søndag den 31. marts 2013

Panem et Circenses.

Romerne havde fat i den lange ende. Skal man styre befolkningen uden at skulle bekymre sig om for mange kritiske spørgsmål, er det en god idé at aflede dens opmærksomhed med "brød og cirkus". Den romerske satiriker Juvenals metafor for hul og overfladisk underholdning og behovstilfredstillelse. I Orwells "1984" er han inde på noget lignende. Han fortæller om Informationsministeriet som producerer proletarfodder i form af overfladiske aviser fulde af kriminalitet, sport og horoskoper, samt populærmusik, hvor alle numrene er skåret efter den samme form. Det lyder jo ret bekendt. I vores tilfælde er det imidlertid ikke centraladministrationen som står bag denne effektive afledningsmanøvre, men derimod kapitalistiske firmaer. Vi kender det som B.T og Ekstra Bladet, indholdsløs popmusik baseret på de samme tre akkorder, de allestedsnærværende reklamer og fra fjernsynskanaler som TV3, hvis mest oplysende program er The Simpsons.

lørdag den 30. marts 2013

Dagens Citat: Marshall Sahlins

"The premise of American overseas aggression, according to Donald Rumsfeld and others, is something like the line in the movie Full Metal Jacket: “inside every gook there is an American trying to get out.” All we have to do to liberate this innately freedom-loving, self-interested, democracy-needing, capitalist-in-waiting is to rid him of the oppressive, evil-minded regime holding him down—by force if necessary."

Professor emeritus of anthropology, Marshall Sahlins. 

Toby Hemenway, "Redesigning Civilization"

The New Edge of Radical Economics - David Graeber & Charles Eisenstein.

tirsdag den 26. marts 2013

Dagens Citat: Robert Anton Wilson.

"Since all authority and government are based on force, the master class, with its burden of omniscience, faces the servile class, with its burden of nescience, precisely as a highwayman faces his victim. Communication is possible only between equals. The master class never abstracts enough information from the servile class to know what is actually going on in the world where the actual productivity of society occurs .... The result can only be progressive deterioration among the rulers."

Robert Anton Wilson: The Illiminatus! Trilogy s. 388.

mandag den 25. marts 2013

Chris Hedges on Corporate American Media

"The celebrity trolls who currently reign on commercial television, who bill themselves as liberal or conservative, read from the same corporate script. They spin the same court gossip. They ignore what the corporate state wants ignored. They champion what the corporate state wants championed. They do not challenge or acknowledge the structures of corporate power. Their role is to funnel viewer energy back into our dead political system—to make us believe that Democrats or Republicans are not corporate pawns. The cable shows, whose hyperbolic hosts work to make us afraid self-identified liberals or self-identified conservatives, are part of a rigged political system, one in which it is impossible to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, General Electric or ExxonMobil. These corporations, in return for the fear-based propaganda, pay the lavish salaries of celebrity news people, usually in the millions of dollars. They make their shows profitable. [...]

The lie of omission is still a lie. It is what these news celebrities do not mention that exposes their complicity with corporate power. They do not speak about Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act, a provision that allows the government to use the military to hold U.S. citizens and strip them of due process. They do not decry the trashing of our most basic civil liberties, allowing acts such as warrantless wiretapping and executive orders for the assassination of U.S. citizens. They do not devote significant time to climate scientists to explain the crisis that is enveloping our planet. They do not confront the reckless assault of the fossil fuel industry on the ecosystem. They very rarely produce long-form documentaries or news reports on our urban and rural poor, who have been rendered invisible, or on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or on corporate corruption on Wall Street. That is not why they are paid. They are paid to stymie meaningful debate. They are paid to discredit or ignore the nation’s most astute critics of corporatism, among them Cornel West, Medea Benjamin, Ralph Nader and Noam Chomsky. They are paid to chatter mindlessly, hour after hour, filling our heads with the theater of the absurd."

Chris Lynn Hedges: "The Day That TV News Died"

torsdag den 21. marts 2013

The Meaning of the Black Flag.

"Why is our flag black? Black is a shade of negation. The black flag is the negation of all flags. It is a negation of nationhood which puts the human race against itself and denies the unity of all humankind. Black is a mood of anger and outrage at all the hideous crimes against humanity perpetrated in the name of allegiance to one state or another. It is anger and outrage at the insult to human intelligence implied in the pretences, hypocrisies, and cheap chicaneries of governments . . . Black is also a colour of mourning; the black flag which cancels out the nation also mourns its victims the countless millions murdered in wars, external and internal, to the greater glory and stability of some bloody state. It mourns for those whose labour is robbed (taxed) to pay for the slaughter and oppression of other human beings. It mourns not only the death of the body but the crippling of the spirit under authoritarian and hierarchic systems; it mourns the millions of brain cells blacked out with never a chance to light up the world. It is a colour of inconsolable grief.

But black is also beautiful. It is a colour of determination, of resolve, of strength, a colour by which all others are clarified and defined. Black is the mysterious surrounding of germination, of fertility, the breeding ground of new life which always evolves, renews, refreshes, and reproduces itself in darkness. The seed hidden in the earth, the strange journey of the sperm, the secret growth of the embryo in the womb all these the blackness surrounds and protects.

So black is negation, is anger, is outrage, is mourning, is beauty, is hope, is the fostering and sheltering of new forms of human life and relationship on and with this earth. The black flag means all these things. We are proud to carry it, sorry we have to, and look forward to the day when such a symbol will no longer be necessary."

["Why the Black Flag?", Howard Ehrlich (ed.), Reinventing Anarchy, Again, pp. 31-2]

onsdag den 20. marts 2013

Til minde om Irak-krigen.

"A liberated Iraq can show the power of freedom to transform that vital region, by bringing hope and progress into the lives of millions."
- George W. Bush d. 23. Februar 2003.

Det er nu ti år siden krigen imod Irak blev påbegyndt med et storstilet angreb på den irakiske hovedstad og andre af landets tætbefolkede store byer, med enorm beskadigelse af den civile infrastruktur som forventelig konsekvens. Skabte denne krig, som præsident George W. Bush påstod, rent faktisk noget så rosenrødt som et frigjort Irak” der har fyldt millioner af menneskelige tilværelser med håb og fremskridt” eller er sandheden om krigen snarere langt mere dyster og ildevarslende? Følgende samling af links og videoklip kaster lys over forskellige aspekter af krigen og dens konsekvenser for den irakiske civilbefolkning.

Seumas Milne: Iraq War: Make it Impossible to Inflict such Barbarism Again.

Vijay Prashad: Bombs Over Baghdad.

War Correspondent Discusses Iraq's "Culture of Corruption".

Le Monde Diplomatique: The New Normal in Baghdad.

Dahr Jamail: Iraq: War's Legacy of Cancer.

Joseph Nye: Iraq War Ten Years Later.

“War is essentially an evil thing. Its consequences are not confined to the belligerent states alone, but affect the whole world. To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole [..] the attacker must know that he is doing wrong, and so far from it being unjust to punish him, it would be unjust if his wrong were allowed to go unpunished [..] they must have known that they were acting in defiance of all international law when in complete deliberation they carried out their designs of invasion and aggression.” - Dommerne v. Nürnbergprocessen.

fredag den 8. marts 2013

Stuart Christie on Anarchism

Stuart Christie in a new interview:

"Anarchism is the movement for social justice through freedom. It is concrete, democratic and egalitarian. It has existed and developed since the seventeenth century, with a philosophy and a defined outlook that have evolved and grown with time and circumstance. Anarchism began as what it remains today: a direct challenge by the underprivileged to their oppression and exploitation. It opposes both the insidious growth of state power and the pernicious ethos of possessive individualism, which, together or separately, ultimately serve only the interests of the few at the expense of the rest.

Anarchism promotes mutual aid, harmony and human solidarity, to achieve a free, classless society – a cooperative commonwealth. Anarchism is both a theory and practice of life. Philosophically, it aims for perfect accord between the individual, society and nature. In an anarchist society, mutually respectful sovereign individuals would be organised in non-coercive relationships within naturally defined communities in which the means of production and distribution are held in common.

Anarchists, are not simply dreamers obsessed with abstract principles. We know that events are ruled by chance, and that people’s actions depend much on long-held habits and on psychological and emotional factors that are often anti-social and usually unpredictable. We are well aware that a perfect society cannot be won tomorrow. Indeed, the struggle could last forever! However, it is the vision that provides the spur to struggle against things as they are, and for things that might be.

Whatever the immediate prospects of achieving a free society, and however remote the ideal, if we value our common humanity then we must never cease to strive to realise our vision. If we settle for anything less, then we are little more than beasts of burden at the service of the privileged few, without much to gain from life other than a lighter load, better feed and a cosier berth.

Ultimately, only struggle determines outcome, and progress towards a more meaningful community must begin with the will to resist every form of injustice.

In general terms, this means challenging all exploitation and defying the legitimacy of all coercive authority. If anarchists have one article of unshakeable faith then it is that, once the habit of deferring to politicians or ideologues is lost, and that of resistance to domination and exploitation acquired, then ordinary people have a capacity to organise every aspect of their lives in their own interests, anywhere and at any time, both freely and fairly.

Anarchism encompasses such a broad view of the world that it cannot easily be distilled into a formal definition. Michael Bakunin, the man whose writings and example over a century ago did most to transform anarchism from an abstract critique of political power into a theory of practical social action, defined its fundamental tenet thus: In a word, we reject all privileged, licensed, official, and legal legislation and authority, even though it arise from universal suffrage, convinced that it could only turn to the benefit of a dominant and exploiting minority, and against the interests of the vast enslaved majority.

Anarchists do not stand aside from popular struggle, nor do they attempt to dominate it. They seek to contribute to it practically whatever they can, and also to assist within it the highest possible levels both of individual self-development and of group solidarity. It is possible to recognise anarchist ideas concerning voluntary relationships, egalitarian participation in decision-making processes, mutual aid and a related critique of all forms of domination in philosophical, social and revolutionary movements in all times and places.

Elsewhere, the less formal practices and struggles of the more indomitable among the propertyless and disadvantaged victims of the authority system have found articulation in the writings of those who on brief acquaintance would appear to be mere millenarian dreamers. Far from being abstract speculations conjured out of thin air, such works have, like all social theories, been derived from sensitive observation. They reflect the fundamental and uncontainable conviction nourished by a conscious minority throughout history that social power held over people is a usurpation of natural rights: power originates in the people, and they alone have, together, the right to wield it."

søndag den 3. marts 2013


"A simple symbolic model suggested by French philosophers Giles Deleuze and Felix Guatari presents a means of harnessing memetic structures without depending on them: the concept of rhizome versus hierarchy. Rhizome provides us with another example of a proven, evolutionarily successful pattern. It acts as the counterpart to, and in many ways is the opposite of, the pattern of hierarchy.

Examples exist throughout history of oppressed peoples, fed up with the trespasses of hierarchy, revolting in order to establish a new order that will place their interests above those of the existing elite. Over time, hierarchal structures have evolved impressive defenses against such direct assault. Successful revolutions have created their own hierarchal structure to confront strength with strength, but in the process they have sacrificed the objectives—the desire to benefit those at the bottom of the pyramid—that led to revolt in the first place. History demonstrates, and common sense validates, that the assumption of hierarchal structure invalidates the actions of groups that would overthrow hierarchy. Despite this logical truism, revolution after revolution proceed along the same path: revolutionaries assume hierarchal form to confront the strengths of hierarchies. The solution to hierarchy lies not in the failure of proper implementation (the standard critique of Marxist failures by Marxists), but in the fundamental structure of hierarchy itself. In order to resolve the deficiencies fundamental to the structure of hierarchy, we must, by definition, abandon hierarchy as an organizing principle. We must confront hierarchy with its opposite: rhizome.

Rhizome acts as a web-like structure of connected but independent nodes, borrowing its name from the structures of plants such as bamboo and other grasses. By its very nature, rhizome exhibits incompatibility with such critical hierarchal structures as domestication, monoculture-agriculture, division of labor and centralized government. Unlike hierarchy, rhizome cannot suffer exploitation from within because its structure remains incompatible with centralization of power. It provides a structural framework for our conscious organization of memes. Each node in a rhizome stands autonomous from the larger structure, but the nodes work together in a larger network that extends benefits to the node without creating dependence. The critical element of a world that focuses power at the level of the individual, that can meet the demands of our genome while providing the flexibility and potential to achieve greater goals, remains the small, connected and relatively self-sufficient node of this rhizome structure. In human terms, such a node represents an economic and a cultural unit at the size preferred by our genome: the household and the tribe. Functionally self-sufficient but not isolated, cooperating but not controlled, the rhizome economy, combined with a self-awareness of control structures, provides the real-world foundation of stability and freedom.

[...]The field of ecology provides further insight into the comparison of hierarchy versus rhizome. Greater diversity and complexity in an ecosystem increases its resiliency. The rigid stratification of hierarchy, while efficient from the standpoint of centralized control and coordination, has proved less capable of supporting dense, stable networks of organic life (of which humanity remains a part). Centralization and stratification produce ever-greater losses in efficiency due to the increased cost of distribution, coordination and communication. Hierarchy has incredible strength, but the accompanying inflexibility and top-heaviness can make it brittle and unstable. The networked, rhizome structure not only facilitates greater individual freedom, it also creates a more flexible and resilient structure for human ecology. The resiliency of rhizome may prove the deciding factor in our long-term survival as humanity encounters a host of potential threats. In the face of super-viruses, climate-change and overpopulation, the richer, more complex, more rhizomatic ecosystem has historically demonstrated greater survivability."

- Jeff Vail "A Theory of Power."