It didn’t start with Occupy, and it won’t end with the student strike! The persistence of anti-authoritarian politics in Quebec

ANNA KRUZYNSKI, RACHEL SARRASIN AND SANDRA JEPPESEN, RESEARCH GROUP ON COLLECTIVE AUTONOMY (COLLECTIF DE RECHERCHE SUR L’AUTONOMIE COLLECTIVE OR “CRAC”)*  

What we are seeing today in Quebec, and particularly in Montréal, is a public moment of a much more ingrained movement that has been around for decades. If we use the rhizome analogy, we can better understand what is happening. A rhizome is like a root that runs underground: once in a while little shoots pop out above ground, and sometimes an enormous shoot breaks the surface. It is an analogy that suits the description of the anti-authoritarian movement in the province.

We could go back quite far in the history of social movements in Quebec to identify traces of this movement, but let’s start with what is now considered as the first large contemporary shoot which erupted through the surface, signalling a shift in the province’s political sphere. April 2001, Quebec City: huge street demonstrations took place protesting against the Third Summit of the Americas to negotiate the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). Building on a major wave of counter-globalisation protests that first erupted in North America in Seattle 1999, in Quebec City opposition to the FTAA was so widespread that politicians had a massive chain-link fence perimeter built – a perimeter that was rapidly torn down by protestors!

Prior to this pivotal moment, however, several smaller shoots were beginning to poke through the surface of calm in Quebec: 1) in 1997, Complexe G, which houses the Ministry of Education, was blockaded; 2) in 1998, a “commando bouffe” (food commando) was unleashed, where community activists went into the Queen Elizabeth Hotel and served themselves at the lunch buffet, bringing food to hungry people outside; 3) also in 1998, the Conseil du Patronat du Québec was occupied for three days. More recently, in June 2010, another big shoot sprang up, as Montreal activists were involved in the protests against the G8/G20 in Toronto. From our perspective, the Occupy Montreal movement that started in the Fall of 2011 following Occupy Wall Street, and the social justice mobilisation anchored in the on-going student strike, can also be seen as new shoots of this rhizomatic movement.

These moments of public protest represent a turning point in recent Quebec history for several reasons: 1) activists began explicitly targeting symbols of capitalism; 2) many people have been arrested with subsequent politicized trials; and most importantly, 3) they signalled the emergence of an anti-authoritarian movement that is at the heart of what we are seeing today. Indeed, all of these shoots emerged from a shared root, a political culture – a way of thinking, doing and being – grounded in shared values and principles which can be defined according to three main characteristics.

First, we can identify an explicit critique of the root causes of the social problems that we are facing, be it poverty, lack of access to public services, racial profiling, homophobia, gentrification, environmental degradation and the like. This explicit discussion links all of these problems to systems of exploitation – capitalism, colonialism, racism, patriarchy, heterosexism, etc. – that work together, reinforce each other, and disadvantage the majority of the world’s population. From the anti-authoritarian perspective, is it impossible to eradicate injustice unless these systems are all dismantled. This is precisely what we are hearing now in the streets when capitalism is named by the Occupy Movement as the source of the loss of our social services, and when students oppose tuition hikes because of the capitalist logic of the commodification of education.

Second, we find an explicit critique of representative democracy and the State, as well as experimentation with new types of political organization based on decentralised, horizontal direct democracy. This critique goes beyond denouncing corruption within traditional political institutions, and supersedes the notion that if we replace one political party with another, things will be better. It means that people who are directly affected by a political issue must be involved in the decision-making process on that issue. Anti-authoritarian activists believe that society is best managed closer to home, in smaller circles, in face-to-face deliberation that occurs in spaces such as general assemblies, consultas or spokescouncil meetings, through decision-making by consensus, and through implementation of decisions by member committees. At the core of this movement are two fundamental principles: self-determination and self-organisation. CLASSE is an excellent example—albeit not a perfect one—of this kind of organizing: general assemblies are held in departments, CEGEPS and universities, then delegates participate in weekly spokes-council meetings where they coordinate decisions and actions. There are no representatives, no presidents, no leaders, just people working together and experimenting with new, empowering, horizontal, and equitable social relations. People who speak to the media, though perhaps perceived as leaders, are simply spokespeople.

Third – last but not least – the movement isn’t constrained to one mode of expression but rather, we consider a rainbow of possibilities when it comes time to take action. This respect for a diversity of tactics, which has been at the heart of many controversial debates, is the result of over ten years of work by anti-authoritarians to get this principle accepted by mainstream social movements. This principle does not rest on the idea that anything goes in any given situation, but implies that the debate about the legitimacy of various tactics must occur within the movement, and should be decided for each situation by the people taking action themselves. Certainly the media should not make this decision for us. Indeed, we have all witnessed on many occasions how the mainstream media, along with State politicians, tend to create an image of the “good” versus the “bad” protestor in an effort to divide and conquer. This strategy has been used again against the current student strike activists. However, for the first time, movement “leaders” – or spokespeople – for the most part, have not denounced tactics such as economic disruption, contributing to the maintenance of a certain unity and a strong sense of solidarity within the movement.

The political culture described above is not consecrated into a platform or rulebook. Its values and principles are organic, spontaneous, and constantly evolving. To return to the rhizome metaphor, what happens underground or unseen between moments of eruption of big shoots is what builds the strength and collective empowerment of these important moments. People are working every day, in their communities – based on neighbourhoods, workplaces, shared identities or even just friend groups – to consolidate a burgeoning organisational interface that forms an anti-authoritarian commons. In order to reduce dependency on the capitalist economy, the movement sets up self-managed autonomous “services” – based on a mutual aid model – to satisfy specific needs identified by communities, such as alternative media, bike repair, autonomous libraries, collective kitchens, or childcare collectives, to name but a few. To control the means of production, the movement organizes self-managed cooperatives such as restaurants, book publishers, information technology providers, organic farmers, electricians, etc. Finally, in order to reduce dependency on mainstream media and cultural institutions, the movement has its own journalists, essayists, and researchers, as well as its own information sites, communication networks, radio shows, zines and newspapers. It also creates its own cultural institutions, such as the anarchist theatre festival, cabarets, video-making collectives, music venues or silk-screening spaces. And, because one cannot separate the private from the public spheres of life, anti-authoritarian principles are also fundamental to how kinship is practiced in the movement: in collective houses, intentional communities, party networks, etc.

Digging below ground level, we can see the anti-authoritarian roots underlying and nurturing the many smaller and larger shoots that have begun erupting over the past ten years. We can see what the mainstream media and public opinion might not notice, such as the links between what otherwise may appear as fragmented groups and collectives is an organisational interface that prefigures the kind of political, social and economic institutions we are building not just for tomorrow but also for today. This anti-authoritarian commons is part of a political alternative based on the two core principles of collective autonomy – self-determination and self-organisation – where people are taking things in their own hands instead of leaving them to a corrupt and disconnected corporate and state leadership. This is what is now happening in neighbourhoods all over Montreal where we hear pots and pans banging rhythmically in solidarity with the student strike and against the Liberal government, and where people are starting to organize in popular assemblies. These actions and assemblies are the spreading rhizomatic sprouts of alternative political institutions.

In 2001, we used to say, “It didn’t start in Seattle, and it won’t end with Quebec.” Perhaps now we might proclaim, “It didn’t start with Occupy, and it won’t end with the student strike.” The student strike has now evolved into a national and perhaps even international social movement that goes beyond the original opposition to the tuition hike. For this shoot to become a full-grown, mature, fruit-bearing plant – or even a wild forest! – let’s hope more and more people will engage in this politics of proximity inspired by an anti-authoritarian political culture.

 

Note

*1. The use of they/we in this paper indicates that we are making this contribution as participants in the anti-authoritarian movement, and, within this movement, as members of a feminist research collective called the Research Group on Collective Autonomy (Collectif de recherche sur l’autonomie collective or CRAC) that is documenting and analyzing the movement. Using a prefigurative participatory action research (PAR) methodology, we have interviewed 120 activists since 2005, in nine different groups and networks, each of which has participated or is participating in the production of a monograph, from writing to validation to lay-out and public launch. CRAC is affiliated with the School of Community and Public Affairs, Concordia University. Website: www.crac-kebec.org. Contact: info@crac-kebec.org. CRAC members authoring this article are: Sandra Jeppesen, Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Studies, Lakehead University, Orillia; Anna Kruzynski, Assistant Professor, School of Community and Public Affairs, Concordia University (anna.kruzynski@concordia.ca); Rachel Sarrasin, PhD candidate, Political Science, Université de Montréal.

 

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24 comments for “It didn’t start with Occupy, and it won’t end with the student strike! The persistence of anti-authoritarian politics in Quebec

  1. Oliver Davies
    06/04/2012 at 17:15
    • Anna Kruzynski
      06/04/2012 at 21:08

      You’re right! 1998 Opération salAMI = blockade of the Sheraton Hotel = part of a larger movement against the multilateral agreement on investment = NAFTA on steroids.
      Also, a comrade also noted an error in the text – Commando Bouffe was in 1997.

  2. SnarkKnight
    06/04/2012 at 17:55

    The article starts by quickly creating a false dichotomy between “authoritarian” and “anti-authoritarian”, then groups everyeone as being in one of the two groups, implying heavily that you’re either working for the government or anti-authoritarian.

    I’ll give them double-points for using a double-standard and calling the “good protestor/badprotestor” dichotomy out for being false.

    The Occupy movements accomplished absolutely nothing in terms of goals. Both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are still kicking the XXXX out of third world countries allied with them. Instead of analyzing why the Occupy movements just fizzled, this article claims that they are simply “one expression” of a much larger movement.

    If that’s the case, then I feel sorry for the current movement as it will suffer the same anti-climactic decline that the other movements suffered. It will inevitably cause some left-leaning journalist to write fluff about how it’s the future (this is happening now), and then face reality as people become disinterested over time due to the lack of accomplished goals.

    Maybe some other offshoot of the “collective movement” will become their new focal point, and they will again participate in self-masturbatory actions that benefit no one but their own egos. Amongst the things being fought we have the following list: capitalism, colonialism, racism, patriarchy, heterosexism.

    Can someone please explain what’s wrong with competitive markets? I understand that the current corporate rule of our economy is a big problem, but does that mean that the current structure is wrong or does it mean that the idea of Capitalism is wrong?

    Colonialism ended a long XXXXXX time ago, I’m not sure what there is to fight anymore regarding this.

    Racism is an opinion, and aren’t free opinions what freedom is all about? I don’t give a XXXX if my neighbor wants me to head the back to my country cuz I won’t. All I care is that he doesn’t physically try anything based on this hatred. As far as I’m concerned, he can hate as freely as he pleases as this is an expression of what it means to be a first world citizen.

    Patriarchy also does not exist anymore. All we have are the remnants of historical patriarchy and it doesn’t have much of an effect at all today. Please point out where I’m wrong, if I am.

    Lastly, heterosexism. I’m not quite entirely sure what that means, but I assume it is a combination of “sexism” and “homophobia”. Again, same as above with racism. People should be free to think and feel whatever they want so long as it doesn’t physically harm anyone. There’s no arguing this.

    This movement is headed nowhere fast, and everyone whos along for the ride seems to be completely oblivious.

    • Buck
      06/04/2012 at 18:58

      That’s some funny stuff, @SnarkKnight. Colonialism is over? Try telling the people in Grassy Narrows. And racism and homophobia are *opinions*?! Mebbe except when they’re supported by governmental and corporate structures.

      Internet comment debates tend to drain me, but had to counter this bullshit.

      • SnarkKnight
        06/05/2012 at 14:49

        Hello Buck,

        I addressed both the Native American issue as well as racism and homophobia being opinions below, countering Cassie’s reply. Please let me know if you have any further arguments to what I’ve stated there by replying to that comment.

    • admin
      06/04/2012 at 19:02

      thanks for your comments. but i think the use of expletives is gratuitous and takes away from the force of your argument. i have edited them out and would ask other commenters to refrain from cursing, or their comments won’t be approved.
      best,
      owen chapman

      • SnarkKnight
        06/05/2012 at 14:33

        Hello Owen,

        Thanks for taking the time to edit out the expletives. I was not aware that this was a site where they could not be used. I will do my own editing going forward from here. I appreciate you excusing it and posting it with edits.

        Thanks again,
        S

    • Cassie
      06/04/2012 at 21:36

      “The article starts by quickly creating a false dichotomy between “authoritarian” and “anti-authoritarian”, then groups everyeone as being in one of the two groups, implying heavily that you’re either working for the government or anti-authoritarian.”

      The authors’ use of the term “anti-authoritarian” refers to a decentralized model that is against the concentration of power and is in favour of self-determination and direct democracy. There are people and groups who may be against this government that do not subscribe to an anti-authoritarian viewpoint – this article is alluding to wider streams of thought and practice that are applicable outside of the current context and the current government. Your assertion that this is a false dichotomy is in fact an inaccurate oversimplification and a misunderstanding of the article.

      “I understand that the current corporate rule of our economy is a big problem, but does that mean that the current structure is wrong or does it mean that the idea of Capitalism is wrong”

      They are one and the same.

      “Colonialism ended a long XXXXXX time ago, I’m not sure what there is to fight anymore regarding this.”

      If you are living in Canada, you are currently living on stolen native land. The Canadian state itself is a colonial presence (as is the province of Quebec) that continues to suppress the rights of indigenous peoples to self-determination and autonomous governance, among many other things. Much of the land out west, in BC, is in fact, un-ceded and was never “legally” turned over to the Canadian government through treaties. The process of colonization is ongoing and multifaceted. (This is a massive oversimplification of the issue, but there is simply not space to fully respond)

      “Racism is an opinion, and aren’t free opinions what freedom is all about? I don’t give a XXXX if my neighbor wants me to head the back to my country cuz I won’t. All I care is that he doesn’t physically try anything based on this hatred. As far as I’m concerned, he can hate as freely as he pleases as this is an expression of what it means to be a first world citizen.”

      Racism is not simply an opinion. Yes, people should be free to think what they want, but racism not only leads to physical harm but a whole host of other forms of discrimination and violence, both subtle and overt. It is not possible to “force” someone to not be racist, but there are other ways to combat racism that focus on education and positive change, as well as protect the rights of those who are subject to racialized violence and discrimination.

      “Patriarchy also does not exist anymore. All we have are the remnants of historical patriarchy and it doesn’t have much of an effect at all today. Please point out where I’m wrong, if I am.”

      I am incredibly offended by this. I’m not even really sure how to respond to such an assertion, despite the fact that you asked to be corrected and are clearly open to a response in that regard. For now I’ll just point out that it is a logical fallacy to assume that just because we have “legal equality” between people of different genders, races, sexual orientations, etc… in Canada, that does not mean that true equality exists. If you want a very basic and dry economic statistic, women still make about 72 cents on the dollar for the same work as men. However, patriarchy permeates all aspects of life, not just economic considerations. It reinforces a set of rigid gender roles (woman, man, feminine, masculine) and places value judgments on these roles that result in systematic oppression and exclusion.

      “Lastly, heterosexism. I’m not quite entirely sure what that means, but I assume it is a combination of “sexism” and “homophobia”. Again, same as above with racism. People should be free to think and feel whatever they want so long as it doesn’t physically harm anyone. There’s no arguing this.”

      I do not believe the authors of this article were claiming that people should not be allowed to think and feel what they want. As anti-authoritarians they would very much be arguing the opposite. However, as I said before, that does not mean that the forces of racism, heterosexism, etc… do not need to be combatted in ways that do not suppress the rights and freedoms of individuals (it is in fact these very forces themselves that are constantly in the process of suppressing the rights and freedoms of individuals).

      I recommend reading this: http://mrdevin.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/five-faces-of-oppression.pdf

      It is only an article adapted from a longer critical piece, and is by no means comprehensive, but it’s a good place to start.

      • SnarkKnight
        06/05/2012 at 14:31

        Hello Cassie,

        Thanks for replying.

        While you’re correct that the article did not explicitly define a dichotomy, I still stick by my original comment as the dichotomy is still implicit. By not mentioning alternatives and focusing on only the “anti-authoritarian” alternatives, the article becomes an advocate for “one as opposed to the other”, disregarding anything outside of this scope. I don’t think we will come to an agreement regarding this point as it comes down to semantics, but feel free to change my mind with further arguments as I’m open to it.

        The capitalism point brings up the issue of dichotomy again: by not having considered any alternatives within the confines of capitalism, you are assuming that the current structure of first world and global capitalism is equivalent to free market economic theory. There are ways of marrying communist ideals with capitalist ones, by simply not being extremist about either theory. A co-op free market would be one, as well as a co-op using a more corporate structure (a semi-”public” organization in which shareholders are not only workers but customers).

        The public sector should have no say in economics, its only power over it should be regulated by a direct democratic approach wherein which the country can decide on the fate of one co-op, if said co-op is acting against the interest of the general public. Much like the current capitalist structure, except that the means of production are now distributed amongst the actual the workers of the company and voters actually have some clout.

        In my opinion the biggest detriment to the capitalism system is the legal status of lobbyist groups. Elimination of this alone, even without implementation of co-op solutions, with government officials responsible only to the voice of the average citizen, can bring about a massive change in power. This change in itself can bring about the slow move towards a better future for the working-class without the need for any struggle.

        I’ll concede to you regarding Canada being a colony of Britain. When I stated the above, I meant more in the sense of colonization of countries during the 1500s – 1800s (most of which have gained somewhat of an independence in the 1900s) as well as American colonialism during the Cold War. The Native American issue, while a result of British colonialism, I think should be treated as a separate affair since the end result is a lot more drastic. And while it is a very serious problem today and should be addressed, banging pots and pans, picketing, and general dissent will never be a solution to it, especially while done under the banner of tuition reduction.

        I understand that racism “can lead to” violence, but fear of what it can lead to doesn’t mean we should abolish it. I am not going to argue the merits of racism, as there aren’t any that I can argue, but I am going to argue that trying to “educate” people into a different way of thinking (e.g. through school enforcing these ideas on youth) is equivalent to brainwashing and is rarely achieved without propaganda. Furthermore not all racism is negative, racism in the sense that believing that all races are fundamentally and culturally different is neutral. Racism in the sense that believing the differences between races allow for the dissemination of ideas normally foreign to us is positive. These ideas are in themselves foreign to people who believe we’re all equal and should have the same values. We don’t, and hopefully we never will.

        I am going to address heterosexism following the above as I have the same argument here. And while you don’t think that it’s wrong to have an opinion, you do believe that it’s an opinion worth removing from people holding them. Only violence based on hatred should be fought. If I know some store owner doesn’t want to serve me because of my race, do you think I’d care to go there again? He’s free to have his opinion, and if he’s willing to risk loss of cash from my race then so be it, he loses that market. In this sense, discrimination is really an impotent expression of an individual’s racism. It’s nothing to be fought, if anything it should be pitied. Making an enemy out of him by encouraging the idea that he’s wrong will only worsen any aggression he has towards the group he dislikes.

        This is my main problem with the gay marriage issue; what the two sides are essentially fighting is the meaning of the word “marriage”. To one side, it means “union between two people who love each other”. To another, it means “Union out of an oath under God”. It’s very easy to see how the two will run into arguments with each other. All over the definition of a word. However, let’s take North Carolina for example, and compare the gay marriage issue with the race segregation issue from the middle of the last century. Back then, while not everyone was for the removal of segregation, it did eventually win out in the majority of states. This took a long period of time, new generations had to come and have new ideas, but eventually it did get done. It’s the same with gay marriage; we will have the early adopter states like California and then we’ll have the states that just don’t have a culture that can accept it yet like North Carolina. Does this mean we should consider North Carolinians as backwards? Or as “heterosexists”? In their eyes they are simply holding to a tradition, so antagonizing them will not help the gay marriage cause but rather further alienate a group that already isn’t on good terms with the cause.

        Women earning less than men is certainly an issue, but so is the fact that we’ve actually gone from being able to take care of a family on one income to needing to do so on double income. The current social economic set up is such that women just -have- to work. The option to have one parent stay at home is already starting to disappear in most economic situations. Do you really think a husband will want his wife earning less than a male doing the same job? I can guarantee you they don’t, it’s more of a detriment to his life that his household is not earning as much as it should. This problem is not one of patriarchy, but more related to the corporate set up of the current economy. Any progress towards wage equality will be inevitably counter-balanced by making sure the profit will come from elsewhere, most likely through the freezing of wages. This isn’t to say we shouldn’t support this issue, but we should ensure that the underlying issue is addressed first. However, please note that this is not an example of patriarchy, but more of a remnant. The stark majority of men today do not have an issue with women earning equal amounts as it generally benefits them.

        Gender roles were and are not dictated by patriarchy but by tradition. Even in a matriarchal tradition such as my own, the gender roles are distinctly defined and kept as tradition. This is why it’s so easy to systematically oppress and exclude individuals who divert from the norm, their entire culture is judging them. Again, however, it’s similar to the issue of racism and homophobia from above. Unless it comes to violence, it is generally just family and/or other people of your subculture of society being judgmental of your life choices. Who needs them? As an outcast of my race (which was caused, believe it or not, by my not being racist towards whites, which in turn has caused in me a significant amount of hatred for my own race), I can tell you that opinions are only damaging if you let them become so.

        “However, as I said before, that does not mean that the forces of racism, heterosexism, etc… do not need to be combatted in ways that do not suppress the rights and freedoms of individuals (it is in fact these very forces themselves that are constantly in the process of suppressing the rights and freedoms of individuals).”

        I agree, but it is important not to fall into the same hole that violent racists and the like have fallen into and view them as “enemies” or “wrong”. Popular opinion, over time, can erode absolutely everything. This is why I’m afraid that thinking this way will result in a group of individuals who are perpetually afraid of being politically incorrect, and will never want to fight popular consensus. I know it’s an extreme, but it’s already happened for the younger generations. They are so afraid of being “wrong” that they hardly spend any time forming their own opinions and are more than happy eating up the dished out propaganda, so long as they’re on the same page as their friends.

        I have just finished reading the Five Faces of Oppression excerpt. There are several false assumptions made to further argue their point. Once we have finished our current discourse, if you’re willing, I’m willing to go through them point by point. Although, if you can provide me with the source, I would prefer to argue using that as it would probably have better constructed arguments than this excerpt.

        Lastly, please do not be offended. My opinions are simply that. I do not mean to offend anyone except people who sit around feeling good about accomplishing nothing. I have been an advocate for direct democracy ever since I first read about it. As the years pass, however, I become more and more distant from what’s currently being called “the left”. The only thing I have left in common with them is my support of direct democracy. Nothing is more distasteful than the fruity, self-pleasing, righteous attitudes being shared by “activists” around the world. This has resulted in my constantly arguing all the points I feel should be made in order to see the other side. The other side is part of our country, and they are our fellow men, regardless of whether they have differing opinions. “They” need to be won over if progress is ever going to be made.

        • alex
          06/05/2012 at 17:25

          Lets debate oppression! “I will tell you that that you are not oppressed because i know, never mind what you feel it is only your opinion”. ” Hey, people that are making my shoes and my computers you are not oppressed! Hey indigenous peoples whose land we need to mine so we can produce the goods to sell and see we need to simply take it away/kill you. You are not oppressed! There is no colonialism! Where do you think economic, political world dynamics came from? The sky? How do you think developed nations should compensate for colonialism? With words? Will our Canadian tax payers will ever decide to pay trillions of dollars to the nations/peoples that were colonized, exploited, enslaved (never mind that this process is still ongoing)? “Of course not, there are not responsible, my privilege and wealth has nothing to do with my ancestors”? “People, in the developing world should just work harder and stop being so corrupt.” I wonder how market economy will solve this ‘moral’ dilemma. In the competitive market economy (capitalism) your purpose is to exploit other peoples, communities groups in order to make a profit. ‘We’ consider this normal. Why do you think Global Warming discussion are going nowhere? The alternatives? Well, it depends on how far are you willing to questions the oppression. How do you define the oppression in the first place. How do you relate to the ‘other’.

          • SnarkKnight
            06/05/2012 at 18:59

            You know what, you’re right.

            Sri Lanka was a shared land between three empires when the British came to colonize us. Once we had been united under the British Flag, they oppressed and changed the natural exports we had from rubber to tea (which was already being grown in neighbouring India). After we fought a bloody war of independence, they left us in a “democratic” state. One state, for two races that never got along. Within 10 years, the country degraded to civil war, escalating to the 83 riots which caused my parents to move here in the first place.

            Meanwhile, the benefits of all the economic superiority they gained from this was spread out over their other colonies, including Canada. So in very long and indirect way, you have progressed at the expense of my people.

            Give me a call when you have a check ready to pay me back, I can use it.

            Oh and thanks for putting words in my mouth after all of the above, It’s nice to know you use your white superiority to speak on behalf of the children of refugees like my poor self.

          • alex
            06/05/2012 at 20:25

            To, the comment below.

            I didn’t put words in your mouth. I used quotations to demonstrate how typical argument goes on oppression and colonialism (abstract constructed dialogue in simple sense). Nothing that i quoted comes from what you said. I wanted to challenge your idea that colonialism is over. I apologize if i wasn’t clear enough. I cant speak on behalf of anyone just me. I am first generation immigrant to canada, my ancestors where not colonizers but colonized.

          • SnarkKnight
            06/06/2012 at 15:27

            If you wanted to challenge my idea that colonialism is over, you should have provided me with examples. I’ll be honest, I’m tired of arguing since it’s going nowhere, but I will continue to finish off this thread.

            To address the “shoes and computers” idea, you’re talking about the governments of countries making deals with the first world so that they can kick back and enjoy life at the expense of their people. I’m not sure what country you’re from, but back in Sri Lanka the Tamils organized an armed resistance against our oppressors. We succeeded in creating a country within Sri Lanka (Eelam) with an educational, medical and judicial infrastructure. We had our own police, our own parliament and even our own army.

            After 2001, with America placing the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam on a list of terrorists, both China and India decided to sell weapons and give aid to the Sri Lankan government, which promptly ended a 30 year civil war when we had gotten as close as we could.

            Do any of us blame Britain for colonization or America for getting involved where it shouldn’t? No. We continue to blame the corrupt Sri Lankan government and we will persist in doing so. It’s nice and easy to sit back and not lay blame where it belongs, as if you blame the first world, you can just excuse yourself from fighting who you need to fight.

            Colonization implies that the governments that are in place are foreign and are looking out for the benefit of the colonizing country. Sri Lanka is not a puppet government for Britain or America, so how is this an example of colonization?

            “n the competitive market economy (capitalism) your purpose is to exploit other peoples, communities groups in order to make a profit.”

            That’s warped communist propaganda. The ideal of capitalism is to ensure that by allowing private individuals to create alternatives, no industry is monopolized and there is always a competitor driving prices lower and quality higher. Admittedly, this hasn’t happened but we should inquire into why rather than just screaming for anarchy or communism. Most other ideologies do not have the idea of competition ingrained within their theory. They simply believe that we should trust in the “Dictatorship of the Proletariat” to know what’s right for us. In the case of Anarchy, if an individual gets financially powerful enough, they can create a monopoly without any institutions to stop them from doing so.

            No, Thanks.

            Anyways, this topic started off with me calling this article out for being feel-good nonsensical tripe. Instead it has deteriorated into convincing me that I am wrong about oppression. What does that have to do with the impotency of today’s movement?

            I just want to know how banging pots and pans under the banner of tuition reduction and being a general public pest is going to change the world. The more I follow this movement, the more I realize its just a big outdoor party. It’s just a bunch of kids thinking that they have some effect on the grand scheme of things because left wing propaganda likes to encourage them into thinking so (e.g. this article).

            And don’t think you can squirm out of getting me that cheque, I’m waiting on it.

  3. streamfortyseven
    06/05/2012 at 02:58

    “In order to reduce dependency on the capitalist economy, the movement sets up self-managed autonomous “services” – based on a mutual aid model – to satisfy specific needs identified by communities, such as alternative media, bike repair, autonomous libraries, collective kitchens, or childcare collectives, to name but a few. To control the means of production, the movement organizes self-managed cooperatives such as restaurants, book publishers, information technology providers, organic farmers, electricians, etc. Finally, in order to reduce dependency on mainstream media and cultural institutions, the movement has its own journalists, essayists, and researchers, as well as its own information sites, communication networks, radio shows, zines and newspapers. It also creates its own cultural institutions, such as the anarchist theatre festival, cabarets, video-making collectives, music venues or silk-screening spaces. And, because one cannot separate the private from the public spheres of life, anti-authoritarian principles are also fundamental to how kinship is practiced in the movement: in collective houses, intentional communities, party networks, etc.”

    This is all well and good but it seems to cater only to the part of the population below the age of 30 or so. For the movement to gain broad acceptance and support, other services have to be provided: hospitals and clinics, places and services for the care of elderly and disabled people, and the other things needed by older people. Make the movement cross-generational and you’ve got a chance, otherwise people will age out of it and it will dissipate.

  4. streamfortyseven
    06/05/2012 at 03:09

    http://www.peaceworkmagazine.org/anarchist-vision-universal-health-care-mutual-aid-through-self-managed-health-cooperatives

    “The Spanish Revolution of the 1930s provides us one example of an anarchist health service in practice. In rural areas local doctors often joined the village collective and provided their services like any other worker. Where local doctors were not available, “arrangements were made by the collectives for treatment of their members by hospitals in nearby localities. In a few cases, collectives themselves built hospitals; in many they acquired equipment and other things needed by their local physicians.”
    For example, the Monzon federation of collectives in Aragon maintained a hospital in Binefar, the Casa de Salud Durruti. By April 1937 it had 40 beds, and departments which included general medicine, prophylaxis, and gynecology. It saw about 25 outpatients a day and was open to anyone in the 32 villages of the district. [Robert Alexander, The Anarchists in the Spanish Civil War, vol. 1, p. 331 and pp. 366-7]
    The socialization of health care took on a slightly different form in Catalonia but was organized on the same libertarian principles. People were no longer required to pay for medical services. Each collective, if it could afford it, would pay a contribution to its health centre. Building and facilities were improved and modern equipment introduced. Like other self-managed industries, the health service was run at all levels by general assemblies of workers who elected delegates and hospital administration.”

  5. 06/05/2012 at 11:43

    The Simple solution begins with the inclusion of a NONE OF THE ABOVE option on the Ballot form. A random selection of a Man and Woman from the pool of Electors voting for this option,should NOTA be first pass the Post, would follow.In the Event there was a landslide, a Caretaker Government would be established consisting of a Women And mens Circle meeting separately ,to ensure gender balance,would seek consensus about priorities,and the best solutions to be found.Especially the proper use of The Bank of Canada to provide debt free money,to run the Affairs of state, including Garrenteed annual income for Need,and Universal Family Credit. A Plenary Session would seek consensus on changes in legislation to be put to the common people for Authority . We retain our individual Sovereignty, No more Economic Slavery,or rule by Idiotocracy.Purpose Individual and Collective Enlightenment/Well Being… One Planet One People One Purpose Peace. Peace Blessings John
    One Purpose, One People

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