Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Recommended Reading and Resources for the Frustrated and the Would-Be Anarchist

While Anarchy is a philosophy of practice, we need theory and written dialectic on our aspirations. Here is a list of places to find info about what anarchy really means. Check it out!!

www.zinelibrary.info -- This place has thousands of independent and traditional radical pamphlets, magazines and essays.

http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/anarchist_archives/index.html --- This provides essays, works and letters from major anarchist theoreticians that are famous and have political backgrounds.

www.crimethinc.com --Arguably the most modern, awesome and resourceful haven for anarchists on the net. these guys are great, and all of the books they publish are extremely affordable, and great for breaking into theory.

Those should get you started. As far as names go, let me drop a few.

Pierre Joseph Proudhon
Mikhail Bakunin

Peter Kropotkin
Emma Goldman
George Woodcock
Rudolf Rocker
Lucy Parsons

so, check those names out, look at some of the essays, and by all fucking means, respond back iwth discussion questions, problems, thoughts and theories!!


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Alternatives to Police

I don't like cops. The fact that the government assumes we need armed thugs to prod and coerce us into conforming to societal and accepted norms and traditions is, to me, absurd. To paraphrase Michael Parenti, the idea that police keep 'order' and fight crime are simply not true. The true use of a police force anywhere is social control (to force us to conform to aforementioned societal norms) and protection of property (i.e., keeping the property and capital in the hands of the rich elite). The vast majority of police aren't out to protect the working class from anti-social, violent people. Instead, they are out to "protect" the minority (the rich, elite, and authoritarian upper class) from us, the disenfranchised and oppressed majority.

Still, some people assume that a world without police would degenerate into a violent free-for-all, with every person out to kill, rape ans steal. I don't think that this is the case. In fact, I think that society could function very well without police in the commonly accepted traditional sense of the word. I will now highlight some things that we can do as anarchists to demonstrate to the populace why we could very well live without police, and how this perceived impossibility is far more realistic than many assume.

1) Observe and Respect Natural Laws: This should be self-explanatory to the anarchist, but might need explained to those who are unaware of what it means. Natural Laws are common and almost axiomatic things that are "right." The right to free-speech, free-thought and free-expression are natural laws. The right of non-coercion and personal choice are natural laws. The right to live peacefully and defend your health and freedom in the face of violence is a natural law. In essence, following the golden rule and living in communion with your community
sum up what Natural Laws are.

2) When Conflicts Arise, Solve them Internally: Instead of letting a dispute escalate into violence (where most people assume that police would be needed to detain the persons and mediate the argument), don't let it go that far. Work on developing mutual respect for others and practice conflict-resolution without the aid of a guy holding a gun. Being able to talk out a problem and then hammer out a compromise would undermine much of the perceived need for police. Above all, never resort to violence during a petty dispute, no matter how tempting.

3) Move Towards a Tight-Knit Community: Knowing your neighbors and interacting with them will greatly diminish confrontations altogether. they will obviously still happen, but having an active participatory role in your community lessens the chances of alienating disputes between two or more indifferent citizens. Tighten community solidarity by working together as a whole, and being personable. Make friends, share in the labor and fun that go hand-in-hand with communities, and be respectful. When the community is tight-knit and unified in happiness, problems won't arise nearly as often.

In short, live the revolution you want in your everyday life, and we can show the pigs that we don't need them or their "protection."

Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me.

I'm 18 years old now, an adult in the eyes of the state. I don't feel any different really. If anything, I feel a little tired and at the moment have a quasi-headache that fades in and out of existence.

There were few presents for me, but that is how I wanted it. A $50 from my aging grandmother who loves me unconditionally. A pack of smokes, a lighter and a dimebag from my younger brother (both of which we indulged in soon after the gift giving between us was done). A knitted coffee-mug cozy from my little sister. $28 in cash from my friends, as well as a multi-tool pocket knife, two ballpoint pens and a notebook, as well as high fives and a free lunch today at the caf. Add to this some congratulatory 'dark-as-fuck' coffee and cookies given to me by my boy at the coffee house that I haunt so frequently, and you have my birthday. My parents, besides busting their balls working for tuition at Penn State, have promised me a lap-top computer by the end of the summer along with most of the first year costs paid for. I've tried to gobble up as much grant money as possible, as well as independant scholarships, but school is just too expensive.

I like to think that new chapters are opening for me as I push myself further and further out on my own, into the world. I also like to think, though, that I have done more, seen more, and participated in more things conducive to a happy and exciting life than a lot of other kids my age. I'm proud of this.

Part of my personal philosophy, bound within my concept of Anarchy, is the idea that I want to make every single moment of my life worthwhile and profound. I hate idleness and inaction. I feel like those things are squandering the time we have to live, to enjoy, to feel.

As I treat myself to a Red Bull and sip at a coffee gone cold, I have a lot of people to thank, and a lot more to meet. I'm so ready for life, ready for life my way.