120 Years Past – Still Ring True Today

Guest Post by Niklas Stephenson

120 years ago Voltarine de Cleyre gave this speech in defense of Emma Goldman. Words that still ring very true, even today.
Please consider Anarchism in the philosophical sense and not sensationalist teenagers throwing Molotov cocktails.

“Understand me clearly. I believe that the term “constitutional right of free speech” is a meaningless phrase, for this reason: the constitution of the United States, and the Declaration of Independence, and particularly the latter, were, in their day, progressive expressions of progressive ideals. But they are, throughout, characterized y the metaphysical philosophy which dominated the thought of the last century. They speak of “inherent rights”, “inalienable rights”, “natural rights”, etc: They declare that men are equal because of a supposed, mysterious wetness, existing somehow apart from matter.

I do not say this to disparage those grand men who dared to put themselves against the authorities of the monarchy, and to conceive a better ideal of society, one which they certainly thought would secure equal rights to men; because I realize fully that no one can live very far in advance of the time-spirit, and I am positive in my own mind that, unless some cataclysm destroys the human race before the end of the twentieth century the experience of the next hundred years will explode many of our own theories. But the experience of this age has proven that metaphysical quantities do not exist apart from materials, and hence humanity can not be made equal by declarations on paper. Unless the material conditions for equality exist, it is worse than mockery to pronounce men equal. And unless there is equality (and by equality I mean equal chances for every one to make the most of himself) unless, I say, these equal chances exist, freedom, either of thought, speech, or action, is equally a mockery.

I once read that one million angels could dance at the same time on the point of a needle; possibly one million angels might be able to get a decent night’s lodging by virtue of their constitutional rights; one single tramp couldn’t. And whenever the tongues of the non-possessing class threaten the possessors, whenever the disinherited menace the privileged, that moment you will find that the constitution isn’t made for you”

Take The Power Back!

Guest blog post by Niklas Stephenson

wastelands-dali

“Take the Power Back!” “Revolution!” “People for Power!” “Fuck the System!”

Since the election of the orange wanna-be mini Hitler I have been reading so many commentaries, columns and discussions all ending with a call for Revolution or System Change. In the apparent hopelessness of our time we desperately cry for figures to enter the stage that we can cling onto and cower behind. Sanders, Trump, Stein, Warren, Michael Moore, LePen, etc. – usually the convenient populists for concentrated power structures. They stay within the systematically placed framework of opinion but lead you gently along it’s border. Newspeak calls it Revolution while others may consider it Reform.

The two big ends of the political sphere are a general mess: The so-called “Left” is too busy destroying itself whilst the “Right” clings onto scapegoats and victimization of self, which works out nearly every time, because it is easier to stay selfish rather than trying to change yourselves.

The power structures are not visible because they find themselves in the socioeconomic wastelands produced and carried by our deluded self indulgence. Our self indulgent vanity and materialism opened the flood gates for the power structures to settle silently within our society without having to expose themselves – until it almost breaks. Thanks to an asymmetric balance of power [dependency] we think, speak and act analog to the systems. When the power structures begin crumbling due to extreme inequality, rampant militarism or the raping of earth the populists come along with rhetoric bait that we bite every time. The bait is morphed to enormity so that we cannot see the systems in place beyond the bait.

To identify power structures is to identify yourself and coming to realization that your individual actions and thoughts are manufactured within a framework only leading to obedience. Consciousness permeates change and change cannot exist within individualism – yet the first step to change is the individual’s realization of it’s place in society, as well as within systems and the universal cosmos, and, if need be, challenging these positions critically or collectively

Don’t wait for the savior – be the savior. No one person or group can dictate an answer – it is up to all of us. We are not ready for answers, yet. We need to formulate the questions first – as a people.

Pictured above “Persistence of Memory” by Salvador Dali. Sometimes referred to as “Wastelands.” We are in the Wastelands again and time is melting away. What comes after the Wastelands? Does time continue?