Category Archives: Feb/March 2004 (1/29/04)

The Next Meeting of SDS

Those who lived or studied the 1960’s will remember SDS- Students For a Democratic Society as a radical multi- issue center of the new left active for civil rights, economic justice, education reform, opposing the Vietnam war and trying broadly to change the country and the world.

A notice was circulated a few months ago, announcing “the next meeting of SDS.” The old SDS hadn’t met, of course, for 30 plus years. SDS, after the 60’s, spread out into a hundred different movements: feminist, environmentalist, human growth, identity, freedom and liberation and solidarity, and underground. Some have nostalgic memories of the good old days (which weren’t that great). Activist students and youth study the old SDS. Some wondered why there wasn’t an SDS now, now that we needed it.

The call to “a meeting” gave an opportunity to explore: should there be another one? Either another meeting or another attempt at organization?

“The next meeting of SDS” was held on November 29. 2003. The notice / invitation proposed a too-full agenda. Though opinions were wide ranging on what to do, or what are social forces now in motion, a spirited discussion continued until 9:30. One impatient long time fighter left early, saying “we were a depressing lot and we should move on.”

The depressing discussion focused on a number of topics:

*Votes are fixed, votes are uncounted, new machines can be hacked. *Votes are irrelevant, who is there to vote for? *The power of the monopolized media is overwhelming, shaping the image in people’s minds of what is true. *University service workers just sold out their union gains for a mere $500, facilitating privatizing, piece working, and outsourcing future jobs, falling for the union busting two-tier strategy of the corporations. *There is no consciousness out there, people sell out for nothing and feel no solidarity. *Bush is the best thing for the revolution, bankrupting America — 4 more years is what it might take to wake up the working class. *The poor and immigrant and alien are all among us, the “peace movement” does not see the reality at home — the class war in our own town. *People live in a bubble of delusion, fed on consumption.

*European Americans, which was all but one in the room, live at the top of a pyramid of privilege sharing in the capital exploited and stolen from the Native Americans and African Americans, in slavery and since, and now fed on the riches of the global system of exploitation. We have all imbibed white supremacy as the assumption of this culture and denial of the thievery on which our way of life is based.

On the other hand, every negative had a more positive perspective: the magnifying power of “move-on” like networks, the growing independent media and independent sources of information, the winning of small victories locally, several of which were recounted — winning an environmental taxation vote, winning a water privatization case, raising money to rebuild Palestinian homes, and being in the streets.

The quest most returned to in the discussion was what local actions or questions could both focus energy and connect with the larger picture. The on-going “borders books and music” strike was most mentioned — don’t shop Borders, Walden books or Amazon until the corporation settles with its Ann Arbor workers. Can our extended networks help make this an effective national boycott?

I began the discussion with a call to remember our networks, and proposed we undertake together to make the “a political association adequate to our needs in these times.”

Such an association is social, and radiates along lines of affinity, love and affiliations of heart. One person proposed and read a text for a new membership card. International SDS was proposed. Many readings of “s” were offered — seniors, survivors, et al. — and coming back to students, our needs, at whatever age or occupation, to study, to be students of life and to learn, what else are we here for?

Those interested in the next next meeting of SDS, call 734-761-7967, write post office box 7213 Ann Arbor, MI 48107, or e-mail megiddo@umich.edu

Oragsms Without Obligation

Once upon a time I thought that polyamory was a radical act, and when I finally came out last year as a poly person, I realized that it’s not always a choice. I last about a month in a monogamous situation–it’s stifling for me–so I’ve begun to consider poly as I see other non-dominant sexual preferences, as conscious radical choices or natural urges. It’s also helped me understand that monogamy works as well for some people as poly works for me.

Coming out has been a bit painful–telling friends one at a time, finding a supportive community that understands–but rewarding. I’m developing my own ethic for intimacy, since I don’t believing extending a monogamous framework to many partners is sufficient. My influences have been anarchism, Buddhism and the wisdom of my community. Principally I’m working on overcoming physical and emotional scarcity, practicing full disclosure, and seeing love as a gift exchange.

My vision of functioning polyamory is to become my own primary partner. As I discard the residual morality of monogamy, having a primary relationship seems less necessary. As I understand my own completeness, I can honor intimacy without prioritizing, and practice honesty with partners instead of getting permission to be poly from them.

The need for fidelity is changing as I depend less on others’ approval for my self worth. Just as I would be delighted over my best friend finding a new lover, I find delight in my lovers’ new joys. Cheating, per se, is not about sex, but about emotional dishonesty and breaking commitments. If a lover of mine had unsafe sex, broke a date to fuck someone else, or lied about what level of intimacy they wanted, I would be hurt enough to need the issue addressed. However, everyone has different triggers, and we can only know by discussing them.

The biggest downfall of being poly for me is the amount of time it consumes. I could spend the next 50 years happily dancing, cuddling, talking, fucking and processing and never do another minute of justice work, but it would be a life less than fulfilling. Knowing that my love is not finite but my time and energy are will form the most concrete boundaries of my relationships. If only orgasms could overthrow the government.

I firmly believe in non obligatory relationships. Love is a gift exchange and in order for intimacy to be healthy, I must give and receive. While I can’t know what joy is coming, I expect it, as well as some pain. Growth often comes from such discomfort.

As I stray farther from monogamy into my own definitions of intimacy, I find more gratification. I know that I’ll be grateful for lovers and at other times retreat to my own self-satisfaction. Either way, I’ll know that I’m loved.

Khals (enough!) In Palestine

The regime that will succeed the nation-state will not be the fruit of preconception or social engineering, but of sociological and political imagination wielded through transformative actions. (1)Gustavo Esteva

The chilling observations by Israeli historian Benny Morris in an interview recently published in the Israeli daily Ha’aretz (2) shed intriguing light on the real face of the Zionist rationale of ‘ethnic cleansing’ of the Palestinians in 1948 under David Ben Gurion and its perpetuation today. His remarks also point out the utter hopelessness of the imaginary nation-state in resolving the conflict in historic Palestine.

But the bleak assessment of the future of ‘statism’ in Palestine, Morris suggests, can also be read against its own grain. Inverting his grim evaluation of Zionist history and the present impasse, anti-authoritarians must address the problem of reinventing politics in Israel/Falastin now — laying the groundwork for a kind of Jewish-Palestinian Zapatismo, a grassroots movement to “reclaim the commons.” Moving beyond the necessary preoccupation with the brutal Occupation, and resistance against it, will entail strategies of building direct democracy, participatory economy and genuine autonomy for the people, a new symbiosis of ta’ayush (togetherness). In that mix of anti-Power, Martin Buber’s vision of the “rebirth of the commune” could also be re-energized: “an organic commonwealth — that is a community of communities” (3). Advancing toward a ‘no-state solution.’

‘Systemic Bifurcation’?

Israel and Palestine may be entering what Wallerstein calls a conjuncture of “systemic bifurcation,” a “transformational TimeSpace,” when fundamental values and narratives are questioned and the “face of an alternative, credibly better, and historically possible (but far from certain) future” becomes visible. For Wallerstein, the end to the “process of endless accumulation of capital that governs our existing world” is leading to a “structurally chaotic situation —thoroughly unpredictable in its trajectory” on a global scale (4). In his diagnosis, this system is swelling into terminal crisis, unsustainable socially and environmentally, the most non-egalitarian order in world history.

In Palestine, the cumulative effect of the continued Occupation and its monstrosities, the Al-Aqsa Intifada, and the implosion of internationally engineered ‘peace processes,’ has been system-shattering, at multiple fractal scales. Bifurcation there finds its literal icon in the Great Wall of Palestine being gouged into the land against the will of all Palestinians and many Israelis. Opposition to that Apartheid Wall, including direct action by new groups such as Anarchists Against the Wall in Israel and the grassroots Palestinian resistance initiative Stop the Wall, signals a new qualitative change in the deepening struggle. The views elaborated by Morris, who has been pushed to the nationalist right by the dynamic of bifurcation and violence, should be interpreted in that light. They are worth reviewing at some length to sense the desperation and reactionary dearth of vision of a key commentator at the present ‘liminal’ juncture.

Masks RemovedMorris is Israel’s preeminent historian of the Palestinian expulsion and catastrophe (al-Nakba) in 1948. Over several decades of research, he has carefully documented the numerous atrocities (the worst at Dawayima village near Hebron [5]) and systematic evictions committed by the Hagana in the ‘War of Independence.’ This pre-state precursor of the present Israel Defense Forces (IDF) was under explicit orders to capture territory to create the new state and ‘cleanse’ it (le-taher, the term repeatedly used in 1948 Hagana orders and field reports) of its native Palestinian population (6). He has long been considered a leading light of the ‘post-Zionist’ left in Israel. In 1988, he was jailed for refusing to serve in the territories. Yet now Morris has taken off his mask, expressing hard-bitten views that can only hearten Israelis on the extreme right. As his interviewer Ari Shavit notes: “the great documenter of the sins of Zionism in fact identifies with those sins.”

Alas, an ‘Incomplete’ Transfer

Morris praises Ben Gurion’s policy of population ‘transfer’: “Of course. Ben Gurion was a transferist. He understood that there could be no Jewish state with a large and hostile Arab minority in its midst. —Ben Gurion was right. If he had not done what he did, a state would not have come into being. That has to be clear. It is impossible to evade it. Without the uprooting of the Palestinians, a Jewish state would not have arisen here.”

But Morris ups the ante. Startling many Israelis, he accuses Ben Gurion of a colossal ‘mistake’: “Even though he understood the demographic issue and the need to establish a Jewish state without a large Arab minority, he got cold feet during the war. In the end, he faltered. —But my feeling is that this place would be quieter and know less suffering if the matter had been resolved once and for all. If Ben Gurion had carried out a large expulsion and cleansed the whole country – the whole Land of Israel, as far as the Jordan River. —It may yet turn out that this was his fatal mistake. If he had carried out a full expulsion – rather than a partial one – he would have stabilized the State of Israel for generations.”

Destroy or be Destroyed

Asked if he thinks ‘ethnic cleansing’ is justified, he replies: “A Jewish state would not have come into being without the uprooting of 700,000 Palestinians. Therefore it was necessary to uproot them. There was no choice but to expel that population. It was necessary to cleanse the hinterland and cleanse the border areas and cleanse the main roads. It was necessary to cleanse the villages from which our convoys and our settlements were fired on.” And he does not think that the expulsions of 1948 were war crimes: “when the choice is between destroying or being destroyed, it’s better to destroy. There are circumstances in history that justify ethnic cleansing.”

Cages and Iron Walls

In commenting on the Great Wall of Palestine now being built, Morris’s take is almost vicious, racist: “Something like a cage has to be built for them. I know that sounds terrible. It is really cruel. But there is no choice. There is a wild animal there that has to be locked up in one way or another. —An iron wall is a good image. An iron wall is the most reasonable policy for the coming generation. In the 1950s — Ben Gurion argued that the Arabs understand only force and that ultimate force is the one thing that will persuade them to accept our presence here. He was right —Preserving my people is more important than universal moral concepts” (7).,

The Enemy Within

Speaking about his fellow citizens who are Palestinian, nearly 20 percent of the Israeli population today, and more than a quarter of the population of the Negev/al-Naqab desert where Morris teaches at Ben Gurion University in Beersheva/ Bi’r As-Sab’, he replies: “The Israeli Arabs are a time bomb. Their slide into complete Palestinization has made them an emissary of the enemy that is among us. They are a potential fifth column. In both demographic and security terms, they are liable to undermine the state. So that if Israel again finds itself in a situation of existential threat, as in 1948, it may be forced to act as it did then. — If the threat to Israel is existential, expulsion will be justified.”

Dead End

Does Morris see any solution? Wedded to the notion that there must be two nation-states, he is totally pessimistic: “in practice, in this generation, a settlement of that kind will not hold water. At least 30 to 40 percent of the Palestinian public and at least 30 to 40 percent of the heart of every Palestinian will not accept it. —There will not be a solution. We are doomed to live by the sword. —Even if Israel is not destroyed, we won’t see a good, normal life here in the decades ahead. —The whole Zionist project is apocalyptic. It exists within hostile surroundings and in a certain sense its existence is unreasonable. It wasn’t reasonable for it to succeed in 1881 and it wasn’t reasonable for it to succeed in 1948 and it’s not reasonable that it will succeed now.” He does not even consider the one-state, bi-national solution, an option now being rekindled in desperation by many commentators, both Israeli and Palestinian.

Barbarians at the Gate

Invoking racist arguments, Morris goes so far as to reiterate the ‘clash of civilizations’ thesis, with Israel at its very forward outpost: “The Arab world as it is today is barbarian. —I think that the war between the civilizations is the main characteristic of the 21st century. —This is a struggle against a whole world that espouses different values. And we are on the front line. Exactly like the Crusaders, we are the vulnerable branch of Europe in this place.”

Shavit then concludes: “Which leaves us, nevertheless, with two possibilities: either a cruel, tragic Zionism, or the foregoing of Zionism.” And Morris concurs: “Yes. That’s so. You have pared it down, but that’s correct.”

Reclaiming Commons: Harambee!

Morris’s dark assessment of the fundamental unworkability of the nation-state in Palestine is a powerful argument for the imperative of alternative vision: the need for a Zapatista’d movement to capture the imagination of ordinary Israelis and Palestinians to move beyond the solution of conventional ‘governmentality’ and any ‘state.’ In a sense, this conflict is emblematic of the “perverse perseverance of sovereignty,” its “vicious, security-based ontology” (8). We have to turn that authoritarian ontology on its head, precisely where community has imploded and the commons is controlled on both sides of the divide by hierarchies of violence. We must strive to create a mosaic society of ta’ayush, founded on autonomy, direct democracy, participatory economy and the kind of neighborhood Household and Home Assemblies that Jared James envisions in Getting Free, generating a scalar geometry of peopleís initiatives from the bottom up, a network of dual power, the incubators of a new society of synergism (9). In the spirit of an Arab-Jewish harambee!, we must press ahead to a more egalitarian society of mutual aid (10) and advance a call for “non-hierarchy, confederated direct democracies, communal economics, social freedom, and an ecological sensibility”(11).

How that movement can be built at this historic impasse, itself perhaps a ‘transformational TimeSpace,’ is a topic anti-authoritarians need to be addressing (12). In the transition from the disintegrating capitalist world-system that Wallerstein foresees, there will be a period of conflicts and aggravated disorders, and what many will see as the collapse of moral systems. Not paradoxically, it will also be a period in which the “free will” factor will be at its maximum, meaning that individual and collective action can have a greater impact on the future structuring of the world than such action can have in more “normal” times, that is, during the ongoing life of an historical system (13).

Beginnings in Israel/Falastin can be small. Nodes for an anti-authoritarian sub-politics are necessary. There is one; the social-anarchist space now opened on the Israeli left by the libertarian affinity group One Struggle (Ma’avak Ehad) needs to be broadened, and extended into Palestinian society. Popularizing its anti-authoritarian values into a grassroots movement to prioritize equity, diversity, solidarity, and self-management within and across the communities in this internecine struggle (14). The focus on animal rights inside One Struggle (human and animal liberation) is a distinctive component many libertarian socialists would not espouse so centrally. But their overall analysis is congruent with core anti-authoritarian positions, and they are in daily motion and direct action against militarism, Zionism, the IDF and the Occupation. And, they are the principal group in Israel behind Anarchists Against the Wall.

A hundred flowers can bloom, a hundred schools of thought contend in this pluralistic imaginary — its very eclecticism a necessary amplitude at this juncture, as the manifesto of One Struggle stresses (15). Geographer David Harvey has noted that there is a time and place “where alternative visions, no matter how fantastic, provide the grist for shaping powerful forces for change. I believe we are precisely at such a moment. Utopian dreams —are omnipresent in the signifiers of our desires” (16). Khalas!

Notes

1. Esteva, Gustavo. 2003 “A flower in the hands of the people,” The New Internationalist, #360, http://www.findarticles.com/cf_0/m0JQP/360/108648118/p1/article.jhtml

2. “Survival of the Fittest,” Ari Shavit interviews Benny Morris, ‘04 Ha’aretz, Jan. 9.

3. Buber, Martin. 1958 Paths in Utopia, Boston: Beacon, 136. Separated from their Zionist nationalist envelope, Buber’s ideas on communalism, heavily influenced by Gustav Landauer’s anarchism, are worth being retrofitted within a retrieval of Israeli libertarian heritage, itself feeding into the beginning of an Israeli and Palestinian people’s movement for a ‘Cooperative Commonwealth of Jerusalem.’

4. Wallerstein, Immanuel 1998 Utopistics, New York: New Press, 2-3, 89-90.

5. Morris: “a column entered the village with all guns blazing and killed anything that moved.”

6. See Morris, 2004 The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited, Cambridge: Cambridge UP.

7. The need for an ‘iron wall’ against the Palestinians is a slogan coined in 1923 by Zeev Jabotinsky, founder and ideologue of the movement and party Ariel Sharon now heads.

8. Burke, Anthony 2002 “The Perverse Perseverance of Sovereignty,” borderlands e-journal 1 (2), http://www.borderlandsejournal.adelaide.edu.au/vol1no2_2002/burke_perverse.html

9. James, Jared. 2002 Getting Free, http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/Strategy/GettingFree/

10. In Swahili, harambee means “let’s all pull together!” It is the cry in unison of the fishermen as they draw their nets towards the shore, the chorus when a collective effort is made for the common good. It can be adopted as a rallying cry for mutual aid on both sides of the divide in Israel/Falastin. See also Wallerstein, Utopistics, 92.

11. Alliance for Freedom and Direct Democracy 2002 “Manifesto,” http://www.afadd.org

12. See my exploratory paper forthcoming in borderlands e-journal 2004.

13. Wallerstein, 35.

14. Albert, Michael. 2003 Parecon. Life after Capitalism, London: Verso, 4 ff.

15. One Struggle 2003 Manifesto, http://www.onestruggle.org (Hebrew & partial English).

16. Harvey, D. 2000 Spaces of Hope, Berkeley: UCP, 195.

______________________

Bill Templer is a Chicago-born Israeli on the staff of the Dubnow Institute for Jewish History, University of Leipzig.

Youth Liberation

You can tell a great deal about a society if you look at how they treat their children and their elderly. In our society both children and the elderly are often disconnected from other age groups and forced into institutional settings; schools for children and nursing homes for the elderly. Children are brainwashed into the system and the elderly are forgotten and faded out once their ability to produce and spend capital wanes.

It is because of this that I believe in radical youth liberation. Some people have a hard time fully understanding this. “How does ageism compare to the brutalities of imperialism/capitalism/the state?” they ask me. “Ageism”, the mere prejudice and discrimination of people based on their age, may not be as big a problem as capitalism/the state, I agree. To look at youth liberation in terms of just “ageism” is to miss the point. “Gerontocracy”, or, the ongoing and systemic domination of kids* by those older than them is my focus.

One important thing to always keep in mind is that kids are human beings, just like the rest of us. People do not suddenly become human when they turn a certain age – they are born that way. With this being the case, kids have the inherent human ability to learn, grow, develop and direct their own lives as they see fit, just like anybody else. Kids do not understand everything, kids make mistakes, and kids need help and support but all of this can be said of every human being.

The often unspoken notion that adults are omniscient, infallible and not dependent upon the help and support of others while kids are very much the opposite is a distortion of reality necessary to construct the social hierarchy of adults over kids. This all becomes very apparent if one reflects on how a proposition to systematically dominate people who are physically ill, injured, ignorant, ill informed, or intoxicated (all of which are also temporary conditions) would be universally laughed at and dismissed.

With this being the case, let’s call it like it is – kids are slaves in this society. Kids cannot freely disassociate without fear of their parents or the state somehow hunting them down and dragging them back. Kids are forced to go to concentration camps (we call them “schools”). Kids cannot deny or receive medical care at their own will – an adult has to decide for them. Kids do not have ultimate say over their own time, bodies, activities, behaviors and choices – some parental or other adult figure has to determine it for them. This is slavery, pure, systemic, out-right slavery. It is slavery based upon the widespread use of violence, the threat of violence, and by emotional manipulation, intimidation and brainwashing.

The spirits of kids are continually beaten down by authority, particularly adult authority, in order to crush their wills, to break them of their individuality, spontaneity, creativity, curiosity and comfort with their own autonomy. Kids are constantly faced with various kinds of parental authorities, school authorities, state institutions, and a mass culture all intended to mold them, to get them to jump on command, take orders, and do what they’re told.

As I see it, the domination of kids is not just a horror because of the sheer lack of autonomy, respect and dignity that all these unique young human beings experience, it is also an integral part of the greater social system of domination, control and alienation – civilization itself. The domination of kids breaks the wills of people and inserts authoritarian programming so that they can later reproduce institutions such as the state, capitalism and gerontocracy when they get older themselves.

The domination of kids contains within it the very same fundamental dynamics of authority and control that as anarchists, we should actively be opposing. The very act of being subservient, the very act of compliance and submission, the very act of rule and bossing are all at play within the dichotomy of “parental authority figure” and “child”, and it is because of this that we need to decisively condemn and attack this horrendous relationship in favor of relations based upon mutual respect, autonomy and free association.

Striving for the liberation of kids is not just some single-issue cause, it is not some guilt-ridden “identity politics” thing, and it is not some radical past time totally disconnected from the greater struggle against the System. The domination of kids is a form of real-life slavery that goes on all around us, it acts to reinforce and reproduce the state, capitalism and other institutions of control, and it contains within it the same fundamental relations of authority and domination that are entirely antagonistic with anarchy and true liberation. If we are serious about bringing down this disgusting global system of control and hierarchy then we need to attack it wherever it manifests itself – and this includes within our own relationships, lives, behaviors and mentalities as well as the more traditionally “political” arenas.

Youth liberation is not a new idea, a lot of people have written about it and articulated it in different ways. There are already a number of people out there practicing, or at least trying to practice, autonomy respecting ways of relating with kids. Something new that I would like to see is a consistent, coherent and passionate defense of kids by the anarchist community. Every person goes through being a kid and that’s usually the first time the spirit is broken by authority. With this being the case, it only makes sense for anarchists to have youth liberation fully integrated with the rest of the anarchist perspective. Gerontocracy needs to be right up there with capitalism, the state, patriarchy, and white supremacy as institutions of social control that, as anarchists, we aim to destroy.

* I use the word “kids” in this article because “young people” can mean people over the age of 18, a group of people which do experience prejudice and discrimination but does not have to deal with the out-right slavery that those under 18 face. I do not use “children”, because I see that word as being an equivalent to the N-word in this context. “Childish”, “child-like”, etc. usually have very negative or derogatory connotations. “Kids”, however, usually refers to those under 18 and has positive connotations; hence, I use that word here.

Kirsten Anderberg

America is at war, in a very colonialistic occupation, no matter what fancy words we use. It is a very unpopular war. It is not a “liberation.” I worry that America will be in a perpetual war on the world, and I do not believe it can do that endlessly without the draft being reinstated. Just as Americans MUST pillage oil-rich countries to sustain their one-driver/one-car needs, they also are going to require expendable bodies, eventually, for all this warring.

I am the mother of a 19 year old male. And even though there is not an active draft right now, my son was required by federal law to register for the Selective Service System (SSS), aka “the draft” as soon as he hit 18. He was also required to register for the draft to receive financial aid in college. He decided that since it is a felony crime not to register, it was easiest to register, and then research alternatives. Some resist registration, and I applaud those efforts. But for the rest of us, we need to know what the options are.

The biggest questions are, “How does the draft work?,” and “How do you establish Conscientious Objector (CO) status to get out of military service?”

How Does The Draft Work?

Before a draft can be enacted, Congress and the President have to authorize the draft calls. Under current laws, the draft will start with men who turn 20 years old in the year the draft was enacted. They will be placed in a “lottery” system. If your name is called up in the lottery, you have 10 days to report to the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS), unless you file a claim for a deferment or exemption.

Once called up for service, you file your Conscientious Objector claim with the military. Once your claim is filed, your induction date will be postponed while the draft board investigates the claim. If your claim is rejected, you receive a new induction date. (Seems like EVERYONE should at least use this to buy time!) The Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors can help you find legal aid and resources so you can get through the long appeals process. You can claim all classifications that apply to you. Currently, the exemptions from the draft are: * a minister or divinity student * sole surviving son of a family whose mother, father or siblings have died as a result of military action * sole financial or other support to family members who are dependent, elderly, disabled and/or ill * physically or mentally incapable of being in the military * homosexual or bisexual * a Conscientious Objector

The legal definition of “Conscientious Objector” is: “a person who objects to participation in all forms of war, and whose belief is based on a religious, moral or ethical belief system.” You do not need to be “religious,” or even believe in god, to qualify as a CO. You have to oppose organized killing and war, due to religious, moral or ethical conviction. Under the current legal definitions, you cannot selectively oppose certain wars, but must oppose ALL wars.

CO’s will be exempt from military service but may be required to perform civilian tasks. A Noncombatant CO is a CO who does not object to noncombatant military duties, such as medic. These CO’s are trained without weapons and assigned to non-combatant duty.

How Do You Establish Conscientious Objector Status?

STEP ONE – STATEMENT OF BELIEFS The first step is to write “Conscientious Objector” on the bottom of the card you send in to register with the SSS. If you missed the chance for that or registered online, don’t worry. There are things you can do NOW. The reason that you need to make a CO file NOW is that once a draft is enacted, you could have 9 days to get a file together on your behalf! Do it now, and the older and longer you have a file on this, the more success you will have at an exemption.

Form 22 of the current Selective Service Documentation form for CO’s ask several questions that you need to think about and answer on file now. It asks you to “describe your beliefs which are the reasons for your claiming conscientious objection to combatant military training and service or to all military training and service.” You want to make a statement on paper NOW that includes these concepts. Write your own statement about why you object to war. Start by saying that you are conscientiously opposed to war, then describe what beliefs lead you to that stance. Be clear about whether you are a CO or a noncombatant CO. If you want a full exemption, be clear about why noncombatant service would violate your conscience.

Form 22 also says, “Describe how and when you acquired these beliefs.” Write down a list of events, people, experiences, and influences that have lead you to these beliefs. Include classes, travel, religious experiences, teachings, volunteer work, activism, anything that has helped influence you to be a CO. It is important to establish your beliefs as a higher, conventional value, since unconventional and mere political beliefs do not make the cut. An arbitrary personal belief will not stand. It has to be based on “a religious, moral or ethical belief system.” Or in other words, you need to tailor your argument to fit a traditional anti-war “system.” A “system” is more than one person. A “system” is “established.” Take the time to construct a solid, logical statement based on facts and traditions, rather than making an illusive free-spirit argument.

Form 22 also says, “Explain what most clearly shows that your beliefs are deeply held. You may wish to include a description of how your beliefs affect the way you live.” If you do not have alot of experience to cite here as proof of your convictions, you can use your future plans to illustrate your convictions. Talk about previous classes or future career plans that relate to your CO status. Describe letters to editors, essays from school, anything that shows your commitment as a CO. Talk about how your life is lived in accordance with your CO beliefs. Use this opportunity to show the sincerity of your claims.

STEP TWO – LETTERS OF SUPPORT Once you have composed your CO statement, send it to people who know you, and ask them to write a letter of support. These people will read your statement and attest to the sincerity of your statement, based on their experiences with you. Especially good are letters from clergy, teachers, and professional relations. The best letters are from people who disagree with CO status, but believe your statement regarding your own beliefs. You should solicit 3-4 letters, then pick the best 2-3 and keep them on record. You may also want to compose a list of people to testify on your behalf at the draft hearing and keep that on file too.

STEP THREE – RECORDING YOUR FILES Once you have written the statement of beliefs and gathered the letters of support and witnesses, you need to make three separate CO files. Keep the original copies of the statement and the letters of support in a file at your own home. Send copies of the letters and statement to the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors so that an unrelated third party has your file. And then give a third copy of the materials to a community leader, a member of clergy or any person who can vouch for your sincerity later.

STEP FOUR – KEEP INFORMED Check out these resources: Center for Conscientious Objectors – www.objector.org; National Council of Churches – www.ncccusa.org; www.nisbco.org; Unitarian Universalist Association – http://www.uua.org; http://www.draft resistance.org

Anti-Militarist Anarchy

War is a fight for domination. One state is trying to violently seize power and control over another.

Backing up the military apparatus necessary to carry this out is the intense alienation between people. People need to see one another as just roles, labels, “enemies”, and interchangeable cogs in massive institutional machines, in other words, complete dehumanization. This alienation is reinforced by capitalist consumer culture and authority itself, both of which need to dehumanize people in order to function.

Alienation also leads to us not being able to help one another out, support one another, or accomplish great new things together. Alienation leads us to think that it is not possible for us to work together to meet ALL of our needs.

Dehumanization makes it possible to kill, maim and torture fellow human beings. One does not concern one’s self with the destruction of mere foreign objects.

Authority makes it possible to deny the inherent self-directing and self-realizing nature of human beings. Authority is the delegation of all self-responsibility. “I was just following orders”, “I’m just doing my job” and “I had to do it” are the true rallying cries for authority.

The State is the organized institutional apparatus that makes it possible to commit the genocide that we call “war” and to put people in the soul-killing cages that we call “prisons” and “jails”, all the while denying our own complicity and responsibility in making it happen.

And war, war is the culmination of all of this. War is the final herd-mentality push that keeps the industrial factories running and that keeps the violent gangs of thugs that we call “the police” from being overwhelmed by the passions of everyday people. War is what keeps up the mass violence, death, carnage and destruction needed to crush our hopes for a world and life of voluntary cooperation, harmonious mutual aid, and creative beauty.

As anarchists, we understand this; we respect our inherent human dignity; we respect our vast potential and possibility for joyous living; we respect that freely helping one another out is our most natural and healthy state of affairs as human beings.

With this being the case, we recognize that our resistance must be complete and total. We recognize that not only must war and militarism be opposed, but the State and capitalism must be opposed as well. We recognize that not only must nationalism and jingoism be opposed, but all authority and domination must be opposed as well.

This is not just radical fanaticism and utopian dreaming, this is an understanding of what it means to be human. Our resistance is not just dreaming of overcoming the impossible, it is a reaffirmation of our own inherent power as individuals and the unstoppable force of mutual aid and cooperation.

There is a war going on, but Iraq is just one battlefield of it. This is indeed a fight of life and death proportions, but the “life” that I am talking about entails the fullest sense of the term. The kind of life that I am talking about can only thrive in TOTAL ANARCHY!!

“Every second that I spend working is a denial of the kind of life I really want to live.” – from “Temp Slave”

No Honor In Honor Killings

Issues of violence against womyn are not tied to any one region of the world or to any particular religious or cultural groups. Violence against womyn is an issue that affects the entire human race. From an anarchist perspective the first group of humans to be subjugated by another group of humans was womyn. This violence takes on many different forms worldwide and is perpetuated in myriad ways. It is integral that this be recognized and that our understanding of misogyny and it’s deep roots in the development of societies worldwide resonate with us so that we can avoid perpetuating this oppression. Honor killings are but one extreme and unreported form of violence is manifest.

Honor killings are executed for instances of rape, infidelity, flirting or any other instance perceived as disgracing the family’s honor. Any action construed as disrespectful towards men or the traditional way of life warrants an honor killing. In the eyes of society it is not only expected but required.

A human rights report published in 1999 stated that honor killings took the lives of 888 womyn in the single province of Punjab in Pakistan in 1998. In 2002 461 womyn were murdered in Pakistan for immoral behavior ranging from being raped to cooking poorly. In Jordan published figures state that one womyn a week is killed for losing her chastity whether she is a victim of rape or rumor.

Honor killing began in the Middle East long before the birth of Christianity or Islam when Arabia was populated and ruled by nomadic tribes. The code of honor killing has its roots in the Hammurabi and Assyrian Laws from 1200 BC. which declared womyns chastity to be her families property. These laws evolved from an unforgiving desert and are common to Arabs of the region regardless of their religion. Shi’ite and Sunni Muslims as well as various Christian sects dwelling there today still believe in the towering importance of man’s honor. Sharif Kanaana, professor of anthropology at Birzeit University in Palestine explains that it is a “complicated issue that cuts deep into the history of Arab society.” The practice stemmed from the patriarchal society’s interest in maintaining strict control over designated familial power structures. “What the men of the family, clan, or tribe want is the reproductive power. Womyn are considered a factory for making men. The honor killing is not a means of control of sexual power or behavior but an issue of fertility and reproductive power,” explains Sharif Kananna.

In 1998 the U.N. conservatively estimated that over 5,000 womyn are killed for reasons of honor each year although it impossible to really say when many cases go unreported. 1998 and 2000 U.N. reports document the practice occurring in Yemen, Lebanon, Egypt, the West Bank, Gaza, Bangladesh, Turkey, Jordan, Israel, India, Italy, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Pakistan, Brazil, Ecuador, Uganda, Morocco, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. In the Turkish province of Sanliurfa, one young womyn’s throat was slit in the town square because a love ballad was dedicated to her over the radio. This behavior is considered a normal response and is often celebrated by the family and the community. The general feeling is articulated well by former Jordanian Minister of Justice, Abdul Karim Dughmi in August of 2001 when he responded to a question about honor killings in instances of rape with a smile and said, “All womyn killed in cases of honor are prostitutes. I believe prostitutes deserve to die.”(Taken from the Jordan Times).

“The honor of the family is very dependent on a woman’s virginity,” says Shadia Sarraj of the Women’s Empowerment Project at the Gaza Community Mental Health Project. A woman’s virginity is the property of the men around her, first her father, later a gift for her husband; a virtual dowry as she graduates to marriage. In this context, a woman’s honor is a commodity which must be guarded by a network of family and community members. The woman is guarded externally by her behavior and dress code and internally by keeping her hymen intact.”

Often burning the womyn or scarring them with acid are the preferred method of men committing such crimes. The Progressive Women’s Association, which assists attack victims, tracked 3,560 Pakistani womyn who were hospitalized after being attacked at home with fire, gasoline or acid between 1994 and 1999. About half of the victims died. Such crimes are also rife in Bangladesh where some 2,000 womyn are disfigured every year in acid attacks by jealous or estranged men. In most cases the men who commit the crimes go unpunished or receive reduced sentences. According to Rana Hussieni, a Jordanian Human Rights Activist campaigning against crimes of honor, today in Jordan, there are about 40 womyn who are spending time in prisons without any charge or court ruling because they became pregnant out of wedlock or were involved in immoral affairs. Some of the womyn have been in for 11 years because the authorities are afraid to release them due to the probability that they will be murdered by their families.

The story of a brother and sister in Daliat al Carmel, a small Israeli Druze village in October 16, 1995 illustrates the societal pressure to carry on the tradition. forty-year-old Ittihaj Hassoon got out of a car with her younger brother on a main street of Daliat al Carmel where over ten years before Ittihaj had committed the unpardonable sin of marrying a non-Druze man. Now, after luring her back to her home village with promises that all was forgiven and her safety assured, her brother finally had the chance to publicly cleanse the blot on the family name with the spilling of her blood. In broad daylight in front of witnesses, he pulled out a knife and began stabbing her. The witnesses quickly swelled to a crowd of more than 100 villagers who approving, urging him onóchanted and danced in the street. Within minutes, Hassoon lay dead on the ground while the crowed cheered her killer, “Hero, hero! You are a real man!” Four years later when Suzanne Zima interviewed Ittihaj’s brother Ibrahim for the Gazette in Montreal he told her, “She is my sisterómy flesh and bloodóI am a human being. I didn’t want to kill her. I didn’t want to be in this situation. They (community members) pushed me to make this decision. I know what they expect from me. If I do this, they look at me like a hero, a clean guy, a real man. If I don’t kill my sister, the people would look at me like a small man.”

Avenging family honor is a product of societies in which womyn’s bodies have become a brutal tool in reproducing patriarchal control. How many of these crimes are based on tribal customs and how many are based on the frustrations of societal pressure? In Norma Khouri’s book, Honor Lost, recently published in 2003, she explains the culture of fear that womyn in the middle East grow up under. She says, “We are controlled by the fear that generations of male dominance have instilled in us, a fear reinforced by our mothers. Our only option seems to be to live within the rules, regulations, and beliefs of the men who govern us. We absorb from birth that breaking the code, is very, very dangerous.” Honor killings are not purely about men attacking womyn, in fact, oftentimes womyn aid in the honor killings because they see it as necessary in protecting the family.

Activists throughout the Islamic world are fighting to end the practice. Some of the most noteworthy work includes RAWA, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, an independent political/social organization of Afghan women fighting for human rights and for social justice in Afghanistan. RAWA has done work including meeting the immediate needs of refugee women and children, the establishment of schools with hostels for boys and girls, and a hospital for refugee Afghan women and children in Quetta, Pakistan with mobile teams. In addition, they have conducted nursing courses, literacy courses and vocational training courses for women.†

The Independent Women’s Center operates three shelters in the Patriotic Union territory of Kurdistan and is currently working on opening one more shelter in the capital of Erbil which lies in the Democratic Party territory. The number of honor killings in Patriotic Union territory has steadily declined over the decades due to the hard work of human rights activists in the area, from 75 in 1991 to 15 in 2003.

Even in Saudi Arabia, known to be particularly oppressive to womyn, there are emerging human rights groups that are independent from the government. They are currently struggling to determine their structure and striving to investigate human rights abuses without government interference. In Jordan activists are fighting to abolish Penal Codes that allows for the murders and protects the murderers.

The mere knowledge that people around the world are watching what is going on gives strength and provides support to the activists who are helping to educate and make change in their own countries. For those of us who want to help there are several avenues. Educating people in our own countries and raising funds to support regional projects that are providing assistance to womyn, gathering information for statistics, and through raising awareness internationally.

While it is essential that we examine the different ways misogyny is manifest worldwide it is integral that we direct our opposition toward the oppression of womyn everywhere and avoid contributing to the current anti-Islamic hysteria that is sweeping through the Western world.

Honor killings are only one form of misogyny that is endemic worldwide. Let us not forget the over 5,000 womyn in India who are murdered annually because their dowries are considered insufficient, deaths due to “crimes of passion” in Latin American where men serve minimal sentences for killing their wives on suspicion of infidelity, the unsolved murders of womyn in Juarez, Mexico, the one womyn raped every minute in America, and the numerous economies that are dependent on sex trafficking (700,000 to four million persons trafficked annually worldwide-mostly womyn and children.)

Clearly misogyny and violence towards womyn is a global issue and is not the doing of any one religion or culture. Misogyny is the consequence of something much more complex: power, greed, the commodification of womyn and the global belief that permeates cultures worldwide that womyn are the property of men.

To find out what womyn in the Arab world are working on check out http://www.arabwomenconnect.org/

DIY Solar Shower Design

Everyday in developed areas, people generate tons of global warming gasses when they burn fossil fuels to take showers. Personally, I’m not against showering every once-in-a-while. In fact, when I go to action gatherings, etc., I sometimes think we would have an easier time getting out of the activist ghetto and connecting with regular folks if a few of us showered a bit more often. I grew up with the “shower every morning” ritual. But with increasing evidence that the burning of fossil fuels is the biggest human threat to the environment — the Center for Applied Biodiversity Science just released a study indicating that up to 37 percent of the world’s species could go extinct by 2050 because of human-cause climate change — I started questioning my upbringing.

First, I started showering less — every 2 or 3 days is really sufficient even when you do physical work and sweat a lot like I do.

But I still didn’t like the thought that my getting clean meant I was connected to a natural gas drilling rig ruining some natural area — and global warming. If you take a 5 minute shower 3 times a week and your shower head puts out a typical 1.6 gallons per minute, you’re using 24 gallons of heated water a week, or 1248 gallons a year. When you figure that heating a gallon of water with gas releases 1 ounce of carbon dioxide, and you multiply by the billion or so people who have developed standards of living sufficient to allow them to shower, you can see that our little showers have a big environmental impact.

It turns out, there is an excellent, non-polluting and abundant alternative to fossil fuels for heating water — low tech solar power. You can use solar power to heat your shower if you have 1-2 hours of sun, which means that folks living anywhere can greatly reduce their use of fossil fuels for water heating by switching to solar. Even if you can only use solar in the summertime, it will change your perspective on using energy. For many folks in the southern part of the country, you can use solar hot water most of the year. If millions of people switched, it wouldn’t be the revolution, but it would help. In fact, since my vision for the revolution is that we would learn how to live in a more sustainable way, switching to solar is a tiny way to begin living the revolution now, instead of waiting for some far off future event.

DIY solar shower design

There are fancy ways to use the sun to heat residential water, but they’re pretty expensive and unless you own where you live, you probably can’t get solar hot water the fancy way. Basically, they involve circulating water through black piping enclosed in an insulated glass-topped box. Sun shines into the box which acts as a greenhouse and gets super hot, heating up the water flowing through it. You need a circulating pump (which can be run by solar electricity), a huge storage tank to store the heated water until you need it, and a lot of pipe from the panels on the roof to the storage tank. Even if you do it all yourself, you’re looking at $2,000 or more just for materials! I think it would be great to install a lot more of the fancy solar hot water heaters, but until then, you can rig up this do-it-yourself system.

Ingredients (get these at any decent hardware store for about $30)

4 1/2 feet 3 inch diameter black ABS pipe

2 3 inch 90 degree black ABS pipe fittings with 2 female ends

2 3 inch 90 degree fittings with 1 female and 1 male end

1 3 inch T fitting with 2 female 3 inch ends and 1 female 2 inch end

1 3 inch T fitting with 2 female 3 inch ends and 1 1.5 inch end

1 2 inch male to 2 inch female threaded fitting

1 2 inch threaded plug

1 1 1/2 inch male to 1/2 inch threaded female fitting

1 1/2 inch ball valve with 2 female ends

1 1/2 inch male to male threaded fitting

1 1/2 inch 45 degree male to female fitting

1 un-restricted, high flow shower head (I use a plant watering can attachment — a hose fan spray attachment would also work — a low flow showerhead won’t work because it requires high water pressure to work, which this system won’t create)

Two bike hooks for your shower stall

Multi-purpose plastic pipe cement

You cut the section of pipe into 2 14 inch sections and 2 12 inch sections and then connect all this stuff together with the plastic pipe cement as show in the diagram. Don’t glue any of the threaded joints — the one on top is for filling and the one at the bottom is so you can remove the shower head assembly for cleaning, etc. What you have at the end of the process is a square of black pipe that holds about 2 gallons of water — enough for a 5 minute shower.

You fill the shower with a garden hose, etc., through the threaded 2 inch hole, and then screw down the threaded plug. Then set it out flat in the sun for 1-2 hours, depending on the air temperature. The black pipe absorbs the sun’s energy and the water inside will get super hot! Then, you screw the two bike hooks into your shower stall (or if you like outside showers, onto the side of your house, etc.) so that you can hang the shower on the wall. Put the hooks high enough so that the shower head will be above your head, but not so high that you can’t actually hang the shower on the wall. Put one hook in slightly above the other, so the thing will hang a little diagonally, with the shower head at the bottom for full draining, and the filling plug at the top so it won’t leak when full.

It will weigh about 20 pounds when full, which might seem heavy at first but you’ll get used to it (and build upper body strength!) I suggest sort of sliding the thing up the wall and then over the hooks.

Before you take your shower, you have to loosen the filling plug at the top so air can get into the shower as it drains. Then, get naked, stand under the shower, and turn the ball joint. The water will run out the shower head and make a really nice shower running just on gravity.

You can fill it in the morning and leave it out all day for a shower in the afternoon or evening, or if you have a good spot that gets morning sun, you can generally put it out the night before and take a mid-morning shower. If you leave it out all day, the water will get too hot to use, so you’ll have to put it in some shade so it can cool down before you use it.

By the way, the shower saves water as well as fossil fuels — about 2 gallons instead of about 8 for a comparable shower. You also save water because most piped in showers require that you run the water while you wait for it to get hot. My shower at home wastes almost as much water waiting for it to get hot as the solar shower uses for the whole shower!

Best of all, having a DIY shower really makes you think about where your shower is coming from, which eventually makes you think about all the energy you use. During the winter when there isn’t any sun, I usually still use the DIY shower. I put a 2 gallon pan over the pilot light on our gas stove overnight and by morning, the water is hot. Have fun getting naked.

Dando pecho en las barricadas

Cuando yo estaba sentada en el NICU (Centro de Vigilancia Intensiva Neonatal) en el hospital y di el pecho a mi hija por primera vez, yo supe en una manera visceral que mi vida se cambió para siempre. Lo sentí en mis huesos (no mencionar el útero y los pezónes).

En hablar del tema de ser madre/padre, mucho ya es cliché. Y tantos de los clichés son la verdad. Yo nunca he sido tan enamorada con, ni cometida a nadie como estoy a mi hija. Tampoco yo nunca he sido tan cansada como estaba en los primeros tres meses de su vida. Ser su madre me ha hecho mirar el mundo de una manera completamente nueva.

Mis padres pensaban que podrían cambiar el mundo por cambiar su manera de vivir, y así que ellos se retiraron y “regresa a la tierra” (o sea, regresaron a la tierra a vivir la vida sostenible—en ingles la expresion es “back to the land”). Yo pensé que para cambiar el mundo, hay que enfrentar y intervenir directamente, y así que dejé la tierra y “regresé a la ciudad.” Aca es donde me quedo, y espero que el mundo está cambiando, pero es dificil saber seguramente cuánto cambia y/o si el cambio mejorará el mundo.

Todavía yo opino que el mundo necesita la confrontación y la intervención para ser cambiada, pero ademas se necesita un cambio de la manera de vivir — y que como criar a nuestros hijos está incluido en ese cambio. Sigo pensando que nosotros, los padres podemos cambiar el mundo. Sigo pensando en que una cultura capitalista, blanca-supremacista, patriarcal, y estatizada influye y forma a nuestros hijos. Sigo pensando en que a que estan criados en esta cultura llegan a ser adultos que perpetúan las mismas estructuras y los sistemas. Pienso en cómo romper es ciclo..

Me vacilo a hablar de cómo nuestras estrategias de criar a los hijos afectan nuestro mundo, porque la idea que nuestros problemas provienen de nuestro método de criar a los niños puede colocar la culpa de todos los problemas en los hombros de los padres que ya son sobrecargados. Pero los psicólogos y otros “expertos” que utilizan su posición como “expertos” a presionar los padres en métodos desnaturales y separados de ser padres. Pero tanto de quienes somos como seres humanos puede ser rastreado a nuestras experiencias infantiles—entonces vale la pena de considerar que como una sociedad piensa en el trabajo de ser padre/s influye esa misma sociedad.

La cultura occidental, y la cultura dominante de los Estados Unidos en particular, adora la individualidad y la autogestión al punto tan extremo que esperamos que nuestros niños sean autosuficientes antes que aprender a hablar. El método del corriente principal, o el método convencional a cuidar, valua la independencia sobre el apoyo, la compasión, y la interdependencia.

Como padres, estamos advertidos interminablemente a no servir a las necesidades de nuestros bebés porque quizás siempre esperarán que sus necesidades serán satisfechadas. Por responder a las necesidades de nuestros niños como si fueren necesidades frívolas, les enseñamos una incapacidad a distinguir entre las necesidades y los deseos, y perdimos la abilidad de distinguir la diferencia nosotros mismos. La filosofía convencional de criar dice que el deseo de bebe a ser abrazado y aliviado es manipulativo, mientras un método compasivo dice que es una necesidad válida. Nuestros niños aprenden cómo relacionar al mundo por la manera que los tratamos, y cuando somos irrespetuosos, desdeñosos, crueles e indiferentes a nuestros niños como una manera de hacerlos fuertes, ellos llegan a ser adultos irrespetuosos, crueles e indiferentes. Tengo la convicción de que si la compasión fuera valuada en los métodos de los padres, gradualmente llegaría a ser más valuado en la sociedad.

Siempre he amado el concepto de construir el nuevo mundo al mismo tiempo que destruimos al mundo viejo. Crear mientras destruimos, formar mientras derrocamos. Esto ha formado mi concepto de criar radicalmente. Por una parte, necesito seguir a enfrentar el mundo dominante y malo, y agregar mi energía y mi fuerza a la lucha para derrocar el capitalismo, la supremacía blanca, el patriarquia, y el estado. Por otro lado, yo quiero criar a mi niña como si el mundo que deseo ya existiera. Me gustaria criar a una niña quien rechaza y lucha contra los sistemas de dominación y opresión, pero a la vez puede funcionar en el mundo. Quiero ser una madre excelente.

El método de cuidar excelente parece distinto a las personas distintas. A mí el método es poner el bienestar de mi hija en frente de mis propias conveniencias. Significa que yo no pongo la culpa en ella cuando es dificil ser madre. Significa que tengo que cuidarme a mÍ misma. Más concretamente, significa que la sigo tratando con respeto, apoyando sus esfuerzos a autodeterminarse, y asegurando su seguridad. Significa que tengo que aprender cómo criar a una chica asignada con autoestima fuerte y quien puede sobrevivir y tener éxito en una cultura patriarcal. También significa que tengo que modelar selecciones y conducta con principios. Significa hacer investigación y pensar críticamente en cómo ser madre y escoger los instrumentos y técnicas que son correctos para nosotros. Significa reconocer que la necesidad para el amor es tan importante como la necesidad para el alimento. ¿Puede significa más?

Tengo esperanzas grandes, pero expectaciónes realisticas. ¡Quizas mi hija sea o no sea una revolucionaria, pero soy determinada a prepararla con la capacidad!

La utopia anarquista será determinada por las personas que la componen. Creo que incluirá el respeto y la reverencia para todas las personas y criaturas. Pondrá su énfasis en la interdependencia y el colectivismo sobre el individualismo severo. El respeto para la autonomía no ganará sobre el apoyo mutuo y la libertad de asociación. En la utopia anarquista que yo deseo, todos esperarán que todas las necesidades sean acomodadas, y gritarán como el infierno cuando no son satisfechadas. En la utopia anarquista, la gente será apacible con la otra gente a pesar de la edad—o cualquier otro factor.

El construir el nuevo mundo en la cáscara del viejo implica que tenemos que vivir como la utopía anarquista ya estuviera aca, y incorporar los valores, sistemas, y métodos del mundo ideal tan como es posible en el mundo actual. Por eso yo vivo colectivamente, y utilizo el proceso colectivo a hacer decisiones cuando puedo. Sigo explorando como aplicar este método en ser madre en maneras que son excelente.

No voy a decir que el acercarse al tema de criar a los niños de este manera va a generar una revolución, pero es uno de los componentes necesarios para el cambio social radical. Quién es mejor para empezar este enfoque que la comunidad ararquista/radical (definida ampliamente)? Vale la pena a hacerlo porque el proceso de explorar estas ideas desafía y profundiza mi análisis y compromiso política constantemente. Y vale la pena porque es una manera buena de criar a un(a) niño, y también vale la pena ser buena madre/buen padre.

Gracias a los padres radicales y a los aliados a los padres quienes han ofrecido su aviso, sugerencias, y apoyo. Se puede escribir a Rahula Janowski en anarchakittyoriseup.net.

Polygamia

Alguna vez pensé que la polygamia era un acto radical, pero cuando finalmente el año pasado me convertÍ en polygama y me di cuenta que no siempre es una opción. Yo duro aproximadamente un mes en una relación monógama. Para mí esta relación es ahogante-opresora. Entonces he comenzado a considerar la polygamia, pues es otra preferencia sexual que no es muy común, considerarla como otra preferencia radical o urgencia natural. Esto también me ha ayudado a darme cuenta de que la mongamia funciona bien para alguna gente, como la polygamia fuciona para mí.

Ha sido un poco dificil, decirles a mis amigos uno por uno que soy poligamo y encontrar una comunidad que apoye y que entienda pero vale la pena. Estoy creando mi propia ética para la intimidad, pues yo no creo en alargar la relacion monogama para muchas parejas, es suficiente…Mis influencias han sido el anarquismo, el budhismo, y la sabiduria de la comunidad. Principalmente estoy trabajando en salir a flote con lo físico y lo emocional practicando la comunicación abierta ademas de ver a el amor como un intercambio de regalos.

Mí visión de como funciona la polygamia es llegar a ser mi propia pareja principal asi como me deshago de los restos o sobrantes que aún quedan de la moral que rodea la monogamía. Pues tener una relacion primaria parece cada vez menos nesesaria. Cuando más entiendo lo completa que soy, puedo venerar la intimidad sin pensar en ella como cosa principal y ser honesta con mis parejas en vez de pedir permiso.

La necesidad de ser fiel está cambiando pues cada vez dependo menos de la aprobación de otros, para ser yo misma. Yo sería tan feliz si mí mejor amiga(o) encuentra una nueva pareja como si una pareja mia tiene nuevos placeres. La infidelidad no es acerca de sexo, si no más bien acera de deshonestidad emocional y las promesas rotas. Si uno de mis amantes no usara protección al tener sexo, rompiera un compromiso para ir a hacer sexo con otralo o mientiera acerca de que clase de intimidad quisiera me dolería lo suficiente como para confrentar el problema. De cualquier manera todos tienen diferentes puntos de vista que solo podriamos saberlos si hablamos de ellos.

La parte más dura de ser poligama es la cantidad de tiempo que esto lleva, pues yo podriá pasar los proximos 50 años bailando, dandonos caricias uno a otro, hablando, haciendo el amor y no hacer ni un minuto de trabajo para la justicia social. Pero eso seria una vida menos productiva. El saber que mi amor es infinito a causara las mayores limitaciones para mis relaciones de parega… pues si tan solo los orgasmos pudieran sacar al gobierno.

Creo firmemente en las relaciones sin obligaciones. El amor es un intercambio de regalos y para que la intimidad sea sana, debo dar y recibir. Mientras que yo no puede saber que el placer vendra lo espero, asi como el dolor también. La madurez usualmente proviene de la incomodidad.

Así como cada vez me alejo mas de la monogamía, y me acerco mas a mis propias definiciones de la intimidad, me de a más gusto. Sé que estaré agradecida de mis amantes y otras veces me retiraré a mi propia satisfacción. De cualquier manera sabré que soy querida.