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THE way is mine corrected version
by Ahmed
Sunday Oct 29th, 2000 1:04 PM
About diversity and democracy
by Salim
(salim [at] Sunday Oct 29th, 2000 7:48 PM
Wow. And they say people with names like Ahmed and Salim could never be anarchists.

by mike
(mikeg731 [at] Sunday Oct 29th, 2000 8:04 PM
I just have a couple final comments on this little discussion, then I am ending my participation in it (this really isn't the place for back and forth "discussion"). I think you have read way too much into what I've said. I made the point that not voting accomplishes nothing. That's all I said. I don't believe any honest person can argue otherwise. Anything else you or others like you (if I may generalize, forgive me) choose to do is outside the scope of the discussion and I've made no comment on it. I am NOT defending the mentalities you claim I am, and find your "knowledge" of my viewpionts after I wrote a couple hundred words absurd. To say I can't conceptualize outside the time period and realities in which I have lived is wrong, ridiculous, and laughable if you had ANY knowledge of who I am or my ability for "cognitive conceptualization" so to speak. If you want to disagree with what I've said, fine, good, I encourage it. However, to presume to understand my mentality after such specific, brief contact is an utter god damn joke. Bye.
by Ahmed
Monday Oct 30th, 2000 9:22 AM
Didn't you conceptualized about people and opinion you do't even know? read your text again...
Anarchy in the US by michael gillen 20001028192155
this article is not yet rated mikeg731 [at]

Not voting equals nothing


It seems there has been some discussion on this page of late regarding the opposing views of voting for change and anarchism. I have been quick to label anarchism a “road to nowhere,” and I wanted to take a minute to explain why.
First, let me state that I have no ill will towards the anarchist. I
understand, though don’t totally
agree, with his/her objections to the organizational hierarchy of
government. More often than
not, the anarchist and myself see the same problems afflicting
the world, and specifically this
country. However, I dismiss the effectiveness of anarchy. This
is why:
The concept of “boycotting” the election, as was recently put
forth in a well-written piece on
this page, does not make very much sense to me. How do you
boycott something if your
involvement in it is inevitable? The anarchist rejects the
modern concept of governmental
authority. Show me one anarchist, however, who, due to such
rejection, was exempt from the
laws of said governmental authority. None has ever existed.
To make a point, take the concept of boycotting. To boycott
goods or services, or a specific
event which does not inevitably and inherently include your
participation, makes sense.
Boycotting a local grocery store because of their labor
practices (such as the Teamsters
Local 439 is attempting to do with Safeway) is an example. If
you choose to boycott their
products, you are removing your money from the offending
business (and thus, in capitalism,
removing their entire reason for existing). If enough people
take this up, the store can
presumably be forced to change its policies, or go out of
business. Maybe the effectiveness
of such a movement is questionable, but its plausibility is not.
With the concept of politics, however, things are slightly
different. If you choose to boycott an
election, you are in fact removing nothing from government’s
ability to exist (unlike the store
dependent on consumers’ funds). The government, and any
specific position within it, will
continue to exist, whether there is 100% voter participation or
1%. Your actions translate to
nothing in terms of approaching your final goal. Nothing. All
that you have done is leave a
decision in the hands of those who choose to take part in it,
and voluntarily negated any say
you may have had in the matter. Make no mistake, also: you,
and everyone else, will be held
to the laws and policies formulated by those elected. Keep in
mind this “boycott” works well
for those who have a vested interest in maintaining the status
quo. Low voter turnout and
mass apathy are the “establishment’s” dreams. And as far as
effectiveness is concerned,
anarchism and apathy are the same thing. What you have
done is refuse to make any input
into how you are governed. How this translates into the
restructuring, or dissolving, or our
governmental system is a logical impossibility.
The facts are simple: 1) we have a Constitution and system of
laws, 2) elected officials are
the only ones who may change them, ultimately, 3) the
established network of officials and
systems of laws hold all military and judiciary power, 4) said
military and judiciary power will
be used by said officials when necessary to hold our
allegiance to the Constitution and
system of laws, and 5) we will ALL, anarchist or not, be held
accountable under said laws.
Given this circle of interlocked facts, how is “boycotting” the
election have ANY effect on the
structure of governmental power?
Walk away from consumerism, and you remove yourself from
the consumerist system. Try to
walk away from politics, and you remove your views from a
system in which your
accountability to that system is nevertheless guaranteed. Or
better put, try to walk away from
politics, and watch it bite you in the ass.
by Ahmed
Monday Oct 30th, 2000 9:26 AM

by Ahmed 2:33pm Sun Oct 29 '00
address: earth

Revolution will happen slowly and hardly, but on my point of
vue certainly not by voting through parlementarism and
electoral aristocracy.
In a way you're right when you believe that voting for nader will
change something (let's imagine that 5% of US people vote for
Nader: it will put the pressure on capitalists and republicrats).
But non-electoral anarchists are right also when denouncing
parlementarism. Firstly because they (and I) want to dismantle
the myth of "delegation". Secondly there's the question of
making revolution in the activist praxis (in many aspects:
authoritarian attitude, sexism etc.), this is crucial and a
political, electoral party is probably not a structure for this kind
of progress.
As many anarchist friends are saying: "be realistic, revolution
is not for is today and the day after tomorrow" ;-)
On the other hand a few "riot US activists" (I respect them
anyway) believe that riot will bring a kind of spontaneous
revolution. I think this way of thinking is the consequence of the
ideological terror that dominated the US and the destruction of
labour identities. It forced progressive forces and among them
anarchist to be isolated and they survived and created through
counter-culture (so they should be respected for their

If you need to believe that vote will bring change why not. But
there's many alternatives beetween parlementarist activism
and dream of spontaneous uprising: strikes and labour unions
(mainstream, anarcosyndicalist...), all kinds of direct actions
such as occupations (of boss office by workers, of local
politicians offices by "citizens" defending local issues,
occupation of non-used buildings by poor families organised
in various collectives and using medias to prevent police
actions and to put pressure on capitalists), demos of course,
popular education, lobbyist strategies, student activism,
non-monetary micro-structures, symbolic destruction of
capitalism etc. (for example this is what did José Bové french
farmer and anarchist: with many others they deconstructed
with calm and joy a
Mc Donald (with creative tools such as screwdriver, tracor or
chain saw) to denounce capitalist globalization, WTO and to
promote a non-productivist, non-corporatist agriculture
respecting humans and nature. Then they were threatened by
"justice", in response french farmers invited all progressive
forces to a "french seattle" rally, denouncing mainly the fact
that "human being is for sale" and that "social progressive
forces are criminalized by the state": up to 120.000 people
came to the little french town of millau!!! The state and the
capitalist lost a battle. And it gave a concrete occasion for
solidarity: from anarchists or tobin tax supporters to alternative
labor unions, ethnic and antifascists groups. It gave energy
and power to the whole progressive forces) . No political party
created such a
collective power, such a clear, strong, democratic and radical
initiative. In fact they were out.

Anyway if Nader participation brings some US folk to escape
from apathy that's great. If green party has good results in
elections: on the one hand it will put pressure on the system,
but consider that on the other hand the greens have to build
coalitions or to participate in a way or another to the political
oligarchy (with the desire to change it from inside).
Then comes the desillusion, believe me. As we were talking
about europe, think about what
happened to "center left" political parties in europe: the
"socialists" in France represented a big hope when elected in
1981 but of course they became tools of economic elite, (now
they're like "democrats"), same thing in Italy, spain, in belgium,
same thing with greens in France or germany (around 10% in
mid 90's I think, a seductive program and now they are fighting
each other and they accept to make a coalition with a very
capitalist "sociocrats" party) etc. And time goes on and they
look more and more like politicians they were denouncing and
many people goes back to apathy (or neo-fascist votes)
because the system presented them the electoral aristocracy
as the substance of democracy and the compromise
beetween realism and hope. But this is not realistic, this is
very naive because it does not question the political praxis. A
friend of mine and journalist (who voted for greens
in europe) told me "you know I think that marxism experience
failed because it considered human being as naturally good
and capitalism is also a totalitarism because it pretend that
human beng is naturally bad" (so: cynism, winners vs. loosers
etc.) .
by Ahmed
Monday Oct 30th, 2000 9:27 AM
I'd like to add that more generally if there's no serious focus on
praxis among forces working to dismantle capitalism, then it is
also falling in the pattern of human being considered as
naturally good, so let's send people "representing" us in the
power structure and let's hope that they will change the social,
economic, environnemental structure. This is irrealistic and
naive i think, 500%.
this is not against Nader, i think he knows and respect US
people much more than Gore, Bush and co. Moreover I know
some US anarchist that are or were supporting the greens
(anarchists are not one block!!!). I disagree with them, but I
understand their point of view (a good score for Nader might
lower state pressure on activists, may lower economic
pressure on poor populations etc.) What is interesting is that
these anarchists often don't declare their anarchism, and many
greens don't realise that they
are supported by some anarchists :-)))
Finally greens are victims of repression and censorship and
as anarchist and first as human being we should support all
persons around us whose freedom and freespeech is
threatened by state and capitalist elites. Even if in the
opposite situation anarchists may have few support. Of course
it's easier in a way to believe in riot and ready-made uprising
or delegation of "citizen" power in a few hands (even
generous, nice, full of good will ).
And to survive as militant, to find energy in an agressive
capitalist world (making its revolution, one more, very violent
and deadly) we all need a certain dose of illusion in our
humanist dreams. The past generations (anarchists, marxists,
feminists etc) that fought for radical changes and/or revolution
in europe, in the US and elsewhere had to believe that
revolution (or major reforms) were coming soon. And thanks to
them western countries had a lot of progress (such as the end
of monarchy in france, the
fight against religion lies and alienation in europe,
anarchist-anarcosyndicalist labour movement in Spain or in
the US, universal health system, women control over their
body, public and free schools and other concrete parts of
freedom and social equality).
This is what I say to non-militant passive people and it gives
often good results, unfortunately many people have no time
and did not even learn to think about such topics. But what I
want, as anarchist, is to confront people with their own praxis,
this is a revolution that 19s century ideologies (even 19s
anarchism in a way) did not consider as a priority. If you need
to vote do it but you will be confronted (in a constructive way I
hope). And more important try to keep in mind other ways,
tools and ideas.

Globalisation of capitalism? globalisation of alternatives!
by Ahmed
Monday Oct 30th, 2000 9:33 AM
Salim wrote: "Wow. And they say people with names like Ahmed and Salim could never be anarchists.

Mech momken !

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