Pushing the Envelope: A Summary of the CrimethInc. Arguments in the Debate with Chris Hedges

<table><tr><td>From <a href="http://www.crimethinc.com/blog/2012/09/17/post-debate-debrief-video-and-...

<p>To our surprise, Chris Hedges conceded many points. Though pressed, he did not admit to having used “criminal” as a pejorative in his widely circulated text “The Cancer in Occupy,” but neither did he persist in using this term, nor did he deny that bringing down global capitalism will demand illegal activity. He openly conceded that in the era of surveillance and repression, a completely transparent movement is bound to marginalize the most vulnerable, reversing his usual insistence on pure transparency. He began by endorsing “diversity of tactics,” paradoxically using this language to argue that militant struggle is a threat to such diversity—apparently self-defense anywhere is a threat to nonviolence everywhere. Yet by the end of the debate, he was simply entreating black bloc participants not to interrupt explicitly nonviolent actions, a position already endorsed by the vast majority of those who utilize such tactics.</p></td><td><img title="I treat the winner to one roller. You. Winner. Tell me what you want the roller to be and by emma, you will get it." src="http://anarchistnews.org/files/pictures/2011/fightandwin.jpg"></td></tr>...
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<p>At the same time, Hedges avoided engaging with the critique that his <a href="http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_cancer_of_occupy_20120206/">demo... of black bloc participants</a> could be useful to the state. We are not the only ones to have expressed this concern—<a href="http://nplusonemag.com/concerning-the-violent-peace-police">David Graeber</a> and a great many others have done the same; it is unusual that Hedges continues to sidestep this, since he invited Graeber to debate him on the subject. Hedges’ own argument has been that the black bloc gives the government an excuse to use force against social movements, so it is stranger still that he would fail to understand how rhetoric proclaiming the black bloc an external threat to social movements would give the government an excuse to use force against it. In corporate news articles like <a href="http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/story/18599070/the-men-in-black-with-a-viol...“The Men in Black with a Violent Agenda”</a> we see law enforcement agents repeating all his talking points, evoking “black bloc anarchists” as a distinct hyper-masculine social body intent on using the Occupy movement as a front for terror and chaos.</p>
<p>In any event, the crushing of the Occupy movement last fall showed that the government needs no excuse to use force against protesters. To place responsibility for this upon a few reactive incidents of black bloc tactics is blame-the-victim opportunism.</p>
<p>It also appears that Hedges simply does not grasp our argument that <a href="http://www.crimethinc.com/texts/recentfeatures/violence.php">violence is a discursive category</a> that shifts according to what is perceived as legitimate. At the end of the debate, he argued that violence can only be defined by those who experience it—a potentially coherent definition, but extremely ironic coming from someone who has refused to address the charge that he exposed others to danger.</p>
<p>The fundamental question on which we differ with Hedges is a matter of strategy. Hedges has reported on various wars and social upheavals, but he has not participated in an ongoing social movement over a long period of time. He imagines that it is possible to impose a unitary approach on such movements, compelling all participants to adopt a single set of tactics and goals. This is not how social movements work—neither the US civil rights movement nor the struggle for independence in India were unitary or uniformly nonviolent. And it is especially unrealistic to attempt to achieve a unitary movement by a strategy of <em>division</em> like the one Hedges has employed.</p>
<p>In our view, social movements are not unitary—not one single mass, acting in unison—but rather diverse, and must make a virtue of this. The way social change happens is that, over time, outliers legitimize new tactics and values, which spread to society at large. This is what happened in <a href="http://www.crimethinc.com/blog/2008/12/25/how-to-organize-an-insurrectio... and <a href="http://www.crimethinc.com/texts/recentfeatures/montreal1.php">Montreal</a> over a period of many years, giving rise to the protests that Hedges <a href="http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/northern_light_20120603/">praised</a>. This is what happened in the United States between 2009 and 2011, as an initially marginal <a href="http://www.crimethinc.com/texts/recentfeatures/march4.php">student occupation movement</a> slowly legitimized the tactic of occupation, thus laying the foundation for the Occupy movement; the slogan “occupy everything” was familiar to anarchists long before a broader social body was ready to take it up. And this process needs to happen once again, if we are to transcend the tactical impasse resulting from the eviction of last fall’s occupations.</p>
<p>We have made a point of standing up to those who would demonize the black bloc not because we are invested in that particular tactic, but because its essential components—the willingness to act illegally and anonymously, and to stand up to the force of the state—are precisely what it would take to sustain a movement beyond the impasse imposed by the Occupy evictions. This is borne out by the recent <a href="http://www.crimethinc.com/texts/recentfeatures/montreal1.php">student strike in Québec</a>, in which—prevented from occupying buildings as they had in 2005—students were forced to shift instead to a strategy of economic disruption, achieving momentum that persisted long after Occupy had died down in the United States.</p>
<p>In that regard, everyone invested in social change has a great deal to learn from the black bloc. This is not to say they must adopt this tactic, but rather that they must understand why others have adopted it, what makes it <a href="http://www.crimethinc.com/blog/2012/02/20/black-bloc-confidential/">cont...
<p>In our account, those who are willing to <a href="http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/push-the-envelope.html">push the envelope</a> are essential to social change, and it is up to the rest of us to defend them and extend their tactics and values. For Hedges, they represent a threat to the movement, for he believes a movement can only triumph by drawing the participation of an imagined mainstream—a social body Hedges repeatedly referenced during the debate, but refused to describe. That leaves us with only <a href="http://libcom.org/forums/general/chris-hedges-vs-crimethinc-13092012#com... identifying feature</a> by which to recognize this mainstream: fear, fear of those who wear masks, fear of those who are willing to defend themselves, fear of standing up for oneself. Chasing such a timorous phantom—and demonizing all who don’t—is not a promising starting point for a revolutionary project.</p>
<p>All in all, however, the debate was a success. The most we had hoped to accomplish was to block the silencing and delegitimization of those who opt for militant tactics. We did not expect Hedges to revise his position or apologize, nor were we interested in defending the good name of “the black bloc” or persuading anyone to adopt a particular approach. Strategic discussions and decisions have to take place horizontally, in specific local contexts, not in university auditoriums in front of cameras. Now that this little hullabaloo is past, we can all return our attention to more important matters.</p>
<h3>Further Reading</h3>
<p><a href="http://sherevolts.noblogs.org/post/2012/09/17/othering-occupy-against-th... Occupy: Against the Rhetoric of Fear</a></p>
<h2>Appendix:</h2>
<h3>A Libretto of Our Points in the Debate</h3>
<p><em>For those who don’t have time to watch a two-hour video</em></p>
<p><strong>In the article, &#8220;The Cancer in Occupy,&#8221; Chris Hedges labeled &#8220;black bloc anarchists&#8221; as &#8220;a gift from heaven to the security and surveillance state.&#8221; Critics quickly countered that the black bloc is a tactic, not a group. The ensuing controversy failed to clarify the real strategic differences within the Occupy movement.</strong><br />
<br />
<strong>If the black bloc is a tactic, how do we evaluate its effectiveness? What are its origins? What does it attempt to do, and what is it good for? More importantly, how can these questions inform the ways we strategize for social change?</strong></p>
<p><strong>To get at the root of the differing perspectives, tonight we will separate the black bloc tactic into its constituent elements and discuss them one by one. We will address the roles of illegality, anonymity, and violence in social movements, and conclude by asking what our differing conceptions of these indicate about our visions of transformation.</strong></p>
<p><strong>1.) Do illegal tactics have a place in social movements in the United States? Whom do they alienate or exclude? Whom do they empower?</strong></p>
<p>In my small, somewhat liberal town, we managed to maintain our occupation through January. After it finally came down, we intercepted a memo from the town manager asking for go-ahead from the city council to resume enforcing the laws. It turned out that everything we’d done—not just the encampment and the protests, but the assemblies too—had been against town ordinances. In effect, we had been participating in an illegal organization, a criminal conspiracy to violate the law.</p>
<p>This was shocking for many of the participants in our occupation, who thought of themselves as good, honest, law-abiding citizens, but also felt entitled to hold gatherings of more than 12 people without applying for a permit, et cetera. Many of them might not have joined in this occupation that they retroactively felt entitled to carry out had they known from the beginning it was illegal. A great deal of confusion can result from conflating <em>legal and illegal</em> with <em>right and wrong.</em></p>
<p>Now, we could have mounted a campaign to get them to change the laws—and if we’d waited until we succeeded, we would never have had a movement at all. Instead, we would have had a little campaign run by middle-class professionals. Working within the logic of the system always prioritizes the agency of those who tend to hold power within it already. Our occupation was diverse for the same reason it was illegal: it was based on participation and direct action, not bureaucracy and supplication.</p>
<p>In Hedges’ “Cancer in Occupy” piece, he uses the word “criminal” as a pejorative. When you use “criminal” as a delegitimizing word, you’re equipping the state with a weapon they can use against anybody who gets out of line—especially the most disenfranchised. Delegitimizing “criminal activity” constructs a narrative that justifies repression, which will always disproportionately target people of color, the poor, and others on the wrong side of hierarchy. It also makes people feel less entitled to participate in occupations like the one in my town.</p>
<p>Whether an action is illegal or not is the wrong question—that permits the state to frame the terms of discussion, even if we endorse illegal activity. The question is whether the action gives us power over our own lives and the environments we live in. Advocates of civil disobedience call for illegal activity as a way of “drawing attention to an issue” or “putting pressure on officials,” but this is not the same thing as using our capabilities to transform society.</p>
<p>Civil disobedience is based on a logic of supplication—whether you’re appealing to government officials or the general public, all you can do is express yourself powerlessly, one ineffectual opinion among many. In this view, even illegal action is really just a way to “speak truth to power,” though power has always shown itself to be deaf.</p>
<p>The alternative is to act directly to bring about the world we want to see. In the process, we get a sense of our own strength and connect with others who also want to act, not just to petition.</p>
<p>Hedges argues that the black bloc will scare away the mainstream, driving away the numbers we need to win—he always cites the revolutions in Eastern Europe, which toppled oppressive regimes but didn’t actually equip the movements there to ensure that something better replaced them, as is becoming clear now.</p>
<p>First, as to whether militant tactics are really what kills the movement, let me cite <a href="http://occupyoakland.org/2012/02/bay-area-news-group-poll-finds-94-suppo... <em>Oakland Tribune</em> poll</a> that came out in February 2012—long after the controversial “black bloc” actions in the Bay—reporting that 94% of over 10,000 readers surveyed supported Occupy Oakland. The problem is not that the militant fringe drove off supporters so much as that naysayers like Hedges collaborated with corporate media in popularizing a narrative declaring the movement defeated.</p>
<p>Second, about numbers—on February 15, 2003, something like 10 million people worldwide participated in protests against the invasion of Iraq that had precisely zero effect. That’s because they were simply beseeching, not using their strength to prevent the war from happening. The 10 million of us could certainly have made that war impossible if we had set out to do so, and you can be sure that if we succeeded somebody would have called us violent. It’s not just about numbers, it’s also about legitimizing action.</p>
<p><strong>2.) One of the controversial aspects of the black bloc is that it enables people to act anonymously in a group. What are the benefits and drawbacks of participants in social movements being able to preserve their anonymity? What are the effects of a movement based around public figures and transparent organizing?</strong></p>
<p>We always hear this: “Why wear a mask? Be man enough to show your face!” That’s easy to say when you’re a cop—or a reporter—but it makes a lot less sense when you’re in a position of greater vulnerability. It’s akin to how prosecutors always call our political prisoners <a href="http://news.infoshop.org/article.php?story=2007060713465360"><em>cowards...
<p>Anonymity has been an important part of almost every powerful social movement. The participants in the Boston Tea Party concealed their identities. The Zapatistas made a point of demystifying the balaclava. One of the primary steps the government took to crack down on the recent <a href="http://www.crimethinc.com/blog/2012/08/14/the-2012-strike-in-quebec-full... strike in Québec</a>, which <a href="http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/northern_light_20120603/">Hedges</a> has praised, was to pass an anti-mask law. And masks became associated with the image of Occupy—in the Livestream era, if you call in sick to work to go to Zuccotti Park, you better be wearing a mask. That goes double if you have immigration issues or have to answer to a probation officer.</p>
<p>In the age of Facebook, when everything we do is immediately visible to not only to law enforcement agencies but also our landlords, bosses, potential future bosses, and in-laws, policing isn’t just what the police do; it’s diffused throughout society, a million different rewards and punishments to keep people from stepping out of line.</p>
<p>A movement that only legitimizes transparency is a movement that marginalizes the poor and vulnerable, granting disproportionate power to middle-class participants and centralizing the role of spokespersons who have no real interest in overturning the status quo. It’s also a movement that can’t win—that can’t even win the concessions sought by the middle class.</p>
<p>Does wearing masks alienate the middle class? Journalists like Hedges have the power to legitimize or delegitimize those who wear masks to others of their class—the middle class. They have a responsibility to explain why people have to conceal themselves from the cameras of the police, rather than spinning fabrications about those who do. When professional journalists attack all who must wear masks, painting them with the same broad brush of disingenuous innuendo, they are doing their best to force the less privileged to become antisocial.</p>
<p>You’d be surprised who wears a mask from time to time. These are your comrades, people you have worked with—people you depend on, people you need to accomplish your goals.</p>
<p>Hedges and his ilk will protest: be how can we trust those who wear masks to be accountable? I presume he doesn’t ask this question of the Zapatistas. The fact is, we know each other—we are part of these movements, we depend on each other, we have to be accountable to each other even if we must sometimes conceal our faces from our oppressors. This is <em>more</em> important to those who engage in high-risk activity than those who face comparatively little risk.</p>
<p>As for the charge that masking opens up movements to agents provocateurs—we have plenty of experience with agents provocateurs, surely more firsthand experience than Hedges, and we have seen that they do the greatest harm when they are not wearing masks. The idea that agents provocateurs only appear in a masked crowd is utterly baseless.</p>
<p> <br />
<strong>3.) What is violence and non-violence, and who gets to define them in the context of social movements?</strong></p>
<p>This is not abstract an abstract question for Hedges or for myself. Hedges is a war correspondent, as he frequently reminds us—he sees ethnic cleansing everywhere he looks, even if it’s just a kid with a can of spray paint. Myself, as a participant in the anti-globalization movement, when I hear this question, I think of the FTAA protests in Quebec in 2001, when the police filled the entire city center with so much tear gas it even entered the ventilation system of the building where the heads of state were meeting. The only reason we could breathe at all—the only reason we weren’t cleared out like so many of the occupations last fall—was that courageous people in black were throwing back the tear gas canisters. They were the only thing protecting us from hospitalization or worse.</p>
<p>The next day, one newspaper article read “Violence erupted when protesters began hurling tear gas canisters at the police.” In practice, “violence” is code for <em>illegitimate use of force</em>: anything that interrupts or escapes the control of the authorities.</p>
<p>That explains why slumlords forcing rent increases on tenants isn’t violence, but defending yourself when the sheriff comes to evict you is. Pouring carcinogens into a river isn’t violence, but disabling the factory that produces them is. Imprisoning people isn’t violence, but rescuing people from officers who are trying to arrest them is.</p>
<p>Defining people or actions as violent is a way to exclude them from legitimate discourse and justify the use of force against them. It’s often possible to anticipate exactly how aggressively the police will treat a demonstration by how violent the previous night’s news reports describe the demonstrators to be. In this regard, pundits and even rival organizers can participate in <em>policing</em> alongside the police, determining who is a legitimate target by the way they frame the narrative.</p>
<p>Asking the question of violence forces us to pose the question of legitimacy. What do we want to legitimize, human beings acting together to assert their interests, or the apparatus and rhetoric of a top-down system of control?</p>
<p>When a broad enough part of the population engages in resistance, as in Egypt, the authorities have to redefine it as nonviolent, even if it would previously have been considered violent. Otherwise, the dichotomy between violence and legitimacy might erode—and without that dichotomy, it would be much harder to justify the use of force against those who stand up for themselves. By the same token, the more ground is ceded in what the authorities are able to define as violent, the more they will sweep into that category, and the greater risk everyone will face.</p>
<p>One consequence of the past several decades of self-described nonviolent civil disobedience is that some people regard merely raising one’s voice as violent; this makes it possible to portray those who take even the most tentative steps to protect themselves from police violence as violent thugs. <a href="http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/UC-cops-use-of-batons-on-Occupy-camp-... police captain</a> recently described a group of students as “violent” because they linked arms when ordered to step aside.</p>
<p>Regarding the charge that the authorities want us to get violent—that is imprecise. They want us to pick fights we can’t win, fights that keep us isolated. They would be thrilled for us to adopt clandestine armed struggle of the sort Hedges’ friend Derrick Jensen advocates, because it is a terrain on which they can defeat us. But they’d be even happier if we would stick to legalistic pacifism so they don’t have to fight us in the first place. This explains the effort to polarize us into pacifists and terrorists. What they fear most is a broad-based social movement capable of acting on its own terms to break out of the controls imposed by those who benefit from inequality. Such a movement would surely be branded “violent” by those in power.</p>
<p>To repeat: neither clandestine armed struggle nor legalistic pacifism can achieve meaningful social change. That’s why those who don’t want real change—police, liberals, and also Maoists—try to confine us to one of those two approaches, which are bound either to strengthen the existing system or at most to replace it with an identical one.</p>
<p>In an increasingly desperate society, people are going to revolt, regardless of what pundits say. If there’s no participatory movement to welcome them, they are likely to escalate on their own, adopting antisocial and defeatist tactics. If they are forced to adopt armed struggle, they will play into the hands of the government. The effect of Hedges’ fear-mongering about the black bloc as a catchall term of abuse for those who go too far is to demonize those who revolt, increasing the likelihood that they will become disconnected from social movements, to everyone’s misfortune.</p>
<p><strong>4.) Violence is sometimes associated with hyper-masculinity and machismo. How would you respond to these claims? Is non-violence any less hyper-masculine? Why or why not?</strong></p>
<p>This language—“hyper-masculinity”—is the language Hedges has used to delegitimize black bloc tactics.</p>
<p>My own experience has been that militant anarchist organizing, while frequently male-dominated, is less male-dominated than many other organizing venues. Many people around the country who have participated in black blocs were alienated by the male domination of the Occupy movement.</p>
<p>Hedges admits he has no experience in black blocs, so what we are seeing here is his own <em>gendering</em> of so-called violence as “hyper-masculine.” The mask is a reflective surface onto which critics project their assumptions. There is a lot to be said about the gendering of violence, how it reproduces <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essentialism#Essentialism_and_society_and_p... while obscuring the capacity of women to defend themselves. The recent publication <a href="http://escalatingidentity.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/who-is-oakland-anti-o...“Who Is Oakland?”</a> offers excellent insights into the ways privilege discourse can be mobilized according to repressive and reactionary agendas.</p>
<p>Indeed, it’s poor taste for white men to use privilege discourse to compete for legitimacy among themselves, treating disempowered people as chess pieces to be represented or invisibilized. So rather than foreground my own opinion, I’d like to read <a href="http://profaneexistence.org/2012/05/21/behind-the-black-mask-shattered-g... by Kelly Rose Pflug-Back</a>, a young woman who can’t be here tonight because she is serving a year in prison, <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2012/05/28/toronto-g20-prote... of being the “leader”</a> of the black bloc at the 2010 <a href="http://www.crimethinc.com/texts/recentfeatures/toronto.php">G20 protests in Toronto</a>.</p>
<blockquote><p>
“Patriarchal society in general is infected with a deeply disturbing hypermasculinity! Patriarchy and prejudice against people with disabilities are deeply connected, and both pressure people to believe their worth depends on whether their body is “attractive,” “useful,” “normal” and non-threatening according to dominant standards. Many of the things that people vandalized during the G20 were symbols of patriarchy, like window ads with emaciated, underage-looking girls in hyper-sexualized poses. Being constantly bombarded with these unhealthy images is hurtful and violating to people of all genders.</p>
<p> Global capitalism is also inextricably linked to kinds violence and exploitation that disproportionately affect women and girls, so in that sense any form of opposition to the G20, multinational corporations or trade blocs is also an opposition to patriarchy. There are many documented cases of female workers in sweatshops being systematically raped because they protested their work conditions, and the colonial history and ongoing economic exploitation of the Congo is what has caused the civil strife and pandemic of gang rapes that Congolese women are suffering right now. If Chris Hedges wants to speak out about the prevalence of hyper-masculinized violence in the world, he should rail against governments and multinational corporations, not a scraggly bunch of protesters who opposes them.”
</p></blockquote>
<p>Hedges may say he is doing that, but his rhetoric about “hyper-masculinity” equips the government to marginalize, invisibilize, and imprison women like Kelly Rose Pflug-Back.</p>
<p><strong>5.) How do these individual issues relate to our greater visions of social change—how it comes about, and where we&#8217;re trying to go? How can our tactics distinguish and free us from the institutions we oppose? How can our tactics embody the world we hope to create?</strong></p>
<p>The fundamental question on which we differ with Hedges is a matter of strategy. Hedges has reported on various wars and social upheavals, but he has not participated in an ongoing social movement over a long period of time. He imagines that it is possible to impose a unitary approach on such movements, compelling all participants to adopt a single set of tactics and goals. This is not how social movements work—neither the US civil rights movement nor the struggle for independence in India were unitary or uniformly nonviolent. And it is especially unrealistic to attempt to achieve a unitary movement by a strategy of <em>division</em> like the one Hedges has employed.</p>
<p>In our view, social movements are not unitary—not one single mass, acting in unison—but rather diverse, and must make a virtue of this. The way social change happens is that, over time, outliers legitimize new tactics and values, which spread to society at large. This is what happened in <a href="http://www.crimethinc.com/blog/2008/12/25/how-to-organize-an-insurrectio... and <a href="http://www.crimethinc.com/texts/recentfeatures/montreal1.php">Montreal</a> over a period of many years, giving rise to the protests that Hedges <a href="http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/northern_light_20120603/">praised</a>. This is what happened in the United States between 2009 and 2011, as an initially marginal <a href="http://www.crimethinc.com/texts/recentfeatures/march4.php">student occupation movement</a> slowly legitimized the tactic of occupation, thus laying the foundation for the Occupy movement; the slogan “occupy everything” was familiar to anarchists long before a broader social body was ready to take it up. And this process needs to happen once again, if we are to transcend the tactical impasse resulting from the eviction of last fall’s occupations.</p>
<p>We have made a point of standing up to those who would demonize the black bloc not because we are invested in that particular tactic, but because its essential components—the willingness to act illegally and anonymously, and to stand up to the force of the state—are precisely what it would take to sustain a movement beyond the impasse imposed by the Occupy evictions. This is borne out by the recent <a href="http://www.crimethinc.com/texts/recentfeatures/montreal1.php">student strike in Québec</a>, in which—prevented from occupying buildings as they had in 2005—students were forced to shift instead to a strategy of economic disruption, achieving momentum that persisted long after Occupy had died down in the United States.</p>
<p>In that regard, everyone invested in social change has a great deal to learn from the black bloc. This is not to say they must adopt this tactic, but rather that they must understand why others have adopted it, what makes it <a href="http://www.crimethinc.com/blog/2012/02/20/black-bloc-confidential/">cont...
<p>In our account, those who are willing to <a href="http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/push-the-envelope.html">push the envelope</a> are essential to social change, and it is up to the rest of us to defend them and extend their tactics and values. For Hedges, they represent a threat to the movement, for he believes a movement can only triumph by drawing the participation of an imagined mainstream—a social body Hedges repeatedly referenced during the debate, but refused to describe. That leaves us with only <a href="http://libcom.org/forums/general/chris-hedges-vs-crimethinc-13092012#com... identifying feature</a> by which to recognize this mainstream: fear, fear of those who wear masks, fear of those who are willing to defend themselves, fear of standing up for oneself. Chasing such a timorous phantom—and demonizing all who don’t—is not a promising starting point for a revolutionary project.</p>
<p>Instead, we must humbly, resolutely set about the project of legitimizing new tactics and values that can spread to the general public, so people can act on their own strength to transform society. This is a thankless task, and we will encounter over and over the recriminations and obfuscations of those who should be our comrades. In the coming years, it will be especially important not to daunted, as many who would like to think of themselves as revolutionaries will be tempted, whether out of cowardice or self-interest, to sell out those who undertake the hard work of revolution. In response to this, we can always stand by each other, embodying the solidarity and diversity we hope to see in the world.</p>
<p>Thank you.</p>
<h3>“We cannibals must help these Christians.”</h3>
<p>–Herman Melville, <em>Moby Dick</em></p>

Comments

I speak for us all when I axe, WTF is bugaboo?

Dunno but I think it's racist.

bugaboo |ˈbəgəˌbo͞o|
noun
an object of fear or alarm; a bugbear.
ORIGIN mid 18th cent.: probably of Celtic origin and related to Welsh bwci bo ‘bogey, the Devil,’ bwci ‘hobgoblin’ and Cornish bucca .

so it's celtic. one more dumbass instance of people racist-baiting crimethinc

one more dumbass example of you getting trolled

ETYMOLOGY IS IMPORTANT YO

you might be thinking of the word "jiggaboo"....?

*juggalo

yeah, insects are like 20% of the planet's biomass!

impeccable reason.

He should have used HOBGOBLIN not bugaboo, he made us look like idiots!!!

That's racist against hobos.

I'm 5th level and I'll slay this fucker good.

while we're at it

• (hedge something in) enclose.
2 limit or qualify (something) by conditions or exceptions: experts usually hedge their predictions, just in case.
• [ no obj. ] avoid making a definite decision, statement, or commitment: she hedged around the one question she wanted to ask.
3 protect (one's investment or an investor) against loss by making balancing or compensating contracts or transactions: the company hedged its investment position on the futures market.
PHRASES
hedge one's bets avoid committing oneself when faced with a difficult choice.

Is that a technical term?

Someone please contact Wolfi and request that the new translation of Stirner replaces "spook" with "bugaboo."

Ask Pootie Tang.

it's not the word itself, it's the context. imagine if destiny's childe were dancing around in blackface and using black english and they were white, singing 'we wan know what bugaboo means', and you may begin to catch on. maybe.

Dat sound fuckibg hilarious!!!

SIGNAL LOST

Anarchist news is not a place to organize. It's a place to play for children, dreams and for people with nothing better to do but waste time. lol

wrong racist comment was deleted but no honest person with a brain is surprised.

Hedges won. anarchists too immature to figure out that they need to be part of a social movement to change things, not outside it (because those people will always exist and they will be largely the politically unsophisticated) because those with enough sophistication to understand that a social movement needs to be created should work on that, not just rioting in a childish attempt to scare the powerful into negotiation with the movement moderates like Hedges, etc... anarchists should be working with those moderates in a more straight-forward way.

Hey, you forgot this part: "...8ball"

You really don't understand the 8ball schtick, do you?

long run-on rambling statements of mostly nonsense and sloppy typing? did i miss something else?

Yeah, the statements always have to be maximum ultra-ist super hardcore make total destroy anarchy, not sloppy liberal bullshit.

they're so unintelligible how can you tell what they are trying to say? i wish the mods would fucking delete that garbage. get a working keyboard, 8ball! you are fucking pathetic.

WTF!!ibeemn out fuckinm woirkin all; fuckin weelk muy fuckin hand arte rippefd up the capotilist fuckefrt never supliesd fuckinm glovedes ill fuickin smnasjh his fiuckin bmwe an thenm io com,e acvrossd yuour fucvkin sherepisjh fuckin whinre abnout my u fuckin opionipon about lifer inm this fucvkin statyist cessdpooll il riop yourt fuckinm heafd ofg uyou fuckimn whjiningh censortinhg scvum!!.,.,8ball

just fucking stop.

WTF1! yousd fuckjimn auitjhoroitartian piercae a shoit!!domnt terll mer woyt to fuickimn do.,.,8ball

Does anyone?
I'm just glad I got into anarchism when I still could understand what people were talking about.

UR SO SOPHISTICATED.

5/10, mediocre troll, would not recommend to friends unless pressed.

the trollympic games have begun.

Trollympic competition 1: What is the difference between crimethinc and hipsters?

The difference is that you seem to have no fucking idea what a hipster is.

"It's funny... We're talking about artists and doers as the vanguard that hipsters will follow. It's really interesting that one of America's most successful anarchist publishing brands, Crimethinc - you can get there books at the Bowery Poetry Club, their books are franchised at certain coffee shops around the country - they work and live out of a house, sort of a McMansion, somewhere between Oregon and California. They've been there for a couple of years, so if they're leaving, presumably soon, if not already, hipsters will follow."

-Clayton, (What was the hipster: a social investigation)

spread fear, uncertainty, doutb; demonize and delegitimize by any means necessary; quote enemies' enemies to make them new enemies; foster suspicion; etc. etc. etc.

CrimethInc is awesome, and shines a new light on things.
Hipsters follow trends until they're mainstream, then they follow other trends.

Violent anarchists are not using peaceful Hedges and vice versa to get any agenda rolling forward. That idea is just flat out false. And who the hell is the racist? Someone delete that assholes comment NOW!

Now about Hedges and militant tactics, yes both sides have their own agenda with different tactics because most come from a different class background with different ideas of justice and moving forward. The beneficiaries of the capitalist system would rather talk things out than fight in battle along side those who have lost to this oppressive repressive system.

This is the way it's always been and will always be so long as there is a system of patriarchal hierarchy i imagine. Hedges having been a war correspondent thinks he can change the course of history and turn things around by training our minds to follow the strict Gandhian guideline of non-violent civil disobedience. He's wrong on so many different levels as have been mentioned in this article. The "movement of transparency" argument is one of many things that are wrong with Chris Hedges's thinking.

He also fails to admit history's victories that show revolutions won by "diversity of tactics" meaning peaceful and non-violent struggle happening together all at once and not getting in one another's way as they are now in America. You can't really blame Americans though with such a split of ideologies conflicting with one another. They are highly divided by class with differing agendas and race plays its factor as well. People are more divided by their diversity than united by what they have in common which is perfect for fascist empire to rule a population. The more divisions the better to pit every individual group against one another. There is no doubt that is being exploited to the elites benefit. EVERYONE NEEDS TO KNOW THIS!

The Arab Spring is a prime example of violent and non-violent struggle working side by side. Most of the work as it currently stands is building trust and acceptance of a militant presence at actions. Having a table for discussion should be kept more on a down low the more sides of non-violent and violent begin to integrate. Although most victorious revolutions may have not been fought to make way for a world with out patriarchy and hierarchy in general, they were still revolutions that all of us need to pay attention to because we can learn from that and use that same strategy in our struggles to come.

As an anarchist I would not use the 2 to settle for improvements in a society. Only for the takeover. Give me all or nothing. The importance we should take out of this is that violence is critical to showing strength. Failure to project an imagine of strength lends to the strong (POLICE) sabotaging our activity. It is human nature to attack the weak if something appears to be weak. Something that appears to be strong will make you think twice. Survival instinct my friends. Failure to resist will in the proper way will only embolden the police and the cycle of "get your ass beat, shame the cops for beating people and get off the street or be taken to jail to clear the street" WILL NEVER STOP" and shaming the police will never work to change the police in what they do EVER! Cops win the battle every time because they operate like a unite with one object where as the movement is not one object and thinking is all over the place rather than one direction at the police.

There is not enough resistance in the street to beat them back and not enough organization to build such a resistance movement. That posses as a BIG problem for any group wanting to re=establish camps in public or occupy buildings. The non-violent occupy movement that got brutalized and arrested again today in New York. Strict adherence to non-violence lead to shutting down the movement once again in a sorry attempt to retake the park. I feel very bad for anyone who got arrested because as someone who has been arrested many times, i can tell you that it sucks going to any jail in the united states.

Our current special set of circumstance demands something more of a well orchestrated yet loose nit vanguard rather than weak calls for "black bloc" that sometimes don't materialize. Chris Hedges also thinks it takes an army of equal power, arms and force to beat the U.S. ARMY and POLICE. WRONG AGAIN!!! All it takes is for both non-violent and violent to stop getting in each others way and a lot of people working to hold the line and beat back PIGS who are only there to sabotage our activity against the elite and capitalism.

Non-violent people use peaceful tactics to shame their oppressors just so they'll treat them better and violent people use violent tactics to demonstrate the potential for half the movement if not a 3rd of the oppressed population to engage in more militant tactics so that both violent and peaceful tactics can work together to tear down this fucked up civilization. The problem anarchists and militants face in America is getting the non-violent type to use their work of non-violence for our objective being the overthrow of U.S. government and the financial elite for a classless/stateless liberated world.

If we can get everyone on board to work for total revolution that requires 75% peacefully shutting things down while the other 25% battle against the state and the elite to defend the 75% and tear down this establishment, WE WIN!!!!!!!!! Today is Sept. 17th the 1 Anniversary of Occupy. No revolution took place today which means we are not ready and OCCUPY is one of many transitional phases that must happen for learning sake before the final battle arises.

I'll tell you what it takes to keep people in power. A majority of good people doing absolutely nothing to reject the violence of commerce/profit/capitalism and the violence used in the name of protecting capital over human needs. THAT IS THE ONLY VIOLENCE I SEE!

I was sort of okay with this long-winded post while skimming it, but then I reached this:

"If we can get everyone on board to work for total revolution that requires 75% peacefully shutting things down while the other 25% battle against the state and the elite to defend the 75% and tear down this establishment, WE WIN!!!!!!!!! Today is Sept. 17th the 1 Anniversary of Occupy. "

and just shook my head in shame.

" anarchists should be working with those moderates in a more straight-forward way."

Um, well, plenty of them/us are.

For one, who do you think started the Occupy stuff?

No. Anarchists should be consistent with their politics if they call themselves anarchists. Otherwise they're not anarchists.
Yeah to being tactful. No to appealing to moderates by using cutesy sounding language and not fighting back. As the CNT said (untruthfully, unfortunately) when the Spanish Republic came about, "We remain in open war with the state."

OMG B. is the "clandestine attack" troll

That's a goddamn lie!

Anon is trolljacketing!

omg, the best thing that ever happened on this site

Fucking praise Chris Hedges.

I'm so in awe over the fact that he was in both EL SALVADOR and BOSNIA.

HE WAS THERE!

Yawn.... debate was boring. Can we talk about the Catharsis reunion instead?

Catharsis = avant garde of hardcore punk
CrimethInc. = avant garde of social change

diee hipster scum

There's no vanguard like anarchism!

I was talking about 75 percent of of the non-violent crowd not 75% of america you silly goose. Continue reading.

Pretty sure less than 75% of the crowd at the reunion will be non-violent

I hope 75% of the crowd is pro-violent.

man, do you remember the 90s? careful what you wish for.

cuuute

Why is the @news title different from the one on the CWC site? Is "libretto" too avant-garde or something? Or is @news trying to conceal the fact that b. became an opera composer?

I didn't make my self very clear. I was speaking in a future tense where we the anarchists have evolved and both sides violent and non-violent are working together to overthrow capitalism and due to Americas crippling economy and repressive police state, a larger percent of people are now engaged in militant activity with the moral backing of most non-violent occupiers or non-violent protesters etc. This is my goal. Don't know much about yours.

My goals:
Drinking heavily, listening to dubstep, wrecking collective houses, shoplifting, writing about a banner drop with the same gravitas as a general strike, accidentally form babby, getting food stamps, hitchhiking, breaking windows at the annual summit protest, and trolling.

I'm with you all the way, except "accidentally form babby." How do I do that?

I formed my babbles on purpose, and had fun doing it!

Oh Icarus, don't fly to close to the sun.

At least crimethinc has direction where so many anarchists fail.

Sadly I thought Hedges did a better job in the debate, spoke better. Not that he's right.

But if Crimethink wants to accuse him of giving justification that the state can use to suppress, that's only reinforcing his argument that violence is used by the state as justification for the same.

A better argument is that it divides people in opposition.

how the hell does using violence divide an already divided class of people? if anything violence just reveals the divisions that have long existed in america. this shouldn't come as a surprise to anybody since those who are lucky enough to use words to get what they want out of capitalism think they can use the same strategy to reform it if not over throw it.

FUCK YOU CAPTACHA

In terms of division... I was talking about what Hedges said as dividing those in opposition. Perhaps I didn't write it out clearly enough.

No, you're not thinking clearly enough. Those in opposition are divided. Or did you miss that whole Occupy thing?

Those in opposition are clearly divided when it comes to protecting their own interests. The middle class interest is to ignore every class but its own and even the people with in the middle don't function together in any collective sense of the word but individually.

As for the silly person who posted the video in response to my long post. Insurrections aren't created in a vacuum. There is purpose and intent behind building armies. And that is to wage a battle against the capitalist elite but first acknowledging that the state is the enemy and understanding that situation we are in demands army of resistance to tear down the exiting social order and then dissolve once the existing order dies rather than replacing the police state with another.

The revolution requires demand for organized militant resistance. the teeth of your revolution I might add.

Clear?

How does one dissolve an army?

Cool story Mao.

I know what you mean, but I think the argument has to do with something B. gets at in the summary here, but could expand upon more.

"This is not how social movements work—neither the US civil rights movement nor the struggle for independence in India were unitary or uniformly nonviolent. And it is especially unrealistic to attempt to achieve a unitary movement by a strategy of division like the one Hedges has employed."

Also from Graeber's essay in response to Hedges: http://nplusonemag.com/concerning-the-violent-peace-police

"Gandhi made it clear that while he was opposed to murder under any circumstances, he also refused to denounce the murderer. "

"He was regularly challenged to prove his non-violent credentials by assisting the authorities in suppressing such elements. Here Gandhi remained resolute. It is always morally superior, he insisted, to oppose injustice through non-violent means than through violent means. However, to oppose injustice through violent means is still morally superior to not doing anything to oppose injustice at all. "

Now for Gandhi maybe this was a moral thing (or he portrayed it that way), but it's also a strategic thing. You try to create unity among the opposition, even among those using tactics you don't like (even if you think those tactics aid those in power who you oppose!), because that's the way to win. Keep the focus on the shared enemy. And paradoxically, your _only_ chance of actually affecting the tactics of those whose tactics you don't like (the 'black bloc') is to accept them as part of your shared struggle, because if they think so too then they can be swayed by your position (and 'your' people can be swayed by theirs, which is perhaps what Hedges is afraid of). By defining them instead as a "cancer", you divide what should be unified for strength, you actually push those "cancerous" people _more_ to the extreme, _and_ you strengthen the repressive ability of those in power.

This is well articulated.

Agreed, and thanks for the well thought out post.

this is stupid and makes no sense. which debate were you watching, the one where hedges avoided answering the questions, and backpedaled on most of his previously held positions (diversity of tactics, masking, etc...) CUs, im pretty sure at the debate team in my high school, reversing your positions and admitting you were wrong is called LOSING A DEBATE.

also, wtf? taking the side of the State like Hedges has (using same language, painting us as monsters, intentionally spreading misinformation, etc.) is NOT the same things as people rebelling or rioting or whatever. You cant simultaneously complain that actions alienate people and also proactively HELP in the process of scaring people at the same time. This hypocritical....and ridiculous.

are you drunk?

yes.

a good comment from libcom...

Perhaps I will make a new post on the subject, but for now, since I watched the whole thing at one of the six livestream events at various infoshops, I will offer a little light recap.

On the whole, it was an embarrassing loss for Hedges. Of course, I am a partisan of the crimethinc position here, so perhaps I was hearing my preferred argument more clearly, but I can't imagine even the most devoted "peace police" hearing better than a stalemate.

Neither of them were addressing the other, for the most part, but B. Traven of Crimethinc was at least consistently answering the questions offered, and even occasionally giving some conversational body language toward Hedges, and saying that he shared with him some vision of liberation (even if this is perhaps more polite and tactical than true). Hedges mostly sweated and reminded the audience that he is an important war correspondent (~10x) and that he has led a lawsuit against the Obama administration (~5x).

Hedges has apparently decided that masking is now acceptable, and that he would work alongside black bloc members without reporting them to police. But these are not why it seems that the diversity of tactics position won. Team black won because Hedges continues to refuse to correct any of his glaring historical inaccuracies. For instance, one of the audience questions asked on what grounds Hedges had called the Black Panther movement a "parasite," and Hedges just claimed that he did not remember ever having written that. Fortunately, B. Traven not only remembered, but could cite and quote the article. Hedges, cornered, muttered and hedged, conceded some ground, but did not explain what he meant at all, except by informing the audience that the Weather Underground had been "rather White." Similarly, Hedges claimed that "classical" Anarchists of the 19th century would have supported his position on "non-violence" during the debate, but had no response when B. Traven gave a short litany of the Anarchists Hedges was presumably referencing, all of whose names still echo with their support of direct actions far more daring than those of Oakland's May Day.

But Hedges, finally, lost because he was haunted by the spectre of something called "the mainstream." I don't know why B. Traven did not address this phrase directly. Perhaps he didn't have to. Maybe it doesn't need to be dignified with a rebuttal. But it should be examined. The strangest moment was when B. of Crimethinc accused Hedges of delivering a narrative that the police are using to imprison activists (which Traven supported with a concrete instance). To this the Pulitzer prize winning journalist claimed that he was as "shut out" of the "mainstream" as were the black bloc participants. It sounded like a persecution complex, honestly, and that neurosis is just not a luxury those of us working to confront actual persecution (and actually being persecuted) can afford. But I don't think the issue was that Hedges somehow forgot that he is widely read and well published, nor that he was being simply dishonest. I think the notion of a "mainstream" is so theoretically impoverished that it can only manifest as nonsense. Hedges' mainstream, the one that apparently supported the Occupy movement, did not have any characteristics at all, except perhaps fear of dramatic confrontation. It was non-hyper-masculine, but it was not characterized by the presence of women, nor concerted action against patriarchy. It had no bodies, it had no faces. Hedges lost because he was being pursued not by a black bloc, but by an imagined white bloc of bourgeois supporters, waiting for him to open a revolutionary space mild enough for them.

a good comment from... wait a second!

wait a second...the best site in internet anarchy, that's what!

that was also linked to by Crimethinc Brian! GASP who were linked to a year ago by GASP the artist formerly known as NEFAC! WHOA MIND BLOWN!!!

"Hedges lost because he was being pursued not by a black bloc, but by an imagined white bloc of bourgeois supporters.."

It isn't imagined.

Trollympics #2 If Crimethinc was running for president with Wolfi as it's VP what would their stance on trolls be?

Over the top racism, sexism, or repeated bullying of one or a small group of trolls for any uncool reason should be dealt with harshly (i.e.. zapped; not supported in the main editorial section.) Who wants to prove that cliche 'anarchy will lead to a Lord of the Flies situation' true? Only dolts or cops, that's who.

Otherwise, free play, free from reign, free range chicken.

that is a pretty witty line

so if "pushing the envelope" is a task we must "not to daunted" (sic) from undertaking, then why does it make sense to defend the black bloc but denounce guerilla struggle (as B. did in the debate)?

that is very internally incoherent. not that i advocate any type of armed struggle. but i think hedges won because B. contradicted the entire premise of his theory of social change and didn't even realize he was being inconsistent. hedges had a much more consistent narrative of social change and how it happens (in the US context: that of a first world, wealthy, fat, religious, relatively conservative country).

really chris and B were doing the same thing, and believe the same things:
-argue in favor of your chosen level of militancy in strategy
-denounce those more militant than yourself, and
-encourage your brethren to keep going with your chosen strategy in order to bring along those more "mainstream" or "moderate" than oneself.

really they are saying exactly the same thing. and i think they are probably both wrong.

It's not that clandestine struggle (as recommended by Derrick Jensen, as B mentioned) is "more militant" than generalized insurrection, and therefore bad. It's that isolation is a problem. Another way to break down the disagreement, contrary to your account, is that Hedges was arguing for purges, and B was not.

And hedges argues the isolation due to black bloc tactics is the problem as well. Same argument.

Same argument but in a different context, which makes it not the same argument at all. Saying "guerrilla warfare is isolating" is not the same as saying "wearing black clothing is isolating".

actually it is.

isolating = less people willing to engage in the activity along side you.

they just have different places on the continuum of militancy that think best balances the need to not isolate oneself and to challenge power, but they have the same meta-strategy.

nothing we do matters or can change anything. we just have to watch what happens as a result of the material/social conditions we live in over time. there is nothing else to be said, really.

the illusion that we CAN do something, and our impatience at watching things unfold that we have no control over, is OUR problem, not the system's.

Those who literally believe we have no agency at all need not even participate in these discussions. Go back to you cave reading "Nihilist Communism" or Marx until the material conditions ripen. Rifuckingdiculous.

^delusional.
anarchists are desperately wanting to feel important in the world without having to actually do the things the world values and rewards as important (whether those are good or bad, it doesn't matter, they are what they are, either play the game or stop trying to somehow feel worthwhile to history without having to play it. it doesn't work like that, you just make yourself look stupid).

I think your problem is that you are conceiving of a one-dimensional scale, from "less intense" to "more intense," and that's as far as your understanding of escalation goes. But the insurrectionist critique has always been that there is a qualitative difference between clandestine armed struggle and generalized insurrection. They're not on the same scale, they're different structurally.

and hedges and B both exist on that qualitatively different scale, but with the same strategy and mindset.

go on repeating your mantra. Privileged liberal pundits who are used to occupying positions of authority are not the same as aspiring insurrectionaries. We dream of different things than they do. Our theory of change is different. Our attacks, when they work, spread differently.

You really think he "denounced" guerrilla struggle? Not what I saw.

He used the words 'clandestine armed struggle', but yeah he totally denounced it. Seemed like a way to try to make himself sound more moderate and reasonable. I found it a little off-putting and liberal myself.

Well, wait, are we in favor of the Red Brigades and Weather Underground here? I'm not, no, not really--and it's not because I'm liberal, or because they're "not going to win" in some Hedgy analysis, but rather because their practice is an outgrowth of their authoritarian politics.

I strongly doubt B was making an argument against, say, Conspiracy Cells of Fire or the ELF. Crimethinc has always supported ELF prisoners, etc. But he cited Jensen, and I think that kind of DGR authoritarian underground struggle thing really is a wrong turn.

I think it's quite possible B. _was_ making an argument against Conspiracy Cells of Fire or the ELF AND that they always have and ALWAYS WILL support ELF Prisoners etc DESPITE thinking they are making a mistake -- and that is in fact EXACTLY THE POINT I think. Whether B thinks ELF or whoever in particular are making a mistake or not , the point is EXACTLY that there can be people who you think are making mistakes, but you STILL support them against state repression, you sure as hell support them when they become political prisoners, because they're on our team, and that's solidarity, and our internal disagreements are one thing but our shared desire to destroy capitalism and create a free society is the real thing.

I don't think the Weather Underground actually had authoritarian politics (I know less about the Red Brigades). That they, internally, ended up acting out oppressive authoritarian relations with each other (which they did) is not because they had 'authoritarian politics', rather than it's a pitfall of 'security culture' (and they sure as hell needed security culture), machismo militancy (they didn't need so much of that), and flawed psychologically hurt people (we all are) -- that we should take as a cautionary tale. (David Gilbert's AWESOME recent memoir is a really good place to read up on this).

that's also what the cops and the military does, and it's dishonest.

the cops and the military act in solidarity with political prisoners even if they have strategic disagreements with them? what?

Well, there's different kinds of opposition or denouncement.

B. said he thought guerilla struggle was a huge mistake; he didn't say he'd aid the police in imprisoning and killing guerillas, he didn't call them a "cancer" or say they were ruining 'the movement' -- maybe easier since there is no significant left guerilla in the US right now, but even if there were (or if you consider some factions to be so), I don't think B. would do so.

I don't think anyone denies Hedges his right to have an opinion that black bloc tactics are a mistake, or to try and persuade others of this. Or even to have an opinion that they are 'morally wrong' (although if you talk morals, and you equate breaking windows on the same level as blowing up buildings with people inside, you are a moral idiot). Rather it's about the particular forms his 'cancer' argument takes in divisiveness and aiding the government against a portion of us.

yes but hedges also backpedaled to the point of saying that although he wound't participate in a black bloc, he also wouldn't try to do anything to help the police defeat a black bloc.

Note that that was a revision of his previous position, i.e. conceding a point to the opposition. Whatever happened in the debate, it seems like it forced Hedges to actually back down from his most strongly-worded positions on anarchists. Traven, on the other hand, was pretty much at the same position that CrimethInc laid out long before the debate.

right like in 1997
wooooo bagels!!!!!!

give them to homelesses.

answering the question of what tactics are best used at a protest is like asking the question of who will manage the economy atr

No-one in good faith could assert that hedges won the debate.
Only a chomsky liberal or a cop...is there a difference, by the way?

your inability to understand the real differences between chomsky liberals and cops shows nothing but your own myopia, your own rather unsophisticated worldview and understanding of reality.

there are real and significant differences, even between dems and republicans. the fact that it makes it easier for you to RAGE if you understand the world in more black and white terms than exists does not make that black and white view reality.

Reading these comments is like listening in on a special ed class when the teacher has left the building. Problem with american anarchists: no direction. no plan. no objective. no goals. no cohesiveness. Just there existing and ranting about a bunch of different things and disagreeing on more than agreeing with anything. Tapping foot. ;-/

Anarchists else where probably have similar problems but there is no doubt when putting anarchists in the same room and having disagreement, America has it the worst. Shame.

Let me rephrase that, at least crimethinc has direction where so many (AMERICAN) anarchists fail.

...and who is Crimethinc's direction? B. Traven.

Surprise surprise. Have we got a new leader, now?

Sorry, but this person with a clandestine name (gotcha) just bitched over clandestine struggle. Of course, isolation is a problem. A very big problem, that myself have a tard time with. But often you cannot wait for thé brainwashed, stupid masses to join in.

And even there... latest huge open revolt was the Quebec strike. Where are the achievements??? Wherez the anarchist revolution now?

A few persons who are standing up to despotism are better than a million living an illlusion of resistance.

"clandestine name"

lol.

They stopped the tuition increase, for one.

Also, you're an idiot trying to feel self important by pretending you live under some fascist regime.

Anything that isn't anarchy is fascist, duh.

"isolation is a problem. A very big problem, that myself have a tard time with."

OMG you just made my night!! LOL!!!!!!

Sure, let's stand up. The question is how to do so in a way that spreads--so we don't lose. If you're like "I am cool--you are brainwashed, stupid masses--that's why I blow things up by myself" it probably won't work. Duh.

And don't shit on poor B. Traven for having to be the public face of a much bigger--if largely anonymous--project. That's gotta suck for him.

Which reminds me--clandestinity and anonymity are not the same thing. Discuss.

duuuuuuude....they stopped the hikes, first of all, like other commenter pointed out. so stfu.
thats the acheivement- not earth shattering, but that is what it was aiming for after all...

second, b never talked shit on clandestine anything - observe the QUARTER OF THE DEBATE where he defends masking and anonymity, and generally pushing the envelope. also, thats just a stupid claim. read rolling thunder to see their position, its not complicated.

people are blowing the refusal of clandestine urban armed guerilla struggle out of proportion. this is not where B is at, but more strategic and political reasons, not the moralism of Hedges. THats his position; if you disagree with it, argue directly and honestly, dont strawman him to be opposed to clandesinity out right when you know full well thats obviouslynot the case. You just make yourself look stupid.

in my opinion, or guess, B was taking that position currently - i personally think he would probably reevaluate if the context changed. BUt we should always remember that we are trying to fight and win a social war, not a military one - it will have military-strategic, and armed, components, and if B doesnt think it should EVER have armed components, or will ever need them, he is indeed sorely mistaken - but its still a SOCIAL war. THis means the main emphasis is on economic disruption and attacks that are easily regenerated and easily reproduced, forms of new social organization that are also easily reproducible, resistant to hierarchy, and fulfilling, and a general ungovernability. If anarchy becomes a grudge match between some much-hailed heroes on one side and a terrifying omnipotent state on the other, we lose, game over. The problems of the urban guerilla organization (from an @ perspective) have usually been more than an internal hierarchy; their tactical choices themselves lead to a replacement of the people kind of strategy, well-tuned to replacing one state with the other but ill-suited to an anarchist reorganization of human societies.

apologies: grudge match should read, "private grudge match."

Tell us, Oh Great One, The Grand Strategy!

Not in this case. Hedges tried to set up anarchists to take the fall, and terrorize everyone out of getting into it. These folks did the shitwork of interrupting that operation. What they did isn't cool, but was probably necessary.

wat

both hedges and the narrator of this review [crimethinc inc.] are mired down in newtonian linear thinking in the same manner that Western colonizer civilization is. their basic definition of ‘violence’ jumpstarts from ‘what people-as-things-in-themselves do’. as crimethinc says, both hedges and they agree on the ‘local system’ definition of violence;

“At the end of the debate, he [hedges] argued that violence can only be defined by those who experience it—a potentially coherent definition, but extremely ironic coming from someone who has refused to address the charge that he exposed others to danger.”

this is the same synthetic definition of violence that is foundational to Western justice. it is a tautology that arises from the juxtaposing of the mutual opposites of ‘violent’ and ‘non-violent’.

the physical reality is that we live in a relational space where tensions arise that are the source of ‘manifest violence’ or ‘explosive release of tensions’. ‘violence’ is where the inside-outward pressures of free association reach and attain the outside-inward pressures that suppress such free association. in the case of water in a container, when the vapour pressure supporting free association rises to the threshold where it reaches or exceeds the ambient pressure that is keeping it ‘contained’, things ‘come to a boil’ [free association is realized]. in the case where a central authority ‘keeps a lid on things’, free association can be prevented by strengthening and tightening the suppressive lid. the bubbles rising up and about to unleash energy violently are in this case squeezed down, crushed and re-dissolved in the non-violent collective.

in other words, violence is not a ‘behaviour-in-itself’ but is the relative threshold between the intensity of one’s tensioning [by the relational system you are in putting its squeeze on you or your loved ones] and the suppressive force imposed upon you [e.g. by the supreme powers of central authority, to keep you from rising to a boil].

this threshold differs for everyone commensurate with one’s unique situational inclusion in the relational living space. manifest violence is simply the ‘peaks’ where this relative threshold is reached. these peaks will decline in incidence as the suppressive lid is strengthened and tightened; e.g. if the penalty for violent protest is increased to taking the life of your firstborn. of course, if the relational problems fuelling the tensions are not resolved via transformation of the system, the strengthening/tightening of the lid of suppression simply delays resolution and intensifies the explosiveness of the resolution.

even ‘restorative justice’ initiatives, the continuing development of which is being endorsed by Western justice institutions, define violence as ‘conflict’ that emerges within the community dynamic; i.e. violence is secondary to the relational tensions that develop within the community dynamic.

did the ‘arab spring’ violence mysteriously jumpstart from the interiors of hundreds of thousands, or even millions of people in the arab world? or did the tensions established by the carving up of the arab regions into ‘colonies’ by the imperial powers of europe and their continuing colonialism by supporting puppet governments in the region have anything to do with it?

in a real, physical relational space such as the space we live in [as contrasted to the idealized empty and infinite Euclidian space of scientific/rational intellection], relational tensions are the animating source of all actions, including manifest violence [the peaks that exceed the threshold where the inside-outward tendency to free association rise to match or exceed the pressures that suppress free association.

how many people are tensioned to the point that they are near the threshold of ‘rising up’ against the forces of suppression that are keeping them down’? do we really believe that muslim riots over cartoons and internet videos are due to the idealistic principle of Mohammed being insulted? these people are pissed at being pissed on by the colonizing powers and they are tensioned to the point of being continually close to their ‘violent uprising’ threshold. naturally, muslims who are now participants inside of those states constituting the alliance of colonizing powers are not going to be ‘pissed upon’ to the same degree since racial equality is policed within a colonizing state, but it is not policed across states; i.e. between the alliance of colonizer states and the colonized states whose ‘leaders’ have had to be approved by the colonizer states [opening the door for their people and resources to be exploited by the colonizer states is the price of approval] or suffer alienation by them.

has anyone not experienced such ‘tensions’ that come via relations of one sort or another? as Mach and others have observed, Western culture indoctrinates people to make them think of themselves as ‘local, independently-existing systems’ whose behaviours are fully and solely animated from their internal processes such as purpose-directed intellection. as Mach/Nietzsche et al point out. this is bullshit or ‘total Fiktion’. it is idealization that is being confused for physical reality. what this confusion gives us, is the notion that ‘tensions’ are all ‘in our head’. we confuse the physical for the psychical and vice versa.

so when hedges and crimethink view ‘violence’ [the manifest violence that shows up the ‘peaks’ of the relational tensions in the social dynamic], how far do they ‘track it back’ to find its source? yes, they track it back only as far as the individuals through whom it manifests and not back to the physical tensions in the relational space of community.

inquiry into the source of ‘violence’ seen via the standard Western mainstream science ‘what things-in-themselves do’ worldview, cul de sac’s in the intellectual/purposeful process inside of the head of those involved in the explosive outburst. ‘violence’ is thus seen as jumpstarting from intellectual process in the heads of those through whom it manifests. this is not even up to the standard of restorative justice, which acknowledges that ‘conflict’ is sourced FIRSTLY from the dynamic relations that constitute ‘society’, so that we must look to ‘community’ for the source and not just to the individual through which violence manifests.

to use the definition of hedges and crimethinc is to say that ‘some people are non-violent’ while others are ‘violent’ and this is an intellectual choice we all have. this obscures the physical reality.

the physically real relational space of our experience has an ‘accommodating’ quality, unlike the passive absolute Euclidian reference grid space of our ‘what things-in-themselves do’ scientific worldview. this ‘accommodating quality’ because it selectively/relatively accommodates also disaccommodates [suppresses the blossoming of assertive potentialities] and can become very oppressively disaccommodating. the selective accommodating/disaccommodating can key to class, race, wealth, gender, criminal record, first language, religion, ethnic grouping etc. since Western justice sees space as absolute and non-relational, it sees social dynamics purely in terms of ‘what things-in-themselves do’. ‘violence’ is thus seen as ‘something that a thing-in-itself does’; i.e. an intellectual purpose that springs forth from the interior of the ‘thing-in-itself’. where else could it spring from when one assumes that space is absolute, fixed empty and infinite reference grid that we use to measure the size and shape of the thing-in-itself and its movements/behaviour.

the outbursts of manifest violence [as distinguished from the passive-aggressive violence of a central authority [corporate, state etc.]] represent the balance between the relational space based tensions of disaccommodation that press for transformation in the social dynamic on the one hand, and the suppressing of this transformation-seeking pressure by the ‘central authorities, on the other hand. these tensions/pressures are the real physical source of manifest violence; i.e. the PRIMARY source.

sure we can overlay ‘intellectual choice’ over this and it will modulate the ‘threshold’. for example with law as it is in Québec, the peaks sticking above the threshold representing where tension-based tendency-to-violence are actualized and become manifest have a given rate of incidence, I(a). if Bill 78 stands, the incidence rate lowers to I(b) because, even though the system is even more oppressive, the price for moving across the threshold from non-violence to violence becomes substantially higher. if the authorities threaten your family as is the practice of some central authorities, the price for moving across the threshold from non-violence to manifest violence becomes substantiall higher and the incidence of manifest violence may decline to I(c). if the authorities become fundamentalist and zero-tolerant of violent protest and adopt a Biblical enforcement of killing one’s firstborn, then even though the relational social space dynamic is now more oppressive than ever, the incidence of manifest violence may decline even further, to I(d).

‘violence’ is not simply an ‘intellectual tactic’ as crimethinc implies;

“We have made a point of standing up to those who would demonize the black bloc not because we are invested in that particular tactic ...”

and ‘violence’ is not simply some kind of internal tendency within the notional ‘thing-in-itself human’ such as hedges suggests in speaking of ‘hyper-masculinity’.

“This language—“hyper-masculinity”—is the language Hedges has used to delegitimize black bloc tactics.”

hedges and crimethinc, in compliance with the Western justice tradition, see ‘violence’ in terms of it being hatched from the interior of a ‘thing-in-itself’, as with linear-thinking science’s modeling of the organism as a machine-thing-in-itself jockeying around in non-relational [non-oppression capable] absolute space, whose behaviour derives fully and solely from its internal processes.

but how many people feel the real relational-space tensions of oppression [the passive-aggression/violence] of some ‘central authority’? this is the ur-source of violence. ‘violence’ does not jumpstart out from the interior of the one who manifests violence, but from the few amongst the many who, like Olaf, are prepared to risk the price of refusing to ‘eat shit’ and refusing to ‘kiss your fucking flag’.

“i sing of Olaf glad and big ... Olaf ... which others stroke with brushes recently employed anent this muddy toiletbowl, while kindred intellects evoke allegiance per blunt instruments- Olaf (being to all intents a corpse and wanting any rag upon what God unto him gave) responds, without getting annoyed "I will not kiss your fucking flag"

... but-though all kinds of officers (a yearning nation's blueeyed pride) their passive prey did kick and curse until for wear their clarion voices and boots were much the worse, and egged the firstclassprivates on his rectum wickedly to tease by means of skillfully applied bayonets roasted hot with heat- Olaf (upon what were once knees) does almost ceaselessly repeat "there is some shit I will not eat"

our president, being of which assertions duly notified threw the yellowsonofabitch into a dungeon,where he died

Christ (of His mercy infinite) i pray to see;and Olaf,too preponderatingly because
unless statistics lie he was more brave than me:more blond than you” --- e.e. cummings

in the collective of those who are everyday forced to eat shit and kiss the fucking flag that symbolizes the power to make you eat shit and kiss the flag, some refuse to eat and kiss and pay the price for such refusal. whether they are ‘conscientious objectors’ as one of these Olafs was, or black bloc’ers, the oppressive requirement to follow orders and eat shit/kiss flag that winds you up like a tensioned spring ready for explosive release is where the violence is sourced. it does not simply jumpstart from the intellect of those it manifests through as if life were intellectual war games. yes, the intellect understands the high price that comes with refusal to eat shit/kiss flag, a price that must be paid in violence done by the state to those who refuse.

the bottom line is that if one models the world in the abstract terms of ‘what things-in-themselves do’ which implies an absolute [non-relational] space incapable of ‘winding you up’, then there is no place to look for the source of ‘violence’ other than in the interior of the ‘thing-in-itself human’ wherein hedges finds the jumpstart animating source to be ‘hyper-masculinity’ and crimethinc finds the jumpstart animating source to be ‘intellectual tactic’.

the physically real space of our experience is a relational space wherein tensions are real and come to us through the webs of relations we are situationally included in; e.g. by selectively accommodating/disaccommodating us on the basis of class, race, wealth, gender, criminal record, first language, religion, ethnic grouping etc. as recently as the 1960s, appeals made TO THE CENTRAL AUTHORITY have moderated disaccommodation on a racial basis or made it more covert, but the notion that conflict/violence derives from the relational social space we share inclusion in, rather than simply from the internal processes of the notional ‘thing-in-himself’ individual [from hyper-masculine instinct or from intellectual strategizing], is not something the ‘central authority’ wants to acknowledge since when the violent individual is put on trial, the violence of the state must be put on trial at the same time, as part of the same trial.

hedges, by putting the individual on trial for violence that notionally jumpstarts from within him [from his hyper-masculinity] and crimethinc, by putting the individual on trial for violence that notionally jumpstarts from within him as an intellectual strategy, and who may find his action justifiable, .... simply by putting the individual on trial as if he were the jumpstart source of violence, ... obscures the real source of the violence which is the oppressive tensions in the relational space we are situationally included in, ... tensions that in nature are the fuel of relational transformation, but which in Western civilization are not seen as ‘tensions’ since Euclidian space is a non-relational space that does not ‘support’ tensions. hedges and crimethinc’s definition of ‘violence’ as jumpstarting from within the individual reinforces the Western civilization view of dynamics in terms of what-things-in-themselves do’ as if in a non-relational [absolute Euclidian] space.

this leaves intact the Western justice architecture which operates only on the basis of individual behaviour and blinds itself to the real, physical tensions that arise in a relational space, that are the primary influence on behaviour even though they cannot ‘be traced’ to particular individuals [they derive from relations rather than from things-in-themselves]. spatial-relations open up possibility [or close it down] necessary for the blossoming of assertive potentialities. semi-trailer drives can close down the possibilities whose opening up is necessary for the blossoming of the assertive potentialities of the car driver. their individual behaviour is irreproachable. it is purely coincidence that they are crawling up the mountain grade side-by-side on a two-lane-each way freeway and closing down the opening of spatial possibility needed for the blossoming of the assertive potentialities of the cars trapped behind them.

so it was also with whites and blacks. and so it continues to be with those without criminal records and those with criminal records etc. etc. using spatial relations to manipulate the opening of possibility for others is a common way of selectively oppressing others that is not traceable back to individual behaviours. the ‘inferior performance’ of an individual can only be attributable to the ‘inferiority’ in the individual in the ‘what things-in-themselves do’ way of modeling dynamics that are standard in Western civilization, and are the basis for judging individuals [things-in-themselves].

in the relational space of our real-life experience, it is possible for a crony group to use spatial-relations to torment another and to wind him up like a spring to the point where he undergoes a violent release of energy, without those who engineer this [relationally] ever incriminating themselves by way of their own behaviour. that is, the laws of Western justice key to individual behaviour and are blind to relational sourcing of dynamics. to what degree is one’s ability to find gainful employment dis-accommodated by having a criminal record? the ‘criminal record’ belongs to the community. that is the view of restorative justice and of Machean physics. hedges and crimethinc are keeping us from ‘going there’.

to keep it simple, violence is necessary if it is for the removal of the old world and the alternative that comes after its removal. violence on a grand-scale would require discipline and persistence on a wide scale which America is lacking.

that is too simple. ‘violence’ is not a device-in-itself tactically employed to achieve an objective such as ‘the removal of the old world and the [installing of] the alternative that comes after its removal.”

‘violence’ is the manifestation of rising conflict within the relational dynamics of society and/or habitat. this ‘conflict’ is continually arising in nature and is the source of transformation of the relational space that it arises within. electrical charges build and then explosively discharge. the lightning triggers forest fires that renew/transform the forests. compressional and extensional tensions build in the circulating currents of the lithosphere and then explosively ‘let go’. the ‘earthquake’ [the unloading of spring-tensioned/compressioned rocks] triggers transformation of the relational space/landscape. tensions/pressures build in the circulatory flow of the atmosphere and then explosively discharge via the ‘whorl’ or storm-cell. this too triggers transformation of the relational space it is included in.

the globally dominating Western civilization worldview re-renders relational-spatial dynamics in the terms of ‘what things-in-themselves do’. the dynamic forms that gather in the relational space flow are objectified by language and become the notional jumpstart source of dynamics. ‘the state’, ‘the corporation’ etc. which are driven by some sort of ‘management theory’. this ‘re-rendering’ of dynamics in terms of ‘what things-in-themselves do’ is the origin of central authority controlled organization. it is as if the ‘eye of the storm-cell’ is taken to be the source of the pin-wheeling rather than being an artefact of the flow the storm-cell gathers in.

one has two choices here;

(a) as you mention, ... to see ‘violence’ as a tactical tool to push out the old order and bring in the new. in this case, the new order derives from the 'installing' of a new management/political theory.

(b) to see ‘violence’ as the manifestation of rising relational tensions. in this case, the resolving of relational tensions is the pathway to the needed social transformation.

hedges and crimethinc have chosen (a) and are debating the relative strategic value of including ‘violence’ in the tactical bag of tricks to chase out the established world order and bring in the new world order.

there are those that are not into forcing out old world orders [the old intellectual governance program] and bringing in new world orders [the new intellectual governance program], but would prefer to resolve relational tensions as the path to social transformation.

people-relations are all that is required to do (b), not global political initiatives that use non-violent and/or violent tactics or a combination thereof [as in (a)] to install and remove world orders.

Violence is a method used by the state and the military all the time because it works to get what you want and the minute it stops working is the minute they stop using it as a tool to achieve the elites only object that is to maximize profits at the expense of good people who remain as non-violent obedient good little slaves.

objective*

yes, your statement is largely on target [i would argue that the threat of violence usually shapes behaviours] but what is missing is some explanation as to how we are ‘brainwashed’, ... or rather how we brainwash ourselves, ... into behaving “as non-violent obedient good little slaves.”

the answer is [as Mach suggested] that we have inverted the ‘psychical’ [imagined/intellectualized] and the ‘physical’ [experienced reality]. what this translates into is that we model every biological system as a ‘rational being’ from a ‘cell’ through an ‘organism’ [e.g. our human self] to a ‘community’.

why do we do this? because we conceive of all of these things as ‘local, independently-existing material systems’ that live within an absolute [non-relational] space and time reference frame.

1. the cell as a ‘rational being’. --- because we model the ‘cell’ [whether a storm-cell or a biological cell] as a local system with its own locally originating, internal process driven and directed behaviour, we say that the cell is ‘chemical gradient seeking’ in order to explain the relationship between cells after we have notionally constrained the sourcing of behaviour of the cell to internal drive and direction. chemical gradient seeking is our intellectual thought that we impute to reside in the interior of the cell, making the cell into a ‘rational being’ who is constantly sensing and responding to chemical gradients. this is like saying that a hurricane [storm-cell] is pressure gradient seeking. that’s what one would have to say if one wants to avoid acknowledging that the storm cell is a feature within an energy-flow that derives its form, development and behaviour from the relational-spatial flow it is included in.

2. the organism as a ‘rational being’. --- we can make all the same statements here. if one models the organism as a local system that jockey’s around in an absolute space and time reference frame, then we have to explain its behaviour as if it is being driven and directed from out of its internal organs and processes. so, the reindeer that follows a trail of crumbs [exposed lichens] and who we observe heading north in summer and south in winter thanks to his crumb-chasing behaviour, ... we say, ... has a migratory instinct. an instinct is something that we impute that the organism is born with that will explain his behaviour as if he truly is a local independently-existing system that moves about within an absolute [non-relational] space and time reference frame. that is, we impute ‘instinct’ and ‘intellect’ to organisms so that we don’t have to acknowledge that space is relational; i.e. to stick with our abstract model of an absolute space populated by independently-existing local systems. in this latter model/abstraction, we have no choice but to ‘load up’ our ‘local systems’ with the internal processes necessary to explain its behaviour without reference to any outside-inward orchestration. but as with the storm-cell, space is not really ‘empty’, it is the energy-charged relational flow that not only engenders the ‘local form’ but sources its development and behaviour. ‘instinct’ is a notion that allows us to stay with the notion that space is an absolute, non-relational empty and infinite reference frame populated by local systems that do their own thing. ‘instinct’ is ‘rational intellect’ that the ‘local system’ is ‘born with’ and does not have to learn. we invented this since there is no way we can explain how the migratory behaviour [all behaviours are inside-outward driven in our non-relational absolute space and time framed mental models] jumpstarts in organisms before they get chance to be ‘schooled’ in it by their parents [a orphaned reindeer will still migrate]. of course, in a relational space such as relativity and quantum physics contend is the physical reality, the behaviour of the reindeer can be outside-inward orchestrated as in providing a trail of crumbs that will induce the migratory behaviour. this physical reality is ‘not allowed’ by pre-modern physics since an absolute non-relational fixed empty and infinite Euclidian space cannot orchestrate the behaviours of the forms that inhabit it. [Mach’s principle says otherwise].

3. community as ‘rational system’. --- all of the above comments apply here as well. the relational possibilities of the oasis orchestrates the arrival of settlers from out of the desert and their cows, camels and goats. the relational possibilities of the early settlement orchestrate the arrival of more settlers from out of the desert [there are tents to be constructed from animal hides, cheese to be made from the milk, water to be fetched for irrigating crops etc. etc. as with the cell and the reindeer and the trail of crumbs, we had the choice of saying that the reindeer is a crumb-seeking organism and thus avoid the invoking of relational space [continuing to use absolute space as a frame/container populated by independent local systems/organisms], ... or, ... allowing that space is relational so the dynamics of the habitat condition the dynamics of the inhabitant [the opening up of a crack in the sub-desert dune acquifer locally greens the desert, attracting humans like a drop of honey attracts ants]. only if one sticks with an absolute non-relational conception of space, as mainstream science does, is one forced to explain the behaviour of the human collective in terms of it being fully and solely internally driven and directed. this ‘inverts’ the physically real dynamics and makes it seem as if the community was deliberately constructed by the intellect and purpose of the people collective. people who believe this will tell you that you need an intellectual plan to develop a community and that all communities are built this way, driven and directed from the intellect and purpose of intelligent organisms. the notion of the habitat dynamics orchestrating such organization from the outside-inward, they will tell you [we tell ourselves] is non-scientific superstition.

this is how we get to the notion of ourselves as ‘rational beings’. this is what ‘the state uses’, and the corporation uses, to control our behaviours. ‘don’t walk’, ‘yield to the right’, ‘no-trespassing’, ‘keep off the grass’, ‘private property’, thou shalt obey the laws of the land and the instructions of the authorities and their enforcing agents in whom we have vested the powers of the state's supreme central authority.

this is all ‘rational stuff’ that promotes fully and solely internally driven and directed [intellect and purpose driven and directed] behaviour. it is why people write books about our lost natural self that wants to ‘run with the wolves’.

a ‘rational being’ is not supposed to let his behaviour be shaped by the outside-inward orchestrating influence of the habitat dynamic he is situationally included in. if he was ‘attracted by the oasis’ and set up camp there, he must say; ‘i am a rational being with free will and i chose to come and settle here. my coming here was fully and solely driven by my own internal purpose-directed intellection. that’s all the non-relational modeling of space/habitat and matter/inhabitant will allow.

if you buy into this, as Western civilization asks its members to, then you will buy into the notion that ‘community organization’ is a deliberately determined [intellect and purpose directed] phenomenon. this is where the physical and the psychical get inverted, as Mach says. the physical reality is that the dynamics of habitat do indeed orchestrate the behaviour of the inhabitants, or more precisely; “the dynamics of the habitat are conditioning the dynamics of the inhabitants at the same time as the dynamics of the inhabitants are conditioning the dynamics of the habitat.” [Mach’s principle].

OF COURSE our experience screams out that this is a more physically real understanding of dynamics than mainstream science’s ‘what things-in-themselves do’ model which is foundational to capitalism and Ayn Randism and which treats ‘what things do’ as ‘all she wrote’ without allowing any conjugate relation between ‘what the inhabitants do’ and ‘what the habitat does’. when you live in the relational space on the surface of a sphere [mathematically, a non-euclidian relational space], the only possible dynamic is ‘transformation’ of spatial relations. that’s what happens when one suspends invoking a notional absolute space and time reference frame to allow us to imagine that dynamic forms are ‘local, independently-existing systems that inhabit such absolute fixed empty and infinite space’.

ok, back to how the state [the notional ‘existence’ of the state and its supreme central authority depends on nothing other than ‘common belief’] and how the state ‘exploits’ this modeling of the self as a ‘rational being’.

recall the oasis-community organization that takes form and develops from free relational associations. after it ‘gets going’, politicians will declare that it has been deliberately constructed by a team of intelligent/rational beings and their purpose directed intellection. they will go further and tell you who deserves the most credit for this deliberate, purpose and intellect directed construction project. an elite class of ‘leaders’ will be born whose exceptional gifts qualify them for leadership in the further deliberate, purpose and intellect-directed development of the community.

did the U.S. develop like the oasis, by way of a ‘land of opportunity’ orchestrating the settlement of people coming out of the oppressive deserts of europe, in the manner of ants clustering around a drop of honey? THIS VIEW IS NOT ALLOWED! [it conflicts with the absolute space and time framed view of mainstream science]

science says that human organisms are local, independently-existing systems with locally originating, internal process driven and directed behaviours that inhabit an absolute space and time reference frame that has no capability of orchestrating organization from the outside-inward, or by the conjugate habitat-inhabitant relation of a Machean relational space.

NO, ... the only model that mainstream scientific thinking [which brings us the notion of our ‘self’ as a rational being] allows is that ‘community organization’ is deliberately constructed by the purpose directed intellection of intelligent machines/beings.

it remains for us to determine ‘who are the main contributors to this deliberate construction of community’. of course the answer to this will be biased to the early arrivals who appropriated the best land and lots of it. it certainly will not list the italian immigrants who were exploited by the earlier arrivals to work in their sweat shops for starvation wages. these main contributors appear to have special gifts that qualify them for a leadership role.

the community, given that it has established the deliberateness of the construction of a community organization, as in the local system model of the cell, organism and community, is obviously going to develop a rational theory to drive the continuing development and operation of the community. to formalize what the notional ‘founding fathers’ or ‘early arrivals’ informally did, according to this way of modeling that assumes a purpose-directed intellectual source behind the development of the community-organization.

the suite of intellectual rules and regulations that flesh out the purpose-directed intellectual operating plan that animates the community, being the essential ‘neural system’ of the community organism, MUST BE OBEYED and therefore MUST BE ENFORCED which means, ‘backed up by the threat of violence’. in other words, the purpose and intellect directed model of community is ‘backed up by the threat of violence’. if you believe that community organization rises or falls on the back of its central nervous system, then you must exterminate those part(icipant)s that malfunction. you cannot allow rebel part(icipant)s that resist and disturb with comments like ‘there is some shit i will not eat’ and ‘i will not kiss your fucking flag’. these people are a cancer on the central neural system that is the very core of community organization [in this Western civilization, mainstream scientific thinking mode of modeling, which Mach claims inverts the physical and the psychical, confusing the latter for ‘physical reality’].

once we fall into this trap of accepting that the cell, the organism, the community, is a local system with its own intellect and purpose directed development and behaviour, we are putting ourselves at the mercy of those intellects that will seat themselves in the supreme central authority of the notional local, independently-existing sovereign state, who will operate the state like a machine, driven by their intellect and purpose, backed by the threat of violence.

‘violence’ is not born of a mere ‘intellect and purpose directed whim’, ‘violence’ is what happens when one is trapped in this threat-of-violence based approach to social organizing and is tensioned like a spring ready to snap that periodically unloads spouting oaths like ‘there is some shit i will not eat’ and ‘i will not kiss your fucking flag’. the wound up spring comes from being cornered by ‘the threat of violence’ that the globally dominating Western civ organization ‘runs on’.

crimethinc is on target where it observes, in the context of the Summit of the Americas [FTAA] protest in Québec City in april 2001 ;

“The next day, one newspaper article read “Violence erupted when protesters began hurling tear gas canisters at the police.” In practice, “violence” is code for illegitimate use of force: anything that interrupts or escapes the control of the authorities.”

while choking back some of those fumes myself in that smoky venue, i had the chance to reflect on whether my participation was ‘intellect and purpose driven’, ‘hyper-masculinity driven’ or NOT-fully-and-solely-driven and directed [from out of my own internal processes], but instead, was elicited from me in the course of the relational space i shared inclusion in ‘winding me up like a compressed spring’ till i was ready to snap back at the source of my ‘being wound up’. i came out acknowledging the latter, that the dynamics of habitat do indeed condition the dynamics of the inhabitants and that the model where behaviour is sourced fully and solely from the internal processes of the ‘organism’ seen as a ‘local system’ that inhabits an absolute space and time operating theatre, a core belief in Western civilization, is ‘total Fiktion’.

did i believe that the actions of the black bloc in smashing bank windows right beside me was due fully and solely to their internally directed intellect and purpose and/or ‘hyper-masculine instinct’? no way. they were being ‘wound-up’ like i was being ‘wound-up’ by the dynamics of central control based organization, and what was going on was the ‘unwinding’ or snapping back’ directed against the source of our being ‘wound-up’ that used the threat of violence to keep us locked in the tensions that kept us “behaving as non-violent obedient good little slaves.”

please, hedges and crimethinc, ... no more of this Fiktion that violent behaviour is an intellectual or hyper-masculine tactic to remove the old world order and replace it with a new world order. we don’t need removers and installers of world order. self organization will do very nicely, thank you anyhow.

and as far as our modeling ourselves as 'rational beings' whose behaviour is internally driven and directed by intellect and purpose, ... we are much more than that; i.e. much more than 'independently existing intelligent machines' jockeying about in an absolute space and time operating theatre. like the reindeer, and like Mach's principle suggests, we are conjugate habitat-inhabitant relational flow-forms, or as Schroedinger puts it using Vedic language; ... ATHMAN [individual self] = BRAHMAN [our relational space self;i.e. a form gathering within a continually transforming relational space has an 'omnipresent, all-comprehending eternal self'].

Illegitimate use of hyphens.

to put it simply, violence does people? isn't that what hedges was arguing/argues ("in violence we are changed")?

emile ftw
(like always)
((expect wouldn't winning be a doer-deed or something?))

‘winning’ comes in two forms; (a) the degenerate superior/inferior form (closed system) which describes a doer-deed based win/lose competition, and (b) the relational self-transcending form (open system).

if one wants to build a software system or ‘thinking tool’, one can write several systems side by side and select the best one, and keep repeating this win/lose competition. this is the standard approach that western civilization teaches. it is ‘purificationist’ in that it seeks find the system with the fewest faults. such systems end up being ‘fault intolerant’. a resilient system is one wherein the relations amongst the parts are more important than the parts themselves. [the relational web-of-life persists while the components come and go within it]. this is like ‘open source’ software and/or like ecosystems].

exceptionally performing teams exemplify the (b) type of winning. gabor’s quantum physics compliant communications theory also exemplifies the self-transcending (b) dynamic, and so does an aboriginal ‘learning circle’. perhaps the gabor communications theory is the easiest way to envisage this. in gabor’s theory, there is no such thing as ‘noise’. in standard communications theory one defines ‘noise’ as ‘undesired signal’ and one designs the communications system to sustain a high S/N (signal to noise ratio). this is like the purification process in type (a) winning. in gabor communications, all signal is good signal and the message derives from the relational coherency across a diverse multiplicity of signals. for example, in the learning circle, everyone gets chance to ‘transmit signal’ and everyone gets chance to receive the multiple signals. the ‘message’ is that which generates the most coherence across the diverse multiplicity of signals. this is a resilient or fault-tolerant system rather than a fault-intolerant system. it is used to develop holographic imagery of the interior of the body and/or the earth.

if people come out of the circle and form a line-up to present their views and the reviewers judge the relative integrity of each view with the aim of selecting ‘the best view’, this is once again the (a) type of winning. if they stay in the circle and everyone gets a chance to speak however ‘noisy’ his or her view may seem [it may have some unique info in it] and the ‘understanding’ is gleaned from the relational coherence across the diverse multiplicity of ‘noisy’ signals, the continuing message is a kind of continually self-transcending relational synthesis.

this is how theory is developed in non-euclidian [relational] space. as einstein puts it in ‘Geometry and Experience’;

“First of all, an observation of epistemological nature. A geometrical-physical theory as such is incapable of being directly pictured, being merely a system of concepts. But these concepts serve the purpose of bringing a multiplicity of real or imaginary sensory experiences into connection in the mind. To "visualize" a theory therefore means to bring to mind that abundance of sensible experiences for which the theory supplies the schematic arrangement.”

ok, that’s the (b) approach to winning which is a kind of self-transcendence or ‘rising to the occasion’ [in software, the system is frankensteined by bringing a relational web of diverse capabilities into a coherent confluence or synthetical unity, ... as contrasted with the standard (a) purificationist win/lose approach [in software, the best system wins]

exceptionally performing teams ‘win’ by (b) mode; i.e. they review the needs of their diverse multiplicity of customers, suppliers, service contractors, host community representatives, families etc. [the habitat dynamic] and put their ‘inhabitant dynamic’ in conjugate relation with the habitat dynamic. their winning comes from a continual quest to maximize resonance [impedance matching] in the conjugate relating. this contrasts with the (a) winning mode in which the team sees itself as a local, independently-existing system or ‘intelligent machine’ and tries to optimize their intelligent machine performance so as to out-perform the competition.

in summary, if ‘emile’ had one stock theory that he was ‘perfecting’ that he put in competition with other stock theories [marxism, capitalism, etc.], then emile would be in the ABSOLUTIST (a) mode, the degenerate win/lose mode. however, emile’s theory [Mach’s theory] is the RELATIONAL (b) type mentioned by einstein where the understanding derives from bringing a diverse multiplicity of observations and experiences into connective confluence, the theory ‘imaging’ from the relational coherency in that confluence.

most scientific theories [and teams] are like ‘genetics’, they perform in one direction only, inside-outwardly and as in darwinism compete on an assertive performance/fitness (a) type win/lose basis. ‘epigenesis’ puts an outside-inward shining light on the same theory, and when genesis and epigenesis act in conjugate relation, this changes the mode of winning to (b), continual self-transcendence as in the exceptionally performing team.

this is the lamarckian, nietzschean, rolphian, rüdimeyerian model of evolution; it is spatial-relational rather than by way of a linear line-up of win-lose oriented competitors. as we know from our own experience, an apparently 'inferior' participant may have 'something' that none of the apparently 'superior' participants have'. why would nature throw this away because it happened to arise within an otherwise 'non-competitive' [noisy] participant. answer: nature includes everything and excludes no thing. it is Western man with his Darwinian notions of organisms as local, independently existing intelligent machines that jockey about and engage in win/lose competition within a notional absolute space and time operating theatre that habitually throws the [battered] baby out with the [bloodied] bathwater.

Fuck Emile why do you have to say the same fucking point 50 times over in every comment???? It makes you sound IDIOTIC.

Also, you are just making a run of the mill structuralist argument. Also known as historical materialist/determinist. What do you think of post structuralists like Foucault?

if you 'don't get it' then it 'sounds idiotic', ... agreed.

meanwhile, as i have mentioned many times, our interpretation of word structures assumes explanatory context for each word. any word can be 'unpacked' as in a wikipedia definition or look-up table that can go on for a paragraph or more, giving you the standard context for one particular word/term. that is how our word structures get simple and short, but at the same time 'densely packed'.

if one wants to use non-standard unpacking, then one has to include it with each utterance of the term, otherwise it will be mentally 'unpacked' using the standard 'unpacking' context.

since the understanding that i am sharing uses non-standard unpacking for some core terms, i have to provide my own unpacking with each utterance of that word/terms otherwise the understanding i am trying to share will be missed, as the reader will unpack the terms using the standard unpacking which will send the evolving interpretation of the word structures off on a wildgoose chase.

YEP HEDGES WON.

booooooooring

Why is it suddenly so OK to demonize armed resistance without careful qualification?

Look I mostly agree with the CrimethInk guy but, c'mon, referencing the zapatistas and then condemning armed struggle to be "playing in to the government's hands" in the same breath just seems imprecise and silly.

20 years ago would CrimethInk have done the same thing that Chris did and decried the likes of the panthers, AIM, George Jackson Brigade, etc?

All I'm asking for is some clarification on their part. Are they 100% against armed struggle all the time? Then if so stop using the EZLN as a positive point of reference in your arguments. Is it OK sometimes or in some places? If so, then explain, at least a little bit.

Just basing it on the positive examples CWC usually cites versus the negative ones, it seems like they like:

ELF, ALF, BLA, Zapatistas, CCF, random acts of nighttime sabotage

...and they don't like:

Derrick Jensen/DGR, Weather Underground, Maoist armed struggle groups, and also, like, school shooters and serial killers and shit.

...from this, it's possible to distill an analysis supporting the grassroots proliferation of struggle, not necessarily in organized forms, and a critique of both authoritarian groups (whose authoritarianism comes out in their strategy) and the old murder-suicide defeatism.

The weather underground overthrew it already but every time there's a revolution, the government uses a time machine to go back and stop it to erase the past and there for change the future. And you wonder why no matter what we do, they always win. It isn't a coincidence by far but grand conspiracy called check mate.

I agree with you, and I'm sympathetic to the view you outlined, but I still think it was irresponsible/confusing for B to use the inexact wording that he did. Just a couple of words of clarification would have been enough I think to avoid this "pro-EZLN"/"anti-armed-struggle" apparent contradiction.

Considering the topic of the argument and how uncomfortably close it falls to Hedge's own fuckups makes it so that I don't think this is nitpicking

OK, here's the exact wording you're concerned about. It clarifies from the beginning that he's talking about DGRsh stuff (Maoism is also referenced):

"Regarding the charge that the authorities want us to get violent—that is imprecise. They want us to pick fights we can’t win, fights that keep us isolated. They would be thrilled for us to adopt clandestine armed struggle of the sort Hedges’ friend Derrick Jensen advocates, because it is a terrain on which they can defeat us. But they’d be even happier if we would stick to legalistic pacifism so they don’t have to fight us in the first place. This explains the effort to polarize us into pacifists and terrorists. What they fear most is a broad-based social movement capable of acting on its own terms to break out of the controls imposed by those who benefit from inequality. Such a movement would surely be branded “violent” by those in power.

"To repeat: neither clandestine armed struggle nor legalistic pacifism can achieve meaningful social change. That’s why those who don’t want real change—police, liberals, and also Maoists—try to confine us to one of those two approaches, which are bound either to strengthen the existing system or at most to replace it with an identical one.

"In an increasingly desperate society, people are going to revolt, regardless of what pundits say. If there’s no participatory movement to welcome them, they are likely to escalate on their own, adopting antisocial and defeatist tactics. If they are forced to adopt armed struggle, they will play into the hands of the government. The effect of Hedges’ fear-mongering about the black bloc as a catchall term of abuse for those who go too far is to demonize those who revolt, increasing the likelihood that they will become disconnected from social movements, to everyone’s misfortune."

Yes those of us whop are a bit more engaged catch all of that and are able to see the larger picture correctly, with the context intact.

Those of us who are just coming to politics, who are less engaged, or who just have a short attention span just latch on to smaller pieces like this:

"If they are forced to adopt armed struggle, they will play into the hands of the government."

That's a sentence by itself.

Generally it's important for all of the small pieces of an argument to fit and agree with, in some minimum way, the overall argument. I think it would have been worth it to modify this sentence at least in a small way for clarification. Repeat the earlier "DGR-typed clandestine armed struggle..." quote if need be. Just do something.

Otherwise a lot of folks who otherwise believe that they agree with CrimethInc will start getting pissed off whenever they see anyone talking about or carrying guns for any reason whatsoever.

That makes sense. Fair critique, and a constructive one.

That makes some sense, but, damn

"Otherwise a lot of folks who otherwise believe that they agree with CrimethInc will start getting pissed off whenever they see anyone talking about or carrying guns for any reason whatsoever."

So what can Crimethinc do to discourage this army of unthinking newbies that figure whatever crimethinc says must be right, cause crimethinc said it, even applying that belief to individual sentences taken out of context?

I'm not being sarcastic, I'm sure you're right that such a formation exists.

I laugh at the occupiers, because you see, I already invaded the space which counts the most, that intriguing area between my ears. Hah, such fantastic things originate there, for instance, one morning I told the boss Fuck you and your disgusting power play and hierarchy! I was happy and subsequently got fired. Later that week, I told the landlord to go and get fucked and continued to squat rent free. Life was wonderful, there was a lightness of consciousness between my ears, there was a happy go lucky empathy permeating my torso and being. Haha, I have found the secret to eternal youth I realised. I had occupied my known universe entirely.

Cool story bro.

Thanks! Now I must leave to frolic unperturbed through the concrete occupancies.

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