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What happened to nature?
Olena {The Wizard} Shmahalo (28)
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    What allows beings to love each other is also what makes them lovable, and ruins the utopia of autism-for-two.

    Has anyone here heard of the Tarnac 9?
    Or, "The Coming Insurrection"? (from whence the above quote was taken).

    Sun, Mar 7, 2010  Permanent link

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    Olena     Sun, Mar 7, 2010  Permanent link
    I posted this here because it has been getting around, and it has been called dangerous supposedly because of it's "militant" approach.
    I don't advocate "picking up the gun" and as I haven't finished reading, I haven't yet seen anything in this text that actually encourages me to do so... maybe I've yet to get to that part.

    Back to why I posted — I'm not sure where to place this. There are some things written herein that I can see happening and that I hear being spoken: the writers call themselves "editors" of these "whispers"; correctly so.
    But it's questionable, and I'm not ready to agree with it, except for those Truths that I can cherry-pick out. So, other opinions are welcome and needed.

    And this:

    Communes come into being when people find each other, get on with each other, and decide on a common path. The commune is perhaps what gets decided at the very moment when we would normally part ways. It’s the joy of an encounter that survives its expected end. It’s what makes us say “we,” and makes that an event. What’s strange isn’t that people who are attuned to each other form communes, but that they remain separated. Why shouldn’t communes proliferate everywhere? In every factory, every street, every village, every school. At long last, the reign of the base committees! Communes that accept being what they are, where they are. And if possible, a multiplicity of communes that will displace the institutions of society: family, school, union, sports club, etc. Communes that aren’t afraid, beyond their specifically political activities, to organize themselves for the material and moral survival of each of their members and of all those around them who remain adrift. Communes that would not define themselves – as collectives tend to do – by what’s inside and what’s outside them, but by the density of the ties at their core. Not by their membership, but by the spirit that animates them.

    Didn't we find each other, and aren't we here because of the "density of the ties at [our] core?"
    meganmay     Sun, Mar 7, 2010  Permanent link
    This is. Fucking. Incredible.

    a world where “becoming self-sufficient” is a euphemism for “having found a boss.”

    In reality, the decomposition of all social forms is a blessing. It is for us the ideal condition for a wild, massive experimentation with new arrangements, new fidelities. The famous “parental resignation” has imposed on us a confrontation with the world that demands a precocious lucidity, and foreshadows lovely revolts to come.

    While I'm sure there are precedents to this text, history does not repeat ver batim and I'm glad to see people picking up on the finer points of this moment in time. It also reminds me of a conversation I had the other day about the student lead shut-down of the UC Santa Cruz campus, which initially sounded like all too familiar rhetoric, but at a glance this writing seems related.

    And I have been thinking that Space Collective is the most effective aggregator of intelligence I've found yet. Much more effective than the university :)
    collective matt     Sun, Mar 7, 2010  Permanent link
    Thanks for sharing.

    I might also call this type of material dangerous, but only to someone who does not understand empathy, etc. and only wishes to create the next violent revolution. I believe that the difference between this current revolution and war must be that this is the revolution of peace. If peace is the goal then we cannot use violence as the means to achieving this. This is no longer an “us vs. them” or “right vs. wrong” argument, this is about we, OUR future, all of us, and all of humanity and possibly the future of the universe itself. We must truly transcend (even violence) to reach this goal.

    As for proposing guerrilla warfare, I suggesting an alternative term: "peaceful warfare." This type of warfare is in fact so underground, so secretive, that it only serves to only annihilate the root cause of the opponent in itself— ignorance. How can we fight this ignorance? I say with nothing less than the enlightenment of all mankind.

    We need empathy instead of anger.

    “This time with feeling.”

    First Dark     Sun, Mar 7, 2010  Permanent link
    I can't comment on The Coming Insurrection as I haven't read it, but I did enjoy Adbusters' article on the Tarnac 9. All I will say is that any activism, whether physically peaceful and silent or loud and violent, can be considered 'militant' if it's perceived as a threat. Every activist should be aware that they're also a 'potential terrorist'. It's just a matter of who takes notice and how afraid they are. I'm also reminded of something I read somewhere about how the Internet has further made most activists into 'potential terrorists with international ties'.
    Olena     Sun, Mar 7, 2010  Permanent link
    Thanks for your input guys;

    Megan —
    It IS amazing. It's points like those that I was talking about; they're just undeniably right on.

    & Matt —
    That's part of what worried me about the text. I also got some feedback from a professor; he mentioned that it smelled of that "revolutionary fervor", and not in a good way; that they're almost "too right"... and too militant, as you say. It's very intense.
    The smugness is part of what led me to question it, because these are HUGE issues that they're talking about. To be resolved, they're going to need a new kind of revolution, and I'm not so sure these guys have that problem solved already (alas, I'm still reading).

    FD —
    Thanks for that link.
    As for the internet, sometimes I wonder if someday, the word "cyberspace" will be used in very much the same way that "underground" is today.

    Interesting times to live in, certainly.
    MonseigneurBienvenu     Mon, Mar 8, 2010  Permanent link
    I skimmed the article just now and it's very good for ideas, which shine through here and there - some mostly neat linguistic twists and others actually relating to reality. I didn't like the opening and thought that a person who exaggerates and generalizes that much could not possibly have anything worthy to say straight after, as is usually the case, but I think I may read the thing in full, as it is enjoyable at the very least and mind-opening at times. I'll reserve full judgement until I read it, as I really ought to.

    The thing about all this militancy is that for someone as cocooned as me in the 'ivory towers' all the reality seems distant, classifiable into rational/irrational or logical/fallacy, and muted. Reality can be a great shock, however, if we open our eyes, and care to look. Much of it, however, is hard to see even if you do look, as it's hidden by people with an interest in such hiding.

    Your brilliant interest-seeking skills are truly amazing!

    Thank you
    collective matt     Mon, Mar 8, 2010  Permanent link
    Visits in person are more secure, leave no trace, and forge much more consistent connections than any list of contacts on the internet.

    I especially disagree with this. I don't think the author is wrong, but maybe their viewpoint is outdated. New media has already changed the game, and I think that the Internet cat is so far out of the bag that we aren't going back to the pre-digital age. Also, software like tor lets people meet completely anonymously if they like. Online reputation or presence plays an important part as well in establishing long term communications.

    "As for the internet, sometimes I wonder if someday, the word "cyberspace" will be used in very much the same way that "underground" is today."

    I could see the internet censorship in china as some evidence of this right now, but I still feel that even there, information is already so prolific that it's now almost unstoppable.
    TheUndying     Mon, Mar 8, 2010  Permanent link
    Here's a part concerning the armed revolution:

    Take up arms. Do everything possible to make their use unnecessary. Against the army, the only victory is political.

    There is no such thing as a peaceful insurrection. Weapons are necessary: it’s a question of doing everything possible to make using them unnecessary. An insurrection is more about taking up arms and maintaining an “armed presence” than it is about armed struggle. We need to distinguish clearly between being armed and the use of arms. Weapons are a constant in revolutionary situations, but their use is infrequent and rarely decisive at key turning points: August 10th 1792, March 18th 1871, October 1917. When power is in the gutter, it’s enough to walk over it.

    I myself am profoundly against the use of weapons, or violence in any physical form for that matter, to achieve political peace. Isaac Asimov once wrote in his Foundation series, "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." But does that still hold true in this day and age?

    However reading a bit further I noticed that they acknowledge pacifism saying:

    Because of the distance that separates us from them, weapons have taken on a kind of double character of fascination and disgust that can be overcome only by handling them. An authentic pacifism cannot mean refusing weapons, but only refusing to use them. Pacifism without being able to fire a shot is nothing but the theoretical formulation of impotence. Such a priori pacifism is a kind of preventive disarmament, a pure police operation. In reality, the question of pacifism is serious only for those who have the ability to open fire. In this case, pacifism becomes a sign of power, since it’s only in an extreme position of strength that we are freed from the need to fire.
    MonseigneurBienvenu     Mon, Mar 8, 2010  Permanent link
    On that last paragraph: I think the acknowledgement of a distinction between controlling desires, as a sign of strong will, and removing the stimulant, as a sign of weakness, is fairly important, but is open to various philosophical attacks rendering it fairly useless. In reality, of course, tables can turn easily and the strength not to pick up arms may be the more obvious manifestation of freedom of the will, contrary, perhaps, to our intuition. I think such statements as a made there really ought to be substantiated by philosophy and reality to bear any weight.

    Take a very simple example: the cold war era was marked by the rise of weapons technology of exceptionally destructive capability and avoidance of conflict was, as is obvious, very important. The system of mutual assured destruction (note the acronym: MAD) was devised by about mid-1950s with the essence of deterrence being to prevent the other side from striking first, or to have enough nuclear capability to survive a strike and strike back. Were the States in positions of strength, or armed with some commendable power of will not to use their weapons? I am afraid I have to doubt that and so, perhaps, would any historian. Constantly coerced into chasing the next quota of arms or the development of a nuclear shield, setting up telephone lines, networks and other communication to prevent something from going wrong. Sweet honorable pacifism? What if they were two companies? What if they were two very rich persons? Just persons?

    Of course, in practice this may work very well indeed. Even the International Court of Justice could not muster the power to say that use or threat of use of nuclear weapons would always be unlawful - and rightly so, considering the practical realities. But I don't think any of this can be a manifestation of true free will. It's just too over-engineered, over-constructed and over-thought to leave any room for movement.

    This is just a vivid example that can be transposed unto a micro-scale of human activity. Good hard philosophy should came before statements which are just a bit too hot to handle.
    Olena     Tue, Mar 9, 2010  Permanent link
    Thanks for your insight. Your first paragraph is very much like what my Prof. said about it: it generalizes too much, it's almost too assertive, etc. They assume the universality of their own beliefs and the writing as a whole acts more as fuel for the already-converted rather than a convincing argument for those who are not.

    What you say about militancy reminds me of the dilemma of modern comfort: we know something is wrong, but even those of us who are equipped with the abilities to do something about it are often stunted by either our feeling of smallness or by that comfort of having — things are just not bad enough for us to be arsed to do anything about it right now.
    Not to make that same mistake of overgeneralizing extending this immobility to everyone, of course.

    I'm not sure either way. As we know, even the most protected systems are always being broken into, and tor isn't the best example; it is always being criticized. It's possible to be watched anywhere; one medium of communication isn't necessarily safer than another.

    Cyberspace = underground is not to say that these are areas of censorship — rather that cyberspace is the new frame of open communication, often because of that anonymity and instant connectivity you mentioned. As Anonymous or even a "floating head" (to quote Megan) we can truly be free to discuss, assert, learn, etc.

    Undying (& MB),
    That paragraph about restraint caught my attention too, because holding weaponry is very much like holding knowledge. It's a difficult thing to hold something so heavy and not only know how to (or how not to) use it, how to be happy despite it.
    Just as this text is considered "dangerous" — in the wrong hands (hands that can't bear it) it can be, very.

    As I read this, I want to think (idealistically) that the weapons they're speaking of are not that physical, destructive kind but more along the lines of ideas, knowledge. I wish that was it; we hardly need another cold war.

    Also, I just re-read this line:
    The important thing is to cultivate and spread this necessary disposition towards fraud, and to share its innovations.

    I liked it at first because it reminded me of The Pirate's Dilemma book, which gives an overview of ways in which "fraudulent" activity in the underground as due to suppression in legal realms has led to great innovations that were later adopted by the more conservative set. I don't necessarily mean fraudulent and legal in their regular definition — having to do with law. I mean, in any arena there are things you "can" and "cannot" do and sometimes the "cannots" are more true and necessary than those default, accepted actions. Those willing to do what they shouldn't are praised for breaking past the fear of the unknown.

    BUT, upon re-reading it I realized why I dislike this text: it depends how that line is taken, but what it also implies is manipulation. It just wreaks of dishonesty and contrivance, which is what we have enough of already: if this group ever came to power, they would just use the same code of conduct that those in positions of power already do and have, and the world would be no better off.
    That's what gave me the feeling that they don't have it all figured out, and now I understand better that term: "revolutionary fervor".