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The Authority Smashing! Hour
Mr1001Nights and Chomskyan
Interesting discussion …
I think it’s important to bring up the issue of human nature, especially to dispel that it ought to have anything whatsoever to do w/what sort of politics we should be striving for.
One of the charges we. as anarchists, frequently find ourselves on the receiving end of is that we have a naive understanding of “human nature,” thinking that human societies can organize themselves w/out recourse to illegitimate hierarchical forms. Of course, if we have a naive understanding of “human nature,” then it’s only fair to say that our detractors have a nihilistic one … a view of human nature that reduces us to beasts intent on tearing each other’s hearts out in a war of all against all, aka: the Hobbessian ontology that underwrites the state.
But be that as it may, everyone interested in politics & running of human societies in general should leave ruminations about “human nature” to metaphysics, where it belongs, and instead concentrate on two things: envisioning a better world and seeking ways to make that vision a reality.
Well put JR … as an aside, I always find it more useful to talk in terms of human behaviour. Whilst not being an exact “science” it is immeasurably more definable than so-called “human nature”. Also it amazes me that these people with a Hobbesian view on humans are yet willing to put a minority of “beasts” into positions of enormous power and privilege hence completely defeating their own logic. Makes my teeth ache so it does.
These remarks apply to what is said at 8min and 50 seconds into the program. As far as is known, or rather as far as I know, Hill & Knowlton were employed by the Kuwaiti government, not by the U.S. government as you state (e.g: http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0906/p25s02-cogn.html, http://www.io.com/~patrik/gulfwar2.htm). This is not to denigrate your point(s), which I am in entire agreement with; I think it is important nevertheless to be accurate. Thankyou. There does remain the problem of how the story first came up at all; c.f. the above sources. My understanding always was, at least from the moment I researched it, that it was entirely fabricated at the outset and intentionally by Hill & Knowlton or by the Kuwaiti government or both. If you have more information concerning this matter, and your statement is factually accurate, please inform me of your sources. In the meantime, I must correct the record. Thankyou again.
Very good show.
Thanks for bringing up the potential connections between anarchism and Taoism. Taoism is a big part of what brought my philosophical/ political thinking to anarchism. I see the two philosophies as overlapping at this point in the way I see the world.
I agree with jrpigg’s comments on human nature. I think the concept is indeed used as a fallacy to derail our conversations about organizing a better society. It comes up with typical canards about law,order,and crime in society. People are well-versed in these pro-capitalist/ government fallacies like religious apologetics or creationists.
My peeve(nothing done wrong by you guys):I’m tired of all the anarcho-capitalist propaganda. It’s bad enough they “infest” Youtube,and claim to be “real anarchists”.They should be refuted,but I don’t think they should monopolize the time spent on discussing topics on this show. They try to hijack discussions and tie them up with warped logic. I’m not calling for screening or topic banning,but do you guys have a plan for dealing with anarcho-capitalists that just want to argue endlessly,while being fair to their free speech?
What is the number to call in live again? I’m thinking of getting skype, are you guys on that?
Hey this is Chomskyan
Thanks for your comments, and everyone else’s. The number to call in is 1-646-716-8106. We all use skype to call in and host the show.
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