Volatility

August 23, 2011

Democracy Truths (Stuff Which Can Never Be Said Enough)

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1. The call for true economic democracy is often depicted as a call for utopian selflessness and altruism. We’d all have to be saints, and human beings even at their best sure ain’t saints, ergo anarchism can’t work.
 
But the truth is the opposite. Democracy doesn’t call upon people to be pure altruists. On the contrary, among all economic philosophies only anarchism makes a healthy appeal to self-interest as well as community. It’s economic democracy which says: You do all the work, and you know that you and your fellow workers can run things better than the elites. So shouldn’t you have complete self-management of the economy, including full disposal of 100% of the produce on a democratic basis?
 
Whatever the argument counter to that would be, it sure wouldn’t be an appeal to the workers’ self-interest. On the contrary, it’s capitalism, economic elitism, which calls upon the workers to be saints of self-sacrifice, willing to toil under ever-worse conditions while an ever-growing portion of what they produce is taken from them. “Capitalism and egoism for me, anarchism and altruism for you.” In today’s intensified form, “austerity” and the politicians’ call to “self-sacrifice” means nothing but, “Austerity and sacrifice for you, robbery and luxury for me.”
 
Without the entrenched power of capitalism to give it a fraudulent patina of inevitability, who would ever consider it more plausible, tenable, or pragmatic than economic democracy? Who, having to choose and then roll the dice to decide one’s own position in the hierarchy, would ever choose capitalism over anarchism?
 
That capitalism and economic elitism have any public support at all is more path dependency and ideological sunk costs than anything else. (Reformism wants to further entrench this dependency.)
 
2. Isn’t it weird that even after such complete proof has piled up, people still buy into the notion that we should be ruled by political elites, politicians? Here too, we know that we can rule ourselves better than any elite can, while to allow anyone to have power over us only leads to our harm and eventual destruction. Power naturally tends toward tyranny. The first stage of the American Revolution taught that the only way to preserve liberty was for the citizens to maintain a bottom-up vigilance toward concentrated power. As we know, this vigilance was disparaged and misdirected almost immediately upon the colonial elites’ acceding to power.
 
Today we know that the only way to maintain this vigilance is to prevent power from concentrating in the first place. Nothing but narrow authority, consultative only, subject to recall, should ever be federated upward.
 
We also know that power concentrations serve no constructive purpose, but only seek to aggrandize and enrich themselves.
 
The call for true democracy is often depicted as “impractical”. But what could be less practical than continuing with the status quo? And what could be more practical than liberating ourselves from the cause and/or aggravator of all our problems, the driver of the entire world crisis?
 
So since political elites are worthless, destructive, and congenitally tyrannical, why should we tolerate them at all, let alone empower them? We should make a clean sweep and declare our movement to be anti-politician as such. This should be one of our first self-identifications in most contexts.
 
Again, who that has any sense of self-interest would still support politicians of any sort, other than out of a weary sense that there’s no alternative?
 
We see the universal pattern here – just as neither Republicans nor Democrats even try to argue their own worth, but only the greater wickedness of the other, so the status quo has no argument on its own behalf other than its current power, which it tries to depict as a law of nature, or at any rate as something entrenched beyond the possibility of dislodging.
 
But the truth is that we the people can dislodge these criminals at will. We just have to build the will. Our ideas are the right ones, morally and practically. We can triumph with them. The only question still unanswered is whether our practice will be good enough.
 
3. The people are inherently sovereign. The notion that any elite should extract our political sovereignty, use it for their own benefit, and then at best trickle some of it back down upon us, should be abhorrent to any human being. I for one will never accept anything short of 100% self-rule.
 
At long last, shouldn’t we have faith in humanity? After thousands of years of experience, and the full experience of modernity, to still believe the people aren’t capable of ruling themselves, politically and morally, betrays a profound misanthropy. If not now, when?
 
This gives the lie to the self-proclaimed “progressives”. It reveals their very name to be a lie. How could it be possible to believe in progress, yet still think we’re not capable of ruling ourselves? To still think that, as unanimously atrocious as the record of elites is, that’s still the best we can do? On the contrary, this reveals the elemental conservatism of liberals/progressives. Liberalism is simply another version of conservatism. It’s just as pessimistic, just as cynical, just as elitist.
 
Is this too mostly path dependency? Among the “progressives”, I think not. They constantly demonstrate that they intellectually recognize the nature of kleptocracy. It seems that their congenital hankering after “better elites” (and even “better Democrats”, in spite of how often they blather about having finished with the Dems once and for all) is simply an emotional character flaw. They’re simply incapable of renouncing faith in elites and taking responsibility for themselves. Ironically, progressives may be the only group which is incapable of self-rule.
 
But anywhere else, in all other contexts, humanism can have only one principle and one imperative. If humanity is a concept with any content, then it has to mean we’re ready to rule ourselves without the “guidance” (but of course really the predation and parasitism) of elites.
 
The call for true democracy is sometimes called “childish”. But what could possibly be more childish than today’s unreconstructed elitism? To still believe we need “adults” to rule over us is to remain morbidly childish. To still want elites is to have the mind of a child. It’s clinically retarded. And it betrays a radical irresponsibility, which in turn justifies the elites who want to deny our rights.
 
Rights have meaning and legitimacy only where founded upon responsibility. But no one who still wants to abdicate our sovereignty, our human birthright and the very thing that makes us human, can make any claim to responsibility at all. And this in turn renders his claim to have “rights” nonsensical.
 
This is also part of the fundamental fraud of representative false democracy. It’s a contradiction in terms to build a system of civil (let alone human) rights upon a structure of political abdication and irresponsibility, which is the essence of “representation”. We see now how this was really a roundabout way of getting us to surrender both our sovereignty and our rights. In the corporatist kleptocracy, whatever rights still exist in name, their reality is rapidly approaching the vanishing point. Once again we see the fundamental truth – he who would give up his freedom for security or hedonism will end up with neither. Every variation on this distills to: A people which gives up its sovereignty for irresponsibility will end up with slavery.
 
The call to democracy is the call to responsibility, and therefore it’s the call to redeem our rights. It’s the call to what’s practical as well as the call to aspiration. It’s the call to what’s best for oneself and one’s family as well as to what’s best for the community. The democratic movement is by now synonymous with humanism itself. It’s no longer possible to believe in humanity but still support elitism. These are antithetical. Elitism itself implicitly concedes this by no longer trying to justify itself on the merits. It can rely only on force, and in the end on the lassitude of the masses. In the end, elitism can exist only if it’s correct after all, that humanity really doesn’t exist at all.
 
The great goal of the democratic movement is, negatively, to prove this wrong and overcome this anti-human excrescence. Affirmatively, our goal is to take humanity’s full potential, as finally gathered by the forces of modernity, and render it kinetic in the form of democratic society, which means nothing more or less than full democratic participation in our economies and polities. Thus we shall finally build, not a utopia, but a deeply human society. 
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30 Comments

  1. How?

    Comment by Lifeonmars — August 23, 2011 @ 10:27 am

  2. And all the highest honours are available to those who bravely seek to renew the quest to construct a society conducive to that which is most primary to the human spirit. For all those who know what it means to never surrender…onward!

    Loving the writing Russ, and I’m happy to hear your local farming is going well,

    Comment by Strieb Roman — August 23, 2011 @ 3:42 pm

    • Thanks Streib.

      Comment by Russ — August 23, 2011 @ 4:05 pm

  3. Hi Russ. In this passage- “Nothing but narrow authority, consultative only,” what does “consultative authority” mean, practically? I assume it’s something like, a delegate of a federated group has authority only to act upon an agenda laid out in consultation with with the group as a whole, but I’m not sure what you meant by it.

    Comment by paper mac — August 23, 2011 @ 5:24 pm

    • Sorry about that. I was meaning to go back and clarify that phrase but forgot. Yes, I meant that the delegate has authority only insofar as he has a specific mandate, and that otherwise he’s really more of a consultant who participates in confederate deliberations and then reports back to the assembly which delegated him, perhaps makes a recommendation, but the assembly makes the decision democratically.

      Somebody gave me a copy of Adbusters, which I’d heard of but never read. It was uneven, and I didn’t really care for much of it, but one of the interesting pieces was by Graeber (identified as “an anarchist direct action activist”), writing about the insanity of capitalism and the inevitable catastrophes it will bring. (He also says something similar to what I said in this piece, that’s it’s mostly fear which keeps people, including “progressives” (he uses the same ironic quote marks), adhering to capitalism.)

      Here’s a link.

      http://www.adbusters.org/magazine/97/capitalism-eating-itself.html

      It says the piece is adapted from the debt book.

      Comment by Russ — August 23, 2011 @ 5:47 pm

      • Yep, that makes sense, and I agree that’s the best way to organise things. Delegates as scouts, reporters, and messengers.

        That’s from the final chapter, I think. It’s interesting to see how people relate to Graeber- no mention in Adbusters of the fact that he’s a PhD anthropologist and faculty member at U of London, in the WSJ there’s no mention of his anarchist activities. Come to think of it, Graeber’s got to be the only author around who had extracts from his book published in both the WSJ and Adbusters at the same time..

        As for Adbusters itself, I’ve flipped through it a couple of times over the years, but didn’t get much out of it. The written pieces are too short to be substantiative, and the culture jamming stuff isn’t really up my alley. I mean, I’m all for defacing ads and so on, but if that’s the whole program, it doesn’t really hold my attention. If it introduces younger people to ideas like Graeber’s, though, it has it’s place in the ecosystem for sure.

        Comment by paper mac — August 23, 2011 @ 11:16 pm

      • “How people relate to Graeber” – I would’ve thought it’s at least as much as how he presents himself. You said his book doesn’t make it clear where he stands, for example. (I hope that doesn’t sound like nitpicking. For obvious reasons, I’m leery of any phraseology which plays into the notion that public figures can be passive recipients of the expectations of others.)

        As for Adbusters, I looked at the cover and saw the slogan “Post-Anarchist Politics” and said to myself “What the fuck does ‘post-anarchist’ mean? I bet it has no meaning at all, except that they’re not anarchists, but are too cool to see themselves as liberals.” So I already had my radical chic liberal-alert antennae up. The pieces in the first half didn’t reassure me. The subject of the issue is narcissism, but several of these pieces seemed pretty narcissistic themselves. I wondered if there was some element of parody that was going over my head. For good measure, there was also some of the good ole Obama-means-well-but-is-weak Big Lie.

        But then the latter part had some good stuff.

        Comment by Russ — August 24, 2011 @ 2:31 am

      • Yeah, you’re probably right that it’s Graeber’s self-presentation driving those blurbs. It’s clear where Graeber stands in the book, he talks in the intro about his involvement in the global justice movement, anarchist politics, anti-WTO activities etc. And it’s clear from his other material what his preferred future looks like, he’s very obviously a social anarchist. The ambiguity was just in how he sees things panning out, and what he thinks the way forward is, but as we discussed, sometimes it’s better not to be prescriptive.

        “Post-anarchist”- this is supposed to mean post-structural anarchism, not really post-anarchism. I think this means you throw in the occasional approving quote of Deleuze and Guattari alongside your Proudhon and Bookchin. These kinds of labels strike me as basically pretty silly although I guess it’s good to go back and try to criticise some of the structuralist/modernist ideas in older anarchist thinkers. You might be interested in this “post-anarchist”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_Call, he seems to have an interest in Nietzsche as well, although I don’t know how well developed his thinking is.

        Comment by paper mac — August 24, 2011 @ 2:39 pm

      • Yes, and that’s a good thing. To whatever extent we can nominally define ourselves, that’s what we need to do.

        You again have a more detailed knowledge of technical terminology. ;)

        I have a Deleuze book on Nietzsche but haven’t read it yet. (I have a small pile of N analyses but have only read two so far, Kaufmann’s and David Owen’s attempt to extract a kind of competitive-democratic political philosophy from him. I should reread that one, since I read it years ago, before I came to my own final conclusions about all this.)

        Thanks for the link. I’m always interested to see what people are doing with N’s thought. (Although I also wonder how useful it is to try to adapt it, the way I’ve been doing. Probably not very. But nevertheless I have at least one more thing to do there, regarding N’s morality of mores.)

        Comment by Russ — August 25, 2011 @ 6:32 am

      • Surfing wikipedia from the Call link I found this

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchism_and_Friedrich_Nietzsche

        Although I knew anarchists had sometimes been interested in Nietzsche, I hadn’t known before how common the idea was.

        Comment by Russ — August 25, 2011 @ 1:29 pm

      • Thanks for that link, that’s interesting stuff. I haven’t read much of Deleuze or really any of the post-structuralists because the occasional time I’ve tried to engage with their work, I’ve found it deliberately obtuse to the point where I felt like my time was being wasted. Although I’m interested in some theoretical work (particularly more practical anarchist stuff), I’m kind of a theory philistine, I guess.

        Comment by paper mac — August 25, 2011 @ 11:22 pm

      • Your link led me (by 2 or 3 degrees of separation) to that link.

        I hope the Deleuze book on N isn’t like that, or I won’t be able to read it (and how contrary to the spirit of Nietzsche such a book would be; N who eschewed almost all technical jargon). But I skimmed it before buying it, and as I recall it didn’t look that way.

        Comment by Russ — August 26, 2011 @ 2:05 am

      • Hey Russ, I came across your blog about a month ago and have read a few of your pieces. This post about democracy and the above discussion of “theory” and “postanarchism” prompts me to point you toward two texts. The first is what I find to be a rather convincing critique of traditional “classical” anarchism in favor of anarchism informed by the poststructuralists. It is well worth a read. After you read that, I believe this second writing might do a good job filling out your new picture of anarchism. (I don’t recommend this stuff lightly.)

        The anarchist spirit is a good force, but you have to admit that there’s a lot of room between that spirit and how to go about describing what that spirit REALLY rejects and looks toward. Maybe “humanism” is an idol? Maybe “democracy” a fiction?

        http://libres.uncg.edu/ir/asu/f/koch_andrew_1993_Poststructuralism.pdf

        http://theanarchistlibrary.org/HTML/Jesse_Cohn_and_Shawn_Wilbur__What_s_Wrong_With_Postanarchism_.html

        Comment by walt58 — August 27, 2011 @ 11:20 am

      • OK, Walt. I’ll check those out, thanks.

        Comment by Russ — August 27, 2011 @ 12:17 pm

  4. Another comment rudely rejected by Naked Capitalism, which I’ll post here since it’s directly on topic.

    It’s a reply to what’s evidently a “progressive”:

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/08/bryce-covert-recession-has-lit-the-fuse-on-explosive-student-debt.html


    Progressive labels with right wing economic thought.

    The sad part is that I had to read through the multiple right wing comments above just to get to someone who actually is progressive on education.

    I am sure many here think they are on the left. They spout right wing dogma without even realizing they are doing it. Thank God someone gets it. The problem is that education cost too much. Not that people shouldn’t get an education.

    You try to rebutt a comment about the public good with an argument about the “free market”?let me ask you- do you consider yourself a left leaning or progressive person? Better question: Why is it that other countries have a cheap or free college education system? Those might be questions you want to consider while endorsing the right wing arguments.

    Another unreconstructed elitist statist corporate liberal who has failed to notice the evidence of history.

    (And with atrocious reading comprehension. I’m agreeing with the comment, as would be obvious to anyone not trapped in a tiny mental/terminological box. More on that below.)

    Yes, I’m sure you never met a corporate toll booth you don’t like, as long as it can be dressed up in fraudulent “progressive” disguise.

    To give another true free market example, I suppose you support the command economy of food commodification with its attendant stagflation and artifically generated mass hunger, as long as it’s slathered in the rancid propaganda of terms like “Green Revolution” and “Food Safety”, and never mind that food production and distribution naturally exist at the local and regional levels, and cannot be commodified beyond those levels except via massive corporate welfare.

    (I, unlike you, don’t want “markets” at all, and my point is that they could never exist if they had to bootstrap themselves the way their own propaganda claims, rather than rely 100% on the corporate form, corporate “rights”, corporate welfare, government thuggery, and every other way in which government itself sets up the corporate command economy.)

    And I’ll let you in on a secret: The terms you use are obsolete and fraudulent. The only meaningful spectrum today runs:

    Democracy vs. elitism.

    Democracy vs. corporatism (that is, the state-corporate nexus, AKA fascism in its economic aspect. What you’re supporting here).

    Citizen vs. corporation.

    Citizen vs. parasite.

    As for what’s really progressive, tell me this. I believe humanity can run its own affairs and rule itself. That includes the fullest efflorescence of humanist education.

    You, on the other hand, see only a benighted mass which must have enlightenment trickled down upon it from on high, for example from educational elitism epitomized by the corporatized universities.

    I’d say I’m the true progressive, while you’re just another version of timid, cringing, misanthropic conservatism.

    Comment by Russ — August 25, 2011 @ 11:23 am

    • I posted a comment on the student loan subject at NakedCapitalism. It hadn’t been deleted the last time I checked. Yesterday there was a segment on Minnesota Public Radio with three guests, including Robert Kuttner, talking about the destruction of the Middle Class (see link and blurb at bottom).
      I called in and stated that the confluence of oligarchy, globalism (outsourcing all our jobs), and peak oil meant that there was no hope for the middle class. I said hi to Kuttner, since he at least has a clue, even if he believes in reform. I asked him how there could be any hope or change here.
      “Politics,” he stated. Political action.
      The scum from the Heritage Foundation expressed concern populist rhetoric and ideas, stating that we must avoid that to create middle class jobs.
      Nobody touched the peak oil comment.

      http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2011/08/24/midmorning1/

      Blurb:
      The recession has forced the middle class into day-by-day living instead of building grand visions for the future. As political debate centers on taxing the rich versus cutting spending, how can the middle class reclaim its ground?
      Guests

      Don Peck: Features Editor at The Atlantic and author of “Pinched: How the Great Recession Has Narrowed Our Futures and What We Can Do About It”
      Robert Kuttner: Co-founder of The American Prospect and the Economic Policy Institute and author of “Obama’s Challenge: America’s Economic Crisis and the Power of a Transformative Presidency”
      Bill Beach: Director of The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis

      Comment by Publius — August 25, 2011 @ 12:43 pm

      • I didn’t mean that I had a comment up which was censored, or that I think Yves engages in censorship. Their comment submission system is just screwed up and sometimes, seemingly at random, sticks a comment in moderation or rejects it completely.

        “Politics,” he stated.

        “Plastics.”

        The scum from the Heritage Foundation expressed concern populist rhetoric and ideas, stating that we must avoid that to create middle class jobs.

        Orwellian misdirection again. And it does seem that our technocrat betters are becoming worried. There seem to be more and more out-of-the-blue (and intentionally slanderous) attacks on anarchism lately, like in Juan Cole’s recent tantrum.

        Meanwhile the Heritage Foundation has expanded its appeal in recent years, since “progressives” like my new NC friend are such fans of its policy proposals.

        http://attempter.wordpress.com/2010/11/13/obamaromneycare-reform-vs-the-people/


        We knew this as common sense. But if there were any doubt, all we had to do was look at the genesis of this idea that profiteering “insurers” would cover everyone in return for a mandate that everyone buy their Stamp. (Always remember, “cover” and extract premiums does not mean pay for treatment. Under a cover everyone/mandate regime the goal remains the same as always – extract the premium, sell the Stamp, but minimize payouts.)

        This idea was first developed under Nixon. It floated around until a version authored by the Heritage Foundation and championed by Republican senator John Chafee was offered as an alternative to Hillarycare in 1993. Romneycare in Massachusetts is based upon this Heritage plan. And Obamacare in turn is an extension of Romneycare.

        Comment by Russ — August 25, 2011 @ 1:20 pm

    • Yet another rejected comment from the same thread. I’m getting sick of it.

      Replying to a stupid liberal technocrat type whose elitism is exceeded only by her evident ignorance of even the most basic facts of current events

      http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/08/bryce-covert-recession-has-lit-the-fuse-on-explosive-student-debt.html#comment-452111

      It’s odd that a Naked Capitalism reader seems so unaware of what’s happening in Europe.

      Just in case you’re really as ignorant as you sound, you might want to search Naked Capitalism for the term “austerity”. It might clue you in on the vectors of kleptocracy, including what it means for your liberal statist view of centralized “education”.

      And how unsurprising to see you wanting to double down on taxation, which is 100% regressive under kleptocracy. Yes, you’re not too much of an enemy of human beings who actually work.

      (“Not enough tax dollars to cover the infrastructure”? You don’t even understand the most elementary aspects of the money you worship. Go to this blog called Naked Capitalism and search for a thing called “MMT”. That too might possibly give you a clue. Although you did say above you don’t want to read stuff which counters your liberal fundamentalism.)

      Comment by Russ — August 26, 2011 @ 3:31 am

      • “Yet another rejected comment from the same thread. I’m getting sick of it.”

        Why do you care? Why don’t you just stop posting there? No one’s forcing you to post at NC. You and the other six or so people who post here seem to have a good conversation going on all by yourselves… why drag the Naked Capitalism folks into it? Are you just looking for traffic to your own site? But, I must note that your ability to post first such a large percentage of the time at NC is… well… bizarre.

        Comment by karen — August 29, 2011 @ 3:19 pm

      • Well, if you knew anything about Naked Capitalism you’d know that most of the posts appear in the early AM eastern time, which happens to be when I’m most active online. So far from being bizarre, it’s simple probability that I’d often be the first commenter.

        And if you were any kind of regular reader at NC, you’d know that when the subject of the quality of NC commenters comes up (which is common enough, since we’re often called among the best on the Internet), and anyone lists their favorites by name, mine is one of the names most commonly listed.

        So evidently not many people agree with your dislike, and god knows I couldn’t care less. But it is amusing that you came here to attack me and even admit you’re just a troll.

        Meanwhile, I won’t bother asking what you thought of this post, since you probably didn’t read it and must have found it incomprehensible if you did, since it’s about democracy and humanism.

        Comment by Russ — August 29, 2011 @ 3:57 pm

      • It’s simple probability that you might be early in *reading* most of NC’s posts given when they appear… but *commenting* so often, so early is… bizarre. But, then again, I admittedly only very occasionally post on internet sites. It falls too far down on the list of things I like or need to do. To each their own.

        If you’re comments at NC are so popular… why doesn’t this translate to more commenters at this site? A quick glance suggests to me that almost half of the posts are your own responses to a small handful of people that aren’t you. Perhaps the 99.8% of humanity that you constantly deride as being part of the Oppressive Corporatist State simply aren’t interested in your Brilliant Observations.

        You’re right, it is amusing that I came here to cast aspersions on your Very Important Website – I enjoy amusing myself. Who doesn’t?

        And, yes, I read your post. And I thought several things, among them, brevity is a virtue (you don’t possess), and you are very impressed with yourself. I’m confident you’ll eventually reach your goal of one day being confused with being someone of importance.

        Now, rush back to your second-favorite hobby as a commenter at NC so that you can attempt to direct more traffic to your principal hobby… here.

        Toodles.

        Comment by karen — August 29, 2011 @ 7:51 pm

      • You certainly seem interested in becoming “traffic”. If this blog is a “hobby”, at least it’s my blog. How pathetic must one be whose hobby is to go to someone else’s blog to whine about it?

        You’re right, one of the reasons I comment elsewhere is to get alternative, suppressed ideas out there. I can well imagine how odious that is to system clods like you (I think I remember you now, BTW) to whom there are proper limits to dissent, well within the bounds of what our Betters tell us we’re allowed. That is your literally subhuman (because no human being would accept it) position, right?

        And just who, praytell, would you say epitomizes brevity? (If you’re the person I recall, you ran away when I asked you to tell me who your Leaders are. Shame, evidently, and rightly so.)

        (Also, how typical of someone like you that the fact that I have conversations with commenters here is in your eyes a demerit. Yep, your terminal elitism also expects the blogger to dispense, the commenters to receive, with the blogger deigning to descend to reply now and then, as a gift from the heavens, right?)

        Comment by Russ — August 30, 2011 @ 4:58 am

      • Regarding your little detractor below (Karen), don’t worry about her type too much. I’m sure you don’t.
        I can see how some insecure types might see you as seeming “self-important,’ because you make statements and exchange ideas in a firm, assertive, and non-neutral manner.That is, you are taking sides, and don’t apologize for it. Good for you.My sense is that you aren’t the “self-important” narcissist that Karen is trying to paint you as. You genuinely care about the fate of those whom the system would let fall through the cracks and die/starve/get sick, as well as the people that the system treats as fatted lambs to be slaughtered.
        Keep up the good work.

        Comment by Publius — August 30, 2011 @ 10:33 am

      • Thanks publius. No, I don’t care. If this is the same Karen I remember, she was outraged that:

        1. I said we should renounce faith in all Leaders.

        2. That a peasant was presuming to get so uppity at all.

        These comments sure have the same whiny liberal pseudo-elitist get-to-the-back-of-the-bus tone. The same “Who are you to say such-and-such!?” “How DARE you presume!”

        Sorry pigs. I do presume.

        Comment by Russ — August 30, 2011 @ 11:41 am

      • My very occasional posting on the internet – here or elsewhere – is so infrequent that it doesn’t even merit “hobby” status, so while it may be a pathetic activity in your eyes… it’s surely no hobby. Although, admittedly, it does occasionally keep me entertained. Maintaining this entire website as you do, with all it entails, however… that’s quite a hobby. And in your case, a grandiose one at that!

        Yes, yes… everyone but you and your merry band of Right-Thinking Anarchists is Subhuman. So, that’s 99%+ of us. If the alternative to buying into your weltanschauung is a Subhuman Existence, then I proudly proclaim myself Subhuman! Long live the Subhumans! (As an aside, name-calling rarely strengthens one’s argument – but I do enjoy your descriptive prose.)

        The fact that you have conversations with commenters here is no demerit – that’s called a strawman argument (well done!). My observation was merely that given all the work you put into directing traffic here from NC, it’s certainly not showing up in the comments section (that is, commenters who are not you).

        The whole “leaders” bit you referenced… I have no idea what you’re talking about here. I think you’re confusing me with someone else. I think I’ve posted here a couple of times before and it’s been so long ago that I can’t even remember when it was. I just came back recently because I saw one of your advertisement/posts at NC and thought, “Is this guy still at it?” And, indeed, you are. That you think you can remember a particular poster speaks volumes to the (small) number of posters you actually have. All of which is fine, of course. The quality of a website should not be defined by the number of folks who follow it. But clearly in your case, with your obvious desire to philosophically lead the World Revolution against the Subhumans, you’re going to need a bit more traffic to make a dent.

        So, keep up the presuming, Attempter! I remain… entertained. Signed, Subhuman/Pig (oink!)

        Comment by karen — August 30, 2011 @ 1:09 pm

  5. I’ve been fantasizing about what kind of strategy could break the Democrat/Republican stranglehold. I think that a No Vote movement followed up aggressively with a Relocalization/Decentralization “mission statement” that concretely defines the demands for positive democracy.

    I think the Tea Party failed by rushing out headlong with it’s populist anger, while having no clearly defined platform once so ever. There WAS a real Tea Party in the beginning but they were aggressively co-opted by Republican operatives.

    Any movement “manifesto” has to be so distinct and well defined that co-opting it’s message would be simply impossible.

    Anyway, ruminating. I have no intention to vote in 2012 and I’m sure many people feel the same way. Or, they recognize their vote is no-change and worthless. Organizing the spirit of dissent around an abstention from American “democracy” would be an extremely powerful message of defiance.

    Comment by Ross — August 25, 2011 @ 1:36 pm

    • A general manifesto has to be explicitly and specifically anti-corporate and anti-globalization. It must also be anti-centralized government, and be explicit about how corporations are purely artificial extensions of the government. It has to explicitly condemn all actual organized Parties, and at least implicitly reject representative false democracy as such. It may be more vague about the affirmative goal.

      A more specific relocalization manifesto will be explicit with respect to all these and to its affirmative positive democratic program.

      Organizing the spirit of dissent around an abstention from American “democracy” would be an extremely powerful message of defiance.

      I agree that an assertive No Vote (as in, the election is a plebiscite on false democracy as such, and abstention = No to the system, period) can be powerful if enough people adhere to it. That means moving people along from “apathy” to this assertive consciousness.

      (The alleged qualitative distinction between the actively rejectionist non-voter and the allegedly lazy, apathetic one is question-begging at best, and in fact false. Why apathy if the representative system were worthy of enthusiasm? No, the apathy is merely a preconscious form of the active rejection. Here it’s simply a matter of consciousness-building.)

      I’d like to place this within a specified list (part of the manifesto, perhaps) of actions, both affirmative and negative. Affirmative ones include various Salt Marches, including ones not yet illegal. Negative ones can be anything from abstention from voting to principled evasion of (or public refusal to pay) the health racket Stamp mandate.

      Comment by Russ — August 25, 2011 @ 3:05 pm

    • I think the Tea Party failed by rushing out headlong with it’s populist anger, while having no clearly defined platform once so ever. There WAS a real Tea Party in the beginning but they were aggressively co-opted by Republican operatives.

      I don’t agree, Ross. I remember watching Rick Santelli live on MSNBC when he made his famous rant about having a “tea party.” A couple of days later, it came out that a well-known Republican operative had months before registered several “tea party” domain names, including the one that ultimately was used to organize some of the earliest “tea party” events. There was never a real “Tea Party,” there were a bunch of real folks duped by propaganda from the get-go.

      The “Tea Party” didn’t fail. It succeeded spectacularly.

      Comment by Tao Jonesing — August 25, 2011 @ 9:43 pm

      • That’s the way I recall hearing of it, and I think for all intents and purposes that’s really what it was.

        I’ve heard the story that it was obscurely getting started back in 08 before being co-opted. But if it was so effortlessly co-opted (as effortlessly as Obama’s grassroots organization), then how much indigenous vitality could it ever have had?

        Comment by Russ — August 26, 2011 @ 2:03 am


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