Money and its abolition

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Mike Harman
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Oct 5 2007 19:29

Am I the 'other communist'? I think you need to be more careful about accusing people of misattributing statements if so:

Mike Harman wrote:
syndicalistcat wrote:
if you look at the experience of worker management in situations like Spain in the '30s or Argentina today, there are occasions when workers have had to deal with this sort of situation, of someone not holding up their end, slacking, or even stealing from the collective.

If these things arise, and were a problem, then they could be dealt with by a general meeting. I don't think you need to have what would amount to surveillance of everyone's working patterns all the time to deal with such cases, and the consequences need not be material.

People are quite capable of deciding if someone's taking the piss, and if they want to put up with it or not. The extent to which this would be likely to happen, and have an impact of total social production, is open, although I think it'd be negligible personally. However you can't claim that societies would need money as a disciplining force to prevent it - there are countless examples in daily life, even in our money-dominated society, where people are motivated, motivate others, (and castigate others in some cases) to pull their weight without recourse to base behavioural methods like financial reward and punishment. It doesn't require an elaborate system of social planning and allocation of 'social opportunity cost' credits for them to do that.

lem
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Oct 5 2007 19:37

on the prision thread, red twister/hughes offered the argument that if society hadn't changed radically enough for crime to be a problem then it wasn't worth much. i think that reasoning applies here instead. are you arguing from human nature cat, or wha?

oh yeah and if crime falls why wouldn't free riding?

Caiman del Barrio
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Oct 5 2007 19:39

If a Parecon enthusiast and a left communist insult each other in a forest, does it make a sound?

lem
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Oct 5 2007 19:43

nah it just echoes round libcom for a few years.

Mike Harman
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Oct 5 2007 19:46
lem wrote:
on the prision thread, red twister/hughes offered the argument that if society hadn't changed radically enough for crime to be a problem then it wasn't worth much. i think that reasoning applies here

Yeah definitely.

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syndicalistcat
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Oct 5 2007 19:46

catch:

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I'm aware children's needs are supposed to be provided for at social expense, iirc there's also some kind of guaranteed minimum income for adults isn't there? However you just said that the production of hospitals or railroads should be decided by the same system that rewards people for effort and dismissed communist approaches to this entirely.

Again, you're trying to attribute to me some automatic agreement with whatever Hahnel and Albert have said (and they don't agree exactly, by the way). So, i will take your comment here as a request.

The idea is that the governance of the economy is rooted in assemblies in workplaces and their elected councils, and federations of these by industry and geographic area. There are also assemblies of people in the local neighborhoods where they live, as residents. And there are city-wide, regional, national, etc congresses of delegates, which are controlled by the assemblies at the base.

People want all sorts of things. Let's suppose that there is a general agreement that health care is something we provide automatically for everyone, carried at social expense. This is what I'd argue for. But that doesn't tell us how the community as a whole decides on the allocation of resources to health care. There are always trade offs. The more resources we make available for health care, the fewer resources we have available for everything else we want. The society as a whole, as well as particular subsets, regions or communities, have only finite budgets. We can think of the budget as the totality of available resources, including the amount of time people want to do work for others.

The various communities thus can have discussions about what proportion of the total social budget they want to go to health care versus other things, such as free public transit for the urban region, or whatever. There would presumably also be people employed by the society in the research and development areas of regional federations and various industries such as health care, public utilities, etc. Proposals are articulated from the bottom up, from the various assemblies to the regional, national etc federations. The worker organizations and research and development groups need to provide us with estimates of the resources needed to fulfill the aims that are proposed by the people.

Given the finite limits of our resources, this is likely to result in adjustments. These adjustments occur because planning is a process of social, negotiated coordination between the end-users, the totality of the people, and the workers who are going to do the work. But once there is agreement between the worker organizations, who are going to do the work, and the various community based organizations, at the appropriate geographic scope, we then have a plan for what is to be done in the area of health care. This can't be decided independently of the rest of the social plan because of the trade offs i referred to.

Even tho health care is provided free to everyone at social expense, the people who do the work are remunerated for their work effort in doing that work. Remuneration, as I've said before, isn't a question of a private exchange between a private worker collective and private buyer. We're talking about a socialized, self-managed economy here, not a market economy. The remuneration provided to the health care workers comes out of the total social budget for the entire economy. This ultimately can only be based on the total work effort of the total workforce. Thus what people get in consumption entitlement for private consumption isn't the same as their total remuneration. That's because their total remuneration -- total income -- is the totality of use values created by the social economy, and some of these are provided as public goods, not private consumption goods. Also, not all consumption entitlements for private consumption goods are remuneration for work effort. Children, people unable to work, etc. also have consumption entitlement for private consumption goods but provided as social expense.

If we look at the experience of the Spanish revolution, in some of the expropriated economy workers remunerated people for work effort but also provided, at common expense, for the needs of children, by giving workers an extra allotment of consumption entitlement for each child.

lem
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Oct 5 2007 19:52

cing as sum1 agreed ill go on.

i think one of the biggest mistakes of the icc from an outside perspective, and the reason they get called loonies, is that they fixate on this change as a shift in morality. this seems to have all sorts of dodgy conotations. rather, a fundamental shift in personality or what it means to be yourself/human.

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syndicalistcat
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Oct 5 2007 19:55

catch:

Quote:
However you can't claim that societies would need money as a disciplining force to prevent it -

I call it providing adequate motivation to ensure that people act in a way consistent with social solidarity in terms of their contribution of work effort. Not providing it encourages anti-social individualism.

My argument for prices -- social accounting money -- isn't based only on motivation. It's based on the need to have a way of measuring social opportunity costs so as to avoid having an economy that is grossly inefficient.

People obsessed with "communism" always make the assumption that providing motivation for work isn't needed. I doubt that most of the working class will be convinced of that in the situation where revolution becomes a real possibility. It's possible that after a self-managed, socialized economy has existed for a couple generations, people will have developed the trust and habits of social solidarity where the concern with work effort could be relaxed. You might say that this corresponds to the difference between the "lower" and "higher" stages of communism.

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syndicalistcat
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Oct 5 2007 20:11

lem:

Quote:
are you arguing from human nature cat, or wha?

human nature i do see as the basis of ethics. that's what is called a naturalistic approach to ethics. the importance of self-management and solidarity as aims have a basis in human nature. but the requirement of work effort for private consumption entitlement i don't justify on the basis of "human nature" but on the basis of the historically specific situation of a socialized, worker-run social formation as it emerges from capitalism, and the likely situation we face at that time.

catch:

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Am I the 'other communist'?

no, capricorn.

lem
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Oct 5 2007 20:29
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human nature i do see as the basis of ethics. that's what is called a naturalistic approach to ethics.

there's is little reason to demand such naturalism, except for the fact it's inventor was a woman. no?

Quote:
but the requirement of work effort for private consumption entitlement i don't justify on the basis of "human nature" but on the basis of the historically specific situation of a socialized, worker-run social formation as it emerges from capitalism, and the likely situation we face at that time.

slightly vague [nrt]. besides which i would be interested in how many communists envision an immediate shift to higher communism.

the science of communization is surely going to be an actualization of the object of individual/group class consciousness [, the changing of the world]. that object become alive.

communization then will be mediated by its moments of incompleteness. this does not mean that the first mass siezure of workplaces will not result very quickly in higher communization. wh do you argue that conditioning or whatever, will take generations... round peg square hole springs to mind.

that's effortlessly unclear, but i think s-cat will understand.

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syndicalistcat
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Oct 5 2007 20:33

yes, lem, i agree that people will change over a period of time if society is re-organized so that we get rid of the dog eat dog, competitive, hierarchical, antagonistic system and replace it with a system based on collective and cooperative decision making and social solidarity. People are creatures of practice, as Marx said.

what recommends naturalism in ethics is that it provides a better theoretical foundation for it than the alternatives.

lem
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Oct 5 2007 20:36

i <3 merleau-ponty still [tho confused ]. thanks tho

lem

Mike Harman
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Oct 5 2007 20:48
syndicalistcat wrote:
catch:
Quote:
However you can't claim that societies would need money as a disciplining force to prevent it -

I call it providing adequate motivation to ensure that people act in a way consistent with social solidarity in terms of their contribution of work effort. Not providing it encourages anti-social individualism.

Which is a wordy way to say money will need to be used to discpline workers.

Quote:
People obsessed with "communism" always make the assumption that providing motivation for work isn't needed.

The knowledge that your needs will be catered for is motivation. Productive activity is in itself motivation for countless people even after a full day's paid work. Social standing. I don't think financial motivation is needed. I do think chronic freeloaders would be dealt with via some kind of withdrawal of goodwill, but this would be the exception rather than the norm by which all things would be measured.

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syndicalistcat
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Oct 5 2007 21:05

catch:

Quote:
The knowledge that your needs will be catered for is motivation. Productive activity is in itself motivation for countless people even after a full day's paid work. Social standing. I don't think financial motivation is needed. I do think chronic freeloaders would be dealt with via some kind of withdrawal of goodwill, but this would be the exception rather than the norm by which all things would be measured.

You can assume if you like that people will be all perfectly altruistic and automatically do the work that society needs to have done. How exactly that would be figured out, however, isn't clear. I doubt that the working class will share your assumptions. In particular, you can't prove that your assumptions are correct.

And you've still got no way to measure social opportunity costs. And that means inevitably a grossly efficient economy in terms of providing what people most want.

You speak of one's "needs" being catered for, but actually an effective economy must provide what people most want, not just meet their "needs". And this means it must have some way of allowing people to choose and help plan for a mix of different things that correspond to what they want. This presupposes that people have a finite entitlement to consume and they can spread this across some mix of things up to the limit of their budget. If they have no limit to their budget, and don't have to make choices between trade offs, there will be no way to gain the information about what they most desire.

lem
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Oct 5 2007 21:19

apologies if i'm not wanted on this thread.

but seems a "Hegelian": might say: it'll be higher communism by the time it's international.

Randy
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Oct 5 2007 22:48
syndicalistcat wrote:
randy:
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I have already provided a link to an article that does an adequate job of critiquing parecon, and pointing out it's market characteristics

That article has numerous false assertions about participatory economics. Moreover, a number of the things that article proposes would lead straight back to a market economy, such as unilateral decision-making by production groups which assumes a private property-like control over production facilities.

I've already refuted that article here:

http://www.workersolidarity.org/debatingeconomicvision.html

Thanks for the link. If i ever despair of the communist ideal and wish to get up to speed on parecon, I'll renew my lapsed subscription to Z mag, and read the article. But in the meantime I'm going to go looking for some threads discussing how we might move forward towards libertarian communism.

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syndicalistcat
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Oct 5 2007 23:37

randy:

Quote:
Thanks for the link. If i ever despair of the communist ideal and wish to get up to speed on parecon, I'll renew my lapsed subscription to Z mag, and read the article. But in the meantime I'm going to go looking for some threads discussing how we might move forward towards libertarian communism.

Good luck in pursuing your religious faith.

Randy
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Oct 6 2007 03:54
syndicalistcat wrote:
...Good luck in pursuing your religious faith....

I was raised Southern Baptist. Attaining the socialist faith has been a long journey for me.

I would be the last to deny the aspect of blind faith in human nature attached to my perspective. I do prefer it to your cynicism, however. If we can do no better than markets, I consider the matter of human progress hopeless anyhow.

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OliverTwister
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Oct 6 2007 07:41
Randy wrote:
syndicalistcat wrote:
...Good luck in pursuing your religious faith....

I was raised Southern Baptist. Attaining the socialist faith has been a long journey for me.

I would be the last to deny the aspect of blind faith in human nature attached to my perspective. I do prefer it to your cynicism, however. If we can do no better than markets, I consider the matter of human progress hopeless anyhow.

you and me both, brother. on all scores.

capricorn
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Oct 6 2007 08:09

I don't agree that you can't abolish exchange, or, rather, that exchange is an eternal feature of human existence (as taught in economics textbooks and parroted by parecommers). Exchange is not the simple use of some product that you didn't produce yourself. Nobody produces anything themself or ever has - production has always been cooperative and a collective effort; it's only ownership that's been individual. As the word itself implies exchange is the handing over of something in return for something else. Which implies that the things being exchanged are owned by those exchanging them. In other words, that private property exists. So, exchange is the exchange of property titles and a feature only of societies based on private property. In a communist society (in the proper sense of the word as one where the means of production and the products are the common property of all) what is produced is commonly owned and there won't be - can't be - any exchange. Once things have been produced they don't have to be exchanged for something else. Some way does have to be found of sharing them out or of giving people access to them, but that's distribution not exchange.

Mike Harman
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Oct 6 2007 08:44
syndicalistcat wrote:
You can assume if you like that people will be all perfectly altruistic and automatically do the work that society needs to have done.

I don't think anything I talked about requires altruism, just intelligent self-interest.

Quote:
In particular, you can't prove that your assumptions are correct.

Nor yours, part of the reason I usually ignore these discussions.

Quote:
And you've still got no way to measure social opportunity costs.

I think you'll need to define 'social opportunity costs', it seems like there's some different definitions flying around/

Quote:
You speak of one's "needs" being catered for, but actually an effective economy must provide what people most want, not just meet their "needs".

Actually I think it's needs that'll be the hardest, certainly during and after any major upheaval. Food, shelter, energy, water, sanitation - most of these systems require on loads of very low paid hard labour, and many are neglected or run-down by capitalism. 'Consumer durable' kinda stuff, which only get replaced every year - ten years - it'll take a lot longer for those to need sorting out than daily food supply and winter fuel. Telephone lines tend not to rot or wilt.

Quote:
And this means it must have some way of allowing people to choose and help plan for a mix of different things that correspond to what they want. This presupposes that people have a finite entitlement to consume and they can spread this across some mix of things up to the limit of their budget. If they have no limit to their budget, and don't have to make choices between trade offs, there will be no way to gain the information about what they most desire.

TINA.

Mike Harman
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Oct 6 2007 08:46
capricorn wrote:
I don't agree that you can't abolish exchange, or, rather, that exchange is an eternal feature of human existence (as taught in economics textbooks and parroted by parecommers). Exchange is not the simple use of some product that you didn't produce yourself. Nobody produces anything themself or ever has - production has always been cooperative and a collective effort; it's only ownership that's been individual. As the word itself implies exchange is the handing over of something in return for something else. Which implies that the things being exchanged are owned by those exchanging them. In other words, that private property exists. So, exchange is the exchange of property titles and a feature only of societies based on private property. In a communist society (in the proper sense of the word as one where the means of production and the products are the common property of all) what is produced is commonly owned and there won't be - can't be - any exchange. Once things have been produced they don't have to be exchanged for something else. Some way does have to be found of sharing them out or of giving people access to them, but that's distribution not exchange.

Yep.

petey
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Oct 6 2007 14:28

capricorn's statement is the lucidest thing i've read on this thread from the non-parecon/non-exchange/communist/whachacallit side. must fly out the door, but one question: is there, in this system, a difference between personal property (in the sense of a thing i use and can (or try to) prevent others from using, and can dispose of) and private property?

Deezer
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Oct 6 2007 14:35

So really what we need is a system that allows 'communities' to communicate and prioritise their needs on a federal basis (local, regional up to international), industries to assess and co-ordinate a respond to those needs and a system of distribution that meets those needs.

It seems to me something pretty similar would be needed to get those extra work effort reward based goods out to places where folk could use their extra money to purchase them - so why the fuck do we need it (money) at all?

Apart from setting up some sort of bizarre meritocracy based, it seems to me, either on a few stupid fuckers who don't want to go home (they should probably get free counselling to sort out their home lives rather than get rewarded to buy 'luxury' goods) or possibly on the basis of applying some sort of dubious rank system to the types of work people carry out.

Again altruism is precious little to do with anything, when people see that they have their needs met by the combined labour of their fellows, without some fuckers profiting from it, I do belief that most will put in a fair amount of work in the area best suited to them.

This has always been something that I've found extremely straight forward when explaining it to people I have worked with. There may be variation across workplaces, and there are certainly some types of work we shouldn't be hanging onto, but if you speak to people in public transport, the postal service and who work in power stations the idea that they would run their own industries while their public transport, post, electricity was maintained by other workers doing the same is generally reponded to pretty positively (although with the "how would we ever get there" caveat). If some do continually rip the arse out of it them there is the option of withdrawing goodwill as catch said.

btw I had edited my earlier post quite some time before you quoted a somewhat more poorly phrased version back at me syndicalistcat.

Randy
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Oct 6 2007 15:37

I agree that Capricorn did a good job of stating the obvious. Simply because one declares exchange inevitable, doesn't make it so.

newyawka:

Quote:
...is there... a difference between personal property ... and private property?

I don' t plan to share my toothbrush after the revolution. Or wear a one-size-fits-all Mao jacket.

The means of production must be socially owned, I think, to achieve anything worth calling communism. (Or, as MJ says, they should not be owned at all, in the sense that they can be bought or sold. "Exchanged".) Factories, farm land. Certainly personal items could remain personal. The gray area between social property and the personal resides somewhere in the vicinity of one's home, i think. At the risk of oversimplifying, if it's smaller than a house it's mine, if it's larger, it''s everyones.

Ilan
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Oct 7 2007 09:26

Some comments on the last few days polemics.
First, there is no reasonable common ground when people do not have the same common denominator.
People who are for libertarian communist society based on direct democracy on the whole world scale, have no common base with people who see work place independent as basic principle, or people who have a vague picture of a decentralized world.

People who are for the principle "from each according to ability - to each according to needs" have no common base with people who do not wish or do not believe such system can work.

As one who hold both the world system of multi tier direct democracy and "from each according to ability - to each according to needs" I think that there is a value for people who hold these opinions to discuss that social model.

One point is the abolishing of money
Real money bills that can change hands need a state to back them - so it have no place in a social system - even transitional, when the capitalist class was defeated.

In such a system it is absurd to talk on the dictatorship of the proletariat - as there will not be proletarians who sell their work nor capitalists (and coordinators) that do not contribute work according to ability nor people who get more than they need (exploit others).

For sure there will never be such a plenty for every one just taking what they want... There is limit on the time the people of the world will contribute to produce things and services. There will always be needs "free" in social consumption, and for individual to use as they wish, and there will be limited quota of what people will have to choose from. (Poentas already wrote about it in the 1930s.)

The accounting of every thing will have to be done for both social decisions about the investing of work and alternatives. The amount of time invested in every thing will be measured. The amount of work invested in "luxuries" will be the base for the personal quota. The amount of work contributed by an able body person will enable every one to know if a person "owe" or have surplus. This kind of measuring for grass roots communities will enable for them and society if they need to give more or less to the greater society.

In such a system the decision what to use social work for (production and services) will be according to the needs for them as measured on local and world scale.

For sure there will be some planning and allocation of resources on a large and small scale... but this is one of the tasks the world multi tier direct democracy system is for.

(By the way Dulgof was crap - according to his writings about Israel-Palestine).

Looking for practical answers in writings of texts older than 100 years is ridiculous.

My take about the post capitalist libertarian communist society can be found on: http://ilan.shalif.com/anarchy/glimpses/glimpses.html

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jef costello
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Oct 7 2007 21:02

Boul, why have you got such a thing against people working? Obviously work as it is now is a bad thing but in a post-revolutionary society there will be lots of opportunities for production that will be pleasurable, that people will choose to do.

tatsmaki
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Jun 17 2013 22:19

Important Info
tatsmaki (Japan)
(1) British workers staged a demonstration under the banner of "Abolish Money!" at the chance of the G8 leaders' meeting in London.
Thus, they became the standard-bearer in liberation movement of earthmen.
Earthmen should struggle for transition to the new society of gratuitous services in all feilds of human life, following the command by the Creators. Flying saucers suggest the future of Earth.
(2) Queen Elizabeth Ⅱ(the boss of Illuminati), the Pope Benedikt 16th and their many cliques were sentenced to 25 years' imprisonment with hard labor on murder of children more than 50,000 people
- The International Common Law Court in Brussels
(3) According to a cosmo-info from the Creators B.Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu reached the principal agreement on military invasion against Syria on March 20, 2013. Thus, regimes of Israel, the USA, UK and Turkey already have reached the agreement on military invasion of Syria. But such a huge crime is never permitted by the Creators.
(3) H7N9 virus is made in USA
(4) UN Secretary-General Pan Kimun together with a US's representative is continuing to shelve the justifiable demend to send a specialists group for investigation on using chemical weapons by oppositional terrorists groups in Syria in Homsa city in Dec., 2012 and in Areppo city in Mar., 2013.
Russian representative in the UN Vitaliy Churkin stated that this is the try to repeat the scenario on Afganistan and Iraq. That is causing the huge Russian anxiety.
US's imperialism is trying outbreak of a new war in Syria and Iran in the Near East and N. Korea in the Far East, through which the US's dictator J. Rockefeller is aiming at US's conversion into the war economy and the full national Neonazi system. Already 200 forced camps are standby in all States.
But WWⅢis never permitted by the Creators and the Galactic Federation of advanced planets.
The US's East including NYC, Wash. D.C. , FL peninsula and the West's CA State together with Israel sink into the sea as a chain link of the general cleaning of Earth by the Creators.
All are here: http://tatsmaki.blogspot.jp

radicalgraffiti
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Jun 17 2013 22:41

tatsmaki that looks like a buck of conspiracy theory bullshit and really has no reverence to the thread

yourmum
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Jun 18 2013 12:04

"We can all agree that abolishing religion would be good if it could be done - but a defence of how that would work in practice is needed first"

fixed that for input.