In one of my earlier posts, I accused some Marxists of being fascists. Needless to say this did not go over well with those Marxists who might fall into the category of people who, although claiming to be communists, nevertheless believe any attempt to actually dismantle the present state amounts to a neoliberal assault on the so-called ‘social safety net’ allegedly provided by some fascist state spending.
One person on reddit who might fit the description of a statist communist responded to my argument this way:
1. That’s a lie; 2. Even if that were true, that analysis is bollocks.
Congratulations, you have posted something which does not actually raise any questions but instead goes on about Communists being fascists without any material analysis of what either is.
And aside from all that, all the article really does is state a fact, a fact that we are well aware of and spend our time actually analysising in a Marxist framework. The article does not analyse it in any framework, it just states it and rubbishes Communism at the same time. Absolutely useless.
Here’s a criticism: you are full of shit. Fuck you, fuck off.
Okay fine. I guess this writer and I aren’t going to find any common ground soon.
Disconnection from the current relations of production is easier said than done in Kurz’s opinion. It is not a matter of simply seizing a single factory, a retail outlet, an office or a school, nor even of seizing all the factories, retail outlets, offices and schools altogether in a simultaneous uprising in all countries at once. These institutions evolved within the context of commodity production and exchange and are fit only to function within this mode of production. It is not simply a matter of laying hold to them on the day after “the revolution” and employing them for the cause of social emancipation. Says Kurz,
The difficulty consists in the fact that the capitalist form of the functional division of society, as in the case of the capitalist structure of use value, cannot be assimilated, without alterations, into an emancipatory reproduction.
If this argument sounds familiar to you, it should; it is precisely the difficulty the communards faced in Paris when they took control of the old machinery of the state. They were compelled to dump that entire structure and create a new one on the fly to suit their specific needs. Marx concluded from that experience that the working class could not simply lay hold of the existing machinery of state and wield it for its purposes — that machinery had to be broken. Kurz is extending Marx’s argument well beyond the state to encompass the entire economic mechanism bound up with the capitalist mode of production. And he gives several pretty convincing reason for his conclusion.
Tags: anti-economics, anti-politics, commodity fetishism, Karl Marx, Labor theory of value, Marxism, Occupy the Marxist Academy, political-economy, Politics, Robert Kurz, shorter work time, shorter work time Tags: anti-capitalism, social emancipation, social revolution, Statism
In the first section of his essay, Kurz examined the limitations of 20th Century Marxism that, he argued, was incapable of theoretically superseding capitalism except by means of a proposed future event, the proletarian political revolution, which, would solve all of capitalism’s ills and manage society in some undisclosed fashion. To address this theoretical failure, in section two of his essay, Kurz returns to the basic schema of Marx, the link between the forces and relations of production. Kurz proposes the technologies associated with the digital revolution renders living, value producing, labor increasingly superfluous to production. Kurz concludes the significance of the new technology is not to be found in its production, but in its utilization by society. This technology cannot be employed to mobilize the massive labor armies of the Fordist era.
I argue, following Kurz, the impact of the digital revolution on the ‘economy’ appears to us in its phenomenal or perceptible form as a growing potential for social collapse and regression to a primitive state of simple survival. This survivalist fear is simply the result of the conditioning of our consciousness by commodity production itself — since we have been conditioned by bourgeois society to take its relations as the “natural” form of society, we experience capitalism’s potential for collapse as the potential for the collapse of civilization itself, when it is actually otherwise. In fact, as Kurz seems to argue, the potential inherent in this technology for the collapse of commodity production must actually be the premise of our conceptions of social emancipation; because this technology makes possible a decentralized organization of society without the necessary fulcrum of the state and commodity fetishism generally.
Tags: anti-capitalism, anti-economics, anti-politics, Karl Marx, Labor theory of value, Marxism, Occupy the Marxist Academy, political-economy, Robert Kurz, shorter work time, social emancipation, social revolution, Statism
The nightmare scenario typically presented by bourgeois thinkers to the possibility of the collapse of capitalism can pretty much be summed up in six words:
“Buy guns, gold and beans! Now!”
In this view, the passing of capitalism is equated with the complete breakdown of civilization and a regression to some primitive state. Without market forces and the centralized control of the fascist state, we are warned, society must splinter into roving gangs of murderous, zombie-like, scavengers.
Tags: anti-capitalism, anti-economics, anti-politics, Karl Marx, Labor theory of value, Marxism, Occupy the Marxist Academy, political-economy, Robert Kurz, social emancipation, social revolution, Statism
I am reading Robert Kurz’s “Anti-economics and anti-politics: on the reformulation of social emancipation after the end of ‘Marxism’”.
It appears to me, at first glance, that this 1997 piece is a continuation of his 1995 prediction of a devaluation shock that would bring an end to capitalism. As I stated in my reading of that work, I found it inexplicable that Kurz did not take his analysis to its logical conclusion. That analysis pointed to hours of labor as the central problem of our time and the only real solution to the capitalist crisis. However, Kurz did not go there in his 1995 work, but made an attempt to nail down how to “supersede” capital in this 1997 piece.
I am going to take on section 1 of Part One today, which focuses on the failures of mainstream Marxist praxis at the turn of the century.
George Donnelly recently posed the question “Are you opposed to bad people (statists)? Or bad ideas (statist philosophy)?”
Let me start by saying that George is a principled guy, and I have a lot of respect for him, and for his views. He’s a very genuine individual. In this case, however, I tend to disagree. I don’t disagree entirely. Specifically, I agree with George that ad hominems are pretty useless in general, and Vicki makes some very valid points as well in her follow-up to George’s original post. It’s important, however, to consider the other side of the story here.
Statists, you see, are not just a big bundle of ideas and thoughts for us to convert. They are real human beings, and one thing that all human beings do is take actions. For most people, their actions or inaction are guided by their individual ideological affiliations, their morality, perhaps their religious or cultural beliefs, ideas introduced by their families, or by pop culture, or any number of other things. Statism is, quite clearly, an ideology. It’s an ideology which advocates not just violence on a global scale, but the initiation of violence against innocent people on a massive and global scale.
So obviously, we want to try and educate these people that there are alternatives to this violence: anarchism, a system of cooperation, community, and voluntary egalitarian interaction is one very obvious alternative which perhaps a majority of those reading this are adherents to. Teaching statists about anarchism, and about how it would be better for them and for others than the statist system which they’ve been indoctrinated into, is a laudable goal. I do it. Many of you probably do, too. Jim Davidson does it. George Donnelly does it. We all have our own ways and means, of course, but a majority of us are doing it, at least on a small scale, in some way, though our means may differ.
Just because, however, we are [and should continue to be] reaching out to these people does not mean that they are not, as of now, our enemies. In many cases, quite the opposite is true. If an anarchist sees someone on the street being attacked by police, the least they’re going to do is video the event or get someone on-site who can. At most, they might step in and try to defend a civilian from the state. The same is not true of an average statist. Statists, after all, support the state for ideological reasons. Police are agents of the state, hence placing those police and a given statist walking down the street on the same side in the conflict. The statist is the enemy of the innocent person being beaten, and the statist is the enemy in an even more tangible way of an anarchist who may choose to video the event or step in to defend the victim.
Furthermore, statists, because of their ideology of statism, feel justified in using the state as a means by which to enforce their own preferences on people around them. If the state currently supports their preferences, they will report violations of them to the state; for example, if you are smoking marijuana on your porch and a statist sees you, that statist, if they are opposed to marijuana smoking, can and will call the police to assault and cage you. The statist is an enemy of the individual trying to peaceably relax in his own home, and has indirectly initiated force – using the strong arm of the state – against them. On the other hand, if the statist’s views are not currently enforced by the state, the statist will lobby the state to do so in some manner. Prop 8 in California is a good example of this: some homosexual couples were allowed to marry, so statists took up the cause to ban those marriages in California. They succeeded in doing so, creating further inequality at the hands of the state. Those statists were enemies of those innocent queer couples. Another good example is abortion. How many statists are enemies of any woman who may want to get an abortion? Will they succeed? Right now, they seem to be gaining ground.
It’s always important to consider context. Ideology alone, as a context, is thoroughly debatable, and terms such as ‘friend’ and ‘enemy’ seem not to apply because these are abstracts, they are thoughts and ideas. Within the context of living beings, however, we add actions to the mix; actions driven by ideologies. Thus in the context of statists, it is important to understand that they are, in fact, our enemies by their actions.
One of the first battles of 2011 will come in the spring as the Washington establishment seeks to gain approval to raise the debt ceiling. Anarchists, libertarians and Marxists will be tested on whether they are satisfied to be appendages and compliant tools of the two parties, or are prepared to strike out on their own in preparation for the 2012 election season.
No one should be confused about this issue: It is a life or death moment for the bloated Washington machinery of repression and imperial expansion and the increasingly heavy debt servitude of the public treasury to global banking interests. Here is how one writer put it:
The tax-cut war is over for now. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal has been signed into law. The New START treaty has been ratified. But another big battle between Democrats and Republican is looming. The subject is something most Americans have likely never heard of—the debt ceiling. And, unlike the lame-duck battles that somehow found their way to happy conclusions, this one could very easily end in disaster.
The debt ceiling does exactly what it sounds like it does: It caps the total amount of money the government is allowed to owe. Because the government keeps running deficits, it keeps bumping up against it, and Congress then has to increase the limit to keep the government going. Right now, the national debt stands only $400 billion short of the $14.3 trillion ceiling, which means that some time in the next few months Congress will need to vote to raise it.
It’s a safe bet that most politicians would be extremely reluctant to cast such a vote. Deficit reduction was a major component of the Republicans’ battle cry this past electoral season, and Democrats are no more likely to embrace a measure that explicitly allows for more debt. But it’s a necessary evil: Failure to raise the ceiling could lead to full-fledged U.S. default—that is, the inability to make scheduled interest payments on existing Treasury bonds and other government debts.
It gets better: according to Zero Hedge, Washington may need not one but two debt ceiling increases in 2011, and as many as 8 by 2015:
As Zero Hedge has long been predicting, we anticipate roughly $2 trillion in incremental debt per year. Surprisingly we are not far too off from where the “debt clock” sees US leverage in 5 years. At an estimated $24.5 trillion in federal debt, our $2 trillion per year run rate is spot on. Another thing that is spot on: our prediction that the US will need not one but two debt ceiling increases in 2011. And probably 6-8 over the next 5 years.
Already wild stories of impending disaster are being ginned up in an attempt to shape public opinion on the issue through fear:
Recent history provides a sense of just how scary this would be. “The reason the markets calmed down [during the financial crisis] is that we took [the banks’] toxic assets and handed the financial institutions Treasurys,” says Kevin Hassett, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. “If we’re in a default situation, the Treasurys themselves are the toxic assets, and it’s not clear what we can hand anybody to calm them down.” Banks and countries like China would view American debt as a severe liability, and markets would be thrown into chaos. Admittedly, this scenario is unlikely, since the Treasury Department can ward off default for months by taking extreme steps, such as raiding Social Security or civil-service pensions. But even if we don’t default, a protracted failure to raise the debt ceiling risks other dire economic consequences by making it look like the United States is ungovernable and a bad place to invest.
Folks, Washington NEEDS this vote, and they are going to win it by playing every wedge issue, and divisive card in the deck. The debate over the debt ceiling is going to be staged as a fight between “austerity” and “fiscal sanity”; with Democrats playing the “Republicans hate the poor” card, while Republicans scream about “Obama’s socialist agenda”.
Those on the Left can expect to be hit with image after image of “the suffering masses”, as the Democrats accuse the Republicans of being willing to sacrifice working families, the poor and “the middle class” with an outrageous austerity the likes of which, they will swear, has never been seen in modern history — they will go on in this vein until Obama announces he has secretly cut a deal with the GOP leadership in the House behind closed doors.
Those on the Right can expect Republicans to spend a lot of time on Fox NEWS complaining vociferously about the rising deficits and imminent collapse of the national economy and even morality itself under the dead weight of Washington’s profligacy, even as they meet secretly with their Democrat counterparts to work out a “deal” to trade more debt now for another worthless promise of a balanced budget tomorrow.
Without raising the debt ceiling, Washington will have great difficulty funding its ongoing occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, the bailout of the too big to fail banks, and its massive machinery of domestic repression. No matter the contours of this partisan bickering, it will be a fight staged for public consumption that ends in a conclusion on which both wings of the Washington establishment have already agreed.
Anarchists, libertarians and Marxists need to help folks both on the left and the right to understand that the debt ceiling itself is the issue — and, if Zero Hedge is correct, we will have 6-8 opportunities to ram this lesson home over the next five years. If, however, anti-statists get caught up in the public circus that the debate over the debt ceiling promises to become, we will forfeit a good chance to put a nail in the coffin of the State.
Tell someone you want to get rid of government, and they will immediately ask you about police, firemen and teachers — you’ve just branded yourself as a proponent of crime, chaos and ignorance.
Tell them you want to get rid of property, and they will immediately label you a Bolshevik intent on reducing the entire society to poverty and totalitarianism.
Tell them you want to get rid of labor, and they will ask, “But, how will we make things. Where will our food come from?” The very suggestion to them that we can live without labor almost always comes down to, “But who will do things like collect garbage.”
People have a real hard time with garbage collection.
Everyone is anti-statist to one extent or another; they are conditional or arbitrary statists who take exception with one or another feature of modern society.
Marxists, for example, hate inequality, private property, and the concentration of wealth. So, they see no problem taxing wealth away, and even confiscating it. Libertarians, are advocates of property and have an intense dislike of all government interference in individual property rights. So, they are not averse to eliminating the minimum wage, public education, unions (especially public unions) and so forth.
Both Libertarians and Marxists share some common features, however. If you really press a Marxist, soon you will find she is hostile not to property in general, but only private property. She will cogently explain to you why this private property must be replaced by public ownership of the means of production. And, if you really press a Libertarian, you will soon find out he is probably not against all government but just those functions identified with “the welfare state’, i.e., the social safety net erected after the Great Depression to protect society from the booms and busts of the business cycle, and from the greed of the wealthy.
Each, despite a hostility to the agenda of the other, nevertheless wants to retain some features of the existing society expressed in the others ideology.
There is another feature both sides agree on: in my experience both seem hostile to the idea of ridding society of labor itself. While a Marxist might be willing to adjust labor on the margins — say, by some minimal reduction of the work week or flexibility in those hours — the idea that labor itself can be done away with entirely appears to her altogether a fantasy. A Libertarian, if he thinks about labor at all, only thinks of it when he considers the impediments to the freest possible exercise of the property owner’s rights — in other words, only when he advocates to eliminate the minimum wage, unions, mandatory overtime pay, and workplace safety regulations.
For the Marxist, there is some willingness to consider a reduction of hours of work, but only on condition that wages remain unchanged. For the Libertarian, there is some willingness to consider a fall in wages as long as there is no limitation on hours of work. The idea that both wages and hours should go to zero — that all paid work should be abolished — is so inconceivable as an option for society, that even the most determined and radical opponents of the present order find it, at best, Utopian, and, at worst, a recipe for social collapse.
Both ideologies, however, have a profound hostility to empire. militarism, and the imperial adventures of Washington. While they may violently disagree with each other in terms of their positive program for the reorganization of society, they tend to be on the same side with regards to many issues related to the empire and its global machinery of war and repression. I recently came across a Marxist in the ‘net who initially became radicalized under the influence of Libertarianism at a very young age. He tells a fairly incredible story about how he and a friend once invaded a Republican Party meeting to introduce one resolution after another against US involvement in Central America:
… before I was an anarchist, I was a libertarian. As in the Libertarian Party. As in Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman, and Murray Rothbard. As in the Koch brothers who fund the Tea Party. I was raised in a left-liberal academic family, attended anti-war demonstrations as a kid, generally identified with anti-colonial struggles around the world, at the age of 9 cheered AIM when they seized Wounded Knee, read Malcolm and Che in junior high, and got involved in anti-nuclear power activism and the Citizens Party (an early version of the Greens) in High School. And then at 16 I became a libertarian and got deeply into that for the next several years.
I was more or less done with the libertarians when on a lark I convinced a friend to attend a Republican precinct caucus with me in the early years of the Reagan administration. We combed our spikey hair down, wore ill-fitting suits that we had bought at church sales and even a couple American flag pins and I introduced resolution after resolution in solidarity with the Nicaraguan Revolution, the armed struggle in El Salvador, the ANC and so on with my buddy seconding them and forcing a debate before each one was voted down 38 to 2. When the time came to elect delegates, my friend nominated me and some other guy seconded after explaining that while he disagreed with everything I said he was just glad to see young people “getting involved.” There were ten nominees for ten seats, five delegates and five alternates. I came in tenth, making me the last alternate. That proved good enough to get me called to attend the County Republican Convention where there was a big fight between the grassroots anti-tax crazies and the more respectable moderates. There was a rabid anti-tax resolution and the moderates were offering a modest amendment of support for law enforcement charged with enforcing existing tax laws, a matter on their minds in the wake of a recent local shootout between some far right anti-tax activist and the FBI. I rose to speak against the amendment, arguing that as our taxes were going to support U.S. policy in Central America we should applaud any actions that would starve the imperialist beast, suggesting incongruously that the posse comitatus nut was some sort of anti-imperialist hero. After I had spoken, a few of the anti-tax people came up to me and urged me to go back and run for precinct captain, but I wasn’t prepared to take that particular stunt any further.
My own story is similar to this person’s, except I was moving from the other direction: I was a Marxist who was strongly influenced by the “anti-tax crazies” in the late 1070s and early 1980s. Although I could not put into words what puzzled me about this movement, I knew they were on to something and the Marxists were missing an important opportunity. It was only in conversation with another Marxist, as I tried to argue for the importance of the anti-tax movement, that it suddenly dawned on me why it was significant: “Why do you care whether they are against paying more in taxes?” I asked her, “It isn’t your government; it isn’t your state — it’s the capitalist state and people hate it.”
That conversation sealed a moment for me. All of a sudden I could see the hidden connections between the arguments both the Left and the Right were making against government in a way, I believe, did not confine me to the ideological prejudices of either side. It has not been easy — honestly it has taken another 20 years to shake off the muck of ideology and realize both what the Left and Right have in common both in positive terms and negative.
Today, for me, the question has become: “What does it take to create a humanist anti-politics?” I want you to notice that I deliberately write the term, humanist anti-politics”, in lower case letters, here. I am not talking of, nor imagining, a movement toward something greater than us as individuals, but something completely subordinated to us — its only over-arching theme is that it has no theme and seeks only to let each of us create our own particular theme alone or in free voluntary association with others. It is movement which puts people — as individuals — in place of things.
A humanist anti-politics doesn’t ask for amnesty for illegal immigrants because governments do not own the earth, we do, and no government has the right to control our access to it.
A humanist anti-politics doesn’t argue for the right tax policy or the right fiscal policy or the right monetary policy for the economy, because we care only about what is right for people not the economy.
A humanist anti-politics doesn’t ask how Washington can protect us from terrorism, but asks how we can protect ourselves from the terrorism of governments around the world.
A humanist anti-politics doesn’t ask how government can create jobs to end unemployment, but how we can end wage slavery.
A humanist anti-politics doesn’t ask how government can improve the education system, but how individuals can be freed from Labor, Property and the State to develop their own capacities as complete human beings.
Humanist anti-politics is humanist because it seeks everywhere to put the liberation of society, as individuals, at the center of social discourse; it is anti-politics because it asks for nothing from government except that it cease to exist.
Is this possible? Can a consistent anti-statist movement be built out of the competing ideologies who each seek to impose their vision of the future on us?
This article was originally posted here.
Warfare is the central hubris of the state. I recently wrote an article that invoked much anger and appreciation: Fear and Loathing in the U.S.M.C. For God & Country. As I watched the reactions to the article and discussions around the internet I noticed something. Those who were most angry with the article defended the brainwashing techniques of the U.S.M.C. as necessary to carry out the warfare they saw as necessary. Some questioned if the goal could be reached by different means. Few actually asked the questions I often ask and challenge others to ask. Do we need this military and these wars to begin with?
Alan Moore once stated: “00001% of the worlds’ population that causes 99.99999% of the worlds problems… It is leaders.” The statist would teach us that these wars are for our good and for our protection. The statist would say that by this act of mass murder we find freedom. When I write of how elements like the military are the might of this government power I oppose, people become angered. The statist will tell me that some evil gang will come in use violence against us and take control. Many will say that some evil power will abuse the freedom that exists under Anarchy. I completely agree that is exactly what has happened.
We live in anarchy naturally. Anarchy is the natural state of humankind. We just so happen to live in that badly conceived anarchy that people fear where the most aggressive powerful gangs have gained control and asserted their tyranny on every corner of the globe.
In order for these criminal gangs to maintain control they must use the force of their military and police. It is a simple concept, kill or cage those who will not agree with us. There is nothing new in all of this. As I pointed out in: The natural history of the state, government is a barbaric criminal model used for personal gain. The government apologists use utilitarian arguments to justify their crimes against humanity. Truly what use is a military? Well self defense of course, except when it’s not. Often the state justifies it’s invasions with utilitarian apologetics to paint it as defense. The case if Iran comes to mind. Operation Ajax was used in the 1953 to gain power over another state leading to a long history of attack and retaliation.
We need defense not invasion forces. The statist truly realizes this which is why they will justify the invasions of the state by claiming the offense is defense. The initiation of force is not defense. The initiation of aggression is invasion. The idea of ‘get them before they get us’ is the classic conservative battle cry. Without this criminal power the state ceases to exist, and all the systems that remain become voluntary. It is this society we are striving for. Not the savage rape and pillage model that the state is as seen in the natural history of government, but a truly civilized society.
I pointed out in my article: Anarchy for Conservatives, if the pro-state conservative claims to cling to the idea that products and services improve under a free market why would defense not be improved by ending the government monopoly? I make this point because the conservative tends to be the biggest pro-militant voice. Maybe the system of defense will not immediately see improved models, but with time we can make those advancements. The exact advancements are unpredictable and irrelevant. What is relevant is that defense is removed from the state monopoly so such advancements can begin.
The militarized police state is here, has been here and is reality. One of the best examples in the United States of Orwellian Double Speak is the term “Peace Officer.” We use this to define an individual hired to use aggressive force against the citizens and throw them into cages. Most accept this and do not perceive is as an issue. Many defend it’s presence and declare it a ‘necessary evil.’ By declaring it a ‘necessary evil’ you have already acknowledged it is evil. Now one must reject the idea that evil is necessary.
We all commit abstract ‘crimes’ against the state, some are just lucky enough not to be caught. There is a double standard which favors those in the state to this which I briefly mentioned in another article called “Not All Are Equal In The Eyes Of The Law.” The reality is that police are under no obligation to protect you. They are to serve the will of the state. They are the power the state uses to assert its power over you. This was validated by the Supreme Court in 2005 when Justices ruled that Police do not have a constitutional duty to protect someone.To even claim we need police for ‘safety’ is a complete misunderstanding in what their purpose is.
One can point to many abuses of power that have been caught on tape recently. Police are objecting more and more to being filmed. It is frightening that they wish to use aggressive force on citizens and not be held accountable for what is going on. What do they hide? Why is recording something they fear? The state backs them, like in Illinois where you can receive up to 15 years for filming a Cop. One thing that is essential is to film these people carrying out the states will. News reports of Children being slaughtered while they sleep like in the case of Aiyana Jones, violent abuse of citizens, murdering household pets and much more have been in recent headlines. Websites like Injustice Everywhere do a good job at collecting reports of the massive violations and criminal activity within these departments.
Military Surplus is being bought up in bulk by police departments for use against citizens. Often the true criminal activity taking place is by the Police Department. In the case of Joe Arpaio the power of the police force is used for self gain. Joe Arpaio is the criminal who is declared a national hero. Here we see business owners being forced to dump their resources into defending themselves against the allegations of the state. It does not matter if the business or individual is innocent or guilty, they have been crushed by court and lawyer fees attempting to defend themselves. The absence of conviction, or a declaration of ‘innocent’ does not serve as reparations to all the loss and damage. Some have opened their eyes now with talks about deploying drones and Army units on U.S. soil. The reality is that those are just minor concerns compared to what already exists.
There is the constant theft by the police of the citizens property. Not only are they the force necessary to maintain the extortion racket they call taxation, but they directly steal property. Civil asset forfeiture is the practice of seizing and keeping property that police claim was used in a crime. This property does not have to actually be used in a crime, only a claim has to be made. It can be the property of someone other than the individual the police stole it from.
In a system where people are detained in jail cells before being found guilty justice is a joke. “In jail awaiting trial.” Guilty until proven innocent is the American way. It is time we began to question the power of the government. ‘Big Government’ did not start with ‘ObamaCare’ or the ‘Patriot Act.’ The structure and foundation for the power of the state was accepted by giving up our liberty on what many perceive as a smaller scale by throwing that liberty away for what we were told was a little protection which in reality exists to defend and strengthen the state. Until we abolish this state ran monopoly they will continue to seize more power and trample on your rights.
I am uncertain of how much support H.R. 5741 will do in the house. Part of me sees it as ridiculous, but with the power individuals invest in the words written by these men and women labeled as “law” nothing shocks me. H.R. 5741 is labeled the “Universal National Service Act.” This is just another of the many examples of nationalism in the united states. It describes itself as a bill:
To require all persons in the United States between the ages of 18 and 42 to perform national service, either as a member of the uniformed services or in civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, to authorize the induction of persons in the uniformed services during wartime to meet end-strength requirements of the uniformed services, and for other purposes.
What wartime? We seem to be a nation that has been at war for decades. When we have no enemy we invent them. Prohibition has become the “War on Drugs.” We war against concepts like “terrorism.” Then we go to the endless oil wars in the middle east. We start out waring over an oil company and overthrowing governments in the 1950s’ and this has continued to build and spiral out of control.
As the empire grows taxation can only go so far until you must directly serve the state. We labeled our nationalism and defense of culture “homeland security” one of the most nationalist concepts in the United States. A war against people who have not paid homage to the state by paying the state for it’s freedom and legitimacy as a citizen. The Republicans mostly want those people out of the country. The Democrats want those people to be registered in the databases of the state. Both parties want to trap those people in the system and control over them so they can steal the products of their labor. Now they are seeking them to directly serve the state with the rest of us.
The term ‘national service’ means military service or service in a civilian capacity that, as determined by the President, promotes the national defense, including national or community service and service related to homeland security.
This also seems to be giving more direct power to one office and title to determine how you will serve the state. You may be of the camp that President Obama means the best for us all, but I ask you what about when the Republicans regain control? What about the next George W. Bush?
We are looking at what seems to be mostly a new draft and forced servitude to the military in this bill. It also extends to other areas. What I spoke of in my articles pointing out the brainwashing of the individual by the state through it’s military is no doubt essential to making this happen. Read the article here. Devotion to the state will only increase at this point.
If something like this becomes law the brainwashing will not be limited to those who choose to be a part of it. It will be forced on a majority it seems. Every able bodied citizen shall be devoted to the state.
Many places are calling it the Slavery Bill. I would be more eager to compare it to other nationalist movements. Our sense of nationalism is strong especially with the right in certain areas. The left has embraced a certain nationalist devotion to the new Obama administration. These two factions both devoted to the state show how more and more are coming to worship the state.
The state is defending it’s ability to continue to keep its secrets and continue on with it’s lies by going after Bradley Manning for his heroic act of speaking the truth. I will take the side of openness and truth over the state and it’s secrecy and lies.
Please donate and help this poor brave young man who the state is trying to lock up. They wish to take his life from him by forcing him to spend it in their prison cell.
This is the shining example of what the state is. The murderers are hailed heroes and are going unpunished while those who speak the truth are labeled a danger and a criminal.
Washington D.C., July 27, 2010 – At 4PM EST on July 27, the Bradley Manning Support Network (www.bradleymanning.org) will begin accepting online donations for the legal defense of Private First Class Bradley Manning.
The Network, a grassroots initiative formed to defend and support accused whistleblower Pfc. Bradley Manning, has partnered with Courage to Resist, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting military objectors.
Manning, a 22 year old intelligence analyst stationed in Iraq, stands accused of disclosing a classified video depicting American troops shooting civilians from an Apache helicopter in 2007. Eleven adults are killed in the video, including two Reuters employees, and two children critically injured. The video, available at www.collateralmurder.com, was published by WikiLeaks on April 5, 2010. No charges have been filed against the soldiers in the video.
Bradley Manning faces up to 52 years in prison if convicted of the charges against him.
Please visit the site and support Bradley Manning: Press release: Legal Fund Established to Fight Imprisonment of Accused WikiLeaks Whistleblower « Help Bradley Manning.
The “Rule Of Law” argument or defense has been used many times by many people interested in conserving the state. It is often used to defend the action of the state. This is the equivalent of someone telling you that they are right simply because they say so. This has been used recently in my neighborhood to defend an attack on the poverty stricken as well as with the anti-migrant battle of the conservatives.
The only defense these people often give is “We are a country of laws.” This has to be one of the most uncritical responses any person can give. It assumes with some religiosity that this law their demigod politicians have placed on paper is somehow sacred. It is a similar line of thought to “Pharaoh is god.” The title we have given this thing makes it worthy of our worship and servitude.
The “law” that is spoken of is not an actual law like the law of gravity. It is the invented concepts of mostly rich and powerful men who have written down what they want to do to other human beings or what they want to force other human beings to do. This is all the “Rule Of Law” is. There are true laws such as gravity, and we have still attempted to break those, and then there is the desire of the powerful to control other human beings.
To use the “Rule Of Law” defense only shows that one has no true ethical defense for their actions. This leads to telling people that they have written on paper that they are permitted to use guns against you to obtain what they want. The “law” is the stance of the individual who can not even recite the apologetics of the state, but has accepted the assumed omnipotence of the state as sacred.
The “Rule Of Law” defense requires no critical thinking of why something should or should not be the way it is. It frees the individual from ethical behavior by excusing the unethical with a phrase that many imagine as an equivalent of something holy or good. The rule of Hitler’s law slaughtered human beings. The rule of law condoned hunting down slaves.
Law is not order. This is a myth. The lack of law will not bring chaos. Order can be found outside of forcing people to do as you wish with their guns.
“Punk Johnny Cash,” veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and blogger at the GonzoTimes.com, discusses movie portrayals of the marines, how basic training changes one forever, the modern epidemics of shell shocked vets and on-base violence, the similarity of the mindset of an enlisted man and a battered wife, examples of how they humiliate and break down new recruits in order to rebuild them and whether or not the U.S. needs to take over the planet Earth in the first place.
If you have an interest in a stateless society, you need to understand what the state is. Otherwise you could end up chasing shadows, and many self-proclaimed anarchists often do so, unfortunately. When you look around you, you can see examples of its handiwork everywhere. Every police car you see, the various “permits” and “licenses” when you go into a business establishment (once you start to look for them, you’ll see them all the time without even trying to…), and then the more subtle things. Now, you’ll notice I didn’t mention roads, or schools or traffic lights. These are all things that would exist with or without the state. The particular form they tend to take in our world however, this is the work of the state, as are the particular forms that all of our institutions and business establishments do. (remember the “permits” above?)
But all of that is the trail the state leaves behind. So what is the state? Many people think that it is an organization sometimes called “the government”. That’s one piece of the puzzle, but it’s not the complete answer. The governments of the world act as a sort of administrative organization and enforcement agency for the state, they are necessary for its continued existence. But there’s more to it than that. In totalitarian countries, “government” and “state” seem very much to be the same, because the government controls everything so directly. In more liberal/libertarian countries, the differences start to emerge. One perspective I’ve found that sheds a lot of light on the state is to examine the Mafia. Is a “legitimate business” owned by the Mafia, really not part of the Mafia? Even if it’s not a money laundering front and is operated for a profit, it’s still basically part of the Mafia.
Now the government and the Mafia while they have similarities, have some glaring differences too. One big one that doesn’t get looked at is that government officials never directly get actual profits from their activities. In fact, most of their most prominent activities are non-profit, or run constant losses even if they do take payment. They get a salary, which is paid out of stolen money, but that salary is relatively fixed and not dependent on performance (for which I am sure they are quite grateful). So you have to broaden your gaze and see that these officials rotate into and out of “private sector” employment, and then it starts to make more sense. The businesses favored by the state are the ones that hire ex-government employees and vice versa. The fact that government officials are allowed to own stock (though that’s regulated to some extent) in private companies is another clue.
So why the pretense? Why go through this ruse of “public” and “private”? Well that’s it. That’s the state. The state IS the ruse. The state… is a social fiction. It is the myth of legitimacy. This myth is the thin black line that separates “the government” and its “private sector” attachments from any other Mafia. The fact that people believe that “the government” is legitimately allowed to kill and steal, and that when it does so, it represents something good and just, is what has allowed it to dominate the earth. And despite the secondary myth that the government exists to fight crime, it is the very existence of the government that allows the lesser Mafias to thrive.
In the past this myth of legitimacy was carried out through religion. As various religions were the “private sector” beneficiaries of government, they would preach that the state was the secular arm of their organization, devoted to enforcing “the lord’s will” on Earth.
While bunk in and of itself, at least they admitted the connection.
Nowadays, a new religion, that of “democracy”, legitimizes the state by claiming that it is “the people’s will” that they are charged with enforcing. (Even when the people seem to be quite against what the government is doing, ala the recent bank bailouts) Other flatulent high sounding ideas like “social order” , “tradition” and “public goods” are also used to weave this magic spell in people’s heads.
So now that we know what the state is, we know what Anarchism is. Anarchism, truly, is simply the understanding that the state is merely a social fiction and has no legitimacy. When you live that truth, you will not follow the law simply because it is the law. You will let your conscience be your guide. At that point you are no longer being ruled, though you might have crimes committed against you by the “government” and its lackeys. When the Mafia forces someone to pay protection money, that guy isn’t being ruled, he’s being robbed.
So what then is liberty? Liberty is the absence of crime. Real crime, crime that has a victim. Crimes that all persons’ conscience would acknowledge as such. A libertarian then, is someone who wishes to abolish (or more realistically) minimize crime.
Not all anarchists are libertarians (some Stirnerites come to mind), but most are, at least to some extent. But all anarchists understand that no one has any special authority to commit crimes that no one else has.
All political theories involve some level of crime. Someone is getting victimized for someone else’s benefit. The “liberals” (as we know them today) tend to favor a very mild, safe plutocratic regime — one that seeks to round off all of lifes sharp corners for the sake of making us all viable economic resources to exploit. The “conservatives” have a more dog-eat-dog approach in which the workers are set up to fight over ever more scarce resources; a Darwinian approach to maximizing our productivity. Ultimately, these are just differing livestock management techniques.
Ahhh but you say, this is an age of ascendant corporatism and collectivism. What about the political theories of the past? Classical liberalism was a sort of minarchist libertarianism. We must have this much organized crime (committed by the ruling classes), simply in order to fight sporadic, disorganized crime (usually committed by the lower classes). The problem is that leaves all sorts of “wiggle room” which leads to the liberalism we have now.
Classical conservatism / Paleo-conservatism is a sort of patchwork of ideas that claims that “this social order is good”, and whatever crimes we have to commit to keep that order are thus justified. It’s almost hearkening back to the ancient regime of religious statism, and indeed does attract a lot of religious types.
Both of these ideologies are a lot less totalitarian than modern corporate democracy, but that’s simply to be expected. They realized at some point that totalitarian control is counter productive… the host that does not thrive leaves little for the parasite. And so they developed political strategies that would allow the host to thrive, while still providing a decent feast for the parasite.
Nowadays we are seeing an attempt to use spurious financial-economics to min/max the amount of crime vs. the health and wealth of the population that crime feeds off. The predators have charts and graphs you see, and they are giving lectures on “how to get the most from your prey”. They also don’t think as long term as they used to, because they have thrown off sentimentality toward their children. (and could you blame them for that?)
Anarchism has, itself, broken up into many sub-divisions and factions. But in reality, all these factions are, are differing beliefs about what a stateless society will “look like”. All anarchists, that is to say, all people who understand that no one is authorized to commit crimes, have one goal if they wish to see their desired future(s) come to pass, which is to destroy the myth of legitimacy. This is the one way that one can smash the state. Now there are several strategies and methods that might be used to do so, but everything that does not attack the myth of legitimacy directly or indirectly is extra-anarchist. It is perhaps a strengthening of a social order that was hollowed out by the state, or a diversion of resources feeding the state, but no matter. Where we disagree as anarchists is less important than where we agree.
A lot of “left” anarchists will claim, for instance, that anarcho-capitalists are not actually anarchists. This, to me, seems like confusion about what capitalism means to anarcho-capitalists. By the light of what leftist anarchists mean by “capitalism”, anarcho-capitalists are not non-anarchists, they are non-capitalists. And the reverse holds true too. An anarcho-socialist is not the sort of socialist that an anarcho-capitalist thinks of as “socialist”. But all anarchists believe that the state is nonsense and has no right to assert some sort of magical authority to do things that you or I cannot.
There are pseudo-anarchists, yes, but they are the sort that end up cheering for this magical super-Mafia when their own pet issues come to town.
Having listened to the actual concepts (not just imaginations of their ideas) of anarchists of all stripes, I have come to the conclusion, as did Voltarine DeCleyre, one of my heroes, that I am an anarchist without adjectives. Let us dispense with the fiction of the state, and then let everyone try what they can, and we will see how it all works out.
via Without Adjectives.
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
Are you authorized to exist within the confines of the state? Have you been cataloged and placed in big brothers database? The right has gone on a rampage against migrants. The hypocritical belief seems to be that liberty and freedom should be afforded to those that are born into it seems to contradict many of their stances on the constitution. They will claim that the constitution should be followed except in cases of birthright citizenship.
Citizenship is now defined by what state authorized paperwork one holds. You must have a birth certificate to be entered into the system with the road monopolies of the state. The roads are used to regulate individuals. Your vehicle must have identification so the state can tell if you have not paid the appropriate state offices. The individual is licensed as a way to keep information and tabs on each individual. It is the campaign of the left and right to only allow individuals in the country that can be cataloged. You are simply cattle to the state.
The right continues to ridicule the president as they extol wars and migrant control. While the President seems to be the greatest defender of their violence and aggression and government inventory of human beings.
The “enforcement now, enforcement forever” policy of the Obama administration continues. The administration asked Congress on Tuesday for $600 million in emergency funds to hire another 1,000 Border Patrol agents, acquire two drones and enhance security along the Southwest border. This is the kind of conduct that provoked one commentator to observe that President Obama is the most anti-immigrant President since President Eisenhower, whose administration oversaw Operation “Wetback” in 1954. So far, President Obama has been even tougher on immigration than President Clinton, who brought the nation Operation Gatekeeper and similar border enforcement operations, signed into law the draconian 1996 immigration reforms and welfare reform, increased immigrant detention, and similar tough-on-immigrant measures.
Many Democrats have taken a slight pro-migrant stance in the case of improving their human inventory through the promotion of a national biometric ID. Even if we do not go the route of this biometric ID that has been rumored the same concept of human inventory exists with birth certificates, social security numbers and state drivers licenses’ and IDs’.
Many say it is the problem that the migrant can not get the right ‘papers.’ The problem is that we are forced to have papers in the first place. It is time we became critical of the accepted social norm of submitting to being human cattle and inventoried by the state.
Even the first lady is speaking to the children about making sure everyone has the right kind of ‘papers.’ Its’ not just the migrant that has to hold the right ‘papers’ but every individual under the regime. I am asking for migrant freedom not migrant catalogs just as I ask for human freedom as opposed to begging the bureaucracy to vilify my existence in their database.
Border control, ICE, State Police and many more work together to monitor and regulate the free movement of human beings. They demand payment to the state to be inventoried and monitored and if you do not pay the state to migrate or just to be able to drive to and from work they will inventory you in a prison system. One way or another they will have your movements under control. If you do not wish to pay the coercive state monopolies to maintain you like cattle or sheep you will be placed in cages or escorted out of the country.
British officer: You call yourself a patriot, and a loyal subject to King
George?Hawkeye: I don’t call myself “subject” to much of
anything.Hawkeye explains the foundational tenet of the American worldview to a self-important armed government functionary offended by the frontiersman’s principled defiance; from the 1992 version of Last of the Mohicans.
Marilyn Levias, a 19-year-old Seattle girl involved in a jaywalking incident during which a police officer assaulted another 17-year-old girl, displayed “a dangerous refusal to observe a cardinal rule that civilians simply must comply with instructions from police officers,” insists Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes.
For this, Miss Levias faces a gross misdemeanor charge of “Obstructing a Police Officer.” During the confrontation, Levias’s 17-year-old friend, Angel L. Rosenthal, intervened on her behalf and was punched in the face by officer Ian P. Walsh. As is typically the case when a Mundane’s face obstructs the trajectory of a police officer’s fist, the victim is the one facing criminal charges.
In announcing the criminal charge against Levias, City Attorney Holmes offered the mildest possible limp-wristed swipe at the Seattle Police Department by saying that the incident illustrates the need “for de-escalation training for officers.” Holmes also cited an observation by Judge Michael Spearman, auditor for the police department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, that “The use of force in a [jaywalking] situation as a best practice is questionable.
“Even this timid and tentative criticism was an unbearable affront to the delicate sensibilities of Rich O’Neill, president of Seattle’s Armed Tax-Feeders Guild.
“Force was not used in a jay-walking incident! Force was used because the individuals involved assaulted a uniformed police officer,” protested O’Neill.
The “assault” in question occurred when the teenage girls tried to free themselves from Walsh’s clutches after he had needlessly laid hands on them. They were uncooperative, not threatening.
Yet to O’Neill, who is apparently so Emo that his last name should be Philips, jaywalking occupies the same continuum as violent crime.
Accordingly, the use of overwhelming force is entirely appropriate: “Officers are trained to enforce the law and not to ‘de-escalate’ walk away simply because a violator objects to being stopped. That would simply lead to lawlessness.
“Indeed: If we don’t permit police officers to slug jaywalking teenage girls in the face, the terrorists will win.
There are evil axioms embedded in the statements of both Holmes and O’Neill. First of all, both assume that there is a dichotomy between police and “civilians” – which of necessity means that the former should be regarded as military, or at least para-military, in nature. Holmes reinforced that assumption by referring to the Mayor of Seattle as “commander in chief” of the city’s police.
As I’ve noted elsewhere, the idea that “civilians” are to render instant, unqualified obedience to any armed individual in a government-issued costume is the chief characteristic of the martial law mind-set.
Read the Full Article by William Norman Grigg: The Police State’s ‘Cardinal Rule’: The Mundane Must Submit by William Norman Grigg.
Smoking is perceived as this great immorality now days. Of course it is, we have to push massive taxation on someone, why not create a villain and make the villain pay for the taxes. Do you remember Tea? We had a revolution over this bull. Now we have a smoker in the white house and he is forced to hide it. He knows it’s politically incorrect to buy cigarettes. In a time of economic down turn we decide to go after an American industry and add more taxes? They want people to quit. Never mind the jobs that will be lost from tobacco stores and tobacco companies.
Breaking News! Phillip Morris New Bailout!
You heard it right here. Phillip Morris came on bended knee to Congress today asking for their bailout. Instead of giving tax relief Congress looked at how many jobs would be in jeopardy. Nancy Pelosi wanted to know why they mishandled their company so terribly. Phillip Morris said “We didn’t you taxed us into the ground”
Nancy responded with “Everyone else pays their taxes why can’t you?” Then she proceed to suggest a 90% tax on any money she would give them.
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Anderson Crenshaw a Republican Representative in the House from Florida’s 4th district supports Tea Parties. He telling us that he is a small government type who opposes the big government spending and taxation. I love Twitter because it gives me a chance to get these snippets from the House and Senate. I get to see the image they want to portray and call these Federalists out on their word. We get to see the hypocrisy and are given a record of it online. We can hold these people accountable now. Well, Mr. Crenshaw, you sir are full of feces. You are not for TEA Parties. You are not for less spending and less taxation. Floridians listen up. The guy is full of it and should not see the house again.
He got on twitter trying to get in on the tea party enthusiasm. I love this being able to respond to what these people say. I love being able to check what they are pushing and see if it is true or not. Just take a look for yourself here.
These republicans have repeatedly voted for excessive spending and they supported the bailout garbage. Now they want to shanghai the tea parties and pander to us as if they are small government limit federal spending low tax types. It is just not true.
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Mike Ferguson, the Libertarian spokesman sent out this letter today in regards to the MIAC incident.
Missouri Libertarian Party Welcomes Resolution to MIAC Memo Controversy
Regarding Third Parties, Commends MPS Director John Britt for Responding
Positively to Concerns About Political Profiling