An Anarchist View on Public Health

February 16, 2019

Vancouver is in the early throes of a measles outbreak — which is just dumb because a highly effective measles vaccine has been widely available for decades.

As an anarchist I do not accept that the State (at any level) has the right to oblige parents to vaccinate their children.  However, my kind of mutual aid anarchism does not mean a complete lack of rules.

The sharing of scarce resources often requires some form of agreed reciprocity from all who gain from the sharing — an agreement to follow the rules of the club, if you like, as the cost of membership in the club. It follows from that that school boards, managing the distribution of education by school-board paid teachers and facilities, a scare resource, as delegates from the parents and children assembling, can set a rule insisting that children be vaccinated as a prerequisite to delivery of the resource.

They can set such a rule and they should do so for the protection of the community as a whole.

Parents who choose not to follow the rule should be left to make their own arrangements for the education of their children.

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Thought For The Year

December 9, 2018


Remembering Joe Hill

November 19, 2018

Today is the 103rd anniversary of the murder by the state of the great Wobbly songwriter and martyr Joe Hill.

A minute’s silence, and then back to the important work that still remains unfinished.


Anarcho-Syndicalist Birthdays!

June 27, 2018

Today is the anniversary of the births of two of my primary political influences and allegiances.

 

 

On this day in 1869, Emma Goldman was born in Lithuania. She lived an ardently revolutionary life until her death in Toronto in 1940.  Her autobiography Living My Life (1931) is a constant inspiration, as was so much of her extraordinary output.

On Goldman’s 36th birthday in 1905, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) was formed in Chicago. They engaged in revolutionary industrial unionism, promoting worker solidarity in the struggle to overthrow the employing class.  They believed in workshop democracy and full worker control.


Joe Hill

November 19, 2017

Today is the 102nd anniversary of the murder by execution of the great Wobbly songwriter and martyr Joe Hill.

A minute’s silence, and then back to the work that still remains unfinished.


Whither Democracy?

November 8, 2016

Now, when people choose to chuckle about my anarchism, I just have to point out that their precious multi-billion dollar democracy has just raised a fascistic, female-abusing, racist con artist to the position of emperor of the world AND allowed his buddies to continue running both the House and the Senate.

Now that’s some bizarre politics!


The Murder of Sacco & Vanzetti Remembered

August 23, 2015

This is the 88th anniversary of the murder by the State of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti.

Sacco_and_vanzetti_protest

What from the splendid dead
We have inherited –
Furrows sweet to the grain, and the weed subdued –
See now the slug and the mildew plunder.
Evil does not overwhelm
The larkspur and the corn;
We have seen them go under.

Let us sit here, sit still,
Here in the sitting-room until we die;
At the step of Death on the walk, rise and go;
Leaving to our children’s children this beautiful doorway,
And this elm,
And a blighted earth to till
With a broken hoe.

— Edna St Vincent Millay “Justice Denied in Massachusetts”

Lest we forget.