What Denisovans looked like

Scientists recently utilized genetic evidence to reconstruct what Denisovans looked like, and the results are astonishing. For one they would’ve had wider skulls than both neanderthals and modern humans, as well as having a longer dental arch. It brings these ancient humans to life in a way that mere bones never could, and it’s humbling to think that these people were among our ancestors, because they were.

Reconstruction available here

On Civility and Change

Civility is a buzzword often thrown around a lot to dissuade people from trying to achieve meaningful change; in order to exact such change one must be confrontational. Nonviolent protesting does NOT mean nonconfrontational protesting. Calls for “civility” are thrown around to imply “both sides” are equally at fault for the unequal power disparity between the two groups, it’s a bullshit argument, nothing more than a smokescreen designed to allow the people benefiting from the status quo to continue reaping the fruits of their ill-gotten gains.

They know that “civility” does not enact meaningful change, that’s why they call for people to be “civil,” because nothing will be done about the oppressed group’s grievances without confrontation. So-called “moderates” are really anything but, the moderate position would be to call for the wrongdoers to be brought to justice and for the victims to receive justice. Therefore so-called “moderates” are actually people who stand to benefit from the system as it is, rather than the people actually suffering at the bottom.

One of the moderate’s favorite pets is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, note how during the riots of the Black Lives Matter movement you had pundits saying “what would Dr King think of this?” Dr King would join them, he was no moderate, he was nonviolent yes, but he wasn’t nonconfrontational. King himself went to jail dozens of times for nonviolently, but confrontationally, protesting the injustices of Jim Crow. Furthermore, King was a socialist, but don’t expect these clowns to tell you that. By the end of King’s life he was becoming even more radical, as he saw that no meaningful change was being enacted, and the gains the Civil Rights Movement have made have been rolled back over the following half-century since the heyday of the Civil Rights Movement.

 

My problems with ancoms and tankies

While I find myself agreeing with many tenets of anarcho-communist philosophy, such as the abolition of unjust hierarchies and the like, from my experience ancoms ignore the fact that there needs to be a certain set of material conditions in order for true communism to develop, at best you’d get socialism wherein the workers control the means of production. Take this passage from Kropotkin’s The Conquest of Bread (1891) for instance:

The quantity of imported provisions having decreased, consumption having increased, one million Parisians working for exportation purposes having been thrown out of work, a great number of things imported to-day from distant or neighbouring countries not reaching their destination, fancy-trade being temporarily at a standstill,—What will the inhabitants have to eat six months after the Revolution?

We think that when the stores containing food-stuffs are empty, the masses will seek to obtain their food from the land. They will see the necessity of cultivating the soil, of combining agricultural production with industrial production in the suburbs of Paris itself and its environs. They will have to abandon the merely ornamental trades and consider their most urgent need—bread.

Chapter 16 “Decentralization of Industry”

Kropotkin here assumes that the people of Paris, after the revolution, will be able to secure food production by themselves, the population of Paris even at the time was several hundred thousand, and a single city wouldn’t be able to secure that foodstuff without land and technology, which at that time neither of which would have been sufficient for Paris to become a self-sufficient city or “commune.”

Today we have the means to create a genuinely communist society, all the workers have to do is overthrow the bourgeois state and seize back the means of production. However, a dictatorship of the proletariat would be necessary in order to ensure that counterrevolutionaries and reactionaries don’t reverse the course of history back to barbarism, as well as to ensure that opportunists don’t come in and fuck things up as they did during the Russian Revolution, Stalin initiated a thermidor, a reaction, to the revolution and only paid lip service to Marxism and even basic Leninism.

I also disagree with the idea of a party being the vanguard and leading the revolution, namely because it merely changes hands of the control of the means of production from the capitalists to the party bureaucracy while still subjecting the proletariat to their every whim, see how, for example, the Red Army crushed the Kronstadt rebellion or how Mao crushed the Shanghai Commune of 1925-1927, while still proclaiming themselves to be of the “people.”

A true revolution can only occur when the working class itself becomes politically conscious of its situation and rises up as a result, this can be done by means such as mass strikes as advocated by Luxemburg, or by the usage of syndicalist unions as advocated by De Leon, or by other means, but the so-called “communist revolutions” of the 20th century weren’t genuine communist revolutions, nor were they socialist since barring a few cases, like Catalonia during the Spanish Revolution, did the workers genuinely control the means of production.

Some more thoughts on antinatalism

After reading over my original entry on the subject, I decided it best to give it another go and cite some particular antinatalist theorists to try to give a fairer representation of their views.

David Benatar, for example, states that people had no choice in whether or not they are born, and that life is nothing but suffering filled with “occasional moments of fleeting pleasure.” That’s a valid opinion, yes, but I think it’s too pessimistic and ultimately misanthropic, and again my main problem with antinatalism is the movement’s practicality, but now that I think of it antinatalism’s inherent misanthropy is off-putting as well.

I don’t have any specific critique beyond that since it is, after all, a valid and sound conclusion, but I believe there is much more to life than suffering, you do not have a choice in being born, but you do have a choice in how the world is shaped, and if life is inherently cruel and meaningless, you should try to give it meaning, make it less cruel.

How you go about that is up to you, I am not you, dear reader, but you are not powerless, remember that. Nihilism and misanthropy seems to me to be inherently defeatist, ie it’s giving up, and I don’t think that is a positive outlook on life that produces positive results, giving up the fight when there is so much good that can be done in this world is unthinkable to me, but I can see why other people do so and fall into such a view.

There was one particular criticism from someone worth their salt that even though breeding is the “biological imperative” it can be easily overcome, and that antinatalists will accept lower birth rates as a “temporary compromise,” which is true, but it still doesn’t meet the ultimate end goal of antinatalism, voluntary human extinction.

These are just my thoughts on antinatalism, and do feel free to criticize what I have written if you feel something needs to be addressed that I left out or am wrong about. Respectfully, Oxyaena.

Some thoughts concerning psych wards

I was at the mental hospital recently and I have a few thoughts concerning my experience there, as well as the experiences of those people around me. First let me get some of the common misconceptions out of the way, the people in mental hospitals aren’t entirely homicidal psychopaths, hardly so, in fact they’re people like you and me. There are many myths surrounding mental illness that give it an undue stigma and which help to ward people away from treatment.

Secondly psych wards aren’t like what they’re portrayed as in the media, hellish places from which there is no escape, the average stay at the one I went to was about 3-7 days on average, I stayed there for about four days, give or take a few hours. They’re actually rather boring places to be frank. The most popular form of entertainment was watching fucking Impractical Jokers on the TV there, cards was also pretty popular.

Now that’s out of the way let’s get down to the nitty gritty stuff, what determines whether or not you leave the hospital is down to compliance more than anything else, the patients have little say over whether or not they get to leave, and that presents a problem, since it is an infringement on personal autonomy. Hospitals will also boot you out the door as soon as your insurance stops paying, which says something.

I resorted to a lot of sleeping and pacing to pass the time, it was more of a wait to get out than anything else. So-called “pink slips” are also a bastard thing, in which you are legally mandated to be held under psychiatric supervision for 72 hours without regard to autonomy or individual context. I think the process should be a lot more democratic, that way less abuses can occur. There was also very little privacy there, even when showering you had little to no privacy, with the door cracked open and someone just outside it. That too should be changed.

In general I think the entire system should be reformed, or better yet, replaced, preferably with community involvement in treatment and giving patients more of a say over their own treatment, there should also be more respect for personal autonomy and privacy, but I don’t expect any meaningful change to occur anytime soon, but that’s just me.

A Critique of Antinatalism

Antinatalism is, at its simplest, an opposition to having more babies, or, well, “natalism.” Herein I first address several key concepts of the antinatalist movement and then move on to a short analysis of antinatalism itself. Let’s begin.

The first thing we are going to be addressing is the concept of existence and suffering, antinatalists claim that life is nothing but suffering, and nonexistence precludes suffering. That is, on its surface anyway, true, but the argument implies a subjective you to experience not experiencing suffering, while nonexistence means, well, nonexistence, “you” don’t exist, there is no “you,” not even proverbially. What this means is that nonexistence precludes suffering is irrelevant at best.

Also life is not all suffering, not existing also precludes experiencing things such as awe, joy, and wonder. Some antinatalists I have conversed with have viewed this state of nonexistence as akin to the Nirvana concept in Buddhism, but the concept of Nirvana implies that there is still a subjective you existing, so this is a false equivocation.

One other thing antinatalists like to claim is that antinatalism prevents overpopulation when in fact overpopulation is not a problem unlike what the pundits would have you believe. We have more food than people, and our rate of food production is more than enough to feed the entire population of earth many times over, it is increasing rather than decreasing, Malthus couldn’t foresee the Green Revolution and the British Agricultural Revolution, so overpopulation is a nonissue as well.

One thing I’ll give antinatalists is that antinatalism may be beneficial for the environment, but I doubt that means anything in practice, since people are still gonna have children irregardless of what other people say, it is the biological imperative of the species to do so, so other forms of environmental protections are more practical than simple antinatalism.

Introducing incentives to have fewer babies will lessen the rate of new births, but people are still gonna have children, it won’t reach zero, since people are still gonna have babies, just not as many, the species won’t die out.

First they came…..

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak for I was not a socialist. Then they came for the unions, and I did not speak for I was not a unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak for I was not a Jew. Then they came for me, and I had no one left to speak for me. – Martin Niemöller

Centrists, unbeknownst to themselves, occupy a dangerous place in the political spectrum today. They do not realize that there is no longer room to be “neutral” in the current societal upheavals, and sooner or later they will have to bend tow to the rising tides of revolution and reaction.

Fascism is on the rise, and since fascism continually requires an “other” to denigrate and oppress in order to justify its existence, sooner or later the usefulness of the centrists and so-called “moderates” will have run out, and they too will be turned on as the Nazis run out of “others” in their place.

Let this be seen as a warning to the likes of Andy Ngo and Ben Shapiro, the Nazis don’t care about you, you’re only a useful idiot for them, as soon as your usefulness has run out, well, just look at history for an example of what happens to people no longer useful to the fascist regime.