Sunday December 18, 2011 at 12:516,541 notes
“The thing is, it’s patriarchy that says men are stupid and monolithic and unchanging and incapable. It’s patriarchy that says men have animalistic instincts and just can’t stop themselves from harassing and assaulting. It’s patriarchy that says men can only be attracted by certain qualities, can only have particular kinds of responses, can only experience the world in narrow ways. Feminism holds that men are capable of more – are more than that. Feminism says that men are better than that, can change, are capable of learning, and have the capacity to be decent and wonderful people.”
This post was reblogged from sympathetic magic.
Thursday December 15, 2011 at 21:487 notes
A right is always a privilege, if “right” means something that has to be dispensed by some program, and “privilege” means something scarce and supposedly good that’s tied into a depriving system. A right is just a privilege that well-meaning shallow-sighted people try to give to everyone. But if we define a “right” as something that’s implicit in the basic structure of society, so that everyone has it without anyone making any effort — clean water because there are no poisons, freedom because there’s no authority, equality because there are no means to concentrate wealth or power — then that’s really the opposite of the other kind of “right,” and we wouldn’t ever have a reason to declare it a right.
For example, maybe no one has ever spoken of the right to see color. Some people are colorblind but they don’t think of it as deprivation of a right. But suppose we all had a chip put in our heads, by the ColorSee Corporation, that blocked us from seeing color unless we paid ColorSee a monthly fee. Then we would talk about “rights,” and liberals would not try to get the chips taken out, because that’s just naive romanticism and we can’t go back you know; instead they would demand a government subsidy so that everyone could pay ColorSee. And then the rich would hate the liberals and the poor, because damn it we had to spend years at painful schooling and jobs to afford to see color, and now the poor are going to get it for free which means we wasted our lives. And while we’re all fighting about this, someone is inventing a wonderful new technology that, for a reasonable fee, allows us to breathe…
If you think this is all a ridiculous nightmare fantasy, I think so too. Welcome to it.”
Friday September 30, 2011 at 17:5652 notes
“The rest of the population ought to be deprived of any form of organization, because organization just causes trouble. They ought to be sitting alone in front of the TV and having drilled into their heads the message, which says, the only value in life is to have more commodities or live like that rich middle class family you’re watching and to have nice values like harmony and Americanism.”
— Noam Chomsky, Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2nd ed, 2002), p. 27. (via 08-23-47)
This post was reblogged from Noam Chomsky Quotes.
Wednesday September 28, 2011 at 22:317 notes
“A revolution does not listen to the old language of law and order. It creates a new language….But a revolution is inarticulate at first. In war both warring parties have their sets of language. Two languages which exist clash. In a revolution the revolutionary language is not yet in existence. Revolutionaries are called young for this very reason. Their language must be grown in the process of the revolution. We might even call a revolution the birth of a new language…. In a revolution old speech is rejected by a new shout which struggles to become articulate. The revolutionaries make a terrific noise but nine tenths of their whoops will evaporate and the final language spoken by the bourgeoisie or the proletarians thirty years later will have cleared of these shouts of the beginning. But during the revolution suffering results from this very fact that the revolution is still inarticulate. The conflict lies between an over-articulate but dead old language and an inarticulate new life. War is a conflict between here and there, the languages of friend and foe, revolution between old and new, between the languages of yesterday and tomorrow, with the language group of tomorrow attacking…. The opposite of revolution is tyranny or counterrevolution. In a counterrevolution the old attack the young, and yesterday murders tomorrow; yesterday is attacking. Its technique is significant. While the young revolutionary group shouts because it is still inarticulate, any reactionary counterrevolution is so hyperarticulate as to become hypocritical. The disease of reaction is hypocrisy. Law and order are on everybody’s lips even where circumstances of a different truth prevail. Trusts and monopolies call themselves free enterprise. Unions cartelizing labor speak of freedom of contract. Decadent families speak of the family’s splendor and claims to privilege, and so on…. Lipservice is the cause of tyranny. An old order is degenerate, abusing future life wherever lipservice takes the place of shouting. The equilibrium between yesterday and tomorrow consists of an interplay between articulate namedness and inarticulate unknown-ness.”
— Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, The Origins of Speech, p. 12-3.
Wednesday September 14, 2011 at 23:392,603 notes
This post was reblogged from LIBERATION FREQUENCY.
Thursday August 11, 2011 at 17:2412 notes
“Parents, teachers, bosses and cops… they all achieve control by mimicking the binary system of threats (absolute law and punishment) that the state uses. Rather than an organic system of constant, decentralized give and take that rewards wider attention, the archist approach seeks to ideally shrink the subject’s attention down to a single, controllable input. This creates an artificial environment that rewards habits of rigidity and punishes persistent inquiry. And of course these habits are replicated in the communities and structures they create with their peers. Little has broken my heart more than going from teaching third graders who delightedly took to advanced algebra and calculus to jaded and broken middle schoolers whose priorities were social survival and escape from misery. Suffice to say, people would place far more value in science if they weren’t constantly beaten down for having an open mind.”
— William Gillis, “Every Scientist Should Be An Anarchist”
Wednesday July 20, 2011 at 17:313 notes
This post was reblogged from Living Truthfully Under Imaginary Circumstances.
Saturday July 02, 2011 at 16:0029 notes
“n fact, just take a look at the history of “trucking and bartering” itself; look at the history of modern capitalism, about which we know a lot. The first thing you’ll notice is, peasants had to be driven by force and violence into a wage-labor system they did not want; then major efforts were undertaken - conscious efforts - to create wants. In fact, if you look back, there’s a whole interesting literature of conscious discussion of the need to manifacture wants in the general population. It’s happened over the whole long stretch of capitalism of course, but one place where you can see it very nicely encapsulated is around the time when slavery was terminated. It’s very dramatic too at cases like these. For example, in 1831 there was a big slave revolt in Jamaica - which was one of the things that led the British to decide to give up slavery in their colonies: after some slave revolts, they basically said, “It’s not paying anymore.” So within a couple of years the British wanted to move from a slave economy to a so-called “free” economy, but they still wanted the basic structure to remain exactly the same - and if you take a look back at the parliamentary debates in England at the time, they were talking very consciously about all this. They were saying: look, we’ve got to keep it the way it is, the masters have to become the owners, the slave have to become the happy workers - somehow we’ve got to work it all out. Well, there was a little problem in Jamaica: since there was a lot of open land there, when the British let the slaves go free they just wanted to move out onto the land and be perfectly happy, they didn’t want to work for the British sugar plantations anymore. So what everyone was asking in Parliament in London was, “How can we force them to keep working for us, even when they’re no longer enslaved into it?” Alright, two things were decided upon: first, they would use state force to close off the open land and prevent people from going and surviving on their own. And secondly, they realized that since all these workers didn’t really want a lot of things - they just wanted to satisfy their basic needs, which they could easily do in that tropical climate - the British capitalists would have to start creating a whole set of wants for them, and make them start desiring things they didn’t then desire, so then the only way they’d be able to satisfy their new material desires would be by working for wages in the British sugar plantations. There was very conscious discussion of the need to create wants - and in fact, extensive efforts were then undertaken to do exactly what they do on T.V. today: to create wants, to make you want the latest pair of sneakers you don’t really need, so then people will be driven into a wage-labor society. And that pattern has been repeated over and over again through the whole entire history of capitalism. In fact, what the whole history of capitalism shows is that people have had to be driven into situations which are then claimed to be their nature. But if the history of capitalism shows anything, it shows it’s not their nature, that they’ve had to be forced into it, and that that effort has had to be maintained right until this day.”
— Understanding Power - Noam Chomsky (via noam-chomsky)
This post was reblogged from Noam Chomsky Quotes.
Thursday June 30, 2011 at 17:387 notes
Our analysis relies heavily on Ivan Illich’s concept of counter-productivity (also called “net social disutility,” the “second threshold,” or “second watershed”). These terms all refer to the adoption of a technology past the point of negative net returns. Each major sector of the economy “necessarily effects the opposite of that for which it was structured.”
Beyond a certain point medicine generates disease, transportation spending generates congestion and stagnation, and “education turns into the major generator of a disabling
division of labor” in which basic subsistence becomes impossible without paying tolls to
the credentialing gatekeepers.
The first threshold of a technology results in net social benefit. Beyond a certain
point, which Illich calls the second threshold, increasing reliance on technology results in
net social costs and increased dependency and disempowerment to those relying on it. The
technology or tool, rather than being a service to the individual, reduces him to an accessory
to a machine or bureaucracy.
Illich mistakenly contrasted counterproductivity with the traditional economic concept of externality, treating them as “negative internalities” entailed within the act of consumption. But counter-productivity is very much an externality. The presence of disutility in consumption is nothing new: all actions, all consumption, normally involve both utilities and disutilities intrinsic to the act of consumption. When the consumer internalizes all the costs and benefits, he makes a rational decision to stop consuming at the point where the disutilities of the marginal unit of consumption exceed its utilities. In the case of counterproductivity, the net social disutility occurs precisely because the real consumer’s benefit is not leavened with any of the cost.
Illich’s mistake lies in his confusion over who the actual consumer is. Counterproductivity is not a “negative internality,” but the negative externality of others’ subsidized consumption. The real “consumer” is the party who profits from the adoption of a technology beyond the second watershed—as opposed to the ostensible consumer, who may have no choice but to make physical use of the technology in his daily life. The real consumer is the party for whose sake the system exists; the ostensible consumer who is forced to adjust to the technology is simply a means to an end. In the case of all of the “modern institutions” Illich discusses, the actual consumer is the institutions themselves, not their conscript clienteles. In the case of the car culture, the primary consumer is the real estate industry and the big box stores, and the negative externality is suffered by the person whose feet, bicycle, etc., are rendered useless as a source of access to shopping and work. Rather than saying that “society” suffers a net cost or is enslaved to a new technology, it is more accurate to say that the non-privileged portion of society becomes enslaved to the privileged portion and pays increased costs for their benefit.
The counterproductive adoption of technology results in what Illich calls a “radical
monopoly”: “I speak about radical monopoly when one industrial production process exercises
an exclusive control over the satisfaction of a pressing need, and excludes nonindustrial
activities from competition … . Radical monopoly exists where a major tool rules out natural competence. Radical monopoly imposes compulsory consumption and thereby restricts personal autonomy. It constitutes a special kind of social control because it is enforced by means of the imposed consumption of a standard product that only large institutions can provide. Radical monopoly is first established by a rearrangement of society for the benefit of those who have access to the larger quanta; then it is enforced by compelling all to consume the minimum quantum in which the output is currently produced … .
The effect of radical monopoly is that capital-, credential- and tech-intensive ways of doing things crowd out cheaper and more user-friendly, more libertarian and decentralist, technologies. The individual becomes increasingly dependent on credentialed professionals, and on unnecessarily complex and expensive gadgets, for all the needs of daily life. Closely related is Leopold Kohr’s concept of “density commodities,” consumption dictated by “the technological difficulties caused by the scale and density of modern life.”
Subsidized fuel, freeways, and automobiles mean that “[a] city built around wheels becomes
inappropriate for feet.” A subsidized and state-established educational bureaucracy leads to “the universal schoolhouse, hospital ward, or prison.”
In car culture-dominated cities like Los Angeles and Houston, to say that the environment has become “inappropriate for feet” is a considerable understatement. The mere fact of traveling on foot stands out as a cause for alarm, and can invite police harrassment.
Subsidies to highways and urban sprawl also erect barriers to cheap subsistence. Under the old pattern of mixed-use development, when people lived within easy walking or bicycle distance of businesses and streetcar systems served compact population centers, the minimum requirements for locomotion could be met by the working poor at little or no expense. As subsidies to transportation generate greater distances between the bedroom community and places of work and shopping, the car becomes an expensive necessity; feet and bicycle are rendered virtually useless, and the working poor are forced to earn the additional wages to own and maintain a car just to be able to work at all.”
— excerpts from Organization Theory: A Libertarian Perspective, by Kevin Carson (2008), p. 107-117
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