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The anti-fascists have only themselves to blame

Jeez... I look at the ridiculous, pretentious, half-baked and overwrought BS that's been flying around on Indymedia, and I realize that the progressives have only themselves to blame for the state of our nation and planet.
Look, America is a plutocracy, but there is a legal foundation for the establishment of democracy. These retarded anarchists with their notions of voting as an act of oppression have rationalized themselves into a corner, too concerned with being clever to realize that they are undermining the real struggle for a better world.

You anarchists know nothing about human nature, a society cannot work without leaders, homo sapiens are not as evolved as you would like them to be. From chaos, a leader will always emerge to lead the sheep, from coups and violent revolution a new oppressor eventually rears its head and get's drunk on power and it's the same shit all over again. You will be faced with being part of a civil, social or political body with leaders, whether they are dictators or facilitators. So why not raise your fucking hand when asked who you want steer the ship? Write in someone you know personally, or run for office yourself... use your imagination.

A democracy is the most logical form of social organization, mainly because it is fair and has the greatest likelihood of working, but before you go and smash the state, why don't think about how we can make democracy work? There is a difference between constructive and destructive action, and much of autonomous anarchist energy does the movement credit, but we should never forget strategy. If it really isn't about the individual will-to-power, like some state-smashers claim, than channel your rage in a way where you can win support for your ideals, not alienate the fence-sitters. You may not get the same level of instant gratification, but your drop in the bucket will be larger. That's what it means to be part of a movement, to be collective.

In a working democracy, you might not get your own way or get to inhale the glorious stench of buildings burning as you apotheosize yourself and your upright morals in the absence of sewer or drinking water infrastructure. It may not sound sexy for a generation raised on Tarantino, Quake and shocking mondo video. The real battles are bureacratic and often slow. But think, many of the people who voted in this republican congress want the same things as you (granted, some are just greedy self-entitled bastards...), what solution do you have for them to keep food on the table and their family safe and an opportunity to find pleasure in life? Tear gas and kristallnacht? Tons of people know that the logic of the eminent capitalists is a shell game, but they have to do better than being punk-ass naysayers because the progressive movement needs allies.
blah, blah, blah 07.Nov.2002 00:19

the whine resounding.... why?

blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, yakety smakety, blah, blah, blah, & so on and so forth, into eternity and beyond we ask the question.... why?
why do we die? why do we cry? why do we lie to one another?
the answer
is
always
&
never
because we can
stop placing blame
start making change

pluto is way out of orbit 07.Nov.2002 00:57

a pdx anarchist

you don't know anything about anarchism and are just passing along disinfo. you pull out the old saw about people not being able to function without leaders but ignore the central anarchist concept of "mutual aid", just to name one example. if you're not a gov't plant you might as well be for as much as you're parroting their typical divisive bullshit.

just for the record, i don't watch Tarantino movies (i don't find violence entertaining), have never played "Quake" (i don't like video games) and i have no idea what "shocking mondo video" is. quite a few of us anarchists are not all that young.

If you're honestly confused about anarchism, goto:
 http://www.infoshop.org/faq/secA1.html#seca12

Excerpt:

To quote Peter Kropotkin, Anarchism is "the no-government system of socialism." [Kropotkin's Revolutionary Pamphlets, p. 46]. In other words, "the abolition of exploitation and oppression of man by man, that is the abolition of private property [i.e. capitalism] and government." [Errico Malatesta, "Towards Anarchism," in Man!, M. Graham (Ed), p. 75]

Anarchism, therefore, is a political theory that aims to create a society which is without political, economic or social hierarchies. Anarchists maintain that anarchy, the absence of rulers, is a viable form of social system and so work for the maximisation of individual liberty and social equality. They see the goals of liberty and equality as mutually self-supporting. Or, in Bakunin's famous dictum:

"We are convinced that freedom without Socialism is privilege and injustice, and that Socialism without freedom is slavery and brutality." [The Political Philosophy of Bakunin, p. 269]

The history of human society proves this point. Liberty without equality is only liberty for the powerful, and equality without liberty is impossible and a justification for slavery.

Thanks for clearing that up 07.Nov.2002 03:35

pluto

To ' the whine resounding'... you're right. I shouldn't blame others who mean well, I hold myself responsible as well. I just get frustrated when progressive thought shoots itself in the foot. I realize my tone is a bit hostile, which I also regret, but my general sentiment stands with regard to the viability of modern anarchism, and more to the point, the counterproductive nature of such a philosophy when people use it to justify not voting.

To 'pdx anarchist', your link pretty much supports my statement that anarchists are completely opposed to leaders/hierarchies/etc, and what you call an 'old saw' I still see as a universal truth. Your link also further convinces me that anarchism is an intellectual exercise that sounds great and fine in manifestos that cite other manifestos, but in practice, the inner neanderthals of human nature will sabotage any collective that does not have mechanisms of law enforcement, or at the very least the lazy ones will sponge off the workers.

While you point to manifestos, consider historical precedents where it was put into practice: Brook Farm, Fourier Communes, Owenite Settlements, Oneida Colony and more. All illustrative of humankind's basic inability to put aside pettiness, jealousy and greed for the good of the community in the absence of penalties. If there have been successes that could be used as models in our modern world, however, I would seriously be interested in hearing about them.

Not that democracy can be considered a wonderful success in present America, in fact I would question whether democracy can co-exist with the current plutocracy in a real sense aside from the flag waving and media jingoism. What I'm essentially trying to say is that beneficial outcomes of abandoning social hierarchy are just as limited by human nature as existing state models. At least with a democracy, you don't have to depend upon human nature as much. Rather, it has principles established in accordance with the wishes of those who participate, and a mechanism to enforce compliance with these principles. If the democracy is lucky, it also has a good constitution which holds human beings to higher standards than our caveman nature. However, democracy fails when we don't participate... it could be whatever we collectively want it to be, but non-participation is abdication, and this was the point of my original posting.

I think you're a little bit hasty to accuse me of being a government plant, but given the tone of my earlier post I can't really blame you. But with regard to divisiveness, don't you think you're playing a role in that as well? I have a definite philosophical disagreement with you, but I also have a serious concern for the future and would like to consider myself in alliance with anyone who stands for peace, sustainability and universal human rights in opposition to corporatist neo-fascism.

On Human Nature 07.Nov.2002 06:16

another old PDX anarchist

Pluto, if you think you have human nature all figured out then by all means, publish your findings! There are loads of people who spend their careers, academic or otherwise, trying to figure it out and have been unable to.

One thing that is known for sure is that in experimental settings (such as the famous prisonor/guard experiments and others) people will tend toward those behaviors that are rewarded. Reward competition and cruelty, and people will be more competitive and more cruel. Reward cooperation instead, and people's behaviors will switch to cooperative ones.

As far as real-world examples I think everyone should read about the Spanish Civil War - not only because most Americans know nothing whatsoever about it, and one really can't understand WWII without some understanding of the preceeding events in Spain - but also because large portions of the country (rural and urban alike) operated without political authorities for several years. The factories worked, the trains worked, the telephones worked. If only Hitler and Musswolini had not supported Franco's coup. If only FDR had permitted Americans to go and help defend the people of Spain, or even committed American troops. If only. Nonetheless, in vast areas of Spain, from 1936-39, you will find a workable example of anarchism in action.

Cheers.

Speaking of human nature... 07.Nov.2002 07:30

Relatively Exact

With all due respect to the Traditional Anarchists (as opposed to anarchist punks), I think history has shown that a communal system works fine as long as everyone is committed and everyone cooperates.

That's easier said than done.

The problem comes when someone finds out he can take advantage of the "system" and exploit it for his own benefit. If he gets away with it, others will follow his example. Pretty soon you're left with a weak link that eventually unravels the whole chain.

That's basically what happened in the so-called "communist" countries of the world. People found out they could do very poor work or no work at all and still earn the same reward, so many if not most people chose the path of least resistance. Even worse, workers discovered that those that depended on their services were willing to offer them bribes to encourage them to do their jobs. Pretty soon bribery became the rule rather than the exception, and PRESTO! You had a culture of corruption that these former "communist" countries are having a very hard time getting rid of.

Many (especially Trilox) would probably disagree with me, but I think communal life is very possible with relatively small groups in fairly isolated conditions. However, in a crowded, urban environment I don't think it would last long. After all, a society of self-sufficient, communal groups was basically what our tribal ancestors probably were long ago (since that's what most remaining stone-age tribes are even today). Look what happened to them. Somebody figured out that the strong could exploit the week, and POOF! We had empires.

I actually hope the Traditional Anarchists can prove me wrong and find a way to create and sustain such a society, but I doubt it. History seems to offer too many arguments against it.

Cynical Me 07.Nov.2002 08:56

ranger

I do not see communal societies as a viable alternative. Human nature as it is will always find egos taking control, someone will suffer at the expense of someone who want to weild power, even if it is subtle power over a group, over a woman, over resources. As much as I disagree with Trilox on other topics, I totally agree with him (her?) on communal/anarchist societies. I like the idea of anarchism in the sub-context of an organized system. You can live as an anarchist in an organized society. You can modify the organized structure to your advantage in an anarchist manner. I don't believe that entropy is going to get us anywhere except in the direction that the power elite yeilds momentum, and that is to hell! Wake up, Bush and his masonic satans are driving us there, and communal life on a dead planet is not what I look forward to.

Human Nature is a load of horse shit 07.Nov.2002 09:14

Oscar Wilde

"Oh poor human nature, what crimes have been perpetrated in your name."