Genocide, Authority, and Agency: Abolishing Human Nature

 

“Nobody knows themselves. Sometimes when somebody is really nice to me
I find myself thinking, ‘How will he be in Sobibór?’”
– Toivi Blatt

From 1941-1942, the Reserve Police Battalion 101, made up of “ordinary men,” set out to kill Jews on the eastern front. These ordinary men often took considerable pleasure from killing in horrific ways, such as lining men, women, and children up and executing them with gunshots to the back of the head.[1] Anti-Semitism alone cannot fully explain why men would take part in such atrocity. Regularly, when such dumbfounding acts take place, there is talk of it being simply a part of “human nature.” But what is human nature? Human nature is often treated as static, fixed and set into the human condition – it “implies that our species is characterized by a common core of features that define us.”[2] If human nature were concrete, there would be no exceptions to the rule. Yet, repeatedly humans have defied what is conventionally, or contemporarily, recognized as human nature. Clearly, an essentialist concept of human nature is inadequate in explaining the motivations of ordinary men who make up such death squads as the Reserve Police Battalion 101.

Breakthroughs in understanding the psychology of such aforementioned ordinary men, who submit to authority and do its bidding, came in the 1960’s and 70’s in the form of experiments lead by Stanley Milgram and Philip Zimbardo, respectively. These experiments showed that human behaviour is not merely ingrained, but moulded and shaped by physical environment, a person’s upbringing, and social pressure.

The Milgram experiments, in which a subject was put in a room with a perceived authority figure and ordered to give electric “shocks” to a non-visible confederate, showed that over half of the subjects would obey authority to the point of “killing” the confederate – albeit with some instances of extreme trepidation.[3] The implication here being that when put in a position of subordination, over half the population is fully capable of murdering a complete stranger at the behest of an authority figure, as long as the culpability lay on authority and not on the person following orders. This is unnerving, however it does not say much about so-called human nature, seeing as about 40% of individuals refused to administer fatal “shocks,” with some refusing to give any shocks at all.[4] This experiment, however it may make for good television and scary stories, elucidates Zygmunt Bauman’s contention that “the process of rationalization facilitates behaviour that is inhuman and cruel.”[5] Rather than showing that there is an essentialist human nature bent on killing, the Milgram experiments show the effects of environment and social conditioning. So ingrained in our culture is the value of obedience to authority, that it is shown to override our personal moral sensibilities.

The Stanford prison experiments, facilitated by social psychologist Philip Zimbardo in 1971, further attest to the role of environment and social pressure on human behaviour. Without delving into too much detail regarding the experiment,[6] it must be noted that the experiment was shut down after one week due to the cruelness and hostility of the “guards” and the physical and mental harms done to the “prisoners.” These were ordinary men put in extraordinary conditions and their behaviour reflected this:

The construed superiority of the guards rebounded in the submissiveness of the prisoners… The guards forced the prisoners to chant filthy songs, to defecate in buckets which they did not allow them to empty, to clean toilets with bare hands; the more they did it the more they were convinced of the non-human nature of the prisoners, and the less they felt constrained in inventing and administering measures of an ever-more appalling degree of inhumanity.[7]

 

The social roles people fulfill create self-reinforcing behaviours, in both positions of dominance and submissiveness. As Zimbardo himself would articulate, “within certain powerful social settings, human nature can be transformed… good people can be induced, seduced, and initiated into behaving in evil ways.”[8] Yet, even in Zimbardo’s prison experiment there were guards who “resisted” and did their best to “help the prisoners when they could.”[9] If Zimbardo can speak of a “transformed” human nature, then, again, clearly an essentialist view of human nature is inadequate to describe human behaviour, and must be considered flexible or fluid in response to social context and environment.

Or perhaps, the concept of human nature itself is not very useful. Many authors have recently taken opposition to human nature. As Peter Richerson states, “Useful concepts are those that cut nature at the joints. Human nature smashes bones.”[10] Tim Ingold, in “Against Human Nature,” writes, “… human capacities are not genetically specified but emerge within processes of ontogenetic development. Moreover the circumstances of development are continually shaped through human activity. There is consequently no human nature that has escaped the current of history.”[11] Or, as Wolfram Hinzen argues, “… human nature is obsolete because, if it exists, it must be grounded in biology, and biology does not vindicate any such thing. Hence a human nature does not exist.”[12] In my view, what ties these eclectic authors’ views together is an uneasiness to approach human predicaments with an absolutist or essentialist understanding of humans. The Milgram and Zimbardo experiments lend credence to this unwillingness to ascribe “core features” to humanity.

In the context of genocide and its history, eschewing an essentialist human nature has at least two positive effects: 1) genocide is not seen as an outcome of inevitable forces that arise deep from the human condition, but as a complex interaction between a species and its environment, and 2) moving away from a kind of soft determinism leaves humans able to create and build societies – environments – that do not lend themselves to inhuman cruelty through “cold rationality” and strict hierarchies of power. Gillian Barker, in Beyond Biofatalism, grapples with modern limiting essentialist human natures evoked by evolutionary psychologists, and responds to “pessimism about social change that, while not involving a commitment to genetic determinism, is nonetheless based on a particular set of presumptions about the biological underpinnings of human behaviour.”[13] Baker calls the above “biofatalism” and is convincingly insistent that such pessimism is unwarranted and unsubstantiated. Beyond Biofatalism shows a “different picture of human nature, one that shows us to be more open to some important varieties of social change”[14] than most leading thinkers purport. Echoing Zimbardo, Barker speaks of a “feedback loop,” wherein “[o]rganisms respond to their environment, but they also change them… organisms respond to the environments they themselves have changed, and their responses then affect how they go on to change those environments.”[15] This grants agency to human beings, rather than stripping it away under the cloak of human nature.

The role of the immediate environment was central to Milgram and Zimbardo’s findings, yet social development was also central to Adam Jones’ understanding of rescuers: “Rescuers were significantly more likely than non-rescuers to describe their parents as benevolent, loving, kind, tolerant, compassionate, non-abusive, prone to explain rather than punish, extensive rather than restrictive in their orientation towards others.”[16] These values instilled a sense of conviction and autonomy in rescuers, which in turn lead rescuers to disobey illegitimate authority and help when and where they could. It is not unreasonable to assume that fostering the above values on a societal scale would create such a “feedback loop” between our species and our environment that would “accomplish major reductions in inequality, intergroup conflict, [and] gender role differences”[17] and therefore eradicating much of the pretext for genocide. If we want to do more than simply understand authority, obedience, and genocide, it would behoove us, as human beings, to abolish from our lexicon any notion of a fixed human nature, and see ourselves as reactive and active within the environments we create.

[1] Adam Jones, Genocide: a comprehensive introduction. London ; New York: Routledge, 2017. 542

[2] Peter Richerson, “Human Nature,” This Idea Must Die: scientific theories that are blocking progress. edited by John Brockman. New York: Harper Perennial, 2015. 88

[3] Jones 543

[4] There were many variations on this experiment. For instance, when the confederate could be seen, only 2.5% of people administered the full “450 volts.”
Milgram’s Experiment on Obedience to Authority. Accessed November 23, 2017.
<https://nature.berkeley.edu/ucce50/ag-labor/7article/article35.htm&gt;

[5] Zygmunt Bauman, Modernity and the Holocaust. New York: Cornell University Press. 2000. 155

[6] The format of the experiment can be found here:
Saul, McLeod, “Stanford Prison Experiment.” Simply Psychology. January 01, 2017. Accessed November 23, 2017. https://www.simplypsychology.org/zimbardo.html.

[7] Bauman, Modernity and the Holocaust 166-7 as quoted in Jones 547

[8] Philip Zimbardo, Lucifer Effect 210-11 as quoted in Jones 548

[9] James Waller, Becoming Evil 238 as quoted in Jones 547

[10] Richerson 88

[11] Tim Ingold, “Against Human Nature,” Evolutionary Epistemology, Language and Culture: a non-adaptationist, systems theoretical approach, edited by Nathalie Gontier, Jean-Paul van Bendegem and Diederick Aerts. Dordrecht: Springer, 2006. 259-281

[12] Wolfram Hinzen, “Human Nature and Grammar,” Human Nature: Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement: 70, edited by Constantine Sandis and M.J. Cain. UK: Cambridge University Press, 2012. 56

[13] Gillian Barker, Beyond Biofatalism: human nature for an evolving world. New York: Columbia University Press, 2015. 3

[14] Ibid. 5

[15] Ibid. 53

[16] Jones 558 (emphasis in original)

[17] Barker 3

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Modernity and Democide

Here, in the affluence of what some may claim is the most advanced civilization, on the highest rung of the ladder of human progress, we live with some pernicious, self-indulgent and congratulatory myths. First among these myths: the myth of human progress and a baseless view of modernity as positive, inevitable and absolute. Second is the myth of democratic nonviolence and noble cause. Third, a belief that together, human progress and supposedly peaceful democracy brings to light a modernity to be cherished and celebrated. However, lack of critical analysis and valuable self-doubt, critique, and awareness has led to a complacent populace and an even more acquiescent intellectual class. Here, in the land of “coke and honey,”[1] we’ve convinced ourselves of our achievements and put ourselves above the rest. There is a sinister arrogance and naïve optimism present that must be dispelled. We are not immune from regression. We are not immune from horrible acts of violence – from committing them or from suffering them. The sooner we understand our fragile and delicate position the sooner we can embolden ourselves and resist the ever-present “banality of evil”[2] we’ve duped ourselves into thinking we are above.

Growing up in a self-oblivious, wilfully ignorant country such as Canada, we are repeatedly told of our moral superiority. And our peaceful, liberal, heart-on-the-sleeve interventions are sold to us as ‘humanitarian’ as we ride the coattails of war against Nazism, on a moral magic carpet, dancing above the rest of the world. We are cocksure that, given our highly democratized state and multiculturalism, such egregious and heinous mechanized violence, such as the Holocaust, could never happen here. We conveniently forget Japanese internment camps or the treatment of the Doukhobours. We tell ourselves bedtime stories, so we sleep well and proud, rested for another day of wage-slavery and ignorance. Yet, if one was to dig deeper, one would find Canada’s own genocidal history as a stooge for British colonialism and, therefore, a purveyor and proponent of “progress” and “civilization” – a progress and civilization that could only have happened on the bones and blood of indigenous peoples.

See, democracy works ‘best’ in a homogenous society. Take, for example, modern day Myanmar. It is an infantile nation in the process of “democratizing” and, in this process of “democratization,” thousands of Rohingya Muslims have been killed by Buddhists who make up the majority of this burgeoning country. One of the main reasons for this is that Rohingya Muslims are a perceived threat to Myanmar Buddhists regarding elections and politics. They have mutually exclusive interests and pursuits. And while it is tempting to blame religion (always an easy scapegoat) the truth is that environment, culture and socio-political realities are also heavily at play. Here, the specific details are not pertinent, though they deserve to be understood and analyzed elsewhere. Here, the purpose of this example is to provide a contemporary situation to the reader of something that has happened time and again throughout history. Time and again, and not only in emergent or early democracies but also in established democratic states, an “other” has been targeted and deemed fit for removal – physically, socially, culturally, or any and all combinations thereof. Arguably, this is necessary for a functional democratic state.[3] Through public desire for homogenization and exclusion of the “other,” democracies, especially in their fetal stage, lend themselves to violent exclusion.

Louis-Ferdinand Céline once wrote, “I have never voted in my life. I have always known that the idiots are in a majority so it’s certain they will win.”[4] It is with this simple understanding one can perceive democracies – established democracies – contain the very mechanisms by which they destroy themselves. (In simple terms, people vote to demolish their democracy.) In the context of genocide, this happens through a process, which can be brought together under the rubric of Democide.

Here, we are concerned with bringing together two definitions of Democide. One, elucidated by R.J. Rummel, is the “intentional killing of people by government,“ as it extends to all manner of murder brought upon the individual by the state, from capital punishment to street executions.[5] Second, there is the definition of Democide put forth by Mark Chou, where Democide is not an outward killing but an act of suicide. For Chou, Democide is a process whereby democracies, due to their intrinsic contradictions and faults, have a tendency to self-destruct.[6] In this essay, Democide refers to the combination of both definitions, as through both mechanisms combined it becomes evidently possible for democracy to become a catalyst for atrocity.[7]

Moreover, along with a pattern of self-destruction, democracy brings with it an illusion of progress. It convinces its subjects they have reached pinnacle achievement, ‘modernity’:
… repeatedly reiterated in today’s democratic discourses is the belief that, once consolidated, democracy will naturally yield order, peace, liberty, reason, and deliberative practices. Being entwined with the project of modernity, it is hard to view democracy as anything other than a vehicle that ferries human societies to the sandy shores of progress and rationality.[8]

So what? It sounds decent, right? Progress, democracy, rationality, order, reason. These all sound laudable, desirable, and worthy, right? However, one must pay attention to the words ‘entwined in the project of modernity.’ What is Modernity?

In his tome on the subject of genocide, Adam Jones quotes Alex Hinton,
“Modernity is notoriously difficult to define.”[9] We are presented with a definition of modernity from four perspectives: Political, Economic, Social, and Cultural. Hinton describes modernity as the emergence of a “set of interrelated processes” and dates the flickerings of its emergence to the 15th century, the early Renaissance. Modernity seems a conglomeration of views and values, by-products of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. Espousing a liberal humanism and secular faith in the state and science, Modernity is the existential answer to Nietzsche’s God problem. Rationality, bureaucracy, and science replace faith and submission, and the intelligentsia struggle to replace a void once filled by religion and simple, God-given morality. Kant, Hume, Schopenhauer, and an entire gaggle of privileged academics put forth mechanisms, suggestions, rejections, and questions for, of, and to morality. This is the birth of the modern age. Nietzsche’s concern regarding the death of God was not that God was dead but that humans could not replace Him.[10]

But we did. We replaced God with “progressive” causes and science and utopian schemes that claimed to mesh both. We killed each other en masse in the name of liberty, fraternity, and equality. We praised the virtues of objective rationality above all, in a blind empiricism that had utility. We reaped the benefits of the scientific method and a neutral, “valueless” science. We applied Bentham to our streets and Descartes to our minds. We multiplied. And we multiplied. And we multiplied. Yet, no one seemed to notice that amongst all the progress and pushes for positive programs, we never figured any of the ‘big questions’ out. Every moral theory presented was picked apart. Scientists who proclaimed objectivity held dearly to personal views, convictions, and biases. We found new reasons, rationalizations to kill each other. Humanity, this new invention of the Enlightenment, was lost astray. Confined and bound in political philosophy and newfound “sciences” like Sociology and Anthropology. We had killed God and we thought we could replace Him. Heroes and charlatans alike swept us asunder. Marx and Engels convinced thousands upon thousands that their dialectic was scientific. Some are still convinced. Adam Smith’s apostles misread him. So did Darwin’s. Many are still misreading both. We fought, killed, and died on a global scale unprecedented and unimaginable in World War I and all its surrounding skirmishes. In the grip of technological progress and scientific achievement we found Modernity.

“Mass murder is not a modern invention,” Zygmunt Bauman reminds us.[11] Yet, he insightfully articulates that “Our evolution has outpaced our understanding; we can no longer assume that we have a full grasp of the workings of our social institutions, bureaucratic structures, or technology.”[12] Bauman reminds us of Max Weber’s caveats regarding modern industrial democracies: “modern bureaucracy, rational spirit, principle of efficiency, scientific mentality, relegation of values to the realm of subjectivity etc. no mechanism [is] capable of excluding the possibility of Nazi excesses [genocide].”[13] There is nothing intrinsic to democracy to keep it from killing itself or killing others, in part or in whole. Furthermore, blind faith in progress and rationality – staples of modern societies – aid in delusional effects upon sycophants and commanders alike. Notions of, ‘it can’t happen here,’ or that democracy is a safeguard against oppression and terror, are mythological sentiments, provably false and dangerous.
[1] “Music is banned in Khomeini’s Iran/
On the grounds that it stimulates the brain/
We’ve done him one better in the land of coke & honey/
Using music to put people’s brains to sleep…”
Dead Kennedy’s “Triumph of the Swill” Bedtime for Democracy

[2] Cliché saying taken from Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil Hannah Arendt

 

 

[3] Democracies – new, old, or beginning – that have “othered” and exterminated people, could fill a soul with dread and fill these pages. There is nothing about our situation convincing enough to argue we are different. I challenge the reader to present me with a modern democratic state that does not have a history of genocide of some kind.

[4] Celine

[5] Rummel, R. J. “Democracy, Power, Genocide, and Mass Murder.” The Journal of Conflict Resolution 39, no. 1 (1995): 3-26. http://www.jstor.org.proxy.lib.sfu.ca/stable/174320. <Accessed Sept. 25, 2017>

[6] Chou, Mark. Theorising Democide : Why and How Democracies Fail / Mark Chou. Palgrave Pivot. 2013. 10

[7] This is the author’s own understanding and contention.

[8] Chou, Mark. Theorising Democide : Why and How Democracies Fail / Mark Chou. 22Palgrave Pivot. 2013.

[9] Adam Jones pg 596 n5

[10] Geneaology of Morals

[11] Bauman 88

[12] Ibid 82

[13] Ibid 10

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Against Solutions

I am against solutions to our current crises, however you may describe them (ecological disaster, kamikaze capitalism, white patriarchal oppression).
I am against providing solutions.
I am against accepting solutions. Not only do I have a nagging sense that there are no solutions, I am of the opinion that we have been provided solutions numerous times before by silver-tongued charlatans and sophists pushing an agenda. I am against accepting solutions provided for me without my consultation and commendation. I am against being answered for.
I am against providing solutions for precisely these reasons elucidated above. I am against being asked for solutions I can only respond to in a language that has trapped me. I am against providing solutions in an environment hostile to ‘otherness.’
I am against providing solutions because others, long dead, provided solutions for me.
We all collectively suffer under a ghostly yoke of laws and customs, provided by dead aristocrats as solutions.
I am against providing solutions.
I am against accepting them.

I am for absolute destruction.

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Socioeconomic Inequality and Crime: A Comparative Analysis of Iceland and the United States

I haven’t published anything on this page in a while and, since most of what I have been writing recently doesn’t quite fit the theme of this page, when I came across this article I wrote a while back for a sociology/criminology class, I figured I would share it. I had to incorporate Davis and Foucault and the word count is confining as usual. I also find it rugged and incoherent. C’est la vie. It’s also bit dry and boring for my taste, but I also have questionable taste. Enjoy?…

 

 

The vilest deeds, like poison weeds,
Bloom well in prison air;
It is only what is good in Man
That wastes and withers there.

– Oscar Wilde, “The Ballad of Reading Gaol”

 

 

A multitude of studies and literature show that higher levels of poverty significantly correlate with higher levels of crime. The connection between poverty and crime is well known. The connection between capitalism and poverty is also widely acknowledged. Michel Foucault and Angela Davis both connect the rise of capitalism with increased imprisonment. They articulate this well in their works Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, and Are Prison’s Obsolete?, respectively. Using these works as a foundation, this paper will provide a comparative analysis between the United States, with the world’s largest prison population per capita, and Iceland, the polar opposite, with the world’s smallest prison population per capita. Focusing on redistributive politics and social spending as well as on the conditions of the prisons themselves and their treatment of prisoners, it will be shown that without policies that ameliorate the excesses of capitalism, and higher regard for prisoners’ welfare, crime increases while “social wealth” decreases.

In comparing two countries as distinct and different as the United States and Iceland it is easy to discount any conclusions wrought through such a comparison on the basis that both countries are so characteristically different; that comparing them to each other does not yield convincing results. However, regardless of the two countries’ stark differences in socioeconomic and political structures, not to mention demographic and history, a look at some basic statistics is instructive and illuminating. The discrepancies in the numbers cannot, by their sheer scope, lead logically to any claims of false equivalency. In other words, it is impossible to argue that because one country has certain results, due, ostensibly, to policies or legislation, those results have no bearing on the conclusions to be drawn about the other country.

Of course, there is no singular cause for crime as it were and as such there is no simple panacea to reduce or eradicate it.[1] In an overview of the statistics from each country, however, overall trends can be discerned. Angela Davis focuses quite heavily on the racist overtones of the prison system of the United States, citing Jim Crow laws, convict leasing, the (failing) War on Drugs, and racial profiling.[2] All of which are pretty much absent in the history and contour of the Icelandic Republic[3]. So while race is an extremely important aspect of the analysis, it will not be expanded upon here but simply acknowledged. Here, the focus, as stated, is on property relations, class (in)equality, and social spending. And though, in reality, class and race (and gender) are inextricably linked, it is beyond the scope of this essay to address all issues with any semblance of adequacy. This all being said, let us take a quick look at some illustrative statistics.

The Republic of Iceland has a population of 329,100 residing within a 103,000 sq. km island[4] just southeast of Greenland. It has a national unemployment rate of 3.2% and an average wage of 511,000 ISK/mo. (currently the equivalent of $4,633.67 USD).[5] 6.8% of Icelanders are below the poverty line while 100% of Icelandic citizens have full medical coverage. Of the total population, 8.4% are held within the walls of the country’s 6 penal institutions.[6] For every 100 of Iceland’s citizens, there are approximately 30 firearms.[7] In its entire history of independence, since 1944, Iceland has witnessed 1 man shot and killed by police.[8]

The United States of America has a population of 324,859,095 in the third largest country in the world. The national unemployment rate is 4.9%[9] while the average wage is $3,769/mo. with 14.5% of the population assessed to be living beneath the poverty line.[10] 45% have health insurance. The prison population is 20.4% of the total population, contained within the country’s 4,575 penal institutions.[11] For every 100 US citizens there are approximately 102 firearms.[12] Civilians shot and killed by police in America per year are so numerous that finding reliable statistics is incredibly challenging. A rough estimate is 1000/yr.[13]

Just this brief overview of some basic statistics shows a stark contrast between the two countries. To give nuance and context to each of these statistics would exhaust the author and the reader. For example, the statistics concerning unemployment can be researched to garner finer details regarding underemployment in the US. The average wage can be explored to show that American CEOs make, on average, $13.8 billion per year – 204 times the median working wage,[14] while the average Icelandic CEO makes roughly 6 times the median wage.[15] The gun statistics can be researched in depth to obtain an analysis of gun regulations within each country. These statistics could be explained and pondered ad nauseum. The intention behind including these numbers is to give the reader the ability to glean, at a glance, the substantial differences between the two countries, especially in regards to poverty, social spending, and crime.

Michel Foucault is particularly acute when he notes the changing nature of crime itself around the end of the 18th century; not just the definition of crime, but in the ‘corrective’ nature of punishment developed in response to it. The increase in property related crime, the decrease in violent crime, the escalating illegalization of such things as vagrancy, and the rise of industrial capitalism in Europe, gave power (out of perceived necessity) to a centralized, institutionalized police apparatus:
“… in France, the legislation on vagabondage had been revised in the direction of greater severity on several occasions since the seventeenth century; a tighter, more meticulous implementation of the law tended to take account of a mass of minor offences that it once allowed to escape more easily: ‘in the eighteenth century, the law became slower, heavier, harder on theft, whose relative frequency had increased, and towards which it now assumed the bourgeois appearances of a class justice’; the growth in France above all, and especially in Paris, of a police apparatus… shifted [crime] towards more discreet forms…”[16]
Foucault goes on to state, this “shift from a criminality of blood to a criminality of fraud forms part of a whole complex mechanism, embracing the development of production… and moral value placed on property relations… the shift in illegal practices is correlative with an extension and refinement of punitive practices.”[17] This is a critical point to make, and a characteristically Foucaultean observation – prescient and controversial. Foucault, however, isn’t alone in his perception. Angela Davis argues likewise that, “’crime’ and … social and economic conditions [lead] so many children from poor communities… into the juvenile system and then on to prison.”[18]

Returning to our comparison, we have to wonder, Why the prison population is so high in the US? As stated, there is no simple explanation. Poverty is not solely responsible for the atrocious amount of human beings locked away in cages within the “land of the free.” But it is a critical factor. According to US law student Andrew Clark, “there is virtually no difference among upper, middle and lower classes in Iceland. And with that, tension between economic classes is non-existent.”[19] America, on the other hand, is a bastion of socioeconomic inequality and class conflict. The conclusion to be drawn here seems self-evident.

Emma Goldman, addressing her reluctant home, in her essay Prisons: A Social Crime and Failure, writes:

“With all our boasted reforms, our great social changes, and our far-reaching discoveries, human beings continue to be sent to the worst of hells, wherein they are outraged, degraded, and tortured, that society may be “protected” from the phantoms of its own making.
Prison, a social protection? What monstrous mind ever conceived such an idea? Just as well say that health can be promoted by a widespread contagion.”[20]

Foucault acknowledges this and modernizes it when he writes of residues “of ‘torture’ in the modern mechanisms of criminal justice… that [have] not been entirely overcome, but [are] enveloped, increasingly, by the non-corporal nature of the penal system.”[21]

The fundamental difference between incarceration in Iceland and incarceration in America, beyond the social and economic circumstances that land a human being behind bars, is the treatment of prisoners inside the prison, and upon their release.[22] Many American prisons are run for profit, so they are overcrowded, dilapidated, resource-scarce. Prisoners are used as “free labour” for corporations and the prisons themselves are incentivized to maximize occupancy.[23] Taking this into consideration it is no mystery why the US prison population is more than twice as large as Iceland’s.

When Proudhon exclaimed, “PROPERTY IS THEFT!”[24] he cogently captured the perverse nature of bourgeois perceptions of crime and criminality. Much of the ‘crime’ that exists in the United States is property related. Many people are destitute, poor, uneducated, and desperate. This is a constructed reality imposed by the state and capitalism. Massive inequality inevitably leads to mass incarceration. Iceland has taken steps to ameliorate these ailments by providing health care, living wages, and social support for prisoners, inside and outside the prison walls. Prison is a hellish place. Beyond the moral degradation suffered from a life in squalor and poverty, being thrown in a cage to whither away while corporations rake in profits, is horrendous. And while Iceland shows a way that is far more compassionate and intelligent than the US, the fact remains that people are still locked up. There is only one remaining sentiment: “Prisons are for Burning!”[25]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Anderson, Anna. “Doing Time In Iceland.” The Reykjavik Grapevine. September 27,

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Chamberlain, Andrew. “CEO to Worker Pay Ratios: Average CEO Earns 204 Times

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big-picture/quick-facts>
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Government. New York: H. Fertig, 1966.
Tong, Traci. “Iceland Grieves after Police Shoot and Kill a Man for the First Time in

Its History.” Public Radio International. December 03, 2013. Accessed November 06, 2016. <http://www.pri.org/stories/2013-12-03/iceland-grieves-after-police-kill-man-first-time-its-history&gt;
“US Police Shootings: How Many Die Each Year?” BBC News. July 18, 2016. Accessed

November 07, 2016. >http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-36826297&gt;

 

 

 

[1] Duguid, Stephen. Can Prisons Work?: The Prisoner as Object and Subject in Modern Corrections. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000. 10-11

[2] Davis, Angela Y. Are Prisons Obsolete? New York: Seven Stories Press, 2003. 22-59

[3] The War on Drugs in Iceland is an important piece of the puzzle, how they treat drug offences and how they curtail drug use, but this will not be discussed here.
Racism is also an issue in Iceland (where isn’t it?) however, it does not underscore the penal system as blatantly as it does in the US. <http://icelandreview.com/stuff/ask-ir/2012/11/26/how-rampant-racism-iceland&gt;

 

[4] “Iceland – Quick Facts” Accessed November 06, 2016 <http://www.iceland.is/the-big-picture/quick-facts&gt;

[5] “Iceland Average Monthly Wage | 2008-2016 | Data | Chart | Calendar.” Accessed November 06, 2016 <http://www.tradingeconomics.com/iceland/wages&gt;

[6] “Iceland.” World Prison Brief. Accessed November 06, 2016. <http://www.prisonstudies.org/country/Iceland&gt;

[7] Alpers, Philip. “Guns in Iceland – Firearms, Gun Law and Gun Control.” Accessed November 06, 2016. <http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/Iceland&gt;

[8] Tong, Traci. “Iceland Grieves after Police Shoot and Kill a Man for the First Time in Its History.” Public Radio International. December 03, 2013. Accessed November 06, 2016. <http://www.pri.org/stories/2013-12-03/iceland-grieves-after-police-kill-man-first-time-its-history&gt;

[9] “Employment Situation Summary.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Accessed November 06, 2016. <http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm.&gt;

[10] Gongloff, Mark. “45 Million Americans Still Stuck Below Poverty Line: Census.” The Huffington Post. September 26, 2014. Accessed November 06, 2016. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/16/poverty-household-income_n_5828974.html.&gt;

[11] “United States of America.” World Prison Brief. Accessed November 07, 2016. <http://www.prisonstudies.org/country/united-states-america.&gt;

[12] Alpers, Philip. “Guns in the United States – Firearms, Gun Law and Gun Control.” Accessed November 07, 2016. <http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/united-states&gt;

[13] “US Police Shootings: How Many Die Each Year?” BBC News. July 18, 2016. Accessed November 07, 2016. >http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-36826297&gt;

[14] Chamberlain, Andrew. “CEO to Worker Pay Ratios: Average CEO Earns 204 Times Median Worker Pay.” Glassdoor Economic Research. August 25, 2015. Accessed November 07, 2016. https://www.glassdoor.com/research/ceo-pay-ratio/.

[15] “Icelandic CEO Pay on Average Six times Higher than That of Their Employees.” Icelandmag. August 20, 2015. Accessed November 07, 2016. <http://icelandmag.visir.is/article/icelandic-ceo-pay-average-six-times-higher-their-employees&gt;

[16] Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. New York: Vintage Books, 1995. 76

[17] Ibid. 77

[18] Davis 21

[19] Clark, Andrew. “Why Is Violent Crime so Rare in Iceland?” BBC News. May 13, 2013. Accessed November 07, 2016. <http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-22288564&gt;

[20] Goldman, Emma. “Prisons: A Social Crime and Failure.” Anarchism and Other Essays. Accessed November 07, 2016. <http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/goldman/aando/prisons.html&gt;

[21] Foucault, 16

[22] see: Anderson, Anna. “Doing Time In Iceland.” The Reykjavik Grapevine. September 27, 2011. Accessed November 07, 2016. <http://grapevine.is/mag/articles/2011/09/27/doingtimeiniceland/&gt;

[23] Davis, 84-104

[24] Proudhon, P.-J. What Is Property? An Enquiry into the Principle of Right and of Government. New York: H. Fertig, 1966.

[25] LaborSolidarityCommittee. “Prisons Are For Burning – Support the Prisoners’ Strike (2016-09-09).” Occupy Oakland. Accessed November 07, 2016. <https://occupyoakland.org/event/prisons-burning-support-prisoners-strike/&gt;

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Cute Animals and a Disregard for the 2016 Election

Today, Nov. 8, 2016, was the Presidential election in the United States of America. I’ve been pretty vocal, much as everyone has, regarding my opinions on the candidates and government. As an anarchist my views are pretty typical in the milieu to which I (sometimes reluctantly) belong. One could pretty much sum up how I feel about Presidential elections in the old quip attributed to Emma Goldman that, “If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.”

I care not to expand on this argument, as it has been done ad nauseum elsewhere. Here, instead, I’d like to share a somewhat uplifting tale from today. Early this morning I wrote on my Facebook wall that instead of posting about the election I would post pictures of cute animals all day long. I did this for three reasons:

1) To combat the incessant fear-mongering and baseless paranoia of the media and its microphone – the majority of people on social media.
2) To protest the ugliness and cruelty of politics and life in general, and
3) to provide a reprieve for all my friends on Facebook who, no doubt, are being accosted by shitty opinions and sensationalist punditry.

I call this tale uplifting, not because it had any concrete impact on the political world, or made an inkling of difference in the long run, but because in a world overrun by fear, shame, paranoia, guilt, and apocalypticism, a few cute animals put some smiles on some faces. Not to mention, it also has kept ME from going bat shit crazy watching bootlickers praise their preferred masters. I said I would do nothing but post pictures of cute animals all day, and as hard as it was at times to not break my word, I, unlike any politician, did what I said I was going to. Tomorrow, however, is another day.

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Is Anarchism a Viable Ideology?

“It is still true that at first man serves unwillingly, constrained by a greater power; but those that come later, having never seen freedom, and not even knowing what it is, serve without any regrets and willingly do what their ancestors did under duress. And so people who are born with the yoke on their neck, nurtured and raised in servitude, without raising theirs eyes even a little before themselves, are satisfied to live as they were born, without managing to imagine good and right things different from those that are to be found in front of them, they take the conditions in which they are born as natural.”
– Éttiene de la Boétie, Discourse on Voluntary Servitude[1]

In attempting to answer such a leading question as “is Anarchism a viable ideology?” certain distinctions must be made, definitions explained, and contexts given. Still, the answer will be unsatisfactory. What does one mean when they ask such a question? Surely, even the utterance of the inquiry shows an ignorance and bias concerning the topic. Furthermore, it is a problematic question that inevitably necessitates more questions: Viable under which circumstances? What kind of Anarchism? Is Anarchism even an ideology? What is meant by “viable?” The question could be posed for any number of political ideologies and the answer could be a resounding “NO” regarding the ideology in toto. Therefore, as the question posed is shown to be faulty I will not answer it because, logically, any answer I give will be invariably incorrect. However, in the wake of this above assessment, I will explore the lack of due attention given to anarchism in academia and its subsequent misrepresentation, consider the reasons for such a general disregard of a rich, vast, and expansive ocean of thought, and contemplate the consequences thereof.

In the textbook Political Ideologies and the Democratic Ideal (Ball, Dagger, et al, 2016), a broad, simplified, and basic overview is presented of major political ideologies that are well known, such as liberalism, socialism, and conservatism. Other ideologies attended to include feminism and radical Islamism. Of these mentioned ideologies, roughly twenty or thirty pages are devoted to each. Anarchism, contained within the section on Socialism, is briefly mentioned and confined to within four pages. Beyond the lack of material provided concerning this broad and multitudinous philosophy (simply defining the various strands of which would exhaust my word count), there is an underlying (seemingly innocent) misrepresentation of Anarchist perspectives, movements, adherents, successes, failures, legacies, and futures. There is absolutely no mention whatsoever of anarchism’s transformative social power in the contemporary political climate. I speak here specifically of Anarchism’s role in the “Occupy” movement. Many authors, from David Graeber (2011) to Noam Chomsky (Flanders, 2012), have noted this. One could also speak of anarchism’s role in the recent anti-globalization movement just as easily, as indeed they are connected (Marshall, 2010, 697-8). Not only is the reader’s exposure limited in Political Ideologies, the content, perhaps due to the apparent disregard for Anarchism, or perhaps due to innocent ignorance, is erroneous. For instance, the textbook states that The Front de libération du Québec was an anarcho-syndicalist organization (Ball, et al, 143). This is absurd. It is a misrepresentation, in keeping with state propaganda, that deems anarchists as terrorists. Any person with a basic knowledge of Anarchism will know that an organization based on nationalism and inspired by the Marxist uprisings occurring in Asia, Africa, and Latin America at the time, is anything but Anarchist (Crimethinc, 2012).

Another example of – and there can be no other word for this – propaganda found in Political Ideologies is to be found in their equivocation of anarchist activity to violence, not only through associating Anarchism with the FLQ, but also with Theodore Kaczynski (Ball et al, 142-3), aka “The Unabomber” (who never took up the label himself). Any somewhat recent “anarchist” action the book mentions involves an element of violence. Although violence and pacifism are not dogmatically adhered to strategies within many anarchist movements (Gelderloos, 2007), they are also tactics debated vigorously. One can only wonder why the authors of Political Ideologies failed to mention peaceful anarchist organizations hard at work today, such as Food Not Bombs. When supposed experts on political science give all but two examples of modern “anarchist” actions, in a book meant to be educative on political philosophy, and both those actions mentioned are carried out through violence by people who were only labelled anarchists by the authorities or media, who did not explicitly adopt the name or advocate for anarchism, and whose methods and ideas were heavily criticized and debated by anarchists themselves (Black, 1992), there can be no other term for this but disinformation. Ignoring the plethora of anarchist organizations that existed during the eco-terrorism of Kaczynski and that still exist today is a gross distortion of knowledge. When a textbook omits the relevance of an idea in one area, then highlights its (real or imagined) influence in another, the textbook immediately loses any semblance of objectivity. The information provided by the authors of Political Ideologies regarding Anarchism is skewed. Their bias is obvious and, as will be expounded upon later, the result, intended or not, is malignant.

Though Political Ideologies does lend credence to classical anarchist thinkers, and properly traces Anarchism back to its Socialist roots in thinkers such as Proudhon and Kropotkin (Ball et al. 141-3), it lacks what it gives to every single other ideology covered within its binding – a bridge from the past to the present. Political Ideologies treats anarchism as it treats no other philosophy in the text – with blatant disregard, dismissiveness, and an unwarranted relegation to the past. It deceives the reader and presents Anarchism as a dead, defeated relic of history. Consigned to the past, tossed on the garbage heap of bad ideas, Anarchism is not once mentioned again in the text, even where it should be[2], where it has played valuable roles and shown itself to be resilient in the face of such blatant nonobservance from academics and violent repression from the state.
Considering the fact Anarchism’s main analyses rest on a lack of satisfactory justification for the existence of the state (Parvin and Chambers, 2012, 127-8) and all political theory elsewise assumes the state’s legitimacy regardless – then proceeds to extrapolate theories building upon a rocky foundation – this is not surprising. Despite the fact that Anarchist ideas are arguably the most varied, they have also seen a veritable resurgence. Not just on the Internet, but also in the real world, in both modern history and the present[3]. The academy neglects to give this ravenous ocean of thought its fair due. Instead, we are shown creeks and streams and stagnant puddles of thought.

To inquire into the viability of such a deliberately misrepresented and distorted philosophy such as anarchism is nothing short of a cruel joke; an embarrassing straw man who heckles its subjects. When people are not privy to the necessary data needed to make informed decisions, when that necessary data is consciously withheld from them or distorted, how can one speak, or ask, of viability from an objective stance? It is the same ridiculous scheme that keeps poor people praising the machinations of capitalism. It is “ideological hegemony” (Ramos, 1982). Does the poor person prosper under a capitalist system? Of course not, but they are effectively brainwashed to defend their servitude. The adversaries of Anarchism, invariably oppressed by the state, are no different than the apologists and advocates of capitalism who possess no capital. Even the mere mention of the word ‘anarchy’ invokes visions of disorder and chaos in the laymen and academic alike (Ball, et al, 139). The irony being, of course, that it is governments and capitalism that produce wars, stoke the flames of socio-economic disorder, and distribute chaos en masse. The powerful and the privileged justify their positions through ideologies such as liberalism and conservatism. That is why those perspectives so heavily outweigh Anarchism in texts such as Political Ideologies, which is by no means atypical when it comes to assigned readings in post-secondary institutions. It is no mystery then why Hobbes concluded that the “state of nature” must be remedied through powerful Leviathans restricting freedoms. His social position depended on it. He worked for Monarchs. Yet, only a moment’s reflection finds his conclusion absurd, even abhorrent (Marshall, 229). Why, when surrounded by war instigated by state institutions, would one call for more authority? Yet the ‘social contract,’ and the Hobbesian view of ‘human nature,’ has dominated political discourse in academia for centuries. Why? Because, as Assata Shakur said in her 1973 speech To My People, “no one is going to provide you with the education needed to overthrow them.”

So, when one is asked the question “is Anarchism a viable ideology?” the proper response is to query whether adherence to any form of statism, or hierarchical social order, is viable? This shows the innate problem of such a question. The answer depends on whom you ask and how you define your terms. Capitalism is viable for the capitalist. Fascism is viable for the fascist. If the answer sought is purely theoretical, or hypothetical, “yes” and “no” are both acceptable answers. All political ideologies can be defended and rationalized and convincingly argued for, or against. Perhaps a better question would be “is Anarchism preferable?” And this can only be answered when one has sufficient access to accurate information regarding Anarchism, which, as it has been shown, is severely lacking in the ivory towers of corporate sponsored, state funded, academic institutions. Perhaps the greatest achievement of modern state has been its ability to exceedingly limit the information available and the imagination necessary to envision a world without it.

References

Ball, T., Dagger, R., Christian, W., & Campbell, C. (2016). Political ideologies and the

democratic ideal (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Routeledge.

Black, B. (1992) You can’t Blow up a Social Relationship, But You can have Fun

Trying! Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed #33. Retrieved Nov 01, 2016 from
https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/bob-black-you-can-t-blow-up-a-social-relationship-but-you-can-have-fun-trying

Crimethinc. (2012) Scene Report: Anarchism in Canada. Rolling Thunder #10

Retrieved Nov 01, 2016 from https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/crimethinc-scene-report-anarchism-in-canada#toc2

Crisso and Odeteo. (2003). Barbarians: The Disordered Insurgence. Retrieved Nov 01

from https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/crisso-and-odoteo-barbarians-the-disordered-insurgence
Flanders, L. (2012, April 30). Noam Chomsky on OWS, Anarchism, Labor, Racism,

Corporate Power and the Class War. Retrieved November 01, 2016, from https://libcom.org/library/noam-chomsky-ows-anarchism-labor-racism-corporate-power-class-war

Gelderloos, P. (2007). How nonviolence protects the state. Cambridge, MA:

South End Press.

Graeber, D. (2011, November 29). Occupy Wall Street’s anarchist roots. Retrieved

November 01, 2016, from http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2011/11/2011112872835904508.html
Leverink, J (n.d.). Murray Bookchin and the Kurdish Resistance. Retrieved Nov 01,

2016 from

https://roarmag.org/essays/bookchin-kurdish-struggle-ocalan-rojava/

Marshall, P. H. (2010). Demanding the impossible: A history of anarchism.

Oakland, CA: PM Press.

Parvin, P., & Chambers, C. (2012). Political philosophy: A complete introduction.

London: Teach Yourself.

Ramos Jr., V. (1982). The Concepts of Ideology, Hegemony, and Organic

Intellectuals in Gramsci’s Marxism. Theoretical Review No. 27. Retrieved November 01, 2016 from

https://www.marxists.org/history/erol/periodicals/theoretical-review/1982301.htm
Shakur, A. (1973, July 4). To My People. Retrieved Nov 01, 2016 from

https://africanbloodsiblings.wordpress.com/2013/05/06/to-my-people-by-assata-shakur-july-4th-1973/

[1] As quoted in Barbarians: The Disordered Insugrents (Crisso and Odeteo, 2003)

[2] In particular, the sections on ecology and feminism in Political Ideologies – both integral concerns to anarchist philosophy – mention nothing about anarchism (Marshall, 587, 610-11).

[3] Arguably, one could also look to the current revolution in Rojava, which puts some of the late anarchist/communalist Murray Bookchin’s ideas into practice. Though whether their inspiration is of an explicitly Anarchist nature is contentious (Leverink, 2015).

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White Fragility and Anomie

Writing from a prison cell in 1930, Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci wrote, “The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.”[1] The rise of white supremacist gangs in Canada in recent years is a “morbid symptom” of a breakdown in an old social order. While crime in general has been in decline in Canada for over 20 years[2], and a majority of those crimes are property crimes[3], there is an unnerving rise in hate-crimes related to white supremacist individuals and organizations[4] corresponding to a rise in the existence and reach of these organizations themselves. The theory of anomie, which Gramsci poetically articulates above, can shed much light on this troublesome trend.

Emile Durkheim, in 1867, penned his famous theory of anomie, which according to sociologist Nicki Lisa Cole, is “a condition that results when the values and expectations of an individual do not match those that predominate in society.”[5] Other facets of the theory cite a “sense of futility, lack of purpose, and emotional emptiness and despair.”[6] And while these factors seem certain to play into an individual’s decision to join or start a white supremacist group, or take lone action inspired by such supremacist ideas, here we will focus more on Cole’s interpretation. It is the perceived social ills that organized white supremacists are trying to fix that is the source of their anomie, not a sense of futility or despair. Indeed, many are indignant but hopeful and willing to act “maintaining or restoring social order.”[7]

A recent example of an organization that has found its way into Canada is the Soldiers of Odin. Originally from Finland, the organization has seen a meteoric rise with its hard-line anti-immigration stance. The group is new here in Canada and it is highly controversial, performing “night patrols” and wittingly admitting white supremacists into its ranks.[8] Though time has yet to tell whether the Soldiers of Odin or its membership in Canada will use violence or other crimes to support its cause, the founder of the Finnish group is an admitted neo-nazi and has served prison time for racist violence against migrants.
These groups and individuals see themselves as frontline defenders of a decaying social order, a society fraying at the seams. They are struggling to hold onto the respect and power they believe they deserve by virtue of the colour of their skin. In a changing society, these frightened individuals are experiencing a tremendous amount of anomie – bewilderment, disappointment, and normlessness.

Now this is not to, in anyway, insinuate that white supremacy is dead. White male dominance is very much alive and well, as is clearly evidenced in the treatment of white male gunmen compared to other gunmen in popular culture and media.[9] But, clearly as the grip of white supremacy loses its hold on politics and society in general, white fragility will react and fight back. This can take many forms. In the recent wave of violence committed by white supremacists, there is a clear link to Syrian refugees:
In the past few months alone, a mosque in Peterborough, Ontario was set on fire, a group of Syrian refugees were pepper sprayed at [a] welcome event in Vancouver, and statements such as “Go Home Syrians” and “Kill Refugees” have been spray painted onto cars and school walls in Calgary.[10]

This is what makes groups like the Soldiers of Odin so ominous. By their own admission white supremacist views are tolerated and accepted. These views lead, when exacerbated by extreme forms of anomie, to horrendous violence and crime. During this “interregnum,” as the old ways slowly (very slowly) die, we must be ever cautious of the many “morbid symptoms” that can and will arise. Other forms of white reaction are less nefarious, but as this paper aims to deal specifically with criminality, the legal reactions/actions of white supremacists will go duly noted but not expounded upon.[11] As of writing this, Soldiers of Odin have begun patrolling the streets right here in Vancouver. Their claims to benefitting the community and keeping a watchful eye on women and children should not fool anyone:

‘They’ve been caught in association with members of far right groups,” said Alan Dutton, with the Anti-Racism Canada collective. “It’s a notorious group that’s been anti-Muslim especially, because of the reaction to the flood of refugees into Western Europe as a result of the wars in the Middle East. There have been serious incidents of violence with some of the members.’[12]

Further evidence of white supremacist activity being a result of individuals and groups seeking to maintain the status quo – as resultant actions of those who feel their society is slipping away from them – can be found in Phyllis B. Gerstenfeld’s Hate Crimes: Causes, Controls, and Controversies:

…hate crimes are frequently committed not by members of the underclass but    rather by those who are privileged and socially powerful, such as college students and police officers. Offenders generally do not reject the authority of the status-quo, but instead are hyperconformists who embrace it with extreme vigor. [13]

It is clear that although underprivileged citizens are lulled into groups that hinge on, propagate, and utilize white supremacist ideologies, there is a clear focus on maintaining cultural and racial ‘purity’ that comes from privileged and powerful people. Durkheim’s notion of anomie is particularly apt in assessing the underlying psychology that exacerbates this social phenomenon. When individuals and groups feel their power being stripped away, or sense their societies changing in a way that will no longer advantage them, they then become at odds with that society and whoever is deemed the enemy. It is the same mentality that enables the Dylan Roofs of the world. In its less extreme form, it powers the rise of white nationalism in Canada. Though major studies are lacking regarding this rise in recent years, I do believe analyzing such attitudes, actions, and organizations through a lens aware of anomie, in all its forms, will prove useful and insightful.

[1] Antonio Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks, “Wave of Materialism” and “Crisis of Authority” (NY: International Publishers, 1971), 275-276
[2] “…the overall police-reported crime rate in Canada has been falling for more than 20 years.” “By Numbers” Government of Canada, Statistics Canada http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11-630-x/11-630-x2015001-eng.htm <accessed Sept. 19, 2016>
[3] Ibid.
[4] Barbara Perry & Ryan Scrivens “Uneasy Alliances: A Look at the Right-Wing Extremist Movement in Canada,” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, (2016) 39:9, 819-841, DOI:10.1080/1057610X.2016.1139375
[5] Nicki Lisa Cole, “Sociology of White Male Shooters” http://sociology.about.com/od/Current-Events-in-Sociological-Context/fl/The-Sociology-of-White-Male-Shooters.htm <accessed Sept. 19, 2016)
[6] Encyclopedia Britannica Online https://www.britannica.com/topic/anomie <accessed Sept.19, 2016>
[7] Emma Warner Chee, “Study finds white supremacist groups are on the rise in Canada,” The Peak RSS, Feb. 29, 2016 http://www.the-peak.ca/2016/02/study-finds-white-supremacist-groups-are-on-the-rise-in-canada/ <accessed Sept.19, 2016>
[8] Mack Lamoureux, “Soldiers of Odin, Europe’s Notorious Anti-Immigration Group, Beginning to Form Cells in Canada,” VICE, April. 15, 2016 http://www.vice.com/en_ca/read/soldiers-of-odin-europes-notorious-anti-immigration-group-beginning-to-form-cells-in-canada <accessed Sept. 20, 2016>
[9] “In his paper, Bonilla-Silva argues that ‘there is something akin to a grammar – a racial grammar if you will – that structures cognition, vision, and even feelings on all sort of racial matters. This grammar normalizes the standards of white supremacy as the standards for all sort of social events and transactions.’”
Craig Considine, “Why White Men are “Gunmen” and Muslim Men are “Terrorists,” The Huffington Post, Dec. 13, 2015 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/craig-considine/why-white-men-are-gunmen-_b_8704740.html <accessed Sept.19, 2016>
[10] Chee, “Study finds white supremacist groups are on the rise in Canada”
[11]See: “Wildrose Party Leader Brian Jean Photographed with Aryan Guard/Blood & Honour Associate” http://anti-racistcanada.blogspot.ca/2016/07/wildrose-leader-photographed-with-aryan.html <accessed Sept.20, 2016>
[12] David P. Ball, “Soldiers of Odin Start Controversial Foot Patrols in Vancouver,” Metro News , Sept. 22, 2016 http://www.metronews.ca/news/vancouver/2016/09/22/soldiers-of-odin-start-foot-patrols-in-vancouver.html <accessed Sept. 22, 2016>
[13] Phyllis B. Gerstenfeld, Hate Crimes: Causes, Controls, and Controversies. (Los Angeles: SAGE, 2011) 108

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