Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Islamic Extremist Threat

Islamic extremists are the main threat to peace and freedom around the world. They have been for more than 40 years. Look at the history and cringe in fear!

In 1964 Islamic extremists helped overthrow the democratically elected government of Brazil and installed a military dictatorship which tortured and killed thousands.

Soon after these same Islamic militants attacked Vietnam and over the course of the long war which ensued, killed two and a half million people.

In 1965 Islamic extremists helped the Indonesian military overthrow their government, killing up to one million people and installing the kleptocratic Suharto regime.

Islamic militants aided and abetted a series of terrorist attacks upon Cuba throughout the 1960's, killing more than 3000 people.

In 1973 Islamic extremists encouraged and aided the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Chile and installed a vicious military dictatorship which tortured or killed thousands of people.

In 1976 Islamic extremists encouraged and aided the overthrow of the democratically elected Argentine government, installing a terrorist and anti-Semitic regime which killed a minimum of 30,000 people.

Throughout the 1980's Islamic extremists funded and armed guerillas in Afghanistan which gave rise to both the Taliban regime and Al Queda.

Throughout the 1980's Islamic extremists trained, funded and armed terrorists to attack the democratic Sandinista government of Nicaragua. 25,000 died.

Throughout the 1980's Islamic extremists trained, aided and funded death squads in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala as well as backing far-right military regimes in those countries. Number of victims may total more than 300,000.

In 1989 Islamic extremists conquered the Republic of Panama after a falling out with one of their henchmen, Manuel Noriega. 3000 people died.

In the 1990's Islamic extremists actively encouraged Russia's government under Boris Yeltsin to hand the economy over to gangsters, create mass unemployment and destroy social services. Millions of lives were ruined and thousands died prematurely as a result.

In 2003 Islamic extremists attacked the secular dictatorship of Iraq after a falling out with their one-time friend, Saddam Hussein. Result, 650,000 casualties and a ruined country.

Islamic extremists have thousands of missiles each with nuclear wearheads. They have bases in 140 countries of the world. Their navy and air force is the most powerful in the world. Western Civilization is guarded by only a few thousand amateur soldiers armed with small arms, Bibles and plastic explosives. Should we not be very afraid of Islamic extremism?

Friday, March 23, 2007

An Anarchist Analysis of Venezuela


(My apologies for this translation, this is the best I can do with my limited knowledge of Spanish.)

We could, and can pass, a long period of time, months, and years internalized in revolutionary theory that promulgates the revolution and social transformation, reading infinite amounts of authors, thinkers, idealists. We have been called on to review primitive humanity, Jesus Christ, Marx, Bakunin... magic, doctrines and physics, finally to write a theory which nevertheless is still not a recipe for revolution. It had taken over our lives and to commit this failure, we necessarily had too much of this.

It happens, when a minimal part of that education, or common sense, allows you to recognize the enemy, "Capitalism" as that which is damaging the common existence of humanity and of nature, that does not allow the existence of freedom and equality. When aware of this and desiring the total destruction of Capitalism (that many conceptualize as Satan, imperialism, neoliberalism, fascismo, monarchy... and the thousand and one ways in which it manifests) and to raise up equality and freedom, we struggle in the manner and methods that are in the most pure essence of these elements, we are anarchists, communists, Christian socialists etc... And simply as Sub-commandante Marcos commented, "we are ordinary women and men, elders and children and, to say, rebellious, and nonconformist."

The doctrines and orthodoxies have affected us profoundly, they have entailed years of knowing who to aim at, but discussing it rather than doing it. This has taken many years, in search of an absolute truth (the way to aim) while the shots fired at the enemy are very few, and inequality and slavery continues developing and making its rounds.

What happens when that ideological education, that common sense and those ordinary people called rebels, and the people, happen to rise, crying out for change? There are some who supported by that awakening, prevailed upon or called upon by those same people to govern, governing well, badly,average, but they awaken to this, resolved to be detached from the capitalist vices, but this one. (that of governing? LG)

With this introduction to the case of Venezuela, the reason for the arrival of Chávez to government, is same that I take for the presidency of Evo Morales, Rafael Correa and others, and to enlighten people to the main cause for the formation of these governments in Latin America and the Caribbean. "So far" perhaps because the people decided, the Indigenous People, the exploited, the working farmers etc... It was not the best decision in all the cases but a step, nonetheless. Now roused up, and perhaps not absolved of errors or desperate conduct, but a people ready to decide on the changes necessary to transform the system that kills them, exploits them, enslaves them, even knowing these changes will not be complete for their generation.

But we can affirm there exists a social outcry, anarchist, Communist, populist, Christian... in its pure essence by part of the people although they do not recognize it nor give importance to place it in these connotations. But they are clear, they want equality and the freedom, with justice in the workplace, a life of dignity, health care within one's reach and a liberatory education.

We return to the case of Venezuela, recognizing that we have Hugo Chávez as president, a man calling for the construction once and for all of a new model of social relations, one that is noncapitalist. But for Chávez to genuinely realize these actions? It is not really a work of Chávez, who is an individual, a single person cannot make the revolution whether they want to or not, but nevertheless we can respond, that sometimes he has not done this, but on many other occasions YES, he has, and we must recognize this too.

Recognizing this, along side the popular rising and with the iron-bound idea we anarchists promulgate, that the revolution is carried to the finish from the bottom up, what is our function? To follow a false anarchist orthodoxy and to move away from the social process? To sit and write articles about how much we we hate this government? To criticize for the sake of criticizing? NOOOOOOO........ This represents true stupidity, hypocritical, deceitful, and petit bourgeois! Even when they say they believe in equality and freedom, they follow seated in their chairs criticizing for its own sake, as though utopia descends from above by the work and grace of the spirit. This is anarchism I ask? This action is communist? or Socialist? I ask...

We must come down to earth, be critical, but constructive of a process that exists and though not absolved of errors, a process involving the participation of the base community. Where the struggle is daily of destruction and construction of the new paths to social development, where we are called on to confront the old enemies and the new ones which are born, and to unlearn those years where we originated under capitalism.

To face the historical moment, and if we organize the people, and if the state through Chávez opens the spaces for transformation, as in several cases WE TOOK IT, if in others he closes them, WE OPENED IT, and in others we create IT, where it does not exist. We must be the builders of that project and to face this situation which permeates the region.

Much exists already, but there is much to do, so many elements implied in this transformation, that now is the time to unite with those elements (health, education, work, culture, housing) We we have been lucky so far, that we are not called upon to be hidden in a mountain with a gun, or receiving attacks of invading airplanes, nor American soldiers telling us what to do. It is clear, that moments exist in which force is necessary, but at the moment we have the opportunity to take a pencil and to teach literacy in the poor neighborhoods, to prepare artistic and cultural activities and to present/display them the plaza, to participate together with the farmers in taking the land, with workers in occupying the work places, etc...

What happens from here on is the responsibility of the people, as anarchists we cannot separate ourselves from what happens here. To promote and wait for failure, soon to leave as prophets with clean hands, is merely a bourgeois attitude. If there will be tears, we will cry together, if there will be sacrifices, we will be part of them, if there is failure, we will fail, but of one thing we will be safe: at least we tried, and we will try.

We do not care if they excommunicate us, we believe they are the pseudo-intellectuals of anarchism, and those who support us are campesinas, obreras, and students. The struggle is long and extensive. Here is where our duty is to cling to anarchist principles, those of solidarity and mutual aid.

Anarchists now more than ever, must eliminate capitalism and class society! Popular power, power to all, power to create freedom and equality!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Coming Collapse of the US Empire

I have often wondered if the US Empire might collapse in the manner of the USSR. A Russian writer, Dimtry Orlof, wonders the same. But he feels there will be a significant difference. The situation for the US Empire will be far worse. See

Also see

I found this article on James Kunstler's site,

Monday, March 19, 2007

Perilous Hate

When the movement to abolish slavery began more than 200 years ago slavery was denounced as inhuman and unChristian, but beyond that the Abolitionists did not attack the slave owners. The apologists for slavery however, were not so charitable and began a campaign of slander and vilification. The rhetoric heated up even more when the movement put down roots in the US. Then the Abolitionists began to return the fire and each side demonized the other. To use modern examples, to the slave owners, the Abolitionists were “communists” and to the Abolitionists, the slave owners were “Nazis”. A cynic might equally condemn both the Abolitionists and the slave owners for this rhetoric, but this would not be fair. The Abolitionists were only human, and vilification campaigns do take their toll. Years of rhetorical hostility made violence inevitable. Abolitionists were attacked by pro-slavery mobs, and then in Kansas a virtual civil war broke out between the pro and anti-slavery forces. This resulted in the killings at Pottawatomie led by John Brown and finally his attack on Harper's Ferry. When South Carolina left the Union in 1861, both sides in the dispute were raring for a fight. This example proves to me that hate makes peaceful change unlikely.

It is not that I expect slave owners, bosses and reactionaries to treat their opponents like they were participating in a post-grad seminar. The differences are real and unbridgeable. But campaigns of lies and demonization, in other words, hate, can only make matters worse. The struggle becomes longer, more bitter and more bloody, and in the end the forces of retrogression do not win.

We have a similar situation occurring today. Todays reactionaries, call them New Right, Neocons or the New Authoritarian Tendency, engage in a level of hate propaganda against libertarians and progressives unmatched since Josef Goebbels and Julius Streicher. The hate that is spewed by these authoritarians has naturally created a backlash from us, the victims of their lies. Below is a sample of the hate propaganda directed at “the Left” and “liberals” from a neocon blogger called “Canadian Sentinel”

"They hate Christians, Jews, America, Israel, freedom, democracy and the rule of law...the left is just like the Taliban. Hateful, evil... and totally cowardly. Disgusting, offensive, hateful, mean-spirited liberal-leftist homophiliac Christianophobes. Knuckle-dragging, low-brow, buck-toothed, cross-eyed, anencephalic, hairy-backed, smell-like-unwashed-ass bigots and zealots. Neanderthals. Monsters. Terrorists. Nazis. Fascists. Am I being too hard on the moonbats? …the left only cares about homos and Muslims. What if Dion’s Liberals allowed the Axis of Evil to attack, invade, occupy and transform Canada into a holocaust slaughterland to make way for a new ‘master race’ of Sinos or Muslims? If the Liberals are ever elected again, they’ll force...polygamy upon Canada...Abortion, euthanasia, turning the other cheek at genocide, turning the other cheek at 9/11, turning the other cheek when people are executed in the Islamic world... yep, the left is on high moral and ethical ground and can look down, sniffing, upon everyone who doesn’t kiss their stinky feet...liberalism, like those other ideologies, looks for all the world like a death cult. (1)

Storm Front's ravings seem mild by comparison! Don't think for a moment with an attitude like this, bordering on psychosis, this person if given an opportunity would not torture or kill those he hates. Don't think for a moment that reading this makes me wish to teach him manners, say with a base ball bat. But that is precisely what hate propaganda does.

As the Empire falls, as the glorious New World Order proclaimed by the New Authoritarian Tendency proves to be as lasting as the Thousand Year Reich, the hate propagandists may be sowing the seeds of a future civil war.

1. A tip of the hat to Red Tory for reporting this

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Social Anarchist Zine

The anarchist newsletter 'Any Time Now: For Social Anarchism' issue 26 Spring 2007 is available on pdf at . Includes the articles on libertarian students' movements in Quebec, the USA and Chile, a statement from the Committee for the Defense of the Rights in Oaxaca. 'Authority, Conformity and Mental Illness' by John Griffin and 'The British Distributionists', a review by Kevin Carson., and much more...

The Same Old Propaganda

The following are a series of arguments constructed by the apologists for slavery to attack the Abolitionists:

* Slavery is part of God's plan. Had God wanted it otherwise, He would not have allowed slavery. Besides, enslavement is punishment for the sinful sons of Ham. The opponents of slavery are against the Will of God.

* Slavery is rooted in the natural order by which the strong dominate the weak. Opponents of slavery are against the Laws of Nature.

* The Masters are there to help the slaves. Who will feed them, clothe them, lift them out of savagery if not the Masters? Opponents of slavery are heartless enemies of the poor slaves.

* Slaves are the private property of the Masters. Freeing them entails a massive theft of this property. Opponents of slavery are the enemies of property and are thus dangerous communists.

* The slaves were fine until these outside agitators came along stuffing their ignorant heads full of foolish ideas. They used to love Ol' Massa, but now the slave cabins are full of bad talk. Opponents of slavery are just trouble makers.

* What do those Abolitionists know about slaves? They don't live here. They are a bunch of fuzzy minded, upper class intellectuals, who have no idea what plantation life is like. Opponents of slavery are naive and foolish dreamers.

* Abolitionists don't really care about slavery. They just want an issue to make themselves look important, start a political career, or sell books and lecture tickets. Opponents of slavery are just in it for what they can get out of it.

(These are paraphrases of actual statements used by supporters of slavery in the 18th and 19th Century.)

Virtually every attack on human progress from the time of the Abolitionist Movement till this very moment has been constructed using variations on these 7 arguments. The fact that our enemies are using 220 year old arguments, statements designed to maintain slavery says it all.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Carnival of Anarchy

The weekend of March 23rd to 25th will feature The Carnival of Anarchy, with round robin blogging on the subject of "Science and the Spirit of Anarchism". Anything goes: software, electronics, technology, climatology, biology, medicine, whatever way you wish to approach the subject.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

International Women's Day

I salute International Women's Day. May we live to see the death of patriarchy! And I would like to take this moment to remember four great women freedom fighters;

Lucy Parsons,

Voltairine De Cleyre,

Emma Goldman,

Elizabeth Gurley Flynn.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

New Venezuelan Anarchist Groups

Anarchist news out of Venezuela has tended to come largely from one source, the publication El Libertario. (1) The group is very hostile to the Chavistas and has recently called Chavez “totalitarian”, claiming he was some kind of potential fascist or state socialist dictator and impling that the reforms stemming from the Bolivarian Revolution don't really amount to very much. Now I don't live in Venezuela, nor claim to know much about the situation there, but I do find it disturbing that this attitude seems to mirror the one put forth by the Gringos and their Venezuelan Fifth Column. I do not wish to berate El Libertario, (2) however two people whose judgment I trust, my old professor, Mike Lebowitz, a democratic socialist, and Al Giordano, the anarcho-syndicalist journalist from Narco News, do see much that is positive and liberating occurring within the Bolivarian Revolution. Furthermore, there are other anarchist tendencies in Venezuela with quite a different viewpoint from El Libertario. Two of these, Iniciativa Communista Libertaria (ICL) and Frente de Acciones Libertarias,(FAL) seem, if I am reading correctly, to take a middle path between rejecting the Chavista Movement and dissolving into it. (3) They want help the Bolivarian Revolution move in as libertarian a direction as possible. These groups, by their links, seem favorable to revolutionary syndicalism and anarchist communism. Another group, perhaps best described as libertarian socialist, called Proyecto Acracia, (4) engages in “constructive criticism” with the Bolivarian Revolution and also desires to create an opening for a mass libertarian movement within it. So too, the blog, Toparquia. (5) Of course, all of these are in Spanish, and there are no translations, but I will do what I can in the coming months to pass on information from these groups.


However Anarkismo did do an article showing how the Venezuelan anarchists are divided into three groups, Anti-Chavista, Pro-Chavista and independents who seek to push the Bolivarian Revolution in as libertarian direction as possible without be pro-Chavez. See.

2. In a private email message from a supporter of FAL, I was told that the El Libertario people “want nothing to do with the workers, and only are interested in punks.” This view is repeated in an article on the history of Venezuelan anarchism published by that group. I also note that El Libertario's web site does not list any of the other Venezuelan anarchist web sites in its links section and FAL and ICL do not list El Lib. So there is some definite conflict there.




Monday, March 05, 2007

Understanding The Authoritarian Mentality

Here is a really fine e-book called “The Authoritarians” written by Bob Altemeyer of the University of Manitoba. Although I think he is wrong to ignore/dismiss post-Freudian analysis of the authoritarian personality and its causes, for example Wilhelm Reich, Eric Fromm or Alice Miller, I think his book is the best yet for obtaining an understanding of these problems, so evident in an era dominated by far-right authoritarians. Indeed, I think his work can be used in complementary fashion with these other psychologists. Altemeyer distinguishes two types of authoritarians, Dominators and Right-wing Authoritarians, the former as the leaders and the latter as the followers. But let the author explain, see

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Gift-giving Societies

There is a fine article out by the anarchist anthropologist, David Graeber on gift-giving societies and other alternatives to market societies as well as discussing the great French social scientist Marcel Mauss. See

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