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north america / mexico / anarchist movement / opinion / analysis Tuesday February 18, 2020 08:37 byWayne Price

**Many people regard anarchism and socialism as contradictory programs. This is based on the conception of "socialism" as state ownership of the economy. Yet historically, anarchists have regarded this program as "state socialism" or "authoritarian socialism." They have rejected such views in favor of "anarchist-socialism" or "libertarian socialism." This concept of anarchism as a variety of socialism remains important today in opposition to pro-capitalist "libertarianism" and to "democratic socialism"--that is, reformist state socialism.**

Many U.S. anarchists, or radicals interested in anarchism, are surprised to hear of “anarchism” as being “socialist.” Like most U.S. people they have learned to think of “socialism” as meaning state-owned industry—which would be the opposite of anarchism. (Similarly “communism” is usually thought of as Stalinist totalitarianism.) Also “the Left” is often interpreted as support for such state-oriented economic programs. This was the view of socialism propagated by the U.S. ruling class as well as by its opponents in the Soviet Union and similar states.

And yet, what sort of economy have anarchists advocated? They are anti-capitalist and want to take away the wealth and power of the capitalist elite. They want to replace private ownership of the means of production with collectivized, social, ownership—to replace economic competition with cooperation—production for profit with production for use—division into classes with a classless society, with no rich or poor, no specialized order-givers ruling over specialized order-takers. A chaotic, competitive, system would be replaced with overall democratic coordination (planning) from below. All of which is entirely consistent with the rest of the anarchist program of abolishing the state and all other forms of oppression: racial, national, gender, sexual orientation, and so on. What is this proposed non-profit, cooperative, economy but socialism?

In fact, virtually all anarchists, from the beginning, have called themselves “socialists” (and some have also called themselves “communists”). At the same time, they have always regarded themselves as “libertarian socialists” or “anarchist-socialists,” to the left of—and in opposition to—the “authoritarian socialists” or “state socialists.” Well before the Russian Revolution, they argued that—whatever the subjective desires of the state socialists—in practice that program would only create a form of state capitalism (with the state bureaucracy acting as the new, exploitative, capitalist class).

The first person to identify himself as an “anarchist” was Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. Proudhon usually “described himself as a socialist….Although he criticized both centralized democracy and state socialism, he still considered himself a democrat and socialist….Like Bakunin and Kropotkin, he argued against state socialism and called for a decentralized, self-managed, federal, bottom-up, socialism: anarchism.” (McKay 2011; 23)

In his 1910 entry on “Anarchism,” written for the Encyclopedia Britannica,, Peter Kropotkin wrote, “As to their economical conceptions, the anarchists, in common with all socialists, of whom they constitute the left wing…consider the wage system and capitalist production altogether as an obstacle to progress….The anarchists combat with the same energy, the State, as the main support of that system….To hand over to the state all the main sources of economical life…would mean to create a new instrument of tyranny. State capitalism would only increase the powers of bureaucracy and capitalism.” (Kropotkin 2014; 164-5; my emphasis)

The great Italian anarchist Errico Malatesta was a younger comrade of Bakunin’s and Kropotkin’s. In 1897 he wrote, arguing against the “democratic socialists,” ”From 1871, when we began our propaganda in Italy, we have always been and have always called ourselves, socialist-anarchists….We have always been of the opinion that socialism and anarchy are two words which basically have the same meaning, since it is impossible to have economic emancipation (abolition of property) without political emancipation (abolition of government) and vice versa.” (in Richards 1984; 143; emphasis in original)

Malatesta had supported Kropotkin’s “anarchist-communist” version of anarchist-socialism, but he stopped using the “communist” label after the Russian Revolution. He still identified with that tradition and with the end-goal of a libertarian communist society. But he felt that the Leninists had given the term “communism” an authoritarian reputation. Instead, Malatesta referred to himself as a “revolutionary anarchist-socialist.”

Noam Chomsky cites the views of the anarcho-syndicalist Rudolf Rocker as indicating, “anarchism may be regarded as the libertarian wing of socialism.” (Chomsky 1970; xii) Chomsky further quotes one of the U.S. Haymarket Martyrs, Adolph Fischer: “Every anarchist is a socialist, but not every socialist is necessarily an anarchist.” (xii)

So, by theory and by history, mainstream anarchism is a wing of the socialist tradition. Some of today’s anarchists attack “socialism” and “the Left” for things—statism, authoritarianism, reformism, misuse of technology, sexism—which the classical anarchists had long since denounced. Yet the earlier anarchists were clear that they were not condemning “socialism” but “state socialism.” They regarded themselves as being far to the left of the authoritarian Left. Therefore they had seen no need to reject “socialism” as such.

Right Wing “Libertarians” and “Democratic” State Socialists

This argument may seem abstract and archaic, but there are also current reasons for U.S. anarchists to keep the term “socialist.” One reason is the growth of a “libertarian” pro-capitalist movement. Anarchists need to distinguish themselves from this trend which is relatively influential. It draws on some of the same motives that attract people to anarchism—opposition to drug laws, to gun suppression, to sex laws, and to other forms of state oppression. When anarchists speak about their views, they are often accused by Leftists of sounding like these pseudo-libertarians. Unfortunately, these right-wingers use the same label of “libertarian” which anarchists have used since the 19th century.

These “libertarians” range in views from Trump-supporting Republicans to the Libertarian Party to some who regard themselves as anarchists. As free-market absolutists, they oppose laws which protect public health or worker safety. Some are for a “minimal state,” while others call themselves “anarcho-capitalists” (which is not a thing). These latter are against the bureaucratic-centralized state but do not object to bureaucratic-centralized corporate monopolies. They would replace the state with private armies of “rent-a-cops” hired by the wealthy—which would, in effect, become the new state.

These pseudo-libertarians claim to be in the tradition of “individualist anarchism.” This tradition is somewhat distinct from the mainstream of revolutionary anarchism from Proudhon, Bakunin, and Kropotkin onward. Many anarchists (such as Emma Goldman or Daniel Guerin) have sought to integrate the insights of individualist anarchism with socialist anarchism. In any case, the individualist anarchists were never supporters of capitalism and sometimes called themselves “socialists”. One of their founders, Benjamin Tucker, wrote in 1893 of “the two principles…Authority and Liberty” as the basis of “the two schools of Socialistic thought…respectively, State Socialism and Anarchism.” (Krimerman & Perry 1966; 62)

Iain McKay argues, “Anarchism has always been a socialist theory and the concept of an ‘anarchism’ which supported the economic system anarchism was born opposing is nonsense.” (McKay 2008; 7; emphasis in original) So it is important for anarchists to identify as ”libertarian socialists” and “anarchist-socialists” in order to distinguish themselves from these phony, “libertarian,” supporters of exploitation and oppression.

Another current trend to which anarchists must relate is the rise of “democratic socialism” (or “social democracy”). Due to various factors, including the obvious failures of capitalism, a large minority has become attracted to this sort of “socialism.” A review of political polling over the last decade reveals, pretty consistently, that a sizable number (between 30 to 40 percent) favors “socialism.” While this is only a minority, it is about the same proportion of the population as that which supports President Trump! Importantly, young adults are most likely to have a positive view of socialism and a negative view of capitalism—from 40 to 50 percent. (Polling is summarized in Price 2018.) This is reflected in the significant position in the Democratic presidential primaries held by Bernie Sanders, despite his self-identification as a “democratic socialist.” It is also reflected in the rapid growth of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) to around 60,000.

What people mean by “socialism” or “democratic socialism” is very uncertain. (Sanders himself does not advocate expropriating the ruling rich, nor socializing major sectors of industry; his model, he says, is the Nordic countries, such as Denmark, which are capitalist countries with major welfare benefits—benefits which are now under attack.) The DSA itself is “multi-tendency.” It even has a Libertarian Socialist Caucus. But its predominant tendency involves using the electoral system of the capitalist state--by "democratic" they mean working within the electoral system of capitalist representative (limited) democracy. For most of them this means participating in the Democratic Party (right now supporting Sanders and some others, such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez). This is in order to propose reforms which supposedly may lead to a socialist society. That is, they are reformist state socialists. Some of them regard themselves as “revolutionaries,” but they do not openly advocate overthrowing the existing state.

Not that “democratic socialists” openly propose a completely centralized, state-managed, economy. This is no longer possible even on the Left. They are also for workers’ management, consumer cooperatives, and local, municipally-owned, industry. Anarchist-socialists also include such concepts within their overall program of a self-managed economy—a program which can only be achieved through the overturn of the state. But for these “democratic socialists,” such ideas go together with nationalized industry and reforms enforced by the existing (capitalist) state. (See their proposals for a “Green New Deal”; Price 2019.)

Revolutionary anarchist-socialists should have a two-sided approach to this growth of interest in socialism. On the one hand, they should welcome the new, popular, hostility to capitalism and openness to alternate systems, summarized as “socialism.” This is not the time for anarchists to be rejecting “socialism.” Anarchists, too, are part of the socialist movement and have always been.

On the other hand, they must oppose all varieties of state socialism, both reformist (working through the existing state) and “revolutionary” (seeking to overturn this state and to set up a new state—the “dictatorship of the proletariat” or whatever). Anarchists are the authentic socialists, they must say. Reformist state socialists will only maintain the existing capitalist system—a system in crisis which can no longer provide significant reforms. Alternately, revolutionary state socialists (Marxist-Leninists) would, if successful, only create a new system of state capitalism.

The radical movement of the “sixties,” also began with a reformist program. The Students for a Democratic Society, the then-dominant organization, began as the youth group of the League for Industrial Democracy. This was a social democratic body which included Michael Harrington (who later started DSA). It was only over time that the youthful Left developed in a revolutionary direction—although one which was dominated by Leninist statism.

The pattern of movement from reformism to revolutionary socialism is likely to be repeated--this time hopefully toward libertarian socialism. The ongoing crises of U.S. and world capitalism will push the current radicalization further to the Left. The reformists will be unable to offer real solutions to the disasters which are looming over society. I am not proposing specific tactical directions (should anarchists join the DSA while opposing its electoralism and statism, or build independent organizations?). But revolutionary anarchist-socialists should be preparing for future developments by organizing themselves now.


Chomsky, Noam (1970). “Introduction.” In Daniel Guerin. Anarchism; From Theory to Practice. NY: Monthly Review Press. Pp. vii—xx.

Krimerman, Leonard, & Perry, Lewis (Eds.) (1966). Patterns of Anarchy; A Collection of Writings on the Anarchist Tradition. Garden City NY: Anchor Books/Doubleday.

Kropotkin, Peter (2014). Direct Struggle Against Capital; A Peter Kropotkin Anthology (Iain McKay ed.). Oakland CA: AK Press.

McKay, Iain (2008). An Anarchist FAQ; Volume one. Oakland CA: AK Press.

McKay, Iain (2011). “Introduction.” Property is Theft! A Pierre-Joseph Proudhon Anthology. (I. McKay ed.) Oakland CA: AK Press. Pp. 1—52.

Price, Wayne (2018). “The Revival of U.S. Socialism—And an Anarchist Response.”

Price, Wayne (2019). “A Green New Deal vs. Revolutionary Ecosocialism.”

Richards, Vernon (Ed.) (1984). Errico Malatesta; His Life and Ideas. London UK: Freedom Press.

*written for

Ελλάδα / Τουρκία / Κύπρος / Μετανάστευση / Ρατσισμός / Γνώμη / Ανάλυση Thursday February 13, 2020 19:08 byΑργύρης Αργυριάδης, MD-PhD

Το προσφυγικό ζήτημα είναι ο βαθμός μηδέν της ανθρωπότητας. Η διαμαρτυρία ενάντια στη απάνθρωπη μεταχείρισή τους, η απαίτηση να ακουστούν και να αναγνωριστούν, έστω και στο ελάχιστο, ακόμα κι αν πρέπει να πεθάνουν γι’ αυτό, είναι μια πραγματικότητα που οι επαγγελματίες ψυχικής υγείας αποτυγχάνουν να διαχειριστούν. Εγκλωβισμένοι στην εργασιακή επισφάλεια που επιβάλουν οι ΜΚΟ στην ουσία αποδέχονται την θέση του «επιστήμονα δούλου». Στη διαλεκτική αφέντη και δούλου που παρουσιάζει ο Χέγκελ στη Φαινομενολογία του πνεύματος, ο αφέντης κατακτά τη θέση του φτάνοντας μέχρι το τέρμα στον αγώνα του για αναγνώριση, πρόθυμος ακόμα και να πεθάνει. Αντίθετα, ο δούλος, που φοβάται για τη ζωή του, συνθηκολογεί και αποδέχεται την υποτέλειά του.

O Ουμανιταρινισμός ως μετανεωτερική διαχείρηση

Με αφορμή την έκδοση του βιβλίου «Ψυχολογίες Συμμόρφωσης»

Ο ρόλος των ΜΚΟ στην διαχείριση των κρίσεων στην σημερινή εποχή δεν είναι καθόλου άγνωστος. Τον Μάρτιο του 2004 είχε δημοσιευθεί στην αντιεξουσιαστική εφημερίδα «Βαβυλωνία», άρθρο μου με τίτλο «ΜΚΟ & αντιπαγκοσμιοποιητικό κίνημα: Ακτιβιστές πλήρους απασχόλησης», κατέληγα τότε ότι οι οργανώσεις αυτές αποτελούν «οι καλύτεροι φίλοι της εξουσίας» και ότι δεν πρέπει να έχουμε καμία αυταπάτη ότι στο μέλλον θα κληθούν να διαχειριστούν (πάντα με το αζημίωτο) την αποδόμηση του κράτους πρόνοιας ως στρατηγική του νεοφιλελευθερισμού. Το μοντέλο αυτό σύμφωνα με την άποψή μου από τότε θα δομούσε ένα νέο πεδίο «ουμανιταριανισμού» (humanitarianism) στο οποίο οι επαγγελματίες ψυχικής υγείας θα κληθούν να συμμετέχουν με τον έναν ή τον άλλο τρόπο ως δεκανίκι της νέας αναδυόμενης δυστοπίας.

Πρόσφατα κυκλοφόρησε από τις εκδόσεις oposito, ένα αρκετά ενδιαφέρον και μαχητικό βιβλίο με τίτλο «Ψυχολογίες Συμμόρφωσης» που αποτελεί μια κριτική μελέτη πάνω στον ψυχοπολιτικό έλεγχο του μεταναστευτικού. Με αφορμή την έκδοση αυτή επανέρχομαι στο θέμα όχι μόνο εν είδη βιβλιοκριτικής, αλλά συνεχίζοντας ή καλύτερα ξαναπιάνοντας το νήμα σύμφωνα και με τα νέα δεδομένα.

Πρώτα απ’ όλα, αξίζει να ξαναειπωθεί ότι ο «ουμανιταριανισμός» (humanitarianism), δεν είναι τίποτα περισσότερο από «ιμπεριαλισμός των ανθρώπινων δικαιωμάτων», και δεν έχει καμία σχέση με την αλληλεγγύη. Αποτελεί έκφανση είτε του αναγεννημένου ιμπεριαλισμού, ο οποίος βρίσκει μια κατάλληλη δικαιολογία για την θέσπιση για ένα ιδιαίτερο καθεστώς κατάστασης εξαίρεσης.

Σε αυτή την συνθήκη, όπως διαβάζουμε αναλυτικά στο βιβλίο συμβάλουν οι επαγγελματίες ψυχικής υγείας, αφού καλούνται να εφαρμόσουν θεωρίες και πρακτικές της ψυχολογίας οι οποίες έχουν ως αξίες & θεωρίες είναι αυτές τις οποίες η Δύση προσπαθεί να επιβάλει και όχι κατ’ ανάγκην οικουμενικές. Αν ήταν οικουμενικές, θα έπρεπε να επαναδιατυπωθούν με διαφορετικούς όρους.
Η Χάνα Άρεντ, σε ένα της σχόλιο για τις εκστρατείες για τα δικαιώματα τον 19ο αιώνα, γράφει ότι οι νομικοί και οι φιλάνθρωποι που αγωνίζονταν για τα δικαιώματα των μειονοτήτων «είχαν μια μυστηριώδη ομοιότητα στη γλώσσα και τα επιχειρήματά τους με τις εταιρείες προστασίας των ζώων». Ο homo sacer ζει έξω από την επικράτεια του νόμου, σε ένα limbo, μια μετέωρη ζώνη αδιαφορίας, στο μεταίχμιο ανθρώπου και ζώου, περατού και άπειρου.

Την απαξίωση των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων και την ανάδυση της «γυμνής ψυχής» μπορούμε να την δούμε ξεκάθαρα στο νέο υπόδειγμα εγκλεισμού που αποτελούν τα Κέντρα Υποδοχής και Ταυτοποίησης (ΚΥΤ). Εντός τους γίνεται πασιφανές ότι τα δικαιώματα δεν ανήκουν στους ανθρώπους αυτομάτως λόγω της ανθρώπινης ιδιότητας. Αντίθετα, τα δικαιώματα συνιστούν, δημιουργούν τον «πρόσφυγα» και τον κατατάσσουν σε μια γραμμή από τους πλήρεις ανθρώπους, στους λιγότερο ανθρώπους (τους κοινωνικά και πολιτικά περιθωριοποιημένους) και τέλος στους ιερούς ανθρώπους, η ύπαρξη των οποίων, στο κατώφλι ανθρώπου και τέρατος ή θεού, επιτρέπει τη διατήρηση της καθημερινής ρουτινιάρικης ζωής όλων μας. 

Η ζωή στα ΚΥΤ δεν δίνει καμία προνομιακή θέση στην αλυσίδα του Όντος.  Η απλή βιολογική ύπαρξη αποκτά σημασία μόνο αν γίνει βίος, βιογραφημένη αφήγηση, αν οι άλλοι την αναγνωρίσουν και τη σεβαστούν. Ο ιερός άνθρωπος είναι γυμνή ζωή, μια ζωή χωρίς νόημα ή σκοπό. Κι όμως, αυτή η γυμνή ζωή είναι ο άξονας και το κατώφλι της πολιτικής, μια αδιαφοροποίητη ζώνη, στην οποία o βίος και η εγκαταλειμμένη ζωή συγκροτούν η μία την άλλη μέσω του αμοιβαίου αποκλεισμού και συμπερίληψης. Βίος και ζωή έχουν συνενωθεί στη ψυχοπολιτική εξουσία. Η φυσική ζωή έχει γίνει στρατηγικός στόχος των μηχανισμών και των υπολογισμών της εξουσίας και σε αυτήν την κυριαρχία οι επαγγελματίες ψυχικής υγείας καλούνται παίξουν σημαντικό και σωφρονιστικό ρόλο.

Η ψυχολογία και η εφαρμογή της γίνεται εργαλείο της κοινωνίας του ελέγχου. Έτσι οι επαγγελματίες ψυχικής υγείας που δουλεύουν στα ΚΥΤ αντί να βοηθήσουν στη χειραφέτηση και την προστασία των ανθρώπων, αποτελούν γρανάζια στα νέα όργανα εξουσίας των ΜΚΟ, και χρησιμοποιούνται με στόχο την πειθάρχηση, τον αποκλεισμό και την κυριαρχία. Κάθε σύστημα κοινωνικής τάξης εδραιώνεται και διαιωνίζεται με την απόρριψη, τη φίμωση και την απαγόρευση των «άλλων», χαρακτηρίζοντάς τους τρελούς, ξένους, «ανώμαλους», ιερούς ανθρώπους ή δίνοντας δικαιώματα που μας εγγράφουν στις κυρίαρχες κοινωνικές συμπεριφορές. Οι επαγγελματίες ψυχικής υγείας συμμετέχουν σε αυτόν τον κυρίαρχο διακανονισμό.

Η εξουσία, σε στενή συνεργασία με τις ΜΚΟ ασκεί πλέον επί του σώματος και των ζωτικών λειτουργιών των «ωφελουμένων» προσφύγων. Η πειθάρχηση και ο έλεγχος της συμπεριφοράς εξαπλώνεται παντού: οι επικοινωνίες, η ολική επιτήρηση με κάμερες κλειστού κυκλώματος, οι λεπτομερείς προσωπικές πληροφορίες που μαζεύονται για ταυτοποίηση, τα διαβατήρια, αποτελούν, όλα μαζί, μια νέα μορφή εξουσίας που έχει απλώσει τον έλεγχό της σε ολόκληρη τη ζωή τους. Ο μόνος τρόπος εξόδου από τη ζώνη λίμπο, μεταξύ ζωής και βίου, ο μόνος τρόπος για να ξαναγίνουν υποκείμενα από «λαθραίοι» είναι η άσκηση ελευθερίας. Και αυτήν τους την αρνούνται.

Η ουσία του ανθρώπου είναι ότι δεν έχει ουσία, η φύση του είναι η ικανότητά του να απομακρύνεται από τους φυσικούς ή τους κοινωνικούς κώδικες (την «πρώτη» και «δεύτερη φύση»), να αρχίζει εκ του μηδενός ξανά και ξανά. Η ανθρώπινη ιδιότητα εδρεύει στην ελευθερία, πράγμα που σημαίνει ότι ο άνθρωπος είναι ελεύθερος να επιλέγει το κάλλιστο και το χείριστο που, όπως μας έμαθε ο Βάλτερ Μπένγιαμιν, είναι δίπλα το ένα στο άλλο. Αλλά στα κέντρα κράτησης η επιλογή είναι μόνο το χείριστο, από το φαγητό έως λοιπές ψυχοκοινωνικές υπηρεσίες.

Το προσφυγικό ζήτημα είναι ο βαθμός μηδέν της ανθρωπότητας. Η διαμαρτυρία ενάντια στη απάνθρωπη μεταχείρισή τους, η απαίτηση να ακουστούν και να αναγνωριστούν, έστω και στο ελάχιστο, ακόμα κι αν πρέπει να πεθάνουν γι’ αυτό, είναι μια πραγματικότητα που οι επαγγελματίες ψυχικής υγείας αποτυγχάνουν να διαχειριστούν. Εγκλωβισμένοι στην εργασιακή επισφάλεια που επιβάλουν οι ΜΚΟ στην ουσία αποδέχονται την θέση του «επιστήμονα δούλου». Στη διαλεκτική αφέντη και δούλου που παρουσιάζει ο Χέγκελ στη Φαινομενολογία του πνεύματος, ο αφέντης κατακτά τη θέση του φτάνοντας μέχρι το τέρμα στον αγώνα του για αναγνώριση, πρόθυμος ακόμα και να πεθάνει. Αντίθετα, ο δούλος, που φοβάται για τη ζωή του, συνθηκολογεί και αποδέχεται την υποτέλειά του.

Αν οι πρόσφυγες (ο αριθμός περιλαμβάνει σήμερα ένα καθόλου αμελητέο τμήμα της ανθρωπότητας) διαρρηγνύουν έμπρακτα τη συνέχεια μεταξύ κράτους και πολίτη, μεταξύ γέννησης (ιθαγένειας) και εθνικότητας, θέτουν σε κρίση το αρχέγονο επινόημα της νεωτερικής κυριαρχίας. Σε κάθε περίπτωση, όμως, το ουσιαστικό είναι ότι κάθε φορά που οι πρόσφυγες δεν αντιπροσωπεύουν μεμονωμένες ατομικές περιπτώσεις, αλλά, όπως συμβαίνει πλέον με όλο και μεγαλύτερη συχνότητα, ένα μαζικό φαινόμενο, τόσο οι ΜΚΟ όσο και τα μεμονωμένα κράτη, παρ' όλες τις επίσημες βαρύγδουπες επικλήσεις των «ιερών και αναπαλλοτρίωτων» δικαιωμάτων του ανθρώπου, αποδεικνύονται ολωσδιόλου ανίκανοι όχι μόνο να επιλύσουν το πρόβλημα, αλλά ακόμη και να το αντιμετωπίσουν απλώς με τον προσήκοντα τρόπο.

Ο διαχωρισμός μεταξύ ανθρωπιστικού και πολιτικού, τον οποίο βιώνουμε σήμερα, αποτελεί το έσχατο στάδιο της ρήξης μεταξύ δικαιωμάτων του ανθρώπου και δικαιωμάτων του πολίτη. Σε αυτό οι επαγγελματίες ψυχικής υγείας με τον κονφορμισμό τους υπέκυψαν στην επιστημονικίζουσα εθελοδουλεία τους.

Όπως προτάσει ο Αγκάμπεν σαν φάρος μες το σκοτάδι: «Μια μέρα η ανθρωπότητα θα παίξει με το δίκαιο όπως τα παιδιά παίζουν με τα άχρηστα αντικείμενα, όχι για να τους ξαναδώσουν την κανονική τους χρήση, αλλά για να τα απελευθερώσουν οριστικά από αυτή.» Η αλληλεγγύη ως δικαιοσύνη είναι ακηδεμόνευτη και υπάρχει ως μια κατάσταση του κόσμου στην οποία παρουσιάζεται ως ένα αγαθό που επ' ουδενί δεν μπορεί να ιδιοποιηθεί ή να νομικοποιήθει» από το κράτος και θεσμούς όπως οι ΜΚΟ. Όλοι οι επαγγελματίες ψυχικής υγείας πρέπει να κατανοήσουν, αλλιώς είναι συνεργοί στην βαρβαρότητα ότι αν πρέπει να επιλέξουμε ανάμεσα στην έννομη τάξη των ΚΥΤ και στη ζωή των ανθρώπων μέσα σε αυτά , τότε σίγουρα δεν θα επιλέξουμε ποτέ το πρώτο εις βάρος του δεύτερου.

Στη σημερινή εποχή (όπως υπονοεί και η επισήμανση του Peter Medawar, κατά τον οποίο «στη βιολογία, οι αντιπαραθέσεις σχετικά με το νόημα των λέξεων "ζωή" και "θάνατος" είναι δείκτης μιας συζήτησης χαμηλού επιπέδου») ζωή και θάνατος δεν αποτελούν κυριολεκτικώς επιστημονικές έννοιες, αλλά πολιτικές έννοιες, που, ως τέτοιες, αποκτούν ένα ακριβές νόημα μόνο διαμέσου μιας απόφασης. Τα «οδυνηρώς και ακαταπαύστως μετατιθέμενα σύνορα», για τα οποία έκαναν λόγο ο Mollaret και ο Goulon, είναι σύνορα κινητά, δηλαδή μεταβλητά, γιατί είναι σύνορα βίοπολιτικά, και το γεγονός ότι σήμερα βρίσκεται σε εξέλιξη μια ευρεία διαδικασία, όπου το διακύβευμα είναι ακριβώς ο επαναπροσδιορισμός τους, καταδεικνύει ότι η άσκηση της κυρίαρχης εξουσίας περνά περισσότερο από κάθε άλλη στιγμή μέσα από αυτά και, για άλλη μια φορά, διατρέχει τις ιατρικές και βιολογικές επιστήμες. Το ίδιο ισχύει και για το πεδίο της ψυχολογίας ειδικά και των υπηρεσιών ψυχικής υγείας γενικότερα.

Σε ένα ευφυές άρθρο του, ο Willard Gaylin επικαλέστηκε το φάσμα σωμάτων -που ο ίδιος αποκαλεί neomorts (νέονεκροι) τα οποία θα είχαν το νομικό καθεστώς των πτωμάτων, αλλά θα μπορούσαν να διατηρήσουν, ενόψει ενδεχόμενων μεταμοσχεύσεων, κάποια χαρακτηριστικά της ζωής: «θα ήταν ζεστά, παλλόμενα και διουρούντα»." Σε ένα αντίθετο πεδίο, ένας θιασώτης του εγκεφαλικού θανάτου χαρακτήρισε ως έναν faux vivanf (ψευδοζωντανό) το σώμα που διατηρείται ζωντανό με τεχνητά μέσα, υποστηρίζοντας ότι είναι θεμιτή οποιαδήποτε παρέμβαση πάνω του δίχως καμία επιφύλαξη." Αυτή η συνθήκη είναι υπαρκτή στην γυμνή ζωή – γυμνή ψυχή των «ωφελούμενων» που διαμένουν υποχρεωτικά για μήνες ή και χρόνια χωρίς καμία προοπτική στα Κέντρα Υποδοχής & Ταυτοποίησης.

Η νοσοκομειακή αίθουσα ανάνηψης (στην περίπτωση μας οι ψυχοκοινωνικές υπηρεσίες, οι ψυχολογικές συνεδρίες και οι παραπομπές στον ψυχίατρο εντός των ΚΥΤ) -όπου ταλαντεύονται μεταξύ ζωής και θανάτου -ο πρόσφυγας- ως άλλος neomort, το πρόσωπο που βρίσκεται σε αυπερβαθέν κώμα» και ο faux vivant- οροθετεί έναν χώρο εξαίρεσης όπου προβάλλει σε καθαρή μορφή μια γυμνή ψυχή για πρώτη φορά πλήρως ελεγχόμενη από τον άνθρωπο και την τεχνολογία του. Και επειδή ακριβώς πρόκειται όχι για ένα φυσικό σώμα, αλλά για μια ακραία ενσάρκωση του homo sacer (ορισμένοι έφτασαν στο σημείο να αποκαλέσουν το πρόσωπο που βρίσκεται σε «υπερβαθέν κώμα» ως «μια ενδιάμεση ύπαρξη μεταξύ του ανθρώπου και του ζώου»), το διακύβευμα είναι, για ακόμη μια φορά, ο ορισμός μιας ζωής η οποία μπορεί να αφαιρεθεί δίχως να διαπραχθεί ανθρωποκτονία (και η οποία, όπως ο homo sacer, είναι «άθυτη», με την έννοια ότι δεν θα μπορούσε προφανώς να θανατωθεί συνεπεία μιας θανατικής ποινής).

Παρ' όλα αυτά οι μικρο-αντιστάσεις σε αυτό το καθεστώς δεν λείπουν και πρέπει να ενδυναμώνονται κατά την άποψη μου. Το βιβλίο τελειώνει με την παρουσίαση μιας τέτοιας περίπτωσης μικρο-αντίστασης. Οι συγγραφείς του αφιερώνουν το βιβλίο σε αυτόν που αντιστάθηκε και όλους σαν αυτόν. Με τον ίδιο τρόπο θα κλείσω το κείμενο αυτό. Διότι αν υπάρχει ένα «φυσικό» δικαίωμα, είναι το δικαίωμα στην αντίσταση, αυτό που μας κάνει ελεύθερους.

Αργύρης Αργυριάδης, MD-PhD

Αντιεξουσιαστική Εφημερίδα Βαβυλωνία, #5 Μάρτιος 2004, σελ 18.

international / anarchist movement / opinion / analysis Thursday February 13, 2020 06:47 byZaher Baher

This article points out our weak position in the global struggles against the state and the system . It tells the readers that the current system is more advanced and more stronger than before so that using the old methods of struggles do not work, benefiting the state and the system.

We must bury the traditional struggles to adopt new ones
By Zaher Baher
Capitalism and its pillar, the state, have changed their methods to fight back against the working class movement. The system with all its structures have amended and adapted themselves to the struggle of their class enemy and have learnt how to tame it. In fact the way the working class struggle against their employers and the state has actually benefited the capitalist system.
Capitalism is developing. From time to time renewing itself in order to manage better to cope with its internal problems of competition and external ones to fight back against its enemy. This development is very obvious, especially since the 1980s, but still the working class or rather the masses fight back in the same way they fought decades ago.
The current global mass movements, in particular the Yellow Vests in France, which has continued for over a year. Countless protests in Iran, the mass movements in Lebanon and Iraq, which started in October 2019, have achieved little to nothing. This is not because they are not strong, or because their demands are irrelevant or because they do not have support from different sections in the society.
If we look at the recent global protests, uprisings and movements including the four countries that I mentioned above, they still use the same old tactics and methods to meet their demands. Surely, we cannot use the old tools and tactics in dealing with this very advanced system.
The subject is not whether we can still win or achieve a little with the old tactics, the subject is how much we can win? Whether winning confines itself in changing the government or the system?
Let’s look into the recent global unrest a bit closer from the Yellow Vests, Hong Kong, Ecuador, Sudan, Chile, Iran, Lebanon and Iraq. The worst possibility is that they can be defeated and given a negative lesson leading to disappointment. The best outcome is they achieve very little.
Why is that? The answer is simple. The seeds of the defeat have been carried out by the movement itself. Going on the streets, marching, clashing with the police, occupying a place or a main square in the main cities and staying for a long time. Doing all of this is okay at the beginning of protests or uprisings for many reasons. But staying there for so long without further plans take the protesters nowhere.
This weak point must be noticed and addressed to make vital changes in our methods of struggle. We need to expand and transfer our struggle to the vast majority of the people, involving them to create a mass movement with the rest of the community and society.
The way we struggle is no longer valid anymore and it serves the system, the state and its own bureaucratic administrations more. The longer the protests continue, the weakest will be drained of energy, blood and less people will be involved. The history of our struggles since 1980s has shown that and is known by many of us.
The most current effective movement is the one in Iraq that started in October 2019. Regardless, the protesters need to expand and spread their struggles effectively to the masses by organising in local groups and non-hierarchal mass organisations. They need to involve people in their neighbourhoods, factories, workplaces, schools, universities and offices to set up people’s assemblies. To have regular meetings to bring back the politics to the hands of people by empowering themselves to make their own decisions about every aspect of their own lives and their communities.
In my opinion this is a very important step and plan. The above methods are necessary for a mass social revolution. I regret to say without doing these things the fate of the movement in Iraq, Iran and Lebanon won’t be better than the one we have already seen before.

aotearoa / pacific islands / anarchist movement / debate Wednesday February 12, 2020 13:04 byLAMA

This article defends the established Anarchist position of not voting for political parties. It arose as part of a dialogue with a self-declared Anarchist who claimed this view is "unhelpful and extreme".

This year Aotearoa will be experiencing an election. The various political parties will be expecting people to vote for them and many will. Aotearoa Worker’s Solidarity Movement (AWSM) members will not be doing so. We hope that other anarchists will decide not to either. However, we are aware that some avowed anarchists don’t agree with us. We recently interacted with such a person who argued our approach to this issue is “extreme and unhelpful”. We feel this is wrong and since there may be other people who have that view, we would like to address this point with a wero/challenge in the form of a few initial considerations and questions:

1) Calling our position extreme depends on what you’re comparing us with. Looked at next to the current crop of political parties our stance is extreme. Though…so what if it is? ‘Extremist’ is used pejoratively by the mainstream as if the established centre is intrinsically the best position to be in. We prefer what we see as the appropriate position regardless of how anyone may categorise it. It is what it is, regardless. In addition, the extremist tag is often applied with the assumption it obviates the need to engage in any debate once you have attached that label to somebody. It’s an attempt to use words as a weapon by those who currently wield authority over us. That it can be adopted even by somebody claiming the anarchist name, shows how effective unacknowledged assumptions can be. Fish don’t think about water…but with the literal and figurative water becoming more polluted, perhaps you should?

If you stand outside the dominant paradigm but within anarchist theory built up over centuries, our position is very much the middle-of-the-road, orthodox one. Traditionally nearly all anarchists both as individuals and organisations, theorists and activists have abstained from voting for political parties. There have been historical exceptions. For example, the Anarcho-Syndicalist union in Spain, the CNT did have supporters who voted in favour of the Popular Front in the early 1930s, in order to obtain the release of its militants from prisons. While we are aware of such examples the more relevant point is, such instances are rare enough to highlight that their opposite represents the norm. So, calling for a non-vote is the normal, long-established standard view, not an extreme position.

Therefore, we have to ask our interlocutor and like-minded folks whether they are arguing from outside the anarchist perspective in reaching their claim by accepting the view pushed by the political parties regarding non-voting? If they are claiming on the contrary, that they have reached that point while still being an anarchist, we would like to know how the fundamental, long-held position has failed and theirs is preferable, while still being consistent with anarchism?

2) On a daily basis in order to survive, there are all sorts of compromises that have to be made in accommodating to the current system. It’s not hard to think of examples of times where we put up with shit just to be able to eat and pay rent. Not voting is one of the few times you can opt-out and make a principled protest and not suffer punitive legal sanctions (try not paying your taxes and see what happens!). So why would you not take the opportunity to do that? Why would you commit an unforced error?

3) There’s also a slippery slope argument. If you can find enough in what the parties are doing (whatever that would be?) to vote for one of them, then why stop there? You can use the same justification to begin canvassing for them, donating money, becoming a member and a whole bunch of other unnecessary compromises. It’s no accident that we have had two ex-anarchist Green MPs (Metiria Turei, Nandor Tanczos) in this country and a whole bunch of anarchists who have ended up doing work for the party in its administration. So this is not a point of exaggeration, it has happened.

4) Epistemologically, on a practical basis what criteria would you set to establish which political party is ‘better’ than the others to the point you are prepared to vote for them? For each ‘good’ point a particular party may adopt, it is sure to have a ‘bad’ one that would cancel that out. And there are points that the ‘bad’ parties make that are sometimes ‘better’ than those the ‘good’ ones adopt, such as the Centre-Right National Party increasing unemployment benefits under previous PM John Key. Labour improves funding for roads (good?) while increasing the number of cops (bad?) while the Greens have banned plastic bags (good?) while accepting Labours increased road funding (bad) etc. What about policies they all agree with across their spectrum? The more policies you compare the more complex and contradictory it becomes. So how do you finally determine that a) you should vote and b) for which party? What method can you apply to reliably identify what the ‘lesser evil’ is in the first place?

5) Add to number 4) the short-sighted approach of voting for a particular party based on the current, single election. In doing this you can fool yourself that the differences are somehow crucial and your action in voting will make some kind of historical earth-shattering effect because “this election will decide the future of the planet” or some such politician’s rhetoric. However, if you stand back and look at the overall effect of the alternating parties over the past 100 years you see that there isn’t much between them. The conservative ones have always been upfront about supporting capitalism. The Left -wing ones have eventually given up all pretence of trying to overturn the system, in preference for sharing power with their Right-wing colleagues. When does it reach the point that you can no longer keep making excuses for them and decide that a better way is worth exploring? By voting, you are doing your small but important part in helping prolong the current system. It’s like claiming you are trying to help a meth addict by repeatedly ‘only giving him/her a small dose this time’ and expecting a different outcome from the last time he/she took a hit of the drug.

6) We are not advocating a no-vote for negative “unhelpful’ reasons. If that was the sole extent of what we were about, there might be an argument there. We aren’t anti-social nihilists. Not voting is only one component of a deeper, well-considered, positive political theory. Anarchism works practically to offer a way out of the fucking mess capitalism and all its parties have put us in and that we as anarchists haven’t actively contributed to. We do lots of helpful stuff, on a daily basis. For example, by helping people understand we can work together to get out of this system on a theoretical level through websites, pamphlets and so on, or by practical mutual aid and volunteer work in our community etc on a material level. You have to look at the action of not voting in a broader, fuller context of what we are doing and why we are doing it. If we are unhelpful to anybody, it is the various power mongers and their parties and their system that we are being unhelpful towards. We think that’s a good thing.

venezuela / colombia / miscellaneous / anarchist communist event Monday February 10, 2020 23:48 byViaLibre

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