Tag Archives: anarchism

Hierarchs are Crazy, Part II

UntitledFrom The Final Straw Radio.

I have many times heard historians argue that the U.S. lost in Vietnam because those in charge did not understand “the reality on the ground.” Yeah, “the reality on the ground.” But if those in charge don’t know “the reality on the ground,” what OTHER reality IS there?

Hierarchy is good at producing delusional hierarchs all too practiced in NOT seeing “the reality on the ground.” To recap, the false mythology of the hierarchs is built on a “right to rule” which imposes a obey,” both of which have no rational basis in reality. The false mythology of the hierarchs asserts that government protects and defends freedom, when the very opposite is provably true in “the reality on the ground.” And the false mythology of the hierarchs views the catastrophic consequences of 8,000 years of hierarchy as signs of success and progre than evidence of abysmal failure.

As I already argued, you must be delusional to be a hierarch. You have to accept “false realities.” But being a hierarch doesn’t just require you to be crazy, it makes you crazy. The hierarch delusion compels you to accept the totally preposterous as true. So, we get good at it. We pretend our teachers are imparting valuable knowledge to serve us in gaining employment that will be satisfying and fulfilling. We pretend doddering old pedophiles have a hotline to a fantastical and ctory god. We pretend bosses don’t rob us of our time and labor value. We pretend wars and prisons are necessary. We pretend economies are real things. We pretend colored pieces of paper with slave-owners’ faces on them are really worth something. Continue reading

U.S. Military

eaglePULL QUOTE: “Consider, for decades the U.S. has spent more than the next 16 competing nations combined, to build the most obscene military stockpile in human history. Convert that spending into something else that resembles sanity for just a few years, and the U.S. might become a nice place to live.”

From The Final Straw

We are all vigorously trained to think we need government. The principle argument for the necessity of government is that it keeps us safe. Curiously, it’s the greatest threat to our safety. In the U.S., we would be safer if the military didn’t exist.

On September 11, people flew planes into buildings. They didn’t do that in Canada or Belgium, Finland or Luxembourg. Those countries don’t have hundreds of military based around the world. Only the United States.

The people who took responsibility for the attacks cited the injustices of U.S. military incursions and occupations as their primary motivations. Absent a military, those attackers would have had no motive and the U.S. would have been as safe as Finland or Luxembourg. Continue reading

Prisoner Letters Interview

From PrisonerLetters.noblogs.org
10thSep. × ’14
By Prisoner Letters
(A): Hey Sean, it’s you buddy (A) here. Would you like to start off by giving a little bit of personal background (how old you are, what growing up was like, what your interests are)?

Sean: I grew up in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan. Anchorville. It’s gone now. It was “annexed” away, split between two other townships or whatever. I lived in a trailer park surrounded by woods, and when I returned in the late 80’s, all the woods were gone.

It’s as if my childhood was annexed away and chopped down. As if the Matrix occasionally erases our histories, our pasts, everything that anchors us to a place or time.

That area of Michigan is where the idea of “Reagan Democrats” came from- working class communities filled with totally class-unconscious mall zombies. I was a boy scout. Played Baseball. I stuttered and was painfully shy until about 11th grade when I guess I just decided I was tired of living in constant fear of rejection or of others’ opinions. Until then, I worked very hard at being invisible and unnoticed. I lived totally terrified until 11th grade. Continue reading

Radio Essay: Patriotism

This originally aired on The Final Straw radio show.

Patriotism is a really twisted if you think about it. It’s a kind of moral and intellectual cowardice. To be patriotic is to cheer for your country- which means the government of your country, which is to say the government that claims jurisdiction over you. Patriotism demands that you cheer for that government and hope it prevails over some other government that claims jurisdiction over other people.

What determines who you cheer for isn’t principles or the qualities of character demonstrated by this government or or that one, but geography. If you are born in Minnesota, patriotism demands that you cheer for the side that the Minnesota National Guard fights on, even if-such as the Civil War- your state is fighting against other states such as Georgia. You have to cheer for Minnesota and the United States. Patriotism says so, even if, for instance, you’re vacationing in Georgia at the time hostilities break out.

The issue of slavery or states rights or federalism are irrelevant.
Those are principles. Patriots don’t care about those things.What matters is geography.

Now, if you are born in one state but move to another state, patriotism demands that you cheer for the government where your house is located. So, at the time of the Civil War, if you were born in Minnesota, but you moved to Georgia, and you were in Pennsylvania  on vacation when hostilities broke out, you have to cheer for the Confederate States because your home is in Georgia. It doesn’t matter where your person is.
If all that seems very confusing, we can simplify. To be patriotic, you have to cheer for the government that gouges you for the most tax money. You are obligated to reserve your greatest allegiance to the government that robs the most.
In fact, you are obligated, as a patriot, to volunteer and lay down your life in defense of the interests of the government that gouges you by killing as many people as you can who volunteer to defend the government that gouges them.
So, if, at any time, you come to the irrational conclusion that the government that gouges you might not be superior to some other government that never took a dime from you, and that you have nothing personal against that other government or the subjects it gouges, and you have the misfortune of speaking these sentiments out loud, you can be hanged from the nearest tree as a traitor.
See, patriotism requires you to believe in your country- which, really, is your government, which really is the government gouging you- is the “good guys”even when that government isn’t acting like the“good guys.” Patriotism is a kind of mass dishonesty where every one must pretend the government isn’t a bully and a hypocrite and a liar a murderer and a thief, even when all the evidence is right under your nose tells you the government really is. Patriotism demands that you insist your county is doing “ the right thing,” even when it is a reprehensible atrocity. You have to shake pom-poms for the home team, even when the home team is a bunch of ruthless monsters. You have to blindly serve the interests of the government gouging you rather than standing up for the principles you believe in, and rather than serving your own best interests.
That’s how governments stick around. They convince the people of their nation that they are exceptional and their government is exceptional. This euphoric government worship blinds everyone to the continuous and never ending crisis the government creates. In the U.S. the government has created an untold number of crises. The financial crisis, the unemployment crisis, the drug crisis, the economic crisis, the housing crisis, the environmental crisis,the energy crisis and of coarse, the international crisis of the week, the terrorism crisis, the crime crisis,the crazy gunman shooting people in public places crisis,the infrastructure crisis and on and on…..They never end. If not for sloganeering and flag-waving that manipulates all of us, we’d recognize how government makes our lives intolerable and we’d act in our own best interests ,toppling not just our lives intolerable and we’d act in our own best interests, toppling not just our government but every government and putting down anybody else who attempted to impose another one.
My allegiance is to freedom, a world without governments. I don’t love my country. I don’t have a country. And if I had one, it certainly would not act like this.
The government hated me first.
This is anarchist prisoner Sean Swain from Ohio’s supermax facility. If you can hear the sound of my voice, you are the resistance.

The Right To Rule

Transcript of Radio Essay originally appearing on The Final Straw.

Where does the “right to rule” come from?

I look at this vast, complex system created by poor deluded hierarchs and I see that we have those who rule-the ones Occupy called the 1%; and then there are the rest of us, the stone draggers, the ones who are ruled.
It makes me wonder where the “right to rule” comes from? Certainly such a thing has to exist. Right? What I mean is, those who rule us; kings and presidents and the corporate executives who write all their policies, lawmakers judges and cops. They give the orders, and we obey.
Where does it come from? Are they born with it? Are their two kinds of babies that come into the world, one kind that has the right, not only to rule themselves, but to rule others; and another kind far more numerous, thats born without even the right to rule themselves?
I wonder how we tell it apart, this special specie oh human who has the right to rule. Perhaps its shoe size or eye color or maybe we have to analyze the shapes of our craniums. Could be astrology. It’s certainly not brains and ability. Look at George Dubya, Sara Palin, ODRC Director Gary Mohr who sent me to the supermax facility to silence me.
These aren’t exactly exceptional specimens.But they assume ‘the right to rule.’
This right to rule has to come from somewhere , or it doesn’t exist,and if it doesn’t exist, then no human being has any right to be obeyed, has any right to order and compel the obedience of any other human being.If the right to rule doesn’t come from somewhere, if it doesn’t exist, then there is only one specie of human, not true, and that means we are all created equal-just like that hypocrite slave owner Thomas Jefferson said.
And if this right to rule at the very foundation of hierarchy is only a myth, only as real as magical beans and faerie dust, then poor deluded hierarchs are imposing a 6,000 year old fraud. Their whole system is a lie. No one has the right to rule.
That means we have a vast system designed to keep all of us under control while a small group of privileged elite exploit all of us, making us do the sweating and bleeding and dying, while they laugh at us behind our backs.They sell us on the myth of the right to rule….we’re enslaved to something no more real than magical beans and faerie dust.
Poor deluded hierarchs might say that the right to rule comes from the consent of the governed, that we vote and give permission to our rulers to rule us. Those who assume the right to rule certainly tell us that. They create billion dollar systems called schools where we are mandated to go,where we are told over and over that we give permission to our rulers to rule us, and that we are the source of the right to rule.
It takes twelve years of telling us that lie over and over again before we’re incapable of questioning it.
But this “consent of the governed ”argument that voters are the source of a rulers right to rule doesn’t really explain anything. It just transfers the problem. Now instead of asking what gives the ruler the right to rule,we have to ask what gives that voter the right to rule by proxy.What gives those voters the right to impose their ruler on others, while others lack even the right to rule themselves?
What gives anyone the right to rule, even by proxy, through a choice of ruler designee,and take from you and me even our rights to rule ourselves.Where does it come from, this right to rule, that voters imagine they have?
If it doesn’t originate from anywhere,when we are back to the right to rule being a myth.Magical beans and faerie dust. A 6,000 year old swindle that robs us of our freedom, our right to rule ourselves, while a select few benefit from our collective enslavement…to a provable lie at the very heart of hierarchy.
I say it’s a provable fact the right to rule does not exist. That means noone has the right to give orders to anyone else.That means there is no such thing as legitimate authority-not presidents, not law makers, not judges or cops. We’re all captives of a mass delusion, programmed to accept it, forcibly indoctrinated to internalize a pathology built on a lie–suffering a mass mental illness called hierarchy. And once you see the right to rule is a myth, you can never go back to your assigned seats.

This is anarchist prisoner Sean Swain from Ohio’s supermax facility, if your listening,you are the resistance!

Idiot Factories

This is a transcript of an audio essay that originally aired on The Final Straw. Imagine the government hired you for a secret program and it turned out you were the manager of an idiot factory. This idiot factory took normal people and mangled their minds. Idiots come off the assembly line. Do you think you’d feel a moral duty to shut down that idiot factory?And if you couldn’t shut it down would you find some way to burn it down?
Okay.Well, if you are a school teacher and you care about the best interests of the students, I urge you to go into the idiot factory that employs you on Monday with a can of gasoline and a book of matches.

Consider: We do more learning from birth to the age of five than we do the rest of our lives. All of us. All humans. And if you think about it, it makes sense the incredible amount of learning we have to do. Learning for instance that we are separate from the rest of the world, that we end at the bottoms of our feet and tops of our heads: object permanence, the idea things still exist when you can’t see them; language- that sounds mean something, and that words are symbolic representations of something, and which words apply to which things. We learn gravity by throwing mashed potatoes. We learn to walk. The most crucial event for any swivilized human: we learn to control our bowels. We learn that it is bad to walk around leaking and then we learn a complex process to dispose of our leakage.

Continue reading

What Is An Anarchist Engagement?

What is an anarchist engagement? I ask because I’m running for Ohio Governor in 2014 as a write in candidate from Ohio’s super-duper-uber-mega ultramax facility.
Yeah, I know.Your thinking, ‘Running for office is not anarchist-it’s reformist at best’ and thinking ‘A prisoner getting elected?’ And you likely conclude, this is all just further evidence-as if we need more-that Sean Swain is a wing nut. I would say that this is further proof that I’m brilliant and completely misunderstood- thats my story and I’m sticking to it.
I’ve been told that by running for Governor, I’m promoting the idea that reformist ballots are the answer-registering to vote, voting and all the hierarchical implications that that entails. I’ve been told that we need revolution, not diversions into electoral wheel-spinning,and that I’m doing a disservice promoting the idea that elections can be a solution.
Okay, now consider:
It’s not my goal to become Ohio Governor so that I can maintain the state. I’m openly and admittedly an anarchist and I’M running as an anarchist. I’m promising that, if elected I would tear down the state and establish the Ohio Autonomous Zone.
In fact, I have a program already planned out. It’s on my website. My first day in office, I would empty Ohio’s prisons. I would de-commission the National Guard and I would give the weapons to the Native American tribes I would be inviting back.
According to the Treaty of Greenville, they still own this territory. So it’s not exactly reparations for the genocide they experienced, but I’D give them the land back and a bunch of rifles and tanks and Apache attack helicopters in order to defend it.
With no budget signed-ever- no cops would get paid so there woulds be nobody standing between us chasing the banksters and crapitalists out of here with torches and pitchforks-like they have deserved for centuries.We could then export revolution from the Ohio Autonomous Zone. Continue reading

Swain for Governor Campaign Announcement

swain really what's the worst Media Release

Anarchist prisoner Sean Swain Runs for Governor
as a Write- in Candidate from Ohio’s SuperMax Facility,
Invites a Million Carpetbaggers to Hijack Election

Sean estimates that he received approximately (8) eight votes in 2010, the last time he ran for governor from prison. Back then, Sean Swain had a hard time convincing voters they should “abolish” the state of Ohio, electing Swain with an anarchist mandate to forcibly disassemble the State once and for all. But Swain says a lot has changed since 2010 and he believes a sizable groundswell is coming around to his way of thinking– that the government, and the corporations whose interests the government serves, are the real enemies to be resisted and eliminated.
Swain points to the Occupy Movement, which was pre-figured in his 2007 work Last Act of the Circus Animals, and it’s violent disbandment by the government’s agents of control as proof that many are imagining “a different future.” Swain believes he has the plan for getting there. If elected Ohio governor Swain promises to:
* Decommission the Ohio National Guard
* Empty Ohio’s prisons and turn them into squats
* Recognize Native American land rights as set forth by the Treaty of Greenville
* Arm the tribes with national guard weaponry, to include tanks and attack helicopters,
* Refuse to sign any budget causing the government to shut down, and
* Sign an Executive Order making it legal to assassinate him if he remains in office longer than 90 days.

Continue reading

Pacifists Suck: How Arresting Revolution Maintains a Violent World

Pacifists Suck: How Arresting Revolution Maintains a Violent World
by Sean Swain

When a guy kicked in my door in 1991, I panicked and stabbed him to death. I didn’t own a gun. I didn’t believe in guns. I always ascribed to the wisdom that if somebody wanted to come to my home and shoot me, he would have to bring his own gun. So, in the years that followed, perhaps in part motivated by a need to make sense out of this tragedy, I encountered Gandhi. I read everything I could find and became a veritable Gandhi expert, even consuming everything by and about his students–Martin Luther King, Cesar Chavez, Gene Sharp (who wrote the exhaustive Politics of Nonviolent Action), and other fellow travelers like Archbishop Oscar Romero in El Salvador.

I became convinced that only nonviolent direct action–and exclusively-nonviolent direct action–held the solution for changing the world in any constructive way. As a member of CURE-Ohio’s prisoner advisory board, I successfully advocated for that organization to develop a policy for supporting prisoner nonviolent direct action. In 2002, I was recognized by no less than Rosa Parks herself for my public advocacy of nonviolent action, and the co-chair of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s National Campaign for Tolerance added my name to the Wall of Tolerance.

I share all of that to demonstrate that I am fully versed in the theory and practice of nonviolent direct action and that I used to be among those who insisted on exclusive nonviolence as the only solution. But I am no longer under the influence of that powerful delusion and I recognize, reasonably and practically, that political violence is a necessary feature for any successful effort at social transformation.

Exclusive nonviolence doesn’t cut it. It never did, it never will. In fact, those who insist on exclusive nonviolence and thereby hold all social movements hostage, demanding that all tactics employed by all participants meet the nonviolence litmus, are the biggest impediment to social transformation that currently exists. “Pacifists,” the idealist followers of Gandhi and MLK, are the most culpable accomplices to the continuing violence of our current status quo.

Principled pacifists, threatening withdrawal from social movements if violent tactics are considered, doom every social movement to which they are a part. They limit resistance to only those tactics that will inevitably fail. This proves true in the most glaring recent example of the Occupy movement, when police employed brutal and violent repression to push resisters out of the public space. The resistance ultimately dissolved in the face of State terror because pacifists’ limitations prevented Occupy from preparing effectively to meet violence with violence, precluded any plan to deploy violent offensives that would diminish the State’s capacity to confront Occupy with such overwhelming force, and ultimately foreclosed upon even the consideration of tactics that may have altered history.

Reality: Cops are violent.

Reality: Cops are going to employ violence to impose “order.”

Reality: If those who truly desire to challenge the-world-as-it-is want to be successful, they will have to develop strategies for meeting, countering, and overcoming State violence.

Reality: Violent revolutionary action is the solution.

Of course, principled pacifists are unwilling to participate in any social movement that contemplates violence and/or property damage, not even in a nonviolent or noncombatant role, thereby diminishing the potential numbers of the resistance and dooming it stillborn before it ever emerges.

But what is it, exactly, that principled pacifists are opposing? Is their opposition reasonable? Just how “violent” is violent revolution, and does it result in more violence than a continuation of the existing order of things?

Let’s take an analytical look at violent revolution, the solution that principled pacifists oppose and ultimately prevent: We can get an idea of what happens during a revolution by considering the data from previous revolutions. We know, for instance, that in the English, American, French, and Russian revolutions, only a maximum of 5% of those country’s populations–at peak participation–were involved in the resistance. So that means that 95% of any given population does not participate in a revolution.

This is important for us to consider as we weigh the violence that principled pacifists oppose, and the violence that principled pacifists ultimately choose to perpetuate–the State violence of the current order. The violent revolution that pacifists prevent would foreseeably involve 5% of the population at most. That means pacifists prevent 5% of the population from successfully liberating 100% of the population through recourse to bullets and bombs.

This ratio is also borne out by more recent struggles, including the Cuban revolution. In Cuba, rebels never numbered more than 5,000 in a population of roughly 11 million people. This puts max participation at 4.5% against a regime materially-supported by the United States.

In that armed struggle, the rebels killed something like 300 of the regime’s forces.

Using those numbers, an armed struggle in the U.S. that would successfully topple the existing order would involve 13.5 million people, a mere fraction of the number of the currently unemployed. So, by all accounts, principled pacifists aren’t opposing a wild orgy of violence that engulfs 300 million people and plunges the U.S. unto absolute madness, they oppose an armed struggle that, at most, would involve 13.5 million rebels.

But, that’s still not a fair presentation. While 13.5 million would be involved in the rebellion, not all would be involved in direct armed struggle as combatants. We have to consider that many of those people would be medics and cooks and logistical support. You’ve also got large numbers of rebels who would engage exclusively in nonviolent forms of resistance like hacking, intelligence gathering, promotion, and recruitment, not to mention those who specialize in sabotage exclusively against property.

It is important to remember that just because a rebellion incorporates the strategies of violence, not all rebels necessarily participate in the violent components of rebellion. Normally, just a fraction of any given force ever engages in actual combat, fighting, shooting, and dying. So that we cannot be accused of under-estimates, let’s say half of the rebels would be involved in direct violence, although this ratio is likely very high.

In an armed struggle in the U.S., that would put the number of rebels engaged in actual direct fighting at less than 7 million.

I read somewhere that we have 200 million guns in the U.S. We could arm every combatant of a successful revolution by distributing just 3.5% of the guns we own. In so doing, we could end the current order and all the suffering and death it causes globally, year after year. It would take 7 million people, at peak participation, willing to pull a trigger to bring about a future we deserve.

With 7 million armed rebels in a revolutionary engagement involving a maximum of 13.5 million, we could reasonably expect a number of deaths as high as 810,000. And that’s if the government forces continue fighting until the rebels can reach the doorstep of those calling the shots.

That’s if the U.S. military is willing to side with the government, against the people.

More people than that will be killed by drunk drivers.

More people than that will kill themselves, because the current order relegates them to lives that are intolerable.

Consider: If principled pacifists willingly played nonviolent roles in a violent revolution, 300 million people would be liberated with less than 1 million casualties and the foreseeable end result would be a net gain rather than a loss when we consider all of the lives that this current system will inevitably chew up if it isn’t taken down. And that isn’t even factoring in people all over the world who suffer and die as a result of U.S. actions.

Consider: If, prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, principled pacifists participated nonviolently in a violent revolution, millions of lives would have been saved at a cost of fewer than 1 million. That means if we act now, and pacifists allow the revolution to take its course, we can save millions of lives in preventing the next U.S. invasion and bombing of some defenseless country before it even happens.

To be a principled pacifist is to foreclose upon a revolution that would save lives. That means, in the final analysis, pacifists are against the preservation of life. They are so enraptured with their delusional, fast construct and their narrow, unrealistic definition of violence, that their “principled” inaction obstructs what would transform the world and preserve countless lives long into the future. Their principles matter more than we do.

Consider the next drone strike.

Consider the unarmed Black men killed by police.

Principled pacifists are the unwitting shovel that the ruling elite uses to dig its mass graves. Their complicity in crimes against humanity is inexcusable. Let’s hope that, for the rest of us who do not share their Kumbayah delusions, they stop obstructing the real solution before it’s too late.

Recommended reading:

Anatomy of Revolution, by Crane Brinton War of the Flea, by Robert Taber Politics of Nonviolent Action, by Gene Sharp The Logic of Political Violence, by Craig Rosebraugh

On the Liberatory Poverty of Socialism: One Anarchist’s View

by Sean Swain

Several years ago I was invited to participate in a debate between Socialists Tom Big Warrior and Rashid Johnson of the Black Panther Prison Chapter, on one hand, and Anthony Rayson, a prolific zinester, and myself for Anarchism, on the other hand. Much to my disappointment, the project fell through and I spent years seeking a public forum for my arguments, the problem being Anarchist publications willing to publish would never give me an argument, and Socialist publications bristled at publishing anti-Socialist views.

What follows is one view that the traditionally Socialist concept of “revolution” which maintains the existence of the State is not revolution at all, and that only the complete abolition of the State–a decidedly Anarchist engagement–constitutes a true revolution. The implication, then, is that Socialism represents only a more-developed and somewhat-disguised expression of reformism, making Socialism itself an agency of counter-revolution.

Reform Versus Revolution

We have to proceed keeping in mind that those who assume the right to rule us are very good at hijacking language. Whenever threatened by a concept, they neutralize the danger by stealing the word. Take, for instance, “revolution.” Lacking any true capacity to offer a counter-idea that compares, to defeat revolution, those who assume the right to rule us redefine the word “revolution,” applying it to everything. We now have “revolutionary” new formulas for dish-soap and “revolutionary” technologies, and we have a corporate network producing prime-time entertainment called, “Revolution.” The idea is, if they can make the word ubiquitous, reproduce it everywhere, the word means everything and nothing at the same time. So, the word that appropriately means liberation from oppressive forces of external regulation is reduced to an adjective describing the flavor of a new burrito offered by a corporate fast-food profiteer.1

The global colonizer’s pervasive abuse of language as a counter-revolutionary strategy means we have to be clear in our use of words. So, regarding revolution, we’re not talking about new fashions but about an orientation that rejects reform in favor of abolishing the existing system to create something new. So, in contrasting reform and revolution, we’re speaking of one perspective, reform, where there exists a continuity, an unbroken progression, and another perspective, revolution, that advocates a complete disjuncture, a break whereby the old system ceases to exist and something totally new emerges in its absence.

Safe to say, Socialists view themselves as revolutionaries,2 advocating a revolutionary disjuncture, toppling the existing system and bringing about Socialism in its place, which Socialists view as totally new and distinguishable from what preceded it.

The problem is, careful analysis reveals that “Socialist revolution” is not revolutionary at all. “Socialist revolution” does not create a distinct disjuncture, does not topple existing systems for something “totally new.”

Three historical examples–Russia, China, and Cuba–provide examples of the non-revolutionary character of Socialism.

Beginning with the celebrated Russian Revolution, the Bolsheviks deposed the Tsar…and Lenin moved into the Tsar’s Winter Palace…and created a more powerful, more centralized authority with a greater capacity to oppress than the Tsar ever imagined. Under the Tsar, there were prisons and there were struggling workers and peasants. Under Socialism, there were more prisons and there were more struggling workers and peasants. As Nikolai Bukharin presented it:

“From a broader point of view, that is the point of view of an historical scale of greater scope, proletarian compulsion in all its forms, from executions to compulsory labor, constitutes, as paradoxical as this may sound, a method of the formation of a new Communist humanity from the human material of the capitalist epoch.” (Emphasis added.)

To this bewildering sentiment, Lenin wrote, “Precisely,” in the margin. Compulsion, executions, slavery, reducing humans to “material”–none of that is “revolutionary.” The historical event of Lenin replacing the Tsar and introducing a new vocabulary to describe the old oppression, a Socialist describes as a “revolution.” But in the U.S.–the most imperialist colonial power in the world–old tyrants are routinely replaced by new ones with a new vocabulary to describe the old reality. Reagan-Bush was replaced by Clinton, Clinton by Bush II, Bush II by Obama. If replacing one tyrant with another with a new lexicon constitutes “revolution,” then every U.S. election is a Socialist “revolution” equivalent to Lenin assuming power in Russia…and we’re back to the word “revolution” being meaningless.3 If you put a goatee on the Monopoly Man and call him “comrade,” that doesn’t stop him from exploiting you when you land on Boardwalk (even if he changes its name to “Leningrad”).

The Chinese Revolution proves the same pattern. All of Mao’s declarations to the contrary notwithstanding, the donkey never plowed the field “for the good of the People.” The donkey plowed the field under the weight of the yoke on its neck, under the threat of the lash on its back, and under the terror of starvation if it refused.

Before the revolution, the Chinese people had a small group of tyrants running their lives and doing it badly. After the revolution, the Chinese people had a small group of tyrants running their lives and doing it badly. That sounds like continuity, not disjuncture.

Still, there’s Cuba, right? Unlike Russia and China, Cuba did not abandon Socialism in favor of some free-market hybrid monstrosity that comes from breeding capitalism with Marxism. Does Cuba qualify as a “disjuncture?” Well, if old, privileged, male homophobes exercising despotic power and legislating against diversity qualifies as “revolutionary,” then the equivalent of the Cuban “revolution” can be watched right now on CSPAN.4

One could argue of course that the conditions of life for the average Cuban are much better under the Castro regime(s) than under Fulgencio Batista’s dictatorship–and this is certainly true: Cuba has the highest literarcy rate in the Western Hemisphere, more doctors per capital than any nation in the world, and a homelessness rate of virtually 0%. But, this is also irrelevant, as life for the average U.S. citizen was far more comfortable under Clinton-Gore than under Reagan-Bush, but this does not qualify Clinton’s reformist election as a revolutionary disjuncture. Also, such an argument opens the door for other comparisons: If the standard of living in capitalist Belgium is higher than in Socialist Cuba, does that make Belgium’s regime more “revolutionarily disjunctive” than Cuba’s? If so, then Silvio Berlusconi of Italy–a pseudo-fascist–was more “Socialist” than Hugo Chavez, by virtue of inheriting a decent economic situation.

Socialism as Reformism

In every example of Socialist “revolution,” the underlying continuity–the maintenance of a central State–far and away overshadows any minor and inconsequential “disjunctures” represented by any changes in the character of that State. From this view, Socialism–and any Statist effort, really–can be understood as revolution’s “underachiever,” aspiring to replace a meaner tyrant with a seemingly-nicer one, rather than abolishing tyranny completely.

As a consequence, history proves Socialism over the long haul gets stuck in the same rut as reformism–a cycle of so-called liberatory change that is later negated by counter-revolutionary shifts. The Socialist cycle of change and reversal is just longer and slower than the same cycle that is experienced by those consciously engaged in reform. The Who summed it up best: “Meet the new boss; same as the old boss…”

For a real revolution, a true disjuncture, it is not enough to replace the old boss with a new boss. Eliminating the position entirely is a revolutionary disjuncture. Anything less is reformist continuity with a reformist end result.

Socialism’s Principle Delusion

Socialism does not conceive of a state-less society, but sees the State as a permanent, necessary fixture that can neither be abandoned nor abolished. In this way, the State is a common denominator for Socialists and Fascists alike–while they occupy opposite ends of a political spectrum, they both advocate the continuity of the State and differ only in how they perceive that State should operate.

At root, Socialists believe the State can be seized and employed as a force for revolution, for liberating people from the oppression of external regulation. This false belief in the State as a possible force for liberation is provably delusional. This is demonstrable through a reasoned analysis of the State and its function as related to human freedom.


Before we can draw any conclusion about the character of the State, whether it can or cannot function as a mechanism to liberate (i.e., increase freedom) rather than oppress (i.e., increase non-freedom), we must again define our terms. “Freedom,” like “revolution,” can have too many meanings. I propose we use a definition put forward by Ward Churchill as an excellent working definition: “The absence of external regulation.” I like that. In the absence of external regulation, you are free. You have no external regulator, no boss, no sheriff, no ruler, nothing beyong you exercising power to govern you. You experience freedom–the absence of external regulation.

Also, conversely, in the presence of external regulation, you are un-free; that is, you are subject to some external regulator, and the more subject to external regulation that you are, the less free you are.

So, by this conception of things, we can imagine a kind of sliding scale represented by a horizontal line. At one end of the line we have a point we can label, “Absolute Freedom,” and at the other end, we have a point called, “Absolute External Regulation.”


Every position on the line between these two points then represents some interplay, some compromise between these two opposites.

This graph can be useful for us in considering ideas like “liberation” and “oppression.” Liberation, which is generally understood as the struggle to move the existing reality in the direction of freedom, on our graph would represent a shift leftward toward “Absolute Freedom.” It matters not where you are on the continuum, for our purposes, because if you struggle for liberation, for freedom, your destination is to the left. Conversely, if you want to oppress, to impose more external regulation, your destination is to the right of your current location. You want to move toward “Absolute External Regulation,” and away from “Absolute Freedom.”

ABSOLUTE FREEDOM •—————————————-|————————————-•   ABSOLUTE OPPRESSION



The State

Let’s remember, the question posed to us is whether the State can be an instrument for liberation–that is, whether the State can move us from absolute external regulation and to absolute freedom. And we now have this graph for purposes of our analysis.

So, what is “the State?” What is the State’s relationship to the individual, the subject who finds herself or himself at some position on this continuum between absolute freedom and absolute external regulation? The State is authority. It is the purpose of a “government” to “govern.” It’s what they do.

To “govern” is to “regulate.”

The State’s relationship to the individual is one of “external regulation.” Whatever kind of State confronts us, and whatever regulation it conducts, the State’s very reason to exist is to regulate.

So now, when we look back at our continuum, the question for us is whether the State, the “external regulator,” the source of external regulation, can be an instrument for somehow eliminating the “external regulation” that provides the State its reason to exist. Worded another way, is it feasible that the State can be an instrument for standing up to the State?

Quite a paradox, using the State to protect people from the State, to use an “external regulator” to disempower itself, to conceive of a government whose aim is to not govern. This is particularly true when you consider that the individual’s struggle for liberation, struggle to move toward absolute freedom and away from external regulation, is the struggle against the external regulator.

It is the individual’s Struggle against the State.

Reasonably then, the Socialist strategy of using the State as an instrument to liberate people (from the State and its external regulation) makes about as much sense as putting a fire out with a can of gasoline and books of matches.

Socialism as “Fascism-Lite”

If we consider our continuum again, considering that we see the State as “external regulator,” we can recognize what the two extreme absolutes represent. At the left end, “Absolute Freedom,” we have also the absolute absence of external regulation. As the State externally regulates, the absence of external regulation corresponds to the absence of an external regulator, and therefore the absence of the State. So “Absolute Freedom” is also, necessarily, the absence of external regulation, the absence of the State.

Statelessness, absolute freedom, is called “Anarchism.” People who advocate statelessness are called “Anarchists.”

At the opposite end, we have an absence of freedom, we have absolute external control. A system where freedom is eliminated, where the State is supreme and all-powerful, is the totalitarian Stte. Fascism.

Anarchism is the antithesis to Fascism, and vice-versa. They are opposites.

It’s important to emphasize, only Anarchists inhabit the absolute freedom extreme. Only Fascists advocate the opposite extreme, the absolute absence of freedom.

So now, if we begin at that Fascist extreme, absolute external control, we can move, point by point, along the continuum, one step removed from Fascism, and then two. Moving in degrees to the left, sooner or later, we land on Socialism. Socialism then, as all Statist positions are, is a fixed number of degrees removed from Fascism. Unlike Anarchism, which is the exact antithesis to Fascism, Socialism manifests all of the necessary components of Fascism, but manifests them only to a lesser degree.5 In this regard, Socialism is not anti-Fascist, but is, instead, “Fascist-Lite.”


The Fascist State is the absolute oppression. Every Statist position is some lesser degree of that absolute oppression, maintaining the external regulator with its external regulation and mitigating the absolute freedom represented by statelessness. In this way, all Statist positions, to include Socialism, are incapable of that necessary disjuncture of State abolition, and instead, by maintaining the State, maintain that dooming continuity, the State, that represents the revolutionary poverty of Statism.

Only Anarchism advocates the total disjuncture of State abolition. Only Anarchism represents the complete antithesis of Fascism and the external regulator which is the very source of oppression. This makes Anarchism, and Anarchism alone, the singular path for complete liberation.


1. By this view, the implication is that before colonizing a geographic territory, those who impose themselves first colonize our minds by colonizing our language. Those who define (and re-define) our language exercise the power to shape our experiences and perceptions of our lives. Thus, oppression always begins with a mind-fuck.

2. Reformism is provably ineffectual. To use a familiar example, consider: many U.S. prison reformists lobby for furloughs, conjugal visits, and humane conditions, but the reality is all of those “reforms” once existed and were subsequently eliminated. Thus, all reforms are transient and temporary and can be (will be) undone by counter-reforms. Thus, reformism is delusional in its belief it can offer any permanent solution. So, by this view, even when reformism succeeds, all successes are temporary, thus all successes are inevitably long-term failures.

3. Lenin…Bush…the flavor of burritos…

4. Castro…McCain…the flavor of burritos…

5. This analysis is informative for understanding those historical situations like the Spanish Civil War, where Socialists and Anarchists united to oppose the Fascists, but in crucial turning points, the Socialists made key decisions to undermine and obstruct Anarchist, even to the ultimate victory of the Fascists. This account is conformed even by Socialists who fought on the revolutionary side. For the Anarchist perspective, Durruti, by Abel Paz; for the Socialist perspective, Homage to Catalonia, by George Orwell. In the final analysis, it seems, Statists stick together. Their commonality is State-worship.


Sean Swain is held hostage by a lawless rogue state calling itself the State of Ohio. Without a legal sentence or conviction, he will be liberated when the illegitimate power of this terror-state is abolished once and for all. Sean’s writings include, “Last Act of the Circus Animals,” “Freedom,” and “Ohio,” available for free at seanswain.org because capitalism sucks and no one should get paid for telling the truth. Sean supports arming the homeless, burning down banks and courthourses, and dismantling swivelization to build something better.

The State started the war…Sean Swain intends to finish it.