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readings for Nov. 20

We are continuing this months series of readings in preparation for the discussions at the upcoming bookfair. This weeks themed reading focus on CRISIS!!!!. We will be reading a short essay by Paul Mattick called What Is to Be Done?.

readings for november 13th

We are continuing this months series of readings in preparation for the discussions at the upcoming bookfair. This weeks themed reading focus on The Event.

Readings for Nov. 6th

POTLUCK! Come, bring food, bring yourselves and experience a night of decadence and debauchery.

This month focuses on a series of readings that will prepare us for the discussions taking place at the upcoming @ book fair. We will peruse these readings and find the sections most pertinent for a provocative discussion of PLEASURE!
The Right To Be Greedy: Theses On The Practical Necessity Of Demanding Everything by For Ourselves
and
The Book Of Pleasures by Raoul Vaneigem
and
To Destroy Sexuality by Guy Hocquenghem

reading for 10/16 woo hoo!

this is one of the articles from the new journal Baedan (a journal of queer nihilism). the entire journal is worth reading, but we can at least start with this piece and see what happens.

identity in crisis

Reading for October 9th

Three readings for this week.
Some notes on Insurrectionary Anarchism
Anarchists must say what only anarchists can say
Ten Blows Against Politics

10/2 reading

also – potluck! come at 7pm for food and conversation.

readings are
http://m.phys.org/news/2012-09-open-source-revolution-science.html
and
http://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/dot-matrix-science-is-capital
and
http://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/wolfi-landstreicher-a-balanced-account-of-the-world-a-critical-look-at-the-scientific-world-vie

september 25

the proposal is that we watch 12 angry men and then talk about jury duty. it is 90 minutes, which won’t give us much time to talk, but maybe people will stay late? or we can talk about it more the following week.
then the week after that science will be the topic.
links will be upcoming.

reading for 9/11/12

three pieces from GA:
electric funeral

stones can speak

momentum

9.4 reading

Renzo! Renzo! woo woo!

toward the creative nothing

also, potluck at 7, for those of you who haven’t learned how to survive on beautiful bandit egoist fire-breathing poetry… (you should get on that).

reading for 8/28

in the interest of continuing our intro series – here are some readings about individualist anarchism/-ists
http://www.mondopolitico.com/library/wendymcelroy/ia.ca.libertarianism/ia.ca.libertarianism.htm

here is the obituary of laurance labadie by his old friend james martin.
http://tmh.floonet.net/articles/laurance.shtml

not sure how much we’ll refer to it, but it is an interesting read, i think…
and finally, a letter from laurance labadie to a friend, discussing rights, mostly. (those of you who have enemies of society – you already have this text.)

A Letter to a Friend
by Laurance Labadie

Apropos your series of articles on Human Rights:
There was a University of Chicago “professor” who wrote a book entitled Might is Right, under the pseudonym of “Ragnar Redbeard”. In it he maintained that life is essentially a battle in which “to the victor belonged the spoils”, and claimed that the truth of this fundamental warfare is disguised by various pretenses, ruses, and moral codes, originated and propagated by the weak who couldn’t stand up to the stern realities and who expected to soften-up their adversaries. He elaborated his contentions by citing history, politics, business, religion, etc., in fact all the activities of humans (and animals?). The book is rather uncomfortably convincing, though I think the author was terribly unscientific and unreasonable in justifying what seems a pretty sorry scheme of things.
It does not seem to require much acumen to realize that the power of might is the most potent ingredient regarding human conduct, and over-rides all “rights”, and until mankind decides to forego the use of might it will naturally be the deciding determinator. Stirner said, “I would rather have a handful of might than a bagful of right”, or words to that effect. Anyhow, that is the only language that governments, as such, understand.
“Rights” could hardly have preceded government in some form, as you surmise. Your “rights” are postulated as being against something, and the only thing anyone could be against was some hindrance to living, viz., government. “Rights”, therefore, are usually considered as limitations on government (such as the Magna Carta and the American Bill of Rights, etc). That government had power, and could often over-ride “rights”, made it appear that the “rights” were granted by governments. Naturally, it wasn’t long before the theory arose that governments themselves were protectors of human “rights”. In fact, this is the kind of baloney taught in all “state-supported” schools, everywhere and at all times, and of course religious schools and churches teach that God grants all “rights”.
Whether warfare, even though disguised, was and is a normal mode of human activity, it has been fairly well established that the origin of government was a band of robbers who in conquest set themselves up as rulers over the people they had plundered and subjugated. As it was to no advantage to have these slaves scramble among themselves, the tyrants “maintained law and order” among them, and in time even directed them in “public works”, such as building roads, making armor, battleships, etc., originally of course for purposes of further plunder and conquest. As time went on, the slaves actually believed they couldn’t do without their masters, until today we see them concernedly run to the polls to elect new ones every few years.
These stupid human animals can become inured to almost anything, and only occasionally rebel and demand “rights” for themselves, against their masters. They never dream of abolishing mastership itself. The most energetic advocates of “rights” are, naturally, authoritarian socialists, communists, fascists, nationalists, 100% Americans and what have you, and other such lack-wits ad nauseam, who want to set up a supreme master in the State which will take care of them and direct them in all things.
Prior to government, there could not have been any concept of “rights” whatever. Men breathed, ate, hunted, propagated, etc., because it was the natural thing to do. No one could even imagine that he did so because he had the “right” to do so. The American Indian, for example, lived in this clime not because he thought he had a “right” to use the earth. “Rights”, in land, originated or rather were brought here from Europe where property in land was a “right”. By the way, I think your obsession about “rights” is a hangover from your ardent single-tax days.
Although it is improbable, “rights” may have originated by men agreeing to forego the use of might, to make recourse to consultation, compromise, and agreement as the most economical method of getting by in this world. And natural selection might indicate that those who resorted to this method, rather than settling differences by warfare, in the long run survived. This was Kropotkin’s and, I think, Herbert Spencer’s interpretation. However, mutual agreements put into the form of contracts are of different origin and nature than so-called “rights”. They come into existence among equals.
At any rate, the stupid belief that “rights” originated from God or the State is pure superstition, promulgated by preachers and politicians to promote their game of getting a living without work and to enhance their “take”. The plain fact of the matter, it seems to me, is that, like many other transcendental, teleological, and social “truths”, all theories of “rights” are merely human inventions, used by one party or another in order to enhance, as they think, their ability in getting along in the world. “Ethics” is another branch of the same tree.
The foregoing is, at least, a hasty outline of my convictions anent the doctrine of “Rights”. The very advocacy of “rights” is itself a hostile attitude and I doubt whether a peaceable and gregarious society can be built on such a premise.
A more useful alternative to whatever you might write on the subject (which in any event would only be a rationalizing of your own desires) would be to discard all hallucinations about “rights” and propose acting as one’s inclinations direct—in short, that “instinct” is the safest guide. Of course this will demand considerable courage from the individuals in our modern goose-stepping snivelization, and will not meet acceptance by the proponents of the “natural depravity” or “original sin” theory. Another and perhaps better alternative would be to gauge all human action according to consequences. This might involve a “transvaluation of values”.
To summarize briefly, I contend that there is no such animal as “natural rights” and that all you might say about governments, constitutions, or edicts of God (ten commandments, etc.) would be mostly hogwash for the gullible. No person has any “right” to do anything, unless he has the power to do it, or because his neighbors do not prevent him from doing it. Or, if it be claimed that he does have “rights”, I maintain that they are not of much value if the State or “Society” takes it in hand to veto them.
The very tendency of thinking in terms of “rights” usually results in the smug assertion of them, and then waiting until politicians embody them in laws before they can be acted upon. Why not try to get people out of the clouds in their thinking about what they may, should, or can do. Direct action is what is needed. Tell people what to do, and don’t worry about their “right” to do it, like some pettifogging lawyer.
Humans are neither good nor bad, but egoistic. I personally believe they are rather congenial cusses, but they are so astoundingly stupid and have little confidence in their neighbors. That is why demagogues have such an easy time of it playing on their hopes and, mainly, fears. If they would only have sense enough to treat each other fairly, or at least leave each other alone, there would be no inordinate amount of trouble in the world. They would certainly have to do away with that relic of a warlike age, the State, which messes up all their activities. And yet, when I look around me and see so many of the dubs even more ignorant than myself, I can have but little hope for the human race.
So, my advice to you is to investigate human well-being directly, as you have been doing, rather than indulge in a lot of circumlocution and useless speculation about “rights”. The latter can safely be left to metaphysicians and theologians.

Cordially,
Laurance Labadie

This letter is from a carbon copy of the typed original, signed and dated April 19, 1949.

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