Irony... Anarchists Voting Against Bush

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Pangloss, Aug 17, 2004.

  1. Pangloss More 'pop' than a Google IPO! Registered Senior Member

    This has got to be an "ultimate" example of anti-Bush sentiment in the country -- anarchists actually voting, just so they can vote against Bush!

    Reminds me of my favorite quote from Ghostbusters:
    "Cats and dogs living together.... real end of the world kinda stuff...."

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  3. nbachris2788 Registered Senior Member

    Haha, how bad can one be to motivate committed non-voters to vote against you? That's like having the pacifists wage war on you.
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  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    (Does a lack of a title make this titless?)

    Thank you for the article, Pangloss. I agree that this is the height of anti-Bushism. But I wanted to give a shout out to Larry, from California, and remind him to "Cram it with walnuts, Ugly!"°

    Look, I don't disagree a whit with Emma Goldman--

    --but perhaps the grandest of Anarchism's many peculiar faults is its unique inefficacy, and what our man Lawrence (as with many of his Anarchist contemporaries) seems to overlook is that this is because of a nearly-religious refusal to cooperate with any organization he dislikes. What his brothers and sisters are discovering is the idea that some things are more important, and if it's a loathing of George W. Bush, at least he can be said to have accomplished this. Communism scared the shit out of Americans because it was, for a time, effective. Specifically, it's an excellent revolutionary calling. Sustenance--now there's another issue for another day. The more important point being Communists, for all their Revolutionary zeal, are willing to work within and thereby disrupt or even sabotage the machine while Anarchists pride themselves on a separation so severe that it borders on fundamentalism.

    I like Anarchism. I think it's an excellent perspective. But I haven't a clue how to pull off the Anarchist Revolution, and I don't feel like storming the Armory. Complicating that is the idea that, even should I someday "figure it out"--e.g. make legitimate human history by being the first person to understand and communicate the true human condition--there still remains the problem not only of how to compel Anarchists to cooperate closely enough to pull it off, but also to explain it to them in the first place. I mean, come on ... voting for a Democrat is only a step forward for Republicans and Anarchists.°

    Anarchists who refuse to participate within the process are doomed to inefficiency. Voting, to many people, seems to be a fruitless expenditure of time and effort; we ridicule those poor bastards with the campaign signs on the streetcorners and chuckle at the front-yard campaign sign wars. As one who has been cussed out both as a political activist and a political research (phone survey) agent, I can say with reasonable confidence that these are aspects of the political system people have a particular distaste for.

    So it seems to me that if the voting public is lamenting their lack of voice, and we lend grief to everyone from various voter-registration campaigns to the candidates to the officeholders to the special interests and beyond .... It's nice to see some Anarchists stepping up and taking their share. The voting public has a long way to go, and Anarchists like our man Lawrence have an even longer road ahead of them inasmuch as they seek certain changes.

    Thus, dissenting from Lawrence and his fellows, I warmly welcome our voting Anarchist neighbors: Nice of you to stop by; we need you. We've always needed you.


    ° "Cram it with walnuts, Ugly!" - From The Simpsons, #4F12, "The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochy Show".

    ° step forward for Republicans and Anarchists - Communists, Libertarians, and Socialists all make concessions on their platforms in coming to vote for someone like Senator Kerry. Republicans generally wake up to their consciences. Anarchists merely wake up. Those to the right of the Republican Party, well ... it's usually fits of insanity or vengeance that compel them to vote for the occasional Democrat. Consider it in the context of Bill Clinton's recent remark, "Democrats win when people think." That doesn't necessarily mean that other voters are thoughtless, but rather it's taken more in the context of Apple Computer's classic slogans, "Think Different!" and then, "Think!" What Clinton meant is something directly akin to my recent assertion that liberalism takes more thought. It's a very easy pitch according to American conservatism: wealth and social superstition. The GOP focuses its respect for the individual on the abstract opportunity to chase wealth, and then pitches over to religious social virtues. The Democrats ... okay, the Democrats are still a wreck, but when you try to start from a communal perspective--a we are instead of an I am--the mere appearance of progress is more complex than the more conservative vision. It's why ideas like "awareness", when manifest in higher voter turnout, support a more liberal outcome. And "awareness" should not be taken to mean anything more than being aware of being in a voting booth. Higher voter turnout means that more people are thinking--at whatever level--about certain political issues. It also means that disillusioned leftists concede (their apathy) to take part in the process. And while Communists, Libertarians, and Socialists all have their faults, the ideal politic in which humanity would flourish most exists inherently to the left of where the Democratic party operates. Communists and Socialists, to the left, operate in a sphere closer to the ideal, and thus come away from it. Libertarianism, seeking individual empowerment, also must come away from the ideal in order to accommodate a typical Democrat of just about any era. Republicans, when they cross the party line, do so because they feel they must. That they are traveling toward the ideal is in part determined by the nature of the world we've all created, and by that I mean all of us on the planet.

    Works Cited:

    • Associated Press. "Anarchists' Convention Debates Voting." August 16, 2004. See
    • Goldman, Emma. "Anarchism: What It Really Stands For." See

    See Also

    • SNPP Episode Guide. "Itchy & Scratchy & Poochy Show." The Simpsons, #4F12. See
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2004
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  7. orestes Strategos Registered Senior Member

    Ok, I really can't take much more of this stuff. What is it anarchists are really working towards? If it's full blown anarchy, what they'll be getting is chaos and violence. Let's pretend for a minute the U.S. government dissolved, no military, no police, no government sevice whatsoever. Ok, some guys comes to your house and kills your family, steals your stuff, and walks off. Who can help you? Police? Oh, there are'nt any. Too bad...Its what you wanted.

    To want to live in a place with no rules is unrealistic. To think that people will live side by side with each other and be all nicey nicey is unrealistic. Government keeps order. Civilizations for the past 10,000 years have always had some kind of government. While far from perfect, the U.S. Government is one of the better forms of it. So please anarchists, don't take everyone else for retards, and stop.
  8. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    (Insert Title Here)

    Thoughts on the Purpose of Anarchism

    As with any other identity politic, it generally depends on the individual. By and large, though, "full-blown anarchy", chaos, and violence are short-sighted both in their performance and the assessment thereof. The problem with Anarchism is that it naturally offers few solutions, largely because people cannot distinguish between convention, custom, and rule.

    Bill Clinton recently noted that "Democrats win when people think." We might consider this for a moment in a larger perspective, as I have asserted in the past that "enlightened liberalism" is a tougher road than conservatism. Additionally, as I noted in the footnote above, the ideal politic in which humanity would flourish most exists inherently to the left of where the Democratic party operates. Anarchists are out in that general direction, but the very nature of society without the authority of rule is something so utopian and idealistic that I cannot yet describe the myriad degrees of separation 'twixt here and there.

    We might consider, then, Emma Goldman's classic essay (see prior post), and also Lysander Spooner's "Vices Are Not Crimes". Both are precious to literate Anarchists, and here we might pause to consider the fellow featured on the Daily Show's story about the FBI interviewing protesters and Anarchists--yes, an Anarchist with a doorman.

    But even these classic essays merely assert the problem, assert lofty and utopian solutions lacking any device for practical implementation. As with Communism, an Anarchist society depends on something thus far unattainable in the history of humankind--a society in which every individual is educated decently enough to understand and appreciate his or her role within the whole, as well as the full complement of the benefits such socialization brings. Institutionally, the Anarchist agenda would essentially ask any paradigm to educate its people to transcend it, much as a parent would hope for progress and prosperity for a child.

    Suggestions of such an evolution exist in the United States, where the word "capitalist" is bandied about with reckless disregard. Whereas most Americans, it seems, juxtapose democracy and communism, the proper comparison as we all know is actually capitalism and communism. And yet from this allegedly "capitalist" foundation, we see a shift from individual to institutional control: where the State, in a communist nation, makes decisions pertaining to people's health, education, and wellbeing, now the watered-down American capitalist turns more and more to profit-making devices bound by a social contract that, unlike government, has no obligations to the posterity of the people it serves, to make those very decisions. Rather than being terrified by the notion that in our anti-identity we Americans have rejected the (inefficient) state (bound by social contract to our benefit) in favor of the (seemingly-efficient) corporation (bound by social and legal contract to continuously reap profit), we might choose to look upon the idea hopefully: after placing as much formal and legal authority as people could muster° in the individual, the challenges of a society that champions internecine competition and demands that some people take on the responsibility of being poor compel some people to look to the institutional solution. This is a plus, as far as something like communism is concerned, and it ought to be a plus as far as Anarchism is concerned.

    We cannot expect that one day people will wake up and understand the benefits of society without the authority of rule. Convention and custom have been so erroneous in history as to raise skepticism and invoke fear. The rule of law has maintained a higher order of illusory civility, but in reality it has only dispersed the violence, highlighted it, and encouraged profiteering.

    Anarchy today would result in a breakdown to horrendous violence; people today are, as they have been in history, far too stupid° to undertake such a dangerously-liberating exercise as Anarchism--hell, they're not even ready for communism proper, speak nothing of the future abandonment of the coercive state in favor of a cooperative convention.

    The real key that Anarchism has failed to grasp, the real task to which Anarchism has failed in the present age to devote its energies, is simply one of information. People must be educated; that the result sought exists outside the working paradigm is no reason to withhold oneself from that system. I have yet to meet the sorcerer who could raise a cooperative, harmonious species as complex as humanity on a bet. Compared to the potential benefits Anarchism can bring, it seems almost sinister for Anarchists to refuse practical participation in the society they wish to reshape.

    A trip to the ballot box does not mean the end of direct action, but all direct action has ever won Anarchists is a massive hangover. I, personally, don't begrudge the Anarchist a doorman any more than the next guy, although one wonders about the relationship between working within the system and outright complicity.

    Meanwhile, bashing angrily against a system designed to heal itself faster than any one Anarchist cell--or, for that matter, all of them together--can hurt, does nobody any good. "The tree of liberty," says Jefferson's adage, "must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." That upheaval in the name of liberty is a natural and necessary part of the cycle of society has never been lost on Anarchists; indeed, the very marker of Emma Goldman's grave reads, "Liberty will not descend to a people; a people must raise themselves to liberty." What seems absent in the present era, when black-masked Anarchists succeed in hampering the WTO at the cost of the masses of people whose benefit the Anarchists claim, is the idea of why one is an Anarchist. I'll put money on the notion that the guy with the doorman knows a bit more about why he's an Anarchist than the punk smashing up a Starbuck's from behind the dark glory of a bandana.

    To surrender any sense of dialogue to the rebels without cause has the result of deflecting the discussion from the central theses of Anarchism, which equate to the assertion that government is a product of the slothful or ignorant mind. This notion, reflected in various forms across the terra firma of leftism°, is given sharp relief in the Anarchist outlook. What Anarchism, in literate expression, can bring to the social discourse is in essence similar to what atheism can bring to a religious consideration. Much as atheism would disbelieve any notion of God beyond one practically explicable in other terms inasmuch as the situation demanded it, so, too, and perhaps even more aggressively, does Anarchism disbelieve any social organization founded on coercion--e.g. the state. Unfortunately, neither atheism nor Anarchism prescribe any real, practical solutions, though the former is in no position to do so, anyway. Anarchism, however, asserting its voice in a political arena, must necessarily present some means toward a solution.

    It is that larger goal, that broader response to the state and its purpose in civilization, that black-masked, window-smashing Anarchists cannot see in their myopia, and it would be a disservice to them, and to the world at large, to limit our consideration of Anarchism to the shortsighted.

    Sufis are known to ask, "Is the best we have the best that we can do?" The question bears some significance for us in the West, and particularly among the United States. Anarchism, despite its contemporary incoherence, orbits the very nucleus of the sociopolitical element of the question.

    In the ideal form, this is what the Anarchist with the doorman is working or thinking toward. In the ideal form, this is what the black-masked, window-smashing Anarchists need to figure out. In the ideal form, there is no reason for people to compete with one another, as we are hard enough on ourselves when left to a properly sensitive conscience.

    As the gulf 'twixt today and an Anarchistic utopia is such as to be indescribable, it is well enough to say that Anarchists willing to play within the system--really? a doorman?!--and do something so simple as to vote (such as the advent of the present discussion) may well come to someday find a way to bring other of their passions to practical action; perhaps someday one of them, or perhaps I, will finally phrase the question in a way that people can make use of it instead of running for safe hills in which satisfaction is the only sin.

    Anarchists have a hard time explaining what they want because it is, in the end, what everybody wants, and everybody has at least equal difficulty expressing.

    Smashing windows? I could find better reasons than Anarchism to justify a drive-by shooting.

    That the argument against Anarchism depends on a celebration of humanity's most inglorious habits is very suggestive in and of itself.


    ° as much formal and legal authority as people could muster - See Spooner, Vices, Ch. XII: ". . . it is impossible that a government should have any rights, except such as the individuals composing it had previously had, as individuals. They could not delegate to a government any rights which they did not themselves possess. They could not contribute to the government any rights, except such as they themselves possessed as individuals."

    ° far too stupid - Pop Quiz: "Bob walks into a store, picks a shirt off the rack, goes to the counter, pays money for it, and leaves. Why did Bob not simply walk in, pick the shirt he liked, and walk out?" Answer Key: Is it merely "the law" and its consequences that prevent Bob from stealing the shirt? For most people, the answer would be an emphatic, "No!" After all, we do not pretend of ourselves (do we?) that our only reason for behaving according to "civilized" conventions is that the law prescribes a punishment if we don't. Whether it's that Bob likes the clerk and wants a date, or that he is keeping his prints off the record until he kills someone, or that he just figures it's not worth the effort of being a thief, there is a reason--whether he openly acknowledges or not--that he behaves according to the rules of society, and that reason is his own. The law exists for the benefit of the cooperatively-intended; were those folks all there was to society, there would be no need for laws, as nobody would ever break them except by sheer accident--e.g. negligence, &c.

    ° reflected ... across the terra firma of leftism - Oscar Wilde, in his essay, "The Soul of Man Under Socialism", wrote:

    And the Communist Manifesto includes the idea inherently at the outset: "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." The struggles in this context have always been against the complicity and satisfaction of the decision-making political and economic minority, which depends on a hand-to-mouth working class. Part I of the Manifesto is in itself a litany of amusements for the poor; Wilde himself seems to have been aiming in part at Communism in his 1891 essay.

    Nonetheless, optimism on either part would suggest that the primary challenge facing society in its own reshaping is a matter of will.


    • Goldman, Emma. "Anarchism: What It Really Stands For". (1911) See

    ----- "The Psychology of Political Violence". (1911) See

    • Spooner, Lysander. "Vices Are Not Crimes: A Vindication of Moral Liberty". (1875) See

    • Marx, Karl and Friedrich Engels. "The Communist Manifesto". (1848) See

    • Wilde, Oscar. "The Soul of Man Under Socialism". (1891) See
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2004
  9. Norman Atta Boy Registered Senior Member

    The bottom line is that "Bush" is a joke and should not have been elected president in the first place. Sorry Gore. If Bush is re-elected then the U.S. can expect some big problems ahead. Watch out Iran!

    Yob Atta
  10. Dr Lou Natic Unnecessary Surgeon Registered Senior Member

    What gave you the idea that was the goal of anarchists?
    They want to be human beings, the animals that we are, doing what we instinctually want to do whenever and not worrying about big daddy society looming over our heads ready to clip us on the ear whenever we break his house rules.
    I think its unrealistic to think anarchy would cause an eternal riot, but i agree its also unrealistic to think we would all live side by side holding hands. I've never heard anarchists saying they want to be nicey nicey with everyone, they'd be morons if they said that and inherently in contradiction with anarchy.
    Anarchists tend to want to reserve the right to be violent actually, they want to be allowed to throw a rock at someone and then get their teeth kicked out and not have it be anyone elses business.
    I'm very keen on the concept of anarchy. Because I've put alot of thought into it and can tell what it would really be like.
    Families would become tighter and become "clans" with territories that they would defend and live off of.
    Anarchy couldn't mesh with modern society, or civilisation at all really, but that wouldn't bother me. It could still be inclusive of farming, fucking and making alcohol so who really cares.
    If anarchy suddenly fell upon todays modern society, ie cops and goverment disappeared, there would be riots and craziness going on for a while, but we would gradually adapt back into the pack animals we naturally are because its the most successfull strategy in "the wild". And once that happened I'd be surprised if there was even as much "crime" as there is now. People would stay in their territories and the fear of being brutally murdered by any family who's territory you wandered into would discourage all but the most confident gangs. And if they had what it took to exterminate a family and takeover their land they would have earned it and all would be right with the world.
    There would be alot of battles between families over land, but that would just make life interesting.
    It would be so fun to patrol your territory with some cousins and dogs and when you found some rogue deadbeat you could do whatever you wanted to him, and then stick his decapitated head on a spike on the outskirts of your territory to warn others.
    Thats the life

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  11. Carnuth i dont Registered Senior Member

    ahhh, anarchy leads to natural selection

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  12. Working Class Hero Skank Monster Registered Senior Member

    Well, as a syndicalist and a big time Anarchist sympathiser (IWW member) i would say there is no "anarchist party line". If you want to vote you may be a hypocrit, but no one is going to stop you.

    And the ballot box is a tool and a weakness in the capitalist's defence, and if you dont use it your ignoring a good weapon. Anarchists in the Spanish 1936 elections voted for the popular front in order to get imprisoned anarchists released for the upcoming fighting. If they hadnt done this, the Popular Front wouldnt have been elected, there wouldve been no amnesty, and the numbers and therefore fighting efficiency of the anarchist militias would have been severely decreased. It wouldve been stupid not to use the opportunity presented.
  13. duendy Registered Senior Member

    ahhhh, can any of you surfin anarchists help me?
    right, a while back i perhcance came upon with online website....can remember if it was a link from a website of actual first page

    if i rember right it was white text on a black background, and was quite long.
    the guy talked about everthing, and even brought in about how Nazi ideology was vry cloes to our form of cryptofascism, etc

    for the life of me i remember writing bits of it down, and have gone crazy going through all me notes tying to find it, and tying loads of variations in google search to get it again....nuthin! really fukin weird. so this is just an offchance one of yous may know to what i am referring.

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