This is an awesome commentary by Miri Mogilevsky of brutereason blowing apart several tropes and myths spreading about polyamory and polyamorous people (sometimes even by them). This isn’t about defending the lifestyle so much as shattering the notion that it’s some narrow behavioral dictate or monolithic practice.

I’m actually having trouble finding a pullquote that stands out it’s all so good. So I’ll list the myths shattered.

  1. Polyamorous people don’t feel jealousy.
  2. Bisexual people try polyamory because it’s not fulfilling to only date a person of one gender.
  3. Polyamory involves multiple serious, committed, capital-R Relationships.
  4. People choose polyamory so that they can get something from one partner that they can’t get from another.

With a bonus debunking of the suggestion that monogamy is hard-wired in humans. Check it out!

rknjl
No problem is more downplayed than inflation; and when there is an overwhelming consensus that inflation is not a problem, then you know that it is.

Peter Schiff (via moralanarchism)

Also, Reptilians.

(via rknjl)

Peter Schiff is a rightwing libertarian hack economist. He was Ron Paul’s econ advisor during his 2008 campaign. He has been predicting “impending hyperinflation” since 2007, but it hasn’t hit. Inflation is “downplayed” because it’s not an immediate problem we face.

Schiff is the OPPOSITE of a valid source for economic thought. He’s in the Koch gang. He is against a minimum wage altogether. He criticizes the Ryan Budget plan as not reactionary enough!

He may also believe in Reptilliens; I don’t know.

america-wakiewakie

radicalreboot asked:

So your vision of society that you would aim for has no laws, no police, no courts, no incarceration—no institutions or roles with any degree of authority whatsoever? Or am I misunderstanding you and you believe there's a way to have these roles/functions without a "state"? And do you differentiate between governance and statecraft?

america-wakiewakie answered:

No, I’m not against written law, but we should honestly evaluate what written law does and can do, the inflexibility of it and its propensity to value efficiency over authentically dealing with individual circumstances. Written law in this way is innately conservative when it does not allow within its writing for rapid, easy adaptation (think of how badly outdated huge portions of the U.S. constitution are, and how rapidly it got that way in the context of state-sanctioned slavery to emancipation). 

The reason law is written and enshrined in the way it is today fundamentally has to do with our idea of justice, which is rather punitive and not really embodying of Justice at all. Again, this goes back to “the law” as being efficient rather than holistic. There is a philosophy of the world that underpins this. If we are honest about that tendency we ought to then look back at the archaeology of how we came to value law and justice as measured by how efficiently and effectively we can be punitive toward other human beings who have been punitive toward us. It has a lot to do with Western concepts of what can be measured, with positivist and empiricist value systems.

You cannot measure real Justice, but you can measure a prison sentence.  

It is the whole reason the modern court system is built on an adversarial relationship between what is perceived to be truth and what is not. The innocent must tell the truth, the “criminal” (criminality often being a fabricated construct) must lie, and by that clashing of narratives somehow justice will emerge. But, as another example, how has the War on Drugs given us any justice whatsoever when its battle between what is perceived to be the good guys, that is law enforcement, etc., and the bad guys, predominantly poor people and people of color, has yielded only more oppression of America’s historically most oppressed classes

As many black men are in jail today as were owned in all of slavery, and a black man is killed by cops or vigilantes every 28 hours. Is this the kind of justice we accept? Because it is exceedingly efficient.

I make these points to say, we must be vigorous in understanding how we got here today. Part of that means deconstructing our ideas of “the law” and justice. It also means taking a close look at the institution of police and evaluating what function it is they serve. Do they serve we the public, or do they serve somebody else? I have made the case time and again that they do not serve us, they serve the moneyed corporate elite and the State, a white supremacist heteropatriarchal capitalist system. 

We don’t need them, people can govern themselves… and can do so very well when enormous systems of oppression do not beat them into poverty or social isolation. 

Which leads me to your final question: Can we execute the functions needed for daily living without the State? Absolutely. Any honest inquiry into Anarchist societies will answer that question. Governance, aka, navigating the challenges of living in groups with one another, producing things, having economies, etc., is possible without centralized State power. This does not mean nobody has authority; it means we all have equal, vested authority in choosing how we’ll live our lives. We can choose to set up governing bodies if we want, but in doing so we must remember the difference between organizing for our own well-being and relinquishing our agency to some entity which will exercise power over us.

(As a sidenote, shout-outs to my girlfriend for having these conversations with me and helping flesh it out. Always learning with you) 

Great response! Thanks!

I think a lot of people—including many or most self-proclaimed anarchists–don’t understand the difference between governance and statecraft. Or, at least, they don’t make the distinction explicit enough. Some anarchists reject the notion that social norms would be democratically decided and written down in some way (laws) instead of arbitrarily decided on the fly when someone accuses someone else of bad behavior. More commonly, they deny that a specialists should work through established institutions to enforce laws or defend the accused, preferring to subject everyone to a form of (sophisticated, at best) mob rule. They also commonly deflect the responsibility for managing perpetrators of serious offenses, opting for simplistic solutions like banishment.

Truthfully, I don’t think anarchists have taken these questions of vision seriously enough. We don’t need a blueprint for our alternative, but we need to convince people that we’re not advocating a void, and we have something better than Marxists or other statists will gladly put on the table. We also need to demonstrate to more extreme autonomists that we’re not proposing something that will just become an increasingly powerful state. Here’s something I wrote on the topic several years ago.

Anarcho-government by Brian Dominick

(The original version with tons of critical comments has disappeared but can still be found in archive.org at the same source I believe.)

thisiswhiteprivilege

radicalreboot asked:

Loving your string of responses on this topic. What do you think about white antiracist activists who accept writing/speaking requests on racism rather than referring the requests to PoC? If they know that white privilege is part of the reason they're being offered the gig, or maybe they think that the requesting audience would be less likely to validate the arguments if they came from a PoC? Should they say no & risk no antiracist voice being heard? Should they say yes then slam the requester?

thisiswhiteprivilege answered:

I’m not a fan of people like that. They’re in it for the money.

-Dion

Thanks for your response!

It’s quite a sweeping generalization, though it may very well be largely right. I know it’s not everybody. I asked in fact because I have had several such requests over the years, none of them involving any amount of money. I have made different choices depending on the situation. First I ask directly if they’re having PoC perspectives in the conversation or what they’re doing to include them. When I have said yes (no more than a couple of times in specific circumstances), I try to keep the topic to responsibilities of white people, acknowledgment of white privilege, etc—not so much trying to convey the experiences of people of color, which I obviously can’t, except through quotes and statistics.

I think Tim Wise is the best example of a prominent white antiracist. I have never discussed this matter with him, and I assume he does make some money doing what he does (articles, books, and lots of lectures). But more importantly he mainly addresses white audiences making the case that white privilege exists and should be opposed.

What I don’t know is if validating voices like his (which many white people find very convincing, and people of color often find very gratifying, to be sure) just perpetuates the problem in some way. That is, if you require a white person to convince you that racism is real and you have white privilege… are you now a step closer to confronting it actively, or are you just there, in that very act, reproducing the problem you’re critiquing?

I suspect the answer for some is both. But the follow-up would be: Will you now really be ready to listen to voices you recently invalidated? Has a real step been taken, or is it just that you technically “lost” an argument but haven’t changed in any meaningful way? THAT is my biggest concern.

Sadly, I think in the vast majority of cases it’s what happens when I, as a white person, “convince” a fellow white person that racism is real and they have privilege. The logic works, but it doesn’t flip a switch in them. Getting your ass beat in an argument against a person of color challenging your racism might go either way, but one way it can go is to fundamentally humble your shit out, which is an absolutely necessary ingredient to white antiracism.

sovereignpunk
socialismartnature:

Map: In the whole world only these five countries escaped European colonialism
It’s no secret that European colonialism was a vast, and often devastating, project that over several centuries put nearly the entire world under control of one European power or another. But just how vast can be difficult to fully appreciate.
Here, to give you a small sense of European colonialism’s massive scale, is a map showing every country put under partial or total European control during the colonial era, which ran roughly from the 1500s to the 1960s. Only five countries, in orange, were spared.
As you can see, just about every corner of the globe was colonized outright or was dominated under various designations like “protectorate” or “mandate,” all of which are indicated in green. This includes the entirety of the Americas (French Guiana is incorrectly labeled as part of Europe due a technical issue, but make no mistake, it was colonized) and all of Africa save for little Liberia. More on Liberia later. The Middle East and Asia were divided up as well. 
Some countries instead fell under “spheres of influence,” marked in yellow, in which a European power would declare that country or some part of it subject to their influence, which was a step removed from but in practice not all that distinct from conquering it outright. Iran, for example, was divided between British and Russian sphere of influence, which meant that the European powers owned exclusive rights to Iranian oil and gas in their areas, among other things. 
Most of the areas under spheres of influence on this map were politically dominated by the British, who ruled through proxies: Afghanistan (which also endured Russian influence), Bhutan, and Nepal. Mongolia was effectively a proxy state of the Soviet Union for much of the Cold War.
There are only four countries that escaped European colonialism completely. Japan and Korea successfully staved off European domination, in part due to their strength and diplomacy, their isolationist policies, and perhaps their distance. Thailand was spared when the British and French Empires decided to let it remained independent as a buffer between British-controlled Burma and French Indochina. Japan, however, colonized both Korea and Thailand itself during its early-20th-century imperial period.
Then there is Liberia, which European powers spared because the United States backed the Liberian state, which was established in the early 1800s by freed American slaves who had decided to move to Africa. The Liberian project was fraught — the Americans who moved there ruled as a privileged minority, and the US and European powers shipped former slaves there rather than actually account for their enslavement — but it escaped European domination.
The colonial period began its end after World War Two, when the devastated nations of Western Europe could no longer afford to exert such global influence and as global norms shifted against them. The turning point is sometimes considered the 1956 Suez Crisis, in which the US and Soviet Union pressured British and French troops to withdraw after invading Egypt to seize the Suez Canal with Israeli help. But it took a couple of decades for the European colonialism to fully collapse; France was fighting for Algeria until 1962 and Portugal did not abandon its African colonies until 1974. So this map, of a European-dominated world, is not as distant as it may feel for many Americans.

socialismartnature:

Map: In the whole world only these five countries escaped European colonialism

It’s no secret that European colonialism was a vast, and often devastating, project that over several centuries put nearly the entire world under control of one European power or another. But just how vast can be difficult to fully appreciate.

Here, to give you a small sense of European colonialism’s massive scale, is a map showing every country put under partial or total European control during the colonial era, which ran roughly from the 1500s to the 1960s. Only five countries, in orange, were spared.

As you can see, just about every corner of the globe was colonized outright or was dominated under various designations like “protectorate” or “mandate,” all of which are indicated in green. This includes the entirety of the Americas (French Guiana is incorrectly labeled as part of Europe due a technical issue, but make no mistake, it was colonized) and all of Africa save for little Liberia. More on Liberia later. The Middle East and Asia were divided up as well.

Some countries instead fell under “spheres of influence,” marked in yellow, in which a European power would declare that country or some part of it subject to their influence, which was a step removed from but in practice not all that distinct from conquering it outright. Iran, for example, was divided between British and Russian sphere of influence, which meant that the European powers owned exclusive rights to Iranian oil and gas in their areas, among other things.

Most of the areas under spheres of influence on this map were politically dominated by the British, who ruled through proxies: Afghanistan (which also endured Russian influence), Bhutan, and Nepal. Mongolia was effectively a proxy state of the Soviet Union for much of the Cold War.

There are only four countries that escaped European colonialism completely. Japan and Korea successfully staved off European domination, in part due to their strength and diplomacy, their isolationist policies, and perhaps their distance. Thailand was spared when the British and French Empires decided to let it remained independent as a buffer between British-controlled Burma and French Indochina. Japan, however, colonized both Korea and Thailand itself during its early-20th-century imperial period.

Then there is Liberia, which European powers spared because the United States backed the Liberian state, which was established in the early 1800s by freed American slaves who had decided to move to Africa. The Liberian project was fraught — the Americans who moved there ruled as a privileged minority, and the US and European powers shipped former slaves there rather than actually account for their enslavement — but it escaped European domination.

The colonial period began its end after World War Two, when the devastated nations of Western Europe could no longer afford to exert such global influence and as global norms shifted against them. The turning point is sometimes considered the 1956 Suez Crisis, in which the US and Soviet Union pressured British and French troops to withdraw after invading Egypt to seize the Suez Canal with Israeli help. But it took a couple of decades for the European colonialism to fully collapse; France was fighting for Algeria until 1962 and Portugal did not abandon its African colonies until 1974. So this map, of a European-dominated world, is not as distant as it may feel for many Americans.

america-wakiewakie

The whole “I support Palestinians but Hamas is an extremist/terrorist” yadda yadda yadda line is annoying. Occupied peoples have a right to resistance and armed struggle MUST be a part of any liberatory praxis when the oppressor has forgone consciousness and dehumanizes an entire people.

Armed struggle against combatants is one thing. Firing rockets over the heads of amassed soldiers solely in hope of terrorizing or murdering civilians is altogether different. There’s a reason some ardent pro-Palestinian advocates (myself among them, I assure you) would prefer to not have to defend the indiscriminate targeting of Israeli citizens, including those who oppose the occupation and invasion.

The first two people critically wounded by fire from Gaza prior to the IDF ground invasion were a soldier and a “civilian” who was resupplying soldiers, hit by Palestinian mortar fire near Gaza while troops awaited the order to invade. This is highly legitimate warfare targeting combatants, absolutely not terrorism, and it proves that Hamas and the factions are making a very odd choice in directing most of their external fire at civilian populations.

Dismissing someone’s views with yadda yadda and calling it “annoying” doesn’t really make a case. The fact is, world opinion might shift heavily in favor or Gazans if the factions stopped targeting unarmed Israeli civilians (including Palestinian citizens of Israeli and Bedouins). It surely would be worth trying, just to see, since there are so many IDF troops clustered all around Gaza, between the Strip and most Israeli towns and cities.