"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Jun 7, 2012

Sixty Three Point Five

...million. That's the mountain of money spent to engage in electoralism in order to strengthen Governor Walker's control over the Wisconsin political machine, propel him into the national spotlight, and transform him into an icon of the austerity movement.

Most of that was raised for Walker - a sum he would not have been able to accumulate if the unions, protesters and activists who sidetracked themselves with electoralism had decided that the better way to handle government is opposition.

Obviously, not everyone is willing to accept the basic outline or tenets of the anarchist outlook. But, it should go without saying that wasting energy, time and treasure in order to leave one's enemy in a stronger position is more than just this side of stupid.

And that's electoralism in a nutshell: stupidity. It's distraction, a legerdemain. Sure, the enforcement of laws equals something like results, and getting control of a temporarily captive hierarchy - such as a state government - buys an opportunity to enforce laws. 

None of that changes the basic social environment for the better, since it strengthens the position of those hierarchies, and they are always most easily captured by the people with the loot, the armed staffers and the resources.

In other words, the rich.

Fighting them on their ground is dumb.

Which isn't to suggest that they should not be fought, if that's the sort of thing a body needs to do and accomplish.

Just be fucking smart about it, already.

Get 'em while they're sleeping in their beds and make it fucking count. It's that, my friends, or what comes next. And next is the part where they start to triage us (the name of the austerity game) on the way to planning our obsolescence.

The class war has entered a new phase. It's plain to see if you want to see it. The factions of the ruling class are no longer trying to discipline labor, corral us into captive populations, nationalize our sentiments, Church us up in order to get us to police ourselves or crush rebellions.

They don't have to do any of that anymore. They won that series of battles, and we now live immersed in spectacular society. Our chains are affordable and they've persuaded us, from early universal education onward, through the ubiquity of product placement and television advertising, to absorb the cost and the weight of those bindings ourselves. We don't have them placed upon our lives involuntarily, as did the peasants and rough burgher dwellers of long departed ages.  We are not bound up in the thrall of continentally uniform salvational anxiety, ministered and managed by Holy Mother Church, or the Confucian bureaucracy.

We pay for our own servitude, and call it lifestyle and standard of living. Our anxiety is wholly situational.

That's the spoils of their victory, and they've been reaping it for the better part of two generations. They have more of the loot, all of the land, most of our minds, and many of our fears bundled into a stage show economy that keeps afloat, in large part, because we pay to eat to rent to fuck to sleep to breathe to drive to live and...

...that has kept them in riches right up to the point where the Second Law refuses to budge. Which is where skimming off some of the excess factors into their policies and agenda.

We bought them their independence from a dependency upon our labor, or the greater share of it. We've entered a new theater of war. And it is war. It's fucking war, and please don't think otherwise or forget it. There's no longer even the intimation or pretense of a division of competence, skill, equality or treasure. They have it all. And austerity is about their revolt against our labor. They don't need it anymore. They don't need us.

We've moved beyond the struggle for class dominance. It's done. It's fucking over. Now, we have a war of extermination, and that's not easy to see, because it's being fought within the confines of our expectations. It has the appearance of our enculturated normality. It looks like what surviving is supposed to look like, in conformity with our learned and education programmed anticipation.

It's anything but that.

They're counting on the majority of us being too weary, wary, distracted, stressed and burdened to figure it out. Really, they are. That's the point of spectacle. Because, for a while yet, we have the one thing they lack.

We have multitude. We are multitude. Disorganized, selfish, venal, shortsighted - all certain, and predictable. That's how we've been raised, and that can only change with time and practice. But numbers and numbers, we've fucking got those; there aren't enough uniformed thugs to prevent every knife struck in the dark of night, or every kind of cooperation. The knife must strike, but the food must also be handed from palm to palm, and back again. It must be taken. Because it doesn't belong to them. Nothing they have is theirs. It's ours. It's our labor. These are our children they want to strike from forever.

This is a world made by our hands.

We've got a fuck load more than sixty three million of them. The hand is potent. It's a promise between companions, and it's the first of all weapons.

Especially when the hand is red with the realization that we're long past the point of no return, and there's less and less to lose. They don't know it yet. And neither do we, not between us. But, their revolt is also our liberation.

And it won't cost sixty three point five million dollars to start getting it. Their future isn't secure yet. The governments are still being transformed. The armies, halfway through reconfiguration. Their costs are still high enough, that adding to them can break them.

Open your hand, and pass the plate. Close it into a fist. Grasp a hoe and plant an acre. Show a friend how to hold a knife. Take fruit without paying for it. Punch a motherfucker in the face. Hold a thousand of them up and block the cops from reaching their destination. Shield a child.

Sneak up in the night and make the motherfuckers pay.


Unknown said...

The masses are focused on Obama versus Romney. What the masses don’t know is that the election is the most unimportant thing in the news. The banks own billions of foreclosed houses they are keeping off the market in order to save their own asses. They will dribble them onto the market over the next 50 to 60 years. The good jobs are gone for good and there can be no middle class without manufacturing. Therefore the economy will remain flat for the foreseeable future. The upper crust still needs the masses to leech off of because if the masses didn’t exist, the money the elite own would be worthless. They would in effect no longer be elite without us. The only thing that is different is that they now figure we can all get along with less than we have had in the past which is likely true. They know that as long as we have our little electronic gizmos to drool on we will be fairly happy. Goo-goo-ga-ga. It has always been thus. Sometimes they throw us a few more crumbs from the rich man’s table, and sometimes they will throw us a few less crumbs just to see how much they can get away with. We are living in the latter time and that is all. If they feel even a little bit threatened they will throw us a few more crumbs and the masses will claim victory and so it goes.

Ivan said...

Ah, this is the most comforting and uplifting thing I've read in a long time! Many thanks, Mr. Crow.

If the revolution doesn't happen for several years, I may be a relatively rich lawyer serving the actually rich. But I still wouldn't mind jumping in. Or at the least, if I end up getting the knife, I won't really mind.

Rhys Ap Thomas said...

Well said mr. Crow

Jack Crow said...


I wonder - are the masses really all that focused on the national presidential election? Does any representative sample of the captive electorate (and it's larger counter-current, the non-voters) really believe that Presidential elections matter?

What would be a representative sample, anyway? How could that be faithfully demonstrated?

I tend to agree with the broader view that voters are distracted, but I wonder if that's less a function of obsession with the process, or more a development of the sinking-into-debt which is the common lot of most voters in most so-called Western democracies.


In broad terms, we all pick our sides. That written, there are very few of them which are clearly defined. Monsieur IOZ and I have little in common, by way of temperament, style, focus, narrative quality or general outlook. He, the enlightened skeptic of hope, me a minor, unremarkable student of brigandage, sabotage and discord. But, I think there's a larger (anarchist) agreement on the terms of the debate: they're all contrived, falsely advertised and deserving only of bemused and benighted scorn.

I'm not sure if that's the best manner of response to your reply, mostly because I don't think I'm reading it correctly - but if you think you're taking a side, it can always be abandoned. Bad faith has its virtues, and betrayal of one's alleged betters is almost unreservedly welcome, no?



Anonymous said...

So surprising that the 97-lb weakling who couldn't punch his way out of a wet paper bag and hasn't ever tussled with anyone in his age group or physical size in his entire life, he's here telling everyone to take violent measures.

When you step up and show others how the violence is made productive, Crowbar, your little Sociological Genius status might have some merit.

As it is, you're just a poseur with a keyboard and a made-up CV/personal history. I'm laughing at the people who take your shit seriously. You're the ultimate Poindexter daydreaming about the day he could actually be the lunchroom bully and get that so-long-sought revenge.


Jack Crow said...

Whatever gets you through the night, Oxtrot.

Unknown said...


I can’t really prove they are focused on the election I suppose but I would guess the Obama supporters are pretty desperate to keep a Republican out of the Oval Slaughterhouse. It’s the symbolism that counts with most voters or so it seems to me. Regarding a representative sample I think that the whole left/right thing is a fraud created by our two-party system to keep the general population divided and distracted with malarkey while our owners laugh all the way to the bank. In fact I think the left and right of the general population have far more in common than their beloved symbols suggest. I would guess the working classes take the election less seriously than the upper middle classes do or that is my impression.

Afshin said...

I think Corey Robin's post is apropos to this discussion.

Have you ever organized a majority, even a plurality, of your co-workers—in an academic department, at a newspaper, in a think tank, at the little non-profit where you work—to confront the boss, whoever that might be, in such a way that all of your jobs were put into jeopardy?

If you haven’t, I ask you to imagine doing that. Not for the sake of you and your co-workers’ immediate well-being but for the sake of a larger collective good: a single-payer health care system, let’s say, or an end to adjunct labor, the elimination of capitalism, whatever.


Ivan said...

I doubt you’re misreading my comment, because there wasn’t much thought behind it to misread.

I’m not an anarchist. I see, at least in its broad outlines, how the state is terrible. I’m just not convinced of any better alternative. But nonetheless, there is something to be said for destroying what is terrible, even if nothing better will replace it. And whatever our disagreements may or may not be, we’re agreed in calling a spade a spade, and calling bullshit bullshit. When so much of life is such bullshit, and so few people realize it, such agreement is, as I said, comforting and uplifting.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the words, Crow.

Some of my thoughts :

1) Not only are they not a multitude, they're probably a lot less numerous and, if pushes come to shoves, powerful than their numbered accounts may suggest.

2) Having only rarely received violence in proportion to the one visited at their behest on the rest us, the least of politically motivated endeavor in this respect is almost certainly going to results in great effects.

If only it is aimed properly, that is.

d.mantis said...

This is stellar.

I think you hit paydirt when you mentioned middle class versus working class.

Politics is an accessory. It is the badge one has to show at upper middle class parties to gain admittance. Once you start caring about "getting the message across" and "swing states" you have officially arrived.

Once there, you have to give up (or atleast pretend uninterest) in the accessories of the working class like sports.

Its all accessory, spectacle and bullshit. Overcoming distraction, pettiness and tribalism is the key.

Not an anarchist?! Let the conversion begin!

Why the clarification of "broad outlines" when discussing the state?

Ivan said...

d.mantis, I clarified "broad outlines" in order to only claim that I see outlines of the state's terribleness, rather than to erroneously claim that I see every bit of its terribleness. I didn't mean that the outlines look terrible, but that appearance might be deceptive. Sorry if that was unclear.

As for not being an anarchist, that's partly just disclaiming my ignorance of anarchist theory. But it is also a skepticism of how anarchism can offer something better than the state. The state is terrible - again, totally granted. But I'm not convinced of a better alternative, whatever we might take "better" to mean.