Right, left.. isn't it all a bit old hat?

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Aug 17 2011 23:52
Right, left.. isn't it all a bit old hat?

I understand the history to how the terms 'left-wing' and 'right-wing' came about. During the French Revolution, those who supported the existing order stood to the right within the National Assembly while the liberals, reformists and radicals stood to the left. I just don't see sometimes the point of this rather.. antique method of identifying political standing. My neigbour once informed me of its flaws when he argued "One could support the welfare state and actively assist those seeking employment yet wish for the death penalty" I know another dimension has been added giving the 'Libertarian' and 'Authoritarian' fields a presence but I found it poignant also when my old History teacher pointed out that politics is like a circle or horseshoe (depending if you saw the far-left and far-right intrinsically the same) as the more authoritarian a state gets the more likely it is to simply kill people for 'getting in the way' I could cite Hitler's Night of the Long Knives and Stalin's Great Purge as examples of these.

I don't mean to express another means of analysis of views but merely raise attention to the present mode as perhaps flawed and old hat smile

Thanks,

orthoproxo

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Aug 18 2011 09:33

Hmmm....Well there a lot to be said about that.

First that horseshoe (which my old history teacher used too) only makes sense if one assumes socialism is intrinsically authoritarian. This is why some anarchists have promoted the political compass, but I still think that is flawed. Anarchists are anti-authoritarian socialists, but I would argue we aren't part of the "big L" Left any more than we are "big C" Communists. We are anti-capitalists but our methods of organising and our goals separate us as much from liberals and conservatives as much as Trots and Stalinists.

Still tho, while we stand outside of an analysis that takes the state for granted, left and right are useful terms for understanding (and explaining in short-hand) movements, parties, and individuals.

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Aug 18 2011 11:32

That's why I like anarchism. My history teacher placed anarchy outside the political spectrum as it wished for a cessation of politics on some level - as the Ukrainian Free State and Catalonia showed. It simply functioned as a desireable unit of organisation for the workers in that they acquired the means of production and formed Workers Councils who made the neccessary organisational edicts for workers to be armed and feel secure when against the threat of fascism. Some of my friends cynically add that this constitutes a government though. In my understanding of anarchism - specifically Emile Armand and Max Stirner's ideal of individualist anarchism where one has no need of government authority telling you what to do and instead is driven by a light inside you informing you personally as to what to do. However, in this rather egoist form I doubt it is available to those without education, stable family life and relatively 'privilidged' backgrounds. I like it coupled with Leon Tolstoy and Kropotkin's anarchism in the sense that these people band together and the spirit of their socialising is the marriage of individualism twinned with the interaction of a wider community marked simply by an anarchist 'A'.

However, while talking to a lone bouncer/bodyguard outside a club who admired my anarchist 'A' necklace, he informed me in his view anarchism was the end state of all society - probably citing Marx's 'witherering away' of the state and added "It is an element within every society that questions, resists and actively challenges authority." I thought these wise words and hope to write with these as inspiration.

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Aug 18 2011 13:40
orthodoxyproxy wrote:
However, while talking to a lone bouncer/bodyguard outside a club who admired my anarchist 'A' necklace, he informed me in his view anarchism was the end state of all society - probably citing Marx's 'witherering away' of the state and added "It is an element within every society that questions, resists and actively challenges authority." I thought these wise words and hope to write with these as inspiration.

I disagree with this. Anarchism, if it has a coherent definition, must be defined as the anti-statist wing of the working class revolutionary socialist movement that emerged during the second half of the 19th century. It's not some universal anti-authoritarian ideal, and we do harm our ability to think and act coherently if we think of anarchism in those terms, in my opinion.

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Aug 18 2011 14:33
RedEd wrote:
It's not some universal anti-authoritarian ideal, and we do harm our ability to think and act coherently if we think of anarchism in those terms, in my opinion.

As a Marxist who regards himself as a Libertarian Communist, and who constantly tries to stress the similarities between the 'democratic Marxist' and the 'Class Struggle Anarchist' wings, and who indeed has been strongly influenced by the CSAs here, I would like to back up RedEd's comment.

orthodoxyproxy wrote:
In my understanding of anarchism - specifically Emile Armand and Max Stirner's ideal of individualist anarchism where one has no need of government authority telling you what to do and instead is driven by a light inside you informing you personally as to what to do.

This is dangerous, romantic, anti-social, individualistic nonsense.

orthodoxyproxy wrote:
However, in this rather egoist form I doubt it is available to those without education, stable family life and relatively 'privilidged' backgrounds.

And, I forgot to add, extremely elitist.

orthodoxyproxy wrote:
...the marriage of individualism twinned with the interaction of a wider community...

This 'marriage' can only be achieved by proletarian democracy, not be some ill-defined (and un-definable) 'spirit'.

orthodoxyproxy wrote:
...my old History teacher pointed out that politics is like a circle or horseshoe (depending if you saw the far-left and far-right intrinsically the same)...

Only liberals use that old crap of a model of either a 'horseshoe' or a linear 'spectrum', because they can then situate themselves safely in the 'reasonable middle', unlike all those nasty extremists at the ends. Your teacher wasn't a Communist, so treat what they said with care, now that you yourself are (I presume) a Communist of some sort.

orthodoxyproxy wrote:
...in his view anarchism was the end state of all society ...

This is ahistoric. Lots of societies have 'ended', and they haven't 'ended' in 'anarchism'.

My advice too, orthodoxyproxy, is to inject some class analysis and study of real history into your enquiries, as RedEd suggests. There's lots of willing helpers for you here.

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Aug 18 2011 17:17
RedEd wrote:
I disagree with this. Anarchism, if it has a coherent definition, must be defined as the anti-statist wing of the working class revolutionary socialist movement that emerged during the second half of the 19th century. It's not some universal anti-authoritarian ideal, and we do harm our ability to think and act coherently if we think of anarchism in those terms, in my opinion.

I would like to politely counter your opinion on this. The word 'anarchism' is derived from the Greek word 'anarchos' which means without rulers or without sovereignty. With that it is, is left for those to identify and colour its meaning themselves from those words by reading its history and affairs in contemporary life. Within anarchism there are many schools of thought branching out from anarcho-communism which it seems this forum is most populated by, through to the more nefarious anarcho-capitalism, thought provoking anarcho-primitivism, questionably selfish anarcho-individualism (sometimes called egoist anarchism and probably disliked by anarcho-communists for its elitist stance on the importance of the self) Christian anarchism (through works such as The Kingdom of Heaven is Within You by Leon Tolstoy) Buddhist anarchism (through literary works of Gary Snyder, Diane di Prima and Jack Kerouac most notably Dharma Burns and the self-titled Buddhist Anarchism) and my favoured branch: Anarchism without Adjectives first coined by Fernando del Mármol where he called for more tolerance between the divided factions of anarchism.

RedEd wrote:
It's not some universal anti-authoritarian ideal, and we do harm our ability to think and act coherently if we think of anarchism in those terms, in my opinion.

Oh, but I think it is. As I said above, anarchism as defined through the Greek it came from means 'without rulers' hence why numerous attempts from both communist and individualistic figures and ideologies to shrug off authority have developed from the understanding of to be 'without rulers' most sharply contrasting being anarcho-communism/capitalism.

LBird wrote:
As a Marxist who regards himself as a Libertarian Communist, and who constantly tries to stress the similarities between the 'democratic Marxist' and the 'Class Struggle Anarchist' wings, and who indeed has been strongly influenced by the CSAs here, I would like to back up RedEd's comment..

That's ok, I would like to read and discuss more about the similarities. For me anarchism isn't about class struggle. It is more the informing and spreading awareness of the injustice imbued within concepts such as the state and government alone. How one wishes to be 'without rulers' I think could perhaps be experimented within most if not all the schools of anarchism. Hence, I give good creedence to anarchism without adjectives.

orthodoxyproxy wrote:
This is dangerous, romantic, anti-social, individualistic nonsense.

Really? Is it? It seems to have a rich history stretching back from the early 19th century through thinkers such as Pierre-Joseph Proudhon who first coined the term and identified with the word 'anarchist' and to the extremes of Max Stirner who saw communism as a form of despotic authority over the individual.

It seems this fallout of opinion can be highlighted as the difficult relationships between absolute anarchists (meaning those who reject authority over themselves as unwanted and indeed oppressive) and the more socialistic stances of communism within anarchism which showed itself most successfully within the trade unions of CNT-FAI and other co-operatives throughout the ages. I feel the relationship between the extreme forms of individualism and going through to the more socialistic and communist forms of anarchism could be brought to an end through the expansion of Synthesis anarchism - the main principle behind the contemporary International of Anarchist Federations.

orthodoxyproxy wrote:
However, in this rather egoist form I doubt it is available to those without education, stable family life and relatively 'privilidged' backgrounds.
LBird wrote:
And, I forgot to add, extremely elitist.

I don't think it intellectualism is elitist. It simply comes about from education. Sadly, within this materialistic driven world it comes from having wealth to be able to pay for it. I'm sorry if I sounded elitist though :. I do howerver, think it would be foolish to suggest that anarchism and indeed socialism and communism are movements designed and for the working class alone. Marx himself said "I am not a Marxist" as he owned a factory and had domestic servants. Lenin came from an aristocratic background and the art critic and well published English anarchist Sir Herbert Read came to anarchism as the most plausible mode of social interaction although he was not perhaps 'working class' - a term which perhaps is vague and elusive at best itself. What I wish to focus awareness on is not the resounding pride people get of adhering to a social label, be it 'worker', 'proleteriot' or perhaps even 'plebeian' but simply the knowledge displayed in total tautology before us; the reality of our identity as humans and the desireability to better ourselves be him worker, monarch or peasant.

sources into Herbert Read: http://kirjasto.sci.fi/hread.htm

Perhaps I am naive, in that case I am sorry. It is simply how I feel and reflects my stance on anarchism - most closely, anarchism without adjectives as it calls to reflect unity and tolerance for all schools of thought allowing them all to be attempted and practiced should the time arise.

LBird wrote:
This 'marriage' can only be achieved by proletarian democracy, not be some ill-defined (and un-definable) 'spirit'.

That comes from your acceptance and following conformity towards anarcho-communism. I was expressing the ideals of my anarchism in dealing with the extremes of individualistic nature of humanity and the need and wants of those around us forming up the larger community. I think this has been a quoted a good numerous times but "Freedom without socialism is a priviledge and a injustice, Socialism without freedom is slavery and tyranny. There needs to be concession - however, I stand by what I said earlier that there will hopefully come a time when you can do whatever you want whenever you wanted - no need for money or influence, simply live amongst other people in harmony.. The purest anarchy as Ghandi said.

LBird wrote:
Only liberals use that old crap of a model of either a 'horseshoe' or a linear 'spectrum', because they can then situate themselves safely in the 'reasonable middle', unlike all those nasty extremists at the ends. Your teacher wasn't a Communist, so treat what they said with care, now that you yourself are (I presume) a Communist of some sort.

Dude, he was a teacher and as I was sitting my GCSEs when he was teaching me he had to follow the National Curriculum. He was an anarchist in the sense that he believed in the withering away of the state and that authoritarianism from any sector was unneeded and undesireable as you are your own government. Hence why I used that metaphor of an 'inner light' as you yourself can judge and effectively think for yourself.

orthodoxyproxy wrote:
...in his view anarchism was the end state of all society ...
LBird wrote:
This is ahistoric. Lots of societies have 'ended', and they haven't 'ended' in 'anarchism'.

Perhaps it is ahistorical in the sense that it has never happened yet. Such is all prophetic ideologies. Even within communism the dream of establishing a workers state was never achieved before they attempted it. Anarcho-primitivists would argue that such a society has existed before during the time when homosapiens lived in caves and worked together killing mammoths to survive the winter collectively. The emergence of agriculture and later, established religions, industrialisation and technology ruined it. In my view anarchism is the state of nirvana which I guess all people aim to live within. As Tolstoy says The Kingdom of Heaven is Within You is what I choose to understand true anarchy.

LBird wrote:
My advice too, orthodoxyproxy, is to inject some class analysis and study of real history into your enquiries, as RedEd suggests. There's lots of willing helpers for you here.

Thank you very much, I look forward to exploring the forums of libcom and discussing in details elements of class struggle and analysis which I may be lacking at the present. Thanks!

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Aug 18 2011 17:41

orthodoxyproxy wrote

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For me anarchism isn't about class struggle. It is more the informing and spreading awareness of the injustice imbued within concepts such as the state and government alone.

And wigwams! Don't forget the wigwams!

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Aug 18 2011 17:44
plasmatelly wrote:
And wigwams! Don't forget the wigwams!

??? smile I'm guessing this a reference to my supposed hippy-trippy outlook eh wot?

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Aug 18 2011 18:06
Quote:
Quote:
For me anarchism isn't about class struggle. It is more the informing and spreading awareness of the injustice imbued within concepts such as the state and government alone.

tbh, I don't want to pick your arguments to bits, but I disagree with a lot of it, especially the quote above. Any liberal might associate themselves with the sentiment contained. I'm trying to avoid typing myself to death tonight, so I'll just say this - there are no examples of individualist anarchist "societies" and if there was, how would those people actually know they were living in that vein? As a class struggler, I really do baulk against the idea of all that crap not because I'm some workerist nut, but because the arguments for that sort of world - disregard all the anarcho-capitalist, primitivist, unibomber crazy talk - are unconvincing. No offence, like! wink

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Aug 18 2011 18:36
plasmatelly wrote:
And wigwams! Don't forget the wigwams!

Well, I burst out laughing, at least.

orthodoxyproxy wrote:
The word 'anarchism' is derived from the Greek word 'anarchos' which means without rulers or without sovereignty.

But that's not the whole truth, is it?

Xenophon (Hellenika, 2.3.1; Loeb Vol. 1, p. 112) uses 'anarchia' to mean the 'oligarchy' of 30 tyrants at Athens in 404 BC. He means the absence of the usual 'archon'.

So, following at least one opposing Ancient Greek tradition, we could also call a 'military junta' an example of anarchy, that is, the absence of 'parliamentary democracy'.

orthodoxyproxy wrote:
Marx himself said "I am not a Marxist" as he owned a factory...

No, no, no... Engels said 'Marx said', not Marx himself, and Marx didn't own a factory, Engels' father did (with a business partner, Ermen).

orthodoxyproxy wrote:
Thank you very much, I look forward to exploring the forums of libcom and discussing in details elements of class struggle and analysis which I may be lacking at the present. Thanks!

And not just 'class struggle and analysis' but also lacking detailed knowledge of Greek history, Marx's biography, and I would suggest, a firm grounding in proper Anarchist thought!

orthodoxyproxy wrote:
...anarchism without adjectives...

Like 'sandbag without filling' - flaccid, doesn't stand up, but leaves room for any old shite, which is kept well hidden within...

Welcome to the site!

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Aug 18 2011 18:44

Oh don't worry, and i'm sorry if I fanned passions inadvertantly away from the main question of the original post - namely, is left and right as a means of identifying political stance outdated. I hold my hands aloft and freely admit my ignorance in many places that others here may be proficient in understanding. I come here to acquire and learn information within a free exchange beneficial to all parties involved. Don't worry, I take no offence. To my understanding though, Anarcho-syndalicism was the branch that, for a time anyway, ran an area to which the people considered themselves to be governing themselves. You're absolutely right as well, all other branches never have actively participated or overthrown a government. I still admire anarchism without adjectives though, yes perhaps you can say i'm romantic, idealistic and even perhaps bourgeois in some senses. I am here to learn.

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Aug 18 2011 19:28
orthodoxyproxy wrote:
RedEd wrote:
I disagree with this. Anarchism, if it has a coherent definition, must be defined as the anti-statist wing of the working class revolutionary socialist movement that emerged during the second half of the 19th century. It's not some universal anti-authoritarian ideal, and we do harm our ability to think and act coherently if we think of anarchism in those terms, in my opinion.

I would like to politely counter your opinion on this. The word 'anarchism' is derived from the Greek word 'anarchos' which means without rulers or without sovereignty. With that it is, is left for those to identify and colour its meaning themselves from those words by reading its history and affairs in contemporary life. Within anarchism there are many schools of thought branching out from anarcho-communism which it seems this forum is most populated by, through to the more nefarious anarcho-capitalism, thought provoking anarcho-primitivism, questionably selfish anarcho-individualism (sometimes called egoist anarchism and probably disliked by anarcho-communists for its elitist stance on the importance of the self) Christian anarchism (through works such as The Kingdom of Heaven is Within You by Leon Tolstoy) Buddhist anarchism (through literary works of Gary Snyder, Diane di Prima and Jack Kerouac most notably Dharma Burns and the self-titled Buddhist Anarchism) and my favoured branch: Anarchism without Adjectives first coined by Fernando del Mármol where he called for more tolerance between the divided factions of anarchism.

RedEd wrote:
It's not some universal anti-authoritarian ideal, and we do harm our ability to think and act coherently if we think of anarchism in those terms, in my opinion.

Oh, but I think it is. As I said above, anarchism as defined through the Greek it came from means 'without rulers' hence why numerous attempts from both communist and individualistic figures and ideologies to shrug off authority have developed from the understanding of to be 'without rulers' most sharply contrasting being anarcho-communism/capitalism.

I take your point. But I don't think it is useful to define words according to their etymology. The trouble with the broad definition of anarchism you propose, as I see it, is that it incorporates so many different strands of thought from so many times and places that it lacks any real content. If your definition is correct, two people who disagree on almost everything could both be called anarchists, so the term starts to lose it's usefulness. If we are including Stirner as an anarchist, we can't even say that anarchism is anti-authoritarian or anti-state, since Stirner argued for a sort of natural authority of the strong willed and was apathetic about the existence of the state.

Since we are just talking about labels, though, it doesn't really matter what you use a word to mean, so long as people understand what meaning we are using. If you want to use anarchism to mean an eternal anti-authoritarian sentiment in society that's fine (though I don't think such a concept could make much sense because society changes across time and place too much to make this kind of universalism viable). But if we try to identify anarchism as a popular movement that actually occurred within history, we have to narrow our definition right down in order to be able to understand what the term might usefully refer to.

Anarchism without adjectives was originally an attempt to bring together people who were anarchists according to the definition of anarchism I gave in my previous post who had differences over things like strategy and aspect of their vision for post revolutionary society, not an attempt to bring in all sorts of trends from outside the anti-state section of the socialist movement, such as Christian radical pacifists, Budhist mystics, free-market fundementalists and so on. It's an interesting concept, but I think ultimately self-defeating when one tries to found organisations on the principle. The historical record seems to indicate this.

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Aug 18 2011 20:39

The International Federation of Anarchists is run on the basics of anarcho-syndalicism and anarcho-synthesism in the sense that it seeks to unify anarchism into one representative group. I would like to consider myself a member when I grow up, although it does seem pretty strange, afterall anarchists do tend to be loners and political dissenters ostracised from any other connections. Still anarchist federations do seem a good idea.

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Aug 18 2011 20:53
orthodoxyproxy wrote:
The International Federation of Anarchists is run on the basics of anarcho-syndalicism and anarcho-synthesism in the sense that it seeks to unify anarchism into one representative group. I would like to consider myself a member when I grow up, although it does seem pretty strange, afterall anarchists do tend to be loners and political dissenters ostracised from any other connections. Still anarchist federations do seem a good idea.

no it isn't, the anarchist syndicalist international is the IWA, and only some of the member federations of the IFA are synthesist. and IFA doesn't try to be any kind of representative either, that just doesn't make sense

and no most anarchists are not loners, or "ostracised from other connections" where the fuck do you get that idea?

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Aug 18 2011 21:29
radicalgraffiti wrote:
no it isn't, the anarchist syndicalist international is the IWA, and only some of the member federations of the IFA are synthesist. and IFA doesn't try to be any kind of representative either, that just doesn't make sense

but the International Federation of Anarchists has participated in meetings of world leaders such as Gleneagle in 2005. They are representing anarchism - maybe not your anarchism or your understanding of it but they are representing something as that is the point of all organisations. It seems a good idea and makes a lot of sense, it doesn't seek to control but simply make a point that anarchism is here and we have a voice.

radicalgraffiti wrote:
and no most anarchists are not loners, or "ostracised from other connections" where the fuck do you get that idea?

Well I would say they are, perhaps I am simply showing my relative recent exposure to modern anarchism and the anarchist movement, I thought anarchists generally refused to co-operate within a hierarchical structure - however, although it is loose I am happy there is a IFA dedicated to representing anarchists on a global level. I got the idea that anarchists generally were ostracised in the sense that recently (within the UK at least) policeofficers have attempted with varying success to infiltrate anarchist networks and being anarchists recent events such as the London Uncut demonstration and the London riots have made authority stamp down on dissidence.

I mean, 2 guys who attempted to incite riot were arrested and given 4 years in prison:
http://www.metro.co.uk/news/872572-two-men-jailed-for-four-years-for-inciting-rioting-on-facebook

It's like we're stepping back in time to 2011 where reactionary politics dominated Europe and 'political prisoners' are unfairly imprisoned. Jeez, sorry if I seem strange but I just assumed that anarchists would be more elusive than what they are in actuality.

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Aug 18 2011 21:34
orthodoxyproxy wrote:
...anarchism without adjectives...

"Anarcho" capitalism is bunkum. "Voulentarism" is theoretical bunkum. At no time in human history has a society based on private property , wage slavery, rent and interest been voluntary. Why would I pay rent if I could just as easily live without making profits for some landlord? Why would I pay interest to a bank if I could just as easily survive without paying interest? Why would I let a capitalist extract surplus value from my labor if I could just as easily work and keep the full value of my labor?

I wouldn't as capitalism "anarcho" or not depends on people having little to no other choice but to submit to this usury. Capitalism or any market system cannot exist without a state and also cannot exist without perpetually expanding into "new markets". This capitalist expansion has NEVER been voluntary....it can't be voluntary as it has always depended on military coercion to set up market systems in other countries which is necessary f or capitalism to survive (trade/commerce). Right now we're seeing this process in the Middle East but a more obvious example was pre WW2 Japan. The USA sent its entire NAVY to Japan and said to convert to capitalism, to westernize it's economic system or it would be destroyed.

As anarchists we deal with the REALITIES of our world- our theories and views aren't based on some speculative wishy washy wishful thinking or downright lies as is the case with right wing "libertarians". We (most of us) understand the realities of the market system better than the actual people who are advocating it.

So called "anarcho" capitalists will quote men like Hayek, Rothbard, Friedman, Mises etc when in REALITY these people are simply spokesmen/propagandists for the bourgeoisie. Hell, even Hayek himself admitted a military dictatorship was preferable to democracy. In reality men like him would turn the other way as hundreds of thousands are starved, tortured and brutalized into submission all in the name of "the free market".

I for one want nothing to do with "anarchistrs" of that nature. It's pathetic that these assholes even try to take the label of "individualist" or mutualist. The sad thing is so called "anarchists" f this nature are spreading in America and will no doubt be used to attack the working class in the coming years. Fuck them.

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Aug 18 2011 21:54

I'm sorry if I pissed you off man, I don't think anarcho-capitalism is a desireable either but I make an attempt to understand where - for instance Rothbard comes from when he writes down that 'Central banks and the fractional reserve banking system under a monopoly fiat currency a form of state-sponsored, legalised financial fraud' as I find it interesting as it bears relevance to nearly all of us as, whether we like it or not, money is what makes the world go around in capitalism. I don't think Murray Rothbard was a bad guy, and within anarchism without adjectives it contends that should capitalism collapse a wide variety of models would be tried anyway - most likely including anarcho-capitalism.

On a more serious (and I hope comradre note) anarcho-capitalism is essentially what could be argued is parasitically allowed to develop within free market liberalism. A small yet dangerous groups of individuals may manipulate, fiddle and speculate on the money market and create the scenarios in which most if not all the world finds itself in - recession. These people hide away within tax havens and live a life of luxury while good, hardworking people are screwed everyday of their lives by a government which lies and a system which corrupts.

Perhaps George Carlin could better iterate to those who haven't quite got it wink

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYIC0eZYEtI

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Aug 18 2011 22:20
orthodoxyproxy wrote:
radicalgraffiti wrote:
no it isn't, the anarchist syndicalist international is the IWA, and only some of the member federations of the IFA are synthesist. and IFA doesn't try to be any kind of representative either, that just doesn't make sense

but the International Federation of Anarchists has participated in meetings of world leaders such as Gleneagle in 2005. They are representing anarchism - maybe not your anarchism or your understanding of it but they are representing something as that is the point of all organisations. It seems a good idea and makes a lot of sense, it doesn't seek to control but simply make a point that anarchism is here and we have a voice.

No IFA has never participated in any meeting of world leaders, and we do not aim to represent anarchism IFA is a organisation intended to help facility organisation on an international level between its member federations.
where are you getting your information from? cause its wrong

orthodoxyproxy wrote:
radicalgraffiti wrote:
and no most anarchists are not loners, or "ostracised from other connections" where the fuck do you get that idea?

Well I would say they are, perhaps I am simply showing my relative recent exposure to modern anarchism and the anarchist movement, I thought anarchists generally refused to co-operate within a hierarchical structure - however, although it is loose I am happy there is a IFA dedicated to representing anarchists on a global level. I got the idea that anarchists generally were ostracised in the sense that recently (within the UK at least) policeofficers have attempted with varying success to infiltrate anarchist networks and being anarchists recent events such as the London Uncut demonstration and the London riots have made authority stamp down on dissidence.

LIke i said ifa doesn't represent anarchism they wouldn't be anarchists if they did, and it is not a hierarchical organisation.
The state will always engage in repression against us, but the is not what ostracism generally means.
Uk uncut is not an anarchist organisation

orthodoxyproxy wrote:
I mean, 2 guys who attempted to incite riot were arrested and given 4 years in prison:
http://www.metro.co.uk/news/872572-two-men-jailed-for-four-years-for-inciting-rioting-on-facebook

It's like we're stepping back in time to 2011 where reactionary politics dominated Europe and 'political prisoners' are unfairly imprisoned. Jeez, sorry if I seem strange but I just assumed that anarchists would be more elusive than what they are in actuality.

the people jailed for "trying to incite a riot" where not as far as i know anarchists, and they did not make any serious attempt to start a riot either

reactionary politics has always dominated europe, and the rest of the world, if it didn't we'd have won by now

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Aug 18 2011 22:45
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As anarchists we deal with the REALITIES of our world- our theories and views aren't based on some speculative wishy washy wishful thinking or downright lies as is the case with right wing "libertarians". We (most of us) understand the realities of the market system better than the actual people who are advocating it.

My brother is all over this Mises stuff. He's totally invested in their 'scientific' explanation of economics and human behavior, while ignoring his own reality as a minimum wage slave saddled with debt. It's perturbing, to say the least.

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Aug 18 2011 23:02

It appears that I may have interpreted IFA's presence at Gleneagle incorrectly. In 2005 the International Federation of Anarchists was present but only to demonstrate against the event. It was not directly involved within any decision making process. So much for democracy.

knotwho wrote:
My brother is all over this Mises stuff. He's totally invested in their 'scientific' explanation of economics and human behavior, while ignoring his own reality as a minimum wage slave saddled with debt. It's perturbing, to say the least.

Perhaps he seeks to end it rather than to simply complain. I think the answer to monetarism, poverty and the lunacy of free market capitalism lies within human behaviour and the self-realisation of individual/communal responsibility. It is sad but even Marx said the process of achieving this is unequal and pitched upon an unlevel playing field. Describing some workers as lumpenproletariat and unlikely to ever achieve class conciousness. It could be however that even Marx never fully appreciated the bigger picture, but can be forgiven for not bearing the foresight of a world dominated by international banking and fractional reserve banking system - creating, in effect eternal debt enabling the ferriswheel of capitalism to be ever turning. As I said on another post, the whole of human history can be filtered down to simply the mass scale change, shift and movement of goods, capital and resources with 'money' in effect, dominating all other factors in the process of that change. If mankind is ever likely to move forward and venture fresh territory of oppotunity it must abolish money and adopt a resource based economy as capitalism and monetarism has continuously led to widespread human disaster and more recently disturbed the natural conditions of Earth.

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Aug 18 2011 23:37
knotwho wrote:
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As anarchists we deal with the REALITIES of our world- our theories and views aren't based on some speculative wishy washy wishful thinking or downright lies as is the case with right wing "libertarians". We (most of us) understand the realities of the market system better than the actual people who are advocating it.

My brother is all over this Mises stuff. He's totally invested in their 'scientific' explanation of economics and human behavior, while ignoring his own reality as a minimum wage slave saddled with debt. It's perturbing, to say the least.

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

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Aug 18 2011 23:37
orthodoxyproxy wrote:
I don't think Murray Rothbard was a bad guy, and within anarchism without adjectives it contends that should capitalism collapse a wide variety of models would be tried anyway - most likely including anarcho-capitalism.

No.

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Aug 19 2011 11:57

While I take issue with a lot of what Ortho is saying, I think he's been really good about being open that he's fairly new to all this and willing to correct himself, so let's keep it civil, yeah? (Not to be patronising Ortho, I've just seen how these conversations go at times...)

That said,

Quote:
I would like to consider myself a member when I grow up,

I have no idea how old you are, but there is no age requirement to join AF (the IAF section here in the UK). They have members that are in their early teens.

Quote:
although it does seem pretty strange, afterall anarchists do tend to be loners and political dissenters ostracised from any other connections. Still anarchist federations do seem a good idea.

Now, there is a problem with anarchism in that many anarchists believe the goal of anarchists should be to convince others to become anarchists and 'live like anarchists.' Anarchists--at least when we've been effective--have led and been integral parts of workplace and community struggles and mass movements. Our politics should come through not in being talking shop politicos, but be being effective class militants.

In my workplace I'm known as a militant. Most people don't know I'm an anarchist and those that do, it's been my practical knowledge and activity that's opened up the space for me to talk about my radicalism. As individuals (who are members of anarchists organisations, which is very important), that's how we should proceed. Not loaners, but militants, does that make sense?

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Aug 19 2011 23:24
Chilli Sauce wrote:
does that make sense?

I will take the information you, and indeed, all people who make comments on this page into thought. As you say I am new to libcom and indeed anarchism in an academic and workplace sense.

Within my understanding (and perhaps, humbly misguided!) view and opinion of anarchism. It is about the liberation of society, perhaps first through individuals by virtue of education, where one can freely remove themselves from the shackles of government, state and centralised authority. In many ways, I sympathise and relate to the viewpoint of the Anarchist Alliance of Aotearoa in that: "anarchism has nothing to do with "diversions" like taking part in the "parliamentary struggle" or fighting for a "workers' government". In an allegorical sense just like the child grows, develops and is able to move freely and without supervision of the parent, so to should society, people and individuals be able to govern themselves without coercement of centralised authority - be it a market liberal government justifying its rule of mandate through election turnouts or a worker state defending the interests of the proletariat by establishing a dictatorship of workers. "This is explicitly expressed in the word anarchism, meaning the ideology which aims at anarchy: the absence of government."

Perhaps why Bakunin was ousted from the First International, which led to the bitter rivalry and animosity of the communist and anarchist schools of thought, was simply down to feasibility and pragmatism. However, I believe now within a world of increasingly efficient technology and prospects humanity can achieve never before thinkable within any other age before - we are ready for anarchism. To quote the AAA's website, Lenin undertood"Anarchism to be bourgeois individualism in reverse. Individualism is the basis of the entire anarchist world outlook" and that " it is the psychology of the unsettled intellectual or the vagabond, and not of the proletarian." and maybe Lenin was right, for I am a student with perhaps too much time pondering on circumstances which I find both worthy of discussion, fascinating and deeply relative within my day to day life.

It seems at first that Bukanin mines deeper within the philosophical gold mine of human potential on the basis of a more richer understanding of the words 'liberty' and 'freedom'. In the sense that you are not merely a worker but an individual human being; divorcing the concept of "freedom" from any class context. [The AAA] anarchists regard "freedom" as an unchanging, eternal, once-and-for-all concept.

I understand your qualms with my, on the surface, romatic, idealised and generally impractical vision of all units of people being imbued with sovereignity. For how is society able to organise and collectivise through individualism absolute? My answer is that good will, manners and human fellowship would come about and be present within such a society. The philosopher John Locke first touched upon this topic in his work Two Treatsie on Government that everyone has property in his own person. To modify his words, I would say that everyone has self-sovereignty over themselves as this is the only legitimate government to which we are all naturally bound. To deny this would be to deny all independent actions that you engage in. And in my view, is the purest understanding of true anarchy.

website sources:
http://www.mltranslations.org/NewZealand/Anarchism.htm

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Aug 20 2011 09:52
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It is about the liberation of society, perhaps first through individuals by virtue of education, where one can freely remove themselves from the shackles of government, state and centralised authority.

That's very Sternerite, Ortho. Most of us here on libcom would criticise it on two levels:

1) Individual freedom can only occur in the context of class (or social) liberation. We're all class struggle anarchists here because we believe that, fundamentally the basis of society and our power as workers, is based on economics. The revolution can't be simply 'the individual verses hierarchy', but 'the class for itself'.

2) Often 'action precedes conciousness' and workers who don't identify as radicals or anarchists take the most militant action and often organise themselves in a way anarchists would very much approve of. Struggle and consciousness is a dialectical process and consciously rejecting "the shackles of gov't, state, and centralised authority" is often not where the most effective and militant class struggle begins.

Have you read Strike! by chance? It's really good for exploring this dynamic.

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Aug 20 2011 17:30

Left and right isn't outdated. On the contrary, it's very accurate. We are left because we are adherents of egalitarian values instead of traditional ones. It all really comes back to the French Revolution. We are left because we want to push the idea of Revolution further. It all really comes to the French motto: "liberté, égalité, fraternité". There is no leftist group that would oppose those slogans but all right-wingers basically oppose at least one of those values. Basically, marxists, anarchists and utopian socialists all want to achieve stateless society of equal and free Man.

I think that, as an anarchists, we are even further to the left then marxists because we want 100% freedom, 100% equality and 100% brotherhood on the very first day of revolution. Marxists want to establish some kind of dictatorship and history teaches us that Marx was so wrong. It wasn't Stalin, nor Lenin, the idea of dictatorship itself is a treason to our ideals. How someone can achieve something doing something opposite? How do you want to bring liberty, equality and brotherhood by giving up your liberty? Liberty was first and is the most important of them all. Without liberty there will be no equality and no brotherhood. We are all equal so no one can govern the other without his consent. Without free and equal individuals we cannot achieve peaceful existence of brothers and sisters.

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Aug 21 2011 00:09
Chilli Sauce wrote:
Quote:
It is about the liberation of society, perhaps first through individuals by virtue of education, where one can freely remove themselves from the shackles of government, state and centralised authority.

That's very Sternerite, Ortho. Most of us here on libcom would criticise it on two levels:

1) Individual freedom can only occur in the context of class (or social) liberation. We're all class struggle anarchists here because we believe that, fundamentally the basis of society and our power as workers, is based on economics. The revolution can't be simply 'the individual verses hierarchy', but 'the class for itself'.

2) Often 'action precedes conciousness' and workers who don't identify as radicals or anarchists take the most militant action and often organise themselves in a way anarchists would very much approve of. Struggle and consciousness is a dialectical process and consciously rejecting "the shackles of gov't, state, and centralised authority" is often not where the most effective and militant class struggle begins.

Have you read Strike! by chance? It's really good for exploring this dynamic.

Yes, I think I do share a great deal of similarity to what Stirner wrote regarding anarchism. I understand too what your points indicate - due to the factor that capitalist economics set financial reward through labour, it is the power of labour and the necessity to organise, collaborate and reveal class divisions rooted within classical liberalist society.

I do chuckle occasionally while studying the history of anarchism, for example I read that the attempt to organise toward the 1907 International Anarchist Congress went unsigned by many French anarchists who refused the idea of organised collective action! In many ways, the individual needs to put his or her hopes and dreams aside in order to pursue goals alien at first to his or herselves direct and immediate concern so that others may later turn to your aid when needed. However, this ties in heavily with Kropotkin's idea on mutual aid and therefore maybe closer to your understanding of anarchism - or better put, anarcho-communism.

The anarchist Bob Black once stated "To call yourself an anarchist is to invite identification with an unpredictable array of associations, an ensemble which is unlikely to mean the same thing to any two people, including any two anarchists". I am beginning to perhaps percieve all synthetic thoughts and loose ideological standpoints as perhaps only purely understandood by those harbouring it. I guess this is taken me down the philosophical root with Ludwig Von Liechtenstein's concept of language games where i'm sure authors such as Hakim Bey, Bob Black and Raoul Vaneigem would agree with me and my comprehension of anarchism while writers such as Murray Bookchin, Pyotr Kropotkin and Nestor Mahkno would defend your understanding of anarcho-communism in the end, you're right. We as people need one another to work towards goals and overcoming difficulty. It is just I do not choose to merit attention to industrial workers of indeed employees of anykind as I see events unfirling such as the Arab Spring and the Libyan Civil war as a triumph of technology and may pave the way to establishing anarchism working on an individual basis fused with the capabilities of technology. Now it seems, the fight is not suicidal to take the battle out of the underground and into the streets.

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Aug 21 2011 08:11

Not trying to be rude Ortho- but your

Quote:
comprehension of anarchism

doesn't seem to go beyond criticising the state and all forms of authority (personally I'm very uncomfortable with the latter). If all you're concerned with is the rejection of authority and googling anything that quotes the word "anarchism", then your revolution is won. You may think you're free, but you're no more free than any of us.
I don't want to peddle advice but you seemed to have scanned wide and rejected at whim what doesn't fit your synthesis of individualism, maybe - on the strength that you haven't won an argument yet - you're best giving some of the politics you've rejected another look at? smile

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Aug 21 2011 09:36
orthodoxyproxy wrote:
afterall anarchists do tend to be loners.

grin

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Aug 21 2011 10:16
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anarchist Bob Black

Up for debate, my friend....

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Aug 21 2011 12:08
plasmatelly wrote:
Not trying to be rude Ortho- but your
Quote:
comprehension of anarchism

doesn't seem to go beyond criticising the state and all forms of authority (personally I'm very uncomfortable with the latter). If all you're concerned with is the rejection of authority and googling anything that quotes the word "anarchism", then your revolution is won.:)

Ouch, that hurt. I don't want to seem naive and ignorant but as you and Chilli Sauce have pointed out - I am pretty new here and perhaps my understanding is whimsical at best understood without any solid basis of informed experience derived from an actual practical basis. I understand and appreciate the theory without maybe fully comprehending its application. Like you or CS pointed out though i'm new and fairly young - i'm 19 and in uni. I just found the whole Murray Bookchin vs Bob Black interesting as I sided with Black in that he comes across as a true anarchist whereas Bookchin seemed someone more socialistic/communist than anarchist and wished for co-operation on a group scale diminishing the importance of the individual. I don't think my 'revolution' is won though, not at all. For this is where the socialistic elements of anarchism come in - there is a wish for others to be free and a genuine concern for the people of the world other than yourself. My 'lifestyle' anarchism as Bookchin would say may be seen as shallow intellectualism and perhaps even twisted consumerism as I purchase, loan and acquire books on the subject through trade of coin, barter and haggle.

I think Raoul Vaneigem's book 'The Revolution of Everyday' is something in which I imbue myself and understanding in. Within my synthetic approach of anarchism perhaps I do need to pay closer attention to politics I have missed out or chosen to ignore. On the whole though, this is one of the many reasons I chose to sign up on this forum, as information can be shared on a symbiotic level and we all learn and improve from one another. It's not about winning arguments and i'm sorry if I came across as such :/

plasmatelly wrote:
You may think you're free, but you're no more free than any of us.
I don't want to peddle advice but you seemed to have scanned wide and rejected at whim what doesn't fit your synthesis of individualism, maybe - on the strength that you haven't won an argument yet - you're best giving some of the politics you've rejected another look at? :)

The subject of 'how free are you?' is a contentious one. As I certainly feel more free now then what I would if I was living in say, 1930's Russia holding anti-authoritarian feelings.. It's all pretty equivocal really as words such as 'love', 'happiness' and 'freedom' always are. As you say though, i'm happy to learn and take another look at class struggle politics and other 'rejected' theory smile

I'm sorry for the 'most anarchists are loners' comment. I should amend it by saying we are all rooted within our own individual mindsets but that doesn't eliminate our ability to organise, collaborate and socially interact.

Chilli Sauce wrote:
Quote:
anarchist Bob Black

Up for debate, my friend....

What do you not find 'anarchist' about him? I think he is, he just chooses to not focus (like me perhaps) too much on class struggle and the wider economic situation in which we find ourselves in. He along with Hakim Bey see anarchism as being self-realisation of the individual and the interaction with others also of that disposition thereof..