Human freedom versus ‘trade’: the hypocrisy and the stoopid

Some 231-year-old Yanqui imperialist running-dog reckons that something called ‘free trade’ is good, and something called ‘liberalism’ is bad: mmmkay? While in that tiny corner of the imaginary world neo-conservative bloggers inhabit such rhetoric is standard, what caught my attention is the following citation, sourced from some weird-arse site called ‘Discover the Networks’ (which appears to be some kinda side-project of the neo-con Frontpage online zine, the publication of crazed ex-Trotskyite businessman David Horowitz):

“Food Not Bombs” is an anti-war organization composed of more than 200 independent chapters… Since the 9/11 attacks, Food Not Bombs has denounced all U.S. military actions aimed at stopping the global threat of terrorism. The group condemns the ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, and impugns the United States for bringing about “the globalization of the economy,” imposing “restrictions to the movements of people,” and contributing to “the destruction of the earth.” …FNB works in coalition with such groups as Earth First[!]; the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee; and the Anarchist Black Cross, which seeks to abolish the penal system and has called for “direct resistance to achieve a stateless and classless society.” FNB also has ties to the Communist organization Industrial Workers Of The World, a neo-Marxist group that embraces a radical form of socioeconomic anarchism. The Rochester, New York chapter of Food Not Bombs was a signatory to a May 30, 2000 document denouncing globalization and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The reality, of course, is a little different to the garbled account given above.

1) Food Not Bombs may be ‘anti-war’, but its principal activity is fairly straightforward, and that is the provision of free vegan food; which, it is argued, is preferable to blowing people up with bombs. (Neo-cons have often been known to dispute this.) And as noted, the 200+ ‘chapters’ of the group are autonomous (look it up in the dictionary), both structurally and politically. Further, the idea that “since 9/11” all the 200+ FNB groups in the world have “denounced all U.S. military actions aimed at stopping the global threat of terrorism” would, in reality — and minus the appellation “aimed at stopping the global threat of terrorism” — merely be in keeping with the general political tendency of the network. That is, ‘yes’ to food, ‘no’ to bombs: since about 1980. At the very least, that the US military machine’s objective is to ‘end terrorism’ is a matter for debate. (Hint: it’s not.)

As for the US state’s role in extending corporate globalisation, restricting human movement across state boundaries and destroying the world’s ecology, this is a matter of ongoing state policy and public record. With the exception of ecological destruction, it’s a remarkably stoopid thing to contradict what the US state itself loudly proclaims as being its objectives.

2) How exactly FNB works in ‘coalition’ with groups such as Earth First!, the LPDC or the ABC is carefully left unenunciated. In reality, and in addition to its regular street stalls, FNB provides food at events organised by a vast range of ‘progressive’ organisations, including but not limited to the above, and on the basis of the decisions made by the 200+ autonomous groups which compose the network.

    Note that the ABC, too, is a network of autonomous groups. (In the US, there is a division between two tendencies, the Federation and the Network, presumably concerning the proper focus of their work.) Its history — to the extent that contemporary formations may be linked to these earlier ones — dates back to the early 1900s, when it was known as the Anarchist Red Cross; a break-away faction of the Political Red Cross formed when it was discovered that the latter group was neglecting to provide material support to anarchist prisoners. The repression of anarchists in Russia by the Bolsheviks during and in the years following their assumption of state power in 1917 was a principal focus of the group’s work. Given the success of the Bolsheviks in destroying the anarchist movement in the territories under its control — alongside of the successful repression of anarchist movements elsewhere — the ABC went into decline. Its revival was triggered by the re-emergence of a new generation in the 1960s, and this new generation’s activities centred on assisting anarchists in Francoist Spain. For more on the ABC, see Albert Meltzer, I couldn’t paint golden angels, Chapter XIII.

3) The IWW is neither Communist nor “a neo-Marxist group that embraces a radical form of socioeconomic anarchism”, as any literate 12-year-old could tell you. What it is is more or less what it says it is, a ‘union for all workers’. That is, a union which aims to organise all workers on the basis of industry, rather than trade, and which has as its overall objective the abolition of (global) capitalism. ‘Instead of the conservative motto, “A fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work”, we must inscribe on our banner the revolutionary watchword, “Abolition of the wage system”.’ In short, a revolutionary industrial union.

The IWW also has a long history, which it is in fact possible to study. Unfortunately, to do so requires both the ability to read and the ability to think, neither of which abilities are in abundance among neo-cons. Filthy lucre, on the other hand…

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2020 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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3 Responses to Human freedom versus ‘trade’: the hypocrisy and the stoopid

  1. @ndy says:

    Miss Politics writes:

    “Food Not Bombs have catered at our Union on a few occasions. The work they do is amazing and the people I have met who have come onto campus are inspiring. If only we had more groups like this around.

    Oh and they cooked up a storm at Woomera too! They really looked after us there … it was much appreciated.”

  2. Duncan says:

    Hey, just wanted to say I found the article really interesting, and I’m glad to find what I was looking for in your blog: something that talks about anarchism and other radical issues in a regularly updated blog originating from Australia.

    So yeah, I will be reading for a while, I reckon.

  3. @ndy says:

    Hi Duncan,

    Cheers.

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