Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Rob Breszny's Newsletter

(Photo courtesy of the lovely air-ono)
22ND-CENTURY PRONOIA THERAPY Part One Experiments and exercises in becoming a bewilderingly enlightened, ecstatically grateful, unselfishly proud Master of Fiendishly Benevolent Tricks 1. Philosopher Robert Anton Wilson has proposed that the single greatest contribution to world peace would come from there being six billion different religions--a unique spiritual path for each person on the planet. The Beauty and Truth Laboratory urges you to get started on doing your part to make this happen. What will your religion be called? What rituals will you perform? Write down your three core tenets. 2. You'll also need a new name for the Creator. "God" and "Goddess" have been so overused and abused that most of us are numb to them. And given the spiritual opportunities that will open up for you as you explore pronoia, you can't afford to have an impaired sensitivity towards the Great Mystery. Here's an idea to stimulate your search: The Russian word for God is "Bog." The Basques call the Supreme Being "Jingo." To purge your psychic dockets of built-up fixations about deity, you might try singing improvisational prayers to "Jingo Bog." Here are a few other fresh names to inspire you: Blooming HaHa Wild Divine Whirl-Zap-Gush Sublime Cackler Chthonic Riddler 3. Since ancient times, China has hosted three religions: Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. The typical Chinese person has cobbled together a mélange of beliefs gathered from all three. This is different from the Western way, which is to be faithful to one religion or another, never mixing and matching. But that's changing in certain enclaves in North America, where growing numbers of seekers are adopting the Chinese approach. They borrow elements from a variety of spiritual traditions to create a personalized path. Religious historians call this syncretism. As you meditate on conjuring up your own unique mode of worship, think of the good parts you'd like to steal from other religions. 4. Most religions designate a special class of people--priests, rabbis, ayatollahs--to oversee official communications with the Source. This has led to a prevailing assumption, even among those who don't follow an established faith, that we can't initiate a divine conversation without the aid of a professional class of trained mediators. Among some sects of the ancient gnostics, in contrast, everyone was regarded as a potential prophet who could experience epiphanies worthy of becoming part of the ever-evolving doctrine. As you create your own spiritual path, experiment with this approach. What might you do to eliminate the middleman and commune directly with the Source? 5. The chorus of an old Depeche Mode song goes like this: "I don't want to start/ Any blasphemous rumors/ But I think that God's/ Got a sick sense of humor/ And when I die/ I expect to find him laughing." I have a grudging respect for these lyrics. In an age when God has been co-opted by intolerant fundamentalists and mirthless sentimentalists, I appreciate any artist who suggests there's more to the Infinite Spirit than the one-dimensional prig described in the Bible or Koran. On the other hand, Depeche Mode's notion of the Blooming HaHa is also disinformation. It's as much a hostage to pop culture's knee-jerk nihilism as the right-wing bigots' God is to their monumental hatreds. One thing I know for sure about the Supreme Being is that while she does have a complicated sense of humor, it's not cruel or vengeful. Your assignment: Pray to be granted a healing sample of her comedic genius--a funny, shocking miracle that will free you of any tendencies you have to believe the age-old lies about her. 6. Will there be prayer in your new religion? If so, we suggest that you avoid the body language traditionally used by Christians in their worship. The gesture of clasping one's hands together originated long ago as an imitation of being shackled; it was thought to be the proper way to express submission to divine power. The prayers you make, however, may be imbued as much with reverent exuberance or ecstatic gratitude as somber submissiveness. An example of a more apt gesture is to spread your arms as wide and high as they'll go, as if you're hugging the sky. Any other ideas? 7. What if the Creator is like Rainer Maria Rilke's God, "like a webbing made of a hundred roots, that drink in silence"? What if the Source of All Life inhabits both the dark and the light, heals with strange splendor as much as with sweet insight, is hermaphroditic and omnisexual? What if the Source loves to give you riddles that push you past the boundaries of your understanding, forcing you to deepen your perceptions and change the ways you think about everything? Close your eyes and imagine you can sense the presence of this tender, marvelous, difficult, entertaining intelligence. 8. At a candy store one Easter season, I heard a philosophical debate about Jesus-themed confections. "It's just not right to eat a symbol of God," one woman said as she gazed at a chocolate Christ on the cross. A man agreed: "It's sacrilegious. An abomination." An employee overheard and jumped in. "I'll ask my boss to take that stuff off the shelf," she clucked. I was tempted to say what I was thinking: "Actually, the holiest ritual of Christian worship involves eating Christ's body and blood." But I held my tongue; I wasn't in the mood for a brouhaha. Where do you stand on this issue? Do you or do you not want to eat a symbolic embodiment of your deity? If you do, what food will you choose? 9.At one point in James Michener's novel *Hawaii,* a native Hawaiian tells ignorant missionaries, "You cannot speak to the gods with your clothes on." Whereupon he strips and prepares for prayer. Test this theory. Find out if your communion with the Divine Wow improves when you're naked. 10. A few Christian sects now enjoy a new addition to their once-staid church services: holy laughter. Parishioners become so excited while worshiping that they erupt in uncontrollable glee. Some crack up so profoundly that they fall on the floor and flop around like breakdancers. Others repeatedly leap into the air as if on pogo sticks, or wobble and zigzag as if trying to dance while drunk. 11. In Judeo-Christian cultures, many people associate the sky with the masculine form of God. According to this bias, the Supreme Father rules us all from on high--up, away, far from here. But if you were an ancient Egyptian, the sky was the goddess Nuit, her body its very substance. She was a loving mother whose tender touch could be felt with each new breath. For one day, act as if you and the sky goddess are in constant contact. ++++++++++++++++++++++++ To read other news and features from Rob's book, go here: You can buy the book here: AMAZON BARNES & NOBLE

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Anti-war protesters spray paint Capitol building

by Jackie Kucinich Anti-war protesters were allowed to spray paint on part of the west front steps of the United States Capitol building after police were ordered to break their security line by their leadership, two sources told The Hill. According to the sources, police officers were livid when they were told to fall back by U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) Chief Phillip Morse andDeputy Chief Daniel Nichols. "They were the commanders on the scene," one source said, who requested anonymity. "It was disgusting." After police ceded the stairs, located on the lower west front of the Capitol, the building was locked down, the source added. A second source who witnessed the incident said that the police had the crowd stopped at Third Street, but were told to bring the police line in front of the Capitol. Approximately 300 protesters were allowed to take the steps and began to spray paint "anarchist symbols" and phrase such as "Our capitol building" and "you can’t stop us" around the area, the source said. Morse responded to these claims in an e-mail Sunday afternoon explaining that the protesters were seeking confrontation with the police. "While there were minor instances of spray painting of pavement by a splinter group of Anarchists who were seeking a confrontation with the police, their attempts to breach into secure areas and rush the doors of the Capitol were thwarted," Morse said. "The graffiti was easily removed by the dedicated [Architect of the Capitol] staff, some of whom responded on their day off to quickly clean the area." He added, "It is the USCP's duty and responsibility to protect the Capitol complex, staff and public while allowing the public to exercise their First Amendment rights … at the end of the day, both occurred without injury to protestors or officers." Yet, the sources who talked to The Hill were furious that protesters were not stopped before reaching the Capitol. "To get that close to the Capitol building, that is ridiculous," the second source said. "[Police] were told not to arrest anyone." The second source added that police had to stand by and watch as protesters posed in front of their graffiti. Tens of thousands of people rallied on the Mall and the Capitol complex Saturday in protest of the increased troop deployments and the war in Iraq.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Attorneys for jailed blogger file motion for his release

*Video blogger Josh Wolf's attorneys argued in a new motion this week that Wolf should be released from federal prison since there is "no substantial likelihood" that the confinement will influence him to testify before a grand jury.* Jan. 25, 2007 Attorneys for Josh Wolf, the California video blogger and self-proclaimed anarchist who has spent more than 150 days in federal prison for contempt of court, have filed a new motion for his release at the trial court level. The motion asserts that Wolf, who was held in contempt of court last year for refusing to respond to federal grand jury subpoena, should no longer be held in prison since "further incarceration will not compel him to comply with the subpoena." Wolf was first jailed for contempt of court Aug. 1 after refusing to testify and declining to turn over a videotape federal officials think might contain footage of crimes committed at a July 2005 anarchist rally. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of Wolf. Wolf's lawyers appealed the order of contempt and he was granted bail Aug. 31 pending a decision by a panel of appeals court judges. The panel affirmed the contempt order Sept. 8, and Wolf returned to prison later that month. A motion for a hearing in front of the full appeals court was denied. If Wolf remains behind bars until Feb. 6, he will have spent more time in prison for contempt of court than Vanessa Leggett, the author/journalist who currently holds the dubious record of being the longest-jailed journalist for contempt of court in recent years. "Despite his tenure in jail, his resolve is stronger than ever," his attorneys wrote in this most recent motion. "Wolf continues to believe, just as he did six months ago, and indeed a year and a half ago, that journalists should not serve as investigative tools for criminal investigations." Since Wolf has refused to testify after more than five months in prison, his attorneys argue, it is clear that further confinement will not convince him to do otherwise. In the filing, the attorneys also emphasize that all since all underlying criminal charges relating to the rally in question have been dismissed, "the need for Wolf's testimony has diminished." According to James Wheaton, one of Wolf's attorneys and senior counsel at the First Amendment Project, U.S. District Judge William Alsup could choose to release Wolf based only on these filings. However, Wolf's attorneys have requested an evidentiary hearing and an oral argument on the issues as well. Although it is unclear when any hearing might take place, Wheaton said that Alsup has "issued an order requesting any response to our motions be filed by the government by Monday," he said. "We take this as a sign that judge is viewing this seriously." (In re Grand Jury Subpoena; Media Counsel: Martin Garbus, Davis & Gilbert, New York; Amicus Counsel: Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, Los Angeles) -- ES * Free at Last, By Martin Kuz J, the 24th Blogger Josh Wolf has earned status as a living First Amendment martyr by cooling his sideburns in a federal prison for the past six months. His "crime": He refuses to give authorities the unedited version of the video he shot during an anarchist rally in the Mission District in July 2005, so a judge has held him in contempt of court. Meanwhile, Gabe Meyers, a featured player in the portion of the video Wolf posted on, can finally exhale — his own legal ordeal quietly ended earlier this month. Cops cuffed Meyers the night of the march on charges of inciting a crowd, rioting, and resisting arrest. The bust occurred after a squad car rolled up on a splinter group of protesters near 22nd and Mission streets. Police accused Meyers of throwing a large Styrofoam sign under the wheels to force the vehicle to stop. Meyers insists he dropped the sign in fear and ran as the car — traveling 30 mph, he estimates — barreled toward the crowd. After a short foot chase, an officer tackled Meyers and held him on the ground for several minutes, then placed him in a chokehold. Protesters yelled at the cop to release Meyers; authorities claimed the activist's gasped pleas for help were an attempt to foment unrest among bystanders. Meyers spent 10 days behind bars before he could post bail, and, over the next 18 months, made some three dozen court appearances. He refused to plead guilty to lesser charges, confident that eyewitness accounts, photos snapped by onlookers, and Wolf's video — which shows the cop pinning Meyers like a rodeo calf — would prove his innocence. Two weeks ago, county prosecutors blinked, asking a Superior Court judge to toss the case against Meyers. (Neither the District Attorney's Office nor the SFPD responded to requests for comment.) "They knew the charges were utterly ridiculous," the 29-year-old Oakland resident says. "They just wanted to drag this thing out." During the protracted legal struggle, Meyers missed so much time from his job working with the disabled that he's now unemployed. But he's angrier over Wolf's incarceration. The feds say they want to view the blogger's raw protest footage in hopes of identifying who injured a cop that night. Meyers sees another motive: "They're trying to limit freedom of the press."

a r t - by artists

by Nobody by George Leutz

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Romantic Movement, Phil Lamantia

[Thanks to Cyclopian for bringing Phil] to Nancy

The boat tilts on your image on the waves between a fire of foam and the flower of moon rays, these the flags of your dreaming lips. I'm watching Venus on the ogre sky and a continent in cocoons.

Soon all the butterflies of desire shall manifest o prescience of life becoming poetic... and poetry the incense of the dream. A street and a forest interchange their clothing, that tree of telephones, this television of nuts and berries - the air edible music.

King Analogue

Queen Image

Prince Liberty...

... Garden of imperious images, life is a poem someday to be lived: the feast of our hearts on fire, the nerves supplying spice, blood coursing a glow of insects, our eyes the dahlias of torrential ignition.

The whisper of the inter-voice to wrap you in the mantle of marvelous power, with the secret protection of the forest that falls asleep in fire whose ores become transmined only for love - all your steps will lead to the inner sanctum none but you behold, your shadow putting on the body of metaphoric light.

The stone I have tossed into the air of chance shall come to you one great day and exfoliate the original scarab, the carbuncle of delights, the pomegranate inviolate, the sonorous handkerchief of the Comte de Saint-Germaine, all the reinvented perfumes of ancient Egypt, the map of the earth in the Age of Libra when the air shall distribute our foods, the sempiternal spectrum of sundown at Segovia (the stork carrying the golden egg from the Templar's tower) Chief Seattle's lost medicine pouch, our simultaneous presence in all the capitals of Europe while traveling Asia and listening to the million-throated choir of tropical birds, your lost candlewax empire, a madrone forest to live inside of, which we can wrap in a set of "secret bags" and open on our wanderlust, the turbulent cry beneath the oceans, the extinct bird calls in a magic vessel Christian Rosenkreutz dropped on his way out of the Damcar, beads of coral dissolving the last motors, the redolent eyes of the first born seers, the key to the bank of sanity, the ship of honey at the height of storms through which we sail to new islands rising from the sunken continents and the bridge between sleep and waking we will traverse in constant possession of "the great secret" become transparent as a tear drop - with no other work but the genius of present life.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

D.C. Pro Peace Rally Live!

In DC? Looking for some fun with 1,000 close friends?

[Thanks to ToniD for this link] by Kagro X

The people who brought you this:

... are looking to do it again.

The organizers of the San Francisco "Impeach at the Beach" event are looking to recreate their feat on the Mall tomorrow, with the Capitol in the background.

If you're in DC and want to take a load off and maybe make the news while you're at it, then:

Show up on the sidewalk on the MONUMENT side of 14th Street, at the Mall, no later than 11:50 a.m..

More detail from an earlier diary by dsb:

On Saturday, Jan 27, we are going to repeat the event here in Washington on the National Mall at noon. Please come and be part of this historic event -- meet at 11:50 a.m. just east of the Washington Monument – specifically, on the sidewalk on the Monument side of 14th Street. A photographer at the top of the Washington Monument will take a picture of 1,000 of us lying down in the grass, spelling out "IMPEACH!" with the Capital Dome in the background. Please come – bring anyone and everyone you can.

We need 1,000 people to fill the lettering, but can accommodate thousands more. It will be a bang-bang affair –- no more than 15 minutes from start to finish. If we pull this off, it will be huge (possibly NY Times, Washington Post, etc...) and it will be historic. Don’t be late -- arrive by 11:50 a.m., look for volunteers handing out flyers with directions, follow the flyer’s directions and also the voice commands of the nearby volunteers. Stay off the grass, keep to the sidewalk, until the ropes that outline the lettering are in place. At 12 o’clock sharp, if all goes as planned, you will see a volunteer in the middle of the crowd raise a green flag. Walk slowly please into the lettering that you will see outlined in ropes and lie down (it’s a good idea, but not necessary, to bring a small tarp or blanket to lie down on), and wait until you see the red flag indicating that the photographers up in the Monument have gotten what they need, and that the event is over.

The guy said he needed to get 1,000 people together overnight. And I was like, "Hey, I know where I can find 1,000 people..."

What the hell, eh? Rest your weary feet, and get your picture taken for free.

InterTubes, represent!

Helping Lara Logan

Sometimes it’s hard to swim in the mainstream.

There has been much heated debate over the past few years over media coverage of the Iraq War. The Bush administration has repeatedly attacked the ‘liberal bias’ of the mainstream news industry, claiming that it doesn’t report enough of the “good news” from Iraq, and focuses instead on the sensational and violent.

Those critical of the war and the occupation say just the opposite; that the mainstream news media has ignored much of the ‘bad news’ coming out of Iraq, leaving Americans with an impression of the war based more on a desire to follow the official White House narrative than facts on the ground. MediaChannel has long been in the latter camp, sponsoring (for example) last year’s ‘Show Us the War’ project, which published video pieces showing an Iraq overrun with violence and chaos –and an administration that seemed more intent on faith and ’spin’ than reality. We at MediaChannel believe that an informed citizenry is necessary to keep our democracy viable, and we have been strong advocates of the call for all news outlets–mainstream or independent–to produce and distribute accurate stories on the situation in Iraq.

Which brings us to Lara Logan.

One would assume that Ms. Logan, as CBS chief foreign correspondent, has a fair amount of influence as to what stories she gets to cover, and that most of her important stories, once produced and delivered, will be broadcast. But when the story comes out of the mean streets of Baghdad, and doesn’t fit the officially-sanctioned narrative of Iraqis and US soldiers working arm in arm to help protect thankful Iraqi citizens, even chief foreign correspondents sometimes need to ask for help in getting it seen. Imagine our surprise recently when–over the digital transom–we received a copy of an email from a frustrated Lara Logan (see below)

In it, Logan asks for help in getting attention to what she calls “a story that is largely being ignored even though this istakingplace everysingle [sic] day in Baghdad, two blocks from where our office is located.”

The segment in question–”Battle for Haifa Street”–is a piece of first-rate journalism but one that only appears on the CBS News website–and has never been broadcast. It is a gritty, realistic look at life on the very mean streets of Baghdad, and includes interviews with civilians who complain that the US military presence is only making their lives worse and the situation more deadly.

“They told us they would bring democracy, they promised life would be better than it was under Saddam,” one told Logan. “But they brought us nothing but death and killing. They brought mass destruction to Baghdad.”

Several bodies are shown in the two- minute segment–”some with obvious signs of torture,” as Logan points out. She also notes that her crew had to flee for their lives when they we were warned of an impending attack. While fleeing, another civilian was killed before their eyes.

Logan’s email, with the one-word subject line of ‘help’, was sent to friends and colleagues imploring them to lobby CBS to highlight that people are interested in seeing the piece. In it, Logan argues that the story is “not too gruesome to air, but rather too important to ignore… It should be seen. And people should know about this.”

We agree. And we’d like to help Ms. Logan and CBS get the piece seen, although that task would be made immeasurably easier if CBS News chief Sean McManus simply made the decision to broadcast it.

Ms. Logan, who is embedded with US forces in Iraq, was unavailable for comment. But CBS News spokeswoman Sandy Genelius told us that the segment in question was not broadcast but only run on the web because “the Executive Producer of the Evening News thought some of the images in it were a bit strong­ plus on that day the program was already packed with other Iraq news.”

Regarding Logan’s unusual email plea for “help” from friends and colleagues, Genelius said she and other CBS executives were unaware of its existence until contacted by MediaChannel. About Logan’s contention that the segment is “not too gruesome to air, but rather too important to ignore,” Genelius said “There are discussions and even disagreements everyday about what goes on air,” and noted that “One of the characteristics that makes Lara so special is her passion for her job. Of course she wants her pieces to be broadcast!”

In conclusion, Genelius added that “CBS News has aired countless hours of coverage about Iraq. It is the single most important part of our news coverage, and I hope that people will look at the sum total of what we have put on the air.”

On an average night, eight million people watch the broadcast version of the CBS Evening News. CBS company policy prohibits the disclosure of “internal analytics,” so no figures are available for the number of viewers Logan’s web-only segment has had–but it is undoubtedly far less.

See for yourself what the controversy is all about. You can watch the video here (RealPlayer required):

And don’t forget to let CBS know what you think about this outstanding example of video journalism–and help Lara Logan by telling CBS what you think about them keeping those images of the battle for Haifa Street–no matter how strong, no matter how gruesome–far from the eyes of their prime-time audience.


From: lara logan Subject: help

The story below only appeared on our CBS website and was not aired on CBS. It is a story that is largely being ignored, even though this istakingplace verysingle day in central Baghdad, two blocks from where our office is located.

Our crew had to be pulled out because we got a call saying they were about to be killed, and on their way out, a civilian man was shot dead in front of them as they ran.

I would be very grateful if any of you have a chance to watch this story and pass the link on to as many people you know as possible. It should be seen. And people should know about this.

If anyone has time to send a comment to CBS – about the story – not about my request, then that would help highlight that people are interested and this is not too gruesome to air, but rather too important to ignore.

Many, many thanks. Video

Friday, January 26, 2007

You will remember the smell of autumn air... , by Penelope

Jane Roberts had an ESP class in her home every Tuesday night for a number of years, and occasionally Seth would make an appearance. In Eastern religions and current New Age thought, we're supposed to crave 'ascending' and becoming part of Nirvana and losing our desires and individuality completely. That idea has always terrified me!! I knew I was supposed to really want this end of the ego into blissful nothingness, but it never quite appealed to me...that's why I love this quote from Seth--it's the most comforting thing I've ever read. Seth (ESP Class, 5-18-71): "I have tried to explain the God concept in many ways, using different vocabularies, speaking very simply; and yet because of the subject matter I see that it is not understood. You must also know that what I am telling you cannot be translated into words, and so you are getting at best a second-hand translation. Words cannot convey the message but working from the words you can obtain a portion of the reality behind them. "Now each of you is a part of All That Is, highly individual and unique, like no other, and that like no other-ness will never be taken from you. You will not melt into some great golden bliss in which your characteristics will disappear. You will not be gobbled by a super-god. On the other hand you will continue to exist, you will continue to be responsible for the way in which you use energy, you will expand in ways now impossible for you to understand. You will learn to command energy of which you now do not know. You will realize that you are more than you realize that you are now, but you will not lose the state of which you are now aware, and regardless of the fact of reincarnation and regardless of probable selves the unique self that you now call yourself has eternal validity even though the memories that you cannot now consciously recall will be yours in their entirety; and physical life in its reincarnational self is not some chaos thrust upon you, some evil from which you must shortly hope to escape. It is a particular reality in which you have chosen to know your existence, in which you have chosen to develop yourself, and it is indeed a system, again, like no other system, a unique and dear and beloved portion of reality in which you have decided to flourish for a while. And in denying it, again, you deny the reality of experience. "In other terms, you will leave this system for others, but there will be a portion of you yet, no matter how many eons pass, that remembers a spring evening and a smell of autumn air; and those things will always be with you when you want them. You make your own flesh and your own world as now en mass you form the evening. These are creations of yours and of your kind. They are not prisons to be escaped from."

Thursday, January 25, 2007

"Illusions - The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah", by Richard Bach - 1977

Quotations From The Messiah's Handbook ~ "Reminders for the Advanced Soul" Perspective - Use It or Lose It. If you turned to this page, you're forgetting that what is going on around you is not reality. Think about that. Remember where you came from, where you're going, and why you created the mess you got yourself into in the first place. You are led through your lifetime by the inner learning creature, the playful spiritual being that is your real self. Don't turn away from possible futures before you're certain you don't have anything to learn from them. You're always free to change your mind and choose a different future, or a different past. Learning is finding out what you already know. Doing is demonstrating that you know it. Teaching is reminding others that they know just as well as you. You are all learners, doers, and teachers. Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself. Being true to anyone else or anything else is not only impossible, but the mark of a false messiah. Your conscience is the measure of the honesty of your selfishness. Listen to it carefully. The simplest questions are the most profound. Where were you born? Where is your home? Where are you going? What are you doing? Think about these once in awhile, and watch your answers change. Your friends will know you better in the first minute you meet than your acquaintances will know you in a thousand years. The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof. There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts. Imagine the universe beautiful and just and perfect. Then be sure of one thing: The Is has imagined it quite a bit better than you have. The original sin is to limit the Is. Don't. A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and at such a speed, it feels an impulsion....this is the place to go now. But the sky knows the reason and the patterns behind all clouds, and you will know, too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond horizons. You are never given a wish without being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however. Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours. If you will practice being fictional for a while, you will understand that fictional characters are sometimes more real than people with bodies and heartbeats. The world is your exercise-book, the pages on which you do your sums. It is not reality, although you can express reality there if you wish. You are also free to write nonsense, or lies, or to tear the pages. Every person, all the events of your life, are there because you have drawn them there. What you choose to do with them is up to you. In order to live free and happily, you must sacrifice boredom. It is not always an easy sacrifice. The best way to avoid responsibility is to say, "I've got responsibilities." The truth you speak has no past and no future. It is, and that's all it needs to be. Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't. Don't be dismayed at good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends. The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly. You're going to die a horrible death, remember. It's all good training, and you'll enjoy it more if you keep the facts in mind. Take your dying with some seriousness, however. Laughing on the way to your execution it not generally understood by less advanced lifeforms, and they'll call you crazy. Everything above may be wrong!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Are demons and devils real? In my view, it doesn't matter whether or not they exist in an objective or literal sense. The point is that we are all plagued by split-off, unintegrated portions of our own and other people's psyches. They behave exactly as if they were diabolical entities--demons, djinns, dybbuks, and devils--working at cross-purposes to our conscious desires. In dealing with their hassling interventions, I endorse the approach described by Paul Foster Case in his book *The Tarot: A Key to the Wisdom of the Ages.* There he suggested that mirth is the best way to beat the devil. "Laughter is prophylactic," he wrote. "It purifies subconsciousness and dissolves mental complexes. In a hymn to the sun god Ra we read, 'Thy priests go forth at dawn, washing their hearts with laughter.' This is a prescription we may all follow to advantage." My friend and teacher, Vimala Nostradamus, echoes Case. "The best way to neutralize the devil is to laugh at him," she says. "Satan's most effective recruiting technique is to get people to take themselves too seriously." To exemplify her argument, she once told her daughter in my presence about a foolproof way to avoid being hassled if you're a woman walking by a crew of construction workers: "Pick your nose." The novels of Tom Robbins provide spiritual guidance about dealing with diabolical spirits, both those that originate within us and those that come from without. Here's a sample tip from his *Jitterbug Perfume*: "Play-- more than piety, more than charity or vigilance--is what allows human beings to transcend evil." We regret to report that further help on this matter is not available from the holy books of the world's major religions. None of their authors ever figured out that an excellent weapon against the fragmented, shadowy portions of our psyches is humor, tomfoolery, and laughter. This ignorance may be the greatest mystery in history. But Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shintoism, Zoroastrianism, and Jainism aren't the only spiritual traditions that have failed to take advantage of evil's primary weakness. The esoteric spiritual paths of the West, including Hermeticism, Rosicrucianism, and alchemy, also suffer from an inexplicable lack of jokes and fun at the heart of their practice. Shamanism, paganism, yoga, and tantra are, for the most part, similarly bereft. There are rare exceptions. The Sufis have cracked a few funny stories down through the ages. The Fourth Way teacher, George Gurdjieff, had a sense of humor that he used pedagogically. And 20th-century America spawned two authentically comic religions, Discordianism and the Church of the Subgenius. Unfortunately, their combined flocks are smaller than the crowds drawn by any popular evangelical preacher in one night of mean-spirited pontificating.

Tell the Corp Media to Go Fuck Themselves....then tell them to put Sam Seder back on the air! Free Sam Seder post from Eschaton on 24 January 2007 10:39:00 AM. © Eschaton WWRL pulled Sam Seder off the air in NYC because he said mean things about Armstrong Williams. New Yorkers, you know what to do... UPDATE Call WWRL (over and over again) tell them you want the sam sedershow! office: 212-631-0800 listener call-in line: 212-868-0975 send them a letter... WWRL 333 Seventh Avenue, 14th Floor New York, NY 10001 fax 212-239-7203. or email Read The Full Article: * WWRL dumps Sam Seder radio show Here we go again...WWRL, the Air America radio affiliate in NYC is playing games again... On Tuesday, Sam Seder criticized Armstrong Williams who mischaracterized Senator Jim Webb's brushup with President Bush on his morning radio and this morning, WWRL appears to have retailiated by dumping The Sam Seder show and replacing him with non AAR radio personality Stephanie Miller. Update - whatever WWRL is doing today, it appears limited to Sam Seder, so far.

~Information & Knowledge~

The preservation of the means of knowledge among the lowest ranks is of more importance to the public than all the property of all the rich men in the country. ~John Adams * Pramana (IAST Pramāņa) (sources of knowledge, Sanskrit) is an epistemological term in Hindu and Buddhist philosophy. Pramana forms one part of a tripuţi (trio) concerning Pramā (the correct knowledge of any object arrived at by thorough reasoning, Sanskrit), namely, 1. Pramātŗ, the subject, the knower 2. Pramāņa, the means of obtaining the knowledge 3. Prameya, the object, the knowable * Hypertext as a means for knowledge acquisition ABSTRACT The most time consuming portion of constructing an expert system is the knowledge acquisition phase. A general knowledge acquisition tool designed around a hypertext concept could allow a knowledge engineer to list important concepts, create nodes attached to these concepts which explain their relevance, connect related concepts by linking their nodes, use graphics to explain difficult concepts, and even critique information entered into the system previously. In such a system, knowledge acquisition would not be confined to linear input of information. The knowledge engineer could use the hypertext system to compile knowledge gathered from an expert after interviewing, or s/he could enter the knowledge into the system as the expert sits there telling her/him what information to encode. The advantage of a hypertext knowledge acquisition tool is that all knowledge relevant to the expert system would be centralized into a hypertext knowledge base which the expert, or experts, can peruse and verify before the knowledge is encoded into a representation scheme. Then when the knowledge engineer does transfer the knowledge into a scheme suitable for use by an expert system, s/he can be sure that the knowledge is complete, sufficient, necessary, and correct. * KNOWLEDGE STRATEGIES: BALANCING ENDS, WAYS, AND MEANS IN THE INFORMATION AGE by Lieutenant Colonel William R. Fast, United States Army Means. Knowledge as a resource is not included in the current resource paradigm of manpower, materiel, money, forces, and logistics. Knowledge, the "ammunition" of information war, is inexhaustible. Once produced (at a cost), knowledge can be used repeatedly -- it will not disappear. In fact, it only increases! Digital knowledge can be copied and never missed. It can be given away but still kept. Digital knowledge can be distributed instantly. It is non-linear; it defies the theory of economy of scale. Knowledge is the key element of wealth in the information age. Compared with industrial age manufacturing, information-based industries can produce more with fewer resources, less energy, and less labor. Production runs of one are possible and even economical with intellectual capital (knowledge) encoded in software and used by smart machines. The result is an explosion of personalized products and services. Moreover, knowledge to inform people, coded as digital bits, can be turned into audio, video, or even graphics -- it is "mediumless." Manpower, materiel, and forces, on the other hand, possess none of these characteristics. Knowledge as a resource is often cheaper than materiel. It uses limited manpower or forces and may require little or no logistics. Thus the information age opens the doors to the resource poor. Knowledge diffuses and redistributes power to the weaker actors. It redraws boundaries and time and space horizons. It enables organizations to open up. When it comes to balancing means with ends and ways, knowledge as a resource offers an economical solution. In sum, it is difficult to apply the ends, ways, and means paradigm of strategy to information age security. Unlike traditional means, knowledge is relatively cheap and easy to balance with ends and ways. Unlike conventional ways, cyberwar defies the military principle of mass. And its primary objectives are control and paralysis. Unlike the clearly articulated ends of Cold War security strategies, national objectives in a globally networked information age are more difficult to define and thus to achieve. Clearly, we need a new framework for formulating information age knowledge strategies. * While one may agree that investment of intellectual capital must be safeguarded, however, one must distinguish this issue from the sharing or creation of knowledge. As argued elsewhere (Malhotra 1997), knowledge is created by the humans when they interact with information. "To conceive of knowledge as a collection of information seems to rob the concept of all of its life... Knowledge resides in the user and not in the collection. It is how the user reacts to a collection of information that matters." Churchman (1971, p. 10). In this context, most kinds of 'information products' (intellectual property) are appropriated by the users who go about creating and sharing knowledge using such products. Given the premise of the non-linear, discontinuously changing environment, the only assurance against 'hardwiring of assumptions' is through dialog that encourages surfacing of assumptions... that makes individual knowledge explicit... allows social appropriation of individual knowledge... and social interaction that translates explicit knowledge into tacit knowledge of the various members of the 'community of practice.' * What is the Knowledge Lab? The Knowledge Lab is an attempt to provide a collective space for anti-capitalist reflection. It is located at the margin of the university, an institution essentially geared towards the production of knowledge as a resource for corporate interest and as justification for particular constellations of power relations. The Knowledge Lab is hence also an attempt to claim back some of the university's space, resources and know-how from the military-industrial complex and make them available for people concerned about and working against the status quo of unceasing commodification, exploitation, war, and biospherical destruction. * Jainism: The Five means of knowledge by Jayaram V According to Jainism there are five ways in which the jivas obtain knowledge of the things and the world in which they live. Of them the first three are imperfect means of knowledge and prone to error, while the last two are perfect means of knowledge and convey the truth without error. These five means or instruments of knowledge are explained below: 1. Mati: Matignana is the knowledge that you gain through your mind, your senses, your memory, your remembrance, your cognition, and your deductive reasoning. It is something which you know with the help of your mind and its various faculties. 2. Sruthi: When you learn something from other sources, other people or beings, through your observation of signs, symbols or words, we call it sruthignana or the knowledge of sruthi or hearing. This type of knowledge is gained through association, attention, understanding and naya or varied interpretations of the meaning of things. Avadhi: You gain this type of knowledge not through any physical means such as the senses or the mind, but through your psychic abilities, or through your intuitive awareness, by overcoming the limitations of time and space. It is beyond the boundaries of your ordinary awareness and faculties and is not generally available to every one. Mahaparyaya: This knowledge is gained through the reading of others' minds and thoughts. It is the knowledge of others that you gain through some extraordinary process like telepathy or mind reading. Kevala: It is the highest knowledge that you gain when you transcend your ordinary self and become a Jina or Kevalin. It is knowledge itself that does not require any outward means for its awareness. It is always there, unattached, unlimited, and without any constraint, in the consciousness of the enlightened Jina. It cannot be described to others satisfaction, but can be experienced when the soul becomes liberated from earthly bondage. As we can see, the first two are indirect means of knowledge since we have to depend upon some external source to know things, while the other three are direct, where you do not have to depend upon some external source to know about things.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Anarchism Without Adjectives: From Yesterday To Today

by Floreal Castilla Fernando Tarrida del Mármol (1861-1915), was a 19th-century Spanish-Cuban anarchist intellectual who wrote about libertarian tactics in a letter sent to "La Révolte", a French anarchist journal. In it, he states: "I would like to explain more clearly the idea that I have of the revolutionary tactics of French anarchists; therefore, being unable to write a series of articles as should be necessary, I send this letter to you, hoping you will extract what you believe to be worthy of publication in it. Revolutionary decisiveness has never been lacking in the French character, and anarchists have demonstrated, on an infinite number of circumstances, that they do not lack propagandists and revolutionaries. The number of militants is quite large but - with its great thinkers, determined propagandists and adept enthusiasts - France, in truth, is the country where the fewest important actions for the good of Anarchy take place. This makes me think. This is why I have said that I do not believe your revolutionary tactics to be sound. Nothing fundamental divides the French anarchists from the Spanish anarchists but nevertheless we are, in effect, at a great distance from each other. We all accept Anarchy as the integration of all liberties and its only guarantee as the impulse and sum of human well-being. No more laws nor repression; spontaneous, natural development in all actions. Neither superior nor inferior, neither governors nor governed. The cancellation of all distinction of rank; only conscious beings that look for each other, attract each other, discuss with each other, resolve together, produce together, love each other, without any other aim than the well-being of all. This is how we all conceive Anarchy, how we all conceive the society of the future; and it is for the accomplishment of this idea that we all work. Where, then, are the differences? In my opinion, enraptured by contemplation of the ideal, you have drawn up a line of ideal conduct, an unproductive puritanism in which you squander a good deal of your forces, forces that could destroy the strongest organisms and that, thus badly used, produce nothing. You forget that you are not surrounded by free beings, jealous of their freedom and their dignity, but by slaves who hope for release. You forget that our enemies are organized and every day seek to grow stronger in order that their reign may continue. You forget, in short, that even those that work for good live in the present social disorganization and are full of vices and prejudices. From all this it can be deduced that you accept absolute freedom and expect it all to come from individual initiative, taken to the level that no pact or agreement can be possible. No agreements, no meetings at which decisions are made: what is important and essential is only that each one does as he pleases. The result? Someone would like to do something good but lacks the means to join up with others who think as he does, in order to carry out their initiative, to listen to their advice and accept their assistance; he is forced to do it all alone, or not at all. Creating commissions for administrative tasks, fixing dues so as to be able to face certain needs, is an imposition. And this way, if a comrade or a group wants to get together with all the other anarchists in France or throughout the world for such-and-such an initiative, they will not have the means to do it and must resign themselves to the idea. Everything that is not The Social Revolution is a triviality. But should it not matter to anarchists that wages become even more insufficient, that the working day is being extended, that workers in the factories are insulted or that women are prostituting themselves for the bosses? While the bourgeois regime lasts those things will always happen, and we need only worry ourselves about the final goal. But in the meanwhile, the masses of proletarians who suffer and who do not believe in the coming liberation, do not listen to the anarchists. If I were to continue along these lines, there would be countless examples, each one with the same result: impotence. Not because they lack anything, but because they are scattered, with no link between them. In Spain we have followed a completely different tactic. Certainly, for you it will be a heresy worthy of excommunication at the highest level, a deceptive practice that must be separated from the anarchist field of action; but nevertheless we think that only thus can we ensure our ideas penetrate the proletariat and destroy the bourgeois world. Like you, we long for the purity of the anarchist programme. There is nothing so intransigent and categorical as Ideas, and we admit no middle ground or any sort of extenuating circumstance. We have therefore tried to be as explicit as we can in our writings. Our pole star is Anarchy, the goal we seek to reach and towards which we direct our steps. But our path is blocked by all classes of obstacles and if we are to demolish them we must use the means that seem best to us. If we cannot adapt our conduct to our ideas, we let it be known, and seek to come as close as possible to the ideal. We do what a traveller would do when he wishes to go to a country with a temperate climate but who, in order to reach it, has to go through tropical and glacial zones: he would go well-furnished with furs and light clothes that he would get rid of once he arrived at his destination. It would be stupid and also ridiculous to want to fist-fight against such a well-armed enemy. Our tactics derive from what has been said. We are anarchists and we preach Anarchy without adjectives. Anarchy is an axiom and the economic question something secondary. Some will say to us that it is because of the economic question that Anarchy is a truth; but we believe that to be anarchist means being the enemy of all authority and imposition and, by consequence, whatever system is proposed must be considered the best defence of Anarchy, not wishing to impose it on those who do not accept it. This does not mean that we ignore the economic question. On the contrary, we are pleased to discuss it, but only as a contribution to the definitive solution or solutions. Many excellent things have been said by Cabet, Saint Simon, Fourier, Robert Owen and others; but all their systems have disappeared because they wanted to lock Society up in the conceptions of their brains, despite having done much to elucidate the great question. Remember that from the moment in which you set about drawing up the general lines of the Future Society, on the one hand there arise objections and questions from one's adversaries; and on the other hand, the natural desire to produce a complete and perfect work will lead one to invent and draw up a system that, we are sure, will disappear like the others. There is a huge distance between the anarchist individualism of Spencer and other bourgeois thinkers and the individualist-socialist anarchists (I can find no other expression), as there is between Spanish collectivists from one region to another, among the English and North American mutualists, or among the libertarian communists. Kropotkin, for example, speaks to us of the "industrial town", reducing its system, or if one prefers its concept, to the coming together of small communities that produce what they want, thus making a reality, so to speak, of the biblical heaven-on-earth out of the present state of civilization. Whereas Malatesta, who is also a libertarian communist, points to the constitution of large organizations who exchange their products between them and who will increase this creative power even more, this amazing activity that is unfolded by the 19th century, purged of all injurious action. Each powerful intelligence gives its indications and creates new roads to the Future Society, winning supporters through some hypnotic power (if we can say so), suggesting these ideas to others', with everyone in general formulating their own particular plan. Let us agree then, as almost all of us in Spain have done, to call ourselves simply anarchists. In our conversations, in our conferences and our press, we do discuss economic questions, but these questions should never become the cause of division between anarchists. For our propaganda to be successful, for the conservation of the idea, we need to know each other and see each other, and for this reason we have to set up groups. In Spain these groups exist in every locality where there are anarchists and they are the driving force of the whole revolutionary movement. Anarchists do not have money, nor easy means to find it. To get around this, most of us voluntarily make a small weekly or monthly contribution, so that we can maintain the relations necessary between every member. We could maintain relations with the whole World, if other countries had an organization like ours. There is no authority in the group: one comrade is appointed to act as treasurer, another as secretary to deal with correspondence, etc. Ordinary meetings are held every week or fortnight; extraordinary meetings whenever they are necessary. In order to save on expenses and work, and also as a measure of prudence in case of persecution, a commission of relations is created on a national level. But it does not take any initiative: its members must go to their groups if they wish to make proposals. Its mission is to communicate the resolutions and proposals that are communicated to it from one group to all groups, to keep lists of contacts and provide these to any group that should ask for them, and to make direct contact with other groups. Such are the general lines of the organization that were accepted at the congress of Valencia and about which you spoke in "La Révolte". The benefits that are produced are immense - and that is what stokes the fire of anarchist ideas. But rest assured that if we reduced action to anarchist organization, we would obtain very little. We would end up transforming it into an organization of thinkers who discuss ideas and which would certainly degenerate into a society of metaphysicists debating words. And this is not unlike the situation you find yourselves in. Using your activity only to discuss the ideal, you end up debating words. The ones are called "egoists" and the others "altruists", though both want the same thing; some are called "libertarian communists" and others "individualists", but at the root they express the same ideas. We should not forget that the great mass of proletarians is forced to work an excessive number of hours, that they live in poverty and that consequently they cannot buy the books of Buchner, Darwin, Spencer, Lombroso, Max Nordau, etc., whose names they will hardly even have heard. And even if the proletarian could obtain these books, he lacks the preparatory studies in physics, chemistry, natural history and mathematics that would be necessary to understand what he is reading well. He has no time to study with method, nor is his brain exercised enough to be able to assimilate these studies. There are exceptions like the case of Esteban in "Germinal", those whose thirst for knowledge drives them to devour whatever falls into their hands, though often little or nothing is retained. Our field of action, then, lies not within these groups, but among the proletarian masses. It is in the societies of resistance where we study and we prepare our plan of struggle. These societies will exist under the bourgeois regime. Workers are not writers and care little whether there is freedom of the press; workers are not orators, and care little for the freedom to hold public meetings; they consider political liberties to be secondary things, but they all seek to improve their economic condition and they all seek to shake off the yoke of the bourgeoisie. For this reason there will be labour unions and societies of resistance even while there still exists the exploitation of one man by another. This is our place. By abandoning them, as you have done, they will become the meeting places of charlatans who speak to the workers of "scientific socialism" or practicism, possibilism, cooperation, accumulation of capital to maintain peaceful strikes, requests for aid and the support of the authorities, etc., in such a way that will send the workers to sleep and restrain their revolutionary urges. If anarchists were part of these societies, at least they would prevent the "sedators" from carrying out propaganda against us. And furthermore, if, as is the case in Spain, the anarchists are the most active members of these societies, those that carry out whatever work is needed for no reward, unlike the deceivers who exploit them, then these societies will always be on our side. In Spain it is these societies who buy large amounts of anarchist newspapers every week to distribute free of charge to their members. It is these societies who give money towards supporting our publications and aiding prisoners and others who are persecuted. We have shown by our work in these societies that we fight for the sake of our ideas. In addition, we go everywhere there are workers, and even where there are not, if we think that our presence there can be useful to the cause of Anarchy. Thus is the situation in Catalonia (and increasingly so in other regions of Spain), where there is hardly a municipality where we have not created or at least helped to create groups - be they called circles, literary society, workers' centres, etc. - which sympathize with our ideas without describing themselves as anarchist or even being really anarchist. In these places we carry out purely anarchist conferences, mixing our revolutionary work together with the various musical and literary meetings. There, seated at a coffee table, we debate, we meet every evening, or we study in the library. This is where our newspapers have their editorial offices, and where we send the newspapers we in turn receive to the reading room; and all this is freely organized and almost without expense. For example, in the Barcelona circle it is not even required to become a member; those who so wish can become members and the monthly contribution of 25 centimas is also voluntary. Of the two or three thousand workers who frequent the circle, only three hundred are members. We could say that these places are the focal point of our ideas. Nevertheless, although the government has always sought pretexts to close them down, it has never come up with anything, because they do not describe themselves as anarchist and private meetings are not held there. Nothing is done there that could not be done in any public café; but because all the active elements go there, great things often arise over a cup of coffee or a glass of cognac. We nearly forgot the cooperative societies for consumption. In almost every town of Catalonia - except Barcelona, where it is impossible due to the great distances involved and the way of life - consumption cooperatives have been created where the workers can find foodstuffs that are cheaper and of better quality than at the retailers, where none of the members considers the cooperative to be an end in itself, but a means to be taken advantage of. There are societies that make large purchases and that have credit of fifty or sixty thousand pesetas, that have been very useful in strikes, giving credit to workers. In the literary societies of the "gentlemen" (or wise men, as they are often known), they discuss socialism; two comrades then register as members (if they do not have the money, the corporation will see to it) and go to stand up for our ideas. The same happens with our press. It never leaves aside anarchist ideas; but it gives room to manifestos, statements and news which, although they may seem of little importance, serve nonetheless to allow our newspaper - and with it our ideas - to penetrate into towns or areas that know little of our ideas. These are our tactics and I believe that if they were adopted in other countries, anarchists would soon see their field of action widen. Remember that in Spain most people cannot read; but despite this, six anarchist periodicals, pamphlets, books and a great many leaflets are published. There are continually meetings and, even without any great propagandists, very important results are achieved. In Spain, the bourgeoisie is ruthless and rancorous, and will not allow one of its class to sympathize with us. When some man of position takes our side, all manner of means are unleashed against him to force him into abandoning us in such a way that he can only support us in private. On the contrary, the bourgeoisie gives him whatever he wishes, if he moves away from us. Therefore, all the work in favour of Anarchy rests on the shoulders of the manual workers, who must sacrifice their hours of rest for it. While there are a great many fine elements in France, Britain, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium and North America, think of the progress we could make with a change of tactics! I think I have said enough for my ideas to be understood. Yours, for the Social Revolution, Barcelona, 7th August 1890" (Translated from French to Spanish by Vladimiro Muñoz) In this memorable letter, Tarrida del Mármol successfully sets out the problem of how anarchists can become an influence on the mass movements and stop being small groups of individuals who have inherited the Bakuninist principles of the 1877 International without regressing, of course, into the "propaganda by the deed". The matter is of the utmost relevance today, at the start of the 21st century. However, it must be stressed that syndicalism today is no longer what it was at the end of the 19th century, with French revolutionary syndicalism and the period leading up to the foundation of the Spanish CNT in 1910. A series of other observations also needs to be made. The practice of "anarchist terrorism" (1880-1910) did not lead to anything and was in fact counter-productive for the anarchist movement. Then, after the defeat of Russian anarchism in the revolutionary process in the land of the Urals, an attempt was made to present the emergence of platformism (1926) as a "deviation", when it was in fact nothing less than a landmark in the organizational evolution of anarchism. In reality, platformism had already been practiced in Spain, which had produced the Federación Anarquista Ibérica (FAI) in 1923, though it can also be traced back to the syndicalist defence groups that faced the terrorism of the bosses in the 1920s. The libertarian concept of discipline or "organic responsibility", was already practiced by anarchist organizations albeit implicitly rather than explicitly: delegates adopted resolutions that the membership accepted, adopted and implemented, even when it did not agree with them. When Buenacasa tells Francisco Ascaso that his opinion differs from that of the organization, the impetuous Ascaso replies: "that's as may be, but although the organization says the opposite to me, I am the one that is right". And so "organic responsibility" came to be adopted in the Spanish CNT in Exile at a time when the development of conspiratorial activity against Francoism required it. For that reason, Gino Cerrito (b. 1922), the Italian historian, attacked the concept of "organic responsibility", stating that anarchism was not the theory of a social class but an individualist philosophy. But Cerrito was wrong. Anarchism is a philosophy that is individualist and associative at one and the same time. It is individuals who associate, and this is true even there where anarchism was an influential mass movement, as was the case with the port workers of Buenos Aires, the Dutch Provo movement, the Catalan textile workers or the Ukrainian farmers: associative individuals, that is the key to anarchism. That is why the idea of a hierarchical "party" is rejected by anarchists, because it is nothing less than a hierarchical replica of State apparatuses. In reality, the anarchist party is the confederation or federation. And it has always been so. Federations confederate, affinity groups federate and, to a great extent, the affinity group is a federation of individuals as well as the local union federation is an association of unions. For the anarchist organization, the federal principle replaces the executive principle. But treatment of the legislative principle is more delicate. One assumes that, in groupings where there are natural inequalities of whatever origin, anarchists accept the principle of the majority, as in the unions for example. But what distinguishes platformism is that while the legislative principle is not adopted within the anarchist organization, it must be adopted in the mass organizations in the interests of public anarchist politics. Such a thing would be totally unacceptable for any hardened anarchist individualist. Nevertheless, this cannot allow us to forget the rights of the minorities, who Malatesta tried to save by proposing that agreements of the federation of associates be adopted only by those who were in favour of them but not by those who were against. This, though, would go against the principle of organic responsibility. Platformism developed in the years following 1926, becoming greatly enriched with the contributions of many people: Fontenis, Guérin, etc. But at heart, it is a means whereby anarchism can leave its own imaginary universe and make contact with the people in the street, with a large part of the population, with "the masses". Nowadays, platformism is an alternative to the insurrectionalism that instead seeks to vindicate 19th-century nihilist, gang-ridden, mafia-like "anarchist terrorism". It is also an alternative to the visible and extraordinary disorganization that permeates "other-worldist" anarchism, that continues to announce that we are partisans of chaos, disorder, vandalism and violence. That is, of course, untrue; but similar actions could be carried on if they are accepted by "the masses". And by accepted we also mean directed, coordinated and decided by them. The key, in my opinion, is to stop being a minority and become the majority or the best possible majority. Otherwise, defeats always lead to dark rooms and ivory towers. Platformism has become a specific element within today's broad anarchist movement. The adoption of "historical materialism" by sectors within anarchism is nothing new: it was common during the development of the movement over seven decades, at least since its foundation. Bakunin was a historical materialist and not, indeed, in the restricted sense. Only the crisis of 1940, with the world war and the appearance of McCarthyist anti-communism - which also spread within the anarchist movement - gave a foothold to certain influences of the old individualist liberalism which was then able to colonize certain sectors of anarchism, as was the case with anarchism in Italy, in the River Plate area and in several other places. But those influences are returning, as can be seen even in Spanish anarcho-syndicalism today. What is happening is that the influence of North American anarchism - based mainly on a strange mixture of old-fashioned insurrectionalism and incurable Yankee liberalism - is being used by certain elements who are specialized in the subject, to intensify the general confusion. The word "libertarian", for example, no longer means what it did when it was coined by Sébastian Faure, for the very simple reason that French culture does not have the influence it once had for over a century; what is influential now is North American culture, in which "libertarian" stands for both the anarchist sense and for those who are in favour of the "free market". Hence "anarcho-capitalism", the very negation of anarchism, which has always been anti-capitalist. This confusion is also to be seen within the anarchist movement. Murray Rothbard (1926-1995), the father of anarcho-capitalism, an enemy of the State but a supporter of the "free market", really is the ideologist of many so-called "anarchists" or "libertarians" around the world. Clearly Rothbard was also against the multinationals, like all liberal radicals: he was against private monopolies that prevent the free operation of the market. But the anti-capitalism of anarchists does not stop with the fight against the multinationals. By no means. Nor in the social-democratic or unionist method of expropriating the capital gains that the bosses snatch from the workers, be it through laws or dictatorships, or even agreements. No. Anarchist anti-capitalism is based on the belief that nobody can sell their labour to create capital gain, for the State or for private industrialists. That is the point. For anarchists, the creation of capital gain by means of work is related to the contribution to the collective wealth of the communist association. That is to say, of the communist society. For that reason, anarchists have never accepted the idea of wage-slaving, be it in a "free" or "planned" market. In other words, anarchism does not accept capitalist profit, be it private or public. Neither does it accept "universal suffrage" (in the words of Kropoktin), not because this suffrage was non-viable, but because it is not our masters we should be choosing but our rotating and recallable delegates. So, Anarchism without adjectives. We do need to re-read - and remember - the classics from time to time, including Tarrida del Mármol. Floreal Castilla Venezuela, 31st December 2006

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