PQC: Folks, life is really full of more surprises than I would otherwise expect. Our dear friend Kyran Won has been so kind to me as he/she has gifted me quite a few valuable information with his/her valuable time and energy. That’s why it deserves to be in the main post in case someone else may be also interested in and benefited from his/her special gift.
Oh my my! I thought I have been being watched and followed by only Yankee and Oz thugs ever since I was deported from the shithole Vietnam! Anyway it’s a pleasing surprise. Your gift is sincerely appreciated by the way. Don’t worry, I won’t respond to your kindness, except just letting you know that not only did you get quite a few things right and correct about me and my past political activities but also quite wrong about other things with some of your false assumptions about “me” and “my trajectory “. That’s all my friend. I will read all the stuffs you kindly gave, except the Vietnamese parts, which I’ve already had up to my neck!
Again, my deepest thanks and appreciation for your kindness and your good intention to me. I really don’t deserve it.
Hi my friend, I read your review, thank you very much…
My response will be very long, so don’t worry to answer me immediately.
I’ll try to be clear, but it’s quite hard to compress so many topics in one post without imprecisions and without generating misundestandings, these are controversial topics, I tried to support my statements with links and documents…
Actually, for the 4th chapter of The Joy of Revolution, it’s not really a matter of agreeing or disagreeing, because as the author said:
An exact blueprint of a liberated society is neither possible nor necessary, but people must have some sense of its nature and feasibility. The belief that there is no practical alternative to the present system is one of the things that keeps people resigned.
I hope the present text has given some more realistic ideas of how a new society might come about. In any case, at this point I am going to jump ahead and do a little speculating myself.
Though for clarity of expression I will use the future tense rather than the conditional, the ideas presented here are simply possibilities to consider, not prescriptions or predictions. If such a revolution ever happens, a few years of popular experimentation will change so many of the variables that even the boldest predictions will soon seem laughably timid and unimaginative. All we can reasonably do is try to envision the problems we will confront at the very beginning and some of the main tendencies of further developments. But the more hypotheses we explore, the more possibilities we will be prepared for and the less likely we will be to unconsciously revert to old patterns.
If there is one thing that can be confidently predicted about the new society, it is that it will be far more diverse than any one person’s imagination or any possible description. Different communities will reflect every sort of taste — aesthetic and scientific, mystical and rationalist, hightech and neoprimitive, solitary and communal, industrious and lazy, spartan and epicurean, traditional and experimental — continually evolving in all sorts of new and unforeseeable combinations.”
Anyway, in order to try to give some ideas on how a post revolutionary society might function, what Knabb suggests and envisions it’s still more radical than what all anarchists and libertarian marxists propose.
As he said in a rapid response to a Midwest liberal:
” “Anarchism” is not exactly where I’ve been at since 1970, when I discovered the situationists (who, among other things, criticized anarchists for tending to be too rigidly and dogmatically attached to the ideals of that particular ideology). But it’s close enough for preliminary purposes.
As for how “practical” an anarchist (or situationist, or libertarian socialist, or whatever it might called) society might be, it should be understood that it would not, as popularly believed, be “anything goes” or “against all organization,” but merely against hierarchical organization. It could be seen as simply the fullest, most authentic form of democracy, democracy extended to the maximum in all areas of life.
But such an extension would ultimately require also going beyond capitalism, inasmuch as one person’s or group’s “ownership” of basic needs of life is obviously very undemocratic. As long as such an economic system is allowed to continue, it naturally tends to maintain its unequal power and to undermine any real democracy due to the disproportionate influence that money wields (e.g. by manipulating news through ownership of media, by controlling political candidates through bribes or “contributions,” and by countless other forms of pressure and grossly unequal “competition”).
Furthermore, capitalism cannot be overcome merely by “nationalizing” wealth, because this merely tends to replace individual capitalist companies by one big capitalist company: the State, which generates its own new types of ruling classes: bureaucracies, with their own vested interests.
An anarchist, or genuinely socialist or communist, society (as opposed to the existing societies that have very falsely appropriated the latter terms) would thus not only be noncapitalist, but also nonstatist. The State would be replaced by various types and levels of grassroots, “bottom-up” democratic organization, with the larger-scale or “upper” levels being carefully limited and controlled by the “lower” levels (e.g. via delegates with very limited power, carefully mandated to deal with specific issues in specific ways, as opposed to “representatives” who have the power to pass hundreds of laws on any and ever topic and stay in power for years before they can be replaced).
This is indeed a big and very complex project, and one that may never happen. But in my view it’s the only one that actually has a chance to work in the long run. Which is not to say that other, more modest “reformist” projects are not also important. But I think that the latter can most accurately be seen as merely defensive holding actions. To once and for all get beyond the system that keeps generating all these “abuses,” I think that a more fundamental change is necessary.
As for “good reading references,” if I may be so immodest, I think one of the best is my own magnum opus, The Joy of Revolution. It covers all sorts of areas, the pros and cons of all sorts of different political tactics and strategies, with some speculations about how a liberated society might function. ”
Furthermore, both “orthodox” anarchists and libertarian Marxists (the “good” ones) have only abstract ideals in mind, but in practice they do not have the faintest idea about how to achieve their intentions, therefore they enter a state of total confusion about anarchy and about Marx as well…
This is why Marx and the situationists, in their different ways, explicitly avoided to identify themselves with any ideal to be achieved, but they underlined a commitment that continually replaces itself with “the real movement that suppresses existing conditions”.
On the contrary, the followers of anarchism and many libertarian marxists, in addition to identifying themselves with an ideal to be realized, they do not even have any idea on how to do it, or they have distorted ideas that do not even come close to what they advocate…
Libertarian Marxists (in particular those in the council communist tradition such as Karl Korsch, Pannekoek, Castoriadis, Mattick, Rubel etc) think of breaking down the state and capitalism by replacing that system with a delegative council democracy based on the organizational model of the workers’ councils extended to all sectors …
So they have their dogmatic ideas of post-revolutionary society based on archaic models that still strongly predict the permanence of work and social roles ..
While anarchists, no matter how they talk big on freedom and on the ideal of “anarchy”, in the end what they can theoretically offer/imagine concretely as a practical solution does not even touch the minimum principles of real direct democracy at its lowest level …. on the contrary they are still stuck in failed models based on delegative democracy, eventually they want to replace the State with a society whose milestones are the union of independent workers’ federations or libertarian communities united at federative level, and according to the various anarchist currents they vary the organization and economic distribution of these federated associations or libertarian communities mainly by applying the principles of Proudhon-style mutualism (that in reality it’s still a kind of small cooperative capitalism) or Bakunin-oriented collectivism (collectivist management in proto-Bolshevik style), even in the other various socialist anarchist and communist anarchist currents, what changes is just the more free, equal and ideal way to manage ownership and work… but from the perspective on the level of “government” “hierarchy”, when it’s about how anarchists suggest to replace the State, in all anarchist theories they still advocate for various delegative democracy models of organizations…
So, for now, if you consider the political aspect from the perspective of the degrees of “government”, all the old revolutionary theories such as anarchism and libertarian marxism just barely overcome representative democracy and the Capitalist State.
If you look carefully, Knabb’s suggestions on the transitional phase in a postrevolutionary society are much more radical, flexible and closer to direct democracy and anarchist principles of “unrestricted freedom” than most actual definitive practical solutions that anarchists aspire for a stateless society.
Let alone the fact that anarchism in itself still remains largely ideological, vague and dogmatic, due to its fixation on one-dimensional Manichean oppositions between absolutist concepts like Freedom vs. Authority, Individualism vs. Collectivism, Centralization vs. Decentralization, etc. so most of the times it tends to be simplistic and non dialectical.
( I re-link you these 2 links to demonstrate the limits of anarchism due to its ideological character)
As for Ngo Van, apart from his Vietnamese history books, he also managed to do what you personally appreciate, i.e. a deep analysis on Asian ancient proto-anarchism
Furthermore, here you can find some very good summaries about the Saigon Commune (1945), until it lasted, it was maybe even better than the Paris Commune (1871) and Anarchist Barcelona (1936-1939)
Then, about Vietnamese anarchism and radicalism, you can read the first note within In the crossfire’s book
where it’s also mentioned Hue-Tam Ho Tai’s Radicalism and the Origins of the Vietnamese Revolution (1992) that shows the great influence of anarchism on Vietnamese revolutionary culture and how much anarchism was important to contribute to ignite revolution and rebelliousness in order to challenge Power and all the old traditional values impregnated with conservatism and confucianism. She focuses on the philosophy of radicalism and social change, questions of individual, the family, women’s roles.
You can find some parts of Hue-Tam Ho Tai’s book here
and a review from this site
About Vietnamese “anarchism”, there is also this great summarized article
Here there are many links about Vietnam from different cultural and revolutionary perspectives, they are all very interesting, it’s a lot of stuff and there are many different topics, but I suggest you to read them all in order to see the big picture
Then, you’ll find what you like the most, and I’m sure you’ll find some topics and ideas that can be useful to inspire you to try a different variety of approaches based on different types of people.
I’m aware that after you spent many years of your life fighting for Vietnam, you might have “given up” or been bored with Vietnamese movements in Vietnam or abroad.
Then you probably found yourself in anarchism by seeing it as a sort of way out to overcome anti-communism, patriotism, humanism (and other old traditional conservative values) to move forward to a radical critique of the State and Capitalist system itself .
But when you introduce your new discoveries to the Vietnamese audience, you adopted an approach of total opposition of all the old conservative values and bourgeois moralism (sometimes also by using provocative examples in the liberal or neoliberal variant) in order to support and reinforce your “new” ideology and principles and destroy the core of the old ideologies promoted by the current Vietnamese political groups and parties….
Vietnamese will hardly accept this kind of propaganda or demonstrations, and due to many peculiar cultural factors, even the most progressive of them can’t show that they agree with you, even if they do agree…they still need to wear a mask of fake morality and social image. If they agree and embrace your principles, they would eventually do it in an excessive exhibitionist way – or they will just passively absorb the notion – that will probably damage the true meaning you want to communicate
I make you some examples:
When you address to conservative Vietnamese people, you can’t fight Patriarchate, sexism and bigotry just by promoting liberal feminism and western style woman emancipation, you should avoid to insult their beloved leaders and authorities, or provoke them by supporting and glorifying woman body commodification as a normal sex workers’ worthy job, celebrating pornostars, luxury escorts and Cafe Lu girls as a symbol of human honest dignity, responsibility and sexual freedom. When in Vietnam there are problems of sexual exploitation and young girls are sold abroad to be sex slaves and are forced to prostitute themselves due to poverty, or when sex and female body are used as a commodity exchange token for careerism, social climbing, gold-digging, go-getting within the hierarchical neoliberal market capitalist economy or to promote alienating sexual consumerism in the entertainment industry …or you can’t just promote reverse machism and capitalist gender equality with equal job opportunities saying that even a woman can be a general, a politician, a boxer, a bricklayer or a mechatronic engineer, a feminist activist and other social roles within the state and capitalist system…etc it won’t be enough…
Even if you just introduce radical anarcha-femminist theories (such as Emma Goldman, Voltairine de Cleyre, Virginia Bolten) impregnated with anti-capitalism, anti-marriage, and Free love, with a radical critique of the system itself – of commodity production, wage labor, hierarchy etc it will not work with Vietnamese…
Basically you can’t just take a western-derived theory or model and purely apply it to Vietnamese people as it is…
The symbolism of Vietnamese woman in Vietnamese history and culture is very complex, and the context is very particular, if you want to transmit new western values in an effective way, you can’t just aggresively destroy the old Vietnamese values with a new concept from the “West”, but you need to re-examine all the complexity of the issue and its evolution within the Vietnamese socio-historical and political context. And then you must elaborate a new way and a new approach taking in consideration the particular cultural aspects.
This article about this topic is very interesting and complete, if you read it, you will understand what I mean that there are many many cultural symbolic factors to consider
Even when you criticize all the various Vietnamese nationalist groups, if you do it by simplifying too much and by totally extremely rejecting them as a whole, then it won’t work…
You can’t just label the whole Vietnamese Nationalism just as Ho Chi Minh’s Stalinism, Ngo Dinh Diem’s Clerical Fascist-style regime, or Thieu’s military fascist regime or identify it with some right-wing conservative or neoliberal party….
I understand that it’s easier to do so, and I know you already tried to create your Duy Viet doctrine in the past and it didn’t work…
You put a lot of passion and determination at that time, but you were too naive and you whole heartedly trusted some of your compatriots belonging to mainstream organizations, you thought that your patriotic ideology could erase all the hatred and the wounds from the past, and reconciliate your Vietnamese people!
Unfortunately, not only you realized that your genuine love for your country, your self-sacrifice and heroism can become a dangerous extreme patriotic hysteria and transform yourself and your comrades in a bunch of reactionary “fascists”, but your ideology was stolen, co-opted, manipulated and recuperated by “Viet Tan” and by “Viet cong”. Both of them (and their satellites) exploited your ready-to-use doctrine in order to reform and restructure their own party policies. Viet Tan by adopting a reformist policy based on a new chameleon-like pro-democracy “reconciliating anticommunism”, by doing at the same time their human rights business, pumping their human rights “activists” as they were “National heroes” and idols of a religious sect cult, using political maneuvering and tricks to collect money by deceiving people and doing business trades under the table with Viet cong, western NGOs, press and media, governments and political institutions etc with the dream to eventually become a parliamentary official opposition within the Vietnamese “democratic” government of the future, meanwhile they can still make money, consolidate their political power and make pressure on Vietcong by using the non-violent action tactics of Gene Sharp and with petitions and “political activism” too.
And Vietcong as well, they co-opted and manipulated your doctrione by turning it into the foundation for the “Nghị Quyết 36”, in order to promote their reconciliation policy “hoà hợp hoà giải” and attract former Viet refugees (and their children and grandchildren) to invest in Vietnam and serve the Viet Communist Party to “rebuild” and “protect” the country and expand VC influence abroad within the Viet diaspora communities.
You think you wasted almost all your entire life with Vietnamese antiwar, anticommunist, patriotic and nationalist movements, and you felt the need to move forward by getting involved in more important and worldwide issues and addressing to a larger international audience.
However, I think that you should not totally deny and put aside your patriotism, and I don’t think that it is impossible to spread anarchist ideas to Vietnamese people…
I really admire Vietnamese revolutionaries, especially Nguyễn An Ninh and his individualist anarchism blended with romanticism, nationalism, Nietzsche, Baudelaire, Russeau, buddhism, libertarian socialism etc
If you face Vietnamese people who like Marxism-Leninism, then it would easier if you introduce Tạ Thu Thâu, Trần Văn Thạch, Hồ Hữu Tường, Phan Văn Hùm etc
If they are nationalist, conservative and anticommunist, then you should try with Trương Tử Anh, Nhất Linh, Nguyễn Van Bông, Nguyễn Ngọc Huy etc
I assure you that all these people did a great job, if you study them in detail, you will discover many great things.
They all created their own doctrines based on the characteristics and culture of Vietnamese people and according to the context and the situation they lived in…
They didn’t just take a foreign doctrine and blindly applied it to the Vietnamese people…
For example, all the Dai Viet parties had a very good and strong theoretical foundation, it’s not just simply a Mussolini’s Fascism or Hitler’s Nazism combined with Confucianism and applied to Vietnam in order to create the “Vietnamese nationalism”… and you can’t just simply say that those “VNCH nationalists” were all fascists, French collaborators or Viet Minh militants or American puppets worshiping the Capitalist State, American imperialism and were thick headed attached to old conservative conceptions of Fatherland and Patriotism etc”
The reality is that even them were victims, their nationalism has nothing to do with Hitler, Mussolini, Diem, HCM, USA or the French colonizers…
For example the ĐVQDĐ and their Chủ Nghĩa Dân Tộc Sinh Tồn “the doctrine of the Survival of the People: a scientific nationalism” is one of the best political doctrines ever written! It takes Social Darwinism’s survival theory and applies it to the Vietnamese people historical condition combining it with Locke’s and Rousseau’s theories of classic liberalism, together with many elements of Vietnamese culture, buddhism, anticommunism etc
In that context, Social Darwinism’s struggle for survival was closer to Vietnamese conditions than – for example – Kropotkin’s anarcho-socialist theory of Mutual Aid.. etc
However, I don’t want to bore you with a detailed analysis of this stuff, but I just wanna encourage you to read their history with more attention, cause you will find many important facts that are censured and omitted from the officially versions of history, (if you know the facts that happened, if you can try to see the same history from many you different perspectives, you can easily understand what to do in the present, based on their experiences) then it’s not important which ideology they adopted, but why and how they adopted and combined some specific foreign ideologies in order to form their doctrine and how they harmonized those ideologies and adapted them with the Vietnamese cultural background and historical context!
They also deeply analyzed many typical human behaviors and common characteristics that are specific in Vietnamese people, based on that they formed their organization rules and doctrines…
All these things are still very good, and can be used as a foundation to form a new anarchist theory that can be better harmonized with Vietnamese people.
For example, if you try to group Vietnamese people and form a serious group for some kind of project, it would be much better to take inspiration from the platform and moral code of Nguyen Ngoc Huy’s LMDCVN – that is based on psychological analysis of Vietnamese people – rather than just using anarchist radical jargon inspired by Bakunin or Stirner and doing an informal organization without a solid core of values and rules…
Anarchists themselves are usually criticized because they are not good at organizing, for example, some of them tend to be very individualistic and jerks and they claim to be “individualist anarchists”, they don’t even understand that individualist anarchism doesn’t necessarily mean that you should literally be alone by yourself and not join any groups or organizations, but it just means that you don’t like an anarchist society based on collective ownership and collective regulations, but you prefer equally distributed small private property, non-hierarchical structures and anti-state and “noncapitalist” free market, were each person is their own boss, manages their own business, and fully benefit of the fruits of their labor… individualist anarchism doesn’t even say that you can’t create affinity groups or establish rules within your own group of friends, but it just means that you can refuse to take part in collective ownership / participating to decide for collective regulations within a large community or society.
All other anarchist groups from other currents have their problems too, and “anarchists without adjectves” as well, but I’m not here to criticize anarchists, I just want to point out that even in countries with a long anarchist tradition and many long-standing anarchist movements, groups, militants etc it’s hard for anarchists to organize…there are many exceptions.
As you know, Vietnamese in general have a lot of problems to work together and do teamwork, I dislike the conformism and the persistence of traditional hierarchies and gender divisions (In the Vietnamese culture and language, there are even different grammatical forms depending on whether you’re a man or a woman, or are speaking to a superior or an inferior. — I found it hard to take that sort of thing seriously. ) so if you even add anarchist ideologies to them, you will add other more difficulties when you don’t have a solid foundation yet…
In LMDCVN they all call each other “anh” or “em” or “chiến hữu”, it doesn’t matter the different of age..(but they have a strong moral code and collective spirit of patriotism).
Anyway, even LMDCVN is too libertarian and can be considered an underdog party, it’s not really mainstream… Nowadays, Vietnamese masses really love the “brutal leader” like Ngo Dinh Diem, Ho Chi Minh, Trump, etc even more than other people…
So, In the end, as Ken Knabb said: Irrational popular tendencies do sometimes call for discretion. But powerful though they may be, they are not irresistible forces. They contain their own contradictions. Clinging to some absolute authority is not necessarily a sign of faith in authority; it may be a desperate attempt to overcome one’s increasing doubts (the convulsive tightening of a slipping grip). People who join gangs or reactionary groups, or who get caught up in religious cults or patriotic hysteria, are also seeking a sense of liberation, connection, purpose, participation, empowerment. As Reich himself showed, fascism gives a particularly vigorous and dramatic expression to these basic aspirations, which is why it often has a deeper appeal than the vacillations, compromises and hypocrisies of liberalism and leftism.In the long run the only way to defeat reaction is to present more forthright expressions of these aspirations, and more authentic opportunities to fulfill them. When basic issues are forced into the open, irrationalities that flourished under the cover of psychological repression tend to be weakened, like disease germs exposed to sunlight and fresh air. In any case, even if we don’t prevail, there is at least some satisfaction in fighting for what we really believe, rather than being defeated in a posture of hesitancy and hypocrisy.
I just link you some useful stuff from a nationalist perspective, it will be very useful, you can still promote anarchism to Vietnamese readers, without totally denying patriotism, and you can also take inspiration from some of their educational materials in order to organize a small affinity group or create your own Vietnamese anarchism.
Click to access Nhatbook-Chu-nghia-dan-toc-sinh-ton-Nguyen-Ngoc-Huy-2006.pdf
Sorry, I repost you this link to the article about Vietnamese anarchism,
cause the one I previously posted is broken:
I also add another example, (where Vietnamese are not involved)
it’s about marjuana, if you read it, you can understand what I mean… you can take inspiration from the way they express the issue and see how they approach the readers. It’s a very good example of convincing dialectics!
Click to access marijuana_angel_or_demon.pdf
You’re welcome my friend.
I want to help you to notice some things, cause I have been followìng you for a long time, so I’ll try to clarify some points.
Actually the Joy of Revolution is a hyper summarized summary of everything, there are no other books that explain you all the issues you need to know in such a super concentrated and simplest way.
The problem is that, in order to fully understand and appreciate it, you have to already know revolutionary history, political theories, ideologies and practices etc
In particular, it takes for granted that you should be familiar with the whole Anarchist thought and some variants of Libertarian Marxism (It should be noted that none of the political tendencies such as Marxism-Leninism, Trotskyism, Stalinism, Maoism etc have much connection with Marx, despite the fact that they all claim to be “Marxist”. Leninism and Trotskyism (to say nothing of Stalinism) diverge significantly from Marx’s actual views. While Marx had well-known differences with some of the anarchists of his time, his perspective was in reality much closer to anarchism than to any of the varieties of state socialism. The prevalence of statist “Marxism” during the last century has tended to drown out other currents of Marxism that are closer to Marx (and to the more coherent strands of anarchism), such as Rosa Luxemburg, Anton Pannekoek, Karl Korsch, Socialisme ou Barbarie, and the Situationist International.)
A good summary about the anarchist interpretation of Marx https://www.marxists.org/archive/rubel/1973/marx-anarchism.htm (this article is quite boring, you can skip it for now, I just put it for reference, if you don’t trust me)
and some insights about the libertarian (socialist) tradition http://www.bopsecrets.org/rexroth/communalism1.htm#Introduction
Then in the Joy of Revolution there are many references to the Situationist International (SI), in particular to the Guy Debord’s concept of “Society of Spectacle” and Vanegeim’s “Revolution of Everyday Life”… All radical revolutionary theories since the 1960s are developed from situaionist ideas…(a combination and overcoming of artistic vanguards (such as surrealism, dadaism), council communism and anarchism)
Here there are some very brief summarized info about the SI, so you can have a better comprehension of some parts of the book…
http://www.bopsecrets.org/PS/autobio2.htm#situationist (read the paragraph “How I became a situationist”)
Furthermore, I very appreciate your passion and determination to extremely and radically follow your ideals without vacillations, compromises and hypocrisies.
“One need only recall how many radical cultural and political movements have lost their original audacity, and eventually their very identity, by becoming habituated to little deals and compromises, settling into comfortable niches in academia, hobnobbing with the rich and famous, becoming dependent on government or foundation grants, pandering to audiences, catering to reviewers and interviewers, and otherwise accommodating themselves to the status quo. It is safe to say that if the SI had not had a rigorous policy of breaks and exclusions, it would have ended up as one more amorphous and innocuous avant-garde group of the sort that come and go every year and are remembered only in the footnotes of cultural histories.”
So I can really understand all your concerns and your extreme cautions and suspicions. Especially if you come from a Vietnamese background, and if you are a true sincere freedom fighter.
During the years, when you follow your ideal, wheter it is anticommunism or patriotism or anarchism, anti-nationalism , anti-statism etc you tend to pursue it to the extreme in order to express the purest and most coherent form of your principles.
I have many friends like you, and I myself used to be like that too.
This approach can be useful in certain cases, and can have a powerful effect in revolutionary moments when the normality is disrupted.
But sometimes it is too simplistic and it can also be dangereous because in order to express and demonstrate the purity of your ideal, you can fall in some traps, cause these extremist oversimplifications can lead to a rigid ideological delirium, and your ideal can be easily manipulated and contaminated with mysticism, absurdities, conspiracy theories, religious fanaticism, but most of all it can be distorted with old and new reactionary political ideologies and conservative/neoliberal values that are hiddenly promoted in a new form different from the original.
Anti-imperialism, Anti-capitalism, Anti-neoliberalism, Anti-globalization, Internationalism can often be co-opted and used as a pretext to hiddenly promote new forms of Nationalism, Stalinism, State capitalism, Neostalinism, Neofascism, Neonazism, Fascist Stalinism, Nazi-Maoism, Christian Fascism in order to defend old bourgeois values such as National Statism, Patriotism, Patriarchal Family, Racism, National culture, Religious bigotry etc against multiculturalism, veganism, feminism, LBGTQ etc mixed conspiracy theories
Anti-fascism, Anti-nationalism, Internationalism, Anti-communism, Anti-religious fanaticism and, in general, everything against what Debord called “concentrated spectacle” (in which people are conditioned to identify with the omnipresent image of the totalitarian leader as compensation for being deprived of virtually everything else. This image concentration is normally associated with a corresponding concentration of economic power, state capitalism, in which the state itself has become the sole, all-owning capitalist enterprise (classic examples are Stalin’s Russia and Mao’s China) but it may also be imported into Third World mixed economies (such as Saddam’s Iraq) or even, in times of crisis, into highly developed economies (such as Hitler’s Germany)) Anti-Racism, Antisemitism etc etc can become a pretext to promote Market Capitalism, Neoliberalism and American imperialism, the Western “Free World”, Bourgeois representative democracy ( which is actually a Totalitarian democratic dictatoriship) and promote neoliberal feminism, consumerism, careerism, liberal reformist bullshit, new social roles in the modern capitalist economy, bourgerois socialdemocracy, cybernetic welfare state, anarcho-capitalism, progressive reformism in order to maintain the system with a intragovernmental pseudo-opposition, supermarket multiculturalism, consumer gender ideologies and a different variety of identity politics and lifestyles ( “the diffuse spectacle”, where people are lost amid the variety of competing spectacles, commodities, styles and ideologies that are presented for their consumption. The diffuse spectacle arises within societies of pseudoabundance (America is the prototype and still the unchallenged world leader of spectacle production, despite its decline in other regards) )
Debunking hoaxes and unmasking conspiracy theories can often become a pretext to defend the system and promote all the ideologies to maintain the State and Capitalist system.
But simplisitc critiques can be dangerous too…. As long as social critics confine themselves to contesting this or that detail, the spectacle-spectator relation continually reconstitutes itself: if such critics succeed in discrediting existing political leaders, they themselves often become new stars (Ralph Nader, Noam Chomsky, etc.) whom slightly more aware spectators admiringly rely on for a continuing flow of shocking information that they rarely do anything about. The milder exposés get the audience to root for this or that faction in intragovernmental power struggles; the more sensational ones feed people’s morbid curiosity, sucking them into consuming more articles, news programs and docudramas, and into interminable debates about various conspiracy theories. Most such theories are obviously nothing but delirious reflections of the lack of critical historical sense produced by the modern spectacle, desperate attempts to find some coherent meaning in an increasingly incoherent and absurd society. In any case, as long as things remain on the spectacular terrain it hardly matters whether any of these theories are true: those who keep watching to see what comes next never affect what comes next.
Furthermore, here I also collected some explanations about the limits of anarchism, buddhism, situationism etc and the ideological manichean character of some simplistic extremism and leftist rhetoric (some excerpts are taken from The Joy of Revolution) I put them all together so you can understand very well and meditate
Hope you can have some time to read everything…especially these last 2 links
I empathize with your feeling to unmask the myths and beliefs of God, Fatherland, Family, State, Hierarchy, Leader, Religion, Capitalism, War, Authoritarian Socialism etc
I also appreciate you’re trying to spread some anarchist principles and theories, especially to the Vietnamese readers…
In particular, I think you sympathize more with some Asian Spiritual Anarchism currents and some Individualist anarchism such as Proudhon’s Mutualism and Stirner’s Egoism.
There are not many Vietnamese anarchists nowadays.
Cause although Anarchism had a strong cultural influence on the Anticolonial Vietnamese revolutionary movement (especially at its beginning stage), a real anarchist movement never existed in Vietnamese History, unlike China, Korea, Japan…