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Otter

Anarchy, Socialism, Communism, and community gardens

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Dingdongs

 


philosophies and concepts of anarchism, however, can be practiced in everyday life - maybe that's a fun direction to take the conversation for a while?

elaborate

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Fonz

 

 

philosophies and concepts of anarchism, however, can be practiced in everyday life - maybe that's a fun direction to take the conversation for a while?

elaborate

 

Agreed! Otter, this sounds like an interesting premise. Can you give us a bit more info to go by and to get more ideas going on? :p

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make total destroy

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universetwisters

I never knew squatting was a form of anarchism. I always thought it was just trespassing.

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Raavi

So.. theft from innocent storekeepers, quite a few of which need every last sale so they can to keep their above water, especially in Greece. Ok. I used to expropriate some sweets from the scoop candy thing when I was a kid. Little anarchist I was.

 

 

In all seriousness, whilst I disagree with theft and other criminal actions, those two are interesting. In general I really do like and support community initiatives. The second one especially as it's pretty much normal here. Plenty of initiatives like that round these parts now I think about it. Never drawn the parallel to anarchy. You learn something new every day.

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make total destroy

I never knew squatting was a form of anarchism. I always thought it was just trespassing.

It's not a 'form of anarchism', but it's certainly an example of anarchism in daily life.

 

And it is trespassing. I just don't see the issue.

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Otter

@irv: The idea of eschewing most hierarchy in place of team work, for instance. The rejection of arbitrary authority. I realize I have, in an essence, been doing that - albeit as a small business owner, in a very capitalist fashion ;) - and it has many benefits. Being your own boss is far easier than many people would believe. And I'm already horrible at paying my taxes...

 

But on a simpler level, reducing the value you place in objects, or rather, your ownership of them. Life is so much more free when you're not constantly tallying up your collection of Ray-bans, or completing a bluray set of Quentin Tarantino flicks that you'll likely only ever watch twice. I realize this is not inherently anarchist, but the philosophies lie in tandem. To follow that up - reducing the reverence we have for frivolous goods. Life is not better in a $400 t-shirt. You don't really need that pip-boy. Right?

 

The core concepts really resonate with me - true equality among people, (on a social level) all of us sharing the same responsibilities. This may seem like a no brainer, but if you really take it to heart when you walk around the city, or around your job, or even when among your family - things are so much more... I want to say 'wholesome', but I don't want to come across like I'm taking the piss.

 

And this true equality means recognizing who you're exploiting. It means a personal accounting of everything you interact with. I'm not sure if you're familiar with Soylent Green (it's one of those things every sci-fi commentary ever has referenced at some point, so you probably are) - it's an old sci-fi flick based on a book. But in the movie, Charlton Heston discovers that the food/gruel everyone's eating in a future utopia is actually made of humans (PEOPLE!!!!). That's the Shyamalan moment - the powers that be have been lying to us the whole time, feeding us what we never would have eaten otherwise!!!! So... extrapolating with all that mind, when a guy says "I work hard for what I have, why shouldn't I have it" there's a glaring omission: the legally permissible human cost. Our minds, despite our best efforts, are simple. We think that if we do work, we deserve reward - but is your 'dollar earned' really paying for what you get? And if you think it is.... how do you reconcile that with the value you place in your own work?

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universetwisters

And it is trespassing. I just don't see the issue.

 

Let's say I get the money to buy a warehouse. I get a warehouse but I keep it unoccupied for whatever reason. Then some squatters pitch a tent inside and decide to live inside. I kick them off my property. Am I in the wrong for it?

Edited by universetwisters

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Otter

Depends. Is you warehouse in a city where homelessness and empty property is a major issue? Then use your warehouse, or pay for utilities so those guys can cook a goddamned meal.

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universetwisters

Depends. Is you warehouse in a city where homelessness and empty property is a major issue? Then use your warehouse, or pay for utilities so those guys can cook a goddamned meal.

 

Let's say it's in some suburb of, say, Minneapolis. I've owned the warehouse for a while, but I keep it empty for the time being and because of it, some suburban kids broke onto the property and are squatting in it. I might want to use the warehouse eventually once my mail order christmas ornament business finally starts up and I have to move all the ornaments out of my garage, which is where the warehouse I bought before comes in. But I can't be able to use the warehouse, which I bought with my money and my name's on the deed, if squatters are squatting in it.

 

/end hypothetical future wishes

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Tyler

Round the squatters and work together to run a communal ornament store. Better yet, work with the squatters to establish a base for unionization of the workforce in the city and slowly build a base of organized workers to begin a movement against the capitalist owners winding up to the full expropriation of all production in the city and placing power in the hands of the people henceforth.

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Dingdongs

Round the squatters and work together to run a communal ornament store. Better yet, work with the squatters to establish a base for unionization of the workforce in the city and slowly build a base of organized workers to begin a movement against the capitalist owners winding up to the full expropriation of all production in the city and placing power in the hands of the people henceforth.

And if they don't want to work?

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Otter

 

Round the squatters and work together to run a communal ornament store. Better yet, work with the squatters to establish a base for unionization of the workforce in the city and slowly build a base of organized workers to begin a movement against the capitalist owners winding up to the full expropriation of all production in the city and placing power in the hands of the people henceforth.

And if they don't want to work?

Call the cops because this scenario exists in a capitalist scenario.

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Dingdongs

 

 

Round the squatters and work together to run a communal ornament store. Better yet, work with the squatters to establish a base for unionization of the workforce in the city and slowly build a base of organized workers to begin a movement against the capitalist owners winding up to the full expropriation of all production in the city and placing power in the hands of the people henceforth.

And if they don't want to work?

Call the cops because this scenario exists in a capitalist scenario.

 

That would be fun to explain. Hey officer I didn't really upkeep my warehouse and these guys moved in and I offered them a job and they won't work so uh yeah

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Tyler

And if they don't want to work?

 

gulag

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make total destroy

 

gulag

 

PkN0QFr.jpg

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El Dildo

so before I jump in any deeper, I have a question.

based on a generic scenario I've seen playing out in places like Detroit and New Orleans...

 

lets say I'm walking around the city where I live and I keep passing this empty lot of real estate which has been undeveloped for as long as anyone can remember. it's always been empty and there's never been any signage around to indicate that anything is planned. lets say that some fellow chums and I decided to start seeding the dirt and planting a fruit and vegetable garden; residents of the community pitched in on their own time and nobody asked to be paid.

 

when harvest arrives we set up a nearby street stall.

we sell the produce right back to residents of the community but there is no pricing structure. we ask for only as much compensation as the buyer is willing to pay/able to afford. profits pay no one, going right back into the garden.

 

am I now an active practitioner of anarchy?

one of the things I'm still slightly confused about as I start reading is where exactly does ownership, production, distribution, and profits end and functional anarchy begin? does anarchy necessitate an end-goal of some kind or is it more about decentralization in general?

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Fonz

so before I jump in any deeper, I have a question.

based on a generic scenario I've seen playing out in places like Detroit and New Orleans...

 

lets say I'm walking around the city where I live and I keep passing this empty lot of real estate which has been undeveloped for as long as anyone can remember. it's always been empty and there's never been any signage around to indicate that anything is planned. lets say that some fellow chums and I decided to start seeding the dirt and planting a fruit and vegetable garden; residents of the community pitched in on their own time and nobody asked to be paid.

 

when harvest arrives we set up a nearby street stall.

we sell the produce right back to residents of the community but there is no pricing structure. we ask for only as much compensation as the buyer is willing to pay/able to afford. profits pay no one, going right back into the garden.

 

am I now an active practitioner of anarchy?

one of the things I'm still slightly confused about as I start reading is where exactly does ownership, production, distribution, and profits end and functional anarchy begin? does anarchy necessitate an end-goal of some kind or is it more about decentralization in general?

What you're getting at here is a worker-managed enterprise, I guess. Perfectly practicable, and already in existence, nothing wrong with it. Since there is no strict hierarchy or bosses in the structure you described for the company, yes, it's anarchical in nature.

 

The type of anarchy we're describing here and socialism go hand in hand. Probably there would be a need for a transitional period. This is where the means of production, property, economy etc. would be collectivized. Functional anarchy simply refers to the result of this, i.e. a society without a state or state-affiliated organs, with voluntary exchanges of services. It's really all about dissolving the state and its organs, establishing socialism and just living your life freely. You could say that, ultimately, the main goal is stateless socialism (for formal correction, I'm using socialism instead of communism here).

 

edit: this post probably overlooked something because I'm really sleepy. Please tell me if I missed any point.

Edited by Black_MiD

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make total destroy

So.. theft from innocent storekeepers, quite a few of which need every last sale so they can to keep their above water, especially in Greece.

Expropriating commodities from corporate chains and distributing them amongst those that need it is okay with me, especially in Greece.

 

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010mehujt.jpg

 

020rfvrza.jpg

 

https://athens.indymedia.org/post/904555/

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Dingdongs

The issue with that logic is not everyone is a corporate chain owned store. How do you set a rule to only target those ones and not target mom and pop stores?

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Fonz

The issue with that logic is not everyone is a corporate chain owned store. How do you set a rule to only target those ones and not target mom and pop stores?

Don't wanna speak for MTD, but, Irv, seems to me that you could probably just arrange that with the crowd, since this sort of action tends to be planned in advance. See which ones are corporate chain stores and just strike those, I think? It's pretty easy to detect the big corporations. This sounds like it should be a coordinated movement anyway, so that's probably easy enough to do, since most anarchists hardly have anything Mr. Smith who's just trying to make a living with his small drugstore without exploiting anyone's labour. In fact, I imagine Mr. Smith would probably be happy to exchange goods with the others.

Edited by Black_MiD

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El Dildo

edit: this post probably overlooked something because I'm really sleepy. Please tell me if I missed any point.

no no, your post is helpful.

I'm still trying to explore the boundaries of the discussion itself.

 

in my example of the community garden there's still the implication that someone, somewhere actually owns the piece of property where we're growing everything; be it the city, or some guy, or some development group. the likelihood is that what we're doing constitutes trespassing or violates some kind of zoning ordinances within the current system. it's not a sanctioned farmers market by any means. does that alone make it anarchy?

 

and so to take it one step further, if I simply wanted to live 'off the grid,' is that practical anarchy? I'm not talking about someone who goes on a long camping trip but someone who truly wants to disconnect from the economic, energy, and financial systems that we're plugged into at birth. and I'm not talking about people like Wesley Snipes who attempt to avoid paying taxes while otherwise still living within the modern capitalist infrastructure. this is just foolish and irresponsible.

 

I'm talking about the attempt to live in peace while providing 100% of one's own resources; food, shelter, clothing, etc, responsible to no one but their own kin. I'm not paying taxes but I'm also not consuming out of turn or out of share; I'm providing and sustaining. this could be done in isolation or in partnership with a likeminded community of people. though it seems invariably someone would come along from the State and demand... I dunno, something; that we pay land tax or that we register with the census or something or other. and at that point we don't really have the ability to resist unless we're going to become confrontational.

 

I guess while I'm still in the exploratory phase with Anarchy it's difficult for me to get too abstract. the principles of a functional Communist economy or Anarchist model of sovereignty are hard to think about in realistic terms since they are so far removed from the systems that we humans are currently mired in. I'd love to delve in deeper to the potential social applications of Anarchy but I always hit a roadblock when considering what steps must be taken to actually bridge the gap. it's not easy for me to step into the tunnel when I cannot yet see if there's any light coming from the other end.

 

this feeling stems less from cynicism and more from a deep, genuine curiosity.

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Fonz

in my example of the community garden there's still the implication that someone, somewhere actually owns the piece of property where we're growing everything; be it the city, or some guy, or some development group. the likelihood is that what we're doing constitutes trespassing or violates some kind of zoning ordinances within the current system. it's not a sanctioned farmers market by any means. does that alone make it anarchy?

Within your own enterprise, sure, inasmuch as there's an absence of hierarchy, you can say the management is anarchical or socialist. Legally, yeah, it would probably constitute trespassing, but I guess that's a risk worth running for the possibility of providing more food, a more just distribution of it and all. It's a good initiative, anyway.

 

and so to take it one step further, if I simply wanted to live 'off the grid,' is that practical anarchy? I'm not talking about someone who goes on a long camping trip but someone who truly wants to disconnect from the economic, energy, and financial systems that we're plugged into at birth. and I'm not talking about people like Wesley Snipes who attempt to avoid paying taxes while otherwise still living within the modern capitalist infrastructure. this is just foolish and irresponsible.

 

 

I'm talking about the attempt to live in peace while providing 100% of one's own resources; food, shelter, clothing, etc, responsible to no one but their own kin. I'm not paying taxes but I'm also not consuming out of turn or out of share; I'm providing and sustaining. this could be done in isolation or in partnership with a likeminded community of people. though it seems invariably someone would come along from the State and demand... I dunno, something; that we pay land tax or that we register with the census or something or other. and at that point we don't really have the ability to resist unless we're going to become confrontational.

Okay, yeah, that's a very interesting scenario. That would constitute anarchy too and if you were to do this with a like-minded group, you'd have yourself a nice commune, probably. I think it's plausible, to be honest. From the way you mention the State, I gather that this takes place before the hypothetical revolution. It does seem likely that someone would come and demand a contribution, license, taxes or something of the sort. As for becoming confrontational, it seems odd at first, but I doubt that there's a totally peaceful way to go on about this, especially when you get further into the theory, what with the dissolution of the state and all. Anyway, this doesn't mean that it needs to be a bloodbath. If you have a look at the Carnation Revolution, it was mostly bloodless and the revolutionaries didn't kill anyone at all (it was fascist agents who opened random fire on a crowd). Of course it's a different context since it wasn't meant to dissolve the state completely but rather overthrow the fascists, but it's still an example of a relatively peaceful revolution.

 

I guess while I'm still in the exploratory phase with Anarchy it's difficult for me to get too abstract. the principles of a functional Communist economy or Anarchist model of sovereignty are hard to think about in realistic terms since they are so far removed from the systems that we humans are currently mired in. I'd love to delve in deeper to the potential social applications of Anarchy but I always hit a roadblock when considering what steps must be taken to actually bridge the gap. it's not easy for me to step into the tunnel when I cannot yet see if there's any light coming from the other end.

I understand you, man. There's also the problem of the communist stigma, which stems more from false propaganda to denigrate the ideology than a genuine, scholarly analysis of the model itself. Decades of distortion and propaganda have rendered "communist" an insult, mostly because of the association with Stalinism, which isn't communism at all. Not to mention most revolutionary left-wing ideologies are highly misunderstood (see the "edgy teenager" stereotype used on anarchists).

However, you seem pretty devoid of ideological prejudice here, so that's a great thing. An example MTD, Tyler, Melchior and I agree on is revolutionary Catalonia, because it was a project that was going particularly well and may have prospered, were it not for reactionary action. The Paris Commune is something to look at as well. I may be biased here, but I say there's definitely a light at the end of the tunnel. It won't be any worse than capitalism, anyway.

 

this feeling stems less from cynicism and more from a deep, genuine curiosity.

Yeah, man, I like that you take that attitude. It's way more productive and stimulating when both people are engaged in thoughtful conversation, rather than one trying to discredit the other with stereotypes, like the examples I mentioned above. It also makes us socialists and anarchists think up new solutions to the scenarios you pose, which make a lot sense, by the way. I like the scholarly interest you're taking; keep it up, dude!

 

As always, if I wasn't too good on a specific point, call my attention to it and I'll try to elaborate! :)

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make total destroy

The issue with that logic is not everyone is a corporate chain owned store.

Uhh, what?

 

How do you set a rule to only target those ones and not target mom and pop stores?

Frankly, I don't care if 'mom and pop stores' are targeted. Small businesses are just as unethical and exploitative as multinationals. I mean, have you ever worked for a family-owned grocery store? It's no better than working at f*cking Walmart.

 

To answer your question, you and your affinity group decide to only hit corporate chains. P simple concept tbh.

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universetwisters

Small businesses are just as unethical and exploitative as multinationals.

So stalls at flea markets and hot dog stands are as unethical as Enron or Monsanto? That seems like a bit of an odd assumption.

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universetwisters

 

So stalls at flea markets and hot dog stands are as unethical as Enron or Monsanto? That seems like a bit of an odd assumption.

2witty 2spooky 2dank 2bomb

 

Answer of the year 2015.

 

Semi related, at least on the topic of Monsanto and anti big business.

 

 

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make total destroy

Answer of the year 2015.

 

 

 

You're conflating flea market stalls and hotdog stands with 'small businesses' or 'mom n pop shops'--with businesses that employ wage labor. How do you expect me to reply?

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sivispacem

You're conflating flea market stalls and hotdog stands with 'small businesses' or 'mom n pop shops'--with businesses that employ wage labor. How do you expect me to reply?

In all fairness, given that you said:

 

 

Small businesses are just as unethical and exploitative as multinationals.

It's sort of a reasonable assumption to make given that "small businesses" encompasses sole traders and individuals pretty much everywhere. But yeah, that question aside, I'd contend that the vast majority of small businesses outside of the retail sector (which is a toilet across the board) aren't anywhere near as unethical or exploitative as big corporations.

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make total destroy

Hot dog stands don't employ wage-laborers. Sure, it's a small business. But in a sense, it's like seeking a practice as a doctor or lawyer, except you sell gross-ass meat on the sidewalk, and it doesn't require years of training, you just buy a cart. It's a form of self-employment. It's not the same thing as your local grocery store, or local pizzeria, or local cafe, factory, office, or what have you. (see below)

 

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Niobium

To the anarchists out there: what do you think of "anarcho"-capitalists? Do you view them as annoying, or as potential comrades?

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