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Forum Post: Still not an Anarchist? Take a look at this!

Posted 8 years ago on July 12, 2012, 3:32 p.m. EST by struggleforfreedom80 (6584)
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[-] 5 points by MsStacy (1035) 8 years ago

I thought for a moment you had something new to say. This selection of videos is just the same old Chomsky, nothing all that new or even all that convincing. I wonder sometimes if you'd have more success if you posted your own ideas and defended them yourself rather then selecting videos to speak for you.

When I look at your posts you give me the feeling that Chomsky has almost attained a god-like status with you. When all is said and done though, he is just a man stating beliefs, largely untested beliefs and ones that are generally opposed by the majority.

Interesting that when the majority turns away from anarchy the anarchist feels they are uninformed or wrong. It seems as though only those that agree with Chomsky would be considered right minded. I can't help feeling that kind of thinking, that everyone must believe what you do for their own good, leads to dictatorships.

[-] 2 points by cJessgo (729) from Port Jervis, PA 8 years ago

I agree in most of what you say.Except why don't we replace dictatorship with Neo liberalism.

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 8 years ago

It's just my opinion, but I believe the reason we don't replace anything with something new is that people get used to and comfortable with the status quo. You will only get a revolution when you get beyond some tipping point where a large majority are feeling social and/or economic pain on a personal level.

For anarchism in particular, it's been a fringe movement for a century or more. Existing largely in student and faculty lounges. It grows in popularity a little when things become difficult, then goes back in the closet when conditions improve. That's probably my complaint about Chomsky, he's been making the same tired arguments since the Viet Nam war era. Some of his statements seem contradictory to me. He seems to see participation and direct democracy as desirable, yet admits the Spanish anarchists were successful in part because they forced their brand of government on people at gun point. I fail to see how you can have a free society when you're forcing your beliefs on people.

I'm surprised you are in favor of Neo liberalism, most here believe it's the source of economic misery. Unless there is a major depression with economic misery greater then that of the Great Depression, we're unlikely to see any major change. Whatever changes we do get will be slow and gradual and never please the extreme elements from either end of the political spectrum. Those extremes won't matter when the majority feel somewhat content.

[-] 1 points by cJessgo (729) from Port Jervis, PA 8 years ago

I do not agree with neo liberalism.I belive that is what we have.Capatalism has taken over.Democracy is dead.The majority of the American people do not care what happens to their countrymen ,provided they can remain comfortable.I find Chomsky boring and it's a struggle to listen to him.So I do not.

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 8 years ago

I certainly agree with you on Chomsky and your assessment of human nature. Democracy may indeed be dead, but I haven't given up totally on the system. I originally had some hope that a national movement like Occupy could recruit candidates and start a process of making positive change, but they seem more interested in throwing stones at a broken system rather then getting inside and overhauling it.

[-] 0 points by cJessgo (729) from Port Jervis, PA 8 years ago

They are the straw that stirs the drink.No more no less.I would think that OWS wants system change.Not one that has been repaired and will break down in the future.Every couple of years I love to read Animal Farm.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 8 years ago

"I thought for a moment you had something new to say"

Nope, not much new. Still the same ideas I've been advocating here for a while of a more just and democratic society; ideas which are pretty old, going back to the 1800s and further.

And has it ever occured to you that maybe new users registrate on here?

"I wonder sometimes if you'd have more success if you posted your own ideas and defended them yourself rather then selecting videos to speak for you."

I have posted lots of stuff. Please read my ten-part series of articles "Today’s Society And How To Improve It": http://occupywallst.org/forum/our-democratic-deficit/

"..a god-like status with you"

Ridiculous. To put it this way: Not any more than what you feel about the people you happen to agree with..But you never hear claims of "god-like worship" when people agree with and accept the status quo and center/center-right politicians and policies, no that's just pure reason..

Comments like this, where you attack the person(s) instead of the arguments made is pretty low in my opinion. What do you think is so wrong about a free egalitarian and democratic society? Do you have any counter arguments?

Criticise and complain all you want, I will never stop believing in these ideas, and I will never stop advocating them!

[-] 3 points by MsStacy (1035) 8 years ago

We've talked about the arguments, and failed to agree on them. Anarchism is barely a fringe movement and unlikely to gain support as long as a majority of the population is reasonably content. That is simply a reality.

I see many of Chomsky's beliefs about human nature to be overly optimistic and simply unsupported beliefs. You are free to believe what you want for as long as you want. In my opinion an anarchistic society is unlikely to ever develop through popular support. It will have to be done through force as it was in Spain back in the 30's, and even then it will require a total collapse of government and the financial system. Few anarchists are even willing to work through the system to change things. Look at Occupy, with groups all across the US they could have run candidates in primaries, won victories, and started the process. Instead the say the system is corrupt and seem content to simply agitate and wait for collapse.

I see what actually happens, not what I wish or dream should happen. When an oppressive government fails, who comes to power? It isn't the intellectuals and students running Egypt. It was the same with the Iranian revolution back in the 70's. Democratic elements were not organized enough, it was the mullas that ended up in power. Most organized and best armed will come out on top, not the best or most just ideals.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 8 years ago

”unlikely to gain support as long as a majority of the population is reasonably content. That is simply a reality.”

You see, I have more faith in human beings than that. I think that if people were introduced properly to the ideas, most of them would embrace them. That’s why I repeatedly post the message of Libertarian Socialism – to introduce the ideas to as many as I can.

“I see many of Chomsky's beliefs about human nature to be overly optimistic and simply unsupported beliefs.”

I seem to remember us having a discussion of Human nature some time ago, and we didn’t manage to convince one another. I’ve written an article about this: http://occupywallst.org/forum/human-nature/ and I stand by my words. We don't know everything about human nature, but we do know that it's consistent with organizing a just, democratic society; so why argue about the details of human nature, instead join the struggle for a free democratic society, Stacy.

“You are free to believe what you want for as long as you want. In my opinion an anarchistic society is unlikely to ever develop through popular support.”

I beg to differ. And you should join us in the struggle for a more democratic and just society. It’s the only right thing to do. It must be done by enlightening and convincing, and democratic process; not thru a barrel of a gun.

“Look at Occupy, with groups all across the US they could have run candidates in primaries, won victories, and started the process. Instead the say the system is corrupt and seem content to simply agitate and wait for collapse.”

There are more dimensions to democracy than working thru a (yes) corrupt “representative democracy”, There should be more to democracy than just putting a piece of paper in a box every 2nd year.

And it’s the idea of a more participatory democracy, a just, egalitarian society in which people are in control of their own lives, and not run by men in suits (whether they’re powerful businessmen or puppet-politicians) that we have to work for; and you should join this fight, my friend.

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 8 years ago

You have faith in human beings, that's nice, I simply don't and I see more evidence in the world to support my lack of faith. I'm in favor of developing a more democratic society, however few of the active anarchists are willing to work within the current system and use it to change things. I don't know how an anarchistic society, or any other social/political system is expected to come about when all anyone does is protest without any participation in the current system. It might work if they had a plan to bring down the system and the organization to replace it, but they have neither.

I've looked at Occupy, I saw great promise at first, but all it has become simply groups posturing and demonstrating for an unfocused variety of causes. There is no concrete political action directed toward electing a core of representatives dedicated to change.

You go on a lot about democracy, but it won't happen when no one is willing to actually participate. The old system won't just disappear. People need to vote it out of existence, or rise up and overthrow it and the proponents of anarchism won't do the first and don't have the strength or organization to do the second.

Nothing you have said is at all convincing. I still see only two possibilities for change, participate in the system we have and vote in changes, or get better organized and agitate for it's collapse.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 8 years ago

But we have to look at the big picture here, thinking of this in both short term and long term perspective. Think about it. It hasn't been a year yet, still this movement has spread all around the world, sparking lots of organizing. Changing this unjust system is going to take a long time no matter how it's being done.

I understand the argument of trying to make change within the existing system, but the ones arguing for this must also understand that there are more dimensions to social change and democratic process than just putting a piece of paper in a box every 2nd year.

History has shown that a lot has been achieved by creating engaged movements. That's something we should keep in mind.

[-] 2 points by MsStacy (1035) 8 years ago

In the big picture it looks more to me like Occupy threw away an opportunity to create real change. I see it's actual impact on the general population is minimal and fading.

The history of revolutionary change I see shows that success doesn't go to those with the best ideas. It goes to those that have the best organization and often to those with the ability to employ force.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 8 years ago

You're being too pessimistic, my friend.

The Occupy Movement (which is just in it's beginning phase right now) has sure given me a lot of optimism, though.

I hope you'll change your mind. yours s. sff

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 8 years ago

I can't see wasting time with a movement that just seems to meander from one unrelated protest to another with no plan for change. Civil Rights, the anti-war movement, countless environmental and human rights groups all develop a plan and get involved and get changes implemented. I see Chomsky and Occupy in he same light as a group of men sitting over a few beers offering ways to save the world, but never making a practical move to implement anything.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

have you read his work or watched many videos - most of what he says is obvious and very straight forward even though it is counter to the mainstream of elite opinion - very much in line with popular opinion. can you point out where you think he is off base

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 8 years ago

In my opinion it doesn't matter how valid any of Chomsky's ideas are. There will be no change until there is a level of misery in the nation much greater then that in the Great Depression. You need total collapse, the anarchists are not willing to work through what they see as a corrupt system to bring about change and as long as a majority and finding some security and contentment they are not going to rise up and force change.

Chomsky quietly states and quickly moves away from the reason anarchy was tried in Spain at all. It was at the point of a gun. The majority of people didn't vote it in or rise up, the anarchists were the best organized and best armed group in the region and they simply forced their will on the area when government broke down.

For change to happen here i see two things as a requirement. First the economic and governmental systems have to fail totally. I mean a majority of the nation out of work and unable to provide for themselves or get help. Secondly you need an organized and armed group ready to take over and impose it's agenda.

Chomsky and others like him dance around with ideals and fail to realize that in reality their ideas are a fringe movement. Worse if collapse comes they are not in any position to take advantage of it. We'll all likely find a military or right wing dictatorship rising up out of the rubble, and if they feed the masses no one will care about the loss of freedom.

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

have you read orwell's "homage to catalonia" - i disagree with your history of spain. as to the rest apparently you have not read chomsky - what you say about his views is nonsense - and do not send me a sentence here or there to make your point - i have read too much of his work to think you know anything about what he believes.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 8 years ago

Indeed (good book btw, as we expect with Orwell), the Spanish anarchists may have had guns, but they were old, worn down, defective, and (in many cases) useless guns (and the anarchists were totally disorganized, untrained, and so eventually they met an unfortunate end. While there was some bloodshed, most of the wealthy were able to pull off masquerading as proletariat (and blend in). So the only real slaughter was the fascists (Franco, Mussolini, and Hitler) brutally crushing the anarchists.


[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

my understanding is that all of the powers - the west (republicans), the commies and the fascists attacked the anarchists since they threatened each one of those hierarchical systems. after the anarchists were destroyed they then turned on each other - lots of collusion between the western governments and the fascists.

[-] 0 points by MsStacy (1035) 8 years ago

No I've never read his books, only seen a number of his videos. You find his ideas have merit, fine, that's your opinion. For me the several hours of interviews I have seen leave me feeling he's simply a theorist. It's a wonderful idea, but, personally, I need a practical way to get from theory to practice.

[-] 0 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

you may feel he is simply a theorist but that shows your ignorance of the history of the left in this country. people like chomsky and zinn put their lives on the line for what we have today. look up the history of those two guys and then you should retract your statement - at least you used the word feel which is the correct one for when you do not really know something. as to a practical way, the lessons are all around you - look to the strruggle for civil rights or the 40 hour week - come on little girl - read some history. i would start with "a people's history of the united states" - that should tell you all you need to know. let me know what you find out!

[-] 0 points by MsStacy (1035) 8 years ago

You're dealing with ideals, I'm looking at it from a practical standpoint. Chomsky's ideas for governing seem naive to me. He often, in his interviews, refuses to give any concrete way to achieve his goals. He's great at pointing out the problems, but then so is almost any random group of men on bar stools.

What are the possible paths we can take as a people? Change through the system we have. Revolution that forces change. Make suggestions but do nothing and hope for change. My impression of Occupy is that they won't use the system. Too few are talking real revolution for it to have a prayer. BS-ing about the problems only seems to help the status quo.

If your looking for someone to thank for a 40 hour work week give a nod to Henry Ford or the Fair Labor Act during the New Deal. A lot of the move toward that took place well before Chomsky or Zinn.

[-] 0 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

little girl you have no idea what you are talking about but that is no surprise - time to grow up kid - can you read? you might find something to help you think through this mess - i could help but you seem too foolish to be helped

[-] 0 points by MsStacy (1035) 8 years ago

I know what I'm talking about, it's largely opinion. Your opinion is different and you seem to resent dissent. Unfortunately if you wish things to ever be run along anarchistic principals, you'll need to convince a nation full of people that have never heard of Chomsky and understand anarchy only to mean a state of disorder. Not resort to insults when you get a little frustrated.

[-] 0 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

yes i am frustrated by people who know little but make big pronouncements - you have shown your ignorance with your comment about ford and the new deal - read "a people's history" then say something intelligent. we are so far away from anarchist principles that it is silly to talk about it. - you know very little about chosmky so do us all a favor and do not trash someone who has done mor ein one day than you ahve done in a lifetime - you little shit. if you cannot figure out the way forward then you really have not read history - time to start

[-] -1 points by MsStacy (1035) 8 years ago

You're frustrated because people don't always agree with you, I suppose that's normal. I go back to my original point, it was very simple. Chomsky's ideas, as presented in his interviews, seem overly optimistic with regard to an intrinsic altruism in human nature. He has faith I don't.

Secondly change won't simply happen because an idea may be good. Anarchists are a very small minority in this country and they seem to eschew the political process. That's fine but it leaves them with few options. Depend on a majority that doesn't seem to want to vote anarchy in, start a revolution they lack the organization and strength to win, or hope for the complete collapse of society. I don't see where any of that will lead to an anarcho-syndicalist society developing.

It has nothing to do with Zinn's version of history or Chomsky's writings. The post presented a video, I watched it and gave an opinion, You may have a very different opinion on it all, that's fine too.

You see me as part of a very large but ignorant majority. Unless you have an army to force change, you need to convince that majority, not alienate them. I don't see the way forward as being through anarchism, I may very well be wrong, but presently the majority stands with me. One of the principals of a direct democracy is after all majority rule.

I see you as someone who likely only associates with like minded individuals to the point where you think your thoughts are the only ones possible. Ford did institute a 40 hour work week in 1914 or 15, it increased production and led to greater profit for him. The fact that Ford was a bigot and participated in intentionally ruining public transport to help auto sales doesn't change what he did with regard to the work week.

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

i am frustrated becasue you are stupid - well maybe that is unfair - you are saying stupid things. you are telling me about chomsky when u know very little about him. so please stop! this is what you said "Secondly change won't simply happen because an idea may be good. Anarchists are a very small minority in this country and they seem to eschew the political process. That's fine but it leaves them with few options. Depend on a majority that doesn't seem to want to vote anarchy in, start a revolution they lack the organization and strength to win, or hope for the complete collapse of society. I don't see where any of that will lead to an anarcho-syndicalist society developing. " - no shit - does chomsky say you are wrong - no, if you would read him he will tell you to get out and organize - like the indians in bolivia or the people killed in mississippi! - here are your words again - "You see me as part of a very large but ignorant majority. Unless you have an army to force change, you need to convince that majority, not alienate them. I don't see the way forward as being through anarchism, I may very well be wrong, but presently the majority stands with me. One of the principals of a direct democracy is after all majority rule." - i see you as someone who said things about which you know very little. as to change, again it will come as it always has - when people force it on the rulers. i have no thought (and neither do chomsky or zinn) that we will get to some anarchist ideal in the next 50 yrs so stop telling me what you think i think! as to ford he was a little late to the party don't you think - here is a bit of history -"The context for the Haymarket riot in 1886 was the movement for the eight-hour work day. The movement had started at least as early as 1877, when the Workingmen’s Party in Chicago called a general strike beginning July 25 in support of the eight-hour movement. The next day, on July 26, 1877, thousands of strikers were attacked and beaten into submission by police and U.S. Army infantrymen with fixed bayonets. Thirty strikers, including a number of children, were murdered by the police and federal troops. During that strike, typesetter Albert Parsons, later one of the Haymarket martyrs, was fired from his job because of a speech he had given during the strike. The bloody suppression of the 1877 strike caused another of the Haymarket martyrs, upholsterer August Spies, to join an armed worker’s self-defense organization.

The national movement for the eight-hour day reached a crescendo in the mid-1880s. In 1885, there were 645 strikes nationwide at over 2,400 businesses in support of the eight-hour goal. In 1886, the year of the Haymarket riot, the number of strikes had more than doubled to 1,400, affecting over 11,000 businesses!" lastly here you are again "He often, in his interviews, refuses to give any concrete way to achieve his goals. He's great at pointing out the problems, but then so is almost any random group of men on bar stools" - once again silliness - are you blonde - sorry - that was unfair. over and over he points out the obvious - do what they did in bolivia - do what they did to get you the right to vote - do what they did so that a black man could sit at a lunch counter. any simple reading ofhistory will tell you what to do so stop spreading shit and get to work. too many people sit on bar stools and throw shit at the people who have struggled a lifetime for real change - i am tired of it and frustrated so please stop - if you would like to know more chomsky or zinn i can point you to very good sources - if not fine there please stop. get to work educate yourself!

[-] -1 points by MsStacy (1035) 8 years ago

I only responded to a video interview. As a preview to Chomsky by Chomsky it left me feeling he has little to offer, is naive when it comes to human nature, and proposes an economic/social system that has never had much real support or success. His ideas, as expressed by him, give me very little reason to read further. It's a fringe movement that will have little to no impact on the world for the foreseeable future. From what I can see of Occupy they might be better served by reading Chomsky, if his works offer direction about organization.

What you say about change is be partly accurate, it will only come when it's forced on government, but it's initiated only when people feel they are out of options. Only a very small minority feel that way now. If Occupy can't tap into the emotions of the majority it's likely to fade away and loose it's opportunity to spark change. Movements like the unions or civil rights that you mentioned above, all used the political system and developed public support. Blacks don't have rights because it's moral, they have them because the majority became convinced it was immoral to deny them and because legislators were elected to make changes happen.

What you're saying about the labor movement is probably all true, but you introduced that new topic and in a way that suggested Zinn and/or Chomsky were somehow instrumental in achieving a 40 hour work week. I evidently misunderstood what you intended to say, your paragraph structure or my blonde stupidity again, take your pick.

It's been interesting but we're going in circles, you can have the last word - insult - whatever. Good luck with the struggle.

[-] 3 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

first of all i take back everything i said about blonde, stupid etc since your latest response shows thought. your first posts were not thoughtful - here is one of them - "Chomsky quietly states and quickly moves away from the reason anarchy was tried in Spain at all. It was at the point of a gun. The majority of people didn't vote it in or rise up, the anarchists were the best organized and best armed group in the region and they simply forced their will on the area when government broke down.

Chomsky and others like him dance around with ideals and fail to realize that in reality their ideas are a fringe movement. Worse if collapse comes they are not in any position to take advantage of it. We'll all likely find a military or right wing dictatorship rising up out of the rubble, and if they feed the masses no one will care about the loss of freedom.

  • you are dead wrong about spain -if you need help finding info let me know. secondly you are dead wrong about what chomsky and others realize. this is spreading info that is not helpful and you should be more careful. you are smarter than that! last one here but this is you again - "You're dealing with ideals, I'm looking at it from a practical standpoint. Chomsky's ideas for governing seem naive to me. He often, in his interviews, refuses to give any concrete way to achieve his goals. He's great at pointing out the problems, but then so is almost any random group of men on bar stools.

What are the possible paths we can take as a people? Change through the system we have.

  • noam often gives ideas on how to change the system but they are so simple and obvious that he does not beat them to death - here is a bit from noam on what the haitian people have to teach us about organizing - "And there is plenty of short-term responsibility on all sides. But the right way for the US and France to proceed is very clear. They should begin with payment of enormous reparations to Haiti (France is perhaps even more hypocritical and disgraceful in this regard than the US). That, however, requires construction of functioning democratic societies in which, at the very least, people have a prayer of knowing what's going on. Commentary on Haiti, Iraq, and other "failed societies" is quite right in stressing the importance of overcoming the "democratic deficit" that substantially reduces the significance of elections. It does not, however, draw the obvious corollary: the lesson applies in spades to a country where "politics is the shadow cast on society by big business," in the words of America's leading social philosopher, John Dewey, describing his own country in days when the blight had spread nowhere near as far as it has today.

For those who are concerned with the substance of democracy and human rights, the basic tasks at home are also clear enough. They have been carried out before, with no slight success, and under incomparably harsher conditions elsewhere, including the slums and hills of Haiti. We do not have to submit, voluntarily, to living in a failed state suffering from an enormous democratic deficit.

[-] 0 points by friendlyopposition (574) 8 years ago

Well done and well said MsStacy. You made some great points, and maintained a level of decency. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the other guy..

[-] -1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 8 years ago

Anachism is like Obamacare. People just don't like the word, but when they hear it explained -- one component at a time, they love it. After all, who would say that they desire to be under the dominion of another party? As soon as we admit this to ourselves, the moral argument is done (because you're effectively conceding that authoritarian relationships are undesirable, bad, immoral ... and they can only be justified on a utilitarian basis i.e. a lesser of two evils rationale).

Okay, once you take this step, then it become incumbent on the rational person to question all authoritarian relationships & power structures, and at a minimum, take the view that authoritarian relationships are not self-justifying.

We must ask, is there a better (i.e. non-authoritarian) way to perform the needed function? If not, then we wonder whether the function is truly needed by society.

[-] 0 points by MsStacy (1035) 8 years ago

People tend to be a bit greedy and self serving. Those that see themselves getting something for nothing will love the ACA. Some people understand that insurance only works if most people pay in but never need to use it. They may resent being forced to pay premiums for the benefit of others, and more so when a large segment of the population will get the insurance for free.

As for anarchism, I don't have a problem with the theory, just how do we get there in practice. The government won't simply close up shop and hand the key to the local Occupy GA. Anarchists won't participate in the system and work for change through it and they don't have the numbers, organization, or force to simply force a new society on the nation. Chomsky, for me, is another theorist, active in pointing out ills and offering vague solutions, but unable or unwilling to work personally on a practical level for real change.

In theory people will be altruistic and all work for the common good, I don't believe that reflects the reality of human nature.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 8 years ago

The Occupy GA is (or should be viewed as) a device to serve the needs of the Occupy movement, it's not meant as a template for a new government (of course, strictly speaking, formalized structures with binding rule making power isn't exactly consistent with anarchism, but even many prominent anarchist philosophers recognized the need for pragmatism and they also understood that consensus building is not something people are accustomed to, and practical considerations may require us to accept the fact that we'll have to move gradually towards this model). For the most part, people like the idea of participatory democracy, indeed, many people associate the concept of democracy with robust civic participation on the part of average citizens.

With regard to human nature, I sort of agree with you. The studies I've looked at suggest that -- while people do exhibit egalitarianism in interactions with members of their own tribe -- this egalitarianism typically doesn't exist in interactions between different tribes (you can substitute the term "tribe" with groups, nationalities, et al). However, I don't support anarchist philosophy because I think it's somehow more consistent with "all" aspects of human nature. Human culture has evolved as a result of the work done during periods like the enlightenment, but there was always an implicit assumptions .... sometimes doing the right thing requires impulse control. In other words, even if we could find an evolutionary basis for (say) racism, it does not make racism any less wrong. Likewise, there probably is an evolutionary basis underlying things like nationalism, war, bigotry, gender inequality, etc., but that never stopped us from recognizing the destructive nature of these things.

Really, we do have to admit, we're in uncharted territory. There is no major precedent for a consensus based society (direct democracy, in its various applications throughout history, has never required consensus or unanimity, even the small experiment with anarcho-syndicalism, during the Spanish Civil War period, wasn't exactly consensus based). Ultimately, it may prove true that this is an unworkable idea in the context of managing a large society (and we have to humble enough to admit that we could be wrong in some aspects of our philosophy).

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 8 years ago

Mentioning the GA as the new national authority was of course hyperbole, the point is the current government isn't going to transform itself or simply vanish. Unfortunately most of the anarchists I've talked with refuse to participate in the system to try to change it from within.

While the theorists may agree a transition is necessary, the "anarchist in the street" gives me the impression some magic wand of populism, or education can be employed and we'll all wake up to a new day. Faith is nice but anarchy is a fringe movement a popular majority uprising isn't likely. At least not while we're a nation with a vast majority employed and feeling somewhat comfortable and secure in their personal life. You would need a great deal more economic misery for spontaneous change.

I agree with you, people like the concept of democracy, but again experience shows me a sizable minority don't actually participate in government. What people like in theory and what they actually do in practice often are very different. Many are not even informed on the issues and choose not to be, making direct democracy a bit risky.

We are certainly capable of controlling our impulses and desires, but experience again shows me a sizable minority don't exercise that ability. Theft, murder, cheating on a partner, racism, lying all continue. I'm looking here at the small personal behaviors because anarchists usually look at developing small societal units. Maybe it can all be dealt with, but from the Chomsky interviews, his response is simply to believe humans will rise to the occasion, he has faith that they are altruistic enough. I simply believe any system that depends to a large part on altruism is going to have serious problems.

[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 8 years ago

While 2008 (the financial crisis) was an acute shock to the system, our quality of life (in the United States) has been eroding slowly, over the course of decades. To make it worse, most people in America probably fit the definition of narcissist. We're immersed in consumerism and an "instant gratification culture" from birth. Most people do not care in the least that their buying habits fund neo-feudalism in places like China.

America is not the greatest country in the world anymore. We have a population that's largely under-educated, lacking basic intellectual skills (let alone having the ability to comprehend advanced philosophy), in other words, most Americans are fucking stupid.

So considering these circumstances, maybe you're right, maybe Americans need more economic desperation before they wake up (I hope this isn't true, but it could be).

[-] 0 points by MsStacy (1035) 8 years ago

I'm guessing of course, using the Great Depression as a base, there was no revolution then, I don't see how current unemployment rates could spark one. I'm sorry to say I agree with your assessment regarding the ignorance of the typical American. I've often thought we're not fighting against the restrictive government in Orwell's 1984, but the one in Huxley's Brave New World, where we are enslaved by pleasure, news is trivialized, and information flows in such quantities that no one pays attention to it.

[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 8 years ago

There was significant outrage, activism, etc., during the depression era; but FDR's New Deal, coupled with WWII, served to divert attention from economic justice issues. I think to some degree the talk of revolution vs. reform vs. evolution (et al) can sort of reduce to semantics. Obviously, we hope to inform the general public about these issues, in the hope of inspiring people to think deeper about these problems (and then, hopefully, the result of deeper introspection will be a sufficient level of agreement with our core principles and the major themes of the OWS movement). Is this revolution, evolution, reform? I don't care what we call it, I just want it to happen (and philosophical purists are often annoying & counterproductive ... not to mention intolerant).

As Voltaire would say ... "perfection is the enemy of good" :)

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 8 years ago

Yeah people are anesthetized. It's discouraging. but progress is possible.



[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 8 years ago

People who do destructive things and are a danger to the community, will have to be detained in some way, but in a Libertarian Socialist society there'd be more focus on preventive work and treatment, rather than severe penalties and treating prisoners like animals. It would also be a classless society so things like theft etc would be highly reduced.


[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 8 years ago

We won't put prisons near a beach (duh) :)

[-] 0 points by factsrfun (8277) from Phoenix, AZ 8 years ago

Who is "we"?

[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 8 years ago

The people in the Kremlin (and those who don't like it ... the gulag) :)

Okay, seriously, what percentage of prisoners are incarcerated for victimless crimes? How many young African American males are imprisoned for stuff white guys get away with all the time (like smoking weed)? Isn't this unfair?

An anarchist society is a hypothetical idea. The nearest example in history was the short (3 year) period syndicalists held Catalonia (before they were suppressed by the fascists). The basic premise of anarchism is that authoritarianism is not self-justifying, and our default should always be against authoritarianism (e.g. power relationships/structures). If you don't think anyone should have dominion over you, then you immediately concede the basic moral argument.

This doesn't mean some degree of authoritarianism cannot be justified under any circumstances (e.g. the dangerous, violent criminal probably does need to be imprisoned, as a matter of public safety). This also doesn't necessarily imply complete equality with regards to income. Anarchism simply acknowledges that our abilities, no matter how great they may be, are the result of our entire society, and the sum of all human history that preceded us. Therefore, we have no greater claim on resources than anyone else. This doesn't mean that some degree of income inequality cannot exist (maybe it can be justified on, for instance, a utilitarian basis). But we know (through very good studies) that "gross" levels of income inequality erodes a society.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8277) from Phoenix, AZ 8 years ago

In medicine the term homeostasis is often used to indicate a body system that is functioning well. Psychologist may refer to keeping your life in balance. These are terms that many people are well familiar with. Yet we accept nearly half the people in Washington jumping on every tax cut and digging in their heels on no tax increases ever. What kind of balance does that create?

If we are to be successful I believe we must rethink what we want money to determine and what we want to be decided by other means. I believe healthcare should be based on need and education on talent and drive.

I heard a discussion today about wither or not all of Congress should have to make their tax returns public, I think that’s a good ideal, but I also think all officers of publicly traded companies should do so as well. I think those that say corporations are good for America might have a point, we just haven’t been running them that way yet, maybe we still could.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 8 years ago

The video touches a little upon this. Didn't you watch it? Work that few/nobody wants to do could be shared in different kind of ways, or given remuneration for. And again, crime would be at the minimum in this kind of society so I don't see this as a very big challenge.

And like i said in another respose to you, it would be up to the communities to decide many of the details themselves. We should work for a real participatory democracy built from below, but that doesn't mean we have to sketch out every single detail on how this type of society should be right now.


[-] 2 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 8 years ago

You mean like the policies "instituted" on me right now that I don't agree with --- get real. It is impossible to implement any system that makes everybody happy. Some people will always be "instituted" into doing things they may not agree with. There is no such thing as Utopia where everybody is perfectly satisfied and gets to do whatever they want.


[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 8 years ago

A town where I can be prepared to have a say in 'coercion' equally because I am treated as an equal member of this society, as opposed to having a few of the prominent elitists in the town decide who gets coerced for their own benefit. Hell yeah, sign me up.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 8 years ago

I don't think you can really understand anarchism by just listening to Chomsky. I mean, he gives a good rough overview, but read a book by a Pierre Proudhon, and you see the underlying reasoning much better. However, anarchism (as a philosophy) is hard to adapt to our modern culture. It was easier in late 19th century Europe (when conditions for workers were horrible), but the vast majority of Americans, simply do not face these hardships (or anything remotely close). Life for most Americans workers is "The Office" (i.e. the television show) ... whereas we have to go to China to find conditions similar to those of late 19th century Europe (and US).

We have no more Triangle Shirtwaist Factories, they're all in China. I think maybe the best we can do is present the moral argument to Americans, and hope it influences their opinions for the better.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 8 years ago

Proudhon had some good points. However, I especially like Rudolf Rocker and Peter Kropokin a lot, so most of my time has been spent on them, as well as NC of course.

It's going to take time to convince enlighten and building a LS society, but we must never give up. I hope you agree. yours s.

[-] 1 points by DanK (44) 8 years ago

I'm 52 now. For almost my whole lifetime, Chomsky has been the leading light of the radical left. And the result? During that time the radical left has had an ever-declining impact on American life. Conservative power has increased dramatically. Now BOTH major parties defend approaches to life that were considered too right wing for EITHER party four decades ago. We are now living in BY FAR the most conservative era of my lifetime. I can't believe the degree to which extreme laissez faire views, Social Darwinism, and class war by the rich against the rest are OPENLY ESPOUSED without shame.

My diagnosis? When so much of the left turned to Chomsky's so-called "libertarian" socialism, and away from regular old democratic socialism, it gave up on serious efforts to achieve real political power and effect real political change. It surrendered the battlefield, which is only natural since Chomsky is a priggish and austere moralist for whom the very idea of a political battlefield is too aggressive and distasteful.

The Chomskyan political philosophy is a doctrine of personal and collective enfeeblement. Chomsky disdains everything that smacks of coercion, effective social organization and real political power, since he sees the coercive exercise of political power as the root of all evil - even if it is part of a democratic rule of law. His approach seems to be all about embracing alienation and dissent as a way of life, and is based on an impossible ideal of pure voluntariness in everything. No human society has ever existed in that form; it is decidedly implausible to believe one ever will. Chomsky's is ultimately a radically individualistic approach based on individual separateness and rights - like his libertarian fellow-travelers on the right - rather than one based on solidarity, political responsibility, democratic equality, and a democratic rule of law.

Chomskyans prefer to be morally pure losers rather than winners who actually achieve a more just and decent society, but get their hands dirty along the way. I suspect they don't actually want to govern - ever. They prefer to be governed by others, while sulking about it and denouncing the immorality of power. They enjoy being outsiders. The same is true of Graeber and the other aged adolescents of the never-advancing anarchist circus.

I certainly hope this generation doesn't make the same, tragic self-incapacitating choice that the previous generation made.

[-] 1 points by ALAISDAIR (12) 8 years ago

The focus should first be put toward, devolving BIG GOVERNMENT, and the BIG WORLD BANKS. Staying small and local is the key, by showing your states and overwhelming request to (se·cede) Withdraw formally from membership in the federal union and give the states back to the people. BIG GOVERNMENT was built by the bankers for the bankers, using the WAR to promote FEAR as the main tool to witch, unite the people, they so long ago divided, when they see fit. Devolving the world banks is the KEY to opening the first of many doors to saving our livelihood and many lives. Armies should be in place for protecting not for dictating. If we are truly the 99% I have yet to see the power of the people, to stand up as a whole, and unite for our true freedom. Starting small and local is the only way to make a change, thats where it all started and thats the only way to fix it. If you cant get your own state its power to (se·cede) back, then how does anyone expect a change on such a LARGE SCALE as the Federal Government. Real change starts inside of us then spreads locally through LOVE and hard work. There are really only a few things holding this county down, The WORLD BANKS, BIG GOVERNMENT and a tyrannical SUPREME COURT.


[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 8 years ago

The main focus should be to gradually do away with the concentration of private power, but also, at the same tiem building solidaric communities.

Our state-capitalist society must - in long term perspective - be dismantled

[-] 1 points by ALAISDAIR (12) 8 years ago

Agreed, and thank you.

[-] 1 points by BrianMid (132) 8 years ago

How? It seems like a majority of those that have faith in anarchy won't try to vote out the republic we have now. Using the system to change it requires organization and leaders, at least for a time and most anarchists oppose that. Are you advocating revolution or just offering suggestions?

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 8 years ago

I have written a series of articles, including ones that deal with how we can make actual change here: http://occupywallst.org/forum/our-democratic-deficit/

I don't have all the answers, though, of course. People have to educate and learn from each other and try to come up with the best solutions for their communities, as well as cooperate on a bigger scale with others. I think the Occupy Movement is doing a great job on this. It needs to grow, but it's only been a year. This is just the beginning.

[-] 1 points by spermcoffinACAB (5) 8 years ago

but i think he's boring. no passion.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 8 years ago

I disagree. But what do you think of the ideas of Libertarian Socialism?

[-] 1 points by spermcoffinACAB (5) 8 years ago

my brain didn't absorb any of what he said. i'm sure it has pros and cons. i'm not sure what to think anymore.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 8 years ago

Don't give up, dude. Give it another shot.

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 8 years ago

You know what I find most interesting about those such as Chomksy? It's the fact that all of these ideas have been tried before in our history on a massive scale.

I know this flies in the face of the history most are familiar with - even Emma Goldman railed against the "Puritan" as establishment - but the Dissenter was not only anti-aristocratic, they were also anti-hierarchic. And since community leaders - as seven yearly elected Selectman, one Constable, and one Tithingman - actually lived amongst the people, they ruled entirely at the whim of the people. Although all were entrepreneurial, creatively so, work loads were shared; there was tremendous interdependence, and the birth of the first cooperatives and the first corporations as a community of investors. Even the fate of the Commons, unbeknown to most, was determined entirely by consensus of the Commoner - the "coercive institutions" that Chomsky speaks of were yet to come into existence, none existed; even the Crown's rule was precarious at best as coercion was met with resistance.

This was a world where women were independently minded, many vociferously so - women speak boldly, unabashedly, honestly, in court records; and a world where women were generally deemed quite capable.

True there were "Gentleman," as those connected to the Crown, but they lived entirely outside the reach of the polity as entities unto themselves. And there were very few slaves; this was a world entirely color blind to the issue of un-free.

Anyway, the similarity is amazing, and I can prove all of this, in detail, directly from primary source documents. We've done this before; it created our America.

And then came industrialization; the wage slave, the "immigrant" as second class citizen, and the Victorian Era. And eventually... Emma Goldman.

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

not sure what you are talking about - massive scale?? tell me more - when and where

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 8 years ago

All of Chomsky's talking points - all of them - can be found in colonial Massachusetts Bay. And I can prove this with primary source documents.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

go ahead but still don't know what you are talking about - by massive scale do you mean the 15k in the mass bay colony? are you setting up the purtians as the ideal here - those slaveholders who were intolerant of other religions. you don't mean those sick little englishmen who stole the indians land and then burned their women and children alive - not those guys.

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 8 years ago

I'm not setting up the Puritans as ideal; I am stating that all of Chomksy's anarchistic interpretations, talking points, were present in colonial Massachusetts Bay. And that's an undeniable historic fact that can be proofed with primary source documents. This was the Utopian society that you seek. Burning Native women and children is no worse than finding your own roasting in a pot over a cooking fire; and the reports of such exquisite torture and brutality are far, far, too numerous to be denied. Slavery, as I have said, was entirely colorblind - there were far, far, more enslaved white people in New England than there were ever Africans or even Indians. What I hear in your voice is anti-English; you're not the first - anglo-saxon establishment has been decried by the immigrant for over 100 years.

America has always been a melting pot allowed to boil over; you here boil over.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

yes - the white europeans were the savages of the world - still are - and you ars a defender of the white europeans? not too impressed with your primary sourced documents (you keep mentioning them like it is a big deal?) - as to chomsky i doubt he would argue that many of his ideas (or most or even all) and not new to him - he is always quoting older thinkers and workers. do you have a point that isn't vapid

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 8 years ago

My point is that all that those such as Chomsky speak of has already served us in our colonial past... You are correct; the Northern European rose from one of the most desolate humanly inhabitable locations on earth, as the fiercest creature that has ever walked the planet, and while all is now "tolerance" and "civility," do not be fooled - we are what we are - and we will only permit so long as it serves us.

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

civility - like bombing iraq into the stone age - or - no need to go on right

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 8 years ago

Civility, instituted as civil government or more accurately the "civil body politic," is born of desire, the result of increased population density. To what extent it exists and how it is managed is another story. Thou shall not kill (unless it's either self-defense or "justice" as a means of retribution); thou shall not steal (from whom?), thou shall not covet they neighbor's wife (why not?), on and on to the present day one million plus and growing (?) lawful rules... all are self-serving as population increases, all demand some new form of self-serving tolerance.

You've forgotten 9/12/2001 as the day of "anger"... you've forgotten the Iraqi's dancing in the square in celebration of the death of Sadam in 2003.

Why? What are you afraid of and why?

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

boring! you still buy that shit - either you are dumb, very uninformed or a liar - which is it - look up the photo if you have the balls - it is so easy to prove you guys to be bullshit - i am going to play catch with my 5 yr old grandson - it is more challenging! - "The area circled in red is where US Marines, the Press and a small number of Iraqis gathered to pull down the statue of Saddam. No more than 150 people were involved. The plaza was empty and sealed off by the Marines. It all occurred just opposite the Palestine Hotel were the international media are based. This was a carefully staged media event. The pro-american Iraqis involved were members of Ahmed Chalabi's, Free Iraqi Forces Militia...recently flown into Iraq by the Pentagon. The topping of the statue was promoted as a massive uprising ...does this event look massive to you?

The up close action video of the statue being destroyed is broadcast around the world as proof of a massive uprising. Still photos grabbed off of Reuters show a long-shot view of Fardus Square... it's empty save for the U.S. Marines, the International Press, and a small handful of Iraqis. The entire event is being hailed as an equivalent of the Berlin Wall falling... but even a quick glance of the long-shot photo shows something more akin to a carefully constructed media event tailored for the television cameras.

[-] -1 points by betuadollar (-313) 8 years ago

Well, but who cares? I'd venture to bet that the animosity of Americans is still yet to be satiated. And if you don't believe that, you've never visited the people of NY.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

sure who cares if you spread lies as long as they are in the service of the rulers - quisling. and just so you know i am the people of ny

[-] -1 points by betuadollar (-313) 8 years ago

For the common man in NY it wasn't financially motivated; we really did want to kill every last one of them. And we're not satiated yet; pull our troops out and we'll invent a reason to send them back in; we're not done yet.

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

you are sick - and stupid - a bad combination!

[-] -1 points by betuadollar (-313) 8 years ago

History and reality can definitely be sick and ignoring that fact does not make it go away.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 8 years ago

I ain't afraid. Thats the point. As a NY'r I know you can't live in fear. We have always been a target. We can't surrender to fear Thats what our enemies want.

The fear I'm talkin about is the fear mongering republicans have used to scare so many Americans. After the 9/11 attacks they exploited our natural fear and whipped it up, to get their agenda passed. Including 2 illegal oil/gas wars, and threats to our constitutional rights. (NDAA, Patriot act)

The healthcare reform has expanded the right to decent affordable healthcare. What rights do you think it takes away.

War is not the way. Al Queada will never defeat us. We are the most powerful country on the planet. Many times over. Don't be afraid.

Are you really afraid that there form of government is better than ours? Thats ridiculous. Hang in there. even muslims are beginning to realize that Al quada is not the way. Get over it. in a big way.


[-] -1 points by betuadollar (-313) 8 years ago

Yearight... do you think Obama's any better? What do you think Afghanistan's all about; it's about oil and an oil pipeline. And there is no doubt that America will eventually succeed in getting that pipeline. Getting rich is not an aspiration confined to just the Republican brand of politician - it's true of all politicians.

Al Qaeda is here... it's everywhere; our fear is not for ourselves but for those of our future.

Healthcare took the state tax-payer right to refuse to participate in Federal programs without coercion. It took away the individual right to sit on his couch, and watch tv, as a preferred form of economic activity without being taxed. It took our ability to opt out of anything the government deems vital to our future, even if we strongly disagree.

In many ways, Sharia is a better form of governance in that it admits no tolerance. Anger anybody by lying, stealing, cheating, and there's a very big chance you will be the example deterrent. So I think in that sense it's advantageous; it's their treatment of women and minorities that we find so despicable.

I don't believe that the Middle Eastern Muslims are going to "come around" in any significant way; they have their eyes set on both western and eastern Europe, the med, and all of africa and south america.

[-] -1 points by henyslick (-18) 8 years ago

The healthcare reform has expanded the right to decent affordable healthcare/////////You must have your head up Obama's azz so deep you have no concept on what this obamacare is actually going to cost unless you are one of the 47 million or so living off from Gov assistance (welfare)

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

you reality has very little to do with history - and i stand by my statement- bad combination

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 8 years ago

Well then we're obviously at an impasse - how 'bout tomahawks at 20 paces?

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 8 years ago

So you prefer sharia law? And you sound as if you think they will take over the world. So join up with 'em. Move to one of their countries. Sounds you would be happier.

[-] -1 points by betuadollar (-313) 8 years ago

You only have two choices - either continue with institutional incarceration or you impose some form of Sharia law; legitimizing crime is probably not going to go over well because it that occurs then lead is the only money I need to obtain anything I desire; everything within a ten miles radius will belong to me.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 8 years ago

I'm also a ny'r. I certainly felt great anger and did want revenge on 9/12, but I never applied it "to every last one of them". I'm not gonna speak for all the "common man" but most of the people I knew did not apply our need for revenge to every last one of the muslims.

I think we are ready to get beyond the bloodlust, and constant "war on terror". It hurts us more than our enemies. It creates the atmosphere of fear that allowed threats to our civil rights (ndaa, patriot act). Not from muslims but from right wing conservatives who have taken advantage and exploited the 9/11 attacks.

I think we're smarter than them now. Are you?

[-] -1 points by betuadollar (-313) 8 years ago

Get beyond, how? Is there some heretofore unknown or unmentioned method of "getting beyond" ?

The atmosphere of fear, what are you afraid of? The world has changed and our foes, whomever they may be, are communicating; we aren't yielding the right to privacy, only stating that the desire to ensure safety surpasses our desire for privacy.

Ridiculous: you stump for "Patriot" rights but, very likely, have no qualms at all about letting the Supreme Court stomp all over your rights with Obama's Care. Do you have any idea what "rights" even are?

Smarter, no. I definitely do not you see any sign whatsoever of intelligence in American government; it appears there's even less in the Muslim world. And for me to blanket all others as less intelligent than "we," I think, would defy all sense of personal virtue.

I wouldn't leave Iraq because eventually we'll be going back; instead, I'd plant an army there with the mandate of making the place more palatable (for us).

And I don't think it's fair, despite all the "Haliburton" to lay this all on Bush; we wanted all of these radical Muslim leaders dead. And I don't think it's reasonable in light of rapid Muslim expansion to apply the, "ignore them and they'll go away" rule; the future of Western Europe is in danger and we will support them.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

Americans have a right to feel safe in their homes, safe in their places of employment, safe on the streets. And if it takes a million Muslim lives for every one of ours to ensure that, then that's what we're going to do. That is written in stone - you need help or you are just paid plant to cause trouble - work for the fbi do you - here is randy newman - No one likes us I don't know why. We may not be perfect But heaven knows we try. But all around even our old friends put us down. Let's drop the big one and see what happens.

We give them money But are they grateful? No they're spiteful And they're hateful. They don't respect us so let's surprise them; We'll drop the big one and pulverize them.

Now Asia's crowded And Europe's too old. Africa's far too hot, And Canada's too cold. And South America stole our name. Let's drop the big one; there'll be no one left to blame us.

Bridge: We'll save Australia; Don't wanna hurt no kangaroo. We'll build an all-American amusement park there; They've got surfing, too.

Well, boom goes London, And boom Paris. More room for you And more room for me. And every city the whole world round Will just be another American town. Oh, how peaceful it'll be; We'll set everybody free; You'll have Japanese kimonos, baby, There'll be Italian shoes for me. They all hate us anyhow, So let's drop the big one now. Let's drop the big one now.

[-] -1 points by betuadollar (-313) 8 years ago

Look around - London and Paris are going to go boom anyway, it's just a matter of time because Islam is rapidly expanding. Sure, hide yourself under a rock, bury your head in the sand; while you may find it somewhat uncomfortable to breath your ass would still be safe in the security of America; this is less true of the European. Religion is but a tool - this is a struggle for mass mind in the quest for resources. And incompatibility has deemed it a to-the-death struggle.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

i assume you speak for all of ny - kill the iraqis - for what reason?

[-] -1 points by betuadollar (-313) 8 years ago

There are many in NY who have not forgotten let alone forgive 9/11. For these people, we will never be able to spill enough Muslim blood. Never.

Americans have a right to feel safe in their homes, safe in their places of employment, safe on the streets. And if it takes a million Muslim lives for every one of ours to ensure that, then that's what we're going to do. That is written in stone.

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 8 years ago

chimney sweeps.? huh? You are not makin sense. You should take a break.

No shame in that.


[-] -1 points by betuadollar (-313) 8 years ago

You're probably younger so you may not be familiar with the movie, "Mary Poppins." But I am familiar with it and I've researched it.

I'm just saying I don't particularly care if the world doesn't like us; the very same that have berated us for centuries now were permitting children to be burned alive regularly in places like London. Lords on High, oh so grandiose, and so compassionate: "Look, we freed the African" (while simultaneously they literally burned the poor children alive in all the fireplaces of all the cities of England; the lives of the poor were of absolutely NO value whatsoever.

There are despicable, brutal people in this world... and I don't care what they think of us.

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 8 years ago

I reject the limited choices you lay out.

Your not really makin sense.


[-] -2 points by betuadollar (-313) 8 years ago

Cerebration... the British talked of their rights, the "rights of Englishmen," their "Constitution" for hundreds of years... in the early 1800s they freed their Africans (celebrated to this day, even here in this forum, as some wondrous accomplishment) - while simultaneously everywhere throughout London the chimney sweeps utilized four year old boys.... when the child got stuck in the chimney, they'd light a fire and literally melt the kid out. And then they'd find another little boy; this happened hundreds of times, it was common practice. That's is the difference between the cerebral and reality. Acculturation, re-education, just cerebration - meanwhile man marches on in evolutionary desire; it pits us against "them," get a grip.

[-] 2 points by brightonsage (4494) 8 years ago

What, where, and when, are you talking about? How does this answer the questions:

Are there prisons in an Anarchist society?

If there are, how does the prison system function in the long term?

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

i think most anarchists would say that criminals are sick and need help. in american indian societies (as well as african or even very early european societies) there were no prisons since everything was shared and very little need to take things from others. in africa if you killed a man you were obliged to take care of his family for the rest of your life. why would you bring up prisons anyway - we have so far to go before that becomes any type of issue that seems silly to me.


[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

look to the isreali kibbutz to see how they ran their compensation. is it hard to imagine an egalitarian civilization


[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

you asked this - If the compensation is the same, why would I (or anyone else) be a prison guard over being a life guard at the beach? - i helped you find an answer - now look at this - and no i don't got it - i know too much to buy silliness "2010 marked the 100th anniversary of the founding of the first kibbutz, Degania, on the banks of the Sea of Galilee.

The dozen founders from Russia faced intense hardship: mud huts, summer temperatures exceeding 100 degrees, malaria and skirmishes with Arabs. But the Deganians persisted, made resolute, perhaps, by the knowledge that failure meant returning to the land of pogroms. From a practical standpoint, kibbutzim played a key role in forming Israel by defining the nation’s borders, producing food and goods for a growing population and turning out early leaders such as Golda Meir, Moshe Dayan and Yitzhak Rabin. Ideologically, Degania founders were Zionists who sought to create collectivist enterprises where physical labor was valued and property was owned communally. As Lawrence Joffe of Jewish Quarterly describes them, kibbutz founders were “determined to ‘redeem the land,’ smash the class system and radically transform the Jewish condition through the dignity of manual labor.” In addition to seeking to create an egalitarian, exploitation-free community, early kibbutzniks tended to eschew religious practice. While I was never close to the inner workings of the kibbutz, it appeared efficient and stable. What I didn’t realize was that a financial disaster, among other misfortunes, was lurking for Kibbutz Shomrat and the kibbutz movement in general. By 1989, Israel’s 270 kibbutzim were in debt for billions of shekels as a result of years of inflation, politics, borrowing and mismanagement.

Debts were written off in some cases, and assets sold in order to stave off kibbutzim collapse, but the price of these actions was a march toward privatization, and collective practices soon began to end. At Shomrat, which faced bankruptcy three times, residents had to begin paying for food and laundry, and communal child care ended. The dining room eventually closed, and residents were soon charged for daycare. To cut costs, Shomrat’s factories were shuttered and dairy operations merged with those of other kibbutzim. In 1997, the kibbutz discontinued the volunteer program, though Shomrat since has developed a bed and breakfast for tourists. One of the most far-reaching changes at Shomrat has been the institution of incomes based on market value and work performance, rather than on the kibbutz member’s need (for example, how many children to support), which is a distinct departure from the early rallying cry of the kibbutz, courtesy Karl Marx: “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 8 years ago

Did I bring up prisons? No. I copied those two lines from another post by Corium , which didn't seem to get an answer (from the person he asked) either. So, now you don't answer his question either? And you launch into something .....?

If you are going to add something shouldn't it be relevant to the point or be put somewhere else?

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

i disagree - i answered the question

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 8 years ago

Such as it was.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

this wasn't good enough the first time? try again - "i think most anarchists would say that criminals are sick and need help. in american indian societies (as well as african or even very early european societies) there were no prisons since everything was shared and very little need to take things from others. in africa if you killed a man you were obliged to take care of his family for the rest of your life. why would you bring up prisons anyway - we have so far to go before that becomes any type of issue that seems silly to me." there were no prisons in indian country or in africa during their so called "primative times" - here is what black elk thought - "I could see that the Wasichus did not care for each other the way our people did before the nation's hoop was broken. They would take everything from each other if they could, and so there were some who had more of everything than they could use, while crowds of people had nothing at all and maybe were starving. They had forgotten that the earth was their mother. This could not be better than the old ways of my people. There was a prisoner's house on an island where the big water came up to the town, and we saw that one day. Men pointed guns at the prisoners and made them move around like animals in a cage. This made me feel very sad, because my people too were penned up in islands, and maybe that was the way the Wasichus were going to treat them.

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 8 years ago

Sure I know Black Elk and it sounds nice. I also know about their slaves and their torture and ostracism as a death sentence, etc. Raiding their cousins for horses, slaves, weapons, "honor". It all sounds magical, idyllic, but when you add the pictures and the blood and smell and the maiming and the death.

Actually barbarians, were barbaric. Go figure. Not really a system that handled bank fraud or regulatory arbitrage very well.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

exactly so what the hell does it have to do with the discussion - when you mix anarchism and big banks you have created a new type of oxymoron. and the savages were your white brethern - not to make light of what the indians did to others but when compared to the white man - well i don't need to finish the sentence do i?

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 8 years ago

Well the Europeans clearly had better tools and were more effective but frankly they were operating from the same principles. Neither were any paragons of virtue or civilized social organization. If the Libyans had armed the native Americans and provided a no fly zone for ships, the Europeans would have been repulsed and the North American stone age of governance might have continued for some time. The question was still not an anarchist? Implying that if things get bad enough you will...., hey that is the GOP strategy. Or the alternative would be, if you look at this example of anarchy you will be impressed by what a great system it is as evidenced by the great results it produced in cases A, B, and C. So, are you on board yet? Sadly no, but.... I don't need to finish the sentence do I?

I will be watching my TV machine for good news. Has it come yet?

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

i think you are getting your history from the europeans - this might help - "The colonists, to be sure, knew better. Their survival depended on the agricultural sophistication and generosity of the "fierce savages," and they were familiar with the prevailing norms of violence on all sides. Observing the Narragansett-Pequot wars, Roger Williams remarked that their fighting was "farre less bloudy and devouring than the cruell Warres of Europe," from which the colonists had learned their trade. John Underhill sneered at the "feeble Manner" of the Indian warriors, which "did hardly deserve the Name of fighting," and their laughable protests against the "furious" style of the English that "slays too many men" -- not to speak of women and children in undefended villages, a European tactic that had to be taught to the backward natives. These were common features of the world conquest, as noted earlier.

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 8 years ago

My ancestor was a participant in that war. He lead a contingent from his town. First the context. More than half of the indigenous population in the area had been decimated over the previous 10 years by small pox and other diseases brought by European fishermen. So, the tribes had little leadership left, weakened survivors, had abandoned many villages, unable to adequately tend crops and (although the new settlers were foolish enough to sell them "modern" weapons later, they didn't have them then) they were poorly armed. That is the main reason it was far less bloody. King Philips War was another story.

A number of the Indians had thrown their lots in with the Europeans willingly exchanging their agri-technology for protection from their cousins.

The settlers took over the abandoned fields and villages. But some Indians became indentured or slaves. It was a mixed bag of exploitation, Settler on Indian, Indian on settler, Indian on Indian etc. So what is new? The Bay Company was a monopoly excluding individuals from buying land from the Indians, buying for themselves and reselling to individuals, and making grants.Freemen came later. It was an oligarchy.

But guess what, so were the tribes. So the point is, that there was no system of justice or economics, or governance on either side that could be called just. So is there something important to be learned from this?

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

well i don't agree with your analysis but that doesn't really matter. your ancestor doesn't mean much either unless you talked to him recently. not sure what your point is in all of this - this seemed to start the whole process - you said- "What, where, and when, are you talking about? How does this answer the questions:

Are there prisons in an Anarchist society?

If there are, how does the prison system function in the long term? - and then you seemed to imply that the pruitans were the essence of real democracy and now on to cotton mather! -"In New England, zealots like Cotton Mather encouraged the Puritans to regard the Indian as a principal actor in the cosmic drama that governed even the smallest details of life, a “spetiall instrument sent of God” to punish errant souls in the eternal stuggle between good and evil. In such a climate, killing Indians became not merely warfare, but the cleansing of sin itself. Although wartime atrocities were perpetrated against both the colonists and the Indians, those committed by whites were usually forgotten, while the natives’ were long remembered, and were attributed less to the awful nature of colonial war than to the moral failings of Indians as a race.

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 8 years ago

Well, I still don't see an answer to the question. But it wasn't my question anyway.

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

seems like who's on first!

[-] -1 points by betuadollar (-313) 8 years ago

Have you never heard of Holy War, but why? This WAS a Holy War and it occurred for a reason; the man or woman who rolled from the ship, belly full of hunger and eyes full of GOD, had no intention of roasting an Indian over the spit, did he? Things happen for a reason.

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

are you sure about that? -"Fulcher of Chartres also refers to the same instance of cannibalism at Ma'arra. In his Historia Hierosolymitana, also known as A History of the Expedition to Jerusalem, Fulcher confirms that when the crusaders "suffered from excessive hunger" at Ma'arra, they engaged in cannibalism. He wrote, "I shudder to say that many of our men, terribly tormented by the maddness of starvation, cut pieces of flesh from the buttocks of Saracens lying there dead. These pieces they cooked and ate, savagely devouring the flesh while it was insufficiently roasted."

[-] -1 points by betuadollar (-313) 8 years ago

flip below: I'm absolutely sure of it, yes; it was never the intent of the few Puritans, possessed of a desire to recreate in form of "Imitatio Christi" (their words), to engage overwhelming numbers of native inhabitants.

Hunger driven, emergency cannibalism was a common occurrence even amongst colonial seaman. As horrifying as it was, or is, it was never deemed a crime; there are worlds of law - international law of nations, law of the sea, merchant law, etc that all recognize as existing outside the civil body politic.

The Native American of the North East practiced cannibalism as early as the 14th century. Typically, it was used as a weapon of war to inflict some level of psychological terror. (Finding your baby's legs roasting in a pot over a fire kinda freaks you out, ya know?) But, you have to realize, too, that this practice has a history, too, that was probably born of exigency. I say this because of the practice of fasting for ten days every January, which the white man was physically incapable of doing, and also the practice of taking and adopting captives to replace losses; economic stress placed upon the native population in colder climates, despite their world of abundance, was unseasonably immense. They simply did not have the tools to overcome.

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 8 years ago

Roger Williams is so funny, right? Always the antagonist. Always.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 8 years ago

The question has been answered. I live in Norway, so you have to remember the time zones. When you're wide awake, I might be asleep. Patience, my friend.

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 8 years ago

Actually the Native American was an absolute expert at thievery.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

from his own tribe - and how do ou know this - which ones?

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 8 years ago

Well, actually we do know which ones because it was recorded. The art of thievery was practiced and perfected long before the arrival of the Englishman; while they may or may not have stolen amongst themselves, they definitely stole from their neighbors, tribal native enemies, and the colonials.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

do you understand the difference

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 8 years ago

Prior to the drug epidemic in the US, people rarely stole from their own tribe in any significant way. But it doesn't change the fact that the Native American had fined tuned thievery to be used against neighboring tribes, friend or foe, to an art form; they were also absolutely brutal both in public ceremony as a means of desensitizing and militarily as a means of inflicting psychological terror... it's not accurate to say that they were "civil" in the Euro-Anglo sense. And in fact, this in part is what led many to conclude that we were two entirely incompatible peoples.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

white man's history - keep it to yourself - thanks

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 8 years ago

The mythical "white man" as wholly English has never existed in America, there was continuous cultural interchange that shaped all.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

as usual not relevant

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 8 years ago

Well then, my friend, drag out the lipstick of your war paint, I hereby declare war...

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 8 years ago

oh noooooooooooo

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 8 years ago

Oh yes, so what's it to be, tomahawks at twenty paces? Oh wait, what's that I see - is that a suicide stick under your laces?

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 8 years ago

The prison was an outgrowth of the inner desire to insulate one's self from the brutality inherent in all life; the only option is a return to corporal punishment in the form of vengeance and retribution administered directly by the victim and the victim's family. This is "anarchism," a morality by community censure, and precisely the method that I would prefer.

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 8 years ago

I used to say, "That's all right in theory, but it won't work without practice."

In this case, I doubt that it will work even with practice.

Community censure has always been available to compliment whatever else is used. The whatever else has never been abandoned because it is still necessary. You can see just how effective it has been with the big banks. It plus the whatever else has been woefully deficient.

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 8 years ago

People seem to have varying views of anarchy. The "tight controls" of a Chomsky are at odds with the lawless society of a David Graeber. My only point is that the prison system did not exist in colonial America - punishment was either monetary, corporal, or both. We could, and probably should, return to that as a very effective means. One other option might be to institute Sharia Law. Or, we could legitimize all crime. It's interesting though because people have been railing against the prison system since the first decades of the 20th century, which truthfully is but a product of our tolerance.

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 8 years ago

Of course what you say is not true. My ancestor came to America in 1634 and served on the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Company and during that time a number of people were incarcerated not the least of which were the founders of Rhode Island. They were put in gaol, (jail) and in fact he had some accusers who were arrested and incarcerated for a period of time, then some posted bail and all were tried and convicted of multiple crimes.and fined large sums. So, you are incorrect in this respect and should read the journal of John Winthrop, the city on the hill guy the GOP loves so much. That system was also an oligarchy, by the way.

The actual, not theoretical, process of governance matters, and believing that you can randomly pick from a "Chinese" menu and make something work is incredibly naive.

" We could" is not a builder of credibility of the stature of "we did" with the report of the results.

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 8 years ago

My direct paternal ancestors also served the early Quarterly and General courts of Massachusetts Bay; in fact, many public offices... you answered your own question here - while the accused may be held awaiting a Quarterly court, it was rare the guilty were sentenced to incarceration - punishment was in either monetary or corporal form, and occasionally, both. You are absolutely incorrect to state that this was an ecclesiocracy, theocracy, oligarchy, or any such other... you need to study, study, study... and as you do so, compare all to the actual documents found in ALL of the town records.

You have no understanding of Winthrop's "City on a Hill." The US is still this City in that the eyes of the world are always, constantly, upon us. We were to be the "light"... and on our present course we are definitely not because all we now offer as example is dystopia, degradation, and deterioration.

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 8 years ago

Or being sent "home" possibly for additional punishment. Sometimes in extraordinary circumstances, the Court was convened without waiting for the Quarter, e.g. when when Winthrop offered to stand trial ending with his "Liberty" speech.

John J. Waters, "Hingham, Massachusetts, 1631-1661: an East Anglian Oligarchy in the New World" in the Journal of Social History, and "The Otis Family, In Provincial and Revolutionary Massachusetts" discusses this thoroughly and convincingly. I have discussed it with him because he is the recognized expert on this issue. He says that the Bay Company was obviously an oligarchy, but that Hingham was the purest example, since it was transplanted virtually in toto from Norfolk, and is widely used as one of the best examples of the form.

I have also had dialog with Francis J. Bremer, "John Winthrop, Americas Forgotten Founding Father" who says on page 308, "In arguing against law codes he expressed his preference for the organic growth of customs into law as "the laws of England and other states grew. These stands angered some who wished the City on The Hill to be a new Jerusalem modeled on biblical patterns." There was no consensus on this point. So, I respectfully disagree. I have studied, studied, studied. and visited the places and conversed with or had dialog with the historians still living and collected copies of the original documents. The "shining" was not used by Winthrop. An inclusion by Reagan and/or his writers has led to its re popularization..

An interesting aside is Winthrop circulating the reasons why, "a church hath not the power to call any civil magistrate to give account of his judicial proceedings in any court of civil justice." Separation of church and state.

None of this makes any case for anarchy.

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 8 years ago

Winthrop's "a church" here is not an interesting aside - it's just a fact derived of Wycliffe and beyond; it was an issue heavily discussed amongst clerics and instituted here at the outset. We can go further, as incidental - Henry the VIIIth was the first to separate this state from Rome; but why? Well, because he was possessed of an alternate belief system, born of his ancestral ties to Anglesey (and Henry relied on Wales for militaristic support)... he simply didn't believe that divorce was a mortal sin, did he? And again, but why? Anyway, I don't see separation as an aside; it's a fact central to our understanding of the colonial and his world.

This was absolutely NOT an oligarchy because the civil leaders that you speak of, even if men of status, never possessed the military might necessary to such control... town records, court records, wills, deeds, etc ... the very aggressive acquisitiveness of ALL belies all such assumptions. Nor does it speak to the ambivalence of all towards power imposed; the colonial would only submit so far as voluntarily beneficial. Even if the governing body and self-appointed elitists, civic or clerical, were possessed of such power it did not extend indefinitely - there were many men of independent means in MA Bay with connections to the Crown that lived entirely beyond the reach of either governor or cleric.

"None shall place himself above the other" (words to that effect) as a world without hierarchy are contained in the pre-settlement compacts of many New England towns; it was a Puritan mandate.

I really like Winthrop; I view him from afar and only see what he permits (this is not entirely true because there is other correspondence that history does not record), but when you speak of the "shining" here you do so only in reference to manner of law (an "aside" - what is law and why; it too has a history). Britain itself was the New Israel; when the experiment failed there New Israel was transplanted to the New World. When we speak of the "shining" we do so in the sense of an experimental Utopia, with a heavily applied dose of "Yes, we can." The New Israel experiment was intended to light the world as an anomaly. And, in fact. American government is an historic anomaly that continues to light the world through its ability to influence and temper governance everywhere. This, too, all of it, even unto the word "Utopia" - is contained within the records of the clerics.

It all makes sense as a case for anarchy, in all respects. Meaning I think that we can draw some philosophical comparison on virtually all points. The problem is that you need to expand your study of history. MA Bay was not the CT Valley; the CT Valley was not eastern Long Island; the north fork of LI was not the south fork; but all are derivatives of. What differed and why, when, and by whom... and what of the more established community life of later generations? What of NH and ME? We can go on and on... it's just not accurate to view history through any one particular glass, or even limit yourself to one particular approach - there are many "histories" of varied form.

The case for anarchy must be weighed against the communal nature of our species; the need of organizational structure. A world of individuals as wholly sovereign is not an evolutionary possibility so the question becomes one of manner of organization; the Puritan came as close as any ever will and, in fact, surpassed many in the anarchistic method of even today's cooperatives.

Throw out your previous histories; they are biased and inaccurate, possessed of the rather liberally applied spin of self-interest. This is not the proper sphere for the prophesy of history; there is need of true understanding in pursuit of the philosophy of self.

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 8 years ago

This is one true statement, "it's just not accurate to view history through any one particular glass". Yours is anarchy. The appropriate quote would be, "A man with a hammer sees every problem as a nail." Your hammer is anarchy and you distort history to serve that view.

The revolt of the free men is evidence that in fact the proprietors were the oligarchs. They successfully eroded that power so some degree. That it still existed at the time of the founding of the USA, was the driver for Shays' Rebellion and the Bill of Rights.

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 8 years ago

Ehh, not true at all... many a common man was a "Proprietor." Because the land was allotted freely in successive divisions; they were definitely not a closed band of "elitists." More, the extent of their chartered and sub-divided propriety was limited; the New World was not.

Anarchy: I'm saying wait a minute, we've already done this. And if you don't believe that you haven't followed my family or any other colonial family through history.

I'm not a fan of Chomsky at all, and although I do find the utopian vision of a David Graeber somewhat appealing, I'm far more of a Puritan/ New England/ "American Way" kinda guy. But I arrived here by accident of intense curiosity and interest satiated through study.

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 8 years ago

Common man, as in commoner, was typical, One of the bases of inclusion in the oligarchy was wealth, another was religion. In the Bay Co. sometimes church membership was an absolute requirement, sometimes it wasn't (Maverick was one such exception. I have followed my family through history. My ancestor was a proprietor, a part of the oligarchy (member of the General Court), yet later was was a victim of a smaller oligarchy in one of the settlements, as was John Otis, father of James who was wealthy and a church member but not included, so he moved.

Plymouth was quite different partly because they didn't have a charter and because they started with only about half of their population as Saints.

In both colonies there were towns or settlements evolving their style of governance from the founders but they don't seem to fit any definition of anarchy I am aware of.

With respect to separation of church and state, (aside with respect to the subject, not insignificant) my ancestors also happened to live in Hinsdale, who claim to be the first settlement to collect taxes directly and not through THE church.

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 8 years ago

Common man, as in commoner was typical... (trying to absorb all this). Dude, get real.

In the Puritan vernacular a "commoner" was a "proprietor" with rights on the Commons. And many - most - of the proprietors/ commoners were men of average means. You know, I think part of the problem is that you may be viewing "men of average means" as something more than they are - while estates of hundreds of pounds are perhaps on the top end of "average," estates in the thousands or even tens of thousands represent the colonial "rich." The rich, with ties to the Crown, and vast independent estates, were not subject to any MA authority. History disregards these Gentlemen, but they were there just the same.

Plymouth was not different merely because of a charter; it was different because they were Separatist - the Non-Separatists developed a much more intricate philosophical doctrine (you might say that were more "radical"; I would say that they were more intellectually driven). Do you know where and how they differed? Or to what extent they were alike? Or what variance over time? I think it's fair to say that the Non-Separatist was "separated" as well, by the distance of sea... so what then IS the difference?

I'm not sure where you're getting your information - but - typically the Constable collected the taxes; in cases where inhabitants where unable to pay, which happened quite often, the Constable was held accountable; truth - check the court records, it's there.

If we were to lay out the finer points of anarchy; example - a world with minimal law - and proceed from there; example - a world without institutional influence; the colonial had discarded all English institutions -, etc... interdependency - they were wholly interdependent -, etc., etc., we would find there is much similarity. In fact, the Puritans probably did all of it better.

It's simply not accurate to say they were this or they were that... ecclesiocracy, theocracy, oligarchy, even "puritan" - none of these words apply (not even "colonial; they were NOT colonials).

If I were to take 50 people from a Southern Baptist congregation, do you think they'd all agree on the finer points of biblical exegesis; would they even agree on those defining points of "Baptist" ? Hell no.. and either did the Puritan, Anne Hutchinson (as one example) is the proof of that - people flocked to her in droves in search of other biblical opinion; why? Because they were undecided and in search of other opinions. One other example - the wife that "owns the Covenant" with a husband that is unwilling; he agrees to "submit" only to a Silent Covenant - there were differing opinions within the same household. What of "people petitions" - often those that had political aspirations upheld the opinion of the authority, repeatedly, while those with no political aspirations sided against; but the fact that these exist is proof of "oligarchy" as a rather precarious state. We can go on and on... internet history records some 40 "riots" in MA Bay; totally ridiculous - in 1774 there were over 200 in Boston alone; where, guess who reigned, the British Merchants... so much for oligarchy.

What of raising volunteers for a new settlement or "gathering a Congregation"? Was it wholly a religious endeavor or were people just hitching an economic ride? But who volunteers for oligarchy?

The MA courts, the Province of ME courts, the Maryland courts... Saints. Constables, Tithingmen... throughout all the Indian wars, and beyond; my ancestors "served" many public posts. But that didn't keep them from breaking the Sabbath. Or from thumbing their noses at "oligarchy." - surprisingly bold and independent people.

People are the same everywhere, driven by the same evolutionary desires... and they have been for tens of thousands of years; whatever difference does exist is wholly the result of circumstance, and this was as true of MA Bay as it was of the Congo.