Skip to main content

This isn't going to be an easy diary to write for a number of reasons.  First and foremost because there is a lot of ground to cover.  Understanding the black bloc and the political impetus behind it, when there is political impetus, requires a familiarity with anarchism and the radical milieu that the vast majority of people don't have, even here at Daily Kos.  It isn't just a story of a few people breaking windows and throwing stuff at cops.  It's a story of a broad group of building a community and the ideas and actions that come from that.  It's also a story of history, a story of radical history which many know peripherally but don't tend to think about too much in depth.  It is at its root a story of the evolution of anarchism and its evolution in response to state repression and liberal ridicule.  Its evolution in response to accusations of being juvenile and not being realist.  It's also a story of emotion, of hope and anger.  What it isn't is a simple or short story.

The second reason this will be difficult is because it is personal.  Because if I'm going to write this and be honest with this community, which I really feel a part of, then there is the distinct possibility of negative repercussions for me, mostly here, but possibly elsewhere.  But given the subject matter and the fact that the overwhelming insult thrown when this subject comes up is "coward" I hope you understand my reluctance.  Because this isn't just a story of other people, this is a story of me.  This is a story that I am still very much involved in.  If I wasn't already sure that the government wasn't at least aware of my activities, none of which by the way have been anything worse than infractions legally speaking, then I might worry about that.  Luckily we're all under surveillance now so I have no worries on that front.

What worries me most is that this will be taken as fear mongering and an excuse to further attack anarchists.  And by attack anarchists I mean attack my friends.  My close friends, people who I've been friends with for a long time.  For some of you this may explain why I get so heated in the discussions about anarchists and the black bloc, others may simply dismiss me at this point.  Please don't, this is important.  This is something that needs to be discussed.

With those disclaimers.I'll begin.

[Added disclaimers:  I'm going to publish this as is.  I'm going to do a three part series.  I'm still kinda worried that this could get me baned.]

I was raised a poor black child.  Wait, no, no, wrong beginning.  I'm not black.  No, I was raised a lower middle class boy.  I came from a parents who had forsaken their class to live a worthwhile life.  We lived in working class neighborhoods, mostly mixed race.  And bear with me here, I understand you want to get to the meat of the diary but I can't tell this any other way and have it make sense.  I came from an educated family.  Both my parents had degrees and came from a background that wasn't exactly rich for back then but certainly looks that way to me now.  I wasn't sheltered but I was separate.I read and read and read.  And I was a loner.  I wasn't bullied any more than was normal at the time, but I was certainly aware of the fact that I wasn't normal.  It would have been worse but I was fair enough at sports without even trying.  I hated school but loved learning.  I got kicked out of my high school my senior year with a couple months left and ended up in a better school.  Kurt Cobain died my senior year, if I remember correctly, and that's the first time I remember crying as an adult.  I was in between generations.  I was angry and bitter because I saw the world and knew it needed to change and didn't see a way to do it.

I voted for Clinton in '96, my first election.  I protested Clinton at my old high school the same year.  My first protest.  As soon as I voted I hated politics.  The fact that the person that I had just voted for had completely betrayed me by deregulating telecommunications pissed me off more than anything.  After that I kicked around, working and going to community college(DVC which is an awesome college).  I had no direction because I knew that everything was about to go to shit and committing to anything would have been the worst idea ever.  I worked a series of shitty jobs and lived a party life, not caring what happened because everything was in the shitter anyway.  Oh, if only I'd known.

And then it happened.  1999.  Nineteen ninety fucking nine.  The year of madness.  First there was Columbine.  I don't think I can explain how formative that was for me.  Not in the sense that I could go out and kill people - because this is America, if anyone knows that we do - but in the sense of "Holy shit, these are my people. These are the people who were ignored in high school unless they were bullied."  And I saw the reaction from mainstream America and I cried. Again.  I cried because I knew that there was no way that I could ever convince these people that there was a reason this had happened.  Not that there was a good reason, but that there was a reason.

But, 1999.  Nineteen ninety fucking nine. Seattle.  What most people remember is the broken windows.  And to be sure I was aware of that.  But I saw the videos, the real videos.  The ones on union members and anarchists and greens and reds and high schoolers - seriously! fucking high schoolers! - blocking the delegates to the WTO.  I had no clue what the WTO was.  All I knew was that Clinton had ordered the protesters cleared.  All I knew was that those people were my fucking heroes because they had done what the people at columbine had done but done it without killing people.  They had FUCKED SHIT UP.  Not in the pedestrian sense of breaking windows but in the real sense of stopping a conference from happening.  And they were anarchists.  And that was when it got drilled into my head: Anarchists get shit done.  People pay attention to that shit.  You know?  

I'd been a punk for a while at this point, which meant I'd been exposed to anarchism.  I knew that it existed and I had the same general sense of it that many people have, that it's all about breaking shit and making noise and making yourself special.  But this was different.  This was a whole bunch of people getting beaten and arrested because they opposed this weird political thing I'd never heard of.  WTF is WTO?  And they made me ask that question.  And again, to be clear, it wasn't the black bloc in downtown Seattle breaking the windows of NikeTown that I was wondering about, although I thought that was awesome too.  It was the people that were literally putting their bodies on the line for people they had never met.  That was what was amazing.  The other black bloc, the one people don't remember.

So I was an anarchist now.  I read whatever I could find.  I read Goldman and all that other shit.  Although Emma has always been the best, to this day.  I immersed myself in it.  Which wasn't hard in the punk scene.  And I wasn't the only one.  After Seattle it was everywhere in the punk scene.  Again, not just the people breaking windows but everyone.  Everyone.  And I knew that I was a radical.  I was going to be a part of the big change.

And then I voted for Nader.  It was a compromise, voting.  And it was dumb.  I was in California and it didn't really matter who I voted for, but still, fuck that self indulgent asshole. But I was a radical, a radical that compromised by voting, even if it was for Nader.  And then Bush won.  Oh god Bush.  Fuck him.  Fuck him.  Fuck him.  I still remember the inauguration. So few people do. Do you remember the fact that he was the only president that didn't walk the last few blocks to the white house?  You know who did that?  It was the anarchists throwing rotten fruit and vegetables.  Along with others of course.  But according to the news everyone was an anarchist.

And why not?  Anarchism was safe to hate.  It was leftist, which was proved wrong by the fall of the soviet union.  It was actually made up of a fairly small community.  And it wasn't actually dangerous as far as the government was concerned.  Yes, the perfect culprit.  No one would defend it and not enough people knew actual anarchists to know that the caricatures were incorrect.  But I knew better.  I knew the whole community.  I knew that these were real people who really fucking cared.  Cared enough that they would risk arrest to get their point across.  This was real.  A level of real that just didn't exist at the time, and really still doesn't.

The first black bloc I participated in was during an antiwar march in San Francisco.  Here's the thing that you don't get from from the news about being in a black bloc: most people don't break windows.  This seems to be the big misconception.  That a black bloc is a whole bunch of people who all go crazy and break shit and attack the cops.  But that's just not true.  A black bloc is mostly people who are fine with people breaking windows and attacking the cops but don't do it themselves.  It's not that I wanted to be violent, it's that I wanted to be able to support those who were.

Now, I understand how that looks.  And this is what I was talking about at the beginning of this diary.  I've done things that can get me arrested and advocated for things that could get me baned from DKos. Don't pretend like you tell all your secrets here, because we all know you don't.  I actually never broke a window or threw anything at a cop.  I tried to rally people to charge the cops the day the war in Iraq started, but it didn't work.

But lets get back into the nitty gritty of it.  The other black bloc, the one that went around and busted up stores during the Seattle protests, was a bunch of anarcho-primitivists. You might know the ideology from Chris Hedges article on how the black bloc is a cancer. For some reason he decided that an ideology from ten years ago, which has no influence in the anarchist milieu now, is the problem.  This is when I flipped my shit about the attacks on anarchists.

Primitivism is this absurd shit that idolizes hunter gatherer society as the best anarchist societies ever.  Nonsense that played well with the youth because they believed the bullshit from the press about the other black bloc in Seattle.  Primitivism is based around the idea that civilization itself is the problem.  Not the form of civilization we have, but civilization.  It includes Ted Kaczynski, AKA the unabomber, in it's required reading.  They rejected metaphor.  Stuck around for a while but ultimately they decided that arguing with people about ideology was a compromise. Some of them are still living out in the woods I hear.

If you're still reading I just have to remind you that I warned you, this will be long.  We're more than half way through though.  I'm going to end this diary here because I need to collect my thoughts.  Remember, the past is prelude.

Originally posted to Occupy Wall Street on Thu May 03, 2012 at 09:39 PM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement and Progressive Hippie.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Anarchist Is Not Left nt (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    debedb, AoT, splashy, Deep Texan

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu May 03, 2012 at 09:52:22 PM PDT

    •  Well, it depends. (7+ / 0-)

      In theory, no, it doesn't really fall on the left/right spectrum.  In practice, a lot of modern anarchism in the West comes out of people like Bakunin, the French left, etc. and certainly bears their stamp, to more or lesser degrees.

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Thu May 03, 2012 at 11:00:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  none the less: Hey Admin, don't ban the diarist! (27+ / 0-)

      This is a major topic these days, it needs to be discussed, and the diarist is willing to stick his neck out and talk about it honestly from a point of view many of us (myself included) ferociously disagree with.

      But rather than stooping to any kind of name-calling, I want to engage this guy and hope to end up with a constructive outcome one way or another.  Hopefully others also want to make some real progress in this discussion as well.  

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Thu May 03, 2012 at 11:03:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks (17+ / 0-)

        I also would like to point out that this is the beginning of how I got to where I am, not where I am right now.  I thought I could do it in one diary but realized about half way through that that wasn't happening.  The next is going to be more to the political point.

        There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

        by AoT on Thu May 03, 2012 at 11:18:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I hope you don't publish in the early AM... (4+ / 0-)

          ... because that's a difficult time for me to be around here.  Late night is a good time for this, and also because there are fewer people around in general.  But anyway that's up to you and I'll try to keep up with your diaries.

          BTW, I'm on the phone with a friend right now, be back shortly.

          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Thu May 03, 2012 at 11:33:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Late night IS early am to many. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek

            Publish after 10, and lots of people simply don't have the time for a reasoned thoughtful discussion of an edgy issue. There's sleep, and then work, so something like this is way down the recent list by the next afternoon and/or way down the stream as well.

            The only reason I saw it this morning is because I woke up early, and it's on the rec list. And now I have no more time for anything until this evening.

            •  good point; all these darn time zones:-) (0+ / 0-)

              This is the intrinsic problem with a nationwide/global publishing system where time-of-day is relevant to audiences.  

              There's not a good solution to the time zone issue and I've given it much thought.

              "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

              by G2geek on Fri May 04, 2012 at 06:03:35 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  You are one of the most honest people I have met (14+ / 0-)

          Via occupy. Thank you for your perspective. I look forward to reading more of it. Cheers, brother

          •  That said, right there, has maybe done (0+ / 0-)

            something to keep people from dismissing the diarist.
            AoT, it's good to hear your story. MOT, it's good you appreciated it enough to say so.
            Me, I like to think we're grown up enough to share views with each other that may not be so mainstream, but are still a part of what is best about democracy.
            See, I remember the yippies, and what a bad name hippies got from some of the more extremist yippies of the 60s. I guess there's a lesson to be learned there, because now I suppose a sizable chunk of folks think the hippies were wrong, or that we failed. I think the movement got co-opted and the media sold out to the war machine.
             But I still know that we were right. Peace is the answer. Make love, not war. Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, and work to make everyone equal. Those are values hippies stood for, before and after the National Guard killed some of us at Kent State, and before the Democratic National Convention and Mayor Daley and the police riots. And they're values we still believe in. So does Occupy.


            "When the powerless are shut out of the media, we will make the media irrelevant" ~Anonymous~

            by Lisa Lockwood on Tue May 08, 2012 at 11:27:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  i'm back; sorry for the delay.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Geek of all trades

          ... phone calls ran long.  We're moving a bunch of our computer stuff and it's going to be an interesting weekend.

          So if I disappear for a few hours it's either work or sleep or meals with friends.  But I'm with you on keeping these conversations going, even if I'm popping in and out at random.  This is an important moment, you took the first step to make it happen, and that deserves respect and participation.  

          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Fri May 04, 2012 at 02:33:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  hey i changed my mind about something: (5+ / 0-)

          I recced the diary and TJ.

          This on the principle that even though some of what you say may be breaking site rules, the fact that you've essentially built a peace table and sat down at it and said "let's all sit down together and start talking," is worth more than strict adherence to site rules in this case.  So I'm sticking my neck out just a teeny bit by reccing your stuff, but you stuck your neck out quite a bit more, and I want to support that.

          These conversations need to occur.  Thanks for getting them started.

          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Fri May 04, 2012 at 03:00:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Fully agree, G2geek. (5+ / 0-)

        This is important to discuss, as the issue plays a strong role in the Occupy movement.  

        I welcome the opportunity for a better understanding, and hope we don't all get banned for being willing to listen.

        ...Nothing of public value exists which has not been fought for. -- George Monbiot

        OCCUPY

        by Yasuragi on Fri May 04, 2012 at 02:22:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm hoping that Markos recognizes that even if... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Yasuragi, gulfgal98, hepshiba, SneakySnu

          ... AoT supports tactics that aren't nonviolent, what AoT actually did here is a major step toward making peace.

          He built a peace table and sat down and started telling his story in a spirit of peacemaking, and invited us to participate.

          That deserves respect, and to my mind is a strong expression of the spirit of this place even if some of what he says is technically against the rules.

          Sometimes when you want to make peace, you have to talk about what the opposites of peace are and what they mean, and do that in a spirit of open-mindedness and mutual respect.

          So here we go, and I believe this will produce much good.

          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Fri May 04, 2012 at 03:06:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Fully agree. And, in fact, we don't yet (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek

            know where AoT stands today in terms of all this -- this being the first of three.

            That's just part of why it's so important that we hear him out.

            And you're so right about the dialogue.  I've rec'd several threads here on both sides of the debate simply for being good, healthy discussion without rancor (well, without much rancor).  

            I wish the Rox/Sux contingents could have such adult discussions.

            ...Nothing of public value exists which has not been fought for. -- George Monbiot

            OCCUPY

            by Yasuragi on Fri May 04, 2012 at 03:30:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  things get different quickly when the topic is... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Yasuragi

              .... a core issue such as what constitutes violence (e.g. does property destruction count?) and the boundaries between nonviolent tactics and other kinds of tactics, and all of that.

              And things get different quickly when it's a bit of an emergency and the future of a movement is at stake.  

              Under these conditions people tend to start cooperating and figuring out how to move forward together, as soon as an opportunity presents itself.  It takes courage to be the first to offer that opportunity.  AoT did that.  So here we are.  

              "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

              by G2geek on Fri May 04, 2012 at 06:07:04 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Generally considered left wing (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Urizen, JesseCW, G2geek

      Wikipedia article on Anarchism begins, "Anarchism is often considered to be a radical left-wing ideology..."

      Throughout history it's often overlapped with communist and socialist movements. The most famous people associated with Anarchism like Emma Goldman or Chomsky are all left-wing.

      •  That's because it's been painted that way (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Deep Texan

        By the corporate friendly governments.  Look at the Political Compass to see how it really works:
        http://www.politicalcompass.org/

        Anarchism = Libertarianism

        It can be either left or right.

        Women create the entire labor force. Think about it.

        by splashy on Thu May 03, 2012 at 11:49:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, no, no (8+ / 0-)

          Anarchism and libertarianism have serious political differences.  Libertarians wast to claim anarchism because it's all hip now, but that a bunch of bull shit.

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Thu May 03, 2012 at 11:59:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  In one of your upcoming diaries (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek, PhilJD, Deep Texan, Sylv

            I hope you'll get into the specific differences between anarchism and libertarianism.

            "I wish I could tell you, in the midst of all of this, that President Obama was waging the kind of fight against these draconian Republican proposals that the American people would like to see. He is not." -- Senator Bernie Sanders

            by Sagebrush Bob on Fri May 04, 2012 at 01:11:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  By the way (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              G2geek, AoT, Sylv

              My understanding of the difference is basically that libertarianism is anti-government and pro-capitalism while anarchism is anti-government and anti-capitalism. Is this essentially correct?

              "I wish I could tell you, in the midst of all of this, that President Obama was waging the kind of fight against these draconian Republican proposals that the American people would like to see. He is not." -- Senator Bernie Sanders

              by Sagebrush Bob on Fri May 04, 2012 at 01:52:29 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Sounds like (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Deep Texan

                the difference between left wing anti-authoritarianism and right wing anti-authoritarianism.

              •  Sort of (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                joe wobblie, Sagebrush Bob

                Anarchism also calls for an organized socialist economic and social system (adhering to Anarchist principles of horizontalism, decentralization, federation, etc).  Anarchism is not just like taking the current system and removing some things and adding some other things.  It's an entirely different system, and is as totalitarian (in the sense of accounting for everything) as the capitalist/statist system.

                Furthermore we (well, I'm not sure how many @s share this opinion, since there's unfortunately little @ist analysis of libertarianism) think that an attempt at stateless capitalism is impossible, either because property title can only be recorded and protected by a State (overlapping jurisdictions would lead to conflict and a single victor), or because warlordism would lead to the re-establishment of States.

                Anarchists propose to eliminate the risk of the latter by being organized.

          •  one of my favorite quotes, (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek, boadicea, AoT

            though I don't know if you'll like it:

            "Even if you want no state, or a minimal state, then you have to argue point by point. Especially since the minimalists want to keep the economic and police system that keeps them privileged. That's libertarians for you — anarchists who want police protection from their slaves. No! If you want to make the minimum-state case, you have to argue it from the ground up." - Kim Stanley Robinson, Green Mars

            Or in other words, they like a bunch of the aspects of anarchism, but only insofar as they can be turned to personal gain and the preservation of their own power. Beyond that, they want authorities to stop this anarchy thing from going too far, to the point of, you know, equality and universal liberty and stuff.

            Cry, the beloved country, these things are not yet at an end.

            by rcbowman on Fri May 04, 2012 at 02:37:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  absolutely it is (8+ / 0-)

      In fact, Marx cribbed a lot from Proudhon (and Bakunin as well).

      Some of the heroic unionists of a century ago (Emma Goldman in particular) were anarchists.

      •  ... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joanneleon, Urizen, pot

        "Leftists" who denounce anarchists but like 40 hour workweeks and weekends are just as clueless as Tea Partiers who love Medicare.

        The bourgeoisie had better watch out for me, all throughout this so called nation. We don't want your filthy money, we don't need your innocent bloodshed, we just want to end your world. ~H.R.

        by chipmo on Fri May 04, 2012 at 07:28:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Get Real (0+ / 0-)

      Not everyone buys into post leftism and you know it. Syndicalists, and Anarcho-Coms are certainly not down with your view.

  •  well it's entertaining reading (12+ / 0-)
    And that was when it got drilled into my head: Anarchists get shit done.
    What, exactly, have anarchists gotten done? You talk about 1999. It's worse now than ever.

    This is a serious question. How will anarchism work? How will it succeed in changing things?

    I use the word advisedly. Anarchism, in the sense of no government, no rulers, is a nice ideal that I believe in. I'm using the word in the sense you present it, though. As a tactic rather than an end.

    •  They shut down the WTO conference (6+ / 0-)

      In that specific case.

      There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Thu May 03, 2012 at 10:14:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yeah, and totally stopped globalization (10+ / 0-)

        in its tracks!

        Or, maybe they just inconvenienced a few elites and alienated a whole bunch more regular folks.

        "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

        by Geekesque on Thu May 03, 2012 at 10:36:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  so what? (7+ / 0-)

        They didn't stop any of the trade deals from happening, they didn't stop the WTO from destroying the economies of the countries they invaded, they inconvenienced some conference goers, that's not getting shit done.

        As a nation, the U.S. consumes the most hot dogs per capita. So you'd be wise to never underestimate our powers of denial.

        by jbou on Thu May 03, 2012 at 10:39:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, they did more tha inconvenience (11+ / 0-)

          They Made the world aware that there was resistance to neoliberalism even in the US.

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Thu May 03, 2012 at 10:43:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yo AoT: I gotta' question: (8+ / 0-)

            What do you think would have happened if, instead of smashing windows and so on, the entire crowd had used peaceful sit-in and blockade tactics?

            For example: pick strategic intersections and have large crowds sit down in them to block all traffic.  For example form into a long line that could wind its way through a number of blocks downtown, a continuous line along many blocks in a row, holding signs and chanting, so the whole place reverberated with noise?  

            Or for example just surround the WTO conference site and then sit down in place?  

            And when the cops moved in, just gotten up and walked with them to the vans and so on?  

            What do you think would have happened if those were the tactics and everyone stuck to them?  

            "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

            by G2geek on Thu May 03, 2012 at 11:10:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Um, you clearly aren't aware of what actually (12+ / 0-)

              happened at the WTO in Seattle.  Because the "other black bloc" that I was talking about in the diary did exactly what you suggested.  And that's what shut down the conference, not the people in downtown Seattle breaking windows.

              There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

              by AoT on Thu May 03, 2012 at 11:20:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  OK, well I thought you were talking about... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Deep Texan, Sylv

                ... the stuff that the MSM broadcast endlessly, window smashing and so on.  

                This is a story that needs to be told: that mass nonviolent tactics succeeded in various ways, and what those were.  Because in that case, those tactics can & should be extended and used elsewhere.

                Though also, how would you deal with the issue of the MSM always focusing on stuff like window smashing?

                "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                by G2geek on Fri May 04, 2012 at 02:24:32 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  1999 WTO Seattle anarchist documentary (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT

                "Breaking the Spell"

                The link is to a page which has the text below, and from which the documentary can be downloaded for free (using r click, "save as") / 703 Mb

                Breaking the Spell is a 1999 anarchist documentary, directed by Tim Lewis, Tim Ream, and Sir Chuck A. Rock.

                Using amateur camera footage recorded by protesters at the scene of the 1999 WTO riots, it documents the riot from the perspective of the anarchists, their opinions of fellow protesters, local politicians, and includes footage which aired nationally on 60 Minutes

                Resistance Is Fertile - Occupy

                by Sean X on Fri May 04, 2012 at 06:53:44 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  We *did* that. We got fucking gassed. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              G2geek, chipmo, Calvino Partigiani

              Your vote is your consent.

              by JesseCW on Fri May 04, 2012 at 01:45:09 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  but the story the media told.... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Deep Texan, SneakySnu

                ... and the story that most of America got shoved in their faces, was about people smashing windows.

                Compare to UC Davis, where the story the media told, and most of America got, was about peaceful protesters getting pepper-sprayed, which caused a decent chunk of the public to take the protesters' side.  

                Usually when peaceful protesters are attacked, much of the public sides with the protesters.  Sure, nothing will change the minds of the 25% of America who are hard core religious right and plutocrats.  But it's about reaching the undecided to get them to decide, and reaching the uncommitted to get them to commit.  The rest proceeds from there.

                What do you think it's going to take to do that?

                "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                by G2geek on Fri May 04, 2012 at 02:30:48 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The coverage at Davis wasn't negative because (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  G2geek, glitterscale, chipmo

                  the movement was not yet taken seriously.

                  Had it already been seen as a serious threat, the coverage would have been about the poor threatened officers who barely escaped the seated demonstrators with their lives, thanks to their valorous deployment of pepper spray.

                  It's the MSM that decides whether it's a peaceful protest.  Iranians hurling molotovs are "peaceful protesters", while Palestinians simply refusing to move are terrorists.

                  It's not reality that shapes that narrative, it's editorial policy.

                  Your vote is your consent.

                  by JesseCW on Fri May 04, 2012 at 04:45:14 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Do you seriously think that any media outlet other (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Deep Texan

                    than Faux News accepts marching orders like this?

                    I've seen some pretty pathetic journalism from the MSM, but OUR CAMERAS ARE RUNNING.

                    The problem with the media isn't bias, it's laziness. The media will tell our side of the story if we've got our cameras running.

                    THAT'S how UC Davis happened.If the MSM had no cameras there - and hint: they didn't - and there was no counter-footage from 50 angles showing exactly what happened, then "the cops barely escaped with their lives" WOULD have been the story.

                    The first thing a black block action does is disable cameras by smearing vaseline on the lenses.

                    When the MSM's laziness and habit of believing police reports is confronted with incontrovertible video evidence already widely distributed via youtube, they'll tell OUR side of the story.

                    Except for fox, which does exactly what you described.

                    An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail.

                    by OllieGarkey on Fri May 04, 2012 at 06:22:08 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  yo Ollie: peacemaking here. and about cameras... (0+ / 0-)

                      My criticisms of Black Bloc are similar to yours, but AoT did this diary as the beginning of an outreach for peace.

                      So a bunch of us here have been trying to respond in kind.  Making peace here is the first step toward making peace on a wider scale.  

                      That doesn't mean no mutual criticism, it just means doing it in accord with our best practices rather than our worst.  This is a real chance to make change.  

                      So you have a very helpful point of criticism there about Black Bloc:  smearing vaseline on camera lenses.  OK, so let's see what AoT says about it.  I'm willing to bet we can all agree that disabling live reporting by fellow protesters is not an acceptable tactic and we'll all cooperate to put a stop to that.

                      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                      by G2geek on Fri May 04, 2012 at 06:44:51 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I'll try and tone it down. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        G2geek

                        I didn't mean to be antagonistic. I'll stop. TY.

                        An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail.

                        by OllieGarkey on Fri May 04, 2012 at 07:36:44 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  thanks majorly. (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          OllieGarkey, WB Reeves

                          There's a lot of good strong criticism being raised on all sides of these issues right now.  JesseCW, speaking more on the anarchist side, just pointed out a situation where a group of protesters in LA got sprayed by the police, despite being totally peaceful.  I'd never heard of that instance before but it should be discussed further.

                          One of the issues we should hope to address here is what to do when police go out of control.  We need to figure out some creative ways to get those police departments to tone it down and not go overboard.   A unified movement is a very powerful bargaining position for that and other purposes.

                          Peace-
                          -G2G

                          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                          by G2geek on Fri May 04, 2012 at 07:52:42 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  You do know why Donahue was canceled, right? (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      chipmo, SouthernLiberalinMD

                      Yes.

                      They do accept marching orders.  Just like that.  Fox is only unique in that its owner doesn't try to hide what he's doing.

                      They barely reported on the brutality at the last RNC Convention, when their own reporters where being kicked around.

                      It's not laziness - it's self interest.  

                      Or did you think GE bought a news channel to further the public good?

                      I honestly don't know where you're having these experiences.  This "smearing vaseline on lenses" bit isn't something I've ever encountered, in multiple cities up and down the West Coast over a 15 year period at dozens of protests and demonstrations at which Black Bloc tactics have been used.

                      Your vote is your consent.

                      by JesseCW on Fri May 04, 2012 at 07:07:05 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Couple of points: (0+ / 0-)

                        Phil Donahue Cancelled: 2003
                        Creation of YouTube: 2005

                        People are becoming the media.

                        Now, the mainstream media isn't going to always do what we want them to do. You can't just hand them the footage on a platter, you have to build outrage around it, get blogs and twitter campaigning on it, get it going viral, get people calling and writing angrily about it, and that's a whole hell of a lot of work.

                        It takes a large and effective organization to achieve these goals.

                        Eventually, it's my hope that this wont be the case.

                        As for your question, I refer you to two videos posted in my diary. In one, you'll see the black block disabling cameras, in the other, you'll see people who Tim and I knew and interacted with who were anarchists physically assaulting him because he walked by them with a live stream.

                        I'm not going to ask you to explain these actions, but we have constant, near constant problems with black bloc folks who attack other protesters and live-streamers. And they may not be authentically black block, but they sure are dressing the part.

                        Which brings me back to the point I made in my diary: these tactics don't work. I'm going to wait for AoT to finish his story before I respond fully.

                        An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail.

                        by OllieGarkey on Fri May 04, 2012 at 07:41:53 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  The creation of YouTube doesn't have anything (0+ / 0-)

                          to do with the fact that corporate media promotes a pro-corporate view point and that these conglomerates use their "news" outlets to further their economic self interest.

                          They will not present a narrative they believe will threaten those interests.  They've demonstrated that again and again.

                          I've run into my share of self-obsessed "Live Streamers" who routinely shoot people who have asked them repeatedly to knock it off.  I can understand people getting pissed about, although that doesn't justify assaulting anyone.

                          It also doesn't support an argument that kids with masks wearing black are a cancer that needs to be excised.

                          Your vote is your consent.

                          by JesseCW on Fri May 04, 2012 at 07:53:41 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  "asked them repeatedly to knock it off..." (0+ / 0-)
                            I've run into my share of self-obsessed "Live Streamers" who routinely shoot people who have asked them repeatedly to knock it off.  I can understand people getting pissed about, although that doesn't justify assaulting anyone.
                            Should anyone participating in a public event have the right to refuse to be photographed?  When the police try to thwart media coverage of their actions, we call it an outrage.  
                      •  The disempowerment of the individual journalist (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        OllieGarkey

                        in favor of the megalopoly that employs him/her is a terrible thing.

                        Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

                        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri May 04, 2012 at 01:04:10 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  You're aware how much footage there (0+ / 0-)

                      is of NYPD groping breasts, neh?

                      Dozens of incidents?

                      Show me the coverage.  Show me how the MSM runs with  it, if the footage is handed to them on a platter.

                      Your vote is your consent.

                      by JesseCW on Fri May 04, 2012 at 07:09:48 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  MSNBC didn't cover Occupy Wall St (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      joanneleon, Sagebrush Bob

                      for 2 weeks, not until the first pepper spray incident.  It was a complete media wide blackout.

                      Michael Moore was on Rachel Maddow 6 days in and brought it up tangentially.  She looked at her shoes and proceeded to other topics.

                      Callers called into Ed Schultz's radio show asking them to cover it and were met with silence.

                      The Facebook pages of O'Donnell, Maddow, and Schultz were PLASTERED with people asking them "When are you going to cover Occupy Wall St?"  Those questions were ignored by O'Donnell and Maddow, and the admin of Schultz's page belligerently blocked people for asking too many questions.

                      On 9/23 I called Bloomberg's office directly and asked why the police were interfering with OWS on Wall Street and cordoning them off.  The office claimed no knowledge of any such thing.

                      It's so sad that people think Fox is the only one in the game.  They are ALL bit players on the stage.

                      The bourgeoisie had better watch out for me, all throughout this so called nation. We don't want your filthy money, we don't need your innocent bloodshed, we just want to end your world. ~H.R.

                      by chipmo on Fri May 04, 2012 at 07:36:20 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  That's true (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        chipmo

                        I saw a tsunami of twitter messages asking them to cover OWS in the beginning.  I haven't looked but I bet there was another storm of them when Maddow didn't even mention the May Day protests.

                        Yes, they do follow orders.


                        "Justice is a commodity"

                        by joanneleon on Fri May 04, 2012 at 08:04:19 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  Well, so much for that whole... (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        netop, OllieGarkey

                        ..."non-violence" thing:

                        To our enemies: if we won't hesitate to directly confront hundreds of cops and to destroy property, what makes you think we hold the lens of your camera to be sacred? You want to preserve your four thousand dollar camera to watch us break everything else? We are not doing this for you, and this is not a game. You clearly do not understand that there is no exception. We feel nothing but contempt for you cowardly spectators.

                        You'd better watch your necks next time.

                  •  interesting point: (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Deep Texan

                    Had Davis been seen as a threat etc., and "peaceful Iranian protesters" throwing Molotovs:

                    It's up to us to deal with the reality on the ground, which includes understanding how the MSM work and how they misrepresent every damn thing, and then it's up to us to manipulate them at will so our message gets out as intended.  The Yippies in the 1960s - 1980s were masters of this kind of thing, and today it's all about the Yes Men.  

                    Really: what matters isn't what types of protest make us feel good, what matters is what types of protest get the message across.  And if that means making the kinds of efforts the Yes Men make, or doing something else, then that's what we have to do.

                    Tactics need to evolve over time.  Evolve or perish.

                    "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                    by G2geek on Fri May 04, 2012 at 06:30:08 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Media problems. (0+ / 0-)

                Beware the Big Yellow Propaganda Machine.

                And no, I'm not making a racist comment about Communist China.  I'm talking about yellow journalism.

                Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

                by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri May 04, 2012 at 01:03:12 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  BTW, I studied the neoprimitivists in depth. (5+ / 0-)

            I tried reading Kaczynski's stuff when he was in the news, but (even regardless of my opinions about his tactics) found it to be obscure and not particularly lucid or original.

            But a couple of years ago I spent a few months studying the current anarcho-primitivists and neo-primitivists in depth.  

            I read Jason Godesky's stuff, all of it from his Thirty Theses to a bunch of more obscure stuff he published.  He struck me as a very smart guy with a lot of interesting ideas, well-written and well thought-out.  

            I hung out on a couple of boards where these folks hang out, got into some lengthy conversations in email with a few of them, and was generally impressed by their intelligence and dedication.

            More about which in my next comment below.

            "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

            by G2geek on Thu May 03, 2012 at 11:25:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  There was like three paragraphs of Kaczynski's (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Urizen, JesseCW, Yasuragi, G2geek, chipmo

              that almost made sense and some small group of people grabbed on to it and pretended like it was the most important thing in the world.  Primitivism became the "big thing" in anarchism be no one could bear to tell the primitivists that they didn't make any sense.  Mainly because they always insisted that metaphors were the problem.  WTF?

              There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

              by AoT on Thu May 03, 2012 at 11:41:10 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  i'm back, sorry for delay; so about primitivism... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Yasuragi, chipmo

                ... some of the neo-primitivists do make sense, here I'm thinking of Godesky and the people associated with him, and that whole part of the scene.

                Here's all of Godesky's stuff:

                http://theanarchistlibrary.org/...

                Here's the blog where Godesky & his people hung out:

                http://rewild.info/...

                There are links at the top of the blog to his Thirty Theses in another location, and then a bunch of chat and comments and discussion.  There are also some links in mouse-overs of pictures and so on.  

                He seems to be less publicly active now, but there may still be ways to reach him.

                I also spent time hanging out on neoprimitivist sites and got into some very interesting conversations with people there.  One of the things I found was that the people I ran across were always nonviolent, which came as a surprise to me.  One of them wrote about going to an anarchist conference but being turned off by people there who were espousing hatreds: his vision of anarchism was about building liberated places in wild nature where people could live as they did centuries ago or longer.  

                Some of these folks take anarchism to include respect for the autonomy of nature as a living force, which meshes with their intent to live like hunter-gatherers.  Many of them were working on developing the core skill-sets such as hunting and tanning and making fire with native tools, and building expedient shelter and generally living in the wild.  

                I've been a city-rat for too long for my own good, but I was really surprised by what these folks were doing and accomplishing, and I respect what they're doing and their degree of commitment even though it doesn't generalize to the urban areas.  If they succeed at their plans, they could constitute a viable community during times when more complex societal infrastructure is breaking.  

                So even in my own science-oriented paradigm, what they are doing is worthwhile in a darwinian sense, as another form of human adaptation that may have value in the continuity of our species at some point in the foreseeable future.  

                I'd be interested to know what you think of Godesky and the folks associated with him.  And if you want me to dig up my notes to find some links to some of the other folks, say the word.  

                "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                by G2geek on Fri May 04, 2012 at 02:54:22 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I've taken some ideas from Primitivism (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                joe wobblie, G2geek

                It may make sense to consider it a branch of Surrealism.  Or maybe the other way around...

                More literally, the idea of having 'primitive skills' fits the DIY ethic, which is about individual empowerment- Anarchist as anything.

                •  hi, good seeing you here. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  joe wobblie

                  You & I have had our fights in the past, but per AoT and the spirit of his diaries, this is time to make peace and build collective strength.  So here's to being open to hear more of what you have to say.

                  "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                  by G2geek on Fri May 04, 2012 at 08:57:43 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  They brought a great deal of attention to the (7+ / 0-)

          WTO - who most people had never heard of.

          Today the phrase 1% is everywhere too, and that's due to them also.

          Does that mean they 'won'? I dunno.

        •  They're the only reason the WTO (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek, chipmo

          got any coverage at all in the first place.

          Your vote is your consent.

          by JesseCW on Fri May 04, 2012 at 01:44:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  you have a point there and it's conclusive. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Yasuragi, chipmo

            I agree: the stuff that went on in the streets, was the only reason the WTO got any coverage.  

            That was a successful outcome: putting the public spotlight on the WTO.  

            "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

            by G2geek on Fri May 04, 2012 at 03:11:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, those trade deals haven't happened (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joe wobblie

          The WTO hasn't struck a deal since 2001.

      •  this is a helpful dialog. (4+ / 0-)

        I don't want to see you banned, because you're willing to stick your neck out on a ferociously hot topic, and this conversation needs to occur.  

        I can't rec stuff that may violate TOS, but none the less this needs to be seen and discussed.

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Thu May 03, 2012 at 11:00:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  changed my mind about that... tipped & recced. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Yasuragi, chipmo

          See my other comment about this upthread.  In short, I decided it's tips & recs for AoT, because even though he supports tactics that aren't nonviolent, what he's actually doing here is making peace, and that's an action that speaks loud & clear.

          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Fri May 04, 2012 at 03:13:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  All I would ask from those using black bloc tactic (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, Sagebrush Bob

        is please, analyze what you're doing tactically and then come to me and show me the justification.  If it's a matter of tactics, what are you trying to accomplish, and are you accomplishing it?

        The problem--or my big problem--with the anarchist vs anti-anarchist debate, and the black bloc vs the non-black bloc debate, is that everyone keeps framing it as "tactics" vs "morality."  That prevents the discussion of "diverse tactics" as tactics.

        To me, as, I guess, a non-radical, what is important is whether my means suit my ends.  Is breaking a window down at Wells Fargo in Wheaton going to damage Wells Fargo, break them up into smaller banks, or at least make them stop doing horrible things to the average Joe (such as getting him thrown out of his house or making money off of putting him in prison)/  Is it going to do anything much to Wells Fargo at all?

        I get that not all anarchists, nor even all using black bloc tactics, are "breaking windows."  But those who are are causing a serious problem.  For one thing, they're giving cover to some of the worst elements among the cops.

        I get that primitivists maybe are the real problem here.  But IMO, whoever is using these dumb tactics that look like simple vandalism needs to stop. Just b/c tactics are diverse doesn't mean all of them are automatically good.

        Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri May 04, 2012 at 01:01:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  well (5+ / 0-)
      What, exactly, have anarchists gotten done?
      They created some jobs for insurance adjustors. And the attendant trickle down.
    •  Also, I'm glad it was entertaining reading. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, chipmo

      I hope that's enough to get people to listen to the story I have to tell because it is important.

      There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Thu May 03, 2012 at 10:21:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You took the words out of my mouth n/t (0+ / 0-)

      Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about. Mark Twain

      by Deathtongue on Fri May 04, 2012 at 12:12:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Searching. (10+ / 0-)

    I'm glad you found a group of like-minded souls. But, ironically, you could just have easily gone to a hardcore, born-again church. Or gotten involved in some cult-like organization.

    Sorry. I don't see the difference between your story and that of millions of other people who are searching -- always searching -- for that external force that gives their life meaning.

    The issue, I think, is that you and your fellow anarchists will just be fringe forever, just like any odd splinter group, be it religious fundamentalism, personality-driven cults (such as Landmark/est or Scientology) or some other form of fanaticism.

    That you have found something you found meaningful is, I suppose, worthwhile to you. Ultimately, I believe, these types of belief systems lead to... nothing. They fill large gaps of time.

    And that's about it.

  •  Yea, I gotta agree with you (6+ / 0-)

    You're probably not going to get much understanding here (but thanks for trying).  :(  
    &  :)

  •  I ask anarchists this: (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, Deep Texan, owlbear1, chipmo
    In a world full of nukes and WMD's, how do you proclaim anarchism can work?
    I haven't yet received an answer.
    •  Well, it ain't easy. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rizzo, JesseCW, chipmo

      But nukes are protected enough that all we have to do is destroy the codes and they can't be launched.  Then we find a nice deep place to bury them.

      There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Thu May 03, 2012 at 10:32:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't really buy that happening (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Deep Texan

        I don't trust any nation states with them either, but the situation would in fact be even worse in the hands of even more people (or states)

        •  Let me clarify (0+ / 0-)

          In the US specifically, nuclear weapons have to have a code or they can not detonate. It's impossible without the code.  And the codes are only recorded in one way.  If we get rid of those codes then we don't have to worry about people launching them.

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Thu May 03, 2012 at 11:27:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  can they not be dismantled? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT

            could we launch them into the sun?

          •  That cat is out of the bag (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek, Deep Texan

            as are a whole bunch of other WMDs. In a sense, government has set it up so that we need them to save us from themselves, catch 22.

          •  there's something more dangerous than nukes... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Deep Texan, netop

            ... and that's "bugs" or bioweapons.  

            Bugs do something fallout can't: they multiply.

            And we've reached the point where any group of a few people with a few thousand dollars, can get the equipment and materials with which to whip up the next plague.  

            What's needed is to overcome the mentality that can consider using mass destruction.  That means changing the culture on a wide scale.  Revolution isn't about taking away the weapons when more will be built to replace them.  It's about changing the mindset that would want to build them in the first place.

            "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

            by G2geek on Fri May 04, 2012 at 03:41:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  There might be tragedies, but nothing systemic (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe wobblie

      Before such things, the fascists were still able to kill millions.  They just had to do it the hard way.

      Conflict is still a matter of economics, which means the direct involvement of a huge number of people.  The sheer resources required to capture, man, and maintain even one nuclear launch facility would require a State- engineers, technicians, maintenance personnel, leaders, guards... all of them have to be fed, trained, and equipped.  How many thousands of people would have to be involved on some level?

  •  Interesting (11+ / 0-)

    While I don't personally agree with anarchism, I do find your story to be interesting, & applaud your courage in baring your soul like this.  

    I'll wait to read the rest before weighing in, but please don't let anyone stop you from continuing this!

    •  right on. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP

      I have some serious differences of opinion with what's been lately taken as representative of anarchism.   But AoT has done something important and powerful, which is to extend a hand in peace.  So yeah I think we should all be reading his stuff and giving it thought, and working toward some positive outcome.

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Fri May 04, 2012 at 03:43:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Juvenile reporbates looking for excuses to destroy (4+ / 5-)

    things because the world won't give them what they want RIGHT NOW!!

    Most humans realize this strategy is a failure at age 8.

  •  Thanks for an honest and interesting diary. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    worldlotus, Yasuragi, G2geek, Egalitare, chipmo

    I'm curious about when you say that anarchists made you ask

    WTF is WTO?  And they made me ask that question.
    Do you have an answer for that?

    Proud to be a Truth Vigilante

    by Calvino Partigiani on Thu May 03, 2012 at 10:30:06 PM PDT

    •  I do! And I'm glad you asked. (7+ / 0-)

      Although I hadn't thought I'd have to answer that when I wrote this.  The WTO, World Trade Organization,  was at the time the main way that the noeliberal governments made excuses for why they had to cut all the labor and environmental laws.

      There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Thu May 03, 2012 at 10:40:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I meant to ask about what perspective anarchism (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, Yasuragi, G2geek

        has provided you with after the Seattle protests, since the WTO was a relatively new adaptation of the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs at that time.

        I ask because, while I appreciate what you say about the ability of black bloc anarchism to politicize previously apathetic citizens, I wonder about how effective it is as a movement beyond that very basic point.

        Are there any specific strategies that the black bloc has developed for Global South societies that you have found particularly effective?

        Proud to be a Truth Vigilante

        by Calvino Partigiani on Thu May 03, 2012 at 10:53:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't thin that the black bloc (5+ / 0-)

          in north america has any significant strategies to offer to any movements in the global south.  We in the global north have solidarity to offer to the global south.

          In terms of the black bloc outside of the north american experience the global south has far more experience with police repression than do the activists in the U.S.

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Thu May 03, 2012 at 10:57:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Really? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Yasuragi, G2geek
            In terms of the black bloc outside of the north american experience the global south has far more experience with police repression than do the activists in the U.S.
            What evidence do you base this claim on?

            Proud to be a Truth Vigilante

            by Calvino Partigiani on Thu May 03, 2012 at 11:00:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't know of any cases where anarchists in (4+ / 0-)

              North America have successfully stopped the police from doing something, while I have seen instances of anarchists in Brazil doing so.  And really, what country in South America are you thinking of that is less repressive than the US?  Although I admit I have a bit of cultural bias.

              There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

              by AoT on Thu May 03, 2012 at 11:31:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT, Yasuragi, G2geek
                And really, what country in South America are you thinking of that is less repressive than the US?
                This is one of the problems I see with Black Bloc in the US:

                The Black Bloc is almost totally identified with the non-Black bloc, i.e. the Black Bloc is identified with the White experience.  

                So really, what country in South America are you thinking of that is more repressive than the US?

                Proud to be a Truth Vigilante

                by Calvino Partigiani on Thu May 03, 2012 at 11:52:23 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Very good point. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Calvino Partigiani, Yasuragi, G2geek

                  I have to think about this.

                  There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                  by AoT on Fri May 04, 2012 at 12:05:41 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  And I don't mean to be dismissive toward (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Yasuragi, rcbowman, G2geek, AoT

                    the various strands of anarchism, or your ideas about it.  I take your thoughts and words quite seriously, and appreciate what you write.  Your diary is a very good statement  about what anarchism can achieve.  I especially like what you say about how anarchist ideas tied into your punk interest.  

                    I think that many people responding to your diary are just spewing simplistic words that show their fear or ignorance about radicalism. I appreciate that you stand firm and defend what you believe in, against that kind of fear.

                    I am curious about how anarchism shows a way forward for many people, and creates avenues of growth, individually and collectively.  Some anarchists, in my view, and some punks, get stuck in a narrow, single-note (or 3-chord) rut, so I'm against that.  So I like to read about folks who can move things forward, like yourself.  thanks.

                    Proud to be a Truth Vigilante

                    by Calvino Partigiani on Fri May 04, 2012 at 12:39:16 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  cases where police have been stopped (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                joe wobblie

                At the very least, you have to agree that dearrests have happened.

  •  Like garden variety street punks (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    owlbear1, auapplemac, debedb, Deep Texan

    but served with self-importance and pretense.

    Or, kids from the suburbs who skateboard and steal Mercedes hood ornaments and think they've got street cred.

    If the black bloc punks tried their shit in my neighborhood, they'd need the cops to protect their asses from the community, no joke.

    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

    by Geekesque on Thu May 03, 2012 at 10:34:16 PM PDT

    •  Yeah, I've heard that plenty of times before (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW

      specifically from people who lived in Oakland.  The people who say that conveniently forget that a hell of a lot of people hate the cops.

      There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Thu May 03, 2012 at 11:04:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not mutually exclusive. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Deep Texan, owlbear1

        "changing the world, one act of vandalism at a time"

        Kind of cute, in its own oblivious way.

        "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

        by Geekesque on Thu May 03, 2012 at 11:13:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Do you have an actual point? n/t (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          WisePiper, JesseCW, Rizzo, pot

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Thu May 03, 2012 at 11:32:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  And really, what neighborhood do you live in? (0+ / 0-)

          Because if people who are vandalizing shit have to worry about the cops then it has to be a pretty fucking shwank hood.

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Fri May 04, 2012 at 12:07:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oakland here; if you're local let's get together. (0+ / 0-)

            It could be a really good thing to get a few people together where we can talk quietly and hear each other in depth.  

            I'm up for it if you are.  

            "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

            by G2geek on Fri May 04, 2012 at 03:51:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  No, if you were to vandalize shit here, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Deep Texan

            the residents would take care of business.

            "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

            by Geekesque on Fri May 04, 2012 at 06:02:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  AoT is extending a hand in peace. (0+ / 0-)

          Making peace can be uncomfortable as hell and sometimes involves talking about things that are not peaceful.  

          One thing that really helps is if we come to this in a spirit of solution-seeking and are willing to speak in enough detail so there's something coherent to debate and discuss.  

          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Fri May 04, 2012 at 03:50:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  There is nothing to discuss. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Deep Texan

            Diarist is an advocate and active enabler of criminal violence.  

            Such people are generally not welcome, well, anywhere.  Nor should they be.

            "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

            by Geekesque on Fri May 04, 2012 at 06:05:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  if Obama dug in his heels in... (0+ / 0-)

              ... the Middle East and refused to let certain people come to the peace table, we would be getting nowhere fast, and our service members would not be on their way home.

              Really: we have his example to live up to.  Making peace is never easy, that's why we call it making peace rather than getting peace for free.  

              "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

              by G2geek on Fri May 04, 2012 at 07:42:58 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not sure I get the relevance of that analogy. (0+ / 0-)

                Diarist is making the case for violence.   That is not something that needs to be debated, any more than making the case for Ron Paul or the Paul Ryan budget.

                "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                by Geekesque on Fri May 04, 2012 at 07:58:19 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  like this: (0+ / 0-)

                  There are certain elements among both Palestinians and Israelis, who each side points to in accusing the other of being violent in a way as to suggest it's not worthwhile trying to make peace with them.  

                  Now if both sides dig in their heels and aren't willing to talk, or if even one side does that, the situation remains a stalemate and the violence continues in both directions.

                  There are certain elements in Afghanistan that the US could make the same case about, but instead Obama has directed his subordinates to be willing to talk with them.  

                  And what I'm suggesting is, we can criticize tactics without attacking individual persons.  That's a step forward.  

                  Ask anyone with any background in peace & conflict studies, diplomacy, labor/management negotiation, or any other relevant field, they'll tell you something similar.  

                  "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                  by G2geek on Fri May 04, 2012 at 09:14:52 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  This is assinine (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              G2geek

              Whether you like it or not, anarchism has had and continues to exert, a profound influence on a generation that came of political age in the 1990s. This generation has been crucial to the development of key mass popular movements over the past two decades. From the anti-globalization movement to the peace movement to the occupy movement, their participation has been critical.

              To the degree that the national dialog has been moved from the worship of austerity to the crises of economic and political inequity, the lion share of the credit goes to these activists, inspired by the vision of an egalitarian, humane and non-coercive society that has always lain at the heart of anarchism. Even those who don't identify as anarchists have been influenced by anarchisms methods and concepts.

              To assert that there is nothing to be discussed is to imitate the ostrich.  

                 

            •  The whole point is (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              joe wobblie, G2geek

              the legitimacy of the definition of "criminal".  Are you saying that something is criminal simply because the State says so?  Good luck convincing an Anarchist of that!  Are you instead saying that the definition of criminal depends of individuals or communities or some organization other than a State?  Congratulations!  Then you ARE an Anarchist!

              •  Abe Lincoln: (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                netop
                “If you call a tail a leg, how many legs does a horse have? Four, calling a tail a leg does not make it a leg”
                Pretending that states don't make laws that apply to citizens, including the definition of crimes, does not make that fantasy a reality.

                Anarchists, just like religious fundamentalists and anti-tax weirdos, are free to deny the theoretical legitimacy of secular states.   That does not mean they are any less bound by their laws.

                "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                by Geekesque on Fri May 04, 2012 at 09:23:14 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Bound only by coercion (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  joe wobblie

                  Since when does might make right?

                  •  Coercion is a necessary element (0+ / 0-)

                    of civilization.

                    Otherwise, men would rape at will, people would steal and cheat and murder at will, etc.

                    People cannot live together without it.  Not in any significant numbers, for any significant period of time.

                    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                    by Geekesque on Fri May 04, 2012 at 10:14:41 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  So the job of the state is to coerce? (0+ / 0-)

                      By force?

                      Where do democracy and freedom enter in?

                      What are citizens supposed to do if the state uses excessive coercion?

                      What if laws get passed by ....say, Republicans...that give the state too much power to coerce.

                      What if citizens then use the electoral process, but then Democrats keep and enforce those same excessive laws?

                      What recourse and rights do citizens have when the state becomes too "coercive?"

                      •  The state represents the people. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Markoff Chaney

                        If the results of the democratic process displease you, that does not invalidate them.

                        "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                        by Geekesque on Fri May 04, 2012 at 02:13:58 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Oh really! (0+ / 0-)

                          You really believe that? You don't think the state represents the entrenched power structure rather than the people? The MIC, the Banking Industry, The Plutocracy? You think the state represents The People?

                          You think what we have, what the status qou, IS is a representation of The People?

                          So you think the state perfectly represents you???

                          There is nothing you would change?

                          Are you naive? Or merely representing your Authoritarian masters?

                          Lol. that is the funniest thing I have heard someone try to  propose in a LONG time

                          "The state represents the people."
                          Are you REALLY saying that with a straight face?
                          •  It "represents" the people, (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            joe wobblie

                            rather than people making decisions and taking action from themselves.  That's the problem.

                          •  Yes, those laws against rape and burglary (0+ / 0-)

                            are part of the plutocracy's scheme.

                            Under your ideology, the choice would be between carte blanche for the worst kinds of violence, or a system of vigilante justice.

                            Maybe when violence and selfishness has been bred out of us anarchy will be something more than a daydream.

                            "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                            by Geekesque on Sat May 05, 2012 at 01:12:28 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Try reading the comment (0+ / 0-)

                            I actually wrote, and responding to the one I actually wrote....not the one in your head you imagined I wrote.

                            Hint: there was nothing about rape and burglary.

                            For bonus points you can describe "my ideology" as it appears in your head. Since you are psychic and know me so well and all.

                            Sheesh,

                          •  the state is responsible for preventing (0+ / 0-)

                            rapes, burglary etc.

                            You were on a rant about how the state lacks legitimacy, typical anarchist crapola.

                            "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                            by Geekesque on Sat May 05, 2012 at 09:21:08 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Lol (0+ / 0-)

                            You have more projections than a multi-plex!

                            I am not, nor have I ever been an anarchist. Those questions are ones that should be asked by EVERY citizen of a democracy.

                            Are you ever going to answer them, or are you just going to keep chasing your tail around the inside of the little biased reality bubble inside your head?

                            C'mon man! You can do it if you try!

                          •  You reacted with disbelief at the proposition (0+ / 0-)

                            that a source of authority--the state--needs to enforce laws, i.e.. exert coercion for civilization to endure.

                            "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                            by Geekesque on Sat May 05, 2012 at 10:51:56 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Bullshit (0+ / 0-)

                            Again, you constructed some stereotype in your head and are trying to fit me into it.

                            Why?

                            Answer the questions?

                            Or are they too scary for you? Are you too afraid to step out of your rigidly programmed Authoritarian mindset to even consider them? Are you afraid that you may have to give up your carefully protected privilege if you think about scary ideas that don't conform to your comfortable privileged version of reality?

                            A reality where you obviously have to reduce anyone you disagree with to some inferior stereotype to even deal with them?

                          •  There has never existed a perfect democratic (0+ / 0-)

                            statedemocratic state that treated the powerful and powerless with equal dignity.

                            But, the need for a state/tribe/other authority structure is basic social contract stuff.

                            .  "I show in the first place that the state of men without civil society (which state may be called the state of nature) is none other than a war of all against all; and that in that war, all have a right to all things."  </  Other parts of Leviathan have been discredited, but this has never been plausibly challenged.  People are not lining up in Canada or Sweden to live in Somalia or Waziristan.

                            "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                            by Geekesque on Sun May 06, 2012 at 07:24:45 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I agree! (0+ / 0-)
                            But, the need for a state/tribe/other authority structure is basic social contract stuff.
                            I am not, nor have I ever been an anarchist.  That is something you made up in your head.

                            I shall reprint my questions from above.

                            What are citizens supposed to do if the state uses excessive coercion?

                            What if laws get passed by ....say, Republicans...that give the state too much power to coerce.

                            What if citizens then use the electoral process, but then Democrats keep and enforce those same excessive laws?

                            What recourse and rights do citizens have when the state becomes too "coercive?"

                            ....

                            You really believe that? You don't think the state represents the entrenched power structure rather than the people? The MIC, the Banking Industry, The Plutocracy? You think the state represents The People?

                            You think what we have, what the status qou, IS is a representation of The People?

                            I will restate them, starting with....

                            IS it possible in your mind for a democracy and the electoral process to STOP representing the will of the people and shift to representing the will of  rich, politically powerful institutions?

                            Is it possible for BOTH Parties to enable/support that? (Thus in part negating the electoral process)

                            Are we there yet?

                            If so what do the people do about it?

                            If you can get through that, we can have a discussion about the role of "anarchism."

                            Your image of me was wrong. My image of you is that you will support the state no matter how hot the frog water gets. Am I wrong too?

                          •  Of course those are problems. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Markoff Chaney

                            And that happens in virtually every democracy.  The rich and powerful will game any system--tribal, democratic, authoritarian.  

                            As to what options are available, that is very situation specific.  The options facing Greeks are different than those facing Americans which are different than those facing Mexicans which are different than those facing Israelis or Palestinians.

                            Certainly, a system where anyone who objects to a policy can opt out of compliance won't work, just as the right of the people to collectively resist a government that lacks legitimacy is undeniable.

                            "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                            by Geekesque on Sun May 06, 2012 at 11:55:42 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Well said! (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Geekesque

                            So I posit that it is "the rich" who have opted out. Not out of a policy, but out of the social contract that policies attempt to define and codify.

                            I further posit that they have used an "idea" (a set of beliefs, memes and slogans....and of course plain old corruption) to get the government to back the idea that they are allowed to opt out. Even, through policies they have bought, encouraged to do so.

                            So how do the people fight back against that "idea" and bring the social contract back into balance?

                          •  I wish I had the answer. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Markoff Chaney

                            Brings to mind an observation that you can judge the trajectory of a democracy by its ability to tax the rich.

                            "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                            by Geekesque on Sun May 06, 2012 at 02:39:26 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Well the only way to fight an idea (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Geekesque

                            is with another idea. Almost always some version of the opposite of the original idea that is propelling the situation.

                            So we have  idea that is propelling the situation, in this case the rich and the government colluding against the people.....what would be the opposite of that?

                            I urge you to review the socio/political situation that allowed the reforms that once were the heart of the Democratic party....the new deal.

                            What was the idea that convinced the PTB/rich of the time that they were better off accepting the new deal.

                            Because there are only two ways to get them to change; force (and good luck with that!) or convincing them that something really bad was going to happen if they didn't accept the new deal.

                            And THAT...

                            is where the idea of Anarchism/Radical Socialism comes into play.

                            The sooner we can introduce the idea into the conversation.....

                            The less likely we will need to embrace the very unpleasant and undesirable actuality of Radical or Anarchist tactics.

                            And that
                            is the extent of my "support" for Anarchists. As a weapon in the Battle of Ideas.

                            Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.
                            Martin Luther King, Jr.
                            You say above you wish you had the answer, I propose that waging the Battle of Ideas is the answer, the only one that has ever worked.

                            So we only have one choice, realy. Try to channel the Radical Populism into a constructive channel, or try to dismiss, ridicule, and tamp it down. So I leave you with this...

                            Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
                            John F. Kennedy
                    •  Fuck that (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      joe wobblie
                      Coercion is a necessary element of civilization.
                      That's not civilization, but organized barbarity.
              •  Rand, (0+ / 0-)

                brace yourself; you have no authority to decide who is or isn't an anarchist.

                •  The principles are clear (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  joe wobblie

                  Is the State to be obeyed under any circumstances?  This is not overly-broad; rather, it implies that far more people are anarchists at heart than is assumed.

                  •  to clarify (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    joe wobblie
                    Is the State to be obeyed under any circumstances?
                    i.e. "are there circumstances under which the State should be disobeyed" not "are there circumstances under which the State should be obeyed"
                  •  Rand (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Geekesque

                    nobody likes being ordered around, that doesn't make them anarchists. Likewise, obeying traffic signals,environmental regs., sanitation codes, etc., doesn't make one a Statist.

                    •  Okay, taking your clarification into account (0+ / 0-)

                      are you aware that the principle you cite is actually recognized in US legal jurisprudence? As such it can hardly be considered a standard for determining what is anarchism, unless you think a legal principle can be anarchist.

                      •  I think it can be self-contradicting, (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        joe wobblie

                        meaning it is not based on any concrete principles- sooner or later such a system will pile on so many internal contradictions that it will fall to pieces like an old quilt.

                        •  law is contradictory by design (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Geekesque

                          since it partakes of both precedent  and contingency. Contingent circumstances can allow for departures from precedent as well as providing justification for violations of existing law. The fact remains that as a matter of law, US citizens aren't required to defer to state authority in every circumstance.

                          •  From the top (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            joe wobblie

                            Geekesque declared that those who engage in or advocate criminal activity should be ostracized.  But now you're saying that the list of criminal acts is not static.  How can that list be altered if no one engages in or advocates listed activities?  Similarly, how can items ever be added to the list, if there are not deeper principles?

                            Anarchism means orienting to those deeper principles, rather than anything more superficial.

                          •  Not all criminal activity. (0+ / 0-)

                            Criminal violence.

                            "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                            by Geekesque on Fri May 04, 2012 at 02:15:30 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Since property damage is not violence, (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            joe wobblie

                            I took the liberty of correcting your assertion.  You're welcome.

                          •  I understand the distinction (0+ / 0-)

                            People are more important than property. Bourgeois law itself makes this distinction, at least nominally. However, when people are injured by thrown bottles, shattered glass, etc., the distinction is moot.

                          •  More to the point, violence means (0+ / 0-)

                            the use of force to cause damage to someone or something.  

                            Smashing a window is violent.

                            Kicking in a door is violent.  Throwing a vase at someone's feet is violent.

                            "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                            by Geekesque on Fri May 04, 2012 at 03:32:55 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yes but (0+ / 0-)

                            the fact remains that smashing a bottle against a wall is fundamentally different from smashing a bottle against someone's head. That's a fact of law as well as morality.

                          •  No doubt about that, though violence (0+ / 0-)

                            against property can cross that line if the purpose is to intimidate others.

                            "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                            by Geekesque on Sat May 05, 2012 at 01:09:50 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No, it's still violence. Anarchism doesn't (0+ / 0-)

                            mean you get to change the plain meaning of the English language.

                            1 behaviour involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something:

                            Playing Calvinball with language is cute, but not a legitimate approach.

                            "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                            by Geekesque on Fri May 04, 2012 at 03:31:55 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Civil Disobedience (0+ / 0-)

                            is an accepted form of agitation. Thoreau's treatise on Civil Disobedience is a classic. The plant occupations of the thirties and the civil rights revolution of the sixties are inconceivable without CD. The violation of unjust laws for socio-political ends are a well established feature of US political history and culture. I'm fairly sure that Geekesque would recognize this if it was pointed out.

                            The parting of the ways is when we come to grips with the question of which laws should be violated and in what context. There is a world of difference between the mass refusal to obey Jim Crow laws, draft resistance or sit down strikes and individual acts of vandalism or running street battles with the cops, particularly when the latter endanger people who have not consented to the actions.

                            As for how you change the laws violated, that is why so much CD stresses submitting to arrest, either to allow for legal challenges (see the plowshares defendants/Berrigan Bros.) or in order to overload the system and render the law moot (see the wobbly free speech fights, SOA Watch and, again, the struggle against Jim Crow.)

                            The important thing to recognize is that there is no theoretical or tactical "magic bullet" that can be applied to every situation. The belief in such is a dangerous illusion. The end doesn't justify the means but the end must dictate the means.

            •  Diarist is a friend of mine. (0+ / 0-)

              And is welcome here as far as I'm concerned.

              Talking about any idea should not be a problem.

              I stand with Murrow on this.

              "We will not walk in fear, one of another."

              Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

              by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri May 04, 2012 at 01:09:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  People who engage in acts of violence (0+ / 0-)

                against property and police are generally considered undesirables in any area where people live.

                "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                by Geekesque on Fri May 04, 2012 at 03:38:18 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Censorship does not prevent violence (0+ / 0-)

                  And I don't appreciate the way in which you assume the mantle of deciding who is "undesirable" and who's not.

                  Luckily, the decision on this isn't going to be made by either of us.

                  Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

                  by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun May 06, 2012 at 11:16:08 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  That's a pretty big "if" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe wobblie
      If the black bloc punks tried their shit in my neighborhood
      Hey, maybe there's a reason it doesn't!
      (or like AoT points out ("Because if people who are vandalizing shit have to worry about the cops then it has to be a pretty fucking shwank hood."), maybe it should!)
  •  I have seen this sort of thing before. (19+ / 0-)
    A black bloc is mostly people who are fine with people breaking windows and attacking the cops but don't do it themselves.  It's not that I wanted to be violent, it's that I wanted to be able to support those who were.
    Like the violent radicals of the late 1960s, breaking windows or other violence is perceived as "doing something".  That perception is an illusion.

    Such actions do nothing to change the system.  It just makes people mad without educating anybody.  The vast majority of the 99% do not want violent revolution.  Things won't change for the better until the majority of the people begin to understand that we have to change course and support those who will make change.  If anyone thinks that rampaging through the streets throwing rocks will educate the average person about our real problems is delusional.

    Violent revolution is a very serious business and extremely dangerous.  It should not be considered unless there is no real alternative (as in Libya).  As bad as things are in this country right now, there are alternatives.  Elections still mean something.  If the voters don't understand why voting for conservatives is bad for the country, they won't have any urge to support a violent revolution.  It will just be used to extend the conservative hold on people who don't realize that conservatism is a dead end.

    "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." Bertrand Russell

    by Thutmose V on Thu May 03, 2012 at 10:34:49 PM PDT

  •  please devote some time to women anarchists (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, G2geek

    that should be interesting ; ) especially if you also give some indication as the percentage of women who have been involved in your groups. I'm very interested in your thoughts on that. Also anarchist dentists.

  •  Not much there (5+ / 0-)

    I spoze I'll hold off until the other parts roll in, but I can't say I see anything resembling "a vision of the future" so far.

    Anarchism has been my primary belief system since the punk squats of the 80's and I was close with a few of the planners of the battle of Seattle.  I believe they really accomplished quite a lot.  I don't think that's been true this year.  Seattle came at a time of enormous public complacency (the same complacency that accepted shrub as president not long afterward) and the activity that year called attention to an event (WTO) that was passing by as business as usual.  This year, not so much.  OWS has done a lot to change what we the people (as in all of us) are thinking about and the black blocs haven't done much but hitch a ride on their movement and distract from its message.

    I have plenty of sympathy for y'all and I know some people peripherally involved, but y'all will have to generate some actual substance if you are gonna claim to be any kind of "vision of the future".  Just sayin shit ain't enough, anymore than just pointing how things are fucked up does anything about them.

    This isn't coming from someone who buys into bourgie values.  I've lived by anarchist principles among average working people for more than a quarter century.

    So, anyway, I hope chapter 2 is a lot less shallow than chapter 1 turned out to be,

    Dig in a bit and say something real, something that's real beyond your circle of friends, something that applies to anybody's life.  "Because it's cool" isn't really good enough.

    •  Yeah, I had a whole plan abou the lead in (6+ / 0-)

      being short and explaining things, but I've never been as good of a writer as I think I am when I start.  It will build up to it though.

      The title is taken from a translation of The coming insurrection.  Which I now can't find.

      There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Thu May 03, 2012 at 11:12:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think your writing is compelling. (7+ / 0-)

        It's really good.

      •  Cool, I hope you knock me out (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, Yasuragi, G2geek

        If I can make a suggestion: what's personal to you can't be the center of anything that's spozed to be about all of us (society, y'know?).  If it isn't (somehow) about all of our lives it isn't really political anymore.  

        Anyway, thanks for writing.  We need to hear from y'all.  In my experience very few denizens of the left have any idea about anarchism and I believe that lack greatly weakens us (the left as a whole).

        •  I know, this was suppose to be (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Urizen, rcbowman, Yasuragi, G2geek

          just a bit at the beginning, like a couple paragraphs, and then it just got bigger and bigger.  Damn writing!!!!

          I swear to god I took your advice before you gave it ;)

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Thu May 03, 2012 at 11:49:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  awesome (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT, rcbowman, Yasuragi, G2geek

            I believe you. ;-)

            Good to spread it out anyway.  This seems like it's stirred the pot.  That can only do good.  I've been around here (on and off) for ages and have always yearned for some critique of propertarianism.

            Your writing's fine.  Keep coming from your passion and idealism and everything will be fine with that.

            Be well, friend.  Sleepytime for me.

        •  I appreciated the personal background. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek, Urizen

          It makes my approach to the topic more open and intrigued.

          I'm eager to hear the rest, no matter how personal it is or isn't.

          ...Nothing of public value exists which has not been fought for. -- George Monbiot

          OCCUPY

          by Yasuragi on Fri May 04, 2012 at 02:37:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  "The personal is political" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Urizen, joe wobblie

          Anarchism is social, but it is also individual.  The aspiration is a society of individuals.  Individual empowerment is certainly a goal, and the stories of each person are important.  Otherwise we risk thinking of people only in the abstract, which leads down the road of mass movements, politics, alienation, representation, etc.

          •  Just sayin that it needs both (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            WB Reeves

            When it is only personal it isn't really political anymore.  The two poles need to be in a constant process of exchange and intermixing, i.e., a personal event or observation expanded to express something more universal or a theoretical idea illustrated by an individual experience.

            As a writing or political technique the continual interplay from the specific to the general and back again is an extremely effective tool  --it was Ronald Reagan's stock in trade, but almost any successful public anything uses it.

            A suggestion more than a diss.

  •  Read (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JesseCW, G2geek

    Read 'The Anarchists Of Casas Viejas' if you have time.

    It's a story about how 'anarchists' built a utopian society in Spain that more or less worked for around 3 years - however one question it left me with was: if you have charismatic leaders, even if they only 'suggest' is it really anarchist?

    Maybe we search for those types. I dunno. But. something to think about.  

    •  This is the cult nature of a fringe movement. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deep Texan

      The idolization of an individual. Hell, the Catholic Church is one big cult, in my opinion.

      •  Well, OK, yeah for sure (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bob Johnson, G2geek, Deep Texan

        But all ideas start with 'prophets' - I was in fact struck in that book by how much these guys were in fact like saints or monks or something- in fact IIRC they didn't drink or smoke or have sex or anything. But their system worked great.

         But academics, or really anyone with an idea, theory, or whatever can be seen as a mad man or fanatic until the tipping point happens and it's all normal. Or it doesn't. Really has no bearing on the 'rightness' of it.

        A hit song in 1968 does not become a hit song in 1978 or 2008.

        Doesn't mean it's worse or better song, or even that it's created by a madman or fanatic, it just means the time is wrong.

      •  Name one (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joe wobblie

        Can you even name one "cult leader" of Spanish Anarchism during its heyday?  There's one obvious one, and personally I'm not entirely certain how much of the Revolution's (fleeting) success was due to his personal charisma- but I just want to see if you can name him, or if you are talking completely out of your ass.

        Not that that negates the fact that there is no 'anarchist prophet' today (although there are a lot of people we're big fans of).

    •  Only 3 years? Hardly stable enough to be a model (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deep Texan

      for a new society.

      "Mistress of the Topaz" is now available in paperback! Link here: http://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com/single.php?ISBN=1-55404-900-8

      by Kimball Cross on Fri May 04, 2012 at 04:12:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "A hopefully more interesting critique" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, Yasuragi, Sean X

    from an anarchist perspective, in fact, someone who has been a black bloc paticipant:

    anarchistnews.org

    The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike from sleeping under bridges. ~ Anatole France

    by ActivistGuy on Thu May 03, 2012 at 11:10:18 PM PDT

  •  It seems like a lot of todays society (4+ / 0-)

    is about getting people to knuckle under and just obey.

    It has always been tough for the percentage of the population that is just....not very good at doing that.

    In addition, someone has to stand up and say no. We learn from history that that is true in every society, and that at some level at least, society is always better for it.

    Thank you for doing your part in that.

    •  imposing one's will upon others, for pleasure. (0+ / 0-)

      What I see going on is the plutocrats and the theocrats each becoming more and more bold that their goal is to impose their will upon others without restraint.

      All the "war on women" bills this year have been truly emblematic of that stuff.  

      It's as if some of these people get a visceral thrill out of the actuality of imposing their will and denying that others have any will of their own.  Power not for the sake of wealth, but for the sake of power: wielding power over others as a source of pleasure.  

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Fri May 04, 2012 at 03:59:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Isn't that what the black bloc does though? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        netop, G2geek

        Occupy promotes themselves as non-violent. They say they represent the 99%.  And then a small group of people who disagree withthe wants and needs of others comes in anyway and imposes their will.  I'm sure the very same justifications that run through the minds of the 1% when they are going against the best interests and will of the 99% are the same. Most notably that, despite what others say about it, it is in "their" best interests for me to do what I want.  I have a problem with any group that seeks to impose their will on me--no matter how well-thought out they think their reason is.

        “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don't make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can't take their eyes off you...” - Maya Angelou

        by stellaluna on Fri May 04, 2012 at 09:22:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Tactically, I agree (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joe wobblie, G2geek

          Black Bloc tactics should maintain a separation of time or space from those who don't want to be around it.  I'm not sure how much this has actually been the case, not being in a city where these things are happening.  It's hard to tell if the 'Blocs have been during and at Occupy events (which would probably be a violation of consent), split away from them (maintaining separation of space), or just followed by a bunch of clueless people (can hardly blame 'Bloc for that).

  •  Anarchists are not necessarily leftists (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, G2geek, Deep Texan

    They are extreme libertarians, who can be neutral or on the right too.

    Basically, they are against any authority in the form of government/totalitarianism, as far as I can tell.  They are against any central governing. Therefore, many on the right are leaning toward anarchy at least as much as any on the left with their "drown the beast in a bathtub" talk about the federal government.

    The Political Compass lays it out in an easy to understand graph.
    http://www.politicalcompass.org/

    Women create the entire labor force. Think about it.

    by splashy on Thu May 03, 2012 at 11:46:11 PM PDT

    •  I very much disagree (8+ / 0-)

      That compass was created by libertarians and isn't really a great representation of the political spectrum.  That big problem with it is that it assumes that power only lays in the hands of the government, which is a libertarian assumption, when in reality there are many different kinds of power.

      There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Thu May 03, 2012 at 11:57:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Excellent reply. That should be a whole diary (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek

        dissecting the Political Compass and the beautiful job of spin through carefully framed questions that they do on the survey.

        That said, even that is more of a European Libertarian view than a US Libertarian view. US Libertarians are much more blatantly anti-egalitarian even than that.

        Cry, the beloved country, these things are not yet at an end.

        by rcbowman on Fri May 04, 2012 at 02:55:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think I agree with your assessment (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joe wobblie

        The terminology of the Compass might not be perfect (I disagree with the word "Left" in particular) but it seems to be the only one that makes any kind of sense.  It doesn't lump Anarchists in with Communists, for example, which is a common failing of others.  Are you perhaps thinking of the 'orthodox' Nolan Chart?  Whereas that one leaves no room for libertarian anti-capitalism, Political Compass sticks us in the bottom-left corner, equal to Communists, Fascists, and (capitalist) Libertarians.

    •  Libertarians are obsessed with the idea that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, AoT

      Government is the only agent whose power to compel should be resisted.  This is not true of Anarchists.

      At the same time, Libertarians believe that Property is sacrosanct (they are the mirror image of Anarchists, broadly speaking, on this issue) and that contracts are holy writ never to be violated.

      Anarchism is the belief that we are fit to rule ourselves,

      Libertarianism is the belief that those with property should rule.

      Your vote is your consent.

      by JesseCW on Fri May 04, 2012 at 02:07:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  i call that stuff "propertarianism." (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT

        As in, "the Property Party: Our Property, right or wrong!"

        And they also view other humans as property.

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Fri May 04, 2012 at 04:01:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You've read The Dispossesed by Ursula K LeGuin (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joe wobblie, G2geek

          I assume.

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Fri May 04, 2012 at 08:02:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Possibly the most influential (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT, G2geek

            popular work on anarchism in the last 40 years, followed closely by Alan Moore's original "V for Vendetta."

          •  hell yeah, but a long time ago. (0+ / 0-)

            And I still have the sense that some of LeGuin's ideas found their way into my general paradigm that I just use day to day without footnoting each part of it.  

            But I'll admit I can't remember the fine detail level of the book.  Probably because some of it went over my head when I first read it, even though it got into my thinking later.  What were you thinking of, about that?

            "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

            by G2geek on Fri May 04, 2012 at 09:19:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's probably the best description of what an (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              joe wobblie

              anarchist society wold look like that I've ever read.  It also has some good insight into the issues that have to be solved in an anarchist society.  And I believe it's where the word propertarian came from, or at least it's where I first heard it used.

              There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

              by AoT on Fri May 04, 2012 at 11:16:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  "News from Nowhere" (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                joe wobblie

                my preference for an illustration of an Anarchist society.
                Although I just read "With the Peasants of Aragon" which is a travelogue of the collectivized villages in Spain in 1937, and a historical example seems much more useful than a hypothetical one.

      •  You are talking about right wing libertarians (0+ / 0-)

        Anarchists would be more likely to be left wing libertarians, or in the middle.

        Libertarian is no government, authoritarian is heavy handed government, in the Political Compass.

        Women create the entire labor force.

        by splashy on Wed May 23, 2012 at 05:30:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm tipping and rec'ing this diary (11+ / 0-)

    because it's well written and I think we can have a dialogue about Anarchism and the Black Bloc here.

    Here's my beef with the Black Bloc:  their now constant presence at any left or center left demonstration here in Rome prevents me from participating with my family.  I cannot risk exposing my children to their probable violence.  In the last 2 or 3 demonstrations, they've torched cars, defiled churches, broken bank and store windows, and seriously injured several police officers.  This of course means that with every new demonstration, there are even more riot police, ever more anxious to tangle with members of the Black Bloc.  

    Reaction to the Black Bloc on the part of the police has led to devastating violence.  I still haven't had the chance to see this film, Diaz.  Don't Clean Up This Blood, about the police raid on a school housing young demonstrators during the 2001 G8 Summit in Genoa.  

    •  The police did not attack those demonstrators (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Burned, G2geek, Egalitare, Rizzo

      because of the Black Bloc.

      They attacked them because they were a threat to the plans of the G8.

      We, all of us, no matter what our beliefs have got to stop looking at our brothers and sisters and saying "You're the reason Daddy beats us".

      Daddy is an abusive psychopathic monster, and none of us are to blame for what he does.

      Your vote is your consent.

      by JesseCW on Fri May 04, 2012 at 02:10:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am not justifying the police actions (4+ / 0-)

        but the fact was that they went into the Diaz school looking for Black Bloc protesters.  

        I do not consider people who use random acts of violence as a form of public protest to be my brothers and sisters.  Please don't psychologize this.  I'm not afraid of the police at protests.  I'm afraid some asshole is going to throw a molotov cocktail into a car window somewhere near me.  The fact is that if I saw masked people wearing all black coming into a mainstream demonstration, my ass would be out of there and that would end my participation.  

        •  If you're more afraid that someone is going to (0+ / 0-)

          throw a molotov into a car next to you, then you're either very poor at risk assessment or not in the same country I am  (the second half of that really isn't meant as snark).

          The cops are the ones shooting people in the head with bean bag rounds.  The cops are launching the tear gas.  

          The people in black are the ones with water bottles ready to go to get that tear gas out of your eyes.  They're the ones that will un-arrest your ass, or drag you out from under the boots when you're at risk of being trampled when the cops decide to riot.

          If you want to condemn unproductive vandalism, that's you're right.  I don't even disagree with you on that.

          If you want to literally throw people out of the human family as you see it because of some stupid vandalism, you've got a lot of work to do before you're going to be an asset rather than a liability at an actual occupation.

          Your vote is your consent.

          by JesseCW on Fri May 04, 2012 at 04:41:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not in the same country as you are. (5+ / 0-)

            I'm in Italy.  And it happens.

            And don't fucking lecture me about my attitudes toward participation in protests.  Maybe if you had a nuclear family to think about, like your own kids, instead of an abstract human family, you'd think a little differently.

            •  This isn't Italy. No one is throwing Molotovs. (0+ / 0-)

              If they were, they'd be doing 20 years or more in Prison.

              If you were familiar with how things happen here, it would be the police you'd fear.  They routinely brutalize people engaged in purely peaceful protest and civil disobedience.

              Your vote is your consent.

              by JesseCW on Fri May 04, 2012 at 07:12:05 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Please don't use such a patronizing tone with me. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                netop, historys mysteries

                I'm American.  I know full well what happens at protests in the US.  Now I'm in Italy, and while the police is not quite as repressive in a general sense at protests, they certainly don't have a great track record (see my link to the Diaz film above).

                The Black Bloc is much more of a presence here and much more of a threat to peaceful protest.  I'd rather not see an escalation in violence in the U.S.

                •  Please don't try to encourage Americans (0+ / 0-)

                  to irrationally fear one another.

                  The police do not brutalize us because of kids breaking a few windows - they do it because they have orders to do it.

                  If you want to prevent violence, you have to focus on the people engaging in it.

                  Here, the worst that people using Black Bloc tactics do is engage in vandalism.  It's the Cops that are  putting people in the hospital.

                  Fearmongering about Molotovs doesn't help de-escalate.

                  Your vote is your consent.

                  by JesseCW on Fri May 04, 2012 at 07:46:35 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Ok, I can see know that your primary (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    historys mysteries

                    aim in responding to my comments is to lecture me.  So I'm done here.  I'm not fearmongering about molotovs.  I'm telling people here that in Italy the Black Bloc uses, among other things, molotovs, and that's one reason I'm not going to any big public protests.  

          •  You don't have to be able to read Italian (4+ / 0-)

            to get the gist of what happened here on Oct. 15, 2011:  Take a look at this article.  This was a protest in favor of financing state universities and resolving the problem employment for young people.  It was to be a pacifist march.  Then several hundred people identified as Black Bloc (whether they identified themselves as such or not) entered the fray and it was all over.  

            A blog of the day published by the newspaper La Repubblica recounted that late in the evening, 12 Black Bloc protesters had been arrested and 10 molotov cocktails were found.  Over 100 people had been injured.  One police officer had a heart attack.  2 others barely escaped with their lives after their van had been set on fire.

            There were attempts on the part of peaceful protesters to isolate those engaging in vandalism, but to little effect.

          •  I'm hoping the rest of the series addresses (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Deep Texan

            the issue of what the morality is behind disrupting other people's protests, against their wishes and desires and then claiming that there is something noble or worthwhile about that participation. I would also like to see some direct response to the notion that blac block violence hurts the underlying cause when it happens. It's not enough to blame "the man" or the police for blac block violence.  What is the justification for appropriating other people's actions.

            “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don't make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can't take their eyes off you...” - Maya Angelou

            by stellaluna on Fri May 04, 2012 at 06:45:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  BTW - The fact was that they went into the Diaz (0+ / 0-)

          school looking for victims to brutally beat and terrorize.

          They were there on the orders of a Fascist - and in this case, the word is no exaggeration.   They were there to punish people for political action, not to search for suspects.

          Their actions make that clear, and by seeking to run cover for them and pretend they were engaged in some sort of genuine search for criminals, you are justifying their actions.

          Your vote is your consent.

          by JesseCW on Fri May 04, 2012 at 07:28:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Run cover for them? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            historys mysteries

            Wow.  Just wow.  

            Your patronizing tone and your COMPLETE IGNORANCE about what occurred in July 2001 make your comments intolerable.  I was here in Italy when the Genoa G8 took place, when Carlo Giuliani was murdered by a police officer, when the Diaz school was raided on the pretense, on their information, on whatever you want to believe, that there were members of the Black Bloc inside.

            It was 3 days of hell for all people living in Genoa.  The particular urban form of the city made it difficult for the police to track and stop violent protests.  They were totally unprepared for the scale and variety of protest that took place.  That they decided to make an example of those inside Diaz, the center for the Genoa Social Forum, is clear; whether the orders were given by Castelli, then the Interior Minister, I don't know (he's not technically a Fascist, by the way, but a member of the Lega Nord, bad enough).  

            What remains in Italian memory of that G8 summit was the violence of the Black Bloc and the vengeance that the police exacted on the protesters as a reaction to the Black Bloc.  

            So what good did the Black Bloc bring to the event?  

        •  "looking for Black Bloc protesters" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joe wobblie

          yeah, according to them...  They brutally attacked even the explicitly peaceful events, with no provocation.  Certainly there was no excuse for what they did in that school.  Lisa Fithian has said that when she saw the police bringing out people in the sleeping bags in which they had been beaten, she thought they were body bags...

      •  well said. also The Ownership is skilled at... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Egalitare, hepshiba

        ... splitting workers into factions and getting us fighting each other.  For instance the whole Tea Party thing: the Ownership managed to bamboozle them into supporting screwing themselves.  

        And yes I also see "kids vs. cops" as more of the same tactic.  Because what terrifies the Ownership more than anything else, is the thought that those they pay to protect them, may someday somehow come to common cause with those they pay them to protect against.

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Fri May 04, 2012 at 04:04:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But don't you think blac block violence and/or (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SneakySnu

          vandalism keeps the divide between the policers and the police. Most people don't want a violent society but rather a just one. Random violence is the opposite of a just society. I don't see any evidence that black bloc does anything to unite the watchers and the watched. What I see is a history showing that people are willing to give up more personal liberty to protect against random violence. In the end, black bloc tactics empower the powerful and give police more moral authority. There's a reason the agent provocatuers pose as black bloc rather than other types of protesters. And the reason is that black bloc actions are the most effective in discrediting any pushback to the 1%.  

          “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don't make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can't take their eyes off you...” - Maya Angelou

          by stellaluna on Fri May 04, 2012 at 06:54:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The degree to which that divide exists (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek, AoT

            is determined by the prevailing culture in the local PD.

            There was no scary Black Bloc at Davis.  There was no Black Bloc around breaking any windows when Tony Baloney decided to pepper spray a few women for kicks.

            If there's no violence or vandalism on the part of protesters, then cops just break a few windows with peoples heads and use that for an excuse.

            May Day 2007, the LAPD just opened the fuck up with pepper ball guns on grandmas and kids having a picnic in MacArthur Park and listening to some speeches.  There was no Black Bloc.  No one had antagonize them.

            Do you remember all the massive outrage in the National Media?  Do you remember how the police were portrayed as having "lost Moral Authority"?

            Me neither.

            They had orders to make sure the events of 2006 didn't set  a trend or become a new tradition, and they used massive and overwhelming force - and the Mayor was very conveniently out of town for the event.

            None of this is new, btw.  It's precisely what was happening even in the 1870's.  

            The Pinkertons tried to foment violence in order to create excuses to attack workers, but if that failed, they simply fabricated it.  

            No matter what we do, the media will present the narrative that scary radical violent and dangerous people lurk among us.  They will try to convince us that the real threat isn't the 1%, but the "cancer within" or "the parasites", as their pet pretend liberals like to identify the people they've earmarked for elimination.

            Your vote is your consent.

            by JesseCW on Fri May 04, 2012 at 07:25:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And I think we all agree the police actions are (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              historys mysteries

              reprehensible. But they are reprehensible in large part because they were unprovoked and unnecessarily targeted innocents. Occupy had the upper hand when it came to message so long as the attacks were on four innocent girls simply exercising their right to protest. The minute that protesters began to engage in vandalism and violence Occuly lost that edge and the police were able to muddy the water about whether or not their actions were justified. When they are suddenly able to claim "over reaction" rather than "immoral reaction" we've headed down the slippery slope that gets them to where they want to be  Certainly if the only opinion we care about are our own then it doesn't matter if they muddy the waters because we know where the moral argument lies. But, if we are trying to effectuate change, and that change needs the support of others besides ourselves, then the violence damages the movement. It doesn't matter if somehow the police deserve to have storefront windows vandalized, what matters is getting the social justice and change we all agree is necessary. How does violence advance that cause?

              “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don't make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can't take their eyes off you...” - Maya Angelou

              by stellaluna on Fri May 04, 2012 at 08:55:48 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I agree, and that's a good strong criticism. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            stellaluna, AoT

            I've been one of the most ferocious critics of Black Bloc on this site.  But the reason I'm taking the approach I'm taking here is because AoT stuck his neck out bigtime in an effort to make peace.  We now have an opening to make progress on all of the issues that exist between Black Bloc and Occupy, and between anarchists and progressives, and so on.  

            This is a historic turning point.  We all need to speak forthrightly and engage this debate in a principled manner, without ad-hominems and with as much good reasoning and honest feeling as we can bring to it.

            You've raised an important point and I'm sure AoT will have some kind of reply.  We can make progress on these issues, right here, today and in the coming days.  

            Making peace between fragmented groups is what helps knit a movement together and make it stronger.  

            "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

            by G2geek on Fri May 04, 2012 at 07:48:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I admire you very much for taking this (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AoT

              approach. I have tried since last fall to understand how black bloc tactics fit into progressive protest. I've also tried hard to understand how anarchist principles help rather than hurt the progression of the Occupy Movement. I haven't gotten any answers so far and I really hope this series does that.

              “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don't make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can't take their eyes off you...” - Maya Angelou

              by stellaluna on Fri May 04, 2012 at 08:59:06 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  I come down more on the Chris Hedges (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, TomP, Lady Libertine

    side of the argument but I'm open to hearing from the other side.

    "I wish I could tell you, in the midst of all of this, that President Obama was waging the kind of fight against these draconian Republican proposals that the American people would like to see. He is not." -- Senator Bernie Sanders

    by Sagebrush Bob on Fri May 04, 2012 at 01:32:14 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for writing. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, Egalitare, hepshiba

    I was looking forward to seeing your diary on this since I saw your comments in OllieGarky's diary earlier tonight. However much you may have disliked the main thrust and title of that diary, the discussion there was rather remarkable, and mostly very civil and informative. Your contributions included.

    I don't have a lot of respect for most of the Black Bloc manifestations out there, but it's a great change to see people here - even in comments in a diary attacking the BB - working hard to explain the BB point of view. Or at least where some of you are coming from. It sure beats the rhetoric and actions I've seen on the streets and in leaflets and such.

     Keep it up. We'll keep reading. You may not win many converts, you may even solidify some people more strongly against you, but please keep explaining and discussing.

    Cry, the beloved country, these things are not yet at an end.

    by rcbowman on Fri May 04, 2012 at 01:58:52 AM PDT

  •  A much needed diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hepshiba, Lady Libertine, AoT

    As one who does not always understand the reasoning behind black bloc tactics, I appreciate your taking the effort to lay out where you are coming from in this and the next diary. I hope you will also touch on how you think Anonymous might fit into this.

    Tipped and recommended.

    "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

    by gulfgal98 on Fri May 04, 2012 at 04:29:29 AM PDT

  •  Rec'd for discussion. Thanks for this. I'll have (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gulfgal98, hepshiba

    a response soon.

    An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail.

    by OllieGarkey on Fri May 04, 2012 at 05:50:04 AM PDT

  •  This movement, this era has really been (6+ / 0-)

    an education for me. I have gone to wiki and looked up anarchism even. And I have really listened to people who have said that the Black Bloc have truly been the shield and defenders of the protesters. (And yes, they also spray painted and damaged buildings.)

    And at the same time I see our government becoming more and more repressive, more aggressive in defending the corporations, not defending the people at all. And we seem to have less and less good sense about anything.

    Isn't it physics where there is a law that an action causes an equal and opposite reaction? I think the same is true in the political life. This is the time when our cops are supplied with sound blasters, tanks, all kinds of armoring and even drones. This is a time when our cops are becoming more militaristic and our security apparatus is in high gear to protect the 1 % from the predations of people who now are desperate for change. What do you think is gonna happen in this mix? I am now so disheartened by our government that I no longer  have hope that we can make any quick fixes. We are now down to the siege state. And since most people are unable to view any of this with any clarity and they get no help in doing so by any of our so called news media there are no clear paths to creating the communities that we want. There is in fact, no real understanding that we are indeed creating what we have and no understanding of how we can QUIT our addiction to this madness.

    I am in awe of the frightening courage shown by our people, young and old, in going out and confronting this monster. I am still learning. I am still trying my best to support this movement. I am totally sure that we cannot stop. I am also totally sure that I have no answers in tactics or strategy (mainly because I never can figure out the difference). And I salute AoT and others like him who go out and join in the struggle knowing how dangerous it is.

    I would beg the people of dKos: just listen, understand we do not know everything.

    Congress is at 9% approval rating - within the +/- of making herpes more popular than congress! - Webranding

    by glitterscale on Fri May 04, 2012 at 06:06:20 AM PDT

    •  Bravissimo again, My Dear glitterscale! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      laserhaas, AoT, blueoasis

      There are many types and traditions of anarchism, most all are humanitarian with origins in The Enlightenment, and seek the common good and welfare for all.
      Perhaps, in their ways, the practitioners of anarchy are Utopians, too!
      There are many fine and noble historic figures in the History of Anarchism,
      you yourself have mentioned Chomsky.  I follow one somewhat, myself...
      You might be interested in Bakunin, Emma Goldman, Proudhon, Kropotkin,
      your Chomsky, and others; the list is long...
      I pray the American people and/or the "Supreme" Court allow NOT ANOTHER peanut-brained simpleton like GW to enter the White House, or even one more frightening and dangerous, like a sociopath and compulsive liar!
      IF such should occur, then the "frightening courage shown by our people"
      and their Heroics, will become common everyday occurrences!
      And ALL anarchists then need throw down their petunias, and come running, petards in hand!
                              "ALL Power to The People!"

      ! The swinistic greed and racial hatred of the American ruling elite is abysmal !

      by joe wobblie on Fri May 04, 2012 at 08:23:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We need to build communities everywhere (0+ / 0-)

      also local economies.  Afraid I don't know how to solve the money part of the problem, which is the worst part.

      Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri May 04, 2012 at 01:12:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for the essay. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lady Libertine

    Eager to read the rest.

  •  I'm glad you posted this and that I had a chance (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rizzo, AoT

    to read it.  I think there's ground for a lot more discussion between progressives and anarchists, and I think it's important to acknowledge the very powerful pull that anarchism has on the hearts of many progressives.

    It's also especially moving to me because I was also a punk, and because, during the Reagan years, anarchism & punk offered me a creative and constructive outlet for my political anger.  And I was a very angry kid for, I think, very good reasons.  Although I always voted Democrat, once I could vote, and although I came to conclude that socialism was the best workable system yet devised, to achieve the greatest amount of human well-being, my heart really never left the anarchist movement, and I admit to having the same thrill that you describe when I saw the indymedia videos about black bloc resistance in Seattle, or when I consider the many anarchist communes around Europe and the fine work that a lot of them are doing.

    And I've always numbered anarchists among my friends -- the passion and commitment that those who fully embrace what I tend to think of as "anarcho-communitarianism" is always exciting to be around -- often those friends have shown me that some things were possible that I hadn't even imagined.  I'm going to visit some Mondragon collectives later this year, and I'm very excited about it.  (My particular favorite flavor of anarchist economics embraces collectivism.)

    And I'm particularly interested in your analysis of how the media isolates and sets forth a small segment of the anarchist movement(s) as a target: the brick throwers & window breakers.  It's not so different from the way they go to any demonstration and pick out the people in crazy hats to photograph, rather than the majority of folks who are dressed just like everybody else.  As a progressive, I try not to get sucked into that sort of image-manufacturing, and it's clear that some segments of the anarchist community have essentially reproduced themselves to match the media imagery, rather than vice versa.

    So I'm interested in reading the next diary.  I can't believe that such a thoughtful and honest effort to communicate across ideologies would be rejected by the DK community, much less HR-ed or banned, so I'm not afraid to rec & tip.  I'm hoping that what I learn from you will contribute to making me a stronger and better Democratic progressive.

    "If you fake the funk, your nose will grow." -- Bootsy Collins

    by hepshiba on Fri May 04, 2012 at 06:19:41 AM PDT

  •  In 1999 you didn't know the issue or the players (0+ / 0-)

    but you liked the idea of fucking shit up.  So you go out and find a reason to keep getting that feeling of fucking shit up.  Doesn't matter what the issue is.  I wonder if black bloc get the same sexual thrill that some arsonists get setting fire to something.  

    Rick Perry is George Bush without brains.

    by thestructureguy on Fri May 04, 2012 at 07:47:41 AM PDT

    •  Yeah, and? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe wobblie

      Name another political philosophy that admits people like to feel like they have power.

    •  The rhetorical flavor of this comment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT

      is unpleasant.  I doubt there's a player on the progressive board who, at one time or another, has not felt so voiceless and disfranchised that she or he has cheered those who have fucked shit up, or even felt the urge to fuck shit up themselves. Whether the thrill was "sexual" or not is not under question -- that's a strangely freudian read.  Would you slam blacks who rioted after the Martin Luther King, Jr. assassination or after the Rodney King verdict, with the same vigor? I was in San Francisco when the Castro went mad with rage after the Milk assassination and after the news went out that we'd started bombing Iraq.  Folks turned over police cars and burned them.  I didn't join in, but I sure as hell understood why they were doing it.

      One of the things I found interesting about anarchist punks in L.A. back in the 1980s was how notably non-sexual a lot of the anger was.  In fact, more of it was deeply political than anyone outside the movement knew.  Sure, there was a ton of misogyny, but (unlike in other misogynistic circles) there was also a very significant feminist and out queer contribution. As a young, disaffected, politically furious radical feminist, I didn't have any trouble finding a place there.

      To subject the political anger of a disaffected subculture to the kind of William Styronish Confessions of Nate Turner revision of motives in which you engaged is disrespectful, and also destructive.  Instead of listening and attempting to engage in good faith, what I see is you hurling hurtful and inept pseudo-psychoanalysis.  This kind of crass judgmentalism is what drove a lot of kids into the punk movement and made anarchism attractive to them.

      Yeah, I had an authority problem.  But it was because authority either had its foot in my ass (via a repressive school system that forced me to take sewing classes when I wanted to take auto shop, and that told me girls were stupid), or its foot in other people's asses (the Kent State shootings made a huge impression on me, as did the war the L.A. police were conducting against the Black Panthers). My sense of betrayal by all those Democrats -- including my father -- who used to be socialists in the 1960s but were somehow okay with voting for Reagan in 1980 -- finally left me with nowhere to turn politically. I'd voted for Carter, but I was so angry at Reagan Democrats I'd never fully trust the party again. (And I still don't, though I still vote Democrat and contribute money to Democratic politicians.)

      I like militance.  And there's nothing anti-Democratic about that. I'm pretty sure that nobody would have "given" rights to any minority or any woman in American without that pesky militant wing to the movement. Same for labor rights. Whether we like it or not, these days the anarchists are the folks who are willing to go out there and be militant. If we want them to act in ways that conform to our agenda, we have to convince them that that they should share our agenda.  We need to make them part of our community instead of talking all the time about how bad "they make" us look. And we need to be able to talk about their community respectfully as well -- as if they were people for whom anarchism was a conclusion, and not just stupid jerks who don't know what's good for them and who ruin our party. If you want to pretend that they're just criminals like arsonists, instead of drawing on a political tradition and an ideology with a great deal of appeal for truly motivated political actors, that's your choice.  It doesn't happen to be mine.

      "If you fake the funk, your nose will grow." -- Bootsy Collins

      by hepshiba on Fri May 04, 2012 at 01:31:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  AoT (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gulfgal98, DSWright, hepshiba, AoT

    Thanks for telling your story, my friend, and for approaching this difficult subject.

    I know that I need to understand more about it.  I have mixed feelings but I want to hear this perspective.


    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Fri May 04, 2012 at 07:55:16 AM PDT

  •  Interested to read the next part. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hepshiba

    Thanks for doing this.

    "To the People (aka the 99%): Our only demand is an invitation: Join Us!" -- Occupy Oakland Demands 10/13/2011

    by mic check oakland on Fri May 04, 2012 at 09:54:41 AM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site