« i bent my wookie! | Main | some run on thing about the bands i've seen »

it will be anarchy!

From Indymedia:

Despite Poor Image, Anarchism Is Catching On Among Young Activists Disillusioned With Capitalism

Brien Gartland goes "Dumpster diving" every day for his food. He raids the garbage bags outside gourmet groceries looking for slightly bruised mangos, unopened containers of rice pudding and the like.

Known as "Deadbolt," the bearded 21-year-old sleeps in a vacant building and refuses to get a job because he's disillusioned with capitalism and Western democracy, systems he believes exploit the poor and give power to the elite.

Gartland is an anarchist. He views government or any hierarchical structure as coercive and ultimately undemocratic.

Wow. You must be very proud of yourself, Deadbolt. You have learned to live like the animals in the forest, foraging for food and a place to sleep.

Except Deadbolt isn't a woodland creature. He's a human being who is perfectly happy being an unproductive member of society.

In my world, we call this slacking. In Deadbolt's world, it's call a political statement.

Difference? My world is based in reality.

I'm sure when Mr. Deadbolt is 40 years old and still eating scraps out of garbage cans and sleeping in cardboard boxes, he'll look back on what he's done with his life and he'll be so damn proud of himself. And anarchy will still be a small, irrelevant movement limited to those who want to be professional slackers.

Once a naive fool, always a naive fool.


Quote from zee article: As for the window-breaking, many anarchists defend such acts as a way to draw attention to bigger problems. They define violence as harm done to people - which they disavow.

ARRRRGH! This mentality totally annoys me. We had to deal with a bunch of these guys right before the G-8 summit last year (which was being held in Kananaskis and Calgary was the closest Big City) and all the shops downtown sorta hunkered down and some even boarded up their windows because of similar statements from protesters at the time. Fortunately nothing ended up happening, but I remember thinking that if people had started throwing bricks through windows, it was not the big multinational oil companies downtown that were going to get hurt. (They have security guards and can afford a few windows.) It was all the little Mom-and-Pop shops downtown...the people who couldn't afford to pay for security guards or a couple of broken windows.

Not to mention, haven't they heard of people cutting themselves on broken glass?

I don't mind protest as a form of advocacy, but it seems like there are very few logical or well-planned protests.

Oh, and when I was researching the G-8's last year so I could be informed about the issues, I realized after reading the Indy Media site that there are professional protesters. And people who plan to deliberately get arrested.

But I'm getting off topic, aren't I?

Our government is very messed up, but anarchy is not the answer.....

Anyways in my city we have a grocery store that has had paid picketers standing outside of the property picketing because they are non union. The funny thing is the majority of the store employees do not want to form a union, but a union is paying for people to stand out and protest. I just don't get it

Such BS. These Concerned Young People think they are doing something new? I've had old friends from high school who were doing that in the early eighties. Please. Then they grew up, put the skateboard away, left the commune, and got jobs. Believe me, if "Deadbolt" doesn't end up like the first half of his name, he'll quit this crap and run home to mommy as soon as his little legs can take him.

Well at least he's not bitching about capitalism from his limo...

"You're not fooling anybody, Bender. The new screw that falls out is gonna be you."

Helllllllllo there,

I'm totally off the point, and I'm leaping into the midst of a rampage of politically passionate infidels...

Hey, I feel like Batnan. What an unexpected bonus...

Try a 'Gomez' album. I've just realised that they're actually quite good. After 'My Vitriol' that is (ahem). But then I've just realised that, despite the spectacularly annoying synth contribution, the 'Smashing Pumpkins' Adore album is actually full of pretty moving shit. I've been breaking up to the first track on that album for years, but never really got used to the album as a whole till now.
Now, if only they'd had Jimmy Chamberlain...

Nah, when this guys turns 40, and finds out that living in packing crates and dumpster diving isn't as attractive or adventurous as it was when he was 21, he'll be suing someone (Social Services?, The school system where he was educated? his parents/family?) for A. Not teaching him any marketable skills, and B. Allowing him to ruin his own life.

You know, there was a point in my life where I believed that nationalism was the root of a great deal of evil.

If you meet someone who thinks this way, you might try asking them to name a significant scientific advance that occurred in an anarchic or severely balkanized region. You can go as far back as Ptolemy and you'll find that what fuels scientific, philosophical, and cultural advances is the security that a nation/state provides. Without it, nobody is in a safe position to specialize to the degree necessary.

I assume, after all, that this ridiculous child was wearing modern clothes (machine knit cotton, synthetic rubber soles on tennis shoes). He's not a slacker. He's damn well freeloading. Without a whole list of technological advances made possible by the security that nationalism provides he wouldn't even be alive, let alone in a position to complain.

Hopefully he'll grow out of it, but gaining wisdom with age just isn't as popular as it used to be, so I'm not about to hold my breath.

I got a hunch Deadbolt, if you scrape off the layer of jargon and newspeak (not to mention street grime) is one of those "big-government anarachists." How else can one spout paeans to "democracy" and at the same time declare one's self to be an anarchist? Doesn't that imply coercion and collective decision-making?

Gee, I always thought that "Anarchist" meant someone who wanted to smash the state, who wanted to bring down the entire government and replace it with nothing. Kinda like a Libertarian on crystal meth. But I guess it means "homeless bum with pretentious rationalizations."


"Libertarian on crystal meth..."
That's exactly it! Only when we were squatting and dumpster diving (or, say, working at the soup kitchen in exchange for meals), we were too young for work permits and our idea of the state was validated by our violent parents. (...and then most of us grew up and got to vote) 21-year-old stoners pretty much don't have that excuse.

At 21 years of age, you haven't earned the right to be disillusioned.
Try doing something constructive first.

Note that these anarchists want to "control what their community looks like." And they claim to advocate freedom? Ah, the tryanny of the majority, instead of the tyranny of no tyranny. Just what I want ruling over me: an ever rotating school board. Unable to handle the serious issues, but more than able to dictate how I should decorate my lawn! Yee-hah.

Anarchists. Christ. Fuck those tards.

I'm looking forward to Deadbolt's appearance in "Bumfights XXXII". Should be a crowd pleaser.


"Kinda like a Libertarian on crystal meth."

Well I've found me a new ethos! I knew I was leaving something out. Who ever would have thought it was crystal meth?

As for this Deadbolt fellow, I can't help but notice that his anarchic activities would not be possible without the machinery of capitalism to create those gourmet food shops and the dumpsters from which he gains his daily subsistence. Like others have said, he's not some counter-cultural force, he's merely a sub-cultural one: a parasitic leech clinging to the underbelly of society.

If he was really committed to his ideals (or was smart enough to actually recognize the cognitive dissonance in his actions) he would be living in a place as far removed from societal structure as possible. Of course that would mean he would probably starve to death pretty quickly.

But I'm ok with that.

I told a friend of mine about this and his reaction was, "I cant think of anything more pathetic than living on the detrius of the system you loathe so much."

I dunno... what about Anna Nicole Smith? She's pretty pathetic.

One final note (sorry Michele... I can't seem to order my thoughts coherently enough to put them all in one comment post.... well, that's insanity for you): as with so many other things these days, I find the following quote sums up my reaction to folks like Deadbolt: "I feel the urge to smash his guitar against the wall of Delta house."

"refuses to get a job because he's disillusioned with capitalism". Yeah, I know that one - I want to refuse to pay taxes because I'm dilillusioned with the welfare state.

About 15-20 years ago, Santa Cruz, CA decided to clean up a downtown park because families (you know, the ones PAYING for it?) were afraid to use it. Big protest, of course. And interviewed on the front page of the paper is some scumball who "left a $2500-a-month job because I hate your rat race" and came to Santa Cruz to live on welfare.

I'm an anarchocapitalist. I wonder how THAT would grab this fucktard?

L. Neil Smith for POTUS!

Er, sorry, what were we talking about again?

Someone ought to give Deadbolt a copy of Atlas Shrugged...

Um. I would hesitate to call an unsustainable view of economics reality and dismiss all other views as somehow inferior.

How is it reality to support a system which consumes resources faster than they can be regenerated? And then creates alternatives that only cause more problems than they cure?

Clearly reality is arbitrary...or at least subjective.

Touchy subject for me...I've been posting about it a lot. It cracks me up that elsewhere on yr site, anti-war demonstrators are accused of acting superior, as if their solutions are the only solutions...I'm curious as to what solutions you would offer for sustainability. Or do you just think the finite resources of the planet will magically multiply?

Oh sweet blue-haired Jehosaphat on a rubber bicycle.

Chicken Little, this may come as a surprise to you, but the sky is not falling. In fact, it is most emphatically secure against falling-- so long as fools like you are not allowed to seize the reins of power.

News flash. Over the course of the past 100 years, pollution has gone DOWN, illness has gone DOWN, poverty, illiteracy, need have gone DOWN... while at the same time wealth, resources AND fuel and energy efficiency have gone UP. Countless endangered species are on a ferocious rebound--- crap, you moron, there are more trees growing in North America NOW than existed prior to the Industrial Revolution!---

And not because of leftist "progressives," But because of people who loved PROGRESS. As always, the benefits derived by society from the butcher, baker, and candlestick maker--- and property owner-- sprang from those individual's own self-interest.

You Butt-hat. You sit in the middle of the heart of Western civilization-- the wealthiest, most environmentally healthy, economically prosperous, militarily powerful, and progress-oriented nation on this tiny little planet-- the material vindication of the American Way-- and squall for someone to turn it into a centrally controlled, collectivist turd-pit like the old Soviet Union!

What the hell is wrong with you? Were you asleep while communist countries across the globe collapsed? While environmental scientists trooped thru the polluted, radioactive, strip-mined and clear-cut rubble left behind by collectivist, "me love Big Brother" thinking? Buddy, the original models for your "sustainable" worker's paradise tossed everything you treasure out the door a decade ago and grabbed onto freedom and capitalism with both hands. The few that remain in that camp are either third-world jokes like Cuba, or are surviving solely by sucking on the tit of Capitalist countries.

And they're polluted dungheaps, too.

You want "sustainable growth?" Then get the hell out of growth's way. You're not going to get those solar-powered recycled aluminum George JetsonMobiles by sending a bunch of government goobers and useful-idiot Chicken Littles climbing up everyone's ass with a stack of red tape paperwork and a flashlight.

How is it reality to support a system which consumes resources faster than they can be regenerated?

Ever heard of thermodynamics? :)

Junior...show me any report of the fact that natural resources are increasing to match the population growth. I would be honestly amazed. Fossil fuels are a finite resource. Nuclear energy creates the problem of the finite locales for waste storage.

Your blindspot is that you assume I'm talking about "growth" - but growth economics is what causes the problem. When economics is equated with a quantative rather than a qualitative definition, we all suffer. When we talk in terms of quantity, there's not enough for everyone.

Of course, for those who have way more than enough, it's counter-productive to talk of quality over quantity. You'd rather live with your blinders on and call everyone else "chicken little."

The sky might not be falling in your lifetime in your situation...isn't that convenient for you? You can continue living without changing, and the longer you pretend there's no problem, the less you have to worry about the "other guy." And this enables you to label anyone who feels caution is necessary about the rate at which we consume our resources a 'chicken little' or a 'fool.'

I suppose if you assume there is no problem with sustainability, there's no reason to provide a solution. Again, how convenient! It allows you to bitch and complain about how everyone is always complaining without offering solutions, while you yourself are pretending there is nothing to be solved.

drublood, no one ever said that fossil fuel was increasing; but there are plenty of arguments about how much there actually is, and reserves have been increasing with time -- who knows, Gold may be right and the oil actually is primordial instead of fossil -- and that fact is easy to check out.

The basic problem with the "sustainability at any price" argument is that it's only true if all scientific and technological progress is stopped, while population growth continues unabated. But the actual circumstances are that science and technological solutions to our problems are growing faster than the population; we tend to solve the problems at least at the rate they're discovered.

You might not see that, because you haven't lived long enough; when I was in college, I read and firmly believed Paul Erhlich's Population Bomb was accurate. But then I watched the progress of Julian Simon's bet with Paul Erhlich, and it made me think (go read the link... really). I read more, and followed the progress of the world versus Erhlich's predictions, and guess what: Ehrlich was wrong on most of his predictions.

For general information on alternative views of what's happening (rather than what the doomsayers say is happening), read the links in that last linked essay. Or read things on the Science & Environmental Policy Project website, especially this good introductory article. Or read Bjorn Lomborg's The Skeptical Environmentalist -- he doesn't have everything right, but he's getting closer than the Chicken Littles ever imagined.

What looks like disaster looming today often looks trivial fifty years down the pike. The problem with deciding to pull our collective heads in, is that act will precipitate the very disaster that's feared. Our only real hope is to keep on working as we have been... because it works. And by the time we're getting truly low on fossil fuel, my bet is that the inevitable economics of that situation will have provided us with a replacement for it. Just watch.

The time: the early 1970's
The place: Concord, MA
The fad: The Club of Rome's "Limits to Growth" and their computer models of complete social breakdown by the 1990s due to famine and lack of resources.....

One Dr. Hallenbeck in Concord had a truely telling comment: "If they had computer models in the 1870's the prediction is that we would all be up to our clavicles in used horse food." Dr. H is the father of my brother's best friend, and a neighbor of Dr. Forrester, a prime mover of the Club of Rome.

The problem with all the projections is that they can't see or predict for replacement technologies. We don't use a lot of mercury now days, so even though we have been mining the mineral for 30-odd years the price hasn't risen, because the demand has dropped.

I am 46, and I grew up with mecury thermometers and mercury tilt switches in the house thermostat. No more, we have a direct-reading ear thermometer and the thermostat in my house is electronic.