The criminalisation of protest is part of the elite's class war

  • Posted on: 19 October 2012
  • By: worker

<table><tr><td>From <a href=" UK</a> - by Nina Power

<em>Trenton Oldfield's sentence for disrupting the Oxford-Cambridge boat race makes it clear which class is being protected</em>

<p>What price the preservation of the spectacle? Trenton Oldfield, who disrupted the annual Oxford-Cambridge boat race in April this year to protest against inequality, <a href=" title="">was sentenced to six months in jail</a> for the offence of "public nuisance". Although the race was restarted 25 minutes later, <a href=" title="">Judge Molyneux</a> made it clear that Trenton had disrupted the smooth running of things, and for that he must go to jail: "Thousands of people had lined the banks of the river to enjoy a sporting competition. Many more were watching at home on live television." The message is blunt: if it's on TV and aristocrats are involved, then the state can deprive you of your liberty for as long as it likes.</p></td><td><img title="Symmetry is so old school" src=""></td></tr...

<p>In a period where <a href=" title="">many people have died following benefit cuts</a>, Oldfield's protest against elitism and inequality is timely and symbolic. Astonishingly in the judge's ruling today, Oldfield was accused of "prejudice" in relation to the rowers, but the judiciary don't see fit to accuse themselves of the same thing – <a href=" title="">78% of judges are Oxbridge-educated</a>. As solicitor Matt Foot stated today:</p><p><blockquote>"The judge has sentenced on her view that this protest against prejudice amounted to prejudice. By that rationale the protests at cricket matches in the 1970s against apartheid were equally prejudiced. This sentence can only help undermine dissent." </blockquote></p><p>Oldfield's sentence is clearly designed to deter others from protesting, and there is evidence that the use of the charge of public nuisance (which carries a maximum sentence of life) was upgraded under government pressure and precisely because of the varied spectacles of 2012. In a home affairs select committee discussion in April this year, the head of the Met police, <a href=" title="">Bernard Hogan-Howe</a>, was asked by Conservative MP Michael Ellis:</p><p><blockquote>"Do you think that Olympic security arrangements or diamond jubilee security arrangements need to be reviewed in the light of [Oldfield's boat race protest]? I particularly also want to ask you about the penalties available, because I notice from media coverage that the individual who disrupted the boat race appears to have been charged with a section 5 offence under the Public Order Act 1986, which is one of the most minor offences in the book, carries no custodial penalty option at all and usually only results in a small fine. Do we need to look at available offences?"</blockquote></p><p>Hogan-Howe replies that the CPS are looking into a "more serious" charge, and indeed that's what they did – but would Oldfield's action have been punished so severely in a non-Olympic year, or if it had taken place at an event not attended and populated by members of the ruling class?</p><p>Oldfield has repeatedly made his motivations for protesting at the boat race very clear: "As inequalities&nbsp;increase in Britain and across much of the world, so does the criminalisation of protest; my solidarity is with everyone everywhere working towards more equitable societies." This principled stance against the severe and increasing inequality of life in Britain, nowhere more on symbolic display than at the Oxford-Cambridge boat race, is widely shared, and there is widespread shock at the severity of Oldfield's sentencing. The world was rightly outraged at the <a href="" title="">recent imprisonment of Russia's Pussy Riot</a> for playing a song in church, but Oldfield's jailing comes as part of long series of heavy sentences for UK protesters, from the imprisonment of 60 mainly Muslim protesters following a <a href="" title="">2009 protest against Israel's attacks on Gaza</a>, to student protesters who went to jail for months for throwing a flimsy banner stick during the fees protests, to the people who got years for setting up joke riot Facebook pages or imprisoned for <a href=" title="">stealing water worth a few pounds</a>.</p><p>So who, in the end, is the public on behalf of whom Oldfield is being punished? Is it the <a href=" title="">public sector workers who will march in their thousands</a> tomorrow against austerity, or is it the "public" represented by the judge, worried that protesters are "prejudiced" against those who have everything and yet want more? A key 1957 case of public nuisance stated that: "A nuisance is a public nuisance if, within its sphere, which is the neighbourhood, it materially affects the reasonable comfort and convenience of life of a class of Her Majesty's subjects." In Oldfield's case, unfortunately for him and for everyone else, the class whose "comfort and convenience" must be protected at all costs is, here and elsewhere, all too obvious.</p>


The rich have benefitted mightily from the neo-liberal arrangement of the global economy. Given the inevitable economic collapse that follows n de-regulatory ad low tax schemes social turmoil is rife. Basically, all governments today are oligarchies. Their recourse to higher levels of repression cannot be any surprise whether grand juries or harsh penalties or police violence.

States (or if you prefer, communities under law and justice), rightly defined, have the common good as their goal. Governments may differ in form but are serving a natural purpose when they pursue the common good. Oligarchies pursue the wealth of the few and thus canot be called a government, properly speaking. It might be useful to consider the various forms of government to better, comparatively understand oligarchies. What I hope anarchists will clarify is the form of government they are proposing. Otherwise I can't see how they stand any chance of playing a meaningful role in stemming the oligarchical tide.

"The words constitution and government have the same meaning, and the government, which is the supreme authority in states, must be in the hands of one, or of a few, or of the many. The true forms of government, therefore, are those in which the one, or the few, or the many, govern with a view to the common interest; but governments which rule with a view to the private interest, whether of the one or of the few, or of the many, are perversions. For the members of a state, if they are truly citizens, ought to participate in its advantages. Of forms of government in which one rules, we call that which regards the common interests, kingship or royalty; that in which more than one, but not many, rule, aristocracy; and it is so called, either because the rulers are the best men, or because they have at heart the best interests of the state and of the citizens. But when the citizens at large administer the state for the common interest, the government is called by the generic name- a constitution. And there is a reason for this use of language. One man or a few may excel in virtue; but as the number increases it becomes more difficult for them to attain perfection in every kind of virtue, though they may in military virtue, for this is found in the masses. Hence in a constitutional government the fighting-men have the supreme power, and those who possess arms are the citizens.

Of the above-mentioned forms, the perversions are as follows: of royalty, tyranny; of aristocracy, oligarchy; of constitutional government, democracy. For tyranny is a kind of monarchy which has in view the interest of the monarch only; oligarchy has in view the interest of the wealthy; democracy, of the needy: none of them the common good of all." A-team

I liked emile better, bring him back.

He pouts also when he becomes passionate about Mach and spacials!

states only follow their own interests fool, and no amount of quoting Aristotle changes that. Also Anarchists don't propose any system of governance.

Is it your duty to publish all anti-anarchist views?
Is it your role to publish all vicious anti-anarchist prisoner shit?
The pigs do their job, why facilitate it?

Anarchist communities such as in aboriginal cultures, do not conform to the definition of ‘state’ as “communities under law and justice”

law is an absolutist concept that is applied to what is seen as ‘the individual’s behaviour’, as if the individual’s behaviour derives fully and solely from his internal intellection and purpose, and that therefore, inquiry into the source of an ‘illegal behaviour’ ‘cul-de-sacs’ in the individual holding the smoking gun.

in aboriginal anarchist justice, the assumption is that everyone is included in a relational ‘web-of-life’ and that there is no way to isolate individual behaviour; i.e. relational tensions in the community are assumed to have an important sourcing influence on the individual’s behaviour. aboriginal mode of ‘restorative justice’ assumes that the community is responsible for the behaviours that arise within the community and justice becomes a ‘harmony-restoring’ process. there is no absolute judgement based on the individual’s illegal behaviour, and there is no ‘offender-victim’ split as in Western sense of justice. there are therefore no ‘communities under law and justice’ in aboriginal anarchism.

in an aboriginal restorative justice system, the community that trenton oldfield is living in would automatically take responsibility for ‘the disturbing behaviour’ and trenton would join the ‘restorative discussions’ as a central figure but not as the alleged ‘causal agent’. conflict within the community is nature’s way of fuelling continuing relational transformation that avoids the community becoming divided against itself.

aboriginal anarchist governance does not “pursue the common good” and ‘pursuing a common good’ is not ‘a natural purpose’ as anon 14:27 suggests;

“Governments may differ in form but are serving a natural purpose when they pursue the common good. ... What I hope anarchists will clarify is the form of government they are proposing.”

‘pursuing the common good’ is an anthropocentric ideal based on man created as a thing-in-itself which means that its behaviour jumpstarts from its own interior, and it is the reason why Western society came up with an absolutist law-based justice system while the aboriginal anarchists came up with a restorative justice system that assumes that conflict arises in the relational web of community. the independence of the individual from the living space he is included in, is foundational in Western justice. it is built into the culture through the concept of property ownership; e.g.

“God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” – Genesis 1:28

the understanding of community in relational terms and the ‘restorative’ approach to justice that follows from it which seem like something many ‘anarchists’ desire to incorporate into their method of governance, is incompatible with ‘property ownership’ and the view of the world in terms of ‘what local, independently-existing things-in-themselves do’.


Yes, this is a perfectly appropriate response to Emile's comment. Primitive cultures frequently allow only the chief to speak; but he may only speak in the mythic language that is the "law" of the community and not in terms of any separate authority he has "over" the tribe or its members. Similarly, chiefs have more property than other members, but it is not theirs. Again, according to mythic "law" (and I am placing quotation marks around law to differentiate it from law in civilized cultures), the chief must distribute surplus back to the tribe in the form of feasts or emergencies or when members become ill. In primitive cultures there is no need for surpluses, beyond those just mentioned. I could go on.

In short I agree entirely with Emile. And the response, to return to primitive culture is perfectly consistent as a logical matter.

But as a political matter I think it is, to say the least, quite far-fetched. The computers we type on, the energy allowing us to do so, the programmers, the code, the various forms of infrastructure tying it all together, all require civilization. As does the food we currently eat and the systems for delivering it same with the water, and our clothing.

All this reflects te fact that we have traveled a long road. It has been marked, first and foremost, by the development of law, systems of justice, and the coordination of groups under a government, i.e., a state. The government gives direction. They pass laws which bend the various groups within the state toward certain purposes. They enforce those laws through the threat or actual use of violence. Sorry, Emile; Your Machian goo-gah may pertain to primitive cultures; it is an intereesting notion. But it does not pertain to governments within civilized states.

"For they lived dispersedly, as was the manner in ancient times. Wherefore men say that the Gods have a king, because they themselves either are or were in ancient times under the rule of a king. For they imagine, not only the forms of the Gods, but their ways of life to be like their own.

When several villages are united in a single complete community, large enough to be nearly or quite self-sufficing, the state comes into existence, originating in the bare needs of life, and continuing in existence for the sake of a good life. And therefore, if the earlier forms of society are natural, so is the state, for it is the end of them, and the nature of a thing is its end. For what each thing is when fully developed, we call its nature, whether we are speaking of a man, a horse, or a family. Besides, the final cause and end of a thing is the best, and to be self-sufficing is the end and the best.

Hence it is evident that the state is a creation of nature, and that man is by nature a political animal."

The burden is on you to explain how we return to primitive existence or how we create a more just state as a means of addressing the current, despicable oligarhical governments. the A-team

you seem to be paralyzing your mind with ‘theory’. we do not need a ‘plan’ of where we are going as a pre-departure requirement. As Joseph Campbell says;

    “We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” ... “If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it's not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That's why it's your path.”

as John Lennon says;

    "Life is something that happens to us while we are busy making other plans"

and as Goethe says in ‘Faust’

    "Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back-- Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now." ---John Anster’s free translation of Goethe’s Faust

Changing our obsolete values such as moral values that see the individual’s behaviour as fully and solely his own, so that the community can sit in judgment of him as if the community has no sourcing role whatsoever in his behaviour, to more credible/natural values that acknowledge that conflict in the community derives from the dynamic web of relations that is the deeper source of the community dynamic [it doesn’t just pop out of the interiors of a collection of things-in-themselves out of the context of their sharing inclusion in a common,relational living space].

Changing our values opens the door to “a life that is waiting for us”, where we have never been before, and never even dreamed of, much less ‘planned for’.

You, Emile, seem to be engaging in red herring arguments. First you counter our original post by referring to primitive cultures. We agreed with you that primitivism offers a solid ground for anarchism. But we then pointed out that, in civilization, governments play a directing role within the "polis." And we suggested that you must either demand primitivism or re-fashion a conception of governance within civilization. You then shifted the argument to a poetic claim of boldness in the face of uncertainty. Be bold, by all means. Act. But in the actual world of oligarchical mis-rule, economic despair for many, and looming tyranny, when anarchists ask for support, a natural response from many is "what do you mean by anarchism?" If you say "well, it means the future is fraught with uncertainty, be bold and providence will be on your side." That leaves any rational person a little unsettled and unfulfilled. They want to know, in general, how political decisions will be made when anarchists take over institutions.

We needn't have an exact platform. We cannot demand perfect precision. Theory is unavoidable since we are proposing a different form of governance. But we should expect enough precision to meet the most salient questions involved. Anarchists tend almost never to provide these. So we are trying to spur a meaningful discussion.

"Our discussion will be adequate if it has as much clearness as the subject-matter admits of, for precision is not to be sought for alike in all discussions, any more than in all the products of the crafts. Now fine and just actions, which political science investigates, admit of much variety and fluctuation of opinion, so that they may be thought to exist only by convention, and not by nature. And goods also give rise to a similar fluctuation because they bring harm to many people; for before now men have been undone by reason of their wealth, and others by reason of their courage. We must be content, then, in speaking of such subjects and with such premisses to indicate the truth roughly and in outline, and in speaking about things which are only for the most part true and with premisses of the same kind to reach conclusions that are no better. In the same spirit, therefore, should each type of statement be received; for it is the mark of an educated man to look for precision in each class of things just so far as the nature of the subject admits; it is evidently equally foolish to accept probable reasoning from a mathematician and to demand from a rhetorician scientific proofs." the A-team

You say;

“Theory is unavoidable since we are proposing a different form of governance.”

fine, but what do your proposals have to do with ‘real life’ as it actually unfolds?

we have all kinds of theories that attempt to explain what is happening now and what happened in the past and what will lead to a desired future, but such theory does not speak to the influence of our underlying ‘values’ on what unfolds [in the continuing transformation of our relational living space].

changing our values is like changing a trim-tab that can put us on a new course that takes us to destinations we never dreamed of, that are replete with ‘what we didn’t know we didn’t know’.

how about the values where we insist we have a right to privately own our own property and to exploit it and as the euphemism goes; ‘develop it’ and ‘improve it’, according to our private whim. such values are anthropocentric and psychologically alienate us from our own experience of inclusion in a transforming relational living space. this 'right to privately own property' value that shapes our social dynamics and governance approach is embodied in the secularized theological concept of ‘sovereign state’.

you say;

“First you counter our original post by referring to primitive cultures. We agreed with you that primitivism offers a solid ground for anarchism. But we then pointed out that, in civilization, governments play a directing role within the "polis."

i referred to the ‘values’ of primitive cultures not to ‘primitivism’. the term 'primitivism' captures only the superficial appearances in terms of ‘what people do’ rather than exploring the underlying package of values and beliefs that give rise to 'what people do' social dynamics. the aboriginal peoples were ‘stateless’ people and therefore had no land-ownership-based ‘state-government’; i.e. their governance was relational rather than by central authority direction based on land-ownership claim.

you say;

a natural response from many is "what do you mean by anarchism?" If you say "well, it means the future is fraught with uncertainty, be bold and providence will be on your side." That leaves any rational person a little unsettled and unfulfilled. They want to know, in general, how political decisions will be made when anarchists take over institutions.”

i am not leaving it as blurry as you indicate. as i said, our individual and collective behaviour needs to be coming from ‘new values’ [= older values, not the superficial what-primitive-people-do package', restored to their natural primacy]. so “be bold and providence will be on your side” in this context means to ‘begin coming from these new values’ which eschew the ‘private ownership of property/land’ that comes with the right of the individual/corporation to exploit it according to their whim [not the same at all as ‘occupying land’ and coming from ‘mitakuye oyasin' values that acknowledge that we are all included in a common relational living space].

the rational person can understand this very well indeed. just walk up to the highly rational CEO of the agricorp and say to them; ‘our values prohibit the private monopoly exploitation of land, that is why we have taken down your fencing and have set up camp down by the river side that it was blocking access to’.

such an ‘occupy’ initiative falls into the category of 'a bold step that providence might well support'; e.g. others might join in with you, similar initiatives might be inspired elsewhere by such boldness.

is it necessary to have a theory of governance before you have decided on your own values that govern your own individual and collective thinking and behaviour?

only in the minds of those who do not question their own values.

The trickiest words in politics are plural pronouns. We--the A-team--don't know to whom you are referring when you talk about how "we" change our values. All of our posts have had to do with anarchists clarifying their political values. But we have only begun to get a few coherent responses (see comments on "BBC News..." story above). Your comments are not coherent.

We--the A-team propose as an anarchist economic value, derived from Aristotle, private property put to communal use. Surely a coherent set of anarchist values could help to "take us to new destinations" whether or not undreamed of. Most people caught up in a struggle for their own existence will insist on something a little more definite than vague generalities about value changes and relational flows.

We agree about primitive cultures. Be explicit; are you (and anarchists generally) calling for a return to such culture. If so, how to get there? Are you calling for some sort of hybrid, primitive-modern culture? Be specific. And how to get there. If you want civilization I am afraid you will need a set of governing institutions to coordinate the complexity. Be specific. How to get there?

We understand that you are against private property as a value. We are not. Private property is a basis for self-initiative and enables the critical virtue of generosity. But we are against the value of unnatural wealth getting which derives from retail trade and usury. Plus, we encourage the development of communal values for the enjoyment of privately produced goods and services as well as the generation of a complete i.e., happy) life for as many as possible.

Other than being against private property your preferred set of new values are incomplete and, thus, politically speaking, dreadfully weak. Hoping for a united A-team

Luckily, moving from theory to action quickly illustrates why splitting hairs over some hypothetical social model is the least of our problems right now.

Oh, well, we would be happy with hairs or, better, hair-do's. Anarchists offer outrage, narcissistic anomie, and hyper-illogical diatribes but never any positive or concrete political values as a basis for their vaunted revolution. Thus they get nowhere and give the fascists the upper hand. Moving to action without sufficient theory quickly illustrates why failing to articulate a general set of political values leads to the almost immediate exhaustion of the anarchist project (whatever that is).

"Of all insects, one may also say of all living creatures, the most industrious are the ant, the bee, the hornet, the wasp, and in point of fact all creatures akin to these; of spiders some are more skilful and more resourceful than others. The way in which ants work is open to ordinary observation; how they all march one after the other when they are engaged in putting away and storing up their food; all this may be seen, for they carry on their work even during bright moonlit nights." Long live the A-team

the number one action item in decolonization is to erode the intellectual foundations of colonialism. one of the values involved here is to reject the use of rational/scientific intellection to organize individual and collective behaviour.

political theory is designed for helping people achieve some ‘desired results’. aboriginal anarchists are generally not interested in political theory, what is important to them are ‘life values’[connectedness, male-female equality etc.]. private property [not occupied territory] is against those life values where we understand that we are all brothers in a web-of-life. the problem with private property is that it is an embodiment of splitting apart habitat and inhabitant into two mutually excluding categories. this contradicts the ‘we are all connected’ view.

political theory, once one has subscribed to it, just sits with you and constrains individual and collective actions. there is always a question in regard to the structured [theoretical] and the situational [experiential] with respect to which has priority and which plays a support role. if you are of a sailboater psyche, you will let the winds, currents and turbulence you are situationally included in take priority in shaping your behaviour and organization, and put your theoretical route plan and itinerary aside in a secondary priority. if you are of powerboater psyche, you will keep your theoretical route plan and itinerary in first priority and try to hold to your intellectual agenda, regardless of situational dynamics you are included in.

the mistake that the colonizer culture makes is to take the powerboater approache and construct organization using intellectual models rather than using a ‘hodge podge’ of theories that are ‘whatever works’ as diverse local groups take advantage of situational opportunity in line with common life values. a collection of situationally architected initiatives can be brought into a connective matrix after the fact, as in an ecosystem rather than as in an ant-column.

there is no need to try to develop a common political/theory/view that get all anarchists under a common cover. in fact it is something that those who would like to divide and weaken anti-authoritarian ferment might promote since, once done, it resolves anonymity by creating a 'political identity' as well as a divisive sense of ‘who is’ and ‘who isn’t’. people acting out of sound post-capitalist/post-authoritarianism life values can make some transformative headway wherever they are, according to whatever situation they are in. this will be different in the colonized arab nations than in the colonized nations of europe and the americas. the common connection will be life values and not political theory and institutional protocols.

We would dispute the notion that primitive indigenous people had no political theory. Certainly they did not in the sense of systematized thought and written texts. But, following Clastres, they most certainly did have a variety of strategies united in one main goal: to prevent the separation from the community of a specialized, hierarchical authority. Denying them their political thought and practice seems colonialist.

Now, and we have been through this, if you are advocating for primitive political culture and institutions just say so. Certainly many anarchists do. You are right that forcing a unity on anarchists is destructive and impossible and logically contrary to the idea of the project. But we think Aristotle provides good grounds for creating a general governmental form that can maintain something of a civilized order while not lapsing into a degenerate or perverted constitutional form. In this respect it is rather like primitives in that it will allow for all sorts of multiplicity within a general principle of freedom and equality.

So, for example, on decolonization and making room for primmie anarchists, let's say that living a complete life and natural wealth getting increasingly substitutes for hyper-materialism and its attendant unnatural wealth getting. It is conceivable that this would leave room--literally--for what is left of rimitive indigenous culture to re-wild much land and live on it in the ways you suggest under their control. For the first time "civilization" would be bounded. Any attempt to exceed the natural bounds of civilized communities would immediately be recognized and stopped by a government that is founded on the public good and composed of individuals who are focused on a good life individually and collectively.

"Since the lawless man was seen to be unjust and the law-abiding man just, evidently all lawful acts are in a sense just acts; for the acts laid down by the legislative art are lawful, and each of these, we say, is just. Now the laws in their enactments on all subjects aim at the common advantage either of all or of the best or of those who hold power, or something of the sort; so that in one sense we call those acts just that tend to produce and preserve happiness and its components for the political society. And the law bids us do both the acts of a brave man (e.g. not to desert our post nor take to flight nor throw away our arms), and those of a temperate man (e.g. not to commit adultery nor to gratify one's lust), and those of a good-tempered man (e.g. not to strike another nor to speak evil), and similarly with regard to the other virtues and forms of wickedness, commanding some acts and forbidding others; and the rightly-framed law does this rightly, and the hastily conceived one less well. This form of justice, then, is complete virtue, but not absolutely, but in relation to our neighbour. And therefore justice is often thought to be the greatest of virtues, and 'neither evening nor morning star' is so wonderful; and proverbially 'in justice is every virtue comprehended'. And it is complete virtue in its fullest sense, because it is the actual exercise of complete virtue. It is complete because he who possesses it can exercise his virtue not only in himself but towards his neighbour also; for many men can exercise virtue in their own affairs, but not in their relations to their neighbour. This is why the saying of Bias is thought to be true, that 'rule will show the man'; for a ruler is necessarily in relation to other men and a member of a society. For this same reason justice, alone of the virtues, is thought to be 'another's good', because it is related to our neighbour; for it does what is advantageous to another, either a ruler or a copartner. Now the worst man is he who exercises his wickedness both towards himself and towards his friends, and the best man is not he who exercises his virtue towards himself but he who exercises it towards another; for this is a difficult task. Justice in this sense, then, is not part of virtue but virtue entire, nor is the contrary injustice a part of vice but vice entire. What the difference is between virtue and justice in this sense is plain from what we have said; they are the same but their essence is not the same; what, as a relation to one's neighbour, is justice is, as a certain kind of state without qualification, virtue." the A-team

it appears that you ‘just don’t get it’.

you say;

“We would dispute the notion that primitive indigenous people had no political theory. Certainly they did not in the sense of systematized thought and written texts. But, following Clastres, they most certainly did have a variety of strategies united in one main goal: to prevent the separation from the community of a specialized, hierarchical authority. Denying them their political thought and practice seems colonialist.”

aboriginal cultures are not ‘strategy and goal-oriented’. that is the curse of our colonizer culture and its intellectual crow's eye judging gaze that it casts upon everything in its purview.

all you guys talk about is ‘making something happen’, causing an ‘effect’.

the goals you speak of, when you look at an aboriginal community, come from your own mental model of man as an intellectually driven thing-in-itself. therefore you understand the community dynamic in terms of ‘what a group of intellectually driven and directed people do’. that is pure Fiktion, ... analytical backfill.

the awareness of opportunity in the space they are included in orchestrates and organizes the aboriginal individual and collective.

we fell into this same trap of imputing organization to goal-orientation in biology, in the ‘genes’ based model of genetic development, as if the behaviour of a cell is driven and directed inside-outwardly by goal-oriented things called ‘genes’.

this has been recognized as Fiktion. now we have epigenetics which is like a genome over top of a genome; i.e. an outside-inward orchestrating 'receptor' process over an inside-outward asserting 'effector' process.

at the level of the cell, the membrane has RECEPTORS tapping what goes on in the environment and outside-inwardly conveying it to EFFECTORS that operationalize things in an inside-outward fashion.

for decades we have been stuck in our newtonian intellectual paradigm trying to explain the behaviour of cells and organisms purely in terms of EFFECTORS, those things that we can see that are ‘causing effects’. that is the ‘genetics’ based model of the cell and the organism.

the same scientist that sees things that way will observe aboriginal community and look for the EFFECTORS that are responsible form the community dynamic. this reduces the understanding of the dynamic purely to the inside-outward driving actions of the organism in the community.


these machines could go anywhere with their strategies and goals and construct 'community'.

but the aboriginal communities don’t go and construct a Brasilia on the basis of pure leader-logic/intellect; they let themselves come together by the orchestrating influence of the habitat they are included in. their outside-inward orchestrating RECEPTORS are the source of the continuing evolution of their inside-outward asserting EFFECTORS.

if you ignore the orchestrating role of the dynamic living space, then you get a view of the community dynamic in the sole terms of ‘effectors' --- those agents that cause 'effect'.

this is Aristotle’s view of the origin of an oak tree. where does an oak tree come from? why it comes from an ‘acorn’. the acorn is internally packed with the all the strategies and goals [blue-prints] it needs to ‘make an oak tree’.


The search for the hereditary factors that controlled protein synthesis led to DNA. In 1953, Watson and Crick unraveled the mystery of the "genetic code," which revealed how the DNA served as a molecular "blueprint" that defined amino acid sequences comprising a protein. The DNA blueprint for each protein is referred to as a gene. Since proteins define the character of an organism and the proteins' structures are encoded in the DNA, biologists established the dogma known as the Primacy of DNA. In this context, Primacy means "first level of control." It was concluded that DNA "controls" the structure and behavior of living organisms. Since DNA "determines" the character of an organism, then it is appropriate to acknowledge the concept of Genetic Determinism, the idea that the structure and behavior of an organism are defined by its genes.

Science's materialist-reductionist-determinist philosophy led to the Human Genome Project, the multibillion-dollar program to map all of the genes. Once this is accomplished, it is assumed that we can use that knowledge to repair or replace "defective" genes and in the process, realize Science's mission of "controlling" the expression of an organism.

Since 1953, biologists have assumed that DNA "controls" life. In multicellular animals, the organ that "controls" life is known as the brain. Since genes are presumed to control cellular life, and genes are contained in the cell's nucleus, the nucleus would be expected to be the equivalent of the cell's "brain."


As is described by H.F.Nijhout, genes are "not self-emergent," that is genes can not turn themselves on or off. If genes can't control their own expression, how can they control the behavior of the cell? Nijhout further emphasizes that genes are regulated by "environmental signals." Consequently, it is the environment that controls gene expression. Rather than endorsing the Primacy of DNA, we must acknowledge the Primacy of the Environment!”

in the same manner, human communities in many parts of the world have developed from freely associating people being attracted to a valley/oasis, and then more being attracted to the community that forms in the valley, and then more being attracted to the city as a place with unfilled niche needs that call to one to develop one’s potentialities. and as this conjugate outside-inward orchestrated --- inside-outward asserting process continues [the conjugate receptor-effector relational dynamic], ... some intellectual is going to come along and take a gander at the community dynamic and reduce it to the one-sided terms of ‘effectors’, the individual constituents whose intellectual theories are the blueprints that cause the effects, ... intellectuals as acorns that produce oak trees [such intellectuals see no need to speak of environmentally nurturing situation that orchestrates the implementing of the blueprints].

it is by this reduction to one-sided male-ness that we get stuff like;

“following Clastres, they most certainly did have a variety of strategies united in one main goal: to prevent the separation from the community of a specialized, hierarchical authority.

anarchist community is not strategy and goal-oriented community!

the theory-driven model you are talking about is all EFFECTORS and no RECEPTORS, all ‘male’ and no ‘female’. in the real world, people find themselves in unique spatial-relational situations [Oakland is not Cairo] and as with the sailboater psyche, whatever theories/blueprints they have in their heads, these must be implemented by the real-world situations the individuals find themselves in. the real-world conditions the communities develop within precipitate the blueprints, the blue-prints do not determine the community as in the ass-backward fashion proposed by intellectuals.

of course, if the community is composed of a collection of powerboater-psyche folks who are determined that their intellectual blueprints are indeed going to determine the community, then you get Stalinist Russia or Mussolin's Fascist Italy, and whoever gets caught between a rock and a hardplace in such central brain-driven exercises can scream and holler all they want while their bones and balls are crushed and their blood spills out, and the men at the top will say; ‘its a small price to pay for the benefits our superbly thought-out, the best-it-gets society gives to us all. these men, the ones that have continued to support us without complaint or rebellion in spite of the threat of injury and death, are heroes, martyrs of the state. we shall give them all medals, posthumously of course’ and drink and party to celebrate their unforgettable contribution to a 'greater good' known as 'the state'.

So you want to live in the night in which all cows are black? All states are the same? All governments are the same? All constitutions are the same? But then, since your scientists have now grasped the one true reality, the same reality which gives us primitive cultures must now be giving us states, with each state identical to the others. It could not have been misunderstanding that caused civilization; blame it on the vector flows and relationality of epigentical outside inside receptor actions (or whatever).

Take the challenge, Emile. Proclaim your preference for primitive culture. Then explain how we get there. Don't say "all let go together now." Because all will not.

Political change results from goal oriented radicals and revolutionaries who alter the dynamic of the status quo in determinate ways. You are the laziest sort of thinker who wants to know all through a science that has no relationship to reality that you, nevertheless, claim to wan to change. If you want to change toward primitivism then you have a goal. You will have to act in a goal oriented way with others who have the same goal to bring it about. That's political reality, friend, and no amount of Machian goo-ga will bring change about.

"When the objects of an inquiry, in any department, have principles, conditions, or elements, it is through acquaintance with these that knowledge, that is to say scientific knowledge, is attained. For we do not think that we know a thing until we are acquainted with its primary conditions or first principles, and have carried our analysis as far as its simplest elements." the A team

continuation of above exchange with 'A-Team'


you are completely ignoring what i am saying. you say;

If you want to change toward primitivism then you have a goal. You will have to act in a goal oriented way with others who have the same goal to bring it about. That's political reality, friend, and no amount of Machian goo-ga will bring change about.”

No, that’s not political reality or any other kind of reality; it’s your imagination. your statement is like richard dawkin’s dogma that proposes that all organization is blue-print driven; e.g. ‘a chicken is just a device that enables eggs to make more eggs’.

let’s take it slow;

(1.) it is the environment that controls gene expression. Rather than endorsing the Primacy of DNA, we must acknowledge the Primacy of the Environment!”

the colonizers’ goal was to whip the two hundred tribes or villages in the region into shape so that they would all respond to the blueprints of a governor and his Simon Says directives/blueprints. in other words the colonizers wanted to install a central intellectually-dictating ‘brain’ and put it into primacy over the environmental influence of the two hundred valleys/villages that were at that point orchestrating the development and putting the environment into primacy over the blueprints.

now, as you say and i agree;

“The way in which ants work is open to ordinary observation; how they all march one after the other when they are engaged in putting away and storing up their food; all this may be seen, for they carry on their work even during bright moonlit nights”

of course, this organization is not ‘intellectual’; the ants do not have a plan with goals and objectives. BUT, ...they do have a ‘place’, a ‘habitat’ called a ‘hill’ or ‘anthill’ that is the environment-side [‘receptor’-side] orchestrator of their orderly assertive [‘effector’] behaviour. get that? there is no intellectual blueprint driving and directing this orderly assertive behaviour, the dynamics of the habitat [e.g. the assemblage of crops and animals that grow well in the local terrain, soil and weather conditions etc] expresses itself through the dynamics of the inhabitants. ‘what the inhabitants do’, their ‘orderly assertive behaviour’ is orchestrated by the dynamics of the living space they are situationally included in.

so, the problem the colonizers faced was that there were 200 valleys/villages/anthills in the region, orchestrating the behaviours of those that lived in them; i.e. the opportunities and needs of the local valley/village/anthill orchestrated the inhabitant patterns of behaviour [of course these patterns were EACH ONE OF THEM orderly]. so it was worse than ‘herding cats’ to try to pull everyone away from their behavioural orientation to the local valley/village/anthill and get them to participate in a game of Simon Says dictated by a newly installed governor of the newly invented ‘sovereign colony-state’. so they slaughtered lots of them, tortured and raped, hung the tribal leaders, and put the others in concentration camps where half of them died, ... until they submitted and started playing the central colonial governor’s intellectual theory driven game of Simon Says

What just happened here?

The primacy polarity just flipped. instead of the environment [via the local valley/village/anthill] orchestrating organization on a first priority basis, the centralized blueprint hijacked the organization-sourcing primacy. all genetics and no epigenetics [all ‘effectors’ and no ‘receptors’].

Now, you tell me that restoring the old ways wherein the top organization-sourcing priority derives from sustaining harmonious relations with the local valley/village/anthill.... requires what?....

If you want to change toward primitivism then you have a goal. You will have to act in a goal oriented way with others who have the same goal to bring it about. That's political reality, friend, and no amount of Machian goo-ga will bring change about.”

Machian goo-ga tells me that everyone in the colonized region has a two-position switch whereby they can put into primacy compliance with centrally-sourced intellectual Simon Says directives, or they can put into primacy, the orchestrating environmental signals coming from their valley/village/anthill.

When the Grand Central Poobah starts up his Simon Says directing and says, you will now welcome the coming of the new pipeline through your 200 valleys, that is part of our centrally devised exploitation blueprint [prepared with the help of our corporate exploitation partners],... then all that is needed to put things back into the natural [so-called ‘primitive’] condition they were formerly in, ... is for a goodly number of switches to flip from; ‘primacy of intellectual Simon Says directives as organizational sourcing’, ... to ... ‘primacy of environmental harmony-soliciting signalling as organizational sourcing.

we don’t need a ‘common intellectual goal’. we don’t have to ”act in a goal oriented way with others who have the same goal to bring it about”, we just have to put that switch back into its natural position; i.e. where we let our natural values prevail over intellectual blueprints, wherein we ‘rise to the unfolding situation’ and become the answer to the valley/village/anthill’s call that announces our place in the natural scheme of things.

as nietzsche [“baptized by emma goldman as an honorary anarchist] says, what lies before us is a ‘revaluation of [colonizer] values’. the value that must be demoted is the value that we give to intellectual blueprints constituted by strategies, plans, goals and objectives, in other words the value of ‘intellectual theory’. the value that must rise up to the primacy is the value that we give to sustaining balance and harmony with the relational space we are included in [i.e. the value of sustaining balance and harmony with one another and the common living space we share inclusion in].

the switches are starting to ‘pop back’ into their natural positions. commensurately, the various valley/village/anthill movements will cease their central Poobah Simon Says directives compliance and become harder to herd than a pack of cats. But as it was before, in the old ways, sustaining local balance and harmony with the land equates to sustaining global balance and harmony since; “The dynamics of the inhabitants are conditioning the dynamics of the habitat at the same time the dynamics of the habitat are conditioning the dynamics of the inhabitants”.

positioning the switch so as to put into an unnatural primacy the value that we give to intellectual blueprints constituted by strategies, plans, goals and objectives, in other words the value of ‘intellectual theory’, is the sickness of Western civilization;

“In extending his living space in a manner that destroys the space of others, he destroys his own space. Not initially his inside space, his ‘self’, but his outside space, this real outside-of-self which nourishes his ‘inside-of-self’. The protection of this outside space now becomes the condition without which he is unable to pursue the growth of his own powers of being.” — Frédéric Neyrat, ‘Biopolitics of Catastrophe’

ecoanarchist activism such as that of the Earth Liberation Front and the hundreds of groups opposing the Keystone XL and Enbridge Northern Gateway pipelines have their values switches positioned to put living in balance and harmony with the land into a natural primacy over values attached to intellectual theory in terms of exploitative plans, goals and objectives.

The Grand Central Poobahs whose directive Simon Says games are being disrupted are crying ‘foul play’ because their cat herding problem is being exacerbated by the cats paying less and less attention to the imaginary line borders.

e.g. “Canada’s Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver, earlier this year decried the “foreign special interest groups” that “threaten to hijack our regulatory system to achieve their radical ideological agenda.”

as with the IWW activism, ecoanarchist activism pays little attention to the rules of the Simon Says game which seek to get everybody jumping in the same direction as part of a herd penned in by imaginary sovereign state boundary lines. the cat pack that is troubling the game-play is a border-blind [like nature] cat-pack.

if you read the list of hundreds of groups that are not buying into the Simon Says pipeline directives, you will see, as you say, ant-like organization within each group, as it orients to sustaining balance and harmony within the environment and its valley/village/anthill.

what unites these groups that would take us back to the ‘old’ [so-called ‘primitive’] ways where we would let the sustaining of balance and harmony with the environment prevail in the organized dynamics of our valley/village/anthill? is it a ‘common goal’? is it “act in a goal oriented way with others who have the same goal to bring it about”; i.e. is it a common ‘intellectual theory’?

NO! it is common values, natural values.

If you look at a time lapse video of the world as it has gone through colonization, you will first see natural [‘primitive’] organization over the full curved space on the surface of the earth, with highly ordered valley/village/anthill orchestrated patterns of activity. Then comes the superposition of the patchwork quilt of intellectually-declared sovereign states [the imaginary-line belief-based borders have to be drawn in, they are not part of nature]. Then we see, within each of these intellectually declared belief-based pens, intellectual believer herds centrally directed by Simon Says games that are superimposed on the former natural valley/village/anthill organization. The switches are set so that the intellectual pens with their believer herds and centrally directed Simon Says games [whether intended as a support system rather than a primary driver of organization or not] are put into primacy over the topographical orchestrating influence of the valleys/villages/anthills. Next, we see the runaway exploitation or ‘biopolitical catastrophe’ coming from the centrally jumpstarted, pure intellectual theory-driven Simon Says games that are animating the penned in believer herds to the point that this is becoming a boring and painful exercise for the 99%. Next, we see a weakening of these forcefully superimposed penned-in believer herd based centrally directed Simon Says game patterns [the effects of IWW type activism and ecoanarchist activism etc. etc.].

The point to note is that what looks like ‘the growth of anarchist organization’ is in fact a weakening/dissipating of the forcefully superimposed penned-in believer herd based centrally directed Simon Says game patterns. It’s as if the superimposed waters of colonization are receding and we are seeing RE-EMERGE, an older organizational topography which ‘never left’ but which was superficially obscured by a forcefully imposed, centrally-directed intellectual-theory-in-the-primacy organizational ordering. ‘ecoanarchist activism’ is serving to weaken the muscle of the superimposed penned-in believer herd based centrally directed Simon Says game patterns.

in other words, we never left behind ‘primitive society’, became ‘civilized’ and later started to ‘return’ to ‘primitive society’ [that is a time-progression based view of change rather than a transforming relational space view of change]. what happened instead was a change in the ordering of our values. ‘civilization’ puts the value of intellectual theory into primacy over the value of sustaining balance and harmony with one another and the common living space we share inclusion in. so-called ‘primitive society’ put the value of sustaining balance and harmony with one another and the common living space we share inclusion in, in primacy over the value of intellectual theory; e.g. the forcefully superimposed penned-in believer herd based centrally directed Simon Says game patterns.

the intellectual theory driven patterns of organization require continual ‘muscle’ to hold them in place, and ‘how much muscle’ depends upon how willing people are to be part of penned-in believer herd based central intellectual-theory directed Simon Says games. in the beginning, when the people were first ‘hijacked’ by intellection-driven civilization as was manifest in ‘imperialism/colonization’, they didn’t know what had hit them or how to deal with it. they were subdued, tortured, raped, slaughtered, starved by overwhelmingly superior forces. but in order to maintain the muscle to keep a lid on this intellectually driven organizational system, those ‘inside the pen’ had to be recruited to be part of that muscle that held the intellectually-driven system in place [courts, police, military, propaganda ministries, education-indoctrination institutes etc.].

currently, people are starting to ‘wake up to what hit them’, ... people who have become part of the muscle that holds themselves in place, ... and they are asking themselves; ‘do i really want to keep my values switch in this position, that puts into primacy, by forceful imposition, a penned-in believer-herd based central intellectual-theory directed Simon Says game show?

more and more people, as in ecoanarchist activism, are ‘flipping their switches’ so as to restore the value of letting their individual and collective behaviours be orchestrated by the cultivating and sustaining of balance and harmony with the environment as it comes through the valley/village/anthill that they are situationally included in.

Its not that they are becoming part of a new ‘anarchist’ movement, although it may ‘appear’ that way. it is instead that they are refusing to continue to be part of the muscle that forcefully imposes a penned-in believer-herd based central intellectual-theory directed Simon Says game show.

in the beginning of the imperialist/colonizing era, the indigenous aboriginals had no choice but to submit to the superior brute force imposed upon them. in the beginning the rape and plunder satisfied the darker pleasures of the conquistadore colonizing population. but as time has gone by, the ‘boundary’ which distinguishes between ‘executioner’ and ‘victim’ [Zinn, Camus] has been migrating, creating an ever-larger proportions of ‘victim’ and ever-smaller proportion of ‘executioner’. If those in power had only kept the intellectual theory driven colonizer scheme to 50% executioners, 50% slaves/victims, and maintained relative equality of the ‘upper half’, this deliberately determined system might have had more stability and held up longer. However, it has become so lopsided that the whole issue of ‘values’ [primacy switch setting] is under attack, those who have been part of the ‘muscle’ for the needed continuous enforcement of the system are withdrawing and instead of healthy rounded biceps, what is left showing is bone structure and tendons of courts, police and military. political propaganda and education institutionalizing based indoctrination, while they continue on, are making less and less of an impression.

So, what we are seeing is the re-emergence of a organizational topography that has been lying underneath the forcefully imposed intellectual-theory driven facade. absenteeism in Simon Says game sessions is becoming chronic.

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