marjaerwin: (Default)
(... Regardless of the ethics of voting.)

It makes more sense to blame:

* the supreme court for cancelling the vote counting and giving the presidency to Bush.

* the partisan purges of the voter rolls.

* the partisan control of the election system.

* the electoral college.

* the Gore legal team for pushing for a partial recount instead of a full recount.

* the Bush and Gore campaigns.

* the Bush voters.

And of course:

* the Bush administration themselves.

At the time, I still believed America had a semi-functional voting system, and I was still abled enough to vote. Since I was in a swing state, I agreed to trade with a Gore supporter in Texas.
marjaerwin: (Default)
If your political position consists of:

1. Hating people.

2. Encouraging state violence against them.

3. Spouting dehumanizing language against them, (e.g. “illegals,” “mtcfs,” etc.)

4. Spouting complete gibberish which undermines any discussion, (e.g. “every country has a right to restrict immigration,” when the whole point of rights is to put actual people’s freedoms beyond state interference and political bull.)

You shouldn’t expect people to try to refute your nonsense. You should expect people to try to organize against your threat.
marjaerwin: (Default)
I hate it when someone who doesn't face neo-Nazi violence dismisses neo-Nazi violence, claims it doesn't exist, or claims it isn't important, or claims that the survivors are as bad as the thugs who beat us.

I am forced to endure the violence all over again. I am denied the ability to speak out about this violence and condemn this violence and condemn the wilful blindness that allows this violence, because as triggered survivors, and anti-fascists, and people who may well face further neo-Nazi violence, we cannot achieve the privileged 'objectivity' and 'seeing things as they are' of those who need never fear neo-Nazi violence.

When those who do not face violence use their 'objectivity' to silence those who do face violence, it is enabling violence, and victim-blaming, and silencing, and epistemic violence, and triggering all in one.
marjaerwin: (Default)
You could ask them to imagine having innocent things to hide, such as being trans or lesbian or bi or gay and having to hide this from homophobic parents and/or bosses, or being a survivor and having to hide this from anyone who might be a compulsive victim-blamer, or being an activist [though all too many people think concern for humanity is treachery to any given country].
marjaerwin: (Default)
I’m amazed at the arguments authoritarians are trotting out to defend the surveillance state. Sometimes they just call critics “anti-American,” “paranoid,” the “enemy,” and “traitors who should be hanged,” (sic) but sometimes they produce truly stunning works of duckspeak.

I don’t recall who argued that “Every government has a right to keep secrets.” I’ve already noted that this is incompatible with the liberal idea that the state exists by the consent of the governed.

But now David Brooks has announced that “For society to function well, there have to be basic levels of trust and cooperation, a respect for institutions and deference to common procedures.”

Now it seem obvious to me that, for a free society to exist, we must distrust power and distrust powerful institutions.

There’s an extended example, including the traditional hate before the duckspeakquote, here:

See also: [The persecution of Breanna Manning and the incoherence of American Centrist ideology]
marjaerwin: (Default)
Red November, black November, bleak November, black or red,

Hallowed month of labor’s martyrs, labor’s heroes, labor’s dead.

Labor’s wrath and hope and sorrow, red the promise, black the threat.

Who are we not to remember? Who are we to dare forget?

Red and black the colors blended, red and black the pledge we made:

Black until the fight is ended, red until the debt is paid!

August Spies and Albert Parsons, with Joe Hill and all the rest.

Who are we not to remember? Who are we to dare forget?

Red the flag and black the mask, red our hearts that beat as one,

Spur us to this better task, as the rays of the fall sun.

Red November, black November, red the promise, black the threat.

Who are we not to remember? Who are we to dare forget?

- Ralph Chaplin

George Engel, Adolf Fischer, Albert Parsons, and August Spies were murdered by the American state on November 11th, 1887. Joe Hill was murdered by the American state on November 19th, 1915. Frank Little was murdered by the Anaconda Copper Company on August 1st, 1917.
marjaerwin: (Default)
I want a world where everyone is female and no one has to face violence for being female.

I want a world where everyone has access to life's necessities, and no one has to sell herself to bosses and administrators for life's necessities.

I want a world where no one has to fear armed enforcers of sexism, racism, and class domination.

I want peace and freedom.

I want love and solidarity.

I want to heal from trauma, and from injuries, and work for these things.
marjaerwin: (Default)
Torture is one of them. One of the defenders of torture claimed it worked for the French regime in Algeria:

The dirty little secret about torture is that it works. [...snip...]

In the early morning, they executed the prisoners and buried them - no exceptions. Several thousands were killed in this fashion; as Aussaresses argues, if they were to have been taken to court, all those bodies would've clogged up the justice system for a decade and there'd be a good chance they'd escape from jail.

And I bet the CIA special rendition programme is working too.

If your goal is mass murder, torture works, but gas chambers also work. And the linked account doesn't suggest any goal beyond mass murder. If your goal is to extract confessions from "secret Jews," "heretics," and "witches," torture works. If your goal is anything else, you haven't demonstrated that it works for anything else.

There are evil means only suited for evil ends.
marjaerwin: (Default)
Since some of my friends have asked -

1. I know that non-participation isn’t a solution, but I consider participation in American electoral politics a form of participation in violence. Historically, many electoral assemblies have been army assemblies. I want to work towards freedom, not a comitia centuriata, nor a tribal assembly manipulated by reiks and their household soldiers.

2. I don’t have all the necessary documentation. I can’t get everything sorted out under state law.

3. Otherwise I might consider holding my nose and defensively writing in Jill Stein, or perhaps protest writing in Breanna Manning. I think Stein’s prejudiced against autistic folks, but not as badly as Roseanne Barr is prejudiced against trans folks. Barack Obama has a wretched record on civil rights, has continued the wars, has targeted whistleblowers, and so on.

4. I think the voting system is irrepairably corrupt and disenfranchises too many people. Al Gore betrayed his voters and his country by taking a fall twelve years ago, and his actions allowed the problems to continue to get worse. George Bush and the Supreme Court also betrayed this country. And yet somehow people blame Ralph Nader.
marjaerwin: (Default)
I have a jury summons for tomorrow [to be in a jury pool, not to appear before a gorram grand jury], and I'm scared. I could be jailed for refusing to do wrong. I also have ptsd. I ought to be more afraid of missing an opportunity to help someone in danger than afraid of being jailed or being bashed again. Inaction in the face of violence is also violence but participation in a system of injustice tends to reinforce the injustice.

One of my older posts on justice may be relevant here:

What is justice? I would define it as righting wrongs.

Helping the victims. Helping people heal. Helping people avoid having to face the same wrongs again. And one of the wrongs is that our institutions are based on domination, our culture is based on silencing, and many people's instinct for justice and compassion has been turned into another tool for domination, and with it, for injustice and brutality.

Punishment/retribution/revenge is not justice.

marjaerwin: (Default)
Somehow, years ago, I ended up on the Democratic Party mailing list. I finally got sick of this. I pulled a few punches in explaining my reasons for unsubscribing:

Because I used to believe the Democratic Party might someday help oppose the wars, support freedom of speech, and oppose corporate oligarchy. Because I haven't seen this happening and I don't see any chance for reform within the current political system. And if it can't end the violence, if it can't even prevent wars, I believe voting in political elections is too much involvement in a system of violence.

I used to believe that a long time ago. I knew that far-right warmongers controlled both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party but thought the challenge from the Green Party might help reform the Democratic Party. No dice, and they blamed Nader, instead of Gore's mistakes, for the Bush administration.

I ended up becoming an anarchist, although I accepted voting as an acceptable tool against war, against the death penalty, etc. until, having been severely beaten for peacefully opposing the war, I became a pacifist and renounced defensive voting too.
marjaerwin: (Default)
American Centrists, Fascists, and other authoritarians are calling for the murder of Breanna Manning, preferably without trial, and of many of her supporters.

One commented that:

"Well, as far as I am concerned you can disagree all you want to. However, it sounds like you agree with his [sic] treasonous [sic] conduct. Therefore I can only conclude that both of you should be shot out of hand."

EDIT: another just told me that:

"you are so right ,americans do have hatred for traitors like you. it only makes sense. to think that the government should have no secrets and everyone have access to all infomation is absurd.your arguments about government is also absurd. dont you ever think about the ramifications of what you write about?"

Many others have expressed similar attitudes.

But where other authoritarian nationalist movements are wrong because they start from bad premises, the American Centrists are wrong because they start from good premises and then ignore them.

The American government claims legitimacy based on the supposed 'consent of the governed.' But consent requires equality. As long as the government keeps secrets from the governed and has power over the governed, it does not have consent, and does not have legitimacy.

The American Centrists grant the government legitimacy based on the supposed 'consent of the governed.' Then they grant the American government unlimited secrecy and unlimited power because of its 'legitimacy,' though they may criticize other governments because of their lack of 'legitimacy.' The American Centrists insist, in particular, that the American government has an inherent right to keep secrets and the people, not the American people, and not the whole world's people, could possibly have a right to know what the American government is up to. The American Centrists have detached 'legitimacy' from its supposed grounding in consent and now use 'legitimacy' to support secrecy which makes consent impossible. They have liquified the ground they were standing on and are now sinking into.

So they attack Breanna Manning for sharing the secrets of the war machine. If she did what she is accused of, she is one of the outstanding heroes of our time.

But let's get to the accusations of treason:

First off, there's the legal definition, which requires the claim that the public is an enemy.

Second, there's the political definition, that of acting against a legitimate government. [I don't believe there are any]. But if the government keeps secrets from the public, it cannot have consent, and therefore cannot have legitimacy, and it is incoherent to claim 'treason' when someone reveals its secrets to the public.

Third, there is the religious definition, which refers to oath-breaking. Warrior bands dedicated to war gods such as Woþins/Woden/Odin or Mars/Mamers required oaths as part of their initiation. Each warrior would declare absolute loyalty to the other warriors. This helped separate the warriors from the civilian society and helped make the warrior bands into effective mercenaries, plunderers, and slave-raiders. The practice of oath-keeping has, I think, done little good and monstrous harm throughout history.

And when I see all these knee-jerk accusations of treason and calls for murder, I remember how, because of my opposition to war, I've been called anti-American, attacked, severely beaten, and I've gotten death threats. There is a very deep pit of hatred in this land.
marjaerwin: (Default)
Trigger Warning.

I think an individual mandate is a recipe for corruption.

It requires people to pay off the insurance cartels, giving them more money and more power. I don't think the planned profit caps will change that. And these profits do not come from the owners' labor, nor insight, nor lucky windfalls; they come, in the larger part, from privilege, and from other people's labor.

It puts control of access to health care in the hands of institutions which are now protected from boycott, and are still shielded from the nondiscrimination and transparency requirements any public institution should face. [not that the state actually follows these requirements either] I don't think the planned limits to their discrimination will change enough.

I can't understand why anyone, except the most extreme right-wingers, could support this plan. The insurance cartels are part of the problem. Even if they are required to cover people with disabilities, their nature is to jack up rates for people with disabilities, and for people with other medical issues, and their nature is to refuse to pay for anything, and to drop people with any medical issues as soon as they can get away with it. The insurance cartels have enough 'market' power already to negotiate lower costs for themselves, leading to much higher costs for the rest of us. The insurance cartels will only gain even more 'market' power from the individual mandate. I'm not sure the rest of the bill will weaken them half as much as the mandate strengthens them.
marjaerwin: (Default)
Some would define justice as procedure.

"Piso mounted the tribunal in a rage, and ordered the three soldiers to be executed. He ordered the death of the man who was to have been executed, because the sentence had already been passed; he also ordered the death of the centurion who was in charge of the original execution, for failing to perform his duty; and finally, he ordered the death of the man who had been supposed to have been murdered, because he had been the cause of death of two innocent men." [Of course, it was the judge and the executioner who were the cause of the deaths of three innocent men.]

(from Wikipedia, )

Some would define justice as punishment.

"The whole basis of Justice is that the person gets punishments. It isn't the rehabilitation system, or the prevent crime systems. It's a system to hand out a punishment to somebody for their action.

People who don't believe in punishment, don't believe in justice."

(from the Guardian, in a flamewar thread, )

If that is justice, then let us oppose justice! But it is not justice. It is injustice condemning its critics.

Some believe that justice is inherent in the world. At best this idea leads to quietism. Sometimes this idea reinforces the just-world fallacy and leads to victim-blaming. At worst people combine victim-blaming and vindictiveness: being a victim means being guilty, being guilty means deserving punishment, therefore a victim must be further punished, and further, and further...


What is justice? I would define it as righting wrongs.

Helping the victims. Helping people heal. Helping people avoid having to face the same wrongs again. And one of the wrongs is that our institutions are based on domination, our culture is based on silencing, and many people's instinct for justice and compassion has been turned into another tool for domination, and with it, for injustice and brutality.
marjaerwin: (Default)
I have yet to see any coherent explanation of why someone should support the accursed institutions. I don't expect to. All borders are tools of the ruling class.

The most common reason people support anti-immigrant policies seems to be because they are racial/national supremacists. It's no secret that many anti-immigrant groups, such as AmRen, are neo-Nazi front groups, and the Arizona law was written by neo-Nazis and their allies. And that's where the deliberately-dehumanizing rhetoric ['Untermenchsen,' 'anchor babies,' etc.] comes from.

The next most common reason seems to be authoritarianism. Many people think other people should need permission from the ruling class to exercise basic human rights such as speech or travel. Maybe that's where this obsession with whether someone followed the right procedures and fits within the quotas.

The next most common reason seems to be, as I'd mentioned above, the belief that there is some morally-justifiable reason to treat people born on the other side of some border differently from people born on the same side of that border. But how could there be?

And that leaves aside the problem that I would be collateral damage from most documentation-based 'solutions' to the nonproblem.
marjaerwin: (Default)

Because ptsd is not simply a problem with us - it is very much a problem with society, power, and disempowerment. I can't talk about my ptsd without talking about politics, because the violence is political, and the threats are political, and the absence of safe space is political, and the dependence on abusers is political, and the victim-blaming is political. I know politics can get a lot of us angry. But it's still necessary to have spaces to talk about politics and movements to change the world, if we are ever to be able to function again.
marjaerwin: (Default)

So he proposes laws that would criminalize peeing while trans. These laws would add to the discrimination, criminalization, poverty, homelessness, and profiling that many trans people face. These laws would get people killed.

But he doesn't just seem to want to starve people to death with his pen, he also talks about beating people to death with his own hands and feet.

“It could happen here,” Floyd said. “I believe if I was standing at a dressing room and my wife or one of my daughters was in the dressing room and a man tried to go in there — I don’t care if he thinks he’s a woman and tries on clothes with them in there — I’d just try to stomp a mudhole in him and then stomp him dry.

I'm not sure which is more appalling. An exterminationist movement relies on both: the bigots-in-power who legislate violence and the bigots-with-their-fists who beat and kill.
marjaerwin: (Default)

I just got banned from an alternate history board for pointing out that the Green Scare targeted non-violent activists and classified some groups' non-violent activism as terrorism. And that it turns a blind eye to racist hate groups murders. Apparently, they think criticizing the United States government means supporting terror.

Never mind that opposing terror, let alone opposing *all* violence, means opposing *any* empire, indeed *any* state.

Imperial statists accusing pacifist anarchists of supporting terror are worse than hypocrites.

Another user got banned for pointing out that the United States government used its political support after the 9/11 attacks to try to take control of oil-producing areas, namely Iraq, which had nothing to do with the attack and had no 'weapons of mass destruction.'

All this is historical fact.

All this has to be swept into the memory hole.

The problem isn't one or another moderation mistake. The problem is that systemic doublethink has taken over the public discourse. Opposing violence becomes 'supporting terror.' Supporting violence is taken for granted, as long as it's the people at the top of the pyramid using violence against people at the base of the pyramid. Nonviolence, equality, love, these things are made meaningless.
marjaerwin: (Default)
She is being charged with doing what any humyn being should have done, in her place, and may face life imprisonment or execution for doing the right thing.

But so many people are saying she should be shot, and some are saying she shouldn't even be considered humyn, and that she should be shot and her supporters - all of us - should be shot.

And that's the nature of war and empire. It involves dehumanizing the other, and it involves dehumanizing one's self to serve the empire. I hate ideologies of national/racial loyalty, military loyalty, and oaths. All these things encourage us-and-them and despise our common humanity, and that's what war-mongers use these things for.

Ni aiþos, nih harjos, nih reiks, nih kaisar!


Nov. 15th, 2011 11:30 pm
marjaerwin: (Default)
The Occupy movement does not need to run candidates for office to gain legitimacy. Although I have nothing against those who wish to try to change things from within, I distrust any effort to take power over others.

The movement's legitimacy comes from the needs of the whole world, and it cannot give that legitimacy to the state, or to any other violent/hierarchical institution. And the defenders of the kleptocratic status quo would love for the movement to get into electoral politics. If the movement did so, it would direct organizing effort away from useful projects into electoral dead-ends, and it would undermine occupiers' critiques of the electoral system.

If you vote, people tell you that your vote meant agreeing to abide by the results. If you refuse to vote, people tell you that your refusal makes your opinions worthless. But with this kind of double bind, neither bind can hold truth.


marjaerwin: (Default)

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