Anarchism

The Key to Understanding Imperialism is Knowing Who Prints Money

Introduction

If you suggest to most people that almost all the political unrest, war and economic crisis in the world is the result of the manipulations of tiny elite groups of people they will probably call you a conspiracy theorist. But the reality is that all the information you would need to prove such a statement is freely available to the public.

The reason people are still largely unaware about the true nature of the Global System is that this information is usually dressed up in jargon that is deliberately designed to be incomprehensible to most people. In this essay I will try to explain some basic economic concepts using only normal English language. If any readers are still confused by anything I write here please let me know by leaving a comment and I will try to explain it in an even simpler way.

The essay begins by explaining who prints money in the Western world, and how these same people can be said to control the governments and economies of the West. Then we will look at how the system for printing money in many countries which oppose the West is organised differently, but still in a way which means that a small minority have all the power over the economy.

Lastly I will explain two completely different systems that I think are much fairer and democratic, and which I believe it is necessary for people to struggle in order to replace the current systems with. Both the systems I will propose can be said to be Anarchist systems, which means they are organised in a way which discourages inequalities of power from forming, and which do not require the existence of governments to function.

I should make it clear at this point that I am writing from an Anarchist perspective. This means I am biased against both governments and capitalists, so readers should bear this in mind. I am also not going to cite any sources, because hopefully once you read this you will already know what kinds of things to type into Google to find more detailed academic information which I am certain will confirm what I am going to tell you.

Central Banks Control the West

By the West I mean the United States and the European Union as well as all the countries around the world which are dominated by them. The most powerful military forces in the Western world apart from the US and the EU States are Israel, Australia and Japan, who should be considered Western countries even though they are not geographically in the Western world. Despite decades of struggles against Western Imperialism, the majority of other former European colonies in the world are still hopelessly weak in the face of Western military and economic power.

Most of these former colonies are in unimaginably huge amounts of debt to two financial institutions which work closely together, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), both of which are run by Western governments and investors. This debt gives the West power to dictate what the economic policies of other countries should be, through IMF “Structural Adjustment Programmes” (SAPs).

These SAPs do in fact sap the wealth from all these countries and convert it into money that ends up in the hands of Western Governments and businesses. This is because, as the name suggests, they adjust the structure of these country’s economies into whatever shape Western governments want them to be in. For example, if the West doesn’t want a rival government to develop its industry by educating it’s people and putting money into new industrial companies, the IMF will tell that government that it must take money away from schools and spend it’s money only on developing agriculture instead.

The IMF also always says that governments must not put taxes on foreign products or investment money being imported into the country. This makes it very easy for Western companies to buy all the best businesses in poorer countries and to make sure everyone in those countries has to buy Western products instead of their own. The poorer governments have no choice but to do what the IMF-World Bank system dictates because if they don’t it will punish them by not letting them borrow more money, or by raising the interest on the money they already owe.

The Treasury Department is the name given to the part of a government which looks after its money. But all of the money that most governments have is actually debt to banks. For poorer countries most of this debt is to the World Bank/IMF but even powerful Western governments are also in huge amounts of debt to their Central Banks.

Central Banks are a special type of bank that has the power to print a country’s money. The US Dollar is printed by a bank called the Federal Reserve, the British Pound Sterling is printed by the Bank of England and the Euro is printed by the European Central Bank.

All of these banks are actually private companies, not parts of the government, even though they have names which make them sound like they are. Western governments all used to print their own money themselves, but starting with Britain in the 1690’s they all gradually changed this to let private companies have this power.

This means that Government Treasuries in these countries don’t actually print money. Instead they print things called “Treasury Bonds”, which are just pieces of paper that basically say “please lend the government some money, and if you do this piece of paper will mean we promise to pay you it back, at interest”. They could just print money themselves, and not have to pay interest at all, because after all, they are the government and have lots of guns, so who is going to argue? But they don’t.

Instead they let these private businesses called Central Banks print lots of their own money and then buy these “Treasury Bonds” with it. This means that the government has money to buy more guns and do all the things governments do and the banks have lots of pieces of paper which say the government promises to pay them back. This gives the Central Banks a lot of power over Western governments to tell them how to run their economies and also what policies they should have in dealing with other countries.

For example, after the Bank of England was created and given the power to print money in the 1690s the country whose government it now controlled – Britain -became a huge empire all around the world which murdered millions of people, enslaved millions more and made lots of money for itself to pay back its debts to the Bank.

Similarly, after the Federal Reserve was created and given the power to print dollars in 1913, the United States government stepped up its own efforts to become an imperial power and eventually was powerful enough to force most of the world to use the dollar to trade in important goods like Oil.

Even now the United States will invade any country with a government that tries to trade its oil in a different currency, because this will mean among other things that the owners of the Federal Reserve will make less money. Since the War on Terror was announced in 2001 there have been Western military and secret service interventions in many Oil producing countries for this very reason: Invasion of Somalia by US 2002, Attempted Coup in Venezuela by US secret agents 2003, Invasion of Iraq by UK and US 2003, Lebanon by Israel 2006, Libya by UK, US and France in 2010 and the ongoing conflict in Syria in which US secret agents are also heavily involved.

All of these Wars were officially described as wars against “Terrorism” and for “Democracy”, both of which are never really defined by Western leaders when they use these words. It seems that their definition of Democracy is “selling Oil in money printed by the Federal Reserve Bank” and that they similarly define Terrorism as “selling Oil in any other currency”.

As well as explaining their Imperialist practices, the Western governments’ debt to their Central Bank also explains most of their policies in their home countries as well. If you have ever been to a Western country, or even seen a movie set in one, you will have noticed that Western culture is largely based on the idea that having lots of money is a good thing to aspire to and is in fact more important to focus on than pretty much anything else.

The result is that many people are really very depressed because they do not have as much money as they think they should, even if they actually have everything they need to survive as well as a community of loved ones, whilst those that have more money than they need seem to always be purchasing ridiculous items and living lives of shocking vanity and disregard for the less fortunate. But the prevalence of this psychologically damaging culture is only partly ordinary Westerners’ own fault.

The people who own the Western Central Banks are Capitalists, which mean that they earn their living from the fact that they have “Capital”, which is just money they choose to use to invest in profitable business rather than spend on something else.

All the money that these Bankers get from governments, and all the money that they print in the first place, will stop being “Capital” as soon as they let it just sit around somewhere without any profit being made from it. This means it is in their interest to force the governments they control to run a system that provides as many opportunities as possible to invest their money and make a profit.

This is why so many things in the West are run by private companies instead of by the government or by Non-governmental organisations. It is also why there are so many Western businesses around that don’t actually produce anything society needs, and often just cause lots of problems by their very existence.

Money in the West is not invested in places where it needs to be if everyone was to have a good job and be able to afford everything they need in life, because the Western governments don’t care about that.

They care about doing what’s good for the Central Bankers and the other capitalists that benefit from the system they set up. In fact, by their own laws they have to care more about that than anything else, because they are the ones who choose to be in debt by selling Treasury Bonds. So we should not be surprised at the class divide in Western countries or the divide between Western countries and the other countries they control.

Central Bankers ultimately profit from any other capitalist business going on in the country that they print money for because the government taxes these businesses and their workers in order to pay off it’s debts to the Bank. That’s right, the only reason the government takes so much of your wages if you work in the formal Western economy is to pay their debt to these banks, not to run public services, which are all paid for by the debt itself, as is the military.

Capitalists in general, and so the Central Banks in particular, need to have cheap workforce to exploit if they want to make a profit. There’s only so much money to be made from just buying something cheaply in one place and selling it for more in another. You make a lot more if in the middle you get someone to do some kind of work to change it into something more valuable, but only if you don’t pay that worker the same as the value that their work adds to the product. Instead, if you pay them a set wage per hour or per year, and make that wage pretty low, you can fool them into putting a lot of “value” into your products for free. (If you understand this paragraph you basically never need to bother reading Karl Marx, who made economics even harder for ordinary people to get their heads around, by making up a load of new jargon of his own).

This is why you see Western and Western controlled governments refusing to just give working class people free access to everything they need to live happy lives without working for someone else: Land, Education, Healthcare, Shelter, Clothing, Civil liberties etc, because they want to keep them in poverty. By keeping us in poverty they make us feel like the only way to survive is by either working for a capitalist business or living off hand outs from other people that do.

If you look at the average wages in Western societies (adjusted for inflation) over the past few decades you will see that they have just gone down and down while the shareholders of Central Banks and the biggest other Capitalist businesses have gone up and up. All of this can be traced back to government policies and the monetary policies of the Central Banks themselves.

The IMF/World Bank and Western Central Banks have deliberately created economic crises in countries all over the world many times in order to further the consolidation of their power, and the power of large capitalist businesses generally, over society as a whole. One simple way they can do this is to print so much money that it starts to lose value. This is the law of supply and demand, which says that in any kind of marketplace something has more value if its supply is low and the demand for it is high and has less when the opposite is true. When this happens with money, which if something that is traded in markets just like anything else, it is called inflation. Inflation has been the root cause of most economic crises in Western Imperialist history, and it is caused by deliberate Central Bank policies.

They cause these crises because in these situations many small capitalists and even poor people are forced to sell their assets, which is a fancy word for “valuable stuff” like their houses or their businesses or their land or their jewels or Treasury Bonds, to the bigger capitalists, including the people who own the Central Banks. This is what is called “Class War”, when one class of people attacks another in order to steal their property, but the suffering inflicted on the poorer classes in order to make them surrender their assets is caused by denying them what they need to survive – in this case money – rather than direct physical violence. But it is War just the same.

This is why you might sometimes hear about people talking about Capitalism or the Capitalist System as the name for the political-economic system in the West, and saying that Capitalism is imperialistic and oppresses the working classes. I prefer to be more precise and call it the Western Imperialist system, rather than “The” Capitalist system, because, as we will see, Non Western societies and theoretically even non-oppressive systems can also be called “capitalist”.

State-Capitalism in the Anti-Western World

State-Capitalism is when a government (State is just another word for government) acts like a capitalist business itself, rather than just being controlled by separate capitalist businesses. This means of course that the government in a State-Capitalist country has to print its own money rather than just get into debt to capitalist banks.

Many Anti-Western governments have understood the power of the Central Banks over the Western Imperialist system and sought to make sure that they have not been able to take over their own countries as well. I have already explained about how many Oil producing States have tried to free themselves from domination by the US Federal Reserve system and been invaded or had their leaders killed by the CIA. There have been two Anti-Western countries, however, which have managed to resist such a fate for many decades due to their size and military capability: Russia and China.

Russia was called the Russian Empire until 1917 and was ruled by emperors called “Tsars”, so this period of history is often called “Tsarist”. In Tsarist Russia the Central Bank was not an independent private business but was actually owned and controlled by the government. After the Russian Revolution in 1917 the new government run by the Communist Party kept this system going. Even today, when Russia is now called the Russian Federation and Communist Party rule is finished, the Russian Central Bank is still heavily controlled by the government, which takes half it’s profits.

Russia’s independence from the Western Imperialist Banking system means it has always been able to run it’s economy in a different way and have a foreign policy that actually challenges the West’s dominance. During the time the Communist Party was in power many revolutionary-minded people in other parts of the world naively thought that the Russian system was actually run for the benefit of the working class and for anti-imperialist struggles in other parts of the world.

In fact Russia’s foreign policy was still as Imperialistic as it was when they called themselves the Russian Empire, and workers in Russia were still deliberately kept in poverty by the government so that they could be exploited, just like in the West. State-Capitalism (which they called Communism to piss off real Communists, who mostly changed their name to Anarchists) just meant they were exploited by State-run businesses instead of private ones.

Nonetheless there was much more social equality (except within the Communist Party, whose leaders lived in luxury) in Communist Russia than in the West, and except for times of severe shortages the living conditions of the working classes were actually better than in the West in many ways. Even though they had less political rights – like the right to free speech or assembly- Russian workers had economic and social rights which Western workers did not have, like the right to have a job and healthcare. The Russian government did not make sure this was the case out of love for the people though, it did it to secure their loyalty and make the West look bad.

The Russian Communist Party did also actually give lots of money to revolutionary groups around the world who were fighting Western Imperialism, and many of the civil wars in what was then called the Third World (Africa, Latin America and Asia) were actually wars between the US and Russia in disguise, with Russian secret agents supporting one side and American ones the other. The Russians were not fighting for the liberation or self-government of these countries though, they just wanted to be the ones exploiting their workers and resources instead of the Westerners.

Russia was able to do all this, and still is able to control the economies of most of its neighbouring countries, because when it wants to start a new industry it can just print money itself with which to do so, rather than having to borrow money from other people, because the government runs the Central Bank. Because Russia has always been a dictatorship as well it has also been able to just force people to work to build up its empire, especially during the time they were led by Josef Stalin. Stalin ordered several “5 year plans” which were successful in revolutionising Russian industry and were only possible because of the State-Capitalist combination of a dictating government with its own State-run central bank.

The other State-Capitalist country is of course China, which was also taken over by a group calling itself the Communist Party, who are still in power today. The Chinese Communist Party was always separate from the Russian one, even though they were obviously inspired by them in many ways. The Chinese dictator Chairman Mao, who brought the Communist Party to power and created the State called the People’s Republic of China, followed similar policies to the Russians when it came to industrialising the country.

China also supported many anti-imperialist and revolutionary movements around the world, and still does, but just like Russia it has always been simply another Imperialist power in itself, supporting these struggles for its own interests rather than out of genuine solidarity.  Just a few years ago a Maoist Communist Party took power in Nepal after a civil war that had gone on for ten years. The Chinese government were supplying them with weapons all throughout the civil war and now that they are in power they are adopting policies that benefit China. This is exactly what the Western Imperialists are trying to do in Syria.

The People’s Bank of China is the Chinese Central Bank which prints the Chinese currency, the Yuan, and is controlled by the State. This Bank’s policies have helped China to become the world’s biggest industrial economy, producing more industrial goods than any country in history.

Here we see an important difference between the Western and State-Capitalist systems. Because the Peoples Bank of China is not simply concerned with making the most profit for itself as possible, but can also have more long term goals in mind they have strategically supported the development of China’s industry in such a way as to provide jobs for most of the working class and to be able to export more products than they import. In China the State doesn’t employ all workers anymore, but let’s private capitalist businesses exist as long as they don’t challenge the Communist Party’s power, and this has helped industry to grow, as private capitalists are greedier than Communist bureaucrats so run their businesses more efficiently.

In the West almost the exact opposite has happened. Western governments, controlled by their need to make money for private capitalist bankers, have allowed the industries of their countries to all but collapse, with terrible consequences for working class people. This has not been a well thought-out strategic long term government policy, and Western governments are probably regretting now that they have allowed this to happen.

Because the bankers always had a short term interest in letting Western factories shut down and be replaced by factories in other countries where wages were lower instead, that’s what Western governments allowed to happen. The bankers had an interest in this because they were always investing in the other companies that ran the factories (as they invest in pretty much everything) so they shared in the increased profits from the cheaper labour in other countries.

This is where the Western Imperialists have fucked up, perhaps so much so that they will soon lose their empires and never get them back. They now have to import goods from China, their Imperial rival, because they cannot produce them by themselves. This means that American Dollars and other Western currencies are flowing into China, as Westerners use them to buy Chinese goods, but not many Chinese Yuan are flowing into the West.

That means that Chinese businesses have more Western currency that they need to convert into Yuan so they can spend them in China than there is Yuan that Western businesses want to change into Western currencies.  In other words: the supply of Yuan is less than the demand for it and the supply of Western currencies is higher than the demand for them. This means that the Yuan should in theory start to be worth more in relation to Western currencies (stop and think about this for a few minutes if you need).

If the Yuan started to be worth more compared with Western currencies then people in the West would have to pay more for Chinese products and so they would stop buying them. For example, if you earn 6 British Pounds an hour, then if that gets you 100 Yuan, you can buy two shirts that cost 50 Yuan in China. But if 6 pounds starts to be worth only 50 Yuan then you can only buy one of those shirts and maybe you will not bother because you can find them cheaper somewhere else.

The People’s Bank of China does not want this to happen so they print more and more Yuan as they earn more and more dollars so that the supply of Yuan will stay the same relative to Western currencies, so that its value will stay the same. They call this “pegging” the Yuan, and just like with the Western inflation crises they do it by simply printing money,

They then use this extra Yuan to change Western currencies that Chinese businesses have earned by exporting products into Yuan, which those businesses need to pay their workers. The Peoples Bank of China therefore keeps earning more and more Western currencies for itself.

Because the Chinese government is like one big capitalist enterprise, they do not want this money to just sit around doing nothing, they want to invest it in something than will earn them even more money. The best things you can buy with Western money are Treasury Bonds from Western governments. If you remember, these  are just pieces of paper the government gives in exchange for loans at interest – a pretty sure way of making a profit as they are backed up by the whole authority of the government. So now the Peoples Bank of China owns huge amounts of Western Treasury Bonds, which means that the Western governments are now increasingly in debt to the Peoples Bank of China, and therefore to the Chinese Communist Party itself.

So although the United States is still the biggest military power and still uses that fact to try and force Oil producing countries to sell in Dollars, as just one example among many forms of imperialist military operations, China may one day own more of the US government’s debt in the form of treasury bonds that the Federal Reserve actually does, making the global Oil markets use of the dollar seem less likely for the future, all because China has used State planning to successfully out-manoeuvre the West’s system of private capitalism.

So What Are We Supposed To Do About All This?

Though Western Imperialism is unquestionably a bad thing, that doesn’t mean that it’s decline is necessarily good if it is just going to be replaced with Eastern Imperialism. The BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) is a political alliance of extremely big Anti-Western countries that already exists and is growing stronger, symbolising the very real threat of a new Eastern Imperialist world system.

So if we don’t want to maintain the old Western System, but are also frightened of the new Eastern one, which after all is led by a totalitarian dictatorship which already has a history of supporting armed groups in other countries, what are we supposed to fight for instead?

The truth is that we don’t need either of these systems, neither Central banks run by governments in the East or visa versa in the West. In fact we don’t need anyone to print money at all, if we just got rid of all these governments and collectively decided that everyone was entitled to all they needed to survive and live a good life, free of charge. There are more than enough resources in the world for that to be possible if no capitalists or “Communists” were around making a profit.

So for me personally, that’s what I am fighting for, a system called Anarchist Communism in which there are neither governments or central banks, neither laws nor money but instead merely a culture, everywhere in the world, in which no-one lets anyone else get oppressed or go without access to food, shelter, clothing, education, healthcare or the wilderness. As I said before, there are enough resources for this to be possible and I genuinely believe that this global cultural revolution is all that would be necessary to achieve it, plus of course the destruction of all the worlds governments and capitalist businesses, which admittedly is a tricky thing to achieve.

But even in such a utopian world some people may still decide that they want to start using money for some reason and there would be no government around to stop them.  The global anarchist communist culture would not be able to stop them either so long as they did not start oppressing people or denying people of access to what they needed.

If everyone’s basic needs were already met for free and people wanted to set up some kind of money based market place for purely unnecessary items, then this would not be a threat to the overall Anarchist Communist system.  Even if they started acting out roles as capitalists and workers the exploitation of the workers would still be truly voluntary if they could just walk away from the job at any moment and still have all they need to survive happily, which is not the case for most workers today.

But I hope I have already convinced you that whenever some kind of system based on money is created it becomes necessary to ask “Who controls the printing of this money?” If we do not want the power to print money to be in the hands of elite minorities, whether they be private capitalists or Communist Party Bureaucrats, then we must ensure that this power is held collectively by ordinary people.

Many small communities around the world have successfully experimented with local currencies that they can only use in that area, but which the decisions about monetary policy (which is policy about money) for are made democratically by everyone who uses the currency. These experiments are a reminder to the world that Central Banks are not necessary even in a capitalist economy. The only thing they are necessary for is an Imperialist economy.

No political party, lobbying group or social movement will ever be powerful enough to get Western Governments to change their banking systems or turn the People’s Republic of China into a genuinely democratic communist system, and small-scale local currency projects, as promising as they are, will never be allowed by governments to grow big enough to really challenge the Central Banks. The only way we can liberate ourselves from the tyranny of bankers and bureaucrats is through Revolutionary Direct Action against the power of all governments.

We cannot fight against the West without fighting the East at the same time, or else we will just find that we have been helping the East to take over our lives. We must work on building the global cultural shift towards a world where no one accepts poverty of oppression any longer, and at the same time work on building a united global insurrectionary movement against all the power of all States.

Even if you do not agree with me about the need for Global Anarchist Communist Revolution against all States and Empires, I hope I have at least convinced you that we do indeed live in a world of empires, and of the importance of the role of Central Banks in explaining global inequalities of wealth and power.

I hope I have also convinced you never to become either a capitalist or a member of a Communist Party, but rather to try and live your life in as free a way as possible from their systems.

You don’t have to try to get rich, and if you can find ways to get what you need to survive for free then you don’t even have to use money at all. Money and the laws of governments are not real things and you don’t have to treat them like they are. The more you do, the more you make them real. Sure, you can pretend to believe in them when it suits you but you don’t have to lose your sense of self because of them like so many people have. Revolution begins in the mind.

Even if you do not want to join in with any revolutionary activity to do with actually bringing down or sabotaging governments, I hope you will at least be as free from them in your own life as you can and that you will encourage others to do the same.

I hope you will put your trust in love for all people, in your own self-reliance and in strengthening that of your community, whatever that might mean for you, rather than in money, governments or the murderous ruling class fuckers that they are controlled by.

Good luck, and Power to You.

You don’t have to be a lover to be a revolutionary, but it helps.

In my song “thoughts on fucking and the system” I wrote several lines that might indicate to people that don’t know me, that I think of love, and especially romantic love, as somehow a negative thing from a revolutionary perspective.

Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the song is intended as a satirical wake-up call to revolutionary activists who have become so jaded that they have abandoned even the concept of love, replacing it with the more abstract, less emotional notion of “mutual aid”.

The song also seeks to highlight the very real forces acting on us as human beings, and perhaps especially as revolutionaries, in a society based on hatred deliberately sown by the greedy and deceitful. When government agencies orchestrate terrorist attacks on symbols of particular ethnic or religious groups in such a way as to make blame appear to lie with members of another such group, solely to increase profits for a select few corporations and banks, it is difficult to maintain a loving attitude towards humanity.

But then, life itself is difficult. If there were no challenges in life it would not be worth living. Abandoning love, whilst still looking at the world through the prism of a perspective that see’s ignorance, greed and hatred ruling society and corrupting all our minds, is tantamount to suicide. Indeed this is the route taken by many of us who understand the basic functioning of the global system but feel powerless to change it, often indirectly through substance abuse.

If revolutionaries cannot see ourselves as morally superior to our enemies, our struggles cease to feel meaningful. For revolutionaries guided by religious faith, this moralising is perhaps easier than it is for more atheistic people. But you do not have to believe in God, the Astral Plane or the Immortal Soul, to believe in Love.

Love, as I also wrote in the above-mentioned song, is made of chemicals, or perhaps more accurately electrical signals travelling down neural pathways that are created, ultimately, by chemical reactions at the level of DNA. For our brains and bodies to have developed the multitude of parts and processes that we call “Love”, there must have been an evolutionary advantage for our ancestors to have done so, if you accept the theory of evolution by natural selection.

As Kropotkin sought to demonstrate in Mutual Aid, animals that evolve cooperative instincts towards members of their own species tend to stand a better chance of survival than those that don’t. It is easy to understand why: many hands make light work, and thus the overall expenditure of energy for a group in order to survive is less when they cooperate.

But talking about animals having cooperative instincts is still outside the realm of human emotion. Kropotkin may have been excited when he saw a crab trying to help it’s companion in Brighton Aquarium, but normal people are not usually satisfied with observations of the behaviour of other species when trying to resolve their own emotional crises.

We may, however, feel happy, even deliriously, overwhelmingly so, when another human being that we feel love for shows some sign that they love us too. Everyday, all over the world, billions of nods of encouragement, hugs, kisses and caresses of reassurance, and loving words are given out by human beings to one another. If this were not the case, would our societies function at all?

And yet, displays of intense emotion or preferential treatment of loved ones are not considered professional in today’s world run by machines and people who aspire to think and act like machines. Officially, the business world is held together by webs of direct personal financial interests which coalesce and converge at dizzying rates, and are measured in terms of numbers, graphs and longwinded jargon on pieces of paper and computer screens.

For human beings brought up in such a world, whether they are the ones acting like machines or being acted on by them, it is hard to imagine learning to love at all. Luckily, however things are not quite so bad yet.

I used to scoff at revolutionary rhetoric that referenced love, even though it was probably revolutionary messages coated in the language of romantic idealism that most influenced my early development.

Now I wonder why I was so cynical. What was I trying to prove? That I didn’t need love?

Falling in love for the first time with someone who loved me back came much earlier in my life than my involvement with political activism. If I hadn’t have had that boost to the spirit, would I ever have had the gall to think I could take some kind of meaningful action to change the world?

I do not currently have any sexual or romantic relationships going in my life, and yet strangely don’t seem to care as much as I used to. I used to feel such a desperate longing in my soul for someone, usually female but sometimes not, to be some kind of soul mate, and release my from my inner anguish.

But I always remembered the concept of the “anima” I’d read about whilst working a terrifying job in central London for a fat, bald tyrant, that there is a figure that recurs in the dreams and art of almost all human beings of a beautiful woman, representing all kinds of good, pure and gentle qualities, but still somehow bound up with lust. The more relationships I had with women the more I realised I just kept on projecting that image onto them, trying to force them to be what my subconscious felt I was lacking.

The anima is based on an internal separation in the mind, reinforced by all the sexist and heteronormative bollocks that our brains are bombarded with since birth. Whenever I was with a girl who resembled the female archetype, it brought out negative traits in me that are usually associated with masculinity.

I aspire to make these concepts meaningless in my own mind, a task I know to be impossible, but a worthwhile pursuit nonetheless. It means not identifying with any gendered identity.

If you are macho, you’re macho, regardless of your biology, and if you are sensitive, you’re sensitive.

All of us have to be sensitive sometimes and put on a front at others. If half the population only knows how to do one and not the other, what kind of ridiculous pressure does that put on romantic relationships?

Relationships aren’t meant to be about people compensating for each others’ flaws. They’re meant to be about love. Unconditional love would preclude conditions like “you must pretend to be exactly opposite to me in all the ways society dictates we must be”.

But then, it’s no wonder that in such a dictatorial society people are ill-equipped with wise teachings to help them balance out all the contradictory aspects to their being. For society does not have as it’s aim our spiritual development, if it can be called that. Societies aim is the self-expansion of capital, by murder, deceit and the poisoning of the earth if so be it.

That is the primary dictate to which all others have been brought in effect to more efficiently enforce: poisoning minds for generations with racist, sexist, classist crap to create this family unit, this class structure, these racial and gender classifications. This inequality.

This alienation from everyone around us, even people we see and talk to everyday.

Except for those happy souls who are able to project love at almost everyone they see, and so constantly see it reflected back at them in the faces of others responding in kind. They do not necessarily see the world as such a dystopian place.

Two people in a different mood standing on the same street might observe two almost entirely unrelated realities, which if they were to relate later to a mutual friend would sound nothing alike.

One might observe the buildings, reflecting on why they had been built in such a way and what purpose they were currently being used for, and see the people scurrying past like labrats running through mazes constructed by higher powers completely disinterested in their wellbeing.

The other might simple see a street full of crazy characters, each with their own backstory, with love interests, hope and dreams, and quirky little mannerisms that make them each adorable in their own special way.

The people who can only see their fellows as cogs in a machine, are themselves guilty of being so much like a machine, that they have started to think like one. Without love.

These crazy quirky characters are the people of the earth. They are who society is built from, and who any future society will have to be built from too. When I look at them, and imagine the society they could build if they were only liberated and empowered enough to do so, I see a world I would risk my life for.

It would be a world not exactly based on love, but one where it would certainly be easier, because everyone would be happier within themselves, following their own dreams and desires, instead of having to scrape together whatever magic or fun they can in the few hours between working and fitful sleep.

People who are exhausted physically and emotionally do not make the best lovers. They do not really make the best workers either, but that’s what being a worker makes of them, especially when the system keeps trying to make them better and better, or at least more efficient at turning time into money.

Don’t we all want to be happy within ourselves and able to feel loved by, and love towards other people and things? Some perhaps would answer no, but I suspect they would mainly be lying to themselves, or else are seriously fucked in the head.

Don’t we all feel that the power structures and associated cultural restrictions we have now are making it harder and harder to be happy or to feel love? To feel anything but loathing and despair?

To change things we need a lot of collective action. Fucktons of it in fact: toppling governments, regrowing rainforests, educating new generations not to be as stupid as our current leaders are, all kinds of shit. People need to unlearn all the programs that have been fed into them, deal with their twisted views on race, gender, sex and material objects, and to support one another while doing so.

What else could tie all that collective action together except love?

Ideology? Collective recognition of long term benefit? Incentive schemes?

Human beings are not designed for such mental gymnastics and self control. Set a system up and watch it fall, that’s our species’ favourite sport.

But we are all born with an ability to love. If we were not our species never would have survived. If the first human mothers didn’t love their children why the fuck would they put up with them sucking at them and not just leave them to die in the jungle? Why would they have protected them until they were old enough to reproduce themselves?

Men and women are not physically so different as people always go on about. Maybe mothers can love more than anyone who isn’t a mother could ever know, or maybe we all can love anyone with that same strength with which a mother loves a child.

In a world where collective organisation ensured a decent standard of living and respect for individual and social freedom, maybe we wouldn’t even have to speculate about such things, for everyone would have so many different examples of love around them that they would know pretty much everything about it, and we could get on with something else.

Like trying to find aliens. And then fall in love with them.

An Anarchist Position on Mali: Solidarity with Tuareg peoples against both Al Qaeda and the West

(This piece is intended as a polemic rather than a piece of academic research. See http://www.globalresearch.ca for more detailed information on all the assertions about Al Qaeda and Western Imperialism made below.)

In “The Revolution of Everyday Life” Raul Vaneigem talked about the idea of the “Third Force”. http://library.nothingness.org/articles/SI/en/display/29

What i think he meant by it is that every time the mainstream media, (or commercial popular culture more generally), presents us with an apparent conflict between two sides, there is always actually a lot more going on behind the scenes. There is always at least one “third force”, usually more than just one, and without understanding this we can not understand the role of capitalist interests in whatever conflict is going on.

So, in Mali, we are told, the West is fighting Al Qaeda, as they supposedly have been for over twelve years. The Western powers say Al Qaeda is using Mali as a safe haven, but they didn’t seem to mind until pretty recently. Mali has been a “safe haven” for Al Qaeda for over ten years, during the whole “War on Terror”.

Al Qaeda says the West are evil imperialists that want to fuck over the Malian people. Well, this is as true as saying Al Qaeda are fake-muslim terrorists wanting to impose a patriarchal dictatorship, but again, Al Qaeda in the Maghreb and it’s forerunners didn’t seem to mind cooperating with Western Imperialism during the Soviet Afghan War, or selling Cocaine to European countries, or working with the Western backed Tourre for years.

So who’s the third force here, and what’s really going on?

Well, there just so happens to be a long history of struggle on the part of the Tuareg people of the Sahara, who are spread out across the territories of many nation states in North and West Africa, usually living on land rich in natural resources that are highly desired by Western Corporations, especially now that they face such immediate threats to their power from China, which has already made significant inroads into Africa that the West is desperate to reverse.

An independent Tuareg state in Mali would run the risk not of turning Mali into a safe haven for Al Qaeda, which it already was, but turning it into a safe haven for other Tuareg freedom fighters wishing to create independent states in Algeria, Morocco, Libya, Niger etc. This is what the West is really afraid of.

As nationalists, the Tuaregs want the resources of their territories to be controlled by and used for the benefit of their people. As imperialists the Western powers will do everything they can to prevent this and to keep said resources in the hands of Western corporations. The French have already preemptively invaded Niger as well, to secure Uranium deposits that sit below land occupied by Tuaregs.

So what about Al Qaeda? What’s their game, and how does it fit into the West’s?

Al Qaeda was invented by the CIA in the nineteen eighties, when they brought together radical Islamists from all over the Muslim world and gave them training and funding to fight the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. This is not a conspiracy theory, this is a well documented fact that the US does not even deny.

What they do deny is that the CIA continues to control or influence Al-Qaeda’s actions. We are supposed to believe that they just created a monster which has now gotten out of their control and which we must now trust them to destroy. They ask us to trust them to do this so much that we are supposed not to mind when our basic civil liberties are taken away from us, when they drop bombs on our families and the families of our friends, and send people from our communities to die in foreign countries.

They ask us to ignore the fact that every time the Western corporations have a strategic interest in occupying somewhere with valuable resources, Al Qaeda handily seems to attack it thus giving the West the perfect excuse.

The West want to build a pipeline through Afghanistan? Al Qaeda attacks New York, supposedly from bases in Afghanistan. The US needs to make sure whoever replaced Saddam Hussein doesn’t have the same economic policies as him? Al Qaeda starts a long and bloody sectarian conflict in Iraq which the West uses to justify it’s continued presence there until enough private security companies can be found to replace US troops.

Tuaregs rise up in Northern Mali against a dictator who allowed both Al Qaeda, AND the West to profit from Malien resources and labour power for years? Al Qaeda takes over Northern Mali, sabotaging the genuine independence struggle and justifying a huge Western Military mobilization to protect the resources of the country.

The Western powers can not defeat Al Qaeda in Mali, nor do they really want to. What they want, and i really can’t stress this enough, is MONEY, and the same goes for Al Qaeda. You don’t have to read very much of the Koran to figure out that they are full of shit when they claim to be good Muslims.

What the Tuareg people want is Freedom, and control over the resources of their land. Whether you call yourself an Anarchist, a Socialist, a Liberal, or just a decent human being, you must surely see that this is a reasonable demand on their part, and that both Al Qaeda and the West are seriously fucking them over with this bullshit war.

As an Anarchist i can obviously not explicitly declare sympathies with any nationalist organisation which desires to set up a new Nation State with borders, bureaucrats and other bollocks that comes as part of the package. There is no such thing as a democratic state and we must expect any political movement seeking to create a State structure to eventually become corrupted, creating a new ruling class living off the surplus labour of the rest of society. So i will not say “solidarity with the MNLA”, for example.

But the supporters of the MNLA, like non-islamist Tuaregs everywhere, are fighting simply for their basic human rights, such as the right to self-determination, which is also a basic Anarchist tenet (when it is removed from its normal nationalistic connotations)

According to many analysts the MNLA are the only force in the region that could possibly defeat Al Qaeda (http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/spotlight/2012review/2012/12/20121228102157169557.html#.UOCH3JVhuxg.blogger) which is exactly why the West is refusing to allow them to do so. Malien civilians are suffering enormously and not receiving anywhere near enough humanitarian aid, forcing them to be even more dependent on Al Qaeda.

Whatever name they go under, Tuaregs fighting against Al Qaeda need political support from anyone wishing to see a real solution to this war, and the West’s murderous real agenda needs to be exposed and condemned.

More immediately, civilians in Mali and in the parts of Niger occupied by the French, need humanitarian aid, and the Western media needs to report upon the actual humanitarian situation, instead of continuing this fucked up information blackout.

Solidarity with Tuareg freedom fighters!

Down with Al Qaeda, Down with Western Imperialism!

For a world without Nation States and Capitalism

For Anarchy and Revolution

Armistace day – celebrating an old War’s end, or a new War’s beginning?

The struggle of people against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting” unknown

It is not always true that “history is written by winners”, it’s just that history written by “losers” tends to be less widely accessable.
Take for instance the history of the Anarchist movement in what became Soviet Russia. Virtually no-one outside anarchist circles knows anything about it, and probably only a tiny minority within the anarchist movement have anything more than the vaugest notions. This is because the Russian Anarchist exiles (Makhno, Arsinov, Goldman, Berkman etc) could only get their stories out through the underground anarchist press at the time. The Bolshevik version of events, however, was repeated not only by their comrades in the 3rd International (which became one of the most powerful political organisations on the planet) but also by Trotskyists in the “4th International” who claimed to be critical of the regime, and by anti-Communists, who repeated many of the ‘lies even whilst trying to attack them.

Today, November the 11th, is traditionally a day when the winners’ versions of the history of the two World Wars is shoved down our throats year in, year out. In Britain the role of non-British soldiers in the defeat of the Nazi’s is downplayed or ignored, and the British government‘s Fascist sympathies in the run up to the war completely unmentioned. Similarly, in France the role of Spanish exiles fleeing fascism in their homeland in fighting the Nazi occupation of France is ignored, perhaps because many of them were anarchists. The “French Resistance” is twisted into a nationalist myth in much the same way as the British “blitz spirit” is.

But this year (2010) November the 11th is a day when the struggle of memory against forgetting is important for an additional reason. Because yesterday saw an explosion of class violence on a scale not seen in over a decade, catching the authorities completly by suprise. An estimated 50,000 students from around Britain came to London for a demonstration called by the NUS and UCU (two bureaucratic, reformist instituitions) against the proposed “lifting of the cap” of university tuition fees by the Conservative-LibDem coalition (or “Condemolition”) government. This measure would enable fees to effectively triple, obviously making it harder for people from poorer backgrounds to realistically be able to attend university.

Many students had naively believed the Libdem leader Nick Clegg’s promise that he would oppose any move to do such this, and had voted for him en mass, without which he perhaps could not have gotten himself into government. Many now felt betrayed, and the NUS leader Aaron Porter, a Labour Party member was hoping to use this to his party’s advantage by encouraging students to force by-elections in Libdem constituencies. This is just one example of the Labour Party’s devious attempts to present itself as an alternative to the Condemolition in order to surf the waves of discontent right back into power, despite starting the austerity process itself when it was last in government, barely 6 months ago.

There were a great number of NUS/UCU stewards at the demonstation, as well as the usual huge contigent of Trotskyists encouraging people to accept reformist slogans whilst still trying to present themselves as revolutionary. The Police clearly had a lot of faith in the ability of these elements to control the demonstration, as they only had 225 officers on duty, less than at the Smash EDO demonstration in Brighton a month earlier which attracted less than a hundredth of the number of protestors at the London demo.

But all these bourgeois institutions (police, NUS, UCU) underestimated the level of anger, determination and militancy of the masses they had assembled. Even the self-identified anarchist movement underestimated it. Though an Anarchist block was called by the Anarchist Federation and supported by London Solfed and other anarchist groups, we were mainly expecting it to be used merely as a chance to spread propaganda of the word, rather than of the deed.

The march was supposed to end, as is usual for these kinds of events, with a boring rally in a fenced off space. Instead it ended with thousands of people charging police lines, setting fires and smashing to pieces the offices of the Conservative party in the Millbank building, which happened to lie on the official route of the march. The level of violence against property was extremely high, any violence against fellow human beings including police was either taken in self-defence or was accidental, as far as i could make out.

So far the numbers of arrested are less than 50, in other words, less than at the Smash EDO demo, despite the fact that over 30 times the amount of people were engaged in much more militant actions. This has been described as the largest demonstration so far against the “cuts”, in otherwords the largest expression so far of working-class resistance to the ongoing assault by our rulers, and most definitly the most militant.

We can only hope that this trajectory will continue to develop within the wider class, that the students will take pride in this shared memory of the creation of a militant and historical situation, that it will galvanise them further and that it will inspire others in the class to follow their example. Students can play an important supportive and participatory role in workers’ and community struggles due to their relative amount of free time, their youthful energy and the lack of personal risk (for example they are less likely to their jobs as a result of radical action). The more they are prepared to play this role, and play it in the spirit of autonomous direct action rather than bureaucratic representative politics, the greater the degree of working class struggle we can expect to see.

However, this is only true to the extent that the masses are not fooled by the distortions, lies and condemnations of the mainstream press, the government and the NUS/UCU. Today, on November the eleventh, the printed press, the internet and tv news are full of such reactionary propaganda. The role of active anarchist, autonomist and other libertarian revolutionaries in countering such propaganda will be incredibly important.

Part of this involves self-restraint.  As a way of downplaying the wider class significance of the events, bureaucrats and the media are giving the anarchist movement undue credit for the “violence” (though even Gandhi did not consider property damage to be equivelent to violence against living things, only the western bourgeoisie could do that). We could respond by saying “yes it was us, look how strong we are, WE ARE EVERYWHERE etc”. But this would be a disservice to the great majority of participants who were clearly not conscious anarchists, but merely pissed of proletarians taking action against their class enemies. Indeed, this is the feature of the attack that we should highlight most, as true anarchist propaganda should always be merely to demonstrate to the wider class it’s own capabilities, by way of encouraging autonomous self-organisation and direct action.

Let 10.11.10 be the start of the real resistance of the working class to the current capitalist crisis.
Let the lies of the bourgeoisie and their dispicable motives be exposed.
“Let the bourgeoisie tremble at the spectre of a proletarian revolution”

And above all, let us never forget the history of the losers