Tuesday, August 30, 2005


There is seemingly no depth to which US bosses won’t sink. The latest attempt to degrade and humiliate the work force is something called “no fault attendance." According to the Anarcho-Syndicalist Review #41 (www.syndicalist.org) “workers are penalized for every lateness or absence regardless of its cause.” The system works on a point scale, so many points for being late, six points and you are disciplined, twelve points and you are fired. “It doesn’t matter if workers are sick or had an accident on the way to work.” Welcome to 2005, which is starting to look an awful lot like 1005! Fired for attending a meeting, fired for supporting the wrong candidate, fired for blogs, now fired for being sick. How much longer will US workers put up with having their faces pushed into the mud by these psychopathic bullies? For more info on contract feudalism click

Monday, August 29, 2005


I just found this fantastic online book on the history of coops in the US while reading the GEO Newsletter www.geo.coop , John Curl’s “History Of Work Cooperation In America” examines virtually every one of the scores of groups who promoted and practiced worker cooperation from Leveller influenced settlers to the Knights of Labor, Populists, the IWW right to the present day.
See: www.red-coral.net/WorkCoops.html

Thursday, August 25, 2005


Even today, with all the blather about high tech, most jobs only require basic literacy. Yet, everyone is forced to get a highschool diploma. Up until 50 years ago this was not the case. The majority went as far as grade 8 and then got jobs. Only those young people going on to university or taking commercial courses for future white collar jobs completed high school. Then, in the mid-late 1950s a new scare was drummed up by the authorities, one that would eventually overshadow the Great Comic Book Panic and the Rock and Roll Hysteria. (1) This was the dreaded High School Drop Out Plague, which at times seemed a greater threat to "Our Way of Life" than those Evil Commies forever lurking under our beds.

This scam involved two groups, politicians and the education bureaucracy. The former sought to keep unemployment at a reasonably low level. One way of doing this was by keeping people out of the work force. An extra four years of schooling would reduce the unemployment figures by hundreds of thousands. For the education bureaucracy this was a gift from heaven. Force every child to go to highschool and education budgets would increase by 50%.

The scam worked its way up the education ladder. In 1960 if you got a BA or BSc that was enough. It was "open sesame" for most professions. But soon professions that were previously taught on the job required a further two years of education AFTER a bachelors degree. This sorry situation is nothing more than a cheap ploy to exclude people from these professions and create more jobs for the education racket.

Every middle class kid now must have a BA, whether they want it or not. Few will benefit much from it, other than the need for a piece of paper, so why bother? You see them jumping through all the bureaucratic hoops of the educational mandarinate. Most of them would rather be elsewhere. For many, university is a chance to drink beer, smoke weed and get laid, and for that you can't blame them. That's natural when you are 19 years old.

More to the point would be for young people to have real jobs, grab their tool boxes and head out to see the country, "on tour" like Joseph Dietzgen

and Pierre Proudhon did.

I do, however, believe that an educated populace is a good thing. The so-called libertarians who say "Why should I have to pay for other people's kids education?" are just damn fools. Everything is inter-connected, and don't ever forget it! The more genuine education a population has, the better it is for all of us. At its most basic - people who read, paint pictures or play music aren't out stealing old ladies purses. We would not wish to reproduce the pre-1960 situation where you had a poorly educated blue collar working class, a high school grad white collar working class and a university educated middle class. Rather, have people educated at ANY point in their lives. The young who do not want to go to school beyond the most basic level should get out and work. Many of them will eventually get bored with work and will return to class.

Important point! Formal education is not real education. Formal education is just "training." Real education is something else, something that comes from within - a passion and curiosity about the world. Few, if any, schools can give this. Formal education can provide the basic tools, like reading, writing and "figgerin", but the real education begins when you apply those mental tools on your own. The informal sort of education - which should be encouraged at all levels - such as public libraries, night courses, discussion groups, coop and community radio/TV, are the true areas of “cultural uplift.” Love of true education must also begin at home in the years before a child goes to school. Let there be vast campaigns to encourage parents to read to their children and give their offspring books.

1. For those of you to young to be familiar with these 1950's hysterias. The "authorities" in the early '50's deemed comic books the root cause of delinquency. These same authorities, as well as much of the adult population, felt the same about Rock and Roll, but with addition fears about sexuality, class and race. The fact that many adults believed such utter nonsense, and we teens obviously did not, was the beginning of what became known in the late '60's as the "Generation Gap."

Saturday, August 20, 2005


The Quebecois writer, the late Pierre Bourgault , writing in his collection of essays LA COLERE Vol. 3 (Anger) makes the excellent point that the drive for productivity in services actually cuts down on productivity in general. (*) He gives two examples, one of department stores and the other of the banks. Both, with the view of raising productivity - in reality raising profits - have cut staff to the bone. The customer is forced to spend an inordinate amount of time searching for the items he/she wishes to purchase or waiting in line to do a banking transaction. Furthermore the ill-paid employees are also ill informed about the products. All this means a time loss - i.e., a cut in productivity for the customer. There is no overall gain in societal productivity, the company's gains are the publics loss.

We can see the problem elsewhere. Hospitals and other government services cut back on employees and force longer waiting times. Doctors no longer make house calls. The sick are now forced to spend their time in travel and in doctors waiting rooms, rather than lying in bed. Nor is the drive for productivity the only reason our time is of no consideration. Large centralized schools, certainly of benefit to bureaucrats, mean it takes longer for children to get to school. Suburban sprawl certainly fills the pockets of developers and the auto industry, but at the expense of the thousands of people stuck in traffic jams, who even at the best of times have long commutes.

Let's face it, we don't matter a damn!

(*) in the essay, "Les Services, Quels Services?"

Thursday, August 18, 2005


It seemed like a really radical idea at the time. But now a columnist in the
Is promotion the idea of free public transit. Go here for my April 9th article on the same subject. Good to see anarchist concepts going mainstream.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


I previously wrote about the War For Drugs. This is part of the crime racket, but certainly not all of it. State invented crimes such as "illegal" drugs or laws against the sex trade are an obvious scam created to maintain the Police-Prison Industrial Complex. (1) True crimes, anti-social acts such as fraud, robbery, assault, rape, murder, have also been incorporated into this complex. People who commit genuine anti-social acts see other people as objects to be used or exploited. This lack of empathy and the use of people as a means are the classic symptoms of emotional disturbances such as psychopathy and narcissism.

Narcissism seems to have environmental origins, usually rooted in childhood. The origins of pschyopathic behavior are found in a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Genetic pre-disposition pschycopathic conditions can either be offset or encouraged by the social environment, most especially child rearing practices. Brain lesions caused by child abuse before the age of five might also be a factor. Few indeed, are the psychopaths who have not had an abusive childhood. The origins of psychopathic behavior and narcissism are reasonably well known, yet anti-social acts are treated as punishable crimes rather than as mental and social problems.

The reason for this is not to hard to figure out. Follow the buck! If crime was treated as a psycho-social problem, the Police-Prison-Industrial Complex would lose out big time. The free ride would end. Tax money that now went to the Complex would go to psychiatry, social services and mental institutions. The role of the police and courts would be reduced to apprehending and proving the guilt of the alleged offender. Prisons would no longer exist. Non-violent crimes would involve victim restitution and therapy. Dangerous individuals would still be separated from the rest of society, but in mental institutions not jail cells. Emphasis would be placed upon the root causes of anti-social acts. Overcoming poverty, child abuse and bullying would be an absolute priority. Society would vigorously combat social attitudes now promoted in consumer culture which encourage psychopathic or narcissistic behavior, such as the need to win at any cost, glorification of violence and contempt for people.

Like the ridiculous superstitions about cannabis trotted out by the Drug War Mafia, the Police-Prison Industrial Complex uses worn-out beliefs to keep its nose deep in the tax-payer hog trough. One of the most absurd of these beliefs is the notion of "legal insanity." The definition of legal insanity dates from 1844, long before psychology had developed. The courts, out of forgivable ignorance at the time, reduced mental illness to psychosis - the situation where a person is totally deluded in his-her actions. (2) The mentally ill who knew what they were doing, even though their acts were those of madmen, were deemed sane. Hence the jailing of psychopaths. (3) As one might expect, crammed in with other misfits, their conditions worsen in prison. Due to the nature of the law, they are released when their sentence is up, "cured" or not. Any attempt to change this 19th century conception to a contemporary clinical definition of insanity is fought tooth and nail by the courts and police. One need not wonder why.


While treating crime as a psychological problem can be more humane, we must remain wary about the mental health industry. In the past, girls were placed in asylums for having pre-marital sex or for "being disobedient." One young woman in the late '50's was given multiple shock treatments because she liked to dress in black and carried a copy of Proust. I knew a fellow institutionalized for having long hair. Having a class analysis of society could get you marked as paranoid. Several fat volumes could be filled with similar horror stories. There will have to be many checks and balances installed to prevent such abuse.

1, These laws didn't start out as scams, but as the obsessions of authoritarian busy-bodies who wanted to impose their twisted ideas of morality on the population.
2. This was a progressive step in 1844. Before the notion of legal insanity was imposed, the psychotic were held accountable for their actions and suffered the most barbarous punishments.
3. What can you say about a system that deems a murderous lunatic like John Wayne Gacy, "sane"? What kind of crackpots are running the show? I also doubt whether serious psychopathic behavior can be "cured." Some people will have to be isolated from the public for their entire lives.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

New Zapatista Statement

Subcomandante Marcos has announced the formation of a broad group of peasants, workers and social movements to create a mass movement with a common program. Rather than having this movement run candidates in the forthcoming election in Mexico it will work from outside to press for change. This is very wise, as it will allow the movement to keep its nose clean and thus minimize the danger of selling out. We have seen the various left wing parties come and go. They are founded with the best intentions and after some years in the parliamentary arena they sell out. We have seen the same with the Green Party. This is inevitable with electoral politics which, by its very nature, is based on lowest common denomenatorism, representation, not delegation and of course endless compromise. (Except when right wingers are in power. THEY don’t compromise.) Furthermore, when a left wing party takes power, they tend to demobilize their supporters, at a time when I think they ought to be out in the street as never before to keep the bastards honest. The only hope is for a non-electoral mass movement to hold their feet to the fire, thus forcing them to act. Let’s hope this libertarian populist concept of the Zapatistas spreads across the world.
See Subcomandante Marcos

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


I just read Micheal Finkel’s book, TRUE STORY, about Chris Longo, who murdered his wife and three small children in 2001. The author based his book on hundreds of pages of letters and jail interviews that he collected over the course of two years. Longo now faces the death penalty. The big question in the book is why he murdered, as he seemed to be so normal. Psychiatrists who examined him claimed he was a narcissist.

However, Longo's crime cannot be reduced to his personality disorder. Millions of people - in the US especially, are afflicted with narcissism, yet they do not commit violent crimes, let alone murder their families. Indeed, narcissism is seen by some as a virtual requirement for success in business. In order to turn a personality disorder in a criminal direction, the proper environment must be provided.

In Longo's case, there were two-inter-related conditions which led him to kill his family. One of these was the conservative consumer-obsessed culture. The other was authoritarian religion. One can easily imagine a different, yet still narcissistic Longo arising in a different cultural-environmental context. A Longo who cares nothing for bourgeois convention, fantasies himself as an artiste and sponges off everyone. A pain in the ass, but not a criminal.

The Longos wanted a yuppie lifestyle, but they couldn't afford it. This need led Chris Longo to engage in fraud and theft, in a kind of vicious circle that led to murder. What initially sparked his criminal activity involves a political context. His youngest daughter had severe health problems which drained his limited income and drove him into bankruptcy. In any civilized country health insurance would have covered these costs. Not so in the USA. Could it be that for want of a decent health care system a family was murdered?

Why did the Longo's have to have a middle class living standard? Because it was the thing to do. They were highly conservative, never questioning anything, always seemingly obedient to every convention, which included being overly polite, not drinking alcohol or swearing. For such people, the outward display of wealth is a compensation for their insecurity and their shallow, boring lives. Indeed, the latter aspect was to encourage Longo in his crime sprees. He got a thrill from stealing a car or writing a bum cheque.

But why couldn't the Longos afford their yuppie lifestyle? Both were highly intelligent and capable individuals. The cult they belonged to considered higher education to be a sin. Longo had only a Grade Nine education. With the destruction of US trade unions - another political context - the poorly educated can only get minimum wages. Yet they wanted to be middle class. Their cult however, didn't see anything wrong with materialist aspirations. Had Longo been a Quaker, Buddhist or Amish - no murders.

The cult also demanded subservience from women. The wife was not to question her husband's actions. A normal woman would have demanded to know where all the expensive automobiles and gifts were coming from on a $7.00 an hour job. A normal woman would have left Longo when his behavior became increasingly bizarre.

At the most crucial period in their lives - when Longo was finally revealed as a thief, fraud-artist, liar and cheat, the cult failed them. The family was ostracized, driving them into complete isolation, furthering the mad spiral that led to death.

Yes, Longo must die, yet not a word is said about the crazy system that produced him.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Scam Part 3 - The Corporate Law Fraud

The business corporation is actually a holdover from the 17th Century period of political absolutism and mercantilist economics. Corporations were set up by the state to give monopoly privileges to certain favored individuals - surprise, surprise, connected with the government and members of the so-called nobility. Genuine liberals such as Thomas Jefferson and Adam Smith disliked corporations, fearing their ability to distort free exchange. However, other than banking and trading, few corporations existed in the early 19th Century. Most businesses were owned by individuals or partners and thus, were by todays standards very small. The Era of the Corporation really begins after the American Civil War.

A legal "innovation" was created which allowed for the rapid development of corporate business. This innovation, actually a form of legal fraud, was "limited liability". Up till then, and today as well if you are an ordinary person, each person is responsible for his or her debts. If you default on a loan the financial institution will come and take your house, your car and your furniture, leaving you in the street. What limited liability does is shift the burden of debt away from the officers of a corporation to the corporation itself. If a corporation with limited liability goes belly-up, legally, you can't grab the CEO's personal bank account, mansion and Rolls Royce. Thousands of small shareholders might lose everything, and the workers their jobs and pension funds, but not the bosses.

Having limited liability is like a gambling addict with a rich parent who funds the addiction. When the gambler loses, the parent pays, when the gambler wins, he keeps his winnings. Corporate officers have a free hand to speculate with other people's money. Such speculation can lose, but it can also win big. Such "big wins" inflate the market share and size of a corporation, furthering the process of concentration and centralization. Put another way, without limited liability, corporate officers would be very conservative with other people's money and high-risk speculation would not exist. Corporations would tend to be a lot smaller and many would not exist at all.

It is obvious that limited liability allows many opportunities for corruption, many more than would exist without this evil law.

In the 1880’s came the notion of the "corporation as fictitious individual", in fact limited liability implies this. Business corporations are a form of collective capitalism, they may have thousands of shareholders. The problem for the corporation bosses is that the Bill of Rights and the Rights of Man (sic) did not recognize the notion of collective right, only individual rights. The liberal revolutionaries of the 18th and early 19th Centuries saw collective right as a hang-over from feudalism. Such basic rights as freedom of speech and of the press, were freedoms of the individual, and of course, at that time presses and bookshops were owned by individuals and not corporations. (1)

Through the legal fraud which converted a collective structure into a fictitious individual, the corporation acquired the rights of a human individual. That a collective, often comprising thousands of individuals, is not an individual is obvious to anyone with any degree of sanity. But this only goes to show what a blatant and vicious fraud this law is. Thanks to the "fictitious individual" genuine, living, breathing individuals have great difficulty combating corporations, and especially corporate media or advertising, since such actions would be deemed an attack upon “individual rights." This has had very negative effects upon the media and has deeply undermined democracy. When newspapers were taken over by giant corporations, freedom of the press now applied to those corporations. Hundreds of newspapers which once spoke with hundreds of different voices, now spoke with two or three voices, those of their corporate masters. (For further reading on the history of the corporation as fictitious individual here is a good article by Thom Hartman)

(1) The technology was so simple that literally any printer could cast his own type, build his own press and start publishing a newspaper, the largest of which sold 10,000 copies.
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