David Malmo-Levine's Blog

Imminent Collapse...

…and the age-old contest between cooperation and competition – or why this pothead is a libertarian socialist instead of just a socialist-hating libertarian or a libertarian-hating socialist.

“Freedom without socialism is privilege and injustice. Socialism without freedom is slavery and brutality.” – Bakunin

So … has everyone out there heard that society is about to be totally transformed in the next month or two by a total collapse of our economic system precipitated by peak oil?

I didn’t either … until very recently. Then I saw the film “Collapse” (available free online) (1).


Disclose.tv - Collapse (part 1) Video


Disclose.tv - Collapse (part 2) Video

The long and the short of it is that Mike Ruppert and some filmmakers have given our oil-based economy a very short time to go. There’s a limited amount of oil left in the world and while it won’t run out for a few years it’s about to become very expensive in the near future. Very expensive. Imagine paying triple what you’re paying now. That’s going to start to really cut into the grocery money of a majority of people in Canada and the US. The evidence for this scenario seems to be piling up. (2)

In this tight economy, already high fuel prices that triple in price could kill many businesses that use diesel and gas – which is most of them. This would mean that our petroleum-based food creation and food distribution systems are also at risk of collapse. Our banks are currently at risk of insolvency and runs – a collapse of the fuel and food systems would result in a collapse of the economic system. The environment is nearly saturated with toxins and C02 and plastic and oil spills and – in combat zones – depleted uranium.

There is talk of the ocean’s “pump” circulation system collapsing too – it’s been acting quite irregularly for the last ten years or so. (3) Food prices are climbing – “nearly 29 per cent” in international markets in the last 11 months. (4)

The middle class is about to become poor and the poor are about to become destitute. The type of desperation and suffering that poverty brings – the kind that could cause someone to set themselves on fire in protest in Tunisia … is coming to the Western Nations.

How likely? Mike Ruppert says it’s a certainty in the next few months. He was right about the CIA dealing drugs and he was right about Cheney being the “Maestro” of 9/11 (see his book “Crossing the Rubicon” for all the evidence of that) so I think there’s a good chance of him being right about this too.

He’s wrong about one thing: bio ethanol. He judges it on how well corn ethanol performs while ignoring the fact that hemp ethanol performs much better (5) – and he follows Dr. Permintal who has since been discredited (6) – but apart from his understanding of ethanol as a mitigating force, he understands “collapse” pretty well.

Ruppert warns us to stay in our own areas and maximize our friendships we have taken time to cultivate – only by intense cooperation will we at all hope to survive this transition period between the global corporate rule of the last 100 years and whatever it is we decide to replace it with.

Ruppert says that the most valuable things post collapse will be seeds. I think he’s right. They’re portable and contain the keys to our future survival. And the most valuable seeds of all will be marijuana seeds and hemp seeds – they’re the number one medicinal and industrial resource on planet earth. Everyone who has a little place to grow should start a garden right away, and farmers who have lots of room to grow should think about planting a crop of nutritional hemp … it’s the best food in the world in terms of digestible protein and essential fatty acids – which are essential for human nutrition.

Do I think that collapse will happen in the next few months? Ruppert thinks so. He could be right. He could be wrong but he could be right. And if there’s even a remote possibility that he’s right we should start to prepare for collapse before the day it hits us. If we prepare before then it might not be too late. If we prepare when it hits it might be too late.

If you have to choose between spending money on food and spending money on ammo, I suggest food. Here’s why: The contest between cooperation and competition is about to be decided … and winner takes all. The human race is about to evolve to angels through intense cooperation or descend into hell through intense competition. Everyone knows it’s about to happen. Nobody knows what exactly the human race is turning into but – given the options - there’s never been a better time to evolve angelically and signs of change are everywhere.

There are examples of what other nations do to survive collapse already in existence – take Argentina for example. In the recent film “The Take”, Argentina’s economic collapse has been met with radical reforms in the economic system – basically the workers have found that they are far more efficient without any bosses. Meetings among equal workers have replaced the wasteful system of separate “managers” and “owners” – who turned out to simply be a drag on productivity. Here’s a trailer for the film: (7)

This mirrors the experience of the Mondragon federation of workers collectives in Spain (8) and of the anarchist pot-dealing squat “Christiania” in Copenhagen, Denmark (9) – both of which seem to operate much more efficiently without any forms of hierarchy. This also mirrors the experience of the short-lived but educational anarchist revolution in Spain in the 1930’s, where;

“Despite the critics clamoring for "maximum efficiency" rather than revolutionary methods, anarchist collectives often produced more than before the collectivization. In Aragon, for instance, the productivity increased by 20%.” (10)

I must say I feel very good about Dana Larsen running for leader of the BC NDP – he’s the smartest and most ethical person I’ve ever met, and the NDP could do a lot worse for leaders … they could put yet another boring quiet person in. Dana is not only exciting with regards to the direction and speed of change he desires, but he’s also a voice for both freedom and compassion in all areas of life – political and economic and spiritual. That’s the kind of voice we need during collapse – locally and globally.

Imagine the message it would send to these new upcoming democracies in the Middle East and to revolting unions in the mid-west USA if we have a new democratic resurgence in British Columbia. Imagine the effect on the rest of the world if BC were to suddenly have free transit everywhere, legalized prostitution, higher taxes on the lucky rich people who live here (and who, given the mild climate and quality cannabis, are unlikely to move), a $10 minimum wage, children who eat nutritious meals, hemp ethanol manufacturing and legal cannabis (or a de-funded narc squad and a reoriented police force). I can imagine a scenario of pot cafes on every street corner (each one with a different theme). A vote for Dana Larsen is a vote for survival AND prosperity. Check out his platform (11)

There’s a strategy I remember from the Y2K scare: “look after ten people” – it goes like this. Some people are help-ers and some are help-ees – not everyone is talented enough to provide for others and some - perhaps one in every ten of us - are super-talented at it. The “look after ten people” ethic is this – in times of emergency do your best to contribute to the welfare of ten people – this shouldn’t break you and it will be like being the organized person on a sinking ship - making sure as many people get life-rafts as possible.

It’s sort of in our culture already – often one person brings the weed and nine others help out how they can – someone else has a lighter that works in the wind … someone else brought some chocolate. We potheads are used to sharing – we stand in a circle, “pass the dutchie to the left-hand side” … and even invite strangers to toke with us.

Potheads are already free – they know that freedom means the right to be yourself as long as you’re not hurting others – but they’re socialist too … they hardly ever bogart the joint. Potheads are mostly libertarian and mostly socialist.

I feel sad for my libertarian friends and my socialist friends who think that freedom (liberty) and love (socialism) are incompatible. You can have both and you can have them both in your personal, political and economic relationships. We are human and our imaginations are slightly more powerful than our limitations.

If you don’t equate socialism as “love within the economic realm”, I have another definition: socialism is “freedom from exploitation”. I like that one too, as it seems more reasonable and compelling than the freedom that libertarians maintain is more important: the “freedom to exploit”. We all must decide which is the real freedom and which is simply privilege … and we must decide soon.

The high-performing people know who they are. They will come through because it’s the only way for us to evolve and grow out of the capitalist-ruler nightmare we’ve been living ever since the communist nightmare died in the east back in 1989. Like Jello Biafra said – one evil empire down and one to go. Or since Tunisia and Egypt, perhaps it’s more like 2 evil empires down and 180 to go.

1) http://www.disclose.tv/action/viewvideo/50078/Collapse__part_1_/
http://www.disclose.tv/action/viewvideo/50113/Collapse__part_2_/
2) http://www.alternet.org/environment/149876/are_we_headed_for_massive_oil...
3) http://www.whoi.edu/oceanus/viewArticle.do?id=54347
4) http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/city-news/2011/02/09/soaring-food-prices-fu...
5) http://hemp-ethanol.blogspot.com/2008/01/economics-history-and-politics-...
6) http://tyler.blogware.com/2006/1/10/
http://makower.typepad.com/joel_makower/2006/01/general_motors_.html
http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/analysispaper/biomass.html
http://running_on_alcohol.tripod.com/id18.html
http://www.iogen.ca/company/faq/index.html#Q21b
7) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcostesK0Ik
8) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mondragon_Corporation
9) http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8887317701829510625
10) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Revolution
11) http://votedana.ca/platform


Comments

A Resource Based Economy

Interesting post. I would suggest you investigate the Venus Project. I think we should move right now to a Resource Based Economy before everything goes to shit. Libertarian ideas would not solve anything, because the root cause of the problem will still be there. And that problem is money. Or rather the monetary system. A high tech society based on access abundance would make it obsolete. This movie will give you an idea of what a RBE is and what the Venus Project is about.

Zeitgeist Moving Forward - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Z9WVZddH9w

www.thevenusproject.com

Quick Comment

DML,

Your belief in a combination of socialism and libertarianism could, potentially, be dangerous. You might see people harp about a New World Order... Those of us who study these things have a different word for it, COMMUNITARIANISM. It is a conglomeration of socialism and laissez-faire economics. You are proposing an eerily similar idea that could be co-opted to allow the pathocracy to survive.

The problem, here, is hegelian dialectics. The thinking we use to form compromises between alternative viewpoints. Believing you can compromise with fervent socialists or fervent capitalists is the problem. We don't need to compromise on anything, if you knew enough about libertarianism you would know that it in no way precludes individuals from forming voluntary collectives and controlling the means of production themselves! A libertarian society would have only one law, all human interaction should be voluntary. So long as you do not infringe on the natural rights of others, you will have rights of your own. The only way a person can lose their rights in a libertarian society is if they make a conscious decision to throw them away (for deciding to use violence against another, etc)!

I'm not anti-socialist. Worker collectives make sense. But I do know that COMBINING socialism with any other ideology breeds authoritarianism. I don't see the logic of what you're proposing... 'All human interactions should be voluntary, EXCEPT...' This is exactly what the pathocracy wants! Combining two ideologies leaves a small crack the psychopaths can get a prybar into!

Be wary of Mike Ruppert. He has perspective, but where does he get it? Why is he allowed to say things that others have been killed for saying? Try a book called The Psychology of Intelligence Analysis by Richards J. Heuer, Jr. then give Crossing The Rubicon another read!

God luck and good speed,

Sean

n/a

"Those of us who study these things have a different word for it, COMMUNITARIANISM."

If you really studied it carefully you would find that anarchists and libertarian socialists were fighting communism before the rest of the world had even heard of communism.

The two examples of this are Bakunin's fight with Marx and Chomsky's essay "The Soviet Union vs. Socialism" - both quite googleable.

"But I do know that COMBINING socialism with any other ideology breeds authoritarianism."

Socialism doesn't mean "workers collective" ... it means "freedom from exploitation" - if you combine that with "freedom to do anything you like that doesn't hurt others" then you get "libertarian socialism" - almost every other type of socialism is authoritarian. Rather than limit yourself to speculation, you could check out the wiki page on "libertarian socialism" - it actually speaks about its long history (it's older than communism) and what it has actually manifested into ... many things, none of them authoritarian. If it ever became authoritarian, it would cease to be libertarian.

Quick Comment 2

Libertarian-socialist ideology applied to the current corrupt, immoral caste system (topped by psychopaths) will not change anything. The 2% will have liberty and the rest of us will have socialism. It will not work without first addressing that den of vipers within our system, something that could take many lifetimes and a lot of blood.

Pure libertarianism doesn't have that problem because it leaves the door open for people to individually choose whether a collective is in their best interests, or a private market is in their best interests. The den of vipers would still exist, and will still do it's best to take advantage of people, but those who see it's true nature now have the freedom to form alternatives. Ironically, the pathocracy will gradually die from it's own 'free market' beliefs.

A socialist-hating

A socialist-hating libertarian is an authoritarian.
A libertarian-hating socialist is an authoritarian.
You're comparing apples to oranges.

Libertarianism doesn't need to be clarified or justified with a hyphen. Calling yourself a libertarian-socialist only goes to show that you don't have a firm grasp of either concept.

Socialists place the rights of the all before the rights of the person. An outdated system of beliefs that only achieves results at the smallest of scales and when the only alternative is ruthless capitalism. The 'all' is nothing but magical thinking. A fantasy where oppressed groups identify with other oppressed groups, hoping that if they band together they have a chance against a perceived enemy. An enemy they don't even understand! The oppression itself is the problem, not how big the group of people you identify with. Socialism organizes the oppression of humans while failing to address the real problem: the oppression of humans. The fact that ANY justification exists for my rights to be taken from me.

If we have inalienable rights at the individual level, there is no need to worry about sacrificing anything for the good of 'the many'. Libertarianism allows you to have your collectives. Your socialist-libertarianism, however, potentially precludes me from having my libertarianism!

The good times are here to

The good times are here to stay.

if by not much oil you mean

if by not much oil you mean 1,333 billion barrels left to be pumped out of the earth. and by a few years you mean 40....than you'd be correct. Very misleading.... unfortunate cannabis culture will post what ever bullshit comes out of this guys mouth, very unfortunate.

Where, exactly, did I mislead?

"if by not much oil you mean 1,333 billion barrels left to be pumped out of the earth. and by a few years you mean 40....than you'd be correct."

The "peak oil" issue isn't about volume of oil or about how long before every last drop is gone, it's all about COST. Were you paying attention when you read the following sentences?:

"There’s a limited amount of oil left in the world and WHILE IT WON'T RUN OUT IN A FEW YEARS it’s about to become VERY EXPENSIVE in the near future. Very expensive."

So I provided capitals for the parts you should have been paying attention to. The "won't run out" part was so that everyone could differentiate between "no oil" - not the real concern - with "expensive oil" - the real concern. I guess you missed that entirely. As for the real concern - cost - let's look at all the indicators. Brent Crude, West Texas Intermediate, U.S. Energy Information Administration - take your pick - all indicators are trending upwards. Oil has only been higher once - in 2008 - and it looks like it's not going to stop climbing this time:

Pessimistic predictions of future oil production operate on the thesis that either the peak has already occurred,[4][5][6][7] that oil production is on the cusp of the peak, or that it will occur shortly.[8][9] The International Energy Agency (IEA) says production of conventional crude oil peaked in 2006.[10][11] As proactive mitigation may no longer be an option, a global depression is predicted, perhaps even initiating a chain reaction of the various feedback mechanisms in the global market that might stimulate a collapse of global industrial civilization, potentially leading to large population declines within a short period. Throughout the first two quarters of 2008, there were signs that a global recession was being made worse by a series of record oil prices.[12]

...

“ [World] reserves are confused and in fact inflated. Many of the so-called reserves are in fact resources. They're not delineated, they're not accessible, they’re not available for production. ”

— Sadad I. Al-Husseini, former VP of Aramco, presentation to the Oil and Money conference, October 2007.[6]

Al-Husseini estimated that 300 billion barrels (48×10^9 m3) of the world's 1,200 billion barrels (190×10^9 m3) of proven reserves should be recategorized as speculative resources.[6]

wiki/Peak_oil

Sir Richard Branson and fellow leading businessmen will warn ministers this week that the world is running out of oil and faces an oil crunch within five years.

The founder of the Virgin group, whose rail, airline and travel companies are sensitive to energy prices, will say that the ­coming crisis could be even more serious than the credit crunch.

"The next five years will see us face another crunch – the oil crunch. This time, we do have the chance to prepare. The challenge is to use that time well," Branson will say.

"Our message to government and businesses is clear: act," he says in a foreword to a new report on the crisis. "Don't let the oil crunch catch us out in the way that the credit crunch did."

Other British executives who will support the warning include Ian Marchant, chief executive of Scottish and Southern Energy group, and Brian Souter, chief executive of transport operator Stagecoach.

Their call for urgent government action comes amid a wider debate on the issue and follows allegations by insiders at the International Energy Agency that the organisation had deliberately underplayed the threat of so-called "peak oil" to avoid panic on the stock markets.

Ministers have until now refused to take predictions of oil droughts seriously, preferring to side with oil companies such as BP and ExxonMobil and crude producers such as the Saudis, who insist there is nothing to worry about.

But there are signs this is about to change, according to Jeremy Leggett, founder of the Solarcentury renewable power company and a member of a peak oil taskforce within the business community. "[We are] in regular contact with government; we have reason to believe their risk thinking on peak oil may be evolving away from BP et al's and we await the results of further consultations with keen interest."

The issue came up at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos where Thierry Desmarest, chief executive of the Total oil company in France, also broke ranks. The world could struggle to produce more than 95m barrels of oil a day in future, he said – 10% above present levels. "The problem of peak oil remains."

Chris Skrebowski, an independent oil consultant who prepared parts of the peak oil report for Branson and others, said that only recession is holding back a crisis: "The next major supply constraint, along with spiking oil prices, will not occur until recession-hit demand grows to the point that it removes the current excess oil stocks and the large spare capacity held by Opec. However, once these are removed, possibly as early as 2012-13 and no later than 2014-15, oil prices are likely to spike, imperilling economic growth and causing economic dislocation."

Skrebowski believes that Britain is particularly vulnerable because it has gone from being a net exporter of oil, gas and coal to being an importer, and is becoming increasingly exposed to competition for supplies.

"This is likely to put pressure on the UK balance of payments and in a world of floating exchange rates is also likely to put downward pressure on the valuation of sterling. In other words, the positive benefits to the valuation of the pound as a petrocurrency are now eroding," he said.

The question of peak oil came to centre stage last November when a whistleblower told the Guardian the figures provided by the IEA – and used by the UK and US governments for much of their planning scenarios – were inaccurate.

"The IEA in 2005 was predicting that oil supplies could rise as high as 120m barrels a day by 2030, although it was forced to reduce this gradually to 116m and then 105m last year," said the IEA source. "The 120m figure always was nonsense but even today's number is much higher than can be justified and the IEA knows this."

But Saudi Arabia launched a counter-strike at Davos, insisting the issue was overblown. "The concern about peak oil is behind us," said Khalid al-Falih, chief executive of Saudi Aramco.

Tony Hayward, the BP chief executive, downplayed fears about dwindling supplies in an interview with the Guardian last week.

Branson warns that oil crunch is coming within five years

• Virgin chief and fellow business leaders call for action
• Energy crisis threatens to be more serious than credit crunch
Terry Macalister, guardian.co.uk, Sunday 7 February 2010 20.18 GMT

You would have found all that out yourself had you looked into it a little. Maybe next time you will be more careful before you speak publicly about this issue while using your real name.

wahhh wahhh wahhhhh

Get a life, DML.

irony

"Get a life, DML."

.... said the internet troll to the fact-finding educator and drugpeace activist.

Apparently, there IS something for people like you to do with their lives:

"U.S. military using fake online IDs in ‘sock puppet’ operation"
Published On Fri Mar 18 2011
Lesley Ciarula Taylor, Toronto Star

You should sign up! You have a natural talent for immoral, baseless, relentless attacks on those who challenge the evil empire. The military would love you.

lame

You're saying my one-line comments are "immoral, baseless, relentless attacks on those who challenge the evil empire"?

LOL- you and DML should LOG OFF one of these days...take a walk outside, its crazy out there.

You're so right ...

... what I meant to say was "concise, immoral, baseless, relentless attacks".

On the subject of baseless ... I took a walk today to get water from the Lynn Valley headwater park. 19 trips, each with an 18-liter jug on my shoulder about 200 meters each trip from faucet to parking lot.

Where did you walk today, Mr. Fitness?

still lame

Good! How'd that fresh air taste??

Dude ... I live in BC. I bike to work every non-raining day.

It may take you all day to type out your snide little remarks but I learned to type fast in high school so aside from reading and writing, I actually have a very active lifestyle. If you ever manage to leave the underside of your troll bridge and get to Vancouver I will school you in hackysack or you can eat my bike dust around Stanley Park.

DML, Fitness All-Star 2011

Well, I learned to type fast in middle school so I also have a very active lifestyle...hah. I'm not a troll, just a longtime CC reader/activist tired of your attempts to belittle anyone and everyone who doesn't agree with your far-fetched rants.

I've been to Vancouver; its wonderful. Hope to be back sometime...maybe if you guys send Harper packing.

Note to self...

Note to self: Don't read David Malmo-Levine's articles while medicated. This movie about our oil-based economy is absolutely terrifying and I'm only about 15 minutes into it.

Stop Drinking The Kool-Aid!

Dave, I normally enjoy your posts but this one had me scratching my head.
Catastrophists should be regarded with the same suspicion as people who believe that the pyramids were built by aliens. Both deny the potential of human inventiveness and ingenuity.

Yes, we live on a planet that is constantly changing and those changes can threaten our very existence but, that has always been so. We have been thriving for many thousands of years in almost all of Earth's environments because we have been able to adapt our behaviour to suit our needs. It is very likely we will adapt in the face of our current (and now global) difficulties. It's usually when times are tough that we're at our most ingenious - necessity being the mother of invention and all that.

In truth, we are already adapting. An example of this is oil. People have already invented ways to make petroleum products from renewable sources but, they're not yet economically competetive for lack of economies of scale (Changing World Technologies makes oil from turkey guts). However, if oil doubles in price, oil made from renewable sources will become big business. Natural gas made from animal waste is quite viable though usually only on a local scale. Bio-diesel made from plant oils has a lot of potential that is yet to be fully utilised. Bio-ethanol is a bit problematic because it is usually made from food crops. This is one reason why food prices have been rising.

It's true that our current problems pose great dangers but we're very good as a species at finding solutions. Unfortuately, the one "solution" that never works out is revolution. Why? Because power ALWAYS corrupts; because things are never "perfect" - someone always gets screwed by the system no matter which system it is; and because, fundamentally, everyone has a different definition of what's "right".

But, life goes on and we'll go on. Sure, there'll be lots of pain and suffering - there always is. But there's also love, joy and plenty of other positive qualities that we possess. We live in exciting times because knowledge is power and never in human history have so many people had access to so much information. The power that comes from our collective knowledge is enough to overcome just about any obstacle we may encounter.

While Ruppert might be right about tougher times being ahead of us, I don't think it means the end is nigh. Unlike you, I believe our imaginations are much more powerful than our limitations. Look how far we've come already. We have solutions available for many of our problems, we're just not sufficiently motivated to use them... yet. But desperate times call for desperate measures and I believe we will adapt to meet the challenges ahead even if it means some growing pains.

The best we can do in the face of all this is to be informed and to encourage others to be informed as well. Informed choices are almost always better than uninformed ones. More people making more informed choices means we're more likely to find better ways to do things and evolve into a sustainable way of living. But don't for a second think it'll be some socialist "Utopia". There will always be a hierarchy. We're only human, after all.

You obviously have never been to Christiania

"There will always be a hierarchy."

There isn't in Argentina where the workers have taken over direct control of their factories. Didn't you see the film "The Take"?

There isn't in Christiania - the biggest anarchist hash-dealing squat on earth. Didn't you see the film "Christiania you have my heart"?

You need to get out more.

That's True But.....

Dave, I haven't seen the films you mentioned but I have lived in several different countries and visited a few others. I haven't visited Christiana but I don't think it serves as much of an example as you would like to believe. It is a very small community in a small and ethnically, culturally and linguistically homogeneous country. I doubt very much that model could be extrapolated to a larger community, particularly a diverse one. If it's so wonderful there, why aren't more Danes choosing to live that way? Probably because most Danes prefer things the way they are.

As for Argentina, I believe workers anywhere are more productive if they have a stake in the fortunes of their company. As long as most of the workers in their collective are in agreement about how to improve things, they will probably do quite well. But, if there is a serious disagreement about how to do something and the voting is evenly divided, then they'll have a big problem. How does a collective resolve a 50 - 50 issue? History suggests the collective will split in two. The larger the collective, the more quickly it happens - just like living cells.

The essence of the problem with collectives is that "fundamentally, everyone has a different definition of what's 'right'". The more people there are in the collective, the harder it is to maintain a consensus. When a consensus cannot be reached, people will split into opposing factions and conflict ensues. Many religious wars have started this way.

The genesis of hierarchy can be found in the simple truth that some people want to lead, while others prefer to follow. Even in collectives, there are always leaders and followers. The hierarchy may not be formalised or codified but it exists nonetheless. If it didn't, nothing would get done. If we were all leaders, our selfish drives would prevent us from doing anything collectively at all. If we were all followers, we would be cooperative but we'd all die while we were waiting for something or someone to show us the way.

Our progress is founded on the balance between the competitive urges of the self and the need for cooperation inherent to belonging to a group. Democracy isn't perfect but it does a better job of maintaining that balance than any other system we've devised so far. Can we do things better? You bet. Can we do it without some form of hierarchy? No, not unless we can evolve into a completely new species overnight.

Did you even read the blog above?

"It is a very small community in a small and ethnically, culturally and linguistically homogeneous country. I doubt very much that model could be extrapolated to a larger community, particularly a diverse one."

From the article above:

"“Despite the critics clamoring for "maximum efficiency" rather than revolutionary methods, anarchist collectives often produced more than before the collectivization. In Aragon, for instance, the productivity increased by 20%.” (10)"

If you click on the note to #10 you could also find out:

The Spanish Revolution was a workers' social revolution that began during the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 and resulted in the widespread implementation of anarchist and more broadly socialist organizational principles throughout various portions of the country for two to three years, primarily Catalonia, Aragon, Andalusia, and parts of the Levante. Much of Spain's economy was put under worker control; in anarchist strongholds like Catalonia, the figure was as high as 75%, but lower in areas with heavy Communist Party influence, as the Soviet-allied party actively resisted attempts at collectivization enactment. Factories were run through worker committees, agrarian areas became collectivised and run as libertarian communes. Even places like hotels, barber shops, and restaurants were collectivized and managed by their workers. Sam Dolgoff estimated that about eight million people participated directly or at least indirectly in the Spanish Revolution,[1] which he claimed "came closer to realizing the ideal of the free stateless society on a vast scale than any other revolution in history."[2]

"If it's so wonderful there, why aren't more Danes choosing to live that way?"

Because too many people pre-judge it rather than educate themselves about it. Too many people continue to believe and/or fear their government ... as Egypt and Tunisia have demonstrated, neither believing nor fearing one's government is a given.

"But, if there is a serious disagreement about how to do something and the voting is evenly divided, then they'll have a big problem. How does a collective resolve a 50 - 50 issue?"

With vetos, not votes. You need to learn about vetos. Google "Consensus decision making" and learn more.

"When a consensus cannot be reached, people will split into opposing factions and conflict ensues. Many religious wars have started this way."

There is no valid reason to ignore a valid concern. With hierarchy you also have the problem of conflict - it's just that in a hierarchy you have a system designed to allow some to ignore concerns. With consensus decision making you have a system that does not allow anyone to ignore concerns. It takes longer to do but consensus can always be reached by those who genuinely want to reach it, and those who are not genuine can be identified as such through a fair process.

"Even in collectives, there are always leaders and followers."

Thucydides : "An Athenian citizen does not neglect the state because he takes care of his own household; and even those of us who are engaged in business have a very fair idea of politics. We alone regard a man who takes no interest in public affairs, not as a harmless, but as a useless character, and if few of us are originators, we are all sound judges of a policy."

"Democracy isn't perfect but it does a better job of maintaining that balance than any other system we've devised so far."

Direct democracy and consensus are far more just and sustainable than representative democracy.

"Can we do it without some form of hierarchy? No, not unless we can evolve into a completely new species overnight."

Wives used to be property - now they are partners. Perhaps humans have been evolving and you just haven't been paying attention.

Yes, I read it

But did you read all of my replies? It's unfair to say I haven't been paying attention to human evolution when the majority of my first reply was devoted to our ability to adapt and evolve. It's just that I have more faith in our ability to effect technological change than I do in our ability to change human nature. People have tried and failed many times to create utopian societies so, I'm just a little pessimistic about the future. "Freedom from exploitation" is a laudable and worthy goal but, you'll have to kill all the people who want the "freedom to exploit" first because, they're gonna fight to the death to maintain that privelege. Just look at what's happening in Libya and Bahrain.

Or, perhaps look at closer example of the US federal government's "War on (some) Drugs". The people in a number of US states have bypassed the politicians to introduce medical cannabis legislation, only to witness the Feds completely ignore State laws. They're out to kill medical cannabis and if the DEA can't do it, then the IRS will. Governments everywhere will fight to maintain the privilege of the "freedom to exploit".

As for Christiania, all I meant was that an "anarchist hash-dealing squat" simply doesn't appeal to a lot of people as a social model. I believe the majority of the citizens of Denmark are "sound judges of policy" and simply don't want to live that way. I think they're far more educated about the pro's and con's of this model than any fleeting visitor might be. And I doubt the Danes fear their government much either.

As for Athenians, I can't disagree with what Thucydides had to say but, Athens was hardly a model of "universal franchise". Only Greek males over a certain age who owned property were citizens. I'm sure they were sound judges of their own interests but, how did they treat those who didn't get a vote?

I will admit that I have very little knowledge of modern workers' collectives. I have read your links relating to this and I'm impressed by the Mondragon Corporation. As I said in my second reply, workers anywhere are more productive if they have a stake in the fortunes of their company. This could be the business model for the future but, I thinks it's going to take a long time for it to become widely accepted. There are a lot of people who will resist the loss of their "freedom to exploit".

I do still wonder about the long-term and large-scale applicability of consensus government. What if those who do not genuinely seek consensus out-number those who do? You seem to presuppose this will not be the case but, history provides many examples of groups with diametrically opposed interests coming into conflict because those who would seek consensus were out-numbered by those who wouldn't. I'm also unsure how useful veto can be when this situation arises. It often just leads to decision-making paralysis. The Palestinian peace process keeps running into this problem.

Finally, I would say that we seem to have different definitions of "hierarchy". I looked up the Wikipedia definition of the word and I believe it confirms my original assertion. Even the Mondragon Corporation is a hierarchy, in that some people are paid more than others. They may all get a vote but there is still a hierarchy in place. Perhaps Christiania has no hierarchy but, how many people really want to live in an "anarchist hash-dealing squat"? I agree with you that "Direct democracy and consensus are far more just and sustainable" but, even if we could convince all the people whose interests are tied to the current system to change, there would still be hierarchies. They would just be "flatter".

[Thanks for taking the time to reply to my posts. Your posts are always interesting and thought-provoking, even when I don't agree with you - or perhaps ESPECIALLY when I don't agree with you.]

n/a

"...they're gonna fight to the death to maintain that privelege."

They didn't during the fall of communism. They didn't during the fall of South African apartheid. In both those cases elites gave up their privilege without a fight. Same thing in Argentina during the COLLAPSE of their economy.

"Just look at what's happening in Libya and Bahrain."

Just look at what happened in Tunisia and Egypt - they were violent a bit and then they lost.

"I believe the majority of the citizens of Denmark are "sound judges of policy" and simply don't want to live that way."

I believe that they - like you - don't have enough information to decide one way or another ... which is not necessarily a permanent condition of ignorance.

"I think they're far more educated about the pro's and con's of this model than any fleeting visitor might be."

I think people will often choose to remain uninformed about things they would prefer to not know about because their own freedom scares them - but history provides many examples of populations overcoming that fear of change to embrace the new ... people are often - but not always - afraid of switching rulers or even switching types of government.

"I'm sure they were sound judges of their own interests but, how did they treat those who didn't get a vote?"

If you're arguing that everyone should get the vote I agree.

If you're arguing that Greek democracy only works if you deny some people the vote I disagree.

"The Palestinian peace process keeps running into this problem."

In order to use your veto you need to have a reason behind it - Israel and the US never provide one, so in a working consensus process they would no longer be able to stall the process.

"They would just be "flatter"."

We could make them "flat enough" to prevent the few from ruling the many.

Hmmm....

I consider myself an egalitarian so, of course, I believe that everyone should have a say in the issues which affect them, using votes and vetoes if necessary. But it means I can't accuse people of ignorance and fear simply because they disagree with me. As equals, they have as much right to their opinion as I do to mine. We all see life through the lens of our own experience and, as our experiences are all different, we all see things differently. Even people who are "equally" educated have differences of opinion and it is the mark of a fair and just society that people can agree to disagree without resort to insult or violence.

I do find your examples of peaceful transitions interesting. The collapse of communism was, by and large, done peacefully but, very few people in power lost the privilege of the "freedom to exploit" in the process. Russia today is ruled by former Communist Party apparatchiks and KGB officers. They simply went from property being held by "the State" to property being held in their own names, but they made damn sure the "right people" (those at the top) owned all the most valuable propeties. The same is true in many of the former Soviet Republics. Someone once said: "Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, the reverse is true." So, while communism may have collapsed, have things really changed that much?

South Africa is quite a different and rather unique case. I'm sure it became obvious to the ruling class that the population demographics of their country left them with three clear alternatives for the future. One, continue with the status quo and eventually be overwhelmed by sheer weight of numbers, with a subsequent merciless slaughter. Two, leave, which many did anyway. Or three, change the system to allow the majority a greater say in the affairs of the state and hope this prevented the aforementioned merciless slaughter. The ruling class took the leap of faith and avoided the worst but, they were not stripped of their wealth nor the power that flows from it. They continue to have the "freedom to exploit", they just had to allow some of the majority that privilege as well.

As for Egypt and Tunisia, in both cases, the armed forces chose to abstain and let the will of the people decide the issue. They must be commended for their civility in this regard but, it's still too early to tell how it is going to work out. In both countries, the corruption was concentrated in a very small minority and highly nepotistic. The officers of the armed forces must have felt just as exploited as the general population to choose the path they took. We're yet to see if they pass up the opportunity to do the exploiting themselves and the Islamists are already clamouring for that opportunity under a theocratic guise, a la Iran. Only time will tell whether the people of Egypt and Tunisia end up better or worse.

When it comes to Israel / Palestine, the reason for US and Israeli vetoes should be obvious. One doesn't try to reason with someone who is trying to kill you. You defend yourself first, using all necessary force, and only when they stop trying to kill you do you talk. How is a consensus possible when the other side wants you to cease to exist? As someone once said: "If the Arabs laid down their weapons, there would be peace. If the Israelis lay down their weapons, there will be a slaughter." Both sides have elements which have no interest in seeking a consensus but, on the Arab side this constitutes the vast majority and those who even broach the topic of peaceful resolution have a way of ending up dead. I hope they can resolve their differences before the whole thing goes nuclear but, I'm not holding my breath.

In conclusion, while I hope we can evolve to a world with flat enough hierarchies that no one can exploit another but, I'm not confident of seeing it happen. In my experience, when someone or some group is asked to truly give up their "freedom to exploit", as opposed to giving it another name or sharing it a bit, they fight like hell to prevent it. I've seen it too many times before to believe otherwise.

I won't post again on this topic. The last word is yours.

You need to crack open a Palestinian history book

"As someone once said: "If the Arabs laid down their weapons, there would be peace. If the Israelis lay down their weapons, there will be a slaughter.""

The "someone" who once said that has obviously never looked into the history of the region. For those of us who are interested in the history, there are plenty of facts to refer to - none of them debated:

"The U.S. gifts to Israel also include diplomatic support, according to current reports. Washington pledges to veto any U.N. Security Council actions that might annoy Israel's leaders and to drop any call for further extension of a settlement freeze. Hence, by agreeing to the three-month pause, Israel will no longer be disturbed by the paymaster as it expands its criminal actions in the occupied territories.

That these actions are criminal has not been in doubt since late 1967, when Israel's leading legal authority, international jurist Theodor Meron, advised the government that its plans to initiate settlements in the occupied territories violated the Fourth Geneva Convention, a core principle of international humanitarian law, established in 1949 to criminalize the horrors of the Nazi regime."

The Charade of Israeli-Palestinian Talks
Noam Chomsky
truthout, December 6, 2010

"The events in Gaza took place in a developing context. In January 2006, Palestinians voted in a carefully monitored election, pronounced to be free and fair by international observers, despite US-Israeli efforts to swing the election towards their favourite, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah party. But Hamas won a surprising victory.

The punishment of Palestinians for the crime of voting the wrong way was severe. With US backing, Israel stepped up its violence in Gaza, withheld funds it was legally obligated to transmit to the Palestinian Authority, tightened its siege and even cut off the flow of water to the arid Gaza Strip.

The United States and Israel made sure that Hamas would not have a chance to govern. They rejected Hamas’s call for a long-term cease-fire to allow for negotiations on a two-state settlement, along the lines of an international consensus that Israel and United States have opposed, in virtual isolation, for more than 30 years, with rare and temporary departures.

Meanwhile, Israel stepped up its programmes of annexation, dismemberment and imprisonment of the shrinking Palestinian cantons in the West Bank, always with US backing despite occasional minor complaints, accompanied by the wink of an eye and munificent funding.

Powers-that-be have a standard operating procedure for overthrowing an unwanted government: Arm the military to prepare for a coup. Israel and its US ally helped arm and train Fatah to win by force what it lost at the ballot box. The United States also encouraged Abbas to amass power in his own hands, appropriate behaviour in the eyes of Bush administration advocates of presidential dictatorship.

The strategy backfired. Despite the military aid, Fatah forces in Gaza were defeated last month in a vicious conflict, which many close observers describe as a pre-emptive strike targeting primarily the security forces of the brutal Fatah strongman Mohammed Dahlan. Israel and the United States quickly moved to turn the outcome to their benefit. They now have a pretext for tightening the stranglehold on the people of Gaza."

Guillotining Gaza
Noam Chomsky
Information Clearing House, July 30, 2007

"The Camp David agreements in 1978-79 neutralized Egypt, leaving Israel "free to sustain military operations against the PLO in Lebanon as well as settlement activity on the West Bank" (Israeli strategic analyst Avner Yaniv). As Yaniv and other Israeli commentators have observed, Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon, after a year of Israeli attacks that failed to elicit PLO retaliation, was motivated by concern that the PLO's public advocacy of the international consensus might undermine U.S.-Israeli rejectionism. The invasion eliminated the problem of PLO moderation by demolishing the organization in Lebanon, but created a new problem: the formation of the Islamic fundamentalist group Hizbollah, with the official aim of driving Israel from Lebanon. Despite massive resort to terror, Israel was forced to withdraw from all but the southern part of Lebanon, where it maintains a "security zone" in violation of orders of the UN Security Council issued in March 1978.

The Iraq war in 1991 put the U.S. in a position to implement its own unilateral settlement, ratified in the Oslo Agreements. The latest phase, Oslo II, grants Israel control of far more of the territories than it demanded in the Allon Plan, and affirms its legal rights throughout the territories, thus rescinding UN 242 and other relevant UN Resolutions and official declarations. A greatly expanded Jerusalem region is effectively incorporated within Israel, which also keeps control of most of West Bank water resources. Settlement and construction programs implementing these plans were extended, relying on U.S. subsidies. During the first three years of the Rabin-Peres Labor government, to July 1995, the number of settlers increased by 30% (not counting Greater Jerusalem). Government expenditures and inducements for new settlers continue after Oslo II. The intended goal, it appears, is to ensure Israel's control of the territories, with scattered cantons of local Palestinian administration. If these are called a "Palestinian state," the result will resemble South Africa's Bantustan policy, but not quite. The Bantustans were subsidized by South Africa, while the U.S.-Israeli plan is to leave to the Palestinian cantons the task of dealing with the bitter effects of the military occupation, which barred any possibility of economic development.

Meanwhile Israeli attacks on Lebanon continued, killing many civilians. In 1993, these attacks elicited retaliation by Hizbollah, to which Israel responded by invading Lebanon. An agreement was reached to restrict military actions by either side to Israel's "security zone" in Lebanon. Israel has ignored the agreement, attacking elsewhere at will. Thus, the day that Prime Minister Shimon Peres took office after the Rabin assassination in November 1995, the New York Times reported approvingly that Israeli warplanes attacked targets near Beirut, thus demonstrating that Peres would maintain Rabin's hard line. So matters continued, occasionally receiving brief notice, as on March 21 1996, when Israel attacked Muslim villages north of the "security zone" in retaliation for attacks on its occupying army. The standard story in U.S. commentary is that "the accord had largely held until [April 1996], when Hezbollah resumed its attacks" (New York Times). The slightest attention to facts suffices to refute the doctrine, which nevertheless reigns unchallenged.

The Israeli offensive of April 1996, much like those of earlier years, has the openly expressed intent of punishing the civilian population so that the government of Lebanon will be compelled to accept U.S. - Israeli demands. It is this "rational prospect" that has always motivated Israel's attacks on civilian populations, Israeli diplomat Abba Eban explained years ago.

The short-term goal today, Washington announced, is to modify the 1993 agreement to require that all actions against the Israeli occupying forces cease, and that Hizbollah disarm; Lebanon rejected the proposal, insisting on the right of resistance to foreign occupation that was endorsed by the UN in 1987 by a vote of 153-2 (U.S. and Israel opposed, Honduras alone abstaining), still unreported in the U.S. Washington's long-term goal is to integrate Lebanon and Syria into the Middle East system based on U.S. client states. Palestinians in the occupied territories are to be reduced to a minor annoyance, with local administration under general Israeli control. The refugees are to be forgotten."

Israel, Lebanon, and the "Peace Process"
Noam Chomsky
Z Magazine, April 23, 1996

All this is online ... I would have provided the links but the CAPTCHA calls it "spam".

Or Should I Say... Bravo!

Deft use of the intractable Middle East problem (where all parties are equally guilty) to deflect the discussion away from my point that consensus only works 'til it doesn't. You have proved my point for me. Bravo!

Oh so ignorant.

"Deft use of the intractable Middle East problem (where all parties are equally guilty)"

Israel - not Palestine - is guilty of occupation. It is a crime to occupy another nation - it is NOT a crime to resist an occupation:

Israel is a serial aggressor. Hamas responds in self-defense as international law allows. Article 51 of the UN Charter permits the "right of individual or collective self-defense (against an armed attack) until the Security Council has taken measures to maintain international peace and security."

On December 21, 1965, the UN General Assembly adopted Res. 2131 titled: "Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention in the Domestic Affairs of States and the Protection of Their Independence and Sovereignty." It called armed intervention, subversion, and all forms of indirect intervention synonymous with aggression and, for the first time, recognized "the legitimacy of struggle by the people under colonial rules (including occupation) to exercise their rights to self-determination and independence."

On November 22, 1974, the General Assembly passed Res. 3236 recognizing that Palestinians have the same right to self-determination as other sovereign states.

On June 8, 1977, Protocol 1 to the August 1949 Geneva Conventions was passed - "relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts." It declared the legitimacy of armed struggle (or resistance) to achieve self-determination as long as no proscribed methods are used. Further, "all states (are urged) to provide material and moral assistance to the national liberation movements in colonial territories (including occupied people seeking freedom)."

Israel's Wanton Aggression On Gaza

by Stephen Lendman

Global Research, December 30, 2008

For further proof of how one-sided the slaughter is,

Google:

civilian-casualty-figures-in-israel-and-palestine

Tiring

Ok, Dave. You've shouted the longest and the loudest so: You win.

Thanks for proving my point that consensus only works until it doesn't. I'm sure that any readers by now understand that your definition of consensus is when everyone agrees with what you believe.

It isn't about shouting?

David proved his point quite well as I see it. Certainly the fact that Israel is an aggressive occupier with much blood on its hands cannot be argued by a sane person. It this same light so are the United States, and Canada. How many distinct cultures were decimated by western settlement and expansion in just North America alone? The number is large enough to be called genocide for sure; it could easily be rated on a scale with the holocaust. This was all done in the name of progress. This is what has become our utopian dream of a disaster.

What is Israel's excuse?

Isn't It?

You've come late to this discussion so, perhaps you didn't read my earlier comments. I wasn't disputing David's facts, merely the conclusions to which he was jumping.

In my first post, I stated my belief that the coming "oil shock" is more likely to be mitigated by technological and behavioural changes than it is to bring about some socialist Utopia. David ignored what I had said and instead offered two examples of how a socialist Utopia might be constructed. I pointed out that two small, homogeneous groups of people who share common goals do not provide models which can be scaled up to the rest of the world, which is a large, heterogeneous group of people who often have diametrically opposed goals. Under global conditions, consensus is extremely difficult to achieve and even more difficult to sustain.

David expressed the belief that consensus could always be reached by those seeking consensus and lectured me about "valid concerns". He also chose to insult me (and almost the entire population of Denmark) for not coming to the same conclusions he had. I expressed my valid concern that, frequently, those seeking consensus are out-numbered by those seeking conflict, which David promptly ignored. Then, I made the mistake of using the Israel / Palestine conflict as an example of the difficulty of achieving consensus in the world at large. I also expressed the opinion that it is rare for those with wealth and power to give it up willingly.

David took exception to my opinions and provided some examples which didn't really support his conclusions. Rather than addressing my concerns about the difficulty of achieving consensus, David chose to bombard me with "facts" about the Israel / Palestine conflict, none of which I disputed, and insulted me again for equivocating. I stated that the conflict still stands testament to the difficulty of achieving consensus and insinuated this was equally true of David's behaviour, which brought forth more irrelevant "facts" and more insults. He concluded by saying: "Refusing to ignore concerns is the only thing that 'works'" - after spending an entire day of ignoring my concerns.

In his lectures about consensus decision-making, David made no mention of who determines which concerns are "valid" and which are not. Anyone who has read any of David's forum posts knows already that, in David's mind, this privilege rests solely with him. This is why any disagreement with his conclusions are met with relentless barrages of invective and irrelevant "facts". On a forum post, it all seems quite civilized but it's still the equivalent of "shouting down" your "opponent".

Now that you're all caught up, perhaps you can see MY point.

[Don't bother, Dave. A dog chasing its tail is funny at first but it quickly gets boring.]

Correction

You're right, David, I did ignore Spain. I ignored it because those seeking consensus had the crap kicked out of them by those seeking conflict, as generally happens in the real world. As such, the Spanish experiment was a failure and proves my point, not yours.

Please try to have some perspective when using the example of Christiania. If Denmark wasn't such a civilised country, the police would have shut the whole thing down long ago. Many other countries have "anarchist hash-dealing squat(s)"; it's just that in most places they're called slums and nobody aspires to live in them.

Perhaps, it's you that needs to travel more. I suggest a visit to any of the slums of Rio, Mumbai or Johannesburg to ask the residents how much they enjoy living there. I doubt you'd find one person who wouldn't gladly trade places with you. Just be careful, you can't "reason" your way out of a mugging.

I would start with Homage to Catalonia by Orwell

"You're right, David, I did ignore Spain. I ignored it because those seeking consensus had the crap kicked out of them by those seeking conflict, as generally happens in the real world. As such, the Spanish experiment was a failure and proves my point, not yours."

The Spanish Revolution was a success in that it demonstrated that consensus could work on a large scale. The reason that it failed was not that the fascists of Spain crushed it, but rather every government on planet Earth crushed it. The lessons of Spain are 1) that fascists require outside help to quash a true anarchist revolution, and 2) that the revolution will have to be everywhere at once in order to overwhelm every government at once.

If you need to learn more about the Spanish Revolution, I would look at the Wiki page to Homage to Catalonia - at the bottom is a link to an online version of the book. It's my very favorite book ever.

"Please try to have some perspective when using the example of Christiania. If Denmark wasn't such a civilised country, the police would have shut the whole thing down long ago."

The age of information - the age of video cameras on every phone - is the age where civilization is possible - as some times the police only act civil when they know that they are on camera.

"Many other countries have "anarchist hash-dealing squat(s)"; it's just that in most places they're called slums and nobody aspires to live in them."

Christiania is the opposite of a slum. The last time I was there I bought hash from a booth, bread from a bakery, ate at the best restaurant on earth, had a sweat in the most beautiful sauna I had ever seen and took a walk through a forest filled with the most interestingly shaped houses I had ever seen. I would google "Christiania" and "Houses" and see what comes up ... then point out the "slum" part to me.

"Perhaps, it's you that needs to travel more. I suggest a visit to any of the slums of Rio, Mumbai or Johannesburg to ask the residents how much they enjoy living there."

I think the topic of conversation in this discussion thread was not "how poorly we can behave as a species" but rather "how well we can behave as a species". I have visited many places ravaged by the drug war. They don't inspire me. It's the places ravaged by drug peace - Vansterdam, Christiania, Amsterdam, Switzerland, Spain, certain parts of California - these are the places that inspire me.

Homage To Obtuseness

My apologies, David. I honestly believed the topic of discussion was "how poorly we DO behave as a species given how well we CAN behave". I see now why you never seemed to get my point.

PS. I never called Christiania a slum - I merely stated that an "anarchist hash dealing squat" is called a slum in any other part of the world. Slums can only dream about being as nice as Christiania.

n/a

"My apologies, David. I honestly believed the topic of discussion was "how poorly we DO behave as a species given how well we CAN behave". I see now why you never seemed to get my point."

I can understand why you would avoid talking about Spain if you wish to pretend that humans can't cooperate as equals by the millions.

When you say "it doesn't exist" I point to examples.

When you say "those examples are too small" I point to a larger example.

When you say "that example didn't last" I point out that it took every government on earth to shut it down.

You ignore that point and focus on how poorly we behave as a species as if the good examples we've been discussing don't exist. I can't think of someone more likely to have his world turned upside down by Homage to Catalonia - nor can I imagine anyone less likely to read it.

n/a

"I pointed out that two small, homogeneous groups of people who share common goals do not provide models which can be scaled up to the rest of the world, which is a large, heterogeneous group of people who often have diametrically opposed goals. Under global conditions, consensus is extremely difficult to achieve and even more difficult to sustain."

Then I pointed out the "not small, not homogeneous" country of Spain during the revolution example from my blog ... you ignored it when you first commented and you're ignoring it now.

"David expressed the belief that consensus could always be reached by those seeking consensus and lectured me about "valid concerns"."

It wasn't a lecture, it was a reply. A lecture is one-way communication, and you keep responding. If consensus doesn't work why do they still use it in Christiania? If it only works in small groups then how did it work in Spain between 1936-1938? Instead of mis-labeling my reply as a "lecture", you could instead answer these questions I pose.
http://cannabisculture.com/v2/comment/reply/26479/36792
"He also chose to insult me (and almost the entire population of Denmark) for not coming to the same conclusions he had."

This from the guy who says "don't drink the coolaid" in his first post.

"I expressed my valid concern that, frequently, those seeking consensus are out-numbered by those seeking conflict, which David promptly ignored."

Did you even say that? My answer to that continues to be that it worked on a large scale for a couple of years and on a small scale for decades and we have no reason not to keep trying given the fact that hierarchy just makes people miserable.

You need to travel more.

"Thanks for proving my point that consensus only works until it doesn't."

Christiania has been run by consensus for about 40 years. Refusing to ignore concerns is the only thing that "works" - devising a system of concern-ignoring is what doesn't work.

...and we're back where we started

"I won't post again on this topic. The last word is yours."

See, you just wasted a morning arguing with DML. We all know he thrives on wasting his days squabbling with complete strangers online, as is documented by his 923472375 forum posts containing countless stupid arguments.

Touché!

Point taken.

For The Record (No Longer Anonymous)

My name is James Dalton and I'm not Jewish. I don't condone what Israel is doing but, I understand WHY they're doing it. Please re-read my above comments about using all necessary force to defend yourself against someone who is trying to wipe you from the face of the Earth. Sometimes the only way to survive is to kill your attacker. I'm glad I've never had to face the choice of kill or be killed. I hope I never do.

More Details

Given that Hamas and Hizbollah are just pawns in a much larger game, could you tell me where I might find the equivalent declarations from Iran, Syria, Jordan and Saudia Arabia?

Google "Arab Peace Initiative"

"...could you tell me where I might find the equivalent declarations from Iran, Syria, Jordan and Saudia Arabia?"

Google "Arab Peace Initiative". They don't mention it on Fox news but the rest of the world knows it exists.

Details, Details

Could you tell me where I might find Hamas and Hizbollah's declarations of Israel's unequivocal "right to exist"? I can't seem to find them anywhere.

n/a

"Could you tell me where I might find Hamas and Hizbollah's declarations of Israel's unequivocal "right to exist"? I can't seem to find them anywhere."

You can find it in the same place the militant Zionists keep their "right of Palestinians to breath air" - it exists somewhere in the future soon after the US and Israel finally decide to negotiate instead of just build more settlements:

The Khaleej Times editorialized in December 2008 that "The Arab peace plan remains the best and most pragmatic solution to Palestine-Israel conflict.... Even though Hamas and Islamic Jihad are not prepared to accept anything short of the entire Palestine occupied in 1940s, if the plan is accepted by Israel and US, the Arabs could possibly persuade Islamists to embrace it too."[52]

wiki/Arab_Peace_Initiative

Jeeeeeeeeeeesus, fellas

"I won't post again on this topic."

Good; its obvious he's in copy & paste mode, and it grows old. Not to mention he sounds like a babbling, pissed-off teenager when upset, and hasn't taken your comments seriously from the beginning.

Get a grip, Dave.

Allergic to facts

"Good; its obvious he's in copy & paste mode, and it grows old."

Translation: "When he cuts and pastes facts into the discussion we have no way to retaliate because the facts are not on our side, therefore we must dismiss all facts as "old" rather than attempt to rely on them for our position."

"Not to mention he sounds like a babbling, pissed-off teenager when upset,"

Does a jogger get upset at gravity for weighing him/her down or thank it for keeping him/her grounded? Debating these anon-factophobes is like jogging to me ... it's just keeping in shape - there's absolutely no emotional attachment to any of it. You're just practice.

If anything, there's not enough emotion in my reaction. Please tell the troll agency to send some new sparring partners, because you factophobes are totally boring and suck at what you do.

"... and hasn't taken your comments seriously from the beginning."

Unlike you, I respond with facts - at least with facts there's an attempt at education and understanding.

"Cheney was the maestro of

"Cheney was the maestro of 9/11"?... he made money off the Iraq invasion via Halliburton investments amongst others, but there is no reasonable evidence suggesting he arranged for Al Qaeda to do such horrible things. Maybe he didn't do much as vice president in the months before 9/11 to prevent the attack, but the guy didn't orchestrate it; he irresponsibly turned a blind eye, then helped use the attack to scapegoat Iraq, make money, and spy on US citizens without warrants or moral warrant in many cases, torture people... lots of bad stuff. He didn't arrange the attack though.

It would be good if most cannabis users were libertarian socialists, but some, like the owner of this site, Mr. Emery, is apparently an economic libertarian... meaning, survival of the fittest; like, "if the free market wants to pay you 50 cents an hour to pick fruit then that is fine because it's freedom"... it's sick, but lots of anarchists like cannabis... can't blame them, it's a great plant.

Hear hear to civil-libertarian democratic-socialism!

In closing; Dr. Robert Melamede of the University of Colorado is in some great vids on YouTube talking about cannabis science & his company, Cannabis Science... the guy has lots of important information about the health benefits of cannabinoids... it's a more awesome plant than I knew.

Evil Dick

""Cheney was the maestro of 9/11"?... he made money off the Iraq invasion via Halliburton investments amongst others, but there is no reasonable evidence suggesting he arranged for Al Qaeda to do such horrible things."

I take it you haven't read Ruppert's "Crossing The Rubicon"? I suggest you bone up on Evil Dick:

http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/011805_simplify_case.shtml

http://www.thomhartmann.com/forum/2010/09/maestro-dick-cheney-was-charge-

911http://covertoperations.blogspot.com/2005/02/is-dick-cheney-911-maestro.html

And if you need more than Ruppert's analysis, check out my show on Evil Dick for Pot TV - he's been fucking with people in a murderous, criminal way since Ford:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5774500844499779520#

another excellent post

Good to have you back. The only thing I disagree with in your post is the part about running out if oil... There is an excellent article for you to read and also a video posted on infowars.com from May 2008 regarding this. The artic,e is titled "Experts push 'Peak Oil' scam to predict $15 a gallon gas prices. Now I will watch the movie! thanks again for your work.

Alex Jones is not as convincing as others have been on this

Yeah ... there are a lot of doubters of peak oil in the libertarian world. Alex Jones is not as convincing as others have been on this. Google video "A Crude Awakening" or "Crude Impact" or "The Oil Factor" or google "abiotic oil debate" and see what others have said about it.

Soc-lib

I believe a lot of us are true socialist-libertarians.

The problem with libertarian views of no govt intervention are plenty. Just look at the current state of America. The "govt" is just bought pawns of corporations, which is basically presents what libertarians want. No regulations, no gov oversight and no taxes.

The problem with socialism is limit of what one can accomplish. And if your a prick you can say it allows the lower class of citizens a chance they haven't earned.

But by combining the two. Socialism in that one shouldn't make a profit from the healthcare of others, private prisons in the name of profit would be outlawed. Govt should step in an regulate corporations that deal with the well being of it's citizens. Whether that's banking oversight, the defense contracts or enegery production. And I don't mean this cutter crop of regulators who are nothing more than high class whores, accepting bribes. From the Corps they're overseeing

Taxes are a must for any country state. The problem is now they go to subsidies for corporations and money to lock people up for smoking pot. If all our taxes were used to fund schools, improve infrastructure and take of the countries citizens people wouldn't have a problem with that.

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David Malmo-Levine
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