Why? (And Don’t You Dare Say Freedom): An Open Letter To Anonymous And The 99%

Posted: October 8, 2011 in Culture, Politics, Random Thoughts
Tags: , , , , , ,

We don’t live in Camelot; that is abundantly clear.

The sky is falling upon us as the fruits of forty years of financial idiocy ripen and an entire generation of would be oligarchs and imperialists burn the evidence of their culpability. People have begun to riot (as they tend to do right before starving) and governments have reacted by suspending civil liberties.

And the people…

The people have polarized so completely that we may as well be living in a world of Eloi and Morlocks; neither side recognizing the humanity or worth of the other. And how could they? Each philosophy is anathema to the other. Freedom through anarchy (which is really what a world without taxes would become; without revenue there cannot be government or rule of law) or freedom through destruction of the elite. (a proposition that can only be made possible by placing power back in the hands of the people and solidifying that power by crushing the rich under equalization taxes)

The question that I, and  many of those of us caught in the middle and dwarfed by the designation ” the 99%”, have is, “Freedom to do what?”

A movement has started that has the appearance of being revolutionary and it is very,very good to see that people are wiping the sleep from their eyes and going forth to reclaim the world from those that rule it in our name.

But…

I look at Anonymous, with its penchants for punitive action and cheap theatrics, and I see the “revolution” that they have inspired, and I have to ask myself:

To what end is all this? If this snowballs and becomes the next phase of our cultural being, what will that future look like and will it be better or worse for my children. Will Anonymous use their power (which, at this point, they’ve shown is entirely destructive) wisely, or will they act like petulant children fighting over a bloody conch shell?

The world we’ve built (or have allowed others to build in our intellectual absence) is without redeeming qualities. The corrupt rule absolutely and the democratic process is either absent entirely or laughably damaged; no difference is made regardless of who we elect. In fact, things seem to get worse with each change in power. The average wage, globally, is pitifully low and fascism is being openly endorsed by the west as the only viable means to sustaining a way of life that we’re simply not entitled to.

I am all in favor of tearing it down and replacing it with something new. I’d love to see the architects of our misery brought to justice and the representatives who’ve let us down so badly humble themselves and beg our forgiveness. There is a part of me that would love to be out there with you, demanding that the reins of power be released by those who’ve shown themselves unfit to hold them.

But…

That’s the part of me that thrilled the first time I saw Luke Skywalker blow up the Deathstar. Or heard Superman say to Lois Lane, “Dont worry Miss, I’ve got you.” Or cheered as the train carrying Codename V and a metric ton of explosives crashed into Parliament.

In short, that is the power fantasy loving child in me. That is my id clamouring to rise up against authority and tear down the machine of my oppression. And that voice is dangerous. Because it lacks reason and purpose and method.

The power of protest lies in its ability to express a goal and pursue it, en masse; and we’ve gone through that once before. The city-wide strikes of the 1930s, occurring all over the U.S. and resulting in full city shutdowns, occurred for the same reasons as the ones occupying cities all across the world today. And, because they managed to radicalize millions of people, driving them out to the streets in a shared vision of what the world could look like, they managed, through the power of sheer collectivism and at least for a while, to will that world into existence,

And then, once they had won, they went back to work, and then back to sleep; and the dragons that they’d slain hatched bigger and nastier offspring.

To slay those dragons in this world, we need to be better than our grandparents were. We can’t just stoke a fire, burn the world down and then nap in the ashes. There has to be purpose.

And you lack purpose.

You’re right that the world has become wrong, and I salute you for wanting to do something about it; so do I. But your passions have caused you to act without thought, to muster without purpose, and that threatens to destroy your movement and any hope for change in this generation. I want my children to inherit a world better than this one and that can’t happen if you snuff out the winds of change by moving prematurely and with no plan to build it. The American Revolution was fought with heart and vigor and passionate belief in a right way for the world to be. But it was also fought with a plan.

Both you and your polar opposite, the Tea Party, have claimed to represent freedom and reformation. But your passions and your rhetoric are clouding your judgement and leading you both to extreme positions that those of us waiting in the middle cannot claim as our own.

I believe in your intentions. I believe what you believe. But you do not speak for me and I will not march with you. Not until you take a deep breath, articulate a plan and move with a dedicated purpose.

Someone has to lead the fight. Children revel in chaos and madness. Grownups don’t shit on police cars.

Be leaders.

Be revolutionaries.

But be careful and be right; otherwise, you may become the premature destruction of this movement. And it doesn’t belong just to you. The point you keep trying to make is that this revolution is for  the world, and the world belongs to all of us.

Julian Finn

One of the 99%

Advertisements
Comments
  1. Raju says:

    Wacko Lib doesn’t know what he’s talking about. First, this is detamsnroted by the lack of any supporting material for his assertions. Secondly, there’s a word for warlords reigning statism .As it happens, Wacko Lib is regurgitating something he has always heard from the establishment that security is supposedly of necessity a product of government. That assertion has been detamsnroted to be severely, gravely flawed.There are several works that outline how the production of security (among other things) in a market anarchist society would likely work. I recommend, in particular, Murray Rothbard’s . Great further development of some of the particulars can be found in Bob Murphy’s . The basics, though, were originally outlined pretty well in Gustave de Molinari’s 1849 classic . Most specifically, and rather shortly, this particular topic is directly addressed by Bob Murphy’s Although I already mentioned that the word for the reign of warlords is statism and not anarchy , I should hasten to add that there’s also a word for people who presume to critique that which they know nothing about idiot .

    • Nick Power says:

      I don’t know what you’re talking about, does anyone else?
      Do a little research into relevant world issues, try Zeitgeist first on Youtube to whet your whistle

  2. abandonculture said “The ONLY thing I’m suggesting is that we don’t grant one small group a monopoly over the legal right to initiate the use of force against the rest of society. That’s all!”

    That sounded reasonable. Until applying a little thought. The legal system has opposing forces within it and a means of making a decision. Courts compete, one by one, but a final decision has to be made and imposed. The forces of physical might, police, army etc. cannot compete on a regular basis like the courts for obvious reasons. BUT how can any but a relatively small group control the forces capable of violence against the public? AND, the public is often too violent to control its own anger: too angry to control its own violence. If anyone really thinks the public will be ‘nicer’ without the constraints of powerful agencies they are dreaming.

    Where are people ‘nicer’? I will tell you – here, without cities, fast roads, and without anonymity. But Greece is exceptional; public violence is almost unknown, but the laws and armed police are there all the same. And you don’t tangle with them – the law might not help you if you are poor.

  3. I applaud those who protest but would prefer to see people take real action as opposed to milling around without structure or a plan.

    • The Walrus says:

      This.

      Kinda.

      I think just getting people to mobilize like this is real action and is commendable; people are waking up, and that’s never bad. But it’s action without structure or plan, and that goes nowhere good.

  4. “…..Freedom through anarchy (which is really what a world without taxes would become; without revenue there cannot be government or rule of law) or freedom through destruction of the elite. …”

    Surely, to quote Reagan “Government IS the problem”?

    Surely it is the laws and legislation (imposed by a group with the monopoly over the right to initiate violence on the rest of the population) that has not just led to this situation but actively caused it? Even the Federal Reserve (privately owned) is still granted its power by the government.

    But without government, as you so rightly say, there would be no rule of law. But it is these very laws (more added everyday) that are destroying our standard of living and our freedoms! New bills are now being passed which will allow the military to ‘deal with’ with these protests (martial law) with ‘detention centers’ next to military camps being readied as we speak! (plus all those FEMA camps that are all staffed, fully operational, but empty). Whether by design or not the entire War on Terror has not only trained the military in population subjugation but also created a high tech police state Orwellian control grid in all western countries.

    Does anyone really think the governments didn’t predict the various uprisings around the world as they systematically looted the economy and lowered everyone’s standard of living? (and it hasn’t even got started yet). The checkpoints, high visibility policing at sporting events, the TSA, the body scanners, the CCTV ….. it is all being implemented to for the general population, not for people in caves half way around the world. If you’re smart you get all that Orwellian police state stuff in place BEFORE you wreck the economy, so that the population can’t overthrow you when they figure out they are being ruled by a bunch of criminals.

    And so what you are saying is that we need to keep this group with a monopoly over the initiation of violence, with all their guns and police and army and drones and tasers and laws in order to ‘protect us’ while they simultaneously steal every cent in the economy, hand it over to their bankster friends and imprison, mace, beat up, threaten anyone who has issue with this criminality.

    I’m sorry but Mr Spock says the logic does not compute.

    I know we’re all supposed to suspend such simple logic and common sense when talking about current affairs (ie we’re supposed to take ‘politics’ seriously), but when you do apply the same logic that you might apply in the workplace or playground or family or relationships or business (ie to humans!) then you inevitably come to the conclusion that government (monopoly over use of violence etc etc) is the root cause of all of this and consequently the system which we need to move away from.

    How on earth could it not be?!!

    You also talk of ‘destruction of the elite’. This is the language of government. Violence. The ‘elite’ is a consequence of government. Just as ‘gangster’ is a consequence of mafia.

    One can not destroy mafias any more than one can join them and make them nice from the inside. One can only withdraw support, walk away refuse to participate and ***start new ways of organizing and transacting within society*** while letting these old ways wither and die. (see the slavery analogy below)

    Have a look at this 5 part youtube series by Stefan Molynuex – it is very mind blowing.
    Statism is Dead – Part 1

    Here’s Stefan making some good points on the Occupy Wall Street AKA End the Fed

    Anarchy gets a huge amount of negative propaganda (people running naked through the streets screaming setting fire to pets etc!!!) but really it just means being free from hierarchy. As Stefan explains, if you put the non-aggression principle (you can’t INITIATE force/ violence) and property rights at the centre of society then you simply can’t have governments. You just can’t. Does not compute.

    But what would we do without governments, how would we all ‘cope’?

    This is what it always comes down to. We always end up supporting these vast (legalized) criminal mafia organizations that are destroying civilization NOT because we can’t see the immorality, hypocrisy and insanity of these maniacs ruling our lives but because of petty concerns about rubbish collection, road building or our ability as human beings to ‘get along together’.

    But can we REALLY not organize society for ourselves without guns being pointed at our heads all the time by a state?! Would we really all flip over onto our backs like upturned beetles if governments disappeared? Or would the free market thrive and innovation (no longer held captive by the military industrial complex) send us into a new golden age? Isn’t government the very thing which is holding humanity back??!!!

    Might freedom from oppression (social AND economic) result a society where people were simply less inclined to be criminal or violent? Might we all actually be a whole lot more happy, healthy and content without the state controlling food, education, infrastructure, medicine, farming, economy, half our earnings etc?

    Obviously if governments ended *overnight* there would be rioting and looting – of course there would! Just as if a 14 year old’s authoritarian parents go on holiday there will be massive party which trashes the house. It takes a few years to move from dependent child to responsible adult and with many mistakes (lessons) along the way. Same deal for a dumbed down, oppressed, dependent and miseducated society. Absolutely! One would expect this and it’s just another indication of how destructive governments really are.

    As the centralized control of governments become increasingly out of date (in this decentralized, internet/ information age of innovation and new possibilities) governments must increase our feeling of dependence on them in a desperate attempt to justify their existence They do this in the 21st century NOT by promising to make our lives better (clearly a lie we can all see now!) but by creating endless fears, by ‘dividing and ruling’, by destroying education, by dumbing us down, by spreading ‘terror’ which only THEY can protect us from. It’s all designed to keep us wanting to be ruled in an age when such authoritarian rule is quite frankly embarrassing!

    It’s all about: Problem – Reaction – Solution

    Deep breath… so what parallels can we make with other immoral social structures that are unfortunately ‘set in stone’?

    What about slavery?……. How on earth could we ever end African slavery in America, right? It simply can’t be done!

    I mean, where would they all go? How would they get jobs? Obviously these insurmountable problems mean we can never, ever end slavery.

    Oh wait…. we already did 🙂

    • you seem to talk about governance as if it can only be bad. It is neither good nor bad, and no form of anarchy is any kind of answer, because at least half of a population is not up to protecting itself against the ambitious and energetic.

      England has a despicable history in the world, but at home its class system morphed into parliamentary democracy with almost no use of armed police or military enforcement, and is even still a reasonably safe society to live in – despite influence from over the pond. The current government of the USA is certainly sick, but governance does not need exchanging or shrinking. Freedom is the problem not government.

    • you seem, Azaroth, to talk about governance as if it can only be bad. It is neither good nor bad, and no form of anarchy is any kind of answer, because at least half of a population is not up to protecting itself against the ambitious and energetic.

      England has a despicable history in the world, but at home its class system morphed into parliamentary democracy with almost no use of armed police or military enforcement, and is even still a reasonably safe society to live in – despite influence from over the pond. The current government of the USA is certainly sick, but governance does not need exchanging or shrinking. Freedom is the problem not government.

    • The Walrus says:

      This is exactly the kind of lack of misunderstanding, oversimplification and emotionally charged rhetoric that threatens to utterly destroy this movement’s chances of fixing anything

      Not to start a fight, but you’ve taken a central fallacy and spun it so far out into the realms of fantasy that it no longer even reflects reality as a caricature. I’m not saying you’re a bad person, or that your intentions aren’t good, but misunderstanding, dehumanizing and caricaturizing your opponents until they resemble evil cartoon villains means that they have won before you’ve even started to fight.

      To whit…

      “Government IS the problem”

      Starting off with a Reagan quote is never a good idea, but in this case it perfectly illustrates the central flaw in your thesis. “Government” is not a faceless, power mad, institution. Government, like Soylent Green, is people. And people aren’t problems; the things they do for the wrong reasons are. Remember, a good chunk of the 99% are the people supporting these governments we’d all like to see replaced.

      “But it is these very laws (more added everyday) that are destroying our standard of living and our freedoms! New bills are now being passed which will allow the military to ‘deal with’ with these protests (martial law) with ‘detention centers’ next to military camps being readied as we speak! ”

      If all Woozles are Weasels, are all Weasels Woozles?

      Of course new laws are being passed to limit the rights of everyone. People are threatening to oust those who pass laws, and are succeeding in many many places; what did you think would happen? It is a functional truth that every person possesses a survival instinct. It is also true that most people who have power, sought it. How likely do you think it is that any of these people would set aside that survival instinct if it also means setting aside power?

      But that doesn’t mean that the rule of law itself is evil or able to be wished into nonexistence. Every society, even tribal cultures far away from the reach of the modern world, create rules to protect the group from the whims of individuals. We call those rules laws, and there are good laws (don’t kill) and bad laws (free speech zones). One of the building blocks that every society requires is standard of acceptable behavior. Without this we have merely chaos. Further, that absence would always be filled with new laws; people can’t function in a vacuum for very long. This ongoing tradition is what’s know in the anthropological world as “the social compact.” It is vital to survival; to believe otherwise is naive.

      “Does anyone really think the governments didn’t predict the various uprisings around the world as they systematically looted the economy and lowered everyone’s standard of living? (and it hasn’t even got started yet). The checkpoints, high visibility policing at sporting events, the TSA, the body scanners, the CCTV ….. it is all being implemented to for the general population, not for people in caves half way around the world. If you’re smart you get all that Orwellian police state stuff in place BEFORE you wreck the economy, so that the population can’t overthrow you when they figure out they are being ruled by a bunch of criminals.”

      Yes. I do. All of those things you’re describing are a natural reaction to global instability. Only idiots assume that the people won’t riot when things go bad; we’ve just gotten better at minimizing the damage that those riots can cause. The kind of Snidely Whiplash, mustache twirling, super-villainy that you’d like to attribute this to SIMPLY DOES NOT EXIST. To claim otherwise; to dehumanize your opponents to this disagree (and really, at this point if you don’t understand the real causes of the financial issues we’ve been seeing lately, you’re simply not paying attention) means you do not understand what you’re fighting against. These are people trying to preserve the status quo. They aren’t fucking Cthullu.

      “And so what you are saying is that we need to keep this group with a monopoly over the initiation of violence, with all their guns and police and army and drones and tasers and laws in order to ‘protect us’ while they simultaneously steal every cent in the economy, hand it over to their bankster friends and imprison, mace, beat up, threaten anyone who has issue with this criminality.
      I’m sorry but Mr Spock says the logic does not compute.”

      Nowhere, at any point, do I say anything remotely like this. I advocate change. If you’ve read anything else I’ve ever written on this site, you’d know that. I am a tremendous supporter of this movement and it’s potential. But I also know that burning down the house without a blueprint for a new one is foolish at best, childish and malicious at worst. You can’t just relegate the future to an abstract. If you don’t know what you’re going to build next, best not to knock anything down yet.

      “then you inevitably come to the conclusion that government (monopoly over use of violence etc etc) is the root cause of all of this and consequently the system which we need to move away from.
      How on earth could it not be?!!”

      The problem here seems to be that you don’t understand what government is. No matter what change is coming; no matter what is torn down and no matter what rights are restored, we will always choose to be governed. The only thing that will change is what that governance will look like. The American revolutionaries replaced feudalism with self-governance by way of electoral process. They acknowledged the simple truth that certain people have to be in charge, otherwise no one would be able to get anything not related to governance done. The error we’ve made is to cede to much authority to those we’ve placed above us; we’ll be more careful next time, but there will always be a next time. There can be no society without rules and people to enforce them.

      Which brings us to….

      “Anarchy gets a huge amount of negative propaganda (people running naked through the streets screaming setting fire to pets etc!!!) but really it just means being free from hierarchy. As Stefan explains, if you put the non-aggression principle (you can’t INITIATE force/ violence) and property rights at the centre of society then you simply can’t have governments. You just can’t. Does not compute.”

      Anarchy means being free from the rules that constrain us. In an anarchic society I can, because I have the right provided by strength, break into your house, rape your wife, and burn your house down. Nobody has a legal right to prevent me. But do you think my actions would go unpunished? Of course not. Posses would form to deal with people who behaved in this fashion, purely for protection. And the moment that happens; the moment that a group of people decide that their safety is more important than the rights of any one individual to do whatever they want; that’s the moment that a new society, with new laws and governance, is formed. Anarchy doesn’t get a bad rap because it’s misunderstood; it get’s a bad rap because it’s juvenile wish fulfillment and impossible to maintain for longer than a day.

      “But can we REALLY not organize society for ourselves without guns being pointed at our heads all the time by a state?! Would we really all flip over onto our backs like upturned beetles if governments disappeared? Or would the free market thrive and innovation (no longer held captive by the military industrial complex) send us into a new golden age? Isn’t government the very thing which is holding humanity back??!!!”

      Look at those two phrases. “Organize society for ourselves,” and, “Isn’t government the very thing which is holding humanity back?” What, exactly, do you think “organize society for ourselves” looks like? It looks like a democratically elected government. We’ve tried that; this is where it led us. We need to replace the current system with something different; to just do the same thing over again, expecting different results, is the very definition of insanity.

      “Might freedom from oppression (social AND economic) result a society where people were simply less inclined to be criminal or violent? Might we all actually be a whole lot more happy, healthy and content without the state controlling food, education, infrastructure, medicine, farming, economy, half our earnings etc?”

      Possibly. Or, maybe the conditions that cause criminality and anti-social behavior in general are innate. We need rules to prevent and discourage atrocities. Do you really think that we have to have a Human Rights tribunal because we’re all just lovely people under the surface?

      Revolution is violent because Man is violent. We try to set that part of ourselves aside but, no matter how civilized we become, we are still brute animals sometimes. Failing to understand that about ourselves; failing to acknowledge that we are all a mix of good and bad, that no one has the moral authority to judge another is what will ultimately doom us to repeating these cycles over and over again.

      The movement we’re talking about today is vital. The world is broken. But if we break it further; if we fight without knowing who and what exactly we’re fighting, and if we do it with no plan for a sustainable future that’s free of these crippling defects; well, we may as well just let them mace us in the streets and go back to work.

      Why fight just to fight?

      Fight to be better.

      Selah. And thanks for reading.

      • Julian, you swam through a treacle lake of ignorance above. I dread to think how many people think that reducing government would help THEM ‘govern’ themselves if that is their dream. Don’t they think there should be those with power to control the dumping of toxins into their rivers, the flooding of markets with dangerous (not to mention un-needed) products, the corruption of town-halls with corporate money, etc. etc.

        • The Walrus says:

          That’s the thing, Bob. This isn’t about thinking for some of them. It’s about heart and emotion and doing what they perceive is the right thing. But if you don’t know why it’s right; if you don’t truly know the thing you’re fighting, how can you hope to win?

          There’s nothing wrong with wanting to change the world. Just don’t presume to speak for everyone, at least not until you have all of your facts straight. I cringe whenever someone echoes the same sentiments I believe in but then chooses to back them up with a variation of ‘rules are just bad, because.’

          • “…… There’s nothing wrong with wanting to change the world. Just don’t presume to speak for everyone, at least not until you have all of your facts straight. I cringe whenever someone echoes the same sentiments I believe in but then chooses to back them up with a variation of ‘rules are just bad, because.’…”

            Are you referring to my comments here?

            Just to clarify: I hope I didn’t give the impression I was advocating ‘no rules’.

            We can still enter into voluntary contracts. We can still have formal transactions. We can still have property rights. The ONLY thing I’m suggesting is that we don’t grant one small group a monopoly over the legal right to initiate the use of force against the rest of society. That’s all!

            Is it really that ‘crazy’ to suggest such a thing? I mean really?

            Hell, in my free society you can even have a government if YOU want to! (you just can’t impose it on me! 🙂 )

            I mean if you really want to you can buy some land with some friends and get a whole government run commune kind of vibe going – that’s fine! Good luck to you. Seriously – go for your life….

            If you really, really want to voluntarily grant your little commune’s elected government the legal right to seize half your wages and spend them as they see fit, and make up all the laws and beat you down with their little police force if you start protesting, you can still do this in a free society …… provided you don’t force your little statist lifestyle fetish on other people outside of your own commune!

            But I seriously doubt that such a commune would be very popular! I bet the only people living in it would just be a few grumpy old men who were living there just to prove a point! 😉

            Don’t you *see* how humiliating, demeaning and ridiculous (not to mention provably catastrophic) this current system is?

            You don’t seem to realize that a stateless society can be far more democratic than any ‘democracy’ ever can be. The free market is the ultimate form of democracy. Throw in property rights and the non aggression principle (which does NOT mean being defenseless or passive but simply means a society centered around the non INITIATION of violence on others) and you’re all set up and ready to go.

            This kind of free society has absolutely NOTHING to do with the ‘Mad Max’ style of anarchy which is so heavily propagandized to us by the state. It is simply a society which is based on the EXACT SAME basic moral principles we all live by today. Don’t steal. Don’t (be the first to) hit another.

            In today’s society the ONLY group with the legal right to disobey those basic moral principles is…. (drum roll)…..

            …. the government.

            And so to support the government today means to argue against those most basic moral principles which our civilized society is (quite rightly) supposed to be based on. There can be no exceptions to *universally* accepted moral principles such as don’t steal and don’t hit. The moment there is those principles become meaningless.

            And the only reason a government enforces them for us is because

            1. It gives them an unfair advantage (because they are exempt)
            2. It means they can promote themselves as our paternalistic moral guardians! (while they simultaneously steal our earnings by force and use the money to start wars and all sorts of other criminal stuff!)

            I mean it’s totally ludicrous!

            (but please feel free to try and argue why you think there should be exceptions to these universal moral principles we al learned in kindergarden ….)

            Please also watch THIS short video which illustrates this point very succinctly.

            To summarize:

            We know that government IS theft. Government IS violation of property rights. Government IS violence. Government IS criminal behaviour. Government IS murder. Government IS inequality. These things are designed into the heart of government at the system level.

            We know this – we can see it – it is in our news every day. And so how on earth can anyone suggest government is going to be any kind of solution to these problems in society?

            Why are people petitioning the government to do something about the effects of the government?! (I’m not saying that peaceful demonstrating may not have some positive effects in other ways, such as raising awareness, but simply petitioning the government is not tackling the root causes)

            There is no setting on a flame thrower that will ever make it put out a burning building. (except OFF) This analogy is a very good one because I feel that so many people argue that if we switched off the flame thrower the fire would still be burning. I agree it would, but I say it would eventually get put out. I would also say that that the fact that switching a flame thrower off won’t automatically and instantly (‘magically’) put out a fire is a terrible argument for keeping the flame thrower switched ON and pointing at the building!

            This seems to be the general sentiment:

            “Oh but there is no other way that would work and statism just needs a bit more tweaking, that’s all…..”

            My god have we not not suffered enough tweaking already?!

            Switch the damn thing off!!! Only then will we ever will find a way!

      • “……. Look at those two phrases. “Organize society for ourselves,” and, “Isn’t government the very thing which is holding humanity back?” What, exactly, do you think “organize society for ourselves” looks like? It looks like a democratically elected government. …..”

        Does it? Really? I disagree passionately, wholeheartedly and logically 🙂

        What we currently call ‘democracy’ is just a trick used to make people vote for the exact same tyrannical system over and over and over again. A system based on a group having a monopoly over the right to initiate violence on everyone else. Who cares if they allow us to vote for the right wing or the left wing …… big deal, it’s still the same bird attached to each wing.

        But perhaps what you really meant was limited government. A small nice, well meaning limited government for and by the people? Is that what you meant?

        OK so let’s imagine we get rid of the big nasty violent government and have a nice small one. Great! No really – great! Everyone is relatively happy, and relatively free and everyone prospers …. that prosperity gets taxed, taxes increase, government inevitably finds ways to spend it (it’s free money right!?), but no one minds because everyone is still relatively prosperous and free …. and so government grows and grows and grows and grows….. and here we are back at the same place again. A tyrannical government the size of a planet, up to its neck in wars, having bribed everyone with future debt, having created a dependent class, a government now fully infiltrated/ bribed by criminal elements and increasingly surrounding itself with a police state to protect itself from the angry mob who are by now hopelessly trapped by the government bribes (welfare, benefits, healthcare etc) and totally blinded by the false left-right paradigm ie ‘politics’ that they don’t even know what the root problem is anymore.

        This is why we are here and why we will always end up here unless we change the root causes that get us here.

        That root problem is inescapable. All rational argument leads us to the same fundamental problem: giving one group in society the legal right to initiate the use of force / violence on everyone else. That is the fundamental problem.

        You even admit this yourself. You admit that some people will always do bad things (commit crimes etc). You just fail to see that creating an arbitrary group within society and giving them all the guns, prisons and police together with a monopoly over the legal right to initiate violence does NOT solve this problem. All that happens in that case is that the would-be criminals end up either in government or else bribing government.

        Thousands of years of disastrous (I mean for the general population) statist rule demonstrate this unequivocally!

        Your stance is so illogical and naive that even my dog is rolling her eyes.

        Listen to your peculiar defense of governments:

        “… In an anarchic society I can, because I have the right provided by strength, break into your house, rape your wife, and burn your house down. Nobody has a legal right to prevent me. But do you think my actions would go unpunished? Of course not. Posses would form to deal with people who behaved in this fashion, purely for protection. …”

        First of all you seem to have set very low standards for yourself. If there was no government and our lives and our society was utterly dependent on our own actions would you really break into people’s houses and commit rape and arson? Is that what you would really do? Perhaps you would, I don’t know. Perhaps YOU do need a government to act as your authoritarian daddy. Or perhaps you are simply stuffed full of government propaganda that makes you say such strange things that you don’t really mean.

        But let’s say you ARE a violent sex maniac arsonist. You are absolutely correct, people would look after their own property/ family and protect it. Of course they would. Nothing wrong with property rights! I’m not arguing against those and you can still have them in a stateless society. So anyway, if you broke into my house I might hit you with a pice of 2 x 4. I mean who wouldn’t, right?

        But you haven’t explained how any of this can be used to justify government’s current monopoly over the right to initiate the use of force ……. or why a world without a government would necessarily require a new government be set up with the a new monopoly over the right to initiate the use of force.

        Your argument for needing a government revolves around the idea that without governments people would want to behave like little mini governments. Fair enough, I’m sure many people would. But your argument falls apart because you make the mistake of assuming that people can behave as despicably as governments ***and still get away with it***.

        You fail to realize that, unlike governments, people do NOT have a monopoly over the right to initiate the use of force/ violence on others. That’s the key difference.

        Listen to yourself again:

        “I can, because I have the **right provided by strength**…” Do you see?

        You have deceived yourself into thinking you have the strength of a government which has a monopoly over the legal right to initiate the use of force.

        You DON’T my friend! None of us do.

        If a government imprisons, rapes, tortures, invades other countries, steals have everyone’s income, commits fraud, lies, deceives, kills millions no one can do anything about it because the government has a monopoly over the legal right to initiate the use of force.

        If YOU act in the same way (as you seem so keen to do) and break into my house, commit rape and arson I think we can safely assume you will inevitably get your head kicked in either before, during or after your crazed rampage.

        And so just what on earth do you think is likely to happen next? Presumably you’ll spend a month or two convalescing. All the while earning no money presumably. Perhaps you will end up with a permanent injury/ disability. A lost eye or a broken hand that never quite healed properly. You’re also likely to be ostracized from your local community for acting in such a despicable way. If you have a business people will likely stay clear of it. Basically your government-like behaviour has ruined your life somewhat. Unlike a government such behaviour is generally unprofitable and therefore only for complete idiots!

        And I think society can handle the inevitable (but few) idiots in society perfectly well without needing to create massive governments that rule us all, don’t you?

        And remember there is no government to give you hand outs as you convalesce – this is a grown up world of responsibilities and self reliance. Voluntary aid will undoubtedly exist (charity) but I’m not sure you’d qualify for aid under the (criminal) circumstances.

        However, insurance companies can still exist and operate perfectly well in a stateless society and so my family will be able to claim for damages and no doubt get our house rebuilt and get our lives back on track with help from supportive friends.

        Do you see how violence and criminality simply does NOT pay. In a stateless society that truism is amplified 1000 times.

        You are clearly full of unrealistic (and extremely violent/ criminal) ideas. This is no surprise because these ideas are fed to us ALL by the government.

        You accuse me of demonizing ‘the government’ in some comic book villain way. Not at all! It is the SYSTEM which is at fault. Numerous psychological tests prove that giving anyone absolute power over other people, especially in a rigid, formal, detached setting – such a prison environment (or a government) – usually produces diabolical consequences. We know this!

        The proportion of hard core criminals in the government may indeed be relatively small. It doesn’t matter. The compartmentalized hierarchical pyramids that make up just about every organization in society facilitate the most vile criminal agendas with hardly anyone even realizing that they are involved in something odious at all. Think the military, state education, or government itself.

        I suggest it is YOU who is ‘comic book’ demonizing the general public. You assume a selfish ‘free’ act has to necessarily be a violent criminal act that impacts negatively on others. That is pure government propaganda/ government mind set. In reality most people want to just get by in life peacefully – even Goebals recognized that fact! And you seem to forget that collaborating to produce a peaceful, safe, well organized (but stateless), free society can actually be a selfish act!

        It’s the ideal society that governments are supposedly there to give us (apart from the stateless bit), so we must want it. I bet 99% of people poled would say that’s what they want. But you seem to be arguing that getting rid of governments in order to achieving this society can’t work because no one wants it! All we want to do is rape and pillage apparently!

        M’kay…

        Sure there are, and always will be, a small criminal element in society – but that is exactly why we can’t have a government with the legal monopoly over the right to initiate violence on everyone else.

        • The Walrus says:

          Okay.

          I gave you the benefit of a thought out and measured response and once again you came back with arguments that don’t actually address the things I’ve said but rather argue against things you’ve decided I’ve said. At no point, either in my post or in my comments, have I said anything that would lead anyone to believe that I want to maintain the status quo, or submit to current definitions of democracy, government, or fairplay. You seem, however, to feel that I must be in support of these things because I don’t believe everything you believe and am therefore to be pitied and or ridiculed.

          So…enough. I was going to do another line by line refutation of your nonsense, but you would just seize on the things that you want to (like your complete and utter failure to read my example of anarchy producing new governance as a metaphor, which you’d have to be blind to miss and so was clearly on purpose) and ignore that which is inconvenient to your tiny little worldview.

          Here, instead, is the shortlist of claims that I have made, first in my article and then in my comments. I have made no other claims or arguments other than these. Refute them if you choose to, or don’t, but if you come back with a lengthy treatise on the virtues and vices of positions I did not take, you will henceforth be ignored as the intellectually fascistic buffoon I now believe you to be.

          1. Revolution is needed.
          2. The current system is corrupt.
          3. Before tearing down the current system, we should first decide what its replacement will look like.
          4. The individuals currently rousing others to join this brilliantly motivating movement have not engaged in the planning required by item three.
          5. Item 4 is concerning to someone who values life and liberty and doesn’t want to see the world burn for the sake of a good marshmallow bonfire.
          6. Things really, really need to change.
          7.An individual person can be awesome. People are generally shit.
          8. Democracy, true democracy, the Platonic ideal of democracy, is not the system we currently exist under but rather a hoped for ideal. It is the best, most egalitarian system of rule we’ve ever come up with. It is not that system’s fault we’re so bad at applying it.
          8.Government is not a shadowy abstract, but rather a collective of people trying to exercise power we’ve given them and doing a piss poor job. The problem isn’t government but rather our apparent inability to care enough to put the right people in those roles.
          9.Anarchy is unsustainable. True anarchy, the Platonic ideal of anarchy (not the wishy washy, pick and choose, everyone be nice to each other because, but otherwise do whatever the fuck you want, anarchy) would last just long enough for those with organizational skill and charisma to form new ways of governing groups. People form groups. We’re social animals. Just ask Facebook.
          10. Any group requires rules to protect the group at large from the whim of the individual. Put more than three people in any room or situation and they will form a hierarchy and rules of engagement. You can call those rules whatever you like, but those of us who care what words actually mean call them law.
          11. There is no “system” that is responsible for our current predicament. We are responsible. We have abdicated authority, responsibility and free agency in exchange for expensive cars, affordable childcare and iPads. Our greed and apathy have produced or allowed every evil that walks the earth. What you are fighting is people and the creations of people. Not abstractions.
          12.If you want to know who the villain is you need only look in the mirror. Anyone trying to pass the buck or defer responsibility for the current state of the world is guilty of the same travesties that they rail against.
          13. If revolution is to succeed it has to be more than just a revolution in the streets; it has to be a revolution of mind. We have to decide what is of value and what is not, and sacrifice that which is not so that no one, anywhere, has to go without that which is. That includes money. Yes, even in the form of taxes. Money only has value in what it can be exchanged for. If you feel that you have a right to more money and more things than your neighbour and so shouldn’t have to be taxes, you’re not a revolutionary, you’re not even a philosophically astute spectator. You’re just an asshole.

          That is all.

          Please, please find a way to twist that to suit your agenda of ‘shit on those who dare question the movement.’

          I’m out.

          • The anonymous writer above who has abandoned culture has abandoned language and logic along with it, in my opinion. He or she seems to be a very human being, a ‘good’ person, young, (i would guess) but needs to be asked to focus on points one by one to avoid the lengthy non sequitors above. Modern anarchy is nearer a religion than a movement, in that ‘belief’ (that anarchy is a system capable of sustaining society) serves where striving for truth is needed. Reasoning is wasted on those who believe without doubting.

            I am impressed by the list of 13 claims above, they are surely the basis of a ‘movement’ which is sustainable in logic and culture. I plead with you Julian NOT to waste time responding to individuals who know everything and do not ask questions. Do you agree with me? (phew, that was a near thing) What you have to say needs concentration, and will be worth it.

    • Nick Power says:

      I love everything about this post. May I please quote this?
      Attributing it to you, or anonymously if you prefer?

      Let me know if you don’t min, trying to get some organised action going..

  5. Among the 99 are the thugs who will work for the 1, wear a nice black uniform, carry a gun and other hardware supplied for the purpose of thuggery. Thugs who happen to be unemployed, having lost their home, missed out on education, but who enjoy a street-fight cannot lead or inspire the rest of the 99.

    As Julian says above, (I think) until an articulated plan is proposed with purpose to the 99, and a focus for support created for them, nothing will happen. While people are waking up to the evils of extreme inequality in the distribution of wealth, inequalities in the distribution of ability, talent, and character HAS to be recognized as normal. Earning vast amounts by manipulating and printing money CAN be controlled without affecting production of useful goods and services.

    Commerce and government can exist together without regulation and law being treated as ‘goods’ supplied by one to the other. Politicians can earn a generous salary for not selling their services to the highest corporate bidder. It CAN be arranged like this.

    But the 99 will need to find a few able to conceive ideas of governance and sell these ideas widely enough to be viable. This activity may not involve provoking police in public places. It may involve learning who exactly is screwing the economy, buying the politicians, selling their political services, and so on – and NAMING them. Protest may involve people at home deciding to share more, and make do with less. In fact, occupying your homes.

    • The Walrus says:

      This.

      Thank you, sir. This is exactly what I’m talking about. Literally burning down the world makes you as dangerous as the tyrants you’re trying to replace. But figuring out how to actually change things while depriving no one of a livable world; that’s going to be the change that everyone can get behind. The status-quo has to end, but it doesn’t have to be replaced by the world of Escape from New York.

  6. The Walrus says:

    I’d just like to point out (before anyone loses their shit) that I’m not advocating any end to the Occupy the World concept and movement. I’m just urging caution and level heads.

  7. Ian Campbell says:

    well the purpose is to get everyone participating. you should read the post i retweeted from kelly heresy. this is a meta-village. it exists everywhere and has a physical gathering now to force the world at large to acknowledge it (where it would remain undiscovered in some ways only on the internet by a vast majority of people). once everyone is participating sufficiently, then the why will appear. enough minds will be collaborating on what the best outcome will be… as one NY occupier stated, you know, maybe, some participation in our democracy for a change. the many will be far too powerful to be subdued any longer by the infamous few. wake up call…. we can’t do anything as to why with everyone still asleep. they need to be awake, energized, and ready to see change and DEMAND it.

    • The Walrus says:

      I don’t disagree. I badly want this movement to result in positive change. But people won’t wake up in enough numbers to a cause they don’t understand; not with the propaganda machine that exists in the west. This HAS to gain cohesion if it’s going to gain enough mass support to really do damage.

      Thanks for your post!

      • As long as people are afraid of the future, they will be powerless to change it. As long as one demands rebellion to make sense, they are siding with the authoritarian psychology even if they do not mean to. The first goal of all rebellion is to try to gum up the corrupt stasis engine that is dragging them to their doom. In the midst of such tension, one must jam their finger in the eye of their attacker and scream “STOP!!!!” so that at the very least dialog may begin without the thing that is attacking them running them down before they can get a word out.

        There was a time you were against conservatism. Maybe these concepts you call childish actually are the embodiments of vitality and living, and you have given yourself already up for old age? Its ok to have an opinion, but the facts are that without the kind of movement we see now, your children will grow up to have a number emblazoned on their skin, nothing more than actual indexed cattle in a locked system of slavery, without hope, without options. When they look at you in your 80s with sad soulless eyes and they ask if it was always this way, you would have to keep your mouth shut, because your complacency and fear let the evil in the world triumph.
        Good men do not stand aside and do nothing, but what do we call someone who would desire that the chaos take a form that the filthy worldmongers can control and manipulate right back to sleep?
        Authoritarian sympathizers.

        • The Walrus says:

          You sir, are doing nothing more than defining the terms of rebellion in a way that is palatable to you; for no better reason than to score points. How is that any different than what those we seek to supplant do to spin their positions? 😀

          “There was a time you were against conservatism.” Still am. That doesn’t mean I have to be anarchic.

          “Maybe these concepts you call childish actually are the embodiments of vitality and living, and you have given yourself already up for old age?”

          No. Immaturity and overdramatization are the enemies of progress. You cannot build a sustainable future on idealism alone; it has to be tempered by measured thought. Again, I appreciate the sentiment that drives this movement; I just wish it had some thought to it, rather than just emotion run rampant. And, again, this is generalization. There are, I’m sure, plenty of very good people participating in this, with the best of intentions and brilliant plans. But they are not the movement proper but rather those who sit on the bridge between idealism and pragmatism. In other words, grownups.

          ” but the facts are that without the kind of movement we see now, your children will grow up to have a number emblazoned on their skin, nothing more than actual indexed cattle in a locked system of slavery, without hope, without options. When they look at you in your 80s with sad soulless eyes and they ask if it was always this way, you would have to keep your mouth shut, because your complacency and fear let the evil in the world triumph.”

          Your use of the word “facts” here begs the question- have you been given some sort of divine revelation? Do you no claim to be a soothsayer; giving us all morbid glimpses of the future? Even the greatest futurists the world has known had, at best, around a 50% success rate; chaos can obscure even the most obvious of paths.

          Yes, the world needs this revolution. That’s why I’m arguing for a measure of calm and thought; I want the world that exists to burn, I just want to be sure that there’s a blueprint in place to replace it, else what’s the point?

          “Good men do not stand aside and do nothing, but what do we call someone who would desire that the chaos take a form that the filthy worldmongers can control and manipulate right back to sleep?
          Authoritarian sympathizers.”

          Sir, your oversimplification is borderline propagandistic. This mentality of “If you’re not with us, you’re against us,” is the very tool that your opponents have used for a decade to consolidate their power and subjugate all of us. He who uses the methods of his enemy becomes his enemy.

          History is littered with the corpses of overenthusiastic fools who eagerly flung themselves on the pyres of revolution’; providing those with cooler heads the cover they needed to affect actual and lasting change. The glorious idiots, is how I think of them.

          You know I’m a cultural warrior, sir. That’s why the tenor of your comment confuses me. I use the tools I have (the ability to reason and persuade) to expand context and change minds. That lasts. I’m worried that this wave of hyper-dramatic enthusiasm will do nothing more than encourage the people who can make a real difference come out of the shadows prematurely and thereby nullify their ability to build a better tomorrow.

          Selah.

          • Stuart Bisenberger says:

            It doesn’t take too much intelligence to know that if we (Canadians) continue along this path of restriction and domination, there will be grave consequences that will enable great change. The cost for this change to take place can be avoided by making decisions now about the future well-being of the children of Canada and their children. We are a patient society, but like anyone… we can only stand by for so long before we feel we have to intervene in the direction the leaders of this Country and the leaders of the World (including the elite) are taking with the future for our Children. You are the most important Canadian there is right now at this moment. I personally feel you should start acting like it! You may not be remembered in 20 years, but the retribution of your actions and decisions could be felt for hundreds of years. Whether good or bad, that is your choice!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s