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Work in a post-revolutionary society

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madashell
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Jun 9 2007 00:40
Work in a post-revolutionary society

Started so the Will Jack still have a playstation after the revolution thread can go back to being about Jack wink

oisleep wrote:
do none of you anarchists actually realise how much work would be involved in a total transformation of the existing social & economic order?

i don't want to get all lletsa'd up here, but you have to get a bit of a reality check if you're serious about what you'r hoping for

i always seem to get the impression that most of you think that the hard work will stop 'post revolution', rather than start

madashell wrote:
unless we're assuming the total destruction of all preexisting infrastructure and industry and the dissolution of any networks, federations etc. formed in the process of the revolution, your hundreds of years of non-stop subsistance farming seems a tad melodramatic.
oisleep wrote:
well as i understand it, the current society's structure is built upon the economic base, one which is entirely unsuitable to a post revoluionary society, i'm sure i don't need to explain to you the fact that the political, social, legal, and moral landscape/superstructure is built of and rests upon the existing economic base, i presume any revolution you talk off would be, at root, the overturing of the economic basis of society, hence the necessary overhaulling of all that rests upon it

now, maybe you don't see that as being much work, fair enough, but i do

as a side btw, you say that i'm assuming the dissolution of any networks/federations etc.., i'm not sure whether i am or not, but i'd be interested in knowing what existing 'networks or federations' that exist at the moment that you think would play such a great part in the post-revolutionary world in the first place?

madashell wrote:
oisleep wrote:
well as i understand it, the current society's structure is built upon the economic base, one which is entirely unsuitable to a post revoluionary society, i'm sure i don't need to explain to you the fact that the political, social, legal, and moral landscape/superstructure is built of and rests upon the existing economic base, i presume any revolution you talk off would be, at root, the overturing of the economic basis of society, hence the necessary overhaulling of all that rests upon it

When I say infrastructure and industry, I mean stuff like the railways, the national grid, motorways, factories, etc. there's nothing inherently "capitalist" about any of that stuff, the problem is that the people doing all the work to maintain them aren't in control. Obviously there's going to be a fuck of a lot of work to do to go from having just overthrown capitalism to a stable, post-revolutionary society, and I was being flippant with my first few posts because this isn't really a thread for serious discussion, but at the same time, it's not like we're starting from the year zero here.

As I see it, the biggest challenge, once you've got past the minor matter of overthrowing the bosses, winning a huge civil war and fighting off the last vestiges of capitalist society, is making sure we've got enough food, shelter and other essentials. Beyond that (and I don't mean to suggest that that would be easy), you've got stuff like building new computers, TVs, etc., the luxury items. Due to the nature of things like miniaturised electronics, that would take a lot longer to sort out, but it's not like there's any serious rush with that stuff.

Quote:
as a side btw, you say that i'm assuming the dissolution of any networks/federations etc.., i'm not sure whether i am or not, but i'd be interested in knowing what existing 'networks or federations' that exist at the moment that you think would play such a great part in the post-revolutionary world in the first place?

I was referring more to the structures that would develop in the course of a revolutionary situation, the workers' council and the community associations, rather than the AF or what have you.

revolutionrugger
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Jun 9 2007 03:56

Is Oi proposing some sort of Khmer Rouge scenerio? I just figured we start off with workers councils running the current structure and then work extra hard the first 50 years to switch over to a green agricultural economy. That or nanobots. I'm rooting for nanobots. and vat grown meat, and micro-production labs, and cornucopia machines and cyborgs. Don't fuck with the culture.

Mike Harman
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Jun 9 2007 18:43

OK, can people repost the bollocks on the original thread, and try to allow this one the chance to live please?

oisleep, I think the reason you've had not such a great response (not withstanding the title of the other thread) is that you've shifted the goalposts between before, during and after the revolution. It seems that you really want to discuss before and during, since as far as I can gather, you agree in general with the 'useless work/production for need' arguments about when things settle down. I don't have loads of time right now, but I'll try to do better than my previous one-liner.

You suggested somewhere in that thread, I'm not going to go through it, that it's going to be a lot of work convincing 'everyone' (or a vast majority of people) of our ideas before there's a revolution. I think that's starting from wrong assumptions. I don't think a revolution can be made by convincing 70,80, 90% of people of communist ideas on an individual basis. If that's the conditions under which one will have to happen, then we're fucked. However, during periods of mass struggle, people often check out revolutionary ideas and history, a micro-example would be Tottenham bin men reading this when they went out on all-out strike last year: http://libcom.org/history/2001-brighton-bin-mens-strike-and-occupation which they downloaded off the internet, printed out, and handed around at the picket line. I think if someone just turned up at a refuse depot randomly with that article and started handing it out it wouldn't be so popular.

bollocks, tbc.

Mike Harman
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Jun 9 2007 19:35
oisleep wrote:
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Well in all honesty we could not realistically fight a war against the US and any attempt to do so would lead to the destruction of the revolution, either by the US itself or by the strain of conducting such a war.

this vital fact does kind of render superflous the point of arguing what an actual post revolutionary society would be like does it not

historical precdent doesn't exactly suggest that you'd be left just to get on with it does it

oisleep, historical precedent suggests it doesn't take much for the US army to get overextended, and that during serious conflicts American soldiers have engaged in mutinies, fragging etc. http://libcom.org/forums/thought/gi-resistance-to-the-vietnam-war - you'd have to have a major class conflict in the militarily stonger countries: US, China, UK, Russia etc. for the same anywhere else to continue, yes. We're not talking about communism in one country.

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Jun 9 2007 19:58
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It seems that you really want to discuss before and during

well that would seem the most practical approach wouldnt it, no point discussing after, if there's a blanket blind refusal to aknowledge and discuss the actual practicalities of what would be involved, and what any revolution would face, in the 'during'

and given that the 'during', imo, would take several generations (even longer if you're now talking about worldwide revolution) to work through, it does seem a bit flippant for all discusion to assume that this will all pan out fine and skip directly to pontificating about how things will be like in utopia

i mean capitalism (by it's vey nature) is effectivley still being implemented in the world today, that's a good 200 odd years since its birth, i don't see how the implementation of a completely new society should be any different

and while we're on the subject of the 'during' (i know you referred to above that you're not talking about revolution in just one country, but come on lets be practical, what are the chances of a coordinated revolution taking place in USA, Russia, Europe & China all at the same time, so humour me for a moment and think about it in terms of one country)

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out of interest as well, if a revolution did happen in say the UK, how much effort do you think would be involved in repelling the military might of say the USA who would no doubt seek to restore thing back to the way they were, how much effort would this take, over and above the massive amount of effort that would be required to actually transform the economic, political, social, legal and moral frameworks/structures that had existed for centuries, whilst ensuring that people enjoyed at least the same standard of life, if not more, than they previously enjoyed under capitalism, as presumably any decrease in this would not be tolerated by the public for too long without some kind of revolt, and it's hard to see how perhaps two to three generations of people would happily put up with this for a payback some time in the future that they, or not even their children or grandchildren would be alive to benefit from?

any thoughts?

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Jun 9 2007 20:01

and in terms of 'confusing' the before, during and after and also your previous comment about conflating 'work' and 'effort', my very first post on this topic said

Quote:
after a couple of hundred years he might be able to have one, once the fundamental restructuring of society had bedded down a bit

this doesn't exactly show much confusion between the 'during' and the 'after', nor between 'work' and 'effort'

lem
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Jun 9 2007 20:13

i don't think anyone knows. and tbh i feel that oisleep, don't get angry, but you seem to be being a bit dishonest. why assume that everyone is dodging your question e.g.?

but yeah, it's a good question.

lem
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Jun 9 2007 20:15

i don't see that it follows from that cpaitalism has taken 200 years to implement, to communism will. as communism doesn't have to spread over the globe "after the revolution". that's what the revolution is!

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Jun 9 2007 20:31
lem wrote:
i don't think anyone knows. and tbh i feel that oisleep, don't get angry, but you seem to be being a bit dishonest. why assume that everyone is dodging your question e.g.?

because no one has answered it?

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Jun 9 2007 20:36
lem wrote:
i don't see that it follows from that cpaitalism has taken 200 years to implement, to communism will.

well both were/are fundamental reorganisations of every aspect of society, economic, political, social, legal and moral

obviously i can't read the future, but using one completed actual transformation of society as an analogy/guide to what another complete transformation of society would entail is not exactly a prepostorous idea

and on that basis that is why i'm quite intentionally blurring the 'during' and 'after' due to the massive length of time that would be required to carry it out

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Jun 9 2007 20:37
oisleep wrote:
lem wrote:
i don't think anyone knows. and tbh i feel that oisleep, don't get angry, but you seem to be being a bit dishonest. why assume that everyone is dodging your question e.g.?

because no one has answered it?

Because its pretty much impossible to answer. There's so much that would have to be done and it would be fluid, dynamic, and horribly messy.

Retooling manufacturing facilities, redistributing agricultural land, maintaining infrastructure and necessary services, etc, etc all while developing the social structures, governing mechanisms and forces to stop recuperation of the revolution.

lem
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Jun 9 2007 20:38

yeah sad

maybe everyone is unsure hopw it will be run, so that they can't say what it will take to set up the running of it. but isn't the setting up of the running of it part of the revolution. won't that just sort itself out in the process of converting people to socialism? honest question: neither dodging nor asserting.

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Jun 9 2007 20:48
thugarchist wrote:
oisleep wrote:
lem wrote:
i don't think anyone knows. and tbh i feel that oisleep, don't get angry, but you seem to be being a bit dishonest. why assume that everyone is dodging your question e.g.?

because no one has answered it?

Because its pretty much impossible to answer. There's so much that would have to be done and it would be fluid, dynamic, and horribly messy.

Retooling manufacturing facilities, redistributing agricultural land, maintaining infrastructure and necessary services, etc, etc all while developing the social structures, governing mechanisms and forces to stop recuperation of the revolution.

well to be honest, the reason i asked it in the first place was in response to the assertions by others that we'd have a lot more leisure time once capitalism was gone, i completely agree with you as regards what's involved, hence my surprise at those who assert that we'll have much more leisure time, and ok perhaps in hundred odd years or so we would, but my point relates to the reduced amount of leisure time most people would have for a good hundred (replace with however many you think here) odd years or so

and to be honest the fact that you say it's impossible to answer pretty much shows the complete amount of blind faith shown by most anarchists that somehow we'd all just be rentaghosted into utopia. i mean i asked a simple question as to how a newly revolutionised society would defend itself (along libertarian principles) aganst the undoubtable attack form other powers looking to revert it back to capitalit, this is pretty much the first thing that would need to be faced after any 'revolution'. the only straight answer i've had so far was that such a society wouldn't be able to defend itself, so based on that, discussion about what the supposed utopia would be like seem a bit superflous

i mean i thought anarchism was meant to be a practical thing, it's not like pure philosophy where you can just abstract away akward issues

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Jun 9 2007 20:52
lem wrote:
yeah sad

maybe everyone is unsure hopw it will be run, so that they can't say what it will take to set up the running of it. but isn't the setting up of the running of it part of the revolution. won't that just sort itself out in the process of converting people to socialism? honest question: neither dodging nor asserting.

well that's my point in a way, if everyone is so unsure as to how it will be run, and what it will take to setup the running of it, how can they on the other so confidently assert that we'll have so much more leisure time (in the 'during' phase of a hundred odd years or so), seems a bit of a contradiction

and saying 'things will just sort themself out', does display a kind of blind religious like faith that most anarchists would chastise religious types for, so its a bit ironic for them to be relying on such a thing itself

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Jun 9 2007 21:00
oisleep wrote:
thugarchist wrote:
oisleep wrote:
lem wrote:
i don't think anyone knows. and tbh i feel that oisleep, don't get angry, but you seem to be being a bit dishonest. why assume that everyone is dodging your question e.g.?

because no one has answered it?

Because its pretty much impossible to answer. There's so much that would have to be done and it would be fluid, dynamic, and horribly messy.

Retooling manufacturing facilities, redistributing agricultural land, maintaining infrastructure and necessary services, etc, etc all while developing the social structures, governing mechanisms and forces to stop recuperation of the revolution.

well to be honest, the reason i asked it in the first place was in response to the assertions by others that we'd have a lot more leisure time once capitalism was gone, i completely agree with you as regards what's involved, hence my surprise at those who assert that we'll have much more leisure time, and ok perhaps in hundred odd years or so we would, but my point relates to the reduced amount of leisure time most people would have for a good hundred (replace with however many you think here) odd years or so

and to be honest the fact that you say it's impossible to answer pretty much shows the complete amount of blind faith shown by most anarchists that somehow we'd all just be rentaghosted into utopia. i mean i asked a simple question as to how a newly revolutionised society would defend itself (along libertarian principles) aganst the undoubtable attack form other powers looking to revert it back to capitalit, this is pretty much the first thing that would need to be faced after any 'revolution'. the only straight answer i've had so far was that such a society wouldn't be able to defend itself, so based on that, discussion about what the supposed utopia would be like seem a bit superflous

i mean i thought anarchism was meant to be a practical thing, it's not like pure philosophy where you can just abstract away akward issues

I think your question leads people to try to answer it as if there was a post-revolutionary situation tomorrow without the infrastructure in place that would have to be developed to get to that point in the first place.

Mike Harman
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Jun 9 2007 21:06
oisleep wrote:
Quote:
It seems that you really want to discuss before and during

well that would seem the most practical approach wouldnt it, no point discussing after, if there's a blanket blind refusal to aknowledge and discuss the actual practicalities of what would be involved, and what any revolution would face, in the 'during'

Except you posted your questions on a thread called "Will Jack still have a PlayStation after the revolution?", I think it makes sense that people answered in that context. Do I have to re-name this thread as well to avoid further confusion?

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and while we're on the subject of the 'during' (i know you referred to above that you're not talking about revolution in just one country, but come on lets be practical, what are the chances of a coordinated revolution taking place in USA, Russia, Europe & China all at the same time, so humour me for a moment and think about it in terms of one country)

Let's see. Russia, Finland, Ukraine 1917-, Japan 1918, Ireland 1916-, Germany 1918, Mexico 1910-1917, off the top of my head.

Not to mention Paris '68, Italy '69, Czechoslovakia '68, a mixture of anti-war, civil rights and other stuff in the US at the same time.

These weren't even co-ordinated, and you had far less international communication than we do now, even compared to '68. This suggests it's perfectly possible for there to be mass struggle and/or revolutionary situations in a number of countries at the same time, even without co-ordination and international organisation.

As to whether a revolution in one country could be defended in the face of a full scale military attack from the US, I'm sorry but that's a pointless question, the defeat of previous attempts has often been down to isolation, so if it's in one country it'll fail. Simple as. The immediate task were the workers in one country to have some kind of tenuos control would be to spread information as quickly as possible everywhere else in the hope that sufficient support could be gained, and situations in other countries develop more rapidly, that the US wouldn't be in a position to launch any kind of attack - having to deal with civil war at home. Otherwise you'd be fucked.

Mike Harman
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Jun 9 2007 21:48

I'll try to address some of the 'immediate material needs during conflict' arguments in this post, just rough outline so don't expect it to answer everything:

Like I said, if we were in a situation where you had massive aerial bombing, things are fucked, so I'm assuming a scenario where most conflict is street level - riots, police etc.
In terms of reorganisation of production here's a few quick thoughts on what I think would have to be done before/during/after to ensure survival.

The main things we need are food, water, shelter, heat. Easiest first:

1. shelter. Piece of piss. Buildings are already there, many offices and other useless workplaces will be deserted and could take up some of the slack, not to mention hotels etc. I think it'd take a while before anyone would need to build completely new dwellings rather than converting or refurbishing old ones. Converting and refurbishing would be quite important, but it'd direclty benefit people and there's a lot of easy stuff that doesn't require too much skill.

2. water. I don't think you'd see major disruption to the water supply, short of contamination/poisoning. The main thing would be conserving supplies - so as much as possible fixing the water pipes under the roads when they'be been dug up for barricades wink - plus rain collection, solar showers and other stuff which'd minimise reliance on energy supplies for fresh/hot water.

3. heat. most mass struggles/revolutions tend to start when it's hot, so you've got say 3-6 months to sort out something assuming gas pipelines get cut etc. I'd want to see biomass and geothermal district heating systems set up where the scale warranted it, supplemented by solar and wind generated electricity (small panels and turbines, not massive farms realistically, and local sources are harder to disrupt). Plus a major programme of insulation to reduce the amount of heat actually needed, supplemented by gas/oil/coal wood burning where necessary/available. That's quite a lot of 'work' as well, but it's mainly one-off in terms of setting things up, and there are already moves in this direction now with oil prices getting so high, so much of the infrastructure and skills, plus improved solar technology should already be around by then.

4. food. This is the hard one. The world's food supply is massively dependent on petroleum, and things like supermarket distribution systems are very centralised and prone to disruption, not to mention the proliferation of frozen/cold food, just-in-time delivery etc. which minimises stocks.

To conserve petroleum there'd have to be a massive reduction in car use - not hard considering even if people are working fucking hard, they aren't going to be commuting 3 hours/day to do it - where people do need to move long distances, much more reliance on public transport (also freed up a bit the other end by less unnecessary journeys and no rush hour). I addition to energy saving measures as outlined above to reduce fuel spent on heating. You could then focus reserves on keeping industrial farming going, and transporting food. At the same time, there'd need to be a massive move towards local food production - community gardening etc. to at least provide some basics - carrots, potatoes, lettuce, tomatos, courgettes, radishes, beans - stuff that's quick and easy to grow that'd provide a minimum diet which industrially produced plus imported food could supplement. Yes, gardening is hard work, but a lot of people love it, and you would see more time available for that kind of thing if people aren't going to their office jobs to surf the internet.

In terms of luxuries like electronics etc., assuming no major disruption in electricity and telecommunications networks, then that'd be the easy thing - those things don't rot if they aren't kept in the fridge.

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Jun 9 2007 21:49
Mike Harman wrote:
oisleep wrote:
Quote:
It seems that you really want to discuss before and during

well that would seem the most practical approach wouldnt it, no point discussing after, if there's a blanket blind refusal to aknowledge and discuss the actual practicalities of what would be involved, and what any revolution would face, in the 'during'

Except you posted your questions on a thread called "Will Jack still have a PlayStation after the revolution?", I think it makes sense that people answered in that context. Do I have to re-name this thread as well to avoid further confusion?

eh? is my question any more or less valid dependant on what thread it is posted on, the question itself was clear enough as to what it was asking, so i'm at a bit of a loss as to how someones answer to it should be different because of what thread it's actually posted on in the first place

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Quote:
and while we're on the subject of the 'during' (i know you referred to above that you're not talking about revolution in just one country, but come on lets be practical, what are the chances of a coordinated revolution taking place in USA, Russia, Europe & China all at the same time, so humour me for a moment and think about it in terms of one country)

Let's see. Russia, Finland, Ukraine 1917-, Japan 1918, Ireland 1916-, Germany 1918, Mexico 1910-1917, off the top of my head.

Not to mention Paris '68, Italy '69, Czechoslovakia '68, a mixture of anti-war, civil rights and other stuff in the US at the same time.

These weren't even co-ordinated, and you had far less international communication than we do now, even compared to '68. This suggests it's perfectly possible for there to be mass struggle and/or revolutionary situations in a number of countries at the same time, even without co-ordination and international organisation.

so what, in the scheme of things these were not even approaching carrying out a successful coordinated radical transformation of society on anything like a global basis, and these were during times that the level of militancy and class struggle were far far more than they are now, capitalism has successfully absorbed all atempts to udermine it then, and even more so now, to the degree that any kind of successful libertarian communist revolution in one country is pretty much unthinkable, let alone globally

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As to whether a revolution in one country could be defended in the face of a full scale military attack from the US, I'm sorry but that's a pointless question, the defeat of previous attempts has often been down to isolation, so if it's in one country it'll fail. Simple as. The immediate task were the workers in one country to have some kind of tenuos control would be to spread information as quickly as possible everywhere else in the hope that sufficient support could be gained, and situations in other countries develop more rapidly, that the US wouldn't be in a position to launch any kind of attack - having to deal with civil war at home. Otherwise you'd be fucked.

ah yes, it's a pointless question is it,why is it a pointless quesiton, it seems a perfectly reasonable one to me, as mentioned above if your holding you hopes out for a global revolution as the only way to successfuly defend revolutions locally then we'd all be as well to pack up and go home now, as it's quite frankly pie in the sky stuff, fair enough if you want to respond to awkward questions as being pointless then do so, going around tutting and saying your question is pointless is hardly going to endear your movement to anyone outwith of the anarchist ghetto is it

and to be honest it seems a bizarre assertion that purely by spreading information it would lead to a full scale revolution in the US capable of withstanding the might of it's military force, i could ask the same question as to why any revolution in the US would be able to withstand the full onslaught of it's military machine, but i guess that's a pointless question as well is it?

it just seems odd to say my question is pointless, but any other discussion about how great and utopian a post-revolutionary society would be and how little work people would have in it is seen as perfeclty valid, you may not feel the need to try and piece together the various steps involvedi in actually getting there, but i think you'll find that most people will want to know that before they are convinced by your movement's ideas, you can abstract them away all you want when your internally naval gazing in your ghetto, but don't go about calling people's questions about your goals pointless on the occasions when you are asked to justify your politics to someone outside it

look i'm not having a go at anyone personally here, and yes i'm playing a bit of a devils advocate, but responding to valid questions as being 'pointless' with a wagging finger just displays the kind of pompous arrognat knowing all attitude of anarchism that puts so many people off it

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oisleep
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Jun 9 2007 21:54
Quote:
Like I said, if we were in a situation where you had massive aerial bombing, things are fucked, so I'm assuming a scenario where most conflict is street level

sorry to cut you short there on the first line, but why on earth do you think that any response to the kind of transformation of a country's society would be limited to a bit of scrapping in the street? i mean fair enough plan for that if you want, but planning only for something that you know you'll be able to potentially withstand seems a bit pointless where you and i both now there's not a hope in hell that it would be restricted to this

it's like me saying i'd be able to get the better of mike tyson over 15 rounds in a professional bout, but only if he decided not to really hit me that hard for all of it, potentially true but absolutely devoid of any connection with reality

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Jun 9 2007 22:07
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In terms of luxuries like electronics etc., assuming no major disruption in electricity and telecommunications networks, then that'd be the easy thing - those things don't rot if they aren't kept in the fridge.

again to assume no major disruption in electricity & telecommunication networks seems absurd

why on earth would any state who were hostile (i.e. all of them) to a revolution in one country not take action to try and shut down these basic networks? and on another related matter the complete reliance on the internet & communications in the modern world may turn out to be a hinderance rather than a benefit, i'm sure given any rumblings of a revolution it would be within the powers of any existing state to close down these communication channels, and as the internet seems to have effectively replaced the skills of communicating in any other way, having this rug pulled from under your feet would render any movement impotent from the start

again i'm not trying to be an arse here catch and it's nothing personal, but the assumptions being made here are absolutely absurd imo

the response to any attempt to transform society in the past has made use of all the existing means to quash it, to think that people hostle to a revolution would not use the astounding technology and military capabilities to put it down is pretty naieve i think mate

Mike Harman
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Jun 9 2007 22:16
oisleep wrote:
eh? is my question any more or less valid dependant on what thread it is posted on,

It's more likely to get a decent response depending on where it's posted yes.

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so what, in the scheme of things these were not even approaching carrying out a successful coordinated radical transformation of society on anything like a global basis, and these were during times that the level of militancy and class struggle were far far more than they are now, capitalism has successfully absorbed all atempts to udermine it then, and even more so now, to the degree that any kind of successful libertarian communist revolution in one country is pretty much unthinkable, let alone globally

I brought those up in response to you saying that you thought it was very unlikely that revolution would break up in some of the major world powers at the same time. All I did was point out that the main revolutionary wave that we've experienced (failed and incomplete though it was), did in fact break out in a number of world powers at the same time. Where things have been completely isolated, Hungary 1956 for example, they didn't last long at all. So if there was to be an uprising in just one country and relative stability elsewhere, it'd be just that, and uprising, revolt, not 'the revolution' in the terms of having any chance of changing the world's political and economic system.

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ah yes, it's a pointless question is it,why is it a pointless quesiton, it seems a perfectly reasonable one to me, as mentioned above if your holding you hopes out for a global revolution as the only way to successfuly defend revolutions locally then we'd all be as well to pack up and go home now,

Well not really. The best way to defend a local revolution is to ensure that the armies of neighbouring (or not neighbouring) countries will turn their guns at their own leadership rather than you. In that sense, spreading and circulating struggles is the only way that you'll have a chance. If you hunker down and get ready for a territorial war, then you end up with a repeat of Russia or Spain. It's the same principle with strikes. If you look at the recent TESCO strike where Eddie Stobart drivers refused to scab- what's more likely to succeed: persuading the Eddie Stobart drivers not to scab or even go on strike themselves, or thinking "fuck that's impossible, might as well go home now", or automatically assuming they'll scab and tooling up on the picket line to stop them driving through without making any attempt to stop them beforehand? If struggles don't circulate and extend, they die.

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as it's quite frankly pie in the sky stuff,

No. Socialism in one country, and assorted western workers defending themselves against a full scale military assault is pie in the sky. Encouraging desertion and mutiny in the US armed forces is quite plausible. http://libcom.org/library/2004-2005-mutinies-american-army-echanges-111

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fair enough if you want to respond to awkward questions as being pointless then do so

It's pointless in that in the sense of a "what if" scenario, it's only got one conclusion - defeat, especially if you looked at nuclear warfare etc. The only chance you'd have, as I said near the start of this thead and you've ignored, is inciting desertion, mutiny, fragging etc. amongst the opposing armed forces and bringing them over to your side.

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and to be honest it seems a bizarre assertion that purely by spreading information it would lead to a full scale revolution in the US capable of withstanding the might of it's military force, i could ask the same question as to why any revolution in the US would be able to withstand the full onslaught of it's military machine, but i guess that's a pointless question as well is it?

Because a revolution in the US would likely see the full-scale abandonment of the military by what is an almost entirely economically conscripted standing army, mainly from poor neighbourhoods, who might not relish the prospect of shooting their friends and family. Obviously you'd have some ultra-right wing squaddies, plus special forces and intelligence who'd probably stay in, but if a good proportion of the army and navy left, fully armed as well, then there'd be a chance of overcoming them. If you look at policing in Katrina, a few local cops just deserted their posts in horror at what was going on, or helped people break into shops to distribute food etc.

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look i'm not having a go at anyone personally here, and yes i'm playing a bit of a devils advocate, but responding to valid questions as being 'pointless' with a wagging finger just displays the kind of pompous arrognat knowing all attitude of anarchism that puts so many people off it

Well hopefully that answers it a bit better this time. I'd appreciate it if you'd actually respond to my points instead of whinging about no-one responding to your points this time.

Mike Harman
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Jun 9 2007 22:19
oisleep wrote:
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Like I said, if we were in a situation where you had massive aerial bombing, things are fucked, so I'm assuming a scenario where most conflict is street level

sorry to cut you short there on the first line, but why on earth do you think that any response to the kind of transformation of a country's society would be limited to a bit of scrapping in the street?

Well Iraq's military was defeated in what, a month? Street fighting has continued for four years and bogged the US military down. I think it'd be very hard for the British military to do major aerial bombing of London, but quite likely that there'd be tanks and helicopters out on the street trying to put down crowds and rioting.

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oisleep
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Jun 9 2007 22:38
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I'd appreciate it if you'd actually respond to my points instead of whinging about no-one responding to your points this time.

eh? i 'whinged' about no one addressing my points previously, because no one had, er.. addressed my points

to infer that i would continue to do so after someone has actually taken the time to respond to them is pretty pathetic catch

in terms of the points made, all sensible stuff and nothing i disagree with at the micro level, but it's a massive faith test in what you're assuming will guide any revolution safely through to the utopian nirvana, its a massive extrapolation from a few examples of fairly minor things happening to that being the glue that will hold things together, obviously i'm in no position to say or know that it wouldn't work, but on a more general note my overall point in all this has really been about the ways in which the anarchist movement communicates and rationalises how and why they think things will workto people outwith of their own internal ghetto

the responses i've received over about 6 pages of threads in regards to this shows that most people prefer to just dogmatically say things will work without even trying to scratch the surface of what would actually be involved, i don't class you in that category by the way as you've given a pretty well thought out and detailed view of how you see things, however imo you make some massive assumptions as regards to the level of resistance and counter measures that would be implemented during that stage, which if happens to be more than you assume, then it pulls the rug compleltey away and renders useless everything else that you discussed, now you may well retort that i'm whinging or bringing up more 'pointless' scenarios and if that's the case then fair enough, but as someone who does actually want to see a complete transormation of our society you'll have to excuse me taking as much of a realistic outlook on what would be faced when attemptiing to do so, i don't see the benefit in assuming or abstracting away some obviously realistic things that we would be faced with during such times

Mike Harman
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Jun 9 2007 22:40
oisleep wrote:
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In terms of luxuries like electronics etc., assuming no major disruption in electricity and telecommunications networks, then that'd be the easy thing - those things don't rot if they aren't kept in the fridge.

again to assume no major disruption in electricity & telecommunication networks seems absurd

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why on earth would any state who were hostile (i.e. all of them) to a revolution in one country not take action to try and shut down these basic networks?

Well, because the financial markets, banking transactions and most of commerce is dependent on them. And shutting off electricity would get everyone pissed off, not at work and much harder to quell, whilst preventing any form of direct communication and misinformation via TV. If the internet goes down for an hour at my work, all the students leave, let alone the network, then we just sit around doing nothing pretty much, a power cut, we'd be sent home (and out on the street). I think the state would be doing it's best to prevent disruption and workers control of power generation, not the other way 'round.

However it's likely you'd see rationing, curfews, restrictions etc. In response to that, it'd not be particularly hard to generate an internet which ran on radio channels using a mixture of wirless technology and pirate radio transmitters. Similarly there's already sufficient technology to make wireless networks extend across cities by simply joining many, many wireless hubs together, this will only get easier as time goes on.

In terms of electricity, you'd need to have some kind of local generation- as discussed before, local solar and wind generation, I think things will have moved on quite a bit in that direction before any of this happens. Both of these would do something to ameliorate restrictions.

The state would try to shut down certain aspects of electricity and communications networks obviously - say private broadband connections and websites, which'd be quite easy, but I think most states would try to keep the actual systems running for as long as possible (c.f. financial workers being classified as 'key worker's in some emergency planning measures I saw a while back). Also, it's quite hard I think to shut down the phone network - most of it's hard wired in. Again you're dependent on telecommunications workers to allow for communication across these channels if they were heavily restricted, or they'd be a strategic target to take over if not.

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and on another related matter the complete reliance on the internet & communications in the modern world may turn out to be a hinderance rather than a benefit, i'm sure given any rumblings of a revolution it would be within the powers of any existing state to close down these communication channels, and as the internet seems to have effectively replaced the skills of communicating in any other way, having this rug pulled from under your feet would render any movement impotent from the start

Well yeah, a few people have asked us how easy it'd be to take libcom off-line, and the answer is 'extremely', but a massive attack on communications networks would render nearly all companies inoperable - essentially a lockout of just about everyone with a job, and further deepen any economic crisis, so I think it'd be double edged in both diretions.

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again i'm not trying to be an arse here catch and it's nothing personal, but the assumptions being made here are absolutely absurd imo

Whatever guesses you try to make, there are always going to be assumptions made either way. You can't expect a comprehensive answer to every possible permutation of an international class conflict which might happen at any time within the next 10-200 years.

Mike Harman
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Jun 9 2007 22:48
oisleep wrote:
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I'd appreciate it if you'd actually respond to my points instead of whinging about no-one responding to your points this time.

eh? i 'whinged' about no one addressing my points previously, because no one had, er.. addressed my points

to infer that i would continue to do so after someone has actually taken the time to respond to them is pretty pathetic catch

Well madashell started this thread yesterday, and you never posted on it. He made a pretty serious attempt to try to get some kind of real discussion going on but you spent about three pages doing tit for tat with lem, so I wasn't sure wink

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in terms of the points made, all sensible stuff and nothing i disagree with at the micro level, but it's a massive faith test in what you're assuming will guide any revolution safely through to the utopian nirvana, its a massive extrapolation from a few examples of fairly minor things happening to that being the glue that will hold things together, obviously i'm in no position to say or know that it wouldn't work, but on a more general note my overall point in all this has really been about the ways in which the anarchist movement communicates and rationalises how and why they think things will workto people outwith of their own internal ghetto

Any kind of massive social transformation is by necessity going to be extremely fragile during a period of upheaval, I think that's a given.All previous attempts at revolution have failed.

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i don't class you in that category by the way as you've given a pretty well thought out and detailed view of how you see things,

Ok thanks. I used to think about this stuff a fair bit, but it's fairly irrelevant given current circumstances - i.e. me and nearly everyone I know both political and non-political having never been on strike, for example.

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however imo you make some massive assumptions as regards to the level of resistance and counter measures that would be implemented during that stage, which if happens to be more than you assume, then it pulls the rug compleltey away and renders useless everything else that you discussed,

Like I said, I can't sit here at 11.45 on a Saturday night and extrapolate every possible scenario and every possible counter measure. I only type about 60 words a minute sad

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h, but as someone who does actually want to see a complete transormation of our society you'll have to excuse me taking as much of a realistic outlook on what would be faced when attemptiing to do so, i don't see the benefit in assuming or abstracting away some obviously realistic things that we would be faced with during such times

No this is fine. But you have to accept that if you're simply asking me to respond to a 'absolute worst case international holocaust' scenario, then I can only answer 'fucked'.

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Jun 9 2007 22:48
Mike Harman wrote:
oisleep wrote:
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Like I said, if we were in a situation where you had massive aerial bombing, things are fucked, so I'm assuming a scenario where most conflict is street level

sorry to cut you short there on the first line, but why on earth do you think that any response to the kind of transformation of a country's society would be limited to a bit of scrapping in the street?

Well Iraq's military was defeated in what, a month? Street fighting has continued for four years and bogged the US military down. I think it'd be very hard for the British military to do major aerial bombing of London, but quite likely that there'd be tanks and helicopters out on the street trying to put down crowds and rioting.

true, although i'm sure it wouldn't be difficult for pinpoint bombing to completely wipe out all the good work that you talked about in your big post about providing the basic things to sustain the revolution, shelter, water, heat etc...., and in any case it wouldn't be that long before they would be able to starve most people into either submission or the grave, you were indeed very open and honest about the difficulties that would be faced in feeding the revolution, in fact the whole of your post in that area focused on the difficulties of it, with no actual proposals for how they could be surmounted, so overall i guess whether or not any kind of full on military onslaught was unleashed, by shutting down communication and power networks and blocking the importation of food into the country this would appear to be a fairly scary prospect of overcoming, especially whilst maintaining libertarian communist principles throughout (whilst obviously at the same time carrying out the radical transformation of society and ensuring the public were kept onside by not plunging them into apocolyptic like conditions, when they were actually expecting a utopian nirvana)

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Jun 9 2007 22:51
oisleep wrote:

especially whilst maintaining libertarian communist principles throughout

There's only one principle in a revolutionary situation. Do what it takes to win.

Mike Harman
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Jun 9 2007 22:55
oisleep wrote:

true, although i'm sure it wouldn't be difficult for pinpoint bombing to completely wipe out all the good work that you talked about in your big post about providing the basic things to sustain the revolution, shelter, water, heat etc...., and in any case it wouldn't be that long before they would be able to starve most people into either submission or the grave, you were indeed very open and honest about the difficulties that would be faced in feeding the revolution, in fact the whole of your post in that area focused on the difficulties of it, with no actual proposals for how they could be surmounted,

eh?

Mike Harman wrote:
To conserve petroleum there'd have to be a massive reduction in car use - not hard considering even if people are working fucking hard, they aren't going to be commuting 3 hours/day to do it - where people do need to move long distances, much more reliance on public transport (also freed up a bit the other end by less unnecessary journeys and no rush hour). I addition to energy saving measures as outlined above to reduce fuel spent on heating. You could then focus reserves on keeping industrial farming going, and transporting food. At the same time, there'd need to be a massive move towards local food production - community gardening etc. to at least provide some basics - carrots, potatoes, lettuce, tomatos, courgettes, radishes, beans - stuff that's quick and easy to grow that'd provide a minimum diet which industrially produced plus imported food could supplement. Yes, gardening is hard work, but a lot of people love it, and you would see more time available for that kind of thing if people aren't going to their office jobs to surf the internet.
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so overall i guess whether or not any kind of full on military onslaught was unleashed, by shutting down communication and power networks and blocking the importation of food into the country this would appear to be a fairly scary prospect of overcoming,

Yep, like I said, international holocaust = fucked. But you're talking about the wholesale slaughter of an entire generation of workers by the British government - liberal democracy wouldn't survive either, you'd be into dystopian police state by then, and they don't do well on the international stock market.

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oisleep
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Jun 9 2007 23:01
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Whatever guesses you try to make, there are always going to be assumptions made either way. You can't expect a comprehensive answer to every possible permutation of an international class conflict which might happen at any time within the next 10-200 years.

true, although surely the assumption should start from the point of view that any capitalist states in the vicinity would use the most of their capabillities (not the least of them) to suppress it, that's not a vague out there permutation of events, but a fairly obvious starting point i would have thought, assuming otherwise seems a pretty shaky starting point, obviously to assume that they do use everything to quell it brings us to the situation you mention as to us being fucked which is not a fairly attractive starting point i agree, but one that we should not try and hide the possibility off when attempting to communicate your ideas and politics to the wider audience

anyway, i'm off for a bit now, cheers for the discussion

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oisleep
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Jun 9 2007 23:09
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Yep, like I said, international holocaust = fucked. But you're talking about the wholesale slaughter of an entire generation of workers by the British government - liberal democracy wouldn't survive either, you'd be into dystopian police state by then, and they don't do well on the international stock market.

i'm not quite saying that! i'm saying that outside forces would no doubt have an impressive array of capabilities to disable communicatons & power networks to snuff out any nascent movement before it got going, and a block on food coming into the country wouldn't necassilry lead to the wiping out of the entire workforce, but more likely an uprising from within against the revolution itself by a huge mass of the population in desperation of the situation they would find themselves in, and even if it did lead to millions dying because of a lack of food being made available, well the british govt never really bothered about this the last time it happened around their patch did they!

right i'm deffo off now

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oisleep
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Jun 9 2007 23:17
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eh?

oops sorry on that one, my mistake

my point on that one though is if we're focussing on the period of time immediately after some rupture of society, then a blockade of food importation by hostile states would be the single overriding factor in fucking things up (food wise), yes switching more to local production and an element of self sufficiency (if that's even remotely possible) may be grand in the medium term, but unlikely to counter out the effects of an enforced blockade of food imports at the crucial early stage of things

and bear in mind this is during a time where the workers lot is meant to be improving and leisure time increasing!

(and no i'm not mixing up the 'during' and 'after' again)