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

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Tuesday, September 23 2014 @ 03:19 AM CDT

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Organizing social space as if social relations mattered

Practical Anarchy

What if we continually organized our social spaces as if social relations mattered? What if we dedicated ourselves to being enthusiastic lifelong learners and thus better schooled for revolutionary openings, to better be the kind of people who just might be able to supply the staying power for a better society—one where we and our communities are always, also, becoming better?

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Our Economy Wants You to Be In Debt—5 Things You Can Do to Take Charge

Practical Anarchy

Last month PM Press published the Debt Resisters' Operations Manual —also known as “the DROM.” But don’t let that menacing-sounding acronym fool you: this is a book written in plain English and filled with tips and tactics for dealing with debt.

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Intersectionality isn’t just a win-win; it’s the only way out

Practical Anarchy

In 2012, the Pachamama Alliance, a U.S.-based organization working in partnership with indigenous Achuar people in Ecuador, published a meme showing two native men discussing a new “scientific discovery”: the fact that our world is deeply interconnected. The joke, of course, is the idea that these scientists could “discover” a concept that is age-old wisdom for indigenous peoples across the world. I was delighted by the two-fold genius of the cartoon, the way it both highlights the importance of understanding the world we live in while pointedly calling out the dangers of cultural and intellectual appropriation.

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42 Ways to Build a Liberated Society Beyond Corporate Capitalism

Practical Anarchy

It is time to try to describe, at first abstractly and later concretely, a strategy for destroying capitalism. At its most basic, this strategy calls for pulling time, energy, and resources out of capitalist civilization and putting them into building a new civilization. The image, then, is one of emptying out capitalist structures, hollowing them out, by draining wealth, power, and meaning from them until there is nothing left but shells.

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Could Playfulness Be Embedded In The Universe? (David Graeber thinks so)

Practical Anarchy

In an essay in The Baffler a couple of weeks ago, David Graeber that there is a play principle embedded in all levels of physical reality. His essay, which ranges playfully from Spencer and Darwin to and string theory, ponders a deep and serious problem. As he writes:

"Still, if one wants a consistently materialist explanation of the world — that is, if one does not wish to treat the mind as some supernatural entity imposed on the material world, but rather as simply a more complex organization of processes that are already going on, at every level of material reality — then it makes sense that something at least a little like intentionality, something at least a little like experience, something at least a little like freedom, would have to exist on every level of physical reality as well."

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Deep Sharing: How the Commons Amplifies the Sharing Economy

Practical Anarchy

On a bitingly cold and rainy November evening last year, I was in a pickle: I’d taken a city bus to CoCo, the coworking space where I office in downtown Minneapolis, and was seemingly stuck without an efficient option for getting to Birchwood Café, where I would meet friends for dinner, three miles away. That is until I remembered my new membership with car2go, a car-share service that had recently won a contract with the city of Minneapolis. I quickly located a vehicle using car2go’s mobile app and, my despair vanishing, dashed out of the building in search of the blue and white smart car parked only a few blocks away.

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Looting after Hurricane Sandy: Disaster myths and disaster utopias explained

Practical Anarchy

On Thursday, three days after Hurricane Sandy swept across the Eastern Seaboard, darkening power grids, flooding neighborhoods, and killing at least 74 people, former Star Trek actor and social-media dynamo George Takei posted a lovely photo to his Facebook timeline. It showed two power strips draped over the gratework of a fence, phone cords tendrilling from each one. A sign said, “We have power. Please feel free to charge your phone!”

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Silent no longer: confronting sexual violence in the left

Practical Anarchy

In 2012, a member of the UK Socialist Workers Party (SWP) came forward saying she had been raped and sexually harassed by the former National Secretary of the organisation, Martin Smith. The internal ‘investigation’ which followed demonstrated a number of common ways in which sexual violence is ignored and those who experience it are demonised. Some of the members of the Disputes Committee chosen to investigate the claim were close friends of Smith. The woman who had come forward was questioned about her sexual history and alcohol use.

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How grassroots organizing came to the rescue in West Virginia’s water crisis

Practical Anarchy

Last month, an estimated 10,000 gallons of the coal-processing chemical MCHM, along with an unknown amount of a second substance called PPH, spilled into West Virginia’s Elk River — just upstream from a municipal water intake that serves nine counties. Freedom Industries, the company responsible for the spill, neglected to report it, despite some residents claiming to have smelled the chemicals as far back as December. After repeated complaints of a strong licorice-like smell, state inspectors literally followed their noses to the source. It wasn’t until many hours later that the water company and government agencies finally warned residents to avoid any contact with water— aside from flushing toilets and putting out fires.

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Talk to your neighbors…

Practical Anarchy

In this digital age, we’ve all experienced situations in which a text message or e-mail was misconstrued because the person on the receiving end could not discern tone. Without the facial expressions, physical gestures, and vocal inflections gathered during face-to-face conversation, communication can often be challenging.

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