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View Diary: Anti-Capitalist Meetup: A Necessary Evil, or Just Evil? (130 comments)

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  •  It requires organization (1+ / 0-)
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    joe wobblie

    Which requires education.  Which requires organization.  It's not circular logic- it means with a little bit of organization, we can do a little bit of education (and action, which is basically synonymous with organization imo), which leads to more organization, which leads to more education and organization, and it snowballs until we get there.

    •  So has that ever worked on a small scale? (0+ / 0-)

      100% free private schools done through local organization?

      An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

      by OllieGarkey on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 06:23:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

        •  Okay, that's a volunteer continuing education (0+ / 0-)

          system for adults based on topics people are interested in like politics and bicycles.

          I'm talking about k-12 education here.

          An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

          by OllieGarkey on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 03:00:28 PM PDT

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          •  I don't see why that needs to be different. (1+ / 0-)
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            joe wobblie

            Children want to learn.  It only doesn't seem that way because today's schools are such terrible places.

            •  I don't disagree. (0+ / 0-)

              But how are we going to pay the teachers needed to teach 150 million students?

              I don't see how organizing harder gets us to the point that we can be an educational institution as well as everything else we want to be?

              And anyway, this idea that anarchy means no government is pretty sprurious. Chomsky and the rest of the big writers recognize that government would exist in an anarchist system for public service, things like fire fighting and schools.

              An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

              by OllieGarkey on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 08:33:40 PM PDT

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              •  I'm increasingly realizing (1+ / 0-)
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                joe wobblie

                that Chomsky is just a social democrat.
                I definitely disagree with the concept that "government" as a mandatory and totalitarian organization should exist in any capacity or sense.  

                For things like fire fighting and medical care, there are many ways to do it- for example, a community might discuss and decide they want a collective firefighting organization; they might find people within their population who have firefighting skills or are willing to learn, or appeal to outside groups who have established organizations.  Or maybe a small collective within a community could decide on their own that they want to become firefighters for the community, and ask the community for support (they might agree, or they might not!- if they agree, then they might not be able to provide any support, in which case the volunteers might go ahead with bad equipment and training, or they might attempt to find outside support, or they might give up entirely.).  When new people are thinking of moving to the area, they may be told of the local firefighter collective... or they might not, in which case it would be their responsibility to figure it out for themselves.  They're neighbors, not babysitters.

                Sure, it seems complicated- but even such a seemingly-complicated matter would only require a few meetings.  When things are actually under their control, people want to be involved in the process.  Look at Occupy- Tens of thousands of people have been involved in General Assemblies, which are a tragically ponderous and inefficient version of good Consensus process- and yet they have been ecstatic to be part of it.

                Also, cities are a special matter.  IMO it would be a good idea for the many, many neighborhoods and natural communities (which would have their own internal decision-making process) to discuss city-wide matters such as fire protection (also utilities, civil defense, urban planning, etc) using a delegate system- slightly different from a representative system, in which a person is appointed to make decisions for the group, in a delegate system an individual is appointed to report the decisions, proposals, and offers of the group, and then reports back to their group after each meeting of delegates.  This is actually how all 'formal' decision-making between different groups in an Anarchist society works, but I just wanted to highlight it for cities.

                But how are we going to pay the teachers needed to teach 150 million students?
                (overlooking, for the moment, your "150 million" statement, which seems to imply a nation-state) The same way everyone else would be- as each community decides.  If professional teachers could even be said to exist.  And I will assume that by "pay" you mean compensation other than money- in fact 'compensation' is probably the wrong word because it implies some kind of quid-pro-quo relationship between a person's contributions and their 'reward'.  In an Anarchist society, if a member of a community needs something, the community will provide it- house work?  Food?  Medical needs?  If this concept seems alien to you, you probably don't live in a real community.
                •  Good Discussion. (0+ / 0-)
                  I'm increasingly realizing that Chomsky is just a social democrat.
                  You missed his points then, and need to read again. Don't feel bad though. Heidegger is sometimes an easier read than Chomsky, for me at least. Of course, I agree with Heidegger much, much, less than I agree with Chomsky.
                  I definitely disagree with the concept that "government" as a mandatory and totalitarian organization should exist in any capacity or sense.
                  Government isn't mandatory at all. No one is keeping you inside the US. You're not forced to be a citizen. I'll deal with this later.

                  And Social Democrats don't generally fight for workplace democracy.

                  You're sounding pretty right-wing right now. You sound like the libertarians who want to shrink the government to a size where it can be drowned in the bathtub. That's the argument for tax cuts for billionaires: it's not about the billionaires, it's about starving the government. I don't want to be unfair, so I'll assume that this isn't what you're saying, and ask for you to elaborate on this.

                  For things like fire fighting and medical care, there are many ways to do it- for example, a community might discuss and decide they want a collective firefighting organization... When new people are thinking of moving to the area, they may be told of the local firefighter collective... or they might not, in which case it would be their responsibility to figure it out for themselves.  They're neighbors, not babysitters.
                  So society should let peoples houses burn down? That seems to be what you're suggesting. The idea of personal responsibility for fire fighting is a pretty republican idea. That's what republican budget cuts are doing. Firefighters are watching people's houses burn down in Tennessee. I'm opposed to that kind of system.
                  Sure, it seems complicated- but even such a seemingly-complicated matter would only require a few meetings.  When things are actually under their control, people want to be involved in the process.  Look at Occupy- Tens of thousands of people have been involved in General Assemblies, which are a tragically ponderous and inefficient version of good Consensus process- and yet they have been ecstatic to be part of it.
                  As someone who's been involved with Occupy since I stood in Zuccotti park on the third day of the occupation, I agree with what you've said here. I like the idea of the new town hall, I like the idea of empowered local government, and I like the idea of participatory democracy. I think this is how a district within a larger body should decide budgeting and discretionary spending, and education, and all these other things. Participatory budgeting is part of what I'm talking about.

                  We're making the state more democratic, and that's a good thing. That's part of what occupy is about. Occupy is a (small-d) democratic movement. It's about democratization.

                  Also, cities are a special matter.  IMO it would be a good idea for the many, many neighborhoods and natural communities (which would have their own internal decision-making process) to discuss city-wide matters such as fire protection (also utilities, civil defense, urban planning, etc) using a delegate system- slightly different from a representative system, in which a person is appointed to make decisions for the group, in a delegate system an individual is appointed to report the decisions, proposals, and offers of the group, and then reports back to their group after each meeting of delegates.  This is actually how all 'formal' decision-making between different groups in an Anarchist society works, but I just wanted to highlight it for cities.
                  That's a distinction without a difference. That's what representative democracy should be, and that's what's happening with participatory budgeting and these other things which are happening on the local and city level. Some of these things predate occupy, as well, but part of what occupy is doing is pushing these things to the fore.

                  There's no difference between a representative and a delegate. For example, Virginia has a house of delegates. Making the government function based on participation is exactly the right direction to go. This is exactly what Chomsky and others have been writing about for a long time, using the office of a representative to organize local bodies in a democratic way. That doesn't take getting rid of the system, that takes changing the system, and it's working in some places.

                  But how are we going to pay the teachers needed to teach 150 million students?
                  (overlooking, for the moment, your "150 million" statement, which seems to imply a nation-state) The same way everyone else would be- as each community decides.  If professional teachers could even be said to exist.
                  Okay, now we're getting into places where I have to disagree with you in pretty strong terms. What you're talking about here is the destruction of division of labor. What we need to see is a society where devision of labor does not lead to classes of worth or rank.

                  Division of labor means that when producing something complicated, specialization happens. I cannot fight fires, but I can teach history. I wouldn't expect a fire fighter to be able to teach history, because he hasn't been trained. Training is vital. Learning is vital. One person cannot learn to perform every specialized role, and teaching is a specialized role. Fire fighting is a specialized role (you need to learn how to read smoke, I'm told.)

                  And I will assume that by "pay" you mean compensation other than money- in fact 'compensation' is probably the wrong word because it implies some kind of quid-pro-quo relationship between a person's contributions and their 'reward'.
                  Wrong. I mean: how does one guarantee that teachers have the means to thrive? You're right that English breaks down here.
                  In an Anarchist society, if a member of a community needs something, the community will provide it- house work?  Food?  Medical needs?  If this concept seems alien to you, you probably don't live in a real community.
                  Unless they're new people who "might not" be told about the "fire fighting collective." In the case that we don't like them, fuck em, let their house burn down. We're neighbors, not babysitters. I'm being unfair here, but this is a major contradiction in your statement. People's needs will be provided for... sometimes? Clear this up for me.

                  It seems ultra right-wing, too, so to be fair I'm going to assume that I don't understand you, and let you clear this up for me.

                  And I need to deal with a very specific point of yours.

                  I definitely disagree with the concept that "government" as a mandatory and totalitarian organization should exist in any capacity or sense.
                  Government is not mandatory, and never has been. You do not have to live in the united states. You are not forced to be a citizen. You can reject your citizenship and become a stateless person, if you wish. However, you have not made this choice, which makes it seem to me that you desire, for now, the protection and rights that derive from american citizenship.

                  From where do rights derive? The libertarian states that rights derive from self ownership. The theocrat states that rights derive from the divine.

                  But what is a right? Have you ever seen a right? Is a right scientifically measureable? Are there liberty particles which can be detected by some kind of divice?

                  No. Rights do not exist except where human beings agree that rights exist. If you are prevented from exercizing a right, then you do not possess that right.

                  Thus, rights derive from the social contract, and the purpose of governments is to protect the rights that we all agree we have. I'll get back to this point later.

                  If there is no government, if there is no law, if there is no social contract, then the only rights you have are what your strength and guile provide, and nothing more.

                  If it's a zombie apocalypse, and I have a gun, and you do not, and I need the food that you possess, then you don't have property rights anymore. If you argue, I can revoke your right to life, because I have a gun and I'll starve if I don't take your food.

                  Rights exist when we agree they exist, when we have a social contract which proves they exist. Rights are not inherent. That's why fighting in the courts against NDAA is so important, that's why protesting is important.

                  That's why nobody who hates the government, be they Anarchist or Libertarian, is willing to revoke their citizenship, because they know that rights derive from social contracts. That rights don't exist unless you can defend them with force.

                  Otherwise, the way to win would be to just drop out and form a commune like people did back in the 60's. You'd defeat the government by acting as if it didn't exist. But that doesn't work. Because people have been trying that for centuries.

                  If the government doesn't exist, and we all decide to be anarchist collectives, then there will be people who will set out to conquer. We will return to the days of kings and conquests, because to some people, power is a precious commodity that is worth killing to obtain.

                  If this were not a fact, then the concept of kingship would never have developed, nor patriarchy, nor theocracy, nor government of any kind.

                  So the solution then, as provided by anarchist thought through Chomsky and others, is not to create a society where the state does not exist, or where the state lacks power, but to create a democratic society where the local body politic exerts absolute control over the levers of power.

                  Democratization. Democratized wealth, a Democratized workplace, and Democratized government where every decision is participatory.

                  That's the goal.

                  There's a lot more to be said, but I'll leave it here for now.

                  An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

                  by OllieGarkey on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 07:13:15 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    joe wobblie
                    You missed his points then, and need to read again.
                    I'm not sure he's ever made it exactly clear what he stands for.  As far as Anarchists go, he's certainly not part of the modern cutting edge of theory or praxis.
                    So society should let peoples houses burn down?
                    I think people have a strong desire to prevent their house and their neighbors' houses from burning down.  Should they then be obligated to do so?  How would such an obligation be administered?  Taxes and bureaucracy?  I have a little more faith in people's ability to figure it out for themselves.
                    I think this is how a district within a larger body should decide budgeting and discretionary spending, and education, and all these other things
                    Why limit a community's decision-making power at all?  The "larger body" could easily consist of delegates of smaller groups, on an ad-hoc basis.
                    There's no difference between a representative and a delegate. For example, Virginia has a house of delegates.
                    like how North Korea is a Democratic People's Republic?
                    A representative makes decisions on behalf of a group.  A delegate reports decisions that have been made by a group.
                    What you're talking about here is the destruction of division of labor.
                    To some extent...
                    One person cannot learn to perform every specialized role,
                    ...but not completely.  Some people are better at certain things.  Some people prefer to do certain things. But we should start moving away from this idea that a person is "a firefighter" or "a teacher" in the sense than an ant is "a soldier" or "a worker".
                    and teaching is a specialized role.
                    I'm not an expert on anarchist pedagogy, but I think a better system would be for children to be in charge of their learning rather than this idea that they are empty vessels to be filled with knowledge.  Freire etc.
                    Wrong. I mean: how does one guarantee that teachers have the means to thrive? You're right that English breaks down here.
                    The same way that anyone's survival is ensured in such a society- community planning based on gift/solidarity economics.  There are no guarantees in life, even if we say "the government will take care of it!"
                    Unless they're new people who "might not" be told about the "fire fighting collective." In the case that we don't like them, fuck em, let their house burn down. We're neighbors, not babysitters. I'm being unfair here, but this is a major contradiction in your statement. People's needs will be provided for... sometimes? Clear this up for me.
                    It's up to the community.  If a person is moving to a place where they're surrounded by strangers 1) why the fuck would they want to move there and 2) why would the existing community agree to let them move there?  The neighbors MIGHT help them out of the goodness of their hearts, but what kind of a jerk moves somewhere and expects others to take care of them?  Now if they've got things arranged beforehand, that's different; that's being responsible.  But, yeah, if you're irresponsible, don't come running to me and expect help, because that can't be allowed to become precedent.  As soon as people find out you're a mark, you're fucked.
                    Government is not mandatory, and never has been. You do not have to live in the united states. You are not forced to be a citizen. You can reject your citizenship and become a stateless person, if you wish.
                    I don't have the option to not pay property taxes.  I was born here; if I don't want to be part of the government, it should get off my land, not the other way around.
                    However, you have not made this choice, which makes it seem to me that you desire, for now, the protection and rights that derive from american citizenship.
                    If I wasn't, I'd be at an unfair disadvantage in various ways.  Personally, I find citizenship to be arbitrary.  It's like if you ask me my favorite color.
                    No. Rights do not exist except where human beings agree that rights exist. If you are prevented from exercizing a right, then you do not possess that right.
                    "Power flows from the barrel of a gun."
                    Otherwise, the way to win would be to just drop out and form a commune like people did back in the 60's. You'd defeat the government by acting as if it didn't exist.
                    That doesn't work because the State is totalitarian- it demands to exist everywhere.  One can drop out, but only temporarily.  And even a drop-out group still has to pay taxes, which necessitates participating in the capitalist economy in some way (in order to raise money with which to pay said taxes)... no, the only way to be free of the State is to destroy it.
                    If the government doesn't exist, and we all decide to be anarchist collectives, then there will be people who will set out to conquer.
                    Sure.  And that's why organization is necessary.  Community federations for day-to-day protection against murderers, rapists, and thieves; federations between communities for slightly better-organized threats; federations of federations for war when necessary.  Just a few levels of federation can account for the whole human race.
                    anarchist thought ... is not to create a society where the state does not exist
                    ^blink^
                    but to create a democratic society where the local body politic exerts absolute control over the levers of power.

                    Democratization. Democratized wealth, a Democratized workplace, and Democratized government where every decision is participatory.

                    Those are fine principles.  I'm talking about the mechanical details of how such a society would actually function.

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