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How do you intoduce Anarchy to a white sheep?

Discussion in 'General political debates' started by Vulture, Jan 25, 2016.

  1. SmokeyJoe

    SmokeyJoeExperienced Member Experienced member


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    Jan 17, 2016
     
    Oh definitely. Although Libertarianism kinda throws me for a loop too. From what I've read, the term started out as just another word for anarchism. Whether they sold out or the term just got co-opted I don't know, but seems like they're very different things now.
     
  2. Music4theDeaf

    Music4theDeafMember Forum Member


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    The bomb throwing anarchist stereotype has been used in the states ever since the assassination of Mckinley. maybe even before that...
     
  3. SmokeyJoe

    SmokeyJoeExperienced Member Experienced member


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    Oh it's as old as dirt. The state's whole con is that things would go completely to shit without them in charge, so obviously anyone who opposes the state must be some frothingly violent maniac who's just ticked that the government won't let them have murderorgies. :ecouteurs:

    Clearly we're all a bunch of savage barbarians menacing the good, civilized folk with our nonsense about freedom and equality. Hey, that would make a good band name: The Savage Barbabarians. :lmao:
     
  4. Vulture

    VultureExperienced Member Experienced member


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    We all have our own ways on expressing our Anarchism. Back then, in a world of non-sedated people, it was bombings and assassinations for some. This could still work! However, we are sedated by our education and idols. Some of use have found that non-violence, a fairly new form of resistance, and civil disobedience work just as well. I think it is pretentious of anarchists to discredit those who were willing to take such a risk. At least they tried right?
     
  5. SmokeyJoe

    SmokeyJoeExperienced Member Experienced member


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    I get where you're coming from, but I can't agree. Bombings and assassinations are the epitome of violent coercion, which is exactly what anarchy is opposed to. That's not an expression of anarchism, any more than eating meat is an expression of veganism--and when people who claim to be anarchists use methods like that they discredit themselves and everyone who actually does follow anarchist principles.

    I'm not really interested in getting into a fight over this. Everybody has a right to their own opinions. But if you're really interested in anarchy I suggest you do some research into it's history. Anarchism didn't start with violent rebels warring against the state. You could argue that it's older than the state, being one of the original forms of human society--but as a political ideology it dates back to ancient philosophers, not terrorists or freedom fighters. In fact, according to wikipedia the first known use of the term 'anarchy' in a political context comes from a scene in a Greek play where a man commits an act of civil disobedience.

    Trust me, I get what it's like to want to kick the state's teeth in. But as an anarchist I have to oppose any attempt to use violence or intimidation to push a political goal--even if that goal is anarchism. You can't force people to be free.
     
  6. JawnLobotomy

    JawnLobotomyActive Member Forum Member


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    Vulture I can't help but agree with your statement of 'sedated by our education and idols', but I don''t quite grasp the idea of 'back then, in a world of non-sedated people' and your statement I previously quoted. I don't feel like these two times and ideas are mutually exclusive. I also don't know if I would agree with discrediting their struggle but as much as the ideals of anarchism have probably changed I would argue that the rules of how we are forced to 'play the game' have drastically. As much as I disagree with the idea of the portrayal of violence, I can agree with the fact that at the time and place, Czolgosz, Sacco and Vanzetti, and Princip all probably truly believed they were changing the world. Whether that was for better or for worse is much a debate for historians and political pundits, and hell, even for us here! The point is that those are the people who are being listened to are being given highly organized and controlled platforms, and they are being told to portray a negative view of anarchism, because it undermines the parasitic system they are told they need to support.
     
  7. Vulture

    VultureExperienced Member Experienced member


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    I don't agree with violent coercion either, Smokey Joe. I was just saying that violence, when all it took was to have a gun to be equally matched to the state's soldiers, was no less anarchy than our own pacifist existences. I imagine it was not a matter of stating ideals, but rather getting the bastards out of the way so that anarchy could begin. Either way, in the world of tanks, war planes, machine guns, missiles and nuclear bombs, there is no way we could combat them effectively.

    JawnLobotomy, I agree; obviously you're a better writer than I.
     
  8. SmokeyJoe

    SmokeyJoeExperienced Member Experienced member


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    Jan 17, 2016
     
    Well you're certainly right that there's a much wider gap now between the military might of the state and the average citizen--though they've never really been on equal footing. Providing your soldiers and police with better weapons, protection, and training than is available to the general population is one of the ways the state maintains it's power. If an individual could challenge the state on equal terms it wouldn't be a state anymore--just a walmart greeter going 'hey, stop that.' :lmao:

    As Jawn pointed out, there's definitely more of an element of compromise these days when it comes to being an anarchist. It's much harder to escape the state's control so you often have to play along to some degree in order to survive and continue working towards anarchy. I suppose some people would prefer to compromise their ideals in the other direction--resorting to terrorism rather than grudging participation. But to me, it's far better to pay taxes knowing some of it will be used to fund violent oppression than to engage in that kind of behavior myself.
     
  9. Vulture

    VultureExperienced Member Experienced member


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    Smokey Joe, in the least offensive way possible, that made me cringe. I think there are alternatives between resentful consent and terrorism. That's where punk comes in. Squat, dive, do free shit, hitch, protest, steal etc. I think it is odd how so many people can listen to music but not use the ideas. Still, I know it isn't for everyone, but the option is always there. It is indeed hard to find a 100% "pure" lifestyle.
    If that offended you, ignore it, I'm tired as fuck...
     
  10. punkmar77

    punkmar77Administrator Staff Member Admin Team Experienced member


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    You are of course entitled to your own interpretation of what anarchism constitutes to you, but I would beg you not to throw around terms such as terrorism to describe any anarchist actions that might not fit with your strictly pacifist view of it, it is the propaganda of the state.
     
  11. SmokeyJoe

    SmokeyJoeExperienced Member Experienced member


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    Jan 17, 2016
     
    @Vulture: No offense taken, it makes me cringe too--and I'm having to live it. Squatting is a young, able-bodied person's game, and I haven't been either of those things for a long time. I spent my time crashing out in sand dunes and campgrounds when I was younger. It nearly killed me then and probably would kill me now--or land me in jail. The area I live in is extremely hostile to it's homeless population, and they're pretty thourough about making sure there aren't any places to squat or camp. So no, the option isn't always there.

    As for stealing, I got brought up in institutions, so I didn't have the luxury of honing my shoplifting technique while I was still a minor. If I tried it now, I'd get caught, and I'd do time--if I was lucky. The local cops are notoriously out of control, and even the white, suburban business owners aren't safe. A dirt-poor hispanic punk like me isn't likely to fare much better.

    If it's a choice between death, supporting the prison system by becoming an inmate, or providing the state with the meager support they can squeeze out of me via sales tax on the few purchases I can't avoid making...

    ...well, I'll go with the least evil that keeps me breathing, thanks.

    I don't know much about you, and like you I don't mean any offense by this, but when I hear you advocating bomings, assassination, and theft--on the internet--my first thoughts are either 'misguided kid who doesn't know any better' or government plant. The state has a long history of sending guys into anarchist communities and protest organizations to commit crimes and incite others to do the same so that the cops can swoop in and bust the whole group. For that reason alone I will never advocate any kind of illegal activity here or in any other anarchist space. Just talking about that shit could get this site shut down and all of us charged with conspiracy. Or worse, get us labled 'enemy combatants' and hauled off to Guantanamo. Fat lot of good we'll be able to do from there.

    @punkmar77: The definition of terrorism is "violence or intimidation used to further a political goal." That's true regardless of who does it or what cause they are trying to support. I would beg you to not mistake political bombings and assassinations for anarchy. Regardles of your stance on pacifism, using violence to control other people and deprive them of life and freedom can never be compatible with the philosophy that no person should rule over another.

    I said before that I didn't want to argue about this and I don't. I joined this community after much deliberation because it looked like a place where I could safely discuss anarchism without having to worry about it turning into a giant fight or somebody spouting the kind of foolishness that could have the cops breaking down my door. If that's not the case, I'll take my leave--but it's damn dissapointing.
     
  12. Vulture

    VultureExperienced Member Experienced member


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    You have a point, it is always good to be cautious. However, unless I say that I want to bomb (stated target) or that I want to bomb something at all, there is not grounds for conspiracy and the state would have weak grounds of arrest. I do not fear saying my opinions. punkmar77 said it pretty well. We should not discredit those who have done ANYTHING, violent or non-violent. I think we need to remember that despite the fact the statists are humans too, they are our enemies. To confront enemies, I think we must use the appropriate method for the given situation.

    Your situation, does not seem to require violence, nor mine at this moment. The best things we can do are within the peaceful means, aggregate, spread propaganda, question authority in minor ways, read(!!!!!!!) and whatever else! But we should not invalidate an action towards anarchy because of it's means. Those who fight for the state have resigned their humanity for the badge and pension plan.
     
  13. SmokeyJoe

    SmokeyJoeExperienced Member Experienced member


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    Jan 17, 2016
     
    Yeah, sorry if I lost my cool a bit there. Comes with living in a town where 'probable cause' means "two cops walk into a bar, hose down the whole place with pepper spray, taze the piss out of some poor bastard, and then charge him with public intoxication and resisting arrest." You could make a mad lib out of that sentence and you'd have half the local headlines for the past 15+ years.

    "[Number] Cops [walk/drive] to [location], [ridiculously violent unprovoked assault], and charge [victim(s)] with resisting arrest."

    The police have been convinced I was a criminal since I was in grade school, and that's all the grounds they need to violate someone's civil rights. Doesn't matter that I've never been arrested or charged with a crime even once. For fuck's sake, I don't even jaywalk--mainly because I know the cops are just waiting for an excuse to drag my ass off the street so my presence won't upset the tourists or the rich people any more.

    As for the other thing, dehumanizing a group of people is a proven path to atrocities. Statists may be our enemies, but A) you don't confront an enemy with vastly superior numbers and resources head on if you plan on winning, and B) they're still just a product of their education. (aka: brainwashing) We're lucky enough that our programming broke or didn't fully take. Very few statist enforcers--even violently racist cops--made a conscious choice to be the bad guys. Most of them honestly think they're doing the right thing, so it's our responsibility to show them otherwise--the way someone or some circumstance showed us--rather than doing the same things we condemn them for.

    If nothing else, at least we agree on the value of reading and educating oneself. I encourage you to read up on anarchy and the nature of the state and think about what the anarchist philosophy actually means and the logical consequences of taking that position.
     
  14. punkmar77

    punkmar77Administrator Staff Member Admin Team Experienced member


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    Definition according to who?, Oxford? Harvard? La Academia Real de España? Now I'm gonna get pissed and tell you whats up. You don't get to come on here and speak down to people by telling them they should study what "true" anarchism is. The reality of the matter is that both pacifism and armed struggle are valid expressions of anarchist theory and practice. Are you going to tell the women in Rojava that they should let the combined oppressive forces of Daesh, the Turkish State, the Syrian State, The Russian State, the Iraqi State, not to mention the United States, just murder them at will without taking up arms in self defense? No, I'm sorry, but if you can't refrain from preaching your first world western perspective as the sole true way of anarchism, then maybe you should go.
     
  15. nodogs_nomasters

    nodogs_nomastersExperienced Member Experienced member


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    Fuck yeah, comrade. A dear friend of mine recently came back from fighting alongside the anarchist Kurds in Syria for quite a few months, and I couldn't respect his courage more if I tried. Peaceful protest has its time and its place. In an ideal world, it would be the only kind of protest necessary. But sometimes, armed resistance is necessary. Both can be equally legitimate.
     
  16. Vulture

    VultureExperienced Member Experienced member


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    (smiles)
    Still, I think we all have gone through, or are repressing currently a sense that one way is better. Perhaps this is a product of isolation. I know I thought violence was the only answer for quite a while.
     
  17. SmokeyJoe

    SmokeyJoeExperienced Member Experienced member


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    Absolutely not. You do what you've got to do to survive. But that doesn't mean that everything you do automatically lines up with your chosen ideals. Everybody makes compromises, some more than others.

    When I accept stolen money from the government in the form of a disability check, I am not acting in accordance with anarchist philosophy. When I participate in an economy that helps fund drones that blow up children, that is absolutely not an expression of anarchy--it's just a compromise I've made to try and live another day. And when a freedom fighter decides to use acts of violence to force societal change--to assert their will and desires on other people with bullets and bombs--that too is a compromise.

    I'm not saying people who have made that decision are right or wrong. I'm not sure binary concepts like right and wrong can even apply in those kinds of situations. What I am saying is that using violence to assert your will over others is not an anarchist act. You can tell me that it's right. You can tell me that it's justified. You can tell me that it's necessary. Those are all personal opinions and I have no cause to say mine is any more valid than somebody else's. But tell me that up is down, white is black, and tyranny is freedom, and I will tell you that you are incorrect.

    If you expand the definition of anarchy to include anything ever done by someone claiming to be an anarchist, you strip the word of meaning and render it useless as a political philosophy. The definition of anarchy is baked right into the word: Anarchos = "Without Rulers." I'm sure you know that. So when I say that bombings and assassinations are not a valid expression of anarchism, that's not me stating my opinion as a pacifist--that's me pointing out that trying to rule people through violence and intimidation is the exact fucking opposite of anarchy.

    You accuse me of speaking down to people and pushing my personal views as the one true definition--so you're going to get mad, speak down to me, and tell me what real true anarchism is? You call yourself an anarchist while dictating what other people "get" to do, rather than telling them what you think they should do? Do you not see the contradictions here?

    Look, we're both acting like self-righteous idiots. The difference is that I'm basing my argument on logic and facts, while you're basing yours on an emotional attachment to the cause and the people fighting for it. If I wanted to be an asshole I might call it blind patriotism. I don't mean that to sting, I mean it to wake your ass up to the way you are acting because I care about this movement and am fucking tired of seeing it turned into just another flag to salute and kill for without question or understanding. Anarchy is not a nation. It is a political philosophy, and if we don't acknowledge when our actions stray from that philosophy we risk becoming just another group of jack-booted thugs kicking the shit out of people who don't do what we want.

    Fuck that.
     
  18. Vulture

    VultureExperienced Member Experienced member


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    It isn't so much about ruling, but eliminating by death. To rule a dead man is but to play with his limbs, you see. Anarchy means no master. Nothing more! So we are all correct, beyond that is personal preference of life style. This leaves a great ambiguity to the term. Here's to personal freedom!

    We anarchists are generally more socially aware than the sheeple, so we pick up on things, some more important to each individual than others. That's when we hyphenate! This is not a sign of division, as we are all anarchists. There are anarcha-feminists, anaracho-syndicalists, anarcho-pacifists, militant-anarchists and on and on. I fuse revolutionary nihilism and anarchy. These confine the definition a bit, but we chose to subscribe to them and leave as we see fit. Perhaps within the subgroups these conversations may come with a correct answer on one person's part and an incorrect one on the other's. But here it's a matter of personal expression and respect for the inherent ambiguity of anarchy.

    (Still, it takes us all years to eliminate the last trace bits of the system from our minds. We may think we hold an opinion out of choice, but it is but an unrecognized conglomeration of the system's brain-washing and anarchist readings. To those who are obviously still in development, it is best not to be arrogant around, for in one way or another, we are all fighting or repressing the same things to differing degrees.)
     
  19. SmokeyJoe

    SmokeyJoeExperienced Member Experienced member


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    People generally don't want to die. Forcing them to do so anyway sounds like domination to me--however brief. And control can also mean restricting someone's actions, rather than making them to do something against their will. Being dead is about as restrictive as it gets. Then there's the fact that many times when violence is employed for political reasons the goal isn't just to kill a certain person or group, but also to coerce others into doing what you want.

    At any rate, you're definitely right about it being damn near impossible to scour all that social programming out. For example, you may have noticed I have a really hard time backing down from confrontations despite subscribing to a very pacifist/avoidance-based outlook. :lmao:

    Old habits die hard I guess, even though I really do believe it's better to avoid conflict whenever possible. That's not to say I advocate doing nothing and letting people steamroll over you. I just think it's usually more effective to educate, subvert, undermine, and outlast your opponent than get into a slugging match with them. Of course, that's assuming you can figure out a way to do so. I admit a passive, indirect approach may not always be an option.

    Still, direct conflicts rarely change minds or settle an issue permanently. If anything they usually lead to more fighting down the line, and cause a lot of harm along the way.

    At any rate, sorry for keeping this argument going for so long, I probably should have walked away from it about a dozen posts back. It's just really hard for me to disengage sometimes, even when I know that I should.
     
  20. Vulture

    VultureExperienced Member Experienced member


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    Well, I think you brought up a couple good points. I didn't see it as an argument, but rather a debate (more amiable), although punkmar77 may have thought differently. Cheers and don't be so set in your ways, old man :lmao: try to open up a bit to others' ideas. Cheers.
     
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