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TOPIC: Philosophical health check

Philosophical health check 03 Jul 2013 21:34 #41

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Ultimate Seeker ™ wrote:
When you say "maximise the participation in addressing these" do you mean within the central power structure?

No. Unless you define "central power structure" as being the people.
What it means is bottom up organisation. Soi decisions people make at grass roots level are what matters. Where these have to be taken to broader organisational structures this is via delegates with specific mandates as opposed to to politicians who can do what they like.
If not then as I see it you posit Anarchist coexistence within or outside it's jurisdiction?
If yes then you are just a Left communist so I don't see why you bother with the A label.

(traditional) Anarchism is communism. Anarchists may call themselves libertarian communists. They're distinct from Marxists not least because they believe a supposed transitional state will always end up with a new ruling class.
Now I would say there are anarchists at the top of the financial system, who perhaps have enough money to avoid justice or the law and who enjoy a lifestyle of pure anarchism now within the capitalist system or even in the remnants of the Feudal system in Europe ie the Black Nobility, they have no masters, except perhaps time.

If they can avoid the law, that's just the corruption at the heart of the class system.
If they have genuine anarchist beliefs, that will be on anarcho-capitalist lines. That's a very different ideology, one I personally think is bullshit.

As a member of the Tory party and a reformer Michael Gove is a good example of a modern anarchist, he borrows ironically from Antonio Gramsci and Karl Marx and has enacted various reforms of the educational sector with radical boldness rarely seen in western politics and perhaps never before in the Tories.

I don't think he's ever expressed any anarchist ideas, left or right. I guess he's one of these minimal statist neo-liberals though.
Fund themselves to do what continue to be a reformist capitalist political organisation?
What is membership of these groups like, it's not as big as Union membership is it, do they have meetings and so on and argue with non-anarchist radical groups?

No, anarchists view reformism as a trap. But will still support reformist measures on the basis that anything that helps real people in real life is desirable - it just has to be remembered that is not the end goal. It's no good going round saying anything that isn't the revolution is shite because that's stupid and unrealistic, particularly in today's situation. Furthermore, people organising to force reform can help build political engagement and a consciousness that action is possible. Similarly, Marxists tend to be all over campaigning for reform - the ones I know tend to be anyway - when that isn't their end goal either.
Membership is, AFAIK, small. You're talking a few hundred people tops. Though I've been told they're slowly growing, but have no information on this.
Anarchists will happily work with people around a common interest. Like libcom anarchists won't work with, say, the EDL but they'll happily work with, say, issue groups like UK Uncut. I guess it depends on the situation. Like I've seen heavy criticism of the UK Assembly Against Austerity because of its move to a vote labour platform. That seems to have pissed off various people on the radical left spectrum though. The basis for that is, of course, that voting for labour is voting for more of the same without even reform.
No War But The Class War
Last Edit: 03 Jul 2013 21:36 by Chuck Random.
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Philosophical health check 03 Jul 2013 21:36 #42

You like to blabber on too much about your past for my liking but you seem like a nice chap, I'm sorry if I'm the only one who thinks other people's lives and past are very boring but I can't apologise for saying what I happen to think.

To be honest and this goes for all of you here, I'm not really interested in where you've been or what you were many years ago, I'm more interested in what you are willing to become or what you think you can be :P

2016 for the ascension to Fascism, lead by Icke and the "Volk's Voice" media outlet V for Volk
Together we can donate to Icke
:D
...Molti nemici molto onore...
Last Edit: 03 Jul 2013 21:37 by Ultimate Seeker ™.
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Philosophical health check 03 Jul 2013 21:49 #43

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irrepressible wrote:

I shouldn't get too involved in discussions where my knowledge is very limited... it's not like I watch loads of political current affairs programmes, or read newspapers, or read books about all that stuff. I just tend to look at some things briefly, then come to conclusions about them. I don't know, it's spontaneous logic, or something... or I've picked up snippets over the years.

You don't have to be some egghead to express your thoughts and ideas. You should get involved in discussions to the extent you're interested and feel you have something to say.

David Cameron went to Oxford. Albert Meltzer left school and went to work for the gas company. I rest my case.
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Philosophical health check 03 Jul 2013 22:00 #44

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Who's Albert Meltzer? :emb: <--- See? That's what I'm talking about :D I'll google him later :)
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Philosophical health check 03 Jul 2013 22:21 #45

Chuck Random wrote:
Ultimate Seeker ™ wrote:
When you say "maximise the participation in addressing these" do you mean within the central power structure?

No. Unless you define "central power structure" as being the people.
What it means is bottom up organisation. Soi decisions people make at grass roots level are what matters. Where these have to be taken to broader organisational structures this is via delegates with specific mandates as opposed to to politicians who can do what they like.
If not then as I see it you posit Anarchist coexistence within or outside it's jurisdiction?
If yes then you are just a Left communist so I don't see why you bother with the A label.

(traditional) Anarchism is communism. Anarchists may call themselves libertarian communists. They're distinct from Marxists not least because they believe a supposed transitional state will always end up with a new ruling class.
Well I think you'd agree (unlike some CTers, let's be honest,) "people" (non reptillian)do actually participate in the central command structure, ie Legislative and Governmental processes in Britain, Anarchists talk about smashing the state, would this involve burning the house of commons? Anarchy would be met with an Iron fist if it arrived in the United Kingdom, there's too much wealth at stake in property and land holdings to merely watch it overturned, so are you advocating the Anarchist political party in the UK or smash the State?

Essentially politicians only get in because of grass roots support in the United Kingdom, so despite not being directly involved in steering policy, or participating in the commons, the grass roots delegate responsibilities to the people they vote for, people who don't vote at all delegate responsibility to whoever, if you want to change anything then you need to work within that system and many people try this all the time starting political parties, populist, marginal, novelty parties etc very few have a basis in popular sentiment or class struggle, if no political ideology had grass roots support then they wouldn't exist, but the reality is that the grass root support for any of the 3 major parties would outnumber the grass roots support of any anarchist organization.

What do you disagree with the trade unions and those Leftist forms of Class struggle on, you talk about the grass root support but what do you think of the TUC, they undoubtedly hold some influence in terms of the Labour party and in that sense, grass roots representation at the top..you're talking about grass roots but really it sounds more like a revolutionary vanguard.
Now I would say there are anarchists at the top of the financial system, who perhaps have enough money to avoid justice or the law and who enjoy a lifestyle of pure anarchism now within the capitalist system or even in the remnants of the Feudal system in Europe ie the Black Nobility, they have no masters, except perhaps time.

If they can avoid the law, that's just the corruption at the heart of the class system.
If they have genuine anarchist beliefs, that will be on anarcho-capitalist lines. That's a very different ideology, one I personally think is bullshit.
I don't think he's ever expressed any anarchist ideas, left or right. I guess he's one of these minimal statist neo-liberals though.
He's still an anarchist though, just because he isn't openly saying Smash the state or wearing a black balaclava doesn't mean he isn't an anarcist, anarchism is more a praxis that can operate within any theoretical, material or financial situation, this is kind of my point, as an anarchist you have no monopoly of right within that position to determine what it means for other "anarchists", there is no one form, it's essentially the absence of leadership, what social system accompanies this negative position would remain to be determined by non-anarchists, it could just as easily be total fascism or nationalism if the people rose wouldn't you agree?
anarchists view reformism as a trap. But will still support reformist measures on the basis that anything that helps real people in real life is desirable - it just has to be remembered that is not the end goal. It's no good going round saying anything that isn't the revolution is shite because that's stupid and unrealistic, particularly in today's situation.
That's the same as a Marxist position on reformism, you're basically a communist, I agree with you.
Furthermore, people organising to force reform can help build political engagement and a consciousness that action is possible. Similarly, Marxists tend to be all over campaigning for reform - the ones I know tend to be anyway - when that isn't their end goal either.
Membership is, AFAIK, small. You're talking a few hundred people tops. Though I've been told they're slowly growing, but have no information on this.
Anarchists will happily work with people around a common interest. Like libcom anarchists won't work with, say, the EDL but they'll happily work with, say, issue groups like UK Uncut. I guess it depends on the situation. Like I've seen heavy criticism of the UK Assembly Against Austerity because of its move to a vote labour platform. That seems to have pissed off various people on the radical left spectrum though. The basis for that is, of course, that voting for labour is voting for more of the same without even reform.
Yeah this is called Entryism i think and many marxist condemn it I don't know why, I think it's pretty negative and pointless, if you got enough people into the labour party you could guarantee working class, mass representation but essentially this is a positive thing, if you could break away from labour and lose them seats in various constituencies you could influence their policy by joining, politically active individuals with conviction in their beliefs, opinions and who are politically active need to be politically active within modern politics, especially Labour, not just Privately educated neoToffs and proffesional MP's.

You just take the negative view towards labour for some reason choosing to disagree with a large majority of the grass roots ( the TUC, the LRC, Young Fabians, and Young Labour party members ) you claim to be interested in..
As an observer it seems to me you're less interested in grass roots and working classes and more interested in the adherents to your own ideology?

Irre I think your position is quite prevalent in these things these days, you don't think you have any right to an opinion and you're not really interested in politics.
I do respect your honesty but this is exactly why I called you a conformist the other day:
I just tend to look at some things briefly, then come to conclusions about them. I don't know, it's spontaneous logic, or something..

You're definitely not alone with that position either, Dogsmilk you mention the people, but Irre he essentially represents the people, he's clearly not interested in democracy, so your idea about Anarchism meaning 100% participatory democracy to me seems at best idealistic, at worst quite ignorant to the actual interests and political position of the "people" you invoke..
...Molti nemici molto onore...
Last Edit: 03 Jul 2013 22:33 by Ultimate Seeker ™.
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Philosophical health check 03 Jul 2013 23:31 #46

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Ultimate Seeker ™ wrote:
[
Essentially politicians only get in because of grass roots support in the United Kingdom, so despite not being directly involved in steering policy, or participating in the commons, the grass roots delegate responsibilities to the people they vote for, people who don't vote at all delegate responsibility to whoever, if you want to change anything then you need to work within that system and many people try this all the time starting political parties, populist, marginal, novelty parties etc very few have a basis in popular sentiment or class struggle, if no political ideology had grass roots support then they wouldn't exist, but the reality is that the grass root support for any of the 3 major parties would outnumber the grass roots support of any anarchist organization.

I'd say politicians get in more on apathy than active political engagement. I'm not sure they have that much support outside of the belief that there's no alternative. Virtually everyone I know thinks politicians are wankers, even if they have no other ideology they subscribe to.
But yes - they do have more support than anarchists. Or Marxists. Or fascists. Or anyone else that isn't free market capitalists. This may change, it may not, or it may change too late. It may go fascist. Where we are now is irrelevant to what one believes in.
What do you disagree with the trade unions and those Leftist forms of Class struggle on, you talk about the grass root support but what do you think of the TUC, they undoubtedly hold some influence in terms of the Labour party and in that sense, grass roots representation at the top..you're talking about grass roots but really it sounds more like a revolutionary vanguard.

TUC have some power to instigate reform but are more toothless than ever and are ultimately just another arm of the existing structure. many anarchists/marxists are active in the unions at a low level but still know this.

Anarchist unions don't believe in the hierarchy/bureaucracy of the trad unions.

He's still an anarchist though, just because he isn't openly saying Smash the state or wearing a black balaclava doesn't mean he isn't an anarcist, anarchism is more a praxis that can operate within any theoretical, material or financial situation, this is kind of my point, as an anarchist you have no monopoly of right within that position to determine what it means for other "anarchists", there is no one form, it's essentially the absence of leadership, what social system accompanies this negative position would remain to be determined by non-anarchists, it could just as easily be total fascism or nationalism if the people rose wouldn't you agree?

That's like saying a traditional socialist is the same a neo-liberal Tory because they both believe in democratically elected government.
Anarchism encompasses different ideologies that believe in there not being a state. Beyond that, the differences can be enormous. Libertarian communists and anarcho-capitalists subscribe to very different ideologies.
anarchists view reformism as a trap. But will still support reformist measures on the basis that anything that helps real people in real life is desirable - it just has to be remembered that is not the end goal. It's no good going round saying anything that isn't the revolution is shite because that's stupid and unrealistic, particularly in today's situation.
That's the same as a Marxist position on reformism, you're basically a communist, I agree with you.
Yeah this is called Entryism i think and many marxist condemn it I don't know why, I think it's pretty negative and pointless, if you got enough people into the labour party you could guarantee working class, mass representation but essentially this is a positive thing, if you could break away from labour and lose them seats in various constituencies you could influence their policy by joining, politically active individuals with conviction in their beliefs, opinions and who are politically active need to be politically active within modern politics, especially Labour, not just Privately educated neoToffs and proffesional MP's.

You just take the negative view towards labour for some reason choosing to disagree with a large majority of the grass roots ( the TUC, the LRC, Young Fabians, and Young Labour party members ) you claim to be interested in..
As an observer it seems to me you're less interested in grass roots and working classes and more interested in the adherents to your own ideology?

My ideology believes in grass roots decision making. If people don't want that ideology and are content with what we have now, it ain't gonna happen. I can only follow what I believe in.
The modern labour party is IMO a total waste of time as it's the Tory party 2.0. Perhaps marginally better, but the difference is vanishingly small.
Indeed, I think short of revolution nothing will ever actually change a great deal. Left wing parties couldn't do that much even if they wanted to as business would shaft them with capital flight, particular;ly as we're so reliant on the service/financial sectors. Capitalism owns us and only by total rejection of capitalism could much change.
You're definitely not alone with that position either, Dogsmilk you mention the people, but Irre he essentially represents the people, he's clearly not interested in democracy, so your idea about Anarchism meaning 100% participatory democracy to me seems at best idealistic, at worst quite ignorant to the actual interests and political position of the "people" you invoke..

The current political position of the people is irrelevant to the proposed format. Like I said, unless people want it, it ain't gonna happen. You can only try to get people interested in running their own affairs and promote the notions of solidarity and co-operation. As I've said many times, I think he notion of central government is idealistic. It's never going to be better than we've already had. I think we need to break away from this myth of the benevolent parent figures. Anarchy will never be perfect - nothing ever is - but it's demonstrated it can work quite effectively. It's also been amply demonstrated the Marxist revolutonary vanguard inevitably leads to dictatorship.
The thing is, anarchism is usually held to some ridiculous standard like it has to be totally perfect and all people can be 100% fulfilled. Whereas people never hold democracy to anything like the same standard, spend their time complaining about how shit everything is and making vague statements about needing some kind of eternally elusive better government that's somehow going to spring from somewhere.
I think the framing of anarchism as utopian simply shows how deeply engrained notions of subservience to a political class have become.

I wouldn't want to highlight Irre as representative of anything, but if people remain apathetic, they remain apathetic. That impacts on all ideologies apart from the dominant one. You could say the same thing to a fascist. At the end of the day, we can only speak and act for ourselves.
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Last Edit: 03 Jul 2013 23:35 by Chuck Random.
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Philosophical health check 04 Jul 2013 18:30 #47

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Chuck Random wrote:
diamondgeezer wrote:
No police force or government etc etc....right yeah that's really going to work.... :roll:

.

In 1826 Manchester had a population of 200,000 people. And two constables.

In 1826 the people of Manchester were controlled by extreme poverty/need....they HAD to conform in order to survive. It was a very unpleasant place to live.

& if you don't mind me saying, the 200,000 people/two constables comment there is a rather misleading comment, making it sound like just 2 coppers were needed to control all those people (because they were all so well-behaved back then?). Not true, the army played a 'police role' too in those days...a drastic one.

Just a few years earlier, in 1819, the Peterloo massacre took place in Manchester...

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peterloo_Massacre

The Peterloo Massacre (or Battle of Peterloo) occurred at St Peter's Field, Manchester, England, on 16 August 1819, when cavalry charged into a crowd of 60,000–80,000 that had gathered to demand the reform of parliamentary representation.
The end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 had resulted in periods of famine and chronic unemployment, exacerbated by the introduction of the first of the Corn Laws. By the beginning of 1819 the pressure generated by poor economic conditions, coupled with the lack of suffrage in northern England, had enhanced the appeal of political radicalism. In response, the Manchester Patriotic Union, a group agitating for parliamentary reform, organised a demonstration to be addressed by the well-known radical orator Henry Hunt.
Shortly after the meeting began, local magistrates called on the military authorities to arrest Hunt and several others on the hustings with him, and to disperse the crowd. Cavalry charged into the crowd with sabres drawn, and in the ensuing confusion, 15 people were killed and 400–700 were injured. The massacre was given the name Peterloo in ironic comparison to the Battle of Waterloo, which had taken place four years earlier.
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Philosophical health check 04 Jul 2013 18:54 #48

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That's fucked up DG, massacring people for wanting political reform. They tend to do that though when they think their power is being threatened. You'd think 60,000 to 80,000 people could have taken the cavalry out though.
Last Edit: 04 Jul 2013 18:54 by irrepressible.
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Philosophical health check 04 Jul 2013 19:18 #49

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irrepressible wrote:
That's fucked up DG, massacring people for wanting political reform. They tend to do that though when they think their power is being threatened. You'd think 60,000 to 80,000 people could have taken the cavalry out though.

Things haven't changed much the last couple of years or so in that respect have they....? :roll:

I'm still of the belief that our societies need some form of policing & government though (Just not this particular 'ruling class' we've had to suffer for so long would be nice tho eh)., because without them there would be chaos.

We're just not nice enough as a species yet for ideologies such as 'anarchism' or anything like that.

The nasty/ruthless/criminal/etc element would always still end up ruling over the weaker/nicer element, and without ''law & order'' it would be even more pronounced than with it..

History shows us this to be true, and so does the state of our present world.
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Last Edit: 04 Jul 2013 19:22 by diamondgeezer.
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Philosophical health check 04 Jul 2013 19:25 #50

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diamondgeezer wrote:
In 1826 the people of Manchester were controlled by extreme poverty/need....they HAD to conform in order to survive. It was a very unpleasant place to live.

Well no. That same year in Lancashire there were extremely serious riots exactly because people were staving. Handloom weavers driven to starvation by the introduction of the powerloom. The army were called out to deal with them, but hundreds of powerlooms were destroyed and determined rioters even faced off soldiers firing at them. Subsequently snatch squads took out the ringleaders when they were mostly at home. The riots did spread briefly to Manchester but the factories there ended up basically being fortified. Back then, people were probably more prepared to stand up for themselves than they are now. They were tougher and often had little to lose.
& if you don't mind me saying, the 200,000 people/two constables comment there is a rather misleading comment, making it sound like just 2 coppers were needed to control all those people (because they were all so well-behaved back then?). Not true, the army played a 'police role' too in those days...a drastic one.

That's true. And what did the army do? They protected the status quo. They didn't deal with general crime.
The magistrate did that with a couple of constables and the power to appoint special constables if need be.
Just a few years earlier, in 1819, the Peterloo massacre took place in Manchester...

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peterloo_Massacre

Which was a political action. And a political function - protecting the state - has always been a primary function of the police. The police is not and never has been about some friendly bobby on his bicycle chasing men with a bag marked swag.

And of course there has always been crime and disharmony. The point is people managed for hundreds of years without anything resembling a professional police force. Society has changed in a number of ways:
A sense of dependence on the police - leading to people calling them for all kinds of bullshit reasons.
The deliberate fragmentation of communities in favour of individualism
A fiercely acquisitive society where people wonder why those that can't afford often end up taking
More laws than ever before

Any society is always going to need some kind of mechanism for enacting justice. But the current police force is simply the govt's internal footsoldiers with a sideline in pretending to investigate burglaries and stuff.
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Philosophical health check 04 Jul 2013 19:30 #51

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diamondgeezer wrote:
.
The nasty/ruthless/criminal/etc element would always still end up ruling over the weaker/nicer element,

.

Thank God we have David Cameron to protect us from the nasty/ruthless/criminal element ruling over the weaker element.
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Philosophical health check 04 Jul 2013 19:38 #52

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irrepressible wrote:
That's fucked up DG, massacring people for wanting political reform. They tend to do that though when they think their power is being threatened. You'd think 60,000 to 80,000 people could have taken the cavalry out though.

Ever been charged by a horse though? It''s really fucking frightening. They're very big and very powerful - and I guess even scarier with some on on them waving a sabre. I once saw a horse hit this woman front on and she must've flown about ten feet. It's a miracle she got off with bruises.

I learned to respect the power of horses after facing horses with arseholes on them during my hunt sab days.
Who of course the police were blatantly on the side of. Paying their due deference to the lord of the manor.
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Last Edit: 04 Jul 2013 19:42 by Chuck Random.
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Philosophical health check 04 Jul 2013 19:55 #53

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The point I was making chuck, was that (in general) life in Manchester in the early 19th century was so hard that people generally were concentrating too much on the everyday business of hand-to-mouth survival to bother going out on a saturday night and causing 'drunken trouble'.

(of course though when it went too far & people started to actually starve, then that was a different matter....starving people will riot etc, because they have nothing to lose).

'Starving' wasn't the norm though....the mill-owners were generally very good at gauging pay levels just above the starvation level. They used it as a form of control...

As for the police....I still have to disagree. What do you think our cities would be like now without a police force of sorts to control the scumbags? Seriously?
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Philosophical health check 04 Jul 2013 20:10 #54

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diamondgeezer wrote:
The point I was making chuck, was that (in general) life in Manchester in the early 19th century was so hard that people generally were concentrating too much on the everyday business of hand-to-mouth survival to bother going out on a saturday night and causing 'drunken trouble'.

Workers would go out and get shitfaced though exactly because they worked goddawful hours and couldn't go to the IMax to watch Man Of Steel.
As for the police....I still have to disagree. What do you think our cities would be like now without a police force of sorts to control the scumbags? Seriously?

I would be dreadful. Because you couldn't just subtract something overnight that is integrated into society. Nor would that ever happen.
If the entire Nazi party including the Gestapo had all vanished one night, Germany would have fallen into chaos - that doesn't mean Nazis are a social necessity.
The point is we need to get our heads out of these notions we need some boss class and its lackeys or civilisation will collapse. These are the people who created this society in the first place, except for the rapidly eroding social benefits we got only because we fought against them to win them. People aren't born scumbags (well except maybe for a small proportion with organic brain malfunctioning going on). They're a product of their time and place.
Governments always have been and always will be the enemy.
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Philosophical health check 04 Jul 2013 20:19 #55

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In them thar olun dayz, "policing" and dealing with crime was dealt with by the community. Communities were much smaller groups and trouble-makers quickly became known, and were dealt with just as quickly. It wasn't until William of Orange who, for his own benefit of course, pulled the country under One Rule. Until then we had Merican Law, Black Law, etc., all around the country, with each area fitting the punishment to the crime committed.

To a much lesser degree, even when I was a child the community still more or less policed itself. People knew one another and a neighbour would call at your house to tell your parents you'd been hanging around the shops swearing or acting up. :O They might even give you a good ticking off - I remember one man slapping my face really hard because I was walking on his wall! That was beyond the pale for mum, who wouldn't let ANYONE lay hands on her daughters.... he got something of a slap across his own face in return about half an hour later! And, just to push the point home, I went back to his smelly wall later and stood on it again, with my tongue sticking out. :D

As well, socialising was different too. People bothered with one another. They mixed and met, knew if someone was in need or vulnerable and they bothered themselves to go along and keep an eye on them. As a child playing out, if one of the old people came to their gates and told us to go to the shop for them, we were not ALLOWED to say no. We had to go.

Drinking wise - young lads went to the pubs with their dads, and got to know their dad's mates and their granddad's mates, etc., as well as their own. They learned to drink "properly", going into town for a blast later or now and then. No wonder the city centres are so bad nowadays - no one taught the youngsters how to drink sociably and enjoy themselves in company. It's all about how much they can get into their bellies before they fall down - and that brings trouble with it.

Small communities could be tiresome, with their noseyitis and narrow morals; but in many ways it worked very well.

Now? The kids get criminalised for the smallest and stupidest things that, really, if we're honest, we all did at their age.
"...Wyrde saves oft the man undoomed
if he undaunted be....". (Beowulf).

"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths... Beautiful people do not just happen". (Elisabeth Kubler-Ross).


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Philosophical health check 04 Jul 2013 20:24 #56

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People aren't born scumbags (well except maybe for a small proportion with organic brain malfunctioning going on). They're a product of their time and place.
Governments always have been and always will be the enemy.

I think this is something we'll probably always fundamentally disagree on.

My life experience tells me that many people are naturally ruthless & violent, naturally, not because they're a 'product of their environment' or anything like that.

& yes, that unfortunately includes many members of our government/s too.

Scum often rises to the top, usually more than cream does. Call me a cynic...
The pen is mightier than the sword
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Philosophical health check 04 Jul 2013 22:28 #57

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diamondgeezer wrote:
People aren't born scumbags (well except maybe for a small proportion with organic brain malfunctioning going on). They're a product of their time and place.
Governments always have been and always will be the enemy.

I think this is something we'll probably always fundamentally disagree on.

My life experience tells me that many people are naturally ruthless & violent, naturally, not because they're a 'product of their environment' or anything like that.

& yes, that unfortunately includes many members of our government/s too.

Yes we may well intractably disagree on that. Though I do agree some people are 'naturally ruthless', just not that many and I think people in general become more or less ruthless depending on social factors.
It also depends on what you mean by 'scumbags'. I've met a lot of people who'd be deemed 'scumbags' through work, and a lot of them are actually ok underneath. Not all though, by any means. But though I realise it sounds like sandal wearing liberal bullshit, it really is true that a lot of scumbags have heart-wrenching stories. Not saying I'd want to live next door to them though.

Scum often rises to the top, usually more than cream does. Call me a cynic...

I agree 100%. That's why I'm an anarchist. I don't want to give 'em the chance. I think we're equally cynical in this respect, we just have a different perspective on it.

Bullies want to dominate. Most people I think just want to get on and have a quiet life. I think the arrogant and ruthless will always end up on top because they want to be there. I want them to be rendered impotent and have the regular folk calling the shots.
No War But The Class War
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Philosophical health check 04 Jul 2013 23:02 #58

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As well, heavy policing has never "reduced crime", no matter what their claims or silly stats say. Furthermore, it has encouraged people to take no part in intervening to prevent criminal activity or assist someone. They have TAUGHT us to leave things alone, in case we get knifed, or in case the gang turns on us too, and so on. We are to do nothing other than call them and wait an hour, until we know they're not coming, then call them again.

We sit watching yobs torment people in their own homes, breaking their windows, calling names, destroying their gardens - and do nothing, so that we can prevent ourselves receiving the same treatment. Before, the entire street would be out sending the yobs on their way (and often reporting them to their parents the next day).

If the police do not do what they are supposed to do (and they do not, never have and probably never will) then, perhaps, eventually people will go back to taking matters into their own hands. And I don't just mean violent vigilante mobs going after paedoes. I mean, that young yob who causes uproar and havoc on the way back from a pub on Saturday night - life can get very uncomfortable for him when he upsets the very people he has to live around on a day-to-day basis. And that has more long term effect than any court hearing or puffed up policeman pontificating every few months.

The community running and policing itself has always seemed to be a more effective way of living together.
"...Wyrde saves oft the man undoomed
if he undaunted be....". (Beowulf).

"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths... Beautiful people do not just happen". (Elisabeth Kubler-Ross).


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Philosophical health check 04 Jul 2013 23:05 #59

quotes from Chuck post #46
On the Masses:
The current political position of the people is irrelevant to the proposed format. Like I said, unless people want it, it ain't gonna happen. You can only try to get people interested in running their own affairs and promote the notions of solidarity and co-operation.

Where we are now is irrelevant to what one believes in.

I took quotes which to me require development in terms of their philosophical underpinnings, these two quotes both relate to the same issue in my view..what one bases one's political "beliefs" on..

Now the main Marxist view to this question would imo be that one's beliefs are irrelevant and what is important is the mass consciousness of the revolutionary class in society, what one should ultimately base one's political activity on is this material reality, not what you believe in regardless of the time, place, conditions, likelihood of revolution.

You need to clarify this contradiction between saying you want the grass roots to decide for themselves what they want, (which they currently do based on the material, empirical reality and choices available to them) and saying what the grass roots or people want or their political positions are irrelevant to "the proposed format", am I allowed to shudder at that statement?

On anarchism;
As I've said many times, I think he notion of central government is idealistic. It's never going to be better than we've already had. I think we need to break away from this myth of the benevolent parent figures. Anarchy will never be perfect - nothing ever is - but it's demonstrated it can work quite effectively...
anarchism is usually held to some ridiculous standard like it has to be totally perfect and all people can be 100% fulfilled. Whereas people never hold democracy to anything like the same standard, spend their time complaining about how shit everything is and making vague statements about needing some kind of eternally elusive better government that's somehow going to spring from somewhere.
I think the framing of anarchism as utopian simply shows how deeply engrained notions of subservience to a political class have become....
My ideology believes in grass roots decision making. If people don't want that ideology and are content with what we have now, it ain't gonna happen. I can only follow what I believe in...
Of course it is Utopian, you say yourself "Where we are now is irrelevant to what one believes in." so I assume you have some vision of the future that disregards reality as it currently is?
If it's not Utopian it's sadistic, remove all authority and suddenly you think global corporate pirates will begin to play nicer?

You basically highlight the positive points of democracy it works well for the majority of people who aren't interested in taking more responsibility than they already have, ie feeding, housing, clothing and transporting their children and providing those staples...

You hold democracy to a ridiculous standard by expecting it to represent you when you advocate having nothing to do with the democratic process, you can't form a party with consensus because nobodies views are more important than the view that's nobodies view can be more important than another persons?

You don't want to participate in the business of democracy you'd rather hold a negative position in regards to it's very existence, you are derisory and dismissive of any political party or political organization and dismissive of trades unions because they are "hierarchichal", these are all things the masses have chosen themselves as actual outlets of solidarity and co-operation.

Grass roots decision making is a very vague term, does it mean people making their own decisions?
What makes you think that isn't what they currently do and anarchism doesn't even enter the discussion?
...Molti nemici molto onore...
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Philosophical health check 04 Jul 2013 23:15 #60

cantata wrote:
As well, heavy policing has never "reduced crime", no matter what their claims or silly stats say. .
By silly stats do you mean absolutely all crime statistics or do you mean literally silly ie novelty type stats, like 99% of people are part worm.

Does the term "heavy policing" include capital punishment? Because that would have literally reduced criminals and thus crime..
...Molti nemici molto onore...
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