Saturday, 13 August 2016

The development of states and government in human history

WORK in Progress. NEEDS TIDY UP.

  •  for a time in the Neolithic period societies were pretty egalitarian and stateless.
  • "Evidence of the earliest known city-states has been found in ancient Mesopotamia around 3700 BC, suggesting that the history of the state is less than 6,000 years old; thus, for most of human prehistory the state did not exist."
  • Generally speaking, the archaeological evidence suggests that the state emerged from stateless communities only when a fairly large population (at least tens of thousands of people) was more or less settled together in a particular territory, and practiced agriculture. Indeed, one of the typical functions of the state is the defense of territory. Nevertheless, there are exceptions: Lawrence Krader for example describes the case of the Tatar state, a political authority arising among confederations of clans of nomadic or semi-nomadic herdsme

Characteristically the state functionaries (royal dynasties, soldiers, scribes, servants, administrators, lawyers, tax collectors, religious authorities etc.) are mainly not self-supporting, but rather materially supported and financed by taxes and tributes contributed by the rest of the working population. This assumes a sufficient level of labor-productivity per capita which at least makes possible a permanent surplus product (principally foodstuffs) appropriated by the state authority to sustain the activities of state functionaries. Such permanent surpluses were generally not produced on a significant scale in smaller tribal or clan societies.[7]
  • The archaeologist Gregory Possehl has argued that there is no evidence that the relatively sophisticated, urbanized Harappan civilization, which flourished from about 2,500 to 1,900 BC in the Indus region, featured anything like a centralized state apparatus. No evidence has yet been excavated locally of palaces, temples, a ruling sovereign or royal graves, a centralized administrative bureaucracy keeping records, or a state religion—all of which are elsewhere usually associated with the existence of a state apparatus.[8]

    Similarly, in the earliest large-scale human settlements of the stone age which have been discovered, such as Çatal Höyük and Jericho, no evidence was found of the existence of a state authority. The Çatal Höyük settlement of a farming community (7,300 BC to circa 6,200 BC) spanned circa 13 hectares (32 acres) and probably had about 5,000 to 10,000 inhabitants.[9]
  • Possehl however does not believe that the Indus Civilization was a state. "There are no clear signs of kingship in the form of sculpture or palaces. There is no evidence for a state bureaucracy or the other trappings of 'stateness.' Nor is there evidence for a state religion in the form of large temples or other monumental public works…It is clear that the Indus Civilization is an example of archaic sociocultural complexity, just as complex in its own way as the archaic civilizations of Mesopotamia and Dynastic Egypt or the Maya and Inca of the New World. But the Indus Civilization was not organized as a state, if by state we adhere to the criteria previously outlined."
    The author recognises the sociocultural complexity of the Indus Civilization. It expresses itself in the absence of the temples and other monumental buildings either for kings or priests. In fact, the religious and political institutions of the Indus Civilization express themselves in significantly different ways from all other civilizations of the ancient world.


Monday, 25 July 2016

Know your Left wing parties.

  • SWP are rape apologists
  • SSP are in the rank and file kind and good people but their leaders are devious and conniving and dodgy.
  • Morning Star Communist Party folks are stalinists to the core(supporting Soviet union,stalin, China, Cuba etc)  Pro-labour party And SWERFS.
  • RCG supports venezuela, Cuba, chinese gov,  anti-labour party. Very Leninist. Very pro-Bolshevik to a naive degree. Hostile to anarchism and misrepresent anarchism. Very deceitful about anarchism. Very hostile to criticism of Cuba, Bolivia and Venezuela. Hates the SWP for making surprisingly legitimate criticisms of Cuba.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

What the fuck going on???!

Anarchists supporting Jeremy Corbyn. Being co-opted into the Labour party,reformism, representative democracy etc.

Anarchists for Corbyn was a satire page not a political program.

The End of Dogma: #KeepCorbyn as a transitional demand.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Anarchism and Parenting.


  • Anarchist thinking on parenting while by necessity involve anarchist thinking on parenting.
  • There is no one set one size fits all approach but must remain within anarchist principles.
  • Anarchist parenting seeks to encourage positive qualities like  curiosity for knowledge, responsibility for self and others, altruism, critical thinking, compassion and awareness of the world.
  • Corporal punishment of any kind not only does not work but is positively harmful physically and mentally and is just in reality child abuse. All major child organisations agree with this.
  • Would promote learning from mistakes/ trial by error
  • Parenting style which is neither laissez faire nor paternalistic. Parent and child on equal footing.
  • leading by example.
  • Anarchism needs to be more welcoming to younger people and make spaces for accesible for parents.
  • Seeks to develop "a well-rounded individuality" and not "a patient work slave, professional automaton, tax-paying citizen, or righteous moralist."- Emma Goldman.

Under-theorized in Anarchism.

  • Disability
  • Indigneous struggles
  • Imperialism
  • Education
  • Parenting.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Commentary on Brexit.


Politics feels like an episode of Game of Thrones.

Why the Leave result?

We should be careful about how we examine reasons for  the Leave result. It's too simplistic to dismiss leave voters as racists- since that's not true given the Lord Ashcroft polls- and its too simplistic to say it was "a working class revolt" as some Lexit(Left Exit) folk have done to comfort their consciences over the nasty consequences of the Leave vote.

The Lord Ashcroft polls if correct, suggest that most voted leave because they saw the EU as undemocratic and they desire more democracy in politics.

Was some of the Leave vote undeveloped anti-capitalist feeling???? Do some people perceive Leave as left wing??  Some Leave voters have said they wanted more democracy and saw the EU as controlled by the rich and believed this would send a shock to the system.

The Leave vote was partially a protest vote against feeling ignored and excluded by parliamentary politics and feeling left behind with the decline of heavy industry.  Some Leave voters were racist but not all. It's more like racists voted leave rather than leave voters were racists.  Regardless of the reasons why people voted leave, racists interpret the Leave result as a signal that others in the UK agree with their racist and xenophobic ideas.

We need to tap in to that desire for democracy and discontent with the way things are and turn it left wards rather than let it be dragged right-wards.

There are genuine problems- housing shortage, job cuts, job shortages-  which the media and right are saying is caused by migration but in reality is caused by austerity and ultimately by the capitalist system.


Unlikely to be able to rejoin EU within UK since france and spain have said they will block it and would require unanimous consent of EU member states.

Spain are blocking scotland joining EU within UK to prevent this happening inspiring Catalonia, Basque Country etc following suit and doing the same.

 Indyref 2 looks likely. Unclear whether that would be a yes vote to leave the UK. We can't assume it would be.

An independent Scotland may not be guaranteed re-entry into the EU which might leave us isolated.

Independent Scotland does not escape Neo-liberalism and would still be a capitalist state with a capitalist economic system.

We shouldn't pretend the SNP is a friend of migrants either particularly.


Leaving the EU could affect the border situation and the Good Friday Agreement.

Corbyn and the Labour Party.

At best joining the labour party to support Corybn is a waste of time, unlikely to be effective. Seems likely he will be thrown out.

At worst it will encourage hope in Corbyn/Labour Party/ representative democracy that will drain energy and participation away from grassroots organizing if not soon then later in the future around election time etc.


England is set to have the most right-wing british government ever with Gove, Theresa May or Boris Johnson.  Because of the interpretation of the Leave vote as racist, we will see the government swing further to the right.

I hope UKIP doesn't gain more supporter and especially hope they don't gain power.

Expect more austerity ,attacks on workers rights, migrants rights etc etc.

Rest of the world.

European far right welcome this result and want to follow suit.
Donald trump supports this result.

there might be another recession?

What next?

Out of anger for the Leave vote, people have went knee jerk into almost uncritical support for the EU.  That's understandable given anger about Leave result and fear of the consequences.

  We must make clear that neither the EU nor the british state(nor any state- past, present or future fort that matter)  are democratic , accountable or reformable. 

I don't think we'll be able to get back in the EU just now as things stand.anti-raids networks, direct action against any threats to migrants, militant stuff.  It won't if we don't build it. If we stop thinking politicians are the solution and turn to ourselves then we can get more stuff done.  Networks are already there we just need more participation to be more public and build wider and stronger. It's not easy, takes time and effort, inevitable frustrations and disappointments, resolving conflict and disagreement and probably means some sacrificed leisure time but its what needs done

 Britain is likely to leave the EU because legitimacy wise it would be bad for them to do otherwise. Scotland might get into the EU in the UK but countries have to be unanimous and spain and France have said they will block it.
So until there's another Indyref (which might not be a yes result so we shouldn't put all our eggs in one basket ) that's all we can do.  There are no quick fixes,unfortunately.

try to fight job cuts with direct action, protest, strike, occupation, sit in????

  • Any crisis is an opportunity- normally for the right ( Shock Doctrine) but the left needs to take advance of it. 
  • In the short term Brexit will cede group to the right wing. It's up to the left to get organized. Migrant solidarity, anti-fascism, anti-racism is essential.
  • We must avoid British nationalism/racism on one side and Scottish nationalism on the other side.
  • We must show both Leave and Remain why their interests are not served by politicians and governments.

  • TO SORT OUT LATER/Useful resources.

    Lord Ashcroft Polls demographics and statistics- - criticism of white supremacy in Brexit discussions. - EU critical article from an African perspective.

    Some media tried to paint Leave voters are completely ignorant and some lies were told ----

    some people may not have known fully the consequences  it is true but the failure to misunderstand why people voted leave is unhelpful and telling. looks deeper at causes of Leave vote. Need to examine it carefully.

    Why we voted leave: voices from northern England

    -Short documentary set in the former mining village of Stainforth, near Doncaster, in the wake of the Brexit. 
    Sheena Moore, a social worker from a former coal mining family leads us through her village and asks people how they voted, why, and what they hope for. What emerges is a picture of a neglected and invisible working class who have suffered immensely under the EU and the UK government.
    Filmed and edited by Sheena Sumaria, Guerrera Films


    Monday, 27 June 2016

    AWL's argument to respond to.

    Work in progress.

    "the conquest of political power by the working class and the transformation of advanced capitalism into the beginning of socialism. Anything else is reactionary anti-capitalism, in the muddled form of a utopian drive to go back to stages capitalism has outgrow"

    "Who knows that to be true? Capitalism does not come to a dead end: for example, the microchip revolution over recent decades is a tremendous capitalist-era addition to humankind’s power over nature and potentially over its own social affairs. These and other contemporary technological advances will be taken over by the working class, which develops with and within capitalism and its constantly changing technologie"

    "Capitalism continues to develop and, in its own bourgeois way, continues to socialise production. It continues to create the material basis for socialism."

    "The European Union represents a necessary capitalist development. It is reversible only by regression to economic chaos and probably war. Socialists cannot propose to roll the film of history backwards, or want Europe to regress to the old “Balkanised” system of antagonistic bourgeois states and alliances.
    The way forward is a working-class campaign to democratise it, and a Europe-wide working-class campaign for a Socialist United States of Europe. We seize the chance to unite the European working class; we propose that the working class should set as its goal the creation of a fully democratic Europe, the overthrow of the bourgeoisie and the creation of the Socialist United States of Europe."