Tag Archives: anarchism

100 years of solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

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I have discovered a writer who didn’t write a story with words, but wove a mysterious living thing from strands of his soul. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez is a book that hardly requires additional praise. It was awarded the Nobel Prize, has been translated in every major language, and is considered one of the first major works of magical realism. What can I add that hasn’t already been said? It’s a waste of time to write a review, and so I’ll try instead to write about the experience I had.

To give you a little background, the story is about the founding and collapse of an imaginary town named Macondo, whose existence is intertwined with the bloodline of the man that founded it. Immediately the storytelling quality mixed with real historical events reminded me of the way my grandparents told us stories. It starts off as a realistic account of something that happened a longtime ago which can be verified by relics and people who are very old now. Things were different back then. Incredible things were common occurrences in the past that were simply accepted into daily life. Restless ghosts wandered through the streets, people died and returned from death, and there were those who predicted the future in order to buy bread. In those days people suffered more, but they also loved harder in a way that was more painful. Those time are forever receding away from now.

One Hundred Years of Solitude is a living remnant of that time. It is a lucid dream existing in the wakened world. What is the use in trying to make sense of a dream? That is how this book tells the history of the Buendía family and Macondo. It is played out like a wonderful nightmare that is infused with a religious quality and is nostalgic for love and life. Do not expect a traditionally written book. Some will hate it because it does not follow the rules. García is a literary anarchist who is only concerned with driving his story like a healing weapon at our soul. I feel more human having read this novel.

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Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell

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In 1936 George Orwell, author of 1984 and Animal Farm, was sent to Spain to report on the Spanish Civil War. Upon arriving there he did the only thing sensible to him at the time, he took up arms with the anarchist militia against the fascist army of Francisco Franco. Orwell took the role of a soldier-reporter in which he wrote a book about his experiences, Homage to Catalonia.

For anyone interested in the dynamics of revolutionary history or Anarchism, this is one book that cannot be missed. Orwell recounts the entire ordeal beginning with joining the militia to narrowly escaping Spain during the political meltdown in a way that would make James Bond cream his tuxedo. Orwell’s recount is told with his signature charm, irony, and wit. It’s not often that we get to read a war book written by literary master who was actually there in the trenches. His first-hand accounts of combat put you right next to him crawling on your belly through mud and barb wire. You feel the panic of the communication lines breaking down in the midst of enemy fire, and the savagely cold nights with hardly a wick light to keep warm. Orwell portrayal of the petty infighting between anti-fascist forces will make the reader cross their head at the absurdity of war.

This isn’t a book that celebrates the glory of the battle field. It is harsh retelling of what it was like to be there in the madness. We get to see the transformation of Orwell starting off as wide-eyed man romanticized by the armed struggle, only to finish off disillusioned by the destruction, propaganda, and deadly ego battles. The relevancy of this book is at a fevered pitch in these modern times, but it’s a scream that is drowned out in the awesome flood of waving flags and avalanching politics.

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If you want a picture of the future,

imagine a boot stamping on a human

face- forever.”

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“Black Friday” Human sacrifice are good deals to the gods

Another Black Friday passed. The first thing I did after the rush was Google search “Black Friday Death.” It happens every year, so this one shouldn’t be any different. In some ways, it’s the American counterpart to Spain’s running with the bulls. Injuries and death are acceptable outcomes in both occasions. Last year, a full-grown, 270-pound man was trampled to death when a crowd of Wal-Mart shoppers smashed through the glass doors. There was also an incident where two men squared off in a gun duel at a Toys-R-Us; both men were murdered. This year, a woman was killed when her SUV collided with a cop cruiser on her way to do her Black Friday shopping.

Are these senseless deaths? I don’t think so. Everyone killed on Black Friday is not a freak accident, but rather, a blood sacrifice to the gods. These gods, which feed our insatiable appetite for all things consumable, are a mysterious power whose inner working is beyond the compression of even the wisest men. The captains of industry and CEO’s can only speculate and pose as if they are in total control. Their collective failure is reflected in the government bailout of billions of American tax dollars. Money we put into a collective pool to benefit our society, if it were only so! The money is gone. Oh, the irony in banks robbing banks.  And yet, the money is running out for everyone as if it’s disappearing into the blue sky.

That’s my point exactly.

By now everything has become obvious enough. We are a collection of nations that have coerced the world into offering everything it has to this glutenous god. No, I’m not talking about the Christian god Jesus Christ. All major gods act as a spokesperson which stands in front of the true forces we unconsciously worship. This ultimately mysterious being is much like us; it has a never-filling hunger. Through us, it will devour Earth itself, and if possible, the universe too. Between humanity and this god there is a reciprocal relationship of everlasting consumption. It feeds us, and by doing so we are better able to feed it. Despite how many people will deny it, Black Friday is a sacrificial celebration to gods of divine hunger. The deaths I was referring to earlier are human sacrifices.

Take a look at the wars all over the world. The root cause in every major military conflict is economics. All that talk about god and country is nothing but an easily-grasped facade for the masses. Their deaths are also offering, nothing is wasted. Economics is another just another name for the system by which we feed the world, people and all, to the secret hungry god that is able to devour the universe. It is amazing that we managed to create an “eater of everything.”

On behalf of all the cult members who participated on Black Friday, Happy Birthday!

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reflections on the occupy movement and what protest means today

It was about a year ago that the Occupy movement spread worldwide. Millions of people participated in the protest against global economic inequality. Their rallying point was that the top 1% is accumulating too much wealth, and primarily through exploitative means. There is vast evidence to support these claims. The world is not a very friendly place, I’m sure you already know. So I agreed with their cause and was interested to see how it would develop. I expected an anti-protester stance by the government and corporate world, but what truly shocked me was how the general public reacted. Ordinary people (not all, there was massive support) began bashing on the movement against corporate greed. Even some of my politically apathetic friends began posting “facebook bumper stickers” against the protesters. When the powers that be had enough and ordered the police in to smash the movement, those same people felt America had won some type of battle. In fact it did, but for who?

The Occupy movement failed to bring about any significant change to the global economic system. People are still being exploited for labor and the presidential debate hardly addresses the growing inequality of the 1%. Yet the movement brought to light a disturbing aspect of our government, that future mass protests will most likely be met by the same repressive actions and possibly be intensified. Furthermore, the violence shows that the government has clearly sided with Wall St. The fact that all this happened while our troops were off dying for “freedom” only adds to the hypocrisy of it all. Any meaningful social action against abusive government/corporate practices will be ignored in the least and will be met with raw violence if necessary. Keep in mind that the Occupy movement was largely a nonviolent movement.

Tiananmen Square Massacre, 1989. Chinese protesters rally against government/corporate corruption. This footage is a haunting reminder of the Police State any government could become. Warning: the following BBC broadcast was recorded live on location and contains graphic images of violence and death.

This is not an isolated incident. And if you care enough to read further into the history of Neoliberalism, you’ll find that the Occupy movement is actually a continuing development from what you just watched. A true democracy must tolerate the most unpopular protests or degrade into totalitarianism. Advocating official government repression silences all people.

The government’s decision to suppress the Occupy movement by police force rather than open debate has lead some people to question adherence to nonviolent tactics. In the face of increasing police aggression, a growing number of people are turning to Black Bloc. It is a protest tactic in which a unified mass all wear black clothing and conceal their identities. They use extreme measures such as graffiti, rioting, and destruction of private property, as forms of direct action against the corporate establishment. Mob mentality is preferred and the group is known to be strong advocates of Anarchism.

Whether Black Bloc is an effective protest tactic or counter intuitive to petitioning the government for authentic change is hotly debated. What remains certain is that methods like Black Bloc are a reaction to government’s reluctance to engage the people’s concerns of corporate abuse, and the outright assaults on peaceful protesters only encourage more people to turn away from pacifism. After the inadequate results of 2011’s massive Occupy movement and the government’s brutal repression tactics, the question of what protest means in the United States remains uncertain. The solutions will not materialize themselves from nothing. These Ideas will be born from rational and intelligent debate that is protected by our right to free speech. But all the free speech in the world means nothing if our minds are empty and lethargic. Read books, ask questions, seek out information, and challenge propaganda. Most importantly, see that there is a problem. Both sides will need to evolve as the growing, unresolved tension foreshadows the violent extremities of the not so distant past.

 

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