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Mish-Mash Response to Posts Thread

I sometimes want to respond to people, but because people post things on "safe boards" (the non-argumentative ones), I can't respond there without being a tool.  So, I'm putting responses here.

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Dear Anarchism,

After hearing more about you and talking about you to my close friend, I kinda like you. I'm not totally on your side but you do make some good points. I could learn a lot from you. I'll be looking for more information about you.

Teach me,
Josh

Dear Josh,

???

Are you talking collectivism (maximizes society to the exclusion of the self) or individualist anarchism (maximizes self-importance to the exclusion of society)?  I get the sentiment of collectivism, but unchecked can lead to fascism.  I don't get individualistic anarchism.  You seem to talk more about liking the ideas of violence more than non-violence, so I'm supposing you like individualistic anarchism?  What about violence makes you think it will work, or if it does, will result in anything different than what we have now?

My thoughts on anarchism (you can see I'm more on the collectivism side):

Anarchism supports free-market economies.
Free-markets are unregulated.
When industry was more free-market, rivers caught on fire because of the pollution discharged into them.
Children can be put to work instead of going to school in free-market economies.
Due to environmental hazards, children are born with anencephaly (missing part/all of their brains) in the maquiladora system (kind of free-market) on the Mexican-US border .
The desire for power is a part of humanity, which is why communism and similar structures don't work.
Drugs wouldn't need to pass through any sort of evaluation (you may not like drugs, but ask chemo patients if they're thankful for them).
Free markets work in favor of the 1%, because they have resources to control the message (e.g., the internet bill moving through Congress).

The concept is a nice starting point, but I don't think any pure concept works for real.

Me? A proponent of violence? I don't know about that. Do you really think I'm violent?  Are you referring to my support of the Environmental Liberation Front movie?

I think what interests me and excites me about some of anarchism is the stepping out of the groups and categories we've created for ourselves. Things have become black/white, democrat/republican, male/female, etc. I feel that if we are to advance anywhere as a society, we should step out or step away from the boxes we've created and allowed to be created around ourselves. Staying put or staying in the center may not accomplish anything.

I believe in a force that pushes rather than just blindly following and that seems to be the way we're headed. We need to step out and ask, how can we do it differently? Better? Smarter? More efficient? More creative? More sustainable? Humanely? More accepting? I think if we find these answers, we'll make some genuine progress and gives the power back to the people. In my mind, staying in the same place we are in our country, only puts a bandaid on an infected wound. A wound that, below the surface, needs surgery to remove the infection. Some (but not all) points of anarchism echoed that creative analogy for me. Ha!

Addressing your points:

I'm not for free markets. I think there needs to be market regulation and environmental regulation. But right now, there are a lot bribes and shady dealings that have tainted the real positive work that regulation can do. Regulation of rights or freedoms like equal marriage and/or reproductive rights/rights to contraception? Notsomuch.

I don't agree in kids working instead of going to school. I value education. I'm tired of education prices going up and the value of education going down. Education is a great way to advance a society.

I agree that a desire for power is part of humanity. But can't we do it within our means? The current policies in place are out of control. I don't agree in the current domination and control. I believe in democracy and I believe in a representative government but even these things have been overtaken and have morphed into a stagnant force.

I agree in having drugs pass through evaluation but I disagree with someone saying I can't have it.

I totally agree with you saying the free markets would benefit the 1%.

So, I know, after dissecting everything, it seems I don't really fully support anarchism. And I don't. For me, SOME of the things I'm learning about anarchism, it's a fresh approach to an outdated ways of doing things. It's a breath of fresh air as we address the concerns facing our country. Staying within the boundaries we have now aren't accomplishing anything. I guess it's my inner need to constantly create. Am I making any sense?

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You may be where I'm at then.  Anarchistic ideas are a good place to start when thinking about the direction you'd like to help move things, but it's not the most ideal place to end.  (Yes, the violence part was in response for your interest in ELF.)

I think what interests me and excites me about some of anarchism is the stepping out of the groups and categories we've created for ourselves. Things have become black/white, democrat/republican, male/female, etc. I feel that if we are to advance anywhere as a society, we should step out or step away from the boxes we've created and allowed to be created around ourselves. Staying put or staying in the center may not accomplish anything.

You don't have to join another box to get out of your current box.  I wouldn't worry about aligning yourself with one group or another.  Just being yourself is plenty liberating.

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I like the idea of this thread, tho i'm not sure if I'd be brave enough to use it ¬_¬...

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You may be where I'm at then.  Anarchistic ideas are a good place to start when thinking about the direction you'd like to help move things, but it's not the most ideal place to end.

Agreed. I don't want to stay in anarchy nor do I want the country to end up there. I also don't think full-blown anarchy is needed. Just take bits that apply and move forward. Those bits of anarchy are needed to address the steps we need to take to move forward when our country has reached an impasse.

(Yes, the violence part was in response for your interest in ELF.)

Here's what I took from the If A Tree Falls movie and the movement: Sometimes you can't just tap someone on the shoulder to get their attention.

I watched another environmental movie this past weekend called Pickaxe*. The movie provided a great backdrop for the If A Tree Falls movie. It showed activists from the 90's using every non-violent method they could. The activists protested with signs, they lobbied, they contacted congress, they went on hunger strikes, they camped outside government buildings, they blocked logging roads, and they camped (for months) in the forests of Oregon that the logging industry wanted. Nothing worked. Forest after forest was taken down.

At the end of the movie, after several forests were ruined, the protestors had a small victory. Warner Creek in Oregon wasn't sold. Hooray!

Then! In the movie If A Tree Falls, some of the same activists from Pickaxe were a part of the ELF movement in the early 2000's. Deforestation was continuing to be a big problem in Oregon and the ELF movement wanted to stop that because it appeared their protests in the 90's stopped being effective. Why? I'd say partially because of the anti-environment stance Bush took when in office. The things the ELF movement did weren't the best but, again, it's hard to get someone's attention when you scream at the top of your lungs, "STOP RUINING THE ENVIRONMENT!!" and no one listens. The ELF movement got everyone's attention for sure.

I've seen the deforestation in Oregon. Hell, I've seen a little bit here behind my mom's house. It tears me up just thinking about it. I remember when I went to the beach in Oregon. I had to drive through the forest to get there and I saw the deforestation and I cried. I can't help but ask, "what are we doing to ourselves?" and "what are we doing to this beautiful and magical and amazing earth?" I'm just one person, though. I feel so alone sometimes. When I scream "STOP!" and no one cares or listens, it's hard as hell. I dream of a world that looks for the common good. The Occupy movement hasn't turned violent and is exposing a lot. I'm happy with that.

That said....

You don't have to join another box to get out of your current box.  I wouldn't worry about aligning yourself with one group or another.  Just being yourself is plenty liberating.

Agreed. That's why I was saying that I accept truth no matter where it comes from and piece my own pieces together. You do know you're talking to JFM? :P

* Here's the movie: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1915772001649860572)

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Double post!

Correction: I really like the Occupy movement. I can be non-violent. ;)

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Triple post! Sorry..I've been thinking more about this violence/non-violence thing.. Overall, HH, I'm a big supporter of peace and love and non-violence. Honest. Sometimes, though, you need a person or people on the outside that will wake and push the inner into the greater good. The ones on the outside can wake up the inner stagnant forces to the things that need changed for the better. I think this is what ELF was trying to accomplish.

The movie Fight Club comes to mind for some reason.

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How do you decide who dies for the greater good?
ELF planted incendiary devices on a midwest campus (they were meant to, but didn't, work).  Which students going to class should have been injured or killed that day?

What's your reaction when there's an oops?
They burned down the horticulture center at U of Washington because they mistakenly thought the center was genetically engineering trees.  They were wrong.  However, they did manage to destroy 20 years of research and plant collections.

Why do a couple of individuals get to decide what is arson and what is political action?  When does Robin Hood become a terrorist?

I'm not unsympathetic to their goals, but a couple of people deciding they don't like something so they're going to torch it is crazy.  What keeps someone else from torching all of the family planning clinics... or homes more than 1,700 square feet... or non-hfs grocery stores... or a person.  I disagree with someone, so I set them on fire.  Why not?  How is it different than placing incendiary devices on a college campus?

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Very good questions, HH.

In my mind, ELF and the ones trying to deforest were looking at the same painting (if you will). The logging companies wanted to edit it one way and the environmentalists  wanted to leave it alone. Through the greed of logging companies and massive consumption of us all, the logging company was winning and no one was putting up a fight. ELF was trying to answer in their own ways to the forces from the loggers. We must remember, "To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction."

In our current system, we see the continuation of oppression and control from the radical right. We're starting to see equal and opposite reaction from the left. With Occupy, the Occupiers (for the most part) have lead a peaceful protest which will hopefully equal a peaceful reaction. But as we've seen, even our peaceful protests have been met with abuse of power. Please see UC Davis attachment below.

I don't agree in mob rule or chaos and violence ruling us but maybe the forcing of us out of the boxes we've created of oppression and destruction will bring good, positive change. Once that real change occurs and is secured..when people start paying attention and asking questions while demanding answers..when power is given to the people.. Then! And only then will there be peace, love and freedom for all. I feel, though, we're a while away from that.

How do you decide who dies for the greater good?
ELF planted incendiary devices on a midwest campus (they were meant to, but didn't, work).  Which students going to class should have been injured or killed that day?

After seeing the movie and doing my own outside research after the viewing, I've never heard of this. I don't believe in taking lives (human or not) to win a fight.

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Nice vids, HH. Thank you for sharing. :)

For the record, I do believe in and advocate for peace, non-violence, love, and sharing our inner lights to uplift people. I've dedicated so many posts and threads to these subjects. I believe in them and want for our country and our world.

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HH:

I spent the evening thinking about your thoughts regarding ELF and its actions. I had a 'moment' and I had some personal breakthroughs. I'd like to say that you were right about some things that showed me I was wrong about some things. Thank you for calling me out on them and standing-up to me in a civil manner.

-Josh

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