crimethink to the nth degree

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nastyned
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Mar 29 2004 20:44

Fair enough, but if i did need surgery I'd want a specialist! wink

meanoldman
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Mar 30 2004 12:00
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I agree - but surely self-selection and specialisation are incompatible? Otherwise we are all specialists - the idea of specialisation surely involves a group of people deciding that one person is a specialist and another isn't? - hence it's not self-selection, but other-selection

A specialist is merely someone who has specialised in a particular area. Other-selection is in no way implied in this. I do actually think that we are all specialists to a degree, and in a free society I suspect this would be even more the case. If you give people more time and space in which to learn then they are likely to specialise in things that interest them, rather than learning an equal amount of everything.

I am a mathematician, I have specialised in maths and this was my choice, not the choice of others. In an anarchist society I would still be a mathematician and most other people would still have have neither the desire nor the aptitude to spend years and years of their life studying maths to develop a deeper understanding of the connections between the homology and homotopy forms of Cauchy's theorem. Specialisation is not necessarily an evil.

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We need to move away from a system where we go to other people to be sorted out when we get ill, to one where we all have responsibility for amintaining good health.

I don't think anyone is disagreeing with that but that still doesn't mean we don't need specialist doctors. If I've got a problem with my joints then I want to see a specialist in bones, not someone who anatomical knowledge is limited to knowing that leg bone is connected to the foot bone.

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If we were allowed to flourish we would only need a few days intensive training (or even basic medical skills would be common knowledge for everyone).

What utter bollocks. roll eyes roll eyes If I ever want an appendix removing then I'm keeping a long way away from you...

butchersapron
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Mar 30 2004 12:17

There seems to be some confusion here about just what a 'specialist' is - the key thing that people are missing is that the critique of specialists proceeds from the basis of their seperation from the social totality - they are cut off and boxed into their own corner, where they are the master due to their knowledge or position, but are not concerned with wider social problems - for instance, bureaucrats and politicians are specialists of power, as is someone who had read everything by lenin and Trotsky and leads a sect - we're not necassarily talking about boffins or scientists here (def not in that last case).

The problem isn't people have more or less knowledge, but with people having exclusive access to that knowledge and therefore exclusive power - the knowledge or technical know-how itself is not the problem, the problem is the lack of integration of this knowledge with collective social needs and it's complete and utter reliance on, and complicity in, hierachical or authoritarian structures and capital.

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pingtiao
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Mar 30 2004 12:44

Hmm.

Take doctors then. The simple fact that seven or eight years in intensive studying are required to get to be able to safely practive surgery means that it will neccessarily be "cut off" to some extent from ordinary non-surgeons. There is simply no way around this. Yes, they must be fully accountable to those they practice on, but similarloy, they must be accountable to their peers- to maintain a high standard of work.

It is of course important to make it as easy as possible for anyone to start along the path to becoming a surgeon, but not everyone has the ability, and not everyone should be allowed to practice. It is not oppressive to assert this, just obvious.

This is much less applicable when talking about mathematics (like meanoldman) or phyics (me), where theoretical work can't really have any deleterious effects on others. The specialisation inherent in advanced industrial societies makes some degree of "alienation" (for want of a better word) from the rest of society inevitable, as the knowledge is only held by a few people. Humans are always going to see physicists, or mathematicians as different to "normal" people, as what goes on in their heads is different.

The important thing is to structure society in such a way so as to ensure that these professions do not accrue power over others. As they exist in a matrix of social relationships, everything they do is contingent upon the rest of society allowing them to do it. Supplying equipment, providing food, shelter...socialisation. I don't see this as a problem.

Quote:

if we were allowed to flourish we would only need a few days intensive training (or even basic medical skills would be common knowledge for everyone).

What?

What in earth can be happening in your head for your hands to type that? Basic medical skills would be common, yes, precisely because they are "basic". Complex proceedures require time and effort, time and effort that few will want to, or be able to, put in. Lets try and stay in the real world.

butchersapron
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Mar 30 2004 12:49

Yep, i'm actually agreeing with you mate - i'm making the point that having specialised knowledge *itself* is not the problem (which is where i think a number of posters are making a big mistake) it's the BS that comes with and is currently built into it for various reasons. Quite simply, not everyone can be a brain surgeon.

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pingtiao
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Mar 30 2004 12:51

Quite unsuprisingly, we agree.

Mark

red n black star circle A red n black star

butchersapron
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Mar 30 2004 12:54

And hopefully not for the last time either... grin

Anonymous
Mar 30 2004 13:11
pingtiao wrote:

What in earth can be happening in your head for your hands to type that? Basic medical skills would be common, yes, precisely because they are "basic". Complex proceedures require time and effort, time and effort that few will want to, or be able to, put in. Lets try and stay in the real world.

the point is that our conception of what is basic and what is complex can change as society develops.

The ability to communicate through technology such as the internet was once considered impossible - whilst it is now an everyday skill

all we used to be able to manage was eating, drinking, shitting and fucking

now we can do a lot more - but we could do even more if our society was organised in a certain way.

If we're going to be serious about the possibility of social change we need to be serious about the possibility of increasing our human capabilities

(I was trying to be antagonistic with the few days to become a surgeon remark - but I do think that a lot of specialist skills could be acquired in less time if society as a whole was more developed and the individuals within it were allowed to become much more than shoppers, production-line workers, shop assistants, pen-pushers, etc.).

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pingtiao
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Mar 30 2004 13:16

I agree to a point John. The education systems ejects people at their allocated positions in class society, and then Capital has no need to educate them any more (on the job), or to give them "ideas above their station"s.

But there is a problem with anarchists: the tendency to over-egg the pudding. It is clear that with education much more integrated into life, as it would be in an anarchist-communist society, more people would be able to develop much more. But it is also clear that specialties would stay that way, with the many people barred from entry due to lack of ability or commitment.

Anonymous
Mar 30 2004 13:20

I agree up until the last statement

no-one should be 'barred' from practicing anything - the only people who should decide if surgery should take place are the surgeon and the patient (in my opinion), and no-one should be deterred from learning the basics of surgery if they want - IMO - the alternative is hierarchy, as far as I can see

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pingtiao
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Mar 30 2004 13:29

Yes, book look at what I actually said. "Barred from entry due to lack of ability or commitment".

A surgeon doesn't exist in a vacuum John. She requires tools, materials, and the rest of the community to provide for her needs while she is working. If someone is totally inept, and unable to perform (as judged by others who know what they are talking about- i.e. patients and the rest of the surgery syndicate) then they should not be allowed to. By not taking part in other tasks, she increases the burden on others to 'carry' her. If society gets nothing out of her attempts at surgery, why should they finance it?

Similarly with committment. An individual who can't be bothered to stick out 8 years training would be unlikely to be supported as a surgeon by his community.

Anonymous
Mar 30 2004 13:39
pingtiao wrote:
If someone is totally inept, and unable to perform (as judged by others who know what they are talking about- i.e. patients and the rest of the surgery syndicate) then they should not be allowed to. By not taking part in other tasks, she increases the burden on others to 'carry' her. If society gets nothing out of her attempts at surgery, why should they finance it?

Similarly with committment. An individual who can't be bothered to stick out 8 years training would be unlikely to be supported as a surgeon by his community.

I don't agree - these are the exact arguments used to justify the existing hierarchy.

If you accept that we should live in a non-hierarchical world, then I think you have to accept that it is not up to society to decide what a person can or can't do - but up to that individual herself.

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pingtiao
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Mar 30 2004 13:43

But the actions of an individual impinge directly on those around them. I think that everyone effected by an action should have a say in if/how it goes ahead. Direct, participatory democracy.

Would you be happy to let me dump my chemical waste in your water supply, because it would be "hierarchical" to stop me?

butchersapron
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Mar 30 2004 13:52
john wrote:

I don't agree - these are the exact arguments used to justify the existing hierarchy.

If you accept that we should live in a non-hierarchical world, then I think you have to accept that it is not up to society to decide what a person can or can't do - but up to that individual herself.

There's quite clearly a difference between not *supporting* someone in a resource and time intensive heavy initiative and *compelling* someone not to do something. Where's the hierachy or authority in doing what is suggested above - if anything it's the exact opposite and is simply the traditional anarchist principle of active and voluntary non-association being put into effect.

Whereas some idiot pretending he can fix a brain tumor to someone is actually bordering on some form of coercion or authority through non-disclosure - or the very least a fucking stupid thing to argue *for*.

Anonymous
Mar 30 2004 13:54
pingtiao wrote:

Would you be happy to let me dump my chemical waste in your water supply, because it would be "hierarchical" to stop me?

no, but I think that if I lived in a society populated by people who consider others and who don't seek to oppress others then it's extremely unlikely that you'd want to dump the chemical waste.

AlexA
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Mar 30 2004 14:19

... just as it would be unlikely that some fool with no training would go around trying to give people brain surgery. It doesn't mean that if people decide to try to get them to stop they should be able to do so, surely?

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Mar 30 2004 15:44

lol stay away from my autonomous trepanning acupuncture co-op you authoritarian fuckers Mr. T

I like the way this debate is going -- not one erecting straw men for a good few pages 8)

Butchers clarified the dabate in a useful way with his first post. The point about professional specialisation is the way it is not responsive in any real way to social needs. Pingtao says that surgeons need to be accountabnle to 'peers' -- I think that any real communal society has to be one which most people see each other as peers.

This does mean taking a good hard look at all areas of specialised life -- al division of labour, in fact -- and making sure that no groups are getting a monopoly of any area of life. The best way to do this is to empower the individual, of course. I don't think this will be too difficult. To use doctors again, the surrgound themselves with a lot of mumbo-jumbo to bollock the people who come to them -- in the end there are actually a lot of gaps in their knowledge, but thay can't be seen to be wrong. IN an anarchistic society all will have enough of a working knowledge to intelligently question and challenge even 'specialists'.

Self-selecting elite professions (like surgeons) tend to develop their own institutional power at the expense of non-elite society., and largely according to patterns that the real controlling class allow them.

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Steven.
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Mar 30 2004 15:48

Right well sorry to go back to the original bit, but i just read it and wrote a long boring response, which i'd like to post to the original thread but not right now cos i think URL's with "crime" in are blocked in the office.

1. The main flaw with Leftism (and all of its offshoots, yes, anarchism is leftist) is that it preceives society politically, economicly, and "rationally". However, it does not understand the world aesthetically.

> what is leftism really? Any definition? It’s not a concrete body of thought at all, although it does seem to be a convenient, catch-all whipping boy for post-anarchist types. Taking the original definition, that of the Left and Right wings of capital (from the French chamber of deputies), anarchism is neither because it is against capital. Taken in the way most people understand “the left” it basically refers to all people who want a more equitable society economically – something which I imagine (hope?) applies equally to Dominic’s politics… but maybe that’s just semantics (although the whole treating “Leftism” like a concrete philosophy does annoy me)

2. Because of this "rational" perspective, Leftism, in Marx, interpreted the working class as the revolutionary class, as, politcally, economicly, and rationally, they had the most to gain.

3. Contrary to Leftist philosophies, humanity is a primarily aesthetic being: we are creators, not scientists, economists, or politicians. In a world without meaning, we create meanings for ourselves with our religions, our ideologies, our goals, our "Truth", etc. These are at root, aesthetic creations, works of art, lies.

> So according to anarchists, humanity is a bunch of “scientists, economists or politicians”? I really don’t even know what the author means here. Except of course it makes “Leftism” sound very sterile and mechanistic and bad, bad, bad!

4. The false nature of such creations does not make them valueless creations. A novel is not worthless because it is a fiction. The Western concept of Truth, in the absoulte sense, has mangled the aesthetic prespective, as all aesthetics are "rationally" false. This is why Western thought ultimately concludes in nihilism.

5. We must recognize the aesthetic nature of our beliefs and ethics (and in the end, our actions/lives), while at once, affirming their value as our creations.

6. The absence of an absoulte Truth does not imply realitivism. The realitivist quagmire is the product of our own distorted Western "rational" way of thought. Scientifically, nothing distingushes Beethoven over NSYNC, yet most people who honestly appreciate music would prefer Beethoven.

7. I believe we should be "anarchists" (we need a better, traditionless word) not because it is the most rational, moral, mutually benefical, or intelligent ideology, but because it is the most beautiful.

> I don’t have a problem with it be claimed as the “most beautiful” idea, but what’s wrong with it being the most mutually beneficial too?

8. The Situationists, and henceforth Crimethinc, understood this better then the last two centuries of radical thought. However, they did not make the final break from the Western philosophical tradition. They couldn't abandon Hegel/Marx. Neither, it seems, can Crimethinc.

9. The most pressing question in 20th century radical thought was "why did the working class side with fascism". It is not because they were uneducated, the electors of Hitler were the best educated workers in the world. It is not merely because capitalism "brainwashed" them, though a great deal of "brainwashing" did occur. Rather, Leftism presented itself as politically, economicly, and logically preferable. However, fascism understood the aesthetic, the importance of Myth.

> Some of that may be true… but isn’t it also (and perhaps more?) to do with all the funding and assistance the fascists got from international capital and governments etc.?

10. Leftism, as Nietzsche, Ted Kyzenski, and others have pointed out, is a religion, a secularized Juedo-Christianity. It is largely negative, promoting self-loathing, guilt, pity, and an overall domestication of the spirit. This is not to say its political and economic critiques have not been largely accurate and enlightening.

> So anarchism is about self-loathing, guilt and pity?

I think that’s pretty much rubbish. And coming from Kaczynski (sp?)? He and his ilk seem to think that charity and solidarity are the same thing. Of course some lefties believe in charity, but others believe in solidarity, mutual self-interest etc. Is the author saying they’re one and the same?

11. Leftism must be abandoned, as it is at root, purely metaphysical, a godless, dull, theology. We need a new, brave, artful perspective. A deWesternization of the Western mind, which has by effect of globalization devoured the Eastern mind as well.

> any definition of this awful Leftism still?

12. Some bright lights in a beautiful direction: Nietzsche, Dada, the Situationists, Hakim Bay, Zen Buddhism, poststructuralism (Derrida, Foucault, Deleuze, etc), punk rock, William Burroughs, free jazz. Once we realize everything is a fiction, we can push the toppling Western pretension of Truth into the void of infinite possibility. Total self affirmation = total annihilation of the self.

> Am I alone in not having any clue what this means?

13. The typical Leftist defense would be "easily for you to say as a straight white American male". Undoubtedly. However, a quick look at the Middle East should teach us; the wretched of the earth do not want our "standard of living" anymore then we do. They rightfully recognize it for the nihilistic beast that it is. They want meaning, they want myth, as we do. The reason why anarchism appeals in greater numbers to the American middle class rather then the American working class, is those who have to struggle for survival can find purpose in that struggle. Those who never have to struggle for material goods find little value in them, and therefore, little value in the values of consumer society.

> I would have thought that lots of poor people in the majority world would be very happy with the standard of living we have! What kind of stuff is dominic looking at in the Middle East which leads him to deduce that…

And the reasons about who anarchism appeals to in the US – that’s absolute nonsense! Fair enough that may be the case in north America, but to draw conclusions from such a tiny social phenomenon is utterly ridiculous. And saying that poor people don’t need any other meaning in their lives than struggling to get by is patronising shit. And of course ignores that the majority of socialists of whatever hue worldwide are working class.

14. The primary values of contemporary American society are comfort security, and conveinance, essentially, the absence of struggle. They are the most valueless of values, the most aesthetically ugly, the most rank. This is the actual nature of our postmodern discontent.

15. In other words, we don't need a peace movement, we need a war movement.

16. Our war is a war against cancer.

17. The State is an inheriently cancerous entity. It is the daming of the equalizing flow of power relations to form a concentration, which then pursues immortality via endless expansion, much as a tumor, a cell that refuses to die, spreads throughout the body, only stopping when its host can no longer sustain it. The State will drain the planet until both are dead.

18. This carcinogenic logic manifests itself in all of Western thought. It is the ugliest logic. It is the desire for immortality, for statis, for security, for control, to be controled, for quantity over quality, for binary systems (Good/Evil, Black/White, Gay/Straight/, Male/Female, Reason/Unreason, etc) for One as opposed to Many, for Truth as opposed to Art. Plato exemplifed this. Christianity repeated it. It infects all of us to a certain extent. It is the switch that needs to be flipped.

19. We must no longer define ourselves as in opposition. Anti-globalization, Anti-sexism, Anti-war, Anti-homophobia, Anti-rascism, Anti-capitalism, Anti-speciesism. These are (despite their entirely noble goals) the symptoms of a decadent, Leftist, mindset, intoxicated to the point of immobilitiy on its own repressed metaphysic.

> Can anyone explain this point to me?

20. Returning to my first points, Marx defined the working class as the revolutionary class because, in the dull light of Western reason, they had the most to gain. I propose that since the aesthetic prespective, the creative mindset, is the most discouraged and therefore alienated segment of society, the artistic class is the revolutionary class.

> Any historical precedent for this?

20 (cont.) This is easily demonstrated in history, the most welcoming home for revolutionaries has always been the neighborhoods of the artistic urban Bohemians.

> Again I think this person doesn’t have quite the knowledge of history they pretend to. Maybe the Lower East Side of NYC was welcoming to revolutionaries and also artistic, but does this have any relevance to anywhere else in the world?! What about when countries approach revolutionary situations and there are millions of revolutionaries?

20 (cont.) In turn, the working class is one of the least revolutionary classes, as it already has a function, a meaning, built for it by capitalist society. They make the machine run. The ultimate modern human sacrafices. It should be noted here that I am from a working class background.

> I don’t think the author’s background matters for anything. Working class people can talk as much shit as anyone else. And of course workers have started most revolutions recently (I’m not sure if dominic includes peasants in this or not…), and been the bulk of revolutionary and resistance movements. What is he talking about??

And does he not think that artists have a hand in making “the machine” run? Ha ha.

21. If we are interested in changing the world, politcal action (pamphelts, demonstrations, petitions) is self-defeating. We need aesthetic action, as Trocchi said "The Invisable Insurrection of a Million Minds". The system is impossibly strong from a political and militaristic standpoint, yet shockingly vulnerable from a philosophical, aesthetic view. A simple undermining of the cancerous logic, and the whole facade collapses. This isn't to say this will be easy, or even likely. This is only to say there is hope.

> I’m not really that bothered by what Trocchi said. What evidence that more conventional political action is worthless? And what evidence is there that “aesthetic action” (which means what in a practical sense?) achieves anything? And you may like to ignore the State’s military power, but you’ll still have to confront it because it won’t let itself be “imagined away”.

22. The system functions due to the collective belief in total falsehoods. Money is money because people believe it is money. Even assumeing money is money, the American Dollar is valueable in relation to other currancy only because there is so much faith in it, as our massive trade deficets and national debt have effectively drained even any symbolic value from the dollar. It, like nearly all of the system, exists simply because we believe it exists. The only necessary action to make it simply disappear is once again, to make that leap into the void. Realize Nothing, and everything follows.

23. The ultimate conclusions of Zen Buddhism, poststructuralism, Dadaism, Nietzsche, and anarchism are very similer and warrent extensive investigation. However, no more "papers" should be written. Only communiques and poetry. This, by the way, is a communique.

> Well that’s rather convenient that you can define what you do as okay but what other people do is not! So your “communiqués” are alright, but leaflets aren’t? Why? And what if all leaflets were re-named “communiqués”??

24. Due to the aesthetic nature of humanity, things cannot simply get worse. There will at some point be a reaction. If this reaction fails, the world may very well die. It is important that such a reaction be active and not reactive, positive and not negative, creative and not resentful. Talk of "justice" only furthers the language of tumors. In short, it cannot be Leftist.

> Again the author is using “Leftism” in the liberal-left, Lib-Dem kinda way, but claims it also applies to anarchists. And I don’t know any anarchists who use the word “justice” as something they want (except in a glib, common-usage sense).

And the “reaction” you hope for must not be “reactive”? What does that mean??

25. One of the essentials of carcinogenic logic is the law of contradiction. Western thought seems convinced that a statement such as "God both does and does not exist" is nonsensical. I would counter that within the enigma of the contradiction lies the apex of thought.

> ???!? Oh come on…

26. Spirituality, as long as it is understood outside of cancerous thought, is a creative, positive force. The perversion known as religion is spirituality molested by Truth. This is not an invitation for New Age charlatanism. A spirituality that proposes a higher world to this one is of no use. Unless heaven is here, then it is hell.

27. If one assumes revolution is impossible, that everything is only going to get progressively worse, etc, and they still would want to call themselves revolutionaries then they might understand what I am talking about. Once again, because it is a beautiful way to live, not for any transcendant armeggendon, ethics, logic, etc.

28. Anarchism itself is a lie and a religion worshipping Man as God. We must escape all conceptions of an essentially "good" human nature or even the concept of Good. By now, this should be obvious.

> This a common right-wing argument against anarchism, which again has no basis in reality. Who argues that humans are fundamentally “good”? I just believe that people can live co-operatively, and be happier than under authority.

29. So what is our basis of revolution? By what ethics do we justify prefering anarchy to fascism? Because it is more beautiful, that should be enough, without counting corpses. This is the northwest passage out of postmodernism.

> er right. So the ethics of saying that anarchism’s better because, subjectively, it would be more enjoyable for me, and also for everyone else is wrong. Because we’re not allowed to talk about “benefit”, we have to talk about “beauty”? I don’t think this makes a lot of sense

30. All of the above is false, including this statement.

> Oooh how post-modern roll eyes

30 (cont) If I have stated myself correctly, what I have said should be frightening. What we lack most is courage. The challenge is to make love to the absurd, to fall into that complete absence and come out the other side, affirming Nothing and therefore Everything again and again. I argue only that these are the best lies around. So make up better ones.

31. The only alternative is the oblivion of eternal survival, ultimate stagnation, statis forever, complete control, total security, total solidification, centralization, and depersonalization of Power, the most revolting and hideous of Western desires, the epitome of cancerous thought.

32. All philosophers thus so far have attempted to change the world, the important thing, however, is to stop believing in it.

> well that’s it… I don’t really know what else to say. What is the author trying to say in any kind of practical sense, relevant to anything in the real world?

Just that all kinds of conventional actions taken by anarchists (except of course, chatting shit on the net and writing boring theoretical tracts of course) are pointless, and that we should try to become the artistic vanguard, and er do arty things like adbusting or dressing up like monks in a shopping mall?

Like your Situs said “those who speak of revolution without explicit reference to everyday life… those people have a corpse in their mouths”

Anyone got a link to the original discussion cos I’d like to ask some of this to the author…

And apologies for the massive rant - I’m at work, and I’m very bored.

Don’t take anything too seriously wink

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Mar 30 2004 16:08

On the subject of artists as revolutionaries -- the reason that arty areas have been welcoming to radicals have been that they are working class/poor areas. Artists turn up because the area is cheap and marginal to state/religious control, they make the place trendy, property prices go up, students move in, yuppies move in, the poor inhabitants are pushed out and it's a sterile shit-hole before you can say 'Notting Hill'.

Fuck artists (like all the other specialists Mr. T )

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Mar 31 2004 09:43
meanoldman wrote:
Many of the roles of doctors are simply not possible to rotate. To become a surgeon takes 6 years at university (3 years doing a medical degree, 3 years at clinical school) and then at least 2 years of further study before they reach the skill level of a surgeon. I can't see how it is feasible to rotate this kind of very specialist role.
Quote:

thats what i thought, current technological barriers make it impossible

shame that

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Mar 31 2004 10:28
Lazlo_Woodbine wrote:
Doctors don't cause good heath. Many people in hospital right now are there for illnesses brought on by the action of doctors -- iatrogenic disorders.

We need to move away from a system where we go to other people to be sorted out when we get ill, to one where we all have responsibility for amintaining good health.

how many doctors are surgeons? How many acts of surgery are realted to existing under capitalism? Most doctors simply sit there handing over large amounts of chemicals when what their patients really need is rest, relaxation and good food.

This is idiocy, how do you think an untrained doctor is going to give a cesarian, apply the correct dosages (yes, you need patient records etc) and anaesthesia. A lot of doctors work is used in controlling epidemics before they can attack the population.

And Anarchism is about depending on society, not some induividualist nonsense. When we get ill we are incapable of helping ourselves so others take care of us, thats how society works, otherwise we'd just leave sick people to die.

I understand that some of the drugs GP's give out are unneccesary, but personally i blame the pharmaceutical corporation and the governement bureacracy. Just because there are flaws in current medical practice doesn't mean we have to get all reactionary and primmo about it.

Not only are there things like low infant mortality and giving birth, plus food health inspection, all of which require advanced biological knowledge that it takes a long time to learn, and therefore the majority of people like you and me simply do not have the time or the brains for at present.

In a society with our population density, without specialised doctors people would start to die.

I don't mean to sound offensive here but i think this totally loses perspective.I think everyone disliking specialisation of doctors could dopmwith a nice trip to poorer countries where they don't take medical care for granted.

If you told a non-anarchist that you wanted to get rid of organised healthcare because it was too specialised, they'd get as far away from anarchism as possible because they'd think you were nuts.

john

PS I think this is typical of my main objection to crimethinc

Anonymous
Mar 31 2004 12:00
cantdocartwheels wrote:
Anarchism is about depending on society, not some induividualist nonsense. When we get ill we are incapable of helping ourselves so others take care of us, thats how society works, otherwise we'd just leave sick people to die.

out of interest - how do you intend to ensure that society looks after individuals?

Unless you ultimately respect the will of each individual I think you seriously risk falling into an argument for an authoritarian, paternalist state.

Tony Blair is trying to 'look after' us with his current policy on tackling terrorism - he's also managed to eradicate most of the individualist nonsense about civil liberties in the process

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cantdocartwheels
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Mar 31 2004 12:26
john wrote:
cantdocartwheels wrote:
Anarchism is about depending on society, not some induividualist nonsense. When we get ill we are incapable of helping ourselves so others take care of us, thats how society works, otherwise we'd just leave sick people to die.

out of interest - how do you intend to ensure that society looks after individuals?

Unless you ultimately respect the will of each individual I think you seriously risk falling into an argument for an authoritarian, paternalist state.

Tony Blair is trying to 'look after' us with his current policy on tackling terrorism - he's also managed to eradicate most of the individualist nonsense about civil liberties in the process

Direct Democracy is by its nature collectivist you have to do what the majority says to some degree otherwise nothing gets done.

Obviously you can't force people to do anything unless they are directly threatening you, as compulsion of any sort leads to hierarchy etc etc

But it is foolish to think that everyone can have their will, their are comproimises that people have to make.If a community votes by 1000 to 50 to build a sewage plant in a certain place, thats where the sewage plant will have to be built.

What benefits the majority is best.

Capitalism is individualist, the nature of hierarchy and competiton is rampant individualism. And in your ratehr spurious example, tony blair is an indivdual who has a responsibility to ''look after us''.

john

Anonymous
Mar 31 2004 12:47
cantdocartwheels wrote:
If a community votes by 1000 to 50 to build a sewage plant in a certain place, thats where the sewage plant will have to be built.

What benefits the majority is best.

I really don't agree with either of these statements.

1) we should try and find a location for the sewage plant where all of us can agree it should be built

2) what benefits the majority isn't always best - we need respect for the individual

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Mar 31 2004 13:21
cantdocartwheels wrote:
I understand that some of the drugs GP's give out are unneccesary, but personally i blame the pharmaceutical corporation and the governement bureacracy. Just because there are flaws in current medical practice doesn't mean we have to get all reactionary and primmo about it.

Not only are there things like low infant mortality and giving birth, plus food health inspection, all of which require advanced biological knowledge that it takes a long time to learn, and therefore the majority of people like you and me simply do not have the time or the brains for at present.

In a society with our population density, without specialised doctors people would start to die.

We've got different analyses of the situation. I think that the medical profession is an elite class that has a major role in controlling our lives, while you think it's just the government and the corporations.

So we disagree -- but i think you should be more careful about who you call an idiot tongue

How do you think people gave birth before the advent of doctors? When the medical profession took over midwifery in the 19th century, infant mortality went up massively. I'm arguing that people plus supporting community can take care of their bodies. The environmental aspects of lii health are aslo more important than who's weilding a scalpel.

pingtiao's picture
pingtiao
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Mar 31 2004 13:23

Nice strawman there John.

Lazlo:

Quote:

The environmental aspects of lii health are aslo more important than who's weilding a scalpel.

Proof. We aren't talking about the causes of ill health, we are talking about the specialisations neccessary to deal with them. And don't pull the "well, you won't need specialisation because most diseases will be eradicated" crap, as that is utopian bullshit.

Re, infant mortality, again, proof please. And contrast infant mortality rates and modern life expectancies with those around during hunter/gatherer eras.

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Mar 31 2004 13:42
pingtiao wrote:
We aren't talking about the causes of ill health, we are talking about the specialisations neccessary to deal with them. And don't pull the "well, you won't need specialisation because most diseases will be eradicated" crap, as that is utopian bullshit.

What's wrong with dealling with the causes of ill health? That's what I want to talk about. Most infant mortality is caused by diarrhea and other illnesses associated with poor sanitation and nutrition. most advances in public heath have happened through people getting stronger, not having access to more doctors. I'm saying that good food and enough rest are more important than having lots of doctors.

Here's a thing about inf. mort:

"Worldwide about 8 million babies die annually before their first birthday. As the chart "Deaths to children under age 5 by main cause" indicates, two of the primary causes of infant and child deaths are acute respiratory diseases — such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, and influenza — and diarrhea. Other infectious diseases, such as measles, are also major causes of deaths to infants and children. Death from these conditions is almost unheard of for infants in more developed countries. But in less developed countries where malnourishment weakens small bodies, medical facilities are scarce, and living areas may be unsanitary, infant deaths are common. In 2000, world IMRs range from 2.6 per 1,000 births in Iceland to 157 per 1,000 in Sierra Leone."

http://www.prb.org/Content/NavigationMenu/PRB/Educators/Human_Population/Health2/World_Health1.htm

So that's the environmental aspect for you. It does say that acess to medical facilities are importnat -- many of those facilities are simply a stash of drugs and other medicine. I'm also saying that having lots of doctors is also a major problem. it is under the present system, and it could be inder a system without commodity relations.

" it is apparent to this author that the vast majority of medical procedures are done with the belief that they are safe and effective, rather than with proof that they are. Even after procedures and medications have been shown (a) not only not to work, but (b) to cause injury and death at a statistically significant level, they continue to gain in popularity and use. This is one of the reasons we have not had greater gains in combating the major diseases in recent decades."

from

http://www.garynull.com/Documents/Iatrogenic/00latrogenic_index.htm

Anonymous
Mar 31 2004 13:45

also - one of the problems of relying on proof is that you are implicitly claiming that we need to look to the present to understand the future. If we think that it is important to build a new type of future we need also to have the courage of our convictions and not necessarily rely on proof, but on argument and opinion.

There are no examples of a global anarchist society from which we can draw comparisons - does that mean we should take this as proof that such a society is unfeasible or utopian?

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Mar 31 2004 13:53

i'd disagree with that, John. Anarchism exists around us when we realte to each other in a free and equal way. This does happen, even under the present system. Any future will be born out of the current situation, hopefully having the best of the now and getting rid of the worst bits.

I still say that most of the professions need to go. Have you ever encountered medical/law students? eek

Anonymous
Mar 31 2004 14:05

but the fact that we might act in a friendly way to people in a pub or in our families or with some of our colleagues at work doesn't, in my opinion, provide any kind of proof that we can act in a non-hierarchical way on a much wider scale.

I think we have to rely on our faith in the possibility of extending this to a much wider scale - rather than on any kind of empirical proof

Otherwise, your left arguing that doctors are irrelevant or detrimental to health - when obviously they are not in the present. But just because they are essential in the present - and can be proven to be so - does not mean that they will be essential definitively and forever.