ethics

TOTW: True Lies

Telling lies can be a matter of survival. When is it okay to lie to others? When is it okay to lie to ourselves?

Everybody lies. And if you don’t, you’re lying.

This everyday tool of deception can save your ass or ruin your life depending on how you use it. And we have good reasons to lie: manipulation, self-defense, avoiding consequences. For someone stepping outside the boundaries of the law, relationships, work expectations, or simple social graces, telling a tall tale can be easier than facing the music. Fortunately, our collective compulsion to not tell the truth has grayed the moral waters of even our most definitive institutions – when asked if lying is wrong, a shaky “ehhhh, it depends” echos from the Church halls and Scientific offices. Even courts with perjury laws rarely enforce them.

On being an ethical anarchist & shit like that

from A las barricadas, English translation by Anarchist News

by Acratosaurio rex

What is it to be an anarchist? How do you measure that? Malatesta gave a definition that said that an anarchist is one who does not want to command and does not want to obey. He neither wants to dominate, nor to be dominated. Being an anarchist would therefore be a desire. A complex desire. Federica Montseny I think also used to say that anarchism is a philosophy of freedom, which intends the greater good for all. Which is something that is also not clear, what is the greater good.

The Cost of Power and Hierarchy

from The Commoner

On April 5th, 1887, Lord John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton proclaimed, ‘Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.’ Obviously, we could poke fun at the evident contradiction of the prestigious position Lord Acton held and the intent and meaning of the quote, and if we were to get into Lord Acton’s politics, it would be incredibly difficult to take his word seriously when speaking on the subject of power. However, this isn’t about Lord Acton, this is about the truism that power corrupts. Yet in contemporary discourse, not everyone sees it as a truism. It is still a highly contested claim in many circles, and I’d like to attempt to settle the issue if I can. I’d like to examine some of the early conceptualisations of consciousness and psychology in the field of philosophy and relate that to current discoveries in modern science. I’d then like to loop back around to show how this is all relevant when considering the claims that have been consistently made by anarchists for as long as the political philosophy has existed.

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