Who is ‘Delusional’ ... Anarchists or Capitalists?
Many modern articles on ‘anarchism’ in the mainstream press, do not do too bad a job of portraying the conditions giving rise to ‘anarchist behaviours’; e.g. the current (April 23, 2015) article on ‘Anarchist Terrorism’ in Delancey Place, includes the following observations, extracted from ’The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World Before the War 1890 – 1914’, by Barbara Tuchman
“In light of today's terrorism, it is useful to recall that this is not the first period of global terrorism. In the late 1800s, the harsh oppression of factory workers and the new spectre of unemployment and homelessness spawned in backlash a movement known as "anarchism." More than today's terrorists, these anarchists succeeded in assassinating heads of state and were determined "to terrorize so as to force society to look attentively at those who suffer" Among their leaders were Peter Kropotkin and Ravachol:
"So enchanting was the vision of a stateless society, without government, without law, without ownership of property, in which, corrupt institutions having been swept away, man would be free to be good as God intended him, that six heads of state were assassinated for its sake in the twenty years before 1914. They were President Carnot of France in 1894, Premier Canovas of Spain in 1897, Empress Elizabeth of Austria in 1898, King Humbert of Italy in 1900, President McKinley of the United States in 1901, and another Premier of Spain, Canalejas, in 1912. Not one could qualify as a tyrant. Their deaths were the gestures of desperate or deluded men to call attention to the Anarchist idea. ...”
Interestingly, the article acknowledges that people were rebelling against the disparity in living conditions that those ‘in power’ were sustaining by brute force; ... “They came from the warrens of the poor, where hunger and dirt were king. ...”
And it also acknowledges that; (a) monopoly ownership of property was being used to exploit the labours of the many for the benefit of the few;
"The Anarchists believed that with Property, the monarch of all evil, eliminated, no man could again live off the labour of another, and human nature would be released to seek its natural level of justice among men. ...”
... and further acknowledges that; (b) anarchists, such as Kropotkin and Ravachol, were ‘men of conviction’; e.g. Ravachol was described thus;
"His manner was resolute, and his eyes had the peculiarly piercing gaze expressive of inner conviction. 'My object was to terrorize so as to force society to look attentively at those who suffer', he said putting volumes into a sentence."
Of course, Western society, and particularly the Western colonizing powers, have never “looked attentively at those who suffer” [though there is ‘lip service’ and ‘token effort’]. The object of colonization was to take control over richly resourced ‘property’ and to harness the labours of the vanquished in the extracting of the resources and delivering them into the hands of the conquerors (the already wealthy and powerful).
The severe repression of those attempting to resist this property-grab based rape and pillage, of course, generated what we today call ‘radicalization’;
"Anarchism's new era of violence opened in France just after the hundredth anniversary of the French Revolution. A two-year reign of dynamite, dagger and gunshot erupted, killed ordinary men as well as great ones, destroyed property, banished safety, spread terror, and then subsided. The signal was given in 1892 by a man whose name, Ravachol, seemed to 'breathe revolt and hatred.' His act, like nearly all that followed it, was a gesture of revenge for comrades who had suffered at the hands of the State. ...”
Taken as a whole, the book and the article, are not questioning the abusiveness of the colonizing social system, whereby the wealthy and powerful colonized local land and harnessed their own local brothers in extracting their resources and delivering them up to the landlords, ... as well as carrying out the same property-based exploitation in more distant lands, harnessing and exploiting in a more harsh manner still, the labours of their foreign cousins.
The ‘delusion’ that is going on here, is not in Ravachol’s attempt to liberate those whose labours were being exploited through the leverage that comes to the wealthy and powerful by monopolizing control over essential resources and extorting desired behaviours out those who desperately needed access to them; i.e. one can argue about the success of his tactics, but not about the need to come up with something that would liberate those suffering such harsh exploitation; e.g. 'My object was to terrorize so as to force society to look attentively at those who suffer'
ALONG COMES WESTERN MORAL JUDGEMENT BASED RETRIBUTIVE JUSTICE (to protect a system based on delusion).
There is a fundamental problem in basing ‘justice’ on the ‘actions’ of people without taking into account the progressive development leading up to it. The dog that is abused by teasing, poking, humiliating will eventually become a ‘biter’ and ‘abuser’ of others. Orienting moral judgement to the dog’s biting action is DELUSIONAL; i.e. the delusion is that such action as unfolds in the present derives solely from the ‘immediate past’.
How can any sane person ignore the physical reality of our natural experience, informing us that continuing experiential conditioning within the matrix of social relations that constitute community is the source of ‘actions’ that manifest in the present?
“How false is the supposition that an action must depend upon what has preceded it in consciousness ! And morality has been measured in the light of this supposition, as also criminality. . . . The value of an action must be judged by its results, say the utilitarians: to measure it according to its origin involves the impossibility of knowing that origin. But do we know its results ? Five stages ahead, perhaps. Who can tell what an action provokes and sets in motion ? As a stimulus ? As the spark which fires a powder-magazine ? Utilitarians are simpletons —“
“The re-establishment of “Nature”: an action in itself is quite devoid of value ; the whole question is this: who performed it? One and the same ” crime ” may, in one case, be the greatest privilege, in the other infamy. As a matter of fact, it is the selfishness of the judges which interprets an action (in regard to its author) according as to whether it was useful or harmful to themselves (or in relation to its degree of likeness or unlikeness to them).”— Nietzsche on ‘Morality’ and ‘Herd Behaviour’ in ‘The Will to Power’
It seems worthwhile to take a closer look at the DELUSION known as ‘moral judgement’ of actions assumed have ‘originated’ in the ‘present’, relieving us of having to take into account the relational nature of reality.
To start with, modern physics is correct [can validate via our common experience] in discerning that ‘relations’ are primary and ‘things’ and ‘what things do’ are ‘schaumkommen’ (appearances). it is clear to us from our life experience that individuals are like ‘popping corn’ and when exposed, by way of the relations that they are circumstantially situated within, to ‘heat’ from ‘relational tensions’, they ‘pop off’ (‘go postal’). Not everyone ‘pops off’, but those who are situated in circumstances where they are exposed to the most persisting and intense relational stresses, do.
Everyone we have ever known is ‘experientially conditioned’ by the relations they are circumstantially, situationally included in (once they start ‘popping off’, the pressures imposed on them by ‘moral judgement’ that aims to ‘keep the peace’ (no matter how dysfunctional the society is) to shut them up may intensify the incidence and harshness of the violence of their ‘popping off’’. The dog that is teased and poked too many times becomes a ‘biter’ and may bite even the most well-meaning hand that is extended to him. His act of biting is what is ‘judged’ and the public will not tolerate biting dogs that terrorize the public. While these ‘canine terrorists’, the ‘pop-offs’ amongst them, will not be tolerated; i.e. they will be ‘brought to justice’ (Western moral judging style retributive justice), the teasing, humiliating, oppressing, starving-out, exploiting, and other ‘relational forms of oppression’ that ‘spring load’ the animals until they snap is not on the radar screen of Western justice because Western justice is ‘blind’ to relational forms of oppression and orients to ‘violent and disturbing acts’, out of the context of the relational influences that engender them.
Our experience-based intuition says that Modern physics, but not ‘science’ [highly simplified intellectual language game-play], is on target with its view that ‘relations are primary’ and that ‘what things do’ is ‘schaumkommen’ (secondary, appearances). In other words, ‘an action’ is something secondary, while relational fields of influence are primary;
“Fields of force are the primary reality, and ‘matter’ a secondary or derived phenomenon” —Michael Faraday
“[In nature]… “the individual parts reciprocally determine one another.” … “The properties of one mass always include relations to other masses,” … “Every single body of the Universe stands in some definite relations with every other body in the Universe.” Therefore, no object can “be regarded as wholly isolated.” And even in the simplest case, “the neglecting of the rest of the world is impossible.” – Ernst Mach
“By the principle of Occam’s razor, physicists and philosophers prefer ideas that can explain the same phenomena with the fewest assumptions. In this case you can construct a perfectly valid theory by positing the existence of certain relations without additionally assuming individual things. So proponents of ontic structural realism say we might as well dispense with things and assume that the world is made of [relational-spatial] structures, or nets of relations.” – Meinard Kuhlmann, ‘What is Real’, Scientific American, Aug. 2013
Western justice reigns supreme by design (hierarchical top-down control) and the judges and juries who are doing the judging of ‘what others do’, because they focus on ‘actions’, as in ‘what things do’ (simple ‘science’), are turning a blind eye to the relational source of violent actions. As Faraday, Mach, Poincaré, Schroedinger have pointed out, and their findings are readily available to our common experience, the source of the ‘actions’ of individuals does not ‘really’ jumpstart from out of a ‘central processing unit’ in the interior of the notionally ‘independent human “being”’, ... but from the ongoing relational activity continuum, since humans, along with dogs etc., are relational forms within the transforming relational activity continuum (the world given only once).
”What we observe as material bodies and forces are nothing but shapes and variations in the [relational] structure of space. Particles are just schaumkommen (appearances). – Erwin Schroedinger
“Space is not empty. It is full, a plenum as opposed to a vacuum, and is the ground for the existence of everything, including ourselves.” — David Bohm
‘Space is not [empty] Euclidian’ … “Space is a participant in physical phenomena” … “Space not only conditions the behaviour of inert masses, but is also conditioned in its state by them.”, … “the recognition of the fact that ‘empty space’ in its physical relation is neither homogeneous nor isotropic, compelling us to describe its state by ten functions (the gravitation potentials g(μ,ν), has, I think finally disposed of the view that space is physically empty . . . “A thrown stone is, from this point of view, a changing field, where the states of greatest field intensity travel through space with the velocity of the stone” —Albert Einstein.
So, it is evident to us, that a person’s actions derive from their ongoing relational experiential conditioning, as with dogs and as with continents and mountains etc. whose ‘movements’ are not ‘incipient in local space-and-time’ but derive from continual spring-loading and releasing (self-organized criticality). ‘Continents’ are relational forms that we intellectually ‘reify’ using noun-and-verb language-and-grammar; i.e. by giving them names which we use as noun-subjects to inflect verbs (e.g. “the Pacific plate is banging against the North American plate”) or in the case of relational forms such as hurricanes, ‘Katrina is growing larger and stronger, ... Katrina is ravaging New Orleans’.
There is no such thing in physical reality as a ‘local, independently-existing object that does stuff’ such as our Western (Indo-European) language-and-grammar depicts there to be. As Mach points out, this simplifying of the transforming relational activity continuum and the relational forms that are continually gathering and being regathered within it, ... into intellectual RE-PRESENTATIONS in terms of local independently existing material objects/systems and ‘what these independent things do’ as if in a space/habitat that is notionally ‘independent’ of the inhabitants that reside, operate and interact within it, .... is the reifying of ‘schaumkommen’ (‘appearances’, ... the forms that come to us from vision and touch which we concretize using noun-and-verb language-and-grammar). Only in this synthetically reified by noun-and-verb language-and-grammar pseudo-reality, can we impute ‘real meaning in itself’ to an ‘action’ such as ‘the dog bite action’.
This ‘simplification’ that we build into our noun-and-verb language-and-grammar conceptualizing of ‘dynamics’ allows us to ‘purge from our mind’ the relations amongst things, the primary influence in the physical reality of our natural experience, ... and to re-jumpstart dynamics via a language-and-grammar re-conceptualizing, notionally, from ‘independent things’ and ‘what independent things do’, ... hence Western moral-judgement based retributive justice, which orients to the notion of an ‘act’ authored by one of these ‘independent reason-driven systems’ called ‘human beings’.
This notional ‘act’ that language-and-grammar would have us understand, depends only on the immediate past, and ‘dog-biting’ and/or any other such relational-experience conditioned ‘popping off’ (self-organized criticality) does not require us to go back and take into account the progressive development of the phenomenon; e.g. when overt slavery was prevalent and accepted, the continual humiliating and deprivation (denial of access to natural resources and freedoms) was no excuse in the eyes of moral judges, for those, like the abused dog, for popping off (going postal) in the manner of earthquakes or volcanoes seeking to ‘reconfigure’ within a relational complex that is not so oppressively tensioned, ... since the relational physical reality of our natural experience is not even looked at by the Western moral judgement based retributive justice system; ... instead, the intellectual RE-PRESENTATION of dynamics in terms of the isolated ‘acts’, the ‘popping off’ without the relational roots, is used as ‘the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth’. The slave-masters who are the source of relational influence based oppression, also play the role of judge and jury, using the intellectual notion of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ as a protective shield to hide behind and continue exploitation of the slaves, while dealing with those ‘popping off’ as if their ‘acts’ in the present depended only on the immediate past, and not on the progressive, relational development or ‘experiential conditioning’. This intellectual RE-PRESENTATION of dynamics to deliver up the notional concept of ‘an act’ in the present that depends only on the immediate past, Western society has ‘built into’ ‘Western science’, with the help of noun-and-verb language-and-grammar; i.e;
“Origin of Mathematical Physics. Let us go further and study more closely the conditions which have assisted the development of mathematical physics. We recognise at the outset the efforts of men of science have always tended to resolve the complex phenomenon given directly by experiment into a very large number of elementary phenomena, and that in three different ways.
First, with respect to time. Instead of embracing in its entirety the progressive development of a phenomenon, we simply try to connect each moment with the one immediately preceding. We admit that the present state of the world only depends on the immediate past, without being directly influenced, so to speak, by the recollection of a more distant past. Thanks to this postulate, instead of studying directly the whole succession of phenomena, we may confine ourselves to writing down its differential equation; for the laws of Kepler we substitute the law of Newton.
Next, we try to decompose the phenomena in space. What experiment gives us is a confused aggregate of facts spread over a scene of considerable extent. We must try to deduce the elementary phenomenon, which will still be localised in a very small region of space. — Henri Poincaré, ‘Science and Hypothesis’, Chapter IX, Hypotheses in Physics”
Western ‘science’ thus provides a ‘way of thinking’ that is purely mechanical and which does not take into account that which is evident in our actual natural experience; i.e. the relations-based experiential conditioning that is the real physical source of the ‘popping off’ on the part of the ‘relational forms’ in the ‘transforming relational activity continuum’. While the intellectual RE-PRESENTATIONS of dynamics in terms of notional ‘independent material objects/organisms’, notionally with their own jumpstart-authored behaviours, provides a simplified way of capturing dynamics that re-starts things from secondary ‘schaumkommen’, it should not be confused for the physical reality of our natural experience, ... BUT IT IS BEING CONFUSED, and this confusing is built into the foundation of Western moral judgement based retributive justice. This is a mistake, as Mach and Nietzsche have pointed out;
“We … should beware lest the intellectual machinery, employed in the representation of the world on the stage of thought, be regarded as the basis of the real world.” – Ernst Mach
Of course the ‘pop off’ actions of these people Western justice calls ‘terrorists’ does not jumpstart from out of their internal intellectual central-processing unit that is programmed for evil deeds. Those of us who have lived in the colonized third world know full well that the colonizing powers have continually humiliated and oppressed the colonized peoples, as was done, and continues to be done, with the indigenous peoples of Turtle Island. My impression has been that the colonized peoples have amazing patience with it, and the ratio of ‘pop-offs’ to ‘non-pop-offs’ (those able to contain their relational spring-loading while situated within an oppressive matrix of relational influences without letting it exceed their tolerance threshold) has been held in check, ... although this is changing, as one might expect, as the gap between haves and have-nots increases, forcing those ‘on the bottom’ to work ever harder to supply those ‘on the top’ with ever more extreme appropriations of property and wealth and the power that wealth brings, ... an imbalance that is protected by Western moral judgement based retributive justice which orients to ‘acts’ and ignores the experiential-relational conditioning that is primary in the physical reality of our natural experience.
Evidently, the ‘pop-off’ ratio is going to continue to increase as a direct result of Western justice dealing only with ‘pop-off actions’ without acknowledging the real relational source of the ‘popping off’. Whether we call this ‘radicalizing’ or whatever, when people are not listened to, and continue to be ‘controlled’ and ‘humiliated’ (forced to behave in conformance/compliance with colonizing power culture behaviours) by the colonizing powers who originally launched their programs of colonization to appropriate and exploit the rich resources of the lands of less powerful people, and to harness their labours in extracting them. ‘Might makes right’ was the operative ethic and it remains so in the Western culture with the help of a Western system of justice that polices against ‘pop-offs’ regardless of what relational oppression the ‘powers-that-be’ impose, that creates the conditions which spawns the popping-off; ... this much, the Delancey article has ‘gotten right’.
“it is useful to recall that this is not the first period of global terrorism. In the late 1800s, the harsh oppression of factory workers and the new spectre of unemployment and homelessness spawned in backlash a movement known as "anarchism."”
nothing could be more natural that people seeking to get others to open their eyes to the injustice of ignoring the obvious, that relational influences are primary and the noun-and-verb language-and-grammar INTELLECTUAL RE-PRESENTATIONS are simply ... “intellectual machinery, employed in the representation of the world on the stage of thought, [that we should beware of regarding] as the basis of the real world.”
The increasing science-and-technology based mechanizing of the world dynamic, which is reducing people to ‘cogs in the machine’ (see BBC’s Adam Curtis documentaries, ‘Bitter Lake’, ‘The Trap’, ‘The Power of Nightmares’ on www.thoughtmaybe.com ) can only continue to intensify the dysfunction of confusing ‘science’ for ‘reality’.
In conclusion, while it is possible to argue that Ravachol’s tactics were not the most effective; 'My object was to terrorize so as to force society to look attentively at those who suffer', it is NOT POSSIBLE to argue against the fact that Western moral judgement based retributive justice is founded on DELUSION; i.e. the delusion that an ‘action’ such as ‘biting’ is fully and solely attributable to a notional ‘local author of the action’. This delusion hold immune from responsibility, the relational social matrix which is the physically real spawning ground of physical phenomena wherein;
“The dynamics of the inhabitants are conditioning the dynamics of the habitat at the same time as the dynamics of the habitat are conditioning the dynamics of the inhabitants” – Mach’s principle
That is, the influence of the relational social matrix in conditioning the experience of those situationally included within it, is the source of the experiential conditioning that makes a dog a ‘biter’. The source of the ‘action’ of ‘biting’ does not reside fully and solely within the dog, but derives from the dysfunctional collective in which the dog receives its experiential conditioning within. For those same people who are co-responsible for the influences in the social relational dynamic that condition the experience of those situationally included within it, ... to proclaim their ‘neutrality’ so that they can sit in judgement of the ‘biters’ is DELUSION, ... it is a delusion that is built into capitalism that allows property to be used as a tool for exploiting the labours of others with ‘impunity’, ... the impunity that allows those in control of property to use it to exploit the labours of others, and to extort compliant behaviours from others to the point that when they become ‘biters’ (when they ‘pop off’) a moral judgement based retributive justice is used to quash rebellion, that portrays the relational social collective aka ‘general public’, as innocent of any authoring influence, holding the ‘biters’ to be fully and solely responsible for their own ‘actions’.
Such is the delusional foundation of capitalism, as also captured in the ‘Enlightenment’ European view of ‘self’, ‘state’, ‘corporation’, as an ‘independently-existing system’ with internal process driven and directed actions that resides, operates and interacts in a habitat that is notionally ‘independent’ of the inhabitants that reside, operate and interact within it.
What is important is NOT the defining of ‘what anarchism is’, ... what is important is to bring to general awareness and acknowledgement, the delusional basis of capitalism and its protective armour, the moral judgement based retributive justice system. The ‘biters’ or ‘terrorists’ are the product of relational oppression perpetrated through the monopolized control of property. It is ludicrous to portray the ‘bitings’ as if they are ‘local-in-space’ and ‘local-in-time’ actions that are fully and solely authored by ‘independent reason-driven systems’ called ‘human beings’, out of the context of the influences coming from the relational dynamics of the social collective that are conditioning the experience of the participants, differently, depending on their unique situational inclusion with the relational social matrix.
History shows that assassinations of the leaders of this exploitive, delusion based system, instead of “forcing society to look attentively at those who suffer”, led instead to public fear and harsh application of the Western moral judgement based retributive justice system against those, like Ravachol (publicly guillotined in 1892), whose legitimate ends “forcing society to examine its own dysfunctional/delusional social dynamic” were attempted by means that were exploited by the incumbent social authorities [stewards of the operative delusion] and turned back against them to nullify their legitimate initiative, an initiative aimed at society’s self-reflecting rather than an ‘operationalizing of a theory of anarchism’.