The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity by David Graeber and David Wengrow is, I think, a terrific contribution to human knowledge and guide to pursuing more of the same — as well as a notable accomplishment for the Davids of the world, who have perhaps been falling a bit short lately. A few of the points it documents and persuades of are:
“It would be naive to depend on the Supreme Court to defend the rights of poor people, women, people of color, dissenters of all kinds. Those rights only come alive when citizens organize, protest, demonstrate, strike, boycott, rebel, and violate the law in order to uphold justice.” — Howard Zinn
(Part Three of an Ongoing Series: The Four Fundamental Freedoms of Libertarian Socialism) [Part 1, Part 2]
Throughout the course of human history, there have been countless individuals inhabiting countless communities who have been directly and indirectly participatory in various movements dedicated to the elimination of specific hierarchical structures present within a given society that exist for the sole purposes of ensuring the systemic oppression of a unique portion of the population. Be it upon the basis of biological factors, or be it upon the basis of cultural characteristics, or be it upon the basis of economic positioning, there have been numerous systems of oppression designated to specifically subjugate an entire portion of the population predicated upon the principle of maintaining the embedded structures of power within a particular society.
For thousands of years we’ve endured wars, poverty, and other cruelties, all unnecessary. And now the madness is about to kill all of us with a climate apocalypse, which is coming much bigger and faster than most people realize. These problems can all be traced to a practice that we have long accepted as normal: the practice of not sharing with our cousins. Trade increases inequality, making corruption and plutocracy inevitable. Competition makes us insane. To avoid extinction we’ll need two revolutions.
THERE IS A growing suspicion among many people involved in movements against war, for social justice, and for an ecologically sustainable society that capitalism can only create a world of war, injustice and environmental destruction. There is widespread and growing understanding that the current social order cannot continue without catastrophe occurring —yet we lack a vision of what might replace it.
The climate apocalypse will soon kill all of us (including the plutocrats), if we don’t take drastic measures right away. But the plutocrats are blocking those measures, because they don’t want anything cutting into their short-term profits. In this video I discuss the crazy culture that has us headed toward extinction. To survive, we need an immense cultural change.
Progressives are fooled by the corporate news media, who are paid to lie about wars, climate, economics, everything. Progressives believe the abuses in capitalism can be removed through reforms; they haven’t realized that the abuses are capitalism. A simple analysis shows that inequality, externalities, and alienation are terrible evils inherent in every version of capitalism.
The world is falling apart, and reforms won’t suffice. “End capitalism” is a good start, but ultimately too simple an explanation. We need to end hierarchy and property, because they concentrate power, which corrupts. Separate property requires markets, which cause increasing inequality, alienation, and externalities. The externalities include war, poverty, and climate change. Climate change will kill us all soon if continued.
The Occupy Movement ignited popular awareness of “horizontal” concepts, yet many years have passed and few movements – and even fewer organizations – have really figured out how to embody those ideas. Samantha Slade’s new book, Going Horizontal, offers practical tools and tangible practices for all of us seeking to walk our talk … and go horizontal.