holy bloody terror

THE OBLITERATION OF EUROPEAN CIVILIZATION – PART 2

It’s difficult to destroy an entire continent full of highly cultured Peoples’ knowledge when most of it was handed down from generation to generation through oral traditions and hands-on apprenticeships. Very few people were literate back in the day, mostly religious scribes, priests, and a select few aristocrats and their highest ranking servants.

After 200 years of slaughtering literate and skilled tradespeople, there was still much killing that needed to be done in order to wipe out any knowledge or traditions that were not condoned by the – by that time – very powerful Christian Churches. There were several different branches of the faith in the middle of the 7th century. Most of them were not obsessed with seizing state power or empire building, the way the Roman sect was. In order to bring about an end to the squabbling over who’s way was most Christian, Pope Worship-me declared himself to be the ultimate holder of divine authority on earth, and demanded all other Christian patriarchs and bishops were subservient to him.

To keep the peace, and because Rome was no longer a threat to middle-eastern lands, most agreed to this arrangement, but continued to conduct themselves as they desired. As you can well imagine, the pope had plenty enough Church business to keep him occupied, without the fuss of prolonged civil wars over who’s doctrines were most Christlike.

Meanwhile, in northern France and the British Islands, a new dynasty was emerging which would provide Christendom’s greatest strongmen of that era – the Pepins.

The Pepins were rule-from-the-shadows kinda guys who lived in what today is northern France. They preferred the life of military plunderers and ratbastard murdering scumbags over that of palace life. Still, they valued scholarship. All the moreso because knowledge had been outlawed and all ancient teachings destroyed. Anyone who produced a book in those days could pretty much write anything, and there was no way to fact-check. Which explains a lot of the stupid-wacko things the Christian Churches passed off as knowledge.

To ensure that future generations would be able to share information across the lands Romans had conquered, Pepin the Short’s son Charles Martel (his true name was undoubtedly Pepin, but he became known by the honorific Martel, which means “the hammer”) came up with two astounding innovations.

First of all, Martel invented the English language to serve as the common tongue for all the lands he subjugated. And by “invented” i mean “codified into written language.” His grandson, Charles the Great – or Charlemagne – was the first ruler to keep a journal in English.

Secondly, Martel founded his own Church – the Catholic Church. His descendants would later force the Roman Church to adopt this abomination; a religion dedicated to slaughter, pillage, and the enslavement of the human race. They also devoted an incredible amount of time and resources to burning people alive as sacrifices to satan (a word that means “adversary”).

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Charlemagne trying to torture gold out of Saxons.

The Catholic Church was not much interested in saving souls or otherwise acting in accordance with the teachings of a pacifist Jesus. The Pepins were completely devoted to plunder and bloodletting. Of course, they would look to their newly invented Church to provide divine inspiration for their actions, and the Church (often under the rule of one of the Pepin’s family, or their business partners), would issue proclamations, papal decrees, and even forge documents to give the Pepins what they wanted.

Charlemagne once had 4,500 Saxon villagers tortured; entire families murdered – many by being disemboweled alive, in front of their loved ones. He had invaded Saxon lands and found them filled with prosperous communities who thrived by farming, hunting, fishing, and foraging. They also had some fairly amazing craft, as well as mad metallurgical, skills. They built sturdy structures which lasted for generations with little need for maintenance. To ill-tempered, blood-thirsty tyrants like Charlemagne, these people HAD to be RICH. There was no poverty to be found in their lands! And those wretched people just REFUSED to hand over ALL THEIR GOLD! No amount of torture, no crimes against human dignity, no horrid acts of brutality could convince them to bring out their treasure. The reason he’s known as “the great?” He set the greatest precedent for how Christians were to treat non-believers, and his partners in crime, the Catholic Church, were anxious to issue edicts to bless these atrocities. Papal treasuries don’t fill themselves, y’know.

Charlemagne was so important to the Catholic Church that it began to date documents from the start of his reign. Previously, Church documents were dated according to the presiding pope‘s enthronement. Sometimes there were several, competing popes at the same time. Sometimes there were no popes at all. Which accounts for the histories of these times being quite convoluted. Again, this suggests a ripe area for future investigation.

The Church legalized slavery for non-believers. It codified how much land and treasure would be shared when heathen lands were over-run by the Churchs mercenaries. Burning people alive as offerings to “satan” was sanctified. Before igniting the sacrificial pyre, the presiding official would say “I commend thy soul to hell!” Jesus sure as fuck did not command that people be burned to death.

Centuries of warfare between Celtic and Germanic Peoples against Roman invaders, and a fanatical obsession with slaughter by the Church, had left much of Europe destitute and under-populated. Which did not leave much for the marauders to pick through.

Mercenaries, Marauders

Reconquista: un teatro sangriento de la fantasía

Everywhere in the Christianized remains of the Roman empire, centuries of civil war and religious bloodlust reduced entire regions across north africa, the levant, and central europe to desolate wastelands, with ruins of villages depopulated through war, famine, and plague being overgrown – pastures becoming meadows, farmlands becoming prairies; abandoned, often burnt-out houses overgrown with moss and ivy.

This is the era when the idea of “the Commons” was developed. Even the nobility – much of it just more ruthless than their subjects, not wiser or more capable – had suffered much during times of plague and famine. There were far fewer people around, and the miserable survivors huddled together to share work, common resources, and their lives. In some places, Commoners were able to live unmolested by rulers or priesthoods for generations, until the elites had recovered enough to seize their lands and force them into wage labor.

In the lands today known as Spain and Portugal, Visigothic Nobility had invaded and set up their reign before the Moors came along. As an illustration of just how badly things were going in the Christian world at that time: in just one battle against the Muslims, much of the ruling Gothic nobility was wiped out, including the king. The battle was a long-lasting defeat, as the Visigoths were a divided and feuding people. They were unable to present a united front to defend against the invaders, and many of the Iberian people who lived under Gothic nobility saw the Moors as liberators.

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Christians -vs – Muslims: the forever war

Many of the poor wretches left alive in the wake of the various calamities of the era clung desperately to their masters, and chose to live in squalid camps surrounding the manors and castles of the Masters. Once settled in, they could try desperately to make themselves of service to their overlords.

Insolence was not tolerated. Unquestioning obedience was demanded of the peasants, literacy prohibited, and being raped by priests and nobles just one of many indignities codified by law.

Priests were allowed to rape the brides they had performed wedding ceremonies for, before their husbands were allowed to take them home. The local aristocrats were allowed to pleasure themselves with any man, woman, or child who crossed their paths. This is the reason why rich males and the Catholic Church are opposed to abortion. They needed the bastard children they spewed all over the peasantry for propaganda purposes; to remind the peasants where they fit into the grand scheme of things. The elites also needed them for future wars. And – who knows? – one of them might turn out to be an asset. A huge, bullying rapist, for example, could be valuable for tax collecting. And an intellectually competent person might be of use for the local lord’s manor, particularly if such a person was petty and ruthless.

The depopulation of Europe did not go unnoticed in the ancient world. The conquest-driven religion of Islam was spreading across lands ravaged by Christian-on-Christian genocide, the local populations and ancient aristocracies unable to field enough professional soldiers to resist. Places where the Church had little influence, however, were able to fend off the invaders. The Islamic invaders made a good argument in favor of their incursions into formerly Christian lands: they were rescuing people from the vile Christian Churches and bringing people civilization.

The lands conquered by Moorish invaders in the Iberian peninsula became famous throughout Europe as places of learning, and prosperous peasants, merchants, and aristocrats sent their children to Toledo and Seville to be educated in science, letters, and math. Lebanon and Syria likewise were centers of learning for hundreds of years, while most Europeans were reduced to mucking through the mud for sustenance. This Islamic intrusion was intolerable to Church and Kings alike. Something had to BE DONE!

Pope Baby Raper issued proclamations offering free passage to heaven for anyone who died fighting against the Muslim invaders. This is generally not a great idea, as it emphasizes the dying aspect to combat, as opposed to surviving the conflict.

Later, Pope Bloody Bastard proclaimed to a gathering of Catholic Church bishops that all sins – even the most high sins of murder or heresy – could be absolved by taking the lives of heathen, non-believers. And furthermore, anything done to non-believers was neither a crime nor a sin. After preaching this for several years, and finding wildly enthusiastic support for his ideas within the Church, he demanded that the good Christian people of Europe take up arms and make a bloody pilgrimage to the Holy Lands of the bible and free them from Islamic rule. And don’t forget the Jews – they’re non-believers, too!

There was an unexpectedly huge response to this call. Rabble, cutthroats, and murderers from across central Europe gladly took up the cause.

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“Who wants to kill, plunder, and rape in the name of Jesus?”

But, you know…the Holy Lands are soooo far away, and there’s these prosperous Jewish neighborhoods, just right there…so Jewish communities were wiped out in Spier, Worms, Mainz, Metz , Prague, Ratisbon, and other cities.

Though most Crusaders (or “vassals of Christ,” anointed by the pope) were satisfied with that and returned home with everything they could steal from their Jewish victims, others continued on to the rallying place for the invasion of the Holy Lands, Constantinople. Along the way, they pillaged a path through Hungary. Zemun and Belgrade were pillaged, as well as the countryside around Nis, before the Hungarian King was able to drive them out of his territories.

The pope had asked his nobles in the Church to send him men-at-arms. Instead he got a murdering, plundering horde. The Byzantine Emperor enthroned at Constantinople was only too happy to round them up and send them on their way.

Once across the Bosporus, the vile force plundered at will – raping, and murdering everyone in their path. With no real command, just bishops urging them onward to Jerusalem, there had been no thought of setting up a supply chain. This created an armed, starving mob, and there are just too many tales about Crusaders roasting and eating babies to ignore.

And all of this happened before they had even seen a Muslim soldier. When the pillaging horde pushed on towards Muslim lands, they were met by an actual Turkish army and annihilated.

Eventually, professional soldiers and low ranking nobles came to join in the pillaging, and all along the eastern Mediterranean coast, one ancient port city after another fell: Antioch, Tripoli, Sidon, Tyre, Acre. The inhabitants were slaughtered or taken as slaves, and everything not nailed down, hauled away as booty. Some Crusaders decided to stay and live in the places they subjugated, since they’d escaped from the crushing poverty and oppression in feudal Europe.

Several Christian domains were established en route to Jerusalem, which was also captured, and all the inhabitants massacred – Muslim, Jew, and Christian alike.

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Jerusalem taken, all the inhabitants slaughtered.

“Kill Them ALL!”

Because there had been no clear leadership, there arose disputes over who should claim which lands, and this left the Christian domains divided, squabbling, and even making war over them. The Crusaders were also not able to offer a united defense against Muslims, who were anxious to drive these heathen, cannibalistic savages from their lands and send them back to Europe or hell, where they belonged. The Crusaders even overran the ancient Christian land of Edessa along the way, exterminating yet another Christian sect not devoted to plundering for the enrichment of the pope.

Over the next two centuries, Islamic warlords arose who would eventually drive the Crusaders away for good. Many of the subsequent Crusades were either attempts to retake Jerusalem or were actually mercenary attacks against Christian cities who the Eastern Roman Emperor or pope had a grudge against.

The most prosperous lands in all Christian Europe were laid waste by a Crusade because the highly literate people of southern France were not loyal to the pope. This was their reward for preventing Islamic penetration into central Europe from Iberia, as well as their punishment for popular literacy. This illustrates one of the major aspects to the continuation of the Roman Empire that led to a great downturn in European civilization. Once finished with a task, the vassal or servant was killed. It’s cheaper than continuing to maintain them, and in the case of architecture, once the skilled craftspeople were dead, their knowledge was gone with them, so that the owner could smugly state that nothing like it would ever be built again.

There were further crusades against Moors in Iberia, and Slavs in northern Germany. There was even a Crusader-vs-Crusader crusade, as nobles and merchants in Genoa and Venice feuded over who controlled Christian domains in the Holy Lands.

It was in the Crusade against the Cathars of southern France that the most influential edict the Roman, Catholic Church has ever pronounced was issued. Having laid siege to one of the cities in the region, the commander of the Crusaders asked the advice of the local abbot. He was concerned that, once the city was obtained, he would have a difficult time telling who were the righteous, pious Catholics, and who were the heretical Cathers Christians.

The abbot’s reply would resound throughout the ages, and is very popular with the armed forces of the Christian world to this very day:

Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius.

Kill them all, for the Lord knoweth them that are His.”

From the 2nd century AD (according to modern reckoning) until the 17th, the grotesquely sadistic, violent rulers of the West were engaged in an all-out war against the pre-existing civilizations of the world. This doctrine of total annihilation found it’s greatest advancement under the guidance of the Catholic Church.

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Catholics plead for mercy from Crusaders

With Much of Europe divided between the Eastern and Roman Churches and the pope eager to unleash his obedient, ignorant armies of slaughter and genocide upon the world, the pope began a campaign of total, bloody war on his unfortunate followers.

Not to be outdone, the Eastern Church launched an even bloodier assault against the Peoples of Asia, and their Russian empire spread the genocidal religion from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific, obliterating civilizations that had stood for perhaps thousands of years. We don’t really know much about those ancient Peoples, because of the complete destruction of their cultures. What we do know is; throughout Christendom, knowledge was reserved for the Church and Nobility, and those wealthy enough to earn their favor. And if the local rulers were less concerned with learning than ruling over their subjects with iron fists, the result would be ignorant, savage assholes in power who NO ONE WAS ALLOWED TO CRITICIZE!

What were the results of centuries of murderous repression and people burned alive in public – all this carried out or condoned by a “religion” that conducted its services in a dead language no one understood, except the clergy?

  • An entire civilization built upon lies, greed, genocide, and rape.

  • Entire countries full of people who view education with mistrust, fear, and even hatred.

  • A civilization which views Nature as evil and unholy, to be brutalized and ravaged – despite the fact that Nature provides them with everything.

  • People who actually believe superstition is any type of knowledge not handed down from the Proper Authorities.

  • Ancient laws passed down from ancient despotic rulers, with slight modification to fool the common people into believing they were innovative.

  • Loss of technologies that built structures standing to this day, some of which are still being used.

  • A Religion of genocide which allows believers to commit any atrocity against non-believers.

  • Worshiping ignorant, violent jackasses as civic leaders.

  • An economy based on plunder and warfare.

And these are the main obstacles preventing people all over the world from overcoming – or even comprehending – the conditions of their slavery to descendants of elites handed down from ancient times to the 21st century.

Kill them all patch

The obliteration of European civilization

via the subversion of the early Christian Church, by Roman emperors.

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This is the oldest symbol for the Christian faith. It may also be the oldest symbol of divine authority in what passes as “western” civilization. There’s a lot more to say about this particular symbol, but for now let’s focus on it’s elegant simplicity.

Because it was an upstart religion and illegal in the Roman empire, Christians needed a secretive way to identify one another. So, when wanting to inquire about someone’s belief, a Christian could draw half the symbol in the dirt with a finger. If the other party involved finished it, they recognized one another as part of the Church. If not, no harm done, the image quickly erased, easy-peasy.

After the Church was decriminalized, a new symbol was bestowed upon the Romanized religion, the cross.

Constantine and Christ’s Holy Terror

The ruler of the eastern provinces of the Roman empire, Constantine, supposedly had a vision as he tossed and turned in his sleep, worried about an upcoming battle. Either that, or he was given a sign from heaven on his way there. More likely he just made this story up.

Regardless of the inspiration, Constantine was given a sign from some god or another – i’m not sure they ever specify – which he regarded as a license to kill. The two symbols combined in the new banner allegedly signify “by this sign, conquer.”

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From this moment on, Christianity was not a religion of love, tolerance, sharing, and community. From this point on, Christianity was some unseen god’s holy scourge, come to rid the world of sinful non-believers with sword and fire. Ever notice how much Catholics have enjoyed burning people alive over the centuries?

The symbol of the cross eventually morphed into the more recognizable “+” form, then further transformed into…something awful.

This is the image of Jesus the ancient Churches like. It’s traumatizing. It’s meant to be.

deadGuy

The message sent by the authorities:

See that? There’s your god of love for you! He’s DEAD!

If we killed your god, do you think we’ll have any mercy on YOU?”

Christians ever since have been very enthusiastic in slaughter, genocide, rape, and plunder. They are, after all, forgiven. For anything. For everything. By the way, rape is not prohibited in the holey bible. There are a number of responsibilities spelt out for rapists in the old testament, including an obligation to marry the victim. I do not believe the victim is given a say in the matter. And in the new testament, women are encouraged to be submissive to men.

War on knowledge

Constantine undertook a war to eliminate the Zoroastrian religion. Their priests were known as Magi, and were mentioned with quite a lot of respect in the telling of Jesus’ birth.

The Romans killed every living Magi, and burned or otherwise destroyed their teachings.

I can’t help but think this was done because what the Magi taught was self-directed enlightenment and inner growth. What the Christian Church had decided on as it’s doctrine – in the council of Nicea Constantine sponsored ten years prior – was batshit crazy by comparison. Constantine was eliminating the competition. He had to, because no one was going to believe the stupid shit his new Church was passing off as “religion.”

He never made Christianity the official state religion (that would come later), even after his own “conversion.” As mentioned above, this conversion affected the Church more than vice-versa. The emperor had remade it in his own image.

Constantine’s end goal was likely to proclaim himself as the sun god, sol invictus, and Roman coinage, as well as works of art and architecture, portrayed him as Sol’s companion. He never did get around to announcing his own divinity. He did, however, make Sun day the official Christian day of rest and adulation.

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Subsequent emperors burned the library of Antioch, and later banned teaching of science in the entire empire. People of other faiths were prohibited from being officers in the army, and a heretical Christian sect – the Manicheans – were exterminated for providing a sane, believable doctrine for Christians.

And just to rub a little salt in the wounds of a bleeding populace, pope Dumbass I outlawed public baths across the empire. Less than century later, unhygienic conditions contributed to a severe outbreak of bubonic plague.

The Church outlawed all forms of date-keeping, navigational charts and equipment, and any reference to the world as being spherical. No one believed the world was flat and the earth was the center of the universe. People started pretending to believe it when anyone saying otherwise was burned alive in public squares.

The Church also outlawed all non-Christian schools and ordered the obliteration of all knowledge kept at the great library of Alexadria – perhaps the greatest repository of human knowledge ever assembled in one place. Not only did they destroy ancient scrolls, books, and other writings, they massacred everyone who had learned to read. Millions of tradesmen, artisans, and craftsmen were slaughtered. Egyptian civilization has never recovered from this atrocity.

A holocaust (burnt offering) of millions of people practicing another “heretical” form of Christianity, the Donatists in North Africa, was ordered. An entire region depopulated. Every man, woman, and child murdered.

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The Oronteus Finaeus map,

showing Antarctica with ice-free coasts, mountains and rivers. It was based on older maps, lost to His-story

The church decreed that every book not written by Christian hands be destroyed.

There is another form of temptation, even more fraught with danger. This is the disease of curiosity. It is this which drives us to try and discover the secrets of nature, those secrets which are beyond our understanding, which can avail us nothing and which man should not wish to learn.

–Augustine (354 C.E.- 430 C.E.)

Europe becomes Christian

War was declared against the cultures of Egypt and Greece. The ancient library of Athens was torn down, all the scribes and priests burned alive. Roman facades were put on ancient temples. Others were torn down and replaced with Christian churches.

Ireland was likewise invaded, but the mercenary Patrick was not up to the task and relented after merely massacring half-a-million people. He reported to Rome that the “serpents have been eliminated,” but he was really giving the Celts some time to hide their knowledge.

Just around 200 years from the time Constantine remade Christianity for his own bloody purposes, the population of the ancient European world had plummeted drastically, and human civilization set back thousands of years. Some estimates claim over 110,000,000 people had died due to conflict, sacrifice, disease, and hunger.

AND WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT WAS LOST AS A RESULT. We can only guess, based on physical evidence left behind.

Heretics5

on hiatus

well, now…

i’m feeling the urge to write more these days, but lack the inner fortitude to do so. traffic on my existing sites has plummeted to all-time lows, so i tend to spend too much time on twitter to get much writing done – my twitter account has many, many times more viewers than all my blogs combined.

the lack of traffic on wordpress is the main reason i’ve lost the resolve to write. still, there are things i really feel a need to get out into public discourse.

my anarchist ideas are not readily categorizable. i came to anarchy reluctantly – over the course of a couple of decades – after initially having much enthusiasm for anarchistic societies. the first i remember reading about was the organization of comanche peoples. but, whereas their society was tightly woven together with interdependent, tribal responsibilities and voluntary associations. the western anarchist traditions were fragmented and feuding. this kept me wanting to keep an arm’s length away from anarchists in the US until the late 1980s. some entanglements with communist and other socialist sectarian groupuscles convinced me to get away from “popular front” style activism and work exclusively with anarchists, since they most closely resembled my ideas about life, the universe, and everything.

as i wrote above, i came into the anarchist movement reluctantly – from reading about anarchist practices in ’71, till wading into it in ’89 – and i’ve taken a little bit from many of the books i’ve read from across the spectrum of anarchist theory, practice, and history. it’s clear to me that the anarchist movement has been exceedingly powerful  in creating social change on a mass level when anarchists support one another’s efforts, despite disagreements in theory or practice. (see alan antliff’s book Anarchist Modernism…)

what i’m trying to get at here is that i often feel like i’m a lone voice, and that since my ideas are not necessarily confined to one particular ideology, and since i am sometimes a few years ahead of the curve on some of this, i often take a lot of abuse from those defending some particular anarchist sect. not to mention the occasional mis-steps i take.

the writing i’m about to undertake – you might consider this an intro – is going to ideologically isolate me from almost all the western anarchist traditions. i already live in tremendous isolation (extreme poverty), so i’m not looking forward to being subjected to the flaming comments certain to come. but…i gotta have my say…just something i do…

i’m keeping this site for my own writings, but it’s on autopilot for now. i’m going to start a fresh site for the new stuff i’ll be producing soon. i’m really sorry for the haphazardness of my existing sites, but i don’t have time to straighten them out. or maybe the motivation.

if something you were looking for has disappeared, you might could find it on the new version of my anarchist news aggregate, we are not afraid of ruins.

we are not afraid of ruins will be where i check out anarchist news from around the world, along with news of other people’s struggles for autonomy. and, sorting through the posts from the past five years, i’ve remembered that the purpose of archiving important information is because sometimes the originals disappear. this seems to be a disturbing trend, being accelerated by the popularity of touchscreen devices.

i also see much room for improvement in the rss feeds. information from the pacific island regions is scarce, for instance, as is news on people’s autonomous struggles in central, south and southeast asia. please leave links to any current news groups, indymedia, infoshops, etc. you have in the comments.

follow me on twitter, too. i can get chatty at times. drunk chatty. stoned chatty. you’ve been warned. @NotAfraidOfRuin

lawless

land of the lost

my homage to a place where i once dwelt…from archive.com’s wayback machine

Out in the woods, off the country road – There!  Where the out-of-place welcoming sign stands beside the parked vehicles.  Between the greenhouse and the garden beds, there winds the trail – a trail to adventures of the imagination, a trail into the possibilities of the moment.  Go that way, up the hill and through the Douglas firs.  You have found the Land of the Lost, a place for wanderers, students of rebellion, self-exiled romantics determined to make their lives their own!

The first clue for what is to come is the outdoor brewery. What can be learned about a place with no indoor plumbing, or any indoor whatever, when the first primitive pole-and-plywood structure one finds is the 40-gallon brewery?

Continue up the hill, across the stream and on to the kitchen, the gathering area where meals are shared.  Notice the outdoor library.  The titles are mostly in five categories:  food preparation, gardening (permaculture), brewing, rebellion and fictional works of mayhem, wonder and dread.

Of course you are welcomed to stay, to linger by the creek with your books and journals, to dig in the earth, to play and create music, to drink and share stories around the fires and lanterns.  You learn of mutual friends, not only around the area, but around the globe.  You combat the mosquitoes and hide from the rain and cold.  Each day begins with the anticipation of something wonderful coming, while the view of the surrounding mountain distracts your attention from whatever it was you had in mind, until you want just to be there, overwhelmed with scents and sights and sounds.

It’s a leisure-filled life of unmotivated afternoons and pleasant evenings.  The days melt away until the world of clocks and schedules seems but a distant, disturbing memory.  Yet, the time finally does get your attention.  You were just passing through and have stayed longer than you had planned.  There were destinations, goals, meetings to make:  time demands that you depart.  You leave, wondering why your life can’t always be like this, what makes the compelling reasons for leaving so damned compelling?

As the answer comes to you while travelling the twisting road out of the valley, you have one of two reactions:  you vow to return for a longer stay, to learn to live this way so that one day you, too, will have your breakaway station from the oppressive world of consumption and domination.  Or you speed away with the greatest haste, fleeing the seductive world you’ve found before it’s too late to turn away.

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against the gulf war, against privileged campus activists – from 1991

i’m not 100 percent sure, but i believe this is just about the first time i used the pseudonym “rob los ricos.”

this is a letter to the editor of a magazine published at UT in the 90s, the polemicist. they had run an article denouncing the anarchists involved in the austin campaign for peace in the middle east, in the days leading up to the war in the persian gulf.

we had greatly offended them by refusing to submit to the leadership of the New Left-over campus marxists. we organized a direct action wherein we shut down traffic so hard in downtown austin, it backed up traffic on I-35 from waco to san antonio, and made national and international news. pretty strong showing, if you ask me.

but, it was NOT sanctioned by the leadership of the acpme, who instead focused their time and energy denouncing and attempting to discredit us. what this did in the short term was a stifling of dissent on campus, because NO ONE wanted to go through what we did – particularly the outing of working people who had attempted to use pseudonyms as a means of keeping their employers from knowing about their political activities. by people who very obviously had no concerns about such retaliation.

oh, there is so much more to be told about that time – maybe one day some of my student allies from those days will share their memories…

(the students involved went under the name youth against militarism, thus the derogatory label “yammies.”)

Yo Polemicist!

As two of the “confused Yammies” referred to in Kathy and Purnima’s biography of the ACPME, we feel a need to respond to some of what was written, both about the Campaign and Youth Against Militarism/Anti-Militarist Action (YAM/AMA).

The authors seem to believe that a secret power elite did not form in the Campaign until sometime in January. This is not a realistic portrayal of the events which led to the formalization of the “shadow government” by the Campaign’s self-defined leaders, hereafter referred to as the Oberfuhrers-O-Peace, or “Oopsies,” and their followers. The Oopsies made their presence known from the very beginning of the Campaign and had divided the group into friend-or-foe camps within the first month of the Campaign’s existence.

The article briefly mentioned the scantily attended press conference the Campaign held at the Austin American-Statesman, but does not mention the anti-war rally held earlier that month at the Federal Building. It was from the Oopsies’ handling of this event that a debate began in the Campaign about the decision-making process, and not at the Town Meeting, which was held almost two months later.

Rob missed the first planning meeting for the October 20th rally, however, at the second meeting learned that in the time between the first and second meetings, the time and location of the rally had been changed. The original plan was to hold the rally at a highly visible location, Camp Mabry, a military base right here in Austin, sitting right alongside a well-traveled highway.

Instead, the invisible hand of the Oopsies had moved the rally to a side road in the heart of downtown, at noon on a weekend, where the chance of reaching people – and letting them see that there were people actively opposed to this war-thing that Bush wanted – was very slender. The redirection of the group’s planning into the largely ineffective, hidden rally was so discreet and complete, one “confused” member of the Campaign later stated that the FBI could not have done a better job of sabotaging it. This was only a sample of what was to come.

After both the Fed Building rally and press conference were seen by the Campaign as ineffective, the Campaign began to examine its decision making process to rectify problem areas, so that future actions would be more successful. In fact, for the remainder of the year, much of the time in Campaign meetings was devoted to stifling debate regarding the establishment of new processes. Not that any of the discussions mattered anyway, as is evident by the Oopsies absolute control over the definition and establishment of the new campaign order.

In the “pre-deadline” days, as the US was still escalating troop movements to the Middle East and propaganda drives at home, YAM decided to organize direct action in opposition to the impending war, separate from the Campaign hierarchy and control. At a planning meeting for a December action, one Campaign member came and told us that she had been asked by some Oopsies to attend the meeting and report her “findings” back to them. This was not an official Campaign “outreach” to other arms of the “movement,” since a number of “Yammies” were actively involved in the Campaign. Rather those Oopsies had sent this woman to infiltrate the meeting, collecting information for solely their benefit.

After the war had started in earnest, when Bush ordered the bombing of Kuwait and Iraq, some Oopsies used the media to denounce YAM and other resisters’ actions as “hostile” and “discouraging” in the promotion of the Campaign as the “real” movement against the war.

The Oopsies’ repertoire of control tactics included the discrediting of groups autonomous of their and the Campaign’s “leadership” as undercover agents and informers in collusion with the government. These reckless allegations, having no evidentiary factual basis, served as a means of alienating many members of the Campaign from each other, the Campaign, and the movement itself. Ultimately, these infiltration rumours led to the establishment by the Oopsies of an exclusionary rule in the Campaign’s official policy guidelines whereby the 12 members of the Steering Committee had the absolute authority to kick people out of the Campaign.

This leads back to how the Oopsies officially structured the Campaign as a rigid, centrally-controlled organization. The Steering Committee had been given the task of submitting proposals (in the plural) for structural change that would accommodate the growing number of members in the decision making process.

Instead of submitting these proposals for discussion, the Oopsies entered the next meeting with a newly established centrally-controlled process, effective immediately, no discussion. Few people were pleased with this and the membership requested more proposals and scheduled another discussion, only to be dismissed yet again due the difficulties the Oopsies had in presenting more than one option to the membership, despite the fact that two other proposals had indeed been submitted.

The Oopsies proposed that their structure be “temporarily” adopted since the Campaign was suspending meetings for the upcoming winter student vacation anyway. Alas, the large scale debate over various processes never occurred. When the Campaign started up again amid the flurry of the beginning of the war, the Oopsies’ structure and process were already well established tradition: Oopsies “facilitate” all discussion and the elite, limited member steering committee had exclusive decision making power in the “facilitation” of meeting campaign goals.

Kathy and Purnima’s article attempts to separate this “facilitation” from the more negative connotations of “power” through the formal acknowledgement of the decision makers of the Campaign so that members would have greater understanding of exactly who is responsible for the decisions made. The major problem with this proposal is the very “accountability” that it attempts to address. while those few people in positions of power to direct the Campaign would be singled out as answerable to the general body, the general membership itself was completely disempowered of access to the decision-making process, thus elevating the Oopsies to positions of absolute authority.

Probably best illustrating this is a quote from the article itself: “(The Yammies and others) confused dialogue with “decision-making.” These members never saw the actual decision process that developed outside of the impossible and cumbersome meetings, and eventually superseded them.” In other words, any discussion arising outside of the officially authorized, or at that time “tacitly permitted,” oligarchy-o-process-n-position is useless and as such, repudiated as an avenue of affecting campaign strategy.

The self-imposed impotence expected of Campaign members in the unquestioning acceptance of Oopsie “leadership” is similar to the vegetative state of the populace necessary for acceptance of George Bush’s unilateral decision to engage in a war in the Middle East. Those people opposed to the status quo and its war, and determined enough to resist despite this lifelong conditioning of abnegation, only encountered the same warped “you ignorant masses must be led by we educated and competent leaders” ideology of oppression in the “peace and justice” community. We, the community of resistance, don’t need to replace the old shit with new shit, even if it’s mollified by “oops. We had too much unrestricted control.”

The quest for control, of either the world or the resistance movement, is always too restrictive.

Rob Los Ricos
Sylvia Guisto

Bose and Mitchell respond: We just wish to note that this letter was actually written by J**** S***** and Robert Thaxton. Despite years of imprisonment as a Slavic revolutionary, when Bakunin lashed Marx for authoritarianism, he had the courage to do so under his own name. The use of a pseudonym for personal security, in our context, reflects no more than an inflated sense of self-importance.

PS – i just want to point out that i was not a student at this time, and was cautioned by my employers to keep out of the media, whereas the other participants in this saga were either grad students or faculty. talk about hiding behind privilege! btw – i thought of the people named above (kathy and purnima) as allies, even on the friendly side, before their attacks against anarchists in the anti-war movement. which is why we only used their first names, to remind them that we are friendlies.

also, bakunin was a russian aristocrat, whereas i’m just this guy, you know?

i slightly edited the above letter, mostly just adding punctuation. if you insist on seeing the original, here it is:

LETTERS

May 1991; pages 16-17, 19; Volume 2, No. 6
Polemicist

crush fascism forever – now is the time!

THIS HAS ALL HAPPENED BEFORE – DOESN’T MEAN IT HAS TO HAPPEN AGAIN!

as heated street battles rage between anarchists and fascists in austria, spain,and greece, we must remind ourselves that the inevitable social chaos which follows economic collapse WILL be exploited by the ruling powers to increase their authority over us. this is where they are headed, whether we like it or not, and the banksters will use the fascists – as they always have – to wage a war of attrition against the unruly, starving masses, striving to maintain their lives and dignity in the ruins of an economy which was purposely burnt to the ground by unindicted financial terrorists in government administrator’s clothing.

BE FOREWARNED, THOUGH – THE FASCIST STREET THUGS WILL BE ABSORBED INTO A “LAW AND ORDER” POLITICAL PARTY.

unsurprisingly, seeing as how many cops and other populist authoritarians are fascists already. once they’ve served their purpose, the fascists will be exterminated, too, in order to make the new technocratic institutions of power appear to be humanity’s saviors.

in depression-era germany and italy, fascists rose to power through street mobs. much the same as they are attempting in greece, via the golden dawn party. peronistas in argentina did likewise.

now more than ever, it is easier to discern everyone’s enemy, in every land – the banksters, their toadying politicians, ginormous corporations, evil scientists,  murderous enforcers, child-molesting cult leaders…the shit never ends.

until we decide to end it.

nonviolence1

 

revolution will always be possible!

Part of the way that revolutions and insurrections work is by resonance. A sudden excitement sweeps through a population. A sense of hope. A sense of purpose. A sense of possibility. Before you know what’s revolutionSwingerhappening, dozens of rebels have become hundreds, thousands, millions.

It is the spine-tingling feeling that the battle can be won, that the system can be defeated, which can spark extraordinary and unpredictable sequences of events.

Our aim, as anarchists, is to fuel this feeling, to add to the pressure, to try to inspire through word and deed.

Those who instead choose to cynically insist that revolution is impossible cannot thereby prevent revolution from being possible, which it obviously is, but they can certainly make it less probable.

In other words, their analysis is not only logically wrong but it is also harmful to the cause they pretend to support.

As a result, the rest of us are obliged to shout even louder, to make ourselves heard above the depressing dirge of their pointless negativity, to counter it with the empowering positivity of our own message and to repeat again and again that revolution will always be possible!

Posted on November 13, 2015 by

change_anarchism
image from Robert Graham’s Anarchism Weblog – https://robertgraham.wordpress.com/

Pagan Sect of the Mountain claims responsibility for firebombing of buses in mexico city, declares war on civilization

The bombs went off on Saturday, on the state-run Mexibus bus line, causing damage to four buses.
A Mexican group called the Pagan Sect of the Mountain claimed responsibility for Saturday’s attack on several buses outside of Mexico City that caused damage to four vehicles, but left no victims. They promised to continue bombing targets if nature continued to be destroyed by mankind and declared “fire and explosives against civilization.”

The group – which claimed responsibility for the attack, together with several other unidentified groups – explained they inherited the “fiercest” struggles of their predecessors against progress when it comes to the destruction of natural habitats.

“Cities grow exponentially devouring mountains and wild habitat, taking over territories where coyotes, deer, hawks and natural reserves, forcing extinction of wildlife and natural reserves,” the Pagan Sect of the Mountain said in statement, accepting responsibility for the attacks.

“If civilization continues to destroy nature, we will respond in the same way,” by attacking targets in the metropolitan area.greenanarchyThe group, which proclaims to be anarchist, explained their attacks have nothing to do with the plights of bus drivers, nor did they claim to be in opposition to the bus line.

“We are not interested in the cancellation of bus routes, nor do we advocate in favor of bus drivers who have been fired, nor do we demand more security for the bus stops, as the press has been saying,” they said.

The group’s statement was sent to a website called Contra Info along with photos of a bomb and the buses. Contra Info was founded in Athens, Greece, in 2010 and claims to be run by anarchists and activists.

The Attorney General’s office said investigations have been initiated, but no other statement has been released by the local or federal government regarding the attack.

this article originally appeared on teleSur

the ones who walk away…

in the summer of 2009, a group of literary-minded people hosted a “summer reading” series of events in portland. one of the events featured ursula k leguin’s short story THE ONES WHO WALK AWAY FROM OMELAS.

the story was posted online for interested parties to
read, and the author herself made an appearance at a
trendy watering hole to discuss it. no way i was going
to miss a chance to attend a (free) public event featuring
one of the most amazing writers in the science fiction genre.

instead of giving a summary of the story, i’ll paste a link to a pdf
below, then share my impressions of the crowd’s reaction. sorry, but the rest of my commentary about the event will not make much sense unless you’ve read it.

The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas

by Ursula K LeGuin – from The Wind’s Twelve Quarters; Short Stories

i arrived late to the event, and ms. leguin was addressing the overflow crowd. afterwards, a microphone was made available so that people could make comments or ask questions about the story.

the reaction was pathetic. one speaker after another stepped up to demand that people would not tolerate such cruelty and that it was possible to show compassion for the sad, mistreated child, who suffered so that everyone else in omelas could live carefree, joyous lives. to me, the entire point of the story was that we, here in the nations formerly designated as the “first world,” enjoy lives of comfort and ease that the majority of the people in the world will never attain. instead – in africa, south and central america, polynesia, and asia –  millions of people live in squalor and destitution.

archer

many of the regions with almost incalculable amounts of wealth in natural resources are also the location of failed nations, where the local inhabitants are massacred, the women raped, the children conscripted into service as slave laborers and soldiers by the latest rogue militia. why? because working people to death is cheaper than paying them.

the corporations that bankroll these atrocities make unbelievable profits from illegal mining and other resource extraction.

the DRC has proven to be a playground for violent rapists, as marauding armies sweep through the countryside, massacring villages, conscripting children as soldiers and sex toys, raping women by the thousands, and rewarded with piles of currency by manufacturers in desperate need of minerals. people pretend this is NOT happening, so desperately do they need their playstations. while they were diverting their eyes, it's snuck up on them.

we all live in omelas, but the good, kind, happy citizens just aren’t interested enough about the lives of distant, dark-skinned people to be bothered to care about how much the opulence available to us causes suffering around the world, to billions of people. i get heartsick every time i think about this. isn’t it time for us to abandon this globalized deathcamp and create something different?

since there is no “away” for us to walk to, we’ll have to make our something different here. though this may seem like a dangerously daunting task, what we must never forget is that we – the people –  made this country, and we can remake it according to our own desires. we should not be afraid of creating ruins.

durruti


	

You Will Learn A Few New Words In Resistance | MexicAnarchist

Juchari Uinápikua, Our Force, Our Strength.

The P’urhepecha people in Cherán rose up to defend their forests and community from cartel control and the corrupt police that partnered with organized crime. It was spearheaded by women who were tired of their sons and husbands disappearing into the void that is cartel abduction and violence.

They began by trying to protest against the cartel backed loggers on the streets, it ended with molotovs and the storming of police stations to gather assault rifles to defend themselves. There was no turning back at that point, they began to establish fogatas, something like a camp fire, in every block to keep watch and stay vigilant to any attack. This became a nightly routine, it was also in these community camp fires that they made decisions on what to do in their communities. You know it as direct democracy, they know it as decolonization. Through the process of decolonization, they also established their form of self defense, how their communities used to defend themselves in the past.

Ronda comunitaria. Communal self defense.

A literal translation wouldn’t work, so I gave you what it is in practice. I’ll explain what that practice is, and you can see it here.So a community kicks out cartel elements, and the police along with the politicians because they all knew these were all the many heads of the same hydra. Of course those they kicked out would attempt to return, angrily to be certain. Campfires on every block is good to stay vigilant, but how do you defend your community should these vile elements return? Ronda comunitaria was the traditional form of self defense, now in their modern form they used what used to be police vehicles and assault rifles that used to belong to the police. Instead of using those tools to repress, kidnap and help cartel forces like before, they used them to defend not just their community, but also their forest.

Naná Echeri, our mother earth, land.

The trucks that once belonged to corrupt police were used to patrol the forests to keep loggers out. They not only defended Naná Echeri, they also replenished her with reforestation efforts. Over 50 thousand trees were planted to help heal the damage the loggers had brought upon Naná Echeri. The people of Cherán not only defend, they also heal. Above that, they shine like a lighthouse guiding the lost ships in a violent cold sea to a vibrant Naná Echeri. Where once Tatá Jurhiata, father sun, gave his light to a land that was nothing but burned tree stumps, now nourishes the growing trees of Naná Echeri. The people of Cherán are now in direct control of not only their politics, lives and selves, but also their environment.

It is difficult to find an equivalent in so called modern societies, we claim democracy in Europe and the United States of America, but there is no self determination in either. In Cherán, an indigenous people became the Tatá Jurhiata for the rest of the world. I once thought it was just the light for Mexico, to show our people how to not only resist but flourish. It is the sun for the whole world to show you how to not just defend life, but how to nurture it so it can grow in many beautiful ways on Naná Echeri. They are now an autonomous community using traditional self governance. They’ve taught us so much. I hope the language is never lost upon you.

Juchari Uinápikuacherato

Source: You Will Learn A Few New Words In Resistance | MexicAnarchist

translating CrimethInc pamphlet results in investigation of south korean anarchists

Starting in spring, the anarchist appeal To Change Everything was adapted into Korean and distributed in paper and online in South Korea. Many welcomed it; the first printing ran out quickly.

It also provoked a strong reaction when the country’s major corporate news agency reported on it and on a project appearing on the appeal’s blog to gather and distribute songs against the National Security Law. The journalist even went to the prosecutor’s office, inquiring whether these activities constituted “aid to the enemy” (in other words, treason), which is what the National Security Law targets. The official’s response was that the answer “depends on an eventual analysis of whether this is part of an intention to threaten the national order.” In the corporate media, the numerous comments posted online with the article expressed a unanimous condemnation of these “pro-North Koreans” that we supposedly are (ignoring the “anarchist” reference), demanding even severer laws and repression. For example, “These pro-North Koreans should be sent to the good old ‘re-education camp’ to be reminded the fact that this country is still at war.”

“The Center for Citizens Action” fires a warning shot. A voluntary civil association of people with far-right politics who demonstrate dressed in the uniforms they retain from their conscription into active military service. Unlike any other civilians, these post-military fraternities have the unique right to carry weapons.
“The Center for Citizens Action” fires a warning shot. A voluntary civil association of people with far-right politics who demonstrate dressed in the uniforms they retain from their conscription into active military service. Unlike any other civilians, these post-military fraternities have the unique right to carry weapons.

This stir in the corporate media and the right-wing movement it fuels coincided with another one: a little witch-hunt following the arrest, investigation, and prosecution of someone on charges of having burned a Korean flag. On April 18, as a movement in response to the authorities’ cover-up of a ferry disaster last year converged in downtown Seoul, an exasperated youngster, provoked by journalists, picked up a paper national flag left on the ground and lit it on fire, making headlines in corporate media. Based on “CCTV and other evidence,” the police arrested him in the following days in another city. Using a warrant for search and seizure to discover his “affiliations,” the police raided his housing collective—which happens to be a center for diverse autonomous social movements including some recent anarchist activities, though the arrestee is not connected to them.

Though this kind of police repression combined with corporate and right-wing fervor is nothing new in this state of suspended civil war, this is a sign of what many feel to be a worsening political climate. Some Korean anarchists feel that we are isolated in a tightly controlled island, a prison. Nevertheless, by all means necessary, we must show that we are not so isolated.

A Call to Action

This wave of quasi-fascist nationalism provides an opportunity for inter-/anti-national solidarity actions to strategically provoke and subvert it. Here is a proposition for a simple action that, though it doesn’t entail much risk for participants outside Korea, could take advantage of that opportunity. It might even be fun.

Together, let’s defy the Korean National Security Law (국가보안법). Show solidarity with Korean people while expressing hostility to the Korean states and the order they incarnate. Through the image of “non-Koreans” attacking the symbols of the Korean state in solidarity with “Koreans,” let’s break down national divisions and the link between ethnicity and the state. Let’s take “outside agitation” to a new level.

Any format would do—but, because some images don’t need translation, accomplishing this visually by burning flags could be the simplest way. Don’t be misunderstood for a pro-North Korean (burn the northern flag too), a xenophobic nationalist (burn the flag of your own country), or an ideologue (burn an anarchist black flag if you want).

If you want to take your action to a relevant public space, don’t limit yourself to the Korean embassies. The major conglomerates Samsung, Hyundai, and LG together represent well over half of the South Korean economy, and their overseas offices can be considered places of state affairs. Korean cultural products are also understood as a spearhead of the economy because they are linked to IT products; the media pays great attention to overseas reactions to them.

As a slogan, one option is 무정부 통일 / mujeongbu tong-il, meaning “no-government” (a common translation of anarchy) + “reunification.”

Make your actions known directly or send us a report about them. You could also send us creative material such as songs, pictures, drawings, or video, to 3.1manse@riseup.net. We will compile and distribute these ourselves.

만세! (Manse)

see more on CrimethInc’s website,

Report from South Korea

May Day clashes in Seoul, 2015.
May Day clashes in Seoul, 2015.

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