Methods of effecting essential changes in consciousness, which precede and provoke evolutionary or revolutionary transformations (from within or from without) in the networks of political power, structures of capital, and social programs ... willingly, reluctantly, inadvertently ...
But is power or wealth ever renounced willingly?
A political philosophy which holds, in the words of the American anarchist Josiah Warren (1798-1874), an early follower of Robert Owen, that 'every man should be his own government, his own law, his own church.' The idea that governmental interference or even the mere existence of authority is inherently bad is as old as Zeno, the Greek Stoic philosopher, who believed that compulsion perverts the normal nature of man. William Godwin's Enquiry Concerning Political Justice (1793) was the first systematic exposition of the doctrine. Godwin (father-in-law of Shelley) claimed that man is by nature sociable, co-operative, rational, and good when given the choice to act freely; that under such conditions men will form voluntary groups to work in complete social harmony. Such groups or communities would be based on equality of income, no state control, and no property: this state of affairs would be brought about by rational discussion and persuasion rather than by revolution.
The French economist Proudhon (1809-65) was the first to bring anarchism to the status of a mass movement. In his book What is Property? he stated bluntly that 'property is theft' and 'governments are the scourge of God'. He urged the formation of co-operative credit banks where money could be had without interest and goods would be exchanged at cost value at a rate representing the hours of work needed to produce each commodity. Like Godwin, he disapproved of violence but, unlike Marx, disapproved of trade unions as representing organised groups.
In Communistic anarchism these ideas were combined with a revolutionary philosophy, primarily by the Russians Michael Bakunin (1814-76) and Peter Kropotkin (1842-1921) who favoured training workers in the technique of 'direct action' to overthrow the state by all possible means, including political assassinations. In 1868 anarchists joined the First International which broke up a few years later after a bitter struggle between Bakuninists and Marxists. Subsequently small anarchist groups murdered such political figures as Tsar Alexander II of Russia, King Humbert of Italy, Presidents Carnot of France and MacKinley of America, and the Empress Elizabeth of Austria.
Anarchism and communism differ in three main ways: (1) anarchism forms no political party, rejects all relationships with established authority, and regards democratic reform as a setback; (2) communism is against capitalism, anarchism against the state as such; (3) both have the final goal as a classless society, but anarchism rejects the idea of an intermediate period of socialist state control accepted by communism. Philosophical anarchists, such as the American writer Henry David Thoreau (1817-62), were primarily individualists who believed in a return to nature, the non-payment of taxes, and passive resistance to state control; in these respects Thoreau strongly influenced Gandhi as did the Christian anarchist Tolstoy.
Anarchism has traditionally been criticised as being impractical— e.g., in a non-authoritarian society, who is going to look after the sewers or clean the streets?-- and there is a good deal of force to this argument. In fact anarchistic ideas became progressively less fashionable in the first half of this century. A curious and probably significant revival of interest has taken place in recent years, however, probably because of the growing sense of disillusion, particularly on the part of young people, with the progress of orthodox political systems.
A sect of Moslem Shi'ites, founded by the Perian Hasan i Sabbah (c.1090), which for more than two centuries established a rule of terror all over Persia and Syria. The coming of the Mongols in 1256 destroyed them in Persia and the Syrian branch suffered a similar fate at the hands of the then Mamluk sultan of Eygpt, c.1270. It was a secret order, ruled over by a grand master, under whom the members were strictly organised into classes, according to the degree of initiation into the secrets of the order. The devotees, belonging to one of the lower groups, carried out the actual assassinations under strict laws of obedience, and total ignorance of the objects and ritual of the society. It is believed that the latter were given ecstatic visions under the influence of hashish, whence the term hashashin, which became corrupted to 'assassin'.
A secret society founded in 1776 by Adam Weishaupt, a Bavarian professor of canon law at Ingolstadt, in an attempt to combat superstition and ignorance by founding an association for rational enlightenment and the regeneration of the world. 'He tried to give the social ideals of the Enlightenment realisation by conspiratorial means' (J.M. Roberts, The Mythology of the Secret Societies, 1972). Under conditions of secrecy it sought to penetrate and control the masonic lodges for subversive purposes. Among its members were Goethe and Schiller. The Order spread to Austria, Italy and Hungary but was condemned by the Catholic Church and dissolved in 1785 by the Bavarian government.
The change from polytheism and monotheism and its dire consequences:
We see how, from a seed, Gnosis grows into a tree that starts to split into branches; some branches remain virtual, some actually grow. The generative model of gnostic systems is actually a Tree, the Tree of Gnosis. From this Tree of Knowledge scholars, in their respect for tradition, seldom eat; but once they do, they must acknowledge to what extent human beliefs and theories are related to human games.
At this point all Western dualists without exception feel that they should settle their account with the Book of Genesis. Here the game changes. It becomes sequential, like a board game in which the character advances by rolling the dice**; and any square he or she lands on presents a multiple-choice case (on which a few other choices may depend). Any of the gnostic groups that produce texts seem to play the board game anew every time, and thus the results are different - they are transformations of each other.
This operation can be understood through the simple use of morphology.
Having once decided that the Old Testament is the Scripture of a lower god, the board game played on the Book of Genesis is easy to follow and is, entirely and exclusively, a logical game. Sometimes it gives the impression of "borrowings", (LINK to Plagiarism) but what is borrowed are logical "bricks" that circulate and perpetuate the sequential transformation of each reading of Genesis. And each reading is new and part of a "map of misprision" that will never be complete. Let us follow this board game as it develops ...
Professor Ioan Coulianu, colleague of Mircea Eliade, was murdered in the Divinity school of the University of Chicago on May 21, 1991. The person who shot him point blank through the head, has never been found.
Qv: Eros, Magic, and the Murder of Professor Coulianu
"Founding father of linguistic philosophy and tireless scourge of US imperialism."
"Chomsky has been a lifelong anarchist or 'libertarian socialist' - not a doctrine but a 'tendency in human thought' - he believes 'violence, deceit and lawlessness are natural functions of the state.'"
In his 1966 essay The Responsibility of Intellectuals', Chomsky describes their duty as being 'to speak the truth and expose lies'.
In Manufacturing Consent, co-authored with Edward Herman, Chomsky proposed a model of the mass media that moulds this consent with bias and omission. 'Propaganda is to democracy what violence is to totalitarianism,' they wrote. While some see the 'propaganda model' as reducing everyone to dupes or liars, others have dismissed it as conspiracy theory. 'It's exactly the opposite - it's free-market theory,' says Chomsky. 'The media are major corporations. They sell a product (readers or viewers) to a market (advertisers).'
Maya Jaggi interview:
The Guardian Saturday Review: 20 January 2001
Lord advocate queries 'justified' defence for Trident lab attack
Three anti-nuclear protesters who escaped a conviction for criminal damage by arguing that they were justified in trying to destroy illegal weapons of mass destruction will go back to court today in an important test case on whether international law can provide a defence in a UK criminal court.
Angela Zelter, Ellen Moxley and Ulla Roder boarded the floating laboratory Maytime, part of the Trident nuclear submarine programme, June 1999 and threw equipment worth several hundred thousand pounds into Loch Goil. The lab researches, tests and maintains Trident's abilityto remain undetected underwater.
The three were charged with criminal damage and sent for trial at Greenock sheriff court in October 1999. They admitted causing damage but argued they had no criminal intent.
Their defence was that they were acting to prevent a greater crime by disarming illegal weapons of mass destruction.
Sheriff Margaret Gimblett directed the jury to acquit them. She ruled that there was no criminal intent in their action because it was based on a belief that they were acting against a continuing criminal conspiracy to contravene international humanitarian law.
Now the lord advocate, who heads Scotland's prosecution system, is challenging the surprise ruling in a five-day hearing which opens in the high court in Edinburgh today. He will use a device invoked in only around one case a year - the lord advocate's reference - to seek a decision that the in sheriff's ruling was legally wrong.
In all six, cases in which the reference has been used so far, the high court judges ruled against the trial judge. The outcome of the case will not affect the women's acquittal but will establish a legal precedent for trial judges in future cases.
Ms Zelter is representing herself in the high court proceedings, while the other two will be represented by lawyers.
In 1996 the international court of justice, asked for an advisory opinion on the legality of nuclear weapons by the World Health Organisation, concluded: "The threat or use of nuclear weapons would generally be contrary to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflicts, and in particular the principles and rules of international law?
However, the opinion was limited to times of war.
The high court judges will have to decide the answers to four questions.
These are: whether evidence about international law can be given in a Scottish criminal prosecution; whether any rule of international law justifies damaging or destroying property because of an objection to nuclear weapons; whether defendants' belief that their actions were justified constitutes a defence; and whether the fact that an offence was committed to prevent a crime by another person is a general defence to a criminal charge. Even if the judges rule that such a defence cannot be used in future cases, there will be nothing to prevent juries acquitting if they sympathise with the defendants, even if they have no valid defence in law.
The women belong to Trident Ploughshares, a UK-based campaign whose members from 14 countries pledge to "prevent nuclear crime by engaging in peaceful acts of practical disarmament".
Atomic energy chiefs are preparing to announce how they intend to decommission the Dounreay nuclear reprocessing plant, in the north of Scotland, which is due to close in 2004. The decommissioning of the site is estimated to cost £4bn and is deemed likely to take as much as 60 years to complete.
Environmental lobbyists were yesterday putting pressure on the UK atomic energy authority, which owns die reprocessing plant, not to start reprocessing fuel as part of the shutdown procedure.
9 October 2000
enters US air base ahead of Star Wars test.
By Mary Dejevsky in Washington.
A Group of Greenpeace activists managed to penetrate the Vandenberg Air Force base in California yesterday, just hours before a crucial missile test, the organisation has claimed. The test, planned for the early hours of this morning, could determine whether the United States proceeds with its controversial national missile defence system (NMD).
The presence of outsiders near the launch site could force a postponement, giving Greenpeace a publicity coup to rival the feats of its glory days in the Eighties and early Nineties.
The Greenpeace claim was contested, but not categorically denied, by the public affairs director of the base, Major John Cherry, who said that a dozen or so protesters with 'Stop Star Wars!' placards had been outside the main gate since Wednesday, unable to get in. The base, he said, was on its second highest security alert and it was 'highly unlikely" that anyone could get in.
He admitted, however, that one person had been apprehended eight miles from the facility, apparently attempting to enter by the only other route: mountainous terrain covered with chest-high scrub and infested with snakes. That individual, he said, had refused to identify himself. US Air Force and Pentagon officials in Washington declined to comment on the Greenpeace claim, and it was unclear if the missile launch would be affected.
Steve Shallhorn, US campaign director for Greenpeace, said the group had 'just walked' into the base on Thursday evening and had got 'quite close to the missile'. They had moved by night and would reveal themselves, he said 'immediately prior to the launch'.
A missile was due to be launched from the base overnight and a weapon was to be fired from Kwajalein Atoll 4,300 miles away in the Pacific in an attempt to destroy it. This is the third of three such tests; of the two previous attempts, one succeeded.
The NMD project has provoked fierce controversy, both in the US and abroad. China and Russia both repeated their strong objections to US plans yesterday; European members of Nato, as well as Australia and Canada, have made their misgivings known more discreetly.
Police draw up plans to protect the headquarters of Britain's biggest companies against demonstrations.
City Firms face 'direct action' by extremists.
The Police are drawing up emergency plans to protect the headquarters of some of Britain's biggest companies amid growing evidence that 'direct action' protest groups are planning to attack them.
After the success of tactics that almost brought the controversial animal research laboratory Huntingdon Life Sciences to its knees, police believe campaigners are to take their protests to financial institutions and head offices in the City of London.
New evidence suggests the London headquarters of British Petroleum is to be the next target. Protesters campaigning to free Tibet from Chinese rule are planning to demonstrate against the oil company.
Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (Shac) brought Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire to within hours of bankruptcy two weeks ago by harassing its customers, shareholders and directors of companies linked with it. This included demonstrations outside the City offices of the Royal Bank of Scotland, which had lent the laboratory £22m. Because of the parallel campaign of hate mail, telephone threats and fire-bombings, headquarters' supporters withdrew one by one.
Police fear other campaign groups will follow Shac's example of taking their grievances to the top. They consider head offices particularly vulnerable, and the City has a high proportion of them.
In an interview with The Independent, Commander Frank Armstrong, the new head of operations at the City of London police, said: 'Clearly if animal rights and other pressure groups start targeting institutions in the City we are going to have a very busy time ahead.
'You have people who feel very passionately about their causes. They will do anything. I think it's about being able to respond to the unpredictable.'
Other organisations, such as Reclaim the Streets and anti-capitalists, might be getting ideas from the Shac tactics. We are very aware of the need to protect our communities in the City of London — the banks and financial institutions.'
The City police force revised its anti-riot techniques after the violence and destruction that broke out during the anti-capitalist demonstrations in the City of London on 18 June 1999.
Special Branch intelligence discovered that a hard core of protesters used a carefully orchestrated plan of attack for the riots, which caused more than £1m of damage. Organisers used hires vehicles loaded with missiles to block roads while the ringleaders disguised themselves as businessmen.
Assistant Commissioner James Hart, of the City of London force, said police training and tactics were having to evolve again to cope with an even more highly trained brand of protester. In future, specialist teams of detectives will use photographs and floor plans of buildings that demonstrators are expected to target to draw up contingency measures.
The latest company under threat is British Petroleum. In a BBC report to be screened on BBC One's Breakfast programme today, 300 protestors from Students for a Free Tibet — including Britons — can be seen at a training camp in Southern California learning the arts of civil disobedience.
The camp, run by the Ruckus Society, of which the Body Shop founder Anita Roddick is a director, teaches peaceful protest, shows students how to climb buildings safely to hang banners, gives advice on targeting companies and demonstrates how to chain yourself to railings. Course fees are 400 (£280) per head.
On 15 February, New York-based Students for a Free Tibet plans to blockade BP petrol stations and offices worldwide to protest against the company's decision to take a 2.2 per cent stake in the Chinese state petroleum company. The campaigners claim the company is sharing China's exploitation of Tibet's resources.
In the report, the group's director, Jon Hocevar, points at his supporters and says: 'These people here are the ones who are going to be hanging off buildings, blockading BP offices and directly confronting BP executives holding them directly accountable.
'I don't think BP realises what they are in for yet but if they fail to use their influence to stop this pipeline, these people here will very quickly make them realise the folly of that policy.'
Mr Hocevar told The Independent that no supporters would be coming to London from America. However, its sister organisation in Britain, the Free Tibet campaign, said it would not rule out involvement on a peaceful basis.
BP said it was aware of the threat and had made 'appropriate' arrangements.
A spokesman for the Confederation of British Industry declined to comment on security matters but said the organisation would continue to press the Government to change the law to prevent the disclosure of the private addresses of company directors.
In a statement, Ms Roddick said: 'All the great advances in human rights and environmental protests have been made by ordinary citizens taking it personally and through acts of peaceful civil disobedience. However I deplore any form of violence whatever the cause they purport to support. The Ruckus Society is an officially recognised and open organisation with offices and full-time staff. I have no problem in supporting it.'
By Jason Bennetto, Steve Bogan and Fergal Parkinson.
The Independent 29 January 2001
Behind the cordon, a confession. Globalisation is not delivering.
Larry Elliott in Davos.
How you can talk about globalisation, without the globalisers?
It was like Hamlet without the Prince in Davos yesterday. Everything else was in place for the great annual celebration of the global economy — snow, tight security around the brutalist conference centre, sessions on the next internet revolution — but there were no Americans.
Or rather there were none of the Americans that people wanted to see, the men and women who will be running the world's biggest economy under the new president. If last year's Davos was dominated by the three Ws as faith in the money-making capacity of the world wide web, this year the focus was on one W — the W in George W Bush.
The absence of the new movers and shakers in Washington was only to be expected after the protracted wrangling over the election meant a shorter-than-usual transition. Bush's cabinet and his policy wonks are not yet ready for a few days schmoozing in the Swiss Alps. But it gave the first full day of proceedings an unreal feel. As one participant said: 'It's all a bit flat. How can you talk about globalisation without the globalisers?'
In previous years Davos has been turned into a orgy of American self-congratulation as the performance of the US economy and the pioneering role of Silicon Valley has allowed the Clinton administration to lecture the rest of the world on the benefits of the unfettered Anglo-Saxon model. Clinton himself was in town last year; his treasury secretary, Larry Summers, was ever-present.
This year it has been different for two reasons. First, the US economy has run into its first serious trouble for a decade, which has meant that those Americans who have turned up have had some explaining to do. Second, participants at Davos have been unable to ignore the fact that 10 years after the collapse of communism ushered in globalisation's year zero, old problems such as inequality, remain unsolved, while new problems, such as the spread of HIV/Aids and the threat to the environment, have emerged.
As such, it was inevitable that some different voices would have been heard this year, even had the Bush team turned up in force. Had the anti-globalisation protesters' been able to break through the security cordon set up by the Swiss authorities after Seattle and Prague, they would have found the opening session given over to voices of the south, not the north. It began with a film so right-on it could have been made by any committed NGO (with a big enough budget) in which scenes of technological break-throughs in the West were juxtaposed with starving children and human rights abuses in the developing world.
The protesters would have liked the blunt acknowledgement by Claus Smadja, managing director of the World Economic Forum, that 'globalisation is not delivering the goods and cannot be dictated by the priorities and concerns of only one part of the world.
Finally it was the turn of Benjamin Mkapa, president of Tanzania, one of the world's poorest countries. Obviously sick of hearing the platitude that globalisation was good for everybody, Mr Mkapa said: 'Globalisation can deliver, just as Tanzania can play in the world cup and win it.'
John Sweeney, the American trade union leader, made similar heretical comments a few years ago to stony silence. Mkapa was cheered, though there were no protesters in sight. To the chagrin of locals, Davos has been turned into an armed camp, with road blocks on the streets and all trains cancelled.
Despite the security, the message seems to be getting through. Globalisation is not a homogeneous take-it-or-leave-it product. The American way is not the only way. And while Hamlet without the prince is not much of a play, Shakespeare wrote plenty of others.
www.earthtimes. org/forum news/daily.htm
World Economic Forum news. daily.htm
The Guardian 27 January 2001
Planning a winter break in Switzerland? Be careful what you bring as holiday reading. On Friday, members of Bookmarks staff were refused entry at the Swiss border on their way to Zurich to do a bookstall at a conference organised in opposition to the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos (The South rises as Bush fails to show, January 27). They had books that the Swiss border guards deemed as too subversive and dangerous to be allowed in while the world's economic leaders were in the country.
The books in question? Captive State by Guardian columnist George Monbiot, and No Logo by Naomi Klein, which came third and first respectively in the Guardian's best-selling books last year. After hours of pressure and out-cry here and in Switzerland the authorities finally backed down and the books and book-sellers were allowed in.
Sir: I read Naomi Klein's book and listened to her talk in central London. It was all beautifully done. But, old Marxist fuddy-duddy that I am, kept asking myself: 'Yes but what is it about? What does she want?' Now I've read her piece (Outflanking the rich and powerful, October 26), all is clear. No need to worry about the destruction of the environment, the attacks on trade union and democratic rights, the fact that a set of zillionaire nutters is now running the White House and the Pentagon on behalf of the biggest of big business. Being outflanked will cause them to collapse like a pack of cards. Why didn't we think of it before?
Cyril Smith; London.
LETTERS to the EDITOR:
The Guardian 29 January 2001
"No harm in having the rationale straightened out,
before we go in with guns!" PARIS. 1968? Fanon? Cohn-Bhendit?
Or: Milton Crookshank: (From his anarchist novel: Death My Bride.)?
Or: NORA ... "NORA and ... "
The inevitability of his 'return', the simple and undeniable truth of his vision of transforming humanity into objects - objects desiring objects and achieving pbjectification of their bodies and minds - as the cult of the shareholder (as ruler of the universe) and the free market finally destroys the entire eco-structure. And wipes out life as we know it.
I forget what I was going to post into this satellite ... a few postcards on the subject of Bruno's Art of Memory ... but I forget the trigger word, the see-saw pivot word, the erotic hypertext link that bonds remembering and imagining ... To have no memory is to have no identity. No name.
The entire cosmos, each to his own imagined scenario. Remembered as an etching on a grain of sand, sprayed with a single layer of atoms of gold. Light, transformed into matter. Fool's gold, the mask of god the father ...
Imagination, an endless labyrinth defying reason's philistine dream of anonymity.
The cusp, which is the iRony on which (between which) consciousness hovers ...