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Laura Flanders: President Obama chose the 10th anniversary of the (2004) Battle of Fallujah to announce the doubling of the US troop presence in Iraq. Some of those troops are going back to Anbar Province where Fallujah is situated. People talk about the crisis posed by ISIS, and [the West's] lack of good options. Is this how you see it?
Noam Chomsky: It's interesting to look at it carefully. Fallujah, first of all, was one of the worst atrocities of the 21st century. The Iraq war itself was the worst crime of the 21st century, easily. Fallujah was probably the worst war crime carried out during that war.
The term the “radical community” constructs itself as in contrast to that of the plain old “community” and those who fucked up people who comprise it. The radical community designates it self as the proprietors of truth. Those who understand a certain truth of the workings of the world alien to those outside it as the term indicates. In discourse it proclaims to hold a certain perception of power and the human condition ultimately alien to the “working class”. Supposedly with a common directive to unlock this potential. To create a liberatory society. A vanguard if not in name but because they already (to borrow a Maoist term) represent the “advanced”. The select few who hold their sacred knowledge, on an ever beleaguered quest to expose the great deceit to the uneducated “working class” and activate their true potential, revolution or insurrection.
All unfree societies throughout history have been based on relations of domination and oppression as well as exploitation. Relations that are social rather than just personal. In pre-capitalist societies the relations of production were such that exploitation was imposed from the outside through the structures of domination. In such societies the relations of domination and exploitation are effectively one and the same. In capitalist society exploitation becomes integrated into the relation of production. Coercion appears as an anonymous force (poverty) and social relations are increasingly separated into political and economic spheres.
From the initial revolt in Ferguson last August to the demonstrations in Oakland and Berkeley last week, property destruction has been central to a new wave of struggle against police violence. But what does vandalizing businesses have to do with protesting police brutality? Why break windows?
It’s no surprise to discover that Kropotkin was interested in Christmas. In Russian culture, St. Nicholas (Николай Чудотворец) was revered as a defender of the oppressed, the weak and the disadvantaged. Kropotkin shared the sentiments. But there was also a family link. As everyone knows, Kropotkin could trace his ancestry to the ancient Rurik dynasty that ruled Russia before the upstart Romanovs and which, from the first century CE, controlled the trade routes between Moscow and the Byzantine Empire.
The intellectual has, traditionally, been caught between the conflicting demands of truth and power. He would like to see himself as the man who seeks to discern the truth, to tell the truth as he sees it, to act - collectively where he can, alone where he must - to oppose injustice and oppression, to help bring a better social order into being.
Anarchists are part of the global conversation on what’s broken in the world, but when things really fall apart—like with the current Ebola outbreak—is the state the only answer? How might a stateless society respond to a challenge like this one? This article provides an anarchist response to these questions, while highlighting issues that require those of us with anarchist politics to carefully think through our position.
Kevin Carson is attempting to resurrect anarchist economic theory. This is interesting because most current anarchist political economy is speculation about a post-capitalist, post-revolutionary, economy—what it would look like and how it might work. There is little or nothing of an analysis of how present-day capitalism functions. For that, most anarchists either rely on some variety of conventional (pro-capitalist) economics or they look to aspects of Marxism. The latter is the strategy I used in my book (Price 2013)—with the subtitle, “an anarchist introduction to Marx’s critique of political economy.” There have been anarchists using Karl Marx’s economic views—while rejecting his statist politics—beginning with Michael Bakunin.
So much could be said of yesterday’s large, boisterous, self-organized #ShutItDownForMikeBrown disruption of downtown San Francisco during the evening hours of Black Friday. That no one and everyone organized it, simply by coming together with banners and signs, voices and bodies, and a whole lot of boldness, was perhaps the best part of this demonstration, which did indeed halt business as usual on this Black Friday in one of the United States’ most expensive and high-tech-gentrifying cities.
I’ve been an anarchist for more than half of my life. While I am often charged with being an “armchair anarchist,” the truth is that I spent the greater part of my life on the front lines tossing bricks, building autonomous spaces, and experimenting with different anarchist practices. I’ve been arrested, I’ve hiked the country, I’ve grown gardens, I’ve had dinner parties, I’ve worn black masks, I’ve fought with police officers, I’ve disrupted the meetings of members of the power elite, and I’ve participated in conspiracies against the government, and so on. I write this knowing very well that it marks me as a target.