Daily Archives: August 15, 2008

To respond to

hey ------! good to hear from you, i enjoyed reading your blog and
intend to continue reading. a few questions sprung up in my mind as i
was reading and i thought you might have a few answers. i don't mean
to accost you about your politics, and if you are too [busy, lazy,
bored, ill, confused, stoned etc] to respond, feel no need. i am
however stuck in something of a political quandary and am interested
in hearing what others more experienced than i have to say.

first, 'anti-authoritarian': what does authoritarianism mean? and
hierarchy, for that matter? can hierarchy exist in a political
movement (according to the very precise definition you gave it) or is
it a purely governmental/institutional affair?

second, 'participatory democracy': what is it? how does it differ from
what we mean when we refer to, say, a western-democratic state? is it
a state-form or tied implicitly to your notion of a movement? most
importantly, what does democracy, participatory or otherwise, remedy?

third, my real question (forgive me for the previous questioning about
definitions, i'm just trying to pin down your universe of meaning): in
a world where george bush can use anti-war demonstrations as
justification for an invasion and subsequent democratization of iraq
(to give the iraqi people the freedom to protest THEIR government) and
where all non-hierarchal explosions of democratic will seem to either
burn out, turn into institutions that supposedly exist at the margins
of politics (SDS, for instance) or result in institutional
re-adjustment, what is there left in the democratic tradition to
defend? given the choice between an explosion with no meaningful
morning after and the state-form that seems to have ushered in most
effectively global capitalism's hegemony, isn't our logical answer
simply 'no'?

fourth, what end do you (and, for that matter, other activists you've
encountered) see as the end point or goal of the radical left?

fifth, how you been man? in general and as such? (you do have to
answer this question, though not necessarily at length)


"Did you exchange a walk-on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?"
-Pink Floyd