Voting

86 posts / 0 new
Last post
brizzul
Offline
Joined: 7-10-03
Apr 8 2004 16:36

You've taken part of the quotes and ignored the rest...

Violence within our class is *not* justified. Violence against our rulers *is* justified. Anarchism is class *warfare*.

This isn't philosophy or a debate in the cambridge union. All of this is implicitely understood by every libertarian organisation the world over except this bulletin board regardless whether it fits within the categories of a university ology.

nosos
Offline
Joined: 24-12-03
Apr 8 2004 17:46
Quote:
You've taken part of the quotes and ignored the rest...

Explain to me how the rest of the passage changes the meaning of the sections I quoted then.

brizzul wrote:
Violence within our class is *not* justified. Violence against our rulers *is* justified. Anarchism is class *warfare*.

No shit. roll eyes

Where did I say anything that contradicts this?

I just said that violence is justifiable on a tactical basis. It doesn't change anything about the intrinsic nature of a violent act.

Quote:
This isn't philosophy or a debate in the cambridge union. All of this is implicitely understood by every libertarian organisation the world over except this bulletin board regardless whether it fits within the categories of a university ology.

This is getting toe-curlingly embaressing now. grin

It's a message board - it's for debate - all you've done so far is define who is and who is not an anarchist (being as you a foremost authority), quoted passages that completely contradict your argument and made recourse to some mythical body of knowladge that everyone who disagrees with you is ignorant of.

I pity da fool who can't think for him/herself. Mr. T

nosos
Offline
Joined: 24-12-03
Apr 8 2004 17:48

You're also demonstrating what bad authoritarians anarchists make. Which is a redeeming feature of your contributions. tongue

Mystic
Offline
Joined: 14-01-04
Apr 9 2004 00:36

How can violence be "intrinsically" bad? Violence is always an act of harm against another individual and as brizzul showed, it is sometimes justified, sometimes not. You can't say it's intrinsically unanarchistic, when that kind of judgment so clearly depends on the circumstances. Violent acts don't take place in some kind of philosophical vacuum.

nosos
Offline
Joined: 24-12-03
Apr 9 2004 01:23

I've said about five times that violence can be justified in many circumstances - that's why I thought it was a good analogy to the voting issue. You're reading far too much into my use of the phrase 'intrinsic'. I'm not saying that there's an essential moral value to an act of violence - I'm saying that there's a structural form to an act of violence which, when compared to anarchist values, means that violence is unanarchistic. It doesn't mean it's not justified. That depeneds on the circumstance.

Violence involves the subjugation of one person or group by another. This power dynamic is unanarchistic.

See where I'm coming from?

Mystic
Offline
Joined: 14-01-04
Apr 9 2004 08:05

I do, but you're only looking at one side of the equation. I could equally say some violence involves subjugation of an innocent person (unanarchistic), and other violence involves subjugation of a boss (anarchistic). Or even that the "power dynamic" is one that in general breaks the shackles of slavery and provides freedom, but that whether it does that depends on the circumstances (ie. violence is totally anarchistic, I'm not arguing this, just flipping round your definition).

The violence is a means of subjugation, but it depends on whether the target is subjugator in the first place. The only way you could say what you are seeing is if you argue that the vast majority of people are being repressed, and so a violent act has a higher probability of being unanarchistic. But that doesn't mean violence should be defined a priori (I hope I used that right smile!) as "unanarchistic."

For starters, what about other kinds of violence, like those involved in competitive sports such as rugby and boxing: are they unanarchistic? The power dynamic you speak of essentially assumes the target's innocence and the attacker's guilt, it's not only too objective for my liking, but I don't think it holds up as an objective definition.

cantdocartwheels's picture
cantdocartwheels
Offline
Joined: 15-03-04
Apr 9 2004 09:12

I think the phrase violence is unanarchistic makes sense. It imposes order and compulsion. revolution involves compromise tho so violence has to be used, your going to have to defend the strikes from attack at some point.

Perhaps its best to look at violence as being a negative aspect, because looking at it as a positive aspect is dangerous and unproductive.

Otherwise you start fetishising violence, and thats not a good idea.

Being anti-militant means what it says, it doesn't mean creating a new form of militancy to oppose the old.

I don't think anyone advocates executing all former cops and soldiers or something, or after you colectivised an industry finding the bosses and executing them, that'd just be mindless lunacy.

And anarchists should be against the death penalty and all forms of corporal punishment and torture, so violence should only be used in self defence or collective defence.

I think history quite clearly proves that the more violent a revolution the less chance of it achieving any true revolutionary goals.

john

nosos
Offline
Joined: 24-12-03
Apr 9 2004 13:45
Mystic wrote:
But that doesn't mean violence should be defined a priori (I hope I used that right smile!) as "unanarchistic."

I see where you're coming from but I'd draw a distinction between different ways of defining acts a priori. One way, which I'm totally opposed to, would define an act as being x because of what the act is but it's also possible to define an act as being x because of the structural properties of the act.

Quote:
The power dynamic you speak of essentially assumes the target's innocence and the attacker's guilt, it's not only too objective for my liking, but I don't think it holds up as an objective definition.

I'd say those sort of factors are what defines whether the act is justifiable or not. As I've said, I think violence can be justified in many situations - most obviously, in self-defense. I have a moral problem with one person having power over another (something implicit, as I see it at least in the act of violence) but good can come out of this and in the case I see it as justified.

In self-defense, I think it's a bad thing to attack anyone, but I think it's perfectly justifiable and a good thing to defend oneself from attack. Likewise, thai-boxing, something I like to watch - it can be violent as fuck and people get hurt which is a bad thing - but people do it willingly and both the fighters and the crowd derive enjoyment from it, which is a good thing.

Do you see where I'm coming from?

Mystic
Offline
Joined: 14-01-04
Apr 9 2004 16:16

I do see where you're coming from, but I don't see how it's useful. I mean, essentially what you're saying is "violence is bad," and separating the concept completely from the relationship it involves (ie. between the person committing the violent act and the person against whom it's committed). What does that actually mean? What practical use is it to say "violence is inherently unanarchistic," when every time a violent act is performed its morality depends on, for example, whether it is boss-slave or slave-boss violence? I just don't think you can separate the concept of violence from the act itself, and even if you try to it doesn't serve any purpose. How does saying that help us in a situation? Are you saying that whenever we address a problem, we should always see violence as some kind of unanarchistic last resort? Because that comes closer to pacifism, surely?

nosos
Offline
Joined: 24-12-03
Apr 9 2004 20:25
Mystic wrote:
I do see where you're coming from, but I don't see how it's useful. I mean, essentially what you're saying is "violence is bad," and separating the concept completely from the relationship it involves (ie. between the person committing the violent act and the person against whom it's committed). What does that actually mean?

That morals/principles are a distinct sphere from tactics/justifications. As for what use is it? That's a very difficult question to answer - it's just the way I look at things - what use is it putting forward the idea on a message board perhaps? confused

Quote:
Are you saying that whenever we address a problem, we should always see violence as some kind of unanarchistic last resort? Because that comes closer to pacifism, surely?

Well, yeah, actually. It's a useful analysis for me because it helped me move from a pacifist position into a more realistic one - violence goes against what I believe in, but it's sometimes necessary. That's all. It seems very obtuse to question the utility of a statement like that. confused

brizzul
Offline
Joined: 7-10-03
Apr 10 2004 01:56
nosos wrote:
You're also demonstrating what bad authoritarians anarchists make. Which is a redeeming feature of your contributions. tongue

I'm not debating with you i am telling you you are wrong.

Authority is the rubber bullet, the jail and the courts not me. When you reinforce the legitimacy of the state, which you do by asking us to reconsider voting, you are forcing me to argue against people who are supposed to be on my side as well as the stalinists and trots. And that is depressing.

Your reinvention of libertarian politics I just don't understand. If there are one or two million anarchists worldwide why are your ideas even slightly relevant when they contradict them? You want to go to the spanish and the argentinian comrades and tell them they've got it all wrong?

* Direct Action

* Don't Vote

* Class War

It's not complicated.

nosos
Offline
Joined: 24-12-03
Apr 10 2004 02:18
brizzul wrote:
I'm not debating with you i am telling you you are wrong.

Indeed grin says it all really doesn't it.. roll eyes

Quote:
Your reinvention of libertarian politics I just don't understand. If there are one or two million anarchists worldwide why are your ideas even slightly relevant when they contradict them?

Well look at this way..

My basic proposition is that voting can be justified tactically in certain circumstances. I know a fuck load of people agree with me on this, both from first hand experience and because I asked the question on another message board last night.

But, no this is a reinvention of libertarian politics (obviously said anarchists are not in fact anarchists despite their many collective years in the anarchist movement) because it contradicts your basic beliefs.

Your basic beliefs which are completely and utterly true - which makes those who disagree with you wrong and because they are wrong you don't have to justify your own position! It makes everything so simple and nice. You remind me of a Christian fundie you know. grin

Quote:
It's not complicated.

Indeed. Four legs good. Two legs bad. grin

Well, since you don't like debate, I'm not exactly expecting to see any more arguments from you but I wanted to say cheers. It made me piss myself laughing when you posted up a passage from an anarchist author to 'prove' you were correct and it totally contradicted what you were saying. Cheers! smile black bloc

brizzul
Offline
Joined: 7-10-03
Apr 11 2004 02:44
nosos wrote:
I know a fuck load of people agree with me on this, both from first hand experience and because I asked the question on another message board last night.

Someone called "nos" started that thread:

http://www.urban75.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=72742

"nos" also wrote on the same board in Mar 2002:

nos on urban75.net wrote:

It's good to realise that anarchism means a lot of different things to a lot of different people.

To me anarchism is the basic belief that no one is more qualified than each and every one of us to make the decisions that affect our lives. Every day decisions are taken by people who know nothing about us which determine the direction, not just of our lives, but of the wider society within which we live. It's about self emanicpation - the fundamental belief in ourselves and in others. It's about helping people, not to fulfill some abstract political agenda, or to get some political party into power - it's about helping people because at the end of the day, what seperates us is insignificant compared to what divides us. We have the same lives, the same problems, the same difficulties. We feel the same pain and the same joy. No matter how much we've been ingrained to focus on our differences, our similarities are too numerous to describe.

Why does one person deserve the right to tell another what they can or cannot do? Why does anyone deserve to have power over anyone else? Anarchism to me isn't about politics, it's about humanity, about basic morality. I think human suffering is wrong. Within my life, I want to do whatever I can, in my own small insignificant way, to make the world a slightly less shit place to live. Anarchism gives me a framework within which to try and do that - a way of understanding the power relationships I see around me - how they came about, how they currently operate and, ultimately, how they can perhaps be destroyed. It's egalitarianism but without the authoritarianism. It's liberalism without guilt and the desire to mantain privilige. It's libertarianism but with honesty about the scope of the impediment to human freedom which lies before us.

It can seem vague and horribly pie in the sky but I don't want a vision of some future anarchist utopia. I could dream up some vision of the perfect world but, sadly, it's just that a vision. Almost certainly of a world that will never be. I don't believe a perfect world is possible. Which is why I have a problem with the commonly held presumption that progressive political beliefs necessitate an end state or a final destination. I don't think that's the point. The point is what we can do in the here and now. If that necessitates not using the term 'anarchist' I have absolutely no problem with that.

When you have a detailed ideological vision of the 'perfect' world you have an ideology beneath which to subjugate the real world. The ends begin to justify the means because you've already labelled out the ends as 'perfect' in your own thinking - if you didn't think that way then you wouldn't base your political philosophy around working toward it. Any attack on your vision becomes an attack on perfection - an attack on your utopia. You're giving your own intellectual ideas a de facto authority over other people and external circumstances. Which I can't help but belive goes completely against anarchist ideas.

Anarchism to me is about wanting to help people, not because you feel obliged to, but because you want to and fuck anyone who wants to stop you.

this can be found at: http://www.urban75.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=72821

That really made *me* chuckle especially the bit in the third para "It's liberalism without guilt ...".

LeighGionaire
Offline
Joined: 28-02-04
Apr 11 2004 08:14
cantdocartwheels wrote:

And anarchists should be against the death penalty . . . .

Well if thats the case I'm afraid I'll never be a true anarchist.

nosos
Offline
Joined: 24-12-03
Apr 11 2004 16:00
brizzul wrote:
Someone called "nos" started that thread:

Your detective skills astound me. grin

Since Brizzul's apparantly given up on arguing any sort of case what-so-ever (beyond posting up pieces of writing he doesn't seem to have read/understood and appealing to the mythical homogenous views of the entire anarchist movement) I think the thread (or at least my contributions to it) are probably drawing to a close...

Spartacus's picture
Spartacus
Offline
Joined: 20-09-03
Apr 11 2004 16:23
Quote:
Anarchism is class *warfare*.

no it's not! anarchism is the philosophy that humanity can reach it's full potential without anyone exerting authority over another, class warfare is just the term anarchists use to describe social relations in hierarchial society. you seem to be confusing anarchist theories of how anarchy can be achieved with anarchy itself. capitalism is class warfare, anarchism is the abolishing of classes (and therefore the abolishing of class warfare). the quotes quite clearly state that violence is a tactic that anarchists are forced to use against rulers, but that it is not part of anarchism itself, hence all the stuff about "it is when necessity ceases that crime begins". i mean, i'm not an anarchist because i enjoy seeing coppers being set on fire (much as this may surprise some people wink ), it's because i'm an anarchist that becomes clear that some violence will be necessary to achieve an anarchist society... anyway, this is going way of the point and can go into some other thread or other.

so back to the main debate, i still don't see that voting is useful in any way. the whole point of voting is that it reduces the population into different homogenous blocks, this lot vote for them, that lot vote for the others, so therefore individuals have little or no effect on the outcome, so you can only really talk about using it as a tactic for achieving something like keeping one group of particularly nasty scumbags out of power, if you are confident enough others are going to be doing that, so you'd presumably need to be doing stuff to try and encourage that, otherwise there's no point in voting in isolation. and to me the anarchist perspective would be to encourage extra-parliamentary activity rather than voting, so that whatever the outcome of the vote, the will of the ruling class will be unworkable...

and brizzul, anarchism is not a big horrible homogenous piece of ideological crap, that's what marxism is. just because someone has what may well seem to you (and me) like something of an unanarchistic view of voting, doesn't stop them being an anarchist. if you read some of the things durruti was saying in the run up to the 1935 spanish elections, i think you'd be quite shocked, i know i was, but i'm certainly not going to question whether or not durruti was an anarchist, because that would be incredibly stupid, and you'd end up with the conclusion that there are in fact no anarchists in the entire world. which is just stupid and unhelpful.

phoebe
Offline
Joined: 20-09-03
Apr 16 2004 12:03

I vaguely like the idea for voting for smaller parties cause it makes me feel fuzzy inside. heh. Um, nah, I think that voting for smaller parties saves you from voting for a party that actually will get in whilst nudging the mainstream parties to move their policies slightly closer to those of whatever party you voted for just on merit of the fact that they'll want to eat those votes which are seen as "active". I recognise that whether I vote or not won't change much at all, but I kinda feel it's like buying into a lottery. You might be in for a nice surprise one day and it's a bit of a laugh...

Spartacus's picture
Spartacus
Offline
Joined: 20-09-03
Apr 16 2004 22:57
Quote:
What was he saying? From the context you put it in, I assume he was pro-voting?

A book or online source where I can read this?

yes, he was very pro-voting in that situation, there's a quote from him in the spanish anarchists: the heroic years by bookchin, but i've temporarily lost my copy so i can't find the quote for you... when i read it i thought it made him sound like a liberal, especially compared to the usual quotes from durruti.