Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Thought for the day: left vs. right

"Industrial wind [for example] is not a partisan issue. It is big energy–funded power politics against the people. Both right and left support wind. And both right and left are against it."

Left/right divisions as played out in the U.S. are a charade allowing the real struggle to wither and die.

The true "right" of institutional control and exploitation is allowed to continue, because its victims — for whom the true "left" fights — have been empowered to choose sides in a cartoon version of their struggle. Thus the victims of the true right fight amongst themselves: one group of victims, calling themselves the left or liberal, fighting the other group of victims as their oppressors, and the other group of victims, calling themselves the right or conservative, fighting the first group as threatening the small advantage granted them by the true power.

We are fighting over crumbs and the occasional sop.

The robber barons only laugh, when they should be cowering in shame and fear.

anarchism, ecoanarchism, anarchosyndicalism

(Thanks to and commenter Pam Supign for stimulating these thoughts on the anachronism of a green fist wielding an industrial wind turbine)

Update:  Pam Supign has written to me that the editor of has removed her last comment responding to the editor's reply to her first comments (and they're on the same side!, illustrating the point of the present post). Apparently experienced with the "Big Brother" censorship of comment forums, she had saved what she wrote, which she shares with us here:
The clenched fist originally and primarily and still represents solidarity of the people against oppressing power. It began with trade unionism. Communism ideally is also about uniting labor against its exploiters. It is about standing strong against violence, not wreaking it. Your equation of communism and anarchism with violence is no more valid than damning the Protestant Reformation or any fight for greater freedom because it sometimes forced people to fight back against those whose control was threatened.

The clenched fist is an apt symbol for the fight against big wind. It no more implies violence than saying "United we stand."

That's why the outrage of that conference is the misuse of the fist image in the name of industrial development, not the evidence of a connection with a pop T-shirt version of the Comintern.
Update 2:  Now the editor of has removed Pam's first comments as well and added an apologia to his post to explain his fear of leftist solidarity. He has also edited, so that its pop origin isn't as obvious, the T-shirt graphic with which he raised the specter of Stalinist greens. The post remains ridiculous. And the one comment remaining to elaborate the green/nazi/commie plot makes it even more so.

Unfortunately, we don't have the editor's reply to it, but Pam has provide us with her original comment:
First, so-called “deep greens”, such as members of Earth First, are against industrial wind. The symbolism highlighted here is more incoherent than revealing. Foster’s own bio notes that “we have reached a turning point in human relations with the earth, and that any attempt to solve our problems merely by technological, industrial or free market means, divorced from fundamental social relations, cannot succeed”. Industrial wind epitomizes the dream of technological/industrial “alternatives” saving those doomed relations.

Rather than raise the flag of demonization and fear, it should be clear that greens such as these are the “useful idiots” of predatory capitalism when it comes to climate change — again, for believing, against their own philosophies, that big new technology will be fundamentally different from big old technology just because its marketers sell it as green. Many greens are not so taken by the centralized energy “solutions” perpetuated by big wind and are appalled by the license it enjoys to invade otherwise protected land [and flout existing environmental laws].

Finally, the raised fist image was an early symbol of labor solidarity, particularly used by the IWW union (the Wobblies). It was used by the German Communist Party, which was brutally suppressed by the Nazis. During the Spanish Civil War, it was known as the anti-fascist salute. It has also stood for black power in the struggle for civil rights and for rights of workers, native Americans, and women, among others. Interestingly (I’m getting all this from Wikipedia), the fist here is the left hand, which began use in opposition to Stalinism (the Big Brother specter evoked in this post).

A green raised left fist is the symbol of Earth First, who oppose industrial wind, so the outrage should be for this conference’s offensive appropriation of a venerable symbol to imply support of such non-green non-progressive energy development.

Plus, as far as I can determine, the symbol of the Soviet Red Army was a red star, never a fist. The image used here — with its silly use of the Cyrillic letter "ya" for an "R" — is completely modern and meaningless. It's a T-shirt design.
Update 3:  Now Pam tells me that our friend the editor of (which work I otherwise completely support, by the way, which is why I read the "Big Brother" post there — and Pam Supign's comments — in the first place) has added a picture of a dragon eating its own tail as representing violence. Well, Pam had to comment, and again is forced to offer her words here, because now she is apparently completely banned from
More abuse of symbols! The ouroboros is a symbol of eternal recreation, not violence!
Update 4:  In an earlier post, our editor (Calvin Luther Martin, PhD) calls for ruckus-raising tent cities to publicize the harm done by industrial wind turbines, and suggests referring to municipal bureaucrats who facilitate and ignore that harm as "criminals — committing torture against their neighbors". And here's the clip art he uses to illustrate the idea of protest:

Clenched fists! People power!

And, looking at just the first page of indexed posts, there's this, used as the thumbnail of at least three posts at, Québecois are angry!, Australians are angry!, and Ontarians are angry!:

And this:

Are you scared yet?