This post contained an draft version of a dissertation section. A more recent version is now available on the works page.
presented on April 14, 2012, as part of a joint Occupy/Justice Action Ministries panel discussion on poverty entitled “The Poor Can No Longer Afford the Rich.” [for my previous pieces of public scholarship i/r/t Occupy, look to Nightmares and Ghost Stories]
In our modern world, poverty is not natural, but the result of institutions that are set up to benefit a few at the expense of the many. Relief efforts are currently failing because they do not address the root causes of poverty. These causes are not mystical or hard to identify, as the most important ones are global property law, international debt, unfair trade, top-down privatization programs, corporate tax shelters, the those problems are social and political. Furthermore, there is a history to these problems, and poverty will not be addressed until this history is reversed.
The ‘political’ legacy of anarchism is hard to measure; even more so if the standards applied to anarchism come from lateral projects like state socialism or communism.
Anarchism comes from utopian socialism and often unknowingly continues politically paralyzing assumptions that are unnecessary to anarchism more generally. The two most common are: 1) a naive Rousseauian faith in the ‘goodness’ of human nature, which presumes that projects based on cooperation generate superior outcomes to those based in competition; and 2) a reactionary conservatism based in romantic attachment to pre-industrial ways of life. Continue reading “Rejoinder to a Toothless Critique”
People who imagine that history flatters them (as it does, indeed, since they wrote it) are impaled on their history like a butterfly on a pin and become incapable of seeing or changing themselves or the world. Continue reading “lepidopteric history”