“If one really wishes to know how justice is administered in a country, one does not question the policemen, the lawyers, the judges, or the protected members of the middle class.
One goes to the unprotected – those, precisely, who need the law’s protection most! – and listens to their testimony.”
— James Baldwin
James Baldwin discuses racism on The Dick Cavette Show “Government power will never let workers tread the road to freedom; it is the instrument of the lazy who want to dominate others, and it does not matter if the power is in the hand of the bourgeois, the socialists or the Bolsheviks, it is degrading.
There is no government without teeth, teeth to tear any man who longs for a free and just life.”
— Nestor Makhno, The Anarchist Revolution This documentary about Modi and the BJP was quickly removed from YouTube the day it was posted. It's available on the BBC's website for UK users and those outside the region may be able to access it with a VPN.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0dk9z6x In order for me to write poetry that isn’t political
I must listen to the birds
& in order to hear the birds
The airplane must be silent
— Marwan Makhoul, Palestinian poet Carl Sagan against privatization of scientific research and the capitalist free-market ideology:
“There is a growing free-market view of human knowledge, according to which basic research should compete without government support with all the other institutions and claimants in society. If they couldn't have relied on government support, and had to compete in the free-market economy of their day, it's unlikely that any of the scientists on my list would have been able to do their groundbreaking research. And the cost of basic research is substantially greater than it was in Maxwell's day – both theoretical and, especially, experimental.
“But that aside, would free-market forces be adequate to support basic research? Only about ten per cent of meritorious research proposals in medicine are funded today. More money is spent on quack medicine than on all of medical research. What would it be like if government opted out of medical research?
“A necessary aspect of basic research is that its applications lie in the future, sometimes decades or even centuries ahead. What's more, no one knows which aspects of basic research will have practical value and which will not. If scientists cannot make such predictions, is it likely that politicians or industrialists can? If free-market forces are focused only towards short-term profit – as they certainly mainly are in an America with steep declines in corporate research – is not this solution tantamount to abandoning basic research?“
— Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World “The industrial system has made us forget how to live. Nature people know how to make their own houses, food, medicine, clothes, religious rites, humor, and entertainment. These skills keep them from becoming enslaved by money.
Since people always retain the skills of survival, it’s very difficult for an aristocracy of money to get control of their lives. The people don’t need money to survive.
In an industrial society, however, we are never taught the skills of how to live. We become totally dependent on money for meeting our every need. If the money runs out, we have nothing to eat, nothing to wear, nowhere to sleep.
As a result, we become totally dependent on those who control money.”
— Arthur Evans, Witchcraft and the Gay Counterculture “Anarchists, including this writer, have used the word State, and still do, to mean the sum total of the political, legislative, judiciary, military and financial institutions through which the management of their own affairs, the control over their personal behaviour, the responsibility for their personal safety, are taken away from the people and entrusted to others who, by usurpation or delegation, are vested with the powers to make the laws for everything and everybody, and to oblige the people to observe them, if need be, by the use of collective force.”
— Errico Malatesta, Anarchy "A power is more authoritarian to the degree it monopolizes power for fewer and fewer people.
To undergo a revolution of the masses is precisely to abolish such a hierarchical power, and to revolt against suppression; thus, revolution is to abolish authoritarian power, it is the elimination of narrow power and the distribution of power to the masses."
— pumpacti0n on Tumblr "Fascism may be defined as a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion."
— Robert Paxton, The Anatomy of Fascism "Worldwide, only four cents in every tax dollar now comes from taxes on wealth. Half of the world’s billionaires live in countries with no inheritance tax for direct descendants."
https://www.oxfam.org/en/press-releases/richest-1-bag-nearly-twice-much-wealth-rest-world-put-together-over-past-two-years “Suppose a learned academy, composed of the most illustrious representatives of science; suppose this academy charged with legislation for and the organization of society, and that, inspired only by the purest love of truth, it frames none but laws in absolute harmony with the latest discoveries of science. Well, I maintain, for my part, that such legislation and such organization would be a monstrosity, and that for two reasons: first, that human science is always and necessarily imperfect, and that, comparing what it has discovered with what remains to be discovered, we may say that it is still in its cradle. So that were we to try to force the practical life of men, collective as well as individual, into strict and exclusive conformity with the latest data of science, we should condemn society as well as individuals to suffer martyrdom on a bed of Procrustes, which would soon end by dislocating and stifling them, life ever remaining an infinitely greater thing than science.
“The second reason is this: a society which should obey legislation emanating from a scientific academy, not because it understood itself the rational character of this legislation (in which case the existence of the academy would become useless), but because this legislation, emanating from the academy, was imposed in the name of a science which it venerated without comprehending — such a society would be a society, not of men, but of brutes. It would be a second edition of those missions in Paraguay which submitted so long to the government of the Jesuits. It would surely and rapidly descend to the lowest stage of idiocy.
“But there is still a third reason which would render such a government impossible — namely that a scientific academy invested with a sovereignty, so to speak, absolute, even if it were composed of the most illustrious men, would infallibly and soon end in its own moral and intellectual corruption. Even today, with the few privileges allowed them, such is the history of all academies. The greatest scientific genius, from the moment that he becomes an academician, an officially licensed savant, inevitably lapses into sluggishness. He loses his spontaneity, his revolutionary hardihood, and that troublesome and savage energy characteristic of the grandest geniuses, ever called to destroy old tottering worlds and lay the foundations of new. He undoubtedly gains in politeness, in utilitarian and practical wisdom, what he loses in power of thought. In a word, he becomes corrupted.
“It is the characteristic of privilege and of every privileged position to kill the mind and heart of men. The privileged man, whether politically or economically, is a man depraved in mind and heart. That is a social law which admits of no exception, and is as applicable to entire nations as to classes, corporations, and individuals. It is the law of equality, the supreme condition of liberty and humanity. The principal object of this treatise is precisely to demonstrate this truth in all the manifestations of human life.
“A scientific body to which had been confided the government of society would soon end by devoting itself no longer to science at all, but to quite another affair; and that affair, as in the case of all established powers, would be its own eternal perpetuation by rendering the society confided to its care ever more stupid and consequently more in need of its government and direction.
“But that which is true of scientific academies is also true of all constituent and legislative assemblies, even those chosen by universal suffrage. In the latter case they may renew their composition, it is true, but this does not prevent the formation in a few years’ time of a body of politicians, privileged in fact though not in law, who, devoting themselves exclusively to the direction of the public affairs of a country, finally form a sort of political aristocracy or oligarchy. Witness the United States of America and Switzerland.”
— Mikhail Bakunin,
God and the State “Supposing even that it were possible to recognize, amid the conflict of rival ambitions and intrigues, who are the pretenders and who are the real savants, and that a method of election could be found which would not fail to lodge the power in the hands of those whose knowledge is authentic, what guarantee could they offer us of the wisdom and honesty of their government? On the contrary, can we not foresee in these new masters the same follies and the same crimes found in those of former days and of the present time? In the first place, science is not: it is becoming. The learned man of to-day is but the know-nothing of tomorrow. Let him once imagine that he has reached the end, and for that very reason he sinks beneath even the babe just born. But, could he recognize truth in its essence, he can only corrupt himself by privilege and corrupt others by power. To establish his government, he must try, like all chiefs of State, to arrest the life of the masses moving below him, keep them in ignorance in order to preserve quiet, and gradually debase them that he may rule them from a loftier throne.
“For the rest, since the doctrinaires made their appearance, the true or pretended “genius” has been trying his hand at wielding the scepter of the world, and we know what it has cost us. We have seen them at work, all these savants: the more hardened the more they have studied; the narrower in their views the more time they have spent in examining some isolated fact in all its aspects; without any experience of life, because they have long known no other horizon than the walls of their cheese; childish in their passions and vanities, because they have been unable to participate in serious struggles and have never learned the true proportion of things. Have we not recently witnessed the foundation of a white school of “thinkers” — wretched courtiers, too, and people of unclean lives — who have constructed a whole cosmogony for their sole use? According to them, worlds have been created, societies have developed, revolutions have overturned nations, empires have gone down in blood, poverty, disease, and death have been the queens of humanity, only to raise up an élite of academicians, the full-blown flower, of which all other men are but the manure. That these editors of the Temps and the Debats may have leisure to “think,” nations live and die in ignorance; all other human beings are destined for death in order that these gentlemen may become immortal!
“But we may reassure ourselves: all these academicians will not have the audacity of Alexander in cutting with his sword the Gordian knot; they will not lift the blade of Charlemagne. Government by science is becoming as impossible as that of divine right, wealth, or brute force. All powers are henceforth to be submitted to pitiless criticism. Men in whom the sentiment of equality is born suffer themselves no longer to be governed; they learn to govern themselves. In precipitating from the heights of the heavens him from whom all power is reputed to descend, societies unseat also all those who reigned in his name. Such is the revolution now in progress. States are breaking up to give place to a new order, in which, as Bakunin was fond of saying, “human justice will be substituted for divine justice.””
— Carlo Cafiero & Elisée Reclus,
God and the State (Preface to the First French Edition) So if someone made an extraordinary discovery or invention, something that's really extraordinary – something which probably wouldn't have been discovered or invented by anyone else... in such a case, is it justified if the said inventor/scientist gets insanely wealthy?
Any average person would say YES.
But that's ABSURD!
First of all, we don't think that there's any discovery or invention which wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for a particular person. Sooner or later it will be discovered/invented. It's a matter of time.
Einstein formulated the theory of Relativity. But around that time a few others were also producing somewhat similar work. For example, David Hilbert also derived and published the "Einstein Field Equations" – in fact, even before Einstein.
And any great discovery or invention wouldn't be possible without all the work done by those who came before. Science is essentially a communistic enterprise (and not just science; this applies to all other endeavors as well). It's not done by a single person. It's the whole scientific community – past and present – that makes it possible.
Albert Einstein made great – truly extraordinary – contributions. But none of it would be possible if it weren't for the contributions of those who came before Einstein (including his contemporaries).
In the words of Isaac Newton: “if I have seen further [than others], it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
Apart from the contributions of other scientists/inventors/engineers, what about the billions of ordinary humans who – throughout history – have supported such intellectual work? If it weren't for the peasants and innumerable other kinds of workers, would it have been possible for any of these scientists to achieve what they've achieved?
It is mutual aid, association, cooperation – these communistic elements – that make human society possible, and any great scientific/engineering work is also made possible only due to the effort of humanity as a whole. All sorts of ordinary workers too have a part in it. Not only contemporary humans, but even those of the past.
Moreover, gaining such huge wealth won't do any good to the scientist, nor to the rest of humanity. A great genius will be rendered a corrupted asshole by such power. Be it economic power or political power, it's all the same. How will the economy run without capitalists?
Who make the machines? WORKERS
Who run the machines? WORKERS
Who extract the resources and materials to make the machines and other things? WORKERS
Who construct the buildings, factories etc? WORKERS
Who grow the food? WORKERS (peasants)
Who transport the things? WORKERS
Who make the vehicles for transport? WORKERS
In other words, it's the WORKERS who do all the work!
Even those who make discoveries, inventions – scientists, inventors, engineers etc – they're all also WORKERS, in most cases. And those wealthy people who pretend to be inventing or designing everything – they're pretenders, they hardly do anything.
And even those genuine inventors who became wealthy – in those cases too their wealth is not justified, as we will clarify in a following post.
What do the rich do – the capitalists? Nothing. They just sit down and order the workers around to do this or that. They don't do anything... they make everyone else do all the work, and on top of it retain all the control over the work that the workers do. And they get all the "profits", which is another word for exploited wealth.
So how will the economy run without these rich parasites?
It will work as it does now – the workers will do the work; we the workers just won't have parasites to feed upon our labor. We just won't have tyrants to boss us around. We'll just have more freedom and autonomy and dignity of labor and more work satisfaction, more work-life balance, better job performance etc.
Things will be decided democratically. Direct democracy in the workplace. And direct democracy in the community. The workers will make decisions democratically. "At Cop27, held in Egypt last November, there were scores of oil and gas lobbyists from UAE, and Gulf states with strong oil and gas interests were thought to have been among the blockers preventing stronger language on phasing down fossil fuels."