Comments

5

LostYonder wrote

I would say it is not being dependent on anyone "outside" (where the borders are drawn is of course highly subjective). It is not the same as being secluded - there can still be relations, interactions, exchanges with others, it just isn't being dependent on those relationships for one's own survival or decision making (be it an individual, a local community, or a larger socio-political entity).

In regards to decision making, being autonomous doesn't imply, for me, assuming one is in a vacuum, but rather recognizing relationships, inter-dependencies, causes-and-effects, rippling impacts, etc.

Autonomy comes with a degree of responsibility in respecting the autonomy of others.

Interesting question...

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LostYonder wrote

Eduardo Galeano

“I don't believe in charity. I believe in solidarity. Charity is so vertical. It goes from the top to the bottom. Solidarity is horizontal. It respects the other person. I have a lot to learn from other people.”

“The walls are the publishers of the poor.”

Frantz Fanon

“The basic confrontation which seemed to be colonialism versus anti-colonialism, indeed capitalism versus socialism, is already losing its importance. What matters today, the issue which blocks the horizon, is the need for a redistribution of wealth. Humanity will have to address this question, no matter how devastating the consequences may be.”

Audre Lorde

"For the master's tools will never dismantle the master's house. They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change. And this fact is only threatening to those women who still define the master's house as their only source of support."

Paolo Freire

“Leaders who do not act dialogically, but insist on imposing their decisions, do not organize the people--they manipulate them."

“Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. ”

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LostYonder wrote

My guess is that his job description is not to protect the kids but rather to monitor and police them, make sure they are inline with the demands of the school institution.

Also, I doubt he was particularly well paid for the job. It is a scum job, like so many out there; to fault him and call his act disgusting fails to engage the systemic failures of our society in actually caring for and educating our children.

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LostYonder wrote

While your general argument is worthy, your construction of "moderate" (i.e. "good" Muslims) and "extremist" (i.e. "bad" Muslims - Wahhabis) is extremely problematic and simplistic.

First, read Mahmood Mamdani's "Good Muslim, Bad Muslim" where he exposes what he calls "culture talk" about Islam and Muslims.

Second, by implying that Wahhabi ideology is behind all Islamic terrorist activity is pretty far out there for someone on a radical, anarchist board. Are you implying that the sole driving force of violence is the ideological beliefs of the perpetrators? That history, economies, and global geo-politics has nothing to do with it? That individuals are not drawn to particular extremist ideologies in light of prevailing social conditions and underlying structures of power?

Why do we constantly reduce Muslims to behave solely by their interpretation of Islam and not see them as individuals, as social beings, as political actors? Do they not have any agency beyond just being Muslim (whether "good" or "bad" Muslims)???

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LostYonder wrote

If you really want to go down the rabbit hole, there is Judith Butler, Gender Trouble. A little more accessible, though controversial, is Michael Warner's The Trouble with Normal. From feminist theory I always liked Jacqui Alexander's Pedagogies of Crossing - a good, easy read, maybe even more 'chill' than most. For some thought-provoking essays try The Feminist Utopia Project, short essays from a diversity of scholars, activists, artists, and others on imagining new possibilities...

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LostYonder wrote

Ultimately, what defines an act as anarchist praxis is intention. Graffiti, for example, a la Banksy and many others, is praxis, however, done just to doodle or by gang members to mark territory, etc., though informal disruptions to the police state, are not praxis per se. Same with illegalism, sex work, and education. Most of it can be seen as disruptive acts, but I see praxis as having a particular intentionality, a vision of correcting what is wrong rather than just a self-centered act.

graffiti

unlicensed sidewalk vendors

having a picnic in a public park for some homeless people

a lot of sex work, street walking

everyday acts of kindness, giving, and care

teaching in a prison

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LostYonder wrote

While I think it is important to resist the hegemony of American corporations - in all fields, not just tech - one also has to take into consideration that it is not all done as a mode of "decolonization". India's ruling regime is fascist to its core, deeply nationalistic, and extremely violent towards all kinds of minorities. Their assertion of "national companies" isn't just resistance to American corporate hegemony, but also an assertion of fascist oppression. Many of the companies that can counter the tech bigwigs in India bankroll the current fascist regime...

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LostYonder wrote

It's a tough question actually. While one would like to think that people have the capacity to ultimately see one another as human beings, most of us are too corrupted/blinded by your ideologies of identities, differences, and individuated senses of security and well being.

On one hand social media has been a powerful tool of documenting and calling out those who do abuse. But the state is deeply entrenched in protecting its own, that even documenting murder by cops goes unpunished.

Does a threatening counter presence, such as the Black Panthers, have the impact needed? But they would never be able to protect all minorities in all different situations.

Maybe one could develop an app, like a kind of panic button, that would go out to everyone in the area who could rush to a scene when something starts to unfold...

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LostYonder wrote

very true, so much of the 'sex industry' remains defined by the interests and desires of cis white men, both straight and gay, but niche markets do exist. If you could creatively think outside the box of the established sex industry one could meet with lots of success. But it means letting go of the voyeuristic fantasies of the industry (stripping, camming) and rethinking desire... I always like Michael Warner's critique but ultimately it is limited by his own positionality...

Good luck!

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LostYonder wrote

The question needs to be reframed - would there be "minorities" without a state?

  • The modern liberal state is predicated on capitalist hierarchies of inequality that identify some as inherently not worthy of being part of the majority;
  • As such, it creates modes of competition and conflict between communities;
  • The liberal state defines and institutionalizes differences as a means of regulating and policing populations (it is much more efficient for the state to define blacks as having a tendency towards criminality and thus police and oppress all blacks, etc.)
  • The liberal state institutionalizes identity as a marker of belonging, inclusion and exclusion, etc.

Without the liberal state difference would not be institutionalized as a threat or a means of defining who gets to participate fully in the community.

Thus, it is only when we start thinking outside the box/cage of the state can minorities in the existing state-system be protected. The question remains though, how to educate those who are deeply embedded in the state-system of hierarchies and identities of difference to start to see the Other as a fellow human and not a threat...

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LostYonder wrote

Depending on the university, it wouldn't be that difficult to attend classes without being a fee paying student - particularly large classes where there is no attendance or it is done electronically. The professor would never know who belongs or doesn't. Smaller classes would be more difficult which is unfortunate as that is where discussions take place, where you can really challenge the warped minds of the other students and even the professor. Though some profs might not care, just come up with some story about wanting to sit in on their class, ask their permission and they just might allow you.

To get the most out of it you would have to lift the assigned books, but that would be quite easy I would imagine.

In the humanities and social sciences at least, most classes are about reproducing existing knowledge, playing into the capitalist commodification model of education where knowledge is reduced to a book published for profit by a corporation, despite the fact that many of the faculty are opposed to the capitalization of education.

There are very few classes these days that really encourage thinking and critical analysis. But there are some spaces still around most universities that are alternative spaces that attract those who refuse to move along with the herd. Many of them can be quite radical - but they are on the fringe of the university, not part of its central operating system.

Another alternative is to attend the many public lectures held across universities. They are free and outsiders are usually quite welcome. Many offer free food too! You can listen to visiting academics, various forums, workshops, and conferences on a range of topics. Most centers and departments that have regular talks have email listservs you can easily get on to know what is going on.

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LostYonder wrote

Howard Zinn would certainly be towards the top of any list. I would add, though probably not a usual consideration, Orlando Patterson's Slavery and Social Death. Though it has morphed over the years, much of the work of the early Subaltern Studies collective coming out of India is particularly important (once many of them moved to the US their scholarship went different directions though hanging on to the undercurrent of critical studies). Ranajit Guha's Elementary Aspects of Peasant Insurgency in Colonial India is good place to start. E.P. Thompson would also be significant for tracing out the disruptions of liberal modernity in British history.

Most obvious would probably be David Graeber's work, such as his study on the history of Debt. Though critical of Graeber and anarchist movement, David Harvey's work is extremely important to engage, particularly in the ways modernity disrupts historical, non-state, modes of politics and community. In that line, though not a historian, James Scott on tactics of resistance and his critique of the modern state and its making would also be insightful. I would add Paul Willis's Learning to Labour to such a list as well.

There are a number of significant studies in Latin America and Africa but am less familiar with them particularly studies on informality, peasant movements, and destructive effects of western imperialism.

I am sure there are others that I'm overlooking and would also be quite curious of suggestions from others.

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LostYonder wrote

Unfortunately, it most likely would be in English! Such perspectives are predominately part of the educated, english-speaking, urban bourgeoisie.

There are some growing radical movements though.

https://www.tanqeed.org/2016/05/badr-okara-terrorist-peasant/

One of the few critical voices: https://www.dawn.com/authors/3/aasim-sajjad-akhtar

There are others, particularly in Karachi...

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LostYonder wrote

There are a number of radical scholars, associations, and movements in Pakistan that provide a more critical, less state-centric, critique of what is going on there. Pakistan suffers from a long history of horrifically bad scholarship and analysis. the Pakistani left is crushed by the military on one side and the religious right on the other, who are in fact partners, funded by the US to silence, erase, and kill off leftists of all yokes. The religious right came to the forefront in Pakistan in the late 1970s/1980s under the military dictator Zia ul-Haq, the third largest receiver of US foreign aid at the time (behind Israel and Egypt), at the height of the 1st Afghanistan war. They were used to destroy the communists in Pakistan, killing off the labor and peasant movement leaders. Those who had leftist leanings fled into exile, leaving the country with very little critical perspectives. Only recently have they started to reemerge. But you will never find their perspective in any of the mass media which is beholden to the military...