Saturday, December 19, 2015

Gustavo Tanaka — Something Extraordinary Is Happening in the World, And Most People Haven't Noticed

1. TURN ON your brain, fire up your crap detector, and quit drinking the kool-aid.

2. TUNE IN to the historical fact that governments have been the agents of the ruling class since the advent of surplus societies and class structure.

3. DROP OUT of the System and create underground alternatives; interface with the System only as necessary. Be as independent of the System as possible and taking alternatives to another level entirely.

BE REAL.

Lots of people figured this out back in the Sixties and Seventies. TINA. People are now figuring this out again and taking charge of their lives. 

The great news is that networking is far simpler and less expensive now with advances in technology. The downside of this is that creates dependence on the System. So it is also vital to keep active in changing the System for the better.

The Huffington Post
Something Extraordinary Is Happening in the World, And Most People Haven't Noticed
Gustavo Tanaka

30 comments:

Neil Wilson said...

"The small farmer is getting back to being relevant to the whole chain of production. "

Purleeese.

Anarchists never change. Very good at discovering what questions to ask. Clueless about the answers.

Tom Hickey said...

Here in Iowa, the heartland of the US and US farm country, the small farm was rendered almost obsolete in the Eighties owing to capital intensity, level of technological knowledge, land value, etc.

That has begun to change as small farmers are carving out niches in specialty markets, organic farming, raising grass-fed animals, cage-free poultry, etc, which doesn't suit the constraints of industrial agribusiness.

The local co-op in Iowa City has expanded to three stores in the area and local suppliers. The other food stores have responded by increasing their offerings of competitive produce and products.

All stores mark this produce "locally grown" and products "locally produced."

This is now a movement here in the heart of US farm country. It's happening.

Many people here like living on the land and working hard. They are not into doing it as hired hands.

Tom Hickey said...

BTW, I should also mention the Amish, Mennonites, and other Apostolic Christian groups adjacent to where I live that reject modern technology. They are traditionally small farmers, craftspeople, and tradesmen that are independent while also being integrated into a closely knit network of cooperation. They plough with teams and ride in buckboards (in the summer) and horse-drawn buggies. When they need to travel at a distance impractical for buddies, they have vans and one person in the group is allowed to drive. Most people never get licenses. It's been working for them for over a hundred years.

Matt Franko said...

Tom everybody drinking small craft brews .... Big guys are in trouble....

John said...

"The great news is that networking is far simpler and less expensive now with advances in technology. The downside of this is that creates dependence on the System. So it is also vital to keep active in changing the System for the better."

When has it been different? Hasn't that always been the case?

Tom Hickey said...

It used to be possible to avoid the System or even escape it entirely by moving to an isolated area. That's how the Americas and Australia were settled by those who left England first, and then the rest of Europe, in search of "freedom." But the frontiers are closed now and there is little space on the planet that has not already been claimed.

The chief issue that the Amish and Mennonites face hereabouts is availability of land to accommodate population increase. There isn't any affordable land adjacent to the existing communities for expansion.

Moreover, when technology was not as advanced as it is now, it used to be possible to substitute. But that is no longer as possible for those desiring a more or less contemporary lifestyle independent of the System.

There are other options like living off grid but that generally requires compromise by acquiring contemporary technology like solar power.

If one prefers urban living relatively independent of the System, that is available through the "gig economy," where one can interface with the System without having to be so dependent on it that it intrudes. This is not anything new. Lots of folks were doing it back then.

There are really a lot of options and which one prefers will depend on individual or group preferences. Artists have been doing this for a long time and moving artist communities when they are so discovered that they become destinations. Then it's over there as cheap living disappears.

For example, there was an exodus of the San Francisco"hippies" and art community to Mendocino and Humboldt counties in the Eighties when rent in the city rose precipitously. Similar with SOHO in Manhattan when lofts became fashionable. Recently, Detroit began attracting the creative class as economic stagnation and city bankruptcy drove down rent.

Similar abroad. Panajachel (Guatemala) was a favorite of ex-pats back then but now it's been discovered and land prices are high. The go-to place now is Medellin (Colombia), for instance, which still has a bad rep owing to the drug cartels that used to run it.

It's possible to get relatively free and enjoy a contemporary lifestyle, but it takes commitment, creativity and flexibility. Networking makes this a whole lot simpler and easier.

Dan Kervick said...

Anarchist dropouts are only able to "take charge of their lives" because they are free-riders in a global system run by states.

Tom Hickey said...

Depends on one's POV, Dan. Some people refuse to be serfs or debt-slaves. They consider themselves "futurists."

Many anarchists feel that they are socially contributive by showing the way. In fact, it was called "experimental living." It's also a kind of social enterprise and the people involved entrepreneurs. Every one with a gig is an entrepreneur. Some gigs are individual and some group endeavors.

In the anarchist view, the real free-riders are those living off rents and backs of the serfs and debt-slaves.

There are few in the counterculture just hanging out and leaning. That doesn't fly. People take care of each other and make allowances, too, but the foundation of anarchism is essentially voluntary cooperation for mutual benefit.

Dan Kervick said...

Tom that might be true of what they think they are doing. But the only reason anarchists and other drop-outs are sometimes able to live that peaceable existence, and not be overrun by rapists, marauders and pillagers, is because there is a state securing the territory they live in, creating secure external borders somewhere and an effective rule of law within those borders. Without those powerful and effective states, the Trumps and Kochs of the world would just hire thugs to go steal the land out from under the feet of the flower children, kill the men and cart the women away back to their towers.

Rentiers are indeed parasites. Getting rid of them would requires a powerful democratic and socialistic order. That would not be an anarchist system. Anarchism - the destruction of effective existing governments - would just be an invitation to the thugs to build their own new warlord-run governments.

Tom Hickey said...

Anarchists are idealists and utopians but they are also survivors, which requires them also to be realists. I have lived in and studied anarchist communities and it's no simple matter to make them work. What one realizes very quickly is that the biggest difficulty is oneself. In a successful anarchist community people cooperate in conquering themselves. Freedom is not free.

Anyone that hasn't lived and studied this phenomenon is talking off the top of their head. The people that are into this are serious about it and they do their work. Just blowing them off as irrelevant free-loaders is naive.

If it's not your thing, then just leave it alone. And no one needs your approval.

As Mr. Natural says, "Keep on truckin'."

If "normal" people aren't laughing at you or throwing stones at you, you are probably off-track.

But the basic principle is, "Be transparent to your friends and invisible to your enemies." As Aristotle says, All that true friends want from each other is to share life. And the definition of an enemy is anyone who wants to control you.

Tom Hickey said...

Anarchism - the destruction of effective existing governments - would just be an invitation to the thugs to build their own new warlord-run governments.

That's philosophical anarchism. The question is whether one walks one's talk.

Most practicing anarchists are practical anarchists that have given up on the idea that things will change much for the better in their lifetimes through politics and activism, although some continue to plug for it while getting on their anarchistic lives. They recognize that it is possible to live relatively anarchistically, depending on the context. One has to make do. Approximate utopia on a small scale first.

I have observed relative degrees of success in practical anarchism. The successful are pretty invisible or at least keep a low profile. They also pay their taxes, which is where a lot that don't get caught up.

nivekvb said...

So true. And the government have anyways been run by the ruling class. This is what I tell libertarians all the time, that getting rid of the government would make no difference. There might be no taxes, but they would just bung up the price of everything instead. They would make a fortune out of natural monopolies, like toll roads. And they would have private armies and just start just as many wars.

Did you all see the Paul Craig Roberts interview with Stefan Molyneux where he wiped out libertinism so effortlessly? I love the way PCR's chuckles when he finds his opponent's position ludicrous.

Here's the interview:

The failure of capitalism

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TM6cQmRUz2U

nivekvb said...

Eric Zuesse wrote the terrific book, Feudalism, Facism, Libertarianism and Economics. He describes how libertarianism was started by the ruling class after facism failed to halt democracy. They spread the myth that by getting of democracy this would set people free. They never mention how this would give the mega wealthy complete control of our society.

Young people find libertarianism trendy. All young people like to spook out their parents, like the hippies, punks, greasers with long hair, young goths that sleep in coffins, did, etc, and libertarianism fits the bill for many of them today. Libertarians think they are Smart Alecs but they are really fools. But being young is about being cocky and a bit foolish at times.

Video: Student debunks libertinism. It's is very good. I put it on another site recently and the libertarians really hated it.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lcp6rCpK_EU&ebc=ANyPxKpAuOemaWXPJwQ-QAAAIWmardjtc1CCLqWjOGO_1dm25_MSDduplxR_ACewnBC30qGckarrqMkk1B_1HGu4y4JZwMKTxQ

nivekvb said...

Should have said: 'Student debunks libertarianism'.

Ignacio said...

Tom nowhere where there is a significant movement they will be left alone by the established order. Maybe one can get lost in the middle of nowhere in USA in super-small communities and escape the system, but is mostly an illusion.

I doubt many of those communities are: 1) significant (in all sort of numbers); 2) really autonomous from the system (I'm pretty sure they leverage the produce of the system in many ways and participate to some extend trading goodies produced inside the system).

That recipe is not a recipe for the majority of the population, is wishful thinking, wherever any movement would arise with significant numbers there would be a collision with the current system, it's laws, it's executive branch, it's productive system and resource share etc. What is worse, is that human survival depends on numbers, if the world would be atomized to that level of communication (which would be a requirement for those kind of structures )

And lastly, for each single "good" outcome from the 60's/70's there are a 100 of people from that era that has contributed to the neoliberal order of things. The current outcomes ARE from the people of that generation which is the one holding most of the capital and managerial power.

Ignacio said...

nivekvb, libertarianism is only a thing in the USA (and even there for a small part of the population). Libertarianism is irrelevant for 99.99% of humanity.

Even young people will quickly embrace fascism sooner than libertarianism. The only thing libertarianism (right "libertarians") do is a lot of noise and have some cronies in top corporate companies who would love the world to turn libertarian so they can free raid everything.

Matt Franko said...

"Govt run by the ruling class" : Circular Reasoning

Bob said...

TUNE OUT
TURN OFF
DROP DEAD

That is the version the 1% would foist onto us.

Tom Hickey said...

@ Ignacio

That's largely true but in the US the numbers are not insignificant. But so far the demographics are such that the vast majority are drinking the koo-aid.

Bob is right about it here:

TUNE OUT
TURN OFF
DROP DEAD

That is the version the 1% would foist onto us.


They have been largely successful.

The energy of the Sixties and Seventies was largely co-oped by the ending of the war in Vietnam, the cancellation of the draft, and tacit permission for the counterculture to go mainstream, especially when TPTB realized that there was big money in it.

Many people don't realize that back then practically the only counterculture radio was KPFK in LA (1959) and WBAI in NYC (1960). Communication was by way of the alternative press, or "free press." The Internet has replaced that it's a big deal. I am now working on a project related to that to advance the counterculture globally.

I was altered to the post by someone I am working with on this project. He's an engineer with several patents, MBA and former CEO — not your layabout hippie. We are re-enlivening a project that we worked on back then together — because we feel it is now time that things can get moving again after a hiatus that began in the Reagan years.

We are not alone. This project is about networking and linking up individuals and modes globally. There has been an explosion of alternative culture that's been happening for some time and the pace is now quickening owing to the pressure of the times since the GFC especially as well as the proliferation of devices. Back then we depended on access to 800 # after hours. Now everyone has a smartphone. What a difference a few decades can make.

Tom Hickey said...

Govt run by the ruling class" : Circular Reasoning

Every functioning group has some sort of governance and distribution of power. Prior to the advent of surplus societies there was no clear class structure other than tribal and familial ones based on seniority (experience) and ability. There was no supreme leader. For example, there were war chiefs who only led during hostilities.

With the advent of surpluses, that changed, since there was a clear distinction between the priestly class (technocrats), the warrior class (military), the acquisitors (traders, craftspeople) and the agricultural workers. Generally speaking, the warrior class was most powerful and provided the political leadership in early surplus societies. They established the institutions of governance, and "government" was an outcome of this.

A government is not necessary for rule by an individual or class. It is a historical consequence of rule by individuals and a ruling class that was formalized institutionally over time. Same with "states." There were no states to begin with, only territory and who controlled it. States are later historically and the modern Western "nation state" is Westphalian (1648). The Peace of Westphalia didn't create the nation state, which was more a developmental process historically, but it formalized the modern institutional structure of balance of power and spheres of influence. The US is now trying to abrogate that arrangement by imposing liberal global hegemony under the aegis of the US and its allies.

There are several conclusions to draw from this. First, institutional government has a long history dating to the advent of surplus societies capable of supporting non-producing classes. Secondly, societies since the advent of surpluses have exhibited class structure socially (status, privilege) politically (asymmetrical power distribution) and economically (asymmetric wealth distribution). Thirdly, history is path-dependent. Fourthly, history exhibits a process of development that can be viewed as "progress" based on sociological criteria.

The conclusion is that modern governments are now going away any time soon, and they are not going to be bridled either, owing to class structure, power distribution, persistence of the status quo, and resistance to change. The conclusion is also that this will eventually change and if history is a guide, this will be led by cohorts that induce change, initially at the margin, then chipping at the periphery and finally taking control. Some see one such effort as developing with the advent of socialist and anarchist through and activity in the 19th century. It's still going strong.

Random said...

"I was altered to the post by someone I am working with on this project. He's an engineer with several patents, MBA and former CEO — not your layabout hippie. We are re-enlivening a project that we worked on back then together — because we feel it is now time that things can get moving again after a hiatus that began in the Reagan years.

We are not alone. This project is about networking and linking up individuals and modes globally. There has been an explosion of alternative culture that's been happening for some time and the pace is now quickening owing to the pressure of the times since the GFC especially as well as the proliferation of devices. Back then we depended on access to 800 # after hours. Now everyone has a smartphone. What a difference a few decades can make."

Tom please look up "Tor" :)

https://www.torproject.org/about/overview.html.en

And get the Tails Operating System. Very important.

nivekvb said...

You could be right, I give too much credence to them, but find their politics very threatening. They must feel invincible, but I came from a very poor background because my dad was very ill.

Like most liberals and progressives, I'm very emphatic and it genuinely saddens me to see people suffer and be to very poor.
But when I was working I always realised how close to absolute poverty I actually was. I only had to have an accident and not be able to work anymore and then only the state would be able to help me. My brothers only have modest incomes and I would be a big burden on them. I live in the UK and state benefit is better here. I'm now retired, earlier then normal due to stress at work. I had a pension.


Tom Hickey said...

@ RAndom

There are different ways of being invisible. Trying to be invisible actually attracts the attention of security services. Much better to be invisible in plain sight.

I was just reading that the the FBI was surveilling Pete Seeger for 20 years. :)

Bob said...

You've piqued my curiosity, Tom.

Tom Hickey said...

@ Bob

If you are doing anything "of interest," "they" are going to send some people to look at it. These people should report back to "them" that it's just a bunch of idealistic fools; not to worry.

Bob said...

@ Tom

I'm not doing anything of interest, or working on a project.

Random said...

"There are different ways of being invisible. Trying to be invisible actually attracts the attention of security services. Much better to be invisible in plain sight."
Tor hides you among other Tor users. But each to his own.

Tom Hickey said...

I've had Tor for some time. I've also learned that as soon as one says something or writes something, it is no longer private and assuming it will remain private is a great mistake.

The Rombach Report said...

"People take care of each other and make allowances, too, but the foundation of anarchism is essentially voluntary cooperation for mutual benefit."

Tom - Sounds Libertarian, although I don't equate Anarchists with Libertarians.

Tom Hickey said...

Sounds Libertarian, although I don't equate Anarchists with Libertarians.

Traditionally anarchists have been on the left. They were also called libertarians.

Those are called "Libertarians" today were more or less classical liberals back then. They are anarchists in the sense of anarcho-capitalist.

The right emphasizes individualism, individual initiative, and competition. The left emphasizes social embeddedness, mutualism (reciprocity) and cooperation.