Are You An Anarchist? The Answer May Surprise You!

Take this questionnaire.

David Graeber

Chances are you have already heard something about who anarchists are and what they are supposed to believe. Chances are almost everything you have heard is nonsense. Many people seem to think that anarchists are proponents of violence, chaos, and destruction, that they are against all forms of order and organization, or that they are crazed nihilists who just want to blow everything up.

In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Anarchists are simply people who believe human beings are capable of behaving in a reasonable fashion without having to be forced to. It is really a very simple notion. But it’s one that the rich and powerful have always found extremely dangerous.
At their very simplest, anarchist beliefs turn on to two elementary assumptions. The first is that human beings are, under ordinary circumstances, about as reasonable and decent as they are allowed to be, and can organize themselves and their communities without needing to be told how. The second is that power corrupts. Most of all, anarchism is just a matter of having the courage to take the simple principles of common decency that we all live by, and to follow them through to their logical conclusions. Odd though this may seem, in most important ways you are probably already an anarchist — you just don’t realize it.
Let’s start by taking a few examples from everyday life.

• If there’s a line to get on a crowded bus, do you wait your turn and refrain from elbowing your way past others even in the absence of police?

If you answered “yes”, then you are used to acting like an anarchist! The most basic anarchist principle is self-organization: the assumption that human beings do not need to be threatened with prosecution in order to be able to come to reasonable understandings with each other, or to treat each other with dignity and respect.
Everyone believes they are capable of behaving reasonably themselves. If they think laws and police are necessary, it is only because they don’t believe that other people are. But if you think about it, don’t those people all feel exactly the same way about you? Anarchists argue that almost all the anti-social behavior which makes us think it’s necessary to have armies, police, prisons, and governments to control our lives, is actually caused by the systematic inequalities and injustice those armies, police, prisons and governments make possible. It’s all a vicious circle.

If people are used to being treated like their opinions do not matter, they are likely to become angry and cynical, even violent — which of course makes it easy for those in power to say that their opinions do not matter. Once they understand that their opinions really do matter just as much as anyone else’s, they tend to become remarkably understanding. To cut a long story short: anarchists believe that for the most part it is power itself,
and the effects of power, that make people stupid and irresponsible.

• Are you a member of a club or sports team or any other voluntary organization where decisions are not imposed by one leader but made on the basis of general consent?

If you answered “yes”, then you belong to an organization which works on anarchist principles! Another basic anarchist principle is voluntary association. This is simply a matter of applying democratic principles to ordinary life. The only difference is that anarchists believe it should be possible to have a society in which everything could be organized along these lines, all groups based on the free consent of their members, and therefore, that all top-down, military styles of organization like armies or bureaucracies or large corporations, based on chains of command, would no longer be necessary.

Perhaps you don’t believe that would be possible. Perhaps you do. But every time you reach an agreement by consensus, rather than threats, every time you make a voluntary arrangement with another person, come to an understanding, or reach a compromise by taking due consideration of the other person’s particular situation or needs, you are being an anarchist — even if you don’t realize it.
Anarchism is just the way people act when they are free to do as they choose, and when they deal with others who are equally free — and therefore aware of the responsibility to others that entails. This leads to another crucial point: that while people can be reasonable and considerate when they are dealing with equals, human nature is such that they cannot be trusted to do so when given power over others. Give someone such power, they will almost invariably abuse it in some way or another.
• Do you believe that most politicians are selfish, egotistical swine who don’t really care about the public interest? Do you think we live in an economic system which is stupid and unfair? If you answered “yes”, then you subscribe to the anarchist critique of today’s society — at least, in its broadest outlines. Anarchists believe that power corrupts and those who spend their entire lives seeking power are the very last people who should have it. Anarchists believe that our present economic system is more likely to reward people for selfish and unscrupulous behavior than for being decent, caring human beings. Most people feel that way. The only difference is that most people don’t think there’s anything that can be done about it, or anyway — and this is what the faithful servants of the powerful are always most likely to insist — anything that won’t end up making things even
worse.
But what if that weren’t true? And is there really any reason to believe this? When you can actually test them, most of the usual predictions about what would happen without states or capitalism turn out to be entirely untrue. For thousands of years people lived without governments. In many parts of the world people live outside of the control of governments today. They do not all kill each other. Mostly they just get on about their lives the same as anyone else would. Of course, in a complex, urban, technological society all this would be more complicated: but technology can also make all these problems a lot easier to solve. In fact, we have not even begun to think about what our lives could be like if technology were really marshaled to fit human needs. How many hours would we really need to work in order to maintain a functional society — that is, if we got rid of all the useless or destructive occupations like telemarketers, lawyers, prison guards, financial analysts, public relations experts, bureaucrats and politicians, and turn our best scientific minds away from working on space weaponry or stock market systems to mechanizing away dangerous or annoying tasks like coal mining or cleaning the bathroom, and distribute the remaining work among everyone equally? Five hours a day? Four? Three? Two? Nobody knows because no one is even asking this kind of question. Anarchists think these are the
very questions we should be asking.

• Do you really believe those things you tell your children (or that your parents told you)?
“It doesn’t matter who started it.” “Two wrongs don’t make a right.” “Clean up your own mess.” “Do unto others…” “Don’t be mean to people just because they’re different.” Perhaps we should decide whether we’re lying to our children when we tell them about right and wrong, or whether we’re willing to take our own injunctions seriously. Because if you take these moral principles to their logical conclusions, you arrive at anarchism.
Take the principle that two wrongs don’t make a right. If you really took it seriously, that alone would knock away almost the entire basis for war and the criminal justice system. The same goes for sharing: we’re always telling children that they have to learn to share, to be considerate of each other’s needs, to help each other; then we go off into the real world where we assume that everyone is naturally selfish and competitive. But an anarchist would point out: in fact, what we say to our children is right. Pretty much every great worthwhile achievement in human history, every discovery or accomplishment that’s improved our lives, has been based on cooperation and mutual aid; even now, most of us spend more of our money on our friends and families than on ourselves; while likely
as not there will always be competitive people in the world, there’s no reason why society has to be based on encouraging such behavior, let alone making people compete over the basic necessities of life.

That only serves the interests of people in power, who want us to live in fear of one another. That’s why anarchists call for a society based not only on free association but mutual aid. The fact is that most children grow up believing in anarchist morality, and then gradually have to realize that the adult world doesn’t really work that way. That’s why so many become rebellious, or alienated, even suicidal as adolescents, and finally, resigned and bitter as adults; their only solace, often, being the ability to raise children of their own and pretend to them that the world is fair. But what if we really could start to build a world which really was at least founded on principles of justice? Wouldn’t that be the greatest gift to one’s children one could possibly give?
• Do you believe that human beings are fundamentally corrupt and evil, or that certain sorts of people (women, people of color, ordinary folk who are not rich or highly educated) are inferior specimens, destined to be ruled by their betters?
If you answered “yes”, then, well, it looks like you aren’t an anarchist after all. But if you answered “no”, then chances are you already subscribe to 90% of anarchist principles, and, likely as not, are living your life largely in accord with them. Every time you treat another human with consideration and respect, you are being an anarchist.

Every time you work out your differences with others by coming to reasonable compromise, listening to what everyone has to say rather than letting one person decide
for everyone else, you are being an anarchist. Every time you have the opportunity to force someone to do something, but decide to appeal to their sense of reason or justice instead, you are being an anarchist. The same goes for every time you share something with a friend, or decide who is going to do the dishes, or do anything at all with an eye to fairness.
Now, you might object that all this is well and good as a way for small groups of people to get on with each other, but managing a city, or a country, is an entirely different matter. And of course there is something to this. Even if you decentralize society and put as much power as possible in the hands of small communities, there will still be plenty of things that need to be coordinated, from running railroads to deciding on directions for medical research.

But just because something is complicated does not mean there is no way to do it democratically. It would just be complicated. In fact, anarchists have all sorts of different ideas and visions about how a complex society might manage itself. To explain them though would go far beyond the scope of a little introductory text like this. Suffice it to
say, first of all, that a lot of people have spent a lot of time coming up with models for how a really democratic, healthy society might work; but second, and just as importantly, no anarchist claims to have a perfect blueprint. The last thing we want is to impose prefab models on society anyway.

The truth is we probably can’t even imagine half the problems that will come up when we try to create a democratic society; still, we’re confident that, human ingenuity being what it is, such problems can always be solved, so long as it is in the spirit of our basic principles — which are, in the final analysis, simply the principles of fundamental human decency.

ANARCHY IN ROJAVA

ANARCHY IN ROJAVA
A ‪#‎women‬ ‪#‎Kurdish‬ fighter from the ‪#‎YPJ‬ in ‪#‎Kobanê‬.
A ‪#‎women‬ ‪#‎Kurdish‬ fighter from the ‪#‎YPJ‬ in ‪#‎Kobanê‬.

After revisiting the Anarchist Alphabet for a look at G is for Gentrification the show goes into an interview with Nicky Danesh from the Middle Eastern Anarchist Network.

Nicky speaks about what is happening in Northern Syria in a region called Rojava.

Here’s what David Greaber had to say after visiting the region

Well, if anyone had any doubt in their minds about whether this was really a revolution, or just some kind of window-dressing, I’d say the visit put that permanently to rest. There are still people talking like that: This is just a PKK (The Kurdistan Workers’ Party) front, they’re really a Stalinist authoritarian organization that’s just pretending to have adopted radical democracy. No. They’re totally for real. This is a genuine revolution.

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MUSIC

INSURGE – POLITICAL PRISONERS

Also features this Kurdish song – EM BERNADIN VE DILANE

The documentary I mention I watched.

RIGHT TO REBEL

FIGHT BACK

Here’s a mix I put together for Outlawzzz Radio which airs 10-12 midnight also on 4ZZZ Brisbane.

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Marcel CartierRight to Rebel

 

TEST THEIR LOGIC – P.O.V

Mic RighteousDon’t it Make you wonder (freedom for Palestine)

JARED PAUL – SIX IS NINE

WESTBRED DIAMONDSTILL A NIGGA

Dr Dre – FUCK YOU

ΕΞΤΑΣΗ ΤΕΑΜ – ΑΝΤΑΡΣΙΑ  (Examination Team – Mutiny)

εΜεS ~ The Government is Corrupt

Agripnos feat. Kiknio Asma, PWe are Strangers Everywhere

DDM – Total Destruction of Capitalism

CHUMBAWAMBATHE GOOD SHIP LIFESTYLE

Immortal_Technique_Vernon_ReidW.A.R

ENLIGHTENED FOOLIN THE BEGINNING

Dr Dre – Murder Ink

 

KILL ALL LANDLORDS

KILL ALL LANDLORDS

killalllandlords

I’m kind of angry at my landlord right now, cause my roof is massively leaking and all they really have to do is clean the gutters but it’s been over a week and it hasn’t been done. Which is a problem because it keeps fucking raining.

This links into the themes of this weeks show though because it’s an issue concerning private property, the idea that someone can own property and charge others’ for using it to survive.

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The first 2 songs of the show are concerning the colonisation of America before which there was no private property on Turtle Island.

And next Shame has a long talk about so called ‘anarcho-capitalists’ or libertarians. Shame proposes we use the term propertarians.

A new It’s the End of the World and I feel Fine came out just before the show went to air so we played it to make up for the fact we went to see Sage Francis the night before the show and got very little sleep/time to prepare kick ass radio.

MUSIC

A Tribe Called Red – Burn Your Village to the Ground info
Corporate Avenger – Christians Murdered Indians info
RISE AGAINST – TRAGEDY + TIME info
Etheric Double – Hold Your Spear Close info
THE COUP – KILL MY LANDLORD info
BAMBU – RENT MONEY info
SAGE FRANCIS – MAKESHIFT PATRIOT info
QUORUM CONSENSUS – DEADS MAN TOUCH info

More of the scene from Addams Family

landlordbear

ANARCHIST AFFLICTION

ferguson

Now the G20 is over and the fever has passed we’ve got other afflictions to contend with .. such as

INSURRECTO-RIOTOSIS .

This is the name of the latest show from The Stimulator we play the first half straight up on the show.

We talk a little about the G20. We want to focus on the future now and how we can build a strong anarchist resistance in Brisbane.

One thing that is sure not to cure any anarchist related affliction you have is how you choose to spend your money.

To look into this further we play a short video by Savage Revival called Individualism vs Resistance.

This show aired just before the Furguson verdict was announced and Anna shares some of the background to the story.

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[audio http://www.radio4all.net/responder.php/download/78162/86344/98542/?url=http://www.radio4all.net/files/punkassneenja@riseup.net/1972-1-25112014_4ZZZ_AARADIO_web.mp3]

Download from Radio4all

MUSIC

Indigenous Australia knows the cynicism exposed by Michael Brown’s killing in Ferguson

By Larissa Behrendt an academic, writer, film maker and Indigenous advocate

After a Missouri grand jury declined to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the killing of Michael Brown, prosecuting attorney Bob McCulloch said that the decision was based upon physical and scientific evidence, not “public outcry or political expediency”.

This call for objectivity does little in a situation where autopsies show Wilson had shot Brown at least six times, twice in the head. McCulloch seemed to compromise his own objectivity by blaming social and news media for beating up a story, rather than acknowledging that when a young person is shot by law enforcement, people expect a level of accountability.

Watching the events in Ferguson unfold raises similar questions about Australia’s own legal system. The parallel is immediately drawn with the failure to secure a conviction in the case of 36-year-old Cameron Mulrunji Doomadgee, who died in a Palm Island lockup over 10 years ago.

Mulrunji was picked up for singing “Who let the dogs out” at a police officer, Chris Hurley, who drove past him in the street. He was charged with public nuisance. He had been in police custody for only an hour when he died. An autopsy revealed four broken ribs, which had ruptured his liver and spleen.

Hurley was indicted for assault and manslaughter but acquitted in 2007. He is the only person ever charged over a death in custody of an Aboriginal person in Australia.

Emotions overflowed after Doomadgee’s death in custody. A riot broke out on Palm Island. It was, like in Ferguson, as much a protest against a single act of injustice as against a system that seemed riddled with it. No police officer was ever successfully prosecuted for Doomadgee’s death, but several Aboriginal men, including Palm Island spokesperson Lex Wotton, were successfully prosecuted for the ensuing riots and received a seven year prison sentence.

Would it have been realistic to expect this outcome on Palm Island? The Ferguson grand jury’s decision certainly seems to have been anticipated on social media, reflecting the persistence of deep cynicism about the criminal justice system.

Anyone who has lived in the US – or even visited – will notice that poverty is racialised. 15.1% of Americans live in poverty; of that 28.4% were black and 26.6% were Hispanic. The events in Ferguson are perhaps a way of highlighting that the election of Barack Obama has done little or nothing to change the US’s deeply ingrained cultures of exclusion, marginalisation and stereotyping.

Obama’s response to the eruption of a new wave of violence, and the broader disappointment and anger about the grand jury decision, showed his own understanding of the perceptions of bias in the legal system. His call to respect the rule of law was accompanied by pleas for calm and constructive protest; then-Queensland premier Peter Beattie struck a similar tone after Hurley was acquitted, urging Queenslanders “to accept the decision of the court without question.”

 A rally in Brisbane following the police murder of Mulrinji Doomadgee 2004

Obama also admitted that there were legitimate grounds for mistrust of the police, including that white police officers are seen to get away with killing young black men, while young black men seem to have no problem getting locked up. According to US Department of Justice figures from 2009, African Americans make up 40% of the US male prison population.

These patterns are replicated in Australia. Between 2000 and 2013, the adult Indigenous imprisonment rate increased by 57%, while the non-Indigenous rate did not show significant change. The rate of juvenile detention sits at about 24 times that of non-Indigenous youth. Indigenous people make up just 3% of the Australian population.

There are dozens of instances where Aboriginal people are killed in custody. The 1987 Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody investigated 99 of them. Since then, 340 Indigenous people have died in custody.

Some of these have been high profile. In 2008, respected Elder Mr Ward died in the back of a paddy wagon, after being driven 400km across the WA desert. He had been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.

More recently, 22-year-old woman Ms Dhu died in police custody in the South Hedland police station while she was being held in police custody to “pay down” around $1,000 in unpaid fines.

These deaths accumulate to cause a similar level of distrust with a legal system, particularly in the way it administers justice. Other than the unsuccessful prosecution of Chris Hurley, not a single charge has been laid, not a single person held to account. To return to McCulloch, is the long-term failure of African Americans and Indigenous Australians by their legal systems not also an “objective” reality?

While there is much talk about why violence occurs in this context, it also raises the more profound and long-reaching question: what will we do to fix a system where cynicism is rife and racial bias seems to abound? How do we change a conversation when there is suspicion that the system is stacked against the marginalised, and the powerful are defensive about being critiqued.

If there is a shining answer to this problem, it’s the Aboriginal community of Redfern. Riots erupted there in 2004 when TJ Hickey, a 17-year old Aboriginal man, was killed. After police chased him in their car while he was riding his bike, he was impaled on a fence. Hickey’s death sparked an emotional response from a community that had long been targeted by the police. Violence broke out and was eventually beaten back by police with fire hoses; law enforcement were castigated by the Sydney Morning Herald for their poor preparation.

Perhaps nothing was unusual about the situation in Redfern. What was unusual was the longer-term response. Police command changed and the new officer in charge, Commander Luke Freudenstein, built a relationship with the local community. A range of programs to build self-esteem in young people, particularly young men, were a success. As a result of this grassroots effort, the community transformed and far fewer young Indigenous men were arbitrarily picked up by the police, to end up in the lockup.

The lesson isn’t that good can come from civil unrest, so much as that change really is possible, if we address the issues that lead to outbursts of emotion and violence.

As the events in Ferguson unfold, it’s clear that their community is a microcosm of the deep-seated issues in the US. Ferguson is perhaps also a sign of what happens anywhere that key institutions, like the criminal justice system, are unreflective about their own entrenched biases – biases that colour outcomes when justice is what we need most.

Originally posted at Guardian Australia.

EXCLUSIVE G20 BLACK BLOC PARTY SETS BNE ON FIRE

EXCLUSIVE G20 BLACK BLOC PARTY SETS BNE ON FIRE

The event we had all spent years waiting for was finally on. The #G20 security ring of steel had been erected.

South Brisbane was in serious LOCK DOWN… the media said the barricades were intimidating, South Bank a fortress.

All year the media talked about a black bloc party in Brisbane so Megsie Lemon Grass and I went in search of it and to check the security arrangements.

Things started off well.... this dumpster looked like it was ready for the black bloc party...Things started off well…. this dumpster looked like it was ready for the black bloc party…

BLACKBLOCTOOLSYep we could have some fun with all this rumble…

We walked down towards the Convention Centre and found this sticker which seemed to be advertising the (black) bloc party.OMGG20WTFAfter this we saw 100s of the one time… the thin blue line looked rather plump as I asked them if they knew about the (black) bloc party but they just wanted to go and sit in the shade.

POLICE IN THE SHADE

Still that many police are a sure sign that a (black) bloc party is going to happen.

FALL DOWNMegsie tried to climb the barricades but fell down…

THROUGH THE BARRICADEI got to the other side but it was really boring… The ring of steal was no match for Megsie though as she kicked down a barricade to let me through

TIP OVER BARRICADE

KICK SIGNThis sign could be kicked over as part of the (black) bloc party… but there’s no one around to see it fall so does it really fall at all?

POSE WITH SECURITYThese drivers/security asked us to let them know if we found the party…

BEERBEERBEERThese would certainly start the party…

MOVEBINAll the police we asked about the (black) bloc party thought it sounded fun and wanted to come along…. it would be til they turned up so I tipped over this dumpster to make our own barricade..

PUNCH SECURITYThis security guard was not in the mood for a party so Megsie dealt with him true ninja style…..

LOOSE PROJECTILEAll the police I ask about the (black) bloc party think it sounds good luckily Megsie found a loose projectile to throw at them when they came to ruin our fun.

1511190_10152851116069596_91834903137370908_nSomeone’s planned ahead … this will be great for powering the sound system…

G20 police policing‘We’re looking for the G20 (black) bloc party, do you know about it? ‘ ‘Huh… no… black bloc… party .. no… er… der…. geetwenny … why don’t we have Segways?’

Abomination Maybe Lowkey is coming to the party…

movesignWho left this here? We heard Obama was coming so we blocked the street with it…

binbombBetter get this shield ready for the party…

molotovFinally we found someone else preparing for the (black) bloc party… Megsie gets ready to make (molotov) cocktails…

DSC_0135Quiet before the storm…

DSC_0023Fight for your right to party…. I mean party for your right to fight…

JLL 021The po po are wearing fluros to get in the party mood….

colours of genecideWe displayed the true colors of Brisbane

march 187This happy party goer missed the memo about prohibited items but somehow managed to avoid detection…

Kicking off

We gave an anarchist a cigarette and a Molotov cocktail and really got the party started

Burn baby burnWe warned the police to be careful where they parked their cars in this heat

Police car ruined

Tony angryTony is pretty angry about the mess we made and randomly mentioned something about the budget and $7 co payments

angela merkel partyAngela Merkel thanked us for rioting because it made her feel right at home…

putin offerPutin offered to arm us… can someone explain what these are? And if we need them?

Dragunov SVD, BM-27 Uragan, VPK-3927 Volk, S-400 missile system, A-100 AWACS, 6B43 Body Armor, MP-443 Grach, KSVK, ABCE, V0dKa 100P, OSV-96, VIT-B12, RPK-74, VLaD2000, GM-94

OBAMA SADAnd Obama was just really sad about how much C02 we would have released into the atmosphere because it’s going to put a huge dint in his target to reduce greenhouse emissions.

OBAMA GREEN HORNETWe reminded him about his zero emissions fighter jet and he calmed down realising how much it was going to help save the planet…

You may not hear about this on the news but it really happened. Brisbane isn’t that boring after all…

Operation Lizard Jam by Monster Zoku Onsomb! on Mixcloud

This is another thing that rocked Brisvegas this #G20 weekend…