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The Authority Smashing! Hour Smashes again!
Apologies for the missing two minutes in the beginning….
Full version, but less quality, from blogtalkradio.com
Do you have the URL for the Plain radio debate?
Hey guys..thanks for mentioning the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh! Hope to see you guys there! Maybe we can meet up somewhere, let me know!
Peace, love, anarchy
Marc J. Mancini
can you guys talk about co-operatives and collectives on next weeks’ show?
Here is a critique of anarchism. You might want to rebut it if you want or discuss it.
You Are The Revolution
By Kirsten Anderberg (www.kirstenanderberg.com)
November 23, 2008
Do you fancy your job in “the revolution” to be merely ordering professionals around to do your bidding? Do you undermine and criticize higher education, government workers and politicians, and the voting system, while relying completely upon those who vote, or those with a higher education and in public service jobs for your medical and dental work, sewer pipes, safe bridges, clean water and air regulations, transportation needs, legal/civil rights, legislation, etc.? Anarchists are not flocking to universities to become credentialized professionals to empower themselves and others, nor are they flocking to voting booths to overturn measures like Proposition 8 in CA, but rather seem to have a Henny Penny attitude, where they want others to do the work of representing them, attending law and med school, for instance, while the anarchists tramp around getting drunk on the streets, or yell and scream on the internet about some feigned “revolution,” all the while announcing in a threatening tone to the doctors, lawyers, politicians, even the voters, that they will “be watching,” ad nauseum, as if there is some grand social accountability due to armchair “anarchists.” I am aware of the high level of censorship within anarchy press regarding any critiques of anarchy itself, so doubt many anarchists will gain access to this article, but I still write this critique, as I think it needs to be said.
Some people say they are waiting for “the revolution,” not realizing revolutions don’t come to people, they are created. I have a simple revolutionary vision where all activists immediately pursue higher degrees in professions, becoming doctors, dentists, lawyers, judges, senators, engineers, architects, botanists, geologists, oceanographers, chemists, etc. A highly educated and trained group of professionals offer a more direct avenue to service. For instance, activists who want to take logging companies to court for injunctions, or defend arrested activists, need to hire attorneys, but activist attorneys don’t. They cut out the middle man and are able to represent the causes they care about, directly and immediately. Another example is a poor part of town needs a health clinic, so activists try to find a doctor to hire. Activist doctors, again, just cut out that middle man and can organize and staff clinics via their mere presence. Environmental protection organizations have to hire attorneys, scientists, etc., to produce evidence and arguments in court against wilderness polluters, yet activist chemists and attorneys can take on such actions immediately by themselves. So anarchists are totally dependent upon professionals for their survival, yet professionals have no need for anarchists at all! I see an activist independence within professional education and accreditation that seems to be lost on the anarchist movement’s lower trenches, as certainly the anarchists’ heroes, such as Noam Chomsky, Ward Churchill, Angela Davis, etc., seem to have secured jobs to place them squarely in the American middle class, jobs at state run educational institutions of higher learning, ironically. So anarchists rail nonstop against going to college, getting credentials and becoming professional, yet their own heroes did just that.
Without higher education and professional accreditation, activists are absolutely reliant on third parties for their “revolution,” which seriously dilutes any claims of “power” within such “revolutions.” Also, anarchists’/activists’ wishes fall in place behind the professionals’ desires. So let’s say an activist really wants to protect whales from the Navy’s sonar testing but all the activist attorneys are only doing pro bono work on wetland habitat and mining issues at that time. In that situation, which is all too common, activists/anarchists just have to wait. And when I think of people *waiting* for “the revolution,” honestly, I think of it in these terms. Activists/anarchists are waiting for others to lead them, to represent them professionally, seems too often the case. If your only role is trying to say how others should use their professional credentials and time, reluctant to get professionalized yourself, that is a pretty replacable position in a movement to create real change. Or more bluntly, every community will fight to keep the activist doctor around over the armchair “revolutionary” pulling the pin on her grenades in her mind. Armchair revolutionaries are easily and cheaply replaced, low income doctors are not.
If anarchists had mobilized en masse to the voting booths in CA, perhaps Proposition 8 would not have passed. It is again this Henny Penny mentality. Refusing to participate, refusing to help, then just complaining, watching from the sidelines.
Anarchists scream “privilege” as a slur, at professionals (well, at all professionals except their “privileged” anarchist heroes mentioned previously). To me, “privilege” means not having to answer to brooding armchair anarchists who try to waste your time when you are working hard at more important things, such as providing low income medical and dental care, providing pro bono legal representation, engineering more energy efficient and eco-friendly housing, funding childcare and staffing schools, solving transportation issues, providing low income housing, trying to stop pollution via science, etc.! If the armchair anarchist revolution spent the same amount of time, energy, and money as they spend on gossip, getting drunk, and fashion, on instead getting credentialized as attorneys, judges, doctors and scientists, they would be of much greater service to their communities and the world, and much more independently “revolutionary,” than if they merely sit in their chairs writing threatening emails from their privileged American homes of safety, drunk.
I will do what I want, when I want, where I want, with MY law degree. I earned it. If anarchists want law degrees so they can control a lawyer’s caseload, they can become attorneys. If they want to be politicians, let them try, and maybe then they can appreciate how hard that job is, and also how necessary it is to have representatives when we have people like anarchists who refuse to participate yet complain the loudest at what participants did. Anarchists really need to get a reality check in this department as their arrogant, hot air threats and grandstanding really only fall on the deaf ears of preaching to their own choir. And if professionals spent the time critiquing anarchists that anarchists waste on the critiquing of proactive professionals, nothing would ever get done (just as happens in the delusional world of anarchy). If anarchists went to school to become doctors and lawyers rather than waste all their time drinking beer and critiquing responsible professionals they are wholly dependent upon, maybe there would be anarchist medical clinics and anarchist legal clinics, anarchist low income housing units, and anarchist low income child care. But those things do not exist, and anarchists are as dependent as any other low income group upon credentialed doctors, dentists, lawyers, etc. The only way that would change is if anarchists went to college en masse and that ain’t gonna happen which makes me question the legitimacy of true allegiance to a “revolution” in these armchair anarchists. If they *really* cared, they would make the change happen via their own work, not waiting on others.
I can only laugh at people who are/were deadbeat parents, who are cruel and mean and angry and ugly to be around, who are always destitute, desperate, and depressed, if not also dependent on hustling illegal, unhealthy drugs, telling me how to live my life. I have no obligation whatsoever to such quagmires of insanity. I am allowed to choose sanity, I am allowed to choose stability, I am allowed to choose higher education, and I am allowed to choose that privilege of forbidden “happiness” that anarchists rail against so. I am just not chained to the Devil card in the tarot, with chains big enough to be lifted overhead! If anarchists want to stay chained to a doomsday setting in light of Obama’s election, for instance, as I see overwhelmingly expressed in anarchist press, condemning the first black man in America breaking the race barrier to presidency, well, go for it. Good luck with that agenda of hate, distrust, negativity, and isolation. I, personally, will not be held accountable to such people, nor does their stern condemnation of me affect me in any real terms.
There is no way anarchists are going to pollute my political hope and proactive willingness to contribute in healthier ways than merely just getting drunk, complaining about voters, professionals and leaders, and *watching* in some armchair “revolution” as I post my pictures of hand grenades online. And honestly, I would rather work with proactive, educated, licensed doctors, lawyers, engineers, scientists, etc., than a bunch of uneducated, drunk, lazy anarchists who merely complain and “watch” others, any day. Sorry, but I have to call ‘em as I see ‘em. And no, I am not willing to have a self-trained DIY anarchist “dentist” without state approved credentials perform my root canal work. Nor do I want a DIY anarchist “lawyer” without a legal education or professional credentials representing me in court, nor am I okay with anarchist DIY “engineers” without higher education and professional credentials designing our highway bridges. The anarchist world is so lost in its own reflection, and press clips, that it has actually lost touch with reality, but professionals have important work to do, so they will not have the time to “watch” and hold accountable anarchist behaviors, as the anarchists claim to be doing with professionals (sans professionals whose jobs it is *to* watch anarchists, such as the NSA, etc.). When anarchists give a crap enough about their feigned “revolution” to go study law, medicine, higher sciences, etc., on a serious level to offer their communities independence, and then to go onto success in rigorous professional credential programs for everyone’s safety, only then, will anyone give one crap if anarchists are “watching” and not until then can their claims of wanting change be validated. And as long as anarchists are solely dependent upon lawyers outside of anarchy, as is the case (just look at the Green Scare arrests/trials beginning in December 2005), the anarchists’ claim of power is not very viable or believable. Right now, to be perfectly honest, no one cares if anarchists are watching. So let the armchair anarchist revolutionaries rant and threaten to watch all they want. Maybe they will eventually learn something by *watching* the revolution passing them by! In case you haven’t figured it out, YOU ARE THE REVOLUTION.
(And I am poor, and grew up in poverty, and in the U.S., if you really want an education, funding is out there. It is a matter of really wanting it and working hard for it, and thus educational opportunity is there, that is not the problem. The problem is people are not using those educational opportunities. If you really and truly desire a higher education, and believe your only obstacle to that education is poverty, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will help counsel you on resources for low income scholarships and financial aid for school.)
YU CAN BUY TEH STATE-SMASHER FUR CHEEP (U KNOW, CHEEP LABUR N ALL…) IN TEH FREE-MARKET INC OF EDEN!!1!1!
That article is just an apologetic for the author chasing “success” by climbing the ladder of capitalist society.
Academia is a reflection of the ideology of the elites within a given society. In capitalist society, that means academia = capitalism. Anarchists may as well become politicians.
“I will do what I want, when I want, where I want, with MY law degree. I earned it.”
Me, me, me. The author is either completely oblivious to, or inconsiderate of, the implications of that attitude, the injustices necessary to enable it, which Kropotkin exposed over 100 years ago:
“… whoever can load on others his share of labour indispensable to existence, does so, and it is admitted that it will always be so.
“Now work indispensable to existence is essentially manual. We may be artists or scientists; but none of us can do without things obtained by manual work–bread, clothes, roads, ships, light, heat, etc. And, moreover, however highly artistic or however subtly metaphysical are our pleasures, they all depend on manual labour. And it is precisely this labour–basis of life–that every one tries to avoid.
“… whatever the politicians tell us, the manual worker is always considered inferior to the brain worker, and the [former] has not the time, and still less the means, to give himself the high delights of science and art, nor even to prepare himself to appreciate them; he must be content with the crumbs from the table of privileged persons.
“We understand that under these conditions manual labour is considered a curse of fate.
“We understand that all men have but one dream–that of emerging from, or enabling their children to emerge from this inferior state; to create for themselves an ‘independent’ position, which means what?–To also live by other men’s work!
“As long as there will be a class of manual workers and a class of ‘brain’ workers, black hands and white hands, it will be thus.”
In other words: everyone eats, but not everyone secures their own food — and most of us don’t want to, so we hold up the “division of labor” to rationalize the fact that, in order for us to enjoy a satisfying “career” and avoid securing our own food, we must palm that drudgery off on someone else, who we portray as preferring such work (which might be true for a fraction of a percentage of those who do it).
speak for yourself.
Tyler, what do you mean? That I shouldn’t have quoted Kropotkin? Because that would make no sense.
Or did you mean that I was somehow presuming to speak for others by exposing the presumptions and implications behind the article you quoted? That would make no sense either, since, if you accept that Kropotkin’s point is irrefutable, which it is, then of course I’m speaking for you. That is to say, if the sky is blue, and I say so, then I’m speaking for everyone who acknowledges that the sky is blue.
Kropotkin spells out the facts quite clearly: in order for me to not produce my own food, someone else must produce it for me. This means that, while I am able to pursue law degrees, doctorates, and other intellectual pursuits, my food supplier is up to her ankles in a rice paddy, or dying of heat stroke in a lettuce field. These facts are unpleasant, because they remind me that I am a piece of shit, but they are still facts.
It’s difficult to remedy this under capitalism. I could become a subsistence farmer, but that’s not what Kropotkin’s (or my) vision is for a just society. Rather, all people should be trained in all skills, both manual/practical and mental/creative. If we all put in, say, an hour per day in the fields, those of us currently shifting that burden to others would gain in moral stature, while those who currently have no time for other pursuits would gain, well, the world.
BTW, if the admin wishes to delete the first version of my previous comment, the one as “blah”, I’d be glad. I cleaned up the second version and softened some harsh language that I regretted afterward. (The reason for the double comment, however, was that I didn’t know comments were moderated and thought it simply didn’t go through.)
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