An interview with Noam Chomsky in which he exposes the hypocrisy behind the “humanitarian” bombing of Yugoslavia and outlines its real causes.
NOAM CHOMSKY, world-renowned linguist, political analyst, philosopher and activist, has been called “arguably the most important intellectual alive” by the New York Times. Recently, in a British magazine poll, he has been voted by a landslide as the top public intellectual in the world today. According to the Arts and Humanities Citation Index, between 1980 and 1992 Chomsky was cited as a source more often than any other living scholar, and remains the eighth most cited scholar ever. A professor at MIT, he is the author of more than 80 books, including The New Military Humanism: Lessons From Kosovo. His most recent book is Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy.
Danilo Mandic: Professor Noam Chomsky, in your, if I am not mistaken, first TV media appearance for Serbian media, thank you very much for being with us.
Noam Chomsky: I am glad to be with you.
[b] Last month marked the seventh anniversary of the beginning of the bombing of Yugoslavia. Why did NATO wage that war or I should say why did the United States wage that war?
[/b] Actually, we have for the first time a very authoratative comment on that from the highest level of Clinton administration, which is something that one could have surmised before, but now it is asserted. This is from Strobe Talbott who was in charge of the…he ran the Pentagon/State Department intelligence Joint Committee on the diplomacy during the whole affair including the bombing, so that’s very top of Clinton administration; he just wrote the forward to a book by his Director of Communications, John Norris, and in the forward he says if you really want to understand what the thinking was of the top of Clinton administration this is the book you should read and take a look on John Norris’s book and what he says is that the real purpose of the war had nothing to do with concern for Kosovar Albanians. It was because Serbia was not carrying out the required social and economic reforms, meaning it was the last corner of Europe which had not subordinated itself to the US-run neoliberal programs, so therefore it had to be eliminated. That’s from the highest level.
Again, we could have guessed it, but I’ve never seen it said before. That it wasn’t because of the Kosovo Albanians, that we know. And this is a point of religious fanaticism that the West can’t talk about for interesting reasons having to do with Western culture, but there is just overwhelming documentation, impeccable documentation. Two big compilations of the State Department trying to justify the war, the OSCE records, NATO records, KIM Monitor records, long British Parliamentary inquiry which led into it. They all showed the same thing – and sort of what we knew, I mean it was an ugly place, there were atrocities there.
Given this clear documentary record I want to ask you about the elite Intellectual opinion, what you call…
In the United States.
…in the United States and in the West in general, because reviewing it you would get the impression – you would be forgiven for imagining that every critic of the NATO intervention was one of two things: either a “Milosevic sympathizer” or someone who doesn’t care about genocide. What does this mean?
First of all that’s a common feature of intellectual culture. One good U.S. critic, Harold Rosenberg once described intellectuals as the “herd of independent minds.” They think they are very independent but they are a stampede in a herd, which is true; when there is a party line, you have to adhere to it and the party line is systematic. The party line is subordination to state power and to state violence. Now you are allowed to criticize it but on a very narrow grounds. You can criticize it because it is not working or for some mistake or benign intentions that went astray or something, like you see right now in Iraq war, the tone of debate about Iraq war but take a look at it – it’s very similar to the debate in PRAVDA during the invasion of Afghanistan. Actually I brought this up to a Polish reporter recently and I asked him if he had been reading PRAVDA. He just laughed and said yeah it’s the same. Now you read PRAVDA in the nineteen eighties, it’s you know: “the travail of the Russian soldiers that are going to get killed and now there are these terrorists who prevent us from bringing justice and peace to the Afghans, we of course did not invade them, we intervened and helped them at the request of the legitimate government, the terrorists are preventing us from doing all good the things we wanted to do etc.” I have read Japanese counter-insurgency documents from the second WW, from the ninety thirties – the same, you know: “…we tried to bring them an earthly paradise, but the Chinese bandits are preventing it …” in fact I don’t know of any exception in history. If you want, British imperialism is the same, I mean even people of the highest moral integrity like John Stewart Mill were talking about, well we have to intervene in India and conquer India because the barbarians can’t control themselves, there are atrocities, we are to bring them the benefits of the British rule and civilization and so on.
Now in the United States it’s the same. Now take bombing of Kosovo; that was an incredibly important event for American intellectuals and the reason it had to do it all was for what was going on during nineties. And the nineties are for the West, not just the U.S. and France and England were the worst – probably the low point in intellectual history for the West, I think. I mean it was like a comic strip mimicking a satire of Stalinism, literally. You take a look at the New York Times or read the French press, the British press, there was all full of talk about how there is a “normative revolution” that has swept through the West, for the first time in history, a state namely the United States, “the leader of the free world” is acting from “pure altruism”, …Clinton’s policy has entered into a “noble phase,” with a “saintly glow” on and on, I am quoting from the liberals.
Now, this particular humanitarian charade was…
That’s pre Kosovo.
Right. And it was specific in a sense because it was based on the claim that it was preventing genocide.
Now this is, see there are no examples yet.
Let me just read something that you said in an interview around the time of the bombing. You said that “the term “genocide” as applied to Kosovo is an insult to the victims of Hitler. In fact, it’s revisionist to an extreme.” What did you mean by that?
First of all let me just fix the timing. The things I’ve been quoting are from the late nineties.
Yeah. Now, they needed some event to justify this massive self-adulation, OK? Along came Kosovo fortunately and so now they had to stop genocide. What was the genocide in Kosovo? We know from the Western documentation what it was. In the year prior to the bombing, according to Western sources about two thousand people were killed, the killings were distributed, a lot of them were coming in fact according to British government, which was the most hawkish element of the Alliance, up until January 1999 a majority of killings came from the KLA guerillas who were coming in as they said, you know, to try to incite a harsh Serbian response, which they got, in order to appeal to Western humanitarians to bomb. We know from the Western records that nothing changed between January and March, in fact up until March 20 they indicate nothing. March 20th they indicate an increase in KLA attacks. But, it was ugly but by international standards it was almost invisible unfortunately and it was very distributed. If the British are correct, the majority was coming from the KLA guerillas.
And as it later turned out the KLA was also receiving financial and military support.
They were being supported by CIA in those months. And to call that genocide, is really to insult the victims of the holocaust, you know, if that’s genocide than the whole world is covered with genocide.
In fact it’s kind of striking; right at the same time the Western intellectuals were praising themselves for their magnificent humanitarianism, much worse atrocities were going on right across the border, in Turkey. That’s inside NATO, not at the borders of NATO… “how can we allow this on the borders of NATO,”… but how about inside NATO where Turkey was carrying, had driven probably several million Kurds out of their homes, destroyed about 3500 villages laid waste the whole place, every conceivable form of torture and massacre you can imagine, killed nobody knows how many people, we don’t count our victims, tens of thousands of people, how they were able to do that? The reason is because they were getting 80% of their arms from Clinton and as the atrocities increased, the arms flow increased. In fact in one single year, 1997, Clinton sent more arms to Turkey than the entire Cold War period combined! Up until the counter-insurgency.
That was not reported in the West. You do not report your own crimes, that’s critical. And right in the midst of all of this, “how can we tolerate a couple of thousand people being killed in Kosovo, mixed guerillas and …” In fact the 50th Anniversary of NATO took place right in the middle of all of this. And there were lamentations about what was going on right across NATO’s border. Not a word about the much worse things going on inside NATO’s borders, thanks to the massive flow of arms from the United States. Now that’s only one case. Comparable things were going on all over where the U.S. were supportive of much worse, but this, you had to focus on this, that was the topic for “the herd of independent minds.” It played a crucial role in their self image because they had been going through a period of praising themselves for their magnificence in their “normative revolution” and their “noble phase” and so on and so forth, so it was a god-sent, and therefore you couldn’t ask any questions about it. Incidentally the same happened in the earlier phase of the Balkan wars. It was awful, and so on and so forth. However, but if you look at the coverage, for example there was one famous incident which has completely reshaped the Western opinion and that was the photograph of the thin man behind the barb-wire.
A fraudulent photograph, as it turned out.
You remember. The thin men behind the barb-wire so that was Auschwitz and ‘we can’t have Auschwitz again.’ The intellectuals went crazy and the French were posturing on television and the usual antics. Well, you know, it was investigated and carefully investigated. In fact it was investigated by the leading Western specialist on the topic, Philip Knightly, who is a highly respected media analyst and his specialty is photo journalism, probably the most famous Western and most respected Western analyst in this. He did a detailed analysis of it. And he determined that it was probably the reporters who were behind the barb-wire, and the place was ugly, but it was a refugee camp, I mean, people could leave if they wanted and, near the thin man was a fat man and so on, well and there was one tiny newspaper in England, probably three people, called LM which ran a critique of this, and the British (who haven’t a slightest concept of freedom of speech, that is a total fraud)…a major corporation, ITN, a big media corporation had publicized this, so the corporation sued the tiny newspaper for lible. Now the British libel laws were absolutely atrocious. The person accused has to prove that the, what he’s reporting is not done in malice and he can’t prove that. So and in fact when you have a huge corporation with batteries of lawyers and so on, carrying out a suit against the three people in the office, who probably don’t have the pocket-money, it’s obvious what is going to happen. Especially under these grotesque libel laws.
So yes, they were able to prove the little newspaper…and couldn’t prove it wasn’t done out of malice, they were put out of business. There was just euphoria in the left liberal British press. You’ve read The Guardian and The Observer, they thought it was wonderful.
Mentioning The Guardian, what you describe is…
Sorry, incidentally…, after they put the newspaper out of business under this utterly grotesque legal case of the British laws, the left liberal newspapers, like The Guardian were just in a state of euphoria about this wonderful achievement. They had managed to destroy a tiny newspaper because it questioned some image that they had presented and they were very proud of themselves for it, which was probably misunderstood or misinterpreted.
Well, Philip Knightly, he wrote a very harsh critique of the British media for behaving in this way, and tried to teach them an elementary lesson about freedom of speech. He also added that probably the photograph was misinterpreted. Couldn’t get published. Well, you know, that’s when Kosovo came along, it was the same thing. That you can not tell the truth about it, look I’ve gone through a ton of reporting on this, almost invariably they inverted the chronology. There were atrocities…
But after the bombing.
After the bombing. The way it’s presented is: the atrocities took place and then we had to bomb to prevent genocide, just inverted.
Let me ask you about the conduct of the actual war. You mentioned The Guardian, it’s interesting because you yourself had recently had an unpleasant experience…
… when The Guardian misquoting you over Srebrenica. It misquoted you to make it appear as if you were questioning the Srebrenica massacre. But let me bring you back to the conduct of the actual war. That was another…
… the 1999 bombing.
The bombing, which was also overlooked or selectively covered by the Western media in general. Now, Amnesty International, among others, reported that “NATO committed serious violations of the rules of war during its campaign”, numerous human rights groups concur and document various war crimes. One of them had its anniversary two days ago, when the Radio Television Serbia was bombed, the national television, its headquarters, killing 16 people. First of all, why were these crimes completely unreported, and secondly, is there any prospects for there being any responsibility taken for these crimes?
I’d say the crimes were reported but they were cheered. It’s not that they were unknown, like the bombing of the radio station, yes, it was reported and the TV station, but it’s fine. Because the TV station was described as a propaganda outlet, so therefore it was right to bomb. That happens all the time. It just happened last year, in November 2004. One of the worst war crimes in Iraq…
Al Jazeera …
… was invasion of Falluja. Al Jazeera’s one thing, but there was worse. The invasion of Falluja was kind of similar to Srebrenica, if you look, but … They invaded Falluja; the first thing the invading troops did, U.S. troops, was to take over the general hospital and throw the patients on the floor, they were taken out their beds, put on the floor, hands tied on their backs, doctors thrown on the floor, hands on their backs, it was a picture of it in the front page of the The New York Times, they said it was wonderful.
The Geneva Convention forbids hospitals to be…
It’s a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions and George Bush should be facing the death penalty for that, even under the U.S. law. But it was presented, no mention of the Geneva Conventions, and it was presented as a wonderful thing, because the Falluja general hospital was a “propaganda center,” namely it was releasing casualty figures, so therefore it was correct to carry out a massive war crime.
Well, the bombing of the TV station was presented the same way. In fact, as I’m sure you recall, there was an offer from NATO that they would not bomb if they agreed to broadcast six hours of NATO propaganda. Well, this is considered quite right.
How can it be dealt with?
A group of international lawyers did appeal to the International Tribunal on the Yugoslavia. They presented a brief, saying they should look into NATO war crimes, but what they cited was reports from Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and admissions by the NATO command. That was what they presented, the…I am forgetting, but I think it was Karla Del Ponte at the time; she would not look at it, in violation of the laws of the Tribunal, because she “had faith in NATO.” And that was the answer.
Well, something else interesting happened after that: Yugoslavia did bring the case to the War Court…
Which also rejected the case.
The Court accepted it and in fact deliberated for a couple of years it may still be, but what is interesting is that the U.S. excused itself from the case and the Court accepted the excuse. Why?
Because Yugoslavia had mentioned the Genocide Convention and the U.S. did sign the Genocide Convention (after forty years), it ratified it, but it ratified it with reservation, saying “inapplicable to the United States”. So in other words, the United States is entitled to commit genocide, therefore and that was the case that the U.S. Justice Department of President Clinton’s brought to the World Court and the Court had to agree. If a country does not accept World Court jurisdiction, it has to be excluded, so the U.S. was excluded from the trial, on the grounds that it grants itself the right to commit genocide. Do you think this was reported here?
The World Court, though, excused itself from hearing the case trying the illegality of the war, on the grounds that Yugoslavia was not a full member of the United Nations at the time when the case was brought to the…
Maybe they’ve finally reached that…
…they finally did that…
…for several years they were deliberating but that’s the sequence, does any of this get reported? You can ask your friends at Princeton, ask the faculty. They don’t know. I mean these… any more than… they will know that, they sort of probably remember the bombing, the capture of the General Hospital in Falluja but, was there any comment saying that was a war crime?
What struck me was that you compared the Srebrenica massacre with the Falluja invasion, why is that?
Because there are similarities.
In the case of Srebrenica women and children were trucked out and then came, you know, the massacre. In the case of Falluja, the women and children were ordered out, they weren’t trucked out, they were ordered out, but the men weren’t allowed to leave and then came the attack. In fact, it turned out that the roads out were blocked.
Well, I mean all things, it’s not the same story, but that part is similar. I actually mentioned that a couple of times. Storms of protest hysteria, you know. Incidentally this Guardian affair – part of it which was totally fraud is on the part of the editors, not the reporter. They blamed it on the reporter, but it was the editors.
One other thing that they were infuriated about was that she asked me what about the thin man behind the barb-wire, isn’t that a horrible atrocity? I said well, you know, it’s not certain that it was correct. OK, that led to the hysteria. That’s when Philip Knightly tried to intervene to present once again his analysis and once again his critique of the media, but couldn’t. He is a very prominent, prestigious person. You just cannot break ranks; that’s not tolerated. I mean, we are lucky, we do not have censorship, it’s free society, but the self-censorship is overwhelming. Actually, Orwell once wrote about this, in something that nobody has read. Everyone has read Animal Farm and almost nobody has read the introduction to Animal Farm…
Unpublished, came out in his unpublished papers, thirty years later. In it what he said is, Animal Farm is a satire of this totalitarian state, he said free England is not very different. In free England unpopular ideas can be suppressed without the use of force and he gave examples. It’s very similar here. And it does not matter how extreme they are, I mean the Iraq invasion is a perfect example.
There is not, you can not find anywhere in the main stream a suggestion that it is wrongful to invade another country. If you had invaded another country you have to pay reparations, you have to withdraw and the leadership has to be punished. I mean, and I don’t know if you have read the Nuremburg Judgments, but after the Nuremburg Judgments, Justice Jackson, Chief of Council of Prosecution of the U.S. Justice, made very, very eloquent statements about how we must…we are sentencing these people to death of the crimes for which they committed or crimes when anybody commits them, including when we commit them, we have to live up to that. He said “we are handing the defendants a poison chalice, and if we sipped from this chalice we must be treated the same way.” Can’t be more explicit!
They also defined aggression. Aggression was defined in terms which just apply absolutely and without exception not only to the invasion of Iraq but to all sorts of other invasions, in Vietnam and many others, actually even terrorist war against Nicaragua, technically falls under the crime of aggression as defined in Nuremburg.
Does the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia?
Yes. And that’s not even questioned. In fact there is a, there was a so-called, an Independent Commission of Inquiry on the Kosovo bombing led by a very respected South African jurist – Justice Goldstone – and they concluded that the bombing was, in their words, “illegal but legitimate”. Illegal makes it a war crime. But they said it was legitimate because it was necessary to stop genocide. And then comes the usual inversion of the history.
Actually, Justice Goldstone who was a respectable person, later recognized that the atrocities came after the bombing. And that they were furthermore the anticipated consequence, he did recognize that in a lecture in New York, couple of years ago, he said: “well, nevertheless we can take some comfort in the fact that Serbia was planning it anyway, and the proof for they were planning it is” guess what – “Operation Horse-Shoe”, – a probable intelligence fabrication that was publicized after the bombing, so even if it was true, it wouldn’t matter. And furthermore, even if that was true, it was a contingency plan. Now look, Israel has a contingency plans to drive all the Palestinians out of the West Bank if there is a conflict, so does that mean that Iran has the right to bomb Israel? Now, the U.S. has contingency plans to invade Canada, OK so does that mean that everybody has a right to bomb the United States?
That’s the last straw of justification on the part of a respectable person. But for the “herd of independent minds” it just does not matter. The bombing was because of their “high values”, and their “nobility” and was to stop genocide. Say anything else, you know… tons of vilification and abuse comes. But it’s not just on this issue, it’s on every issue. So try to bring up the idea…take, say, the Vietnam War, a lot of time has passed, a huge amount of scholarship, tons of documentation, blew up the country…
Let me just interrupt, I’m sorry, we won’t have time to go into that…
I want to ask you about some of the present developments that are being used again to fabricate a lot of these issues. Slobodan Milosevic died last month. What is the significance of his death in your view?
Milosevic was, he committed many crimes, not a nice person, terrible person, but the charges against him would have never have held up. He was originally indicted on the Kosovo charges. The indictment was issued right in the middle of bombing which already nullifies it. It used British, it admittedly used British and the U.S. intelligence right in the middle of bombing, can’t possibly take it seriously. However if you look at the indictment, it was for crimes committed after the bombing. There was one exception: Racak. Let’s even grant that the claims are true, let’s put that aside. So, there was one exception, no evidence that he was involved or you know, it took place,
But almost the entire indictment was for after the bombing. How are those charges going to stand up unless you put Bill Clinton and Tony Blair on the dock alongside? Then they realized that it was a weak case. So they added the early Balkan wars, OK? Lot of horrible things happened there. But the worst crime, the one that they were really going to charge him for that genocide was Srebrenica.
Now, there is a little problem with that: namely there was an extensive, detailed inquiry into it by the Dutch Government, which was the responsible government, there were Dutch forces there, that’s a big, you know, hundreds of pages inquiry, and their conclusion is that Milosevic did not know anything about that, and that when it was discovered in Belgrade, they were horrified. Well, suppose that had entered into the testimony?
Does this mean that you are a “Milosevic sympathizer”?
No, he was terrible. In fact he should have been thrown out, in fact he probably would have been thrown out and in the early nineties if the Albanians had voted, it was pretty close. He did all sorts of terrible things but it wasn’t a totalitarian state, I mean, there were elections, there was the opposition, a lot of rotten things, but there are rotten things everywhere and I certainly wouldn’t want to have dinner with him or talk to him, and yes, he deserves to be tried for crimes, but this trial was never going to hold up, if it was even semi-honest. It was a farce; in fact they were lucky that he died.
In what sense?
Because they did not have to go through out the whole trial. Now they can, you can build up an image about how he would have been convicted as another Hitler.
Had he lived.
But now they don’t have to do it.
I just want to bring you back to the bombing of the RTS. Some have argued that this particular act of NATO’s in 1999 set precedants for targeting of media by the United States afterward – in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq – that it set a precedant for legitimizing media houses and labeling them as propaganda in order to bomb them in U.S. invasions. Do you make any connection there?
Well, I mean, the chronology is correct. But I don’t think they need excuses. The point is: you bomb anybody you want to. Let’s take 1998, so it was before. Now in 1998, here’s another thing you’re not allowed to say in the States and the West that leads to hysteria, but I’ll say it – in 1998 Clinton bombed the major pharmaceutical plant in the Sudan, OK? That was, this is the plant that’s using the most of the pharmaceuticals and veterinary medicines for poor African country that’s under embargo, can’t replace it. What’s that going to do? Obviously they killed unknown numbers of people, in fact the U.S. barred an investigation by the UN so we don’t know and of course you don’t want to investigate your own crimes, but there were some evidence. So the German Ambassador, who is a fellow at the Harvard University to Sudan wrote an article in Harvard International Review in which he estimated the casualties in the tens of thousands of deaths. The research of the Head of the Near East Foundation, a very respectable foundation, their regional director had field work in Somalia and in Sudan, he did the study, he came out with the same conclusions, probably tens of thousands of dead.
Right after the bombing, within weeks, Human Rights Watch issued a warning that it was going to be a humanitarian catastrophe and gave examples of aid workers being pulled out from areas where people were dying and so on. You can not mention this. Any mention of this brings the same hysteria, as criticizing the bombing of the TV station. So it’s unmentionable, it is a Western crime and therefore it was legitimate.
Let’s just suppose that Al Quaida blew up half the pharmaceutical supplies in the U.S., or England or Israel or any country in which people lived. Human beings, not ants, people. Fine. Can you imagine the reaction, we’d probably have a nuclear war, but when we do it to a poor African country – didn’t happen! Not discussed, in fact the only issue that is discussed if there is discussion is whether the intelligence was correct when it claimed that it was also producing chemical weapons. That is the only question. Mention anything else, the usual hysteria, and tirades…This is a very disciplined, Western intellectual culture is extremely disciplined. And rigid. You can not go beyond fixed bounds. It’s not, you know, it’s not censored, it’s all voluntary but it’s true and it’s not, incidentally, not free societies like this. In fact the third world countries are different.
So take, say, Turkey, half third world; I mean in Turkey, the intellectuals, the leading intellectuals, now best known writers, academics, journalists, artists I mean they not only protest atrocities about the Kurdish massacre, they protest it constantly, but they were also constant in carrying out civil disobedience against them. I also participated with them sometimes. And they go publish banned writings which reported presented them to the Prosecutor’s Office, demand they were prosecuted. It’s not a joke, you know, facing… sometimes they are sent to prison, that’s no joke. There’s nothing like that in the West. Inconceivable.
When I am in Western Europe I hear them telling me Turkey is not civilized enough to enter the European Union. I burst out laughing! It’s the other way round.
Speaking of democratic movements, there was a…
[crew]: This is the last question.
[b] OK, two more quick questions; one: you mentioned the democratic movements in various countries. There was of course a promising democratic movement in Serbia before and, of course, during the bombing. And people like Wesley Clark had claimed that this bombing would be of benefit to the anti-Milosevic forces, when it of course turned out to be a disaster. Was this a sincere evaluation on behalf of NATO?
Well, I can’t look into their minds. When you commit a crime it is extremely easy to find a justification for it. That’s true of personal life; it’s true of international affairs. So yes, maybe they believed it. I mean, I think there’s convincing evidence that the Japanese fascists believed that they were doing good when they carried out things in the Second World War. John Stewart Mill surely believed he was being honorable and noble when he was calling for the conquest of India right after some of the worst atrocities which I mentioned, you can easily believe you are noble. I mean, to me it’s obvious that it was going to harm the democratic movement, I heard about it and I couldn’t get much information but it was obvious that it was going to happen. I mean it is happening right now in Iran. There is a democratic movement in Iran, they are pleading with the United States not to maintain a harsh embargo, certainly not to attack, it is harming them, and it strengthens the most reactionary violent elements in the society, of course.
Let me ask you one final question about the future. Negotiations over Kosovo’s final status are under way right now, the United States is backing Agim Ceku, who was someone involved in ethnic cleansing not only in…
Not someone. He was a war criminal himself. What about the Krajina expulsion, which he was….
First of all, what do you see as an appropriate, realistic solution for the final status of Kosovo and how does that differ from what the United States is now promoting?
My feeling has been for a long time that the only realistic solution is one that in fact was offered by the President of Serbia I think back round 1993 [Chomsky is referring to the proposal of former Serbian President of Yugoslavia, Dobrica Cosic], namely some kind of partition, with the Serbian, by now very few Serbs left but the, what were the Serbian areas being part of Serbia and the rest be what they called “independent” which means it’ll join Albania. I just don’t see…I didn’t see any other feasible solution ten years ago.
Shall we wrap up? Professor Chomsky, thank you very much.
(Room ambience, room tone, reaction shots …)
Text from www.Chomsky.info
(led by Mark Lošonc)
Mark Lošonc: Which Serbian and Balkan leftist legacy consider important? At the same time I think the theory and
ASI : Not enough is known to be the first Serbian socialist organizations (Serbian Socialist Party), formed in 1872 by
Serbian students in Switzerland, created under a strong influence of Bakunin, who was also present at its founding
congress. Bakunin close associates of then were Serbs Manuel Hrvaćanin and others. Program Serbian Socialist
Party clearly proclaims fight against the state, the capitalist order, family, marriage, illegitimate authority …
As the beginning of the socialist operation in us (deliberately) forgotten, the same goes for many other segments of
the revolutionary heritage which preceded the Second World War. Very important role for us was a coffin Cicvarić,
who in 1905 started the first Serbian anarcho-syndicalist newspaper – “bread and freedom”. Cicvarić, its publications
and operation influenced not only the creation of anarchist and anarcho-syndicalist movement in Serbia, but,
according to the testimony of the Young Bosnia accused of the assassination of Franz Ferdinand in 1914, and
achieved a key ideological influence on them, even though I had to leave the anarchist position after the 1912th
In Belgrade in 1910 is starting to emerge list “commune” whose initiators and collaborators largely been excluded
members of the Serbian Social Democratic party dissatisfied centralism and bureaucracy parties, as well as some
of the “direct man” – an advocate of direct action by the parties out of Dimitrije Tucović 1904 . years. Nedeljko
Cabrinovic with Gavrilo Princip initiator of the assassination in Sarajevo, worked as a typesetter “Commune”, which
is, as well as its relation to anarchism, relationships with Cross Cicvarić etc., testified at the trial after the
assassination. This testimony, as well as some serious scientific work (such as “Sarajevo 1914” Vladimir Dedijer)
show that, not only mladobosanci were mere executors in the hands of the Greater conspirators, already
implemented the revolutionary, if you like the anarchist politics, which is possible, coincided with specific goals and
Apis “mano negra”. That speaks not only publishing some of them, the library “Liberation”, which is at the dawn of
World War I in Sarajevo printed Kropotkin, Ramie and other anarchist classics, but also the fact that after the
assassination revealed their plans for the liquidation of prominent Serbian boss from Bosnia, including the then
As has been the case many times throughout history, and not only with us, the anarchist movement is physically
destroyed during the Balkan wars and the First World War; it is the movement that is later reborn remained
unfinished work of collecting information and creating an overall picture of our history. In the period between the
wars most anarchist activity on the territory of Yugoslavia takes place outside the territory of Serbia, and anarchist
practice in Serbia is limited to individual publishing projects and generally individual operation. However, this in no
way means that during this period there was no movement or group on whose experience and experiments,
recognizing their mistakes and failures, abuts our current struggle – from the Red Justice, over some elements of the
operation of the Yugoslav Communist Party, to Belgrade surrealists with whom dividing the eternal struggle, without
measures to impossible. It is known that a number of workers from Serbia participated in the Spanish Civil War on
the side of anarchist or anarcho-syndicalist units, but information about these people, as a result of repression after
World War II, very limited and mostly come by our Spanish friend and companions. In connection with the Spanish
civil war should mention that Abraham Giljen, veteran of that war, and one of the first theorists of guerrilla warfare,
later ideologue Tupamaros, the collection of texts “Philosophy urban guerilla” notes that some Yugoslav fighters
were fascinated by self-organization of the territory and industry under the control of an anarchist in Spain, and that
this experience later used in the Yugoslav self-management experiment.
When we talk about theoretical influences, often forgotten, and among anarchists, that Bakunin was the first
translator of the Communist Manifesto to the Russian language, as well as to accept the translation of capital on the
same. In this sense, we see a large part of the Marxist conceptual heritage as something inseparable from our view
of the world.
There is no doubt an important element of leftist heritage, to which we rely in our current work, is the experience of
the WW II National Liberation struggle – mass response to the occupation and fascist repression, which involved a
multitude of libertarians (of the members of the revolutionary trade union Industrial Workers of the World (IWW),
which were due to that returned to the country of emigration, to activists of the Federation of anarchist Communists
of Bulgaria). NOB (National Liberation Struggle) is not only inspiration, but also points to the direction that the struggle with the
strength and quality they manage to overcome nationalist and other obstacles reactionary anti-capitalist struggle in Yugoslavia
and the Balkans.
Also, an inexhaustible source of ideas and inspiration are the Bulgarian experience anarhokomunističkog and
anarcho-syndicalist movement, physically marginalized by the Tsarist, Stalinist and fascist reactionaries and
experience Greek libertarians. Before World War II, Bulgaria was known as the “other Spain”, because most of the
workers’ movement was explicitly anarchist-oriented.
When talking about the period after the war and the ruling Titois ideology (in which we include the “dissident”
Praxis) there is no doubt that some elements of libertarian thought – especially the original anarchist ideas of self-
government – were integrated into the ruling paradigm. This fact – despite the liberalism and the market orientation of
the Yugoslav project (especially after 1948) – provides that in that period, locate a specific ideological heritage that is
interesting to us.
ML : What is your attitude towards Yugoslavia and to Titoism?
ASI : As an anarchist organization, by definition, have a negative attitude toward all states and authoritarian
systems, including Titoism. But this does not mean that we believe that all countries of the same, or that all systems
When it comes to Yugoslavia, it is undeniable that the life or civilization level it was much higher than that in which
we live today. Drastic drop in material living standards, as well as nekontrolisatni return of nationalism, clericalism,
patriarchy and other antiradničkih ideas on the political scene, which followed the collapse of the former state, very
clearly shows the difference between the current and previous system. Therefore, it can be considered that the
period of Titoism, historically, to this day was the best for the population of our region.
On the other hand, setting the idea of self-government in the national context and its logical degeneration in these
conditions, the existence of markets, the dictatorship of the Statist Communists and the existence of “red” bourgeoisie arose
from it, negative selection as a necessary companion to any hierarchical organization, fostering a personality cult
and repression of dissent who are not all necessarily, in the Yugoslav context, were reactionaries (for example,
criminal means Naked island), cooperation with the imperialist powers (the US and USSR), refusal to resolving the
Albanians in Kosovo, etc., show the structural basis for the creation of today’s banana country born out of a bloody
war . War, which was essentially a conflict led by the bureaucracy Republican Party in the struggle for the
preservation of power and gaining the best possible position in the upcoming privatization theft, of course, supported
by the imperialists in pursuit of their own interests.
ML : How would you describe today’s left-wing scene in Serbia?
ASI : Due to the confusion of ideas which burdens our region for decades, it should be noted that as a leftist see
only those organizations, groups and movements that actively oppose a society based on the domination of private
property, and it opposed a society based on collective ownership. The fact that we talk about left-wing “scene”, and
not the left-wing movement shows great problem left in Serbia today, but at the same time shows the change from
the period when, before almost 10 years, our organization was created.
In fact, what we consider one of the greatest contributions to our organization anti-capitalist struggle in Yugoslavia is
precisely the fact that our actions, and the fact that we have not broken the brutal state repression that does not stop
since our inception, enable you to do about political space left, and to understand the differences in relation to liberal
and nationalist political views. At a time when we are at the beginning of the millennium began with organized
activities, this idea did not exist. The few “leftist” group that existed were completely integrated or in nationalist
projects that Milosevic seen as the last barrier to imperialism and the destruction of Yugoslavia and, on the other
hand, were part of the essential proimperialist anti-war movement under the hegemony of anational,
The fact that it is now possible to talk about the growing number of leftist organizations, their activities and left-wing
positions on political issues shows the great progress that has been made since then, and that is our consistent
insistence on anti-capitalist and internationalist positions, in that sense, it was worth. When we speak of the left, of
course, talking about organizations, groups and movements, realizing that the Left does the working class for itself –
organized – not free thinkers who self-defines as supporters of leftist ideas. In this sense, we can isolate the
operation of anarchist and anarhosyndicalist, Maoist, Trotskyist and a Titoist and left-Breznyevist organizations
and groups in Serbia, as well as various of front organizations and movements that have engaged and activists of
these organizations. Most of the activists of these organizations and groups, despite different positions on a variety
of issues, due to the fact that we are a movement in stage of incubation, the second movement prehistoric times if you
want to, very often shares a common practice and Front access to participation in larger social movements,
such as the mass student protests and FIG. The ideological differences are manifested in practice, and in this sense
are our activists those who advocate mass movements, and generally manage to maintain the hegemony of ideas
interprofessional solidarity, direct action, direct democracy and anti-parlamentarism.
ML : In recent years (especially in 2006, 2007 and 2011) is in Serbia very important role played student movement,
protests and blockades are significantly contributed to the experience of young people left. Form of its action is often
a direct democracy, a form that is determinative importance for ASI. What was your role in the movement? How do
you see its future?
ASI : ASI members are active in all the student protests, starting from the first social protest of students in 2006,
initiated and organized by the Trade Union of Education and ASI Front organizations Social Front in
whose work also involved our activists. Then the students blocked the Faculty of Philosophy, seeking a reduction of
tuition fees and better studying conditions. From then until the last riots in autumn 2011. ASI members are
performing at student unions, always represented the hardest line movement, compromise is advocating that all
decisions and actions must be in accordance with the principles of direct democracy and direct action.
We believe that the future of the student movement in organizing combat student union organization that will bring
together students, teachers and non-teaching staff (because we are aware that there is a fundamental difference in
the interests of these groups), especially because the previous year happened to be fighting potential melted due to
the lack of any structure that after the protest kept fighting students together. Also, the formation of trade union
organizations at colleges would be set based on more solid organization and popularization of student and labor
movement. Therefore, the members of the Union of Education ASI, along with other combat students launched an
initiative for the formation of student unions, who see it as a first step in that direction. Such a union, based on the
principles of direct democracy, will be directly pitted against the operation of the student parliament and departments
of the Faculty and also will give continuity to the student struggle.
ML : To join the ASI does not need any ideological qualifications, but at the same time emphasize the need for
scientific critique of capitalism. What do you think about the role of theory?
ASI : It is true that for membership in the ASI is not necessary ideological qualification, but a member of ASI can not
become a person who acts contrary to our basic principles, and whose material position contrary to the interests of
our membership. This means that the owners, members of the repressive state apparatus (professional army,
police, prison and judicial system …), as well as members of political parties can not be members of ASI.
Also, it is often forgotten, and the anarchist movement, to the anarchists, and the first person who used the term to
describe their political positions – Pierre-Joseph Proudhon – were the ones who insisted on the creation of scientific
socialism. As supporters of the “philosophy of praxis” it is clear that we do not see the theory as something separate
from practice, and that the practical unity of theory and practice we see a dialectical overcoming these divisions. In
this regard, we look at the intellectual effort on the revolutionary left, indicating that we are acceptable only “organic
intellectuals,” those of its theoretical settings based on the experience of direct participation in the class struggle,
and the knowledge gained in these conflicts, not limited to, such traditional intellectuals to describe, but articulating
the aspirations, attitudes and aspirations of the masses. We do not want to deal with the theory that we are lost in
abstractions or dreamed of the ideal free society – a theory which we accept is one that enhances our practice and
strengthen the revolutionary movement.
ML : ASI is anarcho-union of workers which functions as a confederation. In which cities you are present and what is the
relationship between the individual federations?
ASI : ASI has local groups in Belgrade, Kragujevac, Niš, Novi Sad and šabac (and isolated members in many other
cities). Relationship between the Federation to carry out “organic”, through the secretariat of the organization whose
primary role is the coordination of work between local federations, unions and groups. Of course, there are also
regular “horizontal” links between members of different local groups, as well as the cooperation that takes place
through various joint projects – such as, for example, the editorial board of our weekly “Direct Action”.
ML : Direct action is for you a central concept. What were your major direct actions in recent years?
ASI : Direct action is our main method of struggle. This term represents a rejection of any intermediaries such as
representatives, parties, parliament, union bureaucrats, authoritarian established key institutions, etc., and direct
action to fight for their rights. It is acting against the system and the country and represents the most efficient and
fastest method that puts pressure on the bosses and the state. Methods of direct action, strikes, sabotage,
blockades workplace and colleges, okupucije state institutions, etc..
Examples of direct action in which the members of ASI took part in the blockade of the Faculty 2006/07. and in 2011,
then to organize more protests to defend the Great Park in Kragujevac (when the family tennis player Novak
Djokovic wanted to build in the area business and sports center). The most recent example is also in Kragujevac,
where the local inhabitants of a village fighting for the defense of green areas, where a group of capitalists wants to
build a business center. On many occasions we are in the service sector successfully pressured bosses to pay back
wages to employees. In addition, our members organized participate in various initiatives, such as the currently
available action against the company BusPlus – attempts to privatize public transportation in Belgrade.
ML : Do you cooperate with other anarchist groups at the international level?
ASI : ASI is since 2004 part of the International Workers Association (IWA) – International revolutionary trade union
founded in Berlin in 1922. The specificity of our International, despite the fact that only workers’ revolutionary
International that survived World War II and which is active to this day, is the fact that one of its sections – Spanish
National Confederation of Labour (CNT) launched a revolution that is for a short period ( 1936/7) managed to
achieve the highest achievements in freedom of mankind in recorded history. Secretariat of the IWA in 2006, was in
Belgrade until 2009, when it mounted the case, among others, was arrested and charged with international terrorism
and Ratibor Trivunac who served as Secretary-General Internaconale. This is the first time in the long history of our
International to the International Secretariat located outside Western Europe. ASI is also in contact with
Internacional Anarchist Federation, on whose Congresses repeatedly attended as observers. Most of the
international activities of ASI takes place through the organic structures of our International, but, of course, they do
not end here.
ASI, together with their comrades in Slovenia, Croatian, Greece and Bulgaria started in 2003 Balkan Anarchist Book
Fair, which will next year in Ljubljana to mark the tenth anniversary of its existence. Also, intensive contacts with
movements in the region have contributed to the creation of anarcho-syndicalist organizations in Bulgaria
(Autonomous Workers’ Union), Turkey (ASI – Turkey), Romania (ASI – Romania), Croatia (Network of anarcho-
syndicalists), as well as a multitude of joint activities Freedom Movement in the region – solidarity actions, camps for
immigrant rights against the limits etc.
In addition, ASI has organized a number of public forums and presentations of anarchist and revolutionary
movements of the world with guests from the international labor movement, but also served as a point of reference
companions who traveled through the region, especially in the first half of the 2000s when we were practically the
only organization with the resources to something like.
ML : You have a very intensive publishing activity. What books do you publish?
ASI : Our research and publishing Center for Libertarian Studies (CLS) is an institution which has been issued as a
revolutionary theory, and other publications that we believe contribute to the revolutionary struggle on the
educational and cultural front – the struggle which we see as inseparable from the class struggle at all other levels.
First editions CLSA, in a series of “Hook and pick” were photocopied brochure as its predominant objective was
theoretically empowering our members and supporters, however, faced with strong demand we realized the need to
expand our publishing which has become one of the primary activities CLS. So far, the CLS issued twenty-nine
publications in eight editions – that stretch from revolutionary classics like “Anarchy” Peter Kropotkin or “Communist
Manifesto”, to alternative guide through documentaries “And do you know that we are poor Department of occult
charge” Bojana claws or surrealist bravura Ivana Tobico in his book “I’m built lights when the pots”, but also comics
like “the revolution in restaurants.” CLS also organized two competitions for socially engaged works and published a
collection of socially engaged works “Choked in Transition”, thus wanting to, as far as we can, oppose
commercialization of culture and contribute to the formation of the new generation of social engaged creators.
In addition to publishing CLS maintains the largest library libertarian books and magazines in the region, and its
archives stored materials revolutionary movement from around the world – with a particular focus on the movement
in the Balkans and former Yugoslavia, but also in other areas that revolutionaries can be useful for the study – of
documents related to the operation of the reformist trade union movement and the bourgeois parties, through
publications and other materials of modern and historical fascist groups and institutions.
ML : Members of ASI have been direct victims of state violence for many years. What were the most difficult moments?
ASI : The most difficult moment so far is certainly the case, “the Belgrade six.” Then he arrested six Belgrade
anarchists, of which four members of ASI. They are rigged trial were accused of international terrorism. Our
organization has been exposed to heavy media lynch. The bourgeois media are coming out police ordered articles
that brutal attack our organization and the very idea of anarchism, while the legal proceedings attempted to argue
that the “terrorist” attack was the product of operation of our organization – in other words, the state is our entire
organization tried to appear as terrorist. In addition, constant lasted pressure on our police members who were on
the “freedom”. They were at that time called in for questioning, detained for “obstruction of justice” during the
campaign for the release of Bg6, constantly threatened us with new arrests and criminal charges and the like.
Under pressure from domestic and international public of our comrades are freed and the lack of any evidence
against our comrades led to the complete release of all the accused. Repression, however, continues, but at
reduced capacity, it is not as brutal and open as at the time of the Belgrade six, but it is there all the time. We are
currently conducting a large number of criminal cases against members of ASI. Case Bg6 again in court, but by a
lesser indictment, while in the meantime indicted two members of ASI for obstructing officials and disturbing public
peace and order during the protests against the NATO conference in Belgrade last year. During the process against
three students, one of whom is a member of the Union of Education ASI, for organizing the blockade of Philosophy
and the Faculty of Philology of last year, and it intended to criminalize the student movement, students and
intimidated before the fall, when you are expecting a new student uprising .
ML : What do you do now?
ASI : For some time again we issue our newsletter “Direct Action”, which has now taken the form of a weekly
magazine. It managed to regularly comment on and present the revolutionary views on current issues, a distribution
network that covers eleven cities enables us their ideas reach far more people than is now the case.
We are preparing for a hot autumn student when planning new protests of students. In addition, we are engaged in
preparations for future action, which should be followed after the summer holidays. The past few months we have
organized an independent demonstration on the occasion of May Day; rally in support of the Turkish student activist
Basak was closed in Croatia; we organized and revolutionary block the demonstrations against the rehabilitation of
National traitors and war criminal, the Chetnik commander Dragoljub Mihailovic.
CLS is currently preparing a book Danijela Gerena “Anarchism”, as well as Alexander Berkman book
“Fundamentals of anarchist communism”, and as the end of October this year marks 10 years since the formation of
our organization, preparations are under way to adequately mark the date.
Numerous ISIS extremists, trained by NATO instructors are returning to Europe and especially to the Balkans as its most vulnerable area, aiming to hit the old continent at its heart.
“His NATO training reportedly included a stint at the U.S. Army’s largest base in the Balkans…
He is believed to be the mastermind behind a thwarted plot to attack the Israeli national soccer team, Serbian Orthodox churches, and other targets in a string of synchronized terror attacks across the Balkans in November. Nineteen people were ultimately arrested in connection with the plan, and the authorities seized “weapons, explosives, and extremist religious materials.”
Bill Clinton, in support of the Kosovo Liberation Army (the Albanian version of the PLO) orchestrated the illegal 78 day NATO bombardment of the Serbia people that ultimately forced the Serbian military to withdraw from Kosovo. What followed was a horrific, murderous pogrom against the local Serbian population by the Albanians.
The occupying international NATO forces did nothing to stop the carnage, the ethnic cleansing, and the wholesale destruction Serbian Christian churches and holy sites.
For years now, Mahmud Abbas has been calling for…
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The Libertarian Anarchist Route
Radical Education – Show how things like taxation, regulation, law enforcement agencies, the military apparatus, and the entire government system from top to bottom imposes capitalistic
relations on society while crushing all serious alternatives. Libertarian communes are forced into commodity production to pay taxes especially on held land. Food and Medicine are
controlled by governments and corporations through agencies like the FDA here in the United States. Government constructed and financed roads serve as a centralizing tool and an
industrial subsidy program for corporate capital.
Anti-Politics – Refuse to participate in government politics.
The modern state (consisting of the police, the military, the tax collectors, the various law enforcement agencies, the courts, the politicians, and the prisons) gains its tremendous power it
exerts every second of every day from the social support it gains from political legitimacy and voter turn-out. The state, as an institution, is thousands of years old. It knows how to survive
and thrive through changing cultures. It knows how to evolve into a better parasite, a better ruler, and a better slave driver.
After the French Revolution of 1789, two ideologies started to spread like wild fire across Europe and the world at large. These ideologies were democracy and nationalism. Various states
started realizing that their slave populations were not buying into monarchy and theocracy anymore. To maintain their control over their slave populations, the ruling classes invented
ideologies which provided a personal relationship between institutional states and the slave populations they ruled. Under the ideology of democracy, we are taught that this is OUR
government and that WE are the government. Under the ideology of nationalism, we are taught that this is OUR nation and that WE are the nation. With the rise of the democratic
nation-state, we as a world witnessed the extreme expansion of state power combined with the rise of perpetual war, corporate capitalism, right-wing fascism, left-wing Bolshevism, and
When you vote, you justify the existence of the police, the military, the tax collectors, the various law enforcement agencies, the courts, the politicians, and the prisons along with all the
crimes against humanity they commit. As long as people vote, the state will go on. Can you imagine if the voter turnout in a national election consisted of 1% of the overall population?
If that happened, then the state as an institution would be severely weakened.
At one point in history, the Pope and the Catholic church held tremendous authority over the whole of society. They commanded armies, appointed kings, collected taxes
(otherwise called tithes), and ruled society with an iron fist. The reason why they do not have that authority anymore is because the people condemned them, ignored them, and resisted
them. That is the same way how we should demolish state authority.
The state will always be the state. The state exists to dominate directly and to indirectly empower others to dominate their fellows. The state backs all sorts of authoritarian systems of
control. Our entire socio-economic order exists because it is backed up by the state. Landlords have authority over tenets because the landlord can call the police to violently evict tenets.
Capitalists and their managers have authority over workers because the corporation can call the police to enforce its will violently with a simple phone call. Bankers can plunder a
community because the police are there to collect debts, repossess homes, and to protect the ultra-consolidation of resources into a few hands. Parents have authority over their children
because the parents can easily call the state to remove individuals off their state-defined, state-protected property. Death to the state, monopoly property, and hierarchical authority.
Democracy is simply the same old wolf in new sheep clothing.
Direct Action – “This term has become twisted and misused by various political activists in the past 30 years. In its original anarchist meaning, the term refers to any action undertaken
without the permission, and outside the interest of, governmental institutions. It can refer to volunteering with Food Not Bombs, going on strike (especially without the approval of a union),
shoplifting, or setting up a micro-powered radio station. It doesn’t mean engaging in civil disobedience in cooperation with the police; it doesn’t mean breaking the law or breaking a
window if the intention is merely to register public disapproval of some governmental policy. Breaking things can be examples of direct action but the intention behind these acts are what
is important, not the acts themselves. Direct action has nothing to do with pressuring any part of a government to alter a policy; it is by definition anti-statist. Attempting to alter a
government policy is called lobbying; it is aimed at representatives, and so cannot be direct action. Presenting a list of demands or protesting a particular policy, in the hopes of getting
noticed by the state (whose rulers will then somehow change something about the way it operates), is never direct action, even if the means used to pressure legislators are illegal.
Direct action is when we do things for ourselves, without begging, asking, or demanding that someone in authority help us.” – Lawrence Jarach
Mutual Aid – A mutual aid network is a social relationship or set of social relationships rooted in non-monetary cooperation between different individuals and groups. An example of a
mutual aid network would be a family or a commune where the needs and the desires of the members are provided without going to the market. A member of a mutual aid society can
provide free child care while another member can provide free food from a self-sustaining garden. All of this economic activity resides outside of both capitalism and the state.
Though monetary exchange is not a form of mutual aid, the pooling of capitalistic money to ensure the efficiency and the strength of a mutual aid network under capitalism is an extremely
positive thing. Economic cooperation under capitalism is needed. Rather than an individual going to a capitalistic bank to borrow capitalistic money at an interest rate, a group of
individuals can pool their resources together to finance a project without going to a capitalistic bank. Mutual aid networks will exist as islands under capitalism for the time being because
the use of legal tender cannot be completely avoided since taxation and other legal debts are required to be paid in legal tender. A self-sustaining agrarian commune still must pay property
taxation to the local state if it wishes to not be invaded by law enforcement. With that being said, the general boycott of the market system through individual and collective simple living
will cause the very foundations of capitalism and the state to crack since consumer spending and tax revenue will be at an all-time low. When these islands become strong enough, they will
replace capitalism and the state completely.
Traditional monogamy alienates couples economically from others. Couples are forced to live in isolation from one another, are forced to go to capitalistic banks to finance major
investments, and are forced to engage in market activity to get things like daycare rather than forming mutual aid networks. Communal living and communal commitment are things of
great advantage. To be clear, I do not protest against exclusive monogamous sexual-romantic relationships which are entered into and maintained on a voluntary basis but I do protest how
those relationships are artificially promoted to divide the population even more within the political economic system. It is very possible to build solid mutual aid networks while still
maintaining the idea of voluntary monogamy.
Simple Living – Simple Living is the art of reducing production and consumption within the economy. It was advocated by Henry David Thoreau, Dorothy Day, and Ammon Hennacy.
Anarchists should embrace Simple Living for several reasons.
Simple Living reduces the amount of resources going to the state. Simple Living also reduces consumer demand within the capitalist system. Due to falling consumer demand, the capitalist
system will go into a depression. In order to get out of the depression, the capitalists will have to get bailed out by the state (which is already getting screwed over by a drop in tax revenue)
or our entire economic system will have to be radically transformed along libertarian, egalitarian, non-statist, and non-capitalist lines.
Keynesian economics is simply a pro-capitalist program to sustain the unsustainable capitalist system. Keynesian economics gets away with saving capitalism because it is mostly done
behind close doors but the state will not survive if they are forced to save capitalism in an extremely obvious way like bailing out Wall Street. The fall of consumer demand and the rise of
unemployment will push the general population to embrace an anti-capitalist revolution which will end the consumption based, capitalist wage-system. Lucky for us, Keynesian political
strategy is unsustainable itself for the capitalist class. Even though I am no Marxist, Karl Marx was 100% correct when he said that capitalism is destined to die somehow and someway due
to its internal contradictions and its irrational organizing principles.
Since we will be forced to abandon the ‘grow-or-die’ mentality of our failed capitalist system, our new sustainable economic systems will be much more eco-friendly. As Murray Bookchin
said in the past, green capitalism is a contradiction in terms. Capitalism has to be abandoned if environmental concerns are going to be seriously addressed.
I believe that Simple Living combined with some proposed Agorist strategies can bring an end to capitalism and the state for these reasons. Education is also a major part of the anarchist
project. We must always spread our ideas, our values, and our lifestyles into the heart of civil society. Marxists often criticize Anarchism for being lifestyle anti-politics. Not only will I not
dispute the Marxist critique, I will also fully embrace the characterization. Anarchism IS individualistic and apolitical.
To be effective, take your savings out of capitalist banks, capitalist stock markets, and other capitalistic institutions. You will be surrendering all the potential income you might get from
profit, interest, rent, royalties, and other exploitative tributes, but you will be effectively taking wealth out of the system. In modern capitalist society, corporations rely heavily on capitalist
bank credit which relies on savings from bank accounts and corporations rely heavily on middle class investment.
If enough people practice simple living, then the capitalist system will go into a death crisis depression. At this point, the state will have to bail out capitalism through Keynesian economic
policy which will weaken the long-term sustainability of both government institutions and capitalist institutions. The only way out of the crisis of capitalism then will be to abolish it outright.
Massive austerity measures by the people themselves in their massive boycott against capitalism and the state.
THE COMMUNE’S RULES WOULD INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
1 – Never call the police. We can find alternatives to the state. We can find alternatives to violence. We can have constructive, peaceful, and community-oriented dispute resolution.
2 – Never join the military. We are committed to non-violence, peace, and universal love. We understand that war is for the health of the State and in the interests of entrenched commercial
3 – Say no to political reform. Do not vote. Do not lobby. Do not endorse the taking of state power. Power, Domination, and Evil can never be reformed for good.
4 – Share the Wealth and Prosperity. Champion Cooperation. Work Together for Collective Well Being.
5 – Implement the Amish model of Voluntary Community, Anti-Politics, and Social Solidarity. However, do it along the lines of Early Christianity and Anarchist Communism.
6 – Freely encourage the free entry of new comers and encourage them to join.
7 – Be as self-sustaining as possible internally. Strive to take care of everything we need and desire. Expanding the commune will only make this process easier.
8 – Encourage outsiders to follow your example.
9 – Make decisions in a directly democratic way face-to-face. Allow dissent and allow individuals to make their own separate decisions if consensus cannot be found.
10 – Actively promote a world absent poverty, war, hatred, coercion, domination, exploitation, slavery, violence, and authoritarian social organization.
To be clear, I am not a pacifist since I believe self and collective defense is just especially against the inherent violence of capitalism and the state yet I believe violence is generally
counter-productive especially in the here and now.
International Women’s Day is traditionally celebrated on March 8 every year.
On this day to celebrate women around the world, their economic, social and political achievements. Respect, love and recognition – these are the key words to describe this day today.
However, it can be noted that, over the years, more and more losing the basic character of the “Eighth March”.
In the beginning of the day called the “International Day of Working Women,”, the event was project of the Leftist platform: Social Democrats, Communists, Marxists, Anarchists, Mutualist. etc., – and eventually became part of the culture of many countries.
Often today, March 8 is reduced to the gift of flowers, the occasional kind word or gesture – however, once this day meant much more, was a day of revolutionary struggle, one day out of the patriarchal framework that for centuries treated women as second-class citizens.
Through the workers’ struggle and the fight for social justice, the idea that for the first time, without discrimination, women and men are treated as equally important human beings – women have achieved their engagement
numerous victories against inequality, sexism and other injustices arising from the gender inequality.
Today, more than ever, it is important to recall that all the rights that women have today, were not simply “given” to them, they had to fight, and the battle was often fierce and tough.
Today we are again witnesses the fundamental revisionism that woman again pushed deeper into the shackles of patriarchal system. Women are often presented as the “object”, their symbol often becomes the subject of marketing campaigns whose only goal is maximize the profits on the basis of a distorted image of female sexuality.
Women are aggressively imposing materialistic consumer ideology since childhood promote their values suggest that everything in life comes down to physical beauty,
and submissivnes to “stronger” gender.
So called “equality” which today provides the law, (eg., a necessary number of women in Parliament and so on.), for the majority of women and their equality is a farce – with one goal: to trick women to “constantly progress, that their “power” is growing stronger day by day.”
The reality is quite different – women are still discriminated against, paid less and less present in nearly all relevant processes.
The fact that the scene of several government “powerful” woman does not mean anything, in fact – just look at what those women specifically works – some of the most powerful women politicians insult for the whole female gender.
“Women’s Day” was first celebrated 02.28.1909. in the United States after the declaration of the Socialist Party USA. In July next year, was organized “International Conference of Women” that preceded by a meeting of the Second Socialist International in the same year in Copenhagen.
Inspired by the American socialists, German Socialist Luise Zietz and Clara Zetkin proposed the designation of “International Women’s Day” as a day of struggle for equal rights and rights women to vote.
The following year, 03.18.1911., the Day was celebrated in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. In all of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire was organized as 300 demonstration.
In Vienna women are massively took to the streets and carried banners that honor the victims of the Paris Commune – one of the first anarcho-syndicalist communities in the history of Humankind.
In 1913 in Russia, women celebrated the day on the last Sunday in February (according to the Julian Calendar). 1917 in St. Petersburg is marked “Women’s Day”, the last Sunday in February was then, according to the Gregorian calendar, March 8.
Immediately after the October Revolution, Aleksandra Kollontai asked the Soviet Union to officially introduce the “Women’s Day”, which was done. When a day later became the feast, the Soviet authorities gave a proclamation which stated: “The holiday is declared in the name of extraordinary feats of Soviet women in construction
society, in the name of their homeland defense during the Great Patriotic War (World War II), their heroism and selflessness at the front and in the back – Dan also proclaims in the name of women’s contribution in strengthening friendship among the people and in the name of their struggle for peace “.
It is a shame that today, this extremely important day, many revisionist and reactionary groups try to downgrade, declaring it, falsely as a “a relic of the past” and “communist legacy “.
(This is why the “Woman’s Day”, until recently, in the Czech Republic for example., was almost forgotten.)
The struggle of women for equality, personal dignity and sovereignty, against exploitative ideology of mass consumerism, sexism and and all the other injustices
is an essential factor in the struggle of all people of the world for liberation, equality, workers’ rights and a life free of neo-liberal exploitation and exploitation of all kinds.
Long Live the 8 March, International Day of Working Women!
Alexander St. Nesic, 7 March 2017.
Oh, last but not least. Music. Nothing keeps morale high than really loud music.
By carving Kosovo out of Yugoslavia Washington sowed a whirlwind for Europe to reap: Kosovo has turned into a de facto “mafia state,” American author Justin Raimondo writes, citing German intelligence agency BND.
Libya, Syria, Iraq and Kosovo have become grotesque monuments to Washington’s controversial “regime change” operations, which “have wreaked havoc everywhere they’ve been successful,” Justin Raimondo, an American author and the editorial director of Antiwar.com underscores.
“Twenty or so years after the American ‘liberation’ of Kosovo forcibly separated it from the former Yugoslavia, the country is a mess. Unemployment is massive: crime is pandemic; and an ultra-nationalist movement, Vetevendosje, is on the rise. Vetevendosje wants to achieve the dream of the old Kosovo Liberation Army: a ‘Greater Albania’,” Raimondo notes in his article for Antiwar.com.
The idea of Greater Albania is not a new one: it emerged after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78. A group of Albanian nationalist leaders met in a Prizren mosque on June 10, 1878 and declared the creation of a “Greater Albania,” which aimed to bring together all vilayets (provinces) of the Ottoman Empire inhabited by Albanian nationals.
The concept caught a second wind when Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany. Hitler and his Italian ally Benito Mussolini jumped at the opportunity to engage Albanian nationalists into their political fold.
“Hitler and Mussolini realized the Greater Albania ideology established by the 1878 League of Prizren. Albanian-settled areas of the Balkans — Kosovo-Metohija, western Macedonia, southern Montenegro — were incorporated in a Greater Albania,” Carl Kosta Savich, Serbian American historian and journalist, wrote in his op-ed for Serbianna.com.
During the Second World War Albanian nationalists of the 21st Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Skanderbeg unleashed ethnic cleansing of Serbs and Jews on a massive scale, particularly in Kosovo and Bosnia-Hercegovina.Remarkably, half a century later, in 1998-1999, Washington took the side of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) which was until 1998 on the US State Department’s “terrorist organization” list.
While branding Serbs as ruthless “butchers,” the White House turned a blind eye to numerous atrocities and crimes committed by Albanian ultra-nationalists in the course of the Kosovo war and after NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia.
For instance, former Prime Minister and present Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the Republic of Kosovo Hashim Thaci (Thaqi), dubbed by US Vice President Joseph Biden as “the George Washington of his country,” was involved in kidnapping, force displacement and murder along with other commanders and soldiers of the KLA, according to a 2010 Council of Europe inquiry report.
Five years earlier, German intelligence agency BND issued a 67-page analysis regarding organized crime in Kosovo, stating that the region’s key political players, including Ramush Haradinaj, Xhavit Haliti, and Hashim Thaci were intimately involved in criminal activities.
“The US wasn’t blind to Thaci’s criminal career: they just didn’t care,” Raimondo stresses.
“In a disgusting display of victor’s ‘justice,’ the leaders of the Serbian resistance to the Albanian onslaught were hauled before the self-styled ‘International War Crimes Tribunal’ at the Hague — a kangaroo court — and sentenced to long jail terms, while thugs like Thaci were elevated to high office and given millions in US ‘aid’ to dole out to their Mafia hit men,” he elaborates.
The journalist underscores that Kosovo is currently a de-facto “American protectorate in the heart of Europe.” At the same time it is also an ultra-nationalist hornets’ nest that threatens to undermine the fragile stability of the European continent.