Saturday, March 4, 2017


A friend wanted me to read this.  I struggled to do so.  It's hard for an old leftist like me not to feel sympathy what what Bookchin is saying in 1991.  He was was way ahead of me.  He expresses the specific angst about revolutionary feelings divorced from coherent analysis everywhere.  We need a relatively shared coherent analysis, and he isn't actually trying to provide one, he's begging that we will come together and create one.

Amongst all the deep thinking and expression, however he is making one fundamental claim.  And that is that class based analysis is insufficient, we must reject all hierarchies.

Curiously, while he believes we can reject all hierarchies, he is calling for a new intelligensia, a clear sign of a new hierarchy.

And this small example illustrates my thinking that total rejection of hierarchy is impossible, even in a world of equality and freedom, hierarchies remain here and there...we need being to have mutually beneficial hierarchies--it is basic to association.  Like dogs, and even cats, we are naturally hierarchical, and barely work at all together without at least some kind of structure.  When there is no formal structure, informal structure arises.  While consensus approaches to group decision making (as used by Anarchists and Occupy) are great in small groups of equally participating partners, in larger groups, like mass movements, it devolves to dictatorship of the argumentative.  It is a recipe for failure in ever getting anything done to improve society too.  In practice, for all their flaws, majoritarian approaches generally work better at getting things done than requiring 100% consensus. I wonder if direct democracy might be the solution to the kind of corruption we see in our republics.  Not to say there may be situations where consensus is required, however, such as in apportioning rights.

Meanwhile, I believe a class based analysis can illuminate where are our oppression, hierarchical or not, ultimately comes from.  Other oppressions are created because they serve the ruling class in one way or another.

So it is obviously with racism and so on, which serve the ruling class by creating divisions among the working class.

It gets trickier with bigotry and misogyny.  Few people see the connections here.

Naturally females have the upper hand in social relations, males seek to serve at their pleasure.  Paleoconservative ruling classes use their power over the entire working class to give (or at least pretend to give) males an upper hand.  This then gives the ruling class power over the lives of the working class males, to fight in imperial wars and sacrifice in the workplace and sacrifice other freedoms.  Religions are usually the mechanism that enables this multiple displacement of power.

In the end, it's not such a deal for the males either, who not only sacrifice their lives in war, they face a daunting package of restrictions on their behavior: no drugs, prostitutes, masturbation.  I reject the paleoconservative deal, as I think most men would if it were completely explained to them.  I would reject it in principle because I don't want stolen power...I want freedom for myself and the freedom to accept others as they are.

From the Paleo deal, females get a formal subordination and an actual lack of freedom over their own bodies, certainly not a good deal at all, even if there is free lunch after you make it and clean up.

But all the oppression is ultimately propelled by the ruling class, not by "angry white men," they are the useful idiots and mere instruments of the paleo tendency of the ruling class.

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