Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition.

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Political and religious ideologies propagate in a similar fashion. Most people believe in a government or priesthood because they are brought up in a social structure that favors having similar beliefs. Whether they are rational and moral or not is irrelevant. Others believe in them because they believe it is the only option they have. No matter what form of governmentalist you are – democratic, monarchical, aristocrat or any other, the basic premise is the same – faith in an authoritarian figure or institution. President, Zeus, State or the Church. Some argue that humans are not capable of living without some form of authority to look over them. So they form a government loosely based on votes of same non reliable mass.

Other governmentalists argue, “If anarchy is so great why isn’t there any anarchist nation?” I see this as a half ass-ed version of “You cannot prove there is no god, hence there is one”. Actually there are many examples of successful free societies, in recent history; Paris in the late 19th century, Spain and Greece. But ask yourself, can they last? Can powerful militant empires have examples of a better alternatives when they threaten their existence. (They were all destroyed by major military operations and coups).

And government fanatics like these are the very reason why there are no anarchist societies. For the same reason, India is still not a secular nation even in this age of rationality. These people are scared of responsibility and reality. They themselves help create the  complex economic, political and social structures that suck every drop of life from their existence. They submit to god, to government.

Essentially they are same people who cheered for Chancellor Hitler as he ordered mass killing of Jews, who supported wars in Vietnam and Iraq, who let thousands of species go extinct, who want bombs in there backyards because of their never ending irrational fears. They support it just by not opposing it. You can only be for war or against it, there is no middle ground. “You cannot be neutral in a moving train” (Howard Zinn)

Worst part of this whole deal is that these people are not satisfied by being suppressed alone, they want their neighbors and everyone else to be ruled over as well, unreasonably taxed by their rituals like elections. It’s a taboo to talk ill of elections no matter how screwed up it is. No matter who gets majority of the votes the winner is always the ruling class and the business class. Try as hard you can to make yourself believe that these classes have interests of masses at heart. But I know you know better.

If you like and want to be ruled over, kept in sight, spied, inspected, directed, numbered, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, estimated, valued, censured and turned slave in body and mind… please do so. But for the sake of your god, the government should leave the people who don’t wanna be part of it alone. People who want to live their life on their own, mind their own business, exercise their own talents, pursue their own dreams, try to be what they believe they should be. I, myself, will not resign my conscience to some holy book, the legislature or the constitution, why then everyone has a conscience?

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I often hear, ‘anarchy’ and ‘chaos’ being used as synonyms. The people who do so either have no knowledge about the field or they do it willingly to misrepresent it. In many cases they are individuals with some form of authority or at least someone to whom people listen to.  I admit there have been incidences where someone calling themselves an anarchist has engaged in some form of violence against his fellow human. (Cases where anarchists use violence against cops or military forces has always been for self defense. And in all cases they have had no fatally harmful weapons. And damaging a McDonalds or Nike store cannot be considered violence against any human or nature). That being said, there are always people who think that violence can be justified in some weird way, be that a Hindu terrorist, Muslim terrorist , Maoist, Fascist, State army or police. But no one can come close to the amount of atrocity committed by the state – wars, state sponsored terrorist acts and so on. If your notion is that when a government kills, it is justifiable, then you are a fanatic.

I have never come across a single case of an anarchist killing an innocent civilian. There are cases where they have targeted businessmen or politicians but those cases don’t even reach in double digits. So if you are looking for synonym for “chaos”, “state” will be a better option.

It might be a good time to talk about few other misconceptions regarding anarchism. We don’t make bombs. We organize workers unions, support their struggles, 8 hour work days, anarchists fought for it, paid sick days, anarchists fought for it. Equal rights for women, blacks, immigrants, minority indigenous people, Against wars, Against nukes, Against fascism, Against structural adjustment policies of IMF. We are also not a bunch of school dropout uneducated people. Kropotkin (Geologist, Evolutionary biologist) Proudhon (Economist), David Graeber (anthropologist), Noam Chomsky (Linguists), Howard Zinn (Historian), just to name a few.

But this doesn’t mean they are/were superior individuals (Well they are in some fields though!), but what is and will always remain important is what anarchism stands for:

Fight on the side of the oppressed in every domain of life, from family, to culture, to state, to economy, to the now very visible international arena of “globalization,” and to do so in creative and courageous ways – Michael Albert

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Against Privatization.

I read the news today oh boy
About more privatization of commons which ‘ll be taking place.
– The Beatles

The news Paul and John are talking about is this:

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So some companies proclaim that water is the next oil in a rush to turn resources into profit. Sweet, isn’t it?

If this news makes you a bit pissed off, then we can continue, but, if you consider this to be actually ‘sweet’, then maybe you should not waste your time reading this.

Now,  all of us have witnessed various sectors being privatized in last 10-15 years. And most people don’t question it, or believe in myths surrounding privatization. Like it increases productivity, quality improves, so on and so forth. But are they actually true? Let us take the latest example; most of us get water from Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Urban Development etc etc, far from best option but better than the one proposed. India has made significant progress in last decade for supplying drinking water (largely due to contribution of local communities). And we get it almost daily for minimal fee (around rupees 10 per week, i am guessing here) and almost free in poorer parts. According to myth number 1, Privatization will improve the quality of water. Well. One, Two and Three.

EWG is particularly appalled at the lack of transparency by leading bottled water sellers as to the sources of their water and whether it is purified or has been tested for contaminants. According to a recent survey by the group, 18 percent of the 173 bottled waters on the U.S. market today fail to list the location of their source; a third disclose nothing about the treatment or purity of the water inside their plastic bottles.

“Among the ten best-selling brands, nine—Pepsi’s Aquafina, Coca-Cola’s Dasani, Crystal Geyser and six of seven Nestlé brands—don’t answer at least one of those questions,” reports EWG. Only Nestlé’s Pure Life Purified Water “discloses its specific geographic water source and treatment method…and offers an 800-number, website or mailing address where consumers can request a water quality test report.”

As it happens, bottled water is probably one of the most wasteful products we produce. It costs energy and labor to run tap water through filters and bottle it, and the bottles themselves are made of petroleum products and require additional petroleum products to package and ship. The bottles are problematic, and not easily or typically recycled. Other than the convenience factor (and, let’s face it, filtered water could very easily be sold or dispensed in fountain style, similar to soda), it’s a really bad product.

All the bottled water brands they tested were within federal standards for drinking water quality, but two of them fell outside Californian state standards in that their chlorine content was too high. These were: Wal-Mart’s Sam’s Choice and Giant Food’s Acadia.

The study authors said that: “Cancer-causing contaminants in bottled water purchased in 5 states (North Carolina, California, Virginia, Delaware and Maryland) and the District of Columbia substantially exceeded the voluntary standards established by the bottled water industry.”

So much for quality and productivity, eh?

Next up, is privatization of only water is bad or of everything? Well… I would say everything. Let me try to explain here.

Let’s talk about education: Private schools, tuitions, big coaching chains, just to make you pass the god damn exam.

The quality of our public schools is worst than Arkham asylum. And it is because of privatization, first of all the “Appeal to wealth” logical fallacy that generates in parents mind. Second in private education institution like every other private institution main concern is profit. And they don’t want smart people capable of critical thinking or who don’t fit in the given mold. They will weed you out, 3rd.  Semi-skilled labor is only possible in highly industrialized and privatized societies with “division-of-labour” and alienation of human. And that is exactly what is needed in privatized world – alienation. If schools are not privatized, and are free (like they used to be in major part of Europe few decades back or still are in Sweden, Norway, Denmark) up till university levels by community funding (not by forced taxation, where you don’t have control over where the money will be used). Then only can the equal rights for education be practiced.

When we are talking about privatization, lets also discuss private land ownership (started in roman empire: the sovereign right property), privatization of oil, now food, everything that was one a gift to all humans turned into product and sold for profit of few.

And possibility of this: Dubai’s Climate-Controlled Dome. When air is privatized. Total Recall? Anyone??

In respect of property, as of all economic factors, harm and abuse cannot be dissevered from the good, any more than debit can from asset in double-entry book-keeping. The one necessarily spawns the other. To seek to do away with the abuses of property, is to destroy the thing itself; just as the striking of a debit from an account is tantamount to striking it from the credit record. – Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

I am not advocating straight out state control over all aspect of life rather the contrary. Control of ordinary humans, communes and federations. And those are not the actual lyrics for A Day In Life, you should really check out “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

200 Years Of The Black Flag

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Although there are dark imprints of Anarchist thoughts in Chinese philosophy of Zhuang Zhou, and in works of Roman philosophers (Christian Anarchists), there is no doubt that Anarchism started taking shape from the Enlightenment eras of late 17th century, with basic idea of questioning authority as it is not self-justifiable. Then it grew stronger with socialist movements and class struggles of 19th century. Marxism and Anarchism , for most part of history, have not been happy. But they have definitely helped shape each other, drawing broader lines between ‘centralists’ and ‘federalists’ within Marxism. This was a very interesting period,  as it started with Marx criticizing Proudhon’ economic theory (1847, The Poverty of Philosophy). In 1860’s, Michail Bakunin took place of Proudhon as Marx’s Anarchist opponent.

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 Michail Bakunin was born on this date 200 years ago (30 May 1814), a prominent Atheist and Anarchist.

“The liberty of man consists solely in this: that he obeys natural laws because he has himself recognized them as such, and not because they have been externally imposed upon him by any extrinsic will whatever, divine or human, collective or individual.”

Bakunin argued that there was a good amount of truth in Marx’s criticism of Proudhon. But he also pointed out the limits of Marx’s own theory. Bakunin and fellow Federalist socialists and Anarchists rejected the idea of a revolutionary government. Marx believed that Government can be changed by the change of party, and if a communist party takes over, it will end the class struggle and make a proletarian dictatorship. In response Bakunin wrote,

“[Marx] holds that the political condition of each country is always the product and the faithful expression of it’s economical situation… He takes no account of other factors in history, such as the present political, juridical and religious institutions on the economic situation. He says “Poverty produces political slavery, the State”, but he does not allow this expression to be turned around, to say:”Political slavery, the State, reproduces in its turn and maintains poverty as a condition for its own existence; so that to destroy poverty. it is necessary to destroy the State”

 There is much truth in this expression. The neo-liberal economical practices and the conditions which it renders in present day maintain poverty, poor working conditions, orthodox education system , extremist religious militants and corporate tyrannies. A recent example:

‘Saint Alan’ [Greenspan]: ““That’s a very healthy thing, because if workers are insecure, they’re not going to ask for benefits, they’re not going to strike, they’re not going to call for an increase in wages.”

There has been a split in Socialists since the Bolshevik (October) Revolution all over the world, which turned bloody for Russia in a way similar to Chinese Cultural Revolution in some respects and made the Red Flag something to be feared. But let us not forget that Stalin and Mao were never federalists, they were the result of what Bakunin called the ‘Red Bureaucracy’. In recent times Anarchists of the New-Left have also given up on the Class Struggle, which lacks future commitment for any cause, for example the LGBT movements. They are very important, but even after everyone has been granted equal rights, there will be no change in the form of operation.

The Red and Black Flags have been successful in creating the living utopia in Spain (1936), Cuba, Venezuela, Algeria, and some were short-lived not because of insufficiency but because of military coups. Anarchism and Socialism are meant to go hand in hand, and one is not bound to use their slogans or flags. But the present dark ages of economic, corporate and state dictatorship can only be brought to an end by “Stateless Socialism: Anarchism” (Bakunin)

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Two hundred years ago a legend was born, and his ideas are most relevant today. It’s a call for all the Anarchists in India and around the world to organize, occupy streets, let your presence be known, fight against operation, most importantly disobey. A new world is possible only if we start building it today.

“We are convinced that liberty without socialism is privilege, injustice; and that socialism without liberty is slavery and brutality.”

“Man becomes conscious of himself and his humanity only in society and only by the collective action of the whole society”

Statistical Sanity

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A factory for manufacturing dead bodies, turning living, breathing, laughing into dead lump of meat. I used to work here – with everyone else.

Why do people die? Because of their stupidity wrapped in misery, illiteracy, illness, poverty and hunger?

Dogs cry on the street outside. Two were killed this morning. They too will die if they are not smart enough.
Sound of train running over rail tracks, metal on metal, in winter, clear, carrying more living lump, meat on meat.

Just waiting to die.

Everyone, even the ones who think they are above all, beyond reach, savouring their accomplishment of mass destruction, will be brought down with rest of the dogs and turned cold.

Eyes unstirring. Some in horror. Some calm. Some peaceful. Some tearful. But none empty.

The hordes that remained silent all their lives shout once they are dead, through their eyes. I can hear their echoes in this silence. Dead are more valuable then the living lump. Dead are not afraid, they are not corrupt, they are not.

I kept waiting, looked forward towards the future in an attempt to escape this hell of reality, this present us.

Everyone around me. Puppets. Dog-puppet, filth-puppet, king-puppet. Hung by the same ropes that will sooner or later stifle them.

I used to think showing people the truth, giving them knowledge, waking them from their unconsciousness would help them. Stones were thrown at me, they called me crazy. And they are dying now…one-by-one…

I am neither sad nor sorry. No. I am not enjoying it either. I always knew this would happen.
I always knew they were dead already. Even when I sat among them, sharing, laughing, living. They were dead then, they are dead now. But they are of more value now than they were alive.

I do not wish to change anything. Even if I could.
What will I change?
Who will I fight?

They will fight themselves, kill themselves, end themselves.

Everything we know will end in a self-destructive manner, just like a matchstick burns itself up completely, once it has served its purpose. And nothing will rise from the ashes. Nothing at all.

When all this ends, this self-destructive-burning, I will step outside. I won’t  laugh or smile or cry or moan. I will just march around the corpses, look into their questioning eyes and whisper, “I told you.”

Prison & Market Riots

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Next week, April 11th will mark the 21st anniversary of one the longest prison riots in history, the Lucasville prison riots of 1993. In these riots the white supremacist Aryan Brotherhood and African American gangs formed an unlikely alliance. The issues were mismanagement, serious overcrowding, and authorities forcing Muslim prisoners to take tuberculosis vaccinations, which was against their religious beliefs. The riot s continued for 11 days in which 1 officer and 9 inmates lost their lives. What caught my attention was the fact that these riots are not included in the list of notable prison riots on Wikipedia.

I’m not trying to start a conspiracy theory here but it is just that this event never got sufficient media attention as it contradicts the preconceptions about Aryan Brotherhood. Muslims and African American gangs created my mainstream media. On the contrary, whatever small amount of coverage this event received on American television, it was to create a totally different and horrifying image of the struggle. Although considered to be a failure, Lucasville riots are a very important reminder for solidarity against the state oppression.

The second thing that bothers me is the GMO controversy and what it means to us and more importantly to Indian farmers. I’m not sure whether genetically modified crops affect the environment or consumers health or not but I am confident that many scientists are not even sure of the long term affects of it. I don’t understand the necessity to run with the technological advancement without thinking about its long and short terms affects on society and especially on “developing countries”.

I read an article by Richard Dawkins in which he said “To be anti-GMO is to be anti-scientific.” … Whhaaa??
Is it me or have you just started to sound like Pope, Prof. Dawkins? Anti-Scientific or Anti-Market or Anti-Monsanto? Let me quote a pro-scientific person real quick here, “Science, however, cannot create ends and, even less, instil them in human beings; science, at most, can supply the means by which to attain certain ends. But the ends themselves are conceived by personalities with lofty ethical ideals and—if these ends are not stillborn, but vital and vigorous—are adopted and carried forward by those many human beings who, half unconsciously, determine the slow evolution of society.” – Albert Einstein.

Even now I am not judging Richard Dawkins. Instead the University system and its close relationship with corporation and reliance on R&D is to blame. I am an Atheist, but I am cool being anti-scientific if it somehow helps making a sustainable environment and sustainable life for poor farmers who are forced to commit suicide if they can’t keep up with market pace. We have already witnessed in the so called “Green Revolution”, or in its failure, that scientific way is not always the right way. And what will happen when don’t have enough land to cultivate? Will we also get land on lease from another country like China rented from Ukraine? And after that? This whole market system is rigged, if you don’t realize it… the sooner the better, if you do, fight against it.

Finally, I’ll conclude with an Orwell Quote, as it is suitable with the blog’s title as well:

“We have got to fight against privilege, against the notion that a half-witted public-schoolboy is better for command than an intelligent mechanic.”