Friday, February 27, 2009


Hey There!

Inspired by others, I'm going to start putting pics with my posts, as well as trying to promote this blog so more people read it. I'll be on blog catalog very soon. Just wanted to update anyone that reads this thing and give a little hello.



Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Zen Buddhism, Revolt and Anarchy

Anyone reading my blogs should know I have a deep love for Philosophy, both Eastern and Western. In fact, my love for philosophy far outweighs my love for politics! Politics is only interesting for me because it is an application of philosophical findings. I think politics would be useless or even non-existent without philosophy itself, the mother of all invention (Science, Math, Politics, etc.).

Philosophy's my thing, and I've been reading, analyzing and discussing for years. Only currently have I started really digging into Eastern Philosophy, and Zen Buddhism is a doctrine I have come to deeply respect for its convention-shattering nature.

Zen Buddhists rejected the gradual steps of learning and gaining wisdom that Confucius put forth in his philosophy. They believed that enlightenment could happen at any moment, in or out of a meditative state, even doing something mundane or unrelated to wisdom. They found beauty in everything, from the simple to the complex, to no-thingness. Able to clear their mind and come to terms with what nothing actually means, the Zen Buddhists did not fear death, for what is death other than nothingness (or possible nothingness)? Death scares people because it is something we cannot relate to. We have no experience of thinking about the void, we have no experience of such complete and utter emptiness, and that's scary. The Zen Buddhists were fearless.

Rejecting the common Chinese philosophy of Confucius that had been the standard for years and years, the Zen Buddhists placed no stock in scriptural teachings or rituals. They believed anyone could become a Buddha, because Buddha-Nature was inherent in everyone and everything, which is also why enlightenment could strike during a trip to the latrine or while sweeping the floor. Instead of lecturing, questions could be posed to a Zen master, and his replies often bordered on the violent and absurd. The idea was that with a screaming response to a rational question, or a swatting with a walking cane in answer to an innocent query, the Zen master could shake a student to the point of abandoning his preconceived notions of what is real. To truly come to terms with what is undefinable through language, one must not even attempt to "rectify the name," or classify what is unclassifiable. You must know it on a more personal level, through means far more meaningful than dialectic or conversation.

The methods and ideas that the school of Zen Buddhism put forth were radically different than Confucianism, and even more distant from the oppressive totalitarian philosophy of Legalism. Zen monks built their philosophy on
thinking for yourself, abandoning the conventional, spontaneity, and challenging the common law of the day (anti-authoritarianism in the philosophical world at least). To me, they seem like Anarchists, and damn good ones!

With their willful disobedience to social norms and their rebellion concerning philosophy, the Zen Buddhists are another case of Anarchists existing before the principle was refined. They had their own Collectives (Monastic Temples), they farmed and supplied themselves without going to market, and they existed outside of the law of the Emperor. I'm going to implement a little Zen into my Anarchy, and I think you should too!


Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Tragic Dance with Violence

Many Anarchists I know are straight Pacifists, and more power to them. They would sooner "fight" the system by indulging in counter-economics, squatting, sabotage and a straight rejection of our Capitalist economy. Still, many other Anarchists I know are just as ready to respond to State violence with more extreme measures as they are to practicing these other forms of dissent. This leads me to the question--

--Can we humans ever escape from the adhesive web of violence pressed against us at all times?--

My answer is yes. Of course, given time, we human-beings can develop into a race of creatures able to avoid violence altogether. The second question is--How long is this gonna take?

To that question, I really don't have an answer. Theoretically, we could reach that utopian point of not needing physical violence (or the threat of violence) at all, but will we not nuke ourselves first? Can we avoid self-destruction due to our violent nature taught by our parents? Hopefully, yes.

What you can do now as an Anarchist to "fight" against violence is to not participate in it. Though I advocate police-confrontation and aggressive protest techniques, there is nothing more embarrassing to those minions of the State than to see their efforts to hurt us be reciprocated with acceptance. This is why non-violent protest tactics work all the time, and why violent protest tactics only work some of the time. It is a very dualistic topic for me--I see the good and bad in both methods, and I fully respect both. Let me dissect a bit.

Non-Violent Methodology and Tactics:

--This way of protesting and speaking out against the State most complies with our philosophy of peace and harmony. We can practice what we preach to the 'n'th degree this way.
--Non-Violence can, in most cases, direct more aggressive feelings towards authority figures than reciprocal violence can, especially when coupled with any sort of media attention. Think about it yourself--when I saw those Buddhist Monks being caned and brutalized by Chinese Police, the thoughts running through my mind were, "How can they do that?! They're not fighting back, they're peacefully protesting!"
--We can more concretely display our resolve to our cause this way. You would agree with me that it takes dedication to not respond to violence with violence, wouldn't you? To me, that would be a show of resolve and reliance upon our ideology, and this goes in tow with the above.
--Not everyone has the mindset to go on the attack. To assume that all Anarchists are chomping at the bit to toss molotovs and boot police in the head would be a broad over-generalization. Many Anarchists would be content to forget all about protests and sabotage and just go about living a different way. Don't forget about these people, warriors in their own right.

Violent (Aggressive) Protest Tactics:

--Anarchy is about loving yourself, and protecting yourself, your fellow humans, and your freedom. Responding with force is acceptable to me, in extreme circumstances, although not as a first choice.
--Private Property and the pawns of the State wreak unspeakable amounts of literal and technical violence against the people daily, and that goes for everyone enduring the ramifications of our economic policy overseas too. This reactionary violence we incur seems like a drop in the pan when compared to the havoc and anguish that our task-masters have inflicted on others before us.

I'm not trying to justify violence here. to be frank, I hate it, and it is reviled by Anarchists as a whole (if I may generalize). All I'm saying is that through a Diverse Array of Tactics we can more effectively dismantle the State, and that means using violence AND non-violence.

PEACE and love to all my brothers and sisters--


Friday, February 20, 2009

Me and All the Other Radicals

I've been called a radical before. I've been laughed at for my "political" views, and I've been deemed unrealistic, stupid, idealistic, and crazy for wanting the abolishment of our task-masters. and the destruction of our chains. I ask you this--

What is so radical about wanting stomachs full? What is so radical about wanting housing for everyone, and wanting working infrastructure and water, heat and light? What's so radical about wanting to live life to its fullest extent, even if that means avoiding the eight hour grind? What's radical about wanting to help people out, and not wanting money or even recognition in return? I must be radical because I care. I must be radical because I love you, your friends, and me. I must be radical because I love life and freedom, and I stand against those who threaten both. I must be radical.

I must be radical.

Sometimes, when people won't even engage in conversation with me about how things could be different, how they could be, I just get very resentful. Nothing pisses me off more (and I've said this in other blogs) than a closed mind. Being opinionated is one thing, but we all must come to realize the benefits of conversation, the mutual gain that both parties obtain when they converse together. I cannot deny it. I will even go so far as to say that conversation has made me respect many Conservative thinkers and them me. Through our talks about the state of the country, and even the world, we both walk away with new ideas, new thoughts, new experience. I won't bullshit--there are many people who I've talked with who maintain straight-conservative opinions, but they are intelligent enough to speak with me like a reasoning human, and for this, I respect them. For the most part, unless you are completely uncompromising (and thus unintelligent to believe that you are absolutely right) I will respect your opinion, even if I don't think it's right. I'll hear you out, offer my thoughts, engage you, and if it's a good conversation, we'll both walk away better people.

Revive conversation--It's been dead awhile!!

But, back to the topic at hand...

Though the Anarchists, the Syndicalists, the Primitivists, the Left Libertarians, the unnamed Socialists, the Horizontalists, and the Cooperatives all ally themselves under different sects, we are all brothers. We are all comrades under the black flag, the flag with every color in it. We are all radical because we reject the social and economic order forced upon us. We are all radical, and we can't be afraid of this term. It is ugly at first glance, polarizing and scary even. But we, as Anarchists, all of us, every sect, must embrace this term and make it our own. Maybe how we think really is radical for all of those sleep-walking through life, beating out a path already predetermined by bosses and managers and politicians. But, more importantly, it isn't radical for us, and that is what matters. It is not radical to me, this pursuit of freedom and mutual aid, decentralization and free association. to me, it is the best way for the people and for myself. I will pursue it, fight for it, and talk about it because it is my way.

It is Anarchy.

Solidarity, Autonomy, Peace, Love and Respect to Everyone--


Wednesday, February 11, 2009


It rules everyone. that symbol, the dollar-sign...It seems like a cult to me, with its own ringleaders and preachers and advocates. We all sell our labor for it, wallow in useless, demeaning, and mostly just unnecessary jobs for it. We give up our lives for it. We become disenfranchised, depressed and lethargic from it. The dollar kills us. We labor in this system because we have basic human wants--shelter, heat, food, water, clothing. We are victims of this system because we have been force-fed the notion that the only way to achieve these necessities is to labor. Wealth, instead of meaning a rich intellect, an inquisitive mind, good friends, music, art, literature, and fun, is now directly related to how many dollar bills we have--how many numbers show up on our bank statements.

There is more to life than that dollar, that meaningless piece of paper. Don't live your life in blind, meaningless pursuit of it. Yeah, we might need it to eat and to live, but this is temporary and most of the time avoidable for the anarchist. There is a life outside the cell of the wage-slave. There is more.

Don't confuse the pursuit of cash with the pursuit of happiness, because they have nothing in common. Make your life valuable and enjoyable for yourself, and do not give up endless hours of your life to better some manager's life, or his superior.

Anarchy is about loving yourself, and loving your fellow man and woman. No masters, no slaves.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Counter-Culture

Creating a counter-culture is the best way of getting our ideas as Anarchists out of the realm of theory and into practice. A readily available counter-culture ripe for harvesting new friends and allies from is the punk-rock community. No, everyone is not an Anarchist, and no, not everyone is really into politics at all, but so is the real world, my friends! Still, there is a generally large pool of Anarcists without Adjectives, Marxists, Radical Socialists, Anarcho-Nihilists, and more that go to punk rock shows. It's all about finding them, and building friendships. The people that you connect with at ska shows and in little tiny venues can become some of your best buddies, and comrades in general.

Pass out leaflets advertising your blog (cough, cough...), or pirate some paper and ink and pass out zines with your contact info on the cover. Do whatever it takes to network within the Anarchist Community. Talk to people about the bands you like, meet up over the internet, whatever!

When we can develop a counter-culture, and refine it to be a functional network of friends and friends of friends, focused on Mutual Aide and freedom, that will be when we can make Anarchy work. It has to work in small steps first, and then we can take it to the moon.

Confucius said that a working family would be the necessary starting point to achieve a working State. Well, I say that a working, liberal and productive Collective/Affinity Group/Counter-Culture will be the necessary starting point to achieve a working Anti-State Society.


Sunday, February 1, 2009

No Direction Home

What would it be like to be homeless? Without any refuge whatsoever? I'm talking not even an Anarchist collective or a squat to go to. I can't fathom it. I can't fathom what it would be like to really and truly live like Dylan said, to be 'without a home, with no direction home.' I was in New York a week or so ago, and the people camped out in subway station bathrooms and every corner of Battery Park incite in me a very real anger at those who knowingly or unknowingly put them there.

It was cold, freezing actually. With windchill, it was definitely below zero. Still, there they were, a mass of men and women, linked together in their poverty, wrapped in rags and plastic garbage bags, taking refuge in alleys to avoid the wind. It's not right for them to have to live this way, especially not in the 'richest nation on the face of the earth,' as so many economists lovingly put it. It's another case of the rich man winning and the poor man dying. Slowly, achingly bitter and slow, the poor man dies because of how the rich man lives.

I found a scarf on the ground after my family and I left a diner restaurant. It was wool, and well made, about 30 inches maybe, and gray. It was thick and warm. I draped it over my arm and we continued walking, eventually cabbing to get to the subway. We walked in the first set of doors and I saw maybe six people, all homeless, lying around on the ground. A few were asleep on blankets and plastic, two were talking, and the rest were rattling cans as people pretended they didn't see them. I deposited some bills, as I always do when I see people on the street, and then continued into the subway. I stopped at the bathroom to take a leak before we got on the train, and saw another man in the bathroom, older, but not old. He had a sleeping bag tied to his backpack, and a winter hat jammed over his head. He was shouldering his stuff to go back out into the cold. I gave him the scarf and my last six bucks without a word, and he stammered a thanks to me that I really didn't understand. What I did understand was the glow in his eyes, the look of complete, honest thanks. That I understood, and I was happy too.

Even though the government could help these people in one fell swoop with their funda and projects and stimulis packages, they won't. Greed blinds them to the less fortunate's plight. We are the ones who have to help out those in need, the homeless, the addicts, the people who are suffering. If they won't do it, we can, and we will. All I did was give a man a scarf I found lying in the street and a completely trivial amount of money (to most anyway). It changed his night, it showed him someone cared. Do that. Do what I did. I do it everytime I go to a big city, and I do everything I can to help the tiny community of homeless people in my little town. I do it and it feels right. I will continue to directly help these people who are hurting, and I will do it myself, without an agency or a corporation or an organization. You should do it too. You'll understand what an impact you have when you hand that woman a ten-dollar bill or a coffee you got from McDonald's.

but hey, don't take my word for it--go do it yourself. Don't forget about those who everyone else seems to have forgotten.

We are not numbers, we are not commodities.