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Friday, February 17, 2012

Writing Because I Feel The Need To Write

It's the time of year again where every other person on campus is sick as hell. Monday afternoon I came down with something awful. I spent the rest of the day as well as most of Tuesday in bed, sleeping for over 12 hours. When I was up I spent time reading through Paul Avrich's Anarchist Voices. Bad idea. That book is like crack for me. It's full of oral histories from people who knew Goldman, Kropotkin, Berkman, Tucker, de Cleyre, Rocker, Labadie, and many others, and people who participated in anarchist colonies and Modern School movements. It's full of anecdotes and all sorts of stuff which makes me feel like I know these people personally. But I have so much shit I need to read for school that I shouldn't be dealing with all these distractions (at least not yet; this book will come in handy later on).

By Wednesday I was feeling a lot better, but I'm still in that daze which trails the flu. Before my Greek class that morning I caught Dr. Leahy in the hall. She introduced me to a friend of hers (also a comrade) who was visiting from Vermont. Even though I forget his name, I remember him telling me that where he lives is very close to Keene, NH. He told me the story of how he was arrested by the FBI for throwing golf balls on the White House lawn in protest back when Reagan was president. I thought he was pretty cool. Later on, Leahy told me that there's a seminar in June that she's probably going to take me to on radical politics. We're still waiting to see if my summer project has been approved yet.

Speaking of seminars, I'm in the midst of writing my talk on charity vs. solidarity for AltExpo. It should be done soon. Nick and I were going over the event via Skype this afternoon. Everything looks good except my means of transport, meaning I might have to shell out over $100 to get to Nashua from Westminster/Baltimore and back. It's going to be a fun time though so I'm not upset. Nick assured me that AltExpo, unlike Liberty Forum, is mainly comprised of people whose political/social views are very much like ours, so I shouldn't feel out-of-place at all. In fact, unlike having earfuls of, "the government is sooooo bad" in 40 different ways, the main ideas behind our event is to give people ideas on how to reshape our society and make them feel empowered. Also take into consideration that Liberty Forum costs over $200 to attend and has a habit of attracting "people in suits" (*cough cough* extremely vulgar corporate-funded top-down think tank members *cough cough cough*), as they say. But the left-libertarians in our crowd are welcoming. Nick even told me he wants to team up with others in that circle to turn Nashua into a libertarian socialist/left-libertarian version of Keene, only instead of challenging the state by smoking pot and running around naked in public they'll be creating an alternative economy. We'll see.

20 comments:

  1. Bollocks! Nick needs to turn KEENE into the left-libertarian version of Keene.

    1) I'm already quietly, slightly successfully, working on this. Libertarians work more closely with the left in Keene than anywhere else in NH, and tend to have fewer ill feelings toward the left than elsewhere, in my experience.

    2) Due to the proximity of Brattleboro and Greenfield, and the local colleges, Keene is a leftist oasis.

    3) The Democratic Party controls state politics in the Keene area, so Keene politicos have no incentive to align with Republicans, and every incentive to align with the left.

    4) Tully Fitzsimmons, Chuck Weed (probably the most anti-authoritarian leftist in the NH statehouse), Thom Sy, TJ Souza, Ryan Maddox, super-dedicated anti-war protesters, Occupy Keene-- with major libertarian involvement, the Keene Transition Movement, and me, along with others who are less conspicuous. Plus, it's the former residence of Andrew Carroll and Rocco Fama.

    5) Keene activism desperately needs a new direction, and I can't beat back the crazies all by myself.

    I hope these arguments make their way to Nick, and that he considers them carefully.

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  2. Will, I'm aware that you're very "textbook", but there's specific reasons why Nick and his girlfriend want to move to Nashua. For one thing, a lot of left-libertarians/tuckerites/mutualist/libertarian socialists/agorists want absolutely nothing to do with other free staters, especially the crowd in Keene which is already under a lot of scrutiny from other libertarians for their goal-less actions and stunts.

    "Left-libertarian" does not mean "[mainstream] liberal libertarian". Left-libertarianism is a branch of anarchism/libertarian socialism. It has nothing to do whatsoever with the Democratic Party in the US.

    http://ne.libertarianleft.org/

    http://all-left.net/

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  3. If Keene is letting you down, maybe you should join us in Nashua instead. At least you won't have to deal with all the drama.

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  4. Hi will, I appreciate your concern and your...well request but unfortunately I'll have to decline. I'll explain as I go along.

    1) Well the "left" I want to work with for the most part is usually anarchists and *not* state-leftist. I'm not *against* working with them per se' if I get to know them and I think the plan is practical enough and whatnot.

    2. Keene may be a "leftist" oasis but it's also bunch of sensualists who like to do nothing but party. And they tend to ruin chances for any sort of community message happening. The tank event is an exception.

    3. I'm not interested in ALLying with the establishment left. I'm more interested in ALLying with the left who are anti-privilege. Check out Roderick's essay on "How to Reach out to the left".

    4. Yes...there's some promise there. I know Ryan and he's a solid and cool character. Rocco is a great guy (of course) but I can't say this is enough to convince me it's a good idea to move to Keene.

    5. I know you can't Will but I'd say (personally speaking) to ditch them. I * know* they need a new direction but instead of working within their own value systems and ideas of what works let's make *our own* in a *different* place that's still ripe for some new types of activity.

    Look, I appreciate these arguments Will and I think it's nice of you to think so highly of me in this regard but I can't say I'm convinced. As Julia said, left-libertarians aren't too interested in the "left' per se' but the more consistent leftists. The anti-privilege leftists. For what I'm talking about, I again refer you to Roderick's essay.

    I look forward to a much longer conversation on this subject, should you be up for it Will. :)

    (And of course you're welcome in Nashua, I could always use someone to get an apartment with in Nashua so I can get out of my grandmother's house..)

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  5. As well, Nick and I were talking about the advantages of a movement that's more decentralized. In this case, it's probably not a good idea to have all (or the vast majority of) libertarians in one specific town or area. I also get the feeling that each "sect" (for lack of a better term) of free staters choses a different town/region to move to. For example, you have the civ-dis people in Keene, political people in Concord and the Seacoast region, rothbardian types in Manch, off-the-gridders and survivalists in the Upper Valley (Lebanon-Claremont-Grafton), and soon enough you're going to see left-libetarians and social anarchists in Nashua. In a sense it's very divided, but in another sense it's actually an advantage since libertarians attracted to the FSP know exactly what "flavor" of community they're moving into and can pick where they want to live based on who they want to live with, kind of like the whole "leave it up to the states" mentality that Ron Paul keeps shouting.

    You could probably talk to people like Thom and TJ about starting up a radical space or infoshop in Keene. Such spaces are needed in every city/town. Just be sure to let the righties know that the space is run by anti-capitalists.

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  6. I understand that the two of you want to target a specific group of leftists, and that this part of the left is generally not involved in party politics.

    I didn't mention the Democratic Party out of confusion. The Democratic Party is a part of the left, and the left-- all subgroups of the left-- are disproportionately represented in Keene. Anti-authoritarians are working with the left on many different levels here.

    Even in the Democratic Party, there's a surprisingly active anti-authoritarian faction. Keene representative Chuck Weed is a self-described "radical" who has submitted bills to legalize marijuana, end corporate personhood, allow doctors to perform euthanasia (death with dignity), and give New Hampshire more autonomy in international trade. He's about as anti-authoritarian as you can get on the left without being an anarchist. Keene representative Steve Lindsey is similar.

    Jaime Contois, former state chair of Working Families Win, one of the most influential activists in Keene, considers herself to be a civil libertarian, and spoke against the Bearcat at a recent city council meeting.

    Anti-war protesters who have protested literally every single Saturday for the last ten years are surprisingly involved in local party politics. (Many spoke against the Bearcat.)

    There are liberaltarian-type folks here. There are "radicals", like Chuck Weed. And there are left anarchists, too.

    There are the Keene Transition Movement folks, who are just weird, and who support living off the grid and local alternative currencies.

    There's the Keene Unitarian Universalist Church, which hosts a broad spectrum of the local left-- Occupiers, politicos, Transitioners, 9/11 Truthers, etc.

    There are state leftists, and authoritarian leftists, here as well. But (and I blame this on Brattleboro) there are also anti-state leftists here. And plenty of people in quirky shades of gray.

    I don't know much about Nashua, but it's certainly not known for its leftward leanings. Why fight the uphill battle?

    Nick, you write:
    "Keene may be a "leftist" oasis but it's also bunch of sensualists who like to do nothing but party."

    I rarely defend Keene activists, but that statement is absurd. Jeez, it would solve so many problems if they were just a bunch of sensualists who constantly partied. Unfortunately, they really like to DO THINGS, often dumb things which create resentment among the rest of the community.

    I'm definitely not saying that you should work with misguided Keene activists. I was thinking more that you would bring in a different group of activists, with a different (and more fruitful) approach, and this could smother the Free Keene crap, which would then die of embarrassment and asphyxiation.

    So here's my case for Keene:
    Keene is the home of the left, who are your intended target audience. And, because it's so lefty, libertarians here are encouraged to be more left-friendly. Plus, anti-authoritarian leftists already hold a lot of sway in local politics, and, whether you like politics or not, that's going to be helpful for any left-libertarian project.

    In other words, the anti-authoritarian leftist politics, and the left-friendly libertarians pushing things in a more anti-authoritarian direction, will provide positive externalities to your project.

    On the other hand (and this is why I'm promoting Keene), your efforts will likely provide positive externalities to the anti-authoritarian left in local politics, creating a virtuous circle.

    Your and my projects fit together like a hand and a glove, and it only makes sense that they should be in the same place. And I think Keene is the logical place.

    It's also closer to Brattleboro and Vermont, which will surely be useful to you, because there are SO MANY anti-authoritarian leftists over there. Easy, convenient collaboration with your Vermonter counterparts, ftw.

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  7. Will, just because the statist left (and I take it you're using the term quite broadly) may have some anti-authoritarian tendencies does not mean that it shares the same goals as us anarchists/libertarian socialists/left-libertarians. In fact, the history of anarchism is pretty explicit on how every time comrades work with statist leftists (be they marxists, social democrats, or just plain mainstream liberals) they always end up getting stabbed in the back by those same people. Take a look at what happened in Russia after the 1917 coup: Bolsheviks started murdering "counter-revolutionary" anarchists (Goldman and Berkman wrote about this as it was happening and gave a pretty detailed account of what was going on). Anarchist Ukraine was destroyed by statist leftist forces as well. Anarchist Catalonia suffered the same fate. I for one do not want to see anti-authoritarian leftists fall into the same trap. We all know that the vast majority of statist leftists are mere opportunists. They want to take political power for the sake of having power. If that wasn't the case, they'd probably be community organizers as opposed to politicians.

    Besides, if Keene and its neighbors are already so leftist, what are we needed for? Why can't you put in the effort to join up with TJ and Thom and others and get your own thing started? I would much rather see left-libertarianism taken to a town in NH which doesn't have much going for it anyway so we can reach out to far more people. This kind of organizing is needed everywhere, not just "safe havens".

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  8. Alright Will, now we're getting somewhere (as far as moving the conversation a bit more forward and clear). I'll try to see what we can do here insofar as further clarification and *possible* common ground.

    So why would you say this,

    "I understand that the two of you want to target a specific group of leftists, and that this part of the left is generally not involved in party politics."

    And then the *next* thing you say is:

    "I didn't mention the Democratic Party out of confusion. The Democratic Party is a part of the left, and the left-- all subgroups of the left-- are disproportionately represented in Keene. Anti-authoritarians are working with the left on many different levels here."

    This doesn't make sense to me. If you *recognize* that LLs aren't as much interested in the establishment left (the democratic party members and big supporters etc.) then why would you *next* say that they're part of the left? To us they're not. To us they're a part of the *right*.

    To the left-libertarian the left-right spectrum has the leftist be the person who is less in favor of government as it originally was in the French Assembly. The people on the right are those who are backwards. They still support pretty large government, fully believe in electoral politics, support the current corporatist economy and so on. LLs have very in little common with such establishment-leftists.

    But the people who are anti-privilege leftists like the OWS, like the "...Keene Transition Movement folks", like the leftist anarchists and so on. I'm more interested in focusing on ALLiances with them then the democratic party or any of the lower leaders in Keene. I'm cool with talking to them perhaps if it can actually be of some use but I just don't it being very practical.

    "Even in the Democratic Party, there's a surprisingly active anti-authoritarian faction. Keene representative Chuck Weed is a self-described "radical" who has submitted bills to legalize marijuana, end corporate personhood...."

    Wait wait wait, what? Legalize corporate personhood? You *do* know that anarchists are against that right? I'm against corporations entirely as they currently exist as is Julia and most (if not ALL) LLs. Now, perhaps you meant legalize marijuanaand *illegalize* corporate personhood.

    But even still LLs by and large aren't for *emphasizing* political action to get such end results done. So I'm still not seeing it as that big of a deal.

    "...allow doctors to perform euthanasia (death with dignity), and give New Hampshire more autonomy in international trade. He's about as anti-authoritarian as you can get on the left without being an anarchist."

    I'm not really seeing that last part. If he was as left as could be without being an anarchist then perhaps he wouldn't take electoral politics so seriously. The fact that he seems to based on what you've said makes me think otherwise.

    "Keene representative Steve Lindsey is similar."

    Again, I don't know why this'd matter to me being an LL and ALL.

    "Jaime Contois, former state chair of Working Families Win, one of the most influential activists in Keene, considers herself to be a civil libertarian, and spoke against the Bearcat at a recent city council meeting."

    "Civil-libertarian"=/=left-libertarian. Maybe we have some common ends (like with some of these other people) but the means are pretty wrong. It'd be pretty tough to convince *all* of these people that their tactics aren't the best and that they should be doing grassroots community organizing and so on.

    That's a lot of work that I'm unsure is really worth my time. You've got to prove that to me it is.

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  9. (POST 2/3)

    "Anti-war protesters who have protested literally every single Saturday for the last ten years are surprisingly involved in local party politics. (Many spoke against the Bearcat.)"

    That's not that surprising to me. It's probably (and I'm guess/generalizing here...so sue me) filled in with a lot of college students or older people that all believe the system is doing some terrible things (like the wars) but can still be reformed.


    "There are liberaltarian-type folks here. There are "radicals", like Chuck Weed. And there are left anarchists, too."

    Well that's nice I guess (and I legitimately mean that) but I just don't see that making it worth my time.


    "There's the Keene Unitarian Universalist Church, which hosts a broad spectrum of the local left-- Occupiers, politicos, Transitioners, 9/11 Truthers, etc."

    Many Churches do that sort of thing, it's one of the more cooler things about them that they can be a great place for building community support...that is...if you can stomach the church.

    "There are state leftists, and authoritarian leftists, here as well. But (and I blame this on Brattleboro) there are also anti-state leftists here. And plenty of people in quirky shades of gray."

    I'm sure there are but that's like describing any town to me.

    "I don't know much about Nashua, but it's certainly not known for its leftward leanings."

    Hell man, I didn't know that *Keene* was either. But Jack and I have some plans (future plans) for trying to get people more interested in the Alternatives via AltExpo. Perhaps if Keene has an open town hall we can have an AltExpo there and get people from *ALL* of these groups.

    *That* would be something I could get behind. :)

    "Why fight the uphill battle?"

    Much more fun. ;)


    "I rarely defend Keene activists, but that statement is absurd. Jeez, it would solve so many problems if they were just a bunch of sensualists who constantly partied. Unfortunately, they really like to DO THINGS, often dumb things which create resentment among the rest of the community."

    Right, well I guess it's not fair to say they're *only* a bunch of sensualists...but my basic point is they're (by and large often times) not worth ALLying with. But I'm not completely *against* it either, I just have my misgivings.

    "I'm definitely not saying that you should work with misguided Keene activists. I was thinking more that you would bring in a different group of activists, with a different (and more fruitful) approach, and this could smother the Free Keene crap, which would then die of embarrassment and asphyxiation."

    I understand that, I'm just unsure this is the best approach.

    "So here's my case for Keene:
    Keene is the home of the left, who are your intended target audience."

    Well no...again we're targeting a *certain kind* of left and most of the people you've talked about (with a few exceptions) don't fit the criteria IMO.

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  10. "And, because it's so lefty, libertarians here are encouraged to be more left-friendly. Plus, anti-authoritarian leftists already hold a lot of sway in local politics, and, whether you like politics or not, that's going to be helpful for any left-libertarian project."

    Not really. Especially since LLs mostly eschew politics and like to focus on community organizing and starting revolutions from the bottom up and not the top down. Perhaps that will *affect* the top sorts of people but that's not really our goal and I don't consider it too important really.

    I guess it *could* be important but again I just don't see the process as really worth my time. I'd rather focus on education, direct action, counter-economics and dual power strategy (when the time comes...).

    Electoral politics (even on the local scale) isn't that important to me. And that's yet *another thing* you'd have to prove to me is worth my time. To be clear, I'm open to hear your side of things on all of these issues (of course) and open to admitting I'm wrong but you've gottta give me good reasons to think as much. So far I haven't been given that.

    "In other words, the anti-authoritarian leftist politics, and the left-friendly libertarians pushing things in a more anti-authoritarian direction, will provide positive externalities to your project.

    On the other hand (and this is why I'm promoting Keene), your efforts will likely provide positive externalities to the anti-authoritarian left in local politics, creating a virtuous circle."

    It may, that's possible and I fully admit as much and while I'm not as hostile to this as Julia is (at least in the sense of thinking they'll necessarily stab me in the back)I still remain wary about it for similar reasons. If you can convince me such reasons don't have much of a basis in reality then, again, we could get somewhere.

    "Your and my projects fit together like a hand and a glove, and it only makes sense that they should be in the same place. And I think Keene is the logical place."

    The only thing I've really thought Keene has for it (IMO) is the geographical space. I love that it's a big town/small city but not overly-big. I like places like that and Nashua is a pretty good example of that sort of area as well (I think).

    "It's also closer to Brattleboro and Vermont, which will surely be useful to you, because there are SO MANY anti-authoritarian leftists over there. Easy, convenient collaboration with your Vermonter counterparts, ftw."

    I'm aware of the Vermonters who want to be independent and ALL that so that

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  11. "Besides, if Keene and its neighbors are already so leftist, what are we needed for? Why can't you put in the effort to join up with TJ and Thom and others and get your own thing started? I would much rather see left-libertarianism taken to a town in NH which doesn't have much going for it anyway so we can reach out to far more people. This kind of organizing is needed everywhere, not just "safe havens"."

    Oh, and I *completely* agree with Julia here.

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  12. Sorry my last post was a bit dramatic. I'm just trying to give examples as to why I think working with the statist left is not such a good idea in the long-run, since our visions of a new society are like day and night in most regards. For one thing, anarchists are about creating as much social equality and liberty as we can in our society. The state (as well as the capitalist system) by its very nature creates mass inequality and lack of liberty. I can understand if you think we should collaborate on short-term goals like Occupy but I just don't think our views go along past that. I remember as well, during the first day of OWS (which I attended) the crowd was overwhelmingly anti-capitalist AND anti-state. When I came back to OWS a few different times I realized that the message most of the participants were saying was not "abolish the old system and build a new one" but rather "let's just make our old system better", which I found kind of asinine.

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  13. Julia:
    Most of the pro-state, anti-authoritarian leftists I've discussed ARE community organizers.

    There may be a history of these factions stabbing anarchists in the back. However, that implies that they were actually able to cooperate for a time. Who will cooperate with you in Nashua?

    If you're around a lot of people who completely disagree with you, you aren't going to reach out to more people. You're going to reach out to less people, because everyone will be very resistant to your ideas.

    Nick:
    Those groups you describe as "anti-privilege leftists" are a major faction of our local Democratic Party. There are so many of them here, that they have a large influence on local politics. This implies that there are a lot of people around to for ALLiances with.

    You say that left-libertarian-leaning politics is not going to help your effort. Well, why not?
    If you're going to do legally questionable things, people in office who sympathize can make that much easier.

    I'm not saying that you should get involved in politics. I'm saying that a good local political climate will probably help you to do the things that you're interested in doing.

    -

    Anyway, I think people in Keene would generally be more receptive to your ideas than elsewhere. Keene isn't quite as good as Brattleboro in this respect, but it's close. Maybe you can get some of those immigrants/minorities I've heard about in Nashua on board with your thinking. I'm not sure who else you're going to convince.

    You say an uphill battle will be more fun, but I'm sure there'll be plenty of fun regardless.

    The big roadblock I see in Keene is Free Keene. Unfortunately, people are probably much less open to this kind of thing now, even if they agree with you, because they've been so turned off by FK stupidity.

    I know you aren't going to do this in Keene, and I can't blame you, but I strongly recommend that you try to find a place where you will have more in common with the people already living there. Maybe Nashua's the best you can find, I don't know. But, like Julia is always telling Free Keene folks, it makes a lot of sense to get the community on your side as much as you can, and this is a lot easier when people in the community already agree with you on some issues.

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  14. "Who will cooperate with you in Nashua?"

    I'm not sure if you're joking or dead serious. Five years ago, no one would have cooperated with the libertarians in Keene, I'm very sure. Even so, you're completely missing the point. It's not about moving anti-authoritarian leftists to the one town where there's already a huge number of anti-authoritarian leftists; it's about creating new projects in other towns which need those projects. "Build it and they will come..." - if we get something going on in Nashua, others in the area who are attracted to our philosophy will no doubt show up. For example, there are comrades of mine who just opened a radical space in Providence, RI. You'd think they'd have a very hard time reaching out to others and finding support among the city's population of rich kid Brown students and yuppies, but they've been doing very well since they opened. Knowing all the disenfranchised youth in the Merrimack Valley, I'm certain that radical spaces in Nashua would find themselves with supporters quite quickly.

    Also, there are many left-libertarian types who have moved to NH already. Where are they moving? The Upper Valley (Grafton) and Manchester. I don't know of anyone in Keene.

    "However, that implies that they were actually able to cooperate for a time."

    Perhaps, but the point of left-libertarianism isn't to collaborate with statists as Nick has explained 100's of times on here. The point is to build a new society from the bottom-up, which politicians who control the state simply can't do. The people who take political power always end up caring more about maintaining their power. For example, when Andrew Carroll lost his election, why didn't he stay in Keene and get started with these anti-authoritarian leftists to do more bottom-up work?

    "Those groups you describe as "anti-privilege leftists" are a major faction of our local Democratic Party."

    I'd seriously challenge that idea, because the whole purpose of the state is to create and preserve privilege and inequality. A new system is never built from the top-down and there's a good reason why. You can't fight fire with fire.

    By the way Will, have you actually BEEN to Nashua? And I mean, have you actually walked around and talked to the locals? It seems like a lot of your assumptions are incredibly generalized when you say "NO ONE will support you..." etc.

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  15. Also, I don't think you've answered this, but if Keene really is such a haven for leftist, why would our actions be needed there?

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  16. For the record, Julia has said more than enough to counter your latest response Will. I have not been to Keene besides one visit to Keene State a year or so ago when I was checking out Keene State. But you'll notice I've made almost zero claims about who I know is there besides the FK activists who we don't see as good as they see themselves. I haven't made claims about what you're saying is actually true in the sense of these people actually existing or not, just the content that you describe them by.

    That said I'll respond to your latest post and probably let this go after since you've said all you've needed to say according that FB response.

    "Those groups you describe as "anti-privilege leftists" are a major faction of our local Democratic Party."

    You keep asserting that but I don't think you've proven it.

    "There are so many of them here, that they have a large influence on local politics. This implies that there are a lot of people around to for ALLiances with."

    Not necessarily since it depends on what perspective you come from that makes you define who the anti-privilege left is to begin with. I think we come from different perspectives on the matter and so see different people as the best targets for education and so on.

    "You say that left-libertarian-leaning politics is not going to help your effort. Well, why not?
    If you're going to do legally questionable things, people in office who sympathize can make that much easier."

    People in the office won't sympathize with counter-economics Will if they understood what it's for. They won't sympathize with us if they know what direct action is. They won't sympathize if they actually understand what ideas we try to communicate through education. And they certainly won't be sympathizing once dual power strategy goes into effect.

    Why? Well *all* of these things are *by and large* *some* politicians may sympathize but it's likely once they realize the revolutionary intentions of these actions they're not gonna like it. And that's because these things inherently strive towards taking power *away* from the ruling class and *back* to the people, to the community and of course all the way down to the individual.

    "I'm not saying that you should get involved in politics. I'm saying that a good local political climate will probably help you to do the things that you're interested in doing."

    It could, but if that was the case, if this atmosphere was so supportive then perhaps you've got to ask yourself why it hasn't evened out or turned into something decent with the an-caps/voluntaryists evening out the "radical leftism". You've gotta ask yourself why things aren't a lot better already and why *more* people like Weed and so forth aren't getting elected.

    Really, you've gotta ask yourself a lot of question I think but these are just some good places to give yourself a good start.

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  17. "Anyway, I think people in Keene would generally be more receptive to your ideas than elsewhere. Keene isn't quite as good as Brattleboro in this respect, but it's close. Maybe you can get some of those immigrants/minorities I've heard about in Nashua on board with your thinking. I'm not sure who else you're going to convince."

    I'm not sure *who* we'll convince either but that's part of the fun/challenge of it.

    "You say an uphill battle will be more fun, but I'm sure there'll be plenty of fun regardless."

    Absolutely. A revolution can't be nothing if not fun. But I think it'll be more fun in Nashua.

    "The big roadblock I see in Keene is Free Keene. Unfortunately, people are probably much less open to this kind of thing now, even if they agree with you, because they've been so turned off by FK stupidity."

    Well that doesn't point towards me moving...


    "I know you aren't going to do this in Keene, and I can't blame you, but I strongly recommend that you try to find a place where you will have more in common with the people already living there. Maybe Nashua's the best you can find, I don't know. But, like Julia is always telling Free Keene folks, it makes a lot of sense to get the community on your side as much as you can, and this is a lot easier when people in the community already agree with you on some issues."

    That's probably true to some degree and the community is certainly important in the revolution against the state but we're gonna have to do it all over the place where people *don't* agree with us completely right? You can't just expect us to always take the easy route and sometimes the best route isn't the easiest one anyways.

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  18. " And that's because these things inherently strive towards taking power *away* from the ruling class and *back* to the people, to the community and of course all the way down to the individual."

    I couldn't have put it better.

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  19. Also, I don't really see how setting up a radical space in Nashua would be an "uphill battle". There's plenty of young people in the area who are looking for new ideas, since they feel the Valley is ridiculously lame and suburban.

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  20. Alright so here are my three main reasons I just can't see myself doing it for Keene:

    1. I've moved my entire life. I'm always moving and that's always how it's been. Although because of this I'm sort of nomadic in that I don't really have a *stable* notion or feeling of home Nashua is somewhat familiar and I have family in it, around it and near it. It's closer to my girlfiend in MA then Keene is as well. Right now I also don't have a job and am in a little bit of student debt that I just canceled paying. And not only am I not in a job but I also have no transportation myself until I get my license and my grandmother gives me her care. To add to all of that I'm comfortable in Nashua and I'm not interested in moving...again. So that's all of the personal stuff you'd have to somehow convince me don't matter.

    2. I don't like the FK crowd and I wouldn't be too pleased having to go up against the hill of not only them but also of the officials and the other *regular* people I'd have to go up against. I've got my work (and my life in general insofar as I remain an anarchist) really cut out for me and I don't need people who should be my comrades to make it harder on myself. I'm not going to put myself into such an environment willingly unless you've got pretty good arguments telling me why I should.

    3. I don't even completely buy your arguments anyways. Even if I somehow got all of those problems I just talked about I don't necessarily believe what you say. If what you say is true then it seems like you've got it in the bag or it's a pretty good deal with/without me. Not only that but it seems weird nothing has progressed more or gotten "better' in your eyes. But this all goes back to me not caring about pailimentary politics or NH officials and basically being an anarchist. And being an anarchist means I don't really trust the NH officials to "represent" the people. I don't believe they can and so even if I were convinced there are *some* of the anti-privilege left out there (which there seems to be like #OWS, The Transition Movement, etc.) I don't think the NH officials being elected means much. To argue this point we'd have to get into why I'm an anarchist and my basic principles and so on and so on. And I'm not sure that's the road you want to go down.

    So there you have it. I know you don't blame me on reasons #1 and #2 last I checked and that only leaves #3 which is what we've been arguing about this whole time anyways. But in order to actually argue it you'd need to argue that the NH representatives actually mean something or represent something more than themselves and their own third-party interests. I'm unsure you want to go down that road but if you *really* want me to go to Keene then this is one of the least of your concerns. So even if you convinced me here you'd somehow have to have me get over *everything else*.

    It just doesn't look like it's in the cards for me Will.

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