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First issue of Radicle, a new anarchist zine from Aotearoa

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The first issue of Radicle contains anarchist writing on justice, faith and class.  Hard copies are currently available from Blackstar Books in Dunedin and the Freedom Shop in Wellington.  Or download the text here.

 

From the introduction: This first issue looks at different ways of keeping our activism sustainable.  Kim's essay on justice is an attempt to imagine how we as anarchists can create a just community that does not tolerate, ignore, apologise for or condone abuse.  Where do we look for anarchist solutions to safety and abuse, and what are the problems that need to be faced?  Pip writes about the importance of faith in staying strong enough to keep fighting, while holding onto sanity and humanity.  Hana challenges us to practice real solidarity across class.  This means understanding how class works both economically and socially, and looking at our own power and privilege.

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Comments

Both centre left liberals'

Both centre left liberals' and right wingers' and everyone else already knows that Parliament is a puppet for the private sector.

Such people already know that 'violence' is used to maintain control of society.

Don't know who that "Al" was,

Don't know who that "Al" was, but it ain't Al from Otautahi.

Haven't finished reading it

Haven't finished reading it all, but so far challenging and a really good read.

Thanks.

hey this is bloody good. All

hey this is bloody good. All three pieces have given me plenty to think about. Thank you. x g.

great stuff

Hey I've gotta say, even after quickly skim reading the content, this is some excellent writing. Well done to those involved, indepth discussion and self analysis is long over due.

      At the beginning of some points I wondered where we were being taken but the end result is some very thought provoking stuff.

 

    Thank you to the contributors and I look forward to an increase in Anarchist debate and idea sharing.

 

    Solidarity x

Hi Radicle,Thank you. Nice

Hi Radicle,

Thank you. Nice read and thought provoking. It's really refreshing to see and I look forward to future zines. I'm sure Katipo would stock them too, just give me or the collective a bell.

BR had an interesting discussion on class definitions at our founding hui. Some of the discussion revolved around notions of class to help understand the tensions within capitalist society and the fault lines along which it may rupture, rather than classifying people into two (or even three) classes. For example, the idea of a middle-class is quite problematic, there's a lot of grey areas and no simple divide. It's more helpful to think of class as a bipolar spectrum, with some more at one end of the spectrum than others, or that some personify capital more than others.

As past and current radicals point out, class is a social relationship (as defined through our relationship to capital). And capital isn't exactly a physical thing that can easily be controlled: even capitalists aren't in control of capital — market forces and competition with other capitalists shows for example that capital is actually in control of them. (The fancy name for this process by which inanimate objects come to dominate actual living subjects is an ‘ontological inversion').

So, what this means is that our relationship to capital is usually understood by our relationship with whoever personifies capital (that's why capital is understood first and foremost as a form of social relations). The usual personification of capital is the boss (or those who control the means/relations of production), but at other times the personification of capital can be a union official or community bureaucrat, who may be as salt of the earth as they come but because of their structural position within the bipolar capital relation act in the interests of capital to divide and diffuse our struggles. What this means is that class is more of a BIPOLAR relationship, rather than a clear line in the sand which divides one group from another. And this relationship extends outside of the workplace and right across society, as Hana points out.

Phew!

Jared

"even capitalists aren't in

"even capitalists aren't in control of capital — market forces and competition with other capitalists shows for example that capital is actually in control of them."

 

I'd disagree - I think capitalists are in control of capital - it's just that they are pursuing their own individual or corporate interests, so sometimes the decision of one capitalist hurts another.

Capitalists like to pretend 'market forces' is a real thing with a life of its own, rather than a collection of self-interested decisions in which the powerful (normally the richest) exert control of economic life. Just because the system sometimes works against some of the players - usually the weakest - doesn't mean they lost a bet.

...and the magazine looks really good, nice work.

cheers

Sam

The definition of market

The definition of market forces are the collective decisions of self-interested individuals. I don't think capitalists pretend that it's anything else. 

It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages.


-Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations (Book 1, Chapter 2)

The market might respond to movements in itself as participants seek to sell an asset that is depreciating in value or buy an asset that is appreciating. While this may exacerbate price movements, I don't think you can say this is something that has a life of its own. Every transaction requires a counterparty.

So what would be your

So what would be your definition of the Invisible Hand TRL?

Well, good old Adam Smith was

Well, good old Adam Smith was a much more thoughtful and realistic commentator than your average capitalist theorist. Plenty of them talk about market forces as if they were a law of nature, something inescapable, rather than the effects of the selfish decisions of (mostly) the wealthy.

Economics basics.

The "invisible hand" is a metaphor for how the collective decision making of an economy's participants affects the price of resources and the allocation of factors of production. 

"Market forces" refers to factors that influence the decision of an economy's participants and how those decisions affect the markets in which they participate. 

It is important to note that both concepts relate to decisions made by people and how they affect markets. Neither has anything to with the intervention of some higher being into worldly affairs - and no economist would understand them as such.

Now, you've said that people think market acts as if they are a law of nature, something inescapable. Well, that's true (and it doesn't have anything to do with a capitalist deity). Markets respond to decisions made by people, and therefore reflect human nature (in all its irrationality and ignorance). For as long as there are people who want to swap the things they have for the things other people have there will be markets governed by those laws.

Economists often

Economists often describe 'market forces' using an almost animist form of vernacular language, and as Sam pointed out often comes across as pretending that these forces are some separate entity for which the suppliers and demanders are largely dictated by, where even in the use of the language 'supply' and 'demand' intimates a pretence that the occurrence of demand for example, is somehow not intrinsically traceable to the actions of actual 'greedy filthy rich bipedal primates', but rather some form of removed force that must be appeased and balance restored for the good of the economy...so to speak.

Market analysts, who are

Market analysts, who are usually economists, tend to use some artistic license to jazz up their pieces ("Kneecapped" is one of my favourites). Perhaps you're reading too much into it? 

Examples of what you're talking about would be appreciated (as always). 

Actually, Adam Smith's use of

Actually, Adam Smith's use of the term 'invisible hand' was as a metaphor for the technical problems (in 1776) that created difficulties when investing capital a long way from home. Smith noted that poor communications and slow transport made it unlikely that capital would be invested in distant places, despite them having cheaper labour and resources (AKA 'globalisation'). It would be invested locally, a practice he favoured.

The use of the term as a metaphor for market forces in general came later.

 "By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention."

Invisible hand.

Correct. That was the context in which Adam Smith first used the term "invisible hand". However, as you note, it's meaning has expanded since 1776 (and arguably Smith always intended a wider meaning). Now the phrase is used as a metaphor to describe, in general terms, how markets efficiently allocate resources.

I'm don't think Smith favoured domestic investment per se. I think he is saying that, because of the various factors that you've mentioned, investing capital domestically was generally more profitable than investing overseas. However, Smith was writing in 1776. Capital is much more mobile in 2010. Were he writing today, I think Smith would follow his underlying philosophy of favouring the investment wherever it was most efficient, regardless of whether that was domestic or foreign.

"I'm don't think Smith

"I'm don't think Smith favoured domestic investment per se."

Smith was something of an economic nationalist, believing nations prospered by keeping their cappital fully employed at home - which he considered to be of benefit to all. In The Wealth of Nations he several times points to the cost of transport as a positive, ensuring international trade would be limited to products not produced in the importing country, usually luxuries, or be in such small quantities as to have little impact on local production (his example of the importation into England of Irish cattle, for instance). He also notes the benefit of a constraint on exports by lowering the price of local manufactures.

Smith was also very negative of the political influence of those who lived from profit, accusing them of conspiring against the public and having a dangerous influence on government policies. You've got to read him very selectively to see him as a cheerleader for laissez faire capitalism.

I take your point, but I

I take your point, but I think we might be arguing at cross purposes. My point is that Smith was writing in 1776 - very different times. How his theories apply in the modern world, and whether he would still be an "economic nationalist" were he writing today, is really a matter of interpretation and speculation.

Forgive my interpretation. However, I believe it's a generally accepted one.

Perhaps I am, but even then I

Perhaps you're reading too much into it? 

Perhaps I am, but even then I wouldn't describe it as a jazzing up but rather a sterilisation of the language used by capitalists and their economist analysts alike by removing the Unique Greedy Capitalist Factor (UGCF) from the equation converting as an example, humanitarian and ecological disasters caused by intensive farming and soil erosion resulting in deserts, into something more palatable, generally speaking, for the average greedy capitalist investor to digest, and giving them a ficticious force to blame rather than their greedy selves for which they serve to no end.

Your prerogative

If that's how you want to interpret what they're saying then that's your prerogative. But that's a gross oversimplification of how markets work (and fail). It's not a good basis for understanding how and why markets move in the way that they do.

Well done.

Professionally presented. Interesting read. Well done.

Just read one of the articles

Just read one of the articles so far, but the entire zine looks fantastic. Thanks for writing!

Wicked stuff Radicle

Wicked stuff Radicle Collective. We think it would be nice to establish some regional links so if you'd like to, could you contact us at Beyond Resistance?

otautahianarchists at gmail.com

Al (BR point of contact).

Excellent zine. I look

Excellent zine. I look forward to reading future issues.