November 30, 2005

Chomsky vs Dershowitz - Video

John F. Kennedy School of Government video debate between Noam Chomsky and Alan Dershowitz, Israel and Palestine after Disengagement (November 29, 2005).

The Harvard Crimson, Prominent Profs Spar Over Israel (November 30, 2005). An excerpt:
In response to Dershowitz's claim that his knowledge of the peace process--including the 2000 Camp David summit--was based on what President Clinton had told him "directly and personally," Chomsky said that his own arguments were based on written and accessible evidence.

"You can believe one of two things," Chomsky said. "The extensive published diplomatic record...or what Mr. Dershowitz says he heard from somebody."

November 29, 2005

Is a moneyless economy possible? by Terry

In the discussion afterwards it was agreed that money has grown beyond it's initial function and has become almost a means to itself and it is integral to capitalism and has co-opted the language and even the very thought processes of how we view things and our whole culture. Money was also seen by many of those present as a means of introducing scarity and be part of the mechanism that enables hoarding of resources or at least allocation to resources to a few individuals and therefore was inherently un-democratic in it's effects.

It was agreed that a reversion back to barter systems was certainly NOT the way to go and this would be a step backwards. In the talk it was pointed out that for any item, it is impossible to determine it's monetary value, because it is so difficult to factor in the contributions of all the different people involved in the production of any good or product, as you have to take account of not just the labour, but the education, the science, the housing for the workers, costs to the enviroment, the equipment, the makers of it, and indeed the aggregrate effects of many other factors in society.

One attendent (me) pointed out that there are two basic elements to be considered, physical objects and information. It is already abundantly clear that all information can basically be made free, since distribution costs are now almost nil and it can be reproduced indefinitely. Not quite so though with physical goods and many of the other attendents and the speaker agreed that it is likely that there will always be scarity of some kind for some goods and the question of how to deal with this was grappled. Some examples from previous revolutions such as the Spanish revolution where these problems arose and were usually decided upon collectively were pointed out. Nevertheless agreeing to share and allocate resources is still better than through the mechanism of who can afford it.

Other contributors pointed out that the increasing environmental effects and costs need to be considered and would pose fundamental limits to what can be done in the broad sense.In terms of how a moneyless society might be reached, it seemed to be agreed it would be best to encourage various types of free or moneyless systems so as people would become familiar with the idea.

November 27, 2005

Peter Lamborn Wilson - NYC December 1

Richard Kostelanetz & Peter Lamborn Wilson, Writers

Libertarians and Anarchists: Friends or Enemies?

Richard Kostelanetz is a writer and artist. He's been a contributing/advisory editor of many arts journals. He's the author of over fifty books, among the recent ones are "Political Essays", "Thirty Years of Visible Writing", and "More On Innovative Music(ian)s". He's also written over three dozen booklets. He's edited & introduced over three dozen anthologies and many essays, reviews, poems, fiction pieces, experimental prose pieces, plays, scenarios, photographs, and numerical art items. In scores of publications and places, prominent and obscure around the world, he's created theatrical texts, one person concerts, texts for composers, choreography scores, one person exhibitions of prints, books, drawings, audiotapes, canvases, videotapes, photographs, and had many retrospectives. He's done Hörspiel: extended audio art. He's also created ten films, hologram exhibitions and over a dozen extended features for radio, plus many lectures and presentations at institutions around the world.

Peter Lamborn Wilson has traveled and lived in Morocco, Turkey, Iran, India, Indonesia, England and Ireland. among other countries.
He's an editor, translator, journalist, critic, poet and author of over 30 books translated in 14 languages. He had the radio show "Moorish Orthodox Radio Crusade" on WBAI's from 1988 through 1999. He taught at Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, Naropa University, Boulder, Colorado for many years. He's an anarchist activist and lecturer in NYC. His most recent works are "Sacred Drift -- Essays on the Margins of Islam" (City Lights), "Avant Gardening -- Ecological Struggle in the City and the World", editor with B. Weinberg, "Drunken Universe -- An anthology of Pers. Sufi Poetry," translated with N. Pourjavady, "Gothick Institutions", poetry and "Xeroxial Endarchy."

Thursday, December 1 @ 7 pm
General Society Library
20 West 44th St., NYC map
Between 5th & 6th avenues, near Grand Central Terminal

Admission Free

Peter Lamborn Wilson, "Anarcho-Poetical - ­An Evening of Mad Manifestoes"

The December Anarchist Forum

On Tuesday, December 13, at 7:30pm, the Libertarian Book Club's Anarchist Forum will present Peter Lamborn Wilson who will recite much of his anarchist poetry, which he refers to as "Mad Manifestoes." Peter will connect the poems to what is currently twisting about in the world, answer questions and respond to audience comments.

The event will take place at the Brecht Forum, 451 West Street, Manhattan (between Bank and Bethune streets). Take an A, C, E, or L train to the 14th Street and 8 th Avenue subway stop or take a 1, 2, or 3 train to the 14 th Street and 7 th Avenue stop.

Everybody is welcome and invited to come and to have their say. There is no set fee for the presentation, but a contribution to aid the LBC is suggested. If you have questions, contact the LBC /Anarchist Forum, 212-979-8353 or e-mail: roberterler @

November 26, 2005

Zapatistas: Intergalactic encounter

by Bastian Saturday, Nov. 26, 2005 at 8:52 AM

The Zapatistas from Chiapas, Mexico, announce their plans for a intergalactic encounter “from below and from the left”. Intergalactic because they struggle for “a world in which all worlds can fit”.

Last summer, the nature of the Zapatista struggle has changed. The Zapatistas are known as the “first post-modern revolutionaries”. They have struggled for the rights of ethnic minorities, women, homosexuals, transsexuals and the poor in Mexico.

During the past 22 years, the main achievements of the Zapatistas have been on the local level. Some 2000 communities in Chiapas have organised in about thirty autonomous municipalities and 5 autonomous regions. The autonomous authorities on these three administrative levels “lead by obeying”.

De Zapatistas are opposed to a leading elite, against technocracy and to a revolutionary vanguard. Their alternative is a system in which all strategic decisions are made directly by the population. Leadership is not about the person, but about the position. When a autonomous administrator doesn’t fulfil his or her task according to the will of the people, he or she is immediately replaced by the people. Civil authorities fulfil their role for a year and after that period, they are replaced to prevent possible clientelism and corruption. Last year the Zapatistas published an assessment of their own achievements and fallacies:

The Zapatistas oppose rigid ideology and dogmatism. They do not present a blueprint for revolution. This is reflected in the principle of “progressing by asking questions”. Progress is achieved little by little and after each small step, new questions are raised. This can be seen as a reaction to the grand theories like communism, capitalism and other ideologies that do not tolerate dissent.

Last summer, the Zapatista movement gained national relevance when it announced the creation of a national movement “from below and from the left”. This movement has to be horizontal and aimed at voluntary consensus. In the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, the Zapatistas explain how they see Chiapas, Mexico and the world:

In this document, known as “La Sexta”, the Zapatistas criticize neoliberal free trade and the Mexican three party-system. They do not see the difference between the leaders of the different parties. “Because we believe that a people which does not watch over its leaders is condemned to be enslaved, and we fought to be free, not to change masters every six years.”

The Zapatistas propose the creation of something “very otherly”. This summer they announced the creation of “the Other Campaign”. A very otherly campaign that does not want to take power, but tries to organise from below and from the left to create an alternative for the allegedly corrupt Mexican political system. At this point, some 900 Mexican organisations and 2000 individuals have joined the Other Campaign.

The Zapatistas played an important role during the emergence of the anti-globalist movement. Their call for a international alternative media network played an important role in the creation of the Indymedia network. Two intercontintal encounters in 1996 and 1997 in Zapatista territory were followed by numerous national, continental and intercontinental social fora.

This month, the Zapatistas have called for a intercontinental encounter with movements from the left and from below. All around the world, meetings will be organised to prepare for this encounter. During this period everybody can voice their support, advice or opposition to the shape and content of this encounter and of a international network to help “struggles and resistances for humanity and against neoliberalism throughout the world”. You can find the announcement here:

From the small, colourful threads of local resistance, the Zapatistas aim to weave a grand tapestry of rebellion. Together.

There will be a website on which the preparations around the world will be coordinated.

will launched on November 30th. All organisations from below and from the left are called upon to organise local meetings. The Zapatistas, if invited, will try to send a delegation to listen to the discussions and to report on the preparatory meetings back home in Chiapas. If the period of consultation is finished within the coming seven months, the Zapatistas propose that the Intergaláctica will take place in july of 2006.