functional democracy

“Welcome,” she said. “Welcome, and thank you for agreeing to be a volunteer with Multnomah County Libraries. We are so grateful for you and your commitment to our community. For the next hour, we’re going to go over some important information that you need to know as a volunteer, no matter what role you play.”

I expected that we were going to learn about things like policies for canceling our shifts, or maybe where to find first aid kits. We probably did talk about those things. But the part that I remember most vividly is the first thing she talked about.

“We’re going to start with the Library Bill of Rights from the American Library Association,” she said, and she projected the text of the document onto the screen. “Everyone who works for libraries, including volunteers, helps to support and uphold the Library Bill of Rights.”

This was new to me. I’d been a regular patron at my local public library for years, graduating from Dr. Seuss to The Babysitters Club series to, most recently, my fixation on books about neo-paganism and queer sex. No one had mentioned this whole Bill of Rights thing. It was a short document with just a few bullet points.

“Libraries support free access to information,” Bess explained. “One of our core values is intellectual freedom. This impacts all of you because when you’re volunteering for the library, we expect you to support the rights of library users to find and read whatever they want, even if you don’t agree with what they’re looking for.”

She continued, “For example, let’s say that a small child came up to you and asked where to find the Stephen King books. You might think those books are too scary for someone that age, or that he shouldn’t be reading that kind of stuff. But that doesn’t matter. No matter what, we help people find the information they want, and we don’t censor their interests. Does that make sense?”

Heads around the room nodded, and I leaned back into the wall, letting her words sink in. It was absolutely, positively the most radical, punk rock thing I had ever heard in my life.

I can read whatever I want. No one can stop me.

I can help other people read what they want. And no one can stop them.

“This is core,” Bess added, “to a functioning democracy. We believe that fighting censorship and providing free, unrestricted access is key to helping citizens participate in the world. And, most importantly, we keep everyone’s information strictly confidential. So, even if you know what books your neighbor is checking out or what they’re looking at on the computer, you don’t share that with anyone.”

As someone who kept carefully guarded notebooks full of very personal thoughts, I was especially excited by the library’s emphasis on privacy. All of this sounded great. I wanted more. I wanted in. I wanted to be a crazy, wild, counterculture librarian-witch who would help anyone read anything from The Anarchist’s Cookbook to Mein Kampf. I would be a bold freedom fighter in the face of censorship. I would defend unfiltered Internet access and anatomically correct picture books. Maybe I was only in the eighth grade, but I was ready to stand up to anyone who tried to threaten the ideal of intellectual freedom. Fuck blink-182. Libraries were the real punk rock.



After much soul-searching and lengthy discussions with smarter friends, I think I’ve come to the conclusion that what unsettles me about people punching Nazis is not that it’s wrong, exactly, because it’s not - but the thing is, it’s not our job as citizens to do that. In a functioning democracy, there should be laws against calling for genocide and promoting ideas of racial superiority, and there should be efficient courts checking whether people are following those laws or not, and there should be MPs deliberating over how well those laws are working and if more (or fewer) laws are needed, and there should be a police force ready to intervene - with fair and reasonable amount of force - against those citizens who, for one reason or another, decide to break those laws. So the debate shouldn’t be, Is it right or wrong to punch a Nazi in the face; the debate should be, Why aren’t the police arresting Nazis? - because in a democratic state governed by the rule of law, citizens shouldn’t administer justice; and if they do, well, that’s a symptom something is seriously wrong.

If the Riverdale fandom were a nation-state and ships the parties of its parliament.

Try to figure out what’s what for a little fun before scrolling down.

This is based on the number of fics for each tag on Archive of our Own. I’m aware it’s super imprecise considering the massive overlap, but the fact that I wasted a half-hour on this is sad enough without getting any more rigorous.

I just plugged in the most popular ships first, and for the rare ships more or less just entered the first ones to come to mind until I ran out of seats (assuming 600). So if I forgot a ship (let me know if a popular one somehow slipped my mind) that’s just due to the random selection process from Joavin onwards.  

From left to right:

Blue: Bughead (274 seats)

Grey: Varchie (40 seats)

Yellow: Beronica (104 seats)

Purple: Cheronica (25 seats)

Dark Blue: Jarchie (90 seats)

Green: Joavin (27 seats)

Sky Blue: Vughead (9 seats)

Pink: Chetty (9 seats)

Light Purple: Snakeparents (7 seats)

Red: Chason (5 seats)

Black: FP-Fred (5 seats)

Orange: Peryl (1 seat)

I actually expected Bughead to have a large majority, making this one of those dictatorships where the ruling party allows smaller, powerless parties to exist only to preserve the illusion of pluralism.

In fact it only has a very large plurality, making this instead a functioning, if unstable, liberal democracy.

Now I wonder what each of these parties’ political creed/ideology is…

God this healthcare bill the Republicans are writing is so evil. Like not just for what’s in it, but for how they’re doing it. They’re literally doing everything they claimed (falsely) that Democrats did with Obamacare: Writing the bill behind closed doors, not allowing amendments, not allowing input from the other party… etc etc. If this thing passes its going to not only kill millions but change how our democracy functions as a whole. Please, please call your senators. If they’re republican, ask them how they’re voting, tell them that Trumpcare is polling at 17% and they won’t be reelected if it passes, how many people will die, and that you elect them, not their big-time donors who they are using this bill to give tax cuts to. If they’re democrats, ask them how they’re going to stop this bill from passing, tell them you support anything they can do to gum up the works.

Oh my god “banning old people from voting” is not a solution to anything do you realize that the elderly are some of the people who are most vulnerable to abuse and to being denied their rights you guys are fucking unbelievable

Maybe if your shitty excuse of a country had a decent legislation concerning voting and an actual functioning democracy you wouldn’t need to turn on an incredibly at risk chunk of the fucking population who relies on the care of others

  • One of the more important interviews you'll read this year:
  • NOAM CHOMSKY: One of the few institutions that's worried about climate change is the Pentagon, because they're going to be in trouble, like the Navy -- the Norfolk Naval Base will be inundated when the sea level rises, and they're worried about the fact that just plain sea level rise and other dangerous weather systems are going to cause huge floods of refugees.
  • Just take a look at Bangladesh. It's a coastal plain -- a couple hundred million people. What are they going to do if this gets worse -- what's going to happen then, you know?
  • DANIEL FALCONE: With the emergence of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, it looks like business as usual with the cabinet members and their institutional roles. Is this cabinet in particular especially dangerous to the planet?
  • NOAM CHOMSKY: It's incredible what's happening, and what's more astounding still is that there's no comment. By now -- since November 8 -- the United States is literally alone in the world in first of all refusing to join in efforts to do something about it -- but even worse, dedicated to making the situation worse. Every part of [the world] is trying to do something. The United States alone is trying to destroy it, and it's not just Trump, it's the whole Republican Party. You just can't find words for it. And it's not reported. It's not discussed.
  • I mean the most important event on November 8 -- which I've talked about a couple times, but nobody will listen -- is that as you may know, at that time, there was an international conference going on in Morocco that was a follow up for the Paris conference -- to put some teeth in the Paris agreements. But on November 8, the conferences stopped. The question was, Will we survive? Not a word about it. Even more amazing, the world is looking to China to save them. The US is the wrecking machine that is destroying everything. The world is hoping that China will somehow come to the rescue.
  • DANIEL FALCONE: What does that mean about our establishment -- that we look to China?
  • NOAM CHOMSKY: What it means is the United States is absolutely the most dangerous country in the world.
  • DANIEL FALCONE: It doesn't say a good thing about democracy or a hope for it.
  • NOAM CHOMSKY: It doesn't have much to do with democracy, because a democracy barely functions under the neoliberal system. But most of the population is disenfranchised. It doesn't matter what they think. Just look at the passionate rhetoric about how we can't stand by when a country uses weapons to kill innocent civilians.
  • Right now, the United States is supporting Saudi Arabian military attacks and a famine policy -- a starvation policy -- overt policy of starvation in Yemen that is going to kill tens of thousands of people; it already is, in fact. But is anybody saying anything about it?"

Wow, it’s Wednesday already? Holy crap. How’s everybody doing? I hope you’re ready for some sloths today, cause you’re about to get slothed!

Manchester chief says police are investigating ‘a network’ of suspects following British bomb attack

Britain’s domestic security chief said Wednesday it was “likely” that the bomber who killed 22 people at a concert venue was not acting alone, underscoring the need for expanded security measures as the nation’s threat level was raised to its highest point.

President Trump holds ‘fantastic meeting’ with Pope Francis at the Vatican

How Trump’s Budget Would Affect Every Part of Government ▼


Trump budget could turn off his voters and sink his approval rating

I doubt it, but who knows anything anymore.

Sean Hannity done talking about Seth Rich and WikiLeaks ‘for now’ as Fox News retracts story

“I want to say this to you, my loyal audience, which is very important: Please do not interpret what I’m saying tonight to mean anything,” Hannity said. “Don’t read into this. I promise you I am not doing — going to stop doing my job to the extent of my ability.”

Sean Hannity, everybody.

Trump may have revealed the location of 'nuclear submarines’ on phone call to Philippine’s Duterte

What the hell, man. 

Wait… Wait… Did you see?



Breaking News: Just look at this freakin’ thing

My internet just went down and I was sad but then it came back and now I’m more thankful than ever for a working connection. Thank you for listening to my story.

I hope you guys have a nice day and try to be thankful for the stupid things. Examples: Working internet, sloth gifs, a semi-functioning democracy based on the rule of law.


anonymous asked:

can you explain the sean spicer shock to me, please?

This is so vague lol that I don’t know if you mean “who the fuck is sean spicer why is he important” or “what’s with everyone’s reactions,” so I’ll assume you haven’t been living under a rock for the past year and know that Spicer was the White House press secretary who openly lied to the press on multiple occasions and thereby undermined the Fifth Estate’s role in a functioning democracy and public trust in the White House.

If you mean the shock in the room at that moment, it stems from the cultural divide between historically left-leaning Hollywood and the current (alt-)right-wing White House. It’s also jarring to have watched Melissa McCarthy wheel around the podium on SNL for months and then watch the butt of the joke embrace the visual gag in front of her.

If you mean the shock after the show itself, i.e. backlash, I can’t say I’ve read enough of the criticism to provide a thorough summary, although I can understand why the stunt would be upsetting to some (the reaction in the room was definitely mixed). I guess it really is a sign of the times that any interaction with even former members of the Trump administration can be read as normalization and cozying up to them. I was actually talking to @captainevans about this last night, and I’m gonna paraphrase what she said about the reaction on Twitter: Some people would rather not see any lip service be given to anyone who contributed to making the sociopolitical climate in the U.S. as toxic and divisive as it is. Morality shouldn’t be sacrificed for entertainment purposes.

Generally, I agree with that, but we should also know now more than ever that context is crucial. However much we may loathe to give any attention to anyone who supports or supported Trump, we can’t ignore them. Stephen has been candid on his show about his opinions on Trump, and he built his career on political satire and subversion - I feel like people forgot that. The stunt wasn’t meant to excuse Spicer’s sins of lying to the public but play them up to mock him. And if Stephen’s deadpan didn’t drive that home, then referring to Spicer as Melissa McCarthy to his face after rumors that her portrayal unnerved the White House should have.

So, long story short, anyone associated with Trump is persona non grata to a lot of people and should basically be exiled, but that only feeds the divisive narrative in the U.S. and fails to address the root of the problem and the ways in which we deal with our new reality. Using a disgraced member of the White House as a prop is not the same as sleeping with the enemy.

If a certain someone who I can’t name for certain reasons is fired and criminal charges are brought against him, then you have a functional democracy

If this just ends up with nothing, then you have a corrupt government

If this ends with certain key individuals dying in mysterious ways, then you are Russia

anonymous asked:

in theory i would be fine with monarchism if there was anyone who could be trusted to have that much power but

monarchism doesn’t function on democracy so you could get the worst person in power without any citizens’ opinion. it’s bad

Trump’s incessant lying is obscene. It is a collapse in morality; it is an ethical assault.

This notion that Trump is damaging the sanctity and purity of truth, that truth in the Trump era operates on a floating scale, that for the Trump apologists truth has become a minor inconvenience, should have us all objecting in earnest.

It seems odd that we have to defend the merits of truth, and yet we do. We must.

This is not simply about a flawed man, this is about the function of our democracy and American positioning in the world. How is one supposed to debate policy with someone who almost never tells the truth? How can a liar negotiate treaties or navigate international disputes? Without truth, everything falls apart, or more precisely, nothing can be established.

I vacillate between rage and sorrow that our country has come to such a pass. And yet, what is done is done. America made a colossal mistake, and it cannot be easily undone.

anonymous asked:

in the anabasis verse, how do anakin and padme fit together as people? what do they actually like about each other? i get the feeling you're constructing a much healthier relationship than canon; how does that work out? you always have the best meta about how people work as people, as directly opposed to george lucas's complete lack of comprehension of how real life human emotions work (exhibit a: "my heart is beating... hoping that kiss will not become a scar") and i'm really curious!

Hey now, be fair! Anakin’s dreadful lines in canon would actually work really well…if they were just delivered in a completely different tone.

Like, “My heart is beating… hoping that kiss will not become a scar” as said in the film is painfully melodramatic and ridiculous. But the same line delivered deadpan? Hilarious. Or said with dramatic flair while throwing a hand over his brow and swooning backward over the arm of the couch? Amazing.

What I’m saying is the dialogue as is actually could have been really cute and funny if it just…didn’t take itself seriously. You missed such an opportunity there, George.

tl;dr: Let Anakin be a dweeb.

But I’m supposed to be talking about Anabasis. And as this is probably gonna get long, here’s a cut.

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anonymous asked:

What's the difference between Anarcho-Communism and Anarchosyndicalism?

The difference of views between Anarcho-Communism and Anarcho-syndicalism lies on the “organizational dualism” (revolutionary dualism) theory proposed by anarchist communists and opposed by the anarcho-syndicalists. 

Anarcho-syndicalists look at the union not only as a mean but as a revolutionary end (the first aim of the revolution is class struggle). In order to obtain the liberation of the working class, the anarchist trade unionists agree in some cases with some Marxist unions or organizations.
The International Workers’ Association (IWA; Spanish: AIT; German: IAA) is the international federation of anarcho-syndicalist labor unions and initiatives.

Anarcho-communists split instead the incitement to revolution of the unions and workers groups (the mass organization) by the revolutionary action that should be done by a transversal organization of workers and dispossessed (the so called “specific anarchist organization”).

According to Anarchist Communists the revolutionary practice of organizational dualism is the way through which anarchism differs from Marxism that on the other hand looks at the working class (mainly industrial) to lead and win the revolution. The presence of unions (the mass movement) close by the specific organization would be an antibody to the authoritarian deviation and the dictatorship of the proletariat.

According to the Anarchist Communists this dualism would also allow a more cohesive revolutionary structure, and common shared objectives leading to the emancipation of the workers through autonomous social movements that would overcome the polarization of the union.

The International of Anarchist Federations (IAF; French: IFA) contains a large number of anarchist-communist federations and individuals. Founded in 1968 the IAF has since aimed to build and improve strong and active international anarchist’ structures. The federations associated with IAF believe that such an organization is necessary to co-ordinate their international work and efficiently co-operate towards their mutual aims. In order to further improve the quality of exchange and co-operation, IAF also keeps close contact with other anarchist organizations, such as the International Workers Association (IWA).

Anarcho-syndicalism primary purpose is class war: it seeks to abolish the wage system and private ownership of the means of production and its goal is workers’ self-management.
Anarcho-syndicalists militants have theorized different methods of class struggle: the general strike (considered the most effective means available to the working class to regain possession of the means of production), direct action (occupation, picket lines, etc.), the boycott and sabotage (refusal to produce certain goods and boycott by the proletariat of the products).
Anarcho-syndicalism focuses primarily on the labor movement, but it is also probably the one that has undergone a greater decline due to the disintegration of class consciousness.

Anarchist communism stresses egalitarianism and the abolition of social hierarchy and class distinctions that arise from unequal wealth distribution, the abolition of capitalism and money, and the collective production and distribution of wealth by means of voluntary associations.
In anarchist communism, the state and property would no longer exist. Each individual and group would be free to contribute to production and to satisfy their needs based on their own choice. Systems of production and distribution would be managed by their participants. The abolition of wage labor is central to anarchist communism. With distribution of wealth being based on self-determined needs, people would be free to engage in whatever activities they found most fulfilling and would no longer have to engage in work for which they have neither the temperament nor the aptitude.

Basically Anarchist communism is a larger movement, and regards the self-management of workers and class war as much as the liberation of all the oppressed.
Anarcho-syndicalism is a revolutionary strategy which struggles for the emancipation of the workers gathered in revolutionary unions, and takes as its goal the establishment of anarchist communism (or collectivism) through class war.
The two movements are then not really opposed but complementary and both necessary for the revolutionary approach.

History gives us some examples on the anarchist communist revolutionary praxis. In the Spanish Civil War, an anarchist social revolution would have been impossible without the help of revolutionary trade unions such as CNT (Confederación Nacional del Trabajo) and FAI (Federación Anarquista Ibérica).
For a long time, until the Spanish Revolution, the two organizations acted according to the principles of organizational dualism: CNT represented the mass organization (union) and FAI the revolutionary specific (across the board political organization).
FAI acted as a kind of ancillary of the CNT, which was also the armed and illegal faction (in addition to self-defense actions, were frequent robberies of self-financing).

During the social revolution within the Spanish Civil war, the agrarian and industrial collectives instituted immediately economic equality in accordance with the essential principle of communism, ‘From each according to his ability and to each according to his needs.’ They coordinated their efforts through free association in whole regions, created new wealth, increased production (especially in agriculture), built more schools, bettered public services and founded popular defense committees.

They instituted not bourgeois formal democracy but genuine grass roots functional libertarian democracy, where each individual participated directly in the revolutionary reorganization of social life. They replaced the war between men, ‘survival of the fittest,’ by the universal practice of mutual aid, and replaced rivalry by the principle of solidarity.

The workers and peasants collectivized land and industry in Aragón and Catalonia and set up councils based on direct democracy. Factories were run through worker committees, agrarian areas became collectivized and run as libertarian communes. Even places like hotels, barber shops, and restaurants were collectivized and managed by their workers. Moreover they instituted new types of exchanges based on mutualism, the gift economy or barter, and adopted alternative currencies that were worth only to quantify the goods in their possession.

“The difference between communist-anarchism and syndicalism, I would argue, is rooted in different perspectives on the nature and role of the labour movement within anarchism. Let me be clear that the communist-anarchist and the syndicalist agree on the importance of working class self-organisation and direct action. 

So rather than being anti-syndicalism as some historians have suggested, the communist-anarchist position is actually syndicalism-plus. Syndicalism is a tactic, an important one, but it is not the be-all and end-all of anarchist activity. So, in effect, communist-anarchists would suggest that syndicalists turn a means into an end and fail to acknowledge the importance of anarchist groups working within the unions to keep them radical.

In the historical development of the anarchist movement, the revolutionary organizational dualism was neglected in diverse countries in detriment to a position that said that “syndicalism/ trade unionism” (that accumulated set of social movements) was enough. Not for us. We believe that the duty of the specific anarchist organization, what Malatesta called the anarchist “party”, is to articulate the force of the anarchists around a common proposal and to stimulate the social movements that they advance more and more beyond their demands, being able to forge the basis of a revolutionary transformation.

It is important to emphasize that organizational dualism does not presuppose a relation of subordination or hierarchy between the two instances mentioned. In our understanding of anarchism the specific anarchist organization and the social movements are complimentary. The relation of the specific anarchist organization presupposes ethical and horizontal relations, that imply the absence of relations of hierarchy or domination over the instances that participate.

The role of the specific anarchist organization is to act as a catalyst of social struggles. We don’t believe that political organizations must guide or direct the struggles, as the Marxist-Leninist primer says. Bakunin’s conception of active minority is very useful for us in this regard. The active minority does not impose, dominate, establish hierarchical relations or control within the social movements.”

Give a quick look at my previous posts here, and here.


The 2nd Amendment can’t continue to supersede the 1st Amendment, which guarantees “the right of the people peaceably to assemble.” The right, in other words, to be an American in a functioning democracy. To be an audience. To be free to listen to Aldean without the spray of bullets. To be one, safely, among many. To be, in short, a human being in a civilized society.
- Charles McNulty NY Times

In-Depth Work with Illéa (warning: possible spoilers)

Prologue: I’m just being crazy again and backing my theories with what seems like intelligent information, but is actually just me being pretentious. Feel free to support it or oppose. 

I honestly blame Gregory Illéa for the way things are now in the country. HAVEN’T YOU LEARNED WHAT HAPPENED IN HISTORY?! Let’s look back, shall we? 

  • EXHIBIT A: Russia’s Catherine the Great. An absolute monarch. Civil War, Soviet Union, Putin. 
  • EXHIBIT B: Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. An absolute monarch. Uprisings, guillotine, Napoleon Bonaparte. 
  • EXHIBIT C: Queen Elizabeth. Oh. Jk. England actually had their shit together as an absolute monarchy. 


 America/Illéa was never meant to be an absolute monarchy!! 

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