Hi all. I have been uber busy with finals lately, but will return soon to blog away. Trying to get some of these writing assignments done so that I can forget about them and...write some more stuff on here!!
I hope all is well.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
I haven't talked about the Recession for a reason--it's been talked to death by people who (at least think...) that they know more about economics than I do... Also, as this recession is a cyclical thing, it's not as though it jumped out from behind a bush and seized us by the balls. In a Capitalist economy, we should be ever ready and even expectant of a recession. Like the economists say, 'It's how the system works,' after all! 'Don't you all see? Suffering is an integral part of the system, a necessity!' they say in their 20 room mansions, laughing behind stacks of money.
The thing that I find most incredulous, most absurd and most infuriating is the fact that the working people, the people grinding the gears and doing the labor, did NOT get us into this recession. Still, with bankers, brokers, investors and CEO's at the top, not wanting to topple from their thrones built on our labor, it is only the working people that suffer. Sure, Bill Gates, Pickens, etc. will take a hit, but in the end, they will still be billionaires while the working people shuffle to the bread lines. The bosses got us into this mess, the bosses and their investors, the bosses and their lust for meaningless green paper, the bosses and their greed.
So the main problem I have with this is that the good people, the gears that make this world go around, the people that give us electricity, water, fix the cars, build EVERYTHING we use, are getting blasted because of the greed of millionaires. Doesn't that sound absurd to you?! Why should people with so much money be greedy at all? What facilitates this endless thirst for money, for numbers on a sheet of paper? Surely it's not a survival instinct--they can survive and more, they can live in lascivious, hedonistic luxury. All the while, unemployment rises, people go hungry, and the urban populace turns to drugs to combat the hopelessness.
Again, to reiterate, because I find myself more and more often falling into rants, the bosses made this mess, we have to clean it up. That being said, I do believe there are ways that we could stall this machine, and one big one is by not agreeing to pool money into a 401k.
I think that 401k's are the biggest racket the government has going. We pay them a portion of the money earned from our labor (and don't get me started on how meager this sum is to begin with...), and we let them use it to prop up their stock-market and make ends meet when some investor fucks up on his guesstimations about what that market will do. We give them this money in hopes that we will have some extra when we're ready to retire. We do this because we want some extra crumbs from the table when we're too old to toil. But what happens when the government is left in charge of directing our investment choices? Well, in Capitalism, a recession happens, and then we're left in the shit-storm. I know various older people, not yet retired but getting there, who are now looking around desperately for second jobs to fill the difference so that they can retire on schedule, on their terms.
401k's, in my opinion, are just a way for the government to squeeze more money out of us and prop up an economic system that chronically fails and breaks down. It is a more up-front form of extortion, a psychological shakedown, that we comply to because it is portrayed as being in our better interest. Stop listening to everything the politicians say!! Think for yourself, do some light economic research, beacause KNOWLEDGE REALLY IS POWER!
Don't be milked like cattle, don't be manipulated by a game piece.
The Capitalists and Politicians will sedate us with words and quick-fix solutions just long enough for the system to right itself, and then we will forget about the hardships that many had to endure and be 'thankful' that it's over. We will neglect to look to the future until it comes.
I can only hope that with each recession, the strength of the proletariat and the people affected by the economic downturn will come together in solidarity. I hope, most truly, that a sense of unity among working people will come about as a result of what the bosses got us into.
Read books, Cultivate yourself!
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Racism, intolerance, a fascist, one-party state, xenophobia, hatred, militarism. These are the principles of the numerous hate-groups that populate America. These organizations, focused on committing violence against ANYONE who thinks differently than they do, are growing in number, and this is a disturbing and infuriating fact. This could be due in part to the election of a man of color into the Executive Office, which probably got all those 'on-the-fence-fascists' to go all the way and throw in their lot with these groups....
More so than our President, I think that the increase in hate-group membership is due to the fact that the modern day fascists see the world progressing to a more accepting, tolerant and freedom-based place (though this progress seems agonizingly slow to me, personally, I still think it is happening). This fact has hardened the radical zeal of the hate-groups already functioning in America, and they are in a membership push, to increase their numbers and size. They do this because of the inherent fear that they have of their way of life becoming extinct in a changing world.
But what do we do? Do we let these hate-groups gather strength in numbers? Should we not oppose them through a diversity of tactics? I think so. An Anarchist Free Market or Free Food Day in a poor rural Southern town could have just the right effect. Giving direct aid to those who need it, regardless of color, could oppose these groups appeal to the people in the same situation (poor young whites, most of the time lacking much of an education). Through discourse and demonstration of Anarchist values, we can rip off the veneer of 'patriotism' and machismo surrounding these organizations and expose them for what they are.
Still, there remains the disturbing reality that these groups arm themselves with guns and explosives, making them a literal danger to the people that they subjugate. Sometimes whole shooting ranges are rented out for bi-monthly 'Weapons Awareness' courses set up by KKK Dens, Neo-Confederate 'Militias,' and White Nationalist clubs. They preach a mastery of weapons and a knowledge of violent tactics, and why wouldn't they? They so glorify militarism that they would sooner train their own little soldiers than have to serve in a minority-rich US Army or Marine Corps. Again, this knowledge of how to use weapons for destructive purposes against their perceived enemies makes them literally dangerous to everybody.
Many Anarchists I know preach tactics of strict non-violence, using civil disobedience and sabotage to practice Direct Action rather than insurrectionary property destruction or police confrontation. Still, others I know are hardcore insurrectionists, trained in demolitions and guerrilla tactics. My question to my fellow Anarchists is this; Can we afford to be unprepared? In other posts I have theorized that the first stormtroopers that will attempt to crush us will be these hate-groups. They will lead the attacks against us should we realize a social and political revolution simply because we are the antithesis of what they stand for.
Am I justifying violence? No. I am justifying a diversity of tactics to use against these organizations centered on blind hatred. I don't think we can sit idly by while these fools prepare themselves with knowledge to be used solely for committing violence against innocent people. If anything, we Anarchists should learn about weapons use for literal self-defense. I stand by the assertion that I would rather know how to use a gun and never have to use it than need to know and be unprepared.
I hate violence, and this is a fact. But sometimes defense is needed, of ourselves and our loved ones, not to mention our freedoms. There may come a time when we need to defend ourselves from these people, and I want to at least be realistically ready. It's not enough for me to despise them and their philosophy of hate. It's not enough to wish that they would change their ways, because the vast majority WON'T. I can pray that Fascism will die, along with all of its proponents, but that won't happen tomorrow either. In the meantime, I won't allow myself to be a sheep should the wolves approach in the distance.
I live to see a day when hatred will dissolve. I want peace more than anything, but I love myself and my freedom enough not to be crushed under a Nazi boot-heel as well.
We do what we can, to educate, to slowly pull people away from racist and sexist ideas, and this is right. Keep on trying, and maybe someday you and I will wake up and evil will be extinct, along with all of those who violently pursue its realization. What a utopia that would be!!
With Peace and Love to all my Friends
Thursday, April 9, 2009
I can think of no Direct Action more conducive to Anarchist Ideals (well...few...) than Squatting. Squatting is the re-appropriation of unused public space by a group of individuals for living communally, and without having to pay rent or adhere to strict tenant standards.
Squatting provides an environment for like minded revolutionaries to gather and feel safe, a place where you can come and crash or live for a damn long time (some old heads have lived and died in their squat). Community being one of the integral parts of Anarchist Philosophy, squats are focal points where community and communal living work concretely, for all to see. Squatters often take buildings that are trashed to say the least, and rebuild them slowly, through work and labor that they organize themselves.
As I said, the re-appropriation of space is a great way to concretely show others how self-organization can work, and how people are capable of achieving success without a manager or a boss. Every squat that gets built up from the bottom turns into a haven for people (like myself) who want to live off the greed and out of the system. The friendly atmosphere I've found in every squat I've ever stayed at is conducive to making new friends. I've had monumental political discussions that have refined my own theories. I've eaten great food, got my hands dirty, put shingles on roofs, and hauled toilet water into the basement in the middle of the night.
Squatting seems profoundly correct and good to me, and to others that find it disconcerting that we have a growing homeless population and thousands of buildings sitting empty and decaying. Is squatting illegal? Yes, in most cases (though squatters are gaining rights of their own in Europe!!). But you have to ask yourself sometimes if every law is right and just. I don't think it's right for people to freeze to death and sleep on park benches and under cars when they could lay their head down in a condemned building and be warm(er). For landlords to only think of the profit that they can make on their real estate and turn a blind and ignorant eye to the homeless is revolting.
For all of those people who think that collective labor can't work en masse, check out some of the noted US and Euro. squats that do exist and do function. They are beacons of hope for the Anarchist cause. Start a squat!!!