23.11.11

Magic, Yoga, and the Mystery of Nature

The politics of liberation represent the prayer of the universe, understood through the psychotherapies of the east and west as they respond to the dissolution of the social contract and the rise of inequality, addressed in play-therapy.

Words structure mental concepts so that books monkeywrench oppressive paradigms of imperial ideals that co-opt the american dream. Revolution is a redistribution of primacy for potency in a phenomenal world. Evil/Disconnection/Ignorance is unholy in a phenomenal world.

Symbiosis, partnership, nothing dissolves in an evolving history. We are both part and whole. Through the deconstruction of prejudice, the dependent interelation of life grows. Small--no insignificant--microcosms are self propagating organisms- complex constitutents of specialization. Consciousness reflects evolution. Bacteria are smallest unit of life. Intelligence is a property of microcosms--> what about cosmic intellegence?--> reconsider the cultural narrative and author active folklore. Land reform and the industrial worker networked in a political economy--> terro in an empire, occult science of magic, energy powers systemic change through empatheitic communication.

Effect of massive bodies on human bodies relating/emerging from earth. Conditions for complexity, trelating to surroundings. Ecology = environment. Existence of subjects in relation.

Yoga seeks to arrive at Reality by
undermining the foundations of the ordinary waking consciousness,
so that upon the tranquil sea of mentality which follows upon the
cessation of all thought, the inner eternal Sun of spiritual splendour
could shine to shed an irradiation of light and life and immortality,
to enhance the whole worth of man. All the practices and exercises
in the Yoga systems are so many scientific steps, having as their
one objective the complete abeyance of all thought at will. The
mind must be thoroughly emptied at will of its content. Magic, on
the other hand, is a mnemonic system of psychology in which the
almost interminable ceremonial details, the circumambulations,
conjurations, and suffumigations are deliberately intended for the
exaltation of the imagination and soul, with the utter transcending
of the normal plane of thought. In the one case, the spiritual axe is
laid to the root of the tree, and the effort made consciously to under-
mine the whole structure of consciousness in order to reveal the soul
below. The Magical method, as opposed to this, endeavours to rise
altogether beyond the plane where trees and roots and axes exist.
The result in both cases-ecstasy and a marvellous outpouring of
gladness, wildly rapturous and incomparably holy-is identical...
In any event, Magic proves more efficacious and
puissant when combined with the control of the mind which it is the
object of Yoga to achieve. And likewise the ecstasies of Yoga I
acquire a certain rosy hue of romantiI
when associated with the art of Magic.

19.11.11

Oningness and E.A.A.O.

i don't really believe that what is going on is what really exists. I would like to know what really is going on and maybe even contribute to what goes on. Where is on? What is on? What it what is on on? What if what was going on isn't the only thing on? What else is on? Why is what's on going on? Where is it on? All these questions characterize the innate character on oningness--that is, the state of being on. perhaps the very nature of the state of being on categorically assumes itself to be on, but that seems like it would be inherently ongoing in the first place.

what goes on implies a subject, verb, and preposition, implying a coordinate occupying space for a given period of time, exercising some sort of quality of being on as what is previously occurring from one moment until it stops. time develops, subjects react to environments, environments are affected by reactions.

a symbiotic relationship sustains life, turning its self on. off is never on. on negates off. does off exist if embedded within it is the potential for difference--oningness? Everything All At Once.

3.11.11

#OWS is Anarchy. Deal with it. Love it. Be it.

In response to the response that Occupy Wall Street is NOT anarchistic...

I would like to argue the point that yes, this movement is indeed anarchistic and that no, that shouldn't be problematic at all. Emphasis on DIY and anti-authoritarian culture is common to both anarchism and #OWS, so that the decentralized organizational structure characteristic to both seeks to break with a hierarchic form of government that is declared to be non-viable and non-sustainable.

Further, bringing up MLK Jr. and Gandhi, while both may not have declared themselves outright anarchists, both were seeking to subvert the power institutions that oppressed them, and did so through non-violent direct action--a tenet fundamental to the "Christian Anarchy" movement, which is focused on Love as the ordering principle structuring society. (see Tolstoy's The Kingdom of God is Within You, which actually influenced Gandhi)

As in the Seattle Protests, Occupy Wall Street may not have explicitly declare themselves to be Anarchists--even while "soft-anarchists" had a huge role in actually organizing the events--but rather a movement of "Global Justice." However, the message seems to be that Global Justice is simply incompatible with a system based on coercion, force, manipulation, and authority. Anarchy, on the other hand, is a (non)government based on the common good for ALL (not a majority, minority, or the 1%) which seeks a perpetual open exchange. Of course, people will naturally flock to groups they see as representing the vehicle by which they can achieve their own interests, which has a diluting effect, but it doesn't mean that #OWS is not anarchistic by nature.

Finally, I would like to point out 2 specific points that I think should establish the fact that at its core, #OWS is in fact anarchistic--the general assembly, i.e. building consensus, with the Oakland (and others) Commune as distinct example on the one hand, and the use of the General Strike on the other. Whereas the sense of Mutual Aid (Kropotkin) is very much prevalent in the former, the revolutionary tactic of halting the flow of capital MUST be seen as an attack on the 1% and the system that facilitates their incessant accumulation of wealth. The IWW saw the General Strike as a strategy with which to ultimately abolish the wage-system itself, so that workers could appropriate the means of production for themselves so as to create their own wealth, not have it sold for profits by capitalists who would keep the majority and give back decreasing wages to them in the name of "competitive markets".

It may be frightening to embrace anarchy (with all its "negative connotations") as a legitimate political alternative, but unless something radical--striking the ROOT of the problem--comes into existence we're screwed. As it is, capitalism is by definition incompatible with ecology, so that the planet is being converted into commodities and sold off, destroying the life-systems we depend on. The OWS protesters may not in fact be anarchists themselves, but they are certainly engaging in anarchism, eroding the power institutions that oppress them and doing it through the methods that have been expanded on by decades of Anarchist (and others) Theory. And god bless them--it may be the only slight glimmer of hope we have left.

On what Anarchy may REALLY be: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pW7nnLNANtQ

3.10.11

On 2012 politics

One month from tomorrow, it will be exactly one year before the 2012 elections, and it's already a shit-show. Everyone is selling their opinion on what should be done, and yes--it's what makes the economy. And law becomes order and projects are planned out. Everything is important and something needs to be done.

Is the word "niggerhead" really that offensive? Is the system that exploits us really that bad? Yes? What does it feel like? What does it look like and smell like. How does it make itself known to you, that it's even happening...?

12.8.11

Childhood

such, such are the days
limitations of abstractions,
life is more complicated than ideas.
change your behavior and it will change your mind,
the mental ABC's of pitching,
honing your unconscious process.

17.4.11

Leadership, Communication, and Magic

For magicians, vision is a powerful weapon that lets individuals manifest potentialities through direct action. Once resources are mobilized for leaders to develop communities of high impact, difference can be communicated through technology and media to reorient perceptions and process new worldviews. This facilitates a reconsideration of self-conception, attitudes, beliefs and values to be expressed--the individual disclosing their self by manifesting cognitive dissonance while translating that perception through language and symbols to classify abstract maps of behavior.

Since intended meaning is often polluted through the medium of language, with semantic traps like stereotyping, labeling, superficial evaluations and criticism, or incorrect inferences and assumptions hindering effective communication, the perversion of real content can be avoided through scientific testing, active listening, and effective feedback that gives attention to identified problems. In this way, interpersonal conflict can be overcome through interpersonal transaction and skill. Societies will have more agency in their decisions to collapse or flourish, while individuals can develop more realistic understandings regarding the nature of their relationships within and towards shared ecosystems.

David Abram tells us, "the magician--whether an indigenous sorcerer or a modern sleight-of-hand conjuror--is someone who is adept at altering the perceptual field, adept at shifting others' senses, or at altering his or her own senses in order to make contact with another shape of awareness, another entity that perceives the world very differently than we do--with a coyote, perhaps, or a frog. Or a whole forest, for that matter." Jensen, pg. 214, How Shall I Live My Life?

Whereas our alienation from ecology and the natural world destroys a fundamental understanding of ourselves, which likewise contributes to the foundational contradiction in how society emerges to destroy the world it depends on, structures of connection necessarily build new awareness, new experience, new reciprocity, new relations, new truths, and new social content. As consciousness is restructured accordingly, developing more mature ethics to motivate action, the illusions we have all but solidified for ourselves can be dissolved accordingly, so that magicians reconceptualize their roles in participating, influencing, and changing the world around them via mastery of magical techniques:

"If we analyze the principles of thought on which magic is based, they will probably be found to resolve themselves into two: first, that like produces like, or that an effect resembles its cause; and, second, that things which have once been in contact with each other continue to act on each other at a distance after the physical contact has been severed. The former principle may be called the Law of Similarity, the latter the Law of Contact or Contagion. From the first of these principles, namely the Law of Similarity, the magician infers that he can produce any effect he desires merely by imitating it: from the second he infers that whatever he does to a material object will affect equally the person with whom the object was once in contact, whether it formed part of his body or not." Frazer

21.3.11

Absorbing Intent

Communicating the Structure of Desire

One of the basic truths of life seems to be that individuals organize in larger and larger social groups and networks, i.e. families, neighborhoods and friends, cities, states, nations, international organizations, trade alliances, etc, with the future of these social units driving the focus of their members’ intent. So, when Islamic extremists attacked several buildings, the entire country went through the proper channels needed to declare war on a defined enemy, namely “terrorism.” Similarly, when radical environmentalists perpetrated illegal actions against corporate enterprises, hindering profits and damaging property, business interests lobbied lawmakers to prosecute these individuals under “Ecoterrorism” charges, placing militant environmentalists alongside religious fundamentalism in their invocation of ideologically motivated violence.

What is important to note is that while these “radical terrorists” may differ in perceived motivation or endgames, both chose to attack what are perhaps considered the most blatant institutions of the capitalist paradigm—shutting down Seattle in 1999 in protest of the WTO meetings and driving planes into the World Trade Center two years later in protest of international government and economic policies negatively affecting indigenous peoples in a globalized world. In either case, the response taken by the police and military was to simply “put down” the uprisings so authorities could, aided by a non-critical media that failed to connect the illegal actions taken by radicals to a historical basis, eliminate an outside threat to the marketplace’s “business as usual.”

Disregarding any justification for militant opposition, one can clearly see the divisions between in-groups and out-groups that fuel the basis for active dissidence, leading these actors to consider their place in a global uprising against corrupt institutions of control. Yet each individual is assuredly unique, conditioned to understand reality as constructed by specific forces. In this way, subjective interpretations of one’s respective environment is constantly defined and redefined by common symbols and represented archetypes, e.g. freedom, liberty, oppression, and truth. Due to the division between separate communities inherent in competing localities, clear articulations of personal intent are therefore needed to align specific motivations with the external demands of “other” social and environmental relationships. This essentially mandates a perpetual attempt to rectify discrepancies between definitions and terminologies if communities are to know and understand one another in full.

The problem arises however, when one in-group is simply unable to coexist with another. When (subjective) ideology wholly disallows (objective) scientific revelation from factoring into the decision making process, how can other communities find any space left that is undefined by a coercive influence? Unless groups collaborate to encompass and incorporate the maximum available capital, binding themselves together by common cause, those oppressed by intolerant power structures will remain in bondage to a non-representative entity governing their life course. Here, they must visibly separate and contribute nothing to the social hierarchies they are assumed to make up, dismantling external power as thoroughly as possible to defuse its effect through conceived oppositional apparatuses.

http://www.opendemocracy.net/mariz-tadros/no-real-freedom-without-dismantling-secret-political-police

13.3.11

Creative Destruction:

Observations of Deep Green Resistance and Recapitulations to Capital

By considering the natural world in terms of pure capital, Earth is being processed into wealth via the ongoing mutation of a market profiting from exploited labor. Hierarchies are set up to control productive forces that maintain the theft and destruction of the planet, simultaneously ensuring a perpetual struggle by those who recognize the inherent irrationality of such suicidal tendencies. Unfortunately, alternatives to dominant systems are often considered antithetical, so that those acting in defense of natural systems often do so illegally as law usually protects business interests above all else. This confrontation results in the perpetuation of social relations that transform the political economy through a mobilized global resistance effort for self-liberation. As activists risk physical discomfort for the possibility of bringing artistic compassion and beauty into the world through independent action, their approaches must be constantly redefined to resonate with public perceptions in order to make revolution irresistible.

This entails that an oppositional group will necessarily splinter in two particular groups for greater efficacy—one that continues to manage the systematic evolution of a world order, regulating it in “acceptable” ways that mitigate any potential harm; and an underground component whose affinity groups are dedicated to targeting and ending the power of institutions that perpetuate suffering. Yet both must expose problems and appeal to public consciences so as to maintain accountability to an autonomous community through the potential and realized force of concerned individuals.

Even so, the deterministic nature of capitalism ensures the constant exploitation by those who control capital. Human society could, through the market, transform the built environment into a cyclical system, retrofitting the energy grid to ensure efficient consumption; place a moratorium on all corporate carbon emissions; redesign industry to foster an environmentally sustainable economy; and utilize green technology to harness enough energy to supply demand; but if it is to simply perpetuate the coercive nature of appropriating surplus wealth from popular effort, then why should anyone seek to sustain the enforcement of such a violent system based in alienating a population from its own productivity?

Nature is the result and process of billions of years of creation, where energy is neither created nor destroyed but rather transformed into new states of matter. Conscious critiques of our relation to those states can help us redefine the outward manifestation of the structural “laws” that daily condition us, and in so doing, reconfigure the form of its material construction. The spiritual renewal of deep green resistance is an expressed antithesis to malignant capital processes—a radical response to the exploitation of a common creation. Empowering the conscious collaboration of local community justice systems acts as the disruptive technology needed to revolutionize social structures from within and without, whereby alternative systems of relation can be realized through well thought out strategic campaigns aimed at overthrowing obsolete models and definitions of social cohesion.

4.3.11

Hacking Oppression:

Programming the Language of Utopia

Only after the last tree has been cut down; Only after the last fish has been caught; Only after the last river has been poisoned; Only then will you realize that money cannot be eaten.

-Cree Indian Prophecy

Fragmented Resistance in an Empire of Disorder:
Many groups holding nature as sacred are finding their spiritual practices targeted in the onslaught of an economic theory that justifies ecological destruction for profit. Their connection to the surrounding bioregions is further deteriorated by the incursion of government and corporate theft that appropriate and exploit the sustenance of the local resource base. The effect of industrial society’s imposition on vital ecosystems forces displacement and cultural devastation, whereby civilization ends up demonstrating pathogenic properties:

“A cancerous tumor continues to grow even as its expropriation of nutrients and disruption of vital functions cause its host to waste away. Similarly, human societies undermine their own long-term viability by depleting and fouling the environment…” (MacDougall, Humans as Cancer, pg. 82)

Yet even as the living world collapses under the systematic control of international capitalistic tendencies, the exploding popularity of peer-to-peer networks is undermining and subverting this dominant paradigm.

The assessment that government and the global marketplace are unrepresentative of one’s cultural values allows for the initiation of alternative visions of social justice that demand civic action. Unfortunately, the problem itself may be structurally built into the system we operate within, whereby the monetary system (and namely the medium of exchange) is subject to perturbations in personal desire for property and capital accumulation that function at the expense of social and environmental wellbeing. The eco-activist and anarchist Edward Abbey writes, “Money attracts because it gives us the means to command the labor and service and finally the lives of others—human or otherwise. Money is power.” (Abbey, Theory of Anarchy, pg. 25) This is certainly evident as when corporations dump toxic waste in running water, electing to spend their resources on the damage they do to ecosystems rather than take costly measures needed to avert such natural catastrophes in the first place. Those that subscribe to nature spirituality on the other hand do not conceive of nature’s monetary value but instead recognize its intrinsic worth, commonly communicating with nature intelligences and engaging with the wider community of living beings they consider sacred. (Harvey, Animism Today, pg. 81) The impending upheaval instigated by corporate interests can then be seen to threaten native peoples who are forced to mobilize, sometimes violently, in what can only be described as a global insurgency to mitigate the hazardous effects of an ideology imposed exclusively for profit.

The extreme nature of such resistance is many times linked to terrorist, or eco-terrorist activity, as sub-national groups like the Sea-Shepherd Conservation Society, responsible for the halting of the Japanese whaling fleets, or the Environmental and Animal Liberation Fronts, (among many others) are condemned for perpetrating the millions of dollars in property damage, defending their militant rhetoric by pointing out that animals and natural systems are innocent and must be rescued by any means necessary (even violently) if excessive violence is avoided, and then only after all nonviolent alternatives have been exhausted. (Regan, How to Justify Violence, pg. 233) Those adverse effects of industrial society’s institutionalized degradation and structural violence, which consequently destroy the sustaining environment on which it depends, are responded to by radical active resistance, organized to engage the root cause of such devastation while simultaneously enacting an alternative social system. Sabotage, terrorism, violence, and general opposition to oppressive forces in the name of social and environmental wellness can then be seen as a symptom of a greater sickness, so that revolutionary and anti-institutional risk cultures ultimately represent the “somewhat rational response to political and economic conditions that limit the effectiveness of state-sanctioned forms of protest,” challenging current paradigms. (Laurendeau, pg. 180)

Challengers to State Supremacy:
Even as these controversial tactics are condemned by the authorities often targeted by the radical action employed by this “Green religion,” the accusation that these groups should be uncritically dismissed as irrational terrorists exposes the hypocrisy prevalent in the state’s own utilization of power. Take for example the United States of America’s denouncement of Iran’s nuclear program as a violation of good intentions (even as the Western powers each enjoy a thriving nuclear program), added to the fact that the computer worm Stuxnet, widely credited as originating in U.S. and Israeli intelligence agencies, was found to have undermined Iran’s nuclear program. (Ackerman, 2011) While this style of industrial sabotage is certainly more humanitarian than the murder previously perpetrated against several Iranian nuclear scientists, (Spencer, 2010) the precedent set by national governments should at least make any critic of similar tactics used by radical environmental groups hesitant in making disparaging comments, since both are done in defense of survival (in theory at least).

Likewise, in the absence of governmental transparency, heralded by governments as fundamental to a free and open society, when the group WikiLeaks published the U.S. State department’s internal memos to the Internet, disregarding their classification statuses, international governments denounced the act as cyberterrorism. Even so, the effect fueled resistance efforts in Tunisia (after extreme wealth discrepancies were made public), and spread later to Egypt, Bahrain, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Iran, Yemen, Jordan, Algeria, Albania, and elsewhere, assisted by social media web sites. In a seeming reversal of its initial stance on the effect of open connection technologies, the U.S. State Department later issued a statement regarding its promise to defend the openness of the Internet with a venture capital investment project aiding hacktivists living in repressive regimes.

One of these hacktivist groups in particular, appropriately named Anonymous, did much to foment the Middle Eastern revolution, attacking the Tunisian government after it blocked cables that referenced the country as a totalitarian police-state, (Toor, 2011) while targeting American company sites like Paypal, Mastercard, and Amazon, that had withdrawn material support from WikiLeaks, disrupting the flow of their internet traffic. Indeed, as the Middle East expressed its desire for democratic reform as a vehicle to rectify economic inequality, Anonymous likewise set its sights on Bank of America after the company began to strategize as to how to discredit WikiLeaks, who claimed to be in possession of 5GB that exposed an “ecosystem of corruption,” sending Bank of America’s stock price down by 3% as a result. (Webster, 2010) Anonymous hacked the email account of one of the data intelligence firms charged with discrediting WikiLeaks, publishing more than 44,000 emails to the world wide web. The emails showed the developed proposal discussed the legal action that could be taken against WikiLeaks, proposing to sue the group and put an injunction on releasing any data. Moreover, not long after Kamal Abbas, the general coordinator of the CTUWS (an umbrella advocacy organization for independent unions in Egypt) expressed solidarity with the workers in Wisconsin who were protesting the stripping of their collective bargaining rights, (Jilani 2011) Anonymous declared in a communiqué its next operation would target the Koch brothers, chronic industrial polluters and long-time funders of conservative groups like Americans for Prosperity, for attempting to usurp American democracy. (Wing, 2011)

140 years after the Paris Commune uprising, Anonymous, an activist collective free of any hierarchical leadership structure, continued to promote freedom of speech and human rights, standing with those citizens of the world fighting against what is widely contended to be an abuse of government authority seeking to destroy and repress the solidarity and power of the working class. Like the earlier commune, Anonymous is considered by its detractors to essentially demonstrate extremist and terrorist tendencies, operating with the anarchistic ideals perhaps similar to Republican Spain, Woodstock, or the Free and Open Source computer programming communities that offer cooperative self-determination as a means to construct, restore, and encode through technology an ecotopia of sorts. Where active organization and civic engagement ensures a vibrant society will overcome systemic scarcity and government repression, hacktivists, supporting the struggle of the working class in its mobilization against political dominance, are structurally transforming civil society and facilitating revolutionary social change through their own operation as a modern resistance network.

Idealizing and Encoding a Utopia:
The transnational social insurgency represented here engages in radical civic voluntarism with the intent of restructuring civil society, attacking the dystopian vision of a global economic system enforced by a hierarchical politics of corruption. Whereas industrial society as a system of oppression institutionalizes and enforces the exploitation of labor and systemic injustice through corporate-sponsored environmental devastation, activists are able to confront and destroy the implicit colonial project that controls and commands the potential of collective power, abolishing the literal prisons they find themselves in by using the power of language, computer and otherwise, to produce ideal culture. As this freedom of expression is instituted to infuse social justice movements with creative dissidence, the repudiation and thorough replacement of an established political system can be realized as those who were once governed find cultural representation through new social play, taking the form of reflexive games that are finally given precedent:

“Considered as a cultural environment, a game plays with the possible erasure of [its internal mechanisms and experiences] and therefore plays with the possibility of its own existence.” (Salen and Zimmerman, pg. 587)

In this respect, as humanity interacts in new ways to form new systems (through new games), political and social change mirrors philosophic application insofar as the new consciousness is, or will be, developed in its ideal form. This then is the single and most encompassing purpose we might consider: what shall we do, when we have declared our independence from what others have in mind for us to do? Secondary to this consideration is the question of how to realize that particular directive. To these ends, I can only offer what many have repeated before: seek freedom, of course!

A revolution literally implies a freedom of movement; so to identify instances where movement is hindered or outright prohibited is to clarify circumstances in which freedom is absent. These particular points of reference allow a subject to critically engage and craft alternatives to oppressive conditions; for instance, anarchism may replace marketplace oppression, as productive power is organized to rival political power. Industrial society may give way to local governance that takes tenets of bioregionalism or permaculture into consideration. In this way, solutions are offered when problems warrant their formulation, so that transforming the world macroproblem consists of perceiving how the entire pattern is defective, assuming that “the dilemmas have their satisfactory resolution only through change in the dominant paradigm.” (Harman, pg. 131) This shift most likely consists of infinite proposals to rectify socially destructive tendencies, for instance in Riane Eisler’s conception of a partnership society, the IWW’s long-term goal of abolishing the wage-system, Jeremy Rifkin’s empathetic civilization, or Christopher Manes’ flavor of radical green neo-tribalistic anarcho-primitivism, to name a few. Yet despite the multivariable forms humanity’s ecotopian visions may take, the general consensus remains that the current system is untenable and true environmental awareness is needed for our collective survival, with social and environmental crises necessitating the consideration of possible future scenarios (Peak Oil and Climate Change among others) in which the rising costs in production undermine social stability. James Speth similarly speaks to the need for a post-economic growth plan:

“The new environmental agenda should expand to embrace a profound challenge to consumerism and commercialism and the lifestyles they offer, a healthy skepticism of growthmania and a redefinition of what society should be striving to grow, a challenge to corporate dominance and a redefinition of the corporation and its goals, a deep commitment to social equity and justice, and a powerful assault on the materialistic, anthropocentric and contempocentric values that currently dominate in our culture.” (Speth, A New American Environmentalism, pg. 19)

It is then in the spirit of reconsidering our current dominant paradigm that I have formulated my own action project to operate as a pivotal attack on the oppressive culture that systematically imprisons, murders, destroys, and attacks the freedom of a particular community. The effect, it is hoped, would initiate the dismantling of such an overbearing force by cutting into the allocated funds set aside to further the directives of hazardous procedures instituted by an unrepresentative system of malignant control.

Growing For a Common Cause
By legitimizing the cannabis culture within the larger industrial society that currently prohibits its production, a return to agricultural practices and healthy living standards can normalize the convening with nature again. While the marijuana legalization movement has certainly had incredible infighting leading to the defeat of earlier campaigns, the developing organization of the movement is formulating an Oregon Cannabis Business Association so as to lobby legislators to set industry standards. The federal government outlaws much of the research of marijuana (unless it is to prove that marijuana is addictive or destructive), even as cannabis has become the fastest growing industry in the United States. What’s more, those studies that have been conducted conclude that the medicinal properties in cannabis destroy cancer and tumor cells, potentially reducing healthcare costs while significantly contributing to green sustainable industry as a superior source for nutritional supplements, essential oils, medicines, food, paper products, textiles, molded plastics, body care products, construction materials, livestock feel and bedding, etc.

Marijuana prohibition was instituted for primarily racist reasons and is currently propagated for business interests. When alcohol prohibition ended and the task force charged with enforcing the policy needed to find another substance to take its place, else face liquidation as an agency, the department head partnered with the newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, who had much to gain from cannabis prohibition, (as he owned many acres of trees that hemp may have outcompeted as a viable source for paper, and had a general dislike of Mexicans who were widely believed to be the drug’s primary distributer) to promote an anti-cannabis propaganda campaign that is still in effect today: after the Seattle Times recently ran an editorial in support of cannabis legalization, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy director Gil Kerlikowske called the editorial staff to schedule a meeting in an apparent effort to pressure the paper to oppose legalization, or at least quiet its support. (Holden, 2011)

Cannabis is scheduled as a type 1 drug, meaning there are no known medicinal effects. This is blatantly untrue as documented by the research done by the Corvallis-based group m-Research, which is developing an effects-based classification system that connects growers, doctors, patients, dispensaries, and legislators together in order to understand and contribute knowledge to a widely misunderstood field, bringing together multiple perspectives so as to more effectively collaborate in the future of cannabis research. (Mansur, 2011) The Oregon Medical Cannabis Research Act of 2012, a proposed bill that would allow research-based input as to cannabis-related measures, would further facilitate this goal. Yet this particular bill represents a minority position in terms of positive developments to the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act, which is under threat of being dismantled by over twenty other proposed bills—for instance H.B. 2982, which would strip patients of their legal status to use medicine if found guilty of a prior felony, a status attributed to the possession of more than an ounce of cannabis in the first place.

Ultimately, a legal distribution system is necessary for patients to safely access the most effective medicine available to them. As the laws criminalizing the plants this medicine derives from are based on lies to begin with (though the Drug Enforcement Agency allows pharmaceutical companies to sell Marinol, or synthetic THC, for high profits), I structured my project to focus on 4 different aspects of resistance efforts:

-Signing any and all relevant petitions while contacting representatives
-Attending an activist protest against H.B. 2982 to network and collaborate with stakeholders
-Educating young persons at the Boys and Girls Club as to the “other side” of the effects of marijuana in a national program (since the program only offers information on the negative effects of the substance)
-Beginning to construct a website that embeds legal distribution within the greater context of resistance efforts, establishing a green anarcho-syndicalist e-commerce business model, complemented by an anarchist education academy where voluntary labor for restoration projects are freely established (Blueprint can be found at www.deathofcivility.wordpress.com while the proposal will be posted at elance.com, guru.com, odesk.com, and vworker.com)

Through the consolidation of the non-profit sector as a church with which to baptize, marry, and preside over the death of corporate personhood (instituting a mechanism to promote sustainable practices), marijuana can be donated to an Earth-based Healing Religion so that agriculture is processed and redistributed for tax-deductions in a thriving industry, diminishing the social burden of industrial society as workers’ syndicates self-organize and take over government duties.

In this newly founded Green Anarchism, the establishment of a cyber-commune can work to promote social prosperity in direct relation to the surrounding ecology as a new sacred space, mobilizing communities to restore a sense of environmental ethics in the decentralized local praxis each community member critically engages in. As seed exchanges further the promotion of new education and research concerning agriculture and green industry, growing communities can not only disengage from harmful practices that destroy the earth, but develop and expand the patient advocate network to include all others as well. The effect would provide social services with material support through increased revenue, as participants voluntarily enter new social contracts where play is an essential component that flourishes in a fun and meaningful culture so that festivals, games, and cultural exchanges “go viral.”

By radically dismantling the current system of industrial oppression which profits off of the destruction, imprisonment, wasteful spending, and artificially inflated prices of prohibition, violent tendencies of a disaffected population seeking to eliminate and overcome unrepresentative authorities simultaneously decrease, effectively monkey-wrenching the capitalist logic of global oppression by boycotting, divesting, and sanctioning the capitalist arena and living within an alternate community based primarily in agriculture and a compassionate connection to the rest of the natural world, now able to properly engage in the political process through civic republicanism:

“The presence of an active civil society works to decrease governmental corruption, reduce state terror, and minimize the impetus for anti-governmental demonstrations and riots. In other words, the presence of a robust civil society holds governments accountable, protects its citizens, and provides a suitable outlet for people to voice their concerns and be heard.” (Forbis, pg. ii)

Global Insurgency through E-narchy:
This paper has argued that corrupt or unrepresentative bureaucracy can be eliminated for encoded patterns in which the work of a critical mass is designed to contribute to a common cause. In the proposal outlined above, money can be rendered obsolete and irrelevant as a medium of exchange when interdependence is accounted for by languages programmed to distribute enlightened consciousness. As Earth’s resources increasingly become considered common heritage of the natural life processes, air, water, food, land, and social capital can be recognized as a common asset on which to restructure our principles and communities. Anarcho-syndicates can produce biodegradable goods and focus on providing services rather than manufacturing material products, achieving a partnership society as a viable alternative to western industrial globalization and its discontents:

“Beginning with the two modes of immediate organization and control, namely organization and control in the workplace and in the community, one can imagine a network of workers councils, and at a higher level, representation across factories, or across branches of industry, or across crafts and on to general assemblies of workers councils that can be regional and national and international in character.” (Chomsky, 2005 pg. 137)

The Internet is the ideal instrument by which to initiate that transformation, as it was constructed as a decentralized network of communication. A worldwide collection of computer networks that transfers and exchanges data, using common standards, can provide for an alternative means of exchange no longer limited by the finite, quantifiable sum implicit within monetary system. Thus the anarchistic nature of a collaborative communication network, utilized in a biocentric framework that promotes fair bioregional consumption to be maintained through local federations of conscientious citizens working for a common purpose (i.e. fulfilling every level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs) allows Anarchy to be reconsidered as its online equivalent—“E-narchy.” Dialogue and collaboration can include valuable insights that craft common liberation praxis, facilitated by an education infused with green values that seeks to maintain unity while taking into account its effect on the surrounding ecology.

Through universal communication; a superior organizational method; and biocentric ideals that maintain the common kinship of humanity; a global insurgency is well-suited to take place through a method of E-narchy to manifest a free society. In this way, conflict and inequity can be confronted and resolved in a new global marketplace seeking as its purpose the abolition of prison, war, and general discontent through the production and harmonization of social content. As praxis is applied, civic participation can alleviate terrorism and encode justice within society’s very nature. This intentional “community of communities” can then serve as an outward manifestation of ecological activism, where those feeling alienated in mainstream society might find refuge in the universal availability of a uniting structure that constructs a meaningful world order for them. In so doing, these communities are able to

“form the institutional settings for the practice of lives rooted in the belief that simplicity and conscious, compassionate living is preferable, and one can have the faith that choosing a life in community will lead to a better world for all.” (Baumann, pg. 351)

As legalization efforts give way to programming culture through the use of language (as legalization implies an outside authority okaying one’s personal intent), social connection occurs through the implicit religiosity of a shared sacred worldview. Eco-magic in the marijuana movement, as the conscious manipulation of relevant energy forces, can then offer the possibility of willing the surrounding landscape to protect a community seeking simply to live freely and without persecution.

Technology, as an extension and catalyst of personal intent, facilitates this expression, as when protest singer Willie Nelson’s offhand comment that there should be a Tea Pot Party to engage in the political process for marijuana legalization drove the formulation of such a group on Facebook; or when the OKLEVUEHA Native American Church of Hawaii sued the DEA for infringing upon their right to use cannabis as a sacrament within the framework of an indigenous Earth-based healing religion. In either case, while perhaps not technologically determined, in that Facebook, the Internet, or the Legislative process cannot by themselves cause a revolution, these tools certainly offer the potential for hackers to condition the social environment in which they reside, ensuring a successful campaign that overcomes the oppression and hindrances to the free access of movement. Their ability to encode social change through the transformation of technology and digital media is, in the opinion of the author, ultimately justified as they force into public discussion the reconsidered effect of “humanity’s relationship to technology, from whether there are determinations or not to constantly developing sets of determinative affordances in computer and network socio-technologies.” (Jordan, pg. 140) Thus as a global community of activists mobilize, organize, resist, and find themselves socially empowered to operate self-sufficiently, the language they utilize to program new expressions of dissent may redirect our cultural narratives through a new folklore of activism.



Outside Readings:
Ackerman, Spencer (2011) “With Stuxnet, Did the U.S. and Israel Create a New Cyberwar Era?” Wired. http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/01/with-stuxnet-did-the-u-s-and-israel-create-a-new-cyberwar-era/

Baumann, John (2001) “Radical Simplicity: intentional community as environmental activism and nature religion.” PhD dissertation for the UC Santa Barbara

Chomsky, Noam (2005) Chomsky on Anarchism. AK Press: Oakland, CA

Forbis, Jeremy Scott.(2008) “Organized Civil Society: a cross national evaluation of the socio-political effects of non-governmental organization density on governmental corruption, state terror, and anti-government demonstrations.” PhD dissertation for Ohio State University

Harman, Willis (1998) Global Mind Change: the promise of the 21st century. Berrett-Koehler Publishers: San Francisco, CA

Holden, Dominic (2011) “White House Requests Meeting with Seattle Times to Bully Against Pro-Pot Editorials.” Salem News. http://www.salem-news.com/articles/february282011/seattle-pot-kerlikowske.php

Jilani, Zaid (2011) “Leader of Egyptian Unions to Wisconsin Protesters: ‘We Stand With you As you Stood With Us.’” Think Progress. http://thinkprogress.org/2011/02/21/leader-egyptian-unions-wisconsin/

Jordan, Tim (2008) Hacking: digital media and society series. Polity Press: Cambridge, UK

Laurendeau, Jason (2007) “Mutiny and Sabotage in Defense of Mother Earth: risk cultures, radical environmentalism and ecotage.” PhD dissertation for the University of Calgary

Mansur, Keith (2011) “The First Step: M-Project May Well Revolutionize Medical Marijuana’s Acceptance.” Oregon Cannabis Connection. http://issuu.com/occonline/docs/0201_whole_paper?mode=embed&layout=http%3A%2F%2Fskin.issuu.com%2Fv%2Flight%2Flayout.xml&showFlipBtn=true

Salen Katie and Eric Zimmerman (2004) Rules of Play: game design fundamentals. MIT Press press: London, England.

Spencer, Richard (2010) “Iranian nuclear scientist ‘killed by Mossad or the CIA.” The Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/8168693/Iranian-nuclear-scientist-killed-by-Mossad-or-the-CIA.html

Toor, Amar (2011) “Anonymous Attacks Tunisian Government, in Defense of WikiLeaks.” Switched. http://www.switched.com/2011/01/03/anonymous-attacks-tunisian-government-wikileaks/

Webster, Stephen C (2010) “Flashback: Wikileaks chief said he has 5GB of secret docs on Bank of America.” Raw Story. http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/11/30/flashback-wikileaks-chief-5gb-dirt-bank-america/

Wing, Nick (2011) “‘Anonymous’ Hackers Take Down Koch Brothers-Backed Americans For Prosperity Website.” Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/28/anonymous-koch-americans-for-prosperity_n_829056.html

Planned Obsolescence: The Internal Logic of Prisons

To abolish prison would be to abolish crime itself, so far as to say prisons are functionally designed to punish and rehabilitate those of us who are judged to be incapable of living in accordance with society’s guidelines, so that if this is not the case criminals might continue to perpetuate violence against their fellow neighbors in the communities they inhabit. Prisons serve as the domain whereby those who cannot function and where their own interpretation of reality is mutually incompatible with a free, safe, and open society, are separated and confined in a place other than the public domain. A common reference point—an Ideal—is therefore necessary for recognizing the “right” way to live that, if universally encompassing, would free humanity from criminality altogether, offering an alternative way of being that mutually benefits, or at least does not oppress or harm, the rest of society.

Prison abolition as a legitimate response to criminality demands several basic precepts, namely that prisons are NOT working as a means to deter crime (and may even be perpetuating or contributing to crime itself), that a period of systematic reconfiguration is necessary, and that retribution itself is secondary to rehabilitation. Broken down, we are talking about the abolition of punishment as the method to end crime, instead providing alternative ways of being in order to maintain a healthy relationship that does not conflict with the values of society. When a prison no longer has any functional purpose due to a social renewal of values, eliminating the accessibility and will to commit crime in the first place, planned obsolescence will become apparent since ideally, an institution is only created where it is needed.

Prison is itself an expression of the capitalistic tendencies scientifically proven, for all practical purposes, to be the prime motivation for the ecological devastation threatening mass extinction, implied in the precedence that short-term profit enjoys over long-term sustainability.

Prison: Abolition:: Industrial Society: Collapse

It is necessarily going to happen. Only way to survive is to mitigate consequences, where a sustainable infrastructure that determines a prosperous culture where every individual contributes to mutual self-empowerment leading to social renewal and an appreciated standard of living.

Yet however “freedom” is defined necessarily constructs for itself as a reference point an ideal by which to hold itself accountable, and which, when abridged, leads to punishment on the one hand, and rehabilitation on the other. This is of course simplistic when referring to the dynamics and complexities of the legal system as a whole, but demonstrates the fundamental simplicity of our basic understanding of right and wrong—the means by which everything is judged to have merit, and by which we can separate and more clearly strive to be what is “right.”

At least, this is the goal.

And therein lies the problem, for how can EVERYONE’S values be taken into consideration? Those who control Law undoubtedly shape reality (as people who follow the law can be expected to act in accordance) so that democratization of law becomes necessary to ensure mutual protection, mandate for egalitarian civil relations. Criminalization has in its crosshairs first and foremost criminals, so that any might be held in contempt if one was either ignorant, or in direct confrontation, with law.

Yet in a capitalist system, where so many profit from the legal system, evidences of exploitation are bound to occur. Society holds an ideal of itself. If that is not followed, people are punished for it or rehabilitated. The abolition of prisons presupposes a basic precept in approaches to criminal activity, namely that THINGS ARE NOT CURRENTLY WORKING. Rather, prisons are arguably perpetuating criminality itself. If such be the case, then it becomes necessary for society to re-imagine itself so that it not fall victim to an ever-increasing cultural force.

What exists is simply not cutting it anymore, i.e. scientifically proved not to work, and therefore must be systematically exterminated, cleanly removed from reality so that its presence might never again stain the social fabric that is the on the road to prosperity. Other phenomena have undergone such a harsh judgment in popular culture: slavery, the gold-standard, nuclear weapons, the federal reserve, the department of education, etc, to which it has been reasonably determined that such an institution is failing to uphold our natural rights as human-beings, of course calling into question who it is that defines natural rights, and then by extension, who defines law
The “abolition of prisons” amounts to the abolition of punishment, leading necessarily to the construction of alternative methods to persuade humanity to forego committing capital crimes, even if (and especially when) an opportunity that promises personal success at the expense of those consequently affected, so that members in relation to one another can act without fear of reprisal from one each other, even when mutual survival seems uncertain.

Ideally it would be some kind of democratic mechanism by which all of our values would be taken into account, but since such a force would be inhuman, we must instead settle for coming up with the most proficient representation of “informed” expression regarding legal affairs (and its aftermath) as we define it. The result would be dissuade criminality, allow for alternative modes of being (dissolving the definition so as to ensure no one falls under the heading of “criminal) with such accessibility as to subsequently perform the erasure of criminality itself, and likewise do so in a way that made criminal affairs not something to be prohibited, but rather markedly inferior to the way of being most beneficial to oneself. In short, the way to abolish prisons is to make them obsolete, devoid of all functional purpose since there would be no use for them in a more civil society.

One key question should be: are prisons there to punish or rehabilitate?

• Religious/spiritual/scriptural approaches to prison abolition
• Personal reflections on prison abolition from people who are or have been incarcerated
• The tension between addressing immediate crises and working toward long-term systemic change
• Gender and incarceration
• Private prisons
• Political economy of prisons
• Industry and prisons
• Prison labor
• Education in prisons (particularly innovative models)
• Long prison sentences/parole issues
• Barriers to reentry/reintegration, i.e. disenfranchisement, employment, housing

Analytical perspectives grounded in practices from different states and regions are interested in thoughts about transformation, both personal and systemic. In addition to addressing the dimensions of abolitionist thought, this issue will privilege the voices of people of faith at the forefront of the movement. We must encourage faith-based reflections to address one or more of the following questions:

1. How does your faith shape your relationship to prison justice work for systemic change of the penal system?
2. As an activist, why is faith important to you?
3. Prison is a multifaith environment. How does the multifaith nature of prison community shape the way faith communities are created and the way activism is done?

Radical Consciousness as Artwork in Progress

Art, mirroring our evolving consciousness, provides a form with which to reflect social sentiment back to us. By exploring the resultant cultural super-structure through emotional feeling and cognitive understanding, we are able to critically assess the direction of what society itself is becoming, creating frameworks to interpret the meaning of these works while appreciating and anticipating where this communication may ultimately lead. Thus, when radical consciousness is diffused into mainstream activity through the medium of song, music can become a weapon for agitators to undermine dominant paradigms, heralding new ideals as responses to the public’s distrust of the arbitrary authority asserted by an outside force.

“The radical is characterized by visions of a future society and by rational plans to bring his dreams to fulfillment. In youth’s idiom a radical is not merely turned off; he must be turned on to alternatives.” (Evolution of the Protest Song, pg. 28)

With radicalism targeting the fundamental origin, or root of a given social problem, its manifestation in various artforms can provide a powerful spiritual experience that aides in the public’s mass conversion to a particular belief structure. This emotional connection implies an evolving cultural history, offering a reevaluation of purpose while signifying through its symbols an escape from persecution, or at the very least boredom, bringing generations together in the common pursuit of freedom and excitement.

It is then not difficult to see how such a process would resonate with the youth of the culture. Growing up without the ability or knowledge of how to direct social circumstances for themselves, the wonder many young people feel might belie a sense of disillusionment with a social system unrepresentative of their own values. In such an arena, existential qualms with authority, spiritual dissatisfaction, and desire to seek solidarity to organize resistance find expression in the protest song. As disenchanted youth find resonance with singer/song-writers whose description of tragedy inspires communal action, the intangible is manifested in the real-world, with the ego’s intention constructing new realities that offer unique character and different lifestyles altogether.

Take for example the song, “Sweetest Girl (Dollar Bill)” by Wyclef Jean featuring Akon, Lil Wayne, and Niia. Drawing from the underground hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan’s song “C.R.E.A.M. (Cash Rules Everything Around Me),” and lyrics from the performance of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, “Sweetest Girl” portrays Wyclef (Haiti’s now roving ambassador), Akon (a Senegalese-American singer), Lil Wayne (a tattooed Grammy winning artist on Cash Money records who was imprisoned for a weapons violation) and others in a refugee camp trying to get Niia through the customs process while preventing her from being deported. The song depicts the graphic nature of what people do for money—killing, stealing, stripping, dealing drugs, prostituting etc…with Niia, once the sweetest girl, now corrupting her morals to survive in a harsh climate, preferring it even to working an “acceptable job” where the money is not as great.

At a time when many of the songs today are about sex, material possessions, drugs and alcohol, “Sweetest Girl” displays people being sprayed with hoses by the authorities, the real risks of long prison sentences for illegal enterprises, molotov cocktail burning down buildings, and the violent beat-down of immigration officers. What’s more, the song peaked at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2007, after 15 weeks on the charts and became an international sensation. It remained the most popular single off Wyclef’s album “Memoirs of an Immigrant,” and made reference to two slain rappers, Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac, signifying how life in poverty and the use of gun violence to protect business interests is to a large extent inextricable: “They got they mind on they money, money on they mind, they got their finger on their trigger, hand on their nine…”

This video ultimately suggests that environment is not separate to self, and material reality essentially emerges from a subtle, causal consciousness. If this is true, and individuals are indeed the products of their surroundings to a large degree, then it seems not to be enough to simply intend to solve problems through the rational and cognitive process of the ego. Rather, aligning one’s own actions and consciousness to the greater cosmic consciousness that drives our social being may be what is required. That is, we should realize that our desperation to survive might not in fact oppose a counterforce seeking to destroy or prevent that success, but instead, transformation is the eventual conclusion of our own empowerment, so that by fully realizing how to express ourselves through the work that we do and the art we produce, society will begin to mirror our own intent as we solidify and concretize our consciousness within it, accelerating evolution as it simultaneously inspires our own. At that point, a global resistance network can move from merely criticizing culture to generating it anew.

Forcing Difference

The toxins produced and sold by the billion-dollar chemical industry are ingested into the human body through food, water, land, and air, ultimately “suppressing the immune system by reducing the body’s ability to produce antibodies and otherwise kill disease-carrying cells.” (The Common Courage Reader, pg. 192) In such a toxic atmosphere where natural resistances to an increasingly dangerous environment are hindered, a type of economic and informational war is being waged against an unassuming public, with monolithic corporations corrupting those regulating agencies meant to protect consumers in order to ensure the continuity of their profits. Factory production engages in unnatural practices so as to maximize earnings statements rather than ensure healthy living practices, attacking critics who attempt to educate the public while manipulating public opinion rather than choosing to recalibrate their own operations.

Yet when all studies are pointing to the fact that these companies are knowingly destroying the health and vitality of the societies they operate within, a method to prove facts beyond all measure of doubt and a means by which to quickly and efficiently coordinate a scientific consensus to halt any destructive tendency becomes necessary. But then what? Once intellect and emotion confront each other and emotion prevails, the perpetuation of negative social and ecological impacts may be continued simply because they “feel right,” regardless of any apparent scientific truth. This contradiction manifests in the opposition of corporate dominance to environmental well-being, where the objective of maximizing short-term gains for shareholders is fundamentally incompatible to the health of a local region’s biodiversity as habitats and territories are liquidated for capital accumulation. Take for example human-produced carcinogens, or the disruption of old-growth forest ecosystems as two examples of how our economies are destroying life on this planet.

If ingrained in our genetic makeup is a self-defense mechanism that has been working for thousands (millions?) of years designed to ensure our survivability, then perhaps in the face of such violent opposition individuals might resort to such extreme measures themselves. Let’s suppose three different scenarios, where one is attacked by a serial killer, one’s race is threatened with extermination by a government, and one’s land-base and environment are being destroyed for profit by neo-liberal policies that eradicate local species in various bioregions. In each of these cases, the victim may have exhausted all methods of reasoning with the systemic logic that profits from their demise so that the threat of death is a reasonable certainty. When this global destruction is enforced by such militancy as promoted by the School of The Americas, which trains its students to subjugate a domestic population to ensure the propagation of capitalist business interests, are the oppressed then justified in assassinating those who seek to assassinate them first as a last resort?

To my mind, when two ideologies are diametrically opposed to one another, and one’s cultural resistance is subverted by expensive public relations efforts engineered by wealthy business interests, there seems to be an inherent failure on the part of the oppressed to make a clear and concise argument that appeals to the oppressors. This is of course to blame the victim for their ineffectiveness to stop the violence done to them, but assuming that violent resistance will never be acceptable to a passive, disengaged spectator, the potential to kill the enemy (while perhaps always remaining a potential course of action) is to essentially cut short the communication and argument. Superior morality must not only find expression, but connection to the “other side.” Murder, in contradistinction, denotes a breakdown in relations so that the motives, practices, and unforeseen consequences of an enemy are simply reduced to the status of “intolerable,” and assumes the absence of such controversy to be preferable to engaging the contradicting viewpoint. Thus the question remains: how to force difference, so the power of the oppressor is essentially neutralized? My own assumption is threefold, that the target must be educated as to how “best to be”; those resisting the target’s objectives must appeal to public sentiment to pressure change, as higher authority denotes representational government (hopefully); and lastly, that these methods might be complemented with the promise of physical opposition if the target does not comply with a new mode of operation, along with absolute forgiveness if they do.

Judi Bari writes that, like the forests themselves, those logging wage-slaves are similarly considered by their employers as objects to be exploited for maximum profit. This being the case, those contributing to the destruction of the world might be environmentalists’ greatest allies in the systematic dismantling of the corporate agenda. Coalitions and worker strikes can localize global opposition, instituting new forms of interrelatedness to reassert and promote care for the natural world. This questioning of what has been authored into reality by cultural forces allows us to reconsider what else can be formulated as solutions to systemic problems, i.e. the implementation of more holistic practices that determine the vitality of a bioregion in a “performative, community-based activity based on social learning and cooperation, and can be a therapeutic strategy to expose ourselves viscerally to local ecosystem processes.” (McGinnis, pg. 189) This seems to me the best way to reassert and empower one’s own consciousness against an imposing ideological system; that is, to ensure a worldview is constructed with the ideal of harmonizing the individual within the greater, surrounding ecology, maintaining this relationship as an emergent, sacred reality with which to provide meaning and intent in the face of adversity.

Strategy and tactics: how the left can organise to transform society

Self-Organizing a Moneyless Economy

based on the principle of "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need", will not be based on money, capital, commodities or wages but will consist of myriad self-organizing assemblies of economic units in competition with one another to most efficiently transform skilled labor and other resources into forms of social wealth serving the the material and cultural needs of the masses. The forms in which the masses (thru their organization as producers, consumers and shapers of public opinion -- and the struggles flowing from and in turn heightening their consciousness) would effectively control the economy, culture and politics -- would be as advanced compared to the method of leaving the real decisions and real authority in the hands of either the marketplace, elected representatives or all-powerful central planners -- as the dexterity and deftness of the human hand is to the pseudopod of an amoeba.

"'cooperative anarchy in which the actions of many independent, conflicting and parallel processes will somehow be coordinated to create fantastic amounts of material and social wealth without the necessity for any clumsy, burdensome and inefficient bureaucracy.'

Using prison labor can be viewed as a humanitarian gesture...an ever-increasing prison population is politically attractive because it masks unemployment rates. Many inmates were chronically unemployed before their imprisonment, incarcerating the chronically unemployed allows politicians to claim they have lowered unemployment. When the millions of people who are on probation and parole and who must maintain jobs are added to the mix, the correctional system is now playing an increasingly important role in suppressing wages and maintaining the profitability of capitalism. 239 Larry J. Siegel CRIMINOLOGY

This in turn rests on the fundamental contradiction of capitalist society – that it requires the collective labour of workers to produce wealth, but that capitalists privately appropriate that wealth when it is produced.

Politicians are directly involved, and their ability to intervene depends on the backing and the funding that keep them in power. This collusion of interests is an essential part of the world economy, the oil that keeps the wheels of capitalism turning. It is a coherent system closely lined to the expansion of modern capitalism and based on an association of three partners: gpvernments, transnational corporations, and mafias. Business is business: financial crime is first and foremost a market, thriving and structured, ruled by supply and demand. Crossing the Rubicon 77 Michael C . Ruppert.

PRISON ABOLITION, MARKET ABOLITION, Post-industrial society. Legalization is a good thing http://www.huffingtonpost.com/william-h-foster/marijuana-legalization-should-medical_b_793333.html?ir=Politics

Anarchism- Anarchism is the political belief that society should have no government, laws, police, or other authority, but should be a free association of all its members. "euthanasia of government" would be achieved through "individual moral reformation"--Bookchin argued that capitalism had to be overthrown: "The notion that man must dominate nature emerges directly from the domination of man by man… But it was not until organic community relation… dissolved into market relationships that the planet itself was reduced to a resource for exploitation. This centuries-long tendency finds its most exacerbating development in modern capitalism. Owing to its inherently competitive nature, bourgeois society not only pits humans against each other, it also pits the mass of humanity against the natural world. Just as men are converted into commodities, so every aspect of nature is converted into a commodity, a resource to be manufactured and merchandised wantonly.… The plundering of the human spirit by the market place is paralleled by the plundering of the earth by capital."

"A major contributor to the internet's success is the fact that there is no single, centralized, point of control or promulgator of policy for the entire network. This allows individual constituents of the network to tailor their own networks, environments, and policies to suit their own needs. The individual constituents must cooperate only to the degree necessary to ensure that they interoperate. We believe that this decentralized and decoupled nature of the internet must be preserved. Only a minimum amount of centralization or forced cooperation will be tolerated by the community as a whole." (emphasis added)

During the transition period, the state apparatus would act as a defensive shield to protect the interests of workers and the majority of society from the economic might and powerful corrupting influence of the capitalist class which would be in constant motion towards subverting the workers' dictatorship. Such a defensive shield could not successfully hold off attack forever and furthermore would be extremely expensive, in terms of the social distortions that it creates, to maintain. The development of a sword is the only way to end the contest for once and for all. That sword would be the communist sector which, once more mature, would be able to outproduce the capitalist sector by orders of magnitude (ie: hundreds or thousands fold) with a vastly higher productivity of labor. Once the communist sector had proven itself fully capable of providing for all the material and cultural needs of the masses, it would be allowed to absorb whatever remnants of the capitalist sector would be worth absorbing.
M111a

Cooperative Anarchy
M111b

Now let's consider the meaning of the term "cooperative anarchy" which Mark assures us is just another way of describing capitalism. But let's examine it not as described by either Mark or Ben but as described by the actual pioneers who are experimenting with creating a form of wealth that, to a significant degree, lies outside of the bounds of commodity production.
M112

The December 1994 issue of Dr. Dobbs' Developer Update (a journal for software developers) features as its lead an article on the development of the next generation of standards for the internet. It turns out that the development of standards for the internet is a very important matter. A great many people are affected. Different views on what the standards should be clash and it is important that the resulting decisions are best for everybody as a whole. Interestingly, the article focuses more on the process and philosophy of people working together to work out common standards than it does on the standards itself. The term "cooperative anarchy" has evolved to describe the process by which many kinds of work get done on the internet. The article goes on to quote a section of a technical paper which had a subhead titled "Cooperative Anarchy":

based on the principle of "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need", will not be based on money, capital, commodities or wages but will consist of myriad self-organizing assemblies of economic units in competition with one another to most efficiently transform skilled labor and other resources into forms of social wealth serving the the material and cultural needs of the masses. The forms in which the masses (thru their organization as producers, consumers and shapers of public opinion -- and the struggles flowing from and in turn heightening their consciousness) would effectively control the economy, culture and politics -- would be as advanced compared to the method of leaving the real decisions and real authority in the hands of either the marketplace, elected representatives or all-powerful central planners -- as the dexterity and deftness of the human hand is to the pseudopod of an amoeba.

Organized civil society: A cross national evaluation of the socio-political effects of non-governmental organization density on governmental corruption, state terror, and anti-government demonstrations

between international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) and civil society. This interest is derived from a long standing theoretical convention emphasizing the pro-social effects of a robust civil sector. Although many of these studies have concluded that INGOs constitute international or global civil society, much is still unknown about the relationship between NGOs, INGOs and civil society. In this dissertation, I collect data published by the Yearbook of International Organizations to create a more refined measurement of organized civil society. Specifically I develop a density measurement of organized civic society to better account for the local "buy in" among citizens. Descriptive analysis indicates that organization density is highly correlated to associational membership rates.

Using a globally representative sample of nations between 1990 and 2004, I argue and demonstrate that the presence of an active civil society works to decrease governmental corruption, reduce state terror, and minimize the impetus for antigovernmental demonstrations and riots. In other words, the presence of a robust civil society holds governments accountable, protects its citizens, and provides a suitable outlet for people to voice their concerns and be heard. Data are analyzed using a pooled time-series, cross-sectional (TSCS) analysis.

Results show that civil society strength does have a significant impact on governmental corruption, state terrorism and anti-governmental demonstrations. These results remain significant when accounting for economic development, political institutions, and cultural-geographic controls.

By emphasizing the role organized civil society plays in a broad sample of nations, this study refines our understanding of the role that non-state actors assume in the health and maintenance of their own societies. Consequently, this project demonstrates the importance of including the role of civil society in future studies of political stability.

in putting a few extra photographs in our papers. It is not simply a matter of giving a different, more humorous or less pedantic edge to our writing, but of truly understanding what the instruments of the future are, of studying and going into them, because it is this that will make it possible to construct the insurrectional instruments of the future to put alongside the knife that our predecessors carried between their teeth. In this way the air-bridge we mentioned earlier can be built.

Informal organisation, therefore, that establishes a simple discourse presented without grand objectives, and without claiming, as many do, that every intervention must lead to social revolution, otherwise what sort of anarchists would we be? Be sure comrades, that social revolution is not just around the corner, that the road has many corners, and is very long. Agile interventions, therefore, even with limited objectives, capable of striking in anticipation the same objectives that are established by the excluded. An organisation which is capable of being “inside” the reality of the subversive riot at the moment it happens to transform it into an objectively insurrectional reality by indicating objectives, means and constructive conclusions. This is the insurrectional task. Other roads are impassable today.

Certainly, it is still possible to go along the road of the organisation of synthesis, of propaganda, anarchist educationism and debate—as we are doing just now of course—because, as we said, this is a question of a project in tendency, of attempting to understand something about a capitalist project which is in development. But, as anarchist revolutionaries, we are obliged to bear in mind this line of development and to prepare ourselves from this moment on to transform irrational situations of riot into an insurrectional and revolutionary reality.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_action

An exploration into How Lack of education, employment, and Housing opportunities Contribute to Disparities in the Criminal Justice System http://www.scribd.com/doc/36827796/Balancing-the-Scales-of-Justice#open_download
INDUSTRIAL SOCIETY IS OVER. NEW WAYS OF BEING.

Political Anarchy---------------
Beginning with the two modes of immediate organization and control, namely organization and control in the workplace and in the community, one can imagine a network of workers councils, and at a higher level, representation across factories, or across branches of industry, or across crafts and on to general assemblies of workers councils that can be regional and national and international in character. And from another point of view one can project a system of governance that includes local assemblies--again federated regionally, dealing with regional issues crossing crafts, industries, trades, and so on, and again at the level of the nation and beyond, through federation and so on.

Premises:
1. Civilization is going to crash
2. Its going to be messy
3. We have an obligation to expedite that process as soon as possible to ensure the maximum amount of ecological capital we will be left with to support ourselves
4. Start preparing for crash!!!!!!!!
grow gardens, committees to channel violence, accumulate knowledge, destroy dams, knock out electrical infrastructure, protect trees, ensure fallout is containable, know what food to eat, medicine, purify water, build shelter, PLANTS ARE IMPORTANT. Food is necessary. Interdependence means support others in their sustainable endeavors. great work to be done. global resistance, coordinated decentralization. local renewal, global dismantling. PROTECT THE LANDBASE. water is necessary.

Change comes through Force.

26.2.11

Redefining the System: Activism as Cultural Production

By the time we said our goodbyes to Guardian, Comfrey, Happy, Fangorn, Kalima, Yggdrasil, and Grandma, we were tired and soaked. The trees, so named by the sitters in what had become known thereafter as “The Village,” seemed to thank us for coming as darkness fell on the snow in Fall Creek. While not all of the named trees had survived the onslaught from the loggers and forest service years before, each one that had now stood tall, a reminder of the potential power direct action plays to protect sacred land.

Hours before, we had met at Otter’s house, a seasoned climber, to learn the different knots and equipment it would take to scoot our way hundreds of feet up a tree if we ever had the need to do so (we each only got up about fifteen or twenty feet, which was fine for someone like me who was not all that keen on heights to begin with). Talking with Otter, we discussed the effectiveness of tree-sitting and its role within the greater scope of resistance, not only regarding the necessity of positive media campaigns and the need for a wider support base, but the very fact that in the broader arena where capitalist industries continue to identify resources to control and liquidate, tree sitting was at best a symbolic action, done in the hopes that people far removed from the event might begin to wonder why on earth someone would risk their life to save a tree.

After, on our way out to the action camp Pan had organized for us, we began to map out the key elements and causes of the war. What gave people the right to cut down and destroy the wild outdoors for money? If John Muir had cut down trees to build a log cabin for himself, what was wrong with companies cutting down trees for those who did not have time nor the skill to build their own houses? We discussed the evolution of humanity from its hunter-gatherer days to its social specialization, debated whether eliminating the convenience of processed foods made sense in a world where people were dependent on their faucets for water and grocery stores for food, contextualized the seemingly insignificant act of Jeffery Luers’ bombing 3 SUVs in light of the greater 7 (actually 9) Weeks Revolt, and considered whether the act might have served as a catalyst or call to action against the destruction of nature for others. We drove for an hour or so, around winding roads, past deer, dodging fallen trees and cutting fresh tracks into the several inches of fallen snow.

Hiking on a trail I would never have found unless following someone who knew the landscape already, we came to Venus, the natural shrine adorned with necklaces, beads, and a rubber snake. We clambered across an icy tree trunk tens of feet above a little stream to where we found the remnants of Joy, a big tree that had been cut down after her sitter, feeling a bit too removed from the rest of The Village, had gotten spooked and climbed down, leaving the tree open to attack. The story demonstrated the need to know one’s limits before embarking upon resistance action, to ensure a tight knit community that would persevere even after the enemy had given up. Someone passed a pot pipe around the circle and we began to strategize about how we might effectively continue the war against business-as-usual and its unquenchable thirst for upending nature, with its blatant disregard of the forest’s spiritual effect for a community uninterested in its monetary value. On the other hand, might loggers and the forest service ever be justified in the pursuit of profits due in part to the authority they received, and the fact that they had the means to do so? If this were indeed the case, radical environmentalists would need to appeal to some higher authority, more representative of the local populace, and might even be forgiven for dismantling the means by which these “atrocities” were carried out. Indeed, looking around, it seemed that we had found ourselves at the site of a battleground, where living beings all over had been massacred (not even used) for a specific ideology—the profit motive. We talked about how loggers had not only cut down trees they had no intention of using for lumber, but that they even made a point of cutting down trees in such a way that they would fall on the activists, killing at least one. In such an atmosphere, could radical environmentalists be acquitted in a court of law for retaliating in self- defense?

Who is the enemy in this situation? While America’s government certainly protects business interests, it is still the mechanism by which freedom of thought is protected, and the driving force behind the alternative consciousnesses that rivals even itself at times. It is then not hard to imagine the unraveling of its power structures due in part to its own directives. Perhaps a coordinated activist campaign, whereby intentional communities everywhere were oriented to starve and dismantle the oppressive machine that consumes resources and increases its share of territory could achieve such a result, as groups collaborate to attack specific enterprises in non-violent, but efficient ways. Maybe an inventory of all instances of destruction could be taken, so that through international cooperation, effective strategies can be employed to evolve protests into resistance, and even revolution. In the end, while an activist community may have to align the local micro-level with the national, or global macro-level so as to ensure direct action campaigns will not be stamped out by oppressive forces looking to exterminate “eco-terrorists” and make way for “progress” and “prosperity,” I do believe that ultimately, we must each look at ourselves, our own bodies, as the physical vanguard for change. And while I have no idea what it would take for me to climb into a tree and protect it from harm at the potential cost of my own life, I assume that a real connection to a place would have to be forged for anyone, myself included, to confront death to protect any particular ideal.

We ended the action camp with a game of cat and mouse, where 2 “freddies” searched for 2 activists whose mission objective was to resupply pretend tree-sitters so they could sustain themselves for another week or so. As I pushed through branches and tried to keep silent, I began to realize that I was very much alone. Still stoned, I began to have auditory and visual hallucinations, focusing on any small crack of a branch or movement that would betray the activists. It became darker and darker, and I realized that between the imagined threats of tree-sitters dumping their excrement on me from above, or the sharp sticks and slippery rocks that occasionally threw me off balance, only those individuals who truly understood the layout of the territory would ever have a chance of winning this game. Even so, with the sounds of the stream running by and the smell of the outdoors, it was not hard to see how both sides could get something out of the experience, namely a sense of utter insignificance in such a huge, majestic landscape that dwarfed all sense of ego.

It soon became clear that we were each independently lost, and after many shouts and hollers, we four found one another and together intuited where we had gone astray. Using only a small flashlight and a pretty shoddy sense of direction, we somehow made it back to the car, imagining what we would have done in the absence of such luck. While each of our strategies had failed, the game itself had become a motor to produce new culture, where our own direct action produced a social system of its own. We had together forged a community, infiltrated the consciousness of the oppressors, engaged in illicit activities, and constructed a relationship with the surrounding land. In that instance, our participation in protecting the area, while perhaps superficial (as it was not actually under real attack), remained symbolic and representative of a time when we might in fact be called on to defend a place we loved, escalating our tactics and playing a sort of philosophical chicken, where whoever was less committed would be driven home to the jeers and hollers of those who could sustain themselves for longer.
Heading home, a couple of interesting events took place. We stopped at the road that the Fall Creek campaign had destroyed and tunneled under, and Pan described the blockade tactics the forest service had spent hours trying to circumvent to get at the timber protected by activists. At that point I realized that these were not just games being played, but a life-and-death battle where people sacrificed their very bodies to stop the encroaching corporate system from doing any more harm to a place they loved. And what was even more astonishing was that they had won! Here, a relatively small group of climbers, radicals, anarchists, environmentalists, and eco-activists had stood toe-to-toe with the industrial, money-making hierarchy of state-enforced oppression carried out by government agents—and hadn’t backed down. Indeed, their sense of moral determination had overcome the desire for profit, a symbolic blow against the pervasive global corporate empire that was everywhere alive and well today. If these men and women could do it, couldn’t anyone, anywhere?

Besides this epiphany, a cause for concern arose when we realized that both oversized chains on our 4X4 truck had wrapped around the axles, incapacitating the vehicle and leaving us stranded in the darkness of the woods. We were each immediately brought back to the feelings of futility we had felt earlier, scrambling around in the darkness as we struggled to find the familiar Village only minutes before; and now, here we were, miles away from any town with no one to rescue us if worse came to worse. It became apparent that unless we rectified this situation quickly, we might be spending the night out here, and if for some reason a snowstorm blew in—well, so much for a relaxing day in the forest. Eventually, we did manage to unwrap the chains, and from there, listening to the screams and rants of some eco-radical punk rock band that assured a perpetual spiking campaign, we made our way home to civilization, defined by the large lit-up Albertsons that shone brightly. But even as I made my way along Interstate-5, back to my own 2 bedroom home fully stocked with fresh food in the refrigerator and the potential warmth of an electric wall heater, I was disturbed, wondering if I would even be able to survive if it was all suddenly taken away from me: no running water from the tap, no heat, no way to cover a hundred or more miles without walking, no food besides that which was hunted or gathered…could I—could we—learn to live again if civilization was overthrown, not necessarily by dissident anarcho-primitivists who blew up dams or incapacitated trade routes, but by the coalescing problems of our time—peak oil, climate change, species extinction, population overshoot—essentially our own short-sightedness and belief we could subdue the planet to provide infinitely for our communities?

Confronting my own social conditioning, I can now assuredly state that I feel trapped in my own position in civilization. Facing reality is frightening, and entering a paradigm shift is not only worrisome, but dangerous if not adequately prepared for each possible outcome that may become manifest. Yet while there is certainly a dichotomy between what IS and what SHOULD BE, I realize that if one’s personal understanding has not yet been codified in reality, it is one’s own personal responsibility, one’s duty to ensure that this reality becomes evident. Once a new consciousness is solidified in reality to become physically apparent, a new system can be born. While I am not yet sure what it would take for me to climb and defend a tree, or if I can even adequately learn to live again, I do believe that I can take the small step in participating in the birth of a new culture that seems necessary to make manifold. In this respect, perhaps the above writing might serve as a mere contribution in that direction, so language itself can exemplify the consciousness, beliefs, and perspectives of those who would otherwise not even be acknowledged. Perhaps if this understanding is recognized to have value, we might one day witness the forest service finally revert to the side of the activists, protecting those in the trees while running off the land anyone with a chainsaw instead. A dream perhaps, but one that is certainly better than the nightmare we have begun to wake up to.

-Hedgehog

Forcing Difference

The toxins produced and sold by the billion-dollar chemical industry are ingested into the human body through food, water, land, and air, ultimately “suppressing the immune system by reducing the body’s ability to produce antibodies and otherwise kill disease-carrying cells.” (The Common Courage Reader, pg. 192) In such a toxic atmosphere where natural resistances to an increasingly dangerous environment are hindered, a type of economic and informational war is being waged against an unassuming public, with monolithic corporations corrupting those regulating agencies meant to protect consumers in order to ensure the continuity of their profits. Factory production then engage in unnatural practices so as to maximize earnings statements rather than ensure healthy living practices, attacking critics who attempt to educate the public while manipulating public opinion rather than choosing to recalibrate their own operations.

Yet when all studies are pointing to the fact that these companies are knowingly destroying the health and vitality of the societies they operate within, this not only demands a method to prove facts beyond all measure of doubt, but a means by which to quickly and efficiently coordinate a scientific consensus to halt any destructive tendency. But then what? Once science and emotion confront each other and emotion prevails, the perpetuation of negative social and ecological impacts may be continued simply because they “feel right,” regardless of any apparent scientific truth. This contradiction manifests in the opposition of corporate dominance to environmental well-being, where the objective of maximizing short-term gains for shareholders is fundamentally incompatible to the health of a local region’s biodiversity, as habitats and territories are liquidated for capital accumulation. Take for example human-produced carcinogens, or the disruption of old-growth forest ecosystems as two examples of how our economies are destroying life on this planet.

If ingrained in our genetic makeup that has been working for thousands (millions?) of years, is a self-defense mechanism designed to ensure our survivability, then perhaps in the face of such violent opposition one might resort to extreme measures themselves. Let us suppose three different scenarios, where one is being attacked by a serial killer, one’s community is being exterminated by a government, and finally one’s land-base and environment are being destroyed for profit by neo-liberal policies that essentially eradicate local species and various bioregions. In each of these cases, the victim has exhausted all methods of reasoning with the systemic logic that profits from their demise and the threat of death is a reasonable certainty. When this global destruction is enforced by such militancy as the School of The Americas, which trains its students to subjugate a domestic population to ensure the propagation of capitalist business interests, are the oppressed then justified in assassinating those who seek to assassinate them first as a last resort?

When two ideologies are diametrically opposed to one another, and one’s cultural resistance is subverted by expensive public relations efforts engineered by wealthy business interests, it seems to me that there is an inherent failure on the part of the oppressed to make a clear and concise argument that appeals to the oppressors. This is of course to blame the victim for their ineffectiveness to stop the violence done to them but, assuming that violent resistance will never be acceptable to a passive, disinvested spectator, the potential to kill the enemy, while always remaining a potential course of action, is to essentially fail in communication and argument. Superior morality must not only find expression, but connection to the “other side.” Murder, on the other hand, denotes a breakdown in relations, so that the motives and practices, and unforeseen consequences of an enemy are simply reduced to the status of intolerable, justifying its own end. Thus the question remains: how to force difference? My own assumption is threefold, that the target must be educated as to how “best to be”; those resisting the target’s objectives must appeal to public sentiment, as higher authority denotes representational government (hopefully); and lastly, that these methods might be complemented with the promise of physical opposition if they do not comply with a new mode of operation, and the promise of absolute forgiveness if they do.

Judi Bari writes that, like the forests themselves, those logging wage-slaves are similarly considered by their employers as objects to be exploited for maximum profit. This being the case, those contributing to the destruction of the world might be environmentalists’ greatest assets in the systematic dismantling of the corporate agenda. Coalitions and worker strikes can localize global opposition, instituting new forms of interrelatedness to reassert and promote care for the natural world. This questioning of what has been authored into reality by cultural forces allows us to reconsider what else can be formulated as solutions for systemic problems, i.e. the implementation of practices that more holistically determine the vitality of a bioregion in a “performative, community-based activity based on social learning and cooperation, and can be a therapeutic strategy to expose ourselves viscerally to local ecosystem processes.” (McGinnis, pr. 189) This seems to me the best way to reassert and empower one’s own worldview in the face of an imposing ideological system, that is, to ensure it is constructed with the ideal of harmonizing the individual within the greater, surrounding ecology, maintaining this relationship as an emergent, sacred reality with which to provide meaning and intent.