Transition - Capitalism to Anarchism

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WeTheYouth
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May 7 2004 16:53
Transition - Capitalism to Anarchism

We talk constantly of destroying capitalism but how seriously can we use an economic model which was developed for an industrial and agriculture based society and edit it to fit the Information based economy?

I am not having doubts about an anarchist revolution or society, i know one day we will reach it, my question is simply is do we have the knowledge to create anarchy in this new age?

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I came up with a couple of things which would needed but i need everyone elses ideas on this.

1. Society would have to go through a transitional period of anarcho-capitalism otherwise there would be mass unemployment due to most people being employed in the information industry would be jobless because they count on competing for consumers for jobs which is the main reason why i put this thread up.

2. The revolution would have to be widespread over a large geographical area as self sufficient communities could not be instantly sustainable without a sort of trade of produce based on wants and needs of the population.

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I Hope this opens the way for good precise ideas on how we can change an information capitalist economy to a sustainable Anarchist economy.

captainmission
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May 7 2004 18:59
WeTheYouth wrote:
We talk constantly of destroying capitalism but how seriously can we use an economic model which was developed for an industrial and agriculture based society and edit it to fit the Information based economy?

think that's bit of a dead end to be honest. Basic principal of capitalism is the same whether it producing corn and iron or code. And if you doubt the economic model for understanding capitalism doesn't function anymore, then how do the managers and adiministraors of capital still manage to opperate?

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I am not having doubts about an anarchist revolution or society, i know one day we will reach it, my question is simply is do we have the knowledge to create anarchy in this new age?

Is it a case of drawing up a blue print for a new age? We're not some kind of leninist drawing up a new economic plan. So we might not have knowledge for this new age, but lets focus on how we can create alternatives to capitalism in the here and now.

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1. Society would have to go through a transitional period of anarcho-capitalism otherwise there would be mass unemployment due to most people being employed in the information industry would be jobless because they count on competing for consumers for jobs which is the main reason why i put this thread up.

fuck i forgot anarchy was all about full employment confused How about instead we look what happen's in period of massive unemployment? Recent events in argentina for example, people took control of there old workplaces, set up community gardens and allotments, basically provided for themselves without having bosses run it for them. Even if we do except that most people are employed in the 'information industries' (which I don't) and only 'manual' labour will exist in anarchic societies (which i also don't) then those employed in info industries could go and work in manual task and cut everones work load by half, whilst still producing the same amount of 'useful' goods.

WeTheYouth
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May 7 2004 19:04
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but lets focus on how we can create alternatives to capitalism in the here and now.

So what do we do when we get the stage of abolishing capitalism, do you mean that by oprganising in the way we do know we will learn how to re-organise society?

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then those employed in info industries could go and work in manual task and cut everones work load by half, whilst still producing the same amount of 'useful' goods.

And how do we create the neccesary industries that are needed, thats why i think we would have to go through a transitional period.

captainmission
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May 7 2004 19:24
WeTheYouth wrote:
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but lets focus on how we can create alternatives to capitalism in the here and now.
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So what do we do when we get the stage of abolishing capitalism, do you mean that by oprganising in the way we do know we will learn how to re-organise society?

If we are going to have any chance of abolish captialism then there will already have to be large scale networks of mutal aid and functioning economic systems outside of capitalism (to the extent they can exist). for example (and I feel dirty and wrong for saying this, but here goes...) In the run up to the spanish civil war industries such as arms manufacturing existed, hidden from the state, producing arms for the coming revolution. And of course how we organise now, and in a pre-'revolutionary' period will give us the understanding of how to organise after.

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And how do we create the neccesary industries that are needed, thats why i think we would have to go through a transitional period.

does anyone believe that the 'revolution' is going to happen one morning and by tea-time we'll all be in an anarchist society? But the 'transitional period' you seem to be describing seems to require that capitalism benignly legislates itself out of existence.

WeTheYouth
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May 7 2004 19:35
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If we are going to have any chance of abolish captialism then there will already have to be large scale networks of mutal aid and functioning economic systems outside of capitalism (to the extent they can exist). for example (and I feel dirty and wrong for saying this, but here goes...) In the run up to the spanish civil war industries such as arms manufacturing existed, hidden from the state, producing arms for the coming revolution. And of course how we organise now, and in a pre-'revolutionary' period will give us the understanding of how to organise after.

Okay i agree with that. grin

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does anyone believe that the 'revolution' is going to happen one morning and by tea-time we'll all be in an anarchist society? But the 'transitional period' you seem to be describing seems to require that capitalism beneignly legislates itself out of existence.

The period i am on about is when society does not have the structures to cope with a economy based on mutual aid, or the ability to be sustainable.

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Spartacus
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May 7 2004 21:22
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The period i am on about is when society does not have the structures to cope with a economy based on mutual aid, or the ability to be sustainable.

but surely the whole point of a revolution is that people build up these networks to run their lives themselves in opposition to the state, and then the state reacts and is hopefully destroyed (or the revolution fails), so there won't be a period where there is nothing.

i'm not entirely sure what you mean in your original post, the fundamental nature of capitalism has not really changed, it's just in the wealthier countries like ours, there's a trend towards making alot of jobs (but by no means all) based on essentially pointless tasks that only exist because of capitalism. i hope there'll be no such thing as employment in an anarchist society! people will do what needs doing, and spend much less time doing it because no one will be doing crap like selling insurance, so they can do a few hours of potato digging or whatever before going off to do whatever they want.

and hopefully we'll be getting rid of/recycling most the pointless crap technology like ps2s and so on as people will be too busy having actual real relations with other human beings to shoot digital zombies or whatever, so apart from medical equipment and such like there'll be less stuff to make anyway. so what exactly do you mean by all this information based economy stuff (which is not what much real stuff is anyway, that's just media hype and a few bankers and so on having fun with all their imaginary money that they throw around the world).

RadikalProfit
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May 8 2004 00:30

i think i understand what you are saying, and its not uncommon. capitalism is an amazingly powerful system, and i dont see how it will be possible to break it down with consent.

it may be the case that perhaps we should be working towards this, but i dont think that most have the abilty to work past our ideals. i would like to think that one day we could solve this, but i dont see how if we are living as we are today (with our computers and trends) that capitalism can be overthrown. Why do you believe that it is the worst system, and why should others? if we cannot understand that others feel differently, and are entitled to do so, then what can we do to improve a democracy?

WeTheYouth
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May 8 2004 11:42
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fundamental nature of capitalism has not really changed

No the fundementals of capitalism are still profit, exploitation etc but the way in which labour is organised in totally incompatible with the social model anarchism is built for, because peopel are working for companies that sell things that dont exactly exist. Capitalism has changed, for the first time it is a global economic system.

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Spartacus
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May 8 2004 12:05
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the way in which labour is organised in totally incompatible with the social model anarchism is built for

not really, the only real change in how society is organised is the increase in casualisation, which existed before just not on such a large scale. and historically anarchism has been most popular with people in this kind of highly vulnerable employment position. the fact that so many people do pointless crap nowadays isn't a change in the structure of society, it just helps prove what anarchists have always said, that we do far more work than is actually necessary, i don't see how this alters how anarchism would work, we'll be burning all the call centres and insurance offices come the revolution...

capitalism has been a global economic system for well over a century, as soon as more than one country was industrialised there has been trade, all that has happened over the last few decades is the ruling class forming global institutions to help them sort out their differences easier so as to make exploitation more efficient.

anyway, anarchism wasn't "built" for any particular social model. the concept of living without hierarchies is applicable to the whole of humanity and requires the destruction of whatever society is currently in existence, be it feudal, capitalist, fascist, communist, some other authoritarian regime, social democracy, or some other post-capitalist, non-anarchist society. obviously how we resist these differs on which system is in most prevalent in our lives, but that doesn't effect how anarchism would work.

WeTheYouth
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May 8 2004 13:36
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not really, the only real change in how society is organised is the increase in casualisation, which existed before just not on such a large scale. and historically anarchism has been most popular with people in this kind of highly vulnerable employment position. the fact that so many people do pointless crap nowadays isn't a change in the structure of society, it just helps prove what anarchists have always said, that we do far more work than is actually necessary, i don't see how this alters how anarchism would work, we'll be burning all the call centres and insurance offices come the revolution...

Increase in casualisation is not the only change to the capitalist system, we could not build an anarchist society based on mutual aid out of the ashes of an information economy with an economic model which is suited to agriculture and industry. Anyu previous western state after a revolution would find it extremely difficult to sustain society, becaus ethe simple fact is we do not have the industries to create the goods which everyone needs, that is why the revolution would have to be widespread.

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anyway, anarchism wasn't "built" for any particular social model. the concept of living without hierarchies is applicable to the whole of humanity and requires the destruction of whatever society is currently in existence, be it feudal, capitalist, fascist, communist, some other authoritarian regime, social democracy, or some other post-capitalist, non-anarchist society. obviously how we resist these differs on which system is in most prevalent in our lives, but that doesn't effect how anarchism would work.

So an anarchist system would be the same in the UK as it would in south america? No, it just would not work straight away. In rural south america, there would be food for them to be self sustainable, in the UK for example we could not sustain ourselves, which shows that anarchism would be different here than it would be in the abscence of another economic system.

LeighGionaire
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May 8 2004 16:16

Step 1.

Nationalise all banks, making the government of each nation the sole means of creating 'Legal Tender'.

Step 2.

Finance research into new energy resources (water/wind etc) to make them viable alternatives to oil and gas. This will help stop wars over the worlds natural resources.

Step 3

Make all workers in a company joint shareholders. The workers decide who gets payed what within the company.

Step 4

Have a 'salary cap', where nobody can own more than a certain amount of wealth/property - again decided by the people. Also, nobody can earn interest on their money, so hoarding it becomes pointless as it will constantly lose value due to the Government creating new money to finance housing. hospitals etc.

These are just ideas off the top of my head, that can be implemented under the current democratic process.

A transitional period between Capitalism and Communism/Anarchism.

captainmission
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May 8 2004 17:01
LeighGionaire wrote:
Step 1.

Nationalise all banks, making the government of each nation the sole means of creating 'Legal Tender'.

national banks are the only one that create 'legal tender' anyway. Currency in the UK is produced by the royal mint, in the USA by the treasury. Not sure of any major currency not created by a state, so I don't really see what you are getting at.

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Step 3

Make all workers in a company joint shareholders. The workers decide who gets payed what within the company.

Do you think companies will just lets us do this? If we have the power to force them to do this then why not at this point destroy the system of private ownership all together? Isn't that preferable to retreating some position of 'share holder democracy' (a term so ineffencive even thatcher could deal with).

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Step 4

Also, nobody can earn interest on their money, so hoarding it becomes pointless as it will constantly lose value due to the Government creating new money to finance housing. hospitals etc.

Capitalism isn't about 'hoarding' money, they don't just acrue wealth that then magically grows more wealth, but reinvests profits into other businesses that produce more profits (by screwing over there workers). The basic relationship we need to focus on is between employer and employed not between banks and investers.

LeighGionaire
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May 8 2004 17:46
captainmission wrote:
LeighGionaire wrote:
Step 1.

Nationalise all banks, making the government of each nation the sole means of creating 'Legal Tender'.

national banks are the only one that create 'legal tender' anyway. Currency in the UK is produced by the royal mint, in the USA by the treasury. Not sure of any major currency not created by a state, so I don't really see what you are getting at.

http://www.enrager.net/forums/viewtopic.php?p=8430#8430

To be legal tender it must fulfil at least two conditions. One, is that it is acceptable for the settlement of debts, and two, that it is acceptable for the payment of taxes.

Banks use a system known as 'Fractional Reserve' banking to create money from nothing. For every £100 deposited in an account the banks between them create £1000 worth of new 'credit'.

Now, this is how banks create 'money', taken from the Federal Reserves own pages.

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How Banks Create Money

Banks actually create money when they lend it. Here's how it works: Most of a bank's loans are made to its own customers and are deposited in their checking accounts. Because the loan becomes a new deposit, just like a paycheck does, the bank once again holds a small percentage of that new amount in reserve and again lends the remainder to someone else, repeating the money-creation process many times.

http://www.dallasfed.org/educate/everyday/ev9.htm

Quote:

Reserve Requirements and Money Creation

Reserve requirements affect the potential of the banking system to create transaction deposits. If the reserve requirement is 10%, for example, a bank that receives a $100 deposit may lend out $90 of that deposit. If the borrower then writes a check to someone who deposits the $90, the bank receiving that deposit can lend out $81. As the process continues, the banking system can expand the initial deposit of $100 into a maximum of $1,000 of money ($100+$90+$81+$72.90+...=$1,000).

http://www.ny.frb.org/aboutthefed/fedpoint/fed45.html

Now if I go to a bank and ask for a loan (to pay my taxes) they will deposit an amount of 'money' into my account (which is infact 'credit' created via the Fractional Reserve System). However, as the government will accept this credit as payment it becomes Legal Tender.

As legal tender equates to real money, the bank has just magically conjured up 'money out of thin air'.

Only private banks have this power.

As for the rest of my points, as I said they we're just ideas off the top of my head so I won't try to defend them.

One point Anarchists should remember though. Any revolution that leads to a period of chaos will put people like myself in a quandry. I have four young children to support. As soon as chaos breaks out I'll be too concerned with finding food for my kids to fight against the 'enemy'. This is a problem that needs serious consideration, and why I personally would prefer 'democratic' change rather than full scale revolution.

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Spartacus
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May 8 2004 18:32
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Anyu previous western state after a revolution would find it extremely difficult to sustain society, becaus ethe simple fact is we do not have the industries to create the goods which everyone needs,

we do. the amount of the economy that is doing pointless non-existent crap has been greatly exagerated by the media. go to any part of the british countryside and you will find plenty of agriculature. granted this would need restructuring so we stop poisoning ourselves with chemicals and crap but the reason so few people work in that sort of thing now is not because it has all been moved abroad but because technological advances have meant that it requires much fewer people to do the same work, so they've had to invent loads of pointless jobs to prevent a huge amount of unemployed people getting very hungry and pissed off and destroying everything.

anarchism isn't an economic model anyway, so i don't quite see what it is you think we want to apply. the advantage of anarchism is that it is flexible, rather than the formulaic nature of marxism or whatever. obviously there will be regional variations in anarchism, we don't want some vile homogenous society. and i think we all agree any revolution needs to take place on a massive scale as otherwise it becomes very difficult to withstand the onslaught of remaining states, but i see no reason why any form of "anarcho" capitalism is necessary during the destruction of all authority and the establishment of anarchism, why wouldn't mutual aid network between revolutionaries in other anarchist and not yet anarchist areas supply anything that another anarchist area needs? just look at what has happened in the past, when things kick off in one area then anarchists everywhere start showing solidarity by going over there to fight, smuggling arms, attacking elements of that state in their own areas, supporting prisoners, sending aid, or kicking off in their own areas.

WeTheYouth
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May 9 2004 19:10
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the amount of the economy that is doing pointless non-existent crap has been greatly exagerated by the media. go to any part of the british countryside and you will find plenty of agriculature

I dont think so, the majority of the labour force is employed in the service sector of the industry.

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anarchism isn't an economic model anyway

Yes anarchism is an economic model, it may be a very flexible economic model but it is an economic system, along with everything else anarchism is.

Vaneigemappreci...
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May 11 2004 13:47

The way that people think about revolution has to be developed first of all. It tends to seem that many people when pontificating about the likelyhood of a revolution in an economically 'devoloped' society have in mind the archaic image of a band of workers storming parliament, with red n black flag in hand, ready to take over the reigns of capitalist society and change the basic economic and political dictates of that society producing some sort of transendent order.

Firstly we dont want to take power, those who take power, even when they may have good intentions, tend to cling to and consolidate that power, resulting in a new elite. Neither do we wish to instruct people over the way in which they live, such dogmatism and imposed restraint is akin to the ways of the state not an autonomous society.

The revolution, the fundamental change, the overthrow of the existing order, is not something that materialises one day in times of crises and despair. its not something that can be calculated and predicted so to understand the exact point at which it is likely to occur. The revolution is a continual process of conflict and interplay between the forces who have the power to initiate the overthow of the capitalist order and those whose interests lie in butressing the existing state of affairs. We are not in the business of telling people what to think, telling poeple theyre unhappy or discontent, most people are able to realise that for themselves. We need to highlight the endless possibilities crystalised within the existing order while pointing out and exploiting the blatant contradictions and poverties that the existing system is based upon.

We have to start by thinking and acting for ourselves, the anarchist movement is not a vanguard movement, we have to lead by example by positioning ourselves in the conflict, augmenting dissent, expressing discontent and highlighting the poverty of capitalism in our ideas, actions and texts. It seems somewhat misguided and hypocritical to lament the perceived passivity and apathy of the average individual when our own actions, consciousness and understanding of the exising order seems so lacking.

You cant form workers councils and cooperatives from the screen of your computer.

WeTheYouth
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May 11 2004 14:47
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The way that people think about revolution has to be developed first of all. It tends to seem that many people when pontificating about the likelyhood of a revolution in an economically 'devoloped' society have in mind the archaic image of a band of workers storming parliament, with red n black flag in hand, ready to take over the reigns of capitalist society and change the basic economic and political dictates of that society producing some sort of transendent order.

I think few people have that idea, most people i think realise that the revolution will not be one big event which will change society indefinately.

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Firstly we dont want to take power, those who take power, even when they may have good intentions, tend to cling to and consolidate that power, resulting in a new elite. Neither do we wish to instruct people over the way in which they live, such dogmatism and imposed restraint is akin to the ways of the state not an autonomous society.

So if the people wanted to take power, are we not part of the people?Therefore we do want to take power, but along with the masses not a vanguardist revolution.

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We need to highlight the endless possibilities crystalised within the existing order while pointing out and exploiting the blatant contradictions and poverties that the existing system is based upon.

Do we not already try to do that? Is not the existence of sites like this a tool of informing people?

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You cant form workers councils and cooperatives from the screen of your computer

Really? How do you think the anarchist movement has been able to organise days of glabal action? by pigeon post? And we can organise an awful lot over the web, for example most people found out about what was happening on mayday thanks to the web. And for some people the only time they can get involved in the organising is through the internet, so if you ask me it is a needed tool of organisation.

captainmission
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May 13 2004 15:01
WeTheYouth wrote:

I dont think so, the majority of the labour force is employed in the service sector of the industry.

Doesn't matter what percentage of the industry is employed the service industreis. The argicultural wrok force might have diwendle drastical but argiculutral production has increased massively. Out of the '1st world' nations the USA, Canada and Australia produce massive surpluses of food stuff. The EU is largely self-sufficent, ever heard of butter mountains or lakes of milk? The UK could quite easily meet its own agricultrual needs.

captainmission
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May 13 2004 15:28

leigh

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As legal tender equates to real money, the bank has just magically conjured up 'money out of thin air'.

if money isn't conjured from thin air where does it come from? You seem to be confusing several terms togther and equating money with value. If money couldn't be conjured out of thin air there'd be no way to increase the amount of economic wealth.

Banks magically create this money cos the way they understand capital to work. Capital is believed to contain a kind of potential energy that allows a spring of wealth to be released from it. The process of how it does this ecxonomist are quite oblique about, typically they put it down to entrupanurial characters or some other such shite. For marxists it quite simple, the profits the capital investment makes is stole off the worker.

In colomubia there's this practice of baptising money. People go to baptisms with a bank note and 'steal' the name of the child and write it on the bank note. Then when the note enters into circulation it is ment to return to the original owner bring back more money with it. Much like capital operates for banks. One is dismissed as a cultural curiosity the other is the system the world is run on. The problem is that your wanting a system of symbolic exchange, circulation of currency, to opperate in a 'non-magical' sense. What would be the advantage if only governements could make legal tender?

Vaneigemappreci...
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May 13 2004 16:09

[So if the people wanted to take power, are we not part of the people?Therefore we do want to take power, but along with the masses not a vanguardist revolution.]

Power is a rather vague term. If we mean to take power so to exert it over others then surely this cant be the aim of any sort of revolutionary movement. Surely to work towards autonomy where each individual is free to enact their will and desires, providing that that will does not imfringe on the liberties of others or harm them in any way, is a more desirable aim?

[Really? How do you think the anarchist movement has been able to organise days of glabal action? by pigeon post? And we can organise an awful lot over the web, for example most people found out about what was happening on mayday thanks to the web. And for some people the only time they can get involved in the organising is through the internet, so if you ask me it is a needed tool of organisation.]

Organising spectacular confrontations with the forces of 'law and order' at gatherings of the worlds elite is clearly possible through word of mouth and the internet has been a useful tool in that sense. Actually forming and participating in any sort of active organiation such as a workers council, which aims to negate the dictates and principles of the capitalist organisation of space and time, clearly cannot be done from a computer screen. For the purpose of disseminating ideas and forming alliances the internet is a useful, though limited tool. You can sit spouting rhetoric and ideas on a computer every day for year after year but ideas have to find their realisation and that involves conscious action in the outside world. The internet is fine for organising remote control demonstrations, however the impact and possibilites of such events are often curtailed by the fact that they are organised over the internet in full view of the worlds police and often amount to no more than transitory spectacles of resistance. While the internet may provide a means of disseminating ideas to those who want to find them surely our real aim should be to introduce people who arent looking for an anarchist doctrine of resistance whilst acting upon our own ideas in everyday life rather than waiting for the huge demonstrations where due to police and army presence any action seeking to go beyond highlighting the secret meetings of the worlds elite is almost impossible.

WeTheYouth
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May 14 2004 08:00
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Doesn't matter what percentage of the industry is employed the service industreis. The argicultural wrok force might have diwendle drastical but argiculutral production has increased massively. Out of the '1st world' nations the USA, Canada and Australia produce massive surpluses of food stuff. The EU is largely self-sufficent, ever heard of butter mountains or lakes of milk? The UK could quite easily meet its own agricultrual needs.

Yes i have heard of them, And im not sure on your claim that the UK can be self sufficient, ill check it out.

Quote:
Power is a rather vague term. If we mean to take power so to exert it over others then surely this cant be the aim of any sort of revolutionary movement. Surely to work towards autonomy where each individual is free to enact their will and desires, providing that that will does not imfringe on the liberties of others or harm them in any way, is a more desirable aim?

It is a desirable aim, but what you fail to see is that collectively the community would have power, and power in a sense of which to defend the wider communities liberty such as from rapists or murderers, therefore power would lie with the community.

.....Ill post more later, i got to go to lesson.

LeighGionaire
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May 14 2004 19:37
captainmission wrote:
What would be the advantage if only governements could make legal tender?

Why do Governments borrow 'credit' from private banking institutions (thus having the taxpayer pay back the debt plus interest) when they can quite easily, by law, create the money themselves?

captainmission
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May 15 2004 16:12
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Why do Governments borrow 'credit' from private banking institutions (thus having the taxpayer pay back the debt plus interest) when they can quite easily, by law, create the money themselves?

Again you're confusing currency with value or wealth. A state could print endless amounts of money if it wished, but that would cause endless inflation. 'bad money drives out good' as the physiocrats figured out 500 years ago. Banks through leadeing capital are producing a socially and economically regonized wealth, we may not like this, it may lead to a fucked up society. But saying it false wealth isn't going to get rid of it any more than saying I won't get run over by a car when i step in front of it cos that's a 'illegitimate' form of death.

LeighGionaire
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May 15 2004 23:00
captainmission wrote:
Quote:
Why do Governments borrow 'credit' from private banking institutions (thus having the taxpayer pay back the debt plus interest) when they can quite easily, by law, create the money themselves?

Again you're confusing currency with value or wealth. A state could print endless amounts of money if it wished, but that would cause endless inflation.

I agre with what your saying up to a point. The ceation of new money/credit does indeed cause endless inflation, but we have that already under the present system.

So, why do Governments make themselves the sole source of new money? Why do they continue to allow private banks to create new money and them borrow from them? It defies all logic.

The top four British banks made £25 Billion last year alone from this scam. It is the heart of Capitalism, and if the Government takes this power for themselves that's the first step to any kind of 'socialist' society. All this excess could go into funding the Health service, Education, anything useful to the whole of society instead of going into the pockets of the Banking elites.