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New Year, New Friends, New Posts!!!

January 24, 2011


It has been WAY too long since I posted here, and for that I am apologetic. Hopefully in this shiny, new year I’ll be posting more of my crackpotted thoughts with far less reflection upon them prior to spewing them out onto the interwebs.


I’ve been reading.

A lot.

like woah. I started with Howard Zinn, and then Noam Chomsky, who has been a recurring theme in my reading material, however I have diversified. Since then I’ve read a few other books, including Class Warfare, Letters From Lexington, Idiot America, Battleground Chicago, Collective Protest in America, Protest Mobilization, Protest Repression and Their Interaction, Why Do Strikes Turn Violent?, and Pedagogy of the Oppressed, by Paulo Freire. OOO! and also Anarchy, by Errico Malatesta, Anarchism: For and Against, by Albert Meltzer, parts of the Anarchist FAQ (which is over 3000 pages, btw), and God and State, by Michael Bakunin.

Furthermore, I’ve started reading the newest Dexter book, Politics as a Vocation, by Max Weber, and really anything else that catches my fancy. Before now, I hadn’t seen this as an itemized list, and in light of that, I can see why I haven’t had time to post. I’m thinking that now that I’ve got all that reading out of my system, I can get back to doing things like watching TV and posting on the internet, like a true, red-blooded American.

Why all the demonstration violence reading you ask?

It’s in part because of a demonstration that happened in November. A group of neo-nazis held a rally in Phoenix in support of SB 1070, and were seriously outmatched by all of the counter-protesters who rallied with the intention of showing the world and the nazis that they aren’t welcome in AZ. You can read more about it and see photos here and here

nazi rally and counter-protestors

I find it especially interesting to look at the number of NSM members, and how many counter-protestors are there.

The NSM supporters were backed up by the Phoenix PD, outfitted with riot gear, including plastic shields, clubs, pepper spray, tear gas, and gas masks. There might have been guns and tasers, but I’m not sure. In the ensuing craziness, pretty much everyone in the counter-protest got sprayed and gassed, including a few of my friends. Knowing these people to be normal, rational and relatively non-violent, it left me to wonder:

what’s with demonstration violence?

I mean, srsly? so that’s what jump-started my quest to determine and evaluate the causes of demonstration violence.

Among the people participating in the counter-protest were clowns, code pink people, and anarchists, which brings me to the next point of this post:

Why all the anarchist literature you ask?

Well. Let me tell you…

Apparently I need to read Chomsky on Anarchism. By “apparently” I mean I read the cover-description of the book and knew I had to. It says “We all know what Noam Chomsky doesn’t like. But what does he like?!”. That’s on the list of books to read in the future.

Basically, a couple really close friends strongly identify with the anarchist movement. I say strongly because I don’t want to misrepresent anyone on accident. But at least one of them is a certifiable anarchist, though I sometimes wonder, because he showers regularly.

Because a lot of what they were saying either made a lot of sense, or it didn’t, I decided to start reading. Starting with Bakunin,

This guy

I have been attempting to get a reasonable understanding of basic theory, as well as the various implications.

I have come to a conclusion:

I’m kinda done with anarchism.

This isn’t because I don’t necessarily agree with the theory, but more like I just don’t need more old white people–or young white people–telling me that the way I think about the world is correct. While I’ve definitely gotten more in-tune with the movement, and I think I’ve dispersed most of the preconceptions I had about the movement, it definitely seems like there’s only a finite number of times you can say the same things before you’ve heard it all.

At least in terms of the classics, the authors seem to be well-reasoned and knowledgable in the field of social sciences, but I definitely feel that in some ways the people are lacking in justified knowledge of economic theory.

Anyway, I’ll get into this in a later post. Irregardless, I feel more empowered to talk about the theory of anarchism, and I see ways to apply this perspective to the real world, especially after reading this book:

by this guy

On that note, I will leave all my readers (averaging one view every other day for the last few months) on a cliffhanger!!!!!!!

Next Up:

Why every anthropologist needs to read this book!

One Comment leave one →
  1. colleen! permalink
    January 25, 2011 6:55 am

    Corbett! I don’t know anyyything about anarchist theory. But I’m curious from a sociological perspective. Could you briefly expound upon some of these ideas/books/perspectives you’ve read about? 😀

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