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Anarchy Against Civilization!

Posted in Anarchism, Animal Liberation, Corporations, Direct Action & Civil Disobedience, Earth Liberation, Environment, Government, Indigenous, Police State, Revolution with tags , , , , , , on February 2, 2011 by veteranarchist

Far too many times, we as anarchists can get locked into ideology and blueprint making rather than thinking critically and acting to meet current challenges. The idea of challenging capitalism and the state was one that was relatively new to western civilization when the first people to be called anarchists in a political sense first put forth their ideas. We should not be satisfied to stop there. They didn’t face issues such as climate change, neo-liberal globalization, or peak production. That doesn’t mean we can afford to ignore those issues. Most early anarchists didn’t challenge extraction, economics, technology, domestication, agriculture, mass society, or civilization but that should not bar us from doing so.

What is civilization?

Civilization can be defined as a way of life based around growing urbanization and the social relationships that result. Urban areas, also known as cities, are defined as populations so dense as to require the importation of the means to sustain the city itself and its population.

Upon an initial landbase, a city is built, including houses, businesses, government buildings, infrastructure, etc. This gives people a place to live, but not the means. Because of this, the civilization must seek out external landbases to exploit in order to harvest the resources to keep it going, to build and maintain houses, bridges, roads, sewer lines, water lines, electrical lines, public transportation, food for restaurants, clothing for the stores, luxury items for the civilized, personal transportation, entertainment, and so on ad infinitum.

Eventually, as cities grow and populations increase and the civilization requires more and more external land to provide the civilized with goods, the civilization will run into land with people on it, usually people whose way of life depends on that land. When the civilized encounter such people, they usually have the option (if they aren’t killed outright) of working highly exploitative jobs to provide goods or services for the civilized on their traditional lands, moving to the cities to find work, or fighting back.

Because most civilized people do not grow their own food or make their own clothing or build their own houses, access their own water… because the civilized pass these responsibilities on to others, some kind of exchange must take place. As the demands of civilization increase, more and more land is needed to produce goods and services for the civilized. Eventually this means that the civilized will run into traditional communities or other civilizations sitting on top of the land they wish to exploit…

Civilization always views the natural world as “natural resources.”

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On Anarchist Sectarianism

Posted in Revolution with tags , , , , , , on January 6, 2011 by veteranarchist

“We are anarcho-syndicalists on the shop floor, green anarchists in the woods, social anarchists in our communities, individualists when you catch us alone, anarcho-communists when there’s something to share, insurrectionists when we strike a blow.”

By Bobby Whittenberg-James

It truly is troubling, though I see it all the time, anarchists dividing up against one another based upon means of organizing or economic dogma. Many times this results in anarchists taking up sides with either the political left or right, authoritarian statists, with social anarchists tending towards the left and market anarchists tending towards the libertarian right.

Rather than dividing ourselves up along sectarian lines, we should find common cause with other anti-authoritarians in our fight for anarchy. Certainly we all have very different ideas and tactics and those should be scrutinized, critiqued, and added to our toolbox or totally abandoned as necessary on a “take what you like, leave the rest” basis. We mimic the statists and the authoritarians, even the religious, however, when we pick a dogma, join a sect, and dig our heels in. We should always be open to the idea that someone else might have a better idea or a way of looking at or doing something that builds on our own or that we missed altogether. As conditions are constantly changing, so must our ideas and tactics. To bicker over adherence to prefabricated doctrines, none of which are totally applicable to our current situation is onanistic and counter productive. There is no need in making enemies where they don’t exist.

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The Evolution of Revolution

Posted in Corporations, Direct Action & Civil Disobedience, Government, Police State, Revolution with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 31, 2010 by veteranarchist

By Bobby Whittenberg-James

Men (sic) make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves, but under circumstances directly encountered, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all the dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brain of the living. And just when they seem engaged in revolutionizing themselves and things, in creating something that has never yet existed, precisely in such periods of revolutionary crisis they anxiously conjure up the spirits of the past to their service and borrow from them names, battle cries and costumes in order to present the new scene of world history in this time-honored disguise and this borrowed language.” – Ironically yours, Karl Marx

Proudhon was the first to call himself an anarchist, advocating a mix of socialism and capitalism called “mutualism.” Bakunin’s collectivist anarchism critiqued mutualism. Kropotkin’s anarchist communism critiqued collectivist anarchism. Are we really to believe that this is the apex of anarchist thought? Do we really want to adhere dogmatically to theories concocted over a century prior to neo-liberal globalization? Do we ignore everything that has happened since then and refuse to learn from it? If we are truly seeking anarchy, of course the answer is no.

We want an anarchy that is relevant in combating the existing economic and social order. We recognize that neo-liberal globalization has vastly changed economic and social relations from the time of the founders of what came to be known as social anarchism and we choose to adapt our resistance and our tactics as a result. This is not to say that proponents of social anarchism or market anarchism aren’t “real” anarchists (as those sectarian factions and others tend to say about anarchists who don’t bear their particular anarcho-prefix) but that those theories and ideologies and dogmas are not anarchistic and do not result in anarchy. Because of this, we, all anarchists, autonomists, and other anti-authoritarians, should continue to critique anarchist theory and practice to wrest anarchy from the hands of socialists or capitalists seeking to co-opt anarchist rhetoric and aesthetics to wage counter revolution and seize control.

We pay respect to anarchists of the past of all stripes and creeds, and seek to learn from their discoveries, successes, and failures. We also pay respect to past and present day stateless egalitarian hunter gatherer societies and look to them for inspiration as well, knowing that white men from the mid 19th century didn’t have all the answers.

Looking to the past, present, and future we strike what we don’t like or what does work and we keep the good stuff and create something that works for us in the here and now. Those who speak of revolution as some lofty dream, or future event to be hoped for, a single moment in the future, already wage counter revolution.

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Economic Nihilism

Posted in Corporations, Direct Action & Civil Disobedience, Government, Police State, Revolution with tags , , , , , , on December 31, 2010 by veteranarchist

An Anarchist Case Against Economics

By Bobby Whittenberg-James

Economics can be defined as a field of social science mostly focused on analysis of the production, consumption, and distribution of goods and services. The economy can be defined as the system developed to control and manage the production, consumption, and distribution of those goods and services. Note that the focus is not on meeting needs, maintaining symbiosis with the local bio-region, ecosystem, or the planet. There’s nothing about keeping land bases healthy, or species survival. Nothing is mentioned about replenishing, just production, distribution, and consumption.

The cycle of production, distribution, and consumption is not to be conflating with people coming together to find ways to best meet their needs and fulfill their lives. Like an organization, the first priority of an economy is to continue to exist and generally to grow. In most cases an economy has to continue to grow to exist. Like an organization, as a result of self perpetuation being a priority, the existence of that economy takes priority over the individuals in the economy, the land base upon which the economy is imposed, and the planet. In the same way that an organization is not an accurate representation of the wills and desires of its individual members, an economy is not an accurate representation of the needs and desires of the individuals in that society and the ways in which they want to fulfill those needs and desires.

As anarchists we seek to abolish the economy and economics and all that they entail, be it markets, remuneration, central planning, industry, or work. As such we are economic nihilists, declaring that there to no value in any system of production, consumption, and distribution of goods regardless of whether that system is feudalist, mercantilist, capitalist, socialist, or communist. Not only do such systems have no value but they are a means of social control, harmful and deadly to people, non-human animals, eco-systems, and the planet and ergo must be destroyed completely and absolutely. Whether the economy is run by a capitalist, fascist, or socialist regime, or even if it is a participatory economy, it is still a system of authority that is imposed upon people, non-humans, and land bases.

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Anarchy: Breaking Up with Socialism

Posted in Corporations, Direct Action & Civil Disobedience, Environment, Government, Police State, Revolution with tags , , , , on December 27, 2010 by veteranarchist

By Bobby Whittenberg-James

For well over a century, some anarchists have aligned themselves with socialists of various shades, even fighting on the same side for different periods of time in several failed revolutions. We do not wish to rewrite history or to downplay this alliance, but to learn from it, challenge it, and question its role in the fight for anarchy today while advocating for its immediate and total annulment.

We can define socialism loosely as an economic system in which wealth and property are held either in common or by the state and/or party, in which the means of production and control of distribution are held by the state and/or party, workers, or the whole of society. Socialism can range from leninist totalitarianism to social democracy, to libertarian socialism and social anarchism.

Even under these broad strokes, anarchy escapes. Anarchy is not production and consumption, federations and councils, meetings, and voting and it certainly isn’t the state. Such institutions are authoritarian. Anarchy is autonomous individuals associating with others voluntarily to fulfill their needs and desires. This is probably best exemplified among hunter/gatherer bands. Socialism, like capitalism is an economic system, and anarchy seeks to abolish economics altogether.

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Charging the Cavalry: An Unarmed Ambush

Posted in Direct Action & Civil Disobedience, Occupation of Iraq, Police State, Revolution, War & Peace with tags , on August 26, 2010 by veteranarchist

On March 1, 2004, I arrived in Al Qa’im, Iraq, at Forward Operating Base Tiger, to replace the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment. Six years later, on August 23, 2010, I worked with a group of anarchists and other activists to block their busses as they attempted to deploy to Iraq yet again.

I am Bobby Whittenberg-James, a veteran of the war against the people of Iraq. I was deployed to Al Qa’im, Iraq with 3d Battalion 7th Marines in February of 2004 and was wounded in combat in Karabillah, Iraq on April 14, 2004. I returned to Iraq May 13, and left on September 21st of that year. I began to question the wars while I was still in the Corps, and after my discharge I began to question many of our social structures and means of organizing society initially identifying as a socialist or communist. As my understanding of society and power structures grew and I learned more, my views evolved more towards anarchism. I would ultimately end up identifying as an anarchist and a revolutionary.

After becoming involved with the anti-war movement in late 2008/early 2009 I soon became disenchanted with constant sidewalk sign holding and chanting and marching behind police escorts. I had joined an allegedly anti-war veterans organization, but soon began to realize how internally focused such organizations can be. Issues such as staff salaries, personal healing of veterans, policing the actions of its members, and fundraising took precedence over ending the wars and reducing suffering and injustice. None of this was what I wanted to be a part of, and I began to encounter many other veterans that felt the same way. We wanted direct action and we wanted to challenge power and create something new.

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War Veterans/Military Family Members Successfully Blockade Fort Hood Deployment to Iraq

Posted in Direct Action & Civil Disobedience, Occupation of Iraq, Police State, Revolution, War & Peace with tags on August 24, 2010 by veteranarchist

By Matthis Chiroux

Aug. 23, 2010 (KILLEEN, TX) – Five peace activists successfully blockaded six buses carrying Fort Hood Soldiers deploying to Iraq outside Fort Hood’s Clarke gate this morning at around 4 a.m. While the activists took the width of Clarke Rd. and slowed the buses to a halt, police made no arrests, but instead beat the activists out of the streets using automatic weapons and police dogs so the deploying Soldiers could proceed.

Among those blockading were three veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and one military spouse. (See attached bios) The action, organized by a group calling themselves “Fort Hood Disobeys,” was aimed at preventing the deployment of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment Soldiers to what the veterans termed an illegal and immoral occupation.

While standing in the street, the activists held banners reading “Occupation is a Crime” and “Please Don’t Make the Same Mistake We Did. RESIST NOW.” From the TX HW-190 overpass, additional supporters attempted to hang larger banners that read, “Tell the Brass: ‘KISS MY ASS’ Your family needs you more” “Sick of Fighting Your Wars” and “Col. Allen [3 ACR Commander]: Do not deploy wounded Soldiers.”

This latest deployment comes less than two weeks after President Obama announced the second end to combat operations in Iraq. FHD organizers denounced this as a lie, and pointed to the deployment of the 3rd ACR, a combat regiment, to Iraq as clear proof. They have stated they will continue to organize direct action in the Fort Hood community to oppose the wars as long as troops continue to deploy.

The action organizers have established a website at forthooddisobeys.blogspot.com where they will be posting statements, photographs and video from the actions as they become available during the next 48 hours. As well, for the length of the day, FHD ran live webcasts updating their supporters and depicting portions of the direct action. All live broadcasts from the day are archived here.

For more information or to arrange coverage of today’s events, call 347-613-8964 or write to forthooddisobeys@hushmail.com. See attached bios for more information on those who participated in today’s action.

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