I'd have to say I'm moderate as well. Depends on the issue...
One thing I'd like to see is a whole lot more money into rail transportation, local, regional, and national. Then again, I'm into trains, both HO scale (I have a 1000 sq ft layout) and the real things.
Anything we can do to reduce our addiction to foreign oil is a good thing.
I've done quite a bit of research on trains. The Twin Cities is one area I've looked at. I've put together a plan that would have high speed rail from the Twin Cities to Chicago via two routes, multiple frequencies to Duluth, St. Louis, and Kansas City and an extensive commuter rail network. All put together, about 175 trains a day serving a downtown Minneapolis train station.
I've looked at many metropolitan area across the country as well. Unfortunately, a major shift in energy usage would require billions up front, but would probably save us money in the long run. Nobody seems to look beyond the election cycle, though.
Speaking of trains, I believe Atlanta is one of the only cities in the US that was actually laid out according to mathematics and for train routes. We have no natural resources that would suggest a town should lay here, it was merely picked as equidistant from many ports. Its original name was "Terminus". Needless to say, not many folks wanted to live in "Terminus" and thus it was called Atlanta.
I would be interested to know just how you stick communism and anarchy into one political belief. They seem diametrically opposed to me. However, I suppose complete anarchy in turn would lead to an inherent community appeal without government.
The squatting discussion on here was highly educating, I'm sure I'll get a dose here as well.
Myself, I fall into limited government, typically the Libertarian party appeals to me the most.
Well as Marx put it in the Communist Manifesto, Communism is truly Socialism and it's just a word used to distinguish those who truly appreciated socialist ideas and values, because the word "socialist" had become so widely "acceptable" that it started to lose its effectiveness. (Think of Emo and Screamo, Screamo was a word that peopled developed to refer to what WAS/ IS considered Emo music, when people completely fucked up the idea of what Emo music actually is and associated it with mainstream, radio-rock bands that have nothing to do with emo music) People were all running around calling themselves socialists but many of them didn't want a revolution truly and "socialism" was an intellectual exercise perhaps, or even less, just some idea that they vaguely liked (sharing is good! Why not share stuff! It'll be great man) etc...
And I like so much of anarchy and indeed many anarchists are socialists/communists, live on collectives, live self efficiently and share the fruits of their own labor without exploitation. Also I see TRUE socialist or communist states as potentially leading to an anarchic world. --if cultivated properly and not taken over by demagogues of degrading into totalitarian states.
However I tend to believe that ture anarchy would turn into small city states, then larger city states, then you know the rest, just look at world history. We had anarchy, people sharing the fruits of their own labor, and then someone will come along and convince people that they should "privatize" certain things or put one or a number people in charge of making decisions for the masses. So I feel like actually attaining anarchy on a worldwide scale would be counterproductive to living anarchically. Perhaps some balance of a socialist society, where people could opt out in some way could work but there is always the threat of other people abandoning the ideas of peace and anarchy, going on a war path and subjugating others, or the threat of attack by an outside force, which will make people yearn for protection, which they tend to associate with governments, and which is why they tend to reject anarchy, even people that understand it.
Also, Somalia, though it is pretty fucked up has no true government to speak of, and has militias defending certain populations, with schools and food provided by the people for the people. They have a rising literacy rate around 24% I believe and certain groups manage to live in a very volatile middle eastern / african world, without much help from government and without cops etc... not that their situation is ideal, but they do the best with the cards they were dealt.
The point of anarchy becoming city states again is definitely a concern and something to be discussed amongst people.
History they say repeats itself but I believe as do a lot of other radicals that history is not what is important in the long run because it is just that. We as a society choose to repeat history or not. Currently we choose to do so quite often because we do have the power in our own selves to change our own being. To keep the possibility in check of it becoming city states again, and being exploited by somebody, we need to do a lot of changes in ourselves as individuals and restructure our values completely to have our emotional needs the priority and not empty profit.
Ultimately though this will take at least a few generations and is not gonna happen overnight or even in a few years. Right now we as a world choose to repeat history rather than learn from it to change the present and future.
Very good topic though and point. I think when more people start analyzing that type of thing and then realizing our own roles in perpetuating hierarchy, control, ego etc. we will gradually start to shift towards a better world.
Currently, with the new generation coming up...I mean people like 17 or so now, this is starting very mildly. If you go on any social networking site you see so many people just trying to get some attention. People will often just shoot them down as whores, sluts, drama queens etc and yes, sometimes they are, but ultimately this is a manifestation I believe of a very deteriorated social value system where the emotional needs are far from met. The difficult part is trying to get these kids to think about things a bit deeper and see it maybe. Start channeling the energy in ways that will inspire both positive re-enforcement for the person, but also inspire somebody else to do something besides sit in front of a computer or TV. Any feedback, positive or well constructed and not hurtful negative, is much more rewarding than typing "comment my pics" in a myspace bulletin and receiving the hollow "awesome pic" response.
I try not to go by terms because then you are pigeonholing yourself a bit but if it must be done then I fall into the anarchist cause.
I think it is such a viciously mislabeled and misunderstood stance which is fueled by lap dogs in media to protect the extremely wealthy minority that controls the majority. You watch any news channel that covered the Iraq invasion and the follow up when suicide bombings happen everyday and a state of constant terror, they would claim and our leaders would claim that the country was in a state of anarchy which is of course absolutely false State of chaos yes. Anarchy, no.
Anarchism is not the rejection of government or law necessarily but the rejection of hierarchical relationships among people. It is deemed utopian to say we can live by being self-sufficient and relying on mutual aid when it is in fact much more utopian to believe one person or a small core of people can make decisions for an entire world and then say we have the freedom of choice. Freedom is not choosing between a few choices, freedom is being able to shape those options in the first place. When was the last time you wer asked who should own the property or if people should have the entire fruits of their own labor? Or when have you been asked how to spend any type of budget concerning the community?
I believe so many dismiss anarchism in this day and age because we as a society are very fucked up in our social interactions. Our values as a whole are extremely skewed towards personal gain at the expense of any and everybody and that is ingrained starting in the earliest years of development. The solution of anarchy is something that needs to occur over a period of probably a few generations minimum. People need to start turning inwards to see their involvement and complicity in what is being done to terrorize everybody and at the heart, it is all connected. The fucked up mental states of depression, the drugged out junkies, the broken families and relationships that leave us all yearning, all stem from one root problem: the profit over people mentality of capitalism.
But we always want the quick fix now. If it cannot happen in a fast order, we will not even try and people as a whole do not like buckling down and doing the really hard work to change themselves and the world. I would say can you blame them? but yes, you really can and must. Yes it is scary to turn your back on the "norm" and face the scowls and opinions of peers when you decide your not gonna do that shit anymore but really, do their opinions matter at this point? Are the opinions theirs or sold to them for a price?
People are terrified to be alone but it is something that should not be. Nor should it be terrifying to be amongst others for any reason be it ridicule for something or physical abuse. And that is the aim of anarchism, to take away the poisonous dynamic in our current relationships. Instead of playing ego and trying to be better and one up the person, understand that we all have stuff to learn, and plenty to teach.
For more info on this stuff visit these sites:
The Anarchist FAQ - Extremely in depth look/faq on anarchism hosted by infoshop.org. Check them otu as well for anarchist related news, theory, etc.
CimethInc Ex-Workers Collective - Debased autonomous anarchist group with various collectives worldwide. The one running this site publishes some great literature that is a very good read. Unlike the classic texts that are in terms even students have trouble understanding at times, they write with an extremely beautiful and poetic way that makes the info easy to take in and more accessible. All of their books are top notch and quite cheap. They have a lot of articles in their online library that were the original basis for things in the books so you get a good idea of what they are like. Also check out their store to get a free anarchist primer, and see other things like stickers and posters etc.
Unconventional Action - Collective in NC. Get in touch with them for their Voter De registration paper called "False Hope vs. Real Change for a great analysis and lies behind our two party systems. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for free copies of that publication.
AK Press - Book publisher and distro. A Lot of great books from them on various things from general anarchism, to other more focused topics like racism, feminism, civil rights, etc. If you are already a radical activist, or plan on getting heavily involved I recommend the book Beat the Heat which informs one how to handle an encounter with a cop. Written by a law student it tells what is legal for them to do, how they execute things, and how you can stay protected.
Microcosm Publishing - Great publisher and distro for info zines on all topics, books, patches, stickers etc. Zines are a cheap way to learn a lot so go through their catalog to find info on vegan cooking, prison abolition, how capitalism exploits, DIY guides, and a lot of other great stuff that should be known.
Hopefully this will help a bit towards getting people to read between the lines and challenge what the public conceives of anarchy.
If you do not believe anarchy could work in the modern day, I suggest looking up the Mexican ELZN (Zapatistas) for another look of anarchism on a bigger scale.