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Some thoughts on Anarchy and Revolution

A bit of talk on anarchy and revolution
Some thoughts on Anarchy and Revolution
Some thoughts on Anarchy and Revolution
I dissagree with the assertion that there are TWO kinds of anarchists. I've met a great number of anarchists that lean twards one tendancy or another- for example queer anarchists, feminist anarchists, pacifist anarchists, municipalists, animal rights/ecodefence, DIY, and yeah socialists. I'd say there are probably more folks that ascribe to independant strains than there are adhierents of any one. It's possible to see this when an indyposter of any one strain takes prominance others camps challenge thier ideas. This debate is for the most part a concentual process and vital to how we understand history.
(Is there a better word?)

The trouble is there hasn't been an anarchist revolution in this country. If you travel the states you'll see a great many leaders in social justice movements across the states. Thier tactics often mimic the authoritarians from outside the movement. Even among "radicals" this is so. Many anarchists I've spoken to believe that change comes from the inside out- consequentually we're prone to misstrust those we see as not living the values they ascribe to. This challenge to ourselves and others seems fundamental to making social justice ideas the reality of tommorrow.
What I don't understand is the need to confine tactics within the context from which they came. For example a previous poster cited communist, and facists successfull attempts at seizing power as characteristic of how anarchists would behave in a similar situation. The surest way to insult an anarchist is to tell them how they'd govern. We do not seek to govern others. This is precisly why there hasn't been an anarchist revolution in this country. If you say that anyone who takes a revolutionary stand against this government is no better than a facist I'd say you activly support the genocide wreaked by the US government. And how many people wouldn't enjoy what measure of freedom they do today without the gun and the moltov?
Is revolution neccisary? I'd say that even your "founders" new that when a government no longer represents the will of the people it is the right, nay the duty of those people to rise up and cast it down. When a person tells me that I souldn't stand for revolution I say, "Does this government represent you?" this is the litmus by which I measure my associatons.
From here to there:
Do Anarchists have a program to stop this government and it's imperialism? I'd say that across tendancies there is a broad measure of support for a tactic or program known as the dual strategy. What is the dual strategy and how can do all that? Well, the dual stategy rests on the assertion that it's difficult to govern people who are capable of governing themselves. The us government gains it's power from it's relationship with capitalist industry. If the people were to take back the methods of production they would then be capable of abolishing the state and creating localized networks of community control. As it is, our relationship with governent is rather oppisite- It tells us what to buy, how to protest, how we can work, in short this system allows the minority that own this country to govern the many. Thierby defining our culture. The dual strategy is a two pronged attack against the aformentioned mechanisms of state control. It relys on coordination. These dual strategies should be employed simultainiously to avoid suppression by the government. Second, a program of guerrilla war- clandestine action against the state and it's material network of control. It'd be great If the police, army, and national guard were too busy dealing with a civil war to stop us as we gain control of the methods of production.

Now- some personal thoughts on how to get there with the least amount of bloodshed.

BOYCOTT INDUSTRY!!! One obsticle many workers face in organizing is that the corperation they struggle against is so globalized and maintains so many consumers it is difficult to sieze it's material base. For example there's a SYSCO chemical plant in texas that produces poly vinyl chloride. Poly Vinyl Chloride is a toxic substance that melts bones. The american pvc manufacturers association conspired with the european pvc manufacturers association to suppress studies they had done illigally on thier own workers documenting the crippling effects of exposures. Thier bones would melt thier familys got cancer and everyone they know was dying. Thier town had little else in the way of employment. Thier union would strike but thier corperation was globalized and maintained such material, and governmental resources that it was able to install non-union workers and ship in raw materials to process at a LOSS! (see bill moyers report toxic lies)
If we can weaken US based industries to the extant where they are able to be siezed or replaced by localized sustainably ran worker owned collectives our program might have a chance.

Create and support localized, sustianably operated, methods of production. A HUNDRED THOUSAND SMALL ORGANIC FARMS CAN FEED THE WORLD! So much of our labor is lost to beurocracy that people don't have time to even raise and know thier children. If the burden of operating organization is distributed equitably more people have more time to experience the fruits of thier work. Organizing in in such a manner also makes possible an ARMY OF MINDS approach to problem solving. I've expierenced collective problem solving first hand- and I swear by it! I find it so invigorating to work with a group of equals working to build on, challenge, and feed off each others ideas, than in an inviroment where I can be assured that my ideas will be exploited by rigid thinkers intent only to profit at my loss.

Support anarchy! Strong individuals make strong communities!

Support revolution! If we don't stop this government who will?


For a list of local worker collectives try reading Anti Capitalist Action's Little Beruit.

For a list of free or low cost collective workshops check out PDX FREESKOOL contact info is in little beruit

To get involved in an anarchist community support network email a working collective at

PDX BREWBLOC (brewing) at  pdxbrewbloc@lists.riseup.net

Anarchist Cooking and Baking Collective at  pdxacbc@lists.riseup.net

Anarchist Carpentry Collective (temporary email)
 mbthink@hotmail.com

Coming soon! Anarchist Gardening and Gleaning Collective
 mbthink@hotmail.com

phone: phone: 503-774-9253

new email addresses 22.Apr.2003 14:33

michaelb

 pdxacbc@lists.riseup.net
PDX Anarchist Cooking & Baking Collective (A.C.B.C.)

 pdxacc@lists.riseup.net
PDX Anarchist Carpentry Collective

 pdxagg@lists.riseup.net
PDX Anarchist Gardening and Gleaning

 pdxbrewbloc@lists.riseup.net
Home brewing

only one kind of anarchist? come on ... 22.Apr.2003 16:51

looking for diversity

I'll just use one example:

What about anarcho-capitalists? Or would you argue they aren't anarchists at all? See

 http://www.infoshop.org/faq/secFcon.html

But ... they are anarchists in the sense that they are against the state. I think we ignore them because they believe that there should be no public property, but rather all should be private, and also believe that inequality is a natural result of pursuing freedom and liberty, and thus view an egalatarian society as incompatible (impossible, really) with the idea of anarchy.

These views are pure bullshit in my humble opinion, but I still think they're anarchists, under the plain meaning of the term.

 http://www.gmu.edu/departments/economics/bcaplan/anarfaq.htm#part10

"Anarcho" capitalism 22.Apr.2003 17:28

xyzzy

The problem with "anarcho" capitalism is that it is in a state of contradiction with itself.

Capitalists aren't interested in freedom, they're interested in making money. If a capitalist can make more money for him or herself by using force to suppress other's freedom, he will. If he doesn't, his investors are likely to punish him by investing in someone else who does. Why should they voluntarily earn less profits, in violation of the principle of self-interest that is at the heart of capitalism?

Something's gotta give. Either the "anarcho" part yields in favor of the "capitalism" part, or vice versa.

Portland

"archy" 22.Apr.2003 19:05

jumping bean

Anarcho-capitalism is an idealogy that is not the same as what m.b. is forwarding. Anarchy as a process of revolution rejects all heirarchies, because they are socially oppressive. Anarcho-capitalists embrace a system of heirarchy that is intrinsic with their favored form of exchange. If we hope to challenge the structure of our society, which is the only way that the majority of people in this nation and world will ever get closer to freedom, we must challenge the structure of power, which is commodified in a capitalist society. There are different dynamics that hold the state in place, both idealogical and material (and they reinforce eachother), like divisions between people caused by racism, classism, sexism, segregation. There are things that keep people from challenging the dominant paradigm, like wage slavery, the wellfare state, institutionalization, etc. The overall system of entrenched power in this nation IS capitalism. Anti-capitalism is a first step in defining our own world. Anarco-capitalism would re-shuffle wealth withhout significantly changing the system, and would be the equivalent of one king inheriting from the last. That's not revolutionary in my opinion.

How not to use necessary stuff, ie, plumbing 22.Apr.2003 19:35

Tommee

This is a thoughtful discussion, but I wonder what will be used for plumbing besides PVC whose production is not toxic, and can be controlled by the workers?

Also, though the Internet is wild and wooley, doesn't it owe its very existence, or at least birth, to the government? So isn't it corporate? Their sure is lots of corporate stuff on it, starting with the web browser on this computer.

I'm not saying not to start the dual strategy, but how do we know we're doing it? Back to the plumbing pipe: copper, galvanized steel or PVC pipe is all I know has ever been used. I don't think anyone who has ever produced it has had control of production. How do we do that? Or what do we use instead? I need details. Thank you.

Tommee

I don't know all the answers 22.Apr.2003 20:30

michaelb

In the interum yes maybee we can use copper pipes. To me anarchism is more about the personal journey twards becoming free of hierarchy than it is about the exterior manisfestations of that belief. In design there is a belief that form follows function. It is not for me to determine the solutions that every community takes to problems. It is only for me to get free enough that I can contribute to the process locally. If we assertivly challenge our tendancy to dominate others the whole world starts to look a bit different. For example is it right that some should have large mansions while others hovel in squats? Where this process will lead individual communities is to a large part determined by the unique challenges that these communities face. Are you really interested in how pipes are made? I know a fourth generation blacksmith of anarchist mind that might just know. Can you tell the difference between problem thinking and solution thinking?
When our network begins to reach a point where self sufficiency really looks possible computers will no doubt hold less importance as an organizational tool. One vison of an organizational model can be seen in the way argentinians communicate thier needs as a communitys.

Another definition 22.Apr.2003 22:47

Another Citizen

Blacks Law Dictionary Fifth Edition 1979

Anarchist. One who professes and advocates the doctrines of anarchy, q.v. In the immigration statutes, it includes, not only persons who advocate the overthrow of organized government by force, but also those who believe in the absence of government as a political ideal, and seek the same end through propaganda.

Anarchy. Absence of government; state of society where there is no law of supreme power; lawlessness or political disorder; destructive of and confusion in government. At its best it pertains to a society made orderly by good manners rather than law, in which each person produces according to his powers and receives according to his needs, and at its worst, the work pertains to a terroristic resistance of all present government and social order. For "criminal anarchy," see Criminal.

Criminal anarchy. The docrtine that organized government should be overthrown by force and violence or other unlawful means. The advocacy of such doctrine has been made a felony. Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357, 47 S.Ct. 641, 71 L.Ed. 1095; 18 U.S.C.A. 3731.

My opinion: Anarchy is a scapegoat for the egotist/controller.

Another Citizen

production 23.Apr.2003 00:16

heimdallr

I'm by no means an expert, Tommee, but my understanding of basic socialist (syndicalist?) theory is that the current role of the 'bourgeois' or capitalist in industrial production can be replaced by a democratic assembly of workers who can handle administrative tasks such as setting aside an appropriate amount of the collective yield to be re-invested into the costs of running a farm/factory/business/whatever. If you have a collective that refines metals and another that produces pipes, presumably the respective assemblies administering each could work out a system of exchange between themselves.

I understand this to be a major point of contention between so-called 'Red' and 'Green' anarchists, but if a 'revolutionary' seizure of power is well executed, it is entirely possible that much of the machinery of production set up by capitalism could be seized intact; (though the Zerzan/Luddite/'Green Anarchist' factions would probably argue against this being done) we don't necessarily have to revert to hunter-gatherer status and start again from scratch.

Not meant as an insult... 23.Apr.2003 04:31

elliot

I would never presume to say how an Anarchist or anyone else for that matter would govern. The mere idea suggests a lack of democracy which, as I understand it, Anarchy is all about. Although I do not consider myself to be an Anarchist or subscribe to any all-encompassing political theory, I am curious as to how Anarchists BELIEVE the manner in which an Anarchist society would govern itself. It seems to me that their answer might be (only guessing here) that collectives or perhaps syndicates would come to democratic decisions and use their power in an upward direction to some sort of larger, for want of a better word, federation. Forgive my ignorance, but that seems to suggest some authority. In other words, in the end, someone or some group of people have to say "this is how we're going to do this," and the decision is made. To me, this is democracy, but democracy requires some sort of authority, I'll go out on a limb and say that it's down to human beings needing some sort of direction, whether that's from a very ugly master (Hitler, Stalin, Pinochet, Sharon, etc.) or from a somewhat less uglier, but still pretty ugly one (Bush, Reagan, Thatcher, Johnson, Polk, etc.), or, even from a very friendly one (worker's syndicates during the Spanish Civil War, or even a goddamn local chapter of the Glee Club). What I'm trying to ask here, and hey maybe I'm missing the point about Anarchism, is how could the damn thing work? Yes, yes, I know that this can only be decided by the people acting spontaneously together at the time, but that's an inadequate answer. This would require (pretty sure about this one) that everybody feel the same way, at the very least, about the manner in which things are organized, without any higher authority saying how to do so. To me, human beings are not this advanced, though I hope that I'm wrong. Why not just create a system where concentrations of power and wealth are curtailed to a higher degree than they are now? This could still include a government (in the Western tradition), but without things like corporations (too much power and wealth), and governments that are called democratic, but are only in the most limited fashion. I don't know - tell me if I'm wrong and why. Convince me why I'm wrong. Thanks.

Medicine 23.Apr.2003 04:59

kek

'A HUNDRED THOUSAND SMALL ORGANIC FARMS CAN FEED THE WORLD!'

I agree with this statement, I think community gardening is a must for our revolution.

But what of the many people who depend on corporations to supply them with the things they need to live - medicine. I am a diabetic, I depend on corporations to produce syringes made of plastic and insulin made of fuck knows what, to keep me alive. As much as I like the idea, I cannot see a total revolt against industrialism as a viable solution.

I can only see a good balance of the two - getting rid of the frivolous crap that we don't need (e.g. rubber dog shit) and keeping the stuff we do need (e.g. medicine).


I beleive a Green World will mean a dramatic drop in disease, meaning less need to produce disease 'products'.

yes, change medicine, too 23.Apr.2003 05:54

mamansita

food can be your miracle medicine- along with some other healthy living decisions.

i have read many foods can help peeple to control their diabetes. to name a few- jerusalem artichokes, and beans are very good at keeping the blood sugar levels at a constant.

foods like milk!!!!eeeeekkkkk!!!!!! and fatty meats are dangerous for diabetics and carrots and potatos act just like candy. much diabetes- type II onset diabetes is most assuredly caused or at least exasperated by lifestyle and diet. many of the same foods that lead to obesity can also lead to diabetes.

we can take charge of our lifestyle by choosing what we put into our mouths and our activities and fresh air. are you eating right or just depending on a magic miracle drug?

medicines these days are mostly designed to numb you to the symptoms of your disease. they do not get at the root of the problem. our society is keeping us constantly unwell and they are making fortunes "treating" us. the polluters and pharmaceutical producers- and now our food- shall i say phood- industry and to an increasing degree our water supplies are all run by the same multi-national corporations.

sorry for the tirade, but i just want it said we have to learn to be responsible for our own health rather than leave it to corporate-headed experts who don't give a shit except to keep you coming back for more-
a dedicated, medicated customer

good questions- some thoughts 23.Apr.2003 11:25

michaelb mbthink@hotmail.com

Eliot asks
"How do Anarchists BELIEVE an Anarchist society would govern itself?"

And goes on to suggest that
"Collectives or perhaps syndicates would come to democratic decisions and use their power in an upward direction to some sort of larger, for want of a better word, federation."

In short most anarchists I've met do not feel compelled to govern on the scale of a society. The ones that have typically considered themselves of a radical liberitarian or anarcho capitalist bent.
There's a principal in design known as economy of scale. It goes like this- It's possible to have a body larger than its ability organize itself- the form should match the scale of the function. If you're gonna move 40 palates of beans ya don't use a wheel barrow, ya use some kind of truck right? If you're gonna make participation a precursor to the benefits of our culture- doesn't it follow that there's an economy or limit to the size of a body politic capable of freely governing itself? What should we do then? I'd say start another community with help from the first. In our currunt culture it's agianst the law to dissolve state's boundaries for the sake of democracy. We take a different view on the matter. As an anarchist I am against national or international federalism because it requires a class of organizers thats primary occupation would be to organize across or seperate of our localized free communities. This incourages this class of organizers to centralize or rob the power of the individual and the body politic and place it in thier hands. In the here and now this class of worker/parasites are known as POLITICIANS.
If we as anarchists were to make the function of society the development of freedom or self determination- then the form would follow suit- self determination would be neccisary to function in that society. Anarchy isn't about less democracy it's about democracy internalized. Democracy as a cultural movement. Rather than some external force controlled by the minority that own the resources. Localized community based networks are sustainable- and would produce culturaly independant manesfestations of thier participants freedom. Federal networks and globalized corperations can't (or find it difficult) to do this because it lacks profit incentive via tax or purchase. Rather it provides a sort of reverse incentive TO BULLDOZE INDEPENDANT COMMUNITIES AND THIER CULTURAL MANISFESTATIONS, every civil rights movement has encountered this effect.(see MOVE organization)
Anarchists intend to remove it.

And yeah! The anarchist gardening and gleaning collective will be calling for a meeting twards the end of this week. One preposal was to include a midicinal herb garden among the yard garden network so that we'll be able to eventually organize a sustainable pharmacy. Some other preposals were that we expand the food box network- and organize a poverty free store.

503-774-9253

federalism 23.Apr.2003 14:01

heimdallr

I don't think federalism as a general organizing principle should necessarily be ruled out completely. The basic motive behind a federal system is a recognition that individual autonomy requires a minimal degree of separation between the individual and the process of collective decision making, thus that decisions be made in as localized a fashion as possible. Each U.S. state, for example, is theoretically sovereign over its own territory, and the national government's function consists of regulating the interactions between these state governments and administering collective functions such as mutual defense. Since hierarchical systems are based primarily on concentrations of wealth, a non-hierarchical system could mimic this principle of organization in a non-coercive role; i.e. syndical bodies administering individual economic enterprises in a community could each be assigned a vote in an assembly that administered community-wide functions such as mutual defense and social welfare by incorporating the contribution of collective wealth to these functions into their own democratic administrative process.

to to mamansita 23.Apr.2003 19:53

kek

Beleive me, I have looked for alternatives - guava tea helps keep the blood sugar levels down - but I have yet to find something that can totally eliminate my insulin injections. I have tried not taking my shots, but everytime i do my bloodsugar levels skyrockets, and yes, I eat reasonably healthy things.

And as for your comment - 'carrots and potatos act just like candy' - this is the biggest load of crap I've ever heard. Yes potatos have lots of carbohydrates in them, but your body does not absorb them as fast as, say, chocolate. And as for carrots, they dont contain much carbs at all - if I was halfway passed out from ultralow bloodsugar levels, and you passed me some carrots, I think I would hit you.

Please, get your facts straight before you go shooting your mouth off.

Anarchy 23.Apr.2003 20:04

Let's think

The thought of anarchy is necessary. It helps losers like you think that some day you will be in control of your destiny. As long as you sit around "underemployed" railing against the mainstream you sit just where people like me like to see you, serving my coffee. Try changing things from the inside. You will get better results.

some thoughts about illness 24.Apr.2003 12:04

Michaelb

Kek's comments further illustrate the need for a community based pharmacy. If an evil corperation can make insulin so can we. PHARMA aka the pharmacutical manufacurers association is the group that spent thirty+ million dallors attempting to kill the oregon health plan.
When the union spoke out about how thier whole town was dying from exposure to molten pvc it was PHARMA that lobbied against them on Bill Moyers report (toxic lies). They are the public face of the pharmacutical giants, and thier actions are fascist.
I am not a doctor. I am aware of the degree to which profit motive drives reaserch. Look up PHARMA at the nation's web site www.thenation.com
or see article
 http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=19990322&s=shenk&c=1
Cuban scientists recently descovered a vacine for malaria. A cause found too unprofitable for american corperations. That's what I'm talkin about. We could start out small- manufacturing medicine from what we can grow to meet our needs base. Then we could expand to meet a larger needs base.

and to "lets think"s thoughts on anarchy.
"It helps losers like you think that some day you will be in control of your destiny."

One day I will- I believe this and I'm not alone.

Those who would dominate others find capitalism a handy excuse- just as plantation owners once touted the morals of "natural law."