full democracy

The US was just demoted from “full democracy” to “flawed democracy”

  • For the first time, the United States has officially slipped in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s rankings of global democracy.
  • The U.S. went from “full democracy” to “flawed democracy” — putting us at the same level as countries like Singapore, Italy and India.
  • The EIU is the research and analysis branch of the Economist, which releases a democracy index every year that evaluates countries on such metrics as civil liberties and political participation. 
  • High scorers earn the rating of “full democracy,” while the lowest are labeled “authoritarian regimes.”
  • And for the first time, the U.S. score fell below the 8-point “full Democracy” threshold, landing instead in “flawed Democracy” territory. 
  • But this revelation isn’t all the work of the newly inaugurated President Donald Trump. The report notes that the U.S. has be slipping in the rankings for some time. Read more

This is dangerous.

Threatening to silence an iconic liberal college because of protest against a speaker who is exactly the opposite of the school. Inviting an editor an chief from Breitbart, a hate mongering wannabe news blog, deserved that exact reaction. To pretend like there was going to be fair and equal dialogue is bullshit and plays the role of victim on Yiannopoulos’s part. You chose to go into the dragons den, don’t be mad you got burned. You bring racist, fascist ideas to a campus full of liberal minded, democracy prone, diverse students YES THEY WILL DRAG YOU.

But this continued threat to suppress protest is deeply anti democratic, and borders on parallels with Nazi Germany. There are states proposing that protesters may get real jail time, or be allowed to be murdered by motorists. These are dangerous times.

I’m proud of you UCB. May you lead the way for other campus’s.

anonymous asked:

My dear, you keep conveniently forgetting the single most important obstacle to the rise of a fascist dictator: a stable, peaceful, prosperous democracy. You can have every element listed in those fearmongering checkoff lists about fascism, but with that ginormous obstacle in play, fascism will never come to these shores. Not only that, our 2nd Amd rights and our professional military will ensure that our people will never be subjugated by force, whether by foreign threats or from within.

Ok, you now sound like an NRA nut…and that’s being nice about it. “Yeah! Civil war! Guns. Rah rah! American is infallible and untouchable! Pew Pew Pew!”. Just for the record, you know who owns the vast majority of guns in this country? His insane supporters. That’s going to work out great for anyone going against them.

Anyway, Second Amendment Armed Resistance lunacy aside, a “stable, peaceful, prosperous democracy?” you say. Ok. Let’s break down that fallacy with a few facts. 

  1. First and foremost, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit, as of 2017 the USA is no longer a “full democracy”, but instead considered a “flawed democracy”. Other countries on that same category? The Philippines, South Korea, and Greece for example. Great company we’re keeping.  
  2. Reuters just instructed it’s staff to cover the US/Trump the way they cover any other authoritarian regime. And yes, they used the word “authoritarian”. That means one of the largest and most respected international news agencies just put the US in the same context as Turkey, the Philippines, Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Thailand, China, Zimbabwe, and Russia.
  3. Donald Trump filed with the FEC for 2020 reelection on January 20th, 2017. This is major for several reasons. First and foremost, it is NOT NORMAL. Obama filed for 2012 reelection in April 2011. Incumbent declaring before midterms is unheard of. Several MAJOR implications. If officially a candidate, can use candidate status to curry favor with PACs, businesses, other organizations. Because he’s acting as Trump the candidate, not Trump the president. Different rules apply. Even more importantly - completely changes how non profits can handle him. 501c3’s cannot “campaign” or risk losing nonprofit status. It means they can’t speak negatively about him. Imagine @PPact having to convey risk to #PlannedParenthood w/ limits on how to address. This throws nonprofits’ strategy for next few years into chaos. They must figure out how to work against Trump w/o “campaigning.“ And further muddies the already swampy ethical waters of financial gain, conflicts of interest, and business transactions. Filed 5PM #InaugurationDay2017. 5 HOURS after swearing in. This is what #TheResistance is up against. Diabolical maneuvering to skirt all conventional forms of #resistance. Norms don’t matter; it’s all about finding new ways to silence us. Again, THIS IS NOT NORMAL. Stay vigilant, stay ready to fight. We’re going to have to defy our own norms to resist. This is IRS regulation re. 501c3s. They’re smart, creative & used to this, but adds add'l hurdles/potential legal battles they don’t need. To re-clarify: likely motivation is raising $$ and using PACs for propaganda. Nonprofits know what they’re doing. But consider 1/28 events. W/ unprecedented legal/Constitutional challenges & Bannon at helm, don’t rule out attacks on previously held norms re. how non-profs operate. Addendum to thread: after getting more feedback, 501©3 issues are a discussion best had outside of the context of the candidacy filing.”
  4. This has actually come out of Bannon’s mouth: ““I’m a Leninist. Lenin wanted to destroy the state and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.Bannon was employing Lenin’s strategy for Tea Party populist goals. He included in that group the Republican and Democratic Parties, as well as the traditional conservative press.”
  5. Military convoys in Kentucky are driving around the streets flying Trump flags on their tanks. 
  6. Cheeto Hitler threatened to send US troops to Mexico to stop “bad hombres down there,” in phone call with Peña Nieto that was supposed to patch things up after The Wall debacle. Let that sink in: The POTUS told the president of Mexico he would invade Mexico. Bannon has also said that he has “no doubt” the US will be at war with China within the next few years. This isn’t funny anymore. 
  7. Today Democrats decided to boycott the vote on Price and Mnuchin. Rules say you can’t vote on nominees without at least one person from each party present so Democrats just didn’t show up. The Senate committee went ahead and approved Trump Treasury and Health nominees without Democrats present after GOP unilaterally changed panel’s rules. I’m going to quote this:The GOP just broke major committee’s rules to push through the nominations of Price/Mnuchin. This is an unprecedented break in Senate decorum. This means the Senate GOP are turning the Senate committee’s procedures into House committee’s procedures. This is dangerous because the Senate is the only institution where the minority party has the institutional rules to stop the majority & make itself heard. Madison warned us greatly about the tyranny of the majority. That’s why our democratic system is by design an anti-majoritarian system. That anti-majoritarianism is embedded in the Senate & its rule. This is a clear signal coming from Senate GOP that they are willing to kill the filibuster. Institutionally, American democracy is in a dangerous path where majority means unconstrained & unlimited exercise of power.”
  8. Jeff Sessions, who thinks church/state separation is an “extraconstitutional doctrine” even when the prohibition against the government respecting the establishment of religion is literally the first thing in the Bill of Rights, has been approved as Attorney General by the Senate Committee. This is the same man who praised a law that singled out Jews and Asians, and made it harder for them to immigrate to the US.
  9. Republican Congressional staffers, without telling their bosses, are working secretly with Trump aides. This is straight up insane. Let me repeat: the Legislative branch secretly working with the executive branch is a serious violation of separation of powers. I mean, you have the House Judiciary staff working with the WH on Executive Orders without telling their leaders or bosses because they signed NDAs and you’re seriously trying to tell me the system is working? “A Congress that allows its staff to be secretly, contractually obligated to the White House is no longer a Congress.”
  10. Wildly respected political historians are sounding the alarms and analyzing the potential outcome of of Bannon & Co creating “shock events”. Read the whole thing. 
  11. The State Department has been purged and now the WH is telling anyone with a different opinion to just up and quit. Even if that doesn’t happen you now have three people with no political experience and some really fucked up worldviews leading it: Tillerson, Bannon, and Miller. Is that not concerning?
  12. Tiny Hands decided that he is going to freeze out an entire news outlet because he deems it “fake news”. 
  13. Canadian politicians are calling Trump a fascist in Parliament. 
  14. His sons, who supposedly handle the businesses he promised to divest from but hasn’t, are directly involved in government even after he promised they wouldn’t be. This is against the law yet where were they last night? Front row at the SCOTUS pick announcement.
  15. Trump has, is, and will continue to receive payments from foreign governments. That is a violation of the emoluments clause on the constitution. No one on the GOP seems too concerned about it. 
  16. There are Customs and Border Patrol agents openly and brazenly defying court orders that have yet to be held accountable by the criminal justice system.
  17. “Bannon is making sure there is no paper trail” of National Security Council debates & decision.
  18. Yates is the first AG to be fired since Elliot Richardson was fired by Nixon in 1973. This isn’t something that happens every day. That should tell you everything you need to know, but since you clearly don’t want to listen to reason then maybe listen to what the former DOJ spokesman Matthew Miller has to say about this mess“This kind of assault on DOJ’s independence has not happened since the Saturday night massacre. The president thinks he is above the law. In our democracy, the president is not supposed to dictate to the AG how to interpret the law. This is a major breakdown in the rule of law. A president who fires an AG over this will think he can fire an AG over, say, a probe into whether his campaign coordinated w/ Russia. Also, the next U.S. atty in line of succession was not Boente, but Zach Fardon. Did Trump go forum shopping for one who would follow orders? No matter what you think about the EO, the independence of DOJ is a principle that everything else in our democracy depends on. Sessions simply can’t be confirmed in this environment. At the minimum, he needs a whole new hearing to answer q’s about DOJ independence. But in reality, we now need an AG who is entirely independent from Trump, not one who was a member of his campaign.”
  19. The DNC has straight up called Trump “tyrannical”.
  20. Trump wants to make counter-extremism program focus solely on Islamic extremism. Basically he wants the government to stop going after Neo-Nazis or any other domestic hate group. 
  21. Anti-protester propaganda linked with blatant anti-semitism has gone mainstream.
  22. This statement by brilliant political journalist Sarah Kendzior who has spent her life covering authoritarian regimes and has basically predicted the Trump administration down to every detail for months now: “You should not be surprised at pace of admin’s destruction. You should be thinking many steps ahead, which means thinking fast, acting now. Speed of changes happening for two reasons: temperament and ideology. Trump spent 40 years making fast decisions, having others bail him out. Trump has always surrounded himself with actors to mitigate his damage quickly and often illegally, from Cohn to mafia to, now, Bannon. Difference with Bannon is that speed itself is an ideology. He is a sociopathic accelerationist who has said he will destroy US + will try. Those in power need to act quickly to preserve what institutions can check them before those institutions are destroyed, esp judiciary […] You will need to predict moves far in advance – and act with far more moral conviction and far less blind faith – to preserve this nation.”
  23. American citizens are being detained at airports and being asked if they love their country. People are being asked for the social media handles by CBP at airports and being checked to see if they post anything Anti-Trump. Canadians were turned away at the border the day of the Women’s March because they told CBP they were coming to protest Trump. CBP denied them entry and told them they would need visas to come back. 
  24. Trump is signing shit without even consulting the departments the EOs affect: “As President Trump signed a sweeping executive order on Friday, shutting the borders to refugees and others from seven largely Muslim countries, the secretary of homeland security was on a White House conference call getting his first full briefing on the global shift in policy.Gen. John F. Kelly, the secretary of homeland security, had dialed in from a Coast Guard plane as he headed back to Washington from Miami. Along with other top officials, he needed guidance from the White House, which had not asked his department for a legal review of the order.Halfway into the briefing, someone on the call looked up at a television in his office. “The president is signing the executive order that we’re discussing,” the official said, stunned.”

I’ve only mostly covered the last three days worth of news and I already hit two dozen points. I think I’m going to stop there but trust me I got a treasure trove more where that came from. I read policy news all day, every day. I am very well educated on what’s happening and I’m telling you, you’re dead wrong. 

Click on all the links and read this one too. When you’re done come back to me and tell me how great this “democracy” is working out for you. 

anonymous asked:

im still fairly ignorant about leftism sorry but from my readings of council communism it sounds very similar to syndicalism. what would u say are the main differences?

They’re actually wicked similar tendencies. There are a few differences, though.

  • Council communism uses Marxist perspectives and methods of analysis (historical materialism, etc.), whereas syndicalism generally does not. (”Generally” being the keyword there – Greg is a syndicalist with a Marxist perspective, for example.)
  • Syndicalism is understood pretty much exclusively as an anarchist tendency, whereas council communism is not necessarily anarchist. In cases where council communism supports a transitory “dictatorship of the proletariat” state, it opposes centralization and Leninist conceptions of the vanguard party, seeking full direct democracy in the economic base in an attempt to wield the state for the benefit of the proletariat; syndicalists don’t advocate for this transition period.
  • Workers’ councils are defined as setups of spontaneous organization born in times of revolutionary struggle, whereas syndicalism relies on trade unions that exist before the struggle really takes off. For this reason, many traditional council communists argued that trade unions could only be reformist in nature and that separate revolutionary councils would instead be created by class conscious workers in times of tense material conditions; this also led many of them to refuse to work with reformist individuals or organizations of any sort (which I think is silly). Syndicalism posits that unions will become increasingly revolutionary as workers develop class consciousness.

All said, both tendencies involve near-identical final products in terms of organizational structure – councils/unions hollowing out the capitalist system from below and reforming society into linked confederations based on mutual aid, direct democracy, and a for-need economic system. When push comes to shove, a lot of it is just semantics debate. The unified leftist front that topples capitalism for good will have to focus on directly-democratic institutions of worker control in some very real capacity, and I think council communism and syndicalism truly get to the heart of this idea. 

-Daividh

For the first time, the United States has officially slipped in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s rankings of global democracy — from “full democracy” to “flawed democracy” — putting us at the same level as countries like Singapore, Italy and India, CNBC reported on Wednesday.

theguardian.com
It was the Democrats' embrace of neoliberalism that won it for Trump | Naomi Klein | Opinion | The Guardian

While I don’t think Naomi Klein goes far enough in her prescription (unionized/welfare-oriented capitalism is not sufficient enough, as it always risks being once-again gutted by capital; we need full socialist economic democracy), her diagnosis is spot-on. An unholy mixture of nationalism, racism, and an anxiety-ridden neoliberal climate created the Trump presidency. We need to acknowledge this, let the Democratic Party crumble, build a new leftist party on the ashes, mobilize and empower people to reject Trump’s fascism, and offer real solutions to neoliberalism and capitalism as a whole. We can do this.

MBTI types as Roman Emperors.

Suggested by meanroman

ISFJ: Would increase laws rather than change them, the first thing they’d focus about would be courts, to be sure that people had the right justice, keeping cirumstances in mind as well.

ESFJ: Would probably be surrounded by counselors, who would help them making important decisions. They’d have a rather calm and pacific empire, but they’d also be ready to defend themselves at any time.

ISFP: Would make sure that their empire’s temples were different than the others, and would have a quite free empire. Wouldn’t attack other tribes or other kingdoms. Would probably base their economy on unique handmade products.

ESFP: Even though they could be a little unprofessional, they would make a pretty good leader. They would probably be one of the few emperors to also entratain their people by performances and shows of every kind. They would melt with every social group, and they’d attend every social gathering, becoming one of the most liked leaders.

ISTP: Would try to leave their print on their empire. Their realist view of the world would help them with social decisions, which will always be unpredictable (this could be useful in a conflictual situation). They would probably be one of the most likely rulers to join the army as a simple soldier.

ESTP: Scattered conquerors, they’d probably initiate risky excursions in places where no one has been yet. They’ll try to climb mountains, to pass through deserts and to navigate in the most dangerous oceans. Their army would probably be one of the strongest.

ISTJ: Would come off as ruthless and evil dictators, when they’d actually just try to embrace the law without being partial. They’d be organized rulers, with just a few (or none) counselors, because they’d probably be afraid of the possibility of an inside man from another army.

ESTJ: This leader would have full command on the army, and their soldiers would be the best. They’d be rather conservative emperors, with a realistic plan for every situation.

INTJ: The mysterious and solitaire emperor. They would be one of the least likely (if not the least likely) to form alliances with other kingdoms, because they would rather have a strong and unbreakable empire by their own. They’d be visionaries, unpredicatble but still organized. They’d probably be neutral in most of the conflicts.

ENTJ: The ultimate colonizer. With their adventurous yet organized spirit, they’d try to expand their empire as much as they can, probably with success. They’d easily make strategic alliances, creating a win and win situation with smaller kingdoms. Would attack only if needed.

INFJ: The caring leader. Strategic and clever, yet altruistic and full of humanity. Would try to include their people as much as they can in decisions. Would make few strong, resistant and lasting alliances, and would try to make their empire (and the world) a better place, one step at the time.

ENFJ: Probably the first one to introduct full democracy. Would rarely attack, and if they did it would be just to solve a conflict and restore the peace. Their economy would be based upon fully equal exchange of materials. Likely to make alliances with kingdoms with a situation similar to theirs.

INFP: The idealistic leader. Would try to make their empire an utopia, probably being kind of guillable and too optimistic.Would make alliances with stronger kingdoms, to always have a cover.

ENFP: Like the ESFP, they would probably try to live as a normal citizen rather than like a powerful leader. They would organize a lot of new holidays for made-up recurrences, just to make their people more bubbly, happy and carefree.Most likely to make a ton of alliances, but would rarely attack another kingdom.

INTP: Neutral in conflicts, INTPs would make laid-back, quiet and peaceful leaders.They’d rarely go to social gatherings (they’d rather send someone to represent them), so they’d come off as mysterious. Would take rational choices in social and militar matters. They would also try to change laws logically, to make a positive new impact on the world.

ENTP: Would attack other kingdoms without thinking twice, if they had a logic reason to do so. They wouldn’t make a lot of alliances due to their skeptic nature, but if they were completely sure of the loyalty of other kingdoms, then they’d have no problem with helping them.They’d probably stand for the most liberal and revolutionary party.

ADHD-friendly rant; Supreme Court edition

In light of recent events, and the fact that people are talking about the electoral college, now seems like the time to talk about what I argue is the biggest constitutional flaw in the US. The political judiciary.

I’ve spent a fair amount of time arguing that constitutional theory should incorporate these rules, which are really two sides of the same coin:

  1. Never politicise an unelected office
  2. Never elect an apolitical office

The second one normally comes up in the debate about reforming the office of Governor-General in Commonwealth states, but I formulated the first rule specifically with the US judicial system in mind.

Judicial office should always be apolitical

In fact, it is apolitical in pretty much any other democratic country in the world. Judges are expected to perform their duty “without fear or favour, affection or ill-will”. Judges are even expected to never openly state political opinions, just to avoid the perception that they might be biased. The fact that you talk about conservative and liberal judges is absurd.

Donald Trump will be naming the next Supreme Court justices. In any other democratic country, this wouldn’t be much of a problem. Because he wouldn’t be able to find a judge that shared his political beliefs. Because Judges aren’t allowed political beliefs. A Supreme Court justice should be interpreting the law based on established common law principles, not on what they personally believe is right.

It undermines the rule of law. Dicey, a famous UK constitutional theorist, once stated “an Englishman is ruled by the law, and the law alone”. In my opinion, this is the only useful thing he ever said (I’m not a fan), but I would adapt the quote to be “free people are ruled by the law, and the law alone.”

The rule of law is freedom from arbitrary power. It means that laws are passed by democratic governments and interpreted by impartial judges. If the law is decided by judges’ personal political opinions, there is no rule of law.

It’s undemocratic. This is the gist of the “never politicise an unelected office” rule. The reason that Supreme Court judges cannot be fired or have their salaries lowered is to prevent political interference. This is the same in most democratic nations. Except if the judiciary isn’t apolitical this system doesn’t protect the judiciary from interference; it just keeps past political interference in place until that judge dies.

I accept the theory behind judges being able to strike down laws if they are inconsistent with a Bill of Rights, but I don’t accept this system if those judges can strike down laws based on whether they, personally, disagree with the policy. That’s not their place; they are not elected.

Tl;dr: If the highest political decisionmakers in the land are nine unelected people who cannot be removed from office and are legally entitled to decide cases based on their own political views, you do not live in a full democracy. The Supreme Court is a dictatorship by committee. And Donald Trump’s worst legacy will be the irrevocable decisions he makes about who will make up that committee.

Hillary Clinton’s Popular Vote lead is now over 2 Million.

Compare this to when Donald was declared the winner on election night, and Hillary’s lead was as narrow as .2 percentage points, it is now a full 2 percent.
It is no longer questionable how much Americans favored her, this is a crystal clear lead and sign that we wanted her as president.

To put in perspective how insane it is that she won by this large of a margin and yet still lost the presidency, The Atlantic compiled a list of presidents who won the presidency with a much, much smaller lead than she did:

  • James Garfield in 1880: 0.09 percentage points
  • John F. Kennedy in 1960: 0.17 percentage points
  • Grover Cleveland in 1884: 0.57 percentage points
  • Richard Nixon in 1968: 0.7 percentage points

And to also put in perspective, in 2000 Al Gore won the popular vote by only 500,000 votes. Hillary? 2 fucking million votes.
And the Atlantic also noted that Drumpf “is on track to lose the popular vote by more than any successfully elected president ever.”

I understand that she already conceded, I also understand that Obama now intends on having Drumpf be inaugurated, but this is still insane, and this is still fucked up. The Electoral College needs to go and be repealed and replaced.

This isn’t about partisanship, this isn’t being a sore loser, if you can win over 2 million votes in an election and lose? That is not normal, that is not democracy, that is fucked up.

There is a lot of democracy in America, but we are not a full democracy, unfortunately, not where it counts the most.

Socialism represents in one sense a decisive break with the present. History has to be broken and remade – not because socialists arbitrarily prefer revolution to reform, being bloodthirsty beasts deaf to the voice of moderation, but because of the depths of the sickness that has to be cured. I say ‘history,’ but in fact Marx is reluctant to dignify everything that has happened so far with that title. For him, all we have known so far is 'prehistory’ – which is to say, one variation after another on human oppression and exploitation. The only truly historic act would be to break from this dreary narrative into history proper. As a socialist, you have to be prepared to spell out in some detail how this would be achieved, and what institutions it would involve. But if the new social order is to genuinely transformative, it follows that there is a strict limit on how much you can say about it right now. We can, after all, describe the future only in terms drawn from the past or present; and a future which broke radically from the present would have us straining at the limits of our language. As Marx himself comments in 'The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte,’ 'There [in the socialist future] the content goes beyond the form.’ Raymond Williams makes essentially the same point in 'Culture and Society 1780-1950,’ when he writes: 'We have to plan what can be planned, according to our common decision. But the emphasis of the idea of culture is right when it reminds us that a culture, essentially, is unplannable. We have to ensure the means of life, and the means of community. But what will then, by these means, be lived, we cannot know or say.’

One can put the point in another way. If all that has happened so far is 'prehistory,’ then it is rather more predictable than what Marx would regard as history proper. If we slice through part of history at any point and inspect a cross-section of it, we know before we have even come to look something of what we will find there. We will find, for example, that the great majority of men and women at this period are living lives of largely fruitless toil for the benefit of a ruling elite. We will find that the political state, whatever form it takes, is prepared to use violence from time to time to maintain this situation. We will find that quite a lot of the myth, culture, and thought of the period provides some kind of legitimization of this situation. We will also probably find some form of resistance to this injustice among those who are exploited.

Once these shackles on human flourishing have been removed, however, it is far harder to say what will happen. For men and women are then a lot more free to behave as they wish, within the confines of their responsibility for one another. If they are able to spend more of their time in what we now call leisure activities rather than hard at work, their behavior becomes even harder to predict. I say 'what we now call leisure’ because if we really did use the resources accumulated by capitalism to release large numbers of people from work, we would not call what they did instead 'leisure.’ This is because the idea of leisure depends on the existence of its opposite (labor), rather as you could not define warfare without some conception of peace.

Take, as an analogy, the behavior of people in prison. It is fairly easy to say what prisoners get up to throughout the day because their activities are strictly regulated. The warders can predict with some certainty where they will be at five o'clock on a Wednesday, and if they cannot do so they might find themselves up before the governor. Once convicts are released back into society, however, it is much harder to keep tabs on them, unless the tabs are of an electronic kind. They have moved, so to speak, from the 'prehistory’ of their incarceration to history proper, meaning that they are now at liberty to determine their own existence, rather than to have it determined for them by external forces. For Marx, socialism is the point where we begin collectively to determine our own destinies. It is democracy taken with full seriousness, rather than democracy as (for the most part) a political charade. And the fact that people are more free means that it will be harder to say what they will be doing at five o'clock on Wednesday.

—  Terry Eagleton
2

North Carolina “can no longer be classified as a full democracy,” political scientist says

  • North Carolina’s democratic process has been so compromised by the 2016 election that the state “can no longer be classified as a full democracy”
  • That’s according to University of North Carolina political science professor and democratic elections scholar Andrew Reynolds.
  • In 2012, Reynolds helped develop a system for measuring the integrity of elections that is used by the Electoral Integrity Project
  • The latest EIP report gives North Carolina a score of 58 out of 100. 
  • If it were an independent nation, North Carolina’s score would place it “alongside authoritarian states and pseudo-democracies like Cuba, Indonesia and Sierra Leone,” Read more

exearth  asked:

What's your opinion about anarchism?

Short version: Like Communism, I think it’s cool and good.

Long version: I’m very much an anti-capitalist. I’m anti-fascist and I believe in democratic socialism of some sort. I guess I’m a libertarian Communist, but I’m not against states, or parliamentary action as one of many tactics to create a better life for people in the short term and work towards full communism in the long term.

For example I support leftist struggles for independence, like Scotland, Catalunya or Kurdistan. Also, when asked to defend how the new system will work I’ve found it much easier to explain how life after revolution would be in a communist system versus an anarchist system, but that is probably more to do with my lack of reading of anarchist writing on the topic (any recommendations are welcome, by the way. I’ve mostly read Kropotkin, but he doesn’t really get into the practical details as far as I’ve read).

But the thing that made my choice of calling myself a communist versus an anarchist most clear in normal interactions is that I hate the refusal of many anarchists to vote. Voting rant coming up:
I agree with anarchists (and many other people) in that I think that voting won’t change the system, but if you think that the difference between a centre-right wing government or a hard-right wing government won’t have an enormous impact on the day-to-day lives of the poor and oppressed then you’re just wrong. Voting is such a tiny fucking effort, and especially in countries with parliamentary systems like mine, votes for left-wing parties can have actual effects. In the US voting democrat, or activism aimed at changing the democratic party, should very obviously not be your main tactic, but it is an effort that takes at the most an hour or two of your time, and not doing that seems to me like you’re valuing your symbolic refusal to participate in the current system over the effects a government can have on actual people. Just because you don’t believe in government doesn’t mean government doesn’t have an effect on how immigrants, LGBTQ people, women, students, the poor, et cetera are treated and to me it’s ignorant to pull your hands off the whole thing and say I won’t have anything to do with it when it’s such a fucking tiny effort on your part (unless you’re an accelerationist I guess, but accelerationists are a whole type of shit of their own).

I’m sympathetic with and have criticisms of most currents in the left and it always pisses me off to see all the in-fighting, considering how far away from actual revolution we are (although from an anarchist standpoint I understand how suspect “Let’s figure out our differences after the revolution” sounds, considering the history between communists and anarchists). But, you know in the end communists and anarchists are working towards the same end goal .

Anyway, sorry for the long post but I’m never very sure about my position in the Left. I am still very much in the process of figuring things out. I probably used some terms here in ways they were never meant to be used. I am certainly not as well-read as most of the anarchists I follow, and my political position tends to shift per situation and over time, so it’s is not a very precise or educated position to be honest (maybe my current description of my position even falls into anarchism? Who knows!?), but for now I identify myself as some kind of anti-authoritarian communist, I guess.

Also, I didn’t really know where to put it, but I wanted to add my support for movements like the Zapatistas and the PKK that develop versions of democratic socialism that are just really adapted to local conditions without trying to adhere to specific preconfirmed notions of anarchism or communism I might have. That’s how I’d like to see it, specific kinds of local democratic socialism per region that work together in a global system.

I’m legitimately baffled that Trump has this much of a lead. I apologize to all of you for being so cocky over the past couple months, with regard to me saying how definitive it would be in Clinton’s favor. This is….shit.

Friends: Now more than ever we’re gonna need to build some anti-capitalist alternative. A labor party with working class interests needs to be built from the disparate leftist factions and organized into a cohesive opposition against the reactionary right. Worker councilism as an idea needs to gain traction so that socialism can once again earn favor among working class folks who are ignored by the two-party system. Electoral politics alienates people left and right; we need to bring politics to the grassroots level and the workplace level. Now more than ever, a genuine alternative to neoliberalism, to imperialism, to capitalism is needed. It won’t take form through the Democrats, guys – we need to build something truly revolutionary here, something that takes the energy of the Sanders campaign and multiplies it tenfold towards full economic democracy beyond capitalism.

“telling americans to shut up about their election for a few weeks is really rude” okay yeah but do you realize that the nightmare dystopia of donald trump as president has essentially already happened in canada and we’re no longer living in a full democracy and the youth vote is being suppressed 

this results of this election could mean families being torn apart, starvation in the territories, the extinction of species, the detention and/or deportation of canadian citizens who have never broken a law, illegal wars fought with our tax money, the end of immigration to canada by any people of colour, the end of freedom of religion, the end of the middle class, the end of freedom of speech and of the press… for some people this election could be a matter of life and death

“well it’s rude” then let’s be rude because this is fucking important

if you are over 18 or will be by October 19th you need to check that you’re registered to vote and you need to get to the polls

[BREAKING] TWICE BARRED from CHINA because TZUYU says she is TAIWANESE

TWICE seriously need to get a security team & a fortune-teller now.

The girls were already troubled yesterday at Gimpo Airport, where leader Jihyo was hit by a “fan” but things just seemed to have taken a more drastic turn.

Keep reading

Israel is not an apartheid state.  To accuse it of such requires a real imaginative stretch. Presented here are the top five reasons why the apartheid analogy is fatally flawed.

Equality. During South Africa’s apartheid system, the majority black population was oppressed and persecuted by the minority whites.  In Israel, all citizens—including Arab citizens—are equal before the law, regardless of their race, religion, or minority status.  Of all the countries in the Middle East, Israel is the only true democracy with full freedom for its citizens.

Citizenship. In 1970s South Africa all non-whites were stripped of their South African citizenship. In 1948, Israel did the opposite. When the dust settled from Israel’s war of independence, Israel gave full citizenship to the Arabs who remained in Israel and did not flee.  They did this even though it was a defensive war.  Today 20% of the Israel population is Arab. That’s a million and a half Arab citizens living in Israel and enjoying all the same rights as Israeli Jews.

Democracy. In South Africa, non-whites were not allowed to be in government or even vote.  In Israel, Arabs have been represented since the very first Knesset. Israeli Arabs vote and have been elected to every level of local and national office, including appointments to the Israeli Supreme Court and government minister positions.

Freedom.  The South African apartheid regime strictly regulated the lives of non-whites with a host of separation laws.  Black South Africans were confined to Bantustans, defined labor areas that they were not permitted to leave. Israel, in contrast, has extensive anti-discrimination laws. Israeli Arabs work in all sectors, attend universities, and open businesses. While much of the Arab population lives in concentrated Arab municipalities in Israel, this is an informal segregation as a matter of choice. For South African blacks, segregation was a matter of force.

Security. The security fence separating Israel from the West Bank is often denigrated as the “apartheid wall.”  During Israel Apartheid Week, a common tactic on campuses is to build mock “apartheid walls” at protest sites.   Admittedly, Israel must strictly enforce border control between Israel, Gaza and the West Bank.  However, this restriction is due to their legitimate security concerns and not racism. The fence is credited for a drastic reduction in the number of mass-murder attacks carried out in Israel after reaching a peak in the second intifada.  In South Africa, racism formed the base of segregation, not terrorism.  Blacks living under South African apartheid did not seek the destruction of South Africa, only the regime of apartheid.

Perhaps the best proof that Israel is not an apartheid regime is the fact that the vast majority of Israeli Arabs want to retain their Israeli citizenship.

Israeli Arabs both privately and publicly say they would not want to leave Israel and move to a Palestinian state should one be created.  When former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert suggested in 2007 that he would hand over Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority, the Arabs in Jerusalem rose up in protest.   Nabil Gheit, an Arab mayor of one of these neighborhoods, said “If there was a referendum here, no one would vote to join the Palestinian Authority.

We will not accept it. There would be another intifada [uprising] to defend ourselves from the PA.”

Those who are demanding to “Stop Israeli Apartheid” from the comfort of their campus parade grounds, should first stop and ask the Arab citizens and alleged victims in Israel one question: Where in the Middle East would you have it better?