96

The Myth of Reform

This is our second extract from Darren Allen’s book 33 Myths of the System. The first extract can be read here, while the full work is available as a free download here.

A protest march is one of Gemma Arterton’s favourite things. ‘Oh, I love going on marches,’ she beams. ‘They’re such an amazingly galvanising, brilliant community.’ She brought her mum along on a women’s march recently, ‘and she loved it, too. She just loved the energy you get off it. It’s like carnival, people really together, and they’re singing and they’re chanting.’ She throws her head back, exhilarated by the memory. ‘It’s like, you feel power!’
Interview in The Guardian

Reform is the lightning rod and pressure relief valve of the system. Reform deflects desire for a different system into negotiations for changing the scenery, the actors and the script of the current system · · · The key player in reform is the professional, or ambitious, stagversive, the proto-typical example of which was Karl Marx · · · Stagversives may be good people, and their work may lead to more people living in more comfortable cells, but they have no interest, whatsoever, in freeing men and women from the prison.

Occasionally workers get cheesed off with carrying out meaningless tasks for a meaningless system, with being systematically exploited and robbed of the power to determine how they work, with dragging themselves back to the storage units they call ‘home’ in order to dream of more classrooms and corridors; and they begin to express their frustration and anger in indifference, resistance to scheduling, sabotage, high turnover, neglect, abseenteeism, presenteeism (working to rule; doing no more than is contractually necessary and precisely following all regulations), hostility, rage or madness. The entire purpose and meaning of management is to devise ways to counter such rebellion, to replace the people the system uses with machines, to make men and women satisfied with their alienated confinement, or, at the very least, unable to effectively resist it.

And yet, still, periodically, even the most ‘efficient’ management system falters and the servants threaten their masters — then it is time for reform.

Reform is the emergency mode of the capitalist system when faced with widespread radical opposition; a means of releasing the steam of revolutionary pressure without changing the mechanism which produces it. It comprises three stages, each of which is carried out with great fanfare:

  1. Wave money. The simplest and, in the long run cheapest solution to discontent is to chuck a few more bananas at the monkeys. Most men and women will swallow their principles for a pay rise.
  2. Grant limited or superficial reforms. The second stage is to make a few limited concessions, pass a few laws that ease the burden, allow clients to fill out complaint forms, put a comments section on the website and hand out a few upbeat stickers.
  3. Grant temporary reforms. Finally, if nothing else works, give in and wait. As long as the system itself is unaffected, it remains in charge and can bide its time until a more opportune moment comes to ‘roll back’ freedoms and traditional, contextual rights.

The key actor in the process of reform is, naturally, the reformist (aka stagversive or professional leftist). This is a corporate or institutional employee, usually a journalist or elite academic, who makes a wage or diffuses her frustrations by pushing for change without criticising the host organisation (the company or government he or she works for), without seeking to remove the state and, critically, without attacking the root of the system. This she does by focusing on secondary solutions to secondary problems.

Intolerance, the glass ceiling, violence towards women, the erosion of civil liberties, digital addiction, bad science, corruption, financial speculation, paedophilia, unpleasant working conditions, the decline of the honey-bee, unjust politics, ‘churnalism,’ anti-Semitism and the rise of modern fascism are all fair game for, generally, the system opposes these things too. Redistribution of wealth, systemic exploitation of land and labour, thought control in a democratic society, radical self-knowledge, truthful utopia, genuine revolution and profound insurrection, unconditional love, the reality of death, consciousness and other terrifying ‘subjectivities’ are well off the menu for the ‘radical’ and her system.

Likewise, giving workers the power to vote for employee of the month, beer in the office, gay bosses, community spirit, bean-bags in the coffee room, amusing posters, family days, staff discounts, limited control over production, anarchist-trousers and, for the miserable millions building the profits of Amazon, Apple, Walmart, Primark, Cargill, Bechtel, Aramco, Ikea and Tesco, a slightly higher wage than they could find elsewhere — yep! Allowing workers the chance to control the entire production process, as men and women once did by mastering craft, allowing them control over surplus, allowing them power over management, allowing them to take back control of their fates back professionalism, meaningfully integrating the company with the environment, and genuine, human generosity — no, no, no, no, no.

Although those in power make an immense fuss about the slightest stagversive activity, the system actually requires reformists in order to effectively function. It needs, above all, obedience (which it calls non-violence, community spirit, etc.) from everyone, whatever their colour, gender or sexual preference, and privileged ‘radicals’ are happy to serve by campaigning for tolerance, inclusion, trans-rights, equal pay and whatnot. Left-wing journos, market-friendly radicals and career leftists provide and even police the limits to acceptable discussion; any idea left of the liberal press is, ipso facto, insane. They are a lightning rod for genuinely revolutionary unease, channelling demands for a different system into inconvenient but, ultimately, harmless, amendments to the current one, such as endless bickering about the number of crumbs the poor should be served on the welfare table; a ‘debate’ which keeps left-wing politicians, trade-unionists and liberal journalists nice and busy while society slowly, but safely, rots.

A similar function, on a smaller scale, is played by everyday cynicism, fantasy and even comedy. Ordinary men and women, living entirely conventional and brutally predictable lives of domesticated subservience frequently deal with their inhuman routines and herd-like consumption of spectacular drugs by mocking them — and mocking them, the others, those fools out there. ‘We’re different,’ say the suburban couple, ‘we can laugh at the world.’ ‘I’m different,’ says the bank clerk, ‘I’m really an artist, a dreamer, a revolutionary, mad!’ Such attitudes strengthen the power of the system, which panders to a sense of specialness and actively encourages the irresponsible, ironic or marketable distance from the world that daydreaming[1], escapism, cynicism and irony open up.

Without the eco, female, ‘radical’, artistic, comic, cynical and philanthropic veneer of free speech created by stagversive concern for minority rights, the environment, working conditions, corrupt politicians, fat cats and so on, the fundamentally repressive and iniquitous nature of the system would be easier to perceive. As it is, elites can point to their pinko chums in the newspapers and movie studios and say, ‘look how free our society is!’ That stagversive columnists also help pull potential radicals into the advert saturated pages of The Guardian and the New York Times just happens to be by-the-by.

If reformists ever do reach positions of power they find themselves forced, by the structure of society, to subdue and oppress those they dominate and to serve the needs of the system. As Michael Bakunin noted, this explains how ‘the most raging rebels become the most cautious of conservatives as soon as they attain to power.’ It matters little whether the power is in a capitalist corporation, a professional hierarchy, a democratic parliament or a socialist trade union. Authority (the authority of power, that is, not the authority of character, intelligence or experience) corrupts. A little work is required to deal with the bad dreams and guilt that authority entails — crusading convictions must be shaped, whispers of conscience suppressed — but no biggie. A marvellous sense of mission, a swollen pay-cheque, and the arousing energies of mass attention all carry the newly promoted effortlessly through their midnight doubts. For a while.

Some stagversives gain their power by being granted it from the ruling elites they oppose. One of the most terrifying sights for authority has long been a large, violent crowd, or the prospect of one. Rioting mobs intent on upturning the system can be suppressed, but a far more effective technique is to appoint powerful leaders and spokesmen, which automatically funnels attention towards tractable, manageable interactions.

Naturally though there is always the danger of the wrong kind of leadership arising — one that refuses power, inspires the people to listen to the voice of their own conscience and freely act on it for themselves. That won’t do! What authority wants is the right kind of revolutionary; someone who will negotiate; or, failing that, someone who, if they gain power, will keep the basic structure of the system intact.

The archetypical reformist, who gave his name to the quintessential reformist movement, was Karl Marx. Marx was a brutal authoritarian, famously manipulative, an industrialist and enthusiastic proponent of war, work and progress, all governed by classically Graeco-Judaic deterministic laws, filtered through the totalitarian scholastic jugglery of Georg Hegel. His attitude towards nature was domination, his attitude towards the peasantry and the urban poor was contempt[2], and, crucially, his attitude towards an organised, central state was… that he was in favour of it. He simply added, to his contradictory declarations about the state, the proviso that it should be run by workers and should vaguely aim to ‘wither away.’ Marx detested those who actively opposed the principle of statism (that is to say, anarchists) and who sought revolution beyond its authoritarian bounds[3]; upon one of whom, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Marx performed one of the most disgraceful hatchet-jobs in intellectual history, and then stole his ideas (notably the surplus theory of value). Finally Marx had absolutely nothing meaningful to say about any matter of real importance to men and women outside of economics and the effects of capitalism.

Marx would not be revered as he is if what he had said had not contributed so much to the human library. Marx’s critique of capitalism contains a great many peerless observations, and the Marxist tradition contains some veritable masterpieces[4], but Marx’s plan for revolution (communism that is; hatched with his capitalist friend, Friedrich Engels), was the very model of self-seeking reformism, which explains all of its salient features; its record of catastrophic failure, megalomaniacal corruption, enervating compromise, state-capitalist exploitation of the working classes[5], obliteration of nature, cockeyed priorities[6], conspicuous disinclination to make the slightest change to the basic structure of the bureaucratic[7]/technocratic system and rampant, unconscious groupthink and egotism.

All forms of communism, trade-unionism, authoritarian, democratic, fabian and parliamentary socialism, along with syndicalist forms of anarchism, are, in these respects, identical to capitalism, feudalism and fascism. If one evolves into another, nothing changes. That socialist movements often comprise decent folk; that socialist states, trade unions and syndicates do occasionally offer vital protection against extreme forms of [private] capitalism; that communist critiques of capitalism are often superb; all this is, ultimately, irrelevant. None of the political systems of the so-called left have, despite lip-service, any interest in doing away with the entire system, nor are their ideological priorities fundamentally in any kind of conflict with it. The left wishes to preserve property rights, professionalism, money, progress, work, iniquity (either centralised state power or artificially distributed corporate-technocratic power) and all the other foundational components of the anti-world. This is why kindly, fair, compassionate socialism so frequently ends up looking like a classic totalitarian nightmare.

You would have to be raving mad to oppose Uncle Corbyn or Good Old Bern, or the NHS, or higher pay for teachers, or more welfare for the poor, or higher corporation tax, or more council homes, or more jobs for the working classes — indeed it usually is nutters who do oppose them — but all of these initiatives strengthen the second most totalitarian institution in world history; the state. That the most totalitarian institution in world history — the corporation — makes precisely the same criticisms, and rushes into the breach when states are dismantled, does not make them any less true, or any more right wing. The fact is that, despite their protestations to the contrary, their individual good-nature and sympathy for the poor, the good they do fixing people’s teeth[8] and providing bike-lanes, and, in many cases, their enthusiastic flashing of radical credentials, socialists are engaged, usually from positions of extraordinary privilege, in the task of organising, from the top down, a bearable system. They are thus bound, forever, to futility, contention, repression, exploitation, ruinous technical progress and stultifying compromise with technocratic power, constant interference in people’s lives and proliferating bureaucracy; in short to fascism.

A fact of history which socialists are keen to forget, or to excuse, is that fascism originated in Italian socialism. It was first branded ‘right wing’ by the soviets in Russia in order to distance the ‘right’ kind of socialism (their own; Lenin’s and Stalin’s) from the ‘wrong’ kind (Hitler’s and Mussolini’s), a definition taken up, with added emphasis on distasteful hyper-nationalism and morbid romanticism, by Roosevelt (a fascist himself) and Truman; but all these polities were based on powerful states, nationalised welfare, unionised workplaces[9] (Mussolini’s unions were called fascio, hence fascism), social justice, democracy[10] and other such left-wing initiatives.[11]

‘Oh, but that’s the wrong kind of socialism!’ cries the reformer, who wants a national health service, a professional-class, mass democracy, heavily unionised workplaces, money markets, industrial technology and a state, but also, magically, a reality in which these unnatural, anti-human techniques and institutions somehow give power to nature and to human-nature. It doesn’t matter what reformists say, or how nice they are, when their actions inevitably strengthen authoritarian, hierarchical systems, radical monopolies and dehumanising tools which create forms of fascism that, functionally, are no different to those which private capitalists, centrists, [neo] liberals and company-stooges brazenly extol. Leftoids either do this unwittingly, or, with varying degrees of shiftiness, they suppress their awareness of the disastrous consequences of what their instincts to do good end up producing when channelled through the state, or through technocratic institutions.

When the socialist state or academy or guild has completed its work, it is, firstly, entirely run by the kind of people able to force their way up the immense authoritarian hierarchies that states entail, and eliminate opposition (such as Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Kissinger and Blair) and, secondly, and more importantly, it is still an institution; which is to say, a system-integrated conglomeration of enforced habits. Institutions control by creating and compelling people into pre-defined patterns of conduct; system-friendly clichés. The specific laws, processes and players are irrelevant. The institution, by forcing people into institutional habits, automatically destroys spontaneity — which is to say conscious response to the context, which is to say humanity — by simply existing within the system, making reform futile.[12]

Think of it this way. You can have the kindliest old captain imaginable in charge of an oil tanker, but to what end? Oil tankers are vast machines, which can only run on and transport vast quantities of poisonous crude-oil. While we are forced to work on oil tankers, only a fool would vote for a capitalist captain; but what good can a socialist captain actually do with this ship? Can he use it to transport people? Fish for crabs? Can it be ‘scaled back’? Can he use it for anything on a human scale? No matter how fair and friendly the captain is, the time comes when we need to stop listening to what the company tells us to do, take our tanker to a country where people know what to do with scrap metal, and then smash the damn thing up.

In opposition, reformists, who are either keen to essentially preserve the system or are simply too cowardly to radically oppose it, tend to extol entertaining, celebratory, largely passive forms of protest (in the Gemma Arterton sense, rather than the situationist sense; ‘we had a great day out at the march! Twitter storm tomorrow guys!’) along with quietest philosophies of pacifistic acceptance; an approach which has always been tremendously popular with power. Quiet reflection, meditation, godliness, good-hearted simplicity and the like have been praised by princes and kings — and, obviously, their professional, priestly, employees — since the dawn of history. Pacifism and ‘being nice’ are, in their place, terribly good for business, although nowadays mindfulness is the thing; using ancient (and potent) techniques of self-mastery and acceptance to suppress the conscience, rage, fear, despair — and, most horrifying of all, the urge to dispel them with action — which prostituting oneself to a dystopian cyborg evokes. Much better to do a bit of yoga than blow up a dam. Co-opting such techniques, and the perennial philosophy they are built upon, also persuades would-be dissidents of their ‘self-indulgent,’ ‘introspective’ uselessness, and deprives potential miracle workers of the incandescent essence of revolution; their own conscious — and utterly subversive — experience[14].

Such experience, despite being the well-spring of actually effective revolution, plays at best a secondary role in reform. For reformists it is, first of all, society which must change — through the actions and plans of states and professionals. Those with a yen to change society through law, policy and command, like to believe that society is relatively simple thing, that the effects of tinkering with it can be predicted, that there will be no unforeseen side-effects of their actions, that it is possible to gain actual, meaningful power over large numbers of people, and that entrenched self-interest and the power conferred by money, property and institutional status can be overcome while ego, money, property and professional institutions continue to exist.

Most absurdly they believe, or act as if they believe, that the dominance of the technocratic system is a secondary concern, and need not be considered when campaigning for political change. History, science, the wisdom of people who understand how the world works, all available evidence and common-sense say otherwise, but nevermind all that. Reformists aren’t interested in seriously considering reality, or the ultimate point of their activity, any more than doctors are, or teachers, or politicians, or academics, or journalists. The lovely sense of purpose they get from their work, the day to day hustle and bustle, the system-friendly ideology they base their articles and even their personalities on; all of this would crumble if they turned their minds to ‘paradigm disputes’. That it is the system which is in charge of society, that society can never be rationally controlled, shaped, planned or designed without unforeseen catastrophe, that the most powerful autocrats, the fastest computers and the most benevolent and moral crusaders are completely impotent before the forces of society, nature and the global system in which they are constrained [15], that it is rank futility to appeal to kings, governments, ceos, bureaucrats and other leaders to solve the problems of their system; all this is heresy of the first order for the reformist, and to even suggest such a thing in her presences makes her quake with anxiety.

Reformists and leftists have no interest whatsoever in discovering what the system really is or how to actually overcome it. They have no real awareness of their own conscious self, nor do they have any interest in allowing humanity to create, from the bottom up, a world formed by its own hands. The prospect of allowing the intelligence of nature to intelligently guide ordinary people terrifies them; and it will continue to terrify them until they are on the bottom, and forced to use their own conscious self to build something meaningful with their own hands.

NOTES:-

  • [1] ‘We may be startled to find that the person in the office next door, whom we had always pitied as a pathetic ‘unreflective accomodator to routine,’ is not only busy distancing himself madly from all around him, but is doing so in exactly the same way as we are… We are [all] trapped again in routine, the routine of distancing.’ Stanley Cohen and Laurie Taylor, Escape Attempts; The Theory and Practice of Resistance to Everyday Life.
  • [2] The lumpenproletariat was his dismissive term for the latter; although he believed that all men were, faced with the ‘forces of history,’ dispensable.
  • [3] Michael Bakunin, Marx’s anarchist contemporary and adversary put it this way: ‘Marx is an authoritarian and centralising communist. He wants what we want, the complete triumph of economic and social equality, but he wants it in the State and through the State power, through the dictatorship of a very strong and, so to say, despotic provisional government, that is by the negation of liberty. His economic ideal is the State as sole owner of the land and of all kinds of capital, cultivating the land under the management of State engineers, and controlling all industrial and commercial associations with State capital. We want the same triumph of economic and social equality through the abolition of the State and of all that passes by the name of law (which, in our view, is the permanent negation of human rights). We want the reconstruction of society and the unification of mankind to be achieved, not from above downwards by any sort of authority, nor by socialist officials, engineers, and either accredited men of learning — but from below upwards, by the free feder-ation of all kinds of workers’ associations liberated from the yoke of the State.’
  • [4] The works of Mumford, Ellul, Braverman, Sweezy & Baran, Illich and Chomsky for example may or may not be ‘Marxist’, but they
    certainly draw from Marx’s well, as do I.
  • [5] In their name.
  • [6] Such as seizing the means of production, for example, in a late-capitalist world in which everything is a means of production, or placing revolutionary action almost entirely into the hands of workers, with everyone else relegated to a support role; an approach also favoured by anarcho-syndicalists.
  • [7] I myself have, out of sheer desperation, voted for socialist leaders and mooted unionising at work.
  • [8] Including mine, by the way. I use the NHS, have benefited from state hand-outs and had lovely teachers.
  • [9] Hitler’s socialist unions, the German Labour Front, replaced independent trade unions.
  • [10] Hitler and Mussolini were both democratically elected, although both immediately took steps to dismantle the possibility that they could democratically ousted (common behaviour for democracy-enthusiasts).
  • [11] Nazi animal welfare policy, for example, was the best in the modern world.
  • [12] ‘It is important to stress that this controlling character is inherent in institutionalization as such, prior to or apart from any mechanisms of sanctions specifically set up to support an institution. These mechanisms (the sum of which constitute what is generally called a system of social control) do, of course, exist in many institutions and in all the agglomerations of institutions that we call societies. Their controlling efficacy, however, is of a secondary or supplementary kind… To say that a segment of human activity has been institutionalized is already to say that this segment of human activity has been subsumed under social control. Additional control mechanisms are required only insofar as the processes of institutionalization are less than completely successful.’ – Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann, The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge.
  • [13] Pacifism at home that is; all that loveliness is rapidly defenestrated when it’s time to butcher baddies abroad who, coincidentally, are sitting on an underground ocean of oil.
  • [14] See 33 Myths of Ego.
  • [15] See Ted Kaczynski, Anti-Tech Revolution: Why and How for an extended discussion; but see also my comments on Kaczynski
    elsewhere in the notes to this work to grasp his chronic shortcomings.

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milosevic
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milosevic

A protest march is one of Gemma Arterton’s favourite things. “Oh, I love going on marches,” she beams. “They’re such an amazingly galvanising, brilliant community.” She brought her mum along on a women’s march recently, “and she loved it, too. She just loved the energy you get off it. It’s like carnival, people really together, and they’re singing and they’re chanting.” She throws her head back, exhilarated by the memory. “It’s like, you feel power.”

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/jul/14/gemma-arterton-early-career-didnt-want-bond-girl

Robbobbobin
Reader
Robbobbobin

“…great thnkers have been saying at least since the first century BC- the only thing that is worth changing. is ourselves.”

Not the ‘only’ thing.

Jesus said, “Rather, the kingdom of the father is within you and it is outside of you…”

No mind not body, no body not mind, no me not others, no others not me, no spiritual not material, no material not spiritual, no matter not void, no void not matter… all one.

Robbobbobin
Reader
Robbobbobin

Oops. Systemic gremlins (intended as a reply to ↓kevin morris↓, not just spontaneous ravings (though I can do those too, if you want) plus a typical typo: too many italics, too little mindfulness.

Kathy
Reader
Kathy

Thank you for this article.
In any form of a system. First you must believe there has to be a system. Freedom away from this paradigm is exhilarating and liberating. A letting go of a need for control and mistrust. The imaginary walls we have created are but dancing particles.

frank
Reader
frank

How do you want to organize society? That is the question.

There are no perfect systems, but you have to choose something.

Kathy
Reader
Kathy

Frank, Thank you for the question. I will do my best to respond. Firstly.I am not sure that we do need to organize society. An analogy I find fitting is this. It has been noted that at junctions where traffic lights have failed. The flow of traffic becomes smoother and there are less traffic jams and accidents. People recognize they have to make decisions for themselves and become more responsible careful altruistic and polite. Our relationship with each other become symbiotic.This level of attunement is I believe. Our true nature. The more we are controlled from the outside. The further… Read more »

Dave Richards
Reader
Dave Richards

People negotiating traffic lights when they have broken down, adapting to a fault in the system that still couches their behaviour, is a long way from organising to produce food, clothing and shelter for the population. “This level of attunement is I believe. Our true nature.” I don’t believe we have a “true nature” as such. We have potential for a wide range of behaviour determined by culture and context. On the one hand I see a secularised notion of a transcendent spirit of clerical origin, on the other I see an individualism that so easily flips over to the… Read more »

milosevic
Reader
milosevic
Kathy
Reader
Kathy

Hi Milosovic,
The problem I have with labeling an ist. Is some one always goes and turns it into an ism. There by imposing an ideology and Corrupting what is free. I do like the idea that in freedom we dance individually and as one. Quantum physics and Anarchy in essence.

Darren Allen
Reader

Isms are not completely useless. You might say, for example, ‘I belong to no nation, I’m international,’ or you might have grandparents from four different continents, but language is category, and so to speak of one’s culture must somehow involve categories. Likewise politics. Ultimately we, you, might be beyond ‘isms’, but relatively, in the world we communicate in, words like ‘socialist’, ‘communist’, ‘capitalist’ and so on, have meaning, and use, and even power. It’s certainly true they can be restrictive and fuel groupthink and groupfeel; but so can the word ‘English’ (or whatever language / culture you are part of).… Read more »

Kathy
Reader
Kathy

Darren Allen, I agree with your comment. By labeling my self as an anarchist I open my self to preconceived notions of what this may imply to another. Having met plenty of people over the years who have become very ridged judgemental and dogmatic in what they believe this to mean, I am cautious about labels. I am aware that the words people use and how people behave don’t always match. This is why I have a problem with ists and isms. Words and labels do have merit and obviously have a place. But they can also be misunderstood. Every… Read more »

Kathy
Reader
Kathy

Words become even more confusing when your spelling is as bad as mine and you rely on spell check. Which replaces interprets and gives you interpenetrates instead !!.
Please admin if it is possible would you be able to fix this for me.

milosevic
Reader
milosevic

Hence, “the answer may surprise you.” An “ideology” is simply a coherent way of thinking about the world. It’s hard to see how anybody could function politically without one, much as it would be hard for somebody without at least a naive theory of gravity, to avoid falling off high buildings. Actually, everybody has an ideology; the people who think they don’t, just end up unconsciously accepting the one sold to them by TV, newspapers, and the state school system. A central part of their ideology is believing that they don’t have one, and that people who question their ruling… Read more »

John Ervin
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John Ervin

Compare your comment above to this penetrating bon mot of G. K. Chesterton:

“It is quaint that people talk about separating dogma from education. Dogma is actually the only thing that cannot be separated from education. It IS education. A teacher who is not dogmatic is simply a teacher who is not teaching.”

― G.K. Chesterton, What’s Wrong with the World

(Whatever the semantic fallout of such a ~currently loaded~ word as “dogma,” the sense in which he uses it is quite adequate to cover all those bases.)

Kathy
Reader
Kathy

Ah some times its all paradoxical

Ari Paul
Reader
Ari Paul

Good article, but I can’t grasp why you have a problem with Kaczynski’s analysis. If you could point out specifics, and your arguments against them, that would be helpful. Kaczynski’s book “Anti-Tech Revolution,” especially the first two chapters, so thoroughly and completely obliterates any notion of the possibility of reforming our technological civilization in such a way that it does not lead to disaster that I fail to see the point in reading lesser researched or thought-through material. The combined intellectual rigor of our society should be instead focused on understanding the arguments made in that book. Also, the section… Read more »

milosevic
Reader
milosevic

For those who find the musings of MK-ULTRA alumni of interest, the books mentioned above can be read here:

Ted Kaczynski — Technological Slavery

Ted Kaczynski — Anti Tech Revolution: Why And How

milosevic
Reader
milosevic

I’m curious about the people who down-voted this comment. Which part did you find objectionable, that I provided references to the text of some books that somebody else had mentioned, or that I pointed out that their author is an MK-ULTRA terrorist?

In either case, f*** you.

Darren Allen
Reader

Kaczynski’s analysis is peerless, as far as it goes — but it actually doesn’t go very far. In the book that the above piece is extracted from I have a chapter called ‘The Myth of Meaning’ in which I identify two kinds of meaning to humans, conscious being and purposeful doing. About the former Kaczynski says nothing of interest, which, amongst other things, I believe explains why he thought it was a good idea to blow up college professors. Kaczynski bases his critique on the latter, and confines his attack to the modern technocratic nature of the system. It’s essentially a concentrated… Read more »

milosevic
Reader
milosevic

which, amongst other things, I believe explains why he thought it was a good idea to blow up college professors.

It turns out that Ted Kaczynski, like almost all such people, is a graduate of the CIA’s MK-ULTRA program, or one of its precursors. Which, amongst other things, might have had something to do with the formulation of his plan of action.

Harvard and the Making of the Unabomber

John Ervin
Reader
John Ervin

I let my fingers do the googling (Apologies to Yank “Yellow Pages” long running ad campaign of many years ago: “Let your fingers do the walking through the Yellow Pages”) and rummaged through some yellow journalism online about the Unabomber, until I finally tracked down, on Google’s 8th or 9th page, the most relevant piece I had read about it. I referenced it in another comment last week, but did not have the link handy. Here it is. Mr. Miles Mathis gets my many kudos for this penetrating essay on the Unabomber, as just another Psy-Op. And in the process,… Read more »

John Ervin
Reader
John Ervin

Harvard, nearly as much so as the Yale Lit. Dept., is ever and always a hotbed of CIA spymasters and spooks. There’s a sublimely eloquent analysis online, (forgive me, I don’t have the link handy, but it’s easy to google) that asks the question, did ANY of Unabomber’s pranks even happen? With a compelling array of evidence, he points out that all of Una’s “victims” were Intel plants, with the “fingerprints of intelligence” all up and down. The mountain shack is now in a museum, but is nothing provable, more than as a pile of cheap, convenient lumber. I watched… Read more »

milosevic
Reader
milosevic

So much of this, the whole ’60s shtick, was a succession of US Intel black OPS to pulverize social change and any reform, mythical or otherwise.

David McGowan — The Strange but Mostly True Story of Laurel Canyon and the Birth of the Hippie Generation

Ari Paul
Reader
Ari Paul

That’s all a bunch of nonsense. Kaczynski has thoroughly debunked the rumor and conspiracy theory that the MK ULTRA experience was somehow transformative in any way. Sometime ago there was a study done of all the “alumni” of the program, and the author couldn’t find anything interesting to note. At any rate, it’s simply an ad hominem disguised as a reasoned critique. Does the fact that he participated in the program change the facts, logic, and reason behind his arguments??? Obviously not. So why would only people interested in “the musings” of someone who was in the program find his… Read more »

Frank Mann
Reader
Frank Mann

Oh, great, I rigorously analyze the deleterious effects of Buddhists, or Hindus, or Christians, or Muslims (and/or all of the above) on our security and longevity as a species, and conclude that the only purposeful solution is to blow them all up -so long as I target primarily, if not exclusively, their most influential professors, teachers, avatars- since they are the chief mouthpieces chosen by the elites of their country’s regimes to enhance their respective quests for world domination, and that will instruct the great unwashed as to where the biggest threats to global survival really abide. Now, why wasn’t… Read more »

milosevic
Reader
milosevic

He did target corporate executives, so there goes your theory.

What about the people in the airliner he tried to blow up? Were they “morally neutral”, or does buying an airline ticket make one a perfectly logical target for terrorists?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Kaczynski#Table_of_bombings

Ari Paul
Reader
Ari Paul

Nope. College professers were ideal targets from a symbolic perspective. This is why they were DISPROPORTIONATELY targeted. Sure he targeted one who worked in the timber lobby and another who worked in propaganda to cover-up ecological damage, but this does not disprove that he focused on academics. As for the airline passengers, he has written that he regretted that target as being too indiscriminate. But even then his target was still anti-tech symbolic, and the would-victims were disproportionately amoral compared to the average individual on the planet. The majority traveling jets at that time were members of the technology-supporting business/governmental/technical… Read more »

Ari Paul
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Ari Paul

It was a mistake to say that the targeting of corporation execs and government officials would “neuter” his message. The point is that these targets are simply not IDEAL if one’s ideology is targeting technological progress itself.

Justin O'Hagan
Reader
Justin O'Hagan

I gave up early on, at the point when Karl Marx was described as the proto-typical “professional, or ambitious, stagversive”. If by ‘stagversive’ the writer means ‘reformist’, the claim that the world-historical revolutionary Marx is a reformist requires evidence and reasoning not mere assertion. Otherwise, we’re in the realm of silly rhetoric.

Makropulos
Reader
Makropulos

My impression exactly. Also – the favourable references to “anarchists” e.g. Bakunin. Hal Draper had good stuff to say about the anarchist con: https://www.marxists.org/archive/draper/1966/twosouls/4-anarch.htm The crucial passage: “Anarchism is not concerned with the creation of democratic control from below, but only with the destruction of “authority” over the individual, including the authority of the most extremely democratic regulation of society that it is possible to imagine. This has been made clear by authoritative anarchist expositors time and again; for example, by George Woodcock: “even were democracy possible, the anarchist would still not support it … Anarchists do not advocate political… Read more »

kidocelot
Reader
kidocelot

You make your first comment before having finished taking in the piece…… exposed by your second comment. The fact is there is a complete book…..this is an excerpt! Your comment is the same as blindly grabbing the tail of an elephant and proclaiming it is donkey! There may well be source material referenced. The author seems well read to me….in the ancient tradition of know what the opposition want to do!

Justin O'Hagan
Reader
Justin O'Hagan

Thanks. You may be correct. I’ll have a look at the book.

Justin O'Hagan
Reader
Justin O'Hagan

I notice some futher comments on Marx later in the article, but they scarcely alter my point.

Ari Paul
Reader
Ari Paul

Justin, revolution is obviously a relative concept. This author is saying that while Marx may have been a revolutionary of a particular social system, he was not a revolutionary against the whole of technological civilization. It is technological civilization that is at its core un-reformable and capitalism is an inevitable outgrowth of technological civilization. Therefore, Marx was not such a revolutionary as he would seem. At least Marx was not a revolutionary in the eyes of someone who sees technological progress as inherently uncontrollable and unpredictable and inherently evil. In these eyes, Marx wanted to reform technological civilization by eliminating… Read more »

Justin O'Hagan
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Justin O'Hagan

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I disagree with the premise that Marx was an pro-industrial promethian. Marxists in the Monthly Review tradition, such as John Bellamy Foster in Marx’s Ecology and more recently Kohei Saito provide evidence that ecological crutique was central to Marx’s critique.

Ari Paul
Reader
Ari Paul

The point is that some believe that the ONLY way to save the biosphere and humanity from total disaster is for civilization to collapse. Period. Full-stop. This was not Marx, nor anyone else in the “tradition” you mention. All those individuals try to reorganize and re-manage civilization according to more ecologically just or harmonious lines. In the eyes of someone who believes that the the ONLY way to avert disaster is for civilization to collapse (and therefore for there to be a descent into chaos, an end to science and progress and modernity, and an end to organized society as… Read more »

Dave Richards
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Dave Richards

“The point is that some believe that the ONLY way to save the biosphere and humanity from total disaster is for civilization to collapse.”

What happens when civilisation collapses? A spontaneous emergence of an anarchist community that learns to live without tech, or the emergence of violent warlords and competing tribes,

The knowledge of technological society will not just vanish, is it not equally possible that unregulated use technologies and technological know how will be utilised in ways that are even more damaging to the environment?

Justin O'Hagan
Reader
Justin O'Hagan

Ok. If those are the parameters, I’m contented to be a Marxist ‘reformist’.

bevin
Reader
bevin

From straw men to straw political movements to straw societies.. all very satisfactorily and quickly demolished. But in the real world the long history of reform and the socialist movements which arose in reaction to capitalism and industrialism were much more complex than Allen’s quickly assembled structures. The fruits, one suspects, of shallow reading and superficial; thought. This being the bi-centennial of Peterloo the author might want to poke into some of the facts that have come to light about that culmination of marches and demonstrations from the mill villages of Lancashire in which highly paid professionals or Union Officials… Read more »

Darren Allen
Reader

You are seriously supposed to accept that Hitler and Mussolini were democratically elected and that a great many elements of their movement were socialist. You’re right they also received support from capitalist institutions; like many other socialist and reformist movements. They were also ardent defenders of technocratic progress; like many other socialist and reformist movements. They also supported professional dominance of the commons; like many other socialist and reformist movements. And they were also founded on all of the insane anti-human illusions of civilisation (see my other extract published by OffG); like all other socialist and reformist movements. I am… Read more »

jag37777
Reader

Hitler had 2 legs like a lot of socialists.

jag37777
Reader

I’d rather like to try democracy.

John Ervin
Reader
John Ervin

Joe Vagrant put it well, that the system is simply a Mafia, “…and you can’t reform a Mafia, just pay it more extortion money.” (That one-liner appears in his estimable screed, “The Entertainment Value of Snuffing Grandma: A Nation of Children Riots for the Mafia”) “33” is a cute choice, as it is the number of choice among Freemasons, who run the show, or allowed the most intimate sense of counting on it. (Manly Palmer, for example, was a 33rd degree Freemason and infamously renowned hypnotist. It’s been well-estsblished that Sirhan Sithan was frequenting his Philosophical Research Society (think: London’s… Read more »

question
Reader
question

Are you saying he’s using the “33” ironically, as some kind of dig?

But there has been no evidence in these articles that this is the case. As a matter of fact he has not mentioned freemasonry or related stuff at all.

Are you Jan Irvin from logosmedia.com BTW? If so are you a critic or promoter of this stuff?

John Ervin
Reader
John Ervin

No, I am John C. Ervin and a puny bio of me is appended to a handful of articles published at opednews.com I am mostly a musician, but became an accidental journalist, more accident than journalist, as I began to be bothered, and bother others, including US Intel which does not miss a move I make, or bowel movement, since the time 15 years ago I 1st began writing about these oddities. As I tell them, when they accost me (think Fox Mulder at gravesides for an apt visual) with some regularity for chatty interviews: I am NOT now nor… Read more »

John Ervin
Reader
John Ervin

I tossed in the 33, not gratuitously, and not because I really suspect or see any evidence of Freemasonry in this -I’ve only read excerpts admiringly- but for the weightiest reason of all: the Freemasons appear to run *everything*, like their bedfellows the CIA and “known associates”, who often coordinate many savage acts together, they operate for maximum disruption of democratic trends throughout the world, and their reach into the cookie jar globally seems unchecked. I haven’t had a chance to discern what may have been Mr. Allen’s reason(s) for choosing the number 33, but I mark it merely as… Read more »

John Ervin
Reader
John Ervin

Occurred, not occupied!

John Ervin
Reader
John Ervin

Man, what is UP with my “smart” phone: 3rd time the charm: “occulted”, NOT occurred or occupied. Brother.

John Ervin
Reader
John Ervin

By the By(line): It is my strong opinion, one that I have not seen expressed elsewhere, that the Catholic pedophilia scandal, though certainly not without corroborating numbers and more than substantial tragedies, crimes, and heavyweight outrages, has been heavily promoted and backed at highest levels by elements within the Freemasons. The evidence is preponderant. If any call that libel, as an opinion, let’s take it to court, and they can open all their books. But that’s not how they operate, it’s all better kept secret. As one Franciscan told me recently, “One reason is that the Church has very deep… Read more »

John Ervin
Reader
John Ervin

Errata: (dammed software resoeller) Joe Bageant, not Vagrant wrote, “A Nation of Children Roots for the Mafia”, not “Riots” and the full name of the archvillain is Manly Palmer Hall. Long rumored to have directed Project Monarch (Mind Control, MKULTRA, the hypnogogic programming of assassins) Why did I not just proofread? Well, I’ve had posts of this kind deleted in mid-post before, by spooky characters, and before I can save them, and I’m writing it from my smartphone, so my fingers are itchy, with a history. But fear not: after a HALF CENTURY of suppressing this, Washington Post featured a… Read more »

milosevic
Reader
John Ervin
Reader
John Ervin

Thanks for posting the WaPo clip! This eminent Harvard psychiatrist, Daniel Brown, was retained by William Francis Pepper (a Chicago expatriate teaching at Oxford after being basically hounded and threatened out of the U. S. to England like Greg Palast -who was going to High School nearby when I was editing a subversive underground magazine at Harvard School, an Army ROTC school in North Hollywood, where I then tried to play glockenspiel in the marching band, nearly rubbing shoulders with David Talbot, now internationally known conspiracy expert and editor: small, small world). They’re not the only ones relentlessly harassed as… Read more »

John Ervin
Reader
John Ervin

Darn, SIRHAN, not “Durham”, spellchecker must like Kevin Costner movies, besides JFK. D’OH!

Gary Weglarz
Reader
Gary Weglarz

I can’t disagree with Darren’s system’s analysis. I think it is spot on, and it is an analysis that I and I’m sure many others have come to through our own means over time. The difficulty becomes moving beyond the “analysis” of how our current industrial, technological, highly propagandized, highly militarized, capitalist “systems” dysfunctionally degrades life for more and more of earth’s over 7 billion inhabitants, but also threatens the very habitability of the planet itself – baring some rather rapid massive actions precluded by said “systems.” From nuclear war, to climate change, to overfishing and polluting the oceans, to… Read more »

question
Reader
question

So you reject capitalism. Fine.
But you also seem to reject everything else.
If your idea of organizing society is anarchism, or no organization at all, well…

Good luck with that.

Darren Allen
Reader

You write ‘seem’. It seems, to the system-supporting and system-conditioned mind, that there is nothing else but the system. Hence the charge (below) of ‘nihilism’ and ‘rejecting everything’. The system-state (like the system-institution or the system-corp), and socialist / reformist plans for organising it, is all there is, or can possibly be, forever and ever. Anything else is ‘insane’ (because the system is sanity), ‘nihilistic’ (because the system is the universe) or ‘unrealistic’ (because ‘reality’ is the Way Things Are and The Way People Are). Domesticated automatons unconsciously serving a technocratic state (or corporate, or feudal) system forever; THAT is real,… Read more »

Ari Paul
Reader
Ari Paul

Excellent point.

frank
Reader
frank

How is that an excellent point? He’s basically saying that any form of organization is equal to “the system” and “the system” is bad, confirming what I said actually.

As for an alternative he goes: wait and see.

(Fair enough on the wait and see if the answer is indeed in the book for which these articles are some kind of promotion, but it does not make the comment an “excellent point”.)

Ari Paul
Reader
Ari Paul

That’s obviously not what he means by “organization” in the context of his writing. If one were to interpret that word broadly, than life itself is “organized” and the author is against life! By “organized” he is referring to the social system historians call “modernity” which is a technological, industrial civilization, predicated on a high level of social discipline and order. This is what he means by the “system.” A collapse of the “system” thus defined, to people who have grown up within it– it having been the only thing they have ever known–this would seem like a collapse of… Read more »

milosevic
Reader
milosevic

If the power-grid shuts down, and the plumbing stops flowing,

— versus —

and people can’t get their psychological stress-releaf through electronic media

The fact that you imagine that these contingencies are in any way remotely comparable, indicates how delusionally clueless you actually are.

Ari Paul
Reader
Ari Paul

Your comment completely misses the point. I’m not comparing different eventualities. I’m simply listing a few that would be viewed as negative. You’ve also done this with my above post: you simply bypass the main point and focus on some minutiae. This is because you can’t counter the main point. Speaking of delusional, I suggest you actually read “Anti-Tech Revolution” for it’s insights into technology and the evolution of societies, rather than into the “musings” of an “MK-ULTRA terrorist.” You know, like, have the intellectual maturity of student at MIT of all places: “Anti-Tech Revolution: Why and How is Kaczynski’s… Read more »

milosevic
Reader
milosevic

If the electric power and water supply systems shut down permanently, it wouldn’t be “viewed as negative” for very long, because a large majority of the billions of people who would so view it, would be dead in less than a month.

Presumably, you and Ted Kaczynski would regard this as a positive development, in the unlikely event that either of you were still alive to see it.

Ari Paul
Reader
Ari Paul

Without this, then the whole planet is doomed, and hundreds of trillions of potential future humans won’t be able to have a life–or else their lives will be incredibly horrific as they will be left to survive on a devastated and hellish planet–not to mention the cataclysmic existential disruption of the biosphere FOR ALL TIME. When weighted against this eventuality, the loss of billions is minimal. But you’re moralizing a position which is factually argued, not argued on morality. In other words, if it can be logically determined that the ONLY way to preserve the biosphere and save humanity is… Read more »

question
Reader
question

“A similar function, on a smaller scale, is played by everyday cynicism, fantasy and even comedy.”

Which are all present in this work. Inception!

question
Reader
question

Why “33 Myths of the System” and “33 Myths of the Ego”?

Why this number?

And what’s the significance of the symbol in the middle of the cover?

John Ervin
Reader
John Ervin

It is interesting that the author has made a number of comments here, all very pertinent and relevant, yet hasn’t weighed in on his choice of 33, in his title. It’s too much to think it was either arbitrary or random. There must be “some” significance to its use. And as I have said elsewhere, it is a very significant number to Freemasons, Rosicrucians, and other secret societies, although, not belonging to any of them, I am certain that I don’t know much of what that signifies, if anything (other than a sign or symbol for something else that is… Read more »

Darren Allen
Reader

It was arbitrary / random.

Frank Mann
Reader
Frank Mann

“Darren Allen Jan, 3, 2019 It was arbitrary / random.” So, can we take such nonsensical non-response as a de facto admission that, Yes, you are a Freemason, and Yes -by what can only otherwise be construed as a disingenuous and cynical reply- all of your work is just another psyop? Possibly on the Freemasons’ behalf? What else? That would seem to be the “gist” of saying your title is “arbitrary / random”, in parody of the comment you’re replying to, since you chose those words from that comment? Inquiring minds want to know. Or we may, I suppose, alternately… Read more »

John Ervin
Reader
John Ervin

REALLY?! With someone as lucid in prose and thought as yourself, it’s remarkable that you would use such a number arbitrarily, like that. Well, without beating a dead 🐴 to a semantic pulp, it still triggers all my innate tendencies to brew conspiracy theories out of ingredients available so far: 1. A Jungian extrusion from the “collective unconscious” since that number 33 had made the rounds for aeons? 2. A suppressed memory of a long ago excursion to a safehouse where “enhanced hypnosis” planted it, then erased the memory of the sessions (don’t laugh, that’s precisely what MPH of Project… Read more »

John Ervin
Reader
John Ervin

33 is a pivotal, central Masonic meme (see my post above). My father’s client was a 33rd degree Freemason, and my old man, in 1968, used to tell me he would not take a phone number at his new location for his law firm, the oldest in Beverly Hills, until they gave him one ending with “333”. I didn’t have a clue what he was talking about 50 years ago, but know somewhat more, now. I was fascinated that Scott Noble in his landmark and essential “Counterintelligence” five part series ,shows a clip in the opener, from an old film… Read more »

BigB
Reader
BigB

Darren is on the money, as far as I am concerned. I would go a stage further: the most totalitarian entity in the world (as the world) is the dichotomic, dualist mind. Corporations and the state are by-products of the dualistic imaginal, the world-as-it-presents (the dichotomic, dualistic imagination of the world-as-it-is). The Yogacaran terms for these modalities are parakalpita (world-as-it-presents) and paratantra (world-as-it-is). These ways of seeing are not separate: but two ways of seeing the same thing (parakalpita is the dualistic imaginal of paratantra). To see the two as one is described by an emergent third – parinispanna –… Read more »

wildtalents
Reader

Appreciate seeing this perspective on OffG and am briefly delurking to point to the Pali canon where ahankara/mamankara … “I”-making/”My”-making … captures this self/other splitting vividly. Very much appreciate Darrens sharp analysis too.

Seamus Padraig
Reader
Seamus Padraig

So, the author is not a communist or a fascist or a capitalist or an anarcho-syndicalist … what exactly is he then? A Rousseauist? Does he hate civilization per se? Does he believe we should all go back to being “noble savages” inhabiting some mythic “state of nature”? If so, count me out. Now I myself sometimes venture some criticism–or even skepticism–regarding supposed reformers such as Bernie Sanders or Jeremy Corbyn. But that’s not because I’m opposed to the concept of reform as such; it’s simply because I’ve grown to doubt that our particular system is still capable of any… Read more »

Maggie
Reader
Maggie

”We’re going to have to start thinking of ways to meaningfully reform the system. And if it can’t be reformed (as I am starting to fear) then we need to find a way to get rid of it and replace it.” Then Eugenics it is then???? Voluntary Euthanasia at 68 of all Useless Feeders??? Problem solved??? ‘War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race, by Edwin Black.’ This pernicious evil raised it’s head in In 1915 when a severely disabled child was born in a Chicago Hospital, The delivering physicians awakened Dr Harry Haiselden, the… Read more »

mohandeer
Reader

Oh My Goodness Me. This is certainly a bold article. I imagine it will have devotees of various forms of “Reform” throwing apoplectic fits. It opens a can of worms that many people would rather not acknowledge exists.It reminds me of Robbie Burns’ poem in which he cites “oh for the gift that God did ge’ us, to see ourselves as others see us” which roughly translated means that we only see what we want to and anything that contradicts are own sense of who we are and what we represent, is catapulted out the window. Thank you OffG, for… Read more »

kevin morris
Reader
kevin morris

There is an ancient story about a king who pampered in his palace wandered outside one day and cut his foot on a rock. He was appalled and set out to entirely surface his land in leather. He had his people sweep up all refuse and he bought up all cattle of the world. He readied slaughtermen to kill the cattle and men to tan the poor beasts’ hides to make the leather. Just before the slaughter was due to begin a wise man arrived at the palane with a request for an audience. ‘Rather than killing all these poor… Read more »

Ari Paul
Reader
Ari Paul

It’s that mentality that leads to a world were people are hooked into Oculus VR headsets while the biosphere crumbles around them.

It’s beautifully poetic on the surface, but underneath it is so utterly hopeless, pessimistic, and evil. 1) Just because revolutions have failed in the past doesn’t mean that revolution is impossible. 2) just because the full weight and momentum of history seems to hurling humanity in one direction, doesn’t mean humans cant revolve.

kidocelot
Reader
kidocelot

This resonates with me! The author gives no indication of an intention to frame our reality in any absolutism. He talks about an awareness of the constraints and deficits of all flavours of governance and therefore having the knowledge and mind to influence by adopting whichever flag of convenience/inconvenience is representing the best platform to challenge the most harm to the public in that moment!

For me the Left/Right paradigm is a shackle of the mind! I’m going to share this…..this article can switch on lightbulbs!

Fiorenzo
Reader
Fiorenzo

Wow |Off Guardian is descending ever more rapidly into Bannon Terriitory…discredit everything left on the Left, so that people who want and need change turn to fascism…btw Darren Allen is plagiarizing a lot from italian “journalist” Massimo Fini who was trained by Gladio spokesman Indro Montanelli. so save the “I’m the author” crap.

bevin
Reader
bevin

Precisely, Darren Allen is a hop and a skip away from fascism himself. He is already using all the standard fascist arguments against reformers.

milosevic
Reader
milosevic

Haven’t you heard? Fascism is actually socialism, or perhaps it’s the other way around, or something. It says so, right in the article above. Two for the price of one!

labrebisgalloise
Reader

This is offensive, nihilist twaddle from someone who clearly holds humanity in contempt: I’m shocked that you deem it worthy of publication. The only thing worth reading (for its amusement value alone) is the quote from the Graun at the beginning, reminding me of the words of Kevin Higgins: “On this day of tear gas in Seoul and windows broken at Dickins and Jones, I can’t help wondering why a history of those, who made their point politely and then went home, has never been written. Those who, in the heat of the moment, never dislodged a policeman’s helmet, never… Read more »

John Ervin
Reader
John Ervin

Oh really, I’ve had my biceps tendon ruptured by Orange County Sheriff Deputies in Orange County, California, and not that long ago, 2012, on the eve of my 60th birthday, as I was circulating a petition to shut down San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (S.O.N.G.S.). One of the sponsors of the petition, from San Clemente Green, named after the nearest town to the reactor, told me his group of activists flew out the team of physicists who had just been evaluating Fukushima and its meltdown, as they were all still in harness. On their “nickel”. That team, he told me,… Read more »

Seb
Reader
Seb

Are you then giving up hot showers, maybe clean clothes etc. or do you think smashing up Libya, Iraq, Venezuela etcx. is preferable to having nuclear reactor in your backyard?

mohandeer
Reader

@Labrebisgalloise
Human beings are not only unique, but fickle. Ideologists manufacture constructs that can no more embrace or encompass a majority, no matter how well meaning, than genetic coding can define personality or rationale in a human being. Far from being nihilistic or contemptuous of humanity, the authour is acknowledging human nature as being unique to each being rather than pigeon holing it or trying to constrain it into neat little descriptors with broad brushstrokes.

Fair dinkum
Reader
Fair dinkum

That don’t sound Jungian to me.
More labrebisgalloisian, I reckon.

Darren Allen
Reader

Classic conflation of ‘humanity’ with ‘my team’.

Graham H
Reader
Graham H

I fully understand his desire for a complete removal of the state. I salute his faith in the ability of the people to resist reestablisment of a neo-feudal mafia social structure. Would that it were so. However I find it strange that he cannot differentiate between a, genuine, but in his view, misguided movement for workers freedom from exploitation, communism, and a movement specifically created to oppose and derail communism and seduce workers into obedient slavery to the existing capitalist masters, while exterminating communists, socialists and selected ethnic scapegoats – fascism. (Incidentally afaik the word fascism comes from ‘fasces’ a… Read more »

Darren Allen
Reader

I’m the author. Actually there is an error here. I called Marx an ‘industrialist’ — meaning that he supported industrialisation (technical progress), but of course the standard meaning of that word is an owner or manager of industry; like Engels. I’ve now deleted this word from the text of the book.

Darren Allen
Reader

Oops. Replied to the wrong comment.