Volatility

June 8, 2012

Elections, Money, Government

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I hope no one mistook my remark in yesterday’s post about “big money” to be another lament over Citizens United or another cry for campaign finance reform. On the contrary, my point was that electoralism as such is necessarily under the control of money, wherever this money is imposed from the top down, as a command economy policy.
 
The goal is not to reform money in elections, since the goal is not to reform command money as such, but to abolish and transcend it.
 
1. Why do we need money?
 
The fact is we don’t. Historically, naturally, we didn’t use money as a dominant medium of exchange. Nothing during the ahistorical fossil-fueled blip called “modernity” has changed this vastly longer arc. But those who want to use money and other reifications to impose enclosure and tyranny, the 1% and their flunkeys, tell that lie.
 
2. Those who impose, from the top-down, the use of money (corporations and government) do so in the following way. They “print”/computerize/reify vast amounts of it; they force every part of the real economy to function according to the exchange of it; they subordinate the real economy to fictive economic features like finance, property, intellectual property, the stock market; and this then hands effective control of all real things and relations to those who possess vast amounts of it.
 
All this printing is done for the corporate benefit, corporate welfare. In theory it’s possible that government could print for the benefit of the people, handing the money itself over to the people as part of our rightful money sovereignty. This is how greenbackers like the MMTers would have it.
 
But this theoretical possibility is a practical fable, since the corporate state would never actually do this. History’s record is clear.
 
To think this reform could happen in reality is the same as thinking government itself could actually exist to serve the 99% rather than the 1%. (Which would mean abolishing much of the wealth inequality spectrum.) We know government will never do that.
 
3. So we need to abolish and transcend money itself. Just as we need to do with centralized government itself.
 
Given those democratic imperatives, it’s obvious that the more picayune goal of reforming electoralism rather than overcoming it is also unworthy of us.

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April 10, 2012

Time Banking in Relation to “Job Creation”

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Some people worry that time banking will “compete with job creation”. Someone in my time banking google group just mentioned encountering that argument again. So although time presses at the moment, I wanted to jot a few notes on this. This is a work in progress.
 
It’s usually better to lead with an affirmative argument, and add any negative argument to that. Even if I thought, “what we have is terrible, and so I want to try something different for its own sake, even though I don’t know if this would be any better”, I wouldn’t want to put it that way. But I do think time banking is actively better than the cash economy, and not just different. Therefore:
 
1. To be part of a time bank network is more fulfilling and resilient than to hold a job which earns you some cash. You not only have the benefit of a plethora of offered services (just like if you held cash), but you gain the benefits of giving to others as well, and you have all of this within a human framework which can build community, social life, and has many possibilities for strengthening political and spiritual life as well.
 
2. As for well-paying jobs, those aren’t coming back anyway. The 1% has been permanently destroying them for decades now, toward its goal of restoring a feudalism far more vicious than the medieval variety. The pace of this destruction has accelerated in recent years. To look at time banking as competing with a hope which is a pipe dream is to look at things wrongly. Whether we have time banks or not, those jobs are gone forever. The system which controls “job creation” wanted them gone, and they’ll remain gone. Time banking, on the other hand, is completely in the people’s hands, and we can make of it whatever we wish.
 
We can add, as a preliminary or supplementary argument, if it seems necessary: There’s no evidence that time banking hinders job creation. Jobs are created or destroyed according to the imperatives of Wall Street. For example, “offshoring” was never actually more efficient from a textbook capitalist point of view than keeping manufacturing jobs within Western countries. But Wall Street wanted those jobs destroyed and rewarded or punished stock prices accordingly, so offshoring became the standard practice.
 
***
 
Philosophically, we should be clear that it was never legitimate for elites to enclose our human work as their “property” and then parcel it back to us in the form of “jobs”. This is immoral and irrational, in addition to not working on a practical level. (The definition of something that works: That it increases the general happiness, freedom, prosperity, social stability, and decreases unhappiness, decreases tension and stress, decreases violence. By these measures, capitalism and its “employment” model are dismal failures, and abominable hypocrisies.) It’s also an unhistorical anomaly. For the vast majority of humanity’s natural history our labor power was nestled within community networks, and inextricably bound with social and spiritual relations.
 
The employment model as such is unnecessary, immoral, undesirable, and doesn’t work according to its own premises.
 
So for these reasons I’m clear that time banking and other relocalization actions and structures aren’t trying to “co-exist” with or merely supplement capitalism or the employment model, let alone be just a temporary band aid to tide us over until those are restored to some spurious notion of health. With these actions we’re trying to build the new within the crumbling structure of the old, to survive its collapse, to do whatever we can to help undermine it, and most of all to have the new networks in place to replace it. That’s what I mean when I say time banking is on a vector away from capitalism, toward full economic democracy. That’s what I mean when I call for all things to be measured according to their democratic vector. 
 
 
 

March 30, 2012

What Is Organic? (2 of 2)

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Earlier I wrote about how the term and concept organic applies to a network of relations and vectors, a holism, rather than to a discrete, stagnant item which can be removed from or plugged into any context at will.
 
In part 1 I focused on the use of the concept to describe food production and distribution. I emphasized that organic has to mean maximizing sustainability, resiliency, interdependency rather than dependency. This implies, even if it doesn’t directly demand, social and economic justice, since any extractive hierarchy reduces our sustainability. By definition any parasite reduces this. It definitely means minimizing dependency on fossil fuels as such (and not just fossil fuels in the direct farming inputs), which means that globalization and the organic are mutually exclusive. It excludes any significant environmental destructiveness (this too means it must minimize fossil fuels in general). 
 
I’ll add here that organic has to mean the abolition and transcendence of the artificial producer/consumer dichotomy. Even within the food sovereignty movement this dichotomy is often insensibly taken for granted. But in truth these concepts can never be separated. One way or another they meld and define one another. Any producer also consumes, and if she’s induced or forced to separate her production from her consumption, that actually removes her producer quality and renders her a system cog, a passive and dependent consumer only. Passive consumption in general is meant to render us stagnant, and this in turn makes possible the calcification of the entire economy and polity, under corporate control. The goal of all consumerism is to eradicate all that’s organic and human and replace it with sterile conformity to tyranny.
 
By contrast, where we stop being passive consumers and become full economic citizens, as much as possible democratically producing our own food, and at least being fully active in knowing our food and those who produce it, we regain control over our lives and render ourselves far more resilient and sustainable, and far less vulnerable to any threat. (I’ll add that this can help reclaim our political democracy.) The producer who is organically enmeshed in such a sovereign food network is himself more resilient and less vulnerable, since he’s now part of a natural network rather than being a fungible, replaceable, expendable cog. (I’ll add in passing for now that this applies to dependency on all system concepts – the corporate form, property, legality, contracts, anything which is fraudulently purported to be part of nature but is actually a tool and weapon of an artificial, hierarchical system based on Might Makes Right.) 
 
This leads to another general point, that the organic is mutually exclusive with corporatism. Corporatism, even leaving aside the subjective greed and malevolence of its cadres (although this too is dire), necessarily means the maintenance of large parasitic hierarchies (the corporations themselves, the corporations as extensions of government, the government as bagman and thug for these corporations). It also necessarily means globalization, since profit extraction (the absolute imperative for any corporation) cannot function other than within an infinitely expanding growth economy. The only limit* to this is the limits of the globe itself, so corporatism must if possible expand to completely fill out this limit.
 
[*Soon I’ll be writing about how GMOs, as an imperialist phenomenon, are intended to as it were generate a second globe for the corporate rampage.]
 
This leads us to a broader vision of the organic. I’ll just mention a few examples.
 
1. Time banking has to be seeking the holism of a system free of money. Time banks must be envisioned as seeds of a thriving forest, not as potted flowers to be put out in the harsh cold of the command money economy.
 
So organic time banking and organic co-production, since it can’t sit still amid this harsh environment, must be on a vector away from and against it. For example, anywhere there’s a time bank and an Occupy action, these must seek to complement one another. If there’s no local/regional Occupy, the time bank should try to help get one going.
 
2. I’ve written before about how the commons is an organic thing which depends upon its environment, and the basic intellectual fraud of plunking the concept in the midst of a predatory, mercenary world, as in the Big Lie of the “tragedy of the commons”.
 
Just as it proves nothing about the inherent sustainability of a commons where an artificially dominant corporatism assaults and destroys it, so anyone who wants to uphold and reclaim the commons must necessarily fight to eradicate corporatism, as the two are mutually exclusive. One or the other must perish completely.
 
3. In the modern world, the individual is ripped out of all context, atomized, dissolved within a mass, but is still called a “citizen”. He’s even lectured by the system about his “free will” and moral agency. But in truth an organic citizen must be a full political and economic participant, fully active and self-directing within the network of community relations and vectors, enjoying the full benefit of her labor and her political sovereignty. 
 
David Graeber wrote extensively about this in his book Debt. This is part of how money systems were first imposed on what were previously organic economies. As I wrote here:
 

First, and for the vast majority of humanity’s natural history, organic communities based themselves upon close social networks, moral relations, and the sense of community obligation, including in transactions among individual community members.

Then, nascent elites, previously basing their power on direct violence and plunder, saw how they could accelerate class stratification and magnify their power by sublimating this violence by formalizing exchange and debt. To do this, they came up with money, and began measuring transactions and recording debts based upon it.

 
Similarly, Hobbes took the modern “civilized” individual, i.e. one domesticated into fear and mercenary greed, pictured this monster in the absence of the overawing state power, how “nasty and brutish” such persons would be under those circumstances, and then fraudulently called this the state of nature, when in fact such an atomized, distorted hominid has nothing whatsoever in common with an organic human being living within a natural economy. This fraud is at the core of the bogus “competition” ideology, which is in fact 100% artificial, and indeed requires massive propaganda, bribery, threats, fear, and violence, in order for it to make any headway against our natural humanity at all. In nature, organic human beings are cooperative.
 
(This is another reason the organic is mutually exclusive with corporatism, capitalism, all fetishes of competition.) 
 
4. Voting within electoralism, even if you admire it, could make sense only within the holism of an active, self-educating, fully informed, participatory, vigilant citizenry. This was a core principle of the first stage of the American Revolution.
 
But to render the individual passive, ignorant, benighted (including by systematic top-down secrecy on the part of government and corporations), “participating” only on election day, and otherwise conformist and asleep, is to render him the political equivalent of a passive consumer. The voting ideology and consumerism go hand in hand. They are identical in concept, intention, and effect.
 
This lays bare the fraud of calling the members of neoliberal systems “citizens”. The term organic citizen would be redundant, while to call the atomized, passive individual a “citizen” because he technically has and sometimes exercises the franchise, is a typical lie of liberals and conservatives. This is one of the many ways they join to conspire against democracy and humanity, and on behalf of corporatism.
 
5. There’s lots of policy ideas like MMT, the VAT, renewable energy subsidies, cap and trade, which could in theory be constructive within a holistic reform environment, if such a thing were still possible. As parts of a vast and vigorous reform front these could be good ideas.
 
But for any of these, you can’t wrench it out of all context, synthesize a version to be enacted within a corporatized environment, and expect it to be anything but another extractive scam in practice. (During the “debate” over the health racket bailout, professional liars like Krugman liked to compare Obamacare to structures in Switzerland and the Netherlands. As if there can be any comparison between structures which gradually developed in welfare state environments, and tossing the same thing into a gangland shooting gallery, which is what Obama has done.)
 
This is true of most aspects of “progressive” prescriptions. They’re non-holistic, and therefore fruitless at best, more often fraudulent and collaborationist.
 
6. In the end, every kind of reformism is a version of the same mentality which would take apart a natural whole food, dismantle it into a few of its identifiable discrete nutrients, declare it to be the sum of these, and proceed to synthesize each, toward a regime of processed, enriched, fortified, synthetic “food”.
 
The result is corporate enclosure, malnutrition, obesity, toxification, disease, impoverishment, starvation, and death.
 
The same is true of the entire economic and political realm. It’s true of society itself. We need a truly organic polity, an organic economy, an organic society.
 
 

March 23, 2012

Notes on Time Banking and Democratic Councils

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Our time bank committee had a meeting last night. One of the topics we discussed was the possibility of the township becoming an organizational member, and an interchange of services between the time bank and the town. This people and town, like most others, is under some financial stress (not critically so, yet), and for that and other reasons there’s a shortage of, for example, people to staff town committees.
 
Right away we got into the issue of how this could be done to the enhanced benefit of both time bank and town, as opposed to the time bank simply helping the town carry out functions which taxes have already paid for. In other words, how to prevent the town government from just using the time bank, as opposed to the time bank strengthening itself and the community.
 
This resonated deeply with me, since I’ve long thought about how bottom-up democracy can gradually assume real responsibility, take on its rightful acclaim of legitimacy, and take power from the illegitimate state structures, and do all this without being hijacked along the way. In any revolutionary situation the key symptom to look for is the formation of citizen and worker councils, and their taking on real social functions like food distribution, sanitation, keeping the peace. There were some promising signs of this during the first stage of the Egyptian Revolution. (The fact that this first stage seems to have come to a temporary end with the cosmetic “regime change” doesn’t render those signs moot. It still proves the spontaneous skill of the people in ruling themselves.)
 
While we’re not yet in a revolutionary situation in America, we can still begin forming democratic councils now. These political units can serve as educational and organizational vehicles. In various ways we can seek to take on responsibilities which are allegedly the proper function of the state. But we must not do this by entering existing state structures as individuals, for example as individuals, who just happen to be time bank members, volunteering for a government committee.
 
Rather, we should optimally form our own committees which maintain their independence of existing structures. If we do take on existing government roles, we must do so as conscious agents of the community and the relocalization organization. We must then see ourselves as asserting the power of the people within this structure, and wherever necessary against it, rather than as being in some kind of “same boat” with it, let alone as good servants of it.
 
(I’ve discussed this before in my Basic Movement Strategy, #s 2, 3, 5.)
 
So, for example, a time bank which contemplates a cooperation with local government should have its own community action group dedicated to developing the right mindset toward government as such, toward the fact that local government has largely become the captive of upper-level governments, that local rule has largely been eviscerated as a matter of practice and of law, that while local Dems and Reps may not yet be complete criminals, their hierarchy is structurally dedicated to making them so, that the squeeze on local governments everywhere is on account of the corporate austerity onslaught, and that local governments will, in the end, perform the thug role slated for them if we let them. We must learn and become fully conscious of the fact that our future lies only with ourselves, only with our own self-generated, self-managed, self-ruled citizen democracy. Our current participation in government can only be toward that goal. The goal is always to publicly take on the function, be recognized as citizens organized outside and against the state structure, highlight the fraudulence and inefficacy of the existing structure, supplant it in action and in the minds of the people, be acclaimed as the truly legitimate democracy, and in the end to supplant it in the reality of power.
 
That’s a long way off, of course, but that’s what ran through my mind at the meeting. I was pleased to hear someone say, “the goal is to get some say in decision-making” (others were talking in terms of discounts at recreational facilities and such). I mentioned “dual power”. On the whole it was just a rudimentary discussion, but it’s good that right from the start everyone was at least interested in discussing issues of power, even if most of us weren’t consciously looking at it in those terms. Everyone was aware of a tension between time banking, whatever any one of us thinks that’s really supposed to be, and the existing government structure.
 
I look forward to more discussions along these lines.
 
 

March 21, 2012

Money

Filed under: Freedom, Law, Reformism Can't Work, Time Banking and Co-Production — Tags: — Russ @ 7:03 am

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“Money is the root of all evil.”
 
For a long time I used to regard this as synonymous with “greed is…” or “ambition is…” or similar formulations. I suspect most other people do this as well.
 
But nowadays I recognize that these are distinct concepts and should be separated. We don’t need to confront allegedly natural traits like greed or competitiveness in order to analyze the fact that we can produce and distribute everything we need and want without using money (we don’t need this “medium of exchange”), and would be much better off without it, practically and in terms of human happiness.
 
The facts are that money is not a natural law, humanity did better without it for 99% of our natural history, and that the road to freedom and happiness includes, as a necessary goal, the abolition of money.
 
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Of course this argument has nothing in common with liberal sanctimony about money being the root of evil. Liberals believe money is normative, that its existence is a natural law, and most of them also consider it progressive and desirable. They only deplore its “abuses”, usually where they see the non-rich behaving badly in order to obtain some.
 
We must always be clear that we need to abolish money as such, that humanity shall be more free, more prosperous, and happier without it, and that the whole 99%* needs to seek this goal.
 
We do not, on the other hand, moralize in an ad hoc manner about the abuses of money. Such liberal sanctimony always, somehow, ends up seeking the ends of the 1%.
 
But to morally reject money as such, and seek to rebuild the human modes of exchange which have been temporarily submerged, is on the road to rejecting the 1% as such and obliterating them completely.
 
These human modes of community exchange and credit have only been submerged, not destroyed. This is proven by the fact that capitalism and the state free ride completely on the vast majority of real work, at “the workplace”, in the community, and in the home, which goes unpaid by the 1%’s money system.
 
To this day, even in corporatism’s darkest slough of despond, the economy and society remain overwhelmingly anarchist and democratic. If a critical mass were to embark upon a Work to Rule strike, confronting the boss, the owner, the government, the cop, with an absolute adherence to the strictest letter of the job description and the law, the system would collapse in a day.
 
That fact tells us where the real power lies. The way to render this power kinetic is to understand its potential. Part of this understanding is to understand money, and the fact that it has no practical, rational, or moral validity. Education and, wherever possible, action, must proceed along this path. 
 
[*That is, a critical mass.]

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March 1, 2012

Notes on Strategy and Tactics (1 of 2)

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We’ve long agonized over the right mix of loyalty to principle and what works in practice. Let me stress that in revolutionary times, which these are, as a rule the right practice is the right (radical) principle.
 
(When we say radical, we must always keep in mind that we mean radical only from the point of view of the status quo. Objectively, it’s today’s status quo which is radical, extreme, unnatural, inefficient and impractical from the point of view of helping people live more happily, anti-human. Positive democracy, rebuilding community, anti-corporatism and anti-statism, as radical as these are from the system point of view, in fact comprise a far more moderate, common sense, rational, practical way of life. This is “radical” only from the perspective of the Status Quo Lie, which seeks to turn reality upside down.)
 
Under today’s extreme conditions, where the criminals are becoming more and more aggressive, while their techniques of corruption and co-optation become more and more refined, the issue of principle and tactics becomes ever more fraught. It’s a difficult tightrope.
 
The Occupy movement has starkly presented the dilemma.. This is especially difficult because what it really means – shall it ultimately be transformational or merely reformist – is still up for grabs. It’s within this environment that we confront easy questions like supporting the Democratic Party (No), and relatively easy ones like alliances with unions and liberal NGOs (perhaps, but never surrender physical power or dictation of the agenda, always have a Plan B ready to go in the event of an attempted hijacking, and always make a truly democratic appeal to their rank and file), as well as difficult ones like how to maximize democracy within a functioning executive structure. (How democratic the OWS structure really is has been contested.)
 
Meanwhile we have the mournful spectacle of movement activists temporizing with the corporate system and even selling out completely. This example may be a good opportunity for me to suggest a basic ethical rule. While this system forces us into innumerable distasteful “compromises” (since we’re forced they’re not really compromises, but coerced actions), no one’s ever entitled to become an active criminal. We may be forced to shop at Walmart, we may even have to take a normal “job” working for it, but no one’s entitled to take the job of aggressively propagating its lies, as Allen has voluntarily done here. That’s the same thing as becoming a riot cop or private thug.
 
(This issue will come up for me personally if, as expected, we move our farmers’ market to the parking lot of a TBTF Wall Street bank. We believe this move to a much more centrally located, more highly visible location is necessary if the market is to survive at all. As I see my position so far, I’ll work there, within reason bite my lip, but under no circumstances will I participate in any active pro-bank PR. I don’t regard that as a good position by any stretch of the imagination, but I think it’s the best I can do under the circumstances. If the move required active propaganda collaboration, I’d prefer to take our chances at the old site. In their essence Wall Street and farmers’ markets are fundamental enemies. In the end one or the other must perish completely.)
 
With that introduction, I’ll offer a few more suggestions, ways to look at ethical dilemmas.
 
One criterion I’ve often written about is the question of whether or not a proposed reform action is on a vector toward real democracy, or whether it would keep us mired in the criminal system. Obvious examples of the latter are calls to “reform” Wall Street, Big Ag, private health insurance, or to “reform” the Democratic Party by electing “better Democrats”. Since these are fundamentally criminal structures, they can’t be reformed any more than an incorrigible individual psychopath can be. They have to be abolished completely.
 
I’ll add that this kind of system reformism is empirically proven to fail. Just to give the most glaring example, history will never again offer such a favorable environment for “progressive” politics, a “better” Democratic party, and system-reformist policy like reforming Wall Street, than 2009 presented. The Dems had a de facto one-party dictatorship, Wall Street and corporatism itself were on the ropes structurally and politically, Obama was elected with a vast, open-ended mandate for “change”, and the people were ardent for radical reform. They thirsted for it. Reformists will never see a moment like that again for the rest of history.
 
So what happened? The “reform” Leaders committed treason across the board. Led by Obama, they aggressively propped up Wall Street and the rest of the system while repressing all bottom-up energy for change. In the most symbolically rich example, within days of the election Obama moved to destroy his grassroots organization by assimilating it to the Democratic Party hierarchy. This was as clear-cut as it gets, to anyone who was paying attention. That set the pace for Obama’s anti-democratic and anti-human agenda to this day. Everything has followed the same pattern.
 
The centerpiece of the Obama agenda was “health care reform”. In practice this was a bailout of the health insurance rackets, which were on the verge of collapse. Obama presided over a joint Democratic Party/ liberal NGO front to suppress single-payer (which the people favor), propagate the “public option” bait-and-switch, and force the beleaguered people to pay protection money, a government-thug-enforced poll tax, to buy worthless “insurance” policies. So there’s just a few examples of worthless and malignant system reformism.
 
By contrast, I’ve argued that time banking, while technically reformist, is on a vector toward full economic democracy. That’s because it’s explicitly subversive of “the market” and the money economy, it explicitly repudiates the privileging of capital over labor, it explicitly rejects capitalist measures of the value of various kinds of work and alleged work, and it implicitly rejects all capitalist measures of value. While most of its current practitioners consciously see it as a supplement to capitalism (and thus a “reform” measure), this is just a subjective feature. We’re only a change of consciousness away from using time banking as a potent vector away from capitalism completely.
 
So to sum up, where one’s in doubt a question to ask is, would a proposal, if achieved, mean real progress along a vector toward true democracy, or would it leave us more mired in corporatism and statism than ever?
 
In part 2 I’ll suggest several more such criteria for strategic and tactical choices.
 
 

December 11, 2011

Everywhere We See the Pattern

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1. The system is based on dependency, conformism, submission.
 
2. The system uses money to render its own processes and products “cheaper” than the “more expensive” age-old human ways of life, in food, manufacture, education, politics, culture, and many others.
 
3. The system ways are actually far more expensive than the human ways, but are temporarily rendered cheaper by shifting most of the costs to hidden taxes on the consumer, to various dispossessed groups, to the environment, and to the future. The system cheapness is nothing but accounting fraud.
 
4. For example, the system uses taxpayer money to subsidize its ways and render them cheaper. This has the dual effect of rendering the human way of life more expensive even as we’re forced to pay from our ever-diminishing financial base to subsidize the system which assaults us. 
 
5. To repeat, the fact that we have to look to our “finances” is a purely artificial state of affairs imposed upon us from the top down. Money is unnecessary and undesirable from any point of view other than that of the 1%. It’s part of a command economy.
 
6. So we must be clear that this government and the economic system it imposes comprise an artificial tyranny. It has no legitimacy, and on a practical level it never helps us, but only harms us. We’d be far better off without it.

December 4, 2011

This Is An Abolition Movement

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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.
 
 
 
 

September 24, 2011

A Brief Thought

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Here’s something that made me think of something I hadn’t thought about in a long time.
 

This is right in line with something we’ve been batting around here about how the nonviolent occupation movement is still in its infancy – and its participants/leaders are still getting their feet wet with organizing. Movements like we’ve seen elsewhere don’t just appear no matter how suddenly they explode into national/global consciousness. It’s a long and (usually) slow learning curve. This means the MSM blackout may not be so bad – folks can gain expertise and make their mistakes out of the unforgiving light of saturation coverage. And it drives those interested to alternative outlets – building them up. Win/win!

 
Many years ago, when I used to think a lot about art, I thought about how, historically, new ideas in art would have years, decades, even centuries to naturally, organically develop without much temporal pressure upon them. Only later would come the pressures of publicity, the surge of competition, the art’s becoming of interest to those who would place monetary and power demands upon it, the need to please a public, to meet deadlines, etc. Although these too can be spurs to creativity, I had the sense that they probably work this way where dealing with something which has already put down firm roots.
 
By contrast, the modern media tended to deny new ideas this period of quiet, timeless ferment. Nowadays the early adopters tread upon the heels of the pioneers, and the early majority upon those of the early adopters, and so on. While there may be individual children who can thrive where cast into chaos during their critical early years, I think far more would do far better with some level of stability, security, predictability. So I thought that on the whole the modern media omnipresence and insatiability (until it’s drained all the life out of something, and as quickly as possible) were detrimental to art.
 
(The last thoughts I had about art were several years ago, just the barest notes on what a Peak Oil aesthetic might be like. Richard Heinberg’s written more on it if anyone’s interested, an essay in his book Peak Everything.)
 
So I used to think about that but hadn’t in awhile, until I saw this piece which suggested that this may be one benefit of the media blackout on alternative politics and economics. While only history will tell if this turns out to be true or not, it’s at least something to consider. Since it’s a fact that we’re now in obscurity and likely to remain there for awhile, we might as well think about how to make the most of obscurity and slow development in themselves, if there’s a way to do so.
 
(On the subject of MSM spotlights, here’s two NYT blog pieces on time banking. They’re pretty good on the basics with some good examples, and there’s some even better comments. Some dumb comments too, of course, but on the whole the idea gets a good reception.)   

September 20, 2011

The Stamp Mandate, Time Banking, and the Anti-Colonial Movement

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We’re realizing that money is a dead end for us, and we need to break free of it. There are many possibilities for how this will happen, as there are many ways kleptocracy may try to resist and repress this. Let’s say for the sake of argument that time banking could establish itself in a region and provide the basic economic framework. (Not that I think we’re likely to have such a clear-cut succession of money -> time banking -> community credit in any particular place, but this is just a thought experiment.)
 
It’s especially important to consider this in light of how among the early adopters of time banking are perhaps many who are still prone to Obama cultism.
 
So what follows?
 
1. Time banking and the health racket bailout, namely its Stamp mandate, are directly antithetical.
 
2. The former is trying to break free of cash, the latter has as a basic goal the imposition of a cash-based tax.
 
3. Let’s say for the sake of argument a time bank community could break out completely and provide all necessary services (including basic health care) among itself.
 
4. Then how would the community members pay for this mandate? (I don’t ask why they should, since it’s self-evident that there’s no reason why they should other than might makes right. We know that any corporate forced market is robbery.)
 
5. The mandate is a poll tax, a head tax, in precisely the sense that foreign imperial conquerors would impose on an indigenous people to force them into the command economy of the conquering country, solely for the benefit of that power structure.
 
In this case the Obama head tax is to be imposed proximately to bail out the insurance rackets, and more generally to benefit corporatism (since it’s also a pro-employer austerity policy.)
 
Even the moralizing propaganda of it is redolent of classic colonialism. The lies about individual “free riders” on the emergency room (as if anything could be more of a free rider than the purely parasitic, government-propped health insurance rackets) echo, for example, Gallieni’s impot moralisateur, “moralizing tax”, his name for the head tax he imposed on Madagascar in order to force its integral communities into commodity cropping and Western-style consumerism.
 
Today’s liberals, among others, are these neo-colonialists.
 
6. The goal of the mandate would be to destroy any such time bank community and force its people back into wage slavery.
 
7. Our goal is to break free of cash. Our goal is anti-colonial. We’re all lumpenproles now, which is the negative aspect of our condition. Everywhere the State’s classification process has been: First, normalize “employment”. Second, normalize unemployment. So, as with everything else, the criminals first stripped our prior resiliency, replacing it with dependency. Now they’re stripping that on which they forced us to depend, leaving us utterly desolated. That’s the circumstance under which they now intend to restore a far more vicious form of feudalism.
 
On a positive vector, we must become reindigenous, we must be reborn into new and lasting indigenous communities.
 
However that affirmation goes in the short and mid runs, it’s the only course left for humanity over the long run. That means we must fight the new colonialism in the short and mid runs. For example, we must reject and resist the colonial Obama Stamp mandate.
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