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The Cancer in Occupy

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Posted on Feb 6, 2012
Mr. Fish

By Chris Hedges

The Black Bloc anarchists, who have been active on the streets in Oakland and other cities, are the cancer of the Occupy movement. The presence of Black Bloc anarchists—so named because they dress in black, obscure their faces, move as a unified mass, seek physical confrontations with police and destroy property—is a gift from heaven to the security and surveillance state. The Occupy encampments in various cities were shut down precisely because they were nonviolent. They were shut down because the state realized the potential of their broad appeal even to those within the systems of power. They were shut down because they articulated a truth about our economic and political system that cut across political and cultural lines. And they were shut down because they were places mothers and fathers with strollers felt safe.

Black Bloc adherents detest those of us on the organized left and seek, quite consciously, to take away our tools of empowerment. They confuse acts of petty vandalism and a repellent cynicism with revolution. The real enemies, they argue, are not the corporate capitalists, but their collaborators among the unions, workers’ movements, radical intellectuals, environmental activists and populist movements such as the Zapatistas. Any group that seeks to rebuild social structures, especially through nonviolent acts of civil disobedience, rather than physically destroy, becomes, in the eyes of Black Bloc anarchists, the enemy. Black Bloc anarchists spend most of their fury not on the architects of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or globalism, but on those, such as the Zapatistas, who respond to the problem. It is a grotesque inversion of value systems.

Because Black Bloc anarchists do not believe in organization, indeed oppose all organized movements, they ensure their own powerlessness. They can only be obstructionist. And they are primarily obstructionist to those who resist. John Zerzan, one of the principal ideologues of the Black Bloc movement in the United States, defended “Industrial Society and Its Future,” the rambling manifesto by Theodore Kaczynski, known as the Unabomber, although he did not endorse Kaczynski’s bombings. Zerzan is a fierce critic of a long list of supposed sellouts starting with Noam Chomsky. Black Bloc anarchists are an example of what Theodore Roszak in “The Making of a Counter Culture” called the “progressive adolescentization” of the American left.

In Zerzan’s now defunct magazine Green Anarchy (which survives as a website) he published an article by someone named “Venomous Butterfly” that excoriated the Zapatista Army for National Liberation (EZLN). The essay declared that “not only are those [the Zapatistas’] aims not anarchist; they are not even revolutionary.” It also denounced the indigenous movement for “nationalist language,” for asserting the right of people to “alter or modify their form of government” and for having the goals of “work, land, housing, health care, education, independence, freedom, democracy, justice and peace.” The movement, the article stated, was not worthy of support because it called for “nothing concrete that could not be provided by capitalism.”

“Of course,” the article went on, “the social struggles of exploited and oppressed people cannot be expected to conform to some abstract anarchist ideal. These struggles arise in particular situations, sparked by specific events. The question of revolutionary solidarity in these struggles is, therefore, the question of how to intervene in a way that is fitting with one’s aims, in a way that moves one’s revolutionary anarchist project forward.”

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Solidarity becomes the hijacking or destruction of competing movements, which is exactly what the Black Bloc contingents are attempting to do with the Occupy movement.

“The Black Bloc can say they are attacking cops, but what they are really doing is destroying the Occupy movement,” the writer and environmental activist Derrick Jensen told me when I reached him by phone in California. “If their real target actually was the cops and not the Occupy movement, the Black Bloc would make their actions completely separate from Occupy, instead of effectively using these others as a human shield. Their attacks on cops are simply a means to an end, which is to destroy a movement that doesn’t fit their ideological standard.”

“I don’t have a problem with escalating tactics to some sort of militant resistance if it is appropriate morally, strategically and tactically,” Jensen continued. “This is true if one is going to pick up a sign, a rock or a gun. But you need to have thought it through. The Black Bloc spends more time attempting to destroy movements than they do attacking those in power. They hate the left more than they hate capitalists.”

“Their thinking is not only nonstrategic, but actively opposed to strategy,” said Jensen, author of several books, including “The Culture of Make Believe.” “They are unwilling to think critically about whether one is acting appropriately in the moment. I have no problem with someone violating boundaries [when] that violation is the smart, appropriate thing to do. I have a huge problem with people violating boundaries for the sake of violating boundaries. It is a lot easier to pick up a rock and throw it through the nearest window than it is to organize, or at least figure out which window you should throw a rock through if you are going to throw a rock. A lot of it is laziness.” 

Groups of Black Bloc protesters, for example, smashed the windows of a locally owned coffee shop in November in Oakland and looted it. It was not, as Jensen points out, a strategic, moral or tactical act. It was done for its own sake. Random acts of violence, looting and vandalism are justified, in the jargon of the movement, as components of “feral” or “spontaneous insurrection.” These acts, the movement argues, can never be organized. Organization, in the thinking of the movement, implies hierarchy, which must always be opposed. There can be no restraints on “feral” or “spontaneous” acts of insurrection. Whoever gets hurt gets hurt. Whatever gets destroyed gets destroyed.

There is a word for this—“criminal.”


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By tomcat, February 23, 2012 at 6:20 pm Link to this comment

hetero,

New Rules:  Occupy the Language
Violence is something ONLY the corporation/state does.

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By heterochromatic, February 23, 2012 at 6:04 pm Link to this comment

tom, fuck the violence of the Oakland police and of the assholes dragging occupy
down into violence.


it matters not what the Oakland PD does… they can’t harm the nation-wide
movement.  the asshole protesters can   ... and have.

Report this

By tomcat, February 23, 2012 at 5:58 pm Link to this comment

Hetero hand wringer,
Your link only served to enhance Ardee’s point.
As you are SO smart, you know that Oakland PD is under imminent threat of being federalized because of their “tactics”.
This is the most violent pd in the country.

And, with incidents like the 2009 execution by a white officer of a young black man, Oscar Grant, and the subsequent RELEASE of the officer from jail…..AND….YESTERDAY…Oscar Grant’s unarmed cousin was shot in the back by Oakland pd…..
the people of Oakland have been pushed to the limit.

http://newsone.com/nation/associatedpress3/oakland-police-face-federal-takeover-due-to-excessive-force/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BART_Police_shooting_of_Oscar_Grant

Report this

By heterochromatic, February 23, 2012 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

so much of which you’re not aware.

http://hellaoccupyoakland.org/violence-and-arrests-at-anti-repression-fuck-
the-police-march/

Report this

By ardee, February 23, 2012 at 5:22 pm Link to this comment

Ahh perspective.

Most, if not all, the protesters “hammered on” by armored and helmeted police neither threw anything nor committed an act of violence against anyone. If any police were injured in the numerous instances of police brutality against those exercising their right of assembly and practicing their right to free speech I am unaware of them.

But then, both hetero, apparently, and his idol Cheney, never much cared for truth, only spin.

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By heterochromatic, February 23, 2012 at 4:52 pm Link to this comment

—-Understanding why a protester throws a a bottle or breaks a window gives
perspective.——


understanding why a cop hit with a bottle hammers on a protester gives
perspective as well..

neither creates anything worthwhile and the perspective is a sad one.

Report this

By tomcat, February 23, 2012 at 4:45 pm Link to this comment

Macresarf1,

I’m not violent, but I certainly am indignant.
Anyone who is not angry over what’s been happening to the people needs to check their pulse.

I’m also somewhat angry over the flawed perceptions that liberal hand wringers have regarding the actions of some protesters.

My position is that the perceptions can be altered through understanding and the subsequent development of perspective.

Understanding the violence of the corporation/state taking away a family’s home gives perspective.

Understanding why a nun hammers on a nuke gives perspective.

Understanding why a protester throws a a bottle or breaks a window gives perspective.

THEN, hopefully, perceptions will change.
Rather than judging a protester’s actions, one’s perception (the filters through which one views the world) will be tolerance first.
I.E., the IMPULSE becomes one to give the protester the benefit of the doubt.

Eliminating the term “violent” in association with protester actions is a good step towards changing perception.
Save the use of the term for the true perpetrators of violence.

We also place too much value on property.
That’s another perception that must change.

We occupy the language…where the words are not relevant to the people, or where the language is used to control perceptions, we change it.

Report this
katsteevns's avatar

By katsteevns, February 23, 2012 at 3:13 pm Link to this comment

Like I said, it’s who you know, not what you know that creates oligarchs. If you want to lump that in as a mere facet of mental labor, be my guest.

Report this

By Macresarf1, February 23, 2012 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment

“Use perspective.

“I’d say that the total “violence” committed up to now in all OWS actions is INSIGNIFICANT compared to one family being thrown out of their house.

Get your F…ING indignation in order.”

  Yes, Tomcat, but unless you have a hydrogen bomb under your bed, and 100 fully trained divisions quartered in your bathroom, your violent indignation doesn’t mean much for the cause.

  Non-violence is the only course which MIGHT work.

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By tomcat, February 23, 2012 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment

Elisalouisa,

I see JorgeX’s post referring to the violence of foreclosures against families.
THAT is the damage which merits our outrage.

I urge people to think first and always about the violence of the corporation/state.

Use perspective.
I’d say that the total “violence” committed up to now in all OWS actions is INSIGNIFICANT compared to one family being thrown out of their house.

Get your F…ING indignation in order.

Report this

By heterochromatic, February 23, 2012 at 7:50 am Link to this comment

what the heck do you mean that mental labor is not the same as physical labor?

if that’s your idea of an idea then I can understand the expression of disdain for
ideas.

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katsteevns's avatar

By katsteevns, February 23, 2012 at 6:31 am Link to this comment

By katsteevns, February 23 at 5:27 am Link to this comment

By Jorge X. Rodriguez, February 22 at 6:29 pm

“If people have acquired property through their labor, and you take it away or destroy it by force, then you have taken away that part of their lives which went into the property.  This seems like violence against them to me.”

Do corporations acquire and exploit public lands and receive tailor made tax breaks through laboring?

It can hardly be called labor. Mental labor is not the same as physical labor. Having friends in high places gives unfair advantage.

When they dump raw industrial effusion into our rivers and streams, it is MY labor and MY taxes that will clean it up, if it gets cleaned up at all.

It is violence against me that my employer pockets 6 hours of the 8 that I work. It is violence against me that he regularly adds tasks to my job with no compensation to speak of. It is violence against me that he fashions regulations in which I have no input.

Report this

By Gandalfs Beard, February 23, 2012 at 2:14 am Link to this comment

@ Heterochromatic

Okay, that link didn’t post properly. I was referring
to your previous post.

Report this

By Gandalfs Beard, February 23, 2012 at 2:14 am Link to this comment

@ Heterochromatic

Okay, that link didn’t post properly. I was referring
to your previous post.

Report this

By Gandalfs Beard, February 23, 2012 at 2:10 am Link to this comment

@ Heterochromatic

I was referring to this post:
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_cancer_of_occup
y_20120206/#462893

I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about some ratty
mattresses. wink

Report this

By Gandalfs Beard, February 23, 2012 at 2:10 am Link to this comment

@ Heterochromatic

I was referring to this post:
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_cancer_of_occup
y_20120206/#462893

I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about some ratty
mattresses. wink

Report this

By elisalouisa, February 22, 2012 at 9:14 pm Link to this comment

By Jorge X. Rodriguez, February 22 at 6:29 pm Link to this comment?
(Unregistered commenter)
If people have acquired property through their labor, and you take it away or destroy it by force, then you have taken away that part of their lives which went into the property.  This seems like violence against them to me.

Of course it’s violence JX. Some just want to legitimize the act of vandalism through the mantra that such acts are not violent, not violent, not violent.

Apple Dictionary:

violence |?v?(?)l?ns|
noun

behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something.
• strength of emotion or an unpleasant or destructive natural force : the violence of her own feelings.
• Law the unlawful exercise of physical force or intimidation by the exhibition of such force.

PHRASES:  do violence to damage or adversely affect.

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By heterochromatic, February 22, 2012 at 8:57 pm Link to this comment

kat—- class conflict is not class warfare and schoolyard touch football ain’t the
NFL.

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By katsteevns, February 22, 2012 at 8:40 pm Link to this comment

@ heterochromatic

IF…

“the US simply has never fit the expectations of socialist analysis”,

...it’s only because of the success of the propaganda machine that leads most to believe that class is irrelevant.

  Class warfare has been alive and well in this country since its inception. Just ask Daniel Shays. Denying its existence won’t make it go away.

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By Jorge X. Rodriguez, February 22, 2012 at 7:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If people have acquired property through their labor, and you take it away or destroy it by force, then you have taken away that part of their lives which went into the property.  This seems like violence against them to me.

Report this

By heterochromatic, February 22, 2012 at 7:24 pm Link to this comment

GB, the there was photographic evidence that the mattresses were ratty. and
pictures of dead rats were published.

———

“According to the Washington Post, police said they found urine-soaked
bedding, bottles of urine and dead rats while they were clearing the site.”


http://www.theblaze.com/stories/police-converge-on-occupy-dc/


picture of dead rat included!

a crime against inhumanity!

Report this

By Gandalfs Beard, February 22, 2012 at 6:49 pm Link to this comment

@ Heterochromatic

Evidence please. Unsupported assertions and opinions
don’t count as evidence.

Report this

By heterochromatic, February 22, 2012 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment

——Is property damage violence?——


obviously it isn’t.

you blow up a school bus with an anti-tank round,  and who would dare make the
mistake of calling that violent.


of course if you and some buddies take a bunch of ratty mattresses in the park
and throw them in the trash, that’s like a crime against inhumanity.

Report this

By tomcat, February 22, 2012 at 6:01 pm Link to this comment

Gandalfsbeard,

ahhh…a fresh perspective.
You have hit upon a subject not covered here, yet extremely important.
Is property damage violence?
The pertinent conversation here is this:
Remaining nonviolent is more important to OWS than it is to observers of the movement.

The key to OWS remaining nonviolent is: perception.
If someone acts in a way that is perceived as violent, there is risk of losing support.

In this country, people are desensitized to violence outside their realm, and overly sensitive to violence within it.

Though violence is defined by physical events (a tsunami is a violent event), the significance of using the word is the moralizing that is usually present.

Again, here where people are quick to condemn because of the nature of the event (eg. broken window), the reason for the act is sometimes not just overlooked, but immaterial(the “it’s just wrong” mentality)).

So, as a fireman may break windows (violent act) to save someone, a protester may do the same for an equally valid reason.

With understanding comes proper perspective….
and thus will change ingrained perceptions.

Report this

By heterochromatic, February 22, 2012 at 5:12 pm Link to this comment

you’re talking very loosely and the result isn’t good, GB.


the people who are securely in control of a state can’t be said to be at war with
it and can’t be said to be at war with the citizens of that state unless and until
open hostilities begin.


and that is certainly not the case in the US now or at earlier times. the VAST
majority of the citizenry are not hostile to the system even now, in hard times.
there is little discontent now compared to the time of the great Depression and
even then there wasn’t open hostility.


you simply can’t go from a difference in economic interests and jump into
calling it class warfare…......it’s just not there.

the US simply has never fit the expectations of socialist analysis.


surprised the hell out of my grandfather and father, but that’s just the way it is.

——

the stuff you’re spouting about the use of lethal and military force against the

Left is also loose and overblown and you’ve little understanding in that stinking
provision about the use of lethal force against Americans found to be engaged
in terrorist groups affiliated with the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks.

it’s not good, but it’s not as you describe it.

Report this

By Gandalfs Beard, February 22, 2012 at 4:21 pm Link to this comment

@ Heterochromatic:

I’m sure you would agree that the Wealthy are in
control of all branches of government. If you agree
with that then you also have to concede that the
Plutocrats control the Nat Security State and its
monopoly on the ‘legitimate’ use of violence. This
includes National and Local police forces.

For all intents and purposes the Plutocracy is the
State, so when the Plutocrats engage in Economic
Terrorism they are engaging in an act of war. The
State in the hands of the Plutocrats has assassinated
Left leaders, infiltrated peaceful movements,
illegally detained and beaten peaceful activists, and
their surveillance apparatus has become so advanced
that they are now using military drones in the US.

The State, under a Democratic president no less, has
recently OPENLY declared that American citizens can
be assassinated without any regard to due process of
law. How long do you think it will take for the State
to use ARMED drones against us?

The State through the police commits violence on the
poor, minorities, and political activists on a daily
basis. I could go on, but I think the facts support
my position.

You also suggest that damaging property is the moral
equivalent of physically damaging human beings. I
disagree.

Feel free to continue insulting me and making
unsupported assertions. I’ve made my point and I’m
not inclined to waste my time arguing with someone
ostensibly on the same side of the political fence as
me. I’m saving my invective for Right Wingers.

Report this

By heterochromatic, February 22, 2012 at 2:54 pm Link to this comment

the sate has not declared war on 99% of the population and only an ass would
assert that damage inflicted on property is not violence.

Report this

By Gandalfs Beard, February 22, 2012 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment

With all due respect to Chris Hedges, this IS a war
because the State has already declared war on the
99%.

Regardless, protesters should stick with non-violent
tactics (until it becomes necessary to defend
oneself, which is arguably not violence but a
response to it) for all the reasons Chris Hedges
mentions.

A couple more points which Chris is a bit fuzzy on.
For one, he oversells the “Black Bloc are evil” bit.
The Black Bloc (assuming they are actually
anarchists, which is a tall order)can only commit as
much damage as the police allow them to, which the
cops do all the time (because mostly cops are the
ones under the black masks). The fact is, property
damage is no match for the Military Firepower at the
State’s disposal.

Second, Chris underplays the fact that the vast VAST
majority of self-described anarchists are NOT Black
Bloc and do not advocate violence.

Third, property damage is not the same as violence;
nor is self-defense for that matter.

Report this

By Listener81, February 22, 2012 at 2:35 am Link to this comment

The point that the article was written from a libertarian prospective means nothing…if an anarKKKist article said global warming was real, would that make it false?
  As for the “execution” of “fascist sympathizers”...sympathizers? Who decides who is a sympathizer? So what, do people with politics that are different from your own suddenly have no right to draw breath? Who is the real “fascist” here?
  I am a social-democrat (still waiting for stories of social-democrats massacring people…) and I know there will always be conservatives, libertarians and fascist people in America. I say, fine. Let them have a voice, let them participate. As long as they are not actively robbing anyone of their rights (as anarKKKists do all the time) let them live in peace.
  That is one of the differences between a social-democrat and an anarKKKist: if and when we get majority of the government and “win”, anarKKKists will be left alone…if anarKKKists ever “win”, the rest of us are as good as dead.

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By heterochromatic, February 21, 2012 at 8:06 am Link to this comment

trial____ the assassinations of a hell of a lot of priests during the Spanish Civil War
happened.

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David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, February 21, 2012 at 6:12 am Link to this comment

RE: representative democracy

The problem with “representative democracy” isn’t people having representatives. The problem here, in America, Inc., is that money manufactured representatives represent corporate person interests, rather than natural person interests.

If 300 million people were required to attend absolutely democratic daily general assemblies intending to achieve consensus decisions on everything to be done anytime by anyone anywhere, then everyone would be deciding everything all the time and nobody would be materially providing anything any of the time.

The primary problem with American elections is a people problem… consumers have been agreeing with corporate choices, and not making people’s choices.

Jill Stein for President:

http://www.jillstein.org

Voter Consent Wastes Dissent:

http://chenangogreens.org/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=498&Itemid=1

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By trialbywater, February 21, 2012 at 4:38 am Link to this comment

also i looked over that ridiculous article the crazy one linked to about violence during the civil war in spain, and i just wanted to point out to anyone who read it credible that it is a very unreliable source.

the books used as sources are for the most part reliable, but the article itself rips them of their context and completely misrepresents what they are talking about. execution of fascists and fascist sympathizers was an unfortunate fact of the war, and people on all sides of the struggle were involved in similar activities, including franco’s supporters and republicans of all political persuasions (it was a war after all). it was by no means an organized reign of terror perpetrated by the CNT-FAI (just writing that down makes me feel like an idiot).

that article was written by a right-wing admirer of Ayn Rand who uses scare quotes every time he uses the words libertarian, anarchism or any variation thereof. he also peppers this particular article with casual racism.

my final point is more apologetics than anything else. I know for a fact that anarchists - and everyone else - did participate in violence against unarmed people (though not on the organized scale claimed in this clearly biased article by a crazy Libertarian), which is utterly deplorable. on the other hand, before the war, the workers in spain weren’t exactly getting a sweet deal, and the powerful alliance of the catholic church in spain, the capitalists, and the political class was a direct cause of their disempowerment. i can understand why some people might want to both get revenge and limit their ability to do harm in the future. i also want to emphasize that many of the people who were killed were actively supporting franco, which is treason. i don’t support the death penalty for treason, but i hardly think people in the us for example would condemn the government en masse for executing people who provided material aid to the nazis during wwii.

again, these were individuals who overreacted and committed some atrocities, as many people do during the unique horrors of civil war (especially when fascists are involved). the entire point of this article is to “prove” that all strands of socialism are authoritarian and prone to reigns of terror, which is silly on its face. it’s very clear from the politics of the author, the biased slant of this article, and the facile arguments used that truth is less important than presenting people on the left as incapable of embracing a non-violent and anti-authoritarian philosophy (which is particularly ridiculous if you look at the type of activities that randites and other right-wing libertarians advocate).

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By trialbywater, February 20, 2012 at 9:03 pm Link to this comment

thanks for the kind words ardee, but in my opinion, in order to make an “informed” decision about who you should vote for, you have to spend a lot more than the fifteen minutes in the voting booth. you have to research quite a bit, and the way the media currently presents elections (especially presidential elections and hotly contested matches), it’s all too easy to get sucked into the hype.

I’m not saying people shouldn’t vote (though i don’t and i probably never will), but i do think that people should realize that voting is a very small and insignificant part of civic participation. it is literally the least you can do to change the world. it can peacefully coexist with more direct, empowering actions, but i believe that the act of voting gives people the impression of having done something, while in reality it has a much smaller effect than most people would have you believe.

to be honest though, my problem is more with representative democracy (which really isn’t democracy at all) than with the pragmatics of voting. I realize that to do the bare minimum with regard to voting takes very little of one’s time, and therefor it is not a huge sacrifice to use voting as a method of attempting political change (for example acts of civil disobedience require a great deal of sacrifice, and are frequently about as effective as voting), but i do wonder what the psychological effect voting has on people… though i have no evidence, i suspect that many people become more emotionally and morally invested in the outcome of elections if they vote, and will therefor be more inclined to support the policies of the government because they’re under the mistaken impression that the control the government. i’m also pretty sure that encouraging people to vote for someone every two years to make all the important decisions for us is a great way to pacify the populace. we get lulled into the idea that we don’t need to worry about big issues, just about what people we think should be entrusted with worrying about the big ideas. we also get trained into thinking political change originates at the ballot box, and that voting is the most important method of achieving change.

again, not demeaning anybody who votes, but i really do think there are some powerful psychological effects of the particular ritual of voting for representatives, and at the end of the say i really don’t see why we’re not allowed to represent ourselves.

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By tomcat, February 20, 2012 at 8:01 pm Link to this comment

Listener81,

....and you call yourself a listener?
Perhaps you’re listing too far to one side…
....or maybe you see yourself as an A-lister?

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By heterochromatic, February 20, 2012 at 7:37 pm Link to this comment

Lis___-there’s no reason on earth that you would know whether Occupy is dead or
not…...they’ve got spring and summer to show what they have.

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By Listener81, February 20, 2012 at 7:29 pm Link to this comment

Anarchy has never been a viable solution. Occupy is a DEAD MOVEMENT that America has grown tired of, thanks to its infiltration by anarKKKists.
  A new movement will arise in the next few years, created by a coalition of REAL progressives. The time for protests and banner waving is over. There are three simple steps to achieving Social-Democracy that have been proven effective in Denmark, Canada and Brazil:
Unite, Organize, Seize Power.
  Unite: a coalition of all progressives, be they Green, liberal, or independent, rank and file Democrats. Organize: plan a winning strategy. Seize Power: achieve electoral revolution and force change down the corporation’s throats.
  That is the only plan that will work but first, we on the left need to WALK AWAY from the anarKKKists and let them do their thing while we do ours. Notice I did NOT SAY we pick fights with them, just that we no longer associate ourselves with the kiddies-in-the-hoodies, much the same way I walked away from the Occupy Movement but joined the Democratic Socialists of America.
  In time, we will win. But to do so, the left needs to be the POST-ANARCHIST LEFT.

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By tomcat, February 20, 2012 at 6:24 pm Link to this comment

listener81,
It’s good to discuss how we the people will live in the future. It will be particularly important if Occupy grows to the point where that type of conversation becomes immediately relevant. One could argue that those discussions are good now as well, as people want a vision of the future to struggle for.
Social democracy, anarchism, and a variety of other models, some perhaps yet to be created, will all be on the table.
Now is the time for growing and solidifying this movement to end American empire.
Now is the time for education, discussion…and action.
Now is the time to stop the rape and pillage of the people and the planet.
Occupy sprang up organically to accomplish these things.
Occupy is the best and perhaps only chance.
Creative and relentless action is the Occupy way.
Decide which side you’re on…the 1% or the 99%, and
embrace it…not blindly, because the movement needs input, answers, nourishment and nurture.
No one is going to admonish or impose change on this movement. Participation is the way. 
And…..Now is not the time to achieve meaningful change through elections. It won’t happen.
Riseup!

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By Listener81, February 20, 2012 at 6:19 pm Link to this comment

So I had a type o where I meant to say “descent” instead of “decent”. Nice smoke screen from once again not answering any of the questions. Again, you attack the questions, ignore the questions, but never answer the questions. Thank you for proving my point.
  Oh, and when AnarKKKists stop spelling America with three Ks, I’ll stop spelling AnarKKKists with three Ks. Sound fair?

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By heterochromatic, February 20, 2012 at 5:16 pm Link to this comment

lots of decent blacks. no reason that you needn’t have
descended from a couple of them….

I think, though, that the not very clever coinage of
“AnarKKKist” can decently be put away.

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By Listener81, February 20, 2012 at 4:26 pm Link to this comment

Again,
I am BLACK, as in an American of black decent. Blacks can be Social-Democrats, you know…ever hear of Bayard Rustin?
  Anyway, here are the same three simple questions no one is answering:
  1) where is the example of anarchism working currently in the real world? Not theory, but reality. I can show you Social-Democracy working in the real world:
http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Economics/SocialDemocracy.html

  2) If the anarchist period of Catalonia was so great, why was there so much terror and oppression committed by anarchists in Catalonia?
http://jim.com/cat/terror.htm
2.5) How much terror was committed turning Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Canada into Social Democracies? Any real proof of such?
3) If black people have struggled more so then whites to have the state recognize them and allow them to participate in it (right to vote, desegregated military, greater civic role etc) and anarchists hate the state, then aren’t they trying to steal from blacks something they’ve fought for for over a century?
  These are the three questions no one on the anarKKKist side of the equation has answered. Why? Because THERE IS NO GOOD ANSWER. I will take the personal attacks of calling me a “troll” and avoiding the questions as further proof that I am right.
  Once again, as usual, the position of Social-Democracy wins.

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By ardee, February 20, 2012 at 3:53 pm Link to this comment

By trialbywater, February 20 at 6:06 am
and
By trialbywater, February 20 at 6:24 am

why do i always forget?

DON’T FEED THE TROLLS.

i’m going to ignore listener81’s inanity from now on. but i do have a comment in response to ardee. you say mark hasn’t explained alternatives to voting to you, but there are quite a few. the most fundamental and empowering of these is direct action. looking for change that is needed and then making that change yourself, or with your community.

I never said that there weren’t other means to effect change. I did, and rather emphatically, note that Mark has never, not once in my recollection, suggested anything as an alternative to that which he slams. I find this reprehensible frankly, and even indicative, perhaps, of other and hidden motives. I do appreciate, however, your thoughtful and considered response.

I would also ask you to consider another thoughtful and considered post in the subject:

By Dave Ewoldt, February 20 at 7:57 am

Everything you cite,trialbywater, can be accomplished while spending fifteen minutes in a voting booth every two years. I think that many progressives , once elected , do indeed find it difficult to push a progressive agenda, all the more reason to increase their numbers.

If one abandons the system, rather than work to reform it, one is saying that Democracy cannot work, the Constitution is a worthless document and I refuse to take that position. The alternative to working within the system, and I agree with your community strategies, remembering the old saw; “think globally, act locally”, is to allow violence to continue, violence from our government and violence as the recourse to our corrupted system.

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By tomcat, February 20, 2012 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment

Oz,
I also appreciate your desire to learn.
If we’re just here to make assertions on subjects which we’re pretty ignorant about, in order to affirm an ideology, we’ll never learn.
Here, I think strict adherence to nonviolence, as an ideology, has led to closed-mindedness.
It’s nonviolence vs. black bloc anarchism.
Just looking at the words…which position would you choose?
And why? Because we have preconceptions (misconceptions) of what anarchism is.
Anarchism = violence, chaos….thoughtlessness.
In fact, it is simply a vision of the world some wish to live in, where each has equal voice, and no one has power over another.
I’ve learned a little about it through my limited Occupy involvement, and in discussion on this forum.
The same for black bloc.

This IS the discussion of our time, and we’re in uncharted waters…and I thank CH for that…but not for the fear-mongering.
I see there’s essentially two types of people in the world…
those who want to live in harmony with all life,
and those who want to dominate and destroy.

In we take the 99% vs. 1% as loosely representing this dichotomy, then it can serve as a guidepost to dialogue.

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By heterochromatic, February 20, 2012 at 12:59 pm Link to this comment

Ana has NOT sought to foist all violent behavior off
and onto the shoulders of government agents. IIRC.


ascribed to a minority of civilians, OZ

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By OzarkMichael, February 20, 2012 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment

I’m concerned though by your apparent flippant use of the term “agent provocateur”. It refers to agents (police or otherwise) who infiltrate a group to incite the group to rash action which will discredit the group.

You are correct that my use of the term is not completely serious. It is ironic.

My source for using the term “agents provocateur” is none other than Occupy defenders such as Anarcissie, who over the past 5 months successfully managed to ascribe any bad or radical or unlawful event on ... guess who… conservative secret agents provocateur.

So whenever i asked about the bad events, trying to figure out why they were happening, all i got for an answer was a counter-accusation that its my own conservative peeps making the trouble at Occupy.

That is why i figured this out myself a long time ago. i did it alone. My analysis of how Occupy works is completely original. i am still figuring it out myself. i seem to be the only one capable of it.

As the Occupy problems grew, eventually Chris Hedges blew a fuse over it. That forced Graeber to tip his hand a little bit. Graeber seemed to confirm what i thought all along. At long last, people were listening to me about this.

That brief phase of honesty about Occupy is already fading away. Occupy supporters are heading back to their usual state of denial. Which is why i feel free to use humor and irony. I let them have their way, and i really enjoy messing with them when they are in denial.

Problems at Occupy? Its all agents provocateur, i tells ya!

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By Anarcissie, February 20, 2012 at 11:42 am Link to this comment

There is no point in my writing anything if people are going to make my words out to say the opposite of what I meant and what I thought I said pretty clearly.

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By tomcat, February 20, 2012 at 11:25 am Link to this comment

Oz,
I appreciate your post, although I’m not clear whether you have a source for your information, or you thought it out for yourself.
I’m concerned though by your apparent flippant use of the term “agent provocateur”.
It refers to agents (police or otherwise) who infiltrate a group to incite the group to rash action which will discredit the group.
I suggest that before you throw incendiaries, that you provide facts to support your assertions.

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By tomcat, February 20, 2012 at 10:59 am Link to this comment

I posted this statement last night.
It got lost under Listener81’s posts.
It’s from a Eugene, Oregon anarchist group called the Black Tea Society.
It might give some insight as to what anarchists are about.
Again, Eugene was the hot bed of anarchist activity from the late 90’s to early 2000’s.
Here’s the link, or read it below…it’s fairly lengthy.
http://www.anarchistblackcat.org/index.php?topic=7167.0

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By Foucauldian, February 20, 2012 at 10:48 am Link to this comment

I’m perfect comfortable with this analysis.  It is,
and if it’s not, it should be, a chess game.

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By OzarkMichael, February 20, 2012 at 10:41 am Link to this comment

Ineffectually fighting the police is not going to alleviate any of the problems you mention.

                            Anarissie

Unless it makes the police look bad. If the police look bad, that makes the state look fascist, and thats what can win the day for Occupy, especially if there are bloody or wounded protestors lying on the ground. That is the golden moment for Occupy.

The basic tactic of Occupy is to confront the police. This tactic was designed for flexibility by the Communist and Anarchists architects… oops, I meant to say ‘agents provocateur’! They are the ones who came up with the idea!

The degree of confrontation against the police is a variable decided day-by-day by the Occupiers. A corollary to this variability is that individuals/groups within Occupy use variable tactics as they see fit. This blend of diverse tactics all works the same way, all works to the same purpose, and together they have a synergistic effect. An added benefit… the diversity keeps the authorities on edge because they never know what they are going to be hit with. The greater the diversity, the more effective even the most gentle confrontation will be. The police are more likely to make a mistake, which is what Occupy hopes for.

The radicals know this. They knew it from day one. They designed Occupy to work with all the ingredients together. They think they are empowering your peaceful protest, while simultaneously your peaceful protest is empowering their more radical protest. In their opinion its win/win.

I dont expect anyone here to shake off their denial, but you could at least notice that I am the only one who can explain the Occupy process. Why doesnt anyone else even try? Especially since many of you claim to support it!

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By tomcat, February 20, 2012 at 10:36 am Link to this comment

I’m sure there will be video of the event…maybe even an OWS livestream. Thanks for the heads up.

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By trialbywater, February 20, 2012 at 9:29 am Link to this comment

I really wouldn’t take anything that person says seriously. right before the “MEN IN THE UNIFORM OF THE USA” supposedly liberated the slaves, those same men were tasked with making sure slaves stayed slaves. in fact, it was that same government that sent troops to prevent the south from seceding that codified a set of laws that led to the institution of chattel slavery in the US in the first place. someone who would make the argument that government is good because it freed the slaves is either trolling or too ignorant to be able to have a real debate with.

in terms of hedges not advocating sabotage: i’m not too concerned about him in particular not advocating certain forms of property destruction, but i am concerned with him attempting to make everyone in the organized left in this country follow his person philosophy on t"violence”. i must say i lost all the respect i had earned for the man over the years the moment he tried to create a moral equivalence between property destruction and actually harming people. cops murder people all the time, corporations destroy the planet, exploit the people, and even directly kill people if need be (usually outside the US), and chris hedges is counseling against breaking some windows because we’ll lose the moral higher ground? i’m pretty sure we’re gonna have to do something slightly more evil to even get in the same category as our enemies. i don’t generally support property destruction at protests, but only because i don’t see the concrete goals that are achieved through unorganized vandalism, but that’s besides the point. hedges is encouraging the occupy movement, and the left in general, to neuter itself, which is exactly the best way to destroy itself. he holds the individualistic and backwards christian ideal of self-sacrifice (which leads to disempowerment and false humility) over the actually useful SOCIAl values of solidarity and bettering our situation. this isn’t about making certain people (ie chris hedges and his inflated, self-righteous ego) look good, it’s about making the world a better place. and i don’t care if the whole world demonizes me as long as i contribute to that cause.

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By Dave Ewoldt, February 20, 2012 at 8:57 am Link to this comment

Quoting Mark E. Smith:
“No matter what excuses you and others may give, those who vote in a system where they know the game is rigged and they can’t win, have only one genuine motive for voting—they feel obligated to do their civic duty to the system.”

Mark, this is perhaps where you are most fundamentally incorrect. Now, I really like some of your individual points, and they’re definitely worth considering if not taking to heart while strategizing. But the real world isn’t that black and white. In fact, it is part of the control story of domination that desires people to believe that dichotomies, dualism, and either/or thinking in general are correct and natural.

There are other valid reasons for voting for candidates who oppose corporatism. Perhaps the most important is in solidarity building. The 1% control quite a bit of the system, but they don’t control it all which is why they try so hard to ban or at least discredit exit polling.

As Paul Ray and Sherry Anderson pointed out in Cultural Creatives, there are about 100 million of us who all believe we’re the only one. As we work on building an alternative to dominator hierarchies and disconnection, we need to use every tool at our disposal to create the critical mass that will be necessary for success.

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By katsteevns, February 20, 2012 at 8:51 am Link to this comment

By Listener81, February 20 at 3:36 am

      “As for the state and black people…who liberated the slaves? Was it a punch of AnarKKKists brats or MEN WITH THE UNIFORM OF THE USA?”

Was THAT what the civil war was all about?  Hmmm, I thought it was to keep the South from succeeding from the Union.

By trialbywater, February 20 at 6:24 am

    “sabotaging the tools of power or capital,”

Chris Hedges is NOT about this at all….unfortunately.

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By Foucauldian, February 20, 2012 at 8:19 am Link to this comment

Thanks for the link.  Will look it up shortly.

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By Anarcissie, February 20, 2012 at 8:13 am Link to this comment

If you were in New York City now you could go hear David Graeber tell us about the future of OWS:

http://mcnallyjackson.com/event/news-underground-future-occupation

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By Foucauldian, February 20, 2012 at 8:06 am Link to this comment

Doing your footwork, Anarcissie, good for you.

When I first arrived at NY, we lived off Eastern
Parkway (not too far from Bedford-Stuyvesant).  Even
then it was a mixed neighborhood. 

Have no idea what it’s like now.

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By Anarcissie, February 20, 2012 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

Foucauldian, February 20 at 6:19 am:

Wasn’t talking about such as “the listener.”  His
initial comment betrays him now.  Said he registered
for the purpose of registering a “complaint.”

Well, he’s doing much more than that now, doesn’t he?

I don’t know, I stopped reading his stuff.  The first effort struck me as funny because the day before I had been in a pretty much Black neighborhood (Bedford-Stuyvesant) talking to some Black people (mostly West Indians, to be precise) who were either anarchists or interested in anarchism.  Of course we have no idea what Listener81’s actual ethnicity is.  Portraying oneself as other than White often serves to intimidate liberals and leftists.  It’s not working on me for some reason.

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By trialbywater, February 20, 2012 at 7:24 am Link to this comment

and if you want more specific alternatives to voting, here are a couple (note, i’ve only picked examples that i, as an anarchist would actively participate in, but there are many more perfectly acceptable options that others might engage in such as direct lobbying):

pulling your money out of banks (i use a credit union), organizing a public boycott of some particularly egregious exploiter of the people (elections, for example), joining or starting a copwatch organization, starting a worker’s cooperative, going on strike, organizing a general strike, occupying a public space, engaging in civil disobedience, engaging in incivil disobedience, organizing a tenants union, joining or starting a housing cooperative, rent striking, sabotaging the tools of power or capital, taking over and running a factory for the workers, and starting a political education group.

these are literally just random examples that i came up in two minutes while writing this post. i was originally trying to keep to activities that were analogous to voting in some way, but i realized that the power of these activities actually was inversely related to how similar they were to voting. voting is an indirect, solitary, one-off activity that confers power to another person through the accepted channels. the activities i advocate directly reinforce the power of the people at the expense of the accepted channels, tend to be exercised as a group, and are part of an ongoing process that constantly reevaluates its effectiveness and changes in response to environmental conditions.

how’s that for alternatives to voting?

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By Foucauldian, February 20, 2012 at 7:19 am Link to this comment

Wasn’t talking about such as “the listener.”  His
initial comment betrays him now.  Said he registered
for the purpose of registering a “complaint.”

Well, he’s doing much more than that now, doesn’t he?

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By Anarcissie, February 20, 2012 at 7:06 am Link to this comment

Foucauldian, February 20 at 5:17 am:

‘... As for some commenters here, we can’t just ignore
them but must instead counter their arguments with
stronger ideas.  It is about winning the hearts and
minds. ...’

Someone who spells ‘anarchist’ ‘anarKKKist’ isn’t dealing in ideas above an infantile level.  It would be more accurate to say the behavior is a repudiation of ideas.

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By trialbywater, February 20, 2012 at 7:06 am Link to this comment

why do i always forget?

DON’T FEED THE TROLLS.

i’m going to ignore listener81’s inanity from now on. but i do have a comment in response to ardee. you say mark hasn’t explained alternatives to voting to you, but there are quite a few. the most fundamental and empowering of these is direct action. looking for change that is needed and then making that change yourself, or with your community.

that may seem like pie in the sky idealism, but that’s the only way progressive change has ever happened in this country. before the abolition of slavery, women voting, child labor laws, the eight-hour workday, the end of Jim Crow, and gay rights were acknowledged by the state, movements of committed people were using a diversity of tactics (that in some cases included voting) to achieve change. not one of these milestone achievements in the history of the progressive movement was accomplished by the casting of a ballot (the closest of these particular examples is the abolition of slavery, but only if you wholly accept the conventional story about lincoln with no critical examination).

and I’m going to outright say that attempting to replace corporatist candidates with ostensibly progressive ones is not just ineffective, but stupid and reactionary (at least doing so with the belief that you’re making real change for the good). not only does voting give implicit approval to state power, but progressive candidates almost NEVER WIN. the few who do win are completely overwhelmed by their business/power-obsessed colleagues and either become ineffective jokes or sell out and embrace the same twisted philosophy of everyone else. even if we somehow managed to get a solid majority of genuine progressive candidates in elected office, the old maxim that power corrupts will rear its ugly head. the fact is that our problem isn’t that we have the wrong kind of people ruling us, it’s that we have a small elite of mostly unaccountable rulers in the first place. the entire people of this country and the world can collectively manage our own affairs, and focusing exclusively on voting completely misses that reality. I’m not opposed to reform. sometimes we need to respond to humanitarian crises immediately, and waiting for a worldwide revolution doesn’t help the millions of victims of police brutality and mass incarceration here in the states or the hundreds of thousands of victims of US imperialism in iraq. i’m completely in favor of altering the current status quo of the state as much as is necessary, even to the point of strengthening it in some extreme cases, but once we lose track of their real interests and the nature of power we lose track of what we’re really after: the end of oppression and the radical restructuring of our unfair global economic system.

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By David J. Cyr, February 20, 2012 at 6:33 am Link to this comment

QUOTE, Black Tea Society’s Eugene Anarchism Resurgent:

“To frame our ideology in the simplest possible terms, anarchists seek to build a society where each person has the power to pursue their life as they see fit, free from constraints imposed by material conditions or social stigma, and to live in harmony with the earth and all life upon it.”
___________________

From a reality based perspective, that wish will only be fulfilled when every wo/man is an island.

Not to worry, that time is fast approaching, since the immensely popular sociopathy of corporatism will surely find an efficient means to resolve the excess supply of consumers of the diminishing supply of resources.

BOOK REVIEW: Sustainable Energy — Without the Hot Air

http://chenangogreens.org/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=490&Itemid=1

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By Foucauldian, February 20, 2012 at 6:17 am Link to this comment

Mark E. Smith, February 19 at 11:58 pm

Hope you’ll reconsider, Mark.  First, it is an
important topic, two, we need strong voices like
yours. 

I believe there are some good people on these
threads; and there always should be room for all us
both for reasonable debate as well as justified
outrage.

As for some commenters here, we can’t just ignore
them but must instead counter their arguments with
stronger ideas.  It is about winning the hearts and
minds. 

PS:  was gonna sent you this message via TD email
facility, but for some reason forgot how to access
it.

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By Listener81, February 20, 2012 at 4:51 am Link to this comment

ohh, and to those pointing to the Catalonian anarKKKists period as an example of what they want, I say: NO F**** WAY!
  http://jim.com/cat/terror.htm
  Now, if you could please show me how many people were massacred, terrorized or killed by Tommy Douglass and the New Democratic Party coming into power, I’m all ears. Or the terrors of Denmark and its social democratic party…
 
*crickets*

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By Listener81, February 20, 2012 at 4:43 am Link to this comment

“I have never seen, not once, an alternative to voting for progressive candidates from you. All I have seen is an endless and repetitious diatribe against voting.

Top say that replacing corporatist legislators with progressive ones is ineffective is silly, in my opinion. To refuse to suggest any alternative is just plain stupid.”
  Ardee, that is because THEY HAVE NO PLAN. AnarKKKists believe that by throwing things at cops or by eating out of dumpsters they can some how defeat the state, and anything else is meaningless…
  Someday, a movement will come along that will push the people from the streets to the polls. Some day, we will see a movement that makes clear demands: reinstate Glass-Steagall, end corporate personhood, create a government healthcare system for all, free college for all, raise taxes on the rich and create new taxes for financial transactions, speculations etc. Some day a movement will come along that WILL change America…
  ...but Occupy is not that movement. They, the kiddies-in-the-hoodies, have destroyed it.
  But Occupy has served a purpose: when the next great movement comes along and the anarKKKIsts show up we will be able to say “let’s get away from these clowns, we don’t want this thing to end up like Occupy.”
  Occupy will serve as an example and a lesson for REAL progressives what happens when you let idiots who throw stuff at cops and vandalize buildings into your movements.
  Workers, UNITE! The Rose will be worn in the White House, some day…

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By Listener81, February 20, 2012 at 4:36 am Link to this comment

First of all, WHO THE HELL EVER SAID I LIKED THE PRISON INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX?! I know GOOD AND WELL what it is and its evil and I want to see it, along with the Military Industrial complex, destroyed.
  There should be NO WAR ON DRUGS as we all know that is code for WAR ON PEOPLE OF COLOR AND LOWER INCOME WORKERS. There should be NO PROFIT FROM PRISONS and all private corporations SHOULD BE KICKED OUT OF IT. As for the military industrial complex, it should be destroyed by banning any company from making 8% of more of their profit from the sell of military equipment and if need be, socialize the arms makers.
  Now, as you can see I far too the left of “mainstream” corporate politicians. Question is this: what’s more likely to change things, a anarKKKists revolution or a real political movement? A movement dedicated to bringing Social Democracy to America CAN WORK..a revolution? Not so much…
  You see, even if you do blast your way through the marines, the air force, the army etc you still have to content with THE MAJORITY of Americans who like government. So what happens to them? I’ll tell you: extermination.
  I mean, if you take over and I disagree, what happens to me? I get killed in the name of revolution. And to prevent further counter-revolutionary activities you will need a secret police and before you know it BAM! you’re Stalin.
  Revolutionaries all have the same M.O.: they fight for freedom…they settle for power.
  As for AnarKKists being racist, I will say this again: most black people vote. Hence, most blacks support the state. If the anarKKKists ever gain control (they wont) they would have to exterminate majority of black people in America.
  Also, they spit on the right to vote and citizenship, all things that blacks have fought harder for then any group. So, by rejecting everything most black Americans enjoy they are rejecting blacks.
  If the Tuskegee Airmen were alive and walking around in uniform, you can be guaranteed that it would be anarKKKists who throw things at them and call them “fascist”, despite the fact that THEY DID MORE IN A DAY THEN ANY LIVING BLACK BLOKKK PUNK WILL DO IN A LIFETIME TO FIGHT FASCISM.
  As for the state and black people…who liberated the slaves? Was it a punch of AnarKKKists brats or MEN WITH THE UNIFORM OF THE USA?
  Without the state, nothing would stop racist whites from terrorizing blacks. This is one of the reasons why many white nationalists find the idea of anarKKKy so appealing:
  http://www.national-anarchist.net/
  Now, as horrible as they are, at least the National Anarchists are honest about their racism, unlike the black bloKKK idiots who claim they’re fighting racism by shouting at black people not to vote.
  And, FOR THE THIRD TIME, WHO THE F**** DID DENMARK GET TO BE THE WAY IT IS? WAS THERE A SECRET REVOLUTION LEAD BY KIDS IN HOODIES THE STATE IS HIDING FROM US?
  Tommy Douglas, Bayard Ruskin, Lula De Silva, Eduard Bernstein, and Lloyd George are people the 99% should be looking to for ideas on leadership and tactics, not some 18th century hack who never accomplished anything.

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By ardee, February 20, 2012 at 4:07 am Link to this comment

Perhaps I can give you a less “tepid” analogy, Ardee.

OK Mark, when ?

I have never seen, not once, an alternative to voting for progressive candidates from you. All I have seen is an endless and repetitious diatribe against voting.

Top say that replacing corporatist legislators with progressive ones is ineffective is silly, in my opinion. To refuse to suggest any alternative is just plain stupid.

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By katsteevns, February 20, 2012 at 3:48 am Link to this comment

By Listener81, February 19 at 10:43 pm

“Well, 68% of all blacks in America voted in 2008, compared to 62% of the general population. So, blacks are more likely to like the state and support it by voting.”

I think we all know that the turnout for the 2008 election by blacks was more a result of economic depression combined with the euphoric possibility of having a black president, but surely not what you suggest.

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By trialbywater, February 20, 2012 at 3:39 am Link to this comment

ok i know i said i was done, but i just reread your last post and i was insulted as a human being. first of all, you call mr smith out for leaving the conversation by saying “so you walk away instead of answering the question?” i don’t see a question, just a series of insane rants. that’s probably why he left.

also, i’m really curious to see why you think that anarchists want to take away your civil liberties or massacre all the black people. that’s actually one of the most insane things i’ve ever heard about anarchism, and I’ve heard quite a lot of bullshit lies about anarchism. it’s nice to know that you temper your insane delusions about anarchism (which is not all that different from the democratic socialism you proclaim, to be honest) with calls to purge the left of the more radical elements. it means you have more in common with stalin and mccarthy than you would probably admit.

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By trialbywater, February 20, 2012 at 3:29 am Link to this comment

Hey Listener81: You do realize that everything you’ve said in the comments for this article is ridiculous and incorrect, right?

First of all 68 percent of black people in this country did not vote in the 2008 election. 65.3 percent did, which is slightly lower than the percentage of eligible white people who voted (interestingly, these statistics mention the fact that an unprecedented number of black people voted in the last election, but don’t mention that so many fewer did vote than could have because 13 percent of black men in this country can’t vote as a result of felony disenfranchisement laws). more importantly, and very few white liberals are willing to talk about this for fear of being called a racist, but the upsurge in black election participation is almost entirely because a biracial (popularly referred to as black) man was running for president (95% of black voters voted for obama). that’s not indication of trust in our government and the electoral process, it’s an indication of a sick pathology that leads so many people think that because barack obama didn’t look like all the other presidents, he would be different than all the other presidents. and he wasn’t.

I fail to see the logic in your suggestion that anarchists and communists are closet racists. yes, many radical leftists are racist (and why not? in the US at least they’ve been indoctrinated by one of the most racist societies in the history of humanity), but so is everyone else. anarchists at least try to understand and combat racism. in fact, i am an anarchist precisely because i am an anti-racist. the state hasn’t exactly been the best friend of black people in this country, and the struggles that you claim anarchists had no part in (a complete fabrication, btw) actually experienced the active repression of the government. yes, eventually in most of these cases the government legalized, enforced, or paid lip service to the gains that had already been achieved by grassroots activism and direct action (which, fyi, is a completely anarchist tactic). if the us federal government could’ve gotten away without ending jim crow, you can bet your ass they would’ve, and in fact, the rise of the prison industrial complex is evidence that they didn’t actually get rid of jim crow, it just morphed into something a little more subtle are far more dangerous.

Somalia is not an anarchy, it’s a failed state. if you want an example of an actual anarchist society, look at spain during the civil war, where they collectivized large swaths of land and organized genuine direct democracy in many anarchist strongholds.

I don’t wanna waste too much time responding to your atrocious comments, so I’ll leave it at that.

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By Listener81, February 20, 2012 at 2:18 am Link to this comment

So you walk away instead of answering the question? Typical anarKKKists tactics…well, other then trying to squash people’s civil rights and breaking things.
  Again, if Anarchy is so good, why is Somalia not a paradise?
  What have anarKKKists accomplished in the over 100% of their existence? I can tell you what Social Democrats/progressives have achieved: the Civil Rights Movement, union rights, minimum wage, women’s rights, gay rights, etc etc
  Is there ANYWHERE anarchism is working? Again, I direct you here: http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Economics/SocialDemocracy.html
    And also…WHY OHH WHY DO anarKKKists never want to say the name “Denmark” out loud? How did it get the way it is? I’ll tell you: EVOLUTION, not REVOLUTION.
    May this be a lesson to any real political activist reading. The American AnarKKKists moron is like any other dumb animal: show no fear and don’t back down, and they tend to scurry away.

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By Mark E. Smith, February 20, 2012 at 12:58 am Link to this comment

Unsubscribing to this topic. I haven’t had a rabies shot and I hear they’re very painful.

For those frothing at the mouth, calling anarchists fascists, cherishing their uncounted vote, and still believing Cold War propaganda, this is what an anarchist collective looks like:

http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/the-new-economy/mondragon-worker-cooperatives-decide-how-to-ride-out-a-downturn

It isn’t racism to give workers a living wage and full benefits, or to be responsible to the community. Racism is the US government using more black prison labor now than there were slaves prior to Abolition.

Liberals and progressives are people who think that if they keep doing the same things that haven’t worked for the past 217 years, things might get better instead of progressively and liberally worse.

Sorry, tomcat, katsteevns, Foucauldian, and everyone else who contributed to a rational discussion, but when the “nonviolent” people engage in crude, ignorant, vicious attacks, following the example of their leader, who used violent language in the title of an article ostensibly advocating nonviolence, the case has been made and there’s no reason to expose myself to their venom.

It is precisely because the rabid dogs of war lack reason, that they can do nothing but froth at the mouth and try to bite anyone who advocates peace, justice, dignity and respect. The reason they are so frightened and angry at the thought of government of, by, and for the people, is because they themselves are not capable of self-governance—or even of civil discourse.

Bye.

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By heterochromatic, February 19, 2012 at 11:57 pm Link to this comment

Listener—-68% in 2008 is pretty good.. it was about 56.8% in 2000…....


do you think that was because black people were repudiating the ugliness of the
Bush admin or because they’re just not as silly and jaded as some of the little
poseur cats strutting around here?

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By Listener81, February 19, 2012 at 11:56 pm Link to this comment

Here is what I want, and what most Americans want:
  http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Economics/SocialDemocracy.html
 
  I can point on the globe to Social Democracy working. Or, I can show it starting to develop:
  http://iar-gwu.org/node/41
Thank you, Lula Da Silva, one of the greatest, if not THE GREATEST, living Social Democrats.

  Now, lets see what Anarchy looks like in THE REAL WORLD. No government, no cops, no corporations. A paradise, right? Well…actually…

  http://www.economist.com/node/12637009

  In short, there is post-left anarchy. Well, I say it’s time for a post-anarKKKists left. We progressives need to unite and walk away from the scum that is the “radicals.” We need to understand that it’s the same KKK, only they exchanged their white hoodies for black ones.
  Just as the American right only achieved victory after they kicked out the KKK and people like the Council of Conservative Citizens, the left will only achieve victory if we tell the anarKKKists and the KKKommunists to go to hell.
  We DO NOT NEED the kiddies-in-the-hoodies. Socialists, Social-Democrats, Greens and progressives can do it better if we do it BY OUR DAMN SELVES.

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By Listener81, February 19, 2012 at 11:43 pm Link to this comment

Why oh WHY is it all anarKKKists assume that anyone who is not a violent revolutionary is a “liberal”? Liberalism is a worthless ideology of chumps that I reject, as I do every time I vote.
  We need a REAL democracy, one in which Social-Justice is GUARANTEED through a system that ensures labor gets their fair cut, the poor are taken care of and corporations are controlled. A true democracy…a SOCIAL-DEMOCRACY!
    Now, I know that is a DIRTY WORD that no one wants to use in America. The corporate media doesn’t want to say it because they know it is what most Americans want, anarKKKists and KKKommunists don’t want to use it because it goes against their white-supremacist doctrine of fighting for freedom and settling for power, and liberals like that idiot Obama don’t want to say it for fear that the people will look for a Social-Democrat to support instead of a useless corporate owned liberal like Pelosi, Obama, Reed etc.
    So the answer? Fight for Social-Democracy EVERYWHERE. If there is a Democratic primary that can be hijacked, HIJACK IT. If there isn’t, run as a third party candidate, either Green, Democratic Socialist of America or something else. Work with labor unions, who know GOOD AND WELL America needs Social Democracy and take to the streets, pushing the agenda everywhere and anywhere. That is what is needed…but first, BUT FIRST, we need to CUT THE DEAD WEIGHT.
  AnarKKKists, KKKommunists and other chumps need to be told to take their trust fund butts and GO TO HELL. Stay the hell away from OUR ORGANIZING. Go revolt from the safety of your fantasies somewhere else.
    As for the ASSUMPTION that we are all “white liberals,” I am neither white nor liberal. I am black, grew up in Newark, NJ and am as working class as they come. As most working class people, I can’t sit down and entertain idiotic pipe-dreams about revolutions, I need to see things change NOW. Can you show me WHAT anarKKKisms has won? I can show YOU what Social-Democracy has won.
  I can show you a place where poverty is almost non-existence, where EVEN THE GUY WORKING AT MCDONALDS has a union and everyone makes a living wage. A place of freedom, free college, free healthcare, and the LOWEST disparity in wealth on Earth. Take your spoiled rich-kid fantasies and go wank off to V for Vendetta again, for I have seen the mountain top…I have BEEN TO DENMARK.
    Oh, and as for “white doctrines,” was Mr. Social-Democray, Bayard Rustin, white? How about Asa Phillip Randolph? Was that just a deep tan he had?
  Really, these AnarKKKists want us blacks to be their lap dogs. We are only useful as long as we go along with their lines and when we disagree we are ignored or worse.
  Well, 68% of all blacks in America voted in 2008, compared to 62% of the general population. So, blacks are more likely to like the state and support it by voting. Hence, if they had their way, blacks would be massacred by the AnarKKists and the only ones left would be those whom agree to be their slaves.
  Sorry, but I like my right to vote, my civil liberties and my government that my ancestors fought to protect. I also like my police, even though they need to seriously change the way they do business and need more oversight. Any upper-class white AnarKKKist brat who wants to take them away from me can get bent.
  And if they try to violate my civil rights, I’m gonna give those AnarKKKists a taste of my best impersonation of Keanu Reeves in “The Matrix,” because unlike most liberals, this Social Democrat believes in the Second Amendment….

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By tomcat, February 19, 2012 at 9:59 pm Link to this comment

I thought some folks might like to hear from a Eugene, Oregon anarchist…Eugene was the hotbed of anarchist activity in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.

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By tomcat, February 19, 2012 at 9:06 pm Link to this comment

Eugene Anarchism Resurgent   July 30, 2010
    Part 1.

  Forget whatever you think you know about anarchism. As the most uncompromising revolutionary ideology, anarchism has always been subject to vile ignorance and the most disingenuous debate. To frame our ideology in the simplest possible terms, anarchists seek to build a society where each person has the power to pursue their life as they see fit, free from constraints imposed by material conditions or social stigma, and to live in harmony with the earth and all life upon it.
We understand, of course, that the only way we can effect this sort of change is through conscious, organized struggle. So it is as part of an attempt to bring about our utopia, as well as to improve our everyday lives, that a number of anarchists in Lane County came together to form the Black Tea Society.
  Since our formation we have taken action on issues as varied as anti-globalization, the environment, third-world solidarity, and anti-gentrification. However the issue we have been working on that received the most publicity has been the recent wave of protests against the presence of the Pacifica Forum on the University of Oregon campus. The Pacifica Forum is essentially the public face of the Nazi movement in Eugene. It’s beginnings were humble and unobtrusive enough, the Forum began in the early 90’s as a Pacifist discussion group, at first making only occasional forays into Holocaust Denial. Slowly this objectionable subject matter took up more and more of the Forum’s time and content, driving away it’s progressive members one by one. Although the Forum has gone to great lengths to disguise its true nature, a brief perusal of the titles of its events is sufficient to demonstrate how far it has wandered from its original mission. Nevertheless they have caused considerable confusion by continuing to use their old mission statement. Today the Forum is no more than a platform for the spread of bigotry and intolerance.
  While we had been aware of the Forum’s existence for a number of years,we did not consider them worthy of our attention until they hosted a talk by the National Socialist Movement (NSM, the new name of the American Nazi Party). It was after this event that the protests began in earnest. Their link to a national Neo-Nazi organization was what lead us to categorize them as a potential threat.
  We believe that if you allow prejudice to fester undisturbed it will grow and spread and that the best place to stop bigotry is in its early stages, before it gains momentum. Education is a great preventative step. However, education doesn’t effectively deal with already established fascist/racist organizations. Once a bigot has developed a cohesive enough philosophy to start an organization, they have ceased to merely have a prejudice, they have developed an ideology. A bigot with a developed ideology is a danger because they are no longer reactive and have become proactive. They have begun to systematically spread their genocidal ideology. Here they begin to gain strength and power and the shadow of genocide and totalitarian government hovers ominously close.
  Sadly many people in Eugene don’t seem to understand this distinction.  Prejudice comes in many different forms and each variety must be addressed in the manner which suits it. The necessity of opposing racism and bigotry, something which people of color seem understand implicitly, has had to be explained again and again to some of the white students. Others, revealing the racist values they have internalized, have even gone so far as to suggest that the white supremacist ideology espoused by the Forum is worthy of serious debate.

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By tomcat, February 19, 2012 at 9:02 pm Link to this comment

Part 2.
Perhaps the biggest hurdle we have faced during the course of our campaign is the concern   that by challenging the Forum we will end up limiting free speech. As anarchists, we believe in allowing people to participate in free dialogue, but we do not believe that people who are expressing racist or bigoted opinions should be unaccountable to their communities. We also do not believe that government or the university administration are capable of fairly implementing or enforcing this accountability. We believe that communities are responsible for collectively regulating the conduct of their members while respecting the individual.
  Many might be tempted to think that Eugene’s progressive/hippie/eco-friendly culture would ward away far-right elements. The reality of the situation is quite different, as Janet Biehl and Peter Staudenmaier point out in their essay “Ecofascism: Lessons from the German Experience”, bohemian artist culture is not mutually exclusive to fascist or authoritarian philosophies.
  Pacifica Forum is only the tip of the iceberg. The Pacific Northwest remains a stronghold of the far-right, although Eugene has been historically sheltered from this due to a strong anarchist presence, many Neo-Nazis want to make this part of the country their promised land. Recent factors such as skyrocketing unemployment and stiff competition for jobs with a growing immigrant population has created fertile ground for the nationwide rise of fascism. History shows us that the ruling class fears our social movements, and they not only fail to protect us from fascism, but in-fact bolster their efforts in order to maintain their own power and privilege. From history we also learn of the need for staunch opposition from popular movements in order to successfully combat the fascist menace.
  Of course as anarchists we do not restrict ourselves solely to the fight against fascism. These are tumultuous times. Our planet can no longer contain the wounds inflicted upon it, by capitalism in all its greed, its wars and indifference. The ecological crisis and the worldwide economic crisis call into question the system’s ability to sustain itself. From the gulf oil spill to the bailout, it stands revealed in all it’s corruption and incompetence. Across the globe popular anger is welling up, no one can tell if it is going to explode or if it already has. Anarchists have been at the forefront of every social movement since the collapse of the Soviet Union. As public unrest swells, the law books expand and the prison beds fill. But our time is one of connections and education, and we see hope in the rebellions of the disenchanted, not the corporate sponsored savior we were spoon fed during the last presidential elections. We have had enough of saviors and prophets, our salvation may be found in our own hearts and minds, and does not emanate from any external source. We believe in social revolution, the overturning of our entire economic/political system, the construction of an egalitarian society based on mutual aid, solidarity, and sympathy. To this end we ask that each person examine their own life. We ask that you seek out those places where the forces of centralization and oppression sink their talons into you and to combine your strength with others to bring an end to institutionalized injustice. Know that our strength lies not in our ability to cause physical damage, but in our ability to persuade others to cease their blind obedience to authority and that together we can bring down this rotten system and herald in the new dawn.


See you in the streets,
The Black Tea Society

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By Mark E. Smith, February 19, 2012 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment

Perhaps I can give you a less “tepid” analogy, Ardee.

Seeking to replace corporatist stooges with progressive third party legislators within a corporatist system of government is like seeking to replace the broiler element in your oven with some ice cube trays so that it will act more like a refrigerator.

I think your obsession with appearances may be a clue to your inability to understand. Judging solely by superficial appearances, our corporatist system of government might look like a system with the potential to represent the interests of the 99%. Looking past the superficial appearances, it becomes obvious that the system was designed, as the Framers of the Constitution clearly stated, to ensure that those who owned the country would always run the country.

Changing a few elements within a system designed to perpetuate corporate rule cannot bring about a more democratic system, any more than me changing hats or not wearing a hat could alter your disagreement with anything I write. wink

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By Anarcissie, February 19, 2012 at 1:04 pm Link to this comment

I wasn’t referring to Mark Smith.

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By ardee, February 19, 2012 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment

Third party voters are like people who replace their car’s steering wheels with bicycle handlebars to make their cars more green.

What the hell does this even mean? Third Party voters, Green Party especially, seek to replace corporatist stooges with progressive legislators. Can I suggest what the Cat in the Hat can do with his tepid analogies?

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By Mark E. Smith, February 19, 2012 at 12:35 pm Link to this comment

Liberals appear to restrict the use of the word “violence” to refer to damage to fully insured corporate property, where neither the property nor the corporation that owns it is human or capable of feeling pain.

When liberals refer to genuine violence, the painful infliction of suffering on humans, such as impoverishment, brutality, torture, and state-sponsored mass murder, they use terms like “economic policy,” “law enforcement,” and “collateral damage,” instead of violence.

It makes it very difficult to communicate with liberals, as they speak another language entirely—a language devoid of human feeling and empathy.

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By David J. Cyr, February 19, 2012 at 12:00 pm Link to this comment

Liberal activists are always insisting that necessary revolution must always be absolutely nonviolent, but it is they — the corporate party’s Democrat voters — who make nonviolent revolution impossible.

“I’m nonviolent with those who are nonviolent with me.”

— Malcolm X

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By Foucauldian, February 19, 2012 at 11:11 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie,

I don’t think Mark Smith was doing that,
“trolling,” that is.  He was making use of
rhetoric, that’s all.

If anything, I find the communication by the
previous poster rather disingenuous.  Just because
he happens to be black, it doesn’t mean he can
speak on behalf of all the blacks, anymore than I
can speak on behalf of all the “whites.”  If
anything, I find a rather odd disconnect here and
lack of identification with his own people, those
who are being incarcerated, for example, in great
numbers for minor drug offenses, etcetera.  Tell it
to those people that all the African-Americans that
they love the State.

Thanks, Michael.  All I’m trying to do is to stay
honest.  I still wish some of our discussions here
were more focused.  As it happens, too many people
tend to wander off in all sorts of directions, with
the result that none of us are getting any closer
to reaching some basic agreement.  The entire
thread has got too many trees.  It’s difficult to
keep track.

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By Anarcissie, February 19, 2012 at 10:36 am Link to this comment

elisalouisa, February 19 at 7:38 am:

Listener81. “Once they get done destroying this movement they will shrug, cash in their trust funds and go back to college and end up working at the bank they used to protest. Why don’t you see any old anarchists? Reason is simple:
they grow up and become Republicans!”

Perhaps some are hastily writing a book about Occupy, eager to cash in as this Occupy thing might just over.

Far right Republicans may be covert anarchists as there is a point where the continual slogan of “less government .  .  .less government .  .  . meets the .  .  . no government .  .  .  no government mantra of the Anarchists.’

Actually, it doesn’t.  By and large, Republicans are very fond of a big, weighty government to wage wars, maintain an imperial state, surveille and jail a substantial number of poor people, engage in social engineering of all sorts, and bail out corporations and the rich.  The less-government mantra of the Republicans is largely a fraud.

For a comparison between Republicans and actual libertarians (viewed from a conservative perspective) see http://www.theamericanconservative.com/blog/libertarian-left/.

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By Anarcissie, February 19, 2012 at 10:28 am Link to this comment

I think if someone writes abusively and is fairly free of facts and thought, one might want to consider the possibility of, shall we say, less than good faith.  I would say ‘trolling’ but I’m going to wear the word out.  Uh-oh….

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By Mark E. Smith, February 19, 2012 at 10:10 am Link to this comment

Listener81 is absolutely correct in that I did engage in racist stereotyping by referring only to black radicals like the TAC of Occupy Oakland and black writers like Glen Ford, Margaret Kimberly, and Anthony Monteiro, while omitting the fact that there are many black liberals who are every bit as regressive and opposed to change as white liberals. For that omission I did deserve a slap upside the head.

On the other hand, as Foucauldian points out, Listener81 is also stereotyping, and doing so incorrectly, as the anarchists I know are working class and include many older people, blacks, chican@s, Asians, Middle Easterners, and others who know the difference between a worthless uncounted vote and a real voice in government. It is the latter that people fought and died for—nobody fought and died for the right to have their vote go uncounted or for the Supreme Court to decide the winner of an election.

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By OzarkMichael, February 19, 2012 at 9:51 am Link to this comment

Foucaldian, some of your posts under the “Occupy Draws Strength From the Powerless” were most insightful. They were wll thought out, and although I didnt agree with you, reading them was an agreeable experience. I never got around to commenting on them, and all I have time for here is a tip of my hat to you here on a sideline topic.

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By Foucauldian, February 19, 2012 at 9:05 am Link to this comment

Listener 81, it is you who are being divisive and
racist here, stereotyping people according to your
preconceptions.

I think it would serve you well to listen the
speeches of Martin Luther King and Cornel West,  If
you’re thinking for a moment that the present state
in America represents justice, you’re indeed a
brother from another planet.

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By elisalouisa, February 19, 2012 at 8:38 am Link to this comment

Listener81. “Once they get done destroying this movement they will shrug, cash in their trust funds and go back to college and end up working at the bank they used to protest. Why don’t you see any old anarchists? Reason is simple:
they grow up and become Republicans!”

Perhaps some are hastily writing a book about Occupy, eager to cash in as this Occupy thing might just over.

Far right Republicans may be covert anarchists as there is a point where the continual slogan of “less government .  .  .less government .  .  . meets the .  .  . no government .  .  .  no government mantra of the Anarchists.

The accuracy of an online poll taking is questionable. Personally speaking, I do not respond to any poll: online, on the phone or on the street. Such a stand certainly questions the accuracy of most polls. Assuming I did choose to participate in an opinion poll, if I were asked, “Do you support Occupy Oakland?” the response would be an overwhelming “Yes.” More specifically, if the question was, “Do you support the escalation in violence that has been part of Occupy Oakland demonstrations recently?” The answer would be a most resounding, “No.” Let’s get real about this poll and what it tells you. As in any poll it tells you nothing unless perhaps what the sponsor of that poll wants you to think.

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By Listener81, February 19, 2012 at 6:30 am Link to this comment

I registered with this site ONLY so I could denounce the racism in Mark E. Smith’s words.
  What, so people of color are ALWAYS about violence? Is that what you think? I am black, and I can tell you most of the people in the black community denounce meaningless violence like throwing things at the police. I have news for you and other white, upper-class background anarchist brats: us black folks LIKE THE STATE and in fact 68% OF US VOTED IN THE LAST ELECTION! THAT IS A BIGGER PORTION THEN THE REST OF AMERICA VOTED!
    We want REAL REFORM, not some land of make believe revolution garbage that a trust fund anarchist may believe in. We want community control over the police, not a “policeless utopia.” We want Glass-Steagall, a National Bank and more protection of unions, not an end to banking, an end to money and “a classless society.”
  Sorry, but Occupy WILL NOT sell out to the same kiddies-in-the-hoodies who have never ACHIEVED ANYTHING in the years that they have been around. In the end, it was us social-democrats, liberals and socialists who made the real change and the anarchist kids who only laughed at it.
  Beware of the black bloc brats, majority of whom come from privileged backrgounds and hence of no real steak in the success of Occupy. Instead, they join for psychological reasons the thrill of using a crowd of well meaning people from which to launch attacks on police because they are too cowardly to attack a cop one on one. Once they get done destroying this movement they will shrug, cash in their trust funds and go back to college and end up working at the bank they used to protest. Why don’t you see any old anarchists? Reason is simple: they grow up and become Republicans!
    Majority of black people vote and majority of them are what the anarKKKhists would call “liberal.” So every time I hear some anarKKKhist talking about “people of color” I get suspicious…
  Sorry, but your racist, terrorist anarKKKhist movement DOES NOT SPEAK for people of color. Most of us would prefer to keep the right to vote that we have fought so hard for and refuse to be the slaves of the overwhelmingly white anarKKKhist movement.

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By Foucauldian, February 18, 2012 at 8:41 am Link to this comment

Good post, Mark.  Personally, I don’t think Hedges
is trying to hide anything, I read his objections
as essentially on moral grounds.  Of course, he’s
no anarchist.

I’d like to hear Cornel West’s views on the
subject, one of the few people I respect.  It’d
also be interesting to re-evaluate the Civil Rights
struggle, especially whether would have succeeded
by virtue of non-violent tactics alone—without
the Black Panthers, the early Malcolm X, Angela
Davis, and the hot summers and the riots.

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By Mark E. Smith, February 18, 2012 at 8:15 am Link to this comment

Chris Hedges, like the mainstream media, is trying to hide and distort the truth. Rather than losing support by adopting a diversity of tactics, a recent poll showed that Occupy Oakland enjoys 94% community support:

http://uslaboragainstwar.org/article.php?id=25442

Meanwhile #CoverKhader was the 2nd top story trending on Twitter last night due to the MSM’s refusal to cover the story of Palestinian Khader Adnan, now in his 63rd day of a hunger strike to protest being imprisoned without charge by Israel. MSM journalist Nick Kristof, who specifically supports only nonviolence and said that he was waiting for a “Palestinian Gandhi” had yet to say a word about Khader.

Beware white liberals like Jensen, Hedges, and Kristof insisting that people of color be nonviolent in the fact of state-sponsored violence, but then, while depicting children who throw rocks at army tanks or protesters who break corporate and bank store windows as “terrorists,” ignore people like Khader who follow their advice.

What the liberals want is more time for their beloved imperialist governments to impoverish and murder more millions of innocent civilians, and they don’t want the victims to have the right of self-defense or to do anything that will gain them media coverage and community support. They want the victims to be nonviolent so that afterward they can gloat about how those who foolishly listened to them, “went like sheep.”

I just did a google search for “Khader Adnan Chris Hedges” and it drew a blank. Hedges wants people to be nonviolent so that they’ll lose community support and he and the mainstream media can ignore them.

It is those Occupy cities that have rejected diversity of tactics and been co-opted into politics as usual that are losing support. The first time the public sees videos of cops beating and pepper-spraying peaceful protesters it may be shocking, but after they’ve seen dozens of such videos, they lose their impact. And those who are the Occupy movement’s most likely supporters, people who have been adversely impacted by the economic crisis, really can’t afford to keep bailing protesters out of jail over and over again.

When human rights are under attack, people of conscience stand up, fight back! Or at least say something. If nonviolent tactics like Khader Adnan’s hunger strike were effective, they’d get media coverage. The silence of those journalists who claim to support nonviolent resistance, is complicity in state-sponsored terrorism.

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By Anarcissie, February 18, 2012 at 7:34 am Link to this comment

Ineffectually fighting the police is not going to alleviate any of the problems you mention.  I’m not going to tell people not to defend themselves physically, but more and different things are required than breaking stuff if we’re going to replace the present system with anything better.

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By katsteevns, February 18, 2012 at 6:37 am Link to this comment

You are right, Anarcissie, no need for hysteria. Just don’t buy any tomatoes or bottled water shipped in from Iraq for a while, say 10,000 years. And don’t ask if you can go their to do research on their 10,000 year old culture because it’s gone. It’s all good.

Don’t worry, the hysteria will be lapping at our shores soon enough, even without my help. And this only after we have “disciplined” places like Iran, Korea, Venezuela, Bolivia and Cuba. Because it’s our tax dollars that buy the bullets.

It’s all okay cuz Chris and Company will get our kids back to work. We will just have to remind them not to swim in the Connecticut River.

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By Anarcissie, February 17, 2012 at 7:26 pm Link to this comment

katsteevns, February 17 at 12:45 pm:

‘... Chris Hedges is trying to deliver a solution that repeatedly has failed throughout US history to change the face of this nation. Even if successful, it could be decades in the making. ...’

I think if you take away the hysteria and the hyperbole his position is fairly reasonable.  Given the resources available to the Occupy movements and other radicals, contests of force with the state are going to be defeats.  And in any case a new social order with new relations has to be built or grown; it can’t be brought into being overnight by breaking stuff.

Serious changes for better or worse across a whole large country are always going to be decades in the making.

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By katsteevns, February 17, 2012 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

Far too many people have unwillingly sacrificed their lives in service to greedy capitalists in control of our government with silent and not-so-silent compliance of the electorate.

Chris Hedges is trying to deliver a solution that repeatedly has failed throughout US history to change the face of this nation. Even if successful, it could be decades in the making.

How many more lives will be sacrificed while the world waits for the US to get right with God or Buddha and don a comprehensive policy of peace?

However long it takes, those lost lives appear to be a sacrifice that Hedges is willing to make. In the mean time, he will live in relative safety and secure behind the bulwark of an imperial empire.

Go take a bullet for an Afghani if you want to be a martyr, because over here in the US, “action” is what is needed more than introspection. We have had ample time for that. Anything less is acquiescing to business as usual.

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By katsteevns, February 17, 2012 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

The system must be fundamentally changed before any lasting good comes of it. Proportional representation and fair elections come to mind. Get rid of the electoral college, the MIC and the fiat money system. Otherwise, you are just kicking a dead horse.

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By Mark E. Smith, February 17, 2012 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

Automobiles are a system of transportation, but they’re not very green.

Bicycles are another system of transportation, more green than automobiles.

Third party voters are like people who replace their car’s steering wheels with bicycle handlebars to make their cars more green.

Cosmetic and superficial reforms to a system can’t change the system.

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