"Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth."

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Friday, July 25 2014 @ 06:23 AM CDT

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Why you’re wrong about communism: 7 huge misconceptions about it (and capitalism)

Capitalism

As the commentary around the recent deaths of Nelson Mandela, Amiri Baraka and Pete Seeger made abundantly clear, most of what Americans think they know about capitalism and communism is arrant nonsense. This is not surprising, given our country’s history of Red Scares designed to impress that anti-capitalism is tantamount to treason. In 2014, though, we are too far removed from the Cold War-era threat of thermonuclear annihilation to continue without taking stock of the hype we’ve been made, despite Harry Allen’s famous injunction, to believe. So, here are seven bogus claims people make about communism and capitalism.

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Why I left libertarianism: An ethical critique of a limited ideology

Anarchist Opinion

I considered myself a libertarian for at least 10 years. The first time I heard the term was in 2000, watching Harry Browne in the third-party presidential debates. I knew next to nothing of libertarian philosophy, but the little I did understand, I identified with. My high school held a mock presidential election and I hung up “vote for Harry Browne” posters and encouraged my friends to write him in on their ballots. It was the first and last time I would participate in any kind of political campaign.

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The Broken Teapot - Epilogue

Anarchist Opinion

First off, this zine was meant to be descriptive not prescriptive, although I own the suggestions I’ve laid out and continue to hold to them. The hope was that the zine would encourage contextual, thoughtful and critical responses to rape and abuse. It should be possible within anarchist circles to have critical reflection about the use of essentialist categories without being accused of being a rape apologist. We are all holding on so tight to these labels and I think it is apparent that they are not working for us.

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Brazilian Workers Buck Union Officials to Strike

Demonstrators welcomed the World Cup to Brazil June 12. Many recent strikes have been called by the rank and file. Photo: Samia Gabriela Teixeira.

The World Cup is in full swing, and official propaganda from President Dilma Roussef’s administration portrays Brazil as a wonderland. But Brazilians have been exposing the truth in a full year of demonstrations, protests, and strikes.

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Dining Hall Protest: Prisoners Challenge Food Cutbacks at SCI Coal Township

Prisons

On June 16, 2014 prisoners at State Correctional Institution (SCI) Coal Township in central Pennsylvania are embarking on a peaceful protest of the dining hall by refusing to go to eat due to the administration’s cutback to their food portions and rations. Prisoners are once again taking the lead in the struggle for human rights. Support them today by calling the officials below and advocating for their demands.

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The cybernetics of Occupy: an anarchist perspective

Occupy Wall Street

In 1963, in the British journal Anarchy, a short debate took place on the relationship between anarchist forms of organization and organizational cybernetics. Organizational cybernetics, for those unfamiliar with the term, is often defined as the science of communication and control in organic, mechanical and social systems. While the term might suggest images of high technology and even cyborgs, etymologically it is derived from the Ancient Greek word κυβερνήτης (kyvernítis, or kybernetes), which means ‘steersman’ or ‘pilot’, and referred to the steering of a ship.

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The 2014 Seattle Anarchist Book Fair

Events

We are excited to announce that planning for the 2014 Seattle Anarchist Book Fair is underway. The book fair will be held on the weekend of August 23rd & 24th, and once again will be occurring at the Vera Project. We are currently accepting requests for table space at the book fair as well as proposals for workshops and discussions. The deadline for each is July 15th. Tables are $70 for the weekend (or $35 for half a table!), with proceeds supporting not just the book fair but multiple other projects as well (previous years money has gone to L@s Quixotes Library, Seattle Food Not Bombs, PNW Grand Jury Resistance, Riseup.net, the Prison Doula Project and more).

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David Graeber explains why the more your job helps others, the less you get paid

Anarchist Opinion

David Graeber is an American anthropologist who teaches at the London School of Economics. He is the author of the classic “Debt: The First Five Thousand Years” and played an important role in the launching of Occupy Wall Street. Last year, he wrote a much-discussed essay asking what happened to society’s old promise of more leisure time for workers; for the tasks that have come to occupy the hours that were once promised to be ours, Graeber invented the delicate and slightly obscure label, “bullshit jobs.”

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Divided we beg 1.5

Labor

So the primary law governing labor activism in the United States ( the body of law I am most familiar with ) is the National Labor Relations Act, commonly referred to as the Wagner Act. The law is without a doubt intended to restrict our rights as workers especially since it was amended in 1947 by a piece of legislation known as the Taft Hartley Act.

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Newsflash: Labour Doesn’t Care About You

Labor

It turns out the Left can move people – just not very far or in very interesting directions. Seeing as how these things are usually rained out or freezing, The People’s Assembly at least managed to pick a nice enough day for their “No More Austerity: Demand the Alternative” march on Saturday (June 21st).

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Palestine-Israel: The Never Ending Struggle to Block Israeli Settlements

Middle EastArkib, Bil'in, Ma'asara, Nabi Saleh, Ni'ilin, Qaddum, South of Hebron Hills, Sheikh Jarrah, Jaffa-Tel-Aviv

The last dozen days the Israeli PR machine harp on the lot of the kidnapped three young settlers to justify its efforts to prolong the intense pressure on the Palestinians to "willful" transfer. They pretend to use the kidnapped youth to Cripple Hamas - They really use both in a desperate effort to ignite the third intifada. Bringing 700 soldiers to the less than 2000 inhabited small village Na'ama (bordering Bil'in) to arrest two Hamas activists is just a ridiculous story no one will believe. As the efforts to ignite the third Intifada failed, and the obstruction of the compromise between Hamas and Fatah failed too (one of the most important pillars of the Israel divide and rule), the immanent pressure of world imperial power on Israel to end the occupation of 1967 war is nearing faster than ever. The joint struggle of the Israeli radicals together with Palestinian partners keep the subject in the center of world media.
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June 11th Solidarity Noise Demo Reportback from Durham, North Carolina

Prisons

On Friday 13th, June 2014, around 8:00PM, an angry crowd of about sixty people converged on the Durham County Detention Center in downtown Durham for the June 11th international day of solidarity with long term anarchist eco-prisoners Marie Mason, Eric McDavid, and all others whom the state has imprisoned. The crowd brought banners bearing messages of solidarity with those inside, one even saying “We Are the Bad Luck” with a provocative image of a cop being kicked, drums, a variety of noisemakers, and a giant crow puppet which waved around visible to inmates, until it eventually blended in with the night sky, creating a witchy silhouette.

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IWW Canvassers Strike Over Unpaid Wages

A crew of nine marijuana legalization canvassers walked off their jobs and into the Portland office of the Industrial Workers of the World June 5, looking to form a union. The workers at the Oregon Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp had been refused paychecks they were owed. This was on top of several past bounced paychecks. After their checks did not arrive on the late schedule and management would not even discuss it, they walked out.

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Did Teenage Anarchists Trigger World War I in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914?

Anti-War Activism

World War I had far deeper causes than the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. But, if the assassination had never happened, then a world war may have been delayed for years - or may have never happened at all. This makes it important to understand the politics of the assassins.

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Police use teargas and batons to break up World Cup protest in São Paulo

Police have fired teargas and flash grenades at anti-World Cup protesters trying to block part of the main highway leading to São Paulo's stadium hours before it is due to host the opening match of the tournament, injuring two CNN journalists in the process.

A man is detained by police in a protest over the cost of the World Cup near the Arena Corinthians where the opening match will be played. Photograph: Nelson Antoine/AP

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War against war! Statement of leftists and anarchists on the confrontation in Ukraine

Anarchist Movement

In the ongoing conflict, we support neither Ukrainian government nor pro-Russian factions that established their authority on the portion of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts. The working class (i.e. everyone who has neither power nor capital) is equally alien both to the concept of ​​ unitary Ukraine and to the ideas of ​​”federalization” or creation of new states — these are merely the games of politicians, drawing blood from ordinary people. We, the left and the anarchists, should primarily adhere to the needs of the working class in the war-torn regions of Ukraine, protect their rights and freedoms.

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The Wallersteinian Post-State Future

Borders

Since the French Revolution, the most accepted model for delineating political legitimacy and military order has been the nation-state. However, since 1989, many political scientists have seen that the nation-state is facing crisis. One of these theorists, Immanuel Wallerstein, has argued that the system of nation-states will undergo a transition to an uncertain alternative.

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