Taganarchy

Kowloon Walled City Infographic

Now this is the sort of infographic I can get into:

Kowloon

Kowloon Walled City, located not far from the former Kai Tak Airport, was a remarkable high-rise squatter camp that by the 1980s had 50,000 residents. A historical accident of colonial Hong Kong, it existed in a lawless vacuum until it became an embarrassment for Britain. This month marks the 20th anniversary of its demolition.

From: South China Morning Post

(via Adam Greenfield)

Previously:

TAZ History: Kowloon Walled City

Video: Kowloon Walled City Documentary

In Manifesto, Mexican Eco-Terrorists Declare War on Nanotechnology

anarchy

From Danger Room:

The group, which goes by the name Individualidades Tendiendo a lo Salvaje (ITS), posted its manifesto to anarchist blog Liberacion Total last month. The manifesto takes credit for a failed bombing attempt that month against a researcher at the Biotechnology Institute at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. And the group promises more.

“We have said it before, we act without any compassion in the feral defense of Wild Nature,” the manifesto states. “Did those who modify and destroy the Earth think their actions wouldn’t have repercussions? That they wouldn’t pay a price? If they thought so, they are mistaken.” The group threatens more bombings against Mexican scientists because “they must pay for what they are doing to the Earth.”

A violent fringe group with anarcho-primitivist views — its name roughly translates to “Individuals Tending to Savagery,” although “Tending to the Wild” might be more exact — ITS sees technology and civilization as essentially doomed and leading humanity to an ecological catastrophe. Technology should be destroyed; humans should revert to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle; and all of this, ITS says, is for our own good. Nanotechnology is a particular scourge: Self-replicating nanobots will one day escape from laboratories to consume the Earth; and weaponization of nanotech is inevitable.

Full Story: Wired Danger Room: In Manifesto, Mexican Eco-Terrorists Declare War on Nanotechnology

See also: Terror tactics: Science in the anarchists’ cross hairs

Photo: cosmopolita / CC

A Eulogy for #Occupy

Quinn Norton wrote a lengthy piece on her experience as an embedded reporter at Occupy, from the hopeful early days through the aftermath of the evictions:

Because the GA had no way to reject force, over time it fell to force. Proposals won by intimidation; bullies carried the day. What began as a way to let people reform and remake themselves had no mechanism for dealing with them when they didn’t. It had no way to deal with parasites and predators. It became a diseased process, pushing out the weak and quiet it had meant to enfranchise until it finally collapsed when nothing was left but predators trying to rip out each other’s throats.

In other words, it fell to the “tyranny of structurelessness, a long-time problem for leaderless organizations. And the radical exclusivity ended up excluding almost everyone:

As the camps became darker, the women mostly left, and those who remained were grateful to just be left alone. By my count Occupy had dropped from as high as 40 percent women to less then 10 percent, in an atmosphere of sexual violence, bare intimidation and hatred. By then for a certain kind of occupier, anything with breasts was a target in the camps, either for scorn or being too sexy or being insufficiently sexy. It was never the majority, but the majority did nothing to stop it. They had a progressive stack in the GA that purported to let women speak first, but no one talked about the comments, the groping, the rumors of rapes.

One of the failures Norton identifies was the inability for both the GA and the Occupy media to self-critique. This lead to the media groups being propagandists enabling self-deception:

“One of the main reasons I wanted to have the PO separate from the GA, is I wanted, from the very beginning, a means within the process for booting people out. The GA had no such process,” he said.

His original idea was to tell positive stories from the camp. He worked with media teams from Boston, LA, Chicago, and New York, and traveled to other camps to get the stories out. In time, Rothstein came to see that Occupy’s media needed to tell all the stories of what was going on: the wonderful and the terrible. By then it was too late.

Full Story: Wired: A Eulogy for #Occupy

Another recent story on the failure of Occupy, by Thomas Frank, laid the blame mostly on the academic tone of Occupy. He makes a good point but I think overstates the case.

I’m hesitant to call Occupy “over,” what with the Rolling Jubilee and the ongoing occupation of foreclosed homes, but certainly the movement, as it originally existed, is over. But there is much to be learned from how things went down.

New From Hakim Bey/Peter Lamborn Wilson: Back to 1911 Movement Manifesto (Updated)

New(ish) material from Peter Lamborn Wilson (aka Hakim Bey), published in the Spring 2012 issue of Fifth Estate:

Reversion to 1911 would constitute a perfect first step for a 21st century neo-Luddite movement. Living in 1911 means using technology and culture only up to that point and no further, or as little as possible.

For example, you can have a player-piano and phonograph, but no radio or TV; an ice-box, but not a refrigerator; an ocean liner, but not an aeroplane, electric fans, but no air conditioner.

You dress 1911. You can have a telephone. You can even have a car, ideally an electric. Someday, someone will make replicas of the 1911 “Grandma Duck” Detroit Electric, one of the most beautiful cars ever designed.

1911 was a great year for Modernism, Expressionism, Symbolism, Rosicrucianism, anarcho- syndicalism and Individualism, vegetarian lebensreform, and Nietzschean cosmic consciousness, but it was also the last great Edwardian year, the twilight of British Empire and last decadent gilded moments of Manchu, Austro-Hungarian, German, Russian, French and Ottoman monarchy; last “old days” before the hideous 20th century really got going.

The next step backward would be to join the Amish and other Old Order Anabaptists in 1907 — no telephones, no electricity at all, and no internal combustion. With this move, the battle would virtually be won. The next generation would be able to make the transition to no metal — the neo-neolithic. Arcadian pastoralism.

After that a dizzying sliding spiral back into — illiteracy. Oral/aural culture. Classless tribal anarchy. Democratic shamanism. The Gift. This would be the ultimate Luddite goal. But the first step will be back to 1911.

Full Story: Autonomedia: Peter Lamborn Wilson, “Back to 1911″

And people told me quitting most Google services was extreme ;)

(via the newly rejuvenated Aurthur Magazine Twitter account)

Update: It turns out this is an excerpt from a longer manifesto first published by OVO in November 2011:

Back to 1911 Movement Manifesto: Music

Back to 1911 Movement Manifesto: On (Type) Writing

Back to 1911 Movement Manifesto: Energy

Back to 1911 Movement Manifesto: Photography

Back to 1911 Movement Manifesto: Telephone

Jacques Ellul, Technology Doomsdayer Before his Time

Christian anarchist Jacques Ellul has been on my mind lately, so this Boston Globe story on the man is well timed:

An admirer of Karl Marx’s sociological theories, Ellul came to believe that by the 20th century, the central issue facing industrialized societies had shifted from class struggle to technology—or, as he called it, “technique.” Ellul used this term to underscore his conviction that technology must be seen as a way of thinking as well as an ensemble of machines and machine systems. Technique includes the methods and strategies that drive the mechanical system, as well as the quantitative mentality that drives those methods.

The character of technique is ruthless, Ellul believed. It relentlessly and aggressively expands its range of influence. Its single overriding value is efficiency. Because human beings are hopelessly inefficient by technique’s exacting standards, they must be forced or seduced into conforming more precisely to its demands. This amounts to a fundamental degradation of the human spirit. “The combination of man and technique is a happy one only if man has no responsibility,” Ellul wrote. “Otherwise, he is ceaselessly tempted to make unpredictable choices and is susceptible to emotional motivations which invalidate the mathematical precision of the machinery.”

Full Story: Boston Globe: Jacques Ellul, technology doomsdayer before his time

Ellul also wrote on propaganda.

See also: Abe Burmeister on being a hypocritical luddite (a position I’ve come to embrace myself).

Alan Moore interview from Vice

Alan Moore

From last December:

I was initially very skeptical about magic due to the enormous number of idiots associated with it. However, science cannot explain or rationalize the concept of consciousness because it cannot replicate it in a laboratory. That leaves the single biggest area of our experience of the world unexplained. With magic, all sorts of possibilities are offered as to what consciousness might be, what areas of consciousness might have strange qualities, and what might be practical applications for those qualities.

It used to be that intellectuals and philosophers could be openly interested in magic without getting ridiculed.
Magic is simply a way of exploring the world. It involves following concepts that certain individuals have been exploring since humanity’s inception. Some of them were charlatans, some of them were deluded maniacs or attention seekers, but some of them are the pillars upon which our entire reality is based. Paracelsus basically put forward the concepts of modern medicine, as well as being the first person to explore the concept of the unconscious—centuries before Freud or Jung. He was also a magician. He wouldn’t have used that term himself. He probably would have thought of himself as a natural philosopher—

Maybe we need to go back to that term. But please go on.
Many of the cornerstones of our culture have roots in the occult. The earliest writers and artists came from shamanic culture, and science comes from alchemy. Isaac Newton was an alchemist. Einstein apparently died with a copy of Madame Blavatsky’s The Secret Doctrine on the corner of his desk, and there are certainly similarities between that work and Einstein’s theory of general relativity. However, magic tends to be viewed as this deranged relation that we don’t want to bring up this far along in the advancement of our culture.

Vice: Alan Moore

Liberating Wednesday: 52 times as radical as Buy Nothing Day

It’s become my day-after-Thanksgiving custom to post p.m.’s “Liberating Wednesday,” described by publisher Trevor Blake as “fifty-two times more radical a suggestion than ‘Buy Nothing Day.’” Originally published in OVO 7 Information in 1989.

How can we begin? Right next Wednesday! It’s the ideal day to take a sick-leave, to think, to read a book, to meditate. The center of the week could also become the spiritual center of our selves. We must be “centered” to begin something new. The Machine always pushes us to the edges, away from here and now, out of ourselves. Wednesday is the back-to-yourself-day.

OVO: Liberating Wednesday

Bring the Snakes Back to Ireland!

From Hakim Bey’s Black Thorn Manifesto:

We propose to embody this poetic complex in a popular chivalric order, devoted symbolically to the cause of “bringing the snakes back to Ireland” – that is, of uniting all these mystical strands into one patterned weave, which will restore the power of its synergistic or syncretistic power to the hearts of those who respond to the particular “taste” of its mix. We have borrowed this slogan from contemporary neo-pagans in order to symbolize the special mission our order will undertake toward Celtic-Moorish friendship. The BLACK THORN LEAGUE will be open to all, regardless of whether they are MOC members or not, providing only that they support this particular goal.

“Black” in our title signifies not only the black banners of the moors but also the black flag of anarchy. “Blackthorn”, because the tree symbolizes druid Irelands & is used to make cudgels. “League”, in honor of the various Irish rebel groups which have organized as such. Other organizational models include such Masonic-revolutionary groups as the Carbonari, or Proudhon’s anarchist “Holy Vehm”, or Bakunin’s Revolutionary Brotherhood. We also emulate certain anarcho-Taoist Chinese tongs (such as the Chaos Society)~~ & hope to evolve the kind of informal mutual aid webworks they developed.

The League will bestow the Order of the Black Thorn as title & honor, & will hold an annual conclave & banquet on St. Patrick’s Day in memory both of Noble Drew Ali’s vision, & of those rioters of 1741 who conspired in low taverns to overthrow the State.

Full Story: Black Thorn Manifesto

See also: Were the “Snakes” Cast Out by Saint Patrick Really Pagans?

Zen Anarchy

“Zen anarchy? What could that be ? Some new variations on the koans, those classic proto-Dadaist Zen ‘riddles’? What is the Sound of One Hand making a Clenched Fist? If you see a Black Flag waving on the Flagpole, what moves? Does the flag move? Does the wind move? Does the revolutionary movement move? What is your original nature-before May ?68, before the Spanish Revolution, before the Paris Commune?

Somehow this doesn’t seem quite right. And in fact, it’s unnecessary. From the beginning, Zen was more anarchic than anarchism. We can take it on its own terms. Just so you don’t think I’m making it all up, I’ll cite some of the greatest and most highly-respected (and respectfully ridiculed) figures in the history of Zen, including Hui-Neng (638-713), the Sixth Patriarch, Lin-Chi (d. 867), the founder of the Rinzai school, Mumon (1183-1260), the Rinzai master who assembled one of the most famous collections of koans, Dogen (1200-1253), the founder of Soto, the second major school, and Hakuin (1685-1768), the great Zen master, poet and artist who revitalized Zen practice.

I. Smashing States of Consciousness

This is what all the great teachers show: Zen is the practice of anarchy (an-archy) in the strictest and most super-orthodox sense. It rejects all ‘archys’ or principles-supposedly transcendent sources of truth and reality, which are really no more than fixed ideas, mental habits and prejudices that help create the illusion of dominating reality. These ‘principles’ are not mere innocuous ideas. They are Imperialistic Principalities that intrude their sovereign power into our very minds and spirits. As anti-statist as we may try to be, our efforts will come to little if our state of mind is a mind of state. Zen helps us dispose of the clutter of authoritarian ideological garbage that automatically collects in our normal, well-adjusted mind, so that we become free to experience and appreciate the world, nature, and the ‘Ten Thousand Things,’ the myriad beings around us, rather than just using them as fuel for our ill-fated egoistic cravings.”

(via Precious Metal. Also: Zen Anarchy-pt 2 “Killing The Buddha: Zen’s Assault on Authority”, Pt 3 “The Koan: Entering The Jetstream”)

1968: “The Doors” Mistaken for Political Extremists

“The anti-Vietnam war demonstration of March 1968 was a turning point in post-war politics: it turned violent right in front of the world’s media; the police were shown throwing punches into the faces of already arrested students, and in general losing control. The police files from that event are considered too sensitive to release. But Newsnight has obtained, under Freedom of Information, a stack of police files relating to the much bigger anti-war demonstration of October that year. Watch tonight: they tell a story of rising panic in the establishment: the creation of Britain’s first bomb squad; an intelligence feedback loop between Special Branchand the press that ramped up the tension; and, farcically, the rock group The Doors being mistaken for a group of foreign revolutionaries…”

(via BBC News. Video via BBC Newsnight. h/t: Doc 40)

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