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My life as a one-liner....
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The West isn't ambivalent. The ruling class knows what it wants, and the rest know that what they want doesn't matter.
'Anarcissie's comment that the WE (whites) will approach anything according to their own world view is true. But she also indicates, or implies, that whites will take over and run the show. Taking over and running the show are demonstrations of a belief that whites are superior and therefore MUST run the show.' That's not what I said, however. If you think you can do good by turning off your mind and submitting yourself wholly to the authority of another on the basis of their 'race', class, degree of pigmentation, location, ethnic group, religion, language, etc., go to it. I have not noticed that that sort of thing works out very well in practice, but your experience may be different. In any case, I really don't have time, energy, or interest in defending my 'self' from vacuous charges of racism or other thought-crimes.
' For how indeed can was regard ourselves as liberated if we turn a blind eye to liberation struggles in any part of the world?' On the other hand, if 'we' become involved, then 'we' are going to arrive with 'our' ideas, 'our' ideologies, 'our' values, 'our' perceptions, and so on. 'We' will have to dance with the one who brought 'us'. When conflict arises among those whom 'we' are supposed to be supporting, as it so often does among activists, 'we' may have to choose one side or another, or attempt to mediate, thus imposing 'our' perceptions and values on the situation. And 'we' will be putting 'we' in quotes because some of those who come along with 'us' will have very different intentions than the rest of 'us' have, regardless of what they may pretend. I don't have to go to Venezuela to give you examples -- I could draw them as well from Bedford-Stuyvesant.
As a matter of fact I have a rather low opinion of the Roman Empire and the numerous imitations that succeeded it. It is depressing to hear Europeans glorify it, and likewise it is depressing to hear people of other tribes recalling the imperial glories of their yesteryears. I don't need to say what kinds of activities these recollections usually wind up feeding. In any case I have been reminded of my concern with matters closer to home, and you will probably not hear much more from me about Latin America.
Actually, what I said in the first place was that my concern was about events and conditions in the U.S., and that I didn't know enough about conditions in Latin America to comment intelligently on them. However, the conversation seems to have been inexorably drawn there. It will be a dull one if nothing critical can be said about the subject(s) even on an abstract level.
According to what I read, the ayllu system preceded the Inca Empire. That is, the Inca Empire overlaid this and other politico-economic arrangements in the various communities it conquered and adapted them to its purpose (servitude). It was, in fact, a far more overt example of colonialism than U.S. hegemony in the region. That in itself would not be all that remarkable, but the favorable recollection of the empire and its leading personnel seems questionable.
One estimate I've seen for current, recent, and soon-upcoming extinctions is about a third of all species, but of course no one really knows how many species there are, especially of the smaller organisms, or how many of them are being wiped out. We are not yet up in the realm of the Permian Extinction (90%), but we're getting there. I expect the bacteria to keep on keeping on, however. They are, in numbers and weight, the most successful life form thus far. And they have even visited the Moon, courtesy of some other species.
Another thing in the dolphin video that caught my interest was that the narrator mentioned signaling the dolphin. No doubt dolphins signal one another, but I was wondering whether there were human gestures which dolphins always recognize, and if so, why; or if the signal was something the dolphin had already been trained to recognize, either deliberately or simply by observation. A little reading via Google turned up the news that dolphins have been encouraged to look for objects of interest (to humans) under the water by the U.S. Navy and others. Apparently they can recognize a wide variety of objects at considerable distances by means of echolocation. It occurred to me that dolphins might be experiencing hard times due to the radical decline of fish populations caused by human overfishing.
An interesting article. I thought it was odd that the Andeans were looking back to the Inca Empire, which according to my prior reading, was a totalitarian, racist slave system, exactly what I thought the Andeans were against. However, I suppose they may have been misrepresented. In any case it seems the Andeans are remaking the mythology and its symbols; as ever, the future makes uses of the past the past never imagined.
The fact that a dolphin would think of seeking human aid seems quite remarkable. This is not usually a good survival strategy for wild animals. Maybe this particular one had some prior favorable experience with humans? I guess there's no way of telling.
Jared Diamond's general theory seems reasonable enough: when human communities overuse the resources available to them, and conquest of other people's resources is not possible, they collapse in various ways. In the contemporary world, industrial capitalism, which depends on domination, exploitation, and ever-expanding production-consumption, guarantees that the capacities of the environment will be overrun; in the past, megalomania on the part of rulers sufficed. I don't know what Diamond's solutions are, if any, because I haven't read the book. Those not ready for anarchy and communism generally propose regulated capitalism; but in a social order dominated by capitalists, regulatory capture is inevitable. And this is what we observe. As to sustainability, I was more concerned with the sustainability of revolutionary programs as a measure of their worth. We seem to be well aware of the defects, including nonsustainability, of the existing order.
'The unbearable' is the plutocratic phase, and it will not last very long (historically speaking, anyway).
Well, I don't know. If you got some authenticated hippies they might say I was a fake or a failure as. And so on. So it might be more accurate to say being a h.c.q.v.f.p.n-q-W.d.p is one of my guises. At this point Google's doping-out of its users may be penetrating but not too subtle.
Well, you see, Google gives you the results you want to see. They have me figured for a hippie communist queer vegetarian femmie pacifist not-quite-White druggie pseudointellectual, so that's the kind of articles I get to see. Some master blatherer was publicly on a few months ago about how this was going to cause us all to live in 'opinion bubbles', unable to communicate with whose who have different ideas from us. Actually, I sort of like opposition, so I guess I'm going to be a problem for the bubble system. Anyway, I have little use for polls, as I explained before. I don't care whether 20% or 2% or .02% support Manning. Whatever the number of people who support Manning is, if they are in any way favorable to Manning, Snowden, or Assange, then they have begun to think of the government as an enemy. This thought may be extremely shallow, as you say, although I get the impression a lot of people share it these days. In any case I do not think we can long look to heroic lone data rangers to save our freedom; the powers that be will figure out how to deal with them, just as they have figured out how to deal with political parties and respectable activism, and the screws will continue to be tightened.
I used Google and entered 'bradley manning poll' as a search argument and got a wide variety of results. Usually, I pay little attention to polls, especially where anything like war, the police, or national security is concerned, since many people are afraid to give true answers to poll-takers on such questions. I remember that when the War in Vietnam was being ramped up in 1965, a newspaper in the city where I was living (Philadelphia) published poll results showing broad support for the Administration, yet in the office where I worked, consisting mostly of rather square technicians, sales people, managers, secretaries, and the like, not a single person was in favor of the war. As of last report (that I am aware of) Chelsea Manning professes herself to be a patriotic liberal, and I have no way of verifying or disproving that. But I am considering how she is perceived and functions as a sort of marker or symbol. (Note that most people have no trouble maintaining contradictory ideas; thus, many people could consider Manning to be both a patriotic liberal and an enemy of the state.) What I observe is an unusual level of disaffection and dissidence among the people. I don't think my granting of the Honorary Anarchist medal to Chelsea Manning will be helpful to anyone at this time.
I tried to comment on allvoices but they wanted me to register, which is too much trouble, so I'll comment here. The statements complained about in the article seem more like self-serving puffery, a rather common practice, than like outright lies. If Assange had not been a egotistical, narcissistic crank, he would never have accomplished anything. Self-serving puffery goes with the territory. In the matter of the polls about Chelsea Manning, I gather from Googling that they are all over the place, but the support for Manning seems not to fall below about 20%. If, as rightists suggest, Manning is widely interpretable as a sort of traitor, that is, a substantial opponent of the state, that's pretty astonishing. That means at least 20% -- 47 million adults -- now see the government as the enemy of the people and are willing to say so to a stranger. We may be living in pre-revolutionary times after all.
I came across this essay which considers some of the problems of revolutionary behavior to which I have alluded. The writer is characterized as an anarchist, but I am not sure this is correct. One commentator referred to him as a 'Luxembergist'. His situation was that of an activist in the midst of the present civil war in Syria; he was arrested and killed by the regime as being part of the opposition (I take it -- the story wasn't clear on this). The essay refers to, but does not give a solution to, the problems of activism in a conflict between the state and its opponents where (1) the state is also the focus of imperial conflict between external powers, who may be manipulating both the state and its opponents; and (2) there are radical divisions between the opponents, who range in ideology from salafists to liberals, socialists, anarchists and communists. Omar Aziz does note that the activists must not only struggle with the existing government, but, where the control of the government has broken down or been excluded, must try to set up institutions and relationships to replace the positive or constructive functions, if any, which the government had been supplying. As one may recall I raised concerns of this kind earlier in the discussion.
Roger Nowosielski: 'Examining the conditions under which resorting to violence might be justifiable poses an interesting question on both practical and moral grounds.' Or when and why it might not be justifiable. Or whether and how to cooperate with state institutions. These are live questions among activists.
I don't consider Occupy Wall Street to have failed. I've said that several times in several places now, and given reasons for my opinions, so I hope to be excused from further repetitions. I don't have enough knowledge about other instances of the Occupy movement to discuss them constructively. Fanon and the Bolivarians are interesting to me because the first advocated revolutionary violence and the second believe in using state power, so they are people whose ideas are at least somewhat at variance with mine. That may be interesting as long as some common ground can be discovered.
In the previous incarnation of this discussion, I was gradually working my way up to a basis for critiquing Fanon, the Bolivarians, or whoever, composed of certain considerations such the survivability of the community under the proposed ideology or praxis. I don't know if anyone wants to continue with that, but if so, may I suggest proceeding? The question interests me not as a philosophical abstraction but as a guide to activism.
Repetitive gibes do not make for much of a discussion. But in any case, Occupy Wall Street informs me that they have several commemorative events scheduled here in New York City. If someone is jonesing seriously for a commemoration, this is the place. I feel, however, that commemorations are for the departed; they are not a good sign in a radical movement. But to each his own. Two very recent events suggest to me that the present arrangements of the ruling class are faltering. One was the defeat of Mr. O's plan to have a nifty Libya-like intervention in Syria. The other was the defeat of Mr. O's plan to nominate the abominable Larry Summers to succeed Bernanke. Both of these plans were spiked, not by the sort-of-left wing of the Democratic Party who could normally be counted on to flap around a bit and then collapse, but by an across-the-board collection of politicians and leaders, indicating that the r.c. is now in disarray. Recent revelations about police-state surveillance of everything and everybody, while not news to radicals, seem to have shaken the faith of the public in the goodness of the police state, hitherto virtually unchallenged. The general situation, while hardly prerevolutionary, may open up new opportunities for Left activists. Many observers anticipate as well yet another financial crisis, since nothing has really changed since the onset of the last one, except the extraordinary production of funny money. It seems to me these are not times for commemoration but anticipation.
My comments are all appearing twice. I guess the system wants you to read them very carefully! However, the doubling down is not intentional (on my part).
Taking over territory by force in the face of possibly armed opposition requires military organization. I don't recommend it unless it's absolutely necessary for survival. I don't know what the purpose of taking over the Kaiser Convention Center was, so I can't comment on it any further than that, but I have to doubt that it was crucial to anyone's survival. The only general strategy I can see for anarchism is the nonviolent replacement of coercive institutions with non-coercive institutions starting from the ground up -- that is, from the level of everyday, local relations and practices. Forming oneself into armed bands to fight other armed bands may be fun, but it doesn't lead to freedom and equality. It leads at most to one armed band replacing another armed band. Maybe the new armed band will be nicer than the old armed band, but maybe not, too. Being marginalized is not necessarily a bad thing. It is on the margins where real changes begin. As to effectiveness, though, I'm again wondering (as with Strobe) -- compared to what?
'There are two kinds of people: those who say there are two kinds of people, and those who say there are not.' But if you're writing here, I'm afraid you're stuck with eliteness. Sorry. Maybe they'll send us all to a reeducation camp and we'll get cured.
Maybe Snowden should have said 'supranational'. The first defendants at Nuremberg were not charged under German law but, according to the Charter, for 'crimes against peace', 'war crimes', and 'crimes against humanity', whose definition and prohibition were apparently expected to reside in common sense, that is, in some sort of sphere of right and justice above and beyond ordinary law. The idea of this sphere occurs to many classical liberals and libertarians, from Locke and Jefferson writing about the self-evident truths of men being endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights, to the Natural Law many present-day libertarians are fond of, which, Godlike, provides people with rights regardless of whether the state they happen to live in chooses to do so. However, we can't expect Snowden to be a master of philosophical subtlety or even very consistent. Very few people are. I have been guessing at his beliefs based on hearsay. His remarks about the Nuremberg trials strike me as after-the-fact pieties, but I could be wrong. I don't care much anyway. He is the enemy of my enemies; whether he is my friend is yet to be demonstrated. As for heroes, anarchists are better off without them. Clearly, cultivating an anarchist culture requires not mighty heroes and great leaders but widely and equally distributed personal and communal responsibility and autonomy. I think it is rather the nation of liberals, social democrats, who turn their lonely eyes to the heroes of radicalism which they, themselves, have created for their own devotional uses. As long as they have heroes, they don't have to do anything.