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Unpopular opinion: I'd rather the SocDem state that I live in keep existing than get invaded by its larger neighbour, Putin's fascist Russia. Even if joining NATO is the only deterrent for invasion.

^(Throwaway account because I don't want to expose my main account. I live in a small country so doxxing me would be relatively easy. I guess you'll just have to take my word that I am neither a Russian state troll, CIA plant, nor alt-right infiltrator.)


The country that I live in is a European state which borders Russia.

It's a member of the EU, but not a member of NATO.

Yes, it is a state - a bourgeois, parliamentary-democratic, capitalist state. Which, as we know, is not really free and not truly democracy.

This, it seems, means that it's as bad as any other state.

Since a state is non-free by definition, any harm to a state must be applauded as a positive thing - this seems to be the stance taken by some anti-statists. An equivalence is drawn between all states, whether they're parliamentary republics where people enjoy some rights, or authoritarian ones where they don't.

With this logic, my country, or Ukraine, are states just as the Russian Federation under Putin's autocratic rule is a state, and therefore an aggression from Russia towards them is seen as neutral. A Russian invasion must not be opposed, according to these people, because when states fight and lose, the people win.

The status quo over here

As far as states go, my country has a history of very strong labour unions. Which means that they've organized, fought for, and won many policies which benefit workers. Yes, those workers' rights are still only those which are permitted within capitalism. But relative to most other places in the world, capital has somewhat less power here.

The policies typically called "social democracy" (which were not granted down by "benevolent capitalists", but hard-fought by the people) are a success story within capitalism, and possibly the only example within capitalism of peoples' actual material conditions improving across an entire society.

Children are taken care of regardless of income, so infant mortality and child poverty is among the lowest in the world. Gender equality is near the highest that exists anywhere in the world. Press freedom and political freedom is very high, which is why people can publicly identify as anarchists in the media and "only" get harassed verbally instead of murdered or imprisoned. Gay couples have equal rights here, but on the other hand, we are still fighting to remove unjust requirements from legal gender recognition for trans people.

Oh, so you're a SuccDem?

I hasten to point out that I'm not listing these things to venerate social democracy as the ultimate ideal, or out of national pride. I don't identify through the country of my birth or nationality, I'm not "proud of my country" for these rights existing in it. I'm proud of the workers who fought for those rights and grateful that I could live and benefit from the fruits of their struggles. I feel that it's a lucky happenstance of history that such a political context even came about.

As for social democracy, I'm simply pointing out the good that has come out of it. I don't see it as the end goal for humanity, because I believe a better world is possible. I think I'm allowed to see the good but also the need to move beyond it. It's still capitalism, and any good that's come out of it will still eventually be corrupted and destroyed by capitalism itself. So I'm only saying that it can be worse than this (and it truly is worse in many places in the world, even in places like the US which have benefited relatively more from colonialist exploitation). I would rather have anarchy, or not-capitalism, instead of this capitalism.

But there are alternatives on offer that are far worse.

"Don't side with any state"

I see people using the word "neutrality" regarding Ukraine and Russia.

I have to presume that the same would be happening if it was my country in Ukraine's place. Therefore, a question to those people:

Do you really think it is "morally neutral" to take millions of people from the SuccDem reality I've described above into one where they live in an authoritarian, quasi-fascistic (if not outright fascist) state - one where organized labour has no power and LGBT people are criminalized? That is what Putin's autocratic rule of the Russian Federation is. It's an imperialist state. And it that has no moral qualms about invading one of its neighbours.

Do you really think that these things make no difference for real people's lives and safety? Is living in a bourgeois state at peace equally as bad as living in one that has a war going on within its borders?

Or, alternatively, when people take the strongly anti-war stance of "don't fight on the side of any state in any war", does that mean that the people over in Ukraine, or over here, should simply accept the invasion, allow it to roll through with no resistance, and be integrated into the Russian imperial state?

It seems this idea of taking no sides is coming from a theoretical or ethical perspective. But let's put theory aside for a moment and talk practice and tactics.

Thinking tactically, the idea that you must never cooperate with one state against another seems rather strange to me. Especially if one of the states is blatantly more authoritarian than the other one.

Should a German with anti-Nazi views living under the Third Reich not take up resistance against that fascist state when the US and Soviet began to push into its territory? Tactically, would that have served the goal of getting rid of the Nazis? I don't think so. But the moral calculus described above says that USA and USSR at that time were bad states too, so that must make it wrong to fight on the same side as them.

Should the Spanish left during the 1930s have not only rejected any alliance with the liberal factions, but also rejected any aid that (hypothetically) may have been supplied by the UK or France or the USSR? At the same time, Franco was getting assistance from Hitler and Mussolini. If your enemy gets a type of support that you don't, then you're at a disadvantage. But accepting assistance would have been aligning with statists, right?

Should the YPG in Rojava have rejected assistance from the US special forces in their fight against ISIS? I have no illusions that the US wouldn't sell out Rojava in the end if it benefited them. But do you think Rojava would have improved their survival by rejecting the US?

My view is that no, in practical terms, and in tactical terms, it would not have been productive in those instances to refuse to cooperate with anyone who's not an anarchist.

But warmongers on both sides?

I oppose wars of invasion. I oppose wars of invasion that the US has started, and I oppose the war of invasion that Russia has just started in Ukraine. I would also oppose any that my own government would want to start, if such a thing happened.

But this small country hasn't been involved in such things since World War 2. It's not going to start a war. If a war starts here, it's because our bigger and stronger neighbour decided to invade. And, as mentioned, the only reason that the Putinist regime has not done so is not because it has a moral opposition to it, but because it hasn't deemed invading us to be in its interests.

Speaking of interests - if such a Russian invasion did ever happen, it wouldn't be in the interests of regular Russian people, any more than of the people in the warzone. It would be Russian sons forced to sacrifice their lives, and Russian parents left to grieve for their losses (if they were ever even informed by the military). The only people benefiting would be those in power in the Russian government - the same people making the decision to start the war.

The government and politicians over here, however, would not benefit from a Russian invasion in any way. So there is no incentive for them to warmonger.

But armies are only used offensively?

I can understand why people who live in countries that do wage wars of invasion - such as the USA, UK, and France - are more absolutely against military. I understand why it's easy to be skeptical and laugh at the idea of a "defensive army" when you've lived in a country which hasn't had any credible military threat towards it in 70 years.

I can see why someone would call for abolishing a military that they've only ever seen used in military adventures against governments in small and far-away countries. And I understand that it is hard to understand that the military in this country is a genuinely defensive one. It hasn't been used in 70 years because it exists so that it wouldn't have to be used. I'm perfectly aware that sounds like a naive fantasy to most people around the world.

And I fully understand why the people who have felt the effects of the aforementioned countries' military adventurism would feel differently. People who have lived in or have family connections in North Africa, the Middle East, or South America have had a very difrerent experience. They've been the ones feeling the crimes of the US.

CIA-planned coups of democratic governments, US military adventurism, wars for "regime change", cluster bombs, Coca-Cola death squads. Those are all real things that have happened and still do. If that is the primary threat you face, and at the same time you face zero threat from Russia, then of course you're anti-US. Of course you want nothing to do with US influence, and maybe you'll even cheer when Russia throws some spanners in their plans.

But that doesn't mean that the Russian state is the good guy, or that Russia is anti-imperialist.

It's just two empires competing. So act locally: in action, tactically oppose whichever empire is the largest threat to the lives of people around you. But in words, criticize BOTH.

And don't just criticize those two. Criticize the EU for its anti-democratic aspects, while acknowledging that it has at times been a useful counterbalance to global corporate power. Criticize your government, parties, and police.

I criticize all those things because I believe that a better world is possible. But I also know that a much worse one is possible too. None of those things will improve by us being occupied by a quasi-fascist state. Those institutions will be replaced, and not by better ones. And we will no longer be able to voice our criticism.

What's that got to do with NATO?

So, the NATO question. Do I support or oppose NATO membership - in this country's specific case? Surely I must oppose it if I'm to call myself any kind of leftist, let alone an anarchist, because it's a tool of US hegemony.

As mentioned, the only reason this country is not a part of the Putinist empire is that the costs of taking it would outweigh the gains. The defense strategy based on increasing those costs is called deterrence. There are no nuclear weapons here. The only deterrent available is a conventional army that would make any invasion very costly.

It's not possible for a small country to have a military large enough to prevent one as big as Russia's from doing anything it wants, if it wants it badly enough to throw its weight behind it. But it is possible to wage a war of delaying and attrition that wears down a much larger attacking force - enough that it makes it very, very costly to the attacker in terms of lives, material resources, time, capital, political opinion, and so on. The point is for the attacker to not bother attacking in the first place because it sees it wouldn't be worth it.

That has been what the defence in this country has been based on, and that's another reason why saying "it's a defensive army" is really no joke - all military spending is done in service of this strategy of denial by deterrence.

So that's why I'm not currently advocating for my country's military to be abolished. If we didn't have it, then we'd have the Russian military instead.

But.

Up until now, Ukraine seems to have had the same strategy. They gave away their nuclear weapons, but they did keep enough tanks and stuff to hopefully stop anyone from wanting to invade. They of course don't have enough stuff that it could prevent Russia from conquering them - but it should've been sufficient to do such damage to Russia that it wouldn't want to try.

Now, however, it seems that it wasn't enough. Ukraine is being invaded by Russia from all sides.

The deterrent failed. A conventional military was not enough for Ukraine - a much larger country than us, by the way.

Every single person over here is now making the calculus: How large is the damage that we could inflict on an attacker if we were in the same situation?

How large are the incentives and potential gains for Putin to do that to us? Is this piece of land really a lot less worthwhile to him than Ukraine?

On the other hand, how big of a deterrent factor is the fact that we're an EU member?

...The answer is, we don't know. The strength of a European Union response in such a situation has never been tested in practice.

But we've seen that the US and Russia steer very clear of each other even when they're deployed in the same region, preferring to use proxies instead. We've seen that even when Turkey and Russia slip up and blow up each others' fighter jets, they both work very quickly to set the incident aside with no escalations.

I think that my country, were it in the NATO, would almost certainly not be the target of any invasion in the future. Not unless a complete global war breaks out - and in that case, we would be targeted even if we weren't in NATO.

As non-NATO member in the EU, though? I'm much less certain. It honestly seems like a coinflip - probably we won't get invaded while Russia's tied up in Ukraine, but after that, anything is possible. If the bear's still hungry, it could go for another bite somewhere else. And after Putin dies and someone else takes over, things could change for the better. Or worse.

So, no, I will not reject NATO membership off-hand. If that is what it takes to have a working deterrent, and to stop another country in the world from falling under authoritarianism, then in my opinion that's good. Then we just need to weigh the downsides that would come with it.

Are there downsides?

1) Would joining NATO mean a loss of freedoms for this country's people?

2) Would it cause more people around the world to suffer from US hegemony - which would mean that we'd be buying our safety with the blood of people in the Global South?

Maybe you can help me answer that, particularly (2). I'd love to learn more perspectives on that issue.

As I said, I'm against wars of invasion. If we were to join NATO, I would want assurances that we would only ever get involved in actual defensive wars. Not bullshit like when Bush invoked Article V after 9/11. Things like the NATO (ISAF) adventure into Afghanistan should be strongly opposed.

And the US invasion of Iraq was a crime, and in that case you could argue that many NATO members would have been pressured to join "the coalition of the willing", even though it wasn't a NATO operation. However, many members did not join the coalition, including Norway and Poland.

On (1), I don't believe there would be a significant loss of freedoms comparable to the present, certainly not comparable to what it would be under Russian occupation. The US has corrupted fledgling democracies around the world, but our democracy is not a fledgling one. They would not be able to use any additional influence to corrupt a state that has strong parliamentary institutions and strongly organized labour. And we don't have natural resources that the US would want, so they have no incentive to turn us into a puppet. Russia, meanwhile, does.

Therefore, I have to conclude that I'm cautiously favourable towards NATO membership - not universally, but specifically for this state and under these specific circumstances.

But that's just how it looks from where I'm standing, in Russia's little neighbour.


You may now go ahead and freely call me fake, poser, and imperfect anarchist.

I would rather be an imperfect anarchist than dead in the ground in the wake of a conquest that leaves muslims more persecuted than today, LGBT people without the few rights they have today, anarchists and journalists imprisoned, fossil fuels increased over the few piddly climate actions we're taking today.

removelink
Unpopular opinion: I'd rather the SocDem state that I live in keep existing than get invaded by its larger neighbour, Putin's fascist Russia. Even if joining NATO is the only deterrent for invasion.

^(Throwaway account because I don't want to expose my main account. I live in a small country so doxxing me would be relatively easy. I guess you'll just have to take my word that I am neither a Russian state troll, CIA plant, nor alt-right infiltrator.)

The country that I live in is a European state which borders Russia. It's a member of the EU, but not a member of NATO.

Yes, it is a state - a bourgeois, parliamentary-democratic, capitalist state. Which, as we know, is not really free and not truly democracy.

This, it seems, means that it's as bad as any other state.

Since a state is non-free by definition, any harm to a state must be applauded as a positive thing - this seems to be the stance taken by some anti-statists. An equivalence is drawn between all states, whether they're parliamentary republics where people enjoy some rights, or authoritarian ones where they don't. With this logic, my country, or Ukraine, are states just as the Russian Federation under Putin's autocratic rule is a state, and therefore an aggression from Russia towards them is seen as neutral. A Russian invasion must not be opposed, according to these people, because when states fight and lose, the people win.

The status quo

As far as states go, my country has a history of very strong labour unions. Which means that they've organized, fought for, and won many policies which benefit workers. Yes, those workers' rights are still only those which are permitted within capitalism. But relative to most other places in the world, capital has somewhat less power here.

The policies typically called "social democracy" (which were not granted down by "benevolent capitalists", but hard-fought by the people) are a success story within capitalism, and possibly the only example within capitalism of peoples' actual material conditions improving across an entire society. Children are taken care of regardless of income, so infant mortality and child poverty is among the lowest in the world. Gender equality is near the highest that exists anywhere in the world. Press freedom and political freedom is very high, which is why people can publicly identify as anarchists in the media and "only" get harrassed verbally instead of murdered or imprisoned. Gay couples have equal rights here, but on the other hand, we are still fighting to remove unjust requirements from legal gender recognition for trans people.

I probably need to point out that I'm not listing these things to venerate social democracy as the ultimate ideal, or out of national pride. I don't identify through the country of my birth or nationality, I'm not "proud of my country" for these rights existing in it. I'm proud of the workers who fought for those rights and grateful that I could live and benefit from the fruits of their struggles. I feel that it's a lucky happenstance of history that such a political context even came about.

As for social democracy, I'm simply pointing out the good that has come out of it. I don't see it as the end goal for humanity, because I believe a better world is possible. I think I'm allowed to see the good but also the need to move beyond it. It's still capitalism, and any good that's come out of it will still eventually be corrupted and destroyed by capitalism itself. So I'm only saying out that it can be worse than this (and it truly is worse in many places in the world, even in places like the US which have benefited relatively more from colonialist exploitation). I would rather have anarchy, or not-capitalism, instead of this capitalism.

But there are alternatives on offer that are far worse.

"Don't side with any state"

I see people using the word "neutrality" regarding Ukraine and Russia. I have to presume that the same would be happening if it was my country in Ukraine's place. Therefore, a question to those people:

Do you really think it is "morally neutral" to take millions of people from the SuccDem reality I've described above into one where they live in an authoritarian, quasi-fascistic (if not outright fascist) state - one where organized labour has no power and LGBT people are criminalized? That is what Putin's autocratic rule of the Russian Federation is. It's an imperialist state. And it that has no moral qualms about invading one of its neighbours.

Do you really think that these things make no difference for real people's lives and safety? Is living in a bourgeois state at peace equally as bad as living in one that has a war going on within its borders?

Or, alternatively, when people take the strongly anti-war stance of "don't fight on the side of any state in any war", does that mean that the people over in Ukraine, or over here, should simply accept the invasion, allow it to roll through with no resistance, and be integrated into the Russian imperial state?

It seems this idea of taking no sides is coming from a theoretical or ethical perspective. But let's put theory aside for a moment and talk practice and tactics.

Thinking tactically, the idea that you must never cooperate with one state against another seems rather strange to me. Especially if one of the states is blatantly more authoritarian than the other one.

Should a German with anti-Nazi views living under the Third Reich not take up resistance against that fascist state when the US and Soviet began to push into its territory? Tactically, would that have served the goal of getting rid of the Nazis? I don't think so. But the moral calculus described above says that USA and USSR at that time were bad states too, so that must make it wrong to fight on the same side as them.

Should the Spanish left during the 1930s have not only rejected any alliance with the liberal factions, but also rejected any aid that (hypothetically) may have been supplied by the UK or France or the USSR? At the same time, Franco was getting assistance from Hitler and Mussolini. If your enemy gets a type of support that you don't, then you're at a disadvantage. But accepting assistance would have been aligning with statists, right?

Should the YPG in Rojava have rejected assistance from the US special forces in their fight against ISIS? I have no illusions that the US wouldn't sell out Rojava in the end if it benefited them. But do you think Rojava would have improved their survival by rejecting the US?

My view is that no, in practical terms, and in tactical terms, it would not have been productive in those instances to refuse to cooperate with anyone who's not an anarchist.

But the bigger bad?

I oppose wars of invasion. I oppose wars of invasion that the US has started, and I oppose the war of invasion that Russia has just started in Ukraine. I would also oppose any that my own government would want to start, if such a thing happened.

But this small country hasn't been involved in such things since World War 2. It's not going to start a war. If a war starts here, it's because our bigger and stronger neighbour decided to invade. And, as mentioned, the only reason that the Putinist regime has not done so is not because it has a moral opposition to it, but because it hasn't deemed invading us to be in its interests.

Speaking of interests - if such a Russian invasion did ever happen, it wouldn't be in the interests of regular Russian people, any more than of the people in the warzone. It would be Russian sons forced to sacrifice their lives, and Russian parents left to grieve for their losses (if they were ever even informed by the military). The only people benefiting would be those in power in the Russian government - the same people making the decision to start the war.

The government and politicians over here, however, would not benefit from a Russian invasion (whether it was eventually repelled or not). So there is no incentive for them to warmonger. And it's not some kind of game between two evil cabals throwing little folk into the grinder. There is only one state that would start that war.

I can understand why people who live in countries that do wage wars of invasion - such as the USA, UK, and France - are more absolutely against military. I understand why it's easy to be skeptical and laugh at the idea of a "defensive army" when you've lived in a country which hasn't had any credible military threat towards it in 70 years. I can see why someone would call for abolishing a military that they've only ever seen used in military adventures against governments in small and far-away countries. And I understand that it is hard to understand that the military in this country is a genuinely defensive one. It hasn't been used in 70 years because it exists so that it wouldn't have to be used. I'm perfectly aware that sounds like a naive fantasy to most people around the world.

And I fully understand why the people who have felt the effects of the aforementioned countries' military adventurism would feel differently. People who have lived in or have family connections in North Africa, the Middle East, or South America have had a very difrerent experience. They've been the ones feeling the crimes of the US. CIA-planned coups of democratic governments, US military adventurism, wars for "regime change", cluster bombs, Coca-Cola death squads. Those are all real things that have happened and still do. If that is the primary threat you face, and at the same time you face zero threat from Russia, then of course you're anti-US. Of course you want nothing to do with US influence, and maybe you'll even cheer when Russia throws some spanners in their plans. But that doesn't mean that the Russian state is the good guy, or that Russia is anti-imperialist.

It's just two empires competing. So act locally: in action, tactically oppose whichever empire is the largest threat to the lives of people around you. But in words, criticize BOTH.

And don't just criticize those two. Criticize the EU for its anti-democratic aspects, while acknowledging that it has at times been a useful counterbalance to global corporate power. Criticize your government, parties, and police.

I criticize all those things because I believe that a better world is possible. But I also know that a much worse one is possible too. None of those things will improve by us being occupied by a quasi-fascist state. Those institutions will be replaced, and not by better ones. And we will no longer be able to voice our criticism.

What's that got to do with NATO?

So, the NATO question. Do I support or oppose NATO membership - in this country's specific case? Surely I must oppose it if I'm to call myself any kind of leftist, let alone an anarchist, because it's a tool of US hegemony.

As mentioned, the only reason this country is not a part of the Putinist empire is that the costs of taking it would outweigh the gains. The defense strategy based on increasing those costs is called deterrence. There are no nuclear weapons here. The only deterrent available is a conventional army that would make any invasion very costly. It's not possible for a small country to have a military large enough to prevent one as big as Russia's from doing anything it wants, if it wants it badly enough to throw its weight behind it. But it is possible to wage a war of delaying and attrition that wears down a much larger attacking force - enough that it makes it very, very costly to the attacker in terms of lives, material resources, time, capital, political opinion, and so on. The point is for the attacker to not bother attacking in the first place because it sees it wouldn't be worth it.

That has been what the defence in this country has been based on, and that's another reason why saying "it's a defensive army" is really no joke - all military spending is done in service of this strategy of denial by deterrence.

So that's why I'm not currently advocating for my country's military to be abolished. If we didn't have it, then we'd have the Russian military instead.

But.

Up until now, Ukraine seems to have had the same strategy. They gave away their nuclear weapons, but they did keep enough tanks and stuff to hopefully stop anyone from wanting to invade. They of course don't have enough stuff that it could prevent Russia from conquering them - but it should've been sufficient to do such damage to Russia that it wouldn't want to try.

Now, however, it seems that it wasn't enough. Ukraine is being invaded by Russia from all sides.

The deterrent failed. A conventional military was not enough for Ukraine - a much larger country than us, by the way.

Every single person over here is now making the calculus: How large is the damage that we could inflict on an attacker if we were in the same situation?

How large are the incentives and potential gains for Putin to do that to us? Is this piece of land really a lot less worthwile to him than Ukraine?

On the other hand, how big of a deterrent factor is the fact that we're an EU member?

The answer is, we don't know. The strength of a European Union response in such a situation has never been tested in practice.

But we've seen that the US and Russia steer very clear of each other even when they're deployed in the same region, preferring to use proxies instead. We've seen that even when Turkey and Russia slip up and blow up each others' fighter jets, they both work very quickly to set the incident aside with no escalations.

I think that my country, were it in the NATO, would almost certainly not be the target of any invasion in the future. Not unless a complete global war breaks out - and in that case, we would be targeted even if we weren't in NATO.

As non-NATO member in the EU, though? I'm much less certain. It honestly seems like a coinflip - probably we won't get invaded while Russia's tied up in Ukraine, but after that, anything is possible. If the bear's still hungry, it could go for another bite somewhere else. And after Putin dies and someone else takes over, things could change for the better. Or worse.

So, no, I will not reject NATO membership off-hand. If that is what it takes to have a working deterrent, and to stop another country in the world from falling under authoritarianism, then in my opinion that's good. Then we just need to weigh the downsides that would come with it.

Are there downsides?

1) Would joining NATO mean a loss of freedoms for this country's people?

2) Would it cause more people around the world to suffer from US hegemony - which would mean that we'd be buying our safety with the blood of people in the Global South?

Maybe you can help me answer that, particularly (2). I'd love to learn more perspectives on that issue.

As I said, I'm against wars of invasion. If we were to join NATO, I would want assurances that we would only ever get involved in actual defensive wars. Not bullshit like when Bush invoked Article V after 9/11. Things like the NATO (ISAF) adventure into Afghanistan should be strongly opposed. And the US invasion of Iraq was a crime, and in that case you could argue that many NATO members would have been pressured to join "the coalition of the willing", even though it wasn't a NATO operation. However, many members did not join the coalition, including Norway and Poland.

On (1), I don't believe there would be a significant loss of freedoms comparable to the present, certainly not comparable to what it would be under Russian occupation. The US has corrupted fledgling democracies around the world, but our democracy is not a fledgling one. They would not be able to use any additional influence to corrupt a state that has strong parliamentary institutions and strongly organized labour. And we don't have natural resources that the US would want, so they have no incentive to turn us into a puppet. Russia, meanwhile, does.

Therefore, I have to conclude that I'm cautiously favourable towards NATO membership - not universally, but specifically for this state and under these specific circumstances.

But that's just how it looks from where I'm standing, in Russia's little neighbour.

You may now go ahead and freely call me fake, poser, and imperfect anarchist. I would rather be an imperfect anarchist than dead in the ground in the wake of a conquest that leaves muslims more persecuted than today, LGBT people without the few rights they have today, anarchists and journalists imprisoned, fossil fuels increased over the few piddly climate actions we're taking today.

approvecomment

I disagree, I think the root of authoritarianism is fear of the “other.” The problem with the right isn’t just that they’re irrational, it’s that they see anyone “other” as either stupid or as a threat, so they stick to their own ideas dogmatically.

To me, seeing anything that isn’t “rational” as a threat is another authoritarian-like tendency. My solution to the “astrology problem” is to say, “I don’t understand this, I’m willing to learn to some degree, and if I can’t learn I can acknowledge that my lack of understanding doesn’t per se mean it’s stupid or harmful.”

removecomment

You want a conversation but to avoid all the why?

So you don't want conversation?

US/NATO IS closer to Russian border every year with OFFENSIVE weapons, so don't play a child and say that R Ukraine crisis is one made only by Russia.

Just imagine Russia deploying offensive weapons in Mexico or Cuba and be like "chill bro, we are just having a vacation at our friends house".

I don't support the war/invasion, but the situation is not black and white and Ukraine has a major issue with its own fascism as well (besides all the US politics around it).

banuser
User: zgrimshell
Duration: permanent
removecomment

As an anarchist I am hardly having any feelings for the concept of a country. I am sad that this is going to make it worse for Ukrainian working class, but Russians just entered a land with... Russians.

And US foreign politics just make Russian claims look legitimate.

removecomment

The only gross here is your childish misunderstanding and your pulling out of ass shit.

If you can't understand how today world works, you will never solve it's issues, and even if anarchism would be established today you would be part of the issue.

Lets try one more time, easy mode

Russian invasion - bad. But the the situation is not black and white because US actions through decades legitimate their PoV in today geopolitical landscape.

US invaded many countries in C. and S.America to overthrow their government. Tried the same in Cuba but failed. US embargo is killing Cuba slowly but surely.

US invaded Vietnam on pretext that VietCong torpedoed US war ship in Tonkin Gulf.

US invaded Iraq on pretext of biochemical weapons which were never found.

US bombed Libya, that was actually going to help other African countries become more independent from west.

US bombed Serbia over Kosovo, saying majority there are Albanians and they should be free. Kosovo is Serbian like for thousand years and the name Kosovo is even Serbian word. That gave precedent to everyone in the world where their population makes a big part of region (for Russia that was South Osetia and now parts of Ukraine).

So if you are just going to jump around and being reactionary instead of understanding all the causes, you will fail miserably.

Lastly, but not least - your comments point me more to you being a tankie, just trying to steer anti-Russian propaganda that western media is serving you, instead of being anarchist.

This is my last reply to your bs.

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I think it is significant that you have sustained an injury. Ancient law codes that forbid, for instance, usury or rentseeking, often permit the physically disabled to draw a living this way.

Also, you do, as you say, own the means of production. You're not a capitalist, you're a business owner, and there's a difference there. You're not speculating and driving up the price of equipment to make it unattainable and then trapping your workforce in a debt trap, you're paying above market wages for work you'd do yourself if you weren't injured.

So I think as long as you are paying them a good wage that affords them the cost of living and lets you eat too, I don't think you need to fret too hard about the ethics of it. Do make sure you're covered and they're covered by unemployment and workers comp insurance.

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Since the dissolution of the USSR NATO states have been involved in one conflict, the war in Afghanistan. While it was terrible and now mostly regarded as a failure, it was not internationally panned in the wake of 9/11 and since its opponent was the Taliban no one lost any sleep over it. The war in Iraq however was only a joint US-British issue, so not a NATO conflict but fought by NATO members. It was much less popular globally, and triggered the largest global protest in history and further aggression from Islamic terrorist organizations. The United States also provided a no-fly zone in Libya during the Arab Spring, bombing campaigns in Yemen, bombing campaigns in Pakistan, very small intervention in Somalia, and small amounts of troops and advisors in Syria.

Now, and pay close attention here because this is important, it all fucking sucked. Fuck the States. Fuck Bush-Cheney. Fuck Hillary Clinton. Fuck Obama. Fuck Raytheon and Boeing. Fuck BP and Exxon. Fuck NATO. Fuck it all.

See? Condemning bad stuff isn't hard, so why don't you try that with the war Russia just started? Or do you have to both-sides that too, very fine people on both sides of the unilateral invasion of Ukraine?

Shadow edit, threw in a fuck NATO, got distracted by all the blood on GW's hands for a second there.

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Hey dumbass. You realize that Russia is an imperialist oligarchy with ton of Nazis working with them right?

Keep slurping that fascist boot you authoritarian cuck.

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Song of the day: Putin Lights Up the Fires [Pussy Riot]

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Song of the day: Putin Lights Up the Fires [Pussy Riot]

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Read The Ethics of Ambiguity and then come at me. You’re making zero sense. ETA: went through your comments enough to know that you don’t understand history, oppression, racism, or homophobia. So I’m not surprised you don’t understand ethics and morality. JFC. What bs idiots claim to be anarchist these days.

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Anarchist Theory and Praxis n India: a conversation with a comrade from Greece's Union of Green Libertarians about Anarchism in India, and Scarlet Underground, our mutual aid collective.

UGL: Ok, let us start with the basic things like the project itself. What is it?

TSU: Okay, well, the scarlet underground’s got three parts of the project—the first part of course is the immediate mutual aid that we need to be using as a direct action for the rural community where we’re based. So what we’re doing is 1. spreading awareness, something the state shoould have done long ago aand because of which most people dont get why they need masks, etc 2. making and giving out free masks and 3. delivering products like rice, daal (lentils), soybeans and sanitizers etc to the poorest of the villages here, who are Lodhas and Santhals, indigienous peoples of India. After the lockdown is over and by the time it’s december we’re planning on building a community centre which will a ct as a school for permaculture, and also as a health clinic and legal aid that would be built in a land that the collective will buy together, and we’re planning to figure out the contours and dig swales to hold the rainwater and basically practic e permaculture there and the idea is that once the locals see the difference between permaulture and monoculture, they’ll be changing the way they grow plants too. The other bit is the other plan is to build a shallow well during december (or maybe even later, but before summer) because if the rains dont come then the farmers lose all their paddy and shallow wells will help them be able to harvest rice all year round.

Okay, the last thing is to build another community centre in calcutta which is around 3 hours away, a sort of part library and part free hostel and soup kitchen, for the unemplyed and the homeless. It also gives us space to bring in volunteers let more people know about our permaculture project in jhargram, among other information that would be more political. Like there’s a sponge iron factory here and we’ll need to begin organising people here to fight them. The last time the leader of the protest was found hanging from a tree in the jungle. So yeah, it’s pretty dark.

Now the thing is we need people to contribute as a show of solidarity and not charity—which most people obviously don’t get, so international groups like FAU from germany are helping us, and then there are comrades here who helped us too but they can’t really afford so much (even 10,000 rupees is a lot for us). I haven’t added the Calcutta plans there because we’re planning to do that once Flo and other comrades from abroad get here in december. Most of the TSU right now is just farmers, local workers, students and anarchists: all in all i would say 10 people, out of which 3 are in Calcutta right now. Hence everything is being done by the 7 of us at the moment, and another farmer, who’s a commie, wants to join so we’ll be talking to them soon about it. Next week we’re hoping to get enough funds go to Aulgeria which is an adivasi village, and begin our work with them. UGL: So pretty much you are building a commune from the start and it’s a pretty good start. My second question is, how did you folks came up with this project? Did you have land from the beginning or had to purchase? TSU: My family used to be liberal land owners until my grandfather became a commie, so we have land here which we bought from anglo-indians who were leaving during india’s partition and since my whole family is leftist, we’ve kept that praxis alive, which is why my mother wants to be a part of this too and doesn’t mind us working from here—in fact she’s full of ideas

The land that we wish to turn into the commune is a literal forest—-it’s next to a forest reserve and is full of sal trees among other fruit trees etc, so there will be a lot of work to be done once that begins. But the main, immediate work right now is the covid-19 mutual aid drive, for which we’re raising funds. Yesterday the cops beat up and humiliated locals in the village for not wearing masks, for example.

So right now it’s imperative that we give out free masks to as many families as possible and spread awareness about covid—--one of our comrade’s already made posters for it so that’s what we’ll be doing this week, printing up the posters and pamphlets and spreading them around along with the masks

By next week if we get enough funds we’ll go to aulgeria, where we basically buy the rice they harvest and distribute it to thepeople and then also get them the rest of the products and soap and sanitizer, etc. We’ll document the whole thing too, so you’ll get to see the aid work once it begins UGL: What is the name of the town your project’s taking place? TSU: It’s actually a village, but it’s close to Jhargram. It’s within the jhargram district. This place is called Niribili, you can find it on google, my mother and father used to run it as a homestay (father died of covid last november). The village is called Garh Salboni.

Anyway, until we get enough money to buy our own acres of land, we’ll have to use this land as our base, which is fine by the collective as well as the “owners” because of the similarities in ideologies UGL: That’s pretty nice. How do the locals think of what you’re doing. Have you recruited any new members yet? TSU: Well out of the 7 of us working here, 3 are locals and there’s another one joining. The local folk are pleased regarding our project—it’s the political parties within the villages that often try to say that the mutual aid work was done by them etc but this sort of direct action always seems to have a positive impact in my experience. There’s also another man called kabir who will possibly join us—i’m waiting to meet him once his work gets over in a few days. So yeah, we’re really trying to make this as local as possible, found that to be the best way to promote solidarity and the idea of autonomy. UGL: Seems like your project is a flame of hope in a world of darkness. Do you cooperate with other collectives? Both on national and international level I mean. TSU: We cooperate with FAU germany who has helped us a lot. IWW England hasn’t really helped, but when have the British ever helped Indians? Many anarchists, on individual level, cooperate with us, but it’s mostly been FAU who helped us a lot with funds; and on national level there are individuals that contribute through either work or funds but they aren’t many.

We’re trying to be more in touch with Araj and BASO which are based in Bangladesh, but that’s still in its embryo as it were,but we haven’t had the opportunity as of yet to cooperate with anarchist collectives from Greece or Spain or Latin America. UGL: Glad to hear the FAU is helping, do they plan on making a visit down there? As for the Bangla comrades, please tell me more about them. I know nothing about autonomia and anarchism in Bangladesh. TSU: I don’t know much to be honest, but there are way more anarchist groups in Bangladesh (BASO is a syndicalist union), Araj I think is an anarchist co-op. Araj basically means Stateless in Bangla. UGL: We should confederate and help each other. With this interview I plan on making Greek comrades learn of you. However geography also plays it’s role and it’s a good thing you came in contact with Bangla comrades. How about Pakistan though?

All of us here would love nothing more than to confederate with your group! We’d love to know more about it too, and maybe we could visit and learn from each other in the future. Well I’m not very well versed with Pakistani anarchist groups—-the demonization of the people there is enough to shield what is really happening there. I’m sure there are groups there, but I’m guessing they have to be very secretive because of the State and also religious fundamentalism

A Pakistani anarchist once wanted to meet me, he had even arrived here but he was made to go to the police station every day and was basically harassed so much that he literally cried for a long time and just left for Pakistan.

I’ve been in touch with Food Not Bombs in the Phillipines though, they’re very very cool and really figured out their own way of reaching out to peoplethrough punk concerts for example. UGL: how will you proceed after completing the Kolkata project? Do you plan on creating a network of communes based on solidarity within India? TSU: Yeah that’s our basic plan. So in much the same way we try to influence different people in cities through agitprop, seminars and volunteer work what anarchism and mutual aid really means, and then help them organise their own co-op or commune, which i think is important because doing it the first few times, you’ll fail for sure. But you’ll still learn so many things iut of it and bit by bit you can perfect your flow. If everything works out well then i’m hoping that by 2040 (when climate change will most definitely become extremely destructive, something we can’t even fathom as a species) that we will have these communes set together as a federation where we’re always cooperating and figuring out problems autonomously instead of hoping that the chief minister notices that your whole village is starving and devoid of any paddy. But yeah that’s just a dream until we manage to stick to our own plan to make a commune.

I think once we start the community centre both in Salboni and in Kolkata, things will start flowing. We’re still trying to figure out where we can make money (as a co-op, to support ourselves) or if our production isenough. We’ll figure something out. Up til december none of this is going to happen, we’re only going to be working in villages in the jhargram district with food and supplies, free masks and hold awareness campaigns, etc. UGL: I see a lot of similarity between yours and ours project, especially now that you’ve mentioned climate change. You earlier talked of co-ops farms and permaculture as far as I know Indian plains are pretty suitable for farming. Do you plan on starting more farms? TSU: We love permaculture. That’s what we’re trying to do in the forest here! I’ve obviously never learnt it anywhere but I’ve been trying to learn about it and read about it, and I’ve practised with companion plants and some other tactics, it’s amazing how different permaculture can make your forest. Flo only told me that you’re green anarchists, so I gathered you were probably practicing permaculture, so yeah, I got pretty excited. I’d love to know more about what you do and about your farm and your experiences. UGL: Well, I’m not an anarchist, I’m an autonomist that has been influenced by the anti-civ and green anarchists currents. The rest of the folk is mostly composed of green anarchist comrades. We’ve started working on the farms from early November and have good progress since then. Right now we’re waiting for the crops to be ready and a portion of them will be distributed among poor proletarian folk. Permaculture saved us a lot of cash and we’re working also on food forests and wood cabins where people can be hosted. We also practice animal herding, what about you? TSU: I’m an anarchist, I’ve been heavily influenced by kropotkin, camus and goldman, and bhagat singh, who was an indian revolutionary. I’ve always been torn between red and green anarchism, because to me climate change has always been the biggest cause for radical change and the ones responsible for it are the capitalists. so i’ve worked wth MLs, maoists and we had our own zine and collective called Eyezine, after which there was Kaloberal Collective, which failed again, and then in 2020 we started People’s Solidarit Collective, which was a mutual-aid collective, which basically turned into The Scarlet Underground. So this project is a mixture of black and green and black and red, one could say.

We’ve had some cows before, now we have lots of chickens and dogs. And elephants; Lots of them here now, to eat the mangoes and jackfruits. UGL: That’s pretty cool. So you’ve got some past from which you can use the reputation to have the project grow in numbers and quality. Eggs, milk and cheese can be good and nutritious source of food for the poor folk. I see that you activities are pretty much like ours, rural-based. However, since you plan on expanding towards urban centers, how will you proceed there? We thought of creating vertical gardens on squats, but nothing more than that. How about you? TSU: Unfortunately here in urban areas it costs a fortune to get a house with land to use. At best I think it will have to be an indoor community garden where we practice permaculture but on big plastic or clay circular vats. That way whoever enters the community centre leaves with some idea and maybe curiosity about permaculture. UGL: What about squats? TSU: Squats are difficult in Calcutta, they’re usually taken up by homeless people, however we could cooperate it with them and provide them with food. Problem is that it’s much harder to do your daily work because the police here will beat you up. UGL: I see. Those squats in Calcutta, are they located in the slums? Is there a lot of police in the region? TSU: Loads of them. There are a lot of protesters in the region tooyeah but they make those houses themselves in the slums the state does fuckall for them or any NGO. UGL: We hope your project goes well. We will proceed with the confederation and let us hope that more collectives will join us into creating a global network of solidarity. Cheers to you comrade! TSU: Cheers to you!

https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/union-of-green-libertarians-anarchism-in-india-theory-and-praxis

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Anarchist / Anarcho-Communist Audiobooks or Podcasts?

TL;DR: Recommendations for revolutionary anti-authoritarian Leftist podcasts or audiobooks?

Hi, I have health issues making it hard to read books so I was wondering if anyone can recommend stuff in audio format.

I've tried to get into some left-wing podcasts but many seem to just be in a talk-show format focused around bantering with each other, or they're discussing really niche theory that I don't understand, or they're mostly focused on US domestic issues and US politics scandals that I'm not really aware of, which Congressman said what, and so on. I live in Southern Europe so a lot of that stuff isn't really relevant to me.

I really liked the podcast "It Could Happen Here". It was concise, easily understandable and it stuck to the point. It was focused on a US issue but framed it in a global context. Anything else like that would be perfect.

Thanks in advance!

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I wasted about 15 minutes with this guide or whatever the fuck it is. Anyone reading this, please don’t bother, just read the Lorax or If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. You’ll get more from the back of a cereal box.

This reads far worse than the dregs on some of the free anarchist essay websites. The writer’s voice is off-putting and not just poorly conversational.

His is the type of conversational tone you might reluctantly find yourself trapped in a line with while at the Jack in the Box. Picture just before closing when you’re already high and too polite to say, “Piss off man, I just want my shitty tacos and maybe cheese sticks or a chicken sandwich.” Now you’re regretting that you lent your car to your roommate so he can go work at the 7 Eleven off of Pine and that Jack in the Box was all that was within walking distance of your apartment. You really just want to go back home to your cat Oscar and zone the fuck out, but here you are, stuck listening to the kid that stands too close and has on that lame ass ahegao hoodie. He smells like a mixture of axe, sweat, finely-aged Dr. Thunder and cheap watermelon vape fluid.

All this to say, that nearly everything, from the top-down, is beyond fucked. The layout and food theme are try-hard, yet incoherent and rambling.

An early antagonist, a developer named “Madden” became “Maddin” a few lines later. Maybe he becomes Aladdin later on when one of the trailers turns out to have had a kerosene lamp that was really a magical lamp.

I imagine the author beaming as he tries rubbing it (the lamp, not what’s in his Gran’s drawer), and he wishes for the 50k jacked-up pickup that he secretly envied. In this version the author chose to trash on his neighbor for living in a 5k trailer, and prioritizing a truck that makes him happy. This shaming happens even though it was made evident that low-income folks in the town were unable to afford a single family home in a neighborhood.

It’s the same bullshit, judging behavior as the twats that point and cry foul when they see homeless people using mobile phones. This disconnect in their minds that rents aren’t more expensive than data plans and that phones help keep people safe just baffles me.

Also, the author doesn’t want you to keep up with the Joneses, who were disguised as the “smith’s”(sic) all along.

I’m not sure beyond that, as I had to bow out. It was around this point that the grammatical and spelling sins became unforgivable and I no longer cared about the 70 trailers, I wanted a red correcting pen and a cup of coffee. I ran a search on “squaller” to see if it was jargon I wasn’t familiar with and it’s just a lazy misspelling.

The “anecdotes” didn’t do it for me either. I wish the dude’s gran had used one of the ten times he asked for a Furby or Thomas the Tank Engine to invest in a dictionary and a grammar book at Walmart. They have them every year around back to school and he could’ve picked up 1984 or another classic to learn how to write. A fucking Harlequin romance novel is a better use of time than this and would’ve taught him more about how to compose a story. I’m sure his gran had a few on her nightstand next to the drawer she keeps locked, because she can’t trust this guy.

— This was not a guide on “how to eat the rich” or any kind of worthwhile playbook. This text is nothing more than the incomplete delusions of a self-important asshole. So rather than becoming hated by your friends for sharing this twofer, simply rip it in half and then rip those halves. Keep ripping it into smaller bits and make confetti so we can all celebrate as the world continues to destroy itself and twats like this waste our time as Putin declares war and Biden mumbles incoherently through another presser.

If you read most of this shit, thank you for indulging me. Godspeed and be safe. 2022 is looking bleaker than just lockdowns and avocado bans.

Edit. Mobile screens are small.

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People caught in the path of this thing are GOING TO NEED OUR HELP

Yeah, specifically I would like to get some money from rich bitches out there :)

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The rich having access to the best legal experts (as well as the best amenities, the best housing, the best healthcare, the best of absolutely everything) whilst the poor don’t is not an example of equal rights in action. Someone could try to justify it by saying the rich people deserve this advantage coz they work hard and poor people don’t because if they weren’t lazy shits they wouldn’t be poor. You would however, have to severely misunderstand the nature of poverty & wealth to make that argument.

Also, “the rich and famous cannot escape the law” is a bit different from the reality of the situation, which is “the rich and famous have the wealth and resources to engage in legal court proceedings without the financial impacts of doing so being of consequence, whilst the poor, in engaging with legal court proceedings, will be drained of their minuscule wealth and severely impacted. As a result, the rich and famous have the option of hitting poor people with slapp suits as a form of intimidation and coercion with little consequence. ” This is really just a small example the vastly different relationships that poor and rich people have with the justice system.

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If Emma Goldman managed to storm into Lenin's office, call him a moron for misunderstanding anarchy and slapping him across the face, then you can also tell Putin to fuck right off!

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Look at it

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Name calling best way to prove someone right ✅️

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I have thought about this a lot over the years (I'm in my early 30s now). What made/makes her truth any less real, if she identifies as a cat and expresses herself as a cat?