(en) Anarchist Age Weekly Review 20.3.97

Philip McCrory (philmcc@melbpc.org.au)
Fri, 21 Mar 1997 13:59:58 +1000


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Number 241

17th - 23rd March, 1997

ALBANIA - BLUEPRINT FOR POST-MODERN REVOLUTION?

Are the events unfolding in Albania, a quaint step backward to some = quasi romantic revolt in a forgotten corner of Europe or do they give us = some insight into the nature of revolution in the 21st Century. The = death of State capitalism (Communism) was hailed by many prominent = commentators as a triumph for capitalism, market forces, the corporate = world and heralded the death knell of ideology.

In the last five years Albanians have seen all the hopes and aspirations = they harboured when they overthrew a brutal authoritarian regime crushed = by the parliamentary process. Many Albanians thought parliamentary = democracy was the way towards freedom and personal and community = prosperity. Their experiences at an economic, social and cultural level = have reinforced their disillusionment with political processes that = place power in the hands of self-appointed or elected officials.

The breakdown of central authority in Albania and the almost = simultaneous replacement of this central authority by autonomous = self-governing regions that are forming federations based on direct = democratic principles is an exciting development that has not been = witnessed on such a wide spread scale since the Spanish Revolution in = 1936. What is happening before our very eyes in Albania is a blueprint = for post-modern revolution.

The major revolutionary movements that have occurred since W.W.II have = essentially been nationalistic and authoritarian. In every case one = group of rulers has been replaced by another. Everytime people have = attempted to form egalitarian communities they have been manipulated and = hijacked by groups that want to shape the emerging post revolutionary = society in their own image.

The revolution in Albania is different, it's a peoples' revolution, = central authority has disintegrated because people want to control their = own destiny. It's no accident that the States armouries have been = opened to the people by sympathetic soldiers. People understand that = the only way they can maintain this new found freedom is by having the = means to defend it against those both in Albania and the outside world = who want to reimpose central authority.

What is happening in Albania is an inspiration to all people who want to = overthrow the yoke of nationalism, religion and the State and replace it = with a federation of self-managed councils that are based on egalitarian = principles. Whether the peoples' revolt in Albania succeeds or not is = difficult to gauge. What is undeniable is that the revolution that is = occurring in Albania will become a blueprint for post-modern revolution = both in parliamentary democracies and secular and religious = dictatorships everywhere around the globe.

WHEN IS A COUP NOT A COUP?

"He who makes half a revolution digs his own grave". The commander of the Papua New Guinea Armed Forces has thrown a direct = challenge to the authority of Julius Chan and the whole Papua New Guinea = Parliament. In an extraordinary move he has detained the mercenaries = from Sandline (Executive Outcomes) and is about to pack them back "home" = to South Africa. He has openly defied the Papua New Guinea Government = and has asked the Governor General to sack the current government for = corruption and call fresh elections.

As Julius Chan and his cabinet attempt to regain their authority they = have called on the Papua New Guinea Police Commissioner to throw in his = lot with parliament. They want him to mobilise the police force against = the Papua New Guinea Armed Forces. Currently the P.N.G. armed forces = have not moved in to detain the government and appoint themselves as an = interim government.

Whether the P.N.G. government survives this direct attack on its = authority doesn't really matter. What matters is that the armed forces = have changed the rules forever in P.N.G. Any future elected government = has to keep looking over its shoulder to ensure that they don't upset = the police and the armed forces.

The constitutional conventions that have held P.N.G. together have been = shown to be just that, useless conventions. If the armed forces succeed = in expelling Sandline and thumb their noses at the elected government, = things will never be the same again. Whether the "unfinished" or = "stalled" coup that has been staged by the P.N.G. armed forces succeeds = or not depends to a large degree on the reaction of the Australian = government.

If the Howard government throws its support behind Julius Chan and his = government, the armed forces will have no choice but to stage a "full = coup". If they don't they will eventually be neutralised by the P.N.G. = government. If on the other hand it doesn't take any sides the current = P.N.G. government will be forced to call fresh elections to try to = protect the constitutional integrity of Papua New Guinea.

WHAT A TAWDRY LITTLE EXERCISE

Watching Kim Il Kennett and his mate the former Finance Minister Ian = Smith squirm as they try to pull the wool over Victorian's eyes is a = sight not to be missed for all the tea in China. It's come to the = attention of our toothless media that Cheryl Harris's out of court = settlement over her dispute with her former lover and father of her = child Ian Smith was bankrolled by the Victorian government. Yes that's = right folks, it looks like over 100,000 dollars of taxpayers money was = used to buy Cheryl Harris's silence.

When the story broke on Sunday our beloved Premier Honest Kennett = claimed he had no knowledge about the settlement and would write to all = parties involved in the confidential agreement to obtain their = permission to release details of the settlement. On Tuesday under = sustained questioning in parliament Victoria's beloved leader = acknowledged that he had signed the agreement on behalf of the Victorian = government. He now conveniently claims that he cannot expose the = settlement without the parties approval.

To her credit Cheryl Harris has given permission for the agreement to be = made public. On the other hand Ian Smith the former Victorian Finance = Minister, who has arranged his affairs so that he pays no or minimal = maintenance towards the upkeep of his own child, wants to hide under the = confidentiality clause. This tawdry little example of duplicity evasion = and downright dishonesty is a symptom of the Kennett regime.

The Victorian Coalition believes that taxpayers money is their money. = They have no hesitation in using our money to settle private debts, = bankroll dubious public projects and give away public assets to the = private sector. The Coalition government in Victoria is berefit of any = ethical standards or morality. The Victorian government is beyond our = contempt. They are little more than blown up parasites sucking the life = out of the Victorian community sector.

2 + 2 =3D 4 (OR DOES IT)?

You've got to hand it to the Federal Minister for Education David Kemp = and his clones in the State sphere. They have collectively decided to = introduce standardised tests for all primary school children in Grade = one and in Grade five to find out if any children have literacy = problems.

What a joke, most teachers in the State sector have the brains to = realise what children have learning difficulties. The problem is not = one of identifying who has learning difficulties, but one of determining = what extra resources are going to be made available to tackle literacy = problems. When David Kemp was asked if any extra Federal resources were = going to be allocated to improve literacy rates, all he could say was = that the Commonwealth would ask the States to make extra funds available = to tackle the problem.

When you look at how the Commonwealth government and various State = governments have dismembered and looted the public education sector to = bankroll the private education sector you begin to realise the hollow = nature of the promises being made by the Commonwealth and State = Education Ministers.

WE JUST CAN'T DO IT

Australia is now the only industrialised country in the world that has = refused to give assurances that it will reduce green house emissions to = help the struggle against global warming. In an extraordinarily inept = display the Australian government released figures on Monday that = suggested to would cost the country twenty two billion dollars to comply = with international greenhouse emission targets.

Reading the governments report it was obvious that no attempt was even = made to factor in even minor changes that could be introduced to = decrease greenhouse emissions. Unfortunately this country is being held = to ransom by a number of transnational corporations that rely on the = production of greenhouse gases to maintain their already obscene = profits. The Federal government does not seem to be interested in = publicising the figures about the human and social costs that are = extracted from Australians to bankroll these global maggots.

CAN YOU FEEL IT?

Can you feel the panic that's beginning to grip the investment = community. Little cracks are beginning to appear in the financial = sectors' facade. Those with a nose for rotting flesh are beginning to = quietly cash in their investments in stock markets around the globe. = Like a group of lemmings investors are elbowing each other as they run = headlong into oblivion.

Anyone that's got any money in the stock market should be becoming = worried about what's going to happen in the next few weeks. = Traditionally the large private investors are the first to jump from the = sinking ship and the mum and dad investors and the superannuation funds = are the ones to bear the brunt of the losses. Looking at the stock = market it's obvious that the big investors are taking profits and = divesting themselves of their share portfolios. I expect the stock = market both in the U.S. and here will lose over half its value in the = next few weeks. Wait for it, you heard it first in the Anarchist Age = Weekly Review.

ANARCHIST QUESTION and ANSWER

Q. Is anarchism a pessimistic ideology?

A. It's interesting to note that the words pessimism and passivity have = the same origins. If there's one thing you can say about anarchists = it's that their not passive. Anarchism revolves around concepts that = are interlinked with direct action, individual responsibility, autonomy = and self-organisation. Anarchism is the very antithesis of passivity. = No anarchist will willingly surrender their autonomy to a leader or = central authority.

Anarchism is not a passive let alone a pessimistic ideology. Pessimism = leads to passivity, a "shit happens" attitude that seems to be so = prevalent in so many parts of the world today. Anarchism is an = optimistic philosophy because it ultimately relies on individual action = and individual autonomy. Any philosophy that relies on individual = choice naturally has an optimistic view of life.

Anarchists don't rely on the State or law to impose their will on = people. They rely on individuals having the capacity to organise their = own lives on egalitarian principles. Anarchists are optimistic enough = to believe that you don't need central authority to manage and control = people. Any ideology that bases its basic premises on an individuals = capacity to govern themself is by its very nature an optimistic = ideology.

Don't let anybody tell you that anarchists and anarchism thrive in = pessimistic times. The very opposite is the truth. The time anarchists = thrive is at that moment when people sniff the possibility of change. = Anarchists tend to thrive when people throw off their pessimism and = resultant passivity and embark on action that expands their horizon and = their ultimate potential. Such periods are intrinsically optimistic and = pump new energy into any ideology or philosophy that feeds on human = optimism. Anarchism is such a philosophy. ACTION BOX - LEGAL METHODS YOU CAN USE IN AUSTRALIA TO CLOSE DOWN YOUR = LOCAL FASCIST CENTRE It's important to challenge fascist groups whenever they attempt to form = a bridge head in a local community. To ignore them is to give them the = space to breathe and grow. Although the occasional mass demonstration = will have a beneficial psychological effect for those involved in the = protests, a fascist centre will only be closed down if continual = pressure is applied to it. A. PHOTOGRAPH as many of the people involved in the running of the = centre as possible. Access to a camera with a powerful lens will ensure = that you will obtain good quality photographs without any danger to = yourself. Place photos on posters (you can photocopy them to save = money) and put them up round the area, letting people know who is = involved in the centre. To be forewarned is to be protected. B. CONTACT THE OWNER - Check local council records to find out who has = rented the property to the fascists. Once you have found out who it = is, ask the local council to approach the owner to find out what type of = lease (if any) they hold. If the local council is unhelpful, approach = the owner yourself (with one or two witnesses) and ask them to evict the = fascists. If they are willing to listen to you and most are because = initially they have no idea who the real estate agent leased the = building to. Offer them legal and practical assistance to evict the = fascists. If they tell you to piss off let the local community know = about any local businesses they run and urge people to boycott these = businesses. They'll get the message quick fast. C. CONTACT THE REAL ESTATE AGENT - Contact the real estate agent asking = them to review the lease. The fascists may have leased the premises = under false pretences and may be able to be evicted because the original = lease was bodgy. If the Real Estate agent won't help - organise a = boycott of that particular agency. They'll get the message quick = enough. D. CONTACT THE COUNCIL - Ensure that the local council checks that the = business that is being run can be run at the premises. Check that they = have a registered business, no registration, no business. Demand the = council ensure that no one live on the premise, especially if it's = listed as a commercial premises. You may find they are living on the = premises "illegally" or that "illegal" alterations have been carried = out. You'd be surprised how many council by-laws there are regarding = business premises. Demand the council prosecute all breaches to the = full letter of the law. F. CONTACT THE LOCAL POLICE SUPERINTENDENT - Organise a delegation to = talk to the local superintendent. Police officers hate problems in = their areas. They'll stand tall when protesters "endanger law and = order", but they may sing a different tune if approached by a community = delegation. Tell them you are concerned about escalating violence in = the area, that you're concerned the fascists may be armed and you expect = them to apply the letter of the law as far as the centre is concerned. = Also tell them you'll hold the police responsible, if anyone in the = local community is threatened by these people. E. SHOW NO FEAR - It's important that you don't let the fascists = intimidate you. Organise a group of ten or more to go down to the = centre everyday. You're a member of the public, they are running a = public centre. Go down at different times of the day, keep them = guessing. If they verbally abuse or physically threaten anyone or try = to deny you entry to the shop, have somebody with a mobile phone ready = to call 000 and summon the police to deal with them. There will be = nothing more time consuming and expensive for them than having their = members hauled before the criminal justice system.

In Australia you can currently force a public fascist centre to close = using legal methods, if you have local support.

It's important all legal methods and all arms of the State and authority = are prodded to protect local interests. Constant daily pressure not the = occasional mass demonstration brings results. If the pressure gets too = much for them and they break their lease, make sure they are pursued = through the courts for breaking their lease. Have them declared = bankrupt. Next time they'll think twice before they attempt to build a = bridgehead in another suburb.

AUSTRALIAN ANARCHIST HISTORY THE SYDNEY LIBERTARIANS

The Libertarian Society was formed at the University of Sydney in 1951. = The Society became particularly active after 1956 and produced the = "Broadsheet" and occasionally published a magazine "The Libertarian". = The Libertarian Society arose out of the ashes of the Sydney Freethought = Society which collapsed in 1951 when the more Libertarian thinking = members of the Freethought Society formed the Libertarian Society.

Although always a relatively small group the Sydney Libertarians had a = profound impact on post W.W.II Australian Intellectual life. They had a = critical interest in Marx and Freud and while critical of Anderson one = of the leading lights in the immediate Post W.W.II Freethought Society. = They supported his criticisms of metaphysics, religion and traditional = moral theories.

They had a particular interest in anarchist ideas but rejected what they = described as the "utopian" and "Salvationist" aspects of anarchist = thoughts but were sympathetic to the spirit of anarchism. The Sydney = Libertarians were wary of talking about reforming society or about = future freedom. They used phrases such as "anarchism without end" = "permanent protest" or "pessimistic anarchism" to describe their ideas. = They felt that it was more important to criticise the views of = authoritarians and resist the pressure to conform and have = un-authoritarian sexual relationships than try to reform or change = society.

The Sydney Libertarians were a force in Sydney until the arrival of the = New Left in the mid 1960's. By then their ideas were found to be = wanting. New Left Activists were not satisfied with ideas of permanent = protest, they wanted change, revolutionary change today, not tomorrow. = New Left Activist's felt it wasn't enough to try to live a libertarian = lifestyle in the shade of the State. They wanted to abolish the State. = A few Sydney Libertarians continue to meet and publish material. = Against all odds they have attempted to keep their ideas on permanent = protest alive.

PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS

It was about 5.00pm. He was 17 or 18, covered in grease from head to = toe. He was wearing a T-shirt, jeans and a cap and sat on the ground = under a bus stop sign waiting for a bus to take him home. Looking at = him, I thought about the tens of thousands of Australian teenagers who = are languishing in schools or are wasting their lives being force fed by = a diet of canned television products.

We seem to have forgotten that all knowledge does not lie in books, = we've forgotten the dignity of labour, especially manual labour. Just = looking at him made me think about all the manual work I did when I was = younger. Society no longer seems to value sweat and grease. It's more = likely to value somebody who has tertiary education than somebody who = earns their livelihood by using their hands.

Covered in grease, waiting for a bus, he reminded me of a younger self. = More importantly he reminded me of the contribution that people who work = with their hands make in this country. In the last twenty years their = essential efforts have been belittled and shunted to one side. Their = rewards are minimal while the rewards of the paper shufflers increase as = their contribution and value to society decreases. It's time we = reassessed the contribution those who work with their hands make in this = society.

STOP PRESS Foreign Intervention In Albania? It hasn't taken the Greek, Serbian and Italian governments long to = organise a foreign intervention force to "stabilise" the situation in = Albania. They want to reimpose central authority in Albania before = their own citizens challenge their power. Both former government and = opposition figures have called on foreign governments to recreate the = State. They think it will only take a few foreign helicopter gunships = to bring "Albanians back to their senses" and accept central authority.

Any foreign government that believes it can just wonder into Albania and = reimpose the State apparatus needs to think again. Contrary to what we = have heard, read or seen, Albanians who have overthrown the yoke of the = State have not become blood thirsty killing machines. They have = attempted to organise their own affairs on the basis of direct = democratic principles. They have formed workers and community councils = that are willing to meet force with force. Albanians are armed and are = ready to defend their new found freedom. Any foreign army that thinks = it can impose its will on Albanians (who have won their freedom by = destroying the State) needs to think again and again. Far from acting = as a stabilising force, foreign intervention will plunge Albania into a = long civil war that will result in massive loss of life.

Joseph Toscano/Libertarian Workers for a Self-Managed Society.

WANTED DREAMERS!! If you have a dream post or fax it to the Anarchist Age Weekly Review.

ANARCHIST PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED THIS WEEK

CNT 21 3-216 Nov 1 Dec'96, Apdo Correos 4040 18080, Granada Spain. Tel = 958-220065, Fax 958-220119.

GRASWURZEL REVOLUTION No.217 March'97, Kaiserstrabe 24, 26122 Oldenburg = (oldb), D 4025E, Germany.

UMANITA NOVA 76th Year 1st, 8th, 15th Dec'96, Italiano Rossi, Casello = Postale 90, 55046 Querceta (LU), Italy. Tel 0981950684.

VOLANTA SPANGA 1936 L'UTOPOA =90 STORIA, 50th Year Vol 2 1996, Casella = Postale 10667, Milano 20110. Italy. Fax 02/2846923. j ANARCHIST AGE HOME PAGE j http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/3879 ANARCHIST AGE EMAIL - email:anarchistage@geocities.com.

P U B L I C A T I O N S Weekly 4 pages of Anarchist comment on Local, National and International = events. Subscriptions: $50.00 for 50 issues, $10.00 for 10 issues, = Subscription includes postage. Monthly 36 pages of Local, National and International events. 12 issues $36.00 wage earners, 12 issues $20.00 non wage earners. Make out cheques or money orders to: Libertarian Workers, PO Box 20, Parkville, 3052 Vic, Australia.

ANARCHIST MEDIA INSTITUTE PUBLIC MEETING HUMAN CLONING-An Anarchist Perspective, Joseph Toscano When: Thursday 27th March, 1997, 8.00pm. Where: Ross House (Mezzanine). 247 Flinders Lane. Melbourne. Anarres = Bookshop will have a bookstall on the night. - All Welcome. -

AUTONOMOUS HEALTH UNION Next meeting - Thursday 3rd April, 8.00pm. Ross House/Mezzanine. 247 = Flinders Lane, Melbourne. Observers Welcome. No Conference for Sunday = 16th March. Postponed, rescheduled for June or July 1997. Interested = in attending write to: A.H.U. PO Box 5035, ALPHINGTON. 3078 MELBOURNE = AUSTRALIA.

FEDERATION OF OCCUPATION BASED UNIONS National Co-ordinator Evan Ling, PO Box 560, Altona 3018, Melbourne. = Australia. Inquiries Tel: Evan Ling on 041 9394243. 8.00am-10.00pm.

DIRECT DEMOCRACY Sick & tired of the parliamentary circus. Interested in Direct Democracy = then make a financial contribution to the Anarchist Media Institute = Direct Democracy account to help us fund our anti-electoral campaign for = the next Federal Election. Make all cheques & money orders to DIRECT = DEMOCRACY send them to PO BOX 20, PARKVILLE, 3052 AUSTRALIA.

ANARCHIST WORLD THIS WEEK POSTER AVAILABLE FOR THE COST OF A FEW STAMPS Want to help us find new listeners for the Anarchist World This Week = then send us a few stamps to AWTW, PO Box 20 Parkville 3052, Australia & = we'll send you out a colour poster (A3) for your use & a Black and White = poster you can photocopy & put up to help us increase the number of = people who listen to the Anarchist World This Week.

REGIONAL ANARCHIST FLAG 5 feet x 3 feet Approximately 175cm x 110cm, Cost $25.00 (includes = postage within Australia), $35.00 (Includes postage air-mail overseas). =20 The Black represents the International Anarchist Flag. The Black Flag = negates all borders & all flags. The four stripes (red, green, yellow, = blue) represent the dominant colours of The Aboriginal Flag (Red & = Yellow) & the Torres Strait Islander Flag (Green & Blue). The red stripe = represents the blood spilt during colonisation. The green represents the = land. The yellow the sun. The blue the sea. Quotes available for larger = & smaller flags & for bulk orders. Make out cheques & money orders to: = LIBERTARIAN WORKERS PO Box 20 PARKVILLE 3052 Melbourne Aust.

The articles in the Anarchist Age Weekly Review express the opinion of = individuals within the Libertarian Workers for a Self-Managed = Society/Anarchist Media Institute. They do not necessarily reflect the = opinions of The Libertarian Workers for a Self-Managed Society/Anarchist = Media Institute.

If You Like What You Have Read, Photocopy This Publication & Leave It In = Doctors, Dentists, Vets Waiting Rooms & In Railway Stations, Bus Stops, = Libraries & Restaurants Etc.

6 6 6 1997 DEBT ELIMINATION APPEAL 6 6 6 help help help help help help help help help help help help = help help help help Our debt stands at $1810.90. We encourage all our readers to help us = eliminate this debt. If everybody who read the weekly sent us TEN = DOLLARS we could eliminate our debt overnight. If you have some spare = cash, want to re-subscribe or want to buy a subscription for a friend = make out cheques & money orders to LIBERTARIAN WORKERS & send them to = L.W.S.S. PO Box 20 Parkville 3052. Melbourne Australia. DEBT 19.3.97 - $1810.90

ANARCHIST MEDIA INSTITUTE OBSCENITY OF THE WEEK Has once again been won by the Premier of Victoria Jeffrey (Glibb) = Kennett for offering to partly finance fifty new jobs for young people = in the Victorian Public Service. At this rate the unemployment rate = will be halved by the year 4056.

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