talkative lot aren't we?

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talkative lot aren't we?

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1tartalom
Abr 26, 2007, 2:24pm

...

2lriley
Abr 26, 2007, 4:30pm

Hah hah! Not that I've joined--but I certainly feel sympathy to some of anarchist idea(l)s. It brings to mind a remark by Groucho Marx though--it goes something like 'I wouldn't belong to any organization that would have me as a member.' Anyway I can appreciate anyone who doesn't want to be led around by their nose.

3NickW
Abr 26, 2007, 4:36pm

Too busy plotting for the revolution and enjoying spontaneous acts of desire armed and so on ;)

4oh_that_zoe
Abr 26, 2007, 8:56pm

Has anyone out their encountered Hakim Bey a.k.a. Peter Lamborn Wilson's TAZ (the title of which is only coming up in Spanish, for some reason)? Or simply the idea of 'ontological anarchy'? I would love to discuss...

5NickW
Abr 27, 2007, 4:40pm

Yeah!

The idea of Temporary Autonomous Zones is quite influential and / or shared common ground for many anarchist philosophies and action.

Recent'ish (I suppose mostly 90's) examples of TAZ's in my neck of the woods being RTS street parties, road protests, free festivals, squats...

6tartalom
Abr 27, 2007, 6:54pm

i don't read anarchist theoretical texts, anarchism just in my blood. it simply seems fair to me, the more i see of contemporary politics, this hateful pragmatism (im thnking of tony blair and his friends the neocons and their
ilk) and the hideous fundamentalist reaction it provokes, the more i believe in a profound fragmentation of control.

7tartalom
Editado: Abr 27, 2007, 6:57pm

Este mensaje fue borrado por su autor.

8Hera
Abr 27, 2007, 7:52pm

I've been accused of being an anarchist all my life, I just didn't really identify politically with anarchism until the early 90s.

I'm hazy on definitions but would hazard a guess that I'm a libertarian anarcho-syndicalist, if there is such a thing. (?)

9juglice
Abr 27, 2007, 8:01pm

Why shouldn't there be such a thing? One of my friends dubbed me a conservative anarchist, and my other friends thought that she hit the nail on the head.

10lriley
Abr 28, 2007, 2:25am

Well your average politician becomes less and less interested in the interests of those who vote for him and more and more interested in organizing them into a voting machine to keep electing him or her by meanwhile soliciting the help of any number of pariahs with bucks and useless or even harmful agendas/issues to stoke those issues/agendas in the minds of the electorate and keep that machine well oiled. I think we alll know how it works here in the US and I imagine England, France, Germany, Canada etc. are the same way. Centralized representave government sucks. What is definitely needed is more power--more decisions being made at the local level with real input from real people.

11Hera
Abr 28, 2007, 8:42am

It was ever thus, Iriley. My father was an anarchist. He refused to vote for a politician. After all, it doesn't matter who you vote for, the government always gets in, eh? When I had a small bit of faith in parliamentary democracy (hollow laugh) I used to argue with him about voting. Now I agree with him and don't vote either. You have to vote FOR something and no one 'up there' in Westminster has the slightest idea what I want in life, what I care about or indeed that I even exist. Which suits me fine: I was an organiser for a Trotskyist party many many years ago and am doubtless on some 'subversive' file in the Institute of Directors; the less interest people like that and the rest of the panoply of Government / Business bodies take in my life, the happier I am.

I want a quiet life, to listen to my music, write my stuff and be left alone by government. The current mob in power are the most interfering, nosy, intrusive bunch I've ever been a non-citizen under. Even the Tories left you alone to do your own thing, this lot want to put us all under surveillance 24/7. *don't get me started...;)

12lriley
Abr 28, 2007, 12:25pm

Well voting isn't all it's cracked up to be Hera. An unfortunate fact of life in the United States however is a general mindset of the citizenry that we are a-or the 'world power'--and it's as if it's something for us to be proud of. I can see not voting but the alternative to that is sooner or later an outraged citizenry may be stringing up its enemies from lampposts. These people--might as well include the multinationalists--as you seem to be saying are going to continue to intrude more and more into your life. Anyway--here the phenomenom of voting Bush's and Clinton's into power has left a lot to be desired especially the Bush's. Not enough alternatives. We desperately need third and fourth and fifth parties etc. etc. Perhaps a coalition type of govt. at what's called the federal level. Again though power has been drained away from the local level to feed this federal bureaucracy. It's not good. Watching this Iraq fiasco for the last 4 years though tells me that at least here that if you don't vote it's at your own peril.

13daschaich
Abr 28, 2007, 8:37pm

Well, third and fourth and fifth parties are out there, but there's not really any way for any of them to have that big an impact in the current political system in the US, which is largely designed for and around the two-party system we currently have.

I really think that anyone in the US who's serious about supporting "third parties" needs to recognize the importance of changing the current system so that political alternatives have more of a chance to be relevant. I think there are a lot of things that can be done in this field, ranging from ballot access and campaign finance reforms to instant runoff voting, proportional representation and direct election of the president. I wrote a bit about some of this stuff in a short article in a socialist magazine not too long ago.

While these things aren't going to smash the state, I believe they can help promote and cultivate the kinds of democratic habits of thought and behavior, such as active participation in decision making and self-governance, that would be needed in any anti-authoritarian society.

14lriley
Abr 28, 2007, 9:16pm

Very good post daschaich. Some states--not a lot of them have legislated so that citizens can take on incumbents in cases where they can get enough signatures to show they can be viable--that state then alloting them enough money where they can run at least a somewhat competitive race. Arizona is one and Maine is another. I'm also thinking North Carolina and New Jersey but I may be wrong on those two. Anyway I'm aware and supportive of all the alternatives you've mentioned--the unfortunate thing is not all that many others seem to be--or seem to think that they're necessary. One beautiful thing about instant runoff voting is that the voter does not have to choose a candidate he considers a lesser evil as his first choice--he only has to place that candidate ahead of the one he considers the most evil and can instead give his first choice to someone he might even like and help grow the party that that person represents.

15barney67
Abr 28, 2007, 9:30pm

I don't see how there can be ... a group... for anarchists.

To organize is to put an end to anarchy.

16daschaich
Abr 28, 2007, 11:02pm

To the contrary. In the most basic terms, anarchism envisions a society without hierarchy, authoritarianism, or oppression. It doesn't require chaos or disorder, even though it's often slandered as such.

One of my favorite quotes by Italian anarchist Errico Malatesta argues that "organization, far from creating authority, is the only cure for it and the only means whereby each one of us will get used to taking an active and conscious part in the collective work, and cease being passive instruments in the hands of leaders."

I'd suggest you read the article it comes from, Anarchism and Organization; it's not too long.

17Hera
Abr 29, 2007, 5:11am

There are a lot of common assumptions about anarchists which are amusing. I do wear a lot of black - very slimming and very chic - but I think organisation is vital if you want to oppose a government!

What I object to is being told what to do by those in 'authority', when I've had no opportunity to elect them. The biggest scandal (I think) in current English politics is the assumption that Gordon Brown will just take over from Tony Blair: hang on, don't the people get a vote on which of them 'leads' us? For the life of me, I can't see how this is acceptable. The same thing happened when the Tories stabbed Thatcher in the back and raised Major to her vacant seat. It struck me as undemocratic then - a political party has a coup, ousts an elected leader and puts a non-entity in her place. Not a reference to the electorate.

I think that was the point at which I understood 'parliamentary democracy' in England is a once-in-five-years festival with bugger all to do with democracy. Real democracy would have people involved in voting on important things - like going into Iraq. If there'd been a referendum, the UK would NOT have gone to an illegal war - the majority of the population opposed it and still do.

In these circumstances, voting or not voting once every five years is a proven farce: this government has shown they're not even interested in what ordinary people want. They keep passing Acts that give them more power over our lives - biometric passports, ID cards (over my dead body), surveillance cameras EVERYWHERE, eavesdropping by the secret services on people's phone conversations, no smoking inside etc. - but we don't get any power over them. There have been several scandals in government that have not been resolved by resignations or apologies. Politicians are arrogant, they've been in power too long and they're far too comfortable (voting themselves above-inflation wage rises whilst keeping teachers, nurses, doctors and firefighters on below-inflation rises).

Given those in government get paid (excessively), they're backed by the administrative might of the Civil Service, they can make a new law in less than a week to get rid of awkward anti-war protestors outside Parliament (the recent mile-wide exclusion area around the Houses of Parliament means the People can't hold a protest march or rally within one mile of Parliament without special Police backing - no spontaneous protests in England!) - given their extreme power, money and influence, if you don't organise against them you're not going to get very far.

:)

18biblionic
Ene 12, 2008, 4:09am

In New Zealand, we do have "proportional representation" and third, fourth and fifth parties in government. The voting system changed about ten years ago from one based on the English system to one more like Germany's. It made quite a difference to the make-up of parliament and the way governments are formed. But it hasn't made any difference at all to the power of the state. The personalities in government are marginally different, but we still have a colonial, capitalist, patriarchal political system. We have a lot of the same increases in police power happening as hera describes in the UK (although i quite like the no smoking inside thing, call me a fascist) and because the bigger parties agree with each other, voting makes no difference to this.

There are differences in government policy which have real effects on people's lives, so I wouldn't argue that voting is entirely pointless. But there's only so much difference that changing a government or an electoral system can make. I just don't think it's worth more energy than five minutes on election day. That's how much participation we're allowed, so that's how much energy we should give to parliamentary politics. The rest of the time we should spend finding ways to overthrow it and replace it with something nice.