-- The Politician-Free Zone
The Politician-Free Zone is the place to start if you're interested in reading about anarchist ideas. It has articles which between them answer most of the questions that people have, as well as a lot of cartoons and graphics.
How long would it take the head of a big company to earn your pay? Trick question - they don't earn their pay.
A small collection of fonts for Word and other programs, including take-offs of McDonalds and other corporate logos.
An introduction to the site and information on the latest things that've been added to it.
An anarchist tribute to Tintin.
A small collection of political tattoos.
Carlo Giuliani was a 23 year old anarchist, killed by Italian police at a protest in 2001.
As well as being politically spot on, this website also has awesome psychic powers.
Useful or fun stuff on other sites.
Free board game based on the 1999 anti-World Trade Organization demonstrations.
The latest Australian and international news, facts and quotes.
Information about Rachel Corrie, an American killed by the Israeli army in 2003.
PLEASE NOTE: As of November 2014, this site is no longer updated. However it will be left up indefinitely as an archive.
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Do You Hate Politicians?
These are tough times.
Every day we can see rising prices, unemployment, racism, environmental destruction and poverty. Many people are afraid that their kids will never be able to find jobs. Many of the jobs there are, are underpaid, frustrating and pointless. Someone once said that no one ever dies wishing they'd spent more time at work, yet people are encouraged to think about nothing but making money.
No one seems to know what to do. Politicians contradict themselves. On the one hand they say that the world economy has changed so that full employment isn't possible any more, on the other they say that it's the fault of unemployed people. In other words, they blame everyone but themselves when things go wrong, and take credit every time they don't. The 'two party system' has turned into a one party system. In America you have Democrats that are almost the same as Republicans, in Australia you have a Labor Party that's almost the same as the Liberals, in Britain you have Conservatives who are almost the same as Labor, and so on. In Europe things are much more advanced - you also have the Greens, who are almost the same as the other major parties.
As for the various Communist groups, the less said about them the better.
Most people don't think much of politicians. And with good reason: politicians don't seem to have any answers to unemployment, rising prices, child abuse, the environment or anything else. They can't create a proper public transport system let alone solve the big problems. Most people also see them as arrogant and out of touch. Even councils, which are supposed to help local communities, can be like this, as you'll know if you've ever tried to get them to do anything (though it's important to remember that ordinary council workers aren't responsible for this, any more than factory workers are responsible for the actions of factory owners). The one thing politicians are good at seems to be making excuses.
Governments are supposed to allow the best people to make decisions: the experts in other words. But if the government is out of touch with everyday life, how can they be experts on it? How can a community know less about itself than a collection of people who've probably never even been there? The experts are not the political hacks and their hangers on. When it comes to your own life and your own community, you are the expert.
Then there's the argument that we get to choose our government. But we don't choose the judges, the police or the political advisors. We don't choose the ministry or the party leaders - that's done behind closed doors by political factions. And we don't, most importantly, choose the people who have the real power in our society - the upper class.
In theory, everyone has the same right to free speech as billionaires like Bill Gates. If you want to sink millions of dollars into a major media network to get your ideas across, then you have the right to. However, this doesn't mean much. It's obvious that society is divided into people who have wealth and power and people who don't. It's also obvious that most people don't. Most of us are pretty much in the same boat. We either work to make someone else rich (or, if we work for the government, to make some politician look good), or we try and get by on the dole. Either way, we aren't our own boss: we have to take shit from bosses, case managers, supervisors etc. This is the situation most people are in, whether you're a blue collar worker, office worker, shop assistant, unemployed, housewife or whatever. Your basic position in society is also called your social class. The people who are rich or have power, the Tony Blairs and Bill Gates' of the world are obviously the upper class. Then you have people who don't run society themselves, but still have power over other people - people like managers. Then you have people with no power - people who are told what to do by mangers and bosses - most people.
A lot of people are surprised to hear themselves described as being on the wrong side of the class divide. A lot of people think of themselves as 'upper middle class', because they've got a decent house or a slightly better job. People who work in offices often think of themselves as 'better' than people who work with their hands. People who have jobs often look down on the unemployed. Male workers often resent women workers. But all this is absolute rubbish. The differences between us aren't nearly as important as the similarities. We all have the same basic position in society, we all have the same basic problems, and we all have the same enemies.
We're supposed to live in a democracy, where we have the same rights and the same say as the rich and powerful. But it doesn't work that way. Politicians ignore the wishes of ordinary people in favour of the wishes of the rich and powerful upper class. There's one law for the rich and another for the poor: if you want justice you have to pay for it. Ordinary people don't get a say, because members of the upper class own all the TV and radio stations. When money talks freedom is silent.
People and communities won't be able to control their own lives and solve their own problems as long as the rich and powerful can lord it over the rest of us. We think that the only way to solve our society's problems is to stop having politicians and an upper class altogether. We want to replace rule by politicians with direct democracy - everyone having an equal say in things that affect them. In fact this is the real meaning of democracy: 'rule by the people'. We also want an end to inequality of wealth. Instead of some people having everything and the rest of us having to struggle just to get by, we want everyone to be able to do an equal amount of work and get an equal reward.
A lot of people would say that this is a nice idea but it could never happen. In other words, they say we're idealists or dreamers. But really, the dreamers are the people who think that the current system can be made to work for the people. Do you think that the rich are going to give away their money? Do you think that politicians can run your life better than you can? Communities based on equality and freedom have been set up and run before, for example in Paris and parts of Spain. It's always taken the guns of the wealthy to tear them down. And it isn't a thing of the past either. In Argentina people have taken over many of their workplaces and are running them themselves, after their 'free market' economy collapsed. Of course, since the rich own the TV stations etc, they don't tell anyone about any of this, so most people don't know about it.
Ordinary people might not realise they can win, but the upper class certainly does. They spend a lot of time and money trying to stop this happening. They mostly try to 'divide and rule'. They'll encourage snobbery, especially against the unemployed. They also try and use patriotism. Standing up for yourself is supposed to be 'un-American' in America, but 'un-Australian' in Australia, and so on. They'll encourage white people to blame other races. But really, how can you say that black people or Asians are behind the things the government does? What colour is Bill Gates? What colour is George Bush? There are bosses of all races and workers of all races. The important thing isn't what ethnic background you come from: it's whether you're one of the powerful few or one of the rest of us.
The upper class has a lot of money, and they won't give up without a fight. But we think that the things we're fighting for are right, and are in the interests of most people. We also think we can win. If the other team's a lot bigger, we'll just have to play better. Will you help us?
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