Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) full - BBC 1954.avi (by Joel Soihet)
this is my linen closet, *shows you some towels*
and this is my lenin closet *shows you communist propaganda*
I just leave mine out on the coffee table. Cuts down the time the Jehova’s Witnesses linger chez moi.
While it’s important to acknowledge that anarchists wish to break with the existing society and contain within them a negative politics, it’s also important to recognize that historically anarchists have had a generative politics. That is, within destruction is also creation. So anarchism is also a creative endeavor — this has been demonstrated historically through anarchist attempts to create alternative institutions or, in the words of the IWW, build “the new world in the shell of the old.”
In the place of systematized robbery, anarchists have proposed the social ownership of society or, alternative stated, the abolition of property altogether. This might sound absurd in a society that treats property as sacrosanct, but anarchist put forward a specific definition of property: ownership claims on those things that one neither occupies nor uses. Anarchists usually juxtapose this with possessions, or those things that we use or the homes that we live in (i.e. no anarchist wants to take your home or guitar away). This is how bosses and landlords exploit workers, by claiming to own the things they do not use or the places in which they do not live, then extracting rents and value from the people who do actually use them. In place of private ownership, anarchists put forward visions of a social system in which we produce for the needs of the people instead of the profits of capitalists.
Similarly, instead of a state [government] that stands above society, directing it, anarchists typically propose federations of neighborhood assemblies, workplace associations, community councils, and the like as coordinating bodies compromised by the people. We would collectively make decisions that affect our lives than rather having those decisions made for us by politicians or left to the whims of the market. Functions of safety and collective decision-making, then, would be organized through networks “of participatory communities based on self-government through direct, face-to-face democracy in grassroots neighbourhood and community assemblies” instead of representation, police, prisons — in a word, bureaucracy.
What they find so disturbing about the black bloc—the contagion of an anonymous collective force—is precisely why and how it continues to outlive every social movement from which it emerges. These generations—we who fantasized about Columbine and now only know metal detectors at school; we who expected September 11 and now only the politics of terror; we who grew up as the world crumbled all around us and now only know the desert—we need to fight, and not just in the ways our rulers deem justified and legitimate.
God Only Knows What Devils We Are (via diaftheirw-ola)
Well, what I find so disturbing about the Black Bloc is how pervasively it is infiltrated by LE provocateurs, actually. Several of my friends ended up in hospital, facing charges, because of things those police officers did in the guise of “protesters” and if I happen to be in a violent protest and somebody in ostentatious ninja pajamas starts raging nearby, I’m likely to take him out.
#Anonymous - Operation Awake the Masses (Awakening the Young, 2013)
WikiLeaks isn’t making many friends
The incredible story unfolding this week about Wikileaks has at times been car-crash stuff. Today’s news reads like a Cold War spy drama, with WikiLeaks playing a game of cat and mouse against authorities around the world and fighting off attempts by hackers to bring its site to its knees.
The publication of 600 or so (and counting) cables from US diplomats and officials has provoked a furious response from some politicians and - a little less predictably - newspaper leader writers (you might have thought they’d applaud revelations of duplicity at Government level).
The most interesting analyses have grappled not with the content of the leaks (as many have pointed out, there’s nothing particularly revelatory in them) but with what they mean for confidentiality in a networked world. There’s heated discussion over whether Wikileaks was right to proceed and debate over how to assess this episode in historical terms.
I’d recommend a couple of posts/articles that focus on this aspect. Academic and writer John Naughton sets out the major implications of the leaks, suggesting that freedom on the web is illusory and his confidence in it has been evaporating for a decade: http://memex.naughtons.org/archives/2010/12/04/12387
Anne McElvoy, in the London Evening Standard argues (convincingly) that the long-term outcome of this breakdown of secrecy is good for everyone (apart from those fingered in the leaks): http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23902768-wikileaks-just-shows-…
And Daniel Finkelstein at The Times (behind a paywall) explored the historical impact of the dissemination of materials that destabilise the establishment. He likens it to Martin Luther’s supposed posting of his 95 Theses on a church in Wittenberg in the 16th Century: very embarrassing to the establishment, but very important for human rights.
But what about normal people?
At dinner with some old friends, I found myself getting enthusiastic about the transformative power of the net, in the context of WikiLeaks. These are among my more progressive, open-minded friends, so I was surprised that they broadly disagreed with me that this marked an important historical milestone in the freedom of information (specifically, information I arguably own).
The main contention among them was that confidentiality is an important aspect of international Government relations. Most people, one friend argued, don’t have the appropriate knowledge or training to handle the information held in the documents posted on WikiLeaks, and if this act turns out to be dangerous, it should then be considered wrong.
These may be sound points, but I couldn’t help seeing in that attitude an unhealthy acceptance of ‘the way things are’, verging on apathy. The clearest point of disagreement we had was around whether it is OK for a diplomat or Government official to lie when it’s in the interests of the State. Essentially, they were arguing that, if the ends justify the means, lying in that context is permissible. I suppose I could agree that lying in that context may be virtually unavoidable: pragmatism may dictate that it is the necessary thing to do.
But in that case, if we’re arguing necessities rather than ethics; if we’re sophisticated enough to accept that hypocrisy is just a normal part of life, why the outrage in some quarters about the ‘revelation’ that officials have said one thing in public and another in private? Isn’t that just to be expected?
Assessing WikiLeaks’ impact
It does seem short-sighted for US politicians (supported by Governments around the world, the media and large Internet businesses) to have responded in such an unsophisticated way. The US Government is leading a concerted effort to turn back the tide on this one, and WikiLeaks is close to being hung out to dry. But the US Government looks a little bit like the music industry did when it attempted to destroy Napster, without realising that it was actually millions of normal people (and potential customers) who were sharing music illegally, not Sean Parker. As with the distribution of music, something structural seems to have changed, and the US Government would do itself a favour if it started behaving accordingly. At present, it risks looking dictatorial.
The fight is on to scapegoat WikiLeaks’ outspoken founder Julian Assange, but he’s not having much success positioning himself as a modern-day Robin Hood taking a principled stand against the US Government’s Sheriff of Nottingham.
Admittedly, his life isn’t being made easy, with an international warrant out for his arrest for crimes [allegedly] committed earlier this year in Sweden meaning he can’t very easily argue his case.
But nevertheless, he needlessly comes across as an arrogant, self-serving publicity-seeker, rather than the principled fighter for justice that Sean Parker (and Robin Hood) more or less successfully portrayed themselves as.
Perhaps that’s why the mainstream media (and my friends) have found it difficult to empathise with WikiLeaks’ cause. Either way, Assange could do with clearing his name in Sweden and stopping making this all about him.
Here’s a thought: a wiki is a place where other people manage information. If he really wanted to change the world, he’d let the hive mind of the Internet take over running his ‘wiki’ and let the wisdom of the crowd be the arbiter of what’s right in this case.
That would be a really principled thing to do.
Ask for work. If they don’t give you work, ask for bread. If they do not give you work or bread, then take bread.
When: April 6th and 7th, 2013 from from 10 AM to 6 PM both days
Where: Clemente Soto Velez Community Ceneter (107 Suffolk Street)
This year’s book fair moves from the genteel West Village to the rough-and-tumble Lower East Side, the real historic hub of dissident squatter and anarchist culture, where we’ll reconnect with other LES organizations in a nucleus of uprising, conspiracy, and mutual confabulation bringing together for the general public two days of books and book reading, lectures, workshops, pamphlets, broadsides, zines, films, demos and skill shares, and much more we really don’t want to reveal — yet. In addition to being hosted by the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center, a dynamic multicultural center on Rivington Street, the book fair will co-sponsor events at Bluestockings, ABC No Rio, Living Theater, Think Cafe, MoRUS (Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space), and at neighborhood gardens — most within walking distance.
The NYC Anarchist Book Fair is a free event but it costs money to make it happen. Expenses include renting the space (everyone is familiar with NYC real estate prices), renting tables, printing for advertising, etc. Any contribution would be greatly appreciated. If everyone were to contribute $5 (much less than many events charge for even one night) we will be able to keep up with rising rent and maybe try out new possibilities!
You can mail your contribution via snail mail to:
NYC-ABF Bookfair - P.O. BOX 128 - Highland Lakes, NJ 07422
Thousands of demonstrators converged on Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo and on the streets around Egypt’s presidential palace to protest against President Mohammed Morsi’s efforts to expand his powers.
By nightfall, fierce altercations had broken out in front of Mr. Morsi’s palace, where masked demonstrators lobbed Molotov cocktails and firecrackers at police officers and over the high palace walls.
Police responded by firing volleys of tear gas. In one incident broadcast on television, police could be seen beating a protester while stripping him of his clothing. Egypt’s presidency said they would begin an investigation into the incident.
Friday’s fighting unfolded against a backdrop of back-and-forth recriminations and failed negotiations between secularist and Islamist political forces in Egypt, as well as between protesters and the politicians who claim to represent their demands. The lack of compromise has polarized Egypt and driven its economy to the brink of collapse.
The fighting began last Friday when peaceful protests against Mr. Morsi’s rule on the second anniversary of the uprising called by opposition leaders devolved into clashes, particularly in the city of Suez.
The following day, a Cairo court sentenced 21 soccer fans, mostly residents of the coastal city of Port Said, to death for their role in a soccer melee a year ago that killed 74 people.
When Port Said residents tried to attack the prison housing the accused, they set off a week of deadly riots across the country.
Anarchism is not a romantic fable but the hardheaded realization, based on five thousand years of experience, that we cannot entrust the management of our lives to kings, priests, politicians, generals, and county commissioners.
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