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Ask an Anarchist

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Traitorfish, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. Takhisis

    Takhisis Free Hong Kong

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    up yours!
    In another thread he ahs posted his disappointment in how the Republican Party of the United States has managed to nominate a certain… person.
     
  2. Tahuti

    Tahuti Writing Deity

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    It's largely meaningless. So that doesn't warrant any further discussion, I wager.
     
  3. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    Heh, I actually meant my expectations re: my ability to answer this thread in a timely or effective manner. :lol:

    But, yes, I suppose in some ways I'm more cynical. Not so much for the end-game, I'm as much a wild-eyed idealist when it comes to the year 3000, but in the short term, I'm less impressed by "anarchist organisations", less repulsed by bureaucratic unionism. A lot of anarcho-syndicalists will tell you that they used to be staunch trade unionists, but the realities of industrial organisation turned them towards anarchism; for me, it's a little of the opposite, a little real-world experience to prod me into realising that actually organising people is more important than how many red-and-black flags you can accumulate. (Perhaps "pragmatic", then, rather than "cynical".) And if I'm honest, I was already heading in this direction when I last posted here: it's just that once you establish a certain capital P-Position in in a forum like this, you feel compelled to defend even as you begin to doubt it.

    From an anarchist perspective, it's a rock and a hard place decision. It's a choice between two versions of the state, so it goes without saying that there can be no "anarchist position" on this, and that anybody claiming to espouse such a position is deeply mistaken.

    Some would go a step further, and say that anarchists shouldn't only remain indifferent to this sort of choice, but actively reject it, perhaps even to the point of advocating for abstinence or ballot-spoiling. I understand this sentiment, and certainly there's something to be said for the rhetorical value of a "plague on both they houses" attitude towards the whole thing.

    But I'm pragmatic by nature, and I don't think the lack of a coherent "anarchist position" means that anarchists can't take a position as individuals. In my case, it seems inevitable that Brexist would result very quickly in the erosion of workers' rights, of civil liberties, and of the rights of foreign-born workers. I don't kid myself that the EU is a guardian of any of these rights, but it's less actively menacing than the regime in Westminster.
     
  4. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    If Brexit occurs, how long do you think it will be before Scotland tries to leave the UK again?
    If Scotland does go solo, do you think the Scottish government will be any better at protecting civil rights than the EU or Westminster?
     
  5. Takhisis

    Takhisis Free Hong Kong

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    up yours!
    Are your expectations even lower than ours? ;)

    ------------------------------
    So, what do anarchists (in their own media, which I only rarely read) say about having to choice between one government and another, when they are both, ultimately, well, governments?
    (I mean, those who don't just say ‘let them all die’)

    Also, a general anarchistic conundrum:
    Are we allowed to tell you what to do?
     
  6. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    Not sure. The SNP will start pushing right away, but I'm not sure if they'll have the support for it, or if a Britain-less EU will remain stable enough to be worth breaking the Union over. Scots certainly seem to prefer the EU by a solid margin, but it's not clear that they we strongly enough about it to tempt us into an other referendum, or if a "Leave" outcome on the strength of English votes will sufficiently offend our sense of sovereignty. But I think that it will mean a second referendum, whatever the circumstances, and sooner rather than later, if not so soon as the SNP might like.

    Not much, to be honest. The SNP are in a strange situation right now: on the one hand, they've successfully challenged Labour as the party of the working class, but at the same time, they're trying to establish themselves as the Party of Government, and those aren't happy bed-fellows. Sooner or later, they'll be the ones setting cops on protesters.

    My hope, though, is that the Scottish public will be more effective at holding them to account. It's a smaller country, with a more transparent governmental system (not that it's hard) and without the same concentrations of political, economic and cultural power that we see in England. And despite Unionists cries of cybernat zealotry, independence-minded Scots are a critical bunch, by and large, and I don't think they're going to lapse into complacency just because we've rearranged the flags.

    I think the general rule is to tread carefully. We can recognise that certain governments are better than others, but that doesn't make them good, and it doesn't legitimise them as institutions. We have to be pragmatic enough to recognise that some virtues are relative, and that some aren't. We should avoid mystifying states, and while that means avoid the hysterical attitude that all states are the Third Reich waiting to happen, we also have to avoid the trap of thinking that some states are possessed of nobler traditions or more virtuous functionaries. They're groups of people in power, trying to stay in power, reliant to a greater or lesser degree on forceful repression; nothing more.

    Yes, but I'm not obliged to listen. ;)
     
  7. ParkCungHee

    ParkCungHee Deity

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    First Scotland will fall, then Stormont. Then Arthur will return to finish the job of driving the English into the sea. This has already been decided in the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Hibernia.

    My general perspective is that fragmentation of states is a good thing for Praxis, for two reasons:

    1) It makes us aware of the fact that government is not a natural law, but a thing we chose to make every day of the year. If we can mentally cross the divide that the shape of our states are in our power, we are one step closer to crossing the mental threshold that the existence of the state is our decision. This isn't even yet to the point of actually convincing people we SHOULD abolish the state, or that we can as a matter of practicality, but it grants us awareness that this Thing is not a thing in itself. That it's a game of pretend that we engage in. At the very least, the concious awareness of that fact helps remind people of their moral duties, and ignore the ethical legerdemain of the state.

    2) Localism is inherit in a practical vision of what we might term an 'anarchist society'. Big Government saps our ability to think and exist as moral actors. We act as if we are not humans, but parts of a machine, and our actions are justified not by how a Human Being is obligated to behave, but by how we serve this great machine. We may even believe that human beings benefit from our actions, in this way. But this allows us to ignore the concrete, tangible ways we harm incarnate humans. The smaller the scale of society, the easier it is to conceive of, and the less power it tends to wield psychologically. It is much easier to believe the solution to the problem of 5 million people can be found in changing your behavior than the problems of 64 million.
     
    Lexicus, Traitorfish and schlaufuchs like this.
  8. ParkCungHee

    ParkCungHee Deity

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    They're at least higher than mine.
     
  9. Mouthwash

    Mouthwash Escaped Lunatic

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    How do you square that with the apparent effectiveness of ethnically-based countries like Israel? (I'm not picking a fight here; I'm genuinely curious at how you view such phenomena.)

     
  10. ParkCungHee

    ParkCungHee Deity

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    Some states are more effective at utilizing power than others. That's not really surprising, it's been going on since they arouse. Sometimes it's a fun intellectual curiosity to examine their workings, but being effective at a fundamentally illegitimate act doesn't provide much ground for appreciating it.
     
  11. Mouthwash

    Mouthwash Escaped Lunatic

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    The argument being made is that it's more effective because it's a genuine creation of the will of the people, not because of any special competence.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2017
  12. Lohrenswald

    Lohrenswald 老仁森林

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    What exactly is praxis? I've heard the term, but it's been a long time, and I'm not sure if I ever really understood
     
  13. Takhisis

    Takhisis Free Hong Kong

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    Wiki-walk time!
    Etymology
    From Ancient Greek πρᾶξις ‎(prâxis, “action, activity, practice”)

    Noun
    praxis (plural praxes or praxises)The practical application of any branch of learning.​
    and thence:
    Young Hegelian philosopher August Cieszkowski was one of the earliest philosophers to use the term praxis as meaning "action oriented towards changing society" in his 1838 work Prolegomena zur Historiosophie (Prolegomena to a Historiosophy). The 19th century socialist Antonio Labriola called Marxism the "philosophy of praxis".[5][6] This description of Marxism would appear again in Antonio Gramsci's Prison Notebooks[7] and the writings of the members of the Frankfurt School.[8]​
     
  14. Lohrenswald

    Lohrenswald 老仁森林

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    I didn't ask you
     
  15. Takhisis

    Takhisis Free Hong Kong

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    up yours!
    In this thread, of all threads, you're telling somebody not to do something?
     
  16. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    It means putting theory into practice, Lohr, though I gather you weren't asking me either.
     
  17. civver_764

    civver_764 Deity

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    This is for Traitorfish, since I'm pretty sure I know where ParkCungHee and amadeus would stand:

    What do you think about "Bash The Fash!" and other forms of political violence?
     
  18. Broken_Erika

    Broken_Erika Nothing

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    Is that any thing like Bash the Fish? :splat:
     
  19. west india man

    west india man Immortal

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    Yes
     
  20. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    Gee, whatever you do, don't google ww2, you will most certainly be triggered by all the political violence against fascists.
     

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