"the freedom of all is essential to my freedom"

human and animal liberation

Posts Tagged ‘self-organization

FreeLab

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A friend of mine is setting up a tech social centre called #FreeLab. It actually looks quite interesting as you’ve got loads of social centres or squats where you can attend screenings, gigs or lectures. However most of them don’t cover technological issues so you’re not really able to learn how to use PHP or how to build a wind turbine or rocket stove. Unless you pay for it ridiculous money. So you may say #FreeLab is a technical initiative that aims to provide Resarch & Development support for intentional communities. Check out their manifesto.

Now, it’s based in Poland but I know lots of you travel a lot. Some of you visit Poland regularly. So here’s the thing. If you reckon you’d be able to run some workshops, or you’d like to attend some of them get in touch. Alternatively you can also support them in other way. They’re just starting so they need a lot of help with it. If you can donate, send in some stuff, share your contacts or you want to be a part of the collective running #FreeLab, get in touch with them too. I believe it might be a very useful place for the movement itself but also for each of us. It may provide the support we really need in order to progress (from where we are). We have brilliant ideas but we lack skills.  Let’s face it as it happens all the time. So let’s change it! 

Anyways, if you’re looking for something exciting to do, here’s your chance! Get involved folks and keep it going!

Written by Kruk

March 2, 2012 at 1:03 pm

‘The Take’ screening!

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So the bankers and politicians made a lot of mess and people have to pay the bill. No jobs, cutbacks, more taxes, low salaries, lost houses, debts, IMF, corruption, crisis. Sounds familiar? It happened in Argentine in 2001 . Check out how they coped with that on September 9th at The Happy Pear in Greystones! We’ll be showing THE TAKE.

In suburban Buenos Aires, thirty unemployed auto-parts workers walk into their idle factory, roll out sleeping mats and refuse to leave. All they want is to re-start the silent machines. They reclaim control of a closed Forja auto plant where they once worked and turn it into a worker cooperative

But this simple act – the take – has the power to turn the globalization debate on its head. Armed only with slingshots and an abiding faith in shop-floor democracy, the workers face off against the bosses, bankers and a whole system that sees their beloved factories as nothing more than scrap metal for sale.

With “The Take”, director Avi Lewis, one of Canada’s most outspoken journalists, and writer Naomi Klein, author of the international bestseller No Logo, champion a radical economic manifesto for the 21st century.

9th September 2011 (FRIDAY)
The Happy Pear
Church Road,
Greystones

FREE ENTRY

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Written by Kruk

August 7, 2011 at 7:45 pm

Animals need anarchism

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With hundreds of proofs, everybody can see the situation of animals in the current politico-economic system. You can easily see yourself how animals suffer and how they are cruelly treated in slaughterhouses, laboratories or on farms, that they are victims of the industry and pathology present in all industries that earn profit from their death and vulnerability. After reading these materials we can come to only one conclusion, namely that the cases of brutality are not isolated cases, but it’s the standard, indeed normality, which underlies the production of meat, milk, eggs, clothes or cosmetics.

Veg(etari)anism and activism

Fortunately, despite the vast scale of these things, there are many people sensitive to the plight of animals and they don’t remain passive in this matter. Some people give up animal products, becoming a vegetarian or vegan, others go further by becoming animal rights activists. So they get involved in defending animal rights not only in the privacy of their homes or while shopping, but also on the streets, universities, and protests during the lectures and most of all while risking their own freedom during direct actions, with the goal of releasing the imprisoned animals. There are created large, international campaigns promoting veganism, lots of teams collect evidences of bestiality, boycotting a company, lobbying new bills, get the support of celebrities. There are a multitude of large and small, legal and illegal initiatives, fighting against cruelty to animals. All this shows the great potential and creativity of the activists. However, despite the operation of such well-known organizations like PETA and radical factions of the movement such as the Animal Liberation Front – the animals still suffer, breeding industry develops, the environment is destroyed by the producers of animal products. Although ALF freed hundreds of mink, dogs, cats, monkeys, despite the fact that other organizations have led to the closure of some businesses and the arrest of their staff, the exploitation of animals is still in great condition. And there is no indication of imminent salvation for all beings, detained and murdered in tragic circumstances.

The need for politicizing the proanimal movement

Analysing this topic we can hypothesize that this situation is caused by lack of broader understanding of animal issues, the lack of deep political and economic analysis which would illustrate the reasons for this state of apathy. It seems that most organizations and activists remain focused on specific places, companies, people involved in the violation of animal rights, and those who got politicized themselves continue to remain a minority. Of course, the fight against local criminals is very reasonable and sensible. The thing is, however, that even if you shut down one farm, in its place will be another one, more privileged and protected by politicians. For example the lobbists working for firms responsible for animal cruelty pushed the law giving the possibility of treating ALF members (which operates non-violence) as terrorists. Politicians and managers put profit first and they only know the math, not ethics.

The problem is therefore not a farm, but the system that supports thousands of such farms. The problem is not a lab, but the fact that vivisection was ratified by governments. The problem is not lack of laws, but the fact that the law is written for the benefit of the corporations and big businesses. The problem is the pursuit of profit at any cost, the problem is selfishness and conformity implanted at a young age, the problem is the massive production. It all adds up to capitalism.

So after decades of boycotts and promoting vegetarian or vegan diets, the response to the slaughter of animals should be politicized proanimal movement; an active struggle against capitalism and its legacy. This obviously refers to radical changes, not another reforms or amendments to laws. It’s about changing the way of thinking and directing it to the path of self-organization, which operates on the principles of freedom and ethics. And here comes the anarchism, which is the doctrine that allows people to freely influence the reality in which they live. In practice, this means greater control over the form of economy and society. This in turn allows you to push the ethical treatment of animals or animal products progressive elimination at the discretion of local communities. Of course, it is difficult to expect that the world would be vegan. But surely anarchist traditions make it possible to make local changes, which usually is blocked by the authorities or the pursuit of profit. This dramatically increases the chance of animal liberation. Especially that anarchism rejects any power which claims the right to govern other beings, who tells us whom we have to eat, what should we believe in or how should we live. Instead there is the possibility of forming such a reality that no harm comes to other people or other beings. The reality is dependent on us. Especially considering that anarchism puts in the first place morality and responsibility, and contemporary revolutionary thought considers the issue of animals as one of the key issues. In contrast to the rhetoric of neo-liberals rejecting the ideology, and focusing solely on market mechanisms.

Not acting as any political force, but only by organizing ourselves in associations, NGOs and voluntary groups we are condemned to failure. To help the animals it is required to destroy the system that exploits them, and then build a self-organized societies, functioning on the principle of equality and ethics. The key thing is to build a political alternative in which the animals will be defined as a substance having the right to freedom, where they will not be slaves living only to continue conformist habits of people. It will not take a day and there is no guarantee it will work but at the end of day it is the only way to go.

Fear

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Indian tribes are often characterized by a harmonious life in community. Without private property, without borders and fear of substantive issues. Everything was focused on simple life in harmony with nature, accepting their weaknesses for the good of community what means for tge good of all members of the tribe. Fear – of losing job or the letter from the Tax Office and bank, boss’ bad humor – these things were totally alien to them. Among other things this is where their strength was lying (though in different parts of the globe thet still live this way.)

Now, let’s look at our western civilization. We live in constant intimidation of dangerous terrorists or employers who graciously decide on our fate or the state that can always find the right rule to rip us off or the banks, which speculations provide continuing concerns about owning / maintenance of the house – in dark ages something natural, now a symbol of luxury and enslave of the masses. The constant stress and anxiety cause that we create a docile and vain society, fulfilling the will of rulers, walking in crowds to corporations for shopping and politely working for the financial elite. We naively believe in television news, which scare us even more with the material instability mainly: crisis, crisis, sir oh my fekin’ God! 100 jobs to be cut! Wall Street panic! Euro soars down! We’re all gonna die!

From many years fear is the method used to enslave people, manipulate and gain power. Looking at it from a distance, which we can learn from Native Americans, let us ask: why should we be afraid of banks, why should we be afraid of the bosses? Whether they are our owners? No. The Earth is for all of us, we all have a right to live here and live with dignity. We do not need thirty years to pay off our mortgage, we don’t need to perform humiliating obligations. The planet does not belong to them, or they are not our masters. Now let us go on, let’s get this fear out of our societies, let’s refuse to live under the pressure of elites. We can run self-organised economy, communities and lifes with dignity not submissive. And when this happens we will start to liberate ourselves of these bonds the state, materialism and fear. Then let’s ask: do we want to live without one thousand cameras on our streets? Do you want to have your own house? Do you want to work with dignity and live in peace? If so, then … simply live like this. Let’s do it ourselves, without terror and intimidation for the benefit of elites. Not afraid of more hidden fees in the loan contracts, a policeman with the gas, throwing us out of the house or another corporation, destroying our environment and culture. Let’s resist together against of what exploits us, and let’s build other solutions, based on other values. Fear is very effective, only when we submit to him. If society has the strength and scourage to stop being afraid, it may begin to operate as it wishes, in accordance with its own will and not the interests of the rich and politicians.

Written by Kruk

September 10, 2010 at 9:22 pm

Collectivism

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Taking advantage of sunny weather on the rainy island, I sit for hours over the sea, reading a collection of writings by Edward Abramowski in the book “Brotherhood, Solidarity, Cooperation.” As history lovers know Abramowski was an ardent supporter of the cooperative movement and social cooperation, an opponent of capitalism and the exploitation of the workers. This book is not only interesting, but also motivating, because most of the cases referred by Abramowski (the beginning of the twentieth century) are still valid, and collectivism is still an alternative to the current, hierarchical organization of society.

The idea of cooperatives is really very simple and possible (proven by the examples given in the book). Of course, it’s a threat to the governments and capitalists, so from decades people are convinced that the self-organization is impossible and if they want to live in prosperity they need prime ministers, bankers, thirty years mortgages and other slavery overlays. But what do they really need politicians and bosses for? For work? Each of us carries out its work alone or in cooperation with other employees. We know how to do our job. The bosses are useful here only to give orders and take almost all profit. Do we need their control? Well, British Rochdale co-operative and contemporary workplaces (especially Zanon) in Argentina, the Zapatistas in Mexico, social centers in Greece show that not only we do not need the executioner, who will be observing and terrorizing us, but we’re able to organize ourselves better, while exercising direct control over what is done. People were told that in order to grow we need leaders who will carry out reforms for us, who will decide for us what religion should we , who will know better what we need and what we don’t. And of course, completely by chance the vast majority of all resources, means of production, land, money belong to a small group of capitalists, corporations or governments (in the case of dictatorships state). It belongs to our “leaders”.

Collectivism is therefore an alternative to the exploitation of the masses and the dominance of the rich, focused only on the widening of its revenue and power. Through its specific structure it ensures equity, stability and mutual aid. It’s not only-profit-oriented kind of economy, it’s not based on the oppression of others. It’s focused on the development and welfare of all members of the cooperatives. Because the good of co-perative depends on good of its members. At the same time it’s s an open activity, subjected to constant monitoring of the cooperative members. There is no parliamentary immunities, there is no banking secrecy, no thieves rate, no traps. Of course, building co-operative is an enormous challenge for the group, because it requires education and resetting your line of thinking from passive to active. You want to make a difference? Do it yourself. Do you think that something goes wrong? Don’t complain, create a better proposal. You have had an impact on what is happening around you. You aren’t the number, which is remembered by the elites, when the elections come.

The purpose of this note is not to discuss acurately the issues of collectivism, but to draw attention to the fact that the alternative organization of economy or local communities exist and are proven in practice. No coincidence that they are marginalized by the main discourse. Finally, ordinary people would enjoy them, not power or corporations. Especially that bottom-up self-organization is not only business thing, but also the development of interpersonal contacts, extensive cooperation instead of competition, concern for others, care for nature and ethics. It’s more than just a business. For those interested in the subject I would recommend this book, which would give you the practical advice, including logistical troubles and benefits of self-organization.