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

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Necessaries for Life: long-term free food

Short term free food has already been taken care of from various charity organizations, members of Silent City Distro getting crops from where they work and putting them 'out there,' as well as Food Not Bombs and various freegan friends liberating fine food from the dunpsters of supermarkets (ALDI's in Ithaca is the worst, anyone that reads this note should check it out).
But as I was wasting my time thinking about the world, I took the premise that a major goal of civilization is to make food, that entity upon which Humanity survives, free, gauranteeing huge leaps upon the ladder of which our decendants shall call advancement. Food Not Bombs can be too fragile an organization to allow for a constant outlet of free food, as well as it not reaching the entire population.
So it comes down to the farmers to supply the food, as they actually do anyway. I imagined the local farmer(s) being able to supply its nearby city (we'll call that the commune, in the 19th century sense of the word), as is the case in Ithaca. If they were to supply the commune with food for free, then the capitalist or bank that really owns that property (bank extorting mortgage, capitalist as landlord extorting rent) will evict the farmer because they will not be able to pay for the martgage/rent. They will also not be able to maintain their equipment, and so production will falter anyway. [The farmer will not be able to give food away for free in current conditions]
Therefore, it lies in making the land free and the maintainance for equipment available. The only way to make the land free is to initiate a Social Revolution, in which the farmer becomes the true owner of the property, and maintainance becomes available from the local commune. [only revolution will allow the farmer to become true owner of his/her porperty, thus enabling her/him to give his/her produce to the commune free of charge]
Few mintues passed and I realized I had come to the same conclusion every other Anarchist/Socialist had come to. To dispel at least one myth about positivist Anarchy (post-revolutionary period aspect), money, or some form of currency would still exist, just most things would be made so they will be free.
For James Guillaume's 'On Building the New Social Order':
for Petr Kropotkin's Conquest of bread:
both are descriptions of positivist Anarchy. (first one's a quick read)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

(Legitimate) Authority in anarchy: for dummies

Anarchy in the very make-up of the word maintains that coercion, hierarchy, and authority are destructive, harmful, wrong, against Liberty, completely adverse to Equality, and dismissive of Fraternity (solidarity).  However, this staunch conviction on the part of Anarchists everywhere has created a few myths that misinform people and bring them to ridiculous and completely unrealistic ideas as to what an Anarchist would like to see in the world.  Some people seem to believe that Anarchists are against all forms of authority, such as a parent's authority over its child (usually justified), or even someone facilitating discussions (Anarchist panel discussions exists BTW).  This is an angering and infantile myth.  A myth so apparently strong, I am forced to explain it away by an examination into pseudo-abstract Anarchist philosophic thought regarding Authority and Legitimate Authority.
First I will write about destructive evil Authority and the need to challenge all forms of authority, including a parent's, a facilitator's, and (especially) every police officer's authority.  Challenging authority is obviously necessary and important, as well as a tenant of Anarchism.  If there was no one to challenge authority life would be a slave-like misery (worse than today, I mean).  For some, challenging authority means keeping those in power in check and assuring he rule of law (this includes challenging written law and refers to the ethical humanistic law that resides within us  and our culture).  For an Anarchist, or at least me, challenging authority also means finding out which institutions of authority can legitimate their existence and determines whether they should be altered or destroyed.
If an authority can make a case for its legitimacy, such as a parent (or any member of society) preventing a child (or any member of society) from using heroine, or a facilitator needed for any discussion to provide any sense of clarity (facilitators really don't have that much power), or a patrol of common folk to make the neighborhood secure against pigs.
Anarchists don't try to hijack events (depending on whether the anarchist is one of those closet commie assholes that wants to control everything...) when another has already organized everything (asking if they could help is nice though).  Organizers are given an authority ver creating the unfolding events, but they are legitimate because they fulfill a function necessary to the movement (transparency when possible is moral though).  just as a parent or a facilitator performs a function necessary to society.
Then there are people with authority from subjects like knowledge/expertise over mechanics, philosophy, current events, even cooking.  These people who hold these skills have a predominant authority when a situation demanding these skills arises.  It is pressured that these people explain and share these skills (teach them/distribute knowledge) to others.  see: Ithaca Free Skool and Skill Shares
For example, should a group discover a fresh carcass, the cook and the hide-tanner (let's pretend they're meat freegans) would thus become the leaders of the following actions, cooking he eat and tanning the hide.  This an Anarchist takes a somewhat tribalistic approach.  However, the rest of the group would be involved in the actions, giving them insight into those skills, making the entire group cooks and hide-tanners, eliminating any division of labor.  In this way, the "tribe" becomes informed of the variety of skills needed (excluding particular situations where the specifics are important, like medicine, some science, and engineering), limiting the need for authority.
Anarchists, from challenging authority, find most forms of authority coercive, power-hungry, evil, illegitimate.  Therefore Anarchists seek to destroy the institution of authority and replace it (or not) with a better institution.  Some authorities, such as full-time representatives are not legitimate and therefore should not exists.  Police definitely fall into this category.

To quickly sum up and dispel them easily, Noam Chomsky says that should your child run into the street with oncoming traffic, should you not use forceful coercion, grabbing them (authority) to stop them?

Monday, March 1, 2010

(A) Necessaries for Life: Energy (Fuel)

Nationalizing Energy: I had an idea once of putting control of energy and power in the hands of the state paid for by our taxes.  This takes energy control out of the hands o f the private sector, allowing am industry controlled by politicians (or and association of technicians) and maintained by workers (plants).  I thought this would make the people afford cheaper energy and would help business develop and spur on the economy.
But the ideal never works out as planned, and material limitations and reality must always be kept in mind.  I don't know if Nationalized Energy would work or not.  Maybe the Sate would be more responsive to the masses than the capitalists (I think we can see this evident in any welfare state).  Without their capital, energy capitalists (fucking NYSEG) will not be able to lobby congress or the government in whole.  That just leaves the Automobile industry.  Sounds like Marxist-Reformism, yet keep in mind that lobbyists would never allow for such a policy to enter into discussion in the first place.
For the sake of discussion, let's just imagine that some decent radical politicians are elected (ha!) and manage to stay radical and decent politicians (HA! ha!).  One thing that could happen is that the energy control is shared between the State, an association of technicians, and the cities and regions.  Funded by the State by its tax revenue, the technicians negotiate and study the city and regions to create the energy options/potential as well as the demands/requests needed to be reached.  This would allow for the power plants to be transformed from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, making pleas to the city from its populace more potent, realizing indirect democracy.
Or, the State will just be in control without the sovereignty of the city or association of technicians.  Here the city sends its complaints directly to the State and the State may or may not send someone who may or may not fulfill the city's request.  This second case mimics the situation of the Soviet Union.  In this case the people's needs are not met by red tae and the heartlessness of the State.  So it is an issue of caring for it in the birthing process, of whether it becomes bottom-up or top-down (bottom-up being the preferable option).
There is also  third case without the State as an intermediary.  In the existing conditions there could be a case of one or three technicians who have a group of volunteers devoted and willing to the cause who develop the renewable energy infrastructure (which would be maintained and owned collectively by the community)of the region/community.  Or the other case of post-Revolution where there becomes an association of technicians responsive to the Communes/collectives of the federation/Network.  Obviously as an anarchist I fully support and wish for the latter of the three, but I do endorse the Welfare State option 1 creation.

p.s. I'll just describe that the post-Revolution energy systems will be owned by the Commune and not necessarily by the technicians that created them.  The technicians will be employed by the Commune/collective and the technicians may be a part of the Commune/collective, but the ownership will be in the Commune's, which will mean it is owned by the entire community, or group of communities.