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Journal Journal: Informal discussion on classical left vs. right & socialism 11

I wanted the subject to read Informal discussion on classical left vs. right, socialism and anarchism but it wouldn't fit.

OK, I was going to write this as a reply to this comment but it was getting way too long and off topic for the original journal entry, espcially since it belonged to someone else. So I decided to move the conversation, or at least this comment to my own journal.

I intend to write a more formal essay on these issues, but then volumes of books have been written on any one of these subjects. However, If I could communicate in a few pages what others have written books about then maybe that would be accomplishing something. Whatever.

In another person's journal Cyberdyne wrote:

Interesting; you seem to take the French axiomatic assumption that the government has some role to play in everybody's lives, so the political decision is about how much control over the government each person has?

No, I would simply say that the "Classic Leftist" wants is for everyone to have a say, or a vote, in how their government is run. How much of an affect that government should have over your lives is another question entirely. It is ultimately, more of a philisophical aspect than a practical aspect of government.

Difficult to reconcile with the definition of socialism; Google produces many entries like this: "an economic system in which the means of production are controlled by the state".

From what I read the original definition was "an economic system in which the means of production are controlled by the workers." This was back in the 19th century, and there were lots of arguments between "Left wing socialists" who did not like the idea of government control, and "right wing socialists" who thought the answer was to take over the government, and have a strong centralized government force companies to share more of the wealth.

This idea eventually turned into communism, where the government had absolute control over everyones lives, and acted without any accountability to those they ruled. The rulers in effect became the new aristocracy. They abused their rule terribly, and anyone who complained could be tortured, or killed or both.

There was a lot of arguments about this being the result at the turn of the 19th century.

To re-iterate the above, I guess the left-wing socialists would prefer deceneralized methods for the workers to gain control over means of production. Say a trade-union where everyone has a say, and lots of accountibility to those in authority, rather than the stereotypical bad union where the leaders are fat cats who control the lives of the union members.

Up until at least WWII there were also lots of anarcho-syndalist trade unions. The Spanish Civil War happened because an anarchist trade union, the CNT, also had a militia. When Franco started his Coup, the CNT militia seized control over enough armories and strategic locations to give those that opposed him a fighting chance. There was an uneasy alliance between anarchists, socialists and communists, which ultimately ended in the communists stabbing the anarchists and socialists in the back, and then losing control to Franco. (I really need to read Hemingway's account of it someday.) However, it did at least cause enough trouble for Franco that he wasn't of much use to his fascist allies Hitler and Mussolini. (Hey, we are back on topic now.) (sorta)

Anarchists generally like the idea of democracy, but there are some issues of which the believe are absolute. Individual anarchists might argue over what these are but for an example, nearly all would believe in practically absolute freedom of speech. (I just have to qualify absolute.) Also, the word anarchy means without rulers, so Rule by the People is technically inconsistent with Anarchism.

Generally speaking, anarchists are governmental minimalists, who believe that authority is a possition of responsibility and accountibility, more of a burden than of privilage, and that we should not create positions of authority except where neccessary.

I've read more theory than experienced these things in practice. That's the tricky part of these ideoligies, they are very difficult to impliment. I guess they would work through consensus management. I haven't seen much but of what I have seen it is a slow and frustrating proccess for any significantly large group. It is very difficult to make any decisions and get anything done.

This is probably what attracted people to right-wing socialism and communism. They got fed up and instead of wanting to be part of the proccess, would rather give over control to a "leader."

These concepts are difficult to explain and I would still consider myself to have a sophmoric knowledge of anarchism, and less of classical socialism. Even though I am a governmental minimalist, I don't want to throw out the baby with the bathwater of the last 100 years of right wing socialism, because I also believe there are situations where a collective effort can be more effective. And yet, I am also a big believer in individual choice, so I don't fit into any one specific politicial/economic ideology.

(And once again this is a lot longer than I intended to write here. I never intended to write this much on ideology in someone else's journal.)

(Oh, and can someone tell me how many run-on sentences I have in this comment?)

United States

Journal Journal: Don't these people have jobs? 1

Last August our fair city of Little Beruit was visited by our Fearless Leader. As is tradtion here in PDX, we gave him the appropriate welcome he deserves. After he left the vicinity the crowd of a couple thousand people returned to the realtively nearby park to regroup, eat lunch, and go home respectively. There was an altercation with a bus containing campaign contributors, but it was minor, the bus was on its way within 10 minutes I think, but the police persisted in blocking traffic and giving orders to disperse for probably over an hour. (I could check the vidio I took to see. It was mostly boring.)

To get to the point of this discussion, on my way home afterwards I was listening to Victor Boc on talk radio and he was describing the events after the incident mentioned above, and how long it took for people to leave exclaimed "Don't these people have jobs?" It is very much an Ad Hominem attack, and thus it shouldn't even warrent arguing in the first place, but just the same it is one that is often heard at political demonstrations: "Get a job!" "Get a life!"

I haven't listened to Victor Boc a whole lot but from what I had listened to before I had thought of him as more of a real conservative, rather than a reactionary who mostly resorts to Ad Hominem attacks. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I should listen to him more. The thing is, his radio station is owned by a fundamentalist christian who also owns the Portland Tribune, which is actually better than the Oregonian. That's not saying much but they do regularly have commentary from those in the radical political community instead of just reactionary "conservatives" vs. wimpy "liberals" like most of the mainstream media.

Yesterday I saw The Matrix Revolutions, on its first day, at a 1pm showing. I'm still unemployed, and I went with my now platonic girlfriend who is self employed. I'm not going to discuss what I thought of the movie at this time, but when the movie was over we continued to sit and listen to the music and watch the credits roll by. I often watch the credits and part of why I watched the credits is that previous Matrix movies have had stuff after the credits.

(Side note: I was going to after the first movie because my mom told me to wait, but when Marilyn Manson came on I left the theature forgetting to wait for the credits because I just cannot stand Marilyn Manson.)

um.... anyway, as I was watching the credits and listen to the music which I was enjoying, and talking to my girlfriend about the movie I thought of the statement "Don't these people have jobs?" in the context of someone seeing a movie durring work hours to see a high profile movie on the first day. After the movie was over there were people that remained in their seats watching the movie. "Don't these people have jobs?" Why are they wasting their time watching credits when they should be at work like "normal" Americans?

It struck me that criticizing political demonstraitors with this argument is rather like criticizing a movie with the same argument. Again, I'm not going to to discuss here what I thought of Revolutions. For sake of argument, The Phantom Menace was crap. (Go ahead and sue me George Lucas but your movie was Crap!) There were however people who took the day off from work to see this movie. Some of these people probably waited for the credits to finish before leaving. They took the day off from work, it really doesn't matter how soon they leave the theature. Some of them were unemployed, it doesn't matter how quickly they leave the theature.

What's the point? The point is that this has no bearing on how good the movie is. Are these people wasting their time? Maybe, but I saw The Phantom Menace after work and that doesn't make it a better movie. Now that I'm unemployed that doesn't mean that The Phantom Menace was a better movie than The Matrix Revolutions because I was employed when I saw The Phantom Menace.

Those that took the time to come out personally to criticize George W. Bush had their reasons. In the past I have taken a vacation day to participate in a political demonstration. Many that participated were colledge students who have much more flexable scheduales than those in the "real world", especially considering it was the summer. Many that were there were older people who are retired. There was a significant participation from the anarcho-punk community. Now that I am unemployed is my voice or my pressence at a political demonstration any less valid than when I was employed?

(I'm thinking this might be an appropriate way to end this essay but I would like to explain a little about political demonstrations here.)

After the Bush Protest this year as I already said, a lot of people had packed lunches and were eating in the park after the protest. It was a nice sunny day and a picnic in the park is something that political activists and non-political-activists alike might enjoy. (It is freezing in Oregon right now and I sure miss the hot summer of August.)

There is something that those that do not participate in political demonstrations might not understand: It is dangerous to leave alone after a demonstration when there is a large police presence. In Portland the police have a history of taking pot shots at random protestors after a protest is over and people are already going home. For this reason it has become not only custom but highly recommended to wait until the police disperse before the protestors disperse, or to at least leave in a group.

You can think of it as safety in numbers. As far as witnesses go, the police in Portland pretty much get away with just about any use of excessive force, even beating up little old ladies. However, being in a crowd with witnesses, cameras, video cameras and alternative media presence might make the difference between being beaten up and arrested, and being hospitalized or worse.

On this particular occation the police, while they did a reatively better job than the year before, repeatedly excalated the situation just as people were settling down. They blocked traffic and gave orders to disperse when nothing at all was going on. People wanted to leave but did not feel save doing so. And I with my video camera was not going to leave until the police had dispersed and I was sure that most of the crowd was going to be able to safely leave the area.

(I might revise this tomorrow or at least add some hyperlinks. I'm considering sending a note to Victor Boc as well. I wonder if he would respond here in my own journal forum.)

(It is rather ironic that I am not discussing here why I am critical of George W. Bush, but then the issue that I am discussing is the Ad Hominem attack of "get a job." It is an obvious fallacy. These days Ad Hominem attacks saturate political debate. It is idiotic but there is so much of it. I don't expect this essay to dispell the fallacy but it seemed like an interesting way to explain this.)

(I'll probably write a couple more essays dancing around my politics before I get into anything really deep. For the record I have a conservative background. I was actually registered as a Republican at one time. I have never been registered as a democrat but I might this year if I think it can help prevent Liberman from getting the Democratic Nomination. I loath Al Gore with a passion. My politics are complicated and are somewhere between Libertarian, Green and Anarchism. Make of that what you will. I think for myself rather than let myself be dominated by ideology or political parties. Strangely enough my father who is a life long Replublican and was a Marine Corps officer agrees with most of my politics, but he voted for Al Gore. Sigh.)

User Journal

Journal Journal: Colds really suck

Gee, this is getting personal. I mainly entended to write essays in my Jornal but WTF. My sinuses are completely clogged. I couldn't get to sleep all last night. I got a little sleep in the morning when working people wake up. I was wondering if I would be more healthy being unempoyed, getting more sleep, and not going into a building that recirculates all the germs. Well, I got it from my girlfriend. So I guess it is inevitable to get sick a couple times a year at least.

I got some accupuncture, which has really helped me in the past. I also got some chinese herbs. I tend to respond better to traditional medicines than modern medicines. My mom says that when my Grandfather was a doctor they used both. Now MDs mostly practice modern medicine. Anyway, when I go into accupuncture the practicioner will talk to mre for more than a minute or two. I've been meaning to switch doctors for a long time though.

Anyway, I'm spending a lot of my time downloading from emusic.com before the unlimited downloads are gone. I've gotten a lot of jazz, and electronica. Right now I want to prioritise classical music. So much music. The classical music tend to have a lot more short tracks, although some are over an hour.

I wanted to see an industrial project perform tonight but I'm not up to it. I'll have to look them up later but I've never seen them perform. I was talking to one of the members at the Edward Ka-Spel show last week and it sounded interesting. I'm wondering if I'll be up for going out on Friday, but then I don't want to still be sick durring Halloween.

Music

Journal Journal: Alternatives to RIAA Music 6

OK, this is something I've been meaning to write about for quite some time. Music is probably my favorite thing to talk about. My favorite thing in the physical realm of reality. In lots of discussions about how EV1L the RIAA is the question comes up about boycotting the RIAA, which leads to the question about bands/groups/projects that are good, and not giving money to the RIAA, and that's what I would like to talk about here.

I was planning to start this off by singing the praises of emusic.com. However, I just received an email yesterday saying that they are being taken over by another company, and that effective October 30 they will no longer be supporting unlimited downloads for $9.95 a month. They will be limiting downloads to 40 a month, which I think is extremely limited considering that some albums have over 40 tracks. And now I feel stupid because it has been weeks since I've downloaded anything from them while I've been checking out the Fasttrack network, And not actually finding anywhere near as much stuff as I've already downloaded on emusic.com. I haven't even finished downloading the collection of Duke Ellington yet.

So, while I might mention that stuff is available on emusic.com, unless something changes I am no longer recommending that people join them, unless they think 40 tracks a month is enough. (Yea, I know it is a lot for just 9.95 but I don't care anymore.) Oh, one last complaint about emusic.com is that they have shut down their forums. If I see a forum about this situation that is up and running I'll post a link in this Jornal.

There, I'm done complaining.

Oh, also note there are Search Engines to see if a particular Artist/Album is RIAA Free.

Now, I guess I'll start off with Tzadic records, the record company for John Zorn which I have mentioned a few times recently. It is Avant Garde music, which can mean lots of things. Some of it is very listener friendly, some is not. Actually, most of my purchases have been towards the more listener friendly stuff, even though what first attracted me to Zorn was hearing some of his noise projects on a local radio show called A Different Nature. I've been particularly interested in the Radical Jewish Culture series of music. (My mom is Jewish but I was raised Christian so I still have a lot to learn about my Jewish heritage. I've found that I like Jewish Music a lot, even if a lot of what I currently own is towards the Avant Garde. Some of my purchases include Masada, Steven Bernstein, Erik Friedlander, and Jenny Scheinman.

Next, I would like to talk about Soleilmoon Records Which is the distributer for my favorite project The Legendary Pink Dots. I should mention that if you haven't figured it out yet, my favorite music tends to be Gothic/Industrial and Experimental, and thats what Soleilmoon has. Randy Greif is another "musician" I like on Soleilmoon. His music is mostly ambient or ambient noise. He has a 5 CD set of Alice in Wonderland that I think is quite interesting. Note that Soleilmoon has lots of mp3s with the entire song, so you can listen to stuff before you buy.

Continuing on the gothic/industrial theme, I would like to talk about World Serpent Distribution. Their artist include Coil, Nurse with Wound, Current 93 and Sol Invictus. Coil is one of the projects that formed from members of Throbbing Gristle. They have a wide variety of sound from Noise to Ambient to Techno-Industrial to just plain weird stuff. Nurse with Wound also has a variety of sound but is a little more predictable based on when the album was recorded. Their earlier material is more noise, while their later stuff is more listener friendly with lots of ambient, trance, and stuff with a discernable rhythm and even melody once and a while. Current 93's music also tends to fit into two catagories: Scarry noise, and Gothic Folk Music, although they have some stuff with just Piano, Violin and Vocals that could be mistaken for classical music.

I don't have a whole lot of Sol Invictus but I think that all of their stuff fits into the Gothic Folk music catagory. I should mention that I got to see them perform live in Portland a few years ago.

Oh, and I just realized I didn't say anything about The Legendary Pink Dots, some of which is sort of Gothic-Folk, but mostly in the lyrics. There is a definate evolution of their music over time. The quality of their Synth and Sampling has improved a lot over time. Their earlier stuff has lots of violin, and at some point their violinist went to Italy and they picked up Niels Van Hoorn who plays the full range of saxaphone, clarinet, and an electronic box with a reed on it. They are one of the best live performers I've seen, and Niels is very impressive, sometimes playing two saxaphones at the same time (and with skill too).

Oh, I might as well say that I would probably recommend all of the music at brainwashed.com and a lot of the sites I linked to have at least partial mp3s.

What next.... How about Invisible Records? I should mention that most of the catalog of Invisible is available on emusic.com. Probably the most famous Invisible project is Pigface. Pigface is the project of Martin Adkins, but people have performed in Pigface are a virtual Who's Who of Industrial music. Their first album was the best, but they are still interesting, and have good live performances. I remember their first album had a sticker on it with "subliminal messages" commanding the reader to steal the CD.

Some of my favorite artists/projects on Invisible are: Chris Connelly, Meg Lee Chin, Dead Voices on Air, Not Breathing, and Test Dept. This is getting kinda long so at this point I'm going to try to be more brief. (And we have comments too after all.)

Deep Listening is the project and record label of Pauline Oliveros. She is one of the pioneers of early electronic music. Her earlier material is more towards electronic noise, while in her more recent projects she plays accordian, but it is hard to tell that that is what you are listening to. They are ambient albums that are great for chilling out to or even going to sleep to, but still very interesting music, and much more listener friendly than the noise. Sanctuary and Crone Music are albums that I would recommend in particular.

And now for something completely different: Alternative Tentacles Records is the record label founded by Jello Biafra of The Dead Kennedys, one of the most notable Punk Rock bands with very clever satire. Unfortunately, Biafra was sued by his own ex-bandmates. The bastards claimed that he had no part in the writing of any of the Dead Kennedys' music and won the complete rights to every single Dead Kennedys' song. Until this changes download DK and wait for Jello to get the copyrights to his own music back. Alternative Tentacles has a lot of politically oriented Punk Rock and some music of other genres like The Beatnigs, members of which later formed The Disposable Heros of HipHoprisy and still later Spearhead, all of whom I would highly recommend.

While I find most rock, including punk rock, boring these days there is another band worth noting: No Means No our friends of the Great White North. Their music is very rhythm oriented and they are one of the best performers I've ever seen. Try to see them if you ever get the chance, even if you don't personally care for punk rock music.

Finally, I would like to talk about Chumbawamba. I'm pretty sure they are now signed to an RIAA Label, but the material from before they were famus is their best. In particular, the albums Anarchy, Shhhhhh! are their best IMnsHO. I also mention them because they put up a lot of mp3s on their official off-shore website, including most of the tracks from their illegal Jesus H Christ album. They are enthusiastically Pro-Mp3 and Pro-P2P, they have good music and they deserve our support even if they are on a major label. At the very least download their free mp3s.

(note: as I write this some of the links are not working. I've been having lots of connection problems so I wonder if there is a big internet problem right now, like viruses taking up all the bandwidth, or emusic.com customers panicking to download as much as possible before October 30. I might fix/add more links later, and would love to discuss stuff in comments.)

User Journal

Journal Journal: Testing one two three fnord 9

OK, I've been meaning to try out this journal thing for a while now. I was wanting to write some political pieces durring Operation Iraqi Liberation, but didn't want my very first journal entry to be political. I was thinking of writing about music. I got a few essays about music in my head.

Ironic then that I'm writing this on 9-11-2003.

Oh well.

I'm currently unemployed. Recently I've been playing games on an Apple //e emulater. Stuff like Aztec, Oregon Trail, and Castle Wolfenstein. A funny thing is that while playing Castle Wolfenstein I've had the urge to eat Bratwerst with Sowercrout. (Those are probably not spelled correctly.)

Unfortunately, playing these games has put me in computer trance and I've been going to bed way too late, and sleeping in too late. I find it hard to wake up at a decent hour if I have nothing to do all day. And tomorrow I'm going out of town and need to be at the airport at 6:30am. My sleep might be more of a nap than a big sleep tonight. At least this morning I was able to wake up at 8am.

I've also been downloading a lot of music lately. Lots from emusic.com. They got lots of good stuff. They have most of the invisible catalog. I just wish they had some Tzadik music. I've really been getting into John Zorn, especially his Masada project in the last year.

I also got on KaZaA lItE for the first time (first time on any p2p actually) a couple weeks ago. It is addictive. I've spent a lot of time looking for stuff that I already own on Vinyl. I have a huge vinyl collection. Maybe 400 records. I'm really into music. I have downloaded some stuff that I don't "legally" own. Some of it is stuff that friends have recommended that I want to check out. Some is indie projects that are difficult to find. In particular I was hoping to find some Art Zoyd but very little on kazaa.

I tried to install ML Donkey but it was missing a daemon control file or something. I'm going to completely re-install linux on my new box when I get back from my trip. My sound wasn't working anyway.

So is anyone out there listening?
Also, can I control how long people can post comments, and can I indefinately edit a journal entry?
Well, I guess I'll find out.....

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