Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Undead Creatures following orders..

Anarchists use democracy—but we don’t let democracy use us. For us, the first and last matter is always the needs and feelings of the individuals involved—any system to address them is provisional at best. We don’t try to force ourselves into the confines of any establisthed procedures—we apply procedures to the extent that they serve human needs, and discard them past that point. Seriously, what should come first—our systems, or us? We cooperate or coexist with others, including other life forms, whenever it’s possible. But we don’t prize consensus, let alone The Rule of Law, above our own values and dreams—when we can’t come to an agreement, we go our own ways, rather than limiting each other. In extreme cases, when others refuse to acknowledge our needs or persist in doing unconscionable, harmful things, we intercede by whatever means are necessary— not on behalf of Justice or revenge, but simply to represent our own interests. We see laws as nothing more than the shadows of our predecessors’ customs, lengthened by the years to seem more wise than our own judgment.

They persist as undead creatures, imposing unnatural stipulations upon us that do not enable justice, but only interfere with it—while at the same time estranging us from it, framing it as something we cannot carry out without arcane formalities and judges’ wigs. These laws, having multiplied and atrophied over time, are now so alien and inscrutable that a priest class of lawyers makes a living off the rest of us as astrologers of the stars our well meaning ancestors set in precarious orbit. The man who insists that justice can only be maintained by the rule of law is the same one who appears on the witness stand at the war crime tribunal swearing he was only following orders. There’s no Justice—it’s just us. Anarchist economies are radically different from other economies. Anarchists not only conduct their transactions differently, but trade in an entirely different currency— one which is not convertible into the kind of assets for which capitalists compete and communists draft Five Year Plans.

Capitalists, socialists, communists exchange products; anarchists interchange assistance, inspiration, loyalty. Capitalist, socialist, communist economies make human interactions into commodities: policing, medical care, education, even sexual relations become services that are bought and sold. Anarchist economies, focusing above all on the needs and desires of the individuals involved, transform products back into social relations: the communal experience of gardening or dumpster diving or playing music, the excitement and self-righteous high of stealing from a supermarket or squatting a building. The typical economic interaction in capitalist relations is the sale; in anarchist economics, it is the gift. - Crimethinc.

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