Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Domination's Deadly Feedback Loops

Everyone who understands our global warming emergency knows about feedback loops—results of warming that further accelerate the warming, such as tundra and seabed methane outgassing. A similar feedback dynamic has caused the industrial processes behind the warming. As Domination was refined into its modern form of corporate capitalism, it developed institutions that make greater elite power depend on greater corporate profits, and make those profits depend on greater state power. This feedback loop necessarily causes accelerating destruction of the habitat. Greenhouse gas emissions are only one of the deadliest results.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Condemning Domination Versus Justifying Anarchism

My argument for anarchism differs fundamentally from many that are popular today. Rather than assuming some moral axiom—the "non-aggression principle" for instance—and deducing that anarchism is morally imperative, I analyze what institutions are required to domesticate communities and deduce that they inevitably cause mass human suffering and destruction of the habitat. No new moral idea is needed to conclude that such institutions are intolerable and must be abolished. Anarchism follows from this conclusion.

Further, I believe attempting to morally justify anarchism is a weak argumentative position compared with showing why Domination is intolerable. As the philosopher Karl Popper said in a different context, one doesn't have to define "good meat" to know "meat gone bad." Far better to say Domination should be abolished because it causes intolerable effects on us and our world than because an abstract moral argument condemns it. And far better to say domesticating communities is intolerable because it inevitably produces such disastrous effects than because the institutions of political power violate a moral principle. The moral arguments stand or fall on the validity of their premises. Mine rests on a more substantial basis of facts.

Finally, I believe attempts to morally justify anarchism embody the authoritarian thinking anarchism opposes. Communities don't need moral authorities to dictate how they should be organized, and anarchism needs no justification. If anarchism is truly the natural way communities lived for all but three percent of our human family history, then communities would naturally restore anarchism in the absence of Domination—and restore it by creating forms of community that serve human well-being better than anything anarchist theoreticians could imagine.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Engines of Domination 2018 Director's Cut Released

We're thrilled to announce releasing a major remake of Mark Corske's Engines of Domination. That film was awarded "Best activist film of 2014" by Films For Action, translated into six languages, and has had over 77,700 views counting all known uploads and translations. The new 2018 Director's Cut, produced by Reckless Aesthetics, features a more serious style, improved clips, professional actors performing the Socratic dialogue, and a script revised for clarity and some changes of emphasis recorded in a new narration. You can view the film at, and download the HD 2 GB master file at

After producing the original Engines, my collaborator Justin Jezewski and I began producing a documentary about the Dutch anarchist movement Provo, entitled Provo! The Great Anarchist Happening of Amsterdam. But by late 2016, we decided to put that project on hold to produce a new version of Engines. I felt that the fast-increasing authoritarianism worldwide and Trump's victory in the US elections warranted a more powerful and timely message than the original film could provide, and we'd long thought of ways to improve it. Now I believe we've created a vastly superior film that presents the essential ideas in my theory of political power far more clearly and memorably. I hope you agree!

Proud as I am of the film, however, I'm equally proud that it explicitly presents my ideas as a theory, not as some immortal truth discovered by a great philosopher. I've done nothing of the kind, and I'm nothing of the kind. I've merely found a novel and fruitful way of thinking about the most important problems confronting our world. Today, there are intense factional debates among anarchists who adhere to various ideologies, but I believe ideological thinking is a kind of internalized authoritarianism that betrays the spirit of anarchism and defeats its purpose. My foremost goal is to provoke thought, not to induce people to think as I do. Please think about my ideas, and proceed to think even better ideas of your own.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Paris, Beirut, Gaza, Hiroshima

Paris death tolls, claims of responsibility, false-flag theories, vows of merciless retaliation, military forces mobilized—the future of unlimited war our rulers promised after 9-11 continues to unfold before a world aghast at the atrocities. A ruthless logic underlies the apparently senseless violence. Unlimited war requires an unlimited supply of enemies, and an unlimited supply of enemies requires manufacturing an unlimited supply of hatred. That hatred now exists in overflowing abundance, not only hatred of the western corporate empire waging this war, but also hatred among the empire's unwitting subjects for the very people victimized in manufacturing the hatred. And, of course, unlimited war guarantees unlimited profits for the corporations that gain access to resources, markets, and cheap labor through its conquests.

Yet the day-by-day atrocities of this war mustn't make us lose sight of atrocity in a wider perspective. I don't mean the media bias that highlights 128 deaths in Paris while neglecting 40 deaths in Beirut. I mean the contrast between such attacks and overt state terrorism like Israel's assault on Gaza in 2014 that killed over 2200 Palestinians, 800 of them children and women. I mean the contrast between such isolated state terrorism and the US invasion of Iraq which has thus far killed at least half a million people. And I mean the even greater contrast between the atrocities of today's "war on terror" and those of the last world war, when the US killed 100,000 Japanese within minutes by nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Overall, World War II killed more than 60 million people, half again as many as lived under the Roman Empire at its largest. Nothing can surpass armed central authority in brutality and violence—violence committed not because of hatred, but for purposes of geopolitical dominance.

This doesn't make the Paris or Beirut death tolls less atrocious, it makes clear the cosmic atrocity of modern political power at work. Unlimited war turns restaurants, places of worship, and concert venues into battlefields, turns citizen against citizen in divisive hatred, casts a constant pall of terror over our daily lives. It tricks us into accepting fascism as a defense of "security" that only secures the advantage of our rulers, tricks us into funding, supporting, even dying in wars that only advance the frontlines of corporate conquest. Since Domination was invented 6000 years ago, the price of political power and privilege has always been paid in innocent human blood. Unless we condemn and challenge political power as such, rise up against it worldwide and dismantle its deadly institutions, the rivers of blood will continue to flow.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Engines in Arabic subtitles

I'm thrilled to announce that Engines of Domination is now available in Arabic subtitles. This is our sixth translation, including Polish, Greek, Romanian, Spanish, and Portuguese, all done by volunteers.

View the video on our YouTube channel here.

Or on the website

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Why Johnny Can't Learn Algebra, or Math "Education" as Thought-Control

So-called "education" is obviously a key component of modern thought-control, but my career teaching math showed me how something as innocent as algebra could inadvertently reinforce the system.

First, you should know that in middle school I was advanced from regular math courses into the celebrated "new math" curriculum. I'd been an outstanding math student previously, but suddenly I couldn't understand anything. I failed algebra for three semesters before the administration declared me "learning disabled" in mathematics. Never mind that there's no such thing as a mathematics learning disability, apart from the rare "discalcics" who can't understand numbers and arithmetic. It would make as much sense to say that a student who repeatedly fails history has a "history learning disability."

Yet the diagnosis seemed correct for many years. When I asked knowledgeable friends to show me how to solve simple equations, I always experienced the same, "What? I don't get it!" block as in middle school. I finally learned what was going on when I dared myself to take a beginning algebra course after returning to college in my mid-twenties.

The professor was no help, a Cuban with poor English and illegible handwriting. But the textbook was a miracle. One of an innovative series of self-instructing books by Keedy and Bittinger, it broke algebra down into small perfectly logical steps, explaining the mathematical principles behind every technique and operation. A revelation! I had never been told WHY to do what the teachers said to do, AND THEY DIDN'T KNOW EITHER, or at least how to explain it clearly. The more intelligent my questions, the more the teacher was intimidated—and the more the teacher responded by ridiculing me for not understanding.

I proceeded to be become an award-winning math and physics student, and to successfully teach those subjects for 35 years. My teaching experience strongly reinforced my conclusions. Whenever I'd get a student who said, "I just can't do math," I'd ask, "When did you have your bad teacher?" And there was always one teacher who'd been intimidated and made my student feel stupid for asking important questions. I designed my own two-year high school algebra course for arts-emphasis students notoriously uninterested in math, basing every step on a clear understanding of principles, and dozens of previously "math disabled dummies" excelled in math and came to love it.

When "taught" by teachers who don't understand the principles of algebra, algebra becomes pure obedience-training at its worst, monkey-see-monkey-do, or else. Of course, the entire authoritarian structure of modern education primarily functions as obedience training: submit to the authorities and excel at obeying their orders under high stress, or else. But in the case of algebra, the humiliation is even greater than other subjects. Lacking the mathematical principles that underlie algebra, the subject has NO CONTENT, so the required obedience there is meaningless, obedience for the sake of obedience. Either you "get it" and replicate the demanded actions, or you're "dumb." Naturally this leaves tens or hundreds of millions of students totally incompetent in mathematics, and with a lifelong abhorrence of it. Thought-control, tragically, is the winner: the more citizens feel unable to understand things, the better.