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I consider this a Radical Gumbo, with many varied ingredients making more than the sum of its parts. We are no-holds barred, passionate and not overly PC here. Yes, Liberals can have Fangs. Jump in and be part of the cutting edge!
That is one of many quotes you'll hear in this Q & A session with "anarcho-primitivist" writer Derrick Jensen, author of A Language Older Than Words and Culture of Make Believe--two books that should be required reading. The topics range from religion, patriarchy, the liberal corporate media (e.g., the Nation, MSNBC, et al.), rape, power and submission, liberals, racist cops, resisting state/patriarchal/capitalist violence, teaching writing, love, depraved capitalist sociopaths, bringing down civilization, activist tactics, revolution, the cognitive dissonance that results from being an anarchist living in a capitalist dictatorship, technology, imperialism and much more. He has a touch of ADD, which I love. Enjoy!
Video moved below the fold- site is hanging up and flaking today.
R.D. Laing began his extraordinary The Politics of Experience with: "Few books today, are forgivable." He wrote this, I believe, because we have become very alienated from our own experience, from whom we are, and this alienation is so destructive to others and to ourselves, that if a book does not take this alienation as its starting point and work toward rectifying it, we'd all be better off looking at blank pieces of paper.--D.J.
Or maybe you are just sick. I mean literally sick. "Sick" as in you need to go to the nephrologist right fucking now for that expensive dialysis treatment you've been putting off to pay for luxuries like canned peas and rent. Have you been unable to afford dialysis for so long that people have started calling you Frosty the Yellow Snowman because of that 4 inch layer of Uremic Frost covering your whole body?
I can only imagine how pissed (no pun intended) you must be! After all, you did exactly what you thought was right. On November 4, 2008 you stumbled half dead into that voting booth, cast your vote for Hope and Change, and promptly collapsed into a yellow heap right there on the floor of your local precinct.
As the paramedics carried you away--ignoring your desperate pleas for them to "get the fuck away from me you motherfucking bastards I can't afford a goddamn ambulance ride and another ER bill because I'm almost out of canned peas you little bitches, your father sucks cocks in hell"--you slowly started to lose consciousness with visions of affordable dialysis dancing in your head. "Everything is going to be fine now because Change is coming," you thought right before you fell into a coma that lasted three months.
After waking up in an alley somewhere in Cleveland to the odd sensation of a rat gnawing on your earlobe--the hospital dumped you there after 2 days once they discovered you had no insurance--you were feeling mighty low. You pulled what you hoped was a hospital needle out of your right hand and began aimlessly wandering the streets, trying to figure out what city they had dumped you in this time, and that's when you saw it!
A page from a discarded newspaper was doing pirouettes in the wind, inviting you to join it in its eternal dance of agonizing joy--or at least stare at it for a few hours with a deranged look of awe and wonder on your face while overwhelmed by the raw cascading emotions and the inchoate beauty of Am...
"I hated that fucking movie," you quipped as you snatched the piece of enchanted trash out of the air while it was in the midst of an aerial plie 2 feet in front of your face.
"Holy shit! Obama won! Obama is the President of the United Fucking States!!" You started reading through the article--something about a Troubled Assets Relief Program, whatever that was.
"Obama started some sort of public relief program already? FDR, eat your fucking heart out!" You continued skimming through the article:
"But you know, if you wanna end war and stuff, you have to sing loud," said Arlo. And end a war they did. It was not only by song, not only by protest, it was by the barrage of the REALITY of the horrors of war that woke the American People up to Vietnam.
I was the IMAGES.
I think that the American public doesn't want to look at the horrors anymore. It would make it too hard to exist. Too hard to breathe easy over their lattes, doing nothing about it. They are too worried about keeping their jobs to think about much else.
You see, if they saw CURRENT images, such as this, in Obama's Bagram, done by the US military, they would have to admit we are the barbarians we are supposed to stand against. We are the monsters.
Dude, now like the cat is out of the bag and like we know everyone but 'conservatives' and old people just want to have fun, I think you'll see more top-of-the-line revolutionaries come out of the closet of stonerdom and, you know, not be afraid to have our revolutionary fervor tempered by a joint or two on the way to the big protest march or strategic infrastructure demolition.
According to Derrick Jensen, our collective efforts to facilitate change will amount to nothing as long as we remain trapped in the billowy vice grip of hope. In order to be truly free, we must all experience the death of hope--cognitively,viscerally and spiritually.
I submit that gnawing off a foot to escape the comforting trap of hope only solves half of the problem. We must also euthanize whatever vestiges of trust we still have in the assumptions, principles, practices and institutions that comprise the fetid carrion of our liberal capitalist "democracy". Once we shed the beautiful delusions of hope and trust, we will know true freedom. We will at last have unfettered cognitive and emotional access to the full repertoire of resistance strategies.
When we stop hoping that capitalism--a system that is overtly based on greed-- can somehow be reformed to benefit the working class, we are no longer limited to thinking purely in terms of reform. When we stop trusting the saccharine myth that the sanctioned paths for achieving such reforms in our divinely-inspired constitution were ever intended to be successful, we can start thinking beyond the boundaries of legally-sanctioned remedies (i.e., voting for a political savior, peaceful protests, boycotts, candlelight vigils, etc). Once hope and trust are dead, we have the potential to be effective.
Rather than trying to convince you to gnaw off your own foot to escape hope, perhaps the following information will do the trick. Let's use Obama's "health care reform" as an example. Think about the implication of following facts for hope and trust:
2)The pharmaceutical industry is funding a massive ad campaign in favor of ObamaCare to the tune of about $160 million. Now, if your hope and trust still have a pulse, I recommend that you start getting their affairs in order. Also, be sure to sign a DNR order.
During today's show, I made a rather fumbling attempt to describe Michael Albert's conceptualization of capitalism and his critique of Marxist theory in response to someone's exclamation to the effect of, "Why is it taking so damn long for the workers to rise up and take over the means of production as Marx predicted?!" Albert's book Parecon: Life After Capitalism delves into this issue in great detail. It also offers one of the most thoughtful responses to the capitalists' predictable (and condescending) retort to any critique of capitalism: "You leftists sure can criticize, but you don't offer any solutions. If you had your way and capitalism were to vanish tomorrow, what would yoursuperior alternative be, Chairman Mao?" The next time you find yourself being asked that question by some little neoliberal prick, hand said neoliberal prick a copy of Parecon. S/he will wish s/he never posed the question.
Parecon caused quite a stir in certain intellectual circles and even received the blessing of the don himself: Noam Chomsky. HRH Barbara Ehrenreich even found Albert's ideas worthy of her time, and if you follow the link below you'll find your way to her extended interviews with him about Parecon. Turns out, our gal Babs is more of a capitalist than I ever imagined.
The following is the text of a speech in which Albert lays out the framework for his analysis of (and extension upon) Marxist theory that I failed to covey adequately today. You can read more about Albert's pioneering work in participatory economics at ZNet's veritable Parecon Pavilion.
Class or Multitude
By Michael Albert
The title of our panel here at the Left Forum in New York City, is
"Class or Multitude?"
By way of answering, I think we need class concepts, but I don't think
we need the concept multitude. Here's why.
Class concepts focus us on the difference between owning factories and
selling one's ability to do work. This difference produces capitalists
versus everyone else. The source of this difference has to be eliminated
if we are to transcend capitalism. I think we all agree on that.
Additionally, however, I think good class concepts should also focus us
on a second critical economic difference.
Some people do work that conveys knowledge, confidence, and control over
daily life. Their work is empowering. They give orders. They define
tasks and decide who does them, at what pace, and with what distribution
of the results. Their knowledge increases. Their confidence grows.
Other people do work that is overwhelmingly rote, obedient, and
dis-empowering. They follow orders. They do not set schedules or
agendas. They do not decide outcomes. Their knowledge decreases. Their
On the one side we have people we call workers - which includes
assemblers, bus drivers, short order cooks, miners, maids, nurses, and
waitresses, the daily implementers of economic dictates - roughly 80% of
On the other side, we have people who I want to call coordinators -
which includes high level lawyers, engineers, doctors, accountants,
architects, and managers, the daily designers and administrators of the
economy and its protocols - roughly 20% of the workforce.
In capitalism, all around us, coordinators are subordinate to owners but
in turn benefit at the expense of workers. In another type of economy,
beyond capitalism, coordinators can rule workers.
Institutions that create and preserve the coordinator/worker class
hierarchy include corporate divisions of labor, remuneration for output
or for power, hierarchical decision making, and markets or central
planning for allocation.
Sadly, with private ownership eliminated, these institutions remain
central in what most people call socialism, but which I think we should
I want classlessness, which means I want all workers to enjoy conditions
of comparable empowerment and quality of life at work. I want all people
in the economy to have a fair say in outcomes. I do not want a few
people to rule many others.
I think we need class concepts, then, to highlight the three class
structure of modern economies and to guide our efforts to eliminate not
only ownership bases for class division and class rule, but also
division of labor bases for class division and class rule.
While youths in Athens protest by throwing Molotov cocktails, in Paris by toppling barricades, and in Budapest by hurling eggs at politicians, protesters in Berlin rage at their economic plight by targeting the most expensive cars -- symbols of German wealth and power.
The history of Liberal America can be seen as encompassing two revolutions. The first centered on rights, as the notion of what Tom Paine termed "the rights of man" extended to include the propertyless, people of color and women. In the United States that revolution was in part derailed by the rollback of Reconstruction when the country essentially bought the South's idea of segregation. A similar rollback has been under way since the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s in what I have referred to as the Second Reconstruction.
You may have seen the story recently about how American war criminals at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and all the world-wide illegal secret American torture prisons have taken a page from the torture text book of the Chinese to force 'terror' suspects to sign false confessions.
The point of this torture is not to get any kind of actionable intelligence, but to get false confessions. The point of this torture is to manufacture lies.
Simply to sell an otherwise non-existent 'war on terror.'