Tuesday, 30 September 2014

List of books I plan to read.

Empire by Negri & Hardt.
Derek Wall-Babylon and Beyond: The Economics of Anti-Capitalist, Anti-Globalist and Radical Green Movement. 
Ecofeminism by Maria Mies.
Free Women Of Spain By Martha Ackelsberg.
Books for Burning by Antonio Negri.    
Militant Anti-Fascism A Hundred Years of Resistance.
Gilles Deleuze: An Introduction by Todd May.
Ecological Ethics by Patrick Curry.
The Problem with Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics, and Postwork Imaginaries By Kathi Weeks.
Feminism and the Mastery of Nature By Val Plumwood.
Autonomia: Post-political politics (Semiotext(E) Journal) by S Lotringer, Sylvere Lotringer and Christian Marazzi .                 
Patriarchy and Accumulation on a World Stage by Maria Mies.
Philosophical Anarchism and Political Obligation (Contemporary Anarchist Studies).
Contemporary Anarchist Studies: An Introductory Anthology of Anarchy in the Academy.
Daoism and Anarchism: Critiques of State Autonomy in Ancient and Modern China (Contemporary Anarchist Studies) By   John A. Rapp.     
Making Another World Possible (Contemporary Anarchist Studies) .
The Ethical Slut- by Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy .
 
 
 
 Spinoza and Politics (Radical Thinkers Series 3) by Etienne Balibar.
The works of Spinoza.
Spinoza: Practical Philosophy by Deleuze.
Understanding Hegelianism By Robert Sinnerbrink.
An introduction to Chinese Philosophy by Karyn. L. Lai.
The Book of Chuang Tzu (Penguin Classics).
 


  • Philosophers- Hegel, Heidegger, Spinoza, Dewey, Nietzsche, Deleuze, Guattari,
  • Marxist- More Gramsci, More Marx, C.L.R. James,
  • Autonomist:- Negri & Hardt , Silvia Federici, Selma James, Marirosa Dalla Costa, Mario Tronti, Aufheben magazine,George Caffentzis,  Recomposition Notes for a New Workerism,Franco "Bifo" Berardi , John Holloway,
  • Council Communists-
  • Anarchists- Murray Bookchin, more Alexander Berkman, More Kropotkin, More E. Malatesta, Ricardo Flores Magon,



 









Monday, 29 September 2014

Post-referendum, what next for the Scottish Left?

The Scottish left is divided but to some extent legitimately so. There is a stark divide opening between those with an Electoral focus and those with a grassroots focus.

The 45% movement represents the limited focus that   on independence  encourages. I do think a lot of energy from the newly politicised to the typical groups etc is being focused into the referendum even still and (as always) into the false promises of political parties. The referendum was never likely to touch the foundations of  the systems of oppression which exist within society. It was just a shift of government. I feel like it diverted a lot of energy which would've been better invested in a grassroots mass movement which is about direct democracy not parliaments, politicians or political parties and which aimed to change society on a very deep level. Whoever won the referendum, the fundamental issues would remain e.g. the irreconcilable conflict of interests between bosses and workers.

The fact is the referendum is over, the vote was no and I feel it is a complete waste of time to be focusing on it anymore. I was concerned during the referendum that it would draw people in and reduce their politics to the question of Holyrood or westminster and I feel that largely with exceptions that is what has occurred. It happened during the referendum and I feel that it is still happening now. My concern is that the referendum debate has co-opted leftists into dropping their usual criticisms of the status quo and buying into a naïve optimism instead of what has been  dismissed as "pessimism" but I would call  instead call realism(the realism of radicals)

I do indeed think the referendum is a black hole. The focus always should've been on building a movement at the grassroots in a non parliamentary way and  now MORE THAN EVER that is EXTREMELY important. I believe to suggest otherwise feeds a dangerous naivety and gives support to the false optimism of an independent Scotland, which was never likely to deliver what we needed anyway and at very best could only offer limited improvements IF they were militantly fought for at the grassroots.

I feel like the majority of political energy is not being focused in on grassroots direct action and movements such as 45%, the recount crowd, the numbers joining the SNP,SSP and Greens testify to that. The fact people knew more about a referendum demo and that a selection of that group would rather wave flags and present Scottish identity as oppressed and/or radical rather than transcend it( and also rather than attend a pro-choice march) suggests that the referendum debate has trapped some people into the narrow confines of nationalism. Again, I am not saying this is everyone involved in the Yes side but it does seem to be a problem affecting the newly politicised.

I am extremely angry that discussion is still focused on the referendum and that political energy is not being focused more broadly on the question of what kind of society we would like to have. I was reminded by a friend that for some people there is no other way to answer that question,than through Scottish independence.For me that is not a satisfactory answer and I am deeply critical of that position.

One consequence of the referendum debate has been that since political energy was channelled through the referendum, many people now suppose that Scottish independence is and was the only means of positive social change. They ignore direct action at the grassroots level and are even further invested in parliamentary politics. The referendum it would appear has very horribly backfired.

Politics is and should be, about more than the referendum. It was before the referendum and it should be after the referendum. As I've said before, I'm not critical of those who campaigned for a yes and did grassroots direct action alongside it. Most of my criticism is directed at those who only campaigned for Yes. But now given that the result was a no, I consider it pointless to focus on Scottish independence as a means to an end anymore AT ALL especially considering it wouldn't have been much of a means to an end anyway. If we're about building a society in which ordinary people are genuinely in control of their own lives, then we must begin to work for that and help encourage that goal  otherwise I think we're just moaning and crying over spilt milk.
 I maintain my usual criticism that representative democracy is neither representative nor democratic and cannot be made so. So parliamentary means are pointless.No politician cares about us. Direct democracy is the wave of the future.

We must forget parliaments and politicians and work to build a grassroots expansive radical movement which seeks to overturn the foundations of oppression and replace it with direct democracy. That  is it's true,  a longer and harder task for sure but a more worthwhile one.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

My Green Philosophy and politics.

Neither primitivist nor Bookchin's simplistic-ness.


Anarchism. Intersectionality. Anti-capitalism. Feminism. Animal liberation. Radical Ecology. Queer Liberation. Anti-fascism/Anti-racism. Indigenous struggles. Direct Democracy.


I'm not an Anarcho-Primitivist but I'm critical of Bookchin too.

I take Taoist ideas and like them, but am not uncritical of them.

I think some indigenous practices and beliefs may be useful but again not uncritically. We should dismiss them or fetishize them.

I'm opposed to a lifestyle green politics which thinks ethical consumerism is enough or changing your lifestyle is enough.

I reject Lifestylism in green politics as much as anywhere else. I am equally opposed to Green political parties. The state itself and Capitalism are opposed to green ideals.

There can never be a green society while there is capitalism.


Being in nature allows us to forget rank,wealth,prestige, desire to produce or consume.It allows us to recognise we’re part of a larger whole and the world does not revolve around us and to recognise that nature does as it does without fearing others judgement or without seeking praise.

Roaming in nature as a TAZ( Temporary Autonomous Zone).




A Green society will only be possible by a revolution and a change in the total organisation of society. It can only come about in a non-state non hierarchical feminist society.

Gary Snyder talks of 3 distinctions
 
Nature- all that exists
 
Wildness- qualities of nature like spontaneity, self organizing,  it’s a process nature does and qualities nature has.
 
Wilderness- places where wildness (is heavily??) present due to absence of human influence.
 
Wildness can occur outside of wilderness areas. Wildness is in human activity to some extent too! 
Nature's value.

Nature is not evil or good- those terms are projections of human values. Nature just is.
Nature is indifferent to us( in the sense that it has no personal connection to us, it has not personal interest in whether we live or die , it just is and is there.)   However we should not be indifferent back to it. 

Humans are neither inferior to nature(and a "virus") nor are we superior(Anthropocentrism)

We have a responsibility towards nature given how much influence over it we have.

Where do we go between treating nature as an inferior ‘other’ and treating nature as exactly like us and anthropromorphising it. I guess the answer is we should recognise nature as different from us but not separate or opposed to us. It is dialectically both like and unlike us in different ways. 
 Maybe we cannot escape coming from a human centred viewpoint? – I tend to think we can’t.  If this is correct then we must develop our ecological ethics from that point of view and we cannot have any sort of value free/neutral ecological ethics. 
  

     Is the middleground between disrespect for nature and misanthropy to be found in thinking of nature as like us but slightly different from us- of ourselves as nature conscious of itself. Self conscious of itself.
 
·         Since we are more capable than the rest of nature of preserving nature (as much as is possible)  Surely we have a moral responsibility to do so?  That is not anthropocentric as such.  We are part of nature but more self aware and more responsible than all the rest of nature.
 
·         Does nature need us??  Is it selfish of us to seek to preserve nature which is only to preserve humanity?  Can we seek to preserve nature without it being self servingly only to preserve the human species?  What is best for nature?  Will nature recover if human does end up wiping itself out??? 


Does nature have intrinsic value????
 
·         CAN there be positive anthropocentric intrinsic value?
 
·         How to have an anthropocentric view which does not make humans superior nor inferior. 
 




Harm to nature.

I reject an absolutist position opposed to any interference with nature or any harming of animals for any reason whatsoever. We should interfere with nature as little as we can. We should only interfere with nature when it harms humanity not to do so- the same I think applies to animals.

Hunting.

Hunting for sport is morally wrong.  Hunting for food when no alternative exists is acceptable and to condemn it would be racist and inhumane.

Animal cruelty

Factory farming, zoos, veal crates etc are cruel and morally wrong .

I'm skeptical whether animal domestication was necessarily a positive thing.

Veganism.

Intellectually I agree with Veganism.

I am opposed to the absolutist position that everyone should be vegan ignoring people who cannot manage that diet for medical reasons or because of the conditions of where they live i.e. there is only meat available.

I'm critical of a non political veganism.



Technology.

I oppose Techno-utopian fetishizing of technology.

I think Trans-humanism may not be very healthy(?)

I don't agree that technology is neutral. Yet I reject the idea that technology is inherently bad.

I think it would probably be good to have a principle that technology is only useful when it furthers nature- both humanity and nonhuman nature. Probably use of something like a precautionary principle whereby the consequences of a technologies use or potential abuse would be considered and it might happen that some technology is not developed if it is thought that it could be oppressive   

Maybe it would be best if cars became obsolete?

Modern agriculture has turned culture into industry. It is a frenzy, arrogant, profit seeking and about separation. It puts efficiency over community and democracy and everything else. 

A green society(some speculations)

It would have to be anarchist i.e. anti-state, anti-capitalist, anti-hierarchy, anti-patriarchy. No borders or nations. It must be opposed to all forms of oppression. It must be a grassroots democracy, egalitarian and without private property.

More localism but international coordination.

wholescale  reorganization of food, technology, industry, housing, energy, communication, transportation.. essentially all aspects of society. Green Anarchism adds onto the demands of anarchism. It makes considerations more complex.   

Locally produced organic food.

Would probably need to be communist to avoid consumerism which is inherent to the logic of markets.

No rigid divisions between town/country, city and wilderness,   

any fuels used are renewable.

Would probably require most people eating a vegan diet.

Slower pace of life. Massive Recycling.  Reuse. Repair. Focus on quality of life and depth of experiences not quantity of possessions.

Close knit communities.

would probably have minimal technology/industry. Some places might choose to have none.  Technology only where its needed.


Green Communism:-
 
could require and allow a slower place of life.   Individual and social wellbeing not economic growth.
 
Mix of modern knowledge and possibly some more  useful traditional/ indigenous practices.
 
Could have no rushing.
 
Things done for pleasure. Things done for joy not profit. 
 
Minimal technology- technological progress based on precautionary principle.
 
Differing sizes of organization and coordination.
 
Lots of localism. Grassroots unity.
 
Encouraging selflessness, mutual aid, solidarity ,community, giving, being,  quality over quantity,
 
Ambition would be helping others  ,seeking the fulfilment of each and every person.
 
Satisfaction with the ordinary  as opposed to the spectacle.
 
Humility, rambling and roaming.
 
Living with and understanding of, nature as opposed to being at war with it and seeking to dominate over it.
 
Being an oppressor or seeking to compete or dominate seen as individual AND social failure.
 
Encouragement of mutual aid,solidarity, critical thinking, responsibility, compassion, desire to help others, curiosity, play, spontaneity, childlike without being childish, pleasure seeking but not thrill seeking , not constantly seeking new things,  


 

Articles on Gay and Lesbian support of the miners.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

How the No vote result could play out.

I don't want to post the offending site so I'll post it arguments,
How Scotland will be robbed         
          August 20, 2014 by

"
But some voters still don’t really know what the “Barnett Formula” is or how it works, so it seemed worth putting together a concise step-by-step guide to how it’ll be used to steal billions of pounds from Scots, should they vote next month to leave control of their affairs with Westminster.

———————————————————————————————–
1. The Barnett Formula is the system used to decide the size of the “block grant” sent every year from London to the Scottish Government to run devolved services. It’s currently a little over £26bn, and being reduced annually under the coalition’s austerity programme.
(It’s surprisingly hard to actually find out the size of the block grant, as it doesn’t appear to be published openly, but we can deduce it by matching the figures in this Freedom Of Information response from the UK government to Table 8 in this report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies.)
The Formula is designed to rebalance public spending (which is focused heavily on London and the South-East) and reflect the higher costs of providing services in Scotland, where the population is much less densely concentrated than in England.
But it’s hugely unpopular with the English public, which has been conditioned by years of media coverage to believe that it represents a “subsidy” from England to Scotland – “extra” money which is then used to give Scottish people privileges not granted to English citizens, like free prescriptions and university tuition.
A poll conducted by the Sun in February this year found that only 13% of English people agreed with the (loaded) proposition that “It’s worth continuing to give Scotland a higher proportion of public spending to keep it in the UK”, with 60% opposed.
sunpolleng
———————————————————————————————–
2. The reality is that the subsidy is in the other direction – Scottish tax receipts, thanks largely to North Sea oil, more than pay for the higher spending provided by Barnett. Impartial UK research organisation FullFact calculated that over the last three decades the subsidy from Scotland to London has been of the order of billions of pounds every year:
(The only way of manipulating figures so that Scotland seems to get more back than it pays in is to attribute oil revenue to the entire UK rather than Scotland, ie cheating.)
———————————————————————————————–
3. As a result of English resentment of the Formula – however misplaced – politicians of all parties are under enormous pressure to end it, and have made a variety of veiled and not-so-veiled promises to do so.
———————————————————————————————–
4. Until now, however, it’s been politically impossible to abolish the Formula, as such a manifestly unfair move would lead to an upsurge in support for independence. In the wake of a No vote in the referendum, that obstacle would be removed – Scots will have nothing left with which to threaten Westminster.
———————————————————————————————–
5. It would still be an unwise move for the UK governing party to be seen to simply obviously “punish” Scotland after a No vote. But the pledge of all three Unionist parties to give Holyrood “more powers” provides the smokescreen under which the abolition of Barnett can be executed and the English electorate placated.
The block grant is a distribution of tax revenue. The “increased devolution” plans of the UK parties will instead make the Scottish Government responsible for collecting its own income taxes. The Office of Budget Responsibility has explained in detail how “the block grant from the UK government to Scotland will then be reduced to reflect the fiscal impact of the devolution of these tax-raising powers.” (page 4).
But if Holyrood sets Scottish income tax at the same level as the UK, that’ll mean the per-person receipts are also the same, which means that there won’t be the money to pay for the “extra” £1400 of spending currently returned as part-compensation for Scottish oil revenues, because the oil revenues will be staying at Westminster.
(Don’t take our word for any of this. Listen to Labour MP Ian Davidson explaining how his own party’s devolution plans will lead to a “cash squeeze” on the Scottish budget.)
———————————————————————————————–
6. Holyrood’s only options to make up the shortfall will then be to either substantially increase income tax rates in Scotland (impossible to do in reality, because people would simply move to England in huge numbers), or cut its spending by over £7bn to recoup the losses.
£7bn is almost 30% of the entire current block grant. It would be politically inconceivable for Westminster to slash the Scottish budget so savagely under the current constitutional arrangements, but by giving Holyrood “power” over taxation it can be portrayed as simply forcing Scots to take responsibility – a hard position to argue against, no matter how unfairly the dice have been loaded in the process.
What’s more, the UK parties will also still be able to truthfully claim that they’re not altering the Formula itself – it will still apply to whatever small proportion of income tax revenues remain at Westminster. (Although in the case of the Tory/Lib Dem versions of “more powers”, that will be zero.)
———————————————————————————————–
We’ve explained the political motivations behind the move at length before. The above is simply the mechanical explanation of how it will happen if Scotland votes No. The “if” is not in question – all the UK parties are united behind the plan.
A gigantic act of theft will be disguised as a gift. The victories of devolution will be lost, because there’ll no longer be the money to pay for them. Tuition fees and prescription charges will return. Labour’s “One Nation” will manifest itself, with the ideologically troublesome differences between Scotland and the rest of the UK eliminated.
And what’s more, it’ll all have been done fairly and above-board, because the Unionist parties have all laid out their intentions in black and white. They’ll be able to say, with justification, “Look, you can’t complain, this is exactly what we TOLD you we’d do”. They’re counting on the fact that people haven’t really examined their plans. It might be an idea for voters to remedy that oversight before it’s too late.
"
 

Saturday, 20 September 2014

AFed Scotland on the Scottish Referendum Result.

Don’t Mourn. Organise. | Edinburgh anarchist statement on the referendum result

 

backtowork
Re-blogged from Edinburgh Anarchists.
Yesterday Scotland voted against independence. Today half the country are mourning, their hopes of a new state and it’s social democratic promise dashed. The other half are relieved, if perhaps not enthusiastically celebrating, the potential uncertainty removed; things will persist as before.
We neither mourn nor celebrate. The scaremongering of the No campaign would likely have proved largely unfounded. So too would the promises of the Yes campaign. In reality our lives would have continued mostly as they did before in either event. We will trudge to the same jobs we hate along the same roads, through the same congestion on the same expensive transport. We’ll do so so we can pay our wages back to the capitalist class in the same shops, to pay rent to the same landlords and mortgages to the same banks. We’ll take our kids to the same schools with the same education system, when we’re ill we’ll wait to use the same hospitals. We’ll escape our jobs to the same parks, beaches, museums and pubs.
An independent Scotland would in most respects have resembled the Scotland of the UK, a patriarchal, capitalist, environmentally destructive society. A country with the most unequal land ownership in the developed world – where 50% of the land is owned by just 432 individuals. A country dependent on North Sea oil for much of its exports – oil that must be left in the ground to prevent climate catastrophe. A country with huge poverty and huge wealth and little in the way of organised working class action to change that dynamic.
And in so continuing to uphold the same institutions, the same structures of power, the same business interests, and the same political configuration, our fight against the state, capital and oppression continues.
Social movements
It has become popular amongst some on the pro-independence to claim that even in defeat politics has been radically altered. People are engaged with politics for the first time, turnout was 85%. A new broad popular social movement is born, the referendum was never about a vote for the Nationalists (capital N1). The campaign they built to push for independence will now re-orient itself against the Scottish and British governments and push for material concessions, emboldened by how close they came and bringing newly radicalised people with them. But a high turnout in itself tells us very little of what will come next, the complacency that we have already changed politics is dangerous.
Leaving aside the tactical mistake of offering the SNP the support they wanted to pass the referendum and then hoping to win concessions rather than making those concessions a precondition of support, this seems at best an optimistic prediction, which is far from certain to be realised. It is highly probable that the movement built to advance a radical case for independence will fail to maintain the unity it has shown pre-referendum in a post-referendum situation. A new left unity party (perhaps Left Unity itself) seems likely to form out of the Radical Independence Campaign and will have to compete for votes with the Scottish Green Party. The disintegration of the SSP last decade bodes ill for the lasting chances of that configuration. If the parliamentary left can regain even the position it held from 2003-2007 it will have done exceedingly well (in its own terms).
Undoubtedly many from the radical independence movement will want to maintain extra-parliamentary organisation, though how much of it is truly independent of the parliamentary parties will be an open question. But as with the referendum itself elections have a tendency to draw activists away from direct struggle and towards themselves however good peoples’ intentions are. Perhaps the most debilitating effect of the referendum campaign was its draw away from other, more meaningful, sites of struggle – the boycott workfare campaign, anti-deportations and pro migrant work, environmental organising and so on. Of course, that is not to say that no independence campaigners continued their engagement with these causes, but no one has unlimited time and energy to contribute, and that expended on the referendum could have been better placed elsewhere.
Ecology
As the independence referendum moves into the past, other issues may start to regain their prominence. Foremost must be the commitment of politicians in Westminster and Holyrood to continuing extraction of Scotland’s share of North Sea oil.
The independence debate was consistently shaped by the prospects for oil production and how the proceeds will be distributed. Even where criticism did exist and a call for a “green new deal” was made, the focus was to argue for renewables. Whilst greater use of renewable energy is to be welcomed, it is far from sufficient. As Jason Moore has highlighted energy revolutions of the past have always been additive and substitutive. Market logic plus intervention for renewables will only give us both renewables and fossil fuels. As alternative grow fossil fuels prices will fall and maintain their use alongside. Real decarbonisation of society requires the fuels be left in the ground and their value written off.
You cannot build a “green” capitalism. You certainly cannot create it in time. There is too much money invested in fossil fuels– in drilling, in mining, in fracking. The ruling class will never voluntarily give up this wealth, or allow it to be simply voted away. “To survive we must act now” and “couple bleak reality with the utopian impulse” to demand a complete transformation of our society2.
An independent Scotland would have relied heavily on fossil fuels – not least to maintain currency reserves and a positive balance of trade. The extraction of North Sea oil will instead continue to prop up the UK’s trade deficit. As part of a larger economy that dependence may now not be brought as clearly to the fore. But that reliance must be exposed, and it must be broken. That will be an expensive and difficult task, but one which we have no choice but to take up – there will be no future for Scotland or the UK if we do nothing. We must create the movement which makes that possible. Too much time has been spent on bourgeois constitutional questions while the rich consolidate their wealth and power, impose austerity and hardship and leave the planet to burn safe that adaptation will be good enough for them.
So tonight, drown your sorrows. Take time to regain your energy and when you’re ready come back to join us. The better society that had been pinned on independence doesn’t need a new state. Keep talking to your neighbours and your workmates. We have a world to win and only our own working class self-activity and organisation will secure it.
1. We’ve discussed previously the obfuscation of “good” and “bad” nationalism and the left’s claim that independence has nothing to do with nationalism. In our opinion both yes and no campaigns de facto represent competing nationalisms, whatever their intentions to the contrary.

2. Goodbye to the Future – Out of the Woods

Post-Referendum Thoughts.

  How to feel about the result?

Personally I feel disappointed it was a no, given that it looked like it would be a yes and not the meagre victories we could've won are very unlikely. I'm angry about the radical energy when and where it has been invested  in the referendum in place of direct action.

  I wonder how worth it this has all been. The referendum was never likely to touch the foundations of systems of oppression which exist within society. It was just a shift of government. I feel like it diverted a lot of energy which would've been better invested in a grassroots mass movement which is about direct democracy not parliaments, politicians or political parties and which aimed to change society on a very deep level. Whoever won the referendum the fundamental issues would remain e.g. the irreconcilable conflict of interests between bosses and workers. At this point I feel like what we're left with is a whole lot of disappointed disheartened people and a majority of the left whose energy seems spent. A sad day indeed!



Questioning the Yes side. 

A Yes vote would've had positives and negatives.  A Yes vote would've positively allowed for limited reforms. But on the negative side, much of the Scottish left would've been co-opted into support for the state/capitalism/patriarchy etc or went willingly.

An independent Scotland would've still seen the class struggle going on, still had the most unequal land ownership pattern...

An independent Scotland would've had economic incentives to utilise oil reserves so would've been unlikely to be green.

 It would've been under the influence of the IMF,WTO, world bank and US government still.

 Even if Trident was moved or even totally disarmed(which is a beautiful idea which I support) on the global scale it wouldn't have made too much difference.


But now that it's a No (Some predictions)

We simply don't know but here's some best guesses. I think Westminster probably will given the Scottish government more powers but might cut the block grant so that it can't use them very effectively and must implement a Scottish imposed austerity. I worry there could be a Tory-UKIP coalition in Westminster. The confidence of the fascists is horrifying too.


The Current state of the Scottish Left.

I feel justified in what I said about the referendum co-opting the left. It did do  that and that problem is on-going.

The Scottish left is divided but to some extent legitimately so. There is a stark divide opening between those with an Electoral focus and those with a grassroots focus.

On one side are political parties and those who have just joined them in massive numbers. the aim of Trotskyists and the establishment left seems to be to work towards a left unity party. Then there's Radical Independence Campaign (RIC), National Collective, the 45% movement and the like , who favour working for another referendum. Some people favour a recount  proving the referendum is still sucking up valuable radical energy.The rest are looking  at forming grassroots movement(Occupy, the anarchists etc)

Disappointed some anarchists are not truly as anarchist as they claim.

  • the 45% movement is nationalistic.
  • I'm hostile to National Collective which is only focused on independence.
  • RIC is acting as a broad left left unity type group claims to be broader than independence but has little vision.
  • Bella Caledonia is nationalist wants a new referendum and ultimate goal election for independent Scotland.
  • Commonweal( Keynesianism/ Democratic socialism of Old Labour)-
"We need to create an economy that favours high-pay, high-skill, productive enterprises and which encourages all businesses to up-skill their job roles and their workforce"
using oil.
" Scotland needs to re-industrialise. We will seize national opportunities to build big new manufacturing industries but we will also see a proliferation of small, specialist manufacture such as micro-engineering and prototyping. We will also develop other value-adding industries (like computing and research and development) which may not turn into manufacturing industries."
Naïve Neo-liberal almost mutualistic or co-op party type stuff.
"No part of this Common Weal vision is untried or untested. Everything has been shown to work when it is tried. Reject false reasons to believe that we cannot aspire to be a better nation. Reject those who tell you that this is as good as it gets. Reject the ‘algebra of failure’ which tricks you with arithmetic designed to show that the future can only be worse than the present. Reject despair."


What next?

I'm not a pessimist,cynical or skeptic. I'm an anarchist. No politician cares about us. Grassroots struggle is where it's at. Direct democracy is the way of the future.

It's a time to define our position more and say whether it was yes or no we would've still been fighting the same fights and now that it's no we must forget the referendum and fight those fundamental fights and build the movement that we should've already been building. We need to reach out to the undecided,the non voters and both yes and no voters.

No more voting. Let's let it go. Now we must forget parliaments and politicians and work to build a grassroots expansive radical movement which seeks to overturn the foundations of oppression and replace it with direct democracy. That's a longer and harder task for sure but a more worthwhile one.

 

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Thoughts on Referendum day Eve(Sept 17th)

  1. The anarchist criticism of both Yes and No continues to be ignored/sidelined by the left wing of Yes.
  2. Wow the Yes side on the ground is immense.
  3. Shocked and disappointed by how many radicals(possibly even anarchists) appear seemingly uncritical of voting yes/RIC/ Yes Campaign. Co-opted left already! Radicals and revolutionaries become/becoming reformists.
  4. The naivety of the reformism being expressed is worrying.
  5. If it's a No the Scottish left will be all but destroyed!
  6. Good to see so many people becoming political minded however. There's more twists and turns in this thing than a fucking pretzel.
  7. Voting is the religious ceremony of representative democracy like Mass for catholics.

Lucy Parsons — "Never be deceived that the rich will allow you to vote away their wealth".

Mikhail Bakunin — "When the people are being beaten with a stick, they are not much happier if it is called the People's Stick".

"If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal." - Emma Goldman.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

3 days before the referendum, some thoughts and concerns.

  1.  I'm very worried by how the referendum has narrowed political debate especially on the left.
  2. I'm very worried by how devastating to the left a No vote will be.
  3. I'm very worried by how co-opted the Scottish left will be as a result of a Yes vote.
  4. I'm very worried by how the referendum has put nation before class.
  5. I'm very worried how the referendum has turned so called radicals and revolutionaries into reformists/neo-liberals/ state capitalists/democratic 'socialists' i.e. the co-option I fear with a Yes vote has in large part already occurred from socialists to anarchists.
  6. I'm very worried by how naïve the Yes side especially the Radical Independence Campaign is/has been.
  7. I'm worried by the SNP vision for an independent Scotland.
  8. I'm very worried a Yes vote will has some very nasty unintended consequences even if it does open possibilities for protecting existing reforms or even extending them.
 

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Thoughts on the Referendum with two weeks to go.

  • The debate has been terrible from the Yes and No politicians.
  • the Yes side/ RIC remain terribly naïve.99% of the time the Yes/RIC side refuse to acknowledge that the problem is bigger than Westminster but is actually Capitalism.
  • Almost none of the Yes/RIC side are anti-state or anarchist.
  • If RIC/ Yes campaign put all the effort they've put into getting people signed up and convincing them of yes  into working for a radically different society we'd be on the way there already.
  • I only hope that all the radicals and revolutionaries will remain so after this vote and not disappear completely into Scottish nationalists/reformists.
  • I do see the Referendum as clouding/muddying what the source of social problems are and obscuring the solutions in favour of blaming Westminster/Neo-Liberalism etc. and claiming Old Labour/Democratic Socialist, as the solution.