Mural around the corner from where I was staying in Mexico last month
As you can probably imagine, there is a LOT of conversation going on in various places about George Floyd, the protests, the riots, racism, the police, and all the other things tangled up in that.
One of my big issues when interacting with people, is when they are morally wishy-washy, changing their definitions of right & wrong depending on the situation, their emotions, or who the characters are involved. Behavior like this comes up a lot in conversations about problems of the state (centralized violent control of a region by a small group), especially how they manifest differently - so people think they are a different problem.
I'm that guy who gets kicked out of a lot of "anarchist" groups/chats that are actually just super leftist Bernie supporters, because they don't like getting called out for their statist BS. I also quite often have conversations where people start off yelling at me, but by the time we've gone around 5-6 times, they realize they already agreed with me.
I shared this video by my friend @careywedler over on Fedbook (I use it just for reposting, things that I don't feel like putting work into, so I don't want them on Hive), and had a pretty nice little one with an extremely left-leaning anarchist friend:
Him: Until we change our property relations tho, the cops, or some form of enforcement of the inequality, will exist. Anything less is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. But i loved this video, thank you for sharing.
Me: Until we get rid of the idea that anyone can be above/outside morality or have more/less rights than others (or the right to violate the rights of others), property relations won't/can't change, because the controllers of wealth in the current paradigm will use the violence of the current paradigm to maintain the current paradigm.
This one I posted and that same leftist friend came on and berated me for minimizing black pain and some other buzz-words. I left what I felt was a pretty epic response, but then he deleted his (and subsequently my) comment, and sent me a PM instead. It led to a good conversation, but I wish I had saved my response.
Fake Anarchists on FB with Ban-hammers
This next one is another where I can't get it now, because I've been kicked out of the group. One of the admins of "Anarchist Humor" made a post about how all anarchist need to just shut up and listen to "black leaders." I replied that I don't think racism is the answer to racism, and we should listen to people based on their logic, morality, and strategy, not based on their skin complexion. His response was to ask if I was smoking meth, and telling me that BLM "is the movement now" and I should get in line. I wrote this reply, and even as I posted it, FB let me know I had been kicked from the group, so I managed to copy the text real quick.
No, I'm not "smoking meth," I just base my life & arguments on logical & moral consistency. I literally couldn't care less what someone's skin color is, as there are complete idiots & geniuses all along that spectrum, as well as total anarchists and total statists along that spectrum (as well as just about anything else we could name of course.)
The movement, as far as I'm concerned, is the same now as always: The movement towards a free-er and more peaceful world. That happens through ending the illusion that anyone has the right to use force, fraud or coercion against anyone else.
As long as the majority believe in the farce of violent "authority," things like racism, sexism, religious intolerance, etc. will show up in the bell curve of that violence. If there was somehow a 100% sex-equal, skin-color-equal, religion-respecting(or lacking) society, that still held onto the religion of statism (violent "authority"), then that society will see the same violence & oppression we see now, just with different breakdowns of victims.
Never mind the fact that so many of the people out protesting are, as always, protesting for more government, not less. And let's not forget that, even if it was a genuine movement at first, it is completely rife with agents, using the anger to create riots to give more power to the government.
I just like the way this one came out
The idea that we need to "fight racism" to end state violence that shows up on a bell-curve based on race, sounds just like the idea that we need to "fight capitalism" to end state violence that shows up on a bell-curve based on economic class.
This one is from a conversation on Telegram. We were going back and forth about the pros/cons of "protesting" in terms of making real change:
Him: There's a lot of good reform seriously being discussed all over the country. There's even consideration in certain cities to eliminate police altogether, and a lot of exciting models to replace them. If this continues then whatever plot for martial law will not work..
Any and every movement will be co-opted by those with power/money. If BLM diffuses then the next group will also have infiltraters, psy-ops, etc. Does that mean we become complacent, giving up on protests/revolutions in general? Or what can the revolution evolve into that would be effective? Serious questions.
Me: I would say yes to "giving up" on revolutions (starting a cycle over) and protests (slaves asking their masters to change things)...
Let's focus on the replacements, re-connecting, and resiliency. Building communities, growing food, sharing food, distributing the means of production (local 3D printing libraries/coops), alt. currencies, un/homeschooling, using the myriad non-corporate social medias, authentic relating / NVC / reflective listening, univitive/restorative justice, land patents vs deeds, inter-group/movement congresses/conventions to roundtable & network, etc.
The big thing is that there's already groups/movements dedicated to every one of the steps we need to take. Just have to get them "on the same page" - both in terms of collaboration and in terms of a repository/guidebook of solutions, to be widespread.
Whatever measure of the "tipping point" you subscribe to, we've already got the numbers if we could get the various factions to use some logical consistency, target the root causes, and focus on the solutions to them.
Right after writing that last one, I listened to this great interview with Immortal Technique, in which he breaks down some of the MUCH deeper levels of this stuff.
This last one is actually a response to a video that I made and cross-shared to FB (with Hive back-links of course.) An old friend (like since high school) responded, and I felt really good with my response. He was onto Zeitgeist & Alex Jones back in 07-08, so a lot of this isn't really new to him anyway. The conversation will make more sense if you've watched the video.
Him: So are you saying that cops kill 3 people a day in cold blood or in some way self defense for them selves while doing there job?? I get cops have a lot of power and some are yes corrupt but what would your plan be in replace of police if we did not have them?? Who would go out to stop random people from killing or stealing or raping or what ever laws or no laws they wanted to break?? Who would risk there own lives to stop people from being evil cause it happens every where.
Me: They average about 3/day in the US, over the last decade. There's just a few places where the numbers are tracked, because it's not something departments all report somewhere, DOJ doesn't track, etc. Going to include those databases, the gaps, and why they are so lacking, in the full article I'm writing.
The number that are pure cold blood, versus true self defense, versus whatever else, is pretty much unknowable. For every viral video, there's 10+ people who were killed by police without a witness.
It doesn't even matter if they themselves are "corrupt," or power-hungry, or racist... their job is literally to violate the sovereignty of others. Extortion, kidnapping, theft. Any time there is no victim ("speeding," "drug possession," etc.), there cannot be a crime. The crime happens when police step in.
According to the constitution, the only Law Enforcement were the county sheriffs, who were elected by the people of that county. The "police" we have today are corporations with government contracts, which were originally the Pinkertons (the corporate thugs who beat & killed the union strikers and such back in late 1800s/early 1900s.)
Prior to the Texas Tower shooting in '66, the police still mostly just had pistols & clubs, and while they had already been long violating people (mostly poor and/or dark-skinned), after that SWAT became a thing. Over the next 40 years, SWAT mostly committed assaults on cannabis grows, and even attacked the wrong house many times.
Post-9/11, post-USAPATRIOT Act, things took a turn in a whole new direction. The police are now fully militarized, both in training (DHS) and equipment, while the limitations & surveillance of the state that they serve have skyrocketed through the roof.
In terms of alternatives:
1. Decentralized defense. Know your community, know how to defend yourself, defend each other. Militia-esque works for violent crime just as well as invasion.
2. Decentralized, actually liable, free market defense companies like Threat Management Centers in Detroit.
3. Decreasing poverty/homelessness/starvation - since most crime is of necessity, not emotional or with malice.
Really, most of the "crime" we deal with now would disappear without government restraints on people's freedoms (again: no victim = no crime).
Most violent criminals are the result of violent crime, so healing trauma is the only way to really decrease violence overall... though not living in a society literally built up to glorify violence would help towards that... but that doesn't play well for the largest military empire the planet has ever seen. If Americans all(or most) decided that initiating violence is actually wrong (as opposed to just giving it lip service), then they would be paying hundreds of billions a year to fund the war machine.