December 4, 2011

This Is An Abolition Movement


The original movement fought to abolish slavery. The new movement also fights to abolish slavery.
For example, in spite of all the anguish and turmoil over what the Occupy “demands” should be (most of this being trumped up by aspiring hijackers of the Occupations), the basic demand is obvious, given the premises of the protest and the personal reasons that brought out many of the Occupiers.
I’ve already written it: Abolish Debt. Abolish Wall Street.
By this debt I mean all system debt, to banks, to corporations, to central government, to the rich, to the 1% in general. I don’t mean we should be liars and cheats toward one another. On the contrary, that’s how capitalism tells us to behave. Part of abolishing system debt is finding ways to rebuild modes of exchange based on community credit, which was the mode of core economies through tens of thousands of years of humanity’s natural history, and shall be again as soon as we abolish the monster now feeding on us.
By Abolish Wall Street I mean the finance sector as such. It’s proven fact that the banks create nothing which is necessary or desirable, but only steal and destroy real wealth. By now they are embarked upon a full scale war of aggression against the people. Even after we the 99 had trillions stolen from us (by “our” governments) to bail out the banks, they have stepped up their crimes and aggressions. It’s clear that humanity must completely purge this infinitely vicious and incorrigible parasite.
From there several abolition demands follow. To give the two primary examples, we must abolish corporations, and we must abolish system “property”.
On a more specific level, where transformation can temporarily co-exist with the more adventurous and committed branch of reformism, we must abolish GMOs, factory farms, and food commodity speculation. This is a necessary preliminary step toward affirmative food sovereignty, which is in turn necessary for our democratic and physical existence going forward. We must abolish all intellectual property, derivatives, and contracts of adhesion. This means outlawing them by declaring any such contract null and void, unenforceable by society. We can start by being clear in our minds and words that such contracts don’t exist, but are only forcibly imposed by gangsters. The same goes for 1% propertarianism and debt indenture as such.
These abolitions would wipe out the foundation of kleptocracy and the Tower of Babel built upon it.
I wrote these as notes toward clarity on where we must eschew all reformist hemming and hawing and be crystal clear on what’s necessary, what’s the end goal. One can be a reformist or an abolitionist, not both.
I wrote this piece in negative terms, what must be destroyed. I called it an abolition movement. But it’s far more than that. The negative is always a preliminary toward the affirmative: Food sovereignty, relocalization, full positive democracy, economic and political. The final consummation of history’s motion toward justice, morality, freedom, democracy.


  1. Happy holidays Russ and thanks for all the great articles/ideas.
    Being a reformist; abolishment of debt based currency would seem to correct most problems.

    Comment by jwbeene — December 4, 2011 @ 8:42 am

    • Thanks jw, and happy holidays to you.

      By your measure abolishing the command currency counts as reform? Salud!

      Comment by Russ — December 4, 2011 @ 2:42 pm

  2. Here is what Frederick Douglass said about the fight for abolition:
    “This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. In the light of these ideas, Negroes will be hunted at the North, and held and flogged at the South so long as they submit to those devilish outrages, and make no resistance, either moral or physical. Men may not get all they pay for in this world; but they must certainly pay for all they get. If we ever get free from the oppressions and wrongs heaped upon us, we must pay for their removal. We must do this by labor, by suffering, by sacrifice, and if needs be, by our lives and the lives of others. ” Frederick Douglass, 1857

    Comment by Ellen Anderson — December 4, 2011 @ 9:04 am

    • One of my favorite quotes.

      The demand must be, in the end, upon ourselves.

      Comment by Russ — December 4, 2011 @ 2:43 pm

  3. Russ,

    It looks like taking a break from regular posting is working for you. There is a certain clarity in this note that is quite inspiring.

    Comment by Tao Jonesing — December 4, 2011 @ 12:08 pm

    • Thanks Tao. The break’s going nicely.

      Comment by Russ — December 4, 2011 @ 2:44 pm

  4. I thought a mention of the following article (part 5 of 6)
    Tuesday, December 6, 2011
    Journey into a Libertarian Future: Part VI – Certainty
    By Andrew Dittmer, who recently finished his PhD in mathematics at Harvard and is currently continuing work on his thesis topic.


    The postscript to the final exchange between Andrew and CNC brought to mind Russ’s frequent references to writings by Nietzsche:

    ANDREW: Maybe I understand now. But don’t you ever wake up in the middle of the night and wonder if there isn’t as big a difference as you imagine between you and the people you see as human trash? Don’t you ever think that maybe, deep inside, they have the same dignity as you – or worry that in your future libertarian society they will be plunged into a living hell?

    CNC: Look, am I my brother’s keeper?


    Nietzsche… has a description… of the disgust and disdain which consume him at the sight of the common people with their common faces, their common voices, and their common minds. …[T]his attitude is almost beautiful if we may regard it as pathetic… When he makes us feel that he cannot endure the innumerable faces, the incessant voices, the overpowering omnipresence which belongs to the mob, he will have the sympathy of anybody who has ever been sick on a steamer or tired in a crowded omnibus. Every man has hated mankind when he… has had humanity in his eyes like a blinding fog, humanity in his nostrils like a suffocating smell. But when Nietzsche has the incredible lack of humour and lack of imagination to ask us to believe that his aristocracy is an aristocracy of strong muscles or an aristocracy of strong wills, it is necessary to point out the truth. It is an aristocracy of weak nerves.

    G. K. Chesterton, Heretics, p. 185 (published in 1905)

    Comment by William Wilson — December 6, 2011 @ 11:31 am

    • N referred precisely to the (physical) herding the modern state and economic hierarchies force upon us.

      Economic elitist “libertarians”, meaning pro-gangster ideologues, support these coercive hierarchies. If you’re for freedom, you oppose economic coercion, and you oppose “property” and concentrated wealth. You recognize that “property” is a government scam, and that “public” and “private” is a phony divide-and-conquer distinction. You recognize that there’s no distinction other than decentralized power vs. concentrated power. You oppose all concentrated power, period. Everyone knows power, as soon as it concentrates, becomes coercive by its very nature. It does nothing but seek more power. Anyone who denies this, like economic “libertarians” do, is simply a liar.

      Comment by Russ — December 7, 2011 @ 4:46 am

  5. I agree that concentration is the problem. Period. (“mono”) That means not just concentration of power.
    I might say that concentration of “the public good” is the problem too. Big institutions to “protect us for our own good”.
    But, but, but…. the consistent and constant refusal to recognize deep human needs for dependancy in a social context has wreaked havoc on us.
    I agree with Nietzsche’s quote, and sentiment on “common man”, to a great extent. But… HOW TO EXIT THE MASS THINK ?
    Are there DIFFERENT ways of exiting the mass think ? The social solution is to decree that we will abolish and destroy structures that agglutinate us.
    But IF… in the public transport system, we say hello, smile, and chat to at least ONE of the mass, perhaps things will change ? Perhaps the simple act of INDIVIDUALLY smiling, saying hello, and chatting WILL ABOLISH THE MASS ?
    I believe that our ongoing and shifting definitions of freedom have also wreaked havoc on us.
    Can a slave be free ? Freer than a rich man ? Be careful what you answer, because it says a lot about what YOUR definition of liberty is, and we don’t ALL have to have the same definition of liberty, do we ?
    I do not agree with Frederick Douglas, in the above quote. “We must do this by labor, by suffering, by sacrifice,…”
    That quote is a reformulation of the Genesis ideas about FALLEN MAN, from the standpoint of.. FALLEN MAN (Nietzsche would have a lot to say about this, and probably did).
    For more than two thousand years now, we have gone from one alienation to another.
    Fallen man will NEVER be free. IN HIS OWN MIND, the place where freedom is the most important.
    Happy holidays.
    (Over at Econosophy, Toby has stuck down an article on public MASS education, the first MASS PRODUCED COMMODITY, already theorized in the 17th century by a Moravian bishop, Comenius, according to the blueprint of alchemy (which last time I checked, had nothing to do with modern capitalism). There is so much history behind us that we blithely ignore, I fear…)
    Why not abolish.. AS LONG AS WE DON’T CHOP OFF ANY HEADS, I say… Do we have enough individual self restraint for that (talking about collective self restraint is a contradiction in terms) ? Time will tell.

    Comment by Debra — December 10, 2011 @ 9:17 am

    • No one can be free so long as rich and poor (let alone slaves) still exist. Freedom can exist only among peers.

      Comment by Russ — December 10, 2011 @ 12:06 pm

      • I believe that one of the major reasons why social reform is so difficult is because the words “rich” and “poor” are in our vocabulary. We as individuals use them so often that we are walking admen/women for them at this time.
        We are not going to get rid of THEM. They are here to stay. And in that light, the definitions that we give to the words “rich” and “poor” will simply… displace, and go elsewhere. (I’m sure that Nietzche, as a philologist was onto this one.)
        Restricting the definition of “rich” and “poor” to considerations of filthy lucre also reconstitutes idolatry of filthy lucre as the reverse side of the coin.
        Do you really want to cede to idolatry of filthy lucre ? (Making money the measure of ALL THINGS.)
        I think not.
        Your definition of freedom (a society of peers) is so vast that any kind of authority is abolished. (My Daddy used to say that our family was a benevolent dictatorship.. 40 years on, I understand now why he said that.) Including the authority/legitimacy which found the transmission necessary for any civilization to pass on values or knowledge from one generation to the next. It is why the democratic/egalitarian push is currently destroying our capacity to transmit.
        If “freedom” is ONLY a condition that exists between peers, then I fear that it is, and will always remain impossible. And that our obsessive attempts to MAKE IT EXIST like the Kingdom of God, in our imperfect world will continue to bring us closer and closer to the brink, and repeat the unthinkable.
        Personally, I prefer to slalom a bit and ACCEPT A FEW LIMITATIONS in order to fully savor… what i call freedom.

        Comment by Debra — December 10, 2011 @ 1:54 pm

      • Debra,

        You often leave me scratching my head. I can’t tell whether you are trying to be a pain in the ass or you just happen to be one. 🙂

        You are a mish-mashed tangle of inconsistent ideas that you (I mean YOU) demand must be harmonized. Yet every time you contribute to the “conversation” you muddle it.

        For example, you seem to favorably quote the Bible, a document created to enslave and control the masses through collectivism. Yeah, that’s right. The first control mechanism of the masses was collectivism through monotheism. I said it. The worst punishment prior to the “Enlightenment” was excommunication, being cast out of the collective. And when the people transitioned from the “covenant” with their alleged God into a “social contract”, the “communistic fiction” of Catholicism remained, tainting so-called “classical liberalism.” Now we have neoliberalism with its pure “individualism” that seeks to tear us from the anchors of human existence. For what?

        You need to stop playing word games and start thinking through, really THINKING through, what is happening right now and what has been happening for millenia. The “THEM” is created by those who seek to set themselves apart and rule. They created the concepts of rich and poor, and they deserve to reap what they sowed. We can actually get rid of “THEM” by recognizing what they seek to do and stopping it. We don’t have to kill psyhcopaths to stop them from succeeding. We just have to recognize they’re psychopaths and not tolerate their behavior.

        You seem to want psychopaths in your life. You throw up false choices all the time. I just don’t get you. Maybe you’re as psycho as those you seem to defend.

        Comment by Tao Jonesing — December 12, 2011 @ 1:46 am

  6. I found this to be powerful:

    Injustice can no longer be carried out under cover of darkness. You hirelings of the ruling class, you who repress our brothers and sisters wherever in the world they may be, always keep in mind that the days of the powers you serve are numbered. Take care lest you one day fall into the hands of our justice.
    Kevin Carson

    Comment by tawal — December 28, 2011 @ 8:11 pm

    • Shunning the hirelings (and perhaps more) is something we could be doing right now, but on the whole we don’t. But I wonder how often any of them worry about the wager they made going bad.

      Comment by Russ — December 29, 2011 @ 4:45 am

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  8. […] follows from the existential concept, and is not at all an “abuse”.   That’s why we must constitute an abolition movement. The only coherent One Simple Demand is total abolition, of the corporate form and all other […]

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  9. […] through to a new freedom and prosperity.   10. As with every other anti-corporate struggle, the struggle vs. GMOs is an abolition movement.   [*The title of an upcoming food book by a leading system liberal: Eat,Drink,Vote. Yes, that […]

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