Simon_Jester wrote:Zinegata, I must be missing some part of your argument. Let me explain my difficulty.
I know of two basic models for how to run a legal system and a society. One is "everything which is not permitted is forbidden:" the authoritarian 'closed society' described by Karl Popper, in which all ideas, activities, and forms of expression not sanctioned by the state are considered subversive and therefore banned.
The other is "everything which is not forbidden is permitted:" the 'open society.' In an open society, you are allowed to do as you please, unless someone can come up with a specific reason to write a particular law that bans what you do. Ideas, activities, and forms of expression can exist without the state's permission.
In the West, people mostly like to think they live in open societies, and mostly think closed societies are a bad thing. I know I think those things. I imagine you do, too.
But I'm not sure whether you're drawing a distinction between "anarchy" and "open society." In an open society, it makes no sense to say "OWS's actions are not state sanctioned, therefore they are anarchist." Because there are all sorts of things the state doesn't sanction which are not anarchist. LARPers' actions aren't state-sanctioned; that doesn't make LARPers anarchists. Church ice cream socials aren't state sanctioned, nor are roller derbies, bachelor parties, nor meetings of the Rotary club. But all these things are legal even without express permission from the state, and participating in them does not make you an anarchist.
Bakustra is not advocating actions that are not merely "not state-sanctioned". He is advocating means that are clearly illegal
You're also wrong with point b), and indeed I wasn't lying at all- you are still treating protest as inferior to voting by assuming that the end-stage is a vote. Votes are part of democracy, but there are so many reasons that you might vote for someone that you can't translate your opinions into anything particularly concrete unless you're an actual single-issue voter. Protest, on the other hand, allows you to articulate positions and communicate them to the power-holders. They are equally important as a means of seizing the reins of power and trying to direct the state.
You know that part where Bakustra says that voting is not the end stage? Take a look at the word "revolution", because that's where it's gonna head.
Bakustra is saying that protests allow people to articulate positions and communicate them to the power-holders, and hence allowing you to seize the reins of powers... but you do not
seize the reins of power by "debating" the other side into submission by protests. That's a bullshit
idea and you know it. Protests that "seize the reins of power" without voting as the end state are ultimately revolutions
- which in some cases can end peacefully (EDSA, Velvet, etc), in many cases violently (i.e. French Revolution).
In a working democratic state, protests have largely been pushed further and further to the foreground in importance largely because of the power of accurate polling. It is silly to think that you need protests to "articulate" a position - when polls already do so regularly. The protests in Winsconsin did jack squat to stop the anti-union laws from being signed, but the widespread anger against the laws (which showed up in the polls even before the protests) is triggering a more effective backlash - in the form of recall elections which could cost Walker his job.
So again, protests are as important or even more importan than voting in a working democratic system? That's bullshit. Bluntly, lobbyists have been more effective at playing these influence and articulation games, and they don't need to organize protests.
largely useless in a working democratic state. Protests that attempt to "seize the reins of power" ultimately lead to revolution (which is again the apparent hope of some OWS members, which is what is discreditting the movement) unless the organizers get half a brain and realize they should have formed a political party and gain votes from the get-go instead. Denying that voting is the end state is to deny yourself any chance of victory, or an admission that you're advocating revolution.
Nor does it make sense to say "OWS is not a political campaign aimed at making you vote for a specific candidate, therefore their actions are extra-legal and they are a pack of anarchists."
If their aim is to "change" things without going through the ballot box, then they are either one of two things:
1) Very stupid, as change in a democratic system must go through the ballot box. Making a lot of noise without getting the right people elected is just that - noise without results.
2) Anarchists trying to subvert the ballot box.
They are not, by and large, anarchists. The proof of this is simple: they want there to be laws and government.
Every revolutionary eventually wants laws and governments so that they can run the country the way they want to. That's the point of a revolution. Topple the old system and replace it with a new that conforms with what you want
The purpose of voting is to give people an opportunity to elect - and if necessary remove - candidates so that they can get the laws and kind of government they want to.
So if I engage in peaceful, legal means of expression that are not on the menu of "pre-defined" traditional ways to achieve political power, how is that going outside the law, or being anarchist? If TV ads and mass mailings are "pre-defined," but rallies and protests are not, then how does that make protests and rallies inferior to mass mailings and TV ads?
Because again, if you do not ultimately aim for changing the results in the ballot box, you are not accomplishing anything.
If you want to affect change ANYWAY without going through the ballot box,
You're the people who keep panicking things like Gitmo will result in a "slippery slope" to a police state. It's my turn to say this is a slippery slope towards anarchy, and a pointless
one at that unless they actually start changing votes!
I'm not one of Bakustra's biggest fans, but I don't get why you were calling him an anarchist.
Would you prefer I tell him he can choose between being stupid or an anarchist the next time, and still have the same result of a steaming pile of bullshit ad-hominems?
Because I will note that he totally disregarded everything else I posted in favor of cherry-picking; because he's not interested to debate. He's just interested in mud-slinging.