Idealists of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but the last shred of respect

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Re: Idealists of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but the last shred of respect

Post by blindpig » Sat Feb 24, 2018 3:10 pm

So I followed the links.....this is posted as a Specimen, not an Endorsement



Fourth Political Way!

Principle of the New Resistance:
Brazil needs a new breath, a new sigh: a new splash of creative joviality and a new revolutionary cholera!
The political forms of the past, from right to left, from chauvinistic nationalism to bourgeois nationalism, from neoliberalism to social democracy, from communism to postmodernism, have proved to be unfit to carry out a truly popular process on our Earth, consistent with our deeper historical roots and with the more organically rooted values ​​within the peoples who inhabit Brazil.

The New Resistance is a vanguard revolutionary organization that seeks to overcome the old and musty political ideologies of the past and forge a project politically solid and consistent with what Brazil is essentially: a homeland of a thousand nations.

Our goal is to erect a New World and a New Country through a New Order built by a New Man.

All that matters is whether a proposal or thesis succeeds, has concrete applicability and is superior to others to some degree. Precedents only matter to confirm success or bankruptcy. Supposed opposites are reconciled in a superior synthesis that is based on the paradigms of the project of a Fourth Political Theory .

To simplify the way the New Resistance interprets the world, as well as to clarify what it stands for, and to reveal the character of its struggle, we manifest some of the general principles that govern us as an organization:

Labor - We recognize the fundamental contribution of Historical Labor to the founding of recent Brazil and we understand that it consists of the only doctrine of masses genuinely arising on Brazilian soil: we defend its deepening and radicalization, especially in its socialist (and patriotic) formulation forged by Leonel Brizola.

Brazil must be a state of free producers , in which workers are direct owners of the means of production - as part of a family production unit, as members of an autonomous cooperative, or as the official of the State whose voice is heard and actively participates of the administration of the state machine through self-managed workers' councils.

Every citizen must be a Worker. Work must surpass Capital. The values ​​of the Work are intrinsically superior to the values ​​of Capital. Outside of Work, the parasites and leeches of the People must be exposed to daylight. The Worker must be integrated with the national wealth, in order to go over and over the historical destiny of the Homeland, in order to undermine bourgeois political institutions and destroy bourgeois political power.

Distributism - The capitalist concentration of private property in the hands of a handful of oligarchs and landowners is a form of expropriation that proletarianizes large portions of the population, making them slaves of wage labor and often condemning them to misery and hunger. In this way, the small property must be distributed and disseminated as widely as possible and delivered to the family communities.

As for large property (whose unity is not essential), it must be fragmented and distributed among the family units of production. If this is not possible due to some material contingency (if its unit is essential), it must be nationalized and put at the service of the State to be managed together with self-managed councils formed by workers.

Distributism is an economic doctrine directly linked to the Iberian-Catholic trunk of Brazilian civilization. Its applicability is total and immediate in agriculture, but it is also possible in the industrial and service sector, depending on the type of good produced or the service offered.

Communitarianism - The greatest disease of modernity and postmodernity is individualism. Collectivism, however, is nothing more than the apology of agglomerations of individuals and the massification of people. Alternatively, we follow the path of Communitarianism. In a communitarian perspective, People are inextricable parts of some community order, participants in a collection of interactions between a human community in a given place, possessing one or more characteristics in common and that share a certain historical and identity sense. The community exists before the individual and endures beyond it (if it is not destroyed). The Family is the smallest and most fundamental of the communities and therefore the basis of the State and of society.

Cooperativism - Infrastructures, industries and large-scale services essential for the country's existence must be controlled by the State through strategically selected representatives, legitimized by self-managed workers' councils. Medium-scale infrastructures, industries and services must be controlled by self-employed workers' cooperatives - comprising both infrastructures, industries and services of high complexity and those linked to less complex functions.

This is socialism.

Socialismo Patriótico – Como resultado da interação entre a filosofia do trabalhismo brizolista, o vetor distributista da maximização da distribuição dos meios de produção, o aporte filosófico do comunitarismo e o paradigma cooperativista, chegamos ao conceito de socialismo patriótico. O Trabalhador é o martelo de aço usado pelo Povo na construção de seu destino histórico. A propriedade como posse daqueles que trabalham. A presença de uma multiplicidade de ordenamentos comunitários de diversos tipos (familiares, cooperativos, autárquicos, autogestionários intra-industriais e intra-fabris) na exploração da propriedade, tendo em vista a justiça social e a saúde socioeconômica das comunidades orgânicas imediatas, bem como o fortalecimento do Estado socialista patriótico.

Municipalism - Just as the smallest social unit is the Family, the smallest political unit is the Municipality. The Municipality is where most people perform all their community interactions: it is the geographic center of everyday life.

Thus, Brazilian municipalities must be emancipated from excessive control exercised by the Union and by the states: each municipality should have ample autonomy to associate with other municipalities in any way they wish, to legislate relatively freely in various areas and to govern themselves even in a more direct, organic and democratic way, beyond what the characteristic complexity of our era allows.

Municipalism is the elevation of municipalities to the status of socially relevant actors in national politics. The Municipality, however, should not overlap the country, just as people should not overlap with the community. The relationship between all these actors must be one of interaction, obeying a certain degree of hierarchy.

Ethnopluralism / Pan-identitarismo - Above the Family and the Municipality, every citizen is part of some ethnic or cultural grouping. Such affiliation is fundamental to the process of socialization of man as part of a lineage with decades, centuries or millennia of existence. The possibility of participation in a rooted ethno-cultural community is fundamental for man's self-understanding and thus to make him a functional citizen capable of reproducing and deepening the characteristics, skills, perspectives, knowledge and customs of his ancestors. We defend the possibility of autonomous self-organization of any and all ethnic, cultural or ethnocultural groups in Brazil, in the geographic spaces in which they are rooted, be they municipal, sub-municipal or supra-municipal, in order to enforce in these spaces their worldview and their traditions. We believe that therein lies the root of the highest possible community freedom. In this respect, there should be no duplication or hypocrisy. What should be valid for caiapós or quilombolas should be valid for Germanic or Azorean, with no exceptions of any kind.

Heterarchy - Intimately associated with the ideas presented above, the idea of ​​heterarchy proposes the possibility of multiple dynamic structures of power existing simultaneously to govern the norms and customs of the national political system. The same citizen may belong simultaneously to several networks of community relations, all of them recognized by the Brazilian patriotic socialist state and endowed with their own normativities. In this sense, in a Germanic community, Brazilian citizens may have determined the application of the legal system of wergild , while in a Shi'ite neighborhood, of another city, Sharia. At the same time, in the first space, municipalities can be organized voluntarily and autonomously in a community of cities governed by a gerontocratic council, while the neighborhood of the second example may belong to a municipality in which a form of direct limited democracy , and so on.

Autarchism - We defend, as the primary function of economic science, the propitiation of the maximum possible self-sufficiency of our State and our society. A self-sufficient, self-sufficient State is the guarantee of national liberty vis-à-vis all other States on the planet. This autarchy must be achieved by the best rational use of natural resources and heavy investments in infrastructure and productivity increase, following the models of management and distribution of property listed above.

Meritocratism - The State, understood here as the central power of Brazil, above all minor communities, must be guided by a vanguard of citizens, coming from the different communities, selected for their abilities and abilities, in a legitimately meritocratic way (in against bourgeois meritocratism), which guarantees, with equity, the possibility of any citizen joining the state machinery.

Protectionism - Against the myth of the free market in the context of international economic relations, the New Resistance defends the support and protection of national agriculture and industry by the State, through subsidies, customs barriers and all possible means that will enable us to prevent conquest of our communities by predators and international economic pirates.

Continentalism - The New Resistance does not forget that Brazil is part of a great continent, of a greater civilization. For a long time, Brazil has been turning its back on its neighbors, although with them they share a long history, as well as deep ethnic, cultural and religious roots. In recognition of this degree of fundamental unity and the need for a continental alliance for mutual defense against the Atlantean and imperialist threats, we defend a growing integration of the countries of the American continent, starting from South America and reaching a Great Homeland and / or Latin American Civilization . Such integration must take place in terms with which all countries and their peoples can freely and unanimously agree in a spirit of fraternity and civilizational solidarity.

Multipolarism - As an inevitable consequence of our whole worldview, and as an inescapable part of it, we defend multipolarism as the principle of international relations for the future. The New Resistance accepts as inevitable and desirable a planet occupied in the future by a myriad of powers, continental alliances and civilizational conglomerates in a situation of relative parity. This situation will complicate any claim to impose world views on foreign spaces (radically transforming the possibilities of international cooperation), as well as prevent the emergence of powers with global and imperialist hegemonic pretensions.

The international system must be multidimensional and multipolar.

Internationalist nationalism - The history of the last decades is replete with full examples of how provincialism, chauvinism, and isolationism only hurt the cause of peoples. If the enemy is global and has tentacles spread all over the world, the fight must be international. The ultimate victory against Atlantic imperialism, against globalism, against international neo-liberal endeavors, against the international Zionist lobby will only be possible through the coordinated action of various patriotic forces in a common struggle. Genuine nationalism must network, spewing out fires to squander the power structures of the global enemy. Authentic internationalism aims at the cooperation of peoples, not the shattering of patriotic and local identities.Inter-nationalism is the greatest ally of nationalism!

Deep Ecology - As part of a worldview that presses for holism, communitarianism, in short, by the notion that wholeness is greater and greater than the sum of its parts, the New Resistance defends a new environmentalist perception that places man as a of the parts of an interdependent network of living beings whose maintenance in a state of equilibrium is beneficial in itself and has a value superior to that which can be subtracted from the instrumental utility of any specific living being. Understanding this is fundamental to ensuring the perpetual strengthening and improvement of the human species.

Restoration of the Sacred / Resurrection of the World - The New Resistance yearns and desires to promote the resurrection of the world. Without being a confessional movement, we defend the rescue of the Traditional spiritualities as fundamental for the combat to the modern and postmodern evils. Traditional religions are essential aspects of the various national communities, of the various nations that exist in our homeland, and must return to be an active part of the formation of man and of the citizens, from an early age.

Ethics of Virtue - The New Resistance is a movement that seeks to forge political soldiers, new men and women, capable of imposing a New Order and generating a New World. Deontological and consequentialist moral systems are incapable of creating the heroic type capable of performing such Herculean tasks. In this sense, the New Resistance seeks to promote among its cadres, and for society in general, an ethic based on the cultivation of classical virtues and the strengthening of human character, in addition to opportunistic calculations and externalist moralities.

Archaeophotourism - We do not wish to return to any falsely romanticized and idealized period of the past, nor do we intend to plunge unthinkingly into technological progress. We believe that technical progress must obey guidelines dictated by eternal values ​​and virtues that it is possible to unite Progress and Tradition and that it is not necessary to imprison society in a bubble and not to give up the best and most fundamental aspects of our multiple ethnic, cultural and religious.

Traditionalism - Fundamentally, we believe that it is not necessary to change what has worked for millennia and served as a support for civilizations. History is the great field of testing of theories, ideologies and institutions. The desire to make bizarre changes in customs and traditions in favor of the desires of clusters of individuals is nothing more than a postmodern, liberal, globalist, neurotic mania tied to the project of power of the world's ruling class.

It is in these terms, absolutely revolutionary, that the New Resistance thinks. Each central idea of ​​this Manifesto could be even more profoundly developed, but the above must already serve to guide the studies and reflections of the 21st-century national-revolutionary political soldier.

This is


So, a very mixed bag, and too many isms... and further down the rabbit hole:

Aleksandr Dugin - Towards Laocracy: ... ocracia-2/

wuz that a rabbit hole or a rat hole? And then there's this:

General Juan Perón, precursor of the Fourth Way! https://novaresistenciabrasil.wordpress ... uarta-via/

When Juan Peron is yer Daddy what more do ya need?

The post which put me on this trail is from Fort Russ, ostensibly Red and sometimes Putinist(talk about contradictions), often translated and possibly associated with Greg Butterfield, a PSL guy...

You might be a Philistine....
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Re: Idealists of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but the last shred of respect

Post by blindpig » Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:24 am

Go away...

‘Deep state’ elements pushing for Syrian conflict – Dennis Kucinich tells Larry King on RT (VIDEO)
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‘Deep state’ elements pushing for Syrian conflict – Dennis Kucinich tells Larry King on RT (VIDEO)

Published time: 29 Apr, 2018 09:12 Edited time: 29 Apr, 2018 09:16
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‘Deep state’ elements pushing for Syrian conflict – Dennis Kucinich tells Larry King on RT (VIDEO)
Former Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich told RT’s Politicking that there are ‘deep state’ elements influencing US foreign policy, citing examples from the Trump, Obama, and Bush administrations.
The current Ohio gubernatorial candidate claimed there are elements in the Pentagon, the State Department, and the CIA trying to influence the Trump administration to be “more hawkish, more interventionist.”

“Frankly it appears they have succeeded,” he told host Larry King, apparently referring to recent US airstrikes in Syria, before giving examples of similar action taken by Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

In the latter’s case, the president was pushed to attack Iraq by the Pentagon and the State Department, Kucinich said. “Bush didn’t understand international relations.”

Kucinich also blamed these agencies for foiling a potential ceasefire tabled by the Obama administration in Syria: “A few days after that, without the president's say so, there was an attack on a Syrian army base that killed 100 soldiers - Russia pulled out of the deal.”

“Who did that? The president? No. It was done extra constitutionally by elements in the Pentagon, in the CIA and in the State Department.”

American imperialism would be fine but for the 'Deep State"......
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Re: Idealists of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but the last shred of respect

Post by kidoftheblackhole » Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:34 pm

Ha, "Extra constitutional elements"

Might as well blame two-ply toilet paper..

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Re: Idealists of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but the last shred of respect

Post by blindpig » Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:58 pm

By: admin

August 8, 2018

“How do global powers orchestrate destabilisation and war? And how are propaganda constructs like the White Helmets brought to life? The only way to even begin to answer those questions is to follow the money, analyse the networks and interrogate the messaging. In ‘Purpose goes to Latin America’ Cory Morningstar shows how NewPower exponents like Jeremy Heimans operate through elite networks, with seemingly endless incubations, to shape and capitalise upon ongoing destabilisation/humanitarian war/regime change. Morningstar’s explication of the networks, funders, and talking points being deployed shows that the very same NewPower exponents who delivered for the global elites in Syria are preparing to deliver more of the same in Latin America.”— Australian activist, Michael Swifte


Purpose website: “Purpose moves people to remake the world.”

Both Avaaz and for-profit sister organization, Purpose, have been key players in building mainstream acquiescence both domestically and internationally for the destabilization of sovereign states.

This pattern goes back to at least 2004 when Avaaz co-founders campaigned for foreign intervention via a no-fly zone on Darfur under the auspices of Res Publica, an NGO founded by Tom Perriello (co-founder of, later U.S. Congressman), Ricken Patel (consultant for the United Nations, co-founder of and Tom Pravda (U.K. diplomat, U.S. State Department). In 2007, these same individuals founded Avaaz in addition to Ali Pariser (MoveOn), Andrea Woodhouse (World Bank) and spouse David Madden (World Bank). Co-founders of Purpose include David Madden as well as James Sleezak. Purpose Europe was co-founded with Tim Dixon who has co-founded seven organizations since 2010 including The Syria Campaign, Purpose Europe and the Jo Cox Foundation.

[To view the full bios and interlocking mind map, see Appendix I, attached to this report.]

In addition to the aforementioned individuals, Avaaz was also co-founded by parent organizations MoveOn and Res Publica with financing from George Soros’ Open Society Institute (OSI). Assistance was also provided by OSI’s Arych Neier. Aryeh Neier is President Emeritus of the Open Society Foundations and served as President from 1993 to 2012. He is the co-founder of Human Rights Watch (1988) which was founded in 1978 as the U.S. Helsinki Watch Committee, financed by the Ford Foundation.

“Other key elements of the international mobilization include Avaaz, which is already an OSI grantee and close collaborator.” — Memorandum, Cc: George Soros, Aryeh Neier, Jonathan Soros from Nancy Youman, “Recommended next steps for OSI on climate”, July 10, 2009; revised August 10, 2009

“When we created Human Rights Watch, one of the main purposes at the outset was to leverage the power, the purse and the influence of the United States to try to promote human rights in other countries.” — Aryeh Neier [Source]

On January 16, 2007, the article MoveOn Goes International [Avaaz MoveOn Goes International] discloses the following: 1) MoveOn and Res Publica are the founding/parent NGOs of Avaaz, 2) the MoveOn model developed a new small-donor base for Democratic candidates, and helped win a number of key elections, 3) OSI was confirmed to have given financial backing to Avaaz for its start-up and, 4) there were no corrections or retractions by the author. Supporting evidence to the above is provided regarding the Avaaz launch by people integral to its conception. In the article, comments were made by Paul Hilder (recognized as an Avaaz co-founder at this early stage) and Lee-Sean Huang. Huang was a campaigner for Res Publica and Avaaz from 2006-2007. He then went on Human Rights Watch (2007-2008), United Nations (consultant, 2013-2015) and Purpose (2009-2016) to his current role as “Head of Community” at New Power. Neither Hilder nor Huang disputed any of the authors findings.

In 2012 Wrong Kind of Green began to document the extensive research into the relationships and alliances behind Avaaz. This has resulted in two separate series. The first written in 2012 and the second ongoing series commencing in 2017. (Side note: Although perhaps distressing, we implore citizens and activists alike, especially those in the Global South, to read both series.)

[September 10, 2012: Avaaz: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War]

[July 27, 2017: AVAAZ: The Globe’s Largest & Most Powerful Behavioural Change Network]

The research demonstrates the nefarious and hegemonic role of NGOs within the world’s existing power structure. The non-profit industrial complex serves hegemony as a sophisticated fine-tuned symbiotic mechanism in a continuous state of flux and refinement. The ruling elite channel an immeasurable amount of resources and tools through these organizations to further strengthen, protect and expand existing forms of power structures and global domination, inclusive of white supremacy. This forms a symbiotic relationship between the non-profit industrial complex and the hand that feeds. The outcome is soft power in its most efficient form.

Foreign policy, neocolonialism, imperialism, and intervention are all instruments that must be utilized with sharp precision to achieve these goals. It is for this reason that NGOs such as Avaaz and Purpose are given the tools, support and funding required to continuously expand and multiply. As such, they are key force multipliers in servitude to the quest of western dominance.

“The UNHRC, and its supportive NGOs such as the US-staffed and Soros-funded Human Rights Watch, impose a singular, Eurocentric definition of democracy whose implementation has not only blocked popular and direct forms of democracy, but also directly contributed to the generation of inter-ethnic strife in many post-colonies of the periphery.” — FORCE MULTIPLIERS THE INSTRUMENTALITIES OF IMPERIALISM, Maximilian C. Forte, 2015 ... ca-part-i/

Much more at link. I think Morningstar an anarchist but he does ruthless criticism well.
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Re: Idealists of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but the last shred of respect

Post by blindpig » Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:36 am

May '68 and spontaneity
Luca Wright

May 1968, Paris. Photo: Bruno Barbey

On the 23rd of March 1968, 150 students occupied the administrative tower of Nanterre University in Paris and events soon escalated. On the 6th of May, there were regular battles between police and students in the Latin Quarter after 13 students were convicted for the occupation, and 422 people were arrested. On the 10th of May barricades were erected in the Latin Quarter and cars were burned in conflict with police, and 367 people were hospitalised. Unions called for a general strike on the 13th, and it is here that workers begin to join the students. The 15th of May saw the Theatre de l’Odéon occupied by 2,500 students and workers occupied a Renault factory, and on the 16th strikes began to spread across France. A censure motion from the left-wing parties was defeated in the National Assembly on the 22nd and on the 24th de Gaulle announced an election to be held the next month. In June, workers received raises and the minimum wage increased by 30%. But later in the month the election saw de Gaulle remain president with a larger mandate than when he was first elected.

In spite of its outcome, the May ‘68 protests are often viewed as passing a threshold in the history of leftist and socialist insurrections and – rather than looking to the October Revolution and other successful revolutions – students and intellectuals still view May ‘68 as they did during the protests: as an insurrection which would overturn the old order of society around them, where intellectuals and student organisations could be looked to to counter the retrogressive and repressive institutions that lagged behind class consciousness.

Kristin Ross writes that 'the rapid expansion of the general strike, both geographically and professionally, outstripped all frames of analysis', that May ’68 was ‘the largest mass movement in French history, the biggest strike in the history of the French workers' movement and the only "general" insurrection the overdeveloped world has known since World War II’, that included not only the industrial proletariat but workers in the service, culture, and communication industries. Maurice Brinton, who was in Paris during May ’68, wrote that it was the beginning of another epoch, one ‘in which people know that revolution is possible under the conditions of modern bureaucratic capitalism.’ These sentiments are found throughout literature and histories of May '68: the unique and singular existence of the insurrection. However, rather than the event being so singular that theory could not interpret it, the inverse is in fact true; May '68 was seen as singular and unprecedented through the poverty of its theory.

The driving line of the theory that grew out of May ‘68 was the antagonism between bureaucracy and spontaneity. Ross notes that there was a ‘convergence’ of political uprisings in the ‘60s between the national liberation movements of Cuba and Indochina (ignoring the Marxist-Leninist character of these movements), the anti-capitalist and anti-authoritarian struggles in the Europe and North America, and the ‘anti-bureaucratic struggles’ of Hungary and Czechoslovakia. May ’68 embodied these struggles, and, in coming to rebel against the existing order, this in turn meant rejecting the USSR. The ‘anti-bureaucratic’ uprisings of Hungary and Czechoslovakia, however, were far more complication than the students and intellectuals of May '68 reduction of them to ‘anti-bureaucratic’ struggles - yet this was only possible through the indeterminacy of their theory and by ignoring their essential class character. Nevertheless, anticipating critiques of the nature of May '68 and the ease with which students and intellectuals dismissed Lenin's writing and even the October Revolution itself, Ross writes that the events were too multiplicitous, too overwhelming, for an individual to have comprehended them. ‘To reduce a mass movement to the individual itineraries of a few so-called leaders, spokesmen or representatives ... is an old and, tried and true tactic for confiscation.' The spontaneity and energy of the movement was too intense for it to be led; a vanguard would have 'defanged' revolutionary consciousness, inhibiting the spontaneity of the protests, the strikes, and the revolution. Inevitably, then, historians of May '68 willingly fall into the same habits and pitfalls that the intellectuals and students found themselves in June, when universities granted concessions – and 'radical’ universities were even created – and unions turned against their workers. While Ross notes that 1968 saw protests across the US, Mexico, Germany, and Italy, in France there was a ‘synchronicity’ between the workers and intellectuals, but this synchronicity was the praising of spontaneity. Intellectuals and philosophers such as Debord, Derrida, and Deleuze even built philosophical methods around spontaneity as a principle. Brinton continues, ‘what can be said now is that if honestly carried out, such an analysis will compel many orthodox revolutionaries to discard a mass of outdated slogans and myths to reassess contemporary reality.’ Yet these indeterminate attempts to recapture daily life did not reflect the realities of workers’ lives and had little impact outside of the universities themselves.

May '68 then has come to represent the reinvigoration of spontaneity in Marxism that Lenin wrote against in What is to be Done? in 1902. This spontaneity hopes to allow the entirety of the working class to gain revolutionary consciousness and merely push over the already crumbling bourgeoisie, and the necessary organisation of communist parties become superfluous and even patronising. ’68 was supposed to be the death knell of this type of organisation, and Brinton writes that, ‘for Stalinism, too, a whole period is ending: the period during which Communist Parties in Western Europe could claim (admittedly with dwindling credibility) that they remained revolutionary organisations, but that revolutionary opportunities never really presented themselves.’ The opposite was in fact proven to be the case. Mitchell Abidor spoke to many people who were students in Paris at the time of May ’68, he recalls that ‘nobody could tell me what they were aiming for.’ He went on to say that students and intellectuals occupied schools and universities – and separately workers occupied factories – came up with imaginative slogans that are still popular today: ‘Be realistic, demand the impossible‘, ‘Beneath the street, the beach!’, ‘In a society that has abolished all adventure, the only adventure left is to abolish society’, yet assemblies of students and workers weren’t formed and they were so separated that whenever a worker entered the Sorbonne students would chant with delight. Today we might read of the Situationists’ role in May ‘68, or the revolution in philosophy that saw the anti-Hegelian movements of Derrida, Foucault, and Deleuze, but in rejecting the USSR, the Bolsheviks, and Lenin, intellectuals turned their backs on organisation itself.

Charges of ‘orthodox Marxism’ were revived against communists and communist parties, as they are today, but this was little more than the sublimation of bourgeois propaganda into philosophy itself. French philosophy took on the nascent criticism of the USSR as totalitarian and authoritarian and sought to purify Marx of whatever superficially resembled these false elements, and soon there was an image of Marx for whom the essential concepts of totality and dialectics – and even materialism – were alien. And it is in this image that we find the enduring appeal of May '68: it is a Marxism without content, that looks to failed revolutions and insurrections rather than actually existing communism, that it followed the bourgeois line against the USSR, and today the DPRK and Cuba. The students and intellectuals of May ‘68 thought ‘if it can happen here, it can happen anywhere’, and in championing the slogans and non-methods of May ’68 without having to broach the question of their own lack of organisation, socialists will only continue to hope that it is still possible, that capitalism will be soon be confronted by a mass of workers, that it will fight in the streets and overcome. Spontaneously, and without their contribution.

Luca Wright writes on Marx and historical communist movements and from time to time helps out at Ebb Magazine. ... pontaneity

Bunch of fucking idealists following their class interests. I remember the hype well, and when the dust settled one thing was clear, "anything but communism".
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Re: Idealists of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but the last shred of respect

Post by blindpig » Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:06 am

A review of Aaron Bastani, ‘Fully Automated Luxury Communism: A Manifesto’ published on 11 June 2019 by Verso Books.


Fully Automated Luxury Communism (FALC) was a slogan in search of a movement, and now it has its manifesto. The aim: to accelerate capitalism’s positives (technological progress), curb its negatives (neoliberal globalisation), and to re-invent communism for the coming Age of Affluence.

Aaron Bastani’s overriding concern is climate breakdown. Anything over a 2°C rise “could be cataclysmic, creating a cascade of feedbacks” that would accelerate global heating and the sixth mass extinction. The glaciers that provide drinking water for billions are evaporating, nine-tenths of the largest fish in the oceans have disappeared, and soils are suffering from industrial farming and salination.

Although “humanity’s rise” was built on agriculture and on our “unique ability to reprogram the gifts of nature,” the planet’s natural limits are now being trampled with such violence that the prospect of human extinction begins to appear plausible. Our present course is worse than inaction. It is “rushing full speed to oblivion". We have a window of ten or twenty years.

How does Bastani propose we use that window? For starters, we need to recognise that it’s “the meat and dairy consumption typical to diets of the Global North which have us living beyond our ecological means". Animal products are a “highly inefficient way of using finite resources to produce food". Ideally, we should completely eliminate them from our diets.

But even as this recognition dawns, the solution is arriving, in the shape of lab-grown meat, eggs and dairy products. This is the next glittering chapter of the Green Revolution, that “most important achievement of the last sixty years", and one that enabled us to see that “our mastery of nature could confer almost limitless abundance".

The Green Revolutionaries understood “that food is ultimately information” and that “information wants to be free”— ergo, food wants to be free. Their successors are making the revolution permanent. Thanks to such salivatingly named companies as Finless Foods, Memphis Meats and Impossible Foods we can look forward to “using a 3D printer to ‘print’ steaks, bacon rashers or even a leg of lamb".

‘Like a music video’

In bypassing the animal’s whole-body processes, the shift to synthetic animal products will, notwithstanding the soy inputs required, enable savings in land use and labour. Yet, the overall energy inputs could be higher than in today’s industrial agriculture, warns Bastani. He may be right. Methane emissions would fall but CO2 emissions could even rise.

But even as the vats fill with tissue-engineered proteins, the solution has arrived, in the form of ever cheaper and exponentially more abundant renewable energy.

Bastani's Law
Driven by a “tendency to extreme supply", Bastani foresees “the end of energy scarcity altogether". Thanks to the internet of things, “in just a few years saving energy—in your home, car and workplace—will be entirely automated". The fulcrum of the renewables revolution will be our four-wheeled friends. “Cars won’t just be data processors on wheels, they’ll be giant portable batteries.”

With the exponential ramping up of wind turbines, solar panels, electric vehicles and batteries, Bastani recognises that the supply of such minerals as nickel, zinc, copper, lithium, platinum and rare earth metals —will ”quickly become strained".

But even as the minerals-guzzling drive to a low-carbon economy revs up, the solution is arriving, in the shape of Elon Musk’s SpaceX setting sail for the asteroids. Of those big ball bearings in the heavens, Bastani’s telescope settles on one that gleams especially bright: 16 Psyche.

Suspended midway between Mars and Jupiter, 16 Psyche consists of iron, nickel and copper, with gold and platinum too. Its iron alone could be worth $10 quintillion, and if you scoop up a bunch of other asteroids their combined mineral wealth, “if equally divided among every person on Earth, would add up to more than $100 billion each.”

From this he concludes that “under FALC, we will see more of the world than ever before … and lead lives equivalent, if we wish, to those of today’s billionaires". Luxury communism indeed, and awash with glamour. “Yes, when you’re relaxing,” FALC “will look like a music video".

Now, how can we get our pickaxes into Psyche? A NASA mission may be launched in 2022 and, courtesy of a Mars gravity assist, might reach it by 2026. At some point after that, our guide assures us, Psyche can be harpooned and towed from its current location “into near Earth orbit” where—as soon as a bunch of technological obstacles are overcome—off-world mining can begin in earnest.

Asteroid mining is the prerequisite for FALC, because without it “the limits of the earth would confine post-capitalism to conditions of abiding scarcity [and] the realm of freedom would remain out of reach.”

Seizing Psyche will mean “the limits of the earth won’t matter anymore—we’ll mine the sky instead". Mineral scarcity will cease to thwart our ambitions, and raw materials will become available in “extreme supply". This is the final link in a chain that will permit humanity “to entirely exceed our present limits".

Bastani’s Law

There is metaphysics in the madness. It’s there in the claim that “information, resources, energy, health, labour and food want to be free". This axiom is the cornerstone of the manifesto. Let’s call it Bastani’s Law. As he puts it, the “tendency to extreme supply” ensures that “everything will become permanently cheaper.”

Bastani’s Law permits us to seek techno-fixes to climate collapse — and indeed most other social problems — with a blasé shrug at issues of resource constraint and scalability. What will all the robots be made of? Megatonnes of stardust. What of energy-saving innovations such as the Passivhaus—how much concrete will be poured if the world’s buildings are to be razed and replaced? Psyche will provide.

If we are to gamble the planet’s future on Bastani’s 10-Year Plan its calculations need to be as hermetic as a cosmonaut’s suit. But they are nothing of the sort. The grasp of climate science—including current CO2 levels, and estimates of future heating—is wobbly, as is the claim that energy consumption is in secular decline in the world’s richest countries.

When highlighting a recent fall in Britain’s energy use it forgets that this is in large measure an accounting trick, given the massive and rising CO2 imports from China and elsewhere. It proposes, without warrant, that fossil fuel prices will remain high even if demand falls due to renewable alternatives.

Bastani can declare solar energy to be “Limitless, Clean, Free” only by pretending that no real doubts or debate exist over its EROI, by assuming that it displaces fossil energy rather than adding to it, and neglecting to mention either that there is a real prospect of its price ceasing to fall or that its sharpest cost plunge occurred when manufacturing was shifted to low-wage China — where, given coal-sourced power, the manufacture of photovoltaic panels is carbon-intensive as well as highly polluting.

Saudi sunlight

As the title suggests, this is a breathless manifesto. Its descriptions of technologies are gushing. Innovations are “dizzying", progress is “exponential". Plaudits are showered on any firm or state that has invested in solar photovoltaics, lab-grown meat, or asteroid mining.

Without hesitation or irony, Saudi Arabia is extolled for its solar-energy plans. They demonstrate “precisely the scale and ambition that is needed to move the world beyond fossil fuels by 2040".

With a steady patter of quotes from CEOs, the tone is often less manifesto than marketing brochure for SpaceX and other “disruptive” corporations. We are whisked from one marvellous fact or promise to the next. New medical technologies could “spell the end of age-related and inherited illness altogether", rockets can be 3D-printed using “lasers that melt a steady stream of aluminium wire into liquid metal", and so on.

Such gadgets may be cutting-edge but the tune is old. We hear the same notes as in Erasmus Darwin in the eighteenth century, Charles Babbage and John Ramsay McCulloch in the nineteenth, and we might almost hear Lenin’s adage—Communism is “Soviet power plus electrification”— except that in this manifesto the pylons are towering, the rest is secondary.

Back to the Future Shock

New tech isn’t just a source of awed admiration for Bastani, but the heartbeat of history, the wellspring of the great “disruptions” that drive progress. He identifies critical moments of disruption in which changing technology sparked social transformation.

Thanks to settled agriculture, humans accumulated surplus, began to cooperate in complex ways, asserted mastery over all other creatures, and began, “for the first time in their existence, to think about the future and make plans".

Thanks to the printing press, Martin Luther and the Reformation triumphed. Thanks to the Industrial Revolution, the power of fossil fuels was unleashed, catapulting humanity to our present state of potential abundance. And now, with IT, we see exponentially accelerating progress in the “cost of collecting, processing, storing and distributing digital information", leading to extreme supply and “making possible the Third Disruption".

It's a remarkably Whiggish account. It overlooks the dark side of the Neolithic revolution. It notes only in passing that transformed social relations preceded the Industrial Revolution. The leaps in productivity and cheapening costs over which Bastani effuses were enabled as much by imperialist land grabs and by altered organisations of production, often with the aim of disciplining and controlling workers, as by new technologies per se.

Bastani’s analysis of the three disruptions and the role of IT rehashes mid-twentieth century prophesies of the post-industrial order. It bears clear resemblances to Alvin and Heidi Toffler’s Future Shock, but Bastani draws especially on another prophet from the same era, the business guru Peter Drucker.

Drucker, having come to see that information “had become the primary factor of production” and was supplanting the traditional factors (labour, land and capital), then, in the 1990s, noticed that the economy had entered not merely a post-industrial but a “post-capitalist” phase.

Yet neither Drucker nor earlier prophets of post-capitalism (Bastani mentions Marx and Keynes) could foresee how the new information-based “mode of production would stitch itself into the fabric of the present.”

The genius who grasped that needlework was the neoliberal economist Paul Romer. His insight was that technological change is in essence immaterial: it amounts to “nothing more than an upgraded re-arrangement of previous information.” It follows that the most valuable input into commodities today, information, is “capable of infinite replication at near zero cost".

From this Romerian yarn, Bastani spins his central thesis: the supply of resources under capitalism tends to infinity. But, he adds, in a departure from Romer, the gains won’t translate into fully democratic luxury under capitalist conditions. If there is one single shortcoming in capitalism it is “its inability to accept natural abundance” and to allow prices to fall as far as they should. Unlocking that cornucopia requires an automated communist cosmos.

Hand-mill, steam-mill, asteroid mines

If the FALC manifesto is idiosyncratic, it is because it splices the ideas of Romer and Drucker—and Keynes—together with those of Marx and Engels. Drucker and Keynes, it asserts, shared Marx’s prognosis of “how capitalism might lead to a system beyond it". It’s a conclusion that Bastani can reach by reducing Marx’s work to a few crude motifs, almost all taken from his early work or from a brief fragment of the Grundrisse.

Through Bastani’s ventriloquism, Marx is a technological determinist. Tools and inventions are the active agent in history, ushering humanity from one “paradigm” to the next. Each “economic foundation” gives rise to its own “superstructure”: the hand-mill gives you feudalism, the steam-mill gives you capitalism, asteroid mining gives you FALC.

Technological change in capitalism is especially progressive, for in the continual substitution of machines for labour (both “animal and human”), capital “undermines labour as the central factor of production” until we reach the present day when capital, embodied in AI, itself “becomes labour".

The economic consequences are, first, “that the role of humans as the most important factor of production,” and the creator of value, “is bound to diminish", and, second, a tendency to “ever cheaper and more efficient ways of producing commodities” and ceaseless improvements in the “goods and services available to consumers".

With this, Bastani arrives at capitalism’s fundamental contradiction: competition drives down the price of the key factor of production, information, but in so doing it cuts off the fuel supply—profits—to the capitalist engine.

Capitalism is “a force of potential liberation". Its record was “impressive” right up until the early 1980s, but then, with the advent of the neoliberal era (and the birth of the prophet of FALC), it all turned south. Today, capitalism is disintegrating, for it is incompatible with the digital revolution it has unleashed. (Those familiar with Paul Mason’s PostCapitalism or Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams’ Inventing the Future will hear the echoes.)

Critique of political economy

All this makes a caricature of Marx. In the FALC manifesto, there is little need for a critical analysis of capitalist social relations—Marx’s project—because communism will arrive automatically, through the acceleration of the logic of capitalist production, backed by state power.

Bastani’s framing of capitalism as a delivery machine of ever-cheaper goods is rooted in the conceptual paradigms of bourgeois political economy, of which much of Marx’s life’s work was a critique. Marx slammed the ‘factors of production’ approach to economics to which Bastani subscribes, and whereas Bastani hails capitalism as profoundly progressive, Marx was ambivalent.

Marx didn’t share Bastani’s belief that businesses are systematically driven to improve goods and services, and while, yes, there is in capitalism a systematic drive to reduce production costs, it relentlessly displaces other costs (‘externalities’) onto people and nature.

Nor did he conflate technology with the “economic foundation,” extracting it from the complexity of social life and attributing to it unlimited powers, as does Bastani. Capital, for Marx, is a social relation. It does not “become” labour; and knowledge and information are not separated out as a value-yielding “factor of production” that supplants labour.

Labour itself is not simply a factor of production, but the connecting tissue of social life: the agent of humanity’s metabolic interaction with nature, and of our collective life-making, but at the same time a commodified force that is exploited and put to work by capital.

From the ensuing contradictions (exchange value versus use value) flow Marx’s analysis of class struggle and the labour movement, terms that are pivotal to the Communist Manifesto but are mentioned only in passing in the FALC Manifesto—and even then, with the stipulation that movements must not seek “to turn down the volume on modernity".

Whiggish urges

In short: this is an entertaining but absurd book. It is quaint in its belief that its advocacy of a “disruptive green industrial policy” is in any meaningful sense radical—when this has already become the standard patter of international governmental organisations such as UNEP.

Its alloying of a Whiggish ideology of technological progress with a recognition of impending ecological disaster, and of an excoriation of neoliberalism with tech boosterism, give it a distinctive flavour. It will be seen as a cousin to other tomes of technophilic socialism, such as Inventing the Future.

Indeed the alikeness of Bastani’s central slogans—Full Automation and Universal Basic Services (UBS)—and Williams and Srnicek’s Full Automation and Universal Basic Income is hard to miss. But Bastani’s book differs in taking environmental crisis seriously, and in disavowing the dogmatic antipathy to “localism” that defines the Williams-Srnicek mission. His arguments for economic “re-localisation", at least of finance and of workplace ownership, and for UBS, are well made.

In closing, we may ask why this matters. First, Bastani’s book represents a new iteration of the view, propounded in different ways by theorists from Kautsky to Negri and Mason, that irresistible technological/economic forces lead inevitably to the dissolution of the capitalist system, and moreover that it is, behind everyone’s back, already ending. It’s a sanguine, ‘ever-upwards’ cast of determinist thought that, with its optimism of the intellect and pessimism of the will, can justify strategic inaction.

Secondly, Britain’s Labour Party is calling for a Green Industrial Revolution but what sort of revolution will it be? Should it be from below, “built from the ground up,” as some Labour members have argued? Or will it continue the project of the Industrial Revolution and the Green Revolution, potentially a bonanza for capital but at an exorbitant ecological and social cost?

Thirdly, in championing automation as the decisive and dynamic ingredient of social progress, Bastani is reproducing what Alf Hornborg identifies as the “central fetish of industrial capitalism". For capital, technology is the only solution — and it is one that promises profits. The FALC manifesto peddles the nostrum that technology will save the planet — arguably the greatest delusion of our times. The effect of technophilic fantasies is to spread complacency.

We saw it with BECCS at Paris. Just those three short years ago, BECCS was the wonder tech. The Paris Agreement was built on it. But it was quicksand. Today, it is increasingly apparent that BECCS is unviable at scale. The Paris Agreement is in tatters. Its magic bullet was a promissory note — that salvation lies through burning wood and burying the carbon — but the note was ink on paper, and it is now aflame.

FALC has been aptly described as “soft science fiction,” an imaginary of magical sustainability that, in its techno-fetishism, bears the stamp of “the same fossil-fuel dependent system that it seeks to criticize". Bastani may wish to reach to the heavens, to grapple with that scintillating Psyche, but we’d be better off looking for solutions below. ... -affluence
Even an entire society, a nation, or all simultaneously existing societies taken together, are not owners of the earth. They are simply its possessors, its beneficiaries, and have to bequeath it in an improved state to succeeding generations

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Re: Idealists of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but the last shred of respect

Post by blindpig » Sat Jun 15, 2019 3:01 pm

Here a compendium of thoughts on liberals from way back at the beginning of our association: ... ml?t=47925

Thread craps our after 3 pages because of xfer issues. Interesting look at how the thinking in these parts has developed.
Even an entire society, a nation, or all simultaneously existing societies taken together, are not owners of the earth. They are simply its possessors, its beneficiaries, and have to bequeath it in an improved state to succeeding generations

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Re: Idealists of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but the last shred of respect

Post by kidoftheblackhole » Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:35 am

blindpig wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 3:01 pm
Here a compendium of thoughts on liberals from way back at the beginning of our association: ... ml?t=47925

Thread craps our after 3 pages because of xfer issues. Interesting look at how the thinking in these parts has developed.
We are up for renewal soon and I am pushing for getting an archive site online that contains everything from the Old Bell. No promises but fingers crossed.

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