In the real world

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timl's picture
timl
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Oct 18 2009 19:13
In the real world

In the real world. I think its important for us to not keep fighting ourselves but to present Anarchist ideas in simple real world ways so normal people can understand.

What solution would you propose for the following areas:

Health
E.G. Local health service?

Food
E.G. How to get food from abroad, fruit etc

Transport
E.G. Free passes

Tokens/bartering/LETS
E.G. Should the amount of work you do directly relate to how much you can receive?

Housing
E.G. Renting or open access homes?

Energy warmth etc
E.G. Micro energy generation

Association & socialising
E.G. Places to meet etc

Any other examples?

In an anarchist world you would/will be asked so let's be creative!

radicalgraffiti
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Oct 18 2009 19:44

are you talking about after the revolution? or now?

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timl
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Oct 18 2009 20:52

I'm talking about instead of a revolution, starting
the change now and putting in place those organizations
we would like to see.

But if you prefer, after a revolution.

Thats my place of starting, so what's your views?

Yorkie Bar
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Oct 18 2009 21:57
Quote:
Health
E.G. Local health service?

Uh, you do know they have that now? They're called GPs. I don't see how that's 'anarchist' really.

Quote:
Food
E.G. How to get food from abroad, fruit etc

Again, they have this now, boats and such. Again, don't see the relevance to anarchism.

Quote:
Transport
E.G. Free passes

Why would you bother giving out passes if they're free for everyone? Seems like a bit of needless paperwork. Once again, not really seeing how this relates to anarchism.

Quote:
Tokens/bartering/LETS
E.G. Should the amount of work you do directly relate to how much you can receive?

Yeah, once again, they have this now. It's called wages, it's what capitalism is based on. This one is relevant to anarchism, in a fundamental sense, but I think the answer should be kinda obvious.

Quote:
Housing
E.G. Renting or open access homes?

Yeah, they've got renting now too. Those of us who have to pay them would mostly be glad to see the back of them. Don't know about 'open access homes' what's that?

Quote:
Energy warmth etc
E.G. Micro energy generation

Um, they have this now too. Actually, the state will pay you to do it.

Quote:
Association & socialising
E.G. Places to meet etc

Yep, see, that's something else that already exists.

I don't really see what you're on about. I mean, what you've posted is just a long list of questions to which the answers seem rather obvious - since they've already been done.

~J.

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timl
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Oct 18 2009 23:05

Hi BigLittleJ

Yes they have been done in that form, but I only made suggestions of areas that you could propose better solutions about. I didn't intend people to answer my suggestions, but to post your own.

To me anarchism is about a better arrangements. How to organize things better for everyone.

Sometimes I feel we get entangled in the minutae of theory when what we could usefully be doing is anarchising every day life.

What things in your normal day could be organized in a more anarchistic way?

What can you do today to start moving them in that way?

There are many voluntary & mutual organizations running parallel to the official ones that can help people live in a more anarchistic way today.

Yorkie Bar
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Oct 18 2009 23:46

OK, I understand. I think your approach is a little misguided; I'll explain why.

Right now, in the real world, we don't actually have any say over how these things are managed. That's because, in the real world, these things are organised not according to our human needs, but according to the needs of the economy. Once you understand that, you have to see that coming up with ideas isn't enough - you need to actually do something to make them happen.

For instance, to take one example, free passes on busses: now, you could suggest this to the company that runs your local bus service, but they will be unlikely to take the idea very seriously. This is because the economy will punish them if they don't make passengers pay a high enough price to ride on their busses.

So, what anarchists try to do today, in the real world, is to fight against the power of the economy, primarily at its source - in the workplace. By organising together as workers we can resist that power, improve our standard of living, and one day maybe bring the whole system crashing down, clearing the way for a new system of production where wealth exists only to serve our needs, and not the other way around.

~J.

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timl
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Oct 19 2009 08:22

Hi J

I'm sure you are right about the passes for busses.

However I do think there are some practical things we can do today
to make society more anarchistically organized.

Coops, credit unions & LETS are a few examples.

Any suggestions?

Yorkie Bar
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Oct 19 2009 10:24

But the thing is, co-ops, credit unions and so on exist within the economy and are ruled by the same laws. So a co-op has to cut its members pay and charge as much as it can for its products, or it will go out of business, because market forces make them.

IMO, anarchism can only happen in open conflict with the market and with capitalism. If we want to fight for our needs, we have to fight against the forces of the capitalist market, and the bosses who embody those forces in the workplace.

~J.

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Oct 19 2009 18:02

It is possible that some of us are a bit utopian when bread and butter issues are calling for an anarchist solution today.

For transport, why not get 10 anarchist friends to donate every month & drive a free minibus to & from the hospital?

You could give every passenger a simple non-denominational anarchist leaflet.

Stuff like that is useful for normal people & is outside the system.

smile

Yorkie Bar
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Oct 19 2009 18:12

Try it and see what happens. Bet you anything it will be next to useless to 'normal people', who would much rather get an ambulance with trained paramedics and medical equipment than a bunch of politicos with a van and a 'non-denominational' leaflet.

Anyway, it patently wouldn't be 'outside the system'. The van will have been built in a factory by wage workers, will run on fuel produced and sold for the market and for profit, and the same goes for the hospital. Even the road network you'd be using is ultimately maintained & run in the interests of the economy. You can't just 'drop out' that easily from a global productive system. And even if we could, why would we want to do that, and turn our back on centuries of wealth that have been built up, when we could take back that wealth for ourselves.

If you want to do something like this, why not just volunteer as an ambulance driver? That's no more or less anarchic IMO, and would actually help normal people.

~J.

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Oct 19 2009 18:55

OK so what do you suggest while we're waiting?

I understand you believe we need to wait until after the revolution. I'm sure its not your intention to appear to be pouring cold water on creative suggestions, but why are you only saying why things Won't work?

Perhaps some others can think of something useful today for real needs in day to day life? We have meals to make, children to look after, homes to take care of, and partners.

Is anything worth trying?

If we put it all off we might be in danger of never creating something.

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jaocheu
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Oct 19 2009 19:00
BigLittleJ wrote:
So, what anarchists try to do today, in the real world, is to fight against the power of the economy, primarily at its source - in the workplace. By organising together as workers we can resist that power, improve our standard of living, and one day maybe bring the whole system crashing down, clearing the way for a new system of production where wealth exists only to serve our needs, and not the other way around.

In the 'real world' surely you mean in their wet dreams.

Workers organising in the work place cannot resist the power of the economy, the workplace is the economy. You might as well say we'll join the army to resist the power of war.

You're seriously suggesting you're capable of bringing the system down, ok where's your powerbase?

No-one can create anything without experience, lets do bugger all pray for a revolution then we'll all know how to create utopia not a blood bath when it happens.

I've heard this for decades from trots.

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Oct 19 2009 19:06

jaocheu, what practical measures do you think we could reasonably adopt?

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tina
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Oct 19 2009 21:15

OK Weeler so what do you suggest for normal everyday life?

Lets have some constructive suggestions!

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Oct 19 2009 22:43

What I think we might be missing here is a simple easy to understand guide to the aims of anarchism.

We mostly seem to agree that workplaces should be under the control of people working in them, some of us go beyond to other organisations.

Also how do we communicate and co-operate between circles of organization?

We need in simple clear English, a guide to our ideas, how to get to them, and how to promote them to the typical working person in the street or on the bus.

Any organization that does that has a real chance of starting to spread anarchist ideas without scaring away average people who today know no better.

Talk of revolutions, struggling & fighting (whatever the rights and wrongs) just scare people away where constructive ideas & really listening to people's ideas would make a world of difference to most people.

There is so much baggage in anarchism & more written theory than I've ever seen in any other group in my life, and dare I say it, possibly infighting as well. Isn't what the current situation want? Why don't we come to agreements on the things we can, if churches can, so can anarchists! If we can't do this now, how can we do this after society has changed?

If we can do this, perhaps we can start to make a real difference.

What do you say? Is it even possible? Never mind what I think, what do YOU think?

Peace!

Caiman del Barrio
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Oct 19 2009 23:53
weeler wrote:
You have the right idea in terms of "we need to organise in ways that are relevant to day to day life" but then you just say stupid things that are in no way a threat to capitalism like co-ops, buying a van???? and so on.

To be fair, if it was a bunch of regular patients and family members organising it in tandem with overworked paramedics and hospital staff...

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Oct 20 2009 10:35

State? Do you believe in a state being a solution?

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tina
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Oct 20 2009 10:47

We need to provide for everyone's needs within an anarchist framework of organization.

As to how we do that we have differing opinions from creating a non-state within a state until it takes over to destroying the state.

I'm sure you have some insight and knowledge into areas around you and welcome the chance to learn from each other equally & with mutual respect.

Some of us believe in pacifism others do not.

As anarchists we need to accept everyones views equally.

That is how I see it IMO.

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Oct 20 2009 10:56

Surely the point is to build up a political presence within the class and contribute to the process that brings about the revolution rather than running minibuses.

It's by managing the struggle that the working class will acquire the solidarity, organisation, and consciousness it will need to build a new society.

futility index
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Oct 20 2009 11:22
jaocheu wrote:
Workers organising in the work place cannot resist the power of the economy, the workplace is the economy. You might as well say we'll join the army to resist the power of war.

Workers are the economy, as soldiers are the military. If either group collectively refuses to work then the 'power of the economy' and the 'power of war' have both been successfully 'resisted' haven't they?

tina wrote:
As to how we do that we have differing opinions from creating a non-state within a state until it takes over to destroying the state.

Your state within a state is a dead end. The solutions you proposed (minivan to hospitals etc) are no different from being a charity within capitalism (dealing with the social ills that system creates). Anarchism isn't about altruism, its about mutual benefit. If some people are involved in a successful workplace occupation and get what they want from their bosses, that's anarchism in action. They used their collective power to *force* the boss to cough up, or else. The mass realisation of that collective power has the potential to destroy the state and create a new world, as history has shown. What your proposing is simply being nice to people (and expending your own limited resources doing it) in the hope they are nice to you back.

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Oct 20 2009 11:25

And which do you think is more likely to be done in a widespread way?

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Joseph Kay
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Oct 20 2009 11:32
tina wrote:
And which do you think is more likely to be done in a widespread way?

this year in the UK alone, thousands of workers have taken part in unlawful wildcat strikes, hundreds have occupied factories and schools and around a hundred thousand Royal Mail workers are set to strike on Thursday and Friday. and this is a relatively low period of class struggle. how many anarchist minibuses are there?

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Oct 20 2009 11:33

OK Joseph I don't disagree with you, I agree with you, but I think we need to work in more than one way at once.

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Joseph Kay
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Oct 20 2009 11:35
tina wrote:
OK Joseph I don't disagree with you, I agree with you, but I think we need to work in more than one way at once.

well that all depends on which 'ways' you have in mind. BigLittleJ has addressed the ones in the opening post.

futility index
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Oct 20 2009 11:36

Workplace struggle, since it is currently and has always been 'done in a widespread way' around the world.

A quick glance at the history books shows how class struggle can lead to revolution - please explain how your strategy would lead to the eventual withering away of the state and capitalism.

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Oct 20 2009 11:39

I wouldn't say I have all the ideas, I'm asking everyone for their ideas so we can discuss it & come to agreements about this idea.

Basically if we build up the alternatives they can become strong enough to use every day.

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smg
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Oct 20 2009 11:47

Tina I would suggest reading some of the articles in the news, library and history section of libcom. It might give you a better idea of where people are coming from.

futility index
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Oct 20 2009 11:51
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I wouldn't say I have all the ideas, I'm asking everyone for their ideas so we can discuss it & come to agreements about this idea.

If you can't demonstrate how a strategy develops into its goal it doesn't say much for that strategy. The general consensus here is that states within states will not work.

Yorkie Bar
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Oct 20 2009 12:22
jaocheu wrote:
In the 'real world' surely you mean in their wet dreams.

?

jaocheu wrote:
Workers organising in the work place cannot resist the power of the economy, the workplace is the economy. You might as well say we'll join the army to resist the power of war.

That's like saying slaves can't resist slaver because they're slaves!

It's precisely because the workplace is the point of origin of economic power that it is the place where that power is vulnerable. History shows our bosses and their state are really perfectly happy for revolutionaries to stand in elections, or run charities, or co-ops, etc. What they're afraid of is direct action on the job.

jaocheu wrote:
You're seriously suggesting you're capable of bringing the system down

If by 'you' you mean me, the incredibly clever, handsome man behind the keyboard here, then no I'm not suggesting that. However, if you mean us, that is workers all over the world, as a class, then yes. I do think we're capable of it.

jaocheu wrote:
No-one can create anything without experience, lets do bugger all pray for a revolution then we'll all know how to create utopia not a blood bath when it happens.

These revolutionary blood baths are just great for your skin, apparently.

jaocheu wrote:
I've heard this for decades from trots.

Then you should have listened to them, you might have learned something.

tina wrote:
What I think we might be missing here is a simple easy to understand guide to the aims of anarchism.

A simple, easy to understand guide to the aims of anarchism.

tina wrote:
Also how do we communicate and co-operate between circles of organization?

Using mandated, recallable delegates.

tina wrote:
Talk of revolutions, struggling & fighting (whatever the rights and wrongs) just scare people away where constructive ideas & really listening to people's ideas would make a world of difference to most people.

Yeah, I agree that revolution is a prospect that frightens most workers rather than motivates them, but in the end that's what we're offering and we shouldn't lie about that just to be more appealing. I mean, we could say anything to make people like us, but if we're not telling them the truth what's the point? If workers like the 'constructive ideas' of anarchism but aren't prepared to struggle for it, then we've wasted our time talking to them. If we can't convince our fellow workers that a revolution is necessary, then we, as revolutionaries, aren't going to get anywhere are we? No matter how appealing we make ourselves (and I personally am very appealing).

Quote:
There is so much baggage in anarchism & more written theory than I've ever seen in any other group in my life,

Seriously, there isn't a lot to anarchist theory. I would regard that as the movement's greatest weakness, historically. For instance, I have Kropotkin's Fields Factories & Workshops on my shelf now, sat next to the three volumes of Capital. It's kind of obvious who the theoretical heavyweight was.

~J.

Yorkie Bar
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Oct 20 2009 12:54

I really should be doing something productive between lectures rather than posting on libcom, but Weeler's approval makes it all seem worthwhile.

~J.

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Steven.
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Oct 20 2009 13:49

Yes, it's posts like these putting you well in the running for best newcomer 2009!