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The Cancer in Occupy

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Posted on Feb 6, 2012
Mr. Fish

By Chris Hedges

(Page 2)

The Black Bloc movement is infected with a deeply disturbing hypermasculinity. This hypermasculinity, I expect, is its primary appeal. It taps into the lust that lurks within us to destroy, not only things but human beings. It offers the godlike power that comes with mob violence. Marching as a uniformed mass, all dressed in black to become part of an anonymous bloc, faces covered, temporarily overcomes alienation, feelings of inadequacy, powerlessness and loneliness. It imparts to those in the mob a sense of comradeship. It permits an inchoate rage to be unleashed on any target. Pity, compassion and tenderness are banished for the intoxication of power. It is the same sickness that fuels the swarms of police who pepper-spray and beat peaceful demonstrators. It is the sickness of soldiers in war. It turns human beings into beasts.

“We run on,” Erich Maria Remarque wrote in “All Quiet on the Western Front,” “overwhelmed by this wave that bears us along, that fills us with ferocity, turns us into thugs, into murderers, into God only knows what devils: this wave that multiplies our strength with fear and madness and greed of life, seeking and fighting for nothing but our deliverance.”

The corporate state understands and welcomes the language of force. It can use the Black Bloc’s confrontational tactics and destruction of property to justify draconian forms of control and frighten the wider population away from supporting the Occupy movement. Once the Occupy movement is painted as a flag-burning, rock-throwing, angry mob we are finished. If we become isolated we can be crushed. The arrests last weekend in Oakland of more than 400 protesters, some of whom had thrown rocks, carried homemade shields and rolled barricades, are an indication of the scale of escalating repression and a failure to remain a unified, nonviolent opposition. Police pumped tear gas, flash-bang grenades and “less lethal” rounds into the crowds. Once protesters were in jail they were denied crucial medications, kept in overcrowded cells and pushed around. A march in New York called in solidarity with the Oakland protesters saw a few demonstrators imitate the Black Bloc tactics in Oakland, including throwing bottles at police and dumping garbage on the street. They chanted “Fuck the police” and “Racist, sexist, anti-gay / NYPD go away.”

This is a struggle to win the hearts and minds of the wider public and those within the structures of power (including the police) who are possessed of a conscience. It is not a war. Nonviolent movements, on some level, embrace police brutality. The continuing attempt by the state to crush peaceful protesters who call for simple acts of justice delegitimizes the power elite. It prompts a passive population to respond. It brings some within the structures of power to our side and creates internal divisions that will lead to paralysis within the network of authority. Martin Luther King kept holding marches in Birmingham because he knew Public Safety Commissioner “Bull” Connor was a thug who would overreact.

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The Black Bloc’s thought-terminating cliché of “diversity of tactics” in the end opens the way for hundreds or thousands of peaceful marchers to be discredited by a handful of hooligans. The state could not be happier. It is a safe bet that among Black Bloc groups in cities such as Oakland are agents provocateurs spurring them on to more mayhem. But with or without police infiltration the Black Bloc is serving the interests of the 1 percent. These anarchists represent no one but themselves. Those in Oakland, although most are white and many are not from the city, arrogantly dismiss Oakland’s African-American leaders, who, along with other local community organizers, should be determining the forms of resistance.

The explosive rise of the Occupy Wall Street movement came when a few women, trapped behind orange mesh netting, were pepper-sprayed by NYPD Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna. The violence and cruelty of the state were exposed. And the Occupy movement, through its steadfast refusal to respond to police provocation, resonated across the country. Losing this moral authority, this ability to show through nonviolent protest the corruption and decadence of the corporate state, would be crippling to the movement. It would reduce us to the moral degradation of our oppressors. And that is what our oppressors want.

The Black Bloc movement bears the rigidity and dogmatism of all absolutism sects. Its adherents alone possess the truth. They alone understand. They alone arrogate the right, because they are enlightened and we are not, to dismiss and ignore competing points of view as infantile and irrelevant. They hear only their own voices. They heed only their own thoughts. They believe only their own clichés. And this makes them not only deeply intolerant but stupid.

“Once you are hostile to organization and strategic thinking the only thing that remains is lifestyle purity,” Jensen said. “ ‘Lifestylism’ has supplanted organization in terms of a lot of mainstream environmental thinking. Instead of opposing the corporate state, [lifestylism maintains] we should use less toilet paper and should compost. This attitude is ineffective. Once you give up on organizing or are hostile to it, all you are left with is this hyperpurity that becomes rigid dogma. You attack people who, for example, use a telephone. This is true with vegans and questions of diet. It is true with anti-car activists toward those who drive cars. It is the same with the anarchists. When I called the police after I received death threats I became to Black Bloc anarchists ‘a pig lover.’ ” 

“If you live on Ogoni land and you see that Ken Saro-Wiwa is murdered for acts of nonviolent resistance,” Jensen said, “if you see that the land is still being trashed, then you might think about escalating. I don’t have a problem with that. But we have to go through the process of trying to work with the system and getting screwed. It is only then that we get to move beyond it. We can’t short-circuit the process. There is a maturation process we have to go through, as individuals and as a movement. We can’t say, ‘Hey, I’m going to throw a flowerpot at a cop because it is fun.’ ”


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By Foucauldian, March 11, 2012 at 8:31 pm Link to this comment

Of course, the idea of bringing in morality as a
litmus test with respect to law is precisely to
emphasize if and when possible, the inadequacy of law;
which doesn’t deny its ontology as a
social/sociological construction but reaffirms it.

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By Foucauldian, March 11, 2012 at 8:27 pm Link to this comment

Fair enough.  I don’t like the term “positivistic”
here.  A social fact/sociological construct/ion is
happier I think.

But you do seem to be vacillating somewhat on the
morality question.  At times you use it in a positive,
definitive-enough sense, at other times you’re being
relativistic.  I suggest that our moral language and
concepts, especially those clustering about
virtues/excellences can settle these questions and
guide us out of the relativistic maze.

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By elisalouisa, March 11, 2012 at 8:16 pm Link to this comment

Anar: But as the paper argues, bringing moral judgements into the interpretation of laws is opening up questions which the law was supposed to settle.  In effect, it negates the laws.  In that case, why have the law and the consequent jurisprudence in the first place.

Interesting link below “The Relationship between Law and Morality.

http://h2g2.com/dna/h2g2/A2566389

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By Anarcissie, March 11, 2012 at 7:28 pm Link to this comment

I’ve read the debate previously.  I go with the positivistic notion of Law: it’s a social fact, with the exceptions I have already noted.  As to morality, we may be speaking about many different things: a set of rules, a set of customs, tradition, common sense, the promptings of conscience, Nietzsche’s view of God hiding in the grammar, intuitions inscribed by evolution, and no doubt others, at the base, usually with some elaborations due to logic, aesthetics, experience, and the interactions thereof as a superstructure.  None of these are ever entirely free of social influences and pressures.  And one person’s morality may well be another’s profound evil; read some of the things said about Islam.

But as the paper argues, bringing moral judgements into the interpretation of laws is opening up questions which the law was supposed to settle.  In effect, it negates the laws.  In that case, why have the law and the consequent jurisprudence in the first place?

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By OzarkMichael, March 11, 2012 at 5:50 pm Link to this comment

However, since the 1990s, sociopathy has overcome reason in several instances, such as the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the sovereign mishandlings of financial problems in the U.S. and Europe, thuggery in numerous states, and so forth.Meanwhile the energy of its supposed enforcers seems to be in decline as they fight one another.

I can’t say I have a nifty explanation for this failure of nerve and intelligence.

Let me speak to you the way the Count of Sodermore spoke to his son who was perplexed by what seemed to be the loss of nerve and intelligence among the governments of the world: “An nescis, mi fili, quantilla prudentia mundus regatur?” (Do you not know, my son, with what little wisdom the world is ruled?)

I dont think the conditions for revolution have to be brought about by brilliance and bravery. In fact, since you can count on at least some stupidity and cowardice at all times you might as well decide that the turmoil and confusion speeds the arrival of the communist revolution.

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By Foucauldian, March 11, 2012 at 5:49 pm Link to this comment

I’m afraid both of you are proceeding too quick. 
The debate I linked too is required reading, there
are competing conceptions of law at stake, a
possible reason for disagreement, and arguments on
both sides are sound.  So I’m not going to weigh in
on this prematurely until this issue gets its proper
attention.

I’d like to point to one crucial difference,
however.  Insofar as law is institutionalized, i.e.,
a product of an institution, it’s liable to be
affected or influenced by institutional interests—
and this covers a whole gamut of things.  By
contrast, moral code does not labor under such
constraints.  There are no extraneous interests that
might affect it, so ideally, it’s motivated by “pure
justice.”  Rather than “a teacher,” approximation is
an apter metaphor, where morality serves as it were
the limit.

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By OzarkMichael, March 11, 2012 at 5:29 pm Link to this comment

The Law (in a secular state) is a political fact, and arises out of political processes, but it does not necessarily convey morality, since political processes can be evil or confused.

Ok, i see that we agree. But now i want to find a place to disagree. Thats just how we proceed.

It is my opinion that the Law is a teacher of morality. That is why religions/religious people either attempt to influence law or to run the whole show. There is one religion which has as part of its charter that it must necessarily run the whole show, and that would be Islam.  That would be a major digression to explain so lets not go there for now. Let us be content by saying that almost everybody is a busybody or at least cares enough for their fellow man that they wish for them to be taught the right things about life.

The common person growing up with and living under the Law will gain the impression that what the Law prohibits is bad, and what the Law allows is ok. This is true in every state. The Law is like a respected teacher. This might be why there are such monumental tussles over legislation and Supreme Court decisions that have a miniscule effect on us personally. We want the Law to ‘teach’ what we think is right, and cannot stand the thought that the Law is teaching the wrong. It is not really so different from when we fight over education. The Law and education are both engines of propaganda.

So although i made the case that morality and politics are not two names for the same thing, politics is shot through with morality, and the results of politics are judged by morality, both for the morality it inculcates and for the morality of its results.

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By OzarkMichael, March 11, 2012 at 5:04 pm Link to this comment

My take on what was meant by “Marx’s mole is dead”: One problem for the Communists is that their revolution might occur in one nation, but the neighboring nation does not have the same problems and there isnt even any unrest there. The capitalists from that safe base of operations directly or indirectly intervene and make things hard for any new Communist state. That was one of the excuses Communists made for the atrocities they committed in their own states. This all springs from the fact that some workers in some states have it better than others, and the governments that some workers are under seem to deserve or at least have gained enough loyalty to fend off revolution.  The economic and social conditions were also completely different from one place to the nest.

Globalization(according to the article) will be the last hurrah of capitalism, since globalism briefly functions to intensify profits one more time, but note that it everywhere reduces the loyalty to and power of individual states which is the bulwork against revolution. More importantly, globalization equalizes worker victimization everywhere to the same level.  The result: we all have to play by the same economic rules all across the globe and there is no escape, which suits the capitalists just fine.

Unfortunately for the capitalists those are exactly the conditions for complete worldwide revolution.

There is no longer a mole of revolution popping up in one nation and a mole underground in the next nation. When the next revolution occurs in one place it shall resonate and reverberate throughout the equalized body(snake) of workers, so that the revolution will by definition become global, and the resolution of the problem will also be global, establishing one just rule for the whole world, safe and secure. The capitalists themselves have created the environment for themselves which will be used against them, since they wont be able to run to a different place and set up shop where their interests are better looked after.

I dont believe all of this, but thats what i understood of the article

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By Anarcissie, March 11, 2012 at 4:55 pm Link to this comment

OzarkMichael—We might be in some kind of agreement.  The Law (in a secular state) is a political fact, and arises out of political processes, but it does not necessarily convey morality, since political processes can be evil or confused.  However, if one believes that the Law was dictated by God, then it does necessarily convey morality, since presumably God would not dictate immoral Law. 

The fact that the makers of secular laws were devout would not mean that their laws were divinely inspired.  By religious law I mean only those systems of law which overtly claim divine authorship (Torah, Koran, Manusmriti, etc.) and are held to be such by their interpreters.

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By Foucauldian, March 11, 2012 at 4:11 pm Link to this comment

So accumulation of power carries within itself the
seeds of its own self-destruction.

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By Anarcissie, March 11, 2012 at 3:23 pm Link to this comment

Foucauldian—In regard to Negri, I think the validity of his ideas Remains To Be Seen, as they say.  Fifteen years ago I would have sort-of agreed: markets require a framework, therefore global markets require a global state.  Therefore, the ruling classes of the various states and other foci of Gewalt would overcome their endemic sociopathy to merge into a single system of authority in the hope of thereby securing their class supremacy.  There has been some sort of development along these lines since the 19th century.

However, since the 1990s, sociopathy has overcome reason in several instances, such as the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the sovereign mishandlings of financial problems in the U.S. and Europe, thuggery in numerous states, and so forth.  So we have no assurance of this global ‘empire’ as Negri calls it ever coalescing.  Meanwhile the energy of its supposed enforcers seems to be in decline as they fight one another.

I can’t say I have a nifty explanation for this failure of nerve and intelligence.

One must also take into consideration the serious ecological imbalances necessarily generated by capitalist industrialism which at some point will have to be dealt with, either by human beings or by some other forces—perhaps very unpleasant ones.

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By Foucauldian, March 11, 2012 at 1:39 pm Link to this comment

Meanwhile, Ana, could you look at the link posted
earlier to an article by Antonio Negri?

Would be interested in your feedback.

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By OzarkMichael, March 11, 2012 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment

I think as long as one regards the Law as purely secular, it is purely a political fact (or social fact, as the essay calls it) and has no special moral claims.  It is easy to remind oneself of immoral laws. On the other hand, some versions of the Law, such as Torah or the Koran, are held by believers to have been dictated by God, who is also the creator of the world and thereby the author of morality.  Thus, the interpreters and enforcers of halakha or sharia must take morality into account as they go about their business. This idea may be in the background of assertions about the connection of secular law and morality; but skeptics may assert that legislators are no more wise and moral than anybody else.  Indeed, the contrary often seems to be the case.

I must be a skeptic. An artist should be skilled with a paint brush so that one stroke does not distract fom the beauty of his work, and a physician should be skilled with a scalpel so that the patient obtains great long term benefit and the cost of minor short term damage, while a politician should be skilled at crafting legislation where the good effects are permanent and long lasting, while the damage is negligible and temporary.

But the best politician is not the system, for the system should be wiser than even the best politician.

Is there a distinction between ‘secular’ and ‘religious’ government needed for our discussion of politics and morality? Especially since a ‘secular’ government like ours arose from the sensibilites and traditions of a very religious people, and people have a very different understanding about what it means to be ‘secular’. Also, people without religion are just as hot under the collar for certain laws to be passed which bind everyone else as the most rabid theocrat is.

More importantly, Anarcissie, you prompt me to confess that laws are not outside the realm of morality. Nor was i saying that politics are divorced from morality. Nor do i mean to imply that the almighty system is above morality. My point is that the system, politics, and morality are three different things.

I am going to comment on Foucaldian’s imput later today

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By Anarcissie, March 11, 2012 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment

I think as long as one regards the Law as purely secular, it is purely a political fact (or social fact, as the essay calls it) and has no special moral claims.  It is easy to remind oneself of immoral laws.  On the other hand, some versions of the Law, such as Torah or the Koran, are held by believers to have been dictated by God, who is also the creator of the world and thereby the author of morality.  Thus, the interpreters and enforcers of halakha or sharia must take morality into account as they go about their business.  This idea may be in the background of assertions about the connection of secular law and morality; but skeptics may assert that legislators are no more wise and moral than anybody else.  Indeed, the contrary often seems to be the case.

As to the presence of tradition and the continuous organic nature of society in political processes, I thought I just wrote about that.  When I say ‘politics is the theory and practice of whose will shall prevail’, etc., I am just trying to define the word in a useful way; I am not prescribing any particular behavior or thought, or privileging one will or one kind of will over another.

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By Foucauldian, March 11, 2012 at 10:15 am Link to this comment

Concerning the nature of law and connection with
morality, see the Hart-Dworkin debate:

http://tinyurl.com/7as5ckw

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By Foucauldian, March 11, 2012 at 10:09 am Link to this comment

The following is an excerpt from the series of
essays, which attempts to capture the needed
distinction.  It’s not fully-articulated yet, since
at this point of development it would be premature
to do so, but I think it kind of reverberates your
idea:

“Which isn’t to say that there aren’t any legitimate
areas of overlap between politics and morality; one
would surely hope there had better be some if we’re
to regard our politics as honorable endeavor. One
thing, however, seems for certain. Politics is about
structure, social structure; morality is not. Even
clan-based or tribal societies are essentially
political in makeup, whereas morality (concerning
itself as it does with strictly person-to-person
relations) is not. It makes all the sense in the
world to contest one’s rights vis-à-vis any
oppressive social or political structure; it makes
no sense whatever to do so in the context of
personal relations. If there be any lesson in this,
it’s that we’ve got to tread careful here, very
careful.”

As per link:  http://tinyurl.com/7uehhq3

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By OzarkMichael, March 11, 2012 at 9:34 am Link to this comment

If we take politics to be, as I define it, the theory and practice of whose will shall prevail in a community, and how

Your definition of politics is tied almost exclusively to the morality of choices. You have divorced politics from the context of law, tradition, and culture. You seem to think these can be safely ignored.

then we can observe that there are many very small communities, like families, marriages, friendships, business partnerships, the people who happen to be on a given street at a given moment…

But it is not merely the moment that we operate upon.

A person is free to experiment and change a great deal about themselves at a given moment. The remarkable thing about our culture is individual liberty, where you may arrange yourself in almost any manner you please, and it is the multitude of such arrangements by millions of people across space and time that influence tradition and culture. But that is not politics. 

What is politics? As you arrange your affairs with a spouse, we could say it is a small enclosed system. Every marriage is different, a little system of its own by virtue of the couple’s preferences(agreed upon tradition) about how the negotiations proceed. Perhaps in one marriage the negotiations are discussed only after a thorough rehash of the day’s events at the dinner table. Other couples have a different tradition: they never talk about how they feel about things until they are in the bedroom having sex, in the mutual passion when all is ‘laid bare’, that is when and how they make decisions. In another marriage all the hard decisions are made by one person in the middle of the night while the other one is sleeping without a care. In another, there are separate spheres of influence where each person has complete authority. In another marriage each person does just what they please.

The maneuvres in the agreed-upon method of decision making, that is politics. In my opinion the agreed-upon method itself isnt morality. Morality is instead: the measure of our thoughts, resolutions, and results. However, morality immediately comes into play when one partner operates outside the traditional agreed-upon process. For example, if they usually put their heads together across the dinner table in a leisurely fashion after reviewing the mundane events of the day, but the wife tries to initiate an important decision right in the middle of a passionate embrace, the husband will think ‘this isnt fair’ and thus at that time and that place there is something “immoral” about the method she is using.

In summ, politics is the agreed-upon process of making changes… within a tradition.

...where some kind of common decision or direction is called for, if only because one of the parties desires it.  Thus politics arises and is connected to how we treat other people—morality.

Here I want to stress the element that is missing from your discussion: time. The law, tradition, and culture do not arise in the moment. Instead it arises from long history, far longer and more complex than in a marriage.  True, decisions are called for in the moment but governmental politics involves more than the passion of the moment.

Good political vision percieves a wide sweep of time. First the past: society has existed for a long time. Millions of people have contributed to it, and our culture and traditions are an inheritence that we recieved from them. Second the future. We are not making these decisions merely for ourselves, but for the millions of children who will grow up and inherit this society from us. Lastly the present. Well, surely that is what we ought to be good at since we usually think only of ourselves.

To establish my own view I have bypassed the deeper meaning of your foundational definition: “Politics is the theory and practice of whose will shall prevail”. We can go there if you like. You know that I left room for you to make some points.

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By Foucauldian, March 11, 2012 at 9:24 am Link to this comment

I wasn’t aware I was trying to slip anything by you,
Michael.  In any case, if I have, it was
inadvertent.

Do you think “the people’s movement” is a loaded
term?  You may have something there, understand
though that my intention was to find a basis of
agreement (insofar as both of us subscribe to some
idea of justice).

Whenever the people rise against what they perceive
as oppression, isn’t their cause justified?  Must we
always withhold judgment (at least insofar as their
cause is concerned) until we learn the full scope
the of intended and well as the unintended
consequences?  Were the colonial people wrong to
rise against their former oppressors?  Was the
abolitionist movement wrong in conception, even if
it resulted in the Civil War?  And what of the
liberation movements - the Scots or the Irish vs.
the British Empire.  By the same token, I see the
Tea Party as a populist movement too, after a
fashion.

Can one really prevent one’s value judgments to
enter such analyses?  Must one?  What kind of an
account would we have if any of those narratives
were completely devoid of value judgments? 


Anarcissie,

I was googling about theorists of the commons and
ran across this guy, Antonio Negri.  You might find
the following article interesting, “Marx’s Mole is
Dead,” as per the following link:

http://tinyurl.com/4mnnp4f

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By Foucauldian, March 10, 2012 at 7:28 pm Link to this comment

I buy that. 

The red rosy cheeks of the little children.

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By OzarkMichael, March 10, 2012 at 7:25 pm Link to this comment

I’m not being metaphysical here in the least.

I didnt think you were and neither was I. The words ‘mystical’, ‘heavenly’, and ‘demonic’ in my last post were merely poetic flourishes, all intended as a playful pinch of your red cheeks.

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By Foucauldian, March 10, 2012 at 4:55 pm Link to this comment

Michael,

I’m not being metaphysical here in the least.

Take the Arab Spring, for starters. 

There’s nothing metaphysical about it, just people
rising against oppression.

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By OzarkMichael, March 10, 2012 at 4:27 pm Link to this comment

A correlative point:  It seems to me that
you’re ascribing a far greater significance to
individual actors/agents than I do.

As I read and write on Truthdig I am always mindful that everyone here has the significance of being a potential individual actors/agents. I accept for myself the responsibility of being an individual actor/agent. I have long ago extended to both of you the responsibility and integrity of being individual actors/agents. The hidden core of my posts is great respect… ‘what if you(insert your name here) were able to influence events? What if you had your way?’ I am constantly taking what people say with a seriousness and attentiveness that is generated by my hidden admiration, which few are able to accept.   

I don’t see the people’s movements, past, present and future, as having come about as a result of a concerted action of any one individual, not even any group of dedicated individuals, but more so as a
resultant of a complex interaction of social forces; and people are just swept by it, by the events of the day, rather than being the orchestrators.

Who can say if you are right, or to what extent you are right? But suddenly I spot something. You arent talking about all people and every change, you are creating a special catagory of events called “people’s movements” which has an almost mystical diminsion to it. At first glance it is charming, but on second glance it becomes clear that you will be selective as to which movements are mystically arising from the heavenly principles. That means there are events and movements which you will exclude from the special heavenly catagory, and those excluded events must arise from something contrary, some evil demonic forces, or if i must be more serious it seems you consider these lesser movements to be the work of individual human hands.

It runs against my sensibility to consider individual thought and action as the source of evil, while supposedly the unaware masses are the ones who unknowingly hammer upon the anvil of truth.

It also runs against my sensibility to judge myself and the things I like by different rules from which i judge others and the things i disapprove of. If you create a special catagory for yourself right out of the box, the only way to make that work is if the other person doesnt notice it.

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By Foucauldian, March 10, 2012 at 9:50 am Link to this comment

Top-notch post, Ana.

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By Foucauldian, March 10, 2012 at 8:33 am Link to this comment

A Burkean analysis.  Let’s clear up a couple points,
first before we cut to the chase:

(i)  I’m not advocating the overthrow of the US
government, and I doubt whether Anarcissie is
either.  Having said that, however, is not to say
that I am not sympathetic with a movement such as
OWS, because it see it as a positive, not a
negative, development.  I see it as positive because
in it I see lots of people waking about to certain
injustices and inequities in our political and
economic system.  Now, we may have to argue this
particular point, i.e., whether they system allows
for these injustices or inequities to have crept it,
but if we do, it will have to be a different kind of
discussion from the one we appear to have now; so
I’m assuming, perhaps prematurely, that we both
agree to an extent that the system is to an extent
inequitable and unjust.

That being the case, I have nothing to apologize for
wanting the cause of justice to prevail To pursue
the cause of justice, whether in one’s personal life
or in the context of a polity, is a noble endeavor,
perhaps the noblest one there is and, in a sense,
the very purpose of politics, as per Aristotle; and
I couldn’t agree more.

So the first thing that comes to mind, perhaps the
contrast you’re trying to draw, between custom,
tradition, mores, all the things in fact which seem
or seemed to have worked in the past, one the one
hand, and the new and yet-untried on the other –
that contrast becomes somewhat strained and
artificial (reified may be a better word) when
viewed in the larger context of our presumed desire
for justice.  (Not to mention the rather banal fact
that even without our push and shove, “the old” is
always undergoing the process of constant change,
turning into “the new.”)

(ii)  A correlative point:  It seems to me that
you’re ascribing a far greater significance to
individual actors/agents than I do.  I don’t see the
people’s movements, past, present and future, as
having come about as a result of a concerted action
of any one individual, not even any group of
dedicated individuals, but more so as a resultant of
a complex interaction of social forces; and people
are just swept by it, by the events of the day,
rather than being the orchestrators.  An example
from Umberto Eco comes to mind:  the storming of the
Bastille wasn’t the event that precipitated the
French Revolution but more of an icing on the cake,
a culmination of a myriad of events, large or small,
which had preceded it.  So on my view, Michael, all
of us are more or less caught up in, and sometimes
swept by, the Zeitgeist, the spirit of the times;
and in some sense, all of us are more or less
passive or not so passive bystanders in the great
march of what I call history ; and it is the history
that writes and rewrites the script, not us.  Again,
perhaps we argue whether my conception of history is
a right one, but that’s another kind of argument
again.

(iii)  Which leaves us, then, with the question of
how you or I, any individual in fact, may respond to
the events of the day.  What is the proper response?
Since I don’t entertain any grand illusion that I
(or anyone else in fact) may affect the future
course of OWS (and let’s stick to OWS as our object
case), all that remains for me to do is to think and
act responsibly.  And so I will write on the subject
now and then, try to elucidate some of the concepts
as well as the concepts of the liberal political
philosophy, and yes, I will support OWS for as long
as I see it as trying to advance the cause of social
justice (because I’m bound by my commitment to
justice); just as I would and should have supported
the Civil Rights struggle and antiwar protests in
the sixties, or the abolitionist cause in the
nineteenth century. 

(iv)  As to our “different moralities,” isn’t our
commitment to justice a common ground?

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By Anarcissie, March 10, 2012 at 8:05 am Link to this comment

If we take politics to be, as I define it, the theory and practice of whose will shall prevail in a community, and how, then we can observe that there are many very small communities, like families, marriages, friendships, business partnerships, the people who happen to be on a given street at a given moment, where some kind of common decision or direction is called for, if only because one of the parties desires it.  Thus politics arises and is connected to how we treat other people—morality.

That the social order is organic rather than mechanical is a good argument for conservatism (real conservatism, that is).  But one may still find oneself at odds with that social order.  The conflicts can be of various kinds, some trivial, some not so trivial, some very serious.  The social order I live in may demand that I wear a certain kind of hat; if I refuse to do so, I may be mildly punished.  For most people, this conflict will be fairly trivial whichever way it goes.  More serious conflicts about personal, private behavior may occur:  I may desire to engage in forbidden acts (homosexuality, drug use, cross-dressing, bohemianism and artistic pursuits, and so on) which don’t affect the general community very much, but are of great importance to myself.  Here, one may become the personal anarchist, nullify the rules, but stay out of trouble by keeping a sharp eye out for the police and informers. 

Finally, there are cases in which the entire social organism appears to be committing serious errors or crimes, such as imperial war or racial and class oppression.  In this case, although no doubt one should examine the situation with due respect for the wisdom of tradition, one may be compelled by one’s sense of morality, goodness, or fitness, or by one’s gods, to act in such a way as to impede or divert the will of one’s community, or even to change the nature of the community—the culture which sustains it—in such a way as to make the errors or crimes impossible.  In such cases even a single person may rightly stand against the multitude, for most people’s notion of right.  The breadth, antiquity and cohesion of the social order gives it weight, but it is not an irresistible weight.  Indeed, that same social organism often eventually heroizes or deifies those who have defied it, thereby confessing its need for their defiance.

(Curiously, the social order most of us now live in is self-consciously liberal, that is, its ruling class and intelligentsia generally conceptualize it as a machine.  Its economic system is highly dynamic which often has very cruel effects on some of its population.  It will not make peace with those who wish to attach themselves to it organically, like a tree trying to grow in a clockworks—it will be a very curious tree if it succeeds.  But I digress.)

As to ‘point of view’, we are all stuck with one, and we must make the best of it.

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By OzarkMichael, March 10, 2012 at 7:09 am Link to this comment

I am going to quote both of you to make a point. Foucaldian:

Common morality is the thicket.  Always has been, always will be.  How we treat and relate to one another is of primary importance.  Everything else, including politics, is secondary.

It’s so simple.  Perhaps that’s why it’s so hard to
understand.

and now Anarcissie:

Preferences, values, points of view, sensibilities result from the encounter with the real world and especially from confronting beings whose wills are different from our own.  The question is, how does one deal with these contrary beings and conditions?

Of course we develop our “points of view” from what we have ‘seen along the way’ as we travel through the times and places of our of lives. Of course morality is the definition of our lives, and not politics at all.

At the macro level(what we call ‘the system’) we are not functioning at the level of an one individual ideology no matter how cultivated your sensibility and values might be. The system has been effected by the experiences and rationality of the many. In my view, the customs, traditions, and smaller systemic processes such as the market, family, language, and law have all embedded wisdom and experience into the larger system. These things are not easily bent to the will of one person’s ideology no matter how rational it might seem. There is an art to that process and it is incremental, which, as much as we dislike its vulgar machinations, is called ‘politics’. So for a few individuals to attempt to set the system aside, in other words to short circuit the process with a view to taking down the system, is not a rememdy that can be resorted to without great risk. To be unaware of that risk guarantees disaster.

Social and political tradition is the product of a multiplicity of social experiences distilled over generations in multiple cultural processes. It is one thing for you to establish your individuality and idealism for yourself. i celebrate that for both of you, Anarcissie and Foucaldian and i celebrate our system for generating such diverse and thoughtful people. It is a completely different matter for you to discard/destroy the system which effects everything and everyone in ways that you dont comprehend. In that future realm of your new system,  are we not going to be blessed by your point of view and your sensibility? No. It is not about morality at that point. Your nice values will not be showered down like a gentle rain upon us. Since a person or 100 persons cannot possibly foresee the problems that millions of people over generations have already worked out, so you will be forced by events to create on an ad hoc basis a patchwork of a system quite different from your morals, a system that will be more flawed than the one we have now. If you realize your system isnt coming out too well, we wont be able to resurrect the old system at that point.

So yes i must reference something else besides merely my own morality, and what Anarcissie so cavalierly describes as ‘preferring my own point of view’, because I have to see things bigger than merely my own point of view. There is a practical art and practical science and practical philosophy to all this. That is what is lacking in the radical Left. I am not saying that i am good at it and you are not.  I am saying that you dont even try, and if you succeed in overthrowing the old system you will suddenly be forced to do so without any practice beforehand.

I am also insisting that your judgements of your morality vs mine are artificial, since i am not discussing of my own morality in the first place.

I borrowed a phrase or two from Thomas Sowell to write this post.

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By Foucauldian, March 9, 2012 at 10:02 pm Link to this comment

No need to get overly philosophical, Michael.  Common
morality is the thicket.  Always has been, always will
be.  How we treat and relate to one another is of
primary importance.  Everything else, including
politics, is secondary.

It’s so simple.  Perhaps that’s why it’s so hard to
understand.

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By Anarcissie, March 9, 2012 at 9:53 pm Link to this comment

OzarkMichael, March 9 at 8:37 pm:

(me: ‘Preferences, values, points of view, sensibilities result from the encounter with the real world and especially from confronting beings whose wills are different from our own.’)

‘You list on paper the finest preferences, values, points of view, and sensibilities in a self referential idealism, while you assign(by definition) all practical outcomes to my worldview. ...’

I don’t see a trace of idealism in anything I have written.  Egalitarianism and authoritarianism, and mixes thereof, are simply different categories of ways of dealing with one’s encounter with the world.  The selection between them depends on one’s view of that encounter, one’s beliefs, one’s values, one’s experiences, and so forth.  Although I am writing with a high level of abstraction, I think everything I have said is absolutely pragmatic.  At least, it’s intended to be. 

Actually, holding peace, freedom and equality to be ideals—or authority or the military virtues, for that matter—is a way of negating them.  You don’t want to go into battle with someone at your side who thinks courage, fortitude and loyalty are ideals.

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By OzarkMichael, March 9, 2012 at 9:37 pm Link to this comment

Preferences, values, points of view, sensibilities result from the encounter with the real world and especially from confronting beings whose wills are different from our own.

You list on paper the finest preferences, values, points of view, and sensibilities in a self referential idealism, while you assign(by definition) all practical outcomes to my worldview. You automatically win the argument since your idealism on paper is much better than the practical outcomes that you oppose. If only reality would conform to your 100% perfect sensibility and very fine values!

Yet reality is not so easy to change or manipulate as your keyboard is. The instant that idealism enters the real world and has a chance to implement a policy we see that its fine list of values has to deal with competing claims from its own list of values. Read that last part again! Meditate on the fact that your good values wont be competing with my evil ones, but your values will be competing with your own values.


It is at that moment that we find what your practical priorities really are. Thats when your perfection begins to unravel, and if you arent aware and ready for this process your fine ideals will likely lead to a nightmare. That is where I see you heading now.

Politics and practical societal existance involves contexts, unknowns, and that complicated mixture must be calculated for what is best called “trade-offs”. Instead of 100% pure ideals floating ever skyward, there are awkward choices between your own values. Which of your values comes out on top and for whom? Will you sacrifice some of you sensibilities now to achieve other sensibilities later? 

As soon as the idealists have power in the real world they have to trade off some of their fine sensibilities and values for whatever it is that really matters. This is what OWS has aleady begun. It is natural. The problem isnt so much an argument against you merely because OWS has to make trade-offs. Of course not. It cannot be helped. The problem was that OWS was starry eyed about it, in complete denial that it was even happening.

This is the Achilles heel of the Left. You might think i am merely trying to drag you down by it. Well, please recall that ‘opposition is a hidden form of friendship’. I would like to think that we are friends.

Nothing would please me more than to hear a Leftist overcome this perpetual denial. Not as a victory for me… but a victory for you. Foucaldian would be prophetic in his vision of building bridges, because i would consider supporting your idealism if i had some sense that you understood the pitfalls. Until then, as nice as you are, your nice idealism is a recipe for an unintended dystopia which would make our so called ‘fascist’ system look like heaven on earth.

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By OzarkMichael, March 9, 2012 at 8:09 pm Link to this comment

I said to Ana: “Your ideology of ‘pure 100% goodness’”

tomcat corrects me:

No one has claimed pure anything here…

but then tomcat immediately claims ‘pure 100% goodness’

4. …the left stands for tolerance and mercy,

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By Foucauldian, March 9, 2012 at 6:19 pm Link to this comment

Getting philosophical on me, aren’t you?  You should
know is right down my alley.

In any case, I haven’t ignored you, was just finishing
part IX of my presentation.  Kinda disappointed you
haven’t dropped by even for a single comment.

In any case, will be back at you shortly.

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By Anarcissie, March 9, 2012 at 3:07 pm Link to this comment

If I love both the sinner and the sin—with the same love— is that moral?

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By Foucauldian, March 9, 2012 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment

If liberalism is indeed as amorphous as you claim
it to be, all the more reason why it must be
discredited if only to expose it for perpetuating a
scandal and providing as refuge for scoundrels.  The
fact, however, that it continues as the dominant
political ideology of the West for three centuries
and counting suggest that is based on certain
principles and concepts of political thought.  It’s
amorphous-like nature is either claimed by designed
or is simply a function of inadequate understanding
of the underlying principles and concepts on the
part of its many proponents.  It’s those principles
and concept which must be exposed as inherently
faulty.

I see the complications you envisage in terms of
“affection.”  “Sociability” is another term, and
yes, both refer to a common human trait.  Now, the
trick is to include all under the scope, without
regard to borders or nationality.  Kant’s moral
imperative is a good place to start.

In any case, I think our disagreement here has
mainly to do with language.  When I think of
“affection,” as you seem to define it, I can’t
separate it from the moral context (if I’m to avoid
any excess of sentimentality).  And on my
definition of “moral,” I’m capturing here the
greater bulk of human relationships, which you often
term “communist” or “communal.”  Since both terms
can function in a political context, I suspect most
of our differences amount to a difference in styles.

But we’ve been over this before.

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By Anarcissie, March 9, 2012 at 12:55 pm Link to this comment

Foucauldian—To the extent that my values are the same, or similar to, another’s, I don’t have to bridge them.  To the extent that they’re different, I don’t want to.  I’m not assuming that any other particular person’s values are necessarily repugnant.

I meant far more than empathy or sympathy by ‘the affections’.  I was thinking of human society as a community of common or overlapping affections, a concept which I think I owe to St. Augustine, although I can’t find a quote.  It is fairly easy to show that it is rational for an intelligent, willful being to desire freedom and power for itself, and a policy of equality and peace follows logically.  The situation becomes much more complicated and difficult because of the affections: we are willing to take away others’ peace and freedom, and set ourselves up in power over them, for their own good, or someone else’s, even to our own significant disadvantage.  And yet without the affections we would have no society and no language and no reason to seek them.  Patriotism is a good example of the problem.  There is nothing wrong with loving one’s country and its people, indeed, coherent social life depends on it, but the emotion is easily diverted into mass murder and general destruction.  Indeed, it seems to divert itself for the lightest of causes.

I don’t see how you can discredit anything as amorphous and mushed-out as liberalism.  Whatever you say about one aspect is disproved by another.  Liberals even deny that it is the political face of capitalism.

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By Foucauldian, March 9, 2012 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment

... within the confines of ...

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By Foucauldian, March 9, 2012 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment

Concerning ideology, Ana, of course no one size fits
all, but the first order of business (in this
regard) must be to discredit the ideology of
liberalism which, thus far, predominates and defines
the thinking of the so-called Left, still
inadequately defined (IMO).  For as long as “the
Left” operates within the confined of this paradigm,
there will no no overarching clarity.

Two:  affections doesn’t exactly translate to
empathy.  I too am impatient with charity and
philanthropy.

And last, why do you assume that the underlying
values held by your ideological opponents (those of
OM, for instance), are necessarily repugnant?  First
of, in Ozarks’ case, I doubt they are.  Perhaps the
failure here is a failure to communicate and reach
out, a failure on the part of our imagination. 
Which again brings me to point number one:  there’s
something definitely amiss about the ideology of the
Left, as stated and articulated thus far, if it
fails to be sufficiently comprehensive enough to
build to needed bridges and a better tomorrow.

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By Anarcissie, March 9, 2012 at 11:44 am Link to this comment

Foucauldian—A few comments on your comments.

1.  TC introduces the affections.  I don’t know if the affections can be assigned to the Left-Right spectrum; authoritarians can probably be as affectionate as anyone else.  Indeed, as the rather anarchistic William Blake notes,


Pity would be no more,
If we did not make someone poor,
And Mercy no more could be
If all were as happy as we.

This may explain the impatience of some radicals with charity and Welfare.

2.  I haven’t cast aspersions on anyone.

3., 4., 5:  I prefer my values to other people’s values.  Why should I want to build bridges to what I find repugnant?  Except, of course, if I’m trying to sneak up on others and subvert them—and there is only so much time that I want to spend on that sort of thing, which is dubious in the first place.

Somewhat on the other hand, to quote W.B. again, ‘Opposition is true friendship.’

6.  I don’t know if I can prove it, but I am pretty sure there is never going to be a one-size-fits-all Left ideology, or one of any other flavor either.  Human variation is too great.

For instance, I think the violence inherent in the state makes it unacceptable, but many people, including leftists, like violence, or consider it to be ‘worth it’, or think it’s inevitable.  Or they put it out of sight and thereby out of mind.  And so we get Lenin as well as Tolstoy and Kropotkin.

I’m reminded of Art Spiegelman’s question in one of his graphic novels (not Maus): ‘Can’t we all just hate each other in peace?’

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By Anarcissie, March 9, 2012 at 11:11 am Link to this comment

elisalouisa—I am simply stating that human beings, like other animals, exhibit will, unlike sticks and stones.  It is not a flaw, it is their inherent nature.  That’s all that I mean by ‘willful’.

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By Foucauldian, March 9, 2012 at 8:55 am Link to this comment

Good post, Ana.  I like that part about the
beginning of politics.  A number of comments,
however,

(1) I’m not certain I’d go along with TC’s wide-
sweeping definition.  The Left-Right is still mainly
a political divide and it concerns how it plays out
on the political stage.  TC’s re-definition is not
useful in terms of the organization, large scale
level.  It’s closer to depicting the liberal-
conservative distinction, which itself is no longer
as useful as it it used to be (since both favor the
establishment).  If we had it TC’s way, we may as
well be talking about people who are empathetic and
those who are not, end of story.

(2) I do agree with TC in that the quality of the
discussion on this thread has deteriorated to the
level of each side casting aspersions on the other,
so let’s try to rise above it.  In any case, that’s
not how I read OM’s last couple of posts (so perhaps
he’s trying to bring the discussion back on track).

(3) We should be talking about differences in values
and how to bridge those differences (for it’s our
values that ultimately determine the course and the
character of our actions in both the private and
public life).  I’m glad, Ana, that you’ve finally
coming around to this POV, sufficiently so to have
articulated it clearly in your last couple of posts. 
If memory serves, you were somewhat reluctant to
speak out so clearly on this topic in the past. 

(4) I believe that the thrust of OM’s posts is to
provoke the discussion concerning the differences in
values, which is a good thing, and that’s how I
intend to read it until proven wrong.  Can you?

(5) Lastly, the presumed differences as regards
values are grossly exaggerated, or at least are made
to appear so, for understandable political purposes,
one hastens to add, by that unfortunate Left/Right
distinction.  The actual divide isn’t as pronounced
as it is made out to be.  In any case, discussion
about values is imperative, for how else are were
find our what really separates us.

(6) Lastly, when I spoke of the “incoherent Left,”
that’s one of the things I had in mind—a failure
to articulate a coherent political philosophy that
would be comprehensive enough to embrace people like
OM and such.  And in my book, a comprehensive
political philosophy must also be a winning
political philosophy, a philosophy that would appeal
to and win hearts and minds (except for the most
incorrigible of us).  That’s my criterion of
coherency here.  And as far as I’m concerned, “the
Left” hasn’t made its case yet.

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By elisalouisa, March 9, 2012 at 7:51 am Link to this comment

Ana: Humans are willful beings, so the only way to impose politically significant inequality upon them, and thus deprive them of freedom, is to use force, the threat of force, and fraud.

Dictionary: willful |?wilf?l| |?w?lf?l| |?w?lf?l| |-f(?)l| (also wilful) adjective
(of an immoral or illegal act or omission) intentional; deliberate : willful acts of damage.
• having or showing a stubborn and determined intention to do as one wants, regardless of the consequences or effects : the pettish, willful side of him.
DERIVATIVES
willfully |?wilf?l?| |?w?lf?li| adverb
willfulness |?wilf?ln?s| |?w?lf?ln?s| noun
ORIGIN Middle English : from the noun will 2 + -ful .

elisa: So the statement, “Humans are willful beings,” does admit that there is a basic flaw in all humans, one that cannot be corrected by any form of government or lack thereof. No 100% purity here mentally, spiritually or physically. Thus, our goal should be advancing a system where those qualities that are the least attractive and/or ill-fated in all humans be kept in check so to speak. The only other recourse is altering the very nature of humans which at this time is not possible and may never be possible in this realm.

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By Anarcissie, March 8, 2012 at 8:05 pm Link to this comment

OzarkMichael, March 8 at 6:23 pm:

(me: ‘My definitions of ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ are neither ideological nor ‘practical’.  They’re based on preference, contrasts of value, point of view, sensibility.’)

‘You are aware that your preference, value, point of view, and sensibility are all merely talk, and talk gets shredded as soon as you enter the real world. ...’

That is incorrect.  Preferences, values, points of view, sensibilities result from the encounter with the real world and especially from confronting beings whose wills are different from our own.  The question is, how does one deal with these contrary beings and conditions?  That is the beginning of politics: the theory and practice of whose will shall prevail in a community, and how.  No doubt the question presents itself to any conscious, willful being almost as soon as it becomes conscious.

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By tomcat, March 8, 2012 at 7:54 pm Link to this comment

Michael,
As your conversation here has deteriorated in quality and clarity, your true colors are emerging….always a good thing…
1.To Ana: “Your ideology of ‘pure 100% goodness’”....
No one has claimed pure anything here…purity exists only in the physical world….not in the human mind or heart.
2.“I have proven before that equality for all isn’t a prime OWS value”.
Where did you prove this….in your mind?
3. The rest of that paragraph….literal nonsense.
4. Last paragraph…wrong again…the left stands for tolerance and mercy, as opposed to rigidity and coldness.

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By OzarkMichael, March 8, 2012 at 7:23 pm Link to this comment

My definitions of ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ are neither ideological nor ‘practical’.  They’re based on preference, contrasts of value, point of view, sensibility.

You are aware that your preference, value, point of view, and sensibility are all merely talk, and talk gets shredded as soon as you enter the real world. Because in the real and practical world your ideology of ‘pure 100% goodness’ has to chose between certain values.  As soon as you make a practical move, we see which values come first.

I have proven before that equality for all people isnt a primary OWS value. You dont even have power yet and you already discriminate between those who agree with your ideology(who can use Occupy methods and the state is morally wrong to stop them) and those who disagree with your ideology(who the state should arrest for using the same Occupy method).

That seed of discrimination is only the beginning. The Leftist revolutionary movement will not grant MORE freedom to its political opposition after it succeeds. It will enforce LESS freedom and LESS rights to those who opposed it.

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By OzarkMichael, March 8, 2012 at 6:11 pm Link to this comment

Do you think that inequality after a Leftist revolution happens solely because of the violence during the revolution?

Anarcissie answers:

Answer to first question:  There is residual inequality from the previous social order.

As Leftists weigh the results from their actions and revolutions(past and present), any bad results are never attributed to themselves. Never. 

Lets try another approach then. To make sure that the next revolution truly succeeds to the radical’s satisfaction, what exactly must be done to get rid of the “residual inequalities of the previous social order” so that the pure and just society will finally arise? I mean surely after finally toppling the ‘ancien regime’, after all that hard work, you must secure the fruits of victory and create a society that is worth all the trouble and all the waiting. You must firmly secure yourself against reaction.

I am reminded of how Lenin did his level best to rid his society of the “residual inequalities of the previous social order” until Trotsky ran out of bullets, and then Lenin himself ran out of time.

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By tomcat, March 8, 2012 at 5:59 pm Link to this comment

Michael,
The left, traditionally politically, represents the downtrodden,the have nots, the most oppressed.
The right says…help yourselves up or perish.

Perhaps that’s at the core of the right/left divide.

If I had the power, I’d be an internet Robin Hood, and hack into accounts of the 1%, and move money magically to not just people in this country, but around the world…
people who are hungry, sick, homeless…and keep doing it until there are no hungry, sick, homeless, any more….
and I’d do it with utter joy.

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By Anarcissie, March 8, 2012 at 5:53 pm Link to this comment

My definitions of ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ are neither ideological nor ‘practical’.  They’re based on preference, contrasts of value, point of view, sensibility.

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By OzarkMichael, March 8, 2012 at 5:43 pm Link to this comment

What I’m saying, Ana, is that it makes no sense to speak of “the Left” anymore, because in so doing, you’re buying into the political division in the US as though it were in any sense meaningful.  It’s not any longer.  And I sure hope that OWS, for example, is (NOT) an example of an outreach by “the Left,” as I understand it.

I like to keep the definitions vague, because splitting hairs about ‘Right’ and ‘Left’ on Truthdig is the process used by all Leftists to split off every deleterious result from their own ideology and attach it to mine.

Leftists(and I will use Anarcissie as the example), wish to define themselves ideologically but please note this… they define the Right practically. As soon as there is a bad practical result by Leftists, their definition of themselves simply dumps the bad result over to the Right. This Leftist self-definition is applied to history. It also applies to the present. It applies politically, socially, culturally, scientifically, economically. 

Now thats a thorough defense mechanism, but there are real world consequences of such complete denial. Leftists never a learn a thing from their worst mistakes and they keep making the same friggin mistakes over and over. Occupy already has the seeds of that error growing already. Knowing this, it is almost certain that if Occupy succeeds beyond its wildest dreams we will all be living in another Leftist dystopia in a few years.

Even if i support several policy goals of Occupy, i am dead set against the Occupy method itself. Have you noticed that much of our discussion has slowly been flowing more favorably for me to argue my points. The Left and Right terms were being used more concretely about specific events… although it is starting to slip back. I should be correcting that and refusing to allow the denial to reassert itself. 

Yet Foucaldian, my curiousity will be my undoing. The last thing I want is to facilitate yet another Leftist dump of their bad results onto my own beliefs. But I am going risk doing just that because I really want to know…I must say i dont understand… how is it that you think OWS is NOT the political Left?

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By Anarcissie, March 8, 2012 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

OzarkMichael, March 8 at 3:41 pm:

‘Do you think that inequality after a Leftist revolution happens solely because of the violence during the revolution?

Hmm, let me ask a better question. Do you think violence is the only way to bring about and maintain inequality?’

Answer to first question:  There is residual inequality from the previous social order.  If the revolution is a state revolution, it is inherently violent and inequality may actually be exacerbated.

Second question:  Humans are willful beings, so the only way to impose politically significant inequality upon them, and thus deprive them of freedom, is to use force, the threat of force, and fraud.

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By OzarkMichael, March 8, 2012 at 4:41 pm Link to this comment

Every successful leftist revolution, starting with the first one(French Revolution), always ends up the same: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

Anarcissie replied:

Ozark Michael—There have been a number of leftist movements which have used little or no violence

Do you think that inequality after a Leftist revolution happens solely because of the violence during the revolution?

Hmm, let me ask a better question. Do you think violence is the only way to bring about and maintain inequality?

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By Anarcissie, March 8, 2012 at 1:50 pm Link to this comment

Ozark Michael—There have been a number of leftist movements which have used little or no violence.  Of course, leftists who try to acquire state power are going to become involved in violence because violence is the essence of the state.  Some think there is no alternative, but thus far most such moves have either turned out badly right way or deteriorated later.  So I recommend other means—some form of anarchism.

Foucauldian—If the Left is the party of peace, freedom and equality, then leftists are those who would prefer more peace, freedom and equality than they presently find around them.  I don’t think this feeling has quite died out among the people yet, although I concede it is not very fashionable.

I was concerned not about the Left, but the Democratic Party coopting and using or destroying the Occupy movements.  The Democratic Party is not, generally speaking, leftist.  Its leadership is quite comfortable with violent authoritarianism as long as government actions do not threaten the rest of the ruling class and their friends and relatives.  (The Attorney General, just a day or two ago, defended the position of the present administration that it has the right to kill anyone anywhere on its own say-so, regardless of the Constitution.)  However, going by current rumors, I believe OWS and its kin may have already been infiltrated and neutralized.  We’ll see in the not-too-distant future.

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By OzarkMichael, March 8, 2012 at 12:03 pm Link to this comment

The Left (as I define it) is a sensibility and a point of view, not an ideology.  It is a preference for peace, freedom and equality, as opposed to a preference for authority, power, private wealth, hierarchical social organization, and the military virtues (the Right).

The fact that the Left sees itself that way is a paradox, since every successful leftist revolution, starting with the first one(French Revolution), always ends up the same: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

If you would listen to me a moment, i would explain to you why that happens.

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By Foucauldian, March 8, 2012 at 11:21 am Link to this comment

... is not an example of ...

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By Foucauldian, March 8, 2012 at 11:20 am Link to this comment

What I’m saying, Ana, is that it makes no sense to
speak of “the Left” anymore, because in so doing,
you’re buying into the political division in the US
as though it were in any sense meaningful.  It’s not
any longer.  And I sure hope that OWS, for example,
is an example of an outreach by “the Left,” as I
understand it.

Just think.  You yourself addressed more than once
the danger of OWS becoming co-opted.  I find your
concern about the future of OWS and your “defense”
of the Left inconsistent.

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By David J. Cyr, March 8, 2012 at 8:14 am Link to this comment

The Left is perceived to be “incoherent” because near everyone perceived to be in the Left is actually way over on (D) far Right.

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 Anarcissie, March 8, 2012 at 7:56 am Link to this comment

The Left (as I define it) is a sensibility and a point of view, not an ideology.  It is a preference for peace, freedom and equality, as opposed to a preference for authority, power, private wealth, hierarchical social organization, and the military virtues (the Right).  Most people seem to entertain both sets of preferences in varying degrees.  People will naturally work out realizations of these preferences, and methods to achieve them, in different ways, because they are different from one another genetically, in upbringing, in history, and in circumstances, besides being unaccountably contrary. 

With regard to coherence, some rightists may have some advantage in feeling that the use of force is not only acceptable but even desirable.  On the other hand, leftists, especially of the more anarchistic sort, may feel that coherence isn’t very desirable in the first place.  In any case, absent the use of force, neither side is very coherent.

I myself have often felt, while exerting logic to beat down those of other opinions, which I’m fairly good at, that I was just committing a kind of abstract violence upon them.  It is more entertaining and perhaps enlightening to allow many different varieties of thought to arise, even if they are imperfect.  On the other hand showing someone the defects of their ideas may inspire them to produce better ones.

On the other other hand, many assertions of the rights of authority and power bother me because they feel like attacks on my person, and I respond with counterattacks in self-defense, using what tools I have, such as evidence and logic.  This falls somewhat short of a belief system and a plan of action, however.

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By Foucauldian, March 7, 2012 at 11:49 pm Link to this comment

The Left is incoherent, simply put.  It lacks sense of
purpose and direction.  Its coalescence about a number
of issues does not add up to coherence.  This is
hardly a new complaint.

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By Anarcissie, March 7, 2012 at 7:00 pm Link to this comment

Cogent argument from the Left about what?

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By Foucauldian, March 7, 2012 at 6:16 pm Link to this comment

Again, I have a different take on OM going soft all
of a sudden.  All along I considered him a
formidable opponent until ... until he went south.

There’s on thing which comes to mind, absence of
cogent argument from the Left.  It’s not surprising
at all since the Left has no argument to speak of. 
Even Anarcissie, for all her brilliance, can’t seem
to articulate it.  In Ozarks’s place, I would do the
exact same thing: hit and run.

I trust Ozark will come to his senses sooner or
later and start displaying the kind of lucidity and
understanding he’s capable of instead of merely
succumbing to baits from thoughtless liberals.

There’s just no point!

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By Anarcissie, March 7, 2012 at 7:04 am Link to this comment

One of the things the General Assemblies and other peculiarities of governance of the Occupations seem to have done is prevent coups by well-organized subgroups who would prefer, and are prepared to enact, a more authoritarian structure.  That’s very interesting if you’re an activist.  Of course these practices have been much derided in the media.

I realize this is not as exciting as conspiratism.  Or maybe it is.

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By katsteevns, March 7, 2012 at 6:43 am Link to this comment

“And many know very well how Occupy was designed to propel us toward Anarchy or Communism”

So, then,.....Occupy is the cancer?!?

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By katsteevns, March 7, 2012 at 6:36 am Link to this comment

“And many know very well how Occupy was designed to propel us toward Anarchy or Communism”

So then,......Occupy is the cancer?!?

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By tomcat, March 5, 2012 at 2:48 pm Link to this comment

White House moves G8 summit to Camp David.

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/03/05/g8-summit-moved-to-camp-david/

Seems like a wise move.

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By OzarkMichael, March 4, 2012 at 10:05 pm Link to this comment

Many know very well how our system was propelled to its current fascist destination.

And many know very well how Occupy was designed to propel us toward Anarchy or Communism.

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By elisalouisa, March 4, 2012 at 7:07 pm Link to this comment

Michael: You cannot say that the masses who support Occupy are thoughtfully aware of where the vehicle will take them, especially after saying for so long that the masses had no idea how they propelled a system to its current fascist destination.

Where the Occupy vehicle travels and also its destination is an unknown. When such forces come into being they take on a life of their own. No one knows all the conditions that are a part of that movement or how protesters shall react to certain situations or even how the general public shall react to circumstances that become part of the movement.

Many know very well how our system was propelled to its current fascist destination. The power/elite have hijacked our government system through the buying of candidates for government offices.  Our government was stolen, corporate money talks now and has for sometime. Law enforcement has more power than ever.

Those who are part of the Occupy movement differ from your far Right Evangelical group which gives the impression of encouraging fascist laws that grant government all the power. Are yin and yang similar? No. Are Hitchens and Hedges alike? No.  So it is with Evangelicals and Occupiers who differ in many ways.

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By elisalouisa, March 4, 2012 at 5:29 pm Link to this comment

Foucauldian: In any case, I do happen to believe that the moral ?arc of the universe bends at the elbow of justice, and that all humanity is moving in that general direction.  Each new generation brings with it a new spring of hope.

Beautiful. As to humanity and the universe, the continual movement of such forces as Justice is in play continually. That does bring hope, the justice that one seeks does come about but not evident as the time span that may be required for it to take place is beyond our comprehension.

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By Foucauldian, March 4, 2012 at 3:30 pm Link to this comment

Well, Michael, that’s the dynamics of movements and
revolutions.  That’s how shit happens.

I surmise that Ana has greater faith in human
nature than you do.  She’s willing to let the
movement take its natural cause and the people who
comprise it come to their own understanding, given
time. 

I still believe that my stress and clear
articulation and education is a right one, but
perhaps her position is a more realistic one. 
Intellectuals and men of ideas all too often
exaggerate their own self-importance in terms of
affecting world events.  Not to say that ideas are
unimportant, of course they are.  But we can’t
exactly predict when their time will come.  It’s
not for us to say when and where.  (Think of the
polemics which preceded the French Revolution.)

In any case, I do happen to believe that the moral
arc of the universe bends at the elbow of justice,
and that all humanity is moving in that general
direction.  Each new generation brings with it a
new spring of hope.

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By OzarkMichael, March 4, 2012 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment

To me, the really significant thing about OWS was not which radicals showed up, but the huge number of non-radicals attracted to it.

Yes it is significant, but hasnt that always been the case? An example would be the Russion revolution. “The huge number of non-radicals attracted to” the revolution easily outnumbered the radicals. Furthermore, the radicals easily outnumbered the Communists. Actually its even worse, because the Communists werent all Bolshiviks.

The masses who were attracted to the revolution had vague daydreams, ignorance of where their actions were leading them, while the radicals had clearer vision, and in the end a very small minority of the radicals had the expertise to steer events and take advantage of them. The result of that revolution was far worse than the czar’s government.

Or if that example is too hazy(it happened 100 years ago, supposedly humanity has improved since then) we can look at the present. Today we have what is called by Leftists a ‘fascist system’, but you dont really need many fascists to show up in order for it to function. In fact, without a single identifiable fascist behind the wheel, the system rolls along deeper and deeper into fascism. All it needs is a huge number of non-fascists to be attracted to it and keep propelling it. The system even invites gullible people to imagine they are steering it to a moderate destination.  Think of all the people who unknowingly, and rather stupidly, support fascism.

Now consider this: Isnt it just possible that humanity has common faults across the political spectrum? Well, nothing is more certain, because humanity is the same everywhere. Therefore we know that the Occupy masses unknowingly and rather stupidly propel… what we all know is a radical vehicle. Occupy welcomes everyone with open arms, and even allows gullible people to think they are steering the bus to a moderate destination if thats what they want to believe. But they are rolling along to a destination that they are completely ignorant of. They are propelling a radical cause and dont even know it.

You cannot say that the masses who support Occupy are thoughtfully aware of where the vehicle will take them, especially after saying for so long that the masses had no idea how they propelled a system to its current fascist destination.

It is not possible that there are two species of humanity. We are all the same, with the same faults that all humans share. How strange it is that a conservative fundamentalist Christian must keep laying before you this proposition: ‘we are all equal’, but the atheists and Leftists never second the motion.

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By tomcat, March 4, 2012 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment

Oz,
It seems the focus of Lynd here is on individuals who may act on conscience, yet act contrary to the interests of the OWS movement, thus possibly damaging the movement. It’s not a criticism of American Individualism.

Lynd’s specific concern is what will happen at the G8 conference in Chicago in May…the first G8 in the U.S. since 2004.
There will be a major convergence, tens of thousands, to challenge the forces of global exploitation. Obama will be there (probably not protesting).
From Wikipedia:
“Adbusters, an organization that helped initiate Occupy Wall Street, has called for a mass occupation of Chicago starting on May 1. This call has the potential to bring together the newer domestically-focused Occupy movement with the ongoing anti-globalization movement.”

“Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel proposed a set of ordinances to prepare for protests during the summit.  The new laws include the following provisions:

  Authorization for the Mayor to purchase and deploy surveillance cameras throughout the city, without any type of oversight.
  Restrictions on public activity, including amplified sound and morning gatherings.
  Restrictions on parades, including the requirement to purchase an insurance policy worth $1 million and to register every sign or banner that will be held by more than one person.
  The power to deputize many different types of law enforcement personnel other than the Chicago Police Department.

These new ordinances drew protests from the ACLU, Amnesty International, the Occupy Movement (particularly Occupy Chicago), and the pro-life movement.”

Furthermore, HR347 just passed in the House by 388 to 3, further restricting the people’s rights to assemble.
The bill makes it illegal to protest at buildings or events where Secret Service are protecting someone. (Rick Santorum was just granted Secret Service protection)

So, I’d say Lynd has some valid concerns.

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By Anarcissie, March 4, 2012 at 10:34 am Link to this comment

I think there have been people at OWS who could be called ‘communists’ of one sort or another.  However, I think the structure of gathering’s governance, insofar as it had any, operated to the great disadvantage of vanguardist and conspiratorial types, since everything had to (or at least was supposed to) take place in the open.

In my judgement I’m going on rather light evidence, such as the typography on some of the demonstrators’ signs, and some of the content, which was redolent of certain groups I know about.  But (1) I don’t think I’m wrong, and (2) it doesn’t matter anyway.

To me, the really significant thing about OWS was not which radicals showed up, but the huge number of non-radicals attracted to it.

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By OzarkMichael, March 3, 2012 at 7:42 am Link to this comment

Last night, while resting in bed and about to drift off to sleep, I took a brief inventory of things i had said and done yesterday day. When I thought of the posts I wrote here, it came to me that i was mistaken in one of them.

Staughton Lynd was not admitting that their were Leninists or Communists in Occupy. He was only admitting that there were Leninists and Communists who ruined the protests back in his youthful days. He blamed the modern Occupy problems on ‘individualism’, and although I have a response to that little swipe against our national character, it is forfeited at the moment because of my initial miscue. 

So the premise of my last post was wrong. I teased Anarcissie, which is usually the right thing to do, but not with my facts all screwed up.

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By Foucauldian, March 2, 2012 at 7:31 pm Link to this comment

“We only want to be able to follow our own
consciences!”

But a conscience must be clearly articulated if it’s
to be of account.

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By OzarkMichael, March 2, 2012 at 7:12 pm Link to this comment

Some Occupiers may respond, “But we’re not trying to take over anything! We only want to be able to follow our own consciences!” Sadly, though, the impact of Marxist-Leninist vanguardism and unrestrained individualism on a larger body of variegated protesters may be pretty much the same.

                          -Staughton Lynd


Anarcisse, I am surprised you linked to this article as if it says something important. Surely you know that there are no Communists at Occupy?

But if there are Communists they are the best of people and the kindest of all your comrades. They are “The Best Among Us” and you have so much in common with them. Any trouble, and I mean all trouble at Occupy is the work of agents provocateur.

At least that what my favorite Anarchist always said.

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By tomcat, March 2, 2012 at 11:59 am Link to this comment

Ana,
Regarding Lynd’s commentary:
This is what a thoughtful critique looks like.

Invidious comparison is inevitable.

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By Anarcissie, March 1, 2012 at 9:08 pm Link to this comment

Here’s Staughton Lynd speaking about matters related to the subject of the article here. 

http://www.zcommunications.org/a-letter-to-other-occupiers-by-staughton-lynd

Read away.  I shall resist the temptation to invidious comparison.

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By tomcat, March 1, 2012 at 6:43 pm Link to this comment

Thanks to all for what has been an interesting and enriching conversation.
As I may have said, I think that talk about imagining a new future, prompted by the rise of OWS, is THE conversation of our time.

BTW, there have been over 1,000 comments here…a record?

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By tomcat, March 1, 2012 at 6:10 pm Link to this comment

“If the injustice is part of the necessary friction of the machine of government, let it go, let it go: perchance it will wear smooth—certainly the machine will wear out… but if it is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine. What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn.”
? Henry David Thoreau

But government in which the majority rule in all cases can not be based on justice, even as far as men understand it.
- Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience

BTW Fouc, Tragedy of the Commons was not my post.
It doesn’t seem relevant.

I’m going to watch “The Anarchist Cookbook”, although I don’t think it has anything to do with anarchism.

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By DavidByron, March 1, 2012 at 3:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This article blows hedges away. 
http://nplusonemag.com/concerning-the-violent-peace-police
Quote:

“the only incidents of actual physical assault by protesters on other individuals were not attacks on the police, since these did not occur at all, but attacks by “pacifists” on Black Bloc’ers engaged in acts of property damage. Since the Black Bloc’ers had collectively agreed on a strict policy of non-violence (which they defined as never doing anything to harm another living being), they uniformly refused to strike back. In many recent occupations, self-appointed “Peace Police” have manhandled activists who showed up to marches in black clothing and hoodies, ripped their masks off, shoved and kicked them: always, without the victims themselves having engaged in any act of violence, always, with the victims refusing, on moral grounds, to shove or kick back”

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By OzarkMichael, March 1, 2012 at 5:38 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie… you are the one I listen to about anarchy since you have spoken of it for a few years here, as you do that in your own human, accessible way… you are so obviously a real person (and not an agent provocateur- doh I cant help but pinch you about that concept!) that I trust you.

You are the one who stands and delivers for OWS. You do it well. No one else puts up with the hard questions for so long. Without you this website has almost no guts on the issue.

You are THE Anarchist, for whatever that is worth, and without you i wouldnt be interested in anarchism at all.

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By Anarcissie, February 29, 2012 at 10:50 pm Link to this comment

Foucauldian, February 29 at 8:02 pm:

‘I don’t know whether you realize it or not, Ana, but
people do look up to you as a repository of anarchic
wisdom.  And when I’m saying that, I assure you I’m
not even a bit facetious.’

That’s a serious mistake.  There are much better sources of information.  Anarchists, or at least those who aren’t illiterate jerks, are amazingly prolix, and you can probably find reams of theoretical material on the Net about their ideas.  My only virtue is that my ignorance tends to make my writing succinct, so if it’s boring at least it’s short.

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By Foucauldian, February 29, 2012 at 9:02 pm Link to this comment

I don’t know whether you realize it or not, Ana, but
people do look up to you as a repository of anarchic
wisdom.  And when I’m saying that, I assure you I’m
not even a bit facetious.

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By tomcat, February 29, 2012 at 8:44 pm Link to this comment

Hetero,
Sorry I didn’t answer your question.
I actually didn’t scroll down to see it.
I was wondering if you had a question to accompany that paragraph!

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By troll, February 29, 2012 at 8:42 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie - “You want me to write a
detailed disquisition on strategies for
the resolution of conflicts in anarchic
communities in the form of a comment to an
article on another subject on a
progressive web site? “

oh…sorry for taking the conversation off
topic then - just doing my trollish bit

ciao

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By Foucauldian, February 29, 2012 at 8:38 pm Link to this comment

Here’s a direct link to the subject article, Hetero:

http://tinyurl.com/6srxx2d

IMO, it’s a must read.

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By Foucauldian, February 29, 2012 at 8:33 pm Link to this comment

Hetero,

You might want to look at the second link provided by
“tomcat” earlier on the thread, in particular, a
hyperlink to “The Tragedy of the Commons.”

I’m not certain whether Ana would agree with the
reasoning, and as for myself, I, too, have some
unresolved thoughts concerning the subject matter. 
But it does lay out the general structure of the
argument on behalf of “gentle coercion.”

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By heterochromatic, February 29, 2012 at 8:25 pm Link to this comment

thanks, I hadn’t realized that approving and organizing a force employed to
physically coerce an individual or sub-group was compatible with anarchy.

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By Anarcissie, February 29, 2012 at 8:19 pm Link to this comment

heterochromatic, February 29 at 2:22 pm

‘... once you get to physical force employed against transgressors, haven’t you implicitly moved away from anarchy?’

It depends on how you define anarchy.  For my definition of anarchy, the answer is no.

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By Anarcissie, February 29, 2012 at 8:09 pm Link to this comment

You want me to write a detailed disquisition on strategies for the resolution of conflicts in anarchic communities in the form of a comment to an article on another subject on a progressive web site? 

‘Number of characters remaining: 3797’

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By Foucauldian, February 29, 2012 at 7:53 pm Link to this comment

Done with the Commons article.  What’s your gist of
it in ten words or less?

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By tomcat, February 29, 2012 at 7:52 pm Link to this comment

Hey Fouc,
Thanks for the “dynamic thought” comment.
I resemble that remark!

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By Foucauldian, February 29, 2012 at 6:52 pm Link to this comment

Appreciate it, troll.  Otherwise, I’d feel
devastated.

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By troll, February 29, 2012 at 6:27 pm Link to this comment

...yer right - a little rationality now and
then isn’t all bad

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By Foucauldian, February 29, 2012 at 6:02 pm Link to this comment

Let me go on record then by saying that I value both
rational discourse and emotive response, though not
necessarily in that order.  Both aspects are
essential elements in engaging in dynamic thought,
understood as production of knowledge.  And that
object (knowledge) never remains fixed but always
changes as the producer examines and scrutinized his
product. 

Partial articulation and emotive response, back and
forth, that’s the ticket.

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By troll, February 29, 2012 at 5:34 pm Link to this comment

tomcat - sorry about the delay in getting back to
you…saw the pile of dishes that had accumulated
since I last washed them and was going to write a
passive-aggressive note to the others in my social
order but then realized that it might be more
productive simply to wash them

I actually wasn’t looking to bait you but was looking
to share a good laugh…but you should know that I
don’t put ‘rational intelligent conversations’ on the
same high pedestal that you do and value the
irrational emotive approach

Anarcissie - perhaps ‘anarchic systems’ was an
unfortunate choice of words but that doesn’t
invalidate questions concerning approaches to
conflict resolution does it? I’ve been interacting
with anarchists on and off since the 60’s and have
yet to find a satisfying solution - splintering
always seems to happen

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By tomcat, February 29, 2012 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment

Hetero,
Yeah, it may be a long way from here to there (wherever “there” may be).
OWS is modelling basic anarchist tenets constantly:

1. egalitarianism- equal voice and power
2. direct participatory democracy (in L.A. the general assembly meets four times weekly and acts on proposals…and gets stuff done.
regularly)
3. direct action
4. mutual aid
5. nonhierarchicalism - no ruler-
As OWS works in communities, it spreads these ideas, and begins to re-culturize people to a better way of existence.
This, and other actions and events (as Jay’s post advocating exposing the criminals) will lead to a tipping point, where the larger population will be receptive to ideas about how to live in this world.

Perhaps a hybrid anarchism, as Chomsky advocates (thanks for the link, Ardee), will be appealing to many.

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By Foucauldian, February 29, 2012 at 4:45 pm Link to this comment

A mind is a mind, TC.  If one must resort to
bullying, one has lost it.

Yes, I think you overreacted.  I know the man for
years, and he’s as cryptic as hell.  He makes you do
all the work while he just sits on the sidelines and
comments now and then.  It’s frustrating.

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By tomcat, February 29, 2012 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment

Fouc,
sorry about the gender error…perhaps it’s because your writing is so….non-threatening?
So did I take Troll’s bait?

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By Foucauldian, February 29, 2012 at 4:32 pm Link to this comment

Hello, ardee.  I believe I read it, but will give it
a shot.  Don’t trust the old gizzard anymore,
however.  Too much of a traditional thinker to my
taste.  Chomsky ain’t gonna break the boundary of
thought.

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By heterochromatic, February 29, 2012 at 4:28 pm Link to this comment

tc—- the consequence of anarchism is not decisions don’t get made or don’t
amount to having been made because they’re not followed up and actuated in any
meaningful manner.

you’re calling anarchism ” the best chance of achieving personal freedom and
human potential,” but you’re ignoring that it is only a theory, rather than
something that is going to be applied on this particular planet to any extent any
time in the next 100 years, so there’s really no chance at all that it’ll be the best
chance.

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By Foucauldian, February 29, 2012 at 4:27 pm Link to this comment

I’m a he, BTW, TC.  And you’re misreading “troll.” 
He’s no lesser proponent of anarchism than you are. 
He was just baiting you, just like I was.

About to finish reading the Tragedy of the Commons. 
Excellent selection.  Will comment shortly.,

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By ardee, February 29, 2012 at 4:25 pm Link to this comment

http://flag.blackened.net/revolt/rbr/noamrbr2.html

For those seeking clarification of Chomsky’s position on Anarchy and Socialism….

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