateless society in the long term when they don’t know where their next meal will come from if it does come at all? No, I am not speaking specifically about poverty & hunger. I am saying that the issues that hinder and confront many are issues we seem to not give a shit about. Cato is busy trying to tell people they need to let corporations run the world. Reason is telling us we need more porn.
In the first article we briefly looked at how this divide exists. This time I intend to state that we need to begin to acknowledge this. We need to look for it in culture, society and what we say or put out there. We will only be able to grow if we look at the truth. Do not fear the truth it will not hinder you unless you are in a battle to suppress truth which leaves you in the same category as the oppressor and the state. I challenge you to look for it everywhere. Watching T.V. do we see how our lives should look even on commercials? You should be white suburban and middle class. This is the norm.
Start bringing up the issues of gender and race. Start challenging people even those you agree with. We need to start asking tougher questions. We need to start truly tackling this stuff at the root. We will be tackling more soon in the next part of this series. I wish to tackle more on race, gender, immigration, culture and poverty. There is much more for us to tackle here. We must stand there, look the cold hard truth in they eyes, see it for what it is and not back down when it is uncomfortable or ugly.
There are over 60 detention facilities nationwide that are run by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). CCA and it’s employees are active in seeking harsher penalties for crimes in the united states as a way to profit. This company is also a large part of the war on Migrants. The Nativist and Culturalist movements in the United States also stand behind locking up other human beings not born in the same place they were. Not just men and women but children also.
CCA often works closely with ICE as a private corporation used to enforce United States Human control and inventory. In a country where 13% of the population is Black and 57% of the prison population is black one must ask themselves how we have committed such an injustice against that people group. Then we must look at the other people groups that are being victimized by the state and the Corrections Corporation of America.
The T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor Texas is a family prison. Here families are thrown into jail like an internment camp, concentration camp or a ghetto. It is most accurately a concentration camp for it fits the definition:
The Random House Dictionary defines the term “concentration camp” as: “a guarded compound for the detention or imprisonment of aliens, members of ethnic minorities, political opponents, etc.”, and, the American Heritage Dictionary defines it as: “A camp where civilians, enemy aliens, political prisoners, and sometimes prisoners of war are detained and confined, typically under harsh conditions.” – Via Wikipedia
A recent conversation I had with one claimed it was not comparable to a concentration camp because the conditions at places like Auschwitz included starvation, gas chambers and other tragedies we have assumed are not used in these detention facilities. I would no doubt put being stripped of all dignity and rights and being forced into a cage as bad enough. The actions are not justified because another country was even more brutal and inhumane.
Most often the people held in the T. Don Hutto Detention Facility have been convicted of no crime. They are locked in cages waiting a day in court, waiting for the state to find a way to label their presence as criminal.
On top of this we find the dilemma posed by amnesty in the U.S. People are abused, tortured and brutalized by the their governments and others from where they come with no protection. They flee to escape the abuse. The catch is that if you are fleeing you most likely won’t have a legal visa or passport. If you wish to ask for amnesty you must make it to the United States to do so. What does the U.S. do to these people? We throw them in a cage.
I urge you to watch the documentary ‘the least of these’ if you have not already. It addresses much of this. I also urge you all to begin to take a critical look at CCA.
There was the old cliche of coming to the U.S. was gazing on the statue of liberty. Well in the 21st century this is no more you get to go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200. You will no longer gaze on lady liberty but on the raped beaten bruised bound corpse of lady justice. Amerika Fuck Yeah!
We should croak the Tea Party because it has done nothing but bring out the worst in people, and has done more in the way of dividing this country than of fixing it.
“I do miss George Bush. Compared to these
teabaggers and the people who are pandering
to them, he looks like a professor.”
The Tea Party movement is a testament to exactly what is wrong with politics, and our country, today. I’m not saying this because I believe that every single member of the movement is a racist, and I’m not saying it because I believe that protesting the “business-as-usual” approach to government is a bad thing. Not at all. I actually think that protesting the status-quo is probably the most healthy action that citizens of a democracy can take. After all, if the citizens of a democracy lose their right, or will, to protest…well, then the notion that we are living in a democracy at all is a fallacy.
The problem with the Tea Party is this: It’s not anything new. It’s not some new way of thinking. And, it’s not at all a separate entity. If the Tea Party movement were actually giving the public at large something new to think about that would be one thing. But, the fact is that the Tea Party movement is just an off-shoot of the Republican party & is spouting nothing but conservative rhetoric. So, to the supporters of the “movement” reading this, where the hell is the protest in this movement?
The Tea Party (Republican Party 2.0) is mobilized against a president whose term has seen the least amount of policy change, in terms of party turnover, in the history of the Democratic Party. So, taking that into account, who is your beef with exactly?
So, the Republicans are under siege from a movement that is nothing more than an extension of their own party, the Democrats are masquerading as Republicans, and the Tea Party is forging ahead as though they’re just minutes away from changing the world… You see the problem? This country is in arguably the worst shape it has ever been in. The Republican & Democratic Parties should be focused on getting this country back on track, but instead they are both too focused on the doings of a travelling road show to get anything of significance done.
People have e-mailed me to “inform” me that the movement is providing an alternative to “everyday politics in this country”. That sounds great, but I’m not buying it. Here are my final thoughts on the movement:
The Tea Party was born of the fear that the principles & values of the country at its core were in jeopardy?
I agree with this notion, but the loss of principles & values, especially by those who’ve run this country, happened a long time ago.
Those who were involved with the movement, in its earliest form, were genuinely concerned with the way the government was being run?
I can believe this as well. Aren’t we all more than a little concerned with how the government is/has been run? I’m sure every citizen, especially post-Vietnam/Nixon, would respond with a resounding ‘Yes’ to that question.
The Tea Party is racist?
I truly do my best to not judge an entire group upon the actions of a few within it… But, in all honesty, the Tea Party has been hijacked by individuals & groups who see the demonstrations as a way to spout racially charged epithets at a black president. Plain and simple. So, while not every single person who is involved with the movement is a racist, the platform that the Tea Party encourages has been compromised by hateful, racist people.
The Tea Party is a legitimate third party?
No. Hell no. Pay attention to their stances, their ideals, and the people running as Tea Party candidates, and you’ll see why I’ve dubbed them, “Republican Party 2.0″.
Of all the issues that inevitably come up whenever the Tea Party is brought up, race is the biggest one by far. Without a doubt, I’ll be receiving e-mails from those of you who believe that the movement is a full-blown racist mobilization, and from those of you who believe that the racism slam is an attempt to derail the movement by means of “race-baiting”. I’ve already given my view on the role that racism plays within the movement… Watch these two videos & draw your own conclusions:
- The Altered Statesman
Originally posted at The Altered States of Munley
My wife is one of the few people I see on a regular basis that makes sense to me. She like myself is a rather radical individual in her beliefs. She is a proud feminist, and holds many similar beliefs as I do as an anarchist. A few years ago I got rid of my T.V. In doing so I found that I was often unaware of much in popular culture. I became intentional about my news sources. It seems that often people are uncritical about what they watch. I have become more critical of what I do read and watch. Recently we got a T.V. and set up a little T.V. room in the attic. We seldom visit it. We do not have cable or network television in the room. All it has is a DVD and VHS player. We are intentional about everything we watch for the most part. We use Netflix to watch many documentaries and films when we do watch something.
My wife was recently told to watch a show called Glee. I have not heard of the show until this weekend. Someone gave us the first season on DVD to watch. I was told this was supposed to be somehow progressive. Frankly I found the show rather disturbing and filled with racial and gender stereotypes. The idea of the show is that it is centered around a white male teacher who leads a high school glee club. The other main characters are also white, a young girl and boy. The rest of the glee club seems to be an offensive attempt at creating a multicultural group that is ignored. The only black character in the show is a cliche. She is an overweight black girl who can sing really well and seems to use many stereotypes as elements of humor.
The whole thing seems to be full of women shown in a negative light. There is a ball busting feminist NAZI type who speaks a line about men oppressing women in a manner that seems to make light of the idea as if she is using it to gain what she wants. There are two women who seem to be the love interest of the main character, and both are shown as incompetent. One is the greedy ‘gold digger’ the other seems to be stereotypically patholagized. It takes a very male centric perspective overall.
As I watched I thought of the millions of young people across the country that seem to be receiving the messages in this show. They are being told each week which social stereotypes are the positive role models they wish to emulate. It dawned on me just why a culture would be so racist, sexist and such a ripe breeding ground for Islamophobia. I do not think we are really any different from the 1950′s leave it to beaver mindset. There are many double standards shown in the show. For starters the male genitals are often referred to as balls but there is a strong fear of mention a vagina. It seems that the archaic concept of the filthy female anatomy is still a thriving thing in the U.S. The other one that immediately pops to mind is the racial representation. It’s okay for them to portray a black woman in a stereotypical manner, but if they play Kanye West’s sexist song ‘Gold Digger’ it is not okay to mention the N-Word despite a person being treated as this on the show. This shows that ignorant belief that talking about the problem is the problem, just don’t admit it and it’s not there. We don’t have to actually change how we treat people we just don’t have to hang them or call them certain words and we don’t have to confront racism in the U.S.
The show has many gay references but it somehow seems the majority of them are for laughs. They can create a gay character who is a stereotype and laugh at how gay he is. Is this that far from jokes about black people eating watermelon and fried chicken? Often we turn on television from past decades and sit in awe and horror at the sexism and racism we find in them. I don’t really think we have moved any further. We may not accept people dressed in black face-paint, but overall we only seem to address the surface issues that are associated with our oppressive culture.
As long as we are accepting this tripe are we really going to move any further from the same old Bullshit? I think we all need to chuck our television sets and start to focus on improving our minds before we spend any time rotting in-front of this twisted shit. The sad thing is that we sit our children in-front of the boob tube and they grow up being brainwashed by this machine. I beg of you don’t raise your children in-front of a T.V. go buy them some media with intention. Give them books with messages you wish for them to take in and perpetuate. Don’t stop at your children. You go out and seek media that will nourish your mind. Find something besides cable news, reality T.V. and regressive sitcoms with no artistic or redeeming value.
Someone once told me that the definition of Pornography was something with no educational or artistic value. I like that definition. Under that your television is blaring nothing but pornography twenty four seven.
It seems that the current anarchist movement is dominated by voices of white males. I have noticed a divide in gender, culture and race. It seems that there are few voices of minorities or women dominate in Agorist, Mutualist, Libertarian or Anarchist circles. Why is it that these concepts are embraced more by white males than other people groups? Yes we can point to a few people out there of diverse backgrounds and people groups, but they are few and far between.
We are a minority in our views. I would be willing to say that we anarchists are of one of the least accepted of political philosophies. Within this group we are gaining more and more of a voice, we are growing, but we are really growing mostly within groups of white males. It does seem that many are attracted to certain economical stances that are heavily saturated with white males and traditionally attract white males. I feel that we far too often pass over social issues that seem to be the focus of others. Do we need to change our narrative and dialogue? Do we need to re-evaluate our beliefs? Do we need to challenge our philosophies with perspectives and beliefs of others?
Our authors that have founded many of our beliefs are also white males. Pierre Joseph Proudhon, Murray Rothbard, Lysander Spooner and Samuel Edwin Konkin are many of the pantheon of philosophers we often study. All of them white males. I can say that I seem to see a small minority of white women who also embrace our belifs and have helped to perpetuate them like Voltairine de Cleyre, but they are much less dominate. It is difficult to find people who are not white within this pantheon. The writers and philosophers popular culture in general studies seem to have the same demographics. So, why is it? Where are people from other people groups? Have we all too often overlooked the writings of others that we agree with on many areas because they wrote in the confines of a state?
It seems that many who are radical among other people groups tend to look at concepts of empowerment. We often look at an abolition of power. Where exactly do these differ and why exactly is there a divide? I stand strongly on the philosophy of non-aggression as a foundation of what I believe. Is there something about this that opposes empowerment? I feel at home with the radical left often. I agree with them mostly on every issue except for the few I feel they deviate from non-aggression. I tend to be more of a mutualist on property rights which is why I do not agree with a hard right libertarian anarcho-capitalist perspective. Is there a need to build a more robust mutualist perspective and tome of writings? Would something like that begin to bridge the gaps? What about our beliefs is not attractive to Womanism? At times I read womanist writings and blogs finding that I agree with much of what they say. Do we need to change focus?
I have written here for quite a while and the majority of the comments, writers, contributors and fans I have collected over those years have been white males. Is it there a sort of ethnocentrism present we do not see?
What is the unknown racial and gender divide that is present in the anarchist movement? Or is this divide known and overlooked? I feel that we have a far way to go. When we are led by a more diverse group of thinkers and writers I feel we will be on a more accurate path. Apparently our Anarchism is not for everyone because many reject it. I do not feel that all blame can be placed on others for embracing the state, for I see a dominant anti-authoritarian philosophy strong in many other groups we seem to not embrace, or they seem to not embrace us. I do want a form of solidarity.
I have a great deal of respect, admiration and agreement with the Black Liberation Movement from the 60′s and 70′s. This interview of Angela Davis really got me thinking of this:
I do see many of my beliefs and those of others mirrored in what Angela Davis has to say in this interview. Here is a Woman who is speaking of the prison system of a form of terrorism and the violence of the state.
The first memories I have of Punk Rock were when I was young. I was born in the 70′s so I came along as it was raging around the world. I remember as a child driving down Church Street when I visited Florida. I remember the Punk Rockers lining the street. It fascinated me. I remember specifically two punk rock girls one whose head was shaved with her safety pins and the other with her two tone pants and Mohawk. I was fascinated. My first experience with Punk Rock music was the Sex Pistols. I remember most vividly watching them float down the River Thames. That was one of the defining moments of my life when it came to music and culture. I was sold. My first Rock n’ Roll Cassette tape was the Sex Pistols’ ‘Rock n’ Roll Swindle.’ One of my favorite Punk Rock Shows was the chance I got to see the Ramones, I love to boast about it in a day and age where they are gone almost a decade now.
Punk was not a product to us. We were immersed in a sub-culture that would often define every aspect of what we were. The Punks were anti-authoritarian. The Punk had an attitude and a rebellion that defied all of culture. The most sickening and repulsive thing for many Punks to see was their culture being raped by corporations and main stream culture.
One topic that always seemed to be a large topic in the counter culture movement was racism. I hardly knew any punks that did not have an opinion on it. It seemed that much of the punk rock movement was very anti-racist for the most part. There were some niches that took a racist tone. The most telling and interesting thing was not really that so many were so vocally anti-racist but what was seen within the sub culture.
Punk Rock was white. Sure there were the occasional minority and female punks, but overall the movement was dominated by white males. It was an attempt at counter culture that often attacked racism and authoritarianism but was for the most part an attempt by white males.
Why is that? Was it started by mostly white males so therefore appealed to a majority of white males? Was it reaching this demographic because this group would naturally resonate with those who were leading it? I won’t lie, even today? Was it the themes in the music or the culture that would seem more appealing to a white male audience.
Sure there are the occasional minority and female punk, but overall if you go to a show you will see a sea of white males. It seems that Hip-Hop was able to reach a more diverse audience than Punk ever was able to reach.
This got me thinking. Anarchism is much the same way. I see more white males pushing for anarchism. There are the occasional minority groups, but overall it seems to be dominated by first white male atheists, and second by white male deists and Christians. It occurs to me that the white male seems to be embracing certain concepts. What about our beliefs is non-inclusive? Is it the beliefs or cultures that are non-inclusive or is it society’s perception of them?
Have Anarchists like the Punks moved in an ethnocentric manner perhaps? Have we ignored the issues of women and minority groups as a whole?
For me, Punk was a sub-culture I was involved in when I was younger, before I had come to anarchism. I found anarchism to be a juvenile concept. I had no concept of anarchism, nor had I read many anarchist writers. I came to find anarchism through libertarianism and feminism. As I learned I rejected the state completely. There was always an anti-authoritarian streak to me, as I was expelled from countless schools and kicked repeatedly out of Sunday schools. I always seemed to question authority. It is no shocker that I grew to be more open to the ideas of Anarchy, for my devotion to hierarchy, patriotism and authoritarianism was non-existent. Is there a lack of pride in heritage that the white male often holds that makes these concepts more appealing? It does seem to me that many white people in general lack any pride in their heritage. Not all, for there are many who hold to white pride as they rally at the feet of Glenn Beck to preserve their culture above all.
We punks had our demigods too. I was mostly in Cincinnati during the 90′s in the Clifton area. There was a scene there that you could only be a part of if you rejected and hated it. You had to hate the local punk celebrities with their punk names if you wanted to be punk. The whole thing was laughable at best but as much as we tried to reject it we were a part of it. It was as convoluted as any other us vs. them paradigm you will run into. But in contrast we were the us that seemed to want to reject everything even the us we were a part of.
Punk is dead they say. Punk came out the gate dead. The Anarchism of punk was and is ignorance. It is not the anarchism of Proudhon, Bookchin, Emma Goldman, Kropotkin, Voltairine De Cleyre or Rudolf Rocker. It is the anarchism that offers no answer, it just took the word that rhymed with Antichrist and ran with it.
I’m going to say this as seriously as I possibly can. If Glenn Beck continues on the path of rage and hate that he is on, calling Barack Obama a “racist” and “the devil” or hosting a thinly veiled neo-white nationalist festival on the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, there is going to be blood in the streets. This is not hypothetical. It has already started happening:
On his Monday radio show, Glenn Beck highlighted claims that before he started targeting a little-known, left-leaning organization called the Tides Foundation on his Fox News TV show, “nobody knew” what the nonprofit was.
After that, we’ll go here:
And guess what? Everybody in America would have found out about the Tides Foundation last week if Byron Williams had had his way. He’s the right-wing, government-hating, gun-toting nut who strapped on his body armor, stocked a pickup truck with guns and ammo, and set off up the California coast to San Francisco in order to start killing employees at the previously obscure Tides Foundation in hopes of sparking a political revolution.
Thankfully, the planned domestic terrorist attack never came to pass because California Highway Patrol officers pulled Williams over for drunk driving on his way to his killing spree. Williams quickly opened fire, wounding two officers during a lengthy shootout. Luckily, Williams wasn’t able to act out the ultimate goal of his dark anger — fueled by the TV news he watched — about how “Congress was railroading through all these left-wing agenda items,” as his mother put it. Williams wasn’t able to open fire inside the offices of the Tides Foundation, an organization “nobody knew” about until Glenn Beck started targeting it.
Penn Jillette, a great libertarian guy, mistakenly compared liberal arguments that Beck is creating a dangerous political environment with blaming video game creators for shootings or the Beatles for the acts of Charlie Manson. This conclusion has logic to it but it doesn’t hold water since Beck is flirting pretty strongly with ideologies and figures that are knee-deep in genocidal movements of the past and have not been brought out of the attic and into the mainstream for decades, while bragging about making people aware of organizations that fans like Byron Williams have attempted to take out.
Video game creators and the Beatles are doing no such thing and simply creating products for enjoyment.
Beck surely is aware of these events and has not toned it down, instead upping the anti by trying to use the legacy of Dr. King to boost himself. I’m refraining from labeling him a “racist” or “bigot” but there’s alot going on with Beck that is very uncomfortable.
For example, one of his favorite Twitter profiles is that of “MalevoFreedom,” who said “Embrace White Culture!” (“White culture,” whatever that is, being something Beck has accused Obama of having a deep hatred for.)
The sort of climate that Beck is fostering is the sort that will not end pleasantly. Some of the unpleasantries were seen at his “Restoring Honor” rally on August 28, and would have been even worse if he hadn’t forbidden signs:
Signs touting links between Martin Luther King and communism are something this country hasn’t seen since the 1960s. The resurgence of such sentiments, and at a rally held on the Mall on the anniversary of his “I Have A Dream” speech, is profoundly disturbing.
Anyone who cares about this country, civil rights, race relations or a culture of decency should be deeply concerned about the hate that Glenn Beck is selling.
Even Bill O’Reilly, another host at Fox News who has Beck regularly on his show, has said that he is weary of the approach of Beck to combatting Obama:
MY COLLEAGUE GLENN BECK thinks that the forty-fourth President of the United States is a subversive, a man bent on changing America into some kind of socialistic nanny state that might, God help us, actually resemble France. Beck passionately believes that Barack Obama is a danger to everything Beck values. So Glenn has moved aggressively to challenge the President by using his daily radio and television programs to illustrate the radical stuff he believes is being promoted by the Obama administration.
Rush Limbaugh and many other conservative radio commentators believe pretty much the same thing: that the President is a force for pernicious change, a committed socialist in a two-thousanddollarsuit.
These guys pound President Obama into pudding just about every day, and millions of Americans are spooning up the dessert.
But I’m not so sure this scorched-earth strategy aimed at the President is good for the country. I favor a more surgical approach.
There’s an old quote by James Baldwin that is very appropriate. “People who treat other people as less than human must not be surprised when the bread they have cast on the waters comes floating back to them, poisoned.” Glenn Beck would be very well advised to keep that quote in his mind. I will refrain from judging Beck personally but it is quite clear that his rhetoric is attracting some of America’s most unattractive and long denied elements.
By: Crying Eagle | Sep 1, 2010 Gonzo
I am the Crying Eagle, you know me. You see me on the back of pickup trucks all across our great nation. I’m on roadside billboards in the true heart of America like rural Indiana. I am the symbol of freedom, and my heart is broken. Through the eighties I cried every time one of those liberal feminists got an abortion. Now I cry for far more. I cry for my great nation each and every day. I was asked by the decadent liberal anarchists and libertarians at Gonzo Times to come here to help give more of a fair and balanced perspective. I was asked to start by telling all of you just why I cry so I decided to give you the top reasons I cry.
1. My Flag
I cry every time a Muslim leader disgraces my nations flag by bowing before kings. I cry every time someone soils, burns or disrespects my Red White and Blue. It is the symbol of freedom! We Americans are a nation of logic and common sense other countries and liberals are not. We shed blood for that flag, where other countries kill out of hate for theirs, do you see the difference? It is a symbol of our freedom. The freedom we shot the hell out of everyone else for.
2. Racism Against Whites
I cry every time I see a black woman or a Mexican get a job that belongs to the obviously more qualified white man. I cry every time that we are forced to hear some Un-American language on the soil of our great country. And after that racism those liberals dare call the white man racist. I stand for what is right, good and American not against people because of skin color. I stand against the evils they bring to our culture. If you don’t want Muslims building their Mosques so they can train people to kill white Americans because they hate our way of life you are called racist and that makes me cry.
3. Mexican Invasion
I cry every time I see a damn Illegal invading our homes. They only want to rape, kill and get welfare. And because I want to stop that I am once again affected by #2 I am called a racist. Am I racist because Mexicans steal, kill and mooch off of welfare? I cry every time those Mexicans get the job of a hard working American! They are destroying the economy! They broke our rules and we will not stand for people not doing as we dictate! They are Illegal!
4. Damn Commie Socialists
I cry every time I see a damn commie socialist. They want to build mosques and force all of us to eat nothing but bread and roses! Liberalism is a disease! And Communism and Socialism are only two of the symptoms. Did you know Socialists only want to kill you? Did you know all socialists only want you to loose all your rights, like the right to segregate? Sure they say they oppose war and I support the Wars and Police power but who else will protect me from those damn murderous Socialists! I’m not the dangerous one, I only like good government, the kind that kills.
Those damn Gay people want special rights! They expect to get married like we do. They want to rape our children and make them all gays! It’s a secret Zionist plot against America From the Socialists! They want to make us all gays so we won’t have more kids. That way they won’t have to conquer the greatest superpower on earth. All our soldiers will be too distracted having secks with each other and unable to procreate or replenish our military because gays can’t make babies!
I sit in my living room looking at the pictures of our great presidents we have had over the years and see that one dark blemish. It’s the Muslim Illegal Alien Obama! I can’t get a drivers license without a birth certificate how did he get the Presidency? Despite his record numbers in deportation and all his new wars he has not deported enough people or killed them. He has a secret plan to destroy America because he is a Muslim. I know he is because of his skin color and name! I cry every time I hear his Hope and Change! He wants to take my guns! I cry every time I look at my Picture of Palin I have hanging beside my George W Bush picture on my presidential wall. My pastor has shown us how in the Bible Obama is the Anti-Christ!
We all know those cartoons and drawings from Nazi Germany, and how they depicted the Jewish people, often offensive and shocking. What about how the U.S. depicted the Japanese, most specifically in one superman cartoon where our hero of the red white and blue wailed on the ‘evil japs’. We see how these images shaped nations and aided in the victimization of those people groups. In the U.S. we had little problem rounding up ‘the evil japs’ and placing them in concentration camps or as we would like to say in an effort to distance ourselves from Nazi Germany ‘internment camps’. We saw the mass slaughter and holocaust prejudice fuelled by this media aided in Nazi Germany.
How does Anti-Semitism compare to Islamophobia?
Given the growing distrust of Muslims as the “other” and the conclusion that anti-Muslim hostility is itself found normal, the publication of the Jyllands-Posten cartoons in recent weeks can no longer be dismissed as mere experiments in libertarian freedom of speech and censorship.
The cartoons were not borne in a vacuum.
Earlier political cartoons of Jews and Christians had been rejected on the grounds they would be deemed offensive. No such considerations were appropriated to the Jyllands-Posten cartoons.
Furthermore, in April 2005, Danish Queen Margrethe told a biographer, “We are being challenged by Islam these years. Globally as well as locally … We must take this challenge seriously. We have simply left it flapping around for far too long, because we are tolerant and rather lazy.”
The cartoons depicted the “challenge,” if not danger, of a terrorist Muhammad. Could such a depiction have been totally unaffected by social conditions (encouraged by Queen Margrethe) existing in Danish society?
The recent Jyllands-Posten cartoon depicting a bearded Prophet Muhammad with a bomb in his turban is suspiciously similar to the Der Satan cartoon.
Both Muhammad, a Muslim, and the Der Stürmer Jew are bearded. Both wear religious head gear, and both are depicted as icons of evil in contemporary society.
In the 20th and 21st centuries, Muslim communities in non-Islamic countries have come to fear the very pogroms which targeted the Jews in 1930s Europe.
For example, as shown above, Pogromnacht came about when a German diplomat was killed by a Jew. The stage had been set with repeated anti-Jewish commentary in German media.
In the days following the murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, who directed a film many Muslims found offensive, by an Arab immigrant in 2004, attacks against Muslims soared in the Netherlands. Just as in Nazi Germany, the stage here had also been set by repeated anti-Islamic commentary in the media.
Just as synagogues were burned during Pogromnacht, mosques and Islamic schools in Rotterdam, Breda, Huizen, Utrecht, and Eindhoven were attacked, vandalized, and in some cases set ablaze.
I look at how these prejudices shaped nations and helped to paint people with a broad stroke as evil or less than desirable. They were seen as incompatible with the dominant culture and a threat to the dominant culture, or the Aryan race. The rhetoric of how the Jew was the ‘inciter of war’ is much how the current perspective is of Islam being the religion of war against our culture. The trend of anti-Muslim media and speech from the characters and cartoons being drawn, to the general discussion on Islam in the U.S. has gone in a similar direction. They tend to paint Islam as evil and a threat against the current culture.
Joseph Goebbels used radio to reach an audience for Hitler and the Nazi party much like the current anti-Muslim movement does now with modern talk radio and Fox news. Many right wing groups have also taken another move out of the Joseph Goebbels playbook with the movement of anti-Islam book burning by churches in Florida. We are entering into dangerous territory.
Just as the preservation of the Aryan race was a focus, today self proclaimed culturalists such as John Kenneth are emerging. Much of the same sentiments are being preached by the Glenn Becks and Rush Limbaughs. The ideas are ones that extol the virtues and accomplishments of their own culture while demonizing others. These people do not turn the same critical eye on their culture that they do with others. They also do not acknowledge positives of other cultures. This outlook creates a dangerous environment where the mention of any other people group with opposing views or cultures is automatically shut down with vague generalizations and attacks. It leads to hypocritical claims that often condemn the other for similar iniquities within their own group. When one speaks out against these egocentric views the defense is often that you are ‘playing the race card’. This is done in reaction to anyone mentioning issues of culture or race as if to notice such differences is offensive to the egocentrism they cling to.
The disdain of others is not limited to the Muslim but it also extends to the Migrant. We see immigrant detention centers all over the country that are not a far cry from the concentration camps. The laws of the United States are the side of culturalism.
By stating that they are not ‘racist’ the most dangerous groups have found refuge in painting these people groups in broad strokes as evil by stating that certain actions and beliefs are not legal or accepted they have found a way to victimize people. If the prejudice is outside of the ‘racism’ category they feel it is justified. Did the Jim Crow laws not choose to target other aspects of a race to oppress a race? How is this any different? The bigot will begin by painting all people with broad strokes as ‘evil’ ‘unlawful’ or ‘dangerous’. This stands as their defense. It is this prejudice that they build the utilitarian stance they take against people. These groups feel if they renounce ‘racism’ that their prejudices and bigotry is justified as seen in much of their rhetoric and writing.
By ignoring the existence of Islamophobia (as much a socio-political phenomenon as anti-Semitism) fear and ignorance of Islam continues to grow.
In its 2004 annual report The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) found “certain groups of persons, notably Arabs, Jews, Muslims, certain asylum seekers, refugees and immigrants, and certain visible minorities have become particularly vulnerable to racism and racial discrimination across many fields of public life.”
ECRI also said that Islamophobia was on the rise in Europe:
Islamophobia continues to manifest itself in different guises. Muslim communities are the target of negative attitudes, and sometimes, violence and harassment. They suffer multiple forms of discrimination, including sometimes from certain public institutions. ECRI is worried about the current climate of hostility against persons who are or are believed to be Muslim.
There is, indeed, a cultural divide as ECRI points out: “One of the new faces of racism today is “cultural” racism. According to this notion of racism, cultures are pre-defined entities, largely seen as homogenous, unchangeable and, more importantly, incompatible with each other.”
We are not headed in the same direction as Nazi Germany, we are there and have been there. The bigot screams they are not a bigot and then chooses to blame people groups they oppose for either the thought crimes of their religion or the crimes of their poverty.
Could we be facing another holocaust?
If the conditions which led to the Holocaust exist now as they did then, is it far-fetched to consider that Muslims in Europe could face a similar outcome?
While a Holocaust against Muslims may seem far-fetched, the rhetoric against the Islamic world has increased significantly in recent months. There is no means of predicting how violent a backlash against Muslims will be if another Von Gogh is killed, or another crime on the scale of 9/11 is committed.
The phrase du jour is that Muslims simply cannot accept Western ideals. By such presumed predisposition, Muslims are rendered outcasts, or in Adolf Hitler’s terms, untermenschen.
So popular was anti-Semitism that Hitler would expound himself as a proud anti-Semite. “Gradually I began to hate them. For me this was the time of the greatest spiritual upheaval I have ever gone through. I have ceased to be a weak-kneed cosmopolitan and have become an anti-Semite” (Adoph Hitler’s Mein Kampf).
Jews around the world hold remembrance ceremonies of the Holocaust and say “never again.”
As violent demonstrations against the cartoons continue to rage in a few Muslim countries, it becomes incumbent upon Muslim and non-Muslim leaders to carefully face the great cultural gap that divides them.
First and foremost, Islamophobia needs to be recognized as an existing and imminent racial threat to cultural cohesion. By the same token, Muslims need to carefully ponder how actions within their communities are perceived by those who may not be knowledgeable of their cultures and norms.
Violence must be rejected outright, whether that includes the burning of a mosque in Holland or an embassy in Libya.
If wiser minds do not prevail, Europe may soon find itself repeating the horrors of the past.
How do we even begin to address social Justice in a stateless society? We do it through direct action not political action. Something like social justice is vast and many changes and issues need to be addressed. Is there a final point to reach? Will the work ever be done? The state has failed to eliminate racism, sexism and other forms of injustice. There have been some advances, but overall there is a great deal more work to be done. What about battles lost? Groups for social justice will often advocate to change the law of a state, and when the money has been spent on lawyers and politicians many victories are lost. All that effort has given little back in return. What about the wins? Was the civil rights movement a win? If so did it end racism and actually create equality? I can look around at what I hear on many blogs and certain conservative news channels and tell you that it did not eliminate racism.
But without the state how will we win any battles?
I strongly support groups like the ACLU, NAACP and NOW. These are just a small portion that are relevant in society. In a society without a state we are not talking about a society without organization.
In a society without a centralized state groups that exist to fight for social justice will still continue to advocate for justice and changing systems that exist but in a more direct manner. The resources will not go to politicians and courts but to interact in the voluntary systems that exist. With a direct interaction these groups shall be able to reach individuals much closer to where they are and not in centralized courts that are segregated from society. The impact of dealing directly with groups will have a closer impact on the individual.
I do not see a utopia ever existing. I do believe the biggest changes will come with the education of people. When you have reached the micro-systems that many of my fellow anarchists argue for you will be reaching the audience directly free of the fox news filter and other lenses of distortion. The individuals who seem to be the problem people or the oppressor will not be looking at laws of tyrant states to try and work around in achieving their segregation. They will now have to face the existing problems free of the filter they pay the state to be.
The convenience of the state is wonderful for prejudice. People can blame the state and move to alter a system without truly facing the issue. With direct action over political action the individuals are now dealing with such issues, not an elected official who is acting out of self interest for political and financial gain.
Politics helps one remove themselves from the problems. Direct action brings it to someones doorstep. No more will we have to move the leviathan. Change will be more like what the popular political culture would call grass roots.
When ideas and changes do catch on they begin to move like wildfire through society. The resources wasted on the political will be used to cause direct impacts on society.
Just start to look at how many organizations exist for social justice. I discover more all the time. I will not condone the argument that some of the more conservative libertarians give that defend racism. I oppose all power over others. Injustices must be opposed and ended. If we end the state to create a world where power over others takes new forms we have failed. We are just as bad off with the state as we are with other oppressive powers. All are the same. We continue to fight the battle we are fighting, but the battle will take place directly on a more personal level. We will be more able to directly educate the masses. The battle does not change, only the battlefield. We no longer take on the empire, we go to other human beings and smaller systems to make change.
If you wish to learn more about the smaller voluntary systems I am speaking of we have a few article here at Gonzo Times that will help you get a better understanding. We will also have more in the future to help you grow a better understanding, so subscribe to our RSS feed.
Some articles I would suggest are:
Governor Brewer of Arizona is on her xenophobic high horse again. This recent article at CNN was brought to my attention in which she was quoted saying:
“The simple truth is that the majority of human smuggling in our state is under the direction of the drug cartels, which are by definition smuggling drugs,” Brewer’s statement said, according to the Associated Press as reported in the Arizona Republic. “It is common knowledge that Mexican drug cartels have merged human smuggling with drug trafficking.”
Brewer said the “human rights violations that have taken place (by the cartels) victimizing immigrants and their families are abhorrent.”
Yes, you are right Governor the human rights violations and victimizing of immigrants is abhorrent, both from the government of Arizona and from cartels. Let us assume that these outrageous statements about migrants are true for a moment. The government of the United States has declared a drug war in response to the mess it created with prohibition and free trade. The issue would be easily resolved by allowing the free market to function and by ending the prohibition. The need to ‘smuggle’ and hide the products would not be present. The entire accusation relies on the embrace of the power of the state and it’s holy moral crusade. If the issue were the abuse of individual of drug mules why not eliminate that situation and provide a free market to function safely within. This is part of the hypocrisy of the GOP. They claim they want a free market and then restrict markets.
Her claims have no basis in reality:
T.J. Bonner of the National Border Patrol Council told CNN that Brewer’s claims were “clearly not the case.” Bonner said that some undocumented immigrants caught by border patrol agents have drugs on them, and that they sometimes blame pressure from the drug cartels.
But, he said, those claims have little credibility because drug smugglers are typically transporting much larger quantities of drugs. And besides, he said, if what Brewer said were true, there would be many more prosecutions for drug smuggling.
Brewer’s comments, Bonner said, don’t “comport with reality — that’s the nicest way to put it.”
Tags: Arizona Republic, Conservatives, Federal government of the United States, Human rights, Illegal drug trade, Illegal immigration, Mexico, Pro-Migrant, Racism, Statism, United States Border Patrol
SANTA CRUZ – Feeling misunderstood after police blamed anarchists for the May 1 riot downtown, a group of anti-establishment thinkers hosted a free forum Thursday to “demystify” what defines their beliefs.
The speakers said doing away with government, police, military, capitalism and other institutions of power would help to eliminate class structures, reduce racism and foster collective ways of addressing poverty. They acknowledged their views as radical and diverse, saying anarchy has room for a range of ideas about how to foster individual liberty.
“For me, anarchy means living free and working cooperatively,” said John Malkin, a preschool teacher who hosts a weekly program on Radio Free Santa Cruz called “Non-violence, Spiritual Growth, and Anarchism.” “Collectively, we have power to design how our lives look.”
A crowd of more than 100 at the Louden Nelson Community Center listened to anarchists identify their core principles as personal responsibility, respect for others and autonomy. To reduce distractions, the group asked that no one record or photograph the event.
Read the full article: Anarchists seek to ‘demystify’ their belief in public forum – San Jose Mercury News.
The highway acts of the 50′s and 60′s and neighborhood building restrictions were perfectly timed with the civil rights movement to create modern segregation. I live in Scarritt Renaissance an older area of Northeast Kansas City. The neighborhood is often known in the suburbs as an area of prostitution and drugs. Many suburbanites have a paranoia of the neighborhood. I hear co-workers I associate with in the suburbs speaking of the dangers of the northeast. It is mostly rubbish. I love my neighborhood. The biggest problem is poverty. There are also many wealthy individuals living in the area. The historical homes they live in have no parallel in new suburban neighborhoods. The wealth required to maintain these homes is outrageous, at least compared to what I make. Despite these there is mostly lower income dwellings, and yes the homeless are visible on the street unlike most suburbs. The crime that is present is most often a reaction to poverty. Women in the neughborhood are not stuck in prostitution walking the avenue because they have low morals, but because they have low incomes.
If you know architecture you can find many forgotten treasures in the northeast. I live in a little arts and crafts style apartment building. Arts and Crafts era architecture was a response to the Victorian homes. Victorian style became cheap from mass production. The arts and crafts movement was one that embraced a higher quality of building materials and led to wonderful lasting structures that the layman often confuses with Victorian. Materials that went into these homes and apartments have no equal with today’s building standards. What is truly amazing compared to todays’ suburbs is that the wealthy homes and mansions are scattered amidst apartment buildings and the smaller homes. You will see an area that can handle lower income families as well as the wealthy all living as neighbors. This rarely happens in suburban America.
There are often regulations prohibiting multiple family dwellings in newer areas whith single family dwellings. Codes and regulations lead to their sea of beige. Little houses built of drywall and balsa wood as opposed to the plaster walls, stone, brick and sturdy materials that helped these hundred year old homes to still stand as the wonderful structures they are and to serve as homes for generation after generation over the century.
After WWII the troops came home to what could be seen as the most socialized and government controlled America that has ever existed. The state regulated most aspects of life with the excuse of the war. These troops set off in the highly segregated 40′s to use their G.I. bill and get their degrees. Middle class suburbia emerged dominant as chain suburbs popped up like Levittown. The civil rights movement was brewing. As Allen Ginnesburg and the Beats intermingled in the city playing with drugs speaking out about what was wrong with America, the leave it to beaver suburban life style was in it’s infancy. The wealthy or those that could get credit and play wealthy were most often the whites who had little to hinder them up to this point. Blacks had faces Jim crow laws and a plethora of hindrances legally. The state was about to further screw one class over the other as we would make our biggest leap forward in equality with the civil rights movement. We needed the civil rights movement. We did not need the government to subsidize the segregation of the white upper class.
The interstate highway acts of the 50′s and 60′s created modern segregation. It created outer belts to cut off the cities as the white flight began. Those that could afford cars were most likely white in these post WWII years. The wealth would be drained by those that could then afford to flee and take it with them while those hindered by poverty would be cut off in the inner city. This was more dominant in the black communities of the time. The long term effects of this segregation is still seen today with minorities and migrants cut off in inner cities as the government subsidized white flight led to little suburban pockets free from the people they wish to avoid. The state made sure the rich suburbs were catered to and promoted with their inner states leading to each new little pocket of wealth along the highways and if you don’t want to see the poverty of the city you can just take the outer belt to avoid it.
Why would the city not have more crime? They were cut off in poverty and that is the most common natural cause of crime. Unlike mixed living conditions found in the city where multi-family are found by single family dwellings, suburbs often control through building regulations which hinders diversity of class. Oh how the rich used the government to gain their segregation and to avoid the people they don’t want to see in society. Government helped with their pre-civil rights cultural preservation.
This is one of many reasons I detest most of suburbia and suburban culture.