Saturday, December 31, 2011

Important Dates in 2012 for Anarchists, The 99% & Social Justice Advocates

After the rise of the #OCCUPYWALLSTREET movement, on top of various revolutions and insurrections around the world in 2011, I expect that 2012 will likely see more of the same along these lines.  Of course, this will also be in the context of more draconian policies which target dissent amidst a crumbling economic and environmental infrastructure.  Some people will, undoubtedly, try to preserve and maintain the status quo while blaming the victims for resisting (or for even just simply pointing out the injustices of this world).  Nevertheless, I've got a feeling that this coming year might possibly see unprecedented protests around the globe.  As late as the proverbial hour is getting for the dominant culture... people may simply never have this type of opportunity to protest again.  That may sound like an exaggeration, but I wouldn't underestimate the power and ruthlessness of those currently in charge of this system.  Who can guess the horrific depths to which they will sink to maintain their power?     

That said, despite the risks, I reiterate my hunch that 2012 will be a year of significant and unprecedented protests.  Particularly, in English speaking countries, a few specific events might attract large numbers of people demonstrating in favor of social, economic, and environmental justice.  Again... these will simply be building off of recent actions and will be driven by an evermore desperate and diverse cross-section of society (with less to lose each passing day).  The simple reality is that environmental degradation continues to snowball while resource depletion spurs war, famine, and economic instability.      

So, without further ado, these are the particular events which I predict will see large protests in the face of violent and corrupt power...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Crises Can Be Openings: Defeating our enduring fatalism.

This article was written by Sasha Lilley.  She’s the author of Capital and Its Discontents from which this piece was taken.

The past several years have witnessed the spectacular unraveling of capitalism, or so it has appeared.
Venerated investment banks have vanished overnight, titans of industry have permanently shuttered their doors, and rich nations have lurched perilously close to default. The ideology of the free market, once seemingly unassailable, lies in tatters. While the death knell of capitalism may not yet be tolling, the crisis is undoubtedly of a different order of magnitude than anything seen in decades.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Dear Occupiers: A Letter from Anarchists

The following text appeared at CrimethInc.Com and is being reposted here and elsewhere. 


Dear Occupiers: A letter from anarchists

Support and solidarity! We’re inspired by the occupations on Wall Street and elsewhere around the country. Finally, people are taking to the streets again! The momentum around these actions has the potential to reinvigorate protest and resistance in this country. We hope these occupations will increase both in numbers and in substance, and we’ll do our best to contribute to that.

Why should you listen to us? In short, because we’ve been at this a long time already. We’ve spent decades struggling against capitalism, organizing occupations, and making decisions by consensus. If this new movement doesn’t learn from the mistakes of previous ones, we run the risk of repeating them. We’ve summarized some of our hard-won lessons here.

Monday, October 03, 2011

#OCCUPYWALLSTREET: Pacers, and leaders & spokesmen! Oh my!

As an early supporter of the #OCCUPYWALLSTREET protest movement, I wrote a request a few days ago to the protesters involved with that movement. While waiting to for a good time to make that request public, an online acquaintance put forward a statement (from a conservative perspective) which covered some of the same points I wanted to make... so I put it off a bit more. But now, I feel I need to put out the statement in a timely manner -- because my concerns expressed therein suddenly feel more justified. I will post that statement immediately before this one and point out, once again, that I was spreading information about this protest while few others were and have consistently done so from the beginning. And while I certainly claim no ownership of this movement (I can't and wouldn't), I humbly request that those involved with the movement read these messages from an early supporter.

Today, while looking at the Guardian's "live coverage" of the protest, I came across some statements and words which heretofore I had not regularly seen in association with this movement. The first was a statement by someone name Christopher Longenecker who was identified as the "head of march planning and tactics." This title in itself struck me as odd in the context of a heretofore leaderless movement but then the quote given from this person was even more shocking: "We don't do illegal actions."

For The #OCCUPYWALLSTREET Protest Movement, A Simple Request

First of all, I'd like to say that I've been supportive of this protest since Adbusters initially put forward the idea back in July. I was regularly using the hashtag when few others had, I created a daily aggregator of tweets for the NewsworthyNews Twitter feed, blogged about it, and have supported it in various forums from the get go. I also attended the local manifestation of a solidarity protest in my own city. And while there is certainly nothing at all wrong with being a "Johnny-come-lately" in regard to this protest, I'd just like to point out that I have supported the movement and watched it grow from the start. And, certainly, much more credit for organizing goes to again to Adbusters for initially inspiring the protest, to others who have helped organize (both online and off), and to those who have been in the streets of New York inspiring people around the world. All I'm trying to say is that I've been supportive and I have one simple request of those who are occupying Wall Street....

Friday, September 02, 2011

Cablegate Analysis: COMBATING EXTREMISM IN GREECE -- Anarchists, Neo-Nazi's, Protests & Civil Liberties

As the floodgates of diplomatic cables has recently been unleashed via Wikileaks, I was inspired to do some fresh perusing of the newly available files. Originally looking for what the cables had to say about anarchists, I stumbled upon the following lines in a document classified as "SECRET" under the subject heading "COMBATING EXTREMISM IN GREECE":
Greek society also views enhanced police capabilities with a jaundiced eye. Greeks are hypersensitive to any perceived limits on personal freedoms; as an example, security cameras around town have been vandalized. Members of Parliament have also inveighed against their use; attempts to pass off the cameras as trafficams have been only partly successful.
While I knew the Greeks were less tolerant than Americans of police abuses (since police collaboration with the Nazi's in WWII), I found the phrasing of these lines to be somewhat interesting. The Greeks aren't described as vigilant about preserving their rights, they are rather described as "hypersensitive." And the author seems to lament that "attempts to pass off the cameras as trafficams have been only partly successful." While this phrasing in itself should be something of an embarrassment, it's somewhat telling in how issues are presented and phrased. And, presumably, Americans have fallen for the tactic of trying to pass off surveillance cameras as trafficams.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Dispatches from the Apocalypse

An excellent, moving article from the Utne Reader written by Junot Díaz, from Boston Review

"Isn’t that after all the logical conclusion of what we are wreaking? The transformation of our planet into a Haiti? Haiti, you see, is not only the most visible victim of our civilization—Haiti is also a sign of what is to come."

Friday, August 12, 2011

Security Culture For Anarchists & Activists

Throughout history it has been deemed necessary by some to take illegal action for the purposes of defending life and liberty. Examples of groups and individuals carrying out such actions are myriad. A very short list would include the abolitionist John Brown, the writer Henry David Thoreau, Emma Goldman, the Mahatma Ghandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, protesters at Tiananmen Square, members of the Earth Liberation Front, and an endless number of others. Very often, the actions taken by such individuals incur great personal risk. The following article may potentially help keep modern freedom fighters safe and free.
Other primers on security culture do already exist, but having another one accessible won't hurt, may serve as a reminder of some safety measures, and might include some aspects not covered elsewhere. This article will draw on the advice of similar articles as well as personal observations and experience. No particular action is suggested or defended, nor is any knowledge about any particular action desired or requested by the author. Defending an action in hindsight is not the same as wanting to know anything about an action beforehand. Informing those who don't want to know (or need to know) about any particular action can be seen as an attempt to compromise the action.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Even if you are not an anarchist...

(I probably won't write too much more about Reddit on my blog, and I'm sorry if it seems like I've been focusing too much lately on the subject of internet communications, but this is something I wrote in an attempt to help establish a more open and accountable subreddit for people interested in ideas about anarchism.  If you don't already have one... I hope you'll consider opening a Reddit account if only to subscribe to this forum.)  

This post is about intellectual honesty. As some of you may know, there has been a great amount of dissatisfaction with the style of moderation displayed in the r/anarchism subreddit. This has been a simmering issue for several months. Unfortunately, up til now, there has been little that could be done about it since r/anarchism associates itself with the basic name of the philosophy (even though, at best, it only partially promotes that philosophy). More to the point... the moderators are widely panned as hardly being anarchists at all. They ban sincere anarchists at a whim, they invite trolls from other subreddits by harassing those forums, and their primary method of communication consists largely of logical fallacy and obfuscation. In short... they are helping to give anarchism a bad name. Perhaps that's by design, perhaps it's due to a collection of personality disorders, but the bottom line is that the philosophy of Anarchism -- in it's historical & contemporary forms -- is not adequately presented on Reddit.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Critique of Google Plus: The Good, the Evil and the Ugly

Last night I was finally sent an invitation to try out Google+.  And, after a quick examination, I'm glad I didn't believe the hype.  Don't get me wrong... I was very pleased and excited to get my invitation.  It's just that, judging by the entirely uncritical response I'd seen from my online communities, I was almost convinced that it was actually going to be the best thing since sliced silicon.  The marketing department was working overtime to build up expectations about this product in a way that only Google marketers could.  And scores of diehard Google fans were more than eager to help them out -- regardless of how good the latest Google product actually was.  Anyway, deep down, I knew it wouldn't be everything that everyone was making it out to be. 

Friday, July 08, 2011

Reddit, Anarchism, Guerrilla Marketing & Racism

As an unrepentant news junkie I often peruse Reddit, submit articles for consideration, and contribute to various discussions on that website. And, in general, I like a lot of the stuff I find on Reddit -- from the mundane (r/starcraft & r/poker), to the profound (r/TrueReddit & r/BadCopNoDonut), and everything in between (r/ That said... Reddit has some persistent problems which I feel reflect negatively on the whole site. Some of these problems you may care more or less about, and maybe all the problems aren't of equal importance, but these are some of my thoughts about Reddit which I hope might make the site better.

The r/Anarchism Subreddit is NOT an Anarchist Community.

I know that not everyone reading this is an anarchist (and may hardly have anarchist leanings at all), but the things is... many of those who post in that subreddit (including the moderators) are hardly anarchists either! This leads to a situation where people who may be curious about the philosophy could stumble upon the r/Anarchism forum and thereby become misinformed and/or turned off by the ideas they see presented there. This may very well already be the reason why some people would never consider themselves anarchists!

Some of you might think that I'm making much ado about nothing, as if the subreddit were entirely inconsequential, but the fact is that r/Anarchism is a forum which ranks very high when doing a basic Google search for the term "anarchism." So... I'm suggesting that it is actually influential about what some people think about modern anarchism. Those who value honest discussion (whether they are anarchists or not) should therefore take issue with an "anarchist" forum which actually does very little to promote the philosophy.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

DEBTOCRACY (English Subtitles)

This documentary provides comprehensive and insightful commentary about the Greek economic crisis and the related unrest in Greece. It presents a great history of European economics and examines the economic relationships which have developed around the world in the last few decades. It also provides a critical look at the EU, the IMF, and American banking and economic practices.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Philosophical Ramblings About Freedom, Chaos & Predetermination

For those who know me personally... it's no secret that I dwell in the mundane almost as much as I dwell in the realms of radical politics and other esoteric/technical ideas.  In large part, I find this to be a basic necessity if one wants to socialize at all in society. 

To the extent that people want to personally discuss more profound subjects, I find this to be difficult for (at least) a couple of different reasons.  First of all, a lot of us are often incapable of having a true conversation because we approach such encounters with an agenda -- even if just subconsciously.  We often tend to steer conversations back toward certain topics (and ways of viewing things) which we are comfortable with.  Along those lines... it's very hard to stay on the same page when facts and ideas are misheard, misunderstood, misinterpreted, imagined, or falsified.  For these reasons, I like to participate in written forums where ideas can be presented in their entirety and statements can be quoted directly and accurately -- while supporting sources of information can be provided as linked.  Secondly... I don't generally trust people all too much.  I won't get into all the reasons again, but suffice it to say that some people are overtly manipulative and often seek information they can use for their own potentially malicious interests.  Between these two realities, as I said, I find it difficult to discuss many ideas with people in casual conversations. 

That said... with intelligent companions, a bottle of rum, and a pack of smokes... some interesting ideas can be fleshed out and articulated.  I'm not too proud, or ashamed, to say that's what partially inspired this article.  And so... I will try now to lay out some ideas from last night's conversations.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Orwellian Surveillance, Spies & Infiltration

In George Orwell's world of 1984... were a billion people suffering from the effects of malnutrition?  Was a full seventh of that fictional population hungry?  Obviously things were rough in that fictitious world, but was it really that bad?  Was it hard for billions of people to find potable water to drink?  Were the oceans surrounding Oceania full of plastic?  Was the primary fuel source of Eurasia leading to a negative feedback loop in the climate (which consequently might raise the planet's temperature by several degrees within the next century)? 

I recall in the book that the proles were rationed low quality cigarettes along with imitation chocolate, and I know they were spoon-fed manufactured pop culture to keep them content... but did they really have it that bad?  I mean... compared to the reality of our world today -- in the U.S.A. and beyond. 

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Understanding Anarcho-Primitivism

NEWSFLASH: Anarcho-primitivists, rather than seeking to destroy everything, are trying to curtail the anthropocene mass extinction furthered by the techno-industrial civilization which continues it's destructive plunder at this very moment.  

A primary problem with anarcho-primitivism is that it is both maligned in ignorance and promoted with ideals of zealous purity.  As the years have went by, and after constantly having the primitivist critique at my disposal (at least in the back of my mind), it is clear to me that it is often misunderstood by both critics and proponents alike.  And, after garnering some much deserved attention around the turn of the century, I worry now that the philosophy may be getting lost amidst the growing struggle to meet basic immediate needs and the growing number of distractions in a culture of banalities and spectacle.

In an effort to convey the particulars and subtleties of primitivism, pedantic definitions will (perhaps ironically) be necessary.  For those versed in the terminology and who understand the basic concepts of the philosophical positions promoted by primitivism... these definitions may seem over-wrought and excessive.  However, part of the problem with anarcho-primtivism is (as with many philosophical schools of thought) that each thinker writing on the subject will have their own particular idiosyncratic nuances in regard to the meaning of particular words and phrases.  When dealing with a subject that partly criticizes the development and implementation of basic language... the task of clarifying these subjects and terms becomes even more tedious.  Nevertheless, intellectual honesty and a need for thoroughness requires effort on the part of any who would seriously like to ponder complex and intricate subjects.  Efforts will be taken in that regard as this article proceeds. 

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Wikileaks, Julian Assange, and the Middle Eastern Uprisings

In an article I wrote last December, before the uprisings began in the Mid-East, I speculated that the revelations of the diplomatic cables (released by Wikileaks) might spur uprisings in that region.  I know of no one else who was publicly speculating along those lines at the time.

Since then, the Middle-Eastern uprisings have come to pass and continue to sweep through the region... and Julian Assange himself, along with Amnesty International, has credited the Cablegate leaks with spurring the revolts in Tunisia, Egypt, and beyond.  So... please forgive me if I once again draw attention to my earlier speculation (now that its prescience has been proven and its subject has been accepted as a factor, in hindsight, by reputable parties).  I am not a paid analyst.  No publication has offered me any sort of a contract or given me any pay -- I don't even receive uncompensated editorial offers. And, so, please forgive me if I sometimes feel a bit obliged to draw attention to my own marginal writings.  I don't pretend that everything comes to pass just as I call it, but I'm pretty close sometimes -- and I think my analysis is at least as worthy as anything you might get from the talking heads on cable news.

Anyway... below is a video in which Julian Assange credits Wikileaks for playing a major role in the Middle Eastern uprisings and, below that, you will also see another interesting interview with Assange.  Wikileaks continues to be of profound importance, with repercussions yet to revealed.  I think both of the following videos are quite important if you really wish to understand the machinations of current geo-political events.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Some quick notes...

A lot of nothing has been happening lately in my personal life and... I must admit that I'm simply not very inspired to write or do much. I've had some ideas for articles and some other projects... but a lot of them seem a bit hackneyed -- and I'm not sure when I'll get around to putting out some more original content again. Basically, for what it's worth, I'm in a rut. And I find it difficult to continuously analyze the news or participate in any half-assed social movements. So... I'll probably continue taking a break from the world of analysis -- it hasn't seemed to do anyone much good anyway.

I did want to write this bit here today simply to... get some things off my chest. First of all... I stand by my last article -- I think the aftermath of the Japanese Tsunami will have very harsh economic repercussions for the the rest of the world (in addition to the immediate wake of the disaster in Japan itself). But I want to make it clear that this disaster was merely something that added strain to a system that was already disastrously collapsing. The dominant economic system, and all that it implies, is fundamentally unstable. Myself and others have tried to show the facts behind this again and again -- so I won't get into that.

Secondly... today I saw more recent video examples of police brutality -- a man being dragged from a wheelchair who was in no position to harm the police, and a woman who was basically an innocent bystander who had her teeth knocked out (the police report said she stumbled). I see a lot of such videos on a daily basis and I really just can't comprehend how this is tolerated in any society -- especially one that is supposed to value freedom. All sorts of people from every element of society get caught up and brutalized by this violent system of police repression and I just can't understand how it is allowed to persist. It's a sad disgusting phenomena and it's one of those things that makes me persistently cynical about any hopes for modern society.

Anyway... that's about all. Maybe I'll write something else in a week or a month or a year. Just wanted to get this out there and let people know where I'm at with this blog and everything else.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Japan's Tragedy and the World's Crisis

Along with so many others around the world, my heart goes out to the people of Japan as they face an ongoing tragedy brought about by a devastating earthquake, followed by a tsunami, and subsequently a worsening nuclear disaster. When such horrible things happen to such a sophisticated and cultured society, it reminds us all of our tenuous position on this Earth.

I do not at all want to minimize the trials and tribulations of others around the world who have also been confronted with horrible disasters in recent years -- Haiti, Indonesia, New Orleans, and Iraq come to mind -- but as the third largest economy in the world, and as a technological powerhouse, what's happened in Japan is a reminder that any of us can be devastated at any time. The most advanced engineering can't prevent tragedy, and the most advanced technologies can prove to be the most dangerous.

And it needs to be pointed out that, given Japan's geopolitical & economic status, the tragedy in Japan may prove to bring about crisis around the world. The effects may not be as sudden or shocking as the earthquake which the Japanese people experienced, but the economic ramifications could be equally as tragic for many people across the globe. It feels a little callous to talk of dips to the GDP and the crash of the Nikkei stock market, but international trade has been effected -- and in this interconnected global economy, people's very lives depend on certain aspects of trade. How the terrible events in Japan will effect people in other nations remains to be seen -- but have no doubt that people will be effected in ways precisely unknown at the moment.

Friday, March 11, 2011

On The Continuing Protests In Madison, Wisconsin.

As impressive as the tens of thousands of Wisconsinites have been in protesting the harsh austerity bill being pushed through by Governor Scott Walker, let's not overlook the fact that this battle is just getting started.  Any lulls in protest activity are still punctuated by huge protests on the weekends and literal signs for a general strike are appearing and being carried all over town.  Horns are still blasting around the Capitol building at any given hour and vigils are still being maintained.  There is a sense that the unions, and the rest of the populace, are preparing themselves for the next round.  And as hard as it might be to conceive of these huge recent protests as part of a rope-a-dope strategy... it is the general population that has been playing gently with the Governor thus far.  History has shown us that the masses ultimately have the power, if they are willing to use it, and it doesn't appear that the right-wing has a very thoughtful tactician to guide them through the impending battles. 

That said... the protest movement, particularly insomuch as it is being manipulated by mainstream politicians and self-appointed marshals, could falter.  It will be up to individuals, thinking for themselves and communicating their ideas horizontally, to prevent this movement from becoming too watered-down and compromising.  It should not be misunderstood -- the power at this point is in the hands of the masses of protesters.  Not to put too much of fine point on it, but it's somewhat reminiscent of the scene in Fight Club when Tyler Durden reminds the local politician...
"The people you are after are the people you depend on. We cook your meals, we haul your trash, we connect your calls, we drive your ambulances, we guard you while you sleep. Do not fuck with us."
I'm not suggesting that union members should start fight clubs, and lord knows I wouldn't want to go fisticuffs with a steelworker, but the point is that no one should allow their power or importance in society to be diminished -- especially when considered collectively as part of mutually beneficial organization.  The people hold the real power in this world -- as long as they are willing to use it.  They should not be looking to give concessions -- they should be looking to take them, all of them.  And when the grassroots "leadership" starts talking about giving concessions... their megaphones should be shoved somewhere the sun doesn't shine.  The notion of giving concessions at this point is beyond ridiculous -- unless you're willing to take yet another step towards giving everything away. 

What needs to be understood is that this right-wing putsch by Governor Walker, and it is an attack on far more than worker's rights, was a blunder which must be thoroughly capitalized upon.  Right-wing asses are showing and now is not the time to help them pull up their pants or to offer them your extra pair.  The right-wing putsch has suddenly accelerated the political pendulum -- and we need to take the momentum on the back-swing to topple everything the right-wingers stand for.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Subtle Factors of a Global Revolution: From Athens to Cairo to Madison and Beyond

As someone who has long been involved with revolutionary politics, I find the insurrectionary activities that are currently manifesting around the world to be quite heartening.  Have no doubt that the hour is getting late in terms of turning back the tides of environmental degradation, industrial warfare, and the authoritarian subjectification of populations around across globe.  Nevertheless, if only for matters of dignity, it will never be too late to take a stand against the oppressive and destructive forces which are laying waste to the world.  The intention of this article is to analyze modern revolutionary tendencies and their potential for bringing about fundamental changes to society.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Brief Comment on The Protest In Wisconsin: General Strike or Get Off The Walker!

The biggest American labor protest in years is currently taking place in Madison Wisconsin.  Although it would undoubtedly be getting more coverage if it were another inane Tea Party rally, the mainstream media is starting to cover the event which has already seen a second day of protest (with 13,000 protesters at the Capitol building on Wednesday the 16th) to coincide with a strike by the local teachers union (which shut down the local school district).  People are camping at the Capitol tonight and Thursday is certain to see large numbers out protesting again.  The new Governor, Scott Walker, has already threatened to call in the National Guard to quell any potential disturbance to business as usual.