robertogreco + revolt   11

The Kingdom of This World | Work in Progress
“In January 2004 Haiti observed the two-hundred­-year anniversary of its independence from France in the midst of a national revolt. In the capital, as well as other cities throughout the country, pro- and antigovernment demonstrators clashed. Members of a disbanded army declared war on a young and inex­perienced police force. Mobs of angry young men, some called chimè (chimeras) by their countrymen and others calling themselves cannibals, battled one another to assure that then Haitian president Jean­ Bertrand Aristide—worshipped by chimeras and re­viled by cannibals—either remained in office or left.

A few weeks later Aristide departed in the early hours of a Sunday morning. By his account, he was kidnapped from his residence in Port-au-Prince and put on a U.S. jet, which took him to the Central African Republic, where he was held prisoner for several weeks. By other accounts, he went willingly; even signing a letter of resignation in Haitian Cre­ole. As Aristide began his life in exile, he echoed in his statements to the international press nearly the same words that Toussaint L’Ouverture—one of the principal leaders of the first successful slave uprising in history—uttered when he was forced to board a ship headed for a prison in France: “In overthrowing me, you have cut . . . only the trunk of the tree of liberty. It will spring up again from the roots, for they are nu­merous and deep.”

Haitians were not surprised that Aristide chose to link his exit with such a powerful reverberation of the past. After all, there has been no more evocative moment in Haiti’s history than the triumphant out­come of the revolution that L’Ouverture had lived and died for. Though Haiti’s transition from slavery to free state was far from seamless, many Haitians, myself included, would rather forget the schisms that followed independence, the color and class divisions that split the country into sections ruled by self-declared monarchs who governed exactly as they had been governed, with little regard for parity or autonomy.

In The Kingdom of This World, Alejo Carpentier al­lows us to consider the possibility—something which his own Cuba would later grapple with—that a revolution that some consider visionary might ap­pear to others to have failed. Through the eyes of Ti Noël—neither king nor ruler but an ordinary man­—we get an intimate view of the key players in an epic story that merges myth and lore with meticulously detailed facts and astonishing lyricism. That this book is so short seems almost miraculous, for even with leaps in time and place, one feels neither short­handed nor cheated, because the words and sen­tences are as carefully mounted as the walls of the massive citadel that the ambitious King Henri Christophe commands and Ti Noël and his country­men build. What might take a more long-winded writer an entire book, Carpentier covers in one chapter. Yet we still encounter some of the most memorable architects of the Haitian revolution, along with some fictional comrades they pick up along the way. We meet the one-armed Mackandal, who is said to have turned into an insect in order to escape his fiery execution; Bouckman—most com­monly spelled Boukman—who held the stirring Vodou ceremony that helped transform Toussaint L’Ouverture from mild-mannered herbalist to heroic warrior. And of course we come to know King Christophe, a former restaurateur who shoots him­self with a silver bullet but not before forcing his countrymen to experience the “rebirth of shackles, this proliferation of miseries, which the least hopeful accepted as proof of the uselessness of any sort of revolt.”

Though Ti Noel does not remain among the re­signed for too long, he is certainly tested through his disheartening encounters with those who have shaped (and misshaped) his country’s destiny. What we ultimately must accept is that he is neither phan­tom observer nor ubiquitous witness. Like Haiti it­self, he cannot be easily defined At most, one might see Ti Noël as a stand-in for Carpentier.

Born of a Russian mother and French father, Car­pentier shows with his skillful handling of this narra­tive that the essence of a revolution lies not only in its instantaneous burst of glory but in its arduous ripples across borders and time, its ability to shame the conquerors and fortify the oppressed, and, in some cases, to achieve the opposite. For if history is recounted by victors, it’s not easy to tell here who the rightful narrators should be, unless we keep re­-defining with each page what it means to conquer and be conquered.

Carpentier once disclosed that during a trip to Haiti in the 1940s he found himself in daily contact with something he called the real maravilloso, or the “marvelous real.”

“I was stepping on ground whereon thousands of people eager for freedom believed,” he wrote in the preface to the 1949 edition. “I had visited the Citadelle of La Ferrière, a building without architectural precedent . . . I had breathed the atmosphere created by Henri Christophe, a monarch of remarkable endeavors . . . Every step I took, I came across the marvelous real.”

The marvelous real, which we have come to know as magical realism, lives and thrives in past and pres­ent Haiti, just as it does in this novel. It is in the ex­traordinary and the mundane, the beautiful and the repulsive, the spoken and the unspoken. It is in the enslaved African princes who knew the paths of the clouds and the language of the forests of their homelands but could no longer recognize them­selves in the so-called New World. It is in Dambal­lah, the snake god; in Ogun, the god of war. It is in the elaborate cornmeal drawings sketched in the soil at Vodou ceremonies to seek help from these loas or spirits. From Haiti’s fertile communal imagination sprang a fantastic sense of possibility, which certainly contributed to bondmen and -women defeating the most powerful armies of the time.

Whenever possible, Haitians cite their cosmic connection to this heroic heritage by invoking the names of one or all of the founders of our country: Toussaint L’Ouverture, Henri Christophe, and Jean­-Jacques Dessalines. (The latter’s fighting creed dur­ing the Haitian war of independence was Koupe tèt, boule kay [“Cut heads, burn houses”].)

“They can’t do this to us,” we say today when feel­ing subjugated. “We are the children of Toussaint L’Ouverture, Henri Christophe, and Jean-Jacques Dessalines.”

As President Aristide’s opportune evocation of L’Ouverture shows, for many of us, it is as though the Haitian revolution were fought two hundred days, rather than two centuries, ago. This book re­minds us why this remains so. For is there anything more timely and timeless than a public battle to control one’s destiny, a communal crusade for self-determination? The outcome, when it’s finally achieved, can be nearly impossible to describe. It certainly was for one Haitian poet: who was given the task of drafting Haiti’s Act of Independence. To do it appropriately, Boisrond-Tonnerre declared, he would need the skin of a former master—a white man—for parchment, his skull for an inkwell, his blood for ink, and a bayonet for a pen. Though not inscribed with the same intention, Carpentier’s words have no less sting or power.”
alejocarpentier  2017  edwidgedanticat  elreinodeestemundo  haiti  cuba  jean-bertrandaristide  literature  magicrealism  politics  revolution  2004  history  revolt 
4 weeks ago by robertogreco
Revolution and American Indians: “Marxism is as Alien to My Culture as Capitalism”
"The only possible opening for a statement of this kind is that I detest writing. The process itself epitomizes the European concept of "legitimate" thinking; what is written has an importance that is denied the spoken. My culture, the Lakota culture, has an oral tradition, so I ordinarily reject writing. It is one of the white world's ways of destroying the cultures of non-European peoples, the imposing of an abstraction over the spoken relationship of a people.

So what you read here is not what I've written. It's what I've said and someone else has written down. I will allow this because it seems that the only way to communicate with the white world is through the dead, dry leaves of a book. I don't really care whether my words reach whites or not. They have already demonstrated through their history that they cannot hear, cannot see; they can only read (of course, there are exceptions, but the exceptions only prove the rule). I'm more concerned with American Indian people, students and others, who have begun to be absorbed into the white world through universities and other institutions. But even then it's a marginal sort of concern. It's very possible to grow into a red face with a white mind; and if that's a person's individual choice, so be it, but I have no use for them. This is part of the process of cultural genocide being waged by Europeans against American Indian peoples' today. My concern is with those American Indians who choose to resist this genocide, but who may be confused as to how to proceed.

(You notice I use the term American Indian rather than Native American or Native indigenous people or Amerindian when referring to my people. There has been some controversy about such terms, and frankly, at this point, I find it absurd. Primarily it seems that American Indian is being rejected as European in origin--which is true. But all the above terms are European in origin; the only non-European way is to speak of Lakota--or, more precisely, of Oglala, Brule, etc.--and of the Dineh, the Miccousukee, and all the rest of the several hundred correct tribal names.

(There is also some confusion about the word Indian, a mistaken belief that it refers somehow to the country, India. When Columbus washed up on the beach in the Caribbean, he was not looking for a country called India. Europeans were calling that country Hindustan in 1492. Look it up on the old maps. Columbus called the tribal people he met "Indio," from the Italian in dio, meaning "in God.")

It takes a strong effort on the part of each American Indian not to become Europeanized. The strength for this effort can only come from the traditional ways, the traditional values that our elders retain. It must come from the hoop, the four directions, the relations: it cannot come from the pages of a book or a thousand books. No European can ever teach a Lakota to be Lakota, a Hopi to be Hopi. A master's degree in "Indian Studies" or in "education" or in anything else cannot make a person into a human being or provide knowledge into traditional ways. It can only make you into a mental European, an outsider.

I should be clear about something here, because there seems to be some confusion about it. When I speak of Europeans or mental Europeans, I'm not allowing for false distinctions. I'm not saying that on the one hand there are the by-products of a few thousand years of genocidal, reactionary, European intellectual development which is bad; and on the other hand there is some new revolutionary intellectual development which is good. I'm referring here to the so-called theories of Marxism and anarchism and "leftism" in general. I don't believe these theories can be separated from the rest of the of the European intellectual tradition. It's really just the same old song.

The process began much earlier. Newton, for example, "revolutionized" physics and the so-called natural sciences by reducing the physical universe to a linear mathematical equation. Descartes did the same thing with culture. John Locke did it with politics, and Adam Smith did it with economics. Each one of these "thinkers" took a piece of the spirituality of human existence and converted it into code, an abstraction. They picked up where Christianity ended: they "secularized" Christian religion, as the "scholars" like to say--and in doing so they made Europe more able and ready to act as an expansionist culture. Each of these intellectual revolutions served to abstract the European mentality even further, to remove the wonderful complexity and spirituality from the universe and replace it with a logical sequence: one, two, three. Answer!

This is what has come to be termed "efficiency" in the European mind. Whatever is mechanical is perfect; whatever seems to work at the moment--that is, proves the mechanical model to be the right one--is considered correct, even when it is clearly untrue. This is why "truth" changes so fast in the European mind; the answers which result from such a process are only stopgaps, only temporary, and must be continuously discarded in favor of new stopgaps which support the mechanical models and keep them (the models) alive.

Hegel and Marx were heirs to the thinking of Newton, Descartes, Locke and Smith. Hegel finished the process of secularizing theology--and that is put in his own terms--he secularized the religious thinking through which Europe understood the universe. Then Marx put Hegel's philosophy in terms of "materialism," which is to say that Marx despiritualized Hegel's work altogether. Again, this is in Marx' own terms. And this is now seen as the future revolutionary potential of Europe. Europeans may see this as revolutionary, but American Indians see it simply as still more of that same old European conflict between being and gaining. The intellectual roots of a new Marxist form of European imperialism lie in Marx'--and his followers'--links to the tradition of Newton, Hegel and the others.

Being is a spiritual proposition. Gaining is a material act. Traditionally, American Indians have always attempted to be the best people they could. Part of that spiritual process was and is to give away wealth, to discard wealth in order not to gain. Material gain is an indicator of false status among traditional people, while it is "proof that the system works" to Europeans. Clearly, there are two completely opposing views at issue here, and Marxism is very far over to the other side from the American Indian view. But let's look at a major implication of this; it is not merely an intellectual debate.

The European materialist tradition of despiritualizing the universe is very similar to the mental process which goes into dehumanizing another person. And who seems most expert at dehumanizing other people? And why? Soldiers who have seen a lot of combat learn to do this to the enemy before going back into combat. Murderers do it before going out to commit murder. Nazi SS guards did it to concentration camp inmates. Cops do it. Corporation leaders do it to the workers they send into uranium mines and steel mills. Politicians do it to everyone in sight. And what the process has in common for each group doing the dehumanizing is that it makes it all right to kill and otherwise destroy other people. One of the Christian commandments says, "Thou shalt not kill," at least not humans, so the trick is to mentally convert the victims into nonhumans. Then you can proclaim violation of your own commandment as a virtue.

In terms of the despiritualization of the universe, the mental process works so that it becomes virtuous to destroy the planet. Terms like progress and development are used as cover words here, the way victory and freedom are used to justify butchery in the dehumanization process. For example, a real-estate speculator may refer to "developing" a parcel of ground by opening a gravel quarry; development here means total, permanent destruction, with the earth itself removed. But European logic has gained a few tons of gravel with which more land can be "developed" through the construction of road beds. Ultimately, the whole universe is open--in the European view--to this sort of insanity.

Most important here, perhaps, is the fact that Europeans feel no sense of loss in all this. After all, their philosophers have despiritualized reality, so there is no satisfaction (for them) to be gained in simply observing the wonder of a mountain or a lake or a people in being. No, satisfaction is measured in terms of gaining material. So the mountain becomes gravel, and the lake becomes coolant for a factory, and the people are rounded up for processing through the indoctrination mills Europeans like to call schools.

But each new piece of that "progress" ups the ante out in the real world. Take fuel for the industrial machine as an example. Little more than two centuries ago, nearly everyone used wood--a replenishable, natural item--as fuel for the very human needs of cooking and staying warm. Along came the Industrial Revolution and coal became the dominant fuel, as production became the social imperative for Europe. Pollution began to become a problem in the cities, and the earth was ripped open to provide coal whereas wood had always simply been gathered or harvested at no great expense to the environment. Later, oil became the major fuel, as the technology of production was perfected through a series of scientific "revolutions." Pollution increased dramatically, and nobody yet knows what the environmental costs of pumping all that oil out of the ground will really be in the long run. Now there's an "energy crisis," and uranium is becoming the dominant fuel.

Capitalists, at least, can be relied upon to develop uranium as fuel only at the rate which they can show a good profit. That's their ethic, and maybe they will buy some time. Marxists, on the other hand, can be relied upon to develop uranium fuel as rapidly as possible simply because it's the most "efficient" production fuel available. That's their ethic, and I fail to see where it's … [more]
russellmeans  1980  writing  oraltradition  lakota  thinking  abstraction  indigeneity  genocide  resistance  marxism  culture  outsiders  education  unschooling  deschooling  leftism  anarchism  johnlocke  adamsmith  descartes  physics  politics  economics  christianity  religion  efficiency  spirituality  complexity  hegel  karlmarx  materialism  isaacnewton  dehumanization  despiritualization  progress  development  victory  freedom  loss  indoctrination  schools  schooling  scientism  rationalism  capitalism  redistribution  truth  revolution  society  industrialization  sovietunion  china  vietnam  order  indigenous  alternative  values  traditions  theory  practice  praxis  westernism  europe  posthumanism  morethanhuman  rationality  belief  ideology  nature  survival  extermination  whiteness  whitesupremacy  community  caucasians  deathculture  isms  revolt  leaders  idols  leadership  activism  words  language  canon  environment  sustainability 
november 2019 by robertogreco
michaelharriot on Twitter: "Thread: Today I learned the interesting story of Abaco, the island in the Bahamas hit hardest by hurricane Dorian." / Twitter
“Thread: Today I learned the interesting story of Abaco, the island in the Bahamas hit hardest by hurricane Dorian.

After the Revolutionary War, many of the white people who were loyal to Britain moved to the Bahamas, which was largely empty. A lot of those people brought their enslaved Africans with them.

But harsh conditions made many of the white people leave. Then, in 1807, Britain abolished the slave trade. Many of those freed Africans who were liberated on the open seas went to the Bahamas as free people.

When the US basically bought Florida from Spain, thousands of enslaved Africans and Black Seminoles said “fuck this” and escaped to the Bahamas.

So many ran to freedom that the US government had to build a lighthouse in Cape Florida in 1825.

In 1834, Britain freed all the slaves in its territories and shit really got crazy.

See, the Bahamas were a regular stop in the Atlantic. Plus, shipwrecked US vessels also ended up there.

For years, when ships would pull up in the Bahamas (I think that’s the nautical term) Bahamians would tell the captains:

“Umm, I don’t know if you heard but we don’t play that slave shit over here. Y’all can ride out but you gotta leave the Africans here. They’re free now.

“Now we can handle this like gentlemen, or we can get into some Gangsta shit.”

Well this was a problem because slavery was legal in the US.

Despite what history whitewashers would have you believe about that freedom@and liberty bullshit, we were one of the last countries in North America to abolish the practice

So word started getting around plantations about the Bahamas.

Then, in 1840, the Hermosa, a US slave ship headed from Richmond going to New Orleans, wrecked in Abaco.

Well, the Captain tried to explain that slavery was legal in the US, so technically these enslaved people were cargo. But the Bahamians wasn’t having that shit. They FORCIBLY FREED the entire ship and was like:

“Now runtelldat.”

Of course, these dumb white folks actually ran and told that. The US government got involved but something else happened.

Enslaved Africans on plantations started hearing about that shit, too!

(Yes, shit’s about to get good)

This is the part of our history that is rarely told:

In 1840, a black man named Madison Washington escaped slavery and made it to Canada. But Madison decided to return for his wife. (Of course he got caught) he was taken to Va, put on a ship and shipped to La.

So Madison was on this slave ship, the Creole, with 143 Africans and 17 white people who had ONE GUN!

Dassit!

Y’all know shit was about to pop off.

As soon as one of the crewmen lifted the grate to where they were holding Madison and his crew, they pounced.

They killed one of the slave traders immediately (you gotta show muhfuckas you mean business). The wypipo didn’t even get a chance to fire their lil’ gun

First they tried to force the Creole’s captain to take them back to Africa, but the captain was like:

“Y’all got some Africa gas money?” Plus, without Google Maps, they’d probably have to print out directions from Mapquest and the ship’s printer was out of ink or something

Then one of the revolters said: “Aye Madison, did you hear that story about the Hermosa in the Bahamas? Maybe we should see what they’re talking about.”

*Not a literal translation

So Madison and the slave rebellers get to the Bahamas and a bunch of black soldiers come on board.

The captain tells the soldiers that the people were his property but the Bahamians attorney general was like: “y’all can go. You’re free now.”

And the enslaved Africans were like: “Go where? Man, we’re a thousand miles from home! We’re on the goddamned ocean! Aside from what’s on this ship, we ain’t even got no food.”

And the Bahamian attorney general was like: “Y’all straight. Just go look outside.”

So they go above deck and look out on the ocean and witness something astonishing:

The slave ship was surrounded by a “fleet” of tiny little boats manned by local Bahamians ready to take the revolters to freedom.

They would be free forever.

But the Bahamians atty. gen. held 17 of the men responsible for the white dude’s death on the boat. It became an international incident. The US even tried to organize an attack to REENSLAVE THE SLAVES, but a Bahamian was looking out and warned them that white people were coming

When the people in the US heard about the revolt, they were OUTRAGED. They demanded a trial. The British agreed. But the Bahamians were like: “Well we don’t have an extradition treaty with those filthy slave traders, so the trial will have to be in the Bahamas.

Now they couldn’t be tried for murder because the British had already ruled that enslaved people could do whatever they deemed necessary to get free. So the Bahamians tried the Creole 17 for piracy.

The court ruled, in essence, this:

“How you gon’ charge them with pirating their own bodies? GTFOHWTBS Cased dismissed!”

*again, not a literal translation

Less than a year later, the Creole would sail no more after it wrecked again…

In a hurricane.

All told, 128 enslaved Africans aboard the Creole were freed

They will teach you about slave revolts by Denmark Vessey, Nat Turner and John Brown.

But this is the story of Abaco, The Bahamas and what is called:

The most successful slave revolt in US history“
bahamas  abaco  michaelharriot  history  slavery  freedom  race  piracy  pirates  slavetrade  safehavens  liberation  revolt  rebellion 
september 2019 by robertogreco
DAVID GRAEBER / The Revolt of the Caring Classes / 2018 - YouTube
"The financialisation of major economies since the '80s has radically changed the terms for social movements everywhere. How does one organise workplaces, for example, in societies where up to 40% of the workforce believe their jobs should not exist? David Graeber makes the case that, slowly but surely, a new form of class politics is emerging, based around recognising the centrality of meaningful 'caring labour' in creating social value. He identifies a slowly emerging rebellion of the caring classes which potentially represents just as much of a threat to financial capitalism as earlier forms of proletarian struggle did to industrial capitalism.

David Graeber is Professor of Anthropology, London School of Economics and previously Assistant Professor and Associate Professor of Anthropology at Yale and Reader in Social Anthropology at Goldsmiths, University of London. His books include The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy (2015) Debt: The First 5000 Years (2011) and Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology (2004). His activism includes protests against the 3rd Summit of the Americas in Quebec City in 2001, and the 2002 World Economic Forum in New York City. Graeber was a leading figure in the Occupy Wall Street movement, and is sometimes credited with having coined the slogan, 'We are the 99 percent'.

This lecture was given at the Collège de France on the 22nd March 2018."
davidgraeber  care  caring  teaching  nursing  economics  capitalism  labor  work  employment  compensation  resentment  bullshitjobs  finance  politics  policy  us  uk  workingclass  intellectuals  intellectualism  society  manufacturing  management  jobs  liberalism  values  benefits  nobility  truth  beauty  charity  nonprofit  highered  highereducation  activism  humanrights  os  occupywallstreet  opportunity  revolution  revolt  hollywood  military  misery  productivity  creation  creativity  maintenance  gender  production  reproduction  socialsciences  proletariat  wagelabor  wage  salaries  religion  belief  discipline  maintstreamleft  hospitals  freedom  play  teachers  parenting  mothers  education  learning  unions  consumption  anarchism  spontaneity  universalbasicincome  nonprofits  ubi 
may 2018 by robertogreco
Nick Kapur on Twitter: "One terrifying aspect of climate change is the millenarianism that will certainly arise when the masses finally realize what's happening. 1/"
"One terrifying aspect of climate change is the millenarianism that will certainly arise when the masses finally realize what's happening. 1/

When people become convinced they have no more future, they become capable of almost anything. Witness the case of 19th century Japan. 2/

In 1860s, amid social and economic collapse of the Tokugawa shogunate, peasant protestors stopped demanding specific tax relief policies. 3/

Instead the demanded of wealthy elites merely that they "fix the whole world" (yonaoshi). 4/

When this impossible demand inevitably went unmet, they went on wild rampages, destroying the shops of wealthy merchants. 5/

In central Japan, farmers dropped their farmwork in the middle of the harvest season, and joined drunken mobs dancing from town to town. 6/

The dancing processions took on the aspect of a carnival, with drunken revelers wearing silly costumes or forgoing clothes entirely. 7/ [image]

They would smash their way into the homes of rich townfolk and demand food and liquor, destroying the house if they didn't get it. 8/

All the while, they chanted "ee ja nai kai, ee ja nai ka," perhaps best translated as "Who cares?" or more grimly, "Nothing matters." 9/

Pundits often say rich elites will be spared the worst of a climate apocalypse, but this is wrong. They will be first against the wall. 10/

If rich people were smart, they would be taxing themselves to the bone to stop climate change. 11/"
climatechange  nickkapur  2017  japan  history  tokugawashogunate  revolt  class  yonaoshi  rebellion  inequality  wealth  millenarianism  protest 
july 2017 by robertogreco
Download PDFs & Order Booklets of To Change Everything / CrimethInc. Ex-Workers' Collective
"The open secret is that we do all have complete self-determination: not because it’s given to us, but because
not even the most totalitarian dictatorship could take it away. Yet as soon as we begin to act for ourselves, we come into conflict with the very institutions that are supposed to secure our freedom.

Managers and tax collectors love to talk about personal responsibility. But if we took complete responsibility for all our actions, would we be following their instructions in the first place?

More harm has been done throughout history by obedience than by malice. The arsenals of all the world’s militaries are the physical manifestation of our willingness to defer to others. If you want to be sure you never contribute to war, genocide, or oppression, the first step is to stop following orders.

That goes for your values, too. Countless rulers and rulebooks demand your unquestioning submission. But even if you want to cede responsibility for your decisions to some god or dogma, how do you decide which one it will be? Like it or not, you are the one who has to choose between them. Usually, people simply make this choice according to what is most familiar or convenient.

We are inescapably responsible for our beliefs and decisions. Answering to ourselves rather than to commanders or commandments, we might still come into conflict with each other, but at least we would do so on our own terms, not needlessly heaping up tragedy in service of others’ agendas.

The workers who perform the labor have power; the bosses who tell them what to do have authority. The tenants who maintain the building have power; the landlord whose name is on the deed has authority. A river has power; a permit to build a dam grants authority.

There’s nothing oppressive about power per se. Many kinds of power can be liberating: the power to care for those you love, to defend yourself and resolve disputes, to perform acupuncture and steer a sailboat and swing on a trapeze. There are ways to develop your capabilities that increase others’ freedom as well. Every person who acts to achieve her full potential offers a gift to all.

Authority over others, on the other hand, usurps their power. And what you take from them, others will take from you. Authority is always derived from above:

The soldier obeys the general, who answers to the president,
who derives his authority from the Constitution—

The priest answers to the bishop, the bishop to the pope, the
pope to scripture, which derives its authority from God—

The employee answers to the owner, who serves the customer,
whose authority is derived from the dollar—

The police officer executes the warrant signed by the magistrate,
who derives authority from the law—

Manhood, whiteness, property—at the tops of all these pyramids, we don’t even find despots, just social constructs: ghosts hypnotizing humanity.

In this society, power and authority are so interlinked that we can barely distinguish them: we can only obtain power in return for obedience. And yet without freedom, power is worthless.

In contrast to authority, trust centers power in the hands of those who confer it, not those who receive it. A person who has earned trust doesn’t need authority. If someone doesn’t deserve trust, he certainly shouldn’t be invested with authority! And yet whom do we trust less than politicians and CEOs?

Without imposed power imbalances, people have an incentive to work out conflicts to their mutual satisfaction—to earn each other’s trust. Hierarchy removes this incentive, enabling those who hold authority to suppress conflicts.

At its best, friendship is a bond between equals who support and challenge each other while respecting each other’s autonomy. That’s a pretty good standard by which to evaluate all our relationships. Without the constraints that are imposed upon us today—citizenship and illegality, property and debt, corporate and military chains of command—we could reconstruct our relations on the basis of free association and mutual aid."
power  authority  anarchism  anarchy  society  mutualaid  hierarchy  imbalance  horizontality  crimethinc  humanism  manhood  whiteness  obedience  freedom  authoritarianism  relationships  trust  domination  self-determination  individualism  collectivism  community  revolt  revolution  liberty  liberation  borders  leaders  leadership  profit  property  ownership 
august 2016 by robertogreco
Concerning the Violent Peace-Police: An Open Letter to Chris Hedges – The New Inquiry
"Over the course of the next 40 years, Gandhi and his movement were regularly denounced in the media, just as non-violent anarchists are also always denounced in the media (and I might remark here that while not an anarchist himself, Gandhi was strongly influenced by anarchists like Kropotkin and Tolstoy), as a mere front for more violent, terroristic elements, with whom he was said to be secretly collaborating. 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.

And Gandhi was talking about people who were blowing up trains, or assassinating government officials. Not damaging windows or spray-painting rude things about the police."

[Also here: http://www.nplusonemag.com/concerning-the-violent-peace-police ]
police  resistance  revolt  revolution  gandhi  nonviolence  activism  protest  violence  history  occupywallstreet  chrishedges  ows  markrothko  davidgraeber  anarchist  2012  blackbloc  peterkropotkin  from delicious
february 2012 by robertogreco
Revolting librarians (1972)
"The pun in the title is intended, of course, for here is a collection of 30-odd poems, stories, and articles on revolting librarians--those who revolt against the system and those who are revolting because they are the system."

Georgia Mulligan, College & research libraries
protest  activism  revolt  revolution  1972  librarians  libraries  books 
january 2012 by robertogreco
Nonformality | The revolt of the young
"From revolutions and protests to riots and unrests: young people are taking their fight for the future to the streets. Intergenerational contracts have become obsolete, with many young people feeling robbed of their future in the light of the employment crisis, a damaged environment and social inequality. Observers and activists describe a world awakening with rage, and a revolt of the young that has only just begun. But what will happen next?"
2011  unrest  politics  policy  generations  generationalstrife  classwarfare  economics  environment  inequality  disparity  unemployment  youth  arabspring  crisis  wealth  awakening  engagement  uk  chile  egypt  tunisia  zizek  manuelcastells  wolfganggründiger  future  pankajmishra  dissent  revolt  revolution  algeria  iraq  iran  morocco  oman  israel  jordan  syria  yemen  bahrain  greece  spain  españa  portugal  iceland  andreaskarsten  change  protests  riots  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
Society | Vanity Fair — Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%
"The top 1 percent have the best houses, the best educations, the best doctors, and the best lifestyles, but there is one thing that money doesn’t seem to have bought: an understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live. Throughout history, this is something that the top 1 percent eventually do learn. Too late."
society  politics  economics  psychology  money  history  inequality  disparity  wealth  via:preoccupations  josephstiglitz  2011  opression  classwarfare  income  inequity  greed  alexisdetocqueville  self-interest  concentrationofwealth  policy  power  control  revolt  taxes  wealthdistribution  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco

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