This documentary is well-known is anarchist circle, although I had never actually watched it all the way through before. This was made around 30 years ago and depicts the anarchist milieu as it was in the 1970s in the U.S., before PC really started to take over the left-anarchists and before libertarianism became corporatized and neoconned.
Did the attacks of 9/11 end the movement against corporate globalization?
A number of reflections written for the ten-year anniversary of the attacks have raised this question. And I think it presents some interesting challenges for those of us who think about social movements.
In an essay at Truthout journalist Dan Denvir, a friend and colleague, calls the global justice movement a “political casualty” of the War on Terror. Likewise, in the magazine’s ten-year-anniversary symposium on 9/11, fellow Dissent contributor Bhaskar Sunkara notes, “The attacks on September 11 had an unforeseen consequence for the Left. The ‘anti-globalization’ movement abruptly entered public consciousness after the 1999 World Trade Organization (WTO) protests in Seattle and disappeared just as quickly.”
In their respective essays, Dan and Bhaskar consider the global justice movement as something that effectively existed for less than two years, and then had, in Dan’s words, a “quick and sudden end.” I think there is a kernel of truth to this idea—there is some reason to look at the period between November 1999 and September 2001 as a unique time. Yet this periodization, I would argue, also has some significant limitations. It skews how we think about the legacy and the impact of the movement—as well as its potential for revival.
The Obama administration has found a good way to avoid both the domestic political and international fallout that comes of waging constant warfare: let machines do the dirty work. Of course, the Obamaites don’t get the full credit for the discovery – drone attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan were part of the Bush team‘s strategic plan, but the Obama White House has gone much further in utilizing this tactic to escalate and extend American military operations around the world, and they’re doing it in secret – without congressional oversight, without public debate, and without the knowledge or consent of the American people.
The theater of operations is vast – potentially as vast as the world itself, given the rationale of pursing “terrorists” wherever they might be detected – and, so far, the range extends from the tribal regions of Pakistan to the African savannah, where pilotless “Reapers” take off from airfields in Ethiopia and Djibouti in search of prey. According to reports, US bases have also been established in Saudi Arabia and the Seychelles for this purpose. The latter, I hear, are quite happy about what this has done for local business: Americans may be standing in the unemployment lines, while their taxes go to fund endless war, but the Seychellois are in relatively good shape these days.
The other night, the State of Georgia killed Troy Davis for the alleged murder of an off-duty police officer. The execution was controversial because a number of witnesses who testified at Davis’ trial later recanted their statements. What was most interesting to me about that was that prosecutors had no problem accepting their testimony when it implicated Davis, but when those same witnesses later claimed to have been coerced and said that they lied because that was what police and prosecutors wanted, suddenly those same conveyors of truth had become “unreliable.” Likewise, those wearing the black robes of judges came to the same conclusion.
Editor’s Note: This is the second of a series offering a primer on Christian Anarchism. For part one, go here.
In my previous article, I tried to offer some introductory definitions of “anarchism” and “Christianity”–which are both too complex to define. This, therefore, presents some challenges in presenting a simple description to “Christian anarchism.”
In part two, I’ll briefly trace those historical Christian movements that express an “anarchic impulse.” What follows is by no means exhaustive. My goal in sharing them is to show that Graeber is right: “the basic principles of anarchism—self-organization, voluntary association, mutual aid—referred to forms of human behavior they assumed to have been around about as long as humanity.”1 Christian history has a number of examples that demonstrate an anarchic impulse and it is illustrative to see the common features between these groups. Notice that, for most of these groups, the anarchic tendencies of each group was intertwined with their own spiritual and theological convictions. It is important to see that there is something deeply lacking when we imagine a Christian anarchism that simply “slaps together” one’s Christianity and one’s anarchism. It is not only possible, but (I believe) necessary to have an anarchism that flows out of one’s spirituality (or, perhaps, vice versa).
So, what are some expressions of Christianity that authentically express the anarchic impulse?
Nicholas Wade writes in the NYT:
A lock of hair, collected by a British anthropologist a century ago, has yielded the first genome of an Australian Aborigine, along with insights into the earliest migration from the ancestral human homeland somewhere in northeast Africa.
The Aboriginal genome bolsters earlier genetic evidence showing that once the Aborigines’ ancestors arrived in Australia, some 50,000 years ago, they somehow kept the whole continent to themselves without admitting any outsiders.
The Aborigines are thus direct descendants of the first modern humans to leave Africa, without any genetic mixture from other races so far as can be seen at present. Their dark skin reflects an African origin and a migration and residence in latitudes near the equator, unlike Europeans and Asians whose ancestors gained the paler skin necessary for living in northern latitudes.
“Aboriginal Australians likely have one of the oldest continuous population histories outside sub-Saharan Africa today,” say the researchers who analyzed the hair, a group led by Eske Willerslev of the Natural History Museum of Denmark.
Dr. Willerslev is an expert at working with ancient DNA, which is usually highly fragmented. Use of the ancient hair reduced the possibility of mixture with European genes and sidestepped the political difficulties of obtaining DNA from living Aborigines.
In the West we often accept and defend democratic ideas in politics – but what about in the workplace? I think its important for us to think about workplaces in the sense of spaces that are democratic or authoritarian, because we tend to spend so much time there. The bookshelves of local stores bustle with business books about leadership looking at every possible approach from militaristic to hand-off approaches. But what of not focusing on a ‘leader’? Merrelyn Emery writes on this very topic and starts with reporting an interesting study of the subject of how to organise work; authoritarian, democratic or nothing (laissez-faire);
This is the fourth in a series of posts about the antiglobalization movement.
After Seattle, the antiglobalization movement continued to grow by leaps and bounds. Over the next 20 months, large contingents of North American activists followed international economic summits around the world to protest the anti-democratic agenda of the global economic elite. There were massive demonstrations at the April 2000 meeting of the IMF/World Bank in Washington DC, the May 2000 meeting of the Asian Development Bank in Chiang May Thailand, the July 2010 Republican Convention in Philadelphia, the August 2010 Democratic Convention in Los Angeles, the World Economic Forum in Melborne in Sept 2000, the IMF/World Bank meeting in Prague in Sept 2000, at George W Bush’s inauguration (to protest his theft of the 2000 election) in January 2001, at the third Summit of Americas Fair Trade of the America’s Agreement (FTAA) meeting in Quebec City in April 2001, and at the G8 Summit in Genoa in July 2001.
Google was in the headlines again this week, this time to counter criticisms that the company has achieved “monopoly power” as against competitors, putting consumers at risk. The company’s chairman, Eric Schmidt, was the subject of questioning this week before the Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights.
In his testimony, responding to questions from Senator Herb Kohl, Schmidt admitted that his company was “in [the] area” of a monopolist. Monopoly: the word itself scares people and seems to offend the delicate principles that form “the American way” of competition and free enterprise. Government, it is often imagined, must protect these things from the encroachments of greedy capitalists coveting a monopoly position.
But what is the source of monopoly power really? And further, does the state stand in to protect us from it, or does the state play some other, less benevolent role in the economy?
Nineteenth century Americans, particularly anarchists like Benjamin Tucker, entertained none of today’s groundless illusions about the power relationships existing between and linking influential corporate interests and the state. Rather they developed a more or less accurate picture of the ways that the institutions of law and government sculpted the economic structure of society, allowing favored business actors to exploit the productive.
A reader of one of my previous columns (“Another Stupid Remark from Mitt — But Who’s Counting,” C4SS Sept. 10, 2011 ) published in a local newspaper complained that the Center for a Stateless Society is “a far-left organization that promotes worker radicalism and anarchy.” But characterizing a position as “far-left” or “promoting worker radicalism and anarchy” isn’t the same as answering it on grounds of logic and evidence.
By definition, any characterization of where arguments fall on the political spectrum takes for granted a tacit assumption of the reference point considered “mainstream” or “centrist.” And by definition, whatever is classified as “mainstream” or “centrist” in any system of power falls within the range of positions that are compatible with preserving that system of power. Any “reform” that involves tinkering around the edges of a power structure without fundamentally changing it, and can be implemented by the same classes of people who are running the present system, will be classified as “moderate.” Any proposal that involves changing the fundamental structure of power and disempowering the groups that run it will be called “radical.”
Any system includes a cultural reproduction apparatus that tends to create the kinds of “human resources” who accept as normal and given the structure of power under which they live.
But bear in mind that the corporate-state power structure didn’t come about naturally or spontaneously. It came about through the conscious, massive application of political power over the past 150 years. From the Gilded Age on, the state intervened massively in the market to create a society dominated by giant, centralized organizations like government agencies and corporations, and later by centralized state education, large universities, and nonprofit foundations. When this state-created and state-subsidized centralized industrial economy became plagued with chronic excess capacity and underconsumption, the state turned toward policies to keep it going. This included a domestic economy centered on federal spending to absorb surplus capital through such massive state spending projects as the Interstate Highway System, a military-industrial complex that ate up huge amounts of surplus industrial output, and a foreign policy aimed at forcibly incorporating the markets and resources of the entire planet as a sink for surplus capital and output.
See it here.
Y’know, I just came out of wasting time with an organization I didn’t know was a Stalinist cult (I won’t get into that) and thinking Ann Coulter was right after all — commies were everywhere and being encouraged by Libs. But then I saw this link, and it just proves why I hated her in the first place.
More blood on the System’s hands.
Troy Davis was executed this evening after the U.S. Supreme Court denied a last-minute stay of execution.
Davis died at 11:08 p.m. ET, according to a Georgia Department of Corrections official.
Eyewitnesses described the mood in the execution chamber as “somber” as Davis declared his innocence a final time and relatives of his alleged murder victim looked on.
The execution was delayed more than four hours as the U.S. Supreme Court weighed last-minute arguments from Davis’ legal team and the state of Georgia over whether his execution should be blocked.
The court’s decision to deny the stay came without comment after 10 p.m. ET.
[…] Davis was convicted of the 1989 murder of off-duty Savannah, Ga., policeman Mark MacPhail, and had his execution stayed four times over the course of his 22 years on death row, but multiple legal appeals during that time failed to prove his innocence.
Public support grew for Davis based on the recanted testimony of seven witnesses from his trial and the possible confession of another suspect, which his defense team claimed cast too much doubt on Davis’ guilt to follow through with an execution.
Several witnesses recanted their testimony that Davis fired the shot that killed MacPhail.
Troy Davis was innocent and this was a premeditated murder by the State of Georgia — nothing more and nothing less than a torturous, slow-motion legal lynching. The courts, the governors, and the parole boards knew that there was every reason to doubt his guilt, but they don’t give a damn, because each court formally refused to listen to or consider any substantive new evidence — like the fact that there was no physical evidence to connect Davis to the murder, and more than half the witnesses admitted that they lied on the stand (under intense pressure from Georgia police) during the original trial. Be that as it may the sentence had been passed and the paperwork filed and you can hardly stop to consider substantive evidence of innocence once the procedural question of his trial has been sealed under the authority of the State. You can’t stop the machine of governmental justice from grinding for something so paltry as an innocent man’s life; there’s a principle involved.
And the principle is power. The power of death. That is the Majesty of the Law; that is its morality; that is its justice.
“Instead of the Sermon on the Mount, we are now confronted by well-funded conservative evangelicals promoting a sinister vision of America as a corporate autocracy, with Dominionists as Gauleiters of a totalitarian state religion.”
So Lawrence Swaim, Executive Director of the Interfaith Freedom Foundation wrote on this site last week. Swaim concluded with a familiar quote: “This recalls the prescient words of novelist Sinclair Lewis: ‘When fascism comes to America,’ he wrote in 1935, ‘it will come wrapped in the flag, and carrying a cross.’”
Not in my opinion. As a rule, the field of battle between secularism and our Christian ultras ends up stained with the blood of the latter, as Satan counter-attacks. Just glance at the the career of the original Know-Nothings or the history of prohibition. Indeed, looking across the American landscape, I’d say the Dark One has scant cause for lament amid quavering pieces about the Dominionist threat which so delight fundraisers for nonprofits touting the menace of Christian evangelism. Back in the god-sodden Fifties who could presage that a half century later tots could go online to view fornication in every guise and combination.
In my view fascism mostly crosses the threshold these days wrapped in Green clothing, with a thousand summary edicts, which people gloomily strain to read by the pallid glimmer of the new, mercury-filled light bulbs promoted by greens, the General Electric Corp., and signed into law by George Bush Jr. whose own timid effort to promote the fusion of church and state – allowing religious non-profits to run some government programs — didn’t fare too well.
The main purpose of invoking the fascist threat is to scare people into voting Democrat, as Frank Bardacke has often remarked to me. In 1964 it was the Goldwater threat, in 2011 – for now – the Perry threat. Obama will save us from fascism. Alas, fascism is currently wrapped in the decorous clothing of this self-same former constitutional professor.
Back on September 13, 2001, I wrote in a Los Angeles Times op-ed that “The lust for retaliation traditionally outstrips precision in identifying the actual assailant. The targets abroad will be all the usual suspects — the Taliban or Saddam Hussein, who started off as creatures of U.S. intelligence. The target at home will be the Bill of Rights.”
It was maybe an hour after the north tower of the World Trade Center collapsed that I heard the first of a thousand pundits that day saying that America might soon have to sacrifice “some of those freedoms we have taken for granted.” They said this with grave relish, as though the Bill of Rights – the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution – was somehow responsible for the onslaught, and should join the rubble of the towers, carted off to New Jersey and exported to China for recycling into abutments for the Three Gorges Dam, with a special packet of “nano-thermite” (aka paint dust) reserved for Paul Craig Roberts to sprinkle on his porridge.
Of course it didn’t take 9/11 to give the Bill of Rights a battering. It is always under duress and erosion. Where there’s emergency, there’s opportunity for the enemies of freedom. The Patriot Act, passed in October 2001 (the bits that Bill Clinton’s DOJ forgot to put into the 1996 Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act) and periodically renewed in most of its essentials in the Bush and Obama years, kicked new holes in at least six of our Bill of Rights protections.
The government can search and seize citizens’ papers and effects without probable cause, spy on their electronic communications, and has, amid ongoing court battles on the issue, eavesdropped on their conversations without a warrant.
Goodbye to the right to a speedy public trial with assistance of counsel. Welcome indefinite incarceration without charges, denial of the assistance of legal counsel and of the right to confront witnesses or even have a trial. Until beaten back by the courts, the Patriot Act gave a sound whack at the 1st Amendment, too, since the government could now prosecute librarians or keepers of any records if they told anyone the government had subpoenaed information related to a terror investigation.
Let’s not forget that a suspect may be in no position to do any confronting or waiting for trial since American citizens deemed a threat to their country can be extrajudicially and summarily executed by order of the president, with the reasons for the order shielded from the light of day as “state secrets”. That takes us back to the bills of attainder the Framers expressly banned in Article One of the U.S. Constitution, about as far from the Bill of Rights as you can get.
There’s a difference between fascism and a efficiently functioning modern police state. America well into to the latter, instrumented by laws shoved through on a federal bipartisan basis and through state legislatures. Check out the DUI laws and penalties, state by state. A friend here in California was just telling me about a friend up on his second DUI, among whose penalties for his offense has been 45 days house arrest, with a camera installed to observe every move. No visitors allowed. He can go out for two hours a day to do his shopping. The supervising officer in semi-SWAT rig enters his house without knocking or permission at any time. Let’s not even talk about the treatment of sex offenders.
The Seventh U.S. Court of Appeals ruled August 8 that two American citizens detained and tortured without trial or court hearing by the Bush-era Defense Department may sue former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
U.S. Navy veteran Donald Vance (left) and fellow American Nathan Ertel were employed by the private U.S. government contractor Shield Group Security in 2006 outside the Baghdad green zone and witnessed the sale of U.S government munitions to Iraqi rebel groups for money and alcohol. After becoming FBI informants, the two were detained and tortured by federal officials for 97 days (Donald Vance) and six weeks (Nathan Ertel) at Camp Cropper in Iraq after contacting the FBI about corruption in the now-defunct federal contractor.
This article is excerpted from Wall Street, Banks, and American Foreign Policy, chapter 8, “Rockefeller, Morgan, and War” (1984; 2011).
During the 1930s, the Rockefellers pushed hard for war against Japan, which they saw as competing with them vigorously for oil and rubber resources in Southeast Asia and as endangering the Rockefellers’ cherished dreams of a mass “China market” for petroleum products. On the other hand, the Rockefellers took a noninterventionist position in Europe, where they had close financial ties with German firms such as I.G. Farben and Co., and very few close relations with Britain and France.
The Morgans, in contrast, as usual deeply committed to their financial ties with Britain and France, once again plumped early for war with Germany, while their interest in the Far East had become minimal. Indeed, US ambassador to Japan Joseph C. Grew, former Morgan partner, was one of the few officials in the Roosevelt administration genuinely interested in peace with Japan.
World War II might therefore be considered, from one point of view, as a coalition war: the Morgans got their war in Europe, the Rockefellers theirs in Asia. Such disgruntled Morgan men as Lewis W. Douglas and Dean G. Acheson (a protégé of Henry Stimson), who had left the early Roosevelt administration in disgust at its soft-money policies and economic nationalism, came happily roaring back into government service with the advent of World War II. Nelson A. Rockefeller, for his part, became head of Latin American activities during World War II, and thereby acquired his taste for government service.
This should piss off our left-libertarian friends with their ethos of “compulsory hedonism.”
BERLIN – Pope Benedict XVI lamented Thursday that society was becoming more detached from religion, as he arrived for his first state visit in his native Germany, itself an increasingly secular country.
“We are witnessing a growing indifference to religion in society, which considers the issue of truth as something of an obstacle in its decision-making, and instead gives priority to utilitarian considerations,” said Benedict.
Under glorious autumn sunshine, Benedict was greeted for his four-day visit by Chancellor Angela Merkel, the daughter of a Protestant pastor, and Christian Wulff, himself a re-married Catholic.
In the run-up to Benedict’s visit, Wulff called for more understanding from the Vatican for those who had divorced or re-married.
The pope, wearing long white vestments, was welcomed at Berlin’s Tegel airport with a 21-gun salute and children bearing flowers. Most of Germany’s political and religious elite was present to greet the 84-year-old pontiff.
“I have not come here primarily to pursue particular political or economic goals, as other statesmen rightly do, but rather to meet people and to speak about God,” he said.
German Christians are almost exactly divided between Catholics and Protestants and official statistics show that members of both faiths are leaving the Church in droves.
Observers put this down, in part, to revelations last year of widespread molestation by German priests over the last several decades, with top archbishop Robert Zollitsch admitting the Church had “failed” in its response.
“Germany is home to the Reformation. I am happy that tomorrow you will travel to Erfurt, a town which strongly influenced Martin Luther, to meet with representatives of the Protestant Church,” said Wulff, referring to the father of the Reformation.
“I’m convinced that we need an explanation for what divides us, not what unites us,” he said.
Wulff also underlined the fact that religious sentiment was on the wane in Germany, but stressed that the Church must strive to keep up with the times by questioning “the mistakes of its officials” and looking to how “to overcome the split between Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox.”
Speaking at the president’s official residence, Benedict also said humanity must learn from its history, particularly after the horrors unleashed by Germany in the 20th century.
“This castle, with its dramatic history, like many buildings of this city, is a testimony to the history of Germany. A clear look at the past, even at its dark pages, enables us to learn from it and to receive an impetus for the present,” said the pope in the garden of Bellevue Palace.
The destruction of books—whether as acts of political censorship, rage, or symbolism—has been a recurring component of social movements in the West for centuries, from the early Christians to the Catholic Counter-Reformers to the Nazis. One could say that book burning has been the Western equivalent of the voodoo doll, a way to annihilating one’s enemy—or rather his ideas—if only vicariously.
Interestingly, during this summer’s rioting, looting, and burning across London and its outskirts—an episode that bore all the hallmarks of a mass uprising against “The Man”—the “urban youths” involved avoided bookstores as if they were infested with plague.
Hello all …
The political creed of Zionism has big ears and a long trunk and I think it’s time that was pointed out. It also stampedes through our lives at every level and that needs to be said, too.
September 11, 20111 —“Information Clearing House“– US government keeps talking about its values of democracy, freedom in general and freedom of press. But when it comes to exposing their own crimes or publishing views of the “other side”, freedom of press is not anymore free and one sided view should be the only one “beamed.”
A confidential US cables from US embassy in Doha, Qatar where Aljazeera head quarter is located and was published recently on Wikileaks, reveals that Al Jazeera Managing Director Wadah Khanfar has agreed to US government request to delete and altar website content that “disturb” the US government.
The cable talks about the meeting between US government officials with Wadah Khanfar to discuss the latest US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) report on Al Jazeera and what the US government considers “disturbing” Al Jazeera website content.
- A Fullerton police officer pleads not guilty to involuntary manslaughter
- The charges against him and another officer stem from a homeless man’s July beating
- The officers were put on paid leave after Kelly Thomas died following an arrest
- Thomas, 37, was a homeless man with schizophrenia
Santa Ana, California (CNN) — A Fullerton police officer pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of involuntary manslaughter and felony use of excessive force in the beating death of a mentally ill homeless man who died after a police arrest.
Cpl. Jay Patrick Cicinelli was released Wednesday on $25,000 bail, according to his attorney and a spokeswoman for the prosecutor.
Meanwhile, the arraignment of the officer facing more serious charges, Manuel Anthony Ramos, was continued to September 26 at the request of his attorneys. Ramos was being held Wednesday after Orange County Superior Court Judge Erick L. Larsh set his bail at $1 million.
Ramos, who is 37 and a 10-year veteran of the Fullerton police, is charged with second degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the July beating death of Kelly Thomas, who was unarmed.
Thomas’ father, Ron, urged the judge not to reduce Ramos’ bail from $1 million because of “the horrible manner in which my son was murdered.”