Dear Messrs Webb and Lustig…

Dear Messrs Webb and Lustig…

A response to Robert Webb and Robin Lustig's criticisms of those who choose not to vote, in the wake of Russell Brand's anti-electoral declaration.

Thankyou both for your contributions [1][2] to the debating point “should we vote for Labour in the next election.”

As a non-voter, I now feel well and truly told that by sharing Russell Brand’s view on the matter I have entered a grouping of people who are variously daft, dangerous, apathetic, politically flighty, talking through our arses, in favour of gulags and murder, poorly-read and that we just don’t know how lucky we are. How very kind of you to submit such deep and worthy thoughts to the highbrow liberal outlets of the day.

I wonder though were either of you, steeped as you undoubtedly are in the political life of this country, on a picket line at 7am in the morning yesterday? Or at any of the thousands of other picket lines up and down the country that non-voters I know personally have attended week in, week out both in the cause of their own work and in attempts to help save the jobs, or wages, or conditions of others?

Have you felt compelled to stand there patiently explaining to truly apathetic people what a picket line actually does? Have you watched, devastated, as truly daft people have deliberately flouted the democratic decisions of their peers, their friends, their families by walking into work and undermining the very essence of collective action for the sake of a few lousy bob?

Have either of you ever taken a truly dangerous police boot to the knee, or a baton to the face, in the cause of stopping a single one of the outrageous redistributions of wealth from poor to rich that have taken place under murderous governments, both Labour and Tory, in the course of the last 30 years?

No? You mean you haven’t given up hours, weeks, months, years of your time, spent an intimidating percentage of your own capital, risked your very livelihood and freedom for the sake of a hoped-for future you know you probably won’t live to see? Or even just to stop the world from getting any worse?

You haven’t done these things that I see my fellow anarchists do? I know you haven’t. Because I know that for all your fine words about the importance of democracy you, unlike my “apathetic” peers and I, have never actually found yourself having to go to the wire for something truly important.

You sit in your comfortable chair tapping away at your keyboard about the mighty democratic mandate of the people, about the influence of the ballot box, fully in line with and backed by the most powerful forces this island has to offer. You find yourself lauded by your fellow liberals and media pundits, pat yourself on the back and head off for a nice latte.

But you don’t know what it is to join the dots on Labour’s introduction of Workfare and tests for work availability and realise that people are going to die from it, that in one government’s time, maybe two at the outside, you’re going to be stood in the rain outside a jobcentre or a shop trying desperately to build enough momentum to force those bastards to cut it out.

You haven’t the faintest idea about the black fog of despair that descends as a non-voter when you read about Labour’s introduction of a few “minor privatisations” within the NHS and know as sure as eggs is eggs that this is a deliberate wedge designed to soften the service up for a full-on orgy of profitmaking that will ruin countless lives and end more than a few before their time.

And you clearly haven’t remembered your own past, as you are both old enough to have seen a million people stretched through the streets of London, telling a Labour government not to go to war in a land far away on a lie. A big lie. A lie that eventually would lead to the deaths of half a million innocents. A lie told over and over again by the very people you are now asking us to hold our noses and vote for. Not different people, the same fucking ones.

How dare you? How dare you sit there with that smug smirk on your fat wealthy face and tell us we are dangerously apathetic or impractically romantic when you can’t even face up to the fact that you vote for men who were the backroom boys of this murderous campaign done in our name. When you vote for killers who again and again follow the leverage of big money the moment they’ve occupied their comfy seats in the Commons. When you vote for the scum who have wrought such inconceivable damage against the working classes, who have in toffee-nosed accents told people living off nothing “go get a job or we’ll take your benefits you slacker.”

You castigate Brand for ranting about governments not representing him. You call on him and presumably us to “read some fucking Orwell.” I’ve read some fucking Orwell you blithering fool, enough to remember that even this icon of liberality was sharp enough to know of and sympathise with anarchist theory in Homage to Catalonia. Orwell would laugh at you and disavow any connection to your poorly-wrought propaganda for people to vote rather than fight. He would spit on your self-satisfaction you vacuous whelp.

It is not we who are uninformed. It is not we who deny reality. It is not we who pretend that politics for the last 30 years have revolved around who’s sat on the green benches and use that as an excuse to do the sum total of fuck all to contribute to our world and our future because some other bloke will sort it out. That’s you. It’s your casual acceptance and shrug of the shoulders that capitalist representative democracy is the best of a bad lot that has led to the utter destruction of first working class power, then our protections and rights.

You haven’t brought your thunderous disdain down on the hypocrites and charlatans who have lied to us over and over, with sharp suits and sharp smiles and sharp machine minds as they promise “we’ll be different, honest” and then promptly forget we ever existed the day after the election. No, instead you’ve carped and moaned at the millions of disenfranchised who have finally had enough of those liars.

You are the apathetic. You are the problem. It is your politics that must die.

===

2015 update: Rather amusingly, Mr "if you don't vote you get death camps" is now quitting the Labour Party because some people were mean to him on Twitter.

Robert 'Read some fucking Orwell' Webb wrote:
Maybe I'll vote for them. Maybe not.

Yeah Robert, that's the spirit of Orwell. Right There.

Posted By

Rob Ray
Nov 1 2013 07:42

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Comments

Rubbish Anarchist
Nov 2 2013 15:15

Wonderful article, Rob Ray. Will be tweeting and linking as much as poss.

alexandrite
Nov 2 2013 15:18

I agree & was going to use the meerkat picture! Too slow... awesome! roll eyes

Cooked
Nov 2 2013 16:18

What RB means to me

Le Frigg
Nov 2 2013 16:34

What's a latte?

Chilli Sauce
Nov 2 2013 17:15

Cooked, are you suggesting Brand is the the chatterbox of the internet generation?

Anyway, this piece is amazing, Rob Ray. I've seen it around and Facebook and other sites. The main critical responses seem painfully full of strawmen. Mainly that (a) this blog somehow suggest anarchist support Brand or (b) anarchists somehow believe all people who don't vote do it out of revolutionary principles.

For those who plan to wander on this thread to criticize the piece, fine, criticize away, but please don't use these two terrible strawman (and I'm not even gonna touch "Hitler was a socialist, too.")

Two other final things: One, someone really needs to write a proper critique of that "People died for the right to vote" BS. And, two, as for the old Labour and the NHS, I'm going to leave that one to the old classmate of George Orwell himself, Tory MP Quinton Hogg in 1948:

"Give them reforms or they'll give us revolution."

That's why we have the NHS.

Webby, in my head, this is you now. I hope I never have to change that image:

Noah Fence
Nov 2 2013 17:39

Fuck! Webby unmasked! Fascists and government agents take aim!
Gotta go - once again it's time to bust a move!

Cooked
Nov 2 2013 20:29
Chilli Sauce wrote:
Cooked, are you suggesting Brand is the the chatterbox of the internet generation?

I wish! Any images of pants (uk) or vaginas that pop into yer heads are on you! The shape of the cutout is a pure interpretation of the facial features of RB by the "artist". Not helped by using the following input device.

I do allow for the possibility that RB's amazing sexual aura (yeah right) put my mind in a confused state where I couldn't stop thinking about his pants but my habitual straightness mounted a defence and placed his mouth in the sensitive area so that at a glance I could fool myself that I was still interested in women.

Steven.
Nov 4 2013 11:55
Paul Nelson wrote:
Like the author you seem to be of the opinion that you either vote OR fight. Have you petty-bouregois anarchist simpletons ever grasped the concept that you can do BOTH?

By all means have no illusions that parliamentary democracy will give us any fundamental change in the power structures in our society but from the formation of the NHS (thanks to Laour) to the attacks of ATOS (opposed by Labour) on the most vulnerable in our society clearly voting can make a erious and very real impact on many lives. But I guess you'll only realise that when you leave your middle-class student politics behind and join the real world.

hmm as someone who is keen to denounce others as "simpletons" how do you explain your own lack of knowledge of the real world?

The NHS was formed following the recommendations of the Beveridge report, which was approved by the three main parties. All three main parties in the 1945 election pledged to set up the NHS.

And the work capability assessments carried out by Atos were introduced by the Labour Party.

GLOKD
Nov 4 2013 16:42

I'm sorry this article is disingenuous. You can't peddle an anarchist agenda and then complain about a government that is privatising the NHS or reducing welfare spending. Anarchism and neo-liberal capitalism are two cheeks of the same arse. Does our government have flaws, some of which you've highlighted? Yes, of course - but the ambition to completely remove the state is ridiculous given how many people rely upon it. The fact remains that inordinate amount of our wealth are spent educating, caring and housing us: our government is benevolent and generous by any historical or contemporary comparison you could make, something you haven't quite grasped yet.

And before you start on the usual diatribe about me being a stooge for the establishment, who hasn't lifted a finger in aid of anything: I was out protesting when student fees got hiked, when the anarchists hijacked and derailed the movement; I have marched against the cuts; I have been held hostage in many a kettle exercising my right to assembly and free speech. But you need to engage with the political system to change it, revolution and anarchism are not the solutions to apathy, nor are they needed nor wanted.

Rob Ray
Nov 4 2013 17:26

No-one thinks you're a stooge for the Establishment. Uninformed and arrogant, yes but not a stooge. Apart from anything else, a stooge of the Establishment would put significantly more effort into finding out what anarchists actually think before hauling off about the subject.

Try reading a bit around the site, or picking up any of the thousands of books on the subject of Anarchism that exist (reading list here) you might get some idea exactly how badly you've misunderstood where we come from, and why your post comes across as embarrassingly ignorant.

Steven.
Nov 4 2013 17:31
GLOKD wrote:
I'm sorry this article is disingenuous. You can't peddle an anarchist agenda and then complain about a government that is privatising the NHS or reducing welfare spending. Anarchism and neo-liberal capitalism are two cheeks of the same arse.

you can only say that if you have absolutely no understanding of anarchism, as explained quite clearly here:
http://libcom.org/blog/%E2%80%98anarchists-are-tories%E2%80%99-other-fai...

Quote:
Does our government have flaws, some of which you've highlighted? Yes, of course - but the ambition to completely remove the state is ridiculous given how many people rely upon it. The fact remains that inordinate amount of our wealth are spent educating, caring and housing us: our government is benevolent and generous by any historical or contemporary comparison you could make, something you haven't quite grasped yet.

again, here you betray your lack of understanding. What we consider the essence of a state is the body of armed violence which it controls. See here for a short introduction: http://libcom.org/library/state-introduction

Schools or healthcare systems are not inherently part of the state (are they run by the state across the whole world? Of course not, in many places, including here, they are run by religious groups, voluntary groups, private companies etc).

You also incorrect if you believe that the government is simply benevolently providing social welfare to the population. Partly it is provided because it is necessary for the economy and for capitalist accumulation. For example, businesses need an educated and relatively healthy workforce. And secondly it has been provided as a response to working class struggles. Particularly the mass upheavals and strikes in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Quote:
And before you start on the usual diatribe about me being a stooge for the establishment, who hasn't lifted a finger in aid of anything:

what "usual diatribe" is this?

Good for you for marching against cuts, etc. But if you think that quietly walking down the road then putting an X in a box every four years is going to stop austerity or do anything to improve the lives of working people then you are sadly mistaken, and understand very little about history.

And as for this, this is nonsense:

Quote:
I was out protesting when student fees got hiked, when the anarchists hijacked and derailed the movement

anarchists joined the movement (and indeed, help lead it) as affected individuals. It wasn't derailed, it wasn't successful and it fizzled out.

Whereas the Québec student movement on the other hand was successful. Which was essentially because it was much more disruptive, and had much more prolonged and widespread direct action:
http://libcom.org/blog/quebec-important-victory-however-partial-it-may-b...

Phil
Nov 4 2013 18:57
GLOKD wrote:
I'm sorry this article is disingenuous. You can't peddle an anarchist agenda and then complain about a government that is privatising the NHS or reducing welfare spending. Anarchism and neo-liberal capitalism are two cheeks of the same arse.

Oh, hi. Welcome to Libcom, a website for libertarian communists.

GLOKD wrote:
Does our government have flaws, some of which you've highlighted? Yes, of course - but the ambition to completely remove the state is ridiculous given how many people rely upon it. The fact remains that inordinate amount of our wealth are spent educating, caring and housing us: our government is benevolent and generous by any historical or contemporary comparison you could make, something you haven't quite grasped yet.

Concessions won from the state are not the state. That's like saying that a pay rise or decent terms and conditions won by striking are wage labour.

A bit rich to complain about anarchists hijacking the movement when you clearly don't understand the basic concepts behind the movement. Or anything much at all, really.

Chilli Sauce
Nov 4 2013 19:42

Steven, that was a beautiful post.

ocelot
Nov 5 2013 11:26

"If you want to save the NHS from privatisation, vote Labour... even though they will also privatise the NHS"

Sorry, I missed the bit where it was explained how we were the illogical ones?

GLOKD
Nov 5 2013 20:44
Steven. wrote:
GLOKD wrote:
I'm sorry this article is disingenuous. You can't peddle an anarchist agenda and then complain about a government that is privatising the NHS or reducing welfare spending. Anarchism and neo-liberal capitalism are two cheeks of the same arse.

you can only say that if you have absolutely no understanding of anarchism, as explained quite clearly here:
http://libcom.org/blog/%E2%80%98anarchists-are-tories%E2%80%99-other-fai...

Lol, it seems forwarding me to 500 pieces of literature passes for a decent rebuttal on this forum. I had no idea you were so sophisticated. wink

Steven. wrote:
Quote:
Does our government have flaws, some of which you've highlighted? Yes, of course - but the ambition to completely remove the state is ridiculous given how many people rely upon it. The fact remains that inordinate amount of our wealth are spent educating, caring and housing us: our government is benevolent and generous by any historical or contemporary comparison you could make, something you haven't quite grasped yet.

Schools or healthcare systems are not inherently part of the state (are they run by the state across the whole world? Of course not, in many places, including here, they are run by religious groups, voluntary groups, private companies etc).

Didn't take you long to return to type - first you tell me how poorly I've characterised anarchism and then you trumpet the most base rhetoric around privately provided education. But seriously, do you think private/religious/corporate run schools are desirable? You will have to excuse me if I confuse your views with those of Michael Gove and other anti-state neo-cons more often.

Unfortunately many Tories agree with you, which is leading to the demise of our comprehensive, state-run school system. A similar thing is happening with our national curriculum, which isn't biased by private interests and religious prejudice unlike free schools.

And I see you wisely tip-toed around the NHS on this point. I suppose you have a grand plan to decentralise and privatise that as well? It could be run by crusty eccentrics, elderly volunteers and black bloc anarchists - who needs a state, right?

Steven. wrote:
You also incorrect if you believe that the government is simply benevolently providing social welfare to the population. Partly it is provided because it is necessary for the economy and for capitalist accumulation. For example, businesses need an educated and relatively healthy workforce. And secondly it has been provided as a response to working class struggles. Particularly the mass upheavals and strikes in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

What part of my original post disagreed with striking as a legitimate form of protest? Taking away your labour is not only a right I fully support but, crucially, an engagement with the political process. Many strikes are undertaken by public sector workers who rely upon the state for gainful employment. And I'm sorry I just don't share your cynicism with the political establishment - most politicians are guided by strong principles of fairness - take John Bercow MP, for example, who conducted the Bercow Report on children with learning disabilities, leading to millions in extra spending. I suppose that was that another conspiracy to improve the efficiency of capitalist machinery? Don't let that paranoia get the better of you, Stevie.

Steven. wrote:
Quote:
And before you start on the usual diatribe about me being a stooge for the establishment, who hasn't lifted a finger in aid of anything:

what "usual diatribe" is this?

See above article.

Steven. wrote:
Good for you for marching against cuts, etc. But if you think that quietly walking down the road then putting an X in a box every four years is going to stop austerity or do anything to improve the lives of working people then you are sadly mistaken, and understand very little about history.

Thanks for your approval. Your proven track record of smashing up indiscriminate shops and turning every single media outlet against your cause is truly something I aspire to. I love taking lectures from all you veterans.

Steven. wrote:
Whereas the Québec student movement on the other hand was successful. Which was essentially because it was much more disruptive, and had much more prolonged and widespread direct action:

As if you just cited Quebec as a comparable example, next you'll be telling me about Che Guevara. You anarchists are hilarious when you're not appropriating important causes for pointless and unachievable ends.

Lastly, please don't take any confidence from the false security of this forum's consensus. 99.99999% of the population think you're misguided, stupid and ignorant. Don't ever forget that, Stevie.

Picket
Nov 5 2013 20:47

Construing 3 as equal to 500 is a fitting introduction to your post.

GLOKD
Nov 5 2013 22:42
Pikel wrote:
Construing 3 as equal to 500 is a fitting introduction to your post.

Rob Ray wrote:
Try reading a bit around the site, or picking up any of the thousands of books on the subject of Anarchism that exist (reading list here)

I was killing two birds with one stone, but you weren't to know.

wojtek
Nov 5 2013 20:59

Why be intellectually honest when you can just insult people, rely on strawmen and ignorantly associate social anarchism with neo-liberalism, tedious stereotypes, paranoia and stalinists. Obvious troll is obvious.

Rob Ray
Nov 5 2013 21:05

HOW DARE YOU POINT ME AT BOOKS!!11!

working class s...
Nov 5 2013 21:08

Pointless and unachievable aims?...... Lol, how did your twice a decade vote work our for you?

John Bercow, yeah he is a real diamond... Remember when he was the National Chairman of the Federation of Conservative Students in the 1980's & was peddling the 'Hang Mandela' posters, and calling for 'assisted repatriation' of immigrants?

...and who is Stevie?

Fleur
Nov 5 2013 22:10

This is probably comes from a bit of weariness from doing this, but is there much point in arguing with posters such as GLOKD, who come on the site essentially to troll, argue from a point of ignorance and misunderstanding of what anarchism is, trotting out the usual nonsense of any gains we've achieved being handed out by our benign political leaders, as opposed to things which we fought for and won and utterly refusing to look at a handful of short, easily read documents?
By the way GLOKDie, I live in Québec. Given that you couldn't be bothered to check it out yourself, let me explain in very simple terms: Québec student bodies are organized on vaguely anarchistic lines, with direct democracy (you might want to google that) and direct action, and in 2012 held a student strike in response to a tuition hike. You know what happened, without any political party involvement? The government not only backed down on the tuition hike, they also resigned. Students in Québec do not pay nine grand a year in tuition fees. Anarchists did not "appropriate" the Québec student movement, anarchists allied themselves with it. It might be of benefit to the students of the UK to look to Québec student organizing, we have the lowest tuition fees in North America and a shit ton less than you pay.
If you can't be bothered to get informed, maybe you ought to take this conversation down the pub, I'm sure you'll be able to find like-minded others who subscribe to similar stereotypes, such as the anarchists smashing up shops.

Noah Fence
Nov 5 2013 22:14

GLOKD - What is your reason for posting here? Why are you posting without finding out what Libcom is about? I mean, if you THINK you disagree with our views but want to learn more, then fair enough but you really don't give that impression at all. You are making assumptions and throwing around accusations but it is quite clear that you haven't any idea of what we're about. You seem to think Libcom is inhabited by crusty, dog on a string lifestyle 'anarchists' when even a cursory glance at the forums would show you that these guys are about as popular around here as a fart in a lift.
Seriously man, if you're so enamoured of parliamentary politics go discuss it with likeminded people - surely you would find that more productive and entertaining than spending your evening engaged in futile feather ruffling? Or maybe not...

Edit - FER kind of beat me to it.

Steven.
Nov 5 2013 22:58
GLOKD wrote:
Steven. wrote:
GLOKD wrote:
I'm sorry this article is disingenuous. You can't peddle an anarchist agenda and then complain about a government that is privatising the NHS or reducing welfare spending. Anarchism and neo-liberal capitalism are two cheeks of the same arse.

you can only say that if you have absolutely no understanding of anarchism, as explained quite clearly here:
http://libcom.org/blog/%E2%80%98anarchists-are-tories%E2%80%99-other-fai...

Lol, it seems forwarding me to 500 pieces of literature passes for a decent rebuttal on this forum. I had no idea you were so sophisticated. wink

I just pointed out that you knew absolutely nothing of what you were talking about. That link was to a short article, which shouldn't be too taxing, which you could choose to read if you didn't want to be speaking from the perspective of complete ignorance. But I guess you prefer ignorance, so that's fine, you've made your choice.

Quote:
Steven. wrote:
Quote:
Does our government have flaws, some of which you've highlighted? Yes, of course - but the ambition to completely remove the state is ridiculous given how many people rely upon it. The fact remains that inordinate amount of our wealth are spent educating, caring and housing us: our government is benevolent and generous by any historical or contemporary comparison you could make, something you haven't quite grasped yet.

Schools or healthcare systems are not inherently part of the state (are they run by the state across the whole world? Of course not, in many places, including here, they are run by religious groups, voluntary groups, private companies etc).

Didn't take you long to return to type - first you tell me how poorly I've characterised anarchism and then you trumpet the most base rhetoric around privately provided education. But seriously, do you think private/religious/corporate run schools are desirable? You will have to excuse me if I confuse your views with those of Michael Gove and other anti-state neo-cons more often.

Lolz, so looks like comprehension is not quite your strong point either. The point I made above, is that schools/healthcare/welfare systems etc are not what anarchists mean we talk about the state. What we mean when we talk about the state, which we obviously want abolished, is the centralised force of armed violence.

From misreading that, you have gone off on yet another misinformed rant, saying I support private/corporate schools. Which is particularly stupid when you consider the various anti-privatisation/anti-academy schools etc campaigns many anarchists involved in and which we cover on this site.

Quote:
Unfortunately many Tories agree with you, which is leading to the demise of our comprehensive, state-run school system. A similar thing is happening with our national curriculum, which isn't biased by private interests and religious prejudice unlike free schools.

what is it, you claim, that "many Tories agree with" me about then?

Unfortunately for you, what you may not realise is that academy schools were actually introduced by the Labour government in 2000.

Quote:
And I see you wisely tip-toed around the NHS on this point. I suppose you have a grand plan to decentralise and privatise that as well? It could be run by crusty eccentrics, elderly volunteers and black bloc anarchists - who needs a state, right?

you what? It's not anarchists privatising the NHS, it's successive labour and Tory governments. For what it's worth my view is that it would run better not-for-profit but to meet need, run collectively by its workers and patients.

Quote:
Steven. wrote:
You also incorrect if you believe that the government is simply benevolently providing social welfare to the population. Partly it is provided because it is necessary for the economy and for capitalist accumulation. For example, businesses need an educated and relatively healthy workforce. And secondly it has been provided as a response to working class struggles. Particularly the mass upheavals and strikes in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

What part of my original post disagreed with striking as a legitimate form of protest? Taking away your labour is not only a right I fully support but, crucially, an engagement with the political process. Many strikes are undertaken by public sector workers who rely upon the state for gainful employment. And I'm sorry I just don't share your cynicism with the political establishment - most politicians are guided by strong principles of fairness - take John Bercow MP, for example, who conducted the Bercow Report on children with learning disabilities, leading to millions in extra spending. I suppose that was that another conspiracy to improve the efficiency of capitalist machinery? Don't let that paranoia get the better of you, Stevie.

where have I said you "disagreed with striking as a legitimate form of protest"? You really seem to be having trouble reading something and understanding what it actually says. Maybe try looking at the words rather than just imagining some stereotype?

I am a public sector worker, as it happens, who works in children's services and am deeply involved in opposition to our services being destroyed.

Quote:
Steven. wrote:
Good for you for marching against cuts, etc. But if you think that quietly walking down the road then putting an X in a box every four years is going to stop austerity or do anything to improve the lives of working people then you are sadly mistaken, and understand very little about history.

Thanks for your approval. Your proven track record of smashing up indiscriminate shops and turning every single media outlet against your cause is truly something I aspire to. I love taking lectures from all you veterans.

what "indiscriminate shops" do you reckon I've smashed up then? As for the media, it is all run by either big capitalist businesses or the state, so they are never going to support a political theory aimed at abolishing both capitalism and the state, so that's something we just going to have to live with.

Quote:
Steven. wrote:
Whereas the Québec student movement on the other hand was successful. Which was essentially because it was much more disruptive, and had much more prolonged and widespread direct action:

As if you just cited Quebec as a comparable example, next you'll be telling me about Che Guevara. You anarchists are hilarious when you're not appropriating important causes for pointless and unachievable ends.

that's a pretty good non sequitur. You were the one who brought up the movement against tuition fees here. You blamed its failure on anarchists. I pointed out a direct comparator to the UK student movement, which was successful because of its largely anarchistic organisational forms and strategies.

I don't see what Che Guevara, a Stalinist idiot, has to do with anything.

Quote:

Lastly, please don't take any confidence from the false security of this forum's consensus. 99.99999% of the population think you're misguided, stupid and ignorant. Don't ever forget that, Stevie.

you might want to check your maths there. As for what people think, most people disagree with a lot of other people's politics. Especially as a lot of people are in your situation, blindly holding a dislike something without having any idea what it actually is.

I know very well this forum is not representative of the population as a whole, but of course I do live in the world as a whole, and generally actually when you explain what anarchist politics actually mean you find a lot of common ground with most people, who are totally disenfranchised with the political parties and politicians you seem so naïvely fond of.

GLOKD
Nov 6 2013 05:26

Lol, oh Stevie, you've gone and tied yourself in too many knots for this to be an interesting or useful exchange any longer. Allow me start over and cut through some of this bull.

Stevie. wrote:
run collectively by its workers and patients.

Funny seeing you go red-in-the-face denying all links between neo-liberalism and anarchism and then, without irony, go onto say the NHS would be better run at a local level by patients and workers. You're beyond parody. Regionalising power, this is precisely what the entire front bench of the Conservative party says. If you think this is preferable to a benevolent, democratic, centralised state, that collects huge tax revenues which it pumps into the NHS, I pity you. Not to mention the huge spending power a centralised government has (see "economies of scale"); the widespread employment it provides and it's regulatory and organisational capacity. How exactly will a patient assess the cost effectiveness of a new cancer drug? All I can say is thank god you're a cringing minority in this country, who are contained to occasional spats of indiscriminate violence and fringe online forums, because you would ruin our public institutions and welfare state.

Also, please elucidate your real views on education so I can pick through them. You've been very unclear about this in your previous posts, I dare say deliberately.

Stevie. wrote:
What we mean when we talk about the state, which we obviously want abolished, is the centralised force of armed violence.

White. Noise. We live in one of the freest, least violent countries in the world and have a government that, on the whole, respects our freedom, does not harass us and spends most of its wealth on a broad range of vital public services. The people of Iran laugh at you. Making this government more accountable and improving these services should be our common aim - not abolishing the whole bureaucratic and democratic underpinnings of the system, you fruit. Abolishing the state IS violence because it inevitably catalyses corporate interests, deregulation, regional disparity, religious, cultural and ethnic prejudice.

I also couldn't help but notice that you went on a giant tangent to avoid one of my previous questions, I will repeat here to give you a second bite of the apple:

GLOKD wrote:
And I'm sorry I just don't share your cynicism with the political establishment - most politicians are guided by strong principles of fairness - take John Bercow MP, for example, who conducted the Bercow Report on children with learning disabilities, leading to millions in extra spending. I suppose that was that another conspiracy to improve the efficiency of capitalist machinery?

Noah Fence
Nov 6 2013 07:26

Seeing as you seem hellbent on engaging with

Quote:
a cringing minority in this country, who are contained to occasional spats of indiscriminate violence and fringe online forums

how about answering my post?
Seeing as you are so sure you are right and we're such a bunch of numpties, what the fuck are you doing here?!!! My best guess is you got tired of chasing billy goats over the rickety bridge.

Chilli Sauce
Nov 6 2013 08:36

GLOKD:

Page 16

commieprincess
Nov 6 2013 09:35
GLOKD wrote:
We live in one of the freest, least violent countries in the world and have a government that, on the whole, respects our freedom, does not harass us and spends most of its wealth on a broad range of vital public services.

Firstly, even if that were true, are you saying it's perfect and there's no room for improvement? Secondly, even if that were true domestically, are you fucking mental? How many millions of people has the British government killed over the years? Have you heard of colonialism? How about the Iraq war? And that doesn't even scratch the surface.

But, that was even if it was were true, and it's not true. Here's a link documenting the habitual police violence which happens all over the world, including the UK. (I realise you think actual information weakens an argument, but seriously, give it a try)
http://libcom.org/blog/cop-watch-please-contribute-14052012

Not to mention the measures brought in by Labour and carried on by the Tories like the bedroom tax, workfare, throwing disabled people off benefits, making people homeless through cutting off housing allowances etc. People are committing suicide because of these measures.

As for explaining the difference between a private company owning a service and the basic anarchist principle of the abolition of ownership... It's a bit like explaining that red is red and blue is blue. But here goes:

Anarchists don't want services to be run by profit making companies. We think services should be run by the people who use them and the people who work for them. Who has a better idea on how schools should run? The actual education professionals and students who come to school everyday, or some fucking goat-headed Richard Branson wank puddle who's primary motive is profit? As you know, both Labour and the Tories prefer the latter option.

Uncreative
Nov 6 2013 09:40
GLOKD wrote:
I was killing two birds with one stone, but you weren't to know.

Two birds, or 500 birds?

Mr. Jolly
Nov 6 2013 10:50
Quote:
White. Noise. We live in one of the freest, least violent countries in the world and have a government that, on the whole, respects our freedom, does not harass us and spends most of its wealth on a broad range of vital public services.

mmm we are one of the most surveilled populations on the planet. You are confusing 'being free' with freedom of speech. True, freedom of speech has been central to cultural sensibilities since Milton and the appearance of the printing press, that is not the same as freedom, the ability to collectively withdraw ones labour, the right to organise freely in the streets, total control of public spaces, the ability of the police to kill with impunity, and other techniques of state power, does not make a free society...

Serge Forward
Nov 6 2013 14:32

I know it's be nice to newbies and all that but this GLOKD character is just a wind up merchant who has no interest in what any of us say. He/she has already decided what we're about and has no intention of letting a little bit of reading or engaging in meaningful discussion get in the way of a shit argument. What an utter bell end. Chilli linking to The little book of bad arguments is spot on.