a particular anarchist's breakdown and explanation of theory and thought.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

School of the Americas Nov 2013

SOA Watch (SOAW) will be holding a protest at Fort Benning, Georgia later this month, as they do every year, to protest US imperialism and one of its ugliest manifestations. At Fort Benning is the School of the Americas (SOA), a training ground for international soldiers, the thugs of our puppet-regimes in Latin America. It was founded in 1946 to protect the Western Hemisphere from “Communism.” In reality, all that meant was preventing the states of Latin America from becoming satellite states of enemies like the USSR (as could be said of Cuba) or states forming agendas independent of US interests and responsive to the desires of their citizens (as in the case of Allende's Chile). The defense of Latin America from Communism was the same as the defense of Latin America from Europe (Monroe Doctrine) – it all meant the preservation of US domination in Latin America and the absorption of Latin American resources and labor into US capital.
The role of the SOA in all this is the training of foreign military personnel in methods of torture, interrogation, counterinsurgency, assassination, and how to 'disappear' members of society under the regimes installed by the US. This school is funded by US taxpayer money to train the rapists and murderers of Latin American dictatorships which are friendly to American business. Now we must ask, who is it that is targeted by these US-trained monsters? The Pentagon was forced to release training manuals for the SOA which advocated false imprisonment and torture as methods of interrogation. The targets suggested for these manuals were those who support “union organizing or recruiting,” distribute “propaganda in favor of the interests of workers,” “Sympathize with demonstrators or strikes,” and make “accusations that the government has failed to meet the basic needs of the people.” So, the SOA's targets for executions, assassinations, and 'disappearing' are those who stand up for raising living conditions, escaping poverty, and organizing labor. With this said, consider the rampant assassinations in Colombia of trade unionists and the recent murder of labor organizer Oscar Lopez, and reflect on who must be responsible.

I am leaving on a cramped bus for a weekend from Massachusetts all the way down to Georgia to take part in the SOAW protest against the SOA this month (November). As responsible citizens, it's imperative to know of the crimes of our government. As we go about our day, it is easy to forget that we support, perhaps unknowingly, the violences of our government. Yet every year there appears the SOAW to signal disapproval by the American people of the crimes of its government and the violence of American capital.   

Thursday, May 10, 2012

So my translation of Helmut Wagner's Anarchism and the Spanish Revolution is under way.  It's too bad I didn't start translating this months ago.  I probably won't have this thing finished by the time that I have my Spanish Revolution essay done.  So, really the only reason I'd be translating this is for the benefit of knowing that someday, another Ian Schlom will find this stupid blog and say "oh, shit, I ought to read that and incorporate it into my research -- thanks guy who had gone through the same spell of interest in Spanish Anarchism!"
So the google doc is where I am going to be translating it, and eventually, I'll have a nice and pretty web page of the text, a zine formatted if I end up liking what Helmut Wagner has to say, and a PDF/EPUB/whatever-the-fuck for eBook reading.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Translating Anarchism and the Spanish Revolution

So, part of my materials for a research project on the Spanish Revolution of 1936-7 include a piece, Anarchism and the Spanish Revolution, written by Helmut Wagner, a Bolshevik. The problem is, the two copies I have of them are in French and Spanish, which I have no hope of learning and can't understand easily, respectively. Nonetheless, I am going to try to translate it, and if it turns out that I am successful, then I am going to put it up somewhere. Naturally, the translation will be messed up, since I don't speak Spanish well and am stressed for time on this project as it is.

I am posting this just in case the ghosts who read this blog happen to be fluent in Spanish and have several hours on their hands would be willing to translate it for me and then post it themselves, or better yet, know of an English version.

Thanks, I don't know why I suddenly decided to post this. I probably won't end up translating it...

Friday, March 2, 2012

This is the sentencing statement made by my fellow arrestee, Elliot Adams, in the courthouse of the Town of DeWitt in New York. Another highlight from that night is this quote of Brian Terrell, which I simply love, having great relevance to the reasoning of the judge in his decision to convict us: "One must ask if there are liberties if you're punished for exercising them."

I appreciate the bench’s effort to understand the arguments made - arguments involving local
law, international law and, even the principles of civil disobedience.
My experience in war has taught me that in life we periodically get tested to see if we can stand
up to the pressures of “socially acceptable procedural norms” which push us to work with in
the little laws and instead comply with the requirements of International Humanitarian Law. I
cannot condemn others when they fail that test for I have failed it myself. But those who do fail
it are condemned to live with the horrendous cost society pays for their failure. I believe this
court failed that test. The court may not have felt an unavoidable compulsion to comply with International Humanitarian Law, but it certainly was given the justifications it could have used
to stand up and comply with International Humanitarian Law. But being here in DeWitt near an
epicenter of war crimes couched in the humdrum of civilian life, the bench may find it is tested
again ... and again.
I believe that my codefendants and I did what is right morally, but more relevant to this court, what is required by the law, the big law, the that law that deals with thousands of lives, not the
little law that deals with disorderly conduct. If the court had chosen to decide on the big law it would have found us innocent. But since the court chooses to rule on the little law, the law
about orderly conduct, then it must not only find me guilty but guilty to the fullest extent, with
no mitigation.
As the court stated there will always be consequences for pursuing justice through “changes
made by actions outside the socially acceptable procedural norms.” Among other life
experiences I have over 15 years in local elected public office and it became apparent to me
that abiding by the “socially acceptable procedural norms” can only lead to more of the same
injustice, indeed those norms are there to prop up those injustices.
I am proud to accept the consequences of my acts and any jail time. I do not want any
suspended sentence. If you give me one, also please let me know how I can violate it before
I leave the courtroom. I do not have money to pay a court; I spend what little money this old
man has trying to bring about justice. My community service has been doing the duty that the
courts shrink from - calling attention to war crimes and trying to stop war crimes. Standing in
this court a community service, it is the little I can do for society.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Letter to Tim DeChristopher

What follows is a letter to Tim DeChristopher. If you haven't heard of his case, I recommend you look through the news. I also suggest that, in solidarity, you write a letter to him as well.

Dear M. DeChristopher

I have loosely been following your story in the media. I think it is amazing what you have done. I am also facing some legal troubles. I was arrested with the Drone Resisters in Syracuse, NY 22 April. That was my first “real”1 activism outside of local issues and High school organisations. I want to assure you, as I'm sure it's already very clear to you, that there are many people out here in support with you.

The Anarchist Recipe Book (Crimethinc) states that all who face arrest or jail are heroes. They are the Joe Hills, Saccos, Vanzettis, and Haymarket martyrs of our movement. Luckily, martyrdom these days doesn't usually entail execution. Just reminding you that you are indeed a hero.

In his book We Have Been Invaded by the 21st Century, David McReynolds writes that “every last mother's son and daughter among us, rich or poor, wise or foolish, has the inalienable right to be jailed for his beliefs.” With that understanding, I'd like to thank you for your will and your boldness to defend the Earth and protect the human species from the dangers our society is creating.

Reminding you that you are a hero,

and in Solidarity,

Ian William Schlom

1Viz. national.

More notes on Proudhon

I went back to the library after I had returned What is Property?, and transcribed all the notes I had made in it. For some reason I am going to post it up here. While I was scanning it, I forgot to make a picture scan, so it's just a pdf and available here. So that's that.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Notes on Proudhon

I had to give back What is Property? to the library, and thus tear out the notes I had put on the pages. In an effort not to lose them, I am posting them here.

Then Proudhon was not free, for he was a "victim of erroneous opinions."
This is about Proudhon being racist. In What is Property? he says that people with an erroneous opinion are not free, ergo Proudhon is not free from his Anti-Semitism, not to mention all the other European Chauvinisms.

The capitalist is stealing the value the laborer created... Property is theft.
This is about the part in Chapter 3 where Proudhon creates the picture where by calling wages a proper exchange for the value that workers create, the capitalist steals from the workers the values they had added to whatever substance they labour on. Thus while it is not exactly accurate to say that Property is Robbery, the contemporary system of property is indeed theft.

St. Simon coined this maxim!
This refers to where Proudhon quotes a version of the popular maxim "to each according to his capacity; to each capacity according to its results!” Of course, this is not the Socialist form of "From each according to their ability; To each according to their need." It caught my eye nonetheless.