Friday, April 30, 2004

Oh, and for all you legal types out there, the imagery of this piece is all created by Mr. Morford, not me, and, well, you know, it's part of that whole 'Irony' thing, or maybe that 'Sarcasm' thing, and not meant to be taken literally by peanut brained agents of the government.
Here's a good one from Mark Morford, one of the best wits out there, who writes for the San Francisco Chronicle.
11 Hard Questions for the President (my half remembering of the title, probably not the exact one that Morford entitled his piece).

In which our columnist sits down with the prez for some truly tough talk. Can Dubya handle it?
By Mark Morford, San Francisco Chronicle
Thank you for your time, Mr. President.
Just a few questions, purely for clarification, so the American people might understand you better. I know you're busy, packing for another vacation or something. This won't take but a few minutes. Here, have a soda. Let's begin:
1) Mr. President, if a train leaves San Francisco at 10 am carrying 1,000 happily gay happily married couples and travels at 85 mph for three hours, while at the very same moment a train departs Crawford, Texas, loaded with 2,000 vaguely miserable Christian fundamentalists and nail-wearing fanatics of "The Passion of the Christ" and travels in exactly the opposite direction at 65 mph for the same amount of time, at what point will almost every single fundamentalist secretly wish s/he could be the towel boy for the hot-tub parties on the other train?

2) Dubya, as you're apparently comfortable with the fact that more than 700 young U.S. soldiers have died in Iraq (over 125 this month alone!) and thousands more have been wounded and hundreds more will doubtlessly die in the coming months, not to mention the countless thousands of innocent Iraqi/Afghan civilians who've been killed, all as a result of your aggro-American policy to rid the world of all those who would stand in the way of your oily corporate stratagems, does this mean you are able to laugh in the face of death and mock the vagaries of time and fate?
Are you able, in other words, to transcend the physical body and the ego and attain a superhuman spiritual mastery of the earthly form? Are you a god? Or just a petty and small-minded warmonger controlled by thin-lipped master puppeteers? Did I just answer my own question?
3) You are called by God. You believe you are the chosen one. The Lord Himself has happily green-lighted your decisions to bomb the living crap out of pip-squeak and nearly defenseless nations for decreasingly justifiable reasons. You are born-again, re-sobered, a former hardcore binge drinker and rumored huge fan of various illegal substances back in college, and you had at least one DUI arrest and went AWOL from the National Guard, and you've stashed away from public view all records of both your tenure as Texas governor, and those SEC investigations into your alleged insider trading. You are a failed oilman and a failed businessman and have been spoon-fed your entire career.
So then: Do you sleep peacefully at night, or do your dreams involve small armies of angry sharp-toothed fairies, tearing you limb from limb and sucking the pith from your withered soul while they casually erase your entire portfolio as you scream, silently, unable to move due to all the leeches? Don't bother answering. Your expression says it all.
4) Nearly 1 million radiant women marched and sang and chanted in front of your very own office in Washington, D.C., just recently, angrily protesting your ongoing antichoice efforts to hack away at women's reproductive rights. This was so important to you that you were, meanwhile, up to your cute monkey ears in pink bubbles in your favorite bathtub at Camp David, taking yourself yet another completely undeserved mini retreat and shrugging off the protest as you further locked in your ranking as the most-vacationed president in U.S. history.
Now, then: Would you, or would you not, allow your famed party-girl daughter Jenna to take RU-486 were she to "make a mistake" with one of the Young Republicans at an all-night beer-bong bash at Sigma Alpha Delta?
5) You have a secret, Dubya. Deep down, you really don't know the difference between Fallujah and a fajita. Shiites and Baathists? Sound vaguely familiar to your twangy Texas ear, reminding you of what you holler when you stub your toe and fall into the mud at the ranch: "Shee-yite! Now I need another bubble baath." That joke always cracks you up.
This gul-dang Iraq mess has turned far more complicated and nasty and primal than Uncle Dick ever warned you it might. Don't you wish you were back at Yale, hammered on rum and Cokes and dreamin' 'bout baseball and playin' Go Fish with Dad? Can you point to North Korea on a map? How about Vietnam? Never mind.
6) A recent NASA satellite survey of the Arctic has revealed that the temperature increase there over the past 20 years is a whopping eight times higher than the total rise recorded over the past century. That is to say, Shrub, that global warming is more obvious and deadly than ever and there are reams of published studies proving that it's no longer a looming threat, but, rather, a present and lethal event happening right now, and the only quasi-scientist who denies the whole thing is your own White House lackey.
So, then, as you were gleefully easing all the laws regulating the nation's biggest industrial polluters and accepting cigars and gobs of campaign cash from those crony CEOs, which of their punch lines did you like best? "Don't spend it all in one place"? "Don't let it burn a hole in yer pocket"? or "Now go buy yerself sumthin' purty"?
7) Hindus practice nonviolence. Buddhists practice egolessness and nonbeing. True Christians practice deep love and acceptance. Sufi masters practice enlightenment through whirling mystical transcendence. Pagans practice veneration for the earth and the divine feminine.
Whereas many born-again Christians, well, you tend to practice the belief that all other beliefs are damned and sinful and deserving of much scorn and derision and possible military shelling. Do you know what God really thinks of you, Dubya? Let me help you with this one: She doesn't, much.
8) Your résumé of accomplishments is the most embarrassing and humiliating of any president in U.S. history. Examples: You know full well you gouged the hell out of the elderly over Medicare. You cut benefits for war veterans at the very same time you were busy waging a whole new war. Under your watch, 3 million Americans lost their jobs, you bankrupted the Treasury, the deficit skyrocketed, the U.N. became irrelevant and you set the record for government-spending increases. Oh, and your environmental record is the worst of any president in American history.
So, a philosophical question: Which best describes your approach? Is it willful ignorance, like the Creationists? The Buddhist notion of (bad) karma? Descarte's mistrust of the flawed human senses? Or the Sartre concept of the petty bourgeoisie (that's you, Shrub), who wake up at 50 just in time to watch themselves die? All of the above?
9) The Distillers or Yeah Yeah Yeahs? Sammy Hagar or David Lee Roth? Rostropovich or Fournier? Dylan: acoustic or electric? Hangar One or Grey Goose? Astroglide or Liquid Silk? Small of back or nape of neck? Tattoos or nipple rings? Why is Shania Twain famous? When will Fiona return to blow away Norah and Avril and Michelle?
Why, Dubya, are you so obviously, painfully detached from modern culture and society? Why are you such an intellectual and spiritual alien, unreachable by the countless millions who find nourishment in art and music and sex and creative juice? All answers count as one.
10) Astronomers have recently discovered that not only is the universe expanding at a mind-boggling rate, but this expansion is actually accelerating, propelled by an astounding and mysterious force called dark energy that pushes the boundaries of our universe outward faster and faster and baffles the world's greatest minds and throws into question our most basic understanding of gravity and space/time and the galaxy and our place in it.
I don't really have a question here. Just wanted to point out your ultimate, staggering smallness, relatively speaking.
11) Some believe the mind and body are merely rote machines, Dubya, ugly dumb congestions of cells and carbon and water and electric impulses whose only real purpose is raw animal survival and desperate procreation until death and decay and nothingness.
Others believe the human animal is a potent divine vehicle, that this flesh is merely how our ageless, formless spirit experiences density, and that we are here, in short, to learn mandatory messy earthbound information and then merge what we learn with the Great Mystery.
This is the last question, Shrub, and perhaps the most important of all: What will your contribution be? With what sort of divine openness and creative energy are you choosing to pass through this world? What will you lay at the feet of the divine besides a small mountain of dead bodies and an oil-rich stock portfolio?
Thank you for your time, Mr. President. Enjoy your vacation.
©2004 SF Gate
Ok, so if America is in some respects like the Portugese colonization of Mozambique, then where is the actual colonial power.

Good question, and I've answered it somewhere in the archives, but I'll reiterate it. America is a settler and colonial state even now, but the head of it is the confluence of business and state power which makes up the federal government and the corporate world. The American Constitution, set up after some years of experiments with true democracy, largely recreates the colonial authority of England in the role and structure of the federal government in relation to the states.

We're still under the yoke of authority, but we may be, to use a gross generalization, be more like the Empire of Brazil than the relationship between Spain and Mexico, for instance.

Parallels in history.

It pays to know a little bit about history;

Something which I think sheds some very good light on the early settling and development of America and of American culture is the Portugese colonization of Africa, particularly of Mozambique.

When people think of British colonialism they forget that when the colonies in America were founded that the machinery behind them wasn't the sort of well oiled, modern machinery of later British colonialism but was instead the product of a non-industrialized, non-modern, semi-feudal regime of government coming out of Elizabethan times. England essentially stood in the same relationship to the Americas as Portugal stood to Africa, a colonizing power which nonetheless was unable to really do much besides operating on the country with a blunt instrument and importing the feudal, semi-disorganized, system which it had at home to it's new possessions.

Gordon S. Wood recognizes this; a very distinguished scholar at Brown University, author of 'Creation of the American Republic, his behemoth work, as well as the shorter 'Radicalism of the American Revolution', he sees the social history of early American ideals of government as coming not out of the Enlightenment thought of the late 18th century but rather out of the Elizabethan regime of beaurocracy on top of beaurocracy, ultimately descended from pointless feudal consultative bodies evolved during the medieval period.

How is this important for understanding America and American life? Well, the paralells with Mozambique are suggestive: the decolonization of Portugal's African colonies became an all or nothing venture in that Portugal, unlike the rest of the colonial powers, did not want to give at all in it's control over the colonies. This, I believe, flows directly out of the semi-feudal nature of Portugese society which it imported to it's African colonies during it's stay there. 'Tis the same way with the U.S.; unlike Spanish colonialism, where the lines of demarcation between different interests of society were very clearly drawn, the U.S. experience has been very much a "Take Anglo ways of thinking, of living your life, of organizing government and society, or leave it", with the official story being that the sharp interests which define any society really don't exist, that instead it's just a culture, not an economic system.

The responses of Mozambiquean radicals to the Portugese follows the responses of many radicals here to the American system: not being able to get anything out of the system by reformist means they eventually turned from nationalists and anti-colonialists to straight out socialists who didn't just want decolonization but the entire transformation of society. Same here. Although there have been, of course, a few true blue American radical that identified themselves with the main tradition of American politics, like Debs, of course, most people who haven't liked or wanted to buy into the Anglo social contract have been instead excluded from society and have been weaned off using 100% Americanism as a good approach to change.

There does exist stability outside of the dominant social contract; the choice isn't Anglo ways of life or nothing; the choice is truly democratic and almost Jacobin equalitarian ways of looking at society which, for better or for worse underlye most of European liberal and socialist political and social thought, or succumbing to a decrepit, racist, ethnocentric, medievalistic system which respects nothing in the modern world.
Jihad Unspun - An Insiders Look At The Iraqi Resistance

Well, good article. I think that this goes to show that, damn it, not only can we get Iraq united but we can also inspire people to become involved in their local communities regarding community affairs as well. Isn't that nice. To those who don't read the article, basically it's a three page listing of all the frickin' resistance organizations in Iraq. Hell of a lot of um.
Currently on my bookshelf: Faust II
Guilty pleasures.

Besides desiring to have rendeavous with big breasted cajun women,
I have a sense that this blog is somewhat of a guilty pleasure to certain members of the blogosphere. I know you---er they (wink wink) have checked out this blog and that it's even been influential in a small sort of way, but I have the feeling that people won't own up to having read it. I don't want you to link to this thing if you'd rather not; I think the role of being one of the blogosphere's after hours bartenders, at a club serving cocaine and sex as well as liqour, so to speak, is an honor in itself.
Of course if I was somewhat not nice, well I am nice! but if I wasn't quite as polite as I could be I would suggest that the copyright law shouldn't apply to talentless doe eyed cajuns with big boobs, but then I'd never say something like that. If they started acting in hardcore porn, then I'd be willing to talk about copyright protection. It's only fair, after all.
Why the writings on this blog are copyrighted.

Recently, well, hell, it just popped into my mind, that some people out there might be wondering why a blog sympathetic to anarchism would yet be copyrighted, as opposed to operating under a creative commons license or under some sort of general anti-copyright public domain statement.

The reason for that is simple: things like the creative commons license are not things to fuck around with. If you declare your work to be public domain, or declare it to be licensed under something like that it's a legal statement which you cannot take back. If you declare your work open under, and I'm not picking on them it's just what comes to ming, the creative commons license in a fit of generosity or frustration with copyright laws, and a few years down the road either you or someone else finds out that your work is valuable and worth reprinting etc.. there will be no way for you to get control of your work back. Someone in that scenario could reprint every article you wrote and sell it without your consent and without giving you a dime and legally there's not a thing you can do about it.

That's why this blog is copyrighted. Copyrighting and other intellectual property rights, when they do what they're supposed to do, defend the rights of people, usually people on the small end of the spectrum of whatever field you're dealing with, who could otherwise not afford to fight to keep control of their work.

It breaks down when you're a multi-millionaire platinum record selling group like Metallica, whose bitching about piracy is just a joke, but if you're a new and not established writer, or you're a small band just getting your first albums out, copyrights mean a lot.

When exactly the process breaks down I'm not sure, but, in general, I think that writing is among those forms of creative output where the validity of copyrights goes quite far, just because of the nature of the beast: a band doesn't put out an album every week, many columnists do. And many, um, cartoonists as well. When you've really made it and your livelihood no longer depends on the rights to your work being protected, then I think the breakdown occurs.

Mind you, I think that Napster and other peer to peer file exchange systems are in fact a good thing for music in that it breaks the impasse of having to shell out money for bands which you may know nothing about if you want to hear their music, and actually stimulates buying, so I'm not a fucking copyright Nazi....however....as the notice on the CDs of the wonderful industrial/gothic music store supreme of Seattle, Musicwerks on Pine, points out, if you're dealing with a genre or a particular musical subculture which is capital intensive, i.e. you have to spend a whole lot of money to be able to produce the music, then file exchange may do more harm than good. But industrial music is sort of the exception that makes the rule since few other genres take that much technical equipment to produce (well).

Anyways, that's the reason, and I'm sticking to it.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Tome.

Read the post below this one first, it's more important.

I'm trying, or starting to try, an ambitious project of reading a history of India written by Ramesh Chandra Majmudar, which, looking at it, appears to be the standard college textbook in India for the history of India. It's really long.

I just wanted to comment on the state of all of the books purporting to be histories of India written by Englishmen. They are basically divided into three parts: first, the "Aryans", who were Europeans of course and therefore cousins of the English, invade India and bring it culture. Then nothing happens for several millenia. Then the Muslims invade and do something, although we're not really sure what exactly. Then the English takeover and bring civilization back to India, ruling it peacefully for several centuries. Then, I guess as an addendum, India gets independence and the whole thing goes to hell.

That's why I'm reading a book from the Indian perspective.
Purpose of the blog.

While this blog has a political purpose, which is to promote socialism in the United States, preferably an anarchist or at least anarchist inspired socialism, if that idea isn't detestable, it also has a cultural purpose.

Politics isn't everything, neither is economics. The U.S. has a cultural life as well.

You may have been wondering what all those "Neo-Romanticist, American Tropicalia" links at the side of the page refer to. Well, to put it bluntly, the United States is probably at one of its worst moments when it comes to cultural life and the vibrancy and relevance of that cultural life to real life.

I'd like to promote a sort of cultural renewal. This is somewhat disconnected from the political project; culture shouldn't be subordinated to politics.

In a word, or a phrase, American intellectual life is quite boring and I'd like to make it more interesting, if nothing else than for my own sake since I have to live in this country and deal with the bullshit that passes for creative thinking.

Also, to make a very broad generalization about America, we have two prevailing modes of thought, the first one based on a sort of primitive religious consciousness and view of the world largely associated with conservative politics and the more rural areas of this country; the other one is based largely around French materialism and serves as the basis for much liberal thought.

If one aspect could be called a peasant consciousness the other one could be called a bourgeois consciousness.

I have no use for the peasant consciousness, unless my dealings with it are to promote people within that sphere of thought to think critically about the world around them through modes of thought familiar to them, sort of like the liberation theology approach.

Politically, the organized representatives of this consciousness are among the most odious and bigoted people in the public sphere, and I have no intention of doing anything to help them out.

So my focus in promoting cultural creativity and renewal is on those people who have adopted, or inherited from their parents, the French materialist perspective, largely a concomittant or at least a source of liberal consciousness.

This French materialism, which is an archaism in the Western world, is largely a product of the extended bourgeois development of the U.S., with the ever overrated influence of the "Founding Fathers" thrown in for good measure. Honestly, I think that the biggest influence of the FFs, as I shall call them, lies in the fact that people who are upwardly mobile in politics or in social status tend to read things like the "Federalist Papers" as a way of attaining to said status and fitting in with the swells, so to speak. People on the ground know jack shit about the people who supposedly "Founded" our country, which was actually founded by the people who settled it and who live in it, not by some English people with classical education. But be that as it may, French materialism still exerts an ungodly influence over people's minds.

The religious option is really no option at all, since it means saying good bye to the modern world and nice things like Civil Rights, for instance, so a new way has to be opened to break the torpor of civil and intellectual discourse.

That way, to my mind at least, is to go the way of the European Romantics, who changed the question of the nature of the world and of society away from a physical, scientific, point of view towards a more interpretive and emotional/self consciously cultural point of view.

European romanticism pointed out all the things, all the aspects of life, which existed which scientistic thinking could not account for but which nevertheless made up, and make up, quite a bit of what it is to be a human and to lead a decent human life.

Things like emotion and the emotional turbulence that comes from living in society, falling in love, experiencing friendship, experiencing also, unfortunately, the less pleasant but no less real aspects of experience.

Things like, for instance, the way which we see society: is society an agglomeration of atomic individuals, floating around and running into each other now and again, or is 'society' also culture, history, personal relationships, place, views of the world, etc..

A note, for those incredulous about this, as I said before this has little to do with politics, in fact I woud say that it was a subordinate, though very interesting, part of life. I get a lot of enjoyment out of pursuing the romantic project, but it's not something which properly should be out in front of the struggle.

In fact 'culture' should not and cannot be struggled for like social and economic change can. It's weak in that it's the outcome of other social relationships and not an entity unto itself.

To think otherwise is to bring one into the realm of Fascism, a sort of losers game where the crud of Romanticism was scooped up off the floor and promoted as the new essence of life which everyone had to obey or else.

Someone once said that Nationalism was the lowest form of thought a person could have about themselves, and I agree with that. Life is bigger and at the same time as big as culture, if that makes any sense, and creativity in the cultural sphere doesn't exactly entitle one to much in other spheres.

That said, I think that Romanticism, or doing what the romantics did not just in literature but in their approach to intellectual and social life, could really breath some vitality into the decrepit American social scene.

Groups like Crimethinc are doing it already, although I think that the Crimethinc. project has somewhat fallen on bad times and been taken over by bourgeois brats who don't know a thing about the politics or the thought that originally gave birth to the thing.

But that's another story.

Reinventing life is surely a good goal, but when it comes to the more intellectual side of things the old standbyes from some of the Surrealists, like "we have to reenchant life", make little sense. Re-enchantment is a figment of Breton's imagination; what we can do, though, is contribute to the richness of our culture by putting forward works and creations which prompt people to think about their world in a new and unthought of way, in a way which they might not thought could have even existed, a new way of relating each other and to Nature, with a capital 'N'.

In a vague way such a change will promote the shift to a socialist culture; not a Stalinist culture where people sing three chears to the rightness of the state doctrine but one where we can really see the importance of relating to each other in a human way, even if that way sacrifices some of the 'to each goes his own' mentality which we've been brought up to accept.

From French materialism, or rather from an excessive emphasis on it, we've gotten the ideas which lead to a sort of anarcho-capitalism which isn't anarchist, and which only serves to legitamate corporatism.

I have no objection to individualism as a doctrine, in fact I sympathize highly with the non-Stirnerite Individualist Anarchism that such American figures as Josiah Warren and, although I'm not as familiar with him, Joseph Labadie, have come up with and promoted. But they recognized that a just individualist society could not exist within capitalism, so they formed communes where a highly regulated system of labor exchanges and other devices ensured that the Lockean type of liberal society which they envisioned could actually exist.

But I digress.
I'm a communist, or a Communist, if you're looking at it from an Anarchist perspective. I don't believe in the ethic of unfree labor---but I think that any such communist venture will never even get off the ground if it doesn't have a sort of leavening from the experiences of Individualist Anarchists that I've mentioned above.

Communism focussing on property instead of people enjoying the fruits of their labors in a communistic society will surely lead to tyranny. But I'm open to dissenting views on this.

The Italians figured out a balance between the two a hundred and some years ago...

Anyways. I guess I actually support a mixed economy in which some sort of private property still exists but it can't pervert the basic equity of society.

I've gone far afield.

French materialism is a really bad lens through which to view the world because it's one of the least insightful and creative ways to look at life.
It's like: see, all those emotions you have are just due to a hormone in the brain, see, the reason people do x is because it formed as an adaption mechanism to something over the course of human evolution, see, people really are prone to (insert word here, either violence, racism, whatever you want) because our biology has programmed us to be that way in order to survive. La la la.

People who live their lives through sociobiology don't really live their lives, and anyone who has really lived can tell you that explaining behavior and experience by some sort of reductionist mechanism is a cowards way of begging off dealing with experiences that you don't feel comfortable with, which in this case would mean the stuff of life itself, unfortunately.

You get the picture. Get thee to the French and German Romanticist books and learn, my son. And throw a few of those English guys in their for good measure.

Monday, April 26, 2004

Here I stand.

I was sitting on my bed, looking absentmindedly at my hand, when I realized: If I was on the bus and I saw someone sitdown with a hand like mine I would assume that they were non-white.

A few days spent mostly in the sun have given me a good tan;

I remember my childhood, how, looking back, so much of it was meant to eradicate any traces of ethnicity from me.
My mother divorced my dad, who was unaware of my existence, and married a fellow who, probably not by any plan of my mother's, was determined to raise me as a white person and not to let any awareness of my true origins taint me.

He was a German whose grandparents, I believe, were, on one side, from either Schleswig-Holstein or the north Prussian coast, and, on the other, Protestants originally from Bavaria who had moved to Michigan to escape religious persecution.

Either way, they were German, and he endeavored to raise me as a German.

The family was heavily influenced by the ideals of the German Empire, the Prussia which fought WWI, I was later to find out, and was conservative to the core as a result.

My family had a small business in the area which I grew up, and my 'father' took it over, applying a style of conduct to the whole thing which originated in the Prussian concept of 'Herrschaft', while also ingratiating himself with the local rich and influential.

I still remember the Halloween when, after taking me to town to trick-or-treat, he took me, on the way back, to a smoky obscure bar which actually existed underneath a normal bar, like an after hours place, and introduced me to daddy's mistress.

Not in those words, of course, but the meaning was clear.

Later, after the whole fiasco was broken up by divorce, my mother tried to initiate contact with my 'aunt', who she'd been friends with during the marriage, and received a curt reply saying that she didn't want to have anything to do with her brother's problems.

From this to working class....but that's another tale, suffice it to say that divorce ruined my mother financially, as it does to a lot of women.

I am Italian and Hungarian. Most of my 'coloured' genes come from Hungary, as my Italian ancestors came from the North around Milan and Lombardi. I am, to all people that see me, a person of color, although I have the mind of a German.

I accept what nature has given to me, and I willingly and cheerfully self identify now with the Hispanic and, although I don't share their history, Native Americans who face discrimination based on the color of their skin and the nature of their culture. I like Latin culture and the latin worldview.

I have no problem with this; I stand before everyone in the world now as a person of color who will suffer with those who suffer because of their skin and not join the ranks of those whose privilege allows them to escape privation.

Hungarians are, after all, Asians. Magyars are a mixture of Turk and Mongol related tribes, and, despite assimilation, are utterly non-European. So I am a racial minority after all.

If society pins this badge on me I willingly and proudly wear it.

Viva La Raza

Saturday, April 24, 2004

To complete my thought...

Got carried away by the negativity...

OK. The point is that if the "Left" as a whole, particularly the Radical Left, gets to be defined by Mr. Craig's organization, if they do something stupid (or repeatedly do stupid things) and the media latches onto them in order to paint the rest of the Left with the same brush, then it will become impossible for all of this alternative culture and local, very real, political projects to create possitive social change on the small scale, to exist.

If people like this get the limelight then everyone else is going to be fair game for the government, which, after the Bush years, might be all too happy to suppress a culture which it feels threatens their....values(?) ideas about life (?)....is un-patriotic, etc...

So...let me say this for all those people on the left who read this blog...it's in our interest not to be accomodating to rhetoric like this and to instead draw a nice line between us, including the really radical among us, and him.

Maybe I was too harsh....

With dealing with "Craig", whose last name contains the name of a popular flower which people, when feeling really expansive, sometimes purchase a dozen at a time;

Part of the point of that, which I didn't include explicitly in the post, was to say that no matter who you are or what political or personal viewpoint you have, no matter how alternative your lifestyle or how outside the mainstream, everyone creates and uses community.

What have radical gays done in San Francisco? They've made a very nice gay community there, with neighborhood resources and stores, etc... So much for the thesis that people who the right thinks are corrosive to society don't like or contribute to community when given a chance.

That being said; a significant amount of people have put in a significant amount of time in building alternative community in the U.S., and using that a stepping stone for creating greater social change. Well, the last only happens some times, but you get the picture.

Now the ideas that Mr. Craig was spouting, and the organization that he has now formed to promote them, virtually says: take no notice of what people have been doing in their communities to create change, take no notice of what the consequences may be for them, organize for revolution with revolution being understood as being some sort of armed struggle which, if this person's background is any indication, probably includes what may legitamately be called terrorist acts as part of it.

This isn't a Ward Churchill-esque take on it. Churchill, who participated in (as a native) in an occupation of Indian lands under dispute in Colorado, is of the opinion that while people shouldn't rule out that possibility that it's something only to be vaguely considered when every other means have been exhausted, and then not something to really, umm, be encouraged or to make a part of things. He's of the reasonable opinion that the issue you're contesting is the point, not guns, and in his writings "armed struggle" has mostly meant armed self defense of communities against cops by the people who live there, and who are being assaulted and otherwise endagered by the actions of the police in a real way.

You get the picture.

But Mr. Craig doesn't.

He splashed this big poster with a huge picture of himself all over the town where he spoke and with seeming uncomprehension of any nuance to politics laid out "Revolution Now!"

Which is really dangerous because, as said below, any idiot can arm themselves and do stupid shit which hurts people, and these guys seem to be going that route.

Too bad for all the people who will be hurt in the process of their brain dead activism.

Friday, April 23, 2004

The Wail of the Privileged.

I just saw, in a local town which is having a three day event, a certain "Craig" who used to be the Press Office head for a certain "Organization" which which likes to style itself as a "Front", give a public lecture on a street closed off for the art exhibits and performances which usually constitute the event. I won't tell you any more; I don't want google to pick it up, but if you're a savy reader you know who and what I'm talking about.

Well, this Craig, pasty white guy that he was, was telling the crowd about the neccessity for violent revolution against the U.S. government.

And I thought to myself: after all the hard work that people have put in trying to organize in their communities to tackle real problems going on, whether it related to Living Wages, to getting homeless shelters up and running, to providing resources for women, to trying to protect wilderness and wetlands around their homes, to operating alternative libraries, publishing alternative papers, doing education on HIV and providing resources for that, here comes Craig, who has about the political comprehension regarding what it takes to create real change of a gnat, talking about how we should all band together to overthrow the state and..actually he didn't ever use the word capitalism, to my amazement...and overthrow "Rich white male privilege", and I think, that's very quaint.

Mr. Craig has revealed I suspected was the case for segments of the militant eco-activist community, that not only are they just white kids from good homes into the punk culture and doing militant actions based on the scantiest of understandings about what they're doing, but they think that they are the authority on what radical politics is and they want to run the show.

They believe they have a right to do so, because their punk lifestyle makes them think they're more hardcore than the rest of us.

It's the same old song; the privileged speaking for the oppressed and making themselves into the leaders of people which they have nothing in common with and no comprehension of their problems simply because they think they're right, and everyone else is wrong.

So this is the militant environmental movement? For all that Craig said I could have written the salient contents down on the back of a matchbook. And my understanding doesn't come from reading a bunch of books, it comes from observing the real world and basing my politics on what I observe, not what some subculture tells me is morally right.
I guess Craig hasn't opened his eyes much, and if so he hasn't seen anything, 'cause he would have learned something beyond the rhetoric of his circle of friends and, I guess, 'comrades'.

And that what makes his forming some sort of revolutionary organization and a revolutionary media group so damn retrograde, because history in the default setting isn't made by the people it's made by those who have the resources and choose to act.

There's nothing stopping a bunch of rich white kids who are into this from doing a whole bunch of damage. They can do it if they want. They have the will, but I'm not going to sit around and watch another set of people who don't know a thing but have the means make history for me. I want something more than the default setting of how history is made; I want the real people who make up the communities of this country to make social change for themselves, by them selves.

This is the apotheosis of the snobby punk scene; first, they think they're better than everyone else no matter what social background they actually come from, then they think they have the right to tell everyone else what to do. Not this time, chum. Have your little counter-culture; but the second you trespass on real politics in this way you're just inviting a well deserved rebuke from the radical community which is actually doing real work for real people, people who don't think that operating a punk rock scene flop house is a major victory for social justice, for example.

The work of those in the real world is endagered by this stuff, and we have more numbers than they do.

Which is not to dismiss radical change, but, instead, to say that if you want radical change at least be a radical and not a phonograph for the ultra-liberal gutter punk subculture.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

The crucial difference between the gen-x phenomenon and what I'm describing as happening to working class kids.

It might be objected, after reading the brief accounts offered below about the social consequences of the 1980s, that this ground has been covered before; that this is what the whole Generation X phenomenon was about.

I have to disagree.

There are two main thrusts to the Gen-x idea, the first being that the generation who was born in the early/mid seventies up till the very early eighties found themselves unable to get the sorts of jobs that their parents got with the education they received.

While superficially looking like the working class experience it has to be noted that the primary people who harped on this idea weren't talking about not being able to find a job at the plant but instead were expressing regret that they weren't welcomed into the upper echelons of bourgeois power like they expected to be.

Being disappointed because you don't get to pull down enourmous amounts of money with the college degree you earned is a strange objection, especially with the posturing of Gen-X as being counter-cultural, but I'll get to that in a moment.

The truth is, from what I've observed, that these people were not in fact ruined in a basic way; they had to find jobs which were less Wagnerian in scope, but they adjusted to it, and they often found their niche in interesting and unusual jobs which compensated somewhat for the lack of prestige which they entailed through their uniqueness.

Ok, so far so good.

The second meaning of Gen-X is that of people deciding to react against the hyper-capitalist mindset of the Reagan and Bush years and instead reject it, but also reject at the same time going back to the sort of counter-culture which their parents may have participated in.

For those pursuing this avenue, taking working class or declasse jobs probably is not the heart braking compromise that the first group makes it out to be. They've rejected the norms of society already, why should they want to ingratiate themselves with the power structures which make the same society run?

However, notice too that in this case the people who chose to do this actually had a choice. They could have accepted the conventional wisdom, as abhorrent as it might have been, and participated in society as a fully functional member living up to the norms etc... of the time.

What characterizes the lost generatoin of working class youth in the United States is that they didn't have a choice; they woke up to find the world they lived in already messed up beyond repair and offering them little opportunities or choices.

They also inhabit the bottom of our socioeconomic pyramid; if a rich kid gets a job at McDonalds he knows that there will be opportunities for him to go back into the realm of bourgeois jobs if he so desires. For working class kids the destruction of the job base in their community leaves nowhere else to go.

Hence the incentive to get lost as an individual and as a member of the community, go bad, and never resurface in normal society.

It's almost like a reintroduction of the peasant way of life. The peasantry in all countries has lived pretty self contained in their little communities. Not a lot of social change is possible and so people in these situations shift their focus on what's important in life away from that which transcends their situation and that which may be waiting for them in the big city towards the commonplace living in their town which is a product of everyday life and the accumulation of countless social interactions.

In returning to a sort of peasant system what I mean is that capitalism has created so much damage to working class towns and neighborhoods that the modern consciousness, which believes in social mobility and the possibility of achievement, may be coming to an end, replaced by the society of people so wound up in dealing with the basic problems of their lives that they don't have enough strength or power to transcend the immediate, communal, neighborhood, setting in which they live and aspire to be part of the modern world, as defined above.

And no one in United States culture has acknowledged this group of people or this phenomenon as existing. The rich Gen-X'ers were courted incessantly, but we don't have the purchasing power now, do we? So it becomes an unknown story, punctuated at times by the reality movies showing how black ghettos dissolved socially in the 80s into gang warfare and hardcore drug abuse, and everything that comes with it, with no no hint that the problem may have been more widespread and still existing.

The world is my whorehouse, and I don't mean that in a purely sexual way.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Picture the lead singer of Laibach, who puts out hardcore negative lyrics just shooting the breeze with a guy about gambling. It's a funny thought, but that's what I saw.
Holy Mary Mother of God............

Laibach is in town!

I'm leaving my local mall and I run into these two very tall people dressed in black industrial clothes and speaking with Slavic accents...

I listen to them for a little bit, and it dawns on me who they are. They're waiting for a bus in the Seattle area.

The person who does the vocals was having a conversation with a local about playing poker. He was telling about a game where he had to bluff a few times, and then commented that five players with one deck was too much and that fifteen players with three decks was just a mess...

Why they were in the Seattle area? I don't know; maybe to visit KMFDM and it's front man Sascha Koneitzko, who lives in the Seattle area as well..

How about that. Neue Slovenia Kunst right in my own back yard.

Incidentally they were decked out in the most stylish black clothes that I've ever seen, and the one that appears in pictures with the hat with the flaps on it succesfully pulled off wearing paratrooper boots as part of his outfit, something which is generally hard to do without looking silly.

They were middle aged Slovenian guys. But they appeared to be very nice.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Whom am I, where have I been, where am I going?

I ask these questions for myself, not rhetorically and not as a prelude to giving soppy personal answers.

Who I am is easy enough to answer. I'm a member of an unacknowledged generation in America of people whose early lives were destroyed by Reagan's economic policies; I'm one of a multitude who ever since have been trying to fit the pieces back together and make some sort of normal lives for themselves in a country which is hostile to them and doesn't even acknowledge their existence.

England had/has a similar group of young people, only they came about a little earlier and the forces which produced them were fought by the British and U.K. labor movement and the resulting struggle has made it's way into the English popular culture. Movies like Brassed Off and the Full Monty and even Trainspotting make light of it.

There is nothing in the United States.

The results have been similar; the alternative culture flaired because no one could make the conventional culture work for them, and the corollaries of the alternative culture have been the same. What had elements of rebellion has since turned into drug addiction and further social destruction, the 'alternative', an alternative of desperation, has seen no end and has since given up.

People in their twenties now are dealing with issues that their parents
dealt with in their teens, and have often struggled to get over the basic issues which complicate anyone's life---parent situation, family situation, social situation---and gauged success by not falling into oblivion rather than moving on into some bright and productive future.

They think that subsistance is normal and don't know that anywhere else this would be referred to as failure, not success.

But success it is.

Amid the hoopla about money and the resurgent generation of kids who experienced something better, nothing has been said or done about those who were never able to make it through to adult hood and maturity because of the enourmous obstacles put in their way by a society which destroyed the working class part of itself in a social meltdown which will have ramifications for years to come.

I'm in my mid twenties and I'm at the place where most people are when they turn eighteen, and I still can't figure out what happened.

I survived, and got out, but getting out just led to more hardship and alienation as I found that getting out alone doesn't translate into getting things to work; online being born to the upper classes guaranteed that; and have since been wandering through this society trying to do and accomplish what I thought was expected of one against the backdrop of a culture which refuses to throw anyone not in the master class any crumbs of help.

My self imposed isolation from society and the gradual unfolding of myself after it were the result of an urge to try and fix it once and for all; to shut out the madness and try to live up to the standard that I thought was expected of me.

I can't take writing about this anymore, but I put this out there so that it can be said that there were those who put the information out and who made the knowledge of this accessable to whoever wanted to search for it, so that no one can say that this was a closed and silent chapter of American life.
Theory and Practice; or, how the way I live my life relates to the shit that I post on this blog.

After two years of basically saying 'fuck off' to the world through this blog and through my life style, I've learned something which I think is important.

It is that if you engage in an enterprise such as mine you find, after a while, that your life style actually reflects your ideas quite well; or actually the opposite, that your ideas reflect your lifestyle.

I don't put shit up here that honestly conflicts with how I really feel.

I think the reason that my life and my ideas correspond is that if you really, really, don't care what other people think of what you're doing then there isn't a reason to lie about it. There isn't a reason to give lip service to things and to ways of being which you find false. So life and ideas tend to fall to the same ground.

It's a valuable insight, and one which should be useful to other people.

The question in the radical scene, the perenial question, is how do your ideas relate to real life? Are you just some sort of cloistered intellectual who gets his jollies by writing radical literature but never doing a god damn thing or are you someone who is really out there trying to put a modicum of reality behind your words.

But there again, the order is reversed. You don't 'put a modicum of reality' behind your words you put your words out in a way that reflects the reality of your life, whether you are conscious of it or not.

My life in the real world actually reflects the shifts in my dogma quite well.
A year or so ago I was so disenchanted with the world that I wanted to totally isolate myself from it and pursue the experience of really knowing life on the small scale, knowing a place intimately and developing the sort of relationship with it that comes from intense living isolated from mass media, people, society at large, etc...

Therefore the Agrarian ideas appealed to me. They were saying pretty much what I already agreed on.

Later, I got out of the hole, but I still isolated myself and consciously pursued taking my individualism to new heights, by any means neccesary. This was different from the isolation in that it was consciously about me, not about getting an experience.

At that point a sort of individualist inspired, but non-Stirnerite, anarchism appealed to me an awful lot, the sort of thing believed in by Josiah Warren and Jo Labadie.

Then, I decided to return to society by coming back to school and consciously moving to a place which reflected what I believed in instead of isolating myself and making the world which I believed in on my own.

Consequentially Italian Communist-Individualist Anarchism has been what I've been gravitating towards more and more.

The Italian tradition emphasizes the individual within a communist (small c) setting, which defacto recognizes the rights of society as well as that of the individual, and even locates the purest manifestation of individuality as coming out of a setting where property as a category does not exist any more and the basic unit is the experience of man in a social and class setting as opposed to man isolated or semi-isolated.

I began being interested in this shortly before I left, and as I've become more integrated into the normal world it has grown in relevance and importance to me.

Now, my lifestyle could confidently be described as communist-indivdualist in the way described above.

I don't give a damn about any one or anything but am determined to live my life as I please. And society doesn't really scare me anymore.

So that's the relation of theory to practice in my own life, what about yours now, compadre?



Added a new link to the "Killing King Abacus" website/distro, which also has links to the "Venomous Butterfly Publications" distro/website. KKA and VBP, especially VBP, are among the best (and least known and appreciated) anarchist publishing projects going on out there.
I've been journeying through CounterPunch land, i.e. northern California, so haven't been able to post...

I say Counterpunch land because that's where Alexander Cockburn lives, and to know the landscape and feel of the extreme north of California is to understand the Counterpunch website in a way not normally accessable to people.

Anyways, I'm very glad I live on the west coast in the Pac NW. The scenery down to California and back is just some of the most unforgettable and beautiful that you can find. No joke. To see it is to think that you've stepped into a documentary about some beautiful place far, far, away....

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Funny Ben Tripp quote:

"Obscenity rears it's ugly head again like a massive, rock hard cock"
Arts and crafts.

I've been taking arts and crafts classes at my local community center, and I have to say it has really given me a sense and an awareness of what, as George Bush would say, "Measuring twice so that your servants only have to cut once" really means.

Monday, April 12, 2004

Billmon

Got this blog from a Tom Tomorrow reference on his weblog.
It looks suspiciously familiar....especially the Votad al Frente Popular poster from the Spanish Civil War period...hey! Billmon! If you read this blog drop me a line!

Anyways, the post for today relates to the charge usually levelled against leftists, which is that all the left is is doctrinaire ideas that have no flexability in terms of reality and, if imposed in the form above, would no doubt wreek havoc with society and do some serious damage rather than repairing the damage already done or doing something positive.

It's a valid argument; I mean, I don't dismiss it out of hand. There certainly have been authoritarian regimes in the twentieth century which have imposed their hell on people in the guise of implementing pure leftist ideas; the Cultural Revolution in China and the horrible things done in places like Cambodia spring to mind.

Given that this is a valid issue, how can one say that supporting the Left is supporting something decent and wholesome, which represents the best of our culture instead of a bad subculture which is sort of dangerous?

Simple.

I don't know about the rest of the Left, at least the anti-globalization and anarchist Left, but I have my suspicions that they, like I, locate their leftism within a nice buffer of cultural and social richness.

The left can be a positive force if it recognizes the wonder and importance of a rich ordinary social and cultural life, and subordinates the ideology to it in the sense of recognizing that whatever radical changes happen there will always be a sort of moral base which remains and which is untouched. A place where people can go up to, but can go no further on in their innovations and experiments.

If this is done, if this is believed in, if this is the context within which we're discussing anarchism and anti-globalization, then, indeed, the left does potentially represent what is best in our culture and becomes and instrument for extending it and perfecting it, as well a criticizing the truly unjust parts and making reparations and changes to them.

So that's how the left can be, and is in many places, a noble force instead of a force for wanton destruction.

Ironically, the anarchists who are pegged in the press as being the agents of wanton destruction are often times the ones who understand what I'm saying above the best.

The Blac Bloc isn't a bunch of ignorant kids running around smashing things up. They have their own ideas and their own ideology, and what they want from the world is certainly something more genuinely richer than what most 'patriots' subscribe to.

I'd like to be known as a learned barbarian.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

I live in the metropolitan Seattle area. Here are some of my favorite places to go to in Seattle:

1: Bauhaus Books & Coffee on Pine St.

2: Pagliacci's Pizza on Broadway.

Both places are well worth checking out.

We need to organize the working class.
Just saying.

Friday, April 09, 2004

This blog has been down for a few days because of a vicious virus attack spread via e-mail. Not!

Just kidding. You folks who send me viruses will have to get up a little bit earlier to catch me. I don't open executable attachments with little numbers attached to them, no matter what return address is forged and what spiel is given.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Harry Hay.

If you want to read something that generally has things in common with what this blog has recently been talking about, an unexpected source is the anthology of writings by Harry Hay, who founded the modern gay rights movement.

Hay was a former communist who went deep into the anthropology of Marxism and consequentially got a view of things closer to the Left Marxists, Autonomists, Anti-Civilizationists, and general Anarchists, than that of the Communist Party, which he left.

He also focussed quite a bit on Native Americans, as part of the anthropology angle, but unlike many anthropologically inclined people he actually knew native americans since childhood and became a key advocate for Native Rights in the U.S.

His recent death leaves him sorely missed.
MaxSpeak, You Listen!: MERCENARIES?

Ah, the politics of the blog world sometimes filter back to me. I got the news from Tom Tomorrow's blog that people had been beating up the guy who runs Kos because he said something less than charitable about the people killed in Fallujah.

Well.

Let me say for the record that those people who were dragged through the town were paid mercenaries who got what was coming to them. Live by the sword die by the sword.

Sort of like that CIA agent who was killed in Afghanistan by prisoners because he was summarily executing them with a handgun.

I have no sympathy whatsoever for these people.
I'd care if it was Iraqis who died, or even the stereotypical poor kid from the projects who joined the military to get out of it, but not these bastards.

The Turkic character.


I just watched a video about Central Asia and it pissed me off. What they did was to overlook most of central asian culture and then focus for an inordinate amount of time on Tadjikistan, which is Indo-European. Tadjiks are Iranians or Persians who migrated to central asia centuries ago. They paid so much attention to Tadjik folk culture that it was obvious that they were trying to investigate 'ancient European civilization'.

But what of the Turks?

Someday I'll write a book which will introduce Europeans to the Turkish way of viewing the world.

It is both amazing and rewarding; the culture of the nomads on the steps, of spirits of the plains and of the house, honor, daring.....all of this is inscribed on the Turkish character.

Zest for life and skills at archery...

I itch for that freedom sometimes...

This might come as a denoumont after talking about Satanism but....

It's important to point out that all American politics are mass politics, and that the strictly ideological system which, somewhat, governs other countries, collapsed in the U.S. after the 1830s. That's when Andrew Jackson, drawing on universal (white) manhood sufferage created the first political party, The Democracy, which based itself on broad issues appealing to all who could vote instead of on ideological ones which only a few priveleged people could really care about.

Which, of course, is not to say that ideology doesn't matter, but the way politics are in this country is that to win essentially you have to be a mass movement, because the threshold for support is so much higher.

With ideological movements people support you just because they believe in your general principles. With mass movements people who support you support you because they believe that what you believe in goes beyond general principles to something closer to how society should be organized in a basic way. That's the high threshold.

There's quite a difference between general political principles and society wide applications of general principles.

The political scene in America changes when mass movements get enough support on enough different aspects of life to totally overthrow the prevailing mood and put something comparably comprehensive in it's place.

This is what is happening with the left now. Americans like to be surrounded by their political ideas. We enjoy it. Hopefully we'll get up enough steam to change the prevailing ideas through creating....not really a counter-hegemony because that implies too much of a disjunction between culture and economic structure, but a new way that Americans can comfortably be surrounded by leftist political ideas.

And...by the way...socialism is completely compatable with a win by the left through mass politics.
Once we've come this far, that instead of class based political systems we have a mass based one, isn't the next step to have that mass flex its political muscle and take over society and redistribute its goods fairly within itself?

So socialism becomes the realization of the American ideal: the land of plenty made good on.

Friday, April 02, 2004

The Parnes Haggadah -- 2000

In remembrance of passover, and for my educational career, I've read the relevant stories from the Old Testament.

Let me tell you: they kick Christianity's ass out the window.

Read as collective ethnic myths the story of egyptian bondage and freedom holds up against all the European pagan epic myths as an equal and a brother.

Really, I would much rather have my belief system based on the dynamic of liberation accompanied by a divine revelation about the nature of the universe than to have it revolve around some poor guy nailed to a stick who supposedly came back to life in a metaphysical way.

Much healthier.

If Christianity revealed the heart of Judaism, which is what the early Christians claimed it did, then it sure as hell worked to its utmost to prevent people from understanding just what Judaism was about in the first place, therefore leading to a sort of disconnected bullshit which has corrupted our culture ever since.

As for the Christians that may read this site---sorry folks, I only thought Christianity was useful as a social myth, I never really believed in it. The uncharitable may think that I'm taking the Action Francaise atheistic Catholicism angle on it, but not really. I've always been a freaking modernist, as anyone who reads this blog regularly knows, quite a far leap from someone who believes that people should be deluded into believing in a social myth because it's 'good for you'.
And I'm not a fascist or proto-fascist either, although my secret sin is that before Maurras became a total anti-semite and anti-democratic activist I think that he did come up with some interesting analyses of society.

Just as I think that Maistre did, even though I don't agree with his ultimate conclusions.

It's called being well read and not limiting your mind to a little leftist, democratic, republican, etc.... ghetto.

If you can't acknowledge good strains in your enemies when they're there, you shouldn't call yourself an intellectual or an honest person.

I'm not praising Hitler or Mussolini for god's sake.

.....I'm a fucking intelligent person who doesn't give a damn whose toes I step on in search of the truth, and I'm confident that there isn't a secret fascist bone in my body which will secretly undermine me....

So fuck all of y'all. I'm freer than you are because I can hold two opposing ideas in my head without having a mental breakdown.

Didn't I just tell you all to read C.L.R. James, the Black Nationalist working class activist?

So lay off.

Anyways, the story of Israeli liberation from Egypt is much better than Christianity's central theme.

And....um...didn't you notice that I have two links to Satanist websites on the bottom of the page?

They aren't there by accident. I'll leave it at that.
TalkLeft: Gary Hart Warned Condi Rice Just Before 9/11

Gary Hart is on our side now. This is important. Hart is the author of Restoration of the Republic a book he wrote I believe as part of his PhD thesis at Cambridge University in England, which he earned in the last few years. It's a very valid, true, and applicable book to the crisis in democracy and government which have been the norm in this country for the past few years. So having the good guy who has even written a book of political philosophy telling us how we can improve the country in a authentically democratic way on our side, and willing to go against Condi Rice and Bush, is a very good thing.

Wanted also to say a word about the MoveOn people.

I was sort of active in MoveOn, made some phone calls, wrote some e-mails, and even went to the first "Take Back America" conference. But, however, their book is out, "50 ways to make america a better place for establishment democratic candidates", or something of that nature, and it's just confirmed to me what a racket they are.

Looking through those fifty ways, more than half of them add up to "Get yourself back in the Democratic Party and make some waves!". Yeah. Right. I got a frigging letter from them urging me to support John Kerry because he was the only hope for this country. If they had any principles whatsoever they wouldn't support this man. And they sure as hell wouldn't send out circulars to people on their mailing list telling them that it was their duty to support him.

I worked on the Kucinich campaign in the place where I used to live and I have to say that all in all I agree with Alexander Cockburn's take on Kucinich.

Cockburn said that Kucinich was basicly in the race to convince people who were attracted to the Green Party or other third parties, or who rejected the whole political system altogether and wanted radical change, to come back into the Democratic party.

Nothing positive has come out of the Kucinich campaign, as far as I can see.

The moment of betrayal for me came when I saw Kucinich using the slogan "World without end, not War without end" on his e-mail flyers, on his literature, everywhere.

For those of you without a religious background "World Without End" is a phrase in the liturgy of the Catholic Church, and, I believe, is a sort of New Age sentiment that New Age Christians understand and identify with.

Kucinich is miles away from the liberal end of the Catholic Church, so that's not what caused it.

But, and here comes Alexander Cockburn again, why the hell did Kucinich choose to put an obscure New Age slogan, which no one can understand, on all his literature while more direct and applicable slogans, like "Don't ship our jobs overseas our children need food", could have done a better job.

Cockburn said right out on Counterpunch that Kucinich squandered his working class credibility and upbringing by aligning himself with a bunch of new age nutcases instead of addressing the needs of real people.

I agree totally. A host of nothings from the slum known as newage (rhymes with sewage), like Neale Donald Walsh, who has "conversations with god", and Marianne Williamson, who has done nothing significant that I'm aware of, endorsed Kucinich......

I got into the campaign hoping that people would be concerned with working class issues, but that was not to be.

Fortunately, my discouragement with Kucinich came after I had actually left the local campaign, so it wasn't any direct action by any of the people that I worked with that caused it.....just the thrust of it in general, which did have some manifestations on the local level where I was.

Getting back to the point, Kucinich originally postured himself as another Ralph Nader whose intent was to build democratic organizations that would help society despite the fact that he didn't have a lot of chance in getting the nomination. But all that was abandoned.

"World Without End", not "Democracy Now!", became the watchword of the Kucinich campaign, and very likely the organizations which formed to support it will either break from the democratic party and go off on their own or just dissolve.

Kucinich won't be an enduring factor for democracy, although I'm sure there'll be some shards here and there.

So adios to any association with the democratic party by myself; I gave you guys a chance and even the candidate posing as the 'un-establishment' guy turned out to be just another politician...
Which is all he ever was in the first place.
I should point out that it's the idea behind the Maquis weblog which people should pay more attention to...

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Facing Reality by C.L.R. James, track it down if you can, it's tre good.
Or maybe Norway. Norway has more attraction for me than Finland or Sweden, no offense.
maquis

Interesting blog. Good name. The Maquis idea is something that more people should be aware of.

On an unrelated note: listening to the Front 242 Live CD, it just get's me how European cities like Brussels produce groups like Front 242 and American cities produce groups like.....Gwen Stephani's various bands, which I consider to be so much pieces of shit.

Between Front 242 and Gwen Stephani pseudo-ska punk, I'd choose Front 242 and Brussels any day.

I swear, next time I get an opportunity to go to Europe it'll focus on Belgium, the Netherlands, Copenhagen, and Berlin, with maybe a side trip to Finland or Sweden if I can do it.

Just cut out England and any of the other typical hot spots out altogether and go for the real stuff.