anti authoritarianism

From A Friend:

Important ideas for moving forward into the new world:

1: collectivize EVERYTHING. we need medical collectives that go beyond first aid and street safety, we need self defense collectives, food and clothing production and distribution collectives, etc etc etc. WE MUST START INFRASTRUCTURALLY SUPPORTING EACH OTHER OUTSIDE OF THE CAPITALIST PARADIGM

2: DO LEGAL SUPPORT FOR PEOPLE WHO GET ARRESTED, ESPECIALLY THOSE MORE RADICAL THAN YOU. historically, anarchists and other anticapitalist anti authoritarians have fundraised and supported the actions and legal defense teams of liberals and progressives. we no longer have the time or resources to do that. its our turn. support us or fuck off.

3: PHYSICALLY DEFEND PEOPLE OF MARGINALIZED COMMUNITIES. use your privilege to keep others safe. whether that means going to the store with them or punching nazis in the face.

4: NORMALIZE RESISTANCE, NEVER NORMALIZE OR LEGITIMIZE FASCISM. we must CONSTANTLY resist the idea that genocidal fascist and capitalist ideologies are in any way to be debated. they must be destroyed. likewise, it is CRITICAL that we shatter the narrative that those who participate in active resistance are somehow morally responsible for state repression. DO NOT LET PEOPLE GET AWAY WITH FRAMING BLM, INDIGENOUS WARRIORS, ANTIFA, ETC AS THE ENEMY. the true enemy is the social order that has created a white supremacist fascist hell that seeks to destroy every bit of liberty we fight so fucking hard for.

5: FIGHT HOW YOU CAN. Every act of resistance matters. Social media, in the streets, at home. Staying alive and as healthy as possible is resistance. Punching nazis in the face is resistance. Standing up to the fascist police state is resistance. Don’t overextend yourself, and do not EVER imply that those who engage in their resistance in a way that is different or more/less militant than yours (assuming similar goals of course) are somehow morally inferior. We are in this for the long haul and it is IMPERATIVE that we take care of ourselves. Supporters AND those in the streets need to remember that neither would be effective without the other, and every person’s role, however they choose to engage, is vital.

6: NEVER FUCKING SNITCH This one is self explanatory. Don’t sell out anyone on our team. This includes taking pictures of faces at demos, theorizing about who may have done what “illegal” act, and other forms of soft snitching.

7: BE STEADFAST This is going to be a long and bumpy road. You will get scared, demoralized and hopeless many many times. But there is light in the darkness, and we are making it grow.

Every blow given to the institutions of private property and to the government, every exaltation of the conscience of man, disruption of the present conditions, every lie unmasked, every part of human activity taken away from the control of the authorities, every augmentation of the spirit of solidarity and initiative is a step towards Anarchism.
—  Errico Malatesta
And it’s also noteworthy how, despite the way rock and punk rock music is seen (or at least marketed) as being rebellious and anti-authoritarian, Green Day, who in the past were often attacked as being a “kid band” or “lightweight” or “not really punk,” were one of the very few bands to make such a forthright and overt statement.
—  Larry Livermore, regarding Green Day’s AMA performance
So...

In the interests of clarity and for anyone who gives a monkey’s, here’s where I’m at.

Like so many people, I’m worried about the effects on our civilisation of what appears to be an increasing emergence of forces and instincts across Europe and the West with anti-democratic, deeply authoritarian and worryingly demagogic elements.
Whether they come from the left or the right of the political spectrum.
Whether they were part of voting For or Against Brexit.
For or Against Trump.
Or any other of the votes or referendums that are going on.

Any attempt to exploit and stir up the very real worries and fears of people who feel they have been ignored for too long must be regarded with caution.
Too many times in the past that particular tactic has been used to benefit the people doing the stirring and not those they say they want to help. People who see huge amounts of wealth being piled up by those reaping the rewards of business de-regulation and global trade deals but whose own lives and communities are seeing none of it.
They just see more public services being cut, more money being taken away from their local authorities, less opportunity for a secure job, fewer prospects for themselves and their children.
Some communities have lost their own industry and sources of employment as a direct result of other countries benefiting where labor is cheaper and workers are more easily exploited. Or through advances in technology and a skills market that they have become shut out of, with nothing to take its place.
Those communities are justifiably very angry.

How people feel about this has become mixed with a mistrust of the very people and institutions that they’re supposed to be able to rely on - their politicians, the political system itself, the media, the financial sector, the list goes on and on.
A fear that those very institutions have been hollowed out from the inside by people out for all they can get at the expense of everyone else.
A fear that those institutions of democracy have become just a shiny surface with very little of substance left within.
Many good people, of real intregity and with a genuine desire to do something about it are out there working hard to address that mix.
At the same time, it is a mixture ripe for exploitation by people who have no intention of improving those institutions or re-energising the principles of democracy they should represent. They just see an opportunity to further their own self-interested agendas dressed up as a concern for ‘ordinary, hard-working people.’

The shift of the whole political establishment towards the so-called 'centre’ in the 90’s and early 2000’s appears to have created a disconnect in the traditional relationships between various political parties and the people they have always been relied on to represent.
The policies that were pursued then, whether intentionally or not, have been part of encouraging, on the one hand, massive inequality and systemic insecurity domestically and, on the other, a terrifying uncertainty and destabilization internationally.
Subsequently, with no meaningful answers to any of it being offered up by the political establishment, we’re witnessing a move towards populism.

There are no real answers in populism. Just attempts to exploit strong feelings.
Push back against populism and it’s empty rhetoric collapses. Which is why it tries to shut down rational discussion and thoughtful debate. It has to preserve its allure and power by remaining unquestioned and uninvestigated.
So it is that populism can open the door to the threat of demagoguery and all its attendant attacks on the things that any civilized democracy needs to survive - a political system that truly represents the will of the people not just certain sections of it, a fair and balanced press, free and fair elections, an adherence to the rule of law, the existence of an effective opposition, the right of people to demonstrate and organise, and everything else we value for a truly democratic society.
Of course, the important thing to realize, and the thing that the western establishment is now having to come to terms with, is that it is the apparent weakness and corruption that has been allowed to grow in those very things that creates the opportunity for populism and demagoguery to thrive in the first place.

This is how civilisations can break down, how empires can end.

Unless alternatives are brought into existence that not only address the real concerns that people have but also put forward real, meaningful and workable solutions then eventually change is forced to work through whatever options are available. No matter how imperfect.
Or potentially dangerous.
So, at this moment, if we are unhappy with the options before us, the most urgent need must be creating those new alternatives. And accepting that, while populism continues to rise, whatever already exists to oppose it is not working and must change. Either transform or be left behind completely.
Alternatives that encourage an economy that rewards responsibility and innovation as well as wealth creation.
That allows that wealth to be shared more equally.
That supports communities in having more control over their own needs.
That allows people to feel secure enough in their identity and the values of their community to be open to other ways of seeing the world.
That allows everyone to have the opportunity for a good education, a solid job, a comfortable home.

These are not easy things to bring about, obviously.
If they were we’d already have them.

So where do you start?

Well….

Actions speak louder than words and eventually you have to put your money where your mouth is.
If you care you have to at least try. Even if you fail. You have to try.
You start from knowing what you don’t know and how ridiculous you seem and how unprepared you are.
But you start.
And you listen and try to hear.
And go where it takes you.
Try and leave behind left and right and see if you can contribute to solving actual problems that people are having.
Stick to your values.
Stand up for fairness.
For justice.
For kindness.
Stand up to their enemies.
Try not to do more harm than good.
Not give a shit what people call you or accuse you of.
Unless there’s truth in it.
Then have the courage to learn from it.
Be merciless about your own ego.
Know that sometimes you can be what most gets in your own way.
And just keep going until you’re not helping anymore.
If you ever did.
But at least you’ll know you tried.
You have to start somewhere.

And you have to start.

kepzandme  asked:

when you created the universe just for some 'Clint Barton LOL' did you ever imagine LotFW would end up becoming A) so popular, and B) more about Steve having fun as a hotter blonder version of Joe Biden than about President Barton? (i am asking for a friend and for SCIENCE sam)

In defense of Uncle Joe I know people who would legit fight you on the idea that Steve is the hotter one. :D 

The great thing about Steve Rogers is that he is at once an authority figure as the representative of America, an imperial colonial military empire, and an anti-authoritarian, as someone who grew up working-class poor and is under an epic-fantasy level onus, on what might be considered a holy mission, to defend the underdog. When you take that contradiction and add in real legal, world-changing power, beyond Punching Baddies, which comes with it a whole host of diplomatic restrictions, shit gets bananas

I feel like Steve would need Nomad just to keep his sanity. The progress of politics is infinitely slower than the progress of a fistfight, so he would need to be able to remind himself he is still capable of accomplishing something.

I mean I should have expected people would really love his hijinks because we love subversion and Steve has to subvert in order to survive in this situation. What’s mostly surprising really is that I didn’t see Steve’s popularity coming. :D 

I don’t think in any other election year LotFW would have become as popular. I don’t think most people have ever so desperately needed an escapist fantasy as they did when the Republican party’s true colors began to show. We’ve had dumb, racist presidents before, but never so openly or so closely following a genuinely good person in the White House. I don’t really chalk its popularity up to my writing; it’s a moderately funny story but the reason people connect with it so heavily is that it’s a god damned break from the hellscape of our political reality. 

“Nazis are socialists! It says right in the name ‘National Socialist’!”

Okay, and North Korea’s official name is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and it is none of those things besides being in Korea.

The Republicans say they’re for liberty but have done more than another party in US history to strip civil liberties.

The Democrats claim to be for democracy and the voice of the people, but use anti-democratic internal party systems and support anti-democratic legislation.

Mussolini started National Socialism because, “socialism is the enemy of the nation”.

Hell, in the US socialism is short hand for government control when most socialist ideology is anti-statist and anti-authoritarian in nature.

Political terms can be manipulated so much that they basically represent the exact opposite of their meaning.