Hi. I used to use this blog a lot more than i do now. I don't agree with everything i've posted here, but such is the nature of time. :) My tumblr, twitter & facebook are likely to be more up to date.

anarchists on electoral politics...

>> Monday, August 25, 2008



UPDATE
: i forgot to mention this, but i once tried to set up a group on barrackobama.com called "anarchists for obama for now", but it was not ever fully activated, and no one responded to my queries as to why not... i have a guess, but anyway that's where this logo comes from... it was to be the icon on the site.


so i've promised this for a while, but it is in no way an attempt to decisively determine the right or wrong in this topic...

what do the anarchists want this election cycle?

we'll first off, the anarchists are no monolithic block, and there is always differences of opinions. but make no mistake. there are a lot of anarchists who are decidedly against the democrats and are disinterested in voting. some are protesting the convention.

there are a few different (dis)organisational branches of protest. there is the recreate68 contingent (attempting to recreate the riots of 1968), dnc disruption, and unconventional action. some really great events (like a public enemy and dead prez concerts), and the usual marches, direct action and protest.

the big issue is of course the fact that the democrats are complacent in a lot of the nastiness that is done in our name by our government. but the big question is "obama or nobama?" some sites like tent state are open to both answers... "maybe you'll vote for obama or maybe you'll vote no to the entire system"... "maybe obama can end the war and maybe he will... ...but it's not going to happen unless the people force the issue on the streets" (slight paraphrasing there...) this is similar to the strategy of code pink, who has claimed to want to "push obama towards peace" but generally supprt him... other sites like worldcan'twait.org basically make the argument that a vote for obama isn't really any better than voting for mccain. i encourage people to click on their link and read the obama faq. the data is all true, but i take a different perspective than they do in the opinionated aspects fo their presentation.

let me break down a couple disagreements from that faq (worth reading the faq first, seriously):

1. "Oh, so he’s only arguing for going after terrorists – the “bad guys”? Sure, ok. This is exactly what Bush and Cheney have always claimed to be doing. "

well, he might be serious. the bush/cheney folks actually forged evidence to go into iraq. if obama is serious about only going after terrorists, it's a lot different. also, he has alluded to some awareness that a lot of what america does worldwide is a cause for terrorism, but that is a very unpopular (if true) idea. more on popular ideas later...

2."...shows that Obama’s objection to the Iraq War is motivated by the same factor as his decision to nonetheless keep funding it: The fact that, to paraphrase Bob Dylan, “He just wants to be on the side that’s winning.”

yes and no. yes, he want's to win if we are fighting... makes some sense to me. no, he doesn't wan't to jsut be with who's winning. if that we're so, he would be aligning with a lot of nasty dictators/governments who are winning... russia, zimbabwe, etc...

3."Obama infamously voted in favor of the FISA Amendments Act, which greatly expanded the President’s power to spy on the communications of American citizens , and grants immunity to communications companies who carried out this spying in the past. This infuriated many supporters, especially since Obama had repeatedly promised to vote against immunity for telecommunications companies. This is what Obama is doing when he’s still trying to win your vote! Imagine what he’ll do once he’s been elected. "

this is a really important issue.

on the fisa thing... yeah. it sucks. the bill was a little better than the old one, but it definitely is unconstitutional... but keith olbermann makes a few good points on it. to paraphrase, repuglicans could have argued that "obama. no. vote. thing. terror. stop. uh. oh."

on the "this is what obama is doing when he's still trying to win your vote imagine what he'll do when elected!" thing... repeat after me... obama is trying to get your vote, and his vote, and her vote, and so on. he isn't just pandering to you! he's got to convince people who could give a shit about the constitution... to help him save the constitution! of course, it's a slippery slope, but still. think with some pragmatism, some strategy, some tacticality. what if it stops john mccain?

4. "...These are just a few of an endless list of examples that show the nightmare that a McCain presidency would bring. But an Obama presidency would also be a nightmare for the people of the world. As the above facts have shown, a vote for Obama is a vote for (among other things): Extended war and heightened brutality in Afghanistan; increased big brother surveillance of American citizens; threats of war (if not actual war) against Iran and Pakistan; repression of immigrants; and complicity in the face of torture.. And that’s just what Obama is telling us now. Who knows what else he’ll do if he wins the election. The question—“So you’re saying we should let McCain be elected?” —is the wrong one to be asking. The question we should be asking is: What are we doing right now, up to, and after the elections to resist the direction both McCain and Obama want to take this country and the world?"

all right. if all the stuff in bold is actually true, which is hard to say it is, given the panderific nature of campaigns, it still is NOTHING compared to the mess pf shit concocted by mccain. and an obama presidency being a nightmare for the people of the world? which people think it will be more of a nightmare than mccain? not the crow indians, who adopted obama into their tribe, calling him "he that brings peace throughout the world", not the countless europeans who approve of him dramatically more than mccain, not the people of the middle east who see him as the first hope for a sane american leader in years. sure, he may fuck things up in afghanistan and pakistan, but arguably no worse than bush has... musharraf?, the i.s.i.?... think the pakistanis like them? bhutto's assasignation? nothing smells like c.i.a. there? come on people. also, mccain = roe v. wade overturned. that spells violence and death for women right here at home. frankly, NOT VOTING FOR OBAMA IS VOTING FOR MCCAIN. i made that mistake with nader in 2000, and i learned from it. i'm not saying i'll never vote for a third party presidential candidate again, just that i learned it makes a big difference in swing states (to be fair, i voted for gore in PA and traded with my mom in UT to her to vote for nader there...)

5."This declaration and recognition must then lead to a basic determination: to become part of, and to contribute as much as you can, to a mass independent movement that is resisting both of the two evils being offered to us; a movement that is fighting to stop endless war, torture, spying and repression, no matter which party is carrying it out. "

i actually agree with this... pretty much completely. i just don't think barrack is offering us evil. i think he's offering the best shot at consensus (an anarchist ideal) possible in this complex and largely clueless country. maybe i'm wrong... maybe he's a plant by the bohemian grove ne'er do wells, or the new world order or whatever, but i think he's worth the shot. he's a risk, but mccain is obviously complete slime.

there is no question in my mind that the suppression of these protestors as terrorists, which is happening in a number of ways, is wack... (no bike racks?) i think it would be great if the democrats could realize that outreach to anarchist and far-left groups is really in everyones long-term interest. the message is clear... the people want peace, equality and justice. in a weird way i think everyone wants that, but there are all these different ways of trying to implement this, and those language (and scale) differences are where the communication breaks down. also, there are idiot anarchists and idiot democrats, and they inevitably are the ones who fail to recognize the common causes. also (despite fox news being total trash), the public gets to see scenes like this interaction of fox news and protestors, which isn't exactly the best face for anarchists (even though the video is hilarious). anarchists could argue (succesfully) that most of the public face democrats put out there is pretty embarassing, too... (see nancy pelosi justifying not going after impeachment of bush/cheney/rice/etc...)

i see both sides, but it really comes down (for me) to the fact that VOTING TAKES AN HOUR, and you have the rest of your life to smash the state in every way you can, and to encourage others to. bizzarely enough, i think this year part of smashing the state is to make sure barrack gets in there (hopefully with a 60 vote democratic senate) so he can at least take a shot at being one of the only respectable presidents in history.

i'm ready to hear any arguements against what i've postulated... i really am not sure about much of this, despite the all caps and red and what-not... i'll try to update it as i notice typos/have new ideas.

UPDATE: ethan persoff is covering the police response at the dnc and has hilarious tijuana bibles with bush and mccain...

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