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March for the Alternative - question

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Ketsan
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Joined: 28-03-11
Mar 28 2011 15:41

Yeah I am sloooowly. There's a lot here. Will take time.

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Ed
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Mar 28 2011 15:42
Ketsan wrote:
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Well sidestepped Ketsan.. your response above allows you to save face while not engaging with any of the arguments presented to you..

Who wasn't interested in debate again?

.

I'm sorry was there an argument there? Cuz all I saw where statements. "You say chav so you're a bourgois capitalist running dog lacky person who lives off the blood of the oppressed workers."

There wasn't an argument to side step.

Ketsan, read my post again. First I ask you for clarification (smashing a bank = smashing someone's window coz they're Muslim?) and then I gave you my opinion on your statement about us "not entering the debate". You responded to neither.

Also, I'd appreciate you not satirise my opinion using the sloganeering style of Chinese Maoists. It implies bad faith on your part.. you may have noticed that we're not fond of Maoism on this site so conflating my argument with their politics is either out of extreme ignorance or willful attempt to get around the issue by taking the piss.. it also just makes you look daft and hysterical..

EDIT: Ignore this, seems you found the debate.

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Ed
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Mar 28 2011 16:18
Ketsan wrote:
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I hope you're not equating kicking in a bank's window to putting in the window of, say, a Muslim family.. the difference is quite massive..

In both cases its an attempt to make a political point through an act of destuction. The difference is tiny. The intent is the same; the act is the same, the result is the same.

Firstly, I'm not here to say "yeah, smashing banks is great, that's how you advance libertarian communism".. I think it can be tactically daft at times as well and I'm still sorting through my thoughts on March 26th.. but to say that the difference between popping a bank window and popping some family's window is tiny, is, well.. a bit bonkers.. is the bank gonna have to move coz some anarchists have sprayed "Class War" on the side? Are they going to be run out of town? Also, is the intent to 'terrorise' a community (I'm assuming 'the banking community')? To drive the 'banking community' out of our country? And do the banks have to rely on the protection from an apathetic anti-banking community police force, whose anti-bank prejudice leads them to stop and search bankers when they're on the tube? smile

Come off it. This is the daftest thing I've heard since Jimmy Hill said that Ron Atkinson calling Marcel Desailly a "lazy nigger" is no more offensive than someone calling him "chinny".. literally, only the act is the same here, both the intent and the result are massively different..

Ketsan wrote:
Quote:
Mate, this isn't a debate. Even if everyone agreed with 'our' side, it wouldn't matter.. perhaps (at the very most) we'd get a change of government to Labour, who also say they believe in the need for cuts! Great stuff.. in the final instance, this will be about power.. if we strike, occupy, blockade major shops and transport hubs, we will hit the economy and only then they'll listen.

If everyone agreed who would be left to oppose you? If everyone agreed then even the labour government would agree, I think they're covered in "everyone." Winning the debate wins converts and builds numbers, numbers are power. With enough people you don't even need to strike. The battle is not between you and the state the battle is between you and the people. You need to convince the ordinary guy in the street. Mao knew that; he brought the peasents on to his side.

In my opinion, this is absolute idealism. You're ignoring the fact that the world isn't just made up of individuals exchanging ideas but of classes, bureaucrats and people with vested interests. You can try to convince the Queen about creating a free and equal society but I'm not sure she'd be interested.. that is of course if you can make a good enough argument to her police and guards to let you in to see her!

And no, for me, the Labour Party don't count as part of 'everyone' (except in an absolutely literal sense). For my entire political life, Labour were the people I opposed as they were making cuts, starting wars etc. Just coz they're in opposition now doesn't mean they're not the same bunch of silly sods they were 18 months ago..

Ketsan wrote:
The state is too powerful you can't fight it directly. Sun Tzu pointed this out 2500 years ago, it's not news. Only the people can over throw the state so you ignore them at your peril.

Not sure what this means. I'm not advocating guerrilla warfare or even smashing windows on demonstrations (as I said, I'm still making up my mind on that)..

Ketsan wrote:
Oh I do not mock chavs or take the piss out of them. There is nothing more serious or sad or depressing than a group of people without aspiration or hope or interest in education. People who have nothing and I'm not talking material things here I mean people who are dead in spirit.
Yes it's annoying and I dislike them for being mindlessly destructive but at the same time I can understand why.

How many of these 'chavs' have you spoken to? This isn't rhetorical, I'd like an answer (either number or frequency is cool).. my guess is that, from a distance, all working class people who don't share middle-class values look "dead in spirit" (by the middle class person's standards, obv.).. but you talk to most people and they'll tell you about a whole bunch of stuff that interests them, things they do, things they create.. I'm not saying 'go make friends with a chav, you'll get on great', do what you want, but to say they're "dead in spirit" is deeply patronising (esp. to the lad with a shaved head that I was as a teenager, not doubt he would've been/was called a chav)..

Equally, when I was at uni, I met a lot of extremely "dead in spirit" types, mostly from wealthy backgrounds..

Ketsan wrote:
They're half baked in that they've sorta half realised that something needs to be done but haven't quiet realised that revolutions are dime a dozen and there's an established methodology and that they're ignoring it completely in favour of petty acts of vandalism. Those people I mock endlessly because they have no excuse. They have a goal, there is a tried and tested way of doing it and they're just not even trying.

Again, I'm not saying that popping windows is a strategy (or even part of a strategy) but what is this "tried and tested way" you speak of? Could you elaborate..

Ketsan wrote:
Dunno, maybe that's just my middle class way of looking at things: pick a goal, get the education you need to achieve it, work hard, get it. But then the succesful revolutionaries tend to be middle class. Conundrum eh? I suppose success is too bourgois though.

confused

toby
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Mar 28 2011 17:56

I too am someone who sympathises a lot with anarchism but I was a bit troubled with what I saw yesterday. I can understand how you might attempt to justify violence against property using anarchist ideas, even though I can't see how it is helpful, but I'm interested to know how many people here support violence against police officers? I don't mean just forcing your way past police lines, but actually throwing snooker balls, bricks, or ammonia at them, which could seriously injure or even kill them.

Even if you are so sure in your opinions that you might think about doing something with consequences as serious as this, isn't it immoral to target the police who are essentially ordinary people with families and friends? Even if you are sure that what they do in defending the state is fundamentally wrong and does serious damage to society, can't you see that they believe that what they do is right, and are guilty only, if anything, of ignorance? Do they really deserve to die for that?

I suppose if you wanted to you could use an argument something along the lines of saying that Nazi soldiers too often thought what they did was right, but it was often necessary to kill them, but I don't see how violence against police of any kind is necessary? Surely it only turns the public further against anarchism?

gypsy
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Mar 28 2011 18:05
toby wrote:

Even if you are so sure in your opinions that you might think about doing something with consequences as serious as this, isn't it immoral to target the police who are essentially ordinary people with families and friends? Even if you are sure that what they do in defending the state is fundamentally wrong and does serious damage to society, can't you see that they believe that what they do is right, and are guilty only, if anything, of ignorance? Do they really deserve to die for that?
?

9 times out of 10 the police are the ones cracking skulls. Did any of them die?

Ketsan
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Mar 28 2011 18:18
Quote:
Also, is the intent to 'terrorise' a community (I'm assuming 'the banking community')? To drive the 'banking community' out of our country? And do the banks have to rely on the protection from an apathetic anti-banking community police force, whose anti-bank prejudice leads them to stop and search bankers when they're on the tube?

The difference is only in the target and it's ability to resist then? Does it not terrorize people who work in banks? As you've said it does nothing to the bank as an entity but the people who work in the bank are, I should imagine, quite frightened. No less frightened than the Muslim family having their windows bricked for sure.

Quote:
In my opinion, this is absolute idealism. You're ignoring the fact that the world isn't just made up of individuals exchanging ideas but of classes, bureaucrats and people with vested interests. You can try to convince the Queen about creating a free and equal society but I'm not sure she'd be interested.. that is of course if you can make a good enough argument to her police and guards to let you in to see her!

After what's been happening in the middle east you call it absolute idealism? A class is made up of individuals. It's not like one day the collective hive mind of the working class decided to be socialistic; ideas were thought up and passed from individual to individual. Unless you're claiming not to be an individual?

Quote:
And no, for me, the Labour Party don't count as part of 'everyone' (except in an absolutely literal sense). For my entire political life, Labour were the people I opposed as they were making cuts, starting wars etc. Just coz they're in opposition now doesn't mean they're not the same bunch of silly sods they were 18 months ago..

No argument. They are, were and probably always will be idiots.

Quote:
How many of these 'chavs' have you spoken to? This isn't rhetorical, I'd like an answer (either number or frequency is cool).. my guess is that, from a distance, all working class people who don't share middle-class values look "dead in spirit" (by the middle class person's standards, obv.).. but you talk to most people and they'll tell you about a whole bunch of stuff that interests them, things they do, things they create.. I'm not saying 'go make friends with a chav, you'll get on great', do what you want, but to say they're "dead in spirit" is deeply patronising (esp. to the lad with a shaved head that I was as a teenager, not doubt he would've been/was called a chav)..

Equally, when I was at uni, I met a lot of extremely "dead in spirit" types, mostly from wealthy backgrounds..

Oh I grew up with chavs, I still , umm. I still have to interact with them. I understand what you mean about the middle class but it's different. The middle class have a general sense of direction and long term goals; chavs are very day to day people. And be aware that, to me at least, chavs and the working class are not the same thing.

Right the rest I'll answer later or tomorow; one must dash to one's borgois slavery lifestyle capitalist overlord ruling elite thing.

toby
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Mar 28 2011 19:47

Yeah and I would condemn police violence completely, but I'm not asking about that, I'm asking about violence by protesters against police, and whether or not that violence is carried out by or widely supported by anarchists.

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Ed
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Mar 28 2011 20:41
Ketsan wrote:
The difference is only in the target and it's ability to resist then? Does it not terrorize people who work in banks? As you've said it does nothing to the bank as an entity but the people who work in the bank are, I should imagine, quite frightened. No less frightened than the Muslim family having their windows bricked for sure.

Several points as to why it is different: first, the people who work in banks are not the targets, the Muslim family is. Second, the demonstration pops a window one day and is gone and forgotten within days, the Muslim family must live knowing that people in the area are targetting them. Third, the banks have extremely efficient security systems and the support of police who give a shit, the Muslim family doesn't. Fourth, banks can deal with a cracked window every now and again and the staff know they won't be adversely effected, it's obviously a much bigger deal for an average family (Muslim or otherwise). Fifth, banks are not the target of regular scaremongering in the mainstream press, the Muslim family are.

When you say "the difference is only in the target and it's ability to resist then?" what you are saying is 'the only difference is the entire social and political context in which the action takes place'. Well, yes, that's true and that's exactly my point. If you want to say it's exactly the same except for the entire social and politcal context then that's cool by me..

Ketsan wrote:
After what's been happening in the middle east you call it absolute idealism? A class is made up of individuals. It's not like one day the collective hive mind of the working class decided to be socialistic; ideas were thought up and passed from individual to individual. Unless you're claiming not to be an individual?

This is a completely disingenuous way to debate. Of course people interact as individuals but that's not what we were discussing. I was responding to you saying property destruction "makes the frightening statement that causing damage and injury is acceptable if those people disagree with one's political views [...] It also sends out the message that the movement has lost the debate", to which I responded, there is no debate, it is about power. What's happening in the middle east/north Africa is the same, they didn't convince everyone.. the regimes have responded with violence and protesters have returned it.. it is about a balance of power and there have been strikes, riots etc.

If you want to respond to a point I'm making, can you make sure that it's in the same vein as the point to which I myself am responding to?

Ketsan wrote:
Oh I grew up with chavs, I still , umm. I still have to interact with them.

You make this sound like a chore.

Ketsan wrote:
I understand what you mean about the middle class but it's different. The middle class have a general sense of direction and long term goals; chavs are very day to day people.

Nice. This reminds me of a discussion I had with a teacher when I said that I was working class.. the response was "you can't be working class because you're a socialist. Working class people only care about Nike trainers and McDonalds".. and so the circular argument begins.. if someone conforms to your stereotype, they are what they are. If they don't, they're something different and you can hold on to your stereotype. Because wealthy people have negative assumptions about who the great unwashed are, they define them by that assumption and anyone that doesn't live up to that assumption can't possibly be that..

mons
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Mar 29 2011 16:51
Quote:
Even if you are so sure in your opinions that you might think about doing something with consequences as serious as this, isn't it immoral to target the police who are essentially ordinary people with families and friends? Even if you are sure that what they do in defending the state is fundamentally wrong and does serious damage to society, can't you see that they believe that what they do is right, and are guilty only, if anything, of ignorance? Do they really deserve to die for that?

It's not really a question of morality. I personally hate the police at an emotional level and find it really difficult to empathise with them at all, but that's beside the point (well, mainly anyway). It's a question of practicality and strategy. Their role is to defend the state, the state's role in turn is to defend capital, and capital attacks us. When we defend ourselves, or look to get more, it is the police who physically try and stop us (through breaking up strikes, safeguarding scabs, etc.). If we want to get anywhere we are forced to confront them. It's necessary, not 'right', if you see what I mean? Good article on that in relation to the student protests here: http://libcom.org/library/violence-against-police-commune

raw
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Mar 29 2011 22:55
toby wrote:
Yeah and I would condemn police violence completely, but I'm not asking about that, I'm asking about violence by protesters against police, and whether or not that violence is carried out by or widely supported by anarchists.

I would hope most anarchists would not care less for the well being of people that have actively decided to defend the establishment, regardless of their own moral or ethical opinion, and based solely on their selfish interests.

Lets get this straight, there are many types of violence. The police act out a violence that is systemic, institutionalised that acts as a means to discipline people who refuse to accept their position. If violent acts are needed now and again to undermine this authority then I would not equate these two types of violence as equal but one being consequential of the other, and one being less problematic for those that ultimately are fighting for a world without violence.

raw
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Mar 29 2011 22:59
raw wrote:
toby wrote:
Yeah and I would condemn police violence completely, but I'm not asking about that, I'm asking about violence by protesters against police, and whether or not that violence is carried out by or widely supported by anarchists.

I would hope most anarchists would not care less for the well being of people that have actively decided to defend the establishment, regardless of their own moral or ethical opinion, and based solely on their selfish interests.

Lets get this straight, there are many types of violence. The police act out a violence that is systemic, institutionalised that acts as a means to discipline people who refuse to accept their position. If violent acts are needed now and again to undermine this authority then I would not equate these two types of violence as equal