Posts Tagged ‘anarchy’

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Reposted
(May 30, 2012)

The ultimate sophomoric blunder: Let’s smash the state before we even figure out what positive roles the state performs in society.

Part One – “Market Anarchists”

I’m astounded that adults argue this so-called philosophy. But, not only are the anarchists among us, they are loud and repetitive and seek to influence every popular movement that arises. In this case it’s the Occupy movement, which is now torn betwen MoveOn.org’s not so veiled takeover bid and a lot of anarchists who decry all things “state.” The cornucopia of their pseudo-political chatter disguises their tiny numbers.

A “stateless society” is the goal of one strand of this virulent school. They fantasize non-stop on what some future society would be like without a government. It never seems to occur to people like those at the Center For a Stateless Society that warlordism is a possibility. It never pops up that those with the strongest mercenary army would take over the vital resources and become the de facto — you guessed it — government. This is so obvious as to be hardly worth mentioning, but in the anarchist delusion we don’t find the “con” column in their reasoning. That’s because the whole thing’s a con.

Rather than placing their faith in a state set up to guarantee civil rights for all, the anarchists place their faith in what is apparently a page from the radical republican right — “free markets.” The anarchists, who at some gathering places sound a lot like the libertarians, want the ultimate so-called “free market” without any government in existence to even insure that this “market” can operate without armed factions simply taking what they want from others. They dislike the state’s existence and its fallback option to use force so much that they would risk the entire society to the use of random chaotic force by non-state actors.

At the Center For a Stateless Society (C4SS), they phrase the issue like so:

“…we can say that Hayek’s knowledge problem will, in a stateless society, even impact “governance” in the sense of how enterprises provide dispute resolution and security services. We can’t predict the details of how free people will choose to organize provision of these services. The forms of such organization would be an open-ended matter, subject to free experimentation and resulting diversity.”

In English, the security of the land is now renamed “security services.” It will be subject to “experimentation” and “diversity.” Unlike the United States and its Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, there will be no “equal protection under the law” in a stateless free for all. Quite the contrary, security will be for sale, and will be the privilege of hte highest bidders.

I have pointed out once before how the Occupy protests could have concluded in an anarchist dream, if they had gotten what they want, the “stateless society.” Once the protests caught the attention of the deep-pocketed interests, such as the banks and Wall Street, these simply could have hired their own “security services” as the Center For a Stateless Society phrases it. These “security services,” say Blackwater (Xe), could easily wipe out the entire contingent of anarchist protesters in a couple of hours spree. The protesters, masked or unmasked, would drop like clusterbombs in the streets of red. Another “service” would come along to hose it all off, and business would continue as usual.

The state has already protected the anarchists from such a fate. It has protected all of us from random chaotic violence and the raising of mercenary armies by private interests. This has never occurred to any anarchist.

Some may simply respond to the Center For a Stateless Society by pointing to flash points in Africa, to failed states, to lawless chaotic hell holes where the bodies are laid out in mass graves. That’s experimentation. That’s diversity, when it comes to “security.”

On economic matters, here is where things get more muddled. Without discussion of money, who prints it, how does it get value, etc., the C4SS states their position as the simplistic “free market” champions of Ayn Rand’s school of thought:

“Market anarchists, however, typically disagree that the economic status quo is a result of a free market economy and instead tend to attribute systematic economic injustice to market intervention by the state — that is, to divergence from the free market ideal of absolutely zero state intervention in the economy.”

Zero interference in the market. No labor protections. No environmental protections. No minimum wage. No barrier to poisoning your staff, having their limbs end up in the sausage, of having young children cleaning out soot pipes. Zero interference. Disposable workers, no benefits, no rights. Zero interference has been tried, however. They called it the Gilded Age. It was a disgusting abomination, from the worker’s standpoint. They didn’t find it quite the utopia that the “market anarchists” seem to romanticize.

It’s a con. You are being conned if you follow this anarchist dogma. Sorry, there’s no other way to look at it.

In fact this entire muddleheaded idea of a “stateless society” is gibberish on its face and beyond the limits of what a super-majority of the population would entertain. It is a minority fringe movement, and not a pursuit of the 99%. It folds in seamlessly with the free market ideologues of the radical right who push austerity and corporate rule onto us, seemingly what the anarchists nominally oppose. It is a con game, and perhaps the low-level foot soldier Black Bloc types are nothing but dupes. With all the fancy verbiage, they don’t seem to notice their similarities with the Koch Brothers, Dick Cheney and Karl Rove.

“A state is not governance based upon the consent of the governed, but conquest under a false pretense of legitimacy.”

Says you. A lot of citizens disagree, a lot more than you acknowledge. Now I’m inclined to give this claim more sway than most. Democracy in the United States is a rigged game, and downright undemocratic in practice. How much of that can be attributed to an ignorant public that refuses to seek out alternatives or even to vote?

While democracy is in crisis, here is where we hit the fork in the road. Stateless anarchists see the answer as destroying all government and ushering in warlordism, as if that was a rational response to a system that lacks responsiveness. Warlords also lack compassion and response to the needs of those on the other side of their mercenary lines.

The rational solution to this crisis of representative democracy is more democracy, a more level playing field where alternative parties have a voice and can be heard by the public. We need to diminish the influence of the most powerful entrenched interests, not to enable them to become feudalistic emperors. While democracy is an imperfect system it is head and shoulders above the alternative that has been proposed: “free experimentation and resulting diversity.”

Anarchists propose a power vacuum while solving none of the survival problems faced by the populations who will still be at the mercy of those competing for resources. Only instead of an orderly society to operate in, there will be madness. The anarchist proposals are interesting reading as science fiction, but should not be given consideration in the real world. Thankfully, they are not given much attention or legitimacy by society, as their implementation would be so radical and so chaotic that the formerly-functioning democracies of the world could end up looking like something from The Road Warrior.

Part Two – “Libertarian/Socialist” Anarchists

The poor, misunderstood anarchists just can’t seem to get a break. When you point out the absurdity of the “market anarchism” preached by some, such as those at the Center For a Stateless Society, as I did in my previous piece, the response — even from “market anarchists” themselves — is to shift the discussion away from their own arguments and onto another strand of anarchy! In this case it’s the “libertarian/socialist” school of thought.

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LIVE FEED: Riot police on standby for London Million Mask March

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Looks very chaotic, pointless and dangerous. Chants include, “Revolution,” and the old standby, “Our Streets.”

But what are they about?

…Explosions are heard now, as I post. Police response.

PS

“Revolution” is a recipe for disaster. You need to build a better alternative and not tear down what exists. Mindless calls for “revolution” are as stupid and dangerous as the warmongers you claim to oppose. There is still a means for achieving power and making change legitimately, but it’s a lot harder than making a bunch of noise in the street once a year. You have to build a political movement to show up at the polls.

Ineffectual marches don’t change anything. What is the cause and effect? You make the politicians notice you? And? They notice challenges to their jobs a lot more. That’s where these mindless movements fail, and I suspect it’s by design. They claim to be leaderless, but someone decided what sort of protest would happen and on what day. As this is the only venting avenue in sight the disgruntled fall for it. It won’t work. It won’t change anything. But it manages to grab people and send them out marching in a pointless display. Tomorrow it will be over, and that’s that.

Build the alternative, or forget about it. You’re being played, million mask marchers. Your efforts are in vain.

2013 Unoccupied

trailer-hell

 

Instant awesome.  Goes straight to the top of my must-see list.

 

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[I am posting this link to a Forbes Magazine article for information purposes only.  Political Film Blog does not endorse assassination or any criminal activity. -Editor]

Forbes:

Meet The ‘Assassination Market’ Creator Who’s Crowdfunding Murder With Bitcoins

“Even setting aside the immorality of killing, doesn’t the notion of enabling small minorities of angry Bitcoin donors to assassinate elected officials sound like an attempt to cripple democracy? “Of course, limiting democracy is why we even have a constitution,” Sanjuro responds. “Majority support does not make a leader legitimate any more than it made slavery legitimate. With this market the great equalising forces of capitalism have the opportunity to work in politics too. One bitcoin paid is one vote closer to a veto of whatever legislation you dislike.”

Sanjuro didn’t actually invent the concept of an anonymous crowdfunded assassination market. The idea dates back to the cypherpunk movement of the mid-1990s, whose adherents dreamt of using encryption tools to weaken the government and empower individuals. Former Intel INTC -5.43% engineer and Cypherpunk Mailing List founder Tim May argued that uncrackable secret messages and untraceable digital currency would lead to assassination markets in his “Cryptoanarchist’s Manifesto” written in 1992.”

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Roger Ebert famously called Fight Club a “fascist movie,” but I don’t actually agree with this assessment.

“’Fight Club’ is the most frankly and cheerfully fascist big-star movie since ‘Death Wish,’ a celebration of violence in which the heroes write themselves a license to drink, smoke, screw and beat one another up.”
–Roger Ebert

This is a comment on the style of parts of the narrative, not the substance, what I believe is truly behind the acting out.  Fight Club does not promote fascism, and that seems like a very odd determination.  What it does do is set up the natural conflict between order and chaos, society and anarchy.  The stifling banality of consumerism strips modern man of his primal nature, but the more he is controlled and ordered, the greater the need to turn to barbarism, mindless violence, war.  This dichotomy is behind Fight Club, and is expressed in several ways, not all of them crystal clear either.

The movie does meander in parts, losing steam here and there, jumping about in its direction, which can be frustrating.  A lot of ideas are included, some which work better than others.  There is also a fantasy element to confuse one even further.

A far from perfect film but even Ebert acknowledged that the intent of the narrative may diverge significantly from what some audience members may take from it.  Can we see and absorb what we choose to from a film like this?

 

From Dangerous Minds.

 

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I have quite mixed feelings about the “Occupy” movement, right on down to the name itself.  The arguments are presented here:

2013 Unoccupied

Sun Tzu’s Messages to the Occupy Movement

 

 

 

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CAVEAT:

The speaker is a raving anarcho-libertarian ideologue.

I’m posting this video for his succinct presentation on Iraq, and NOT to endorse his essentially knee-jerk simplistic anti-state rhetoric.  I did consider deleting it, but I’d rather provide a counterargument.  The libertarians spin every issue to be one problem, one solution: the state is evil and must go.  Such a blinkered view of the world is shown to be ridiculous upon scrutiny.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iquN_rqw9uI&feature=youtu.be