Monday, July 31, 2006

Murray Bookchin

Murray Bookchin is no more. One of the great re-energizers of the anarchist project died early yesterday.

Bookchin was an important influence upon me and my fellow Vancouver anarchists back in the early days of our movement. Indeed, it seems hard to imagine anarchism developing there at that time without his influence. That combination of ecology, community and libertarian thought seemed just made for us. Raise a glass in honour of Murray!

For a Counterpunch story on Murray Bookchin see:

Sunday, July 30, 2006

More Israeli Anti-War Marches

The following report from Israeli Anarchists on a second Tel-Aviv march:

The Call:
Women against the War -- A Women's Demonstration (dressed in black) Stop the War! Stop the occupation! Stop killing civilians! Negotiate now! Exchange prisoners! The march will start at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv on Saturday 29 July at 18:30 and reach Maxim Square at Ben Zion Blvd.

Groups Involved:

Women against the War – Coalition of Women for Peace, Ahoti, Aswat, Bat Shalom,Women in Black, FORA, TANDI, Women against Violence, Altafula, New Profile, TheFifth Mother, WILPF, NELED, Beit Nashim Feministi, Ittihad El-Maraa El-Takdumi, Kian Feminist Organization, Women’s Council-Kufar Kar’a

The Demonstration:
In a corner of the municipal square, women and men in black from all over the
country converged. A contingent of anarchists - previously met for preparations at the anarchist bookstore Salon Mazal arrived as a block - with pink ribbons to make us more visible in a black clad mass of people. We held up our flags and banners chanted and made our noise rhythm "orchestra" in a short march across the huge square to were the people were converging.

After a while, the demonstration started with about 1,500 people chanting, holding banners and placards and flags marched along the Khen and Ben Zion boulevards.

Among the marchers the anarchist bloc was a lively part, with about 100 people
stopping from time to time (mainly in intersection) to dance and chant.

Time and again, the nervous police officers prodded us to shorten the ritual
and continue marching, but no one arrested.

After reaching the end of the route, a few women activists gave speeches
and then the demo was declared as ended.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Money Cultures Imbecile Apprentices (1)

Dr. Luciana Bohne is a professor of Literature and Cinema at a university in Pennsylvania. She is totally shocked by the ignorance of her students and wonders why basic knowledge of geography, history, philosophy, are “totally lacking from their studies”. One of her students claims that “she never reads” - this from someone taking a literature course. The students don't know how to write an essay, so Dr. Bohne has to teach them that. The first book on the course list is Isabelle Allende's “Love and Shadows”, for those of you unfamiliar with this novel it is set during the Pinochet coup. No one in the class knew where Chile was, so she had to photocopy information for them. No one had any idea what socialism and fascism are and she had to spend valuable time teaching them this. Not one student was familiar with Plato's “Myth of the Cave” a metaphor necessary to understand the novel. More time wasted. No one had heard of the Sept. 11 1973 Coup and were viably shocked when Dr. Bohne handed out photocopies of declassified CIA documents showing US involvement.

Dr. Bohne feels that “ serious education is impossible in the US” and the reason for that is that “knowledge is an enemy of the profit system”. The “only education allowed is that which reinforces the status quo” and the total lack of education is “planned and deliberate.” This massive ignorance, is “the reason why the mass media is so successful with its lies.” She feels that the destruction of education in the US is a form of “cultural fascism” and compares what has happened there to Pinochet's wrecking of the Chilean universities.

I have often wondered why the neocons we get in on-line discussion groups are so profoundly ignorant. Now I know why. They lack any form of basic education, and thus are patsies for the corporate state's propaganda. Guess I should stop getting angry them and see them for what they really are, pathetic victims of a cruel system.

1. Originally titled, “L’apprentissage de l’imbécilité dans la culture de l’argent “ and can be found at:

Monday, July 24, 2006

Lebanese Blog

Here is a Lebanese anarchist's blog which is of interest:

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Vancouver Yippie!

There is now a web site devoted to Vancouver Yippie!, the group that turned Vancouver upside down in the early 1970's and was also a major impetus for the anarchist movement in that city.


Israeli Protest Photos

Here are some photos the neocon press don't want you to see. Israelis protesting the attack on Lebanon. See:

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Anti-War Protests In Isreal

Several thousand people of the coalition against the war from all over
the country converged in the municipal square, Saturday evening.
People carried flags, banners, and placards. Leaflets were distributed
including three picture placards distributed by anarchists. In
one picture is the young girls writing "addresses" on canon shells to be
soon fired; the second of a heavy cannon firing and such shells near it;
the third was of two children killed by such cannon shells. An organized
contingent of anarchists arrived with black flags, flags with the big
anarchist A, banners, and placards. After a while, there started a march
towards the Sinematec - clogging the main street. Along the march slogans
were chanted. The two hundred anarchists were very lively: chanted,
sung, danced, run from time to time, and made a lot of rhythmic noise.

At the end of the march the Sinematec square was too small for the big
crowd. During the speeches people started to disperse.


(This has been edited)

Climate Change And The State

More evidence is now in that desertification caused the creation of the state in Egypt. A recent article in the National Geographic (1) gives credence to the analysis I developed in my essay, The Primal Wound (2) A similar outlook on the development of the state and authoritarianism can also be found in James De Meo's SAHARSIA. (3)




Friday, July 14, 2006

Some Statistics

- Tobacco deaths - 1.4 million a year. (1)

- Traffic fatalities - 1 million a year. (2)

- Deaths in terrorist attacks in 2005 – 14,600, 30% of which were in Iraq. (3)


2. &URL=


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Withdraw Corporate Life Support

It isn't necessary to control corporate capitalism with legislation that restricts its harmful aspects. Simply pull the plug on it – abolish corporate law, patents, eliminate all forms of government assistance, no more state as capitalist goon squad, repeal all anti-worker legislation.

What about corporate law? Limited liability shifts the burden of debt away from the officers of a corporation to the corporation itself. If a corporation with limited liability goes belly-up, you can't grab the CEO's personal bank account and mansion. Small shareholders might lose everything, and the workers their jobs and pension funds, but not the bosses.

Limited liability creates a situation 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.

Eliminating the fraud known as the corporation as the “fictitious individual” would have far-reaching effects. Rights and freedoms were meant for INDIVIDUALS, not corporations. In order to give corporations these rights they invented the lie that a corporation is an individual. Thus, attempts to control corporate advertising and Korporate Krap Kulture are met with loud shrieks of censorship, and since the corporation has the rights of an individual, it cannot be touched. With rights reserved only for living, breathing people, changes might occur within corporate media. If a corporation is no longer an individual, and thus no longer has rights, corporate media can no longer directly censor the editorial staff. The real living individuals working for them could then demand THEIR freedom of speech.

Patents are harmful because they allow the patent holder a monopoly. With a monopoly they can gouge customers through artificially high prices or inferior goods. Patents waste a lot of energy as people invent procedures to get around the patent. A royalty system, like that of song-writing, would allow inventors a good return without these harmful effects. Patents made Bill Gates the richest man in the world. Without patents, he would still be rich, but not anywhere near the same extent.

Government assistance to Big Business comes in a host of ways; tax breaks, cheap loans, free land, government paid R and D, corporate-aiding infrastructure. The right-wingers want to cut government expense, well start here. The fact remains, that without the state hog trough, many corporations wouldn't exist at all.

Stop the state from acting as a goon squad for the corporations. No more injunctions, no more rubbish about “illegal” strikes. Yes, the government can mediate if it wishes, but quit taking sides with the corporations. No more using the police to break up picket lines or bully demonstrators. The police should only intervene if an actual crime is being committed, and then only with the individual doing it. One person smashing a window should not be an excuse for beating and arresting 50 people. The procedure for union recognition is absurd and only helps the bosses. The moment the majority in a shop are signed up, they become the union, period. No dragging it out for months allowing the boss time to bully the employees.

Freed from state restrictions on striking and union recognition, free from state thuggery, the labor movement would begin to seriously challenge the corporations.

Without its state provided life support systems, corporate capitalism would gradually disappear, in the same way the Mom and Pop hamburger joint faded away thanks to MacDonalds. Only this time the evolution would be in the opposite direction. Nature abhors a vacuum, with the state's vicious pets dying off, small businesses, small farms and local production would return. I suspect many new ventures would be cooperatives. With a high level of local production and local consumption the vagaries of the corporate created world market would lessen and we could evolve into a “steady state economy” rather than the ecological insanity of “growth as God.”

Hey Greens, Hey NDP, are ya listening?

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Iraqi Unions Under Attack

Trade unions are under attack in Iraq, this time not from Islamic extremists but the neocon variety. Unions bank accounts are being frozen by the Iraqi puppet government. One reason for this is union opposition to so-called privatization, which is of course really, “corporatization.” It is of the utmost importance that Western progressives and libertarians support the Iraqi trade unions. Not just out of trade union solidarity either, but also the fact that the trade union militants are the main secular and progressive force in Iraq. For more info see:

Saturday, July 08, 2006


Apologists for capitalism claim that behind popular hostility toward the capitalist system and the ruling elite lies that lowly sentiment, envy. They never offer any proof of their claim but boldly announce, “Here lies the underlying cause of socialism, anarchism, populism, and the trade unions” . Undoubtedly, if they thought about it they would add the popularity of Dilbert and The Simpsons to their list as well.

Problem is, I feel no envy toward the greed heads, neither do any of my friends. And if you peruse socialist or anarchist literature you won't find envy there either. We don't want to be like them. We don't want their mansions and private jets. We just want them off our backs. We don't want our lives directed and controlled by these pathetic creatures. Does a man with a tape worm envy his parasite or does he merely hate it for robbing him of sustenance and simply wish to get rid of it?

I describe our masters as pathetic. Sorry, I am trying to be kind. The basic understanding of the way we operate emotionally has sunk in overtime to a very large number of people. An associate who needs to show off, be right all the time, dominate everyone around them is soon shunned, written off as an egomaniac or woefully insecure. Someone who has no feeling for other people and abuses and exploits them is classified as a border-line sociopath. He too, (and it usually is a he,) also has no friends. But are these not the attitudes of the ruling class? What is wrong with Bill Gates, to sight but one example, that he thought it necessary to build a 45,000 square foot house costing $62 million? Who is he trying to fool? To me, this just screams insecurity. Then there is the arrogance of Lord Black of Crossbar Hotel and the reptile-like criminality of the late and unlamented Ken Lay. Would you want this in any of your friends?

Envy as a cause of anti-capitalist sentiment is a straw man explanation. It is an attempt to cover the real reasons with a false reason that makes us look like we are the ones at fault. In reality, what does motivate us? Above all, a sense of injustice, for it is unjust that multi-billionaires exist while millions starve. We are motivated by a desire for freedom, for these are the bosses that dominate our lives at work and in the community through the government bureaucracies they control. We seek dignity. We are human beings and don't wish to be treated like inanimate things. The apologists cannot admit the real causes of our hostility are alienation and a desire for liberty and justice. To do so would expose the weak, shallow underpinning of their ideology.

Where you do find envy is not among the radicals but among the conservative lower middle class. These are the people who envy the unionized worker for getting a dollar an hour more than they do. These are the people seething with envy at the teacher getting 2 months off a year, the immigrant with a better job than they might have, the Aboriginals who can fish “out of season” , or the single mother collecting welfare. One group they don't envy however, are the rich, whom they admire, spending hours drooling over “Houses Of The Rich And Famous” and scrabbling for every bit of gossip about the “celebs” from supermarket tabs and “Entertainment Tonight.” And this is why they are called the “Sheeple.”

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Iran Is A Flash Point

That Iran is a flash point is obvious from following the news. The neocons would dearly love to start a war there. But war isn't the only Iranian flash point. Revolution is another. It is now 27 years since the mullahs stole the 1979 revolution that toppled the Shah. Today as in 1979, there is a great deal of worker and student unrest and a feeling the regime is getting old and tired. What is different is the dissidents use of the Internet and satellite TV. No longer limited to smuggled or clandestine newspapers, exiled revolutionary groups have an access to the mass of Iranians. The Americans would dearly love to pull off one of their so-called Orange Revolutions, basically a coup from the top to establish a pro-US government, but have not been able to do so. War threats haven't helped them in this regard, but, given the nature of Iranian radicalism, there is no guarantee that an Orange Revolution wouldn't become a Red Revolution. This realization might be one reason the neocons have pushed the war option. If, like the Iraqi's, the Iranians are “bombed back to the Stone Age”, they won't have much chance of a successful left-wing revolution.

Iranian radicalism is unique. One of the most important groups, the Worker-Communist Party, is not Marxist-Leninist, but influenced by Left Communism

and Council Communism. The workers' council is at the core of their ideology. They reject the “one and only” vanguard party, as well as nationalization. Unlike historical left communists, they are not sectarian, favoring a broad front of progressive movements, support for trade unions, and while rejecting nationalism, favor minority struggles. A major focus of their activities, once again unlike the historical tendency, is battling misogyny and child abuse. The Worker-Communists are involved in student and labor protests in Iran and have an audience “of millions” for their satellite TV programs.

If a revolution were to occur in Iran, a direct-democratic form of socialism may arise. One can imagine the impact this would have in furthering self-management in Bolivia, Argentina, Venezuela and Chiapas, not to mention the European social movements. What's more, Islamic extremism would have been dealt a heavy blow, both materially and psychologically. Middle Eastern progressives, their heads down for two decades, would be inspired to action. The imperialists would be caught in a dilemma. They would need to suppress the Iranian people, however, Iran would no longer be isolated, but admired the world over.

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