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Note: Throughout the post I used the term anarchy. By this I mean disorder and lack of government. This is the traditional meaning of the word. But many Kossacks have objected to this use insisting that the only permissible use of Anarchy is to refer to the progressive Utopian movement.As a result the whole discussion was hijacked by a discussion of Anarchism. Important stuff. But not the point of this post. So I have gone back and edited out the offending word and substituted nihilism. It is not as good a word for what I was trying to convey and will probably set off another whole digression. But what is a girl to do?
When my brother turned 18, we were living at Ft. Stewart, Georgia. Our next door neighbors, the Wades, were natives of Georgia and exemplified the rigid authoritarianism of the Deep South. They believed in punishment, not so big on reward. Children were to be obedient, respectful, responsible, and physical punishment was frequently used to enforce those standards. So when my brother turned 18; Cindy, age 15, Bill, age 13, and Douglas, age 7, were required to say “yes, sir” and “no, sir” to my poor befuddled brother. He just didn't get it. On March 21, he was just one of the kids. On March 22, he was authority, requiring deference. The Wade children, like all children in the Deep South, were told that all adults were to be given respect. The rules were clear: even as adults you said “yes, Ma’am” to all women older than you, or who had authority over you. You said “yes, sir” to all men older than you, or who had authority over you. No exceptions. Didn't matter if you liked or respected the person as a person; the respect came from social order, not personal regard.

Respect and courtesy are hallmarks of Southern culture. Mississippi calls itself the Hospitality State. Obedience and compliance are the hallmarks of Southern culture, as is respect for authority. Punishment is harsh, immediate, and rigid.

I train teachers. For years I taught classroom behavior management classes. What teachers wanted to know was the best ways to punish. They were not interested in preventing behavior problems. They were not interested in teaching children alternative behaviors. They were not interested in building classroom communities. They were not just skeptical of my insistence that corporal punishment was not effective; they were hostile to the idea. "All some children understand is a good whupping". End of story.

So the question is this: how is it that a sector of the country so identified with courtesy, respect, obedience and compliance has become a band of rude, cruel nihilists? How have they turned on their fellow Americans labeling all who disagree as Anti-American traitors? How have these Christian authoritarians turned against the poor, the elderly and the disabled? A few thoughts:

1. The Southern authoritarianism has always had exceptions. In the Jim Crow south, the deference to those older than you did not include people of color, regardless of age or gender. The aristocracy used the “yes, sir” only among their peers, and “yes, ma’am” for all WHITE women. As people of color gained civil rights including financial and professional independence, this distinction became weaker. But it is a cultural memory and violates the need for absolute rules.
2. There has always been a sense of Southern superiority mixed with a sense of Southern defensiveness. Recently our university, a small state university in north Mississippi, hosted a national special education conference in Memphis, Tennessee (the closest city with an International Airport). We featured Mississippi speakers, Mississippi products, Mississippi culture. At one point, one conferee remarked drily that he did not know Memphis was in Mississippi. Another conferee asked me why people from Mississippi seemed so determined to stamp their identity on the conference. It was simple; we have to prove ourselves wherever we go. "Oh," people say in pity, "You are from Mississippi." I understand the pity; I am not from here. But the people from here really believe their culture to be superior, so they feel embattled.
3. The emphasis on obedience and compliance requires an emphasis on punishment and a strong sense of absolute right and wrong. When your sense of right and wrong is absolute and rigid,when those who violate the rules you see as absolute, these people must be punished. Punishment must be quick and severe. If those violating the rules are in authority they must be both removed from authority and they must be punished. Then those who know the rules and follow them must be placed in authority. If you cannot remove them from power you must not cooperate with them. You must resist all of their plans and sabotage their efforts.
4. This is where it gets tricky. You say, what about Vitter, Sanford, Newt? It seems it is simply a matter of "the rules don’t apply to our guys". It really is not JUST that (it is a little bit that). It is that there is a higher authority. If the person is a Christian, then there is forgiveness and mercy. But you have to be right with God. If you are liberal, a Democrat, by your very nature your connection to God is suspect. If you are a Republican, a conservative, you are by your very nature connected to God, but merely strayed.
5. Liberals and Democrats cannot be in authority because they have disobeyed the ultimate authority, God. Support of gay rights and abortion are in defiance of God. Removing God from schools and the community is defying God. You want to say we are a secular society. You want to say there is no religious test in the Constitution. You want to explain separation of Church and State. By doing so you have violated the absolute rule. God first, then church, then family, then self. If you suggest otherwise, you are not to be listened to, respected, regarded. The rules are absolute, rigid, not to be questioned.

Those of you who are saying the south can be turned around need to think about these things. Is the hysterical reaction to Obama because he is black? Yes, indeedy, but it is part of a complex cultural rigidity. The south reflects a cultural oxymoron: authoritarian nihilism.


Will the Democrats be able to have electoral victories in the Deep South?

17%7 votes
12%5 votes
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7%3 votes

| 39 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  You misuse "anarchy." (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Urizen, ZhenRen, Villabolo

    Anarchism is the opposite of authoritarianism.  It literally means "without a leader," and embodies a philosophy that believes that human beings have innate abilities toward self-governance and mutual aid that equip them to produce a just and peaceful society without resorting to hierarchies.  It is not an idea that you're Dixie authoritarians would much like.

    The kinds of self-organized health stations and libraries that one saw at Occupy encampments are examples of what anarchism really is.

    Emma Goldman wrote a classic little essay on anarchism here:

    "Anarchism: What It Really Stands For"

    The anarchist and anthropologist David Graeber has a brilliant little apologia online explaining the anarchist understanding of human beings:

    "Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology"

    The works of the anarchist and biologist Peter Kropotkin, who was the first to write about how intra-species mutual aid is a factor in natural selection, are collected here:

    Kropotkin's Works

    •  Amen to that!!!! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ZhenRen, OutcastsAndCastoffs

      Anarchism is one of the philosophical root sources for the ideas we call "progressivism.  Some of our (the left's) greatest heroes (Emma Goldman, Joe Hill, Noam Chomsky) called themselves anarchists.

      Prud'hon (who initially coined the designation and began the movement) is the originator of the expression "From each according to his ability, to each according to their need", which for me sums up we're all about.

    •  Maybe those of us who aren't ignorant (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ZhenRen, OutcastsAndCastoffs

      about the rich tradition of Anarchism should start HRing those around here who buy into the rightwing, authoritarian, framing of "anarchy".  It's as bad as using "prolife" for choice deniers.  

      One of the reasons the left has been failing so badly over the last several decades is that we've allowed the right to define our terms and, through that, limit what we're willing to think about.  When we ignore a significant and always forward looking stream of enlightened social thought, we can't help ending up but shooting ourselves in the feet.

      Damn this (totally ignorant) shit bugs me!

      End rant.

      •  I just view it as an opportunity to explain... (5+ / 0-)

        what anarchism really is.

        It is true that no  political philosophy has been more demonized.

        •  Demonized by those who ought to know better (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I expect this shit from Fox News, but around here it's pathetic that this happens.

        •  Anarchists, rightly or wrongly, have been (3+ / 0-)

          associated with bomb-throwing and assassination since the 19th century.
          That's a long time.
          As an exercise in stubbornness, you might endeavor to sledge-hammer a benign definition into the common discussion, but it might be smarter to take the long approach.

          I'm personally opposed to "no government" except in my fantasy world because I know that the only thing that protects me from the worst predatory members of the 1% is the dysfunctional and inadequate gov. that we have now. Even as it fails often.

          You can't make this stuff up.

          by David54 on Sun Jun 02, 2013 at 10:51:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Even during the days long past when some anarchists threw bombs or attempted assassinations of certain notoriously vicious leaders most anarchists opposed this tactic. This period was 1880 to 1900.


            And its been a hundred years, at least, since that era. Since then, anarchists have been far more peaceful than probably any other major political group.

            Democrats, with their support of the wars in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan  (to give just a few examples), and support of Obama's drone bombing (speaking of throwing bombs) of civilians and innocent bystanders (to the point that the U.N. has accused the Obama administration of war crimes) are certainly more violent than anarchists.

            Republicans... waging illegal wars based on lies, support of fascist regimes, torture of political prisoners, rendition (some of which was committed by Democrats as well) are certainly far more violent than anarchists. And the people who vote for these parties are complicit to what is done in their names. And monarchs, fascist dictatorships, Marxist-Leninist socialists, and almost all other forms of government have used various forms of warfare. It's deemed okay when a state uses violence, but central state governments are still responsible for the worst examples of violence  that fills history books cover to cover.

            Anarchists, when viewed alongside these other groups, are decidedly among the least violent in society. Anarchists don't support use of state authority to assert dominance over populations.

            And "no government" means no central authority separate and distant to the population that is governed. Anarchists support free association and collective self-management of society (collective government, if you will), and can be highly organized and very functional. The way anarchist society works is beyond the scope of a post, so I urge you to do some reading to get a better understanding. Just because you've accepted the misconceptions doesn't mean we have to sit back silently acquiescing to your erroneous notions.

            What I've noticed here on dkos is even when people are disabused of their fallacies regarding anarchism, they steadfastly cling to their misconceptions, and refuse to read links to become more informed, carrying on, content to keep parroting the uninformed definitions.

            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

            by ZhenRen on Sun Jun 02, 2013 at 11:37:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  You misperceive the function of government. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ZhenRen, Sandino

            It is the enforcer for the 1%.

            I suspect that any word chosen to stand for the political philosophy of anarchism would be the target of the same kinds of distortions and libels.  We might as well take our stand with this word and defend it.

            •  What really happened, is that gov. reigned in the (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              power of the robber barons and the trusts, set up protections for workers and farm families, and then the powerful managed to divert the benefits to Wall Street and the 1%.
              Un-regulated free enterprise is not sustainable. It requires regulation to build a middle class which provides benefits for the poor as well as profits for the investment class.
              If the 1% can co-opt the efforts of establishment liberals and gov. for their own benefit, why do you think they won't exploit the efforts of anarchists and co-opt their success for their own benefit too?

              We need a referee, and we need a system of checks and balances. We need to eliminate the corruption within it first.
              We can eliminate gov. itself later on in the millinneum when we're more enlightened.

              You can't make this stuff up.

              by David54 on Sun Jun 02, 2013 at 09:01:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Balance of power or restructuring society? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            "I'm personally opposed to "no government" except in my fantasy world because I know that the only thing that protects me from the worst predatory members of the 1% is the dysfunctional and inadequate gov. that we have now."

            Liberals try to balance the predation - read authority - of the financial elite with that of the political powers.

            Anarchists seek to eliminate all forms of authority whether political, corporate or even religious. There is no attempt to balance one authoritarian group against another but to create non-authoritarian structures within the entire society.

            Thus the financial elite (aka as the 1%) are not kept in check but rather removed from their position of influence.

            To that goal you would have to replace corporations with worker owned and managed businesses (Syndicalism) to the best extent possible.

      •  It's possible to be academically correct to the (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        virginislandsguy, Timaeus, vickijean

        point of ending discussion and alienating those who may disagree or not have done the same academic course studies as you, etc.

        The reason the left has been failing is that they fail to get their people out to vote when it counts.

        That means the educated elitist left in the liberal enclaves has alienated the vast majority of poor and middle class with whom they have common cause by their use of inflexible and outdated academic rhetoric.

        So some of us, who are not stupid, attempt to bridge the gap by communicating in language which is in common usage in the world today.

        Until such time as everyone is enlightened and understands the concepts and framing of the academically pure.

        You can't make this stuff up.

        by David54 on Sun Jun 02, 2013 at 10:45:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It isn't simply "academic" purity (0+ / 0-)

          Anarchism has been around a long time as a movement, and it has had periods of far greater popularity, although popularity is on the rise again. The terms are still in use, and in Europe, there is much more common understanding of the meaning. For example. "libertarian" in Europe still means anarcho-socialist, libertarian socialist, etc., which is the original usage. Americans (especially the right wing) get hold of terms and arrogantly thrust their own meanings on them. Accepting capitalistic, right wing definitions of these terms only serves to promote right wing memes.

          The general American public has very ignorant notions about anarchist concepts, and thus Americans tend to stubbornly resistant being informed of the facts, preferring their own distortions (fueled by a decidedly biased capitalist press). Thus up becomes down, and when some of us protest these distortions, people tend to tell us to shut up, as if WE are ignorant.

          But we don't have to shut up. If that bothers you, that serves to prove my point.

          "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

          by ZhenRen on Sun Jun 02, 2013 at 11:50:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The failure of the Left. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ZhenRen, radmul

          You write:

          "The reason the left has been failing is that they fail to get their people out to vote when it counts."

          A slightly modified version of David Graeber's response to the importance of voting:

          Q:  How many voters does it take to change a light bulb?

          A: Trick question.  Voters never change anything.

          If the last 5 years from Greece to the USA haven't demonstrated that, I don't know what does.  Whomever you elect ends up bought and sold in the politician marketplace.

          The Left's failures are attributable to a foolish dependence on electoral politics because much of it has forgotten about the efficacy of direct action.

        •  Thank you David 54. It is why I rarely write (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Citizenpower, David54

          diaries here. Almost invariably the main point is hijacked by people with an agenda. There are so many landmines. For those of us deeply buried in red state America it is so insanely frustrating to be trapped between the ideological rigidity of the right and the superiority of the left. I have a doctorate and teach at a university, but honest to God I am tired of pointy headed liberal who love to argue for argument's sake. The Republicans are taking over America state by state and Kossacks are arguing about the true definition of anarchy.

          •  Intolerance comes from the Left and the Right (0+ / 0-)

            I understand your point. Its cynical and arrogant to think that we can't learn something from everyone. It may not be what we set out to learn but that's ok.

            I was amazed to learn that some Tea Party folks are educated as engineers and teachers. You have to wonder how they can maintain respect for learning (as in the case of an engineer) and dismiss the scientific evidence of evolution. It was a great puzzlement to me.

            Its the rigidity of the mind that stands out. Love of learning for its own sake, I believe, allows for a more flexible mind.

            Pointy-headed liberal is a term that Reagan used. Its enough to say intolerant of others opinions. I know too many people on the other side who display intolerance to new ideas.

            •  I deliberately used the term (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I am a liberal, an academic. But I also walk in the everyday world where people honestly don't care about philosophical movements, historical movements, and correct terminology. i try to leave my lectures at the office.

              During the weeks after Newtown I thought I would go bonkers with people talking about mental health services and how liberals turned the mentally ill out on the streets. But I did not go on every gun control blog and pontificate about normalization and deinstitutionalization. Believe me, I could have and I wanted to. But I try to listen to the message the writer is making and respond to it.

               Pointy headed liberals argue a point to death even if it is not integral to the message.  And the public dismisses us all as out of touch with everyday people. I prefer liberal out of touch to conservative out of touch. But both are out of touch

              •  Not to argue a point to death but (0+ / 0-)

                it falls into the catagory of demonizing the Left and making them look weak.

                Right now Issa is doing all he can to make Obama look weak or corrupt by creating scandals where none exist.

                Ever since Reagan or even Nixon, Republicans have tried to
                make the left look weird, out of touch, nerdy or weak and are often despised or ridiculed for it. I am certainly anti-war, anti-greed and in favor of making judgments based on facts and thoughtfulness rather than prejudice.

                Allowing these labels to stand de-legitimatizes us and our president. It allows propaganda against the left to take hold. Its very subtle and it has worked to undermine the political system all too well.

                I have been interested in the subject of communication, rhetoric and propaganda for many years. I mean no harm.I am sincerely concerned at how the right is ruing Obama's presidency.

    •  And a big misconception (3+ / 0-)

      about anarchism is that it is anti-organization, which is false. Anarchism, as envisioned by social anarchists, is well-organized, using direct democracy principles, strives for consensus, practices mutual aid, relying on freely made agreements rather than immutable laws.

      And yes, authoritarian anarchism is like saying there is such a thing as democratic dictatorships. Many people on dkos have enormous misconceptions about anarchism.

      If people read them, the links you provide would help to dispel the constant misuse of the term.

      "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

      by ZhenRen on Sun Jun 02, 2013 at 09:39:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Most dictionaries distinguish between anarchy (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      k9disc, ancblu

      and anarchism. I am referring to the traditional understanding of anarchy, not as a progressive Utopian movement (anarchism), but as a lack of government. The Oxford Dictionary lists them this way:

      Definition of anarchy
      a state of disorder due to absence or nonrecognition of authority:
      he must ensure public order in a country threatened with anarchy
       absence of government and absolute freedom of the individual, regarded as a political ideal.
      •  Dictionaries... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Urizen, OutcastsAndCastoffs

        aren't written by anarchists. Accepting them as a source of controlling authority is, well, not advisable.

        And anarchism isn't utopian. It is a better way of social organization, and very practical and functional, but has no illusions of utopia.

        "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

        by ZhenRen on Sun Jun 02, 2013 at 09:44:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Use another word (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OutcastsAndCastoffs, ZhenRen

        The OED used to have n****r and f*g, too (maybe it still does).

        Like Lenny Bruce said: "Don't take away my words".

      •  The Oxford boys are contributing to... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Urizen, ZhenRen

        the misconceptions.

        "Chaos" works fine for what you're trying to describe.

        And lack of "government" is exactly what anarchists seek.  As ZhenRen points out above, that doesn't mean lack of organization, but it's SELF-organization based on direct democracy.

        For a great depiction of what an anarchist society would be like, along with the potential challenges and problems, there's no better fictional portrayal than Ursula LeGuin's The Dispossessed.

        For other historical examples of anarchist movements, check out Spain's CNT (especially Murray Bookchin's history) and the Paris Commune.

    •  Words can have more than one meaning. (0+ / 0-)

      You can't make this stuff up.

      by David54 on Sun Jun 02, 2013 at 10:37:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think the authoritarianism/anarchy duality (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    comes from two different influences: Authoritarianism from the plantation origins of Southern culture, and degenerate anarchy from the physiological effects of living in a hot, humid climate.  

    Ironically the tension between them probably reinforces both, with anarchic elements empowered by reaction against the rigidity of "mainstream" culture and the authoritarianism of the mainstream reinforced in reaction against the chaos engendered by the anarchic elements.  The only side that loses out are enlightened, progressive democratic social forces that are mutually hostile to both degenerate anarchy and authoritarianism.

    Southern culture is rotten to the core, and as I've repeatedly seen even here, even folks born there who reject ideological conservatism still show the same authoritarian tendencies and defensive Stockholm Syndrome behavior.  Southern liberals, such that they exist at all, tend to be gut-wrenchingly meek in the face of outright fascism.  The only way the rot will ever be dealt with is what's happening in Virginia and (I hope, but don't trust) Texas: Colonization from the Blue.

    Process defines product.

    by Troubadour on Sun Jun 02, 2013 at 09:13:22 AM PDT

    •  Thanks. Maybe you have to live here to get it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
    •  the authoritarianism is not platation origin (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Troubadour, vickijean, nchristine

      it came with the settlers from Scotland and Ireland - who make up the majority of whites in the region.  Scotland in particular has a very dour sort of authoritarian Christianity where slaving away for the laird is all part of the Plan.  When they came here they bought land and immediately for the BE the laird as far as their family went - and the community as whole if they owned enough acres, slave worked or not.

      I've been doing a lot of genealogy work on my fucked up southern family and we were far too poor for slaves, but owning land made men better than others who did not or cared not about it.  Right in the oral history of the family are sneers at cousins and uncles who were not interested in land or able to own any - they were simply less than those who could.

      I was taught to call all adults sir/ma'am as appropriate as a military/southern kid - and in Louisiana the custom is to call you Mr/Miss FirstName as a sign of respectful intimacy.  All the people at my doctors call me Mr Mortifyd - except the doctor who simply calls me Mortifyd.  My dentists office - once again the sole exception being the dentist. I'm Mr Mortifyd to everyone at the pharmacy, or anywhere my first name is typically used.

      And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

      by Mortifyd on Sun Jun 02, 2013 at 09:45:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Germans and Scandinavians were dour too (0+ / 0-)

        back in the day, and extremely authoritarian, but you don't see the same kind of cultural pattern in that belt of the US - Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin.  I agree there is a disturbing correlation between a state's level of Scots cultural background and its shittiness today, but I'm hesitant to suppose the rottenness comes specifically from Scotland.  Because, frankly, Scotland is a much better place to all accounts than the American South.

        Process defines product.

        by Troubadour on Sun Jun 02, 2013 at 10:00:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  not the people are dour so much as the specific (0+ / 0-)

          kind of Christianity is that was practised there and came with the people who immigrated.

          And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

          by Mortifyd on Sun Jun 02, 2013 at 01:50:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I think it is not the dour demeanor (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        but the clannish loyalty.

        •  again, not the people are dour (0+ / 0-)

          the type of Christianity practised was/is.  Compared to say CoE it's some scary fundy authoritarian shit.

          And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

          by Mortifyd on Sun Jun 02, 2013 at 01:51:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Most of what passes for Irish here (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        is SCOTS-Irish from Northern Ireland.  PROTESTANT Irish. It does make a difference in attitudes. The Scots-Irish arrived considering themselves superior to the Catholics  and applied it to everyone else. My husband was born in AL and raised in GA, and as late as the mid 70s--there wasn't a Catholic church closer than Atlanta, which was an hour's drive away.   There are Catholic churches now, but most of the people are transplants or Hispanic.  

        The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

        by irishwitch on Sun Jun 02, 2013 at 10:47:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  exactly. I knew very few catholics (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          at all when we lived stateside - it was all southern protestants who were scots Irish or scot related - and proud of it - including a lot of my own family. My finding both verified Quakers and Germans has been as bad as Jews in my own family.

          And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

          by Mortifyd on Sun Jun 02, 2013 at 01:53:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  FYI, my hsuband left the SOuth (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            to join the Navy--and then fell in love with New ENgland. We're stuck here in GA, but he hates it. Of ourse he's a WIccan like me, which gives his family hives.

            The Scots-Irish are the descendants of those who grabbed Ireland under Cromwell--think Iain Paisley today. You always hear about the evil IRA--but the UDF and UVF, the Protestant versions, were and are just as bad.

            The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

            by irishwitch on Sun Jun 02, 2013 at 05:43:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  An example of your last point, Troubador (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Troubadour, ballerina X

      When I read the first few comments who have their own rigid definition of anarchy, I almost deleted the post, defeated that I had used the wrong word and therefore my whole point was lost. Then I thought, wait a minute, I am wrong just because they sound so sure? And I looked it up and much to my liberal joy, we were both right. I find myself submitting to "authority" in situations like this reflexively, because I am conditioned by the culture to do so.

      •  Even if you accept... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the opinion of dictionary writers as having its own form of unquestioned authority, which is your choice, of course (no one can dictate to you how to use the English language) there is no logical basis to "authoritarian anarchy".

        Let's look at the term.

        An=without.  (atheism, asexual, asymmetry, etc.)

        Arch=authority, ruler (monarchy, patriarchy, oligarchy, etc.)

        Thus, anarchy = without authority.

        To give an example, I've always found it odd when people refer to Somalia as anarchic, since rule by thuggery is still rulership, and thus not anarchy.

        I think dictionaries reflect popular usage, even if the popular misconceptions of the term are simply wrong. In a sense, it is argumentum ad populum, which is the logical fallacy that majority opinion is correct and has authority.

        "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

        by ZhenRen on Sun Jun 02, 2013 at 10:12:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Defying the crowd is never a normal thing. (0+ / 0-)

        Not in any culture - even in ones that revel in the superficial individuality of consumer culture.  We on the Coasts just happen to be culturally predisposed to egoism, which has both positive and negative consequences.  Positive because it makes us resistant to authoritarian ideology; negative because it makes us a lot less culturally solid as a bloc, and thus not as effective as we could be at fighting conservative fuckery the way they do in places like Scandinavia.

        Process defines product.

        by Troubadour on Sun Jun 02, 2013 at 10:15:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Yep Their Response to H Clinton, Dean and Kerry (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    among others shows that Obama's blackness is more a tool for them than their purpose.

    Puritanical obsession with rule, obedience and punishment, a phobia toward reason, and racism & classism.

    You can walk on water and be dead to this culture if you conflict with any of this agenda.

    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 Sun Jun 02, 2013 at 09:38:43 AM PDT

  •  I tipped, but I disagree. I think your analysis (0+ / 0-)

    misses a few points such as the influence of television, the rise of the "child-parent" the destruction of the middle class and the propaganda being disseminated to explain that destruciton. etc.

    Corporal punishment is ancient. Very polite, genteel societies have employed corporal punishment for millenia.

    My parents used corporal punishment.
    Very sparingly.
    I knew that being pushed to the point of using corporal punishment was very stressful for my parents, and I felt considerable guilt for pushing them to that extreme.

    My teachers also used it, sometimes arbitrarily and unjustly, in my opinion. In which case I had no respect for them.

    An understanding of the importance of order is critical to a child's performance in school. I've been in college level classes in which supposedly adult (freshmen) college students cut up and ruined the class for others in a way which I cannot characterize as more than 4th grade level of maturity.
    Something's gone wrong in this country. I don't think a return to lots of corporal punishment is the answer, but I also think we are not serving kids if we do not somehow put them on the path to self-discipline.

    The idea that "the South" is a dramatically different place than the rest of the country because religious right and Wall Street pols leverage a modest majority with various tricks of the trade is an oversimplification.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Sun Jun 02, 2013 at 11:06:30 AM PDT

    •  different (0+ / 0-)

      I think it is different from the rest of America, it defines itself as different, it is sectionalist, has the centuries-long attitude of defensiveness, holds to the idea that the other parts of America would if given a chance restrict its rights and priveleges as has happened in the past....

      Striking a child is  what a Southerner thinks will instill self-disclipine in a victim. Its how authoritarian adults are trained there.
      "You want another beatin', jes keep on actin' that way". Parents, teachers, and cops believe that's the way to an orderly society.

      I buy and sell well trained riding mules and American Mammoth Jack Stock.

      by old mule on Sun Jun 02, 2013 at 06:41:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  David, have you ever lived here? (0+ / 0-)

      We are not talking about reluctant corporal punishment. We are talking about women carrying wooden spoons in their purses to "correct" their children. We are talking about seniors in high school being paddled for "disrespect". We are talking schools calling the police for children who are disrespectful or who have violated dress codes. We are talking about people who regularly paddle children with wooden paddles, belts, straps. Not a gentle, reluctant swat on the behind.

      •  Still this is a gross oversimiplification. (0+ / 0-)

        None of what you describe is common practice in the South. I know because I lived there for 30 years.

        •  Don't know where you lived (0+ / 0-)

          But I have lived in the rural south since 1969 and I guarantee it is common. Have lived in Hinesville, Georgia; Columbus, Georgia; Statesboro, Georgia; Waycross, Georgia; Alexander City, AL; Hattiesburg, MS; Livingston, AL and for the last 22 years in Cleveland, MS. It is there; it is prevalent. Universal? Of course not. But I can tell you it runs very, very deep. I used to write a blog for the Jackson Clarion Ledger. On the few occasions I wrote about corporal punishment in the schools I got over 100 comments (big for C-L), and these were not people praising my insight.

          •  What is your definition of common practice? (0+ / 0-)

            Is it common practice for women to carry wooden spoons in their purses? Is is common practice for Highschool seniors to be paddled for "disrespect" (what does that mean in this instance?)? I am pretty sure that no one in my family or set of friends and familiars was regularly paddled with wooden paddles, belts or straps. Does this happen, sure, but you are taking isolated incidents and presenting them as the "norm". Also I am sure that you know that self-selected groups like blog commentators are not relevant statistical samples of any population. What you are presenting is a propaganda fantasy not reality.

  •  Deep South anarchist here. Phooey on all the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    matching mole, vickijean

    linguistic/authoritarian police that hijacked the blog.  I agree your usage left something to be desired, but wasn't the diary about Southern (is it OK to capitalize?)culture/mores?Anyhoo, I prefer the Chomskian "Social Libertarian." The region is a Manichean wilderness devoid of nuance.    

    I preach the church without Christ, where the lame don't walk, the blind don't see and what's dead stays that way! Hazel Motes in "Wise Blood" (Flannery O'Connor)

    by chalatenango on Sun Jun 02, 2013 at 02:01:18 PM PDT

    •  "libertarian socialist" (0+ / 0-)

      Of course, Chomsky likes that term, but he certainly didn't invent it. It actually goes back to France in the mid 1800s, used by anarchists since that time and is still in use in Anarchist literature. In Europe, as you probably know, libertarian still means anarchist or libertarian socialist/communist.

      "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

      by ZhenRen on Sun Jun 02, 2013 at 02:19:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The problem is many of these terms... (0+ / 0-)

        including "libertarian" have been corrupted by the right wing, and thus no matter which is used, people ignorant of the meaning get confused and misled.

        There is no harm in trying to introduce better historical understanding of all of these terms.

        And no one is authoritatively forcing a meaning. On the contrary, it is quite the reverse. People will probably never stop misusing the terms, as is their right, but that doesn't mean we can't provide background so people can be more precise in use of terminology.

        Supporting the right wing, capitalist mischaracterizations of anarchism isn't what I recommend, but no one will stop you from doing as you please with language.

        "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

        by ZhenRen on Sun Jun 02, 2013 at 02:24:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And I changed the term, yet you persist in (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          hammering the point. I conceded the point, changed the term, and tried to redirect to my main point, that the South cannot be turned back. But you would rather quibble about a point I was not making.

          •  I understand the need to correct misuse of (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            concepts you care about. I absolutely cannot help myself when people equate negative reinforcement with punishment (they are not the same- one increases behavior by taking away an aversive, the other decreases a behavior by adding an aversive). Even worse, when someone says that a reserved person is antisocial, when ANYONE can tell you that an antisocial individual is someone who breaks rules, has no sense of right or wrong and who violates the civil rights of others. I might insert one comment in a thread where one of these terms is misused. But once the person acknowledged the mistake and then used a different term I would not continue to moan and rail about how this person is destroying the liberal view of mental health services by buying into the right wing view of mental illness. I have my area of expertise and you have yours. I was wrong. I corrected. Get over it.

            •  You're misunderstanding... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I was directing my comments to chalatenango.

              After his rather personal comment, I think I had a right to answer.

              That you changed the title is great, and not many would have been gracious enough to have done that. Thank you.

              These things sometimes tend to escalate. One comment, and another, and another.

              I don't blame you for the way you used the term. Most people know next to nothing about anarchism. I didn't either until a few years back. People are beginning to turn to anarchism in greater numbers lately. I think you're one of the first to have several like myself ask for corrections.

              I've been following usage of anarchist terms on dkos for awhile, and usually I would be alone in making a comment, but this time there were coincidentally three of us. I suppose we may have overdone this...

              It wasn't intended to become a thread hijack, but what happened is more and more people came in to debate our request. That's a bit unusual.

              My apologies.

              "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

              by ZhenRen on Sun Jun 02, 2013 at 10:51:40 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Well, for me it is God first (0+ / 0-)

    Gale Sayers wrote a book called "I am Third.”  I am pretty sure that Martin Luther king Jr. and President Barack Obama feel the same way.  God first, my family and neighbors second.  I am third.  It is a good way to look at things, in my opinion.

    I believe in absolute right and wrong.  From the Bible, and from practical experience.  I know that I have tried to murky up my wrong doing.  I know how to justify my actions.  But, I know how ridiculous I am.  

    Christianity, the true catechism, is absolutely opposed to any human authority.  

    I believe President Obama when he talks about hitting his knees and praying to Jesus Christ.  I am with him.                            

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